The Crimson Brigade – Blutkrieg (Scorched Earth Holocaust)

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The Crimson Brigade – Blutkrieg (Scorched Earth Holocaust) (2016)      Running Time 39:21

Release Date 22/11/2016                                                                                                     Rebco Records

Album Review by Rick Tilley

7.5/10

When you’ve been reviewing for a few years you can sometimes get caught in the rut of being a little too picky about which albums you want to write about and you end up getting sent lots of similar sounding albums! Whilst it’s a privilege to type about your favourite bands or preferred type of music it’s wise to occasionally step outside the box and challenge yourself with a genre you don’t usually listen to and that is what I am doing with this review!

Black Metal is a genre I’ve never been particularly fond of. Apart from early releases by the likes of Bathory and Falkenbach (both of which have a Viking feel to them) or bands that play a more symphonic style of Black Metal such as Dimmu Borgir, I’ve always found it noisy, bleak, too fast and way too serious. Yes, there are some extremely talented musicians playing it but musically it leaves me cold. However, like the bands mentioned above, there are always going to be some exceptions to the rule so when The Crimson Brigade sent me their second album ‘Blutkrieg (Scorched Earth Holocaust)’ for possible consideration I approached it with an open mind! I’m very glad I did do that because this album, even though brutally heavy and fast and definitely very Black, is a pretty good listen!

Described on the blurb as ‘BLACK VAMPYRIC WAR METAL’ automatically makes you believe this three piece are based near the frozen glaciers and lava fields of Iceland but you would be wrong as it is the slightly less bleak (but not much) town of Chesterfield, UK where they call home. You would be right in thinking Chesterfield is hardly the first place to spring to mind when talking Black Metal but, regardless of where they originate from, opening introduction track ‘The Rise Of Evil’ sets the war torn scene beautifully before leading into first track proper ‘Ghosts Of Hutgen Forest’ which, from the first programmed drum roll (more on that later), kicks you so far up the arse that the boot appears out your mouth. The Crimson Brigade have a very nifty trick of combining early Black Metal with the much harsher sounding genre that many will recognise today BUT they then go and throw in a whole host of programmed symphonic and keyboardy stuff as well as glorious sound effects which adds a beautiful sheen to proceedings. Before you say it, no, they are nowhere near as polished as bands like Dimmu Borgir because If you took the programmed effects away this would be very cold and raw. However, it’s the addition of these that makes ‘Blutkrieg (Scorched Earth Holocaust)’ work for me so well. Well nearly, because I do NOT like programmed drums and, however well they might be programmed, that spoils things. Having watched clips of the band gigging on Youtube it also spoils things live, even aesthetically, because it just looks odd watching three men playing this brutal music with no drummer!

If you can look past that misdemeanour there is a fantastic story behind The Crimson Brigade’s music. It tells the stories of The Blood Battalion, formed in 1803 at the onset of the Napoleonic Wars. They are a fierce and blood thirsty, but insidious, army of Vampyres that have caused every conflict and War in human history. With high ranking Vampyres, in all walks of life, pulling strings as part of an elaborate plan so that certain battles are won on each side, sometimes at incredible odds. My small brain takes this to mean that the human race will never die allowing the Vampyres constant food! This is perfect fodder for my love of Horror, Fantasy and vivid imagination. When music takes me somewhere, however gruesome and savage that place might be, then it has done its job!

Wonderfully titled ‘’Blood Red Snow Of The White Death’, the blunt force trauma of ‘Blut Red Plague’ and the torturous but hauntingly beautiful ‘Sacred Ground (Siege Of Budapest)’ are my album favourites and I tip my hat to BlutKommendant Ansgar Blutdrache (Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards & Programming), Beserker Arnþórr Bergmann (Bass) and Marshal Vladamir Nikoli Vatutin (Lead Guitar) for their successful attempt at getting me to listen to something like this!

As you can tell from the band member names, there is a certain amount of tongue in cheek (or at least I hope there is) about The Crimson Brigade but they’ve certainly produced an interesting album. It may be one that doesn’t grace my stereo every day but I’m certainly glad to have it in the collection. Just PLEASE get a real drummer for the next album guys, at the very least someone to play live! Even a dead Vampyre playing them would be preferable!

TRACKLIST

  1. The Rise Of Evil
  2. Ghosts Of Hutgen Forest
  3. Destruction Of Louvain
  4. Blood Red Snow Of The White Death
  5. Verdun Battle Field Of The Dead
  6. Blut Red Plague
  7. Scorched Earth Holocaust (Rise Of The Beserker Blutmacht)
  8. Sacred Ground (Siege Of Budapest)

SOCIAL MEDIA

  1. https://www.facebook.com/TheCrimsonBrigade/
  2. https://thecrimsonbrigade.bandcamp.com/album/blood-battalion

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Veil Of Delusions – Echoes of Dawn

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Veil Of Delusions – Echoes Of Dawn (2016)                                                  Running Time 46:14

Release Date 16-09-2016                                                                              Independent

Album Review by Rick Tilley

Veil Of Delusions are a young, five piece Dutch band, formed in 2015, who describe themselves broadly as Melodic Metal but thanks to many influences and styles emerging in their music you can add Symphonic and Death Metal as well. Their UK agent Matt Hopper sent me debut album ‘Echoes Of Dawn’ before Christmas but, due to my workload, this review is arriving a bit later than planned so I apologise to him and the band for the delay.

What is immediately apparent is that Veil Of Delusions are another female fronted band, although, thanks to guitarist Martin Vos, they incorporate some pretty good grunted male vocals on a regular basis as well, similar to another band I reviewed recently ‘Beyond Forgiveness’. What’s different here is that female vocalist Zoë Tilly (almost my namesake) doesn’t go down the operatic route, choosing to use her natural voice, which does make a pleasant change but, yes I’m going to get my ‘but’ out of the way early for a change, whilst Zoe does have a good voice it’s her contribution to ‘Echoes Of Dawn’ that lets it down slightly for me! Now I have seen written that she didn’t use any ‘tricks’ in the studio on her voice, which means what you hear is what she sounds like live, and if that is the case then I have to compliment her immensely. Unfortunately her delivery on some of the songs does seem a little underwhelming, almost like she is just going through the motions and some of her notes are, very slightly sharp or flat! While the rest of the band are hammering away, producing pretty catchy and lively tunes some of her vocal lines seem rushed, unoriginal and don’t really fit the overall composition and because of this many of the songs sound similar! I feel like I want to tell her to go back and try again, because it’s quite clear that Zoe has the talent to produce something excellent. I don’t want to sound like I’m being overly critical though because ‘Veil Of Delusions’ have still released a decent debut and considering this is self-produced have made it sound good within the limitations of their budget.

Intro piece ‘Echoes Of Dawn’, that is as bombastic as it sounds and which leads seamlessly into first track proper ‘War Begins’ sets the scene nicely for an album dealing with myths and battles. Guitar work, from Martin Vos and Xander ten Boden is good, the riffs are chunky and more than solid although solos are lacking, bassist Jeffrey Wennekes plugs away nicely, but it’s not always easy to pick him out and drummer Rob Reijs does his job very well indeed with some great double bass work! Put that together with the aforementioned growls of Vos, which aren’t overused but add plenty of bite and authenticity to the lyrical themes of the tracks, then Veil Of Delusions have come up with an interesting sound that bears repeated listening. In fact tracks such as ‘Together For Glory’ (which is arguably the best song on offer here), ‘The Chase’ and, the slightly more up-tempo, final track ‘They Wonder’ do start to bury themselves inside your head the more you listen!

It might be that there is an overt feeling of impending doom and sadness to Veil Of Delusions music that makes me feel like I do, especially when it comes to Zoe’s vocal delivery, or perhaps it is as something as simple as they just need more time to gel together as a band but I think that album number two is going to take them and the listener to the next level. They quite obviously have the talent to produce a fantastic album but just need to concentrate on ‘the hook’ and perhaps throwing a couple of faster songs in to break things up as well! I’m certainly going to give them full marks for the cover art though which is excellent! Definitely a band to watch out for over the next couple of years!

TRACKLIST

  1. Echoes Of Dawn
  2. War Begins
  3. Together For Glory
  4. Black Wings
  5. The Chase
  6. Desperation
  7. Across The Sky
  8. Last Generation
  9. Shadow Of Myself
  10. Fields Of Dragons
  11. They Wonder

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • http://www.veilofdelusions.com/
  • https://www.facebook.com/veilofdelusions/
  • https://twitter.com/veilofdelusions
  • https://www.instagram.com/veilofdelusions/
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzzTL6-utzw (‘The Chase’ Official Lyric Video)

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

Reproduced here with kind permission from Metal Gods TV

http://metalgodstv.com/veil-of-delusions-album-review-echoes-of-dawn

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Cage9 – Illuminator

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Cage9 – Illuminator (2016)                                      Running Time 56:11

Release Date 26/08/2016                                         EMP Label Group / Rock’N’Growl Promotion

Album Review by Rick Tilley

8.5/10

If you’ve read my intro piece on Ever Metal’s ‘Meet the Team’ page you’ll know that I’m not a big fan of all the sub genres of Rock and Metal that fly about these days! I can deal with the broader ones, but over the years they have become ever more fragmented with some music ‘fans’ becoming so insular that they won’t listen to anything unless it’s labelled with a niche genre tag. That’s a shame because you could miss out on so much that might, in fact, really move you! That’s why I’ve always tried to listen to everything regardless of how a band may be pigeon holed. As a Metalhead that lived through the 1980’s, much of what was labelled as Metal & Rock, i.e. Grunge and Nu-Metal, in the 1990’s left me cold, but that was always based on listening to a band before making a decision. I say all this because, had I just based my impressions of Cage9 on what I’ve read about them, I probably would never have REALLY listened to them!

Cage9, originally from Panama, but now based in Los Angeles have actually been around a fair while, releasing many albums and touring the US. It’s likely I’ve probably never heard of them because of the fickle nature of the music industry in the UK and the fact that ‘Illuminator’ is their debut international album release. Whatever the reason and notwithstanding the fact that Cage9 are labelled as Alt-Metal, Post Grunge and all other manner of things that might make any number of people turn their noses up, it’s quite clear from this album that Cage9 are head and shoulders above other bands of this type. ‘Illuminator’ is a hugely satisfying listen, full of captivating and extremely catchy tracks and performed by a band who knows exactly what they want to sound like…oh and it rocks big time! If Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson loves them enough to sign them to his label then you need to sit up and take notice!

Founding member, vocalist and guitarist Evan Rodaniche has a fantastic voice and sings his heart out on these thirteen tracks, whether that be on full on tracks such as ‘Everything You Love Will Someday Die’, which is almost Thrash in its execution, or on more melodic tracks such as current single ‘Oscuro’ which is haunting. There really isn’t a track here that fails to sound huge but that could also, quite easily, be played on the radio and that is an envious position to be in. Yes, it’s clear that the 90’s has been a big influence on these four guys but there is also an undercurrent of 80’s Metal and Rock, which might be small, but it elevates Cage9’s material to the next level and makes it really exciting to my ears! They’ve managed to collect all their influences into one big pot and produce an album that, regardless of style, sounds like Cage9 and I’m really surprised this band aren’t huge, especially in the States!

Guitarist Brian Sumwalt, drummer Leslie Wyatt and bassist Matt Borowski along with Rodaniche, are not only great musicians but make everything sound alive and real, their vocal harmonies are fantastic, lyrics are thought provoking and the production, which was also handled by Rodaniche, is fabulous. It is very gratifying to listen to tracks such as ‘Open The Sky’, ‘Starry Eyes’, ‘Aleatoricsism’ or ‘Take Back Tomorrow’ with their commercial, almost pop feel, but know the band haven’t once sold out because each one hits you like a trip hammer. ‘Illuminator’ is an album and Cage9 a band that should teach each and every Rock fan out there never to judge a book by its cover. I’m really looking forward to discovering their back catalogue because if any of it is half as good as this album then I’m going to be a happy Rick!

TRACKLIST

  1. Open The Sky
  2. Gallows
  3. Starry Eyes
  4. Everything You Love Will Someday Die
  5. Oscuro
  6. Black Horse
  7. Death Of A Dragon
  8. Aleatoricsism
  9. Birds Of Prey
  10. Martyr
  11. Ghost
  12. Illuminator
  13. Take Back Tomorrow

Social Media

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Change of Heart – Last Tiger

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Change Of Heart – Last Tiger (2016)                                                          Running Time 44:23

Release Date 22-7-2016                                                                                 Escape Music

Album Review by Rick Tilley

9/10

Can someone please tell me, for the love of god, why I have never heard of UK Melodic Rock/AOR band Change Of Heart before? As you probably know I listen to a stack of different genres of Rock & Metal but, when I’m in a quieter mood, bands such as Survivor, Journey, Foreigner, FM, Ten, Pride Of Lions, Europe, Chicago and even early Michael Bolton (before he turned into a housewives favourite) are some of my favourites, in fact the list is endless of more popular and lesser known bands playing in this genre that have graced my stereo over the last 35 years. Yes, I’m a sucker for great melodies, soaring guitar & keyboard solos and heart rending ballads, I always have been, always will be and the reason I’m telling you this is because ‘Last Tiger’, the fourth album from Change Of Heart, with the exception of the sublime FM, contains some of the best British AOR that I’ve heard for a long while!

Change Of Heart released their debut album in 1998 with guest appearances from Chris Ousey and Steve Morris of Heartland, then played a gig at The ‘Gods’ Festival which raised their profile considerably (but obviously not as far as me)! Since then they have released a further two albums, the last being in 2005, so it has been some years since there has been any new material. When researching Change Of Heart it seems, to most that have written about them, that the band had quietly disappeared and nobody was expecting a new album but in the summer of 2016 they reappeared with ‘Last Tiger’.

Vocalist/Guitarist and founding member Alan Clark was the person who contacted me asking if I could review the album and I’m extremely glad he did. As far as I know Alan is the only original member in the current line-up of Change Of Heart but this is one of the most professional sounding albums I’ve heard in the genre for years, the production is nigh on perfect (it was produced and mixed by Paul Hume, of the band Lawless, who also plays guitar and supplies backing vocals on the album) and the songs…well the songs are fantastic. Obviously the gap between albums has given Alan the chance to perfect these compositions but there is no doubt he is an extremely talented guy. ‘Last Tiger’ is full of hard hitting Melodic Rockers and gorgeous Ballads and had this album been released in the 1980’s it would have done very well indeed!

Opener ‘Rise To The Challenge’ does just that and gets the album off to a great start. Immediately noticeable, apart from the crystal clear sound, are Alan’s vocals which are excellent. He has the perfect voice for Melodic Rock with power and grit but able to mix between that and a softer voice. He also has great range and sings in tune (something which a lot of vocalists fail to do). Lead guitarist Nick Catterick is also fantastic. His riffs are powerful and chunky with well worked out solos reminding me of Kee Marcello and current FM member Jim Kirkpatrick. He leaves space where space needs to be left and doesn’t bombard you with hundreds of notes a second! After the up-tempo ‘Wayward Son’ next track ‘Roads of My Life’ slows things down nicely and reminded me of ‘Corridors Of Power’ era Gary Moore with a riff that is reminiscent of a slowed down ‘Kayleigh’ by Marillion. ‘March Of The Souls’ is a completely different kettle of fish though. It’s probably the hardest hitting track on ‘Last Tiger’ and is heavily influenced by the band Dio! It begins with an almost ‘Don’t Talk To Strangers’ intro and kicks in from there with Alan’s phrasing being distinctly Ronnie James in style. It’s an excellent track and one, I imagine, a young Vivian Campbell would have been very happy to write! ‘Holy Days’ has a great Whitesnake feel, ‘Hold Onto Love’ is a gorgeous ballad and the title track has classic Bryan Adams written all over it!

Let’s be completely honest here, Change Of Heart aren’t re-inventing the wheel with their music, nothing on ‘Last Tiger’ is original but damn, do they do it well. Anyway, fans of this genre don’t want experimentation, they want to hear the tried and tested formula being played with passion and skill and Change Of Heart manage that effortlessly. It would be remiss of me to not mention the rest of the band so John Sykes (Keyboards/Vocals), Jeff Hopkins (Bass/Vocals) and guest drummer Sam Ogden please take a bow!

‘Last Tiger’ is a joy to listen to from start to finish, Change Of Heart should quite rightly be much bigger than they are and I’m extremely happy that my first official review for Ever Metal has been so gratifying to write!

TRACKLIST

  1. Rise To The Challenge
  2. Wayward Son
  3. Roads Of My Life
  4. March Of The Souls
  5. Holy Days
  6. Touch Your Soul
  7. Hold Onto Love
  8. Last Tiger
  9. Stone Cold (In Your Eyes)
  10. Silent Rage
  11. Only Tomorrow

SOCIAL MEDIA

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Sacrilege – six6six

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Album Review by Rick Tilley

9 OUT OF 10

Release Date 03/07/2015                                                              Pure Steel Records

As it’s over a year since I’ve written anything about Sacrilege, and that was for a different website, I’m going to update you all briefly on their history before getting onto the latest studio album. This Sacrilege were formed in 1982 by guitarist/vocalist Bill Beadle and they should not be confused with the female fronted Thrash band of the same name who appeared in 1984! Having recorded a demo in 1983 it was sent to The David Jensen TV Show by Bill’s Dad where Sacrilege were picked from thousands of entries as one of six new bands to perform on the show and compete for best new band of 1983. Sacrilege duly turned up to record their particular episode and found themselves performing alongside U2 and The Stranglers who had also been booked to play! Their performance got plenty of exposure and Sacrilege went back into the studio to record the demo album ‘Gates Of Hell which was then followed by a UK Tour including a final date at the legendary Marquee Club in London. Unfortunately, and as was the case so many times during the 80’s, the initial interest didn’t flourish and after slogging away Sacrilege called it a day in 1987 and Bill stopped playing completely!

Twenty years later Bill decided it was time to give things another go and re-recorded much of the old material as well as writing new songs. Since then Sacrilege have released several very good but low key albums, all of which are available at the bands website and are well worth getting! There have also been several line-up changes but in 2015 they signed a deal with Pure Steel Records to release a ‘Best of’ album entitled ‘Ashes To Ashes’ and ‘six6six’ which is the new studio album. I reviewed the compilation album and was due to review this as well but my enforced layoff meant I was unable to do so when the album was originally released. I’m here now to put that record straight and tell you all what a great band Sacrilege are and how, in ‘six6six’ they’ve managed to release the best album of their career!

Ever since first hearing this band in 1983 I’ve always thought they had a unique sound. Mixing the proto Doom of early Black Sabbath, NWOBHM and 1980’s Goth is no mean feat and there isn’t another band around, whom I’ve heard, who do it as well as Sacrilege. ‘Death March six6six’ starts the album off in menacing fashion, being a short but sharp atmospheric and doom laden intro which segues into first track proper ‘Welcome To The Dragons Den’! This is thumptastically old-school Heavy Metal with great riff, chorus, and fingers flying at high speed during the solo. A great way to begin and a sweetener for next track ‘Lucifer’s Soldier’s. This is much slower and laced with doom, a chugging riff overlaid with vocals placed somewhere between Ozzy and early Candlemass. ‘In Hell’ is next and is an even more despairing and bleak tale which pays a huge homage to the song ‘Black Sabbath’ with Bill excelling in the vocal department. It is also my favourite track on the album!’six6six’continues in this fashion, switching between Doom and mid paced Metal monsters. ’I Can’t Die’ and ‘Eyes Of The Lord’ also stand out amidst an album of highlights. Closing with a reprise of the opening ‘Death March’ brings ‘six6six’full circle to a very satisfying climax!

Sacrilege have always been a fabulous live band outstripping what they do in the studio but now that this line-up has been stable for a couple of years with the band gigging regularly around the UK and further afield ‘six6six’ boasts a sound that is the nearest I’ve heard to what they recreate live. Bill, Neil Turnbull (Drums), Jeff Rolland (Bass) and Tony Vanner (Guitar) are all excellent musicians and that togetherness is really starting to pay off in a studio setting. To add to this the album is excellently produced and mixed and the cover artwork (which seems almost a companion piece to the compilation album) is brilliantly dark and once again brings to mind early Candlemass albums.

Sacrilege definitely deserve their time to shine and for you to miss out on either their albums, especially this one, or seeing them in a live setting would be a criminal offence. I’ve also been lucky enough to chat with Bill on many occasions over the last couple of years and you really couldn’t wish to meet a nicer gentleman. In 2017 if you see their name on a gig or festival poster make the effort to go and see them and say Hi! You won’t regret it. I’m also itching to see if there is going to be a new studio album because if ‘six6six’is anything to go by the next one could well be a monster!

TRACKLIST

  • Death March six6six
  • Welcome To The Dragon’s Den
  • Lucifer’s Soldier’s
  • In Hell
  • Sanctuary
  • Forever After
  • I Can’t Die
  • Paranoia
  • Eyes Of The Lord Prologue
  • Eyes Of The Lord
  • Death March six6six Reprise

MEMBERS

  • Bill Beadle – Vocals/Guitar
  • Neil Turnbull – Drums
  • Jeff Rolland – Bass
  • Tony Vanner – Guitar

Social Media

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Baranovich – Hyde EP

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8 OUT OF 10 

Formed in late November 2015, Baranovich are a five piece rock band hailing from Sheffield, England and ‘Hyde’ is their new 3-track EP due for release very soon.

Having previously played one of the tracks, ‘Fire in the Sky’ on my radio show, I couldn’t wait to hear what the rest of the EP sounded like and I was not disappointed.

Describing themselves as “new wave of classic rock” I would add “with a hint of punk thrown in.” This EP is hard-hitting like a classic rock EP should be but with catchy choruses that you will be singing all day long.

With crushing riffs and a monstrous drum and bass section, this band have the makings of something big and Steve Baranovich on vocals brings the whole sound together.

I have never seen these guys live but I certainly hope to one day. They obviously play with a lot of energy and I would love to see that transferred to the stage. I have a feeling it would be a performance that would blow the roof off, and I am sure they did just that when they recently supported Toseland for a gig in Sheffield.

With just three tracks on the EP it’s hard to pick a favourite but I think I would have to say the title track Hyde is the stand out track for me. With a bouncing bass line, an awesome guitar solo mid-way through the song, heavy riffs and lyrics that attach themselves like super glue to your brain, what is there to dislike?

I hope these guys will be bringing out a lot more material in the future because I, for one, will be buying it.

Now go and grab yourself a copy of this awesome EP and bounce around the living room as you play it full-volume! That actually might have just been me who did that but you get the idea!!!

Track Listing:

  • Have a Nice Day
  • Fire in the Sky
  • Hyde

Baranovich are:

  • Steve Baranovich – Lead Vocals
  • Emanuelle Repetto – Lead Guitar
  • Myke Thornton – Rhythm Guitar
  • John Atkinson Croad – Bass Guitar
  • Darren Blank – Drums

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Gravehuffer – Your Fault

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7 out of 10 

Not one to shy away from stepping outside my comfort zone, when Ritchie Randall, guitarist with Gravehuffer, approached me to review their latest album, I said “yes” straight away. Having heard tracks played on the station I DJ for, I knew it was not the type of metal I usually go for but that in itself made the review more of a challenge. Could I be impartial about a genre of metal that wasn’t one of my favourites? The answer was simply yes!

Hailing from Joplin, Missouri, Gravehuffer officially formed in 2010, although they originally started out in August 2008 under the name of Krom and Your Fault is the latest offering from this American quartet.

Often described as NWOBHM meets early Earache Records, this is a thrash/grindcore/crust band that seems to have a bit of everything thrown in. On their Facebook page they describe themselves as a ‘Metal/Punk band’ but throw in a bit of thrash, a pinch of death, lashings of hardcore and a spoonful of punk and you’d be a lot nearer the mark.

With eleven tracks totalling just 30 minutes, giving this album a spin won’t take up too much of your time, unless, of course, you get mesmerised by the lure of the album and the songs get stuck in your head! Because they will!

Some tracks are under a minute long, short and punchy, and will make your ears bleed, but this is by no means a bad thing. Your head will be banging from the offset and if it is not rolling around the floor by the time the last track kicks in you haven’t been listening properly. They mix fast Slayer-esque tracks, with vocals even more edgy than those of the big man himself, well with slower-paced, often doomier tracks and musically these guys are awesome. The drumming is tight, and fast, an all-out physical attack on the kit, the bass lines are fantastic and the guitar work is just amazing. Vocally, it’s not something I would usually like, but James’ voice works well with the rest of the band and this helps to produce their unique sound.

This is a high energy, in your face brutal metal album and one that does not let up from start to finish. It is a total onslaught on your ears, a bombardment of drums, dirty guitars and even dirtier vocals, and if this doesn’t have you reaching for the Gravehuffer back catalogue then nothing will.

Great job!

TRACK LISTING:

  • 1 Gravehuffer (4:27)
  • 2 Of Fish and Men (1:42)
  • 3 Kill For Sport (3:12)
  • 4 Dead Peace (0:49)
  • 5 Shut Up and Skate (2:04)
  • 6 Powers That Be (3:14)
  • 7 Destroyer of Worlds (3:43)
  • 8 Death Caprice (1:10)
  • 9 Worms Of God (2:22)
  • 10 Prince with a Thousand Enemies (2:16)
  • 11 Chains Around You (5:37)

GRAVEHUFFER ARE:

  • Larry Deardoff – drums
  • James Hiser – vocals
  • Mike Jilge – bass
  • Ritchie Randall – guitar

SOCIAL MEDIA:

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Quartz – Fear No Evil

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8 OUT OF 10 

Having never really been a fan of The New Way of British Heavy Metal era of metal music, what better test of my abilities as a reviewer, than to review a NWOBHM album?

Released on High Roller Records in October 2016, “Fear No Evil” is the latest album from Quartz, their first since 1983’s “Against All Odds.”

Originally classed as one of the forerunners of the NWOBHM movement, the band were actually formed in 1974 under the name of Bandy Legs. They changed their name to Quartz in 1977 for the release of their self-titled debut, an album that was produced by Tony Iommi, featured Queen guitarist Brian May on one of the tracks and had backing vocals supplied by Ozzy Osbourne himself. Criticised in the past as being a Sabbath clone, the band played Reading festival three times, supporting the likes of Black Sabbath and AC/DC, and released three albums before disbanding in 1983.

But, now a great name from the past are back. Featuring four out the five original members, after the recent death of singer Mike Taylor, the band have reformed with new singer David Garner and what a fantastic comeback album!

The band are obviously influenced by bands of the seventies, such as Black Sabbath as previously mentioned, but this does nothing to take away from the bands own talents. Singer, David Garner, has a strong voice, almost Ozzy-esque in places, but this is by no means a bad thing.

The album as a whole is traditional NWOBHM. It has a solid sound and the production is great, unlike a lot of previous NWOBHM albums, which I think is why I never liked the genre. Most of it sounded like it was being played inside a bucket, and although this was probably the charm for a lot of people, it wasn’t for me. This album, however, has an “old-school” vibe and feels like it could have come straight from the early 1980’s but in no way feels out-dated. That, in itself, is a contradictory of terms but this is a sign of how well the authenticity of the album has been produced.

The album is dotted with heavy, infectious riffs, fine melodies and kick-arse solos. The guitars are dirty, the drumming is tight and the keyboards add an atmospheric tone to the whole record. The vocals and song writing is melodic and, together with catchy choruses, will have you humming for the rest of the day.

The band seem to work better on the faster songs but, apart from “Rock Bottom”, a catchy heavy metal song with great bass and drum work, my other favourites on the album are “The Stalker” and “Zombie Resurrection”, two of the slower-paced tracks often criticised by other reviewers.

But I guess that’s the whole point of reviewing. No one person’s opinion of an album is the right one.

What I suggest you do, is go get yourself a copy and judge for yourself. This won’t be breaking any new ground or setting the metal music scene alight BUT it is a great album by a great band and will easily keep you entertained for nearly fifty minutes.

Quartz are BACK!

TRACK LISTING:

  • 01 Fear No Evil
  • 02 Rock Bottom
  • 03 The Stalker
  • 04 Rapture
  • 05 Zombie Resurrection
  • 06 Barren Land
  • 07 Walking on Holy Water
  • 08 Dangerous Game
  • 09 Born to Rock the Nation
  • 10 Riot in the City
  • 11 Dead Man’s World
  • 12 Scream at the Devil

QUARTZ ARE:

  • Derek Arnold – Bass
  • Malcolm Cope – Drums
  • Mick Hopkins – Guitars
  • Geoff Nicholls – Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
  • David Garner – Vocals

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

Reproduced here with kind permission from Metal Gods TV

Evergrey – The Storm Within

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9 OUT OF 10

Having previously owned just one Evergrey album, 2008’s Torn, getting the chance to review their latest offering was too good to turn down.

Released on AFM Records on 9th September 2016, The Storm Within is the Swedish quintet’s 10th studio album and is one of the most progressive records they have produced to date. Inadvertently coinciding with their 20th year anniversary, The Storm Within, is considered by some to be their strongest album ever.

Formed in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1995, the band have undergone various personnel changes, their current line-up undoubtedly being their best as 2014 saw the triumphant returns of both Henrik Danhage and Jonas Ekdahl on the album, Hymns For The Broken and The Storm Within picks up where Hymns left off.

In true Evergrey style, the album has a melancholy concept and is one that everyone can relate to. Described by frontman/founder Tom S Englund as the band’s first “love” album, it portrays the processes and emotions of having someone, losing them and having to pick yourself up and move on and incorporates the Evergrey trademark progressive, dark and melancholic elements.

The album is packed with elaborate guitar work, remarkable solos and killer rhythms and the combination of melodies, progressive tendencies and a heaviness only a metal band could produce along with haunting lyrics and vocals, means the band connect with their listeners on both a musical and emotional level. On a personal note, I can relate to the distinctive poignant vocals but with plenty of beefy guitars and galloping heavy riffs, which recently had been pointed out to be a favourite of mine, the album offers a delightful treat for my ears too.

We start with a haunting piano intro that steers us into Distance, the lead single and first video off the album, and the melodically and lyrically stunning Passing Through is set to become a fan favourite. My Allied Ocean is undeniably the heaviest track on the album, and The Impossible is a nice change of pace, with just the main vocal, piano work and some lovely string ambience, the band paying for real stringed instruments. The duet with Floor Jansen from Nightwish on In Orbit is the icing on the cake, the two complimenting each other perfectly and Englund is also joined by his wife Carina on The Paradox of the Flame.

Says Englund of the album: “The Storm Within is a massive album. There are no fillers on it and we’ve never been about that. I think the inspiration speaks for itself.”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself, Mr Englund. A cracking album, and one I will continue to listen to for a good while to come.

Track Listing:

  • Distance
  • Passing Through
  • Someday
  • Astray
  • The Impossible
  • My Allied Ocean
  • In Orbit (feat Floor Jansen)
  • The Lonely Monarch
  • The Paradox of the Flame
  • Disconnect
  • The Storm Within

 

Evergrey are:

  • Tom S Englund – vocals, guitar
  • Henrik Danhage – guitar, backing vocals
  • Rikard Zander – keyboards, backing vocals
  • Jonas Ekdahl – drums
  • Johan Niemann – bass, backing vocals

 

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

 

 

Catastrophe – Terror Campaign

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8 out of 10 

One of the things I love about reviewing albums is I never know what I am going to get. A new upcoming band, or a more established band who I have never heard of, could approach me to write a review for them and until I plug that USB stick into the stereo in my car, I never know what I am going to hear. This, in itself, can be a blessing or a curse.

In the case of Catastrophe, it was definitely a blessing.

Hailing from Dublin in Ireland, Catastrophe are a thrash metal band formed in 2015 and within a week, the band had written “Propaganda”, the first track on the recently released EP “Terror Campaign”, a sure sign of how well the five members fitted together.

Siting bands such as Slayer, Testament, Exodus, Destruction and Annihilator as influences, Catastrophe have mixed elements of thrash, NWOBHM, punk and hard rock to create their own sound and it really is hard to believe that these guys have only been together for a year.

The EP is a pretty intensive experience from start to finish with a hard and fast energy the driving force behind it. The vocals are typical of the thrash genre, shouted with a few growls thrown in for good measure. The guitars, almost punky at times, are heavy with some blistering solos and the basswork is fantastic, most notable on the bass-lead intro to “God Is Gone.”

And lastly, if the drumming is anything to go by, these guys certainly don’t need to go to the gym to work out!

This is great thrash EP that couples the charm and chemistry of early 80’s trash metal with the vigour of more contemporary bands and it has undoubtedly reignited my love for the thrash genre.

If there was ever a band that could be described as rawer than early Slayer, then Catastrophe would be that band!

I will be on tenterhooks now waiting for the next release from this terrific band. I just hope it comes sooner rather than later.

Track Listing:

  • Propaganda
  • God Is Gone
  • Terror Campaign
  • Septic Society
  • Kill Or Be Killed

 

Catastrophe are:

  • Jamie Murphy – Vocals
  • Adam Treacy – Lead Guitar
  • Gordo Casey – Guitar
  • Darragh O’Connor – Bass
  • Connor Middleton – Drums

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.