Swedish Metal

Yer Metal Is Olde: Illwill – Evilution

Yer Metal Is Olde: Illwill – Evilution

Evilution is the sole LP from quasi-supergroup Illwill. This odd band consisted of King Diamond and Mercyful Fate greats Andy LaRocque, Sharlee D’Angelo, and Snowy Shaw. While it’s common for these lads to form, join, or guest in many projects over the years, this might be one of the strangest collaborations in their storied careers.” Licensed to ill.

Skuggor – Whispers of Ancient Spells Review

Skuggor – Whispers of Ancient Spells Review

Skuggor is exactly what you expect it will sound like. Gothic font and grainy nature photo with themes of darkness, mist, and myth? You betcher ass it’s atmospheric black metal. “But I’m sure there’s something unique here, Hollow,” I can hear you say. Have you heard atmospheric black metal? You don’t listen to this shit for the neatest thing since Deftones. You listen cuz you want to be sucked into arcane and forlorn woods of ancient magic and nature untouched by human hands. I mean, duh.” Idiots.

Lucifer – Lucifer V Review

Lucifer – Lucifer V Review

“Ah, Lucifer. I remember listening to their self-titled debut album back in 2015 and being immediately hooked by the killer pipes of frontwoman Johanna Platow Andersson and their take on fuzzy, doomy occult rock. But as I sit here to craft a review of Lucifer’s fifth album (aptly titled Lucifer V), I must admit that after that very first dance with the devil in the pale moonlight, I haven’t listened to them much in the intervening years.” New year, same Devil.

Walking Corpse – Our Hands, Your Throat Review

Walking Corpse – Our Hands, Your Throat Review

“Heavyweights Gridlink and Rotten Sound have led the grindcore charge in 2023, but to discount less heralded acts carving a presence in the modern grind scene runs the risk of overlooking the next big thing. Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, Walking Corpse independently released an EP and debut full-length, 2020’s The Fear Takes Hold, before inking a deal with one of heavy music’s more impressive modern labels, Transcending Obscurity.” Dead man walking!!

Axenstar – Chapter VIII Review

Axenstar – Chapter VIII Review

“”Is it necessary for artists to grow?” A question that haunted me as I listened to Chapter VIII, the eighth album by Swedish power metal act Axenstar. When an artist finds their niche, deviations always run the risk of alienating their audience from what they found appealing in the first place. Power metal in particular carries plenty of clear expectations—soaring choruses, galloping drums, warbly vibrato for days—and it’s easy for a band to fall into a groove. But where is the line drawn between comforting familiarity and stagnation?” Chapter and old verse.

Harmagedon – Dystopian Dreams Review

Harmagedon – Dystopian Dreams Review

“I’ve got to come clean with you folks; there are times when I review bands that have nothing to do with the pedigree of the involved players, or the fervent word-of-mouth presented by the metal music sites at large. No, I tend to grab bands based on their names, or how bizarre the genre combinations appear on screen. Hence, today’s subject, Swedish trio Harmagedon, was described in our promo bin as “melodeath/crust,” and with a mental imagery of In Flames-by-way-of-Morrow soundscape, I was curious as to what that apparent trainwreck could sound like. I mean, who wouldn’t want a lil’ moonshield in their post-apocalyptic emokrusty adventure, right?” Eat your crust!

Mephorash – Krystl-Ah Review

Mephorash – Krystl-Ah Review

“If it wasn’t for the wise Madam X, I might never have stumbled on Sweden’s Mephorash. After our Queen of Darkness shared the nifty little Covid concert the band released in 2019, I was hooked. Released the same year, Shem Ha Mephorash remains one of my favorite black metal releases. Now Mephorash is back, hoping to achieve an impossible task: releasing an album better than Shem Ha Mephorash.” Mephorash whiplash.

Night Crowned – Tales Review

Night Crowned – Tales Review

“Ever since they smashed onto the scene with their 2020 debut Impious Viam, following up on the more quietly well-received EP Humanity Will Echo Out, Night Crowned have presented an almost ideal example of symphonic/melodic blackened death. Take a template of symphonic, subtle synth-accented black metal, and add a bunch of catchy melodies, well-pitched dramatic compositions, and that uniquely Swedish death metal flair, and you’ve got Night Crowned. But the group are more than that; they have a distinctive sound that has only strengthened over the years, and Tales continues this trend.” Evening royalty.