Swedish Metal

Autumn’s Child – Starflower Review

Autumn’s Child – Starflower Review

“Why do these retro 80’s pop/metal knockoff records keep clogging the promo sump? And why am I the only one here willing to pry them out? And why do bands think it’s a good idea to keep making this schlock in the first place? Autumn’s Child is one of Swedish vocalist/muti-instrumentalist Mikael Erlandsson’s many projects. While not familiar with Mr. Erlasndsson before I dislodged Starflower from a tar-like mass of solo black metal projects,” Flowers in the 80s attic.

Katatonia – Sky Void of Stars Review

Katatonia – Sky Void of Stars Review

“I’ve been a long-time admirer of their Swedish sadperson exports, and after putting out what stands as one of my favorite releases of the past decade, Fall of Hearts, they went and put out City Burials, which was just not good. Regardless, Katatonia, the institution of gloom they are, have remained a steady force of sullen output. As such, Renkse and co have been predictably busy distilling from tear water and stained diary pages this latest collection of twilight tunes for Sky Void of Stars.” Star diary.

Twilight Force – At the Heart of Wintervale Review

Twilight Force – At the Heart of Wintervale Review

Twilight Force’s Dawn of the Dragonstar should have been on my 2019 year-end list. Hell, I should have at least written a Things You Might Have Missed piece on it. Yet in retrospect, at the time, the prospect of fully embracing Twilight Force was borderline embarrassing, even for me.” Return of the GammaStrataWeenie.

Ropes inside a Hole – A Man and His Nature

Ropes inside a Hole – A Man and His Nature

“Let’s address the elephant in the room. Ropes inside a Hole is a weird name. The sexual connotations are impossible to escape (Just how many ropes fit inside this particular hole? for example). But the band appears to be playing things seriously, calling A Man and His Nature a meditation on (yawn) quarantine and the pandemic.” Knot your dad’s metal.

Screamer – Kingmaker Review

Screamer – Kingmaker Review

Screamer doesn’t shout in the face of tradition—they never have and, predictably so, never will. Yes, here in this brand new year of 2023, young(ish) names chase the 40-year (or more) legacy of established icons like Rainbow, Van Halen, and Judas Priest, and there’s nothing wrong with that as many such surviving progenitors have trouble playing after bingo hours these days.” Still sreaming in the night.

Just Before Dawn – Battle-Sight Zeroing Review

Just Before Dawn – Battle-Sight Zeroing Review

“It’s nearly Christmas and for many folks that means thoughts turn to gifts, eggnog, and goodwill toward mankind. But Just Before Dawn want to use this holly, jolly time of year to remind us that war is Hell and man cannot stop killing his fellow man. What better way to do that than with a mini-album centered thematically on the Vietnam conflict?” War for breakfast.

Ofdrykkja – After the Storm Review

Ofdrykkja – After the Storm Review

“Since its inception in 2012, Ofdrykkja seems to have been labeled as atmoblack. That was just about accurate for 2014 debut, A Life Worth Losing, although even then there were indications that these Swedes had designs on something grander. That proved to be the case, as the band’s sound has continued to grow and evolve through Irrfärd (2017) and Gryningsvisor (2019), with black metal largely abandoned on the latter, save for some occasional, harsher vocals (see “Wither” and “As the Northern Wind Cries”), in favor of exploratory post-rock and Scandinavian neo-folk.” I, voiddrifter.

Carnal Savagery – Worm Eaten Review

Carnal Savagery – Worm Eaten Review

“I’ve enjoyed my share of nasty, greasy death metal this year, and in the preceding 11 months when genre favorites like doom have been poorly represented, it’s been death that kept reliably turning my crank. As we enter the dreaded dead zone of November and December when promos are scant and generally sub-par, I hedged my bets by hoarding as much death as I could cram into my iron sump skimmer of bestial inwasion. One of the death nuggets stuffed unceremoniously in the junk truck was Carnal Savagery’s fourth full-length, Worm Eaten.” Compost pokery.

Nazghor – Seventh Secular Crusade Review

Nazghor – Seventh Secular Crusade Review

Nazghor play old school black metal with the melody turned way up. Think classic Dissection mixed with the hyperactivity of Sacramentum. Since 2016’s Death’s Withered Chants, Nazghor have followed an ever-more melodic road without sacrificing their trve brand of old school satanism. Seventh Secular Crusade walks the path ever deeper without sounding like it has abandoned its black metal roots.” Satan Claws is coming to town.