GULAGGH “Vorkuta”

GULAGGH
“Vorkuta”
(Coma Section)
The Gulaggs wasn’t a place you’d want to end up in. I’m really glad that I grew up in a country of democracy and hadn’t to experience people’s treacherous nature. Telling on other people has never been my thing. I have absolutely no idea what to expect from GULAGGH. I fear the worst kind of soundscapes ever heard to some of the most extreme music ever made. Not being familiar with any incarnations of this band I have no previous history to go on. I would at best describe this as a sonic soundscape. Perhaps not so much music as sounds. This feels like the tormented screams of those sent away for being dissidents. This is equal to generations lost to brutal regime. Not something that I’d put on again but I’m glad that I got to hear it once. Anders Ekdahl

HORNA “Askel Lähempänä Saatanaa”

HORNA
“Askel Lähempänä Saatanaa ”
(WTC)
HORNA have been in my conscious for a long time yet I don’t think I own more than a single 10” of their music. This Finnish black metal band has stood against the test of times in more ways than one yet they’ve prevailed and are here to deliver their umpthenth album. Hearing this album I realized that I have no greater relation to this Finnish black metal band. It is rather chaotic and at times slow (or so it seems. I could be tricked into thinking so) black metal that we are presented yet I can feel the energy that comes from the music. This is the kind of black metal that I need time to fully get into. But for review purposes alone I feel that we can come to like each other. There is a charm to this that I know I’ll come to like with time. Anders Ekdahl

ILLNULLA “S/T”

ILLNULLA
“S/T”
(-)
ILLNULLA is a unfamiliar name to me. But as I’ve stated countless times I’m in it to discover new bands and not rehash the same old tired ones. I’ve tried reading into the name what kind of music this will be but with no such luck. So I’ll just let the record speak for itself. This Italian band plays a black metal that to me is somewhere between Satyricon and Marduk. There is a groove to it but at the same time an aggressive side. It took me some time getting accustomed to the sound but once into it I could see myself liking this. There is a majestic feel to the music without it going all pompous on us. Primitive black metal with the charm of Satyricon and Marduk is not bad in my book. Anders Ekdahl

KAMALA “Kamala Akka”

KAMALA
“Kamala Akka”
(Inverse)
I have no idea what the Finns speak about when I’m in their company. Not like with the Norwegians or Danes with whom I can easily communicate. Yet I feel a close Nordic kinship with the Finns. I feel like we are brothers and sisters in spirit. Which is why I feel a certain pride over how great the Finnish metal scene is. I have idea what to think of this. It made me think of an Alice In Chains minus the grunge and with more speed but at the same time my mind wandered to harder sounds like Pantera. I’m not much for this testosterone metal that KAMALA seems to play. It all ends up one big lump in my head. But at the same time I can’t stop myself from stomping my foot in approval to this. Anders Ekdahl

LIDOCAINE “On The Road To Miero”

LIDOCAINE
“On The Road To Miero”
(Inverse)
I was never a big fan of The Rasmus. I thought them to be too light and not really a heavy band but they seemed to go down well all around the world. I’m not saying that LIDOCAINE will be the next The Rasmus or even that they sound like them. The only reason I came to think of them was that I realized that I don’t know too much about Finnish hardrock/rock in general. There is a rawness to the guitars that I like. This is melodic hardrock to my ears. Kinda like the Electric Boys without the funk and tad harder. Or a Europe without the blues and a tad harder. This is harder than your average hardrock band making them borderline heavy metal but they never step over that threshold. A very nice surprise in deed. Anders Ekdahl

LOXODROME “Forget About”

LOXODROME
“Forget About”
(7Hard)
LOXODROME might sound like a drug/medicine and perhaps this is what the doctor ordered in terms to cure my raging cold. Perhaps this is the drug that will put the smile back on my again. I really hope so because right now I’m sick and tired of my nose running like it is a broken tap. The first time I heard this record I got an Irish feel to the first song. You know the cliché of the Irish sitting in a pub playing the fiddle and singing. I got that vibe from the first song. That this was going to be a bunch of merry old lads partying. And it continued in that same vein the whole record out. This is one merry record yet not sappily merry like an arranged postcard. There is a depth to the music that saves it from becoming a parody. Anders Ekdahl

MOLLY HATCHET “Paying Tribute”

MOLLY HATCHET
“Paying Tribute”
(Collectors Dream Records)
I love MOLLY HATCHET. Have done so ever since I first heard them back in the 80s. I don’t know what it is about southern boogie but it gets my heart pumping. It’s been there through thick and thin, through the most extreme death metal to the sappiest of singer/songwriter. I’ve always come back to it. So this might not be a regular MOLLY HATCHET album but a celebration of what influenced the band. I might not be a great fan of covers but hearing MOLLY HATCHET doing ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” or Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back In Town” or Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen” among others makes me realize what great song they are and what they have meant to me even though I never realized it. A great collection of covers. Anders Ekdahl

MY FUNERAL “Thrash Destruction”

MY FUNERAL
“Thrash Destruction”
(Violent Journey)
I have my funeral planned down to the miniscule detail. I don’t want anything to be left to chance. Don’t know about this Finnish thrash metal band’s plans for their funeral but I don’t plan to fall off the wagon in the near future. This made me think of a tougher Vio-lence the first time I heard it. This is thrash that does just that; thrashes. If you are into the rougher side of thrash metal then this might be right for you. You get the razor sharp guitars and the 80s Kreator feel that is so hard to recreated today. Don’t go expecting any great variations. This one stick to one theme and milk it for every scent it got. And I just sit here and enjoy it. Anders Ekdahl

NICUMO “The End Of Silence”

NICUMO
“The End Of Silence”
(Inverse)
I’m not gonna say that all good band names are taken because I’m not the one to judge what’s a good name and what’s not. All I can say about NICUMO is that without any further knowledge into the band you can’t tell what they play by the name alone. I was late in discovering the turn Sentenced did. It was only after they had disbanded that I got into the more gothic sound. I get that same kinda vibe to NICUMO’s sound. Like they are following in the footsteps left by Sentenced. And they are rather large ones to follow in but I gotta hand it to NICUMO. They do it pretty darn well. This is some melancholic metal that treasure the legacy of Sentenced in all its glory. Anders Ekdahl

NIGHT RANGER “Big In Japan”

NIGHT RANGER
“Big In Japan”
(Collectors Dream Records)
NIGHT RANGER might be best known for the song “Sister Christian” but trust me when I say that there is more to the band than that one song. I’ve had an ear out for the band for a very long time and while I’m not the hugest fan I still appreciate their craftsmanship. It might not come as a great surprise that I’m not too into live albums. I don’t really see the reason for them. But that is just me. This 2-disc live document recorded in Japan in 1997 proves that NIGHT RANGER was a great hardrock band and not just a ballad band. You get to enjoy a variety of classic NIGHT RANGER, including “Sister Christian”. If you already are a fan or if you just want to get to know the band this is a good way to start. Anders Ekdahl