El Camino – Cursed Congregation (Black/Trash Metal)

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El Camino is an interesting act from Sweden. Their music draws a lot of influences from the great Dissection but they have their own unique touch to it with adding trash, doom elements and some H.P. Lovecraft into the mix. What comes out is nothing short but freaking awesome. I haven’t listened to El Camino before, actually I hadn’t heard about them until they were announced for this years Mörkaste Småland so all of this comes as a surprise to me. Formed in 2003 from the ashes of death metal act Vermin the band do have some Swedish veterans within their ranks and have already released a couple of full-length albums (along with EP’s and splits).

What I really enjoy with El Camino and Cursed Congregation is how it flirts with the old school sound of different genres and just feels really authentic all around. I can see this being a band that sounds just as good live as on cd. The riffs and old school atmosphere is sweet and grabs you hook line and sinker. IOMH, Cursed Congregation, Vengeance and the Häxkraft songs are really freaking great! Some songs doesn’t quite catch my attention though (Stars and Silence for example) which lowers the score a bit from this otherwise awesome first experience with the band.

Want to try something new with an old school feeling to it then El Camino’s third album Cursed Congregation is for you! Cursed Congregation is out now through Night Tripper Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/elCaminocvlt
Label: Night Tripper Records
For fans of: Dissection and Vampire
Favorite song: Cursed Congregation
Score: 3.5/5

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Ofermod – Sol Nox (Black Metal)

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Ofermod, a name every black metal fan should know. This legendary act from Sweden have since their formation in 1996 offered the world two of the best black metal releases ever in Tiamtü and Thaumiel. It’s been five years since then and only Belfagor remains in the band. Sadly he has had quite the shaky past (which I won’t get into) but has since then focused his life on religion and music. Ofermod are to many a true act of black metal and genuine darkness with it’s music and ritualistic approach. It doesn’t just feel real it is real.

I am happy to tell you that Belfagor hasn’t lost his touch and he is back to spread the darkness once more. Already on the opening track The Alpha of the Antichrist you will hear the drums and guitar play haunting you with it’s riffs. The vocals are just as gnarly and perfect for this music as I remember it. This is evil shit right here I tell you. Funeral Mist, Watain and Ondskapt are bands I think are close but I do not really think any band out there, that I know of, delivers genuine darkness as Ofermod does. Just listening to music based on Sitra Achra (look it up) is heavy and surrounded by chaos.

True black metal is back, a cosmic journey into chaos not many band can offer but Ofermod. It’s hard to beat Tiamtü and Thaumiel but Sol Nox is a good try at it. It’s definitely one of the best black metal releases of the year, even though it might not be as good as Ofermod’s past work. They can be seen as different beasts entirely though and Sol Nox is an album any Ofermod fan will be pleased with.

Sol Nox is out now through Shadow Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OfermodOfficial
Label: Shadow Records
For fans of: Funeral Mist and Ondskapt
Favorite song: To Dare the Tower

King of Asgard – :taudr: (Viking/Death Metal)

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This is one of those albums I’ve had to wait with before reviewing. Why you ask? Because I had to cool down before giving :taudr: my first listen. King of Asgard is a band I really like and hold in a high regard when it comes to viking metal (together with Thyrfing, Månegarm and Amon Amarth for example). That being said I’ve listened to this album several times and I still find this a good experience each freaking time. Before you even listen to this album you should grab yourself both some meed and beer, maybe even some snacks for the sake of it and get ready for a great time of raiding.

For those of you who doesn’t know about King of Asgard they are a creation of one of the members from Mithotyn Karl Beckmann. Keeping the viking spirit alive they have since then been making albums of high quality and their fourth conquest :tuadr: is of course no different. The memory of Mithotyn lives on in many ways with their releases as the songwriting and folk inspired melodies hits me with the same force as they once did. Having listened to a few tracks on :taudr: I know already that this is another great album to add to their already top notch discography. As a viking lover and a metal lover you just can’t get enough of King of Asgard that’s one thing that’s certain. Out of the five tracks on :taudr: there isn’t a single one I doesn’t like, however there are two tracks I find taking my breath away. Those two are Taudr and Upon Raging Waves, whereas the last one is a homage to everything Mithotyn has ever done. Basically if you want a viking experience this is the album, and the band to go for. Are you a fan of Mithotyn? This is the closest you can get! Love King of Asgard’s old albums? This is just as good if not better (have to say that …to North is hard to beat). Either way every fan of viking music will love this album! The atmosphere and music screams viking music!

King of Asgard’s fourth full-length album :taudr: is out now through Trollmusic.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kingofasgard
Label: Trollmusic
For fans of: Mithotyn and Thyrfing
Favorite song: Upon Raging Waves

Mordbrand – Wilt (Death Metal)

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Mordbrand means arson and is not only a horrible act but also one of Swedens best death metal acts that’s spawned this last decade. Having listened to their compilation album Hymns of the Rotten several times this past year I knew Wilt was something to look forward to. Why you ask? Because in this trio you got Per Boder, the vocalist who has been on the frontline to create the Swedish death metal sound with God Macabre. Joining him we got Björn Larsson (who plays for God Macabre since the resurrection in 2013) and Johan Rudberg. This trio has made some of the best death metal music these past years (their debut Imago came out in 2014) and it’s a band that I personally feel will should be up there among the greats soon if they keep this up. My only question to this release is if they can? Is Wilt as good as Imago or Hymns of the Rotten?

Short answer is yes, yes it is. I am not sure how Mordbrand does it, have they made an pact with Satan? Have they found the pick of destiny? Becuase wow I keep getting stunned by this band. Every single song is a hit to me. Every single song. It’s pure death metal which is perfectly produced and every single riff is a headbanger. The songwriting is great and heck even the album cover is freaking art. This year has been too kind to me. As a lover of death metal I’ve not only got to listen to releases from the more known acts such as Immolation, Firespawn, Evocation and Entrails but also found new bands like HerezA and now got something confirmed. Confirming that Mordbrand are here to stay, they are one of Swedens best death metal bands full stop. If you think otherwise listen to Wilt, or any other album in their already great discography.

I am basically too much in awe of this band right now that I shouldn’t even write in all honesty. I usually take an album for a few spins, cool down and then try to make a fair judgement (read my Svart Crown review for example) but this is so good I starting writing this review before I’d even give Wilt it’s first run. I mean fuck, already three tracks in I was asking myself if Bleed Into Nought, Delivering the Gods or Worship Predation was going to be choosen as my favorite track. Fact is they are all good in their own right and I could pick a song at random and still be happy with my choice.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Mordbrand is one of Swedens best death metal bands. It’s a beast that’s been unleashed and ready to ravage the world with death. I suggest you get Wilt now through Carnal Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officialmordbrand
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MordbrandBand
Label: Carnal Records
For fans of: Evocation and Grave
Favorite song: At the Larvae Column

Sarcasm – Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds (Death Metal)

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For those unfamiliar (I have to confess I was) with Sarcasm their career goes all the way back to 1990 but after six demos the band disbanded in 1994. A few years ago, 2015 to be precise, the band re-merged from the shadows though with most of the members all having a past in Sarcasm from the 90’s. Sadly the sudden death of Oscar Karlsson (Defleshed, Gates of Ishtar) struck the band but they never wanted to give up, they wanted to keep on going and honour his memory. Matte Modin (Firespawn, Usurpress, ex-Dark Funeral, ex-Defleashed) took over the drums as Sarcasm were getting ready to work on Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds. However both Fredrik Wallenberg and Henrik Forslund left the band and Sarcasm had to assemble a new line-up once again. Eventually they did and Sarcasm now consist of Anders Eriksson, Jonas Söder, Matte Modin, Peter Laitinen and Heval Bozarslan.

This stormy past has probably influenced the band a lot in creating music. Raging speed and hard as a rock death metal, that’s the first thing that comes to my mind when listening to Sarcasm’s opener Bloodsoaked Sunrise from their latest album Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds. Sarcasm delivers a great mix of melodic death, your classic Swedish old school death and even some black metal elements in there. It’s like At the Gates, Dissection and Necrophobic joined forces. Some of the best from the Swedish metal scene that is. There is a track here for fans of any these bands as the songs do differ a bit in sound and that’s also what makes this a great album. There is variety and a sweet old school feeling to Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds that a metalhead who loves this sound will find right at home with.

If you haven’t heard Sarcasm before now is the time! Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds is an ode to the Swedish metal scene of old and even with all the hardship Sarcasm has suffered they’re back in form. If you only want a sample then I suggest listening to Scars of a Land Forgotten or the epic A Black Veil for Earth. Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds is out now through Dark Descent Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sarcasmsweden
Label: Dark Descent Records
For fans of: Necrophobic and At the Gates
Favorite song: A Black Veil for Earth

Entrails – World Inferno (Death Metal)

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Ah Entrails, a band I always know what to expect from. Solid old school death metal with crushing riffs. For those of you that don’t know the band has a quite interesting history. Entrails was formed in 1990 but never actually released anything as they were never satisfied with their demo recordings so the band eventually died out. However in 2008 the guitarist Jimmy Lundqvist resurrected the band and in 2010 (20 years after their original formation) Entrails debut album Tales from the Morgue was finally released. Since then the band has been very active and released some killer albums with World Inferno being the bands fifth full-length album.

So how does World Inferno stack against their solid discography of death metal madness? It has to be said Entrails definitely knows how to create death metal by now. Just like their past albums this is a most have for fans of old school death metal. It’s a hard hitting and soul ravaging tank coming at you. Entrails have always had a nack to get those catchy tunes going which you will find yourself singing along to the course already on the opening track World Inferno.

It’s hard to say if this album is better or worse than the rest because, just like with their older albums, this is simply solid. They deliver what you expect of them, nothing more nothing less and they don’t have to with the band being a go to for many death metal fans. World Inferno is an album you will need to grab if you want some riff friendly music that is sure to make you bang your heads. If you’ve liked their past albums you will have a good time with World Inferno as well that’s for sure. Favorite tracks on World Inferno are Condemned to the Grave, Serial Murder (Death Squad), Insane Slaughter and Suffer.

World Inferno is out now through Metal Blade Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Entrails666
Label: Metal Blade Records
For fans of: Entombed and Grave
Favorite song: Serial Murder (Death Squad)

In Reverence – The Selected Breed (Atmospheric Death Metal/Deathcore)

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In Reverence is something as weird as a Swedish deathcore outfit, or at least that’s how it started out. Since the demo “Necrosis” in 2011 the band has not only changed members but also their sound to a much more death metal oriented style, or as they call it atmospheric death metal. The two founding members still remains, Oscar Krumlinde on drums who some of you might know from the upcoming Swedish black metal act Avslut, and Filip Danielsson on vocals. Pedram Khatibi Shahidi, who you hear shredding on the guitar, adds oriental instruments into the mix and is the main songwriter, has been with the band since their very first demo as well.

It’s not easy to change the sound when the majority of the lineup has stayed the same throughout but with the decision to make Pedram the main songwriter for the band it seems to have gone rather smoothly. In Reverence offers a much more atmospheric and oriental death metal approach than before, and even if the deathcore sound is still there at times I find this a much more enjoyable listen than I did with Hallucination. The sound reminds me of Lord of War if they would be joining forces with Pyres of Kiev and I Shall Devour. Death metal and deathcore joining together in a nice mix that is. During their time together as a band they have grown a lot tighter together as a unit as well. The riffs are more on point, vocals more brutal and drumming releases thunder like never before.

I always find it enjoyable to hear a band evolve their sound and not being scared to change. Sometimes it can lead to the better and sometimes worse, in this case definitely the better, but either way it’s something I respect a band for trying. In Reverence has found their new sound and it’s now a new beast (the selected breed one could say) that’s coming to take the metal world with brute force. Favorite tracks are Gods of Dehumanization, Anthropogeny and Red Waves.

In Reverence debut full-length album The Selected Breed is out now through Non Serviam Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/inreverence
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/inreverenceswe
Label: Non Serviam Records
For fans of: I Shall Devour and Lord of War
Favorite song: Red Waves