• Mystons – 3 (2011)


    Almost one year since the release of the very solid “Alkaem”, Mystons returns with another nine hard-hitting songs that quickly show that their last album’s success was no fluke and they mean serious business. Dropping one band member, Mystons delivers a very powerful album that feels a bit more consolidated than the first one, and is full of catchy riffs and appealing vocals.

    Funneling a White Stripes vibe, the album opens with “Mammoth” and “Mourning Sky”, the second song in particular seems to have a very familiar riff that will surely be quickly identified by the listeners. In this two songs you can hear the traditional Mystons sound, but with a bit more of direction. The album’s catchiness continues and with “CrusHer”, we find a very hard-rocking song that immediately sticks in your head.

  • dark_matter - _adrift_ (2010)


    Being always weary of those ‘do it yourself’ new bands, we had some skepticism about the claims made on dark_matter’s press package info sheet. However, dark_matter greatly surprised us with great quality music and an impressive sound on this very short-but-sweet EP release. For over four tracks, the band delivers trippy and spaced-out compositions that stick in your head for days.

    With the opening track “Neptune”, we are treated to some of the best ethereal keyboards we’ve heard in quite a while. They are perfectly paired with nice riffing and drumming, something that many bands that rely too much on their keyboards to be overly atmospheric can’t seem to get right. After the short intro track, “the_persistence_of_memory” delivers more powerful guitars paired with electronic and space rock elements that will transport you to a different level of consciousness (or your money back). We love that there are absolutely no vocals ruining the beauty of the music in this release.

  • Alestorm – Back Through Time (2011)


    The Scottish Pirates are finally back with another epic of pirates, wenches, and drinking, but they seemed to have added time travel to the equation this time. In “Back through Time”, Alestorm delivers 11 tracks of exactly the same thing they have been doing for the last past years: catchy, wacky, and irreverent Pirate Metal.

    We all know that the band is not the most talented one when it comes to making the most complicated and elaborated songs out there, but they have managed to find a niche that allows them to be enjoyed by thousands of Metalheads (including us). If you are not aware of the band’s previous releases, this is a band you will either love or hate, no middle ground.

  • While Heaven Wept – Fear of Infinity (2011)


    Continuing their aural assaults from “Vast Oceans Lacrymose”, While Heaven Wepts is back with another multi-faceted release that takes a little time to sink. However, once you get into the groove of this new release, it will surely win a place in your heart. Now on a bigger label, the band is ready to take their act on the road and take a shot at world domination.

    “Fear of Infinity” has a familiar sound to “Vast Oceans Larymose” since the songs in this album were intended to be on said release. The first song “Hour of Reprisal” continues with the lush keyboard/vocal combination, but once you start getting comfortable this track explodes into an almost Black Metal-esque ending that will rattle your seat. While this sounds a bit out of place at first… you will grow to enjoy it.

  • Artas – Riotology (2011)


    Featuring a very diverse sound, Napalm Records brings us Artas second full-length release “Riotology”. In this release the band combines everything from Thrash, Death, Groove, and Melodic Modern Metal to create a very diverse sound that while at times it works wonderfully, other times it sounds too chaotic and disconnected.

    Having a more concise sound than on their debut album “The Healing”, Artas sometimes seems to jump the gap between ‘real metal’ and Metalcore/core stuff. This will make some listeners fly away from the band, but we recommend you stick around since there are parts and songs good enough to be worth suffering through the ‘core’ stuff for a bit.

  • Mystons – Alkaem (2010)


    Hailing from Finland, we recently got in our PO BOX a very different and unique sounding release from a band named Myston. “Alkaem” marks the band’s second full-length release and with the wide palette of styles, Myston seems to be ready to take over the world and fans of Metal, Indie Rock, Alternative Metal, Grunge and everything in between.

    The first thing you will notice about “Alkaem” is that Mystos has a very enigmatic sounding front man with M Myston handling the vocals and guitars. His vocals will immediately make you identify this band in a second, and when paired with the very diverse and interesting sound of the band, we think the band has a winning lottery ticket in their hands.

  • Kenny Stewart – The Brains behind the Scam (2010)


    With a very distracting cover, today we have Dirty Tricks lead singer Kenny Stewart’s debut solo album “The Brains behind the Scam”. Featuring 16 hard rocking tracks, Kenny Stewart takes us for a roller coaster journey with soaring guitars, and his very characteristic vocal style.

    Having self-produced the album, Kenny handles all the guitar and programming duties. And immediately you can notice that the use of ‘fake drums’ is very evident and takes some merit out of this release but can easily be compensated by the solid guitar work and singing prowess of Kenny. All tracks have a nice guitar driven structure that allows the vocals to shine and achieve the desired effect.

  • Lifelover – Konkurs (2010)


    The ever so interesting Prophecy Productions are re-releasing this 2010 one of the most interesting and deranged albums in the last couple of years: Lifelover’s “Konkurs”. Featuring a wide palette of influences ranging from Depressive Black Metal, Ambient, Gothic Metal, Post-Rock, Shoegaze, and everything in between, the band created one of the masterpieces of Experimental music and now we get to have it re-issued and hopefully can reach a bigger audience.

    With the fourteen tracks presented in “Konkurs”, the band has managed to create a hauntingly majestic release that transcends the barriers of musical genres and human emotions. The overall bleak and depressive atmosphere around “Konkurs” is top notch and only bands like Lantlôs and Svarti Loghin can ever come close to it. Be it the combination of genres, or the emotional vocals, it’s left to the listener to discover how Lifelover will affect their psyche with this release.

  • Neuronia - Follow the White Mouse (2010)


    Presented in a lush digipack, today we have all the way from Poland Neuronia and their second full-length album “Follow the White Mouse”. With a very hard to describe style, the band manages to merge elements of Thrash, Heavy and Melodic Death Metal in a multi-textured release that is very enjoyable from start to end.

    With a very unique style, Neuronia’s music is very enjoyable since it features influences from tons of different genres and bands, keeping things fresh and unpredictable. The only thing we quickly noticed is that we are not big fans of the vocals since they tend to get on our nerves a bit, and even after a few listens. However, they are not bad at all is just a particular singing style that irritates us (the ‘main’ one from the several different ones presented in this album) from the past, but the band’s music is good enough for us to ignore this little detail.

  • Unherz – Uherzlich Willkommen (2010)


    While we are not big German hard rock fans, we have to recognize that Unherz is a very good up-and-coming band that mixes traditional German hard rock elements with a Metal influences. Featuring catchy riffs and melodies, epic chorus sections, and raspy vocals entirely in German, “Uherzlich Willkommen” is a very effective debut release, and will surely gain a ton of followers for Unherz.

    While the similarities to bands like Die Toten Hosen, Unherz quickly crafts their own style by being a bit heavier on the guitars and never shy of breaking some of the ‘traditional’ guidelines of the genre. For over 40 minutes, the listener is treated to 10 catchy as hell songs that will be stuck in your head for days.


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