MANDAGORA SCREAM “Luciferland”

MANDAGORA SCREAM
“Luciferland”
(-)
This is a name that I’ve seen around for a while now but haven’t bothered checking out. But now it is time to do so. I kind of expect this to be goth of some sort. I get an impression that this is a band that want to surround themselves with an aura of mystique. I wouldn’t say that this is Sisters Of Mercy or The Mission goth. This is much heavier than that. This might not be full out goth metal but it sure is borderline. Ah, what the fuck. This is goth metal. Who am I kidding? Think a more dramatic Theatre of Tragedy circa “Velvet Darkness they Fear” and you get a pretty good idea what this band is all about. Add some German electro body goth club whatever feel and you fully understand where this band is coming from and where they want to go. Anders Ekdahl

MOLLUST “Schuld”

MOLLUST
“Schuld”
(-)
German symphonic gothic metal might bring up images of a band that has overdosed on Wagner’s mastodon operas. I for one wouldn’t mind something that grand to come out of my speakers when I listen to this album. But that is a wishful thought that might not be realized in any near future. I like the fact that this band sings in German. It adds to the feel of the music. It gives it a more dramatic touch. I also like the fact that the vocalist isn’t your typical soprano type. There is more gruff to her vocal style that gives the music a harder edge. Add to that the violin and you get a really cool sound. This was just as good as I had hoped for it to be, the Wagner grandeur aside. Anders Ekdahl

MOTHERSHIP “S/T”

MOTHERSHIP
“S/T”
(Ripple Music)
MOTHERSHIP conjures up images of a band that will be tripping in a manner that would make The Grateful Dead seem modest. If this isn’t some spaced out hardrock/metal then I don’t know what will be. I simply can’t get enough of that stuff (the music – not the drugs). I like being taken on a trip to the outer limits of our universe. There is a groove to this that gets my heart pumping, and that is before the vocals make its first appearance. I have a huge crush on anything that slightly resembles southern boogie. For some reason I find bands like Black Crows or Molly Hatchet fun to listen to. I don’t dance (under any circumstance) but when I hear this kind of music I want to dance the night away. This one lived up to all my expectations. Anders Ekdahl

NOLENTIA “May The Hand That Holds The Match That Will Set This World On Fire Be Blessed Above All”

NOLENTIA
“May The Hand That Holds The Match That Will Set This World On Fire Be Blessed Above All”
(Kaotoxin)
This one I fear. I fear that this will be music that just passes me by without me getting anything of it. This could be time not so well spent. Time that I will not be able to get back. Or this could turn out to be some of the best music that I have ever heard. I’m not the biggest connoisseur of grind. I don’t even pretend to understand it most of the times but there are moments when even I get the whole point if grind. NOLENTIA’s album is one of these times. I gotta say that I fully enjoy this the same way I enjoy a Brutal Truth album. There is a charm to this that I didn’t think I’d find that makes me actually dig this album. Anders Ekdahl

OBSCURITY “S/T”

OBSCURITY
“S/T”
(trollzorn)
This OBSCURITY is not to be confused with the Swedish cult heroes of the 80s or the Stockholm band of the same name from the 90s. This is a German variant on the name. They’ve been around for some time now and have a handful or two albums to their name. I can’t say that I’ve paid too much attention to them before even though I have a slight feeling of having reviewed an album of their before. That the first band that I think of is Amon Amarth probably says more about how much I like that Swedish band than anything about OBSCURITY sounding like them. But I gotta say that there are similarities in the guitar sound. Again I can’t tell heathen from pagan from folk metal but if I were to make any sort of guess I’d say that this is what heathen metal would sound like. You get the feeling of a battle being fought when you listen to this. I like it. Anders Ekdahl

OKULAR “Sexforce”

OKULAR
“Sexforce”
(-)
Norwegian metal is not the joke it used to be. Who remembers TNT’s debut from way back when they sang in Norwegian. Much has happened since then and now Norwegian black metal is a phenomenon. Don’t know where OKULAR fits in all of this but I for one am looking forward to hearing this album. Borknagar’s main man might think that this is the death metal side to his band but I’m not so sure of that myself. I find OKULAR to be more along the line of a thrash band with some death touches. But that could just be my imagination. It could very well be the other way around. I do get an old kind of feeling though about the music. I could very well see this as being released in the late 80s. It has that kind of feel to it. This is in any which way timeless music that activates a sleeping side of my mind, the one with the dormant memories of the past. Anders Ekdahl

PATHOGEN “Miscreants of Bloodlusting Aberrations”

PATHOGEN
“Miscreants of Bloodlusting Aberrations”
(Dunkelheit Produktionen)
PATHOGEN makes me think of TV series like CSI or Body Of Proof where they have to solve a crime by using forensics. Or any sort of Doctor Series. But it also makes for a great metal band name. With a name like that you gotta play death metal. That is the only option I can see. I can’t remember the last time I had a band from the Philippines on my player. And a death metal act too. I will not dig too deep into that memory bank. I’m not too sure about how recent this album is given the vast catalogue of PATHOGEN but I can say that age doesn’t matter because this is death metal period. For some reason I get a Czech/Slovak feel circa 1994 when I listen to this stuff. Don’t know why. And not that it matters. This might not be what the doctor ordered, neither will it be any help in solving any crimes but as a death metal album it works just fine. Anders Ekdahl

SIROCCO “Lambay”

SIROCCO
“Lambay”
(-)
I’m not gonna bore you with how I can’t tell pagan from heathen from folk metal. I’ve given up on even trying to decipher what is what. From now on I’ll just enjoy it for what it is and not bother trying to figure out where it fit in. SIROCCO is my first attempt at this. For some reason I get a very Irish/Celtic feel from this band and not just from them originating from the Green island. It wouldn’t surprise me if the violin or accordion popped up any minute now. But to my disappointment this isn’t anything like that. I would have settled for a Skyclad type of band but that SIROCCO isn’t either. I have no idea what they are all about. It feels that they are more traditional NWOBHM in spirit than anything else with the added touch of the lyrics giving the music a wayfarer kind of feeling. Anders Ekdahl

SIXTY MILES AHEAD

SIXTY MILES AHEAD
“Millions Of Burning Flames”
()
I’m sorry to say so but I have very diffuse memories of SIXTY MILES AHEAD’s EP from when I reviewed it. I do faintly recall that I didn’t find it too shabby of a record and that I saw potential in it. Now it is time to pass judgment on the full length album. OK so this reminds of a Metallica light circa the black album but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There are bits’n’pieces that I like on that Metallica album. Perhaps there will bits’n’pieces that I’ll like on this SIXTY MILES AHEAD album. One thing that I like is that this isn’t as alternative as I thought it would be. There is an attitude to it that stops it from being as utterly crappy as Nickelback are. Call this alternative metal if you like but if you go for the softer spots of bands like Metallica you might find great enjoyment in it. I’m not ashamed to admit that this isn’t as shitty as it could have been. It äs actually quite good. Anders Ekdahl

TOTENGEFLÜSTER “Vom Seelensterben”

TOTENGEFLÜSTER
“Vom Seelensterben”
(-)
With a really good looking digipak in an edition of only 150 you’re lucky if you’ll be able to get your hands on this album. I’ve ordered my copy already without having heard a single not of it so it better be any good or I’ve wasted 17€ (postage included) on a piece of plastic. What is it with all these super duper dramatic intros on black metal albums? Why not just go for the throat no matter how symphonic you are. And Totengeflüster are symphonic (but not like Dimmu Borgir). Think Limbonic Art or Obsidian Gate without the mechanized feeling and you might get a picture of what this is all about. This is black metal that is both aggressive and symphonic. Perhaps what the Satan spawned bastard of Dark Funeral And Dimmu Borgir with a little Cradle Of Filth on the side would turn out to be. All I can say was that this was 17 well spent Euros. Anders Ekdahl