Grimner - Urfader (Despotz Records)
Ah folk/Viking metal one of the last true hybrid genres, the Scandinavian extreme metal style meeting folk instrumentation, it’s also one of the few popular styles of metal where singing in anything but English is encouraged. Swedes Grimner have been actively laying siege to stages with their Nordic inspired metal since 2008 and with their fourth album Urfader (The Ancient Father) they emerge from the mists of the pandemic era with more battle hymns that pay tribute to their heritage and the Norse myths and legends.
A mainstay of the Canadian blue scene Steve Hill celebrates his 25th year with his new record Dear Illusion. It’s an album that boosts what Hill does on an audio level, this multi-instrumentalist collaborating with drummer Wayne Proctor (Oli Brown, King King), who not only gives the rhythms but also the rich, warm production job that enhances this record.
Asa's Mezzanine - When She Met Herself (AsasRecords)
Italian prog metal band Asa’s Mezzanine, release their debut album When She Met Herself. They say prog, I would also say post rock as this instrumental four piece delve into ambiance and mood, the instruments all having their own voice in substitution for the lack of a human one. This record is a concept album, dealing with the birth of contradiction and the bridge between what hear and what we imagine, the middle area between what is below and above, thus mezzanine, it’s a meditative journey thorough several planes of existence and will be joined by a novel written by Paolo Sirio as a companion piece to further the story established by the music.