ATTEMPTED LIFE “Pangaea”

ATTEMPTED LIFE
“Pangaea”
(Inverse)
It seems that under every rock in Finland lives a metal band. By the rate I come upon new to me bands from Finland there will soon be nothing but metal bands for the Finns to enjoy. But all jokes aside, I had no idea that there were that many bands that I hadn’t heard of. This Finnish band is to my ears more akin towards HC. Call it metalcore if you like but this is the kind of stuff that I would characterize as metalcore. A mix of metal and hardcore. Not some lame derivative of In Flames. I get flashes of Blast and some old Umeå HC when I listen to this. This sat much better with me than I thought at first. Cool. Anders Ekdahl

BATTLERAGE “The Slaughter Returns”

BATTLERAGE
“The Slaughter Returns”
(Metal On Metal)
I was late in discovering BATTLERAGE, as I think many with me were, so it wasn’t until their third album that I got into them. But then it was love at first sight. So in my quest to learn more about them I’ve gone all the way back to the first album. When I hear albums like this it gets me thinking of songs off of Iron Maiden’s albums from Piece Of Mind and Powerslave, songs like “Aces High” or “Die With Your Boots On”. Songs that pretty much became the blue print for thrash and power metal. This is some really cool metal all over the map. If you like you metal powerful and borderline thrash/power/epic/whatever you need to look this up. Anders Ekdahl

BATTLERAGE “Blood Fire Steel”

BATTLERAGE
“Blood Fire Steel”
(Metal On Metal)
This is the second album from the Chilean metalgods BATTLERAGE. I have a fondness for metal that is epic and bigger than life. It’s such a thrill hearing a band playing metal that feel like it could move mountains and part seas. This one continues in the same style as the “The Slaughter Returns” ended. Perhaps a tad better and more focused. Still in that style somewhere between power/thrash/epic/whatever metal that BATTLERAGE seem to be so good at. This is metal the way it was meant to be played. If you have any interest in metal from the 80s and forwards this will be for you. Anders Ekdahl

BULLETBELT “Down In The Cold Of The Grave”

BULLETBELT
“Down In The Cold Of The Grave”
(Headless Horseman)
New Zealand black metal might not sound like a too enticing entity but from what I heard on the MCD they released in 2011 this is not your ordinary black metal crap. There was something extra to that CD that made me take notice. Don’t know how much pure/true black metal this is really. I’d say it has got a more blackish thrash edge to the sound. Kinda like Aura Noir or early Dödheimsgard without really sounding anything like them. Or perhaps this is more along the lines of early black metal before it got all tangled up in sub-genres. Any which way, this is cool in so man y ways that you really need to look this one up unless you want to miss out on a cool record. Anders Ekdahl

CLOCK PARADOX “Egotheism”

CLOCK PARADOX
“Egotheism”
(Inverse)
OK, I’ll bite. What the hell is a clock paradox? Is that when time travels backwards? Don’t know the answer to that one and don’t really care that much either. After all it is just music and not some advanced philosophy class at the uni. If there is such a thing as progressive death metal then this comes pretty close to that without sounding like Death. I’m undecided about what I actually think of this kind of metal. At the best of times I can totally indulge in it but at the worst of times I don’t even what to grab it with a grip. But seeing as I’m in a good mode today I’ll go with this being a cool record. There is something to the music that makes me give it thumps up. OK, as with much progressive stuff it trails off at times but when they are focused this is a cool piece of death metal. Anders Ekdahl

DEVIL I KNOW “S/T”

DEVIL I KNOW
“S/T”
(Inverse).
Don’t know anybody I’d describe as the devil even if I’ve come upon enough assholes that could be described as anything but good. I have no specific feel for this band. They could be anything yet I kinda hope that they’ll be alone the lines of Danzig around the first three- four albums. But seeing as this has very little to do with Danzig I need to re-think my whole approach. To be honest I really don’t know what to classify this as. I guess hardrock would be the closest. A tad harder The Rasmus or something like that might suffice. Or a less gothic H.I.M perhaps. This is the kind of stuff that the Finns could send to the Eurovision Song Contest. I like the bluesy edge that DEVIL I KNOW have. That along with a more melodic approach makes this stand out a bit. Anders Ekdahl

DEATHRED “Factor Inside Destiny 640”

DEATHRED
“Factor Inside Destiny 640”
(-)
It should not matter where you are from, whether you come from Montevideo, Uruguay or from Gothenburg, Sweden. Not today it should. With internet as the main tool you can sit wherever in the world and create music that is universal. The first time I heard DEATHRED’ s album I thought it was the same tune played over and over again but as I continued listening I did notice that there are more to it than repetition. That it is instrumental power death metal doesn’t really say much to me other than I have to pay a bit more attention when there isn’t any vocals. Now that I’ve gotten more acquainted DEATHRED I’ve kinda gotten to like it. OK, so I miss the vocals but that aside this isn’t too shabby of a death metal record. With a better production and a vocalist this has all the potential for lift off. Done the right way this could turn out to be one of hell of an aggressive record. (https://soundcloud.com/deathred) Anders Ekdahl

GERM “Loss”

GERM
“Loss”
(Eisenwald)
This is a totally unknown entity. Not knowing anything about it prior to being sent this record I have nothing to go on but my imagination. In my head I kinda wish for this to be along the lines of early Godflesh. Something on the more monotone, industrial side of things. And while this might not be as Godflesh as I had hoped for it still seem to be some sort of very eclectic music. Described as black metal/heavy rock/electronic/trance there is a wide canvas to paint on. I gotta admit that I like this. The contrast between the chaotic and the controlled makes this a challenge to listen to but dig deeper and you’ll find an album that is rich in flavor. Kinda like a tapestry of sounds. Each alone makes no sense but put together the different parts start to make sense. Much better than I ever expected. Anders Ekdahl

GODLIKE “Malicious Mind”

GODLIKE
“Malicious Mind”
(Inverse)
Don’t know how bright it is to set yourself up for ridicule if you don’t live up to your band name. But then again I like a band that set the standard high. Why settle for second or third place when you can aim for the top? And perhaps somebody will think this is the best thing since sliced bread but to me this is the kind of death’n’roll that I never got into. Separate I have no problem with the different genres but put together they just fail in my head. But I gotta hand it to GODLIKE, they’ve managed to get a groove going that even I can tap my feet to. But then this isn’t just a death’n’roll album. There is a punk feeling to it too that I like. Perhaps I was too hasty in dismissing this and death’n’roll as a whole. Perhaps I need to give it another chance. And I think I’ll start with this album. Anders Ekdahl

NOMINON “The Cleansing”

NOMINON
“The Cleansing”
(Deathgasm)
The first time I hear NOMINON I thought them to be totally crap. But that was then and it was a long time ago. Since then I’ve come to actually appreciate the band. I don’t even know if that album that put me off them actually is that bad. I have to dig it out to check it out again. This is death metal in that typical Swedish style that I like so much. You get the almost too dark and dirty sound that made demos by Nihilst and Entombed so great. You also get the songs. I’ve got to hand it to the band. They have kept at it for a long time now. And in doing so they’ve come up top notch. This is death metal that anybody into death metal should get their hands on. You’ll not regret it I can promise you. Anders Ekdahl