Killer Be Killed – Reluctant Hero

With a stellar line up featuring Max Cavalera, Greg Puciato, Troy Sanders and Ben Koller, Killer Be Killed presents to the world a renewed statement of purpose on the sophomore full length “Reluctant Hero”.

There is a visceral groovy momentum throughout “Deconstructing Self-Destruction” so the bold attitude of the heavier rhythmic patterns can feel quite dominant and certainly highlights the winning vocal trade-off between Max and Greg. 

“Dream Gone Bad” relies on energetic rhythmic dynamics offering fierce riffage and monumental drumming but definitely holds a somber melodic soul that can lead to majestic melodic guitar licks and a catchy chorus. 

On “Inner Calm and Outer Storms” drums & bass build a solemn rhythmic tension through a darkened introspective atmosphere while the harsh vocals perfectly match the heavier dynamics following a faster aggressive tempo.  

“From A Crowded Wound” combines hardcore influenced dynamics fueled by an overload of gritty guitar riffs and sorrowful tonalities especially emphasized by the soothing vocal delivery and the cold understated atmospheric textures.   

“The Great Purge” effortlessly shifts from furious guitar driven grooves to compelling darkened melodic moments featuring elegant leads surrounded by moody atmospheric arrangements that put the spotlight on the diverse vocals. 

There is a fascinating dramatic depth on the title track as the mellow guitar harmonies and the atmospheric gloom become the main focus while the precise rhythmic section will create intense crescendos. 

The strength of “Reluctant Hero” certainly comes from the chemistry and the extensive musical experience of the collective behind Killer Be Killed creating a balanced blend of soulful melodies and robust grooves.  

Hjelvik – Welcome To Hel

Formed by Kvelertak frontman, lyricist and co-founder Erlend Hjelvik, Hjelvik makes a triumphant debut with the full length “Welcome To Hel” which is clearly inspired by Norse mythology and history.

On “Father War” you can appreciate the traditional heavy metal vibes within the explosive licks and majestic shredding of the guitar work while the audacious screams and the faster rhythmic patterns can certainly channel a blackened essence. 

For “The Power Ballad Of Freyr” the band chooses a less aggressive approach that puts the spotlight on the memorable guitar leads, the polished tonalities and the groovy chorus well supported by a robust rhythmic section. 

Throughout ”Glory Of Hel” the bold guitar riffs and the solemn vocals evoke the Viking metal grandeur that characterizes the whole album while the elaborate solos definitely add variety with a wild shredding rampage. 

The rhythmic core slows down slightly on “12th Spell” to highlight the darkened melodic textures of the guitar leads yet there is still space for a solid groovy momentum fueled by the raw energy of the riffage and the hellish growls. 

The strength of “Kveldulv” relies on the wintry melodic soul of the guitar work which continues to stand out for the skillful soloing and charismatic leads flourishing through the groovy rhythmic dynamics. 

The mood becomes increasingly darker and colder on “Necromance” as guitars acquire palpable arcane tonalities through the galloping rhythmic patterns while the extensive majestic solo provides a generous dosage of flamboyant shredding. 

The Viking spirit dominates the monumental grooves of “Welcome To Hel” and with this brand new solo project Hjelvik proudly shares his creative vision channeling the glorious force of classic heavy metal. 

Soilwork – A Whisp Of The Atlantic

Swedish melodic death metal icons Soilwork embark on an epic voyage with the ambitious EP “A Whisp Of The Atlantic”.

The title track is a deeply complex opus that represents the soul of the EP combining diverse styles & tonalities to embody an epic tale. In the beginning smooth piano melodies and refined atmospheric arrangements highlight an introspective mood but soon crunchy guitar riffs will take over creating a stormy rhythmic rampage accompanied by fancy sharp solos and spiteful growls while the finale conveys a sense of peacefulness with glowing jazzy saxophone harmonies. 

On “Feverish” the elaborate atmospheric keyboards channel electro ‘80s vibes that introduce a towering rhythmic section delivering faster powerful dynamics and often following a harsh death metal pathway while the clean vocals in the chorus sound absolutely catchy. 

“Desperado” has a straightforward melodic death metal approach that emphasizes the band’s signature style with an overload of frantic rhythmic patterns fueled by galloping guitar riffs and surrounded by elegant atmospheric layers. 

On “Death Diviner” you will find a balanced mix of fierce grooves and melodic hooks as guitars acquire luminous tonalities to craft polished phrases which will ultimately evolve into a flamboyant soloing. 

It’s hard to categorize “A Whisp Of The Atlantic” as just an EP because Soilwork constantly  showcase a majestic creative force that naturally leads to a fascinating musical and philosophical journey. 

Macabre – Carnival Of Killers

The triumphant return of Macabre arrives with the release of “Carnival Of Killers” just in time for their 35th anniversary announcing that a creepy carnival in the company of serial killers is coming to town.  

It’s not surprising to see that “Your Window Is Open” has a quite gruesome mood as the death metal dynamics ensure brutal rhythmic patterns with tight riffage and fast drumming enriched by excellent guitar leads. 

“Joe Ball Was His Name” sounds certainly entertaining with the baritone vocal delivery and the carnivalesque rhythm while guitars still have a chance to deliver strong riffs and fancy leads.  

”Stinky” has a palpable nightmarish mood with a robust rhythmic section that generates chaotic and aggressive segments that will eventually become more playful and catchy. 

“Richard Speck Grew Big Breasts” is definitely a hilarious title nevertheless the rhythmic blasts sound quite serious channeling a strong primal energy in extreme metal fashion. 

Everything feels dark and spooky on “Slaughter House” with the ominous vocals and the sharp riffage marching fiercely and successfully maintaining a belligerent old school death metal approach. 

The monumental drumming on “The Lake Of Fire” dictates an overload of merciless grooves spiced up by the charismatic guitar solo and the vocals become tormented screams to highlight the horror motifs. 

“The Wheels On The Bug” might sound like a lovely nursery rhyme but the band is ready to unleash a savage rhythmic assault enhanced by the powerful death-gore growls. 

The psychotic sonic realm of “Corpse Violator” hits you in the face with loads of fiery guitar riffs, a generous dosage of wild shredding and crunchy rhythmic patterns. 

“The Murder Mack” closes down this insane carnival with maniacal screams and a series of hostile guitar riffs following a viciously fast tempo but there is still space for some memorable guitar solos. 

On “Carnival Of Killers” each track tells a murderous tale and Macabre’s songwriting style further amplifies the vivid horror vibes with a morbid sense of humor and massive bloodthirsty grooves.    

Cadaver – Edder & Bile

Featuring renowned musicians Anders Odden and Dirk Verbeuren, Cadaver celebrate their triumphant comeback manifesting a brand new venomous sonic vision on the full length “Edder & Bile”. 

“Morgue Ritual” could not sound more aggressive as the rhythmic section concocts a series of fast & brutal grooves with a familiar death metal approach and the crazy shredding galore of the guitar solo can leave you breathless. 

Featuring Jeff Becerra of Possessed, “Circle Of Morbidity” relies on relentless riffage and malignant growls marching fiercely through the towering ruthless rhythmic patterns enriched by the mournful tonalities of the lead guitar work. 

“Feed The Pigs” features the guttural  growls of Kam Lee of Massacre and you simply cannot escape the belligerent rhythmic rampage fueled by the thunderous drum blasts and the visceral guitar riffs. 

The sonic assault of “Final Fight” creates an asphyxiating rhythmic ensemble that constantly expresses angered feelings easily amplified by the hellish growls and the savage guitar work. 

The title track continues to follow a no frills death metal pathway as the precise drumming demands breakneck speed and pure rage yet guitars will have a chance to deliver some somber rhythmic twists.  

“Let Me Burn” is still filled with raw energy yet the slightly slower ominous tempo allows guitars to craft a fair dosage of intriguing darkened phrases which will reach the acme with some inflamed shredding. 

The sonic realm of “Edder & Bile” sounds quite chaotic and hostile as Cadaver confidently deliver unrestrained guitar driven grooves channeling the devastating force of old school death metal.  

Pallbearer – Forgotten Days

Doom metal quartet Pallbearer returns with the fourth full length “Forgotten Days” which promises to deliver a massive dosage of crushing dynamics without sacrificing the expression of genuine emotions.  

The title track delivers the expected dodge of monumental doom riffs and robust drumming which effortlessly create a majestic rhythmic core while the captivating guitar solo adds an elegant and quite somber melodic touch. 

The classic doom roots are still evident on “Riverbed” within the rhythmic maze that highlights the weight of the guitar riffs yet a poignant melodic essence is destined to flourish through the darkly soothing harmonies, the refined leads and the sorrowful vocals. 

Throughout the lengthy track “Silver Wings” the band shifts between the darkened force of the heavy riffage and the cathartic nature of the melodic guitar work which also emphasizes the bittersweet vocal delivery and the consequent profound sense of nostalgia at times will lead to slower downcast progressions and ethereal atmospheric textures. 

Even if the mournful doom flair feels dominant throughout “The Quicksand Of Existing” with an overdose of solemn & sophisticated progressions, guitars still have a chance to deliver faster groovy rhythmic blasts. 

In the beginning “Caledonia” maintains a harrowing heavy approach courtesy of a towering rhythmic section but guitars will eventually embrace an emotionally charged melodic ensemble leading to gentle acoustic moments. 

Listening carefully to “Forgotten Days” you will perceive a strong introspective nature that inevitably influences the traditional doom metal pathway as Pallbearer deliberately amplify the emotional aspects often focusing on a fascinating crestfallen melodic flair. 

My Dying Bride – Macabre Cabaret

Earlier this year doom metal legends My Dying Bride made a triumphant comeback with the acclaimed full length “The Ghost Of Orion” and now they are ready to please their faithful acolytes with the darkly alluring new EP “Macabre Cabaret”. 

The title track is a memorable work of art surrounded by the enticing darkness of the organ arrangements and the sombre atmospheric layers while the guitar melodies hold an irresistible gothic flair carefully mixed with the obscure weight of the doom rhythmic progressions and Aaron Stainthorpe’s dramatic vocal delivery evokes contrasting emotions through the bleak soundscapes.     

With an ambient/experimental composition “A Purse Of Gold And Stars” puts aside the heavy doom style to focus on the decadent beauty of the ethereal atmospheric tapestries and the elegant piano melodies that emphasize the emotional struggle expressed by the forlorn vocals. 

“A Secret Kiss” is a significantly heavier track that highlights the doom grandeur with dreadful growls and a series of grave rhythmic patterns constantly fueled by the darkened force of the guitar riffs and the monolithic drumming. 

In a realm of shadows and dark love, My Dying Bride successfully create a lavish melancholia infused opus and even if “Macabre Cabaret” is a short EP it still maintains the band’s signature style with undiluted passion. 

Insidious Disease – After Death

Featuring current and previous members of Dimmu Borgir, Morgoth, Nile, Napalm Death, and Susperia, Norwegian death metal collective Insidious Disease unleashes the first album in a decade “After Death” which celebrates a rebirth with an overdose of ravenous grooves. 

The obscure journey begins with the distant darkened tonalities of “Soul Excavation” that lead to a generous dosage of tight riffs supported by frantic drum blasts and vicious growls while the guitar solo delivers tormented melodic phrases. 

On “Divine Fire” the recurring melodic guitar work feels like a hymn to darkness and introduces a proper death metal sonic assault where the precise rhythmic section always has a chance to create relentless grooves.  

Throughout “Unguided Immortality” you will find a balanced mix of anguished melodic guitar licks and faster unrestrained rhythmic dynamics that certainly channel the glorious days of classic death metal.  

The angered mood of “Enforcers Of The Plague” is constantly fueled by the ruthless rhythmic section that ensures an aggressive death metal momentum perfectly matched by the hellish growls while the lead guitar work can add a mournful melodic flair. 

On “An End Date For The World” the robust riffage and the monumental drumming generate asphyxiating rhythmic patterns while the darkly melodic leads flourish within a dystopian atmosphere.  

The arcane sonic realm of “Nefarious Atonement” is filled with malignant guitar riffs and belligerent growls that seem to embody a tortured soul yet the harsh rhythmic segments will give way to a series of grave guitar melodies. 

Darkness descends throughout “After Death” as Insidious Disease confidently embrace a modern death metal approach that demands venomous guitar driven grooves and sinister vibes.


Enslaved – Utgard

Norwegian black-prog metal pioneers Enslaved have reached another crucial milestone with the release of the ambitious 15th album “Utgard” which in Norse mythology is a landscape where the giants dwell but here represents something more complex or even a realm beyond your own consciousness. 

The solemn chants on “Fires In The Dark” easily convey a gelid atmosphere that matches the band’s Viking spirit and even if the acoustic phrases can add a melancholic shroud while some rhythmic patterns showcase follow an eclectic prog pathway the vicious growls and the inflamed guitar riffs still belong to a primal sonic realm.  

The faster rhythmic rampage throughout “Jettegryta” can certainly channel an arcane black metal essence further amplified by the intensity of the hellish growls yet there are some intriguing prog twists and dazzling keyboards arrangements which add diversity.  

“Sequence” relies on a series of robust guitar driven grooves skillfully entwined with intricate keyboards layers that can create a fascinating contrast between the darkened vibes of the riffage and the luminous atmospheric nuances naturally emphasizing the song’s introspective nature. 

While the raw energy of the fierce guitar riffs and the shattering blackened dynamics hold a significant role, “Flight Of Thought And Memory” offers glowing melodic crescendos and cathartic feelings clearly expressed by the soothing clean vocals and the hazy atmospheric arrangements. 

“Storms Of Utgard” gravitates towards a balanced mixture of complex prog oriented patterns that reach the acme with a particularly alluring guitar solo and savage darkened rhythmic segments amplified by the furious growls successfully evoking an emotional turmoil. 

The journey into and through “Utgard” can be challenging and at the same time enchanting as Enslaved courageously continue to follow a convoluted avant-garde sonic evolution which might often diverge from the style of their early discography but is definitely bound to pleasantly surprise the listeners.  

Amaranthe – Manifest

During the last decade Amaranthe have developed an explosive modern metal style that today aims to reach new heights with the inflamed energy of the latest full length “Manifest”.  

“Fearless” ensures the expected bombastic beginning of the album combining futuristic accents and heavy riffage to create robust rhythmic blasts while the chorus certainly sounds radio friendly with a polished melodic flair. 

“Make It Better” can feel quite aggressive as the powerful guitar riffs lead the way to a shiny electro infused sonic realm where all the vocalists have a chance to shine and build together a super catchy chorus. 

As the title suggests “Adrenaline” relies on energetic rhythmic patterns featuring monumental drumming and fancy guitar soloing but at the core you will find plenty of accessible pop elements emphasized by the dazzling keyboards. 

Featuring guest vocalist Noora Louhimo of Battle Beast “Strong” focuses on the fascinating vocal duet which can definitely express a sense of empowerment accompanied by shimmering synths arrangements and memorable rhythmic dynamics.  

On “The Game” the multilayered synths have a fundamental role generating a futuristic mood around the glowing vocal harmonies that amplify the inner melodic essence in contrast with the fiery riffage and the vicious growls. 

There is a darkened atmosphere lingering through “Archangel” which tends to focus on a heavier rhythm embellished by an overload of moody electronic accents while the big chorus manages to maintain catchy melodic vibes. 

“Die And Wake Up” is full of playful rhythmic dynamics unfolding around the excellent vocal interplay and obviously while the chorus continues to put the spotlight on Elize Ryd’s alluring voice the guitar driven heavier momentum is enhanced by Henrik Englund Wilhelmsson’s spiteful growls.  

Undoubtedly the strength of “Manifest” comes from the creative force of guitarist Olof Mörck and the charming blend of three different voices, in fact this release demonstrates that Amaranthe are steadily following a rather successful musical pathway.