(Xtreem Music)
Hands up all those of you who hasn’t seen the movie “Cannibal Holocaust”. Oh so many. Shame on you for calling yourself death metal fans. Released in the 80s this movie was a part of what could be called a cannibal wave. Known for its explicable nature it kinda pales in comparison with movies of today like SAW. But back in the 80s this was some of the most extreme you could find on VHS (yeah it’s that old). I kinda hope Portuguese Holocausto Canibal are equally extreme. It didn’t start too promising but boy did it improve. Already by track two it had me in its grip. This is death metal that has nothing with either Gothenburg or Florida to do. This is more like New York in the 90s. This is heavy and fast stuff that only brings joy to those of us with an affinity towards the good old times. Anders Ekdahl

INTESTINAL “The Rottening”

“The Rottening”
(Hellthrasher Records)
I’ve been reading about Sweden’s Intestinal. Now I’ll get to hear them too. I have kinda high hopes for this one. Not only because they are Swedish but because I’ve only heard good things about them. I need to hear for myself if they are as good as they are said to be. OK so I’m a sucker for the good old Nihilist, Unleashed, Grave and Entombed sound of the late 80s/early 90s. I can’t help myself when I get a new record that sounds just like that period. And before you say nostalgic old fool you should give this a listen. Tell me if this isn’t the greatest death metal you’ve ever heard. This is heavy and it feels like you are stuck in quick sand up to your ears. It is like having a bad ear infection turned good. It just cuts through all the crap that stands in its way. Don’t know if I make any sense. If not check this out for yourself and you’ll understand. Anders Ekdahl

KRAANIUM “Post Mortal Coital Fixation”

“Post Mortal Coital Fixation”
I don’t get this whole sex and gore thing that seems to be going on with the gorier end of death metal. Not that I’m squeamish or anything but I just don’t get the fixation/fascination. I can enjoy it both in movies and on record. And a good thing that is. Otherwise I would have missed out on Cannibal Corpse when they emerged back in the 90s. Kraanium could be described as a band torn from the book of CC. this is death metal in that school. Heavy and with guttural vocals that try to beat you into a pulp. If you like your death metal full of blast beats then this is the stuff for you. Perhaps not quite up to the standard set by CC but never the less quite enjoyable if you ache for that kind of stuff. Anders Ekdahl

NEVER TO ARISE “Hacked To Perfection”

“Hacked To Perfection”
(BadGod Records)
Never To Arise almost pulverized me with their opening track. Good thing I took cover otherwise I would have been a blood piece of meat by now. This comes up as heavy and menacing in a way that only great death metal does. Perhaps not the most brutal or heavy of death metal acts but Never To Arise still manages to conjure up enough “evil eye” kind of feelings to their metal to make it interesting. What struck me was that this could be a cross between Cannibal Corpse and Death had they met in a dark back alley one night. The brutality of CC and the tender, technical solos of Death melted together into one big gory mess. The more I listen to this the more I kinda get that feeling validated. This is some pretty cool death metal. Anders Ekdahl


There are times when I just want to sit back and relax, enjoying a really great record. This is not one of those moments. There is nothing relaxing to Outgunned full on metal(core) attack. I’m slowly getting used to this new form of metalcore (yeah I know I’m years off) and I’m getting to the point where it doesn’t annoy the shit out of me. I still have a hard time with the tougher than tough shouty vocal approach and the break downs that seem to be common for this type of music but as with hardcore I got round to liking it. Outgunned are no worse than any other act I’ve heard lately. There is a somber element to the chaos even though you have to listen hard to detect it. In my more hardcore moments I’d put this on and just pogo away like a maniac. Anders Ekdahl

SEXCREMENT “Sloppy Seconds”

“Sloppy Seconds”
With a name like Sexcrement you don’t expect lovely songs about the birds and the bees. Neither do you expect the band to sing about how lovely their girlfriends are, unless they are dead and lying on the autopsy table. I am not a connoisseur of this kind of metal but as with all that is done well I can enjoy it. Call m e a feminist or call me PC or call me whatever you like but I do not find anything funny in lyrics that deal with misogyny. Maybe I am too Swedish, too sensitive but I don’t see the fun with bands like Fornicator or Anal Cunt. Sexcrement could have been the greatest musical institution since sliced bread and I wouldn’t find titles like “Heard If Through the Rape Vine” any funnier. Not being able to read the lyrics maybe makes me a tad too sensitive. Not that they are the greatest in any way. This is pretty much middle of the road death/thrash. No worse but at the same time not any better than a ton of other bands, and that is just based on the music. I would have liked for this to have rocked my world musically just so that they wouldn’t fall under any other chair with the risk of being forgotten or marginalized. Anders Ekdahl

SKYHARBOR “Blinding White Noise”

“Blinding White Noise”
I’m not going to say that I’m surprised to see an Indian band ending up in my review pile. Why would I be surprised? With a billion people some are bound to like hardrock/metal and want to start a band. And with India being an internet Mecca they sure know how to get to news out to those interested. Skyharbor could best be described as eclectic. This is music that twists and turns more than a serpentine road in the Alps. You have to be concentrated to the fullest to listen to this. With headphones on this must be a marvelous journey into the world that is Skyharbor. I’ve tried to find a band to compare them to but I haven’t found one that does them justice. Perhaps if you think a lighter version Meshuggah paired with a band like Tool you might get a picture. Cool stuff indeed. Anders Ekdahl

SYLVATICA “Mosemanden”

Living only twenty minutes from Denmark with a ferry I’ve always had a special relationship to the Danish metal scene. Who doesn’t remember bands like Witch Cross, Evil or Mercyful Fate? Sure, they are all old so what has the new Danish metal scene to offer up. Sylvatica for example. I kinda came to expect a goth metal band but I’m not sure what I got. At first I thought this was going to be a full on black metal explosion but that turned out to be totally wrong. The goth metal band that I expected I found nowhere. This has a much more thrash feel to it while not being thrash at all. OK. So they seem to mix a lot of different styles. Does that make it bad? No. Not even the fact that they don’t seem to be too keen on vocals either makes this bad. I’m not gonna go as far as saying that I like instrumental music. Once the vocals do arrive it just adds to my impression of them mixing different styles of metal. All in all I got an image of this being like a mix between Vintersorg and Borknagar with a harder edge. Anders Ekdahl

TEMPLE OF THE MAGGOT “Black Mass Apocalypse”

“Black Mass Apocalypse”
(Unmerciful Death Productions)
This one came highly recommended to me. To me the USBM scene (if there is such a thing) is not made up of one single style of black metal. You got everything from Wolves In The Throne Room’s eco friendliness to the harsh misanthropic Profanatica. Don’t know if there is a black metal scene in Mongolia but Temple of The Maggot are more on the misanthropic side of things. This is black metal that is strong on harsh feelings towards Christianity. I like the aggression that this kind of black metal sends out. There is something about it that appeals to me. Having to control my emotions everyday on work so dealing with people that at times can be so stupid that you wonder how they managed to dress themselves it is nice to find an outlet in an album like “Black Mass Apocalypse”. It is like a Roman gladiator tournament listening to this. Let the slaughter begin. Anders Ekdahl

Lita Ford – “Living Like A Runaway”

Lita Ford – “Living Like A Runaway” (Steamhammer / SPV)

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! Lita Ford has certainly led a tumultuous life and career, right from the 70s when she was in The Runaways right thru to her engagements to Tony Iommi and more recently her bitter divorce to Jim Gillette, who collaborated on her previous album “Wicked Wonderland”. Well, if this album was designed to exorcise those demons from the past (judging by the bitter song titles), then it has done so being a complete departure from that last release, which was probably the heaviest and most metal I’ve heard from her. “Living Like A Runaway” is certainly a lot quieter and rather than being metal is a pure rock album made up of punchy numbers like ‘Hate’, soft rock n roll songs like ‘Love 2 Hate U’ and the teasing, sultry femme rock of ‘A Song To Slit Your Wrists By’. Co-written and produced with guitarist Gary Hoey, there’s certainly some fine guitar in there, especially on the passionate rock ballad ‘Asylum’, which sees her bare her soul right from the days when she was a street kid to a mother attacked by her own children. There’s definitely a lotta hurt and emotion in this album, so let’s hope she licks her wounds and returns to full form soon as Lita is still the meanest she wolf out there!