it feels as though it wasn’t that long ago that I reviewed something by LOXODROME. But seeing that I liked what I heard that time I have pretty high expectations on this one. I really don’t get the New Metal/Alternative tag that this record/band has been given. Sure it is melodic but to me it just sounds like a more sensible version of Mindfunk and that was 20 odd years ago. So that new it isn’t. But that aside this isn’t as bad as you might be lead to believe. If you judge it for what it is this is metal with a different beat and with melodies that you can dig along to. I usually don’t care if bands deserve to be noticed. I just go for the stuff that I like but I do feel that more people should discover bands like LOZODROME so we can hear this on the radio instead of Nickleback. Anders Ekdahl

MESSENGER “Starwolf”

I don’t really care for trends. I believe that great music is great music no matter when it is played. Heavy metal played to the bone will always be great. Death metal played with conviction will always blow my socks off. Black metal played to the most evil will always seem the most dangerous music in the world. MESSENGER head off in a furious tempo making me think Helloween circa “Walls Of Jericho” tempo. As I love(d) when metal is played at lightning speed I can’t resist this album’s opening track. If the rest of the album is like this I have found myself a new fave band. I like it when a band gets my blood pumping and I get all sweaty just from listening to the music. This album kinda reminds me of Accept’s eponymous album “Restless And Wild” in a power metal costume. This is heavy metal. Anders Ekdahl

MOONBOW “The End Time”

“The End Of Time”
You don’t have to live in the Californian desert to play stoner rock, as we’ve seen evidence of countless of times over the years. That stoner rock still lives on when things like grunge or nu metal pretty much died by itself is just proof that great music will always live on. That the album starts on a banjo note just concretes the whole lazy stoner rock pathos that I like so much. I like old ZZ Top and this is to me what they would have sounded if they’d overdosed on stoner rock. This is what I want ZZ Top to sound like today. There is that lazy bluesy feel to this that is so darn hard to resist. This is music that I could listen to at all times of the day. This is perfect driving music for me. I could easily get into the groove driving non-stop Helsingborg – Stockholm just playing this album. Anders Ekdahl

MOTORFINGER “Coming In Clear”

“Coming In Clear”
I’m no big fan of Turbonegro. I don’t know too much about the Norwegian rock scene and it doesn’t bother me one iota. Still it is cool to be sent stuff like the latest MOTORFINGER record (is it still a record if it is digital?). There’s that word again – alternative. Alternative to what? OK, it doesn’t sound like Foo Fighters or Soundgarden but it still operates in that region so what is it alternative to I wonder. I like Foo Fighters sound. There is something energetic and uplifting to it that always brings a smile to my face. MOTORFINGER has a darker edge to their songs. It is more blue than red so to speak. And perhaps even a hell of a lot heavier than Foo Fighters or Soundgarden ever have been. This is so heavy that I don’t think they’d get played on daytime radio anywhere really. But that is also what I find so attractive about this EP. And that is why I like what I hear. Anders Ekdahl

NECROMASS “Calix. Utero. Babalon”

“Calix. Utero. Babalon”
(Funeral Industries)
NECROMASS sounds like a Greek black/death metal act in the old school of Rotting Christ or Necromantia. This lot are Italian and apparently much revered by the underground. Can’t say that I remember this lot from the past but that could just be down to my complete lack of time past recollection. I don’t know if there is such a thing as an Italian black metal sound but this lot sound very much Italian to me. If you like your black metal a bit chaotic and not as thick as Marduk or Dark Funeral or think that Darkthrone are too punkish then this might be for you. I get a very early Necrodeath feel from this. It is in that school you’ll find reference points to describe this release. Perhaps not my first choice of black metal but I still find enough qualities in it to actually like what I hear. Anders Ekdahl

NOMAD SON “First Light/Pilgrimages Of Doom” + “The Darkening”

“First Light/Pilgrimages Of Doom”
“The Darkening”
(Metal On Metal)
Malta might seem like a place of leisure only but once you scrape on the surface you’ll notice that there is a darkness lurking. Perhaps not the hot bed for metal that the US or Sweden are but still a place where you can find some pretty decent (great) metal acts. Let’s start with the rerelease of the 2008 album. As I’m not familiar at all with the band I have no idea what kind of doom they play. To me sounds like a heavier and perhaps also a bit proggier Candlemass. I don’t know if you’ll agree with me but now you will get some sort of idea what I think of this album. As a huge doom buff I find it hard not to like the 2008 album. “The Darkening” seems to be a more elaborate affair. There is more of a heavy metal feel to this album and perhaps not so much a continuation of Candlemass 8the air of Candlemass is still there). As with Chilean Bewitched there is something otherworldly about NOMAD SON that just makes it near impossible to not like them. Don’t go looking for a doom metal album. Instead look for a great metal album and you’ll find NOMAD SON’s “The Darkening”. Anders Ekdahl

PANDEMONIUM “The Ancient Catatonia”

“The Ancient Catatonia”
(Old Temple)
I need to check my fanzine collection but every time I see this band’s logo I’m reminded of an old Polish fanzine that I think was called just PANDEMONIUM. I can’t remember if I’ve ever heard a single track by this Polish band but as they say better late than never. I am not saying that all Polish death metal bands sound like Behemoth because that is not true. PANDEMONIUM remind me instead of the Mexican band Argentum (who happens to be one of my all time faves). This is slow and very atmospheric death metal, the kind you gotta have patience for to fully appreciate it. As I think this is my first encounter with PANDEMONIUM I gotta say that I’m pretty impressed by this album even if it is somewhat old. I was kind expecting another Morbid Angel/Behemoth induced death metal album. Instead I got an album that reminded me of one of my all time fave bands. Anders Ekdahl

PATHOGEN “Forged In The Crucible Of Death” + “Lust Of Evil”

“Forged In The Crucible Of Death”
“Lust Of Evil”
(Old Temple)
PATHOGEN is one of these bands that come to me as a blank slate. Given the opportunity to hear two records by them is just like being on a really great trip. That will allow me to form a better opinion on the band and its sound. “FITCOD” is very much old school death metal. Perhaps with a slight Swedish touch. But as I like that kind of sound this one sits like a kick in the balls I remember that in the 80s/90s I tried to explore the metal scene on the Philippines but I don’t think I got that far. Sol it is nice to get to hear some old school death metal from that place. Everything about this releases scream old school. Some really cool death metal. “Lust Of Evil” seem to collect from different (demo) recording sessions as well as include two covers by bands that I have never heard of (and will therefore not comment on). This is as old school as the previous album. And while it is still basically more of the same you can’t get too much of this stuff. Old school death metal never grows old. Anders Ekdahl

STONEFRIFF “Prologus Magicus”

“Prologus Magicus”
(Metal On Metal)
Swedish doom is almost like an institution these days. With so many great and influential acts around or buried there is a great deal of influence to dig from. STONEGRIFF might only be on their first album but shouldn’t stop them from digging really deep into the history of doom to create a sound of proportion. This isn’t as much Candlemass as it is Count Raven if we’re speaking Swedish doom. This is heavy in a way that makes Sisyphus task seem like a walk in the park. If you like your doom heavy and with a slight 70s feel to it then this is up there with the best. This sits very close to Black Sabbath on the park bench of doom in that aforementioned park. Anders Ekdahl

TEMPEST RISING “Calm Before The Storm”

“Calm Before The Storm”
Australia might be a very long way away but thanks to modern technology (or a really great working postal system) you can enjoy the fruits of its metal scene. And I’ve been known to enjoy those fruits to its fullest in the past. I see no reason why to change that. I can understand why there is a hype surrounding this band. It has got a metalcore sound but this is so much more aggressive and abrasive than any other modern metalcore release I’ve heard. It would be a shame if this stays an Aussie secret. This band need to get their asses over to this side of the world sooner than later. We need this to balance up all the crappy, stereotypical metalcore that is being spewed forth by trend sensitives. This is what I call metalcore. Anders Ekdahl