REVIEWS MARCH 2024

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SOPHIE'S THREAT: Infernal Remanipulation (A New View)
Sophie's Threat - Digital Single
Brazilian melodic death/thrash metal band SOPHIE'S THREAT has re-recorded their debut single with the new singer Felícia Andrade. This song was originally titled "Infernal Manipulation", and was released in 2022. The new verison is even more explosive, and it should fit perfect for those of you who like it really hard and aggressive, but still with a melody. In other words good stuff.
The band has previously released a EP, and are currently working on their debut album, titled "Enemy Within", set to be released in the second half of 2024.
onerpm.link/264071729667 | facebook.com/sophiesthreat


SKARLETT RIOT: Lullaby
Despotz Records - Digital Single
UK modern metal quartet SKARLETT RIOT gives us another single from their next album. And I'm almost a little dissapointed, as it's far away from as good as their previous songs have been. On the other hand, what can you expect from a song called &qout;Lullaby"? That title hardly smells like it would be a hard and powerful song. And this band's songs use to be powerful, riff based and melodic.
Now it might not be entirely right to say that this song doesn't have those ingredients, because it does. And even though I was a little dissapointed the first times I heard this song, it has grown a little now.
I guess this is best described as a power ballad, as it has a silent verse and a more powerful chorus.
youtu.be/oQR_lx56Q-s?si=-w9paAZw5cu7hwka | despotz.se | skarlettriot.bandcamp.com


REMEDY: Crying Heart
Escape Music - Digital Single
On this new single, Swedish band REMEDY blend melodic rock with a pinch of metal. The roots are in the 80s, but they have a modern sound. I think of something like ECLIPSE for example. So it's in other words a really high quality here, and absolutely something that you should check out at once.
"Crying Heart" is taken from their second album, "Pleasure Beats The Pain", which is out on May 24.
facebook.com/Remedymusicsweden | escape-music.com


FREEDOM: This Is Gonna Hurt
Wild Kingdom - Digital Single
This is a Swedish rock band, formed in 2019. Their second album, "Stay Free!", will be released on May 17, and that's where this song comes from.
This song is one of the better songs from the album. I really like it. Catchy working class rock that makes you feel good, if just for a few minutes. You should really check them out. And especially if you like rock from the 70s and 80s, like TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS and Bruce Springsteen.
orcd.co/stay-free | wildkingdom.se | facebook.com/freedomsthlm


ONDFØDT: Oldfodt
Black Lion Records on April 5 - Digital EP
After a decade of existence and a new line-up of the band, Finnish black metallers ONDFØDT thought it could be a good idea to re-record some of their old stuff. These versions are said to be both more aggressive and intense than the original versions. And even though they are from Finland, they sing in Swedish.
We get 5 tracks, and this is explosive and powerful stuff. I can also hear some crust punk in their black metal, which I like, so I guess this could also work for crust punks. All these songs are good, so there's not much to complain about.
Mathias "Vreth" Lillmåns (FINNTROLL, OCEANS) is doing guest vocals on 1 of the tracks. The last track, "Paradiset", is a cover originally done by Rauli Badding Somerjoki under the title "Paratiisi" in 1973. This song has been the most played song in Finland for several years, and in 2016 the song crossed the sea to get its Swedish variant by Frida Andersson, now titled "Paradiset".
orcd.co/ondfodt-ep | facebook.com/Ondfodt666


GREYHAWK: Thunderheart
Fighter Records on April 2 - CD, LP, Cassette, Digital
GREYHAWK formed in 2018 and blend the best parts from traditional heavy and power metal, and then add some shred and dramatic vocals to that. Their debut EP, "Ride Out", was released in October 2018, and was followed by their full-length debut, "Keepers Of The Flame", in July 2020. Another EP, "Call Of The Hawk", was released in February 2022. And now we have come to full-length number 2.
This is something for fans of the bands from the 80s. They mention DIO, Yngwie Malmsteen, RACER X, MANOWAR, VISIGOTH and JUDAS PRIEST for example. And I could easily mention a few more, but I'm not going to do that. Powerful metal the good old way you could say. And they have lots of great songs among these 9 tracks, so there's not that much to complain about.
facebook.com/Greyhawkmetal | fighter-records.com


THORNBRIDGE: Daydream Illusion
Massacre Records - CD, LP, Digital
It's said that "Daydream Illusion" is a bit more melancholic and magical compared to the 2 prevoius albums - "What Will Prevail" (2016) and "Theatrical Masterpiece" (2019) - which were more on the heavy side. And the vocals is said to be less aggressive and cleaner. But most of all they seems to focus on catchy melodies and really good power metal songs. That's what I can hear anyway.
This is a concept album that tells the story of a boy who tries to save his dream world and its characters from the destruction and violence he is confronted with in his real life in the form of questionable and inhumane "healing methods" and surgeries in a mental asylum set in the early Victorian era.
This is without a doubt worth checking out.
massacre-records.com | thornbridge.de


STORMHUNTER: Best Before: Death
MDD Records - CD
German heavy/power metal band STORMHUNTER has been around since 1998, and this is their 4th longplayer (they has also released 2 EPs), where they continue to deliver what they always have (as far as I can understand). It's powerful but yet melodic, and it sounds professional somehow. Fans of the traditional stuff should enjoy this record, because there's not many modern ingredients here.
They also surprise us with a song that sounds like it's sung in French (the rest is in English).
Simply good metal for good people, and not much else to add there..
stormhunter-metal.de | mdd-records.de


SHADOWDANCE: Ageless
Divebomb Records - CD, Digital
SHADOWDANCE hailing from Philadelphia, PA, and was formed in the late 90s. The goal was to craft a timeless brand of powerful metal infused with progressive and atmospheric elements. They deliver crushing riffs, blinding speeds, exotic textures and classical melodies. And they are not afraid to blend in hints of everything from black metal and old school thrash to 70s hard rock.
"Ageless" is their debut album, which was originally self released in 2000. But now they have re-recorded the whole album (only the original drum tracks and some keyboards were retained). The album features a number of notable guest performers, including John Yelland (JUDICATOR, DIRE PERIL), Jon Phipps (MOONSPELL, ANGRA, AMORPHIS), Tony Sannicandro (JOB FOR A COWBOY) and Matt Hodsdon (CHAOS FRAME, NOBLE BEAST), amongst others. This is simply how it was meant to be experienced all those years ago.
Now I have not heard the original version, but this sounds really good anyway. If you want a eventful and varied material, then this could be a band for you. Because all those ingredients that was mentioned in the beginning is actually included here.
divebombrecords.com | shadowdance.bandcamp.com


Ren Marabou And The BERSERKERS: Helgafjell
Wormholedeath Records on March 29 - Digital Album (physical release later)
This is supposed to be Viking/pagan metal, and the theme and topics of this album are based on Norse mythology with fine detail put on historical facts and accurate Norse mythology findings and scriptures. But that doesn't help much, as what I get from this Irish band is something completely different. And sometimes I'm actually not really sure what they are doing here, because it's not catchy at all and no anthems to sing-along to. Just o.k. metal, but nothing that you listen any deeper to. I want anthems that are so catchy that they makes me want to party like a viking. And I don't get that from this band.
Ren Marabou And The BERSERKERS hailing from the Emerald Isle, and are based in the hills of Co.Donegal.
facebook.com/renmarabou | wormholedeath.com


QUANTUM: On The Verge
Black Lodge Records - Digital Single
People who like progressive rock/metal should absolutely check out this band's upcoming album, "Down The Mountainside" (release date April 19), becuase I'm very sure that they will love this band. This song goes in all directions, and is a real adventure to listen to. But luckily they succeed to be extremely good as well, so I like this of course.
This song gives you a good insight into what this band sounds like.
blacklodge.se | officialquantum.com


OFFERNAT: Where Nothing Grows
Indisciplinarian on March 29 - 2LP, Digital
This is the second album from this Danish black/doom metal duo. 3 of these 5 tracks are as long as 15 to 16 and a half minutes. The other 2 are around 5 and 7 and a half minutes. Long adventures in other words. Sometimes it's not even music, but just some atmospheric shit, which I think is totally useless to listen to. And when there's something that could be called music, it's actually not much better - a madman with anxiety screaming like a maniac while they play something heavy and/or atmospheric. The best parts are actually when there's no vocals, and I'm usually not a fan of instrumental music. It also happens that they increase the tempo from time to time, but those moments are often short.
linktr.ee/Offernat | indisciplinarian.com


The MAGOGAS: 48 Moons
Go Down Records on March 29 - Digital Album
This could probably have been good if they had a singer. But now they don't have that, so it's just instrumental stoner rock all the way through the whole album. Pretty o.k., but not good enough for a whole album.
This is best described as a musical journey filled with mesmerizing riffs, cosmic atmospheres and rhythmic fluctuations. Like a trip into outer space without any destination or goal. So I guess that if you would end up in a rocket some day, then this could probably be a good soundtrack to your ride.
The MAGOGAS was formed in the summer of 2020. Each band member brought their musical inspirations and previous experiences, ranging from hardcore/punk to metal and grunge. The music that this trio create is more than just stoner rock, as there's also influences from heavy psych, space rock and desert rock. It's loud and riff based. "48 Moons" is their debut album.
themagogas.bandcamp.com | godownrecords.com


LITTLE VILLAINS: Café De Stam
Spira Records on March 29 - CD
This is the fifth studio album from LITTLE VILLAINS. And these 3 gentlemen are rocking good without being too energetic. This is not any tired old-man rock though, but more like good old rock n roll with their own touch. Sometimes you could even call it hard rock. And no, they are hardly doing anything new here, but most of these songs sounds good, and that's more important than how unique you are (to me at least).
The new album is named after one of the band's favourite gig venues in Paal, Belgium. Guy Baptist owns and runs the bar, and he is pictured on the album cover with LITTLE VILLAINS. The trio will be touring in April 2024 in the UK and Europe. And yes, they will be playing at Café De Stam of course.
thelittlevillains.com


DIABOLIC: Blastmasters, Twisted Metal / Mausoleum Of The Unholy Ghost (re-issue)
Vic Records - CD / CD
DIABOLIC is an American death metal band from Tampa Bay, Florida, founded in 1996.
"Blastmasters, Twisted Metal" is a "lost" album, recorded in the brief era the band split up (2004–2006). As a bonus we also get a 3-track demo from 2004. This works best as music in the background, so it's in other words just an o.k. album and not much else. These songs are simply not strong enough to impress me, even if those demo tracks was a little better.
"Mausoleum Of The Unholy Ghost" is their 6th full-length album, which was released in 2020, but seems to be sold out. Therfor it has now been re-released. This is much better. The material is much stronger than what you get on that "lost" album. This is how death metal is supposed to sound like according to me. It goes fast and it's aggressive, but never too brutal or chaotic. Rather powerful. A damn good album.
vicrecords.com


ACROSTICHON: Engraved In Black (re-issue)
Vic Records - CD
ACROSTICHON is one of the earliest and still existing death metal bands from The Netherlands. The band formed in August 1989, and in March 1990 they recorded their first demo. In March 1992 they recorded their debut album, "Engraved In Black", which is now being re-released with 6 live tracks as a bonus from their never to be re-issued second album.
This might not be the best death metal that I have heard, but far away from the worst either. Some songs are simply better than others. But if you collect old death metal recordings from the 90s, then I guess this could be worth a try anyway, because we all have different taste.
I don't really know what else I should say about this..
vicrecords.com


The ABSENCE: The Absence
Listenable Insanity Records on March 29 - CD, Digital
The ABSENCE is a melodic death metal band from Tampa, Florida. They formed in 2002 and has released 1 EP, and a few albums, as well as several singles. Their style is described as aggressive thrash with Scandinavian metal influences. Add some good old Florida death metal to that, and you have the sound of this band.
Now I have not heard any of their previous material (as far as I can remember anyway), but for being around for over 20 years, it's a little funny that this sounds like a demo from a young band. Absolutely worth checking out though. No doubt about that.
theabsenceofficial.bandcamp.com/album/the-absence


SKALLBANK: Nollvärdets Paroll
Skallbank - Digital Single
Swedish band SKALLBANK has embarked on an ambitious project to release 1 song each month over the course of 10 months. This is done to celebrate their 10-year anniversary, and "Nollvärdets Paroll" is the second single.
They label this band as Scandi/action rock, but I don't really know if I can agree. I would rather say that this is some kind of metal/rock with lyrics in Swedish and harsh vocals. It sounds good anyway, and then you can call it whatever you want.
I don't really know what else to say, but this is worth checking out.
facebook.com/skallbank


VOLTSTORM: Voltstorm
L.B.C. Records - CD, Digital
This album was originally released on March 25, 2022. But I guess that they didn't get enough attention, as they has sent it out once again for another promotional campaign.
VOLTSTORM is a British band formed in 2019. They mix attitude, energy and political awareness with strong riffs, powerful drumming and catchy vocals. There's even elements of electronic and classical music they say (not something that I have been think of). But the main ingredient is classic heavy metal, and this album sounds really good to me. You should give them a try.
They are currently working on their next album, which they plan to release this year.
voltstorm.co.uk


VORGA: Beyond The Palest Star
Transcending Obscurity Records on March 29 - CD, Digital
These Germans play sci-fi themed black metal. And compared to their debut, this new album is said to be more direct with a more stripped down sound. To me it sounds like a typical black metal album though. It's mainly raw, but can also be atmospheric once in a while. They are not always that fast, but I would not say that they are slow either. You should check them out.
We get 7 tracks on this album, and the songs are between 4 to 7:47 minutes.
vorgaband.bandcamp.com | tometal.com


NATTRADIO: The Fading Sound
Raw Street Noise - Digital Single
This Swedish band released their first single, "When Life Betrays", a few months ago. And now another single is here, which continues their journey in the land of "Doom Noir", as they label their music. "The Fading Sound" is just as dark and gothic as the first single was. This is simply their way of express darkness and despair. It's melancholy and heavy. Fans of something like PARADISE LOST and similar will probably like this band.
Their self titled debut album will be released on April 26.
facebook.com/Nattradio | flickagency.se


ELSEWHERE: The Last Ember (feat. Eivann)
Elsewhere - Digital Single
Once again.. You don't begin a song with a piano if you want to impress me.
ELSEWHERE is a new symphonic metal band from Canada, and this is their first single. The band was formed by Nikki and Nic. On this song they have collaborated with Finnish-Canadian vocalist Elvann. And what we get is exactly what you can expect from a band in this genre. No surprises at all, but they seems to do it very good anyway. So if you like symphonic metal, then you should give this song a chance. Simple as that..
youtube.com/watch?v=amDA6BH8IeE | elsewheremetal.bandcamp.com


CANCERVO: III
Electric Valley Records on March 29 - LP, Digital
CANCERVO deliver a heavy darkness, with a evil and monotonous approach. This is not someting that you play for your grandma. With brassy vocals they tell you to "Burn Your Child" and other stupid things. But it's probably just image, and not something that they actually want you to do.
CANCERVO is an Italian doom metal/heavy rock trio, and this is (as the title says) their third album. The special vocals fits perfect with the dark and heavy music, and this is actually not so bad at all.
electricvalleyrecords.com | facebook.com/cancervo


BLACK ABSINTHE: On Earth Or In Hell
Black Absinthe on March 27 - Digital Album
BLACK ABSINTHE hailing from Toronto, Canada, and formed in 2011. They have released 3 EPs and 1 LP so far, and the music that this trio play is said to be a mix of heavy metal and thrash metal, with influences from bands like GOJIRA, MASTODON, SLAYER and MOTÖRHEAD, to name a few. Yet I think the first half sounds more like a mix of Swedish band MUSTASCH and Canadian trio DANKO JONES. But in the second half of the album it's more heavy and thrash metal. So I guess I would describe them as a mixture of hard rock/metal and heavy/thrash metal.
One thing is for sure though, it's at least a high octane and riff based sound that we get from this band, and it's mainly heavy. Sometimes it's powerful, sometimes melodic, and sometimes very catchy. Most of the songs sounds good, but I like the first songs and the last best.
blackabsinthe.com


The QUILL: Wheel Of Illusion
Metalville Records on March 29 - CD, LP
Press photo
Man, these Swedes have succeeded to make another damn great album! Those who like old Ozzy-era BLACK SABBATH should be very happy to hear this, because I think it sounds a lot like that this time.
On this 11th album they continue to blend powerful riffs with soulful melodies. The roots are in the classic hard rock from the 70s, even though there's also hints of early NWOBHM. And I get a feeling that this should be an important album for all hard rockers. But will it be? I guess only time will tell..
Well, heavy hard rock delivered with heart and soul is what you get anyway. And you should really check this out, because this is a fantastic album.
thequill.se | metalville.de


TRENDKILL INC.: Metal Man
Trendkill Inc. - Digital Single
TRENDKILL INC. are based in São Paulo, Brazil and play heavy/thrash metal. "Metal Man" is a taste of their upcoming debut album, which is scheduled for release in the second half of 2024. They have previously released a self titled EP in 2021 and a live album, "Live Thrash disConcert", in 2023.
This song is a tribute to metal and the lifestyle that comes with it. It's hard and heavy, as well as fresh and groovy. They seems to combine the old and the new school. A o.k. song. No doubt about that.
youtu.be/IrM1QDkyEpA | linktr.ee/trendkill_inc


NIGHTRAGE: Euphoria Within Chaos
Despotz Records - Digital Single
Greek/Swedish melodic death metal veterans NIGHTRAGE are back with a new single, which is a taste of their upcoming 10th album, "Remains Of A Dead World", to be released on May 31. And this song is more or less what you can expect from this band. So in other words full speed and aggressive, but yet melodic.
It took a few listenings, but now I think it's a good song (which I for some reason didn't think the first times). It's not impossible that they have succeeded to make another great album. But I think I need to hear another single or 2 before I'm sure about that.
nightrage.bandcamp.com/track/euphoria-within-chaos | despotz.se


Oz Hawe Petersson's RENDEZVOUS: Oz Hawe Petersson's Rendezvous
Pride & Joy Music on March 22 - CD
Swedish artist Oz Hawe Petersson is the guitarist of melodic rock group OSUKARU. With the new project Oz Hawe Petersson's RENDEZVOUS he will release his first album together with keyboard player Mathias Rosén (EYE (Sweden)) and numerous guests, which includes David Forbes (BOULEVARD), Chris Rosander, Fredrik Werner (OSUKARU), Sayit Dölen and more.
Classic melodic rock is what's on the menu here, so I would not say that they have made anything unique, as they more or less sounds like their idols. But it's really good, and the use of different male and female vocalists gives a little extra variety to the material. You should really check this out.
facebook.com/ohprendezvous | prideandjoy.de


NEON RIDER: Destination Unknown
Pride & Joy Music on March 22 - CD
From Argentina comes the melodic rock group NEON RIDER, who began their journey in the second half of 2020. They have previously released a single and a EP independently, but now it's time for their first full-length album. And what we have here is not bad at all. It's just as catchy and melodic as you can expect it to be, but they also have some hit potential in many of these 12 songs. They also add a touch of neo-classical hard rock here and there, so I would actually like to call this melodic hard rock. But I guess it depends on what song we talk about here, because some are definitely melodic rock.
This is a band that should have every chance to become one of the big names in the melodic (hard) rock scene.
facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064182996926 | prideandjoy.de


LEAVES' EYES: Myths Of Fate
AFM Records on March 22 - 2CD, LP
German based LEAVES' EYES were founded in 2003, and have now come to their 9th studio album. This band has always combined different genres and elements to their music - like folk and viking metal, as well as influences from gothic and classical music - but their roots have always been in symphonic metal. Their compositions are balanced between heaviness and a melodic atmosphere, while their lyrics are based on mediaeval mythology.
These songs are dramatic and powerful like an adventure movie. You can really hear that it's an experienced band that we have here, no doubt about that. Fans of more ambitious metal should check out this band, because I'm pretty sure that you will like what you hear.
The CD version includes a bonus disc with instrumental versions of the album, in case you think that's funny to listen to.
leaveseyes.de | afm-records.de


INNER SANCTUM: The Great Odd Ones
Inner Sanctum on March 22 - CD, Digital
German death metallers INNER SANCTUM have been around for 20 years, and "The Great Odd Ones" is their 4th album. This concept album delves into the eerie realm of sea gods, known as "The Great Odd Ones", weaving a narrative that explores their terrifying influence on our world. These malevolent entities corrupt minds, giving rise to the creation of idols, superstitions, and cults.
Their music combines dynamic death riffs with heavy and heroic parts. It's labeled as melodic death metal, but is actually pretty hard and heavy. There's not that much guitar melodies, but I guess that label is correct anyway, as it's not ultra fast either. This is not another band with the typical Gothenburg sound anyway, because they definitely have their own sound, and it sounds good to me.
enterthesanctum.de


INNER AXIS: Midnight Forces
Fastball Music on March 22 - CD, LP
INNER AXIS hailing from Kiel, Germany, and formed in 2008 with the mission to create a sound that captures the essence of classic heavy metal, but with modern elements. They blend powerful riffs with melodic hooks, and it sounds very traditional and damn good. Just listen to something like "Midnight Hunter" for example, what a song! Yes, this is something that you really should check out, and I don't think I need to say much more than that, because I think you already know the sound and if you like it or not.
linktr.ee/inneraxis | fastball-music.com


HIDEOUS DIVINITY: Unextinct
Century Media on March 22 - LP, CD, Digital
If you want something noisey and extreme, then try this death metal band.
HIDEOUS DIVINITY play a technical kind of death metal, which makes it even more brutal and intense than death metal already is. So this is probably just for the worst noise fanatics, and not us who prefer the classic sound. It's said to be of interest for fans of stuff like NILE, CATTLE DECAPITATION, SUFFOCATION, ULCERATE, HATE ETERNAL and BEHEMOTH, if that gives you a better idea? But to me it's more or less just a hell of a noise.
The band is based in Rome, Italy, and consist of members from ABORTED. And if you like that band, then I guess you could like this too.
facebook.com/hideousdivinity | centurymedia.com


DECEPTION: Daenacteh
Mighty Music on March 22 - LP, Digital
DECEPTION are aggressive and stone hard, but also symphonic and melodic. This 4th studio album is said to have a bigger sound, with more experimental passages and more harmonic content than ever before. The Norwegians are really taking it to the next level to get a bigger audience. If it will succeed remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, listening to this is like a epic but brutal journey. You should not be afraid to give them a try though.
bit.ly/dec-dae | facebook.com/deceptionno | mightymusic.dk


COBRA 1981: Vol. 1
Inverse Music on March 22 - CD, Digital
COBRA 1981 comes from the Finnish countryside, and formed in 1981, but they have never released a full-length album. But that is about to change. After more than 40 years, they will finally release their debut album. And after hearing it I can only say that it was about time. Because it's a really good record that they have made.
Many of these songs are over 40 years old, while some are new compositions. I can't hear any differance though. Most songs are melodic, yet powerful, and all lyrics are in Finnish. You should really check this out if you like your heavy metal the good old way.
facebook.com/people/Cobra-1981/.... | inverse.fi


BROWBEAT: Unbreakable
Time To Kill Records on March 22 - CD, LP, Digital
BROWBEAT formed in early 1998, and are based in a small town near Modena, Italy. The members came from some local hardcore and metal bands, and now they wanted to create the most intense music possible fusing angst, heaviness and aggressive vocals. Within a few months they had signed with the independent Italian label Vacation House Records, and in May 1999 they began to record their debut album, which was released in May 2000. In January 2003 they signed to British label Casket Music/Copro Records, who released their second album in April the same year.
Then it seems like they went on hiatus in 2007. But in 2017 they were back again, and released a third album. A 5-track EP was released in January 2022, and now they are ready to release yet another full-length album.
The music is metallic hardcore. And you get exactly what you can expect. It's hard and heavy, as well as fast. The gang choirs are also there, as well as the angry vocals. But they are doing it very good, so there's really no reason to complain about this.
browbeathc.bandcamp.com | timetokillrecords.com


The SCANERS: No Return
Beluga Records/Folc/Dangerhouse/Wanda Records/Adrenalin Fix Music - Digital Single
The SCANERS is a band from France, and they have just released a new album, "III". Their music is described as "frenetic Sci-Fi synth-punk hits Swirling garage rock n roll made for crazy UFO pilots after having passed the point of no return", and they continue with "vital needs of a punk rock party collides with wavy post-punk atmospheres, martial disco beats and some kind of fuzzy garage pop melancholia". But let's just call it a mix of synth-punk and garage rock to make it easy for ourselves.
This is a energetic piece of music, and I like what I hear. If you like experimental/alternative punk rock acts, then I guess that this could be something for you. But you should try it anyway, just because it's good.
It would be nice to hear the whole album..
belugarecords.com


The LOONS: High & Lonesome/Daffodils Or Despair
Rogue Records - 7" Single, Digital
The LOONS hailing from southern California, and have been playing their mix of psychedelic garage rock and psychotic beat music for more than 25 years. Yet I have never heard of them until now. But I guess that they have been hiding in the underground. Anyway, they have so far released 4 albums and several 7" vinyls.
"High & Lonesome (Like Jimmy Reed Said)" is described as a mind-melting psychedelic blues rave-up that journeys into the life and inner world of the Mississippi/Chicago blues hero. It's a more up-tempo song. And the b-side, "Daffodils Of Despair" is decribed as an upbeat The KINKS inspired swinger with a humorous tip of the hat to Philip Larkin.
Both songs are good, and this is actually another band that sounds like they would have recorded their songs back in the 60s.
roguerecords.bandcamp.com


The LIQUORICE EXPERIMENT: Pretty Baby/Rattlesnake
Rogue Records - 7" Single, Digital
Cool stuff.
This is a Spanish band, but they formed in London in 2017. They have since then released 2 singles and 1 LP. The music is somewhere between psychedelic and garage rock.
The first side, "Pretty Baby", is a 3-chord tune that recovers the rawest blues spirit from the British R&B bands. The other side, "Rattlesnake", evokes a Bo Diddley riff drenched with a reverberish slide guitar that wakes up the most primary instincts.
This sounds like a forgotten recording from the 60s, and it sounds very cool to me. I like this, but the first song is without a doubt the best song here.
roguerecords.bandcamp.com


DAEMONIAC: Visions Of The Nightside
Xtreem Music - CD, Digital
This is something for those who want it fast and brutal, but doesn't care too much about a varied material. O.k., they might not play the exact same thing all the time, but the growl is the same all the way, and I get tired of that after a few songs. But I guess this is hardly supposed to be beautiful.
This 2-headed monster run forward like a avalanche and crush everything in its way without mercy. Their music is supposed to be rooted in the Swedish death metal from the 90s, and they are even going to Sunlight Studios in Sweden to record. But unfortunately they are not as good as the classic bands who used to record there.
DAEMONIAC is an Italian duo, and this is their 10th album. They formed the band in 2013, and there have been many line-up changes through the years, but founding members Max and Matt keep on fighting.
facebook.com/daemoniac666 | xtreemmusic.com


NUOCERE: Master666
Wanikiya Record - CD, Digital
This band was formed in 2015 as DEALERS by singer/guitarist JJ, who after many years of hardcore had grown tired of the fast pace and wanted to cuddle a little with melody. At that time the line-up was totally different from today. But along the way JJ find the perfect people to work with, and the name of the band was changed to NUOCERE.
It's hard to tell if I should call this stoner rock, heavy rock or alternative rock. I guess there's a little bit of all 3 in this band's music. All lyrics are in Italian, and mainly sung with clean vocals. I think of something American from the 90s when I hear this band. So if you like heavier bands from that era, then this could be worth a try.
facebook.com/Nuocere | crashsound.com


MEMOIRA: Cryonic Heart
Memoira - Digital Single
MEMOIRA is a symphonic metal band from Finland, formed in 2007. They have released 3 albums and some singles. With their latest single they presents their new members Krista Astrid Schröter on vocals and Serdar Ilter on guitars.
Well, this song is absolutely not bad at all. Catchy and melodic. They are obviously doing everything right here. So if they have more songs like this, then they should be of big interest for the metal scene. And that means that you should check this out at once.
facebook.com/MemoiraOfficial


MANNEQUIN PUSSY: I Got Heaven
Epitaph Records - LP, CD, Digital
The first track, which is the title track, is pretty wild and energetic alternative punk rock. But most of the other tracks are actually pretty laidback (not all). And I don't really know if I like that. I would have prefered some more energetic songs, and not just a lot of laidback garage pop/rock (or however I should describe it?).
Now it might not be totally useless because of that, as there's at least a couple more of those more energetic punk rock songs. But this album was a dissapointment for me.
I would say that it's a mix of punk rock and pop/rock songs. Or too much parfume and too little sweat.
The album will be followed by lots of touring in North America and Europe. Many of the American shows are already sold out.
epitaph.com


WINTERBORN: Break Another Day
RFL Entertainment on March 15 - CD, Digital
Finnish melodic power metal band WINTERBORN are back from a nearly 15-year hiatus. And they pick up right where they left off.
WINTERBORN formed in the end of 2004 as a covers band called MEAN MACHINE, which transformed into WINTERBORN. Their debut album, "Cold Reality", was released in November 2006. And another album, "Farewell To Saints", was first released in Japan in November 2008, and then in Europe in early 2009.
What we have here is almost more like melodic metal than power metal. In other words not as fast as what I call power metal use to be. This is more emotional, or however I should explain it? But it sounds really good, so there's really no reason to complain. Absolutely worth a try.
.facebook.com/RFLEntertainment | facebook.com/winterbornofficial


v/a - Wax Donut Presents: Goat
Wax Donut Records on March 15 - LP, Digital
10 punk, metal and jazz acts form both North America and Europe are doing covers of the entire "Goat" album by The JESUS LIZARD. And the Americans obviously have a different taste than we have here in Europe, as they claim that "Goat" is one of the most important punk rock albums of the 20th century. Now I have not heard the original versions of these songs, but this tribute album was not good anyway. And I could easily name at least 5 American bands that are much better, and who actually play what I call punk. Because this is not really punk according to me, but more like some kind of alternative noise rock or whatever I should call it. But o.k., it's delivered with the attitude of punk.
I guess I'm more into straight rock songs and good melodies, and none of that can be found in these songs.
The artists are: NEON KITTENS, TRIGGER CUT, NIGHT GOAT, WIPES, BOVINE NIGHTMARES, KUHN FU (featuring Michael Rene Sell), DEAD MAMMALS, KRONK MEN, SINKING SUNS and PROSTHETIC BUNG.
waxdonut.com


Mike Tramp: Mand Af En Tid
Target Records on March 15 - LP, CD, Digital
This is the second solo album in Danish from the former WHITE LION frontman Mike Tramp. And it's another soft and melodic story. More singer/songwriter and reflective than rock and party. But if you like that, then I guess you could give this a try. Because I'm pretty sure that you will like what you hear.
This time Mike is more personal than ever, with lyrics about everything from Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes of Fame to Ingrid & Lillebror, Muhammad Ali, Ole Olsen and roast duck. These Danish songs are a way of telling some of the stories and sharing the experiences that have been gathered together throughout his life.
bit.ly/tramp-tar | miketrampofficial.com


VIPERWITCH: Hellbound
Viperwitch - Digital Single
American new wave of traditional heavy metal band VIPERWITCH will release their debut album, "Witch Hunt: Road To Vegeance", on May 1. "Hellbound" is the third advance single from the album. It might not be as excellent as the first single, "She Wolves Of The Wasteland", was, but it sure ain't bad anyway. You should really check it out.
This song has elements of both thrash metal and power metal. I think the album can be really interesting to hear.
youtu.be/0_s_ZWPGZo4?si=KZcGZeMxKbXdnQLc | linktr.ee/Viperwitch


CRYING STEEL: Live And Thunder
Underground Symphony Records - CD, Digital
CRYING STEEL was formed in 1982, and is considered to be one of the very first heavy metal acts to come out of Italy. This live recording comes from their 40th anniversary festival in their hometown of Bologna in 2022. And except for songs from their whole career, the album also includes an unreleased track, "Hell Ain't A Bad Place", that has only been performed live and will only be available on this album.
Well, Italy should be known for high quality metal, and this old band really deliver it, and the audience seems to love it. Which I can understand, as this sounds very good to me. Powerful heavy metal in the good old tradition performed by professionals. What else can you ask for?
youtu.be/2ldD62_LFW4


CAVE: Out Of The Cave
Metalapolis Records on March 15 - CD
CAVE is a new band from Ludwigsburg, Germany, consisting of very experienced and renowned musicians. And on vocals we can find Ronny Munroe (ex-TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, ex-METAL CHURCH, ex-VICIOUS RUMORS, ex-LILLIAN AXE). The music is melodic hard rock with slightly progressive influences, but it's sometimes just as powerful as metal. This should satisfy fans of everything from QUEENSRŸCHE to VAN HALEN, and SAVATAGE to MASTERPLAN. We talk high quality here and no signs of tired old men. You really have to check out this album as soon as possible.
cave.band | metalapolis.eu


ATROPHY: Asylum
Massacre Records on March 15 - CD, LP, Digital
ATROPHY released their debut album, "Socialized Hate", in 1988, and another album, "Violent By Nature", in 1990. 34 years later it's time for a third album, "Asylum".
It's said that they have kept the speed from the first album and the groove from the second, but that they have added a big dose of heaviness. But I have as far as I can remember not heard those 2 first albums, so what do I know about that? Something that I know though, is that this new album sounds really good. Powerful thrash in the good old school, and nothing else. Just as it was meant to be. You should really check out these guys. And especially if you're a fan of Teutonic thrash like KRETOR and similar stuff.
massacre-records.com | facebook.com/atrophyofficial


KRYPTOS: Decimator
AFM Records - Digital Single
Here's another band who release the title track of their upcoming album as the first single.
KRYPTOS is a heavy metal band from India, and this band's music is just as delicious as Indian food. They take the best from the 80s and force it into the modern times. And the result is a powerful song with all the right ingredients. You should really give these guys a try.
The new album will be released on July 5. I really look forward to hear it, because their last album, "Force Of Danger" (2021), was as far as I can remember great.
kryptos.bfan.link/decimator-single | kryptos.bfan.link/decimator | kryptosmetal.com


RHAPSODY OF FIRE: Challenge The Wind
AFM Records - Digital Single
Italian melodic and symphonic power metal band RHAPSODY OF FIRE are going to release a new album, "Challenge The Wind", on May 31. And the latest single from the upcoming album is the title track.
This band have been around for more than 30 years, and are hardly famous for doing anything half-hearted. So if you want quality, then this should be of interest for you. As usual they put a lot of heart and soul into what they're doing, with big arrangements to make it extra epic. This song is almost like a metal opera actually, but it sure ain't bad.
RHAPSODY OF FIRE has released 14 studio albums, 3 EPs and 2 live recordings through the years.
rhapsodyoffire.bfan.link/challenge-the-wind-single | rhapsodyoffire.bfan.link/challenge-the-wind | rhapsodyoffire.com


ZOMBEAST: Red Ripper
Massacre Records - Digital Single
ZOMBEAST will return with their heaviest, darkest, and most frenzied material to date - their new album "Heart Of Darkness", which will be released on May 17. And the first single taken from the album is this song, "Red Ripper".
This band play horror punk/metal, with influences from DANZIG, AFI, MERCYFUL FATE, 80s punk, death rock and thrash metal. "Red Ripper" is in the heavier league, and reminds me of DANZIG most of all. A pretty o.k. song, but I think I need to hear some more before I can tell if they're good or just a o.k. band.
ffr.lnk.to/zombeastredrippersingle | ffr.lnk.to/zombeastheartofdarkness | facebook.com/Zombeast666


SABOTAGE: Pishach
Sabotage - CD, Digital
From Mumbai, India comes SABOTAGE. And as so many other thrash bands, they take inspiration from the Bay Area thrash wave of the 80s. So fans of good old thrash metal from that era should really check this out, even if they add a modern approach as well. Because this is a relentless onslaught of pure thrash energy that no headbanger can say no to.
"Pishach" is Sanskrit, and means evil. And these 8 tracks is a journey into the darker realms of human imagination. Each track explores a different theme, ranging from Viking legend Ragnar Lothbrok to dystopian worlds, from revenge to betrayal.
The band formed in 2017, and they have previously released a EP, "The Order Of Genocide" (2019), and some singles.
sabotageindia.bandcamp.com


S.O.R.M: Under My Skin
Noble Demon - Digital Single
A piano version of this song appears on their latest album, with the same title as this song. But now they have recorded it as the power ballad it was meant to be from the beginning. And with a guest like guitarist Doug Blair (W.A.S.P) and some female vocals from Anna Brygård (The NIGHTFLIGHT ORCHESTRA) it's almost like a new song. Luckily a much better and more interesting song. Absolutely not bad for being a power ballad.
S.O.R.M is a Swedish hard rock band, formed in 2017. They released a EP in 2020 and the mentioned album in 2023. You should really check them out.
music.nobledemon.com/under (this single) | music.nobledemon.com/skin (the album) | sormsweden.com | nobledemon.com


The PROGRESSIVE SOULS COLLECTIVE: Sonic Rebirth
Metalville Records on March 15 - Digital Album
The PROGRESSIVE SOULS COLLECTIVE released their debut album, "Sonic Birth", in 2020. Now their second album is here, titled "Sonic Rebirth".
And what we have here is another progressive metal adventure in 8 chapters. These pieces are between 2 and a half to 12 minutes long, and it's a very diverse material of course. It's said to be more of everything that you got on the debut, so it would really surprise me if any fan of the genre should be dissapointed when they hear this.
Just as the first album, this album is also a concept album. The tracks are simply entitled Part I-VIII, but they also have their individual song titles attached. The tracks blend into each other so that the listener can get immersed into futuristic soundscapes and have an uninterrupted and progressive listening experience.
metalville.de


PISSED JEANS: Half Divorce
Sub Pop - LP, CD, Digital
I would say that PISSED JEANS play an alternative kind of punk rock. Think of alternative rock/grunge, but more noisey and punk, like NIRVANA for example (not that this sounds like them). But there is some more straight song too, with lots of energy. They seems to have found their own sound anyway. Some songs are good, and some are not so interesting. But nothing sucks however, so I guess it could be worth a try for both punks and alternative rockers.
PISSED JEANS are an American band that have been around for nearly 20 years. "Half Divorce" is the band's 6th album, where we get 12 tracks in half an hour.
whitedenim.com/pissedjeans | subpop.com


DEFECT DESIGNER: Chitin
Transcending Obscurity Records on March 14 - CD, Digital
DEFECT DESIGNER is a death metal trio from Norway, with members from bands like DISKORD and FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE. And these guys play in their own league. It's a thrashy kind of death, with almost progressive elements. But at the same time they succeed to be catchy, so it's still listenable.
I don't really know how to describe them better than that. I think you need to hear this to understand what they sounds like. But prepare yourself for an exiting journey.
defectdesignerband.bandcamp.com | tometal.com


The INNOCENT: Move After Dark
Cheat Records - CD, Digital
This Italian band is supposed to be a punk rock band, but sometimes I think this sounds more like action rock or garage rock actually. But I really like that too, and it's absolutely not bad at all. These guys kicks ass with their energetic rock songs. No doubt about that anyway.
The INNOCENT formed in 2017. Influences comes from the early American and British punk rock scene. Their self titled debut album was recorded in 2018, and "Move After Dark" is their second album, and also the first release on the new German label Cheat Records.
If you like early punk rock, then you should really check out these guys. But if you like action rock and/or garage rock, it could also be worth a try.
cheatrecords.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/theinnocentgangbang


FAST EDDY: Grey Day
Beluga Records - Digital Single
Well, Eddy is actually not so fast, but more catchy and melodic actually. "Grey Day" is the second single from the new album, "To The Stars". And this is a power pop anthem that sounds really good to me. It has elements of both the old (60s/70s) and the new. Could absolutley be worth a try if you like power pop.
FAST EDDY hailing from Denver, USA, and formed in 2014. They have previously released 1 album.
belugarecords.com


WITHERING SURFACE: Where Dreamers Die
Mighty Music - Digital Single
WITHERING SURFACE are a melodic death metal band from Denmark, and this is the first single from their upcoming album, "Exit Plan", where they aim at a big, massive and modern metal sound. It's said to have a more aggressive side, like their early albums. And this actually reminds me of how great ARCH ENEMY actually are. Because I think this song sounds a little like them. But every fan of melo death should like this. In other words, check out!
"Exit Plan" will be their 6th album, and it will be released in June. Something to look forward to..
bfan.link/where-dreamers-die | mightymusic.dk


WILD CHARGE: City Hunter
Wild Charge - Digital Single
WILD CHARGE is an American "new wave of true heavy metal" band. And this single is a first taste of their debut album, which will be released by themselves in the summer.
The band started as a school project in 2011, and there have been some line-up changes through the years. But now they are a stable trio with Christian Devore on guitars/vocals, Eduardo Bautista on bass, and Joseph Mancaruso on drums.
Well, I guess I don't really need to explain the sound, as it's very traditional heavy metal that we get from this band. So let's just say that if you like the classic bands from the 80s, then you should give these guys a try.
facebook.com/wildchargemetal


SAHON: Blood Shall Be Paid
Brutal Records on March 8 - CD, Digital
It begins soft and sweet, but then there's a air raid warning in the background that tells you that it's not so safe here anymore. And soon the thrashing begins, and all the pop idiots who has not left yet run away in panic, while the metal heads stay there with a big fat smile and bang their heads with a fist in the air. Some crust punks are also interested in what's going on, and begin to shake loose as well.
SAHON hailing from South Korea, and this is their 7th long player, where we get a pretty classic thrash sound. It's fast, aggressive, heavy and simply damn good. You should really give this trio a try, because they kicks ass.
orcd.co/brut89656 | brutalrecords.bandcamp.com


CRUSH THE CORE: Synthetic Happiness
Crush The Core on March 6 - Digital Single
CRUSH THE CORE is a Canadian metal band. And with this song they want to pay homage to the late KISS drummer Eric Carr. They try to recreate the big fat drum sound of the "Creatures Of The Night" album by KISS. But I don't think that this song have anything to do with KISS, which I was hoping for. This is a more modern version of heavy metal, with a modern sound and production that's far away from the big sound they were aiming for.
What about the song then? Well, I actually don't really know what I should think of this. It goes in and out without any deeper impression. This gives me nothing at all.
crushthecore.bandcamp.com


CRAZY LIXX: Two Shots At Glory
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
Swedish hard rockers CRAZY LIXX have been around for more than 20 years now, which they celebrate with this compilation of re-recordings. But I guess that 3 of these 11 songs are new or previously unreleased tracks?
Old or new songs doesn't really matter, as this band always seems to deliver with an electrifying passion. And this collection of songs is no exception to that rule of course. So in other words another damn good album that you just have to get.
The music is catchy and melodic, but with a street attitude that makes it rock hard. Most of the songs have a big sing-along friendly chorus, and the biggest influence seems to be the bands from the 80s.
orcd.co/twoshotsatglory | facebook.com/crazylixx | frontiers.it


DURBIN: Screaming Steel
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
Santa Cruz, California vocalist James Durbin is back with another album full of powerful heavy metal anthems. And if you're a fan of classic bands like JUDAS PRIEST, early DIO, 80s BLACK SABBATH and US metal, then this is something that you really should listen to. It might not be on the exact same level as them, but it sure ain't far away. You will get 10 powerful, yet melodic, songs, and none of them is bad. What else can you ask for? I don't think I have to say much more than that..
DURBIN have previously released 4 albums. The members comes from both USA and Italy.
orcd.co/screamingsteel | jamesdurbinofficial.com | frontiers.it


HONEYMOON SUITE: Alive
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
This Canadian melodic rock band formed back in 1981, so they are veterans. They have sold millions of albums through the years, and won numerous awards. But that doesn't help much when I listen to their latest album. It doesn't suck, but it doesn't give me that much either. It's just another melodic rock album among a million others. The song that I like best here is the title track, which they open with. And there's a few more that are not so bad. But as a reviewer I have heard it all a thousand times before.
My opinion should not stop you from giving them a try though, as it's just my opinion. And you probably know this band better than me, so who am I to judge? I can at least hear that most fans of melodic rock should like this.
Today's line-up consist of Johnnie Dee (lead vocals), Derry Grehan (guitars/keyboards/background vocals), Dave Betts (drums), Gary Lalonde (bass), and Peter Nunn (keyboards).
orcd.co/honeymoonsuitealive | honeymoonsuiteband.com | frontiers.it


REVOLUTION SAINTS: Against The Winds
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, LP, Digital
It sounds like I have heard this a few times before. But it's not bad at all. A pretty soft kind of melodic rock/AOR in the traditional league you could say.
REVOLUTION SAINTS is led by JOURNEY vocalist/drummer Deen Castronovo. On the first 3 albums he was joined by bassist/vocalist Jack Blades (NIGHT RANGER) and guitarist Doug Aldrich (WHITESNAKE, DIO). But this time Deen is joined by bassist Jeff Pilson (FOREIGNER, BLACK SWAN, The END MACHINE, DOKKEN) and guitarist Joel Hoekstra (WHITESNAKE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, ICONIC, NIGHT RANGER). And the new album was primarily produced and composed by Alessandro Del Vecchio, who also contributes on keyboards and background vocals, so he could also be seen as a member of the band.
Well, if you like your melodic rock the good old way, like it was back in the 80s and 90s, then this is a band for you. There's not much doubt about that, and not really that much else to say either.
orcd.co/againstthewinds | facebook.com/RevolutionSaints | frontiers.it


SMOKING SNAKES: Danger Zone
Frontiers Music Srl - LP, CD, Digital
SMOKING SNAKES hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, and this is their debut album. Sleaze metal is what's on the menu. And they deliver with energy and lust, while they pay homage to the golden era of sleaze rock (the 80s). Their goal is not to reinvent the genre, but to start a new chapter and keep it alive.
Well, this sounds very good to me anyway. I can hear some good old heavy metal like W.A.S.P. in their cocktail, which doesn't sound wrong at all. I would guess that fans of Swedish bands like CRASHDÏET and HARDCORE SUPERSTAR could like this a lot. But fans of 80s heavy metal from L.A. should not be afraid of giving this a try as well.
This could be one of the most interesting bands in this genre in a long time.
orcd.co/ssdangerzone | facebook.com/smokingsnakesofsweden | frontiers.it


ALTERIUM: Of War And Flames
AFM Records on March 8 - CD, LP
ALTERIUM is a pretty new star on the Italian power metal scene. They formed in late 2022, and now they have signed with AFM Records, who will release their debut album, "Of War And Flames".
This debut consist of 9 original songs and a cover of SABATON's "Bismarck". It's bombastic with catchy choruses and some symphonic elements, yet powerful and melodic. This is a very good album full of great songs, so you should give them a try of course.
The band is led by Nicoletta Rosellini, who has a past in KALIDIA and WALK IN DARKNESS. Some of the other members also play with DRACONICON and ALTAIR. It seems like the band is already working on their second album.
alterium.band | shop.afm-records.de


SKULLCLUB: Kaptajn Overdrive
Mermaid Records on March 8 - CD, Digital (LP on March 30)
Every song seems to be based on the same formula, with lots of background singing and heavy guitars. And those background/sing-along choirs gives it a party feeling and makes it melodic. Even though all songs but the last is sung in Danish, I would guess that fans of Norwegian legends TURBONEGRO could like this band. SKULLCLUB doesn't have the same dirty lyrics as the Norwegians though, but have a pirate theme instead.
Pirate metal is nothing unknown to me, but I have until now never heard of pirate punk rock before, which we can call this band's music. The ship set sail in 2009, and they have since then released 2 EPs and 2 albums. Their sound is a mix of punk rock, rock n roll and folk music, as well as a pinch of hardcore and metal now and then. It all sounds really good, so you should really give them a chance.
The album release will be celebrated with a Danish tour, which kicks off in Kolding on March 30. The tour will end with 2 shows in Copenhagen on March 26-27 (the last date is already sold out).
facebook.com/SkullclubDK | mermaidrecords.dk


v/a - Honor Roll Of Hits
Lövely Records on March 8 - LP, Digital
What they have done here is a so called 4-way split. Or an album with 4 different EPs by 4 Swedish bands in different directions.
This is a odd combination of bands.. STATUES play some kind of indie rock, and are pretty catchy and melodic. GASP play some kind of mixture of noise rock and hardcore/punk, and are very intense and angry. SWEET TEETH is another indie rock band, very melodic. FIRST IN LINE play what I would describe as skate hardcore, another very intense band.
You get as much as 20 tracks here, and the songs comes from the following EPs: "Split Image" by SWEET TEETH, "A Fair Warning" by FIRST IN LINE, "Culture of Death" by STATUES, and "GASP" by GASP. I don't know if that means that the bands have already released these EPs, because then it seems to be a little stupid to release them again? But on the other hand it's also a brilliant idea if you actually want them all in 1 package or want to check out some new bands. So you can obviously look at it in many different ways..
Even if these bands play different kinds of music, most of these songs sounds good. Nothing is extra good though, which is a little minus. And I might also add that just because I call it indie rock for example, that doesn't mean that it actually is indie rock. The record label mention stuff like alternative rock and grunge for example. I say possibly maybe.
llyrecords.com


VLAD IN TEARS: Relapse
Metalville Records on March 8 - CD, Fan Box
"Relapse" is the 9th album with VLAD IN TEARS. They play some kind of modern rock with heavy guitars and emotional vocals. It's said to be dark rock/alternative rock, and I guess it's some of that there somewhere.
They have some good songs here anyway, even though everything might not be diamonds. Those softer songs are not really my cup of tea. But most of the other stuff is not bad at all.
For some reason they also recorded 9 of these 11 tracks acoustic, which will be exclusively available as part of the limited fan box set. Only for the die hard fans then..
metalville.de


TOXODETH: Mysteries About Life & Death (re-issue)
Vic Records - CD
"Mysteries About Life & Death" is the debut album with TOXODETH, which was originally released in 1990. They are one of the very first extreme death/black metal bands from Mexico, and formed in 1985. Now the debut have been re-released with the "Phantasms" demo from 1988 as a bonus.
For some reason they thought it was a good idea to begin the album with a acoustic guitar piece as a intro. Weird idea. And that last track, "Ale From The Beyond", what was that good for? Just a lot of playing and solos. Useless!
But otherwise they play a complex kind of death/black metal, with a cheap and primitive sound quality. It sounds more like a demo than an album. So it's really raw, but they can really play. No doubt about that. But I have definitely heard better, but also a lot worse. I guess they are another o.k. band, but not much else.
vicrecords.com


SAD WHISPERINGS: Sensitive To Autumn (re-issue)
Vic Records - CD
This band formed as DESECRATE in 1990 and released several demos in the 80s/90s. They split up in 2004. The music that they played was doom/death metal inspired by PARADISE LOST and the Dutch band The GATHERING. They signed with Dutch label Foundation 2000, who released the band's debut album, "Sensitive To Autumn", in 1993, which have now been re-released. And as a bonus we also get 3 tracks from their 1992 demo.
It's heavy, but not extremely slow. I have definitely heard worse than this in my life. So in other words a o.k. album. The only odd thing is the third track, "Free As The Wind", which is probably best described as a "ballad". It's a slow song with clean vocals anyway, and it has nothing to do with the rest of the songs here.
SAD WHISPERINGS recently reformed, play live and is currently working on a new album.
vicrecords.com


MALIGNANT: Day Of The Lord (re-issue)
Vic Records - MCD
MALIGNANT is a cult black/death metal band from the south of The Netherlands. They formed in 1989, and this demo was originally released in 1990, and featured a young Roel Sanders on drums (ASPHYX, GOD DETHRONED, INHUME) and Ron van de Pol on bass/vocals (ASPHYX).
Well, what can I say about this then? The sound quality is not that good, but very old school of course. The music is just as fast and brutal as you can expect from some young guys. Primitive and raw but structured. Yes, they could play and make songs anyway, even if it's not the most advanced stuff (and it shouldn't be either).
The first track, "Sinister Expiration", is 8 minutes long. The other 2, "Lord Of Darkness" and "Day Of The Lord", are just 4 and a half and 4 minutes.
vicrecords.com


CHEMICAL BREATH: Values (re-issue)
Vic Records - CD
CHEMICAL BREATH was one of the first extreme metal bands from Belgium. The band was formed in 1990, and released 2 demos and 2 full-lengths during their 8 years of existence. "Values" is their second album, released in 1994. At this time they had become more technical thrash and less pure death metal. It's not extremely technical, but hardly straight either. This is a pretty o.k. album anyway, I can't deny that.
As a bonus for this CD you also get a rare demo from 1997.
vicrecords.com


HAND ON HEART: You Are The One
Hand On Heart - Digital Single
HAND ON HEART is an Italian hard rock band formed in 2017. The members are all experienced, and some of them have been playing since the 80s. As they are veterans, the influences are acts from the 70s and 80s. So if that's something that you like, then this could be worth a chance. Because it's a very good hard rock song in the emotional league that they have made, and there's no modern elements at all.
"You Are The One" is their fifth single. The band have set "Space" as the title of their debut album, which will be released sometime in the future.
facebook.com/handonheartitaly


GIRL AND GIRL: Hello
Sub Pop/Virgin Australia - Digital Single
Band name and title hardly scream rock n roll. But this is actually some kind of rock.
GIRL AND GIRL is an Australian group, and their debut album, "Call A Doctor", will be released on May 24. "Hello" is the lead single. The music is said to be garage rock, which is a genre that I really like. But this song doesn't really sound like garage rock, but more like indie rock or something alternative instead. Still pretty catchy though, and pretty o.k. actually. Could be worth a try for those of you who like that.
The band have previously released a digital 8-track EP, "Divorce", in 2023.
youtu.be/cQbPm8gFMKQ | music.subpop.com


COBRA 1981: Kuun Kirkas Valo
Inverse Music - Digital Single
This is the third single from this Finnish-singing heavy metal band. The song is described as a traditional werewolf tale, and is another taste of their upcoming debut album, simply titled "Vol. 1", which will be released on March 22.
Well, this song is more melodic and not so hard, but just as good as the previous singles. If you like heavy metal from the 80s, then you should give this a try.
I don't have much else to add, but I might tell you some more when I review the album, o.k.?
push.fm/fl/cobra1981-kuunkirkasvalo | instagram.com/cobra_1981 | inverse.fi


PANTHEÏST: Kings Must Die
Melancholic Realm Productions on March 8 - CD, Digital
They begin with the title track, which is as long as 14:44 minutes. After that we get 3 live tracks from Organic Doom Vol 1. Those songs are 2:51, 9:53 and 22 minutes long. So even though it's just 4 songs here, it last for an eternity. For some reason they call it a EP, but when you look at the length this is actually a full-length album.
The music is somewhere between (or a mixture of) funeral music, atmospheric doom and doom metal. Mainly slow and melancholy stuff, even though there's some harder and more angry parts here and there. So if you want something laidback, but yet metal, then I guess this could be worth a try.
The title track features a guest apperance by soprano Linda Dumitru, while lead vocals is performed by Jake Harding (GRAVE LINES, Jo Quail).
facebook.com/Pantheistuk


PUTERAEON: Quindecennial Horror
Emanzipation Productions on March 8 - Digital EP
Puteraeon
Swedish death metallers PUTERAEON celebrate their 15th anniversary by re-recording some old songs from their demos and debut album. And this slap is placed exactly where it should be - Straight in the face without mercy. They stay true to their original receipe of bonecrushing Lovecraft-inspired death metal, so it's not that much to talk about here. If you like their previous stuff, then this is a must. And if you have not heard this band before, but are a fan of good old death metal, then it's about time that you check them out.
The EP was mixed and mastered by the legendary Dan Swanö (BLOODBATH, EDGE OF SANITY etc etc).
orcd.co/put-quin | puteraeon.com | emanzipation.dk


VICINITY: VIII
Uprising Records on March 8 - LP, CD, Digital
On the third studio album, Norwegian band VICINTY takes us on a progressive ride through distance, purpose and the shape of life. It's a wild mix of melodies and sophisticated rhythm patterns. It's said that they have drifted to a heavier, more concise sound than on their previous releases. But I don't think that any fan of progressive metal will be dissapointed when they hear this album. It's in other words just the kind of adventure that you can expect from a band like this.
Luckily they are among the better bands in this genre. So even if it's a bit adventurous, it's still really good songs and not just an advanced and experimental playground for adults.
bit.ly/vic-targ | vicinityband.com | uprisingrecords.de


AUTOGRAMM: Diana/Licht Aus
Beluga Records - 7" Single
American band AUTOGRAMM are described as a synth-driven power pop band, but I think it sounds like something else. "Diana" is a energetic post-punk song with a touch of synth pop. "Lich Aus" is not as energetic as the a-side, but it's not slow, but rather more catchy instead. I think I call this post-punk/synth pop instead.
Even if the music is dark, it's also happy somehow. And I like what I hear.
"Licht Aus" is a cover by the 80s German new wave band NICHTS.
AUTOGRAMM have just released their second album, "Music That Humans Can Play", on Stomp Records and Beluga Records. They are coming to Europe for a tour this month. They will play in The Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany.
orcd.co/mjj14d1 | autogramm.bandcamp.com | beluga.com


BANG BANG FIRECRACKER: Hail Waco
Bang Bang Firecracker - Digital Single
British metal band BANG BANG FIRECRACKER have revealed that they will release their third concept album, "Seven Deadly Singles", a Septology of work, set to be released in a singles format throughout the year via the band's own distribution network. And the first single, "Hail Waco", is out now.
That "drum solo" in the beginning is just irritating. But after that it becomes better, even if I hardly would call this an anthem. It sounds alternative somehow, so I guess they have found their own sound, which I'm actually not really sure how I should describe. It's hard and heavy anyway.
bangbangfirecracker.com

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