ANGEL WITCH: Not rocket science


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Being a bit too young to experience the release of Angel Witch’s self titled debut, the band’s material still made a huge impact on me when I bought the vinyl version of “Angel Witch Live” at my local store when it was released through Metal Blade back in February 1990. It might have been the mystical cover art that convinced me, I can’t recall having heard anything from the band, not even the song “Angel Witch”, but as I listened to the album, songs like “Angel Of Death”, “White Witch”, “Sorceress” and “Atlantis” to name only a few, really impressed me. In retrospect, these songs fueled my interest in NWOBHM and underground metal in general. When the opportunity arose to hear Kevin Heybourne’s thoughts on the band’s brand new, fifth studio album, as well as some topics from the past, I didn’t hesitate a second.   Continue reading

RAM: Proud to be heavy metal


RAM from Gothenburg in Sweden is a band I have followed closely ever since the guys sent me their first EP for review back in 2003. When “Rod” was released in 2017, I spoke with gitarist Harry Granroth, but since I wasn’t fully satisfied with the end result, the interview was never published here at Metal Squadron. This time, I once again got on the phone with singer Oscar Carlquist, who I also spoke with when “Svbversvm” came out.

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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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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

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

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

RAM: Back From The Dead


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I had a long chat with RAMs singer Oscar Carlquist around the release of “Death”, back in early 2012. One year later, RAM was on a hiatus and the future of the band was in doubt. After some serious thinking, the members decided to continue, and the new album “Svbversvm”, out through Metal Blade at the end of October, is the result of what the Swedes have been up to since. Oscar is once again the one picking up the phone when I call to get all the necessary info about what seems like a turbulent period in the history of the band. Continue reading

SORCERER: No longer a demo band


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Sorcerer is a band whose name brings tears of sentimentality to many the eyes of many fans of underground doom metal from the late eighties and early nineties. The band released a couple of demo tapes that left its mark on the scene and has been kept alive by rereleases and new and upcoming acts namedropping the band. In 2010 the band reunited, with singer Anders Engberg and bass player Johnny Hagel on board to the Hammer Of Doom-festival in Germany. Continue reading

PLAYLIST: Week 9


1. SACRAL RAGE “Illusions In Infinite Void” (Cruz Del Sur)sacralrage-cover

– Riffs and vocals straight out of the US school of metal. The best Greek band ever! Interview coming very soon.

2. SORCERER “In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross” (Metal Blade)

– High quality power doom with superb vocals. Interview coming soon! Continue reading

DARKEST ERA: This or death


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I’ve followed the band that is now called Darkest Era since they were Nemesis and released their self titled demo back in 2006. After a while, a change of bandname became necessary, partly because there were already too many bands peforming under the same monicker. Darkest Era was chosen, and early in 2008 the band’s first release under the name was made available through Germany’s Eyes Like Snow. The title was “The Journey Through Damnation”, an EP containing four songs.

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Playlist: Week 19


1. FALCONER “Black Moon Rising” (Metal Blade)Falconer-BlackMoonRising

– Might not be the most popular band around here, but I’ve had a really weak spot for this band since the debut. “Black Moon Rising” might be the best record they’ve released since “Falconer”.

2.  NOBLE BEAST “Noble Beast” (Tridroid)

– What is it with me and the more melodic stuff this time? Extremely catchy, singalong European metal done by an American band, doesn’t sound like my stuff at all. Noble Beast blends Blind Guardian with Running Wild and Iron Saviour. A huge surprise!

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PORTRAIT: Not Dead Yet


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A late evening in 2007, a Saturday I believe, and as dark as only a late November-evening can be here in Norway. Portrait has entered a small stage in Oslo to perform tracks off their demo “Welcome To My Funeral”, their seven inch “Into Nothingness” and a couple of tasters off what is gonna become their first full lenght, released in about half a year’s time. Even though there is clearly some potential to be heard, the peformance leaves a lot to be desired, both vocally as well as instrumentally. I catch myself thinking that a lot of work and some member changes will need to happen before the band is ready for the next step. An evening, six and a half years later (the darkness is still there, if you wonder), one of two surviving members from that pitch black November night, the guitarist Christian Lindell gives me a call to talk about Portrait’s brand new, third album, “Crossroads”. Continue reading