Entombed – Live Clandestine

Live Clandestine Cover

Entombed – Live Clandestine
Threeman Records
Release Date: 17/05/2019
Running Time: 54:00
Review by: Alun Jones
8/10

Live albums, as I’ve stated before, are something of an issue for me. They should be devoured ravenously, but sometimes, like vegetable pizza, they just don’t live up to expectations.

Too often, live albums suffer with poor sound, ruining the immersive experience. Other times, they’re just a cynical cash-in to milk fans of more money, when there’s no new product to flog.

Occasionally, a live recording will deliver the goods – and even I have to admit that this album from Entombed is pretty damn impressive.

What we have here is Entombed celebrating the 25th Anniversary of their classic “Clandestine” album with a performance of the work in full, from start to finish. Original members Nicke Andersson (drums), Uffe Cederlund (guitar) and Alex Hellid (guitar) are joined by Robert Andersson (vocals) and Edvin Aftonfalk (bass) – both from Morbus Chron. These five musicians recreate a mighty masterpiece which is both exciting and vital.

“Clandestine” was Entombed’s second album, and followed in the footsteps of its predecessor to help breathe life into Death Metal. With this concert performance, the sound is great – those buzzsaw guitars really attack the senses – showing the band are on top form. Audience noise is present, but not intrusive, actually helping put the record in context nicely.

The songs are still just as savage, just as brutal – serving as a fine reminder of just how great “Clandestine” was. Or is! All of the tracks are meticulously recreated, but it sounds as intended – as a tribute and celebration, not a cash in. “Left Hand Path” (from the debut album), tagged on at the end, makes the listener crave more.

Great live recordings should enable the listener to feel like they were actually there. The performance and sound must be both representative of the studio material, yet also have the power to immerse the listener in the experience. Entombed have succeeded in capturing a great performance and atmosphere with “Live Clandestine”. Fans will be rabid for this; for the uninitiated it’s well worth investigating.

Still, I can only award 8 out of 10 – because as good as this is, I can’t help wishing we had new material from Entombed to gorge on.

Fun live album fact: if you play Iron Maiden’s “Live After Death” backwards, you’ll hear Bruce Dickinson rehearsing voice-overs for Lucozade adverts. FACT!

TRACKLISTING:
01. INTRO
02. LIVING DEAD
03. SINNERS BLEED
04. EVILYN
05. BLESSED BE
06. STRANGER AEONS
07. CHAOS BREED
08. CRAWL
09. SEVERE BURNS
10. THROUGH THE COLONNADES
11. LEFT HAND PATH

LINKS:
http://entombed.org
https://www.facebook.com/entombedclandestine/

http://www.youtube.com/theentombed

 

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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.

Kill All The Gentlemen – The Loss And The Rapture

The Loss And The Rapture Cover

Kill All The Gentlemen – The Loss And The Rapture
Sliptrick Records
Release Date: 22/11/2018
Running Time: 39:37
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
8/10

Greetings, neophytes, zelators and the mildly curious about the occult activities of the Left Hand Path. It is I, the Groove Ipssisimus Dark Juan here to give you the “benefit” of my wisdom about many things: One of them might even be what I’m supposed to be writing about, but to be honest I think you might be shit out of luck on that score today, and possibly for the rest of the week. Mainly because it has been that hot here I haven’t been able to do anything apart from lie on the cool tiled floor of the lounge, bemoan the French government for allowing this heatwave to happen and curse Satan for not shutting the back door to hell behind me after I kicked him in his nefarious big red balls and fucked off after he dared to suggest my soul belongs to him. As far as I am concerned, you have to have a soul in order for it to belong to anyone, and the twisted, foetid little black knot of unspeakable rage that lives in my chest does not qualify as a soul. More a weapon. Anyway, I am sat (sitting would be the correct grammar, according to my guest who has just left to go skiing in the Alps. He’s a lawyer and went to a very exclusive school where they taught him Latin and stuff. My Dying Bride taught me Latin – Incendere suus, damnare suus vita. Dare suus ad art ventus) in my Fourth Invocation Robes (Summer Weight (Refrigerated)) dying slowly of dehydration whilst simultaneously drinking as much alcohol as I can cram down my avid throat whilst I listen to Kill All The Gentlemen’s latest offering, entitled “The Loss And The Rapture” (Phew, we got to it in the end. Well done for sticking with me this far…) This band is based in England, more specifically Exeter in Devon, although I am privately convinced that at least two members of the band are NOT Devonian by birth. I shall leave you, dear reader, to work out who they might be.

Disclaimer – My Fourth Invocation Robes (Summer Weight) are a lie. I’m wearing green pyjama pants with Animal from the Muppets on them, black and white striped espadrilles and a not wholly unironic Spinal Tap t-shirt. This is because I have had a high concentration of supreme quality metal recently and because of sex wees, trouser explosions and sheer excitement coupled with being of a certain age I have single-handedly created a Breton underwear drought. Hence with the expectation of this being a rather splendid slab of depleted uranium heaviness, I have elected to eschew pants. No tighty whities for Dark Juan!

I am not disappointed with the heaviness. This is not music. It is an avalanche with some poor fucker on skis in front of it. It is brutality and violence in musical form. This is A VERY GOOD THING. I know I rattle on about melody and quality tunesmithing, but there are times you (I, certainly) just want to have your brain turned to soup. KATG are rather good at this, but to write them off as just a kind of fairly generic death/ extreme metal band is to not pay sufficient attention to them. The title track of this record is a FUCKING GLORIOUS THING THAT EVERY SINGLE METAL FAN SHOULD HAVE A COPY OF BY ORDER OF DARK JUAN YOU FUCKING BUNCH OF BASTARD PHILISTINES!!!!!! It is almost prog in its complexity, with light and dark and fucking loud and quiet and vocals that range from the chilling whisper you get in your ear a split second before the brandished steel blade is drawn across your throat and your lifeblood pumps from you in minutes, to the kind of open throated roar that normally emanates from a giant, radioactive lizard intent on razing Japanese cities to the ground. It is a roar you should never play at any volume in San Francisco as you will just seismically stimulate the San Andreas Fault into an early earthquake. Well done, Kill All The Gentlemen; you have turned a beautiful 1920s city by the sea into a massive fucking Lovecraftian hole simply by the power of your heavy fucking metal. This is behaviour that needs to be encouraged. Can you please do the same to the bunch of Jesus freaks and all round unpleasant cock juggling thundercunts that are the Westboro Baptist Church, please? I might have a highly illegal and possibly unstable cache of trinitrotoluene secreted somewhere nearby should you need some explosive assistance… The album as a whole is a solid and powerful piece of speedy, sharpened metal with a bass sound that reminded me greatly of the 80’s British thrash band Acid Reign. The opening cut on this record, ‘I Welcome The Horror’ has the potential to be a minor classic, starting with the kind of music that you would expect from 80’s Italian horror films before Adam Martin howls, “It’s coming…… NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW!” and you are led down a spiky, flesh ridden, blood-soaked rabbit hole of metal brutality seldom experienced from British bands. It is a fine song and it is representative of the whole record. It is speedy and powerful and jolly good fun if you like mosh pits and losing your teeth while cannoning off other people intent on changing their own dentistry. All the songs are exciting, solid slabs of granite hard heavy metal underpinned with the prodigious roar of the estimable Mr. Martin. The title track is far and away my favourite on the record though, as it stands head and shoulders above the rest for quality, interest and ability. This is not to say that the rest of the record is bad because it really isn’t! ‘These Are Godless Times’ is another absolute stormer of a song and hopefully destined for permanent airplay on many record stations.

In short then, KATG have shaken me out of a post visit bout of existential misery, but they have also caused me to cane the gin and tonic and now I’m wankered all over again.

Thank you, gentlemen, thank you.

A fine, fine record then. Give them your readies and buy their records.

The Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has been quaffing many alcoholic beverages during the course of this album and awards it a splendidly squiffy 8/10. Well worth your effort, though. British metal is back on the up!

TRACKLISTING:
01. I Welcome The Horror
02. Sing For Me Sinner
03. Where Here Is I Know Not
(Could be the Dark Juan theme tune! We went to La Gacilly for a photographic exhibition yesterday. Got lost twice. The Volkswaffe doesn’t have sat nav, which made opportunities for deflowering virgins and subverting the Church tricky as we were on the minutes. I had to content myself with telling a nun she worshipped a false god and she needed cock…)
04. These Are Godless Times (Well, I am doing my best! Burn down a church!)
05. Death’s Very Emissary (Oh yes, that IS me…)
06. The Loss And The Rapture
07. Damnation Be My Guide
08. Once A Slave
(NEVER A FUCKING SLAVE! DARK JUAN WILL ACHIEVE DOMINION OVER ALL!!! Probably to a soundtrack of Kill All The Gentlemen.)

LINE-UP:
Adam Martin – Vocals/Guitar
Christian Axsel – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Thomas Arne Rørstad – Drums
Ben Andrew – Bass
Drums on the album recorded by Olan Parkinson

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/killallthegentlemen/

https://www.instagram.com/katgband/
https://killallthegentlemen.bigcartel.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCHlWuQVXpl8ZloY1-CXQNQ

 

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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.

Warrior Soul – ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Disease’

Rock _n_ Roll Disease Cover

Warrior Soul – ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Disease’
Livewire/Cargo Records UK
Release Date: 07/06/2019
Running Time: 30:35
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
0/10 (Minus 100,000,000 According to our reviewer)

Rick Here. I have two reviewers who have massively different views on the band Warrior Soul and both wanted to review their latest album, so I thought why not let them both write one. Here is the Anti Warrior Soul review!

Good evening. This is Dark Juan and I have just returned from my nightly invocations. This is why I am still in my Third Invocation Robes (Summer Weight) and looking mighty fine, if I do say so myself. Anyway, our mighty, puissant and apparently indestructible Rick has invited me to share my thoughts in a review of two halves, this time. This should be interesting…

You should be made aware that I reviewed Warrior Soul’s previous (apparently critically acclaimed, according to the blurb I was sent… Not as far as I was concerned, it wasn’t. It was a steaming pile of diseased elephant turds covered in monkey vomit) album and I did not like it very much. To reduce it to specifics, it was fucking awful and I had to purge myself for several months afterwards. With bleach and sharp knives…

Just looking at the title of this album by Warrior Soul is challenging my intelligence. What is a rock and roll disease? Rampant egotism? Alcohol and drug issues? A dose of the clap? A man so far up his own arse he can lick his own tonsils from the bottom end up? What a load of shite, mate. It’s just banging a word after rock and roll. What was wrong with rock and roll turkey? Rock and roll reasonably priced automobile? I can think of many MANY more rock and roll things than disease. Girls, guitars, friends, hellhounds… These are just a few of the words that go after rock and roll and are acceptable and aren’t fucking boneheadedly stupid. Hopefully, the title of the album will not be a reflection of the music within…

Oh, my god. Oh my good fucking god…

It sounds like it was recorded in a submarine several miles from the nearest microphone whilst it was being torpedoed by the entire US Navy. The bass guitar is far too prominent, lending the listening experience the impression of having one’s head placed in a honey filled helmet and playing the record through speakers on the outside. It’s woolly and deeply unpleasant. The drums fade in and out of the mix in an alarming fashion, apart from the snare drum which sounds like someone has made it themselves out of a bin lid, some guitar strings and their leather trousers and then there is Kory motherfucking Clarke’s godawful, cracked voice. He is fucking incapable of hitting the correct notes in the right order and he still sounds like he has flayed his own vocal cords with a cheese grater. I can’t even call it singing. He’s just doing some bizarre howling at the microphone which has no real relationship to the music behind him. He’s also pretty breathless in delivery a lot of the time. It’s especially noticeable because Kory has made sure you know Warrior Soul is his band by pushing his voice so far up in the mix that it just overpowers every other instrument being played. Which is a shame because the rest of the band are good players. And he simply doesn’t have the chops to make it stick and it’s a clear case of ego outstripping talent, once again. So far, so perpetrating all the mistakes of his last travesty of a record. I haven’t even begun on the lyrics yet… I shall allow you to read a selection of some of the lyrical gems on offer here.

Up the dose, coast to coast, I’m pedal to the metal when I’m on the road. (Probably fleeing his drug dealer.)

Like Hitler on E. Oh, what a movie! (Just what? Have you been on another heroin binge, Kory? Drugs are for losers, kids!)

I gotta feel good and feel nice so I can do to you what I please. (Misogyny 101. Unless he is not into ladies… In which case I applaud his sexuality and openness.)

You get the idea. He’s still (and bear in mind this man is now in his fifties at least) swimming in a turgid sea of drug and booze clichés, retarded sexuality and his own overweening, inflated sense of self importance. Kory Clarke offends me on a cellular level. I hate this record so much I want to drown its kittens in a curiously misplaced act of vengeance. I want to use a CD copy of it as a projectile and cut his head off with it so he will fucking well SHUT UP! The only problem being I’d be afraid of what I might catch from the resulting blood spatter.

There isn’t a single fucking song on this record I can find a redeeming quality on. It perpetrates the worst excesses of heavy rock music, when it was a joke and people used to laugh at rockers with poodle hair and spandex. This record is a fucking bad joke even for back then and nowadays is about as relevant as steam technology and middens.
Kory, JUST FUCKING GIVE UP FOR CHRIST’S SAKE! There’s nothing rebellious about singing about drugs and booze and shagging anymore. Also, the word “rock” is not a euphemism for fucking. Dammit. It makes you sound like a clown, man.

Truly, truly awful, third rate rock and roll for old men with receding hair, but still mulleted, denim waistcoats, and massive beer guts chasing young skirt in the same corner of the same bar they have frequented for 40 years and getting pissed off when said young skirt tells them to fuck right off. You know the type, the people in rock bars who think they are royalty because they were around when Iron Maiden released their debut album in 1980…

I’m going to be sick. I have had to turn it off. This record mutilates everything I hold dear about rock and metal and leaves it violated and bleeding on the floor.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System does not give a flying fuck about Warrior Soul and awards them a truly magnificent MINUS 100,000,000 out of 10. Zero just does not cut it when you listen to the horrors of this record. I am feeling dirty because of Warrior Soul.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Up The Dose (Of antibiotics because you have been sticking your cock where I wouldn’t put the ferrule of an umbrella, Kory?)
02. Rock N Roll Disease (Just shut up, you spectacular bellend. Rock and roll is life, not a disease.)
03. Off My Face (As I will be on Saturday, in order to forget this travesty.)
04. Melt Down (What I suffered about five tracks in. I need therapy.)
05. Rock On (Aye, lad. Go on. Rock on off over there. Preferably over several seas.)
06. War Ride Children (I hate titles that make no sense and this is just word salad.)
07. Going Mental (Yes, I was! And not in a good way by the time I reached this song. I have been deeply traumatised.)
08. After The Show (Kory gets back into his rock and roll koffin, hooks up the Jack Daniels, cocaine and virgin blood drips and falls into deep unconsciousness until the next show, whereupon he is woken by electric shocks and the promise of hot chicks, all of whom are wise enough to stay out of arm’s reach.)

LINE-UP:
Kory Clarke – Vocals/Drums
Adam Arling – Guitar/Bass/Vocals
John Polachek – Guitar
Dennis “El Guapo” Post – Guitar/Vocals
Christian Kimmett – Bass/Vocals
Ivan Tambac – Drums/Vocals
John Besser – Drums

LINKS:
http://www.warriorsoulofficial.com/
https://www.facebook.com/warriorsoulofficial/

 

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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.

Warrior Soul – ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Disease’

Rock _n_ Roll Disease Cover

Warrior Soul – ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Disease’
Livewire/Cargo Records UK
Release Date: 07/06/2019
Running Time: 30:35
Review by Paul Monkhouse
9/10

Rick Here. I have two reviewers who have massively different views on the band Warrior Soul and both wanted to review their latest album, so I thought why not let them both write one. Here is the Pro Warrior Soul review!

Easily hands down, Warrior Soul were one of the outstanding bands at last year’s Stone Free Festival at the O2 and put on a truly ferocious show that was high on power and total devoid of b/s or posturing. Main man Kory Clarke dominated the stage and is a total original who’s only real contemporary is Iggy Pop, his unhinged persona filled with both a true punk spirit and a social conscience that challenges as much as it entertains during their incendiary gigs. The rest of the band are certainly no slouches though and provide the perfect back for their wild leader.

Given the absolute fire and electricity of their live shows it would seem impossible to capture that in the relatively sterile atmosphere of a recording studio but with this release they have done just that and it’s an album that crackles with life, practically tearing out of the speakers and smashing you round the face whilst making you dance like an idiot. Whilst the previous album ‘Back on the Lash’ was superb, this one is another massive step and should be part of the soundtrack to every metalhead and punks Summer.

‘Up the Dose’ is a rip-roaring opener, full on boogie that brings to mind same dirty rock ‘n’ roll as the early Bon Scott years of AC/DC. Clarkes sore-throated vocals are the perfect accompaniment to the rawness of this beast and have an honesty and (say it quietly) class that many try to fake but never achieve. As well as bringing the boogie of the Young brothers to the table there is a real kinship to Motorhead here in its no nonsense delivery and commitment. This really does deserve to be played very loudly.

The title track is next up and continues the mood with a really live feel that places the listener into the confines of a dark and sweaty punk gig or, conversely, in a battered car going on a road trip absolutely anywhere in the world. This is music to make you feel alive and Warrior Soul are unafraid to refuse to bend to trends or outside influences and remain very much their own men. The aptly titled ‘Off My Face’ scorches and the guitar solo absolutely screams, whilst ‘Melt Down’ is a brutal rant against the system and a slap-in-the-face call to arms. These two tracks perfectly illustrate one of Warrior Soul’s greatest strengths with the balance of music for partying with drunk friends and a much more serious, cerebral edge to the band. Time and again it’s down to the listener to get what they want from it and that’s never a bad thing, but the hope is that it’s the lyrics that provide the strongest emotional response.

‘Rock On’ is musically much more in the mould of a goodtime track with its chant along chorus but most certainly isn’t a throw away cut and displays a real ear for melody. The same is true for ‘War Ride Children’, a song that has real elements of a NWOBHM style than has been scuffed up with a filthy sandblaster. Clarke snarls and sarcasm drips like venom as the guitars of Adam Arling, John Polachek and Dennis Post roll and boil behind him. Whilst totally eschewing any sort of ballad, there is much to enjoy in the album and it’s full of musical highs and lows that give the release textures rather than just being a one pace sprint for its duration. But, again, there is an honesty here that is unlike virtually every band you could name that’s on the circuit today and carries on baton from the much missed Lemmy.

Rounding off the album, ‘Going Mental’ and ‘After the Show’ are two more blasts of punky hard rock that bring up a delicious gumbo of AC/DC, Andrew WK and the Stooges, leaving you unsure whether you should just press play and listen to the album straight through again or go for a much needed recuperative lie down.

If you have ever loved AC/DC, Motorhead or just some truly great visceral rock music you need to get this album. If you don’t love it, you should probably check your pulse.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Up The Dose
02. Rock N Roll Disease
03. Off My Face
04. Melt Down
05. Rock On
06. War Ride Children
07. Going Mental
08. After the Show

LINE-UP:
Kory Clarke – Vocals/Drums
Adam Arling – Guitar/Bass/Vocals
John Polachek – Guitar
Dennis “El Guapo” Post – Guitar/Vocals
Christian Kimmett – Bass/Vocals
Ivan Tambac – Drums/Vocals
John Besser – Drums

LINKS:
http://www.warriorsoulofficial.com/
https://www.facebook.com/warriorsoulofficial/

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse 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.

Duel – Valley Of Shadows

Valley Of Shadows Cover

Duel – Valley Of Shadows
Heavy Psych Sounds
Release Date: 17/05/2019
Running Time: 38:00
Review by Alun Jones
8/10

Duel have been on my radar for quite a while. Despite hearing a few tracks via the band’s social media, I’d never sat down, ear-goggles locked in place, to listen to a full album. So, I was pretty stoked to have the opportunity to review their latest album: “Valley Of Shadows”, released recently by Heavy Psych Sounds.

Hailing from Austin, Texas, these four fiends are responsible for an almighty stoner doom racket; full on heavy rifferama with psychedelic and classic metal references. In case that description alone doesn’t grab you like a graveyard ghoul on the way to an unholy shindig, their whole aesthetic is tripped out in the sort of late-night, B-movie gore that’s lurid enough to make your eyes pop.

It’s like Dracula Has Risen from the Grave sound-tracked by a bunch of longhair ne’er-do-wells, and that’s just how I like it.

‘Black Magic Summer’ opens up the proceedings with some appropriate rain-soaked sound effects, before launching into the heavy-as-a-crypt-door attack. There’s a brilliantly melodic middle section too, adding some light to the gloom.

Second track ‘Red Moon Forming’ has a direct, driving pace that’s infectious and purposely concocted to inspire the raising of horns. ‘Drifting Alone’ has a real classic desert rock vibe, with a cool head shaker riff.

‘Strike And Disappear’ comes on like the vampire Western that Tarantino needs to make. A slower, bluesy pace with a dusty feel, it’s the first taste we get of a very different – and effective – approach. It melts into a ferocious, face pummelling section that screams blood and violence.

Songs like ‘Tyrant On The Throne’ have a classic metal, almost (gasp!) Iron Maiden feel to them. Otherwise, the sound explores more of the head-banging, smoke induced groove of bands like Trouble and The Obsessed.

But just like the best stoner metal movers and shakers, there’s always room for some ZZ Top-style boogie, which particularly comes to the fore in the final track, ‘The Bleeding Heart’.

As always, my sound comparisons are only meant as genuine compliments. Duel manage to create an album full of their own spirit and character, and it’s one hell of a fun ride. At turns hypnotic, fist pummelling, and sombre; “Valley of the Shadows” pulls the stake out of the stoner doom corpse and brings it back to bloody life again.

The last time I actually was involved in a duel, it was a case of duelling banjos. I was on a canoeing trip with some buddies out in the Appalachian back country. We ran into some unsavoury redneck types, one of whom challenged me to a banjo showdown. Of course, I threw in some licks that my old mentor Jimi Hendrix had shown me, and the creepy little weirdo had no chance: I was victorious.

Unfortunately, the locals weren’t too happy and we had a bit of a run-in of sorts with ‘em later. It was all fun and games really, and we were on our way home soon enough. But I tell you: just whatever you do, don’t mention piggies to my buddy Bobby!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Black Magic Summer
02. Red Moon Forming
03. Drifting Alone
04. Strike And Disappear
05. Broken Mirror
06. Tyrant On The Throne
07. I Feel No Pain
08. The Bleeding Heart

BAND LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/DUELTEXAS/
https://www.instagram.com/dueltexas/
https://duel3.bandcamp.com/

RECORD LABEL LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/

 

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.

Marianas Rest – Ruins

Ruins Cover

Marianas Rest – Ruins
Inverse Records
Release Date: 26/04/2019
Running Time: 55:24
Review by Lotty Whittingham
9/10

Finland is a well-known breeding ground for current and future household names in Heavy Metal. Children Of Bodom, Nightwish and Ensiferum are just a few of these, the list is endless. With the melancholic sounds of their second album “Ruins”, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Marianas Rest added to this growing list of metal legends.

“Ruins” explores how the mind can slowly crumble; introversion, putting up walls and eventually disappearing into your own mind. Teemu Aalto (Insomnium/Omnium Gatherum) is the man behind the mixing of the album. Both Marianas Rest and Teemu get across the frightening effects of poor mental health perfectly. Having had experiences with bad mental health myself, these effects were hard hitting, raw and relatable.

The album starts off with the song ‘Kairos’. This track has contributions from Timo Virkkala on the cello and Insomnium’s Niilo Sevanen reciting Lord Byron’s poem. The rapid tones and prevailing brutality set off the ambience for what’s to come on the rest of the album. The effects of the record and the content it possesses are raw and revealing.

The introduction to the track ‘The Spiral’ lures you in with a seemingly smooth guitar riff; the senses heighten when you hear the heart beat sound effects. This part of the track reflects what anxiety feels like on a daily basis. The transition to the screaming and brutality is sharp and abrupt, very much like the mind when it’s experiencing a frightening time.

The narration leading you to put walls up and not let anyone in hit home with me personally. When the mind starts to crumble, it has you believe that you are entirely alone and you feel that opening up to someone will make you a burden. The lyric stating that you are safe within the walls your mind has put up reinforces this.

‘Unsinkable’ is more melodic and still keeps to that raw brutality from the previous tracks. From what I can hear in the lyrical content, it talks about memories coming back and reminding you of either past mistakes or remnants of a life you once had. I like the song structure here; the verses are stripped back a little to reveal the regrets and wishes. The chorus has a brutal presence that I think reflects the hopelessness and loneliness we feel when we realise what we have done or given up.

“Ruins” ends on a poignant note with the track ‘Omega’. The introduction of the track lures you in slowly; surely there is a glimmer of hope by the end of the album, right? Guess again. After this very sombre opening, ‘Omega’ allows the listener to experience one last blast of brutality and misery before coming to an end.

It’s rare that an album gets you to scratch the surface and dig deeper, “Ruins” allows you to do just that. It is an album filled with hopelessness and despair and portrays the frightening side effects of what goes on in the mind.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Kairos
02. The Spiral
03. Hole In Nothing
04. The Defiant
05. Unsinkable
06. Shadows
07. Restitution
08. Omega

LINKS:
http://marianasrest.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marianasrestofficial

https://www.instagram.com/marianasrestofficial/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdcCG_mNj82WjjExpiJEwVA

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham 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.

Kalidia – The Frozen Throne

The Frozen Throne Cover

Kalidia – The Frozen Throne
Inner Wound Recordings
Release Date: 23/11/2018
Running Time: 46:17
Review by Mark Pritchard
9/10

Around two weeks ago I asked Italian Melodic Power Metal band Kalidia about the possibility of doing a review of their new album “The Frozen Throne” and was given the go ahead which was an amazing reaction and so here I go. Most might not know, but I have been a big fan of this band since I first heard them and to have the opportunity to review them is an honour, however, being a fan and friend of the band will have no effect on this review.

I have been listening to “The Frozen Throne” since I had my copy delivered a few weeks back and I will say that with the title track ‘Frozen Throne’ being first it really opens up for what the rest of the album can be. I know that with many albums some people, not all, tend to pass over songs to listen to the title track if it’s further down the track list. I, admittedly, have done this myself but this album starts with it and the song is an amazing opening to the album. “The Frozen Throne” is fast paced, has good intensity and added with the beautiful vocals this is a head-banger of an album and gives fans of both Melodic Metal and Power Metal an awesome aural experience for their ears! Whilst listening you can hear the passion Kalidia put into their music!

There are a good mix of tempos on display, some fast paced and intense tracks but also some slower and less intense which gives “The Frozen Throne” such a good balance as a whole! Having said that my favourite song on this album is in fact one of those slower songs and that song is ‘Midnight’s Chant’. It is very soothing to listen to and the lyrics really put my mind at rest even when I am upset and feeling down. I would definitely put this song as one of my top 10 favourite songs to listen to when I am down.

Now comes the rating and I shall be scoring the album as a whole as well as rating my favourite song separately. “The Frozen Throne” album gets 9 out of 10. It contains 11 awesome songs with mixture of fast and slower tracks and is an absolute top album to listen to! As for my favourite song, the aforementioned ‘Midnight’s Chant’, well, I can’t rate it anything but a 10 out of 10, such an amazing song which really lifts me up, not something that is always easy to do!

I would like to thank each member of Kalidia, Dario Gozzi (Drums), Roberto Donati (Bass), Federico Paolini (Guitars) and Nicoletta Rosellini (Vocals) for giving me the opportunity to review this amazing album and I can’t wait for any new releases they have planned, they make one hell of a band to listen to!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Frozen Throne
02. Circe’s Spell
03. Black Sails
04. Orpheus
05. To The Darkness I Belong
06. Myth Of Masada
07. Midnight’s Chant
08. Go Beyond
09. Amethyst
10. Lotus
11. Queen Of The Forsaken

LINKS:
https://www.kalidia.com/
https://www.facebook.com/KalidiaOfficial/

https://www.instagram.com/kalidia_official/

https://www.youtube.com/user/KalidiaBandOfficial

 

Kalidia Pic (Photo Credit - Andrea Endryus Pensalfine, Endryus Music Photography)

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Mark Pritchard 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.

All photos courtesy of Andrea Endryus Pensalfine and Endryus Music Photography

 

Forlorn Hope – Over The Hills

Over The Hills Cover

Forlorn Hope – Over The Hills
Self-Released
Release Date 26/07/2019
Running Time: 49:00
Review by Tsarina Wilson
10/10

I happen to come across Forlorn Hope on a certain social network site and was instantly hooked so when I had the opportunity to review the album “Over The Hills” I jumped at it. I couldn’t wait to hear the entire album and I was not disappointed. In fact, I haven’t stopped listening to it since.

The five-piece metal band from Merseyside combines history and metal with amazing results. The band members consist of Chris Simpson on vocals/rhythm guitars, Alexander Bishop on lead guitar/additional vocals, Jade Mckenna on keyboards, Danny Kell on drums and John Roughly on bass guitar and together they are out of this world.

Ok I have to say, as a fan of the drama series Sharpe, if they ever did a stage play these guys would have to do the music as they would blow the roof off. Chris has a turbo voice and an immense range which can go from pure rock with songs like ‘Rifles’ and ‘War in the Shadows’ to one of my favourites ‘Over The Hills and Far Away’. And not only are the guitar riffs powerful, the drumming is enough to make even the listener shattered, let alone poor Danny who plays them.

This is Forlorn Hope’s debut album and is a collection of stories of horror and heroism from the Peninsular War of 1807-1814. Chris remarks about the album: “This is a blazing, heavy metal tribute to one of the most fascinating chapters in military history, it represents the realisation of a concept several years in the making and the culmination of countless hours of work To see it finally complete is an absolute joy” and I can understand why.

Each song gives an account of a different part of the war, and maybe if this is how they taught it in schools, history would be much more fun. ‘Badajoz’ slows things down for a bit, but not for long as two minutes in and we are back to metal riffs united with crazy drumming. It’s so intense, you will be breathless.

In March 2018, Forlorn Hope released their self-titled debut EP, and throughout that year the band played a series of stand out sets, performing at the “Northern Symphony Festival” and in the Merseyside heat of the national Metal 2 The Masses competition. The quintet also went on to support NWOBHM legends and Swedish symphonic heavyweights “Eleine.

There is so much going on in this album. ‘Man Of Secrets, Man Of War’ shows just what varied vocals Chris’s voice can achieve. Jade’s keyboard throughout is such a powerful bonus and adds just that little something else to the mix and the track ‘Over The Hills and Far Away’ proves this.

The final track ‘Forlorn Hope’ is a stomping track and I was sad it was the last song, I could have just carried on listening for hours. These guys are talented, giving metal a whole new direction and have been an absolute joy to listen to and review.

Their music is infectious, and you will want to hear more.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Introduction
02. Vive L’Empereur
03. Rifles
04. Talavera
05. War In The Shadows
06. The Eagle Hunters
07. Die Hard
08. Badajoz
09. Man Of Secrets, Man Of Honour
10. Masterstrike
11. Vitoria
12. Over The Hills And Far Away
13. Forlorn Hope

LINKS:
https://forlornhope.uk/home
https://facebook.com/OfficalForlornHope/
https://twitter.comForlornHopeBand
https://Instagram.com/ForlornHopeBand/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsBDf-Mu7bo0NcsYE1ebeXw

 

Promo Pic

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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.

Chasing Dragons – Faction

Faction Cover

Chasing Dragons – Faction
Self-Released
Release Date: 5/10/2018
Running Time: 46:14
Review by Beth Jones
10/10

We are a little late to the party with this review, but better late than never eh! Seeing the formidable figure of Chasing Dragons lead singer, Tank, sitting on the bar of the ‘G’s Bar Stage’, performing a breathtakingly beautiful and emotive song that moved me to tears, was one of my stand out moments of last years Amplified Festival, so having the chance to review debut album “Faction” is making me very happy. Now, there are those who would say I’m an emotional old sausage who cries at everything! Whilst in some contexts that is true, where it comes to music, it takes something special to move me to that point.

Hailing from Leeds and delivering a brilliant cross over of Heavy Metal and Rock with a really fresh feel about it, Chasing Dragons are made up of Tank on lead vocals, Adam on guitar and vocals, Murf on bass and vocals, and Kate on drums. If you haven’t heard of them yet, trust me you need to. This album is their first release since second EP “Faction: Prologue” in 2016. It is so current, but also has such a great mix of classic styles, that will be one of those albums that will come to be classed as timeless. It could quite easily cross over into mainstream with its sound, all be it at the heavier end of mainstream, with something in there for everyone to like.

Musically, it is punchy and crunchy, but not over the top. It is very precise, and fast paced, but Tank’s vocals take it to a whole new level. She has an absolutely astonishing voice, which is immensely powerful and immensely beautiful in equal measures. It soars above the music, but she has the ability to bring it down in an instant and deliver tender passages with poise and elegance. I am so unbelievably jealous! In a couple of songs, ‘Bareknuckle Lover’ and ‘Whitehorse’ in particular, her voice reminds me of one of my idols; Skunk Anansie front lady, Skin. But musically, the whole band sound has more about it than Skunk Anansie ever did, which I find incredibly exciting, considering in the late 90’s they were my go-to band when I needed to get my head straight! It draws influence from bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Halestorm, Nothing More and New Years Day, and melds every element together perfectly. The whole album is emotive and intense, pulling you in to every note, every chord progression, every rhythm, every word. I love it. Simple as that.

Production wise, it is also an absolute triumph. Everything is balanced, and nothing is out of place, even down to the tiniest differences in the amount of reverb or effects used, it is all spot on.

I wanted to pick a ‘favourite track to talk about’, but I couldn’t narrow it down to less than four! Firstly ‘Parasite’. It is a real angry track! Starting with frenetic staccato guitar, it rip-roars through three minutes of venomous lyrics of hatred bourn of a toxic relationship. It is powerful in every way, and relatable for every one of us – a brilliant succinct three-dimensional description of the angry bubbling of hopeless hatred that we have all felt at some point in our lives.

‘Devil In Her Eyes’ is another of my picks, but this time for more musical reasons. It is full of cross rhythms, rhythm changes, interesting chord progressions, and a ridiculously catchy hook in the chorus, and again amazing vocals. It also has a proper guitar solo in the middle of it, as well as lots of little intricate bits from every instrument, making it a great all-round track. It ends abruptly, leading into my next pick – ‘The Connection’.

Starting with a solitary piano note, with a touch of reverb, then a pause (silence speaks so much louder sometimes, don’t you think?) then another solitary note and pause leads into a minor chord, and crystal-clear mournful vocals that reach into your soul. Then in come the drums, not too much, but you can feel it building, and as the vocals sore, everything kicks in and bam, there are the goose bumps. It just makes me want to shout out with the pleasure and pain and joy and sadness and every other emotion that this record instils in me. Ok, so I actually think on reflection, this is my favourite song on the album, but the other three are very close!

My last pick is penultimate track ‘Whitehorse’. It starts with a nice bit of synth, and then the whole thing kicks in, in real headbanging fashion, again with brilliant little riffs and hooks popping up all over the place, and those same damn awesome vocals that just slay me they are so good. I’m sorry, I’m rambling. That’s it, I’m done.

There is one word to describe this album – passion. Complete and utter passion oozes through the whole thing – passion for the music, passion for the craft, passion for the storytelling of the subject matter. By far the most emotive album I have listened to in a long time, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get their heart racing or get lost in a perfect storm. I feel invigorated! I’m going for a lie down!!!

TRACKLISTING:
01. We Are The Wall
02. How The World Went Black
03. Parasite
04. Like Gravity
05. Bareknuckle Lover
06. For Kingdom For Glory
07. This Time Is Ours
08. Devil In Her Eyes
09. The Connection
10. I’m No Devil (I’m Just A Girl)
11. Whitehorse

LINKS:
https://www.chasingdragons.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/chasingdragonsuk

https://www.instagram.com/chasingdragonsuk/
https://chasingdragons.bigcartel.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/ChasingDragonsUK

 

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.

Hollow Crown – Garuda EP

Garuda EP Cover Top

Hollow Crown – Garuda EP
H.C Music Holding Ltd
Release Date: 31/05/2019
Running Time: 25:17
Review by Tsarina Wilson
7.5/10

Ok, so who are Hollow Crown? Well, they are four guys from Bristol (near my hometown), who got together and released a six song EP.

“Garuda” may be short but what the guys pack into it is just pure craziness and energy. The band consists of Iain Eccleston on guitars, Tom Pepper on vocals, Ben Wilshire on bass and, last but definitely not least, Josh Armitage on drums and they are also the creators of the game LFDR coming to an app soon.

Iain and Tom met about 5 years ago while Iain was playing at a disabled people’s home. Eventually they met up to do some writing and wrote a whole album in a month, which included most of the songs for the EP. After developing the sound and doing some recording sessions, they got Josh involved and after putting out an advert for a bassist, Ben became the final member, as he was the perfect choice. They have now been together for just almost a year now and not only are these four guys very talented, they also have fun doing what they do.

This metal grunge band certainly know how to pack a lot into six tracks. The first couple of songs are fast and furious and track two ‘Hate Your Leaders’ which now has a video on YouTube, certainly shows how much talent these guys have. This track goes from total madness to almost hypnotic in the middle section and this certainly gives you a chance to hear Tom’s epic voice. Then no sooner as you start to take a breath, Iain’s impressive guitar riffs blast your eardrums once again.

The music and lyrics are written by Iain and Tom and the artwork was produced by Mateusz “The Executor” Lejman. The band’s logo was what first drew them to my attention and, after hearing the guys, they were a breath of fresh air of a band who seem to have so much talent coming onto the scene.

They won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, having a “parental Advisory explicit content” warning on the cd, but hey not everyone has good taste! Tom’s voice goes from full metal grunge to almost soothing but don’t be fooled, these guys are not for the faint hearted. I can imagine their gigs are non-stop crazy and, with a growing fan base, I think this isn’t all we are going to hear from them. They are loud, they are crazy, they are talented, and I think they have a lot to offer.

One thing I did have a little giggle about was the back of the cd cover has “Unauthorised reproduction of this recording will result in an untimely death!!” printed on it.

TRACKLISTING:
01. 7th Gate
02. Hate Your Leaders
03. Step By Step
04. You Weren’t There Man
05. White Whale
06. Rise Up

LINKS:
https://www.hollowcrown.rocks
http://www.facebook.comhollowcrown.rocks
https://www.imstagram.com/hollowcrown.rocks
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX3f0x1hKOYraRK4RXIUoUA

 

Promo Pic Bottom

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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.