Watain

Istapp – Blekinge Review

Istapp – Blekinge Review

Sweden’s Istapp (translation: icicle) was a big surprise for this Angry Metal Guy. A Swedish melodic black metal from Blekinge Län (which is basically the far south of Sweden) I had never heard of them. They’ve been around in the scene for a while, apparently, having released several demos and then a demo compilation (with practically the same track list as Blekinge). More surprisingly, the band’s vocalist is reported to have been in Spawn of Possession until 2009, which is a strange connection given that the band is at almost the opposite side of the spectrum from the well known and worshiped tech-death band. But while Istapp isn’t going to win any awards with the hardcore fans of black metal with their clean vocals, their pristine production and their melody, they are certainly going to win a lot of fans who like their metal fast, melodic and, more importantly, awesome.

Watain – Lawless Darkness Review

Watain – Lawless Darkness Review

This Angry Metal Guy rips on black metal a lot. One of the most overdone and ill-performed genres in the history of metal has to be black metal. The problem is that when black metal is performed poorly by individuals who are not invested in it, then black metal is boring, simplistic and uninteresting. But when black metal is performed with the force and fanaticism of Sweden’s very own Watain, then it is a force to be reckoned with. And finally Lawless Darkness the new full-length from this Uppsala/Stockholm, Sweden-based black metal act is here and it is a force be reckoned with. It harkens back to the days of yore, when black metal was new, vile and most importantly, dangerous and excellent.

Valkyrja – Contamination Review

Valkyrja – Contamination Review

Early in my tenure in 2009 I received a record that was being re-released by Metal Blade: Valkyrja’s Invocation of Demise, which was a release of an earlier record that was initially released in 2007 on Northern Silence Productions. There were several substantive complaints that I had about the record, which can be summed up as follows: there is nothing new and/or interesting here; it is repetitive and boring; the songs are hyper simplistic and despite being fast, don’t feel terribly heavy. The challenge, then, for Valkyrja to produce a record that I review better is to improve on these things (and since Valkyrja is out to prove themselves to me and me alone, they certainly will try… *cough*) with their new release Contamination.