Magnum has been around since 1972 and after taking a break from 1995 to 2000 they came back stronger than ever. “Into The Valley Of The Moonking” is an excellent example of current Metal influenced Rock releases capturing the old school sound. This album will send the listener a few years of AC/DC and bands alike.
Progressive rockers IQ return with their latest album “Frequency”. This band has released very solid albums over the years and “Frequency” is not the exception. If you are looking for a traditional progressive rock release, this album is one of the best releases of the year in the genre.
The Scottish pirates are back with the latest full length “Black Sails At Midnight”. This album features some songs already released in the last EP “Leviathan”. Alestorm goes back to their traditional formula of heavy metal infused with pirate themes. I got the chance of catching this band live during the Pagan Fest tour along Tyr and Suidakra, and they are a very entertaining band to see perform live.
Several years have passed since Stream Of Passion took the gothic metal by surprise. This year they return with a new lineup and a very mature release that will be competing for Gothic Metal album of the year with the likes of Delain and others. Marcela Bovio Davy Mickers, and Johan van Stratum are the only remaining original members and they managed to maintain the band’s sound, while adding new influences of the new band members.
Six years have passed since Glittertind released their last full length. After a re-release of their first 2 full lengths on their new label, Napalm Records, they bring us “Landkjenning”. This album opens starts like a traditional Viking/Folk metal release, a very decent one I might add, but as people know if they heard their album “Evige Åsatro” they mix some punk elements in their music.
Týr is a very unique Viking metal band from the Faroe Islands that has been very active touring and releasing albums in the last 2 years. After the release of “Land” in 2008, the band has been touring non-stop and managed to record “By The Light Of The Northern Star” in between touring at the beginning of 2009. The style of Viking metal that Týr plays does not rely on any atmosphere created by keyboards. Their sound is highly characterized by their guitar riffs and solos, as well as the vocal arrangements used.
Ronny Thorsen comes back with his band Trail Of Tears featuring a completely re-vamped lineup and brings us “Blood Stained Endurance”. After the whole band walked out on Ronny before the promotion of “Existentia” and rumors that the band split up, the band came back stronger than ever in the second half of 2007. Fast forward time to 2009 and we have the first recording of that lineup as a band.
When Anneke left the band many people, including me, where wondering how the band was going to continue. Anneke’s peculiar vocals were one of the things that propelled this band into worldwide recognition. And while I liked their early Death/Doom Metal music, this band’s different direction grew on me over the years. "The West Pole" Is the band's newest release with their new singer Silje Wergeland from Octavia Sperati fame.
Desire is an excellent Doom/Death Metal band that has been around for 15 years. And It makes me wonder why no label has picked up this band. Seven years have passed after the brilliant last full length "Locus Horrendus - The Night Cries Of A Sullen Soul" and this Portugese band is back with a Majestic an EP called "Crowcifix".
Time passes by and Jungle Rot keep releasing their old school Death Metal albums that sound like if they where frozen in time. When I got into Death Metal I remember the bands having this dense gut punching guitar sound that many bands forgot how to play, or use it effectvly. Luckily the American band Jungle Rot is here to remind us what good Death Metal should sound like.