ELECTROCUTION “Inside The Unreal”

ELECTROCUTION
“Inside The Unreal”
(GoreGore records)
This Italian band is new to me even though this is a re-release of a twenty (20) year old album. Were the hell where I in 1992. Not anywhere near this, that is for sure. And that was at the high point of my fanzine buying days. There must have been something that put me off even trying to look this up back then. Electrocution take one or two pages from the book of Chuck (Death). This is pretty much in that same vein of technically advanced death metal. While not being as advanced as Death was in the early 90s these Italian guys still had one foot in the Floridian death metal mull that was so popular back then. In me missing out on this the first time I kinda make up for it now. As a time capsule this works wonders. As a death metal album for the 10s it actually works quite well. This has nothing to be ashamed of even today. But with that comes a sadness that death metal hasn’t evolved more than this in 20 years, or is it a comfort that it’s the same still? Anders Ekdahl

THE FORESHADOWING “Second World”

THE FORESHADOWING
“Second World”
(Cyclone Empire)
Italian doom/goth metal isn’t the most frequent participant to my increasing collection but I’m no stranger to checking it out if it is any good. The Foreshadowing at least have a cool band name. Hopefully the music will match it. I guess with the success of Katatonia more and more labels see a market for this kind of melancholic metal. As somebody who gets fuelled by melancholy I’m not one to argue against it. This is some pretty moody and atmospheric metal the way I like it. This is not for those of you that are manic depressive or slightly suicidal, unless you use it therapeutically, as a way to get out of your misery. I love this kinda doomy and gloomy stuff so much that I can spin music like this for hours and just rejoice in feeling sad and lonely. Now leave me alone with this masterful disc. Anders Ekdahl

THE GROTESQUERY “The Facts And TerrifyingTestament of Mason Hamilton: Tsathoggua Tales”

THE GROTESQUERY
“The Facts And TerrifyingTestament of Mason Hamilton: Tsathoggua Tales”
(Cyclone Empire )
With a name like The Grotesquery you just gotta love it. This can’t be anything but some gory death metal. Like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre put to music. Not having had the chance/opportunity to check this outfit out before this will be my first encounter with them. And I’m looking forward to it. I have all the respect for Rogga Johansson and Kam Lee. Both legends in their own right, just different eras. The Grotesquery is death metal with a very present feel of both new and old. This is like the perfect mix had it been a coffee blend. You get all that is great about death metal wrapped up in one neat package. And even without the big wig names this would have been one hell of a death metal album. This is like a horror story set to music. It’s eerie and chilling in that special death metal way. Just plain wonderful really. Anders Ekdahl

HAK-ED DAMM/BLACKHORNED “Split”

HAK-ED DAMM/BLACKHORNED
“Split”
(War prod)
This is a split between a Canadian and a Danish black metal troupe. That might not sound like the most enticing set-up but give it a chance and you’ll see that this isn’t too bad at all. Hak-ed Damm could best be described as war black metal. From the word go you feel like you’re being beaten by a sledgehammer. This is full on assault black metal the way Marduk or Dark Funeral used to do it but with a more necro sound to it. As I’m a huge fan of this kind of black metal I go for this big time. As for the Danish part of this split. Well they are more thrashy in their black metal approach. Kinda like Aura Noir or any of those Norwegian bands that follows. Not too bad either but after having heard Hed-ed Damm they kinda fall to the side a bit. But if you don’t mind being treated to two side s of the coin then this split will do it for you. It did for me. Anders Ekdahl

FLYING “Graceful Murder”

FLYING
“Graceful Murder”
(Metalscrap Records)
I’m not gonna comment on the band name. That is what it is. Flying are death metal of the kind that has nothing to do with metalcore or melodeath. This is death metal (with maybe a slight thrash feel to it) the way it was done in the 90s with lots of riffing and vocals from hell. It chugs along like a chainsaw on a mission sawing everything that comes in its way to bits. Every now and then you get a guitar solo (oh how I miss those) that adds to it all. This is death metal that isn’t Swedish or Floridian but still death metal the way it used to sound like before all the other sub-genres appeared. You can call it whatever school you like but the fact remains that this is death metal that I can listen to over and over and not tiring. It kinda reminds me of a Six Feet Under gone harder and that isn’t anything bad in my book. Anders Ekdahl

LION SPLICER “Valkyrie”

LION SPLICER
“Valkyrie”
(-)
I liked Lion Splice’s first attempt at an album. There was potential to be found. Now these metalheads are back with a new EP. It’s going to be interesting to see if they’ve managed to take it one step further this time round. If they can add to the groundwork they did the first time round. I don’t know why but I come to think of Primus listening to this EP. Not that there really is that much the two acts have in common. I guess it has something to do with the bass guitar being so prominent in the sound. Other than that this is more of the same but a notch or two higher up on the ladder. There is a joyfulness and exuberance to this that spreads happiness and smiles all over the place. And that can’t be bad at any time of the day. Also I can’t shake the feeling of this being a homage of sorts. What to I’m not sure. Still it works for me and that’s enough to make me happy. Anders Ekdahl

RELINQUISHED “Onward Anguishes”

RELINQUISHED
“Onward Anguishes”
(Noisehead Records)
Dark melodic metal. Heard that one before? That Relinquished sound like any other band influenced by Gothenburgian metal is beside the point. Or is it? How many more bands can we take that sound like a rehashed At The Gates or a Dark Tranquillity MK 25? In my book we can take as many as it needs as long as they are any good at what they do. Relinquished proved to be a positive surprise. There is a darkness to the music that i like. It’s not as sunny and chirpy as most of these bands have a tendency to be. There is a depth to this that makes me take extra notice. Sure, you get all the usual components but as with Dark Tranquillity there is more to than meets the ear at first. And that I like. I like to be challenged. Anders Ekdahl

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK “34613”

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
“34613”
(Battlegod Productions)
OK, I’ll say it once and then I won’t say it again in this review. For me to go mad over another project it got to have something very special. I don’t see the purpose of just writing an album and then invite a bunch of known names to perform on it. Norwegian metal project Tomorrow’s Outlook might be just another project among many but let’s hope that it has something to offer to make it stand out from the rest. It did start on a pretty high note. I immediately found some strings that struck a chord in me. This wasn’t the same old tired star parade. There was something more to it. OK, so it is pretty much another power metal album but it kinda made me think of Artch and anything that does that can’t be too bad. As always it is hard to judge what the individual stars involvement adds to songs but they are good enough for just one single vocalist to handle them. Anders Ekdahl

SYN – ZE –SASE-TRI “Sub Semnul Lupului”

SYN – ZE –SASE-TRI
“Sub Semnul Lupului”
(Code666)
It is not enough to just be weird if you want to stand out. You actually got to have something to show for too if you don’t want to end up just a joke, or at worst trash on the floor. Syn-Ze-Sase-Tri might have one of the weirdest names I’ve seen in a long time but that shouldn’t be the end of it all. Musically this isn’t weird in any way. This is black metal, although with a twist but still fully comprehensible without any deeper dissecting. Symphonic in all its glory this Romanian band proves that even from the darkest holes of Europe something shiny can come. If you fancied Emperor in their grandeur then this will be right up your alley. Perhaps a bit more controlled than for example “Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk” but still closely related this album by Syn-Ze-Sase-Tri might very well end up a new favourite amongst those of us that fancy symphonic, chaotic black metal. Anders Ekdahl

VORKREIST “Sigil Whore Christ”

VORKREIST
“Sigil Whore Christ”
(Agonia Records)
The French black metal scene might not be the greatest in size but it has over the years brought us some of the more innovative artists. Some more successful than others but all with their integrity intact. Vorkreist might be on to album number 5 but this is my first real encounter with them. It is with some trepidation but also with some anticipation that I approach this album. Will it be a massive let down or will I be positively surprised. I have to go with the latter. While no Deathspell Omega immersed in its own weirdness this is pretty tricky black metal that is far from straight to the point. But that is also what adds to the charm of it. You gotta be prepared for all the twists and turns this journey takes you. If you have problems with music that doesn’t take you from point A to point B then you’d be well advised to stay clear of this one. If you like music that challenges you and feel that Swedish bands like Funeral Mist, Ofermod or Watain are the best thing to have happened since sliced bread then Vorkreist will be for you. Anders Ekdahl