Reviews – Audio

Trouble: Psalm 9/The Skull (reissues)

Sadly, most of Trouble’s albums are long out of print, which makes Escapi’s decision to reissue the first two in expanded, remastered formats that much sweeter. Released individually in slipcase, two-disc versions, both 1984’s Psalm 9 and the following year’s The Skull have been digitally remastered, and are much louder and clearer than the original CD issues.

Newly reissued again in North America this September through Dismanic, Sean Palmerston revisits the first two classic slabs of doom by Chicago’s legendary TROUBLE

Glittertind: Landkjenning

Glittertind is essentially a two-man band, which makes tracks such as the rollicking “Longships and Mead” interesting. The song reminds me of something The Pogues or our Canadian counterpart, Sprit of the West, might release – a blend of traditional Norwegian folk melodies with the addition of electric guitars, a slightly sped-up tempo and punk attitude…

Gulch: Uphill Both Ways

Gulch is a salt-of-the-earth metal band. It does not adopt airs. It is not pretentious. It does not experiment. It just plays heavy rock. The guys in Gulch may not win awards for outstanding feats of musicianship, but they do play the kind of music that they would like to hear when they walk into a bar. It’s loud, heavy, and catchy with plenty of aggressive swagger and not a drop of sugary melody or limp-wristed balladeering.

God Dethroned: Passiondale

The key to decoding the motivations behind God Dethroned’s latest album is its title: Passiondale is a concept album about a small site of tremendous struggle in World War One. Unsurprisingly, the subject matter works with the death metal ferocity running through most of the record

Leaves’ Eyes: My Destiny

My Destiny is the most recent EP release from Leaves Eyes. The sound is symphonic metal with a dash of a Northern European folk sound. The overall feeling is to put on your crushed velvet frocks and watch the misty fog over an icy lake.

Skyclad: In The…All Together

In The…All Together, although not quite as catchy as Semblance, is much more of a metal album and could have easily fit into their catalog amongst any of their 90’s albums. The majority of Skyclad’s signature sound from its genre defining beginnings is present: speedy, almost thrash riffing, with violin on top leading the way, and play-on-words, tongue in cheek lyrics to accompany the music.

Ophthalamia: A Journey in Darkness (reissue)

A Journey in Darkness is a truly singular work within the realm of Swedish metal. There really is nothing else like it. Recorded in 1993 at Unisound Studios, the pseudonymically-inclined all-star lineup consisted of It (aka. Tony Särkkä of Abruptum and Vondur), Mourning (aka. Robert Ivarsson of Pan Thy Monium), Winter (aka. Benny Larsson of Edge of Sanity and Pan Thy Monium) and, most famously, Shadow (aka. Jon Nödtveidt of Dissection).

Tate Bengston reviews the new Peaceville reissue of this long lost Swedish metal classic.