LEE AARON “Diamond Baby Blues”

LEE AARON
”Diamond Baby Blues”
(Metalville)

Battle Helm Rating

LEE AARON will forever be the metal queen. No matter how hard she has tried to wash off that tag with jazz albums and what else she will never ever be able to escape that fate. As I am not that into jazz I have not been to keen on checking her out, until her “Fire And Gasoline” album from 2016 that is. This new 2018 album is not a new metal album but it is still one heavy piece of plastic (sort of). If you like you hardrock filled with blues you will have a field day with this one. I like this album. It is full of attitude and balls. But one thing that annoys me is that I keep thinking of Alannah Myles and not just on LEE AARON. But that is also the only fault I can find with this album. Anders Ekdahl

BALLS OUT “Too Big To Handle”

BALLS OUT
“Too Big To Handle”
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Battle Helm Rating

It doesn’t have to be complicated to be good. Sometime the most simple things can be the best. Just look at early Motorhead. Or AC/DC. These two band have created some of the greatest music in the world. I am not saying that BALLS OUT come even close to matching these tow giants but you gotta start somewhere. And as a starter this album is not too bad. It is simple, balls out hardrock that has a groove. It is heavy, perhaps a bit too heavy for its own good. They could have done with a bit more speed. But when they do pick it up it is really good. A track like “Born To Loose” is really good simply because of it being more up tempo. This does show promise. Anders Ekdahl

BLOOD OF CHRIST “Unrelenting Declivity of Anguish (Anthology IV)”

BLOOD OF CHRIST
“Unrelenting Declivity of Anguish (Anthology IV)”
(CDN Records)

Battle Helm Rating

I actually thought that I knew this band but as I googled them I realized that I must have gotten them confused with some other 90s Canadian death metal band. Yeah, whatever. That is my mind for you, a total cluster of fucked up memories. This is very much 90s death metal. A bit technical but bloody brutal. I was never much of a Cryptopsy fan. I always thought that they were too technical. I am not saying that this is too technical but you gotta have the attention span of somebody that thinks it is a fun thing to build bottled ships. This is not something you just put on to headbang to. This is so much more than that. But in the midst of all of this I find myself liking this. There is a charm to it in the end. Anders Ekdahl

COLDBOUND “The Gale”

COLDBOUND
“The Gale”
()

Battle Helm Rating

This is COLDBOUND’s fourth album. I have no memories of ever having seen the band name before. As I look through the band’s discography I realize that I haven’t heard a single note by this band before receiving this new album. Musically this is depressive black metal although this new album are supposedly melodic death metal. Listening to it I don’t hear any melodic death metal. All I hear is some really wonderful black metal. As I listen to this is do realize that not all is black metal. There is an element of death metal to this too but melodic? I am sure of that. But this Finnish band has managed to created a very atmospheric metal record with this new album. One that I like a lot. Anders Ekdahl

CRONE “Godspeed”

CRONE
“Godspeed”
(Prophecy)

Battle Helm Rating

This North German band play a brand of rock/metal that is very dark. There is a familiarity in the sound of CRONE that plays all the right strings in me. This is an album that I like. This is so full of melancholy that I find it hard to accept this a German band. This is much more Scandinavian in spirit. But perhaps that is why I do enjoy this so much. It appeals to my Swedish soul and spirit. I know that I have heard of bands like this before but for the time being I cannot think of a single band to name drop. But that doesn’t stop me from liking what I hear. And that is all that matters really, not what band I can name drop. Anders Ekdahl

DEADLY CARNAGE “Through the Void, Above the Suns”

DEADLY CARNAGE
“Through the Void, Above the Suns”
(ATMF)
As I sit here listening to this new album from DEADLY CARNAGE I cannot help to think that this could be so much more beautiful. Then it hits me that this is as beautiful as it gets. This is a truly wonderful blackgaze album. So full of emotions that it is hard to not shed a tear or two. Perhaps not the thing you associate black metal with but then blackgaze transcends all boundaries. This is emotive music of the highest order. This is my kind of music; melancholic and sensitive. It touches me on so many levels that it is scary. This turned out to be a very cool album. Anders Ekdahl

DJEVELKULT “Når Avgrunnen Åpnes”

DJEVELKULT
“Når Avgrunnen Åpnes”
(Saturnal Records)

Battle Helm Rating

I know that I repeat myself saying I love this and that but I do really love everything metal. With me it is either total love or total ignoring it. If I take something to me I keep it. I don’t replace it with something new. So to say that I love 90s Norwegian black metal is to state the obvious. DJEVELKULT has that 90s vibe going in their black metal. This Oppland, Norway based band play the sort of black metal that is primal to say the least. There is nothing fancy about this. Almost no nuances. But still so bloody good. This is a black metal treat of the highest order. Anders Ekdahl

THE EVER LIVING “Herephemine”

THE EVER LIVING
“Herephemine”
(Chromism Records)

Battle Helm Rating

You shouldn’t judge a band by its promo picture but the ones that I found on THE EVER LIVING were some of the most dull I have seen in a very long time. I guess they were aiming for the bored outta the skull look because they nailed it. Thankfully the music is so much better. This is heavy, doomy and with a sort of post metal feel to it. Not really doom death but still not too far off either. This UK band are new to me but upon hearing this debut album I know that they will stay with me for a long time. This is basically classic British doom death with a twist. Anders Ekdahl

EVIL-LYN “Disciple Of Steel”

EVIL-LYN
“Disciple Of Steel”
(No Remorse Records)

Battle Helm Rating

I did an interview with this band back in 2012 when they released their debut EP. I liked what I heard back then. Especially Johanna’s vocals. Now it is time for the debut album and there is no Johanna left. A major set back for me but the new male vocalist isn’t too shabby. Back then they were pretty much classic 80s heavy metal. And nothing has changed today. This is still classic 80s heavy metal. I get vibes of stuff like early Pretty Maids and NWOBHM along with a power metal touch. This is an album that put the hair back on my head so that I can headbang like the old days. Anders Ekdahl

FORGED IN BLOOD “S/T”

FORGED IN BLOOD
“S/T”
(Punishment 18)
This was not what I expected. Based on the previous stuff I have heard from Punishment 18 I expected FORGED IN BLOOD to be yet another relentless thrash metal assault. But this turned out to be a pure heavy metal experience. And a good one too. This is for those of us who like heavy metal the way Hammerfall play it. It is in that vein that this Italian band move. Classic heavy metal. Melodic and catchy metal. There is something to the chest pounding heavy metal that brings out the cave man/woman in all of us. There is something liberating in not having to think to hard when you listen to metal. To just be able to bang along and still not miss a single beat. Anders Ekdahl