LORD OF THE GRAVE “Green Vapour”

LORD OF THE GRAVE
“Green Vapour”
(The Church Within)
I’m not too familiar with the label The Church Within but the bands that I do have come upon have all been good. I kinda like the idea of a label dedicated to the more doomy end of the metal spectre. I find great comfort in the darker and more melancholic end of things. Had it not been for Black Sabbath the world would have gone amiss on a great deal of really cool metal bands. I’m a huge Sabbath fan so anything that even slightly reminds me of that band gets the thumps up. Lord Of The Grave are Sabbath heavy with that distinctive 70s vibe to their sound. I’m not one for nostalgia but I got a soft spot for early 70s music. This is like being back in my mother’s womb in 1970. Cool. Anders Ekdahl

MANTICORE “Behold The Ascension Of The Execrated”

MANTICORE
“Behold The Ascension Of The Execrated”
(Deathgasm)
I know not to judge a book by its cover or a band by its name but when I saw the name Manticore I got vibes of a thrash metal band in the vein of the second wave. Bands that followed in the wake of Metallica; Slayer, anthrax and Megadeth. Don’t know how right I am but I’ll hope for the best. Truth be told I was as far off as I could have been. Although there is a slight thrash vibe to this I would say that this is more in line with bands like Brazil’s Sarcofago or Canada’s Blasphemy than any second wave of thrash that you could think up. This is primitive and very basic in sound. I’m a fan of this kind of primal metal. When I’m in the mood this is a cleansing as anything else. But I gotta crave it to fully appreciate it. Manticore calmed that craving for the time being. Anders Ekdahl

MASTERSTROKE “Broken”

MASTERSTROKE
“Broken”
(Dynamic Arts)
When you recognize the label better than the band that’s when you know you’ve overdosed on labels. For some reason I recognize the label Dynamic Arts but can’t place any bands on it. I know that I have a couple of records released by them but what they are is in the clouds. There is a melancholic touch to this that makes me think of bands from Finland that are too many to mention but operates in the same region of emotions. Call this melancholic death light or something to that ilk and you get a pretty good impression of where you have this band. This is like if Sentenced had kept their death metal but added on a more melancholic side to it. I also get a strong Swedish feel listening to this. Not as bad as I thought it would be. Anders Ekdahl

MAVETH “Coils Of The Black Earth”

MAVETH
“Coils Of The Black Earth”
(Dark Descent Records)
I don’t know what it is that they have put in the water in Finland but over the last decade or so we’ve seen metal almost taking over the charts in Finland. And even though I’m Swedish I’m not envious or even jealous in any way. I too get to enjoy the greatness of the Finnish metal scene. This band is no different. Just like any other Finnish band that I’ve come upon lately this is some cool stuff. There is more of an old school death metal feel to this but since that is what I grew up on this will be right up my alley. I get cool vibes from bands like Asphyx, Grave and Nihilist that keeps me going for a long while. This is heavy yet groovy in a way that I don’t get to hear in many newer death metal bands. Another for the Finns to be proud of. Andes Ekdahl

NEPENTE “Suffering Is The Seed”

NEPENTE
“Suffering Is The Seed”
(-)
I have a craving for something extreme metal. I hope that Nepente can cure that craving. To my eyes the name says that this could be some kind of death metal in the vein of Nile or Morbid Angel. I get that kind of vibe from them just by reading the name and album title. It’s heave like Morbid Angel or Nile. That I’ll give the band. Other than that this was more along the lines of Incantation. Another band that I totally admire. Death metal that is brutal in all possible ways. This is not for the weak hearted. You gotta be able to stomach a punch or two by this force of a band. This is death metal so far from melody that you can get yet this is some of the best kind of metal that I know of. This is the stuff I can listen to driving to work. Road rage anybody? Nah, didn’t think so. Anders Ekdahl

NIGROMANTIA “Inherited Burden”

NIGROMANTIA
“Inherited Burden”
(Noisehead Records)
OK. I know of Necromantia but Nigromantia? Sounds like a bad joke to my ears but I guess there is a deeper meaning to the band name. That aside I have no idea what this band is all about. They are a blank to me as I haven’t heard anything by them before this album. This Hungarian death metal band wasn’t what I expected. There is a Death technical side to them but also a more extreme side to them. It almost made me think of a Watchtower gone death metal. But that might be stretching the truth a bit too far. I have to admit that when I heard the first guitar note I thought that this was going to be some sort of weak shit but it actually turned out to be a rarther good death metal album. Anders Ekdahl

NUKORE “Broken Hip? Hop On”

NUKORE
“Broken Hip? Hop On”
(Noisehead)
I never got the whole funk metal thing. Rap metal made me physically sick (well almost) and any other strange kind of cross pollination between metal and whatever hasn’t really rubbed me the right way. Yet I’m glutton for punishment hence me taking on Nukore. I like bands like Otep and Exilia but somehow I don’t get this. Don’t know what it is that makes me feel awkward when listening to this. Could it be that I’m too old? Nah, that can’t be it. It must be that I can’t relate to this the way I can’t relate to modern metalcore. This to me is music that never really takes off. It goes in circles without ever getting anywhere. Not my cup of tea by any stretch of the imagination. Anders Ekdahl

PLUTONIAN SHORE/ A TRANSYLVANIAN FUNERAL “Alchemical Manifestations”

PLUTONIAN SHORE/ A TRANSYLVANIAN FUNERAL
“Alchemical Manifestations”
(Forbidden Records)
It might seem like I’m a grumpy old fool but I don’t really like split albums. Don’t know why the y rub me the wrong why just like compilation records does. Perhaps I need that much control that I know what band’s album is playing and not having to keep track of what band it is that is on right now. That both bands are black metal doesn’t really help me decipher what is which. Plutonian Shore are new to me but there is that Darkthrone vibe to them too that I got from A Transylvanian Funeral’s last album. Perhaps with an older Dimmu Borgir flair for diversion. A Transylvanian Funeral are even more so Darkthrone in their sound. This is primitive and basic in that monotonous way Darkthrone is. And although both bands work within almost the same realm there is a way to tell them apart. Of the two I gotta say that I like ATF the best. There is something to their basic black metal that I find appealing. Anders Ekdahl

REPULSIVE AGGRESSION “Conflagration”

REPULSIVE AGGRESSION
“Conflagration”
(Schwarzdorn)
Repulsive Aggression is allegedly a Norwegian death metal band. We don’t get that many of that kind coming from the Fjells and Fjords of our Western cousins. Not that I mind. I find a Norwegian death metal band as enticing as any other death metal band. This was heavier than I had expected. I thought it would be some wild run through the Norwegian forests but this is so controlled that I start to wonder if they are really Norwegian. I’m all for discipline and order but sometimes it can be too much. I kinda need some chaos in my music to feel like I have control over my life. Having said that I have to say that this isn’t bad in any way. I like this album. I’m glad that it came my way. Anders Ekdahl

SEAMOUNT “Earthmother”

SEAMOUNT
“Earthmother”
(The Church Within)
I kinda expect this to be a very nautical journey. I don’t mind if I get splashed by the waves of a turmoil sea. I kinda expect this to be a ride that goes up and down like a rollercoaster ride. If it’s one that is on acid or just a straight one only time will tell. I’m not a big fan of Mastodon simply because I haven’t listened to them enough to pass any sort of judgment but I get the same kind of vibe from this album as I get from reading about Mastodon (all other comparisons aside). From the get go this album switch moods from the somber to the chaotic (well relatively). I like that kind of journey in music when done well. There is more of a hardrock feel to this album than I had expected. I like that. It gives it an edge that is so necessary for it to stand out. And stand out it does. And only in good ways. I’ll keep listening to this even after the noise has died down. Anders Ekdahl