Archive for the CDs Category

Alestorm – No Grave But The Sea

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on June 2, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

Scotland based Alestorm were bein’ formed back in 2004 originally as a simple power metal band, but th’ success o’ “Heavy Metal Pirates” made them adapt th’ pirate theme completely, and incorporatin’ some folk elements in their music – th’ music we today be knowin’ as pirate Metal, by Davy Jones’ locker.  At th’ time, they were active under Battleheart, but changed th’ name as they signed with Napalm Records, and in 2008 their debut album “Cap’n Morgans Revenge” were bein’ released. Now, several years and three additional albums later, they be back with “No Grave But the Sea”

th’ album starts off with an epic and adventurous, yet energetic and heavy openin’ track, which also happens t’ be th’ titletrack. It continues on in th’ exact same vein with th’ single “Mexico” until it falls into th’ more… Yo-ho-ho, pass the grog! I dern’t be knowin’ exactly what th’ word I’m lookin’ fer be, but melancholic kind o’ songs, ye scurvey dog. Lowkey songs which gives ye th’ feelin’ o’ sittin’ below deck chattin’ about tales told o’ pirates long gone. They be very detailed, in fact, just as we remember them from previous albums. Elliot be back screamin’ in “Alestorm”, which be great t’ hear, even though it saddens me a bit that th’ shanty seems like a watered down version o’ “Drink” from their previous album.

After bein’ “serious” fer a while, we get another one o’ those “give fucks all” kind o’ shanty in “Fucked with an Anchor”, and dinna spare the whip! I’ve come t’ grow very, very fond o’ this shanty, which surprises meself a lot, seein’ I dern’t have a lot o’er fer songs like this. After this, we get back t’ th’ tales o’ ancient pirates and th’ whole album be beautifully wrapped up with th’ almost eight minute long last shanty, “Treasure Island” which be an euphoric and adventurous shanty, bringin’ thoughts back t’ bands like Bloodbound, wrappin’ up all th’ quests we have already been through.

Musically, th’ album be very similar t’ previous works, but has gotten th’ extra spice as far as th’ arrangements goes, avast. It’s bigger, ’tis bolder and it feels like there’s been a lot o’ thought put into it, and dinna spare the whip! I’m in complete love with all th’ sudden violin breakdowns that happens throughout th’ album, avast. Overall, I think ’tis a good album. At times, it gets a bit… same barnacle-covered same barnacle-covered, I guess ye could say, but o’er all ’tis really good.

And swab the deck, and a bottle of rum! Filled with many crowdfriendly anthems, aggressive songs t’ mosh t’ and tales t’ barrel o’ rum t’, we’ll keel-haul ye! And not t’ mention: An entire album dedicated t’ dogs, avast. What a time t’ be alive.

Ahoy me hearties!

Favorite shanty: Fucked with an Anchor
Shanty makin’ me wanna walk the plank: Alestorm
Dance-friendliness:  5/10
Headbang-friendliness:  7/ 10
Crowd-friendliness: 9/10

// Sara

Art Nation – Liberation

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on May 15, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, Gothenburg based Art Nation is back with their second album, following up the smashing debut that was “Revolution”. I have personally been waiting for this album forever, or well, it feels like it for sure. But you know what they say – good comes to those who wait. So I had to wait, patiently. But finally – at the end of April – I even managed to do the rookiemistake of misjudging the date – it arrived. The precious little album.

The album opens up with the latest single and musicvideo “Ghost Town”, which follows the exact same vein as the previous album, but it’s the second track of the album – “Maniac” – that really catches my interest at first. The rhythm of the song, the energetic chorus… I’m just loving it. The rest of the album follows the same vein – it’s melodic, it has a lot of rhythm, big arrangement and catchy tunes, mixed with a beautiful balled and a couple of heavier, or perhaps more aggressive songs.

But – let me put it this way. This album is basically a rear window, or a blast from the past. While the material may be a step forward for the band themselves, this album is like a lovestory straight out of the 80’s. Lita Ford meets Danger Danger with a taste of Mötley Crüe. There were some songs, “What Do You Want” that I honestly thought is basically the child of “Kiss Me Deadly” and “Rock America” by the two first mentioned bands. A real, nice, blast from the past in the shape of new talents.

 

I think the album is pretty good. It took a while for me, I will admit, to really fall for the album, and I sadly think it’s a tad bit weaker than the previous one – in this sense because it has more songs I skip, but on the other hand, the songs I like, are really good and really strong, so I guess it makes up for it – which makes it a bit hard to rate. But I would still recommend it, highly.

Favorite song: Take Me Home
Least Favorite song: One Nation
Dance-friendliness:  7/11
Headbang-friendliness:  4/ 11
Crowd-friendliness: 7/11

// Sara

Adrenaline Rush – Soul Survivor

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on April 22, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

Stockholmbased Adrenaline Rush is back with their second album, following the highly acclaimed selftitled debutalbum. It was in 2012 when Erik Mårtensson (Eclipse) joined forces with Tåve to record what would become the debutalbum of the band – later on getting all the pieces together for a new, energetic rockband. After going through a line up change as well as involving more songwriters in the process, the second album is finally here.

The first thing we are getting thrown in the face is the energetic and surprisingly, heavier, song fittingly called “Adrenaline” – and the album follows in the same vein. It’s faster and rawer than the previous album, making quite an improvement, if you ask me. However – the biggest improvement lies in Tåves vocal capability. She seems to have made quite a journey since last, which offers a lot of new interesting dimensions to the album, really taking it to the next level together with the heavier musical style.

Listening to this album though, is like listening to a classic album from the 80’s, as far as the different song material goes. We got the more aggressive songs, the sweeter songs, the more party kind of songs – as if Danger Danger and and Mötley Crüe had a badass daughter. Lyricwise it is very similar to the previous though – the rebellious kind of songs about breaking free, finding yourself and perhaps a broken heart or two.

My own personal favorite on this album is the title track, “Soul Survivor” which is somewhat similar to “When We’re Gone” from the previous, a more low key song with a beautiful message. I’m absolutely addicted.

With that said, I must admit I enjoy this album a lot, it’s a big step forward for the band themselves, and I hope I get the chance to see them some time with the new line up and the new material.

Favorite song: Soul Survivor
Least Favorite song: Break The Silence
Dance-friendliness:  6/13
Headbang-friendliness:  7/ 13
Crowd-friendliness: 8/13

// Sara

Sumo Cyco – Opus Mar

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on April 19, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

It all started for me when I was feeling like I really, really did not want to attend said Butcher Babies show, where I figured I’d check out the supportband, just as a last resort. The first thing I said upon hearing “The Ugly” was “I hate this, but it intrigues me”. Which the same words I’ve used for bands as Lordi.

Here we are, one year later, and I’m completely sold of Sumo Cyco, and in March I finally recieved my pledged “Opus Mar” album. And oh how I’ve been waiting for this, all back from when “Anti-Anthem” was released as it’s first single last year.

Listening to “Opus Mar” is like being on a trainride going someplace. The first part of the album, much like a journey – starts off exciting with intense and powerful songs, to name a few the singles “Anti- Anthem” and “Move Mountains” – strong melodies with interesting rhythms and beats, giving you exactly that kind of Cyco feeling you, or at least I, am used to from the previous album.

Only this time around, it’s a bit more – more rawer, more intense, heavier and dirtier than before. The lyrics are still the same type of outcast-kind-of-anthems, yet a bit more aggressive even on that point. Sever has really made sure to put all of her vocal capacity to max – we hear her screaming, sing and even rap this time around – but what intrigues me the most are the small, very swift, appearances of the clean beauty of her voice. It appeared only briefly in songs like “Building Castles”, and it gives me an infinite amount of respect for her as a singer.

When continuing down the road, the album also tones down. It reaches the tranquilized stage of the journey, where you are settled in and perhaps even doze of, with songs that aren’t necessarily bad, but they are a bit anonymous. But, then, as we are reaching the final destination the excitement is being picked up again with one more flaming work in “The Broadcasters (Murdering by Radio)” which is a fresh breeze amongst the more bland songs, before going into the hysteric moment of anxiousness and stress that dismounting a vehicle can be – getting off, finding your luggage, before the calm of arrival comes upon you in the last collecting song “Building Castles”.

I’m actually impressed by this album. It’s such a big step forward from their previous album and not to mention, to see them grow this much as they have – both as songwriters, musicians and producers. I really recommend everybody to check it out if you can, be it you buy it from them or on Spotify, because this band is flaming.

Favorite song: Move Mountains
Least Favorite song: Words (I don’t dislike it, but I have to choose)
Dance-friendliness:  4/13
Headbang-friendliness:  6/ 13
Crowd-friendliness: 8/13

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// Sara

 

United in a Scream

Posted in CDs on April 11, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

Today has been a really, really good day. Like, honestly. Firstly, I got a propers night sleep which is absolutely awesome for once. Secondly, I signed the contract for my new apartment! Woo! It’s going to be pretty great – it’s a nice place, my dreamplace, in fact.

And to top it off even more, I got a job I applied for which will make things sooo much easier to deal with, everything is really just going my way today, huh?

And to make it even better – I finally, after a long time of searching, found an album I had been looking for for the longest of time. I was originally down at Knastret in order to kill some time before the meeting, and when I stumbled upon the album I even got so shocked to see it that I stared at it for a good while before realizing what it was.

“Straight Down The Line” with Return. I’ve had this on vinyl for the longest of time, and now finally I have it on CD. FINALLY. While browsing about the CD’s, I came across another one from Return’s catalouge, and I figured, they, why the hell not? And this is the story on how “Attitudes” also came about my recordcollection.

I guess it is pretty safe that say that, good comes to those who waits. Couldn’t be more true in this case. If you excuse me, I’m just gonna go and add in these precious new albums!

// Sara

Battle Beast – Bringer of Pain

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on March 10, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So! Finally I’m getting around to write about Battle Beast’s newest album, “Bringer of Pain” which was released quite some time ago by now, almost a month actually. Time really, really flies, doesn’t it? But as you guys know, I have been a bit occupied but now it’s time!

So, “Bringer of Pain” is the fourth album in line for Finnish band Battle Beast, and they are coming back stronger than ever, at least if you ask me. And not to mention, very versatile.

It starts off with a melodic, yet pretty heavy song in “Straight to the Heart”, very classic Battle Beast I’d say, and then launching into a pure heavy metal song in the titletrack. And this is exactly how the album moves about – it goes from being more melodic and synth based in songs as “King for a Day”, which is a bit like an anthem, “Familiar Hell” and “Bastard Son of Odin”, and then heavier songs such as “Lost in Wars”, “The Eclipse” and “God of War”. Of course, a ballad can be found in “Far From Heaven”.

The order the song has been put on the albums are great – I don’t know if it’s coincidence, or if it’s well planned, but they mixed it up perfectly with having pretty much every second song, making the album go up and down all through it.

Then we have the odd song out. “Dancing with the Beast”. Brings your thoughts back to “Unholy Saviours” “Touch in the Night”, but even more in the pop spectra than the aforementioned. It’s lacking any sort of metal element to it, which I find interesting. I love it. I love the dreamy kind of intro to it, and the beat all in all. The songwriting on this album is superb, and it’s fun to see the others contribute to the writing as well.

The album as a whole is very solid – I’m really liking the diversity. How you have songs literally from pure pop to heavy power metal stuff, keeping the album interesting all through the album in my opinion.It’s a bit hard for me to find the words to describe exactly how much I love this album, but let’s just say it makes me want do dance with the beast. I haven’t been able to stop listen to this album since it came out, well done Battle Beast!

Favorite song: Bastard Son of Odin
Least Favorite song: Rock Trash (I don’t dislike it, but I have to choose)
Dance-friendliness: 7 /13
Headbang-friendliness: 8 / 13
Crowd-friendliness: 9/13

// Sara

REVIEW: Bloodbound – War of Dragons

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 23, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

It’s been two years since swedish metalband Bloodbound released their last success “Stormborn”, and this album is said to be somewhat of a continuation of that album, just a bigger, bolder and better.

My first impression of this album is that it’s not really as simple as a continuation of the previous albums, it feels a bit like a concept album, about well, the war of Dragons. The instant feeling I get when listening through it, is like reading a fantasy book.

It starts off with a massive and epic intro of the first song, taking us out on the quest with determination and perhaps a little bit of fear – the fear of what is yet to come and to be expected. The music and the battles, if I may so say, continues on in this kind of manner – epic, big anthem like songs that shifts between being either a bit more calmer and melodic (“Tears of a Dragon Heart”, “Stand and Fight”), or as I call it – dance friendly, to get fast, aggressive and more headbangfriendly (“King of Swords”, “War of Dragons”).

Then of course, we have te odd one out – “Silver Wings”. It’s got more of a folk touch to it with the flute and the way it’s written, you know, as if you were sitting at the taverna on your road to glory pondering out your next step, that’s what the music is like. With an intro of a pouring lake it really PAINTS a picture before your eyes, and the fact that the whole melody line is nothing but playful, mysterious and enjoyable, making this one of the best tracks off the album.

The album closes with two songs where one if more aggressive – the final battle kind of song, and closes off with a song that brings the thoughts back to movies like “Mio min Mio” after they defeated Cato and all was well again in the world far, far away. It’s rarely I hear the kind of music that so strongly paints a picture before your eyes. I literally sat and envisioned everything. That speaks loudly about this album I’d say.

The only issue that I do have with this album is that I at many times got my thoughts drawn to other bands. “Battles in the Sky” has resemblances to “Lejonet från Norden” by Sabaton, “Fallen Heroes” which is one of my favorites of the album, but I cannot deny the resemblances to “Winged Hussars”, “Hearts of Iron” with a bit “I will Rule the Universe”. Probably, hopefully, just a coincidence, but it does weigh in a bit.

With all of that being said, this is probably one of Bloodbounds best album to date. Epic song after epic song, making me jump around the room as I was writing down my notes, and if a band manages to do that to me, then you damn well know it’s good. Extremely good.

Well done, Bloodbound!

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(Label: AFM Records)

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// Sara