NATTSMYG “Fylgja”

NATTSMYG
“Fylgja”
(Unexploded Records)
I kinda expected something totally different from Nattsmyg than what I got. Instead of some jolly folk metal with violins and bagpipes or whatever folkish instruments this turned out to be so much darker and brooding than I ever expected. This is like being lost in the deep dark forest with only the stars as your guide and every troll and whatever that lurks in the woods coming out from their hidings. It’s like being trapped in an evil fairytale without any light at the end of the tunnel. Continue reading

PAGAN RITES “Preachers From Hell”

PAGAN RITES
“Preachers From Hell”
(Unexploded Records)
I have fond memories of an old Pagan Rites LP on purple vinyl. I liked their old school black metal when I heard it back then and I’ll hopefully do so now too. Pagan Rites are old school like Gehennah was old school. Meaning that all is the 1980s and everything after doesn’t exist. I’m cool with that as long as you do it full on. No fucking half wits here, no sir. Continue reading

REGARDLESS OF ME “Pleasures And Pain”

REGARDLESS OF ME
“Pleasures And Fear”
(Unexploded Records)
Italian Regardless Of Me are totally new to me. I had not even heard the name before I received this new album by them. Not knowing what to expect can be a challenge all itself. This could be the worst crap ever or it could be the most revelatory release of 2011. I’m pleased to say that this does not suck majorly. It doesn’t even suck a little bit. Continue reading

SKALD “Vitterland”

SKALD
“Vitterland”
(Unexploded Records)
I can’t say I was impressed by Skald’s previous record. It felt like there was something missing, like they didn’t take it serious enough and just fooled around with no intention or direction. Instead of leaving me with a great folk metal record all I remember is how disappointed I was listening to that album. I usually don’t comment on the vocals because it isn’t necessary but this time I can’t help feeling that this is substandard. Continue reading

FORTERESSE “Crépuscule d’Octobre”

FORTERESSE
“Crépuscule d’Octobre”
(Sepulchral Productions)
I’ve only heard good things about the Quebecois black metal scene but I haven’t heard anything from it. Until now that is. Listening to Forteresse I get the same feeling I got hearing Norwegian black metal the first time. There is something revelatory to the music that brings out emotional memories of vast landscapes and snow-clad mountains. Something we don’t get in our urban concrete jungles. Continue reading

THE GARDENERZ “The System Of Nature”

THE GARDENERZ
“The System Of Nature”
(Abyss)
You can always argue who was first. Was it Black Sabbath, Pentagram or any other band that defined what is now classic doom metal? In doing so you can not overlook the impact Candlemass’ debut album “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” had on what is now considered archetypal doom metal. Without that album we would not have seen so many great doom metal bands surface. Continue reading

HAMMERFIGHT “S/T”

HAMMERFIGHT
“S/T”
(-)
I’ve never been to Atlantic City, NJ. Don’t think I want to when I think of it. The decadence and depravity that city has come to represent isn’t exactly my bag. And it’s not even glamorous like Las Vegas. But if that means that great music will come from it I’m all for it. Hammerfight is crossover the way I like it. Equal amounts of metal and hardcore mixed together to make for a perfect drink. Continue reading

HERESIARCH “Hammers Of Intransigence”

HERESIARCH
“Hammers Of Intransigence”
(Dark Descent)
Lately I’ve had an epiphany concerning New Zealand metal. It’s not all sheep and more sheep down under. There are some pretty cool metal bands too. Heresiarch is one of these. This is black metal the chaotic way. No big symphonic arrangements. No female song birds, No melodic guitar solos. Just simple, straight forward black metal. Continue reading

ION VEIN “IV v1.0”

ION VEIN
“IV v1.0”
(Mortal Music)
For some reason I kind of expected this to be some massive progressive metal. It turned out to be more along the lines of traditional metal than anything else. OK, not exactly traditional. More straight forward metal with little or no tingle tangle. One thought I can’t let go of is that that this reminds me of an up-tempo Pantera Continue reading

VENDETTA “Feed The Extermination”

VENDETTA
“Feed The Extermination”
(Massacre)
I owned an album by Vendetta back in the 80s/90s. I didn’t care too much for it so I sold it. Now it is 2011and Vendetta are back with a new album. Has age improved my taste or will Vendetta leave me with the same bland impression? I remember them to be middle-of-the-road and pretty bland. “Feed The Extermination” is pretty much classic thrash metal but not the classic German thrash metal I would have liked it to be. Continue reading