Black Sites – Untrue

Untrue Album Cover Art

Black Sites – Untrue
Self-Released
Release Date: 08/10/2021
Running Time: 43:51
Review by Simon Black
7/10

Prog Metal is, probably, simultaneously the hardest and the most likely to benefit from the new remote recording models forced on the world’s musicians in the last eighteen months. On the one hand, you more often are talking about a cadre of musicians who are usually not short of some serious technical skills both with their instruments and the technology behind the recording process, – hence the reason so many self-produce. On the other hand, we are also talking about a sub-genre of the Metal world (or perhaps Empire would be more accurate a collective noun) where subtle interplay, shared musical shorthand and improvisational precision (what an oxymoron) are crucial in creating an end product that is both technically complex but a fluid living thing. The consequence of recent events has meant many Prog albums that have sounded clinically precise, but lack the emotion that comes from face to face writing and recording.

“Untrue” does utilise a producer, but is ninety percent remotely delivered. Oddly, it has an enormous element of freshness and groove that others in the genre have recently failed to capture. The presence of a producer helps, because you have a third party able to offer opinion and constructive criticism regarding arrangements and temper the technical flourishes to enable accessibility. In this instance the production has also delivered a really rough and ready garage feel to the sound mix, which means instead of the acoustically over-polished sound that often comes at the expense of energy, this whole thing actually feels like it was recorded in a rehearsal room environment or could be coming at you live. Once you adjust your head to that concept, then the album flies out of the speakers and steals you away.

This is the third full length release from the Chicago-based three piece and quite frankly it’s a doozy. It has a huge amount of energy to go with that fresh feel, but frustratingly takes a couple of tracks to get into its groove, picking up the pace and energy as it goes like a boulder on its way down a mountain. It does that with a guitar sound and groove that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Stoner setting, but technically varied enough to never get boring. That said, for a Prog album it does not outstay its welcome, with tracks around the five to six minute mark as standard, with all eight of them coming in under forty-five minutes of run time. ‘They Eat Their Young’ steals the show for me, with its belting pace energy, roaring rhythm riffs and galloping bass line, but with enough subtle fills and time complexities to get the musos nodding in approval, you can see this tearing up a live crowd balancing the technical with the accessible perfectly, which to be fair is a great summary of the whole album.

‘They Eat Their Young’ (Audio)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Sword Of Orion
02. Call It By Its Name
03. Lost Tribes
04. Echo Of A Lie
05. The Worst Of Us
06. Nocturne/Everything Went Black
07. They Eat Their Young
08. White Ashes

LINE-UP:
Mark Sugar – Vocals, Guitar
Ryan Bruchert – Guitar, Vocals
Garry Naples – Drums

LINKS:

Black Sites Promo Pic

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

Endust – Cycle EP

Cycle EP Cover Art

Endust – Cycle EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 05/03/2021
Running Time: 18:51
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

Life goes in cycles. Yes, I’m beginning my review with this cliché. By the way, in my new cycle of trying to be a very polite and human person, I often ask how you all are and wish you are all well and safe (and I am being honest). However, I have a good reason to mention cycles. Endust are not a new band to me. I first met them in São Paulo, a city far from mine, when I was travelling there to meet my friends (reviewers at that time) as well as Glauco Rezende (guitarist/new singer) and Fernando Arouche (drummer). What impressed me most, on this first meeting with them, was that they had travelled from their city Jundiaí, which is about one hour distant, on a Saturday morning, in person, to deliver their physical CD’s to one of the most important CD stores in Brazil.

After this great first impression, I bought a copy and, to my surprise, I was in front of one of the best Thrash Metal bands from Brazil. At that time, they had Leandro Caçoilo as their singer and Leandro is very famous for being a part of important Power Metal bands in Brazil, but his vocal versatility fitted pretty well on Endust’s powerful music. Time passed and they decided to take different paths in a very friendly way, so we just have to say thanks to Leandro for what he left the band.

What changed? First, let’s understand Endust’s music. I clearly remember, in my first review about them, I mentioned how Glauco was the “spine” of the band. He is a master of riffs and he creates incredible arrangements. We (reviewers, musicians and myself) used to call him ‘the Jeff Loomis from Jundiaí’ and you just need to hear the opening, and title, track ‘Cycle’ to understand that. His new position as vocalist is something totally different from how Leandro approached the music. He sings very aggressively, but it is incredibly clear and different from the typical creepy guttural vocals, that many bands use, which are annoying and can often be hard to understand.

His partner in crime, Fernando Arouche, is even more killer on this EP. He is a machine gun; more about heavy punch than the speed, but the fast beats are amazing as well, with double kick suddenly appearing in the middle of the songs like a sonic blast. The synergy among them both is something that is very hard to describe, considering they have been working together since the embryonic age of the band, about ten years ago. If Glauco is the spine then Fernando is also something pretty important in this biological connection. However, I cannot think of a good reference/word to describe it, due to my lack of intelligence. (Absolutely not true Victor, it’s a language thing. Having listened to this fantastic EP, I will use the phrase ‘he adds muscle to the bones’ – Rick)

Musically, they still play strong Thrash Metal, full of groove and technicality, but for this EP, there is also a highly explicit Death Metal vein. It is not only in the vocals which have changed from melodic to guttural, but also in the heaviness of the guitars and drums. Maybe the track ‘Giving Up’ is the best option to understand and describe the new face of Endust. If you’ve already heard them on their “All Ends In Dust” album (2019) and want to compare that with this new release, then check out ‘Only One Will Stand’. which is a re-recorded song from their last album.

A new cycle? The EP title does represent what Endust is living through at the present time. They are almost the same band, but a restructured band. “Cycle” not only shows a new era for them, but it also represents the essence of what they have created throughout their career, but with a serious addition of aggression.

‘Cycle’ (Visualiser)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Cycle
02. Seller Of Illusions
03. Giving Up
04. You Made Your Choice
05. Only One Will Stand (Re-recorded)

LINE-UP:
Glauco Rezende – Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Fernando Arouche – Drums

LINKS:

Endust Promo Pic

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.

Dark Sky Burial – Vincit Qui Se Vincit

Vincit Qui Se Vincit Album Cover Art

Dark Sky Burial – Vincit Qui Se Vincit
Extrinsic Recordings
Release Date: 06/08/2021
Running Time: 39:25
Review by Dark Juan
9/10

“To conquer is to conquer oneself”. Words to live by and no mistake. And also the title to the record I am now listening to. Although to be honest I have always preferred large calibre superior firepower to mow down the myriad of enemies I have amassed during the course of my life. Preferably automatic and explosive…

Hello, my precious cabal of Nightbreed and Cenobites, it is I, Dark Juan. Are you all sated after a weekend of debauchery and rampant sexual exploits with the people whose set of genitals you prefer? And are you now back at work ruing a weekend lost to alcohol, drugs and wild and carefree abandon as you return to the grey existence of a shirt and tie and a desk full of boredom and ennui? Even though you saw Sandra from Accounts with her tongue halfway down the throat of Dave from Sales when you were out in Slough and you were appalled, yet strangely aroused as his hand crept up her skirt and you saw an enticing flash of stocking top, but concealed the thought from yourself by downing another pint, saying something banal about football to your mates and denying the evidence of your own eyes? Yes?

Ha, I don’t have to start work again till Wednesday, so I can continue to debauch myself, and more importantly, teach nubile young followers of the False God to do it to themselves and others, as their impotent god weeps bitter tears in a riven Heaven as His word is subsumed in sweaty, ecstatic, overdriven flesh locked together in orgasm and I am striding around, laughing my Satanic arse off and liberally distributing illegal doses of Viagra to any young chap that looks like he is faltering in his duty, watching as a man takes a young woman over the altar of a ruined church, grinding her against the beard of a crucified Christ laid on the desecrated altar with every thrust… (I really do wonder which gate of hell you crawled out of – Rick 😊)

Wow.

That will teach me to nap in the afternoon after a fuckton of Manchego cheese before I start writing stuff. Quite how it went from standard office gossip fodder to full on religious defilement I’m not quite sure, but this is just how my mind works. Utter gutter filth. I have a pornogrind record to review in the near future. I’d better lay off the cheese and napping for that one and hit the ruby port to calm myself the fuck down before writing ANYTHING about it…

…All of which has absolutely FUCK ALL to do with the record I am currently listening to, being the legendary Shane Embury’s (if you don’t know who Shane Embury is and you claim you’re into metal, let’s face it, you are NO true metalhead. For all of you young people who are only just discovering metal [hello, you’re fucked!] and haven’t yet learned about it, he is the bass player of Napalm fucking Death) third release (which is part of a quadrilogy) as Dark Sky Burial, which, (not surprisingly, if you know Shane’s musical output, which is diverse to say the least, and downright musically promiscuous full stop – I give you his work with Brujeria, Meathook Seed and Napalm Death itself as evidence) is not metal at all. It is sweeping electronic soundscapes and industrial noise with ambient undertones. Moments of sheer ethereal beauty contrast with thundering basslines – ‘I Slept With Faith And Found A Corpse In My Arms’ being a prime example of just how far Shane is ranging musically with Dark Sky Burial, with Eastern influenced electronics overlaying a pounding industrial drumbeat and a smooth, deep bassline forming a luscious backdrop to the kino music. ‘Abraxas’ is harder edged, with a swirly, echoey vocal leading into a much more industrial sound. Forbidding keyboards sound like the grinding of gears as the percussive beat of Satanically fast machines assembling disturbing things festooned with blades and flails resounds around you. As the record progresses a palpable sense of menace begins to permeate it – ‘Beware Your Subconscious Destroyer’ is more ambient than industrial, reminding me of Scorn with added Shane Embury on angry bass. It is a tune that relies on atmospherics rather than musicality but can be read as a disturbing paean into the sheer effort it takes to maintain your own mental equilibrium in a world and especially a United Kingdom that is becoming an increasingly cruel and unkind place, where you are just a cog in a vast Capitalist machine, where people who don’t conform to the norm are vilified and ridiculed and harmed grievously. ‘Chains Of Delusion’ could be the soundtrack to the hallucinations caused by a bad trip – somber piano and guitars engineered out of all semblance to a musical instrument increase your paranoia and you start to realise that even the walls of the room you are in have fangs and are venomous and they are coming closer and closer to you, even as you stand motionless in the centre of the room, touching nothing but the floor, yet then something happens in the trip and you’re suffused with a sense of hope with white light surrounding you. Feeling joyful, until you look down and see that the floor has become a churning mess of viscous, clinging and acidic semi-liquid and you are slowly sinking, inch by excruciating inch into it and you’re helpless, terrified yet strangely unaffected by your imminent demise until it closes over your head and you know only ecstasy as you fade away…

I do love it when music creates images in my head.

Yeah. It’s safe to say I’m a fan, but then I have always been a fan of Shane and his music. If you like the kind of softer edged, gothic industrial that the likes of Blutengel play, melded with the moody electronic atmospherics of Scorn and chiminess and personality of Air, you’ll love it. If you don’t, you’ll probably be shouting at Shane to fucking play some Napalm Death or something, instead of wasting his time with this tinkly-bonk bollocks.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Dark Sky Burial 9/10 for an excellent record to listen to in the dark, full of menace and generally akin to the horror of machinekind steaming through a devastated world to wipe out what’s left of humankind. You’ll regret the internet of things when your toaster tries to toast your face off, or your internet capable fridge orders the ingredients for a phosphate bomb, won’t you?

‘Beware Your Subconscious Destroyer’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Vincit Qui Se Vincit
02. Beware Your Subconscious Destroyer
03. Scars Have The Power (To Remind Us The Past Was Real)
04. A Union Of Opposites
05. The Last Gift To The Universe
06. Embrace The Shadow
07. I Slept With Faith And Found A Corpse In My Arms (then you should be more careful with young ladies called Faith, Shane.)
08. Abraxas
09. Chains Of Delusion

LINE-UP:
Shane fucking Embury!

LINKS:

Dark Sky Burial (Shane Embury) Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All Seeing Eyes – Reinventing Time

Reinventing Time Album Cover Art

All Seeing Eyes – Reinventing Time
Self-Released
Release Date: 16/08/2021
Running Time: 52:02
Review by Beth Jones
6/10

All seeing eye are a Progressive/Power Metal duo from Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire right here in good old Blighty. We don’t get many Eurometal style bands coming out of our little island for some reason, I think possibly our failure to embrace the more flamboyant side of Metal in case we don’t look ‘cool’ enough. Well, personally, I’ve never been one for looking cool, so I love it when some homegrown metal like this lands in my review pile.

This is only the band’s second album, despite having existed for nearly a decade. A hiatus put things on hold, but, after their original keyboard player left, they decided to carry on as a duo.

So, to the album in hand. There’s a lot of influences in it, definitely – from Classic Heavy Metal, with Euro Power vocals, modern guitar crunch, and even some late 90’s Grunge. It’s certainly a unique plethora of sounds mixed together. It varies from track to track, too, keeping it interesting.

Musically, the songs are great, and there are some moments of brilliance, Ben Colton’s vocals and the guitar solos being prime examples. But I’m struggling with the overall mixing of the album. There are some issues here, that kind of spoil things for me. They’ve recorded it in their home studio, and mixed it themselves, which they deserve credit for…but then, due to the situation we have found ourselves in, so have a lot of bands over the last 20 months. I think the track, ‘Perspicacity’ is probably the most successful on the album because everything is at roughly the same level. It’s a decent song, too. Lots of different elements, from 70’s Progressive to Thrashier sections. However, in other tracks, it can sometimes be difficult to pick out the vocal line, the keyboards are too full on, or the snare sounds like a tin can. It’s a big shame.

The final track, ‘A Sequence Of History’, is pretty impressive at over 15 minutes in length, and doesn’t suffer from too many production issues. This starts quite Iron Maiden like, with pacey rhythms and guitars. It then alternates between this, and sweeping sections that feel more Euro Prog Power. It’s an epic song, and I can see it being spectacular live.

If you like Power or Prog there will definitely be something on “Reinventing Time” for you, but it hasn’t connected with me in the way I had hoped. I don’t like being negative because music is life. But, at the moment we are being spoilt with real quality, in terms of production, from so many bands, and that turns us into music snobs.

‘This Is Cypher World’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Welcome To Cypher World
02. Proselytized
03. Love Is Illusion
04. The Gift Of Madness
05. Perspicacity
06. Ghosts Of Yesterday
07. Angel Fires
08. A Sequence Of History

LINE-UP:
Ben Colton – Vocals/Lead Guitar
Kenny Fraser – Lead Guitar/Bass

LINKS:

All Seeing Eyes Promo Pic

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.

BRING TO BEAR Video Premiere – ‘No One Knows’

No One Knows Video Premiere Image

BRING TO BEAR Release Official Video For ‘NO ONE KNOWS’(Accordion Metal Version), A Superb Cover Of The QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE Track!

Hi Everyone,

Ever Metal is incredibly proud to exclusively premiere the brand new and debut official music video ‘No One Knows’ from new UK based Symphonic Folk Metal Clan, BRING TO BEAR! This is their Accordion Metal cover version of the Queens Of The Stone Age track!

It is taken from Bring To Bear’s debut EP “LIGHT AND SHADOW” which is released on Friday 8th October 2021

We send Huge Thanks to Bring To Bear and Devographic Music Media for the opportunity.

Get those Accordion’s out and Bang Your Head!

EXCLUSIVE EVER METAL PREMIERE

ABOUT THE ‘NO ONE KNOWS’:

Ian Tarboton (Accordion, Keyboard & Growls) shares his thoughts!

“We wanted to do a cover of a song that is well known so that the familiarity will catch the attention of a wider audience, and our unique take would introduce them to our sound. It was chosen through a gameshow style discussion where we had created a list of originals that we thought would be good to cover, and then proceeded to cull them through debating their merits and suitability. The end result surprised us all. The music was then arranged by Hristo, considering which aspects of the original track would work best on our collection of instruments, and how we could make the song heavier and more aligned with our style.”

Light And Shadow EP Cover Art

ABOUT BRING TO BEAR:

UK Symphonic Folk Metallers BRING TO BEAR are on an adventure, playing their favourite styles of Folk Melodeath infused with Symphonic influences. Formed in May 2020 by long-time friends and bandmates Ian Tarboton and Hristo Nikolov, the determined duo wasted no time in preparing their first material and expanding the BRING TO BEAR Clan. By January 2021, the line-up was expanded adding Simon Jones on Drums, Nikiforos Rotas on Guitar & Izabela Smyt on Lead Vocals. In May 2021, the indomitable quintet entered the studio to record their Debut EP “LIGHT AND SHADOW”, with the Debut Single and Lyric Video ‘THE SHADOW RUSE’ released on 16 July 2021. Shortly thereafter the current line-up was clinched, adding Richard Knight on Bass in preparation for unleashing their Debut EP “LIGHT AND SHADOW” and Debut Official Music Video for NO ONE KNOWS (Queens Of The Stone Age Accordion Metal Version) on Friday 8 October 2021…

Bring To Bear Promo Pic Photo by Nikiforos Rotas
Photo by Nikiforos Rotas

LINE-UP:
Izabela Smyt – Lead Vocals
Ian Tarboton – Accordion, Keyboard & Growls
Hristo Nikolov – Guitar
Nikiforos Rotas – Guitar
Richard Knight – Bass
Simon Jones – Drums

BRING TO BEAR ONLINE:

DEVOGRAPHIC MUSIC MEDIA, PR, EVENTS & AR AGENCY SOUTH AFRICA ONLINE:

Bring To Bear Logo

‘Light And Shadow’ EP Review:

Disclaimer: This article is solely the property of 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.

Bring To Bear – Light And Shadow EP

Light And Shadow EP Cover Art

Bring To Bear – Light And Shadow EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 08/10/2021
Running Time: 11:58
Review by Beth Jones
7/10

Good evening my fellow humans, how the hell are you? I hope this review finds you well, in good spirits, and in the mood for some more METALLLLLL! If the answer is yes, and you happen to like a bit of Symphonic Folk Metal, then you’re in the right place, as tonight’s review subject are a fledgling band, in that genre, from right here in the UK. When I say fledgling, I mean that they are very, very new. Having formed with, nearly their full line-up in January this year, only adding final member, bassist Richard Knight in July and this is their debut release. And, in fairness, it’s a pretty accomplished three track EP.

Opening with ‘The Shadow Ruse’, we’re launched straight away into a tempestuous Viking jaunt. Powerful rhythms and rumbling bass lines are topped by pacey guitar riffs, synth strings, and interspersed with clean and growl vocals, which cement the idea of the contrast and relationship between light and dark. It’s got a really catchy hook to it as well. A good opening track, although I think there is more to give. It’s a little tentative. But it is the debut song on the debut release from a band who’ve only been working together for 10 months, so I’ll let them off.

“What better way is there to infinitely improve a Queens Of The Stone Age track than to Accordion Metal it up?” is a question I ‘ve often asked, but until now have never had answered. As if by some telepathic masterstroke, that is exactly what Bring To Bear have done with ‘No One Knows’. Now, I’m not usually a fan of cover versions, but this one’s flipping mega! Again, thunderous, symphonic, and pacey, but with added accordion! They have completely made it their own.

…But, my favourite track by far, is the final one, ‘From The Abyss’. The other two are good, but this steps it up a level. It’s fuller and more powerful than its predecessors, and full of great riffing, and tribal battle cries. Bring on the war, release the ships, and drive forward to command and conquer! This is proper meaty, folky, symphonicy stuff. More of this please!

Aside from the actual sound, this is a well-constructed brief introduction to a band who I think could make a big name for themselves. It’s recorded, mixed, and produced well, and makes you sit up and listen. I look forward to more of this from Bring To Bear in the future!

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Shadow Ruse
02. No One Knows (Queens Of The Stone Age Cover)
03. From the Abyss

LINE-UP:
Izabela Smyt – Lead Vocals
Ian Tarboton – Accordion, Keyboard & Growls
Hristo Nikolov – Guitar
Nikiforos Rotas – Guitar
Richard Knight – Bass
Simon Jones – Drums

LINKS:

Bring To Bear Promo Pic Photo by Nikiforos Rotas
Photo by Nikiforos Rotas

BRING TO BEAR ‘No One Knows’ Exclusive Video Premier:

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.

Ylva de Lune – I

I Cover

Ylva de Lune – I
Self-Released
Release Date: 30/06/2021
Running Time: 41:47
Review by Steven Hooke
7/10

Not content with simply watching the world pass by in the midst of the pandemic, German vocalist Ylva de Lune embarked on a creative outlet in the form of this namesake post-black metal project and its debut album “I”. Partnering with a multi-instrumentalist known simply as Alpha, Ylva de Lune combines the unabashed heaviness of black metal with ethereal soundscapes and searing vocals, more befitting a Wiccan ceremony.

The combination between the two musical sounds can be considered to be somewhat estranged. Being almost split right down the middle, the rapid-fire drums and low-end guitars tend to take up the mantle of being the “heavy” of the album, whilst a second layer of guitar and Ylva’s serene vocals act as the world building and scene setting. While at times the separation can feel a little too vast, it often results in surges of euphoria, as “I” conspires with the imagery used for the album and Ylva herself to create its own vision of post-black metal, away from the traditional corpse paint and spikes of black metal, and away from the existential mire of modern blackgaze, to a forest of European tribalism and paganism.

Often these moments are accompanied by the project breaking away from the mould of standard blackgaze. On opener and closer ‘By The Sea’ and ‘Crown Of Shadows’ respectively, it’s the spoken word portions that feel like they echo through you, the inclusion of a more defined guitar lick throughout the second-half of ‘Les Ombres du Monde’, the added groove to ‘The Purpose Of Light’, these moments give the band and the album more character and contribute more to the act’s final identity.

Ylva de Lune weirdly occupies a similar space to that of post-something metal collective Sleep Token in that they produce a sound that is so easy to fall into and vibe to. Even with the bursts of a heavier sound spread throughout both band’s output, it’s a sound that you can be present for and enjoy, as much as you can sit back and relax to.

For an opening gambit in a scene that is heavily saturated with artists right now, “I” may have found a little niche for itself. Ylva’s vocals are a refreshing component of the genre and are already an integral part of the band’s sound. A few more risks and a more adept synergy between the musical low-ends and the high-ends, and the pair could really be onto something special.

TRACKLISTING:
01. By The Sea
02. Grå Ulv
03. Les Ombres du Monde
04. 11:55
05. The Purpose Of Light
06. Crown Of Shadows

LINE-UP:
Ylva de Lune – Vocals
Alpha – Guitars, Bass, Drum Programming

LINKS:

Ylva de Lune Promo Pic

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.

The Chronicles Of Manimal And Samara – Count The Dead Single

Count The Dead Single Cover

The Chronicles Of Manimal And Samara – Count The Dead Single
Self-Released
Release Date: 08/10/2021
Running Time: 03:27
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Hello, you beautiful people. It is I, Dark Juan and I am pleased to report that after only a couple of hours of unbroken swearing, some cut knuckles and blunt force trauma, the Mighty Gothikpanzer has had its wiper mechanism replaced by your correspondent, and it appears, reasonably able Satanic mechanic. Just in time for a sojourn to Goth Central, otherwise known as Whitby, for a few days. Therefore, I have to write a metric fuckton of reviews before I leave for a well-earned break from wrangling young gentlemen and from the exhortations of our Great Leader, Air Chief Marshal Lord Sir Richard “Master of The Barbed Editorial Comment” Tilley. Don’t think I hadn’t noticed your last quip, you absolute blackguard! Although I was surprised that you hadn’t compared me to Charles Hawtrey, to be fair. Charles Dance, indeed. Remember – A Lannister ALWAYS pays his debts!

So, to business. First, I should thank the old cove that is Rick for allowing me to do this review. Ever-Metal.com doesn’t normally do single reviews, but he has graciously permitted me to do this one. TCOMAS also requested that I write about their new single, personally, and that is a singular honour as far as I am concerned because I hold them in such high esteem. I am doing it because I think that The Chronicles Of Manimal And Samara are one of the most important bands the UK has produced in the past 50 years. They are timely and unique and a voice for the more geopolitically astute among our great metal fraternity and sorority. They are also ridiculously intelligent and refreshingly unconcerned with such trivialities as fitting into genres or having banal lyrical concepts centered around beer, fucking, the occult or drunken occult figures fucking. No, TCOMAS’ horror stories set to music are set in the here and now, and depressingly horrible their stories are. If you haven’t yet got yourself a copy of their debut album “Full Spectrum”, you really should stop reading this, RIGHT NOW, YOU FIEND, and educate yourself before reading on…

‘Count The Dead’ is a fucking FURIOUS song continuing the themes of ‘Love In The Time Of Pestilence’ from “Full Spectrum”, those being worldwide pandemic and global crisis and specifically referencing the COVID-19 epidemic and the (at least) 4 MILLION worldwide deaths from it, and being excoriatingly critical of the responses of world governments and the capitalist classes as they sought to extend power and create profit from a virus unlike any other.

The excoriation is savage. If words were weapons, Daphne Ang would be sharpening her wits on the skulls of her enemies. Daphne’s normally smooth and considered spoken word vocal has a palpable undercurrent of barely contained sorrow and rage, evidenced by the odd harsh syllable or tremble in her normally mellifluous voice during the verses of the song, and that controlled anger is released in explosive fashion on the chorus line by Andrea Papi unleashing the full power of an unconstrained and dangerous roar, not least on the line, “You prosper on fucking LIES!” (Emphasis mine.)

Musically, this song is a more muscular Tool and Mastodon in their proggier moments, and recorded in an unusual time signature. The production is the arctically clear and pure sound I have come to expect from TCOMAS and this is a damned superb heavy metal song, with something for the whole metal family to enjoy somewhere in it. The lyrics are meaningful and pertinent, accurate and could have been taken from my own fucking head, if I had any form of musical talent whatsoever (which I don’t) and the passion with which they are delivered lifts them from mere words and into something that the world could do with taking notice of…

I’ll leave the last word to the band themselves:

“Follow no leader, but leave no man behind.”

Quite!

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has been blown clear across the other side of the room (much to the chagrin of two Smellhounds at least) by TCOMAS once more bringing the righteous noise. Easily 10/10 for a single that is as metal as metal can be, be it musically or in its political and social consciousness.

Pre-Add/Pre-Save ‘Count The Dead’
https://tcomas.ffm.to/countthedead.ofp

LINE-UP:
Daphne Ang (Samara) – Vocals, Lyrics, Piano
Andrea Papi (Manimal) – Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals

LINKS:

TCOMAS Promo Pic

Read are EMQ’s with TCOMAS here:

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.

Eternal Silence – Timegate:Anathema

Timegate Anathema Album Cover Art

Eternal Silence – Timegate:Anathema
Rockshots Records
Release Date: 08/10/2021
Running Time: 50:28
Review by Simon Black
7/10

Italian Symphonic Metallers Eternal Silence have been ploughing their particular furrow for about a decade and “Timegate:Anathema” is their first full-length album since 2017’s “Mastermind Tyranny” (although the void has been filled with a couple of EP’s in between). There are attempts at more overtly Power Metal tracks in this – the opener ‘The Way of Time’ being a good example, but the band work best when they stick to their Symphonic guns, as the second track ‘Edge Of The Dream’, which almost feels like it belongs to a completely different act or recording block. When they throw these more technical flourishes and time-change complexities into the mix things work much, much better for them and the effortless way that a nice lengthy instrumental section can be thrown at the front of tracks like ‘Ancient Spirit’ tells me that these guys have got the song-writing balance between the technical and the catchy-melodic just right.

The two handed vocal performance between Marika Vanni and Alberto Cassina works really well, although Vanni takes the lion’s share of the work. I also can’t fault the instrumental work at all, particularly their uncredited keyboard player, who whilst avoiding the cliché of inter-instrument shredding with the guitars, has some absolutely superb yet restrained solo spots scattered throughout.

Symphonic Metal works best when the production is top notch, crisp, layered and sensitive in equal proportions to the brutal or heavy when they are part of it. Fuse the two and you get the harmonic equivalent of being bashed around the ears by a concrete melodic elephant. Sadly, the production on this falls a little short of that. Although the vocals are clearly presented at the front of the mix, and given both depth and clarity, the Metallic instrumentals in particular sound very trebly, lacking in depth and way too far back in the mix (even the orchestral elements suffer from the same distance problem in places).

Now to be fair to them, this is probably the first time the band have tackled remote recording – a skill let’s face it that every act is having to grapple with at the moment. In reality this normally comes down to whoever is in the producer’s chair, not the musicians’, as there is usually a world of difference between what gets laid down in the raw and what makes it through the engineering and mixing process. However, in this instance, it’s a combination of Michele Guaitoli and the band themselves, and my gut tells me that they should perhaps step back from this area next time out and trust to a strong producer, as the mix is that little too close to a baseline recording.

The song writing is what holds this record up and the structure and arrangements here are spot on – ‘Heart of Lead’ being the stand out track for me, although the experimental but catchy as fuck ‘Glide In The Air’ deserves mention as well, as you can tell it will be a cracker live. Love the tunes, but let down by the recording and mixing – nonetheless the song-writing and performances still make “Timegate:Anathema” worthy of attention.

‘Red Death Masquerade’ (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Way Of Time
02. Edge Of The Dream
03. Ancient Spirit
04. Heart Of Lead
05. Lonely
06. Glide In The Air
07. Rain
08. My Soul Sad Until Death
09. Firefly
10. Red Death Masquerade

LINE-UP:
Marika Vanni – Vocals
Alberto Cassina – Guitar/Vocals
Alessio Sessa – Bass
Andrea Zannin – Drums
Enzo Criscuolo – Guitar

LINKS:

Eternal Silence Promo Pic

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

Blackthorne – Afterlife/Don’t Kill The Thrill (2CD Reissue)

Afterlife & Don't Kill The Thrill Album Cover Art

Blackthorne – Afterlife/Don’t Kill The Thrill (2CD Reissue)
The Store For Music
Release Date: 30/07/2021
Running Time: 77:51/76:38
Review by Chris Galea
7.5/10

Blackthorne was one of those short-lived bands that never went close to attaining its true potential. The band was formed in the early 1990’s by guitarist Bob Kulick (Kiss, W.A.S.P., Meat Loaf, Doro, Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens), vocalist Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, Alcatrazz, Michael Schenker Group) and keyboardist Jimmy Waldo (New England, Alcatrazz, Warrior). The band’s rhythm section was composed of bassist Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot, House Of Lords) and drummer Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot, W.A.S.P., Alex Masi, Steppenwolf). Not just ‘a band’ therefore but more like ‘a supergroup’.

Jimmy Waldo blames the band’s quick demise on the Grunge scene but before throwing the towel, Blackthorne released one album (“Afterlife”) and almost released a second one. This double-disc release, therefore, celebrates the band’s music albeit retrospectively.

Full details of the double-album’s contents can be found below but essentially, besides offering both albums in one package, this release is also jam-packed with demos of more unreleased tracks and alternate versions of Blackthorne songs. And before you put on your most sceptic-sounding snigger, let me say that a lot of the demo tracks we have here actually sound quite good. For example, on the disc containing “Afterlife”, the bonus demo tracks are sometimes better than the album tracks, especially with regards to Graham Bonnet’s singing.

Overall, I would say that the music style has something of the classical roots of Alcatrazz as well as the electrifying feel of Warrior, the band Jimmy Waldo had with Vinnie Vincent (Kiss, Invasion) and his ex-bandmates of New England. Regarding my Warrior comparison, check out the guitar tone and choir vocals of ‘Over and Over’ or ‘Sex Crime’.

In their sophomore (unreleased) album “Don’t Kill The Thrill”, Blackthorne continue to explore their musical ideas while remaining within the Classic Heavy Metal niche. ‘Twist The Blade’ is not short of catchy melodies but contains a Punk-ish riff that gives it a distinct edge. Riffs, melodies, solos…Bob Kulick gives all he’s got in ‘Don’t Kill The Thrill’. ‘Love From The Ashes’ leans more onto Hard Rock rather than Metal and it’s a great song.

Despite what I mentioned earlier, a few tracks (and not only demo tracks) failed to convince me. But, by and large, this was an album I enjoyed listening to.

Sadly, Bob Kulick and Frankie Banali passed away last year within the space of three months and thus didn’t live to witness this release. So, I reckon one may also consider this “Afterlife/Don’t Kill The Thrill” as a sort of joyful dirge celebrating Bob and Frankie’s talents and undying influence.

In all honesty Blackthorne was a band I discovered thanks to this double-album and hopefully it will introduce many others to the band’s music. For sure if there’s just one Blackthorne release you’ll ever need in your record collection, then it’s got to be this one.

‘Afterlife’ (Audio)

TRACKLISTING:
Afterlife CD1:
01. Cradle To The Grave
02. Afterlife
03. We Won’t Be Forgotten
04. Breaking The Chains
05. Over And Over
06. Hard Feelings
07. Baby You’re The Blood
08. Sex Crime
09. Love From The Ashes
10. All Night Long

Bonus Tracks:
11. Wild Inside (Demo Cassette 1992)
12. Get My Heart Out Of Here (Demo 1992)
13. Since You Been Gone (Demo 1992_Vocal 2018)
14. Afterlife (Original Demo Mix) (Tony Palacios Guitar)
15. Baby You’re The Blood (Demo 1992)
16. Afterlife (Live Unplugged)
17. We Won’t Be Forgotten (Live Unplugged)

Don’t Kill The Thrill CD2:
01. Don’t Kill The Thrill
02. Wild Inside
03. Skeletons In The Closet
04. Dreaming In The Hideaway
05. Man In A Black Hat
06. Twist The Blade
07. Judgement Day
08. Insanity
09. Sanctuary (Alternate Vocal)
10. Save Me

Bonus Tracks:
11. Paralyzed (Early Demo)
12. Twist The Blade (Early Demo)
13. Guilty Of Insanity (Early Demo)
14. Afterlife (Demo 1992)
15. We Won’t Be Forgotten (Demo 1992)
16. Over And Over (Demo 1992)
17. Baby You’re The Blood (Demo 1992)
18. Love From The Ashes (Demo 1992)

LINE-UP:
Graham Bonnet – Lead Vocals
Bob Kulick – Guitars
Jimmy Waldo – Keyboards
Chuck Wright – Bass
Frankie Banali – Drums

THE STORE FOR MUSIC LINKS:

LINK TO OUR INTERVIEW WITH JIMMY WALDO:

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