EXARSIS “The Brutal State”

EXARSIS
“The Brutal State”
(MDD)
There is something special about the art work of the old LPs. Not only is it larger and easier to look at but there also seem to be a more artistic approach to it. Like it is a canvas and not a cover. Which is why I like the old thrash metal covers of the 80s. Lately I’ve noticed that with the new wave of thrash that sweeps over us the really cool covers have made a comeback. And I like that fact. This Greek band is more thrash metal along the lines of Vio-Lence and Holy Terror with an aggressive edge. If I haven’t said it before I’ll say it now. I like the second wave or, perhaps it was the third wave of thrash that that came after the Big Four. It wasn’t as melodic and more to the point. This is the stuff that still works today without any warning sirens going off about this being a trip down memory lane. This is timeless stuff. Anders Ekdahl

GRIMNOTE “Screaming Underground”

GRIMNOTE
“Screaming Underground”
(Ghostlabel)
I have no problem with any sort of music (with the exception of white pride bullshit and stuff like that). I like all kinds of hardrock and metal as well as anything else that I find good. Which is why I like most things that I get to hear. It is just a matter of where on the good scale they end up. GRIMNOTE doesn’t say much to me as this is my first encounter with them. But musically this is hardrock in at the bluesier end of the spectra. I get a very distinct American feel about this Italian band. You can imagine the wide open roads when you listen to this. I listen to everything when I drive to work but this I could see working on a longer drive. This is music that makes you want to drive with a passion. And that is good enough for me to give it two thumps up. Anders Ekdahl

IBRIDOMA “Night Club”

IBRIDOMA
“Night Club”
(SG Records)
To be honest with you this is another one that I have no idea what to expect from. This could very well end up among my new faves or just as well fall back into obscurity. But that is what’s great about this. You get to discover new acts that you never would have otherwise. I don’t know if it is because I get sent digital files to be played on my computer that I’ve lately mistaken a male vocalist for female. With a vocal range in the Rob Halford school you’d kind of expect this to be some sort of Judas Priest heavy metal extravaganza but this is in fact much more restrained and at times makes me think of American bands with too much hairspray and with a pair of too tight spandex. I didn’t think I’d like this as much as I ended up doing. There is something to this that is infectious. Anders Ekdahl

ICONS OF BRUTALITY “Between Glory And Despair”

ICONS OF BRUTALITY
“Between Glory And Despair”
(Cyclone Empire)
It’s no secret that I don’t get trends and fads. I have no idea what’s new today and I really don’t care. All I’m concerned with is if I like what I hear. I couldn’t care less if it is the latest hip album I’m listening to. Hence my lacking knowledge of new metalcore or why I never ever cared for emocore. ICONS OF BRUTALITY will never ever be accused of being trendy. This is death metal the way death metal was meant to be played; fast and brutal. That they are Dutch just adds to this being really cool death metal. I think I’ve only come upon one really bad Dutch band in my 31 years of being a metalhead. There is an Asphyx gone (more) brutal feel about this album in a way that I find it really hard to resist this album. That I can hear more common denominators in their sound just adds to the feel that this is really cool. Anders Ekdahl

ISOLATED “Demonical Conspiracy”

ISOLATED
“Demonical Conspiracy”
(Blackcrowned)
In the 80s I made a great discovery. I found out that Mexico had a great metal scene but few got outside of the country got to hear. Over the years I’ve come upon some really cool Mexican acts that I still to this day treasure. The sound is raw to the point of being crude in a way that I like. It is a welcomed break from all the clean and so very correct sounds that we get to hear from most death metal albums these days. There is a blackish feel to this that also adds to the feel of this being some cool stuff being played by this band. I wasn’t familiar with ISOLATED before (at least I don’t think so) I got to hear this album but now that I have I’m very pleased having made their acquaintance. More of this stuff and I’ll be a happy dude for the rest of this winter. Anders Ekdahl

KING CROW “In Crescendo”

KING CROW
“In Crescendo”
(Sensory)
I don’t think that I’m that familiar with too many acts on the Sensory label. I do know that they deal in prog rock/metal and that I should expect to be intrigued by their releases but apart from that I have no bloody idea what to expect from KING CROW. I am not late in admitting that there is a charm to a band that has a bigger than life sound. I like being swept away on a voyage to a land that I don’t get to visit too often. I didn’t expect this to be a symphonic cavalcade like the Italian symphonic metal but to my surprise this was even more restrained than I expected for being prog. But there was nothing that prepared me for this. I expected at best a band in the lines of Fates Warning but got a band more in sync with Opeth. Not that I complain. I like every aspect of Opeth’s metal and when a band like KING CROW takes the more prog aspects and make it their own I’m game for it. Anders Ekdahl

KIRKEBRANN “Når Alt Dör”

KIRKEBRANN
“Når Alt Dör”
(Blackcrowned)
Norwegian black metal might not have the same attraction today as it did in the 90s but still 20 year on we get to discover new acts playing what is basically classic Norwegian black metal. And since I like that style of bm I have no problem with new acts popping up. KIRKEBRANN might have a name that reminds you of the Norwegian black metal scene of the 90s and the criminal acts that were carried out by certain individuals (that should remain unmentioned) and they might play black metal that is purely based in that decade but this is also very 2013. Great music is timeless and it doesn’t matter in what era it is played it is still great. And this, while not being original in any way, is simply great Norwegian black metal. If you like your black metal to be crude and basic yet emotional and full of feelings then you’ll enjoy this tremendously. This is the pure sound of Norway. Anders Ekdahl

MOONLIGHT “Lucifer’s Rising”

MOONLIGHT
“Lucifer’s Rising”
(Blackcrowned)
MOONLIGHT sounds to me more like a goth metal band than anything else. I have a hard time connecting the name with extreme death metal or black metal. But apparently it isn’t impossible to play the harder kind of metal and still be called MOONLIGHT. It is so frustrating to know what a band’s sound reminds you of and not being able to put words to it. I know exactly what MOONLIGHT reminds me of but I just can’t get it off the tip of my tongue. In parts is does remind me of Dawn but that is not the whole truth. The closest I can come is to compare them to a cross between said Dawn and Satyricon but that only goes to describe the sound half way. No matter what it reminds me of this is some pretty cool black metal in the harder school. Not so much tall furs and snow clad mountains as dark cemetaries and murky graves. Anders Ekdahl

MY SOLILOQUY “The Interpreter”

MY SOLILOQUY
“The Interpreter”
(Sensory)
For some strange reason I get a feeling that I’ve heard of this band even before I’ve heard anything by them. I must have read about them somewhere. Don’t know where though. But judging from my memory this promises to be some really good prog metal. Not being a musician my biggest issue with this kind of metal is that I don’t know where they are coming from and where they are heading. All I can do is listen for the emotions in the music and act from that alone. And I like the feel that there is in the music. I like it when the music allows for the instruments to work and not being drowned in a lot of vocals. I like it when the music take me on a journey to places that I’ve never been to. And I feel that “The Interpreter” does just that; take me to places that I haven’t visited before. Anders Ekdahl

NECROT “Into The Labyrinth”

NECROT
“Into The Labyrinth”
(Blood Divine)
I remember liking NECROT’s previous release. I hope I still do so after having heard this one because I remember them to be some really cool Swedeath influenced metal. And seeing that I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff I really hope that this will give me my fix this week. And this is just as good as I remembered them to be last time around. This is death metal for those of us who like and can’t get enough of Autopsy and Nihilist. If you like your death metal dark and murky with a sound right out of a new and fresh grave then this is the stuff for you. I know it is for me. No matter how many acts come my way I can’t get enough of this sound. This is deeply embedded in my genes by now. Anders Ekdahl