Listenable Records

Tormented – Death Awaits Review

Tormented – Death Awaits Review

“Talk about stereotypes. Let me provide you with the keywords: Swedish, death, metal, riffs. You get the picture: forty minutes of carefully packed distortions and growls to dance the night away, while remembering the good old days. Days when the underground was a truly transnational parallel world (trust me: I’ve seen it) connecting the various scenes at a sub-level: one carefully avoided by the majors, the media and almost all of your friends (the cool ones, at least).” Join Alex as he reminisces about the good old days, where death metal was … well… underground and uncool.

New Keepers of the Water Towers – Cosmic Child Review

New Keepers of the Water Towers – Cosmic Child Review

Cosmic Child came through a little thin on the promo information (and in fact prior to listening to it for the first time, I didn’t even know the name of the album – so much for embedded album info) at any rate, I figured alright, close your eyes, hit play and go from there – how bad can it be right? The band name conjured up images of something with a Finntroll flavor – tell me a band name like New Keepers of the Water Towers doesn’t sound even remotely folky and troll-like right? It actually ended up being absofuckinglutely nothing like Finntroll, go figure!” But…if it isn’t like Fintroll, what the hell is it like??? Calm down. Madam X will now answer your questions.

Zonaria – Arrival of the Red Sun Review

Zonaria – Arrival of the Red Sun Review

Zonaria has always been a bit of a footnote to the Umeå legacy. By the time they released their first record Infamy & the Breed in 2007, the Swedish metal scene was a thing of the past and melodic death metal—Zonaria’s stock in trade—was pretty much the red-headed step kid of the metal scene. That didn’t stop the band’s debut from making a splash and getting the band signed to Century Media—where they released Cancer Empire in 2008 to rave reviews and… were promptly never heard from again. Until now, that is.

Marionette – Enemies Review

Marionette – Enemies Review

Marionette may well be Sweden’s very first deathcore band! Well, I guess there could be others, but i’ve not been exposed to them (and frankly, I’m pretty OK with that). Some trends miss Sweden, like nu-metal did for the most part, but unfortunately this one didn’t. So there are a couple of things that I need to say up front, for people not familiar with the context with which Marionette will be dealt. First, the biggest thing in the Swedish underground right now is Japanese stuff. Kids are running off and learning Japanese; everyone and their dog is listening to bands like Dir En Grey and girls decked out in lolita garb are running around in parks playing with dolls and having picnics with every piece of pink they can gather together. This is a trend, and it is a matter of conforming to specific things that are very specific to individuals in that scene. In fact, people from that scene are, in my experience, highly judgmental, obsessed with outward appearance, cliquey and lame. So something in my brain breaks when I have 5 over-dressed glam kids with too much hairspray and neckties screaming “YOU CONFORM!” at me, while playing music that sounds like a blend of In Flames and good ol’ American deathcore. That is to say: ugh.