Machine Gun Kelly – No Easy Way Out

No Easy Way Out Cover

Machine Gun Kelly – No Easy Way Out
Sliptrick Records
Release Date 30/01/2018
Running time: 38:00
Review by Vikkie ‘Queen of Rock’ Richmond
6/10

I was perplexed when I searched for Machine Gun Kelly online and I got results back for an American rapper who has over 5m likes on Facebook. Further research revealed that there is also an Italian rock band of the same name, with a somewhat more modest 3,500 likes (not too shabby). I’m no copyright expert, but I expect to see some sort of a legal battle occurring at some point in the future … interestingly, it appears that the Italians may have had the name first.

This Machine Gun Kelly are not rappers, indeed they are a band of four rockers who have apparently been in existence since the year 2000, but ‘No Easy Way Out’ is only their third full length offering, one demo and one EP notwithstanding. This album is the first to feature new guitarist/bassist Manfre.

I’ve never really understood why bands include an intro on an album; this one is no exception, it’s called ‘Broadcast Humanity’ and it’s basically snippets of radio broadcasts, but… well, it’s so short, what is the point? I suppose it could be because the first track proper was a chuggy, riff laden beast of a song, titled ‘Broadcast King’. I quite liked it until the vocals kicked in. As with many European artists I have listened to lately, the musicality of the record is there, but in my opinion the vocals let it down. That’s not to say that Mikke has a bad voice, it’s just not to my taste.

There are some great tracks on this album, although I have to say sadly the vocals weren’t really my cup of tea on any of them. ‘Eye of the Storm’ featured a great, slide guitar sound at the start before morphing into a fast, somewhat repetitive refrain.

The simple drum and guitar intro to ‘Nothing Ever Changes’ was promising; the song had a big, brash sound to it with a catchy lick (it was going around my head for hours after I’d listened to it). The ballad like opening to ‘Hard Times’ was interesting, and there was a cheeky little riff going on at about 3 and a half minutes in.

If I had to pick a ‘favourite’ track, I suppose it would probably be ‘Take What You Need’, purely for the vaguely dirty feel to it, however, at times the guitars sounded a little discordant and jarring.

The production isn’t sparkling on this album, but there is evidence of some talented musicians here and it’s a bit of a rip-roaring, semi-classic yet somewhat dated outing for the Italians. You could do worse than give it a listen; I wish I’d liked it more, but it just wasn’t my bag. I would imagine that MGK are probably really good live as the songs have that raw, untamed edge that would translate well into the live environment.

TRACKLIST:
Intro (Broadcasted Humanity)
Broadcast King
Aileen
Eye Of The Storm
Nothing Ever Changes
Hard Times
Stand Or Fall
No Easy Way Out
Take What You Need
The Boogeyman

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://machinegunkellyitaly.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MgkSv/

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

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Vikkie ‘Queen of Rock’ Richmond 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.

 

Amanda Somerville’s Trillium – Tectonic

Tectonic Cover

Amanda Somerville’s Trillium – Tectonic
Frontiers Music srl
Running time: 44:04
Release Date 08/06/2018
Review by Lotty Whittingham
8/10

No introduction required here. Amanda Somerville is a prominent figure in the metal community. Her impeccable vocal technique has seen her collaborate with some of metal’s household names. EPICA, KAMELOT, AVANTASIA and AFTER FOREVER are just a few that she has worked alongside. There was also her unforgettable partnership with HELLOWEEN’s Michael Kiske. She has now released a new album by her project TRILLIUM.

Somerville is very well known for her versatile vocal range and diverse ability to fit in with a lot of musical styles. TRILLIUM is rooted within the metal genre and their second studio album “Tectonic” shows this within the opening song ‘Time To Shine’. This empowering track moves the listener forward and helps them feel uplifted.

“Tectonic” is a versatile portfolio of brilliant melodies. These all consist of great guitar work, wonderful vocals and sweeping beats. If you are used to the excellent calibre of Somerville’s vocal work, this album may seem a bit tame and mediocre, almost just a mesh of tracks sounding similar to each other!

On second listen however, it’s a different story. You begin to scratch the surface and learn to appreciate music in all it’s different forms. Each track shows you varying vocal abilities and range. You might come across a vocal technique that you haven’t heard Somerville perform before.

A good example of the unheard vocal work can be found in the booming track ‘Full Speed Ahead’. It highlights the lower end of Somerville’s vocal range, a surprise, particularly when you are used to hearing her hit those high notes. This impounding track hits you like a tonne of bricks and it doesn’t plan on taking prisoners. The blasting guitar work and thunderous drums provide the perfect allies for a powerful voice.

The sweeping beats and melody of ‘Nocturna’ are stunning. If you decide within the first few moments that it’s going to provide a huge impact, you’d be correct. From the amazing guitar riffs and orchestral melodies emphasising the song to the beautiful vocals then this track is a definite highlight of the album.

‘Shards’ is a brilliant hard rock track that provides inspiration and power. The song has a fabulous melody and ambience that draws you in. The chorus is a dominant one that ensures you are still listening and paying attention to the track throughout. The track name ‘Shards’ is also perfect for what this track portrays with the music giving off an icy ambience, one that is powerful.

“Tectonic” ends on a beautiful note with the track ‘Eternal Spring’, it’s the ballad of the album stripped down to just a piano and vocals. You know those tracks that just make you stop what you are doing and listen to the song? ‘Eternal Spring’ does just that. Like EPICA’s ‘Tides Of Time’, it provides a stunning melody showing us the best of the vocal work.

To sum this up, this album is a great portfolio of work. The production is already dominant, but considering the calibre of Somerville’s vocals I was expecting it to be even grander. I can only imagine how it would sound if it had received even more nurturing and care? The production could be huge. Despite that Amanda Somerville’s TRILLIUM is a force to be reckoned with!

TRACKLIST:
01 Time To Shine
02 Stand Up
03 Full Speed Ahead
04 Hit Me
05 Fighting Fate
06 Nocturna
07 Fatal Mistake
08 Shards
09 Cliché Freak Show
10 Eternal Spring

LINKS:
http://www.amandasomerville.com/
https://www.facebook.com/amandasomervilleofficial

https://www.instagram.com/amandasomervillemusic/

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

 

 

Mr Big – Live From Milan

Live From Milan Cover

MR. BIG – Live From Milan
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 13/07/2018
Running time: 1:50:00
Review by Chris White
7/10

MR.BIG is the sort of band that highly talented and technical musicians form when they decide to focus on their songwriting output, rather than instrumental virtuosity. Having been around for the best part of 30 years, I had the luck to see them live in London around the time this release was recorded; at the peak of their (radio) popularity in the early 90’s plus individual performances at guitar exhibitions during that period and every time they never failed to deliver the goods to an excited audience.

I make no excuses in saying that, at various times on this record, the intros to songs feel rushed compared to older releases like ‘Live Like Sushi II’ and sometimes Eric’s vocals take a lower, safer note than some of the helium induced notes of yesteryear’s releases, but it doesn’t seem to detract from the quality of the performance given. Plus, the mix of songs is nicely balanced between contemporary and older material, which I think makes a change for bands with a long back catalogue who are forever eager to push newer material.

One of the saddest elements of this release is that drummer extraordinaire, Pat Torpey passed away from Parkinson’s complications not long after this was recorded. He did however prominently feature alongside Matt Starr on drums and provided backing vocals on stage as frequently as possible, which the audience in Milan clearly appreciated as much as the rest of the venues on the tour.

I can’t but help wonder how much pace and power he would have added to the 10 minute version of ‘Addicted To That Rush’, featured on track 18.

Although the big hair, MTV videos, neon guitars and tight jeans are no longer present with MR.BIG, you do still quite rightly get the obligatory solo performances from Billy and Paul on this record, where they unleash a mayhem of shredding. But then if Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan can’t let rip for a few minutes on guitar and bass respectively, who can?

Overall, an enjoyable release from a band producing new, quality songs, playing some of the older numbers and generally pleasing crowds across the globe with a great, live night out.

 
TRACKLIST:
CD 1
01 Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy
02 American Beauty
03 Undertow
04 Alive And Kickin’
05 Temperamental
06 Just Take My Heart
07 Take Cover
08 Green-Tinted Sixties Mind
09 Everybody Needs A Little Trouble
10 Price You Gotta Pay
11 Paul’s Solo
12 Open Your Eyes
13 Wild World
14 Damn I’m In Love Again

CD 2
15 Rock And Roll Over
16 Around The World
17 Billy’s Solo
18 Addicted To That Rush
19 To Be With You
20 1992
21 Colorado Bulldog
22 Defying Gravity

 
SOCIAL MEDIA
http://www.mrbigsite.com/
https://www.facebook.com/mrbigmusic/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMKoGNPOfhxwTc-7XcNuBMw

 

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

Evil Scarecrow – Chapter IV: Antartarctica

 

Chapter IV, Antartarctica Cover

Evil Scarecrow – Chapter IV: Antartarctica
Dead Box Records
Release Date: 28/09/2018
Running Time: 48:45
Review by Beth Jones
10/10

Earth. 2018. The planet is in the grip of a dense stupidity, where man-size tissues attack poor offended snowflakes daily, and boys are forced to carry their school books in microwaves. Little do the poor earthlings know that their planet faces a new threat, in the shape of hot red people from outer space! The only hope lies at the feet of a crack team of renegades, known only as Evil Scarecrow, who must carry out a mission to play kick ass music to save the world, their mission, code name: Antartarctica.

Whether these intrepid minstrels are battling aliens, or fighting evil spirits they do it with style, and this new offering is no exception. In fact, for me it is the most rounded and musically mature album that they have released to date – even though their themes are still as bonkers and tongue in cheek as always, which makes them the band we have come to know and love.

The album kicks off with ‘Skulls Of Our Enemies’. A great tune to get things started, that could almost be a space age James Bond-esque theme for the impending Armageddon! It certainly has an element of impending large-scale disaster about it and is a great way to start!

One of their singles from this album, ‘Red Riding Hood’, is up next! This is such a great track – one of my favourites on the album, and it is absolutely terrifying! We saw them perform it live at Amplified this year and the 10-foot-tall grotesque Red Riding Hood stage character is the stuff of nightmares! But still tongue in cheek, with ingenious lyrical japes throughout, and musically great hooks, as well as the accustomed big chorus that is great to sing along to, that makes it very typically Evil Scarecrow.

Their songs really are huge musical numbers that accompany a theatrical extravaganza perfectly, and this theme continues throughout the whole album. It is proggy in places, it is symphonic and grand in others, with gothic and classic heavy metal thrown in alongside a healthy dose of electronica, as well as all the poise and excitement of a piece of spectacular theatre, which, combined with the lyrical craziness, could only be described as if the Goons or the Pythons had written Futurama through the medium of song then released it under the umbrella of Disney!

The album moves on, a pace and pretty soon ends up at ‘Hurricanado’, another rip-roaring tempestuous sing along, again with spectacularly catchy riffs, hooks and a big audience participation element. This track marks the half way point in the album, and is perfectly positioned at the peak, with its fast pace and the manic growls and howls of Dr Hell. By this point in an album I have usually heard one song that has made me pull a meh face, but not a chance here. Every element is perfectly placed, and not over egged. No song outstays its welcome, and each is different enough not to be boring, but has enough in common to make the story flow. It is witchcraft!

Track 7, ‘Polterghost’, is another favourite of mine, and not just for the madcap story, but for the brilliant chunkiness of the rhythm section, making it great for rocking out too, and the brilliant guitar work in the solo, which is not over stated or fussy, but fits the track perfectly.

What I think is really needed at this point in the album, is something to properly lose your shit too. Yet again the Scarecrows’ super sixth sense knew this and slotted in ‘Cosmos Goth Moth Gong’, because why not! It is by far the heaviest track on the album and brilliant to boot. I’m now wishing that one of the songs on this album was mediocre, as I am running out of ways to say, ‘this is damn brilliant’! This super track gives you the sense that the album is building to some totally explosive, all out galactic warfare, finale, that may result in certain death, or at the very least, a little bit of maiming. And then…
‘The Ballad Of Brother Pain’. Wow! This I did not expect! All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a toned down, slow ballad, with clean vocals and stripped back effects, that is melancholy and has a beautiful, almost ethereal quality about it, then a huge and brilliant guitar solo in the middle, taking it to the big lift ending! Again, a sing along, of stadium proportions, which blew my mind! I frikkin love this song! And indeed this album!

The closing, and title track, ‘Antartarctica’, combines all of the above, in a nightmarish, apocalyptic vision, of epic proportions with this piece on its own being an impressive 10 minutes in length! They have taken every element used so far and created an eclectic masterpiece, full of great guitar work, changes in tempo and dynamics, growls, clean vocals, rough and heavy rhythms, classic gothic cadences, narration, tension and suspense, a cuddly toy and probably the kitchen sink too!

Something very special happens when you listen to Evil Scarecrow. It brings out your inner child. No matter how bad your day is, a quick listen to this, or any Evil Scarecrow album, will bring you round and transport you into their crazy, warped Sci Fi world! The difference being with this album, is they have now really bedded in and are thinking bigger, and better, and creating musical masterpieces song after song after song. Their writing is now so mature, that they are approaching the point of complete perfection, hence my perfect rating.

This is probably the best album I have heard all year. I can’t really say much more than that, other than, get out there people, buy it and listen to it and love it like a brother, whilst you still have the chance! The world will be brought to an end by stupidity and people taking offence at the colour of the sky, but at least Evil Scarecrow will have made the end infinitely more enjoyable!

TRACKLIST:
1. Skulls Of Our Enemies
2. Red Riding Hood
3. Way To Die
4. The Magician
5. Hurricanado
6. Gus, Zag And The Turnip King
7. Polterghost
8. Cosmos Goth Moth Gong
9. The Ballad Of Brother Pain
10. Antartarctica

 
LINKS:
http://www.evilscarecrow.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/Evil.Scarecrow
https://www.youtube.com/user/drrabidhell

https://www.instagram.com/evilscarecrowuk/

 

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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.

 

 

Trevor and The Wolves – Road to Nowhere

Booklet-04.indd

Trevor and the Wolves – Road to Nowhere
Nadir Music
Release Date: 02/02/2018
Running Time: 49:34
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

Finding background on the band Trevor and the Wolves is not easy. There seems to be precious little information on the world wide web and the small bit that can be found, is mostly written in Italian!

Trevor and The Wolves is the side project of death metal band Sadist’s vocalist, Trevor Sadist, and this album couldn’t be more different if it tried.

Featuring a number of special guests including Christian Meyer (Elio E Le Storie Tese), Stefano Cabrera (Gnu Quartet), Paolo Bonfanti, Grazia Quaranta, Francesco Chinchella and Daniele Barbarossa (Winterage), the new album Road to Nowhere was recorded at the Italian Nadir Music Studios in Genoa, under the expert supervision of Tommy Talamanca as producer.

With obvious influences from the hard rock end of the rock and metal spectrum, this is a good old-fashioned rock and roll album. Its simplistic in style but that in no way takes away from the appeal of the music.

Think the Brian Johnson era of AC/DC, mix it with a bit of Motörhead and Saxon, and you are somewhere close to what this band sound like. I am not a HUGE fan of any of the just mentioned bands, but I do like this album. The rough vocals of Trevor are ideally suited to this type of rock, there are riffs galore and at just under fifty minutes in length, there is plenty to get your listening gear round.

The guitar solos are simple yet expertly executed and you can just imagine the drummer and bass player bouncing around the stage keeping everyone in time. I personally love to see musicians making music other than what they are known for and, having listened to a bit of Sadist just for comparison purposes, this is nothing like what Trevor is known for.

With enough grit and gravel to line all the roads in England during a cold snap of weather, I think this is a must for any hard rock fan’s collection. Slightly heavier than AC/DC, it still has the party feel about it and will certainly have you bounding round your living room strutting your stuff on your air guitar!

 

TRACK LISTING
From Hell To Heaven Ice
Burn At Sunrise
Red Beer
Black Forest
Bath Number 666
Spiritual Leader
Roadside Motel
Wings Of Fire
Lake Sleeping Dragon
Unforgivable Mistake

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://en-gb.facebook.com/trevorandthewolves/
http://www.twitter.com/TrevorSadist96
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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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Krull – The Black Coast

Krull The Black Coast Cover

Krull – The Black Coast
Iron Shield Records
Release date: 27/04/2018
Running Time: 42.32
Review by: Alun Jones
6/10

KRULL! Did you ever see the movie? It’s GREAT! On the ancient world of Krull, Prince Colwyn brings together a band of scoundrels to help him rescue Princess Lyssa from the clutches of the evil Beast, who threatens to conquer the planet. It’s a sci-fi fantasy adventure with a Cyclops, cool weapons, vile baddies, Tucker Jenkins and Lysette Anthony. I mean seriously, you need to see this film. How metal does it sound? Even the bad guys are called “Slayers”!

The band Krull occupy a musical space which is openly very inspired by fantasy, battles and all things sword and sorcery. And right from the off, it’s a whole lot of fun. The atmospheric intro “In the Woods” grabs the listener and plunges them into the ethereal world that Krull have concocted, and it’s pretty much full on from there.

Pace-wise, “The Black Coast” is like riding shotgun in a barbarian’s chariot, charging an army of Orcs. Stand out tracks for me included “By Steel” and “The King and the Sword”, but the whole album is energetic traditional metal. If you’re a fan of Priest, Maiden and the mighty Manowar you’ll find something to enjoy here. Only midway track “Valhalla” slows things down a little, otherwise it’s a fast and brutal campaign.

So why only 6 out of 10? Well there are lots of plus points with this album. The vocals are suitably bonkers, ranging from powerful cries, deep growls to a high pitched, witchy cacophony. The musicianship is great, and the rhythm section successfully keep the march relentless. The songs are fast and filled with          fantastic tales of battles and bravery.

But the guitar tone was just off for me. I like something with more crunch; more skull smashing intensity. After the cool intro, first track “The Witch”, whilst a great song, suffers from a languid guitar sound that slices the records               hamstrings before the fight is really on.

Don’t misunderstand me, the playing is great – it’s the production that’s slightly lacking. The guitars should be much more axe in the face, blood and brains       everywhere.

There’s still a lot to recommend Krull’s “The Black Coast” though. Especially if you dig your metal as a soundtrack to a rampaging berserker, attacking a horde of evil ghouls.

Oh, and get down to your local Blockbuster and rent the Krull video. You won’t regret it. It makes Lord of the Rings look like a bad Dungeons and Dragons game in a crack den…!

TRACK LISTING
1. In the Woods – Intro
2. The Witch
3. By Steel
4. Marching to Mountains
5. Valhalla
6. The King and the Sword
7. Immortals
8. Stand fight to Kill
9. The Black Coast

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/krullheavymetal/
https://krullofficial.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/krull.official/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdgPwJVIKdkOcphCcdQSBBA

Krull Promo Pic1

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.

St Madness – Bloodlustcapades

Bloodlustcapades Cover

St Madness – Bloodlustcapades
Nasty Prick Records
Release Date: 15/03/2018
Running Time: 1.06:13
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

Many years ago, in 2006, a then good friend of mine sent me an album to listen to, one that he thought I would enjoy. That album was “Vampires in The Church” by St Madness and, with my favourite tracks being ‘Vampires in the Church’, ‘Arizona’ and ‘Ever After’, I absolutely loved it.

Now, 12 years later, I have been given their new album “Bloodlustcapades” to review, and guess what? I absolutely love this one too.

Formed in Tempe, Arizona in 1993, they originally had the name Crown of Thorns, but in 1997, after discovering a Christian rock band from New Jersey had trademarked the name, they changed to St Madness, and have been so ever since.

Although not to everyone’s taste, the band has achieved some fine accolades during their career, including performing at the iconic Milwaukee Metalfest in 1998 and 1999, and receiving the Los Angeles Music Award for Metal Album of the Year for their 2013 album “Carnimetal”.

They have also performed on stage with a host of bands including Van Halen, Monster Magnet, Gwar, King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Flotsam and Jetsam,        Sacred Reich, Lynch Mob, Fates Warning, Phil Lewis, Six Feet Under, Death,       Destruction, Iced Earth, Black Oak Arkansas, The Misfits and D.R.I! Impressive, huh?

“Bloodlustcapades” is the band’s 11th full length CD release.

One of the things I love about St Madness is that you cannot pigeon hole them into any particular genre or category (and if you have read any of my previous reviews you will know I absolutely HATE pigeon holing with a passion!!) They mix traditional heavy metal with thrash and groove elements and are even not scared to throw in the odd country, blues and southern rock influence either. Why should a band have to fit into one particular strain of metal when they can so easily cover a whole range as easily as St Madness do!?

This is an aggressive album, raw and uncomplicated, with heavy riffs galore throughout the album and drummer Sircyko plays out of his skin, but one that also shows they had a lot of fun doing.

St Madness are a theatrical band, combining face makeup with onstage dancers and actors to provide not only a treat for the ears but one for the eyes too. Even some of the music and lyrics lean more to the comical side of things but this is no way a bad thing. This is obviously a band who love what they do but want to have some fun while they are doing it.

The album features 13 fantastic that range from the heavy “King of the Goddamn World” to the instrumental that is “Rigel” to the more comical “Made in China.” There are also two awesome covers, one of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom   Prison Blues” and the other of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” which is something that really shouldn’t work, yet it does so brilliantly.

If you have never heard anything by St Madness before, go out and buy this        album! It really is a fantastic piece of music! It should appeal to a whole host of metal fans, but we all know just how finicky some metal fans can be!!

This is a metal album but with a twist…and a turn!! And I think that sets them apart from other metal bands.

St Madness just seem to be getting better and better!

TRACK LIST
1. Day of the Dead
2. Folsom Prison Blues
3. Don’t Be Like the Blind
4. The Arrogance of Man
5. This is Your Reality
6. Made in China
7. Walk Your Own Path
8. Bloodlustcapades
9. Can’t Help Falling in Love with You
10. Warnings from the Past
11. King of the Damn World
12. Rigel
13. He’s Riding a Harley in Heaven

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/ST-MADNESS-58739248731/
https://stmadness.bandcamp.com/
https://myspace.com/stmadness

Nasty Prick Records Poster

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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Primal Fear – Apocalypse

Apocalypse Cover

Primal Fear – Apocalypse
Frontiers Music
Release Date: 10/08/2018
Running Time: 50:10
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

I always knew that I was going to enjoy this album as I have been a fan of Primal Fear for as long as I can remember, the question was HOW MUCH was I going to like it?

Billed as “for fans of Judas Priest, Accept, Helloween, Gamma Ray and Iced Earth” (I don’t know about anyone else but that would sell it straight away for me), Primal Fear were first formed in 1997 but two of Germany’s most respected metal musicians; Ralf Scheepers, former Gamma Ray vocalist and bassist/vocalist Mat Sinner.

Their first self-titled album was released in March 1997, and in the following 21 years they have released a further 11 albums, becoming one of the most beloved and respected heavy metal bands around the globe.

Their last two studio albums, “Delivering The Black” and “Rulebreaker” saw them climbing the charts and earning even more critical praise than before and with the release of their new album “Apocalypse”, they have once again raised the bar in heavy metal to even greater heights.

Produced by Mat Sinner and recorded, mixed and mastered by Jacob Hansen at Hansen Studios, “Apocalypse” brings together German power metal, elements of pure thrash metal and traditional heavy metal along with some 1970’s European hard rock.

Primal Fear had kind of fallen off my radar in the last few years. Reviewing newer bands, a lot of the time meant that a lot of the older ones had been temporarily resigned to the back seat, but I was glad this one dropped in my inbox.

So, the question that needs to be asked is, did this album live up to my recollection of them from albums gone by?

Simple answer is, YES AND THEN SOME!

The album opens with the atmospheric and apocalyptic title track, with its bell tolls and choral, almost chanting, vocals before it launches you headfirst into the rest of the album, which has a severe ‘in your face’ rock and roll attitude.

The album is classic Primal Fear, the galloping riffs, the frantic double pedals that add a sense of urgency and speed and Scheepers piercing high screams. Everything that got Primal Fear noticed in the first place.

This is hard, driving speed metal at its best, but has that Teutonic power/heavy metal sound that the Germans do best.

Stand out tracks for me include “Blood, Sweat and Fear”, “Hounds of Justice” (which I am aware that some reviewers did not like! But hey, we can’t all agree on everything can we?” and “The Beast”.

“Supernova” is the albums power ballad and shows the more theatrical side of Scheepers singing and “Eye of the Storm”, although not technically what I would class as a ballad, is a slower, more melodic offering, showing just what these guys are capable of.

“King of Madness”, the album’s first single, is probably the most radio friendly and is an absolutely stunning track. I would have bought the album purely based on this one track if I hadn’t received it for reviewing purposes. It’s a great advert for an awesome album.

We all know the story that Scheepers tried out for the Judas Priest job after Rob Halford left (the gig eventually going to Tim “Ripper” Owens!) but I, for one, am glad he didn’t get the job. Just think, if Ralf had joined Judas Priest, we might never have had the pleasure of a band like Primal Fear over the past 21 years!

The more I listen to this album the better it gets. I only wish I could have made it to the gig in London on 11th October, but maybe I’ll catch them next time, where I will definitely be down the front!

TRACK LISTING
Apocalypse
New Rise
The Ritual
King of Madness
Blood, Sweat and Fear
Supernova
Hail to the Fear
Hounds of Justice
The Beast
Eye of the Storm
Cannonball

SOCIAL MEDIA
http://www.primalfear.de/home/
https://en-gb.facebook.com/PrimalFearOfficial/
https://myspace.com/primalfearofficial
https://www.deezer.com/en/artist/4807?autoplay=true

https://tunein.com/artist/Primal-Fear-m152476/?autoplay=true

https://instagram.com/primalfearofficial

 
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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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Alphastate – The Grind

 

The Grind Cover

Alphastate – The Grind
Sliptrick Records
Release Date: 03/04/2018
Running Time: 37:28
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
7/10

Alphastate are a Greek metal band, formed in 2013 as a personal project of Pete Breaker (guitars). Vocalist Manos Xanthakis joined in in 2015 and the line up was complete in 2016 with the additions of Dimitris Tsounakis on bass and Fivos Andriopoulos on the drums. They released their first album “Out of the Black” in 2015 and received excellent and positive press globally.

Says the band: “we wanted to combine modern metal with 80’s and 90’s influences such as Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera and Nevermore to create a very personal and extreme style with no boundaries.”

So, what genre of metal are Alphastate? To pigeonhole them into one category would be wrong and do them a severe injustice. They play heavy metal that is heavier than normal, but they have thrown in a bit of power too, with just a hint of doom (think Sabbath, Candlemass and Trouble), and this gives them an almost unique sound.

I always think the vocals make any band and am always on the lookout for bands that have distinctive and different singers. If I am totally honest, on the first run through of the album, I didn’t actually like Manos’s vocals but after listening a few times, I realised I really didn’t give him much credit. His vocals are deep, and unmistakably Greek, which is by no means a bad thing. He could quite easily fit into a band such as Firewind if they were ever on the lookout.

I must admit that I hadn’t listened to the band’s first album before listening to this one, but the promo notes that came with the album stated that they wanted to take a more modern and aggressive approach musically with this new album. They wanted “very loud and distinctive guitars, a more modern production that had the vocals pushed up front and drums that punched through the sound.”

I think they were successful on all three counts. Take the guitars out of this album and they would slot straight into a Pantera album, the drums are strong and tight, and I have already mentioned the vocals above.

This album includes a lot more of the band’s own thoughts and experiences making it the most personal release so far, and sonically it is their best. They have made an album that is “pure aggression with the best songs they have ever written.”

One thing that I wasn’t overly keen on with this album, was the lack of variation. Each song seemed to sound much like the last, and I am not sure if this is due to unfamiliarity with the tracks. Maybe with a few more listens through, the songs may start to separate a bit.

But this doesn’t take away from the fact, that this is a solid album, and for a band that has only really been together properly since 2016, it’s a good sign of things to come.
Give these guys a go……and they may just surprise you!

 

TRACK LIST
01. Trapped
02. Phantom Desires
03. Speak Your Mind
04. Theater Of Lies
05. The Grind
06. Forevermore
07. Behind The Dark
08. Heaven’s World
09. Man Made God

 

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/AlphastateMetal/
https://www.instagram.com/alphastate_official/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCngyPMt1FVY2fdGJ0pbmc4g
https://sliptrickrecords.com/alphastate/

 

Alphastate

 

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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

 

Deadheads – This One Goes to 11

 

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DEADHEADS – THIS ONE GOES TO 11
High Roller Records
Release date 26/01/2018
Review by Vikkie ‘Queen of Rock’ Richmond
Running time: 38:00
6/10

I confess to having never heard of Swedish four-piece, Deadheads, although “This One Goes to 11” is their third album. Labelling themselves as ‘energetic rock and roll’, this band are all that and more; this album is eleven tracks of frenetically paced, good time rock which was fairly infectious to listen to.

The first track, ‘Black Out’ gallops along with brattish guitars and a thumping pace and although it was light on lyrics with a repetitive chorus, it certainly stuck in my brain for a while after listening.

I found a punkish element to next song, ‘Don’t Mind The Ghost’, which featured a simple hook and echoing vocals; in fact, pretty much all of the songs had a punk feel to them, with some nice keyboard/piano work showing on ‘Manic Mondays’.

The pace slowed a little with ‘Too Lost To Be Found’, which had a real vintage flavour to it and was one of my more favoured tracks on the album. I particularly liked the last track, ‘Status Low’; it wasn’t vastly different to the other songs, but I enjoyed the lyrics and the key changes made it feel a little less mad and ever so slightly more laid back.

I think if you take the time to listen to this album five or six times in a row, you will probably find nuances and changes from song to song; just listening to it twice through, it sounded kind of samey in places.

Quality and production-wise, the sound is a little muffled on some tracks – whether that was intentional, I’m not sure, but it was a bit irritating in places. Deadheads have been touring on and off in Europe, so perhaps they will be popping up on the UK festival circuit next year. I’d make a point of catching them live if I can; the songs are infectious and carry a certain amount of punk groove, so it would be interesting to see how that translates onto a live stage.
TRACK LISTING
● Black Out
● Don’t Mind The Ghost
● Somebody Along The Way
● Manic Mondays
● Too Lost To Be Found
● The Plan
● Instant Control
● 2 Steps Before The Fall
● Lucifer
● My Time
● Status Low

 

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/deadheadsband
http://www.deadheadsband.com/

 
Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Vikkie ‘Queen of Rock’ Richmond 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.