Dec 152015
 

Jonny Pettersson

(We invited Jonny Pettersson — vocalist and riff-maker at Wombbath, Lieutenant General at Just before Dawn, and vocalist/guitarist at Ashcloud (among many other projects) — to let us share with our readers his year-end list for 2015, and we are grateful that he agreed!)

I started this list thinking that this year it would be easy to pick the top 10. Halfway through I realized that, as always, there are too many good releases to make easy choices. Continue reading »

Jun 292015
 

 

I was outside all day yesterday, untethered from my computer, and astonishingly did not spontaneously combust as do most vampires exposed to the sun. I had some plans for today’s first post that I intended to execute this morning, but those plans did go up in a burst of flames when I awoke to discover three new songs by three favorite bands that premiered over the last 24 hours. Here they are:

JUST BEFORE DAWN

Sweden’s Just Before Dawn, who have been a fixture at our site since the band’s first release, have just delivered a new single named “Graves Without Crosses“. For this new song, JBD mastermind Anders Biazzi (guitars, bass) is joined by vocalist Jonny Petterson (Wombbath, Ashcloud, Skineater, Syn:drom) — who also mixed and mastered the track — and drummer Fredrijk Van Daaten (Ashcloud), with a finishing guitar solo contributed by Håkan Stuvemark (Wombbath, Skineater). As expressed in Jonny Petterson’s lyrics, the song is dedicated to the heroes of war — “not the ones mentioned in the history books”, but

“the forgotten souls that fight side by side in a rain of fire, the ones to defy a hail of bullets, to give their life, not for the cause or the country, but for their brothers in arms!!” Continue reading »

Dec 302014
 

Today we bring you Part 7 of our evolving list of 2014′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. For the other songs we’ve previously named to the list, go here.

I’m really not sure how this happened. Somehow I’ve rolled out the first six installments of this series without including even one piece of vicious, old-school Swedish death metal, even though that’s my main musical comfort food. Well, I’m going to fix that right now by including not two, but three songs in this installment (and I’m going to fix it again before this series reaches the end).

JUST BEFORE DAWN

As I wrote in my review of Just Before Dawn’s The Aftermath, “Anders Biazzi has two things going for him: He can write death metal riffs that are pure gold, and he’s friends with a bunch of monster vocalists and soloing guitar demons.” And to quote myself again (because if I don’t, who will?):

The Aftermath captures and combines all the qualities that make this kind of old school death metal a primal, undying force while at the same time enriching the canon with songs that are vibrant and memorable. I think you’d have to be very jaded and hide-bound not to feel the spark, no matter how wedded you may be to the classics. And therefore I say, it’s unusually good.” Continue reading »

Nov 202014
 

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The new album by Sweden’s Just Before Dawn is a killer. Its name is The Aftermath and I reviewed it here. It’s out now on Chaos Records and you can order it here. It’s also available on Bandcamp, and there’s a full stream of the whole tasty thing at the end of this post. But first, enjoy KevinP’s Q&A with Just Before Dawn’s main man Anders Biazzi.

 

1.  So, you’re back for round two.  Tell us what is different this time around?

This time the album is more well-written, I think.  There are more people working on it, around 24 guys laid down their shit for this album.  Otherwise there are no changes:  war and steamrolling devestation.

 

2. What was your favorite collaboration and why?

I think it would be “Lightning War”.  It’s a really powerful track with great vocals from Dave Ingram and great whammy leads from Rick Rozz.  A real steamrolling track, Bolt Thrower style! Continue reading »

Nov 082014
 

Anders Biazzi has two things going for him: He can write death metal riffs that are pure gold, and he’s friends with a bunch of monster vocalists and soloing guitar demons. I don’t mean to suggest that he doesn’t have other good qualities, though for all I know he sacrifices virgins every night at the altar of the death metal gods. Actually, the more I listen to Biazzi’s band Just Before Dawn, the more I think that’s exactly what he does.

Just Before Dawn’s new album is The Aftermath, and it’s unusually good. I use the word “unusually” in an effort to be precise. And this is what I mean:

I’m willing to acknowledge, at least when I’m sober, that some people don’t feel the primal attraction of that distinctive strain of extreme music known as Swedish death metal or the tank battalion attack of Bolt Thrower. I’m also willing (when sober) to respect the opinions of fans who to this day are satisfied continuing to re-play their enshrined collection of death metal albums from the late 80s and early 90s because they don’t see the point in devoting time to anything that’s unlikely to improve the original template. Sometimes I think I’m too respectful. Continue reading »

May 312014
 

Earlier this month we featured a brand new song named “Counterbattery” from Sweden’s Just Before Dawn. It turns out that “Counterbattery” was just the first track on a two-song single that will be released later this summer on vinyl and cassette via Prowler Records, and a few days ago Just Before Dawn put the second track up on the web for streaming and free download.

The new song is named “Outnumbered”. Anders Biazzi once again wrote and performed the music (with Brynjar Helgetun on drums), and on this track the vocals were recorded by Rogga Johansson and Jonny Petterson.

Like everything else this project has delivered to date, the lyrical subject matter concerns warfare, in this instance the fate of an outnumbered unit of soldiers surrounded by the enemy in a ruined city, lying in wait for one last strike and a final grasp at redemption. Continue reading »

May 072014
 

Early last month we were stoked to break a bunch of news (here) about the new album (The Aftermath) by Sweden’s Just Before Dawn and to bring you sample music from two of the album’s songs. Today, we’re equally stoked to introduce your ears to a new free single that JBD are introducing to tide fans over until The Aftermath becomes available. The new song is named “Counterbattery”.

In case you’re just hearing about JBD despite how often I’ve written about them, this is the project of musician Anders Biazzi (Blood Mortized), who in addition to being a talented songwriter, guitarist, and bass-player, must also have a silver tongue — because he always seems to succeed in assembling a stellar line-up of vocalists and guitar soloists for JBD’s albums. He’s succeeded again on “Counterbattery”. Continue reading »

Apr 022014
 

The debut album by Sweden’s Just Before Dawn — Precis innan gryningen – was one of the best old-school, Swedish-style death metal albums I heard last year. I attempted to explain why in this review. In a nutshell, it delivered lethally infectious riffs and grim melodies that gave each song a distinctive and memorable personality; the production made it sound massive; and the top-shelf instrumental chops of mastermind Anders Biazzi (Blood Mortized) were matched by the horrible roars of an impressive line-up of guest vocalists. And today I’m delighted to report news about Just Before Dawn’s next album — The Aftermath — and to give you a taste of the new music.

First, we’re pleased to bring you one of the record’s two album covers, created by Benny Moberg, who also mixed and mastered The Aftermath (the second cover for an edition of the album that includes a different bonus track has yet to be revealed). As in the case of the band’s first release, The Aftermath’s lyrical themes are derived from the history of World War II, and the music is dedicated to the fallen heroes of all wars throughout the ages.

Second, Anders Biazzi has once again lined up a stellar array of vocalists to join their roars to his guitar and bass ferocity, as well as some noteworthy guest guitar soloists. Check out the track list and the vocalists who contributed to each song: Continue reading »

Jan 142014
 

Welcome to Part 5 of my list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two I’m announcing today, click here.

2013 was a banner year for the ongoing revival of old school death metal. Two of the standout releases in that vein are the sources of today’s two additions to this list — but they won’t be the last.

HAIL OF BULLETS

Hail of Bullets returned to the battlefield in 2013 with their third album, III: The Rommel Chronicles. TheMadIsraeli reviewed it for us (here) and it has subsequently appeared on many of our year-end lists. It’s a masterful fusion of scorching-fast death metal and abysmal, suffocating doom. To quote from TheMadIsraeli’s review: Continue reading »

May 162013
 

According to Anders Biazzi, the guitarist for Blood Mortized, an early member of Amon Amarth, and the creator of the music in Just Before Dawn’s debut release Precis innan gryningen, the album’s concept is “WAR” — all caps. He calls the music “Swedish Steamroller Death Metal”. And believe me, that’s no lie.

This is one of the best old-school, Swedish-style death metal albums you’ll hear this year, and there are three ingredients that make it so. The first is the songwriting. Every song includes lethally infectious riffs and grim melodies that give it a distinctive and memorable personality. Pulling off that achievement while at the same time inflicting devastating sonic carnage is a neat trick.

The album as a whole is also well-constructed, with the songs generally alternating between up-tempo marauders that chug and grind (such as the title track and “Under Wheels of Death”) and mid-paced or slow crushers with a morbid death-doom vibe (like “Pulverised” and “Raped Soil”, the latter being a fine example of the skill with which Biazzi infiltrates a kind of sorrowful beauty into the brute destructiveness of the song as a whole).

On the subject of songwriting, there’s also an effective synchronization of the lyrics and the music. The concept of the album is indeed WAR — in the air, on land, and in the sea — but the lyrics aren’t patriotic flag-wavers or celebrations of valor under fire. They’re vivid descriptions of devastation, bloodshed, and horror. The music captures those ideas just as vividly. Continue reading »