ALEX BOMAN “Wake Up”

ALEX BOMAN
“Wake Up”
(Backup)
I’m not going to start by saying that I don’t understand instrumental albums to its fullest extent. I’m not going to say that I guess I’ve been so imprinted by vocalists that I feel like there is something missing if there are no vocals. I’m not going to start this review by being negative. When I listen to these kinds of records I always feel like I should have paid more attention in the music classes in school. What I can say though is that this reminds me of Joe Satriani. It’s not so much fiddling with the guitar as it is actual songs albeit without vocals. This is the kind of music that I can listen to both as relaxing music but also as background music doing the dishes or cleaning (and I don’t mean that in a bad way). Not as complex as I feared. Instead pretty cool guitar music. Anders Ekdahl

DAD MARIA “Sequences”

DAD MARIA
“Sequences”
(-)
There are some band’s names that I don’t even begin to understand. Dad Maria is one of them. What the hell!!! Hopefully the music will be way better than the band name. I doubt it could be much worse than it already is. Talk about an anonymous name. OK, I’ll stop focusing on the band name. Every so often along comes a record that doesn’t do a thing for me. DAD MARIA’s latest EP is one of those records (at least in parts). This is too eclectic for me. I have nothing against bands that mixes the somber with the more chaotic but there are limits to how much of it I can take. And even though this is just a five-tracker I find myself slipping away in some tracks. If they just could decide on one style and sticking to it I’d be onboard. As it is now I’m only 70% convinced. Anders Ekdahl

DILUVE “What The Hell”

DILUVE
“What The Hell”
(-/Ladymusic Records)
I’m a huge fan of Italian metal bands. Not all bands that I’ve heard have been good. Some have been really bad but mostly the quality has been high. Diluve is another in a long line of Italian bands that have come my way this year. I have great expectations on this one. I get a strong old school punk/metal feel to this. It’s like when I were into bands like P.M.S, Genocide and Beowulf and its likes in the 80s. Bands that aren’t just metal or punk but kind of mix them all. There is a thrash feel to this that I haven’t heard in a very long time. And while not the most original in any sense this still feels so fresh today that it feels like it wasn’t 30 years ago that I were into it the last time. Anders Ekdahl

DISSIPATE “Tectonics”

DISSIPATE
“Tectonics”
(-)
I really hope that this band will match its name. That this is either some very cool thrash or some ultra brutal death metal. I don’t want to hear anything sappy coming from my speakers when I put this on. Perhaps not fair on the band but I don’t really care. A guy can dream, can’t he? This isn’t sappy in any way. Don’t know what it really is though. At first I thought death metal but later on I changed my mind to thrash but then that was changed to something else. There is a chaos element to this that I’m not too fond of. I’ve never been that much of a fan of stuff like the Dillinger Escape Plan and stuff like that. I like my music to be cohesive and perhaps linear. This isn’t much of that. Too jazzy for my taste. Anders Ekdahl

FROSTHELM “The Northwinds Render Flesh”

FROSTHELM
“The Northwinds Rend Flesh”
(-)
OK. I might seem obsessed with band names this week. I’ve said countless times before that you shouldn’t judge a band by its name but this one just gotta be some sort of pagan/folk/black metal band. What else could they be with a name like Frosthelm? Don’t know how much folk/pagan this is but black metal it is. At times I get a Dawn feeling from them and anything that slightly reminds me of Dawn gets the thumps up from me. This is black metal that is on the more brutal side. No fancy keyboard arrangements. Just pure power black metal. Only a four track EP this makes me want more. And being as impatient as I am I’ll have a hard time waiting for a full length album to arrive. Anders Ekdahl

GALDERIA “The Universality”

GALDERIA
“The Universality”
(Metalodic)
I’m not going to lie. I’ve been looking forward to hearing this album ever since I first saw it advertised. Don’t know why but for some reason I think this is going to be one hell of a metal album. I just got that tingling feeling in my gut that says this is going to shake and rattle my bowels in a very positive way. And after all the Christmas food I’ve been eating my bowels need to be shaken right again. That this is symphonic came as no surprise. I expected that. But that there was going to be a power metal edge to it came as somewhat of a surprise. This is like Blind Guardian meeting Hammerfall. Of if Rhapsody crossbred with Helloween. Pretty cool metal in other words. This was just as good as I had expected it to be. Anders Ekdahl

THE HAARP MACHINE “Disclosure”

THE HAARP MACHINE
“Disclosure”
(Sumerian)
I like progressive metal if it doesn’t get to widdly waddly on me. I can take strange tempo changes and weird chord structure but once it all goes free form jazz on me I totally phase out. I get that kind of vibe from The HAARP Machine. UK’s latest in progressive metal. OK, it was a given that this album would start with some Indian sounding intro but that quickly turned into a death assault. Whenever I hear anything that sounds progressive mixed with death metal I automatically think Death. Throw in touches of modern melodeath and you get an album that could very well try to fill in the gap Death left after the death of Chuck. Anders Ekdahl

HACKTIVIST “EP”

HACKTIVIST
“EP”
(-)
I admire bands that take it in their own hands and release a record. Hacktivist has done it with this debut EP. I gotta say that I kinda look forward to hearing it. The word on it is that this could very well be the next big thing to make it out of the UK. The bad part about this new wave of British bands is that they all seem still be infected by that trend sensitive bug that has been around for ages now. HACKTIVIST could do with being slightly more original in its approach. This is progressive while also being extreme. With that I have no problems. What I do mind is that this sounds like a harder Senser. Not that I have anything against Senser but it’s been done once and successfully. No need to flog that horse again. My minor objections apart this has the potential of becoming great. Anders Ekdahl

LOFFT “The Bitterness Of Life”

LOFFT
“The Bitterness Of Life”
(-)
This one was a tricky one to get hold of. I tried downloading it but failed. Then the band was to send it to me in physical format but that didn’t happen. Then I tried downloading it again and this time it worked. Hopefully all this hard work will pay off. This is not metal in any sense of the world. At its closest this could be described as hardrock way better than anything Nickelback ever could dream of writing. If it is good I’m no worse than I can admit to it. This is good. So much better than my expectations. Don’t know what it reminds me of though but there is something to it that makes me bop my head in approval of it. Don’t know where this will go down best but there is potential for it to break everywhere. Anders Ekdahl

RUINS “Place Of No Pity”

RUINS (AUS)
“Place Of No Pity”
(Listenable)
I think I managed to hear RUINS (not to be confused with the German or any other Ruins) previous record. I’m not too sure but I get a distinct feeling of having reviewed it. Can’t say I remember too much of it though. Hopefully I gave it a positive review. And from listening to this new album I can only say that this is the kind of metal that I like. I have nothing against a melancholic line here or there. I can see the beauty of darkness in music. RUINS has what makes my fancy for extreme metal tick that little extra. That thing you can’t explain with words but you know when it hits you right across you jaw. There is a latter day Satyricon feel to this album. A groove if you so like that make it flow like a spring flooding, effortlessly. Anders Ekdahl