DEGIAL “Death’s Striking Wings”

“Death’s Striking Wings”
(Sepulchral Voice)
Degial belongs to the category of Swedish death metal bands that are being hyped right now. I don’t believe the hype, well usually not, but when it comes to this new wave of Swedish death metal I gotta admit that the hype was right, or has been so far at least. I have not heard a single bad new Swedish death metal act in 2012. I hope Degial will continue that trend. I’m not gonna go all nostalgic on you guys but most of the new Swedish death metal bands that I’ve heard this year sounds like a continuation of the late 80s sound. Not that I’m complaining. Degial are no exception. This is old school Swedish death metal played by a new generation. And I like it. There is something to the raw and basic death metal that they play that strikes all the right chords in me. Anders Ekdahl

ELIMI “Asylum”

Elimi were off to a great start. They had an album out, got great reviews for it and articles were written about them but then their Italian label went belly-up and everything turned to crap. With a new label behind them they try again. When this album was first released it was described as shoegazing black metal and lumped together with albums by bands such as An Autumn For Crippled Children and Svarti Loghi. Not that I could hear any of that. This is more like black metal in that peeled-off and basic raw way that we saw a lot of in the 90s. You don’t get any wide brush strokes. Instead they paint with the thin ones and yes, they stay within the lines. You don’t always have to use the broad ones to create full pictures. Sometimes less is enough. Anders Ekdahl

HUMANGELD “Odd Ethics”

“Odd Ethics”
I like it when people think twice before naming their band. Humangled are new to me. I have no idea what to expect from them at all. This could be the worst kind of goregrind or the best of death that has ever come my way. What I did get was what to my ears sounds like a cross between Carcass (leaning more towards the Carcass side) and (slightly like) Cannibal Corpse, if you could imagine that unholy union. I gotta admit it took some getting used to before I got my head around it but once accustomed to the sound I was hooked. Perhaps not the most vile or intense death metal to ever come my way but there’s enough goodies on this disc to keep me happy for a while. Anders Ekdahl


“The Law”
(Limited Access)
There are times when I don’t know if the Germans are serious or if they are joking about. The first time I saw a Kamikaze Kings photo I thought they were for laughs. I’m not so sure anymore. It might just be me alone that is laughing. The band might take themselves very serious. Still, there is something to the band that makes it hard for me to take them too serious. Hopefully the music will convince me of otherwise. I was raised on bigger than life hardrock and I had a thing for Zodiac Mindwarp back in the days. This kinda reminds me of that one-foot-on-the-speaker-fist-in-the-air-bigger-than-god kind of hardrock that was big in the 80s and totally died with grunge. I gotta admit that against better judgment I like this mindless hardrock assault. There is something very liberating about it that I can’t resist. Anders Ekdahl

MYHRDING “A Legacy Of Shadows”

“A Legacy Of Shadows”
For some reason hard to explain I kinda have high hopes for this band. Don’t know if it has anything to do with the band name that I somehow have fallen for. There is something to the old Swedish word that attracts me. Hopefully this will be a piece of black metal that I will take with me for a long time. This turned out to be as good as I expected. I’ve always had a sweet tooth for Arckanum and this kind of reminds me of latter day Arckanum. Add a big dose of heavy metal to the black metal sound and you get an idea what this sounds like. Or maybe not, but you can at least imagine what it sounds like. A really cool album. Anders Ekdahl

PRAYER “Danger In The Dark”

“Danger In The Dark”
(Escape Music)
What struck me the first time was how much this sounds like the pseudo-hardrock of the 80s you heard on movie soundtracks like Top Gun, St Elmo’s Fire and its likes. It might have worked in that environment and in that era but I’m not too sure about it working today. This is like listening to the first couple of Bon Jovi albums. I liked them back in the 80s and whenever I hear tracks from them today they put a smile on my face. This is in no way a bad album by this Finnish band. I just can’t shake the feeling of this being too clever done for their own good. But if you like your hardrock from that period then this will be a treat for you. I can see myself listening to this while driving, dreaming I’m a Top Gun pilot. Anders Ekdahl

WAYLANDER “Kindred Spirits”

“Kindred Spirits”
I’ve been aware of the name Waylander for a long time now but for various reasons I’ve neglected to check them out in depth. Yet I suspect that this will be metal right up my alley. I kinda have high hopes that this will blow my socks into tomorrow. I feel like it is time for some really cool, epic folkish metal that will dust the cobweb of my furniture. Now that I hear the music I can’t for the life of me understand why I haven’t checked them out before. This is the kind of metal that I can stomp my feet to and headbang like a mad man to in my living room. If anybody were to compare this to Amon Amarth I’d say that they are… not totally of their marker. There is that same kinda groove going here. Great! Anders Ekdahl

ZONARIA “Arrival Of The Red Sun”

“Arrival Of The Red Sun”
If you don’t have a Swedish, Norwegian or Finnish band on your rooster you are not a serious metal label. Or so it seems anyway. It is hard to imagine that any label should be without a Nordic band. That seems like a sure way to die a quick death. Zonaria is another of these bands that I’ve read about but haven’t checked out. I can’t say that I have any greater expectations on this album. I basically just hope that it won’t disappoint me terribly. For some reason I always think of Luciferion when I see Zonaria’s name. Don’t know why. But now that I have heard the music I must have had a subconscious connection because this is technical death metal the same way as I remember Luciferion to be technical. Think of a cross between latter day Death and Atheist mixed with a big dose of atmosphere and you get “Arrival Of the Red Sun”. Anders Ekdahl

ELEGY REMAINS “As Centuries Collide”

“As Centuries Collide”
I have will not rant on about how I don’t get the whole metalcore explosion. I will instead try and concentrate on the music that German Elegy Remains play, even though they do have the typical break downs and the screamy vocals that seem to make it metalcore. This is not my first choice of metal to listen to but when it does come around I try to take it for what it is. I do not know why all the breaks and stop and start gets to me so much. I do not consider myself that impatient that I can’t sit down and listen to it as the music meanders up and down the scales. Given the time this deserves I do find it entertaining enough to enjoy it. I just need to adjust my head to it. Anders Ekdahl

KARYBDIS “From The Depths”

“From The Depths”
To those who say that there are no good bands on the British metal scene I have thing to say. You haven’t dug deep enough. If you just bother to remove the top soil you find a myriad of cool new bands, of which some are just simply great. Karybdis try to add a groove to their death metal. I applaud their effort. And it does work too. This is death metal that is both rough at the edges as well as stomp-your-foot-friendly in a manner that will appeal to most fans of death metal. Those that Karybdis might not appeal to are those into the most melodic of the genre. But for the rest of us this might just prove to be a new favourite on the death metal scene. Anders Ekdahl