RUSS BERGQUIST “The Russ Bergquist Project”

“The Russ Bergquist Project”

Battle Helm Rating

I always find it hard to react to solo projects. It can go either ways. Some are really cool, while others just end up being an ego indulgence. I have no greater relationship with RUSS BERGQUIST. Having played with Canadian Annihilator is in my book good enough for me to wanting to check this one out. In a way it kinda reminds me of the latest DD Verni solo album in that it mixes punk with metal in a way that reminds of the stuff these gents do/have done but with a twist. There is that cool Annihilator thrash feeling to some of the songs. And that makes me a happy dude. Not that I don’t like the rest of the album, but Annihilator will always have a special place in my heart. A cool album non the less. Anders Ekdahl

FIRSTBOURNE “Pick Up The Torch”

“Pick Up The Torch”

Battle Helm Rating

I might be so damaged from doing and listening to hardrock/metal for since 1982 that I immediately when I see a band name start wandering off to different bands that I think it might sound like, only to find that I wasn’t even close once I start to play the album. FIRSTBOURNE made me think that this could be along the lines of Airbourne but boy was I totally off. And I really should have known had I just checked to the track list. because when you do an Yngwie Malmsteen cover you don’t play down right dirty hardrock. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is some sort of power metal with everything that is typical for modern power metal. This proves that I shouldn’t judge a band by its name. if you like me like the kind of galloping drums that you so often find in power metal you’ll love this. This one is a really cool one, full of nice melodies and nice vocals. A real keeper. Anders Ekdahl

MORAN MAGAL “Under Your Bed”

“Under Your Bed”

Battle Helm Rating

An Israeli singer/song writer that has gone metal might not sound like the greatest thing since sliced bread but… This one I had very little expectations on, but it turned out to be a really cool one. You can hear the legacy of the singer/song writer in the songs but that adds to the overall feeling of this being something special. As much as I didn’t know what to expect, as much do I like what I hear. I am a huge fan of singer/song writers, especially female ones. There is a melancholic feel to this that I like a lot. I have very little knowledge of the Israeli culture, of the folk lore and stories told but I can sense that there is a huge fountain of melancholy to drink from. This one turned out to be so much better than anything I could have expected. Anders Ekdahl

SANTA CRUZ “Katharsis”


Battle Helm Rating

To be quite honest I don’t remember what SANTA CRUZ previous album sounds like. I know, it is bad but with so many albums coming my way some are bound to be forgotten. I cannot tell if I like it or not. I cannot even remember if I’ve seen them live or if it was my friend that did see them. But what I can tell you is that they do not sound the way I imagined that they would sound like. I thought that this was gonna be much of a glam/sleaze band along the lines of Dogs’Damour, Riot Horse and those kinda bands. But this is much more tough than that. In a way they remind me of the Swedish band Shotgun Messiah. They started out as Kingpin and played glam, then they moved to the states and change/ name and added a harder edge. I have to say that this album really surprised me. It is good stuff. It is heavy, has an attitude yet maintaining a melodic edge. Anders Ekdahl

WAR OF THRONES ”Conflict Of Creation”

”Conflict Of Creation”
(Sonic Night Music)

Battle Helm Rating

I am new to this band, but I am not new to the name Wade Black. Looking through the things he has sung with makes for an impressive list. Rick Renstrom’s list is as impressive. These two together with two more guys with less impressive lists make up WAR OF THRONES. Together they play heavy metal. This is their debut album. And what an album this is. This is classic US metal in all its glory. If you like bands like Savatage, Armored Saint. Malice as well as more modern things like Cage you are gonna love this as much as I do. This is the kind of heavy metal that I cannot get enough of. Heavy, melodic and with a drive this is one for the keeps. Anders Ekdahl


”A Sick Life”

Battle Helm Rating

The first thing I thought about when I saw this band’s name was the death roll of a crocodile. How they twist and turn once they have caught a prey. This is a Japanese black metal band, or so I am told. It might just be me, but I feel that there is much more to this than just a plain black metal band. I hear a clear crust feeling too. Not that I complain. This is still a cool record. It is just that the mix of styles confused me to begin with. As much as I love black metal, I also like bands like Anti Cimex or Discharge. The more I listen to this the more I am not that convinced that that this is predominantly a black metal band. I would like to label this a crust with black influences. But no matter what comes first this is still a really nice record. Anders Ekdahl

SEVENTH SON “Arc Of Infinity”

“Arc Of Infinity”

Battle Helm Rating

Back in the 80s, when I first got into heavy metal I jumped in head first to learn more about the style of music that was to become my life. I turned my eyes to the east because ever since Deep Purple Japan seemed to be the land of many great mysteries. And I did find some really cool bands from the land of the rising sun. Some that are still with me today. I don’t have the same knowledge of Japanese metal today but every now and then along comes a band that interest me. SEVENTH SON is a progressive heavy metal band. even if you didn’t know that they were Japanese you would guess it just from the sound. And that is not a bad thing. On the contrary. This is nothing that haven’t been done before but it is done so well that you gotta like it. A really cool melodic heavy metal album can never be wrong. And that it reminds me of classic Queensryche just adds to it. Anders Ekdahl



Battle Helm Rating

I am not a total metalhead. I do listen to different stuff, from the most innocent singer/song writer to more up-beat rock. I am a huge sucker for things melancholic and melodic. And if these two are combined I am in my own paradise. SICK#RED are not exactly melancholic. Melodic they are. This is what some would describe as alternative rock. I guess if you like stuff like Volbeat and those sorta bands you will find enjoyment in this. To me there is a punk feeling to this too. I think it has to do with the attitude. There is a “there is no tomorrow, we gotta do this now” kinda feeling about this. The more I listen to this the more I like it. This is really strong album. Anders Ekdahl


I hve just recently come to know of MISANTHROPIA. So I wanted to know more about them. Replies by Ronald Stiefel (Guitar), Volker Pusch (Vocals/Bass) and Edwin Stübner (Guitar). All answers valid for the whole band are not marked with the name of the responder. Anders Ekdahl ©2019 Continue reading