October 2004 Archives

Twilight Guardians: Wasteland

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Twilight Guardians: WastelandCD, Spinefarm Records 2004

Track list: Weak Generation - The Next Call - Search for Grace - Angels - King of the Wasteland - Time Has Come - Farher's Cave - Rocka Rolla - The Wraith - Hellward

Twilight Guardians has had some trouble with record labels and thus has done just two albums during the eight years of their existence. That isn't something I would feel sorry about, really, because Wasteland just doesn't impress me. I certainly am not a huge fan of power metal, but I do like some bands and albums. Twilight Guardians or Wasteland just aren't included. **

Anorexia Nervosa: Redemption ProcessCD, Listenable Records 2004

Track list: The Shining - Antiferno - Sister September - Worship Manifesto - Codex-Veritas - An Amen - The Sacrament

French symphonic black metallers Anorexia Nervosa (what a silly name) play intense, but unimpressive music. With the possible exception of the very best track of the album - Sister September - it is all quite boring. Cradle of Filth has done it all and much better. Fans of symphonic black metal might want to check this one out, but for others - you don't need this. **

Jag Panzer: Casting the Stones

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Jag Panzer: Casting the StonesCD, Century Media 2004

Track list: Feast or Famine - The Mission (1943) - Vigilant - Achilles - Tempest - Legion Immortal - Battered & Bruised - Cold - Starlight's Fury - The Hearkening - Precipice

Jag Panzer has been doing their thing for years already. Unfortunately they are practically unknown in Finland. That's a shame, since Casting the Stones is a rather good album, actually. The band still has it, just like Iron Maiden or any other heavy metal band that's still decent. Not fresh, by no means, but for the fans of good old heavy metal Casting the Stones is a good choice. With good tracks like The Mission (1943), Precipice or Feast or Famine, Jag Panzer is doing great. ****

Shape of Despair: Illusion's PlayCD, Spikefarm 2004

Track list: Sleep Mirrored - Still-motion - Entwined in Misery - Curse Life - Fragile Emptiness - Illusion's Play

Shape of Despair is a product of the long and dark Finnish winters. Illusion's Play is slow and gloomy doom metal, with long and many-faceted songs. Do not listen to the songs out of context, it's the whole album what you want to hear. Of course, slow doom is not for the easily bored - music-lovers with patience and an ear for beauty will adore this one. ****

Red Harvest: Internal Punishment ProgramsCD, Nocturnal Art Productions 2004

Track list: Anatomy of the Unknown - Fall of Fate - Abstract Morality Junction - Mekanizm - Symbol of Decay - Teknocrate - Synthesize My DNA - Wormz - 4-4-1-8 - Internal Punishment Programs

Norwegian industrial metallers Red Harvest are back with another album full of industrial-flavoured metal. And that's what this is - industrial fans will be disappointed, so don't bother. One could compare Internal Punishment Programs to some cuts from Ministry or Front Line Assembly, but it's more straight-forward, more metal. There's some variety in the songs, that's always good, but in the end the material just isn't that good. ***

Jigsore Terror: World End CarnageCD, Listenable Records 2004

Track list: Gorging on Exposed Arteries - Skeletal Decomposition - Slaughtered Existance - Death Rattle Cacophony - Senseless Slaughter - Rotten Heads - Reeking Death - Insane Torture - Scattered Cranial Remains - Violent Molestation - Corpses on Fire - Feast of Dismembered Limbs - Brutally Murdered - Bestial Frenzy - World End Carnage

Swedish trio Jigsore Terror plays grindcore - easy enough to figure out from the song titles. Nothing to complain about in it, either, it's all well done. Producer Mieszko Talarczky from Nasum had probably something do with it, as the album sounds pretty good. However, there's little new on offer, only the same old done pretty well. ***

Rhapsody: Symphony of Enchanted Lands 2 - The Dark SecretCD, SPV 2004

Track list: The Dark Secret - Unholy Warcry - Never Forgotten Heroes - Elgard's Green Valleys - The Magic of the Wizard's Dream - Erian's Mystical Rhymes - The Last Angel's Call - Dragonland's River - Sacred Power of Raging Winds - Guardiani - Shadows of Death - Nightfall on the Grey Mountains

Talk about larger than life. Rhapsody is the master of majestic and symphonic. This album walks on the footsteps of their previous one and sounds pretty much the same. Everything is just larger: large choir, large symphony orchestra, Christopher Lee doing the narration, so on. The result sounds just like Rhapsody album does. You choose, if that's a good thing. To me, there's too much of the same old. ***

Acheron: Decade Infernus 1988-1998CD, Black Lotus Records 2004

Track list: Thou Art Lord - God Is Dead - Slaughterization for Satan - Blessed by Damnation - Immortal Sigil - Let Us Depart - Satanic Erotica - One With Darkness - Fuck the Ways of Christ - Lifeforce - The Enochian Key - Six Six Six - Enter Thy Coven - Final Harvest - Ave Satanas - Prayer of Hell - Out of Body - Alla Xul - To Thee We Confess - Shemhamforash - Purification Day - Hekal Tiamat - Seven Deadly Sins - Cursed Nazarene - Necromanteion Communion - Baptism for Devlyn Alexandra - Legions of Hatred - Unholy Praises - Summoning the Master - Voices Within - Undead Celebration - The Entity

Acheron has done a long career in satanic death metal, over fifteen years already. This two-cd compilation sums up the first ten years. It offers a wide selection of tracks, being a good choice for newcomers to the Acheron faith. Those with full collections have nothing to gain from this one. However, even those who have no Acheron albums might want to consider: Acheron sounds a bit outdated, the songs are fairly monotonic and the whole of it just doesn't impress that much. Still, if you want something from Acheron, this is probably your best bet. ***

Elis: Dark Clouds in a Perfect Sky

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Elis: Dark Clouds in a Perfect SkyCD, Napalm Records 2004

Track list: Der Letzte Tag - Anger - Lost Soul - Perfect Love - Heart in Chains - Die Zeit - Black Angel - Devil Inside You - Rebirth - Are You Missing Me - Ballade

Elis hails from Liechtenstein. Group was formed around vocalist Sabine Dünser, who has a pretty voice and good looks. Their style is basically goth metal, with a twist or two. Sabine sings both in German and English. Unfortunately German is in a minor role, as I much preferred those songs with their lovely darkwave vibe. Still, if one's looking for some goth metal with female vocals, one could do worse than pick Dark Clouds in a Perfect Sky. ***

God Among Insects: World Wide DeathCD, Threeman Recordings 2004

Track list: Legions of Darkness - A Gush of Blood - Headless Nun Whore - Wretched Hatching - Chainsawed Christians - Purified in Carnage - Uprising of the Rotten - Severe Facial Reconstruction - Uhr-Nazuur

God Among Insects connects members from Dark Funeral, Sanctification, Project Hate and Vomitory as a death metal super group. The result, World Wide Death, isn't super, but still a rather enjoyable piece of old school death metal. The album sounds very good and songs are fairly good, but something's missing. Perhaps World Wide Death is a bit of a therapy album? Still, it's more than decent offering for the fans of traditional death metal. ***

Seth: Era-Decay

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Seth: Era-DecayCD, Avantgarde Music 2004

Track list: Marchemergence - March of the Consistory - Umbilical Cutting - Co-Existent Species - Ascention - H-Eradicate - Xtasian Ostix - A Pallbearer's Gloom - The Blade Upon Mankind

French Seth is a curious beast. They have steady black metal background, including co-operation with Fenriz and a song on Mayhem tribute, but they incorporate industrial sounds in their music. The result sounds pretty good, even though it isn't as ground-breaking as such union might be. Still, Era-Decay might be an interesting album for those interested in the more avantgarde end of black metal spectrum. ***

Hellebaard: Strijdkracht

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Hellebaard: StrijdkrachtCD, CCP Records 2004

Track list: Een Duuster Begin - In Walhalla - Wodan's Lof Gewijden - Strijdkracht - Roode Dageraad - Weidevolk - De Valsche List - Bergschawud - Een Bitter End

Thunder from Netherlands! Hellebaard is my first experience with black metal sung in Dutch. Interesting, but unfortunately Strijdkracht is, frankly, crap. Boring pagan metal with cheap synths, very bad sound quality, uninspiring songs... Sorry, but there are simply too many other bands who do this kind of thing in much superior way. *

Winds: The Imaginary Direction of TimeCD, Blackend 2004

Track list: What Is Beauty? - Sounds Like Desolation - Theory Of Relativity - Visions Of Perfection - The Fireworks Of Genesis - Under The Stars - A Moment For Reflection - Time Without End - The Final End - Beyond Fate - Silence In Despair - Infinity

Winds is lead by Andy Winter, classically inspired pianist. His crew is superb: vocalist Lars Eric Si is good, if not that unique. In guitar we have a true virtuoso, Carl August Tidemann and behind the drums, probably the best metal drummer ever, Jan Axel von Blomberg alias Hellhammer. Not a bad start. It's fairly obvious where they go from that start - Arcturus isn't far, but Winds lacks Garm's lunatic genius. The Imaginary Direction of Time is still full of technically brilliant playing and clever and touching songs. Very good, if a bit light. Winds is no Opeth, but that's no fault of theirs, of course. Highly recommended for fans of progressive metal music. ****

Glittertind: Evige Asatro

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Glittertind: Evige AsatroCD, Karmageddon Media 2004

Track list: Lindisfarne 793 - Karl den Store - Sønner av Norge - En stille morgen 1349 - Fjellheimen gir meg fred - Olav Digre - Nordmannen - Frostriket - Evige Asatro - Se Norges blomsterdal - Om kvelden når det mørkner - Skumring - Norges Skaal

Storm created a classic almost ten years ago with their album Nordavind. Norwegian national romantic music, traditional and traditionally influenced songs with metal sound. Glittertind aka Torbjorn Sandvik follows in their footsteps. His sound is more punk than metal, but it's pretty much the same thing - they even share a song: Glittertind's Nordmannen is Storm's Mellom bakkar og berg. I prefer Storm, but anybody with an interest into Norway and folk metal or punk should enjoy this one. ***

Maj Karma: Sodankylä

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Maj Karma: SodankyläCD, Johanna kustannus 2004

Track list: Avaus - Pohjola - Kyynel - Sodankylä - Pää - Kello 18:00 - Sarvia ja hampaita - Pakko - Katala kamara - Turpaan vaan - Aaverakastajat

After hearing the first single "Kyynel" the new Maj Karma album was a must-buy. Unfortunately the rest of the album isn't nearly as good as the one killer hit, but perhaps it'll grow on me. Wouldn't be the first time that happens with a Maj Karma album. They're still amongst the best Finnish rock bands, there's no doubt about that. ****

Ajattara: Kuolema

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Ajattara: KuolemaCD, Spikefarm 2003

Track list: Antakaa elää - Surman henki - Haureus - Huoran alla - Ikiyössä - Musta leski - Sielun särkijä - Kituvan kiitos - Helvetissä on syntisen taivas - Rauhassa

It took me a while to get Ajattara's second album, even though I enjoyed the first one a lot - I have certain principles when it comes to copy controlled cd's. Ripping the mp3's took, by the way, about fifteen seconds. Anyway, Ajattara keeps on pounding their blackish metal, pretty much like before. Their greatest strength is in the Finnish lyrics, which use the means of old Finnish poetry. Quite unique and very effective. Their greatest weakness, in the other hand, is monotony. Kuolema sounds just like Itse and can be equally boring in long quantities. Thus, less stars than before: Kuolema is good, but brings little new to fans of Itse. ****

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