Chaosaint – In The Name Of

Chaosaint – In The Name Of
Self-Released
Release Date 19/06/2020
Running Time: 22:19
Review by Tsarina Wilson
8/10

On a quiet Monday morning I decided to review Chaosaint’s new EP “In The Name Of”. It wasn’t quiet for long; I can say that much! These guys, who hail from Newcastle, Australia, seemingly don’t understand the meaning of it! This four-piece initially formed while still at school, in 2001. They were originally known as Exhale, and toured around their home region and Sydney, including a support spot for power metal band “Dungeon” at an all-ages show in Penrith, in December 2001. Sadly, with band members relocating at the end of 2002, it seemed like the end of the band. Fast forward to late 2015, and guitarist Jon Cribb approached other members of the band to propose they started writing new material. And thus, the newly formed “Chaosaint” started their return to making music.

Like a lot of guys their age, they grew up listening to epic bands like Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Metallica, and Ozzy, and you can see where they get their energy from, that is so prominent in their music. Like I said, this is not quiet! Straight away, you’ll see what I mean, with opener, ‘Knives Are Drawn’. It was ‘bosh’ – straight in! They are loud and raw (in a good way), and have a passion in their music which speak volumes. The energy in the guitar riffs is like being on a metal theme park ride, Shay’s voice is so powerful and rich, and Steve’s deep, gruff backing vocals make for a great combination.

Track 3, ‘Darkness Following’, has a brilliant guitar opening and sweeeeeeeeet drumming! Of this track the band say, “It’s a song about no matter how hard you try, your hardest and darkest emotions are always with you, you can run away, but your problems stay with you until you confront them or alternately carry them with you for the rest of your life”. So true!

‘In The Name Of’ almost has an ‘Enter Sandman’ hint at the start, which is always good! Again, Shay’s voice is strong and powerful and blends brilliantly with Steve’s backing vocals. If you were to listen to these vocals separately you would never think they would blend together! Its like having the devil on one side of you and an angel on the other, and an almighty battle in the middle! There are no losers but we, as listeners, definitely win! Such an amazing track.

This may be just an EP, but the guys certainly give you their all in the final track. With hard hitting vocal, head splitting drumming and passionate guitar riffs, what they lose on number of tracks, they make up for in passion, energy, power and the intensity of their music. It will blow your speakers!

Passion is the buzz word here. It comes through in waves and by the bucket load and this is just their first EP! Due to not being able to get out and about because of COVID-19 they’re already working on material for a full-length album to be released in 2021, and also intend to release more material from some initial lost recording sessions later this year. I can’t wait!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Knives Are Drawn
02. Both Eyes Open
03. Darkness Following
04. In the Name Of
05. Blackened Days

LINE-UP:
Shay Burgess – Vocals/Guitars
Jon Cribb – Rhythm Guitar
Chris Neilson – Drums
Steve Baker – Bass/Backing Vocals

LINKS:
www.chaosaint.net/
www.chaosaint.bandcamp.com/www.facebook.com/chaosaintmusic
www.instagram.com/chaosaint
www.youtube.com/channel/UCsV9WqwnGh3shqy8_xTNiHA/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/3vS0MhvVl0pwwdXQT7Namn

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.

Ancient Curse – The New Prophecy

Ancient Curse – The New Prophecy
Pure Steel Records
Release Date: 29/05/2020
Running Time: 57:48
Review by Tsarina Wilson
8/10

Ancient Curse formed in 1985. Since then, they’ve always had the same line up of singer/guitarist Pepe Pierez (ex-Sons of Seasons), guitarist Gunnar Eixleben (ex-Riot Instinct). Bassist Thorsten Penz (G.L.A.S.S.) and drummer Matthias Schroder, and they’re still making great music today. They’re kind of Power Metal, kind of Proggy, and even though they formed way back when, they’re definitely not your typical 80’s band in any shape or form. Their ‘storm and stress’ phase emerged in the mid-1990’s, with one mini and two full-length albums. And now the guys from Bremen are making a return with 9 new heart thumping tracks in the shape of their new release, “The New Prophecy”, which I’m sure you will agree are unique and just amazingly good.

The album starts off with an interesting guitar section, before you get hit with full on powerful, rapid drumming, and just brilliant guitar riffs. I would describe their metal as speed metal meets Nordic, it has so much power behind it and the guitar execution is immense.

The seamless shift between tracks means the enjoyment of the album is continuous throughout with no let up. And their storytelling is superb. Track three ‘The Shadow’ could easily be used in a horror film – think nightmare scene and you’re there. I will add that this album is definitely not one if you’re suffering a hangover (no I wasn’t, before anyone asks!). The constant thundering drumming makes your head bang all the way through.

One thing that stands out, aside from the brilliant drums and guitar work, is Pepe’s incredible voice, which is not only crisp and powerful, but has variations which are enough to set the spine tingling. The backing vocals are also so complimentary to Pepe; they blend seamlessly together, and it just proves that, even after two decades, these guys have what it takes.

Track six, ‘One Moment Of Fortune’, starts off all nice and gentle, then there’s that head splitting drumming again, epic guitar riffs and, just when you think your head might explode, you suddenly go into slow, deep vocals. This is when you can perfectly hear Pepe’s vocal skills, it’s almost haunting. It’s like he’s the embodiment of the monster under your bed! This track is over 7 mins of pure enjoyment, it takes your through every emotion possible, starting gently, building up, going manic, and slipping back to dark and creepy! And the harmonising is brilliant!

Another track which will leave you in no doubt of Pepe’s skills is ‘Mind Chaos’. At 6 minutes plus, the guys certainly give you value for money! And here, Pepe’s voice shifts to almost whisper singing (if Phantom of the Opera ever gets a sequel, they need this track, it will give you goose bumps).

One thing that is evident across the whole album is the effortless way the guys blend together. The guitar riffs have you either playing air guitar or drift into your thoughts, usually just before you’re brutally awoken again by the drumming that could probably wake the devil!

Overall, I love the album and hope they guys don’t make us wait as long for their next album. They break the mould of the way metal should sound and are unique. So many bands just play what everyone else does, but here we have something different, something fresh, but powerful. It’s been a pleasure to review.

TRACKLISTING:
01. We Follow The Signs02. Fire And Ice03. The Shadow
04. Man Of The Storm
05. Hypnotize
06. One Moment Of Fortune
07. Forever Young
08. Mind Chaos
09. Prophecy

LINE-UP:
Pepe Pierez – Vocals/Guitars
Gunnar Eixleben – Guitars
Thorsten Penz – Bass
Matthias Schroder – Drums

Special Guests
Henning Basse – (Metalium/Sons of Seasons)Oliver Palotai – (Kamelot)

LINKS:
www.ancientcurse.de/
www.facebook.com/Ancient-Curse-417582438351759
www.twitter.com/ancientcursehb
www.instagram.com/ancientcursehb/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCGYAYn3kl25GlzJw0iQLXzg
www.open.spotify.com/artist/6FsoxZ7ETwkzjAeRzs0On0

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.

Mike West – The Next Life

Mike West – The Next Life
Self-Released
Release Date: 07/08/2020
Running Time: 33:27
Review by Beth Jones
7/10

We first came across Mike West at our favourite haunt, Mcleans Pentre, and he instantly became a hit with me. His southern style acoustic jams conjure images of chilling round a campfire as the sun sets. And now we can all enjoy the sultry tones of his gravelly pipes from the comfort of our own homes, with “The Next Life” – his debut full length album! You can’t beat a bit of country folk/blues, can you? The tormented, Jack Daniels fuelled ramblings of the jaded, set to music, has long been a favourite of many a music fan, and I’m no exception! When listening to Mike, you’d be forgiven for thinking that he was a pure deep south cowboy, come across the pond to serenade us with ramblings penned on his back porch. But he’s not, he’s actually from Rock Ferry up on the Wirral!

“The Next Life” is packed full of all the bluesy goodness that I would expect from Mike, and has a few tracks that were my favourites live, too! It starts with the title track, which is a lilting, folk inspired tune. The addition of slide and violin here really enhances the sound, and the track travels through tempo changes which keep it interesting. And, of course, on top of it all sits Mike’s unmistakable vocals. They’re reminiscent of Tom Waits, and this pleases me greatly!

The album continues in a similar lamenting style, with Mike’s lyrical poetry featuring strongly throughout. This is one of his strongest points – his word smithery creates a wonderful storytelling element, which is both heartfelt and thought provoking. This is displayed perfectly in track 3, ‘What If?’.

With most tracks recorded in a minor key, the melancholy air of this album is tangible, but not in a bad way. It takes me back to my days playing in a folk band, where the best songs were always in a minor key! That said, I think my favourite track on the album is ‘For Them’, which is actually in a major key! However, it doesn’t lose any of it’s storytelling ability, and is full of reflection upon life, which is Mike’s forte.

The production of this album is also very well done. Recorded at Kingwood Studios in Liverpool, it has the effect of a live performance, which somehow adds to the impact of the music. And more importantly, while the addition of other instruments does fill out the sound, nothing overpowers Mike’s guitar and vocals, which are the stars of the show.

Because of Mike’s unique vocal style, “The Next Life” might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it’s a very well created debut full-length, of which he should be extremely proud. There’s nowhere to hide when playing acoustically and creating a set of songs that are musically sound, deep and thoughtful, but also able to captivate an audience, is a difficult thing to master. With this album, Mike West has done them all for me, and I look forward to seeing where he takes things to next, as I think he has really found himself, and now has a lot more to give.

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Next Life
02. Work On
03. What If?
04. Company I Keep
05. Away I Go
06. Father to Son
07. Rock Ferry
08. For Them
09. No Grave

LINE-UP:
Mike West – Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica and Bass
Paul Miceli-Fagrell – Harmonica, Recording and Mixing
Amy Chalmers – Violin
Travis Egnor – Pedal Steel, Slide Guitar

LINKS:
www.mike333west.com/
www.mikewest333.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/mikewest333/
www.instagram.com/mike333west/
www.twitter.com/Mike333West
www.open.spotify.com/artist/4Pd2PAm9bznnxQLxQdQQ5W
www.youtube.com/channel/UCgNLsH3duyQg_VH_qlK9kpQ

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.

Tokyo Blade – Dark Revolution

Tokyo Blade – Dark Revolution
Dissonance Productions
Release Date: 15/5/2020
Running Time: 55:45
Review by Mark Pritchard
9/10

Recently, while trying to help get a sofa into my grandma’s house, I suffered an unfortunate foot injury (it turns out feet don’t like getting wedged between a sofa and a gate! Who knew?!). It was pretty darn painful! the next day, as I rested my leg, I decided that it was the perfect chance to listen to one of the new albums I’d asked for to review from Ever Metal! My choice that day, and since, has been “Dark Revolution” by long standing British heavy metal band Tokyo Blade.

Tokyo Blade are based in Salisbury, Wiltshire in the UK and are a New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band. They’re old hats in the music business now, having been active since 1983, but are definitely still going strong! Since forming in the 80’s they have put in a lot of hard work, releasing 7 singles, 6 EPs and 9 full-length albums with “Dark Revolution” being their 10th!

Listening to this album, and looking at when they started, I can’t help but hear some comparisons with the likes of Maiden, Metallica, and Megadeth, but at the same time, these guys have a sound completely their own. Steve Pierce’s drumming drives from fast to faster, and the guitar work by both Andy Boulton and John Wiggins is great. This wonderful guitar work is especially evident when they solo. It’s fast but then it hits the solos and really comes at you more. They blend all this with bass work by Andy Wrighton, which helps keep the main pace of songs going, and the very clean vocals of Alan Marsh, to create one hell of a band!

“Dark Revolution” is full of great songs, but I if I had to choose a standout it would be ‘Perfect Enemy’. From start to finish it keeps the same tempo, but near the start of the song it has a great solo which drew me in. As the song progresses, we’re treated to another beautiful solo. And as if that wasn’t enough, the vocals are amazing!

I have listened intently to this album and have thoroughly enjoyed it! I would easily recommend this album to all who are fans of the likes of Metallica, Maiden etc, and especially albums released in the 1980’s, as these guys are just as good as the aforementioned bands, well in my eyes anyway! I know that I will be looking at getting this album myself in CD form when I can.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Story Of A Nobody
02. Burning Rain
03. Dark Revolution
04. The Fastest Gun In Town
05. Truth Is A Hunter
06. Crack In The Glass
07. Perfect Enemy
08. See You Down In Hell
09. The Lights Of Soho
10. Not Lay Down And Die
11. Voices Of The Damned

LINE-UP:
Steve Pierce – Drums
Andy Boulton – Guitars
Alan Marsh – Vocals
John Wiggins – Guitars
Andy Wrighton – Bass

LINKS:
www.tokyoblade.com/
www.facebook.com/tokyobladeUK/
www.twitter.com/TokyoBladeUK
www.open.spotify.com/artist/6F9tjDKhGtXlm9M4s30KD5
www.youtube.com/channel/UCqRqQCo6nokjRQ8M_wYy7DA/videos

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.

Behemoth – A Forest EP

Behemoth – A Forest EP
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 29/05/2020
Running Time: 19:15
Review by Tammy Lomax
10/10

Hello again you lovely lot, I hope you are all doing well during the mayhem, it’s all a bit surreal! On the other hand, the weather has been stunning! I cannot explain in actual words how honoured I am right now, All the squeaks! Please, let me tell you why. I have the opportunity to share my opinion on Behemoth’s EP “A Forest” which was released by Metal Blade Records, on the 29th May 2020.

Arggghhhhh! The excitement is literally bursting out of me. I have been a huge, HUGE fan of Behemoth since I began my little journey in the metal world. I was introduced to them through a close friend, who honestly, in my opinion was the master of all things Black Metal. He knew his music and then some! His enthusiasm just hooked me, sitting in the passenger seat, he popped it on through the car stereo, and boom! The more I listened the more I fell in love with them.

Coming from Poland in 1991, Behemoth are considered to have birthed the Polish Metal underground scene. A colossal amount of metal band’s inspirations actually come from Behemoth, hardly surprising as they are the bee’s knees.

As soon as my fingers touched play, I was straight into the Behemoth vibe. There’s a great aura poking you promptly. ‘A Forest’ opens up this 4 tracked EP, elegantly and fearlessly. The drums made me solidify, then when the vocals hit my ears, I became a goopy mess. Grasping my morning coffee, I instantly thought to myself, what a perfect way to start my day! The faster rhythm slides in like butter and It is so risqué! A very basic track if you don’t mind me saying, but it’s just wonderfully emotional.

The second track is a repeat of ‘A Forest’, but performed live in Warsaw, Poland in 2018 at the Merry Christless show. I appreciate the creativity of putting the mastered version of ‘A Forest’ alongside a live version of the track; it’s something I feel Behemoth can get away with. Now, in this day and age, from a band with such high eminence, we surely expect perfection, both live and in the studio? Well you won’t be left disappointed. Here, Behemoth sound sharp, and more importantly, on point. For this live performance they called ‘Niklas Kvarforth’ from Shining to join the stage, and the atmosphere is so bewildering! These emotions of mine are flying around and I ought to get a grip! It felt as though I was amongst the crowd, growing more and more passionate! This was actually the last day of the Behemoth tour and you can definitely feel their energy and performance on stage.

I found myself questioning ‘Is it normal to be this excited about the next track?’ as I sat, literally looking like a big numpty, during my commute on the train! I was masked up though, so hopefully no-one noticed my odd expression! Wearing a mask indubitably has its perks!

‘Shadows Ov Ea Cast Upon Golgother’ is the 3rd track on the E.P, and I decided to ramp it up on my earphones. It’s fast, and the vocals are hard and rustic, they really know how to build you up. They get a little faster with each section, and you’re on the edge, waiting. If you know Behemoth, then you will understand me when I say, “it’s coming”! And my oh my indeed it was. As they work the bass into the drums, the insane speeds on the guitars come out of nowhere, the smile on my face was HUGE! I felt so stimulated. I love the messy instrumental section before it ends, it’s effulgent. 👌

‘Evoe’ ends the E.P, and with it, Behemoth are instantly throwing their divine magic at you. I sense it’s even possible they are teasing us slightly with a hint of a new sound. It’s more industrial in certain parts throughout the track, but it’s not totally clear. They are just hitting you with their carnage, their beautifully executed carnage, #myfacemelted!

So, all in, I would say I don’t care if I just burst into a million pieces after such a short E.P. These Polish monsters of metal just keep giving us a little bit more. I really ought to point out the artwork too. It is very cultivated, and I confidently feel it captures Behemoth’s new chapter, maybe a slight glimpse and small offering before they emotionally smash us to smithereens with album 12? Who knows, all I know is I can’t bloody wait.

I have to thank Mr Editor for letting me dig my teeth into this one, it means the absolute world.

TRACKLISTING:
01. A Forest (feat. Niklas Kvarforth).
02. A Forest (live from Merry Christless, Warsaw, Poland, December 2018).
03. Shadows ov Ea Cast Upon Golgother.
04. Evoe.

LINE – UP:
NERGAL – Rhythm, Lead and Acoustic Guitars, Throat, New Aeon Propaganda and War Strategy
INFERNO – Drums ov Annihilation and Artillery
ORION – Low End Frequencies and Fornication
SETH – Rhythm and Lead Guitars

LINKS:
www.behemoth.pl/
www.facebook.com/behemoth
www.twitter.com/behemothband
www.instagram.com/behemothofficial
www.behemoth.lnk.to/youtube

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.

Conflict – Decision Code

Conflict – Decision Code
Self-Released
Release Date: 01/04/2020
Running Time: 63:54
Review by Beth Jones
9/10

I’m on holiday this week! I had planned a week full of doing those niggly little jobs in the house that have been put off for months, however today’s activity, putting up shelf units in the garage, has been cut short by the nemesis of the missing piece! Damn you flatpack! But, it has given me a chance to get stuck into some reviewing! First up on my list, Russia Industrial Death metallers, Conflict, and their 4th studio album, “Decision Code”. This was released back in April, but I’ve only just got round to it! Sorry, my bad!

I’m known to be rather partial to a bit of industrial metal, so my ears pricked up when Rick offered me this one, and it also has two of my favourite industrial artists, Jayce Lewis and Burton C. Bell, guesting! With this latest album, Conflict have delved into the exploration of a concept. Set in a dystopian future, Decision Code explores the conflict between man and machine – a concept that is becoming less unimaginable by the day.

The album starts with ‘2048’, a track that melds futuristic electro synth with rhythmical and mechanical guitars and beats, and Anna ‘Hel’ Milyanenko’s tortured growls. It certainly sets the tone for the album, purveying an image of the torment of the soul in a world run by machines, where the sense of ‘self’ is being lost in automation. The album continues in this vein, with most tracks being in a minor key, adding to the weight of the whole sound. It’s industrial, but it juxtaposes the mechanical monotony with progressive and almost djent style rhythmical sections. It’s certainly apocalyptic. It brings to mind the dirty, oil drenched landscapes of futuristic disaster movies, where only the strongest can survive and must fight to save what is left of the planet. It would make a great soundtrack to a movie or video game of this ilk.

An interesting bit of diversity is added in track 5, ‘Megapolis’, with the use of a melancholy saxophone line, which almost serves as an echo of the past, where free will and free thinking were still a thing. Many of the tracks also use synth strings which add to this melancholic yearning of the whole album.

This isn’t really an album to have a favourite track on, as it is more of a whole concept, and so should be taken as a whole piece. But for me, there are two that stand out. Firstly, track 11, ‘Deadlock’. This is the track that Jayce Lewis guests on. Aside from the fact that his vocals always get me in the feels, the chord progressions within this track are very pleasing, and it brings the heat down a little in the middle section to explore more piano and string sounds. This leads into a section of bass and drums in an irregular time signature, which wet my progressive whistle!

The final track, ‘New Industrial Order’, is also an absolute banger! Fully instrumental, apart from a small section of spoken word towards the end, its creepy introduction brings to mind a battlefield, at the point of ‘calm before the storm’. The warring factions standing motionless to either side, their eyes narrowing, assessing their foe, preparing to engage. Only here I get the feeling the foe are machines, and regardless of who wins the battle, there will be no real victory. As the track builds, it progresses into chugging chords and powerful rhythms. This would be the perfect soundtrack to a battle sequence played out in slow motion. It’s mournful and melancholy, and a brilliant way to finish the album. It almost feels like there should be a ‘To be continued…’ caveat at the end.

My one criticism with Decision Code is, for me, the synth sounds are at times, too far forward in the mix, and the clean vocals a little too far back. However, this doesn’t detract from the overall effect of the album.

Musically, this is an album of tracks that are riff laden and full of steel-like chunkiness, with a combination of tortured growls and clean vocals, neither of which outstay their welcome. It’s also really bass driven, which gives it a grind that’s very pleasing, in a masochistic kind of way! It sticks with the concept and portrays it extremely well. It’s always pleasing when an album fulfils a brief, and this is certainly one of those occasions. If you like the industrial nature of bands such as Meshuggah, Gojira, or Fear Factory, you will really enjoy this album.

TRACKLISTING:
01. 2048
02. Autonomous
03. Art of Resistance
04. D-Evolution (feat. Dave Lowmiller)
05. Megapolis
06. Decision Code (feat. Alex Blake)
07. To Serve and Protect
08. Room 101
09. Speechless (feat. Karsten “Jagger” Jäger)
10. The Architect (feat. Burton C. Bell)
11. Deadlock (feat. Jayce Lewis)
12. New Industrial Order

LINE-UP:
Anna ‘Hel’ Milyanenko – Vocals
Aleksey Kurpyakov – Bass
Rodion Skityayev – Guitar
Mikhail Conflictov – Drums

LINKS:
www.conflict-metal.com/
www.vk.com/conflictmetal
www.facebook.com/Conflictmetal
www.instagram.com/conflictmetalband/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCmnwlgm9GGZHt_pWSgjaFmw
www.conflict-metal.bandcamp.com/

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.

Unto the Wolves- Year Three

Unto the Wolves- Year Three
Self-Released
Release Date 24/08/2020
Running Time: 64.03
Review by Tsarina Wilson
9.5/10

Ok for anyone who hasn’t heard of Unto the Wolves (where have you been?), I’ll give you a brief run down. Unto the Wolves is a one-man metal project. John “Gage” Sifuentes doesn’t just write the tracks, he plays all the instruments, and records it all as well! When someone says, “oh they’re the complete package”, believe me this guy is that. His influences come from bands such as Trivium, In Flames, Megadeth, Demon Hunter and many more. Gage’s vision with the Unto the Wolves project is to inspire tolerance of race, religious beliefs and cultures. He truly believes that people need to be accepted no matter their backgrounds.

I was lucky enough to review “Year Two”, Unto the Wolves’ last album, and so hope I get to do “Year Four”! After “Year Two” I thought, ‘wow this guy seriously can’t get any better’, then along comes “Year Three” to prove me wrong. You truly know that Gage puts his heart and soul into his music, you can feel the passion coming through your speakers. He has no plans to tour as far as I know, but I would love to be able to see him perform his music, even if it was on videos on YouTube, maybe something he may consider for the future? We can but hope.

The album title refers to his third year of content on his Patreon page, on which his work is released monthly to his followers. Then, at the end of the year, it’s all put together to make one album to be released. As a bonus on Patreon, you also get other things like daily thoughts etc. Gage is very much for his followers and fans and this is such a refreshing change. When you have loyal fans, being in touch with them and getting feedback is so important, and no one is more in touch with their followers than this brilliant man.

Because of the way he does things, the album took just over a year to make, and no doubt as soon as this is released, Gage will be starting on “Year Four”. There is nothing typical about the album. Each track is like a mini story within itself. There is so much emotion and energy on every track, but they all vary in composition. Some are non-stop, others are build-up, boom, slow down and repeat. One thing they are not is boring, or the same as a lot of other music out there. We are talking a complete metal breath of fresh air. On track three, ‘The Pacifist’, we have the addition of Kiara Laetitia, which was a pleasant surprise as it added just a little twist when you weren’t expecting it. Some tracks are pretty long – up and over 8 mins – but don’t be put off by that, as this is talent through and through.

His music is gritty, has hard hitting drumming with heavy metal vocals, but you will often hear a completely different musical instrument added in his songs. This is the inspiration for where the song comes from, be that culture, religious text, or similar that he has chosen to inspire him. Gage doesn’t want you to listen to a song from his point of view or his thinking. He wants you to have your own thoughts on it, and your own interpretation of what you think or feel, as everyone is different, and a song can mean something different to each person. Every one of Unto the Wolves albums are unique, there is no stereotypical song, each one makes you think about what you get out of the track. I think my favourite has to be track 7, ‘The Scars Alignment’. This track was so deep for me and made me think about my life and occurrences.

Once you start to listen to the album “Year Three”, it’s very difficult to stop. It’s addictive (in a good way), you think, ‘oh just one more track’, then ‘no, ok one more’! You find yourself submerged in a rollercoaster ride of emotions and thoughts. You would never be able to air drum to this (yes, I tried), I got to the end of track 12 and felt like I’d been on a fast spin cycle! So much energy, time and emotion, all in one album! Totally awesome!

TRACKLISTING:
01. A Resonance (Speaking Stones)
02. Steadfast (Church of all Worlds)
03. The Pacifist (Feat. Kiara Laetitia) (Italy)
04. Eye Of The Beholder (Iceland)
05. Fracture (Korea)
06. Validity Incarnate (Sweden)
07. The Scars Alignment (Cuba)
08. Calming Of The Neurosis (Medieval Europe)
09. The Catalyst Horizon (Janism)
10. Adaptive Nature (Russia)
11. A Culture Of Machines (Neo-Luddism)
12. Villain And Fiend (Scottish Folklore)

LINKS:
www.patreon.com/Untothewolves
www.facebook.com/untothewolves
www.twitter.com/Gage_Sifuentes
www.instagram.com/untothewolves

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.

Skinflick – The Year Of The Fuck EP

Skinflick – The Year Of The Fuck EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 19/07/2020
Running Time: 12:32
Review by Beth Jones
8/10

It’s review day here at EMHQ! Or it is for me anyway – Rick’s posting news! Next up for my listening pleasure, a jaunty little three-track EP from industrial techno project, Skinflick! I, and many others, know this crazy one-man artist for his work in another one of our favourite bands (It’s Justin Williams, vocalist with Lullaby For a Unicorn), but Skinflick is his little side project, delving into the sleezy world of dirty techno. As this is only a small release, I’m going to give you my take on each track.

The EP title track is up first. It reminds me of the sort of music that is always playing in ‘trendy cybergoth/steam punk’ clubs in futuristic edgy films – you know the ones; always in a basement, through an unmarked door, lit purely with UV light, which conveniently hides all the dark corners! It’s obviously very synth driven, but it has a real punch to it. Vocally, it’s early Marylin Manson-esque, which also doesn’t displease me! Kind of a whispery scream, which gets the message across with enough mystique and sleaze!

Track two, ‘Kustom Kar Kollision’, has quite a Gary Numan feel about it musically – I’m guessing from the title, this may be deliberate! Again, its full of fuzzy bass and synth wizardry, and a continuation of the tortured vocal style. It goes off into a breakdown halfway through which is massively 80’s synth inspired, but I love it!

The final track, ‘Bootlickers’, is slightly faster, and probably my favourite of the three. With a nice pulsing beat, and bass driven melody, we get to hear the full tormented delights of the vocals, and it peaks and troughs just in the right places. This is definitely the tune playing in the back rooms of the aforementioned clubs, where you’ll likely find a dominatrix and some dude in a gimp mask and leather straps!

This little EP is pleasingly very well produced, too. The balance of sounds is spot on, and the instrumentation is great, considering it’s a solo project. My main criticism is that I want more of it! Three tracks isn’t enough!

If you like anything remotely techno/cybergoth/industrial/Gary Numan, then you’ll like this!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Year Of The Fuck
02. Kustom Kar Kollision
03. Bootlickers

LINKS:
www.skinflick.org.uk/
www.facebook.com/skinflickx
www.skinflickx.bandcamp.com/
www.soundcloud.com/skinflick
www.reverbnation.com/skinflickx
www.youtube.com/skinflickinc

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.

Scars – Predatory

Scars – Predatory
Brutal Records
Release Date: 07/08/2020
Running Time: 57:35
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

I know that the Heavy Metal industry is not always fair with bands, no matter which part of the world they’re from. If you live in a country like Brazil, where the industry is a nest full of snakes and this kind of music is not even close to being popular, it can be even worse. Just playing good music is not enough. Bands must give their lives working on it, but like everything in the world, this nasty scenario brings a positive side. This hostile environment can be a beacon to guide us to find bands who have survived their passion throughout the years. For those who know the history of Scars, you will understand that this band is a pure example of persistence and loyalty to their fans and to the local scene.

The band has been on road since the 90’s with two long hiatuses. The first one ended in 2004 when the band had huge success with the incredible “The Nether Hell”. The second one finished in 2018. Now, Scars have finally delivered the gift that their fans have been waiting for, for so long! A gift called “Predatory”. Probably the most mature and complete album from them, it carries a mix of everything the band have done so far, but with new and improved elements. The band sound thirsty for blood, as always, but with enough experience to know what to do or not do in their music. The heaviness, and everything from good Thrash Metal, is very well balanced, and they have incredible technique.

The title song ‘Predatory’ opens the album, and it’s immediately possible to feel the blast of the purest Thrash Metal that we (fans) all know from Scars. As well as all the incredible riffs and a little bit more groove this time, I felt that the band have also taken some further steps. I am talking about Thiago Oliveira’s solos. He has brought virtuosity to the band without losing the furious side of the solos. He and his partner in guitar, Alex Zeraib, provide a masterclass when riffs are the subject, considering it’s the band’s trademark, as you can hear in ‘These Bloody Days’. João Gobo shows incredible drum variations that go from classic Thrash beats to fast double kicks, but it doesn’t let the music become overpowered by the heaviness. ‘Beyond The Valley Of Despair’ is a slower song, but it is perfect to explain the versatility of João.

Régis F. is even better in his vocal interpretations with the concept of human beings destroying themselves and the entire world around them. Even in ‘Ancient Power’, that has some massive cadenced and strong riffs, he shows all of the aggressiveness of his voice, screaming full of hate. Marcelo Mitché has his highlights too, when his independent bass lines appear and increase the groove, such as in the great song ‘The 72 Faces Of God’. This is a song that flees a little from the strong punch but is still an immensely powerful track.

Another new element in Scars sonority, at least for me, is what you can hear in the instrumental song ‘The Unsung Requiem’. It reminded me of the sort of things Steve Vai or Yngwie Malmsteen might play, but with a dark and hellish atmosphere. Again, it is obvious that Scars have worked hard to increase their technical side. I don’t remember anything similar to this song in any previous Scars albums. The amazing harmonies in the beginning of ‘Ghostly Shadows’ is another example that demonstrates what I’m saying. It is like a guitar shred influence, without sounding exacerbated or repetitive.

As a fan, I think back to 2005, when I read many interviews and good words about Scars, for the first time. After listening to this record, I still have the same impression about the band that I had 15 years ago. That we are looking at one of the most honest and persistent bands from Brazil. They have survived this ‘predatory’ industry, despite some adversities throughout their career. Their desire to be strong and relevant is connected to their respect for the fans. It is enviable, and probably a good source of energy to keep strong in front of any issues. This passion and truth will inspire people who take this music seriously. “Predatory” is another Scars’ masterpiece. A lesson in Thrash Metal, and it shows that Scars are definitely back!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Predatory
02. These Bloody Days
03. Ancient Power
04. Sad Darkness of the Soul
05. The Unsung Requiem (Instrumental)
06. Ghostly Shadows
07. The 72 Faces of God
08. Beyond the Valley of Despair
09. Violent Show
10. Armageddon (Bonus Track)
11. Silent Force (Bonus Track)

LINE-UP:
Régis F. (vocals)
Alex Zeraib (guitars)
Thiago Oliveira (Lead guitars)
Marcelo Mitché (bass)
Joāo Gobo (drums)

LINKS:
www.brutalrecords.com/
www.instagram.com/scars.thrash/
www.facebook.com/scars.thrash/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCVxq9GLRKzsP5CnZ8GcEisw
www.open.spotify.com/artist/4FCGqzVWLxkupz86e6bhgJ

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.

Volcanova – Radical Waves

Volcanova – Radical Waves
The Sign Records
Release Date: 21/08/2020
Running Time: 44:55
Review by Steven Hooke
8/10

Ahh, stoner rock. The music of choice for horticulturists worldwide, the genre exploded out of the Palm Springs region of California back in the 90’s, adding haze and psychedelia on top of grooving blues, hard rock and even punk. It was the laid-back, chilled alternative to its neighbour to the North in Seattle’s grunge scene and championed by the likes of Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Sleep and East Coast brothers Monster Magnet. The genre has been explored and improved upon in the 20+ years since its initial breakthrough and now the latest band to step up to the mantle is three-piece Volcanova, hailing from the sunnier climes of *checks notes* Reykjavík in Iceland. Hmm.

Indeed the ashened fjords of Iceland have conjured up a trio who deliver a galvanising concoction of fuzzy, blues-heavy riffs, a jam rock atmosphere from the school of Clutch, and vocal melodies that borrow just has much from the likes of Corrosion of Conformity and Graveyard as they do with Queen and Chris Cornell. The album opens with the suitably titled ‘Welcome’, an instrumental track that shows off the slowed down, doomier side of Volcanova, before moving on to the more up-tempo, head-banging rhythm of ‘Where’s The Time?’. It is this version of the band’s sound that best describes the album, guitars plucked from latter-day Mastodon rousing away riffs that could get any room to come alive, backed by more cowbell than the entirety of Dusty Rhodes’ WWF/E career.

Further into the album, and it feels like this is where the true extent of Queens of the Stone Age-isms come into play, combining stoner fuzziness and guitar work with catchy alt rock songwriting, with ‘I’m Off’ and ‘Sushi Sam’ feeling like B-sides to 2002’s “Songs For The Deaf”. For a peak into where it could fit in with modern day contemporaries, tracks like ‘Mountain’ and the closer ‘Lights’ operate in a mid-tempo riff-storm that optimises every second of a song with brilliant transitional riffs or drum rolls, much in the same way as UK occultists Puppy.

For those truly about the groove, the tempo slows right down for ‘Stoneman’ and ‘M.O.O.D.’ but both hit just that little bit different. ‘Stoneman’ is the psychedelic doom number that makes your head bop, the drinks feel that much cooler, and the day just ease by, whereas ‘M.O.O.D.’ is more about psyching you up to bare-knuckle fist fight a tree and win.

Undoubtedly a highlight of “Radical Waves” is the three-part harmonies the lads employ. As Samúel boulders on a vibe not too dissimilar from Mike Dean-fronted CoC, Þorsteinn Árnason and Dagur Atlason back him in styles that befits each song perfectly, whether it’s a classic gang vocal backing for the existential dread of ‘Where’s The Time?’ or the conversely party vibes of ‘I’m Off’, or the previously-mentioned Queen-inspired melodies on ‘Super Duper Van’, the gravitas the vocals create at times is incredible.

The album is rounded off with a top-of-the-line production job. So easy is it to get these stoner rock albums, with all the best riffs and vocal hooks you can think of, and have them ruined by overindulging in the *aesthetic*, reducing an album to a hazy, my-first-Encore-amp blur. This is not the case for Volcanova though, as there is a perfect working harmony between the musicians and the producer that allows the riffs to slap, the bass to roll, and the cowbell to cowbell, whilst still retaining the feel of the desert heat, the background noise of a rattlesnake, and the local herbological harvest. Or whatever the Icelandic equivalent to all those things are.

“Radical Waves” then goes down as a brilliant start for the young band. Definitely in the argument for best debut rock album of 2020, may the years treat Volcanova well and allow them to knock out belters like this for years to come.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Welcome
02. Where’s the Time?
03. Super Duper Van
04. I’m Off
05. Stoneman
06. Sushi Sam
07. Mountain
08. M.O.O.D.
09. Got Game
10. Lights

LINE-UP:
Samúel Ásgeirsson – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Þorsteinn Árnason – Bass, Vocals
Dagur Atlason – Drums, Vocals.

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/volcanova/
www.instagram.com/volcanovaofficial/
www.volcanova.bandcamp.com/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/5PxsSQ4uYOq6svb417ravK

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Steven Hooke 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.