AETHERIAL ”The Still Waters Of Oblivion”’

AETHERIAL
”The Still Waters Of Oblivion”’
(Truth Inc Records)

Battle Helm Rating

More than 2 years in the making! This gotta be one hell of an album have they worked on it for so long. I don’t know what I really expected from this album but I can say that whatever it was it wasn’t what I got. This Australian band have a sound that is best described as modern metal. My initial reaction what that this was in the vein of The Agonist but I am not entirely sure that that is a totally correct description. But whatever bands it is that inspires AETHERIAL I sit here in total amazement over how good this is. And that is not something I thought I’d ever say. This is to my bewilderment really, really good stuff. Anders Ekdahl

AKSAYA ”Kepler”

AKSAYA
”Kepler”
(Satanath)

Battle Helm Rating

Johannes Kepler was a German astronomer, physicist and mysticist that lived in the lived in the 16th and 17th centuries. The reason I came to think of him it that this French band has named their latest album “Kepler”. How much they actually thought of the German dude I don’t know but that was what my mind came up with reading the title and looking at the album art work. Musically this is like a mix of death metal and black metal, or more accurately blackened death metal. If there is such a thing as atmospheric blackened death metal then that apply to this album. You will not be beaten senseless by the metal AKSAYA play but you will be intrigued and fascinated by it. Another cool French metal album to add to my collection. Anders Ekdahl

ALMYRKVI ”Umbra”

ALMYRKVI
”Umbra”
(Ván Records)

Battle Helm Rating

I really shouldn’t be that surprised that there are so many cool metal bands on the island of Iceland. Hell, there are a bunch of really cool bands in my hometown and the population is even smaller here than on Iceland. What really should amaze is how they all seem to carve their own niche. As far as I can tell not one single metal band sound like the other on Iceland. And as amazing as that might be it also makes it hard to speak of an Icelandic sound. ALMYRKVI could with some shoe horning be put in the blackgaze compartment. This is as introspective as for example Svarti Loghi or An Autumn For Crippled Children. This is doomy and atmospheric and mystic in a combination that makes for a really cool album. Anders Ekdahl

ATHLANTIS ”Metalmorphosis”

ATHLANTIS
”Metalmorphosis”
(Diamonds Prod)

Battle Helm Rating

Italian power metal. Three words that should have it water in any metal fan’s mouth. So much great power metal has come from the Italian scene over the years. I am familiar with the name ATHLANTIS but I cannot decide if it is from just reading about them or if it is actually from having heard them before. Since I cannot decide I will treat this as my first encounter with the band. For power metal to be really great you have to have a vocalist that is not of this world. If not there is a risk that the power in the metal will be lost. The vocalist on this album is good enough to carry over the power in the metal. And that makes one hell of a difference. The music is not as upbeat as I would have liked. Instead they have opted for the more epic style. I think that over time this album will grow even more on me as I get deeper and deeper attached to it. Anders Ekdahl

CULT OF THE HORNS ”Chapter 1 – Domination”

CULT OF THE HORNS
”Chapter 1 – Domination”
(Symbol Of Domination)

Battle Helm Rating

CULT OF THE HORNS is another French death metal band. It seems that this week is full of cool French metal. And being somewhat of a Francophile I don’t mind. This has all the makings of being more of a blast than AKSAYA was. Or at least that is what I hope it will be. To my ears the first few notes made me think of Polish death metal like Decapitated, Hate or even latter day Behemoth. There are even traces of black metal in this. Throw in some east coast US death metal and you get a pretty good idea of what it is that I hear on this album. Cool stuff indeed. Anders Ekdahl