BLODHEMN “Holmengraa”

BLODHEMN
“Holmengraa”
(Indie)
Norwegian black metal in 2012 might be as hot an entity as in the 1990s but there are still some treasures to be found. Don’t know if Blodhemn will be treasured but this is black metal the way we’ve heard a thousand times before. Nothing wrong with that if it is done well. And good this is. Black metal that is very basic and raw just like early Burzum was or Darkthrone before they went all punky on us. Do not expect any greater symphonic moments on this album. This follows in a tradition of simplicity that was started by Hellhammer back in ancient times. If you like Mayhem’s masterpiece then this will be one for you. Just don’t go expecting anything as great as that album. This is still a pretty good black metal album. Anders Ekdahl

EARTHMASS “Lunar Dawn (Keep, Relic & Ritual)”

EARTHMASS
“Lunar Dawn (Keep, Relic & Ritual)”
(-)
It is quite adventurous to release a one song only record. It’s a win/lose situation. You gotta win over the listener in one song and if it isn’t any good you’ll lose them straight away. No redeeming features, no other songs to win the m back. Just one, long song the way Sleep or more lately My Dying Bride has done it. My hope for this is that it will musically be like a cross between Sleep and My Dying Bride. Doom and gloom times 4. And it started promising. With the promise of something potentially good I sat back to enjoy this 20 minute journey. Perhaps not as psyched out as Sleep or as doomy as My Dying Bride this still turned out to be heavy and psychedelic enough for me to want to go on the ride again. Another 20 minutes of enjoyment to look forward too. Anders Ekdahl

ENTHRALLMENT “People From The Land Of Vit”

ENTHRALLMENT
“People From The Land Of Vit”
(United Guttural)
This Hungarian band are new to me but I still had high expectation on it. And it lived up to all my expectations. This is death metal the way it is played by Cannibal Corpse. This is death metal that is so zombified that you wonder if the dead will rise to conquer the world. If you like melodeath you better stay the hell away from this or you’ll be buried under a pile of rottening meat. I like when you don’t have to think. You just put it on and let it embrace you. It’s like being stuck in quick sand. The more you move the more you are trapped. Let this album flow from your speakers. Let everybody around be embraced by the full on force that is Enthrallment’s death metal. Gotta go, can’t speak anymore. I have to spin this one more time. Anders Ekdahl

HERMAN FRANK “Right In The Guts”

HERMAN FRANK
“Right In The Guts”
(Metal Heaven)
Can I be frank with you Herman? Almost anything will be forgiven simply because you’ve given us some of the greatest heavy metal with Accept. This, your latest solo album could be the worst kind of dump and you still be forgiven. “Right In The Guts” could sound like a washed out old man and you’d still be forgiven. Nobody can take away what you have done. Not that he has anything to be forgiven for. This is heavy metal the only way Herman Frank seems to know how to play. And while this isn’t the latest Accept album it might just as well have been that. There is that distinct Accept-ish feel to it that makes it so great. This is heavy metal period. Anders Ekdahl

KATANA “Storms Of War”

KATANA
“Storms Of War”
(Listenable)
OK so there’s a hype about Katana. I don’t really care. I have never ever been into hype. I only go for what I think is good and don’t care what anybody else think. Which might explain why I sometime don’t get the hype. When people rave too much about something I tend to have a hard time understanding why. If you like your heavy metal Swedish then this will be for you. I know I do. Don’t know why there are so many playing a style of metal that was born long before they themselves were but I’m happy that they do. You can never get too much good old heavy metal. This might not score high on the cool scale but hey, heavy metal has never been about being the coolest. It’s all about the music. And this music is good. Anders Ekdahl

KENOS “Nightrain To Samara”

KENOS
“Nightrain To Samara”
(Club Inferno/My Kingdom)
OK so melodic death metal doesn’t conjure up to much of a stir these days but truth be told done excellent this kind of metal can be just as rewarding as any other form of metal. Having formed in 1999 this is the first time I come upon Kenos. With four previous releases to their name you think that I’d heard of them but no I haven’t. And that might be my mistake. This wasn’t as sugary as I had thought. There’s actually an edge to this that makes it stand out from most other melodeath bands. There is a Fear Factory kinda groove to this that puts it aside. Not too shabby for a MCD. Just wish that there had been a couple more tracks to enjoy. A MCD is so quickly done with. And you’re left with a desire to hear more and not having to repeat it for that to happen. Anders Ekdahl

NO PLACE FOR HEROES “S/T”

NO PLACE FOR HEROES
“S/T”
(-)
No Place For Heroes as a band name could indicate the greatest thrash since history of man or some crappy metalcore show-off. I hope for the first and fear the latter. It did start of sort of hardcore-ish but it soon turned into some Faith No More gone HC kinda hybrid. Don’t know if that is actually up my alley. I never really cared for latter day Faith No More. I only have three of their records. And while I can appreciate the effort I’m not too into this System Of A Down/Korn/Deftones sound. Don’t know if it’s because I European or what but I never got that sound. Give me a crash course and I might come around liking it. Having said that there is something to No Place For Heroes music that appeals to the HC side of me. Not too shabby. Anders Ekdahl

OWL “Feaster From the Stars”

OWL
“Feaster From the Stars”
(-)
It’s always hard to judge a band on two tracks alone. Even though these two tracks might be the greatest you’ve ever heard doesn’t mean shit if the rest of the repertoire sucks big time. Maybe they are a two track band only. What Owl are I am not sure of but judging from these two tracks they sure. I am not ashamed to admit that I liked the whole stoner rock scene when it erupted. There was something to it that appealed to me. Owl are of the same sort. This is music that pays homage to a time fled when bell bottoms were a thing to wear and music was a tad bit more organic. So do yourself a favour and check this out. I guarantee that you’ll like it. Anders Ekdahl

OXYGEN “Final Warning”

OXYGEN
“Final Warning”
(Escape Music)
Oxygen makes me think of the musical Hair (“your love is like oxygen”). Not that the band has anything to do with it or me being a fan of musicals but I got so much shit stuck in my head that stuff like that pops out at the most inopportune moments. This Swedish band play hardrock the way it was played in the 1980s. No, it doesn’t sound dated in any way. This is melodic and up-tempo throw your fist in the air kinda hardrock that we heard so often back in the days but maybe not so often today. Still, this is cool stuff if you like your hardrock melodic and up-tempo. For those of you who still like bands like Warrant, Cinderella and any other American hair band of the 80s. Anders Ekdahl

POLUTION “Beyond Control”

POLUTION
“Beyond Control”
(Escape Music)
Beside the obviously misspelled band name I hope that there won’t be too much wrong with this album. Not that I’m that familiar with this Swiss band. My hope is that this will be some good old hardrock with not too much modern influences. I feel like that is what I need right now to get in the right mood. My hopes were not in vain. This is hardrock the way it sounded when I got into it in the 1980s. Full of melodies and with an attitude of being bigger than God this is full on party music. Not too shabby vocals, guitars that rip and songs that show potential makes this a rather good introduction to this band. Perhaps not the stuff that will live with me forever but as a break from a hectic life this works wonders. This is music to stop thinking to. Anders Ekdahl