WHEN ICARUS FALLS ”Resilience” (Czar Of Bullets) This is a band that I know of and have reviewed in the past. I liked their previous albums that were filled with metal in the Tool/Opeth/Isis (my references) school. But this time around I understand that they have steered their journey on a different route. And that can be either a journey I want to join or a journey that I have no interest in. But knowing me I will most likely never get of the WHEN ICARUS FALLS trip. And to be honest I hear not much difference in this new … Continue reading

Varg – “Götterdämmerung”

Varg – “Götterdämmerung” EP (Napalm Records) Reviled by some, worshiped by others, Varg have seen it all through the years. Likewise, their music as evolved from the pagan metal they began with to their self titled ‘wolf metal’ – not an understatement given the raw, primal nature of their music – not to mention their bestial delivery! Not ones to shy from political controversy, this 4 song EP is perhaps titled to reflect the perceived state of their native Germany – even though I don’t believe we’re quite at the gates of the apocalypse yet – although the songs don’t … Continue reading

Infernäl Mäjesty – “No God”

Infernäl Mäjesty – “No God” (High Roller Records) Representing Canada’s black/death/thrash scene since 1986, Infernäl Mäjesty’s releases may have sporadic over the years – this being only their 4th album to date – but they have been active and touring throughout, adding only to their cult status. Still with the founding core of vocalist Christopher Bailey and guitarists Kenny Hallman and Steve Terror, Infernäl Mäjesty’s past may be rooted in 80s icons like Slayer, but along the way they’ve developed their own menacing sound culminating in “No God”, which is typically anti religious, but whose proximity is close to that of … Continue reading

Ecstatic Vision – “Raw Rock Fury”

Ecstatic Vision – “Raw Rock Fury” (Relapse Records) Philadelphia. The city of brotherly love. Well, if you define love as in Hawkwind, Sly & The Family Stone and the MC5, then maaaaan, the trance inducing primal heavy psych of Ecstatic Vision will have you in bliss! Self titled as ‘troglodyde rock’, I’d actually say the Philly quartet are being a bit harsh to themselves in implying some sorta neanderthalistic approach to their music? Sure, the raw guitars and hoarse vocals of Doug Sabolik at times make the band sound like early Motorhead as on the opener ‘You Got It (Or You … Continue reading

Alfahanne – “Det Nya Svarta”

Alfahanne – “Det Nya Svarta” (Indie Recordings) It’s been a while since I heard a good indie band – and Sweden’s Alfahanne do a pretty good job in gaining my attention and respect. Taking inspiration from late 70s shoegaze bands like Joy Division as well as early 80s punk and early 90s black metal, Alfahanne’s rock is a deep blend of all these classic styles heard over 2 prior albums and now, “Det Nya Svarta”. Opening with ‘Satans Verser’, the raw shoegaze strummed guitar of Fredrik Sööberg along with catchy Nordic melodies sets the tone as Pehr Skjoldhammer’s highish vocals … Continue reading

The Doomsday Kingdom – “The Doomsday Kingdom”

The Doomsday Kingdom – “The Doomsday Kingdom” (Nuclear Blast) The earlier EP hinted at it, and now this full blown release confirms it in no small measure – Leif Edling’s genius is still very much alive and kicking. Formulated while recovering from ‘chronic fatigue illness’, The Doomsday Kingdom is Edling’s next project and rooted in doom along the lines of his famed band Candlemass, but now also incorporating a fair degree of heavy metal, giving the material a more up beat tempo, along with some trippy psych elements. Joining the famed bassist are Wolf singer Niklas Stålvind, guitarist Marcus Jidell (Avatarium, Soen, ex-Evergrey) … Continue reading

Trial (swe) – “Motherless”

Trial (swe) – “Motherless” (Metal Blade Records) Formed in 2007, this blinding Swedish heavy metal band have gone from strength to strength and no better exemplified than on this stunning 3rd release. Centered around the powerful, wailing crescendo vocals of Linus Johansson images of early Mercyful Fate and Candlemass immediately spring to mind. However, when you add in the dexterous, fluid guitars of Alexander Ellstrom and Andreas Johnsson, heaving out dark, melancholic doom-esque riffing on the one hand while dazzling with beautiful, spiraling melodies on the other, then US bands like Crimson Glory and early Fates Warning equally come to the … Continue reading

Toxpack – “Schall & Rausch”

Toxpack – “Schall & Rausch” (Napalm Records) With its base of Berlin’s punk and street agit movements, Kreuzberg has spawned many a hardcore band, and Toxpack must rank as one of the best of them. Formed in 2001, these guys have dragged themselves through and out’ve the gutter to release a slew of albums with their last release “Friss” actually hitting the German album charts at #16. Not bad for a street punk band, and before I hear cries of ‘sellouts!’ I actually believe that they’ve never forgotten their roots, but rather brought that street punk mindset to the masses through … Continue reading

Telepathy – “Tempest”

Telepathy – “Tempest” (Golden Antenna Records) As per its apt cover, this stunning sophomore has been long awaited by those touched by the tumultuous grace of Telepathy’s concept debut “12 Areas” in 2014. A post metal band, this brilliant quartet also roll in progressive elements and down tuned sludge to make for a heady mix of stormy songs that take you on a journey of a person beset with grief and faced with total isolation after awaking from a great flood. Powerfully atmospheric, the 8 tracks take you through the emotional states of awakening, desolation and final acceptance, made all … Continue reading

COMANIAC ”Instruction For Destruction”

COMANIAC ”Instruction For Destruction” (SAOL) This bands name brings up feelings of old school thrash. The kind that was played in the 80s by the likes of Anthrax and Megadeth. I really hope that this will be in that school. But there is something about this as a whole that supports my expectations. This turned out to be everything I had hoped for. This is thrash along the lines of classic Megadeth. Technical but not too technical in a Watchtower kinda way. Melodic but not too melodic to loose the metalheads. This is the kind of metal that has a … Continue reading