Various Artists – Brown Acid: The Twelfth Trip

Brown Acid The Twelfth Trip Album Cover Art

Various Artists – Brown Acid: The Twelfth Trip
RidingEasy Records
Release Date: 20/04/2020
Running Time: 32:23
Review by: Alun Jones
8.5/10

Well, who’d have thought it? Here’s the twelfth instalment of the Brown Acid series from RidingEasy Records, their ongoing exploration of rare, lost and forgotten treasures from the late 60’s and early70’s. These proto-metal, hard rock and heavy psych riches are continuing to turn up, thankfully curated and shared with a new, wider audience. They still haven’t run out of steam, which is very good news.

This time, the Professors of Rock (“Prockfessors”, anyone? Nah, never mind) have released ten more crazily good tracks from the past. As can be expected, the bands are deep fried and the guitars are fuzzier than a McDonald’s burger-flipper’s chin.

And so, we commence with ‘Mother Samwell’ by The Waters: a blinding, acid-drenched rocker from 1969. How can this have been lost for so long? Up next is ‘Vibrations’ by Village S.T.O.P., featuring Hendrix style guitar in another pacey rocker. Though very much of their time, these songs pack a ton of energy – you’re gonna want to freak out. Right out.

‘1930’ was quite a year, claim White Lightning, with a funky, chunky marauder of a tune that’s like Grand Funk, on the rare occasions GF got it right. Shane serves up some proper skronky organ with ‘Woman (Don’t You Go)’, reminiscent of a shrieky, early Purple. Then the keyboards get even skronkier with Ace Song Service’s ‘Persuasion’, though the attack is harsher.

Opus Est really kick out the jams with ‘Bed’, which has a killer riff that would please Gibbons or Page.  The Mopptops have a terrible band name (maybe that’s why they disappeared), but their song ‘Our Lives’ is one of the heavier, more vicious sounding tracks here. It’s a punk rock bruiser that seems totally out of time – surely this can’t be 1968?

A bland band name, but Artist inject their song ‘Every Lady Does It’ with enough hip-shaking Hendrix raunch to raise the roof. Great chorus too; this is faultless. Then it’s more, great lo-fi garage ZZ Top, with ‘Comin’ Home’ by Stagefright, before we finish with Dickens (great name!) and their weird fuzz metal with minimal production, ‘Don’t Talk About My Music’.

Whether they’re discovering hidden gems in dusty tombs, or exhuming abandoned corpses and bringing them back to life – pick your metaphor: the RidingEasy Forensics Department have managed to surprise yet again. Their quest seems never rending, but we can be thankful that these dedicated scholars continue to discover hitherto abandoned sonic delights.

It’s harder to pick out gems which shine brighter than the others this time around, but “Brown Acid: the Twelfth Trip” manages to reach a high standard across the board. Very enjoyable, and recommended listening for when Jimi and Janis pop round for some mushroom tea.

Brown Acid: The Twelfth Trip (Official Album Stream)

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Waters – Mother Samwell
02. Village S.T.O.P. – Vibrations
03. White Lightning – 1930
04. Shane – Woman (Don’t You Go)
05. Ace Song Service – Persuasion
06. Opus Est – Bed
07. The Mopptops – Our Lives
08. Artist – Every Lady Does It
09. Stagefright – Comin’ Home
10. Dickens – Don’t Talk About My Music

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Fred Lee & The Restless – Sleepwalking In Daylight

Sleepwalking In Daylight Album Cover Art

Fred Lee & The Restless – Sleepwalking In Daylight
The Sign
Release Date: 11/06/2021
Running Time: 28:48
Review by Beth Jones
8/10

Fred Lee, AKA Fredrik Lindkvist, is best known for his role as frontman of Swedish Punk/Hardcore band Totalt Jävla Mörker, so you would expect some pretty hard-hitting sounds to be popping out of him for his debut solo album, “Sleepwalking In Daylight”. But you’d be very wrong. This album is a jaunt into the world of Folk Rock. And a rather nice one it is too.

Formed in 2019, Fred Lee & The Restless explore the more laid back and from the heart musical expression that at some point comes to us all. I would describe it as music for the world-weary soul. It has a soothing and relatable presence, with lyrical honesty, and melodic catchiness to boot.

I do love a bit of Folk Rock. I was in a folk band for some years and enjoyed the fusion of folk sounds from instruments like the fiddle, mandolin, and banjo, combining with rock guitars and steady rhythmic percussion, alongside vaguely gravelly and ever so slightly off-key vocals. This is what makes the sound so recognizably ‘Folk’. The unpolished nature makes it so much more human.

This album reminds me a lot of The Levellers, whose music formed a large part of my ‘go to’ collection in the late 90’s. The melancholic dystopian view of the world explored through happy melodies is something I’ve always found quite fascinating. The lilting sounds of gypsy-style violin and delicate plinks of the banjo take your mind wandering to a faraway place, sitting on a log in the summer heat, reminiscing of days passed, friends departed, and old memories. A great example of this is the acoustic driven ‘New Sweden’.

There’s nothing overstated about this album either. Whether it is more upbeat, full band numbers, such as ‘I’ve Tried’, or ‘Devil’s Chokehold’, or more laid-back acoustic songs like ‘You Were Anyone, But Not Anywhere…’ and ‘Letter To A Friend’, everything is stripped back and downplayed. This is also another vital key to Folk music. It can be played acoustically and have the same impact as it does plugged up with a full band.

All in all, this is a very pleasing listen. It’s nothing fancy, it does exactly what it says on the tin. But sometimes, that really is all you need. If you’re world-weary, or just want something chilled out to listen to, then you could do a lot worse than this unassuming little album. It’s definitely one I’ll be revisiting often.

‘Devil’s Chokehold’ (Audio)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Who Do You Want To Be?
02. I’ve Tried
03. The Weight On My Shoulders
04. You Were Anyone, But Not Anywhere…
05. New Sweden
06. Devil’s Chokehold
07. Capitalist Market
08. Juliet
09. These Times Are So Fucking Dark
10. Letter To A Friend

LINE-UP:
Fredrick Lindkvist – Songwriting, Instrumentals, Vocals
Emma Sjödin – Guest Vocals
Lars Kyösti (Sekunderna, Sista Brytet) – Guitar
Håkan Olsson – Guitar
Erik Gunnarsson (Epidemics, Dream Warriors, Bottenhavet) – Drums
Johan Philipsson (Royal Downfall) – Bass
Joakim Lindquist (Den Stora Flykten, Popterror) – Keyboards
Hanna Kangassalo (Horseface) – Violin

LINKS:

Fred Lee & The Restless Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Epoch Of Chirality – Nucleosynthesis

Nucleosynthesis Album Cover Art

Epoch Of Chirality – Nucleosynthesis
Self-Released
Release Date: 23/07/2021
Running Time: 48:48
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Good afternoon from the hallowed lands of West Yorkshire, where pendulous skies abound, the moors brood and beguile you in their sparse and barren splendour, and where the Smellhounds are currently emitting scents that could conceivably be used for ethnic cleansing in some less salubrious regimes. Mrs. Dark Juan is currently sat across from me in the lounge, creating yet another warped objet d’art dragged from the blackest pits of her imagination whilst giggling her little head off at Joe Lycett telling stories about how he had to come downstairs while living with his parents when experiencing some tumescence after a saucy dream about Idris Elba. This scenario was indeed chortlesome.

Oh, how I laughed as I wondered what it would be like to have an erotic dream instead of the blood-soaked horrors that pass for my dreamworld. Especially as I woke this morning from dreaming of having slaughtered my way through an entire company of Russian Spetsnaz using nothing but my teeth and a combat knife. Their combat wrestling training didn’t count for anything much considering how easy it was to tear their arms off and beat them to death with the wet ends…

Such violent imagery reminds me of the slew of action movies that thrilled young Dark Juan in the Eighties – Commando, The Terminator, Predator, Cobra and the like as well as all the video nasties like Anthropophagous Beast and Cannibal Holocaust. These all shared one thing, and that was an epic soundtrack. Which, and this for once is a fucking bang tidy segue, leads us on to the music of Epoch Of Chirality, being a one-man musical project emanating from the somewhat fevered imagination of Mr. Richard How of the South-West of jolly old England.

This is EOC’s second release, after Richard’s debut EP which was entitled “Dawn Of Chirality” in 2020. As a quick aside, Chirality is a property of asymmetry important in several branches of science. The word chirality is derived from the Greek χειρ (kheir), “hand,” a familiar chiral object. Basically, it means a non-superimposable mirror image of an object. Now we have that bit of Wikipedia bothering out of the way, I can begin to describe “Nucleosynthesis”, this being the process that creates new atomic nuclei from pre-existing nucleons (protons and neutrons) and nuclei. Which is a rather fitting way to describe a second musical release then, “Dawn Of Chirality” being analogous to the Big Bang, and “Nucleosynthesis” being the creation of the Universe. Or at least Epoch Of Chirality’s universe, which operates in a kind of dark light, neon dripping Blade Runner-esque dystopian galaxy of electronic soundscapes merged with the cutting fury of heavy metal.

As regular readers of my terrible ramblings will know, I have a real soft spot for synthwave (be it Outrun, or Vapourwave (I REFUSE TO USE THE RUBBISH AMERICAN SPELLING!) or whatever) and two of my absolute favourites from this style of music are Master Boot Record (an Italian madman who identifies himself as an IBM 486 Central Processing Unit. Remember them? Oh, and he has an unhealthy obsession with ASCII) and Gunship (British, absolutely brilliant and now can be forgiven for their travesty of a former band, Fightstar, mainly because they have brought Tim fucking Capello back to the attention of a rapt audience, thankfully without the purple spandex). Both of which are big fucking boots to try and fill. Epoch Of Chirality leans more toward the cinematic soundscapes of MBR and also doesn’t employ any vocals, letting the music try to hold your interest all by itself, rather than following the electro-pop stylings and emotionally fraught singing of the worthy British combo.

Thankfully, EOC manages to stand proud with the music and is fresh and original sounding. Every song brings a different flavour and mood, ‘Maiden Voyage’ being particularly schizophrenic with 80’s tinkly bonk Bontempi keyboards meeting martial drumming, eastern sounding flurries on keys transforming into glockenspiel runs and then trumpets and gothic piano taking over with the occasional stab of electric guitar until it switches gear and tempo and turns into a rampaging metal beast. Album opener ‘Dawn Of Chirality’ beguiles with waves of soft, foamy keyboards building slowly into pure, full on metal riffing with coruscating waves of electronic sound beneath it as the drums build into a percussive, machine gun wall of sound and the oh so 80’s keyboard rises magnificently over it all and I’m just waiting for Airwolf to rise out of its secret volcano hangar dramatically through the caldera and shoot down shitloads of bad guys. ‘The Abyssal Fleet’ is pure cinema in musical form, being an Imperial march full of bombast, and easily conjuring the image of a grim and mighty fleet of battle-scarred starships slipping their moorings and travelling towards a warzone where the hellish power of their particle beam weapons and explosive gravitic lances will level the surface of an enemy planet in short and terrible order. ‘Undercity Rising’ has my imagination running riot with images of muties emerging from under Mega-City One with murder and mayhem on their minds, and only a thin line of Judges to meet them.

Every tune on the album evinces a feeling of big-screen theatrics from the age of neon-tinged dystopian nightmares. ‘Labyrinth’ could easily be the soundtrack to an epic car chase through a darkened, mirror universe Miami, scattering the shattered bodies of unwary pedestrians in the wake of speeding vehicles exchanging gunfire and grenades, while our muscle bound hero escapes all attempts on his life with witty one-liners and an assault rifle that miraculously never runs out of ammunition. Apart from the middle eight which makes it sound like you’re going to enter some kind of dark tunnel or dread fortress before the song returns to speed and chunky fucking riffing and the full-on car chase aesthetic. The last tune, ‘Paradox’, brings back memories of the more esoteric moments of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark in the intro and is so bright, shiny and Tron-like it made me weep tears of joy for a childhood lost to Satan worship, extremely perverse sexual encounters and absinthe, before turning into the most metal song on the album. There is also a magnificent guitar solo that also made me become highly excited and spasmodically jerk around the lounge and has raised the ire of at least two Smellhounds and Mrs. Dark Juan. It is a most fitting climax to an album that is utterly perfect for hitting a motorway at 3am with 200 miles to cover. You too can experience the feeling that you are fleeing hordes of heavily armed bastards in shiny black Jaguars on your work trip to Basingstoke simply by popping Epoch Of Chirality in the CD player and letting your imagination run riot.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Epoch Of Chirality and Ever-Metal will not accept any legal liability for the fact you’ll probably hit 130 mph on the M1 in your Vauxhall Corsa just outside of Luton and will have to explain to Hertfordshire Police that the music made you do it, and that there isn’t in fact a horde of heavily armed bastards racing after you in shiny black Jaguars intent on letting your brains escape through your nose via the medium of 9mm Parabellum bullets.

On that happy note, if you like Master Boot Record, Carpenter Brut, Pertubator, Gunship and the like, you’ll probably adore this. I do. If you are more a trve metal kvlt person, you’ll hate it because it has more influences than guitar, bass, drums, drugs, misogyny and alcoholism and it will fry your little brain. For everyone else, I officially declare this record fucking brilliant. You should give it a bash.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards the full 10/10 to Epoch Of Chirality and loves the magical, 80’s arcade aesthetic of it all so is off to Arcade Club in Bury in short order to go and destroy hordes of filthy alien enemies on R-Type II to a soundtrack of Epoch Of Chirality resounding through my headphones.

‘Labyrinth’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Dawn Of Chirality
02. Undercity Rising
03. Caravan To The Midnight Mountain
04. Boreal
05. Pyramid Cybergod
06. Maiden Voyage
07. The Abyssal Fleet
08. Labyrinth
09. Paradox

LINE-UP:
Richard How – Multi-instrumentalist uber-talented BASTARD!!!
(Especially because I can’t even fucking play the guitar properly, let alone anything else…)

LINKS:

Album Advert

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Hardline – Heart, Mind And Soul

Heart, Mind And Soul Album Cover Art

Hardline – Heart, Mind And Soul
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 09/07/2021
Running Time: 49:40
Review by Simon Black
9/10

Hardline have been at this game a while. Launching in L.A. with a juicy major label deal, no doubt, facilitated by Bad English/Journey guitarist Neal Schon’s presence in the project just before Grunge wiped out the whole scene. Actually, Schon quitting is what took the major’s out of the picture as they promptly ditched anything with a Melodic Hard Rock sound like a hot brick, but Hardline hung in through that period and their anthemic ‘Hot Cherie’ still managed a palpable global hit over the long term even though it was a slow burner on release. After flogging the dead horse uphill for too long, like many in the late 90’s they took an extended hiatus until the world was ready for them again and to be fair have been producing strong and consistent albums since stabilising with what’s become known as ’The Italian Line Up’ properly in 2011. Definitely one of Frontiers relaunch success stories, this line-up is now on its fourth album under that label’s wings and frankly I can’t see it slowing down.

Musically Hardline have stuck to their guns and if you’ve missed the intervening years then this album is a great opportunity to renew the acquaintance. Johnny Gioeli’s voice sounds exactly like it always did and his emphatic and charismatic delivery stands him out as one of the strongest contenders in the sub-genre. You always know you’ve got a cracker on your hands when after two listens you are struggling to find your stand out tracks. Now sometimes that’s a very negative problem, but the song consistency is so tip top here that it’s difficult to pick a winner easily. If I have to, I’m going to go with ‘Like That’, as it’s the closest to an anthemic floor-filler of the ‘Hot Cherie’ variety. Starting gently with a well-paced back beat, this song delivers one of the catchiest chorus lines I’ve heard in a while – the sort of chorus that has a memorable melody line and then goes up a level halfway through it’s catchy, memorable and a master class in how to write a Hard Rock hit.

Song wise ‘Heart, Mind And Soul’ is mainly mid-tempo rockers, but being Melodic Hard Rock/AOR there are the three obligatory power ballads, of which album closer ‘We Belong’, with its slow, careful acoustic build up feels of this moment, as well as the period that birthed this band. Given that Producer, keyboardist and bass player Alessandro Del Vecchio is a rather busy chap, since he’s playing the same backbone roles for a vast swathe of Frontiers roster (at least two of which I have reviewed in the last month or so alone), he manages to pull a blinding job when it comes to the song-writing here. Perhaps it’s that he’s been involved with this project a while, but I get the sense that the Hardline sound is a comfortable one to step into. Either way this album is Hardline on fire and achieves what everyone trying to emulate them can only hope for.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Fuel To The Fire
02. Surrender
03. If I Could I Would
04. Like That
05. Heavenly
06. Waiting For Your Fall
07. The Curse
08. Heartless
09. Searching For Grace
10. ‘80s Moment
11. We Belong

LINE-UP:
Johnny Gioeli – Lead Vocals
Alessandro Del Vecchio – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Mario Percudani – Guitars
Anna Portalupi – Bass
Marco Di Salvia – Drums

LINKS:

Hardline Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with ENDURE THE AFFLICTION

Endure The Affliction Logo

EMQ’s with ENDURE THE AFFLICTION

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview, with Lafayette, Louisiana based Metal band, Endure The Affliction. Huge thanks to bassist, backing vocalist Byron Vollmer, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Byron, and I’m the bassist and backing vocalist of Endure The Affliction. I was brought into the band by our former drummer from a previous band we were in.

How did you come up with your band name?

Deion (guitarist/co-lead vocalist) had actually came up with the name by the time I had gotten on board.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We’re from South Louisiana, the scene is slightly small, but extremely close-knit. We all look out for each other out here.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Our 2020 EP, “Origins”, currently on all distribution platforms as well as on our website (www.enduretheaffliction.com), our newest single, ‘Identity’, is releasing August 6th along with a music video, and we are getting ready to release our second EP, “Evolve”, this fall.

‘Soul Eater’ (Visualizer) from the debut EP “Origins”

Who have been your greatest influences?

Geddy Lee has been a big influence on me talent-wise. Performance-wise it would have to be Rammstein, for their theatrics.

What first got you into music?

5th grade band, I played trumpet. After that I sought out any chance I got learning new instruments as well as music theory.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?

I wouldn’t mind getting to do something with The Snake Charmer.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Wacken, to be able to perform out of country, as well as a chance to visit ancestral hometowns.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Someone reaching under my kilt to find the answer to the age old question of “what’s really under a kilt?” haha!!

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Thank you for supporting us, if it wasn’t for y’all, we wouldn’t still be around.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Man, that’s a tough one. There’s a few I would love to bring back even if it’s just to speak with them.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love being able to express my emotions through the music, along with passing what knowledge I have to younger musicians. As far as hate, probably the doubt you get from friends and family that don’t understand the joy we get from being on stage, no matter what size it is. Just getting to that point is a big step in a band’s life.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

That they would listen to the quality of the musicians they bring in sometimes instead of how they “look”.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Rammstein – “Herzeleid”.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

I grew up on CD’s, but I still appreciate good old fashioned vinyl.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

We have a local venue called “The District” that we played our EP release show at for the “Origins” EP. Not only did we have our first encore there, but the crowd got so wild that they actually broke the barricade.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

On top of being a musician, I was a firefighter for about 4 years and a soldier in the national guard for 6 years. I have basically accomplished all of my dream jobs lol.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I’m not huge on dinner parties myself haha.

What’s next for the band?

We’ll be releasing some material over the next few months that we’re super excited about. And there’s already been talk of doing a full-length after this next EP.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

www.enduretheaffliction.com/
www.facebook.com/enduretheaffliction.la
www.instagram.com/enduretheaffliction.la
www.open.spotify.com/artist/0YkC97oMGPhF8ivqYFXHHo
www.youtube.com/c/EndureTheAffliction

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

What the hell is a Jaffa cake? Haha!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you for reaching out for the interview, hopefully we will talk again soon!

Endure The Affliction Promo Pic (Credit 'Ragin' Imaging Photography')
Ragin’ Imaging Photography

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with BARBARA BLACK

Barbara Black Logo

EMQ’s with BARBARA BLACK

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview, with Madrid, Spain based Heavy Rock/Metal band, Barbara Black. Huge thanks to vocalist Bárbara Black, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

I am Bárbara Black and I am a singer. Nitro (drummer), Javier (guitar) and I used to play in different bands some years ago and we rehearsed in the same music room. We all had a very good relationship and common musical interests, so we decided to start a band together in 2015. In 2016 we released our first EP “Spiritual Rock” and in 2017 we released the full album “Ad Libitum”. It had such a good reception, our single ‘Shiva’, was chosen for a previous Eurovision´s phase by AEV. After that in 2018 we were on tour in UK and in 2019 in Spain. During this period Niño buffalo Marquez and Cone joined us. In 2020 we released the next album “Love, Death & Flies”, and we are very happy with the feedback we have got about it. We have several recognitions in Metal Devastation radio show and in the Banger music awards.

How did you come up with your band name?

It is my name and we like how it sounds.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We are from Madrid, Spain. There is an amazing quality in the bands and musicians here in Spain, but it is absolutely impossible to live on the music business except those who have a label´s support. The most common situation is working in different fields and at the same time fighting for your band.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

2020 album “Love, Death & Flies” and some videos after that, ‘Vampire Love’, ‘Heroes Above The Stars” and even some live streaming concerts as Vampire Fest, you can find it on our Youtube Channel.

‘Vampire Love, Chapter I: You Belong To Me’ (Official Lyric Video)

‘Damnified’ (Official Lyric Video)

‘Tiger Tamer’ (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

We like bands such as Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge, Sixx A.M., Shinedown, In This Moment or even traditional bands such as Mr Big or Warlock.

What first got you into music?

My parents vinyls and then befriending rockers in high school and forming a first teenage band.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?

Uffff too many!! Doro, Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Halestorm or Shinedown could be some of them.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

I really love any metal Festival!!! And my dream festival is the WOA since I was a child, I love it.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

I don´t remember weird gifts but I remember a beautiful bangle a metal Fan from Coraceros MC gave me and I love it so much.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Let´s meet in our next concert!!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Undoubtedly, Janis Joplin.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

One of the most beautiful things about being a musician is sharing experiences with other colleagues. On many occasions we have played in concerts with other friendly bands or we have invited other musicians to play with us and that is wonderful, music unites us all. There have been great musicians from other bands who have been so kind to collaborate on our album with a guitar solo or with their voice, for example: Javier Mira, Cecilio Sánchez-Robles, Ix Valieri, Martin More, Óscar Sancho or Diego Rayz. I am very grateful to have had their talent.

What I really hate is egos and envy.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I would make disappear the business part. Success should be related to talent and not to money.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Mr Big – “Lean Into It”.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

I love CD’s and Vinyls, I really love looking at the inside book.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

The day I sang in La Riviera venue in Madrid with an amazing sold out crowd in a tribute to Freddie Mercury was really breath taking.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Music teacher (that is my actual job). But I would like to be too a make-up artist, a tattoo artist or even an interior designer.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Johnny Depp, Nikki Sixx, Jimmy Fallon, Jennifer Aniston and Doro Pesch.

What’s next for the band?

We are going to play in the streaming Argentina Online Metal Fest, July 23rd, 24th and 25th, we are gonna play live in Madrid on September 10th, we are going to shoot our next videoclip, and we have new dates for 2022 in Valencia and Madrid, so we can´t wait to all of these great music plans.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Spotify, iTunes, Youtube…
www.barbarablackrock.com
www.instagram.com/barbarablackoficial
www.facebook.com/barbarablackoficial
www.twitch.tv/barbarablackofficial
www.youtube.com/barbarablackofficial
www.open.spotify.com/artist/4v5drGJoUl4GvNAvRL1iaK

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I didn’t know about it, but I have checked it out and seek biscuits hahaha and delicious!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Stay healthy in these hard times and if any metalhead wants to listen to our music or videos, you can check out our social media, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook on Barbara Black Official or even you can find our albums, t-shirts and merchandising on www.barbarablackrock.com/store. You are gonna rock it for sure!! Supporting rock and metal is very necessary. Thank you so much for this great interview, this is a great opportunity for rock and metal fans to know us better.

Love & Rock!

This is the interview of Spanish band BARBARA BLACK with all the details, photos, official links.

“Love, Death & Flies” (Full Album Official)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=99_pA35HCpQ

‘Nice To Meet Me’ (Official video)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0_wSMD5XG8

‘Southern Soul (Official Video)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4Pe37YLaNg

‘Shiva’ (Official Video)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=feSy39Im1fE

‘The Bible Or The Gun’ Blues Saraceno Cover (Official Video)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2AO4iGE5Vw

Barbara Black Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Lacuna Coil – Live From The Apocalypse

Live From The Apocalypse Album Cover Art

Lacuna Coil – Live From The Apocalypse
Century Media Records
Release Date: 25/06/2021
Running Time: 60:03
Review by Simon Black
7/10

Livestreams have been both a lifeline and a curse for bands in these dark times. Whether you like them or not, I fervently believe that they may be something that stays with us when this pandemic lark finally becomes a memory. Because let’s face it, it’s not economically viable to play touring gigs that just showcase your new album in its entirety. Even among your die-hard fan base, that’s likely to be a niche thing, promoters will be wary of the unknown quantity if it’s not already a chart success, and although it’s something you might want to do a couple of decades after the event to celebrate your greatest album hit’s multi-decade anniversary for example, a quick look at most band’s touring schedules, when they do, reveal that normally only a smaller number of shows will get clocked up for these. Even the likes of Metallica have only included these sorts of full run-throughs as bonus disk material on their more expansive special editions in the past (although it doesn’t matter how many ways you package “St. Anger”, it’s still “St. Anger”).

But then when you can’t tour, the live stream format gives you the opportunity to do something that you couldn’t normally consider and given that the production costs are so much lower and the fact that the world is desperate for anything live right now, then a full album showcase is suddenly a viable proposition both now, and potentially moving forward. This album was recorded in September in the band’s home city of Milan in an empty club, and like many livestreams has taken full advantage of the fact that much of the uncertainty of a genuine live performance has been ironed out (since they are not truly live), particularly with regard to the sound mix, which is very close to that of 2019’s Black Anima album, the release getting the full run through treatment here. The almost laughable irony is that the very subject matter of that dark and apocalyptic studio album has been playing out in real life, hence the ‘Apocalypse’ sub-tag. If you are a fan with only the standard version then this might be a big jump, as not only does it have the five extra tracks only available on the bonus track version, but there’s also ‘Bad Things’ to boot.

The tracks aren’t played in the same order as the studio versions, but otherwise are a pretty accurate rendition of that sound and period. Performances are blisteringly tight though, but almost no stage banter and interaction made it to the recording, so it does feel quite sterile and flat – not helped that any live recording never sounds the same without a roaring crowd for the band to feed off of. The other challenge I have is that this album in particular, with the exception of the closing piano accompanied solo vocal ballad ‘Save Me’, has songs that all hit the same pitch and tone and after about five Gothic Metal heart-renders, things start to get a little repetitive. But then this is not a release aimed at winning new fans so much as pleasing the old ones, who are going to love it. It’s moody, emotional and tight as a gnat’s bum hole in terms of playing, but just lacking the spark that this format struggles with – and that comes from us.

‘Veneficium’ (Live From The Apocalypse)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Anima Nera
02. Sword Of Anger
03. Save Me
04. Now Or Never
05. Reckless
06. Through The Flames
07. Apocalypse
08. Black Feathers
09. Under The Surface
10. The End Is All I Can See
11. Veneficium
12. Black Dried Up Heart
13. Bad Things
14. Layers Of Time
15. Black Anima
16. Save Me (Apocalypse Version)

LINE-UP:
Cristina Scabbia – Vocals
Andrea Ferro – Vocals
Marco “Maki” Coti-Zelati – Guitars , Bass, Keyboards & Synths
Diego “DD” Cavallotti – Guitars
Richard Meiz – Drums

LINKS:

Lacuna Coil Promo Pic (Photo Credit - Cunene)
Photo Credit – Cunene

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Innasanatorium – Odyssey Of The Mind

Odyssey Of The Mind Album Cover Art

Innasanatorium – Odyssey Of The Mind
Self-Released
Release Date: 10/07/2021
Running Time: 54:02
Review by Simon Black
9/10

Hailing from Perth, Innasanatorium (great name by the way) are a Progressive Thrash influenced Modern Metal outfit unleashing their debut on the world. Thematically conceptual rather than a story-driven concept album in itself, the record deals heavily with issues of mental health both positive and negative, as well as the usual political ire beloved of all things Thrash.

For a self-produced record the sound and production are rich, deep and lavish. So many debuts have great tracks that are lost in unprofessional recording techniques and penny-pinching, but not so this one. It’s beautifully captured, and brings those well-crafted and technically proficient tracks to the fore. The modern metal flavour brought by having a fairly broad range of singers (three no less, one of who is the band’s manager) gives their sound the kind of luxuriance that bands normally take a few albums to get into their stride with, by which time they are normally starting to scrape the bottom of the song catalogue. In this case you have the cream of their repertoire, but with the kind of production normally only found when a major label is throwing everything at a new signing.

And let’s not leave the song-writing and arrangements out of this. Again this has the feel of an album that has been properly pre-produced professionally, with the arrangements tightened and honed to precision. The technical proficiency in the Prog side of things is fairly formidable too, and does not stop the flow of the songs to the ear, which is why I think this has been pre-produced so well. It’s a different feel from what you get when that tightness has had its birth in songs which have had a few years of live playing to hone down the unnecessary elements. Each and every song on here is well-crafted and flows, and before you know it fifty-five minutes has passed in a blur of beautifully melodic yet brutal riffage interlaced with effortlessly fluid solos in a sauce of heaviness and moodiness that is quite distinctive and fresh.

This record manages to pull the trick off of being both melodically enticing in the instrumental department, whilst brutal and dark in the rhythmic structures and tones. Add to this a really well-balanced use of a scale of vocals from extreme (but intelligible) to the clean and high with many stops in between and you have one of the strongest unsigned debut’s I’ve heard in a while, and a band that has found their clear and distinctive sound early.

‘Show Me Your Scars’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Intro
02. Show Me Your Scars
03. The Decline (Odyssey Of The Mind Part 1)
04. Night Terrors
05. Shifting Shadows
06. The Despair (Odyssey Of The Mind Part 2)
07. Innasanatorium
08. Science In The House Of God
09. The Desire (Odyssey Of The Mind Part 3)
10. Accelerated Oblivion
11. Outro

LINE-UP:
Adam Bomb McDonald – Vocals
Ryan Pearce – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Rapid Man – Guitars
Metal C (Tim) – Bass
Justin Sanity (Kelvin) – Backing Vocals

LINKS:

Innasanatorium Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Bjarte K. Helland – Maniae EP

Maniae EP Cover

Bjarte K. Helland – Maniae EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 18/06/2021
Running Time: 22:51
Review by Simon Black
7/10

It takes all sorts to make a genre and body of music that is the Church of All Things Rock And Metal. That means that for those of us who plough through a couple of hundreds records a year in order to encourage you to support the artists (whether we like them or not), it means you have to be prepared to be taken out of your comfort zone and occasionally be pleasantly surprised. This short, but fascinating EP is a solo project of Quadrasonic, FastLoaders and Pitch Black Mentality drummer Bjarte K. Helland. It’s also an entirely instrumental piece, focussing on a complex hybrid of Progressive Rock/Metal and Jazz Fusion. However, you would expect him as a drummer to dominate the sound and the mix, but he doesn’t (although the footwork is phenomenal). If anything, the strings are front and foremost in the mix, particularly Jarle H. Olsen’s rather fantastic and effortlessly fluid guitar work.

This is obviously intended to be a studio project, but despite the choice of style it’s remarkably easy to listen to and although the openers ‘Lyssa’ and ‘Light of Erebus’ are pure Jazz Fusion, the more straight ahead Rock beat of ‘Monolith’ illustrates that there’s plenty in there for the more heavily inclined without losing that subtlety and complexity. Jazz Fusion is often in danger of alienating its listeners by going down an overtly showy road, but because this piece focuses on melody and catchiness first and foremost – rather than appealing only to those who know or care about the difference between a secondary dominant and a tritone substitution, diminished or otherwise. Bottom line is for those with a Prog bent, then this is going to tick a few boxes with its technically dazzling but fundamentally listenable approach to a style of music that isn’t for all but which works like a dream here.

‘Light Of Erebus’ (Official Visualizer)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Lyssa
02. Light Of Erebus
03. Monolith
04. Rabid

LINE-UP:
Jarle H. Olsen – Guitars
Ric Fierabracci – Bass
Bjarte K. Helland – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with ARYEM

Aryem Logo

EMQ’s with ARYEM

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview, with Mexico City based, Symphonic Metal band Aryem. Huge thanks to them for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Hi! We’re Aryem, a symphonic metal band with Karen M-Dozza on vocals, Diego Heero Maaginen as composer and bassist, Javier Días on guitars and backing vocals and Luis A. Echegollen on drums!

The band was formed in 2012, though the current line-up was finally consolidated in 2019. We released the album “DANGEROUS PARADISE” on March 21st, 2020. We’ve played various online festivals with a few bands like Jinjer and Nervosa, and thankfully the popularity of our album in Aryem’s fan community had, as a result, the release of an extended version of the record, including the orchestral versions of the songs, on November 13th, 2020.

How did you come up with your band name?

Aryem is a combination of the words for “Spirit” and “Soul” in Latin because our music explores the avatars of human existence. We stand for unhinged passion and visceral raw emotions in music. We think it was a natural choice for a name.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We’re from Mexico, Mexico City. The metal scene here is awesome for us, because there are so many kinds of bands and styles that we’ve had a chance to listen to or play with. We really enjoy the metal scene here.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

We released our debut album “Dangerous Paradise” on March 21st, 2020, and our latest release is ‘REBORN’ the first single of the upcoming album “The Bird’s Assembly”.

‘Reborn’ (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

We all have very different backgrounds, though we share a mutual love for metal and especially Symphonic Metal (i.e. Nightwish, Epica, Kamelot, etc.). But composing wise, our greatest influences have to be the Greek composer Yanni, the amazing film composers John Williams and Danny Elfman, along with the greats from music history like Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Beethoven, Mahler, Brahms, Stravinsky, amongst others.

What first got you into music?

Love for the emotions it causes. Music is a wonderful medium to express what you feel, what you think… we were all collectively captivated by it, and it went on from there. The desire to be able to express such things in sound and share said passion with an audience in one of the most honest and expressive styles there is…Metal.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?

If this was a letter to Santa Claus, hands down it’d have to be Yanni, along with bands such as Nightwish, Epica, Skillet, Ensiferum, Mago de Oz…we really look up to them.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Resurrection Fest, Wacken, Domination… Those are festivals we’ve visited in our younger years and were astounded by the experience. We would love to be able to perform in them, and give the same emotions to the audience that we got as teens!

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Besides underwear on stage with a phone number on it? Hahahaha…probably that one time we were gifted crickets. Literally a small Tupper full of crickets.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

We are honoured that you share our passion for Aryem’s music! And literally, we wouldn’t be able to do ANY of the things we do without you. YOU represent everything Aryem stands for, and we couldn’t be prouder to be part of such a beautiful community as the one you’ve all created around us. It’s amazing, and we can’t wait for all the new adventures that lie in store for us…together!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Freddie Mercury or Alexi Laiho, no questions asked.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

The connection with the audience, hands down. It’s wonderful…and the emotion of performing music is beyond anything we’ve ever felt before.

What do we hate? Maybe the fact that in Mexico, there is a kind of stigma around being a musician. It’s not taken as a real job or career, something we’ve struggled with in society and even from a few family members…It can be tough sometimes.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

To give more chances to upcoming bands. There are some AMAZING talents out there that deserve a shot.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Live At The Acropolis” by Yanni, “Once” by Nightwish or “Design Your Universe” by Epica. It depends on which of us answers, hahaha.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Anything as long as it’s not pirated!

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Two, Funnily enough, the first one is of the smaller ones. The first time we performed with Karen we did so at a small club, and she just brought the heat! We had never felt like that performing with other singers and it was an AMAZING feeling for us.

The second one, we recently went to a place called Rio Verde in a state called San Luis Potosi. That’s the first time we’ve played since the Pandemic begun, and we were thankful to be back on stage with a live audience after a year and a half of lockdown.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

We can’t imagine doing literally anything else. Maybe acting, but that’s a huge maybe. We’re terrible actors (And we still have the guts to act on our music videos…go figure…)

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Yanni, James Hetfield, Tuomas Holopainen, Simone Simons and Floor Jansen.

What’s next for the band?

On October 8th, 2021, we’re releasing our second album “The Bird’s Assembly”! It’s inspired by the Persian poem “The Conference of the Birds” by Attar of Nishapur (1177 AD). The record is an intense and explosive experience into the true nature of humanity’s soul. Unhinged passion, visceral raw emotions and intensity roam free in every corner of this album.

To make this album… we had to go through some dark places… and we did and faced things we never thought we’d ever encounter. And now, it’s ready to come to the light.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

You can find us in Spotify, Amazon, Apple music, i-Tunes, the whole thing! But we do encourage you to come join the Aryem Family in our socials, we’re always connecting with the tribe and having a blast on the comments (There’s also some special music exclusive to each platform)!
www.facebook.com/aryemband
www.instagram.com/aryemmetal 
www.open.spotify.com/artist/0LiR5Xmjnk2veqhjCZ8sMZ
www.youtube.com/channel/UCJtUmRoy__0Zx3RvT4o8yFg

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

They are a biscuit sized cake 😉 Or a cake sized biscuit if you’re 50 cm tall!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you, Ever Metal, for having us! It’s been a lot of fun answering your questions! And hey, if you’re reading this and have never heard of us before, come join the party! If you like our music, you can join the Aryem family (Which is full of amazing folks!) and you can share it with your friends! If you hate our music, you can send it to your worst enemy and ruin his day! It’s a win win, ain’t it?

No but, seriously, thank you so much, and we can’t wait to connect with you on our socials!!!

Aryem Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.