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.
When it comes to extreme metal, the Scandinavians have a long and rich history. Quite often, their extremes are rooted in the black metal sphere, but sometimes a more gothic approach will rear its head with interesting results. In the hands of Iceland’s Vofa, the latter definitely applies since their debut album comprises of three very lengthy, title-less pieces that explore the heaviest end of the funeral doom subgenre. In many ways, it sounds almost exactly how its sleeve art looks.
Ahead of their second album’s release, Norwegian indie/goth band Mayflower Madame are streaming their new single, ‘Vultures’.
Taking a pinch of Jesus & Mary Chain and a huge influence from Bauhaus and ‘First, Last & Always’ era Sisters of Mercy, the track really delivers in terms of mechanical rhythms, cold riffs and a brilliant alt-pop darkness. Everything has been recycled with so much love, it could even pass as authentic find from a vault of rare 80s alternative music.
The Last Reign’s overall style and approach to metal is unmistakably Scandinavian. Taking hefty cues from Soilwork and In Flames, their sound has a constant push and pull between the pneumatic and aggressive sounds of hardcore metal while still clinging on to various melodic approaches that flaunt a shameless love of the past. Their second release, ‘Prelude’ is a stop-gap, but its three songs go a long way to showing off a superb band – one that really should be on the radar of almost all fans of Scandinavian metal sounds.
With regard to Ramonescore sounds, few bands do it as well as The Hallingtons. If you’re a pop-punk fan, they have the kind of back catalogue where you can drop in at any point and enjoyment is guaranteed, but with 2019’s ‘Hexed’ they’ve delivered a career best.