By Bob Nalbandian

Sick In The Head
Metal Blade

This certainly is an interestingly unique CD. This one actually took a while to grow on me. Upon the first listen to the opening title track, I thought, "this is pretty damn lame." Indeed, the song has corny lyrics and appauling vocals, but it is somewhat original and heavy. Track two begins with a similar, annoying vocal line but advances into a cool, funky groove. The CD gets much better as it goes. Musically, it's quite hard to pinpoint, but I do appreciate the fact that the band caters to several musical styles, without sounding like a typical funk/metal hybrid ala Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Although the lyrics are cheesy as hell, I am greatly impressed with the high-caliber musicianship. After glimpsing through the CD booklet, I realize the band hails from Scandanavia (Denmark/Sweden) , not surprising, since a great degree of musical talent breeds in Vikingland. I then notice a picture of Hank Sherman...holy shit! Hank Sherman from Mercyful Fate! Being a huge fan of old Mercyful Fate, I take closer notice of the music. This CD is not nearly as impressive as the old Mercyful Fate recordings, but a hellava lot heavier than Sherman's last commercial disaster (a band called Fate, that took a stab at pop-rock, and, subsiquently, met its fate). By track four, "Danger Me," the vocalist, Edgar Paul Allen, is sounding pretty damn good. Realizing this man has awesome vocal power, I'm greatly disappointing that he rarely exposes his true talent. As I listen to this CD again and again, I still don't know what to make out of it. So, I'll let you be the judge....

The Prophecy
Metal Blade

Okay, so this CD may not exactly be a new release (originally released last year on AFM Records, licensed ealier this year by Metal Blade), but it is so outstanding, I just had to give it a plug! Squeeler are a prime example of the great new metal emerging from the icy depths of Scandanavia (Finland to be exact). Great vocal melodies throughout with superb, catchy riffs...this is a band of top-rate musicians and a billiant singer (Henner) who can actually sing! The opening cut, "Friends For Life" is an all-out ass-kicker with an awesome chorus, and the following track, "...But No One Cares" is simply brilliant, a true metal anthem. Guitarists Lars Doring and Michael Schiel churn out some incredible dueling leads and furious rhythm riffs and guest drummer Martin Winter and bassist Tobias Exxel are the perfect backbone to one of Europe's finest new-breed metal bands! Other highlights include the ballad "To Die For (...Your Sins)," "Nowhere to Hide," and the speedy "I See The Woild."

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