Reviews

Neverworld – Welcome To…Neverworld EP

01a Welcome To Neverworld Cover

Neverworld – Welcome To…Neverworld EP (2010)

Self Released                                                                                                     Running Time 16:40

EP Review By Rick Tilley

9/10

In recent years the resurgence of metal and rock acts with a more traditional sound has been a revelation, taking me back to those far flung days of my youth when Maiden, Priest and Saxon ruled the airwaves. I first became aware of UK based band Neverworld about two years ago after reading an excellent magazine review but thanks to a ridiculously long list of bands to check out it wasn’t until six months ago that I finally had the pleasure of listening to their debut EP, and what a pleasure it was! Originally released in 2010 the three tracks on ‘Welcome To…Neverworld’ (financed and recorded by themselves) showcase a band absolutely on fire and intent on bludgeoning you until you bow down into submission! It was only right, therefore, that I took the time to write this review and spread the word further.

Kicking off with the classic quote “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubblegum” from John Carpenter’s film ‘They Live’ they launch into the massive first track, the aptly named ‘They Live (We Sleep) with a riff and scream that might even have Rob Halford quaking in his boots and the EP never lets up. Far from being a straight retread of what has gone before though, Neverworld mix up their influences superbly. From the more traditional leanings of the first song, almost Dragonforce feel of ‘Into the Heart of Chaos and the quietly building, but still extremely powerful ‘This Fire’ there is a huge progressive feel to Neverworld’s music. The quality of musicianship on offer is outstanding, with the guitars and keyboards deserving special mention, but they manage to infuse that with fantastic emotion, making this EP so much more enjoyable to listen to, and in vocalist/guitarist Ben Colton they have a star in the making. He has excellent range in his voice and you can clearly hear what he is singing about. Believe me I love a good grunted vocal but this makes a pleasant change.

It is not easy to pigeonhole Neverworld into a particular genre, which is great because they have found a unique sound, but if you were to take the above mentioned bands and mix them with the power metal sounds of say Iced Earth and Blind Guardian, then further add some early Dream Theater and Pagan’s Mind you’ll be somewhere near. They are currently putting the finishing touches to their debut album ‘Visions Of Another World’ which will be released this year. With so many bands around these days, talent sometimes isn’t enough to propel you to the next level (you only have to switch on the TV to see countless examples of untalented rubbish).Neverworld not only have serious talent but they work damn hard too (check out the fabulous cover artwork and booklet for more proof of this). There is no doubt in my mind that they thoroughly deserve to be snapped up by a label and soon. If they aren’t there really is no justice! Either way Traditional Metal is in safe hands with bands of Neverworld’s quality at the helm.

TRACKLIST

  • 1. They Live(We Sleep)
  • 2. Into The Heart of Chaos
  • 3. This Fire

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://www.neverworldmetal.co.uk/
  • https://www.facebook.com/NeverworldMetal/
  • https://www.instagram.com/neverworld_official/

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

Reproduced here with kind permission from Brutiful Metal Radio

Legion – Bible of Stone

Bible Of Stone Cover

Legion – Bible of Stone                                                                              Arkeyn Steel Records

Release Date:  13/03/2017                                                                          Running Time: 71:51

Album Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

7/10

 

After reviewing the previous release by this “power metal” band from the US, it felt only right that I should also review this one. Already established that, with the right promotion and manager behind them, these guys could and should have been one of the big bands of the 1980’s, possessing the right work ethic, dedication and talent to make it as big as the likes of Metal Church, Agent Steel and Exciter.

Dedication and talent are two words not lost on these guys. Formed by natural musician and multi-instrumentalist Doug Calloway in 1985, Doug was an original producer of his own material at the age of just 16 years old. He ran an ad looking for a high range metal vocalist to record and perform his music, and when Loy Mitchum, from South Carolina, answered the ad at 15 years of age, he was just the type of singer Doug had envisaged performing his songs.

Doug worked tirelessly over the years writing new material, often on the one album before the previous has been completed, and even a break in the band didn’t deter him. In fact, it fuelled his writing, recording and performing (with other bands) and this resulted in over 20 albums of original material, most of it unreleased.

The band split in 1994 but reformed in 2004 for a reunion show. This, however, wasn’t a permanent reunion but 2016 saw a re-birth of Legion and, despite 22 years apart, it sounds like Doug and Loy have never been separated. Original members Chuck Goodwin and Marvin Mitchum have also returned to the band.

Says Doug Calloway: “We have rekindled the fire in our hearts and nothing short of DEATH will separate us ever again.”

So what of this album? Produced by Doug Calloway (who has also done the cover artwork) and re-mastered by Kostas Scandalis, this is both an unreleased album from 1985 and a previously unreleased compilation spanning 1985-1990, now for the first time on cd.

At just over an hour and twenty minutes, it is 21 tracks long and, quite possibly, should have been released as two separate albums, as they were intended, but I can see the logic behind it. As most cd’s can hold 80 minutes of music, why not put two albums on the same cd? Listeners are exposed to even more music and two albums from those long lost archives see the light of day. It’s a win-win situation all around.

As with the previous release “Darkness”, which itself was also a compilation of the first album “Darkness” originally released in 1991, and the previously unreleased fourth album “For We Are Many”, this has a very retro feel to it, sounding like it was written and recorded in the 1980’s. Very much focused on the extensive vocal range of Loy Mitchum, who could, in my opinion, give the likes of Rob Halford, King Diamond and Geoff Tate a run for their money, it is actually one of those “love it or hate it” albums. Some people might think the high pitch vocals are too much on this album, used a lot more here than the previous recording. As I said in my last Legion review I love the higher range vocals in metal music, but I must admit, that I did grow a bit tired of it on “Bible of Stone”

That being said, the guitar work of Doug, along with the solid percussion section, the speed metal riffs and the thrash metal guitar and drum work, that gives this band their sound, prove there is more to them than just vocals. Each is a very talented musician and I would like to add here that I do not think Loy Mitchum is a bad singer, which is by no means the case. His vocal range can extend from the very lowest to the very highest and I think he should make more of the range he possesses.

So who should listen to this album? Well, according to their own PR notes, this is for fans of Deadly Blessing, Metal Church, Omen and Enchanter, but I think every metal lover should add it to their collection. They have described themselves on Facebook as a “power metal” band but I think they have sold themselves short. Flitting from sounding like Exciter and Agent Steel to Metal Church and King Diamond, there are also reminiscences of heavy Led Zeppelin, and even early Rush.

To me, they have such a wide appeal, that to try and pigeon-hole them would be wrong and insulting to them as musicians. And why do we need to categorise bands anyway? Let bands play the music THEY want to, how THEY want to.

That way, we, the fans, get to listen to a whole range of metal music and, like me, we get to find a little gem that we otherwise might not have found!

 

TRACK LISTING

  • 1. Bible of Stone
  • 2. Running Away
  • 3. Out Of The Blue
  • 4. Chalice
  • 5. Warrior
  • 6. Eye of the Beholder
  • 7. Destiny
  • 8. Red and Black
  • 9. We’ve Been Watching
  • 10. Welcome the Storm
  • 11. Go to Sleep
  • 12. Memories
  • 13. Tonight
  • 14. Broken Pieces
  • 15. Marie Mary
  • 16. T-total Destruction
  • 17. The Keeper
  • 18. Monsters
  • 19. Tiny Acoustics
  • 20. Endless Nights
  • 21. No Place to Go

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • www.youtube/channel/UCcE9saonGblk5Rd-SMCqgbw
  • www.facebook.com/OriginalLegion.band/

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

NonHuman Era – NonHuman Era

NonHuman Era Cover

NonHuman Era – NonHuman Era                                                           Running Time 53:34

Release Date 27-11-2015                                                                                 Self-Released

Album Review by Rick Tilley

9.5/10

I really think I’m going have to reduce my enthusiasm for all the music we listen to at Ever Metal otherwise you lot out there are going to think I’m in love with everything I review or I’m just giving it a positive score to please the band. Believe me, there is plenty that never gets reviewed for one reason or another and there is plenty that I’m not keen on but with the amount of music we receive I’m itching to get, what I think, are the best of the best releases some publicity, and with that in mind, you aren’t going to see any muted enthusiasm for the next band on my list because they are fantastic!

NonHuman Era are from Montreal, Canada and were originally conceived by drummer Rick Dessi and guitarist Carlo Zappavigna , who are also cousins, back in 2007. It took several years for them to get the pieces they wanted put into place but once keyboardist Marek Krowicki was found things started to move forward. It was then that vocalist Piere St-Jean and bassist Jean-Francois Vincenti (both from the band Alcoholica) completed the lineup and these five started in earnest to bring the sound of NonHuman Era to the masses! Their debut, self-titled album, released at the tail end of 2015, is the result and I really want to thank the band for contacting us and sending the album over for a review because it is a masterclass of Progressive Metal that has given me the same feelings I got when first listening to Symphony X, Threshold, Pagan’s Mind and Dream Theater. Yes, if you are into any of those big hitters then NonHuman Era are going to blow your socks off, in fact possibly a lot more than your socks!

When it comes to brilliant Progressive Metal I like to hear a good mix of experimentation (without things going all Frank Zappa on me), shades of light and dark, great guitar work, vocals and keyboards and soft, beautiful melodies, but above all I want it to be METAL and, by the gods, NonHuman Era deliver on all fronts and present a beautifully produced, mixed and mastered album to boot!

Another band that I’m reminded of when listening to NonHuman Era is Adrenaline Mob and you may think that’s an odd choice considering the other bands I’ve mentioned, but of course there is a connection as Russell Allen sings for both them and Symphony X and Piere St-Jean bears more than a passing vocal likeness to Allen. In fact it’s almost uncanny how much they sound alike at times, but I’m not complaining because Russell Allen is, in my opinion, one of the best Metal vocalists around at present. That gives you some idea of the quality in the NonHuman Era ranks. All the musicians in this band are amazing and they have crafted some of the catchiest and most groove laden riffs that I’ve heard for a while, check out the stunning neck shaking riff that hits you just before the amazing guitar and keyboard solo in ‘Hollow Point’ for proof. However, as good as they all are, it’s Marek Krowicki that, to me, comes across as the stand out person here. His keyboard work is exemplary and the inclusion of piano entwined with the heaviness of riffs is absolute beauty to behold! This is another band that has a myriad of ideas and influences meaning that the twists, turns, time and tempo changes could come across as messy in lesser hands but they manage them effortlessly. No one person tries to be heard above any other meaning that what comes across most is the quality of the composition!

At this point I would normally name a few tracks and talk a little about each one but, invariably, the reader then thinks they are the songs that stand out the most so I’m not going down that route. This album is nearly 55 minutes, although the quality means it feels shorter so, in an age when many people download their favourite two or three tracks, I’d like you to do something for me. Put on your headphones, sit next to your stereo or wind down the window in your car and put the whole album on from start to finish because this album deserves uninterrupted and full concentration. There is no ‘best track’ because there is absolutely no filler here and each song glides so smoothly into the next one it’s important to appreciate the ‘whole’

This sounds way too professional to be a debut so goodness knows what NonHuman Era have got up their collective sleeves next. All I know is I cannot wait to hear whatever it might be because this is a band with a huge future! I’m going to say it again but anyone out there who says the Rock and Metal genres are dying and we don’t have talented bands around anymore needs to take a long, hard look at themselves because bands like NonHuman Era will prove you wrong every single time! This is sublime!

TRACKLIST

  • 1. A New Breed
  • 2. Elements Of Chaos
  • 3. Hollow Point
  • 4. Damage Over Time
  • 5. Awakening
  • 6. Continuum
  • 7. The Destiny Machine
  • 8. Night Bleeds Into Day
  • 9. Shattered Icon

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • http://www.nonhumanera.com/
  • https://www.facebook.com/NonHumanEra
  • https://www.instagram.com/nonhuman_era/

http://www.bandsintown.com/NonhumanEra

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/NonHumanEra

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Vermithrax – Volume 1 EP

Volume 1 EP

Vermithrax – Volume 1 EP                                                           Running Time 31:00 Minutes

Release Date 01/08/2013                                                                         Independent Release

EP Review by Rick Tilley

8/10

With the amount of new albums and EP’s being released on a weekly basis I wouldn’t usually review something that is approaching four years old but Vermithrax have very much piqued my interest with their ‘Volume 1 EP’. Add to that the fact that they are currently putting the finishing touches to an album and it make sense to reappraise what has gone before, especially as you can download this wonderful EP for free!

Vermithrax were formed six years ago in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and are described on their Facebook page as ’American True Thrash Metal’ and whilst that genre would appeal to me in a big way it does do Vermithrax a massive injustice because there is so much more to them than just basic Thrash Metal! Without a doubt, the influences of Testament, latter day Exodus, Metal Church and King Diamond looms large over their music but the two bands that really spring to mind when listening are Sanctuary and Nevermore. I am a big fan of all six mentioned bands so to hear this combination of Thrash and more Progressive Metal on the five tracks contained here is an absolute pleasure. It is also played by five men that are seriously talented musicians, and along with a thunderous production job, hits you like a fistful of nails hammered into your head. This is just over thirty minutes of music that will appeal to US and European audiences alike and I very much look forward to the day when Vermithrax get some gigs on this side of the Atlantic.

Averaging six to seven minutes each track is perfectly formed, so even though there is a lot going on, none feel overlong or tedious. There are plenty of time and tempo changes that will keep you guessing but it all fits together wonderfully well and along with some really powerful vocals and fabulous guitar work you’ll be head banging from start to finish. As a former drummer I also want to point out the superb rhythm section with special mention going to founder member and sticksman J.R. Jameson (Icarus Witch) who appears to be an octopus in disguise and who uses the drums as a proper instrument, with some excellent double bass and ride cymbal work, that adds substance to each track, rather than just as a time keeping device. It also helps that the drums themselves sound so good production wise.

‘Volume 1’ is an EP that gets regular listening in this house when I have the chance, last track ‘Final Feast’ is a veritable gem and if Vermithrax can carry this quality through to the full length album then they are going to make a name for themselves. I urge any fan of quality Heavy Metal to go over the Vermithrax Bandcamp page and grab a FREE copy of this. You really won’t be disappointed.

TRACKLIST

  • 1. Extinction Event
  • 2. Architect Of Fear
  • 3. Submersus (Drowned In Blood)
  • 4. The Summoning
  • 5. Final Feast

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://vermithrax.bandcamp.com/
  • https://www.facebook.com/VermithraxMetal/
  • https://www.instagram.com/vermithraxmetal/

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Marching Out – Rock Will Never Die

Rock Will Never Die Cover

Marching Out – Rock Will Never Die                                                        Running Time: 45:19

Release Date 11-12-2015                                                                                       Independent

Album Review by Rick Tilley

9/10

One of the things that I love about being part owner of Ever Metal is that bands and musicians get in touch with me directly about coverage or reviews. This is not only a huge honour but it also means I get to decide who I’m going to feature on the site rather than someone else. With that in mind, when Marching Out vocalist Kazu Rock got in touch with me from Japan to ask if we would review their debut album ‘Rock Will Never Die’ I jumped at the chance for two reasons. Firstly, Marching Out are not going to get huge amounts of coverage in the UK and we want to give those smaller unsigned bands plus those from different countries the chance to get some well-deserved publicity and secondly because, as a fan of Japanese Metal/Rock bands such as Loudness and Vow Wow back in the 1980’s, I’ve been absolutely blown away by the quality of Marching Out!

Formed in 2012 ‘Marching Out’ (perhaps a nod to the Yngwie Malmsteen album) have taken me back thirty years and made me feel young again. We know that the Japanese love their Metal and Rock and ‘Rock Will Never Die’ (perhaps a nod to the MSG song and album) is about as close to a perfect Japanese Metal/Rock album as you are likely to get. Originally released in December 2015 this is a mixture of the aforementioned Loudness and Vow Wow together with a huge Neo-Classical dose of Malmsteen, Becker and Friedman. Top it off with some Michael Schenker/MSG and a smattering of 1980’s Whitesnake and I’m personally living a Heavy Metal wet dream.

‘Prelude’ kicks the album off and it’s essentially a riff leading into some beautiful Neo-Classical guitar work. This leads straight into first track proper ‘The Cross’ a classic sounding fast song that screams Vow Wow and immediately got my neck snapping. I’ve always loved Japanese Heavy Metal vocals and Kazu has a great set of pipes with all the nasally vibrato and grit you expect. He hits a couple of insane high notes as well and his voice alone is worth the price of admission. However you also get some stunning guitar work from Tsuyoshi Hayashi. You get the feeling he was probably brought up on the Mike Varney Shrapnel Record releases of the 1980’s as well as Accept and Wolf Hoffmann. This is Neo-Classical of the highest order. Keyboardist Akira Ishiguro also plays a massive part on the album playing some of his own awesome solos and duelling with the guitars on several songs. Backing them all up are Keiichiro Fujita on Bass and Kozo Suganuma on Drums who provide a thoroughly rock-solid rhythm section! This isn’t all about fast guitar and keyboard work though. There are many bands around, Japanese or otherwise, that rely on speed without thinking about song structure but Marching Out have crafted some very catchy tunes with great choruses!

‘Burnin’ Fire’ and ‘Fire In The Sky’ pass far too quickly, probably because I feel so immediately comfortable with them, within a couple of listens I was singing along like they were old favourites! ‘Let Me Feel You For A While’ (apart from probably losing something in translation) is a very Whitesnake sounding ballad and is placed on the album in exactly the right place to bring everything down a notch. It certainly proves that Marching Out can mix things up. ‘No One Can Stop We Rock’ picks the pace up again and the main riff is one I certainly want to witness live! ‘The Resurrection’ has a modern Deep Purple meets Ozzy feel and ‘The Sign Of Southern Cross’ is a medium pace shining star.

Title Track ‘Rock Will Never Die’ appears twice on the album in different versions. An original version appears about half way through and is another great song, however it is also presented as a bonus track and the bar is raised further with the inclusion of some guest musicians, namely Minoru Niihara and Masayoshi Yamashita of Loudness and none other than Doogie White (ex Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen and Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock’)! Together this particular track takes on a more epic feel with the inclusion of further vocalists and finishes the album off in fine style!

I had hoped that Marching Out would be good but I wasn’t prepared for them to be this good. They may not appeal to a modern day Metal fan who has been brought up on a diet of screamed vocals but for those of us that were weaned on 80’s Metal and Heavy Rock, especially of the Neo-Classical variety, then ‘Rock Will Never Die’ is a gem of an album. It may be a bit cheesy but it’s been done so well that I don’t give a fig! Bring on album number two and let’s get Marching Out over to Europe and the UK to do some gigs. I’ll be there like a shot!

TRACKLIST

  • 1. Prelude
  • 2. The Cross
  • 3. Burnin’ Fire
  • 4. Rock Will Never Die
  • 5. Fire In The Sky
  • 6. Let Me Feel You For A While
  • 7. No One Can Stop We Rock
  • 8. The Resurrection
  • 9. The Sign Of Southern Cross
  • 10. Rock Will Never Die (Featuring Minoru Niihara, Masayoshi Yamashita of LOUDNESS and Doogie White) (Bonus Track)

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • http://marchingout.com/
  • https://www.facebook.com/MARCHINGOUTFAN/
  • https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQB_zQjNFQSJXUjCTZsF_nw

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

FM – Indiscreet 30

Indiscreet 30 Cover

FM – Indiscreet 30                                                                                              Frontiers Music

Release Date:  04/11/2016                                                                      Running Time: 1.20:24

Album Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

8/10

 

I must admit when I agreed to do this album review I had no idea that it was re-recording of a previously released album. Being far too young (!!) to have experienced most of the bands from the 80’s first time round, I have had to rely on other people introducing me to bands and finding them on YouTube. And the more bands I discover the more I believe that I was born much too late as I really would have been in my element in the 80’s.

Indiscreet 30 is a total re-recording of FM’s debut album, funnily enough also called Indiscreet, using today’s technology and recording techniques that has given the album a new power and dynamic that was not possible to achieve in the 1980’s.

But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

FM were formed in the summer of 1984 (see, I was only 7 then!) with the ex-Samson pairing of bassist Merv Goldsworthy and drummer Pete Jupp, the Overland brothers – vocalist/guitarist Steve and lead guitarist Chris (both formerly of Wildfire) and keyboardist Phili Manchester.

By the end of 1985, they had released their debut album Indiscreet and had hit the road in Europe, supporting Tina Turner, Foreigner, Gary Moore, Status Quo and Magnum and had also opened for REO Speedwagon at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. At the end of the year they accepted a spot with Bon Jovi, supporting them on the UK leg of their Slippery When Wet tour.

To date the band have recorded nine studio albums, three of which, Indiscreet, Tough It Out and Heroes and Villians, reached the UK album chart while 5 of the band’s singles also made inroads into the UK singles chart.

But the band split up in 1995.

On 27th October 2007, however, the band played together for the first time in 12 years when they headlined the sold out Firefest at Nottingham’s Rock City, and due to the reaction the band received, they decided to make the reunion a permanent one.

Just like any long running band there have been a few line-up changes over the years but three original members in Steve Overland, Merv Goldsworthy and Pete Jupp remain and are now joined by Jem Davies on keyboards and Jim Kirkpatrick on lead guitar, giving the band a younger perspective.

So what made them decide to re-record such a classic album? Obviously such a hit with the fans, and regarded by some as one of the best AOR albums of the 1980’s, it could be considered somewhat risky to re-record the entire thing. The band had previously been approached to re-record one or two of the songs and it was after they were recording the follow up to Heroes and Villains that they decided to put down a backing track to That Girl to see how it would sound with the huge sounds they were now achieving. The rest, as they say, is history.

Says bassist Merv Goldsworthy “we are not trying to recreate the original but this is our interpretation played by FM as we are today.”

Produced by FM themselves, recorded at Tremolo Studios and Coal House Studios in Staffordshire and mixed by Jeff Knowler (who also mixed albums Metropolis, Rockville and Heroes and Villians) Indiscreet 30 is not only a re make of the original album but also includes seven bonus tracks including a brand new track “Running on Empty.”

I can’t say I have listened to the original album so for me to make a direct comparison between the two would be both unprofessional and dishonest of me but I have taken a peek at some of FM’s earlier stuff on YouTube and one comparison I CAN make is about the voice of Steve Overland, which is still as fab now as it was back then.

Not many singers can maintain their standard of vocals the older they get but Steve has managed to do just that. I’m not sure if he trains his voice or whether he is just one of the lucky ones but he sounds as good now at the age of 56 as he did at the age of 24!

There is nothing to dislike about this album. The guitar work is faultless, the keyboards are a prominent feature of the sound and the percussion section keep everything tight and neat. Backing vocals are pitch perfect and harmonize well with Steve’s lead vocals, and the production is fantastic. There is a good mix of rocky songs and ballads as well as an acoustic version of That Girl, and this album will definitely have you dancing around your living room. I am listening to it while I write this review, it now being on its third or fourth time round, and I haven’t once got bored with it. There is something new to notice every time it’s played and this shows to me there are many layers to the songs and the tracks are not one dimensional.

AOR was not really a genre of rock and metal that I have paid particular attention to over the years but having reviewed the likes of FM, Nightranger and Tyketto in the last few weeks, maybe I should go and check a few more bands out.

That’s one of the great things about listening to rock and metal music. There are so many different genres out there that one week you could be headbanging to thrash metal and the next you could be bopping along to AOR.

I, for one, wouldn’t have it any other way!!

 

TRACK LISTING

  • That Girl
  • Other Side Of Midnight
  • Love Lies Dying
  • I Belong To The Night
  • American Girls
  • Hotwired
  • Face To Face
  • Frozen Heart
  • Heart Of The Matter
  • Let Love Be The Leader (*)
  • Running On Empty (*)
  • Rainbow’s End (*)
  • Shot In The Dark (*)
  • Bad That’s Good In You (*)
  • Love & Hate (*)
  • That Girl (Acoustic Version) (*)
  • (*) bonus tracks

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • http://www.fmofficial.com/fmofficial/index.html
  • https://www.facebook.com/FMofficial/
  • https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHHbVXuw7tCrbdazxXMsFog
  • Also available on Spotify and Deezer

 

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

Mortal Strike – For the Loud and the Aggressive

For The Loud And The Aggressive Cover

Mortal Strike – For the Loud and the Aggressive              Independent/Vlad Promotions

Release Date:  29/11/2014                                                               Running Time: 46:53

Album Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

8/10

 

Described on their own biography notes as “raw, powerful and uncompromising thrash metal with thundering, artillery-like riffs and energetic choruses that leave you no choice but to mosh and bang your head” Mortal Strike are a thrash metal band from Austria, and they have described themselves perfectly!

Formed in the autumn of 2009, these are five guys from three different countries, Austria, Denmark and Germany, who all have the same one goal, to make the music that they all love.

Having won the W.O.A Metal Battle Austria in 2011, performing at Wacken Open Air, the world’s greatest metal festival, gained the band a high profile. Countless shows with some of thrash’s most legendary bands such as Warbringer, Darkness, Tankard and Destruction, as well as performances at festivals such as Wacken, Kaltenbach Open Air, Out ‘n’ Loud Festival and The Black ‘n’ Thrash Inferno followed, culminating with the release of their first full length album “For the Loud and the Aggressive” in 2014.

Influenced by many of the old school thrash bands such as Sodom and Kreator, as well as faster speed influences from the likes of Stormwarrior and pure old school heavy metal finding its way into Mortal Strike’s music, listeners should take heed of the title. If you like your metal loud and aggressive then this is the album for you.

Playing generic old school riffs with crushing guitar work and pounding rhythmic drumming, this album is a serious thrash assault from start to finish that could easily hold its own with some of the thrash greats. With songs predominantly about war and violence, the tempo NEVER slows down, the result being just under forty seven minutes of in your face metal.

There is nothing ground breaking about this album which could lend people to think it’s a bit one-dimensional and “samey” but maybe the band wanted to make something that would simply smash you in the gut and make your ears bleed. If this is the case, then they succeeded.

What is outstanding on this album is the production and the dynamics of the band. Each member of the band works well with the rest just like the cogs of a well-oiled machine. They seem to bring the best out in one another and the result is outstanding.

When I review an album I can usually tell by the end of the second track whether I am going to like it or not. I knew I liked this album by the end of the FIRST. I am a thrash girl at heart and this album was right up my street, a mix of Kreator, Exodus and Onslaught. With galloping guitars, double kicking drums and a singer with a voice that could easily be mistaken for that of Mille Petrozzi from Kreator, Mortal Strike are not just a retro-thrash band (a phrase I have read said of them numerous times!) They are a band who can play the thrash metal popular in the 1980’s as if they were playing in the 1980’s. This is an album that will catapult you back thirty years into the past and that, in my book, is in no way a bad thing!

They can play the music, they absolutely look the part and this album totally kicks arse!!

 

TRACK LISTING

  • 1. For the loud and the aggressive
  • 2. Here comes the tank
  • 3. Outburst of fury
  • 4. Against the Wall
  • 5. Mg 42
  • 6. Smash the Tyrants – Storm the Gates
  • 7. Strike
  • 8. One against all
  • 9. The Tides of War Arise #1
  • 10. Unleash the Hounds of War #2
  • —Bonus (Only on CD-Version)—
  • 11. Zombie Attack (Tankard Cover)

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://www.facebook.com/MortalStrikeOfficial
  • http://www.mortal-strike.com

 

MORTAL STRIKE Promo Shooting 2014

 

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

Nightranger – 35 Years and a Night in Chicago

35 Years And A Night In Chicago Cover

Nightranger – 35 Years and a Night in Chicago                                       Frontiers Records

Release Date:  02/12/2016                                               Running Time: (both cds) 1.41:04

Album Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

9/10

 

Always wanting to up my game when it comes to reviewing, this album by 80’s band Nightranger was always going to be a challenge for me. Not because I’m not a fan of their particular genre of rock/metal but because it is a LIVE cd. What’s wrong with reviewing a live cd I hear you ask? Well, nothing really, apart from the fact that I really do not like live cds. Even the great live albums such as Kiss Alive, Live and Dangerous from Thin Lizzy or Unleashed in the East by the mighty Judas Priest (my favourite band in case you didn’t know!) do nothing for me.

So when the live album “35 Years and a Night in Chicago” from Nightranger dropped into the Ever Metal inbox, I thought, why not give it a go? I really didn’t know much about them as a band anyway (being born far too late!) and I thought this would help as I wouldn’t have any preconceptions about them or their sound.

And I am glad I did. Recorded at the House of Blues in Chicago on 7th May 2016 this is nearly an hour and three quarters of non-stop, start to finish, high energy rock and roll. But let’s start at the beginning.

Formed in San Fransisco, California in 1979 by bassist-vocalist Jack Blades, drummer Kelly Keagy and guitarist Brad Gillis from the ashes of the band Rubicon, they performed under the name Stereo and by late 1980 they had changed their name to Ranger and were opening for acts such as Sammy Hagar.

In 1982 they had to change their name to Nightranger after the country band The Rangers claimed a trademark infringement and the Nightranger machine was born. By this time they had recorded Dawn Patrol, their debut album, which peaked at number 38 on the US Billboard chart and went on to sell over 1 million copies, and they had performed opening stints for ZZ Top and Ozzy Osbourne.

Their first five albums went on to sell over 10 million and their total album sales have topped 17 million worldwide. They can boast of several platinum and gold albums and they have performed over 3,000 live shows.

But their success waned in the late 1980’s and the band split in 1989. Some fans saw their Hollywood soundtrack “flirtations” (tracks were featured on the Nick Nolte film Teachers and Explorers in 1985 and in 1984 Jack Blades co-wrote the title theme to the Michael J Fox film The Secret of my Success) as selling out and they also had to compete with up and coming bands such as Bon Jovi, Poison and Guns n Roses.

They reunited with the original line up in 1996, releasing two new albums in the latter half of the decade and brought their “guitar heavy, melodic brand of hard rock into the 21st century with their unparalleled talent, energy and creativity.”

By 2014 they had 11 studio albums (including the bestselling Dawn Patrol, Midnight Madness, 7 Wishes, Big Life and Man in Motion) and 8 live albums under their belts, had numerous line-up changes and were also one of the first big “video” bands with over 10 number ones on MTV.

And now to commemorate their 35th anniversary in the business comes “35 Years and a Night in Chicago” which sees the band “at the top of their game, delivering a performance not to be missed.”

This really is a trip down memory lane and all the hits are there from the traditional opener “Touch of Madness”, to mega hit “Sister Christian”, to MTV essential “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” and rock anthem “You Can Still Rock in America.” There are some rarely played tracks and even a hint of what is to come with the track “Day and Night” from the new album “Don’t Let Up” released in the spring of 2017.

And that’s exactly what these guys don’t do. Jack Blades and Kelly Keagy’s vocals are sharp and on top form and the guitar mastery of Brad Gillis just never stops, while newer members Keri Kelly, ex-Alice Cooper guitarist and Eric Leavy fit perfectly into the band, delivering the songs as if they had been playing them from day one.

The comradery of the band is apparent even through a pair of speakers and there is so much energy and enthusiasm exuding from the band you would think they were all in their twenties, not a band with a combined age of 276!! (sorry guys!) But what is age but a number? These guys are obviously enjoying what they are doing and that’s the whole point of it.

So has my opinion of live cd’s changed at all after listening to this? I’m not sure on that one but what I will say is that this live cd captured the band and its current line-up at the top of their game, showcasing an outstanding performance that the fans in Chicago were lucky enough to witness first hand. It also captured the energy of the crowd and, as a listener, I felt I was there amongst them. I’m not sure if this is down to the superb performance or the level of production on the cd but whichever it was has leant itself to a fantastic cd that will have Nightranger fans reminiscing about the good old days.

Hard rock, pop metal or bubblegum metal. There have been many names for bands such as Nightranger but I will just class them as this……

Rock and fucking roll!!

 

TRACK LISTING

CD1

  •   Intro
  •   Touch Of Madness
  •   Sing Me Away
  •   Four In The Morning
  •   Growing Up In California
  •   Rumors In The Air
  •   Secret Of My Success
  •   Sentimental Street
  •   High Road
  •   Eddie’s Comin’ Out Tonight

CD2

  •   Goodbye
  •   Night & Day
  •   Night Ranger
  •   When You Close Your Eyes
  •   Don’t Tell Me You Love Me
  •   Penny
  •   Sister Christian
  •   Rock In America
  •   7 Wishes

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://www.nightranger.com
  • https://www.facebook.com/nightranger/
  • https://myspace.com/nightranger
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/NightRangerOfficial
  • Also available Deezer, Spotify and TuneIn

 

Pic1

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

Ashes to Ashes – Urania

Urania Cover

Ashes to Ashes – Urania                                                                     Wormholedeath Music

Release Date:  01/04/2016                                                                    Running Time: 41.30

Album Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

7/10

 

There is a debate in the world of rock and heavy metal that seems to have been raging ever since the dawn of time. No, it’s not who’s better, Megadeth or Metallica or who is the ultimate metal god of all time (of course, we know the answer to that one is Rob Halford!) It’s whether women have a place in the rock and metal world.

Before I get lynched for making such a statement, this is NOT, and I emphasise this, NOT, my way of thinking. I believe women have just as much right to be in a rock or metal band as men do, hell some of the women are BETTER than the guys but, this being said, there are some people around that think women can’t do the job as well as blokes can.

Now, I admit I was never really a fan of female fronted bands. This had nothing whatsoever to do with their musical or singing abilities, I just preferred the sound of a guy at the helm. I didn’t really like the mix of operatic vocals with heavy metals riffs by bands such as Nightwish and Epica and as this was obviously my own preference, I am by no means saying they weren’t good bands, they just weren’t for me.

But since those days, the female vocals have evolved, becoming a lot more aggressive and powerful which is why coming across a band such as Ashes to Ashes was a delight.

Formed in Genoa, Italy in 2010 by Marta Vassollo (piano/vocals), Paolo Schiavi (lead guitars) and Paolo di Lorenzo (drums), the three of them were eventually joined by Enrico Cabona (second guitar) and Stefano Anentodio (bass) to complete the line up. The band signed to Wormholedeath Records in 2013, after the release of their first album “Borderline” and their second album “Urania” was released in 2016.

In September 2016, Marta decided to leave the band and she was replaced by Giulia Sarpero (ex-vocalist of Kramers). Within a month the band were back in the studio to re-record two of the most representative tracks on the album with new vocals giving the songs a whole new atmosphere.

Musically, Ashes to Ashes blend light with dark, heavy with acoustic and, as their promo notes states they “take female fronted metal to a new level with a mix of cleans and growls that is visionary.” There are touches of alternative metal with bits and pieces of post hardcore on one side and clean arpeggios on the other.

At the first listen this album might seem a bit lightweight to some people, the vocals a teeny bit weak. BUT, stick with it, and you will be pleasantly surprised. Track five “The Forgiveness Song” introduces some male growls along with the female gentler vocals, a mix that shouldn’t work but does and this trend carries on for the rest of the album.

And listening through for the second and third time, the vocals are not as feeble as first thought. This woman has a great voice and although it’s not as aggressive as some of the female singers around at the moment, it doesn’t mean it is inferior to them in any way! In fact, it shows that women do not have to compete with the guys to make their mark. A woman doesn’t have to grunt and growl to prove she has a powerful voice, nor does she have to veer in the opposite direction and take on the operatics of Tarja or Simone.

Throw into the mix some great guitar work and musicianship and you have the terrific band Ashes to Ashes. They may only be starting out with this current line up but with a few years under their belt they could be up there with the best of them. The band, themselves, consider their strength to be their “ambition to create a distinctive sound” and this ambition could take them places. But they have to be careful not to fall into the trap of changing their vocal sound to fit in with all the other female led bands. Their “distinctive sound” is already starting to show through and they need to nurture that and let it grow and flourish.

All in all, this is a solid album from start to finish and is just over 41 minutes of well written, well performed tracks, proving that years of hard work, promotion and effort have paid off. I haven’t heard the first album but I certainly hope to hear anything else these guys put out and follow them on their journey of self-discovery and progress.

 

TRACK LISTING

  • 1. Popular
  • 2. Nymph
  • 3. Naked
  • 4. Once Upon A Time
  • 5. The Forgiveness Song
  • 6. A Thousand Pieces
  • 7. Birds In A Cage
  • 8. Path In The Dark
  • 9. Wallace Hartley
  • 10. Mother Of Grace
  • 11. Just Daydreaming

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://www.facebook.com/ashestoashesband/
  • http://www.ashestoashesband.com/

Promo Pic1

 

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

Tyketto – Reach

Reach Cover

Tyketto – Reach                                                                                                 Frontiers Music

Release Date:  14/10/2016                                                                         Running Time: 57.47

Album Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

9/10

 

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the name Tyketto? Well, if you are anything like me, it would be their smash hit song “Forever Young” which is a shame, as there is far more to this band than the one track they are mostly known for.

Hailing from New York City, this hard rock band was put together by former Waysted singer Danny Vaughn and Brooke St James (guitar), Jimi Kennedy (bass) and Michael Clayton (drums) completed the original line up.

By 1990, they had signed to the famous Geffen Records and released their debut album “Don’t Come Easy” (featuring the aforementioned Forever Young) but the rise of the grunge sound in 1991 saw Tyketto’s hopes of a big breakthrough begin to fade. The band eventually split in 1996.

However, they reformed in 2004 for a reunion tour with the full original line-up but this was to be the last time they all performed together. Personnel changes, especially in a long-running band such as Tyketto, are inevitable but they continued to fight and 2014 brought the 25th anniversary of the band forming and, with it, major touring plans and bookings.

2016 saw the release of their latest album, along with some fantastic new members. Brooke St James has been replaced by riff master Chris Green (Rubicon Cross, Furyon) and the unstoppable 2016 line up also includes full time keyboardist Ged Rylands (Tygers of Pan Tang, Ten, Rage of Angels) and bassist Chris Childs (Thunder, Shadowman)

Recorded at the famous Rockfield Studios in Wales (also used by the likes of Rush, Queen and Oasis) lead vocalist Danny Vaughn says of the new album “we unanimously decided on Reach as the title of the album as it defines who this band is in 2016. We have a new energy, some incredible new members, and a fresh outlook to the future.”

Drummer Michael Clayton adds: “We have decided to expand our musical boundaries and introduce our friends around the world to Tyketto 2016. But rest assured that all the songs on Reach still carry the trademark melodies and choruses our fans have grown to love over the decades.”

At which point I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I only have the album “Don’t Come Easy” in my cd collection, stumbling across it years after it had been released, but I loved the whole sound, production and ambience of the album. It was one of those albums you could dance around the living room to while, at the same time, enjoying the riffs and heaviness of a hard rock band.

Suffice to say, Reach is very much the same. While there is an argument that a band needs to evolve their sound to attract new and younger fans, there would also be a counter argument that says they also need to keep, even just a little bit, of what their older fans have come to know and love. Classic examples of a band completely changing their sound to “evolve” would be Queen’s Hot Space and The Scorpion’s “Eye to Eye” neither of which, in my opinion, really worked.

But with Reach, the trademarks are still there and the production and level of musicianship is outstanding.

The album opens with the over the top title track that is just pure magic and is reminiscent of Tyketto of a by-gone age. “Kick Like a Mule” sounds a lot like Aerosmith and the drums and bass on “Big Money” make it my favourite on the album.

Danny Vaughn, considered one of the finest vocalists in the business, sings his lungs out, Chris Green literally shines on “The Run” and for lovers of the power ballad there is “Letting Go”, the acoustic intro and harmonising backing vocals making it one of the most haunting tracks on the album.

I absolutely love this album and could play it time and time again without getting bored with it. This is a band who really don’t know when to give up and why should they? They have fought tooth and nail to get to where they are, and it’s a position they thoroughly deserve. They are one of those bands who should be bigger than they are but I think coming onto the scene a few years before the grunge epidemic happened was their biggest downfall. Kids wanted something different to listen to at the time and, despite the talents and musicianship of Tyketto, they weren’t what the kids wanted.

Hopefully, those kids have now grown up and can appreciate just exactly what is was they were missing out on! Tyketto are a fantastic band and this album shows that. Contrary to a few other reviews I have read that say there are a few fillers on here, I think this is a great album from start to finish. All killer, no filler as the saying goes.

As far as melodic hard rock goes, Tyketto are one of THE best and nearly 30 years in the business proves it!

 

TRACK LISTING

  • 1. Reach
  • 2. Big Money
  • 3. Kick like A Mule
  • 4. Circle The Wagon
  • 5. I Need It Now
  • 6. Tearing Down The Sky
  • 7. Letting Go
  • 8. The Fastest Man Alive
  • 9. Remember My Name
  • 10. Sparks Will Fly
  • 11. Scream
  • 12. The Run

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://en-gb.facebook.com/TykettoTheOfficial/
  • https://www.tyketto.com/

Also available on Deezer, YouTube, Spotify and TuneIn

 

Promo Pic1

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