ELDPROV “Until Nightfall”

ELDPROV
“Until Nightfall”
()

Battle Helm Rating

ELDPROV originates from Gällivare, way up north in Sweden, 1800 plus kilometers from me. I got to hear about this band through a group on Facebook. I just had to check them out so I sent away for their debut single. I am a huge sucker for physical items, not so much a fan of digital unless I am in my car. So when this one arrived in my mail box it was like a minor holiday for me. For once I am not too far off when it comes to new bands. I really like this despite it being only one track. In my book this is black metal. But I am not sure that is the whole truth. I do hear traces of death metal too in the sound. But mostly I hear black metal, and very dramatic black metal. I am not saying symphonic because it ain’t that. More dramatic in a very theatrical way. As I said, I really like this one track single. I have played it on repeat for a couple of hours now and I still find new things to like about it. Anders Ekdahl

EXESS “Deus Ex Machina”

EXESS
“Deus Ex Machina”
(FASTBALL Music)

Battle Helm Rating

The most rewarding thing about doing this, other than getting to tell you guys what I think, is to discover new bands. I have said it before and I will day it again and again. I like discovering new bands more than I like follow up albums from already bands I already know. It is with excitement that I take on EXESS’ album “Deus Ex Machina”. As I sit here and listen to this I fell that it doesn’t really take off the way I would have liked it to do. It is not bad. It is just not there, that which makes me drop my jaw in awe. There is a somberness to this that I usually like. I like big emotions in my music. I have no problem listening to it, and even enjoying it. Especially on a rainy Sunday like it is when I write this. This might be another one of these grower albums. Anders Ekdahl

FAIRYLAND “Osyrhianta”

FAIRYLAND
“Osyrhianta”
(Massacre Records)

Battle Helm Rating

If I were to just go by the album covers on the three previous albums by this French band they would be one of my fave ones. I am not a great fantasy fan when it comes to literature (basically because I don’t read books anymore) but I do like the imagery and the stories of fantasy movies. I have really high hopes for this album to be a massive power metal punch. Pretty much like Rhapsody was the first time I heard them all these years ago. What I like about this kind of power metal is that it at times feels like being at the movies. It is big, it is grand and most of all it is good stuff. On a non related theme I get a Bal-Sagoth feeling from this even though the two bands have nothing in common. This I really like. I can close my eyes and let a movie play in my head as I listen. This is bigger than life metal. Anders Ekdahl

FROM HELL “Rats & Ravens”

FROM HELL
“Rats & Ravens”
(Fastball Music)

Battle Helm Rating

This has more in common with latter day King Diamond than anything else. This is horror metal with a very clear concept for each album. This one tells the tale of a father who summons Evil and the price he has to pay to the witch. If you like I am a huge Mercyful Fate/King Diamond fan this is a treat. You can always discuss the pros and cons of being this influenced/inspired by a band or artist but when it is done the way this is done I for one have no problems with it. This is very dramatic metal. This is one album you gotta sit back and listen to, to fully get the whole ambience of the story and music in connection. This one was a cool one. Anders Ekdahl

GRAVE CIRCLES “Tome II ”

GRAVE CIRCLES
“Tome II ”
(Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions)

Battle Helm Rating

Ukrainian black metal is something that I have enjoyed on countless occasions. And most of the times it has been a pleasant acquaintance. I have no reason to believe that this one will be anything but great too. What I like about this one is the feeling of despair and desperation. You can really feel the whole grayness that this album displays, from album art to music. This is not black metal for the happy-go-lucky ones. It is much more for souls like me that have a clear melancholic side to them. In describing this lot musically you could say that they are atmospheric black metal. All I know is that I love this kinda black metal and this one just hits all the right nerves for me. I totally adore this album. Anders Ekdahl

HELFRÓ “S/T”

HELFRÓ
“S/T”
(Season Of Mist)

Battle Helm Rating

Iceland might not have more inhabitants than Sweden’s third biggest town but they sure know how to make their black metal exceptional. With bands like Svartidaudi, Sinmara etc. we have been treated to some really cool stuff. And with this album from HELFRÓ we are in for another treat. From what I have already heard this promises to be a hell of a ride. With bands like Svartidaudi and Sinmara, HELFRÓ are in good company. This is black metal that takes us on a journey into a cold and lonely landscape. Where the wind blows and snow falls. This is yet another masterful Icelandic black metal release. Anders Ekdahl

KING WITCH “Body Of Light”

KING WITCH
“Body Of Light”
(Listenable)

Battle Helm Rating

This Scottish band sprung from the ashes of Firebrand Super Rock. Firebrand Super Rock were no strangers to us here at battlehelm.com, and neither are KING WITCH. I really liked their debut album back in 2018, which make me really excited about hearing this new one too. This is groovy as hell. In the same way that latter day Trouble were groovy. But with the feel of early Trouble, the first three albums. Perhaps not exactly doom metal but there is a doomy feel to this. but I like what I hear. This is really good stuff. It has all that I like about metal and that says a lot because most albums miss something. This is yet another cool record from KING WITCH. Anders Ekdahl

MALEFISTUM “Enemy”

MALEFISTUM
“Enemy”
(Fastball Music)

Battle Helm Rating

Looking through the member’s list I do see a coup0le of names that are familiar to me. Not that it really helps me in knowing what to expect from this album. From what I have gathered this is some kind of project. Musically this is like a cross between power metal and melodic death metal. On paper it might sound like a mismatch made in hell but in reality it does work very well. I like the melodic side of power metal mixed with the death metal vocals. Add to that female vocals for that symphonic feeling and you get an album that appeals to me. This one was a nice surprise for me. Anders Ekdahl

MNEMOCIDE “Feeding The Vultures”

MNEMOCIDE
“Feeding The Vultures”
(Czar Of Crickets Productions)

Battle Helm Rating

I have certain labels that I know even before I heard the album that I am gonna like the music. Czar Of Crickets is one of these labels. They don’t just specialize in one sort of genre but whatever they do release it ends up being good. This time I have the pleasure of hearing a Swiss death metal band in the shape of MNEMOCIDE. I get a latter day Dismember/Entombed feeling when I listen to this. And anything that even remotely triggers those kind of feelings is good in my book. So this is per logic good stuff. Anders Ekdahl

MONOLITHE “Okta Khora”

MONOLITHE
“Okta Khora”
(Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions)

Battle Helm Rating

Seeing as I was mightily impressed with MONOLITHE’s previous album they gotta come up really strong for me to be impressed one more time. As with My Dying Bride I have a tendency to like everything that this French band releases. This new album is no exception. If you like your metal doomy, dark and sinister this is for you. To me this is as beautiful as it gets. Listening to this makes me tranquil and at peace with life. I like the feeling of isolation that this creates in my head, how everything around me is closed off and I just exist in the universe that the music creates for me. This is the kind of stuff I can have on repeat all the time. Anders Ekdahl