Misty Grey – Chapter II

Misty Grey Chapter II cover art

Misty Grey – Chapter II
Interstellar Smoke Records
Release Date: 20 November 2020
Running Time: 37:51
Review by Alun Jones
9/10

Can you think of a more apt genre than doom metal for the times we live in? It’s crazy out there. From a global pandemic, civil unrest, ecological destruction and lunatics on the most powerful seats in the world, the 21st century becomes more and more apocalyptic day by day. Party music doesn’t seem right. On the other hand, the retro stylings of bands like Misty Grey hark back to cosier times of the seventies and eighties when we just had nuclear destruction – and yet more lunatics in power – to contend with.

Misty Grey is not the name of a US mattress actress (don’t bother Googling it, just in case), they are in fact a four-piece doom metal band from Spain. They deal in extremely authentic, good old fashioned heavy rock in the Black Sabbath/Pentagram/Saint Vitus vein. We’re in thundering, enormo riff territory, and by ‘eck it’s good stuff.

Originally receiving a CD release back in 2018, “Chapter II” is now available on vinyl from Interstellar Smoke Records. And a very welcome re-release it is, as “Chapter II” could well have been lost in an Atlantean cataclysm of some type, which would be shameful.

Deceptively pretty Spanish guitar opens the album with a laid-back space-jazz feel, before ‘Spellbound’ erupts with Juan’s raw, grinding guitar. The chugging riff is illustrative of what to expect from this album; it’s Iommi worship all the way (and bless Misty Grey for it).

If that first track is the first Sabbath album, ‘Strangers On A Train’ is a missing Masters of Reality cut. It rolls and grooves along, powered by Robin’s bass and Javi’s drums. On the other hand, ‘Rebecca’ is more like The Obsessed or Saint Vitus, there’s a rough, organic, yet aggressive feel to it.

The musicianship is great, the production has atmosphere and pays homage in a credible, affectionate manner to the band’s influences – without becoming a parody. The vocals of Beatriz Castillo really help define an individual sound for Misty Grey, she is both tender and terrifying in equal, devastating measure.

I apologise to the band for my crass comparisons to the old masters. But hey, I don’t listen to this type of music for radical innovation. The last thing anyone wants to hear is some kind of nu-doom, with samplers and turntables. Keep it slow, keep it weird, keep it trippy – but most of all, keep it riffy. Heavy, repetitive and riffy. Misty Grey do just that on “Chapter II” and it’s all kinds of awesome.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Spellbound
02. Strangers on a Train
03. Psycho Vox
04. Rebecca
05. Frenzy
06. The Wrong Man
07. Among the Dead

LINE-UP:
Juan – Guitar
Javi – Drums
Robin – Bass
Beatriz Castillo – Vocals

LINKS:

Check out our EMQ’s interview with Misty Grey

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.

Alun’s Top Ten Releases Of 2020

Alun’s Top Ten Releases Of 2020
By Alun Jones

Hi Everyone, Rick Here
Here are Alun’s top ten releases of 2020. I’d just like to thank him for all the reviews he has submitted throughout the year and also for his help at Pentre Fest, back in February, before the world went to shit and all gigs/festivals stopped! Thanks Al.

10. The Goners – Good Mourning (March 2020)

www.facebook.com/thegonestgoners

“Good Mourning” (Official Album Stream)


9. Supersuckers – Play That Rock N’ Roll (February 2020)

www.facebook.com/supersuckers

‘Play That Rock N’ Roll’ (Audio Track)


8. Testament – Titans Of Creation (April 2020)

www.facebook.com/testamentlegions

‘Children Of The Next Level’ (Official Video)


7. Weed Demon – Crater Maker (April 2020)

www.facebook.com/weeddemonsludge

‘Serpent Merchant’ (Audio)


6. The Atomic Bitchwax – Scorpio (August 2020)

www.facebook.com/The-Atomic-Bitchwax-86002001659

‘Scorpio’ (Official Video)


5. Volcanova – Radical Waves (August 2020)

www.facebook.com/volcanova

‘Super Duper Van’ (Official Video)


4. The Brothers Keg – Folklore, Myths & Legends of the Brothers Keg (September 2020)

www.facebook.com/thebrotherskeg

‘Moorsmen’ (Official Video)


3. Son of Boar – Stoned Wail EP (June 2020)

www.facebook.com/SonOBoar

‘Stoned Wail’ (Audio)


2. Desert Storm – Omens (May 2020)

www.facebook.com/desertstormuk

‘Black Bile’ (Official Video)


1. AC/DC – Power Up (November 2020)

www.facebook.com/acdc

‘Demon Fire’ (Official Video)


To read the original reviews, were available, follow these 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.

Interview with Ryuko

Interview with Ryuko
By: Alun Jones

“Grandpa, what’s a gig?”

“Well son, a gig was what we used to call a band playing live music, in front of an audience.”

“What, people watching musicians play their instruments? Crazy!”

“I know it seems like a strange idea to you youngsters, but it used to be a fantastic experience. Actually being able to gather with friends and strangers to enjoy hearing music. It was another world.”

That’s what the situation seems like right now: no gigs, no gatherings for entertainment – the old days sometimes feel like a lifetime ago. At least it seemed a whole different world back in February 2020, before the pandemic, when I caught up with Chester based band Ryuko at Pentre Fest.

The three piece – comprising The Bobfather (guitars/vocals), Captain Andy (bass) and MattMan (drums) were something of an anomaly at the metal-centric Pentre Fest.  Not that Ryuko don’t rock out, but their brand of punky, alternative rock was a little different from the other bands on show. I found their style of honest, yet far from pretentious rock’n’roll refreshing and it added a vital tone to the proceedings.

Post gig, I caught up with the band to pose some questions and contemplate the meaning of life.

Alun: First off, the cliched yet crucial discussion on influences:

Bob: It’s weird, ‘cos we’ve got influences from all over. If you listen to one of our sets, it has stages: it starts off punky, then it goes alternative rock. Then it goes a little metal/grungy, then back to punk at the end.

Matt: Drop D then back to punk! I’m a huge fan of Motorhead and Metallica, the list goes on, so me being the drummer, I was always doing these thrash beats. To go from that to stepping into this, this was more fun to me. I really enjoy myself when I’m behind the kit with these guys.

Bob: When I write the songs, I listen to quite a broad variety of music, so I think that becomes apparent in my songs. I don’t like to write the same song twice. As far as when I started out, I would say when I was a teenager, I first started listening to Nirvana, Carter USM. I also drew influences from a lot of electro – The Prodigy and stuff like that – so sometimes I’d try and work out how to play dance songs on a guitar. And then that would give me the influence to write more interesting songs. I like to try and fuse a bunch of different genres together, make it more interesting.

Andy: I listen to a lot of Neil Young; I think he’s a very diverse artist. He’s done folk, he’s also done electric stuff.

Alun: How do you promote yourselves?

Matt: I’m more into social media than these guys are. We’re promoting ourselves on Facebook, we’re gonna make a new YouTube account. That’s kind of going up and down at the moment…

Bob: We don’t know how to work it!

Alun: Where does the name Ryuko come from?

Bob: I’m really into anime and all things Japanese, Japanese music…At the time I was watching an anime called Kill la Kill. The main character is called Ryuko Matoi and I just thought it was a really cool name. Some really fun facts: Ryuko is one of the least popular names in Japan. It basically means “rebirth”, start over. So, I thought, we’re starting again, it’s a really cool name.

Andy: Well, it’s not a cool name in Japan, is it?

Bob: It’s cool to me! I think it’s cool!

Andy: I do wish we’d chosen a name that’s easier to spell and pronounce.

Bob: People can never say it.

Alun: Your cover of the Madness classic ‘Baggy Trousers’ tonight was a surprising choice, but great!

Matt: We decided to spruce that up to make it ours. The original is completely different to how I play it, I add extra little bits just to make it more funky.

Alun: Do you feel you’ve got the right band dynamic between the three of you?

Bob: We’re pretty good as we are. More people add more complications cos you’ve got to think – are they free; do they drive, are they going to be available…

Matt: I’ve got a son, he’s 9, we discuss upcoming gigs before we agree to it. If I’ve got my son and he comes along with us, if he’s allowed in the venue we play – he’s got his little ear defenders, he just sits in the corner and watches us or plays his game.

Bob: I’ve got three jobs…

Alun: Sounds like a positive environment to work in.

All: It’s got to be positive, if it’s not it just doesn’t work. If no-one’s happy, nothing gets done.

Alun: So, what’s next? What are your plans?

Bob: World domination!  One step at a time…

Andy: We’ve been working on re-doing our EP, we’ve been recording on and off. Recording, playing as many gigs as we can.

And there you have it: an enjoyable chat with the gentlemen of Ryuko. Make sure you check them out live, as and when we can return to the experience of live music. If grungy, punky alt rock with some metallic crunch is your thing, then Ryuko will be just the antidote you need in these dreary times.

With apologies to Ryuko, who have waited months for this interview to see the light of day.

Check the band out here:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Various Artists – Brown Acid: The Eleventh Trip

Various Artists – Brown Acid: The Eleventh Trip
RidingEasy Records
Release Date: 31/10/2020
Running Time: 32:42
Review by Alun Jones
8/10

One of the best things about the Brown Acid series is imagining the alternate reality where these songs, long forgotten in the mists of rock’n’roll legend, actually attained the success so many of them deserve. A world where these long-lost bands are as equally revered as BÖC, Grand Funk or the MC5. The same world, probably, where Lemmy’s still alive, Trump never got near the White House and the last Star Wars film came out in 1983.

But maybe that’s just me. What I do know, is that the Brown Acid series from RidingEasy Records offers up another batch of ten proto heavy rockers that have been excavated from the depths of memory and given new purpose. Lovingly curated and nursed back to life; then unleashed upon a musical landscape that didn’t know it needed the songs, but by Jimi – we’re thankful for them.

The first track on this compilation, ‘Something Else’ by Adam Wind, didn’t flip my switch much at first. After a couple of plays, however, the Hendrix style guitar frenzy did the trick. Then the marvellously named Grump rock out with ‘I’ll Give You Love’, reminiscent of the mighty Steppenwolf with skronky organs and scratchy guitar.

‘Diamond Lady’ from Larry Lynn is a fantastic punchy, psychedelic number. Then midway through the album, we get ‘In Wyrd’ by Renaissance Fare. This track sounds like the Doors being particularly annoying when they’re on the wrong drugs. Thankfully, at under 3 minutes, it avoids some of Jimbo and pals’ lengthier exasperations; it’s the only challenge on an otherwise album of rock’n’roll killers.

My highlight of the collection is ‘Just Can’t Say’ by Day Break – a boogie influenced groover with desert rock swagger. Debb Johnson contribute ‘Dancing In The Ruin’, which packs Stax style brass to great effect, and finally Crazy Jerry rounds things off with the riff-tastic ‘Every Girl Gets One’.

The Eleventh Trip in this series continues to surprise and entertain. It’s a compilation that’s so solid you’d need a forklift to move it. Dig out your flares and love beads, heat up the lava lamp – it’s party time again!

By the way, I invented the term “skronky organs” and I’m trademarking it.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Adam Wind – Something Else
02. Grump – I’ll Give You Love
03. Bagshot Row – Turtle Wax Blues
04. Larry Lynn – Diamond Lady
05. Renaissance Fair – In Wyrd
06. Zendik – Mom’s Apple Pie Boy
07. Day Break – Just Can’t Say
08. West Minist’r – I Want You
09. Debb Johnson – Dancing in the Ruin
10. Crazy Jerry – Every Girl Gets One

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.

The Gates Of Slumber – Live In Tempe Arizona

The Gates Of Slumber – Live In Tempe Arizona
Self-Released
Release Date: 28/02/2020
Running Time: 37:40
Review by Alun Jones
8/10

Right then, who’s up for some big, fat riffs played at a crawling, slow pace? You know I am. Never more ready. So, let’s plunge in and have a listen to this live opus from The Gates Of Slumber! I can promise you that TGOS not only have one of the best band names ever invented – they also do magnificently heavy, Sabbath influenced doom.

This gig was recorded live at the Clubhouse, in Tempe, Arizona – back in 2011, supporting the mighty Orange Goblin. You can almost feel the heat and smell the beer at the venue on this recording.

Starting out with ‘Bastards Born’, the riff is slow and menacing, with mournful vocals. Second track ‘Ice Worm’ ups the tempo a little, with a chugging groove. The highlight of the album is possibly the gloomy ‘Day Of Farwell’, which is allowed to breathe and sprawl, featuring some spellbinding guitar. ‘Coven Of Cain’ rocks out, before the band slow down to a monolithic pace for ‘The Wretch’.  Moving those stones from South Wales to Salisbury to create Stonehenge was probably faster. Finally, the band are at their most Sabbath with the crunching ‘The Jury’.

Audience reaction is very low in the mix, and the sound is very clear, with no studio or soundboard trickery. What the listener is left with is a very honest representation of The Gates Of Slumber – those guitars and drums are free to go straight for the jugular. It might not be the sort of album that will blow the mind of the casual listener, but for anyone who’s schooled in the melancholy beauty of Saint Vitus and The Obsessed, this is a short but sweet treat.

Will that do for the review, guys? I’m knackered myself after last night. I wasn’t partying with Ozzy and Slash again, honest. I was up all night with Brian May, going on about his bloody astronomy. “Really Brian? That is fascinating. You don’t say? Yawn.” Didn’t get a wink of sleep.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Bastards Born
02. Ice Worm
03. Day Of Farewell
04. Coven Of Cain
05. The Wretch
06. The Jury

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.

Moths/The Stone Eye – Split EP

Moths/The Stone Eye – Split EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 21/08/2020
Running Time: 25:34
Review by Alun Jones
8/10

Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. Which is why I like to mix my drinks. And my strippers. Why stick to just one, when you can explore everything life has to offer? This split EP offers two bands and four tracks in total, showcasing a considerable amount of musical diversity and talent.

First up is Puerto Rican band Moths, with their track ‘Intervention’. Beginning deceptively calm, restrained and quite beautiful, it soon builds and descends from a chunky stoner riff. And then, at pretty much the halfway mark, ‘Intervention’ erupts into a full-on aggressive growl fest, though still portraying an adept progressive spirit.

The meandering intrigue of the opening track is followed by a less surprising cover of the Black Sabbath classic ‘Hand of Doom’. A great song, but I was hoping for more original material or an unusual cover. No fear though, Moths inject the Sabs tune with plenty of atmosphere, the powerhouse vocals of Damaris Rodriguez helping to make their own mark on the song. Not easy with a genuine metal standard like this, Moths have the class to pull it off.

Then it’s over to The Stone Eye, for their track ‘Prescence of the Mind’. These guys are from Philadelphia, PA in the USA. A little harder to pin a style on, they journey on a stoner path that adds in psychedelic detours akin to some of the best 90’s alternative rock – but never abandoning a gutsy garage rock swagger.

A cover of the old trad ballad ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ is next from The Stone Eye. Delivered in a bluesy style, it contrasts nicely with the other songs. It both delights and begs for another play.

And there you have it: four songs, different in style but each displaying a sound that seems to well define both bands. An excellent endeavour from both Moths and The Stoned Eye, you’d be well rewarded in tracking this down.

And while we’re on the subject of moths: Glenn Danzig – remember him? Singer/visionary with the Misfits, Samhain, and of course, Danzig. Body builder, martial arts master and expert on the occult. Scared to death of moths, I shit you not. Always running around with his hands over his face, hiding under tables if there was one around. Eventually, I learned to calm Glenn down by telling him that moths were simply goth butterflies. Amazingly, it worked.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Moths – Intervention
02. Moths – Hand of Doom
03. The Stone Eye – Prescence of Mind
04. The Stone Eye – Wayfaring Stranger

MOTHS LINE-UP:
Damaris Rodríguez – Vocals
Jonathan Miranda – Guitars
Omar González – Guitars
Weslie Negrón – Bass
Daniel Figueroa – Drums

MOTHS LINKS:

THE STONE EYE LINE-UP:
Stephen Burdick – Guitar, Vocals, Bass (Track 2)
Jeremiah Bertin – Percussion
Christian Mechem – Guitar, Vocals (Track 1)
Wolfgang Noll – Bass (Track 1)

THE STONE EYE 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.

The Brothers Keg – Folklore, Myths And Legends Of The Brothers Keg

The Brothers Keg – Folklore, Myths And Legends Of The Brothers Keg
APF Records
Release Date: 11/09/2020
Running Time: 43:45
Review by Alun Jones
9.5/10

And lo, the ancient seers have foretold of the coming of the Brothers Keg. Anticipation building slowly, the wise masters of APF Records have foretold a fortuitous event, something that would elate the masses and bring joyous union to the land. At least it feels that way! Old Al can’t be the only one who’s been expecting something special with this release?

The Brothers Keg are a three-piece band from London way, comprising Tom Fyfe on drums, Tom Hobson on guitar and vocals and Paul Rosser on bass/vocals. Together, their music is colossal stoner/doom with a huge sound, massive ambition, and a fine angle on self-mythologising. The result is an album so epic, so over the top, and downright fun, that the Brothers deserve every ounce of assured swagger that they no doubt possess.

Tom Hobson himself describes the sound as “HP Lovecraft meets Queen’s ‘Flash Gordon’ listening to Jeff Wayne’s ‘War of the Worldsat the wrong speed, smoking a medieval spliff dipped in poppers.” That’s this review written really – do I need to sell this any harder to you?!

If you need more persuasion, imagine a cult sci-fi fantasy B-movie soundtrack featuring spoken word narration and bludgeoning riffs, and you’re halfway there. Tracks like ‘Moorsmen’, and ‘The Army Of The Thirsty Blade Approaches’, are skull splittingly mighty, generating a genuine feeling of excitement.

‘No Earthly Form’, and ‘Brahman’ have it all: heavy guitar and pounding rhythm; countered with atmospheric psychedelia that the listener can absorb like a movie. ‘Brahman’ is nearly 13 minutes of music that doesn’t outstay it’s welcome: from meditative chanting, a killer stoner riff, and washes of acid-soaked guitars creating a spacious landscape.

The narration adds to the band’s mystique without being cheesy or silly. Yes, it’s all ridiculously good fun – but the sheer weight of musical invention adds up to something exceptional. Add in some glorious cover artwork (that looks like a cyborg He-Man pursued by a demented Skeletor) and “Folklore, Myths And Legends Of The Brothers Keg” possesses an undeniable charisma. I want the vinyl, the t-shirt, the poster – I want everything! Hell, I want Brothers Keg action figures (with weapons and musical accessories, features small parts, ages 3 and up) and I want them NOW!

Another contender for album of the year? You betcha.

Of course, the Brothers Keg aren’t the only famous brothers in rock. Those crazy Van Halen boys are two of my favourites – oh, I used to have some wild times with them. Like the time they pulled the thread out of the crotch of David Lee Roth’s pants, so when he performed one of his patented scissor jumps – the pants split, and Diamond Dave’s family jewels were revealed for all. You didn’t need to be in the front row to see it everything, I can tell you.

Dave had his revenge at a later gig, though. Backstage, he switched out the blue M&Ms in a complimentary dish for laxative pills; Eddie’s tight white trousers were not a pleasant site at all that night. Now you know why their rider has always stipulated the blue M&Ms are removed ever since…

TRACKLISTING:
01. Moorsmen
02. From the Records of Arthur Shnee
03. No Earthly Form
04. The Ice Melteth
05. Introducing the Brothers Keg
06. Brahman
07. The Army of the Thirsty Blade Approaches
08. Castle Keg
09. Epilogue

LINE-UP
Tom Fyfe – Drums
Tom Hobson – Guitar/Vocals
Paul Rosser – Bass/Vocals

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.

WINO – Forever Gone

WINO – Forever Gone
Ripple Music
Release Date: 26/06/2020
Running Time: 46 mins
Review by Alun Jones
8/10

Who remembers that old TV programme, The Fall Guy? You know, the one where the Six Million Dollar Man becomes a stuntman/bounty hunter, getting into all kinds of daredevil scrapes whilst pursuing the bad guys? At the end of every episode, old Lee Majors (for it was he) would be seen chilling in his backyard hot tub, mulling over events whilst drinking a cold beer and smoking a big, fat cigar.

Well let it be known that I, too, like to relax in the tub with a beer after a long, hard day of whatever-the-fuck-it-is-I-do. None of your business, really. Just take it from me, I need to unwind in a mass of bubble bath, with candles and refreshment. And of course, some music, just to add to the ambience.

This might not sound very metal to you, but let me tell ya: this new album from doom metal originator Scott “Wino” Weinrich would make ideal tunes for chilling in the tub. Or pondering lost loves and fortunes in a dusty bar. Or sound tracking a lonely drive across the desert, escaping an inevitable encounter. But to be honest, I like the bathtub metaphor best, ‘cos I’ve not used it before.

‘Forever Gone’ is stripped down and intimate; the title song itself is just Wino the man, plus acoustic guitar. Beautifully melancholic, the listener can really get lost in this. ‘Taken’ also ploughs a lonesome path, with Wino’s voice revealing a soulfulness that I’d never appreciated before.

For any fans of The Obsessed or Saint Vitus who were hoping for something louder and more aggressive, there’s not too much of a leap from familiar ground really. Other than the sonics, the emotions of loss and despair are what unifies Wino’s other output to this endeavour. ‘Dark Ravine’ brings a more Americana style to the proceedings, but it’s all still intense as hell, whether the guitars are turned right up or not.

It’s not all gloom, though: ‘You’re So Fine’ introduces a laid back, country blues number that sounds almost boogie-ish. Throw in a great cover of Joy Division’s ‘Isolation’ and this is an album that’s certainly full of surprises.

Great music can create images in your head for your own movie; “Forever Gone” is one of those. Melodic yet mournful, intense and introspective, there are dozens of stories to be told within the grooves of this record.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Forever Gone
02. Taken
03. The Song’s at the Bottom of the Bottle
04. No Wrong
05. Dark Ravine
06. Dead Yesterday
07. You’re So Fine
08. Crystal Madonna
09. Lavender and Sage
010. Was Is and Shall Be
11. Isolation

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/ScottWeinrich/
www.twitter.com/scottweinrich
www.scottwinoweinrich.bandcamp.com/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/6vP6pVpKHwEFO4wX9eT4cv

www.ripple-music.com/
www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
www.ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
www.en.ripple.spkr.media/

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.

The Goners – Good Mourning

The Goners – Good Mourning
RidingEasy Records
Release Date: 13/03/2020
Running Time: 41:37
Review by Alun Jones
8.5/10

This little beauty threw off it’s shackles and ran for the hills, almost without me noticing. I’m blaming the societal breakdown caused by Corona virus, obviously not an oversight on my part. No, sir. “Good Mourning” – the debut album from The Goners – was released back in March 2020; just before the world turned into a 1970’s Charlton Heston dystopian sci-fi movie.

The Goners are comprised of Nate Gone – formerly of Salem’s Pot – on vocals, with four dudes from Swedish rock band Yvonne. “Good Mourning” is a throw-back to zoned-out good times and bizarro occult rock, with absolutely no regret the morning after.

First song ‘Are You Gone Yet’ sets the pace nicely: fuzzy 60’s garage rock with a proto metal ferocity. With the next track, ‘High, Low And Never In Between’, the Goners throw in more of their other specialty – 70’s doom with groovy, care-free freak outs.

Wonderfully out of time, this retro feast also sounds totally now. You can throw this on your portable music system and liven up any social gathering (so long as you stay far enough apart). Press play and jump around all crazy-style to ‘Evil (Is Not Enough)’ and ‘The Little Blue’ – this is Black Sabbath if they were a Stones cover band.

Plus – and this seals the deal – a couple of fine, desert bleached songs in ‘Good Ol’ Death’ and ‘Dead In The Saddle’ that rattle with a dread atmosphere. Absolutely essential for your next David Lynch/rockabilly/goth themed horror party.

“Good Mourning” by The Goners, then: if you’re a werewolf biker trapped in a cursed world you never made, but like to let your scraggy hair down with chicks from a Russ Meyer movie – this is for you. Great cover art, too.

I’ve thought I was a goner myself, on a few occasions: most of them involving my old mucker Ozzy Osbourne. One time, we were drinking in a golf club in LA and got thrown out, as you can imagine.  So, Ozzy decided to go for a joyride in a golf buggy, with me on shotgun. He was flooring it, but we were only going at a jogging pace, so the golfers soon caught us up and were ready to brain us with their hitty-stick things.

All of a sudden, Oz drove the buggy over a hill and we toppled into a sand dune (bunker?). We were lucky we were thrown clear and the buggy just managed to avoid crushing the pair of us. The golfers took pity and consoled us with a nice brandy in the clubhouse. Till the cops turned up, and dragged Ozzy and me off to jail. The whole time, we were both wearing Sharon’s dresses.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Are You Gone Yet
02. High, Low and Never In Between
03. World Of Decay
04. Evil (Is Not Enough)
05. Good Ol’ Death
06. The Sickening
07. Down and Out
08. You Better Run
09. The Little Blue
10 Dead In The Saddle (Dead Moon)

LINE-UP:
Nate Gone
Mick Dagger
Vic Odin
Timo Tinto
Grave Dave

LINKS:
www.thegonestgoners.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/thegonestgoners/
www.instagram.com/thegonestgoners/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/6Sm7cJ4MVMohAkynq7uEhS
www.ridingeasyrecs.com/

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.

Firewind – Firewind

Firewind – Firewind
AFM Records
Release Date: 15/05/2020
Running time: 47:27
Review by Alun Jones
7.5/10

We all make mistakes. Some of us blunder all the time, and the consequence of those slip-ups can be catastrophic. And some of us don’t like to admit when we’re wrong.

Confession time: I volunteered to review this Firewind album because I got them mixed up with another band with “fire” in the name (or possibly a couple). I was slightly mortified when I realised that this band weren’t what I was expecting: none of the sludgy comfort blanket that I usually wrap my ears in.

(I did wonder why Alun picked this but as Firewind are superb and contain a bona fide guitar god in Gus G then I decided not to mention it – Rick-Ed)

Firewind are – Zeus help me – a melodic, power metal band. Not a corner of metal that I’m particularly well versed in, or a fan of. I fucking hate Helloween, for a start. And Queensrÿche. And fucking Europe. This was going to be a challenge.

Yet your old pal Al is nothing if not a trooper. They’re (partially) Greek, which intrigued me being a huge fan of the country. I plunged into this assignment with an open mind – and do you know what? This isn’t bad at all. In fact, I quite enjoyed it.

Opening track ‘Welcome To The Empire’ begins with some fine acoustic guitar before erupting into a big, bombastic rock monster. It is, like most of the album, totally over the top – but also loads of fist pumping fun. This ain’t pop music. It’s fast and powerful (see ‘Devour’), and while not quite as brutal as my usual preferences, packs a mighty wallop.

The musicianship is exemplary. Guitar genius Gus G has plenty of flair, but can throw out some crushing, crunchy riffs when required: ‘Rising Fire’ and ‘Space Cowboy’ being  two great examples. Fast, flashy solos ain’t my scene, but there’s plenty of chugging metal to keep me interested.

The rhythm section – Petros Christo (bass) and Jo Nunez (drums) go beyond textbook and play excellently throughout the album. Give ‘Orbitual Sunrise’ and ‘Overdrive’ a go for evidence…

Vocals provided by new singer Herbie Langhans are dramatic, in a typically Teutonic fashion. This guy is straight out of a Wagnerian epic; despite being somewhat more operatic than I’m used to, he can certainly belt it out. On every single song.

Sorry to disappoint any readers who thought they might actually read a less than positive review from yours truly. Firewind isn’t my usual cup of absinthe with opium chaser, but I found it very easy to appreciate. This album is well played, well written, well produced and delivered with some love and pride – all of which manages to steer this album away from trite cliché.

Metal wearing its heart on its sleeve and with a refreshing honesty, I just couldn’t bring myself to hate Firewind. If I can dig it, then fans of this genre will love it.

(Rick again! Alun gets bonus points for actually really liking this, after all, it is a great album but I’m going to have to talk to him about his dislike of Helloween and Queensrÿche…tut tut Mr. Jones) 😊

TRACKLISTING:
01. Welcome To The Empire
02. Devour
03. Rising Fire
04. Break Away
05. Orbitual Sunrise
06. Longing To Know You
07. Perfect Stranger
08. Overdrive
09. All My Life
10. Space Cowboy
11. Kill The Pain

LINE-UP:
Gus G – Guitar
Herbie Langhans – Vocals
Petro Christo – Bass
Jo Nunez – Drums

LINKS:
www.firewind.gr/
www.facebook.com/firewindofficial
www.twitter.com/firewindmusic
www.instagram.com/firewindofficial/
www.youtube.com/firetv
www.afm-records.de/en/

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.