INFIDEL “Eviscerate Yourself”

INFIDEL
“Eviscerate Yourself”
(Old Temple)
I don’t know why it is that the Polish extreme metal scene is so vital and livid. Can it be because they find so much vitriol from the Catholic church to spew vile over? Whatever the reason might be I like it. Infidel are no exception to other polish death metal bands. They seem to go for the throat straight away. No compromise, just full on hate. And as long as that creates very nice death metal I’m up for it. Infidel might come off as a bit more controlled but that is a deception. This is just as brutal as all the other polish death metal. Do yourself a favour and track down this Polish band too. Anders Ekdahl

LOST IN ALASKA “Time Of Solution”

LOST IN ALASKA
“Time Of Solution”
(-)
I’m not the biggest fan of grindcore. To my ears it most often is just noise and blast per seconds than it is pure enjoyment. Russian Lost In Alaska is not what I’d describe as grindcore. This to my ears reminds me of a Korn gone death metal or if you like a cross between Cryptopsy and Pyrexia. I don’t know if it is that I’m getting older but the last couple of years I’ve come round to liking the slower kind of metal. Something that I did have a hard time with earlier. A reason why I haven’t been into Pantera. Another band that could be used as a reference point to describe the sound of Lost In Alaska when describing how heavy they are. This turned out not as scrabby as I had thought at first. Anders Ekdahl

KHOMA “All Erodes”

KHOMA
“All Erodes”
(Pelagic)
This is another one of the bands that I’m very much aware of but haven’t bothered to check out for one reason or another. In my mind I’ve made this band up to be a softer version of Cult Of Luna (another band that I haven’t really checked out). And while that might be true musically I have no idea how to compare the two of them apart from the fact that there are strings tying them together. But soft this is. Not in a weepy way but more in a very melancholic and blue kind of way. This isn’t music to party to. This is music to cry to when your boy/girlfriend has left you or if you are mourning a loved one. This is the kind of somber music that I really like and that makes me feel complete. I wouldn’t say happy because that would make me look strange but I get excited when I get to hear this kind of music. Anders Ekdahl

PAROXSIHZEM “S/T”

PAROXSIHZEM
“S/T”
()
I honestly don’t know how to pronounce this band’s name. Not that it matters when it comes to decide if this is something that I like or not. That I don’t know anything about the band is a bit more bothersome. At first I thought that this was going to be another black metal release but once past the intro I’m more akin towards this being death metal but I’m not sure. There is a monotony to this that makes it seem samey but that actually works in favour for the band. This is like listening to power drill, unrelenting in its attack. This is the kind of extreme metal that is best enjoyed by those with a penchant for uncompromising extreme metal. Only for the diehard metal fans. Anders Ekdahl

PUTREVORE “Macabre Kingdom”

PUTREVORE
“Macabre Kingdom”
(Xtreem Music)
I’m not one to be blinded by the star potential of a band but this is probably as close to a death metal dream team you’ll get on the Xtreem Music label. With Dave Rotten (label boss and vocalist for Avulsed) and Rogga (PAGANIZER/ RIBSPREADER and what Swedish bands has he not be involved with) Putrevore is a massive slab of death metal. This is the take-no-prisoner kind of death metal that is so liberating. You don’t have to think too much listening to this. You just have to clear your head and totally enjoy it for what it is. This is the kind of rotten, murky death metal that. After one session with this album you feel like you’ve been in the ring with Mike Tyson. This is full contact death metal. Anders Ekdahl

SEETHE “Through Conviction”

SEETHE
“Through Conviction”
()
Seethe sounds like a combination of metal and hardcore. This while not being a metalcore act. Or is that this is what hardcore sounds like today? All I know is that I like this. There is something to this that makes me smile. I can’t help thinking back to a The Haunted with Marco Aro on vocals. There is something to this that makes me think Swedish thrash meeting American hardcore. For the moment it escapes me where this band has its origin but that is secondary really, although I get a strong British feel for it. What matters is that this is the kind of extreme music, be it hardcore, metal or a combo of them all, that I can fully enjoy. This is the kind of music that I can drive to, listen to in the bath or just mosh like a madman in my living room. Cool stuff all the way through. Anders Ekdahl

SERENITY BROKEN “Commercial Suicide”

SERENITY BROKEN
“Commercial Suicide”
(-)
This Greek hardrock band takes me back to a time when Pearl Jam’s and Alice In Chains’ albums went warm in my CD player. I liked grunge and this is as close to that style I come in 2012. But as they say; great music never dies, it just keep living. And this is great music. There is a melancholic side to the music that I found in Alice In Chains and to some extent in Pearl jam too. I like my music with a bluer shade. I’m not too into the happy-go-lucky side of music. I also appreciate this album for being as heavy as it is. There is nothing light to this, nothing fluffy and sugary. This is on the saltier side of things. I will live long on this one. Anders Ekdahl

ZOMBIFIED “Carnage Slaughter And Death”

ZOMBIFIED
“Carnage Slaughter And Death”
(Cyclone Empire)
Swedish death metal. Need I say more? This is another great example of why Swedish death metal is the greatest thing since denim pants. This is heavy and dirty and murky and so great that I don’t know what to do. No matter where I turn I seem to run into a great death metal album the Swedish way. I can’t seem to get enough of old Nihilist/Autopsy/Entombed death metal. With all these great new bands that carry on the legacy I have no time to take out my old Autopsy albums to listen to them. Not that I need t o re-live old memories. With so many great new death metal acts out there today I can easily create new memories. If you like your death metal on the crustier side then this will be for you. Anders Ekdahl

UDO – “Live In Sofia”

UDO – “Live In Sofia” CD/DVD (AFM Records)

Holy crap – Bulgaria rocks – from the roar of the crowd you’d think the whole damn country was there! Filmed in the capital city of that tucked away Eastern European country, it’s been 7 long years since the ubermeister himself – ex Accept vocalist Udo Dirkschneider – and his crew hit Sofia and the hunger in the 2,000 strong crowd is evident. Chanting ‘Udo, Udo’ to the sound of ‘Dominator’, these crazy Bulgars provided the backing chorus to ‘Princess Of The Dawn’ and could’ve shouted down the Berlin Wall in ‘Balls To The Wall’ no less. With 2 encores including ‘I’m A Rebel’ the band burned thru 24 numbers no less and it’s nice to see that metal grandad UDO still does those old Accept numbers true justice so no wonder the baying crowd kept the band there 2 and a half hours – yeah, it was one of THOSE shows!

HIM – “Two Decades Of Love Metal”

HIM – “Two Decades Of Love Metal” (Sony Music)

It’s been a while since I heard the ‘love metal’ of these Finns. Formed in the 90s when ‘alternative’ was big, they abbreviated their name from His Infernal Majesty to the somewhat more camp, if apt, HIM. Bathed in soothing melodies from Ville Valo’s crooning vocals, to luvvy duvvy harmonies and ‘Burton’ Puurtinen’s wonderland keyboards the only hint of any hardness comes from Lindstrom’s guitars and Kaasu’s drums – if not I’d be seriously classifying some of this stuff as AOR. Still, there’s an undoubted market for HIM as they are the most commercially successful Finnish rock band of all time! “Two Decades Of Love Metal” is the band’s first compilation spanning their entire career and includes one new track in ‘Strange World’ as well as old faves like more rocking ‘The Kiss Of Dawn’ and pseudo goth ‘When Love And Death Embrace’. Pass the chocolates baby…