Akoma – “The Other Side”

Akoma – “The Other Side” EP (www.facebook.com/akomamusic)

Wow, fate could’ve only willed this: this EP literally came flying thru my letterbox about 10 mins ago and it has blown me away to start reviewing it already, cos it’s that good! It seems to have been uncannily timed with the release of “The Hunger Games” and at the risk of unintentionally insulting the band, who are amazingly gifted musically, I couldn’t help but think that some of the dudes could’ve been in that movie with their neo goth metal look! Still, although from Denmark, their name has been derived from a West African word for ‘patience’ or ‘tolerance’ and it’s definitely translated into the suave, symphonic songs like ‘Immortal Love’, ‘Without You’ and ‘Bittersweet Memories’. Characterized by a heavy rhythm, but a laced with feminine gothic melancholy, the standout gem has to be Tanya Bell’s angelic soprano vocals that top off the sophisticated material, which I can believe has indeed taken time to have been crafted to such a high level. Akoma are Denmark’s answer to Nightwish, Xandria and Within Temptation – with a quality to match! Continue reading

BLACK CROW KING “To Pay The Debt Of Nature”

BLACK CROW KING
“To Pay The Debt Of Nature”
(BadGod Records)
You can say whatever you like about Wolves In The Throne Room and their organic take on black metal. You might think that American black metal is an oxymoron. You might even be of the opinion that all these bands that pop up from out of the North-western forests should crawl back under the stones they came from. That you are free to feel. I on the other hand welcome the explosion of USBM that we’ve seen lately. Continue reading

CITIZEN CHARLIE “Up Yours”

CITIZEN CHARLIE
“Up Yours”
(RockSector Records)
I often wonder why hardrock/metal is so male dominated on the performer side. With half the population or more being female there should logically be just as many females being good at playing hardrock/metal and not just be satisfied with being the spectator. Thankfully we see an increase in females taking action every year. Continue reading

ANTOINE FAFARD “Solus Operandi”

ANTOINE FAFARD
“Solus Operandi”
(Unicorn)
Antoine Fafard is a blank slate to me. I have no idea who he is or what he’s about. For all I know he might be the worst artist ever. Or he could be the best ever heard. Either which way this ends up I’ll be an experience richer. I have no prior relationship with the Canadian label Unicorn but from what I’ve gathered they seem to be very progressive oriented. “Solus Operandi” is proof of that. Continue reading

DAVIDIAN “Our Fear Is Their Force”

DAVIDIAN
“Our Fear Is Their Force”
(Massacre)
The first reference I made was Machine Head when I saw the band’s name. Then I remember that cult that was at a stand-off with the FBI many years ago, was it in Waco, Texas? When I started to listen to the music I was immediately struck by how much they reminded me of different bands but none particular. This is like an amalgamation of 30 years of thrash metal. Continue reading

JELLYFICHE “Symbiose”

JELLY FICHE
“Symbiose”
(Unicorn)
There used to be a band called Jellyfish that was to say the least eclectic. This Jelly Fiche are Canadians and since they release records on Unicorn you can safely assume that they’re going to be quirky in one way or another. But this is nowhere near being too quirky. There is something to the French language that is so romantic. Continue reading

KING “Forged By Satan’s Doctrine”

KING
“Forged By Satan’s Doctrine”
(Deathgasm Records)
Coming from Colombia you can pretty much paint any kind of picture you like and we on the other end of the world will eat it up like sugar. If you want to make out that you are homicidal lunatics for a drug cartel or if you are satanic ritualists running around in the forests sacrificing whatever it is you sacrifices doesn’t matter. We’ll just buy it without any hesitation. Continue reading

NEFARIOUS “The Universal Wrath”

NEFARIOUS
“The Universal Wrath”
(Cold Dimensions)
I thought I knew of Nefarious but I realised that I got them confused with Nefandus and any other band name that starts with Nef. This is black metal in the more symphonic end of the line. There is a Satyricon feel to it in the tempo and atmosphere but there the similarities end. Or not. The more I listen the more I can’t shake the feeling that Nefarious have taken a lesson or two from Satyricon’s latter albums on how to structure the music. Continue reading

NOCTURNAL TORMENT “They Come At Night”

NOCTURNAL TORMENT
“They Come At Night”
(Deathgasm Records)
In the murky dark of the night all kinds of strange creatures roam the earth. All with different agendas but none so vile as the creature they call Nocturnal Torment. With fangs like hooks it preys upon any unsuspecting victim. Sinking it jaws into anybody at the wrong place at the wrong time. Once in its grip there’s no escape. You are un-relentlessly trapped. Nocturnal Torment is like a cross between Slayer and Possessed times ten. Continue reading

UNDERGANG “Till Döden Os Skiller”

UNDERGANG
“Till Döden Os Skiller”
(Xtreem Music)
”-Naer smager en Tuborg best? Hver gang.” (google it). Whenever I hear a Danish metal album I get a big grin on my face. Having grown up with having to go to Denmark to see the big metal acts on tour has brought with it a special relationship to Denmark and its metal scene. That one of the greatest bands ever is Danish doesn’t hurt (Mercyful Fate). Undergang’s death metal is so cool in all its murkiness. Continue reading