IMMORTAL – Northern Chaos Gods

After initially listening to the first couple seconds of IMMORTAL‘s comeback album, Northern Chaos Gods, you realize that you owe the band a huge apology for doubting them.  A raging storm of ice and snow blast forth in a way that only Bergen, Norway’s finest can produce.

Despite the departure of original vocalist and bassist/guitarist, Abbath, and him allegedly taking most of what was supposed to be the band’s next studio album for his solo album, IMMORTAL is intact and true to their legacy.  Demonaz takes on vocal duties in masterful fashion and, most importantly, returns to his rightful place recording guitars for the band. Peter Tägtgren (HYPOCRISY, PAIN) pulls double duty as producer and session bassist.

While it is accurate to say that IMMORTAL finds much inspiration in their colder, faster sound from around the mid-90’s, Northern Chaos Gods is not a total throwback or a regression.  The mastery and epic sound that the band honed so well in the 2000’s is still intact as evidenced by songs like “Gates to Blashyrkh” and “Mighty Ravendark.” The one characteristic that is not as strong as the hooks that were ever so present in their last couple of albums.  However, Northern Chaos Gods is still a satisfying and enjoyable album.

With Northern Chaos Gods, IMMORTAL continue to build on their legacy and prove that break ups, line up changes, lawsuits, and severe injuries cannot stop one of the greatest bands on the planet.  (Nuclear Blast Records)

Straight Shooting: HYPOCRISY’s Best Song

Without a doubt Swedish death metal legends HYPOCRISY have written many excellent songs through out their career. However, one song stands alone as their absolute best. No, it’s not something from early days with Masse Broberg or the doomy period but from their more melodic era.

On their self-titled sixth album, released in 1999, HYPOCRISY dig from within with “Elastic Inverted Visions.” The song is simply epic in its feel and mainman Peter Tatgren puts out a great vocal performance. The melodic guitars and the balls out guitar solo in the middle are so damn good. Check out the song and let us know if you agree.

PAIN – Cynic Paradise

Despite producing an endless amount of albums, going on worldwide tours with HYPOCRISY and various other bands, workaholic Peter Tägtgren still finds time for his pet project, PAIN. As another creative outlet for the HYPOCRISY mastermind, PAIN serves as a fun project with a more mainstream output.

The first few seconds of Cynic Paradise starts off with a keyboard passage eerily similar to the beginning of the self-titled HYPOCRISY album, then continues in typical PAIN fashion with an industrial/metal feel. Aside from the ridiculous song title and lyrics, “Monkey Business” has an aggressive riff attack, and is very HYPOCRISY influenced, but still has enough to distinguish the difference between the two bands. The metal/electronic fusion yields varied results, and tracks like “Follow Me” and “No One Knows” are clunkers which are geared for the mainstream crowd. Cynic Paradise has a few fun party songs, like “Have A Drink on Me” and “Life Fast/Die Young,” and are light hearted songs with good hooks.

Don’t Care” could be mistaken as a track from HYPOCRISY’s doomed Catch-22 album, but Cynic Paradise ends on a strong note. “Feed Us” is a fitting closer with a nicely added piano piece, and also features NIGHTWISH frontwoman Anette Olzon. Olzon’s voice adds another dimension to balance the harsh downtuned guitars and Tägtgren’s vocals, and thus completes another chapter in the PAIN series.

PAIN can be viewed as an extension of HYPOCRISY without the blast beats and testosterone. Cynic Paradise is still filled with keyboards and the classic “Abyss” guitar tone, while the lyrics are tongue-in-cheek and not to be taken seriously. Open minded HYPOCRISY fans will be open to this as a catchy electronic/metal album. (Nuclear Blast Records)

PAIN’s Cynic Paradise to be Released in North America this June

PAIN, the band featuring HYPOCRISY mainman Peter Tägtgren, will finally make their latest release Cynic Paradise available to North America on June 8th. This version will also feature an alternate cover and a bonus live CD recorded on March 23-24, 2009 at the Zenith in Paris, France during the band’s European tour with NIGHTWISH.

Cynic Paradise North American Track Listing:

Disc 1
1. “I’m Going In
2. “Monkey Business
3. “Follow Me
4. “Have A Drink On Me
5. “Don’t Care
6. “Reach Out (And Regret)
7. “Generation X
8. “No One Knows
9. “Live Fast / Die Young
10. “Not Your Kind
11. “Feed Us

Disc 2 (Live In Paris)
1. “Intro / I’m Going In
2. “End Of The Line
3. “Zombie Slam
4. “Just Hate Me
5. “Same Old Song
6. “Monkey Business
7. “On And On
8. “Shut Your Mouth

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DARK FUNERAL Guitarist Checks in with Studio Update

Swedish black metallers DARK FUNERAL are currently holed up in Abyss Studio with producer Peter Tägtgren (HYPOCRISY, PAIN) recording their as-yet-untitled new full-length, schedule for release in November via Regain Records.

Said guitarist Lord Ahriman in a recent statement issued via the band’s official MySpace page:

“It’s been a really tough and hectic schedule for us during the past couple of weeks, but I shall not complain. It actually feels amazingly good to be super-busy again with the band, and especially spending time in the studio recording a new album. On the weekends, we have played festivals around Europe. It’s been a blast indeed! And on the weekdays we have, and are still, located at the Abyss Studio, recording what surely will become yet another masterpiece, no doubt! I must admit that while I/we have been writing for this album my personal impression has been that the material is somewhat slower, not as technical etc., compared to our previous albums. And I actually thought it would become like a 50/50 split with fast and non blastbeat songs. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

“BPM-wise, we have, in all honestly, toned it down a bit compared to it precursor, but now, when all the music is recorded, my impressions have changed drastically. This is for sure our most intense and technical album to date. It is also our most varied album. And each song surly offers its own unique and personal touch.

Dominator, our new drummer, offers the most amazing drum work ever on a DARK FUNERAL record. And whether you like our kind of music or not, I’m absolutely sure that you will be totally stunned when you hear what this beast can, and do behind the kit.

E.M Caligula is [currently] working on the vocals. Unfortunately I can’t tell much about that just yet, but for what I know he will put on his best and most varied vocal performance ever. And I’m as curious as all of you to hear the final result. I’m however totally confident that he’ll blow us all away!”