Album Review – Lucifuge / Infernal Power (2021)

The full moon is nigh, and all the witches are about to dance to the infernal fusion of NWOBHM, Punk Rock and early Thrash Metal crafted by an unrelenting beast hailing from Germany.

3.5rating

lucifuge-infernal-power-2021For the past five years, Bremen, Germany-based Black/Thrash Metal beast Lucifuge has been perfecting an addicting fusion of NWOBHM, Punk Rock and early Thrash Metal, all guided by the iron fist of mainman Equinox. Starting in 2018 as a one-man wrecking crew inspired by Venom, Bathory and Hellhammer, Lucifuge have expanded to a full-bodied quartet comprised of the aforementioned Equinox on vocals and guitars, Berenjenix also on the guitars, Matorralix on bass and Dominatrix on drums, taking the band’s signature greasy n’ galloping riffs, locomotive rhythmic (dis)charge and twisted n’ pissed vocals, and spit-shining them with the dirtiest motor oil known to man, resulting now in 2021 in their brand new and fulminating opus Infernal Power, a breathtaking album of unrelenting metal music highly recommended for fans of bands the likes of Exciter, Warfare, Running Wild and Onslaught, embraced by the old school warlike artwork by Italian painter Paolo Girardi.

Rev up your engines as their feast of frantic and dirty sounds is about to begin in Infernal Power, blending old school Heavy Metal the likes of early Running Wild with Punk Rock, with Equinox and Berenjenix being on fire with their lancinating riffs. Put differently, what a bestial way to kick off the album, and they keep slashing their stringed weapons mercilessly accompanied by the furious blast beats by Dominatrix and the in-your-face bass punches by Matorralix in Leviathan Arise; followed by Black Battalions, where its lyrics reek of violence and rebelliousness (“Destruction, Disorder and Desire / They cling to him who braves the gale of high / They rush upon him like a wave and break / in fiery foam against him and they shake / They Open Hell”) while the music is a beautiful, galloping fusion of Heavy, Black and Speed Metal. And putting the pedal to the metal the quartet sounds like a demonic version of the early days of Megadeth in Temples Of Madness, with Equinox delivering his trademark raspy roars nonstop.

Let’s keep slamming into the pit and raising our horns and beers high in the name of metal to the sound of Heresy Shall Remain, with Equinox and Berenjenix once again sounding hellish on the gutiars, whereas in Beneath the Eyes of the Black Flame we face another round of their wicked lyrics (“Solemn dusk descending from the East / Demons rise around us in the mist / Deep beneath the Eyes of The Black Flame / Rise the One whose name shall not be named”) amidst a hurricane of metallic and sulfurous sounds. Then investing in a more melodic sound while maintaining their core essence intact the band offers us Black Light of The Evening Star, not as demented as its predecessors but still extremely enjoyable; and they’ll make your head tremble to the sound of the Speed Metal and Punk Rock hybrid entitled The Doors of Hell May Shake, where Dominatrix is once again insane behind his drums. After such pulverizing tune, it’s time for their own rendition of Good as It Is, from the legendary Japanese Hardcore Punk band G.I.S.M.’s cult second album M.A.N., released in 1987 (and you can check the original version HERE), with Lucifuge’s tribute sounding and feeling beyond stunning and vibrant. And lastly, sounding more epic than usual, Equinox and his henchmen fire the neck-breaking Midnight Sun, with the bass jabs by Matorralix making the earth tremble while the music remains utterly venomous until the very last second.

lucifuge-2021After all is said and done, it’s quite easy to join Equinox and his henchmen in their quest for metal music. All you have to do is stream Infernal Power as many times as you want in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details about such talented horde, and above all that, purchase your copy of their scorching new album from their own BandCamp page, or from the Dying Victims Productions’ BandCamp page or webstore (in CD or LP format). As the band itself likes to say, the full moon is nigh, and all the witches are about to dance. Prepare to feel Lucifuge’s Infernal Power!

Best moments of the album: Infernal Power, Black Battalions and Beneath the Eyes of the Black Flame.

Worst moments of the album: Black Light of The Evening Star.

Released in 2021 Dying Victims Productions

Track listing  
1. Infernal Power 2:52
2. Leviathan Arise 2:55
3. Black Battalions 3:36
4. Temples Of Madness 2:54
5. Heresy Shall Remain 3:05
6. Beneath the Eyes of the Black Flame 2:55
7. Black Light of The Evening Star 3:08
8. The Doors of Hell May Shake 3:48
9. Good as It Is (G.I.S.M. cover) 5:20
10. Midnight Sun 3:59

Band members
Equinox – vocals, guitars
Berenjenix – guitars
Matorralix – bass
Dominatrix – drums

Metal Chick of the Month – Heike Langhans

heike01

The shackles of your demons fall silent… The shackles of your demons fall…

It’s time for the skies to get dark and melancholic here on The Headbanging Moose thanks to the doomed music blasted by our metal lady of the month of May, and I bet you’ll get absolutely addicted to her music right after the very first listen (in case you know nothing yet about her and her bands and projects, of course). Though of German descent, she was born on February 9, 1988 in Cape Town, a port city on South Africa’s southwest coast, and currently resides in Sweden, where she joined Swedish Doom Metal band Draconian as the replacement to former singer Lisa Johansson in 2012. I’m talking about the multi-talented Heike Langhans, a songwriter, singer and designer well known for her work in the Gothic and metal scenes, always exploring a vast array of styles including Dark Wave, Electronic and Gothic Rock, among several others, therefore conquering the blackened hearts of the damned ones.

Drawn to melancholy Gothic music during her teenage years, Heike Langhans (which correct pronunciation is ‘hey-keh’ and ‘lung [the organ] – huns [like guns]’, as it’s a German name) began to dabble in composition, writing and singing at a very young age, already being part of school choirs at the age of eight, although she got sick of singing in groups, left that behind and started doing her own thing. She played piano occasionally, but mostly played classical guitar, which helped a lot in her writing process, and used to sing with her father when he played guitar at social gatherings. Heike joined her first band when she was around 15 years old, an all-girls band comprised of friends of her that was mainly a fun holiday thing, while she kept doing music on her own until she joined a proper band at the age of 19. Needless to say, she kept doing her own thing on the side to stay focused and as an outlet for her frustrations with the world and her surroundings.

Active since 2005, our South African started her career being associated with a few distinguished projects and bands, those being her Dark Electronic solo project :LOR3L3I:, South African Symphonic Metal band Inferium, and South African Black/Thrash Metal band Warthane, with her vocals being known to be sorrowful and her music peculiar and melancholic in nature. Regarding :LOR3L3I: (also known as LOR3L3I, LORELEI, or simply Lorelei), everything started back in 2006 as a melancholic electronic side project, with the name Lorelei having almost acted as an alter ego in a sense. According to Heike herself, the songs are raw and unpolished, a “spur-of-the-moment” type project where she just pours her heart into a song, record it and then struggle to touch it again, and you can take a very good listen at all her demos on her official BandCamp page, savoring delicate creations such as Jade Light and Fables. “I’ve said many times that I will never be able to sing these songs live, simply because I’ll be too emotional. It’s hard for me to wear my heart on my sleeve sometimes, so music is the only way. Lorelei is definitely my outlet and it’s quite revealing in many ways. Many people think me intimidating and secretive, but I’m more of an open book than what they care to realize,” commented Heike about her solo endeavor.

Inferium and Warthane are completely different stories, as they were already relatively established bands when Heike joined them. Under the moniker Heike Van Dominic, she was Inferium’s vocalist from 2005 until 2010, joining the band when they were still an instrumental group. They were the only band she knew doing Symphonic Metal at that time, with a huge influence from bands like Nightwish and Within Temptation. She said in one of her interviews that the band had a lot of potential and that they were doing quite well, but as they had a lot of issues with finding time and money to record and push it further they decided to call it quits in 2010. “I’ll always remember and enjoy my time in Inferium and I’ll forever be sad about the stellar songs that were to come, but it’s a sweet memory,” said Heike. Right after Inferium disbanded, more specifically in 2011, our diva, again under the name Heike Van Dominic, recorded the female vocals for the album Black Divine, by Warthane, which you can enjoy in its entirety on Spotify. Not only that, she also used her graphic designer skills to create the album’s stylish, somber artwork, proving how focused and talented she is it doesn’t matter which band or project she’s involved with.

Since 2012, Heike has been acting as the singer for Swedish Gothic/Doom Metal act Draconian, a cult band that started back in the already distant year of 1994 as Kerberos, playing Melodic Heavy and Death Metal with Black Metal influences, changing its name to Draconian around seven months after its inception. Heike joined the band following the departure of singer Lisa Johansson in 2011 after having made contact with guitarist Daniel Arvidsson, then with vocalist Anders Jacobsson to try an audition in Sweden. At first, she struggled to get a work visa in Sweden, which hampered the band’s ability to record an album, and until obtaining the visa she performed as a temporary singer for Gothic Rock band The Great Sleep in South Africa, as you can see for example in the song The Last Funeral. At the end of 2013, she finally received her work visa and was able to emigrate to Sweden, when she started working with Draconian while at the same time she started playing as a guest singer, guitarist and keyboardist in 2015 for Swedish Doom Metal band ISON, a side-project of Daniel Änghede (of Crippled Black Phoenix and Hearts of Black Science). She mentioned her main reasons for joining ISON were being able to play an instrument again like what she used to do in her teens, and putting a part of her own soul into it within a genre that was not electronic. You can have a very good taste of the music by ISON on their BandCamp page, with their first three albums having Heike on vocals, those being Cosmic Drone, Andromeda Skyline and Inner Space, or go to YouTube and search for their official videos such as the one for the song ISAE, as well as other precious gems like the duo playing a stunning acoustic version for The Final Cut by Pink Floyd (and you can compare their beautiful rendition with the original one HERE).

Finally, in 2015 Heike was able to record her first album with Draconian, by the way the sixth in the band’s career, the excellent Sovran, which she was not only responsible for the female vocal parts, but she also collaborated on writing the lyrics for tracks Dusk Mariner, Dishearten and The Marriage of Attaris, showing how easy it has been for Heike to connect with everyone at Draconian. “When I came to Sweden, I thought it would be very intimidating to have to all of a sudden be in this professional studio and work with world-class producers, and I underestimated myself a lot. But once I actually started doing it, I realized I was completely over-thinking everything. The guys were really laid back and easy to work with,” commented Heike. Then in 2020 she released with Draconian their second opus together, entitled Under a Godless Veil, where once again she was responsible for part of the lyrics, more specifically for the lyrics for the song Sleepwalkers, on top of her usual vocal duties. She also mentioned in one of her interviews that her work with Draconian hasn’t had any negative impact on her solo project :LOR3L3I: so far; quite the contrary, several Draconian fans kept writing her and asking her to continue to create music under her solo project, although she said nowadays she doesn’t have enough time to focus on that. It doesn’t matter if you’re a longtime fan of Draconian or a newcomer to their doomed world, you must check all of their official videos on YouTube such as the ones for the songs Sorrow Of Sophia, Sleepwalkers, Lustrous Heart, The Sacrificial Flame, Moon Over Sabaoth and Stellar Tombs, all of their creations on Spotify, as well as live footage the likes of Pale Tortured Blue live at MS Connexion Complex in Mannheim, Germany in 2019, and simply get lost in their realm of melancholy.

Apart from all of those previous and current bands and projects, you can also enjoy Heike’s unique voice as a guest vocalist in several other bands from all over the world. For instance, she played live with Finnish Atmospheric Doom/Death Metal band Hallatar in 2018, with whom she also recorded vocals for the song My Mistake and narrations for the songs Raven’s Song, Pieces and Spiral Gate from their 2017 album No Stars Upon the Bridge; she was a guest vocalist in the song Vision VII: One with the Soil from the 2017 album Visions, by Austrian Post-Black Metal act Anomalie; she also recorded the female vocal parts for the song The Path to Puya, from the 2019 album Aamamata by Spanish Doom/Gothic Metal act Helevorn; and vocals for the song Wolves at the Border, from the 2015 album Signal, by Swedish duo Hearts of Black Science. Not only that, Heike also did the layout and band photos for the 2020 album Premonitions, by International Epic/Atmospheric Black Metal band Sojourner, and was responsible for the vocals, keyboards, songwriting, lyrics, vocal recording, artwork, layout and design in the 2020 album Another World, by International Atmospheric Doom Metal band Light Field Reverie.

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When asked about her main idols and influences in music, Heike said it’s actually hard to pinpoint influences because many of her personal likes are not in any genres considered as Gothic in modern terms. However, the bands she related to early on would be Fields of The Nephilim, The Awakening, Sisters of Mercy, The Cure, Type O Negative, Dead Can Dance and Lycia, to name a few. In addition, as far as more modern Goth-inspired music goes, she has spent a great deal of time listening to Diary Of Dreams, Tiamat, Tristania, Paradise Lost, Anathema, Sins Of Thy Beloved, Katatonia, Draconian, and of course My Dying Bride. She said her passion for metal started when she was a teenager, as she used to get her father’s Pink Floyd and Meat Loaf CD’s and listen to them on repeat in her room while singing along, also watching renowned acts like Black Sabbath on VH1 and taping whatever metal she could find onto VHS or cassette. By the time she was 16, she was consuming a lot of metal from all sub-genres, gradually focusing on what suited her best emotionally speaking like Gothic, Symphonic and Doom Metal, only getting into Black Metal in her 20’s, but of course the emotional aspect and the melodies found in Doom Metal turned it into her all-time favorite genre as it certainly triggers a lot more in her personally.

In regards to touring, Heike said in one of her interviews she would love to tour around a South America, South Africa and Australia with Draconian, understanding that requires a lot of traveling and a huge investment, of course. “I look forward to traveling to countries to enjoy the scenery, food and people. The music is just our way of saying thank you for having us. It would feel slightly selfish to think our music is what made the show worth it, if you know what I mean,” complemented Heike, who also has a deep connection with the metal scene in her homeland. “Despite what most South Africans make themselves believe, Cape Town actually has a great metal scene and more bands than you might think. I can count on one hand the amount of friends I have there who ISN’T a musician. It’s a very creative and beautiful town.” She recommends Atmospheric Black Metal band Crow Black Sky, 2017 Battle for Wacken winners Megalodon, scene-legend Industrial Metal band Terminatryx and a few new-comers such as Constellatia as excellent bands from her beautiful country (and city) that we should all take a listen at.

Moving from South Africa to Sweden wasn’t an easy task for Heike, as it took around 19 months for her to receive her residence permit renewal in Sweden due to the country dealing with an influx of refugees. Based in Säffle, a municipality in Värmland County in west central Sweden, with the rest of the band since December 2019, Heike said she obviously misses Cape Town, her friends, the forwardness of people, Afrikaans jokes and Afrikaans words that you really can’t say anywhere else, but of course that she loves Scandinavia and that her head and her heart are in the North. Her Swedish might not be perfect yet, but her Afrikaans (Dutch) and German background ended up helping her a lot in understanding the language in the beginning, and she’s picking it up quite fast in her own opinion. She also commented about the fact that a lot of people in Sweden and in different parts of the world keep asking her why she’s white, which she believes that happens due to the idea the media sells that everyone in the African continent is black, complementing by saying she usually takes the opportunity to explain how things really work in South Africa.

Lastly, although Heike seems to be an unstoppable music-making machine, she’s just a regular human being like all of us who has her favorite hobbies and pastimes when she’s not singing, recording or performing on stage. As an avid gamer, she said she loves playing World of Warcraft and old school RPG’s the likes of Icewind Dale, Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights and Lionheart, as well as newer games like Skyrim, but of course she spends a great amount of time doing art, mostly digital and editing. There are days when she doesn’t want to deal with technology and she focuses of drawings and illustrations by hand, though. She also enjoys painting and photography, albeit she considers those quite expensive hobbies, and sewing, showing how versatile and talented she is. Furthermore, Heike is a big supporter of the Ubuntu Liberation Movement in South Africa, the Venus Project and the Zeitgeist Movement, always focusing on human liberation and free energy. “I will not eat or drink anything that comes from big corporations. Yes it’s difficult, but I refuse to support them. I also don’t eat meat any more, and I don’t really care what people have to say about that. I think that once people really put in the time and effort and research, not only from a health or principle perspective, but from an environmental perspective, they will realize that there is a lot that they are not being told. If they want to follow all the bullshit lies in the industry, then fine. But I will actively be against that. That’s what I think being an activist is about,” said our dauntless diva, and you can know a lot more about Heike, her bands, projects and so on by watching several online interviews with her, such as this one at FemME 2015 and this one for Metal & High Heels in 2019, letting her smooth and enchanting words and her undeniable charisma penetrate deep inside your doomed soul.

Heike Langhans’ Official Facebook page
Heike Langhans’ Official Instagram
Draconian’s Official Facebook page
Draconian’s Official Instagram
Draconian’s Official Twitter
:LOR3L3I:’s Official Facebook page

“I love slow and melancholic music. It brings my inner suffering to the surface and Doom Metal makes me feel like it’s okay to be an emotional being that suffers in this strange world.” – Heike Langhans

Album Review – Scythe Beast / Indicted for Misconception (2021)

A pulverizing display of German Melodic Death and Thrash Metal that will lay waste to any listener unfortunate enough to venture near the battlefield.

3.5rating

scythe-beast-indicted-for-misconception-2021Originally founded in 2012 in the city of Barnstorf, a municipality in the district of Diepholz, in Lower Saxony, Germany, as what was solely intended to be a studio project, Melodic Death/Thrash Metal outfit Scythe Beast quickly morphed into its very own entity, culminating with the released of their debut effort Breeding Devastation in 2016. Now in 2021 it’s time for frontman Claus Ulka, guitarists Sven Stoppelberg and Frank Schwenker, bassist Jens Weymann and drummer Andreas Tegeler to unleash upon us their sophomore opus, entitled Indicted for Misconception, a deadly barrage brought into being during the lockdown period in Germany that will lay waste to any listener unfortunate enough to venture near the battlefield, living up to the legacy of renowned acts the likes of God Dethroned, Carcass and old Dark Tranquility.

Sven and Frank rev up Scythe Beast’s angry machine in the opening tune King of a Dead Land, evolving into a violent fusion of classic Death and Thrash Metal perfect for slamming into the pit right form the very first second, and it’s then time for a Carcass-infused tune entitled Kill Machine, where the quintet fires more of their vicious sounds spearheaded by the raspy roars by Claus, while Andreas keeps hammering his drums mercilessly. What a fulminating start to the album I might say, and their fire keeps burning in Soulicide, where they slow things down a bit while still sounding heavy-as-hell and utterly aggressive, increasing in insanity until exploding into visceral Melodic Death Metal where Jens extracts violent metallic sounds from his bass for our vulgar delectation; whereas the slashing riffs by the band’s guitar duo set the tone in the frantic Colonize, a Swedish Melodic Death Metal-inspired tune where the thrashing beats by Andreas bring even more fury to the overall sonority.

The tile-track Indicted for Misconception brings to our avid ears more of the band’s visceral and extremely harmonious metal music, a multi-layered, imposing tune spiced up by sick guitar solos by Sven and Frank as the icing on the cake, and never letting the energy level go down the quintet blasts our minds with the straightforward Signs of the Decline, where Claus’ demonic roaring is effectively supported by his bandmates’ classic backing vocals. If you think you’re safe from Scythe Beast, you better get ready to be crushed like an insect in For the Love of God, where Claus keeps vociferating rabidly while Sven and Frank are on fire with their wicked riffage, and Sven, Frank and Jens are once again ruthless with their stringed weapons in Truth Beyond, supported by the trademark blast beats by Andreas while also bringing some welcome hints of Black Metal. Lastly, the band demolishes everything and everyone that crosses their path with the venomous Scapegoat, presenting their usual demented riffs and beats and with Claus sounding like a furious beast on vocals just the way we like it in extreme music.

scythe-beast-2021These German beasts of Melodic Death and Thrash Metal are waiting for you on Facebook and on YouTube, but of course if you want to show your true support to the underground you should definitely purchase a copy of Indicted for Misconception from the band’s own BandCamp page or from Apple Music. As already mentioned a few times on The Headbanging Moose in the past year or so, although no one can stand this never-ending lockdown anymore, it looks like several bands the likes of Scythe Beast are making very good usage of their time away from the road, generating top-of-the-line metal music for us fans and, consequently, keeping us sane and making our days a lot more fun to the sound of their wicked creations. I obviously hope this lockdown comes to an end sooner than later, but if this type of isolation is needed for Scythe Beast to keep smashing our souls with their music, then I’m more than fine having to spend some more time indoors.

Best moments of the album: King of a Dead Land, Kill Machine and Indicted for Misconception.

Worst moments of the album: Truth Beyond.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. King of a Dead Land 4:23
2. Kill Machine 4:21
3. Soulicide 6:31
4. Colonize 4:31
5. Indicted for Misconception 4:43
6. Signs of the Decline 4:53
7. For the Love of God 5:06
8. Truth Beyond 4:27
9. Scapegoat 5:00

Band members
Claus Ulka – vocals
Sven Stoppelberg – guitars
Frank Schwenker – guitars
Jens Weymann – bass
Andreas Tegeler – drums

Album Review – Chainsword / Blightmarch (2021)

These vicious Polish troopers are ready to spread the flames of war and conflict in a death and doom inferno armed with their brutal debut opus.

Founded in 2016 in Warsaw, Poland with the sole purpose of waging war, a five-men Death Metal squad known as Chainsword is ready to spread the flames of conflict in a death and doom inferno armed with their debut opus, entitled Blightmarch, living up to the legacy of renowned acts the likes of Unleashed, Bolt Thrower and Benediction, among several other Death Metal giants. Mixed, mastered and reamped by Haldor Grunberg at Satanic Audio, and displaying an old school, warlike artwork by Argentinian draftsman and painter Wilson Germán Arrieta, Blightmarch will invite you to head into the battlefield alongside vocalist Herr Brummbär, guitarists Sarin Spreizer and Herr Hornad, bassist Wutender Ente and drummer Herr Feldgrau, turning into ten first-class Death Metal tunes all the darkness, hatred and violence of war.

And those troopers are ready to pulverize us all with their heavy artillery in the opening tune Ost Front 1943 – Stalingrad, where Herr Brummbär vociferates like a demonic entity while Herr Feldgrau blasts his drums in great Death Metal fashion, kicking off the album on an infernal note; whereas in Spinehammer the band’s guitarists Sarin Spreizer and Herr Hornad fire unrelenting Thrash and Death Metal riffs for our total delight, resulting in a fulminating tune perfect for slamming into the pit (not to mention Herr Brummbär sounds even more demented on vocals), followed by Horus, the Chosen Son, where we’re treated to austere words barked by Herr Brummbär (“The foundation of terror / The shadow of torment / When hate consumes / the souls of man / It now is my mission / My final conquest / The right hand of chaos / That I become”) accompanied by the thunderous kitchen by Wutender Ente and Herr Feldgrau. More of the sick riffage by Sarin Spreizer and Herr Hornad permeates the air in the obscure Death Metal hymn Ost Front 1942: Moskau, with the rhythmic beats by Herr Feldgrau inviting us all to crack our necks headbanging like maniacs, and another Stygian wall of sounds smashes our senses in the vile Dead Hand Call, where Chainsword’s guitar duo not only keeps delivering sheer violence through their riffs, but also through their sick solos.

Bringing elements from Thrash and Groove Metal to their core malevolence, Chainsword will destroy anyone who crosses their path in Exterminatus, a lesson in Death Metal showcasing a brutal drumming by Herr Feldgrau amidst tons of groove and harmony blasted by the band’s stringed trio, and there’s no time to breathe as they continue their ode to violence and war in Daemonculaba, a true headbanger where Herr Brummbär roars and growls manically, always supported by the visceral riffs and bass jabs by his bandmates. Then featuring guest guitarist Cheesy Dude (aka Piotr Sadza of Belzebong and Weedpecker) and guest vocalist Nun (aka Lech Kowal of Sun No More), the title-track Blightmarch is as vile and demonic as its predecessors, keeping the album at a high level of animosity, whereas their war-like Death Metal keeps crushing our skulls in Dreadquake Mortar, sounding heavier-than-hell and demented from start to finish, with Herr Brummbär stealing the spotlight with his grim guttural lines. Lastly, we face 06.08 9:15, with the name of the song representing the date and time when the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, August 6, 1945 at 9:15am. Musically speaking, it’s another old school, vicious Death Metal onrush to end the album in the heaviest and darkest way possible.

In case you’re curious to know how Chainsword’s hybrid of Death Metal and war sounds in Blightmarch, you can stream the album in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course if you consider yourself a true Death Metal soldier you should definitely purchase the album from Chainsword’s BandCamp page, from the Godz ov War Productions’ BandCamp page or webstore, or from Apple Music. Also, in order to properly enlist in their army of extreme music, simply follow them on Facebook and on Instagram for more of their music, news, tour dates and everything else surrounding Chainsword in the battlefield. Having said that, what are you waiting for to put your dirty hands on such pulverizing album of Death Metal made in Poland? Let’s all join the attack!

Best moments of the album: Spinehammer, Exterminatus and Daemonculaba.

Worst moments of the album: Horus, the Chosen Son.

Released in 2021 Godz ov War Productions

Track listing
1. Ost Front 1943 – Stalingrad 4:03
2. Spinehammer 3:30
3. Horus, the Chosen Son 4:24
4. Ost Front 1942: Moskau 4:19
5. Dead Hand Call 3:37
6. Exterminatus 4:56
7. Daemonculaba 4:31
8. Blightmarch 3:42
9. Dreadquake Mortar 3:51
10. 06.08 9:15 5:15

Band members
Herr Brummbär – vocals
Sarin Spreizer – guitar
Herr Hornad – guitar
Wutender Ente – bass
Herr Feldgrau – drums, vocals

Guest musicians
Cheesy Dude – guitars on “Blightmarch”
Nun – additional vocals on “Blightmarch”

Album Review – Sintax / Nano 3000 (2021)

It’s time to celebrate mankind’s downfall to the sound of the brand new opus by this Israeli thrashing squad, telling stories of technologies rising against us all.

After years of performing all across Israel on their own ticket and alongside international acts, keeping Jerusalem’s metal scene alive and kicking, members of local cult bands the likes of Showrchtsechaye and DeuSphera decided to come together to form a Thrash and Groove Metal beast named Sintax back in 2013, delivering a strong punch of groove and a unique raw energy with each one of their sick compositions. Now in 2021 the band comprised of Yehi Zaken on vocals, Roi Illouz and Yoav Gruper on the guitars, Slava Kishka on bass and Adam Levit on drums have just released their sophomore effort, titled Nano 3000, offering the listener an avalanche of old school metal music combined with a modern production and sound. Mixed and mastered by Mark Mynett at Mynetaur Productions and displaying a futuristic artwork by Nadav Halevi, Nano 3000 tells stories of technologies rising against us and a dystopic prophecy taking in the subjects of anarchy, politics, religion, philosophy, war, sex and more, all embraced by an endless dosage of visceral and acid Thrash Metal.

Like a demented grinding machine, the band begins their Groove Metal attack in Skeleton Scale, with the riffage by Roi and Yoav sounding utterly pulverizing while Yehi vociferates rabidly, therefore resulting in the perfect welcome card by the band in their new album. And more of their fusion of the madness of Pantera with the heaviness of Fear Factory is offered to us all in Reefers Sting And Honey, also presenting hints of the early days of Sepultura, and with the frantic and demonic beats by Adam providing Yehi all he needs to growl like a true beast; whereas in Most Hated Man In The Universe the band gets back to a more traditional Thrash Metal sonority, where the brutal sounds blasted by Roi, Yoav and Slava with their stringed axes will pierce your minds, not to mention the song’s pounding, neck-breaking drums and sick backing vocals. Then we face strident riffs and rumbling bass punches in Sight Got Past, morphing from a more melodic vibe to pure adrenaline and rage with Yehi once again roaring and growling nonstop, accompanied by the visceral beats by Adam.

The title-track Nano 3000 sounds and feels highly inspired by 90’s Groove and Industrial Metal, but without abandoning the band’s thrashing core sound of course, with Adam being infernal as usual on drums while Roi and Yoav extract sheer electricity from their guitars; and the menacing bass by Slava ignites another violent yet very melodic feast of riffs and beats titled Shooting Stars, perfect for jumping up and down with the boys from Sintax and slamming into the pit with your metal buddies. Then after a short and wicked intro we’re treated to the fulminating Death and Thrash Metal hurricane Lethal And Armed, where Yehi continues to lead his horde of thrashing maniacs with his deranged screams while Roi and Yoav slash our minds with their metallic riffage, and a massive wall of sounds will smash your cranial skull in the closing tune Lunchtime Funeral, presenting sick guitar solos and bass punches by the band’s stringed warriors from start to finish. Furthermore, when it’s over, I bet you’ll be begging for more of Sintax’s thrashing music.

After listening to Nano 3000, not only you’ll realize how powerful the music by Sintax can be, but also that the Israeli metal scene seems to be getting stronger and stronger, with bands like Sintax proving once and for all first-class metal music is simply everywhere. Hence, let’s show our support to those talented metallers by purchasing their new album from Dead Pulse, Apple Music or Amazon, by streaming the full album as many times as you want on Spotify, by following them on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other shenanigans, and by subscribing to their YouTube channel for more of their demented music and videos. We all know that the future of mankind doesn’t look so good right now, and that the advancements in technology are not exactly bringing tons of benefits for us mere mortals, so why not celebrate the end of our existence to the sound of the top-of-the-line Thrash Metal blasted by Sintax in Nano 3000? At least that way we’ll definitely go out with a bang.

Best moments of the album: Reefers Sting And Honey, Most Hated Man In The Universe and Lethal And Armed.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Sliptrick Records

Track listing
1. Skeleton Scale 4:08
2. Reefers Sting And Honey 2:54
3. Most Hated Man In The Universe 3:51
4. Sight Got Past 3:47
5. Nano 3000 4:24
6. Shooting Stars 5:17
7. Lethal And Armed 3:45
8. Lunchtime Funeral 4:14

Band members
Yehi Zaken – vocals
Roi Illouz – guitar
Yoav Gruper – guitar
Slava Kishka – bass
Adam Levit – drums

Album Review – Juggernaut / La Bestia (2021)

Let’s slam into the circle pit to the sound of the brand new album of old school Thrash Metal by these four talented and unstoppable beasts hailing from Brazil.

Born in the year of 2005 in the Brazilian city of Blumenau, in the state of Santa Catarina, Thrash Metal outfit Juggernaut has just unleashed upon humanity their third full-length opus, entitled La Bestia, or “the beast” in English, offering fans of bands like Death, Sadus and Destruction a very good reason to slam into the circle pit to the sound of its eight unrelenting tracks infused with Progressive Rock and Metal influences. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Edgar Maccoppi at Edgar Maccoppi Áudio Estúdio, La Bestia began to take its shape and form back in 2017 with a very noble goal of providing us fans an honest album of the purest renowned Santa Catarina Thrash Metal you can think of with a lot of participation in the writing and composing process by all members, those being Cicero on vocals, Célio Jr. on the guitars, Valda on bass and Alefer on drums, and let me tell you that the final result lives up to its hype, sounding as fast, heavy and technical as our good old Thrash Metal demands.

The classic beats by Alefer kick off the thrashing metal madness TerrorISIS Squad, with Cicero’s vocals bringing hints of Black and Death Metal to their music, feeling absolutely inspired by the golden years of our beloved Thrash Metal, followed by Puppets of Society, as fast and demented as the opening track, where Célio Jr. continues to slash his stringed axe mercilessly while Valda and Alefer make the earth shake with their thunderous kitchen in an old school, in-your-face and massive display of their passion for heavy music. There’s no time to breathe as those Brazilian headbangers keep blasting sheer aggression in Hollow Surface, where Célio Jr. and Valda add their share of progressiveness to the overall result accompanied by the breaks and variations provided by Alefer’s beats, whereas investing into a blend of a galloping rhythm and a pure thrashing sonority we’re treated to Man of a Thousand Faces, with Cicero’s raspy roars and gnarls being exactly what’s needed to talk about all the lies, deceive and hate featured in the song’s lyrics.

Then it’s time for the quartet to hammer our cranial skulls once again with the Progressive Thrash Metal tune Human Template, keeping their core rebelliousness intact and therefore bringing into being a very entertaining and intricate mosh pit feast, not to mention Valda’s sick bass punches; and never tired of delivering 80’s Thrash Metal to us fans, Célio Jr. takes the lead with his classic riffs and solos in Useless Generation, while Alefer alternates between bestial moments and more complex passages on drums. The fulminating title-track La Bestia represents everything Juggernaut stands for, sounding violent, groovy and rebellious form start to finish, with its more progressive start morphing into a neck-breaking, venomous vibe where Cicero roars a mix of Portuguese and Spanish words to discuss about all issues found in Latin America such as slavery, hunger and crime, before the quartet offers us a cover version for Starship’s hit single We Built This City, from their 1985 album Knee Deep in the Hoopla (and you can check the original version HERE), with the band turning such upbeat pop hymn into a true headbanger where they managed to maintain the original song’s core essence while adding their own thrashing touch to it.

You can have a very good taste of what Thrash Metal made in Santa Catarina is all about by streaming the full album on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course if I were you I would definitely buy a copy of it from the band’s own BandCamp page, from Apple Music or from Amazon, showing your utmost support to the Brazilian underground scene. In addition, don’t forget to give Juggernaut a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel, to know more about the music by those talented thrashers from Brazil. The thrashing beast carefully brought forth by Juggernaut is ready to attack, and you better get ready because things inside the band’s sick circle pit are about to get beyond serious.

Best moments of the album: Puppets of Society, Human Template and La Bestia.

Worst moments of the album: Useless Generation.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. TerrorISIS Squad 4:40
2. Puppets of Society 4:46
3. Hollow Surface 4:30
4. Man of a Thousand Faces 3:57
5. Human Template 4:15
6. Useless Generation 4:46
7. La Bestia 5:32
8. We Built This City (Starship cover) 3:34

Band members
Cicero – vocals
Célio Jr. – guitars
Valda – bass
Alefer – drums

Album Review – Terrordome / Straight Outta Smogtown (2021)

The new album by this unrelenting Polish squad will hit you hard right in the head with their fusion of Thrash Metal, Hardcore and Crossover Thrash with beyond acid lyrics.

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Tomasz “ZED” Zalewski at Zed Studio and featuring an old school artwork by Marcin “Biały” Białkowski, Straight Outta Smogtown is the third full-length installment by a Thrash Metal squad formed in 2005 in the city of Kraków, Poland that goes by the in-your-face name of Terrordome, following up on the violence and adrenaline of their 2015 album Machete Justice. Highly recommended for fans of the sickness blasted by renowned acts the likes of Nuclear Assault, Slayer and Cryptic Slaughter, the new album by vocalist and guitarist Uappa Terror and guitarist Paua Siffredi, together with session musicians Simon on bass and Friggi Mad Beats (Chaos Synopsis, Attomica) on drums, will hit you hard right in the head with their fusion of classic Thrash Metal, Hardcore and Crossover Thrash, with an array of guests including Frank Blackfire (Sodom, Assassin) and Manu Joker (Uganga, Sarcofago) bringing even more electricity to the album’s metal thrashing madness.

Featuring an atmospheric guitar solo by guest Konrad “Destroyer” Ramotowski (Untervoid, Hate), the intro Terrorizing the Nation as the Best Way to Thwart Shameful Schemes warms up our bodies and minds for the Exodus and Nuclear Assault-inspired tune Possessed By Blyat, where Friggi Mad Beats crushes his drums mercilessly, being therefore perfect for slamming into the pit right away, whereas Worried Again sounds even heavier and more menacing, with Uappa’s visceral roars adding an extra touch of animosity to the music while Uappa himself and Paua extract pure Thrash Metal from their sick riffage. And their sonic attack has no time to stop, as they keep delivering hatred and madness in Steel on the Road, with their thrashing riffs and blast beats elevating the song’s insanity through the roof, not to mention how demented Uappa sounds on vocals.

The rumbling bass by Simon kicks off the Thrash and Groove Metal feast Plastic Death, where Uappa invests into Tom Araya-like vocals while his bandmates exhale heaviness through their sonic weapons, and it’s impressive how they managed to sound even faster and heavier than before in Your Personal Comfort Versus the Global Disaster, a brutal Thrash Metal assault showcasing razor-edged riffs by Uappa and Paua and the always wicked beats by Friggi Mad Beats. Then featuring guest vocals by Manu Joker and Jairo Vaz (Chaos Synopsis), get ready to be smashed by Terrordome in Desordem e Regresso, a sick display of extreme music and a “tribute” to the political nightmare that haunts Brazil these days; and Friggi Mad Beats hammers his drums in great fashion in the berserk Into the Void, a pulverizing Crossover Thrash extravaganza led by the vicious riffs and solos by the band’s relentless guitar duo. After such demented tune, their thrashing party goes on in the also electrifying Ego-Boost Downfall, drinking from the fountain of Bay Area Thrash and, therefore, offering our ears piercing riffs and thunderous bass jabs nonstop.

Money Kills carries a great title for another solid, straightforward Thrash Metal tune where all band members are on fire from start to finish, with Uappa stealing the spotlight by rabidly roaring the song’s acid words, while Demolition, featuring a slashing guitar solo by guest Frank Blackfire, offers more of their European thrash spearheaded by the machine gun-like beats by Friggi Mad Beats. Put differently, it will work perfectly when played live to an avid moshing crowd, and firing some Gary Holt-like riffs and infernal beats the quartet brings forward another humongous dosage of animosity and rebelliousness in I Don’t Care, where Uappa is once again demented on vocals. Then an atmospheric intro evolves into a headbanging tune titled Conspiracy, where Uappa and Paua invite us all to dance like a monkey into the circle pit, albeit not as intense as its predecessors; whereas an intro taken from the 1968 cult movie Night of the Living Dead, directed by the iconic George A. Romero (R.I.P.), explodes into what’s in my opinion the best song of the album, The Day They Left Their Graves, a lecture in Thrash Metal with Friggi Mad Beats sounding utterly infernal on drums, presenting the perfect combination of old school thrash with tales of the living dead.

You can get caught in the frantic mosh crafted by Terrordome in Straight Outta Smogtown by listening to the full album on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course if you consider yourself a true thrashing trooper you should definitely purchase the album from the band’s own BandCamp page and webstore, from the Selfmadegod Records’ BandCamp page and webstore, from Apple Music or from Discogs. In addition, don’t forget to follow those sick thrashers on Facebook and on Instagram, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their awesome creations. After all is said and done, Terrordome proved us all with Straight Outta Smogtown that Thrash Metal is more than alive, especially in the underground, solidifying their name in the local and international scene and, of course, proudly carrying the flag of Polish extreme music wherever they go.

Best moments of the album: Worried Again, Steel on the Road, Desordem e Regresso and The Day They Left Their Graves.

Worst moments of the album: Conspiracy.

Released in 2021 Selfmadegod Records

Track listing
1. Terrorizing the Nation as the Best Way to Thwart Shameful Schemes 0:48
2. Possessed By Blyat 2:41
3. Worried Again 3:24
4. Steel on the Road 2:38
5. Plastic Death 3:32
6. Your Personal Comfort Versus the Global Disaster 2:50
7. Desordem e Regresso 2:45
8. Into the Void 2:25
9. Ego-Boost Downfall 2:57
10. Money Kills 3:49
11. Demolition 2:43
12. I Don’t Care 2:49
13. Conspiracy 3:41
14. The Day They Left Their Graves 3:09

Band members
Uappa Terror – vocals, guitars
Paua Siffredi – guitars
Virious – bass*
Rob Sixkiller – drums*

Guest musicians
Simon – bass (session)
Friggi Mad Beats – drums (session)
Konrad “Destroyer” Ramotowski – guitar solo on “Terrorizing the Nation as the Best Way to Thwart Shameful Schemes”
Słoma – additional vocals on “Worried Again”
Kosa – additional vocals on “Worried Again”
Syru – additional vocals on “Worried Again”
Frank Blackfire – guitar solo on “Demolition”
Manu Joker – additional vocals on “Desordem e Regresso”
Jairo Vaz – additional vocals on “Desordem e Regresso”

*Bass and drums recorded respectively by Simon and Friggi Mad Beats

Album Review – Die Entweihung / Kings & Pawns (2021)

An Israel-based one-man army continues to follow an eclectic direction with his new opus, mixing diverse musical genres with Black Metal vocals and Middle-Eastern melodies.

Formed in 2007 by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Denis Tereschenko (known as Herr Entweiherr during the first years of the project) in the northern part of Israel, three years after moving to Haifa from his hometown Vitebsk, in Belarus, Melodic Dark/Black Metal entity Die Entweihung, which is German for “the desecration”, has just unleashed upon us all the project’s impressive tenth full-length opus, entitled Kings & Pawns, continuing the eclectic direction of some of his previous albums by mixing diverse musical genres the likes of Experimental, Doom and Thrash Metal with trademark Black Metal vocals, Middle-Eastern melodies and lyrics that, just like in the previous two albums, deal with “the confrontation of man and his surrounding world”. Not only that, Kings & Pawns also marks Die Entweihung’s first release in nine years to feature a couple of guest musicians, more specifically vocalists Alexander Ivanov (of Jinx) and Alena “Dark Zero” (of Nocturnal Pestilence), and bassist Anton Shirl (of Tales of Darknord), bringing additional layers of obscurity and mystery to the already idiosyncratic music crafted by Denis, all enfolded by a stylish artwork by Yulia “BooShweak” Asher.

A wicked intro quickly evolves into a metallic feast titled Away into the Night, where Denis delivers at the same time slashing riffs and whimsical keys, working as an expanded intro to The Moustached God, a grim fusion of Experimental Black Metal and contemporary Progressive Metal where Denis gnarls like a creature from the underworld while his beats and fills, as well as his Arabian guitar lines and solos, elevate the song’s epicness through the roof. And our talented and relentless lone wolf continues to pave his path of darkness and harmony in As The Hangover Starts, showcasing more of his classic Heavy Metal riffs intertwined with Symphonic Black Metal keys; whereas enhancing his progressiveness and experimentations we’re treated to the melodic instrumental tune Confrontation, once again displaying a fantastic job done by Denis on the guitars while he also crafts a dense kitchen with his drums and bass. Then guest Alexander Ivanov makes a demented vocal duo with Denis in Kings & Pawns, while our one-man army keeps hammering his drums and extracting sheer electricity form his riffage in a great depiction of his Melodic Dark Metal.

Featuring Alena “Dark Zero”, Iron Maiden-inspired guitars ignite the atmospheric The Nonsense Games, where Alena kicks some serious ass with her Doro-like clean vocals and devilish roars from start to finish; while sounding darker and more primeval than before, Denis and his Die Entweihung bring forward elements from an array of styles in the hypnotizing The Only Thing Worthy to Save, keeping the album at a high level of obscurity. Alena returns in full force in the cover song Working Class Hero, originally released by John Lennon under his solo project John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band in their 1970 self-titled album (check the original version HERE), showcasing all her talent and passion for heavy music and, therefore, resulting in a beautiful rendition for such distinct classic; and the albums closes with another cover song, this time Sons of Moon and Fire, from the 1999 demo Revelation by Russian Black Metal horde Der Gerwelt, a beyond amazing tribute by Die Entweihung featuring guest bassist Anton Shirl (of Tales of Darknord), dedicated to the memory of Dmitry Aarbreck Abramov (R.I.P.) from the original Der Gerwelt lineup (and you can take a listen at the original version HERE).

In the end, as you can see it’s quite difficult to label the music crafted by Denis and his Die Entweihung in Kings & Pawns, showcasing all the dexterity, creativity and dynamism by such talented musician. Hence, the best thing to do in order to try to understand all styles and nuances found throughout the album is to stream it in full on YouTube, and of course purchase the album (and show Denis your utmost support) from his own BandCamp page, from Wings of Destruction’s BandCamp page or webstore, or from Discogs. Also, don’t forget to give Denis a shout on Facebook, getting to know more about his career, his music and plans for the future, consequently inspiring him to always move forward armed with his epic music. In a world where each one of us is either a king or a pawn, and with the discrepancy between those two groups growing exponentially year after year, there’s nothing better than some diverse and epic metal music to help us endure our daily lives, and Denis and his Die Entweihung are among us exactly to help us with that.

Best moments of the album: The Moustached God, Kings & Pawns and The Nonsense Games.

Worst moments of the album: Confrontation.

Released in 2021 Wings of Destruction

Track listing
1. Away into the Night 2:47
2. The Moustached God 6:32
3. As The Hangover Starts 8:36
4. Confrontation 4:02
5. Kings & Pawns 4:53
6. The Nonsense Games 7:12
7. The Only Thing Worthy to Save 6:42
8. Working Class Hero (John Lennon cover) 4:02
9. Sons of Moon and Fire (Der Gerwelt cover) 7:02

Band members
Denis Tereschenko – vocals, all instruments

Guest musicians
Alena “Dark Zero” – harsh and clean vocals & arrangements on “The Nonsense Games” and “Working Class Hero”
Alexander Ivanov – harsh and clean vocals & arrangements on “Kings & Pawns”
Anton Shirl – bass on “Sons of Moon and Fire”

Album Review – Wojtek / Does This Dream Slow Down, Until It Stops? EP (2021)

Bang your heads in total isolation to the sound of the new EP by this Italian Sludge Metal entity, offering us all four austere songs born from the boredom and frustration of two lockdowns.

Wojtek is a basic, Polish male name. Wojtek is also a Syrian bear who fought in the Battle of Cassino, during World War II, carrying crates of ammunition and roaring at enemies. And Wojtek is also a Padua, Italy-based band born in May 2019, playing a heavy and raw fusion of Sludge and Doom Metal, and who have just released their third EP curiously titled Does This Dream Slow Down, Until It Stops?, offering fans of heavy music four austere songs born from the boredom and frustration of two lockdowns. Comprised of vocalist Mattia Zambon, guitarists Morgan Zambon and Riccardo Zulato, bassist Simone Carraro and drummer Enrico Babolin (who was also the producer of the album), Wojtek dig deeper into their favorite topic, that being human misery, in each of the four tracks of the EP, with the mixing and mastering by Mattia Bonafini, the cryptic artwork by the band’s own guitarist Riccardo Zulato and the logo by View From The Coffin adding an extra touch of darkness, rage and despair to the band’s venomous metal music, therefore living up to the legacy of the most primeval form of Sludge Metal.

In the opening track Catacomb we’re treated to wicked lyrics growled by Mattia (“Grow my fears / Is this town real? / Drill my ears / Endless pain I feel / Whenever you whisper I break / Every inch of my muscles will shake”) while his bandmates blast their instruments with tons of rage and aggressiveness from the very first second in an infernal display of contemporary Sludge Metal, and Enrico continues to add his share of animosity to their rebellious music through his Thrash and Death Metal beats in Desensitized, with Morgan and Riccardo slashing their strings mercilessly. Put differently, this is a neck-breaking, violent tune that reeks of progressiveness and obscurity. Then an instrumental and absolutely atmospheric horror movie-inspired interlude entitled Rednetrab (or “bartender” backwards) will send shivers down your spine before those Italian metallers come crushing one last time with their dirty and Stygian sounds in XX Years, a beyond disturbing creation where the bass punches by Simone will hit you right in the face while Mattia vociferates rabidly à la Mike Patton, bringing to our ears a flawless hybrid of Hardcore and modern-day Stoner and Sludge Metal tailored for admirers of the genre.

If you’re curious to know more about Wojtek and their wicked creations, you can start following the band on Facebook and on Instagram right away, and grab your copy of Does This Dream Slow Down, Until It Stops?, which is by the way available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify, from several locations including the band’s own BandCamp page, the Ripcord Records’ BandCamp page, the Teschio Dischi’s BandCamp page, the Violence In The Veins’ BandCamp page, and Apple Music. In the end, it looks like this never-ending pandemic has been extremely fruitful for the guys from Wojtek, inspiring them to turn their inner darkness and frustrations into first-class doom and, consequently, offering us all another good reason to keep banging our heads while in total isolation from society.

Best moments of the album: Desensitized and XX Years.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Ripcord Records/Shove Records/Teschio Dischi/Fresh Outbreak Records/Violence In The Veins

Track listing
1. Catacomb 4:37
2. Desensitized 5:02
3. Rednetrab 4:08
4. XX Years 5:31

Band members
Mattia Zambon – vocals
Morgan Zambon – guitars
Riccardo Zulato – guitars
Simone Carraro – bass
Enrico Babolin – drums

Album Review – Ablaze My Sorrow / Among Ashes and Monoliths (2021)

One of the most exciting forces of the Swedish Melodic Death Metal scene returns with their fifth full-length album, ready to kill once again with their visceral and aggressive music.

A familiar name in the Melodic Death Metal arena, Falkenberg, Halland-based outfit Ablaze My Sorrow came together in 1993 when Gothenburg, Sweden’s own brand of Death Metal had just begun to take shape, unfortunately splitting up in 2006. However, in 2013 their long-awaited reunion happened, and since this rebirth the quintet released their fourth album, Black, and played a slew of memorable gigs and fests. Now in 2021, after four years of incubation, Ablaze My Sorrow are ready to unleash upon us all their fifth full-length album, entitled Among Ashes and Monoliths, highly recommended for fans of the music by At The Gates, Dark Tranquility and In Flames, among others. Mixed and mastered by Ulf Blomberg at HoboRec/The End Studios, and featuring a classic cover artwork by Algerian artist Mustapha Haraoui (Mustapha Design DZ), Among Ashes and Monoliths is the band’s first-ever record with new vocalist Jonas Udd, whose aggressive rasp fits this passionate band to perfection, while the other members, those being Magnus Carlsson and Dennie Lindén on the guitars, Anders Brorsson on bass and Alex Kribensten on drums, return intact from their previous releases and are ready to kill once again with their visceral Melodic Death Metal.

In the atmospheric and dark opening track My Sorrow, Magnus and Dennie provide their welcome card from the very first second with their slashing riffs, exploding into Scandinavian Melodic Death Metal for diehard fans of the style, followed by the title-track Among Ashes and Monoliths, where Alex hammers his drum set mercilessly providing Jonas all he needs to shine with his enraged roars, also presenting elements from old school Black Metal in an amazing depiction of what the band is capable of. Then an introspective beginning showcasing clean, anguished vocals evolves into the obscure Black Waters, where the guitars by Magnus and Dennie cry in pain from start to finish while Anders and Alex add their share of heaviness to their core sonority; and more of their classic Melodic Death Metal is offered in Grit, with all band members extracting sheer adrenaline and violence from their sonic weapons, all spearheaded by the venomous growling by Jonas. After that, a melodious rhythm spiced up by Anders’ metallic bass punches will inspire you to bang your head with the band in Her Cold Embrace, where Jonas gets the sensational and stunning support of guest vocalist Jonna Enckell; whereas leaning towards old school Death Metal, the band puts the pedal to the metal and decimates our ears with At the Graves of Giants, with the demonic gnarls by Jonas walking hand in hand with the blast beats by Alex.

Dark Chasms brings forward another round of their vicious and aggressive Melodic Death Metal, with the band’s guitar duo extracting rage, pain and electricity form their strings accompanied by the rumbling bass by Anders, and an eerie, wicked intro ignites the In Flames-inspired tune titled The Cavernous Deep, presenting more of Jonas’ clean vocals while the instrumental pieces keep the ambience as dark and heavy as it can be. Then violence and obscurity continue to flow from their music in Nonexistence, exhibiting hints of Thrash Metal carefully added to their core sound and spearheaded by the sharp riffage by Magnus and Dennie, consequently inviting us all to slam into the pit together with the band, whereas somber sounds permeate the air in the instrumental interlude March of the Eldricht Spawn, setting the stage for Ablaze My Sorrow to come crushing once again in The Day I Die, a solid Melodic Death Metal tune showcasing all elements we learned to love in this type of music, including harsh growls intertwined with clean vocals, smashing drums and epic and frantic riffs and solos. Lastly, we have Frihet Framför Feghet, which is Swedish for “freedom over cowardice”, a bestial, hellish creation by the quintet with guest Ulf Blomberg bringing his share of dementia to the band’s sick music, sounding perfect for jumping up and down with those Swedish metallers and cracking our necks headbanging nonstop.

If Melodic Death Metal is your business, and business is good, you should definitely go check what the guys form Ablaze My Sorrow are up to on Facebook and on Instagram, stream their full catalog on Spotify, and purchase your favorite version of Among Ashes and Monoliths by clicking HERE. In the end, despite the ups and downs faced by the band through the years, and by that I mean the fact they ended up splitting up in 2006 and going on a hiatus for seven long years before reuniting in 2013, it doesn’t look and feel at all that the band didn’t “exist” during that period due to the high quality and energy found in their new album, proving those guys are back for good and hungrier than ever for more, strengthening their name as one of the driving forces of contemporary Swedish Melodic Death Metal and, therefore, providing us fans all we need to bang our heads and raise our horns in support of underground Swedish metal music.

Best moments of the album: Among Ashes and Monoliths, Her Cold Embrace, At the Graves of Giants and Frihet Framför Feghet.

Worst moments of the album: My Sorrow and The Cavernous Deep.

Released in 2021 Black Lion Records

Track listing
1. My Sorrow 4:30
2. Among Ashes and Monoliths 4:11
3. Black Waters 3:47
4. Grit 3:39
5. Her Cold Embrace 4:55
6. At the Graves of Giants 4:43
7. Dark Chasms 4:15
8. The Cavernous Deep 4:44
9. Nonexistence 3:45
10. March of the Eldricht Spawn 1:40
11. The Day I Die 3:17
12. Frihet Framför Feghet 3:41

Band members
Jonas Udd – vocals
Magnus Carlsson – guitars
Dennie Lindén – guitars
Anders Brorsson – bass
Alex Kribensten – drums

Guest musicians
Ulf Blomberg – additional vocals on “Frihet Framför Feghet”
Jonna Enckell – additional vocals on “Her Cold Embrace”