“Har Nevo”
(Smoke & Dust/Adagio-830)
Back in the 80s I was quite into the Belgian hardcore scene but somehow I lost touch with that one too, as with so many other scenes. THE BLACK HEART REBELLION might have sprung from the Belgian hardcore scene but I doubt it very much that there are too many traces of that scene in their sound today. Knowing that they have transgressed and transformed I can’t wait to hear this album. I’m not a big fan of the word post but if it were ever to be used then this is the time. This is post-everything. You might not hear that many traces of hardcore in the music today but you still know that it lingers like a wet blanket over it. I also get a feeling of German art house scholars (or something similarly pretentious) in the sound of BLACK HEART REBELLION. This is as far away from easy listening as you’ll get. But at the same time this is so easy to listen to that you find yourself having sat through the whole album and just wanting to play it again. Don’t know what these Belgians take with their coffee but they sure do it well. Anders Ekdahl


BLACK SOUND EMPIRE might play post hardcore or any other form or post extreme music. I don’t care too much about what they call their music as long as I like it. To some I might seem very streamlined in my taste of music but I do enjoy music that wanders outside the box too. I’m not the most well versed hardcore fan. I’ll willingly admit that I need to brush up on my hardcore knowledge because I feel that I’m too stuck in the 80s to have any sort of idea what hardcore is all about today. BLACK SOUND EMPIRE might be hardcore in sound but I can’t help thinking of a harder and harsher Helmet when I listen to this album. Not the punch in the face that I had expected. If this is metalcore then I’m in on it. Anders Ekdahl

CANCRENA “Hidden Depravity”

“Hidden Depravity”
(logic(il)logic Records)
More Italian music from a band that I had no idea existed. Can it get any better? I must be the luckiest guy in the world getting to know of all these awesome bands. But is CANCRENA awesome, great, good or lo and behold average? That is the $10,000 question. I was never a great Pantera fan. It is just lately that I’ve started to buy their albums. CANCRENA are heavy the way the Crowbar is heavy. It also made me think of Swedish bands like Transport League and the likes. In the past I’ve had a hard time for music that is of a lower (and not doom metal) tempo but getting accustomed to it I’ve started to appreciate. Hence me getting into this album. And it really isn’t that low of a tempo, it is just darn heavy. Anders Ekdahl

CRIMSON RAIN “Mankind Is Obsolete”

“Mankind is Obsolete”
With a name like CRIMSON RAIN I see before me a band that has overdosed on the whole goth culture. And not that I complain. I like the whole Goth romanticism as much as any other guy who has read Goethe. For some strange reason I get a Paradise Lost feeling about this album around “Draconian Times” before they went all electro on our asses. That heavy goth metal feeling without being goth metal as we know it today. Musically they might be a step away from Paradise Lost’s harsher approach. Musically this is more metal than I expected. Much heavier than I expected. Not that I complain. I like this approach. There is a feeling of despair and dystopia to this that appeals to me. Music for the oncoming Armageddon perhaps? What I know is that this is one hell of a metal album. Anders Ekdahl

DANTALION “Return To Deep Lethargy”

“Return To Deep Lethargy”
Spanish black metal. Anybody? When I heard DANTALION’s previous record I was pretty impressed with their black metal. OK, it might be hard to be totally original but given the tools that they were they did a pretty damn good job with it. I hope that they’ve continued building on that with this new record. There is an epicness to DANTALION’s black metal that makes me at times think of Norwegian Hades Almighty. And seeing as I’m a huge Hades Almighty fan just a hint in that direction is enough to turn me round to DANTALION. That they then also add to it in terms of great songs is just enough to make me think that this is could be one of the great black metal albums of 2013. Anders Ekdahl

DIEVERSITY “Last Day: Tomorrow”

“Last Day: Tomorrow”
O’boy! Somebody has thought really hard to come up with this band name. And no, I’m not being sarcastic. With a name that cool this better be some really great metal otherwise all the thought that went into the band name will be lost. There is a slight melodeath feel to this. I had kinda expected this to be more along the lines of Pink Cream 69 or bands that are way more traditional heavy metal. But this turned out so much heavier and with so much bite that I would like to place this alongside Soilwork and Sonic Syndicate. Don’t know what the scene is like for this kind of metal today but there is always room for good metal and good is what “Last Day: Toworrow” is. Anders Ekdahl


“Feeding The Jinx”
(Violent Journey)
It might come as a surprise to some but I like boogie, especially southern boogie played by bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, 38 Special or Molly Hatchet. So when a Finnish band with the word boogie in their name appears in my mail box I expect the best from it. Perhaps we don’t have the same idea what boogie is all about because this made me think of a Impaled Nazarene drunk on Motorhead playing punk. There is a raw and basic feel to the music that is as far away from southern boogie as you can come. This makes me think of bands like Gang Green, Wehrmacht and the likes that ruled the drunken thrash scene back in the 80s. Don’t know if I’ve ever found this kind of metal fun? I’ve never been a fan of humour in music. In small doses this rocks my world. Anders Ekdahl

GRÁ “Necrology Of The Witch”

“Necrology Of The Witch”
Grá was being hailed as the great saviour of black metal when they released their previous album. Oh I see, you’ve heard it before. I guess it all comes down to what you expect from a band. I will admit though that the album I reviewed a while back wasn’t too shabby a piece of black metal. Hopefully this new record will continue down that path. I have no idea if this is the record that will save black metal but I like what I hear. I get the feeling that this band is painting with the broad brush. Instead of limiting themselves to just one small canvas GRÁ paints with broad strokes making this a versatile black metal record. But seeing as I like both Deathspell Omega and Funeral Mist endeavours into territories that aren’t that well trodden I have no problem liking the off the beaten path black metal that GRÁ presents. Anders Ekdahl


“Back To The Zone”
Don’t know who Hayley is and what her royal whores are up to but I sure am looking forward to hearing this, for no other reasons than to check it out once. I have no expectation whatsoever on this one. It could end up being everything from album of the year to a total waste of space. Only time will tell. Having heard it I find it hard that this will end up on my year’s best list. I get a (strange) 80s new wave feel when I listen to this. Like a metal version of Spandau Ballet or Duran Duran. I also get a Cedar Street Slut-feel that this isn’t really for real but a very elaborate joke. But most of all I can’t let go of the feeling that this is a new wave version of metal. But in all my hesitation I find myself nodding my head in agreement. There is a charm to this that is hard to resist. Anders Ekdahl

I LIED “World Insane”

“World Insane”
(Violent Journey)
I’m not much for lying. My motto is that it is better to tell than being told upon. Hopefully this band hasn’t lied about their music so that I will be blown away by a massive metal album. But as long as the band is true to its ideal who am I to complain? This is a full on thrash blast. No need lying about that. There is something very liberating about being blown away by a thrash attack not heard of in a very long time. I LIED brings to mind what it feels like to be in front of the speakers when they are turned up to 11. This is like a Demonic-Testament in full anger mode. So much harsher and so much more lethal but still with a The Haunted sensibility. Throw in some At The Gates too and you get a pretty good idea of where to find this on the metal scale. Anders Ekdahl