“Lost Fathers and Sons”
I have never really gotten the point of bands like Mr Bungle, Dillinger Escape Plan or Naked City. Bands that seem to intentionally try to make music as awkward as possible. Perhaps it’s just me not having the patience sitting through countless time changes and hundreds of ideas pressed into one song. Perhaps I’m too simple to understand the finer points of jazz improve but I like my metal easy to understand. Turkish Chopstick Suicide might not be the band to turn me around but I’ll give them a shot. It started well with some grindcore-ish music but soon it turned into a festival of ideas all crammed into one song. As much as I like to understand or even like this kind of music (small bits’n’pieces are OK) I must admit that I have no clue whatsoever as to how to understand or even like this kind of mishmash. Sorry dudes, you lost me. Anders Ekdahl
Dorota Malek might be the bravest soul on the planet or just the smartest people alive in that she’s fronting her own project/band. If you want it done properly why not take charge yourself. That way you’ll know that it gets done. Should you on the other hand fail you stand there alone with your wet blanket with nobody but yourself to blame. Having heard “Dayphobia” something very wrong has to happen to Dorota for her to be the one to blame if this album tanks. This is some pretty energetic metal pumping out of my computer’s tiny speakers. There is something very invigorating about this album that promises a very bright future for the artist. I have a special fondness for strong female role models and Dorota seems to be one of these. I also like my metal good and this is good by any sort of standard. Anders Ekdahl
“A Celebration Of Death”
I remember when I bought Fester’s first album “Winter Of Sin” from No Fashion Records back in the 90s. At that time extreme metal from Norway was a novelty. Today almost 25 years later there is no novelty value in being a metal band from Norway. Back then Fester felt like a fresh breath of air. Today the scene is totally different. Still I found myself liking “A Celebration Of Death”. There is an air of something special to the album. A feeling of something great lurking in the shadows, ready to award you if you stick buy it until the end. I got the same feeling the first time I heard Norwegian Hades (now Hades Almighty). That there is something more to this than just being another metal album in a long line of metal albums. That this is the thing to go for if you like slow, grand extreme metal with a majestic aura surrounding it. Cool stuff all in all and a worthy return. Anders Ekdahl
Godhatecode are totally new to me and therefore a blank slate about to be filled with new and fresh impressions. That this is death metal in a rather straight up format is clear from the word go. There’s no melodeath stuff to be found here. More along the lines of bands like Deicide and Morbid Angel when they were good. As much as I love the melodic side of death metal this is the kind of stuff I got into in the first place. There is something to a full on blast of death metal that has a cleansing effect on me. Away washes all the dullness of everyday life and in come a fresh breeze that lights up my whole existence. Godhatecode are pretty close to bringing perfection with that breeze. Anders Ekdahl
I’ve never been a great fan of 7” singles yet I’ve always bought them out of support for the bands. With the digital music revolution we get 1 track singles. What the hell is that all about? Hateskor impressed me with their album last year so I thought I’d give them the benefit of doubt as to this new single. And I wasn’t let down. This is a good song in the same vein as the album; melodeath with an edge. A song that can be played over and over as many times as it takes to make it seem like a four track EP. Anders Ekdahl
LEGION OF THE DAMNED
“Malevolent Rapture – In Memory Of…”
I have only great memories of Legion Of The Damned. The albums I’ve heard by them have all been true blasts of metal. Thrashed like there wasn’t a tomorrow, filling me with an invigorating feeling of hope. This album might be different as it isn’t a new one but an old one that gets an overhauling. I’m not too wild about this whole rerecording, rereleasing of old albums yet I do understand why it is done. Especially this one as it is done as a tribute to a fallen friend. Originally released in 2006 this album gives us a glimpse of what to come from the Dutch metal assaulters. This is thrash metal in that same school as old Kreator without the retro touch. Call it a continuation of something started by Kreator and you are on the right track to understanding this album. As a big fan of Legion Of The Damned this one too has a marked spot in my metal conscious.
“Songs Of Black Roses”
OK so Russian goth metal might not sound like a nail biter exactly but leave all your prejudices behind you. The Soviet Union fell to pieces more than 20 years ago, the dullness of Communism is no longer hanging over the nation like a wet, bad smelling blanket and there are millions of young people growing up knowing nothing of Communism. Voiceless Void might not be a too familiar name for most people (you who read the interviews will be familiar with them) but that should be about to change now that you know of them. While not being totally goth metal there are those elements to this album but you’ll also find enough different styles incorporated into the mix to make this album interesting enough to stand out from all the other female fronted goth metal bands that explodes onto the scene. Anders Ekdahl
“The String Theory”
I like music that challenges my senses as well as music that is only pure enjoyment without having to think too hard. Italian Wormhole might have the wrong name for the style of music that they play. Because if you’re expecting a death metal band then you might as well stop reading now. This is more in the goth metal end of the spectre. But still not totally goth. There is a roughness to this that isn’t anything close to goth’s shiny exterior. And for that alone Wormhole stand miles apart from most other bands. Which also contributes to me liking this a little bit more. Another contributing factor is the emotional side to this album. I like it when bands like Within Temptation or Lacuna Coil gets all emotional on record. That brings out a side to me that I very seldom get acquainted with. Wormhole proved to be a very positive surprise. This one I’ll treasure for a long time. Anders Ekdahl
Exumer – “Fire & Damnation” (Metal Blade Records)
Blimey, Germany’s Exumer are the stuff cult bands are made from – and then some! Formed way back in 1985 by singer/bassist Mem Von Stein and guitarist Ray Mensh, Exumer became Germany’s legendary thrash export, probably being one of the first thrash acts to reach an unusually large following outside of Germany, even into unknown countries like Brazil and Poland. Yet despite all this potential, the band broke up in 1990 owing to internal feuds – until their one off reunion at Wacken in 2001, where it became clear that Exumer’s name had been anything but forgotten. Since 2008 Exumer have been active and touring once again globally, affirming their status as a much sought after classic thrash band. So what do we make of “Fire & Damnation”? The more critically minded might allege a cash in but I would say it’s taking care of unfinished business from a band who never fully realized their potential. Whatever the case, “Fire & Damnation” is essentially a throwback back to those heady thrash days of the 80s: primitive, aggressive and ugly, songs like ‘Vermin Of The Sky’, ‘Crushing Point’ and ‘Devil Chaser’ feature scything buzz saw guitars, insane wailing soloing, glass-in-throat vocals, thwacking snare drum a plenty and of course, liberal use of those double bass drums! There’s absolutely nothing modern about this album, and whilst their peers like Kreator, Slayer & Sodom have moved on, Exumer have continued as they left off, satiating the undead armies of thrashers who walk the world over craving brutalo holocausto.
Lonewolf – “Army Of The Damned” (Napalm Records)
Give it up for French power metal! Hailing from the capital of the French Alps – Grenoble – a city steeped in a 2000 year history, Lonewolf have a lot to live up to – and they proudly do not disappoint! This is a fine, fine album worthy of their heritage, essentially mixing power and traditional heavy metal but with plenty of heart felt passion (well they’re French aren’t they LOL – Ed) in their powerful medieval melodies, such that songs like ‘The Last Defenders’, ‘Tally Ho’ and ‘Hellbent For Metal’ are stirring epics worthy of marching off to a crusade, and singing all the way I might add LOL. “Army Of The Damned” is an excellent all around album and if Lonewolf can put forward their passion in their live show they could be a formidable act indeed – vive la France!