Anders Sandvall´s CD Reviews on metal-rules.com

Ratings:
1/5 Hideous and totally useless.
2/5 Has it's moments but not worth buying or owning.
3/5 Not overly amazing but recommended for serious fans.
4/5 Something every metal fan should own.
5/5 Groundbreaking, amazing, mind-blowing.



Backyard Babies - Making Enemies Is Good
January 2002 | Released: 2001, BMG | Rating: 5/5 | Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Backyard Babies have been on tour for a long time and at last their new record has come. The one before was released in 1998. Now they have to live up to expectations with the new record. Before this record, the band were special guests to the mighty AC/DC during their winter tour where they performed new songs for the public before MAKING ENEMIES IS GOOD was released.

I have listened to the record a good deal and they live up to the expectations that I had for the album. They will probably get more attention in the rest of the world than what was obtained with the former album. My first taste of the album before the release was the single ”Brand new Hate” a real partyrocker. Backyard Babies glam/garage/party rock´n roll is rather near what Iggy Pop did during the 70s and the old Finish glamrockers Hanoi Rocks did though more refined through the years. The production of sound was been more well produced than on the previous records.

Johan (Bass), Peder (Drums), Nicke (Git and Leed vox) and Dregen (git, sidekick vox) show in the first song where they are going. They show it with the song ” I love to roll”, which is a hard rocking with guest vocals from the Swedish (c)rapstar Leila K. Other partysongs on the record with full speed ahead are ”Payback”, ”The Clash”, ”EX-files”, ”To tough to make some friends”, ”Heaven” and ”Bigger W/A Trigger.” Dregen sings the lead vox on a calmer track. Dregen makes a good job as leadvox. Many people find him a ”stylist” who only knows three chords. Not in my taste. I think he is a big guitar hero and I think he has developed on the new record. There are more calm ballads are on the record like ”Painkiller” and potential radio hits are ”My demonic side” and ”Colours”. Nicke as a singer has developed. Peder has got more space in the sound than before. They have made all the songs together but for ”Brand new hate”. Ginger from Ex-Wildhearts has helped. Tyla from ex-The Dogs Dámour has helped on Painkiller.

Backyard Babies can lean back and relax. This is the best record of 2001 in my opinion. There isn´t a bad track on the whole record. Now it’s time for tournig, touring and touring. The tour has already started througout Europe and Japan. Buy MAKING ENEMIES IS GOOD. No-one will be disappointed. This record will last for many years. Backyard´s best record so far!

Website: www.backyardbabies.com


Entombed - The Morning Star
January 2002 | Released: 2001, Threeman Recording / Music For Nations | Rating: 5/5 | Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Entombed are L.G Petrov (vox), Uffe Cederlund, Alex Hellid (guitars), Jörgen Sandström (bass) and Peter Stjärnvind (drums). I saw Entombed earlier this year on the upraising-tour at KB Malmö Sweden. After the concert I talked to Uffe about the new record. As far as he was concerned I wouldn't be disappointed as an Entombed fan during more than ten years. He was right! What a brilliant record this is. One of the best records this year if you ask me. It contains heavy/dark metal with a bit of influences from their early days. Entombed made it big playing death metal. There are traces left but the music is made up to date for the twenty-first century. This record feels like a continuum to the brilliant metal record TO RIDE SHOOT STRAIGHT AND SPEAK THE TRUTH, though darker heavy metal.

The record opens up with "Chief rebel angel" the title track. Already there you can feel that Entombed is back. "I for an eye"," Ensemble of the restless" and" Young Man Nihilist"…dark heavy metal almost the death metal that made them big. "Bringer of Light" has a really good acoustic solo in the middle. “Out of Heaven" and "Fractures" could have passed on the record TO RIDE… It is a little bit more heavy metal but not death-metal as on the previous records. It is difficult to explain but Entombed has a special sound which I think comes out in these songs. It sounds like Entombed. The old and the new sound make a perfect mixture when we enter the twenty-first century. Entombed is needed in the new century. I hope they go on like this. These 12 songs are magic, not a bad one on the record.

LG sounds like in good old days, brilliant and really angry. The whole band impresses. Alex/ Uffe are really clever on guitar. Their twin guitar play is splendid. Uffe Cederlund has made most of music and lyrics; Alex has made some and Jörgen has participated in some. Uffe seems to have got his inspiration back and the same goes for Alex. All music is arranged, produced by the band. The record is recorded in Polarstudio/Das Boot studio.

At last Entombed is back and the sound is like good old days but better now. Entombed is ready for the twenty-first century.

I say
Stand up!
In Praise Of The Morning Star

For more info about Entombed: www.entombed.net


Thin Lizzy - One Night Only (Live)
January 2002 | Released: 2000, SPV | Rating: 4/5 | Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

During 1999 the ex-Lizzy-members Scott Gorham (guitar and b.vox); John Sykes (guitar and lead vox); Darren Wharton (keyboard and b.vox) together with the new members Marco Mendoza (bass and b.vox) and Tommy Aldridge ( drums), decided to tour. The tour that followed became a successful tour through Europe. Old 70’s hard rock was in again. Everybody wanted to see Thin Lizzy even if the leader and founder Phil Lynnot have been dead for many years. The live CD ”One night only” which was recorded during the tour in Europe in 1999 was released in 2000. The band went out on tour again to support this record also during 2000. One night only is magic especially for those who didn’t have a chance to see them play live. The production is brilliant. At the same time the band seems to have a very good time on stage. The material is from the later part of the Lizzy period when Scott, John and Darren were members of the originally Thin Lizzy. Magical versions of songs like Don’t believe a word; Suicide; Black Rose and my personal favorite Cowboy song.

Something that impresses me is Scott´s guitar playing; he is a real guitar hero. John sings in his own way and doesn’t try to imitate Phil L and I find that good; his guitar playing is good but I think Scott is better on the guitar. Some things are done as they were done in the good old days; for exempla The Boys Are Back In Town and in that one they play Cowboy Song. Even the old studio veteran Tommy A is marvelous on drums; a real drum hero. Marco M is not very prominent. He has a rather backstage place in the band. Even Darren has a rather backstage place in the band, you hardly hear him except in the intro to The Sun Goes Down. It is the radar couple Scott and John who dominate the whole stage.

Nowhere on the record it is said where it is recorded. That is a minus. John says several times that it is nice to bee in Germany so probably several songs are recorded there. I saw them play both in 1999 and 2000. Same songs were played booth times, a bit boring when we know that Thin Lizzy´s catalogue of songs are very big; I am not a very big fan but I regret that they don’t play more songs except the classics. Both the consorts were magical. The tour started in Scandinavia and went on to the rest of Europe in the end of last year. After a stop over Christmas and New Year the tour is going on in the USA.


Saxon - Killing Ground
November 2001 | Released: 2001, SPV | Rating: 5/5 | Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Saxon run their race as usual but the records have been up and down over the last years especially during the 90s. The band is like Motörhead - very productive with almost one record a year. As an old Saxon-fan from the 80s, I find this record brilliant. The band do what they do best.

The lead singer, Biff Byford, is in great shape compared to other old hard rock singers out there. Even Paul/Doug on guitars impress me, Fritz is playing real good behind the drums. Last time I saw the band was at Sweden Rock Festival 2000.What a concert that was. The best show on the festival! The current lie-up is: Biff Byford (vox), Paul Quinn (guitar), Nibbs Carter (bass), Doug Scarratt (guitar) and Fritz Randow( drums). The two first ones are original members. Lots of members have come and gone through the years.

KILLING GROUND starts with an intro that sounds like war before the title track begins and it sounds like typical 80s hard rock "Coming Home", "Hell Freezes Over," "Dragons Lair," etc… It may be typical, but certain songs run a little bit faster. ”Court of the Crimson King” and ”Shadows on the Wall” are very good ballads where Biff shows that his vocal resources are very, very good. ”Running for the Border” sounds a little bit like blues here and there. But the cover isn't the most beautiful one I have seen. The feeling is that Saxon is back again with a really strong record. All songs are written by the band. There are ten songs on the record and they were recorded in KARO studio, Brackel / Hamburg (Germany). The producer is Rainer Hänsel.

To quote the song ”Rock is our Life”
Raise up your hands to the light.
We stand together ’cause rock is our life.
Lift up your voices into the night.
We stand together ’cause rock is our life.

This says everything! Saxon will continue to play a long time to come. This is a must for all Saxon fans out there! For more info about Saxon, goto www.saxon747.com


Pretty Maides - Carpe Diem
November 2001 | Released: 2000, Scandinavian Records | Rating: 5/5 | Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

After a very long wait for the follow up to the 1999 album ANYTHING WORTH DOING IS WORTH OVERDOING CARPE DIEM showed up in the last part of year 2000. The Danish group Pretty Maids has continually refused to follow trends during the many years they have played. The group began in 1983 with various member shifts during the first years. Now the band is stable with Ken and Michael who joined the band in the early 90s. They play 80s melodic hard rock with lots of keyboard and sing a long lyrics. A change in the sound came on the previous record ANYTHING WORTH DOING IS WORTH OVERDOING. The sound was even more 90s hard rock then before.

CARPE DIEM was recorded during the summer 2000 in Puk studio in Denmark. Mixed by the old Metallica producer Flemming Rasmussen, Ronnie Atkins (Vox), Ken Hammer (Guitars), Ken Jackson (Bass), Michael Fast (Drums) and Alan Owen (Keyboard). All songs on the record are produced and written by the two members then has been with the band from the beginning - Atkins/Hammer. CARPE DIEM is a mix of the former record and the old 80s hard rock they have always done. I feel good about the fact that they have taken influences from the new trends and still keep to the old hard rock alive. Ken Hammer is very good guitarist, Ronnie Atkins voice is magic, Michael Fast is quite good on the drums and the only one that you hear not so much is bassist Ken Jackson.

CARPE DIEM is divided into parts one with more heavy sound as for example “Violent Tribe”, “Poisoned Pleasures” and “They’re All Alike.” These are a little bit harder than we are used to with Pretty Maids. Then there are the sounds with more soft 80s hard rock with songs like “The Unwritten Pages”, “For Once In Your Life”, “Time Awaits For No One”, “Tortured Spirits” and the title track “Carpe Diem” (about seizing the day and living before is to late). Two potential hits for the radio is “Wouldn’t Miss You” and “Clay.” These two are my favorites. This is a very good record if you like hard rock from the 80s. It’s one of the best Pretty Maids records. It is sad that not so many people are in to Pretty Maids any more because they are still a very good band. The band started their tour for CARPE DIEM in January 2001 and it lasted for 3 months visiting Denmark, Germany and Japan. Other countries weren’t interested in the band. The group deserves better than this and I am glad that they still playing. Pretty Maids still goes on if the tempo is slower then it was in the 80s. I saw them in Copenhagen Denmark on the CARPE DIEM tour and they never do a bad show. This summer they at last came to Sweden. They took part of the Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg. They haven’t played in Sweden in many years so I hope that many fans look forward to the visit from the whole Scandinavia.

For more info on the band look at their page http://www.prettymaides.com



Pretty Maides - Planet Panic
May 2002 | Released: 2002, Skandinavian Records | Rating: 5.0/5 | Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Ken Hammer - guitarist
Michael Fast - drums
Kenn Jackson - bass
Ronnie Atkins – lead vocals

Pretty Maides are back with a new record - PLANET PANIC. As always Atkins/Hammer wrote all the songs besides one that is a cover of Sammy Hagar's "One Way To Rock". Ten brilliant tracks are found on the CD. Pretty Maides have returned to the more melodic hard rock that is their hallmark. The two former records are heavier.

The first song is "Virtual Brutality," which is melodic hard rock and harder in the chorus. For "Playing God" the intro is hard featuring the good guitar playing of Mr. Hammer. "He Who Never Lived" has an intro with the drums, calmer tempo. "Face of My Enemy" has a heavy intro after that Ronnie on vocals with calmer parts when he sings solo. The chorus is more brutal and rapid. In the middle of the song before the guitar solo the sound is like Gay Moore and then comes a beautiful guitar solo from Mr. Hammer. "Not What You Think" provides an example of typical 80's hard rock. "Natural high" begins with an intro that is a good guitar solo and Ronnie is then singing a ballad-like song. Both Mr. Hammer and Mr. Atkins impress again. "Who's Gonna Change" has Michael Fast doing a longer drum intro and then-the song starts. "One Way To Rock" is a hard rock racer with very good background vocals.

This is a very strong record and every song is a hit. Pretty Maides do what they do best: 80's melodic hard rock that still "rocks" in the 21st century. Produced by the band, PLANET PANIC has a strong production. They have recorded it in The Puk Studio, Jailhouse Studio and Studio One in Denmark. Everyone in the band is impressive, especially Ronnie - what a voice! Ken on guitar is also impressive. They plan to release a jubilee-record with live material later this year to celebrate their twentieth anniversary as a band.

More info about the band is at http://www.prettymaides.com


Majestic - Trinity Overture
October 2001 | Released: 2000, Massacre Records | Rating: 4/5 | Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Majestic’s debut ABSTRACT SYMPHONY came out in 1999 and it received allot of attention around Europe and Japan. Majestic got to be the opening act to the Danish melodic metal band Pretty Maids during their 1999 tour. After differences of opinion within the band, almost the whole band split. The band leader Rickard Andersson had to find new members for the second record. The only original member in the band besides Rickard was the bassist Martin Wezowski.

In 2000 record number two was released. New members in the band were Peter Wildoer (drums), Magnus Nordh (guitars), Apollo Papathanasio (lead vocals), Martin (bass) and Rickard on keyboards. The neoclassical metal style of Majestic is very good and almost magic compared to the debut. The music on the first record is quite good but the lead singer spoiled everything with his voice. Part of it is very much similar to Yngwie Malmsteen but instead of guitars Rickard´s keyboard and Apollo´s voice dominates the sound-picture. Apollo is a splendid talent and he really knows how to sing. Magnus has great talent on guitar and is promising. He has the potential to be a guitar-hero in a couple of years.

There are ten songs on the new record. The record starts with the instrumental song “Entering the arena” where both Magnus and Rickard show their skill as musicians. “Voodoo treasure”, “The rapture of Canaan”, “I´ll shoot the moon” are all songs where Apollo shows what a clever singer he is. Rickard, wow, he really knows how to handle the keyboards. On odd song and a bit outstanding is “Curtain of fire” where Apollo goes up with the music on higher levels and that is a mess! This song is the fastest song on the record. Apollo´s voice and Rickard´s keyboard have a very beautiful tone together in this ballad “The breath of Horus”. At last comes the killer title track and Rickard impresses again. There isn´t a single bad song in this album. This is top notch neoclassical metal.

Majestic deserves all the attention they can get because this is really, really good. Rickard is responsible for all music and lyrics and arrangements on the record. This record was recorded at Roasting House Recording Studio AB in Malmö Sweden and produced by Rickard Andersson / Anders “Theo” Theander. There is nothing to complain about with this production. It is really heavy and Theander should stick to neoclassical metal and melodic metal like Last Tribe. For more information about Majestic visit their page www.jump.to/majestic



Debase - Domination
August 2001 | Released: 2001, Kick Music | Rating: 5/5 | Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Debase is a band from Malmö Sweden and DOMINATION is their second record. Their first one came out in 1999 (The World is Listening). Lots has happened to the band since then. They have played live a lot and worked on the record DOMINATION. They have been support act to bands like Alice Cooper, Entombed and Paradise Lost among others. The band lie-up is: Micke (vox), Sigge (git), Jonas (git), Johan (drums) and Micko (bass). It is very difficult to refer to anyone who has the sound that Debase has.

On the debut-album you could feel a little bit of Pantera-influences but not any more. Debase is very often compared with Pantera/Machine head in the media. I find that completely wrong. I would say that Debase plays Debase-metal and they do it so good that comparisons with others is unnecessery. You will find the second record more commercial than number one, so is the work with the textures more serious. The tracks on DOMINATION are more sing-along friendly than on the first one. Debase has changed drummers since the debut-album. The new drummer is Johan and he is one of the best drummers in Sweden for the moment. I think he has a chance for a splended career. Even live he plays like a demon on stage. Micke has developed as a singer. His voice has a wider register than before. Even Sigge / Jonas on guitars impress both on solo and lead guitar.

The recording of DOMINATION was at the same place as the first record, RoastingHouse Recording Studio AB in Malmö Sweden. The producer and mixer is Anders Theo Theander and Debase. All songs are written and arranged by Debase. DOMINATION kicks off with the faster song ”Stoneage 2K”. Other songs are a little faster such as the title track ”Hazardman”, ”The Cradle” and ”With Full Force”. The more ballad-like songs are ”Gideon´s Pawnshop” and the very beautiful ”Circle of Pain” where Micke makes a great impression. This song has potential to be a radio hit. The band is very technical and there are several examples in every song. The negative stuff on the record is that the chorus in ”Domination” and ”With Full Force” is weak. I wish there was more action in the chorus in these two songs. There are only 9 songs on the record so I would vote for a few more.

I miss very much the collaboration Debase had with the jazz singer Carina who worked with Debase in the debut-album. The song is called ”Bedtime Stories” is one of my favorites on the first one. She is a very talented and beautiful woman.

With a world wide record deal, this album coud be the band’s big break. It is very important that the band has the right people behind them, who knows how to promote the band. When the debut came there was no promotion at all and the band disappeared among others. I like the record a lot and you who buy it will not be disappointed if you like metal.

More information on the band is available on their site at: http://www.debase.as



Last Tribe - The Ritual
October 2000 | Released: 2001, Frontiers Records | Rating: 4.5/5 | Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Last tribe are a new band from Sweden. The debut album THE RITUAL is killer! The bandleader is Magnus Karlsson (guitar, b-vox and keyboard), Richard Bengtsson (lead-vox), Kristoffer ”Doffe” Andersson (drums) and last but not least Per Wallmark on bass. I have the feeling that they can go really far. Magnus is responsible for the music and lyrics on the record except for the songs ”Made of stone”, ”One of a kind” and ”Tears of gold” that Jonas Reingold was involved in putting lyrics to the music. This record was recorded in Malmo Sweden at Roastinghouse Recording Studio AB and is produced by Magnus Karlsson and Anders ”Theo” Theander. Anders has also produced, among others, Debase and Majestic.

The Ritual is a mélange between 80´classic hard rock/melodic hard rock and this sounds really good. Sometimes the sound is like Yngwie Malmssten when Magnus plays the guitar. It also sounds like another famous band from Sweden - Majestic with keyboards. Sometimes it is only very heavy and melodic. Richard on vox is a really a big talent and the same goes for Magnus on the guitar. Those two have the potential to be big stars. The others in the band are mostly background. Though they are a strong unit, they have really rehearsed for this debut album and they are all really good musicians.

There are ten songs on the album and they are all good. I was surprised with the quality of the songs. The opening song is the melodic ”Spellbound.” “Blood on your hands” and “Flying high” are real heavy ones. “Tears of gold” and “Ready for the storm” sound very much like Majestic - another big Swedish band. In these songs the keyboards dominate. ”Falling” is one of the most beautiful ballads I have heard in a long time. This song also has a very beautiful keyboard solo in the middle with Magnus’ acoustic guitar throughout the song.

Favorites on the album for me are “Ready for the storm”, “Blood on your hands”, “Made of stone”, “Tears of gold” and the very beautiful ballad “Falling”. This is 80´s classic hard rock/melodic hard rock for the new century. This group has the potential to go far.

Magnus and Anders ”Theo” Theander have done a good job with this debut. If you compare this to the job Anders did on the Debase record, Domination, that was a real disaster. He failed completely with that record. Anders ”Theo” Theander should stick to melodic productions in the hard rock genre. Real heavy metal bands/thrash/black should not be produced in Roasting House Recording Studio AB because of the way they handle it. For more info on Last Tribe, visit their record company’s page at www.frontiers.it



Clawfinger
A whole lot of nothing
Release year: 2001
BMG

5,0

By Anders Sandvall

I have followed the band since their start in the beginning of the nineties. I like everything they have done so far.Their production has not been overvelming.This is the fourth record.We have had to wait for it for four years. One of the reasons for that is that they had problems with their recordcompany so they changed. To make support for this record they went on tour as oppening act to the German band Rammstein in the end of last year.When they had days off during the tour they played on small clubs and was doing a lot of press.I saw them on the club KB in Malmö Sweden. What a show that was !!!! Clawfinger has always been very political and they still are.They support the week as the american band "Rage against the machine".The Band has always played metal with rap-singing.On this new record it's more updated for the tventyfirst centuryMore metal guitars and more heavy, angry and aggressive than before almost industrial metal.Zak Tell on vocals is a big talent and he makes a lot for the band to sound good and He still sings like a God.Zak Tell(vox), Erlend Ottem/Bård Torstensen(guitars), Jocke Skog(programming, keyboard and sidekickvox) together with Andre´Skaug(bass) a realy show man on stage and Henka Johansson(drums). The four first guys are the band Clawfinger. The whole band impresses on me.This record is produced by Jakob Hellner/Clawfinger and mixed by Stefan Glaumann. What about the record " A whole lot of nothing"? I got the first release with two bonustracks that isn't on the second release. First song "Two steps away" Heavymetal guitar with parts where Zak sings in a calm wayhalfway through the song and after that Zak starts toget really angry and the band becomes really aggressive. "Out to get me" First heavymetal guitars,then Zak's voice together with bass and drums and after that the whole band gets going. "Nothing going on".Onthis one it is full speed ahead.The only calm parts are when Zak is singing." Are you man enough"/"Confrontation"/ "Revenge" and "Fake a friend"( this is one of the bonustracks) sound like in the old days,real Clawfinger-style."Evolution"beautiful ballad where Zak impresses on me with his voice-resources."Don´t look at me" heavy metal-rap."Simon says" beautiful ballad again.Zak is once again magnificent and a nice keyboardsound can be heard through the song and it is Jocke playing keyboard."Burn in hell" and "Paradise" are industrial metal,really heavy."I close my eyes" calm intro, an uptempo ballad with barbed wire-guitars. "Vienna" it is a cover version of something I don't know and it is a little bit calmer with metal guitars and the God singer Zak.The other bonustrack is also a cover after Jimmy Hendrix and it is a song called "Manic depression".I have never heard't the original but I think it sounds like Clawfinger in the old days. Clawfinger has updated their sound before the tventyfirst century.I like their changes. The band deserves all the attention they can get. They were one of the first bands starting with rap-metal.This is much better then most of the shitty rap-metal coming up from the US right now.You all know which bands I am talking about.They are coming up.And they are really really awful I wouldn´t listen to those bands even if they payed me. It's only one thing to say about Clawfinger and they record "A whole lot of nothing".
BUY,BUY,BUY,BUY !!!
Nobody is going to be disappointed if they like this kind of music.
More info about the band.
http://www.clawfinger-net.de



Dee Snider
Never let the bastards wear you down
Spitfire records
Release year: 2000

5,0

By Anders Sandvall

Dee Snider ex lead singer of Twisted Sister,Desperado,Widomaker and now in Dee Snider's SMF. When he wants to go out on tour he tours with Dee Snider´s SMF, where he plays old Twisted Sister-songs with the new band and that is super. Dee has grown older with dignity and the same goes for the old Twisted sister-songs. They are just as good as they were in the 80´s. Dee´s voice is still in very good condition compared to certain old hardrock-singers.Dee was asked by Koch records if he wanted to record old songs that had never Been on any record before. Dee´s career in music-business has lasted for over twenty years.Musicians on this record are AJ Pero (drums) ex-Twisted sister,Derek (bass),Tony and Dan (guitars). Concerning Dee it is kick ass,hard rock/rock and roll that is valid even on this new record "Never let the bastards wear you down" (I like the titel).The record showed up in 2000 and it kicks off with a tribute to Dee´s friend Lemmy in Motörhead. The record begins with a stolen bass-intro from Motörhead before the song starts. The name of the song is "Hardcore" a real fast one. "Call my name" and "Our voice will be heard" are more Twisted sister like. Their place was in fact on the record "Stay hungry" but they did didn't. Some of the songs are from the Desperado-time. Dee wrote them together with Bernie Torme for exemple "Isn´t it time", "Cry you a rainbow" which is a real nice ballad where Dee shows his voice-resources. The original titletrack to the Desperado-record didn´t show upon the Desperado record.Dee is very fond of music from the 50´s That´s who there is a cover on the record, " The wanderer" in hard-rock version. As a closure of the ten songs comes a tribute to Dee´s wife "Ride through the storm" (Suzette´s song 2). This is a very beautiful up-tempo ballad . The content is about Dee´s wife who has supported him through good times and bad times for 15 years. This is a very good record if you like Dee Snider. Not one bad song on this one especially if you like hard-rock from the 80´s as I do. This is very good and I can only regrett they didn´t show up until now and that is sad. As a bonus Dee has written a small story about every song and that is amusing to read staff like that.The record is well produced and there is nothing to complain of. As a true SMF-fan you got to have this record, For more info about Dee look at www.deesnider.com



Roachpowder
Atomic Church
The Music Cartel Inc
Release year: 2001

3,5

By Anders Sandvall

Roachpowder is a new aquintence. I know nothing about the band except that they were a support act to Entombed in Lund, Sweden. I didn't hear them play in Lund because I sat in the loge with Uffe in Entombed talking to him. But Roachpowder was a bunch of really nice guys.

The band consists of Francisco Rencoret on vox and guitar, George Bravo on guitar and organ,Måns Persson on drums and on bass on the record is the x-Entombed member Lars Rosenberg .He is now M.I.A (missing in action) and also in the band.We have the live-activists Linus Wiklund on bass and Marcus de Mingus on organ. The record is produced by George/Francisco and mixed by dr Gonzo.

Roachpowder's music is a bit hard to define. It is old seventies hardrock/influences of stone rock/some times some influences of metal. Francisco´s voice is not so good because the voice is drowned by the instruments which are to loud.Francisco/George impress me a lot with their guitarplay.

Atomic Church has ten songs and it kicks off with "House of the wicked", "All hail and kneel before me", "Balls of the sun" sound like old seventy-hard rock. "Purgatorio amorosa"A small intro with a nice loop of guitar throughout the intro. "To ebola with love"a good guitarintro with vocals. This song is more of a ballad."Harp"is an instrumental song without vocals. "No reasons" is a calm ballad but in parts the song become more angry. "Bullets of creation" old hardrock again. "Oceans red" with an intro by a woman talking before the song starts. This one is the fastest on the record with metal and old seventies hardrock mixed."In to the center"is a song with fast seventy hard rock before the speed slows down a bit.

Roachpowder has very talented musicians and song writers. If you like old seventy hardrock/stone rock this record is a good choice to buy and there are young musicians from Sweden playing.

For m
ore info about the band go to:

WWW.ROACHPOWDER.COM



Dimension Zero - Silent Night Fever
April 2002 | Released: 2002, Regain Records | Rating: 5.0/5 | Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

This band wants to sound like the band “In Flames” but with more attitude, more brutality and faster.“Dimension Zero” has succeeded in doing.This is very good if you like brutal Metal.

During 2001 they started rehearsing and songwriting. During the summer they went into the studio, Phlat Planet-studio, together with Anders Friden (In Flames) behind the mixertable. The recordings took only sixteen days.The result was nine songs of really raw metal.The production is really brilliant!

Demension Zero consists of:
Jesper Strömblad /In Flames/ guitar, bass
Jocke Göthberg /ex Marduk/ vox
Glenn Ljungström /ex In Flames/ guitar
Hans Nilsson /ex Crystal Age/ drums

Silent night fever kicks off with the titletrack and it goes really, really fast. Jocke sounds more angry than Anders Friden the singer in In Flames.
“The murder-Inn”, “Through the Virgin Sky” and “Not Even Dead” go really fast but you can feel some influences from In Flames. “Your Darkest Hour” a calm guitar intro before everyone starts to play and the tempo is fast. “They are Waiting to Take Us” angry, fast, brutal. “Until You Die” and “End” heavy but a tiny bit calmer.“Slow silence” lasts for only two minutes, calm intro, talksong and a beautiful guitar- play throughout the song, cool drums. This is the most quiet song on the record.

This is good, marvellous, but a minus is that all tracks come one after the other without pause and it all sounds like one song. All the guys in the band impress me especially Jocke on vox. He sounds superangry throughout the whole record. Hans keeps a steady hand on the drums. He also impresses a lot. Jesper on guitar impresses also.

If you like brutal metal this is something for you. To really understand and fully apreciate this record you have to listen and listen again many times because otherwise you can’t hear the nuances in the music.

If you like In Flames this is for you. It is a side project of Jesper Strömblad who is a guitarist in In Flames so that’s why the sound reminds me of In Flames.

For more info on the band, check with their recordcompany Regain Records at http://www.regainrecords.com



Iron Maiden - Rock in Rio

April 2002 | Released: 2002, EMI Records | Rating: 5.0/5 | Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Iron Maiden, live at the Rock In Rio Festival in Brazil the 19th of January 2001. Maiden has always been one of my biggest heroes; I have followed the band for twenty years. I have seen them live numerous times.

This concert on these two CDs is magic. Two hundred and fifty thousand crazy Brazilians saw the show. Bruce, Dave, Adrian, Janick, Steve and Nicko are in splendid form and play like hell. This live-record is just as good as the classic record from 1985: “Live After Death”. It is special that Mr. Dickinsson (the best singer in the world) and Mr. Smith are back in Maiden again. as you all know, they have been away for some years.

On the first CD...
The songs from the new record “Brave New World” feel just as fresh as the classic old numbers. The first record has a lot of new stuff like: “Wicker Man”, “ Ghost of the Navigator,” The titletrack and “Bloodbrothers”. They feel just as good as the golden oldies like: “Wrathchild”, “2 Minutes to Midnight” and “ The Trooper”.

On the second CD...
Here is older material like “The Evil That Men Do”, “Iron Maiden”, “The Number of the Beast”, “Run to the Hills” and “ Sanctuary”. Something that impresses me is that they play songs from the Blaze Bailey- era like “Clansman” and “Sign of the Cross”. The audience follows Bruce's every signal and there is a spontanious sing along in almost every song. Bruce seems to be in a very good mood and he talks a lot between the songs. Bruce dedicates the song “Blood Brothers” to all Iron Maiden fans all over the world. It is a mighty and powerful sensation to hear the whole audience sing together in the chorus. It is also so powerful to hear the audience in the beginning of the song “Fear of the Dark”.

As a special bonus CD one and CD two have an enhanced video: ”Brave new world” and “A day in a life” Those two are taken from the upcoming video and DVD with the same name ”Rock in Rio”.

This is a magic and brilliant double-live CD with 19 live tracks. Iron Maiden is back on top again and nobody can beat them live or musicwise. This is a splended introduction to true heavy metal at it’s best. There is only one thing to say !!!!! BUY ! BUY ! BUY !

More info on the band at: http://www.ironmaiden.com



Reptilian - Castle of Yesterday
May 2002 | Released: 2000, Regain Records | Rating: 3.0/5 | Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Jonas Blum-lead vocals
Thomas Blum-Keyboards
Lasse Boquist-guitar
Joel Linder-drums
Jonas Reingold-bass
Orvar Wennström-guitar

Jonas/Joel played on the first CD with Majestic (ABSTRACT SYMPHONY). When they left the band after the first record they wanted to continue together. So they started a new band called Reptilian. Those two recruited the rest of the band and started to compose and rehearse. It was a fast job to get stuff to record and the band went into the famous Berno-studio and recorded the debut album CASTLE OF YESTERDAY. The record contains ten songs.

This is, from my point of view, a record that is melodic hard rock with neo-classical elements here and there. It is a fresh touch, faster than ordinary melodic hard rock, even with elements of metal. The cover is a masterpiece made by Eric Philippe (Rhapsody, Gamma Ray, etc.). I have some favorites songs, such as the title track "Veins of Hell", "The Deceiver", "Change Your Heart" and "Masterplan".

Joel on drums and Orvar/Lasse on guitars impress me a lot. Jonas, however, is the weak link. He has a very limited voice-register. In some of the songs he is okay, such as the ballad "Change Your Heart." On most songs, however, he fails and draws the result down. Still, I eagerly await the follow-up that is in the works now.



Silver Seraph - st
May 2002 | Released: 2002, Regain Records | Rating: 5.0/5 | Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Silver Seraph is a new band from Malmö, Sweden. The two guys who started the band are the genius keyboardist Richard Andersson (Majestic) and lead vocalist Pete Sandberg (Alien, Jade, Midnight Sun). Those two recruited drummer Peter Wildoer (Majestic), guitarist Jorgen Birch (Jade, ex-Bai Bang) and bassist Jens Lundahl (Black Totem).

This record was recorded last year in PAMA-Studio here in Sweden. The production is brilliant. This is classic melodic hard rock with a tiny bit of neo-classical influences that shine through here and there. There are ten songs on the CD. "Aftermath" comes as number one and presents an example of good and fast hard rock. Then comes "7th Days of Babylon," where Richard gives us an impressive intro on keyboard and then comes Jorgen on guitar, which you can hear through the song. The style is calmer with neo-classical influences. "Cry from Hell" has very good back-up vocals and Jorgen's guitar solo is excellent. "Desperate Heart" shows a slow beginning with only Richard and Pete. Pete sings divinely, a beautiful ballad with drums and guitar and bass in the back. Jorgen's solo is again brilliant. "Shadowland" is a composition with only music, no vocals. Richard shows his mastership on keyboard. "Shadow" is like music from a horror movie. "Nosferatu" - You can wonder over the name but the song is beautiful and the back-up vocals are beautiful. From "In the Dark" Richard makes the intro together with Peter. This is really neo-classical style with many rhythm changes throughout the song. Even Peter gets to show his skill.

Silver Seraph is a band we must keep in mind. I think they can make a great career if they only get the right people behind them to promote the band properly. Everyone in the band is really skillful and I like the record very much. If you like melodic hard rock this record is a must have. With the right push, this band can go really far.



D.A.D. - Soft Dogs
May 2002 | Released: 2002, EMI / Medley Records | Rating: 5.0/5 | Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Disneyland After Dark (D.A.D) has been my favorite Danish band for many years. When you buy a record by D.A.D. you don’t really know what you are going to get music-wise. This band has released 8 CDs so far, not counting all the live and collection CDs they have released. As a true fan of the band I will admit that there are failures between the good records.

SOFT DOGS is a very good record when you have listened to it for a while. This is music that demands several listenings. The band considers this record quite a bit and the impression is that the songs are put together; that is , all the songs are melodic hard rock. The band line-up was the same from the beginning until the previous record, when the drummer (Peter) left. Now there is a new drummer (Laust Sonne). Completing the line-up are: Jacob Binzer (guitar, keyboard and backing vox), Stig Pedersen (bass and backing vox), and Jesper Binzer (lead vox and guitar).

Soft Dogs kick off with the melodic almost up-tempo ballad that is the title track. ”What’s the matter?” has a smart guitar intro before it starts. This is melodic hard rock with cooler parts where Jesper is singing. ”The truth about you” is again melodic hard rock with the potential to be a big radio hit. ”Golden Way” and ”Human Kind” beautiful ballads with smart guitar loop, choir and Jesper’s voice. ”It Changes Everything” is a beautiful ballad. ”Un frappe sur la tete” is a song that sounds like the old D.A.D., a faster hard rock song with brilliant guitar solos in the middle.

This is a very good record even if it is a bit hard to digest even for a BIG D.A.D. fan like me. The production is brilliant. The producer, Nick Foss, has done a really good job. Of the twelve songs on here, all of them good. With this record D.A.D. have the potential for lots of success.

For more info about the band look at their webpage: WWW.D-A-D.COM


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