The Wretched End – In These Woods, From These Mountains (2016)

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Author: T.K. White

Band: The Wretched End

Album: In These Woods, From These Mountains

Genre: Black/Death Metal

Label: Indie Recordings

 

The Wretched End is sort of a supergroup headed by Samoth of Emperor and features Cosmo of Windir and Nils Fjellstrom of Dark Funeral. The Wretched End started off a rather generic blackened thrash band and progressed towards blackened death metal with each release. In These Woods, From These Mountains, is certainly following along that track, for better or worse. Truthfully, I did not find the bands two previous full-lengths very exciting at all. Forgettable riffs with vocals that serve little to no purpose and the drumming barely draws attention to itself. Sadly, this record is no different.  Continue reading

Karmøygeddon Metal Festival 2016 – A Review

Author: Jan Vermund Jakobsen

Photo Credits: Freimen (Link to photographer’s page)

Festival: Karmøygeddon 2016

Karmøygeddon has become a staple in the Norwegian metal scene by now, arranged every year since 2004 with big bands such as Behemoth, Hammerfall, Helloween and Paradise Lost as previous headliners. Its as close to local as possible for me, with only a ten-minute drive from my hometown to the city of Kopervik in western Norway. I’ve been going since 2011, this means this year was my sixth year in a row attending. There were twenty-nine bands in total playing, some as far as possible away from my preference, so the review will only be of the bands I saw. Also, my memory of the last couple of bands on each day may be a bit hazy considering there was beer, and a lot of it, involved.

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Ihsahn – Arktis. (2016)

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Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Ihsahn

Album: Arktis.

Genre: Extreme Progressive Metal

 

Label: Candlelight Records

 

 

 

When I was in my last year of high-school, I formed a band with a group of friends, centered around progressive extreme metal, mainly in the vein of Opeth. Our lead guitarist was a lover of funeral doom metal; injecting his emotive and far-reaching riffs into our music. Our drummer and bassist were mainly followers of melodic and technical metal, at once keeping us both grounded with melodies but being able to play with that technicality. And I, as rhythm guitarist and part-vocalist, brought the biggest share of my love of black metal into the group. What resulted was a band whose music shifted between many styles whilst adhering to a strict identity, and the very next year Ihsahn released his solo debut The Adversary, elevating him as the peak of my personal musical inspirations.  Continue reading

Yuma Sun – Watch Us Burn (2016)

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Author: Jan Jakobsen

Band: Yuma Sun

Album: Watch Us Burn

Label: Membran

Genre: Occult Rock/Post-Punk/Country

Is occult country-rock a thing? Should it even be a thing at all? Well, Yuma Sun, the Bergen based quintet is as close to occult country-rock as it is possible to come. Gothic country or death country is already a thing, but those tags do not do accurately reflect on what Yuma Sun tries to embody with their music. The underlying theme of Yuma Sun and especially on Watch Us Burn and their previous two albums is the occult side of US southern evangelical Christianity and by combining elements of 60’s and 70’s occult rock together with a dark and mysterious country sound they manage to nail the sound of impending doom.   Continue reading

Nordjevel – Nordjevel (2016)

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Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Nordjevel

Album: Nordjevel (2016)

Label: Osmose Productions

 

 

I think I must be getting soft in my old age. There was once a time when, if I was asked to demonstrate my tastes in black metal, I would first turn to Gorgoroth’s Twilight of the Idols or Marduk’s Panzer Division. Unrelenting, furious and fast paced black metal; screaming out at break-neck speeds and refusing to let up, song after song. A veritable wall of sound, collapsing on the listener. Continue reading

Borknagar – Winter Thrice (2016)

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Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Borknagar

Album: Winter Thrice

Label: Century Media Records

 

When a Scandinavian band releases a winter-themed album in the middle of their winter, it usually means that my first experience of that record is on a sweltering Australian day, whilst dodging bushfires and dropbears. The real success of the album comes if that music can still transport me to a land of windswept fjords and frost fallen earth. Continue reading

The Good The Bad and the Zugly – Hadeland Hardcore (2015)

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Author: Jan Jakobsen

Band: The Good the Bad and the Zugly

Album: Hadeland Hardcore

Label: Fysisk Format

 

I am by no means a hardcore punk expert, I wouldn’t even go as far and say I’m a particularly big fan of hardcore punk, but I know what I like and The Good the Bad and the Zugly is definitely one of my favorite bands within the genre. Their music is firmly rooted in hardcore punk, but they’ve also got some hard-rock influence that’s very noticeable on certain tracks on this new album, Hadeland Hardcore and their discography in general. In many ways I would say they’re Turbonegros more chaotic and heavier little brother. Continue reading

Kampfar – Profan (2015)

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Author: Jan Jakobsen

Artist: Kampfar

Album: Profan

Label: Indie Recordings

 

Earlier this year I saw Kampfar at a small festival called Transistor in the tiny town of in the midst of Norway’s woods. There could not have been more than 70 people in the room, but what an impression and what a performance that was. The gratitude and energy shown by the band members was fantastic and they showed a genuine appreciation for each and every person that showed up by performing as if it was gig at a major open-air festival. Continue reading