Danish Metal

Sickseed – Goregeous Review

Sickseed – Goregeous Review

“The downside of being one of the longer-standing writers is a failure to adapt to our new system of promo selection. If you don’t claim promo on the day it becomes available 1 month in advance of release, you’re left with nothing but the dreck and the chaff. For what I can only assume is its “horror metal” tag, and the fact that there’s never been a good “horror metal” release, Sickseed’s Goregeous was one of a great many promo left in the pool for my selection. I won’t pretend there was any design or deliberation in my choosing it; it was a symptom of necessity and my own tardiness.” Freedom from choice.

Heltekvad – Morgenrødens Helvedesherre Review

Heltekvad – Morgenrødens Helvedesherre Review

Heltekvad is a Danish three-piece fronted by Ole Luk of Afsky and Solbrud fame, flanked by two Afsky live musicians with a resume spanning Sunken and Morild. (Do I have your attention?) The band members’ atmospheric black metal repertoire has received its share of praise around these parts. But in contrast with the icy and evocative atmosphere of their past work, Heltekvad promises “heroic-sounding melodies” and “truly medieval soundscapes” on their debut Morgenrødens Helvedesherre.” Fevdal fvkk.

Glemsel – Forfader Review

Glemsel – Forfader Review

Glemsel (“oblivion”) have chosen a truly interesting cover photo for their debut full-length, Forfader (“ancestor”). I mean—I love it. Odds are, I would have picked up this album for review regardless of the musical style just to see how well the music matches the image on my right (your left). I am more than happy to judge a book, or an album, by its cover—that’s what it’s there for. Fortunately, Glemsel, who hail from Copenhagen, Denmark, play black metal, which means we are already compatible with one another. But while a picture may be worth a thousand words, it is not worth forty-seven minutes of music.” Olde and colde.

Svartsot – Kumbl Review

Svartsot – Kumbl Review

“What should be said of the workhorses? The acts that caught your ear once and never let go? Not the kings of the mountain, no, but perennially at least at base camp. Like your dad used to say, the world needs 2.75-rated records too. Svartsot surmounted the folk metal summit but once with their 2007 debut Ravnenes Saga; their three shots at the top since have fallen well shy of that peak. Still, their thick-axed folkery scratches a certain itch, and given the Danes’ obligation to their sound, there’s little chance their fifth album, Kumbl, will be a disaster. There’s also little chance it’ll be a hit.” Ready to Kumbl.

Lastera – From the Ashes Review

Lastera – From the Ashes Review

“If there’s one musical style I could argue “let me down” last year, it was power metal. Nothing really grabbed me, nothing impressed me, nothing stuck. That’s disappointing, mind you, because I generally love power metal in all its cheesy, crazy glory. So when I came upon From the Ashes, the debut full-length from Danish newcomers Lastera, I didn’t need much convincing to check it out.” Ash power.

Phrenelith – Chimaera Review

Phrenelith – Chimaera Review

“Just listen to Desolate Endscape instead. That’s the record you want to hear. Chimaera simply doesn’t measure up to Phrenelith‘s debut, a cratonic slab of atrocious death metal that crushed listeners with granitic indifference. Chimaera is nothing of the sort: an unfocused, unfinished, and forgettable record that manages at best to echo Endscape, foggily repeating its shapes without conviction.” Desolate tidings of the end.

Alien Force – We Meet Again Review

Alien Force – We Meet Again Review

“Take a moment, if you will, and try to recall what you were doing thirty-five years ago. I can’t do that myself, because I’m Twelve, but you should try anyway, if only to appreciate the fact that Alien Force last released a full-length album about that long ago. There have been a few reasons for this, but I bring it up mainly to share my respect for the determination and longevity of these four musicians. The Danes of Alien Force play traditional heavy metal, and their third full-length release, We Meet Again, carries within it many of the same inspirations that can be heard on their debut and sophomore records from the 1980s.” Ancient aliens.

Franklin Zoo – The Dandelion Child Review

Franklin Zoo – The Dandelion Child Review

“I know we’ve been harping about shitty band names a lot this year, but come on. Franklin Zoo? Why? Is your music about 6-year-olds getting their first biology lesson because two bonobos decided to get exhibitionistic? Do you have a tearful ballad saluting Harambe? Apparently not, since The Dandelion Child addresses the philosophic studies of Soren Kierkegaard.” Animal farming.

Tardus Mortem – Armageddon Review

Tardus Mortem – Armageddon Review

“When the mighty ape (He who reigns forever, Amen) says “I’d like to see a review of Tardus Mortem,” after a few well-deserved tantrums I raced to stuff my earholes with as much of Armageddon as I could. My feet are stamping, but is it because of the tantrum it causes or the groove that it evokes?” Dane death demons.