Monthly Archives maj 2011

Tyr: The Lay of Thyrm

Napalm/Sound Pollution

Faroese Viking metal band TYR has almost been in existence for 15 years now. The one armed god of war has inspired guitarist/vocalist Heri Joensen, guitarist Terji Skibenaes, bassist Gunnar H. Thomsen and drummer Kári Streymoy to do six albums, and counting. There has been success; Tours, airtime and numerous fans all over the world. They rely on their native tinges to stand out, and I believe they have done so rightfully over the years, but how long can the saga continue?

Heroes and glory to the brave in true Nordic fashion spews from my speakers. Strangely enough, opener “Flames of the Free” fail to ignite me. But the more present day orientated “Shadows of the Swastika” is high octane Eurovision Song Contest material...

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Illdisposed: There Is Light (But It´s Not For Me)

Massacre/Sound Pollution

Danish band ILLDISPOSED might as well cal themselves indisposed soon. Since their formation in 1992 they have releases no less than eleven albums and they have scored a number of chart entries in Denmark and Germany. A good deal of touring has also been the outcome. This time around they celebrate 20 with producer and mixer Tue Madsen (HEAVEN SHALL BURN, SICK OF IT ALL etc.) and aim for some serious marketing. Not since 2004 and “1-800 Vindication” have they been this prepared according to the info. Aw well, make me flabbergasted!

First up the vocals are there, like it or not. Vocalist Bo Summer takes his place with confidence, with his this growl...

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Divinefire: Eye of the Storm

Liljegren Records/Sound Pollution

Divinefire bildades 2004 av finske låtskrivaren, gitarristen och trummisen Jani Stefanovic (I AM BLOOD, MISERATION etc.) och svenske sångaren Christian Liljegren (NARNIA, AUDIOVISION). Först var även Andreas Passmark (ROYAL HUNT, NARNIA etc.) med på bas, men idag är han bara med som gästmusiker. 2009 lämnade han formellt bandet och ersattes av German Pascual, en sångare som bl.a. medverkat på NARNIAS ”Curse of a generation”. Övriga gäster på plattan är kändisar som Pontus Norgren (HAMMERFALL), CJ Grimmark (ROB ROCK, FULL FORCE), Thomas Vikström (THERION och nästan alla andra), samt Markus Sigurdsson (DARK WATER etc.). Stort och bombastiskt, symfoniskt och extremt utlovas, hur låter det då?

Jag vill börja med att berömma Christian, ha...

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U.D.O. – Leatherhead (Single)

Leatherhead is the first single to be taken from the new U.D.O. album – Rev-Raptor. U.D.O. is of course the band lead by former Accept singer, the hardworking Udo Dirkschneider, who since leaving Accept has continued to make great music. Accept have produced one album in the last 15 years, but in that same time period U.D.O. have released nine (including Rev-Raptor).

Leatherhead is perfectly suited to Udo’s gravelly voice, and is a great rock song. The fact that the single has been played pretty much constantly since I got it a few days ago gives an idea of how good it is.

”Rock ’n’ Roll soldiers” is a great rock anthem – a great tune, a good drum beat, powerful guitars, and a catchy chorus for fans to sing along to in the live shows.

The video’s are worth watching too – ”Jingle Balls” ...

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Dimmu Borgir & National Orchestra + Choir, live in Oslo

The concert that took place at Oslo Spektrum on May 28th 2011 might have been once in a life time experience, considering the amount of work, preparations, rehearsals and arrangements that are needed to make it happen. Of course there’s going to be at least a TV airing of it, if not a DVD, but the live atmosphere and goosebumps are not properly reproduced by a digital media.

About 9700 people fit in the arena for a regular concert, but there were probably way less since the scene needed for all the orchestra and choir members was rather huge. But there was still a decent amount of people, some standing in front of the stage, others sitting on the chairs displayed like in a regular hockey arena, a thing that is not so bad after all since it offers good visibility...

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Borealis: Fall From Grace


Canadian band BOREALIS debuted with “World of Silence” 2008, and has since played the famous ProgPower USA in Septenmber 2010. Not bad at all from fresh-faced band. Classic power metal is their game, but spiced with touches of bands like VANDEN PLAS and DREAM THEATER. A heavier approach than before is promised, produced and mixed by Jodan Valeriote and mastered by Tomas Johansson at Panic Room Studios. What could possibly go wrong here?

One thing for starters, this is not music for musicians, but heavy power metal with a good deal of progressivity. The title track may well be the low point, together with “Take You Over”. Those two are not as engaging as the rest, well-executed as they are there is simply no real spark...

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Skansis: Leaving You

Escape/Sound Pollution

Bern band SKANSIS are back with their second effort. The info compares them to SHAKRA and GOTTHARD, as well as EUROPE and KROKUS, who can resist that mix? Slick hard rock with an aggressive edge is promised, and we will be begging for more…time to look into the phenomenon.

The catchy and easily digested “Next to Mine” opens the proceedings. The title track is not bad at all but why they didn´t opt for “Never Walk Alone” or “Hear Now” for title track I don´t get. Those are fine examples of the stuff that made GOTTHARD, but SKANSIS are not copycats. There are touches of their famed peers, of cause, but also touches of a band like LYNCH MOB, and their harder, more contemporary indie edge. Achieving that without losing in the refrain department is a good deed...

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Shadowman: Watching Over You

Escape/Sound Pollution

Shadowman debuted in 2004 with “Land of the Living”. Good ole British rock, embellished by the featured musicians; Steve Overland (FM), Steve Morris (ex EXPORT, ex GARTH ROCKET AND THE MOONSHINERS, HEARTLAND), plus the rhythm section of ex THUNDER personnel Chris Childs on bass and Harry James on drums. Sure there are elements of both FM and HEARTLAND, but you can do much worse. This is their fourth release since their inception, so they have passed the worst obstacles. But is the spark still there?

This is not metal in any sense of the word. SHADOWMAN offers rather soft hard rock, well-executed but a tad overused as a genre. Opener “Across the Universe” would not attract my attention over a new episode of the Midsomer Murders...

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Sacred Dawn: A Madness Within

Qumran/Dark Star

Since 2005 SACRED DAWN has been a force to reckon with in Chicago´s metal scene according to the info sheet. They are also described as innovative and unique, as they deliver the most original progressive metal experiences since the dawn of true prog metal. Influences such as DREAM THEATER, NEVERMORE and IRON MAIDEN are listed. They have debuted, years back, with “Gears of the Machine”. So, prepare to be swept off yer feet.

Opener “The Untold Story” is not much of a beginning. I wished for more of almost everything, better drive and something inspiring to start with. Now I may sound very disliking but that is not true. There are better openers, the title track for instance, but also “Demon Lover” or “Summer of Treason”...

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Hard: Even Keel


A Hungarian band…with…Björn Lodin (SIX FEET UNDER, BALTIMOORE, etc.) on lead vocals. Now we’re getting somewhere. HARD have cut two previous albums, this is the second with Björn on vocals. They have recorded with Beau Hill and played with KISS; that sounds interesting. Joining bassist Gábor Mirkovics, Björn, and drummer Zsolt Borbély is new guitarist Zsolt Vámos.

Opener “Truth or Dare” has most of the trademarks of WHITESNAKE, sound and lyrics. Not bad but there is more to come. Björn´s vocals are suited to “Bitten by You”, but it´s the groovy “Pretty Little Liar” that really stands out. It would have been a better opener and a better album title. The album ranges from bluesy and whining to groovy...

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