Norwegian cinematic ambient electronic project LIGHTS A.M. (aka Erlend Eilertsen of ESSENCE OF MIND) presents to us an all new quite dark and eerie ambient single featuring “Not Ready For This” with layers of synths and some tribal almost ritualistic percussions, while “Afraid To Let Go” is more organic and enchanting although it remains very melancholic, ethereal and dreamy (and this especially expressed through the live bonus version on this EP).
The first previews of a new sonic voyage where the listener creates their own journey.
This is how Erlend himself perceives it: “Both these tracks have some of the same emotions, though in different ways. “In Not Ready For This” I see fog, a challenge, and fear of going through it, while in “Afraid To Let Go” the challenge is to let go of something which doesn’t serve you, but still being afraid of what will happen after you let go. So it is basically fear, sadness and melancholia blended together, quite dark yes…”.
The new EP acts as a new teaser for the project’s upcoming new album “Stories Without Words Vol. 2” which is on pre-order now via Bandcampand on CD via the Alfa Matrix website. Add to this you can also get the new album in a package with all 3 Lights A.M releases plus the new Alfa Matrix compilation “A strange play vol.2 – an alfa matrix tribute to The Cure” 2CD.
But attention, this special package is only available during the pre-sale period.
Paradigm, the Progressive Thrash Metal band from Târgu-Mureş, Transylvania, Romania released their first EP earlier this year entitled Chaotic Systems. All five songs from the EP is available for streaming on their official website and their social media sites.
The EP is the first recording with the new line-up. The band was formed in 2002 as a five piece, the following year they played as an instrumental act than in 2004 they recorded a demo with a new singer. Tudor Turcu was their second singer, who eight years later, in 2012 won first place on the Romanian X-Factor.
Unfortunately they split-up in 2005 and only after four years of pursuing other projects have they decided to reform the band with new members; this time with three guitars to make the music all the more complex. After a few changes the final line-up was established in 2012. The following year they entered the studio and released their new material on March 2014.
Siklódi Attila – bass
Zeitz Róbert – guitars
Péter Csanád László – guitars
Ács Levente – guitars
Fodor Csaba – drums
Hadnagy László – vocals
Official website: http://www.paradigm.ro/site.php
There are bands where you feel the passion involved in the music they do in every detail. I must admit From Below just started to gain my heart from the moment they contacted me and put a smile on my face sending a very special copy of their second album to review. And if added to that, what you listen through the 10 tracks of their latest album no gods no monsters is just honest powerful music that pumps into a system like a good old shot of adrenaline, I cannot say less than this band got a new more fan!
New Yorkers From Below are Cero Cartera on the vocals, Tom Hoy as lead guitarist, Chika Obiora on the bass and Ian Costello on the drums. What you get from the introductory track Carnivore is a good doses of indie rock, distorted guitars and the voice of Cartera sounding natural and powerful, with no overdoing his singing skills but just mastering a tone while singing that surrounds you in loops that leave me a mixed taste of rage and sadness, maybe same as life feels… (damn, I am feeling deeply philosophical tonight).
After the second homonymous track From Below, the band slows the pace one notch to become more introspective and psychedelic with The Ledge and with one of my favorite tracks in the whole album: Stay, which has great lyrics and Cartera’s voice advancing slow but straight like an arrow while the guitar riffs in the background are in sync perfectly with the melancholic atmosphere.
After that point of inflection in the album, the band spread again its wings of mischievousness and more raw punk side with At First Sight, a track that can put your feet into motion 2 seconds after the start followed up by the longest song in the whole album, The Violence in Silence, that starts with a much bluesy tone than previous tracks during the first half of the song and then magically evolves into an orgasmic chain of amazing guitar riffs after 5 minutes. I swear to god that the track would sound and feel perfect in a climatic end of a science fiction movie (if there is anybody from the film industry reading this, check this one out). Undoubtedly, my favorite track from the album!
Last couple of songs, Blood Money and Psychoacoustics, just transport me mentally to a small dance floor in some dark rock club where you can lose your thoughts among sweet, beer, smoke and of course this good rock music. In fact, I would say that most of the whole album feels so close and intimate in a way that I just feel I want to see the band playing in a small size venue where I could feel the amplifiers a few meters away from me.
Because I do not want to go “super flattering ass licking mode” in this whole review, if I have to find a “but”, I would just point my doubt about if the big strength of the band could be also their biggest weakness: to feel so solid like a small venue band. Pretty much in The Violence is Silence is the only song where I perceive ambitious to create a bigger work being played in a bigger venue for bigger audiences. On the other hand, it seems the guys just enjoy doing what they do so far, having fun touring the NY clubs scene, making friends, enjoying their music and keeping it real. As far as they do as good music and they achieved with this album, I take my hat off to them!
Rating: 9 / 10
2.From Below 04:18
3.The Ledge 4:13
5.At First Sight 03:35
6.The Violence In Silence 10:20
7.Blood Money 01:58
Norrsköld is a young promising Swedish metal band that hast just released their first EP with 6 songs: Blessings of Winter. Behind the project there is the musical talent of Henrik Bodin, defining their style as “multimetal from the cold forests of Sweden”.
The album starts like quite typically a black metal album would start, with strong drums in the opening “Night Crystals“. However, soon you realize that apart from the gutural deep voices that reminds you of many other nordic bands, the band has made a great effort to be also melodic and honor that title of “multimetal”. In fact, the EP really caught my attention when arriving to the 3rd acoustic song that gives title to the album “Blessings of Winter“. A beautiful piece of music played with an acoustic guitar. I found that piece of a bit more than 2 minutes a delicatessen for my ears, enjoying it the most together with the instrumental fifth track “Solar Prominence“, solid guitar riffs and a very powerful drumming running the show there!.
I would resume the EP as a very good effort for the Swedish being their introductory album. In their Facebook page they announce that soon they will have their first completed album released, and I cannot wait to listen to it. I would prefer if they would focus a bit more on the instrumental/melodic side of their music, because I see a strong potential there. Sweden continues giving birth to awesome metal bands!
Rating 4 out of 5.
FREE! Magazine gives away 2 copies of the latest album from Finnish metal band 2 Wolves: “Men of Honour“.
If you want to be one of the lucky winners, it is just as easy as sending the right answer to our editor antonio.diaz(at)freemagazine.fi, writing in the subject of the email “2 Wolves Competition”. Good luck and horns up!
The name of the band is “2 Wolves”. What was the biggest influence on Aleksi Susi when he was thinking how to name his group?
A. An old Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves
B. His last name (Susi means wolf in english)
C. He has own wolf that lives in his house
D. Continuous dreams of protective wolves
From Punksvall, Sweden, come these 6 guys who have played together apart from being close friends since 2008. And being honest, they have turned to be one of the few new bands I have heard lately that made me play their homonymous CD , Jetbone, more than once.
I receive copies often from bands, and I usually lack the time to review or listen to them several times, but with Jetbone it was love at first sight. I like the simple but stylish desigh of the CD, and of course I also love the music inside.
The point is that actually Jetbone does not sound originally at all, just classic rock with blues influence, classic guitar riffs, clasic lyrics… but maybe that is its charm, it feels like if this would be one of your favorite bands even from the first time you listen to them. The album already starts with 2 very catchy tunes, Dancin`On Your Grave and Baby It`s Your Time, and continues with a very high level. Actually some songs like Time by Time reminded me a lot of their Swedish fellows The Hellacopters, while in other compositions like Dead City Fire you can really feel the influence of The Rolling Stones.
I can imagine myself dancing in some small dark concert hall that smells of sweat, cigarettes, beer and in the background the music of Jetbone. If an album can inspire you those feelings, it means this is really rock & roll. And I like it! One of the surprises of 2012!
Rating 5 out of 5
1 Dancin’ On Your Grave
2 Baby It’s Your Time
3 Time By Time
4 Dead City Fire
5 I Don’t Know (Which Way To Go)
6 Ride The Riot
7 Take Me Down
9 Perfect Mess
10 Runnin’ Around
Jetbone – Baby It´s Your Time
Written by Elena Paraschiv
Tracedawn is a Finnish melodic death-metal band formed by Tuomas Yli-Jaskari in 2005. Initially the project was called “Moravia”, but eventually it was changed in “Tracedawn”. So far, the band has released three studio albums: “Tracedawn”(2008); “Ego Anthem”(2009) and “Lizard Dusk”(2012). The band will also release an Unplugged EP for “Lizard Dusk” songs, including an acoustic video for the song “Arabian Nights”.
“Lizard Dusk” was released on February 15, 2012, via Redhouse. The album was produced and co-recorded by Tuomas Yli-Jaskari, Perttu Kurttila and Vili Itäpelto at Seawolf and Redhouse Studios, mixed by Henrik Udd (Dimmu Borgir, Dark Tranquility, Arch Enemy etc.) at Studio Fredman in Sweden, and mastered by Mika Jussila at Finnvox. Tracedawn has released so far two music videos, one for the song “Breed Insane” (on December 30, 2011) and another for “Machine” ( on February 10, 2012, via Radio Rock).
This third album marks the band`s first material without singer Antti Lppalainen and also, the first with Niko Kalliojärvi ( Lithuria, ex-Amoral), who`s now sharing the role of lead-singer with guitarist Tuomas Yli-Jaskari. The current Tracedawn`s line-up is: Perttu Kurtilla (Lithuria)-drums; Pekko Heikkilä (Attempted Life)-bass; Vili Itäpelto (Seraphiel, Friends with Enemies)-keyboard; Roni Seppänen-guitar; Tuomas Yli-Jaskari (Lithuria)-guitar/clean vocals and Niko Kalliojärvi (Lithuria, ex-Amoral)- growls.
“Lizard Dusk” kicks into gear with the first track of the album “Arabian Nights”, a song where the Tracedawn`s mark can be sensed, a high-energy one. After listening to the album multiple times and after digesting all the songs, this one is the perfect opener for the album, mixing the guitars and keyboards in some ways a little different from what I heard before on the other Tracedawn`s albums. The guitar solo doubled by drums it`s really, really good. This one is definitely an enjoyable listen.
“Arabian Nights” it`s followed by “Breed Insane”, reminiscent of the old days but with a sound that brings contribution to Modernism Era in melodic death-metal. While listening to the song you can hear and feel the subtile electronic vibe throught the song that surrounds perfectly the drums mixed with strong bass. The guitar solo feels very inspired, exactly like the clean and delicate keyboards that can be noticed at the end of the song. Niko is doing his job growling like he used to back in the days, valorizing those super-catchy lyrics. This song is also one of the highlights of the album and it`s already part of the band`s live set.
The next three songs “Sick Fire”, “The Crawl” and “You`re fired!” do their job successfully and do not decrease the intensity or the energy of the album in any way. Actually, “You`re fired!” is one of the best songs of this material. A black metal influence is given by the film music present on the background of the song. After minute 2, it`s starting a soft guitar solo (which reminds me of Amoral`s “Warp”) followed by a sudden shift to growls and heavy drumming.
“Machine” is the sixth song of the album. This one provides listeners mind-blowing guitars, pretty solid groove based-riffing, beautiful songwriting with catch lyrics, all this making “Machine” a real technical death-metal song with some pop-metal influences here and there. The final cut of the song where the keyboards are doubled by drums is simply beautiful.
“Nothing and Nowhere”- the best song of the album. Why? Because the beginning is smooth, fine, in a jazzy style, pleasant and delicate (almost making you lay down and relax with a glass of red wine) and then, they really slip into their comfort zone. Clean and simple vocals entwined with Niko`s growls, beautiful keyboard and guitar solo make this song a masterpiece. Even though it starts sweet and calm, the song is a delight of drumming and it`s not void of any real growls either.
“Thanks for asking, I`m just obsessed” and “Taught my eyes to lie” are the last two songs of the album, reminding the listeners a little bit of the old days. The first one, ”Thanks for asking, I`m just obsessed” doesn`t need any description. When you read the title you know exactly what to expect. Electrifying guitars, heavy drumming, groovy riffs, perfect growls, all mixed with fine American sound, good songwriting, pretty powerful bass that makes your heart vibrate, make this song HEAVY AS HELL.
“Taught my eyes to lie” is a simple, pure and real melodic death-metal song. I would say that this is the best ballad-type song of the band so far, with its beautiful chorus brought to life by guitar riffs. The end of the song comes again to show that Tracedawn know what they are doing and where they are heading to, definitely this song was the best way to end a very good album.
No doubt “Lizard Dusk” is the best output material of the band so far. It`s an album that`s challenging the musical intuition of every listener, an album that has unforgettable tracks, an album that during the tracks hasn`t the energy putter down. While listening the whole album you can notice a change in style and sound. Well, this time is a good change. It seems to me that Tracedawn found their perfect formula, making an epic, superior material that merge elements from many musical styles(the pure jazzy, cosy style which is in perfect antithesis with the genre they`re approaching it`s amazing). And Niko coming and taking the role of lead-singer is a big plus for the band, because first, he is like the Master Of Growls and he is not shy in showing it everytime he can, and second because it`s well-known the fact that he is still loved by the old fans of his previous band, fact that brought Tracedawn more fans.
All in all, “Lizard Dusk” is a complete album that`s definitely worth buying, of a band who stays somewhere at the boarder between underground and commercial.
01 Arabian Nights
02 Breed Insane 03 Sick Fire
04 The crawl
05 You`re Fired!
07 Nothing and Nowhere
08 Thanks for asking, I`m just obsessed
09 Taught my eyes to lie
Tracedawn – Breed Insane
Leo Christer Friman, aka Freeman, is a legend in the Finnish music scene. Starting his music career in a band called Waterloo, he reached his peak of fame in the 70s with songs like Ajetaan tandemilla or Osuuskaupan Jane that are still very well known for the younger generations of Finnish audience.
Freeman only released three studio albums, the last one in 1986, dedicating himself later to other duties in radio and television. It does not happen every day that a legend releases a new studio album 25 years after the last one, but here we have Freeman 4. For celebrating such an event, Freeman gave a great release party gig at Tavastia where played old and new songs, with the good company of other Finnish famous musicians like Ismo Alanko or Lauri Porra. I was there, and I can say that Freeman is as much enjoyable live as when you listen to his new CD.
Because yeah, Freeman 4 is highly enjoyable. Opposite to the melancholic feeling that dominates most of Finnish music, Freeman´s songs put you immediately I high spirit, a 60 years old musician who keeps the energy and cheerfulness of a teenager (maybe his predilection for running long distances in his free time keeps him like that). I would say that some of the best tracks of the album are just the initial ones, songs like Mitä sinulle kuuluu?, Sirkusihmisiä (my favorite one) or Mattiolaituri make you move your feet almost automatically, transporting you to a happy place with a cold beer in your hand and a smile on your face. I am sure they will become instant classics in house parties all over Finland during the next years.
Freeman looks and sings like a kind of nutty professor from a Disney movie who invites his pupils to leave the classroom and dance in the courtyard. And certainly it is an invitation to move your feet that you cannot refuse with such a brilliant comeback album! Very recommended!
Freeman – Ajetaan Tandemilla (1976)
FREE! Magazine and Dynamic Arts Records bring you the best of the land of heavy metal: Suomi Perkele Finland!!!
Now you have the chance to get 1 of the 3 copies autographed by the members of the band of the new album from Napolen SkullFukk: Swollen & Torture Metal.
Just answer correctly the question below and send it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org , writing in the subject field “Napolen Skullfukk contest”. Good luck metal heads!
Question: What is the name of the vocalist of Napolen Skullfukk?
A) Jonne Nikula
B) John Holmes
C) R. Kurimus
D) Pentti Suomalainen
FREE! Magazine and EA Music want to celebrate with you the 10th anniversary of the legendary electronic music band Ladytron!
So just send us the correct answer to the question below to email@example.com , writing “Ladytron contest” in the subject field of your email, and you can get 1 of the 3 CDs “Ladytron – Best of 00-10” that we have to give away to our lucky winners!
Question: In what city was Ladytron formed?
Ladytron – Best of 00 – 10
British L.R. Phoenix on the vocals/harmonica/guitar and his partner Mo’ Hell are not born in some neighborhood near Missisippi where rednecks would carry guns like children would carry lollipops, but in England, and what is even more weird for blues musicians, they are settled in Finland.
Let`s be honest, blues is not the mainstream style of music in Finland, a country where when you kick a stone, they appear magically three or four new hard rock and metal bands. Even that applies to me, in my personal taste; I listen to mostly rock and metal bands. But nevertheless, quality does not know of styles. And the follow up album to their debut Wrecked, released a couple of years ago, is a great blues album that will catch your attention from the first riffs of the opening Shake Them Down, one of my favorite tracks together with 90 Days in Jail.
The style of the band is quite straightforward, and can sound raw for some moments, but in any case, that seems to be the spirit behind them: a direct shot of blues to your stomach. You can like it or not, but this is what they like playing, and they deliver it without the need to be subtle.
Their musician friend Honey Lake collaborates with the duo in three of the tracks playing violin and with vocals in an album that pays openly homage to their hero L.R. Burnside; nevertheless, the album is named Jumper on the Line as a tribute to him, with a more than decent cover song as the 7th track.
Phoenix & Hell shows to Finnish rockers a little lesson about the origins of hard rock in blues music. If you do not remember about them, try to listen to that little Australian band called AC&DC, for starters…
Resuming, Jumper on the Line is a very good blues album that is enjoyed fast and furiously, like a cold beer in your hand on a hot summer night. If you like blues with roots and guts, and you are open minded enough to admit that blues can come from more places than USA, this album is for you.
Jumper on the Line – Tracklist
1. Shake Them Down
2. Don´t Want No Skinny Woman
3. I Swapped My Wife For A Used Coat
4. Boggy Pine
5. Freight Train
6. Keep Your Hand Off My Woman
7. Jumper On The Line
8. We Got A Thing Going On
9. Going To Memphis
10. 90 Days In Jail
12. Watermelon Skies
If just in our previous album review we talked about a great female singer, here comes another one from Finland. Frida Andersson is a 22 years old Finnish singer and songwriter who lives in Helsinki, although having spent time in the past living in Sweden (and having Swedish surname).
Together with her guitar, and a great orchestration (her producer Hannu Korkeamäki has done a great job here), she features her debut album, released at the end of 2009. A collection of 10 tracks that exhale a classy aroma of good music.
Although the melancholia is a predominant feeling in Finnish songwriters, Frida’s album has a great cheerful general tone, even when talking about sad things. The songs could be perfectly used more like the soundtrack of an entertaining musical in Broadway than for crying alone in the darkness of your room. Tracks like the first Love Candle, Busy Missing You, Indian Summer (my favorite) or October Blue are just some highlights of this well-balanced album, mastered perfectly by Frida’s candid and beautiful voice.
If you like artists like Katie Melua, you are going to enjoy this one pretty much. The CD shows good taste even in the art design, measured but with a touch of romanticism and class; an excellent debut album for a very promising and young talented Finnish musician.
Sarah June is an American musician that will certainly leave an impression on you. It is not easy nowadays, with the tones of new albums released every month, to find something fresh or shocking in music bussiness, but certainly her sophomore album In Black Robes, it is something surprising the first thing you hear it.
Just with an acoustic guitar and her voice, Sarah is able to create a kind of oniric musical experience. She sounds like a mischiveous teenager about to whisper a dirty secret to the microphone, but at the same time the lyrics can be really dark and deep. Goth folk? Certainly the style is not easy to catalogue, and that makes this album even more interesting.
Maybe the best parts of the album is when the rythm turns to be more bluesy, as a perfect example you can listen to the sixth track Bluesy Melody, where June`s vocal skills just shine or in Fencepost. Some other highlights of the album are the introductory Cowboy or the tenderly beautiful Paper Lantern, my favorite of the whole album.
However, if I have to put a “but”, I would say that the album could fall into sounding a bit monotonous after listening to it a few times. Sarah is skilled enough to show a wide enough palette of registers in the 13 tracks, but still, it would be interesting to see her beautiful voice going more experimental in the future (for example with a electric guitar…). In any case, if you like good songwriting and a female voice with a delightful twist, this album can be a great discovery for your collection!
Follow up album for the Finnish gothic band after their debut in 2007.
Primrose Path is a good album for those of you who like gothic melodic metal with female singers on the front, in the same line than bands like Nightwish, Lacuna Coil or Evanescence, for putting a few examples. The voice of Annika Jalkanen is crystalline and clear, straight to your heart, but sometimes I miss a bit more of risk trying to get higher notes.
As most of the Finnish metal bands, their style and musical skills are excellent, and the album sounds very mature for a band not so well known internationally. However, the saturation of bands in the same genre during the last years puts some doubts in my head if they will be able to breakthrough, although it seems things are going well so far for the Finnish guys, touring around Europe.
Listen to tracks like Countdown to the Starts, the initial one, or Rusty Rails of Yesterday, and get immersed in a surrealistic atmosphere of musical pleasure (and a little bit of sorrow).