Various Artists – Brown Acid: The Twelfth Trip

Brown Acid The Twelfth Trip Album Cover Art

Various Artists – Brown Acid: The Twelfth Trip
RidingEasy Records
Release Date: 20/04/2020
Running Time: 32:23
Review by: Alun Jones
8.5/10

Well, who’d have thought it? Here’s the twelfth instalment of the Brown Acid series from RidingEasy Records, their ongoing exploration of rare, lost and forgotten treasures from the late 60’s and early70’s. These proto-metal, hard rock and heavy psych riches are continuing to turn up, thankfully curated and shared with a new, wider audience. They still haven’t run out of steam, which is very good news.

This time, the Professors of Rock (“Prockfessors”, anyone? Nah, never mind) have released ten more crazily good tracks from the past. As can be expected, the bands are deep fried and the guitars are fuzzier than a McDonald’s burger-flipper’s chin.

And so, we commence with ‘Mother Samwell’ by The Waters: a blinding, acid-drenched rocker from 1969. How can this have been lost for so long? Up next is ‘Vibrations’ by Village S.T.O.P., featuring Hendrix style guitar in another pacey rocker. Though very much of their time, these songs pack a ton of energy – you’re gonna want to freak out. Right out.

‘1930’ was quite a year, claim White Lightning, with a funky, chunky marauder of a tune that’s like Grand Funk, on the rare occasions GF got it right. Shane serves up some proper skronky organ with ‘Woman (Don’t You Go)’, reminiscent of a shrieky, early Purple. Then the keyboards get even skronkier with Ace Song Service’s ‘Persuasion’, though the attack is harsher.

Opus Est really kick out the jams with ‘Bed’, which has a killer riff that would please Gibbons or Page.  The Mopptops have a terrible band name (maybe that’s why they disappeared), but their song ‘Our Lives’ is one of the heavier, more vicious sounding tracks here. It’s a punk rock bruiser that seems totally out of time – surely this can’t be 1968?

A bland band name, but Artist inject their song ‘Every Lady Does It’ with enough hip-shaking Hendrix raunch to raise the roof. Great chorus too; this is faultless. Then it’s more, great lo-fi garage ZZ Top, with ‘Comin’ Home’ by Stagefright, before we finish with Dickens (great name!) and their weird fuzz metal with minimal production, ‘Don’t Talk About My Music’.

Whether they’re discovering hidden gems in dusty tombs, or exhuming abandoned corpses and bringing them back to life – pick your metaphor: the RidingEasy Forensics Department have managed to surprise yet again. Their quest seems never rending, but we can be thankful that these dedicated scholars continue to discover hitherto abandoned sonic delights.

It’s harder to pick out gems which shine brighter than the others this time around, but “Brown Acid: the Twelfth Trip” manages to reach a high standard across the board. Very enjoyable, and recommended listening for when Jimi and Janis pop round for some mushroom tea.

Brown Acid: The Twelfth Trip (Official Album Stream)

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Waters – Mother Samwell
02. Village S.T.O.P. – Vibrations
03. White Lightning – 1930
04. Shane – Woman (Don’t You Go)
05. Ace Song Service – Persuasion
06. Opus Est – Bed
07. The Mopptops – Our Lives
08. Artist – Every Lady Does It
09. Stagefright – Comin’ Home
10. Dickens – Don’t Talk About My Music

LINKS:

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.

1968 – Salvation, If You Need…

Salvation, If You Need... Album Cover Art

1968 – Salvation, If You Need…
Self-Released/No Profit Recordings
Release Date: 20/04/2021
Running Time: 43:52
Review by Alun Jones
9.5/10

For this review of “Salvation, If You Need…”, the second album from UK stoner rock titans 1968, I promise that there will be no messing about, no silly stories, no nonsense whatsoever. I’m not even drinking. Rather, I will endeavour to write a serious review that treats this album with the respect it deserves. Not enough respect to get the article written on schedule, mind; but hey – I never said I was perfect.

Anyone familiar with 1968 from their previous efforts will not be disappointed to learn that the band’s strengths are in full flow here. Thankfully, they’ve also pushed boundaries and explored their psychedelic tendencies further than ever before. Witness opening track ‘Rail Road Boogie’, which teases a funky Blaxploitation groove before unleashing the glorious big riff sound that we expect.

Comparing 1968 to Kyuss is far too obvious and lazy. Jimi Ray’s voice has some of that gruff John Garcia sound (with a little later-period TSOL vocalist Joe Wood), though his vocals have matured to a sincere, soulful timbre. See also, guitarist Sam Orr: schooled in Sabbath riffology and Lizzy attitude, here his Hendrix aspirations are allowed to fly unrestrained. Magnificent washes of sound cascade and add colour everywhere, without being obtrusive.

‘Blackwing’ is the highlight for me: a refrain that’ll slip into your ears and lodge there. It’s pointless trying to remove it. Whether happy accident or hard slog, this is an epic riff. ‘Eastern Wind’ follows a similar path, but offers enough of its own controlled chaos to stand on its own two feet.

Tom Richards’ bass warms up ‘Here It Lies’ and expertly keeps the vibe dialled on a grungy, early Soundgarden pace. The raw, unrefined blues of ‘Small Victories’ and ‘God Bless’ also allow drummer Dan Amati to show he can play refined and delicate, as well as thundering and determined.

Yes, 1968 are undoubtedly still inspired by the classic rock of the late 60’s/early 70’s, but we’re also in Satan’s Dive Bar, somewhere in Seattle, drinking beers with a jukebox that’s stuck on Badmotorfinger. And some Budgie, too, based on the solid cover of that band’s ‘Guts’ which shows up here.

Look, I’ve tried to be serious for once, and I hope you appreciate it, reader. “Salvation, If You Need…” is a truly magnificent piece of work. I’ve been playing it for ages and it hasn’t aged. I’m still discovering little delights everywhere. It has scale and pace that other bands don’t dare trifle with. A contender for Album of the Year, so long as I can get hold of the imminent vinyl release.

Now, who wants to hear about the time Ozzy, Belinda Carlisle and I gate-crashed Venom’s Satanic picnic?

I lied about not drinking, by the way…

‘Rail Road Boogie’ (Audio)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Rail Road Boogie
02. Trail Of Dogs
03. Blackwing
04. Here It Lies
05. Guts (Budgie Cover)
06. Expressway
07. Eastern Wind
08. Small Victories
09. Night Hornet
10. God Bless

LINE-UP:
Jimi Ray – Vocals
Sam Orr – Guitar
Tom Richards – Bass
Dan Amati – Drums

LINKS:

1968 Promo Pic

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.

Lugosi – Video Nasty

Video Nasty Album Cover Art

Lugosi – Video Nasty
Self-Released
Release Date: 12/03/2021
Running Time: 26:29
Review by Alun Jones
8.5/10

OK, here we go! The clue is in the title, folks – you can probably figure out where we’re headed with a band called Lugosi straight off the (vampire) bat. If not, let me give you some pointers…

To get to Lugosi’s haunted house, depart from the Ramones’ basement, travel up Misfits Avenue, take a left at Danzig Drive, head on past Lemmy’s Bar’n’Grill till you get to 1313 Mockingbird Lane. And you’ve arrived: horror themed punk’n’roll with fast’n’furious tunes and daft lyrics about dodgy old horror and sci-fi movies. In other words, exactly the kind of goth rock Halloween shindig that your ol’ Uncle Al loves to crash.

Let’s get the devil-locked elephant in the room dealt with first: ‘cos there’s going to be a Misfits reference in nearly every sentence I write of this review! To be fair, although there’s an undoubted Misfits influence in Lugosi’s work, it’s more in the lyrical content: songs about vampires, Dawn of the Dead and devil worship are aplenty, but in a tongue in cheek, Hammer horror style rather than any serious Satanic pretence. This is music made by fans of cheesy, campy horror classics for other fans of the same.

The music itself has less of the big “WOAH” Danzig choruses and a more Motorhead inspired punk’n’roll sound, like Supersuckers or Zeke. There’s even a really cool instrumental in the middle of ‘They Came From Outer Space’ that has an Iron Maiden feel. The riffs are not too far from Clutch, and – is that a Thin Lizzy influence? Well, I was surprised to learn that Lugosi are from Dublin – I imagined they were from a remote cabin in the Texas backwoods somewhere…

‘Late Night Slasher Movie’ starts things off perfectly, in the speedy rockin’ style I mentioned, with hilarious lyrics! ‘We’re Here To Drink Blood’ is one of the punkier paced, Ramones tracks – and it’s catchier than a zombie plague. Then there’s ‘Soylent Green’, which reminds me of Jerry Only era Misfits (this is a good thing). A heavier, Sabbath feel rocks right out of the grave on ‘The Vampyre’ and ‘Hellfire Club’. There’s an almost doom sound to ‘1313’, augmented by high-pitched, theremin like weirdness. I think you get the idea.

“Video Nasty” is a great album, thoroughly enjoyable in many ways: a successful Frankenstein bolting together of B-movies, punk and heavy metal – ideal for your next gathering on All Hallows Eve. Kitsch, ridiculous, over the top – and FUN. Lugosi have really reanimated the corpse of horror punk, and – it’s alive!!!

‘They Came From Outer Space’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Late Night Slasher Movie
02. They Came From Outer Space
03. We’re Here To Drink Blood
04. Soylent Green
05. The Vampyre
06. Hellfire Club
07. Dawn Of The Dead
08. 1313
09. Ourboros

LINE-UP:
JM Burr – Vocals
Alan Morton – Guitars
Neal “Rim” Wright – Bass
Jimmy Rooney – Drums

LINKS:

Lugosi Promo Pic

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.

Spelljammer – Abyssal Trip

Abyssal Trip Album Cover Art

Spelljammer – Abyssal Trip
RidingEasy Records
Release Date: 26/02/2021
Running Time: 43:09
Review by Alun Jones
8/10

A slow build of distortion, punctuated by air raid sirens, heralds the onslaught of ‘Bellweather’, the first track on the latest Spelljammer opus. These guys are in no rush. Instead, the listener sinks slowly into the mire, as first guitars and bass, then drums, stealthily enter. Over the course of six plus minutes, the track builds beautifully, setting the style for the album to follow.

Spelljammer are from Stockholm, Sweden – and comprise Niklas Olsson (bass and vocals); Robert Sörling (guitar) and Jonatan Rimsbo (drums). It’s been five long years since their last album, but now they’re back with a huge, ponderous collection of sludgy, doom laden music.

Second track, ‘Lake’, follows the hypnotic incline of the opener with a brutal riff and throaty vocals, before descending into a medium paced headbanger. This track nicely encapsulates the contrasts between heavy, thunderous ferociousness and trancelike wonderment.

The band composed these songs in the seclusion of a remote house in the country. The various shifting sections of the songs obviously reflect that concentrated effort, with a perfect ebb and flow.  Sections wind intricately between the monstrous and the calm.

‘Among The Holy’ starts with a creeping pace before erupting into the album’s biggest rocker. The title track opens with a sample from some obscure horror movie, and I need to know which! After that, it’s crawling doom which picks up speed a little in a Sabbathy manner – complete with distorted vocals.

Talking of Sabbath, ‘Peregrine’ feels like one of those Tony Iommi instrumentals on “Master Of Reality”. It’s actually quite wonderful. Finally, ‘Silent Rift’ is over ten minutes of all that’s gone before, ramped up even higher. The pace is slow, there’s no haste, Spelljammer take their time and let the music grow and breathe.

The listener will also need to take their time and truly absorb this album. Stick on your ear goggles, turn the lights down low and bask in the inventiveness. “Abyssal Trip” is a record that’s been carefully composed and nurtured. The enjoyment here is in the journey and all its interwoven elements.

As we’re talking of jam, I’m reminded of an episode with my old Black Sabbath mates. We were at legendary Rockfield studios in Wales, and following a late night in the studio and an even later nights boozing, the band were relaxing on the lawns on a gorgeous summer day. Bill fell asleep on the grass, and Ozzy decided to take the remains of the strawberry jam from breakfast and smear it all over Bill’s beard.  Sure enough, ten minutes later, Bill woke with a scream – brushing wasps from his face. He jumped up and ran to a nearby pond, jumping in face first.  When he emerged, Bill looked like a Sasquatch. He spent days rubbing ointment on his face and was finding dead insects in his beard for ages.

‘Abyssal Trip’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Bellweather
02. Lake
03. Among The Holy
04. Abyssal Trip
05. Peregrine
06. Silent Rift

LINE-UP:
Niklas Olsson – Bass and Vocals)
Robert Sörling – Guitar
Jonatan Rimsbo – Drums

LINKS:

Spelljammer Promo Pic

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.

Ungraven/Slomatics – Split EP

Ungraven & Slomatics Split EP Cover Art

Ungraven/Slomatics – Split EP
Blackbow Records
Release date: 05/03/2021
Running time: 30:53
Review by Alun Jones
8/10

How did you spend your time during the pandemic? Did you learn a new language or a musical instrument? Did you get out there running, hammering marathons and getting super fit? Or, like most of us, did you hang on there by your finger nails, just about keeping it together and escaping the monotony? Well luckily for us, these two bands – Ungraven and Slomatics – decided to put their talents to creative use and deliver some music to keep us all sane in these bizarre times.

This is one EP, two bands and six songs in total. First off, we have Ungraven, who despite only being formed in 2019 feature musicians of fine pedigree: Jon Davis (Conan), David Ryley (Fudge Tunnel) and Tyler Hodges (Tuskar). ‘Defeat The Object’, their first offering, features a reliably sturdy riff to nod your head to. Next track, ‘Onwards She Rides To A Certain Death’ comes galloping out of the gates like an armour covered battle horse – it’s no nimble dressage, more like a cavalry charge into a frenzied battle. Ungraven’s final song, ‘Blackened Gates Of Eternity’, has a grinding intensity that has an industrial feel.

Slomatics pick up the baton and start off with the brutally heavy, atmospheric ‘Kaän’, which seems to move sideways rather than forwards. Slow and hefty, I’ve seen ox bow lakes form quicker than the pace of this monster. ‘Proto Hag’ follows a similar style, but you’ll be glad to learn that it’s even more intense. Slomatics have been building their reputation for some years now, and these tracks confirm their prominence. Their final song, ‘Monitors’ – probably my favourite on the whole EP, though I feel bad singling out one track – only pushes their reputation further. The music is almost trancelike, with a magnetic melodic element.

This split EP is dense and compelling. Both Ungraven and Slomatics impress with their conviction and integrity. The only down side is that approx. 31 minutes just isn’t enough. This is a very enjoyable starter, but it just makes me hunger for a full plate of whatever these two immense bands can serve up. Please sir, can I have some more?

TRACKLISTING:
01. Defeat The Object (Ungraven)
02. Onwards She Rides To A Certain Death (Ungraven)
03. Blackened Gates Of Eternity (Ungraven)
04. Kaän (Slomatics)
05. Proto Hag (Slomatics)
06. Monitors (Slomatics)

UNGRAVEN LINE-UP:
Jon Davis – Vocals
Tyler Hodges – Drums
David Ryley – Bass

SLOMATICS LINE-UP:
David – Guitars
Chris – Guitars
Marty – Drums, Vocals

UNGRAVEN LINKS:

SLOMATICS LINKS:

Ungraven & Slomatics Promo Pic (Slomatics pic credit Gerry Dollso)
(Slomatics pic credit Gerry Dollso)

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.

Barbarian Hermit – One Remastered

One Reissue Album Cover Art

Barbarian Hermit – One Remastered
APF Records
Release Date: 29/01/2021
Running time: 48:18
Review by Alun Jones
9.5/10

Writing these reviews for Ever Metal isn’t easy, you know. I’m sure I speak for the whole writing team when I say that we pour our heart and soul into all our prose. Each of us lives with the fear of the dreaded Writer’s Block, gnawing at our bones. So, I decided that my review of this reissue of the 2016 debut album by Barbarian Hermit, released by the mighty APF Records, would need some help.

But who could assist with such a task? Why none other than my old friend, Volkrugg the Decimator – barbarian warlord of Ages Long Forgotten. Of course: no-one is better qualified! And seeing as I’ve basically been a hermit for the last year, between us we should have it covered.

Take it away, Volkrugg…

“Greetings, people of the 21st Century! I am Volkrugg the Decimator – warlord of the Mist Realm, conqueror of the Thorspian cities, leader of the barbarian hordes of Vossk. My good friend, Al, has begged me for my musings concerning the recorded work of Barbarian Hermit, and lo – I shall render it unto thee with vicious glee!

“From the very start, these seven songs burst forth like an army of Ionian Thrask Vandals! They wield their war axes with vengeful power, surging down from the mountains on thundering hooves of hell. The brief respite of sometime calmer moods offer shelter from the maelstrom of war, yet always the majesty and power of conflict lurks temptingly!

“Verily, hearing these odes, I was mindful of my fallen brothers from glorious battles past – gone but ne’er forgotten, proudly drinking and brawling in Valhalla!”

There you go, I couldn’t have said it better myself. “One” is a great, sludgy, fuzzy celebration of relentless force and mesmerising intricacies. Both Volkrugg, his band of berserker warriors and myself are all big fans. You’d be a fool of mythic proportions to miss this album, and be warned – Volkrugg fed his last court jester to a tiger. Barbarian Hermit reviewed by a barbarian and a hermit – you can’t get a more honest opinion than that.

Through The Periscope Of The Deadly Sub (Audio)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Mermaid
02. Tigerhorse
03. Burn The Fire
04. Barbarian Enforcement Agency
05. Alma
06. Widowmaker
07. Through The Periscope Of The Deadly Sub (Bonus Track)

LINE-UP ON “ONE”:
Simon Scarlett – Vocals
Mike Regan – Guitars
Adam Robertshaw – Guitars
Chris Wood – Bass
Loz Brindley – Drums

LINKS:

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.

Wax Mekanix – Mobocracy

Mobocracy Album Cover Art

Wax Mekanix – Mobocracy
Electric Talon Records
Release Date: 20/11/2020
Running Time: 26:59
Review by Alun Jones
9/10

“Who the fuck is Wax Mekanix?” You may well ask. Who is this enigmatic troubadour, this mysterious master musician, who has concocted this art for us to absorb? Well, I’m not sure I can answer those questions, but I have done some research. A bit late, I know, as this album was first released back in November. But hey, I can’t be cutting edge all of the time. Sometimes a scribe such as I must admit that changes of seismic consequence occur without my usual omniscient vision. Hard to believe, I know.

And yet here we are. Six tracks of exploration and wonder that plough a beguiling path through musical genres, from classic hard rock to folky musings, with an added sprinkle of the unexpected and alternative.

If you want big full-on metal with groove, you’ll find it with ‘Blood In My Eyes’. Huge chants and choruses? Try the gladiatorial detonation of ‘Victorious’, where you’ll also witness Brandon Yeagley and Chris Bishop of the very awesome Crobot playing the funky, infectious riffs that they’re famed for.

Wax himself is something of a renaissance man: writing, singing and playing on all tracks. Possessing a voice that can change from a warm country croon to a caramel Maynard James Keenan earnestness to a classic Alice Cooper roar, Wax morphs easily from one to another. He’s like Mike Patton with a folk fixation, but dressed even more dapper.

‘Mad World’ is one of my favourite tracks here, starting off with some Mexican guitars before erupting in a NWOBHM stampede that also recalls The Crüe at their pop metal best.

The absolute highlight, though, is the final track ‘Black’. This song is all eerie acoustic guitar and minimal percussion, with a catchy melody that creates something hypnotic and other worldly. Despite also reminding me of Johnny Nice Painter form the Fast Show (do a Google) on the chorus, this song exudes atmosphere.

Although this album is a little short, there’s plenty to investigate. Listeners will be rewarded with additional revelations each time they delve into it.

When I first heard “Mobocracy”, I rated it as good. After a couple of listens, I’ve upgraded it to GREAT. A welcome amalgamation of styles and influences, as well as exemplary song writing and musicianship, don’t let the endeavours of Wax Mekanix pass you by. Who is Wax Mekanix? The real question should be: “What’s next?”

Speaking of wax, did I ever tell you about that time when Ozzy and I decided to do a séance with some candles he pilfered from some hippies? That did not end well. There’s a little B&B in Carlisle that still has scorch marks up the walls. Tony was not impressed in the slightest. And I still have a phobia of barbecues to this day.

‘Black’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Blood In My Eyes
02. Victorious
03. All Freaks
04. Mad World
05. Ghostland
06. Black

LINE-UP
Wax Mekanix – Lead and Backing vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Drums, Percussion (Tracks 1-6)
Lectriq – Backing vocals, Percussion (Tracks 1-6)
Brandon Yeagley – Backing vocals (Tracks 1-6)
Chris Bishop – Electric & Acoustic Guitars (Tracks 2, 3, 6)
Tom Altman – Guitar, Bass (Tracks 1, 2 , 3, 5)
Wendell PoPs Sewell – Guitar, Bass (Tracks 1, 2, 3, 5)
John Hazel – Guitar, Bass (Track 4)
Raje Shwari – Backing vocals (Track 3)
M11SON – Backing vocals (Track 2)
Tommy Conwell – Backing vocals (Track 2)
Nataliya Odud – Backing vocals (Track 2)
Eli Goldman – Backing Vocals (Track 2)

LINKS:

Wax Mekanix Promo Pic

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.

Bloody Hammers – Songs Of Unspeakable… Terror

Songs Of Unspeakable... Terror Album Cover Art

Bloody Hammers – Songs Of Unspeakable… Terror
Napalm Records
Release Date: 15/01/2021
Running Time: 32:13
Review by Alun Jones
8.5/10

Outside, the nights are starting to get lighter and Spring is on its merry way. The birds chirp merrily and warmth is returning to the land. Which is completely inappropriate for a review of the new album by Bloody Hammers, “Songs Of Unspeakable Terror”. It should be Halloween instead: gloomy and dark with the bizarre and uncanny just outside your door.

Anders Manga (vocals, guitars, bass) and Devallia (keyboards/organ) are the Morticia and Gomez husband and wife team behind Bloody Hammers, a metal/rock/goth creation based in Transylvania county, North Carolina. How’s that for an address? Bet Glenn Danzig’s crying into his Count Chocula cereal.

On this opus, Lily and Herman have left behind their previous established sound of Alice Cooper-style hard rock, crunchy metal and Sisters of Mercy atmos. Entombed alive due to the pandemic, Bloody Hammers have exhumed the bloody corpse of horror punk, in a temporary tribute to the genre.

And it’s huge fun! Fast and furious tracks like ‘Night To Dismember’ and ‘Waking The Dead’ rocket from the crypt like the hounds of hell are on their tail. Huge “whoa-oh” Misfits choruses are of course present and correct. Rousing and energetic, these songs are obvious but loving celebrations of influences that have only been hinted at on previous albums.

There’s macabre melody on ‘We Are The Damned’, with a choir vocal effect to help power the camp horror feel. ‘Hands Of The Ripper’ and ‘Not Of This Earth’ are slower, more metal sounding with a grinding riff.

Little of the occasional Andrew Eldritch explorations exist on “Songs Of Unspeakable Terror”, though ‘Lucifers Light’ unites guitar and keys into a moody Danzig like ballad. A little more of this approach would still have fitted perfectly, however. I don’t know if Devallia can sing, but if she can this was a missed opportunity.

The listener never feels too far removed from the original Bloody Hammers style, however. Likewise, this isn’t a simple, derivative rip-off of “Walk Among Us”, even though ‘The Brain That Wouldn’t Die’ is a nice radioactive “Hatebreeders” mutation. But whereas the Misfits took their inspiration from monochrome B-movies, Bloody Hammers have changed gears to a Kensington gore-drenched 60’s Technicolor horror fest.

“Songs Of Unspeakable Terror” is an album of pure enjoyment, which is just what we need right now. With song titles taken directly from classic Hammer/Amicus movies, a warm rediscovery of horror punk style and some familiar Bloody Hammers rock, you can’t go wrong. Go dig out your Halloween fancy dress, find your “Plan 9 From Outer Space” VHS cassette and get ready for a ghouls night in!

‘A Night To Dismember’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. A Night To Dismember
02. Hands Of The Ripper
03. Witchfinder General
04. Not Of This Earth
05. The Ones Who Own The Dark
06. Waking The Dead
07. Night Of The Witch
08. We Are The Damned
09. The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
10. Lucifer’s Light
11. I Spit On Your Corpse

LINE-UP
Anders Manga – Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Devallia – Keyboards/Organ

LINKS:

Bloody Hammers Promo Pic (Photo Credit Courtesy Of Bloody Hammers)
Courtesy Of Bloody Hammers

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.

Here Lies Man – Ritual Divination

Ritual Divination Album Cover Art

Here Lies Man – Ritual Divination
RidingEasy Records
Release Date: 22/01/2021
Running time: 61:00
Review by Alun Jones
8.5/10

OK: we have something very interesting here. Something quite special. Apparently, this is the fourth album from Here Lies Man, so I’ve got some catching up to do. The bands unique selling point is their amalgamation of Black Sabbath with Afrobeat, and it’s a refreshing interpretation of a genre that continues to morph and bewitch the listener.

On this release, founding members Marcos Garcia (vocals/guitar) and Geoff Mann (drums) are joined by Doug Organ on keyboards and JP Maramba on bass. Here Lies Man devoutly worship the riff in full-on Iommi style, but they’re piloting their space vessel on an exploratory course into previously uncharted galaxies.

Yes, there are chunky, heavy guitar riffs galore – but with a stroke of mad scientist genius the rhythms power the engine with a new force. Tracks like ‘I Wander’, ‘Night Comes’ and album highlight ‘Can’t Kill It’ don’t just rock, they don’t just groove: there’s something – dare I say it – danceable in the songs on “Ritual Divination”. So much so, that I might just have to go and shake my not inconsiderable booty right now.

There…that’s better. Just had to groove on out there, people – but I’m back now. Here Lies Man have crafted something very infectious. Snippets of 70’s style heavy rock (‘Collector Of Vanities’), dizzy space rock (‘In These Dreams’) and incessant beats (everywhere) create something that’s heavy AND fun.

If I have one criticism, it’s that the album feels slightly too long. All this inventiveness is sometimes hard to keep up with, despite its addictive nature. Over time, however, I’m guessing the additional length of the recording will probably deliver greater rewards.

“Ritual Divination” by Here Lies Man: boldly rocking where no one has rocked before.

My old mates in Black Sabbath used to enjoy going off in random directions, too (usually because of the, er…substances). One time, Bill Ward decided to play yet another prank on diminutive vocal god Ronnie James Dio by taking an axe to all the furniture in Ron’s hotel room and hacking off eight inches from the bottom of everything, to make it all smaller. Chair legs, table legs, bed – the lot. Moved the pictures – and the mirror on the wall – lower down by a foot, etc etc.

When Ronnie arrived, not only did he not get the joke, he really didn’t get the joke at all. He thought it was a special room for the vertically challenged, congratulated the Hotel Manager and gave me a big cash bonus for booking him such a fabulous room. Cheers, Bill!

TRACKLISTING:
01. In These Dreams
02. I Told You (You Shall Die)
03. Underland
04. What You See
05. Can’t Kill It
06. Run Away Children
07. I Wander
08. Night Comes
09. Come Inside
10. Collector Of Vanities
11. Disappointed
12. You Would Not See From Heaven
13. The Fates Have Won
14. Out Goes The Night
15. Cutting Through The Tether

LINE-UP:
Marcos Garcia – Vocals, Guitar
Geoff Mann – Drums
Doug Organ – Keyboards
JP Maramba – Bass

LINKS:

Here Lies Man Promo Pic

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.

Son Of Boar – Son Of Boar

Son Of Boar Album Cover Art

Son Of Boar – Son Of Boar
Stoned Rocka Recordings
Release Date: 02/04/2021
Running Time: 31:10
Review by Alun Jones
9/10

Well, here we are then. The debut album from Bradford based sonic butchers, Son of Boar. And yes, I am quite excited about this release. There are long lost civilisations existing in the South American jungle that, despite having no contact with the outside world, are aware that your pal, Platinum Al, has been desperate to hear this cacophonous compendium for some time.

So, is it any good? Well yeah, obviously. But just what kind of good I shall reveal.

There are five tracks on this eponymous release, across which Son of Boar attempt to cover as much ground as possible. Yes, this is Stoner Doom – it is heavy, it has groove, it has a windswept musical vista that is both fierce and welcoming.

I’ve already reviewed first track, ‘Stoned Wail’, when it was released as a single a while ago. This mix is punchier though, and still satisfying regardless of any familiarity. The calm wash of ocean waves accompanies a benign introduction; until, just over two minutes in, the full electric muscle of the band is released. SOB hit their groove and plough relentlessly on, whilst vocalist Luke roars about some sweet girl called Mary. I don’t know who Mary is, but she seems like a nice, compassionate lady.

The slow sludge of song number one is contrasted by ‘All In Your Head’, where SOB pick up the pace and gallop home with a Kyuss covering Maiden flourish. Great rhythm work from Gaz (bass) and Luke D (drums). ‘Satanic Panic’ then devolves brilliantly into the sort of the Corrosion of Conformity style Sabbath worship that enthralled James Hetfield. Powerful, even graceful, but remorseless.

‘Snakes And Daggers’ reminds me of Motorhead played too slow (33rpm not 45, for the fossils out there). Here the pace varies, with a great, almost psychedelic melodic swash emerging like a surprise visit from a long-lost drinking buddy. Then your old pal gets stinking drunk and kicks off in the taxi rank, and you’re desperately clutching your kebab in puzzlement. What?

You should listen to ‘Cities Of The Deadeyed Priestess’ just because it’s a genius song title. It also has some bizarro samples that I need to investigate. Musically, this is another brutal head crusher: meat and potatoes riffs and fine melodic hues courtesy of guitarists Lyndon and Adam.

And there you have it: five songs, one debut album. A fine band; they’re awesome live, have the best t-shirt designs I’ve seen in donkeys and are creating a real sense of cult-like, underground authenticity that is addictive. If I could afford to buy a copy of this album for everyone reading this review, I would. Even that weirdo at the back.

And Son of Boar have only just begun their journey…

TRACKLISTING:
01. Stoned Wail
02. All In Your Head
03. Satanic Panic
04. Snakes And Daggers
05. Cities Of The Deadeyed Priestess

LINE-UP
Luke Oliver – Vocals
Adam Waddell – Guitar
Lyndon Birchall – Guitar
Gaz Bates – Bass
Luke Doran – Drums

LINKS:

Son Of Boar Promo Pic

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.