TO/DIE/FOR “Samsara”

Finns TO/DIE/FOR might be a familiar name to most of you guys into goth metal/rock but I have to admit that I can’t remember if I’ve ever come across a record of theirs before this new one. Having had a six year hiatus might have affected the band in more ways than one but since this is my first real encounter with them I have no idea what’s new and what’s not in their sound. All I can do is succumb to the fact that this is good stuff. I don’t know why I haven’t bothered to check them out before. There is a melancholy to their heaviness that strikes the right kind of chords in me. I like music that isn’t to cheerful and happy. If you feel that HIM are to poppy and happy-go-lucky then this could very well be your kind of band. I know it is mine. Anders Ekdahl

AUDIOPORN “Jezebel’s Kiss”

“Jezebel’s Kiss”
(JK Records)
I can understand why people from different bands want to come together to form a new band. In the meeting of like-minded souls a connection can happen that leads to something great. But it is not necessarily so that what works in one unit might work in another. It all depends on the chemistry. I’ve never ever heard of the band Jezebel’s Kiss I’m familiar with Hydrogyn. Which makes it hard to comment on if this sounds like a combination of the two. What I do know is that this is hardrock in the more traditional way. Big melodies, guitars that are larger than the Chinese wall and a singer that has that bluesy feel to his voice. I don’t get to hear too much of this stuff anymore and I do not actively seek it out either but when it do come my way I often enjoy it. And so is the case with this one. I enjoy it. Anders Ekdahl

BIO-CANCER “Ear Piercing Thrash”

“Ear Piercing Thrash”
Greek thrash metal. Don’t know when the last time was that that I heard a thrash metal band from Greece. Kinda looking forward to it though. Just from looking at the cover I get a second wave of thrash kind of feeling for this album. This is the sound of my youth. It is like being back in the demo days when I eagerly awaited a new tape to drop by. I like this kind of thrash that is borderline. You never really know where you have it. If you like the Brazilian bands of the 80s then this will be for you. There is that primitiveness to it that those bands had. A youthful exuberance that nobody can take away from them. Cool stuff indeed. Anders Ekdahl


(Music Buy Mail)
I love KISS. Have ever since the 70s. I enjoy their older albums as much today as I did back in the days. Humbucker might not sound like KISS in any way but I still got that same feeling listening to this that I did when I put on KISS’ albums not so long ago. There is a freedom feeling to this, an escape from everyday life that puts a smile on my face. This is hardrock with a blues background that should appeal to everybody from die hard Bad Company fans to those who liked grunge but without the attitude. This brings me back to those old Krokus albums that I still listen to today. The nostalgia aside this isn’t too shabby a record of good old hardrock. Anders Ekdahl

K-ØS “Planeta Violento”

“Planeta Violento”
Spain is a not my stronghold when it comes to hardrock/metal. I am not totally unfamiliar with the scene but there are still huge blank spots. K- ØS are new to me. As I had no idea what to expect I came into this with an open mind. After having heard it I’m still not sure if they’ve managed to surprise me or not. This is metal, heavy and with an anthem kinda feel to it but then there is the vocals. They are of the harsher kind without going full on death. Which messes it up for me in my head. I like the music. It is cool heavy metal but then there’s the voice. Does it fit or not? I think I’ll settle for the former. It does fit, it just takes some warming up to. This is for those of you who like your heavy metal on the harsher side. Anders Ekdahl


When I first saw this band’s name I thought it was a guy’s name. It took me a while to realize that it was actually a band name. You might have read the interview I did with them a while back. It has taken me some time to get round to reviewing their music but now I’m there. I got a good feeling from the first note. This is the kind of American hardrock that I like in the right settings. The stuff that is called alternative and that is as much Americana as it is hardrock. The stuff you are more likely to hear on college radio than on mainstream. This is the kind of music that could be the soundtrack to my journey across USA in an open car. This is music to my romantic journey through the south of the US. Anders Ekdahl

NEURONIA “Insanity Relapse”

“Insanity Relapse”
(Metal Scrap Records)
I liked Neuronia’s last album. Now they are back with a digital only release. I will not hold my aversion against digital releases against the band. I will judge this purely on the basis of the music. I get at punk feel to Neuronia’s metal that makes me think of the way Volbeat bring Elvis into their hardrock/metal. I like it. It adds to the feeling of this being more than just another metal record. It makes me sit up and take notice. But there is also an annoying side to this. I can’t for the life of me recall what band it is that Neuronia reminds me of. I have it on the tip of my tongue but I can’t get it out. Oh well, while I figure it out I’ll continue to enjoy this record to its fullest. Anders Ekdahl

NORDHEIM “Lost In The North”

“Lost In The North”
(Maple Metal Records)
Folk metal has literally exploded in the last couple of years. Nordheim can best be described as folk metal. I don’t know why but I get a Korpiklani feel to the band. That it is more party than battle over them. More mead flowing than bloodshed. This is the kind of metal that I can stomp my feet to and feel jolly in a none comical way. This is metal that is full of life and that feel invigorating. That it is basically black metal with elements that can be labeled folk is of minor interest. This is metal for those of you who like Immortal, Arkona and any band that is closely similar to those two. This is metal that puts a smile on your face. And that can’t be a bad thing, can it? I’m glad this came my way. Anders Ekdahl

PAGAN FLAME “Symbols of Life And Light”

“Symbols Of Life And Light”
I had a hard time reading this Canadian band’s logo. I even had to ask the band what it said to be able to decipher it. Now that I know the band’s name I can leave that and concentrate on the music. To be honest I have no idea what folk metal is. But somehow I suspect that is what this band is all about. And to be quite frank I don’t give a rat’s ass what they call their metal as long as it is good. And good this is. I’m not up to speed on all the Finnish folk metal acts but I guess that this would end up somewhere between early Finntroll and Ensiferum. Maybe with a little Turisa thrown in for good measure. The basis is raw extreme metal that has been sparkled with elements of folk-ish arrangements. I don’t know. What I do know is that I enjoyed it. Anders Ekdahl


(Escape Music)
Back in 1995 I wouldn’t have given this album five minutes of my time. Simply because I didn’t know of it back then. I have no idea what the Long Island, NY sound is or what is sounds like but I get a strong beach feeling listening to this. It does kinda remind me of a harder Bon Jovi or a Sass Jordan with a harsher voice. I can see this working in a smoky bar way back in the room. There is that feeling to it. I like the fact that they are using a piano. It adds to the sound in a way. This was a blast from the past in a way that I had not anticipated. This is the kind of music I can drive to. Put it in the CD-player and just let it rip as you fly down the country roads going nowhere. Anders Ekdahl