”The Gale”
(Moonlight Productions)

Battle Helm Rating

This Finnish band might have started out as melodic death/black metal but that is not what I hear on this new album. Here we are presented with death doom metal. Nothing particularly melodic about it but that doesn’t bother me as it is melancholic enough to win me over. Although we are Nordic brethren there are much that sets us apart. But one thing we Swedes and Finns have in common is the melancholy. The Danes and Norwegians don’t have it. The Danes are more of a happy-go-lucky kind of people. The Norwegians are a people that always seems so joyful and jovial. While we Swedes and the Finns are more of a thinking kind of people. I am not saying that there are no melancholic bands in Denmark or Norway but I am saying that it comes so much more natural to us Swedes and Finns. “The Gale” is proof of that and what proof it is. This might very well be this week’s album. Anders Ekdahl

DÉLÉTÈRE ”De Horae Leprae”

”De Horae Leprae”
(Sepulchral Productions)

Battle Helm Rating

Québécois Black Metal is a genre all its own. If you aren’t familiar with it, you should google it to find out more about the bands. DÉLÉTÈRE has with ”De Horae Leprae” created a concept album about a leper. As ambitious as it sounds it is not pretentious in any way. This is pure unadulterated black metal fun from start to finish. If you don’t care for the concept you can just listen to this as any other black metal album. musically this is one of the stronger albums I have heard this month, perhaps this year. I have totally fallen in love with it. This has all that I want from an album, the intensity, the speed, the strong songs but most importantly the ability to make me stop doing what I am doing and just sit there and listen to it. That to me is the mark of a great album. Anders Ekdahl

DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN ”… And You will Obey Me”

”… And You will Obey Me”
(Transcending Obscurity Records)

Battle Helm Rating

To be perfectly honest I don’t really remember DOWN AMONG THE DERAD MEN’s debut from 2013 even though I did review it. This is Dave Ingram and Rogga Johansson’s baby. On their third album now this is by now an established act. I have read what I wrote about the debut album and musically I am still at the opinion that this is very British sounding. It sounds like a cross between Benediction, Bolt Thrower and “Harmony Corruption” era Napalm Death. In other words, classic British death metal. to be honest British death metal was very low on my top fave in the nineties. At the top you had Swedish death and Florida death and somewhere around 4 or 5 came British death. But that was then. This is now. And as an album this is close to brilliant. Anders Ekdahl

ELVENSTORM ” The Conjuring”

” The Conjuring”

Battle Helm Rating

I did an interview with this band back in 2012, just after they had released their debut album. that was 6 years ago. Now on their third album and under the banner of Massacre Records much have happened since then. But musically this is still the same heavy/power metal that they played on the debut. What I like about this style of metal is the intensity. It sure gets your (metal)heart pumping. This is the stuff I like to listen to when I drive. Simply because it keeps you on your toes. But it works just as well sitting on your sofa headbanging to it. This is so seriously cool heavy metal. Anders Ekdahl

HEKSEN ” Post-Mortem Psychanalyse”

” Post-Mortem Psychanalyse”
(Great Dane Records)

Battle Helm Rating

Despite the band name, this is a French thrash/death metal band. This is apparently their debut album after having released a demo in 2009. I have a nagging feeling that I have seen the band name before but I have no memory of having heard the 2009 demo. I must have seen it in print somewhere. This is what I like to call deathrash. An amalgamation of styles. I don’t know how to really describe it but to me death metal is low and down tuned and heavy. This has that lighter thrash feel to it while maintaining that dirtiness of death metal. But it is still one heavy ass of an album. This one turned out cool. Anders Ekdahl


” DecadesOfDeath”
(Sangue Frio Produções)

Battle Helm Rating

Brazilian death can have many different meanings but in this instance it is all about metal. I cannot remember the very first Brazilian death metal band I heard but it must have been way back in the late 80s. Because to me Sepultura wasn’t pure death metal. they were more Death/thrash. But no matter which band it was it was a happening back then. Nowadays it is not as exotic. But a good death metal band is always nice to come about. And as good as this is it isn’t right up my alley. It lacks that little extra that sets the good apart from the really good. It is hard to put words to that feeling. Anders Ekdahl

IN PURULENCE ”Putrid Valley”

”Putrid Valley”
(Great Dane Records)

Battle Helm Rating

I didn’t know that there was this many cool death metal bands in France but thanks to national labels like Great Dane Records I get to find out about them. IN PURULENCE has a really heavy sound. Perhaps not the most brutal death metal you’ll ever hear but it is still heavy enough to put many to shame. I know so well what this reminds me of yet I cannot remember it. But if you like your death metal heavy and at a moderate tempo you should check this one out. I don’t think you’d be disappointed. In the 80s there where mosh metal. This is the stuff I’d mosh to, like an even more demented zombie. Anders Ekdahl

IRON HUNTER ”Mankind Resistance”

”Mankind Resistance”
(Fighter Records)

Battle Helm Rating

Here is another Spanish heavy metal act making their music heard worldwide. I usually don’t comment on the vocals but this time I have to make a slight remark about them. I don’t know if it is the mix or what but the vocals are sure way in the front in the sound picture. And with them being high pitched they are hard to no notice. But apart from that this is heavy metal filled with melodies and that classic 80s feel. And since I seem to return to my 80s metal roots all the time I have no issue with this. in fact I quite enjoy this. There is a cool vibe to it that gets my heart pumping and puts a smile to my face. Anders Ekdahl

KESS’THAK ”Unwritten Rules Prevail”

”Unwritten Rules Prevail”
(Art Gates Records)

Battle Helm Rating

I am sitting here trying to figure out which band this reminds me of. The closest I come is like a mix of Decapitated and At The Gates. Or a grindcore version of At The Gates. This is one brutal album. There is no doubt about that. It has the ferocity of grindcore but the chugga chugga of death metal. As I was new to this band I didn’t know what to expect from this, but I gotta say that I am impressed by what I hear. This is one hell of a grinding album. This is this week’s definition of extreme metal. Me likey likey. Anders Ekdahl



Battle Helm Rating

This Vienna based band have a name that is bloody hard to pronounce if you are not fluent in German. I have no idea what it means. Thankfully the music is much easier to understand. This is being described as heavy/speed metal with a hint of thrash. I can but agree with that description. This gives me vibes of a time lost when metal was not as divided into categories as it is today. I totally love old Running Wild, old Helloween, Savage Grace and that whole speed metal of the 80s. I am not saying that KüENRING are the new saviours of speed metal but it is sure nice to hear an album that in parts reminds me of the past. Anders Ekdahl