BANE “The Acausal Fire”

“The Acausal Fire”
I remember that I liked Bane’s previous album. There was something to that album by these guys that touched all the right places in my metal heart. So with that in mind I expect, if not great things, at least close to great things from this album. I expect to be totally blown away by the sheer power of Bane’s blackened death metal. And it proved to be as good as I had hoped for. This is the kind of death metal that a band like Vader has been known to make. This is the brutal yet melodic death metal that I find so great when it is done the right way. And the right way this surely is. I doubt that anybody into Vader, Hate or any other Polish death metal act of the last years will have any trouble with this Balkan death metal act. Anders Ekdahl


Deamonicus, Demonic, Demonicus etc. The variation seem endless on the word demon but I’m not complaining as long as each band deliver great music. This Deamonicus are new to me. Just from the name I kinda have made my mind up as to what to expect. If the result matches the expectation I’ll be in for a hell of a ride. If not I’ll have to reassess the situation and come up with a new answer. I’m not gonna go as far as calling this a Dissection for the 10s but I get those kind of vibes from this Umeå based Swedish death act. Nobody will ever be able to touch the grandeur of Dissection but if you just come close to it then you’re on the right track. Throw in some old Entombed and you get a pretty good death metal album. Old School Swedish death metal RULES. I am an addict to this kind of stuff. I can’t seem to get enough of it. It’s in my DNA. Anders Ekdahl

ERUPTED “In The Grip Of Chaos”

“In The Grip Of Chaos”
There are so many bands out there that even if I get to hear hundreds of them there are still twice as many if not more that I miss out on totally. Sometime I wish that there were more than 24 hours to a day just so that I could spend my time looking up all the great bands in the universe that we call metal. But since that won’t happen any time soon I’ll settle for the bands that do come my way. As with Erupted. This is another Swedish death metal act. I’ve lost count on how many there are of these acts out there. But as a sucker for anything Swedish death metal I’ll take on this one too. This is more mid tempo and kinda Grave-ish in style yet with an old school feel to it. All of a sudden it feels like I’m back in the late 80s/early 90s again. There are so many new great Swedish death metal acts to check out that it becomes hard to keep track of them all. And I seem to like them all. This one included. Anders Ekdahl

EXECRATION “The Acceptance Of Zero Tolerance”

“The Acceptance Of Zero Tolerance”
(Comatose Music)
Execration! While not being remotely close to having any sort of relation to this band I still want this to be a brutal piece of extreme metal. But then again I pretty much hope for that with any and all record I get my hands on. Call me indecisive but I’m so in love with anything and all that is metal that I only see the world of metal through rose tinted glasses. I only see the glass as half full instead of the other way round. So for Execration to be a total let down they have to fail miserably. And brutal it is in the Immolation/Incantation school of death metal. I simply love Incantation so any that even remotely touches on that band’s genius is a plus in my book. Execration are heavy in a way that makes a bulldozer seem light weight. This is death metal that crushes rocks by its sheer power. This is the kind of death metal you scare old ladies with. This is some cool shit. Anders Ekdahl


(Shadow Kindom)
I remember Manilla Road from the 80s and the Black Dragon record label. Not that I bothered checking up on them back then but they’ve been in my conscious ever since. And although it hasn’t been by choice I have managed to miss out/stay away from them up until now. But with 2012 coming to an end I’m going to hear my very first Manilla Road album. And what better way to start than with an album that dates back more than 30 years. This is like being there from the beginning. If I had heard this in a time when I only listened to Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep and stuff like that I would have thought this was some of the heaviest stuff I’d ever heard. Hearing it now with the reference frames I have this is still some heavy stuff. This is timeless music. If you like you hardrock/heavy metal on the bluesier side Manilla Road is the way to go. But that you already knew, didn’t you? It’s just me that is late in catching on. Anders Ekdahl

MEMORAIN “Evolution”

(Maple Metal)
I’m not that very easily impressed by “supergroups” as most of the time they are more PR- stunts than anything else. And when you haven’t even heard of half of the people involved it just ends up silly. As with Memorain. I know of some people involved (Gene Hoglan) but most of those involved are a blank card to me. This in reality could be a blessing because this way I can listen to the album with a clear mind free of preconceptions. And seeing as I’m not that star struck I couldn’t tell one from the other in the music. This is heavy metal on the harder, edgier side. Maybe a bit borderline thrash. In spirit they remind me of Original Sin but all male. This wasn’t as offbeat as I had imagined it to be. It is actually quite good. I can see myself spinning this disc more than once. Anders Ekdahl


It feels like just yesterday that the re-release of an earlier Munruthel album dropped in on me. But as they say; “you better strike while the iron is hot”. So without further ado I present to you a brand spanking new Munruthel album. I really liked the re-released album. In spirit it reminded me of Master’s Hammer. I hope that this new one will carry that same spirit, perhaps a bit farther too. I get a very strong battle spirit/readiness when I listen to this. This to my ears is the build up to that big final battle. This is the part where you gather all your thoughts, say your farewells and then head out into battle not knowing if you ever will return. I get all misty eyed when I listen to this album. It is that emotional. It is that grand. It is that final battle call. There is no return once embraced by this album. This is extreme metal at its most beautiful. Anders Ekdahl

PALE DIVINE “Painted Windows Black “

“Painted Windows Black
(Shadow Kingdom)
I’m a huge sucker for doom metal. Perhaps even more so for the kind of epic doom that Candlemass has come to represent but I can also appreciate the doom metal of bands like Trouble, Revelation, Dream Death etc. The more rootsy, earthy kind doom that has more in common with early Black Sabbath with Ozzy than the Heaven and Hell- Dio era. Pale Divine does bring up those kinds of early Sabbath vibes. More 70s than 10s so to speak. I don’t know if this is that much doom now that I think of it. Perhaps more Britain in the 80s and NWOBHM in spirit than anything else. Any which way this is some really cool stuff. I had very little hopes for anything good but this turned out to be so much better than I had anticipated. There is an epic side to this that I can appreciate all the way to my grave. This I will keep returning to for a long time. Anders Ekdahl

VANIR “Onwards To Battle”

“Onwards Into Battle”
(Mighty Music)
As chair is a chair is a chair no matter what you call it. You can call your metal Viking, pagan, heathen, folk but to me it still ends up sounding like black metal with the added instrument here and there. Danish Vanir have that whole Viking metal aura to them. They at least dress the part. If the music matches the clothes this might very well be as close to Valhalla as you’ll ever get. If you like Amon Amarth on the death metal side of Viking metal then you’ll find this as entertaining on the black metal side of things. There is an epic into battle side to the music that tell tales of brave men going into war. How historical correct that is is not up to me to decide. I only care for if the music moves me. And this does just that. There is a charm to this that is hard to resist. So if you like bands like Arkona, Einherjer or Folkearth you might as well like this. I know that I do. Anders Ekdahl

Angra – “Best Reached Horizons”

Angra – “Best Reached Horizons” 2CD (Steamhammer / SPV)

Angra are probably Brazil’s best known power metal band and have been going for the best part of two decades. Funnily enough in all that time this is their first ever compilation which speaks bounds about their recording output! Comprising 20 tracks handpicked by the band’s two guitarists, Kiko Loureiro and Rafael Bittencourt, “Best Reached Horizons” brilliantly showcases the awesome talent of this band – and in particular the two distinct eras in their history as reflected by the vocal talents of firstly Andre Matos and later Edu Falaschi. Although without any frills (i.e. remastering), songs like ‘Evil Warning’ and ‘Spread Your Fire’ show the breadth of Angra’s influence besides metal, ranging from prog to neo classical to traditional Brazilian music, all played with breathtaking virtuosity! If that wasn’t enough, they boldly offer a cover of Zepp’s ‘Kashmir’ and whilst yet to touch the godlike status of Plant & Page, their ascendancy is beyond question!