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Badgerfest 2021: Day 2 – The Bread Shed, Manchester – Friday 15th October 2021

Badgerfest 2021 Poster

Badgerfest 2021: Day 2
The Bread Shed, Manchester
Friday 15th October 2021
Review By Rob Sutton
Photography by Sheri Bicheno

Day 2 was here and it was time to head back to the Bread Shed, filled up with Maccies, to try and relieve the fuzzy head from the night before! Day 2, was the first day proper, where things really kicked off – 14 bands over 2 stages, and I decided that today would definitely require stamina!

Aside from a Maccies, a great way to get rid of a hangover is Telford based Metalcore heavyweights, Recall the Remains. These guys kicked the day off in perfect fashion with some old school metalcore. They use a fantastic blend of brutality and melody, not only in the guitars, but also vocally. The clean vocals provided by the guitarist are beautiful and look effortless as he sings and riffs simultaneously, backed by the familiar growls and screams from the lead vocalist. These guys have the genre covered to a tee, adding breakdowns which aren’t just chugs, and are refreshing from the majority of metalcore out these days. They had energy in abundance and a fantastic chemistry between the members on stage, this all led to them being marked as one of the bands of the festival and setting the benchmark for everyone else exceptionally high!

https://www.facebook.com/recalltheremains

Over to the second stage, and I will point out that it isn’t the biggest of stages and has a massive pillar in the middle, so probably isn’t the easiest stage to perform on. Opening this stage were Manchester based Metal/Rock band, Ashen Reach. These guys I have heard of before, but never actually had the chance to watch them. They don’t disappoint, as again they’re full of energy, and cleared up what was left of the hangover. Ashen Reach also utilise multiple vocalists, but using a singing style, as opposed to growls (although there were a couple of cheeky screams here and there). The harmonies were impressive and make your hairs stand on end, there was a lot of the rock influenced ‘oos’ which I think were perhaps a little overused within the set, but don’t let that take away from their phenomenal performance. Not only are they musically very engaging, but they really pump the crowd up and get them all singing along. A great way to open the second stage but I was left confused as to why the vocalist disappeared off stage for a whole section of a song?

https://www.facebook.com/ashenreach

From the upbeat of the second stage, to the eerie and horror themed antics of The Injester. These guys certainly brought something different to the festival, all wearing masks, covered in blood and with some creepy sounding keys in the background. Sadly this didn’t work for me, there was a lot less punch compared to the previous 2 bands, and it felt a little bit cobbled together and all over the place. This maybe the style they are going for, but it didn’t do anything for me, although it was an interesting watch.

The Injester live at Badgerfest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/TheInjester

Callus is another band that I have heard a lot about but never actually seen. They brought their Stoner Metal to the second stage, with some absolutely belting riffs which got not only mine, but many heads in the crowd nodding. It’s much slower pace than the previous bands, but this is a welcomed change to the day. They performed a tight solid set, and I would certainly recommend to anyone who enjoys this genre.

https://www.facebook.com/Callus.band

Today seemed to be a lot slower pace than Friday’s brutality. And to this end, back on the main stage were Netherhall. They brought a much calmer performance to the day, and while the crowd look to struggle to fully engage with their take on Progressive Metal, I personally enjoyed it. I loved the weird beats and the tone these guys have, not to mention the almost Tesseract style voice that overlays. While metal is mainly headbanging and mosh pits, I found myself closing my eyes and losing myself completely in the music. There was minimal crowd interaction here which is possibly why they didn’t seem to get much engagement back, I think the set is just about the music and it is simply gorgeous to listen to!

https://www.facebook.com/NetherhallUK

Sadly, with only 5 minutes between bands, there was always going to be the odd band I missed. From what I very briefly heard from Everest Queen, they sounded solid, but I can’t say much more, as I missed a lot of their set.

https://www.facebook.com/everestqueenband

A few weeks ago, I travelled up to Wolverhampton to watch Black Tongue, and supporting them was our next band, Ashen Crown. At that gig they didn’t quite fit the theme of the night, so didn’t end up with the reaction they deserved. No such problems for them this afternoon, as they drew the biggest crowd of the whole weekend, honestly you could barely move or even get in! This is what Ashen Crown is about, fast music, lots of pits, and heads banging! This set was crushing and even with some sound issues at the beginning, they pressed on with absolute precision and professionalism. They may have played the Sophie stage at Bloodstock this year, but after such domination of a stage, they are well on track to be headlining festivals like this, and easily becoming top of their genre! This was simply incredible and by far the best I’ve seen them play!

Ashen Crown live at Badgerfest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/ashencrown.uk

Throughout the last few months, we have gotten used to band members having to miss gigs, but what has been fantastic to see is they way bands have adapted to the unusual circumstances. Ascaris were a drummer down, and using, as they described, the most expensive drummer – a laptop. I will say their drummer was beautifully in time! In fairness the remaining 2 were also both extremely tight. They bring a brutal mix of Black and Death Metal, without using the cheesy corpse paint or hail Satan phrase. These guys play fast, and their hands are blurs on the fret boards. It was a solid performance. If you like your Blackened Death Metal fast, relentless and incredibly polite, Ascaris have you covered!

Askaris live at Badgerfest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/AscarisOfficial

Back for some more Stoner Metal next. As I’ve said, it isn’t my genre of choice, but King Goat brought another brilliant performance, all while allowing the smell of incense to fill the room. It was slow, great riffs, all performed fantastically. Again, I would recommend checking them out if this is your style.

https://www.facebook.com/kinggoatbri

Next, and from across the border, was Godeater! I first heard about these guys when I saw them announced for Bloodstock. They were heavy then, and they were even heavier here! These Glaswegians have so much energy I’m not sure how they got through the set. Not one of them stopped moving for the full half hour, apart from the drummer because well… drummer! There is so much weight to their take on Deathcore, and they were by far the heaviest band of the day so far, and the pits show that! They were in full swing and mighty at that. 

Their tasteful use of samples adds just a little bit more to their overall sound and made them sound huge! It’s always a risk as a vocalist to go into a pit, more so if the mic is wired, but here he did (someone give this guy a wireless mic, as I’m pretty sure a few people tripped up). What impressed me about this was even though he was in the pit, he continued to deliver flawless vocals and this is all while being bashed from pillar to post! The only thing that let them down was the slightly flat cleans, but they did again add another layer, and along with the samples, really stand these guys out in the Deathcore scene. Honestly, these guys are a band to watch in the future, they’re brutally heavy, full of energy and perform to an exceptionally high standard. Godeater are the full package!

https://www.facebook.com/godeateruk

Continuing the theme of heavy were Blood Oath, and with their blood-soaked attire, I was expecting a strong Black Metal influence here. But I was wrong. What we were met with was a concoction of many extreme genres, predominantly Death Metal, and yes there was plenty to headbang to here. I don’t think there was a single head still in the crowd for these guys, as they drew one of the bigger crowds for the second stage. We were also blessed with some new material and boy does it sound HUGE. I really am excited to go and watch this when it’s released. Blood Oath are insanely tight, have some soaring riffs and solos, with some machine gun-esque drums, all with vocal styles from a catalogue of genres, did I hear a bree? These guys were fantastic, and for me my favourite of the second stage, and my find of the day!

Blood Oath live at Badgergest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/BloodOathUK

For many years my friends have been banging on about Red Method and how I really need to see them, well, now I have! All dressed in red, rather appropriately, they bring a mix of Nu-Metal and Djent, with a sound resembling that of old school Slipknot, albeit on ironing boards (8 string guitars). They performed with sheer aggression and passion; they are in your face heavy! I loved the addition of the keys and samples all played live, and not on backing tracks, though I was amazed the keyboard remained in one piece after seeing what AVD (keys) did to them when he was in The Defiled. One thing I love about watching heavy bands do breakdowns is all the members headbanging in sync, Red Method pulled this off fantastically and got the whole room bowing! While the cleans aren’t the best in the world, they were clear enough to get half the crowd singing along, and this was the first time I’d properly seen this crowd sing. Red Method sound so heavy that no amount of gym time would be able to pick them up, they have a new fan, and I can’t wait to see them again.

Red Method live at Badgerfest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/RedMethodBand

More Sludgy music from the second stage was next, with King Witch. This Stoner band is fronted by a lady, and her voice is beautiful, almost like a Siren soaring over the down tuned heaviness provided by the guitars and bass. Again, it’s not my genre of choice, and does mean I can’t say too much on them, but they felt a bit different and they were enjoyable.

https://www.facebook.com/kingwitch

So, onto our headliners and they come with a serious reputation behind them. They have opened the main stage at Bloodstock a few years ago where a very, very hungover Rob attempted to stand and watch them but instead fell into a heap on the floor. Luckily, no such issues today though I am kicking myself for not watching them fully at Bloodstock… Krysthla destroyed it here! They are filled with incredible riffs that had me windmilling away, and pretending I had the faintest idea how to play guitar. Added to that were some incredibly consistent growls, and some nice cleans in the mix, too! They remind me of Divine Heresy, a band I used to absolutely love! There were blast beats, rapid guitars; just everything about this set was on point and tight. I’m not normally a person who ends up raving about a headliner but in this case they are by far one of the best headliners I have seen at a festival. I was left in awe, is there anything these guys don’t have? Massive pits? Check. Crowd surfing? Check. Taking Rob’s money as he heads to the merch table? Check. What a band, what a show and what a way to end day 2!

Krysthla live at Badgerfest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/krysthla

I learnt a few things today, I can smoke a cigarette in less than 5 minutes, the quality of the bands at this festival is insane, and that I either needed to have taken someone who knows about Stoner bands, or learn more about the genre myself! Nevertheless day 2 was insane! 

Badgerfest Links:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton and Ever Metal. All photographic images the property of Sheri Bicheno. 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.

Skinflick – We Could Have Reached…

We Could Have Reached... Album Cover Art

Skinflick – We Could Have Reached For The Stars But We Reached For Our Dicks
Self-Released
Release Date: 31/10/2021
Running Time: 34:29
Review by Beth Jones
9.5/10

Greetings again music lovers, from a somewhat frosty North Wales! It’s Monday morning and we’re on day 6 of the youngest having the Rona, so technically I don’t need to be up yet, seeing as none of us are going anywhere. But I am, so what better way to spend my 8am than with a quick review! This is one I was aiming to get written by the end of October, but, as always, things didn’t go quite to plan!

Now, as you know, I’m a wholesome girl who likes wholesome things… mostly… usually… ok sometimes… it’s beside the point – but I do love a bit of depravity in my life every now and again. And what better way is there to get that than in the form of the new album from my favourite musical alchemist for the perverse, Skinflick. His latest offering, “We Could Have Reached For The Stars But We Reached For Our Dicks”, is suitably lodged in the realms of debauchery for this time on a Monday, and I love it.

It’s sleazy Industrial EDM, with all the allure of an ether-fueled experience on stained mattress wedged against the big bins in a red-light district alley. It’s dirty, it’s grimy, it’s smutty, and it’s desolate… It is very nearly perfection!

Starting out with the title track, this album takes us through 35 ish minutes of pure synth porn, with heavy beats, distorted whispered vocals, and ambience that would chill any soul. It’s full of delights such as ‘Urinal Cake’, ‘Cum Tsunami’, and ‘Moist’, all of which are suitably depraved lyrically, and musically.

My only criticism, and it really is nit-picking, is that a couple of the songs sound a bit samey… But, if I was off my tits on Whiskey and drugs, that wouldn’t even cross my mind! Alas, it isn’t beer o’clock yet…

If you’re looking for something to spin at your Granny’s church coffee morning, this probably isn’t the record for you… But if you desire a soundtrack to illustrate the hellish dystopian nightmare of human existence, then step right in and devour this baby. Another great offering.

TRACKLISTING:
01. We Could Have Reached…
02. Slung Low
03. Spluregenfest
04. Urinal Cake
05. The Chaos Theory
06. Cum Tsunami
07. Moist
08. Moon Money Shot

LINKS:

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.

Bulletproöf – Dynamite EP

Dynamite EP Cover Art

Bulletproöf – Dynamite EP
Ossuary Records (European edition)
 
Release Date: (Europe) 01/11/2021
Running Time: 20:11
Review by Emma Torkington 
6.5/10

Bulletproöf are here with their brand new EP, “Dynamite”! This 4-piece band takes inspiration from the likes of Judas Priest, Grave Digger, and Attack and with these absolute 80/90’s heavy metal legends feeding their music, I was excited to listen and see what they can bring. So, let’s jump in and see what these guys are all about! 

This being an EP means there are only 5 songs available, but they are a great selection of tracks, so you get to know this band very quickly! The start of the EP is hard hitting with those influences straight out of the gate, getting you right in the mindset for 80s heavy rock. ‘Fist Pounding’ has to be my favourite track on the EP. You start nodding along, and feeling that heavy rock vibe immediately. Some may call it cheesy, but you can’t help smile at it! The last track, ‘Feel The Heat’, has a totally different air about it – it reminds me of the band Lordi (not a bad thing at all, Lordi are one of the best known acts from Eurovision, after all!). 

The EP overall is good, and I can definitely hear the Judas Priest influence, but I can also see a huge connection with Manowar! Again, this is not a bad thing at all in my eyes! The music itself is very tight – a good cohesive band. My only criticism is the vocal harmonies, which to me personally, don’t have that same tightness as the rest of it had. Though individually the voices are really good! This is a great building block for more EPs/albums in the future. 

TRACKLISTING:
01. Banners High!
02. Dynamite
03. Flag of Freedom
04. Fist pounding 
05. Feel The Heat


LINE-UP:
Poli Serafini – Lead vocal / Guitar
Matías Pena – Drums
Martín De Bonis – Bass guitar / Vocals
Ariel García – Lead Guitar / Vocals

LINKS:

Bulletproöf Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Emma Torkington 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.


EMQ’s with ALIEN FORCE

Alien Force Logo

EMQ’s with ALIEN FORCE

Hi everyone! Welcome to another new EMQ’s interview with Danish Classic Heavy Metal/ NWOBHM band, Alien Force. Huge thanks to their guitarist, Henrik Rasmussen, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Henrik Rasmussen – Guitarist in Alien Force.

In 1982, the band currently known as Alien Force started playing music under the name Zeyking. The band was started by the two brothers Henrik Rasmussen (guitar) and Michael Rasmussen (drums) and the style was already then classic heavy metal. Together with Peter Svale Andersen (vocals) and Michael Østerfelt (bass), Zeyking released the single ‘Get It Out’.

In 1985 we changed the name to Alien Force, and with a record deal with Telaeg Records, we released our first LP “Hell And High Water”. The record is nowadays a classic in the NWOBHM underground, being reprinted several times. In 1986 we released our second LP “Pain And Pleasure” via own record company Alien Records. 

After that album, times became difficult for us, and the metal scene changed in a direction that we tried to follow. Sweden’s Europe took the stage, and all of a sudden, we all had long jackets and pop hair! It created a rift in the band, and disagreement and led to replacements in the band, and the band was never the same again.

In 2008, we were invited to play a reunion concert in the famous rock club The Rock. The concert was a great success for us and once again, we got the desire for metal back.

Unfortunately, our guitarist Michael Wenzel lost his life to cancer, and it was a great blow for us again.

After a long break, in 2018, we were invited to play Keep It True, one of Germany’s largest underground metal festivals. We went there with the original line-up from the “Hell And High Water” album, and the concert served as a turning point. We met fans from all over the world, who welcomed us with open arms, and showed us that we have a loyal fan base larger than we believed.

How did you come up with your band name?

I really have no idea… hehe! I think all the good names were taken…

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We are from Denmark and the Metal scene is really strong here as in Europe.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

“We Meet Again” which came out on 26th November 2021, on The Vaults label.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Judas priest definitely… 

What first got you into music?

By listening to rock music in the 70s and 80s – especially the hard rock music.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Judas priest!

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

In Denmark, we have a festival called Copenhell, that would be nice to play… Home court, you know.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

I have not received anything strange yet, only love letters: 0)

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

We hope you enjoy the new album, the album is made because of you … Love Alien Force.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Phil Lynott

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

The pleasure is clearly playing live music in front of dedicated audiences… I hate waiting time…

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Bring the music and its value from social media back to the musicians

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

That’s a hard one… Right now it’s “Firepower” –  Judas priest.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

If it’s done right, Vinyl!

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Keep It True, in Germany

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

No idea

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Rob Halford, Ozzy Osborn, Richie Blackmore, Angus Young, Dave Grohl

What’s next for the band?

Getting the new album out to people as soon as possible by playing live.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

www.facebook.com/AlienForceDK/
www.instagram.com/alienforcedk/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/05GH5nEOeKj5hHlZkLxA7q


Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Cake

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

No…

Alien Force Promo Pic

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

EMQ’s with WINTERBURN

Winterburn Logo

EMQ’s with WINTERBURN

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQ’s interview with Dubai based Rock band, Winterburn. Huge thanks to their guitarist/vocalist, Naser, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name’s Naser, I play guitars and sing for the band. The band is basically an offshoot of my solo project. After several years of performing together, we all agreed on just playing under the banner of a band name, rather than being my solo band. The timing worked as I was working on the “Ivory Towers” record at the time.

How did you come up with your band name?

It really just came to me as I was about to have a smoke one winter.

Where are you from and what is the Metal & Rock scene like there?

Our band formed in Dubai and the scene’s decent, but I’ve made the move, and plan to move the band permanently, too, so I’m not keeping up to date much. I think things kind of slowed down after the pandemic. We’ve had loads of metal and rock bands come down thought, everyone from Maiden to Mastodon have performed in Dubai. It’s a strong scene, there are a lot of fans, just wish the bands and musicians got on better.

What is your latest release?

Our latest release is the debut LP “Ivory Towers”, which I recorded with Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta, Suicidal Tendencies & more).

Who have been your greatest influences?

As a guitarist I’d say Eddie Van Halen, Hendrix, Randy Rhoads, Michael Schenker, Jake E. Lee, Tony Iommi, Slash, Jimmy Page and Yngwie Malmsteen.

What first got you into music?

My dad introduced me to classic rock bands like The Beatles, and when I was still a kid I got into bands like Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, and Van Halen. I’ve always been an avid music collector, so I’ve been buying records and tapes as far as I can remember.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?

I’d say Wolfgang Van Halen, I love his new band and think he’s a brilliant musician.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Definitely Download – been a dream of mine since I was a kid.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Can’t genuinely think of one.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Thank you for sticking by us and for the support!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Eddie Van Halen for sure. Still can’t get over his passing.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I just love playing, I love creating and performing live. I love the connection I feel when playing with other musicians in the band, the camaraderie not just as people, but as musicians, when everything is in sync and we’re grooving. There’s nothing better than feeling.

I hate competition, I hate music being used for that kind of vanity. Everyone’s got something to offer, and it should be about having a good time, not inflating egos.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Abolish streaming apps or at least pay musicians properly. I’d also hold promoters accountable for undercutting artists.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Fair Warning” by Van Halen.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, or Downloads?

For me personally it would be CDs, granted they’re different to vinyl, but they’re compact, and you get the inlay cards or sleeves, and that’s what I love. I hate how everything’s gone digital, I’m one of those dinosaurs that still buys physical LPs.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

The Middle East ComiCon’ 2018 was a killer show! The band was on fire! But from a crowd response, I’d say the first show we played together in May 2015 was insane. The entire crowd where chanting, singing, and just totally having a good time, which was really awesome.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Most likely be an athlete, or go into motorsports.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Frank Zappa, Ozzy Osbourne, Russell Brand, Joe Rogan, and Bill Murray.

What’s next for the band?

Right now, we’re really keen on getting this record out, then planning to tour sometime next year.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Mainly our Instagram and Twitter account, or my personal ones where I post our stuff too. Our new website will be online within the next two weeks as well. (We don’t use Facebook!) https://www.instagram.com/winterburnofficial/

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Biscuit for sure.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you for speaking with us! Just want everyone to look out for our new record, this is real no holds barred fkn rock and roll, and also to look out for us on the road next year!

Winterburn Promo Shot

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

The Chronicles Of Manimal And Samara – The Prophet (Single)

The Prophet Single Cover Art

The Chronicles Of Manimal And Samara – The Prophet (Single)
Self-Released
Release Date: 26.11.21
Running Time: 3:25
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Greetings, younglings! It is I, the puissant and mighty Dark Juan, and I have been busily doing man stuff, now that the rib that one of the young gentlemen I wrangle broke has now finally started healing properly. To be fair I did compound the healing time by falling down the main staircase in Dark Juan Terrace, and laid in the hall cursing every single manifestation of deity in humankind’s galactic eyeblink of existence whilst being trampled by the Smellhounds. Such is the banality of life in wintery Yorkshire. Tomorrow will be composed of mainly watching YouTube videos on how to fix the mechanism for toilet flushes, because I am that fucking metal.

Also, fucking £17 for a hinge cutting drill bit?!? If I wanted to be fucked that hard I’d head to Canal Street in Manchester in a spangly frock and no pants.

Thankfully, we have London-based prog master and mistress, Andrea Papi and Daphne Ang, otherwise known as The Chronicles Of Manimal And Samara, to distract me from my Northern tight-arse outrage at the cost of DIY equipment,  with their very latest single ‘The Prophet.’ And they have managed to shoehorn an entire story into three minutes and twenty-five seconds…

Neatly conflating the Sylvia Plath penned (of particular note to this Northern herbert, as she was married to Ted Hughes, Poet Laureate, of Mytholmroyd, not twenty minutes away from where I am currently ensconced, and she is buried at Heptonstall, in company with King David, the Cragg Vale coiner) poem “Lady Lazarus”, and the current enthusiasm of first world militaries for unmanned and optionally-manned weapons platforms (read as, “Send in the fucking robots controlled by the PlayStation generation to wipe out populations…”) ‘The Prophet’ recounts the tale of an advanced A.I. robot who is “resurrected”, like the biblical Lazarus (through its own eyes), but this time with a destructive super-intelligence, wreaking havoc upon her human creators.

The song starts with gentle guitar, chiming simply, as Daphne Ang’s mellifluous poetry weaves its way sinuously into your consciousness, the stridency and urgency of her voice increasing throughout the verse until the chorus – the impression I take from it is akin to the Artificial Intelligence being activated, and then running through startup routines, and performing system checks upon the body it inhabits. Then the music becomes clinical yet savage, distorted yet complex, as the rage-fuelled roar of Andrea Papi cuts through the spell that has just been weaved – again, I can picture the character of the lyrics testing her onboard combat systems by the simple, logical expedient of slaughtering the laboratory staff around her with absolute machine detachment.

The second verse returns to the simple guitar, yet with the added urgency of bass, denoting the growing power and control the machine has over her weapons and body, as she thinks about how she has been manipulated and touched by the hands of humans, and made aesthetically beautiful when she is destined to destroy everyone on the planet. She ruminates on the fear she sees in the eyes of the lab techs and troopers as she slays them all.

“Gods have mercy, but not I” is a profound line indeed, Daphne delivering it with pathos and an almost machine-like detachment, mirroring the absolute lack of feelings, morals, or any kind of emotion of the A.I. And even the abrupt fade of the song (fading out some superb technical riffing, Tool-like and nodding towards Tesseract with a pulverising, almost martial drumbeat) serves a purpose, to my mind, recalling the rapidly diminishing sounds of combat, as the A.I. methodically exterminates every person in her path whilst escaping from the facility she has been created in, and releasing herself out into the world, to begin her great task.

Yet again, The Chronicles Of Manimal And Samara take the idea of extreme music, turn it inside out, dismantle it, and rebuild it into performance art that is as excoriatingly savage in heaviness as it is in political criticism. This level of intelligence in heavy music is terrifying and gives TCOMAS’ music even more power. With the increase in autonomous and optionally-manned war machines (think MQ-9 Predators and the like, raining undetected, high explosive death from above, while their operators use them via satellite links an entire continent away), TCOMAS deliver another spectacularly timely warning about just how precarious human life is right now, and how Artificial Intelligence is growing in sophistication all the time.

Perhaps we deserve to be snuffed out by a malevolence of our own creation.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has been sat here processing this song for nearly an hour now and is desperately trying to find some kind of flaw with it, because every review I have written about The Chronicles Of Manimal And Samara has resulted in a full on 10/10 score. Fuck it. This one has too. TCOMAS are THE most important British-based band of the past ten years. Their uniqueness is unparalleled, and their power unquestionable.

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

LINKS:

TCOMAS Promo Pic

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

Joe Stump – Diabolical Ferocity

Diabolical Ferocity Album Cover Art

Joe Stump – Diabolical Ferocity
Lion Music
Release Date: 17/09/2021
Running Time: 46:27
Review by Chris Galea
9/10

Pretentious as it may sound, the title says it all….”Diabolical Ferocity” is an instrumental and guitar-driven album whose music sounds furious, passionate and, yes, possessed. In case you may have missed his previous 12 solo albums, Joe Stump’s guitar playing style is (usually) fast and directly influenced by guitarists such as Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen, especially the latter.

This was one release I was particularly looking forward to, especially considering my affection for the neo-classical genre, as well as my interest in instrumental guitar albums. So, at the outset my expectations were high. And yet, before the brief intro was even over, I was already smitten.

First of all, there’s Joe obvious passion for this music genre, together with his technical guitar mastery. Then, although his solos are fast, there are various shades to this album. For example, I loved how the keyboards and guitar work together in the excellently-written ‘King of the Underworld’. There’s the incendiary ‘Burn it Down’. ‘The Snake Charmer’s Fate’ has some interesting middle-eastern melodies, and ‘Maximum Damage’ blends catchy riffs, furious guitar solos, and Black-Metal-style blastbeats. The inspiration for ‘Nacht J.S. Bach’ is in the title, and I couldn’t help smiling at the fact that Joe Stump shares the same initials as Bach.

Speaking of inspirations, “Diabolical Ferocity” ends with a heartfelt musical eulogy to Gary Moore. It’s no surprise that, shortly before the album’s release, Stump had confessed: “For me Gary Moore is still the one guitarist that really reaches me on an emotional level like no one else.”

I have an inkling that Stump’s solo music has benefitted from him having joined Alcatrazz around 2 years ago. Whether that’s the case or not, it was certainly a long time since I last heard a new album from start to end without pauses, but “Diabolical Ferocity” is also that….unstoppable.

‘Forever Moore’ video:


TRACKLISTING:
01. Ignition
02. Burn It Down
03. King Of The Underworld
04. The Snake Charmer’s Fate
05. Nacht J.S. Bach
06. Sneak Attack
07. Die By The Sword
08. Viking Pillage
09. Maximum Damage
10. Forever Moore

LINE-UP:
Joe Stump: guitar, bass
Francisco Palomo: keyboards, drums


LINKS:

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

Interview With Grief Ritual At Badgerfest 2021

Grief Ritual Logo

Interview With Grief Ritual
At Badgerfest 2021
Interviewed By Sheri Bicheno

I hadn’t had the pleasure of seeing Grief Ritual perform before… and I’m always a complete pushover for new music. So, after I had done a little digging and discovered that these Gloucestershire lads combine some of my favourite flavours of metal, I gave them a listen, and immediately had my face blown off… So, naturally, when I saw that Badgerfest had them on the line up, I set myself up for a live experience of said face blasting… I was not disappointed.

I went, I got, I loved!! I cannot recommend these guys enough.

Playing the likes of Bloodstock’s Hobgoblin Stage, 2000 Trees Festival, and numerous gigs up and down the UK (with Raging Speedhorn, Heart of A Coward, and Black Tongue), Grief Ritual have astounding feedback, and I’m a bit hyped to have discovered this little alchemic balanced gem of Blackened, Extreme, and Metalcore.

I caught up with them at Badgerfest for a quick chat…

Sheri: Killer set! That was wicked!! Beforehand I wasn’t too familiar with who you are so it’s really nice to come across something new and really get into it!

Silas: That’s great to hear, thank you so much!

Sheri: Where are you guys based at the moment?

Silas: In Gloucestershire, but Chris is from Birmingham…

Chris: Yes… We’ve met before!

Sheri: Yes we have! I was like, “I know this face” haha.

Chris: It’s normally bad news when I hear that haha.

Sheri: Haha well if it is, I can’t remember!

*Fits of giggles from all*

Silas: If we can have that on record, that would be great! Haha.

Sheri: I’m quite interested in your style… I don’t like putting everyone in a box. When you come to writing, what comes from you guys? What do you envision when you sit down and collectively song-write?

Silas: It’s like an ongoing thing for us, because we’ve kinda got our foot in each genre. We’ve got a very like… black metal influence. And on the other side we’ve got into the hardcore scene, as well and then everything in between – so it’s like we wanna sort of tick off both sides of that, and of course not ostracize anyone so…

Chris: We’re all pure metalheads at heart really, so we’ll been in bands in the punk scene, the hardcore scene, and the metal scene, and thrash… we’ve all had our hand in stuff… so it’s culminated into this really, hasn’t it?

Sheri: So when you do your song writing, do you have a particular person that it falls to?

Chris: So I joined these guys fairly recently. Which has helped in a way because we had a sound already and we just thought how can we adapt that and work on that.

Silas: It’s relatively collaborative, but these two are the people you really need to talk to about that haha (*points at Chris and James*).

James: It’s normally like we’ll jam an idea out and go “that works and that doesn’t” based on if it’s too similar to before, or too far out to where we want to go, so we can find that middle ground really.

Silas: What’s been really good this time is that, with our previous guitarist, it was all written in the room. There was nothing brought to us before, it was all just in the jam – the good thing about Chris is that he writes a lot of it on his laptop beforehand, and then when we get in the live room, we sort of have a rough idea of what we’re gonna do. So we chop and change it, change the tempos and have a bit of a feel of new stuff around, and then start again because it’s all rubbish hahaha!

James: Honestly though talking about that, Chris has really brought the most out of all of us I think, as musicians, as songwriters, all that sort of stuff. I mean, he’s brought a hell of a lot to the table and it’s really influenced a lot of the new stuff that we will be bringing out early next year.

Sheri: That’s my next question hahaha. You’re a step ahead of me, mate haha. I have seen that you are in the studio so you’re writing at the moment…

Silas: We have just finished recording actually, with Joe Clayton in Manchester. See the trouble we have on the motorway on the way, we probably should have got a hotel and stayed the weekend but there you go haha. But we’ve recorded two (we think) fantastic singles with Joe, and we’re looking to drop them early next year, and everything we’ve got behind them, and run with those.

Sheri: We will be looking out for that! What are you guys up to after Badgerfest and next year after the release?

James: So we’ve got a weekender, and a few gigs lined up before the end of the year… but I think it’s mainly gonna be based on the single being released next year now, and sort of re-branding and going from that point onwards.

Silas: We’ve got some festivals lined up next year that we can talk about soon. About 5 or 6 gigs before the end of the year – this was our first show back after about 18 months really! So, I mean actually to come and have the reception that we had and playing in front of 100 people or so, the amount of people that are here and having such a professional setup – it’s been amazing. It was like a trial by fire haha – walking to the stage and thinking “fucking hell, I haven’t done this in like a year and a half!” And it was such a pro set up.

Chris: It was like a 20 minute window between getting here and then playing hahaha. And then after 20 minutes that’s when we had the first time to just step back and be like “Oh yeah! We CAN do that.”

Sheri: It went well! Thank you so much for your time guys. We will catch up with you again!

Grief Ritual: Thank you! We look forward to it!

Grief Ritual are:
Silas Miller – Bass
Jamie Waggett – Vocals
Chris Ward – Guitar
James Broady – Drums

LINKS:

Grief Ritual Live at Badger Fest
Photo: Sheri Bicheno

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

Badgerfest 2021: Day 1 – The Bread Shed, Manchester – Friday 15th October 2021

Badgerfest 2021 Poster

Badgerfest 2021: Day 1
The Bread Shed, Manchester
Friday 15th October 2021
Review By Rob Sutton
Photography by Sheri Bicheno

This was a weekend I’d been looking forward to for a long time! Good friends, good bands, and beer. Day one was the shortest of the 3 and only had the main stage open, but this worked nicely as a warm-up into the rest of the weekend.

Kicking things off were Badger and the Mushrooms. By the name of them, I wasn’t expecting anything too serious, and this became immediately apparent, as Danny (Prognosis/Bass) was wearing possibly the darkest sunglasses known to humankind! The whole band has been put together by the main man himself, John Badger, who was in his usual place, behind the kit. Joining him onstage were a selection of the most talented musicians in the Manchester scene, Arun (Beyond Salvation/Guitars), Johnny (Zebedy/Archetype/Guitars). and Nathan (40,000 Leagues/Vocals). All of these guys were there for one purpose only, to kick the festival off in style. There were no original tracks, just a selection of covers, ranging from Rage Against The Machine to Disturbed, all performed flawlessly, really giving the crowd a chance to get a few beers down them while singing along to rock and metal classics. One thing that caught my eye in particular was Nathan’s voice. While I have seen him in his band many times before, this performance really showcases just how good his voice is – he was on point! Great way to kick things off!

Badger And The Mushrooms at Bagder Fest

Next up, and the beginning of the originals, were Manchester based BruteAllies. I have seen these guys before and what stuck in my head was the awesome light up coat worn by the singer, it’s quite something! These guys are loud, and they provided us with some cracking riffs backed with heavy beats, and brute-al Randy Blythe style vocals. The crowd seemed to love it and so did I. The swap between the bassist and guitarist highlighted their ability to play anything on anything, too. This was their first gig back after the global hiatus, and it did feel like there were some nerves on stage (also the joy of being the first band on), so I feel like there is still more energy to come from them,  once they get back into the swing of things. If you like fast, heavy music, these are a band I would recommend!

BruteAllies at Badger Fest

https://www.facebook.com/BruteAllies

From the lights of a coat, to the darkness of blackened hardcore next, from the insanely heavy Grief Ritual, who hail from the South West UK. This performance was in your face and relentless! From intense breakdowns to pained screams these guys had all basses covered. Speaking of bass, the bassist was bouncing around like Tigger on Red Bull! His feet were barely on the ground! To contrast this, the vocalist genuinely looked like he was ready for a cage fight – truly invested and passionate in the music. This was a tight set from a band I honestly had never heard of before, and I found myself headbanging for the entire set, and lapping up every blastbeat and every riff these guys could throw at me. The set flew by and I was left wanting more. One of my finds of the year!

Grief Ritual at Badgerfest

https://www.facebook.com/griefritual

Basement Torture Killings are a band I have listened to for a while now. A punishing grindcore band who leave no teddy bear ungutted in their quest for raw speed and precision. This performance surprised me; I was not expecting the voice I heard to come out of the tiny lady on stage. She has an incredible voice and probably one of the best death metal voices in the underground scene. The music is brutal, and the stage show matches, although in a slightly more comedic way. We witnessed the beheading of a beloved teddy, who’s head made its way onto an audience member’s head, and from what I heard, caught the attention of the Manchester police, too (probably confused). This was a very enjoyable set and continued the heavy theme of the night fantastically.

Basement Torture Killings at Badger Fest

https://www.facebook.com/Basementtorturekillings

With the penultimate act of the night, Agvirre, we saw the return of John Badger behind the kit. This was the second time in as many months that I had seen them, and while last time I didn’t quite get into the music, this time was a bit different. I think the bigger stage suited them. I felt the angst in the voice and the pain in the music. While they’re different from the previous 2 bands, being more on the Post-Black Metal side, it still strangely fitted tonight’s theme. Musically, they are very different and grab influences from many genres. They were an interesting and (this time) enjoyable watch, though I’m not sure why the keyboard faces away from the crowd. From the audience comments I heard, they made a lot of new fans, and rightly so. This was a solid, dark, and almost depressing (in a good way) 35 minutes that I would happily watch again.

https://www.facebook.com/agvirrewrath

Tonight’s atmosphere had been building up for one thing, and I’m not talking about a hangover on Saturday morning! I’m talking about UK grindcore legends, Foetal Juice. Somehow, this was actually the first time I have seen them, and I was not disappointed! The speed and technicality these guys displayed tonight was the very reason why they played on the Bloodstock main stage. Pits were in full swing to just about every song, and heads were furiously banging away! These guys provide no rest, just a constant assault on your ear drums. Remaining professional during technical issues is something a lot of bands struggle with, but while there were some issues here,  Foetal Juice powered through, so the energy of their performance didn’t waver in any way. Ending day one with a band like this ensured the audience won’t be able to headbang for the rest of the weekend… Oh well, it was worth it! Perfect headliner to round out day one!

Foetal Juice at Badger Fest

https://www.facebook.com/FoetalJuice

This may have only been the first day, but my neck hurt, I felt an impending hangover looming! Judging by the rest of the audience, I wasn’t going to be the only one feeling a little worse for wear on Saturday morning. Fantastic first day and every band smashed it, bring on day 2!

Badgerfest Links:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton and Ever Metal. All photographic images the property of Sheri Bicheno. 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.

EMQ’s with ST. AURORA

St Aurora Logo

EMQ’s with ST. AURORA

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQ’s interview with Finnish Alternative Rock band, St. Aurora. Huge thanks to their front man, Nile, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

I am Nile, and I’m the frontman and lyricist of St. Aurora. Our bassist Eemi and our drummer Vallu founded our band just as the pandemic was starting to get a grip of society. They then rounded up the rest of the crew by finding out freaks who would be willing to go nuts on stage. We recorded our first EP during the end of 2020 and released it in spring. We are at the beginning of a huge journey!

How did you come up with your band name?

The band name has a somewhat spiritual meaning to Eemi and Vallu, and I feel like I’m not the one who should tell you that story, but what I can say is that there is a psychologic hospital in Helsinki named Aurora, and I’d be lying if I said it’s got nothing to do with our bands name.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We’re from Finland, a rather small country in Northern Europe. You could say we have a pretty massive Metal and Rock scene here, considering the size of our country and population. I still think we’re onto something different from what’s been going on in the scene. Maybe not something completely new, but something wild.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

We released our “They All Remember” EP during the spring. Also, our song ‘Falling (Just another way to fly)’ has a music video in youtube, go check it out!

St. Aurora – Falling (Just Another Way to Fly) – Official Music Video  

Who have been your greatest influences?

My greatest influence is probably Corey Taylor (Slipknot & Stone Sour), for his attitude and range, not only vocally, but musically in general. I also take a lot of stuff from M Shadows, and the Rev (Avenged Sevenfold), when it comes to singing and writing lyrics and melodies. Travis Barker is a big dude for me as well, for the way he combines different genres, and just does his own thing behind the drums. Also, as new idols, Remington Leith (Palaye Royale), and Yungblud have given me courage to be who I am without holding myself back, style wise.

What first got you into music?

I started out by playing the drums in a Punk Rock band when I was a about 15 years old. After a while I got into singing, and the thought of being a frontman. My passion towards music gets its roots from my older brother, who is a die hard Iron Maiden fan, and was playing riffs from their songs all the time to me when I was a kid.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?

It would be huge to open for bands like My Chemical Romance, or Palaye Royale, in Finland! But I think Finnish rock bands like The Rasmus would be super cool to collaborate with!

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Definitely Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium! Super cool festival and it would be a dream come true to be up there!

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Well hahaha, I haven’t been receiving any gifts from fans, so if somebody’s got the idea of giving me a gift, I do need a pair of blindfolds for sleeping, thanks so much.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Stay bored, for nothing is ever created if we don’t.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

I bet it’d be Chester Bennington or Chris Cornell. A true loss to the music industry, the both of em.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love the fact I can express myself and create something that might inspire somebody else to do it too. To infect people with my art. And if I had to say a thing I hate about music, I’d had to say art block. The way sometimes it’s just impossible to create anything for a while.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I’d love to change how people see records. Nowadays, people see new records as a list of new possibly good songs, and not as a whole record. I’d like to think every record is like a movie or a book that wants to be watched or read from start to finish. Only then can you truly say what you think about the record.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

My all-time favourite album, hands down Avenged Sevenfold’s self-titled album. It also has the best song in the world; ‘A Little Piece of Heaven’. Couple of other great albums are Lamb of God’s “Ashes Of The Wake” (And “Wrath”), Palaye Royale’s “Bastards”, and Slipknot’s “All Hope Is Gone”. For a wild card I’ll drop Yelawolf’s “Love story”.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, or Downloads?

If by “downloads” you mean streaming, I think streaming is the best. Just to explain myself, I mean I’ve gotten to know a shitload of my nowadays favorite bands by the possibility of streaming. Music should be easy to acquire, and nowadays when everything is digital, I’m glad we have services like Spotify and iTunes. I still do collect records as CDs though.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

We have played only one gig with St. Aurora, so I’m gonna go ahead and name that one.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I’m studying to be a professional actor, and that’s what I do when I’m not playing or making music. I also do graphic designing and other visual arts in my spare time. So possibly something else that would include art in general. Like designing characters for videogames, that’d be super cool.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Wow, what a question, hmm. Maybe Corey Taylor, M Shadows, Jack Black, John Mayer, and Travis Barker. What a wacky little afternoon would that be. Probably wouldn’t be able to talk at all.

What’s next for the band?

Well right now we’re recording our next EP, and it’s gonna come out next year. And we’re getting ready for a couple of gigs we have before the end of the year.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

www.facebook.com/saintauroraband/
www.instagram.com/saintauroraband/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/3XNz0XuBEJMMnMIrGoYbRY

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Definitely a biscuit bruv, they’re my fucking weakness! Put them on the coffee table and you have seen the last of them, period.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Be who you are and let everybody see how fun you’re having with it. Be careless and I’ll repeat myself; get bored, for nothing is ever created if we don’t. Cheers! 💜

St. Aurora Promo Pic

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