Reviews

Iron Angel – Hellbound

Hellbound Cover

IRON ANGEL – HELLBOUND
Mighty Music
Release Date 04-05-2018
Running Time 46:44
Review by Tsarina Wilson
9/10

Iron Angel is a band who formed back in 1980 but one that is very much still going strong, even though there have been some changes in line up throughout the band’s career to date and, with their sound and energy, I bet their live shows are something out of this world, leaving the fans just as much out of breath as they are.

The band was formed in Hamburg in 1980 and are known for the two classic eighties metal albums “Hellish Crossfire” from 1985 and “Winds of War” from 1986. The band have toured with King Diamond, toured South America in 2017, which was a great success and performed at Headbangers Open Air in Germany in 2015.

The band have now, finally, released their comeback album “Hellbound” through Scandinavian premiere rock label Mighty Music, and are looking forward to completing a North & South American Tour for the Autumn of 2018.

Started in the 80’s alongside bands like Judas Priest, Saxon, and Iron Maiden, they have had a long and successful career with a few changes in line up along the way.
In 2000 they went into the studio to record their album “The Rebirth” but before they could finish it then band member Peter Wittke sadly died in a tragic car accident. The band cancelled everything and remained that way for four years. In 2004 Dirk and Mike tried to recruit new members and worked on a new album for three years but couldn’t find the members they wanted to join them, so they decided to put things on hold again. As a parting gift to the fans they presented the EP “Back From Hell”, which was done in a different style than they had done before. Sadly, a couple of months after the split another band member, Sven Struven, died.

Today’s line up consists of Dirk Schroder on vocals, Robert Altenbach and Mitsch Meyer on guitars, Didy Mackel on bass and finally Maximillian Behr on drums.

They had a dip in their career around 2014, when Didy Mackel noticed there were a lot of people wearing Iron Angel T-shirts at a festival and got in touch with Dirk Schroder via Facebook. After getting together to chat, September 2014 was officially when Iron Angel were back rocking, and what a brilliant outcome for the fans. Without that initial contact we could have been denied such brilliant work and crazy speed metal.

Vocals by Dirk are just brilliant. They are gritty, powerful, and intense, almost storytelling. The guitar riffs are just insane, and the drums are crazy. I bet they are all shattered after each show they do, as it’s crazy how the hell they keep the pace up for one song let alone a whole show is beyond me, but they do and it’s no wonder they are the success they are today.

I must admit ‘Deliverance In Black’ has to be my favourite track. It’s non-stop all the way through. “Close your eyes for ever taste your destiny” – you must remind yourself these are not some young band in their late teens but slightly older than that, and with so much energy in their music, these guys make it sound so easy and effortless.
‘Blood And Leather’ must be about bikers as the lyrics “hear me coming, feel my roaring engine, chrome and steel my cradle and hearse” is definitely a biker’s chant if ever I heard one.

When I first took this review on, I listened to the first few minutes and thought ‘okay but now I need to listen to more and look into them more’, and what surprised me was just how addictive, to listen to, these guys are.

When I realised it was German Speed Metal, I was expecting screams and nothing else, but thank you guys! You totally and, yes, pleasantly surprised me! Yes, it’s fast, yes, there is a totally insane drum beat all the way through and yes, you will be in guitar heaven, but you hear every word and they don’t miss a beat from one track to the next. It’s almost like you listen holding your breath, get to the end and think ‘jeez now I can breathe.’

I seriously hope they come to the UK in the future, as I think they would be insane to see live.
TRACKLIST:
01. Writings On The Wall
02. Judgement Day
03. Hell And Back
04. Carnivore Flashmob
05. Blood And Leather
06. Deliverance In Black
07. Waiting For A Miracle
08. Hellbound
09. Purist Of Sin
10. Ministry Of Metal
SOCIAL LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/IronAngel.hh/
https://www.instagram.com/iron._angel/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqOnjTi-ZEK84JF9Roo1c_Q
https://www.facebook.com/mightymusic666/
Promo Pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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.

 

Imperial State Electric – Anywhere Loud

Inlaysheet.eps

IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC – ANYWHERE LOUD
Psychout Records
Release date: 16/02/2018
Running Time: 74:58
Review by: Alun Jones
7/10

Live albums, eh? I’m not a huge fan. A lot of the time they’re just cynical exercises in fleecing fans, getting them to pay again for songs they’ve already got, and usually poorer quality, due to being in a ‘live’ setting.

There are exceptions to the rule, of course. Back in my days with KISS, the boys were struggling to step up to the mega bucks level after their first few albums. I proposed that they record a live album, in order to try and capture their incredible live show. That was what they were good at, see? The studio albums were good, but live – wow, those kids could rock. So eventually the four prima donnas came round to my suggestion, released “KISS – Alive” – and their superstar status was assured. Bang! Mega platinum seller, through the roof, KISS had arrived.

Thanks to me.

Which brings me to this live release from Imperial State Electric? Although it’s called “Anywhere Loud”, it could’ve been another KISS live album. It’s big, bold and brash in a very Seventies Rock kinda way. It’s almost like we’ve stepped into a time machine and arrived back in 1976. Not that I’m complaining – these guys are all about fun, over the top Rock’n’Roll – just how it used to be.

A whopping 23 songs, the album certainly doesn’t scrimp on the tunes. There are plenty of them, and the sound is reassuringly good throughout. Snippets of audience noise and banter, applause and well performed improvisations help keep the energy – and authenticity – pushing the meters to overload.

Outstanding tracks in this collection include the catchy riffs of “Apologize”, “Reptile Brain” and “Uh Huh” – plus there’s a hint of their punkier side with a blinding version of The Dead Boys’ “Sonic Reducer”. If you’re a fan of KISS, Cheap Trick and Blue Oyster Cult then “Anywhere Loud” is for you. If, however, you’re not a worshipper of Seventies Rock like those aforementioned bands, this release probably won’t change your mind.

Which brings me back to KISS? Of course the masks were my idea. Though originally, I’d planned on Peter, the drummer, wearing a samurai style number. So, you’d have had the Star Child, the Demon, the Space Ace and the Samurai. Pretty good, yeah? Except Peter changed his mind last minute and decided to be a cat, for fuck’s sake. And just look how that worked out!

 

TRACKLIST
01 It Ain’t What You Think (It’s What You Do)
02. Empire Of Fire
03 Déjà vu
04 All Through The Night
05 Anywhere Loud
06. Deride And Conquer
07. Apologize
08 Break It Down
09 More Than Enough Of Your Love
10. Just Let Me Know
11. Faustian Bargains
12. Holiday From My Vacation
13. Down In The Bunker
14. Can’t Seem To Shake It Off My Mind
15. Stay The Night
16 Redemption’s Gone
17. Uh Huh
18 Reptile Brain
19. All Over My Head
20. Sonic Reducer
21. I’ll Let You Down
22. This Is Rock ‘n Roll
23. Throwing Stones
SOCIAL LINKS:
http://www.imperialstateelectric.se/
https://www.facebook.com/imperialstateelectric/
https://www.instagram.com/imperialstateelectric/

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.

Kissin’ Dynamite – Ecstasy

Ecstasy Cover

KISSIN’ DYNAMITE – ECSTASY
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 06/07/2018
Running Time 53:12
Review by Lotty Whittingham
10/10

German Hard Rockers KISSIN’ DYNAMITE have been on the radar for quite some time now, over the past few years they have been earning the respect and recognition from fans and critics alike. They released a new album a couple of months back. It’s the appropriately named “Ecstasy” and it is more than safe to say that it is a new gem for the Hard Rock Community.

Long-time fans of the band are aware that Kissin’ Dynamite are well known for their solid discography containing tight vocal work, excellent riffs and solos creating outstanding melodies. Their latest release is no exception to the rule, in fact this is their best release to date.

When you are having one of those days where everything is going wrong or if you are simply feeling down and lost; there is a song for that. ‘I’ve Got The fire’ is one of those uplifting songs that will brighten anyone’s day, especially with its powerful chorus. Along with the empowering ‘You’re Not Alone’ these two songs are a great way to kick off the record.

“Ecstasy” contains an eclectic selection of tracks. You have the likes of the title track and ‘Superhuman’ that give you an instant energy boost with their rapid beats and passionate melodies. There are some sweeping, inspirational tunes within songs such as ‘Breaking The Silence’ and ‘Waging War’. There is sass in the track ‘Somebody’s Gotta Do It’. The ballads ‘Still Around’ and ‘Heart Of Stone’ contain that special something for the listeners to enjoy and appreciate.

The title track provides power and punch; the first few seconds make you want to go somewhere as fast as you can. It gives off confidence and supremacy with its upbeat melody and fast paced rhythm, particularly ideal for that important gym workout or training run for that vital marathon. Guest vocalist Anna Brunner (EXIT EDEN) emphasises this power with her passionate vocal work.

The song ‘Breaking The Silence’ can quite easily start a revolution with its line “Can you hear us? We’re here to break the silence.” This dominant melody inspires listeners with its marching beat, powerful vocals and excellent guitar work. The chorus sticks in your head for days on end after the first listen, that’s the power this track has.

Across their discography, there is one common occurrence: KISSIN’ DYNAMITE’s talent to create some beautiful ballads. ‘If Clocks Were Running Backwards’, ‘Fireflies’ and ‘The Final Dance’ are the ones that come to mind. It is more than safe to say that both ‘Still Around’ and ‘Heart Of Stone’ can be added to this list. ‘Still Around’ reminds one of BON JOVI classic ‘Always’ not just with the melody and beat but with the vocal work. The stripped-down ‘Heart Of Stone’ provides a stunning end to a truly remarkable album.

Conclusion? This album is a fantastic treat for the fans of the band, the Hard Rock community and anyone who is looking for something different to add to their discography. It is mandatory that you crank up the volume to this album and enjoy the passion that this record gives off.

 

TRACKLIST
01 I’ve Got The Fire
02. You’re Not Alone
03. Somebody’s Gotta Do It
04. Ecstasy
05. Still Around
06. Superhuman
07. Placebo
08. Breaking The Silence
09. Waging War
10. One More Time
11. Heart Of Stone
SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.kissin-dynamite.de/en/
https://www.facebook.com/Kissindynamiterocks/

https://www.instagram.com/kissin_dynamite/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAFZYLnN2-VUBzzAEjwrGSQ

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham 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.

Blood Moon Hysteria – My Sacrifice EP

My Sacrifice EP Cover

Blood Moon Hysteria – My Sacrifice E.P
Wormholedeath Records
Release Date: 13/04/2018
Running Time 22.03
Reviewed by Tsarina Wilson
6/10

Blood Moon Hysteria are a Norwegian band, founded in 2015 and consist of Runar Beyond (music and lyrics) and Fredrik S.

This E.P is very atmospheric in music but very dark and gritty in vocals with Runar’s impressive gravelly voice. With just 4 tracks, you would be forgiven for thinking you were going to get some run of the mill tracks but this is truly a dark and melancholy set of songs.

The acoustic guitar playing is quite haunting at times and the riffs are enough to give you goose bumps, yet somehow they manage to gel with the fuzzy vocals and everything just seems to work. The spoken part is very dark and, although the words are difficult to understand, it doesn’t leave anything to the imagination. It’s gritty and powerful, almost a throw-back to 90’s black metal.

The band focus on electric guitars, deep bass, eerie mellotron, which separately are good but mixed together are very explosive, and the synths are very clean to listen to. The tracks start slowly, build you up and then take you back down again.

 

TRACK LIST:
My Sacrifice
Deception
Towards the Abyss
Deception Part 2

SOCIAL LINKS:
www.facebook.com/BloodMoonHysteria

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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.

RockWich 2018 – ‘Unplugged’, Lostock Club, 25th August 2018

01 RockWich 2018 Unplugged

RockWich 2018 – ‘Unplugged’
Saturday 25th August 2018
Lostock Club, Northwich
Review By Beth Jones

It seemed hard to believe it had been a year since we were last descending on the Lostock Club, in the heart of the industrial end of Cheshire for RockWich 2017, but here we were; and following a host of great line up announcements, we were excited. The Saturday ‘Unplugged’ night was promising to be a great, but slightly more mellow lead in to the main event on the Sunday!

The Lostock club is a real throwback venue; a proper nod to the good old days of the 80’s and early 90’s, complete with a decibel meter to the side of the stage, which spent the weekend in an apoplectic state! Nothing says ‘Old Skool’ more than a working men’s club on an industrial estate, and it makes the perfect venue for this event, who love to show us that old-skool is still very, very cool!

The line up on the Saturday night offered familiar names in the shape of The Senton Bombs and Cadence Noir, and new names to us, Baxter and The Howling Tides.

First up were Baxter, a seasoned local duo who specialise in ‘acoustic tunes and daft banter’, and just like Ronseal, they do exactly what they say on the tin. They took us though a vast selection of 80’s and 90’s covers, performed accomplishedly and loved by all. It was a great way to kick off the event as they were fun, light-hearted and didn’t take themselves too seriously. Their talent and experience showed clearly in their relaxed and commanding performance, which warmed the audience up on what was turning out the be the first wet and chilly day mother nature had subjected us to in a good few months!

02 RockWich Unplugged Baxterhttps://www.facebook.com/baxterduo/

Next up were Uttoxeter based band, The Howling Tides, a fairly new name to the scene, having only been formed in 2014. I am clearly getting old, as my first thought was ‘aww bless, they’re so young’, but that quickly turned from awww to awe when they started playing. Even in this acoustic setting, they grabbed our attention instantly, with their accomplished and extremely well-rehearsed performance which had all the hallmarks of a band serious about their future. They are essentially Classic Heavy Rock and Blues, but this setting really brought out their softer side! Their song writing skills are exciting and their arrangements intelligent. Lead singer Rob Baynes has a very appealing gravelly tone to his voice, which works perfectly with this style. It is also worth mentioning here that this was only their second acoustic gig ever! Hats off to them! We were impressed enough to buy their EP straight after their set, and really want to catch them in a full-on gig soon.

03 RockWich Unplugged The Howling Tideshttps://www.facebook.com/TheHowlingTides/

The Senton Bombs had been billed as headliners for the unplugged night but, at the last minute, the lead guitarist became otherwise engaged, so after a quick swap of instruments, followed by a quick, and probably stressful rework of some songs, they decided to swap the headline spot with Cadence Noir and come on next with a shortened, but no less impressive version of their set. Lead vocalist and bass player Joey Class took on rhythm guitar duties, which he pulled off without a hitch. Kudos to them for doing this – it can’t have been easy, and it shows a very commendable level of professionalism. We saw these guys last year on the main day and loved them, and they have a very dedicated fan base who were also slightly tipsy by this point, so audience participation ensued, which only enhanced the great atmosphere that was building around the room. There sound was still full, even without bass guitar, and they had a very ‘cool as a cucumber’ feel, even though they were out of their comfort zone. For those of you who haven’t yet seen these guys, they are hard rockers full of energy and always give a great live performance – well worth checking out.

04 RockWich Unplugged The Senton Bombshttps://www.facebook.com/thesentonbombs/

Closing the night were Bloodstock M2TM North Wales 2018 winners, Cadence Noir, freshly back from their performance on the Bloodstock New Blood stage a couple of weeks previously, and raring to go! We properly love these guys, because they are totally in a genre of their own. Billing themselves as ‘Gothic Folk and Roll’ they take elements from so many genres and meld them all together in some weird alchemy that somehow works. Their image is folk pirate with a hint of bondage, and their music follows suit! They have a highly accomplished string section, in the shape of Emma Bennett on Violin and Tom Smith who switches between conventional electric bass, and Double bass, which gives them a real depth and a natural acoustic feel, strong rhythms provided by Dave on percussion and Nick on guitar (who wasn’t with them for this performance) and front man Adrien Perrie brings in the rock, with a gritty powerful voice, a commanding stage presence, and a glint in his eye that Jack Sparrow would be proud of! Their songs are full of quirky humour and Adrien’s banter and confidence makes their performances mesmerising. This is a band that seriously know how to make a performance fun to watch. The Idol Dead vocalist Polly Phluid even joined them onstage for a track and it worked a treat! Everyone was merry by this point! It was a great way to end the night, and to set people up for the full day to follow.

05 RockWich Unplugged Cadence Noirhttps://www.facebook.com/CadenceNoir/

We had a top night, and headed home, thanking our lucky stars that we lived close enough not to need to camp in the rain. With ‘The Howling Tides’ EP cranked up on the car stereo we started looking forward to a Sunday full of ROCK!

SOCIAL LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/408497059344112/
https://www.facebook.com/PrometheusPromotionsSoundandLight/

 

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 all parties. Failure to do 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/

Toxikull – The Nightraiser EP

The Nightraiser EP Cover

TOXIKULL – THE NIGHTRAISER EP
Mosher / Firecum Records
Release Date: 23/03/2018
Running Time: 25:36
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

Anyone who knows me, knows that of all the metal genres that exist, the one I love the most is thrash, so when a thrash album landed in my inbox to review, I was all too excited to get it reviewed.

The offering was from Portuguese “fearless, taunting, leather-jacket wearing and maniacal” quintet, Toxikull, and they certainly play their metal HEAVY and FAST!

Formed in Cascais, Portugal, in 2016, the band is fronted by brothers Lex Thunder and Michael Blade and they are one of the most promising European underground bands when it comes to heavy/speed/thrash, displaying all the qualities of the genre; impressive vocals, a tight rhythm section, blazing guitar solos and carefully crafted melodies.

The band issued a full-length album “Black Sheep” in 2016 and this EP is their second release, and what an EP it is! At first listen, if I am honest, I didn’t really like it, but I persevered with it, giving it a few more go’s, and I am so glad I did, otherwise I would have missed a gem of an EP.

Says frontman Lex of the EP; “It’s an appeal to rebellion and some social criticism. Music wise this EP is a bit different from Black Sheep, it’s faster, stronger and more aggressive. The influences of the music from the past are also a bit different, this one’s more on the speed/heavy metal side.

In truth, it is a “relentless, sonic attack” that just doesn’t give up from start to finish and combines some of the best elements that made heavy, speed and thrash metal so popular. Despite only coming into existence in 2016, these guys have a sound like they are straight from the mid 80’s, taking you on a journey back to the time of bands such as Exciter, Agent Steel and Razor.

The EP is just over twenty-five minutes long and, along with five original recordings, it features a cover of rock and roll royalty Axl Rose’s early band Hollywood Rose’s song “Rocker.” Says Lex; “I always thought it was a killer tune, living off the spirit of rock and roll. Unfortunately, this brilliant song never got a proper recording, so we took the chance and did it ourselves, and recorded it the way we wanted it to sound.”

The cover work is painted by Italian artist Velio Josto and the art meets the bands idea of “something pure, actually painted in ink and without any digital effects.

All in all, this is a fantastic EP, and although I haven’t actually listened to the first album, I will make it my job to do just that. The vocals are out of this world, the guy hits every note and scream without any trouble, and the guitar solos are awesome. The rhythm section is tight and concise, and the production is great. It’s a little bit longer than what I would consider an EP but, due to the intensity and energy that comes from it, I think it’s actually the perfect length.

So, if you fancy a trip back to the 80’s, put on your leather jacket and go and get yourself a copy of this EP. You’ll be transported back in no time!!

 

TRACK LISTING:
Nightraiser
Surrender Or Die
Hell Master
Freedom To Kill
Satan Bloody Satan
Rocker (Hollywood Rose Cover)

SOCIAL LINKS:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ toxikull/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/ channel/UCOgab_PJ927_ bktNjdlEJ4w
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ toxikullmetalll/
Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/ artist/6SxegIsNxLM48Kt92WU6Wf
Bandcamp: https://toxikull.bandcamp.com
Record Label: www.mosherrecords.com

 

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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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Saffire – Where The Monsters Dwell

Where The Monsters Dwell Cover

SAFFIRE – WHERE THE MONSTERS DWELL
Perris Records
Release Date: 20/04/2018
Running Time: 49:23
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

Next on my list of albums to review was another Swedish rock band. This time, it was the turn of Saffire, another Gothenburg based hard rock band, and what a band they are.
Formed in 2005 when Victor Olsson and Dino Zuzic were still at school, their idea was to form a band based on old school hard rock and metal, but with a modern twist to it. They claim to be for fans of “80’s melodic hard rock bands like Deep Purple and Rainbow” and, although I can see where this label comes from (at times the singer has more than a resemblance to the late, great Ronnie James Dio!) I would compare them more to power metal bands Firewind and Evergrey.

The band underwent several personnel changes before settling on their final line up of Victor Olsson on guitars, Tobias Jansson (former singer with fellow Swedish band Evil Masquerade) on vocals, Dino Zuzic on keyboards, Magnus Karlsson on bass and Anton Roos on drums in 2010 and a self-titled EP was recorded and released the same year.

The band played a lot of live shows and in 2013 they signed with Inner Wound Recordings for the release of their debut full length album “From Ashes To Fire.” The album was highly praised all over the world and Rocknytt.net, Sweden’s biggest rock website, placed the album in their top 10 list of best albums of 2013.

They toured all over Scandinavia, playing some of the biggest festivals like Sabaton Open Air and the Ton of Rock Gothenburg Sound Festival, alongside bands such as Slayer, Steel Panther, At The Gates and Sabaton.

November 2015 saw them release their second album “For The Greater Good” and, like its predecessor, was highly praised worldwide, leading to a sold-out release show in Gothenburg in January 2016, and many festival appearances that year including the Sweden Rock Festival, Metallsvenskan, Skogsröjet and Rock In Lisch, with bands such as Queen, Ghost, Twisted Sister and The Hellacopters.

“Where The Monsters Dwell” is the band’s third release and is nearly fifty minutes of real quality. This is a band who have mastered the art of song writing and are all superb musicians, two of the most important elements of being a band.

I love rock and metal bands that have strong vocals, whether that’s just in the power and intensity of the singing or whether the vocals have something different or special about them, and Tobias Jansson certainly pulls this off. From the very first note of the very first song I knew he was special. As I previously mentioned he wouldn’t be out of place singing for the likes of Firewind or Evergrey, two other bands I absolutely adore.

It’s not just the vocals that make this album though. The four other members are simply outstanding musicians. The guitar work is almost flawless, with fantastic solos and riffs that will get your head banging, even if you don’t want it to! The drumming is tight and energetic, and I would love to see Anton, the drummer, in action in a live setting. I can imagine him hitting those skins as if his life depended on it.

The album, as a whole, is straightforward, down to earth heavy rock/metal. I don’t like to pigeon hole bands so whether you consider these guys heavy rock or metal, I don’t really care. All I know is this album will have you dancing around the living room, strumming your air guitar and banging away on those air drums like a loon.

I had been listening to the album in my car until today when I decided to buy a set of external speakers for my laptop! And I must say, the louder you play this album, the better it sounds. I thought it was awesome anyway but coming through those speakers, it just blew me away.

It combines elements of a whole range of genre, from heavy, traditional metal to power metal, and there are even some funky grooves thrown in too. Of course, there is the obligatory ballad in Fortress, but it certainly doesn’t sound out of place on this album.

I am rather ashamed to say that I hadn’t heard of this band before reviewing this album, but for a relatively young band still, they have produced something that is mature and, I’ll say it again, of real quality. I will certainly be checking out their previous albums and am definitely a fan since listening to this.

If you have never heard of Saffire then you are missing out in a big way! Go grab yourself a copy of this album and see for yourself.

I just have one question for the band…………. WHEN ARE YOU COMING TO LONDON????
Simply awesome!!

 

TRACK LISTING
1. Wolf Among The Sheep
2. Hard To Keep, Hard To Find
3. Valley Of The Damned
4. Broken Crown
5. Where The Monsters Dwell
6. How Cold Is Your Blood
7. Road To Paradise
8. Perfectly Worthless
9. Dark Horizon
10. Fortress
11. The Rainmaker

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/saffiresweden/
http://saffire.se/
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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Rose Tattoo and Girlschool, Voodoo Lounge, Dublin, 8th September 2018

 

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Rose Tattoo and Girlschool
Voodoo Lounge, Dublin
8th September 2018
Review by Graham Horne

I arrived at the venue just before doors opened and there was already a queue of old rockers (I actually didn’t feel like the oldest one there for a change) starting to stretch its way down the road. I’ve not been to the Voodoo Lounge before and was surprised at how small and narrow it was. It was quite a nice bar (5 euros a pint, not bad for Dublin) and a seating area at the back, then a long narrow area to the stage. The stage is very small and there is no rear exit from the stage so all the artists and equipment have to somehow squeeze pass the punters, which seemed a bit of a nightmare for stage crew during change over.

Anyway, onto the bands. Up first were Girlschool who I have seen a few times since the heady days of ‘79. The band were on fire, kicking things off with ‘Demolition’, mixing the old classics, (and with a nod to Dio and Lemmy ) tracks from Legacy and Guilty As Sin. The years just rolled away for me and I felt like a teenager again. Listening to them playing most of their classic songs, ‘Hit And Run’, ‘Yeah Right’, ‘Race With The Devil etc, it’s hard to believe that the girls have been doing this for almost 40 years and they still look like they are enjoying it!

Now I have seen Rose Tattoo before (at Wacken) and thought they were good then, but in a small, tightly packed, sweaty pub they were amazing. This band are meant to be heard live. Starting off with ‘One Of The Boys, they played a good mix of classics such as ‘Rock n Roll Outlaw’, Assault And Battery’, ‘Butcher And Fast Eddie’, ‘Scarred For Life’, ‘Rock And Roll Is King’, and later tracks ‘1845’ and ‘Man About Town’, only pausing for Mr Anderson (swigging from a bottle of Stones Ginger Wine) to preach to the converted in between songs and deal with the odd heckler in the only way he can. By the time they got to ‘Astra Wally’ the crowd and band were sweating like a dingo’s dangly bits. It was hot in there I can tell you. They finished things off with ‘Nice Boys’, and then they were gone and everyone filed out with big grins on their faces, knowing they had seen a special gig.

Rose Tattoo Setlist
One Of The Boys
Juice On The Loose
Man About Town
Assault And Battery
Tramp
Rock n Roll Outlaw
Butcher And Fast Eddie
Once In A Lifetime
Branded
1854
Rock n Roll Is King
Bad Boy For Love
Remedy
Scarred For Life
Astra Wally
We Can’t Be Beaten
Nice Boys

Girlschool Links:
http://www.girlschool.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/GirlschoolOfficial/

Rose Tattoo Links:
http://www.rosetattoo.com.au/
https://www.facebook.com/RoseTattoo/

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Graham Horne 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.

Manimal – Purgatorio

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MANIMAL – PURGATORIO
AFM Records
Release Date: 07/09/2018
Running Time: 42:01
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
10/10

Every once in a while, an album pops into your inbox that just grabs you from the onset and has a lasting impression on you, so much so that you just have to give it ten out of ten when you review it. I can’t remember the last time I gave a ten for a review but this album by Manimal certainly deserves it.

Formed in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2001, the four piece have previously released two albums, The Darkest Room in 2009 and Trapped in the Shadows in 2015, both showing how the band have stayed loyal to heavy/traditional influences and are prime examples of modern and trend-setting power metal.

Fast forward to 2018 and their latest album, Purgatorio, sees the band takes their outstanding qualities almost to the point of perfection. The album is nine tracks long, and the band have pulled out all the stops, creating different tempos and atmospheres throughout and writing choruses that have “true anthem potential!”

Says frontman Samuel Nyman: “our goal has always been to write songs we love and believe in. The challenge is to make a song with strong hooks without being too predictable. It’s just a bonus when we realise that people around the world seem to have the same good taste in music as we do!”

The album has been produced by Manimal themselves, says Nyman: “Just like the previous two albums we produced this one ourselves; mainly because we like to have full control of the production. We are control freaks to the bone, and the thought of putting our creations into hands of an external producer simply scares us!”

Each band member, however, still had their own little piece of the album to concentrate on. Singer Nyman is the epicentre of this amazing album. Inspired by singers such as Rob Halford, Geoff Tate and Michael Kiske, his voice oozes self-confidence and passion, the kind that makes you go “wow” as soon as he opens his mouth.

The fabulous song writing is courtesy of guitarist, Henrik Stenroos, a true riff icon, whose hooks and licks provide the foundation for many of Manimal’s songs and drummer André Holmqvist, whose tight and powerful drum style is comparable to that of legends such as Tommy Lee and Mike Portnoy, co-wrote the lyrics.

Finally, bassist Kenny Boufadene was in charge of mixing the album and also produces the band’s videos.

Despite undertaking much of the album, themselves, they also enlisted the help of some well-known support. Firstly, the drums were recorded by Jakob Hermann (Anthrax, Europe, Machinehead and Evergrey) at Top Floor Studios. Secondly, the album was mastered by Tony Lindgren at Jens Bogren’s famous Fascination Street Studios, and lastly, the album cover work was designed by Claudio Bergamin (Judas Priest).

This album has soooooo much to offer. The title track and “Edge of Darkness” are a typical variety of haunting melodies and classy grooves, with a hidden sadness, that has become one of the band’s trademarks. But, after a little research, there are a few tracks that are a little different for Manimal, such as “Denial” with its Rammstein-esque riff, and “Spreading The Dread” with its remarkable rhythm.

This is an album that, to quote the press release notes, “sounds monolithic despite the fact that the individual songs ooze a wide range of different details and special features.” There is exceptional compositional talent that they have now mastered for the third time.

If I had to explain Manimal’s sound to someone who had not heard of them, I would describe them as this….they are the best bits of a variety of metal genres all rolled into one, Judas Priest meets Primal Fear meets Angel Dust meets every other goddamn band there ever was!

I was in love with this album from the very first note of the very first song. Even now, as I write this review and the album has been played almost to death (although not quite) in my car for my journeys to and from work, I am listening to it again! There really is not a bad song on the album, and although the whole “all killer, no filler” quote is a bit of a cliché, its one that is actually true of this album, and I actually think its gets better the further into the album you get (which is really saying something as it starts on such a high anyway!)

The last three tracks “Denial” (my absolute favourite! Its one of those tracks you can play on a loop time and time again and still not tire of it!), “Edge of Darkness” and “The Fear Within” are my stand out tracks, although the title track, “Traitor” and “Behind Enemy Lines” are just as good. And the remaining two tracks, “Manimalized” and “Spreading the Dread” are not far behind. The first track on the album “Black Plague” is an intro and sets the scene for some awesome metal to come.

I could talk all day about how much I loved this album, but I think the best thing you can do, is go out and get yourself a copy and see for yourself! I would bet anything that you won’t be disappointed!

I just hope these guys are planning on doing some gigs over here in England (hint hint guys!) because I will be right down the front for it!!

The album was only released on the 7th of September 2018 (today’s date is the 12th September!) and I am already looking forward to the next album of awesomeness these guys produce!

You have definitely got yourselves a new fan here!!!

TRACK LIST
1. Black Plague
2. Purgatorio
3. Manimalized
4. Spreading The Dread
5. Traitor
6. Behind Enemy Lines
7. Denial
8. Edge Of Darkness
9. The Fear Within

SOCIAL MEDIA
http://www.manimal.se/
https://www.afm-records.de/en/m/69-manimal-2.html
https://www.facebook.com/manimalofficial/
https://www.instagram.com/@manimalofficial

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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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

1968 – Ballads of the Godless

Ballads Of The Godless Cover

1968 – BALLADS OF THE GODLESS
Release Date: 06/07/2018
Running Time: 38:24
Review by Alun Jones
8/10

Sometimes, without warning, it all comes flooding back and I’m thrust into the nightmare of that jungle. Thirty days on patrol with no chopper cover. The heat, unbearable; sweat running in rivers down my spine. Cradling my M16 like a good luck charm, praying under my breath that there ain’t no VC gonna unload a torrent of lead at me and my buddies. Trudging on, hour after hour, waiting to get back to the LZ for evac. Chukka-chukka-chukka, the Hueys overhead and the rush of wind from the blades.
Maybe these guys from 1968 were in Nam too. Maybe this debut album, “Ballads of the Godless” is actually a lost relic from those days that’s just been unearthed. Maybe 1968 invented heavy, psychedelic rock after hearing Hendrix and Cream and some of those old blues guys. Certainly seems crazy enough to be true.

Opening with “Devilswine”, 1968 lay out their ground plan confidently. It’s a mighty power groove that makes your head nod, setting the tone for the whole album. “Screaming Sun” follows and adds a more psychedelic shine, Jimi Coppack’s vocals soaring while the riffs hammer. “Temple of the Acid Wolf” adds further intricate detail, with shades of vintage Soundgarden. 1968 set about laying waste to all in its sights like Ozzy manning the Air Cav machine gun on a strafing run.

It’s not all Ride of the Valkyries mayhem however. Last track on Side 1 (vinyl lovers!), “S.J.D.” is an instrumental that provides a more reflective tone. Acoustic guitar and piano feature, in a stylistically fine salute to the classics of the genre.

This bleeds nicely into Side 2, track 1 – “Chemtrail Blues”, where guitarist Sam Orr gets chance to unleash Hendrixian guitar flourishes over a bluesy beat. It’s like that time me and my buddy chewed acid in a fox hole while under fire. The rocket traces in the sky lit up like God’s neon veins.

“McQueen” opens with some infectious bass, before melting out of a mellow vibe and into a crushing chorus. The bottom end is nice and heavy throughout, The Bear delivering pummelling yet warm playing.

Rhythms are also tight and show a groove more contagious than jungle malaria. Dan Amati on drums shines on “The Hunted” in particular. Final track “Mother of God” brings on a deceptively laid back, acid dripping feel as we finally get some R’n’R in Saigon.

“Ballads of the Godless” reveals more and more depth, thought and intricacy with each listen. On this first album, the band make good on a lifetime studying from the past masters. My only question is how will 1968 continue to evolve and add to their sound? I can’t wait to find out.

For now, it’s back to reality. No more choppers overhead, cries in the jungle and that oppressive, relentless heat. Until I spin “Ballads of the Godless” again…
Tracklist
01 Devilswine
02. Screaming Sun
03. Temple Of The Acidwolf
04. S.J.D.
05. Chemtrail Blues
06 McQueen
07. The Hunted
08. Mother Of God
Social Media:
https://www.facebook.com/1968Band/

https://www.instagram.com/1968band/
https://1968band.bandcamp.com/

 

Promo Pic1

 

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.