My Reflection – “Dreamland Drowning”

My Reflection – “Dreamland Drowning” (Inverse Records)

Despite seemingly looking like Evanescence clones, Finland’s My Reflection are a much heavier, metalized version although with alt / rock elements. Graced by Jenni Räikkönen’s soft femme vocals the rest of the band pile in symphonic melodies while chucking in nu metal samples, male metal core screams and keyboard effects on songs like ‘Crossroads’, ‘Let The Rain Come Down’ and ‘Farewell’. Rather than having one defined sound, the band opt for versatility while using Räikkönen’s voice as the common factor from which to execute their dextrous, energetic musicianship. Seemingly aimed at the US market where bands like System Of A Down, My Ruin and 3 Doors Down rule, My Reflection have a tough market to break into as a youthful foreign import. Then again, they may be content to be worthy contenders providing a much needed stop gap for this type of music in their home market, given their obvious musical talent, generically appealing sound and undoubted passion to pursue it. Continue reading

Guardians – “Guardians”

Guardians – “Guardians” (www.facebook.com/guardiansuk)

Merseyside isn’t renowned for it’s happy clappy social environs, yet it’s spawned the likes of The Beatles and now Guardians. Whilst I wouldn’t put these young alt rockers quite in the same league yet, what is clear about Guardians is their brand of modern, uplifting rock. Songs like ‘Follow Your Heart’, ‘Red Eyes’ and ‘Make It Out Alive’ are soaked in melodies from cool guitar licks to harmony vocals but all set within a punchy rock framework: metal it ain’t, but catchy it certainly is! From Brad Don’s soulful vocals to the RATM like guitars that funk, rage and rock to that tight rhythm, Guardians are kicking it big time with the mainstream British press, poised for national recognition. Continue reading

Lomera – “Lomera II”

Lomera – “Lomera II” EP (www.facebook.com/LomeraBand)

Wow, it’s been almost a year since we last heard from these Sydney stoners and maaaaaan have they been hittin’ the groove (not to mention other things lol – Ed)! Treacle thick riffs drenched in reverb form the crust on which Matt Powers’s even more hoarser, throaty vocals trip it out on the likes of ‘La Marcha De La Muerta’, ‘Prayer Light’ and ‘Death Tonight!’. With a heavy shaking groove brought home by Rick Swain’s bass and ‘Gentleman’ Brad Kimber’s drumming Lomera continue to bring their stoner noize to the breadheadz by being seriously heavy down under! Continue reading

Immension – “Immension”

Immension – “Immension” EP (www.facebook.com/immension)

Whoa, Sheff’s Immension could almost be called ‘Immersion’ given how much they’ve borrowed from In Flames especially with those melodic riffs! However they try to give it a spin by bringing in some feisty emo core courtesy of Jake Kearsley’s vocals on songs like ‘In Vain’, ‘Lost & Forgotten’ and ‘Shadow Of Yourself’, the last of which even has hints of Metallica! It’s certainly a brave attempt to break out and executed well enough with obvious keenness, but given the sheer number of metalcore bands out there, I’d question whether at this stage Immension are too immersed within that scene to make a difference? Continue reading

ARZ “Turn Of THe Tide”

ARZ
“Turn Of The Tide”
(Unicorn)
Canadian progressive rock/hardrock has for the longest of times had its forerunner. Don’t know who I’m talking about? RUSH of course. If you ever so slightly touches on prog and come from Canada somebody is likely to scream RUSH at you. As ARZ are new to me I’m not going to hastily throw RUSH at them. I’ll give them time to prove me wrong. Continue reading

BINGO “Ett grindslagsmål i 2 delar”

BINGO
“Ett grindslagsmål I 2 delar”
(Discouraged Records)
I really tried to get into Swedish HC and grind in the 80s and for most of the time I got it but almost as often it just went right over my head. BINGO from northern Sweden might prove me wrong and really get me turned on to grind. Or not. First of all you gotta be able to stand a bit of chaos, or a lot of chaos if you’re gonna like grind. Continue reading

BLEED THE FREAKS “All Is Lost”

BLEED THE FREAKS
“All Is Lost”
()
After having discovered the big four it was time to move on to newer and perhaps better things. And what better place was there in the 80s for thrash than the Bay Area. Bands like TESTAMENT, DEATH ANGEL, EXODUS and a handful of others changed my view on extreme metal. To this day I keep returning to the earlier albums by these bands. Continue reading

CELTACHOR “Nine Waves From The Shore”

CELTACHOR
“Nine Waves From The Shore”
(-)
I did an interview and review for their demo CD I think it was. I thought that they had potential back then. Now it is time for the full length album. Hopes are high and expectations are large for this to be a full on blow of pagan/dark/ call it what you like metal. This is so much better than I remembered this Irish bunch to be. Continue reading

CORNERS OF SANCTUARY “December Wind”

CORNERS OF SANCTUARY
“December Wind”
(-)
With three releases in 2012 CORNERS OF SANCTUARY has been anything but busy. The latest is a five track single/EP. It seems appropriate to start with this one and if it’s any good work my way back through their back catalogue. It would be easy to say that this is following in the tracks of Judas Priest, Iced Earth Continue reading