Funny, before writing this review I had just finished a very interesting conversation about Swedish bands with someone as passionate as I am for Swedish music and we concluded that there must be something about being born in Scandinavia that automatically increases your chances of being good at making music. Spelljammer proves this point with their latest effort Abyssal Trip (RidingEasy Records). An equally catchy, beautiful, heavy, and dark album that brings a scenario that can be only compared as being a collection of Black Sabbath’s darkest, twisted tracks but heavier and more melodic. And it’s impossible not talking about Black Sabbath when talking about a Stoner/Doom Metal band, but this Swedish trio can easily be in the same conversation.
Analyzing the evolutive process of an artist of a band tends to be a journey full of debacles and details that are indeed interesting. Taking into consideration the personal issues that every artist deals with while writing an album is a very impactful and important aspect of how the final product comes out and one thing is for certain, COVID-19 and all that we lived through 2020 will be a heavy influence in all the albums that we listen to this year. Soen’s Imperial (Silver Lining Music) is no exception. An album as captivating as their last effort Lotus (Silver Lining Music), the Swedish band is expanding what could already be considered their signature sound: strong, beautiful, and catchy ballads that mix heavy sections here and there. Maybe, as mentioned, it is because of all the different situations that everyone went through last year that made the band go through a route that is perceived as sentimental but, more than anything, it feels real.
Avatar took my live stream “virginity” away in this concert Ages|Madness from their series of Livestream concerts titled Ages, which has been running since January 9th and will end this upcoming weekend on January 30th. The Swedish band demonstrated why they are one of the most popular and entertaining bands in the genre right now by giving a performance that very well is worth the “price of admission” that COVID normalcy has given us for these types of events since we cannot go to live shows for the time being. Avatar was able to set a tone and ambiance like no other with this performance which was concentrated on tracks from the albums Black Waltz (Gain Music Entertainment) and Hail the Apocalypse (eOne Music).
Kingnomad’s Prog Rock tendencies have been at the forefront from their inception, but these elements are expressed in their purest form on Sagan Om Rymden (Ripple Music). The group has about completely phased out the Stoner Doom tinges that helped shape their first two albums, allowing their third to expand their dynamics without a single hint of fuzz to be found. While this does make a less heavy album on the surface, a combination of energy and commitment to atmosphere results in what is easily the band’s boldest effort yet. Continue reading
Is it weird to have “should’ve leaned more into brutality” as your first thought upon completing a Metalcore album? Asking for a friend. That’s not to say that there is a total absence of the heavier and grimier stuff on Bury Tomorrow’s Cannibal (Music for Nations/Sony), but I wouldn’t have been heartbroken if they would’ve squeezed some more juice out of the amps.
If you know, have interacted with me through social media, or have seen my list of top albums of 2019, you would already know that I’m an Opeth fanboy. I love, basically, everything that the band has released. You would also probably know that I’m a bass player and (yes, you guessed it!) Martin Méndez is my favorite bass player and one of my top inspirations to play the four-stringed instrument. So, when I heard that he was releasing a new Death Metal project, called White Stones, I was equally excited and confused. When talking about the release of the infamous Heritage (Roadrunner Records), Mikael Åkerfeldt, singer, songwriter, and guitar player from Opeth, stated that they wrote a Death Metal record as a follow up for Watershed (Roadrunner Records), which is their last heavy record, but Méndez talked him out of it stating that was not the music that he should be writing for Opeth. Can you understand my confusion now?Continue reading
Call me a Democrat candidate because I’m about to shamelessly pander to the youth; Creeping Death‘s Wretched Illusions (eOne) fucks. I think I typed that out correctly. That’s the saying, right, fellow kids? All that nonsense aside, know that Creeping Death is here and much like their Texan brethren in Power Trip, they’ve packed all the riffs and mosh parts that a growing boy needs from their metal. Continue reading
Alright, guys, it’s time for us to talk about the importance of Cult of Luna. Yeah, that underappreciated Swedish unit that has delivered a consistent series of music both brutal and majestic since 2001’s self-titled effort. Okay, so maybe you arrived late to the party and missed the early portion, but you did catch their mindfuck crossover with Julie Christmas, Mariner, right? No? Well, A Dawn to Fear (Metal Blade) is as good as an entry point as you’re going to get.Continue reading
The Horse and Sparrow Theory (Relapse Records) really wants to let you know that Victims is about that Hardcore and D-beat life. Like every song on this bad boy is pre-loaded with that classic drum pattern. Every word is delivered with snarl and song with names like ‘There’s Blood on the Streets’ lets you know that these Swedes mean business. The only problem with all that is the in the pursuit of Punk rock fury, Victims forgot to write any memorable riffs. Continue reading
When your primary musical focus consists of playing in At The Gates, Skitsystem, or Martyrdöd, any and all accompanying projects are going to be subjected to some level of scrutiny. “Yeah, but it’s not Slaughter Of The Soul, is it?” you may hark, but Sweden’s Agrimonia have never been ones to rely on paying lip service to their associated Death Metal and Crust Punk outfits. Five years removed from their last record Rites Of Separation, Agrimonia have presented us with their most ambitious, thematic and musically realised record, Awaken (both Southern Lord).Continue reading