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REVIEWS 2017 - Page 4

DEAD LORD: In Ignorance We Trust - Album
Dead Lord
The 3rd album from these Swedish hard rockers. And it still reminds me of THIN LIZZY and other 70s hard rock, so they are still a very good band. It's catchy and melodic with twin-guitars here and there. Just the way it's supposed to be if you want people to remember your songs and really like what you're doing.
And this band really know how to do good songs. I can't hear anything bad among these 10 tracks. That's strong!
The album was recorded in an analog studio in Madrid, Spain in just 10 days. This is proof that you don't have to spend an eternity in the studio to make a good album.
Release date: Aug. 25, 2017 (Century Media)
AUGUST 24, 2017

DIMMAN: Guide My Fury - EP
DIMMAN (the fog in Swedish) is a melodic death metal band from Finland. But they also include some djent and progressive metal in their songs. So you could say that they are a modern melodic death metal band (I guess?).
What we get here is 5 tracks, and it doesn't sound so bad. A EP is enough for me though.
DIMMAN has previously released a demo and a single, but this is said to be the first release where the band sounds like they had always wanted.
Release date: Aug. 25, 2017 (Inverse Records)
AUGUST 24, 2017

ESKIMO CALLBOY: The Scene - Album
Electronic, modern nu metal? Why don't they start a pop/hip hop band or something like that instead of disturbing the metal scene? You might have heard the expression "true metal". Well, this would be called false metal. But sure, it has some nice melodies here and there, and some aggressive vocals mixed with clean vocals. That's not enough though. I can't hear anything that is extra good. But I'm pretty sure that people who are into stuff like this will love this band. And they seems to be very poular in Germany, where they comes from, so who am I to judge them.
Release date: Aug. 25, 2017 (Century Media)
AUGUST 24, 2017

CIRCUS MAXIMUS: Havoc In Oslo - Double album, DVD, Blu-Ray
Welcome to the progressive circus!
On November 6, 2016 the Norwegian progressive metal band CIRCUS MAXIMUS celebrated the release of their 4th album, "Havoc", with a show at Rockefeller in Oslo, Norway. The production was extra big with pyro, sparks and a massive light rig. So there's no wonder why they wanted to share this moment with the rest of the world in the shape of a live release: "Havoc In Oslo".
As usual I just got the audio (no problem as somebody said it was more fun to watch the production than the band), but what I hear is not so bad. It sounds more like melodic hard rock than progressive metal to me actually. And I guess that's the reason why I like this. But sure, they have their 8 to 10-minute adventures. Luckily I can even listen to those songs without a nervous breakdown. That's really positive!
(Frontiers Music)
AUGUST 23, 2017

CHASTAIN: We Bleed Metal 17 - Album
I don't know, but for some reason they thought it was a good idea to re-record this album, which was originally released as late as 2015. It would have been more interesting with a completely new album instead. Drums and vocals is the same on this version, but the rest has been re-recorded. And the songs are not in the same order here, and the cover is also new.
80s heavy metal with a 17s production is what I would call this. Not bad at all. Actually really good stuff. And I'm pretty sure that I liked the original recording when it came out. But the funny thing is that I don't reconize any of these songs. But it's most likely because I have heard about 2 thousand records since then (I don't exaggerate).
Release date: Aug. 25, 2017 (Pure Steel Records)
AUGUST 23, 2017

BAD NERVE: The Lost One - LP
14 punk attacks. Both shorter and longer songs - from 46 seconds to 3,36 minutes. Both faster and heavier tracks. Some of the fast songs reminds me of Swedish punk bands like TWIN PIGS and KRÖSUS somehow, while the heavier stuff reminds me of TURBONEGRO. That is probably not any of their main influences, but you could say that there's a mixture of Swedish punk rock and American hardcore anyway. It's very energetic, with dual vocals between man and woman. I like it!
So if you like raw punk rock, then this is worth a try. That's for sure!
This trio comes from Umeå in northern Sweden, which is a city that should be well-known in both the punk and hardcore scene. Mainman is Jonas Lyxzén (ABHINANDA, SEPERATION, D.S.-13 etc), who play drums. The other 2 are Melody Almroth (TROTS) on bass/vocals and Mårten Bläckberg on vocals/guitar. And this little band have already existed for a few years, and done both a tour in Europe and 1 in China. They have also released a 7" on Ny Våg Records and a split 7" with FANZUI XIANGFA from China. All this happened in 2014, but now they are back with their first album.
Release date: Aug. 25, 2017 (Luftslott Records/Ny Våg Records)
AUGUST 22, 2017

BLACK BAMBI: Black Bambi - Album
Sounds like a forgotten 80s band from L.A. And it seems like BLACK BAMBI was very hot in southern California in the late 80s. But unfortunately it came to an abrupt halt when their A&R guy John Carter parted ways with Atlantic Records, who was supposed to release their debut album. So nothing happened. Until now..
Nearly 30 years later the album is finally being released. And you could say that it's filled with hard rock directly from Sunset Strip. But that doesn't mean that they sound exactly like every other band. They have their own twist somehow. But isn't there a touch of L.A. GUNS? I'm sure that people who like other L.A. bands from the late 80s/early 90s are going to like this band too though.
Time for revenge!
(20th Century Music)
AUGUST 22, 2017

BOOL: Fly With Me - Album
I don't know, but to me this sounds more like Sunday than Saturday. Definitely not a party album anyway. If you want to party with me, then you better not play emotional alternative rock with silly teenage titles like "Love Is The Answer". It's not until the third track, "You And Me" (which is a little harder than the rest), that they become a little better. "Same Mistake" is also good. But after that it's back to being emotional again. There's a few more rock songs that are o.k. too here and there after that, but they are hardly more than just o.k.
BOOL comes from Germany, and was formed in 2007. They have released a couple of EPs, and this seems to be their first full length album.
Release date: Aug. 25, 2017 (Boersma Records)
AUGUST 22, 2017

The QUILL: Born From Fire - Album
Classic hard rock with a heavy sound, but still catchy and old school. 70s hard rock with a 2017 production. But I think fans of stoner rock will like this as well. I like it anyway! There's just a couple of songs towards the end that are not so funny. But in general it's a really good album.
On this album the classic line up of this Swedish band has reunited. That means the members who recorded albums like "Silver Haze" (1999), "Voodoo Caravan" (2002) and "Hooray! It's A Deathtrip" (2003). The members have also played with bands like AYREON, ELECTRIC BOYS and SPIRITUAL BEGGARS.
Release date: Aug. 25, 2017 (Metalville)
AUGUST 21, 2017

THOR: Beyond The Pain Barrier - Album
Now that he has released some old material, it's time for a new studio album. And when it comes to his old stuff, I have not always been so impressed, even though there's some good songs too. When it comes to this album, it's more or less the same - Some stuff is good, some is not so good. But I must say that there's more good than bad songs this time. And I think this is more heavy metal than his old material, who was more rock and hard rock (according to my opinion anyway). I like it!
To team up with some younger people was obviously a good idea, because this is worth checking out.
(Dead Line Music/Cleopatra Records)
AUGUST 21, 2017

The HAUNTED: Strength In Numbers - Album
The Haunted
Yes! Swedish thrashers The HAUNTED are back with a new album. It's already 3 years since the last album, so that's why I say back (it's hardly like they have been away since the last album).
This band has been around for over 20 years now, and they have mainly been a thrash metal band, even though they have also done some other stuff once in a while. So you can never be really sure what kind of material you are going to get from them. But this is just like their last album, "Exit Wounds" (2014), aggressive thrash metal just the way I (and probably a lot of others) want it.
"Strength In Numbers" was produced by Russ Russell (NAPALM DEATH, DIMMU BORGIR, The EXPLOITED etc).
Release date: Aug. 25, 2017 (Century Media)
AUGUST 20, 2017

GRANDE ROYALE: Breaking News - Album
Another band that are into the late The HELLACOPTERS and IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC style. Which means good old rock n roll from the 70s (kind of). And you could almost think that Nicke Andersson himself (the man behind those 2 bands) would have given them these songs. But the funny thing is that he has actually produced this album. Man, they must be really proud!
This is the third album from this Swedish band, and it sounds very good. Very catchy high energy rock n roll with pop hooks is one way to describe this. Another description is to call it a mixture of the early 70s rock scene in Detroit and the 90s rock scene in Scandinavia. It's a band to keep an eye on anyway. Especially if you have any intrest at all in good old rock.
Release date: Aug. 25, 2017 (The Sign Records)
AUGUST 20, 2017

Andreas Budweiser: Alarm - Album
Better than Budweiser beer? I don't know.. Just like the beer this is not perfect, but it works for a while. I get tired of it after just a couple of songs, and this album last for almost an hour (much longer than a beer last).
The music is mainly different kinds of heavy metal. And it's a mixture of many different influences that we get here, so you can't complain about too little variation anyway. But he doesn't seems to aim at doing classics that people can remember, and that's a little problem for me. The most useless crap that we get here is the short piece "Something Different" and the beginning of the next track, "Yell Like Hell".
Mr. Budweiser has been a member of PREDATORY VIOLENCE, and this is his solo debut. That's all I know about him..
(Kernkraftritter Records)
AUGUST 19, 2017

AN ASSFULL OF LOVE: Monkey Madness - Album
Typical American pop punk. Very catchy and melodic, but mainly stupid teenage lyrics (but not all of them). I don't really know what I should think about this. But the music didn't suck as much as I thought it would, and I guess that's always something positive at least. They are hardly a new favorite band though. This is not what I want when it comes to punk music.
I guess this will fit people who (for some reason) like BLINK 182 and similar joke bands. Even though these Germans are defined as glampunk for some reason. I can't hear any glam here.
Release date: Aug. 25, 2017 (label unknown)
AUGUST 19, 2017

KOREA: Abiogenesis - Album
Well, what kind of shit is this then? Not the most kind beginning of a review, but this wasn't something for me. Some kind of really lame modern melodic rock that might be something for the kids. But I have no kids, so what do I know? This is 1 of these bands that it's embarrassing to listen to. Why this is labeled as metal is a big mystery. Alternative rock is probably the right label for this.
It looks like it's as much as 7 years since their last album came out, and this is their 3rd album. The band comes from Stockholm, Sweden, and was formed in 2003.
Release date: Aug. 25, 2017 (ViciSolum Prductions)
AUGUST 18, 2017

LOW FLYING HAWKS: Genkaku - Album
This little band describe their music as ambient metal. 1 thing is for sure though, it's heavy. The group consist of multi-instrumentalists EHA and AAL, alongside drummer Dale Crover (The MELVINS) and bassist Trevor Dunn (Mr. BUNGLE). "Genkaku" is their second album.
To me this sounds like a dark and bad trip of psychedelic doom, even though there's a few brighter moments too (but they're not that many). Is this what they call shoegaze? I have never really figured out what that is.
This is a good example why you should stay away from drugs.
Release date: Aug. 25, 2017 (Magnetic Eye Records)
AUGUST 18, 2017

FALSE GODS: Reports From Oblivion - EP
This EP is the follow-up to these New Yorkers debut EP, "Wastelands", which was released in the spring of 2016. "Reports From Oblivion" consist of 3 tracks. Their music is described as a unique blend of southern-sludge influenced doom, mixed with some old school thrash-hardcore. So we talk metal in the heavier league.
Well, I have definitely heard heavier and worse. 3 tracks is actually enough for me though. But if you like it heavy, then you should give them a try of course.
Release date: Aug. 18, 2017 (Self released)
AUGUST 17, 2017

FUNERALGLADE: May The Funeral Begin - EP
FUNERALGLADE is a melodic death metal band from Turku, Finland, consisting of 5 young men (16-18 years old). On this little EP (which will be released as CD and digitally) they give us 6 tracks. And it's not bad at all, but I just don't know what else to say about this.. (hardly the first time). Worth checking out anyway.
Release date: Aug. 18, 2017 (Inverse Records)
AUGUST 17, 2017

URSINNE: Swim With The Leviathan - Album
O.k., this wasn't really what I expected from the 2 death metal veterans Dave Ingram (ECHELON, HAIL OF BULLETS, BOLT THROWER, BENEDICTION) and Jonny Pettersson (HENRY KANE, WOMBBATH, JUST BEFORE DAWN, ASHCLOUD). Sure, the main ingredient is good old death metal in the heavier league, but it seems like anything can happen when these guys make music. And then we have these odd covers with artists like The OSMONDS, The VAPORS and SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES (to name a few). They have definitely created something different. And I can easily say that the best moments are when they concentrate on death metal and nothing else (which they mainly do I might add).
On this album Dave take care of vocals and lyrics, while Jonny take care of all instruments. After the recording was done, they added bassist Sonia Nusselder to the lineup.
Release date: Aug. 20, 2017 (Transcending Obscurity Records)
AUGUST 16, 2017

RABID BITCH OF THE NORTH: Nothing But A Bitter Taste - Album
This is a traditional heavy metal trio from Belfast who release their debut album. And the main influence is New Wave Of British Heavy Metal of course. It's almost like listening to a forgotten compilation cassette with NWOBHM, because it doesn't sound exactly the same all the time. There's definitely variation here.
But even though this is their first full length, they have released some singles and EPs before, as well as the compilation CD "From The Kennel To The Castle", which consist of their entire back catalogue. So they have obviously been around for a little while (I'm not sure how long though).
Are they any good then you may ask? Well, it's actually not so bad, even though I have heard better. It could be worth a try anyway. You might actually like it.
Release date: Aug. 18, 2017 (Hostile Media)
AUGUST 16, 2017

END OF GREEN: Void Estate - Album
Dark and slow Sunday music. Or something to listen to on a grey and boring day. But even though it's pretty slow and melancholy music, it doesn't sound so bad actually. I think there's many good songs among these 11 tracks. And if I should put them in a genre, then I would say alternative dark rock. They have their own unique style anyway.
It seems like these Germans have been around for 25 years already, and this is their 9th album.
Release date: Aug. 18, 2017 (Napalm Records)
AUGUST 16, 2017

DAWN OF DISEASE: Ascension Gate - Album
Melodic death metal band from Germany who has existed since 2003. They are inspired by Swedish bands like BLOODBATH and AT THE GATES. This is not another total rip off though, even if it sounds familiar. There's a modern touch too. Damned good anyway! No doubt about that.
This is their 4th album. I have (as far as I can remember) not heard their previous albums, so I can't compare this record with their old material.
(Napalm Records)
AUGUST 16, 2017

CRUTCHES: Såld - Album, Cassette
It must be at least a couple of years since I heard this band last time. But anyway.. Here we can really talk about punk aggression. Fast and hard hardcore/punk the Swedish way. If you want to clean your head, then this is the medicine you need. And who doesn't want to cure himself/herself with this?
But o.k., they might not be the best band in the world, but they are damned good anyway.
CRUTCHES are from Sweden, and this is their third full length.
North American release date: Aug. 18, 2017 (Ditro-y Records/Profane Existence/Phobia Records/Not Enough Records/Mundo En Kaos/Breeding For Extinction/Rawmantic Disasters) - Might be out already in other countries
AUGUST 15, 2017

Janet Gardner: Janet Gardner - Album
Janet Gardner is a member of the American all-female melodic hard rock group VIXEN. Which is a band that I don't think I have heard since I was a kid in the 80s. But I guess that people who like that band will like this too, because this is more or less something similar, even though some of the songs sounds more modern. She has some really good songs here anyway. There's no doubt about that. It might not be hit potential on any of them, but it's definitely good enough for me.
On this little solo adventure she has been working with guitarist/songwriter/producer Justin James (who has worked with members of STAINED, COLLECTIVE SOUL, and TYKETTO). You could say that the new school meets the old school of hard rock.
Release date: Aug. 18, 2017 (Pavement Music)
AUGUST 14, 2017

TOWER OF BABEL: Lake Of Fire - Album
This reminds me of Dio-era RAINBOW, but with a Yngwie Malmsteen wannabe on guitar instead of Ritchie Blackmore. There's also some DEEP PURPLE. In other words guitar and keyboard driven melodic hard rock. And there's a lot of great songs here. No doubt about that. This is absolutely worth checking out.
TOWER OF BABEL is a new band with Joe Stump (RAVEN LORD, HOLYHELL, REIGN OF TERROR) on guitar, Csaba Zvekan (EXORCISM, RAVEN LORD, METAL MACHINE) on vocals, Mark Cross (TAINTED NATION, OUTLOUD, FIREWIND, HELLOWEEN, METALIUM) on drums, Maestro Mistheria (VIVALDI METAL PROJECT) on keyboards and Nicola Angileri (EXORCISM, JORN) on bass. I don't know if those names sounds familiar to you, but I have heard some of those names before.
(Lion Music)
AUGUST 13, 2017

PSYCHOBOLIA: Chiaroscuro - Album
Psychic disturbed death metal. Another chaos orchestra. They would probably describe themselves as technical though. Doesn't really matter to me. This is too crazy for me, so I don't know what to write about it. And then it's pretty useless to write anything at all.
The band formed in 2003 and seems to be from France. They released their first album, "Fisting You All", in 2007. If you want it brutal, technical and extreme, then this might be the band for you.
(Great Dane Records)
AUGUST 13, 2017

PROPAGANDHI: Victory Lap - Single
How long have this band existed then? Since the 90s or something like that I think? But the funny thing is that I have never heard them before (you can't hear every band on the planet), and I thought they would be a hardcore band for some reason. But this is definitely not hardcore. This is more like melodic skate punk, like the Swedish band MILLENCOLIN. Sounds good anyway. There's no doubt about that.
These Canadians will release their first new album in 5 years on September 29 via Epitaph. And this single is the first taste of that.
(Epitaph Records)
AUGUST 13, 2017

HELL: Hell - Album (Digital, Cassette)
This dude doesn't seems to know that there's already a British heavy metal band named HELL, who existed back in the 80s already. Or maybe he just doesn't care about that. But anyway, this 1-man band comes from Oregon, U.S.A. and play some kind of primitive doom/extreme metal. More like HELLHAMMER and CELTIC FROST than CANDLEMASS you could say. It's both heavy and extreme at the same time.
This is his fourth full length, and the record label says it could be something for fans of THOU, CORRUPTED, NOOTHGRUSH, GRIEF, ASUNDER and PRIMITIVE MAN. I don't think I have ever heard any of those bands, so what do I know? But if they sounds like HELL, then I'm actually not so interested in hearing them either. It might not suck, but it's hardly excellent either.
(Sentient Ruin Laboratories)
AUGUST 12, 2017

JD MILLER and CHROMEDUST at Stora Torget in Borås, Sweden on August 10, 2017
O.k., this was actually a surprise and nothing that I had planned to do. But about less than an hour before the first band was going to start, I found out that these 2 rock bands was going to play down town. So I went there as soon as I could. But the first band, CHROMEDUST, didn't have much time to play, so they had already been playing for a while when I finally arrived. They were rocking then at least, but after that they played something that reminded me of a blues ballad by Gary Moore, with eternity solos which made the song very long (not so intelligent when you have limited time on stage). The last song was another rock song though, and that was better.
JD Miller
JD MILLER was a nice surprise. I had not heard them before, so I didn't really know what to expect. But they didn't play rock as I thought they would. No, this was more like melodic hard rock in the same style as ECLIPSE for example. I didn't know that we had a band like that here in Borås. A very good band that I recomend you to check out if you like that kind of stuff. They have a new album out now. This is a band that I would like to see again soon.
AUGUST 12, 2017

OLDE: Temple - Album, Cassette
Heavy stuff. Some kind of doom/sludge with caveman vocals. 7 songs between 4-7,37 minutes is what we get here. And it's not so bad. They have some good songs here. No doubt about that. But it just happens to be yet another one of these records that I listen to over and over again without to succeed with that much to write about it. It could be worth checking out though (in case you didn't get that).
Release date: Aug. 11, 2017 (Medusa Crush Recordings/STB Records)
AUGUST 11, 2017

SUBSERVIENCE: Forest Of The Impaled - Album
What kind of a chaos orchestra is this then? Maybe they should organize the songs a little bit more, because sometimes it's just total chaos. And that's the only reason why I call them a chaos orchestra. But when they actually play something you could call music, then it's brutal death metal for the whole coin.
They might not be the best band that I ever have heard, but they are far away from the worst either.
SUBSERVIENCE comes from Sussex, UK. They released their first demo in 2010, and has since then released 4 EPs on their own.
Release date: Aug. 11, 2017 (Black Bow Records)
AUGUST 11, 2017

BAD RELIGION and MILLENCOLIN at Liseberg in Göteborg, Sweden on August 9, 2017
MILLENCOLIN is a band that I never really listened to in the 90s, so this was actually the first time I have seen them live. I have heard a song here and there through the years, and I got their latest album for review and liked what I heard, so I guess it was about time that I went to see them.
Millencolin   Millencolin
Well, they did a really good show, even though it wasn't that many songs that I reconized. But the songs were really good, so no problem. And I'm sure that the old fans was very satisfied.
Millencolin   Millencolin
And just in case you don't know who MILLENCOLIN might be.. They are a Swedish band who play what they call skate punk. I would like to describe it as very catchy and melodic punk rock though. They have been around since the 90s sometime, so they are more or less veterans by now. Definitely something for fans of BAD RELIGION and PROPAGANDHI.
Millencolin  Bad Religion
When it comes to BAD RELIGION we are not just talking about veterans but legends. They have been around for as much as 47 years. I saw them live for the first time in the early 90s sometime, and I have seen them now and then a few times since then. But now it was many years since I saw them last time. And I could see that. Especially the singer looked older (not much hair left, glasses and a bigger stomache). But that doesn't mean that they couldn't deliver a good show. It was really good actually.
Bad Religion
They kicked off with the classic "American Jesus". So I expected that it would be a really good best of set. But now I'm not the kind of fan who has every record they have done, which is many, so there was many songs that I didn't know. And I would have liked to hear more songs from their first album, which they (as far as I know) just played 1 song from, and that was the last song, "Fuck Armageddon".
Bad Religion
Now it might sound like I was a little dissapointed. But how can you be dissapointed about BAD RELIGION? No, like I said earlier, it was really good. But o.k., I have seen better shows with them, where they have played more of my favourites than they did this evening. But that's hardly such a huge problem. My leg was a bigger problem though. It didn't like that I had to stand for over an hour. But what don't you do for music?
Bad Religion  Bad Religion  Bad Religion
AUGUST 10, 2017

The LURKING FEAR: Out Of The Voiceless Grave - Album
I guess we could call this a Swedish death metal supergroup. The members are Tomas Lindberg (AT THE GATES, DISFEAR), Jonas Stålhammar (GOD MACABRE, BOMBS OF HADES), Fredrik Wallenberg (SKITSYSTEM), Andreas Axelson (TORMENTED, DISFEAR) and Adrian Erlandsson (AT THE GATES, The HAUNTED). The music they play is "pre-hi-tech death metal". Which means that the whole production is very old school. That doesn't mean a bad demo tape sound though. The sound is very good, and the songs are well produced, but still very raw and in your face.
This could be something for those who like AUTOPSY, early DEATH, MORBID ANGEL, POSSESSED and REPULSION.
Release date: Aug. 11, 2017 (Century Media)
AUGUST 9, 2017

This is something for those of you who like Swedish 70s prog rock, or bands like NOVEMBER and ABRAMIS BRAMA for example. And as this band comes from Sweden, all lyrics are in Swedish. I think they sounds very good, so I have nothing to complain about.
TUNGA MOLN means heavy clouds in Swedish. They formed in 2010 as a instrumental stoner rock duo called WRATH OF THE IRON SNAIL, but decided to change the name and start writing in Swedish in 2012. And as the title says, this is their 3rd album. Now I have totally missed their previous albums, so I can't compare with them. But this album is said to be more metal-oriented, with heavy riffing, dark lyrical themes and melodic hooks.
Let's just say that everybody who like the retro rock wave should check this out.
Release date: Aug. 11, 2017 (HeviSike Records)
AUGUST 8, 2017

INFINIGHT was founded in 2001. They have released 3 full lenght albums and 1 EP before this EP. The music they play is American power metal with downtuned and heavy guitars. They have often been compared with bands like NEVERMORE, ICED EARTH and BRAINSTORM.
I have been listening several times now, but this seems to be 1 of those records that it's hard to come up with anything "intelligent" to say about. It sounds good anyway, so no problem there. So in other words you should give them a try. That's all I have to say..
(Metal Promotions)
AUGUST 7, 2017

VITNE: Jupiter - Album
The first full length album from this Norwegian dude came out in 2013, and I think that I might have reviewed that album. I don't have a clue what I wrote though. Since then he has been focusing on singles, but now it was time for another full length.
I guess the best way to describe the music on this album is to call it alternative rock. Which doesn't really say that much I guess. It's often very melodic anyway. And it sounds American too somehow (he was actually born in USA).
I have been listening a few times now, and I start to hate this album just because I can't come up with anything interesting to write about it. The music is not so bad, even though I had to listen a couple of times before I started to like it. I didn't like the piano intro though. And there might be 1 too many of the slow songs.
Best song? "Lion" I suppose.
(Relectric Records/Hart as a Rock Music)
AUGUST 6, 2017

TRALLERY: Spirit On Stage - Album
TRALLERY is a thrash metal trio from Palma de Mallorca in Spain. And what we have here is a live album. This sounds pretty hard and aggressive. Just the way it's supposed to be. But it's not another old-school thrash band. This is more modern somehow, even though it's just good old metal. You will understand what I mean when you hear it. So give it a try.
(Art Gates Records)
AUGUST 5, 2017

MR. BIG: Defying Gravity - Album
Original members Eric Martin (lead vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitars), Billy Sheehan (bass) and Pat Torpey (drums) reunited with producer Kevin Elson (who was behind the boards for the band's 3 first albums) for an intensive 6-day recording session in Los Angeles. And here's the result of that: "Defying Gravity", their 9th studio album. But since Torpey was unable to perform some of the songs on the album due to a recent diagnosis of Parkinsons disease, Matt Starr has been filling in for him on a majority of the album. Starr has also been touring with the band for the past couple of years, with Torpey able to play a couple of songs at each stop.
This is another band that has been around since the 80s, and that I don't think I have heard before, so I can't compare these songs with any of their previous material. But what I hear here is some really good melodic hard rock, so I got nothing to whine about.
(Frontiers Music s.r.l)
AUGUST 4, 2017

AMARANTHE and EGONAUT at Stora Torget in Borås, Sweden on August 3, 2017
Egonaut  Egonaut
Metal on the big square in Borås? That doesn't happen every year! But I would have prefered to go to Ulricehamn and the Uport festival instead, where bands like RONNIE JAMES DIO TRIBUTE, BOMBUS and MUSTASCH was playing. Unfortunately it had been raining all day, so I decided to stay in my hometown instead. And luckily it stopped raining for a while so that I could go and see these 2 bands.
EGONAUT was the first band out. But because of the bus I missed the first songs, but what I heard was really good. Maybe a little too much bass though. Otherwise not much to complain about. Not when it comes to the band anyway. Because of the rain I had to use my phone to take some photos, and that was a big problem for me. But it worked somehow.
EGONAUT is a local doom metal band. They have existed for a few years now, and released some records. A new album is on the way (I think the singer said September).
Egonaut  Egonaut
After EGONAUT it was time for some beer, and of course it just had to start raining again. So I didn't go to the AMARANTHE show until it had stopped raining again. But I didn't miss much. Maybe 10-15 minutes. But I can easily say that their modern metal (or whatever you should call their music) wasn't really my thing. Not that they were bad. But just not what I like. And once again way too much bass. They seemed to be very good at what they were doing though, so no problem there anyway. But after 15-20 minutes I didn't think I had to hear anymore, so I left.
Amaranthe  Amaranthe
AUGUST 4, 2017

Alice Cooper: Paranormal - Album
Alice Cooper
This is the old shock rocker's first studio album in 6 years. And he seems to be back in his classic style on this album, which consist of 12 brand new songs and 6 live tracks. This record features guest apperances from people like ZZ TOP guitarist Billy Gibbons, U2 drummer Larry Mullen and DEEP PURPLE bassist Roger Glover. And it also sees the highly anticipated mini-reunion of the original ALICE COOPER band members on a very special bonus CD, where 2 of the songs are brand new. Those 2 songs was both written and recorded with the original members Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith and Michael Bruce. The live tracks was recorded in Columbus, Ohio in 2016 with Alice's current band.
Well, to be honest with you all, this is really a mixture of good and less good songs. There's hardly any new classics among the new songs, but I think it's good enough anyway.
AUGUST 3, 2017

PAGANIZER: Land Of Weeping Souls - Album
PAGANIZER continue to give us old school death metal the Swedish way, and songs that sounds like old classics from the early 90s. Damned good of course. So I have nothing to complain about.
I don't know if I have to say much more than that, but in case you're not familiar with this band since earlier, this group consist of the legendary Rogga Johansson (guitar/vocals, fr. ECHELON, JOHANSSON & SPECKMANN etc etc), as well as Kjetil Lynghaug (lead guitar, fr. ECHELON, MORDENIAL), Matte Fiebig (drums, fr. PORTAL, MORDENIAL) and Martin Klasen (bass). Almost like a all-star team from the Swedish death metal underground scene.
This band has been around for nearly 2 decades already, and this is actually their 10th full length.
Release date: Aug. 5, 2017 (Transcending Obscurity Records)
AUGUST 2, 2017

EXIT EDEN: Rhapsodies In Black - Album
This is a new all-female symphonic metal group with Amanda Somerville (AVANTASIA, EPICA, KAMELOT), Clémentine Delauney (VISIONS OF ATLANTIS, SERENITY, MELTED SPACE), Marina La Torraca (PHANTOM ELITE, AVANTASIA) and "natural talent" Anna Brunner. I reconize some of these songs, and guess what? It turns out that this album is full of covers. No own material at all (as far as I know). And some of the songs doesn't even have something to do with rock (Rihanna, Madonna, DEPECHE MODE and Adele for example). So why didn't they form a pop band instead if they like that so much? And I just can't stand that "opera" vocals. Luckily all of them are not trying to sing opera to metal rock music, so all of them are not getting on my nerves.
No, this wasn't so good. Just a way to try and grab a quick million. But o.k., there's at least 1 song that I really like: "Total Eclipse" by Bonnie Tyler (if I'm not totally wrong?).
Release date: Aug. 4, 2017 (Napalm Records)
AUGUST 1, 2017

RUSSKAJA: Kosmopoliturbo - Album
What the fuck is this? Ha, ha! Some kind of ska? But it's very obvious that they're not from Jamaica. Their own label on their music is "turbopolka". I just can't take this band seriously. They just got to be joking. It sounds like some drunk Russians trying to play ska mixed with all kinds of other music. And it's not until the 4th track, "Hello Japan", that they begin to play a little faster. Which was about time. It hardly became that much better because of that, but anyway..
And it's not just different kinds of music involved in this. They also sing in different languages. Funny people. But I just can't figure out what this has to do with rock, and why a hard rock/metal label want to release this joke.
Release date: Aug. 4, 2017 (Napalm Records)
JULY 31, 2017

TEN: Gothica - Album
Very soft and melodic stuff. AOR without a doubt. But there's also some songs that could be called melodic hard rock. Pretty good stuff anyway. And that's always the most important thing.
Seems like this British band has been around for 22 years now. This is said to be their darkest album to date, but I don't think it is so dark.
What else is there to say? Another good album that I don't have that much else to say about..
(Frontiers Music)
JULY 30, 2017

INTO THE ARCANE: Het Verlangen der Geest - EP
This is a pretty new band from The Netherlands, which was formed in January 2016 by 3 ex-DEAD END members. Their music is described as atmospheric doom metal that is heavily rooted in old school death metal. This is their first release, which consist of 4 tracks. And it's actually not so bad. I have definitely heard worse. So this could be worth a try.
A full length album is expected in the winter of 2017/2018.
(Vic Records)
JULY 29, 2017

SINISTER: Gods Of The Abyss - EP
Death metal that is a little bit technical. But not too advanced, which is good. I like it.
So this is how the story goes then: When SINISTER split up in 2003, vocalist (and former drummer) Aad and guitarist/bass player Alex Paul wanted to continue playing death metal somehow. They started the new band NO FACE SLAVE. The songs they wrote were so close to SINISTER, so they restarted SINISTER together with drummer Paul Beltman (WEAPONS TO HUNT, ex-JUDGEMENT DAY, SUPREME PAIN). During 2004 and 2005 they recorded 4 demo tracks. These 4 tracks formed the SINISTER demo 2005. And I suppose that is what this EP consist of (?). Anyhow.. That demo led to a renewed record deal with Nuclear Blast Records. And they have released 7 full lenght studio albums from 2006 up till now.
(Vic Records)
JULY 28, 2017

SCARS OF GRACE: From The Ashes - Album
This is a hard rock band based out of Pittsburgh, which was founded by multi-instrumentalist Peter Graigs (which you might have read about here before). The band was originally formed in Montreal, Canada in 2000, under their original name G13 BAND. But when Peter moved to U.S.A., he had to find new members for the band as the other members didn't want to move. After 2 albums they changed the band name to SCARS OF GRACE.
This album seems to be a new version of their debut album, "Heroes & Demons", from 2015, but with new vocals. It has also been re-mixed and re-mastered, as well as re-titled.
The music that we get is a mixture of rock, hard rock, instrumental rock and heavy metal, and most of these songs are good.
(Online Metal Promo)
JULY 28, 2017

Alice Cooper at Liseberg in Göteborg, Sweden on July 26, 2017
They say that last time Alice Cooper played at Liseberg was in 2012, so that was the last time I saw him. And well, as you know this is a man with a lot of classics in his luggage. And I guess that's the main reason why so many people want to see a 69-year old man who haven't had a big hit since "Poison" in 1989. It was packed with people! I couldn't see much of the stage, so I had to see the show on the TV screens. Not so funny, but what can you do? Unfortunately it was impossible to take any photos because of this, because I'm a very short man.
Alice and his band did a really good job though. No doubt about that! As usual it was a mix of old classics and later material. There was at least 1 song from his new album, "Paranormal", which will be released tomorrow (July 28).
What I don't really understand is why lots of people suddenly left after half the show or something like that. Very weird! But then me and my friend could get closer to the stage, so I guess I should thank those losers. It didn't help much though as we didn't get close enough.
JULY 27, 2017

The MIDNIGHT GHOST TRAIN: Cypress Ave. - Album
Maybe not the most interesting album. But I like the second track, "Red Eyed Junkie Queen", anyway. But why the hell did they have to start to rap towards the end of the album? The rest of the album is full of ups and downs, but it's mainly some kind of raw, dark and heavier Southern rock that they're playing. And somehow the singer reminds me a lot of the singer in The LEATHER NUN. So maybe this is something for fans of that band?
Release date: July 28, 2017 (Napalm Records)
JULY 26, 2017

RIVERDOGS: California - Album
Original members, Rob Lamothe (vocals, guitars), Nick Brophy (bass, vocals) and Vivian Campbell (lead guitar), along with drummer Marc Danzeisen, have reunited again to record the fifth RIVERDOGS album. The band was formed in L.A. back in the late 80s, and released their self titled debut album in 1990. And "California" is said to be a return to the sound of the debut. Now I have not heard that album (or any other of their records), so I have nothing to compare with. But this sounds pretty good to me anyway. Some kind of bluesy, melodic hard rock or however I should describe it.
(Frontiers Music)
JULY 25, 2017

ALL 4 1: World's Best Hope - Album
This could almost be called yet another supergroup. Not that everybody has been playing in any bigger bands, but anyway.. The members are Terry Brock (GIANT, STRANGEWAYS) on lead vocals, Robert Berry (THREE, ALLIANCE) on bass/vocals, Gary Phil (BOSTON, Sammy Hagar, ALLIANCE) on guitar and Matt Starr (Ace Frehley, MR. BIG) on drums. And the music they play is AOR with pieces from MR. BIG, VAN HALEN, STRANGEWAYS and ALLIANCE. Very catchy and melodic stuff that I think everybody who like AOR/melodic rock will like. Pretty good stuff, but nothing that is extra good.
(Frontiers Music)
JULY 24, 2017

BLAZING RUST: Armed To Exist - Album
Debut album from a Russian band. And this is something for fans of NWOBHM. But they also reminds me of a Swedish band called 220 VOLT. A classic 80s sound anyway. And these 9 songs are not bad at all. It's actually very good. So I can't see any reason why you should not check this out.
And sometimes there's no reason to say more than that..
Release date: July 28, 2017 (Pure Steel Records)
JULY 24, 2017

BADGE: If It Hurts It Must Be Good - Album
Weird stuff. It's a little like PRIMUS would have started to play some kind of redneck hard rock. But what they play is some kind of harder blues rock, but obviously with their own twist. They have definitely found their own blues rock sound.
This Swedish band started in 2002, and has released 2 albums - "Kill Another Fuzz" (2010) and "If I Could Love I'd Love This" (2013).
If you like pre war blues and/or want something different, then this might be something for you.
Release date: July 28, 2017 (Pride & Joy Music)
JULY 24, 2017

HELSLAVE: Divination - EP
Yet another old school death metal band. And yet again it's really good. Nothing to complain about here. I guess you know this stuff pretty well, so I guess that it doesn't come as a big surprise that they're inspired by good old Swedish bands like GRAVE, ENTOMBED and DESULTORY. HELSLAVE seems to be from Italy though. Nice.
(Black Market Metal Label)
JULY 23, 2017

TUBEFREEKS: The Dry Tide - Album
Grunge in 2017? Some kind of alternative rock anyway. Are they any good then? Well, let's just say that hit thinking doesn't seem to be on their mind. It's not totally useless though. The first songs are good at least. But 12 songs is too much for me. I get tired after 5-6 songs becuse there's not enough variation.
TUBEFREEKS comes from Maryland, and are said to be a hard rock band. This is actually their 3rd album, their first in 7 years.
I think this can fit fans of bands like STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, ALICE IN CHAINS and similar.
(Online Metal Promo)
JULY 23, 2017

NADIMAC: Besnilo - Album
These guys from Belgrade, Serbia might not know English (they sing in their language), but they seems to know how to make some old school crossover thrash metal anyway. And that's definitely something good.
The band started in 2003, and they have as much as 25 releases on the market, including 4 official albums, EPs, singles, DVD and split albums. So it seems like they have been working really hard. "Besnilo" is their 5th full length album.
Well, this is not so bad at all, so I think you should give it a try.
(Xtreem Music)
JULY 22, 2017

MATREKIS: Kill Your Captor - Album
MATREKIS was formed in Minnesota in 2009, with the goal to play some old school metal influenced by classic acts like BLACK SABBATH, MOTÖRHEAD, IRON MAIDEN and MEGADETH. That doesn't mean that MATREKIS sounds exactly like those bands, but they definitely have some really good songs here, even though everything might not be great.
They have previously released a EP, "End Of Time", in 2013. This is their first full length though.
(Online Metal Promo)
JULY 22, 2017

WARNER DRIVE: Till The Wheels Fall Off - Album
I don't really know, but to me the first song sounds like VOLBEAT. And I'm not a fan of them. The rest sounds like some kind of American teenage pop punk. And I'm not a fan of that either.
WARNER DRIVE is described as an original American rock band from Hollywood, who have catchy riffs and a punk edge. It seems like they have released 3 full lengths before this album, and they are so energetic and popular when they play live. But I have totally missed this band. And it's not something I have to cry for, even though it wasn't so bad as I first thought. I'm pretty sure that the teenagers will love this band though. Or fans of BLINK 182 maybe?
Release date: July 28, 2017 (Dead End Exit Records)
JULY 21, 2017

SOUL SECRET: Babel - Album
Progressive metal band from Italy, who released their debut album, "Flowing Portraits", in 2008. "Babel" is their 4th album. It's a concept album, covering topics like religion and love, and ranging from classic progressive rock to more modern progressive metal, with influences from djent, electronic and latin music.
Well, I have definitely heard worse in my life..
Release date: July 28, 2017 (Pride & Joy Music)
JULY 21, 2017

GRAHAM BONNET BAND: Live... Here Comes The Night - Album, DVD
Well, this old man should not be a stranger in the hard rock scene. He has been singing in bands like RAINBOW, MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP and ALCATRAZZ for example. And if you don't have a clue who those bands are, then you really have something to learn my friend. And as this is a live album, you get both his solo material as well as some songs from some of the bands he has been singing for through the years. It's simply a 15-track best of set, so there's not much to complain about as everybody seems to do a really good job.
This concert took place at Frontiers Rock Festival III in Trezzo, Milan, Italy on April 24, 2016.
(Frontiers Music)
JULY 20, 2017

DEATHCULT: Tyrant Of All Tyrants - Album
What can I say about this then? Some kind of raw thrash/death/black metal? Hardly the best or the worst I have heard. So I guess they end up somewhere in the middle. A band that not too many will pay any attention to, but it's not impossible that they might have a few really true fans somewhere. This is music for those who like their metal a little bit more unpolished.
(Do Or Die Productions)
JULY 20, 2017

DAWN OF MORGANA: Revelations - EP
Male growl are mixed with female clean vocals. I actually don't really know what I should think of this symphonic metal soup. But I guess it could be something for those who like NIGHTWISH, AMARANTHE, EPICA and The GATHERING. Which isn't exactly something that I use to listen to.
DAWN OF MORGANA was formed in 2010 with the intention that it would be just a recording project. That changed after a while though, and now they also play live. "Revelations" seems to be their first official release, which consist of 3 tracks.
(Online Metal Promo)
JULY 20, 2017

COFFEINNE: Circle Of Time - Album
This is the first album from this Spanish band, who play melodic metal that is mainly inspired by the European scene. But they blend in some power metal, modern Scandinavian metal and even some melodic death metal as well. People who like melodic metal should definitely check this out, because these songs are really good. There's no doubt about that!
..and I don't know what else there is to say.
(Fighter Records)
JULY 20, 2017

SAPATA: Satanibator - Album
Yet another one of these doom rock bands with a foot in the 70s. "MDD" is a little bit more psychedelic (or however I should describe it) than the rest, while "Full Power" is almost punk in the best MISFITS style. It's variation between each song, which I like, and it sounds really good. So this is of course a album that you definitely should check out as soon as possible (immediately if you can).
SAPATA was formerly known as SATANIBATOR, and comes from Tampere, Finland. They formed in 2014, and this is their debut album.
(Inverse Records)
JULY 19, 2017

SOULSPELL: The Second Big Bang - Album
Well, this is hardly the first or the last metal opera. And as usual it's very majestic and many different kinds of metal, as well as many various musicians involved.
SOULSPELL is the vision of Brazilian musician Heleno Vale. This is the 4th album from this group of friends. Among the more well-known friends on this album are singers like Tim "Ripper" Owens (ex-ICED EARTH, ex-JUDAS PRIEST), Blaze Bayley (ex-IRON MAIDEN), Timo Kotipelto (STRATOVARIUS), Fabio Lione (RHAPSODY) and Ralf Scheepers (PRIMAL FEAR).
It's a good album. There's no doubt about that. So I guess most people who like classic heavy metal and power metal in the more majestic and melodic league are going to like this.
(Inner Wound)
JULY 18, 2017

NECROMANDUS: Necromandus - Album
This band's music is probably best described as a mixture of classic rock and progressive rock. And they have some really good songs here, but my favorite must be "And She Smiles". So yes, sometimes there actually is a progressive rock band that I like. But I guess what makes me like this band is that they concentrate on doing good rock songs, instead of just showing how damned good they can play. Melody before boast.
Well, this is hardly a new band. It seems like they started their career back in the late 60s already, but unfortunately it didn't last for that long. Their self-titled debut album never came out, and then 1 of the members suddenly left the band during a US tour. It was goodnight for the band. The debut album was released as a bootleg, titled "Orexis Of Death", in the 90s. When a official release of the album finally came out in 2010, 3 of the 4 members had died. The only remaining member today is the drummer Frank Hall.
Release date: July 21, 2017 (Mandus Music)
JULY 17, 2017

YE BANISHED PRIVATEERS: First Night Back In Port - Album
Napalm Records continue to support the pirates. But the funny thing with this band is that they're not any folk metal pirates. No, this is just folk music actually. But I like it anyway. And some of these songs could actually have worked good as heavy metal songs as well. 15 songs is a little too much at once though (but that's nothing new). And when 1 song towards the end is 9,50 minutes, and the last song is as long as 18,39 minutes, then you begin to understand that the party is over. The best songs are in the first half of the album.
It seems like this band comes from my country, Sweden, but it sounds like they could have been Scottish or Irish. There's both male and female vocals, and they seems to have a whole crew of members who sing and play. Don't expect any electric guitars here. This band use traditional instruments like fiddle, banjo, accordion etc.
(Napalm Records)
JULY 16, 2017

Eva Eastwood at Stora Torget in Borås, Sweden on July 13, 2017
Eva with band
Who might Eva Eastwood be then you might ask? Well, it's a Swedish rockabilly singer. Very catchy and melodic (family friendly) rockabilly, but I liked it. Most songs was in Swedish, but some of her older stuff was in English.
And how come a hard rocker like me go to a family friendly show like this then? Well, I grew up with music from the 50s and 60s, as my father used to play that stuff (among many other things). And I happens to like all kinds of rock, so I prefer to call myself rocker and not hard rocker. Another reason for going to this show is that it was free entrance, plus that I have not been to a show in months. My leg didn't really like that I had to stand for an hour though, but that's a other story..
Eva Eastwood
JULY 15, 2017

CORNERS OF SANCTUARY is an American heavy metal band who formed in 2011, and you might have read about them here before. A 6-track EP, "Forgotten Hero", was released in March 2012, and in June the same year they released their first full length, "Breakout". A lot of more records has been released since then. They are currently working on their next album, "The Galloping Hordes", which they plan to release towards the end of this year. While we wait for that we can listen to this 4-track EP.
They might not be the best heavy metal band in the world, but they are far away from the worst either. They have their bright moments if we put it that way. Give it a try.
(Online Metal Promo)
JULY 14, 2017

BURN RIVER BURN: Neüstonia - Album
The second album from these San Francisco, California hard rockers. They combine elements of their musical influences, such as ALICE IN CHAINS, VAN HALEN, BLACK SABBATH, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and SOUNDGARDEN, but try to make something on their own out of it. I wouldn't say that they have made something unique though. But if that sounds like something that you would like, then I can recomend you to check this out. Because it's not bad at all. They have several good songs here.
(Online Metal Promo)
JULY 13, 2017

BRUME: Rooster - Album
Doom trio from San Francisco, California who release their debut album. There's just 6 tracks, but it takes about 51 minutes before the album is over. So expect some long songs - 7,39 to 11,49 minutes. There's 1 shorter song though, and it's just 2,56 minutes. But anyway.. You could say that this is a little psychedelic sometimes. It's definitely heavy anyway. But I guess that wasn't too hard to figure out.
Not bad. Not bad at all. This might be the heaviest trip of acid you will get this year without getting bored.
Release date: July 15, 2017 (DHU Records/Doom Stew Records)
JULY 13, 2017

BLOOD: Mental Conflicts - Album (re-issue)
German band who formed in 1986 as a fun noisecore band. They recorded 3 demos of that shit. But in June 1987 they became more serious, and in 1989 they released their debut album, "Impulse To Destroy". "Mental Conflicts" is their 4th album, which was originally released in 1994. And on this re-release you also get the "Spiddle Of Red Blood" EP from 1995 as a bonus. So it's a total of 24 tracks. And excuse me my subjects, but that wasn't really what I wanted to hear. But if it's crappy death/grind that you're looking for, then I won't stop you from giving it a try.
(Vic Records)
JULY 13, 2017

BLACKOUT: The Horse - Album
Heavy and monotonous doom/stoner rock by a trio from New York City. Same riffs over and over again. Not the most funniest record I have been listening to this summer.
After a brief hiatus between the March 2015 release of their self-titled sophomore album and a writing session with mushrooms and tequila in July 2016, BLACKOUT regrouped and recorded a new album in just 4 days.
I guess that fans of a band like HIGH ON FIRE might like this. I prefer HIGH ON FIRE, even though it was a few years since I heard them last time.
Release date: July 14, 2017 (RidingEasy)
JULY 13, 2017

INFERNÄL MÄJESTY: Unholier Than Thou - Album (re-issue)
Canadian extreme metal band who has been around since 1986. They are probably best known for their debut album, "None Shall Defy", from 1987. This is their second album though, which wasn't released until 11 years after the debut (in 1998). And as a bonus you will also get the live album "Chaos in Copenhagen", originally released in 2000.
Might be worth checking out if you are a fan of this band, but I wouldn't waste my last money for beer on this. They play and play and scream, but it's like nothing happens.
(Vic Records)
JULY 12, 2017

GATES OF ISHTAR: A Bloodred Path - Album (re-issue)
GATES OF ISHTAR was formed in Luleå, northern Sweden in 1992. Their debut demo, "Season of Frost", led to a record deal with Finnish label Spinefarm Records, who released their debut album, "A Bloodred Path", in 1996. Their music is melodic death metal like it's made in Sweden. Think of bands like DAWN, DISSECTION, SACRAMENTUM and early AT THE GATES, and you will get the picture (or the sound in this case).
I can't say that it's bad, because this was really good stuff! Just listen to "Where The Winds Of Darkness Blow" for example. Also nice with a cover of the W.A.S.P. classic "I Wanna Be Somebody". This is definitely worth checking out!
(Vic Records)
JULY 12, 2017

BLOODY HAMMERS: The Horrific Case Of Bloody Hammers - EP
They call this horror sleaze rock for some reason, but I don't know if I agree on that. I can't hear any sleaze rock here. I think they reminds me of Marilyn Manson sometimes. So I would say goth instead of sleaze. I guess it's yet another one of these bands that you simply can't get a grip on.
BLOODY HAMMERS is a duo that consist of Anders Manga (vocals, guitar, bass) and his wife Devallia (keyboards/organ).
6 songs is what you get on this EP, and I just don't know what else there is to say..
Release date: July 14, 2017 (Napalm Records)
JULY 12, 2017

ASSORTED HEAP: Mindwaves - Album (re-issue)
ASSORTED HEAP was a cult death/thrash metal band from Aurich, Lower Saxony in Germany. Their debut demo, "Killing Peace", was recorded in early 1988 and received very good reviews from many underground magazines. In 1991, the band signed a deal with new extreme metal label 1MF Records and recorded their debut album. "Mindwaves" is their second album, which was originally released in 1992. This re-issue also includes some live tracks from the "Swing Of The Axe" tour.
This is a pretty o.k. album, but not much else to be honest with you.
(Vic Records)
JULY 12, 2017

STILLBORN: Lorelei - Single
STILLBORN are back after almost 3 decades, and this is the first single from their upcoming album, "Nocturnals".
I have actually not heard this band before, so I can't compare them with their previous material. But I have learned that this was a pretty unique band in the late 80s. The genre goth, or gothic metal or rock, didn't really exist back then. But the best way to describe the sound of STILLBORN is goth/doom rock. It was heavy, gloomy and dark. And not much seems to have changed.
This is a pretty good song, so I think it can be interesting to hear the new album.
(Black Lodge Records)
JULY 11, 2017

ToJa: V - Album
This German band was founded in 1997 as a studio project, but soon developed to a whole group. And as the title says, it's their 5th album. The music is melodic hard rock, and they really seems to know what they are doing, because this is really good stuff.
I don't really know what else there is to add. This is definitely worth checking out of course. That's it!
Release date: July 14, 2017 (Pure Rock Records)
JULY 11, 2017

VINTERSORG: Till Fjälls Del II - Album+EP
"Till Fjälls" was released in 1998 already, but it's not until now that a second part comes. Which means that the music and the concept goes back to the roots of VINTERSORG. Folk metal with a touch of black metal here and there. Lyrics in Swedish about snowcapped mountains, nature-inspired mysticism and Nordic folklore. It's mainly melodic, but there's some harsh outbursts too once in a while.
As a bonus we also get the EP "Tillbaka Till Källorna", which consist of songs that was written before VINTERSORG was formed.
13 really good songs is what we have here, so if you have any interest at all in folk metal, then this is something for you.
(Napalm Records)
JULY 11, 2017

ASHCLOUD: Kingdom Of The Damned - Album
This is described as "crust punk infused death metal with ice cold melodies". And then we talk about Swedish old school death metal, like it sounded back in the late 80s and early 90s. The stuff that we like best.
The band was actually born as SKINBAG in 2005 already, with Jonny Pettersson (WOMBBATH, HENRY KANE, PALE KING, GODS FORSAKEN) as the only member. But it wasn't until 2013, when he met Gareth Nash (BODY HARVEST, AGELESS OBLIVION), that a demo was finally recorded, and the name was changed to ASHCLOUD. Another demo was recorded before they got signed to Xtreem Music, who has released 2 albums with them before "Kingdom Of The Damned". And joining the duo on the new album is session drummer Bryan Berger (VIRVUM).
There might not be as much crust as there was on their previous albums, but you can still hear some influences from it at least. The melodies are still there though, and possibly some more atmosphere (or however I should describe it). It's something different anyway. But I like it, so that's not a problem at all.
Definitely worth checking out!
(Xtreem Music)
JULY 7, 2017

APOSENTO: Bleed To Death - Album
Scary metal. Or death metal in the heavier league. That doesn't mean that they're slow all the time though, because they can be pretty brutal too sometimes.
APOSENTO comes from Spain, and formed in 1990. They released a couple of demo recordings and the MCD "Welcome To Darkness" before they gave up in 1997. In 2012 they returned with a new lineup, and released another MCD, "Retorno a la Muerte". In 2014 their first, self-titled, full length album was released. And now their second album is here.
(Xtreem Music)
JULY 7, 2017

DIAMOND HEAD: Death And Progress / Evil Live - Albums (re-issues)
I have not heard the "Death And Progress" album before, but I reconize 1 song at least: "Run". Many of these songs actually reminds me of classic bands like LED ZEPPELIN and AEROSMITH. So you could say that it's a more blues rock based kind of NWOBHM. No matter what it sounds good. But it's not as good as their classics (that I always seems to mention when I write about this band, so I guess I don't have to mention any titles again).
"Death And Progress" is the band's 4th studio album, and it was originally released in 1993. It was their first new album in 10 years. This record has a much cleaner and more polished sound than their previous 3 albums, and it also features 2 special guests: Tony Iommi of BLACK SABBATH and Dave Mustaine of MEGADETH.
"Evil Live" was released as a double CD in 1994. The main album was recorded live at the National Bowl, Milton Keynes, UK in 1993. The second CD, "Evil Extras", features cover versions and at the time previously unreleased tracks. And what we get is a mixture of a few old classics and a lot of stuff that I wasn't familiar with since before. Unfortunately the sound quality is as good as a better bootleg recording, but the songs are good anyway. There should be better live recordings with DIAMOND HEAD. And among the songs from the bonus CD, I like the cover of "This Flight Tonight" by NAZARETH best. But the rest of the songs are not so bad either.
JULY 6, 2017

SKINFLINT: Chief Of The Ghosts - Album
..and what's the meaning with the first useless track, "Borankana Metal"? Stop that shit! But otherwise it's heavy metal and nothing else.
This African trio (from Botswana) has never really impressed me that much. They might succeed to do some half good songs once in a while, but not much else. And this album doesn't really change that. It's in through one ear and out through the other. This is like listening to a band that never made it. And you can hear why. They simply just don't have the songs it takes to get to the top.
This is the kind of band that will be stuck in the underground scene forever. But for some bands that's enough. So who am I to complain? And if you happens to like SKINFLINT, then this album won't dissapoint you, because it sounds just as usual.
Release date: July 7, 2017 (Pure Steel Records)
JULY 5, 2017

KABBALAH: Spectral Ascent - Album
Spanish psych/doom trio. Their music is a little mysterious, occult 70s rock and a little psychedelic. They reminds me of bands like GHOST and The DEVIL'S BLOOD somehow, even though KABBALAH has their own twist. They're really good though. No doubt about that! So you should really check this out of course.
Release date: July 7, 2017 (Twin Earth Records)
JULY 5, 2017

RADIATION ROMEOS: Radiation Romeos - Album
RADIATION ROMEOS is a new band formed by the singer Parramore McCarty, best known for being the frontman of the US metal act WARRIOR and famed Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens' solo project, ATOMIC PLAYBOYS. Musically, the band moves in a melodic hard rock direction with solid, metallic edges thanks to the production of Michael Voss (PHANTOM 5, CASANOVA, Michael Schenker), who also contributed to the songwriting. Guitar on the album was played by Dag Heyne, a guy named Jogi Spittka took care of the bass, and the drums was handled by Gereon Homann.
Well, you get 11 tracks, and most of the songs are good, so there's not much to complain about here.
(Frontiers Music)
JULY 4, 2017

MÄRVEL: The Hills Have Eyes - EP
Marvel in action
Many records that comes out nowadays sounds almost like demo productions. Then comes this little band from Sweden, and blow the shit out of the speakers with a loud and clear production. I'm impressed!
This record was released as a 12' EP (vinyl) about a year ago or something like that. And now it's time for a re-release on CD. Their music is similar to Swedish rock bands like late The HELLACOPTERS and IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC. But 1 song sounds more like the perfect mixture of NWOBHM and punk. 1 thing is for sure though: They kick ass! Very catchy and melodic rock that you just must like. All 6 songs are great.
I must also say that to make a W.A.S.P. song from the 80s sounds like something from the 70s with KISS or The RUNAWAYS was a pretty cool thing to do.
Release date: July 7, 2017 (The Sign Records)
JULY 3, 2017

ELEINE: Eleine - Album
The name ELEINE might not sound so metal, but I can assure you that this is metal, even though it's the more melodic and symphonic kind of metal. "Seductive, stylish, and monumental" is how they describe themselves. This is their debut album anyway, which was originally released in 2015 already by Cardiac Records/Universal. But now it's time for a worldwide release through Black Lodge Records.
The story about this band begins back in 2011 though, when singer and model Madeleine Liljestam began to work with Cardiac Records. After that it took some years to find members for the band. So it wasn't until the end of 2013 that the lineup was complete, and they finally could start recording their songs.
ELEINE are currently working on new material for their second album.
Release date: July 6, 2017 (Black Lodge Records)
JULY 2, 2017

RANCID: Trouble Maker - Album
17 tracks is what they give us this time. And for once it's not like it's 7 too many. But then most of these songs are not longer than approximately 2 minutes (punk length).
The first song, "Track Fast", is almost like MOTÖRHEAD, even though the vocals is not the same as Lemmy's voice. The rest is the usual street punk rock that we use to get from RANCID. Many sing-a-long friendly pieces. And as usual they mix it with some ska songs as well. Damned good stuff!
This is their 9th studio album, and it was produced by their longtime producer and founder of Epitaph records, Brett Gurewitz.
JULY 1, 2017

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE: The Way You Used To Do - Single
So, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE is back with a new single. And it's yet again one of these songs that I don't really know what to say about. It's o.k. anyway, but hardly as good as their early hits (seems like I always say that about this band). On the other hand they have never been a band that I listen to frequently, so what do I really know?
Their new album, "Villains", will be out on August 25.
(Matador Records)
JULY 1, 2017

CAVE OF SWIMMERS: The Sun - 7" Single
Florida-based doom/hard rock duo. They reminds me of SYSTEM OF A DOWN somehow, even though it's not as wild and crazy as they can be. They have definitely found their own style anyway, and it sounds really good to me. So I think you should check out this band at once!
The b-side is a live recording of "Hangman", which was recorded at the Psycho Las Vegas festival last year. Very bad sound quality, and that song is far away from as good as "The Sun".
Release date: July 3, 2017 (Southern Druid Records)
JUNE 30, 2017

el CAMINO: Cursed Congregation - Album
Wasn't there a stoner band named el CAMINO? It's an old American car anyway. But this is a Swedish metal band in the heavier league. Pretty dark stuff actually. There's both doom and black metal in this brew. They have definitely found their own style.
The band formed in Nässjö, Sweden in 2003 to spread some heavy doom metal darkness. It wasn't until 2010 that they finally released their first self-produced MCD, "Satanik Magiik", which was re-released with 3 additional tracks as their debut album, "The Satanik Magiik", in 2011. Some more records has been released in various shapes since then.
Not bad actually..
Release date: July 2, 2017 (Night Tripper Records)
JUNE 30, 2017

It looks like this female-fronted metal band have been around for 10 years already, and this is their 4th album. The first track, "Awakening", sounds like power metal to me, while most of the other songs is more like heavy metal. And don't expect any opera vocals or something like that just because it's a woman who sing. You won't find any of that here (and thanks for that). The vocals is mainly melodic, but she can scream too. There's definitely variation.
They have some really good songs here, so this is an interesting album that you should give a chance.
(Napalm Records)
JUNE 29, 2017

THAT ROCK GUY: Nothin' To Lose - Album
Sounds like some kind of American "butter hard pop" from the 80s. Think of bands like BON JOVI around their 2 first albums for example. Very melodic rock/AOR in other words. But it's good, and he has a lot of great songs here. There's no doubt about that.
THAT ROCK GUY is based around an Australian singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer who lives in Europe since 2001, and this is his debut album.
Release date: June 30, 2017 (AOR Heaven)
JUNE 29, 2017

KNOGJÄRN: Marcherar & Förstör - Album
This reminds me of the Swedish bands ZOMBIEKRIEG (who doesn't exist anymore) and LILLASYSTER somehow. It's not exactly the same thing though. This band have more melodic choruses for example. And ZOMBIEKRIEG was more thrash metal, while this band is more metalcore. What all 3 have in common is that they sing/scream in Swedish, and they all have a punk aggressiveness and the same groove as PANTERA. And that's what makes KNOGJÄRN (which means knuckle-duster in Swedish) so much better than all the other bands who play metalcore. You have to give this a try! I'm pretty sure that you will like it. Otherwise you probably have no taste at all.
Best song: "Döda Röster" maybe? Excellent chorus anyway.
(Big Balls Productions)
JUNE 28, 2017

The FERRYMEN: The Ferrymen - Album
Swedish guitarist Magnus Karlsson (PRIMAL FEAR, MAGNUS KARLSSON'S FREE FALL) and vocalist Ronnie Romero (LORDS OF BLACK, RAINBOW) have joined forces, together with drummer Mike Terrana (RAGE, Axel Rudi Pell etc.), in a brand new project dubbed The FERRYMEN. Musically you can expect the finest kind of melodic metal. These guys are professionals when it comes to this kind of music, so this is obviously something that you just have to check out.
(Frontiers Music)
JUNE 28, 2017

Alice Cooper: Paranoiac Personality - Single
Alice Cooper
Here's the first single from the old horror rock legend Alice Cooper's new album, "Paranormal", which will be released on July 28. And it's a little odd, as it sounds both different and familiar at the same time. So I don't really know what to expect from his new full length. But now I'm not the kind of person who have been listening to his latest albums. I prefer the early albums and the first 3 albums after his comeback, to be honest with you. This song is not bad though. I just have to give it a couple of chances.
JUNE 28, 2017

MAIDAVALE: Tales Of The Wicked West - Album
Yet another one of all these retro rock bands. They reminds me of good old BLACK SABBATH most of all. And just like Ozzy, Matilda's voice is a little special too somehow. You might not like it the first time, but just give it another try, and you will get used to it. That they have good songs is something that I could hear at once though, so there you have another reason to give at least 1 more try when you have listened to this.
The only song that might not be as strong as the rest is the last, "Heaven And Earth", which is almost 11 minutes of guitar solos and guitar picking. No vocals at all. Very psychedelic, but not so funny. But on the other hand, nobody forces me to listen to it.
The band consist of 4 women who met each other in Fårösund on a island called Gotland, Sweden. But they live in Stockholm, Sweden nowadays. They formed the band in 2012, and "Tales Of The Wicked West" is their debut album. The album will now be re-released in North America.
Release date: June 30, 2017 (The Sign Records)
JUNE 27, 2017

ONSLAUGHT: In Search Of Sanity - Album (re-issue)
Usually ONSLAUGHT play thrash metal. But I think this material sounds more like NWOBHM (you could possibly call it melodic thrash metal). New singer on this album was Steve Grimmett (GRIM REAPER). The sound is more polished than on previous albums. It's still good though. Except for the useless intro then, which last for as long as 5,17 minutes. What a waste of time!
"In Search Of Sanity" is these English men's third album, which was originally released in 1989. This re-release also includes a whole live show, recorded in Bristol, UK (according to what I can hear), but I don't know what year. Most likely on the tour for the album anyway. It's also their most successful album, peaking at #46 in the UK charts, while the single "Let There Be Rock" peaked at #50. A great accomplishment for an underground metal band.
Release date: June 23, 2017 (Dissonance)
JUNE 23, 2017

NARTHRAAL: Screaming From The Grave - Album
This is a tribute to Swedish old school death metal. And with a song title like "Dismember The Entombed", I guess it's not so hard to figure out where they pick up their influences. But in "Worldwide Destruction" it sounds like they have also been listening to a newer band like AMON AMARTH. This band is not from Sweden though, they're actually from Iceland. "Screaming From The Grave" is their debut album, even though the band formed already in late 2012. But it's not the first record from the band. They have priviously released 2 EPs (in 2014 and 2016).
Well, if you think death metal was better in the 90s, then this is definitely something for you.
(Inverse Records)
JUNE 22, 2017

PERPETUAL RAGE: Empress Of The Cold Stars - Album
It sounds like this could be something for fans of IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST. Classic 80s heavy metal just the way it's supposed to be. The band comes from Finland, and formed in 2009. They have released a couple of demos, a EP and 1 album before this record.
They might not do anything new at all, but what they do is really good stuff, so this is definitely worth checking out of course.
(Inverse Records)
JUNE 22, 2017

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