‘Stonedeaf Festival – Looking back and moving forward’.

Stonedeaf Logo (TOP)

‘Stonedeaf Festival – Looking back and moving forward’.
By Paul Monkhouse

It’s still Summer (despite the weather) so it’s still festival season. We have had Download and Bloodstock, Ramblin’ Man and Steelhouse amongst others are on the horizon but there are many superb smaller ones definitely worth checking out. In amongst those is one that mixes a heady nostalgia for the greatest annual rock festival of the 80’s and 90’s, an event put on by rock fans, for rock fans I give you: Stonedeaf Festival, happening on the 24th of August.

Despite only having its inaugural festival in 2018, this has become a much-anticipated fixture in the rock and metal calendar and one that has upped the ante even more from last year’s impressive debut. Put together by a collection of veteran fans of the legendary Monsters of Rock festival, this packs into one day and one stage more quality than most festivals do in a weekend (and more than Reading Festival has in the last ten years). The idea was to appeal to not only the people who used to go to MoR but anyone who loves classic hard rock music and doesn’t want to spend several days trudging from one stage to another on a massive site with overpriced food and drink. At Stonedeaf the order of the day is to make things as relaxed and easy as possible so people can get on with just enjoying several hours of fantastic music. Camping is an option and, unlike Download, you can pitch your tent within a very short walk of the arena which is a huge bonus and means you don’t have to miss any of the action. The same can be said of the one stage set-up, totally avoiding all those awkward clashes of timetabling.

Headlining this year is THE Voice of Rock, Mr Glenn Hughes who will be bringing his Classic Deep Purple live set to the venue. It can’t be overstated just how incredible this man is, not only for the voice and his phenomenal bass playing but also for being one of the true survivors of the business. The current set lets him really dig deep into his time in the legendary hard rockers but also breathes life into material that is over forty years old but rocks just as hard as it ever has, mixed with his soul and funk edge. This promises to be a must-see performance.

Not only do you get one of the greatest performers on the planet but also a stellar supporting cast featuring some of the cream of the scene. Rising superstars Inglorious bring their heady modern take on classic rock and in frontman Nathan James have a man whose voice and presence can command any audience. If you like your rock harder and dirtier, long-time Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell brings his Bastard Sons to Stonedeaf and will be playing not only selections from their own hugely acclaimed material but also throw in a song or two from the late, great Lemmy’s troupe too. Having gone down a storm to a packed tent at Download last year, constantly toured the UK with some of the best bands around and on the cusp of releasing their second album, the ex Little Angel Toby Jepson fronted Wayward Sons have got class and material to match that most groups would give their whole careers for.

The unique voice and vision of Geoff Tate is also appearing, doubtless showing just why Queensryche became so huge and true Legends of the NWOBHM, Diamond Head play too. It really cannot be overstated just how important DH are to the modern music scene and without them neither Metallica nor any of the other Big 4 would likely exist. Scotland’s brilliant The Amorettes will doubtless bring some Celtic fire to the proceedings and the bill is rounded off with the visceral rock ‘n’ roll of Australia’s Massive and the bluesy hard rockers Samarkind opening the show. With Krusher Joule MC’ing the whole event and tickets only £50 (£60 for camping) it’s a total no brainer.

Full details at https://www.stonedeaffestival.co.uk/

Stonedeaf Festival 2019 Poster (BOTTOM)

 

Disclaimer: This preview is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this preview, 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.

Severenth, In Depths & Lullaby For A Unicorn – The Live Rooms Chester – 05/07/2019

00 Severenth Comeback Gig Poster

Severenth, In Depths & Lullaby For A Unicorn
The Live Rooms Chester – 05/07/2019
Review by Beth Jones

I have to be honest; I don’t really remember Severenth in their original incarnation, which ended six years ago, but I do remember the name (I know, I’m sorry). I was looking forward to discovering what they were all about and was also looking forward to seeing one of our Ever Metal favourites, Lullaby For A Unicorn, and catching the formidable In Depths again. OMV had also been on the bill, but they pulled out at the last minute, so it meant we got a little bit extra from Lullaby and In Depths, which is always welcome.

Lullaby For A Unicorn
Last time we saw these guys was at the M2TM Final. On that night, they overthought their performance way too much, and it stole some of the endearing unicorn magic that we are used to. However, here they were back to their old selves, but minus all the mess! They looked comfortable on the stage and sounded fantastic, there was a good-sized crowd gathering and they all seemed to enjoy the unhinged sounds of the Unicorn, even chanting ‘SHED, SHED, SHED!’ at one point!

The acoustics in the big room at the Live Rooms are really good, and the sound man had got it spot on, making every note crystal clear for the performance – this was something that continued for the whole night – big love to the sound guy!

01 Lullaby For A Unicornhttps://www.facebook.com/rockmyunicorn/

In Depths
Wow! These guys were fired up for this gig, and it came through in their performance. It was brilliant! They are modern metal, with a djenty sound, but lots of nods to classic metal. They are all superbly talented musicians, and vocalist Callum Smith cut a striking figure as he roared, and absolutely owned the crowd, which was now the biggest crowd I have seen at a local gig for a long time.

They played with a terrific pace and ferocity, all kept in check by drummer Aaron Furnival, who is absolutely superb. This was the best we have seen them, very definitely, and I can’t wait to see them again.

02 In Depthshttps://www.facebook.com/InDepths/

Severenth
Playing to an almost sell-out crowd is how you want a comeback gig to be, but not something you see often, so Severenth have to be applauded for pulling that off to start with – the room was absolutely packed, and for a local band that takes some doing, but this was their first outing for six years! They built up the atmosphere with some dark entrance music, and then hammered straight into their first song.

What a sound! Made up of Ben Jones on Bass, Jack Somers and Adam Sidor on Guitar, Dave Roberts on Drums and Front Man Peet Bailey, they ripped into a thrashing show of 90’s inspired modern metal, which was completely flawless. They all looked like they were having so much fun – like being back was the best feeling in the world. With skilled guitar work, insanely tight drumming, rumbling bass riffs and an all-round vocal powerhouse, it begs the question why they haven’t come back sooner?! Peet also has potentially world record breaking dreadlocks, which amazed me! I reckon the longest one was a good five foot!! It has taken me forty years to be that tall!!

The whole crowd was loving every minute of the performance and were dancing and pitting all over the place. Sadly, Rick took an elbow to the back as a pit started up near him, which wasn’t great, and we had to cut our night slightly short to get him home to his pain meds. I have no doubt that those who stayed until the end of the set were treated to more of the same great, commanding performance we had already seen. That is how to do a show everybody! Storming, enthralling and utterly brilliant! I am so glad that they are now a thing again, as it meant I got to find out what I was missing the first time. We are really looking forward to seeing them again very soon, at the Alma Inn in Bolton on 20th July.

03 Severenthhttps://www.facebook.com/OfficialSeverenth/

 

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

 

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.

Klavium, Killer Hurts & Scars Of Remembrance – The Live Rooms, Chester – 27/06/2019

00 Poster (At top please)

Klavium, Killer Hurts & Scars Of Remembrance
The Live Rooms, Chester – 27/06/2019
Review by Beth Jones

It had been a couple of weeks since we had been to a live show, and this was a gig that we had earmarked when it was announced, even though it was on a school night! It was a chance to catch up with the guys in Scars Of Remembrance before their Bloodstock adventure, and also to see a couple of new names for us, Classic Thrashers Killer Hurts and a new name to the scene, all the way from Trinidad and Tobago, Klavium.

The gig was in the smaller room at the Live Rooms, which we have never been in before. It is still a good sized room and perfect for this type of gig.

Scars Of Remembrance
Fresh from their M2TM finals win, SOR opened the show in great fashion. They still continue to improve each time we see them, and this performance was no exception. Their brand of 90’s inspired riffs with death metal vocals, and punchy grooves really got the gathered crowd going and in the mood for some heavy tunes.
Front man Mike Edwards really likes to get in with the crowd and paced like a man possessed throughout the set, which motivated the audience to move along with him. The sound was awesome and the whole band looked more than ready for their trip to Catton Park in August.

01 Scars Of Remembrancehttps://www.facebook.com/scarsofremembrance/

Killer Hurts
Norwich based Killer Hurts do their thing very well, and their thing is classic, no nonsense Thrash. They were a man down for this performance, with their lead guitarist unable to make the gig, so they were performing as a three piece.

Whilst I’m not a massive fan of classic Thrash, what I will say is that they were super tight, and obviously well versed in the business, because their performance was spot on. It did lack the guitar solos that I am assuming would have been there if the lead guitarist had been available. Rick absolutely loved them, as it is one of his favourite genres, but musically, despite being very tight, they weren’t really for me if I’m honest. Each to their own though isn’t it!

(Rick Here: Yes I did love them. I understand why some might say they are a bit samey, but for me Killer Hurts are all the things I love about an old-school Thrash band. Think of Slayer crashing head on into Destruction and Exodus and you might be somewhere close although you’ll probably hear your own influences)!

02 Killer Hurtshttps://www.facebook.com/Killer-Hurts-308343311010/

Klavium
Its not every day you get a metal band from Trinidad & Tobago playing on your doorstep! Add to that the fact that they are only a two-piece band, and it becomes rarer still. They are Kahdil Beharry Singh on Vocals and Guitar, and Dylan Beharry Singh on Drums.
We were intrigued to see what sort of noise they made. The answer to that was BIG! Unbelievably big considering their lineup! But it wasn’t just big, it was tight, it was chunky, and it was heavy as hell. They were superb! This was Thrash that I could get onboard with. It was fast paced, with fantastic rhythms, and immensely powerful vocals. They sounded like a band that had at least five members, and after the gig we asked Kahdil how he managed to make it sound so big – was he putting his guitar through a bass amp, or using some crazy effects pedals? The answer was no – Just a regular guitar cab, and one pedal! It just goes to show that sometimes less is more, and all the technology in the world doesn’t necessarily make you any better. Although I do now suspect that these guys are wizards, as that sound should not have been possible with that set up!!! Brilliant, and terrifically nice and humble blokes too. If you get a chance to check these guys out, and you like early Metallica, great musicianship, catchy songs and HEAVY Metal then do it!

What a quality night we had, as did the small crowd who had made the effort to be there. That is my only gripe about the night – that more people didn’t make the effort to come out. Yes, it was a school night, yes it was the day before payday, but still. These guys had come on a shoestring from Trinidad & Tobago to play their first UK Tour – everyone should be getting off their asses and encouraging them, they definitely deserve it! I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones, having seen them here, and would like to say a big thank you to them, and to North East Wales Metal Productions for putting on the show.

03 Klaviumhttps://www.facebook.com/klavium/

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions/
https://www.facebook.com/skyyrockfestival/
https://www.facebook.com/fatangelbookings/
https://www.facebook.com/intenartist/
https://www.facebook.com/evermetal2017/

 

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.

Edenveil, Melodic Metal Night – The Portland Arms, Cambridge, UK – 30/04/2019

Edenveil

Edenveil
Melodic Metal Night
The Portland Arms, Cambridge, UK
30/04/2019
Review by Paul Monkhouse

Edenveil are the brainchild of singers Vera and Onyx, two classically trained vocalists who, after touring the circuit as an acoustic duo decided to go over to the dark side and unleash their full symphonic rock side. Whilst the two are incredibly polished and their soaring voices mesh perfectly with the material, the real surprise was the quality of the whole ensemble considering this was their debut gig as a full band. There was a real nervous energy and excitement onstage that translated across through the music and filled the room with a lush soundscape that truly befitted the genre.

Opening with ‘Seen Not Heard’, Edenveil soon stamped their mark on proceedings and staked their claim as ones to watch. Filled with a great sense of dynamics and with Vera and Onyx’s angelic and passionate voices diving in, out and over of the heavy guitar, drum and bass attack it was the perfect introduction to the new project. There was a real mix of influences from some of the giants of the genre but it was still very much their own creation, the twist and icing on the cake being two equally outstanding female vocals as opposed to the usual sole female or female/male vocal combinations that are established. There was a real freshness in that both voices are classical and the contrast this brought to the fire of the band. Having performed together for five years there was a real connection between Vera and Onyx, and this was enhanced by the carefully selected musicians, all the members gelling into a perfect storm.

Elements of folk music tinged ‘Weightless’, a haunting number that was a brave shifting down of gears after the opening barrage but built up the drama as it headed into a soaring chorus. As Vera delicately picked at her acoustic guitar, Onyx swayed, lost in the moment with the two coming fully to life as the song lifted and lifted. With the transition from acoustic to hard rocking there is obviously a period of adjustment going on behind the scenes as originally stripped back and naked songs are beefed up bit by bit, the songs slowly morphing from one thing to another. It will be interesting to see how the writing changes as the new six-piece band develop more and more material that stretches it beyond the original two voices and a guitar set-up.

This was always going to be a short set, squeezed as they were in an evening with three other bands; the Viking Metal of headliners Atorc, melodic thrashers Akilla and the incendiary Far From Refuge, but they were determined to be remembered. Third song ‘Wicked’ was another good indication of the direction they are heading towards with its galloping riff played over a piano melody, mirroring the perfectly balanced contrast of the symphonic rock style. Whilst it was obviously a joyful tribute and a well-known song, their set closing cover of Nightwish’s ‘Amaranth’ seemed a bit of a two-edged sword. It highlighted their musicianship and ability to make a classic their own but also may have indicated a lack of their own heavier material presently and the need for a filler. It would have been better to finish with another epic Edenveil original to be the lasting memory of their set but that will come in time. As for now though you can’t but help to be impressed with this fledgling outfit and more gigs and studio work will see them really grow.

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

https://www.instagram.com/edenveilofficial/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWuiNb5wdsLkFLaVpQykxXQ

 

 

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

Bloodstock M2TM North Wales, The Grand Final – Penny Black / XS Wrexham – 07/06/2019

00 M2TM North Wales Final Poster

Bloodstock M2TM North Wales, The Grand Final
Penny Black / XS Wrexham – 07/06/2019
Review by Beth Jones and Rick Tilley

They say time flies when you are having fun, and that certainly couldn’t be truer about this year’s Bloodstock M2TM North Wales competition. Last Friday saw the culmination of months of work, peppered with smiles and tears, frustration and joy and some challenges that made this night all the more of an achievement, both from the bands and the organisers. It was certainly promising to be a metal extravaganza, with four guest bands, including a headline slot from Damim.

Thankfully the subject of many musings, the great British road network, didn’t let us down, meaning that Bloodstock’s own, Rob Bannister and his awesome better half Sherrell, arrived with us exactly at the time they had planned and we got to the venue just as the first band started.

Our venue for this final was Penny Black / XS bar, in the centre of Wrexham. Comprising of XS bar upstairs, and Penny Black downstairs, this was not a venue that had been used by North East Wales Metal Productions before, and we were all keen to see how it was going to fare. Our first band to perform was one of the guests, In Depths, in the downstairs bar.

In Depths
A local band from just over the border, in Chester, we saw these guys last year and like them. Since then they have gone through a slight line-up change, but they still have a great sound, and a dedicated bunch of followers. They gave a really good performance and warmed the crowd up nicely in readiness for the competition bands. For those that haven’t seen them, they are a modern djent type metal band, who have a really good feel about them. Well worth a watch.

01 In Depthshttps://www.facebook.com/InDepths/

Bad Earth
Our initial trip to the upstairs bar was to see the first of our competition bands, BAD EARTH, who we have been impressed with for many reasons, not least their heavy groovy laden rock/metal. We have been especially impressed with them recently because of the seamless addition of their new bass player, Tim Nicholls, who despite only being a member for about a month, looks like he has been there years! In this performance, he also took on some backing vocals, which added an extra depth to the music. Again, this was a great performance from them, especially as front-man Steven had been struck down with tonsillitis earlier in the week, which didn’t really show. A great way to start the evenings battling!

02 Bad Earthhttps://www.facebook.com/BADEARTH/

Cadence Noir
We always love a bit of gothic folk and roll to clear our heads – I mean, who doesn’t, right? And who better to provide that than the very lovely Cadence Noir, playing in the downstairs bar. As last year’s M2TM winners, it was great to see them back here performing as guests. They played a range of their catalogue, from old to new, and got the gathered crowd moving along at a fair old pace. Vocalist / Guitarist Adrien Perrie is a fabulous front-man who also possesses a dark sense of humour which perfectly matches their music. Add to that the wonderful violin playing of Emma Bennett and an increasingly sharp rhythm section and you have a band that should soon be occupying bigger stages!

03 Cadence Noirhttps://www.facebook.com/CadenceNoir/

Lullaby For A Unicorn
We have come to know by now that when Lullaby For A Unicorn play, shit’s gonna get messy! So, we were very pleased to see that they had brought their trusty Henry Hoover with them to ‘speed up the clean-up’ operation tonight! Back upstairs they were the second competing band, and threw the kitchen sink at their performance. Now you all know that I love these guys dearly, both on stage and off, so what I’m about to say may come as a surprise. I didn’t think this was the best we had seen them and Rick was of the same opinion! I know, I KNOW I’m sorry!! I don’t know what it was – maybe they were just too stoked for it and put too much pressure on themselves, but whilst they were still brilliant, and despite the silly string, party popper assaults and the party cannons, it lacked just a little bit of their usual unicorn charm, which made us a little sad.

04 Lullaby For A Unicornhttps://www.facebook.com/rockmyunicorn/

Scars Of Remembrance
Of all the bands who we have seen in this competition, this is the band who had the least confidence in the fact they could be in the running to win. When I spoke to them back at their heat, their plan was turn up, play a good gig and that was were it ended. Their main aim was to give people a show, and they were in complete shock when they progressed in that heat, and then again as the public vote winners in the semi-finals. They approached this gig with the same attitude – they were hungry as hell for it, but still had a humbleness that made them not yet believe. Well, guys, believe. This performance was, again, the best that we had seen them play, and you could see in each and every one of them how much this meant to them. Musically it was tight, it was well thought out, and it was so easy to get lost in the rhythms. Performance wise, they all gave it their all. Mike Edwards, as a front man, is brilliant and draws people in with his stare, and Ben thrashed the drums so hard that he completely sheered off one of his cymbal stands mid-song but carried on without missing a beat. It was a storming set!

05 Scars Of Remembrancehttps://www.facebook.com/scarsofremembrance/

Damim
We headed downstairs and had a short break before watching Guest Headliners Damim. These guys were new to us, and whilst they were not necessarily what I would usually choose, I actually really liked them for the musical ability. As for Rick, well he absolutely loved them! They were so precise it was superhuman, and every member was a stunningly talented musician. We found out afterwards that the guys on rhythm guitar and bass were actually stand-ins for the actual members who weren’t available that night! WOW, that level of talent and commitment cannot be learned, that is just something you are born with. Lead singer Nathanael is the most suave and focused person I have ever seen in Wrexham! He had an aura about him on and off stage which was very impressive. They also had an unfortunate random intrusion from the back of the stage, when one of the local Neanderthals managed to gain entry through the fire escape, however being the consummate professionals they clearly are, they never missed a beat, and the security had the incident under control in a matter of seconds, meaning most of the crowd didn’t even notice it happen. For anyone who hasn’t seen Damim before, and as we haven’t written about them before, their style is blackened thrash, with influences from Morbid Angel, Meshuggah and Death, to name but a few. They are very, very good and well worth checking out.

06 Damimhttps://www.facebook.com/dam.nation.uk/

Navnløs
It was then upstairs again for the final competing band Navnløs. Last time we saw these guys we criticized them for having too long a break between songs and looking slightly lost in said break. They had clearly listened, as the break between songs was much smaller and there was always a bit of guitar or something filling the gap, and it made such a difference – so thanks for taking that constructive criticism and making a positive change guys – it really was an improvement. Their pace was much better, and they were really impressing us, and the crowd. Then they had a bit of a moment – I’m not sure what happened but they had to restart a song twice, and I think at that point they knew what that would inevitably mean. It was a real shame, because they had really stepped it up for the final. I get them, but I don’t at the same time, if you know what I mean! Musically they are all talented, and they have a good sound, but I think nerves hinder their performance, which makes them not quite there yet. Please keep at it though guys. Work on the performance element, because the music is solid. I’m going to shut up now because I am starting to sound like Simon Cowell!!

07 Navnløshttps://www.facebook.com/Navnlosband/

With that, the competition section was over, and we had one last guest band to play whilst Bloodstock’s Rob Bannister, who had the extremely hard task of judging this event, deliberated and collected his thoughts on what he had seen. In my opinion it was between two of the bands, but I couldn’t decide which. We restocked on beverages and settled in for the finale performance from Left For Red.

Left For Red
Rick has been on at me for ages to check these guys out, and I had been looking forward to seeing them. I wasn’t disappointed – a cracking five piece from the West Midlands, they deliver a combination of groove and prog and classic British heavy metal which has an enthralling and almost hypnotic draw to it. Front-man LC is a ball of energy on stage and has a look about him that made me think of Blaze Bayley – to the point that I was like ‘is this Blaze’s long-lost brother?!’ This performance was also slightly bittersweet, as it was one of bassist Dan Carter’s final performances with the band, as he is moving on to different pastures soon. It was a really great way to finish a really great night, and I would definitely recommend checking these guys out too – their new album “Human Complex” has recently been released, and is liked very much by the team at Ever Metal.

08 Left For Redhttps://www.facebook.com/leftforreduk/

So here we were – the result (and no Ant and Dec anywhere in sight!). Rob had deliberated and, based on the performances he had seen his winners were…SCARS OF REMEMBRANCE!! We have to say that we concurred – they gave the best performance on the night, and you could see how much they wanted it, and this was why they won. The look on their faces was an absolute picture – total disbelieving joy, and I have to admit it got me a bit emotional. Having watched them grow since last year, I felt a bit like a proud mum!! Much happiness ensued, involving lots of hugging and love for everyone. Our thanks must be extended to not only the bands, who have slogged it for the whole competition, but also the really good sized crowd that turned up to the final, to Rob Bannister for judging and his lovely lady Sherell for manning the raffle and looking after my bags, to Ian ‘Fozzy’ Forrester and Ian ‘Beany’ North of NEW Metal Productions for organizing the whole thing in the face of some truly challenging times and to Dani & Joe Maguire of Powerzone and John Matthews of Phoenix Rising, for judging the heats and just being awesome people who make you smile when you see them at a gig. This is what happiness is. This is why we do this; the feeling at the end of this gig, the culmination of all that work. If we could bottle that, we would be millionaires. Bring on 2020!!

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/m2tmofficial/
https://www.facebook.com/GoodforaudioEntertainment/
https://www.facebook.com/Powerzonemetal/
https://www.facebook.com/TheImpactZoneOnRadioDeeside/
https://www.facebook.com/phoenixrisingrocks/
https://www.facebook.com/evermetal2017/

 

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

All photos courtesy of Beth Jones and PhotograBee Images
https://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages/

P.O.D. Full Circle Tour 2019 – The Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ – 21-05-2019

00 P.O.D. Gig Poster

P.O.D.
Full Circle Tour 2019
The Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ
21-05-2019
Review and Pictures by Andy Jansons

Christian Nu Metal legends P.O.D. (Payable On Death) are currently on their second leg of a North American Tour supporting their tenth studio album “Circles” which was released on November 16th last year. They are supported on this Full Circle Tour by Nonpoint, Hyro The Hero, Islander & Nine Shrines.

P.O.D. is one of the rare bands that has got their original lineup almost unchanged. Founding members vocalist Sonny Sandoval, lead guitarist Marcos Curiel and drummer Wuv Bernardo accompanied by bassist Traa Daniels who joined the band one year later. Marcos left the band in 2003 to return just three years later. All guys showed great chemistry and their performance was seamless.

From the bands that started up the show I was lucky enough to see Nonpoint. This Florida Hard Rock band or as they classify themselves a Heavy Hard Rock, also toured with P.O.D. during the initial Circles Tour and were main support. No matter how Nonpoint classify themselves, they play a very similar style to P.O.D. just without Christian references and they know how to put on a show. If ‘Chaos and Earthquakes’, ‘El Diablo’ and ‘What A Day’ were not enough to blow the roof off, then ‘Bullet With A Name’ which they always play as the last song, did the job. In your face hard rock, played with full energy, with vocalist Elias Soriano fully engaging the crowd set the perfect atmosphere for the nights biggest stars.

P.O.D. came out with ‘Soundboy Killa’, ‘Rockin’ With The Best’ and exploded the place with ‘Boom’! Every song from first to the last was played with tireless energy and the crowd absolutely loved it. They followed up with ‘Rock The Party’ and ‘Panic Attack’ before unleashing one of their heaviest hits ‘Murdered Love.’

Providing a little slow down in the middle of the set with ‘Circle’, ‘Satellite’ and ‘Beautiful’, the bands vocalist Sonny Sandoval brought two boys onto the stage, both in their early teens. Both boys were gifted drum sticks by Wuv Bernardo and stayed on the stage to help singing smash hit ‘Youth Of The Nation;. Fans, and of course the kids parents, loved the scene. These boys will have something to remember for the rest of their lives.

After this cozy feeling the band dropped the beat with ‘Southtown’, their hard knock life anthem from their first major label debut album “The Fundamental Elements Of Southtown”. As always, for the desert (end of the show) they played ‘Alive’, if not their most successful song, then their most admired for the meaning and their Christian motives.

P.O.D. delivered a show full of excitement and positive energy, and maybe even for a moment making a believer from the God forsaken pagan who wrote this review. This band is absolutely a must have for a rock / metal fan to be at least familiar with and see them live at least once, they are really good and talented and will move you with their music.

LINKS:

Main Page



https://www.facebook.com/POD/
https://www.instagram.com/POD/

 

01 pod3

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Andy Jansons 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.

Photograph reproduced here with kind permission from Andy Jansons

Bloodstock M2TM North Wales, Semi Final 2 – Noah’s Bar, Colwyn Bay – 24/05/2019

00 M2TM North Wales Semi-Final2

 

Bloodstock M2TM North Wales, Semi Final 2
Noah’s Bar, Colwyn Bay – 24/05/2019
Review by Beth Jones

The second semi-final of this year’s Bloodstock M2TM North Wales competition saw us taking a road trip to Colwyn Bay. On the A55! At teatime; on a Friday night; at the start of a bank holiday weekend… I’m not saying any more about the journey, apart from the saving grace that we had two extra passengers – Dani and Joe Maguire from Powerzone – thus making it a Power-Metal road trip! We arrived just in time to catch our first competing band of the night – the rather good Thrashatouille.

Thrashatouille
Yet again a great, enlivening performance from a very good, and very tight band. These guys are so good. They have so much fun with their performance and have a great gimmick with the food theme. Tonight, I felt they had stepped it up another level and really threw everything they had at the performance. It was very warm and very sweaty, and the space was only small, so they all looked completely shattered coming off stage, but I was fairly convinced they had just smashed it out of the park with their performance.

01 Thrashatouillehttps://www.facebook.com/Thrashatouille/

Navnløs
These guys are a conundrum for me. Music / playing wise, they are good solid groove / thrash metal, and they have a great sound, but I think their stage craft lets them down. They have improved since we saw them at the heat, but still, in between songs, it is too flat and it makes the atmosphere dip. They take too long and look a little uncomfortable – like they aren’t quite sure what to do to lead into the next song. But again, musically a great performance.

02 Navnloshttps://www.facebook.com/Navnlosband/

Cry For Mercy
These guys have got the whole package. They are groovy and funky, good old fashioned rock and blues, and they are just so easy to watch. My biggest concern with them is that this was totally the wrong platform for them to compete in – had this been a battle of the bands for rock and blues, they would absolutely walk it without question. I can’t wait for them to release some physical music, as I could listen to them all day. Performance wise, they stormed it, and had the gathered crowd eating out of the palm of their hands. Their musicianship is so good, and so full, that it makes you feel instantly happy.

03 Cry For Mercyhttps://www.facebook.com/cryformercyofficial/

Scars Of Remembrance
Keeping up their 100% record of improving every time we see them, the lads did it again tonight with their performance, which was the most brutal and the tightest we have ever had from them. Everything was on point – with the added vocals from Harris really completing the songs. I am so impressed at how far these guys have come in less than a year, both in performance, and their confidence on the stage. They were my favourite metal performance of the night.

04 Scars Of Remembrancehttps://www.facebook.com/scarsofremembrance/

That was the competition bands done with, and we went off to vote and refresh before the mighty Torqued took to the stage as guest headliners. The voting was a really hard one. I was torn between two bands, but I went with my gut. Time for some Torqued to clear my mind!

Torqued
What can I say about these chaps that hasn’t already been said a hundred times before! They are three brilliantly talented musicians, and excellent people to boot. They travelled a ridiculously long way to come and play for us, and boy am I glad they did. They were on point, delivering heavy grooves, immense solos, and banging tune after banging tune. My head bobbing gauge was cranked up to eleven, and the ponytail was unleashed so I could have a good old mosh. NB I think I may have broken my neck, judging by the lump I had on it for two days afterwards and I did nearly fall over because I got dizzy – I’m so metal! They have just released their second EP “Coup De Grȃce” and it is excellent – everyone should go out and buy it! A brilliant way to round off what had been a great evening of music. Thanks for a brilliant show guys. And a special thanks to Marc for producing our new merch range in his day job – Corrosive Merch!

05 Torquedhttps://www.facebook.com/Torquedband/

So, to the judging – this was definitely the toughest one so far, because each band gave a great performance, and each deserved to progress, but with only two spaces, it was anybody’s game.

The public vote went to Scars Of Remembrance, which pleased me, as I thought they had really stepped it up, and were very much deserving of a place.

The judge’s vote was a curve ball – we felt that Thrashatouille would have been in that spot, but suddenly from nowhere, it was Navnløs! Now, whilst musically I think these guys are great, I’m just not sure they are at the point of readiness, in the same way Thrashatouille are. And for me, the performance of the night was from Cry For Mercy – by a country mile – but this was the wrong platform for them, so…erm…yeah! Interesting, but this is the nature of the game! Well done to Scars Of Remembrance and Navnløs, and commiserations to Cry For Mercy and Thrashatouille. We also want to mention the great turnout at Noah’s which was pretty much packed all evening!

Bring on the final!!

Links
Grand Final Event Page
https://www.facebook.com/events/172760083629491/
https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/m2tmofficial/
https://www.facebook.com/GoodforaudioEntertainment/
https://www.facebook.com/McleansPubLive/
https://www.facebook.com/Powerzonemetal/
https://www.facebook.com/TheImpactZoneOnRadioDeeside/
https://www.facebook.com/evermetal2017/

Rebecca Downes – The Met Lounge, Peterborough – 29/03/2019

01 Rebecca Downes

Rebecca Downes
The Met Lounge, Peterborough
29/03/2019
Review by Paul Monkhouse

Many bands have turned to acoustic sets in the past but very few as well as the Quireboys, a band with the charisma and material to make it really work for them. When this is perfectly teamed with an opening slot by the brilliant Rebecca Downes it proves to be an evening when all you can do is be swept away by the music.

Having toured regularly up and down the length and breadth of the country with her full band playing support to bands such as Magnum, tonight sees her shorn of her full band but joined by partner in crime guitarist and vocalist Steve Birkett. The duo fill the sound with ease and you can’t help but warm instantly to Downes, her great humour and down to earth personality shine, displaying not a shred of over inflated ego. ‘Take Me Higher’ is an excellent showcase for her soulful vocals and really got the attention of all there. As has been proven many times before, huge talent isn’t always enough but needs to be matched with great quality material to really highlight the artist. The songwriting team of Downes and Birkett have that by the bucketload. Next song ‘It’s Not Easy’ is a prime example of this as it twists and turns in unexpected directions whilst the stripped-down acoustic arrangement really lets the vocals shine.

Refreshingly, Birkett doesn’t just play second fiddle to the singer as the two are evenly matched in musical chops and it comes over as a perfect partnership. There is a genuine warmth exuding from them and when showcased in such great fare as the sparkling ‘Waving Goodbye’ it’s pretty unbeatable. The richness of the voices glides perfectly over a hooky chorus, as the track has a classic, almost pop, soulful tone. It would have been difficult to follow that gem but the Radio 2 playlisted ‘Sailing on a Pool of Tears’ ups the ante even more. A big, spellbinding ballad, it contains elements of chilled flamenco and is both instantly catchy and heartrending.

The pace changes with ‘1000 Years’, an upbeat blues number with a truly cocky strut that easily dispels the narrow view that the blues is solely downbeat tales of suffering. The short set finishes with the title track from last album ‘Believe’, another forceful wake up call that is both defiant and life affirming. Featuring an acoustic breakdown, its sense of dynamics proving it was the perfect number to finish on. Returning later for an incendiary duet with Spike for the Quireboys encore, Downes was the ideal choice as touring companion for these dates and was clearly having a ball on the road with a band she’s long been an admirer of. With her expressive Midlands accent she doesn’t sound like one of the Windsors in conversation but, make no mistake, when she sings Rebecca Downes is UK Blues royalty. If you want to know the roots of hard rock and metal, get yourself into the blues. You really can’t go wrong with the lethal combination that this partnership offers of filthy barroom rock ‘n’ roll and soul. Catch them when you can.

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

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

 

02 Poster 2019

 

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

 

Bloodstock M2TM North Wales, Semi Final 1 – Mcleans Pentre – 17/05/2019

00 Event Poster

Bloodstock M2TM North Wales, Semi Final 1
Mcleans Pentre – 17/05/2019
Review by Beth Jones

It doesn’t seem like two minutes since the first heat of this year’s M2TM North Wales competition, and yet all of a sudden, here we are at the business end of proceedings!

The first semi-final promised a definite step up in standards, and we were very much looking forward to it. Sadly, again, one competing band, Mindriot 15, had to pull out due to a family emergency, so we were left with four really good bands to battle for just two places in the final; Favela, Lullaby For A Unicorn, Bad Earth and Scarfoot.

When we arrived at Mcleans, it was great to see a really good turnout, despite road closures and all sorts of other things happening that weekend. The running order was drawn live, and Favela were picked to go on first.

Favela
After seeing these guys in the heat, we knew what they were all about. They are heavy, 90’s inspired, shouty and tight. They certainly put on a performance here, with front man Tom Harrison covering every inch of available stage space in a performance full of energy and vigour. This might make me unpopular, but I actually think I preferred their performance in their initial heat. I don’t even know why! I think maybe they were almost trying too hard here, and it didn’t feel as real as in the heat. Rick however totally disagrees with me! He thought they were really good. Maybe I was just in a bad mood! Hard day at work and all that!!

01 Favelahttps://www.facebook.com/FavelaUK/

Lullaby For A Unicorn
I don’t need to say much about these guys, apart from it is always a pleasure to be in their company and watch them play, and they were on fire for this performance. Even though it was shorter than their usual craziness, they still managed to make a huge mess! Guitarist Dan Alexander also looked like a man possessed. Usually very reserved whilst playing, he was jumping round like a complete nutter and really going for it with his presence and witty banter, which was great to see. They were super good, as always, and super tight. I have a real soft spot for these guys. Luckily, I’m not a judge, so it doesn’t matter if I am biased!

02 Lullaby For A Unicornhttps://www.facebook.com/rockmyunicorn/

Bad Earth
Here is a band who have been through the mill a bit recently, but they have had good news, just this week, with the appointment of new bass player, Tim Nicholls. Having not heard him play before and knowing that he had had just 5 days to learn the set, we were nervous for them, but we needn’t have been. Oh my word, what a show! Big, big kudos to Tim, who did an outstanding job, and seems to have just slotted right in to the band perfectly. Drummer Ren Stefan and Guitarist/Vocalist Stephen Coxon looked so much more relaxed on stage, and their performance was spot on. I spoke to Stephen afterwards and he said that was the best he has felt on stage for a while – that it felt comfortable. We could really tell from out front! A great performance. And, just for Stephen’s benefit, I would like to point out that the lighting was perfect, and they all had the correct number of clothes on 😉.

03 Bad Earthhttps://www.facebook.com/BADEARTH/

Scarfoot
They were definitely up for this performance and put on a pretty good show on the whole. They are very passionate and are great lads, but for me they were lacking in something here, and I can never quite put my finger on what it is. Don’t get me wrong, they have come on a long way from when we first saw them, but I think that they still have more locked up potential that they need to find the key for. Their songs are creative, quite proggy in places, and they perform them well, but it just doesn’t gel quite right sometimes. That being said, they did work their socks off and the crowd were appreciative. They are really lovely guys too.

04 Scarfoothttps://www.facebook.com/thescarfootband/

That was the final competing band, and after a swift round of voting, and a trip to the bar, and while the judges went off to deliberate on their choice, we had the pleasure of discovering an interesting bunch from South Wales!

Apathy Avenue
On their Facebook page, these guys say they are Alternative/Hard Rock. The lead singer certainly had a hefty does of alternative flare, a bit like if Dr Who went to Glastonbury stoned out of his tree! They were very tight and well-rehearsed, and had a quirky style. Sections of rap peppered their songs, along with clean vocals and some nice guitar work. Whilst they were not what I was expecting, they were good, and I quite liked them. They weren’t particularly heavy, and I think some of the crowd were in need of something a bit more growly, but the ones that did stay to watch them seemed to enjoy it too.

05 Guest Headliner Apathy Avenuehttps://www.facebook.com/Apathyavenue/

And so, the results were in. It was going to be a really hard one to call, as every band had upped their game. I knew who I thought it should be, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Progressing to the final were (drum roll please)…………. Bad Earth and Lullaby For A Unicorn! I was very happy with this. It was, in my humble opinion, the right choice. Favela missed out by the narrowest of margins, but it is all about what happens on the night, and Lullaby and Bad Earth just had that edge. Well done to all the competing bands for getting this far, and we shall look forward to seeing all of you, in some capacity, very soon.

Thanks again to all the bands for a great night, and of course to Ian ‘Fozzy’ Paul Forrester and Ian ‘Beany’ North for their constant hard work and dedication to the scene here in North Wales. See you at Semi Final 2, which is going to be even tougher than this one!

LINKS:
Semi-Final 2 Event Page
https://www.facebook.com/events/2350996518296726/
Grand Final Event Page
https://www.facebook.com/events/172760083629491/
https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/m2tmofficial/
https://www.facebook.com/GoodforaudioEntertainment/
https://www.facebook.com/McleansPubLive/
https://www.facebook.com/Powerzonemetal/
https://www.facebook.com/TheImpactZoneOnRadioDeeside/
https://www.facebook.com/evermetal2017/

 

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.

Know Your Enemy Debut Album Release Show – Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ – 27/04/2019

00 Know Your Enemy Gig Poster

Know Your Enemy
Debut Album Release Show!
Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ
27/04/2019
Review and Photos by Stephen J. Moss

Know Your Enemy is a New Jersey band who just celebrated the release of their very first full length album! Andy Jansons had the opportunity to interview the band after the show. I highly recommend you check it out by going to;

Interview with Know Your Enemy

Prior to this show, I had no knowledge of this band so I didn’t know what to expect from them. After seeing them perform live however, I’m definitely a fan! Not only do these guys make incredible music, they also know how to throw a kick ass album release party.

Let me give you an idea of how the night went:

The venue is called Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse in Dunellen, NJ. The atmosphere is like an old circus. There are pictures of sword swallowing artists, they have skeletons wearing pink wings, Greek mythology characters, and other side show pictures on the wall. It’s a really fun and funky place to hold a show.

Vivi Noir
Before the show started and in between each band they had a performance by the beautiful Vivi Noir who is an award winning burlesque dancer in the New Jersey / New York City area

Not only is Vivi beautiful she’s also daring. She had one act where she lay on broken bottles while a man stood on her! Don’t worry, she was unharmed!!

Vivi had multiple acts that night and each time, she killed it. After seeing her live, it’s easy to see why she is one of New Jersey’s favourite burlesque dancers.

01 Vivi Noirhttps://www.facebook.com/missvivinoir/

Acid Cactus
The first band to hit the stage was Acid Cactus. They are a young New Jersey band that is a cross between Street Punk and Hardcore Punk. To date, the band only has an EP that can be found on Band Camp by clicking here (https://acidcactus.bandcamp.com/releases). It’s your typical loud, obnoxious, fast, and obscenity filled street punk. If you like bands like “The Casualties” then you should check out Acid Cactus. The song I loved was called ‘Left Lane Drivers’ because here in New Jersey, it’s illegal to drive in the left lane unless you’re passing another car. Sadly, many out of state drivers can’t read the road signs and will drive slowly in the left lane and it drives native New Jerseyans bat shit crazy! You can find out more from visiting Acid Cactus’ Facebook Page

02 Acid Cactushttps://www.facebook.com/acidcactus/

Fear The Masses
The Second band to hit the stage was called Fear The Masses. They are from New Haven, Connecticut. Fear the Masses does a fantastic job of balancing post-hardcore metal with hip hop influences. They are in a similar boat to bands like One Minute Silence, Rage Against the Machine, and (hed) p.e. Their lyrics are politically and socially driven and they came out and instantly took control of the stage. They had tons of energy and really gave 100% on the night interacting with the fans and even giving a drumstick to one lucky girl.

My favourite song from their set-list was called ‘Make Me Your Leader’. This song is going to be on my top played playlist!

03 Fear The Masseshttps://www.facebook.com/Fearthemassesband/

Know Your Enemy
Next was the main event, Know Your Enemy. They hit the stage with a massive roar from the crowd! This New Jersey band is one you absolutely have to check out! I got a strong “Sevendust” feeling when I was listening to them although, I never felt that Know Your Enemy were simply trying to sound like any certain band. They utilise a blend of metal and hip hop and even though that isn’t anything new, Know Your Enemy do a nice job in taking a blend of music many people are already familiar with and adding their own flair to it!

Know Your Enemy played their debut album “Root Of All Evil” in its entirety. Not only did they kill it playing their original songs, they also did some incredible cover songs taking on Tool’s ‘Hooker With A Penis” along with two Rage Against the Machine tracks.

The energy was top notch! This was their night and they owned it! Despite being a relatively new band, Know Your Enemy acted like they have played a thousand sold out football arenas in the past, they were calm, cool and collected.

This was a very special night for them in more than one way. Not only was this their debut album release party, it was also a night when the band came together with its original bass player, Robert McCann. Due to unforeseen and challenging life circumstances, Robert had to quit the band and move out of state. While Robert was dealing with his challenges, he wrote a song entitled ‘Me Instead’. This song was extremely personal and full of meaning; a very deep song not only to Robert but when Singer Fonz Rodriguez heard the song it also touched a massive nerve with him as well. ‘Me Instead’ reminded Fonz of a time when he and his wife were dealing with their own intense issues. When Know Your Enemy joined Robert on stage the band decided to play Robert’s song.

This was an extremely emotional moment for the band because it was a revisit to one of the most painful times of Fonz and Robert’s life. It was also the last time playing with Robert on stage. Before singing ‘Me Instead’, Fonz stated they would never sing this song again on tour. This was truly a special moment for all in attendance. Somehow, Fonz was able to keep himself composed and made it through the song despite its heavy meaning. He delivered it in an incredibly impressive way. I have mad respect for someone who can put themselves out there in such a vulnerable position. This shows you just how devoted Know Your Enemy is to their fans and to their music. When it comes to their songs and their stage performances, they give it all.

At the end, the band had intended to end the show with a metal cover of “Lose Yourself,” an Eminem song. The crowd, however, had other plans. When Lose Yourself was over and the band went away, the crowd erupted with chants of, “One more song!” Know Your Enemy seemed a bit surprised because when they came back on stage for an encore, lead singer Fonz Rodriguez made the comment that he thought he would end with the cover but they were so good live that people just wanted more! For the encore, they band played homage to their beginnings with some old material.

This, for sure, will be a night to remember for Know Your Enemy, as well as their fans. I personally feel honoured because this was my first time seeing them. I’m glad I was able to be part of such a special night. Currently they are unsigned. After seeing them live and hearing their album, however, I know it won’t be too long before people take notice of them in a big way. So to the band I say, remember Jersey when you’re big and famous hahahah!

04 Know Your Enemy Pic

My top six songs are:
01. Me Instead
02. Bound
03. Fooling Ourselves
04. Sway
05. New Energy
06. Victim

https://www.facebook.com/enemybandnj/
Roxy and Dukes Roadhouse!
https://www.facebook.com/RoxyandDukesRoadhouse/

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Stephen Moss 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 photographs reproduced here with kind permission from Stephen Moss