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REVIEWS 2018 - Page 4

BODYFARM: Into Battle - EP (Demo reissue)
My first question was why they waste time on a intro, that last for 1 and a half minute, on a EP. But fact is that the intro is actually building up the atmosphere. So for once it's not totally useless, as intros use to be nowadays (what a surprise!).
After that we get some hard and heavy crushing death metal directly from the underground. Not the fastest band, but they sounds like the perfect soundtrack to a gang of zombies walking the earth to destroy everything in their way. But that's just the 2 first songs. The other 2 are faster and more old-school.
BODYFARM was founded in the late summer of 2009, and released a self titled demo in 2010. That demo is totally sold out, but is now being re-released on CD as "Into Battle". You get 5 damned good tracks in a little over 18 minutes, and this is absolutely worth checking out.
(Vic Records)
JULY 10, 2018

BELZEBUBS: Blackened Call - Single
The title track is at least black metal, but the second track is for some reason a classical piece. Confusing. But that first track is really good, and no one force me to listen to that string orchestra, so I can always skip it.
This band got together in 2002 already, but I'm not really sure how active they have been, because this seems to be their first official release. BELZEBUBS create a dark drink of melodic black metal, with a twist of progressive and cinematic soundscapes. And they have just signed a 3-record deal with Century Media Records, and found a new drummer, called Samaël. They are currently working on their debut album, which is scheduled for a February 2019 release. And I guess it's not so hard to figure out that this single is the first taste of that.
"Blackened Call" is available as a limited 7" vinyl and digital.
(Century Media)
JULY 10, 2018

SCATHED: Already Dead - Album
Damned intro! Totally useless! Just rock! At once!
And now that we have that out of the world, let's talk about the band..
SCATHED is a crust/dark hardcore trio from Milwaukee, MI, U.S.A. This is their debut album, where they sing about things like technological abuse, medical misdiagnosis, the current state of tensions in America and the repercussions of global war.
They might not be the best band in this genre, but they are pretty o.k. anyway. And they have a good mixture of fast and slow/heavy songs.
(Self released)
JULY 9, 2018

SANCTRUM: Walk With Vermin - EP
This is a death/thrash metal band from Uppsala, Sweden, which is said to sound like AT THE GATES, The HAUNTED and The CROWN. I think the singer sounds like he is singing in a hardcore band though. So don't expect any growl here. There's also much background vocals from the other guys. But it works and sounds good anyway, so don't worry too much about that.
In an interview in Close-Up Magazine I found out that this band has actually been playing since 1999 already. They have released 2 albums and 2 EPs (with this one included). And many of their songs are actually observations of the present day, and not about death, which is a usual subject in their genre.
A damned good band that you definitely should check out. This will probably work for hardcore kids too, and not just death and thrash metallers.
(Big Balls Productions)
JULY 9, 2018

SAHON: Chanting For The Fallen - Album
So, how many bands have you heard from South Korea then? I don't think that I have ever heard a band from that country before. But here's a thrash metal band who comes from South Korea, and they have been thrashing since the late 90s. I don't really know how welcome this kind of music is there, but it sounds really good to me anyway. They seems to know their old-school stuff, and how to deliver it. It's fast and aggressive, just like it should be. You should absolutely give them a try.
Release date: July 15, 2018 (Transcending Obscurity Asia)
JULY 9, 2018

LIKE A STORM: Catacombs - Album
I'm hardly taken by storm by this band. This is more like a cold breeze. A cold breeze that start to blow once in a while. And if we translate that into music, then we talk about some kind of modern nu metal with a lot of feelings. Not something that I use to listen to. So to me they sounds a lot like LINKIN PARK and similar bands. And I don't really know if LIKE A STORM is any better or not, but they are at least o.k. according to me. Not much else though.
This band is said to be New Zealand's highest-charting rock act. They have toured the world 5 times so far. So some people obviously seems to like them, which means that they most be doing something right. This is their third full length anyway.
Release date: July 13, 2018 (Century Media)
JULY 8, 2018

Oh, why, why, why did I give this record a chance? An instrumental guitar masturbator is hardly the most funny thing you can listen to. But if you happens to be one, then maybe you will like this crap. If he is good or not is hard to tell, because there's no feeling at all as far as I can hear at least.
Mikey Cunningham was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He picked up the guitar at the age of 8, when he learned a few blues riffs. As a teenager he moved to Daytona Beach, Florida and fell in love with Yngwie Malmsteen (or rather his playing). Some of his other influences are legends like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen, just to name a few. After many years of playing in cover bands, he decided to start his own band.
My only question is: Where do I get a black shirt with skulls? Because that is the only thing that is cool with this man (his shirt).
(Self released? Distributed through Online Metal Promo anyway)
JULY 7, 2018

NEUTRAL BOMBS: Pretend To Fly - Album
Punk rockers from Switzerland. Another band that reminds me of RANCID. Seems to be hundreds of these bands around the world today. But o.k., I have not heard any band in this genre that sucks yet, and that's impressive.
What we have here is 11 good party songs. Most of them are around 3-4 minutes. It's just the last song, "Wait Too Long", that is a little longer with its 5 minutes.
Check out!
(Sliptrick Records)
JULY 7, 2018

OUBLIETTE: The Passage - Album
Melodic black/death metal with a band from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, U.S.A., featuring members from INFERI, ENFOLD DARKNESS, BATTLE PATH and OPHIUCHUS. They have 3 guitarists, so you can expect a lot of nice guitar melodies. It's also a bit progressive and atmospheric sometimes.
OUBLIETTE was born in 2011 as a studio project started by husband and wife, Mike and Emily Low. Over time they got a full lineup, and released their debut album, "Apparitions", in 2014. After some lineup changes they are now ready to release their second album, "The Passage".
For some reason I'm always impressed when it's a woman who growl like a whole man. It's actually hard to hear that it's a woman (not that it really matter). But she is doing a really good job, just like the other members.
A melodic black/death metal adventure is probably the best way to describe this album. And I think you should give it a try.
Release date: July 13, 2018 (The Artisan Era)
JULY 7, 2018

RATBREED: Evoke The Blaze - Album
This band makes me think of the Swedish bands LiV SiN and SISTER SIN (same singer). And they also seems to like WARLOCK, as they do a cover of their classic "I Rule The Ruins" (a bonus track just for the digital version). And they have many good songs here. No doubt at all about that! So this is definitely something worth checking out if you like heavy metal.
RATBREED comes from Finland, and formed in 2015. This is their debut album.
Release date: July 13, 2018 (Inverse Records)
JULY 6, 2018

MOTOROWL: Atlas - Album
East German-based band that they describe as psychedelic doom rock. MOTOROWL take their influences from BLACK SABBATH, early PENTAGRAM, German kraut rock, BARONESS and OPETH. Then they create a dynamic blend of heaviness, harmonies and atmosphere. I think that people who like progressive rock will like this band.
The band formed in 2014, and released their first album, "Om Generator", in 2016. This is their second album. And the first song, "Infinite Logbook", is very catchy, and not so heavy. It probably has more in common with that kraut rock and OPETH than psychedelic doom rock.
The second song, "The Man Who Rules The World", is more like that dynamic blend that I was talking about in the beginning. I think the vocals has a touch of U2 and Björk somehow.
After that comes the title track. It starts a bit slower and more atmospheric, but after a while they start to rock, before they slow down a little again and the singer start to sing. A progressive adventure is probably the best description. And that is probably the best description for the rest of the songs as well, even tough they add some doom rock to the mixture sometimes.
(Century Media)
JULY 5, 2018

Here's 1 of those post punk bands that sounds more like they play pop or indie rock. This doesn't have much to do with punk. But that doesn't mean that it have to suck. So read on..
It's very catchy and melodic, but it doesn&39;t sound so happy just because of that. The typical post punk darkness is there. But here comes the most funny thing: This is a rock trio, and actually not a post punk band, which I think they reminds of. They have some good songs here anyway. And I guess that is more important to know than what kind of music they play.
The group formed in 2015, and comes from Turenki, Finland. "Awry" is their debut album.
(Distributed by Concorde Music Company)
JULY 5, 2018

As you probably can figure out from the title, this is the third album from this Norwegian/Italian trio. There's influences from 70s bands like LED ZEPPELIN, DEEP PURPLE, AC/DC and RUSH, but they have added some new ingredients and made their own style. Fans of both old and new melodic hard rock should be happy when they hear this.
Special guest on hammond and keyboards are Alessandro Del Vecchio (HARDLINE, JORN). 10 tracks is what we get, and it sounds really good in every song on this album.
(Sliptrick Records)
JULY 4, 2018

WOORMS are a doomy noise punk trio from South Louisiana, who formed as late as in 2017, but they have already released a few singles and a demo. They participate with 1 song. They are said to fit fans of JESUS LIZARD, SWANS, MELVINS, HELMET, FAITH NO MORE, WHORES, INTER ARMA and SOUNDGARDEN.
A HANGING play hardcore/thrash, and they are from New Orleans, Louisiana. They have been around since 2007. They give us 3 short songs, and are said to be something for fans of SLAYER, D.R.I., S.O.D., VOIVOD, BAD BRAINS and CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER.
On the first side of this little vinyl we have a heavy and hypnotic song that says nothing to me. Not much of that noise punk. More like some kind of annoying sludge that almost makes me want to strangle somebody.
On the other side we get 3 very fast and short crossover songs. I definitely prefer this band, because it sounds more normal. Compared to WOORMS, A HANGING are a brilliant band.
(Hospital/Paranoize Records)
JULY 4, 2018

YAWNING MAN: The Revolt Against Tired Noises - Album
Once again an album that makes me think: "What kind of shit is this?". Not much of a revolt anyway, as it's some kind of slow and atmospheric stuff. They call this psychedelic rock. But to me it sounds more like Sunday sailors that just makes me more irritated than I already are.
By the way, the 3 first songs are all instrumental and doesn't have much variation between the songs. My nerves! After that there's at least vocals in a few of the songs (not all though). But unfortunately not even that help.
Sorry, but this just isn't my kind of band..
Release date: July 6, 2018 (Heavy Psych Sounds Records)
JULY 4, 2018

MENUDÅ: Tänk Lite Själv Då - CD-EP
As a veteran I have heard this kind of traditional Swedish trallpunk a thousand times before. So this band doesn't exactly have anything new for me. But if you're a fan of the bands in this genre that was popular in the 90s, then you should give this a try, because I have definitely heard worse than this through the years.
This is a little taste with just 3 songs, so it's over in something like 7 minutes.
(Second Class Kids)
JULY 3, 2018

KARDINAL SYND: Baltic City - 10" EP
This is not one of the faster trallpunk bands, but more like some kind of mid-tempo instead. There are at least 1 song, "Odens Soldater", that goes a little faster. It's a boot up the arse to all the stupid nazis, and 1 of the better songs on this record. The rest of the songs are not bad, but not as good as that song. Among the other subjects that they sing about are not having enough time and degradation of women, to name a few.
6 tracks is what you get, and that's enough for me at least.
(Second Class Kids)
JULY 3, 2018

More Swedish trallpunk.
BJÖRNARNA doesn't exactly sound like everybody else, even though it's a familiar sound. Unfortunately they doesn't seems to have anything that is extra good. Where's the good old hits like DE LYCKLIGA KOMPISARNA and DIA PSALMA did in the 90s? But I guess that is a little too much to ask for in 2018. Well, don't expect that people are going to remember your songs then. Because this goes in through 1 ear and out through the other. Pretty o.k. while it last though.
UNDERHUND was much better. More like some kind of melodic punk rock instead of the typical trallpunk. They might not have something extra good either, and after a few songs they have the same problem as BJÖRNARNA, in through 1 ear and out through the other.
(Second Class Kids)
JULY 3, 2018

ASTMATISK GAPSKRATT: Heller Fargerik Enn Kald - LP
What we have here is a Norwegian punk rock band. And they have some variation between the songs, which is really good. But most of these songs are melodic, and reminds a lot of the Swedish trallpunk. There's also much background vocals that sounds like a whole gang, which gives it a touch of street punk as well.
I have not heard that many bands like this from Norway, and they might not do anything unique, but they are at least doing it good. So why not give them a try?
(Second Class Kids)
JULY 3, 2018

The INTERRUPTERS: Fight The Good Fight - Album
Here's another one of these bands who mix their punk rock with ska. And in some songs it's actually a little bit of both, while others are just pure punk rock or ska. And I guess it's not so hard to figure out that this is something for fans of RANCID and similar bands. Fact is that RANCID are doing a guest apperance on "Got Each Other". Many of these songs are very catchy and melodic.
The INTERRUPTERS formed in 2011, and comes from L.A. This is their 3rd album, and it was produced by Tim Armstrong from RANCID.
Well, I like both punk rock and ska, so I like this band too of course. This is a real summer record.
(Hellcat Records)
JULY 2, 2018

1968: Ballads Of The Godless - Album
This is hardly any ballads (but I guess you didn't really expect that either). This is more like psych/heavy rock, that pick flowers in the 60s and 70s. But sometimes it sounds more like stoner rock or heavier grunge actually.
1968 formed in 2013 for the love of the legendary albums that came out in 1968, which was the beginning of a darker, heavier movement in music and popular culture. The end for the "Summer of Love" era, and the beginning of the Manson family and the Altamont tragedy.
They pick their influences from classic acts like BLACK SABBATH, THIN LIZZY, Jimi Hendrix and many others, and they have previously released 2 EPs.
Release date: July 6, 2018 (HeviSike Records)
JULY 1, 2018

KNIGHTMARE: Walk Through The Fire - Album
Power metal from Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A. The band was created in the early 2000s, and this is their 3rd album. These songs sounds really good to me. It's just that intro that are a little useless (but that's hardly something new). I don't really know what else I should say about this, but it could absolutely be worth a try for fans of classic heavy metal.
(Self released?)
JUNE 30, 2018

ISSUNA: Ez dugu aske izateko zuen baimenik behar - Album
ISSUNA is a Spanish DIY crust/punk band, and all their lyrics are in Basque. Their first LP was released in 2015, and this is their second. ..and that's all the information I succeeded to find about this band.
This reminds me of both Finnish and Swedish bands in this genre. And I really like it. So if you also like Scandinavian crust/punk, then you better check out this band.
(Godbox Records)
JUNE 30, 2018

inOcean: I Still Ask Why - Single
"Furious, guitar-driven, loud and REFUSED-infused hardcore" is what they call this. But I don't know.. Sure, there are some hardcore, but it's also very melodic. So I guess melodic hardcore is what I will call this band's music.
It's a pretty good song, but not much else.
(Big Balls Productions)
JUNE 30, 2018

GYZE: The Rising Dragon - EP
I must have been very busy and/or stressed when I have been listening to this record. Because I have honestly not even noticed that they actually play the same song 3 times, in different versions. The 2 last versions are supposed to be bonus tracks though, I might add. And 1 of them are instrumental, while the other features a guest apperance by Marc Hudson.
GYZE formed in 2009, and they have released 3 full length albums so far. The music that this Japanese trio is playing is power metal and melodic death metal, with what we can call Japanese melodies. And it's definitely not bad at all.
(Universal Music Japan)
JUNE 30, 2018

GUNJACK: Totally Insane - Album
1 thing is for sure. If you like mid-tempo songs with MOTÖRHEAD, then you should like this band too. Even the singer sounds like Lemmy. They might possibly be a bit more metal though. I think we can call this "old-man heavy rock n roll". And that is just a description, and not something negative.
GUNJACK is an Italian trio, and this is their debut album. There's many good songs here, even though there's a few weaker moments too. Still worth checking out though.
(Sliptrick Records)
JUNE 30, 2018

Michael Monroe at Liseberg in Göteborg, Sweden on June 28, 2018
It's already 4 years since I saw Michael Monroe live last time. But he was still as crazy as then. He ran around and climbed like a monkey on the fence infront of the stage. I'm once again impress of his energy after all these years in the rock n roll business.
As you may know this man was the frontman in the legendary Finnish glam rock band HANOI ROCKS, which you may have read about here or heard about before. And he played some of their songs of course, as well as some other stuff that was really good too. More or less like the last time then, which was really good too of course.
I think the songs becomes a little harder and heavier live. But just a little. If you want a really good show and some really good rock n roll, then go and see this man.
Michael on the fence   Michael on the fence
The only thing that irritated me a little (yes, I'm an angry man, hehe) was that he had to throw water from a bottle on the audience. What was that good for? I sure didn't ask for any water on me. Very stupid! And while we talk about irritating things. There was this young dude who had his hat on the back of his head. It was probably to see better, but those who stood behind him saw shit, nada, nothing because his stupid hat was in the way. And I don't really understand why nobody (like the tall fat old man infront of me for example) did anything about it. Somebody should just have taken the hat off him and throw it away like a freesbee. That would have been so damned funny!
After a while I saw some people I know from when I was younger, that I have not seen in many, many years. So I went over to them instead. Problem solved for me.
JUNE 29, 2018

The HYPOTHESIS: Welcome The Darkness - Single
Well, this was hardly anything new. Modern, melodic death metal. A pretty good little tune though. No doubt about that.
This Finnish band plan to enter the studio later this year to record their second full length.
Well, I honestly don't have much else to say..
(Inverse Records)
JUNE 28, 2018

The HIRVI: Old School Killspree - Album
It seems like this Finnish thrash band existed in the late 80s already. The band was led by the then 19-year old frontman Juha Virtanen. They became known for being the hardest partying band in the Finnish thrash scene. But for some reason they disappeared very soon.
30 years later, a much older Mr. Virtanen decided that it was time to return, to finish what he once started. He menaged to convince the original bassist and the drummer that it was a damned good idea to finally record their old songs, and release a album.
Now that album is here. And what we get is not necessarily yet another old-school thrash band that sounds like a thousand others. They have their own ideas, even though they are inspired by the usual bands from the 80s.
(Inverse Records)
JUNE 28, 2018

FOREDOOMED: Ordeal - Album
The 8 first tracks are just a warm-up for the title track, which is as long as 15 minutes, and their most progressive adventure on this album. But before that we get some melodic death metal. Sometimes with a progressive twist. My favorite track must be "Search For Tomorrow", which have a guitar melody that reminds me of something like AMON AMARTH. But there's lots of those guitar melodies on this album, and most songs are really good.
FOREDOOMED started as a garage band in 2009. They released 3 demos with various lineups between 2009-2015. It seems like they started to work on this debut album in the end of 2015 already. But they didn't start to record it until early 2017. "Ordeal" was finally released on August 18, 2017. Why I got it for review now is unknown to me. Maybe they need some more support for it or something? So check this out. It could also be that somebody was so drunk that he or she wrote the wrong release year.
These Finnish men are currently writing songs for their second album. And that can be interesting to hear.
(Self released)
JUNE 28, 2018

The FILAMENTS: Look To The Skies - Album
I don't know when this band existed for the first time, but they reformed in 2009 anyway. Their music is mainly catchy punk rock in the same style as RANCID. But it can just as well be anything from street punk to dub or 2-tone ska. It's like an album that invite all kinds of punks to the same party (but o.k., if you just listen to crust punk and/or hardcore, then you won't find anything interesting).
Well, I like this. And so should you. Let's give them a chance. They're worth it.
(Pirates Press Records)
JUNE 27, 2018

el CAMINO: Cursed Congregation - Album
I guess that el CAMINO are ready to be in the same league as other Swedish bands like BOMBUS and TRIBULATION. Metal bands who go their own way and do something different. Now el CAMINO might not be the most odd bird in the cage, but they have a different sound somehow. Some kind of heavy doom metal darkness mixed with black metal vocals you could say. But I think you have to listen to really understand what this band is all about.
I can at least say that they are really good at what they are doing. No doubt about that. So this could actually be worth a try. ..or maybe 3 as it might take a while before you like it.
Release date: July 2, 2018 (Night Tripper Records)
JULY 27, 2018

BAD RELIGION: The Kids Are Alt-Right - Single
Bad Religion
A new single with the melodic punk rock veterans BAD RELIGION. This song is a sharp takedown of the alt-right movement, who is getting more and more attention in both North America and Europe. But the title of this song is also a tribute to THE WHO's classic "The Kids Are Alright".
Fans of this Los Angeles legends should not be dissapointed when they listen to this, because this sounds just the way that they use to.
JUNE 27, 2018

I guess this is not so bad, but it's like I have heard this more than just a couple of times before. You know exactly what to expect.
Amanda should not be a stranger to those who listen to symphonic metal. She has been involved with several bands and projects through the years. Like AVANTASIA, EXIT EDEN, Kiske/Sommerville, KAMELOT, EPICA, MOB RULES, AFTER FOREVER etc. And those of you who like EXIT EDEN might find some candy here. Because she seems to have a tendency to blend in some pop in her symphonic metal cake.
(Frontiers Music Srl)
JUNE 27, 2018

SUPREME CARNAGE: Morbid Ways To Die - Album
German old-school death metal that should please fans of legends like BOLT THROWER, ENTOMBED, GOREFEST, ASPHYX and BLOODBATH.
Sure, there's thousands of these bands, but why complain when it's this good? After all, they got all the right ingredients: crushingly heavy riffs, razor sharp hooks, and powerful vocals. And on top of that, good songs. What else can you ask for?
The band was founded in 2010, and released the first E.P., "A Masterpiece of Execution“", in 2011. 2 years later the self-produced debut album, "Quartering The Doomed", was released. In 2015 it was time for another album, "Sentenced By The Cross". And now their 3rd album is here.
(Redefining Darkness Records/Raw Skull Records)
JUNE 26, 2018

SINSID: Mission From Hell - Album
Norwegian heavy metal band, who formed in 2012. But it's not until now, in 2018, that they finally have got the chance to release their debut album. And it's not bad at all. We get 10 tracks that are clearly inspired by the bands of the 80s.
SINSID is a band with talented and passionate musicians, who knows how to deliver good metal. It's a mixture of shorter tracks (approximately 3 and a half to 4 min.) and longer pieces (7-8 min.). Which gives us over 50 minutes of music. But there are luckily not that many boring moments when you listen to this band.
(Pitch Black Records)
JUNE 26, 2018

TNT: XIII - Album
When you look at the song titles, you could almost think that this would be a covers album. But it's not. Some of these songs are good, but some are a little bit more uncertain. So it's a wild mixture of good and bad on this album. And when it's good it's often very good, so it's sad that those less good songs have to be here (but o.k., you can always jump to the next song when there's something you don't like).
This is (as the title says) the 13th studio album from these Norwegian veterans. There are at least 2 founding members left in the band, Ronni Le Tekro (guitar) and Diesel Dahl (drums). On bass we have Ove Husemoen, and last but not least we have the new singer Baol Bardot Bulsara, who comes from Spain. Everybody is doing a good job, and Baol is a really good singer, so no problem there anyway.
(Frontiers Music Srl)
JUNE 26, 2018

WOMBRIPPER: From The Depths Of Flesh - Album
This debut album was self-released digitally in January, and also on a few CDs and Cassettes in Russia. But now a Special Extended Edition of the album is here, featuring 2 brand new tracks, as well as a 3rd bonus track taken from a split release with TORN APART.
This Russian death metal band describe themselves as "Pure HM-2 sound Old School Death Metal", and that is more or less all you really need to know. So no, WOMBRIPPER is hardly here to reinvent the death metal genre, but they succeed to cook a delicious meal out of good old ingredients.
Well, I don't think that I have to mention any bands that they sound like. It's the usual 90s stuff. You know if you like it or not.
Release date: June 29, 2018 (Redefining Darkness Records)
JUNE 26, 2018

SUNSTORM: Road To Hell - Album
Joe Lynn Turner should be a familiar name to most rockers. He is most well-known for being the singer for artists like RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE and Yngwie Malmsteen. But he also have a solo career, as well as a band here and there. Like SUNSTORM for example, who released their first album in 2006.
If you like other stuff that Joe has been involved with, then it's not impossible that you will like this album too. Because there's many good songs here, so don't be afraid. That's all I have to say..
(Frontiers Music Srl)
JUNE 25, 2018

REFUGE: Solitary Men - Album
Peavy Wagner, Manni Schmidt and Christos Efthimiadis released 5 albums with the German metal band RAGE, and have now reunited under the name REFUGE to carry on the sonic assault they started back in 1987.
After 1994, the 3 musicians moved on to work in different bands, and continued to follow their musical paths, with Peavy continuing on with RAGE, Manni going to GRAVE DIGGER, and Christos off to TRI STATE CORNER. After a long period when they did not have much contact, the 3 guys met again in 2014, and decided to play a secret show in their German hometown Herne, under the name "TRES HOMBRES". The show was never promoted, apart from word of mouth and social media rumblings. But more than 1200 fans found their way to the gig. The band performed all the hits from their time together in RAGE, and loved every second of that gig, which made them hungry for more (of course), and then REFUGE was born.
This is the debut album with REFUGE, but also the first album with new material from this classic RAGE lineup in 25 years.
So, now the burning question is: Was it worth the wait? Well, how would I know? I don't think that I have heard anything with RAGE. At least not with this lineup. So I'm not the right guy to compare old and new. But I can at least say that what I hear on this album is not so bad. It's just those few last songs that wasn't so interesting.
(Frontiers Music Srl)
JUNE 25, 2018

QUANTUM LEAP: No Reason - Album
Swedish trio who combine the darkness of 80s post punk with the energy from garage rock. This is their debut album, and it's supposed to be soundtrack to the collapse of the eco system. There's no happy songs here. So don't expect to hear that.
The members of QUANTUM LEAP comes from different backgrounds. Some of them have been playing metal, while others have been playing pop or electronica. How they finally met each other and decided to form a post punk band in 2015 is a good question. But here they are..
What you will get is not bad at all. Even dark music can be good. And this is a album that I recomend you to check out.
"No Reason" was recorded and mixed at the legendary Sunlight Studio, with the legendary producer Tomas Skogsberg (ENTOMBED, BACKYARD BABIES, The HELLACOPTERS, REFUSED etc).
(Viskningar Och Vrål)
JUNE 25, 2018

LONELY GRAVE: Craterface - Album
Some kind of noisey hardcore/punk/grindcore is what we get from these Swedish guys. Some of the first and last songs are pretty good. But this band doesn't seems to be here to make friends. Because it sounds like they are here to torture your soul with noise. Especially the title track is very irritating. That "song" is just pure noisecore. And I hate that shit!
Luckily it's just a few songs in the middle that sucks. This is good for being a grindcore band.
The band was started by 3 guys from Umeå on the first cold day of 2016. They decided to use minimum of gear, and that all 3 members should be front singers. LONELY GRAVE combines the punk-side of early grindcore and power violence with metal riffing. Their songs are a mixture of fast and slow. Their lyrics deal with stuff like delusion, god, lust and paranoia.
Release date: June 29, 2018 (Discouraged Records)
JUNE 25, 2018

GDANSK: A Tribute To Danzig - Album
If I got it right, this is a covers album by GRAND MASSIVE, featuring guest apperances from members of THUNDERMOTHER, CRITICAL MESS, SABATON, DORO and SINNER. Now I'm not familiar with all 8 songs, but I guess I know about half of the songs at least. And most of it sounds really weak and slow. There's no balls. This is hardly a masterpiece. The only song that is really good, is the classic "Mother", where the singer from THUNDERMOTHER (Guernica Mancini) is singing. And believe it or not, but that woman has more balls in her voice than GRAND MASSIVES's male singer seems to have. And an acoustic version of MISFITS' "Skulls"? I don't know.. These guys can't play punk.
It's nothing unusual that covers albums are cheap crap. But why can't somebody surprise me with a good covers album sometime? It would be o.k. if they would have given this away for free. But I'm pretty sure that they actually want people to pay money for this. Well, good luck with that.
Release date: June 29, 2018 (Metalville)
JUNE 24, 2018

HOUND: Settle Your Scores - Album
This album last for over an hour, and that is way too long. 35-40 minutes is enough. Especially when the band don't have material that is strong enough.
These Germans are playing old classic hard rock, with a lot of hammond organ. But sometimes it's more like stoner rock instead. They try so hard to make the same fantastic songs that they made in the 70s, but unfortunately they just don't have any songs that are that great. I would not say that it's bad though. But instead of being a o.k. band, they could have been excellent instead. And they are not excellent (yet).
This is just their debut album though, so who knows what they will make in the future?
Release date: June 29, 2018 (Metalville)
JUNE 24, 2018

VON BALTZER: Cultural Daze - Album
This band have everything that a fan of classic AOR/melodic hard rock can ask for. They take the best parts from artists like ASIA, BAD ENGLISH, BON JOVI, BOSTON, JOURNEY, RAINBOW, TOTO and even YES. But even though it sounds familiar, they still have their own identity.
This seems to be their debut album. And if they are this good already on the first album, then how good can they become after a few more albums? Or will this be the top of their career? The one who lives when the next album comes out will know..
Release date: June 29, 2018 (AOR Heaven)
JUNE 23, 2018

SCHUBERT IN ROCK: Commander Of Pain - Album
SCHUBERT IN ROCK is an all-star project led by Austrian guitarist Klaus Schubert (NO BROS). Back in 2013, he assembled some of the most legendary international rock artists and long-time friends to record new versions of NO BROS' greatest hits. And now he has done it again, but with new material instead. Among the guest artists this time are: Marc Storace (KROKUS), Don Airey (DEEP PURPLE), Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson, Jeff Beck), Carl Sentance (NAZARETH), Jeff Scott Soto (SONS OF APOLLO, JOURNEY, TRANS- SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA), Doogie White (RAINBOW, MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP), Michael Vescera (Yngwie Malmsteen, LOUDNESS, OBSESSION), Dan McCafferty (former frontman of NAZARETH) as well as local friends like Ewald Pfleger from the international chartbreakers OPUS. But I would like to point out that SCHUBERT IN ROCK is also a real band, and not just an all-star project.
What we get here is really good hard rock and heavy metal with melody. 13 tracks in 70 minutes is a little too good though. But if you like the bands that the guest stars comes from, and similar stuff, then you should not be dissapointed when you hear this.
Release date: June 29, 2018 (Pure Steel Records)
JUNE 23, 2018

Nick Oliveri: No Hits At All Vol. 4 - Album
This man is most well-known for being a desert rock legend. But what we get here is actually American punk rock in the same style as the late G.G. Allin (r.i.p) and The DWARVES (before they became so catchy and melodic). And I really like that stuff! Now I'm a little extra happy that I gave this album a chance.
Nick Oliveri (aka Rex Brown) has been playing with desert rockers like KYUSS and QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, to name a few. He is currently playing with The DWARVES, BL'AST!, MONDO GENERATOR, BLOODCLOT and SVETLANAS. And on the side of that he is also playing solo. A busy man.
I don't really know if this is a collection of old recordings or new songs, but that doesn't really matter here. All you need to know is that this is really good, and something that you must check out.
(Heavy Psych Sounds Records)
JUNE 22, 2018

NECRYTIS: Dread En Ruin - Album
American duo with Toby Knapp (ex-ONWARD) on guitars and bass, and Shane Wacaster on vocals and drums. Special guest on piano and organ are Arenas Watches (is that a real name?).
This is their second album, and the music is traditional, straight 80s US/power metal with a melodic edge. A little progressive sometimes as well. And all 6 tracks are very good, even though many of them are no short pieces (approximately 6-13 minutes).
This could be something for fans of FATES WARNING, QUEENSRŸCHE and even early DEF LEPPARD. But I guess any fan of good old heavy metal will like this album.
Release date: June 29, 2018 (Pure Steel Records)
JUNE 22, 2018

Jean Beauvoir: Rock Masterpieces Vol. 1 - Album
This is the first of 2 retrospective albums that will be released with songwriter/producer/musician Jean Beauvoir. The albums will feature solo material as well as songs by his bands CROWN OF THORNS and VOODOO X. Volume 2 will be released in late 2018/early 2019. And I already look forward to hear that album.
Mr. Beauvoir is an American man who has been a member of the controversial punk band The PLASMATICS, and been a longtime songwriter and producer for RAMONES. Among the other artists he has been working with are KISS, Lionel Ritchie, Desmond Child and many others. And just if that wasn't enough, his music has been in several movies as well (Cobra, Pet Semetary etc). Just because Jean release these collections does not mean that the career is over. He is still active with several projects. This is definitaly not the last we will hear from him.
But maybe we should talk a little about the music on this record? Well, there's lots of good songs on this album. No doubt about that! Most of this material is AOR and classic rock, while some songs possibly could go as melodic hard rock. You should definitely not miss this album!
Release date: June 29, 2018 (AOR Heaven)
JUNE 21, 2018

DESERT STORM: Sentinels - Album
Project Desert Storm is a codename for the Gulf War (1990–1991). It was a war against Iraq by a U.S.-led coalition, following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Hardly something to be proud of, as war is just sick and stupid. But it can also be a name for a storm in the desert.
The band DESERT STORM is something totally different though, and has nothing to do with war or any storm (as far as I know, I might add, as I have not study their lyrics). Well, that would possibly be the fact that they are heavy as a tank then, and sounds like a perfect soundtrack while you drive that tank through a desert.
What we get from these British gentlemen is stoner metal/sludge. And I have definitely heard worse than this in my life. But o.k., I have heard better too to be honest. So I guess they end up somewhere in the middle, which is the same as good but not excellent.
(APF Records)
JUNE 20, 2018

DARE: Out Of The Silence II - Album reissue
It looks like this band is most well-known for their singer/songwriter Darren Wharton, who played keyboards with THIN LIZZY in the early 80s and when they reunited in the 90s. Mister Wharton formed DARE in 1986, and their debut album, "Out Of The Silence", came out in 1988. They have release 7 studio albums so far (this 1 not included).
What we have here is a special edition of the debut album, to celebrate the 30-year anniversary. It has actually been completely re-recorded because the band don't have the rights to the original record, and therefor they don't get any cash for it. But now I have not heard the original album, so I'm not the one who can compare these versions with each other. This sounds really good though. Radio friendly melodic hard rock/AOR that should please all fans of that.
In "King Of Spades" they suddenly start to play something that I reconize from a THIN LIZZY classic. A bit odd as it's obviously not a cover of the THIN LIZZY song. It could actually be the Irish national anthem without me knowing it. But now I read in an interview that it's a tribute to Phil Lynott (r.i.p), and that they use to end the song like that when they play it live.
DARE plan to release a brand new studio album in 2019. So they are absolutely still alive.
Release date: June 29, 2018 (Legend Records)
JUNE 20, 2018

BEYOND THE KATAKOMB: Beyond The Katakomb - Album
BEYOND THE KATAKOMB is the brainchild of Swedish singer L-G Persson, from the power metal band The STORYTELLER. He have teamed up with members from acts like SCAR SYMMETRY, EVERGREY etc. And they have created a album that is progressive, with Yngwie Malmsteen solos. The vocals are powerful, but yet melodic.
This is probably something for those who like progressive metal first of all. But I guess that some fans of Yngwie Malmsteen could like this too.
Release date: June 29, 2018 (Black Lodge Records)
JUNE 20, 2018

WORMLIGHT: Wrath Of The Wilds - Album
WORMLIGHT comes from Umeå in northern Sweden, and formed in 2014 under the name UNHALLOWED. They released 2 EPs with that name, before they became WORMLIGHT. This is their debut album.
Their music is melodic black metal in the same spirit as the Scandinavian acts from the mid-90s. It's delivered with a frosty atmosphere. Good stuff that I recomend you to check out.
Not much else to add..
(Black Lion Records)
JUNE 19, 2018

SADNESS: Ames De Marbre - Album reissue
..and then it was heavy again.
When you see photos of the band, they look like some hard rock/heavy metal dudes. But the album cover and the music gives you a totally different picture. They were inspired by occult acts like HELLHAMMER, early CELTIC FROST and similar bands. But they were also heavily rooted in doom/death metal, and later on also gothic metal.
SADNESS was formed in 1989, and comes from Switzerland. They released 2 demos and 3 full length albums between 1991 and 1998. "Ames De Marbre" was their debut album, which is a wild mixture of doom, death, black and gothic metal.
They end this record with 2 demo tracks from 1992, and then it's pure death metal instead.
(Vic Records)
JUNE 19, 2018

MISSING LINK: Lobotomized - Album reissue
Isn't there a hardcore/punk band called MISSING LINK? Because that's what I expected this to be. But that was before I had read about the band, and found out where I got it from (a little too much to review maybe?).
Anyway, during a break from ARTILLERY in the early 90s, the Stutzer brothers Morten and Michael formed a new band: MISSING LINK. Thrash metal done the Danish way. Close to ARTILLERY, but slightly different as well. I actually think that many of these songs sounds more like some kind of alternative hard rock/metal. They were definitely going in their own direction. No doubt about that.
The band recorded 2 demos, 1 EP and 2 albums between 1991 and 1997. And this album was recorded in early 1997 with the legendary producer Flemming Rasmussen (METALLICA, MORBID ANGEL, BLIND GUARDIAN, ARTILLERY). As a bonus on this re-release you also get 2 songs from the "Merry Xmas Everybody" EP from 1995.
(Vic Records)
JUNE 19, 2018

LUGNET: Begging - Single
Yeah, go cat go! This is so 70s. I think of blues-based hard rock like DEEP PURPLE and LED ZEPPELIN for example. I really like it, baby!
"Begging" is a first taste of their upcoming, yet untitled, second album, which they plan to release in the end of 2018 or early 2019. It's also the first recording with their new singer Johan Fahlberg (JADED HEART). And even though this is a digital release, we also get a "b-side" in form of a SWEET cover, "Cockroach".
Check out these Swedes at once is my advice!
(Pride & Joy Music)
JUNE 19, 2018

LORDS OF THE STONE: Roses For The Dead - Album reissue
O.k., now I didn't get any information at all about this band and the record, but I can at least say that they are heavy. And a little search on the internet told me that they are from The Netherlands, and among the members are/were Henri Satler (GOD DETHRONED) and Martine van Loon (The GATHERING). Their music is described as both progressive death metal as well as doom. I think it's a combination of both, but most sites says doom metal. This seems to be a complete collection of demo recordings. I didn't find any information about when these recordings took place though, but you can probably find more info if you get this album.
They have some good songs and some less interesting songs. I guess it's 1 of those records that you listen to a few times, and then you forget it.
(Vic Records)
JUNE 19, 2018

I don't really know what to say about this female-fronted Greek doom metal band. But I'm stupid enough to try to say (or write) something anyway.. It won't be a long and deep review though..
This band formed in 2013, and released their debut album, "Carpe Noctum", 2 years later. They have a passion for everything dark, doom, heavy and gothic, according to the press release. "The Unseen" is their second release.
Well, what we get is 5 tracks that goes in through 1 ear and out through the other. It's not that bad as long as it last, but soon forgotten.
JUNE 19, 2018

June 1974: Nemesi - Album
In June 1974 I was about 1 and a half year old. So now you know how old I am (luckily I still look pretty young).
The music on this record is all kinds of instrumental, pretty soft and laidback music. Not really my thing actually. They try to rock a little once in a while, but that doesn't help much. There's always a new adventure around the corner though. So I guess we can call this progressive as well as psychedelic.
The most funny thing is that there's guest apperances by people from the metal scene on almost every song, even though it's not metal at all. Among these musicians are Tommy Talamanca (SADIST), John Cordoni (NECROMASS), Andy LaRocque (KING DIAMOND), Jørgen Munkeby (SHINING), Patrick Mameli (PESTILENCE), James Murphy (OBITUARY, DEATH) etc. So I guess that they want to fool metal fans to buy this album, even though it's not metal? That's very nasty!
If you want to try this, then it should be available for download and/or streaming at places like iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and similar. This is only available digitally.
(Visionaire Records)
JUNE 18, 2018

MICK'S JAGUAR: Fame And Fortune - Album
This sounds like a combination of glam rock and proto punk. Or a combination of NEW YORK DOLLS and The STOOGES maybe? I guess we can call it hard Rock n Roll.
This band comes from New York, and they want to bring back the noisey, wild and unafraid big rock to the NYC rock scene. I'm not so sure that this is the right band for that though. Sure, they have some good songs, but everything is not interesting. And it's not like I can hear any future classics here.
Their songs are about life, death, cars, blood, murder, sex, drugs and booze.
Release date: June 22, 2018 (RidingEasy Records)
JUNE 18, 2018

WOLFEN: Rise Of The Lycans - Album
This is these Germans 6th album, and the first with the new members Siegfried Grütz (drums) and Andreas Doetsch (guitar). The music is best described as melodic power metal with thrash influences, but I think that any metal fan could like this.
They have some good songs among these 9 tracks, so they are worth a try of course. I don't really know what else I should say about them..
Release date: June 22, 2018 (Pure Steel Records)
JUNE 16, 2018

STREET DOGS: Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing - Album
The first song reminds me of a band like The OFFSPRING for example, while the second track reminds me of something like FLOGGING MOLLY instead. And it continues something like that, but in general it's different kinds of melodic American punk rock that we get. And it's not bad at all. They have several good songs on this album, and it's full of energy and anthems.
STREET DOGS are from Boston, and they have been around for 16 years already. This is the first time I have heard them though. It's 8 years since their last, self-titled, album was released. And on this 6th album they sing about brotherhood and common values. You have to wake up and fight against the rich and greedy. Typical punk subjects you may say, but still important stuff. Maybe even a little extra important nowadays.
Release date: June 22, 2018 (Century Media)
JUNE 15, 2018

MARDUK: Viktoria - Album
Old photo of Marduk
Swedish black metal veterans MARDUK are back with a new album. And this time they concentrate on fast and simple songs. None of these 9 tracks are longer than 4 and a half minutes. And I think that was a good choice, even though this album is pretty short. Because this is good stuff.
The lyrical theme is as usual war. But that doesn't make them nazis, as some stupid people seems to think that MARDUK are. Come on, it's just history! Do you call your teacher in history a nazi too?
The front cover is simple, but just as cold and hard as the music.
If you don't like this, then you probably don't even like black metal at all. Simple as that.
Release date: June 22, 2018 (Century Media)
JUNE 14, 2018

RYDERS CREED: Ryders Creed - Album
Debut album from a British 5-piece act, who formed as late as in May 2017. Their influences comes from many different bands, everything from classic acts like AC/DC and BLACK SABBATH to more modern groups like CLUTCH and MONSTER TRUCK. I guess we can call it catchy heavy rock.
There's some good songs among these 10 tracks, so I guess it could be worth a try. 1 of my favorites must be the 6th track, "Ryder". Check that out first if you can.
(Off Yer Rocka Recordings)
JUNE 13, 2018

CHAOS BEFORE GEA: Chronos - Album
Spanish band who formed in Málaga in 2008. They play a crazy mixture of progressive metal, groove metal, death metal and metal in general. This is their 3rd album, which is the last chapter in a trilogy. It's said to be something for fans of MACHINE HEAD, MASTODON, GOIJIRA, SYMPHONY X and LAMB OF GOD.
If you get the ambitious idea to make a trilogy, then you better make sure that you actually can deliver as well. These guys seems to be very good musicians, so no problem there. But they doesn't seems to be able to make any songs that I can actually remember. And that's a big problem. Because then it doesn't really matter how ambitious and good you are, as nobody will care. Oh, excuse me, now I forgot that there are actually some people who are satisfied with just that. But how many are they?
(The Braves Records)
JUNE 13, 2018

KHARVA: Kharva - Demo
Many years since I got a burned CD-R with a demo recording last time. They succeed to have a better sound quality than many of today's albums though.
KHARVA is a heavy and hard metal band from Karlstad, Sweden. They are a pretty young band, as they formed as late as September 2017. 3 of them have been playing together since 2008 though.
Their music has influences from both extreme metal and hardcore. I'm not really sure if I should call it metalcore, but that's what it reminds me of most. There's at least variation between the songs. And that's always an extra plus.
4 songs is what we get here.
JUNE 13, 2018

VEGA: Only Human - Album
Another melodic rock/AOR band on Frontiers Music. And just like so many others of those bands, this is pretty good stuff. They might not be the best band in this genre, but they are absolutely worth a try at least. I think it sounds very radio friendly. And it has a touch of the 80s, but with a modern sound and production.
This is the 5th studio album from this British band. They produced it themselves, while Canadian musician/producer Harry Hess (HAREM SCAREM) mixed and mastered the record.
(Frontiers Music Srl)
JUNE 12, 2018

THY PRIMORDIAL: The Blackened Years - 4CD Box Set (reissues)
This little box features the albums "Where Only The Seasons Mark The Paths Of Time" (1997), "The Heresy Of An Age Of Reason" (2000), "The Crowning Carnage" (2002) and "Pestilence Upon Mankind" (2004). They were originally released by Blackened, and are said to be classics (I have never heard these albums before, so they are definitely not classics to me anyway).
The music is typical 90s black metal of the more extreme kind. So if you like that, and like me have not heard this band before, then you should give this a try. I think you will like it. Because this is absolutely true black metal. No doubt about that.
Release date June 15, 2018 (Dissonance Productions)
JUNE 12, 2018

TAD MOROSE: Chapter X - Album
This heavy metal veterans from Bollnäs, Sweden have been around for as much as 27 years, and this is their 10th studio album.
The main ingredient is traditional heavy metal, but there can also be a progressive and/or symphonic touch or a pinch of melodic power metal as well. And everything is cooked with modern technology.
They have many good songs here. But 14 tracks is as usual a little too much for me. Still worth checking out though. No doubt about that.
Release date: June 15, 2018 (GMR Music)
JUNE 12, 2018

PRIMITAI: The Calling - Album
PRIMITAI are a London-based melodic metal band drawing inspiration from classic heavy metal and combining it with a modern production, intensity and a progressive edge. We get 10 tracks on this album, and it doesn't sound bad at all. This could be worth a try. No doubt about that.
Now I don't have much else to say. Seems to be yet another album that I have been listening to several times, but still I can't come up with anything to say. But o.k., I actually didn't get that much information, and could not find that much either. This is not their first album anyway.
(Dissonance Productions)
JUNE 11, 2018

PRAYING MANTIS: Gravity - Album
The first track, "Keep It Alive" is pretty good melodic hard rock, but "Mantis Anthem" is hardly an anthem. It sounds like a silly pop song from the 80s actually. And the most disturbing part is the beginning, which always makes me think: "What the fuck is this?". Then comes "Time Can Heal", which reminds me a little of BON JOVI. Good, but hardly the strongest song. In "39 Years" they are finally back to the melodic hard rock that they began the album with. It reminds me of early EUROPE somehow. Really good! 1 of the best songs on this album.
The title track reminds a little of good old THIN LIZZY in the beginning. It's a little softer, but another really good song. Unfortunately most of the songs after that are actually pretty boring tracks that doesn't really impress your editor. It makes me think: "How much fillers can you put on the same album and get away with it?" It's not until the second last song, "Shadow Of Love", that I finally wake up a little again. Not a masterpiece, but still much better than the 3-4 sleeping pills before.
The last track, "Final Destination", is o.k. Probably the heaviest song on this album.
(Frontiers Music Srl)
JUNE 11, 2018

The NEAL MORSE BAND: The Similitude Of A Dream, Live In Tilburg 2017 - 2CD/2DVD, Blu-ray
A double sandwich of progressive/symphonic rock wasn't really what I wanted. And it's the same old problem that I almost always seems to have with these bands - Very talented musicians, but no hit potential. But I bet that there's lots of classics here for some old fart. So who am I to judge&63; Fans of a band like GENESIS will probably love this stuff. I know 1 man who like GENESIS very much, and he's not exactly a genious. But that's a completely different story, and doesn't mean that everybody who listen to progressive and/or symphonic rock are stupid.
This recording comes from a night at 013 in Tilburg, Holland last year, where they performed the entire "The Similitude Of A Dream" double album, as well as a 4-song encore. Among the musicians were Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Eric Gillette, Bill Hubauer and Randy George.
Release date: June 15, 2018 (Radiant/SONY/Metal Blade)
JUNE 11, 2018

DOOMSDAY OUTLAW: Hard Times - Album
These blues-based hard rockers comes from Derbyshire, UK. They released their debut album, "Suffer More", on their own in 2016. And that gave them many good reviews. And I understand why, because this is good stuff with a lot of melody. They really seems to know how to play this kind of music. Definitely a band that you should check out if you like the more blues-based hard rock bands from the 70s.
Not much else to add..
(Frontiers Music Srl)
JUNE 10, 2018

CRYING STEEL: Stay Steel - Album
What is crying steel? I have never heard of that before. But then I have never been a steel worker. Sounds a bit silly actually. But luckily their music is not silly at all. Really good heavy metal (made of steel of course) with lots of melody.
This band was actually founded in Bologna, Italy in 1982 already. After a couple of demos, they released a self-titled EP in 1985. After some more demos and promo releases, they finally released their debut album, "On The Prowl", in 1987. But it looks like they didn't release any new album after that until 2007, when "The Steel Is Back" was released.
And just in case you didn't get it, this is definitely worth checking out.
Release date: June 15, 2018 (Pride & Joy Music)
JUNE 10, 2018

BROWSING COLLECTION: Thank God It's Friday - Single
I reconize this somehow.. It sounds so familiar.. Just like I would have heard the exact same thing before somewhere.. And well, how impossible is that? It's not exactly easy to be original nowadays. But I don't think it's metal-influenced punk rock anyway, like they say in the info sheet about this single. I would rather go with something like catchy and energetic party rock with punk attitude. Power pop maybe?
BROWSING COLLECTION comes from Sweden, and formed in 2008 already. This song is taken from an upcoming EP.
(DITTO Music/Icons Creating Evil Art)
JUNE 10, 2018

O.k.? This wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear. Some kind of electronic indie pop instead of psychedelic rock as they promised. What a dissapointment! It didn't exactly make me happier, when I was already irritated. I gave up after just 3 songs, and had to continue some other day. But it wasn't much better on a other day either, so I had to give up again after just a couple of songs.
What I don't really understand is why some people think that this kind of stuff would fit in on a site called Hard Rock Info. I think the name of the site says it all. But people are stupid. That's hardly something new.
Could this be what they call shoegaze by the way? I have never really understood what that is. They talk about psychedelic indie rock and dark pop in the info sheet anyway. And film is obviously a big influence, because this sounds just as weird to me as a film by David Lynch.
(Forward Backwards Recordings/Custom Made Music)
JUNE 10, 2018

HERE LIES MAN: You Will Know Nothing - Album
Psychedelic, man. Why they have such an ugly album cover is my biggest question though.. It definitely doesn't give you any hint of what kind of music it really is that they are playing.
This is the second album from this L.A. band. They often play the same thing over and over again. Sometimes it last for a little too long. But I guess it's a part of the game when it comes to psychedelic rock like this. And I guess it's not so hard to fall into trance when you listen to this album. Pretty good though.
Release date: June 15, 2018 (RidingEasy Records)
JUNE 9, 2018

FRAYLE: The White Witch - EP
It seems like this EP has already been self released digitally a couple of months ago. But now it will be released in physical format as well.
They label their music as doom/witch rock, and says that it's "music for the night sky". They get their inspiration from acts like SLEEP, PORTISHEAD, BEASTWARS, BLONDE REDHEAD, KYUSS, MASSIVE ATTACK, DOWN and CHELSEA WOLFE. And I can't say that it's any bands that I use to listen to, but I would prefer to describe FRAYLE as a hybrid of doom and dream pop, with a sweet girl on vocals. It's not so bad actually. I have definitely heard a lot worse in my life.
Release date: June 15, 2018 (Seeing Red Records/Lay Bare Recordings)
JUNE 9, 2018

FABRIKEN: Hoppa Av I Farten - EP
Seems like the lineup has changed a little since last time. The latest members are Patrik Trankell (drums) from ROLANDS GOSSKÖR and Peter "Ampull" Schölander (guitar/vocals) from KSMB, JOHN LENIN and KSM3. The other members are Curre Sandgren (guitar/vocals) from COCA CAROLA, ROLANDS GOSSKÖR, KRYMPLINGS and Åke Noring (bass/guitar/vocals) from ROLANDS GOSSKÖR. There's also guest apperances from Tony Johansson (FAS-3, KSM3) and Johan Johansson (KSMB, STRINDBERGS, KSM3 etc).
This is the band's 6th EP, and it includes 5 tracks of pretty melodic punk rock in Swedish. It sounds more or less like their previous EPs actually, and I have liked them, so I have no problem with this. Fans of Swedish bands like COCA CAROLA and ROLANDS GOSSKÖR should like this.
(Beat Butchers)
JUNE 9, 2018

SAXON: Denim And Leather / Power & The Glory / Crusader - Deluxe reissues
Saxon a few years ago
"Denim And Leather" kick off with the classics "Princess Of The Night" and "Never Surrender". Other classics on this album are "And The Bands Played On" and the title track of course, which end the original album. They still play some of these classics live today. And I guess that says a lot about how great they are. But you should not dismiss the rest of the tracks on this album, because there's lots of great songs. But I don't really get why "20,000 Ft" from the "Strong Arm Of The Law" album is included here. A great song too though.
The bonus material consist of 8 live tracks from different concerts. But I'm not really sure why they start the live tracks with something as stupid as "Bap Shoo Ap". But otherwise it's just classics all the way. You get a total of 18 tracks on this release.
"Denim And Leather" is SAXON's 4th album, and it was originally released on October 5, 1981.
"Power & The Glory" was the first SAXON album that I heard. I had a copy on cassette (if anybody remember those things?). A few years ago I bought it on CD, and thought that this was a pretty weak album for being SAXON. It was actually just the title track and the last track, "The Eagle Has Landed", that was really good. The rest of the songs was more or less just fillers. But nothing was totally worthless on the other hand.
And now that I hear the album again a few years later, I realize that I was a fool. It's definitely not as bad as I first thought it was. Sure, there's not as many classics as on some other albums, but it's definitely not bad at all. More or less every song is in good old SAXON tradition. This is actually a great album!
As bonus tracks we get 7 demo outtakes. Mainly songs from the album, but also some other songs. There's also 2 songs, "Make Em Rock" and "Turn Out The Lights", that I don't really know where they comes from. Why they didn't make it to the album is a good question. Maybe they were used as b-side or on the Japanese edition? Good songs anyway.
This is their 5th studio album, and it was originally released on March 21, 1983. It was the first album with Nigel Glockler on drums, who replaced Pete Gill.
"Crusader" was the first SAXON album that I bought myself, and didn't just copy to a cassette (which was very usual in the 80s). A damned good album! The opening track, which is the title track, is 1 of their best songs (1 of many, many). A pretty epic mid-tempo song. After that they continue with a rocker called "A Little Bit Of What You Fancy", which is followed by the more melodic "Sailing To America". Yes, there's definitely variation on this album. And it's 1 of my favourite albums with them. Well, they continue with a cover of the SWEET classic "Set Me Free". A fast and good version. And then we have the sing-a-long anthem "Just let Me Rock". After that it's still good stuff, but not the kind of songs that I remember until I hear them again.
And just if it wasn't enough with the original album, there's lots of bonus tracks included here. Mainly demo outtakes of some of the songs from the album, but also of some that didn't make it to the album. And we also get another 2 songs that I have not heard before - "Borderline" and "Living For The Weekend". A total of 19 tracks.
"Crusader" was originally released on April 16, 1984.
I would like to add that you don't have a complete heavy metal collection without any SAXON in it. But if you want the bonus tracks, then you have to buy the CD versions, which are released as 24-page mediabooks. These albums are also available on coloured swirl and splatter vinyl.
JUNE 8, 2018

The SOUL EXCHANGE: Edge Of Sanity - Album
The SOUL EXCHANGE is a Swedish band who released their first album, "Bloodbound", as late as in March 2017. It was followed by a 5-track EP, "Vow Of Seth", already in December the same year. By that time they had already started to work on this second album. But even though this band is pretty new, the members have been playing for many years.
The music that they give us is some kind of melodic hard rock with a touch of metal. And it doesn't really sound like anybody else, but it's definitely not bad at all. The lyrics deal with subjects from the darker side of life, such as insanity and evil in various forms.
I don't really know what I should compare this band with. EVERGREY maybe?
Release date: June 15, 2018 (Pride & Joy Music)
JUNE 8, 2018

Stagman: Moder Jord - Album
Bosse Stagman, or Zinny Zan as he called himself in the 80s, was the singer in EASY ACTION and SHOTGUN MESSIAH. Both bands have done their reunions, even though it was just for a couple of shows with SHOTGUN MESSIAH, and probably under some other name if I'm not totally wrong. He has also had his own band ZAN CLAN.
Now he go solo, and this is his second album under the name Stagman. But I guess that hard rock wasn't fun anymore, because this is very far away from what he did before. This is more like some kind of pop songs (in lack of a better description) in Swedish, where an middle-aged man look back at his adventures in life. Not much rock here (not until track 7 and 8 anyway). And some songs unfortunately reminds me of Swedish artists like ELDKVARN, Ulf Lundell and Tomas Ledin. And that's not good of course. Because they're not cool at all. But if this is what he want to do, then I'm not going to stop him. Some songs are o.k., while some are not so interesting. Nothing sucks though, and that's always something.
If you're looking for action, then this is not the album for you. Because the party is definitely over.
(GMR Music)
JUNE 8, 2018

Louise Lemón: Purge LP - LP
They call this death gospel. But fact is that this has nothing to do with neither death metal or gospel. This is more like some kind of laidback, melancholy pop music. People who like the latest albums with Swedish artist Thåström might like this. Not that it really sounds like him, but it has the same kind of gothic darkness. Fans of Anna von Hausswolff will probably like this too.
Why she had to include an instrumental version of the album is a good question though. It hardly makes it any better, does it? No, that instrumental stuff was not for me. But the more I listen to the vocal version, the better it gets. I would not say that I have found a new favorite artist though. It's not that good. But it can be nice background music when you just want to relax.
"Purge LP" is Louise's debut album, and it was recorded in a haunted cabin in the north of Sweden, and then mixed in Seattle together with Randall Dunn (SUNN O))), MYRKUR, CHELSEA WOLFE etc).
(Icons Creating Evil Art)
JUNE 7, 2018

LORDS OF BLACK: Icon Of The New Days - Album
Even though it's melodic hard rock/heavy metal that we get from this Spanish band, it's actually pretty hard and heavy. Was it really like that last time I heard them? Many of these songs makes me think of the late great Ronnie James Dio (r.i.p). Among my favorites are the title track. But there simply is no weak songs here. And to me that's thumbs up of course.
The Chilean born singer, Ronnie Romero, is most well-known nowadays for being the singer in Ritchie Blackmore's RAINBOW. But he's also a member of The FERRYMEN and CORELEONI. How he succeed to get the time is a mystery to me. I guess he live and love music so much that he's ready to offer all his time to it. In other words a very devoted man that deserve all attention that he can get.
(Frontiers Music Srl)
JUNE 7, 2018

LiV SiN: Inverted - EP
Liv Sin in Sister Sin
Hm.. They are obviously doing something different with the 3 songs that we get on this EP. It's not the usual heavy metal, but rather some kind of laidback, almost acoustic pieces. But it's not worse because of that. It's still good.
They start with the DANZIG cover "Devil's Plaything". Now I have not heard the original version, so I can obviously not compare. But it sounds good to me anyway.
"Black Souls" must be a new song written just for this EP. I'm not really sure what I should compare this song with or how I should describe it. But it's another good song anyway.
They end the whole thing with "Killing Ourselves To Live", which is a song from their debut album, "Follow Me", that came out last year. But this is a completely different version. They have turned it into a half-ballad (more or less) with piano and strings. Pretty o.k.
(Despotz Records)
JUNE 7, 2018

Jizzy Pearl of LOVE/HATE: All You Need Is Soul - Album
Jizzy Pearl from the 90s hard rock band LOVE/HATE is back with a new solo album. Among his musicians are Dave Moreno (PUDDLE OF MUDD) on drums and LOVE/HATE guitarist Darren Housholder among others.
LOVE/HATE was apperantly very famous in the early 90s. But I can honestly not remember 1 single song from them. So I'm not the one who can compare this album with the old albums from that band. But I can at least hear that he has plenty of good songs here.
Among my favorites are the opener "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone". But that's just 1 of many great songs on this album. I would like you to know that there are not a bad song here. And that's really strong.
(Frontiers Music Srl)
JUNE 7, 2018

HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES at Liseberg in Göteborg, Sweden on June 6, 2018
HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES was formed in 2015 by rock legends Alice Cooper, Joe Perry (AEROSMITH) and film star Johnny Depp (who the other members are is unknown to me) as a tribute to the rock stars who died in the 70s. Sounds like a cool idea, so I went to see their show, and hoped I would hear lots of classics from the 60s and 70s. But unfortunately it wasn't as cool as I expected it to be. I don't have a clue what those 3-4 first songs was. But after that it was much better, with some stuff that I know (and not just from the 60s/70s) - The DOORS, AC/DC, MOTÖRHEAD and THE WHO. Unfortunately they had to destroy the party with a stupid drum solo. And after that I'm not really sure what they played, but there was 1 song by Alice himself, as well as a bad cover of AEROSMITH.
They had already been playing for over an hour when I had to catch the bus back home. And while I left they played "Heros" by David Bowie, with Johnny Depp on vocals (yes, the other guys also sang, and not just Alice). And even though I had left, I could hear that they played the old classic "Train Kept A-rollin", which have been recorded by several bands, like The YARDBIRDS, AEROSMITH and MOTÖRHEAD, just to name a few. I could also hear "School's Out" while I was waiting for the bus.
Well, this was far away from the best concert in my life. It would probably have worked a lot better at a night club instead of a large stage at an amusement park. And the band was trying so hard to be as cool as possible, that it almost became pathetic. I read a review of this show, and that man was so dissapointed that he said that the music died that day.
As I'm a very short person, and there was thousands of people, I didn't succeed to take any photos (hardly the first time). And then we also have the very irritating thing that people have to walk back and forth exactly where I'm standing. It's always an insane traffic of people when there's a show at Liseberg. And I hate it!
JUNE 7, 2018

SVVAMP: Svvamp II - Album
Swedish power trio playing what you could call heavy psych rock, with inspiration from CREAM, Eric Bell-era THIN LIZZY, CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL and CRAZY HORSE. But it's actually a mixture of styles and genres that we get here. So you should not be bored when you listen to this. And they definitely have their bright moments here and there. So if it's heavy rock and/or classic rock in the good old tradition that you are looking for, then SVVAMP might be a perfect band for you.
Release date: June 8, 2018 (RidingEasy Records)
JUNE 6, 2018

AVENGER: Blood Sports / Killer Elite - Album reissues
AVENGER was formed by 3 members from the British cult band BLITZKRIEG. And just like that band, they were a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal band, which you can hear on "Blood Sports", originally released in 1984. Most songs on this album are pretty melodic, but it's a very good album, that you definitely should check out.
"Killer Elite" was released in 1985. It's mainly a continuation of the first album. There's talk about a thrash metal direction on this album, but I can honestly not hear much of that. Both JUDAS PRIEST and ACCEPT have made harder songs than this, but not many would call those bands thrash metal because of that. This is also a very good album, with many good songs. So you simply have to check this out too.
Both these re-releases features previously unreleased bonus tracks.
(Dissonance Productions/Back On Black Records)
JUNE 5, 2018

Alberto Rigoni featuring Marco Minnemann: EvoRevolution - Album
Very normal to play a song that is 32,48 minutes long - NOT. And of course it has to be instrumental (more or less, except for some talking here and there) as well. Very boring to listen to for a guy like me, who want vocals and more normal length on a song.
The other song have a more normal length though, just 4 minutes. But it's also instrumental. So it wasn't much more fun.
This is a solo project with the Italian bassist Alberto Rigoni (co-producer of VIVALDI METAL PROJECT, founder of BASSISTS ALLIANCE PROJECT, ex-TWINSPIRITS). "EvoRevolution" is an prog/rock/ambient concept album, which also features drummer Marco Minnemann (The ARTISTOCRATS, Paul Gilbert).
Well, if you prefer difficult music before normal music, then this might be a album for you.
Release date: June 8, 2018 (AR Music Production)
JUNE 5, 2018

INJECTOR: Stone Prevails - Album
INJECTOR was born in 2012 in Cartagena, Spain. Their first demo, "Harmony Of Chaos", was released in 2013, and in 2015 they signed with Art Gates Records, who released the band's debut album, "Black Genesis".
Their sound comes from a blend of the most aggressive thrash metal and classic elements from heavy metal. And it's a really good mixture that satisfy my ears at least. So you should do yourself a favour and check this out.
The only thing I can complain about is the small detail that it would have been enough with just 8 tracks instead of 12. And that's hardly a major problem.
(Art Gates Records)
JUNE 4, 2018

FANTASY OPUS: The Last Dream - Album
Power/Prog metal from Portugal. This is said to be "a gigantic leap in terms of production, style, image, lyrics, heaviness and overall content from their predecessor. The main element of the whole album is the sea as a metaphor, and all tracks are built around this element." It could be something for fans of SYMPHONY X and ANGRA, but there's also pieces of DREAM THEATER and CACOPHONY.
11 tracks in 70,44 minutes is what we get, and it sounds really good to me. This is something that both fans of power metal and progressive metal can like. But it's a extra plus if you like both genres of course.
Release date: June 8, 2018 (Pure Steel Publishing)
JUNE 4, 2018

DEFIATORY: Hades Rising - Album
Swedish thrashers DEFIATORY started in 2015, when guitarist Ronnie Björnström left the death metal band AEON. He soon found singer Martin Runnzell, and within 1 week they released their first demo track, "Furor Unleashed". After that they found some more members to complete the lineup, and released their debut album, "Extinct", in 2016. Now their second album, "Hades Rising", is here.
..and what a great album it is! They mainly take their influences from the classic Bay Area thrash scene. It's a perfect combination of aggressive as well as more rythmic and melodic parts. Perfect if you ask me. This is not just another old-school thrash band without any variation. Oh no. You won't get bored when you listen to this. Yet another fantastic thrash band from Sweden!
(Black Lion Records)
JUNE 3, 2018

DEFIANT: Insurrection Icon - Album
This band comes from Croatia, and they are pretty good. Maybe not the best band in the world, but definitely worth a chance at least. Nothing is bad on this album anyway.
The band formed in 2005, and their music is death/black metal in the same mood as BEHEMOTH, VADER, HATE and DECAPITATED. So if that's something that you like, then you probably know what to do.
They have released 3 albums before this one, and I actually don't have much else to say..
(Art Gates Records)
JUNE 3, 2018

DEATH STRIKE: Fuckin' Death - Album reissue
Most of these 8 songs are around 2-3 and a half minutes. But there's also a few who are 6-7 minutes. This is good stuff, but for some reason it's like I know this band after the 4 first songs, and get a little bored. I have not figured out why, but the problem is obviously mine. Becuase as I said earlier, it's good stuff.
DEATH STRIKE was formed in Chicago, IL, USA, in September 1984 by Paul Speckmann (MASTER, FUNERAL BITCH) and Chris Mittleburn (MASTER, SINDROME). So they were obviously one of the earliest extreme metal bands. The first 4 songs comes from a demo tape that they released in 1985, which had a massive impact in the extreme metal underground scene. It's nowadays considered as one of the very first death metal recordings. Where the last 4 songs comes from is unknown to me, but it seems like this record has been released on CD in 1991 already.
(Vic Records)
JUNE 3, 2018

GRÁ: Väsen - Album
Pretty good black metal in the old school. Mainly in Swedish. But there's also a couple of songs in English. And for some reason I like the Swedish songs better. Not that the others are bad.
GRÁ was founded in Stockholm, Sweden in 2010 by Heljarmadr (DARK FUNERAL, CURSED 13, DOMGÅRD) and Dimman. "Väsen" is their 3rd full length album, which will be available on CD and digital formats to begin with. It will be released on LP in the fall.
(Carnal Records)
JUNE 2, 2018

GLUTTONY: Cult Of The Unborn - Album
Well, if it's old-school death metal without any surprises at all that you're looking for, then I have found the perfect band for you my friend: GLUTTONY.
This is a Swedish band with 3 members from MY OWN GRAVE and 1 from SETHERIAL. GLUTTONY has existed since 2009. Their first demo, "Coffinborn", was released in 2012, and followed by a EP. In 2014 it was time for their debut album, "Beyond The Veil Of Flesh". They also released a split CD with SORDID FLESH in 2016. And now their second full length is here. Simply a must for every true fan of what I described in the beginning.
(Vic Records)
JUNE 2, 2018

FRAGMENTS OF DESPAIR: Broken Lost Mistakes - Single
This band was formed in Paros (which I think is in Greece) in 2013, and they have just recently released their debut album, "Broken Lost Mistakes". And as you might have figured out already, that's exactly where this song comes from.
This is unfortunately a song that I never seems to be able to remember. It's like it just goes in and out of my head. But it's hardly the first time that happens. While I listen it sounds like some kind of groove/macho metal, and that's not my favorite genre anyway.
(Label unknow.. Self released?)
JUNE 2, 2018

MEGADETH: Killing Is My Business...and Business Is Good - The Final Kill - Album (Deluxe Reissue)
Well, I have to be honest with you and admit that this is another classic album that I have never had, and therefor not have heard before. So I guess it was about time then, now that it will be released again.
This was the band's debut album, and this version has been completely restored to band leader/frontman Dave Mustaine's intended vision. It reveals unheard parts and performances throughout the record. Except for the whole album, you also get 7 live tracks from an old VHS tape that Dave found in his attic. You also get their 3-track demo from 1984, as well as the once removed cover of the Lee Hazelwood classic "These Boots" - A total of 18 tracks and over 70 minutes of music.
Release date: June 8, 2018 (Century Media/Legacy Recordings)
JUNE 1, 2018

The PROFESSIONALS at Liseberg in Göteborg, Sweden on May 31, 2018
The PROFESSIONALS comes from U.K., and is the band that Steve Jones and Paul Cook formed after SEX PISTOLS split up. Now they are back, but without Steve Jones, and released a new album a while ago that was pretty good. They have a few old classics that I really like, but not much else. The rest of the songs that I have heard have just been good or o.k.
But that didn't stop me from going to see them when they played just about an hour away from home. And they played some of the songs that I really like, as well as some songs from the new album that I like too. But they also did "Silly Thing" from the soundtrack to "The Great Rock n Roll Swindle", and surprised us with the SEX PISTOLS classic "Bodies" as an encore. Brilliant!
As you can see on my photos, they are not exactly young anymore. But that didn't stop them from doing a good show. This band is definitely not finished yet.
The Professionals  The Professionals  The Professionals  The Professionals  The Professionals  The Professionals
JUNE 1, 2018

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