ARVAS “Black Path”

ARVAS
“Black Path”
(Mighty)

Battle Helm Rating

There are times when it feels like I have no clue as to what it is that I am doing, that I am not a true metalhead because I have missed out on certain bands that everybody else seem to be into. But then I realize that I too know of bands that not that many have heard of and that it isn’t a competition in who knows the most obscure bands. So I am not too worried that I have missed out on ARVAS previous three albums (as far as I know). I am just glad that I get to heart his new album. Norwegian black metal is a beast all its own but this does not sound like classic Norwegian. There is more of a blackened thrash sound to this. I took me a bit to get my head around it but once I’d done that I realized that this is my kind of metal. There is an old school feel to this that didn’t expect. This is a cool release. Anders Ekdahl

CHONTARAZ “Rondamauh”

CHONTARAZ
“Rondamauh”
(Mighty)

Battle Helm Rating

I gotta admit that everything about this band’s name and the album title leaves me with a big jaw dropping. Not because it is the greatest thing I’ve ever heard but because I have no, or very little, idea how to properly pronounce the band name or the album title. This Norwegian band differs from most native bands in that they aren’t black metal. I honestly don’t know right now where to place them but as far as I can hear there are elements of heavy metal, modern metal and a tad power/prog/thrash too in there. This mix, in the wrong hands can be a recipe for disaster but CHONTARAZ manages to walk that thin line. This is a really strong metal album with a very strong potential. The potential to attract metalheads from all over the sub-genres. The sound is not your typical Norwegian or even European. It feels more American. I like this the way I like Evergrey. Big scopes. Anders Ekdahl

DISBELIEF “The Symbol Of Death”

DISBELIEF
“The Symbol Of Death”
(Listenable)

Battle Helm Rating

When I searched the site for any hits on DISBELIEF I came up empty. Which kinda surprised me. I would have thought that we would have featured this band in one way or another but apparently this band has been overlooked. Until now that is. I do have memories of having heard one or two previous album by this band even though I can’t really remember what they sounded like. This is deathrash of the harder school. For some reason I think of DISBELIEF in the same thought as Legion Of The Damned. The full throttle, no stop kinda band. This is heavier than Legion Of The Damned but it is none the less weaker. This is the sound that I remember DISBELIEF by. Heavy, no compromising. With a hell of a groove. I never doubted that I wouldn’t like this album. it was just a question of how much. And I gotta say that I like this a lot. There is something to this album that makes me pleased. Anders Ekdahl

ENDE “Emën Etan”

ENDE
“Emën Etan”
(oBSCURE aBHORRENCE)

Battle Helm Rating

This band has a very bleak band name if you are Swedish like. ENDE in Swedish can be translated as “the only”, as in “the only one left”. I have no idea if it is a French word too and if so what it means so I’ll will go with the Swedish meaning and hope that the music follow in that melancholic track that the name has set for me. Once past the intro the melancholia came pouring out. This could best be described as DSBM. That is the feeling I get from listening to this. You can feel how the greyness creeps up on you and totally engulfs you. There is nothing light about this. It is all a giant burden. I am a huge fan of DSBM. This to me is a really strong album. Anders Ekdahl

ENTROPIA INVICTUS “Human Pantocrator”

ENTROPIA INVICTUS
“Human Pantocrator”
(M & O Music)

Battle Helm Rating

I am no musician but when I hear an album like this I really want to be one. This one came to me as a total blank but after having heard this record I gotta say that this is my new fave band right now. Little did I expect to be as blown away by the massiveness of the music as I was by “Human Pantocrator”. I want to say that this is symphonic black metal but it is so much more. Because beyond the symphonic lies a band that play a black metal that is so beautiful and so grand that it is almost too hard to comprehend everything that is going on in the music. This is like the offspring of the unholy marriage between Dimmu Borgir and Deathspell Omega. To listen to this is to be taken on a journey with no clear destination. I am blown away. Anders Ekdahl

GRUMPYNATORS “City Of Sin”

GRUMPYNATORS
“City Of Sin”
(Mighty)

Battle Helm Rating

I know that I am a pain in the ass when it comes to band names but I have a bloody hard time taking a band serious if they don’t have a serious sounding name. GRUMPYNATORS might play the world’s greatest music but that will not help me getting past the humorous band name. And when I hear the music I get a party feeling. I am not saying that this is bad. There is a place in my metal heart where this is the soundtrack to a perfect Friday. It is up tempo party friendly. This is the kind of metal that gets your heart pumping and puts colour on your cheeks. But it also the kind of music that I wouldn’t put on if I were alone. It is too “happy” and too up tempo to listen to alone. But in a bar with lots of people this will be perfect. And with all that said I still have to admit that I like this. It got me tapping my feet. Anders Ekdahl

ORM ”Orm”

ORM
”Orm”

Battle Helm Rating

(Indisciplinarian)
Danish black metal is not something that I stumble upon all too often. But when I do it is most often really good and cool stuff. The first thing that hit me when I saw the cover for this album was how much it set my mind for a black metal feast along the lines of Winterfylleth and bands like that. There is something about the cover that brings images of great tales to life in my head. Musically this is black metal that is bordering on the more epic. Not epic like Bathory epic but epic in that it is painting a picture more than it is hitting you over the head. I can’t really think of any bands to compare it to. There is a strong feeling of greatness about the music. It is not the kind that stands still. It constantly moves forward. You don’t want to miss out on this journey. Anders Ekdahl