Alphastate – The Grind

 

The Grind Cover

Alphastate – The Grind
Sliptrick Records
Release Date: 03/04/2018
Running Time: 37:28
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
7/10

Alphastate are a Greek metal band, formed in 2013 as a personal project of Pete Breaker (guitars). Vocalist Manos Xanthakis joined in in 2015 and the line up was complete in 2016 with the additions of Dimitris Tsounakis on bass and Fivos Andriopoulos on the drums. They released their first album “Out of the Black” in 2015 and received excellent and positive press globally.

Says the band: “we wanted to combine modern metal with 80’s and 90’s influences such as Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera and Nevermore to create a very personal and extreme style with no boundaries.”

So, what genre of metal are Alphastate? To pigeonhole them into one category would be wrong and do them a severe injustice. They play heavy metal that is heavier than normal, but they have thrown in a bit of power too, with just a hint of doom (think Sabbath, Candlemass and Trouble), and this gives them an almost unique sound.

I always think the vocals make any band and am always on the lookout for bands that have distinctive and different singers. If I am totally honest, on the first run through of the album, I didn’t actually like Manos’s vocals but after listening a few times, I realised I really didn’t give him much credit. His vocals are deep, and unmistakably Greek, which is by no means a bad thing. He could quite easily fit into a band such as Firewind if they were ever on the lookout.

I must admit that I hadn’t listened to the band’s first album before listening to this one, but the promo notes that came with the album stated that they wanted to take a more modern and aggressive approach musically with this new album. They wanted “very loud and distinctive guitars, a more modern production that had the vocals pushed up front and drums that punched through the sound.”

I think they were successful on all three counts. Take the guitars out of this album and they would slot straight into a Pantera album, the drums are strong and tight, and I have already mentioned the vocals above.

This album includes a lot more of the band’s own thoughts and experiences making it the most personal release so far, and sonically it is their best. They have made an album that is “pure aggression with the best songs they have ever written.”

One thing that I wasn’t overly keen on with this album, was the lack of variation. Each song seemed to sound much like the last, and I am not sure if this is due to unfamiliarity with the tracks. Maybe with a few more listens through, the songs may start to separate a bit.

But this doesn’t take away from the fact, that this is a solid album, and for a band that has only really been together properly since 2016, it’s a good sign of things to come.
Give these guys a go……and they may just surprise you!

 

TRACK LIST
01. Trapped
02. Phantom Desires
03. Speak Your Mind
04. Theater Of Lies
05. The Grind
06. Forevermore
07. Behind The Dark
08. Heaven’s World
09. Man Made God

 

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/AlphastateMetal/
https://www.instagram.com/alphastate_official/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCngyPMt1FVY2fdGJ0pbmc4g
https://sliptrickrecords.com/alphastate/

 

Alphastate

 

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.

 

Deadheads – This One Goes to 11

 

HRR_593_Cover.indd

DEADHEADS – THIS ONE GOES TO 11
High Roller Records
Release date 26/01/2018
Review by Vikkie ‘Queen of Rock’ Richmond
Running time: 38:00
6/10

I confess to having never heard of Swedish four-piece, Deadheads, although “This One Goes to 11” is their third album. Labelling themselves as ‘energetic rock and roll’, this band are all that and more; this album is eleven tracks of frenetically paced, good time rock which was fairly infectious to listen to.

The first track, ‘Black Out’ gallops along with brattish guitars and a thumping pace and although it was light on lyrics with a repetitive chorus, it certainly stuck in my brain for a while after listening.

I found a punkish element to next song, ‘Don’t Mind The Ghost’, which featured a simple hook and echoing vocals; in fact, pretty much all of the songs had a punk feel to them, with some nice keyboard/piano work showing on ‘Manic Mondays’.

The pace slowed a little with ‘Too Lost To Be Found’, which had a real vintage flavour to it and was one of my more favoured tracks on the album. I particularly liked the last track, ‘Status Low’; it wasn’t vastly different to the other songs, but I enjoyed the lyrics and the key changes made it feel a little less mad and ever so slightly more laid back.

I think if you take the time to listen to this album five or six times in a row, you will probably find nuances and changes from song to song; just listening to it twice through, it sounded kind of samey in places.

Quality and production-wise, the sound is a little muffled on some tracks – whether that was intentional, I’m not sure, but it was a bit irritating in places. Deadheads have been touring on and off in Europe, so perhaps they will be popping up on the UK festival circuit next year. I’d make a point of catching them live if I can; the songs are infectious and carry a certain amount of punk groove, so it would be interesting to see how that translates onto a live stage.
TRACK LISTING
● Black Out
● Don’t Mind The Ghost
● Somebody Along The Way
● Manic Mondays
● Too Lost To Be Found
● The Plan
● Instant Control
● 2 Steps Before The Fall
● Lucifer
● My Time
● Status Low

 

SOCIAL MEDIA
● https://www.facebook.com/deadheadsband
● http://www.deadheadsband.com/

 
Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Vikkie ‘Queen of Rock’ Richmond 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.

Winter’s Edge – The Guardians of Our Time Pt 1

 

The Guardians Of Our Time Pt.1 Cover

WINTER’S EDGE – THE GUARDIANS OF OUR TIME PT. 1.
Self-Released
Release Date: 17/08/2018
Running Time: 35:43
Review by Lotty Whittingham
8/10

It was only last year that Winter’s Edge officially became a band. It was initially started as a solo project by guitarist Jeremy Lawler in the year 2009. It was set up to feature different musicians from around the world.

Those years have seen them experiment with their sound; include talent from the underground metal scene and line-up changes. After a two-year break, they have worked tirelessly to bring forth their latest release “The Guardians Of Our Time Pt.1” It shows listeners a solid collection of songs that will open more doors for the band regarding their career and their already huge sound has the potential to grow further. It also shows that the band are back and they mean business.

The album gets off to a promising start with the intro tracks ‘Open Worlds’ and ‘Guardians Of Our Time’; ‘Open Worlds’ is the atmospheric instrumental that has the listener glued and intrigued right away. ’Guardians Of Our Time’ gives the listener a first glimpse of the talent that is to be expected on the album; from the versatile vocal work of Charlotte Jones to the pounding drum work from Ed Anderson.

Across the album, it is clear why over the years their fan base has grown very quickly. The versatile selection of songs on the album showcase what Winter’s Edge have to offer in terms of musical talent and there is something about the band’s sound that makes someone want to be a better version of themselves.

The pounding rhythm alongside the dominant riff in ‘Path Of Desperation’ ensures that the listener is ready and willing for what’s to come next. The fist pumping energy the track gives off is infectious and will bring you to life in a recorded or live setting.

‘Dying Star’ is a beautiful ballad that initially makes the listener think they will be taking a break from the ground-breaking distortion. Don’t be fooled, this is a deception. It doesn’t make the ballad any less stunning, in fact it adds to this great track. The growls alongside the clean vocals in this track work together well, showing the vast range of Charlotte Jones’ vocals.

It ends on an excellent note with ‘In The End’ and ‘Through The Ferryman’s Eyes’. ‘The former provides one last blast of the bands talent before the latter brings the album to a close with an atmospheric interlude. The song contains excellent guitar work, vocal talent and some great musicianship.

Long-time fans of the band will know that The Ferryman has had great significance throughout the band’s career. The title of their first album was “The Ferryman’s Eyes” so it is great to see a reference to their previous material and that they haven’t forgotten their roots.

By the end of the album, you are left wanting more. You are not ready for it to end. “The Guardians Of Our Time Pt.1” marks a triumphant return from Winter’s Edge. Keep your eyes peeled and ears out for them; you would be a fool to miss them!
TRACK LISTING
1. Open Worlds
2. Guardians Of Our Time
3. Path Of Desperation
4. Momentarily
5. Break It Up
6. Dying Star
7. Fatal Dreams
8. In The End
9. Through The Ferryman’s Eyes
SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.wintersedgeband.com/
https://www.facebook.com/OfficialWintersEdge/

https://www.instagram.com/wintersedge/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCztaNnvN98ItoD-fAxS73Wg
Banner, Promo Pic

 

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.

Seven Sisters – The Cauldron and The Cross

cover

SEVEN SISTERS – THE CAULDRON AND THE CROSS
Dissonance Productions
Release Date: 13/04/2018
Running Time: 51:18
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

After having the opportunity to interview Graeme from Seven Sisters recently, I thought to myself that I really should give their new album The Cauldron and The Cross a spin, and why not give it a review at the same time.

Seven Sisters are a four-piece heavy metal band from London, who are, in their own words, forged from the same steel as the NWOBHM acts of yesteryear. Formed in 2013 by Kyle McNeil (vocals/guitars) and Graeme Farmer (guitars) in 2013, they are inspired by the likes of the Paul Di’anno era of Iron Maiden, Angel Witch and Virtue.

Says the band: “we have a mix of old school heavy metal (the NWOBHM movement in particular) and elements of power metal, thrash metal and things like that. We’re pretty progressive in places, but our songs are heavily melodic and hopefully pretty catchy too.”

The band have gained a reputation over the past few years as a stellar act in the heavy metal scene, playing shows all over the UK and Europe off the back of two independent releases, “The Warden Demo” in 2014 and “Lost in Time” 7” in 2015. They have since signed to Dissonance Productions and The Cauldron and The Cross is their second album.

With its main source of inspiration being a book written by Marion Zimmer Bradley called “The Mists of Avalon”, The Cauldron and The Cross is a concept album, a story that involves the two religions of Paganism and Christianity. With its myth and magical title tracks and a cover artwork depicting what looks like a scene from a fantasy film, this album has all the hallmarks of a typical power metal release.

But, this is power metal with a twist. Although, the power elements are unmistakably there, the thrash elements the band themselves stated were an influence can also be heard, but then so can the NWOBHM traits.

But that’s not all. On top of all this are the subtle prog influences too. I have never really been a prog rock/metal fan but the time changes throughout the individual tracks are clear to hear. Time changes are one of the aspects of prog music that turned me off the genre, but in this album, they seem to flow a lot better. And this, along with the changes in key, really does make it seem as if the music and lyrics are talking to you.

This is a band that obviously has an immense talent. Despite the relatively short time they have been together, they work so well and sound like they have been doing this for years. And that is something not found very often.

I read somewhere that the band intended on being a five piece, looking to recruit a singer to fill the fifth place and that Kyle was only a stand in singer. I can honestly say, that in my opinion, NOT getting that fifth person was the best thing for the band. Kyle is an absolutely fantastic singer with a voice that can cover a whole variety of ranges. He is ideally suited to the music the band play and I think that if they were to replace him now (please don’t) the whole dynamic of the band will change.

This album has everything from the speed metal of the opening track “Premonition” to the Maiden-influenced “Once and Future King” to the slower pace of “Blood and Fire.” There is also the ‘obligatory’ power ballad in “Oathbreaker” but this is, by no means, just a track that has been thrown in because people expect a ballad. It fits perfectly into the structure of the album and is one of the best tracks on it.

Stand out tracks for me, apart from “Oathbreaker” as mentioned above, are “Blood and Fire” and the double epic tracks “The Cauldron and The Cross Parts 1 and 2” at the end of the album, but my absolute favourite must be “The Turning of The Tide.” I could have that track on repeat for hours and not get bored with it.

So, should you go out and by this great album from this fantastic young band? Yes, you sure as hell do! This is a must for power metal fans, thrash metal fans, NWOBHM fans and traditional heavy metal fans alike.

I absolutely adored this album, and, for me, this is one of the best albums that has been released this year.

TRACK LISTING
The Premonition
Blood And Fire
Once And Future King
Partings The Mists
Turning Of The Tide
Oathbreaker
A Land In Darkness
The Cauldron And The Cross Pt.1
The Cauldron And The Cross Pt.2

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://sevensistersuk.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/sevensistersheavymetal/

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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.