Review: Palmless – ‘The Nine Exits’ [Select Tracks Streaming]

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Palmless is an experimental metal band from Malmoe, Sweden. The thing that brought them to my attention was Jonas Pedersen’s former band Black Temple; who’s debut album I awarded the best album of 2015. When Jonas departed Black Temple I was first let down, then quickly finding out he had a band in waiting which was Palmless. These two bands differ greatly. Palmless is much more experimental and sometimes fitting more closely in the black metal genre. Jonas trades in his bass for guitar duties with this band. Vocalist Niklas Olsson has a vivid approach as the frontman, voice shines within this band. Ulf Blomberg brings the low end thunder on bass and drummer Daniél rounds out the band with his hard hitting stylings and cymbal crashes. Combined the members give the band an all-around sound that is full of varying elements and groundbreaking techniques. Palmless has relinquished their debut album ‘The Nine Exits’ on January 13, 2017. It was recorded and mixed by Jonas Pedersen at his studio Kryptan IV, in Malmö, Sweden. Continue reading

KATATONIA, CASPIAN, UNCURED Take Over Washington, D.C. [Photo Gallery]

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Katatonia

Last Thursday night I found myself doing something I absolutely despise, taking the horrid DC metro rail, to do something I dearly love, enjoying live music. Katatonia, was opening the North American tour in support of their album ‘The Fall of Hearts’ at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. A small venue with a prominent stage with excellent lighting and sound system, many consider 9:30 Club to be the heart and soul of the music scene in Washington D.C. And I have never been to this iconic venue in our nations capital, despite having lived in the area for multiple years. This, combined with the excitement of seeing Katatonia live for the first time, my excitement was palpable. Still, I had little idea how good a night this was going to be. Katatonia is one of the finest heavy metal bands to have emerged from Sweden, and their ten studio albums bear testimony to that. The last album ‘The Fall of Hearts’ was released mid last year, which garnered excellent reviews from fans and critics alike. On this North American leg, they are supported by Caspian and Uncured.

Uncured

The first band of the night was Uncured, which I was not very familiar with, so them taking the stage was when I really discovered their music. It has been a long time since I have been this utterly impressed by a new band with only a debut album. And how often do you see a progressive metal band with two vocalists unleashing harsh vocals with intense yet melodic riffs ? The vocals were shared nearly equally by the two guitar wielding vocalists on more than one song. The young lads with their youthful energy, technical prowess behind their instruments and blistering speed set the stage on fire. Listen to the riffs in the later part of the song “Opium Den” and tell me if it does not remind you of Liquid Tension Experiment. The lads totally had totally earned the rousing applause they got once they were done with their set. This is one band that I earmark for nothing but stellar things in future and will certainly be keeping a close watch on.

Caspian

Caspian was the second band of the night, a largely instrumental band with fast riffs, yet they can sound melancholic at times, something that not too many bands can lay a claim to. I had no idea they had such a fan following in the D.C. metro area, the crowd erupted as soon as they took the stage. The imperious drumming and the excellent guitar play lays the basis for the six member strong band. The rapidly changing stage lighting in sync with the fast yet melodic guitar play contributed to this spellbinding show. I can’t really do justice to their musicianship on the show by trying to explain it in words, one needs to see them out live. If you are not familiar with their music, check them out and get ready to be captivated.

Katatonia

Katatonia was one of the first Swedish metal bands I discovered. Over the years Katatonia has progressed to be more melodic from the harsh vocals of the early days. Opening the set with the track “Last Song Before We Fade”, the band burst in to intense guitar play and luscious rhythms. The following tracks “Criminals”, a song from the album ‘Viva Emptiness’, and “Serein”, a standout track from the latest album, kept the crowd really going. The delivery of Jonas Renske was flawless, the guitar work and drumming impeccable and overall the band treated the crowd to an album quality performance. The graceful interaction with the crowd only enhanced the experience of this fabulous night. I won’t bother going in to discuss the performance of each song of the nineteen songs long set, you are better off attending the show than trying to experience it through my words. This is one tour that you don’t want to miss, especially if you are a fan of melodic or progressive metal. If you have a chance to see them on this tour, which has just started, don’t miss it!

Follow the bands online: Katatonia, Caspian, Uncured!

THE LAST BAND Release Epic Video For “White Powder”!

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Photo: Emelie Eng

THE LAST BAND is a hardcore/punk/hard rock group from Gothenburg, Sweden. The band was formed in 2012 and brings a slew of influences into their music. In less than 9 months after releasing their debut album ‘Rats Of Gothenburg’, the band entered the studio to record a new album. That album would become their second, ‘The Fall’, on Gain / Sony Music. The album was recorded during the summer at Crehate Studios by Oscar Nilson and contains ten tracks, written and produced by THE LAST BAND. The album released November 4th, 2016. They have toured along side fellow Swedes Avatar, and made quite the name for themselves. In regards to their new video for “White Powder” from their sophomore release they state “The video pentagon tried to shut down, that got your dad pregnant and made Snoop Dog change his name to Snoop Lion. We give you “White Powder”! With statements like that how can you not watch this video? True to form the band unleashes an amazing song that includes 90’s nu-metal elements as well as sticking to their hard rock and hardcore roots. This video has it all… limos, dildos, squishing bananas, luchadore masks,  dancing, mariachi band attire and don’t forget the drugs. How could you not want to see this video now? Enjoy…

Follow THE LAST BAND on Facebook here.  “The Fall” is now streaming on Spotify go check it out.

Review: SET BEFORE US ‘Enigmas’

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Album Artwork: Set Before Us – “Enigmas”

The out pour of fantastic Swedish metal bands continues! Set Before Us, from Stockholm Sweden, just recently put out their new EP ‘Enigmas’ on November 18, 2016. This is their second release, it is a follow up to their 2014 release, ‘Voyagers’. The new release was mixed and mastered by Venom Sounds. Having only formed in 2012, the band has a very polished sound. There is a strong influence of the early metalcore bands and it stands out on this EP! The band consists of Niklas Edström, Erik Tropp, Hampus Andersson, Jesper Nilsson, and Emanuel Borgefors. Continue reading

Sonic Syndicate Takes a Different Turn With the Release of “Confessions”

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Sonic Syndicate is:

Nathan J. Biggs – Lead Vocals

Robin Sjunnesson – Guitars

Michael Bärzén – Bass

Sonic Syndicate has been around since 2005, when guitarist Robin Sjunnesson was only sixteen years old. Shortly thereafter, the band released its debut, Eden Fire on Pivotal Reckordings September 13, 2005. Two years later, after being picked up by Nuclear Blast records, they released Only Human on May 18, 2007. With solid backing, Sonic Syndicate was able to tour non-stop and sharing the stage with international sensations like Nightwish, In Flames, Soilwork and many, many others. As a result, they were awarded Best Newcomer by the Swedish Metal Awards and Bandit Rock Awards 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden.

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Review: Shit The Cow ‘One With The Devil’ [Stream]

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Shit The Cow is a band of Swedish rockers set out to explore the limitations of their own universe, and from what I’ve heard there are no limits on what this band can do. The bands risk taking when it comes to sound has really developed their music into something new. They are conquering uncharted territory and inventing sound as they go. They’ve done what is classified as “rock disco” on their 2012 release ‘Volume/Cow’ before moving on to a more garage rock sound on 2013’s ‘Salt Of The Earth’. Then they evolved into a more punk feel with 2014’s ‘Rissna’ before moving to more darker elements on “67p” in 2015. The band has defined their sound as “Scrapyard Rock” and it’s very fitting. The band simply takes inspiration from all over and juxtaposes their sound. Continue reading

Review: Creedsmen Arise “Temple” [Stream]

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creedsmen

Creedsmen Arise are a relatively new band, and they hail from Boras, Sweden. They haven’t even been together a year yet, that anniversary isn’t until November. Guitarist Simon admitted to me that the band didn’t really find their sound until March. In a span of several months the band was able to not only find their sound but also perfect it. They went a certain direction and didn’t slow down. Unfortunately, shortly after the release of their debut EP “Temples” the lead singer Gustaf has split from the band. They are now a 3 piece for the time being but are seeking a new singer and will hold auditions soon. They again may have to find their sound, or adapt to whomever they choose to fill void in the band. Continue reading

Review: Black Temple “It All Ends”

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blacktemple

Black Temple had my attention prior to even hearing one note of their music. There were several variables as to why they impressed me. The first being that they were declared the “most violent and energetic live act in Sweden.” I mean how impressive is that? I’m sure that captures the attention of most every metalhead. It’s been mentioned that the band has probably trashed more instruments and amplifiers than they can afford. Second, they were the first band being signed to the label Razzia Notes. One of the cool things about the new label is that it’s owned by Anders Fridén lead singer of the Gothenburg metal legends In Flames. Razzia also has a collaboration with Century Media as well so they will be distributing this album and possibly future albums. Anders himself is quoted with saying “”First time I heard BLACK TEMPLE, I freaked and I said to myself, ‘I gotta work with these guys somehow.” The trio has been together since 2010 and have a variety of influences which may contribute to their unique sound. Continue reading