Valkyria – Tierra Hostil

Tierra Hostil Cover

Valkyria – Tierra Hostil
Fighter Records
Release Date: 10/10/2019
Running Time: 46:30
Review by Mark Pritchard
8/10

Back in March I received Spanish Melodic Heavy Metal band Valkyria’s second album “Tierra Hostil” to review. I am going to be totally honest; I had heard of them but had never actually heard their music. After listening to “Tierra Hostil” as much as I have I regret that. I have taken longer than usual to write this review but I have been listening to the album ever since I received it. I don’t speak Spanish so not knowing what they are saying was a problem but, nevertheless, I don’t see it as much of a hindrance because if the lyrics were in English it could take away from how good the vocals are!

Comprising of Jon Romero (Drums), Gorka Pérez (Bass), Borja Aguirre (Guitar) and Yeray Hernández (Guitar / Vocals), Valkyria are a great band, the four members combine really well, and they have produced some really great songs on “Tierra Hostil”. I might not know what they are saying but the music, the rhythms and Yeray’s nice vocals are really hard not to like and influences such as Iron Maiden and Warcry shine through in the songs. “Tierra Hostil” contains ten tracks which are all really good and a great listen. One of my favourite tracks is ‘Selenelion’ and the reason for this is because it’s a slower song within an album of heavy, intense songs! The beat, the pace and the awesome voice of Yeray Hernandez makes the song really standout to me. Another song I really like is album opener ‘Codigo de Honor’. It starts nice and slowly with only the guitars and then just comes at you full force with no relenting!

(Check out the video on YouTube -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1fNOMscy8Y).

“Tierra Hostil” on the whole is really good, hard hitting and fast paced. Headbanging along to this was a must and with that I rate it 8/10. It’s a great album which I would readily share with friends. As for my favourite song, well that is the aforementioned ‘Selenelion’. I enjoy listening to it so much that I sometimes click on the song again after it has finished. That gets a 9/10 rating!

Valkyria are an awesome band and you should definitely check them out on the links below.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Codigo de Honor
02. Abatido
03. Tierra Hostil
04. Rencor
05. Selenelion
06. Identidad Perdida
07. Vida Eterna
08. Ecos del Manana
09. Dunas de Sal
10. Tuareg

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Valkyria_Oficial-888081191289641

https://www.instagram.com/valkyria_oficial/
https://fighter-records.bandcamp.com/album/tierra-hostil

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJlh_5jJz4DB76rPYFO5q8A

 

Promo Pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Mark Pritchard 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.

Woven Man – Revelry (In Our Arms)

Revelry (In Our Arms) Cover

Woven Man – Revelry (In Our Arms)
Undergroove Records
Release Date: 11/01/2019
Running Time: 34:17
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
9/10

Good evening, my fellow dark souls of black and other ill-suited arabesques. Dark Juan here, coming down off a spectacularly drunken Saturday night with Eurovision. But we shan’t go into that. All you need to know is that Dark Juan approves of all Eurovision shenanigans, especially when Icelandic BDSM aggrotech acts show support for Palestine in the middle of Tel Aviv. Madonna, though. She was a fucking disaster zone. She sang flatter than a witch’s tit all through her song. The poor old sausage, desperately trying to remain relevant. Give up, old girl. You’re a granny now, like, and hanging about with idiotically named rappers repeating the last word of a line whilst using a square wave processor and doing some kind of bizarre electronic reggae-lite is not dignified. And stop dressing like a fucking steampunk sky-pirate, as well.

Yeah, Woven Man. Of course I have remembered what I am here for. They are Welsh. I’m allowed to make any Welsh joke I like because I lived there for several years, and let me tell you most of them were come up with by Welshmen. However, guitarist Lee “Roy” Davies, during his tenure with Lifer, stayed at my house in Yorkshire one time and was PERSONALLY responsible for the worst hangover I have ever suffered, the sawn off little shit. Never before or since has a trip to Ripon ever taken four hours from Halifax…..

“Revelry (In Our Arms)” starts, rather interestingly, and in my opinion jarringly, with a banjo. Cue the possibility of a joke about hillbillies considering it was recorded in Llanelli, but I have just remembered I have played the Mason’s Arms in Llanelli and my old band used to practice there… Makes me a hillbilly too then. Shit. Can’t do that one. Bollocks. Anyway, we are soon rid of the banjo and suddenly the inside of my head explodes with a COLOSSAL explosion of fuzz tinged distortion as the Woven Man battlewagon gets kicked into gear with ‘Calling Down The Leaves’. Holy fuck. That production is huge. It’s like somebody bludgeoning you with heavy fucking metal. Yes, this is what we want! The opening riff sends my eyeballs spinning and we are away with a nine minute paean to the gods of stoner and space rock. Yes, this record is heavier than an anvil at terminal velocity, but there are touches of Kyuss and more especially Hawkwind in the opening song. Especially near the end of the song. This is a good thing. I fucking love Hawkwind and immediately love anyone else who does too.

Running through the record there’s a distinct Clutch vibe going on, but this again is no bad thing. The songwriting is good, the vocals diverse and interesting and the music played with the kind of relaxed aplomb that can only come with being off your tits on some party treats. Every song is good. ‘I Am Mountain’ starts with a bass riff that rearranged my internal organs, turned my liver into liquid and made my blood come out of my nose. The sound of both bass and guitar is magnificently, cosmically humungous and ‘I Am Mountain’ has an almost grunge like, Soundgardeny arrangement and structure, with a guitar line dripping with wah wah before the chorus kicks in, in the most satisfyingly metal way possible and melts your face, again. There’s a lot of face melting on this record. ‘With Willow’ is the third track on this five song debut, and it is Sabbathian and Clutchy and my personal favourite track for my 4am commute to work at maximum volume. It’s a stonker and never fails to wake me the fuck up. ‘Maker’s Mark’ starts with the kind of clean electric guitar chord medley Metallica favoured at the start of ‘Harvester Of Sorrow’, but played with considerably more finesse than the overrated Yank chancers. And then it explodes. Again my brains are smeared across the wall behind me by the sheer enormity of the sound of this record, necessitating a quick clean up lest Mrs. Dark Juan complains about the mess. She’s sick of me leaking body fluids and organs all over the house when I listen to metal. She says that blood is a very persistent stain on the curtains. Closing track ‘Of Land And Sky’ has caused my brainpan to explode and now the lounge looks like that nightclub in the third Hellraiser film after Pinhead decides to show the clientele what he thinks a good time is. It is good and the vocal has a very appealing harder, heavier more brutal edge, Sion roaring “SUMMON THE TEMPEST!” and sounding rather like the rather wonderful Karl Middleton of Earthtone9 whilst doing so. In fact, the whole song reminds me of that brilliant Nottingham mob, with added sludge.

Woven Man have released a hell of a record. Brutal, proficient and one that rewards multiple listens. I’ve played it so many times you’ll hear “SUMMON THE TEMPEST!” from underground in the corner of an old graveyard somewhere. That will be me in my grave. And I’m not just saying it because Lee is one of my friends. It is a fucking killer record and one that proper should put Welsh metal on the map. Best thing to come out of Wales since the road back to England, really. For the record, I’m fucking joking here, alright? I loved Wales and living in Castell Newydd Emlyn. And Cwmdwyfran. And Aberystwyth. Other fine Welsh things are Felinfoel Double Dragon beer, Llanelli’s finest pint. Or Brains’ SA. Or Fuel Rock Club on Womanby Street in Cardiff. Or Crowleys Rock Bar in Swansea. It appears there are many fine things to come out of West and South Wales and Woven Man are one of the finest. I order you all to spend all of your money on Woven Man gear and music. Right away, you UTTER SCOUNDRELS!!!

Also, cofiwch Dryweryn. Diolch yn fawr.

(Rick here, for those that do not know or understand the Welsh language this translates to “Remember Tryweryn. Thank you very much”. Google Dryweryn/Tryweryn and you’ll find out about this piece of Welsh history that is forgotten by many and not known about by many more!)

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (System Sgorio Gwastadedd Gwaed Gwlyb Juan Tywyll yn y Cymraeg… Ha! Bet that took you by surprise didn’t it? I actually know a bit of [probably incorrect] Welsh!) has forbore from making any jokes about wellington boots and sheep during this review because it was taken aback by the brilliance on display here. 9/10. Woven Man lose a mark for not giving me enough heavy fucking metal on this record. I need more. I can’t even say that Wales are shit at rugby anymore, because they won the Six Nations. I’ll never forgive them for the Manic Street Preachers, though. That’s unforgivable.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Calling Down The Leaves
02. I Am Mountain
03. With Willow
04. Maker’s Mark
05. Of Land And Sky

WOVEN MAN ARE:
I don’t know. Apart from the legendary Lee “Roy” Davies, they haven’t seen fit to leave any information on the internet that might enlighten me… I shall just consult the physical copy Lee sent me. Ah ha, here we go…
Sion McKinnon – Vocals
Donal Owen – Drums
Andrew Brookes – Bass
Mark Pitts – Guitar
Lee “Roy” Davies – Guitar

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/wovenisms/
https://www.instagram.com/wovenman/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs2ZP08NopIx6dRKNPkMEFg

 

Promo Pic1

 

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

Seventh Wonder – Tiara

Tiara Cover

Seventh Wonder – Tiara
Frontiers Records
Release Date: 12/10/2018
Running Time: 01:09:56
Review by Lotty Whittingham
9/10

It’s no secret that Sweden is a vast breeding ground for rock and metal giants. Most notable names include Sabaton, Amon Amarth and In Flames. Could Seventh Wonder be joining this list of legends? Judging from the strength of their album “Tiara”, it’s more than safe to say that there is a place on this list awaiting them. Imagine if Avantasia and Kamelot jammed together, that would be Seventh Wonder.

Seventh Wonder are familiar to me as their lead vocalist Tommy Karevik also fronts Kamelot and they are personal favourites of mine. So naturally I was curious to get to know Seventh Wonder and find out what their sound is all about.

The album is a portfolio of epic, bombastic melodies that sit with you the moment you press play. The tracks are memorable and once you listen to this record, just looking at the name will bring excerpts of these songs to the mind instantly.

The opening tracks ‘Arrival’ and ‘The Everones’ entice you in instantly. I found that the songs have a strong ambience and contain strong sounding melodies. Scar Symmetry and Kamelot come to mind when listening to the songs.

‘Against The Grain’ is a soaring track that sat very well with me. The backing vocals accompanying Tommy Karevik remind me of Eden’s Curse and Avantasia, particularly because these choral vocals provide concrete backing. I also found that the song had a strong eighties vibe to it. This track is just one of the highlights of the album.

‘Victorious’ is the ear worm of the album. The powerful verses and infectious chorus will ensure you remember the song hours after hearing it. I only have to read the title and the song gets stuck in my head. The title alone is an empowering word and the bold musical arrangements match this perfectly. The song gives you strength and hope, even in times riddled with uncertainty.

I like the acoustic tribal tones from ‘The Truth’. It shows a different side to the band and gives us a break from the heaviness for the majority of the song. It then gives us their iconic, bombastic sounds that familiar across the album. I also like the empowering and uplifting tones throughout the song.

With albums you tend to come across a short opening track that leads to the first main track. With “Tiara” you also get that at the end. The song ‘Procession’ is a beautiful short track with a stunning vocal melody from Tommy Karevik. This is the lead up to the mind-blowing closer ‘Exhale’.

When you have experienced something that is so intense it leaves you breathless, you let out a huge breath. So, this track is appropriately named. “Tiara” leaves you breathless and ‘Exhale’ is the final chapter of this fantastic record.

From the exhilarating ride that “Tiara” gave me, I think it is more than safe to say Seventh Wonder will be added to my music collection. Fans of Kamelot and strong melodic metal, I recommend you do the same.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Arrival
02. The Everones
03. Dream Machines
04. Against the Grain
05. Victorious
06. Farewell (Part 1: Tiara’s Song)
07. Farewell (Part 2: Goodnight)
08. Farewell (Part 3: Beyond Today)
09. The Truth
10. By the Light of the Funeral Pyres
11. Damnation Below
12. Procession
13. Exhale

LINKS:
http://www.seventhwonder.se/
https://www.facebook.com/seventhwonderofficial/

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

 

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.

Hollowstar – ‘Hollowstar’

Hollowstar Cover

Hollowstar – ‘Hollowstar’
Self-Released
Release Date: 03/05/2019
Running Time: 39:23
Review by Paul Monkhouse
9/10

With more and more of the major bands calling it a day as farewell tours by legends such as Sabbath, UFO, Skynyrd, Slayer, Ozzy and others seemingly signal the end of an era, it would be very easy to get too concerned about the future of rock and metal. Truth be told, whilst some of the giants are waving long goodbyes, there are plenty of fantastic bands constantly emerging to inject fresh blood into the scene and acts like Zeppelin, Metallica and Queen had to pay their dues and work their way up in the same way this new generation are. Whilst fame can be found by appearing on talent shows, that is virtually always fleeting, but grassroots artists are going out and playing every pub, hall and festival they can as they learn and grow their skills the hard way. Hollowstar are one such band, road-dogs who are constantly travelling the length and breadth of the country to growing acclaim and with this, the Cambridgeshire quartet’s self-titled debut album, they have shown that all the hard work has paid off.

Few times was the phrase “kicking things off” more apt than with opener ‘Take It All’ as it absolutely blasts out, its rampaging riff hitting you like a freight train. Singer/bass player Joe Bonsons vocals come through urgent and forceful to back this as all four members of Hollowstar bring the experience of those hard-fought hours touring to bear on a powerful distillation of their craft that has translated incredibly well to the recording studio. ‘Let You Down’ and ‘Invincible’ both share a strutting, cocky swagger that are full of the youthful energy that melds classic rock with a very modern sound, a huge part of the growing attraction to the band. Things slow down a little with the more laid back ‘Think of Me’, filled as it is with tenderness and feeling. Such is the songwriting and thought about the flow of the album that this easing of the pace doesn’t kill the momentum but just gives a much-needed breather. Many bands, especially the newer ones, fall into the trap of delivering one note records that are all bluster but no colour. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with Hollowstar and, as such, this debut exudes quality that is built to last.

More of this maturity is shown in ‘Money’ as it showcases the superb intonation of the vocals as Bonson echoes some of the giant front men of the past. Phil Haines and Tom Collett’s guitars also take no prisoners as they add grit and drive to the track which builds beautifully driven by Bonson’s bass and brother Jack Bonson’s drums. A real highlight comes with ‘All I Gotta Say’ that has a riff and bluster that could demolish buildings but also a real sense of dynamics which adds to the heightened drama and epic feel of the track. ‘Good Man Gone’ is another steamroller and ‘Overrated’ is a maelstrom of sound that brings together scuzzy hard rock that is shot through with a real ‘Southern’ feel.

Closing duo ‘Down by the Water’ and ‘Sinner’ are perfect in structure and are full on declarations that the band have arrived and stake their claim on the scene. Brilliantly produced by Dan Lambert, the album is relatively short by some standards these days but presents itself as a lean and dangerous prospect that, as a lot of classic albums do, gets in, does the job and gets out. These are tracks that should be played on stages at arenas, stadiums and huge festivals and the opportunities to do just that keep on coming in. If they carry on like this there is no limit to what Hollowstar can achieve. Buy this album and see them live as this is one party you certainly don’t want to be late to.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Take It All
02. Let You Down
03. Invincible
04. Think of Me
05. Money
06. All I Gotta Say
07. Good Man Gone
08. Overrated
09. Down By The Water
10. Sinner

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/HollowstarOfficial/

https://www.instagram.com/hollowstarband/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpnRcJGcki7-tX_9za9yW1w

 

Hollowstar Promo Pic - Please Credit Volcanic Rock Photography

 

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

Photograph supplied courtesy of Volcanic Rock Photography

Bus The Unknown Secretary – Never Decide

BUS - Never Decide Cover

Bus The Unknown Secretary – Never Decide
Riding Easy Records
Release Date: 01-03-2019
Running Time:-48:57
Reviewer Tsarina Wilson
7/10

Bus The Unknown Secretary (aka B.U.S) are a quartet from Greece with a unique sound. Are they rock? Yes! Are they deep? Yes! Are they dark? Yes! But are they typical? Hell no!
Having a bird chirping in the back ground of the opening song, then “one, two, three” as if they are being counted in is not your typical start, so straight away your ears prick up and you wonder what’s next? Well, that would be silence, and then the guitar riff of ‘You Better Come In, You Better Calm Down’ comes straight at you, followed by the vocal’s, with a hint of growl to them, the tone almost psychedelic but with a chant in the background.

Bill Politis (vocalist/guitar) explains there is no happy ending here, but the question remains “Door A or Door B, time to change or time to die, never decide…” Now, that’s what I call a deep dark question!

This leads me to ‘Lucifer’. This is a very dark song, sounding very much like Ozzy at the beginning, yet haunting with amazing backing vocals which harmonize so brilliantly.

The whole album “Never Decide” is rock hypnotic, it packs a punch yet sends you off into so many different directions. It has rock, gruff vocals and great guitar riffs, with almost a poppy edge to some of the tracks and is almost one big head spin. You just get to think you have sussed the album then it goes in a totally different direction again. Some of the tracks are short, but very intense and punchy, and all the way through there is a definite 70’s rock vibe. Thin Lizzy, Ozzy Osbourne, Johnny Rotten and Alice Copper all spring to mind which is why I think the album is so crazy. One thing it definitely isn’t is boring.

B.U.S. were formed in 2011, releasing two EP’s “The Impious Tapes” followed by the “Cross EP” (2014) and a full-length album “The Unknown Secretary LP” in 2016. During that time, they have toured extensively throughout Greece and neighbouring nations.

Second album “Never Decide” was recorded in just five days in February 2018, and what a crazy five days those must have been, with multi-talented engineer and band beloved friend John Vulgaris at Electric Highway Studios in Athens, Greece. The entire band, drummer Aris Fasoulis, bassist Spiros Papadatos, guitarist Fotis Kolokithas and, of course, Bill Politis recorded the instrumental tracks live in three days and the last two were for vocals. Over the two months that followed Vulgaris and the band fine-tuned the mix into the masterful album we have been given.

If you want something different and exciting then give B.U.S a listen!

TRACKLISTING:
01 You Better Come In, You Better Calm Down
02 The Hunt
03 I Buried Paul
04 Lucifer
05 First Life Suicide
06 Moonchild
07 Into the Night
08 Evil Eyes
09 Dying
10 This King

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/bustheunknownsecretary/
https://www.instagram.com/bustheunknownsecretary/
https://bustheunknownsecretary.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoWabDirkvGWB7BWhAlPaAA
https://www.facebook.com/ridingeasyrecords/

 

BUS 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.

Dirge – Lost Empyrean

Lost Empyrean Cover

Dirge – Lost Empyrean
Debemur Morti Productions
Release Date: 14/12/2018
Running Time: 55:38
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
10/10

Good evening, dear brothers and sisters of the one true faith. That being metal, not one of the false prophets and their excuses for religions. Only metal is real. There is no Zuul, only metal. If you’re an Eighties kid you’ll get that reference. If not, I’d like to say sorry for confusing you but I’m really not, so I won’t. Well, that’s started this review off with a faintly negative and nihilistic tone. Again, sorry not sorry! Anyway, shall we see whether Dirge can turn these frowns upside down and whether they are worth discharging mucho dinero on? Walk with me, dear friends of Baphomet, into my playroom. That’s where my kickass stereo is. Ignore the surgical instruments – they are just for decoration, after all. No, that’s not blood, its patina. What? No, I didn’t lock the door behind you, Karen. The deadlocks automatically activate. Please, have a seat. Thank you.

Now we will begin…

A bunch of most estimable Parisians, Dirge took the extraordinary step of announcing that they were splitting up after 25 years two months after they released the record I am listening to, “Lost Empyrean”. This has caused me great upset and consternation because this record is a spectacularly brutal affair and Dirge hadn’t come across my Satanic radar before. Lost Empyrean is absolutely huge. It’s colossal. It’s mountainous, monolithic riffs of splendour and magnificence. And I’m fucking pissed off with the bastards for splitting up on me, especially considering Paris is within easy reach of the village I am slowly purging of all its inhabitants. They remind me of a less polished Crowbar, with elements of Swans, Red Harvest (circa ) and Paradise Lost. This is a splendid set of influences to have in my not actually very humble at all opinion, because PL, RH and Swans are fucking awesome, dude. The production job on this record is that rarest of things – perfect for the music that is recorded. Every instrument is rendered with precision. I can hear every drumbeat with perfect clarity and there is a meaty resonance about them that is normally lacking in metal recordings. Normally, metal bass drums sound like someone smacking some taut polythene with a wet and rather perturbed and upset rat. The guitars are razorwire flails, operating at neck height and are chunky as fuck, man. It is not a subtle guitar sound. It is the sound of electric guitar used properly, as a weapon, not a musical instrument; and the bass. Oh, holy fuck, the bass. If there were emojis on Word documents there would be love hearts all over the fucking page just because of the bass guitar. The rumbling, earthquake inducing, lo fi splendiferousness of the bass sound cannot be overstated.

Fuck me crossways. This is apocalypse music. This is the sound of the slow, drawn out, tortured end of the world. It’s shrieking and grinding tectonic plates being forced apart and the heat and power of released magma flows. This is the sound of a multitude of unstoppable armoured vehicles, covered in demonic sigils and crushing human lives down to chunky salsa beneath their spiked tracks. It is the sound of screaming diesel engines belching foul smoke from blackened exhausts and the roar of high powered high explosive shells demolishing fortifications, before matt black battlewagons crush all resistance under their tracks and plough relentlessly on, on to where you are cowering, hidden away in the ruins. It’s the sound of the end of your world, when the muzzle of a robotically controlled machine gun points to your place of concealment and saws the wall you’re hiding behind in half with a burst of half inch calibre leaden slugs. This record is slower and heavier than your mum in a pair of plutonium knickers with a lead brassiere…, while she is wearing a pair of depleted uranium shoes. It is THAT heavy, if you like droney, shoegaze stuff that is. If you revere Dragonforce, you’ll hate it with a vengeance unparalleled in human history. Lost Empyrean is the slow moving means of your death. It doesn’t rely on speed. It relies on superior quality songwriting and the fact Dirge play slow enough to let the music expand. Like the blastwave of a nuclear detonation. This music is utterly, UTTERLY uncompromising. It will not stop until you have been reduced to your component parts and it is grinning through bloodied teeth at you… There’s no point telling you what the best tracks are. This is an album that REQUIRES your attention from start to finish. It honestly is more than the sum of its parts and is a superior experience when listened to as a single body of work, through headphones, where you can subject your cranium to the type of crushing forces normally experienced by a jet fighter pilot pulling 9g. Or your dad, when your mum rides him like a cowgirl.

I never thought I would say this, but this record is the equal of P.H.O.B.O.S’s Phlogiston Catharsis, a record I judged to be the album of the year last year. They too are French. French metal is fucking astonishingly good. I haven’t yet heard a French heavy metal record I haven’t liked. Dirge (until they broke my fucking heart by splitting up, the absolute SHOWER!) are well worth elevating to the Dark Juan Pantheon Of Wonderful Excellence, where they sit with such luminaries as the aforementioned P.H.O.B.O.S. and Rivers Of Nihil and Gunship and others.

Ejaculate vast wads (of cash, you fucking filthy pervert) and buy everything Dirge have ever done so they will reform and I can go and have my brain turned to soup at a Dirge gig. You need Dirge in your life. Everyone needs Dirge in their life.

Simply staggering. I am literally sat in a dark room on my own with Dirge ringing in my head, wondering how the fuck does metal top this. I’m not sure it can. One thing is for certain, I’m not writing anything else tonight because anything else I listen to is just going to sound like appalling shite. I’m going for a lie down. My brain hurts.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Das Patentierte Dunkle Juan-Blut-Splat-Bewertungssystem, just because I like the way it sounds in German) has ruined every pair of trousers it has with many, many Dirge induced sex wees, has levelled its own house by playing Dirge too loudly and is currently sat shell-shocked among the wreckage wondering what to do with itself. This means Dirge are awarded 10/10. Full fucking marks, brothers and sisters of the true faith. FULL FUCKING MARKS.

TRACKLISTING:
01 Wingless Multitudes
02 Hosea 8 7
03 Algid Troy
04 The Burden Of Almost
05 Lost Empyrean
06 A Sea Of Light
07 Sarracenia

DIRGE ARE: (were, as it transpires…. this is devastating news)
Marc T.
Alain B.
Stéphane L.
Luz
They did not deign to tell me what instruments they played and I am too drunk to care… you have the internet, you find out!

LINKS:
http://www.dirge.fr
https://www.facebook.com/pg/DIRGE.fr/

 

Session Dirge - Paris, decembre 2017

 

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

 

 

Cats In Space – Daytrip To Narnia

Day Trip To Narnia Cover

 

Cats In Space – Daytrip To Narnia
Harmony Factory/Cargo Records UK
Release Date: 01-03-2019
Running Time: 52:33
Review by Tsarina Wilson
10/10 (Only because I couldn’t give it more!)

Cats In Space “Epic Long Player” album is everything I expected it to be. From the amazing art work of the album cover to the punchy, catchy tracks, this band never disappoints. I had the pleasure of reviewing their last album and, as with this album “Daytrip To Narnia”, once again they have gone above and beyond to give us a fun, bouncy, rock album with tracks that will just bowl you over.

The guys, who include Paul Menzi on lead vocals and “screams”, Greg Heart on lead guitar, tubular bells and acoustic vocals, Dean Howar on lead and rhythm guitars, Andy Stewart on piano, synthesizers, vocoder and organ, Steevi Bacon on drums, percussion, timpani and vocals and, last but not least, Mick Wilson on vocals, acoustics and additional synthesizers, have such a unique sound it certainly makes them stand out for me.

The guys have certainly caused a stir since they exploded onto the scene in 2015 with their debut album “Too Many Gods” and they have earned their right to be still going strong after touring with legendary rock giants Deep Purple, Status Quo and Thunder playing UK arenas, plus playing Hyde Park with Phil Collins and Blondie. But somehow, I think the best is yet to come for these guys! They are a total breath of fresh air.

‘Tragic Alter Ego’ reminded me very much of ‘Good Old-Fashioned Loverboy’ by Queen, with also the hint of the lyrics from ‘Play the Game’, but they also remind me of bands like ELO and Kiss.

But don’t think for one minute this band is your standard run of the mill band. They deliver great guitar riffs, brilliant vocals plus some great synths with a fun and light hearted air about them.

That said this album is one of two halves. The second half (tracks 8-14) make up ‘The Story Of Johnny Rocket’ which takes you on a trip into space and, let’s be honest many of us have dreamed of that. This is great song writing with a twist, terrific harmonies and just a great feel good factor to it.

‘Thunder In The Night’ is the track where “Johnny” meets the future Mrs Rocket, ‘One Small Step’ continues their story and the slower song ‘Twilight’ is quite melancholy compared to other tracks but the harmonies are so good.

The last track concludes the “Johnny Rocket” story and ends in an uplifting mood telling us never to give up hope and I’m sure these guys never did. The whole album is like a story within a story and you get little hints of their influences. It maybe just a few notes of guitar but makes you think “wow that could be…” Some lyrics certainly make you reminisce, especially when they mention “The Soup Dragon” and, for those of you not old enough to remember, it’s from The Clangers! But thank you! You have now made me feel very old!

This album “Daytrip To Narnia” has it all, storytelling, fun, rock, great clear vocals, great harmonies, but above all it’s just a damn good listen.

So, make time for it either in the car, in the office or at home as it’s an uplifting and great album.

The whole album “Daytrip To Narnia” is a pleasure to listen to, a real “pick me up listen”
Some tracks have a real 70’s rock feel while others have quite deep lyrics, but one thing for sure is I hope I get to review their next album as well.

The album will be available on standard CD, 12” 180g white vinyl and the extremely limited addition Narnia Box which are numbered, premium quality wooden boxes full of Cats In Space goodies including the new album, a 12”of Thunder In The Night, which includes unreleased tracks like their version of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Communication Breakdown’ ‘Man in The Moon’(acoustic) a Johnny Rocket woven patch, dog tag, guitar plectrum, six collector cards and a cover of Slade’s ‘How Do You Feel’ featuring Danny Bowes from Thunder on 7” vinyl. (Ok just take my money now hahaha)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Narnia
02. She Talks Too Much
03. Hologram Man
04. Tragic Alter Ego
05. Silver And Gold
06. Chasing Diamonds
07. Unicorn
08. The Story Of Johnny Rocket I: Space Overture
09. The Story Of Johnny Rocket II: Johnny Rocket
10. The Story Of Johnny Rocket III: Thunder In The Night
11. The Story Of Johnny Rocket IV: One Small Step
12. The Story OF Johnny Rocket V: Twilight
13. The Story Of Johnny Rocket VI: Yesterday’s News
14. The Story Of Johnny Rocket VII: Destination Unknown

LINKS:
https://www.catsinspace.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/catsinspaceband/

https://www.instagram.com/catsinspaceband/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6u18E3uWblUypQJu8_UAcA

 

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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.

Rise To Fall – Into Zero

Into Zero Cover

Rise To Fall – Into Zero
Self-Released
Release Date: 30/09/2018
Running Time: 47:00
Review by Stephen Moss
7/10

“Into Zero” is the fourth album from Rise To Fall. The band classifies their style as Melodic Death Metal and is in the same boat as “In Flames” or “Disarmonia Mundi”. The band’s sound isn’t unique, however, I never got the feeling that they were simply trying to mimic their influences. Listening to the album, you definitely get a sense of who Rise to Fall are and what they stand for as a band.

I absolutely love the way the album starts off. It has an almost science fiction feel to it. The song, ’The Descendant’, starts off soft like gently knocking at the door and then the metal steps up and kicks the freaking door down! This definitely made me excited to see what else the album had to offer.

“Into Zero”, overall, is put together well and definitely does a lot of things right but it also has a couple of things that would have made it more enjoyable for my taste. The tracks do have some variety, however, I would have liked to see a bit more as some of the guitar melodies start to feel a bit repetitive.

You can hear each instrument nicely. I never got the feeling that one person overshadowed another but I would like to have seen the bass stand more on its own rather than just follow the guitar all the time. Lyrics are genuine, raw and filled with emotion and the guitar solos will melt your face! Guitarists Hugo Markaida and Dann Hoyos play fast and seriously shred, yet they are melodic at the same time. Last, but not least, Xabier del Val is the drummer, he’s amazing and the double bass in this album is SICK! I absolutely love the drums on this album. It’s a beautiful balance that Rise To Fall were able to achieve.

My top three songs are ‘Survivor’, ‘Effects Of The Terrestrial Syndrome’ and ‘The Descendant’.

TRACKLISTING:
01 The Descendant
02 In The Wrong Hands
03 Acid Drops
04 House Of Crosses
05 Virgin Land
06 The Empress
07 Temptation Feeds On Our Weaknesses
08 Zero Hour
09 Effects Of The Terrestrial Syndrome
10 Survivor
11 Game Of Appearances
12 White Canvas

LINKS:
http://www.risetofall.net/
https://www.facebook.com/risetofallofficial/

https://www.instagram.com/risetofallofficial/

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

 

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

Obey – Swallow The Sun

Swallow The Sun Cover

Obey – Swallow The Sun
Self-Released
Release date: 05/04/2019
Running Time: 37:00
Review by Alun Jones
8.5/10

OBEY! CONSUME! CONFORM! Have you seen John Carpenter’s masterpiece of paranoid sci-fi, “They Live”? It’s outstanding. Rowdy Roddy Piper puts on some special sunglasses and is able to see the aliens living amongst us, brainwashing and controlling society. With the constant subliminal media messages exposed, Rod and his mates attempt to destroy the conspiracy and free the human race from subjugation.

I don’t know if Obey – the band – have ever seen this awesome movie, but these guys have definitely (to paraphrase Roddy) come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… And they’re all out of bubblegum.

“Swallow The Sun” is the fourth album from Obey and it doesn’t disappoint. The listener gets more thunderous, rhythmic riffing that bridges across Hard Rock and Metal, courtesy of Steve Pickin (guitar/vocals), Dan Ryder (guitar/bass) and Ryan Gillespie (Drums). Add in a progressive, exploratory approach that’s open to wide influences, and what we have here is an album full of ideas that constantly reveals new depths with repeated listens.

Take bombastic opening track ‘Back Home’: it starts out in familiar crunching guitar riff territory, but unleashes a huge chorus that’s catchier than Velcro underpants. I wasn’t convinced on first listen, but this melody works so hard that despite being a surprise it’s a winner.

‘Drive’ offers more of the brutal riffing that Obey are known for, but with lush, melodic moments – not to mention a total classic rock lead.

Midway through the album is ‘Esmeralda and the Dam Blues’, a track that begins with a mellower, supernatural sound – giving way to a massive, chunky chorus. These songs are extremely well constructed, taking the listener on a stellar journey that’s refreshing and far from obvious cliché.

Some of Obey’s influences appear to froth to the surface with the album’s title track, which has a feel of Mastodon about it. Mix in some vintage Prong rifferama and the melodic tendencies of Alice in Chains and you’re a tiny step closer to understanding which star system the planet Obey revolves in.

Obey’s ability to meld face smashing heavy with unexpectedly tuneful moments gives this album it’s unique identity. “Swallow The Sun” is the kind of album that you can rock out to (can’t wait to see these guys live again), or take your time and listen on headphones to savour the detail.

If anything, I’d like to see further experimentation from Obey as the band grows. ‘Star Crusher’ is an obscenely huge yet groovy COC style track, but sadly lasts less than a minute. More experimentation with different interludes and variations of pace and intensity can only add more colour to their cosmic palate.

There’s very little to grumble about with “Swallow The Sun” though. What we have is an intricately created collection of songs with maximum power and thoughtful embellishments. Obey are a British band with real talent and ambition – check them out and lend them your support.

And beware of those ugly, skull faced aliens. They want to keep you in line and be part of the system. Get yourself some sunglasses and see what’s going on. Open your eyes and fight!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Back Home
02. Drive
03. Call Of The Judderman
04. Star Crusher
05. Esmeralda and the Dam Blues
06. Swallow The Sun
07. The Mountain
08. Vultures
09. Emerald Eyes

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Obeyuk/
https://www.instagram.com/obey_bandpage/
https://obeyuk.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/obeyuk

 

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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.

Aonia – The Seven

The Seven Cover

Aonia – The Seven
Self-Released
Release Date: 06/10/2018
Running Time: 01:03:19
Review by Lotty Whittingham
10/10

Think Nightwish meets Epica and throw Coronatus into the mix and you get a strong seven headed, fourteen-legged creature that comes under the name of Aonia. 2018 proved to be a great year for them. They won Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses in Sheffield and secured a spot on the New Blood Stage. They also released their debut album “The Seven”. To say this album will open doors for the band is a huge understatement.
“The Seven” is a remarkable album that takes the listener on a great journey of strong melodies and poetic lyrics. The band consists of two powerful soprano vocalists, brilliant guitar work, mesmerising synth work and pounding rhythms from the bass and drums. These all work together spectacularly to create these remarkable melodies. There are a number of songs that demonstrate this power the band have.

‘Sold My Soul’ is the opening song of the album and it’s one fans of the heavier side of music can relate to. The melody and lyrics are enticing. The line “rock and roll, come take my hand – lead me to the promised land” is empowering and from listening to the rest of the song, it will make you proud. If you are wanting to give metal a listen, this song will make you want to become a metalhead.

‘Wake Up Lucretia’ is a powerful song that tugs at the heart strings, particularly if you know the history behind Lucretia. For those who don’t know, Lucretia is a legendary heroine of ancient Rome. Her tragic fate played a vital part in shaping the Roman Kingdom into the Roman Republic. The lyrics and music fuse together flawlessly to create the heart-breaking emotion behind this account. Definitely one of the best songs on the album, especially if it helps you learn about an important historic figure.

The vocal work at the beginning of ‘Heartsword!’ alone is enough to entice the listener in. Guest vocalist Iliana Basileios Tsakiraki (Enemy Of Reality) provides her impeccable talent on the track. It has many different parts that work together flawlessly to create a symphonic metal masterpiece. In this track, all three sets of vocals harmonise alongside each other perfectly. The song also contains poetic lyrics describing a heroine’s tale who yields the heartsword and goes on to win many battles.

Like metal ballads? Well Aonia have produced a beautiful one. It’s titled ‘If You Dare’ and from the lyrical content it can be interpreted that the song is about staying strong through tough times and not giving up. Lines like “live while you’re alive” and “never give into the fight” are powerful ones that provide hope when times are tough.

“The Seven” ends on a bombastic note with the song ‘Hyde And Seek’. The story of Jekyll & Hyde is the well-known tale of two very different personalities. This story has left an important legacy and has been adapted many times in film and theatre. Aonia’s take could be an opera of this iconic tale. The song gets the mixed emotions Jekyll/Hyde must be feeling inside across perfectly.

This is demonstrated through a number of factors. The lyrical content written from both Jekyll and Hyde’s points of views; The vocal work projecting these lyrics; The musical arrangements portraying the different parts of the story; the piano and acoustics demonstrating the calm behaviour of Dr Jekyll after the destruction caused by Mr Hyde; The heavier arrangements representing the chaos and destruction that is being caused and perhaps the transformation between the two. That’s what is great about this song, it’s open for interpretation and others may have a different opinion on what the song represents.

“The Seven” is an outstanding debut from Aonia. It’s a Symphonic Metal masterpiece that will be hailed by fans of the band, genre and new listeners. It’s also one of those albums where the songs can be interpreted differently by different listeners. Want to know where the future of Symphonic Metal is going? Give “The Seven” a listen and be reassured the future of this genre is strong.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Sold My Soul
02. Violet Hours
03. Wake Up, Lucretia
04. Still, I Rise
05. Sirens’ Lament
06. Eye Of The Storm
07. Heartsword!
08. At The Masquerade
09. If You Dare
10. Hyde And Seek

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/aoniauk

https://www.instagram.com/aoniaband/
https://aonia.bandcamp.com/

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

 

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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.