CELTACHOR “Nine Waves From The Shore”

CELTACHOR
“Nine Waves From The Shore”
(-)
I did an interview and review for their demo CD I think it was. I thought that they had potential back then. Now it is time for the full length album. Hopes are high and expectations are large for this to be a full on blow of pagan/dark/ call it what you like metal. This is so much better than I remembered this Irish bunch to be. As somebody that have a hell of a problem telling pagan and heathen metal apart from black metal I will call this black metal on the more epic (not symphonic) side. There is that great feeling of get ready for a battle to the music. Close your eyes and you can almost picture how the warriors gather getting ready to fight the ultimate fight. This is the kind of confidence boasting metal that we all need every now and then to get through life’s hardship. Anders Ekdahl

CHAPEL OF DISEASE “Summoning Black Gods”

CHAPEL OF DISEASE
“Summoning Black Gods”
(FDK Rekodz)
It can’t have escaped you that old school death metal has made a tremendous comeback in the last couple of years. If you’ve read my reviews you’ll know that I simply love this style of death metal. I can’t seem to get enough of it. So all these new old releases are a blessing to me. This is like all those old Swedish, German and American bands from the late 80s all rolled into one. This is like an updated version of “Scream Bloody Gore”. I don’t know what it is about this that gets me firing on all cylinders but I can’t help but to like this. No matter how many of these releases I hear I always get the same kind of feeling. And no, it is not nostalgia. It is just that this is timeless metal. What once was great will always be great no matter when it is played. Anders Ekdahl

CORNERS OF SANCTUARY “December Wind”

CORNERS OF SANCTUARY
“December Wind”
(-)
With three releases in 2012 CORNERS OF SANCTUARY has been anything but busy. The latest is a five track single/EP. It seems appropriate to start with this one and if it’s any good work my way back through their back catalogue. It would be easy to say that this is following in the tracks of Judas Priest, Iced Earth and the likes but just as Benedictum is an awesome metal band this has the potential to be just that. It has all that which I love about heavy metal. A vocalist with an edge, guitars that rip and enough melody to not make it sappy. This is the kind of chest beating metal that every man or woman into metal should lend an ear or two to. This follows in a proud tradition of American east coast metal. Anders Ekdahl

CRESCENT LAMENT “Behind The Lethal Deceit”

CRESCENT LAMENT
“Behind The Lethal Deceit”
(-)
As time passes by my knowledge of bands around the world grows. Soon I’ll have to store all the information on an external brain drive. When 2012 started I knew of only one Taiwanese metal band. As 2012 came to an end I knew of 5 bands. CRESCENT LAMENT being the latest discovery. Don’t go expecting this to be the next Chthonic because these guys operate in a whole different end of the spectrum. And while there might be that symphonic, almost black metal aura to their metal this is something completely different. I don’t really know what to compare them to other than saying that there is a Chinese/Asian flavor to the sound. It makes for an interesting feeling listening to this album. It wasn’t what I expected but it turned out so much more than I ever had expected from it. Anders Ekdahl

DESTINITY “Resolve In Crimson”

DESTINITY
“Resolve In Crimson”
(Lifeforce)
I don’t remember how I came upon DESTINITY the first time but I do know that when I heard them the first time I knew that there was something special to this French band. And while not being entirely black metal that is where they come from. But as with most French bands there is something eclectic to them. I’m sorry to say so but the first notes of the first song made me think a heavier In Flames (no offense to either band) and while this is nowhere near Gothenburg death or melodeath in terms of how heavy this is there is still that undeniable Dark Tranquillity vibe to this that makes me sit up and take notice. Having heard all their previous album I gotta say that I don’t remember any of them to sound like this. But that can just be me having overdosed on death metal or any other metal for that matter during 2012. This is in any which way a great piece of death metal. Anders Ekdahl

DIMICANDUM “The Legacy Of Gaia”

DIMICANDUM
“The Legacy Of Gaia”
(Metalscrap)
I can’t remember why but I do know that I’m kinda looking forward to hearing this album. I must have read about the band somewhere because otherwise I wouldn’t be so stoked to hear this as I am. I have kinda high hopes for this to be a metal album of humungous proportion. And I’m right in assuming so. This is modern metal in that it mixes different styles of metal into something of their own. So you get clean melodic metal mixed with death metal mixed with a touch of goth metal mixed with traditional heavy metal. I’ll take this any day of the week over another tiresome metalcore act. For some reason I can’t let go of how Swedish this sounds. But I guess that In Flames is to blame for that too. If there is any justice in the metal world this should be a massive album all over the world. Anders Ekdahl

HANGING GARDEN “At Every Door”

HANGING GARDEN
”At Every Door”
(Lifeforce)
I think there is some sort of biblical reference here but I could be mistaken. This could just be that the band thought it a cool name. No matter what the reasons are behind the band name this is new to me. I’ve noticed that lately I’ve come upon bands that are totally blank to me. And I like it. I like to discover new acts. Why stick to the old ones? This Finnish act have two albums to its name prior to this. I need to keep a better eye on the Spinefarm catalogue. This is metal that is more in the My Dying Bride school of melancholia mixed with death. This is as somber as you might have come to think of the Finns being all year long. This is the deep in the forest, alone in a cabin kind of metal that won’t work wonders if you are suicidal. But for the rest of us this is pretty much what the doctor ordered if you’re into dark, disturbingly heavy metal. Anders Ekdahl

KARCIUS “The First Day”

KARCIUS
“The First Day”
(Unicorn)
KARCIUS makes me think of hole in the teeth. Perhaps a strange reference but that’s how my mind works. And I’m never one to question the ways my mind works in. KARCIUS is another band from Canadian label Unicorn which means that this will be another progressive release. The question is how progressive. You need to have patience if you’re gonna be able to take in this album. If you stress through it or do household work listening to it you’ll notice that the album has passed you by unnoticed. This is the kind of album you need to sit down to listen to. Preferably in a softly lit room. This is progressive on that whole other scale compared to Dream Theater or Rush. There is more of an ambience to this, more of a sensual vibe than a blunt force trauma to your face that many progressive albums can be. I like these breaks in an otherwise hectic metal night. Anders Ekdahl

KARMA RAGE “soCium”

KARMA RAGE
“soCium”
(Metalscrap)
KARMA RAGE is to me a perfect thrash metal band name. And from the look of the cover I get a feeling that this will be an album along the ways of Municipal Waste and Arnocorps or if you like Ludichrist or Wehrmacht. Thrash with an edge. Perhaps not my first choice of thrash but on a good night I can get into this as deep as an Exodus or Testament album. There is a certain groove to this that makes it interesting. This is thrash metal on the more basic and raw side of the coin. The take no prisoners approach to doing things. The bang you over the head and apologies for nothing kind of metal that when done the right way is so refreshingly obnoxious. KARMA RAGE are well on their way to be that kind of band. Anders Ekdahl

KÄLTER “Spiritual Angel”

KÄLTER
“Spiritual Angel”
(Maple Metal Records)
KÄLTER in Swedish is the Celts. I have no idea if this Canadian band thought of that connection when they picked the band name or if they just thought that the two dots over the A looked cool. Whatever the reasons for choice of band name I for one kind of expect this to be some sort of pagan/folk metal release. But then again I often have no idea what pagan or folk metal really is. So again; this sounds like a symphonic black metal album to me. Nonetheless with the added bonus of some death and thrash touches. That aside this is not that bad of an album. Nothing that we haven’t heard before and most likely nothing that we won’t hear again but for what it is it is a good metal album. I find myself tapping my foot in approval. Anders Ekdahl