EDGE OF EVER “We Came With The Flood”

EDGE OF EVER
“We Came With The Flood”
(Mighty Music)

Battle Helm Rating

Progressive metalcore? I might have totally misunderstood what German EDGE OF EVER are all about but I kinda think progressive metalcore sound interesting. So far Mighty Music hasn’t disappointed me with their releases and this one is not the one to do so either. As interesting as progressive metalcore sounds as weird is it to hear it. It takes some time getting your head around the mix of the beauty of the progressive and the aggression of the metalcore. This is not gonna be my vote for album of the year but it has a groove and a charm that makes it hard to stop listening to it. A cool record nonetheless. Anders Ekdahl

ELEGIAC “Black Clouds Of War”

ELEGIAC
“Black Clouds Of War”
(De Tenebrarum Principio)

Battle Helm Rating

What I like about black metal is that I shows that you don’t have to be a full band to be a band. It is enough to do it alone and still make it sound cool. But then that is kinda in the spirit of black metal, that you are only as strong as yourself. American ELEGIAC play black metal in that true 90s sense of it being cold, harsh and violent. Pretty much like facing a blizzard on the mountain. And no matter how many bands of this kind I hear I still find it as enjoyable as I did the first time I heard it back in the 90s. There is something special to the primitiveness of this sort of black metal that resonates well with me. ELEGIAC has with “Black Clouds Of War” created an album full of the spirit of “I will defeat the elements”. And I like it. Anders Ekdahl

EXTREMITY “Coffin Birth”

EXTREMITY
“Coffin Birth”
(20 Buck Spin)

Battle Helm Rating

Oakland might not be too known for its death metal. Or, I don’t know really. It is just that I cannot really think of too many death metal bands that call Oakland home. But EXTREMITY does. And this is some really cool old school death metal. If you think Gruesome are too Death-like this might perhaps be more up your alley. To my ears this is like a mix of 90s Swedish death metal and what Death did on the first three albums. In other words, this is classic death metal. The stuff that I grew up with. That shaped my whole existence. So for me to not like this it have to be so shitty that I wouldn’t even waste one word on it. And as I am getting close to the end of this review it is pretty obvious that I like this album. Anders Ekdahl

FUNERAL MIST “Hekatomb”

FUNERAL MIST
“Hekatomb”
(Norma Evangelium Diaboli)

Battle Helm Rating

Everybody into black metal should know the name FUNERAL MIST by know. This is one of the more influential black metal bands of latter days. I don’t know if it still exists but this band used to be a part of the whole orthodox black metal sound/scene. To my ears FUNERAL MIST have always been about controlling chaos. Listening to them has always been like an explosion in my head. It is so intense that you have to concentrate a thousand percent to fully get the sonic assault an album is. This is not your ordinary A to B kinda band. But that is also what makes this so great. Ever since I heard them the first time I have been fascinated by them, to such a degree that I almost have a love/hate relationship with them. “Hekatomb” is another FUNERAL MIST masterpiece. Anders Ekdahl

FUNERAL SUN “The Dragging”

FUNERAL SUN
”The Dragging”
(Godbox)

Battle Helm Rating

With a name like FUNERAL SUN you’d be forgiven for thinking that this might be some sort of funeral doom. And even though this is as slow and dragging as funeral doom it isn’t that. This is just plain simple doom metal. Try imaging Trouble’s first two albums played even slower and you get some sort of idea what FUNERAL SUN are all about. This two track EP is an appetizer. It leaves me wanting more and wanting it now. This is too good to be served in just two slices. I need a full dish of this to be totally satisfied. But for now this has to do. And do it does. Anders Ekdahl

GAEREA “Unsettling Whispers”

GAEREA
“Unsettling Whispers”
(Transcending Obscurity Records)

Battle Helm Rating

Portuguese black metal is much more than you think it is. All is not just Moonspell. But then you knew that already so I am just pointing out the obvious. And I do have featured Portuguese black metal in the past. And most have been really cool acts. So it is with some excitement that I take on GAEREA. I gotta say that at first I was a bit hesitant that this would be anything good. Because the first track starts so somber and continues that way even after it picks itself up from the floor. But this did grow on me. By the second track they got me and now I am hooked. This turned out to be another cool Portuguese black metal band. Anders Ekdahl

GHOSTBOUND “All Is Phantom”

GHOSTBOUND
“All is Phantom”
(A Sad Sadness Song)

Battle Helm Rating

There are times when I just get flabbergasted and don’t know what to say or write and I just sit here and listen. This is one of those times. I had no expectations whatsoever on this but boy did it blow me away. I honestly don’t know how to describe this as it is an amalgamation of so many different styles, and so far apart styles too. You got post rock mixed with black metal mixed with alternative mixed with atmospheric metal. You kinda get my drift. It really shouldn’t work but in some strange manner it does. This has to be one of the coolest and strangest albums I have heard so far in 2018. This is one hell oif an album that I would like to award 6 out of 5. Anders Ekdahl

LAMIRAL “This Ep Has No Name and It’s Alright”

LAMIRAL
“This Ep Has No Name and It’s Alright”
()

Battle Helm Rating

Belgian hardcore was (and perhaps still is) well known worldwide at one time in history. I know because that is how I got my eyes opened for it. At times I feel it was easier back in the 90s. sure, we didn’t have the Internet but we did have fanzines and even though it required an effort from all parts involved it made for more of a community feeling. You ordered a fanzine, waited for it. Discovered cool new bands, sent off for their demos and then waited for it to arrive. Back then a band like LAMIRAL would be one of those that I would have sent money off for stuff. Not being the greatest aficionado of hardcore this is still the stuff I like. There is a feel of it moving forward, it is reasonably aggressive as well as melodic. And it got an edge. This is the stuff that I like. Anders Ekdahl

THE NEGATIVE BIAS “Lamentation of the Chaos Omega”

THE NEGATIVE BIAS
“Lamentation of the Chaos Omega”
(Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fondamentum)

Battle Helm Rating

I don’t know why I overlooked this one back in December because this is some really cool black metal with a symphonic twist. If you like your black metal with that choir feel to it then you really ought to check this out (unless you already have and know what I just now discover). I really like it when the bass is predominant in the sound. It adds so much to atmosphere. And you can hear the bass really well in this. Just a little cool detail in an album that is full of them. This is some of the coolest stuff I have heard in a while. So why I missed out on it initially I don’t know. But it does bother the shit outta me right now. Well, at least I got it corrected now. Anders Ekdahl

NOVA “Soli Contro il Mondo”

NOVA
“Soli Contro il Mondo”
(Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fondamentum)

Battle Helm Rating

This is an old one, having been released already back in December 2017 but since I missed out on it back then and also because it is too good to be forgotten I am doing this review now. At first I thought that this was gonna be some sort of medieval folk music kinda thing but it quickly turned into a black metal band. But they do have that medieval feel to their black metal. Kinda like had In Extremo, or any band of that sort, had gone black metal. I gotta say that no matter how strange it may sound on paper (screen?) it does actually work. This is basically folkish black metal with a really cool groove and lotsa cool influences. Anders Ekdahl