EHLDER “Nordabetraktelse”

EHLDER “Nordabetraktelse” (Nordvis) By adding an H to a word like elder you get a pretty cool band name. This is one band that I am looking forward to hearing. I have no idea what to expect musically but the band name has built up certain expectations. With a pedigree that includes Armagedda, LIK. Lönndom you know that the man behind this knows his black metal. This is primitive and dark. Minimalistic in is nature, almost like a cleansing ritual. Listening to this you cannot help being transported into a place of loneliness and solitude. Not the darkest, baddest or… Continue reading

FORMICARIUS “Rending the Veil of Flesh”

FORMICARIUS “Rending the Veil of Flesh” (Schwarzdorn Production) If I am not too far off this is gonna be a really cool blast of black metal. What do I base this on. To begin with, the band name screams black metal a long way. This is one release I am looking forward to checking out. I have high hopes that this one is gonna blow my socks off. There is a symphonic vibe to this that brings to mind Emperor on a calm day. Perhaps also a bit of Cradle Of Filth with the strains on. But just because it… Continue reading

Burzum – “Thulêan Mysteries”

Burzum – “Thulêan Mysteries” (Byelobog Productions) Uh oh. Definitely one of the most feared names in metal (and for good cause) the name of Varg Vikernes has its place in history, either rightly or wrongly, even garnering attention to this day through 2018’s “Lords Of Chaos” movie. Vikernes’s history is well documented, along with his music that has continued both during incarceration and afterwards right up until 2014 when he released “The Ways Of Yore”. Then silence, until now. “Thulêan Mysteries” is essentially a 23 track compendium of everything Varg had not released on CD before but recorded between one… Continue reading

White Stones – “Kuarahy”

White Stones – “Kuarahy” (Nuclear Blast) Named after the native Uruguayan people’s word for ‘sun’ as depicted on their national flag and formed by Martin Mendez, bassist of Opeth during their year long break following the “Sorceress” tour, White Stones is a solo project that brings him full circle both as a musician and a man! Composed by Mendez, who naturally plays bass but also the guitars and featuring guest solos by Opeth’s Frederik Akesson and Per Eriksson (Katatonia, Bloodbath), the core sound is death metal, which Mendez used to sing 25 years ago, although the material here is far richer than… Continue reading

High Tone Son Of A Bitch – “Lifecycles: EPs of HTSOB” 

High Tone Son Of A Bitch – “Lifecycles: EPs of HTSOB” 2CD (Tee Pee Records) With members and collaborators from bands like Melvins, Hawkwind, Neurosis, High on Fire, Hammers of Misfortune, The Skull, and more, it’s to see why High Tone Son Of A Bitch (HTSOB) are regarded in many circles as something of a cult band. Originally formed from the ashes of Oakland prog/doom sludge masters Cruevo by the Kott brothers, Paul and Andrew on guitars in 2002, and preceding the Matt Pike fronted Bay Area metal supergroup Kalas, HTSOB went on to release their “Better You Than Me”… Continue reading

Sky Valley Mistress – “Faithless Rituals”

Sky Valley Mistress – “Faithless Rituals” (New Heavy Sounds / Cargo Records) “..so the rest of the album is just gonna be all these fuck ups in a row right?..”, so speaketh Dave Catching, guitarist with Eagles Of Death Metal and Queens Of The Stone Age, and also co-producer of “Faithless Rituals”, the long awaited debut from British heavy stoner rockers Sky Valley Mistress. Hailing from the unlikely northern mill town of Blackburn, this feisty quartet fronted by Kayley ‘Hell Kitten’ Davies have already turned heads at Download, Camden Rocks and Sound City, so it wouldn’t be long before Catching… Continue reading

Gotthard – “#13”

Gotthard – “#13” (Nuclear Blast) After 16 number one albums, over three million records sold worldwide and more than 2,000 live shows, Gotthard prove once again that after 25 years, they know how to rock hard and in fine style too! Simply titled to reflect that it’s this Swiss band’s 13th studio release and with 13 tracks too (not sure if that’s a coincidence?), the quality and confidence exuded across the material reflects this veteran band’s prowess – acknowledged by the song writing collaboration with Status Quo’s Francis Rossi on ‘Missteria’. Damn near defining the perfect hard rock sound inspired… Continue reading

Elixir – “Voyage Of The Eagle”

Elixir – “Voyage Of The Eagle” (Dissonance Productions) Wow, talk about pure heavy metal for true headbangers! Formed back in 1983 at the tail end of the NWOBHM, Elixir at one point featured famed Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr in their line up and their 1986 debut “The Son Of Odin” still ranks as one of the Top 20 Power Metal albums of all time! Despite a hiatus in the 90s, Elixir came back with a vengeance (and their classic line up) at the turn of the century, rising with the ever growing true metal movement to release 4 full… Continue reading

Ambush – “Infidel”

Ambush – “Infidel” (High Roller Records) Pure heavy metal heaven!!! Although not a million miles away from other Swedish pure heavy metal bands like RAM and Enforcer in being influenced by Judas Priest and Accept, Ambush go a step further by incorporating many of the power melodies associated with the likes of Saxon and Riot. However, while those late 70s / early 80s stylistic influences are intentional, so too is the desire not to plagiarize it, but instead rework it into modernity for the new age. “Infidel”, the band’s 3rd studio release, does exactly that across the 10 excellent tracks… Continue reading

Smoulder – “Dream Quest Ends”

Smoulder – “Dream Quest Ends” EP (Cruz Del Sur Music) Already making a huge impression with their debut LP last year in “Times Of Obscene Evil And Wild Daring”, this Canadian epic doom band bring the first chapter of their quest to a grand end in this 6 track EP, with a mixture of new 2 songs, 3 songs from their 2018 demo, along with a spectacular cover of Manilla Road’s ‘Cage Of Mirrors’! Mixing the rusty sword, syrup thick twin guitar sound of Shon Vincent and Colin Blake with the amazing vocals of Sarah Ann, whose power and soul could make her the… Continue reading