ORION DUST “Duality”


Battle Helm Rating

A progressive French rock band? Does that sound like your thing? I gotta admit that I am a bit of a Francophile when it come to music. Or movies for that matter. I have a very good eye/ear towards things that are French. That means that it must be atrociously bad for me to not like it. ORION DUST are nowhere close to being atrociously. This is in fact really good if you like your rock/metal progressive. It’s not widdly diddly the way that you get lost already by the first track. That is a plus in my book. If it is easy to follow it is easy to remember. I sometimes get too lost trying to follow Dream Theater for example. There is a slight 70s feel to “Duality”. Mix that with present day and you get a band that is both light and heavy. I think that is the part I like the most about this album, the duality. Anders Ekdahl

SECURE ”Chasing Rainbows”

”Chasing Rainbows”

Battle Helm Rating

At first I thought that this was just another new metalcore act but the more I listen to this six tracker the less confident I get. But since I don’t have anything better to c all this than metalcore, metalcore it will be. And will this is nothing that I haven’t heard before there is something to it that spikes my interest. Good quality music will always conquer. And this is good. I find myself stop in the middle of typing just to take it in even deeper. This is a band that shows great promises for the future. I know that I will be keeping an ear or two on this band. Anders Ekdahl

SNAKEYES ”Metal Monster”

”Metal Monster”

Battle Helm Rating

When I grew up there was no internet or smart phones. All you had for communication was the written letter. Today you can travel the world from in front of your computer. And that is cool. But back in the day there was something special to receiving a letter from some band you never had heard of. That way I travelled all over the globe and learned about stuff. It was that way I got in touch with Spanish heavy metal. Fast forward 30 odd years and here I sit and listen to a Spanish heavy metal band. Talk about a flash from the past. SNAKEYES are what you’d call classic heavy metal. Perhaps not classic NWOBHM but classic Euro heavy metal. And this is good stuff. Melodic. Full of tempo. The way I like it. Anders Ekdahl

SNOWY DUNES “Atlantis”


Battle Helm Rating

With a name like SNOWY DUNES you don’t expect this to be political crust punk like Crass or something like that. No, you expect this to be fuzzed out space rock. This is music for those of us that are sick and tired of the stress of modern life and just want to lay back on our beanie bags and let the mind take us on a journey through the dreams. That is the vibe of this album. You don’t need any recreational drugs to take the journey. Just let the music in and it will do the rest for you. If you like you music spiced with a huge dose of the 70s then you have come to the right band. This album is for everybody that has the stamina to sit through the 70s in music form. Anders Ekdahl


(Famined Records)

Battle Helm Rating

I will not do the old song and dance routine about what I feel about modern metalcore. Because it will only end with me having to eat my own hat, or something. Instead I will start this with saying that SPEAKING WITH GHOSTS impressed the hell outta me. This is metalcore but instead of annoying the shit outta me I sit here and enjoy it like a mad man. This doesn’t have that shift between grown and clean vocals that most metalcore acts seem to be so glad for. In that sense this is much more hardcore in approach. That really helps me liking this. Sure, the clean vocals are not left out of the picture but it is done with finesse. This I really like. Anders Ekdahl

STARSOUP “Castles Of Sand”

“Castles Of Sand”

Battle Helm Rating

I expected much more when I heard STARSOUP’s previous album. I thought that they would be much more of everything. With this new album it does feel that way. This one does feel more of everything. Perhaps not traditional in either a heavy or power metal sense but musically that is where this belongs. Throw in some sort of pop sensibility and you get a pretty diverse album. In all honesty it took me a while to fully get to terms with this album. In the past I have been hardcore against mixing different styles on one album but perhaps I am getting softer with age because now it doesn’t bother me as much. This is a nice collection of songs. Anders Ekdahl

SWITCHBLADE JESUS/FUZZ EVIL “Chapter 7: The Second Coming Of Heavy”

“Chapter 7: The Second Coming Of Heavy”
(Ripple Music)

Battle Helm Rating

This is a split with two bands that I am not familiar with at all. But having read up on them I am really looking forward to hearing this split. SWITCHBLADE JESUS start out with a really groover of a track. This is some kick ass stoner rock. If you don’t stomp your feet when you listen to this Texan band then you are as dead as Jesus. You can really hear the desert in the music. FUZZ EVIL seem a bit lighter in comparison. A bit more rock in the vein of stuff like Danko Jones and Imperial State Electric. They too are close to brilliant. This is a real treat. It is not that often that a split of this caliber drops in on me. The only problem I see is that it is only limited to 300 copies on vinyl so you better hurry up if you want one. Anders Ekdahl


“Human Exposed”

Battle Helm Rating

To say that I am the world’s greatest grindcore connoisseur would be to tell a big fat lie. As much as I do enjoy grindcore every now and then I don’t get to hear too much of it to really be qualified to give any sort of judgement on what is great and not great. THRIF is a US grind/sludge/crust duo. Listening to this I do find myself enjoying it. At least bits of it. When it gets too chaotic, too much grind they kinda lose me. But when they do the sludge and crust bits I am there like a cobra. Something that is made abundantly clear though is that I do not get to hear enough grindcore to get that part of my extreme music interest satisfied. Anders Ekdahl


(Underground Symphony)
You can trust Italian Underground Symphony to bring you top class power metal. And as somebody that is starving for really good power metal it is like x-mas come early every time I get sent a promo from this label. Greek TIDAL DREAMS are not new to me. I know them from their first album. What struck me from the fist note of this album was how much I need to go back to my early Rhapsody albums and listen to them again. The fix of TIDAL DREAMS power metal is not enough to get me satisfied. My need for really good power metal is so much stronger. But this is a really great injection. It has everything that I love about power metal; the over the top vocals. The massive melodies and the bigger than life feel. It doesn’t get much better than that when it is good. And this is good. Anders Ekdahl

VARIOUS ARTISTS “Brown Acid The Fifth Trip”

“Brown Acid The Fifth Trip”
(Riding Easy Records)

Battle Helm Rating

I was born in 1970. Yeah, I know. I am as old as time itself. But being raised in the 70s meant that I was subjected to a lot of cool stuff on the radio. A lot of crap too but that has thankfully not stuck. So whenever I hear stuff from the 70s I get all cozy and warm. This compilation series from Riding Easy Records collects rare stuff from the 60s and 70s that you might not have heard before. I know that I haven’t. This fifth installment spans 68 – 77 divided on ten tracks and ten bands. What strikes me the most is that this stuff doesn’t sound ancient in any way. Most of it could have been recorded today. This is a really cool collection of stuff that I hear for the first time. Anders Ekdahl

1. Captain Foam – No Reason Canton, Ohio 1968 Bold Records
2. George Brigman and Split – Blowin’ Smoke Baltimore, Maryland 1977 Solid Records
3. Finch – Nothing In The Sun Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1968 Montage
4. Clockwork – Cybernaut Quebec, Canada 1974 Sonogram
5. Fargo – Abaddon Oak Cliff, Texas 1969 Algernon
6. Mammoth – Mammoth San Antonio, Texas 1970 United World Records
7. Flasher – Icky Bicky Vancouver, British Columbia 1976 Criminal Records
8. Lance – Fireball Fremont, Ohio 1977 Owl
9. Zebra – Helter Skelter Hollywood, California 1971 Miramar
10. Thor – Lick It Huntsville, Alabama 1977 Stars and Bars