The Scandinavians’ talents for great metal have been long documented. Bands like In Flames, Soilwork and Opeth have taken heavy sounds into adventurous and arty places, but very often have managed to underscore their heavier moods with some superb melodies.
Within their first ten years together, Sickret have shared stages with Clawfinger, Madball and Skindred. Their first three albums have taken old, 90s nu-metal and rap metal influences and given them more of a hardcore influenced kick up the arse, and overall, they’ve proved to be a band with a huge no-nonsense sound.
On 22nd January 2021, 20 Watt Tombstone made a long overdue return with their new EP ‘Year of The Jackalope’. Reworking tracks by ZZ Top and Chris Stapleton in typical Tombstone heavy blues style, the two track release had the potential to reel in new fans due to its well-chosen material. After all, the opportunity to hear ZZ Top heavied up and made a little more interesting is one that shouldn’t be missed…
As part of the ongoing promotion for the release, they’ve just shared a new video. You can now experience their chunky ‘Midnight Train To Memphis’ as delivered from their rehearsal space. Whether you’ve already purchased the EP or this is brand new to you, it’s time to crank the volume…
A full review of ‘Year of The Jackalope’ can be found here
Phantom Elite’s second album ‘Titanium’ – released via Frontiers Records in January 2021 – showed a huge leap in quality from their earlier ‘Wastleland’ release. In songs like ‘The Race’ they demonstrated a gift for a much bigger chorus hook and in terms of musicianship, some of the more complex elements seemed so much tighter than before. More importantly, an increased budget afforded the album a superior production job. Joeri Wamerdam’s drums finally came with a decent punch, and combined with a few heavy riffs, Phantom Elite finally sounded like a band with a lot of muscle.
At the tail end of 2020, The Inferno Doll made a long overdue return with the ‘Sacrifice’ EP. The music’s blend of gothic riffs, industrial twists and occasional black metal flourishes really showed a gift for pushing boundaries.