Jan 022014

(As we have in the past, we asked our friend Fredrik Huldtgren, vocalist for both Sweden’s Canopy and Germany’s Kaos Vortex and the man behind the exciting Elemental Nightmares vinyl project, to share with us his favorite albums of 2013, and here’s his list.)

I always have trouble coming up with these lists, mainly because I can never remember what was released when, and usually once I find something I truly enjoy, I tend to get stuck on it and miss out on a lot of the other albums that came out. So, after going through what I had bought this year, here is a list of the 10 albums I enjoyed the most.

10. The Ruins of BeverastBlood Vaults – The Blazing Gospel of Heinrich Kramer

To follow up an album such as Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite is no easy task, and while Blood Vaults … does not quite live up to its predecessor, it is one hell of an album. Brooding, dark, and filled with some great riffs. Continue reading »

Jan 032012

(The musicians I invited to submit year-end lists were people whose music I liked a lot and who I thought would bring interesting perspectives to our look-back on 2011 metal. Here’s the latest offering, from the vocalist of Sweden’s Canopy, Fredrik Huldtgren, with whom I had the pleasure of spending some time in Seattle last month. If you haven’t yet introduced yourself to Canopy’s music (for example, by reading one of the jillions of our posts about them), it can be streamed and purchased on Bandcamp here. Canopy is at work on their fourth album – may it come soon!)

9. Primordial – Redemption at the Puritans Hand

I must admit, I am quite a bit of a Primordial fanboy. That being said, this album actually took me quite some time to get into. It is a rather slow album, and it does not feel as harsh as their previous efforts. The passion is still there though, stronger than ever, but I feel that now more than ever, Primordial is a band to see live, because that is where it all makes sense. Continue reading »

Aug 252010

Ten days ago, we included some extended comments in one of our MISCELLANY posts about a Swedish band called Canopy, and we also put up a video of a Canopy song off the band’s 2009 album, Will and Perception.

We also found out that the day before we put up those posts, Canopy had released a new album called Menhir. We were so taken with the songs we heard from Will and Perception that we immediately got Menhir and we’ve been listening to it off and on since then.

It constantly amazes us how many talented bands are turning out excellent metal in Europe (and elsewhere in the world, for that matter) but are virtual unknowns in North America. Canopy is a perfect example.

We hope that Menhir changes that picture, because it’s packed with memorable music — a very strong follow-up to Will and Perception, which is itself an album worth tracking down. (our review of the album, plus a track for you to hear, plus links for free downloads — all that, and more, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »