THE LAST WARNING “Progression”

This lot might be onto their fourth album but I have not heard of them before. Don’t know why but that is the fact of the day. But better late than never as they say. This lot is an Austrian death metal band. I don’t really think it matters where you come from anymore to be a great metal band. With the easy access that the internet provides you are not as isolated as we used to be when we had to send snail mail to get to hear the latest/coolest bands. THE LAST WARNING’s death metal is of the more melodic sort. Still with an edge, so no melodeath but with enough melodies to make it a not so hard death metal album. I have nothing against melodies in my death metal. Some of my greatest death metal experiences have had enough melodies in them to sing along to. This is death metal that is easy to follow. You don’t have to put on your thinking cap just to get through the intro. This is the tap your foot kind of death metal that makes you happy. Anders Ekdahl

NEBELKRÄHE “Lebensweisen”

I have no idea of the meaning behind this band’s name but I like the way it sounds. There is a rawness to it that tells me that this is going to be black metal. You can feel it just by saying the band’s name. What kind of black metal time will tell but black metal it will be most certainly. I liked Deathspell Omega from the moment I heard them. I even like their earlier stuff too. That to me is progressive. I don’t know if I’d describe NEBELKRÄHE’s black metal as progressive. To my ears this sounds like pretty much like most black metal I come upon. OK, I’ll give it that it do twist and turn a bit more than your Darkthrone or Burzum does but to call that progressive… well I guess that that could be progressive. This German lot has a sound to their black metal that I like. There is a rawness to it that cuts like a knife in my ears. I can feel how the blood sips down my neck from listening to this album. And that is the kind of black metal that I prefer the best. Anders Ekdahl

NO MAN EYES “Hollow Man”

“Hollow Man”
Another band with a band name that makes absolutely no sense to me. But I’m not here to judge the bands based on their names. I am here to listen to the music. And as long as the music is good I don’t really care too much about the name. Being described as heavy metal I had high hopes on this album. Right now I feel like a really cool heavy metal album would do my day. This wasn’t perhaps what I was looking for but it will have to do as it isn’t that shabby of an album. There is something to this album that makes me sit up and take notice. It is no classic Saxon or Iron Maiden or Judas Priest but I had not expected it to be that either. There is even a sort of thrash edge to this album. So if you could imagine an album somewhere in between the classic metal of the 80s mixed with a sort of Megadeth thrash vibe you might get an idea of where this album lands. This turned out to be just the fix that I didn’t know that I needed. Anders Ekdahl

NORDAFROST “Dominus Frigoris”

“Dominus Frigoris”
I have no idea what winter is like in Germany. I can imagine that it means a lot of rain and gray skies but very little snow unless you go up the mountains. Which is why I can understand why so many German bands seem to have a fascination for the winter landscapes of Scandinavia. This is a rerelease of NORDAFROST’s first demo. Not being familiar with them previously I have no idea how they have progressed over the years but what I hear on this CD I like. There is a charm to their early black/death metal that still holds up today. What you get is basically a very primitive and down to earth kind of metal. With this material being old we can’t really talk about it being retro but if you like bands like Nifelheim and the likes then this will be for you (if you already have the demo there are unreleased bonus tracks on this CD that might entice you). I’m glad that this band came my way. Anders Ekdahl

OVERTURES “Entering The Maze”

“Entering The Maze”
(Sleaszy Rider)
In the last couple of months I’ve come upon more Italian bands than I ever thought existed. So if you think that the Italian metal scene starts and ends with Rhapsody in all its incarnations you so wrong that it isn’t even on the map. There are literally hundreds of Italian metal bands that deserves to be noticed. Starting with OVERTURES. This is progressive metal like we’ve heard by so many bands before OVERTURES. But that doesn’t make this album less interesting. If you like your metal progressive you might as well give this a chance. Who knows? This might turn out to be your favourite album of 2013. What I like about progressive metal is that it doesn’t care if it is thought of as pretentious. I can appreciate that don’t give a fuck kind of thinking. Too many of us are too tied up with what others might think about us. I really couldn’t give a fuck what people think about me. And that is what I get from listening to “Entering The Maze”. This is an album made for and by the band. Anders Ekdahl

PSY CODE “Cause And Neglect”

“Cause And Neglect”
With a name like PSY CODE I kinda expect this to some sort of djent kind of band. Some sort of math tech metal band that challenges your every senses and requires your very attention just to sit through one song, let alone a full length album. But I could also be very wrong. It’s just a feeling I got from seeing their name. And I wasn’t too off. This is the kind of metal that if you aren’t careful will give you a massive headache. You gotta be ready for this with every sense of your body or it will just pass you by like a fart in the wind. This is the kind of metal that I have a hard time sitting through a full album of. I need to cut it up in smaller pieces to fully digest it. This to me is the kind of chest beating that I’m no great fan of. But that does not mean that I don’t appreciate the effort that has been put into making this album. It is just that this is too much for my brain to take in in full. Once cut up into smaller pieces I can enjoy it. Anders Ekdahl

SEAGALL “Hidden Ego”

“Hidden Ego”
I am not very good at listening to instrumental albums. I have no greater knowledge of guitar playing and can therefore not judge the technical skill. But then again that is not why I listen to metal. I could care less about technical proficiency. I care more for the songs and the vibe they send out. And this is the kind of guitar album that I like. Where the songs are more important than how fast you can move your fingers up and down the neck of the guitar. Which is why I like Joe Satriani more than I like Steve Vai, even though I have a soft spot for Yngwie Malmsteen. This is the kind of album that doesn’t give you a guilty conscious because you suck at playing the guitar. Instead you can enjoy this the way you enjoy a Bach or Beethoven record. SEAGALL impressed me enough to wanting to listen to this album more than once. Anders Ekdahl


(Target Records)
SHOTGUN REVOLUTION sounds like the title of a really cool movie in the Tarantino vein. Not so much a metal band. But as that is what we have to work with here we have to settle for this being an album by a band that is more rock’n’roll than metal in spirit. I have no problems with bands sounding like Guns’n’Roses or Buckcherry. I kinda like the bluesier end of things too. When I listen to this I come to think of Swedish acts like Backyard Babies and Hardcore Superstars and perhaps some of the more sleazier bands too. This is the kind of feel good hardrock that these bands play and that I really didn’t care for in the 80s and still don’t pay too much attention to. But every once in a while along comes an album like this and almost every time I end up liking what I hear. This time is no exception. I like this album. Anders Ekdahl

SLEEPERS AWAKE “Transcension”

I must admit that when I listen to an Opeth album I often find myself wondering where one song ends and the other begins. To me an Opeth album is like one long song. So whenever I see a band being compared to Opeth I kinda expect long sweeping songs that has no beginning and no end. There is a sweeping feeling to this album that makes it a close cousin to any Opeth albums. I got a soft spot for metal albums like this. I like to be taken on a journey of my mind when I listen to music. Be it a violent journey or a more somber I enjoy the ride nevertheless. And with SLEEPERS AWAKE it is a soft journey to the regions of my mind that is like cottoned candy. This is soft and fluffy without it ever being weak in any way. So if you like your metal on the more dreamy side of things this will be the album for you. Call it shoegazing metal if you like. Whatever you call it you’ll end up on a marvelous ride. Anders Ekdahl

SUNCROWN “Follow Your Dream”

“Follow Your Dream”
SUNCROWN is an international project with members from almost all continents of the earth. With modern technology you don’t have to be in the same place anymore to record an album. You just send files across the globe and then assemble it into a song. With no effect on the quality of the songs at all. And quality this is. I gotta admit that I have no idea who the players are. I have never heard of them before and if I have I have forgotten all about them. But when I hear this album I’m convinced that they are very capable at what they do. This is metal of the more symphonic/epic variety. If you like bands like Within Temptation or Epica or even Edenbridge you will most certainly like this too seeing as it is in that same vein. So for all those of us that love our metal a bit OTT we now got a new band to keep our eyes and ears on. Anders Ekdahl