About Gustavo Scuderi

"If I could survive to live one more time I wouldn't be changing a thing at all Done more in my life than some do in ten I'd go back and do it all over again..."

Album Review – Flames Of Fire / Flames Of Fire (2022)

Hailing from Sweden, Norway and Finland, these fired up musicians will rock your world to the sound of their debut album of old school Heavy Metal.

Formed in the spring of 2021 by vocalist Christian Liljegren (Narnia, The Waymaker, Audiovision) and guitarist and composer Mats-Åke Andersson (Zaragorn), but with its history going back to 1987 when the duo met for the first time in their hometown Jönköping, a city on the shores of Lake Vättern, in southern Sweden, the newborn Heavy Metal entity known as Flames Of Fire is ready to show us all what they got with the release of their self-titled debut album. With multi-instrumentalist Jani Stefanovic (The Waymaker, Solution .45, Miseration), bassist Per Schelander (House of Shakira, Astrakhan, Royal Hunt, Pain of Salvation) and guitarist Stephen Carlson (Brotthogg, Peter Carlsohn’s The Rise, Tales, Viva) completing the line-up, this Sweden/Norway/Finland-based squad is highly recommended for admirers of the music by Iron Maiden, Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force and Dio, among others, delivering the awesomeness of metal music in their new album while also displaying a crystal clear and very professional overall production and sound quality.

The sinister intro New Dawn warms up Flames of Fire to strike us all with their high-octane sound in Gloria, with Jani dictating the pace with his fierce drumming while at the same time he embellishes the airwaves with his classy keys, all of course spiced up by the powerful vocals by Christian in an old school, no shenanigans Heavy and Power Metal hymn by the quintet. Mats-Åke, Jani and Stephen keep slashing their guitars in the battle song that carries the name of the band, Flames Of Fire, supported by the thunderous bass by Per. Needless to say, it will inspire you to keep fighting for heavy music no matter what; whereas Madness brings to our ears classic Melodic Metal with that trademark European harmony, also presenting a pleasant pace with Jani kicking ass with his rhythmic beats. Then in I Am the band drinks from the same mystical fountain as bands like Helloween, Blind Guardian and Iron Maiden, while Christian’s soaring vocals add an extra touch of magic to the musicality accompanied by the galloping bass by Per.

It’s time to bang our heads to the electrifying fusion of Melodic and Power Metal found in Time To Live, showcasing traditional guitar riffs and solos, a breathtaking pace and the always visceral vocals by Christian, not to mention Per’s stunning bass lines. Are you ready for 10 minutes of epicness and a deep passion for metal music? That’s what the band has to offer us all in Solution, a heavy-as-hell aria by Flames of Fire where Christian darkly declaims the song’s wicked words. Moreover, it has a strong Black Sabbath vibe from their Dio-era, resulting in almost a metal opera with the massive drums by Jani making your head tremble mercilessly. The band has one final metal onrush for us all in the form of Soldiers Of The King, tailored for diehard fans of the genre, with their guitar triumvirate Mats-Åke, Jani and Stephen being on absolute sync until the very last second, flowing into the outro End Theme, which puts an atmospheric ending to the album.

After carefully listening to Flames of Fire, you’ll easily notice how professional and focused those Scandinavian metallers are, which explains why the album sounds so thrilling from start to finish. Hence, in order to show them your support and admiration, you can start following the band on Facebook for news, tour dates (if they will do that one day, of course), plans for the future and other nice-to-know details about them, and purchase your copy of the album from the Melodic Passion Records’ webstore or by clicking HERE. Having said all that, are you ready to rock and bang your head in the name of Heavy Metal together with the guys from Flames of Fire? You won’t get disappointed at all, showing you once and for all that Scandinavia is and will always be a fantastic source of heavy music for your metallic heart.

Best moments of the album: Flames Of Fire, Time To Live and Solution.

Worst moments of the album: Madness.

Released in 2022 Melodic Passion Records

Track listing
1. New Dawn 1:25
2. Gloria 4:15
3. Flames Of Fire 3:16
4. Madness 3:55
5. I Am 4:31
6. Time To Live 4:07
7. Solution 9:58
8. Soldiers Of The King 5:05
9. End Theme 1:32

Band members
Christian Liljegren – vocals
Mats-Åke Andersson – guitars
Jani Stefanovic – guitars, keyboards, drums, backing vocals
Stephen Carlson – guitars
Per Schelander – bass

Album Review – Witches Coven / World on Fire (2022)

A Stoner Rock and Metal lone wolf highlights the illnesses that doom today’s society in his debut opus, paying homage to the early sounds of 60’s and 70’s rock.

Conjured by Imran Manaff (aka Azrael, the multi-talented vocalist and instrumentalist of Singaporean one-man Black Metal band Funeral Hearse) in 2020 during the Covid-19 global pandemic, the newborn Stoner Rock and Metal beast that goes by the name of Witches Coven is set to release the project’s debut opus, entitled World on Fire, paying homage to the early sounds of 60’s and 70’s rock the likes of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Cactus infused with elements of Japan’s Church of Misery and Sweden’s Monolord. Produced by Imran himself, recorded at Hellblaze Studio, and mixed and mastered by Sonicmonk, all embraced by the sinister cover art by Pedro Rey, World on Fire showcases seven original songs loosely inspired by Allen Ginsberg’s infamous poem Howl while highlighting the illnesses that doom today’s society.

Raw, dirty guitars and sluggish beats ignite the opening tune Reason to Believe, evolving into a Stoner and Doom Metal feast the likes of old school Black Sabbath with Imran also firing his raspy vocals to make things even more infernal, whereas featuring excerpt from Consumption & Consumerism by Joseph Patrick, Shackles of Desire is even more demonic and grim. Put differently, it’s one of those Doom Metal compositions perfect for darkening the skies where Imran is ready to crush our souls with his riffage and beats. And Imran keeps hammering his sonic weapons and delivering ass-kicking Stoner Rock and Metal for our total delight in Waiting for Time, feeling like Imran is simply jamming with himself, sounding very organic and thrilling form start to finish.

Then drinking once again from the same obscure fountain of bands like Black Sabbath, Pentagram and Celtic Frost, it’s time for the dirtier-than-hell tune Blinded by Lights, with the inebriate vociferations by Imran walking hand in hand with his wicked riffs and rumbling bass lines; and let’s keep banging our heads like true bastards to the sound of Falling Through, another Sludge Metal extravaganza by Imran and his Witches Coven that will please all lovers of the most damned side of music. Imran shows no mercy for our necks and souls in Blurring the Lines, with his low-tuned bass jabs and sharp, crude riffs generating a reverberating vibe that penetrates deep inside our minds, and last but not least, Imran’s menacing bass returns in full force in Dawn of the Morning Star, a song that will block all light coming from the sun, therefore leaving us in pitch black darkness with the cryptic vocalizations by Imran sounding demented and hopeless until the very end.

The unstoppable Imran Manaff and his Witches Coven are waiting to darken our hearts and minds on the official Facebook page for Funeral Hearse (simply because Witches Coven doesn’t have its own specific page, or at least not yet, and because we can consider both bands as Imran’s alter-egos), and if you want to show your support to such hardworking and skillful lone wolf, you can purchase a copy of the excellent World on Fire from the Spy Satellite Records’ BandCamp page. May the hands of doom touch your soul through the infernal and piercing music blasted by Witches Coven, and may the energy and mystery of 60’s and 70’s rock and metal music keep flowing in the air for centuries to come thanks to awesome musicians from the independent scene such as Imran, who will surely bring forward more of his wicked music in the nearby future with both his Funeral Hearse and Witches Coven.

Best moments of the album: Reason to Believe and Blinded by Lights.

Worst moments of the album: Falling Through.

Released in 2022 Spy Satellite Records

Track listing
1. Reason to Believe 8:11
2. Shackles of Desire 8:15
3. Waiting for Time 6:25
4. Blinded by Lights 4:45
5. Falling Through 6:41
6. Blurring the Lines 8:26
7. Dawn of the Morning Star 7:56

Band members
Imran Manaff – vocals, guitars, bass, synth, drums programming

Album Review – Apolinara / Shadows & Signs (2022)

It’s time for this multi-talented singer to fly solo and deliver a powerful message about facing the endless fight with inner demons in her striking debut album.

Creating Symphonic Gothic Metal with a mystical twist, United States-based but Ukraine-born multi-talented, independent singer and songwriter Apolinara is among us to light up the path where music evokes magic to the sound of her debut full-length opus, entitled Shadows & Signs. Drawing inspiration from her travels and delivering a powerful message about facing the endless fight with inner demons, Apolinara took destiny into her own hands creating the project to write music she loves, with Shadows and Signs being a thrilling odyssey venturing into the realms of dark emotions balanced with the light. Produced by Max Morton (Jinjer, Ignea, Bare Infinity, Morton, Nimea) at Morton Studio and featuring an array of special guests, those being Fabian Morales (Paralyzed Sun, Silent Poetry) on harsh vocals, Vyacheslav Khabarov on lead, rhythm and bass guitars, Alexander Kasiarum on drums, Tatyana Krasavina on cello, Julia Polishchuk on the violin, and Brien Engel on the glass harp, Shadows & Signs is a must-listen for admirers of the music by renowned acts such as Nightwish, Epica and Within Temptation, with each track bringing something different to the record while remaining faithful to the project’s symphonic, gothic roots.

The cinematic and enfolding Intro sets the stage for Apolinara and her guests to mesmerize us all in Wonderful, with Alexander dictating the pace with his classy beats accompanied by epic keys and strident guitars while Apolinara declaims the song’s words beautifully, reminding me of some of the trademark compositions by Nightwish and Epica. Then Vyacheslav adds tons of rage and fire to the music with his riffs and rumbling bass in You Can’t Get Away With This, an awesome display of European Symphonic Metal spearheaded by Apolinara’s stunning vocals; and it’s time to dance with Apolinara to the sound of the epic and symphonic Dragon Dance, with the metallic bass by Vyacheslav making a stylish paradox with the violin by Julia and the crisp vocal lines by Apolinara. Another round of embracing sounds and metallic riffs and bass lines comes in the form of Slowly, with Fabian playing “beauty and the beast” with Apolinara thanks to his hellish gnarls, whereas in The Smile of the Demon the name of the song matches flawlessly with its rhythm, heaviness and epicness, or in other words, it’s a lesson in Symphonic Gothic Metal that will please all fans of the genre, all spiced up by a superb performance by our beloved diva on vocals.

The melodic guitar lines by Vyacheslav kick off the mid-tempo, dark tune No More, feeling more modern than the rest of the album while maintaining Apolinara’s core essence, resulting in what’s perhaps the most commercial of all songs; and back to a more symphonic vibe it’s time for Shadows and Signs, presenting a catchy chorus by Apolinara and Fabian (“Once you learn how to fly / Nothing weights you down / Claim the right to decide / What your life is about / Who are we to deny / Universal Design? / Path of the Warrior of Light  / Lies in Shadows and Signs”) amidst the thunderous bass punches by Vyacheslav. Apolinara and her crew slow things down and bring love to the airwaves with the whimsical ballad Tears of Love, with the gentle sound of the piano complementing Apolinara’s vocals in great fashion, whereas featuring guest Brien Engel on the glass harp, the band delivers a gorgeous acoustic rendition of Slowly, with Apolinara bringing to our avid ears her most passionate vocals of the entire album. Lastly, putting a climatic ending to the album we have the delicate ballad We Had It All, with the ethereal cello by Tatyana adding a touch of melancholy to the music while Apolinara tells her “goodbye” to the listener.

If you want to know more about Apolinara, her career, her projects and plans for the future, you can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram, subscribe to her YouTube channel for more of her music and other videos, stream her stylish compositions on Spotify, and of course purchase your copy of Shadows & Signs from her BandCamp page, or click HERE for all locations where you can get in touch with Apolinara and enjoy all her musical voyages. As Apolinara herself commented about her debut solo album, “Shadows and Signs is my first full length musical baby. No wonder I feel very sentimental but fierce about it. I’m excited to share it with the world as my personal manifest of inspiration and inner fight with personal demons. Let’s Fire Up!” And that’s exactly what you’ll get in Shadows & Signs, an album overflowing with fire, passion and, of course, the first-class Symphonic Metal brought into being by our beyond talented, distinct musician.

Best moments of the album: Dragon Dance, The Smile of the Demon and Shadows and Signs.

Worst moments of the album: No More.

Released in 2022 Independent

Track listing
1. Intro 1:04
2. Wonderful 4:56
3. You Can’t Get Away With This 5:24
4. Dragon Dance 6:52
5. Slowly 5:12
6. The Smile of the Demon 4:37
7. No More 5:00
8. Shadows and Signs 5:11
9. Tears of Love 3:26
10. Slowly (acoustic) 5:10
11. We Had It All 2:16

Band members
Apolinara – lead and backing vocals, arrangements

Guest musicians
Fabian Morales – growls
Vyacheslav Khabarov – lead, rhythm and bass guitars
Alexander Kasiarum – drums
Tatyana Krasavina – cello
Julia Polishchuk – violin
Brien Engel – glass harp on “Slowly (acoustic)”

Album Review – Once Human / Scar Weaver (2022)

One of the most distinctive and destructive metal bands of the modern era strikes again with a breathtaking new opus, showcasing their own mutation into an even more devastating beast.

Formed in 2014 in Los Angeles, California, in the United States by guitarist Logan Mader (Machine Head) and vocalist Lauren Hart, the ruthless Groove Metal act known as Once Human has steadily established themselves as one of the most distinctive and destructive metal bands of the modern era. Now in 2022, Logan and Lauren, together with guitarist Max Karon, bassist Damien Rainaud and drummer Dillon Trollope, are ready to kill once again with Scar Weaver, their third full-length album following up on the highly acclaimed releases The Life I Remember (2015) and Evolution (2017), showcasing the band’s own mutation into an even more devastating beast. “It was not an easy path to reach this point, I’ll tell you that,” says Logan Mader. “The original masterplan for the band was really passion-project driven. The first two albums, we were still finding our way. Where we’re at now is with a really strong posture and by far the best album we’ve done. Over the years we’ve done a lot of groundwork and some smaller tours, just grinding things out, sometimes even in a DIY fashion. But now we have legit team around us, the band is firing on all cylinders and everything seems to be lining up this time.”

Dillon begins smashing his drums mercilessly in Eidolon, with Logan and Max extracting sheer violence from their guitars, all of course spiced up by the venomous roars by our she-demon Lauren. Needless to say, it will be an awesome opener for their live concerts. Then we have the menacing Deadlock, featuring Robb Flynn of Machine Head, who makes a pulverizing duo with Lauren on vocals in a modern-day Melodic Death Metal feast with Metalcore nuances, or in other words, a true headbanger by Once Human; followed by the title-track Scar Weaver, which sounds more devilish and darker than its predecessors with Damien hammering his bass nonstop, adding endless groove to the band’s core sonority (not to mention how sharp the riffage by the band’s guitar duo feels). After that the band brings forward Bottom Feeder, sounding infernal and utterly heavy from the very first second while presenting another great job done by Logan and Max with their riffs and solos. Moreover, the metallic bass jabs by Damien will knock you out in the name of Groove Metal, and you better get ready to slam into the circle pit like a true metalmaniac in Where The Bones Lie, with Lauren stealing the show with her flammable growls and vociferations while Damien and Dillon make the earth tremble with their evil kitchen.

More introspective and somber than the rest of the album, Erasure showcases the band’s trademark sound with its first half feeling a little bland while the second half gets back to their usual sonic devastation. And the massive bass lines by Damien attack our senses once again in Deserted, accompanied by the sick, razor-edged riffs by Logan and Max. The high-octane We Ride is a brutal, hellish and absolutely aggressive display of Groove Metal by the band where Lauren is on fire from start to finish, supported by the demented drums by Dillon, whereas in Cold Arrival we’re treated to poetic lyrics growled by Lauren (“I ran so blind / Into the blades of your life / Gray and disguised / And peeled my eyes / As they unfurled”) amidst another thunderous display of Groove and Melodic Death Metal. Lastly, Lauren keeps vociferating wicked words (“No shoulder that won’t cut like a blade / When they’re cold / Turned their backs / I beg them to take your words / Off my chest, take them / Take your worth from my headache / In death”) in Only In Death, putting a beyond sinister ending to the album.

When Logan mentioned Scar Weaver is their strongest album to date he was not joking nor exaggerating at all. Scar Weaver is indeed a powerful and very detailed album of modernized metal music where all band members are in absolute sync until the very last second, providing us fans a very good reason to raise our fists and bang our heads in the name of Heavy Metal. Hence, don’t forget to give Once Human a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, to stream all of their awesome creations on Spotify, and to obviously purchase your copy of Scar Weaver by clicking HERE or HERE. Blessed (or perhaps cursed) with plenty of additional time during the last year’s lockdown situation, Once Human have been able to refine and redefine their sound in Scar Weaver, turning the band into one of the driving forces of modern-day heavy music and, consequently, inviting us all to rock like there’s no tomorrow with Logan, Lauren & Co. for many years to come.

Best moments of the album: Deadlock, Where The Bones Lie and We Ride.

Worst moments of the album: Erasure.

Released in 2022 earMUSIC

Track listing
1. Eidolon 4:06
2. Deadlock 3:39
3. Scar Weaver 4:36
4. Bottom Feeder 5:21
5. Where The Bones Lie 3:50
6. Erasure 5:01
7. Deserted 4:13
8. We Ride 2:50
9. Cold Arrival 4:20
10. Only In Death 5:14

Band members
Lauren Hart – vocals
Logan Mader – guitars
Max Karon – guitars
Damien Rainaud – bass
Dillon Trollope – drums

Guest musician
Robb Flynn – additional vocals on “Deadlock”

Album Review – Through The Noise / Tragedies EP (2022)

This talented Swedish Post-Hardcore and Nu Metal outfit is back in action with an inspiring three-track EP, pointing to an exciting musical direction prior to their next full-length album.

Vocalist Jowl Nyberg, guitarists Victor Adonis and Marcus Skantz, bassist Martin Lingonblad and drummer Peter Liwgren, collectively known as Lund/Malmö, Sweden-based Post-Hardcore/Nu Metal outfit Through The Noise, are back in action now in 2022 with a brand new EP entitled Tragedies, following up on their highly acclaimed 2019 album Dualism. During the Covid-19 lockdowns the band was unable to tour; however, there was plenty of time to write new material and they wrote a bunch of new songs, and after some careful consideration they decided that it would be best to release an EP before a full-length album, so they tracked three songs which make up Tragedies. Produced by Robert Kukla at Obsidian Recording Studios, Tragedies showcases a more sinister and heavier side of Through The Noise, appealing not only to the band’s current fanbase but also to anyone in search for fresh and vibrant heavy music.

The quintet arises from the underworld with a fusion of Alternative Metal and darker elements in Tantalus, bringing forward poetic lyrics rabidly declaimed by Jowl (“Perpetually trapped / Lost sense of time / Eternal damnation / Cursed with temptation”) and an amazing job done by Peter with his crushing drums, while Victor and Marcus add tons of heaviness to the music with their refined riffage. And Peter keeps hammering his drums in Aktaion, with all whimsical background elements making a thrilling paradox with the metallic bass by Martin and the raspy roars by Jowl, being therefore perfect for banging your head and jumping up and down with the band in the name of heavy music. Lastly, in Lamia we’re treated to another round of their wicked words (“Aggression bottled up from past transgressions / Disfigured, tormented by the pain / Forever haunted by my heinous actions / A victim, forced by godly hands”) supported by the visceral hybrid of Alternative Metal and Hardcore blasted by the quintet, making us eager for more of their music in a not-so-distant future.

You can get in touch with the talented guys from Through The Noise and know more about the band, their tour dates and plans for the future on Facebook and on Instagram, subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their music and videos, steam their entire catalog on Spotify, and of course purchase your copy of Tragedies by clicking HERE, showing your utmost support to the Swedish underground. Nobody truly knows what will happen to the world of music in the coming months due to this never-ending Covid-19 madness, but at least we can rest assured the fires of heavy music will keep burning thanks to hardworking bands like Through The Noise, and based on the heaviness and melodies offered to us in Tragedies I can’t wait to see how their next full-length album will sound. It will be awesome, no doubt about that.

Best moments of the album: Tantalus.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2022 Eclipse Records

Track listing
1. Tantalus 3:55
2. Aktaion 4:41
3. Lamia 3:24

Band members
Jowl Nyberg – vocals
Victor Adonis – guitar
Marcus Skantz – guitar
Martin Lingonblad – bass
Peter Liwgren – drums

Album Review – Infected Rain / Ecdysis (2022)

One of the most prominent bands of the current Metalcore scene returns with an incendiary new album, showcasing their own metamorphosis while blending extreme, progressive groove with dark, haunting melodies.

Since forming in 2008, Chișinău, Moldova-based Progressive Modern Metal outfit Infected Rain has become one of the most exciting new acts in the heavy music world, with multi-talented frontwoman Elena “Lena Scissorhands” Cataraga emerging as one of the fastest-rising leading ladies of the genre. Now, after amassing a slew of new fans since the release of their acclaimed albums Asylum (2011), Embrace Eternity (2014), 86 (2017), and more recently Endorphin (2019), the band redefined themselves with their highly anticipated follow-up opus, the futuristic rebirth entitled Ecdysis. Currently comprised of the aforementioned Lena Scissorhands together with guitarists Vadim “Vidick” Ojog and Serghei Babici, bassist Vladimir Babici and drummer Eugen Voluta, Infected Rain showcases their own metamorphosis in Ecdysis while blending extreme, progressive groove with dark, haunting melodies. Produced by Voluta Valentin, Ecdysis successfully demonstrates the ultramodern brutality from Melodic Death Metal and Metalcore without sacrificing emotion and melody, displaying a new layer of Infected Rain that longtime followers and new fans alike will embrace.

Futuristic waves permeate the air in the opening track Postmortem Pt. 1, a song that flawlessly represents the band’s current sound with Lena starting her she-wolf vocal attack accompanied by the metallic bass by Vladimir; whereas Fighter is modern-day Metalcore at its finest, sounding heavy, ethereal and sinister at the same time with the band’s guitar duo Vidick and Serghei slashing their stringed axes in great fashion. And Vladimir and Eugen keep hammering their respective bass and drums in Longing, another puissant Metalcore extravaganza where Lena alternates between her beastly roars and her mesmerizing clean vocals, followed by Goodbye, a solid tune by Infected Rain bringing forward their trademark riffs, bass lines and pounding drums. Featuring the one and only Heidi Shepherd of Butcher Babies, the stunning The Realm of Chaos “was inspired by the massive depression we all lived in 2020. Dedicated to the lost nation and confused society we live in,” commented Lena herself. Musically speaking, it’s a fierce exhibit of the band’s core sonority with Lena and Heidi being on absolute sync from start to finish; and let’s keep banging our heads together with Lena and the boys in Everlasting Lethargy, with its second half lacking an extra kick, albeit still being a very entertaining song.

Lena’s sexy and whimsical vocals will penetrate deep inside your psyche in These Walls, supported by the disruptive guitar lines by Vidick and Serghei. It should sound amazing if they decide to add it to their live performances, I might say, and more of their unparalleled music comes in the form of Showers, with Lena once again stealing the spotlight with a spot-on vocal performance, not to mention all of the song’s stunning background elements. Then electronic sounds kick off the dancing tune November, evolving into a violent display of Metalcore by the quintet with the razor-edged sound of the guitars bringing an extra touch of darkness to the overall result; whereas blending hints of Groove Metal to their core essence it’s time for the visceral Never the Same, also presenting smooth, gentle passages to the gorgeous clean vocals by Lena and, therefore, resulting in a multi-layered creation that will please all fans of the band. Nine, Ten is one of Infected Rain’s trademark dark ballads, offering us all a hypnotizing sound flirting with New Wave music while making the band’s Alternative Rock and Metal vein pulse stronger, sounding beautiful and enfolding until the very last second. Finally, Postmortem Pt. 2 intentionally closes the circle in Ecdysis, continuing the more atmospheric path of the previous song and focusing on Lena’s passionate vocals while also presenting the heaviness of pure Metalcore thanks to the crushing beats by Eugen and the thunderous bass by Vladimir.

Lena and the boys are waiting for you on Facebook, on Instagram and on VKontakte to know what you think about Ecdysis, which is by the way available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their sick videos, making of’s and so on, and above all that, to grab your copy of their incendiary new opus by clicking HERE. As already mentioned, Infected Rain nailed it with Ecdysis by smoothly blending the brutality and rage of heavy music with gentle nuances of electronic and futuristic sounds, placing them as one of the most prominent names of the current Metalcore scene and, therefore, pointing to an even more exciting road ahead of such distinguished Moldovan band.

Best moments of the album: Fighter, The Realm of Chaos and Never the Same.

Worst moments of the album: Everlasting Lethargy.

Released in 2022 Napalm Records

Track listing
1. Postmortem Pt. 1 4:59
2. Fighter 5:05
3. Longing 5:14
4. Goodbye 5:28
5. The Realm of Chaos 3:44
6. Everlasting Lethargy 4:13
7. These Walls 4:01
8. Showers 4:29
9. November 4:00
10. Never the Same 3:00
11. Nine, Ten 5:17
12. Postmortem Pt. 2 5:16

Band members
Elena “Lena Scissorhands” Cataraga – vocals
Vadim “Vidick” Ojog – guitars
Serghei Babici – guitars
Vladimir Babici – bass
Eugen Voluta – drums

Guest musician
Heidi Shepherd – vocals on “The Realm of Chaos”

Album Review – Nihility / Beyond Human Concepts (2022)

Exploring the definition of nihilism as a philosophy and a way of life, this ruthless Portuguese horde will darken your mind with the Blackened Death Metal found in their sophomore opus.

Forged in the fires of Paços de Ferreira, a city in the Porto District in the north of Portugal, in 2012, Nihility are a four-piece Blackened Death Metal band heavily influenced by the roots of Death and Black Metal, exploring the definition of nihilism as a philosophy and a way of life, passing through the many different ways of nihilism, how it’s understood and adjusts to everyday life and society as a whole. Following their 2019 debut opus Thus Spoke The Antichrist, the band comprised of Mário Ferreira on vocals, Renato Barbosa on the guitars, Miguel Seewald on bass and Luís Moreira on drums has just released their sophomore effort, entitled Beyond Human Concepts, a top-notch album that hopefully will catapult these Portuguese youngsters into the forefront of the European Death Metal scene. Produced, mixed and mastered by Pedro Mendes at Ultrasound Studios Braga, and displaying a Stygian artwork by Credo Quia Absurdum, Beyond Human Concepts is an album of sheer brutality that will please fans of bands the likes of Behemoth, Vader, Morbid Angel, Decapitated and Vomitory, among others, representing an infernal step forward in the band’s career.

Renato ignites the band’s devilish machine with his riffage in the opening tune Martydom for the Herd, being gradually accompanied by Miguel’s bass and Luís’ drums in an infernal display of Black and Death Metal. And Mário continues to vociferate like a demonic entity in Hubris, with Luís crushing his drums in great fashion. Put differently, it’s a fulminating fusion of Blackened Death Metal with D-Beat Crust elements, whereas Destroy the Shackles of Prejudice is even more devastating than its predecessors, with Renato being on fire with his wicked riffs supported by the kitchen from hell by Miguel and Luís, not to mention how evil Mário sounds once again on vocals. Then after such high level of destruction get ready for two and a half minutes of insanity in the form of extreme music in Human Stupidity, a song that’s absolutely perfect for slamming into the pit while Mário vomits the song’s putrid words.

Conflicting Vanities is ideal for banging your head like a true metal maniac thanks to the visceral beats by Luís in another brutal display of Blackened Death Metal by the quartet that lives up to the legacy of the genre, and there’s no time to breathe as those Portuguese metallers keep delivering sheer dementia and obscurity in Will to Power, with Luís stealing the spotlight with his venomous drums. The Religious Dogma is another demented explosion of Blackened Death Metal made in Portugal where Mário roars and barks rabidly, accompanied by the slashing and rumbling sounds blasted by the band’s stringed duo, whereas the title-track Beyond Human Concepts brings to our avid ears an extreme music extravaganza where all band members showcase their dexterity and passion for heavy music, keeping the album blazing brightly. And last but not least, it’s time for Sea of Thoughts, a sinister outro that puts a proper end to the album (albeit not as vile as the other songs).

You can enjoy such devilish album in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, follow Nihility on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details about the band, and above all that, grab your copy of Beyond Human Concepts from the band’s own BandCamp page, and from the Vicious Instinct Records’ BandCamp page or webstore (or click HERE for all locations where you can buy or stream the album). In other words, go numb and let your mind go black, let your soul be engulfed and captured by the void, then let this be the vessel for all your pent-up aggression and rage, for this is Nihility and this is the void.

Best moments of the album: Destroy the Shackles of Prejudice, Human Stupidity and The Religious Dogma.

Worst moments of the album: Sea of Thoughts.

Released in 2022 Vicious Instinct Records

Track listing
1. Martydom for the Herd 3:28
2. Hubris 3:04
3. Destroy the Shackles of Prejudice 3:25
4. Human Stupidity 2:28
5. Conflicting Vanities 4:16
6. Will to Power 2:40
7. The Religious Dogma 3:21
8. Beyond Human Concepts 4:33
9. Sea of Thoughts 2:10

Band members
Mário Ferreira – vocals
Renato Barbosa – guitars, backing vocals
Miguel Seewald – bass
Luís Moreira – drums

Album Review – Pyrrhic Salvation / Manifestum I EP (2022)

This Internet-based, raw Technical Death and Black Metal-influenced trio is ready to disturb your peace with the pulverizing 30 minutes of music found in their debut EP.

Hailing from Burlington, a city in northwestern Vermont, in the United States, Internet-based, raw Technical Death/Black Metal-influenced trio Pyrrhic Salvation is ready to kill with their debut EP entitled Manifestum I, clocking in at just under 30 minutes in length across four highly ambitious and eclectic songs along with one shorter instrumental piece. Mixed and mastered by the band’s own drummer and bassist Sagar Nadgir, and featuring a fiery, crimson artwork by The Lung Swarm, Manifestum I will appeal to fans of bands the group cites as sources of inspiration such as Hate Eternal, Vital Remains and Immolation, among others, showcasing all the talent and fury of Chrisom Infernium (of Veilburner) on vocals, Michael Altobello on the guitars, and Sagar Nadgir (of Carcinomic) on drums and fretless bass.

Void Mass Revulsion is brutal and demented form the very first second, with Chrisom leading his crew with his infuriated roars while Michael slashes his stringed axe in great fashion, all of course boosted by the demented beats and sick bass lines by Sagar. Then the instrumental interlude A Martyr… will penetrate deep inside your psyche, darkening your thoughts before the trio comes crushing once again in …to Never Awaken, where Michael keeps extracting wrath and fury from his riffage while Sagar hammers his drums mercilessly in a vile display of Dissonant Death Metal. Needless to say, the gruesome guttural by Chrisom will haunt your damned soul for all eternity. In the infernal Revelations of Agonies to Come we face five and a half minutes of insanity and heaviness blasted by those unrelenting metallers, displaying another superb job done by Sagar on bass and drums and, therefore, resulting in a puissant fusion of Technical Death Metal with the rawness of old school Death Metal. Lastly, the trio offers us all seven minutes of darkness in the form of Those That Dwell, with Sagar once again showcasing all his dexterity and rage behind his drums while the music flows infernally until the very last second.

“We wanted to bring the idea that technical death metal with a variety of influences can be done with a very raw, unfiltered voice to it, and the result was kind of unexpected with all of this. It was kind of what we all wanted to hear, being that a lot of studio process in death metal – while it sounds great and is purposed – is also very perfected. We aimed to take that away from what we were doing, so if you hear us mess up somehow, it’s because we are still just people trying to play this. We do our best and no less,” commented the trio about their debut effort, and let’s all agree they more than succeeded in bringing to us their version of Dissonant Death Metal. Hence, don’t forget to give them a shout on Facebook to tell them how much you enjoyed the music found in Manifestum I, and of course if their version of Death Metal is your cup of tea you can support the band by purchasing their EP from their own BandCamp page. And now let’s wait to see what type of dementia in the form of Death Metal those three metallers will provide us with in their future releases.

Best moments of the album: Void Mass Revulsion and Revelations of Agonies to Come.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2022 Independent

Track listing
1. Void Mass Revulsion 5:52
2. A Martyr… 1:17
3. …to Never Awaken 7:55
4. Revelations of Agonies to Come 5:30
5. Those That Dwell 7:08

Band members
Chrisom Infernium – vocals
Michael Altobello – guitars
Sagar Nadgir – drums, fretless bass

Album Review – Minneriket / Gjennom Meg Går Ingen Til Hvile (2022)

A lecture in Romantic Black Metal by one of the driving forces of the current Norwegian scene, dedicated in loving memory to those we have lost.

Four years after the excellent Anima Sola, Norwegian Romantic Black Metal band Minneriket, the brainchild of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Stein Akslen, returns with another blast of awesomeness in the form of Gjennom Meg Går Ingen Til Hvile, or ““through me no one goes to rest” from Norwegian. Produced and mixed by Stein himself at Hagall Studios, recorded on various location throughout the world (with all field-recordings done by Stein on location in Norway out in nature to supplement the compositions on the album), mastered by Niklas Kveldulfsson, and displaying a classic logo by Christophe Szpajdel of Lord of the Logos and front cover photography by Eivind Nilsen of Clean Shot Photography beautifully portraying model Lise Marie Sommerstad, the album features a pretty big roster of session musicians, some being amateurs, some being more known people. “In total I have been working on this album for about 6 years now. There’s a lot of memories tied up on it, and it will be dedicated in loving memory to those we have lost. Some of the lyrics on the album actually dates back about 17 years, so I’ve used this album to really go full circle,” commented Stein, who also had some interesting words to say about the field-recordings. “That had me sleeping outside in the forests for a few nights to record an owl, and all other sounds – including wolves – are real. There are no samples at all on the album.”

Birds chirping and the gentle sound of the piano ignite the opening tune Så Kald En Jord (“so call a land”), evolving into a fusion of atmospheric music and primeval Black Metal to the hellish gnarls by Stein in paradox with the song’s smooth female vocals, offering us all over eight minutes of cryptic passages, sharp guitars and rhythmic beats. Then the instrumental piece Hjemlengsel (“homesickness”) will bring peace and sorrow to our blackened hearts thanks to the stunning cello by guest Norlene Olmedo, followed by Begravelsens Hjerteslag (“the heartbeat of the funeral”), another bold and multi-layered creation by Stein where the finesse of its operatic vocals walks hand in hand with the heavy-as-hell sounds crafted by our Norwegian multi-instrumentalist in a thrilling fusion of Melodic and Atmospheric Black Metal. Regnbuer I Gråtoner (“rainbows in shades of gray”) is another beautiful metal voyage by Stein and his guests, and it’s impressive how he manages to make each and every song so unique with his bass and drums generating a rumbling ambience perfect for his devilish growls; whereas in Sorg Og Savn (“grief and loss”) we face doomed words darkly declaimed by Stein and guest Ingrid.mariea (“Dear friends, dear family / I will leave you behind / I am the lifeless rain of autumn / Without you I will shine / My wounds are yours to reap and harvest”) while the music pierces our minds mercilessly.

The serene and atmospheric interlude Solnedgang (“sunset”) will soothe our damned souls before Stein comes ripping once again in Hvil I Fred (“rest in peace”), starting in a delicate manner to the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks before exploding into more of his trademark Black Metal. Moreover, once again the heaviness of the guitars and drums beautifully clashes with enfolding keys and piano notes, not to mention how stunning the female vocalizations sound and feel. After that, delicate piano notes permeate the air in Forglemmegei (“forget-me-not”), a well-engendered (albeit a bit too long) intermission that sets the tone for Nåde (“grace”), bringing forward over 13 minutes of what feels like the soundtrack to a dark and sinister movie, with Stein blending three or four songs into one massive beast while alternating between obscure passages and sheer dementia in the form of Black Metal, ending in an epic and enfolding manner before the outro 11379 brings to our ears a stylish exhibit of folk and classic elements, with the sounds of the piano and flute adding an extra touch of delicacy to the album.

A must-listen for fans of Myrkur, Jinjer, Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Arch Enemy and Evanescence, among several others, Gjennom Meg Går Ingen Til Hvile undoubtedly represents a huge step forward in the career of the multi-talented Stein, and if you want to put your hands on such distinguished album of extreme music you can purchase it from Minneriket’s own BandCamp page. In addition, don’t forget to also follow Stein and his Black Metal alter-ego on Facebook and on Instagram, to subscribe to his YouTube channel, and to stream more of his stylish compositions on Spotify. As mentioned by Stein, Gjennom Meg Går Ingen Til Hvile is much more than just another metal album, but a music representation of his own memories intertwined with the sounds of nature, deserving our full admiration and respect and, therefore, positioning Minneriket as one of the driving forces of the current underground Black Metal scene.

Best moments of the album: Regnbuer I Gråtoner, Hvil I Fred and Nåde.

Worst moments of the album: Forglemmegei.

Released in 2022 Independent

Track listing
1. Så Kald En Jord 8:42
2. Hjemlengsel 2:04
3. Begravelsens Hjerteslag 7:31
4. Regnbuer I Gråtoner 6:44
5. Sorg Og Savn 5:32
6. Solnedgang 1:42
7. Hvil I Fred 5:31
8. Forglemmegei 3:44
9. Nåde 13:17
10. 11379 3:17

Band members
Stein Akslen – lead vocals, guitars, field-recordings, synths, additional instruments

Guest musicians
Misstiq – keys
Māra Lisenko – vocals
Christina Rotondo – vocals
Niklas Kveldulfsson – drums
Ingrid.mariea – vocals
Maria Kosma – bass
Margarita Chernova – strings
Norlene Olmedo – cello
Kyba – vocals
Elvann – harp
Kim Fleuchaus – flute
Thomas Englmann – saxophone
Jenny Modeman – additional vocals
C80 – additional keys
Li – gong
Temu – additional vocals
Elsewhere Choir – choir

Metal Chick of the Month – Miranda Wolfe

Free the beast within, Miranda!

It has become a tradition here at The Headbanging Moose to kick off a new year with a badass bass player on our Metal Chick of the Month section, and it couldn’t have been any different than that this January 2022 with our metal lady Miranda Wolfe. Born on July 31, 1987 in Edmonton, the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta, Miranda is not only a fantastic bass player from the Canadian underground scene, but also a talented designer and tattoo artist, and I’m sure you’re going to love her music, her art and her charisma when she’s hammering her bass together with her Thrash Metal band Mortillery. In other words, you better get ready as things are about to get heavy-as-hell to the sound of Miranda’s infernal bass, starting 2022 in style.

It’s simply impossible to pay a tribute to Miranda without talking about Mortillery, as she was one of the founders of the band back in October 2008 in Edmonton together with guitarist Alex Gutierrez and drummer Emily Smits when they decided it was time for their city to have a thrash band that represented the origin of the genre, because although the punk and metal scene had always been strong in Edmonton and there were a few crossover bands, there was nothing specific to that classic 80’s Bay Area Thrash sound at that time. Shortly after, vocalist Cara McCutchen joined the band, and James Guiltner was added as a lead guitarist to finish up what was the original line up. However, the band parted ways with James, replacing him with Alexander Scott, and later in 2013 replacing Alexander with Kent Quinlan. Emily also left the band back in 2010, with Kevin Gaudet being then responsible for the drums. For months the band tried to come up with a name, but every cool name they came up with was taken, and therefore they just made up a word by combining “mortal” and “artillery”.

Playing classic 80’s Thrash Metal in the vein of thrashing beasts Nuclear Assault and singing about topics like hell, death, evil, murder and the apocalypse, the awesome Mortillery, who are by the way on hold for now, released their self-titled debut demo in 2009, their self-titled EP in 2010 (containing the two songs from the 2009 demo plus other songs), and the full-length albums Murder Death Kill, in 2011, Origin of Extinction, in 2013, and more recently Shapeshifter, in 2016, not to mention the band was also featured on the 2016 Metal Hammer compilation Maximum Metal Vol. 218 with the song Radiation Sickness. Not only Miranda played bass in all of the band’s releases to date, but she was also responsible for the booklet artwork for their 2013 album Origin of Extinction, and the layout for their 2016 album Shapeshifter, showcasing another side of our metal lady that will be discussed shortly.

You can have an absolute blast with Miranda and her Mortillery on YouTube by enjoying their awesome videos for the songs Radiation Sickness, Age Of Stone, Torture and F.O.A.D., as well as the live versions for Murder Death Kill and Countless Suicide, and their cover versions for Razor’s Evil Invaders and Anthrax’s all-time classic Madhouse. You’ll certainly notice how metallic, visceral and rumbling the bass lines by Miranda sound in each of those songs, proving she’s much more than “just” a talented bass player, but a true metalhead that nurtures an absolute passion for what she does (also showing a deep passion for her partner, her two cats and dog, and for traveling and touring, by the way). And in case you’re eager for more of the music by Mortillery, you can also find all of their creations on sale and for streaming on BandCamp and on Spotify.

Highly influenced by monsters of metal such as early Metallica, Toxic Holocaust and Judas Priest, our beloved bassist is also huge into Punk Rock and very early Thrash Metal, with bands the likes of Exodus, Exciter, Annahilator, Razor, Broken Bones, Crucifix, GBH, Flotsam & Jetsam, Anthrax and Municipal Waste being a regular part of her playlist. Furthermore, Miranda and Mortillery have already shared the stage with some of their idols such as Death Angel and Anvil, to name a few, with their first show ever being the supporting act to the one and only Toxic Holocaust. As we’re talking about touring and supporting major bands, it’s important to mention that Mortillery use no special effects at all during their live performances, simply because they want their music to be heard for what it is with no distractions. And when asked which bands Miranda and the rest of the band would love to tour with, they mentioned playing alongside Overkill, Anthrax or Helloween would be a dream come true. Moreover, when asked about the metal scene in Edmonton, Miranda and the band mentioned there are lots of really dedicated bands and fans in the city, but the distance to other cities and the frigid temperatures in the winter can be a real barrier to touring, and if you want to check other amazing Canadian bands like Mortillery you should take a listen at Skull Fist, Diemonds, Cauldron, Kobra And The Lotus, Unleash The Archers, Tarantuja, Gatekrashor, Crystal Mess and Untimely Demise, among many, many others.

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In one of her interviews together with Cara, the girls were asked if they have to prove themselves twice as female musicians in a male dominated scene, or if this is not an issue anymore these days. Miranda and Cara simply answered that they don’t need to prove anything to anyone, that they just do what they enjoy and that their sound will always remain the same no matter what. In addition, they mentioned that if you are good at what you do, you should be recognized for that regardless of what sex you are, complementing by saying that they don’t believe that women “need” any special attention just because they are women, and that there was never a lack of recognition for the women that play metal, but just that there’s a lot more of women in the metal scene nowadays. There’s also an awesome panel online called “Women Who Rock” held in 2016 by Napalm Records (which can be seen in full HERE) featuring Fernanda Lira of Nervosa, Tatiana Shmailyuk of Jinjer, and of course Miranda and Cara, covering questions like “What does it mean to you to be a woman in metal?” and “Who’ve inspired you and what got you into metal?”, among other questions, where Miranda mentions Girlschool and Wendy O. Williams, two of the most important names in the history of rock and metal regarding female musicians, as the ones who got her into becoming a musician.

And last but not least, as aforementioned our unstoppable bassist took care of the booklet artwork in Origin of Extinction and the layout in Shapeshifter, and that talent in the arts and design field led her to open her own tattoo studio in 2021, simply named Miranda Wolfe Tattoos, a high detail custom tattooing studio specializing in blackwork, dotwork and traditional, being fully licensed, health board approved and bloodborne pathogens certified. Miranda has been tattooing since 2016 and she has always been a very artistic person who cares a lot about her work and her clients, always putting the most towards each and every piece she does, big or small. Hence, if you want to give Miranda Wolfe Tattoos a try and turn your idea for a tattoo into reality, you can get in touch with her by email, by Facebook or by Instagram, and I’m sure she will provide you with first-class customer service and all the attention you can get from a multi-talented metalhead like her. Who knows, maybe you can finally get that Thrash Metal-inspired tattoo you’ve been dreaming of with a real thrashing tattoo artist like Miranda, right?

Miranda Wolfe Tattoos’ Official Facebook page
Miranda Wolfe Tattoos’ Official Instagram
Mortillery’s Official Facebook page
Mortillery’s Official Instagram
Mortillery’s Official YouTube channel
Mortillery’s Official Twitter