Coldborn – Lingering Voidwards (Black Metal)


Coldborn is the brainchild and soloproject of Norgaath. Norgaath is a very active and creative user of the black arts in music as he is also active in Nightbringer, Grimfaug and Onirik. Being from Belgium and really active within the scene it is no surprise it has attracted a very known musician to join him on this debut album. Joining him on drums is no one other than Belgiums black metal pride Enthroned’s Menthor on drums.

Starting off the five tracks of Lingering Voidwards is the almost 13 minutes long The Call of Death’s Clarion. The feeling you instantly get is being alone in the dark cold winter, fitting for the bands name. Soundwise this is very old school early 90’s black metal worship. My mind wander towards legends like Emperor, Immortal and Darkthrone as I listen to this album. Which is of course a good grade just that.

All in all Lingering Voidwards is a good black metal album for anyone wanting to experience the old school sound. And with this album I also wish every metalhead a Happy New Year!

For fans of: Emperor and Darkthrone
Favorite song: In Solitude

Usurpress – The Regal Tribe (Death Metal)


Usurpress, a band that’s been climbing the swedish death metal ladder these past six years with every single release. Started their career with doing a split with Bombs of Hades, they have come quite far since then. Releasing two well received full-length prior to The Regal Tribe there seems to be no stopping Usurpress from climbing even further.

The Regal Tribe keeps up their flow of well made classic death metal. The song-writing is great, riffs awesome and vocals growls deep and hard. What makes Usurpress stick out a bit from the regular swedish death metal bands is their instrumental tracks that works as a sort of intermission between the settings of songs. I really dig it but it may sound out of place to some.

Usurpress has made yet another good album. While it’s not among the best death metal releases of the year they do keep a very high quality and you can not go wrong with picking any of their albums up. Meaning fans of classic death metal this is an album for you!

For fans of: Bombs of Hades and Revel in Flesh
Favorite song: The Sin That Is Mine

Unlight – Antihelion (Black Metal)


Antihelion is the bands 7th satanic black opus. As you can tell by the number of albums they’ve released Unlight are no new blood to the black metal scene. In fact they are one of the long running ones from Germany, being formed in 1997. Worth mentioning is that one of their favorite bands are Bathory according to their info page. Who wouldn’t get their hopes up then right? As a matter of fact this is my first time listening to the band but after Antihelion I am looking forward to dig into their discography.

Unlight takes influences from all kinds of genres actually, not solely black metal, as there are also death and trash parts in there at times. The riffs in The Bone Trumpet for example does not really scream black metal but it got some serious punch to it nevertheless. All in all I liked this album, it’s fast and heavy, melodic, blastering drums, killer riffs and great vocals. What is there not to like then?

For fans of: Urgehal and Enthroned
Favorite song: Apollyon Nadir

Forndom – Dauðra Dura (Atmospheric Metal)


Art. That’s the only word I need to describe Forndom. This is not simply music, this is art. This is expressing emotions and a way of life through sound as well as the artwork and live performances. Let me copy a line taken from the record label Nordvis, one of my favorite labels, “We aim to work with musicians who build their musical creations around old native traditions, folklore & the great outback”. Forndom does exactly that. You might have heard of Wardruna before but you should definitely learn to remember Forndom.

I can’t help but to get taken away by this kind of music. It is so atmospheric and brings harmony to my very soul. I saw Wardruna live a few weeks ago and it was honestly one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my live. There is something special with the old ways and instruments that sweeps you away to a world long lost to many. The man behind the Forndom project is L. Swärd. Inspired by Scandinavian folklore he has brought forward a masterpiece that will surely calm your spirit and take you into the wild.

Longing for something in the same musical realm as Wardruna? Then Formdom’s Dauðra Dura will a must have.

For fans of: Wardruna and Ulver
Favorite song: Svitjod

Krypts – Remnants of Expansion (Death/Doom Metal)


I have a few bonus reviews before the year ends due to some friends told me to check these albums out. I am glad they did!

The veterans from Finland Krypts sophomore full-length album (weird to say from a band that’s existed for eight years) album Remnants of Expansion is all about gloom and darkness. Very fitting their Lovecraft horror theme. Kypts have always played a slower tempo of death metal, sometimes on the verge of being doom or sludge, and they keep that horrifying sound going on Remnants of Expansion.

It’s darkness and doom come alive through music. This isn’t the first Lovercraft inspired band I review this year actually (check out Grond) but I have to say Krypts is the band that truly makes his work justice in the music format that I’ve witnessed so far. From start to finish Remnants of Expansion gives me an feeling of unease which was exactly what I was hoping for in an album with a horror theme.

Finland seems to be masters when it comes the doom and gloom sound. Having Krypts among the Finnish legion of doom only strengthens this view and if you haven’t come across Krypts before now is definitely the time.

For fans of: Disma and Incantation
Favorite song: The Withering Titan

The Metal Gamer Top 20 Albums of 2016


Just in time for Christmas I’ve made my choice of 2016’s best albums. The only rule I have to be in this list is that the album has to have been reviewed this year by me. Meaning, even if I love the album, no Jomsviking by Amon Amarth, Magma by Gojira or no King by Fleshgod Apocalypse for example. Reason I started this blog was initially because I wanted to use my English more and I have friends asking me for new bands quite often, hence I stick to the lesser known bands out there and will continue to do so. They are by no means any worse though, as a matter of fact all these bands should be known by every metalhead out there! Anyways without further ado here you have my top 20 albums for 2016 (in no order).

Krepitus – The Eyes of the Soulless
Wastewalker – Funeral Winds
Nordjevel – Nordjevel
Gatecreeper – Sonoran Depravation
Fimbultyr – Niddikter
I Shall Devour – The Misanthropist
Wayfarer – Old Souls
Netherbird – The Grander Voyage
Saor – Guardians
Uada – Devoid of Light
Ereb Altor – Blot – Ilt – Taut
Volturyon – Cleansed by Carnage
Centinex – Doomsday Rituals
Shokran – Exodus
Dawn of Demise – The Suffering
Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony
Illdisposed – Grey Sky over Black Town
October Tide – Winged Waltz
Be’lakor – Vessels
Whispered – Songs of the Void

Last of all I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you next year and stay metal!

Gutter Instinct – Age of the Fanatics (Death/Black Metal)


Becoming a local favorite of mine Gutter Instinct (I will see them live in February together with legendary Deranged and Armory which will hopefully be insane) has a take on death metal that’s more black than the regular swedish death metal sound. While it still draw a lot of influences from the likes of Grave, Entombed and Dismember their main influences are bands such as Bölzer, Teitanblood and Portal. Which you will hear straight away from the utmost chaos that’s going on mixing death and black. See it as a Portal to the Grave, excuse the pun.

Gutter Instinct’s debut is a great one and they are a band to watch out for. Their death metal chaos takes influences from many different bands to create something I haven’t really heard from swedish soil before and it’s a joy to listen to. The intro to Death Cult for example has the typical black metal sound to it while Age of the Fanatics draw more towards death metal and it’s exactly this mix that makes Gutter Instinct stand out and why Age of the Fanatics is on rewind again and again. I find not too many swedish bands daring to create their own death metal sound so that alone adds points in Gutter Instincts favour.

Only negative thing I got to say about the album is that the consistency could be better. While it is a good album and I enjoy listening to it, it has some highs and lows in my opinion. Still though it is a debut album and when they peak they peak towards the very top and it’s just a couple of songs I find out of place. Gutter Instinct has released some very memorable songs to headbang to and this band will be on my radar for years to come to see what they come up with next!

This will be my last review for 2016 and also a nice way to start off what I will do in 2017. Because 2017 I am making a change. I will only review bands from Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden to keep it more local. My best of 2016 list will be coming out shortly after Christmas. Merry Christmas metalheads!

For fans of: Grave and Portal
Favorite song: Death Cult