EMERALD SUN “Under The Curse Of Silence”

EMERALD SUN
“Under The Curse Of Silence”
(Fastball)

Battle Helm Rating

Here is another band that has a history that I have missed out on totally. This Greek power metal band has been going since the late 90s and have released several albums and I have no idea that they existed. It annoys the hell outta me that there are bands this good out there that I have no idea exists. I wish that every single band in the world would make me aware of their existence. I do realize that that is impossible. But when a band that plays this melodic power metal comes my way and I have not heard of them I just want to know of every single band so that this won’t happen again. There is a Helloween vibe to this thaty I like. This was a really nice surprise. Anders Ekdahl

ESTATE “Mirrorland”

ESTATE
“Mirrorland”
(Mighty Music)

Battle Helm Rating

I don’t know what it is that they put in the water in Germany but they sure know how to paly metal. From Scorpions to total thrash out to melodic power metal. We have all had some really cool German metal experiences. And so does Russian ESTATE from the sound of this new album. Take equal doses of Blind Guardian and Helloween and then spice it up with some neo classic guitar wizardry and you got “Mirrorland”. This is timeless power metal. The kind that makes your heart pump a bit faster and your head bang a bit harder. It is hard to sit still when you listen to this. Anders Ekdahl

GHASTLY “Death Velour”

GHASTLY
“Death Velour”
(20 Buck Spin Records)

Battle Helm Rating

As familiar as the name GHASTLY seem as unsure am I if I caught their debut album or if I missed out on it totally. This Finnish death metal combo play a sort of death metal that I equal part metal and equal part horror movie. There is that vibe to the music. This is eerie as hell and had I listened to it in total darkness and on ear phones I am not sure I would have dared to go to sleep afterwards. That should give you some idea what we are dealing with here. I don’t really know whom to compare them to yet it all seems so familiar in sound. So I just settle for this being a really cool piece of slow and heavy death metal. Anders Ekdahl

THE GROTESQUERY “The Lupine Anathema and Other Blood Curdling Tales of Horror and The Macabre”

THE GROTESQUERY
“The Lupine Anathema and Other Blood Curdling Tales of Horror and The Macabre”
(Xtreem Music)

Battle Helm Rating

I am not totally unfamiliar with THE GROTESQUERY as I have interviewed them before. And here they are back with a 4th album. The masterminds of Kam Lee and Rogga Johansson brings us another slab of old school death metal. And this is bloody brilliant. From Kam Lee’s unique vocals to Rogga’s axe slashing this is like laughing all the way to the grave. I don’t subscribe to music being old but this is really old school death metal like it used to sound in the 90s. If you love Massacre, Death, Entombed, Dismember etc. this is the album for you. I know that it is the album for me. Anders Ekdahl

HERON “A Low Winter’s Sun”

HERON
“A Low Winter’s Sun”
(Sludgelord Records)

Battle Helm Rating

I have no idea when sludge became the thing or where it really comes from but I do suspect that bands like Crowbar and EyeHateGod and some really cool British band like little known Black Sabbath might have had a finger in the cookie dough. Add doom and hardcore and you got sludge. This is my personal opinion. Not the official definition. But no matter where it originates from I like what I hear. Canadian HERON are my latest sludge discovery. This is as heavy, doomy and slow as you might expect from sludge. This is the full length album after two Eps. Two releases that I have no heard but judging from this album I have to check out. Because this is some serious sludge/doom metal. Anders Ekdahl

HYPNOS “GBG Session”

HYPNOS
“GBG Session”
(The Sign Records)

Battle Helm Rating

I am not at all familiar with HYPNOS but as I listen to this I realize that I missed them even without knowing it. This is retro rock the way that I like it. A bit blues, a bit old school hardrock, a bit charm and one hell of an attitude. This stuff rocks. As I didn’t know what to expect from them I was kinda hesitant at first but I gotta say that they won me over already in the first song. This really grooves along like there is no care in the world. And that to me is so bloody liberating that I almost want to kick of my shoes and dance barefoot in the grass. Anders Ekdahl

IFERNACH “Gaqtaqaiaq”

IFERNACH
“Gaqtaqaiaq”
(Nekrart Productions)

Battle Helm Rating

Don’t make me try to pronounce the title to this the latest IFERNACH release because I can’t. and I don’t think I ever will. Not that long ago I reviewed another release but that was a rerelease. This is the new one. And I have to say that this is not your average black metal release. I am not gonna compare this to Darkthrone’s recent punk leanings but there is a punk attitude to this that is rather refreshing to hear. Mixed with melodies and an atmospheric touch the black metal of IFERNACH stands out. This is raw but not so raw that it cuts your ears. I really like this a lot. I wish that I had it in my CD collection because it would fit so nicely alongside all other cool black metal. Anders Ekdahl

KAZAH “Feed Your Beast”

KAZAH
“Feed Your Beast”
(Ghost Label Records)

Battle Helm Rating

Hungary is pretty much a blank to me when it comes to metal/hardcore. I don’t think I can name one single band without googling it. KAZAH being the exception. As I listen to this I come to think of post “Roots” Sepultura. It has that same kinda groove. And as much as I dislike to admit it, because I love Sepultura before “Roots”, this is some really good stuff. KAZAH got a hardcore/metal thing going that rocks my world. Not in an earthquake kinda way but it does get my head bopping along to it. Perhaps not the stuff that will spin regularly on my player but this is still good enough to return to both a second and a third time. I like this. Anders Ekdahl

KING GOAT “Debt Of Aeons”

KING GOAT
“Debt Of Aeons”
(Aural Music)

Battle Helm Rating

Wow how great it is to hear some proper doom metal and not just any hybrid version. KING GOAT is by now on their second album. As this is my first time with them I gotta say that this… is one hell of a doom gem. I didn’t really expect to be this blown away, but boy is this massive. I don’t know when I last heard a doom metal album like this. It is not entirely doom as there are some progressive leanings too but the way that these guys play their doom, I am almost speechless. This is a gem to treasure for a long time. Anders Ekdahl

MICHAEL KRATZ « Live Your Life«

MICHAEL KRATZ
« Live Your Life«
(Burning Minds Music Group)

Battle Helm Rating

I am not at all familiar with Danish artist MICHAEL KRATZ but he seems to be huge in Denmark. And from this album I can tell why. I am no stranger to AOR/Westcoast rock but I don’t get to hear it too often, which is a shame. AOR is often accused of being weakened for radio play but listening to this album I can’t hear anything weak with it. This is so full of attitude yet so sweet on the ears that I have just fallen in love with it. This is road trip music. Sure, it is nice to blast Slayer at full volume when you drive but after a while you get tired and you want to listen to something that flows like cotton in the wind. This is the album for that. But it does also work in other environments. Anders Ekdahl