Nachtfalter – was bleibt

was bleibt Cover

Nachtfalter – was bleibt
Echozone
Release Date: 24/05/2019
Running Time: 42:23
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
4/10

Good evening, droogies, boozers, strumpets and losers! For which greeting we thank the puissant and magnificent Krusher Joule of Raw Power TV fame back in the nineties. This Hellpriest considers Krusher, a splendid gentleman of metal, a formative influence and a man to look up to, even if I was more interested in Ann Kirk in a short, tight dress at the time… If you’re of a similar age, you’ll understand. If not, you’d best get Googling, sunshine!

Anyway, in an effort (probably misguided; Most of what I do is…) to maintain some level of brevity in this review after what could only be described as an epic, last time out, I am resisting the urge to describe to you what is (might be… you’ll never know what shit I make up and what is real! Suffice it to say the more outlandish things I write about are more likely to be the truth) going on in my life and am of the opinion we should plunge straight into dealing with Nachtfalter’s “was bleibt”. That’s German for “what remains”, fact fans. Nachtfalter are a duo of talented gentlemen who wish only to be known by their initials and they play gothic metal with an industrial undertone with vocals in the German language. You’d imagine this to be so far up my street I’d be hailing (Satan?) a taxi to get there quicker, wouldn’t you? Normally you’d be right, but…

Unfortunately, this record is ponderous. And it has the world’s most inappropriate guitar sound. The vocals are sub – Till Lindemann German guttural and the whole sound of the record is off, somehow. It’s as if Nachtfalter could afford Stock, Aitken and Waterman to produce the album. The production is FAR too poppy for my tastes. Especially when we are talking industrially tinged gothic metal with low register German vocals. It should be shaking internal organs loose and making me make a large and unpleasant mess in my underwear, but it doesn’t. In fact, it is basically leaving me with a feeling that could charitably be described as, “Meh.” This is a crying shame because there are some fucking good ideas on this record and they are simply not taken advantage of, at all. The vocals are uninspiring and it would be brilliant, just once, to have a German metal band sing in their native language without doing their best Till Lindemann impersonation. Even Laibach (yes, I know they are actually Slovenian but they sing in German so the point holds, ok?) are guilty of this. Nena didn’t grunt ‘99 Luftballons’, did she? A bit more range would have been a definite bonus. It’s telling when the best song on the record is an electronic body music version of ‘Maschinenklang’. Actually, the electronic version (of already the best song on the album by a country mile) kicks serious amounts of arse and if it doesn’t end up being a cybergoth hit on the dancefloor of Sheffield Corporation then I’ll eat my flat cap (cos I am from Lancashire innit? I’m sending this one out to my homeboys in Radcliffe and Bury…) and put a ferret down my trousers. Other tunes worthy of note are ‘Vollkommenheit’ and ‘Folge Mir’, both being good songs ruined by terrible production values. I have issues also with the homespun quality of the production throughout the entire record. It sounds like it was recorded in a bedroom in suburban Leipzig. There’s no punch to any of the instruments, the guitar sounds like it belongs in a Pretty Boy Floyd cover band and the synths have a disturbingly 1980’s Bontempi quality about them. It sounds cheap as fuck, basically. I’m actually genuinely upset because this band could have been gothically magnificent. They could have been dark wonders. They could have had this Goth loving hellpriest crawling at their feet begging for their attention. Instead, they are pedestrian, inadequate and hollow. There’s no soul to the music. It’s mechanical, not in the industrial sense of the word, but it is gothic metal by numbers and that is extremely intolerable in a genre that is based on emotion. It should be melodramatic and bombastic and rich and lush and powerful and “was bleibt” is none of those things. “was bleibt” is the aural equivalent of the horrible feeling of bleak, crushing sadness you get when you discover a cold cup of tea you forgot about.

Heart. Broken. Send beer and nubile young metal chicks to cheer me up.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Nachtfalter 4/10 for destroying his faith in a genre that has previously never failed to deliver some form of excitement. They have managed to corner the market in beige gothic metal. They are the metal equivalent of painting a wall magnolia.

TRACKLISTING:
(With helpful English translations for those of you too fucking lazy to use Google Translate)
01. Fur Mich (For Me)
02. Anderes Leben (Other Life)
03. Maschinenklang (Machine Sound)
04. Eine Stimme (One Vote)
05. Vollkommenheit (Perfection)
06. Im Schatten (In The Shade)
07. Folge Mir (Follow Me)
08. Nacht (Night)
09. Nur Noch Einmal (Just Once More)
10. Maschinenklang Elektro-Version (If you can’t work this one out for yourselves, go and see the doctor and get yourself seen to…)

Nachtfalter ist:
T.S. – Vocals, bass, synth, drums (Vocals, Synth, Bass, Schlagzeug)
T.G. – Rhythm and lead guitars (Rhythmus und Leadgitarren)

LINKS:
http://nachtfalter-band.de/
https://www.facebook.com/nachtfalterband/
https://www.instagram.com/nachtfalter_official/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDmODwD-Lqg_x5pmQ6glNAg

 

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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.

Gypsy’s Kiss – Heat Crazed Vole And Other Tails EP

Heat Crazed Vole And Other Tails EP Cover

Gypsy’s Kiss – Heat Crazed Vole And Other Tails EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 25/10/2019
Running Time: 27:17
Review by Chris Galea
7/10

Formed by David Smith and Steve Harris in East London way back in 1974, the band returned to the fore after an absence of over 40 years. Despite the band’s distant origins the last few months have been a time of ‘firsts’ ….first single, first video, first lyric-video, first album (soon)…and, sure enough, here we have Gypsy’s Kiss’ first EP.

Rather than go for contemporary sonorities Gypsy’s Kiss have opted for a sound that harks back to Rock’s nascent years. Think of bands such as Thin Lizzy, early Uriah Heep or early Alice Cooper. All songs in this EP were written by Smith in the 1970s except ‘Settle The Score’ a brand new song with wistful melodies that reminded me of Patti Smith.

Essentially this EP assembles a handful of well-written Rock songs. They sound a bit brash and unrefined but possess some of that candour Smith and Harris must have had all those years ago.

Name-dropping aside, “Heat Crazed Vole And Other Tails” is an auspicious start to Gypsy’s Kiss’ venture into the limelight.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Heat Crazed Vole
2. Endless Pit
3. Gypsy’s Kiss (What Went Wrong)
4. Settle The Score
5. Heat Crazed Vole (live)

LINE-UP:
David Smith – lead vocals, guitars, bass
Jonathan Morley – guitars
Fraser Marr – guitars
Ross Hunter – keyboards, backing vocals
Robin Gatcum – bass
Stuart Emms – drums
LINKS:

Home


https://www.facebook.com/GK74Band/

https://www.instagram.com/gypsyskiss1974/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIVjdkrlmDzk7_wgq0P8HSw

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris Galea 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.

Sascha Paeth’s Masters Of Ceremony – Signs Of Wings

Signs Of Wings Cover

Sascha Paeth’s Masters Of Ceremony – Signs Of Wings
Frontiers Music SRL
Release Date: 13/09/2019
Running Time: 46:54
Review by Lotty Whittingham
10/10

Nearly ten years ago, I went to a gig at The Joiners, Southampton. In one of the opening bands, I noticed a young passionate vocalist. One of the most talented I had seen on the circuit; she eventually left the band to study music in the USA but not before finding out her name was Adrienne Cowan. Fast forward to today, I watched her provide vocals for Avantasia on their sold-out tour and I have heard her vast vocal range on new album “Signs Of Wings” from Sascha Paeth’s Masters Of Ceremony.

Sascha Paeth is widely recognised on the metal circuit. He has worked alongside metal giants such as Kamelot, Rhapsody, Epica and Avantasia. After five years of discussions about a possible collaboration with Frontiers, it’s happened and this masterpiece has come to light.

It opens with the appropriately titled ‘The Time Has Come’. The album is finally here and it’s not going to be forgotten anytime soon. This song comes down on you with a bang and gives you only a small taste of what is to come. It also gives you a taste of Cowan’s vast vocal range of straight up growls and beautiful melodic vocals.

I say a small taste as the song variety on this record is quite vast. You have the straight up and aggressive heavy metal sounds such as ‘Sick’ and ‘My Anarchy’. You also have tracks that give something a little bit different, for example ‘Radar’ has a folky vibe. Below are a few great examples of what can be found on this brilliant album.

I love the bouncy, folky melody of ‘Radar’. The pipes and accordion playing alongside the aggressive guitars and drums caught my attention instantly. When you listen carefully, you can hear the poetic lyrics telling a gallant story on how they sail the seas without a radar. I also felt a sense of power when listening to this track, particularly hearing the line “we will be free” growled and sang at different times of the song.

‘The Path’ is a beautiful ballad that allows you to take a break from the hard-hitting aggression. With most metal ballads, they go back into the distortion from the electric guitars and drums. Not complaining, just an observation. What I really like about ‘The Path’ is that it keeps to this stripped-down arrangement of piano, vocals and cello throughout the track. It is one of the best ballads I have heard for a while. I can imagine experiencing this live will be a magical experience.

‘Bound In Vertigo’ is a sweeping and energetic track. The chorus is a memorable one and it will be swimming around in your head for days after listening to it. In this track, the guitar work is fantastic. The riffs and solos make you want to practice air guitar wherever you happen to be.

It ends on an appropriately soaring note with the title track. It ends the album with a bang and leaves you wanting more. This album is an uplifting masterpiece, one that will be treasured and respected by metal fans across the board.

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Time Has Come
02. Die Just A Little
03. Radar
04. Where Would It Be
05. My Anarchy
06. Wide Awake
07. The Path
08. Sick
09. Weight Of The World
10. Bound In Vertigo
11. Signs of Wings

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

https://www.instagram.com/saschapaethofficial/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmpM-LiUsB-0OtEGmTb7FoQ

 

 

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.

LVCIFYRE – Sacrament EP

Sacrement EP Cover

LVCIFYRE – Sacrament EP
Dark Descent Records
Release Date: 24/05/2019
Running Time: 22:53
Review by Mark Pritchard
8/10

A couple weeks back I asked Ever Metal about the possibility of reviewing London based Death Metal band ‘LVCIFYRE’ purely, and I will admit this, because I really like the band name. I hadn’t heard of them before, something I regret now that I have heard what they can do. But as with all bands that are new to me, I haven’t looked back, and with heavy guitar playing and hard drumming with intense vocals these guys don’t mess around.

I have been listening to this EP called ‘Sacrament’ for the last few weeks continuously with a few breaks here and there and need I say that I really like it. This EP contains a bit of a lead up to songs, something that I really like. There is a slow start before it leaps into the song really intensively and everything comes at you at 100 mph. There is no time to breathe, just complete and unstoppable headbanging and all I have to say is that thank god I had paracetamol on hand!

I can honestly say that, with Cultus on bass, Menthor on drums and T. Kaos on guitars and vocals, this band aren’t a glass half full band. They are the full glass with water still being poured in and overflowing. One thing I noticed throughout the EP is that there is an intensity in all the songs which really transmits the immense passion they have for what they do and, anyone who listens to them play, either live or via CD, can absolutely see, hear and feel that passion and dedication.

I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to this awesome EP which is reflected in the score I have given it. It is such an awesome EP, with high intensity and an ‘in your face’ presence’ and I can’t get enough of it.

I do have a favourite song, ‘Shadowy Wing’ and its nice slow start before hitting into the main song really drew me in.

I want to say a huge thank you to Ever Metal for giving me the chance to review LVCIFYRE and this awesome EP, and I also want to say a huge thank you to the band, itself, for putting so much work and passion into this EP.

It really has been one hell of a listening experience.

Track Listing:
The Greater Curse
Deaths Head In Crown
Shadowy Wing
Sacrament
Morderca

Links:
www.facebook.com/Lvcifyre
www.Darkdescentrecords.com
www.Darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com
www.Facebook.com/darkdescentrecords

 

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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.

Intoxicate – Retention Rumba Premiere

Ever Metal is very proud to premiere ‘Retention Rumba’ the new lyric video from Swedish thrash band Intoxicate

 The new album “Cross Contamination” (FALLCD043) ​is out on digital on 11/10/2019.

CD release is TBA

8 songs of fast & melodic Thrash-Metal from Gothenburg, Sweden!​
The album is mixed by Anders Backelin (ex-Lord Belial) and​
mastered by Andy LaRoque. Cover art by Raimo K. layout by Daniel T.​
The band was formed in 1988 and was one of the first Thrash-metal​
bands from the area. Now they are back and stronger than ever!

 

www.downfallrecords.com

https://www.facebook.com/intoxicategbg/

 

Giant Dwarf – Giant Dwarf

Giant Dwarf Cover

Giant Dwarf – Giant Dwarf
Self-Released
Release date: 09/04/2019
Running Time: 33:52
Review by: Alun Jones
9.5/10

I’ve never been to Australia. Don’t need to go there really; I know exactly what it’s like. It’s like that David Bowie video where he’s inside a big concrete block in the middle of nowhere. ‘Let’s Dance’ – that’s the one. Or it’s like Mad Max 2: all arid desert, people surviving on dog food and a struggle to exist without civilisation.

So, it’s quite apt that such a barren, isolated place has decided to gift us with an album that is, quite frankly, a masterpiece of desert rock. Or outback rock, if you will.

This is “Giant Dwarf”, by the band Giant Dwarf, who hail from somewhere called Perth in Western Australia.

Right from the start, with opener ‘Golden Walrus’, the album bursts from the speakers like Gandalf after a month-long Charles Atlas course. The songs are tough and uncompromising, yet cerebral. ‘Black Thumb’ and ‘Kepler’ in particular will make you put your foot down on the accelerator and bang your head – whilst absorbing the intricate tapestry of the universe.

It’s all pounding rhythms and hypnotic, repeating riffs. On first encounter, the album seems very – shall we say, inspired by – Kyuss and the first Queens of the Stone Age album. Aaron Soppo (vocals) can even do a pretty convincing Josh Homme impersonation. Which is no bad thing, in my book – in fact, it’s a sure fired recipe for success.

Further investigation reveals far more than this obvious comparison, however. As well as a more fuzzed-up guitar sound – not unlike a particularly fried Fu Manchu – there’s a trippy, psychedelic sheen to the muscular groove. There’s even sitar and didgeridoo on here, in wave after wave of glorious chunky riff and rolling beats.

‘The Deluge’ illustrates this breadth of feeling with a six minute plus track that undulates between exuberant rocker and introspective meander in just one epic song.

If I have one small criticism, I’d like to hear a track like ‘Strange Wool’ – a mind melting instrumental track that’s quite brilliant – dragged out to three times its two-minute length. Even more development and experimentation would really push Giant Dwarf further into a new dimension. But keep the edge-of-the-seat rockers too, OK guys?

“Giant Dwarf” comes within a koala’s cock of perfection. Powerful like the venom of a Death Adder, yet enticing like Natalie Imbruglia. It really is that good: from out of nowhere, an album that will surely be in my end of year Top Five.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Golden Walrus
02. Black Thumb
03. Disco Void
04. Kepler
05. Repeat After Defeat
06. Strange Wool
07. High Tide Blues
08. The Deluge

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Giantdwarfmusic/
https://www.instagram.com/giantdwarf.australia/
https://giantdwarf.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NCOEWQFyTA&t=1901s (Full Album Stream)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiTTjfWArtJEGUsrrXuU1ew

 

Giant Dwarf

 

 

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.

Dogbane – Idylls Of Woe

Idylls Of Woe Cover

Dogbane – Idylls Of Woe
Heaven and Hell Records
Release Date: 19/07/2019
Running Time: 35:46
Reviewed by Tammy Lomax
6.5/10

Dogbane are a Metal/Rock/Doom band from North Carolina. Over a few jars they decided to form in 2010 and their first album “Residual Alcatraz” was released in 2011.

The inspiration that drives them was their 70’s and 80’s upbringing, the time where it all began for metal music. They may not use any special tweaks to manipulate their sound, but that’s the whole point. It’s raw and it’s original. They have also suffered heartache, when their guitarist David Ellenburg tragically passed away after having a stroke back in 2012.

During this time, Dogbane managed to release an official music video for ‘Ride The Serpent’ and then a year later, in 2013; Jeff Rinehart honourably took David’s place as lead guitarist.

They then went on and played Ragnarökkr Metal Apocalypse in Chicago with headliner Riot V in April 2014. Furthermore, they had the opportunity to appear on the Versailles Records release “Rock & Roll All Nite: A Tribute To Kiss”.

Heaven and Hell Records then released “When Karma Comes Calling” which opened many doors of opportunity for Dogbane. In September 2016 they appeared at Thou Shall Rock, a 2-day festival supporting headliners Demon Eye and Salvación.

Now we have their third full-length album “Idylls Of Woe”

‘The One I Was Warned Of’ opens “Idylls Of Woe” and takes me back to when I used to have a beer in a biker’s club years ago. It’s upbeat for sure. Jeff Neal’s vocals remind me a little of the late David Bowie. It is a great opener, although there are a few weak beats in the background!

Next track ‘Devil’s Tramping Ground’ kicks in with some more force. I am fond of Dogbane’s doom edge mostly; they manage to slip in some guitar pig snorts and it tickles my fancy. The vocals are catchy, and the guitar solos work ok.

Third track ‘Blood In The Snow’ has a great intro! It really made me giggle. There are some great tempos, guitar solos and drumming throughout this track. You feel like you are on a hunt. It’s simple but very effective.

‘Riddle Of Steel’ is next and YES!! More bass please! I salivate if a track opens with bass, my ears royally prick up and you get my attention straight away. Just like a meerkat! This track feels really doomy, like heavy and rusty old doom. I picture myself head banging to the rhythm of the beat and that sound is genuinely really cool. The odd switch throughout this track is well done and I like the dynamics.

“Land Of Shadows” is definitely a slower version of early Metallica all the way. The guitar riffs and block beats of the drums are quite similar to Hetfield and co. It’s really good. I do feel the vocal fader doesn’t really work in this track, purely because it feels misfired and out of place with the real earthy chunky sound but then you are hit with that real doom vibe again, it’s so good, you forget about the fader.

Next up is ‘Now You Know’. It begins in a very similar fashion to ‘Land Of Shadows’, it slips in those cheeky pig snorts again and then, bang, the guitar solo comes in. I like this track’s stability as it is much more steady and easy to follow.

‘Winter Of Man’s Demise’ is also a good track. There’s no mucking around with this track. It’s pretty cool. It has a real doom laden start, which these guys have got spot on. It’s probably my favourite part to their whole sound. The track is slow and steady, the vocals are spot on and it glues together well. It’s really basic but you flow with their pace. The strumming on the guitars is really strong and when the beat picks up it is great. It has an ‘80’s best dad guitar solos of all time’ vibe!

‘Sin Eater’ is a straight up classic Rock/Metal song and a good ending to “Idylls Of Woe”; although I am personally a little gutted they didn’t add more doom into this track though.
In general, Dogbanes sound is good although, throughout the album, there are times when I feel they are trying to cram too much in at one time which gives the impression of it being a touch sloppy. Maybe some spacing out could have helped a little.

This is not altogether my style of music but do you know what? Sod my opinionated ears! These guys have gone through a crazy journey and obviously enjoy what they are doing. They are keeping the original, core root, of metal alive and I wish Dogbane the best of luck in their future endeavours!

TRACKLISTING:
01. The One I Was Warned Of
02. Devils Tramping Ground
03. Blood In The Snow
04. Riddle Of Steel
05. Land Of Shadows
06. Now You Know
07. Winter Of Man’s Demise
08. Sin Eater

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

https://dogbane1.bandcamp.com/


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqZ0qg2G2rJYDKfHQnQ-mVQ

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax 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.

Dragonforce – Extreme Power Metal

Extreme Power Metal Cover

Dragonforce – Extreme Power Metal
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 27/09/2019
Running Time: 52:51
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
8/10

Greetings and salutations my dark minions, corruptors of nubile virgin flesh and destroyers of the false church of Christ the Deceiver! It is I, the Dark Prince of Heavy Fucking Metal, the Gothfather, the Groove Ipsissimus and the legend in his own head that is Dark Juan, and I am here to impart wisdom, offer sage opinion and to influence you weak minded souls on to the Left Hand Path and to sell your immortal essence to the Evil One. WHAT? NO! I’m not talking about some kind of Satanic sperm bank, so pack your fucking giggling in, you long haired herberts! Well, there’s another high quality, super heavy metal introduction totally ruined by you filthy minded perverts. You all disgust me. Seriously, what would the One Who Walks Backwards want with gallons of metal kid baby gravy? Litres of metal manfat? IN FACT DON’T FUCKING ANSWER THAT EVER AND KEEP IT TO YOURSELVES! LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!!

Clearly, I have taught you well.

Anyway, I’m back after a sojourn to jolly old Blighty, by way of Cymru, where a meeting of minds took place with the utterly charming Beth Ever Metal and the truly gentlemanly Rick Ever Metal. We might even have got drunk, howled at Cards Against Humanity (Dark Juan mightily approves of the sheer possible level of sacrilege this game entails) and played guitar till about 3am and were utterly appalled at the level of sheer and uncompromising savagery a teenage girl can attain at said card game. Suffice it to say that I, Dark Juan, well known for my level of silken verbal venom, was very nearly outclassed. Nearly, but not quite! Must try harder, Sian!!!

So, that’s three hundred and thirty four words in and not a damned thing about the record I’m listening to. Are you even interested or have your eyes glazed over yet? Wake up. I’m going to tell you about Dragonforce’s latest album, subtly entitled Extreme Power Metal. Pay attention…

It’s fair to say Dragonforce are something of an acquired taste. And I am yet to work out whether they are a massive joke perpetrated on the metal masses, or whether they are the result of two young men whose parents simply WEREN’T paying sufficient attention to the noises coming out of Messrs Li and Totman’s bedrooms. Imagine the conversation downstairs…

Mrs. Li (or Totman) to Mr. Li (or Totman), “Darling, Herman’s (Sam’s) doing pinch harmonics and two handed tap ons in G Mixolydian again. He’s been at it for hours. Can’t you please have a word?”

Mr. Li (Totman) treads wearily to the foot of the stairs and bellows, “HERMAN! (SAM!) SHUT UP WITH THAT RACKET! WE GAVE YOU GUITAR LESSONS SO YOU COULD PLAY FUCKING CLASSICAL! EVEN TREY FUCKING AZAGTHOTH PLAYS SOME CLASSICAL! WHY CAN’T YOU CONSTANTLY MASTURBATE LIKE A NORMAL TEENAGER?”

“But Dad, I’m moving on to C Ionian! Listen!” (cue a flurry of several million notes delivered in a breathless fashion in less than three seconds.)

Mr. Li (Totman), “There’s no talking to that child. I’m going back to whiskey, guilt ridden wanking and complaining about the neighbours.”

And there we have it. This is a record where songs are just vehicles for Herman and Sam to go absolutely insane on electric guitars and launch with no warning into an extensive, lengthy and ridiculously complex solo complete with pained orgasm faces. Actually, that is far too simplistic a view to take about the music of Dragonforce. Even if it is true as fuck. Dragonforce are capable of writing fine tunes that are so oiled chesty macho that even Manowar would submit before them (if you like that thought, tell me and I’ll write you some stuff that will make your eyes water, kiddo. You’ll never look at Joey DiMaio the same way again. Not sure whether that’s a threat or a promise…)

OK, several minutes later, having finally rid myself of the somewhat uncomfortable images that the idea of Dragonforce/Manowar slash fiction have conjured up in the sewer that passes for my imagination let us discuss the album. Please, for the love of God…

Album opener Highway To Oblivion’s intro sounds so uncomfortably like a poor quality metal Christmas record it actually hurt my ears until there’s some short, glorious two handed tap ons and then it’s blastbeats, double bass drumming, palm muting, whammy bar dives, insanely complex guitar solos and the kind of lyrics that only THE MOST MASCULINE metal bands can write all the way. If there were any justice, Dragonforce would be able to discover the eighth musical note as they are quite, QUITE spectacularly talented musicians. Why they have chosen to almost be a parody of heavy metal eludes me apart from the fact it makes me giggle like a schoolgirl faced with her first picture of Peter Steele in a state of indiscretion…

I do have some problems with Dragonforce and this album. Vocalist Marc Hudson is dreadfully weak and a terrible fit for the musical talent on display here. Coming after Z.P. Theart (who was also terrible as a vocalist) you would have expected Dragonforce to have an absolutely belting singer, but they have appeared to opt for the merely average – perhaps because Sam and Herman are the joint centres of attention? Also, the loss of Vadim Pruzhanov on keyboard is keenly felt (Coen Janssen of Epica performed on this record) as the keys are lacking the coherence and the symbiosis with the arrangement of the music they enjoyed previously. However, polished and crystal clear does not do the production job of this record justice. It is a production masterpiece. Every single sound is rendered with perfect clarity (no mean feat with two virtuoso guitarists jousting with the rest of the band and large and expansive keyboard parts) and there are simply not enough superlatives to describe the joy of it. I could moan about the length of the guitar solos, but let’s face it – everyone knows what they are getting with Dragonforce, don’t they? It would be remarkably churlish to have a bash at them for what they have built their career on, eh?

Now I’ve finished moaning, this record is entertaining as fuck. It’s well known that I am a sucker for theatre and overblown pomposity and the kind of metal that brings back the halcyon days of Dio’s “Holy Diver”, Ozzy’s “The Ultimate Sin” and the like. Dragonforce do this, but they do this at hypersonic velocities and with a sense of fun that metal sometimes seems to be lacking. You do get the feeling that Dragonforce are seeing just how far they can push the outrageous pseudo-masculinity, the pomposity and the egregious complexity of their musicianship whilst people still buy and debate their releases. All while they are fucking pissing themselves laughing behind closed doors. I think I might love this record. I know I DO love the ambiguity of Dragonforce’s sense of humour. It does all sound a bit samey, though. Saying that, there are only seven musical notes and Dragonforce use them with such boundless rapidity it’s all bound to sound like that.

So, as a musician and seventh rate guitarist myself, I am utterly compelled by the musicianship on display on this record. As a lyricist (truly terrible but it still counts!) I am amused, shocked, appalled (at the disgraceful banality of the lyrics at some points – Dragonforce can and have done considerably better) and astonished (the backing vocals are sublime, some of the choruses really do evoke memories of the huge sounds of 70s and 80s AOR like Journey and Toto and Boston) all at once. I adore the absolute gung-ho speed, the sheer conviction of the playing and the obvious amusement and enjoyment of the band setting new standards of melodic lightspeed velocity. It should not be possible to solo convincingly and accurately at the speed Dragonforce operate at. Also, they have even managed to shoehorn a fucking bagpipe intro into the song entitled ‘Remembrance Day’.

All of this enthusiasm though, counts for naught when you get to the twisted, fucked up, bizarre, incredible (probably for all the wrong reasons) and utterly insane album closer. This song is NEXT FUCKING LEVEL DRAGONFORCE INSANITY THAT HAS TURNED MY BRAIN INSIDE OUT AND NOW I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF! I have honestly been laughing my arse off for the past twenty minutes, to the point Mrs. Dark Juan has been throwing stuff at me and I have upset the hellhounds and Hodgson Fartpants has been emitting the sort of smells banned by the Geneva Convention. Please, dear friends, allow me to attempt to describe what is possibly the greatest cover version of all time! I’m fucking giggling already…

Picture, if you will, an introduction sounding remarkably like old fashioned 8-bit chiptunes that sound vaguely familiar before Dragonforce launch into the usual hyperspeed riffing they are known for. Then the lyric kicks in. You listen disinterestedly for a moment (because they will inevitably be howling about dragons or swords or some other shit) before you realise that the lyric and the vocal arrangement sounds vaguely familiar. And then it hits you. They have only gone and fucking covered Céline bastard Dion.

Yes, Dragonforce have taken the shittiest wankfest of saccharine pity ballads and turned it into the most balls to the wall, metal anthem I have ever heard. They have managed to take the world’s most obscenely putrid song and turn it into a four minute warp speed guitar solo with occasional vocals. That simply has to be a good thing, right? They have even made it pleasurable to listen to.

Pleasure! Always a good point to finish on!

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Dragonforce 8/10 for their breakneck and inventive approach to metal. Two marks are deducted – one for a poor vocalist and ONE FOR MAKING ME LIKE A CÉLINE DION SONG, YOU BUNCH OF ABSOLUTE TWATS!!!

TRACKLISTING: (I’ll be honest; I’ve been wetting myself at some of these…)
01. Highway To Oblivion (OK, fairly normal metal band fodder)
02. Cosmic Power Of The Infinite Shred Machine (Holy fuck this is off the scale lunacy! I approve.)
03. The Last Dragonborn (Too much Game Of Thrones, perhaps?)
04. Heart Demolition (Jokes aside, we have all been there.)
05. Troopers Of The Stars (Metal word salad for Starship Troopers. Literally a few words away from a Sarah Brightman song!)
06. Razorblade Meltdown (Is this a song about sustainability and metal recycling? One can only encourage this sort of behaviour…)
07. Strangers (Three words away from a Saxon classic.)
08. In A Skyforged Dream (Yeah, if you say so, chaps. I know what skyclad is, not skyforged…)
09. Remembrance Day (OK, there’s a message here. No jokes.)
10. My Heart Will Go On (Holy fuck. Holy fucking fuck. Jesus fucking Christ in chariot driven sidecar. Fuck me crossways and call me Roger the Cabin Boy. This actually might be the greatest thing I have ever heard.)

LINE-UP:
Herman Li – Guitar
Sam Totman – Guitar
Marc Hudson – Vocals
Gee Anzalone – Drums
(Frederic Leclercq played bass but quit before the album release.)

LINKS:

Home


https://www.facebook.com/dragonforce/

https://www.instagram.com/dragonforcehq/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUA7-MNA9NyrpimQo7Dw8g

 

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.

Legacy of Kain – Paralelo XI

Paralelo XI Cover

Legacy of Kain – Paralelo XI
Self-Released
Release Date: 16/05/2019
Running Time: 45:23
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

One of the memories I want to keep in my mind while I still have my sanity is the day I heard this album for the first time. How I felt that day? First, let me tell you some things about the band. I reviewed their previous album “I.N.V.E.R.S.O.” (2017) when the band was relatively new, and they used Portuguese lyrics and sung about political and human issues. The music itself was more oriented to Metalcore although they already had the Groove and Thrash, but now things have changed for the Brazilian Band Legacy of Kain.

The album title is a reference to a massacre that slaughtered a Brazilian Indian tribe (“Cinta Larga” tribe), in 1963, by people who were interested in their territory. As usual in Brazil, they were strongly motivated by political greed and money. This chapter in their history is so shameful that is hard to find details about the days of killing even with the few survivors from this tribe. The band didn’t record a concept album, but the main idea is get the feeling and hate from this genocide and put it inside the music.

The sound of happy kids playing in the intro song ‘The Nightmare’ comes with calm and clean notes that open the great track ‘This Pain Is For Me And You’. It all turns into a dense vibe when guitarist Karim Serri strikes your speakers with visceral and killer riffs followed by the strong drum beats of Tiago Rodrigues. Markos Franzmann deep voice completes the team and he makes heavy vocals parts with different tempos.

The furious Thrash comes with fast songs like ‘Worse Days Will Come’ and ‘The Throne’ showing the idea of what is coming. Tracks like ‘Indigenous Pride’ start to enter deep into the bloodshed that the tribe suffered, same as in ‘Split In Half’, but this one begins with a short depressive intro and also has Fernanda Lira (Nervosa) as a special guest.

Fernanda’s screams are like Chuck Schuldiner in style and it is a good contrast with Markos. She increases the anger of the lyrical theme. ‘The Genocide’ is a kind of intro of typical Indigenous music that suddenly changes to a sound of airplanes, shotguns and terror screams. Of course there are many others killer songs like ‘The Promises You Made’ and ‘Disease’ that don’t flee from the main subject, but talk about it in a different way.

The answer to the question I made before is: Amazed!!! Yes, amazed is how I felt when I heard this album for the first time. This album is like a multi chaptered movie where the soundtrack is enough to bring the feeling of anger and sadness from those who survived this tragic episode. Somehow the band made a political protest about problems that still happen nowadays. It shows how the battle between politics and people can bring pain for us all. “Paralelo XI” shows a more powerful and experienced band that is going to amaze all of you.

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Nightmare
02. This Pain Is For Me And You
03. Worse Days Will Come
04. The Throne
05. Indigenous Pride
06. Split in Half (Feat. Fernanda Lira)
07. Beneath The Mud
08. The Genocide
09. Paralelo XI
10. Silent Ground
11. The Promises You Made
12. This Means War
13. Disease

LINE-UP:
Markos Franzmann- Vocals
Karim Serri – Guitars
Tiago Rodrigues – Drums
João Lavinas – Bass

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/legacyofkainbrazil/
https://www.instagram.com/legacyofkainbrazil/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0wep2AOJt5YzM41toDCiqg

 

Promo Pic1

 

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto 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.

Opeth – In Cauda Venenum

Capture

Opeth – In Cauda Venenum
Moderbolaget / Nuclear Blast
Release Date: 27/09/2019
Running Time: 67:44
Review by Cliff Scowen
10/10

First of all, I’m not going get drawn into the which Opeth is better the old or new, guttural growls or clean vocals, as Opeth fans are intelligent enough to figure it out themselves.

Secondly, having been a massive fan since the “Orchid” album people may think I am a bit biased in my review. Well I’m not. I don’t have to be when an album is this good. In nearly 30 years, I’ve seen Opeth evolve from a full-on death metal band to the prog metal legends they are today.

So, to album number four of clean vocals. The title means ‘Poison In The Tail’, frontman Mikael Akerfeldt recorded two versions one in English and another in Swedish and we get 10 tracks covering 70 minutes of majestic music.

Opener ‘Garden of Earthly Delight’ is a delightful, atmospheric piece with its choral chanting and voice overs, setting the tone of what’s about to follow. With the opening track seamlessly slotting into ‘Dignity’ with some seriously cool percussion and heavy riffs, it’s good finding Akerfeldt in great voice early into the album.

The first single from the album ‘Heart In Hand’ sees us in refreshingly classic Opeth territory, Axenrot’s drum fills alongside Akesson’s riff made it nigh on impossible for me not to nod my head.

’Next of Kin’ has a much darker feel, haunting choirs set around a crystal clear acoustic guitar and I guess you could call ‘Lovelorn Crime’ the albums ballad, hearing those piano chords entwining with Axenrot’s drums and Martin’s bass and a deeply felt solo is a joyous thing to hear, a true masterpiece.

The surreal sound of ‘Charlatan’ seamless musical interludes is backed by operatic monks and ‘Universal Truth’, a huge melody with faultless piano work is so full of angst and emotion. We see ‘The Garrotter’ next with its alluring intro and it’s almost jazzy feel certainly keeps Svalberg busy on keyboards.

We, then, hit more familiar ground with ‘Continuum’, Akerfeldt pushing his band and musical boundaries as only Opeth can. Akessons use of the wah-wah pedal is outstanding and so to closer ‘All Things Will Pass’ which has an almost anthemic feel to it, has enough musical hooks to catch the ear of the listener. I have heard that Akerfeldt’s voice sounds rawer on the Swedish version but I’m putting that down to him singing in his native tongue, just as “Ghost Reveries” was back in 2005.

“In Cauda Venenum” is another watershed moment in their distinguished career, an album combining all the mesmerising qualities of its predecessors “Heritage”, “Pale Communion” and “Sorceress “and taking it to another level.

A very easy……10/10

Standout Tracks: ‘Continuum’, ‘Universal Truth’, ‘Lovelorn Crime’

In Cauda Venenum Track listing (English/Swedish):
1. Garden Of Earthly Delights / Livet’s Trädgård
2. Dignity / Svekets Prins
3. Heart In Hand / Hjärtat Vet Vad Handen Gör
4. Next Of Kin / De Närmast Sörjande
5. Lovelorn Crime / Minnets Yta
6. Charlatan
7. Universal Truth / Ingen Sanning Är Allas
8. The Garroter / Banemannen
9. Continuum / Kontinuerlig Drift
10.All Things Will Pass / Allting Tar Slut

Band members
Mikael Akerfeldt – Guitar/vocals,
Fredrick Akesson – Guitars,
Carlos Martin – Bass,
Martin Axenrot – Drums,
Joakim Svalberg – Keyboards.

Links:
http://www.opeth.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Opeth/
https://www.youtube.com/user/OpethOfficial
https://myspace.com/opeth

 

Review reproduced here with kind permission of Cliff Scowen and MDR

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