So the plan was to review all new albums I bought this year and I've failed that in some style......
Even avoiding the buying of reissues, I'm still a bit behind, so here's a whirlwind review of those I missed:
Enslaved - Riitir.
More brutal Scandinavian metal. Some concessions to melody and the the occasional clean vocal but really just pummelling heaviness to annoy your neighbours with. The lengthy Death in the Eyes Of Dawn is a pretty good summary of the album
Rosa Rebecka - Songs For Mrs Beautiful
Gentle folk with a Scandinavian lilt including some sung in Swedish. Nothing spectacular but if you need a break from making your ears bleed with Slayer then the title track and Heartful of Seaweed make a pleasant distraction
Egbert Derix - Paintings In Minor Lila.
I'm not sure the world was screaming out for a Dutchman to cover lots of Marillion songs on a grand piano and string quartet. Not as odd as it sounds and both Fish and Steve Hogarth lend spoken parts. However, not even a Marillion masochist needs 3 classical variations on Marbles I though.....
Smoken - Spoonful Of Stars.
One of the greatest wasted talents ever. Lauren Smoken has a voice to shame Janis Joplin but insists on singing self penned songs which sound like the wine bar blues Gary Moore was peddling in the 90's. A complete waste of an amazing voice
Lydia Loveless - Indestructible Blues.
Like a runaway female Georgia Satellites, this album is was brought up on banjos, moonshine and rednecks. Some fantastic rollicking country rock such as the tracks Bad Way To Go and Do Right. And it's always a pleasure to hear a woman not afraid to let rip with some industrial language
Insomnium - One For Sorrow.
Probably the best of the five albums here. This time Finnish death metal which makes greater use of melody and clean vocals than Enslaved. The use of more than one vocalist and keyboards makes this a standout record in an already crowded Scandinavian metal market. The opening salvo of the instrumental Inertia followed by Through The Shadow is the highlight of the album