Valkyrja – The Invocation of Demise

Valkyrja – The Invocation of Demise Rating: 2.5/5.0 – Nothing special Label: Metal Blade Websites: | Valkyrja hails from Sweden, where the ice-cold summers, and even colder winters, apparently breed tons of little metal kids.  Everywhere you look here you run into a band, and many of them are good.  But certainly not […]

Swashbuckle – Back to the Noose Review

Swashbuckle – Back to the Noose Rating: 3.0/5.0 Label: Nuclear Blast (EU | USA) Websites: | Release date: July 24th, 2009 (EU) | August 11th, 2009 (USA) Pirates are becoming an all-too-common and all-too-silly theme in our current society—sort of a strange zeitgeist, if you will.  Everything from the pirates in Somalia to […]

Indukti – Idmen Review

Indukti – Idmen Rating: 4.25/5.0 – Excellent, but winding and weak at moments Label: InsideOut Websites: | Release date: July 27th, 2009 There is a challenge with truly progressive metal and rock and that challenge is, of course, how one describes it in novel terms without sounding like some kind of pretentious ass.   […]

Black Sun Aeon – Darkness Walks Beside Me Review

Black Sun Aeon – Darkness Walks Beside Me Review

I have often commented that Finland is really producing the best metal in the world right now. Of course, when I say that I’m usually associating with bands like Moonsorrow, Finntroll or Amorphis, but apparently I’ve been leaving out a band from that whole list because they’re on a small label: Black Sun Aeon. Right now I’m going to add Black Sun Aeon to the pantheon of excellent metal coming from Finland, but unlike those other bands, they’re not wandering on the folk/viking side of things, but instead they’re doing more old-fashioned mid-paced death, intermingled with a doomy goth element that I haven’t heard done well for a long time.

Riverside – Anno Domini High Definition Review

Riverside – Anno Domini High Definition Review

Riverside – Anno Domini High Definition Rating: 4.5/5.0 – Excellent composition – Stays with the listener for days Label: Inside Out Music Websites: | Riverside was a band that I approached with some caution. I’ve often been unimpressed with progressive metal in the modern era. Not just unimpressed, but often so much as […]

Suicide Silence – No Time to Bleed Review

Suicide Silence – No Time to Bleed Rating: 2.5/5.0 – Excellence offset by core Label: Century Media Websites: | (last updated 2005) Suicide Silence is a study of opposites—a dichotomy of sorts.  On the one hand, they appear to be a talented band, musically varied, very interesting and capable of building intense grooves.  […]

Death Maze – Prodigy of Death Review

Death Maze – Prodigy of Death Rating: 3.5/5.0 – Very good Label: Unsigned Website: Few unsigned bands in Sweden have been getting the kind of press that UmeÃ¥’s Death Maze has gotten in the last 6 months or so.  There are probably a few reasons for this, firstly, there are a lot of unsigned […]

Killswitch Engage – Killswitch Engage (II) Review

Killswitch Engage – Killswitch Engage Rating: 2.5/5.0 – Good for a band I thought was a mediocre institution, but not terribly special Label: Roadrunner Records Websites: | Killswitch Engage is pretty much the institution of metalcore on this planet, having artistically trimmed the genre into a tightly packaged, perfectly polished formula which appeals […]

Pain of Salvation – The Second Death of Pain of Salvation

Pain of Salvation – The Second Death of Pain of Salvation Rating: 3.0/5.0 – Live records don’t get much better than just Good Label: Inside Out Music Band Websites: | Pain of Salvation is definitely the modern darling of the progressive rock/metal scene for a reason.  Their intense musicianship, varied work and extraordinarily […]

Crimfall – As the Path Unfolds…

“For fans of Turisas, Finntroll and Nightwish,” the advertisement read. How could I possibly pass that up? I’m definitely a fan of Turisas and Finntroll, though, Nightwish I’ve pretty much been able to do without—sans diva or not. But reading that tagline, I wondered how any band could actually manage to blend these three bands into one cohesive whole. “No,” I thought to myself, “it’s really not possible to do in a convincing manner.” Apparently, and to my great dissatisfaction, I was wrong.