Scrollkeeper – Path To Glory EP

Path To Glory EP Cover

Scrollkeeper – Path To Glory EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 13/09/2018
Running Time: 19:55
Review by Dawn King
8/10

Ok, so I have been out of the loop where the actual reviewing of things is concerned for a while and, technically, this review should have been written months ago. So, I apologise to the band Scrollkeeper for the delay with this. Hopefully, it will be worth the wait though.

Scrollkeeper are a band from Houston in Texas, formed in 2016, who specialise in high-energy, anthemic, original material that is “reminiscent of metal’s halcyon days!” – TRADITIONAL heavy metal to you and me!

The band consists of Simon Marfleet on drums, Justin McKittrick on vocals, Alexander K on lead/rhythm guitars, John Morris also on lead/rhythm guitars and Will Sullivan on the bass and “Path To Glory” is their latest four track EP.

With influences cited as (deep breath here!) Les Warner, Ken Owen, Bruce Dickinson, Leather Leone, Geddy Lee, Andy Laroque, Ritchie Blackmore, Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen and Geezer Butler, the band’s debut show was as support for Delain and Hammerfall in 2017 and they have since shared the stage with the likes of Manilla Road, Dirkschneider, Angra and Cloven Hoof. They have also kept a busy show schedule in the Houston area with some out of town festivals as well as being scheduled to open for British heavy metal veterans, Saxon, in 2019.

The self-released EP “Path To Glory” was recorded at Sound Arts Studio and Nocturnal Sound Studios in Houston, Texas and was engineered by Brian Baker and the band’s guitarist, Alexander K. It was mixed and mastered by Ricardo Camargo at Tidalwar Studios in Queens, New York and the artwork was done by German illustrator, Helge C Balzer.

So, now you know a bit of the history of the band and some background to the music, what of the EP?

Well, this really has everything that all great traditional heavy metal albums should have. The drums are galloping, and the riffs are crunching. Justin’s voice is well suited to this type of metal, being powerful and strong and the guitar solos are fantastic.
There is such a high energy throughout the EP that if you are not headbanging with your sword held high by the end of track one then something is wrong with you! I had this on repeat for more than half a dozen runs through and I was banging my head whilst cooking my chili con carne!

The pace throughout the EP hardly seems to let up (slowing down slightly for the track ‘Surrender’) and the choruses are anthemic (just as the band promised!) Scrollkeeper, as a whole, are tight and concise and although I find the vocals a little ‘flat’ at times, there really isn’t anything to dislike about this EP. The only drawback I could find is that it just wasn’t long enough. I would love to have seen what these guys could do for a whole album, and I wait with bated breath until one is released!

Did I like this EP? Hell, yes! Do I recommend you go and give it a listen? Again, hell, yes!
I can’t wait to see what these guys come up with next, and if this is anything to go by, it’s bound to go down a storm!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Not Of This Earth
02. Path To Glory
03. Surrender
04. Fortune Favors The Bold

LINKS:
https://facebook.com/scrollkeeper

https://www.instagram.com/scrollkeeperhm/
https://scrollkeeper.bandcamp.com/


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoZ6aSK0QOAqGEgxNO_Xhmw

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn King 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.

Helligators – Hell III

Hell III Cover

Helligators – Hell III
Sliptrick Records
Release date: 04/06/2019
Running Time: 60:00
Review by Alun Jones
8.5/10

Listening to “Hell III” – the new Helligators release – and you can almost smell the Cajun cookin’ and moonshine brewing. This is greasy, crazy biker rock from the southern states. No doubt Helligators have fine-tuned their art in a roadhouse shack just off some dusty highway, the sounds of the bayou just inches away. The heat and the trees, the swamp and the…

What? They’re from where? Like Rome, Florida or something? What, actual Rome? In Italy? Oh. Well ya could’a fooled me!

Yes, Helligators are from Rome, Italy – though my first listen to this album had me thinking of something far more Corrosion of Conformity in origin. “Hell III” is powerful, dirty hard rock with just a hint of stoner metal, big melodies and southern charm. But not southern USA charm, apparently…

Anyway, this third album from the band blows the doors off with the huge, raucous rampage of ‘Rebellion’ – a great start to the album. It reeks of attitude and speeds out of the gates in a Motörhead fashion.

Following tracks ‘Here To Stay’ and ‘Bleeding’ apply the brakes slightly, but are just as crushingly relentless. This is big chunky guitar territory; guitars courtesy of Kamo and El Santo are head bangingly infectious and also intricate when called for.

There’s a definite change of pace with the almost bluesy ‘Where I Belong’ – but by Jupiter, the chorus is monstrous. The skilled vocals of Simone “Dude” have a versatility that keep everything together and has class enough to avoid a parmesan power ballad stench.

Helligators are certainly stretching their creativity with this album. ‘The Prison (Confession Pt 1)’ and ‘Gone (Confession Pt 2)’ demonstrate an ability to develop an epic suite of music. Meanwhile, the instrumental ‘Bassthard Session’ also shows the rhythm section – Alex (drums) and Pinna (Bass) to full effect.

But it’s the fast, super charged Rock’N’Roll of total bangers like ‘Born Again’ and ‘Pedal To The Metal’ that are the great prize here. Hard rock that’s loud and fun – Helligators came, saw and conquered all.

Did I tell you about the time I was in Italy with Ozzy, on tour in 81? I took him and the band to a restaurant after the gig for some quality Italian grub. Ozzy was off his tits and thought the spaghetti was worms, and tried to snort them. It ended with food everywhere and Ozzy pissing up the walls. I had a right job apologising to the manager and sorting everything out. Ozzy – lovely bloke; absolute liability.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Rebellion
02. Here To Stay
03. Bleeding
04. Where I Belong
05. Born Again
06. The Prison (Confession pt.1)
07. Gone (Confession pt.2)
08. Until I Feel No More
09. Bassthard Session III
10. Even From The Grave
11. Pedal To The Metal

LINKS:
http://www.helligators.com/main.htm
https://www.facebook.com/helligators/

https://www.instagram.com/helligators/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNIcslQvAD2l-nrvSLFcbZA

HELLIGATORS // IT

 

Helligators Promo Pic

 

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.

 

 

Vikings – Far Beyond My Dream

Far Beyond My Dream Cover

Vikings – Far Beyond My Dream
A-Stereo-ID, Stuttgart
Release Date: 28/12/2018
Running Time: 57:00
Review by Mark Pritchard
9/10

A few weeks back, ‘Ever Metal’ gave me some options for bands to possibly review and one of the first to catch my eye was German band ‘Vikings’.

I have been listening to the album ‘Far Beyond My Dream’ on and off since I received it to help keep it fresh in my mind and I must say that it was a nice easy-listening session each time.

The fact the band is just a two-piece is amazing, meaning the amount of work put into making an album is that bit greater compared to bands with three or more members, but these guys have done a great job with this album.

From start to finish, this album has a high intensity, both with how the instruments are played and the vocals for each song, which are so good. I will say straight up that the singing by Georg Froehlich are above and beyond what I could even imagine and, when you package that with Pete Eisen on each of the instruments, you have a pairing that brings the metal right into your face and you will definitely end up headbanging during each playthrough.

I sit in my computer chair at my desk asking myself if there is a song that stands out above the rest and, to be honest, each song is awesome in its own way.

Here is the part which is not the easiest because it is time to give my ratings. It has been an absolutely tough challenge to find a favourite track from the album, but it wasn’t impossible and the song that stands out the most to me is track four, title track “Far Beyond My Dream”. The song is a top-notch title track, starting off with only vocals which then leads into the main song and my rating for the song is a huge 9 out of 10.

The rating of the album as a whole was a tough decision but after an arduous thought process, I am rating it as a 9 out of 10. It is such a great album and has been awesome to review and I would like to thank both Georg on vocals and Pete on guitar, bass, keyboards and drums for the opportunity to review this album.

Track List
01. A Glow In Your Hand
02. Down The Street
03. Before The Rain
04. Far Beyond My Dream
05. Avalon
06. Bloody Tears
07. Sand On The Lore
08. Shout My Name
09. Fly
10. The Joker And The Thief
11. All The Pain
12. Reaper Crew

Links:
https://www.facebook.com/TrueMetalRock
https://www.instagram.com/vikingsmusic.de
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClKeBAfUc_lm4vyBnqYvsfg

Promo Pic

 

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.

Sacrilege – ‘The Court of the Insane’

The Court Of The Insane Cover

Sacrilege – ‘The Court of the Insane’
Pure Underground Records
Release Date: 02/08/2019
Running Time: 55:12
Review by Paul Monkhouse
7/10

It’s arguable that many of the bands that are known and loved in the rock world wouldn’t be here without the advent of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Those were heady days when this new breed of long-haired musicians seemed to pop up from virtually every town and city in the UK, filling the pubs and clubs with a sea of denim and leather scented with patchouli oil. The fact that so many of these bands are still around or have reformed shows that there is such a huge hunger for this much loved genre and that giants like Iron Maiden and Saxon are still packing out venues and playing with as much fire as anyone else on the scene. Not all were as successful as Maiden, but they still put their hearts and souls into it and Sacrilege are one such band. Originally formed in ’82 they enjoyed five good years together before going their separate ways only to reform again, twenty-five years later, in 2012 and have been constantly working since then. “The Court Of The Insane” is their new album and it pushes the clock back to those exhilarating days when the world sat up and listened and the weekly edition of music paper ‘Sounds’ was full of amazing tours and must-buy new albums.

‘Celestial City’ heralds the album with keys and that soon morphs into a guitar intro that captures the fire of the old days and races off with a song very Maiden-like in its scope. It must be said that vocalist/guitarist Bill Beadle doesn’t have the range of Bruce Dickinson but his singing fits perfectly with the band and adds real character to the Sacrilege sound. Second track, ‘Lies’ ups the ante on the drama and the band really take off for the title track of the album, the drums and bass of Neil Turnbull and Jeff Roland respectively being up in the mix, happily displaying the strength of a classic uncluttered three piece. It’s indeed a powerful number with a maelstrom of guitar and maniacal laughter at the end, showing the grasp of both narrative and musical punch.

‘Depression’ rips along like the best of Judas Priest and that theme is continued on ‘No Bequeath’ with its long instrumental passage and metallic edge. It’s not all balls out hard rocking as ‘The Prophet’ shows more light and shade, a much more melodic start giving way to an epic rampaging riff and some great fret burning by Beadle. The band seem to be very much aware of their heritage whilst pushing forward and broadening their ambitions on the album, a definite feeling of both old and new mixed in that will appeal to both the younger and older fans. Whilst the production and dramatic passages do seem at times very much harking back to the early 80’s, perhaps showing that there isn’t a multi-million-pound .budget behind them, this adds to the charm and authenticity of the album and is bound to bring a smile.

‘Unhinged Mind’ has much to enjoy about it and is another epic that sees the band let loose, not constrained by the need to just rush through tracks with indecent haste. ‘I Can Hear the Silence’ turns up the heat once more and is full of British Steel whilst album closer ‘Ride Free’ has lyrical and vocal flashes of The Who whilst having the gnarly heaviness that approaches Motörhead. A very fine way to finish and overall the album is a good reminder for those around at the birth of the NWOBHM and a pointer for a younger generation wanting to explore the thrill of something they missed at the time but is still very much worth supporting today.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Celestial City
02. Lies
03. The Court Of The Insane
04. Bring Out Your Dead
05. Depression
06. No Bequeath
07. The Prophet
08. Unhinged Mind
09. I Can Hear The Silence
10. Ride Free

LINKS:
http://www.sacrilegenwobhm.com
https://www.facebook.com/Sacrilegerock/
https://www.instagram.com/billsacrilege/

 

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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.

Damim – A Fine Game Of Nil

A Fine Game Of Nil Cover

Damim – A Fine Game Of Nil
Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings
Release Date: 28/06/2019
Running Time: 42:40
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
10/10

It is Saturday night in rural France. The local gossips have returned to their homes after disseminating all possible information to the entire village, and probably have been strapped back into their scold’s bridles by the husbands who are STILL covering up twenty year old affairs of the heart with the lady on the Rue de Ty Lidec. I, Dark Juan, The Gothfather, Love Commando and Sex Fuhrer to toffs and gentry, am sitting, beer in hand and having my face torn clean off by this piece of SAVAGERY masquerading as music entitled “A Fine Game Of Nil” by British neo-blackened metallers Damim – Damim being Arabic/Aramaic for bloodshed, I believe. That’s about the only useful fact you’ll get out of this stream of consciousness bollocks you’re about to read, so treasure it, ok?

First of all, I have to say the production work on this record is extremely satisfying, almost to the point of orgasm. Everything is so crystal fucking clear the band might as well be sat in my head battering the inside of my cranium with high powered amplification and pneumatic drills. However this is ultra-precise savagery, because Damim as musicians are tighter than a duck’s arse, and probably considerably more waterproof because they write huge, coruscating songs of complexity, power and depth and play them at a speed that Formula One drivers would struggle to comprehend. There are many key changes and time changes but nothing of the music, even when it’s flitting from one tempo to another, is extraneous. The musical progressions are logical and impressive and it all fits together like a particularly complex heavy fucking metal jigsaw puzzle. Special mention must also go to Nathanael Underwood for his vocals – a primeval, visceral roar that appears to have come from the bowels of some previously undiscovered hell found underneath the foundations of Satan’s bit of it, yet retaining clarity and having words that are actually discernible as they are being sung! This is a momentous feat in death and blackened metal so bonus points to you, old chap!

Normally it just sounds like bears vomiting. Not that all this talk of intelligence, complicated musicianship and socially conscious lyrics should distract you from the fact that this is the dog’s testicles from a sheer metal point of view. There’s blastbeats and brutality in spades. It’s not a battlewagon of a record, it’s a sleek and shiny supersonic jet fighter of one. It’s blindingly fast and sharp and operates precision guided weaponry, and YOU are the target. Damim are out to kill you all with laser-guided accuracy.

So, compositionally exquisite, vocally exemplary and velocity unmatched! There has to be a downside, right? Well, fucking good luck finding one, mate. Damim are a phenomenally intelligent band. The lyrics are pertinent and relevant to events in the world today and even the album title alludes to zero sum game theory. Look it up, it’s actually genuinely fascinating. I love this record so much I have ruined yet more underwear and had to pause in my libertine pursuits of alcohol, laudanum and abusing young ladies to reflect on the sheer majesty and magnificence of what I have just heard. In fact, I have finished the record and literally just pressed play again to start over. It appears I want my face to look like burger meat, considering Damim are flaying it off bit by bit. Favourite tracks on here are ‘Beyond The Call Of Emptiness’, and the hilariously named ‘Something For The Weekend’. It’s hilarious because the song title seems so out of keeping with the rest of the record, OK? I also really like ‘NecroKino’, a tune that the intro reminds me greatly of the synthwave stylings of groups like Gunship offer before pulling out hidden weapons and proceeding to skin you alive with diamond sharp guitars and drums that can cause tectonic misery. The other titles skirt perilously close to one of my favourite sources of comedy – heavy metal word salad song titles. As we shall shortly see!

In short then – if you love extreme metal you’ll fucking love this. If, on the other hand, you think metal begins and ends with Avenged Sevenfold you’ll hate it so much you’ll savagely murder your own parents. “A Fine Game Of Nil” is PROOF that metal is one of the most phenomenally complex styles of music to play and also one of the most difficult to master. Damim have fucking mastered it, made it their collective bitch and are currently beating it into further compliance with flails and chains and all manner of unspeakable other things. The thing is, I am of the opinion that this record is that good that it might win a few converts from the less extreme fans, because although it is brutal deluxe, faster than a trip to the lavatory after a dodgy curry and heavier than a neutronium sex toy, it somehow STILL remains accessible and approachable. Damim have done something remarkable. They have made music bordering on black metal interesting again (which is not easily done as there hasn’t been a proper good black metal record since “Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk”) and also made it something even a new convert could enjoy instead of just the hardened heavy metal warrior. There’s much to enjoy as parts of the music touch on other styles like djent, the odd riff progression has a whiff of nu-metal about it and there is a thrash element running throughout the whole thing. I also think having an excellent production job will also win fans considering most extreme metal sounds like it has been recording using candy floss and asbestos as filters and recorded through the wall next door.

Anyway. A splendid effort from these gentlemen! I’m serious when I say that I consider this to be the album of the year so far. I fucking love it.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System offers Damim a blood soaked and thoroughly gore coated 10/10. Extraordinarily good! I have run out of words.

TRACKLISTING:
01. In A Language They Understand
02. Descendant Of Amalek (If you don’t know, Amalek is described in the Hebrew Bible as a country that is an enemy of the Israelites It can also be referring to the nation’s founder, the grandson of Esau. You’re welcome. Just because I despise religion as social control doesn’t mean I haven’t studied the scriptures.)
03. Beyond The Call Of Emptiness (Surely emptiness can’t call? Because it’s like… empty?)
04. Something For The Weekend
05. NecroKino
06. Body Is Broken
07. Rising Of The Lights
08. Existential Epiphany Within A Waking Dream (The only existential things I get during waking dreams are crises…)
09. All I Want To Know Is (what the rest of this title is because my computer is refusing to tell me. Sorry, chaps.) – (RICK HERE, the full title is ‘All I Want To Know Is How It Ends’)

LINE-UP:
Nathanael Underwood – Vocals and guitars
Flow Toulman – Drums
Faust Perez – Bass
Edd Amos – Guitars

LINKS:
https://www.damim.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/dam.nation.uk/

https://www.instagram.com/damim_uk/

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

 

Damim Photo - Credit Tina Korhonen

 

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.

Photo courtesy of Tina Korhonen.

 

Thronehammer – Usurper Of The Oaken Throne

Usurper Of The Oaken Throne Cover

Thronehammer – Usurper Of The Oaken Throne
Church Within Records
Release Date: 03/05/2019
Playing Time: 78:00 mins
Review by Mark Pritchard
9/10

A couple of weeks ago Ever Metal gave me a list of bands to possibly review and one of the first that took my interest was Thronehammer, described on their Facebook page as a ‘CAVEMAN ULTRADOOM’ band. Since receiving the album ‘Usurper Of The Oaken Throne’, I have been listening to it on and off to help keep it fresh in my mind.

This album is the first I have reviewed with fewer songs but a longer playtime which I am really liking. With the longer songs there are less pauses as the songs change and this has allowed me to sit back, relax and listen, and with a nice slow head-bang, it is really soothing to listen to.

When I visited the bands Facebook page, of which I shall leave a link below, and saw that the band is actually a 3-piece, I was really taken aback because when I first started listening to the album, I really thought it sounded more like a 4 or 5 member band. This, I think, is awesome as it shows that they have an amazing dedication to their cause and with the addition that each member is based in a different place makes it even more mind blowing. Kat on Vocals is based in Durham, UK, Stuart on Guitars/Synth/FX is based in Fürth, Germany and Tim on Guitars/Bass/Drums is based in Würzburg, Germany. I know all bands put a lot of hard work and dedication into their music but to be able to do it with members all over the place is going above and beyond.

The album has a nice slow tempo but can be in your face at the same time, which I don’t think I have come across much as a reviewer and it has been a wonderful surprise! These guys have done such an awesome job that, for me, all the songs are amazing, and none are better than the others. This makes picking a favourite track impossible, but I think one song stands out a little more to me than the others. This is because the start of the song is nice and slow, sounding as if there is a breeze. It also sets the tone for what is to come for the rest of the album. That song, as everyone can probably guess is Track 1 ‘Behind The Wall Of Frost’, and for the first track on an album, this is a hell of an opener.

Now comes the hard part which is, of course, rating the album. After listening to the album as much and as intently as I have, I am going to rate the album a strong 9 out of 10. I love the concept of ‘CAVEMAN ULTRADOOM’ and it’s a very relaxing album whilst still being heavy.

I would suggest everyone checks out Thronehammer, and I want to say a huge thank you to the members of the band, Kat, Stuart and Tim for the chance to review this amazing album.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Behind The Wall Of Frost
02. Conquered And Erased
03. Warhorn
04. Svarte Skyer
05. Thronehammer
06. Usurper Of The Oaken Throne

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

https://www.instagram.com/thronehammer.official/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiyyH-3tQrLddCgJw28AgRg

 

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.

Atorc – Under The Raven Banner

Under The Raven Banner Cover

Atorc – Under The Raven Banner
Independent
Release Date: 04/04/2019
Running Time: 42:06
Review by Sheri Bicheno
8/10

Hailing from Suffolk, Battle Hardened Folk Metal Warriors, Atorc were formed in 2012. Their latest offering “Under The Raven Banner” comes two years after their first release, EP “Seven Tales Of Swords And Ale.”

They have been absolutely storming the UK, performing their tales and leaving audiences in sheer awe.

First look into the debut album and ‘OOOOOH MY GOODNESS THAT BEAUTIFUL INTRO’! Once first track ‘Hrafnsmerki’ starts, you visualise a landscape of misty mountains and lakes. A Norse linguist passage over Huldra’s violin is stunning here and sets off the album with a calming, yet anticipating medieval ambience.

Then we are thrown into title track “Under The Raven Banner” and this is a prime example of what Atorc are capable of delivering. This brings us that anticipated power and Viking metal mix, with harsher growls and vocals, a slight Iron Maiden vibe, from the power of vocalist Helbard. This tells us tales of riding into war, victory and glory bearing the symbolic flag that was historically flown by Viking chieftains and rulers.
Third track ‘The Mead Hall’ is notably catchy… “We drink, we fight, we dance all night”.

This is something the audience would want to join in on during Atorc’s live performances. The track starts off with a mix of tones and it can be hard to keep up until you get to that catchy chorus – then you’re catapulted into wanting to join in on this fun venture, horn of mead in hand, headbanging and swaying to the violins.

My favourite track, in regards to the way it is constructed, is definitely ‘Hammer To Anvil’ – this track see’s everyone‘s skills prominently on display. Boudikath’s keyboards and backing vocals complement Helbard’s very strong vocal features and give a soothing effect along with Huldra on violin. The guitar and bass from Scallywag and BattleBeast with their melodic and heavy riffing are something to behold. Vilir gives us drums that work well with the guitars, both incredibly fast paced with wonderful cymbal work in the melodic parts. This is a beautiful track and I’m looking forward to seeing it live.

Track ‘Ragnarok’ similarly stands out to me – this has more death growls and builds quite a variety of moods as the progresses. This is my favourite track on the whole album.

If you’re in the mood for a bit of power and folk metal, I’d say this album is the one for you. I have seen Atorc perform three times and they are deservedly making a name for themselves for when people suggest a folk metal band to follow.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Hrafnsmerki
2. Under The Raven Banner
3. The Mead Hall
4. Hammer To Anvil
5. Maidens Of The Shield
6. Sovngarde
7. Voice Of The Storm
8. Isle Of The Brave
9. Ragnarök
10. Shieldwall

LINE-UP:
Helbard – Vocals
Scallywag – Guitars
Huldra – Violins
Boudikath – Keyboard and backing vocals
BattleBeast – Bass Guitar
Vilir – Drums

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

https://www.instagram.com/atorcfolkmetal/
https://atorcofficial.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIxfkWy2qmZ1mpfj2cDHpdg/videos

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno 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.

Lordi – RecorDead Live; Sextourcism In Z7 (2CD)

Recordead Live - Sextourcism In Z7 Cover

Lordi – RecorDead Live; Sextourcism In Z7 (2CD)
AFM Records
Release Date: 26/07/2019
Running Time: 90:33
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
8/10

BEER! MORE BEER! Mrs. Dark Juan is shirking her duties and telling me I am a lazy fat bastard for demanding my beer being brought to me. Now, she’s undoubtedly correct on all three counts, for I freely admit I’m a lazy fat bastard but nevertheless she should not address the Groove Ipssissimus, the Love Commando and the head of the clergy in that fashion. It’s just…. unsympathetic! Especially when I am creating literary genius for your edification, dear acolytes!

Good evening, I am Dark Juan and I have taken time out from my extremely busy schedule of defiling Christian women, virgins and religious institutions to share with you important matters of metal. France is Catholic, you see. I have an incredibly large task ahead of me to subvert these people. Still, one lady at a time, eh? My neighbour Helene (age 74) made the mistake of asking what I was listening to, the other day. She then had to weather a one hour lecture on just why Lawnmower Deth are amazing in halting and incorrect French. Cobwoman Of Deth Meets Mr. Smellymop took some explaining. Funnily enough, she’s taken to crossing the road and running to the nearest house whenever I am outdoors at the same time as her. I was hoping to discuss the neo-classical connotations of symphonic black metal with her at some point. Oh well. I’m sure she will be receptive to a conversation in about three months.

In other news, while I waffle aimlessly in a desperate attempt to fill out what is now traditionally not a short review, I’m listening to the Finnish nutters called Lordi. Yes, I’m listening to “RecorDead Live; Sextourcism in Z7”. It’s no secret that I am partial to any band that has an egregious image, and Lordi have that in spades. They also have some fucking killer songs – ‘Blood Red Sandman’ should be an enduring metal classic. It was also the song and video that introduced Lordi to an agog young neophyte back in Manchester many moons ago and launched a 25 year love affair with them. AND THEY ALSO WON EUROVISION! Truly, a band to be revered in Dark Juan’s world, then!

The problem is, though, the fact that I don’t really like live albums, because I consider them to be inferior versions of the proper songs. In order to properly appreciate live versions of songs, you have to be there, basking in the atmosphere, being hot, sweaty and pressed tightly against a total stranger… However, having got that minor rant out of the way, we have to establish whether this album is worth expending wonga on, don’t we? From a quantity point of view Lordi have it licked (hurgh hurgh) as there are a throbbingly massive 20 songs on offer here.

Lordi are a heavy metal band in the classic mould – lots of melody and power chords. This is a good thing because they sound like they belong in the Shot In The Dark Ozzy era 1980’s, when I was growing up and first getting into metal, and therefore they immediately provoke memories of good times and horrific hangovers off Thunderbird wine. Also, Lordi have some fucking killer tunes. Some absolute belters! And they also have a similar childish propensity, as I do, for pithy and silly wordplay. Hence they open the show with Sexorcism. A very silly song, but perfectly enjoyable and Mr. Lordi’s voice is a bit raw to start with but he soon warms up and he’s bang on form by the time he gets to ‘Your Tongue’s Got The Cat’. Mr. Amen however is masterful on the guitar, being virtually note perfect throughout the concert. Mr. Ox on bass is also excellent as is Mr. Mana on drums. I also enjoyed Ms. Hella on the keys – I was a big BIG fan of Awa (such long, elegant fingers crawling slowly down my spine and along my hips to my……. STOP THAT!!!!) and was devastated when she left Lordi. But Ms. Hella has awoken previously dormant feelings in …….Enough. The flock don’t need to know that, Dark Juan, you bloody pervert.

The album mix is also a bit patchy when it first gets going, as if the sound engineer has suddenly remembered he has a job to do and puts down his beer in a hurry. Again it settles down after a couple of tracks and we achieve a happy, well balanced sound which is uncommonly clear for a live recording. There is the odd bum note and the backing vocals also take a song or two to warm up but this is part and parcel of live performance.

There’s every one of my favourite Lordi songs on here: ‘Would You Love A Monsterman?’, ‘Blood Red Sandman’, ‘The Devil Is A Loser’, ‘Who’s Your Daddy?’ and of course the finale of the whole shebang is ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’, an absolute monster of a track and their legendary Eurovision winning song. All the songs on the record (and indeed by Lordi in general) are designed specifically to be chant along fun. They have massive, MASSIVE choruses and are just good old metal singalong fodder. The thing is, Lordi are also a VISUAL medium and I can’t help but think we are missing an essential part of the full experience with just a record, so there’s kind of a gap in my enjoyment of it. It’s hard to elucidate, but the music requires you to be able to SEE Mr. Lordi and the rest of the band waving their arms, wings and other as yet unnamed limbs about and generally being awesome. They evince the vaudeville joy and sense of fun that is often missing from metal nowadays. It’s schlocky, messy and involves a fuckton of dressing up, and who the fuck doesn’t love that sort of thing?

I love Lordi. I love bands that have theatre and performance value. I love theatricality. This is why I think Ghost are amazing and fuck the haters. I love Lordi’s live album but it isn’t top marks because there’s no visual component. My god, I have almost written a competent review.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is utterly appalled with itself for daring to actually write something that might actually have some useful value and has gone off to sulk in the corner, but awards 8/10 for a fine live album.

Note: There are Blu-Ray/DVD versions but we only received the CD version to review!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Sexorcism
02. Would You Love A Monsterman?
03. Missing Miss Charlene’s House Of Ghosts
04. Your Tongue’s Got The Cat
05. Heaven Sent Hell On Earth
06. Mr. Killjoy
07. Rock the Hell Outta You
08. Blood Red Sandman
09. It Snows In Hell
10. She’s A Demon
11. Slashion Model Girls
12. Naked In My Cellar
13. Rock Police
14. Hug You Hardcore
15. Evilyn
16. The Riff
17. Nailed By The Hammer Of Frankenstein
18. Who’s Your Daddy?
19. Devil Is A Loser
20. Hard Rock Hallelujah

LINE-UP:
Mr. Lordi – vocals
Mr. Amen – guitar
Mr. Ox – bass
Mr. Mana – drums
Ms. Hella – keyboards

LINKS:
http://www.lordi.fi/
https://www.facebook.com/LordiOfficial/

https://www.instagram.com/lordiofficial/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn5gK-xJtOxYHzubFazyCKQ

 

Live Shot

 

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.

 

Krysthla – Worldwide Negative

Worldwide Negative Cover

Krysthla – Worldwide Negative
PHD
Release Date: 16/08/2019
Running Time: 42:28
Review by Tammy Lomax
10/10

When I was given the opportunity to review Krysthla’s new album “Worldwide Negative” I was ecstatic. It was quite cosmic as at the time I was commuting and listening to ‘Luminosity’ from their debut album!

In my opinion Krysthla are by far one of the best extreme metal bands out there and their hard work has already proven to be a massive success for them.

There are many reasons why I appreciate Krysthla, mainly being how consistent they are with their delivery in everything they do, from live performances to mastering their albums and are genuinely lovely fellas; they literally are masters in perfection. When I was first introduced to Krysthla they were supporting Textures and they utterly smashed the hell out of the stage. They hammer with precision and they are persistent in whatever they convey.

“A War Of Souls And Desires” was released in 2015 and this was only the beginning of something beautiful. Two years later “Peace In Our Time” was released and, putting it lightly, blew your ears off and it hit a No.2 slot in Amazon’s Rock and Metal chart. Krysthla did not stop there, playing the Sophie Stage at Bloodstock Festival and then going on to tour with the mighty Decapitated. Just when you assume they cannot get any better they do and don’t do it lightly! Like a massive wallop in the face, if you aren’t awake yet then you will be after listening to “Worldwide Negative” It is going to be huge!

Recently released single ‘Zero Sum Game’ has had tremendous amounts of airplay on Kerrang, Primordial, and Bloodstock radio etc. along with their music video, DO go and check it out! It’s a massive tease into what to expect with the rest of the album. I am actually still recovering from the shock of it all because “Worldwide Negative” has reached out beyond all expectations.

When I plugged my headphones in, straight away bang!!

Krysthla have become more dynamic with their synth sounds, making the music flow. It is the foundation to their new sound and personally I cannot imagine them without these now.

The emotion you experience after listening to album opener ‘Negative’ is baffling, you’re almost unsure of how to feel and then ‘Reawaken’ slaps you hard in the face. You reach a pinnacle then are thrown back down vigorously and you end up like a pile of mashed potato! Then, out of nowhere, comes the wonderful chorus, how have they pulled this off? Your head is all over the place trying to comprehend what the hell is going on but it is absolute magic, art and science all at the same time.

‘Grief Is New Love’ is much faster with what seems like some heavy slam riffs. I have no space left in my brain to actually understand how they have managed to pull off fast thrash and slam together, it is heavy, mean and it is angry, its pure evil actually. You feel the passion in this track completely, it’s insanely good and you don’t want it to end. It is diverse with switching dynamics but also flows beautifully. I can accept that I have never heard anything so powerful before!

‘Zero Sum Game’ is definitely the big tease as mentioned earlier. Never assume with Krysthla because they will blow that out the water and then go ahead and set it on fire. In all seriousness picking a favourite track on this album is impossible. ‘White Castles’ is a little break from the hammering, but it’s done in such a way where you don’t want to relax. You can relate to the expression of pain is all I can say. It is beautifully done and you can really hear their message in this track… this is your moment to take a breather. For sure it pulls at your heart, thus much easier on the ears. Have you ever wanted to scream at the world? Then this track will get you. It is slower but massively needed.

‘Psalm Of Heartlessness’ is exactly what Krysthla are about, bringing you back into the album after absolute mayhem. One of my favourite things about their sound has to be the vocals, Adrian Mayes has an exceptionally powerful voice yet sounds exactly the same when performing live, how he maintains that growl, at that level, I do not know!

‘Aurea Mediocritas’ oh yes, here come those meaty bass riffs, Krysthla totally own it. Jesus, you can get into a serious rhythm with this track. This is definitely an alluring track and will open up a mosh pit for sure. If you are not pumped yet, you will be. There is a taste of everything here, their original sound with added extras but not too overwhelming. It is a little gentler on the ears due to the slower speed but no less powerful. Finally, how do you possibly end such a powerful album? with ‘The Gift’! It’s the bounciest track on “Worldwide Negative” and why not eh, leaving the listener on a slight high before the ‘what the heck just happened’ kicks in! Every single second has been thought about, every second. I had my arms up in the air at the end with nothing but complete respect. You really need this track to balance out the rest of the album and it works perfectly.

When you step out of your comfort zone and sprinkle some modern extras, you don’t always get the results you expect but Krysthla pulled me in immediately, got my attention and further excited the more I listened. It has left me on an absolute high and feeling I can literally take on the world. Every single track on this album is gold dust! It becomes overwhelming when the album finishes. Every single beat, riff, vocal, in fact everything has had a vast amount of time, effort and passion put into it and it’s massively better than their previous albums. I have sat here for ages to try and find a flaw but I just can’t. It’s musical evolution at its finest. From the moment you press play you are hitting another level of extreme metal.

“Worldwide Negative” will be released on 16th August so get yourself a copy and take note. If you can get your ass to Bloodstock Festival and watch them smash the Main Stage then do it! I have so much love and respect for them; they could not have done a better job at destroying my ears. A massive well done Krysthla, I am a happy Tammy.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Negative
02. Reawaken
03. Grief Is New Love
04. Zero Sum Game
05. White Castles
06. Psalm Of Heartlessness
07. Aurea Mediocritas
08. The Gift

LINKS:
http://www.krysthla.co.uk/
https://shor.by/krysthla
https://www.facebook.com/krysthla/

https://www.instagram.com/krysthla_band/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwjHzxNfTUqNaZ9wshfKQMQ

Promo Pic

 

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.

Rebecca Downes – More Sinner Than Saint

More Sinner Than Saint Cover

Rebecca Downes – More Sinner Than Saint
Mad Hat Records
Release Date: 24/05/2019
Running time: 59:33
Review by Paul Monkhouse
10/10

The Midlands has always been a hotbed for musical talent. When you consider that the area saw the birth of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Magnum amongst world beating others, you can now add another name to that prestigious list: Wolverhampton based Rebecca Downes. Whilst she has been solidly touring with the likes of The Quireboys and (the aforementioned) Magnum and putting out great albums, this latest should see her most definitely promoted to the big league. “More Sinner Than Saint” mixes her blues rock styling with a hefty dose of AOR and this potent brew of balls and soul is so well written and produced that it stands head and shoulders above most of the releases this year.

‘Take Me Higher’ opens the album and immediately impresses with its huge sound and epic scope. The insistent guitar gives way to Downes rich vocals and swirling keys, leading to an absolutely hook filled chorus that will have you singing it for days. This is all covered in the sort of gloss that the very best of the classic 80’s rock songs boasted and is equally memorable. It should be pointed out though that this is not just an exercise in nostalgia but very much a modern album that will appeal to a wide audience due to the quality of the whole package, not just the echoes of the past. ‘Chains Fall Down’ impresses with its aching vocals, great playing by the assembled musicians and its superb, slowly building structure and ‘Screaming Your Name’ is incredibly passionate, a world-beating track dripping with real soul but eschewing any overwrought guitar soloing that so often plagues other big rock ballads.

Rocker ‘Hurts’ lets loose and is full of ballsy grit, revealing the more primeval rock ‘n’ roll side of Downes and co-writer and guitarist Steve Birkett whilst Magnum main man Tony Clarkin returns the favour of Downes appearing on their recent live album to play some beautifully fluid guest guitar on ‘Breathe Out’. Already a fan favourite live, ‘Wave Them Goodbye’ sees multi-instrumentalist Birkett not only play some great slide guitar but unleash his impressive vocal chops in this, the albums only duet. Whilst it is Downes name on the cover, her musical partnership with him is the key to their success as they complement each other in the same way that Jagger and Richards and Plant and Page mastered, the perfect combination of singer and guitarist and this chemistry is perfectly highlighted on the album.

The titular ‘More Sinner Than Saint’ is all you could want it to be, starting with a church organ this is upbeat song laced with dark lyrics captures something halfway between Fleetwood Mac and Heart in its big sound and delivery. King King’s Alan Nimmo guests on ‘If I Go to Sleep’ and it’s another, harder rocking tune that stomps its size 11’s all over you and mixes sweet female vocals with rougher male ones. Nimmo’s solo sounds huge and the fact that Downes and Birkett can call upon him and Clarkin to guest on this release speaks volumes and new Magnum keys player Rick Benton plays throughout, all adding their own magic to the recordings whilst not putting anyone in the shade. Here, the music is the thing and egos are left at the door.

‘Stand on My Feet’ transports you to the Deep South, swaying in the summer heat whilst the landscape shimmers and chrome glistens under a beating sun. For anyone who fell in love with Alannah Myles first album, there is so much to enjoy here and this track brings to mind that magnificent debut, all southern sensuality, road trips to New Orleans and long, cold beers. ‘Big Sky’ ups the tempo again from the languid pacing of the previous track and has a real bite and groove and the sort of production that Mutt Lange gave Def Leppard, Shania Twain et al. The album continues in such a strong vein and finishes with ‘In Reverse’ which features an absolutely sky-scraping vocal from Downes and the hugely powerful ‘With Me’. This closing track is probably the most affecting one of the album and ends it on an emotional high, a song of promise, hope and protection that is so intensely emotional that you may well find yourself with a tear in your eye at the end of it. All the very best music should move us is one way or another and in ‘With Me’ you have a classic love song that never falls into clichéd moments but genuinely touches the soul and shows that you don’t have to be loud to be powerful, eschewing bluster for genuine heart. In “More Sinner Than Saint” Rebecca Downes has made not just the album of her career so far but one that will stand the test of time as a genuine classic. Without any doubt, one of the finest releases this year.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Take Me Higher
02. Chains Fall Down
03. Screaming Your Name
04. Hurts
05. Breathe Out
06. Wave Them Goodbye
07. More Sinner Than Saint
08. If I Go To Sleep
09. Stand On My Feet
10. Big Sky
11. In Reverse
12. With Me

LINKS:
https://www.rebeccadownes.com/
https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaDownes/

https://www.instagram.com/rebeccadownesuk/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5lTgFnkkf5YMEy9v2p_WFQ

 

Rebecca Downes Pic

 

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.