Terhenetär – Metsänhenkien Tanssi (Folk Metal)

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The Finnish band Terhenetär were created in 2007 and is sadly relatively unknown. The band released their first EP Korven kosto in 2014 and with Metsänhenkien Tanssi they are out with their second EP release, meaning the band is yet to release a full-length 10 years after their creation. In the Kalevala (poetry on Finnish folklore and mythology), Terhenetär is the goddess of the mist. With that being said I get some vibes from Kalmah, Finntroll and the likes who also get some of their inspiration from Kalevala.

Terhenetär plays folk music that takes a little bit of their countrymen Moonsorrow and Finntroll but equally as much form the Danish bands Asmegin, Svartsot and Svartby. It has to be said I love this type of folk metal. It has the perfect mix of mysticism, use of several different kinds of instruments, both happy and scary tunes and it makes me want to grab some beer and jump around. The whole EP is really great but it’s when the Metsänhenkien tanssi chapter hits the EP really grabs me by the balls. The track that ends the EP Surumieli, Varjosielu is an almost 9 minute long epos that would make even Moonsorrow proud. This is some of the best folk music I’ve heard in years, I kid you not.

Folk metal lovers should not miss out on Terhenetär. They deliver folk metal in its purest raw form and it is amazing. I really hope they will get their name out and release a full-length eventually. Imagine a Finnish folk metal takeover with Korpiklaani, Finntroll, Moonsorrow and Terhenetär. That would be freaking sweet. One can dream but until then I will have Metsänhenkien Tanssi playing regularly at home.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/terhenetar
Label: Independent
For fans of: Moonsorrow and Asmegin
Favorite song: Surumieli, Varjosielu
Score: 4/5

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Valgrind – Seal of Phobos (Death Metal)

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Despite the name Valgrind being Swedish (it’s the main entrance to Valhalla) the band in itself is from Italy. If you’ve read my blog this year then you probably know by now that I really dig what Italy has produced this year, with some of the best releases having come from there. Valgrind is a band that’s been going for a long time, since 1993, but only produced demo’s until 2002 when their first EP came out then in 2012 they released their debut full-length album Morning Will Come No More. Seal of Phobos is a five track EP continuing Valgrind’s crusade and last years death metal goodness Speech of the Flame.

Seal of Phobos will leave no death metal lover standing still as it features a flurry of crushing riffs and is aggressive as hell. This will surely get your blood pumping. The bands newest member, guitarist Umberto Poncina, makes a fine debut and might be one of the reasons why this sounds like Valgrind’s heaviest release as of yet. The solos are on point and I only got one negative thing to say about this EP really, that it’s only an EP and not a full-length album! I love myself some classic death metal and when it’s done this well I can’t do anything else than to sit back, take a sip of my beer and headbang in joy. The two favorite tracks for me are the two last ones, Traitors Will Bleed and Ekphora’s Day, where Jonny Petterson (Wombbath, Ashcloud and Henry Kane) makes a great guest appearance.

Seal of Phobos is a solid pickup for anyone who wants some classic hard hitting death metal. It’s Valgrind’s most aggressive release yet and also their best, it’s looking really well for their upcoming full-length. Seal of Phobos is out now through Everlasting Spew Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/valgrindband
For fans of: Morbid Angel and Monstrosity
Favorite song: Traitors Will Bleed

Puteraeon – The Empires of Death (Death Metal)

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Ah here we are again, Swedish death metal goodness! I was actually recommended this album a couple weeks ago but due to my black metal spree it had to wait. Now is the time to hear when the empires of death go to war and sounds the war drums. Puteraeon were formed in 2008 and were quick to create three demo recordings in a year. It wasn’t until 2011 their debut album came out though, The Esoteric Order. Which quickly lead to the sophomore album Cult Cthulhu in 2012. Since then the band has released another full-length plus a split album with Revel in Flesh. The Empires of Death is actually the bands first EP featuring three tracks Providence, At the Altars and Epitaph.

Providence lays the putrid ground for the the Empires of Death to spew it’s filth of death. Whispers in the wind and horrifying tunes like taken from a grave turns into a massive onslaught of riffs with your classic death metal vocals. This is the same type of sound that’s made Grave famous and I am loving it. Following that track comes At the Altars. It’s punishing and relentless, doesn’t hold back at all and you’re getting offered some great solos and riffs on this song with tempo changes that hypes you up. To end The Empires of Death march towards destruction is Epitaph. It’s the shortest track on the album but it’s still filled with the same type of Swedish old school death metal goodness like the other two tracks, just more compact and full-throttle all the way through, making it my favorite track on the album.

Great EP, 12 minutes might be cutting it a bit too short even for an EP. I wouldn’t mind a song more but that’s only because I really liked this album and it’s a real tease that you go “it can’t end now!?”. That in itself is a good review and old school death metal fans around the world should check out Puteraeon’s latest offering to the metal community The Empires of Death. Out now digitally through Spinnup.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PUTERAEON
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/puteraeon
For fans of: Grave and Revel in Flesh
Favorite song: Epitaph

A Lie Nation – Begin Hate (Melodic Black Metal)

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Finnish black metal is from my experience usually very gritty and satanic. They don’t often touch the melodic side of black metal but today I have a promo from A Lie Nation, a Finnish band that does exactly that. Granted it’s a mix of different styles, or as A Lie Nation call it melodic extreme metal. However I choose to call it melodic black metal as that’s the closest genre I can put them into (don’t be a genre freak though, good metal is good metal no matter the genre). A Lie Nation was formed in Oulu 2009, then unnamed, took the name A Lie Nation in 2010 and released their debut EP Human Waves in 2015. Begin Hate is the bands sophomore EP and the band has really picked up the pace now.

The main reason I go for the black metal mentions is due to the vocals. Miikka Pyykkönen nails those black metal vocals and the aggressive, yet melodic sound surrounding him makes this a listen that make me draw parallels to the black and death masters Dissection and Naglfar. Along with other new Finnish black metal bands who somewhat differs from the old school Finnish sound like Paara and Kyy. From the beginning A Lie Nation captures me and the music evolves over time, the more you listen to Begin Hate the more you notice new things on the four tracks. They differ quite a bit in sound, Rot of the Spirit being a bit towards groovy trash and Shooting the Messenger captures the essence of melodic black metal as examples. My favorite track has to be A Burn Afar (Shooting the Messenger is a very very close second though). The slow acoustic intro with whispers leaves an eerie feeling until it blasts out into sheer black metal aggression, then change the tempo back again to beautiful acoustic harmony. The track is a perfect ending to a good album.

Begin Hate comes out April 5th via Inverse Records. I suggest you get it!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alienationofficial
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/alienationmetal
For fans of: Naglfar and Dissection
Favorite song: A Burn Afar

Blood of Angels – Rise of the Fallen Gods (Melodic Death Metal)

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The sunny city of Florida has spawned many big metal bands during the ages so it’s always fun to get a promo with a new band that comes from there. Blood of Angels features current and former members of Motograter, Foreshadow, Denied Til Death, and Leprosy with Rise of the Fallen Gods being the bands debut.

The four-piece combines the American death metal sound from Six Feet Under with the Viking-themed lyrics and melodic touches a la Amon Amarth. Add a bit of Dark Tranquility and Dying Fetus influences in the mix and you got yourself a viking ship set to raid the east coast fast and vicious. The EP is 11 minutes long and features three tracks, Miscreant Deeds of Loki, Odin’s Wrath and The Final War. I find the album growing on me with each track and as Chris Iibucha does a superb job sounding like Chris Barnes (Six Feet Under) I get almost overwhelmed with the flurry of riffs Aaron Robinson (guitar), Michael Stewart (bass) lashes out. As Odin’s Wrath comes on and Chris yells out I AM ODIN I really get into the headbanging groove this Sunday morning. Rise of the Fallen Gods ends with The Final War, which is also the best track on the EP. This is the most punishing track on the album, fast and brutal where Blood of Angels just clicks and pulls of a perfect song to showcase what they are made of.

Rise of the Fallen Gods is a great debut, it grew with each track and I see a lot of promise in Blood of Angels. Rise of the Fallen Gods is out 21st April through Hollywood Collective.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bloodofangels1
For fans of: Amon Amarth and Six Feet Under
Favorite song: The Final War

Antikythera – Antikythera (Melodic Death Metal)

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I get a lot of promos nowadays. Too many even so sometimes I just have to review an album very late after it’s release (sometimes I skip it all together). Don’t get me wrong, I love getting a lot of promos I just wished I had the time to listen to them all and give all bands the attention they deserve. This is one of those albums that was sadly left behind. Being released late in 2016 Antikythera’s self-titled EP was a release many of you (me included) probably missed due to all the “album of the year” lists starting to come out. The name is after an ancient analogue computer used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for calendrical and astrological purposes.

Antikythera is one of the better debut’s I’ve heard in the melodic death metal filed in a long time. It’s full of wonderful solos (3.30 minutes into the opening track as an example) and the vocals got a lot in common with the legend Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity). That alone puts this EP above the average. It sounds very modern and heavy influenced by the Finnish and Swedish melodeath scene. It’s not just Dark Tranquillity I draw parallels to, it’s also bands such as Insomnium, In Flames, Kalmah and Children of Bodom (especially getting those vibes on the Vagrant Hearts track). None of these are your average metal bands but top tier acts I am more than happy Antikythera draws influence from.

The five tracks you get are good and offers a bit of variation in style. Some more heavy on the synth for example, some got clean vocals and you also got tracks more focusing on the riffs and solos. It might not be perfect but it’s a solid record. Take into the fact that this is a independent digital bandcamp release and a debut then you can guess that these guys can probably pull off a wicked full-length album in the near future. Antikythera’s self-titled album is out now on bandcamp. If you love the more modern Nordic melodic death metal then this is an album you will enjoy.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/antikytheraband
For fans of: Dark Tranquillity and Children of Bodom
Favorite song: Lightkeeper

Hellfire – Goat Revenge (Black Metal)

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There’s been a lot of black metal from me lately but I just am in that mood right now so why stop now? My black metal journey this past week has taken me from Portugal (Viles Vitae), Finland (Author), Brazil (Carpatus) and now to Ukraine with the band Hellfire. Hellfire was formed in 2014 by former members of Paranomia and quickly became a band of four but eventually went down to three members, Necrobaphomet on bass, Skullcrusher on drums and Karagh on guitars and vocal duty. Since then the band has kept working as a trio and had several live performances in Ukraine with good response. Goat Revenge is the bands debut EP.

Hellfire got a cool sound going with a varied mix of influences. The bands agenda was to create 100% pure metal based on black metal, inspired by old-school thrash and death metal. A feat they’ve done well I’ve got to say. It features the aggression and song-writing from the first wave of black metal, speed and grove from trash, then adding the melodic riffs from death to create this unholy beast. The songs are fast and furious, with the eight tracked album going full speed ahead during it’s 24 minutes. In a way I think the album is over too fast, that’s however a plus from Hellfire in a way since it means the music was good and it is an EP after all.

I had a good time with Goat Revenge. It was a bit different than the black metal I usually listens to and flirts with many old school acts. Hellfire’s debut EP Goat Revenge is out now through Witches Brew.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hellfireua
For fans of: Bestial Mockery and Impiety
Favorite song: Unholy Cult