Power from the North
Sweden Rocks The World (Phantom)
by Craig Regala
Well, it certainly does. Perfect way to do a tribute disc. Unless you’re pretty deep in the metal world, most of these names are unfamiliar, of the bands current as well as defunct. The concept is simple, get a bunch of Swedish metal bands to take a whack at tunes by Swedish bands that laid the groundwork for them. You get a couple high profile names; Wing Wang Malmsteen gets the respectful treatment twice, Europe appears — as does their axe slinger, John Norum — plus a couple more well-known influences. Candlemass and Bathory get some of the respect the world owes ’em and ten others I’m not familiar with provide loam for current metal flowering. Plus, Lions Share takes The Electric Boys (remember them? Check the used bins) for a classic rocker ride.
Everything is top notch: presentation, information and recordings. The aggronometer is set on whomp and large chunks of metal are heaved around with direct hits on, well, really accorded to your “favorites” I guess. I go for the Transport League, Entombed, The Quill, and In Flames on their own tunes and dig ’em just fine here. Meshuggah do a song from Whimzy, “Attacked By A Shark,” that’s been in their set for a while (I think) that has the whole leather, spikes and “we opened for Venom” feel. Gooseflesh cop a feel from Trash on “Boogie Woogie Man” that leaks a physical malevolence that woulda been a perfect Machine Head tune, if those neo-strip mall pussies could of got past Korn as a new role model.
All in all, if you’re a general metal fan and like the power metal ’80s and some of the stuff from ’90s Pantera, Slayer, Testament et. al., you can get right on this one and be happy with it. So give thanks to the good folks at Nuclear Blast for distributing this, OK?
(PO Box 84 SE-66010 Dals Langed, Sweden)