SKRAECKOEDLAN – on tour!

On vinyl in own collection: Sagor (The Sign Records, 2020, repressing), Äppelträdet (The Sign Records, 2018, repressing ) and Eorpe (Fuzzorama Records, 2018)

Being big supporters of Skraeckoedlan from Norrköping, SE, we have followed via social media their documented successful touring in Europe lately and have with longing eyes waited for an announcement of concert dates within geographical reach, like Helsingborg or Malmö. Happily we can now see on their Instagram account that Skraeckoedlan seems to enter into the metalsouth region on Dec. 2, 2021, at Plan B in Malmö before moving on to Denmark. We are now desperately trying to find out when and where tickets are released. But definitely – if Skraekoedlan is on the way to Malmö – we will be there waiting.

To classify bands and the style of music they play is alway hard and sometimes bands are unique in sound and performance and is not really possible to classify. To guide new listeners of the fabulous music of Skraeckoedlan we discussed a phrasing when preparing this post, but were helped by the band itself on Instagram with an urgin: “Tag your favorite psychedelic stoner/doom band that sings in Swedish and have a band name you can’t pronounce, and see if they reply.”

The Skraeckoedlan sound is their own and is very characteristic, but to make a comparison and some guidance we have to mention bands with sounds like Clutch, Kyuss and the more local Skånska Mord, i.e. with stoner influences.

The band was formed in 2009 in Norrköping, SE, and are: Robert Lamu, Henrik Grüttner, Martin Larsson and Erik Berggren. We take the opportunity to also pay tribute to fantastic artwork and design on the vinyl covers by Johan Leion (www.johanleion.com). (source: vinyl covers in picture above and Wikipedia)

We cannot think of a better re-start of going to a live concert now when corona restrictions in Sweden have been repealed. And wouldn’t it be great to post a few great pictures from the gig. That’s the plan at Plan B and very welcome here with your great riffs and hard hitting drums!!

LG Petrov, thank you!

The deeply sad news that Lars-Göran ‘LG’ Petrov (Entombed, elected into Swedish Music Hall of Fame 2014 and Entombed A.D. since 2014) passed away on March 7, 2021, at only 49 years of age, is brutal to take in. We know that he fought the cancer since a year. Words are scarce and we find no purpose to go through his fantastic career, but just want to say thank you for everything. For the music and all the fantastic and ever memorable live gigs. The pictures in this post are to pay tribute to LG and are all from the Copenhell (Copenhagen, DK) concert on June 26, 2016. With his ‘give it all’ attitude-and performance he and Entombed A.D. made thousands of people very happy that day.

All the condolences to family and friends. Thanks for everything, LG!

Swedish gloom, stoner and Austrian metal.

TRIBULATION

Tribulation does it again and delivers the high quality album Where The Gloom Becomes Sound (Century Media Records Ltd., 2021), which is already heavily celebrated in music media, and not only in Sweden. The vinyl is, of course, acquired for the own collection and includes not only the 180g record, but a 16 page booklet in graphical excellence. An overall joyful customer-and music experience.

A special relation is definitely there for ‘the gloomy’ music, but also for the roots of the band to Arvika, Värmland, Sweden, where I remember spending many fantastic summers as a small boy. For this I direct much appreciation to my parents for taking my sister, brother and me out of the city to the countryside. To Tribulation I direct appreciation for setting music and words to darker thoughts and feelings. The more classical song ‘Lethe’ is another candidate for the ‘white archive’, i.e. music selection for ones own funeral and would be perfect in a church environment.

The album is highly celebrated in Swedish music press and in Sweden Rock Magazine (Issue 1/2021) it wins the months jury votes and gets a 9 out of 10 (pages 84 and 94) by Jonathan Strandlund. In the local Helsingborgs Dagblad (Jan. 27, 2021) John Palmér Jeppsson gives the album 4 out of 5 in a positive review and would probably release a 5 if the singing would rise to an even higher level (read: speculation of metalsouth). We are sad to read in the Sweden Rock issue mentioned above on pages 72-73 (by Janne Mattsson) that the extremely talented Jonathan Hultén has recently left the band (after the records production). We can only wish him good luck in new projects and hope to see him soon producing and performing. In the article we read that he has had a great importance of also this album. We at the same time wish Joseph Tholl (ex-Enforcer) good luck in joining the band and we look forward in new productions with the ‘new Tribulation’.

In conclusion, Where The Gloom Becomes Sound, we see, will be voted best Swedish Metal album also this time…an award Tribulation subscribes on for all their releases.

Tribulation, Borgholm Brinner, Öland, SE, July 28, 2018.
Tribulation, Borgholm Brinner, Öland, SE, July 28, 2018.
Tribulation, Borgholm Brinner, Öland, SE, July 28, 2018.

SKRAEKOEDLAN

We haven’t yet had the privilege to see Swedish stoner band Skraekoedlan, from Norrköping, SE, perform live, but we will take the first opportunity when given somewhere in the metalsouth region. In the meantime we can warmly recommend the reissue of their second studioalbum Sagor (The Sign Records, 2020). A double vinyl in purple and also here with fantastic artwork.

AUSTRIAN METAL

Let’s broaden our views and move out of the metalsouth region and even take a daring step outside of the country and put some highlight on the Austrian metal scene. We would therefore here shortly like to put focus on 2 bands:

ROBOKOPF

RoboKopf are very well placed in this post. RoboKopf is a collective founded in Vienna in 2018 that plays retro rock in the sound garment of early heavy rock and doom acts. Its debut release is The Echoes of Owls (Retro Rock, Proto-Metal, Heavy Psych, Heavy Rock, Doom, Regressive Gloom Rock). (Source: Band Press release). Please, take the opportunity with us to investigate and get acquainted to the band via the enclosed links. Based upon what we’ve heard, we will, for sure, follow this bands current and coming work.

Links: 

https://robokopf-art.bandcamp.com/releases
https://www.facebook.com/robokopfwien/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiXNoiozdtEDMHdD2DU0APA
https://www.instagram.com/robokopf_art/
https://soundcloud.com/robokopf-art

HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY

While investigating the Austrian metal scene we also found Harakiri For The Sky via our local paper Helsingborgs Dagblad (Feb. 28, 2020, page C9) and its Sunday weekly reviews of new musical releases. John Palmér Jeppsson (also reviewed Tribulations Where The Gloom Becomes Sound, as mentioned above) is again positive and gives the album Maere (AOP Records, 2021) a 4 out of 5. He describes the Austrian duo as having a lot of longing and heartbreak and that the bands 5th studioalbum becomes 84 minutes long. We think that every minute is worth its focus.

All in all, we have now with Robokopf and Harakiri For The Sky opened the door for more fantastic music and greatly competent productions. We will listen more, learn more and look forward in keeping an eye and two ears on what Austrian metal can bring us here in the metalsouth region…and not to forget, the spreading of the word and the great music.

Support the musicians!

We must confess to regret some earlier statements on an upcoming ‘digital backlash’. To follow the Swedish authorities’ recommendations in the current situation on ‘social distancing, protection of our elderly and staying at home’ these times come in handy to look through own collection of different music media. The value and musical experience of our vinyl collection was yesterday increased with the help of, yes, digital tools. When going to the local records store doesn’t feel directly natural, purchases via the internet works very well. Deliveries take a few days more, but in this concrete example the 2 releases of the Helsingborg based punkrock band The Guilt was ordered and delivered within the week.

Let us here pass on the visual joy of receiving high quality and artistically created covers, sleeves and a transparent vinyl in the bands 1st album ‘The Guilt’ (Heptown Records, 2017, also includes free download) and the recently saluted ‘New Knives’ (Heptown Records, 2020) in a green version. And musically, well, an experience we must leave to the listener, but we recommend extremely highly volume.

Great initiatives to support musicians and culture workers are taken all over. A very inspiring article in the local paper HD.se was published yesterday and written by Stefan Lindqvist (Helsingborgs Dagblad, April 3, 2020). ‘You can never get too many band           t-shirts’ is the translated heading. Local artists like the great Helsingborg based band, Bai Bang, makes ‘living room gigs’, which are published on the HD.se home page and can also be found via YouTube.

Soon enough we will be back in the record stores, to buy, with the coffee and the good talks about albums and concerts. Still, continue to support the musicians. Buy for home deliveries, stream and download. Again, an album to download normally and fairly cost 99SEK.

2019 – The Year of Refused

Music like literature and film is subject to personal taste, which we use to escape and relax for a while. In the ruling circumstances the music of Refused from Umeå, Sweden, is the best support. After spending time during 2019 listening a lot to the excellent albums The Shape of Punk to Come (1998), Freedom (2015) and the latest War Music (2019) the year was crowned on December 12 at Mejeriet in Lund. The album War Music we would classify as one of the best during 2019 and the concert at Mejeriet as one of the hardest we’ve seen the band perform. The proud support at Mejeriet was Rome Is Not A Town, an indie rock band from Gothenburg, Sweden. A really good performance and warm up. The vinyl was acquired and runs repeatedly on the record player.

We salute the band for taking a standpoint, which is expressed by the singer and front man Dennis Lyxzén. He often takes the opportunity to speak about equality, solidarity and that he will use his life to have an effect on people via the music. We refer to the previous gigs with Refused at KB, Borgholm In Flames and Copenhell, described at metalsouth. The band also consists of David Sandström, Kristoffer Steen, Magnus Flagge and Mattias Bärjed.

Mattias Bärjed, previously The Soundtrack of Our Lives and Free Fall, we now happily and hopefully see as a permanent member of this excellent hardcore band.

2019 was privately a tough year with sad family events and a rowdy time of reorganization at work. 2020 is here and now is the time to start to live the dream. Red, Morgan Freemans character in The Shawshank Redemption (1994), is released from prison after more than 40 years. He states 2 options: ‘Get busy living or Get busy dying’.

Thanks to the existence and performance of bands like Refused there’s no other way than to look forward to what life now can give and we cannot await to experience all the good music, film-and literature that lie around the corner.

 

The New King at Royal Albert Hall!

Albert King, Freddie King and B.B. King, The Three Kings, are all great inspirations to the living Mozart of the modern blues and hard rock inspired guitar playing of Joe Bonamassa. After many late nights enjoying from the living room sofa Joe Bonamassa and 10 of the greatest musicians on earth putting together one of the best concert recorded on DVD ‘Joe Bonamassa at the Greek Theater’ (2016) a decision was taken to try to get tickets to one of the two shows at Royal Albert Hall, London, in April of 2017.

The ticket hunt was a success and with two great Danish friends my wife and I had a concert experience on April 20, 2017, which can be stated as ‘once in a life time concert’!! What a building and what a performance!

In 2009 an even younger Joe Bonamassa played the Albert Hall and invited Eric Clapton as a guest performer. This time Joe Bonamassa is pretty lonely on the throne as the world class guitarist he is and is bigger than Eric Clapton, bigger than his King inspirations and can now be stated as ‘the new King’!!

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Joe Bonamassa always takes great pride in stating that he has the greatest musicians in the world surrounding him. Reese Wynans is always presented as a former member of the Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble band, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll of Fame in April 18, 2015. This thread led me onto the Stevie Ray Vaughan career and lately there’s been a lot of ‘blues’ on my mind. Reese Wynans played in the band 1985-1990 and until the tragic death of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Wynans is 71 years old and is undoubtedly the world class musician Bonamassa talks about. We also could enjoy on stage the following musicians:

Lee Thornburg, Trumpet and Paulie Cerra, Sax.

Anton Fig, drums.

Jade McRae and Mahalia Barnes, background vocals.

The King and Michael Rhodes on bass.

Thank you to Royal Albert Hall for a great arrangement and thank you to good Danish friends for taking part in a fantastic and forever memorable moment.

 

Meshuggah rams at Moriskan!

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Latest release: The Violent Sleep of Reason (Nuclear Blast Records, 2016).

Meshuggah is Jens Kidman (vocals), Fredrik Thordendal (guitars), Tomas Haake (drums), Mårten Hagström (guitars), Dick Lövgren (bass).

After the passing away of our dear father, this passed summer some adaptions have to made in order to support our mother to come back to a good life. We all want her back to her old self being one of the most positive and inspiring persons around. One step this past week was to support her in the repainting and redecoration of a bedroom. To get the 70’s inspired lilac wallpapers modernised into something more neutral like white.

After the first day of paintwork and with a ticket to the Meshuggah gig at Moriska Paviljongen in Folkets Park, Malmö, in the back pocket, the gradually consumed energy led to some serious doubts in going to the gig. The snowy weather came slowly into the region and the trip to Malmö by train grew into a big troublesome…’I will have to see them next time’ – kind of a doubt. Still taking the decision to go and via an ATM to secure cash for a beer or two and possibly the regular band t-shirt (the wardrobe is now abnormally packed with these and I wonder…is there any value to band t-shirts?) Withdrawing 500 SEK in cash the snow fell more and more intensely…and it was big flakes and the really wet kind…starting to get soaking wet, the energy level below zero and doubts were possible to grip concretely…as from nowhere, from above or from down under, the thought came into mind…’but come on…are you a metalhead or not?’ A snowy-, grey haired-, wet-, middle aged man went on the train to Malmö and shouted into the train compartment: MESHUGGAH!!

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‘Meshugah’ is a Yiddish and Hebrew word, which means ‘crazy’. The band’s really extreme sound is classified in various ways where ‘progressive metal’, avant-garde metal’ and even ‘mathematical metal’ is stated. In comparison with all other bands and genres of metal described by metalsouth this band represents the heaviest and most technical.

The evening of February 23, 2017, was ‘totally crazy’ and people in the fully packed Moriska Paviljongen this evening tried to describe the performance in various ways: ‘It’s like being run over by a car 5 times!’ or ‘My mom used to have one of these old mangle machines…to have yourself mangled back and forth a couple of times…!’

Meshuggahs is from Umeå up North in Sweden and was originally formed by Fredrik Thordendahl in 1985 as ‘Metallien’ and changed their name to ‘Meshuggah’ in 1987. (Source: The Heaviest Encyclopedia Of Swedish Hard Rock And Heavy Metal Ever!, Janne Stark, Premium Publishing, 2013)

‘Mathematical metal’ is interesting, but is related to a very innovative and complicated music style and the specially made 8 string guitars, which put extra demands on the player, but also gives the Meshuggah sound, which creates massive character.

The gig was the first one of the band for metalsouth, but was so energy giving that the band will be covered as far as possible for future and regional performances. Thanks for the direction from above to plow through all of that wet snow and big thanks to the band for an excellent performance!!

Kongh led the way to Moriskan!

The heavy beat of dark drums and bass led the way through the snow in Malmö passing KB and continued a circa hundred meters to Folkets Park to arrive at Moriska Paviljongen. The building was at risk, but was standing strong an prepared to meet the heavy 8 string guitars, bass and drums of Meshuggah.

Kongh is David Johansson – guitar, bass and vocals, Tomas Salonen – drums, Olle Hedenström – guitar (live), Jörgen Sandström – bass (live).

The album ‘Counting Heartbeats (Trust No One, 2007)’ was listed no 12 of the Close-Up Magazine #192 (February 2017) of the ’25 Doom Metal Albums – you must listen to before you die’. Great many thanks also to Kongh for a great meeting and serious sound waves.

Vamonos! Vamonos!

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The following posts are in memory of a beloved father, husband, grandfather, father-in-law and a really good friend to many. He passed away this summer on Friday, July 15, 2016. It was unexpected and it created immediate emptiness! The man we knew left a big black hole in many of us. To handle sorrow it’s, of course, very individual…I think, myself handled via being very engaged in practical things from the funeral planning, the funeral itself to the mandatory tax return on the estate of the deceased…even the old accountant is now talking. Reality has arrived. The factual situation that the old, funny and wise man will not come around the corner anymore has deeply sunk in. The posts to follow will be before and after the death day of July 15th, 2016 and will all be in memory of a man who led a life with content, speed and feeling.

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Version 3We were one son and two grandsons, who decided to still use our since long purchased tickets for the Clutch gig at KB, Malmö on August 9th, 2016. We decided that life moves on and my father would have wished us to go all days of the week.

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The evening was magical and KB was packed to the last square meter. The queue at the bars were too long to be satisfying…beer was in demand! Great songs were pushed from the electrical stage into the crowd. ‘Electric Worry’ became the tribute for my father with the positive life leading chorus… ‘Vamonos! Vamonos! The latest top album ‘Psychic Warfare’ (Sea Gator Music, ASCAP, 2015) was well represented and the feeling was concrete that this is topnotch quality and should be Arena. Clutch would make it as well as bands like AC/DC and Black Sabbath.

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Clutch from Germantown, Maryland, US: Neil Fallon (vocals and guitar), Jean-Paul Gaster (drums and percussion), Dan Maines (bass guitar) and Tim Sult (guitar). The band was formed in 1991.

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dsc01871We were a son and two grandsons who are very grateful to Clutch reminding us that life goes on with a lot to live for. Good relationships, good music and loads of fantastic parties!!

Jesus Chrusler Supercar, from Stockholm, Sweden, were supporting act this evening and it must here be noted their importance in making a really good performance. Thanks guys, and we hope to see you soon again.

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Clutch at KB tonight!

An attempt will now be made to wake up the spirits of this blog. The summer has been full of musical events of high quality. Copenhell, Nisse Hellberg, Kim Larsen & Kjukken, Tullamore Brothers and Helltown were all very inspirational and of great music and performances. Loads of pictures ready for publication, but the plans to make many interesting posts were crushed by the passing away of my father this summer. An old man with a long and active life passed away silently, but the shock of losing a friend and a valuable speaking partner is enormous. The fact of not having him coming around the corner anymore hurts.

The time has now come to continue living with the positive memories of him and to more intensely take care of every minute of the life we have left.

For that reason, please, join us at KB, Malmö, tonight to welcome Clutch from Maryland, US. The latest and 11th studio album ‘Psychic Warfare’ is by many of us one of the best albums of 2015. Support tonight is Jesus Chrusler Supercar. Check out KB’s homepage for tickets for a real Earth Rocking evening!!

 

metalsouth wakes up from the dead!

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metalsouth is back after a couple of months of ‘other occupations’. To be able to pass on the impressions and great feelings from KB, Malmö on February 26, 2016, via a few words and more images is just the perfect comeback!! Now the summer festival season is upcoming and we can promise some great post related to concerts and smaller gigs. Why not follow us at Copenhell in Copenhagen only a few metres away from real hell during June 23-25, 2016, and Clutch at the great place KB, Malmö, on August 9, 2016. Some more really great events are upcoming. Not to forget the real fine musical new record experiences from bands like Entombed AD, Black Stone Cherry, Tremonti and the successfull experiment Hollywood Vampires. Thanks for your patience of still hanging in there reading our stuff and let’s continue roll, metal friends.