ALBUM REVIEW: Feuerschwanz – Todsünden


 

Exactly a year on from the release of Memento Mori (Napalm Records), German medieval folk metallers Feuerschwanz return with a collection of previously recorded cover versions. Releasing material lifted from bonus discs might seem a little superfluous to anyone without a tendency towards rampant completism but Todsünden is filled with surprising choices and no lack of creativity.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Soen – Atlantis


 

It is hard to believe that the Swedish supergroup, Soen, has only been making music together for ten years. Their first full-length, Cognitive procured high praise for its progressive proficiency and emotional maturity. They have stood out for their Tool-like compelling intensity and wide range of sentiment. They have remarkably managed to expand on these ripened abilities with each album they release. Now this quintet is getting ready to celebrate their tin anniversary by releasing a concert film of their classic numbers and a cover with live orchestral accompaniment.

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EP REVIEW: Cosmic Ninja – Dissident Transmission


 

Cosmic Ninja has a new EP coming out called Dissident Transmission (Self-Released). Its first track, ‘By Design’ is a wonderful disco-inspired danceable tome. It’s a song ABBA could have done either in the 1970s or now. My favourite lyric is, “…wake up, enough’s enough! kill your masters…” The lyrics of ‘By Design’ and the rest of Dissident Transmission are a strong stand against the corruption of government entities. Dissident Transmission is a wake-up call to those who are angry about how the government is deliberately misleading the citizenry. The lyrics are heavy and in-your-face but the music itself is pop punkish with a new wave feel. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Ghost – Impera


As one cycle ends, another begins. The flamboyant, dancing Cardinal Copia has been anointed Papa Emeritus IV and the plague-ridden doom of the 14th century is gone. Taking place hundreds of years after Prequelle, Tobias Forge and his band of Nameless Ghouls, otherwise known as psychedelic doom rock popsters Ghost, leave the rats behind as latest chapter Impera (Spinefarm/Loma Vista) tells of new empires built from the ashes of the old.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Battle Beast – Circus Of Doom


With seventeen years on the clock and five albums already in the bag, Finnish sextet Battle Beast are back once again with another head-shaking, neck-breaking slab of electrifying European power metal. For those already familiar with the band then their sixth full length release, Circus of Doom (Nuclear Blast), will be like slipping into an old pair of comfortable, sparkly metal boots. For everyone else who may be interested, just strap on the nearest air guitar and prepare to grin stupidly for the next forty gloriously cheesy minutes or so.

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CLASSIC ALBUMS REVISITED: Ghost’s – “Opus Eponymous”


One of the great success stories of the last ten years or so, the inexorable rise of occult rockers Ghost has been nothing short of astonishing. From their inception in 2006 and the release of full length debut Opus Eponymous (Rise Above Records) four years later, the act from Linköping have gone on to become one of Sweden’s greatest ever exports.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Surma – The Light Within


 

A duo comprising Czechian vocalist Viktorie Surmøvá (Bohemian Metal Rhapsody) and Týr guitarist Heri Joensen, symphonic metal act Surma was formed in 2018 but spent the following year writing and arranging the music for their debut release.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Amberian Dawn – Looking For You


Starting out in 2008 as a neoclassical power metal act, Finnish band Amberian Dawn have continued to evolve and refine their sound over the years. Now, with their ninth full-length release, Looking For You (Napalm Records), the band have decided to fully embrace their already less than hidden inner Abba, even recording in Benny Andersson’s own studio and using some of the legendary Swedish pop band’s original equipment.Continue reading


LIVE REVIEW: Amon Amarth – Arch Enemy – Hypocrisy: Live at Birmingham Academy


There’s a wonderfully surreal moment in The Simpsons when Abe Simpson inexplicably proclaims, “the Swedish are coming! The Swedish are coming!”. Well, tonight in frosty Birmingham, that’s exactly what’s happening. Hailing from the land of Abba, Ikea, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, three of the finest exponents of melodic death metal have landed in Blighty to bang heads and kick bottom.Continue reading


Enforcer – Zenith


Unashamedly 1980’s in their approach to Metal, Enforcer were formed in Sweden in 2004 but it could just as easily have been LA in 1982. All leather, spandex, studded belts and dodgy haircuts, the Scandinavian four-piece tend to unfairly get lumped in with novelty acts such as Steel Panther, but are easily one of the better exponents of the retro Metal movement.

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