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REVIEWS 2016 - Page 1

Sweet little lullabies for adults. Until the men start playing electric guitars, and 1 of them start to scream. That will surely wake you up. Songs like "Lullaby" and "Laid To Rest" can easily make you fall asleep though. And there's more of that, but also a few songs who are a little harder. The worst crap is the last track, "Grace", which is a piano piece. It's like I want to throw the damned thing out! If it wasn't for the fact that I played the song on my computer (which I want to keep).
I don't really know in what genre I should put this band, because as I already have explained it sometimes sounds more like lullabies, and sometimes it's suddenly metal. I guess they end up in the progressive metal/rock category.
Favorites: "Suffer The Last Bridge", "Turpentine" and "Apologue".
Question: How many times does she sing "I love you" in "Nights In White Satin"? Cool with a little "blast beats" to that though.
Release date: March 4, 2016 (Century Media)
MARCH 1, 2016

MAN.MACHINE.INDUSTRY: Box Of Horrors - Album
A little bit less industrial and a little bit more heavy metal is something that everybody seems to say about this album. But it's still as hard as before, and there's still plenty of heavy riffs and a harsh voice. Sometimes it's more melodic than before though, and some songs actually reminds me of PAIN. There's even a "ballad", the last song "Heading For Nowhere".
Their previous albums have all been good, but this must be their best album so far. All songs are great, so this is something that you don't want to miss.
Release date: March 4, 2016 (Killing Machine Productions/GMR Music)
FEBRUARY 29, 2016

RIZON: Power Plant - Album
Very melodic heavy/power metal from Switzerland. This is their fourth album. There's both male and female vocals. They have a couple of really good songs on this album. That's for sure. But what else is there to say? I have been listening to this album many times now.
Simply worth checking out, and I don't have that much more else to add. (A short review is also a review).
Release date: March 4, 2016 (Pure Rock Records)
FEBRUARY 29, 2016

INGLORIOUS: Inglorious - Album
5 young men who wants to spread their love for classic hard rock from the 70s. They're inspired by classic bands like DEEP PURPLE, LED ZEPPELIN, WHITESNAKE, BAD COMPANY, AEROSMITH and ROLLING STONES, just to name a few.
The band formed in 2014, and this is their debut album, which is a very good album that everybody who like classic hard rock with a touch of blues should like. The lead guitarist comes from Sweden, while the rest of the guys are from England.
All songs are great, but I think "Inglorious" got that extra magic touch that makes it stick out a little from the rest of the material. You must check this out!
(Frontiers Music srl)
FEBRUARY 28, 2016

LAST IN LINE: Heavy Crown - Album
First of all, sad to hear that 1 of the members, Jimmy Bain (DIO, RAINBOW, Gary Moore), died before this album was released. The band will hopefully continue, but they haven't announced any replacement yet.
This is yet another one of all these "all-star" bands with several well-known faces. The name of the band is taken from the second DIO album, "Last In Line" (1984). And it all started as a tribute band to Ronnie James Dio (R.I.P.) in 2011. Vinnie Appice (BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL), Jimmy Bain and Vivian Campbell (DEF LEPPARD, WHITESNAKE) were members of DIO on the 3 first albums: "Holy Diver", "Last In Line" and "Sacred Heart". Andrew Freeman (LYNCH MOB, HURRICANE) became the singer of the band.
Now you will probably expect that the music on this debut album will sound like DIO, but I don't think it sounds exactly like that. It's not too far away from that though, as it's still hard rock in the same league. But Andrew Freeman and Ronnie James Dio are obviously 2 different vocalists. And there's nothing wrong with that as he obviously can deliver just as good as any one of the more famous singers.
It's a very good album with many good songs, so this is definitely something that you should give a chance.
(Frontiers Music srl)
FEBRUARY 28, 2016

MEGASCAVENGER: As Dystopia Beckons - Album
Much stuff that isn't so interesting here, but it's not totally hopeless. A more melodic song like "As The Last Day Has Passed" was really good though. But I think it's too much industrial/techno metal here. A playground for adults. I hope they had a lot of fun though.
This is yet another band with the legendary Rogga Johansson. And the album features a star-studded line up with band members of HAIL OF BULLETS, ECHELON, FLESHCRAWL, ENTRAILS, SINISTER, CRYPTICUS and others.
To mix industrial metal and death metal like this is at least something unusual, as most death metal bands aim at the classic old-school sound. So if you want something different, then this could be the album for you.
Release date: March 1, 2016 (Selfmadegod Records)
FEBRUARY 28, 2016

DIRKSCHNEIDER and ANVIL at Trädgår'n in Göteborg, Sweden on February 26, 2016
I totally missed the first band, RAMPART, so I don't have anything to say about them. And I actually didn't arrive until ANVIL had played at least half their show. But to be honest with you, they're probably seen more like a cult band because of their documentary than a band that's actually good. They have some good moments though, but there's a little too much "circus" (in lack of a better word) and guitar squeak for my taste.
Former ACCEPT frontman Udo Dirkschneider are on a tour where he perform only ACCEPT songs for the last time. In other words a real heavy metal party that you don't want to miss. And he didn't dissapoint me. A lot of classics and a really good performance was what he delivered. He must have played about 20-25 songs. So the show must have been around 1 and a half to 2 hours. And only good songs all the way. Impressive!
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FEBRUARY 27, 2016

Weird band name.
This is a young rock trio from Finland. Their music has been influenced by funk, soul and blues. My opinion is that this song is pretty soft actually. And it's not the kind of song that get stuck in your head and doesn't want to leave. It's o.k. as long as it last, but unfortunately soon forgotten. And therefore I don't have anything else to say about this.
Release date: February 29, 2016 (Secret Entertainment)
FEBRUARY 26, 2016

DJÄVULEN MÖBLERAR OM: Djävulen Möblerar Om - Album
10 tracks in 20 minutes. Punk, but is it really a full length?
Anyway.. This band formed in Stockholm, Sweden in 2013. They have released a couple of 7" EPs before, and now their first album is here (vinyl and digitally).
What we get here is nothing else but pure catchy punk rock like it was done in the early days (70s/80s). I liked their EPs, but the question is if this isn't even better.
Definitely worth checking out! I already look forward to their next release.
Release date: February 27, 2016 (Beluga Records)
FEBRUARY 26, 2016

Jani Lane: Catch A Falling Star - Album
Jani Lane was the singer in WARRANT between 1985-2004. He continued to write and record after he left the band, often paying homage to some of his musical heroes by participating in tribute projects to CHEAP TRICK, JUDAS PRIEST and others. This album is a collection of covers that he did as a solo artist, sometimes with people like Ryan Roxie (Alice Cooper, SLASH'S SNAKEPIT), Jake E. Lee (Ozzy Osbourne), Chis Holmes (W.A.S.P.) and his old band pals Erik Turner and Jerry Dixon from WARRANT.
It starts good with the tripple "I Want You To Want Me" (CHEAP TRICK), "Panama" (VAN HALEN) and "Photograph" (DEF LEPPARD), who are all favorites to me. But then comes "The Ocean" (LED ZEPPELIN?), and that wasn$t a good song (but I haven't heard it before as far as I can remember). After that it's time for the tasty double sandwich "Doctor, Doctor" (UFO) and "Electric Eye" (JUDAS PRIEST), before "Free For All" (Ted Nugent?) and "No Surprize" (AEROSMITH?;) comes, which are 2 songs that I haven't heard before and don't even know who did them, but they sounds better than "The Ocean" anyway, and that's always something positive. He end the whole thing on top with "Lay Your Hands On Me" (BON JOVI).
Definitely a good soundtrack for your next rock n roll party. No doubt about that!
Jani unfortunately died in 2011. R.I.P.
Release date: February 26, 2016 (Deadline Music/Cleopatra Records)
FEBRUARY 25, 2016

ABYSSUS: Once Entombed - Album
As much as 19 drain cleaners is what this old-school death metal band deliver to your speakers. Sometimes with a big doze of crust punk. There's as much as 5 covers, with The EXPLOITED, SODOM, ASPHYX, DEATH and SLAYER. Sound and song quality vary, but most of these songs are definitely good enough for me. 10 songs would have been enough though.
The reason why there's so many songs is because this is actually a collection of split releases and their debut EP, "Monarch to the Kingdom of the Dead". And that's also the reason why the quality vary. The potential is there though. No doubt about that.
Weird to release a record on a Sunday by the way..
Release date: February 28, 2016 (Transcending Obscurity Classics)
FEBRUARY 25, 2016

THUNDER LORD: Prophecies Of Doom - Album
THUNDER LORD is a heavy metal band from Santiago, Chile, who formed in 2002. They're influenced by bands like RUNNING WILD, GRAVE DIGGER, EXCITER and IRON ANGEL. After 2 demo recordings, their first real studio album, "Hymns of Wrath in This Metal Age", was released in 2008.
Well, this is definitely good stuff and worth checking out for all you headbangers out there. I don't really know what else there is to say about this..
Release date: February 26, 2016 (Iron Shield Records)
FEBRUARY 24, 2016

GOATSODOMIZER: The Curse Rings True - Album
Raw thrash n roll (as they call it) from Sweden. It's a little like early VENOM. Raw and dirty Satanic metal rock n roll.
They're o.k., but 12 songs is a little too much for me. Fun that they picked "Going To Brazil" by MOTÖRHEAD instead of the typical "Ace Of Spades" that everybody else seems to play.
According to the information I can find on their Facebook page, this album is a collection of old material from the last 2 decades. They formed back in 1995 already, so it's hardly a new band. They will hopefully record some new material sooner or later though.
Release date: February 26, 2016 (Iron Shield Records)
FEBRUARY 24, 2016

SARKE: Bogefod - Album
I don't know how many times I have heard this album without coming up with anything to say about it. So I guess it's about time that I write something.
What this band do is good stuff. Some kind of mid-tempo black metal with atmosphere or something like that. But then comes "Dawning" and destroy the party totally. An acoustic ballad with a female opera singer? No thanks. Not for me my friend. But luckily that's the only gravel in the machinery. Otherwise it runs smooth.
This is SARKE's fourth album. And the linup includes some well-known people in the Norwegian metal scene: Nocturno Culto (DARKTHRONE) on vocals, Steinar Gundersen (SATYRICON) on guitar, Thomas Sarke Bergli (KHOLD, TULUS) on bass and Anders Hunstad (EL CACO) on keyboards. Blend those bands and put your own twist to it, and you will probably get something like SARKE in the end.
Release date: February 26, 2016 (Indie Recordings)
FEBRUARY 24, 2016

BOMBUS: Repeat Until Death - Album
Already during the first listening to this album I can hear that it's the kind of album that you need to hear a couple of times. But after that you will probably fall in love.
They have really developed their sound. There's not as many long instrumental parts as there was before. Which makes the album a little shorter (34 minutes). It's still progressive, heavy and hard metal. And you will hear that it's BOMBUS. But somehow I think it's not as hard and heavy as before. More easily digested if you want to, but hardly something for the pop nerds. So don't expect to hear them on the radio (unless it's a rock show).
Well, as you're probably already curious, you might just as well check this album out and make your own opinion about it. But I like it anyway.
Release date: February 26, 2016 (Century Media)
FEBRUARY 23, 2016

ENTOMBED A.D.: Dead Dawn - Album
Entombed AD
My first impression was that it's mainly just as usual, but now I actually think this is a little more back to their old style somehow. It's still a pretty safe band though. You know what you gonna get.
"Hubris Fall" is a song that the fans probably will have different opinions about though. Some kind of slower thing, not really a ballad. And don't expect any clean vocals. L-G doesn't change his vocals. He just walks in and roars like he always have.
I know it's only death n roll, but I like it.
Release date: February 26, 2016 (Century Media)
FEBRUARY 23, 2016

VOIVOD: Post Society - EP
Hm.. Progressive thrash metal? Well, definitely progressive metal anyway. And 1 thing is for sure when it comes to this Canadian veterans, you will always get something different every time they release something new.
This EP includes 5 new studio tracks. 4 originals and a cover of HAWKWIND's "Silver Machine". A new album is expected in the end of this year.
If this is good or bad is up to the fans to decide, and I'm not a fan of this band. But I can at least say that it's pretty good for being a progressive band. And I like the cover song.
Release date: February 26, 2016 (Century Media)
FEBRUARY 23, 2016

AXE CRAZY: Angry Machines - EP
Really good melodic heavy metal from Poland. This is a vinyl reissue of their first EP, which was released in 2014. Only available in 200 copies, so act fast, because this is something that you shouldn't miss if you like good old New Wave Of British Heavy Metal.
As some of you might have figured out already, the band name comes from the British 80s band JAGUAR. And there's a pinch of them in these 4 songs. But there's also a pinch of early IRON MAIDEN and 80s US metal.
Release date: February 26, 2016 (Pure Underground Records)
FEBRUARY 22, 2016

DESTRUCTOR: Back In Bondage - Album
Album title of the month! Ha, ha!
DESTRUCTOR comes from Cleveland, Ohio, and released their debut album, "Maximum Destruction", in 1985 already. Unfortunately the career ended very sudden back in early 1988, when bassist Dave Holocaust was murdered. Which led to a break for 11 years before they started to play again.
And now, for the first time, their second album, "Back In Bondage", is finally released. It's pretty fast and energetic US power metal/thrash metal that we get from these 9 tracks. And it's not bad at all, even though I have heard more interesting bands. Many of these songs are unnecessarily long, and it's hardly any hits.
Release date: February 26, 2016 (Pure Steel Records)
FEBRUARY 22, 2016

SARASIN: Sarasin - Album
This Canadian heavy metal band was originally formed in the 80s. Their first Ep, "Lay Down Your Guns", came out in 1987. The only one who is left from the original lineup today is guitarist Greg Boileau. The other founding member, bassist Rob Grant, died after a battle with cancer in 2012, and this album is dedicated to him.
Pretty good stuff. They definitely have a couple of good songs here, like "The Hammer", "Now" and "Forevermore" for example. And it reminds me of the early 90s somehow. But it's not grunge because of that, and it's not really 80s heavy metal either. I guess they have picked up a little here and there, and then succeed to make their own thing out of it.
Release date: February 26, 2016 (Pure Steel Records)
FEBRUARY 22, 2016

UFO: Live Sightings - 4-album Box Set
What we have here is as much as 4 live albums with the legendary British hard rock band UFO. The recordings are all from the early 80s, and comes from shows in Chicago (1980), Chicago (1981), St. Louis (1982) and Cleveland (1982).
The band had already existed for many years by this time (they formed in 1969 already), so they were more or less already veterans. And you can of course hear that it's a professional band and no amateurs who play here. And the band is still around today, which is pretty impressive. Many members have come and left through the years though.
The first time I heard a song with them was on a compilation LP, with the stupid name "Metal Killers", where their song "Boogie" was included. They really sounded like some old farts to a young boy. But later on I heard songs like "Lights Out" and "Doctor, Doctor", and that was much better.
UFO definitely have a couple of really good songs in their enormous catalogue. There's no doubt about that. I'm not sure how good they are today, but it sounds like they were great in the early 80s anyway.
Now I have probably heard enough UFO for at least a couple of months.
(Cleopatra Records)
FEBRUARY 21, 2016

CHARTA 77 and STRINDBERGS at Sticky Fingers in Göteborg, Sweden on February 19, 2016
For a couple of months I thought that it was STRINDBERG SOM TORTYR that was going to be support act, which is a band that I like. But then I realized that it was the old trio STRINDBERGS, with Johan Johansson from KSMB. I have just 1 record with them, and that didn't really impress me, so that was a little dissapointment.
STRINDBERGS was formed in 1982 already, after KSMB had split up. 3 years later it was over. But in 2009 they started to do a couple of gigs, and have done so each year since then as far as I can understand. The drummer nowadays is Robert Eriksson from The HELLACOPTERS.
They did a pretty o.k. show, but some of their songs sounded more like Swedish singer/songwriter Ulf Lundell than punk rock, which I wanted to hear. Some songs was o.k. though.
I don't really get why they didn't start to play until 21.30 when the place opened at 20.00. Very stupid. But you can never trust Sticky Fingers (different time every time).
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It must be something like 10-15 years since I saw Swedish trallpunk legends CHARTA 77 last time. They was very popular here in Sweden in the 90s, but formed as early as 1983.
I had become a little drunk when they finally started to play, but as far as I can remember they did a really good show and played a lot of classics. Just the way you want it to be.
It was all kinds of people at this show, and all kinds of ages from 18 and up. I was a little surprised to meet some people that I know, who I thought was just listening to extreme metal.
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ROUWEN: Rouwkots - Album
Once upon a time in 1989 there was a Dutch death metal band named MOURNING, who released a split album with ETERNAL SOLSTICE in 1992 and a full length album in 1993. In 1997 they changed their name to ROUWEN, which actually is the Dutch word for mourning. And as they suddenly had a Dutch name, they decided to write all their lyrics in Dutch. "Rouwkots" (something like raw puke) became the title of the album, and now it's available again with some bonus stuff, like a radio interview (that's what they call it, huh?) and 2 rare rehearsal tracks.
My opinion about this record is that it's a bit chaotic and raw, which makes it sound a little like good old hardcore/punk. I guess this will fit for both death metallers and hardcore punks.
Release date: February 22, 2016 (Vic Records)
FEBRUARY 18, 2016

ASSORTED HEAP: The Experience Of Horror - Album
Time for another history lesson: ASSORTED HEAP was a cult death/thrash metal band from Aurich, a town in Lower Saxony, Germany. Their debut demo, "Killing Peace", was recorded in early 1988. In 1991, the band signed a deal with new extreme metal label 1MF Records, and recorded their debut album, "The Experience Of Horror", which was originally supposed to be just an EP/mini album. The original LP had 6 tracks and the CD had 3 additional bonus tracks.
This re-issue features all 9 original 1991 recordings, plus the demo from 1988 as a bonus, including 2 never before released tracks from the same recording sessions.
So, is it any good then you might ask by now? Well, I think it's something that you could like if you're into good old thrash. It's fast and aggressive. Almost hysterical sometimes. But I don't like silly crap like "Frisia non Cantat". That's all I have to say about that.
Release date: February 22, 2016 (Vic Records)
FEBRUARY 18, 2016

BURN THE OCEAN: Come Clean - Album
This could probably be worth checking out if you like heavy rock. Songs like "Seed" and "Land Of Mud", as well as their cover of LED ZEPPELIN's "Black Dog", is really good stuff. But unfortunately I don't have that much else to say about this..
They didn't include too much information about this band either. All I know is that it's a new band from Italy, which was born from the ashes of 2NOVEMBRE, with the addition of Fabio (NERVE, RITUAL OF REBIRTH) on guitar and vocals. Which probably doesn't say that much to you either?
(Sliptrick Records)
FEBRUARY 18, 2016

HOMSELVAREG: Catastrofe - Album
This sounds like it was recorded to cassette on an old tape recorder in the rehearsal room back in the 90s. And the music is some kind of raw/extreme black metal that doesn't give me that much. It's possible that it could have to do with the sound though, but they should actually give this away for free (they will hardly be any millionaires on this anyway).
The band was born as UNDERWORLD in 2004. They are from Italy. There isn't that much else to say..
(Sliptrick Records)
FEBRUARY 18, 2016

TRAFFIC DEATH: Terror On The Freeway - 7" EP
Maybe a little too many samples and fun here, but otherwise we get some fast and violent old school punk with a pinch of metal. They deliver 4 of their own songs and a slaughter of GIRLSCHOOL's "Hit & Run" (I can hardly hear that it actually is that song). This piece of vinyl is limited to 500 copies on clear vinyl with blood red splatter.
Pretty o.k. for a while, and I think these 5 songs are just about enough for me. They released a album, "Don't Be A Projectile", last year though, for those who want more of this.
(Give Praise Records)
FEBRUARY 18, 2016

SKELETON PIT: Chaos At The Mosh-Reactor - Album
Mosh! Old-school thrash metal trio from south Germany. But it sounds like they could just as well have been from the San Francisco Bay Area during the 80s.
SKELETON PIT was founded in 2014, but it's not really a new band. They have been active for about 10 years before that, under the name PISSDOLLS. They released 3 self produced albums under that name, but this is the first album as SKELETON PIT, and the first album to be released by a record label.
I guess they might not have the most intelligent lyrics ("Tits To Die For", very funny), but you get something to laugh at. 10 tracks in 36 minutes. Perfect!
(Gegentrend Records)
FEBRUARY 18, 2016

Sacha Korn: Feuer - Album
Heavy guitars, melancholic melodies and lyrics in German can easily make you think of bands like BÖHSE ONKELZ and RAMMSTEIN. This is not as hard and industrial as RAMMSTEIN though. But if you think they're too hard and aggressive for you, then maybe you should try Sacha Korn instead.
The parts that I like best is when they start a song with something that sounds like good old heavy metal and/or thrash metal. Unfortunately they don't continue with that for too long, which could have been much more interesting.
It's a totally o.k. album, but soon forgotten I suppose.
(Nokout Music)
FEBRUARY 18, 2016

ANGERHEAD: Headful Of Hate - EP
ANGERHEAD is a San Jose, California based band that was started in February 2011. They blend elements of Bay Area thrash, metal, punk and hardcore. The first self titled EP was released in 2013, and this EP, "Headful Of Hate", was released in 2014 (why they send it out for review in late 2015 is a question for me too, and the reason why the review wasn't posted until February 2016 is simply because I have way too much to review, but I try to catch up).
The one who did the MP3's must have been drunk. Because suddenly a song just stop. And I'm pretty sure that the song wasn't over yet, because it had just begun.
(Self released?)
FEBRUARY 18, 2016

AIRLESS: Make It Right - Digital EP
AIRLESS was formed in January 2002, and already in June the same year they released their first self-titled album (talk about lucky bastards). It was followed by a couple of more albums. This digital EP will serve as a preview of a new album.
The music they give us is melodic hard rock with heavy guitars, and it's not bad at all. Especially "Make It Right" and "Then I Walk Away". Some of the songs actually reminds me of VAN HALEN with Sammy Hagar on vocals and BON JOVI.
If you like melodic hard rock, then this could be worth checking out for you.
FEBRUARY 18, 2016

MEFISTO: - Album
It's kind of hard to tell if this is good or bad. They are hardly the best band in the world, but not the worst either. I guess they end up in the middle of no mans land. But to create something that will satisfy everyone is more or less impossible.
MEFISTO started back in 1984 under the name TORMENT. Along with OBSCURITY, the 2 were the first Swedish extreme metal bands to follow the now legendary BATHORY. But after just 2 demos, both folded as they were simply too early with their extreme music at the time and got no support. MEFISTO have since then gained a cult status, heavily influencing the upcoming extreme music underground, especially the local Stockholm death metal scene.
30 years later they are back with their debut album. And if you have any interest at all in extreme metal, then you will probably check this out. But if that's not interesting at all for you, then you better avoid this record.
Release date: February 22, 2016 (Vic Records)
FEBRUARY 18, 2016

PROCREATION: Ghostwood - Album
This is a new Dutch extreme metal band, that started in 2012 as a death metal side project merely for fun. PROCREATION soon became a real band, and some black and thrash metal influences also found their way into their music. After a couple of years they had enough material for a full album, so now their debut album is here.
And as far as I can hear it sounds mainly like death metal. Even though there's a touch of thrash or black metal in some of the songs. And they're just as hard and heavy but yet fast as any other band in this genre. I wouldn't claim that what they're do is something new, but it's really good. And that's the most important thing of course.
It seems like they have a good little scene down in the Netherlands.
Release date: February 22, 2016 (Vic Records)
FEBRUARY 18, 2016

EXTERNAL MENACE: The Process Of Elimination - Album
Another really good UK punk band that I have not heard before.
This little-known band from Glasgow formed in 1979, and split up after only a few years. Like so many other old bands, they regrouped in the 90s for another round, now with new lead singer Ian Welsh (replacing original member Wullie Hammill, who had died in the late 80s), original guitarist John Sneddon, and a revolving door of rhythm sections. The new lineup released several EPs, split singles and compilation tracks, finally gathering the lot in 2004's "The Process of Elimination". Which will now be re-released by the punk gold mine Westworld Recordings.
Release date: February 19, 2016 (Westworld Recordings)
FEBRUARY 17, 2016

KING PRAWN: Got The Thirst - Album
Good and bad stuff here. Mainly some kind of mix of ska and punk, even though there's some other Jamaica elements too sometimes. I think there's a little too many songs on this album (15 tracks is definitely 5 too many). And the worst crap was the last song, which is a remix of "The Dominant View" that last for almost 7 minutes. But take it easy, there's some good stuff too, like the real version of "The Dominant View", "Caught Inna Rut", "The Loneliest Life" and "Gather Round" for example. Silly stuff like "Smoke Some Shit" (fucking hip hop) and the instrumental song "If Dawn Comes... We Ride" wasn't so funny though.
This album was originally released in 2003, and was the last album from this London orchestra.
Release date: February 19, 2016 (Westworld Recordings)
FEBRUARY 17, 2016

CHARM DESIGNER: Everlasting - Album
What we get here is some kind of gothic bore metal/rock with a small pinch of death metal. They call it doom-gothic metal though. The band comes from Colombia and this is their second album, which was recorded with legendary producer Waldemar Sorychta (SAMAEL, TIAMAT, LACUNA COIL, SENTENCED, MOONSPELL).
It might not be totally worthless, but it doesn't really give me that much either. Dark winter music from a country where the sun always shine.
Release date: February 19, 2016 (Inverse Records)
FEBRUARY 16, 2016

FACTORY BRAINS: Hard Labor - Album
Very good Americana/blues rock. Or why not working class rock n roll? Some people will probably call this old-man rock. You can call it almost whatever you want as long as you don't say that it's bad.
FACTORY BRAINS was founded in 2010 and is a young trio from Stockholm, Sweden. They have already made over 100 concerts. "Hard Labor" is their second album.
They might not have anything new to offer, but it sounds like this is made with heart and soul. It's an emotional cocktail of rock, americana, blues and soul that people who are into stuff like RIVAL SONS and GRAVEYARD should like.
Release date: February 19, 2016 (Wild Kingdom)
FEBRUARY 16, 2016

INFA RIOT: The Best Of - Double Album
Here's a band that I haven't heard before. But this compilation is hopefully a good introduction. They seems to have a couple of really good songs anyway, so this was pretty nice to hear.
The music is pure British punk/Oi! from the streets of London. And what you get here is all the group's original 45s together with a couple of B-sides. 20 tracks in all.
This is definitely something that you should check out if you're into British punk from the 80s.
Release date: February 19, 2016 (Westworld Recordings)
FEBRUARY 15, 2016

The RUTS: Babylon's Burning - Double Album
Well, here's another old British punk band that I thought that I haven't heard before. But then I remembered that I actually have 1 of their songs ("Stairing At The Rude Boys", not included here) on an old cassette that I haven't been listening to for many years.
They start the party with a live recording. After that it's various studio recordings. It's definitely good stuff that we get here, so this could absolutely be worth checking out if you're into good old punk rock. They even spice it up with a dub/reggae song once in a while too. You will get as much as 31 tracks, which are taken from the live recording "Live & Loud" (originally released in 1987) and the compilation "In A Can".
As many times before with this kind of collections, you get some of the songs several times. We get just the title track as much as 5 times! And we get "H-Eyes" 3 times.
Release date: February 19, 2016 (Westworld Recordings)
FEBRUARY 15, 2016

SLEEPY HOLLOW: Tales Of Gods And Monsters - Album
U.S. metal veterans SLEEPY HOLLOW return with a new album and a new singer, Chapel Stormcrow (ALTAR OF DAGON). He is a little more dramatic and deeper, and the music is hardly the fastest heavy metal. Pretty dark actually. I think that they're on the thin line between doom metal and classic heavy metal.
This might not be a future classic, but it's definitely a good album. No doubt about that. And now that you know that, why not check it out?
Release date: February 19, 2016 (Pure Steel Records)
FEBRUARY 14, 2016

The BONGO CLUB and MOONLIT SAILOR at Klubb Undergrunden/Pulsen in Borås, Sweden on February 13, 2016
It was much better last time I went to this rock club. Not that much people this time, and the music wasn't so good either, so I understand that people had better things to do, because it was definitely not worth the money. What a waste of time.
MOONLIT SAILOR was already playing when I arrived. Some kind of instrumental dream/fairytale rock. 60s/70s inspired psychedelic rock. No vocals at all, and they hardly said anything between the songs either. They just played and played. I got tired of them pretty soon. And just like last time I was there, the bands played for an eternity. And it didn't really help that the DJ hardly ever played a song that was good.
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Well, compared to the first band, The BONGO CLUB was excellent. But I don't think I want to hear them again though. They played some kind of pretty friendly rock. Almost a little too nice actually. But they probably did a good show anyway. That's all I have to say about that.
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FEBRUARY 14, 2016

BACKYARD BABIES, HEAVY TIGER and JUNKSTARS at Trädgår'n in Göteborg, Sweden on February 12, 2016
Good that I was there early, because the first band started way earlier than I thought they would. About half an hour earlier than I expected to be more exactly. Another surprise was that the first band was JUNKSTARS. Because I thought HEAVY TIGER would play first. Doesn't really matter though who play first when all bands are good, but there wasn't that much people in the beginning. I guess it was like the singer said: "People sit at home drinking and think 'why should I see the support band for?'. Too bad for them. They really missed a damned good band.
JUNKSTARS is a trio from Stockholm, Sweden who you might have read about here before. I have reviewed some stuff and been to a couple of shows before. They have punk t-shirts and punk attitude, but I also think that they blend in some good old rock n roll in their drink. It's what people use to call action rock. And they deliver it very good. Definitely a band that you should check out (if you haven't done that already).
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Next band was HEAVY TIGER then. A female trio, also from Stockholm (as far as I know), who play some kind of hard rock n roll. And just because they're women they reminds me of The RUNAWAYS and JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS. But o.k., they doesn't sound exactly like that, but something similar anyway. They're damned good anyway and another band that you should check out if you haven't done that.
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It was many years since I saw BACKYARD BABIES last time. It must have been sometime after their self-titled album was released anyway (whenever that could have been, bad memory sometimes). But as you probably know, they had a break for a couple of years, but now they're definitely back to kick some arse.
It was more or less a best of set that they did, with many songs from my favorite album "Total 13", to my big luck. They really proved that they're still a damned good live band who knows how to satisfy their audience. So if anybody thought that BACKYARD BABIES are yesterdays news, then you better think again.
I'm not sure if it was sold out, because the balcony was closed (which it wasn't last time I saw them at Trädgår'n, but that must have been over 10 years ago or something like that). It was probably close to sold out. There was a lot of people anyway.
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3 damned good bands in 1 night! That's not bad for a Friday night.
FEBRUARY 13, 2016

HELION PRIME: Helion Prime - Album
Sacramento, Californian science fiction power metal? I don't think it sounds that much science fiction though, so it's probably the lyrics who are inspired by science fiction.
They released their first demo in 2014, a EP in February last year, and now their debut album is here.
It's pretty melodic female-fronted metal that we get on this album, and they definitely have a couple of really good songs. This is something that you should check out.
Release date: February 15, 2016 (Self released)
FEBRUARY 12, 2016

KEOMA: Synthesis - Album
Finnish progressive metal band with 6 members. This is their debut album, but they have released 3 EPs before. They paint some dark pictures with their melancholy music, and I can't really say that this is my kind of thing. It takes them almost an hour just to play these 9 songs. But if you like progressive soft metal, go ahead. I won't stop you. We all have different taste.
Dream music for artistic days.
Release date: February 12, 2016 (Macaroni Penguine Music)
FEBRUARY 11, 2016

BLODAD TAND: Control, Alt, Delete - EP, Cassette
Oh, it's so wonderful with some good old Swedish punk once in a while, and this Gothenburg trio seems to be just the right injection. They might play punk, but the vocals is pretty aggressive and a little like hardcore. They actually describe it as punk/hardcore. No matter what, these 5 songs are really good, and something that you definitely should check out.
This seems to be their first release, but I look forward to hear more from this band. That's for sure!
Release dates: Digital and pre-order - February 9, 2016 / 7" vinyl & Cassette - March 19, 2016 (Suicide Records (Europe)/Dirt Cult Records (USA))
FEBRUARY 11, 2016

WISHING WELL featuring Graham Bonnet: Hippie Heart Gypsy Soul - Single
What am I supposed to say about this then? It's a Finnish band playing melodic hard rock, and on this song they succeeded to get the legendary Graham Bonnet (RAINBOW, MSG, ALCATRAZZ) to sing. It's a very good song, there's no doubt about that, but I don't think it will be any bigger hit in the world of hard rock. Simply because most people probably won't even know that it exist. But now that at least you know about it, let's listen and spread the news.
This track comes from WISHING WELL's debut album, "Chasing Rainbows", which is out now.
(Inverse Records)
FEBRUARY 10, 2016

TKO/The RODS: Ace Of Spades - Single
Nice that they want to make a tribute to the late Lemmy, but why must everyone play something so typical as "Ace Of Spades"? They do a pretty good version though, so no problem there anyway. But it would be interesting to hear something that isn't so typical for MOTÖRHEAD. But it wouldn't surprise me if there will be a tribute album sooner or later. Maybe then?
I'm not familiar with TKO since before, but I have been listening to The RODS since I was a kid and a friend played them for me. You should really check them out.
On this song members from both TKO and The RODS have teamed up to record this little "high octane version" (as they call it) of this hard rock classic. All proceeds will go to the Ronnie James Dio "Stand Up and Shout" Cancer fund.
FEBRUARY 10, 2016

RAUBTIER: Brännmärkt - Single
Yet another single from their upcoming album, "Bärsärkagång", which finally will be released on February 19. Is it the third or the fourth? (They say it's the second though). Why don't they just release the album instead? This is just stupid!
Well, this song doesn't sound like the previous singles, and that's always something. It's not as hard and industrial (in lack of a better word) as they use to be. Almost a little more melodic than the other material, even though RAUBTIER are hardly ever melodic.
It's a good song anyway, and what else is there to say?
(Despotz Records)
FEBRUARY 10, 2016

WAR CURSE: Final Days - EP, Cassette
This band reminds me of KREATOR, SLAYER (1 of the songs are actually titled "New Chemical Warfare") and early METALLICA. But not as fast and aggressive as those bands are (or was when it comes to METALLICA). Which makes WAR CURSE a light edition of them. That doesn't mean that they're bad though. Oh no, they're very good. So no problem there.
6 songs is what you get, and it's of course worth checking out.
WAR CURSE formed in late 2013, and this is their first release. I don't have much else to add..
(Static Tension Recordings)
FEBRUARY 9, 2016

SICADA: Requisition - Digital EP
This is a digital re-release of a EP with this thrash/death metal band from New York. They forgot to tell when it was originally released though. But it must have been pretty recently as they formed in December 2014. 6 tracks is what you get, and I don't have more information than that about this release or the band. But what I hear sounds totally o.k. to me, so I guess it could be worth checking out.
Release date: February 12, 2016 (Tridroid Records)
FEBRUARY 9, 2016

This was just as exiting as I suspected. In other words not that interesting at all. And how can they call it album when it's over in approximately 11 minutes?
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION comes from France, and grind their way through 5 tracks, who are no longer than 41 seconds to 1.55 minutes.
AGATHOCLES should be well-known to grind core freaks, as well as both extreme punks and extreme metallers all over the world. Is there any band that have made as many split releases as them? I don't think so. But the funny thing is that what these Belgian veterans play here isn't the usual grind core. No, it's actually a really heavy 6.49-minute sludge song. I guess they have become old and lazy (joke).
Release date: February 12, 2016 (Give Praise Records)
FEBRUARY 8, 2016

..and if you didn't get enough ear torture from the split with AGATHOCLES, then you can always check out this album too, where you get as much as 10 short grind attacks from DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION and 6 of the same stuff from PROLETAR.
Both bands play furious and raw grind core that reminds me of something called noise core. In other words pretty useless stuff. But I have to try some grind once in a while anyway, because suddenly there's a good band like their heros NAPALM DEATH, who can actually play and make good songs.
This is not music, it's noise. And that's not what I want.
Release date: February 12, 2016 (Give Praise Records)
FEBRUARY 8, 2016

THRASHFIRE: Vengeance Of Fire - EP
Raw thrash metal from Turkey. That's not something that you hear every day. But to be honest with you, this doesn't sound any different than any other thrash band. They seems to know how to make good songs anyway, because this wasn't bad at all.
You get 4 new tracks and 2 old demo tracks from 2007. And if you happens to like bands like SLAYER, KREATOR and DARK ANGEL, then I would recomend you to take a closer listen to this band.
(Xtreem Music)
FEBRUARY 7, 2016

REINCARNATION: The Beginning Of The End - Album
Now they've let that pig into the studio again to sing a little duet with his friend the bear.
It was as long as 18 years since this Spanish band released their debut album, and now their second album is here with more brutal death metal for you.
It could have been good, because the music isn't so bad. But I just don't like the vocals. That doesn't mean that you won't like it though, so give it a try.
(Xtreem Music)
FEBRUARY 7, 2016

CENDRA: Metal Punk - Album
Third album from a Spanish band who mix thrash and black metal with punk. It could be something for those of you who like TOXIC HOLOCAUST, very early ONSLAUGHT, DISCHARGE and SARCOFAGO. Simply metal punk as the album title says.
I like their primitive and raw songs. It's very punk, but still metal anyway.
Check out a song like "Boig Perdut" for example. Brilliant!
(Xtreem Music)
FEBRUARY 7, 2016

Thor: I Am Thor - Album
So, this is the soundtrack to the documentary "I Am Thor", but it can also be seen as a best of I suppose.
When you see pictures of this muscle dude and see titles like "Thunder On The Sea", "Let The Blood Run Red", "War Hammer" and "Metal Avenger", you would think that his music would be some kind of heavy metal. But most of these songs actually reminds me more of The RUNAWAYS and Alice Cooper. Simply some kind of harder rock n roll. But it's pretty good anyway, and that's always the most important thing. You should take some of the lyrics with a pinch of salt though, because many of them are really silly.
FEBRUARY 5, 2016

LUCIFER'S FRIEND: Live @ Sweden Rock Festival - Album, DVD
Was it really necissery to include that silly presentation of the band? It's 1 thing if they include it on the DVD (that I never get anyway), but why include it on the album when you just can hear and not see?
I can just as well say at once that I have never ever heard this band before. But they seems to have a couple of pretty good hard rock songs in the old school. And sometimes it's a little progressive, and sometimes pretty melodic. Nothing satanic at all, as you might think with a band name like that.
When I searched for some more information about this band, I found out that they're from Hamburg in Germany, and they have existed a little now and then since 1970 already. So I guess they play a lot of classics here.
As the title says, this show was recorded at Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg, Sweden in 2015.
FEBRUARY 5, 2016

WORLD BE FREE: The Anti-Circle - Album
Melodic, American old school hardcore/punk without any kind of metal influences. Pretty good stuff that is easy to like if you happens to like that style.
This is a pretty new band, - with members from TERROR, ENVY, STRIFE, CIV and GORILLA BISCUITS - who formed in 2014 (the name WORLD BE FREE was inspired by the basketball player Lloyd Free, who changed his name to World B. Free in 1981). It didn't take long before they hit the studio to record their first album, which became "The Anti-Circle". 14 tracks of hardcore and no nonsense.
Release date: February 5, 2016 (Revelation Records)
FEBRUARY 4, 2016

As I said when I reviewed the first single from this album, it's a reissue of their second album, which was originally released in 2013. But after several setbacks with their label at that time, the album never hit the global market. And it wasn't until 2014 that the band managed to get back the rights of the album. So now it's time for another try. There will also be a completely new album released later this year.
If you like heavier metal rock, also known as stoner rock, then this is definitely something for you my friend. Because this is good stuff. So I hope it will go better this time for them with this album.
Release date: February 5, 2016 (Skulls And Flames Recordings/Cramada)
FEBRUARY 4, 2016

TARCHON FIST: Celebration - Album
This is really good heavy metal with a lot of melody. I think it sounds like they would be some young kids from Sweden, but they are actually from Italy and has existed as a band since 2005. This is their fourth album. And the fact that this album is self released is pretty sick. Labels wake up! (Pure Steel take care of promotion though, so why not sign them?).
If you like good old heavy metal like 80s IRON MAIDEN and HELLOWEEN, then you should really check this out, because there's lots of great songs here. Yet another previously undiscovered diamond.
Release date: February 5, 2016 (Self released)
FEBRUARY 3, 2016

SEVENTH VEIL: Vox Animae - Album
What the fuck is this then? First a whole orchestra, then a fucking piano, and after almost 2 minutes there's finally some electric guitars. What have I said about these useless intros? Can't somebody just obey me? Stop that shit once and for all! I get so fucking irritated.
And now that I've said that, over to the music.. What this band play is modern hard rock. Very melodic stuff that both young and old people will like. It might not be something for the "Best Of 2016" list, but it's worth listening to. That's for sure.
This is there second full length, and you get 12 tracks in 44.51 minutes.
Release date: February 5, 2016 (Pure Steel Publishing)
FEBRUARY 3, 2016

SKUNK ANANSIE: Anarchytecture - Album
Most of these songs are actually pretty soft and melodic rock on the border to pop. But there's also a couple of songs with a little more action. I like the last ones a little better actually.
Most of these songs are more built on emotions instead of action. But I guess you have already heard this band and know if you like it or not. After all they have sold millions of records through the years, so they shouldn't be completely unknown to you (who doesn't remember a hit like "Weak"?).
The band formed in 1994, but this is actually just their sixth album. Why hurry?
Not bad for being a pop band as Mr. Lemmy would have said. My favorite songs must be "That Sinking Feeling" and "We Are The Flames".
FEBRUARY 2, 2016

The RESISTANCE: Coup De Grâce - Album
This actually reminds me of ENTOMBED/ENTOMBED A.D. Raw and heavy in-your-face death/thrash metal. The members should be well-known to those of you who know your Swedish metal: Marco Aro (The HAUNTED, ex-FACE DOWN), Jesper Strömblad (DIMENSION ZERO, ex-IN FLAMES, ex-HAMMERFALL), Daniel Antonsson (DIMENSION ZERO, ex-DARK TRANQUILLITY, ex-SOILWORK), Christoffer Barkensjö (LIK, ex-GRAVE, ex-KAAMOS etc.) and Robert Hakemo (ex-ENGEL, ex-GARDENIAN, ex-RELEVANT FEW).
13 tracks doesn't feel like 3 too many for a change. Probably because most of these songs are pretty short, which makes the album short. But when it comes to music I prefer to still be a little hungry when it's over (then I just re-load and play it again).
This is nothing else but a masterpiece!
FEBRUARY 1, 2016

DEN STORA VILAN and TORNET at Klubb Undergrunden/Pulsen in Borås, Sweden on January 30, 2016
So, a new rock club in Borås. Nice! And luckily a lot of people showed up, and I met some people that I know. It was a good place, but you can always ask if it isn't a little too much to take 150 Swedish kronor (or 220 if you didn't have a ticket) in entrance for 2 underground bands? I guess it's not so cheap to run a club? A friend of mine didn't want to go because it was too expensive for him.
TORNET was the first band out. I have seen them before, and I like their 70s heavy rock. They did a really good show and was great, but I actually think they played for a little too long. About an hour I guess. I don't really know what else to say, but I think you should check them out anyway.
Tornet  Tornet  Tornet  Tornet  Tornet  Tornet  Tornet  Tornet
Next band was DEN STORA VILAN, and that was a new band to me. I guess they're best described as some kind of Swedish 70s prog rock. Pretty o.k., but TORNET was much better, and they also played for a very long time. I guess I have to hear them again to like them more.
Den Stora Vilan  Den Stora Vilan  Den Stora Vilan  Den Stora Vilan  Den Stora Vilan  Den Stora Vilan  Den Stora Vilan
JANUARY 31, 2016

ENTHRALLMENT: Eugenic Wombs - Album
Death metal brutality from Bulgaria. This is their fifth full length. You get 9 tracks in 36.47 minutes. Not bad at all, but the instrumental/acoustic piece "Nature Does Not Allow Doubling" wasn't so exiting (it's pretty short though, just 1 and a half minute).
I don't really know what else to say, but this is definitely worth checking out anyway. No doubt about that.
(Rebirth the Metal Productions)
JANUARY 30, 2016

HORDAK: Padre - Album
Pagan black metal from Spain. This is their fourth album. It's luckily not too much folk stuff involved in their brew, so it doesn't sound silly/like some drunk people having fun. No this is really good and serious metal. That doesn't stop them from using instruments like acoustic guitar, flute, violin and xylophone though. I really think that they have succeeded to make great melodies, instead of playing as fast as possible. It's actually music and not chaos. And I happens to like that you know.
(Casus Belli Musica)
JANUARY 30, 2016

PRIMITIV: Immortal & Vile - Album
Another death metal band from India, featuring members of ALBATROSS and KILLIBRIUM.
As you might know by now, I'm a little allergic to long intros. And this band's intro is definitely too long with its 2.17 minutes. Stop fooling around and play the songs!
But except for that little mistake it's good stuff that comes out of my speakers. Some kind of heavier old-school death is my description to this. We can just as well call it doom death metal. And it could actually be worth checking out, even though I think there's a little too many distances to get anywhere. I think you're going to like it though (unless you hate death metal of course).
Release date: February 1, 2016 (Transcending Obscurity Distribution)
JANUARY 30, 2016

BESEECH: Beating Pulse - Single
Wasn't BESEECH a goth rock band? Because this sounds more like some kind of darker pop metal. The song is pretty o.k. (after a couple of listenings), but not a hit, and it comes from their new album "My Darkness, Darkness".
The story about this Borås, Sweden based band began in 1992 already. In 2003 founding member Klas Bohlin (guitar) decided to leave the band, but the rest continued for a couple of years before they gave up. In 2012 they were back again with Klas on vocals.
In 1996 Beseech signed their first record deal with We Bite/Corrosion Records, and soon after that they recorded their first album, "...from a bleeding heart". Unfortunately, the label suffered a major economic setback and was unable to release the album. Not until 1998, after the band was released from its contract with We Bite/Corrosion Records and secured a deal with Metalblade, did the album see the light of day.
In 1999, BESEECH signed a worldwide record deal with Pavement Music, and in 2000 their next album, "Black Emotions", was released. In 2001 they finally signed a worldwide record deal with Napalm Records, and a couple of more albums was released.
In 2015 the group signed a worldwide deal with Swedish label Despotz Records, and a new album will be out soon.
(Despotz Records)
JANUARY 29, 2016

IRON JAWED GURU: Mata Hari - Album
It seems like these guys forgot to record vocals. Or did they forget to put the microphone on? Because I can't hear any vocals at all on this album. Just instrumental heavy rock/stoner rock/desert rock all the way. I get tired of this very soon. Everything sounds more or less the same to me after a while. I don't really understand what the point is with this?
Release date: January 29, 2016 (Grimoire Records)
JANUARY 28, 2016

SANGUINE: Black Sheep - Album
The first track, "Breaking Out", is the best song on this album according to me. It should be a hit! ..but that will most likely not happen.
Think of SKUNK ANANSIE and add some heavy and hard metal guitars to it. And on top of that a female vocalist who sometimes sing like an angel and sometimes scream like a wild beast. Alternative metal/rock is what they call this. And that is probably a good description. It's damned good anyway, and something that you just have to check out.
SANGUINE has released a EP and a album before, but this is their first professional studio album, which was recorded in Sweden (IN FLAMES' IF Studios in Gothenburg and Sound v's Science Studio in Stockholm). The song "Empty" was co-written with Jesper Strömblad (IN FLAMES) and he also plays solo guitar on "Breathe Out".
Release date: January 29, 2016 (OMN Label Services/Rough Trade)
JANUARY 28, 2016

NORDIC UNION: Nordic Union - Album
NORDIC UNION is yet another musical collaboration made by Frontiers President Serafino Perugino, based on Ronnie Atkins (PRETTY MAIDS) and Erik Mårtensson (ECLIPSE, W.E.T.). And what these gentlemen have made is of course a melodic hard rock album with high quality songs. In other words just as you can expect when it comes to Frontiers.
This is definitely something that you should and will check out if you have any taste at all when it comes to this genre.
Release date: January 29, 2016 (Frontiers Music srl)
JANUARY 27, 2016

RESURRECTION KINGS: Resurrection Kings - Album
This makes me think of the more melodic stuff that KISS did in the mid to late 80s ("Animalize" to "Revenge"). The singer also got a Paul Stanley vibe in his voice. But it also reminds me of BON JOVI.
This is a new band from California, but the members are hardly new to the hard rock scene: Craig Goldy (DIO), Vinny Appice (BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN AND HELL etc. etc.), Sean McNabb (LYNCH MOB, DOKKEN, QUIET RIOT) and Chas West (BONHAM, FOREIGNER, TRIBE OF GYPSIES).
What you get here is nothing else but classic hard rock and a very strong material. You have to check this out of course.
Release date: January 29, 2016 (Frontiers Music srl)
JANUARY 27, 2016

HEXVESSEL: When We Are Death - Album
A little psychedelic folk rock from the forests of Tampere, Finland. Singer/guitarist/songwriter/founder Mat McNerney comes from UK though, and should be well-known to the extreme metal underground from bands like DØDHEIMSGARD and CODE. But he has also been active with BEASTMILK and its spin-off GRAVE PLEASURES. HEXVESSEL does of course not sound like any of his old sins. This is more like the more calm and psychedelic stuff with GRAVEYARD and similar bands. But there's also pieces of Joni Mitchell, The DOORS and The BEATLES.
This is their third album, so it's hardly a new band. So if you haven't discovered them until now, then it's really about time that you check them out.
Release date: January 29, 2016 (Century Media)
JANUARY 26, 2016

DEMON: Taking The World By Storm - Album
This is a British band from the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal era. They formed in 1979 already, and split up in 1992. In 1997 they were back again, and they're still active as far as I know.
Lots of records have been released through the years. This is a new remix of this album, which was originally released in 1989. It was also remastered and re-released in 2002, so why they re-release it once again is a good question.
The album starts good with songs like "Commercial Dynamite" and the title track. But after that it's just o.k. And songs who are as long as 9.22 and 11.52 are a little too long. I think they wanted a little too much there. It's never really bad though.
Release date: January 29, 2015 (Spaced Out Music)
JANUARY 25, 2016

ETERNAL OF SWEDEN: Heaven's Gate - Album
Their last album, "Chapter 1", was released in 2012. But now this Swedish melodic heavy metal band is back. And what an album they have made. Seems like this year start very good, with many strong albums already in the first month.
Well, this is obviously a must for every true fan of powerful heavy metal. Every song is a masterpiece! I don't think I have to say much more than that..
Best song must be "Burning With Pride". That song really get stuck in my head.
Release date: January 29, 2016 (Black Lodge Records)
JANUARY 25, 2016

DEGRADEAD: Degradead - Album
Man, this band should be just as big as any other of the more well-known Swedish modern/melodic death metal bands. But for some reason they're not so well-known (yet). This album will hopefully change that though. Otherwise I don't know what they should do to catch your attention.
The band celebrate their 15th anniversary, and this is their fifth studio album. But it was close that there wouldn't be another album, as the members lost the inspiration for a while. Some of them even became members of other bands, like ENGEL and SONIC SYNDICATE. And 1 wanted to leave the band. But during a hometown show in Stockholm, together with EPICA, they decided to continue with the band, and no one was going to leave the group.
They mix harder parts and growl/screaming with more emotional/melodic parts with clean vocals. Music filled with lust and a pinch of anger. A perfect combination.
I think 2016 will be a good year for metal records.
Release date: January 29, 2016 (Metalville)
JANUARY 24, 2016

This Swedish band released their first (self released) EP, "Ladies First", in 2005 already. Their latest release (before this album) was a EP, "House Of Dreams Pt. 1", in 2012. Their music is influenced by American acts like KISS, W.A.S.P., Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper. That doesn't mean that BILLION DOLLAR BABIES sounds exactly like the best stuff with those bands though. No, but it's something similar (especially the 2 later artists). I think they have been listening to some nu metal too actually, because there's a pinch of that as well in some of the songs.
It's massive guitars and strong melodies. Definitely something that you easily will like. For some reason I think that fans of HARDCORE SUPERSTAR should like them, even though this band doesn't have the same party vibe. A very strong album anyway. No doubt about that! The only song that I don't really like is "President Payne".
Release date: January 29, 2016 (Metaville)
JANUARY 24, 2016

MALICE: Triumph And Glory - Album
First of all I would like to say that this is not the 80s band who did "Rocking With You" (with the intro to Swedish 80s hard rock and metal radio show Rockbox). Confusing as this band also play good old heavy metal. Why didn't they check that the name really was available? (According to The Metal Archives there's actually 6 bands named MALICE).
Their music reminds me a lot of early MANOWAR actually, which isn't so bad. And the lyrics deal with the same subjects: metal and warriors. Even the artwork looks like a MANOWAR record.
This is actually a re-release of this Minneapolis, Minnesota-based band's debut album, which was originally released in 2012.
JANUARY 23, 2016

Conrad Keeley: Original Machines - Album
This is really on the border to be accepted here, because most of these songs sounds more like electronic/zynth pop than rock music. And I don't really get why he had to include as much as 24 tracks on the same album. It's way too much.
Luckily there's some good songs here, like the title track for example. But o.k., everything isn't so good.
Conrad Keeley is singer and co-founder of the art rock group ...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD. The album includes a selection of songs written whilst traveling, mostly through Cambodia, his current country of residence. Some of the tracks were also written while on tour with his band.
(Superball Music)
JANUARY 23, 2016

PRIMAL FEAR: Rulebreaker - Album
Well, when we talk good old classic heavy metal, this band does hardly break any rules. They sound exactly the way I like it, and reminds me most of all of 80s JUDAS PRIEST. In other words a really good band. Because who doesn't like good old JUDAS PRIEST?
I think they do everything right on this record. But on the other hand, I haven't heard that much of their previous material. Just a song here and there.
The band was formed by former GAMMA RAY vocalist Ralf Scheepers and SINNER bassist/vocalist Mat Sinner in late 1997. Which means that the band turn 20 next year. They have released as much as 10 studio albums, 2 live releases and 1 best of compilation through the years.
Well, if you don't like this, then you probably don't like heavy metal at all.
Release date: January 22, 2016 (Frontiers Music srl)
JANUARY 22, 2016

BLACK BLOOD: Black Blood - Album
A little harder and heavier hard rock that makes me think of bands like BLACK LABEL SOCIETY and TRANSPORT LEAGUE.
These 4 Finnish gentlemen grew up on legendary bands like BLACK SABBATH, METALLICA, LED ZEPPELIN, ANTHRAX, PANTERA and IRON MAIDEN. And later on they played covers by the same groups. But after a while they decided to form their own band and start to play their own songs.
They have been compared with Swedish death n roll veterans ENTOMBED, but that's not the whole truth behind their recipe. It's not exactly any death metal. But it's groovy and thrashy, pretty straight forward metal rock. Pretty good stuff actually.
Release date: January 22, 2016 (Inverse Records)
JANUARY 21, 2016

WRATHRONE: Born Beneath - Album
Brutal old school death metal. Simple as that. They have released 2 EP's - "Burning Hatred" (2011) and "Left Unburied" (2013). But even though they're pretty brutal, they can (just like most other death bands) slow down once in a while to catch the breath. And there's also pretty melodic melodies in their music once in a while.
Pretty good stuff that could be worth checking out actually. I don't like that screaming in the beginning of "Blunt Blade Birth" though. But that's just a minor problem.
Release date: January 22, 2016 (Inverse Records)
JANUARY 20, 2016

PIL & BUE: Forget The Past, Let's Worry About The Future - Album?
This is a duo from the northern part of Norway, but that doesn't stop them from sounding like a whole band. This is their second album. The music is influenced by shoegaze, rock and prog. Both members grew up listening to artists such as PLACEBO, DEFTONES, SIGUR ROS, ANATHEMA and MARS VOLTA, all of whom left their mark in the sound of PIL & BUE.
It sounds like these 6 songs are done with much heart and soul. I usually don't listen to this kind of stuff, but now that I've been listening a couple of times, I actually think it's good. Especially the first track, "No Is The Answer".
I'm actually not really sure if it should be called EP or album, because it's somewhere in-between. Too long to be a EP and too short to be a album.
Release date: January 22, 2015 (Name Music/Indie Recordings)
JANUARY 19, 2016

BORKNAGAR: Winter Thrice - Album
This Norwegian band celebrate their 20-year anniversary this year. Their music is described as "forward-thinking black metal". I think it&#s much more than just black metal though, and that's obviously why they call it forward-thinking. But I guess you could just as well call it progressive metal with roots in black metal.
This might not be something for those who want a simple rock or metal album. It's not the most advanced that I've heard though.
I guess that people who like progressive metal will like this album. It's probably a little too soft for the worst extreme metallers though, even if there's some smaller outbursts here and there once in a while. It's a very loud album. I mean that they sound a lot. Very ambitious too.
Release date: January 22, 2016 (Century Media)
JANUARY 18, 2016

The CULT: Hinterland - Single
It was a couple of years since I heard something with this alternative rock band last time. But now they're here again with a new single from their upcoming album, "Hidden City", which will be released on February 5. It will be their 10th studio album.
The CULT released their first album back in 1984 already. But it wasn't until the third album, "Electric" (produced by Rick Rubin), that they finally got their first hits.
The music is best described as dark but sexy rock that is flirting with goth. And that's the recipe they have been using on this song too.
JANUARY 17, 2016

PHOBOS PREACHER: Asfixia - Album
..and a useless intro of course. My nerves! Think about my poor bad nerves people!
But after that mistake they really kick arse with some death metal. Probably the only good album from Art Gates Records among those I've heard so far. But that doesn't say much, because I have definitely heard much better death metal during 2015. There's no doubt about that my friend.
(Art Gates Records)
JANUARY 17, 2016

CORNERS OF SANCTUARY: Metal Machine - Album
Didn't they just release a Christmas album about a month ago? This might not be as tragic as that album, but honestly.. They probably think that they're so fucking metal, but they doesn't seem to have a clue how to make a really good song. Fact is that most of these songs sounds pretty much the same. This is not how heavy metal is supposed to be according to me. And the production sounds a little weak too. Like it's a homemade product (which it just as well might be). I want more power.
If this is what they call "New Wave Of Traditional American Heavy Metal", then you can forget that you ever heard that term, because if this Philadelphia, Pennsylvania based band are the leaders, then it's really bad.
(Metalizer Records in Europe, self released everywhere else)
JANUARY 16, 2016

SKINDOGS: Put You Back - Single
They call them "Sweden's biggest rock band", but they must be joking, because as far as I can remember I have never ever heard about this band before. And after I've been listening to this song, I'm pretty sure that they won't be so big either.
Bluesy rock n roll is how they describe this band's music, and they seems to be pretty o.k., but there are so many rock bands in this country that are so much better. They are hardly among the worst crap though, and that's always something. So what the hell, give it a try at least.
(Ninetone Records)
JANUARY 15, 2016

KAROSS: Borderline/TWO - Digital Single
O.k., this is the first double single from the second album, "TWO", with this Swedish band. "TWO" was originally released in 2013, but will be re-released on February 5.
The music is groovy stoner rock for fans of FU MANCHU, KYUSS, MONSTER MAGNET, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY and QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE. So if you like that, this could be something for you.
I tell you more in my album review next month..
Release date: January 15, 2016 (Skulls And Flames Recordings/Cramada)
JANUARY 14, 2016

THIRD SOVREIGN: Perversion Swallowing Sanity - Album
Death metal from India. And it seems like they know exactly how to do it. It's enough heaviness, brutality and speed. Never too soft or extreme. But I wonder how many people that actually will check this band out? Well, let's just say that if you don't check them out, then you will miss something.
Their music is actually pretty thrashy proto-death metal. Think of the early stuff with bands like SEPULTURA, MONOSTROSITY, CANNIBAL CORPSE and VADER for example.
They are said to be legendary in their home country, and they are known for their intense and rabid live shows.
Release date: January 15, 2016 (Transcending Obscurity India)
JANUARY 13, 2016

ABORTED: Termination Redux - EP
Fasten your seatbelts, because now it will be full speed ahead with some good old gore death, directly from the Belgium butchers. It doesn't even take 15 minutes for them to play these 5 tracks. The shortest song is 32 seconds, while the longiest is as much as 5.23 minutes. Good stuff anyway. So I have nothing to complain about.
2015 marked 20 years of existence for ABORTED, and to celebrate that they release this EP, which includes 3 new tracks and a re-recording of 2001's "Engineering The Dead" opener "The Holocaust Incarnate" (the first 32-second song is just a intro).
You can expect a new album this spring.
Release date: January 15, 2016 (Century Media)
JANUARY 12, 2016

EL CACO: 7 - Album
This Norwegian trio has existed since 1998, and released a bunch of records through the years. It's a mixture of rock n roll, grunge and stoner rock. Or a little heavier catchy rock with a lot of melody, that reminds me of QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE among others.
It swings. And they are far more interesting than QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE of today. This is definitely something that you should check out. At once! That's how good I think they are.
Not a single bad song on the whole album, but a song like "Curious Single" is a little extra good.
Release date: January 15, 2016 (Indie Recordings)
JANUARY 11, 2016

VADER: Future Of The Past 2, Hell In The East - Album
This is not the usual brutal death metal that we are used to get from these Polish veterans. No, this is actually a covers album and more thrash metal. Most of the songs are in Polish actually, so I don't think there's too many of you who actually know these bands. And some of the bands have the same name as a more famous bands, but I think all these bands are from Poland, or at least eastern Europe.
Pretty good stuff, but I didn't really expect anything else from a legendary veteran band like this. A new album with their own material would have been a little more interesting though.
(Witching Hour Prods)
JANUARY 10, 2016

SCALA MERCALLI: New Rebirth - Album
Another demo band that somebody thought was ready for a full album. Unfortunately it's just empty songs that goes in through 1 ear and out through the other. And they give us 13 tracks of this. Another mystery that I can't really figure out. Man, they can hardly pronounce the words right!
I guess this is supposed to be classic heavy metal, but unfortunately they doesn't seems to have any potential at all when it comes to writing good old anthems. It's like they're stuck on the same old track over and over again, which makes it feel like this album is much longer than it actually is.
And the most tragic thing is that these Italians have been playing since 1992. So they should be much better at what they're doing.
(Art Gates Records)
JANUARY 9, 2016

Jon Magnusson: Dina Drömmar - Digital EP
Hm.. I think it sounds something like Swedish singer/songwriter Lars Winnerbäck. I like Stefan Sundström, Lars Demian and similar much more. It's pretty o.k. though, and not as commercial as Winnerbäck.
The next song is slower and in English. Not so good to be honest, but very deep as it's called "Ode To A Friend". A friend that isn't alive any more. Very sorry about that.
And the last song is pretty soft too actually. A little better than the second song though. It's a Swedish version of the France partisan song "La Complainte du Partisan", probably most well-known through Leonard Cohen's version, "The Partisan".
Well, I can't really say that this is something for a true rocker. But if you're open for other music than just rock, then maybe this could be something for you. It's available for free download and streaming, so it won't cost you anything.
(Self released)
JANUARY 8, 2016

MANIPULATION: Ecstasy - Album
This band definitely doesn't deliver anything new. I've heard it all before, and not just once or twice. That doesn't mean that it's bad or suck though. It's pretty o.k. death metal, but unfortunately not much else. A album you listen to a couple of times but soon forget and probably never will listen to again. They actually get boring towards the end of the record.
This band comes from Poland, a country that's probably most famous for VADER and BEHEMOTH when it comes to extreme metal. But I don't think that those bands have to worry as this band has a more modern touch, plus that they're simply not as good as them.
(Satanath Records)
JANUARY 7, 2016

The A.X.E. PROJECT: Stories From A Lost Realm, Part Two - Album
Oh shit.. This was actually not so good. Some kind of symphonic metal with harsh male vocals and female soprano vocals. Not really my thing.
They are 6 persons in this band, who comes from Bulgaria and formed in 2001. They released their first album, "Stories From A Lost Realm, Part One", in 2010.
First 9 years before anybody wants to release their debut album, and then another 5 years before anybody wants to release their second album. There's a reason for that.. They're simply not good enough.
(Art Gates Records)
JANUARY 6, 2016

IGNITE: A War Against You - Album
I don't know, but I thought IGNITE was a hardcore band, and this sounds more like melodic but yet guitar-driven punk rock, even though some of the material reminds me of skate punk bands like MILLENCOLIN and similar. Definitely good stuff according to me. So no problem there. And there's many good songs on this album, so I can't really see why you shouldn't check this out. Their old hardcore fans might not be too happy about it though. But they will definitely find a new audience.
This band is hardly new to the scene. They formed in 1993 already in the suburbs of Orange County, southern California, and their first album, "Call On My Brothers", was released in 1995. It's almost 10 years since their last studio album, "Our Darkest Days", was released. But the members have hardly been sleeping during that time. They have been playing with other bands, like PENNYWISE, STRIFE, INTO ANOTHER and NATIONS AFIRE.
If that's what it takes to make such a good album as this, then I guess I can wait another 10 years.
Release date: January 8, 2016 (Century Media)
JANUARY 5, 2016

BLACKHOUR: Sins Remain - EP
Heavy metal from Pakistan? That was unexpected. It must definitely be the first time I get anything from that country (and I have got stuff from many different countries).
Is it any good then you might ask? My answer is yes, it's actually pretty good stuff. So don't be afraid to check this out. Give it a chance at least. I promise you that they can play.
How would I describe their sound a little closer then? Well, they're not the hardest band, but not the most melodic either. Pretty modern stuff. I think I go with melodic heavy metal anyway.
Among the better tracks are "Wind Of Change" (no, not the SCORPIONS ballad) and "Battle Cry" (no, not the SAXON song).
Release date: January 5, 2016 (Transcending Obscurity)
JANUARY 4, 2016

Pretty fast death metal, but the kind I like. They slow down a little once in a while though, so it's not just pedal to the metal all the time. I don't really know how else I should describe this, but more people should definitely check this out anyway.
4 damned good songs is what you're going to get. A perfect little doze that makes you hungry for more.
Definitely something for fans of HAIL OF BULLETS, ASPHYX, early DEATH, early MORGOTH, early UNLEASHED, GRAVE and BOLT THROWER.
Release date: January 5, 2016 (Transcending Obscurity)
JANUARY 3, 2016

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