CRESCENT LAMENT “Behind The Lethal Deceit”

CRESCENT LAMENT
“Behind The Lethal Deceit”
(-)
As time passes by my knowledge of bands around the world grows. Soon I’ll have to store all the information on an external brain drive. When 2012 started I knew of only one Taiwanese metal band. As 2012 came to an end I knew of 5 bands. CRESCENT LAMENT being the latest discovery. Don’t go expecting this to be the next Chthonic because these guys operate in a whole different end of the spectrum. And while there might be that symphonic, almost black metal aura to their metal this is something completely different. I don’t really know what to compare them to other than saying that there is a Chinese/Asian flavor to the sound. It makes for an interesting feeling listening to this album. It wasn’t what I expected but it turned out so much more than I ever had expected from it. Anders Ekdahl

DESTINITY “Resolve In Crimson”

DESTINITY
“Resolve In Crimson”
(Lifeforce)
I don’t remember how I came upon DESTINITY the first time but I do know that when I heard them the first time I knew that there was something special to this French band. And while not being entirely black metal that is where they come from. But as with most French bands there is something eclectic to them. I’m sorry to say so but the first notes of the first song made me think a heavier In Flames (no offense to either band) and while this is nowhere near Gothenburg death or melodeath in terms of how heavy this is there is still that undeniable Dark Tranquillity vibe to this that makes me sit up and take notice. Having heard all their previous album I gotta say that I don’t remember any of them to sound like this. But that can just be me having overdosed on death metal or any other metal for that matter during 2012. This is in any which way a great piece of death metal. Anders Ekdahl

DIMICANDUM “The Legacy Of Gaia”

DIMICANDUM
“The Legacy Of Gaia”
(Metalscrap)
I can’t remember why but I do know that I’m kinda looking forward to hearing this album. I must have read about the band somewhere because otherwise I wouldn’t be so stoked to hear this as I am. I have kinda high hopes for this to be a metal album of humungous proportion. And I’m right in assuming so. This is modern metal in that it mixes different styles of metal into something of their own. So you get clean melodic metal mixed with death metal mixed with a touch of goth metal mixed with traditional heavy metal. I’ll take this any day of the week over another tiresome metalcore act. For some reason I can’t let go of how Swedish this sounds. But I guess that In Flames is to blame for that too. If there is any justice in the metal world this should be a massive album all over the world. Anders Ekdahl

HANGING GARDEN “At Every Door”

HANGING GARDEN
”At Every Door”
(Lifeforce)
I think there is some sort of biblical reference here but I could be mistaken. This could just be that the band thought it a cool name. No matter what the reasons are behind the band name this is new to me. I’ve noticed that lately I’ve come upon bands that are totally blank to me. And I like it. I like to discover new acts. Why stick to the old ones? This Finnish act have two albums to its name prior to this. I need to keep a better eye on the Spinefarm catalogue. This is metal that is more in the My Dying Bride school of melancholia mixed with death. This is as somber as you might have come to think of the Finns being all year long. This is the deep in the forest, alone in a cabin kind of metal that won’t work wonders if you are suicidal. But for the rest of us this is pretty much what the doctor ordered if you’re into dark, disturbingly heavy metal. Anders Ekdahl

KARCIUS “The First Day”

KARCIUS
“The First Day”
(Unicorn)
KARCIUS makes me think of hole in the teeth. Perhaps a strange reference but that’s how my mind works. And I’m never one to question the ways my mind works in. KARCIUS is another band from Canadian label Unicorn which means that this will be another progressive release. The question is how progressive. You need to have patience if you’re gonna be able to take in this album. If you stress through it or do household work listening to it you’ll notice that the album has passed you by unnoticed. This is the kind of album you need to sit down to listen to. Preferably in a softly lit room. This is progressive on that whole other scale compared to Dream Theater or Rush. There is more of an ambience to this, more of a sensual vibe than a blunt force trauma to your face that many progressive albums can be. I like these breaks in an otherwise hectic metal night. Anders Ekdahl

KARMA RAGE “soCium”

KARMA RAGE
“soCium”
(Metalscrap)
KARMA RAGE is to me a perfect thrash metal band name. And from the look of the cover I get a feeling that this will be an album along the ways of Municipal Waste and Arnocorps or if you like Ludichrist or Wehrmacht. Thrash with an edge. Perhaps not my first choice of thrash but on a good night I can get into this as deep as an Exodus or Testament album. There is a certain groove to this that makes it interesting. This is thrash metal on the more basic and raw side of the coin. The take no prisoners approach to doing things. The bang you over the head and apologies for nothing kind of metal that when done the right way is so refreshingly obnoxious. KARMA RAGE are well on their way to be that kind of band. Anders Ekdahl

KÄLTER “Spiritual Angel”

KÄLTER
“Spiritual Angel”
(Maple Metal Records)
KÄLTER in Swedish is the Celts. I have no idea if this Canadian band thought of that connection when they picked the band name or if they just thought that the two dots over the A looked cool. Whatever the reasons for choice of band name I for one kind of expect this to be some sort of pagan/folk metal release. But then again I often have no idea what pagan or folk metal really is. So again; this sounds like a symphonic black metal album to me. Nonetheless with the added bonus of some death and thrash touches. That aside this is not that bad of an album. Nothing that we haven’t heard before and most likely nothing that we won’t hear again but for what it is it is a good metal album. I find myself tapping my foot in approval. Anders Ekdahl

LETHARGIA “Divine Madness”

LETHARGIA
“Divine Madness”
(Metalscrap)
This one comes all in Russia. Can’t tell you who’s who in the band. Don’t know any song titles or lyrics. Had I not got sent the band name in English I wouldn’t even know that or the album title. But at the same time just from looking at the album I get a feeling that this is going to be black metal in the Dimmu Borgir/Cradle Of Filth school of doing things. And that can never be wrong, can it? So with that prospect ahead of me I put the fact that I can’t decipher any text aside and hope to be blown away. I wasn’t wrong in assuming this to be symphonic. Don’t know how much Cradle Of Filth there is in the music but Dimmu Borgir’s spirit lingers like a ghost over the music. Albeit a bit more controlled and perhaps not so symphonic. I also get a strong feeling of classical Russian arrangements when I listen to this. I think I’ve found a new favourite to ad to my already rather large list of really great bands discovered in 2012. Anders Ekdahl

MELIAH RAGE “Dead To The World”

MELIAH RAGE
“Dead To The World”
(Metal On Metal)
OK, this is in no way a new release but since I only discovered it recently and seeing as MELIAH RAGE is a band with a pedigree this one deserves a mention. I remember the band from the first time around. I can’t remember if the band was considered second or third wave thrash back then or if I even liked them back then but that doesn’t really matter now. All that matters is that I like this new album. This is the kind of thrash that I grew up on. This is the kind of thrash that should have been bigger than it ever was. If you missed out on MELIAH RAGE you need to correct that by buying this album and then start digging backwards into their history. This is cool stuff. Anders Ekdahl

RITI OCCULTI “S/T”

RITI OCCULTI
“S/T”
(Epedemie Records)
I haven’t come upon many bands that don’t use a guitar in their sound. The latest being GALLHAMMER on their latest album but apart from that I can only think of two acts in my record collection that has chosen to not include a guitar. This sounds like the soundtrack to Armageddon. The final battle between good and evil where nobody wins and the world goes under. This gives dark a whole new meaning. This is the kind of “weird” album that I like and that I can take to my heart in so many different ways. This is the kind of record that placed in my collection will get a strategic placing. Musically this is like a bad trip through the worst (meant in the most positive way possible) psychodelia. This is psychedelic taken to a whole new level. It may even transcend what we commonly know as music. Yet at the same time this is some of the coolest music that I’ve heard in very long time. Anders Ekdahl