EMQ’s with DIAL DENIAL

Dial Denial Logo

EMQ’s with DIAL DENIAL

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Sydney, Australia based Pop Punk band Dial Denial. Huge thanks to guitarist Owen Borg 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 Owen Borg, I’m the guitarist of Dial Denial! Dial Denial formed in February 2018 and we were aged 12-14 at the time! Connecting at Big Music School & Studios and driven by common music interests and goals, Dial Denial was formed. It was clear from the very beginning of our venture into original songwriting that we all just clicked and had a unique bond and style.

How did you come up with your band name?

Our singer Fergus had a massive list of names he came up with and his original idea was Dial 1300 Denial but we decided to get rid of the 1300 and just be Dial Denial.

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

We are from the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia. There is a great rock scene here and there are many live music venues in Sydney but seeing as we are under 18, it’s a bit more difficult to get gigs although on the Northern Beaches, there are plenty of opportunities for under 18 artists. Covid – 19 has definitely hurt the music industry a lot but the live music scene will bounce back better than ever once everything returns to normal!

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

Our latest release was our single ‘Anybody But Me’ released November 13th which is also on our new EP “Goodnight” which came out on February 19th.

‘Anybody But Me’ (Audio)

Who have been your greatest influences?

We really like Neck Deep, Yours Truly, Sum 41 and Hockey Dad but we are influenced by so many different genres and artists which really makes Dial Denial unique.

What first got you into music?

I started learning Piano at around 5 and started to guitar at around 7 and I fell in love with guitar.

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

Tough choice! I’d have to say Machine Gun Kelly/Travis Barker. Having those two on a track would be so cool and would make for an absolute banger of a song!

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

There are so many to choose from, but I’d probably say either Download Festival or Warped Tour would be so sick! (RIP Warped Tour) Those two festivals had so many of our heroes play on them.

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

A bashed up acoustic guitar that had a nail keeping the neck onto the body from some Brazilian dude who was flying back home.

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

Go to as many gigs as you can and support local artists.

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

Eddie Van Halen for sure.

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

I love being able to write songs, jump around on stage and interact with people I’ve never met as well as having opportunities and fun experiences. I really don’t hate anything about being a musician.

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

The one thing I would change is making pop punk, rock and metal music the most listened to genres across the world.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Periphery IV: Hail Stan” is my favourite album of all time.

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

Downloads as they are the most accessible! I do wish that Spotify would pay artists more though :/

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

Either opening for Hockey Dad at Dee Why PCYC or opening for Bakers Eddy at Wrangler Studios.

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

I’d probably still be in the music industry. I can’t see myself doing anything outside the music industry.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Machine Gun Kelly, Yungblud, Pierre Bouvier, Travis Barker and Derek DiScanio and just write a bunch of Pop Punk songs 😊.

What’s next for the band?

Our EP “Goodnight” which was released on 19th Feb 2021 and hopefully playing some festivals and gigs.

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

www.dialdenial.com/
www.instagram.com/dial.denial/
www.facebook.com/dialdenialofficial
www.open.spotify.com/artist/6363UHMAhhuaysGZlLuEwF
www.youtube.com/channel/UCL7uEN9LsQK6lTamUe09JfA

Dial Denial 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.

EMQ’s with EGOR LAPPO

Egor Lappo Logo

EMQ’s with EGOR LAPPO

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Saint Petersburg, Russia based Progressive Metal/Rock project, Egor Lappo. Huge thanks to Egor 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 Egor Lappo, I play a bit of everything, but mostly guitars, vocals and I do all the producing/mixing for my music. I never liked the idea of being in a band, cause it’s a rare thing when you don’t have a leader and everything just works out or you do have a leader and everyone is ok with the fact that their opinion may not be taken into account.

How did you come up with your band name?

I couldn’t come up with any good name that I wouldn’t be ashamed of in perspective. So, I named my project after my own name because most of my favourite musicians do it at some point of their career. Or they name it after their childhood nickname and that one wasn’t an option because it wasn’t cool.

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

Russia, Saint-Petersburg. I don’t know. The part of the reason why I like music is that it’s some form of an escapism for me. This may sound stupid, but I have a hard time finding Russian music that resonates with me and helps me to feel being ‘not there’. There are 2-3 artists from Russia I enjoy listening to. Oh, and I am originally from Kaluga, and the music scene there is the reason why I moved to a bigger city, cause there is none of it.

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

Latest release is “Make The Sun Shine More” EP, it was released in July 2020 and it’s sort of a turning point for me. My first 2 albums and this EP are very prog-metal stuff with some other genres blended in.

But my next album “Trancevoicer” (which is going to be out on March 19th) is a much more focused record. I decided to write a storyline and make it a concept album just to have some distinctive style to it and not to switch between genres and sounds way too much. (It’s one of the best albums I’ve heard so far this year – Rick)

‘The Mask of Kindness’ (Visualiser)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Chronologically: Ritchie Blackmore, Tomi Putaansuu, Alex Lifeson, James Hetfield, John Petrucci, Devin Townsend, Neal Morse, Tobias Forge, Tim Smith, Filippo Neviani.

What first got you into music?

Hearing O-Zone, Arash, Plazma on the radio all the time when I was 10. But if we are talking about heavy music – definitely Deep Purple, this was the only band I’ve been listening to since being 11-13.

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

All of the musicians that I adore are able to write/produce their own stuff with many line-up changes in their bands. So, I don’t know how I would help them. But I would like to collaborate with Sleep Party People, John Mitchell, Roine Stolt and Kyros.

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

Cruise to the Edge – there is no doubt about it.

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

They keep sending me money through Bandcamp for some reason, that’s weird…

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

Well…If you listen to my music and it resonates with you in some way – I am happy to provide some background soundtrack to your thoughts or life or whatever you are going through. No, seriously, thank you.

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

I am not sure about it, all of them. But it was very sad when Tim Smith from Cardiacs passed away last July.

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

I hate the lack of choice, because once you subconsciously devote yourself to this way of living – there is no turning back. Maybe there is and I am still in the teenage-rebel phase of my life, who knows. I enjoy feeling great once I finish writing/recording/mixing some song and, in the end, it perfectly represents what I was trying to say, that blueprint that once appeared for some reason.

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

This is a great question and I don’t know. Some people say that Spotify doesn’t pay artists enough. Well…look at how many streams U2, Lewis Capaldi and all these huge bands/artists have. And think about how much Spotify should pay them. I am not an expert, but I think charging more money for monthly subscriptions would help. Because now you pay the same amount of money in a month (and you can listen to any music non-stop for 30 days) that you’ve had to pay in 2005 for a pirated CD of some band’s discography in 128 kbps. There could be 4 songs on that CD, 15 minutes each and you would still pay the same, but now for listening to a 15-minute track you ‘pay’ the artist the same amount as if it was a 30 second track.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Nek – “Calore Umano”. The title track is the most heavenly-joyful-sounding thing I’ve ever heard.

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

For me downloads are the best, but no streaming service will replace the good old Sony Walkman for me.

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

We can skip that question; no gigs were played 😊.

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

Woodcarving.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Ian Gillan, Bono, Wheeler Walker Jr, Dean Ween, Al Jourgensen.

What’s next for the project?

I am in the process of trying to promote my new album “Trancevoicer” now. I have some ideas about the next album, but I have to second-guess them enough times before making some coherent decisions.

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

Burnt Coffee Reviews is a great website. I highly recommend you check it out.
www.burntcoffeereviews.com/

www.egorlappo.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/EgorLappoMusic
www.instagram.com/egorlappo/
www.vk.com/egor_lappo
www.open.spotify.com/artist/0wLW47tB5wit7vIDggmhkU
www.youtube.com/user/EgorLappo

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Mini-cakes and I love them!

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

Yes, lately I gained some weight eating tons of 7Days croissants.

Egor Lappo 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.

EMQ’s with KORYPHEUS

Korypheus Logo

EMQ’s with KORYPHEUS

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Kiev, Ukraine based Progressive/Alternative Metal band, Korypheus. 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?

We are Korypheus, a progressive metal/alternative metal band hailing from Kiev, est. 2016. Korypheus is a Best Ukrainian Metal Act 2020 nominee. December 2018 saw Korypheus unleash their debut album “Blessed”. The sophomore album “Over The Rainbow” was released on the 20th of November 2020 via French metal label M&O Music. Korypheus combines multiple heavy metal subgenres with a keen ear for melody and epic song structures.

Current Line-Up:
Andy Gushin – Lead Vocals
Jullian Torse – Extreme Vocals
Gennadi Sarukhanyan – Lead Guitar
Ruslan Drozd – Bass
Dmitri Kim – Drums

How did you come up with your band name?

Good question, previously we performed under the name The Freens which was the name of the school band of the lead singer. Later we decided that we had to change it and came up with the name Korypheus which means ‘conductor of the choir’ in Greek, but also ‘a person who excels in his art’. Then it just sounds good for a metal head’s ear.

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

We are based in Kiev, Ukraine. The rock scene is quite active (not during quarantine though). Some internationally acclaimed bands come from Ukraine e.g., Jinjer, Stoned Jesus etc. Korypheus have performed regularly, bringing their compositions to the live stage as well as being loved for their live covers of Black Sabbath. Korypheus have performed regularly at various venues and festivals such as MonteRay Summer Rock Fest, Power of Ukraine – 2018, Vol. 2., FriDayMare Fest, Kiev rock fests ‘Metal Bleeding’ 2019 and MonteRay Summer Fest 2019 plus many more, and have shared stages with the likes of famous Ukrainian bands: Sinoptik, Velikhan, Sunrise and Bila Vezha. Their powerful progressive-rock compositions riddled with riffs and piercing melodies in a short time have grabbed the ears and attention of music fans worldwide through relentless self-promotion and determination. Musicians who took part in the recording of the new album has previously performed in famous Ukrainian acts: Dmitri Kim, ex-Jinjer drummer, Max Oshkalo (a guitarist of Joncofy, participant of Euroblast fest), singer Jullian Torse and bass-player Ruslan Drozd – both previously with Fleshgore (participant of Wacken fest).

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

Our second album is “Over the Rainbow” (20th November 2020). We also released three live videos/lyric videos in support of the album!

‘Only Lies’

‘Dyatlov Pass’

‘Over The Rainbow’

Who have been your greatest influences?

The band has mentioned many of their influences for their music, including Gojira, Black Sabbath and Mastodon.

What first got you into music?

This five different stories for each participant, for me as lead singer Ian Gillan was the main inspiration since childhood.

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

We are currently under the spell of French monsters Gojira, so it would be our dream to collaborate with them.

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

There are two festivals that we have an eye on – Hellfest (because our label M&O Music collaborates with them) and Wacken (in March 2020 we came second in the national Wacken Metal Battle 2020).

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

No weird gifts that I can think of, sorry. Bottles of beer, whisky, pack of condoms 😊.

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

Come taste the band!

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

Jon Lord.

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

Music is a wonderful tool of human growth healing all wounds. We hate lies as is stated in our last song from the album ‘Only Lies’.

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

The lack of transparency in the ways of major labels and stream services like Spotify.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Gojira – “Magma”

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

Well, vinyl for real connoisseurs and downloads as they are handy!

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

Power of Ukraine Fest, Vol.2, 2018.

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

I am a poet; I would be a writer.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

My friends from the band.

What’s next for the band?

We plan a tour in support of a famous European rock artist. I cannot disclose her name yet.

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

www.korypheus.com/
www.facebook.com/Korypheusband
www.korypheus.bandcamp.com/
www.instagram.com/korypheus_band/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/6YemI6edDR5z4upLRdR4Zg
www.youtube.com/channel/UCDtUl1tZQk41kXKS4E9gzMw

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

They are biscuit cakes according to wiki 😊.

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 POISON OAK

Poison Oak Logo

EMQ’s with POISON OAK

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Queensland, Australia based Alternative Rock band, Poison Oak. Huge thanks to Guitarist/Vocalist James Balthes 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 James I play guitar, piano and sing in the band. The band basically came about through a Saturday morning jam between Ray, Russell and myself and has slowly grown from there.

How did you come up with your band name?

It’s from a Bright Eyes song, ‘Poison Oak’.

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

We’re from Australia and are more of an Alternative Rock band. The town that we live in, Townsville, doesn’t separate the styles of music into scenes, we seem to just all come together as one.

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

Our last releases have been our singles ‘Waiting’ and ‘Sarah’, both taken. from our upcoming EP “1996”, which is released on 19th March!

‘Waiting’ (Audio)

‘Sarah’ (Audio)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Friends, family and everyone in between.

What first got you into music?

My friends in high school really, we all hung out and played music, and were all an inspiration to each other.

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

Paul Kelly.

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

Big Day Out, because if we’re playing that festival that means Big Day Out had come back to Australia.

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

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

Just chill.

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

John Bonham, I feel Led Zeppelin still had some good albums in them.

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

Well…if I didn’t enjoy it then I wouldn’t be doing it. I have a pretty balanced life I like to think, I work as a school teacher, so many things to keep me busy from dwelling on things.

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

You still had to purchase records on vinyl!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Bright Eyes – “I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning”.

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

Vinyl.

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

Valley Fiesta in 2014…it went off.

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

I’m actually a school teacher, so I guess I would be doing that.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Ryan, Tyler, Stephen, Tyson, the only reason I picked them, because they’re mates who I went to a steak house with last night. Just my friends.

What’s next for the band?

We are about to release our upcoming EP “1996” on March 19th!

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

www.linktr.ee/poisonoak

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Cake for sure!

Poison Oak 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.

Interview with Nathan Hammond of Spyder Byte

Spyder Byte Logo

Interview with Nathan Hammond of Spyder Byte
By Sheri Bicheno

Hello all! I return with another great band that I interviewed leading up towards the end of the dreaded year of 2020…

Spyder Byte are a 5-piece hailing from Kent and formed back in late 2011, starting as no more than a group of 13-to-16-year-old mates from school. With a common goal in mind and signing to Enso Music Management, Spyder Byte was born, with the intention of adding to the revival of 80’s-style-metal.

I had a lengthy chat with one Nathan Hammond, a compadre I knew from the Mammothfest days and who plays Bass for this rockin’ bunch. They recently also introduced new Guitarist Robbie Weller into their ranks! Check them and the interview out…

Sheri: You formed in 2011 and went on to kick ass on stage at Bloodstock, Mammothfest and Hard Rock Hell. Take us through a bit of the history of Spyder Byte, how did you come to be?

Nathan: Ok, so most of us went to school together down in Kent – that was Connor (drummer), C.C (guitarist) and myself. We were in a band before, we were in a small-time band just doing covers and stuff. We kinda just wanted to do more original music and at the time it just so happened that us three, us three little 12-and-13-year-old-kids, weren’t really into stuff like Asking Alexandria, Motionless in White and that kind of shit – we were all into old school heavy metal and rock you know, everything basically our parents liked. It just got us into it. So, we decided to set something up to start getting into and start writing it in a Motley Crüe style, more of an 80’s sound, basically, we started writing the music that we wanted to and gradually I think things just started falling into place. After the first couple of months, we were desperately looking for a singer. We’ve found it is quite hard to find a proper good solid rock voice. We were going for someone like Bon Scott mixed with a little bit of Lemmy, you know basically someone who has the flare and who has the sound.

Ages and ages ago, we are talking nearly ten years ago, Connor met Dan (vocalist) at another gig they were doing and he invited him along just for a jam to see what he was like. I think Dan was a little bit kind of “Ooooh, maybe not so much” at first, because he’s kinda heavy into thrash metal and death metal. But you know, he softened up, he softened up with age haha!

Sheri: I remember he cut all of his hair off! But he’s still got beautiful hair anyway haha.

Nathan: He is a beautiful human haha.

Sheri: Your style is described as sleaze metal/glam rock – I know that some of you have different influences and preferred styles of metal; thrash, death, power etc… What made you come together and create something between you that was essentially a bit different to those styles of metal?

Nathan: Honestly, I don’t think you know getting into the music scene, it started to get over saturated with similar sounding bands with similar sounding structures and chords and things like that – not that I’m knocking them! Cuz they can all play and it was just a case of us wanting to do something a bit different. So, you know, it started off with an amalgamation of all of our influences and tastes and so you had me, that was at the time massively into Crüe and Crash Diet, all the Scandinavian sleaze bands. Connor, I think just started to edge into listening to a bit more power metal and then obviously we had Dan come in with Thrash… I mean, he loves his Status Quo but we won’t go there hahaha! It was just kind of a mix of wanting to create something a bit different. I mean, I’m thinking back to some of the albums we’ve got now. We can go from doing sleazy hard rock, kind of like Backyard Babies kind of style and then you know, we can throw it all up in the air with an Iron Maiden sounding track, it’s really just a case of us being happy with whatever we are playing. If one day we are kind of feeling writing a bit of you know, a bit more of a speed metal type track then that’s what we will do but at the same time, we love getting a bit sleazy, getting a bit punky you know? You’ve got to inject a little bit of positivity. You got to listen to something and be like “LETS GO!” you know? It’s gotta hit you in the face haha.

Sheri: Your first album, “Addictive”, was released in 2015. This album is such fun! Drunkenness, sexy, rock and roll… My favourite tracks are ‘Strip Club Blues’ and ‘Moonshine’. I feel ‘Strip Club Blues’ has that classic rock and roll; biker blues feel to it. I feel like I should be at a biker rally with a pint of JD and Coke, getting off my trolley throwing myself about to this album haha. What did “Addictive” do for you as a band?

Nathan: So…honestly, it came at a really strange time. We recorded the album in 2014. There were complications with the engineer of the band, he was in hospital due to a lot of health reasons. So, we were just sat on all these songs and waiting for the finished article to come back – we were trying to get everyone hyped up saying there’s this kind of massive sound from this small-time band, all really young at the time – this was about 5 years ago so I’d have been about 17/18 so we were all really young. Basically, all we wanted to do initially was showcase and say, “this is us” and thankfully I think it did that. We went through two lots of pressings, selling all of them, which for a small-time band, I think is a massive deal. It came at a real weird time, I had a back operation in 2015 as well so we couldn’t really get out and promote it as effectively as we could have and, thankfully, I think that worked. Gradually it all fell into place, we still get people now come up to us and say that “Addictive” is such a brilliant album! Completely side stepping the fact that we had just released another one hahaha, but that’s good! It’s what we want! If people can prefer one album over the other, tell us the reasons why, it gives us something to work on and honestly, we value feedback. We want to know people are having a great time listening to us, that’s all we want.

Sheri: Absolutely. I think because your debut album/first release give the first impression so that’s maybe why people will pick up on that!

Your latest release,“When The Lights Go Out”, came out last year. Again, this is a lot of fun. I pick up some Guns ‘n Roses and as you said earlier, some Bon Scott era type AC/DC vibes on this album. ‘Nocturnal Beauty’ and ‘Shameless Star’ in particular. Take us through the journey of this album…


Nathan: What we focused our sights on is that we knew it was a very long time since our first album had been released. Thankfully, we were all in a really good position to start writing and recording effectively because we all went down to university together, BIMM in Brighton. Luke was our guitarist, Dan, Conner and I were all living together and it was a case of us writing like that, doing a bit of demoing and then we found our muse with a guy called Winter who did the sound engineering for that album.

He was a massive guidance for us in terms of how to get the best sound and what to do to get it to sound great. Also, in terms of writing, you take on an engineer’s point of view and their words and their wisdom to feed back into your own tracks. It came from a good place. I think we were all a little bit stressed at the time because obviously we were at Uni and had other shit going on. But it was 4 years since anyone had actually heard any new material from us, a lot of stuff had happened to us in the band, you know, personal lives and things like that – the state of the world. So that kind of all went into those songs, you know, so it was experiences and feelings that we’ve all had and stuff that we have seen. But also, it’s not bad to also throw in some songs about weird Western characters as well hahaha so you know, it’s all quite fun and real life.

Sheri: It is a fun album! The message of this album is a little bit different in places than “Addictive” – we have the tracks like ‘Spark’ which I feel is more about our inner selves and mental health.

Nathan: Yeah actually! That wasn’t initially what the song was about, but that is kind of what the meaning is now. It’s a power yourself, positive track to get yourself motivated.

Sheri: It is. I was listening to it, even though it’s a fun track, it addresses real life issues but in a positive way!

Not long ago you released a music video for your track ‘Vixen’, a track about a female masked hero. In the video, the man gets tied up by a gang for a suitcase of money – she comes to the rescue but takes away the money as a reward and leaves him tied up in the chair. Haha.

Nathan: That’s it hahaha. That’s our foxy vixen! She knows what to do haha. She’s got her sights set; she’s sorted haha.

Sheri: Have there been any changes you feel are apparent to Spyder Byte between “Addictive” and “When The Lights Go Out”? How do you feel you have evolved?

Nathan: Songwriting wise we have definitely evolved. The way that we did things for “Addictive” was that bar one song and set of lyrics, that was written by me. So, compare that to “When The Lights Go Out”, that was the kind of shift that I think we needed. I think also it helped that we lived together as well so that we could write together rather than with it just being me asking what could be done better. I’d like to say it shows a little maturity, but we’re all still sleazy little f*ckheads hahaha so…hahaha. We’ve got different kind of things going on in that album, in terms of the way that it was written. It just sounds to me far more polished and has better riffs, better songs etc. I’m not saying “Addictive” doesn’t hit you in the face, but I just feel like you get more of it with this album. It’s definitely punchier and it hooks you in a little bit more.

Sheri: In terms of your song writing, how does this come together into what makes you all happy with the end result?

Nathan: Oooh that’s a good question! Honestly, it’s just a case of throwing around ideas and seeing what sticks… You know, I will take some music to Dan, Dan will listen to it, if I’ve got lyrics with it as well, he will look over them and see what he likes or suggest to change something and then you take it to the guitarist who will work on that and filling in embellishers and then take it to Connor and he will hammer and pound it away and then just generally it gets brought together in a practise room like that. It’s something we’ve never really done before, we’ve never kind of taken a song into a practise room and done it like that – there have been the odd occasions like ‘Reach Out’ for example on “When The Lights Go Out” that was brought in from Luke and CC. I think of one practise session we had just finished writing a song – wasn’t even what we went in for, but we just ended up writing a track so it’s like “yeah cool, nice one!”

So, I think it’s better to have everyone else’s input than it rather be left to solely one person.
Ultimately, you could get half-way through playing a set and just think “Ah fuck, I don’t really want to play this track” – that’s not what we want, I want everyone in the band to be happy with what’s going on. They have to buy into the band too.

Sheri: Team effort! Do you have a favourite track to play or that you feel has been received well?

Nathan: We get a lot of pits and everyone turns into a crazy Thrasher when we play ‘In Your Face’ from “Addictive” haha. Everyone just kinda loses their inhibitions and start piling into each other. In terms of me personally, I love playing ‘On Time’, that’s a really fun one to play.

Sheri: Most of your songs are really fun and upbeat and so you must feel that your gigs are quite fun to play.

Nathan: Oh god, yeah! We always come out of a gig with a smile on our faces and if something hasn’t worked right or if someone has dropped a note, you just kinda put that shit behind you really and focus on what went right, how good it made you feel – if you fucked up, it doesn’t really matter. I’m guilty of that as well and I’m my own worst critic but it doesn’t really matter. As long as you’re enjoying what you do and see everyone’s reaction when you’re playing – that’s all that matters.

Sheri: It’s about positivity!

Nathan: ‘Black Velvet Lover’ is easily my favourite track to play. ‘New Blood’ as well. I like a bit of a riff. If I can just chuck in a riff or play alongside a riff next to a guitarist, then I’m really happy. Because then I’ve got some shit to do and I just don’t have to go errr…stay on that one note for 5 minutes haha. Also, we haven’t played it live yet but one of our tracks called ‘Hopeless’. It’s a bit of a stark difference from anything else that we’ve done. It’s a lot heavier, it’s got a proper story behind it. It’s actually about homelessness down in Brighton.

Sheri: That comes after ‘Spark’and was something I was going to ask you about – is it to do with poverty of some sort?

Nathan: I mean, you know what it’s like in Brighton. It’s awful in London but because Brighton is a much smaller city and you’re constantly going around it, you always see homelessness. You can’t not see stuff like that, as a songwriter, and not get moved by it. It’s such an epidemic. No one has to go through it really.

Sheri: I think the more that it’s covered, the more can be done about it. It is brutal in Brighton for homelessness.

Nathan: But going back to the themes of the songs, it’s kinda book-ended by two songs about positivity you know? ‘Reach Out’ is completely about mental health. It starts off with “fuck it all to Hell.” If that doesn’t scream to you how much anguish someone can be in, then it’s mad. So, you’ve got positivity in the form of ‘Spark’ and you’ve got real life issues in the forms of ‘Hopeless’ and ‘Reach Out’. It’s book-ended by ‘Black Velvet Lover’, which is kinda sexy and sultry and has the moves to seduce you. So, it’s kind of weird, how the band and the songs work. I think if you kinda break up the reality and the fiction, I guess…one is gonna cheer you up and one is gonna make you think “Oh, this shit is actually going on.” And it’s something we never really thought about doing in terms of the band. We were all just really about writing good times, partying, booze, sex and all that kind of stuff. But you know, it’s hard to escape you have got to speak about it.

Sheri: Well, this is it, you have got the power to do that if you are an Artist. Your album cover art is brilliant! You have a certain style that sort of reminds me of old-style comic book covers…Do you have an Artist that you stick to?

Nathan: Yes, so we have done for the past two releases. I’m not really sure about the future but we’ve got a new single almost ready to enter into its final stages, but we’ve had someone doing the Art for that already. The first two albums were done by a guy called Doyle. I don’t know his second name unfortunately, but his online tag is Doyle Raw-meat. He’s a fantastic Artist, really good prices and really nice guy. He was recommended to us by Sam Thredder, who was out engineer and did “Addictive” and is the guitarist for Slabdragger. So many times, you see single or Album Artwork come out and they’re bland and they’re plain and just one colour – and we’re not about that in this band. It’s about vibrancy and about hooking people in and making sure it actually catches them you know. So far over the past two albums, Doyle has been an absolute delight to work with you know? He’s created out little mascot, Boris (a monster featured on the Album Artwork). He’s on a lot of t-shirts. He’s just made everything come to life and actually with “When The Lights Go Out”, I think one of our references was the first Guardians of The Galaxy comic book covers. I don’t think it initially was going to be but when we found it, it was like “Oh shit, that looks quite cool actually!” hahaha. That’s what it turned into…It’s such a massive part of selling your music, selling your album – if you’ve got something visually appetizing then generally, I think you’re gonna do better.

Spyder Byte Album Cover Art

Sheri: Amazing! I totally agree, I think if you have a product you have to try to make it look good. You just mentioned that you’re writing again possibly, so what’s next for you guys?

Nathan: Yep! So…we have just started recording our next single due to be released soon. It’s almost in its final stages of recording, mixing and mastering. It’s not totally different to what we’ve done before – it’s quite similar but there is something different. Like a new lease of life about this kind of sound and about the way I think we’re going to go, going forward for the next EP or the next album. I shan’t give away too much of it yet just in case anything changes haha but generally, we’re looking forward to it, looking forward to bringing it out and it’s gonna again hit everyone and catch people.

Sheri: I’m looking forward to it! What are your thoughts on the importance of supporting the music scene right now?

Nathan: Oh God, you need to! Everyone needs to. We are in such a shit situation with everything and I think out of everything that music is one thing in this world that kind of binds people together. Fair enough if you don’t like one Artist and someone else does but you can still listen to it. You can still enjoy it. Live gigs – is there a better feeling? No. There is no better feeling…apart from maybe a blow job hahahaha. But! Still! You know hahaha…it’s true. Everyone has got to support their local scene regardless of how failing it is or how tight it is or even how loose, even if you’re not a big supporter of your scene, that is still someone’s dreams and ambitions right there. Venue owners, bands, even behind the scenes, Merch companies. Everything that can be done to support Artists and Bands should be done. If that means going on Spotify, dropping them a fiver, picking up a shirt just help support in anyway shape or form. You either use it or lose it and at the moment I think, it doesn’t help with the pandemic, but we’re in that situation where it’s getting to the point where we could have lost it. I think the UK generally we’re gonna pull back from it but it’s the not knowing. I’ve got faith though; I’ve got faith in the way people will actually approach music now and approach live gigs. I think this has been a massive wake up call to just go “Fuck, I need to go out and get some entertainment in my life!” You know?

Sheri: I think that also applies to people that run venues and so on. I think a lot of people take advantage of the fact that music is so accessible but now it’s not in the physical sense. Artists are still making music but as you say, it’s a wake-up call. What would this pandemic be like without music??

Nathan: I don’t think I could have done any of this Pandemic if I hadn’t got at least AN album with me. I cannot switch off without music. Music is everything, it is to me anyway, I cannot wake up at all and not listen to some music. It’s completely taken over from video games, TV etc. It’s always gonna be there and will never let you down.

Sheri: Any advice for fellow Artists?

Nathan: Keep strong, keep together, you’re gonna get through any hard times that you’ve got. Do it for the love. Try and progress yourself further but do it for the love.

Vixen (Cinematic Music Video)

Spyder Byte are:
Dan Lawrence – Vocals
Connor Cape – Guitar
Robbie Weller – Guitar
Nathan Hammond – Bass
Connor Godfrey – Drums

LINKS:

Spyder Byte Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno and 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.

Everdawn – Cleopatra

Cleopatra Album Cover Art

Everdawn – Cleopatra
Sensory Records
Release Date: 05/02/2021
Running Time: 48:05
Review by Simon Black
9/10

Symphonic Metal has been all over my deck these last few weeks – literally half a dozen Symphonic / Progressive releases with their lengthy complex story arcs and need for that little more attention to detail on the reviewing have crossed my desk since Christmas. With time on their hands and less possibility for live interactions, it seems like there’s a veritable glut of releases in the genre, with many bands going to the extremes of possibility in an attempt to stretch themselves in these crazy conditions we find ourselves in. This is no bad thing and feels like a minor reboot of the early 70’s Prog movement that started making music be all about albums rather than singles, because let’s face it you have no choice but to listen to the whole thing when reviewing a concept record. The problem with so many of these records is that they can drag on somewhat, especially when they are self-released and there is no label or management pressure on the band to tighten things up. Sometimes this is a chore (especially when you’ve been sent record two or three of an extended story arc and have to go back and understand what went before), sometimes an enjoyable challenge and sometimes, as here, an absolute delight.

New Jersey’s Everdawn are technically a new act, although in reality a rebranding of Midnight Eternal, although the musical core of that act retains in place but with the addition of Gavrilenko on vocals and Symphony X’s Mike LePond on bass. It’s a concept piece (of course) but that actually doesn’t matter. This record opens with a punch straight into the first full track ‘Ghost Shadow Requiem’ without the obligatory introductory track. And what a start – with its complex but catchy instrumentals, this is hook laden and well written music. Vocally the operatic Alina Gavrilenko has exactly the same vocal wow factor that you expect from the top end of the genre. The danger with so many of the bands ploughing this furrow is they get distracted by their own technical brilliance and forget that this music has to be engaging and just plain rock. The top tier acts in the genre, like Nightwish never forget this, and I am glad Everdawn don’t need schooling on this fact either. That’s why the concept is not so key – each and every track stands well on its own and avoids being an overlong epic, and the concept is just an extra layer of interest to unpick.

Think Delain, but with a clear galloping pace and rockin’ rhythm that you expect from the input that LePond brings (and who can blame him when the gap between album cycle on Symphony X is so long). Musically there is an absolute tightness on delivery, although the keyboard and guitar work does not rely on sparring interplay as much as other similar acts, although this does matter as it retains a tight focus on achieving good all-round song-writing rigour through ten of the eleven tracks on here. They can deliver that interplay when needed though, as the purely instrumental ‘Toledo 712 A.D.’ proves, so it’s more a case of focusing on delivering well-crafted songs than showing off. Either way this is a rich sounding act that sounds confident, technically brilliant but still with enough of an ear to the ground to keep the song writing accessible for those who might not normally gravitate in this direction. More please.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Ghost Shadow Requiem
02. Stranded In Bangalore
03. Cleopatra
04. Your Majesty Sadness
05. Infinity Divine
06. Pariah’s Revenge
07. Lucid Dream
08. Heart Of A Lion
09. Toledo 712 A.D.
10. Rider Of The Storm
11. The Last Eden

LINE-UP:
Alina Gavrilenko – Lead Vocals
Richard Fischer – Guitars, Vocals
Mike LePond – Bass
Dan Prestup – Drums
Boris Zaks – Keyboards

LINKS:

Everdawn 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.

The Spectre Beneath – The New Identity Of Sidney Stone

The New Identity Of Sidney Stone Cover Art

The Spectre Beneath – The New Identity Of Sidney Stone
Self-Released
Release Date: 27/11/2020
Running Time: 60:01
Review by Simon Black
10/10

The best part of this (unpaid) job is days like this. When you listen to an album from a new band you have never heard of that absolutely ticks most of your boxes. This is actually the sophomore release for Cheshire-based The Spectre Beneath and, like 2019’s “The Downfall Of Judith King”, is a conceptual piece with a fairly dark story of criminality, shallow graves and resurrection – because in this game you just gotta love the Prog / Power concepts…

Importantly though, this is fundamentally where this album feels different. So many of the cookie-cutter variety of Progressive and Power genres (particularly those from mainland Europe) really overdo the concepts, to the point where they are clichéd and intrusive. These oft-repetitive albums go through endless contortions to fit the format and only really work if you are prepared to listen to the whole thing and embrace its underlying minutia…or more likely, you just let it go completely over your head and move on to something else. When concepts work, they don’t intrude, they are a bonus – the exemplar of which is probably Queensrÿche’s “Operation: Mindcrime”. Yes, it’s a very cleverly crafted concept album, which like the layers of an onion unpeel one at a time giving you a little more on each and every listen, yes there are musical refrains and themes that build and echo throughout but most of all the concept is a bonus, as each of the songs works on their own. This is what I see happening on “The New Identity Of Sidney Stone” and as a test I put the album on shuffle to see if I still felt as strongly about it. That would be a resounding yes.

The reason for this is some absolutely top notch song-writing and arrangements built around the two pillars of L. Lockser’s enigmatic vocals and Pete Worrall’s blistering guitar and bass work (presumably live the ‘additional’ guitar work of Vini Assis becomes a bit more fundamental). The guitar is an absolute core of the effectiveness of this band’s sound. It’s got a much dirtier guitar effect sound than is normal for Power or Progressive acts and added to this the relentless pace of the riffage which owes more to the gruelling effect you get from someone like Slayer, along with a bit of repetitive old Iron Maiden harmonisation instead of endless solos and you get close to the sense of unease this approach instils. It also works an absolute treat especially when you have a sticksman like Consta Taylor who can keep up the pace and positively delivers the master class schooling on blast beat delivery. Perhaps the most disconcerting part of this is the ambiguous Lockser’s vocals. I get the strong sense that she is not from a Metal background, as the style and phrasing owe more to Soul than the Rock end of the spectrum, although she can definitely belt it out when needed.

Fundamentally this feels like a very new and interesting band and although I can see obvious genre paths to bands like Nevermore, the sound of The Spectre Beneath is uniquely their own. The eclectic mix that makes this happen is why this is such an original and refreshing act to listen to.

‘Clockwork Heart’ (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Clockwork Heart
02. Voice In The Static
03. Broken
04. Have You Waited For The World To Change?
05. 20 Shillings A Town
06. The Last Light In The House
07. The Criminal
08. The Funeral
09. The Premature Burial
10. The Phone Call
11. The Exhumation

LINE-UP:
L Lockser – Vocals
Pete Worrall – Guitar/Bass
Consta Taylor – Drums
Vini Assis – Additional Lead Guitar
Martin Worrall – Piano/Keyboards
Katy Lennon – Additional Vocals

LINKS:

The Spectre Beneath 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.

Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes And Monoliths

Among Ashes And Monoliths Cover Art

Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes And Monoliths
Black Lion Records
Release Date: 12/02/2021
Running Time: 44:27
Review by Emma Torkington
8/10

Ablaze My Sorrow are no strangers to the death metal scene by any means! Starting in 1993 they made a huge impact right away. During the intervening years, the band has changed, but their heart has stayed the same. Now back with their fifth album, can it reach new heights for this Swedish band?

Jumping right in with the first track ‘My Sorrow’, new vocalist Jonas Udd has a great raspy voice perfectly suited for the backing of kick ass drums and guitars. I know I am only one song in, but I am liking what I am hearing here. The title track is next and it does not disappoint, kicking in with a 19 second heavy solo then a deep growl start. Personally, I love it when a song has that type of build- up. Having said that, the way the song moves from that growl into a mosh pit worthy track, means I can see this being played and going down well at festivals (when they are allowed again) and bringing in the crowds. We are onto track 3 ‘Black Waters’ and this has a totally different feel to what you have heard so far! A melodic song and deep, guttural vocals were a total shock to me but a welcome surprise. ‘Grit’ is up next…and it is gritty! This fast-paced song takes you to a whole other place and you cannot help but air guitar along to it! It’s 3 minutes and 39 seconds of heavy drums, guitars and bass…what more could you ask for? ‘Her Cold Embrace’ is next and the over a minute-long intro makes you sway to the melody of the instruments. When the vocals kick in, though, it takes on a totally different feel and guest vocalist Jonna Enckell’s voice complements Udd’s perfectly.

We are now nearly half way through, what appears to be a wonderful album and ‘At The Graves Of Giants kicks you with a bang, the fast-paced and gut punching drums do not disappear for a second! ‘Dark Chasms’ is another absolute mosh pit favourite. For me this has everything I need from a death metal song…deep vocals, shredding guitars, intense bass lines and thundering drums. This is my favourite track on “Among Ashes And Monoliths”! Onto the home stretch now and ‘The Cavernous Deep’ is something I wasn’t expecting but a very pleasant change. The intro is totally different in style with an electronic feel. There is also a slight change in tempo, but I was nodding along happily to it. Now it’s the turn of ‘Nonextence’ and wow…what an entrance. As soon as I hit play, ‘BOOM’!! Now, this is never a bad thing in my book. In fact, when it happens, I always crank up that volume and make sure my neighbours can hear it! Track 10 ‘March Of The Eldritch Spawn’ is a beautifully played near two minutes of pure instrumental music, that feels like the sort of thing you would hear in a film/play, just before the hard-hitting ending commences, and it acts as an introduction to the penultimate track ‘The Day I Die’. This song, in particular, reminds me of In Flames earlier work and I am completely hooked. ‘Frihet Framför Feghet’ is the final song of this incredible album and acts as an epic finale!

If you love everything that Swedish melodic death metal has to offer then go and buy this album! Even if you are not a huge fan of death metal, I still strongly recommend giving this a listen. I am not the biggest death metal fan in the world, but this gave me everything I needed. I was dancing, headbanging and most importantly…playing air guitar like the over 30’s do best!

‘My Sorrow (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. My Sorrow
02. Among Ashes And Monoliths
03. Black Waters
04. Grit
05. Her Cold Embrace
06. At The Graves Of Giants
07. Dark Chasms
08. The Cavernous Deep
09. Nonextence
10. March Of The Eldritch Spawn
11. The Day I Die
12. Frihet Framför Feghet

LINE-UP:
Jonas Udd – Vocals
Magnus Karlsson – Guitars
Dennie Lindén – Guitars
Anders Brorsson – Bass
Alex Kribensten – Drums

LINKS:

Ablaze My Sorrow Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Emma Torkington 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.

Anneke Van Giersbergen – The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest

The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest Cover Art

Anneke Van Giersbergen – The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest
Inside Out Music
Release Date: 26/02/2021
Running Time: 41:51
Review by Dark Juan
9/10

Alright, me old muck spreaders? It is I, your Northern overlord, Dark Juan, here once again to regale you with tales of derring-do and heroism on the field of battle. Not about me, you understand. If there were ever a time I was required to serve in the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom I’d head straight for the RAF’s recruitment office. You see, the RAF are sensible. Unlike the Army, the RAF sends the officers out to fight their war while all the lower ranks stay home and drink cocktails and occasionally tinker with something expensive and probably explosive. Let’s be honest, you wouldn’t want old One-Tooth Joe from the Black Bull pub on the corner operating a computer based killing machine worth £100million at supersonic speeds on the frontier of a hostile state. That’s what Wing Commander the Right Honourable Algernon Charles St. John Cholmondeley- Featherstonehaugh is for. One-Tooth Joe can be better employed putting oil in the trucks at the base where the good WingCo will be landing after dropping a thousand pounds of laser-guided explosive death on some miscreants somewhere in the Middle East…

None of which has anything at all to do with what I am supposed to be doing, which is listening to the latest record from the absolutely wonderful Anneke Van Giersbergen. Yes, the estimable and superb vocalist of The Gathering, VUUR, The Devin Townsend Project and many other records has returned with a selection of new music. A warning – if you are expecting the face of Anneke that is the metal queen version, you are going to be gravely disappointed with this album as this is a record that proves the versatility and uniqueness of Anneke Van Giersbergen as an artist in her own right, untrammelled and unconstrained by genre or style. Indeed, the actual music on this record is incredibly sparse, most of the time just some simple percussion, some strings and an acoustic guitar, and the clear and bell like tones of Anneke’s unique voice, sometimes multitracked into some sublime harmonies.

The album is based around the fact that there was a period in Anneke’s life and marriage that involved profound upheaval and heartbreak and this album is her catharsis. To that end, the lyrical content is woundingly personal and honest when discussing feelings and the sense of loss and suffering that she had been experiencing at that time, and the internal discussions she was having with herself. The title itself suggests that in order to get to the sunlit uplands of life you have to go through the black times to appreciate the light. Which, to be fair, during these current times of pestilence and lockdown rules, is a timely reminder that suffering now will bring reward in the future and that you must remain focused on attaining normality again.

Musically, the album reminds me in many places of Kate Bush and Cyndi Lauper – not because of the voice (because Anneke is quite unlike any vocalist ever) but because of the sheer disinterest in fitting in with any standard or genre. ‘Hurricane’ is the most Bush like of the songs on here, with choppy, unpredictable harmonies and vocals and a strange sounding acoustic riff. It is musically intrepid even with the simple instrumentation and multitracked harmonies and cheerfully stomps all over any notion of fitting in. Talking of stomping, ‘Survive’ does just that, percussion building into an almost war dance while Anneke builds from a soft, lilting vocal into a powerful contralto shout and drive for the survival of her relationship. This is the theme of the whole record – Raw emotion and agonising honesty over music which is just a vehicle for what Anneke wants to say to her husband. It is not a record that was ever planned to be released, in my opinion, but it is a public affirmation of love and a desire to make everything right again and to never stop fighting for her marriage. In that regard, it is one of the heaviest records of all time because of the naked heartbreak and pain on display, but it is by no means a heavy metal record. Not even a little bit.

If anything, it is the aural equivalent of Kintsugi – The Japanese art of repairing broken things with precious metals, because the value and the beauty of the repaired thing and the continued love and appreciation of it only increases. This album is musical Kintsugi and that is its sole purpose. Taking that as a basis for my critique, then, Anneke Van Giersbergen has repaired her relationship and shot it through with veins of silver and gold and made something stronger than ever before and musically has welded those precious metals into the open wounds of suffering she was displaying and sealed them closed with profundity and honesty and gold and silver and made herself transcendental. Therefore, this record is a colossal success on that front.

But, because I am a hard headed and black hearted bastard, I have to remember that I write for a heavy metal website and this ranks among the least musically heavy records I have ever heard. However, one of my scoring criteria is that the music has to be interesting, and Anneke van Giersbergen delivers interest in spades. The lyrical content couldn’t be any heavier if it tried (I’m not talking about dragons and fucking demons and succubi here, I’m talking about the themes of loneliness and suffering and love dying and there being desolation all around you – that shit is heavy as FUCK and if you disagree you’re frankly wrong, mate) and although the music is gentle and sweet, it still holds you in some form of rapture. The sheer beauty and versatility of Van Giersbergen’s voice is amply displayed and flits from soft, almost inarticulate (the kind of sounds an upset child might use to comfort themselves) crooning through to full powered, vibrato fuelled rebellion, and her delivery is never less than utterly flawless. This is not a record to listen to. This is a record to feel, and frankly Dark Juan is fucking disgusted with himself for actually having been affected by this album and discovering that he hasn’t actually purged all human emotion from his twisted black soul. Although that could be because I have adored Anneke Van Giersbergen’s voice since The Gathering released ”Mandylion” in 1995.

I’m extremely conflicted. This album is a work of emotional subtlety and exemplary songwriting prowess and musicianship and deserves a huge score because it is a tumultuous rollercoaster of emotion and pain and redemption, but it is not a heavy metal record. Fuck it, I’ve decided…

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Anneke Van Giersbergen 9/10 for a record that doesn’t just tug on the heartstrings, it rips them out and beats you to death with the wet ends. Moving, affecting and utterly captivating, this record is worth the expense simply for the cathartic effect it provides when you want heavy emotion but not heavy sounds. However, I have deducted a mark because it isn’t a heavy metal record and I write for Ever-METAL.com. This should not be taken as a demerit, it’s just that Anneke’s album ain’t a metal one although it is heavy as fuck.

Agape (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Agape
02. Hurricane
03. My Promise
04. I Saw A Car
05. The Soul Knows
06. The End
07. Keep It Simple
08. Lo And Behold
09. Losing You
10. Survive
11. Love You Like I Love You

LINKS:

Anneke Van Giersbergen Promo Pic

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.

EMQ’s with 1/2 SOUTHERN NORTH

1/2 Southern North Logo

EMQ’s with 1/2 SOUTHERN NORTH

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Kalamata, Greece based Multi-Genre, one-person band, 1/2 Southern North. Huge thanks to IDVex 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 IDVex from the one-person band “1/2 Southern North” (read: Half Southern North).

My compositions are influenced from several music fields such as Black Metal, Doom Metal, Experimental and Avant-Garde music. Also, the themes of the lyrics are inspired by Mythology and Left-Hand Path Philosophy.

I describe my music as black noise of doom.

During the years 2008-2009 I had created my first music project under the name “Lothron” and with the co-operation of other musicians we had recorded only two tracks. Under the lack of finding a standard line-up the project was disbanded. After this, in 2013 I decided to create “1/2 Southern North” as a one-person band.

How did you come up with your band name?

I used to spend my life in the Northern and in the Southern region of Greece, so this is one explanation that fits to the band’s name. The other explanation is a big story.

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

I am from Kalamata, a small town in Greece.

Greece, as you know, has always had a long tradition in metal and rock music, and not only in a specific genre. My opinion is that Greece has one of the best Black Metal scenes in the world. Kalamata used to have a big underground scene almost from the mid 90’s to the early 00’s. After that period there was a decline in metal and rock music here, but in the last years the scene has begun to thrive again.

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

My last release is “Cantabile of Hades (Rivers of the Underworld)” demo.

It was released in 2017 by CVLMINIS Records (Russia) and it was recorded by me at my home studio, so the sound is a little bit rough.

You can listen to it here:

Who have been your greatest influences?

I have a lot of bands in my mind which are a big influence for me such as Bathory, Windir, Dissection, David Bowie, Ulver, Sunn O))) and many more. But I think that the different music genres that I used to listen to (except Black Metal and Doom Metal) make the biggest influence on me, for example Experimental, Minimal Electronic, Soundscapes, Ambient, Classic Music and many more.

I think that is very important to have an “open ear taste” into different music genres or styles, whatever the right term is.

It is very important to love the sound, to feel and understand the sound, and not only the music sound. Also, it is very important to understand the noise, not only as a physical result which is in the environment in which we live, but also as an artistic material.

What first got you into music?

Ι think the music itself.

I have loved music and sounds since I was a child, but I got into the Rock ’N’ Roll addiction with The Beatles when I was 13 years old.

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

Sunn O))).

I love their improvisations in sound and music. Their sonic result is a remarkable massive blast!

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

As a one-person band it is impossible to support a live concert, but If this was possible, then anywhere! I don’t have any special place in my mind.

I think that the most important think at music festivals is to have an audience who likes the band! Doesn’t matter how big that audience would be! Is also important to have some beers and just enjoy the live!

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

I have never received anything weird!

The only gift I ever had from a person who listens to my music, was an amazing book “The Saviors of God (Salvatores Dei)” by the writer Nikos Kazantzakis and I recommend it to you!

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

Grab an instrument and start to play music! Don’t care about how it sounds at first, it will improve over the time.

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

I will say Terje Bakken, most known as ‘Valfar’ from the band Windir.

I think he would still have a lot more to offer in music if that terrible accident never happened.

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

The time I spend during the composition of a track is what I enjoy the most, after the rehearsals and of course the final time of the recordings!

I hate when I am empty of inspiration!

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

I don’t know, as an unknown one-person band, I never was part of the music industry.

But I would like if the music industry gave a boost again to the “analog sound releases” like vinyl and cassettes/tapes. I am not a “digital release” supporter, I do not prefer only a “digital release”. I am old school to the bone!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Reinkaos” by Dissection.

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

I prefer first of all Vinyl, then Cassettes and CD. I never download anything, except if a “digital release” album was the only released format of a band who I would like to support.

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

I have never played any concert with 1/2SN. As a one-person band, this is impossible.

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

I would have been a painter.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Well, I will say you, because you gave the idea, Jon Nödtveidt, Carl Jung, David Bowie and Stephen Hawking.

What’s next for the band?

Now, I am in the studio, mixing and mastering my first full-length album with 1/2 Southern North under the name “Narrations of a Fallen Soul”.

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

www.halfsouthernnorth.blogspot.com/
www.12southernnorth.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/halfsouthernnorth/
www.soundcloud.com/idvex
www.youtube.com/channel/UCDPKayqOIPj6i5lDczL4rBA

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

We don’t have this sweet in Greece, I don’t even know if we have something close to that! I think it is something that combines both of them.

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

Thanks a lot for your support ! I really appreciate it!
Hails from Greece!
IDVex

1/2 Southern North Promo Pic

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