November 23rd 2008: Contrary to my opening remarks this is actually episode 45 of Hollywood Metal Radio. CATAMENIA is back this year with a slight lineup change. Fortunately, their high quality level of melodic black metal is still intact. “Alive… Cold… Dead!” is the name of the track I choose and I like the melodic melody during the tremolo picking the most. HINDVIR from France was next up with “Howl of the Iron Bells.” This is a well produced pagan black metal song that features great rhythmic guitars and perfectly pitched vocals to compliment the guitars and drums. AEVERON “Bound for Victory” was next. These guys are from Germany, a country that usually produces some of the best pagan black metal bands. In the case of this band, they have produced an insanely awesome melodic death metal band. This song has a adventure-laden main melody and an epic keyboard accompaniment that make you want to charge into battle! I think the band of the week for me was TVERD from Russia. These guys have risen from the ashes of PAGAN REIGN to form a top shelf folk metal band that features incredible, booming, male tenor vocals. TVERD shows a wide range of styles in their songs including an extremely heavy section around 3:30 in this song. Also featured is an operatic female vocalist and crushing guitars alongside traditional folk instruments instruments. A highly recommended band to say the least. SYKDOM is a one man show from Norway playing pagan black and viking metal. “Hekseri” is the name of the song I choose. The name means “witchcraft” and if you listen to the song you will get the distinct flavor of witchcraft. The pulsating piano and buzzy guitars create an atmosphere of mischief and sorcery. True to form, BEFORE THE DAWN, a melodic death metal band from Finland continues the tradition of high quality MDM from Finland. I played two shorter tracks from this band. First was “Fabrication” and the second was “Last Song,” the latter being my favorite for its extremely heavy tone and melodic lead guitar. Unfortunately the song is short but I guarantee it will stick in your head. SLAVLAND “Zmierzch Fa³szywych Proroków” closed the show today. This is a one-man show from Poland playing pagan black metal. This album was a bit raw in terms of production quality but there are hints of brilliance on display here.