Tag: heavy metal

Antananarivo, Madagascar-based trio LohArano — Mahalia Ravoajanahary (vocals, guitar), Michael Raveloson (bass, vocals) and Natiana Randrianasoloson (drums, vocals) — formed over seven years ago, and in that time, they’ve developed a unique, forward-thinking and boundary pushing sound that sees them pairing elements of popular and beloved Malagasy musical styles like Tsapiky  and Salegy with heavy metal. 

The band’s sound and approach represents a bold, young generation of Malagasy young people that honors and respects the traditions and practices of their elders but are also inspired by contemporary Western music genres and styles.

Over the past handful of years, the Malagasy metal outfit has been very busy: They released a self-titled EP, which fueaterd “Tandrroka,” a mosh pit friendly ripper, featuring rumbling, down-tuned bass lines, thunderous drumming, scorching guitar riffs and Ravoajanahary’s feral Karen O-like vocals. 

They quickly followed up with their full-length debut LohAmboto, which featured the System of a Down-like album title track “LohAmboto,” another mosh-pit friendly ripper that sees the band refining and honing their unique, global take on metal. 

The JOVM mainstays closed out last year with their first European tour — and it included a set at  Trans Musicales in Rennes, France, which the band filmed and released as a concert film. The concert film features their debut single Andrambavitany,” the aforementioned “Tandrroka” and “LohAmboto,” as well as material off their full-length debut performed with a feral intensity.

The Malagasy JOVM mainstays and their label Libertalia Music will be releasing a five song live EP from their Trans Musicales set. “Ts’Izy,” the live EP’s first single, is one explosive synthesis of metal, nu metal and hip-hop that channels Rage Against the Machine — but while being decidedly African.

Live Footage: Malagasy JOVM Mainstays LohArano at Trans Musicales, Rennes, France

Antananarivo, Madagascar-based trio LohArano — Mahalia Ravoajanahary (vocals, guitar), Michael Raveloson (bass, vocals) and Natiana Randrianasoloson (drums, vocals) — formed over six years ago, and in that that time, they’ve developed a unique, boundary pushing sound that pairs elements of popular and beloved Malagasy musical styles like Tsapiky  and Salegy with heavy metal.

LohArano’s sound and approach representsa bold generation of Malagasy young that honors and respects the traditions of their elders yet are also inspired by Western music — while roaring with the fierce urgency of our moment.

Over the past couple of years, the Malagasy metal outfit has been very busy: They released their self-titled EP, which “Tandrroka,” a mosh pit friendly ripper, featuring rumbling, down-tuned bass lines, thunderous drumming, scorching guitar riffs and Ravoajanahary’s feral Karen O-like vocals.

They quickly followed up with their full-length debut LohAmboto, which featured the System of a Down-like album title track “LohAmboto,” another mosh-pit friendly ripper that sees the band refining and honing their unique, global take on metal.

The JOVM mainstays closed out last year with their first European tour — and it included a set at Trans Musicales in Rennes, France. The band filmed the set and released it as a concert film last week. While prominently featuring singles like “Andrambavitany” (their debut single), the aforementioned “Tandrroka” and “LohAmboto,” as well as material off their full-length debut. The live footage reveals a trio that plays their rippers with a feral intensity and the self-assuredness of old pros. Play this one loud and headbang your night away, y’all.

New Video: Swedish Heavy Outfit BESVÄRJELSEN Shares a Forceful Ripper

Deriving their name from the Swedish word for “conjuring,” the Dalarna, Sweden-based heavy metal/heavy psych outfit BESVÄRJELSEN — founding members Staffan Stensland Vinrot (guitar, vocals) and Andreas Baier (guitar, vocals) with Lea Amling Alazam (vocals), Erik Bäckwall (drums) and Johan Rockner (bass) was formed back in 2014 by its founding duo of Vinrot and Baier, with the clear vision of channelling the spirit and traditions of the Dalarna forests, a region famous for painted wooden horses and for being the meeting ground of ancient Norse and Finnish cultures , into contemporary heavy music.

Baier, who has a lengthy background in the region’s punk and hardcore scenes had come to realize that by slowing things down, BESVÄRJELSEN’s music would gain depth while allowing haunting melodies to exist alongside a cathartic heaviness.

When Baier and Vinrot met Lea Amling Alazam, who can trace her passion for punk and stoner rock to being a 13 year-old, hanging out at the local skate park, they happy relegated their shared vocal duties to a backing role. As a trio, the band released their first two self-financed and self-released EPs — 2015’s debut Villfarelser and 2016’s sophomore effort, Exil, which received critical praise and airplay on Swedish national radio with minimal promotion. Around that time, Erik Bäckwall, a former member of Dozer and Greenleaf joined the band as a permanent member.

Bäckwall then recruited his Dozer and Greenleaf bandmate Johan Rockner to join the band. And with the band’s lineup finalized, they wrote and recorded 2018’s full-length debut, Vallmo, an effort that saw the band pair crushing riffs and thunderous drumming with sophisticated melodies and thoughtful thematic concerns. The attention on the album, helped the band land a festival slot opening for the legendary Deep Purple.

Much like every other act across the globe, the Swedish quintet had plans to support 2019’s mini-album Frost with extensive touring across Europe — but the COVID-19 pandemic scuttled those plans for the next two years. The band used the unexpected spare time to compile a wealth of ideas amassed remotely and shared virtually, which would result in the material that would comprise their Karl Daniel Lidén-produced sophomore album Atlas.

Deriving its name from the Greek mythical character Atlas, who literally carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, the members of BESVÄRJELSEN boldly take a massive step forward with their sound and approach with the album’s material featuring elements of melodic doom, prog rock, punk, folk and classic rock. Along with that the band’s frontperson embraced the melodies and phrasing of the grunge and emo that she loved as a young person, as well as African and Middle Eastern music while retaining a bluesy undertone.

Atlas‘ latest single “The Cardinal Ride” is a breakneck yet melodic, arena rock friendly ripper centered around crunchy and enormous riffs, a scorching yet bluesy solo and thundering drums paired with Alazam’s powerhouse vocals and massive hooks. With “The Cardinal Ride,” the Swedish outfit seems poised to be both their homeland’s and the heavy scene’s next big thing — while crafting an empathetic portrayal of sin, uncertainty and ugliness.

“First time I heard the riff for this song I knew I wanted to go punk and messy with the melodies and lyrics,” Lea Amling Alazam says in press notes. “”I had been reading The Seven Deadly Sins by Karin Boye and the was book lying on the table as I was listening to the track.The first line that came to mind was ‘a rollercoaster of the seven deadly sins.’ Life is a fucked-up rollercoaster and you never know how the path will turn next, so I wanted to celebrate the ugly parts of life. We live in a glass house society, in which people want to portray themselves as if they have their shit together and be on the right side of life, while most of us are messed up, confused, horny bastards with no self control. It’s okay to be a fuck-up. It’s okay to run through life not knowing where the hell the road is going. But if you are the type of person, who always gets super drunk and cries at parties, maybe it’s time to go and see a shrink. Because chaos is fun, but taking mental health serious is even much cooler. See ya’ll in hell!”

“Well, ‘Cardinal Ride’ was the only song on the album that started as a jam and evolved from there”, BESVÄRJELSEN’s Erik Bäckwall adds. “It was faster at first and had the working name ‘Sendrag’, which means ‘Cramp’ due to the effect it had on my right leg. The track went through several iterations before Johan finally nailed the arrangement and Lea came up with the perfect vocal melody and lyrics for it.”

The accompanying, cinematic video for “The Cardinal Rule” is partially shot in the forests of Northern Sweden during golden hour paired with some sultry and decadent portrayals of sin.

New Audio: Gothenburg’s Firebreather Shares Scorching “Sorrow”

With the release of 2019’s sophomore album Under a Blood Moon, the Gothenburg, Sweden-based doom metal trio Firebreather — currently, Mattias Nööjd (vocals, guitar), Axel Wittbeck (drums) and the band’s newest member Nicklas Hellqvist (bass) — found the band quickly establishing a raw, in-your-face and incendiary sound.

The Swedish doom metal trio’s third album Dwell in the Fog is slated for a February 25, 2022 release through RidingEasy Records. Much like their preceding two albums, Dwell in the Fog was recorded and mixed by engineer Oskar Karlsson at Gothenburg-based Elementstudion. The album’s material features a streamlined focus on driving, symphonic riffs in the vein of acts like High On Fire, Inter Arma and labelmates Monolord among others, while rumbling and raging with a fury that the band has only hinted at on their previously released material.

“The album is a cathartic journey inwards and a musical continuation from Under A Blood Moon, but with more emphasis on groove and feel,” the band’s Matthias Nööjd says in press notes.

Dwell in the Fog‘s third and latest single “Sorrow” is a furious and sludgy dirge centered around thunderous drumming, scorching riffs and tweeter and woofer rattling low-end paired with Nöörd’s guttural yet melodic howling. While arguably being among the hardest and most forceful songs I’ve written about so far this year, “Sorrow” evokes the frustration, heartache and despair of sorrow — and in turn, loss — with a simmering yet visceral fury.