THE AMENTA “Flesh Is Heir”

THE AMENTA
“Flesh Is Heir”
(Listenable)
I know that I reviewed an EP by this band earlier but to be honest I don’t remember too much about it other than I sorta liked it. I hope this new album will do the same to me as that EP did, or better. I’m not averse to this being a high light of 2013. Apart from hearing that EP I have very little knowledge of THE AMENTA. But from what I hear I can make this out as a death metal band. I get a Vader vibe in the attack of this album’s opening track. It takes me back to a time when death metal was simpler to understand. But that didn’t last too long. This to me is like mixing prog with Devin Townsend with Vader with Morbid Angel with anything else that goes. You might think it is one thing to begin with but at the end you sit with a whole different bag of references. Despite it messing with my head I have to admit to liking this. Anders Ekdahl

THE BLACK RAIN “Night Tales”

THE BLACK RAIN
“Night Tales”
(Street Symphonies Records)
Italian rock music is not my strongest bit. I know that there is a rock scene (?) going on in Italy but to be honest I feel that that’s more of an internal Italian thing. Not much of it ever gets out to us on the outside. Despite being a diehard metalhead I have my moments when I listen to stuff that at best could be described as borderline hardrock. I can appreciate bands like Radiohead or Franz Ferdinand. But this isn’t even remotely close to those bands. This is so much more bluesy and rootsy. I’ve never been a big ZZ Top fan. I do like some blues but I’ve never really gotten into that whole bluesy hardrock even if I’ve tried with The Black Crows and the likes. Maybe I should give it a real go seeing as I’m kinda feeling blue most of the time anyway. I do like The Black Rain though. Anders Ekdahl

CREMATION “Rise Of The Phoenix”

CREMATION
“Rise Of The Phoenix”
(-)
With a name that at a quick glance could be mistaken for Crematory CREAMTION don’t have it easy. Or do they? The Crematory that pops up first is the German one that has been around for ages now. But I can think of a Swedish one with called Crematory that CREMATION might be closer to in sound. This is Swiss death metal I’m told. If there is such a thing as Swiss death metal that is. Sound wise this lot has more in common with American bands of the more extreme death metal variety. If you like your death metal heavy and a bit on the tricky side then this will appeal to you. You’ll find no fancy melody lines or clean singing on this. This is pure death through and through. So if you don’t like Swiss chocolate or clocks you might like Swiss death metal the CREMATION way. Anders Ekdahl

ECLIPSE PROPHECY “Day Of Judgement”

ECLIPSE PROPHECY
“Day Of Judgement”
(Maple Metal)
ECLIPSE PROPHECY sounds by name alone as a power metal band. I really hope that the reality matches my expectations because I really would like to hear some cool power metal right about now. I have nothing against death or black metal but there is just so much you can take before you need something to clean out the ears with. And this is will do just fine as an ear cleanser. Sure, this turned out as power metal as I wanted. Think a combo of old Helloween (Kai Hansen era) mixed with early Rhapsody and you’ll get a picture of where this is heading. Since I’m a huge early Helloween fan and like old Rhapsody this comes as a welcomed reminder of how great these bands are. It is nice to hear some melodies for a change. Anders Ekdahl

EPICRENEL “The Crystal Throne”

EPICRENEL
“The Chrystal Throne”
(Inverse)
EPICRENEL are totally new to me. I’m really looking forward to make their acquaintance. I love discovering new bands. It’s like Christmas all over again. There is something to opening packages that you know absolutely nothing about. You can be super surprised or mega disappointed. I can’t shake the feeling that this is following in the footsteps of bands like Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius. You know power metal that is a bit on the symphonic side. The one with bigger than life melodies and high pitched vocals. There is a nerve in me that get activated when I hear a really cool melody. That might explain why I have a sweet tooth for any band that plays melodic metal. I think that comes from growing up on pure heavy metal. EPICRENEL might have an odd name but musically this is all so easy to understand and like. Anders Ekdahl

EPITOME OF FRAIL “Society”

EPITOME OF FRAIL
“Society”
(Gunn Records)
I love German death metal the way I love Swedish or American or any other kind of death metal. I simply love the harder stuff period. I love all kinds of death metal, be it extreme, melodic or in between. I love it all. So to discover new death metal bands is like me being in paradise. But this doesn’t sound like any German death metal band that I’ve heard. Instead I get a slight British feel to this. I get bands like Decadence Within and the more hardcorish ones flying round in my head even though I know for a fact that this is death metal that we deal with. But I can’t shake that hardcore feel/vibe when I listen to this album. And I like it. I like it a lot. Don’t know if it’s because if the shitty computer speakers or what but I like the raw sound this band got going. Anders Ekdahl

MACABRE DEMISE “Stench Of Death”

MACABRE DEMISE
“Stench Of Death”
(RTM)
This one has been out a while now but it still deserves to be promoted. I really don’t understand people hat take offense to stuff that are of the grouser kind because as with horror movies it is just make believe. People that hate Cannibal Corpse because of their lyrics should get their heads out of their asses and look at the real world instead. I’ll admit that the first time I heard Cannibal Corpse I wasn’t too impressed. It wasn’t like anything I’d heard before. Now 20 odd years later that style of death metal is still around and being played by numerous of bands. Like MACABRE DEMISE. What I like about this album is that it keeps it simple. No heading out into tech country. Just plain to the point death metal. The kind that goes for your throat rather than your brain. I like it. Anders Ekdahl

PAGANLAND “Wind Of Freedom”

PAGANLAND
“Wind Of Freedom”
(Svarga)
Can this be anything but pagan metal? Not with a name like that , no way. Bit by bit, band by band I discover more about the Ukraine metal scene. The stuff that I’ve heard so far has almost all been really cool. I have no doubts that this too will be of the cooler kind. I like that epic feel most pagan/folk/heathen metal bands have. It’s like opera to my ears. Maybe I’m a closet opera head? This is metal for the wide open plains. This is metal for the wanderer among us. This is metal for the free thinkers. I like the fact that this is metal that doesn’t complicate things. You don’t need a doctor’s degree to understand where this is coming from and where it is going. You just need to open your mind and let it sweep you away. Anders Ekdahl

JAY PARMAR “Circle Of Fire”

JAY PARMAR
“Circle Of Fire”
()
I don’t think that I’ve heard anything that JAY PARMAR been involved with before this record. I can’t be too sure because the days when I memorized all band members’ names are long gone. Nowadays I’ll be so lucky if I can remember the band and album names. Memorizing member’s names takes up too much space in my brain. Not knowing what to expect from this I was happily surprised when I noticed that this wasn’t another guitar album but a real heavy metal album. Not that I have anything against guitar albums, I just have a hard time rating the guitar playing. This is so much easier to rate. I get a Riot/Virgin Steele kind of feeling listening to this. It is typical American in it being borderline heavy metal/hardrock the way that American bands do so well. There is something to this that is hard to resist. You might not like bands like Toto or Journey but when you hear an album like this you just want to check out the lighter side of the hardrock tree as well as pulling out your Judas or Iron or Saxon albums. Anders Ekdahl

PHIDION “Flesh Of The Forsaken”

PHIDION
“Flesh Of The Forsaken”
(-)
PHIDION is to me another new Swedish band. I gotta start keeping a closer ear to the underground to pick up all the chatter that is going on. It’s so bloody hard to keep up with all new bands that keep popping up all over the world, let alone the Swedish ones and still keep track of all the old ones that keep releasing records. That the first notes made me thing Morbid Angel is no bad start. That it as it progressed turned into more of a thrash-like sound wasn’t that bad either. This is to my ears death metal on the heavier side. Morbid Angel (when they were great) is not such a bad reference really. This is sure as heavy as Morbid Angel used to be early on. But on the whole this is some pretty cool death metal with a thrash touch. If you like your metal heavy you should check this one out. Anders Ekdahl