Inverse Records on Jan. 13 - Digital EP
This is the debut EP with Finnish melodic death metallers ADMIRE THE GRIM. Their music is said to fit fans of bands like ARCH ENEMY, CHILDREN OF BODOM and DARK TRANQUILLITY. So if that sounds like something for you, then you should really check this out. Because this 4-track EP is excellent! This is a very strong debut. It's catchy and melodic, yet hard and aggressive, as well as energetic. I also like that they use both growl and clean vocals. It gives their songs that extra touch somehow. |

LEPER COLONY: Leper Colony
Transcending Obscurity Records on Jan. 13, 2023 - CD, Digital
Here's a new death metal supergroup, featuring Marc Grewe (ex-MORGOTH, INSIDIOUS DISEASE), Rogga Johansson (PAGANIZER, REVOLTING etc etc etc) and Jon Skäre (CONSUMPTION). And these veterans are hardly aiming at a modern sound, but the classic Floridian sound of the 90s. So old thrashy death metal when it's as best. The production is modern though.
LEPER COLONY have made a really interesting and excellent album that every fan of the genre should like, no matter if you're a veteran or a newer death metal fan. |

The SPEEDWAYS: Talk Of The Town
Beluga Records/Snap!! Records/Hurrah Musica in January 2023 - LP
London, UK band The SPEEDWAYS play very catchy and melodic 60s style power pop. I have previously reviewed a 7" single with 2 songs from this album, and I thought that it could be a great album after hearing those 2 songs.
So do they live up to my expectations then? Well, it's definitely not bad anyway. There's lots of good songs here. But sometimes it's more pop and not much power. On the other hand you have the luxury to choose among 13 tracks.
If you like power pop, then you check this out. And it's not impossible that fans of The BEATLES could find something that they like here too. |

SONS OF CULT: Back To The Beginning
Fighter Records on Jan. 5, 2023 - CD, Digital
I don't know, but this sounds so boring somehow. It's mainly the singer that sounds boring. There's not enough passion and glow in his voice. No power. Too bad as the other guys seems to do a pretty good job at least.
SONS OF CULT was formed in Palma de Mallorca, Spain in 2020 by Vicente Payá (UNBOUNDED TERROR, GOLGOTHA, BIS·NTE, HOLYCIDE, among others) on guitar, Jordi Segura on drums and Jaume Vilanova (WHOREMAGEDON, WAR PIGS) on vocals. A while later Vicky Offidani (bass) and Dan García (guitar) joined them.
The goal was to go back in time and make a tribute to their heroes from the 80s. But it seems like something got lost along the way, because this does not sound like my favorite albums from that era. This is a pretty lame product without bite. I want passion and energy, fire and blood, and most of all classic anthems.

MASTER DY: Legacy Of Satan
Master Dy - Out now digital, LP on Dec. 30 (2022), CD on Jan. 30 (2023), Cassette on March 30 (2023)
MASTER DY is a Portugese power metal band, formed in May 2019. They have a theatrical approach with a light mix of satanism and BDSM, but in a comical way. They were initially inspired by GHOST, but also find inspiration in bands like POWERWOLF and ALICE COOPER. Soon they also added influences of ARCH ENEMY and DIMMU BORGIR.
Their first album, "Unknown Sound", was released in February 2021. It was followed by the acoustic "Halloween Mass" EP in October the same year. And now their second full-length is here (in some formats anyway).
This band mix their power metal with clean, female vocals. No high notes or screaming here. The guitars are rather heavy than fast, but produce powerful riffs. The choirs in the background adds an atmospheric layer to their sound.
This is an interesting album, but you might have to give it a few chances before you decide if it's good or bad.

N.Y. FURY: I Want It All
Eonian Records on Dec. 30 - CD, LP, Digital
N.Y. FURY was formed in the New York/New Jersey Tri-State Area in 1980. And they seems to have made some succees in that area from the mid-80s to the late 80s. But I would guess that not too many outside that area have heard of them before. Because even if they was a big succees, and not just locally, they never got signed to a record label. But an eternity later, they suddenly got signed to Eonian Records, who will release this collection of old recordings on the day before New Year's Eve.
We get 15 tracks here. And the music that N.Y. FURY play is a pretty typical 80s hard rock of the melodic kind. It sounds more like something from Los Angeles than New York and New Jersey.
It sounds really good, so you should absolutely check this out.

Bang Bang Firecracker on Dec. 30 - MCD, Digital EP
This is the third and final part of their 3 EP concept album. And what we get is 4 tracks (well, 3 songs as 1 is also available in a radio friendly version) where they seems to blend classic heavy metal with modern stuff. Fact is that they seems to mix different genres here, and get their own little sound.
The opening track, "Life After Dark", is a heavy piece, almost doom metal. While the second track, "Straight To The Bloodshed" is more uptempo, but yet heavy. And "We Can't Hear You", which is available in 2 versions, is a faster song compared to the 2 previous.
Well, this might not be a masterpiece, but it sure ain't bad.

DEVIL'S HOUR: Black 'n' Punk Marauders
Crawling Chaos Records on Feb. 10, 2023 - MCD
German band DEVIL'S HOUR was formerly known as SEXREX, and now they offer a new 6-track EP, which is their third release.
This band deliver their songs with fast riffs, aggressive vocals and expansive guitar solos. Their raw and dirty sound take inspiration from punk, rock and the first wave of black metal from the 80s and 90s. Punky black n roll you could say, even though it happens that there's some heavy or speed metal as well.
I like these 6 songs. It sounds drunk and wild, a little unpolished, but still not sloppy and uncontrolled. Like if VENOM and MOTÖRHEAD would have had a wild party with a bunch of German punks.
This is something that both metal heads and punks should check out. |

Nervous Breakdown Records/Half Beast Records - CD
This American power trio was founded in 2018, and they are influenced by metal, garage rock, doom metal and 70s metal. It's said to be doom metal, but their music sounds old, and more like some kind of proto-metal/early hard rock from the late 60s/early 70s. It sounds really good though, and I really like this album. This is something that you should try.
"Tres Lobos" is the third album with IKE'S WASTED WORLD. The album features a guest apperance from Wino (The OBSESSED, SPIRIT CARAVAN, ex-SAINT VITUS) on one of the songs. | |

Silver Nightmares - CD, Digital
SILVER NIGHTMARES is an Italian progressive rock band, and this is their first full-length album.
"Apocalypsis" is a "concept album concerning the historical excursus of the human beings headed for a reckoning". This sounds just as you can expect it to sound. In other words, a good old progressive adventure filled with different elements. A diverse album, one could say. Which is of course nothing unusual when it comes to this genre.
They have made a good album, there's no doubt about that. I'm very sure that lots of prog fans will like this.

MEZMORIA: Breathless
Mezmoria - Digital Single
Swedish metal project MEZMORIA was first founded in 2006 by Robin Jidhed (ex-CREYE) together with Eric Wikström (HAGWATER) and Martin Floberg (ex-ENBOUND). But after years of writing, recording and live performances, life intervened and the band was put on hold. Until now..
The band have now recruited Eric Skjuttorp (CHUGGER) on drums and David Åkesson (ex-CANTICE) on backing vocals, and this is the third track from the band.
What you can expect from this band is melodic hard rock rather than metal. You could possibly call it melodic metal. It's a damn good song anyway, so you should check it out of course. And there's not much else to say about that, so let the music do the talking instead.

Biohazardous Records - Digital Single
From Tampa, Florida comes the melodic death metal band BLOOD OF ANGELS. But they also throw in some black, thrash and power metal to their brew. The result is a powerful attack, which includes both heaviness and energy. A totally o.k. song. Why they call it melodic death metal is a mystery though, because this song is not so melodic according to me.
This song came about through a very odd and funny way. There is a DJ in Chicago who has been playing the band's music. She told the members that a band in Chicago named SPILLAGE wrote a song called "Blood of Angels". So she suggested that BLOOD OF ANGELS write a song called "Spillage". Their plan was to bring BLOOD OF ANGELS up to Chicago in the future to play a show together with SPILLAGE.
The band formed in the fall of 2015, and will spend 2023 recording a new album.

Rick Reichert: Along A Path
Rick Reichert - CD, Digital
Rick Reichert is a guitarist based in Utica, New York. This is his debut album, where Rick take care of all guitars, while Chuck Heath is singing and Bob F. Acquaviva handle all other instruments. Darryl Sleszynski play saxophone on one of the songs. Influences are said to come from bands like PINK FLOYD, THIN LIZZY, DEF LEPPARD, FOO FIGHTERS, QUEEN and BOSTON. So the music on this album take inspiration from the 70s to now.
What he might be influenced by and what it actually sounds like is 2 different things though. Because this does not sound like any of the classics that the mentioned bands have created. But with that said, Rick is doing his best to make songs that are o.k. at least. Sometimes it's even good.
The music is best described as guitar-driven rock with harmonies and melodies.

SEVERED ANGEL: Professor Finch
Severed Angel - Digital Single
SEVERED ANGEL are a really productive band. Now they have made an alternative Christmas song. It's heavy and melodic, as well as powerful. But where's the Christmas spirit? This sounds a bit odd, and it's hardly an metal anthem that you sing-along to. I think of 90s METALLICA, but with symphonic elements. But as they say in the press release: "If you're tired of hearing the same 5 Christmas songs (pick any of them) on repeat on every radio station around the country, then we have your solution". Which means that you listen to this little song instead. |

DARK SARAH: Invincible
Riena Productions/Blood Blast Distribution - Digital Single
This is the second single from DARK SARAH's upcoming album, "Attack Of Orym", which will be released on January 27. The song features Kasperi Heikkinen (BEAST IN BLACK) on guitar.
This Finnish band play what they call cinematic metal, which includes both symphonic metal and electronic elements, and is backed up by a horror/fantasy theme.
"Invincible" is a uptempo and melodic track, and absolutely among the better songs from the album. Definitely worth a try. |

AFTER LAPSE: Face The Storm
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
This Spanish band formed in 2018, and they play progressive metal. They have now signed with Italian label Frontiers Music, who released their debut album, "Face The Storm", earlier this month. What we get here is a more melodic kind of progressive metal, with many different influences, and not just prog bands, but also power metal for example.
Fortunately, it's not too complicated music they offer, but rather quite normal songs (for being prog anyway). This is absolutely not bad at all to be honest. It probably doesn't suit everyone, but fans of melodic metal and prog should have a good time to look foward to. |

Tommy DeCarlo: Dancing In The Moonlight
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
Well, here's yet another melodic rock/AOR dude. This is the solo debut by vocalist Tommy DeCarlo (BOSTON, DECARLO), where the sound is taken from the 70s and early 80s. They mention BOSTON albums like "Third Stage" and "Walk On" as preferences. So if that's something that you like, then I guess you should give this man a try. But any fan of melodic rock/AOR should do that, because this sure ain't bad at all. Very catchy and melodic.

TARMAT: Out Of The Blue
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
TARMAT is a new melodic rock/AOR band from Niterói, Brazil. The band was formed in mid-2020, with the mission to play original AOR songs. Their influences comes from the 80s, and there's much keyboards and guitars. Most of these 10 songs are good stuff, so if you like it melodic, then you should know what to do. Fans of progressive rock could actually like this too, because according to me there's some elements of that too in some of these songs.
Another really short review. But what else is there to say? I simply don't know.. |

SCREAM MAKER: Bloodking (reissue)
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
SCREAM MAKER is another new signing to Frontiers Music. This band comes from Poland, and play heavy metal. They are currently working on a new studio album, which will be released in 2023. But while we wait for that album, the label have re-released the band's latest album, "Bloodking", which was released in January this year.
It's actually a little strange to re-release an album that is not even a year old yet. Another strange thing with this album is that it has as much as 15 tracks, which is too much candy at once. This gives us a playing time of over an hour. And as far as I know there's no bonus material. But as I call it candy, it's luckily good stuff that we get here. Powerful, yet melodic, heavy metal in the good old tradition. You should give them a try if you like that description.
SCREAM MAKER formed in Warsaw in late 2010. They have so far produced 3 full-length albums and 1 EP. |

SABU: Banshee
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
Singer/guitarist/producer Paul Sabu (ONLY CHILD) have signed with Frontiers Music, and this is his first SABU album since 1998. On this 6th album Paul has collaborated with Barry Sparks (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP, UFO, DOKKEN, Ted Nugent), who, along with Paul, also provides all the instrumentation on the album, as well as background vocals.
Well, this is another artist that is somewhere between melodic rock and hard rock. The material that he deliver here is of the better kind, so there's nothing to complain about. Sure, it might not be something different and unique that he presents here, but sometimes you need something safe and familiar to listen to, and then this is perfect. |

Rob Moratti: Epical
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
This is the fifth solo album from vocalist Rob Moratti (MORATTI, FINAL FRONTIER, ex-SAGA). It's melodic but yet powerful rock that we get from this man, sometimes on the border to hard rock. It sounds good anyway, and then you can call it whatever you want. Fans of melodic rock and hard rock should enjoy this anyway, no doubt about that. But even though it's good, I don't have much else to write about this.
The album also features some contributing writers and performers, including Joel Hoekstra (WHITESNAKE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, ex-NIGHT RANGER) on lead guitar, Tony Franklin (ex-BLUE MURDER, The FIRM) on bass, Felix Borg on drums (and co-writing), Fredrik Bergh on keys (and co-writing), Ulrick Lönnqvist, Steve Augeri (ex-JOURNEY), and Pete Alpenborg (who also contributes rhythm guitar and keyboard). |

JOURNEY: Live In Concert At Lollapalooza
Frontiers Music Srl - 2CD/DVD, Blu-ray, 3LP, Digital
On July 31, 2021 AOR legends JOURNEY took the stage at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, IL, USA. They performed as much as 20 tracks (or 17 songs as 2 of the tracks are "Guitar Interlude" and 1 "Piano Interlude"), and it sounds like both band and audience had a really good time.
Yes, this is probably a real party for old fans of the band. But to me it's just song after song without any deeper impression. It sounds o.k. though. But it's actually just 2 songs that I know that I have heard before, and those 2 are last: "Any Way You Want It" and "Don't Stop Believin'" - Both really good songs. True fans of the band will probably hear classic after classic here though. |

Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
LANDFALL hailing from Curitiba, Brazil, and this is their second album. These 11 tracks consist of a very strong material, that every fan of melodic rock and hard rock should enjoy. We get a little bit of both here actually, as some songs are melodic rock, while others are melodic hard rock. The melodies are always there, and the sound is classic and timeless. So yes, this is something that you really have to try.
Not much else to add there.. |

NEVENA: Nevena
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
Here's another woman on the Frontiers label who is into the melodic rock sound of the 80s. And nothing wrong with that as long as it sounds this good.
Nevena Dordevic is from Serbia, and in her home country, Nevena is well-known for styles like musical theater, jazz, pop, and rock. She is nowadays living in the States as far as I can understand.
For this album she teamed up with producer Mike Palace, and they have created an album full of good songs. This is something that you absolutely should check out. Fans of an artist like Chez Kane should not be dissapointed.
Let's see if she can succeed to make another album that is just as great as this.. |

EXPLORER: Still Alive... And Now?
Iron Shield Records on Dec. 23 - CD
EXPLORER is not just a Swedish vodka, it's also the name of an Italian band, who formed in 2004. This is their third album, which is said to be their fastest album so far.
This reminds me a little of a young METALLICA, around the first album, "Kill 'em All", which is a great album. And there's lots of great songs here too. So if it's old school speed metal that you're looking for, then this is the album for you. Simple as that! |

LYZZÄRD: The Abyss
Fighter Records - CD, Digital
LYZZÄRD was born in 2013 in the city of Trofa, Portugal. 1 year later they released their first EP, "Release The Hounds", which was followed by their first full-length album, "Savage", in 2017. And after 5 years, their second album is here, "The Abyss".
What we get here is simply classic heavy metal the way it has always been. And this band is just as good as any other of all the heavy metal bands that we have today. So the question is hardly if you should check this out, but rather when. I suggest that you do it now.

FLESHGORE: Carnival Of Flesh
Xtreem Music on Dec. 20 - CD, Digital
FLESHGORE is a brutal death metal band from Ukraine, formed in 2000. "Carnival Of Flesh" is their 6th album. And this is not really my kind of death metal. Sure, they are good musicians. But the snare drum sounds like a cookie jar, and then comes the vocals, which sounds like the cookie monster. But I'm pretty sure that there's people who actually like this, so who am I to judge? |

Argonauta Records on Dec. 16 - CD, LP, Digital
UNCOMMON EVOLUTION live in the mountains of North West Montana, USA. The band formed in the spring of 2013, and are said to play stoner hard rock. But these guys have their own unique sound, so it's a little hard to describe. One thing is for sure though, they are heavy. I have definitely heard worse than this in my life.
The last song is a chapter of its own, where they combine reggae beats with rap vocals, and sing about how mermaids are made. You have to hear this song just to get that information. Very funny. |

ITERUM NATA: The Mountain
Nordvis Produktion - Digital Single
This is a solo project formed by Jesse Heikkinen (ex-HEXVESSEL), and this song is taken from his upcoming album, "Trench Of Loneliness", which will be released on February 10, 2023. The music is described as psychedelic folk rock, and is mainly acoustic, but not just a man and his guitar. It's soft and melancholy stuff, but it sounds really good as soon as you get used to it. Give it a try. | |

The THREE BLIND MICE: Day's Getting Dark
Beluga Records in mid-December (they hope) - LP
This was something different. One song sounds like something from the soundtrack to a Quantin Tarantino movie, a other track almost have a smell of country, while a third is like a heavier psych/garage rocker. And then I have just heard 3 of the tracks from this album. Interesting and cool stuff that I recomend you to check out.
The THREE BLIND MICE hailing from Milano, Italy, and this will be their third album.

Solitude Productions on Dec. 16 - CD, Digital
MARE INFINITUM play what they describe as symphonic doom/death metal. It's 7 years since their last album was released, but now their third album, "Cryosleep", is here. And this is epic and ambitious stuff, but at the same time really dark and heavy. So it actually fits good for the dark and cold season that we have here in Sweden right now.
The symphonic elements in this band's music gives them a majestic sound. And we get both male and female vocals. This wasn't bad at all. |

GREEN KING: Hidden Beyond Time
The Sign Records on Dec. 16 - LP, CD, Digital
Finnish heavy metal band GREEN KING deliver their debut album. And this band take inspiration from many sub-genres of heavy music. It can be classic 70s/80s metal, stoner metal or more mellow, experimental tracks featuring folk inspired melodies. Traditional heavy metal is their biggest passion though.
They seems to have found their own special sound somehow, and it sounds really good to me. I guess that fans of a band like BOMBUS could like this.
GREEN KING have previously released an EP, "Rock Alley Tapes", in early 2022.

Go Down Records on Dec. 16 - LP, CD, Digital
This band play a punky kind of rock, which is catchy and full of energy, and sometimes also spiced with experimental lust. Punk funk with a twist of garage rock and new wave might also be a good description. It's rocking anyway, and it's actually not so bad. Sometimes it reminds me of bands like The HIVES and The ROLLING STONES for example, but with their own little twist then.
DIPLOMATICS is an Italian band, formed in 2013. They mention 70s New York and a mix of punk, wave, funk and rock n roll as inspiration to their music. Old influences, but a modern sound, you could say. |

Upstate Records on Dec. 16 - LP, CD, Digital
If you for some reason just want to check out 1 hardcore/metal record this year, then this is a good choice. It's stone hard and angry. This is like the perfect cross between SLAYER and an old hardcore band. You have to check this out!
New York band BLOODCLOT features former CRO-MAGS member John "Bloodclot" Joseph, which this time is joined by guitarist Tom Capone (ex-QUICKSAND, BEYOND, BOLD), bassist Craig Setari (SICK OF IT ALL, ex-YOUTH OF TODAY, AGNOSTIC FRONT), and drummer Darren Morgenthaler (MAXIMUM PENALTY, ex-MADBALL). Talk about heavy line-up.
Even though the band have been around for an eternity, this is just their third album. But then it seems like they didn't record anything until 2008, and then it took almost a decade before they entered the studio again. I guess they prefer to play live instead, which I can understand.
All 7 trcaks here are great, but the opening track, "Souls", and "Relentless" are extra good. |

PIGMAN: Shadows
Pigman - Digital EP
After 5 years, PIGMAN - from Göteborg, Sweden - are back with a 5-track EP. Finally!
I really like this band, and the singer's voice fits perfect for this kind of unpolished punk rock, which they mix with dirty garage rock and good old rock n roll. It's a little noisey, but yet catchy somehow. You should really check them out.
Just check out cool stuff like the title track, "Johnny Thunders" or "M16" - All brilliant songs!

SCROLLKEEPER: Shadow Dancing
Scrollkeeper - Digital Single
From Houston, Texas comes SCROLLKEEPER, who formed in 2016. They are inspired by the classic heavy metal bands, but I don't know if I would call this traditional heavy metal. Sure, there's definitely some of that here. But they seems to have found their own unique sound, which is so much more than just good old heavy metal.
This is an o.k. song, but hardly an anthem that you can sing-along to. You could bang your head though. But how many of you want to bang your head for 7 and a half minutes? So yes, I think this song is a little too long.
A new EP, "Wetiko", will be released in spring 2023.

SOPHIE'S THREAT: Speaking Of The Devil
Sophie's Threat - Digital Single
This is the third single from this female fronted Brazilian melodic death/thrash metal band. And this is even more brutal than their previous 2 singles. It's not so melodic, but more like a hard groove/death metal song. Good stuff anyway, so you could always be brave and give it a try.
I don't have much else to write, but now you know that this song exist anyway.

Заводь: Березоль (Berezol)
Self-released - Digital Album
This Ukrainian band is not better or worse than any other black metal band. It's cold and raw, fast and hateful. Simply uncompromising old school black metal the way it was meant to be.
This is their 4th album, which have 6 tracks. "The lyrical contents of the release are images of merciless war woven into patterns of symbolism and abstractions", says singer Dmytro. All lyrics are in Ukrainian.
This could absolutely be worth a try if you like good old black metal.

ARCHE: Transitions
Transcending Obscurity Records on Dec. 16 - LP, CD, Digital
This is hardly the most happy music to listen to. Really heavy doom with growl and eternity long songs is not really my thing. It's easy to fall asleep when you listen to this, so I guess it can work as alternative lullabies (in case you need that).
They begin with a song that is 15 and a half minutes long, continue with a instrumental track that is 6:20 minutes, and then end the whole thing with another long song that is 14:24 minutes.
I guess the music that this Finnish duo is playing is called funeral doom, which might give you an idea about their sound. It's slow and atmospheric, and is said to fit fans of bands like MOURNFUL CONGREGATION, EVOKEN, SKEPTICISM, DOOM:VS and OFFICIUM TRISTE. |

GRIM JUSTICE: Justice In The Night
Grim Justice - Digital Album
Inspired by 80s heavy metal and 70s hard rock, GRIM JUSTICE was born in Vienna, Austria in 2010. They have now come to their third self-published album.
The band is fronted by Michaela, who have a powerful voice. And the music and the songs that they have made here are absolutely not bad at all. Simply good old hard rock and heavy metal. You should definitely give them a try.
I don't really know which other bands I should compare them with, but I think of both British and German bands when I listen to this album, if that gives you an idea? It sounds more old than new anyway.

WHITE LUNG: Premonition
Domino Recording Co - LP, CD, Digital
After a 5-year hiatus, WHITE LUNG have released their fifth and final album, "Premonition". But the positive thing is that they seems to end the career when they're still on the top. Fans of the band should not be dissapointed when they hear this album.
I would describe most of these songs as melancholy, yet energetic and melodic. They have an alternative sound somehow, and I really like it. I guess we can call it punk rock. Especially some of the faster songs.
The lyrics on this album are about motherhood, pregnancy, and growth. So it's a little deeper themes this time. And those themes are some of the reasons for their hiatus, and probably also the reason why they have decided that this will be the last album from the Vancouver band.

Domino Recording Co - Digital Single
So, when the new album, "Premonition", was released, they also released this single. It's another catchy and melodic song, and very representative for the album. So in other words good stuff that you should check out if you like that kind of punk rock.
But now that the album is out, you should of course check out the whole thing. So read the album review (if you have not done that already) for more information..

ROKETS: Break Free
The Sign Records on Dec. 9 - LP, CD, Digital
High octane garage rock is what we get from this band. Or action rock as it's also known as. "Break Free" is the second album from ROKETS, who are based in Helsinki, Finland. 9 tracks is what we get, and it's over pretty fast. But the songs that we get are really good stuff, so this is absolutely worth listening to.
The album was mixed by Robert Pehrsson (Robert Pehrsson's HUMBUCKER, DEATH BREATH, DUNDERTÅGET, etc.) at Studio Humbucker. It was then mastered by Hans Olsson Brookes at Svenska Grammofonstudion.
ROKETS formed in 2017, and have previously released 1 EP and 1 full-length album.
If you want action, then this could be something for you. |

GOMORRA: Dealer Of Souls
Noble Demon on Dec. 9 - CD, LP, Digital
GOMORRA is a Swizz thrash metal band, which features Damir Eskic from DESTRUCTION among others. Their debut album, "Divine Judgement", was released in 2020. And now it's time to follow up that album with "Dealer Of Souls".
Even though they are a thrash band, they also blend in heavy and power metal. They are not among the fastest and most aggressive bands, but play more in mid-tempo or just above, while the vocals is more like heavy and power metal. I really like this! I think more of early ANTHRAX than SLAYER. Not that GOMORRA sounds like them, but you hopefully understand what I mean.
This album will probably fit better for those who like heavy and power metal than those who like intense thrash. |

The EROTICS: Rot In The Shade
The Erotics on Dec. 12 - CD, Digital
From Albany, New York comes The EROTICS, who deliver their unpolished hard rock n roll with attitude. It's raw and dirty, and it makes me think of something like a young AEROSMITH or GUNS N' ROSES for example. Maybe some ROSE TATTOO there too? Really good stuff anyway, and therfor absolutely worth checking out. Cool rock for cool people.
Nice to hear a cover of "Too Hot To Stop" by the underrated heavy metal band The RODS. Not really what I expected to hear. Another thing that I didn't expected to hear was a whole song in Spanish. But that works too.

BARABBAS: La Mort Appelle Tous Les Vivants
Sleeping Church Records on Dec. 9 - CD, Digital
BARABBAS play loud and heavy, and all their lyrics are in French, so I don't have a clue what they sing about. But I bet it's not any happy love songs anyway. Most of the songs here are between 7 to 9:40 minutes long. So it's not that many short pieces here (that would be the intro and outro then).
BARABBAS formed in 2007, released a EP in 2011, and an album in 2014. It has taken its time, but now their second full-length album is ready to be released. The music is doom metal with mainly raw but melodic vocals. Very riff-based and not bad at all. Fans of legends like CATHEDRAL, TROUBLE, PENTAGRAM and SAINT VITUS could like this.

TITAN'S WRATH: Will Of The Beast
Titan's Wrath on Dec. 9 - Digital EP
"Will Of The Beast" is the second EP from TITAN'S WRATH, which is a heavy metal band from Los Angeles. And even though they first of all see themselves as a traditional heavy metal band, they also have influences from the Bay Area thrash, German power metal and Swedish death metal. So maybe they are not so traditional after all? After listening to this 5-track EP I would say no. Sure, there's some NWOBHM and other familiar stuff, but then we also have those other genres as well.
They deliver powerful metal here anyway. And it's mainly heavy metal that we talk about. And they are also good musicians. But the songs are not so bad either, even though I have heard better.
Luckily this is just a digital release, because it sounds like an old demo recording.

TOXIC YOUTH: Back To You-TH (reissue)
WTF Records - CD
TOXIC YOUTH are based in Milan, Italy, and formed back in 1990. "Back To You-TH" was originally released in November 2020. So why they want to re-release it already is a mystery to me. But I guess this is just a second pressing of the album. This edition also gives us the bonus track "Libera La Mente". And the album cover have a black background instead of white.
Their music is mainly hardcore, even though there's some thrash metal too. The vocals is not the usual hardcore screaming. This guy is actually singing, even though he do it in his own special way. Sometimes pretty normal, sometimes more crazy and in broken English. This is a very good album though. No doubt about that. I like these songs.
Even though the band was started in 1990, they didn't release anything until 1993, when their first demo cassette was released. And in 1996 their debut album came out. Then the fans had to wait until 2020 before the second album, "Back To You-TH", finally was released. And I guess that nothing new has been released since then. |

Unchristian Christian on Dec. 9 - Digital Album?
UNCHRISTIAN CHRISTIAN is a Swedish death metal project led by scene veteran Christian Ludvigsson. With this project he wanted an outlet for HM2 riffs somewhat more brutal than the deathprog of EIGENSTATE ZERO (which I suppose he is a member of?).
To me it sounds like the perfect playground for someone who wants to get out of the bubble of his main band. This is mainly old school death metal, but also experimental. This makes this album a little special of course, but it sure ain't bad. I think you should give this a try.

poptropicalslutz! and MAGNOLIA PARK: Catastrophe
Epitaph Records - Digital Single
But shit, help, fuck! Talk about catastrophe! This was really useless. Give this shit to some stupid pop fan, because it sure don't fit in here.
Long Island based poptropicalslutz! is said to be a hyper-punk duo. But where's the punk? For some reason they wanted to team up with their label mates MAGNOLIA PARK. The result is a pop song, and I hate modern pop.

Nihilist Death Cult - CD, Digital
This band deliver a fist full of hardcore/punk, spiced with some death metal and grindcore, straight in your face without any excuses. They burn off 9 tracks in less than 13 minutes. It's raw, aggressive and fast. I really like this!
NIHILIST DEATH CULT hailing from Toronto, Canada, and features members who have played with PESTILENCE, ABYSS, TRIBE OF PAZUZU and SOULSTORM. "Death To All Tyrants" is said to be their debut album, but when it's not even 15 minutes, then it's an EP according to me (and as everybody should know, EPs are more punk than albums).
Fans of old school hardcore/punk, crust punk etc. should absolutely check this out.

The GHOST OF FU KANG WALKER: The Ghost of Fu Kang Walker
Wormholedeath Records - MCD, Digital EP
The GHOST OF FU KANG WALKER is a hard rock/vintage metal band from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. When the line-up finally was complete, they started to work with Chumpire Records, who wanted to release a split LP/CD between The GHOST OF FU KANG WALKER and NEIGHBOR DAN. But within months they signed with Wormholedeath Records to release a self titled EP on a larger scale, with global distribution.
Anyway, 5 songs is what we get here. And it's as far as I can understand the same 5 songs as on the split. To me it sounds like stoner rock, but at the same time very old. Like something heavy from the late 60s/early 70s. So I guess that we could just as well call it proto-metal. It sounds good though, so it could be worth a try. |

Concrete Bastards - LP, Digital
CONCRETE BASTARDS comes from Thessaloniki, Greece. They have previously released 3 songs digitally and on cassette in November 2017. In October 2022 "Closer To The End" was released. And what we get here is a catchy kind of d-beat hardcore/punk with a pinch of metal. Most of the songs are approximately 1 and a half to almost 3 minutes, while a couple is around 5-6 minutes.
It's not impossible that fans of bands like ANTI CIMEX and DISCHARGE could like this, even though it's not the exact same thing, as some of these songs are actually melodic compared to the other tracks. Not much d-beat or metal there, but it works too.
The album was mixed and mastered by Fredrik Nordström at the legendary Studio Fredman, which is more well-known for melodic death metal and the Gothenburg sound than this kind of music.

CIMINERO: Shadows Digging The Grave
Argonauta Records - CD, Digital
Finnish band CIMINERO recorded their debut album, "Subterranean Awakening" (2019), just 5 months after the band's first rehearsal. This second album took a little longer to create though.
The music that they play is a heavy mixture of doom and occult rock. It sounds Italian somehow. Especially when they sing in what sounds like Italian in the second last song. And even though it's heavy, I would say that it's catchy and melodic. But there's also psychedelic moments here.
I like what I hear. They have made a very good album, with fantastic songs. |

AGGRESSION: From Hell With Hate
Xtreem Music - CD, LP, Cassette, Digital
Canadian thrash metal band AGGRESSION came to life on Halloween night 1984, originally under the moniker ASYLUM. They recorded a few demo tapes and participated on a couple of metal compilations, and in 1986 they recorded an album, "Forgotten Skeleton", which wasn't released until 2005. But after some line-up changes they recorded another album, "The Full Treatment", which was released in 1987. They were on track to become one of the forefathers of the 80s thrash metal movement. However, due to their destructive substance abuse problems, legal and criminal matters combined with reckless abandon, the band was declared disbanded by 1989.
After a brief reunion in 2005, the band resurrected for good in 2014, and signed with Xtreem Music in 2016. They have now come to their fifth album.
This is just as the band name says pure aggression. They deliver fast and intense thrash metal. It's raw and powerful, but done with style, as they are never too extreme. There's lots of really strong songs among these 12 tracks, and it sounds very old school, even though it's done with a modern production.
If you want it the good old way, then this should be what you need. |

Folter Records on Dec. 9 - CD, LP
After 3 years, Italian black metallers WHISKEY RITUAL are back with their fifth album. And this is an album full of punk and a big middle-finger to all and nothing. This is very old school, raw and dirty. They burn off 9 tracks in 37 minutes. And it doesn't have to be more complicated than that.
This is as you probably understand an album completely free from modern elements. You will not hear any symphonic or atmospheric parts here, but just pure black metal and punk brutality. It's straight pipes and no fuss, as we say in Sweden. |

VINODIUM: Involución Deluxe
Art Gates Records - CD
Spanish thrash metallers VINODIUM formed in 2005. This latest album is a product of frustration, and is filled with important and critical messages. They let their anger out with raw speed and strength. If this doesn't make you want to bang your head like a maniac, then I don't really know what you need to wake up. Because this really kicks ass!
What their important messages might be is unknow to me though, as they sing in Spanish (or maybe Quechua, which is an official minority language is some South American countries). It sounds really good though, and they seems to be very good at playing thrash metal, so you should really give them a try. I'm pretty sure that you will listen again and again after that. That's how good I think this is anyway. |

Ursäkta Röran Vol 5: En Bomb I Systemet
GrönPeppar Records - CD, Digital
The Swedish punk scene is still alive and well. And in all ages. The age range on this Swedish compilation is from teenagers to old veterans, and it's abrupt changes between melodic punk rock, pure punk and furious hardcore/punk. There's even what we possibly could call a folk punk song. A nice mixture with 13 different artists.
This fifth edition prove that the punk scene is not just alive, but also very strong. Even though these bands are different from each other, it's a good material that they present here. I don't like to be proud of my country like a stupid nazi, but in this case I'm proud of the local punk scene at least. |

KANSAS: Another Fork In The Road - 50 Years Of Kansas
InsideOutMusic on Dec. 9 - 3CD
Why 41 tracks when you celebrate your 50th anniversary? Shouldn't it be 50 tracks then? Not that 41 is too little, rather the other way around, but anyway. It takes a while (a few hours actually) to listen to all these songs, but this collection really show us all that KANSAS have so much more to offer than just "Carry On Wayward Son", which seems to be one of the most covered songs during the last 10 years (I have heard a few versions anyway).
KANSAS released their debut album in 1974, and have since then released 16 studio albums and 5 live albums. They have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide. On this career-spanning collection we get songs from their whole career so far (yes, the band is still alive and touring).
I would describe their music as progressive classic rock or something like that. And a special thing with this band is the use of violin in some of the songs. How did they come up with that idea? Even though I have heard this band before, there's actually just 2 that I still can remember on this collection, the already mentioned song and "Dust In The Wind". The rest is like listening to something new that I had not heard before. Some songs are good, some are less good. Nothing really sucks though, which is always something positive.
Well, this might be a little too much at once for new listeners, but the most fanatic fans have to get this. But due to licensing restrictions, there are minor differences between the European and North American release of this 3CD. So you might have to get both versions? |

SPIRITWORLD: Deathwestern
Century Media - LP, CD, Digital
SPIRITWORLD hailing from Las Vegas, and this is their second album. Their music is like a street fight between SLAYER, PANTERA and a gang of hardcore musicians. It's hard and brutal, and lots of testosterone. The metal guitars are heavy, and the vocals is aggressive hardcore screaming. The kind of music that will break your neck, you could say.
They might not be the best metallic hardcore band that I have heard, but luckily they are hardly the worst that I have heard either. So I would say that this is an o.k. album.
If you want something heavy and brutal, try this. |


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