Sanctification: Black Reign

While there’s no lack of unbridled aggression and combative, malicious intent, the prevailing aura is one of a band intent on reiterating their adoration for the likes of Deicide, Hate Eternal and a few of the more obvious homeland death metal acts such as Entombed et al.

Månegarm: Nattväsen

In the end, this collection of night creatures might just encourage you to toss back a pint and go racing into the neighboring hills with sword in hand — at least until you get arrested for disturbing the peace.

Dark Funeral: Angelus Exuro pro Eternus

The latest effort from Swedish black metal veterans Dark Funeral continues the band’s tradition of brutal assaults on the ears of its listeners and fans. While Angelus Exuro pro Eternus has its strong points and memorable moments, it offers little to differentiate itself from the band’s back catalogue and never quite develops its own identity.

Marduk/Nachtmystium @ Annex Wreckroom, Toronto, ON, November 22, 2009

Late November seems as good a time as any to take in a performance by Swedish metal veterans Marduk. A concert centered around a black metal band known for its own distinct take on imagery and songs centering on everything from war machines to religious blasphemy to paganism seems strangely appropriate for a grey month squashed between the twin commercial juggernauts that are Halloween and Christmas.

Concert review by Jonathan Smith

Various Artists:Swedish Death Metal

This massive three-disc compilation gives the listener a sonic taster of all the flowery praise thrown around Daniel Ekeroth’s book and if that listener is a seasoned Sverige-phile, then Swedish Death Metal Compilation acts as a 3+ hour trip down the left hand path of memory lane. It’s all here, the good, bad, ugly, awesome, marginal and downright terrible

Scar Symmetry: Dark Matter Dimensions

The main problem with this band is after their storming debut album, the last few albums (including this new one) sound like the album they made two albums ago. It is nowhere near being a bad album at all, it’s just I have heard this same CD like three times now.