SOLSTICE: 20 years older


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This interview was conducted quite some time ago, but along with a couple of others it was never published. My apologies go out to Solstice, and especially Paul Kearns who was very enthusiastic and entertaining, even though he was heading off at 6 o clock in the morning to work on the Primordial-tour, selling merchandise. Continue reading

BLACK VIPER: Total metal overkill


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Norway isn’t exactly known for producing a lot of  outstanding speed metal acts. In fact, we’re not known for producing bands performing speed metal at all. When Oslo-based Black Viper released their demo a couple of years ago, you got a sense that the number of outstanding releases within this genre was about to grow significantly. Now that the debut album, “Hellions Of Fire” has arrived, it is safe to conclude that Black Viper has produced a world class album inspired by the likes of Agent Steel and Holy Terror. Hail Norwegian speed metal! Hail Black Viper! Continue reading

CHEVALIER: Flying high


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A couple of weeks ago, at the Beyond The Gates-festival in Bergen, Norway, I met guitarist and song writer Tommi to get the latest on Chevalier who recently put out their second demo, “Chapitre II”,  a release which has already made its way on to various physical formats. Continue reading

GATEKEEPER: Pushing creative boundaries


Gatekeeper_Photo_2As we have already covered the early days in not only one, but two previous interviews, it felt natural to catch up with the happenings after the split Gatekeeper did with Eternal Champion in March 2015. To help us out, we got Geoff as usual, but new singer Jean-Pierre, who is also Geoff’s roommate, filled in on some of our questions. Continue reading

TRAVELER: Straight from the heart


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What better way to reintroduce Metal Squadron, than to do it with the act behind one of the best demos released in quite some time? Traveler is the band in question, and I got founder and songwriter Matt Ries to answer my questions about the Canadians.  Some might know the guy from his work with acts like Hrom and Gatekrashör, but are there other things we should know about Matt? Continue reading

PROCESSION: Doomed from birth


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I admit it, it has taken way too long to finish this piece. When this interview took place, it was still a week or so until the release of “Doom Decimation”. Some reviews were already out there, does Procession’s main man Felipe care about what the reviewers think about the album? Continue reading

SORCERER: Strike while the iron is hot


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I had a pretty extensive chat with bass player Johnny Hagel around the release of “In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross” back in 2015, so when the chance appeared to speak to singer Anders Engberg about the brand new offering, “The Crowning Of The Fire King”, I didn’t hesitate. 

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AIR RAID: Crossing the line


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Even though “Point Of Impact”, was a letdown compared to both the EP “Danger Ahead” and especially the Swedes first full length releases, “Night Of The Axe”, I conducted an interview with bass player Robin  Utbult. The bands new offering “Across The Line”, featuring new singer Fredrik Werner, sounds much more interesting again, and we once again hooked up with Robin to get the latest on the band.

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PORTRAIT: Still expanding


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After “Crossroads”, which we covered thoroughly when it was released back in April 2014, Sweden’s Portrait is back with yet another album filled with dark heavy metal. The big thing this time, is probably the fact that “Burn The World” was recorded as a trio,  with my interview partner, Christian Lindell handling the bass along with his main instrument, guitars. Continue reading

THE SWILL: More Michigan metal


SwillSeemingly out of nowhere came Michigan’s The Swill and  surprised both me and others with their excellent second EP “Master of Delusion”. As the CD-version of this EP, done by Dystopian Dogs, also included the band’s debut EP, “Thirst For Misery”, it became obvious that The Swill were certainly not newcomers. As I guess I am not the only one who didn’t follow the band  from the very first steps, this interview with guitarist Dan McCormick tries to catch up with the history of the band as well as celebrating the release of the impressive,brand new EP. Continue reading

WALPYRGUS: Weird, funny and creepy


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Metal Squadron was one of the first, if not the first, to feature Walpyrgus, back when their demo was first released on tape through Swords & Chains.  Some time ago I was contacted by Sure Shot who does promotion for Cruz Del Sur, the band’s label nowadays, but as this  happened around the time I had strong doubts about the future of this webzine, nothing came out of it. When I contacted Scott Waldrop some months later, I have to admit that I didn’t expect such an inspired feature as this one became. After all, he had already chatted to quite a few different medias when this interview materialized. As you can see for yourself, Scott did an excellent job answering my questions in an honest way, and I tried to get him to speak about some stuff that hasn’t already been  covered to death in previous features. Enjoy! Continue reading

BELOW: In the best Swedish tradition


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Sweden has a long and rich history when it comes to epic, melodic doom metal. I don’t have to educate you about Candlemass of course, but lesser known bands as Sorcerer and Memory Garden, amongst others, are also part of the tradition. Below are a newer band carrying the same torch, first with the release of “Across The Dark River” back in 2014, and following it up with “Upon A Pale Horse”, their second for Metal Blade, released back in May this year. Continue reading

NIGHT DEMON: We play shit that we like


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With the release of “Darkness Remains”, Night Demon should be able to please most of those who enjoyed “Curse Of The Damned”, the band’s debut album from 2015. Jarvis Leatherby and his companions still deal in strongly NWOBHM-based metal performed with plenty of energy and enthusiasm. While the new album is the main talking point, Jarvis also lets us in on life on the road as well as his involvement in Jaguar and Cirith Ungol. Continue reading

HOLY MARTYR: The whole story


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After a long period of silence, it’s almost six years since “Invincible” was released, Holy Martyr cement their place as one of the most reliable Italian bands nowadays with the release of the concept album “Darkness Shall Prevail”. This particular feature, based on no less than four different interviews done with the band throughout the years, the first one back in 2002 and the last one in March this year, should be one of the very best sources of information on Holy Martyr out there. Grab a cup of coffee, and put everything aside while you let guitarist Ivano Spiga guide you through the history of Holy Martyr.  

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TRIAL (swe): Always in motion


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The new album from Sweden’s Trial, “Motherless”, is one of those releases that will create mixed opinions among the people who enjoyed their stellar 2015-release “Vessel”. It’s certainly more on the experimental side of things, and I guess the fact that I haven’t fully made up my mind about it, suggest that it isn’t the easiest to digest. I guess only time will tell how good an album “Motherless” is. Last time I did something on Trial, I spoke to Andreas Johnsson, and he told me that my interview object this time around, the band’s other guitarist, Alexander Ellström, was partly responsible for him playing guitar in the first place. Continue reading

CHEVALIER:Bringing back the power and energy


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As long as there is some quality involved, bands that stick out by doing something different, have a good chance of being featured here at Metal Squadron. Finland’s Chevalier is one of those bands, as their newly released, so far digital-only, demo “A Call To Arms” features raw speed metal, pretty fresh and original song writing and a fitting minimalistic production. I caught up with guitarist and main songwriter Tommi to get the details on this newly formed, Helsinki-based act. Continue reading

EZRA BROOKS: A vision of arcane heavy metal


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When musicians decide to do something slightly different within the frames of traditional metal, it usually catches my interest. Ezra Brooks, a solo adventure by S. Vincent,  based in Toronto, Canada, really appealed to me, more or less upon first listen. The unpolished production, the cool riffs and  solos, and the rather limited, but yet cool vocals all worked quite well. Since I first heard the demo material about half a  year ago, the songs have been remastered, an extra track added and the material released on CD via Barbarian Wrath. “Target” is one of the more  original sounding releases in our field so far this year, and more than interesting enough for me to hook up with Vincent for for some much needed info on this project. Continue reading

HÜRLEMENT: Positive energy and unity


hurlementAfter a somewhatmediocre debut released back in 2009, Hürlement from Paris in France showed real signs of improvement with the follow up “Terreur Et Tourment”from 2013. Fast forward another four years, and  the band is  ready with their third full length release, “La Mort Sera Belle”, another fine album destined to appeal to everyone into honest, classic heavy metal in the vein of Running Wild and Manowar. I got in  touch  with singer Alexis who put a real effort in  to  shed some light  on both the history of the band as well as the brand  new album, out since early January on  Emanes Metal. Continue reading

ATTACKER: An improved band


 

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I did an interview with Attacker when they released their excellent album “Giants Of Canaan” early in 2013. When the new one, “Sins Of The World” arrived and proved to be just as good, the need to do a more indepth article  on the band with main songwriter Michael Benetatos felt really strong.  After a couple of weeks with questions and answers bouncing back an forth between us, with Michael doing and oustanding job, this feature has finally come to its conclusion. It’s an indepth article focusing of course, on the period since Michael joined the band back in 2001 with emphasis on the last two albums, both releases being among the very best metal albums released in this millenium. Continue reading

VULTURES VENGEANCE: A personal sound


vultures-vengeance_1After the really promising demo “Rising”,  Italy’s Vultures Vengeance secured a deal With Gates Of Hell Records and released the mini album “Where The Time Dwelt In” last October. It took some time to finish this interview, but in the  end, all band members contributed to what can be viewed as a follow up to the chat we had back when the band  first sprang onto the scene. Continue reading