Swedish Metal

Ocean Chief – Den Tredje Dagen Review

Ocean Chief – Den Tredje Dagen Review

“Doom is a tricky genre to get right. At least in my opinion. It has a fine line to walk, trading in tectonic riffs, bleak atmospherics and roared vocals, often at glacial speeds, it  risks sacrificing memorability on the altar of heaviness.  Swedish quartet Ocean Chief have done their time and paid their dues, however, and should be well equipped to avoid this pitfall.” Riff rafts.

Skam – Sounds of a Disease Review

Skam – Sounds of a Disease Review

“The sounds of Skam‘s disease can be somewhat approximated by imagining the destructive Swedeath of Left Hand Path accelerated to the speed of Nasum and infused with the unhinged pandemonium of Anaal Nathrakh. Sounds of a Disease is a psychological pressure relief valve in the form of 13 tracks and 29 minutes of ferocious grooves, blasts, and screams.” Ill tidings.

Forndom – Faþir Review

Forndom – Faþir Review

“When we talk about “power” in the music we review, it usually translates roughly into one of two categories: “loud” and “emotional.” More often than not, it translates into both. Metal music strives to be powerful, whether in the form of “crushing” riffs, “anguished” screaming, or “epic” symphonies. I muse on these definitions because, when pressed to come up with a word to describe Faþir, the second full-length release from Sweden’s Forndom, “powerful” is the word I feel aligns most strongly with the album. And yet, there are no riffs; there is no screaming; there are no symphonies.” POWERS!

Sweven – The Eternal Resonance Review

Sweven – The Eternal Resonance Review

“I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering what Chuck Schuldiner would have done musically had he not been taken from us far too soon. Would he have maintaining the style heard on the sole Control Denied release or move things onward and outward into ever weirder environs? These questions were front and center in my head as I digested The Eternal Resonance, the stunningly odd and original debut album by Sweven.” Ripples in music and time.

Soliloquium – Things We Leave Behind Review

Soliloquium – Things We Leave Behind Review

Soliloquium‘s sophomore album Contemplations was one of those releases I stumbled over in the promo sump and was really surprised by. This Swedish doomy melodeath act hit all the right melancholic sadboi buttons, reminding strongly of early Katatonia and Rapture without ever sounding derivative. It ended up making my Top Ten(ish) for the year and I return to it regularly. I wasn’t aware we were getting a new album this month and we didn’t get the promo until a few days before it released, thus the tardy review.” Gourmet leftovers.

Saltas – Mors Salis: Opus I Review

Saltas – Mors Salis: Opus I Review

“In spite of listening to this stuff for the better part of my life now, I still realize how much I don’t know about so many sub-sub-subgenres, such as doom’s vast array. While I delved into the melodic death flavors of Saturnus, Swallow the Sun, and Novembers Doom, I let the cavernous stuff pass me by. It all comes full circle, when Swedish duo Saltas punishes me with a lethal dose of suffocatingly dense doom to whom comparisons are sparse.” Saltas the earth.

Wombbath – Choirs of the Fallen Review

Wombbath – Choirs of the Fallen Review

“Not long after the release of Internal Caustic Torments, Wombbath went on indefinite hiatus for two decades, only to be resurrected by one Jonny Pettersson. For those not in the know, Pettersson is to Swedeath what Rogga Johansson is to… well, Swedeath. Playing a role in over a dozen active bands to include Heads for the Dead, Gods Forsaken, and Just Before Dawn, Pettersson is a necromancer advancing upon the outskirts of civilization with a horde of stinking, rotting death metal bands, ready to add yours to his ever-growing army.” Womb metal.

Wolf – Feeding the Machine Review

Wolf – Feeding the Machine Review

Wolf came into being in the mid-1990s just as the metal scene was poised for a big retro nostalgia trend. A product of their time, they followed the lead of acts like Hammerfall and jumped aboard that “let’s do the 80s metal thing all over again” train with enthusiasm. Their 1999 debut mixed speed and traditional metal influences in ways big and small and managed to impart a degree of youthful vim and vigor to the olde timey sounds. As the band grew and evolved they continued to mine the 80s for all they were worth. After 2014s Devil’s Seed the band went silent and underwent personnel shuffles. 6 years later they reemerge from their steely cocoon with a new lineup, grisly, Korn-esque cover art and 8th album, Feeding the Machine.” Feeding time at the petting zoo.

Ambush – Infidel Review

Ambush – Infidel Review

“I have many things to be thankful for in life, but among the luckiest of happenstances was the opportunity to be a metal loving teen growing up in the 80s. That was truly the golden age of all things metallic, with the genre growing, evolving and mutating into multiple sub-genres at a ferocious rate, and I got to be there to experience it all first hand. I was especially fond for that early era when the only genre of metal was metal, and my love for the “classic style” is just as powerful now that I qualify for AARP benefits. This makes me an easy mark for the slick 80s-centric approach of Sweden’s Ambush.” Go olde or die.