I can fully appreciate industrial music. I can fully understand where they are coming from. I can fully understand a band like Einsturbende Neubauten. Which is why I have no problem understanding where Skrog are coming from. I like the monotony of repetition. I liked Fear Factory from the get go. I digged to Skin Chamber in the early 90s. But lately I haven’t come upon that many industrial metal bands (if you don’t count Rammstein) that rocked my world. So it is with great anticipations that I welcome Skrog to my world, or is it the other way round? You can always argue what industrial is but to it means repetition and perhaps the use of not so ordinary instruments. To me industrial is the tediousness of working at a conveyor belt all day long, the monotonous repetition of doing the same thing over and over for 8 hours a day. Skog to me has more of a death metal approach to it. Nothing wrong about that but perhaps not the industrial revolution that I expected. Anders Ekdahl
TORN THE FUCK APART
“The Dissection Of Christ”
Torn The Fuck Apart is a pretty cool band name as well as a declaration of intent. This is a band that you don’t want to mess with. Or you’ll end up six feet under in a nameless grave. Or at least that is what I hope you’re destiny will look like if you cross this band. I’ll be disappointed if they turn out to be some kind of weak shit and weak they are not. This is death metal along the lines of bands like Suffocation and those really hardcore death metal bands that you find on labels like Sevared and more. This is very American in sound. it all started with Cannibal Corpse and has since then just escalated to where it is nowadays. If you can’t take this kind of brutality you should stay well clear of this. If you on the other hand can’t get enough of this gory mess of a death metal sound then by all means feel free to check them out. Anders Ekdahl
(Rock It Up)
I don’t pay too much attention to the sleaze side of hardrock/metal. I read about the bands in magazines but I don’t play their music on my stereo and I don’t by their albums. Yet when an album comes my way I most often end up digging the music. If my life depended on it I couldn’t name any of the newer bands in this genre. The names go in one way and comes out the other. They don’t stick. But when I get a chance to hear a band in this genre I most often end up enjoying them. I like up tempo songs full of melodies and sleaze seem to be about just that. Toxic Rose are no worse than any other band I’ve heard in this genre. On the contrary. This is hardrock that would appeal to anybody with a fancy for great melodies and attitude aplenty. Anders Ekdahl
Trillion Red doesn’t move any bowels in me. This could be anything or nothing. I like to try and decipher a band just from the name but this one doesn’t say that much to me. Which in hindsight could be a good thing. That way you won’t be disappointed if the band’s music turn out something different from what you expected. To be honest I don’t know what to make of this. I’ve tried listening to bands like Isis that are a bit more out there than your ordinary bands and I get that. But this, I’m not so sure about. I have no problem being alone in a floating tank. I kinda like the desolation of being alone. Listening to this I feel alone in the universe. This is like being cut off from your mothership, floating helplessly in space. Knowing that you’ll meet your maker any time soon. I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet. Not the kind of record I put on when I have a party. This one is for those special occasions. Anders Ekdahl
Some albums you look more forward to hearing than others. This is one of those. I have high hopes for Tsar Bombs black metal. I think this one is going to be a great blast of cool black metal. Hopefully with a really cool guitar sound. And with an album title like that this has got to be some bloody brutal black metal for me to not turn it off. And I was right. This is a blast off from the word go. I like the feeling of being blown away by a sonic assault. Can’t get enough of it. The downside of listening to this kind of metal on your computer is that the sound sucks. You really want this to blow your neighbours away with full force. But what can you do in the this age of digital downloads. You just have to crank up those computer speakers to eleven and bang away like crazy. Anders Ekdahl
I am not one to back down if the music is too weird. My personality allows me to like almost everything. I have the ability to find anything good in almost everything. It has to be really bad for me to not like it. Wilt don’t seem to be the band that will bring me this year’s greatest disappointment. This is the atmospheric, wintry black metal you’d expect from a band trapped in the Canadian countryside during the cold months of the year. This is the kind of stuff that is hard to get right if you live in a sunny and sun drenched place but oh so great when you actually feel the cold biting hard at your bones. And even though I live in part of Sweden that doesn’t get the same kind of winters as those in the north I still get the winter blues. And there is no better cure than this kind of black metal. Wilt fits like the proverbial glove to my winter depression. Anders Ekdahl
Rush – “2112” Deluxe Edition CD/ DVD/ Blu-ray (UMC / Mercury)
Originally released in 1976, “2112” was the first real Rush album for many with lyrics written by Neil Peart, the introduction of their eponymous ‘star man’ logo and most of all, their epic drawn out songs – funnily enough in defiance to their label who had advised otherwise in the hope of gaining the band more success – and ironically gaining them the very commercial recognition they had been seeking lol! With it’s classic 7 part title track inspired by Ayn Rand and telling a futuristic tale not a million miles from Star Wars – that of a controlling Federation ruled by the evil ‘Priests Of The Temples Of Syrinx’ but instead ending apocalyptically with the resonating autocratic message ‘we have assumed control, we have assumed control..’, “2112” would be Rush’s breakthrough album and solidify their classic sound. Since that time the album has been acknowledged by wider circles like the Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada as being ‘culturally significant’ and featured in the Guitar Hero video game series. It is therefore fitting that this year it be chosen to feature in Rush’s first iBook featuring a 40-page comic book story by artist Tom Hodges of funnily enough – “Star Wars -The Clone Wars” no less! With an entirely remastered original album, there will be 3 live bonus tracks in ‘Overture’, ‘Temples Of Syrinx’ and my personal fave ‘A Passage To Bangkok’ along with expanded artwork, liner notes, unreleased photos and a new cover by original ‘star man’ album designer Hugh Syme. A definitely must for the young at heart Rush fan, it will no doubt be an essential Christmas pressie for an Rush parent / grandparent looking to inspire the next generation with Canada’s classic rock and the resonating message for humanity’s inner need to express its’ free will.
Paradox – “Tales Of The Weird” (AFM Records)
Formed in the ‘true’ metal region of Bayern and in the same year that “Master Of Puppets” was released, it comes as no surprise that Germany’s Paradox play thrash from the same formula – but even more so that they continue to do so today! Still fronted by main man vocalist / guitarist Charly Steinhauer, expect nothing less than razor sharp Metalli-riffola mixed in with meat hook Metalli-melodies and delivered with precision Metalli-musicianship on songs like ‘Day Of Judgement’, ‘Zeitgeist’ and ‘A Light In The Black’. In fact, I think they sound better now than they did back in the 80s lol! Originally touted as Germany’s answer to Ulrich & co, Paradox were beset by label problems and Steinhauer’s health, resulting in lay offs over the years that impeded the band’s progression onto bigger things. However, they have never lost their passion and stayed true to their roots as judged by the superior thrash of “Tales Of The Weird”, so continue to remain both respected and unforgotten in the underground, born in fire and still aflame!!!
Unburied – “Murder 101” (Selfmadegod Records)
Crude, misogynistic death / grind from West Virgina. These man mountain hillbillies worship Charlie M, praise serial killers, live for drunken drug fueled violence and love ‘..hating on the system and dishonest cunts…’. It’s hard to believe they actually had a female vocalist (Becky Hawkins) at one point in the band – let’s hope she didn’t end up like the chick on the cover: raped, battered and having her throat generously cut. Musically it’s murder metal all the way: guttural vocals; filthy chainsaw guitars; grunting bass and meat chopping drums on songs like ‘I’m Going to Fuckin’ Kill You’, ‘Stalked, Fucked, and Buried’ and ‘Homicidal Sex Rage’. Utterly distasteful, Unburied’s music is as relentless in its homicidal pursuit as it is brimming with hatred. You have been warned.
Mors Principium Est – “And Death Said Live” (AFM Records)
It’s been a lengthy 5 years since we last heard from these melodic Finnish deathsters. During that time there have been significant changes – not in the least by the departure of founder guitarist / vocalist Jori Haukio – such that the band now has no original members! Also losing keyboardist Joona Kukkola along the way the band have ironically come close to death themselves – not withstanding their name lol – but as with near death experiences prove, Mors Principium Est have not only managed to persevere, but actually improve! Recruiting from the UK and as far away as New Zealand for guitarists Andy Gillion and Andhe Chandler respectively, messrs Viljane, Sipola and Heinola have taken a huge gamble in entrusting the song writing to the newcomers, but it’s worked and they have been fine choices. Right from the off, the sound is amazing – bigger, cleaner and definitely a powerful guitar driven album – which allows the new, superb material like ‘I Will Return’, ‘Bringer Of Light’, and ‘What The Future Holds’ to be fully appreciated. There hasn’t been a tremendous departure from the band’s traditional sound inspired by At The Gates and In Flames, but the incredibly passionate and powerful melodies carried thru by the masterful guitar work be it in the riffs, licks or soloing are what really does it for me on this album – so much so, that they must’ve given the reaper a real kicking for him to say live again – truly excellent!