MASCOT PARADE “Cause And Effect”

“Cause And Effect”
The things I’ve seen written about this Swedish band has them raised to the sky. I wonder if I’ll feel the same when I’ve heard this album. I really need to be whizzed off to a marvelous place after the bloody long winter we’ve had this season. To be honest I had kinda expected this to be more of a light v/s dark album, more of a soft and hard album but this turned out much more metal than I had expected. Sure I can imagine parts of it being Tool-like but I had my heart set on more of an Opeth kind of record, more of a progressive hardrock/metal record. And while there are the nuances of soft turning hard this made me think of a more metal version of Cult Of Luna. But I can see the greatness of this. Slowly but surely the band draws me into their universe with no intention of letting me out again. Anders Ekdahl

NOX ILLUNIS “Metempsychosis”

( WAR Productions)
I’m at a loss when it comes to Latin. Which is why I have no idea what this band’s name mean. Not that it really matters. All I really care about is if the music is any good. There used to be a Swedish band by the name of Satan’s Penguins that had the most terrible name but whose music wasn’t too bad. One of my greatest Italian black metal experiences was when I came upon a band by the name of Handful Of Hate back in the 90s. I was mightily impressed buy them, so much that I’ve based all my Italian black metal references since then on their music. NOX ILLUNIS are black metal in the school of bands like Lord Belial, Marduk and Dark Funeral. The more for the throat kind of black metal. I wouldn’t say that I like this style better but there is a charm to being attacked sonically by this kind of black metal that is hard to resist. Anders Ekdahl

RAWAGE “Triumph Of Sin”

“Triumph Of Sin”
(Violent Journey)
This gotta be good with a name like RAWAGE. A combination of raw and ravage can’t fail, can it? Other than the band name I know very little about this band. But I’m sure as hell is going to find out as much as I can about them starting with their record. I can’t help being impressed by how many bands there are in Finland. I thought I knew of all but I’ve been proven so wrong time after time that I’ll stop thinking I have any clue whatsoever. RAWAGE could play thrash and nothing else with a name like that. This is thrash in the harsher, harder school. The Devastation/Sadus kind of thrash turned up to 11. The for the throat kind of thrash that is as far away from Testament and Anthrax that you can come. This is thrash for those that like the early sound of a band like Kreator. Anders Ekdahl


“By Your Side”
(Street Symphonies)
I really like hardrock. Grew up on it and can’t seem to let g of it. Have a weak spot for the most sugary of hardrock melodies you could ever imagine. Don’t know if that comes from growing up in the land of ABBA. Seeing as this is my first encounter with the band this record is the perfect start as it contains 3 remixed songs, 3 new songs and a KISS cover. This way I get to know of where the band comes from and where they are going all at once. This is up tempo hardrock with a “happy” feel to it. I like music that is sad but I also like music that outs a smile on my face. You can’t go around feeling grumpy all day. SANGE MAIN MACHINE puts a smile on my face. Anders Ekdahl

SAVIOR FROM ANGER “Age Of Decadence”

“Age Of Decacdence”
You can argue that we live in the age of decadence with all the wealth we dispense of while other parts of the world suffer to just survive. You could argue that we are our own downfall. But what a journey it is towards true devastation of planet earth (or is it?). This blew me away. It started with a raw guitar sound making me thing that this was going to be really old school but it turned out to be way more melodic than I ever could have imagined. This is some really cool thrash metal. Unfortunately I have no idea what this band has been up to before as I only got sent the tracks and no additional info. But this is so good that I can be without any additional info. The music alone is enough. Anders Ekdahl

SAWHILL SACRIFICE “Deus Humana Satanas”

“Deus Humana Satanas”
(Violent Journey)
I like horror movies. When I recently sorted out my DVD collection I noticed that I was more of a horror movie buff than I thought. Don’t know what it is about horror movies that interest me but a really good scare is never wrong. This is horrifying in a whole different league. This is the darkness that you want to avoid at all cost if you want to save your soul. SAWHILL SACRIFICE is black metal in a very raw and basic way. It kinda reminds me of hearing Blasphemy for the very first time. Or perhaps Beherit. This is the kind of black metal that only has one objective; to destroy your soul and bring you down into hell. Anders Ekdahl

SPASMODIC “Mondo illustrated”

“Mondo Illustrated”
This Swedish death/thrash metal band has been in my conscious for some time now but I have for various reasons never checked them out. But that is about to be rectified with this their debut album. My main concern I think has been the band name. I’ve thought them to be too much of a joke band before based on the name SPASMODIC but I’ve recently come to understand that I was wrong. Don’t know why I have neglected to check out SPASMODIC before now because this is nowhere near the joke I feared it to be. This is some pretty cool death/thrash metal. There is an energy to this that puts a smile on my lips. I also get a grindcore feel when I listen to this. All in all this was way better than I ever could have imagined. Anders Ekdahl


(logic(il)logic Records)
I don’t know why but for some reasons I get the impression that this band could be a really cool prog metal band just from the band name and looking at the cover. But if they aren’t I won’t be too disappointed. You never should judge the album by its cover. This might not be too much prog even though Evergrey’s vocalist appears on one track. Instead this is more of a heavy metal album. I get an American feel to this in the way it is heavy. Kinda like a softer Benedictum mixed with a west coast feel. This wasn’t too bad after all. I like the sound the band has created. It is easy like a Sunday morning. And even though everything about this album, from art work to title screamed prog it still turned out alright a heavy metal album in the end. Anders Ekdahl

D-A-D – “Dic.nii.lan.daft.erd.ark”

D-A-D – “Dic.nii.lan.daft.erd.ark” Deluxe Edition (AFM Records)

Known as the Kings Of Danish Rock, D-A-D have been rockin since the 80s, when they were a cowpunk band known as Disneyland After Dark – that is, until Disney Corp threatened legal action! Since then they’ve grown mainly in their homeland although they are known in Europe. Essentially a pure rock band, their history has also seen elements of glam, indie and punk also feature in their material but in the main it’s throaty rock vocals, power rhythms and rock out melodies that allows these guys to hold their own at flagship festivals ranging from Roskilde to Wacken. I guess the bottom line is that despite being old rockers D-A-D’s music is timeless in its appeal to generation after generation by sticking to the true elements that make rock music what it is, and in many ways they set the blueprint for today’s Scandinavian rockers like Backyard Babies and Hardcore Superstar. This monster deluxe package is a re-issue of their 2011 album “Dic.nii.lan.daft.erd.ark” with songs like ‘Breaking Them Heart By Heart’, plus 5 acoustic versions including ‘Last Time In Neverland’ and no less than 11 live tracks culminating in ‘The Place Of The Heart’. It’s rock to shake the rafters, mellow hearts and still be cheeky to Mickey lol

Hypocrisy – “End Of Disclosure”

Hypocrisy – “End Of Disclosure” (Nuclear Blast)

lol these guys must be Nuclear Blast’s longest signing band as I swear they formed pretty much at the same time over 23 years ago! Although Swedish, Hypocrisy embody a number of different elements from US death metal to melodic death to heavy metal. “End Of Disclosure” is no exception and takes us right back to the band’s early beginnings with main man Peter Tägtgren’s screech mixed with guttural vocals, whirring riffs and masterfully propelled by Immortal’s Horgh on the nuclear drums (no pun intended). Despite all this, the real power of songs like ‘Hell Is Where I Stay’, ‘When Death Falls’ and ‘The Return’ actually lies in the melodies that only make the material catchy but adds real substance and atmosphere to it. Additionally the production is amazing, which isn’t surprising given Tägtgren’s reputation as a producer in his own right, but he’s gone for a simple-is-effective style this time by minimizing the keyboards and instead concentrating on each riff to be heard with a no interference guitar sound – it works a treat in my opinion allowing the music to be appreciated while not taking anything away from the band’s obvious power. “End Of Disclosure” continues Hypocrisy’s tradition in fine style while reflecting a band comfortable in their maturity.