Reviews

Elyose – Reconnexion

Reconnexion Cover

Elyose – Reconnexion
Elyose Records
Running Time: 46:18
Release Date: 27/09/2018
Review by Paul Monkhouse
9/10

Female fronted rock has been a real mainstay of the European metal scene with Scandinavian countries seemingly having the monopoly on the symphonic and epic sound. French band Elyose have decided to go their own path and mix all the best elements of Lacuna Coil along with elements of both Rammstein and (whisper it) the heavier moments of Baby Metal but with their very own Gallic twist (most of the vocals are in French). Their new album “Reconnexion” is truly one of the best albums I have heard this year and puts them in the same league as their more widely known neighbours.

Opening with a driving drum and bass attack ‘Un Autre E’Te’ kicks off the album in fine style, Justine Daaé’s desperate and aching vocals leading into an epic chorus. With the industrial heaviness of the aforementioned Rammstein and the melody of Ghost, the music really motors along and the guitar break hits like a punch hard in the face. This song would be absolutely massive live.

In a switch, ‘Psychosis’ is sung in English and is the first to feature a guest vocalist, in the case Mark Jansen (Epica) whose growls add a truly brutal edge and a brilliant contrast. Okay, this mix of sweeter female vocals matched against the rough, hewn caveman like tones of a male has been done many times before but rarely this well and shows a real growth of the band into heavier territory than previous releases. More furious fretwork accompanied by washing synths into a punchy and powerful chorus lift ‘De Tout La-Haut’ past the normal third track slump that some albums suffer from and a gentle piano and vocal breakdown comes as a welcome left field move in the song.

More guest vocals come during later tracks in the album and there are so many nice touches and twists that makes this album an utter joy to sit and PROPERLY listen to. Any potential language barrier is totally forgotten as the music crushes and excites whilst the synths and vocals sweep you along over the top of the adrenaline-soaked riffing and pounding rhythm. ‘Mes 100 Ciels’ mixes industrial metal with an almost nursery rhyme pop chorus that Tobias Forge would be happy with, showing how they have been listening and taking in other influences whilst percolating their own unique brew.

‘La Veuve Noire’ is all dirty rock ‘n’ roll and would have been the most straightforward rocker of the album if it hadn’t been for the rampaging fury lithely evolving into what could be easily imagined as the soundtrack for a sci-fi film trailer whilst losing none of its excitement or heaviness. Closing the album with ‘Contretemps’, an acoustic gem that features just guitar and vocals lets the latter shine and is a typically brave move that brings another brilliant colour to their sound palette.

Far from your straight-ahead metal album, this one will grow and grow on you. If you are willing to take a chance on something just a little different “Reconnexion” will repay your investment many times over. Utterly magnifique!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Un autre été
02. Psychosis
03. De tout là-haut
04. Asymétrie
05. Folle alliée
06. Mes 100 ciels
07. À coeur perdant
08. La veuve noire
09. Les mots qui me viennent
10. Contretemps (Acoustic)

LINKS:
http://www.elyose.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ElyoseOfficial

https://www.instagram.com/elyoseband/
https://elyose.tumblr.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/Ellyosevideo

 

Promo Pic1

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

 

Powderhead – Don’t Let Them Win

Don_t Let Them Win Cover

Powderhead – Don’t Let Them Win
Self-Released
Running Time: 40:10
Release Date: 14/04/2018
Review by Paul Monkhouse
7/10

One of the great things about writing for a site like this very one is that we absolutely love supporting the many underground bands in the country alongside the many established bands. It’s seems as though every week a new talent pops up and is ready and raring to compete with the big boys. Far from rock being dead (as some naysayers have it) I believe that the scene has some incredible bands coming through. Sure, things have changed seismically over the past few years but that hasn’t stopped the hungry young guns hitting their local pubs, clubs and festivals forging a name for themselves the hard way. Every town in the country has some incredible new artists absolutely ripping it up on the live scene and vying for that one big breakthrough. Social media might have killed record sales as they were known but it’s such a force for good as by the click of a mouse you can discover amazing talent on your own doorstep. Such is the case with Powderhead…

Formed in Cambridge, Powderhead have just released their first album “Don’t Let Them Win” and it’s a rough-edged gem full of snotty attitude and firey riffs. Reminding me of some of the more D.I.Y. releases of the NWOBHM (but with better production) it snaps and snarls through ten tracks of hard rock that is given a bit of a punk feel by lead singer Helen Johnson. Like the brilliant Pearler, here is another band that has a very ‘street’ feel to it that takes the best elements of primal hard rock and mixes with it with a real swagger.

Opening track ‘Mad Phil’ sets out their intent from the off with its punk feel that changes just before the chorus as it throws into the mix some classic rock guitar that has a touch of Metallica. The sinewy twists in the tracks are a thread that runs through the album as each track throws in the odd tempo change which shows more of a freewheeling style of writing rather than a contrived attempt to do something different. Admittedly some of the little turns don’t pay off in the way they should, particularly in a couple of the chorus’s where it tends to lean heavily of melodies that are meant to catch the ear but rather seem a little out of place but it’s a small criticism. ‘Take It’ starts off with a hook laden chant before ripping into some furious fretwork accompanied by a banshee scream as it charges into a confrontational statement that takes no prisoners.

Much of the album features some terrific hard rock that takes elements from the 80’s and 90’s bands like Saxon, Pantera and Megadeth and injects it with the venom of 70’s punk. It’s not all fury though as one of the outstanding tracks happens half way through the album giving a real change of pace in ‘Forgotten Line’, the album’s sole ballad. Far from being something that is thrown in just for the sake of it, the track is a welcome change from the full-on tempos and adds some real colour to the CD. Not only does it really let Helen’s vocals shine but contains an epic and soaring guitar solo by Jack Lawson.

The album finishes in fine style with the real ‘one two punch’ of ‘Kick and Scream’ and ‘The Butcher’ that are powered by some sterling work on the drums and bass topped by some more vicious fretwork and grab you by the throat vocals. As a debut it’s not perfect but time will mean the band continue to grow in their song writing and arranging skills, adding more razor-sharp edges to their material as indicated by what is an impressive full-length debut.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Mad Phil
02. Take It or Leave It
03. Cut it Loose
04. Super-Sized Stoner
05. Toxicate
06. Forgotten Line
07. Sycophant
08. Wrapped
09. Kick and Scream
10. The Butcher

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/powderheadband

https://www.instagram.com/powderheadband/
https://powderhead.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGzKELbhkUMSem1KmsPk6BQ

 

Powderhead Promo Pic

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

 

Red Hot Chilli Pipers – South Orange Performing Art Center, New Jersey – 06/03/2019

 

A full review of the gig can be found here:

https://ever-metal.com/2019/03/18/red-hot-chilli-pipers-south-orange-performing-art-center-new-jersey-06-03-2019/

 
Disclaimer: This photo album is solely the property of Stephen Moss. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of these images, 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.

 

Red Hot Chilli Pipers – South Orange Performing Art Center, New Jersey – 06/03/2019

Red Hot Chilli Pipers

Red Hot Chilli Pipers
South Orange Performing Art Center, New Jersey
06/03/2019
Review and Pictures by Stephen Moss

I have to admit, I was sceptical about this show. After the first song however, I was blown away. Let me explain what happened!

Before the show started I had some preconceived ideas about what it would be like. For one, I’m not a big fan of Classic Rock. So, mixing Classic Rock with Celtic music, mmm, I didn’t think I was going to like it.

Celtic music does mix well with Punk, so I tried to keep an open mind. I love bands like Flogging Molly, The Real McKenzies, Street Dogs, and the Dropkick Murphy’s. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers are a little different from that, though. They are more on the Celtic side of the spectrum and really stress the bag pipes and make that the highlight.

At the show in Jersey, The Chilli Pipers played a mixture of Classic Rock tracks including ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ by Queen, ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ by Journey, ‘Thunderstruck’ by AC/DC, and ‘Eye of the Tiger; by Survivor to name just a few.

One of the coolest things they did was actually a medley mash up of ‘Starlight’ by Muse and ‘Charlie Brown’ by Cold Play. They added more guitar and three bag pipes, and dudes, it worked! They also do cool versions of ‘Seven Nation Army’ by The White Stripes and put their spin on ‘Jump’ by Van Halen.

In 2007 the Red Hot Chilli Pipers walked away with the top spot on a UK TV show called “When Will I Be Famous.” They call their style of music “Bag Rock” and it has done well for them in the States. The show in South Orange was a sell-out and SOPAC, which is a beautiful Performing Arts Theater just outside of Newark, NJ, was full to the brim!

After the show, I immediately went to Apple Music and bought their albums.
If you’re looking for something new and outside the norm, I definitely recommend checking these guys out. They are currently on a huge world tour so check out their links for dates!

LINKS:
https://rhcp.scot/#
https://www.facebook.com/redhotchillipipersofficial/

https://www.instagram.com/redhotchillipipers/

US Tour Poster

 

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

Oh. – Metallia

Metallia Cover

Oh. – Metallia
Self-Released
Release Date: 28/07/2018
Running Time: 25:13
Review by Dawn King
8/10

I don’t know if this is true for everybody, but there comes a time every now and then that I get bored of listening to the same ol’ music and want to find something “different.” Well, you can’t get much different than Oh.

Oh. is Greek progressive metal multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer, Olivia Hadjiioannou who arrived onto the international music scene in 2013, with her award-winning debut EP, “Sleeping World”. She has since released a prog-metal album “Synemotion” on vinyl and four avant-garde progressive ballads and her latest project is this album “Metallia” released in July of 2018.

Since her appearance on the music scene, she has accumulated many honours including, but not limited to, three international music video awards, most recently at the London Greek Festival for single ‘Deserted Eyes’, semi-finalist in the 2017 International Songwriters Competition and she had been added to the Prog Archives in the Crossover Prog Category.

Driven by a passion to musically reveal an “inner-story”, she can play the guitar (electric and acoustic), bass, drums, violin, piano and percussion and her voice has been compared to the likes of Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Happy Rhodes, Céline Dion, Melissa auf der Maur, Sharon den Adel and Anneke van Giesbergen (impressive list eh?). She composes, produces, mixes and masters her music in Athens, Greece.

Playing all those instruments, Oh. is a true do-it-yourself artist but she says; “I never felt as if there were a question of whether I can play music or not. Music is always a question of whether you have something to say.”

And she certainly does have something to say. Her music “evokes intense imagery, entices the listener to journey into epic sonic landscapes and finally escape into intense ecstatic oblivion!” She wants to touch the soul with her music, whether that be in “the dark recesses of sorrow or the heights of elation.”

But you need to listen carefully to her music because there is so much more to her than first appears. Combining frenetic, harmonic guitar solos, multi-layered vocals, head-banging riffs, fantastical violins, groovy bass lines and furious drumming, there are many twists and turns to her progressive rock and metal style. And let’s not forget, this lady plays ALL of the instruments herself!

Since its release in 2018, the album has had 32 different reviews from thirteen countries worldwide, was in the top 10 of the 2018 Progressive Metal EP Chart and was listed as one of the best albums of the year in 2018 by Metal Nation Radio!

Described by the lady herself, the album is an “epical prog-metal compilation in 6 parts – a multi-layered sonic piece of ravishing solo electric guitars, time-bending tempo shifts, grooving bass lines and deranged drums” and she is not far wrong!

Featuring just six tracks and lasting a little over 25 minutes, this album goes against everything that should be considered ‘epic’ but that is the only word I can think of to describe it. It is eccentric (I can see where the Kate Bush and Tori Amos references come in!), atmospheric and really does conjure up all sorts of images in your head while you are listening to it. The guitars whisper of Satriani and Vai and there is a whole host of musical sounds (wails, screams, bongos to name a few) to take you on your journey which Oh. describes as a spiritual one that will “transmute your subliminal mind map.”

‘Experimental’, ‘eclectic’, ‘strong’, ‘packs a punch’ are just a few of the words and phrases I have seen to describe this album and I would agree with every single one of them. Although instrumental (how the album is described by Olivia herself!) prog-metal is not really my thing, I can recognise talent where I see it. And this is one extremely talented woman!

This album won’t appeal to everyone, but anyone with a love of progressive music in general should really check it out!

But be prepared to be gob-smacked, bowled-over and totally amazed all at the same time!

TRACKLISTING:
1. Red Lion
2. Bee
3. Androgyny
4. Resurrection
5. Dragon’s Kiss
6. Triumph

LINKS:
http://www.olitunes.com
http://www.facebook.com/olitunes

https://www.instagram.com/olitunes/
http://music.olitunes.com

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

 

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

The Swamp Born Assassins – Smell The Mud

Smell The Mud Cover

The Swamp Born Assassins – Smell The Mud
Carnivora Records
Running Time: 49:38
Release Date: 19/03/2017
Review by Paul Monkhouse
7/10

It’s hard to believe that these guys come from Scotland, such is the skill and lovingly crafted paeon of love to the best of Southern Rock, albeit it with a much dirtier edge on this, their latest album. The Glasgow based five-piece have captured the spirit of their many influences and infused the album with their heroes whilst very much retaining an identity all of their own.

The moment that the slide guitar comes in on ‘Out in the Rain’ you know that this is going to be a big slice of gritty rock that Lynyrd Skynyrd would play at their heaviest. With the opening line of ‘’Ever had one of those days when nothing goes right?’’ seeming like a snarling challenge, these guys come out swinging and you know you’ve going to have to hold on tight as they take off like a Nascar champion.

‘Never Ever Never’ starts off with the riff from ‘Peter Gunn’ passed through an ancient and overdriven amplifier and is another brutal, pounding belter. In the shape of Black Stone Cherry, this song is meant to be heard from tiny bars to huge festival stages and is brimming with some real old-style R&B fire. ‘Walk Tall’ is another track that somehow brings together the trio of Pantera, AC/DC and Aerosmith to produce an unholy lovechild that has parts of all three huge acts but is also distinctly their own creation.

There is such a great gumbo of sludge and fire in their material that is matched by power and subtlety. All the way through the album there are some truly nice little touches that add some incredible colour to what could have been potentially been just a straight-ahead rock/metal album. Successfully combining balls and brains, The Swamp Born Assassins have approached both the material and performances with real intelligence that certainly pays dividends.

The stomping ‘Crawl’ would be something that you get the feeling that the late, great Lemmy would love and is a later highlight of the album. All rock ‘n’ roll attitude and spirit it demands to be heard, as does the garage rock madness of the title cut, ‘Smell The Mud’, a track you can easily imagine in the soundtrack of a Rob Zombie movie. Sinewy and prowling the song is full of menace and features a great bit of guitarwork and gang harmony vocals.

Equally sinister is the haunting and haunted ‘Clara Bella Lee’, a blues duet that finishes the album in style. It’s also the longest and most expansive track of this release. Underpinned with a real swing, the interplay of male and female vocals works masterfully in a call and response where you don’t really know who the victim is. All the members of the band really bring things together in a truly epic slice of American Gothic, the superb arrangement of voices and some outstanding musicianship mark this as the highpoint of “Smell The Mud” and provides a real contrast to all the other balls to the wall tracks. A really great listen and one certainly worth seeking out and adding to your collection.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Out In The Rain
02.Never Ever Never
03.Walk Tall
04.Dead Man Walking
05.Land Of The Six Gun
06.Crawl
07.Smell The Mud
08.The Gator
09.Clara Belle Lee

LINKS:
http://www.swampbornassassins.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TheSwampBornAssassins/

https://www.instagram.com/swampbornassassins/
https://www.youtube.com/user/vettidu

 

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

Pentre Fest 2019 Day One – Mcleans, Pentre, North Wales – 22/02/2019

00 Pentrefest 2019 Final Line-Up Poster 3

Pentre Fest 2019 Day One
Mcleans, Pentre, North Wales
22/02/2019
Review by Beth Jones & Rick Tilley
Pictures by Beth Jones

Live music in this area has suffered somewhat of a hammer blow recently, with the closure of yet another venue – The Live Rooms, Wrexham – so it is more important than ever that we as music fans keep supporting our local scene, and vehemently refuse to let live music be taken from our area. Two of the local area’s biggest metalheads, Ian ‘Fozzy’ Forrester and Ian ‘Beany’ North, are great supporters of the local scene, organising a great events diary wherever they can, with Pentre Fest being their annual main event.

This year, as ever, saw a great crowd of likeminded folk from the local area, and further afield, descend upon Mclean’s Bar in Pentre for the third year running, to see what Rick and I personally thought was their strongest line-up to date, strutting their stuff!

Over the course of the Friday night and all-day Saturday, we were treated to some fabulous performances, both on the main stage, and on the outdoor acoustic stage.Friday night was very definitely crazy night, with all the bands on the bill having a zany edge. We were really looking forward to the madness, a perfect way to wind down after a hard week at work!

Mucus
Opening the show in one of their exclusive performances, Mucus did not disappoint. Guitarist, Dan Alexander, also of Lullaby For A Unicorn, had told us that they very rarely gig so this was a real treat, and they were actually very good too! Really tight and well-rehearsed, Mucus played good, solid, no-nonsense Thrash! I would really like to see them gigging more often as they got the crowd going and had a really pleasing sound. They were a fantastic way to start the night!

01 Mucushttps://www.facebook.com/MucusBand/

Thrashatouille
We had heard a lot about this band from our learned friend Dani Maguire at Powerzone, so we were looking forward to finally seeing them – I mean what’s not to like – they combine Thrash Metal and food, so its two thumbs good in my book! All dressed in chef’s whites, and with kitchen implements and giant inflatable food dotted round the stage, they were quite a sight to behold. It was obvious from the start that they didn’t take themselves too seriously, but their music was excellent! All themed around culinary delights, and fast paced and zany, they had the crowd really going for it, and even had a crowd surfer, surfing on an inflatable doughnut! With track titles such as ‘Shepherds Pie Squared, Chilli Con-Carnage, Deep Fried Mars Bar and the very non PC ‘Soggy Bottom’ much fun was had. They are definitely good drinking music too, and the beer swilling was kicked up a gear at this point by quite a few people! Unfortunately they couldn’t play their full set because of a small delay, but other than that, this was shaping up to be a pretty crazy evening!

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

Lullaby For A Unicorn
Just when you thought a peak of nuttiness had been reached with Thrashatouille, up pops our favourite mythical creature based metal band, Lullaby For A Unicorn! With Steven and Eddie the Seagulls both now retired, we were intrigued to see what inflatable creature would join this merry bunch of nutters next. Pretty soon, our questions were answered when the very lovely ‘Tiffany’ the three foot high inflatable unicorn was introduced to us! This along with a bubble machine, crazy lazers and smoke, confetti cannons, party poppers, Dan Alexander’s light up shoes, lead singer Justin Williams’ light up jacket, and the now synonymous unicorn onesie of Bass player Anthony Baxter, made for a spectacularly hallucinogenic experience! And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more bonkers – they introduced the heavy metal colouring competition! The image we will never forget is a room full of slightly sweaty, slightly drunk metalheads all furiously colouring pictures of unicorns like their entire credibility depended on it, accompanied by the madcap sounds of Lullaby! Absolute genius! And musically, these guys get better every time we see them. They have also just secured a massive gig at next year’s HRH Metal weekender in Birmingham – be ready Birmingham, and potentially be a little afraid too!!

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

Mad Spanner
After a short delay for emergency cleaning works following the Lullaby boys, last year’s Metal 2 The Masses North Wales finalists, Mad Spanner, took to the stage. Like Lullaby, we have seen these guys quite a few times now, and have become friends with them off stage too. They are as equally as bonkers as our previous outfit, but in a far more reserved way in terms of costumes and shiny things! Their madcap humour comes through in their song lyrics, their insane speed, and the fact that frontman Michael Randall seems to have springs in his feet and be constantly wired up to the mains, with the amount of bouncing and slightly unhinged facial expressions he delivers in their live performances. This performance was no exception, and we were really surprised to find out after the show that he was actually ill, with suspected Glandular Fever (which thankfully it turned out not to be a few days later). This has to be given some kudos, as most would not have even played, let alone with that amount of energy, if they were that poorly – what a trooper he is! It was really great to watch them perform, as we have watched them grow over the last few months, and the improvement in their stagecraft is immense. They are so much tighter now than when we first saw them and they give a great show. They did a very impressive cover of Sepultura’s ‘Roots’, which always goes down well, and they also had Keiran Scott (Ashen Crown) join them on stage to do guest vocals! Their debut album is out soon and we cannot wait to hear what they have done!

04 Mad Spannerhttps://www.facebook.com/MadSpanner/

Footprints In The Custard
Bringing the Friday proceedings to a close where Manchester’s favourite comedy metal heads, Footprints In The Custard. These guys bring a slightly more refined version of random to the plate, but are still completely bonkers, and hilariously funny to watch. They play a whole range of catchy, funny songs, and do love a bit of audience participation, especially during their last song of the night, a great metal version of The Weathergirls, ‘It’s Raining Men’, when a wall of death style mass humping is strongly encouraged for those brave enough to participate, it always cracks us up! As usual, their performance here was on point, and the crowd lapped it up. The ever loved ‘Willies Are For Weeing’ song got a great reception, and with Tiffany The Unicorn and a fair few other inflatables coming out to play in the crowd, along with an impressive heavy metal conga going on, the place had a proper party atmosphere, which made everyone smile and be very happy. As a front man, Russ Custard has the brilliant ability to grab a crowd and make them have a good time, and this combined with the whole band’s excellent musicianship means that their performances are always well received, plus no-one can resist seeing guitarist, Ross Vickers, in a mankini, and drummer, Sladen, twerking in some very fetching short short shorts! All in all a great set, expertly executed, to finish off a properly good night of metal madness!

05 Footprints In The Custardhttps://www.facebook.com/Footprintsinthecustard/

And so it was time to head off home for the night, and we left the venue with a smile on our face, and a warmth in our hearts that you can only get from a crazy metal party like this. We were pretty knackered, but were both really looking forward to Saturday’s show…

…To Be Continued!

Links
https://www.facebook.com/pentrefest/
https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions/
https://www.facebook.com/GoodforaudioEntertainment/
https://www.facebook.com/McleansPubLive/
https://www.facebook.com/Powerzonemetal/
https://www.facebook.com/TheImpactZoneOnRadioDeeside/
https://www.facebook.com/evermetal2017/

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley, 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.

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