Timeline

EMQ’s with NORTHERN REDEMPTION

Northern Redemption Logo

EMQ’s with NORTHERN REDEMPTION

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Swedish based Melodic Hard Rock/Metal band, Northern Redemption. Huge thanks to guitarist Thomas Furustig 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 Thomas Furustig and I play the guitar in Northern Redemption.

How did you come up with your band name?

When I left my former band, I had some anger in side of me and I thought now I’m going to show them hahaha. Redemption was the first name that came up. Then someone said, “hey there is another band in the US with that name”, ok, so now what…Northern Redemption it is!

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

Sweden!

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

‘Spiritwalker’, our debut single.

Watch/Listen Here

Who have been your greatest influences?

KK Downing of Judas Priest.

What first got you into music?

Judas Priest – “British Steel”

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

For me, it would be great to collaborate Dynazty from Sweden or Black & Damned From Germany!

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

Sweden Rock because it’s on Swedish soil 😊.

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

Well, nothing yet…

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

Stay strong ,stay safe and soon we will come to a stage near you.

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

Gary Moore!

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

When you get appreciation for what you write and people actually like what you do. On the other hand, I do not like it when they do not dare to tell the truth about what they think of the music we create. It is apparently easier to come up with a false opinion! Tell the truth to me and we will be friends, lie and we remain enemies!

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

To give back to the bands the opportunity to be involved in determining their music and income, so musicians can live on the whole product and not just on merchandise at concerts etc. Because you cannot make money on record sales!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Screaming For Vengeance” – Judas Priest.

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

CD’s or music platforms like Spotify, Apple Music etc.

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

It was with my previous band when we supported Blaze Bayley in Strängnäs 2018.

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

Truckdriver for sure!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Hmm, I must say my band hahaha.

What’s next for the band?

We will enter the studio at the beginning of March and record the next single ‘Pandemic’ to be released at the end of March 2021.

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

www.linktr.ee/northern.redemption
www.facebook.com/Northern.Redemption
www.instagram.com/northernredemptionofficial/
www.twitter.com/NorthernRedemp1
www.soundcloud.com/northern-redemption
www.music.apple.com/se/artist/northern-redemption/1547572744
www.deezer.com/en/track/1198085992
www.music.amazon.com/albums/B08S76D2ZQ
www.open.spotify.com/artist/6UFMF5DYpLH3BFkfcXGe3D
www.youtube.com/channel/UC64W5F4IY7FFdKB7eZxtvzg

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

What is a Jaffa cake  hahahaha hmm biscuit?

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

Well, I hope the world will be free from COVID and that you all out there are going to follow us 😊.

Northern Redemption 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.

Moonscape – Entity, Chapter II: Echoes From A Cognitive Dystopia

Entity, Chapter II: Echoes From A Cognitive Dystopia Album Art

Moonscape – Entity, Chapter II: Echoes From A Cognitive Dystopia
Self-Released
Release Date: 23/11/2020
Running Time: 37:28
Review by Victor Augusto
8/10

Here I am to review the amazing Norwegian band, Moonscape, for the second time. Back in 2017, I was lucky to review the first part of this saga, called simply “Entity”, and I have both a good memory about it, and a regret. Regret, because that album really deserved a better explanation, but I was so young as a reviewer, and immature, that it was impossible at that time. The good memory is of all the amazing people, connected to the band, that I became friends with, including Mr. Håvard Lunde, the one-man-band, and the mind behind the Moonscape concept and music. He is responsible for the composition and this time, he has surpassed himself, working out how he could connect all the guest musicians, to make this album sound as it does. Let me try to free myself from regret and explain why this material is so amazing.

The “Entity” concept (in both parts) is something like Rick Wakeman’s “Journey To The Centre Of The Earth”. Part one was like one song, divided into chapters. This album goes the same way, but we have four songs that have a logical sequence and don’t sound like only one track. In both cases, I used Rick Wakeman’s work as a reference, in terms of the album structure. Is it Progressive Rock/Metal music? Hell yes! Nevertheless, it has a specific sonority, very well balanced between what we know about progressive Heavy Metal bands. I feel that Håvard didn’t want to be stuck in one simple genre, because there are even a few Death Metal parts on this record, like the blast beat and guttural voice that open ‘The Ails To Withstand’.

There is incredible detail here. Quickly, use the scroll down bar to read the MANY guest musicians on this album, and you’ll understand what I mean. Have you read it? Good! Now, come back here and join me with my thoughts. Could you imagine yourself putting together so many contributors, to create good songs, as Håvard has done? It is the most impressive aspect for me. The way that all the guest musicians fit together, to create a good sequence in the songs is amazing! Just the work of all the singers is a hard job because each of them interprets one character in this history.

The concept, for what I could understand, is about someone who tries to flee from this world and hide himself deep inside his own mind, but his terrors and demons can still find him. All the characters (Shadowself, Demon, The Dreamer, Angel, Father and The Erratic) are different states of his mind, that create an inner conflict. But, maybe, they are all real people around the person who’s trying to flee away from this life. No matter what it represents, it is astonishing how all the singers create a different interpretation of each character, exploring angelical or tenor vocals, right to guttural voices. Again, the hard work to put all of it together is what caught my attention the most.

Musically, there’s everything from varied Heavy Metal styles, in good balance. There are various speeds, with loud bass and heavy guitars. Moonscape even use saxophone, violin and piano. Of course, the guitar and keyboard solos are the strongest elements along the tracks, but the other instruments help add different atmospheres, as the chapters are evolving in each track, alongside the new tensions and events from this saga.

At the end of the last song ‘In the Mourning Hours’, there are a few seconds of the intro of the first song from the previous album “Entity” (what we could call Pt1). Håvard also put in the sound of a heartbeat and that made me curious to understand what it means. Is this a sign of a rebirth? Is it the beginning of the same cycle, that will repeat over again? I don’t know, but this mystery will make the listener think about it and hear the album with more attention.

As with most albums from one-man bands, I just feel that the record could have had a little bit more attention paid to the production. However, if you consider that we have more than ten musicians, from all parts of the world, recording their parts alone, I’m certain that Håvard is a wizard and did some kind of magic to put it together! It is the kind of album that makes people think about their lives. I feel that Moonscape was never a band that wanted to record an easy-to-understand album. Moreover, this is the magical side of what Moonscape is. I hope you enjoy this journey through “Entity, Chapter II: Echoes From A Cognitive Dystopia” as much as I did.

TRACKLISTING:
01. A Prelude To Grief
02. Illusion Or Reality?
03. The Ails To Withstand
04. In The Mourning Hours

LINE-UP:
Håvard Lunde – Vocals, Bass, Lead/Rhythm/Acoustic Guitars, Percussion and Programming

GUEST MUSICIANS:
Pauli Souka (Coldbound) – Lead Vocals as ‘Shadowself’
Runar Steen Hansen (Firefight) – Lead Vocals as ‘Demon’
Drake Chrisdensen (Ruins of Elysium) – Lead and Backing Vocals as ‘The Dreamer’
David Åkesson (Qantice) – Lead Vocals as ‘The Erratic’
Marcela Villarroel – Lead Vocals as ‘Angel’
Andreas Jonsson (ex-Spiral Architect) – Lead Guitars
Cezar Popescu (Days of Confusion) – Lead Guitars
Bret Barnes (Independent) – Saxophone
Linus Abrahamson (Guthrie Govan, Andromeda etc.) – Lead Guitars
Aaron Minich (Nekrogoblikon) – Keyboards
Eirik Dischler (Shamblemaths) – Organ
Alexandra Laya (Qantice)- Violin
David Russell (Independent) – Piano
Leviathan (Ex-Unspoken, Kvesta, Abyss Below) – Lead Guitars
Rafael Agostino (Armored Dawn) – Keyboards
John Kiernan – Lead Guitars
Mark Anthony K. (Projekt Gemineye/The Dark Monarchy) – Lead Guitars
Diego Palma (LordDivine) – Keyboards

LINKS:

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

Baron Carta – Step Into The Plague EP

Step Into The Plague EP Cover Art

Baron Carta – Step Into The Plague EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 27/01/2021
Running Time: 22:00
Review by Simon Black
7/10

Please indulge me as for a four track EP this is going to be quite a lengthy piece, because for a variety of reasons this unobtrusive little recording may prove to be representative of a significant turning point in the music industry (albeit one that’s been looming for a while). Two factors are at play here – Coronavirus and the deplorable state of affairs for musicians before that.

Pandemic driven lockdown has fundamentally altered the way music is created and consumed, perhaps forever. Whilst the vast majority of workers in the live entertainment industry are waiting in desperate hope that the live side of things will restart soon so they can eat something other than rice, feed their children something nice or move out of cardboard city, musicians have fundamentally recognised that a change of approach was needed. If you are an established band, it’s perhaps been easier – take an unplanned break, dust off a few live recordings to keep the labels off your back contractually, crank out a live stream to remind people you exist and flog the old stock of T-shirts at a discount. New(er) bands though have a completely different challenge, especially those who have released debut recordings during this period that they cannot get out on the road to promote, which is absolutely the only way to shift your number of regular listeners on (insert streaming platform of choice here) from a few hundred hard won locals, to a wider audience who is going to allow you to eat occasionally. Or is it?

Enter Baron Carta, which is a new project from some old hands who with time on their hands and who have nothing to lose from challenging the industry status quo. If you have come across Severed Fifth, you will be aware that its progenitor Jono Bacon is no stranger to taking a solo project and bringing in top tier names to extend the project and the same methodology has been employed here. Supporting him on vocals are the great Ralf Scheepers from Primal Fear and drummer Morten Gade Sørensen (Pyramaze and Anubis Gate).

Another fact about Bacon – if you Google him, you quickly discover that his day job is working as a strategy consultant with an interest in the power of communities to change the world (both dimensions are on his web site and make interesting reading). He will be acutely aware that technology enabled disruption was turning the world upside down long before Covid-19, which has thrown an incendiary accelerant over an already fast pace of change, and that the brands of the future are the ones that can identify a gap, create a cause (rather than a product), mobilise a movement to support it and build a community to embrace it.

Streaming disrupted physical media sales in the last decade, but the labels quickly got into bed with the platforms to keep the cash flowing, whilst the poor musicians’ incomes got cut further to the bone. No wonder then that Bacon and his music projects ignore the industry and focus on the musicians in a changing world. Live streams have been a part of this recently, but this feels like the next logical step as no label is involved in this band, but the content and platform have been very professionally crafted and assembled. Also don’t expect a full album any time soon – the intention is to release a number of more frequent shorter content packages in the future, with a nice sweetener to get you interested.

For a start you, the reader can right now head over to the band’s web site and claim your own free copy of this recording, independent of any streaming platform by signing up for their club. It also entitles you to some bonus content and at some point access to the next phase of Bacon’s disruptor plan. If nothing else this looks like an opportunity to claw back revenue from an entire industry that makes an enormous amount of money from music, whilst seeming to give very little of that to the actual musicians upon whom the whole thing depends.

And then there’s the tunes, which are an eclectic bag musically, but when you have a singer of Scheeper’s calibre and experience to carry it through with confidence and panache that’s perhaps less of an issue. There’s Heavy and Power Metal high in the mix here and whilst you can’t escape the Primal Fear comparisons, particularly for opener ‘Out of Time’ or second track ‘Devil To Send’, which is a much darker and heavier beast. ‘Truth To Power’ is much more up tempo and easily the strongest song in this batch, but I also like the lengthier closer ‘Act 1: Duty’ which lulls you into thinking it’s going to be a more experimental ballad, before speeding things up again to hold the attention.

All four tracks lean in slightly different directions and it very much feels like an experimental taster of what might come rather than a full formed statement of musical intent. I would not be at all surprised to find that this is all part of Bacon’s plan – throw four different styles out there and see which works best in a flexible experimental way, without having to deal with the pressure of a label on your back. The music is strong enough, and if we can get more material of the calibre of ‘Truth To Power’ then a fan base will follow. Let’s see how this story and experiment unfolds.

‘Truth To Power’ (Official Audio)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Out Of Time
02. Devil To Send
03. Truth To Power
04. Act 1: Duty

LINE-UP:
Ralf Scheepers – Vocals
Jono Bacon – Guitar
Morten Gade Sørensen: Drums

LINKS:

Baron Carta Promo Pic

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

Son Of Boar – Son Of Boar

Son Of Boar Album Cover Art

Son Of Boar – Son Of Boar
Stoned Rocka Recordings
Release Date: 02/04/2021
Running Time: 31:10
Review by Alun Jones
9/10

Well, here we are then. The debut album from Bradford based sonic butchers, Son of Boar. And yes, I am quite excited about this release. There are long lost civilisations existing in the South American jungle that, despite having no contact with the outside world, are aware that your pal, Platinum Al, has been desperate to hear this cacophonous compendium for some time.

So, is it any good? Well yeah, obviously. But just what kind of good I shall reveal.

There are five tracks on this eponymous release, across which Son of Boar attempt to cover as much ground as possible. Yes, this is Stoner Doom – it is heavy, it has groove, it has a windswept musical vista that is both fierce and welcoming.

I’ve already reviewed first track, ‘Stoned Wail’, when it was released as a single a while ago. This mix is punchier though, and still satisfying regardless of any familiarity. The calm wash of ocean waves accompanies a benign introduction; until, just over two minutes in, the full electric muscle of the band is released. SOB hit their groove and plough relentlessly on, whilst vocalist Luke roars about some sweet girl called Mary. I don’t know who Mary is, but she seems like a nice, compassionate lady.

The slow sludge of song number one is contrasted by ‘All In Your Head’, where SOB pick up the pace and gallop home with a Kyuss covering Maiden flourish. Great rhythm work from Gaz (bass) and Luke D (drums). ‘Satanic Panic’ then devolves brilliantly into the sort of the Corrosion of Conformity style Sabbath worship that enthralled James Hetfield. Powerful, even graceful, but remorseless.

‘Snakes And Daggers’ reminds me of Motorhead played too slow (33rpm not 45, for the fossils out there). Here the pace varies, with a great, almost psychedelic melodic swash emerging like a surprise visit from a long-lost drinking buddy. Then your old pal gets stinking drunk and kicks off in the taxi rank, and you’re desperately clutching your kebab in puzzlement. What?

You should listen to ‘Cities Of The Deadeyed Priestess’ just because it’s a genius song title. It also has some bizarro samples that I need to investigate. Musically, this is another brutal head crusher: meat and potatoes riffs and fine melodic hues courtesy of guitarists Lyndon and Adam.

And there you have it: five songs, one debut album. A fine band; they’re awesome live, have the best t-shirt designs I’ve seen in donkeys and are creating a real sense of cult-like, underground authenticity that is addictive. If I could afford to buy a copy of this album for everyone reading this review, I would. Even that weirdo at the back.

And Son of Boar have only just begun their journey…

TRACKLISTING:
01. Stoned Wail
02. All In Your Head
03. Satanic Panic
04. Snakes And Daggers
05. Cities Of The Deadeyed Priestess

LINE-UP
Luke Oliver – Vocals
Adam Waddell – Guitar
Lyndon Birchall – Guitar
Gaz Bates – Bass
Luke Doran – Drums

LINKS:

Son Of Boar Promo Pic

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

EMQ’s with SINS OF MAGNUS

Sins Of Magnus Logo

EMQ’s with SINS OF MAGNUS

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Philadelphia, Pennsylvania based Stoner/Doom Metal band, Sins Of Magnus. Huge thanks to guitarist/vocalist Rich Sutcliffe 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?

Hey!! My name is Rich, I play guitar and sing. We started in 2009 to do something a little different than everyone else. Sean, our drummer, was the drummer in the very first band I did in 1990. Eric, our bass player and singer, has been in 3 other bands with me since 1995. All our bands were either punk or hardcore, and we just wanted to do something different. We didn’t want to be confined to any one genre. Eric and I were looking for a drummer, and right away Sean was our first choice, and he was on board. So, the 3 of us, collectively, have played together on and off for 31 years.

How did you come up with your band name?

We were originally called Magnus when we first started. Our first EP is under the Magnus name. Do you know how hard it is to search for a particular album by Magnus? There are so many bands with this name that it nearly impossible. We added ‘Sins of’ to it to make it easier to find, and we all thought Sins of Magnus sounded cool.

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

We are from Philadelphia, PA USA. There is a great scene out here. There are a ton of unsigned bands around here, however, and I think it’s a shame. Check out Black Friday Death Count and Victor Traps and you’ll see what I’m talking about. These 2 bands should be household names.

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

Our latest LP, “The Circus”, came out on 16th February 2021. There’s a limited run CD of 100 copies, as well as all popular streaming platforms.

‘Flux Capacitor’ (Audio)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Personally, Tony Iommi, Alvin Lee, and Fast Eddie Clarke. Eric’s influences are John Entwistle, Steve Harris, and Geezer. Sean’s are Neal Peart and Mike Portnoy. Collectively our influences are Sabbath of course, Motorhead, Slayer, Trouble, Dayglo Abortions, Priest, AC/DC, Danzig, Ramones, old NYHC, Rush, Metallica, Ratt, and Shelter.

What first got you into music?

I grew up in a household where I was subjected to either country music or disco. In 1978 my parents bought me “Love Gun” by Kiss. My whole perspective of music changed from that day on. In terms of wanting to play music, all of us wanted to play our instruments because of Metallica. It was what kids in high school rocked to back then. It is how we all started out.

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

No doubt in my mind it would be John Arch from early Fates Warning. He is one of my top 5 vocalists and I always wanted to write material with vocals that only he could handle.

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

The Doomed and Stoned festival. Every band I currently love plays this festival and it would be an honour to be a part of it.

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

In one of my old bands, I received a painting of a tree. I don’t know why they thought I would want that, let alone bring it to a show, but I guess it was a nice gesture.

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

Listen to everything we have to offer. The songs are so different from one another that there is something for everyone, no matter what genre you most identify with.

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

Lemmy. I miss him dearly. We need more rock stars like him in this world.

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

I like that I get to be creative and be able to express myself in the music we write. The only thing I hate is carrying equipment up flights of stairs. I’m too old for that!

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

There are too many cliques. Everyone should support each other.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Ignaurus” by Into Another. This album is full of creativity both musically and lyrically.

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

I personally like the sound of vinyl, but only for old recordings. It defeats the purpose to record digitally, then release it on an analog format. I don’t care what format it is in, as long as I get to hear it loud!

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

We opened for Trouble, during their tour supporting The Distortion Field. Really fun night getting to meet one of my favourite bands, and influences, who were really cool, no egos, and down to earth.

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

My day job! Nothing else. Music is the only form of art I’m half decent at.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Rob Halford, Geoff Tate, John Arch, Michael Kiske, and Bruce Dickenson. It would be the best falsetto quintet of all time!

What’s next for the band?

We are beginning to record 5 new songs, at New Sofa Studios, for what looks like will be an EP. Our releases have been 3 or 4 years apart. It’s time to get more out there a little sooner than that. Since there are currently no shows to play, we have really focused on new material, and I think it’s our best to date.

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

www.instagram.com/sinsofmagnus
www.sinsofmagnus.bandcamp.com/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/3NGmWS7VrQ4o7iM37xzQfl

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Our drummer Sean, who lived in England for 4 years said “Biscuit yo”!

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

Please support unsigned bands. They work harder than anyone else and have something to prove.

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 WOLVER

Wolver Logo

EMQ’s with WOLVER

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Karlstad, Sweden based Rock band, Wolver. Huge thanks to Vocalist/Guitarist/Bassist, Marcus, 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 Marcus, I’m the singer and riff guitar/bass player in Wolver. When I was younger, there was no one in my circle of friends that had any interest in music except for me. But with an unquenchable thirst for writing music and singing, I kept going, and it wasn’t until I entered university that I found my soulmate, Elias Arvidsson Nordgård (Wolver’s Drummer), who shared my vision and passion. This was back in 2011, but it wasn’t until the spring of 2018 that we finally found the third and final piece of the Wolver Puzzle in Filip Larsson (Wolver’s Lead Guitarist). When he joined everything clicked… The sound, the structure, the live performances…Wolver was complete!

How did you come up with your band name?

The name originated from a dream. I simply woke up and had the name stuck in my head, wrote it down on a piece of paper on my nightstand, and fell back asleep. It might sound made up, but when I woke again, I glanced over the paper and immediately knew that it was the name of our band.

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

We are from Sweden, where there’s a big metal scene at the moment, which makes us stick out like a sore thumb! Our live shows are very appreciated, but our main audience is found abroad.

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

Our latest release is our debut album, “Act I: It Starts With a Bow”. A concept album that consists of 17 tracks, and is a total of 55 minutes long. It is heavily complemented with illustrations by Daniel Nagy, that drives a narrative of our fictitious stage personas, The Protagonist, The Brawler, and The Charmer, on a journey through a spectacular fantasy realm, which portrays and mimics a lot of our world’s problems, and challenges them (e.g., politics, racism, source criticism… etc.).

‘101’ (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Personally, I must say Muse, but as a band I believe that Queen, Queens of the Stone Age and AC/DC are all strong candidates for that role!

What first got you into music?

Even before I was seriously considering a music career, I had always taken singing lessons. But it wasn’t until I got hooked on Blink 182, sometime in high school, that I started playing guitar and writing songs for hours on end, daily.

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

I’d have to say Muse. Matthew Bellamy’s sense for music is to me out of this world, combining strings, his signature guitar riffs, flawlessly fitting piano arpeggios, raw sawtooth bass sounds, and sprinkling it with outstanding lyrics accompanied by his angelic voice. If I sound like a fanboy… That’s because I am 😉.

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

Rock Am Ring is a given! They always seem to book the very bands that make out my entire personal playlist.

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

It must be a compliment, and nickname, in contrast to my band mates. Firstly, Filip got told that he looked like Bradley Cooper, then Elias was told that he was as cute as Ed Sheeran. Then someone approached me and said that I look like Jiminy Cricket…“Thanks…”

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

In this day and age, it seems like so many people only read and believe what supports their biased opinion. People seem to rather state individual cases, that strengthen their arguments, instead of basing their beliefs on proven facts and statistics. That alone makes it almost impossible to reach common ground with anyone. And as the cracks between people, be it in politics, or racial issues, only seems to get bigger, we want our music, storyline, and message to help reverse the trend and instead bring us all closer together.

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

For me personally I’d have to go with Kurt Cobain. He died way too young, and I believe that his songwriting genius streak had only just begun…

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

Being in the studio must be it for me. To see everything come together and finally sprinkling it with the minor details that raises everything an additional step.

What I hate most must be the constant pressure of social media, when you want to focus your time and creativity on the music, and live performances, but instead have to make new clever content that becomes irrelevant within a day or two, just to keep up with everyone else.

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

It would be to have everyone in the world listen to Wolver all day, every day! That would be pretty awesome…

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Then I again need to flick my fanboy switch and say Muse – “Origin of Symmetry”…hands down!

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

I truly appreciate Vinyl, but I’m mostly too lazy to put one on, so I’d have to go with Spotify!

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

Maybe it’s the part of me sick of Covid-19 circumstances talking, but probably one of the smaller gigs. We love when it’s so packed with people that you can feel the audience radiating heat and energy, unstoppably spreading like a wildfire!

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

I actually have a degree in Music and Sound- engineering, so probably something with use of that!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Probably people I know would show up! Like my bandmates, my girlfriend, and my sister… The last seat I always keep open in case I am ever so lucky to have my pal, King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf dropping by!

What’s next for the band?

We have some radio time coming up, some interviews, a streamed live performance, and in short trying to do as much as possible before Covid-19 is over, because then we’re hitting the road!

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

We focus mainly on Facebook for news, Instagram to get our story across and finally Youtube for combining everything!

www.linktr.ee/wolver.official

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Jaffa Cakes must be a cake! Or, who in their right mind would name a biscuit Jaffa CAKES? That would be stupid…but I guess…stranger things have happened, right?

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

No, I don’t think so! Thank you yourself, for a pleasant interview!

Wolver Promo Pic - Credit Linn Wedin
Photo by Linn Wedin

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.

Jeff Pennachio – Setting The Stage EP

Setting The Stage EP Cover Art

Jeff Pennachio – Setting The Stage EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 22/01/2021
Running Time: 13:32
Review by Martin Bennewith
9/10

Before listening to this EP, knowing that it was an instrumental rock album, I expected it to be something that would be enjoyed by guitarists and those of us who like action flick film scores (think Top Gun!). As a guitarist, I was looking forward to listening to it, and after taking some time cluing myself up about Jeff Pennachio, I was expecting to have that jaw dropping moment when you hear a great guitarist in action. I was not disappointed.

The first track, ‘Wilson Theater’ sounds like it is trying to tell a sad story. Slow tempo and emotional strings and piano, along with powerful percussion, set the backdrop for the delightful lead phrasing. Although at first the virtuoso composed playing style sometimes detracts from what Pennachio is trying to convey, the way he flows through the first few sections, combining slow melody with scalular runs, adds to the interest and overall feel. There are satisfying time signature changes as well as powerful rhythmic sections to add to the tension. Towards the beginning, there were a couple of parts where I thought my speakers were giving up, but it seems there was some clipping on the guitar track that although probably deliberate, did seem a bit odd. Overall, though, this was a nice introduction for me to a great guitarist.

Next is ‘Interposition’. This brought a smile to my face. In contrast to ‘Wilson Theater’, it has a major, happy feel. The high register piano melody, along with soft strings and once again, powerful rhythm section provides the backdrop to some impressive playing. There are plenty of time signature changes as well as some key changes, and the way he plays through them is breathtaking. In parts he doubles up on the guitar, to either play differing lines or creating harmonies, and they both work well. Once again it does sound a bit mechanical, but this more so demonstrates a high level of musicianship than spoiling the piece.

The final track ‘The Voyager’, for me is saving the best until last. Starting off with some heavy synth stabs and some ambient piano, it breaks out into something heavy and sinister. The muted rhythm guitar and heavy bass and drums, along with the ambient breaks make this one really rock, and once again playing some neat lead over a myriad of time and key changes with little effort. I also detected a lot more feel to his playing compared to the other two tracks. The overall composition and mix works a treat, and builds up to a great ending. A very powerful track to end the proceedings.

“Setting The Stage” is only 3 tracks long, but in these 3 somewhat diverse tracks, Jeff Pennachio demonstrates just what a great instrumentalist and guitarist he is. Knowing that the music was all his own work makes it even more impressive. It is not by any means ground-breaking stuff, and at times it lacks a bit of the ‘rough around the edges’ feel that might help him connect with a wider audience, but this is definitely one for the players and admirers of great lead guitarists. A very biased 9/10.

‘Interposition’ (Official Guitar Play-Through)

TRACKLISTING:
01.Wilson Theater
02.Interposition
03.The Voyager

LINE-UP
Jeff Pennachio – Guitars, Drums, Bass, Orchestrations, Programming

LINKS:

Jeff Pennachio Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Martin Bennewith 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.

Phantom Elite – Titanium

Phantom Elite Titanium Album Cover Art

Phantom Elite – Titanium
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 22/01/2021
Running Time: 48:00
Review by Simon Black
9/10

This seems to be the month for this kind of music. Maybe it’s because Rick knows he can throw this stuff in my direction and I will take it on, but it really does seem that Symphonic Prog is taking over my feed. I shouldn’t complain – it doesn’t seem so long ago that I was casting around struggling to find recommendations in this field. When they are of the calibre of Phantom Elite, this is a nice problem to have…

“Titanium” is the sophomore album from this Progressive / Power Metal quartet, whose singer Marina La Torraca I was vaguely aware being one of the live Avantasia wall of vocalists. Sound-wise this is also dripping with Modern metal heaviness to go with the liberal lashings of Prog, Symphonic and Power and blast beats aplenty. Technically they are actually a five piece, as After Forever guitarist Sander Gommans is a song-writing contributor to this record, as well as taking the Producer’s chair. There is something to be said for having a key writing partner delivering the sound mix – it effectively allows the same creative influence to book end the whole end product, which ensures a tightly focussed end result aligned to the original vision (which is why so many bands naturally progress to getting involved in this area as they gain in experience).

As for the record, what we have are ten and a bit tightly crafted and sound-sculptured Modern Prog Metal tracks, whose technical delivery is faultlessly tight. There’s a rich fat sound in here, over which La Torraca’s vocals have absolutely every chance to soar, even though they keep her balanced in the mix. So often these kind of records push the cleaner female vocals too much to the front of the mix, with the instrumentals disappearing to the background, but not so here – the net effect being that she is an equal partner in the soundscape to the formidable musicians. I am going to particularly call out Koen Stam’s keyboard work interlaced with Max van Esch’s guitar, which has the kind of harmonic interplay of the calibre of the partnership Petrucci and Rudess share in Dream Theater. Yup, that good. La Torraca’s vocal prowess is considerable. Many female-fronted Symphonic bands have a tendency to strike the same tone throughout, but she has much more of a range on her and consequently we have a real variety within the sound of this record. Having fellow Avantasian Amanda Somerville on hand for a couple of tracks to boot is just the icing on the cake.

The result is an album that sounds fresh, technically blistering and really damn relevant.

‘Glass Crown’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Conjure Rains
02. The Race
03. Diamonds And Dark
04. Worst Part Of Me
05. Glass Crown
06. Titanium
07. Bravado
08. Silver Lining
09. Haven
10. Deliverance
11. Eyes Wide Open

LINE-UP:
Marina La Torraca – Vocals
Max van Esch – Guitars/Bass
Koen Stam – Keyboards
Joeri Warmerdam – Drums

LINKS:

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

Victoria K – Live Isolation Concert

Live Isolation Concert DVD Cover Art

Victoria K – Live Isolation Concert
Rockshots Records
Release Date: 29/01/2021
Running Time: 36:00
Review by Simon Black
7/10

This pandemic has been a nightmare for bands who had big debuts planned for 2021. So, you build an underground following, you become a ‘thing’ in your local Melbourne area (in the state of Victoria, natch), you get your long-awaited debut out…and then the world goes to hell in a hand basket. I feel for these guys, as the uphill journey got three times harder, so I am really appreciative of the fact that with the odds stacked against them and a debut record that hasn’t had the benefit of any touring and juicy support slots to get them pushed the band have forged ahead and done a lockdown gig, which is now available on DVD and CD. Frustratingly, all we have been given from the visual side is a short montage of clips from the DVD, so my comments are really based on the music release.

Musically, Victoria K are Symphonic Metal in the Within Temptation snorting Evanescence mould, but mix things up with the addition of some good old extreme grunts from guest vocalist Sheri Vengeance, and the songs, where both of them are given full reign to play off of each other, work really well. I reviewed the “Essentia” album last year and felt that it was a bit let down by production woes and some very average guitar work and given that the material played here is exactly the same (albeit in a different sequence), I was curious to see how this would come off live. The answer is ‘much better’. Actually changing the sequence helps, as another challenge I had with “Essentia” is that the musical tone was fairly samey on record, which is avoided here by a better running order, the presence of the extra pair of lungs and the interplay between the two front women.

And all this despite the fact that the sound mix is very rough and ready, as the two vocalists really have the opportunity to shine. Fortunately, there’s enough live clips to make it clear that the production quality doesn’t matter so much, because they clearly had a blinder playing this, the atmosphere generated is electric and although the guitars are (like the studio record) a bit too far back in the mix the net effect works well because the vocalists utterly hold your attention. The band aren’t big enough to really afford a major production for this performance, but they somehow make this work.

‘Freaks’ (Taken From ‘Live Isolation Concert’)

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Haunting
02. Mist Filled Sky
03. Forsaken
04. Humanity
05. Surreal
06. Freaks
07. Shroud of Solitude
08. Lacuna
09. Freedom Uncharted
10. Matrix

LINE-UP:
Victoria K – Vocals
Sheri Vengeance – Extreme Vocals (Black Like Vengeance, ex. Ne Obliviscaris)
Julia Mammone – Guitar (Enlight)
Martin Kawaler – Bass (Black Like Vengeance, ex Ten Thousand)
James Davies – Drums

LINKS:

Victoria K Promo Pic

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

INTERVIEW WITH SEASONS

Seasons Single Cover Album Art

INTERVIEW WITH SEASONS
Horror and Metal make a KILLER combination!
By Stephanie Stevens

Attention Horror fans, Metalcore fans and Heavy Metal music fans! As you may know, the latest instalment of the film series, Friday the 13th: Vengeance 2, will be released in the fall of 2021! What you may not be familiar with is a band who has been working their asses off, crafting the brutal and metalcore sound for the soundtrack! SEASONS is bringing to life the song ‘KILLING SEASON’ a track created by the band looking into the perspective of the fictional masked murderer Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13thfranchise. The song is loaded with references to different aspects of Jason and events that happen to the character throughout the movie franchise. The guttural roars and the screeching assaults vocally pummel you. From aggressive fiery musical verse elements to the captivating and searing melody induced chorus it makes the song an adventurous nightmare.

SEASONS formed in 2017 and are from Richmond, VA. Consisting of dedicated musicians that all have a strong passion for performing energetic shows and crafting top-notch influential songs.

I had a chance to speak with the band about working on a classic horror film soundtrack, a new singer and drummer, having a track for the wrestling community and the future of music for this killer band SEASONS.

Q: Give me a little insight on how SEASONS formed and how would you describe the philosophy of the band’s music and the personality of the band?

Nick GK (Guitar): Seasons formed in 2017 when original guitarists Matt Poe and Matt Gregory decided to form the band. Both musicians had been in and out of bands for years and they decided they wanted to give it a try again.

I think the personality of the band would surprise people.  I think we give off a really energetic and intense vibe in our shows and music videos, but behind the scenes I’d say we’re pretty laid back. That intensity is brought out when we play because we’re excited about our own music. But behind the scenes we’re pretty relaxed people.

Q: looking at the background of your band some cool shit has happened to you guys in the past, but the most recent and probably most iconic thing is you guys just released a song to be featured on the new Friday the 13th soundtrack coming out in 2021. How did that fall into place and had you already had part of the song ‘KILLING SEASON’ written?

Nick GK: The way we got the opportunity with Friday the 13th is that our bassist Matt (Poe) had been chatting with a guy named Peter Anthony, who had starred in another Friday the 13th film. Peter was the one who got us in contact with Jason Brooks, who is the director of the upcoming Friday the 13th movie. Matt reached out to Jason and basically asked if we could write a song for the movie, and Jason essentially told us to submit something and he would think about it. We didn’t have the song written ahead of time. We wrote the song with the intention of submitting in hopes that it could be included in the Friday the 13th franchise in some capacity. And we are so fortunate that it has been.

Q: What does it mean to you to be able to write a song about an iconic serial killer and where does your mindset have to be to kind of relive a character everyone knows and put your own twist to it?

Mark (Guitar): A lot of us are horror fans and Randall (Vocalist) loves Jason. I started the music with something that sounded brutal for obvious reasons into a softer, clean section to give you that calm before the storm. And then at the end my mindset was in the eye of the killer hence the guitar screeches as in a horror movie.

Q: Another new thing about the band is for KILLING SEASON, you put into place a new singer who used to be the drummer. So how did that all happen, and did you realize he had such a diverse vocal ability?

After discussing our options, we proposed to our then drummer, Randall Sykes, that he take over the duties as the front man. Randall has a great screaming voice and a lot of charisma on stage, and I think we all knew he could do it. We were so excited when he said he’d like to be the front man, and we got to work right away writing the songs that would feature Randall as the singer. We then spent a few months trying out different drummers trying to fill Randall’s old position. In the last month, Joshua Woolcott came in to try out on drums, and right away we knew it was the right fit.

Q: Going forward with the new singer how do you feel your music is going to evolve and change and what do you hope to experiment most with having this new asset to your brand and band?

Mark: Randall def has a different type of voice. His singing can get higher and his screams lower. I think our existing material and what’s to come will be more brutal but also more melodic.

Q: Have you guys been in the studio to record for an EP or full length or are you at ease just releasing singles for now since the music world is still up in the air?

Mark: We have recently been releasing singles, as they are mastered, but we are trying to work towards a more, big picture move, so to say.

Q: going back to other awesome stuff that has happened for the band you also had a 2019 track ‘VIOLENCE IS A VIRTUE’ playing in the wrestling world. How did it feel seeing that on TV and how was the song picked for that particular wrestler?

Mark: Matt had a mutual friend who hooked us up with AEW that made it happen, but it was pretty cool to see your song so pump that a wrestler wants to walk out to it. Took me back to childhood.

Q: you guys really take a solid focus on the technical side for sound when you’re playing as you can see in a lot of your songs. When you are writing for a SEASONS song what is the most important aspect the band agrees on before even getting into songwriting mode and how long does a general song take to complete for you guys?

Mark: Usually it starts with a riff and sometimes a theme. Matt’s strongest quality is being like a metalcore composer. So, we come up with the basic structure and he kinda Picassos it all together into what you hear as the finished product. As for time, we have worked on songs for months until completed cause sometimes we are like “squirrel” to another song and ‘Killing Seasons’ was basically written in a 3-hour band practice cause it just flowed.

Q: I love knowing you guys are also very diverse where everyone in the band comes to the table with the structure and writing of songs which I think would bring so much more diversity into the band to experiment. How does it impact you guys as creators and bonding with each other as a band?

Mark: We all like rock and metal but the genres, that we all like specifically, can be very different so a chord or scale progression that I would put in a song is completely different that one of the other guys would come up with. Also, it forces us all to listen to other music we otherwise wouldn’t.

Q: Where do you see the band’s biggest growth since your inception to the current day?

Mark: I came into this band right before ‘High Fives’ music video and since that was our first music video, I’ve seen a lot of numbers really go up since then.

Q: Have you guys thought about the day you can play a live show again and if so, how do you want to represent your band in a live aspect once things get back to normal vs. what you did in prior years?

Nick GK: Seasons takes a lot of pride in how we play live from both a technical standpoint as well as an entertainment standpoint. If you come to see us, we want you to hear the songs played as well as we can possibly play them, and we also want you to walk away thinking you got your money’s worth. If you come see Seasons, you will not see 5 guys looking at the floor strumming their instruments. We jump up and down, run around the stage, head bang, and jump off our amp cabs. We are excited about our music, we are excited to play it live and we want the audience to share in that excitement.

I think when we get to play live again the audience is going to get that energy but to a higher extent. We will be so excited to play live again that the audience will get the energy of Seasons from 2019 but in an even more extreme way.

Q: if you could help inspire one new musician coming into the scene what advice would you give to them and one thing you wish you knew when you were starting out?

Nick GK: The best advice I could give a new musician entering the scene is to just be curious. Learn from the other bands out there and from the other folks in the industry. Knowledge is power in the music business. If a musician comes into the scene hungry to learn and to improve themselves, everything will fall into place for them.

Q: if you could pick the brain of any musician dead or alive today who would it be and what top 3 questions would you ask them?

Mark:

EVH
– What drives you to be so creative and innovative
– What was the most important thing for you when writing the guitar structure of a song
– What was the secret to that awesome 80’s hair

Nick GK:

Sammy Hagar
– What was the craziest tour of your career from a partying standpoint?
– How many speeding tickets have you gotten out of from ‘Can’t Drive 55’?

Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein
– Max bench?

Zakk Wylde
– You have an awesome beard.
– Max bench?

Q: How has music influenced and impacted your life and what is one thing you can thank music for giving you this far?

Nick GK: To me, music has always been a consistent voice in my life, and I have found comfort in that. If you’re going through a hard time, I think there are always songs out there that can bring you comfort and help a person get through what they are struggling with.  Music can be a sort of saving grace to a lot of people in that sense.

Q: Inspire other artists and tell us someone who inspires and motivates you and why?

Mark: Trust me I am far from “making it” but I was 28 when I joined this band and was like “it’s too late I’m too old I should hang it up” and this happened. So, I’d say never give up, never stop playing, and never ever get rid of your gear. And I’m inspired by Jason Richardson every day because he reminds me no matter how good I am there is someone out there who can shred circles around you so PRACTICE!

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘Killing Season’ (Official Video)

Seasons Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. 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.