Glittertind – “Djevelsvart”

Glittertind – “Djevelsvart” (Indie Recordings) After the darkness comes the light. It had to happen sooner or later: with all the hate and evil that Norway has produced over the last 20 years the back lash has been in the form of a band called Glittertind, meaning ‘Glittering Peak’ and named after Norway’s most famous mountain, Jotunheimen. Best of all, I wouldn’t say that Glittertind are a metal band, but a fusion group bringing together punk, modern rock and a very strong Norse folk element. Originally the brainchild of 16 year old Torbjørn Sandvik, who was profoundly inspired by Norway’s… Continue reading

Bloody Hammers – “Spiritual Relics”

Bloody Hammers – “Spiritual Relics” (SoulSeller) Southern Gothic Mountain Fuzz from Transylvania County! Despite their brutal monicker these guys and lady could be straight out’ve a comic book with names like Anders Manga and Devallia but their sound is something else, mixing 70s goth like Bauhaus, post punk like Joy Division along with a rolling stoner groove that at times even hints of Type O Negative. Coming from a North Carolina scene already famed for heavy duty sludge bands like Buzzov-en and Weedeater, Bloody Hammers add an interesting and unexpected dimension thru their dark melodies and creepy Josh Silver like… Continue reading

Eudaimony – “Futile”

Eudaimony – “Futile” (Cold Dimensions) Bleak black metal for Christmas lol! This might be the season of good cheer but put together Dark Fortress’s Matthias Jell with Naglfar’s Matthias Jell, along with Jörg Heemann (Secrets Of The Moon) and Peter Honsalek (Nachtreich) and you’ve got the perfect team for assisted suicide. Dedicated to negativity and pessimism, be prepared for agonized vocal drawls and raw black metal riffing played at a decayed pace on abyssal songs like ‘A Window In The Attic’, ‘Cold’ and ‘December’s Hearse’. However, what really sets the depressive ambiance throughout this evocative album are the exquisitely melancholic… Continue reading

Persuader – “The Fiction Maze”

Persuader – “The Fiction Maze” (Inner Wound Recordings) Whoa – hit the brakes – this is stampeding power / thrash metal from Umeå, Sweden! Persuader are one of these bands who when things come together could’ve been created by genius’s – if not for the label problems, line up changes etc. Like an incredible cross between Metallica, Blind Guardian and a hint of WASP, it looks like no one needed persuading about the band given the number of awards, competitions and reviews they’ve received since their inception in 1997. Still, it almost ground to a halt – or rather did… Continue reading

C.O.A.G. – “Sociopath”

C.O.A.G. – “Sociopath” (Kaotoxin) C.O.A.G. stands for Coalition Of Abnormal Grinders and is a one man band by Déhà, exiled from Mons in Belgium to Bulgaria cos he has single handedly recreated the musical equivalent to World War I trench warfare ha ha! There are no song titles, just numbers and really why are they needed when one song simply blurs into the other like a tank running amok, crushing all asunder. Musically, it’s grind core a la early Napalm Death or Brutal Truth i.e. bark blast vocals, skull stomping 100 mph riffola, insane asylum solos and a rhythm that… Continue reading

Malice in Wonderland – “The Royal Brigade”

Malice in Wonderland – “The Royal Brigade” (Inverse Records) This Norwegian trash rock band first burst onto the scene back in 2005 with their debut and rocketed up the charts winning awards, playing with Def Leppard and even touring as far as China. Then nothing. Well, maybe a couple of EPs but certainly nothing of the previous rocket ride. Of course there were inevitable line up changes but the core of Chris Wicked (vocals) and Tracy Loveless (guitars) remained. Now, eight years on the dynamic duo are re-energized and revitalized with a new line up and a new album. Musically… Continue reading

The Dead Daisies – “The Dead Daisies”

The Dead Daisies – “The Dead Daisies”  (Spitfire Music) Middle age can be a hard thing to face – I know, I’m fast reaching it lol – you can either fade away quietly or rock until you drop like INXS’s Jon Stevens (a man who’s survived being chased by crocs and open heart surgery), who along with fellow antipodean David Lowy of Mink, formed the The Dead Daisies. Since then the media has piled on, not in the least cos they’ve been joined by Richard Fortus (Guns N’ Roses), Darryl Jones (The Rolling Stones), Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses) and… Continue reading

Crystal Viper – “Possession”

Crystal Viper – “Possession” (AFM Records) WTF – it’s only been a year or so since we last heard from these Poles?! Crystal Viper are a regular feature on the Euro metal circuit and have been going since 2003 when they were formed by singer and multi instrumentalist Marta Gabriel, who incidentally writes all the material. This time round they’ve gone for a concept album – about a possessed girl named Julia – and while I wasn’t over duly excited about the theme, the standard of the material did surprise me in being highly impressive, certainly the best the band… Continue reading

Selim Lemouchi & His Enemies – “Earth Air Spirit Fire Water”

Selim Lemouchi & His Enemies – “Earth Air Spirit Fire Water” (Ván Records) “No laws, no paradigms, simply the ascent and descent of microcosms of sound worlds are born and die within the space of a song”. Ván Records have always been at the cutting edge of music, taking the composite metal sound and allowing it to develop into whatever form it may take. Selim Lemouchi is their latest discovery, but ‘discovery’ is hardly how I’d describe a man who’s fronted the The Devil’s Blood for 6 years, although his search for spiritual clarity and artistic inspiration certainly has been… Continue reading

Silent Force – “Rising From The Ashes”

Silent Force – “Rising From The Ashes” (AFM Records) Silent Force are back! Seven years on, mastermind Alex Beyrodt has cleaned house in the band’s camp with only drummer André Hilgers remaining. In comes Matt Sinner on bass, Alessandro Del Vecchio on keys and Michael Boorman on vocals. Whilst Sinner is of course known through his work with Beyrodt, fans will have to delve a little deeper with Boorman, who was also working with Beyrodt in The Sygnet. Recently, it has come to light that had they continued working together, Boorman would have in fact become Silent Force’s first vocalist… Continue reading