ASTROSAUR / Poyekhali Premiere

ASTROSAUR’s virtuous necro-nautic universe consists of equal parts instrumental rock and post-metal, studded with lavish prog-, jazzmathrock- and black metal ornaments.

„The general public perceives academia and heavy metal as rivals, but ASTROSAUR, whose members studied at the Conservatory of Music in Kristiansand, lean toward the intellectual without sacrificing any authenticity“, Invisible Oranges said about the Oslo 3-piece. Virtuous guitarist and main song writer Eirik Kråkenes has filled in as a session musician for Norwegian acts Leprous and Ihsahn, among many others… he is one of those people you meet at literally every European metal festival, but always with a different band.

ASTROSAUR is his own band and brainchild, and Obscuroscope is only their sophomore album – hard to believe, considering the musical scope and the maturity of songwriting on display here.

„Obscuroscope“ is in many ways a record about curiosity“, Kråkenes explains. „Thematically, each song relates to stories of exploration, of unveiling that which is obscured and of discovering the unknown. This theme is also a parallel to how Astrosaur try to work as a band, letting curiosity lead the way in the continuous exploration of our own musical universe“.

Although heavier and more energetic, Obscuroscope feels slightly brighter in vibe overall, than the bands debut offering Fade In // Space Out. The songs have more riffs and written parts while maintaining some of the space, ambience and room for improvisation from the previous record: „Whereas on ‘Fade In // Space Out’ we kind of made a point of basically recording the album live, we were not afraid of overdubbing or tracking instrument by instrument for the parts that demanded that, while still recording other parts live. This, ironically, resulted in a sound more true to how Astrosaur sounds live“, says Kråkenes.

Part of the album was conceived on the road, due to the member’s heavy touring schedules with Astrosaur, as well as commitments to other bands. They had only six days to try out and finalize the ideas from the road in the studio, which brought in an element of spontaneity to the recording session. But more than anything, ASTROSAUR is a band you essentially must see live: Loudersound called ASTROSAUR „a mesmerizing opener“, on their 2017 tour supporting Leprous, and Heavy Mag found them to be „a serious case of excellent composition together with a strong stage presence“.

LINEUP
Eirik Kråkenes (Guitar) // Steinar Glas (Bass) // Jonatan Eikum (Drums)

FOR FANS OF
Radiohead, Ulver, Kongh, Trans Am, Elder, Mastodon, Leprous, Hedvig Mollestad Trio, Bushman’s Revenge, El Doom & The Born Electric, Jaga Jazzist, Enslaved

AQUELARRE «Suevia «

AQUELARRE
«Suevia «
(Rock-CD Records)

Battle Helm Rating

This is the third AQEULARRE album but as with most Spanish sung metal this is one band that has passed me by totally unnoticed. But I gotta say that I do like what I hear. This is supposedly a heavy/power metal band but I think I can hear a bit of modern metal in their sound too. I don’t really have any bands to compare them to so if you like your metal filled with power and aggression mixed with some sort of melodic touch this might also be for you. Cool one indeed. Anders Ekdahl

ASYLUM PYRE « No 4«

ASYLUM PYRE
« No 4«
(M & O Music)

Battle Helm Rating

I know that I did something with this band for their second album. but then we kinda lost touch with one and another and it isn’t until this new fourth album that we get reacquainted again. This French band play the sort of power metal that you could expect from a French band, not going the usual A to B route. Instead they walk a path very much their own. But that is what I like about French bands, that they are not like everybody else. There is a symphonic touch to this album that I like. It brings with it strong melodies that makes it easy to listen to this album. Almost to the point where you want to sing along to the songs. This one was a nice surprise. Anders Ekdahl

ARS VENEFICIUM/ULVDALIR “In Death’s Cold Embrace”

ARS VENEFICIUM/ULVDALIR
“In Death’s Cold Embrace”
(Immortal Frost Productions)

Battle Helm Rating

This is a split 7” which means that there isn’t much to review here as you only get one song each from the two featured bands. But I can tell you this much that this is one 7” that you should track down if you like your black metal on the aggressive side. Because that is what ARS VENEFICIUM deliver. This is a full throttle, no prisoners taken kind of track. ULVDALIR on the other side has a more primal sound. More Norwegian 90s sound. Quite the opposite of ARS VENEFICIUM but still interesting. This one is not as instant as the other side. This one takes a bit longer to get used to, but if you kike stuff like Craft and those kinda bands this is for you. As a whole this one was a cool one. Anders Ekdahl

DISPYT “ Den ständigt närvarande ångesten ”

DISPYT
“ Den ständigt närvarande ångesten ”
(Immortal Frost Productions)

Battle Helm Rating

Here we got something as odd as a Finnish black crust band that sings in Swedish. Perhaps not as strange when you know the Finnish history and that in Swedish Pietarsaari is called Jakobstad. A bilingual town on the coast of the Baltic Sea. If you like crust infected black metal, or is it the other way around?, and can’t get enough of stuff like Anti Cimex then this is for you. I am a huge sucker for stuff like Anti Cimex, Discharge and The Exploited and when it is mixed with an unhealthy dose of black metal it only gets better. This is a pretty cool record that I want to blast as loud as possible when I am out driving with the windows down. A huge two fingers up to all the fuckers in the world. Anders Ekdahl

EDEN « El despertar de los sueños «

EDEN
« El despertar de los sueños «
()

Battle Helm Rating

Here is another Spanish band that I had no idea existed until I got this their fifth album. This is yet another Spanish power metal band that sings in Spanish. I really, really wish that I had somebody who could guide me thoroughly in the jungle that seem to be bands that sing in Spanish because I very seldom get to hear of them. EDEN proves to be another power metal band that needs to be checked out. This is melody driven stuff. it got me hooked from the very first note and I didn’t even let go after the last track finished. This is a really nice album. Anders Ekdahl

LITTLE BOY LOST « Jaunt«

LITTLE BOY LOST
« Jaunt«
()

Battle Helm Rating

I was never a great fan of System of a Down. I have not heard a single full album by them, yet they have left an impression on me. So much that I do use them as reference in some reviews. Especially when I come upon a band that doesn’t really follow the norm. Italian LITTLE BOY LOST is one of these bands that seem to have an agenda all their own. Kinda like Primus or President Of the United States of America. Bands that seem to be on a whole different planet. I kinda have a hard time following that kind of thought patterns but in small doses even I can enjoy it. LITTLE BOY LOST is like I said an odd beast. But the more I listen to this the more I like it. There is a flow to it that I like. Not an album that I am gonna spin at parties but still an album that will spin some more times. Anders Ekdahl

NECRODEMON “In The Ecstasy Of Fire”

NECRODEMON
“In The Ecstasy Of Fire”
()

Battle Helm Rating

While at Gamrocken I came to be introduced to this Chilean band. They were there as festival guests spreading the name of the band by handing out CDs. I only managed to grab ahold of the MCD but since they too have a full length out I thought I’ll review that one instead. You’ll find the album on Spotify. This is some really impressive death metal. I will not call it melodic because it isn’t in that genre. But it has melodies the way Dismember has melodies. This is a band that would not have been wrong playing the Gamrocken festival instead of being festival goers. This is one hell of a cool death metal band that needs to be checked out by you lot. Anders Ekdahl

NYT LIV “Ensomhedens kolde kald”

NYT LIV
“Ensomhedens kolde kald”
(Indisciplinarian)

Battle Helm Rating

Back in the day the Danish punk and hardcore scene where the place to look for really cool bands. But as with much of the Danish hardcore and metal scene it kinda all fell apart and the cool bands stopped being. But there seem to be a change happening now in the Danish extreme music scene. No more hygge. No, they are tired of being left behind while the rest of the Nordic countries invade the world with cool bands. NYT LIV is a hardcore band that sounds like a hardcore band. Angry vocals and a drive in the music that makes you want to pogo in your living room. I don’t get to hear too many hardcore bands, which is a shame as I really would like to. Especially when it is cool stuff like this. A real keeper. Anders Ekdahl

SKALD IN VEUM “Stridslysten”

SKALD IN VEUM
“Stridslysten”
(Nordic Mission)

Battle Helm Rating

I gotta say that this is another one of those bands that I have no prior knowledge of. But this is from what I have gathered a Swedish band that is released on a Norwegian label. I am kinda familiar with the label Nordic Mission and from what I remember it is somehow a Christian label. Not that I care. I am die-hard atheist and I don’t care what religion you are. You can promote Christianity or satanism in your lyrics and I don’t care. All I really care about is the music. And musically this is some really cool black metal. I’ve read the lyrics to this one, something I don’t do too often, and they don’t really do anything to me. There is nothing upsetting in them as far as I care. So if you, like me is more into the music and don’t really care about the lyrical themes then this is one black metal album to check out if you like raw, primitive stuff. Anders Ekdahl