Aug 112022

(Andy Synn gets to grips with the debut album from Melodeath “supergroup” The Halo Effect)

Let’s face it, a lot of people aren’t going to be able to resist pitting the upcoming albums from In Flames and The Halo Effect against one another.

And while that’s understandable to an extent – after all, most (arguably all, if you count Mikael Stanne’s early stint filling in on vocals) of The Halo Effect actually used to be in In Flames – any attempt to position them in direct competition to one another completely misses the point of why this band exists in the first place.

Let’s face it, while the current incarnation of In Flames are essentially a franchise unto themselves – with all the external and internal pressures to produce “hits” which that entails – The Halo Effect is, for all intents and purposes, just five old friends getting together to jam out some tunes that hew a little closer to their roots (though how closely is certainly up for debate).

But while this means that the pressures and expectations surrounding the release of Days of the Lost may not be quite as overbearing, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any expectations riding on it at all… and it’s up to Iwers, Engelin, Svensson, Strömblad, and Stanne to prove that they’ve got more to offer here than just a fleeting hit of feel-good nostalgia.

Continue reading »

Apr 142022


I intended to complete and post this round-up yesterday, but my fucking day job rudely interfered. In the meantime I’ve been alerted to a bunch of other new songs and videos that surfaced yesterday. Trying to include them now would result in further delay, so I’ll just have to save them for later. Almost half of what you’ll find below came my way via DGR, and one more from a friend and former NCS writer, and the rest I somehow found on my own.


“IT’S GLORIOUS. I mean this is like it fell right out of a time machine from the Colony sessions.” That’s what DGR wrote when he alerted some of his fellow NCS slaves to the existence of this first song, which is the title track to The Halo Effect‘s new album, Days of the Lost. And if you don’t know, one reason for the Colony reference is that this band includes a bunch of former In Flames members (Jesper Strömblad, Niclas Engelin, Peter Iwers, and Daniel Svensson) plus Dark Tranquillity‘s Mikael Stanne behind the mic. Continue reading »

Jan 222022


I hope you’re having a good weekend. I hope to make it better by sharing a dozen new songs and videos I picked after sliding down the interhole for hours early this morning. I made an effort to provide a broad span of genres, and to arrange everything so as to take advantage of the contrasts. I’ve also put every damned one of these tracks on my list of candidates for 2022’s Most Infectious Songs.

Also, when a round-up swells to these proportions I usually don’t take time to download/upload the artwork, but I made an exception today because there’s a lot of good cover art in this group, beginning with Eliran Kantor‘s stupendous painting for the new Immolation. Speaking of which….


Does anyone need any more reason to get stoked over a new Immolation album? I don’t see any hands up. I guess I could have skipped this first song and video. I guess you could skip over it too. But I’m getting more and more near-sighted, so I could have missed a hand, so here goes. Continue reading »