Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes And Monoliths

Among Ashes And Monoliths Cover Art

Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes And Monoliths
Black Lion Records
Release Date: 12/02/2021
Running Time: 44:27
Review by Emma Torkington
8/10

Ablaze My Sorrow are no strangers to the death metal scene by any means! Starting in 1993 they made a huge impact right away. During the intervening years, the band has changed, but their heart has stayed the same. Now back with their fifth album, can it reach new heights for this Swedish band?

Jumping right in with the first track ‘My Sorrow’, new vocalist Jonas Udd has a great raspy voice perfectly suited for the backing of kick ass drums and guitars. I know I am only one song in, but I am liking what I am hearing here. The title track is next and it does not disappoint, kicking in with a 19 second heavy solo then a deep growl start. Personally, I love it when a song has that type of build- up. Having said that, the way the song moves from that growl into a mosh pit worthy track, means I can see this being played and going down well at festivals (when they are allowed again) and bringing in the crowds. We are onto track 3 ‘Black Waters’ and this has a totally different feel to what you have heard so far! A melodic song and deep, guttural vocals were a total shock to me but a welcome surprise. ‘Grit’ is up next…and it is gritty! This fast-paced song takes you to a whole other place and you cannot help but air guitar along to it! It’s 3 minutes and 39 seconds of heavy drums, guitars and bass…what more could you ask for? ‘Her Cold Embrace’ is next and the over a minute-long intro makes you sway to the melody of the instruments. When the vocals kick in, though, it takes on a totally different feel and guest vocalist Jonna Enckell’s voice complements Udd’s perfectly.

We are now nearly half way through, what appears to be a wonderful album and ‘At The Graves Of Giants kicks you with a bang, the fast-paced and gut punching drums do not disappear for a second! ‘Dark Chasms’ is another absolute mosh pit favourite. For me this has everything I need from a death metal song…deep vocals, shredding guitars, intense bass lines and thundering drums. This is my favourite track on “Among Ashes And Monoliths”! Onto the home stretch now and ‘The Cavernous Deep’ is something I wasn’t expecting but a very pleasant change. The intro is totally different in style with an electronic feel. There is also a slight change in tempo, but I was nodding along happily to it. Now it’s the turn of ‘Nonextence’ and wow…what an entrance. As soon as I hit play, ‘BOOM’!! Now, this is never a bad thing in my book. In fact, when it happens, I always crank up that volume and make sure my neighbours can hear it! Track 10 ‘March Of The Eldritch Spawn’ is a beautifully played near two minutes of pure instrumental music, that feels like the sort of thing you would hear in a film/play, just before the hard-hitting ending commences, and it acts as an introduction to the penultimate track ‘The Day I Die’. This song, in particular, reminds me of In Flames earlier work and I am completely hooked. ‘Frihet Framför Feghet’ is the final song of this incredible album and acts as an epic finale!

If you love everything that Swedish melodic death metal has to offer then go and buy this album! Even if you are not a huge fan of death metal, I still strongly recommend giving this a listen. I am not the biggest death metal fan in the world, but this gave me everything I needed. I was dancing, headbanging and most importantly…playing air guitar like the over 30’s do best!

‘My Sorrow (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. My Sorrow
02. Among Ashes And Monoliths
03. Black Waters
04. Grit
05. Her Cold Embrace
06. At The Graves Of Giants
07. Dark Chasms
08. The Cavernous Deep
09. Nonextence
10. March Of The Eldritch Spawn
11. The Day I Die
12. Frihet Framför Feghet

LINE-UP:
Jonas Udd – Vocals
Magnus Karlsson – Guitars
Dennie Lindén – Guitars
Anders Brorsson – Bass
Alex Kribensten – Drums

LINKS:

Ablaze My Sorrow Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Emma Torkington 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 Marc Hood of Cadaver Soirée

Cadaver Soirée Logo

Interview with Marc Hood of Cadaver Soirée
By Sheri Bicheno

Hello all, It’s Sheri!

I return from the other side of 2020 (Happy New Year) and boy oh boy, I’ve had a few insightful chats leading up to Christmas… Here I sat down with Marc Hood (vocalist) of one of Leeds’ dark gems, Cadaver Soirée.

Formed in 2016, Cadaver Soirée play a mixture of Death, Black and Doom Metal. Taking influence from various sources and placing emphasis on heaviness and memorable riffing, the guys aim has always been to provide a brutal and diverse listening experience.

Give them a listen!

Sheri: What got you into making music and where you are now?

Marc: I’ve been into being a musician, that sort of thing for about 15 years, I’ve done everything really, in terms of being in a band. I’ve been a guitarist, I’ve pretended to be a bassist haha, I’ve played synth in a band as well. I’ve done near enough everything. I’ve even drummed many years ago. I was in a band with Andy from Cadaver, I was the bassist, it was called Hammer X – I’d pretty much left Hammer X at that point because it was a different style to what I’m doing now so Andy had heard my vocals and had suggested I try out. So, I joined on a whim and it turned out to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me, musically.

Sheri: I love that! You mention you’ve done different things before – have you been in a similar type of band or has it always been different?

Marc: To be honest, I’ve done near enough everything. The band I drummed in was a sort of Amon Amarth/Viking type so that was fun! I was in a groove metal band; I was lead guitar in that. I played bass in a Classic Rock band – I did full spectrum on the bass. The band I play Synth for is a Black Metal band, obviously Cadaver is death metal.

Sheri: Wow, that’s cool! Education wise, did you pick up all of this through education?

Marc: No, I’m entirely self-taught, I wanted to do music in high school, but the teacher didn’t think metal was a viable sort of music, so… (we could do an article on how narrow minded a point of view, by some, so-called teachers this is!! – Rick)

Sheri: Yeah, tell me about it! Haha.

Marc: Haha, so I just thought I’d go my own way, so I’ve had no formal education and everything I’ve done I’ve done myself or by form of imitation.

Sheri: Understood. There’s a lot of musician’s like yourself that are self-taught but to have such a range is awesome. Your debut album “To Betray The Creator”was brought out in 2017…

Marc: The original “Cordyceps” demo was recorded in 2017 with the previous line up and then songs from that were taken for “To Betray The Creator” and that was in 2019.

Sheri: And it was on Morning Star Heathens (MSH Records) – a big shout out to Shane (label boss Shane Giess), I’ve got a lot of time for that guy!

Marc: Absolutely! The original single, ‘Limbless’, that was with Morning Star – the actual album itself was self-released. The original single ‘Cordyceps’, the actual tape was with Morning Star as well.

Sheri: I think that’s probably where I first heard it. This album shows elements of Doom and Black Metal blended into your Death Metal vibe. Is this something that naturally came with making the album? How did you find your fitting?

Marc: It’s kind of a mix of our influences, particularly Andy, our guitarist. He’s big into Extreme metal and all its forms, he loves Black metal, big fan of Grindcore, that sort of thing. So, for the most part of the songs that he’s written – he writes the majority of our music and then me and Neil sort of add our flavour to it and more recently our new drummer he adds as well but the sort of bare bones of the songs are pretty much Andy. It’s more of a reflection of his influence, especially that first album. Some of the songs he’d written many years ago and he’d never really had an outlet to release them and play them live because the other band he was in was nowhere near that heavy.

Sheri: Understood. So basically, it was down to influences for all of you, especially Andy – so my next question is do you put your music together collectively or do you have a certain method that you make work together in your songwriting?

Marc: It used to be entirely that Andy would send us a riff idea, send us a song idea where he would do everything on it except the vocals, he would program the drums and suggest bass lines and then me, Neil and Nate (our previous vocalist) would just add vocals and bass because Neil isn’t like most bassists, he plays something completely different and it just works, he comes up with a lot of very, very interesting things. There’s only two or three times on the entire album he’s actually following the guitar. We all make small suggestions, so on the new album for example, there’s a couple of riffs that have come in and I’ve suggested “that bit needs a blast beat” or “that’s fine” – you know, we’re very diplomatic as a band, almost too nice, I think.

Sheri: Haha, I think as other Artists have said though, you do have to get on as a band.

Marc: Yeah, it helps haha! More recently the dynamics changed a little bit where me being in the band and able to play instruments, I’ve been contributing riffs as well so that takes the form of either me showing Andy a riff in the practise room and then he makes something of it there and then, which he can do…or he records it and sorta takes it away and works on it for the week or we just jam things out as well.

Sheri: So, he has a bit of a play around with it. Cool. Can you tell our readers what inspires your songwriting?

Marc: Well in terms of my part as the vocalist, I come up with the themes of the songs obviously. I have a bit of a broad spectrum of influences, I’m quite a political person as well as historically political. We have a new song written called ‘Napalm Light’ which is about the more horrible side of the Vietnam War. As well as a more satirical song that we’ve got in the works – we’ve got the classic Death Metal splatters and Gore and that sort of thing and then I tend to write about people that I don’t like!

Sheri: Cool! Haha. What better way than to get that out of your system, really? Very resourceful way. Haha. On “To Betray The Creator”vocally, you have some different ranges that reach the listener – For example, on ‘Cordyceps’ and ‘Entombed In Dirt’we see what I would perceive as a more Black Metal range and then on later tracks such as ‘Aeons Of Lies’and ‘Augmented’, more Death growls are present. What are your thoughts on that perception?

Marc: To be honest, that’s a good perception, it’s not one that I’ve heard someone say to me before as well, which is nice. It depends on the song really and certainly on ‘Cordyceps’ it’s certainly rawer. It’s much higher in the mix, not sort of as deep and grunty, again that’s more of a reflection on the song, I kind of listen to the song and see what’s needed and adjust my performance. In the particular case of ‘Cordyceps’, that was written by Nate, the previous vocalist, I’ve just changed it up a bit to suit my vocal style a little bit more and my sort of phrasing, but it really depends on the song. It’s good to hear that there is that noticeable difference because I do think it’s nice to have that kind of range when you’re doing vocals. To me there’s nothing worse than a monotonous sounding vocalist so…if someone’s a one trick pony it’s kind of like “Okay, what else can you do?”

Sheri: Some vocalists, that work on the Black Metal range, have to put work into it but it seems to come naturally to you.

Marc: It very much does yeah because in the previous band I was in, I had to sing clean vocals and I’m not very good at that. I can sing but I prefer not to and when I came to Cadaver, in the first rehearsal, it was really the first time I’d ever done proper Extreme Metal vocals. So, I kinda went in with the view on seeing what happens and it turns out I was quite good at it. Then I sort of developed that over time and became more proficient in techniques and that. To be honest with me, it’s more to do with the raw emotion that’s in it, there’s very little technique involved. People have asked me in the past “How do you make that sound” and it’s like…how do you explain talking? Haha. It’s exactly the same for me, I can’t explain it.

Sheri: As you’ve been hinting, you’re writing new material at the moment! Ease my anticipation – what’s been happening behind the scenes for Cadaver Soiree through the last year?

Marc: Well, we have been affected a lot by what’s been going on, as everyone is. We got a message mid-way through the year from Wiktor, our new drummer. We sorta played together previously when he was in his previous band, so he asked if we wanted to try him out.

Of course, if you’re offered a drummer, you try and snatch him…because there are no drummers anywhere haha. He’s a relay good fit, a really nice guy, great drummer, he picked up our material really quickly. We had been writing some stuff anyway, so it’s been more of a case of teaching him the songs and we’ve been writing new stuff at the same time.

He puts his own flavour to it and it’s great. Really, really natural feel to his drumming so…We are planning on recording some of the songs we’ve got and writing new material as well and we’re gonna be recording that probably early this year. Releasing the same way that we released “To Betray The Creator” – looking at CD and Digital. Potentially a tape release if there’s a call for it, as I know there is a kind of underground tape collecting scene for it as well. If it’s wanted, we’ll do it! We’re gonna look to release it Springtime and tour when gigs can come back.

Sheri: So, your next plans will be promoting the new material and getting back to gigging when you can?

Marc: That’s right! One or two of the new songs we have already played live actually, with the gigs we had in early 2020 and things like that because it’s quite easy just to chop it out if you’re using a drum machine so you can copy and paste it and whatnot – now that we’ve got Victor, it’s great, it’s gonna improve the live show as well because now I’ve come along a lot more with that kind of energy so let’s hope it will pick up and we can get out there a lot more.

Sheri: Yeah, I’m looking forward to it! As your debut album was out in 2017 and you have new material coming to us soon, what do you feel is different or evolved in your songwriting now?

Marc: In terms of the overall sound, it’s gone a lot more aggressive – a LOT more. That’s partially down to me because the way I like to deliver the vocals is a really bludgeoning, belligerent kind of way. The same with the guitar as well, it’s a much more technical direction as well and a lot faster. It’s heading for almost Tech Death in some places whilst keeping it as catchy as we can keep it and again with the live drums as well, that’s making a lot of difference. What we have been doing with the original album as well, we have been doing a lot of synth and orchestral sounds in there, certainly in songs like ‘Evil Breeds Evil’ and ‘Entombed’. There were a lot of sort of orchestral sounds in there and piano and things like that. We are gonna be stripping that back because, first of all, it’s difficult to do that live if you haven’t got a keys player and we don’t really have the intention of doing that. With the addition of the live drums as well, it sort of adds what the synths added. A lot of energy and oomph to the sound so…we’re gonna be heading more towards a traditional Death Metal direction and kinda moving away from the Swedish Death Metal – but keeping elements of it because that’s what we are…but sort of adding the more American style of Death Metal…Cannibal Corpse, that kind of thing. Really heavy and just…like being punched in the face haha.

Sheri: That’s what we’re looking for! Hahaha. In regard to what is happening right now, what are your thoughts on supporting the music scene at the moment?

Marc: It’s absolutely crucial. There are not words enough to say how crucial it is to support the music industry at the moment – because the government are sure as hell ain’t doing it. Whilst I am in favour of supporting musicians at the moment I am also a little bit wary about putting gigs on and the dangers involved, I know of a few promoters at the moment that are doing it, so long as it’s kept safe and distanced as possible – but in terms of local bands, we’re not out there, we’re not playing gigs and we haven’t got the opportunity to come and see people like we would do. Bandcamp are really helpful at the moment where on Friday’s they take away their cut of what they take so it’s really helpful for bands. Social media has really stepped up too – it’s a big platform for bands to engage with people and we like to do that as much as possible, so if someone comments on one of our videos or posts, we make sure to engage with that because really, it’s the only engagement at the moment that we can get. We don’t get to share it with people anymore.

Sheri: I think that it’s important for Artists to engage with their fans anyway because the better it will be for them, ultimately. How do you see things adapting once the worst of the Pandemic is over? Or what would you like to see in way of change?

Marc: In the way of change, there’s always the preference on mobile attended gigs, I mean, we know as much as anyone what it’s like to play to two people and things. So hopefully that will be a thing – that gigs will be more well attended because you see a lot of people out there that just want gigs back. So hopefully that means that interest will still be there in live music. So, I’d like to see sort of more appreciation for Artists. Not to sound too big headed or anything but it’s vital to my own Mental Health – if it wasn’t for music, I think I’d go loco.

Sheri: Absolutely, I agree with you. I think it’s really important, especially in times like this when you’re limited, music is everyone’s outlet isn’t it?

Marc: It’s an escape. I always feel like I’ve had a massage after a gig, sometimes I just drop to my knees and enjoy it for a moment. It’s brilliant. I’ve been more on edge about the lack of gigs than the actual virus in some ways.

Sheri: It’s part of your life so it’s frustrating at having to put your life on hold. But hopefully it’s not going to be too much longer until the world can be safe and get back to normal. What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen happen whilst you’ve been in music?

Marc: Hmmm…I was referred to once as an accident waiting to happen because I move around a lot. I was given a wireless unit to stop the wires knocking things over – so there’s been a few times where I’ve just gone and sat down with people in places that we’ve played – it turned into a bit of a ritual actually – the strangest thing was actually when I think about it, there was a lady who came in part way through, sat down and started sobbing…and I mean tears streaming down her face. She was absolutely intoxicated beyond all belief and then she asked me to sign her chest. I said no because I’m a happily taken man – but I did sign her arm and I signed it “Rob Dukes” (Exodus vocalist). Hahaha.

Sheri: Did you!? Hahaha. Is there a story behind that?

Marc: It’s literally the first name that came to mind haha – I didn’t want to sign mine haha!

Sheri: Any advice for other bands at the moment?

Marc: Don’t give up. I know how difficult it is at the moment and how it was to begin with, sort of reaching your audience, finding yourself musically, getting the right line-up together…everything about it is a challenge but it is really the best reward I can think of. That moment when you are looking back at a crowd and they get it – AH, I genuinely can’t describe it, it is pure euphoria.

Sheri: It’s part of you, part of your life and what makes you up isn’t it? It’s sad to see that a few bands have had to throw the towel in at the moment and are not able to do anything – but equally there are a lot of bands trying to push forward and making new material. The music scene does also club together and support people as much as possible.

Marc: There’s a really, really good scene at the moment in the Death Metal community – we have good friends across the country like Pemphigoid, great guys – they’re really nice people, you wouldn’t think listening to the music, but Death Metal musicians are always lovely. Ashen Crown are absolutely wonderful.

Sheri: Ah, we love both those guys at Ever Metal haha.

Marc: The whole scene – I haven’t come across anyone I don’t like yet, which is unusual for me as I’m a cantankerous sod…

Sheri: Hahaha. There’s always gonna be one though somewhere but not naming names, I’ll stay professional or something along those lines haha. Is there anything you’d like to add?

Marc: Hahaha I know! Just a huge, huge thank you to everyone that supports us and listens to our music, that puts us on at gigs and buys our merchandise and things like that – it’s so unbelievably humbling – I sound like a dick, I know but we thank you. That’s all I can say really.

Sheri: Thank you for your time!

Marc: Thank you, have a good one!

Cadaver Soirée Are:
Marc Hood – Vocalist
Neil Hannaford – Bass
Andy Firth – Guitars
Wiktor Wrona – Drums

LINKS:

Cadaver Soirée Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno 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.

Cult Burial – Cult Burial

Cult Burial Cover Art

Cult Burial – Cult Burial
Self-Released
Release Date: 06/11/2020
Running Time: 43:53
Review by Steven Hooke
8/10

I’ve been pondering an intro for the debut Cult Burial album for the last 30 minutes now, including multiple rewrites and restructurings, but I’ve settled on taking inspiration from the London three-piece and getting straight into it in the same vein as opener ‘Dethroner’, which explodes in, complete with a guttural war scream, pounding blast beats, and just a general feeling of apocalyptic disaster. For a complete experience, read that first paragraph again, only now imagine a West Country bumpkin screaming at you as you read. Similar vibes.

Cult Burial’s sound can best be described as an amalgam of death, doom and black metal, one of the few times an umbrella term like “extreme metal” can be used generously due to the nature of how the band effortlessly meander from one end of their sound to another. As mentioned, ‘Dethroner’ is an impactful opener that delves into the world of blackened death metal as Simon Langford’s leering tremolo picking sets as the backdrop to César Moreira’s grotesque vocal delivery. For the chorus-y parts, the multi-layered growls give those sections so much more weight and impact in what is shaping up early to be an absolute corker of an album.

As you progress through the album, there is rarely a time where it lets up. Again, the effortless transitions from slow, riff-heavy doom metal into raging old school death metal into shrilling black metal is astounding. It is in the death/doom moments when Simon can show off his chops as a guitarist, etching in Pantera-esque riffs during walking stomps to add texture to songs like ‘Moribund’, ‘Chaos’ and ‘Forever’, or discordant high-range licks in the likes of ‘Abyss’ and ‘Kill’ to add to the enjoyable uncomfortability as well as a bit of NWOBHM flair.

In this venn diagram that the band have cultivated for themselves, where common genre overlaps of death/doom and blackened death are already spoken for, even a blackened doom hybrid can be found, as the dirged stomps are often met by the classic high-pitched tremolo of black metal, add to that the lingering, high-end delays and bends that act as air raid sirens to the warzone riffs below.

Cult Burial’s debut self-titled album is a thunderous opening gambit for the trio, a scintillatingly evil display of crushing extreme metal that makes such great use of classic tropes and bending them to fit a modern songwriting structure. Never settling to just have one identity, being dark and depraved whilst still sounding sharp and crisp, it’s an insanely hot start for the lads.

TRACKLISTING:
01.Dethroner
02. Moribund
03. Chaos
04. Abyss
05. Plague
06. Kill
07. End
08. Forever
09. Sorrow

LINE-UP:
César Moreira – Lead Vocals
Simon Langford – Guitars, Drums
Rick – Bass

LINKS:

Cult Burial Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Steven Hooke and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, 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.

This Is Turin – T.U.R.I.N. EP

T.U.R.I.N. EP Cover Art

This Is Turin – T.U.R.I.N. EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 15/02/2021
Running Time: 13:23
Review by Beth Jones
8/10

Now, I have been known, on occasion, to really rather like a bit of technical blackened death metal! I know what you’re thinking – “Good lord, Beth, the prog/power/symphonic metal fan, stepping over to the dark side?!” Yes, it does occasionally happen. And one band that are high up on my ‘I need to listen to something aggressive’ list, are Cheshire, UK based Technical Death Metal band, This Is Turin. So, when their imminent EP release dropped in our inbox, I snaffled it away before anyone else could get their hands on it!

Now, this is only a very short EP, at a little over 13 minutes. But in that time, it explores total inner misery, failed absolution, darkness reigning over the light, losing faith, letting go to save your soul, and then the freedom of Excommunication, finding the light in the darkness. So…erm… yeah, I’ll just let that sink in for a minute!

‘Misery’ begins the EP, with guest vocals from CJ McMahon, vocalist of Thy Art Is Murder. It starts off with some eerie samples, and then launches in to a chunky, crunchy, riff-laden cacophony of torturous despair. The guttural screams and growls of CJ sit on top of the tumult, displaying the terrifying feeling of internal despair. Towards the end of the track, the mixing goes all fuzzy. For me this, is the effect of that deafening to the world that total misery can invoke. I have to say, while CJ’s vocals are good, I much prefer Darryl’s vocal style.

Track 2, ‘Absolution’ is an absolute banger, that not only melts your face, but gets to work on melting your internal organs, too. This is anger meeting hopelessness. Sections with incredibly fast paced drumming, and technical guitar work, give way to sections designed for pure filthy head banging! Darryl’s vocals are superb here, too. He has a very versatile voice, that fit so well with the overall band sound. The whole thing makes for a beautifully terrifying listen!

Bringing things to a close in ‘Excommunicate’. This starts with a quick dual guitar riff, then launches into a bit of blast beating and a scream that would chill even the coldest soul. Then it settles into a more comfortable, but no less tortured rhythm. Again, it’s an extreme wall of sound that rips out your still beating heart and uses it as a glove. And the screams!!! The screams are just epic!! There’s so much going on in this track! The technicality is brilliant, and we even get a frenetic guitar solo in the later part of the track. This signals the start of the build-up to the end! And then, as quickly as it started, it stops. “And there it was, gone” as they say here in the Wales!

All in all, I love this EP. And, if you’re a fan of technical, death, blackened death, or deathcore, then you will too! The cover art it also pretty insanely dark, as well, and it really fits with the themes explored here. My biggest criticism is I just wanted more of it. I need a new album now! Get cracking on it lads!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Misery (Ft. CJ McMahon)
02. Absolution
03. Excommunicate

LINE-UP:
Darryl “Daz” Jones – Vocals
Anthony Hayden – Guitar
Davey Langford – Guitar
James Kinnear – Bass
Ben Adcroft – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, 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.

Harkane – Fallen King Simulacrum

Fallen King Simulacrum Cover Art

Harkane – Fallen King Simulacrum
Dusktone
Release Date: 20/11/2020
Running Time: 47:27
Review by Tammy Lomax
6/10

Harkane formed in 2014 and come from Italy, ‘Fallen King Simulacrum’ was finally released in November 2020, five years on from their previous EP “Extensus”.

Harkane play Black/Death metal, but over the years together they have progressed adding layers of orchestration and “Fallen King Simulacrum” is successfully more advanced and symphonic overall!

‘Requiem For A Heretic’ is the first track on the album and it is a powerful way to get your attention. There are definitely some similarities to this and the band Rotting Christ, a haunting aspiration with plenty of variations between the orchestration and the rest of the instruments, slightly death metal on occasions but typically black metal.

I’m going to be totally honest though, the more I listened I got a little bored. At first, I was extremely impressed with tracks ‘Caligula’ and ‘Dajjal’ which follow ‘Requiem For A Heretic’ but then I realised that the tracks were a bit ‘samey’.

Harkane have used similar patterns in every single one of their songs, their build ups are done in the same way, over and over again. I hoped that there would have been some advancement as the album developed but this didn’t really happen, not even with title track ‘Fallen King Simulacrum’.

Now I am not going to be a complete negative head, there is a clean, highly polished production which respects the overall sound as a whole especially with the, aforementioned, title track. The vocals throughout are also worthy of mention…deep and intense, decidedly death metal on occasion, a grand job indeed. There are also some real good slow grooves and great tones.

About half-way through the album, after the track ‘La Fraude Des Siècles’, the album does go off in a slightly different direction. There’s definitely a moodier and eerie feel and chunkier bass sounds that slot beautifully together with the overall doomy atmosphere.

Overall, Harkane have done an ok job, it may not be anything to really worry the bigger black metal band’s, but it’s a good effort and there is, and will always be, an audience for this genre of music.

However, what I would like to see with the next album is for some girth in the writing? Push the boundaries and excel to create something that’s original and not predictable.

‘Fallen King Simulacrum’ (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Requiem For A Heretic
02. Caligula
03. Dajjal
04. Hidden Amongst The Ruins Of Ur
05. La Fraude Des Siècles
06. Fallen King Simulacrum
07. Dakhma
08. Nemontemi
09. Howler In Darkness

LINE-UP:
Palmon – Vocals/Guitars/Keyboards
Kvarn – Guitars/Vocals
Ayssela – Bass/Piano/Vocals
Damned – Drums

LINKS:

Harkane Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, 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.

Grima – Rotten Garden

Rotten Garden Cover Art

Grima – Rotten Garden
Naturmacht Productions
Release Date: 22/01/2021
Running Time: 43:40
Review by Rick Eaglestone
9/10

Continuing with the studio only project, concentrating on the pagan ethos based on the worship of the elder forest, Russia’s grotesque pairing once again prepare to walk their own black metal path with fourth album – “Rotten Garden”.

‘Cedar And Owls’ has a beautifully woeful tone throughout with swirling solos and naturalist soundscapes which is so serene in places that when the fury of ‘Mourning Comes At Sunset’ takes hold I was taken aback slightly.

I am a huge fan of certain sounds in black metal and ‘At The Foot Of The Red Mountains’ has some absolutely sublime accordion included that, combined with the guitar parts, just had me going back to it again and again – This is ,easily, highlight track of the album for me!

Things take on a much calmer pace with the instrumental ‘Old Oak’ which weaves into the early part of title track ‘Rotten Garden’ and includes slices of fury with that accordion again but with added hypnotic keyboards which almost gave it a dungeon synth feel.

There is a real cold, frostbitten atmosphere to ‘Grom’ that I really enjoyed but that’s not quite the end, also included as a bonus track, is a re-recording of the 2015 track ‘Devotion To Lord’ which, if not familiar with the band previously, should make the listener go back and check out the bands previous offerings.

We are only one month into the new year, yet I don’t think it is an unimaginable assumption that by the time we reach year end “Rotten Garden” would’ve made many peoples top album lists.

‘Cedar And Owls’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Cedar And Owls
02. Mourning Comes At Sunset
03. At The Foot Of The Red Mountains
04. Old Oak
05. Rotten Garden
06. Grom
07. Devotion To Lord 2020 (Bonus Track)

LINE-UP:
Vehelm – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keyboard
Morbius – Guitar, Bass

LINKS:

Grima Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rick Eaglestone and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, 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.

The Machinist – I Am Void

The Machinist – I Am Void
Self-Released
Release Date: 04/12/2020
Running Time: 52:36
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Greetings, my followers of the Horned God and keepers of my twisted gospel. It is I, Dark Juan, fresh from going full Jonathan Pie at the television and having had a stern telling off from Mrs. Dark Juan. Whereupon I have retired to my bedchamber in what can only be described as a magnificent sulk and stuck on the first record that came up on my electronic magic box of tricks (otherwise known as an elderly and temperamental Acer Aspire laptop that has been telling me for at least two years that there’s no memory left) which happened to be from The Machinist, who are a bunch of clearly insane and phenomenally dangerous psychotic Mancunians, which means they are entirely normal for denizens of the city of my birth. However, we are here for my thoughts on “I Am Void”, being their debut album, and the question is, if these mad, MAD Mancs have released a perfect peach or a pile of diseased, foetid arse?

Let us find out together.

First things first, you, dear readers, have to know that the blurb that came with this record was an out and out damned lie. It described the music as “A fusion of blasting black metal and machine driven death metal.”

What it should have actually said was, “HOLY FUCK WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY FACE AND WHAT IS THAT ABSOLUTELY UNHOLY AND BLASPHEMOUS SONIC WARFARE COMING THROUGH MY HEADPHONES AND TURNING MY MOTHERFUCKING BRAINS TO SOUP?!?”

You know how I’m ALWAYS banging on about The Berzerker and they hold the record for the most brutal and intense record ever made in their debut self-titled album? Well, hold on to your fucking trousers (and your underwear, because you’re going to be blown clear out of the fuckers), boys and girls and all other genders, tonight we celebrate the new kings of sonic violence, because our longstanding me(n)tal monarch Luke Kenny has been bested. Yes, not even our magnificently demented Aussie friend can stand in the way of The fucking Machinist. The sex wee quotient is explosive. There’s flashing red lights and klaxons everywhere and Alaska has declared a state of emergency because the sex wee storage tanks off the coast are in danger of catastrophic failure from sex wee overpressure…

Fucking JESUS, this record is savage. It’s all blades, heavy calibre machine guns and flamethrowers and artillery all rolled into one. Take the love child (for love child read absolutely murdering bastard fucking killing machine chimera of hatred) of The Berzerker, Akercocke and Anaal Nathrakh and try

to imagine that sound. Got it? Nah, mate, you aren’t even fucking close! There’s distorted kick drums, the kind of drumming that can only be accomplished by killer robots with heavily engineered pistons for arms, razorwire riffs that are not so much music as simple vessels for murdering entire rooms full of people in one go and vocals that bear no resemblance to any noise made by a human larynx ever before. I don’t even know how to describe the howling madness and predatory growls to an acceptable standard. There hasn’t been words yet invented to describe what I’m listening to. This is literally murder in musical form. It’s wide eyed, blood flecked, spittle drooling homicidal madness rampaging round at supersonic speed, roaring and shrieking sheer batshit insanity at extreme and inhuman volumes two inches away from your face. It will be no surprise to any of you to learn that I fucking love The Machinist now.

Although the music is primarily a hyperspeed amalgam of the most primal and martial black metal and the unrelenting brutality of death metal, that isn’t to say there are not subtleties at work here. Oh no, like a psychopath experiencing fleeting moments of clarity, The Machinist dial back the lunatic speed and blastpower and slow down to be like the most evil of serial killers to whisper in your trembling ear exactly what horrors they are going to perpetrate upon your helpless corpus. ‘Departure’ is the most notable example of this, as is album closer ‘Schwarzschild Radius’, both songs having the kind of power electronics found on Whitehouse records, and for all the speed and sheer madness these Mancunian sonic serial killers employ, they are surprisingly technical musicians, with multiple tempo and pattern changes throughout songs and different movements therein also. The keyboards employed throughout the record are never intrusive and at times remind me of when Emperor used then on ‘Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk’ and they add a gothic and often futuristic element to the sound of the Machinist that gives them the gravitas and grandeur that was missing from The Berzerker (who had opted for ultraviolence and gabba techno) and much more like Emperor mixed with the complete uberaggression of Anaal Nathrakh with added industrial precision. The industrial element of this record cannot be ignored, for it is this that lifts it up from contemporaries and gives it the je ne sais quoi to make this album truly, TRULY special.

I’ve run out of superlatives. Wait…. what? This is their DEBUT album? THIS IS A FUCKING DEBUT RECORD? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? Jesus fucking Christ, how are this bunch of howling mad bastards going to top this one? It is not possible. It will cause a massive rupture in spacetime and destroy the universe as we know it if they get any faster or heavier…

Ah, I’m on to you, you fuckers. Nothing less than total musical apocalypse is your plan. Where do I sign up to join, our kid?

So yeah, this is the Holy fucking Grail, ladies, gents, and gentlepersons. It is rarer than rocking horse shit. It is a perfect debut album. I never thought it would ever happen but this is a fucking perfect debut album. I know I’m repeating myself. My brains are liquid and running out of my nostrils thanks to The fucking Machinist.

Right then, The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is utterly fucked beyond repair. The Machinist have broken it. It’s a 10/10 from it (it’s a googleplex out of ten as far as I’m concerned, but Rick has a scoring system and he has decreed that we use it properly for he is possessed of considerably more wisdom than I, who has literally frothed maniacally for over a thousand words during this review) and I wish I’d fucking heard this before I submitted my top ten records of the year because this should be in there. At the top. IT IS THAT GOOD.

EDIT: I changed my top ten list. So at least you know what I think is the best release of 2020 already…

TRACKLISTING:
01. Extinction Event
02. Skin Is Not Enough
03. The Sky Has Opened
04. Approach
05. Bleak Affirmations
06. Depopulate
07. Death Cults of Abraham
08. Magnificent Desolation
09. Departure
10. Schwarzschild Radius

LINE-UP:
John T – Synths, Drum Programming, Vocals
T – Guitar
Scott W – Vocals
K. Mackinnon – Guitar

LINKS:

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.

Kalt Vindur – …And Nothing Is Endless

Kalt Vindur – …And Nothing Is Endless
Witching Hour Productions
Release Date: 07/08/2020
Running Time: 34:31
Review by Rick Eaglestone
8.5/10

It’s currently cold, bleak and icy right now – I have two choices, turn up the heating to make it hotter than the flames in hell or tough it out with some Subcarpathian Black Metal from Southern Poland and as I am fan of the cold I’ve gone for the second option with “…And Nothing is Endless” by Kalt Vindur who were kind enough to provide me with a physical copy for review purposes.

The intro track ‘Solar Cross’ may be short but  its full of foreboding urgency and is a speculator build up to ‘Inner War’, which itself, is probably my highlight track of the entire album. It’s frostbitten to its very core – the bass sound that rings throughout is great with tempo changes aplenty.

Acoustic guitars in black metal is something that needs to be used more – case in point, the introduction to ‘The Blind Sin Hunter’ as it sets up the track brilliantly and really suits the aesthetic of the album – particularly the artwork from Maciej Kamuda.

The very well-balanced melodies the band collectively put forward are encapsulated in ‘Eyes Ov Gods’ before the straight up fury once again takes hold with ‘Dirty Yields’. At this point I would like to point out that the album, so far, has thrown up some really nice surprises which to be honest has only made my listening experience, thus far, a pleasant one.

‘Red Glow’ thunders through into title track ‘…And Nothing Is Endless’ which for me is the most atmospheric track of the release with some great guitar work once again. Although I have my highlight track, if I had to pick a track to recommend the band to someone it would have to be ‘The Golden Age’. This is why I love black metal – this track in particular really reminds of Black Dawn.

Just as the album began, so to, does it end with instrumental outro “Crescent Moon Of Chors” which for me didn’t have the same impact as the start of the album.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Solar Cross
02. Inner War
03. The Blind Sin Hunter
04. Eyes Ov Gods
05. Dirty Yields
06. Red Glow
07. …And Nothing Is Endless
08. The Golden Age
09 Crescent Moon Of Chors

LINE-UP:
Celsus – Vocals
Svart – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Additional Vocals.
Ver – Electric Guitars
S – Bass
Xakhariash – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rick Eaglestone 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.

EMQ’s with REQUIEM’S SATHANA

EMQ’s with REQUIEM’S SATHANA

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil based Black Metal band, Requiem’s Sathana. Huge thanks to bassist Rex Mendax for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Moises Henrique Kunst, also known as Rex Mendax and I’m a bass player. The Requiem’s Sathana project appeared many years ago as a side band. The other musicians, Felipe Rex Inferii Nienow and Fabiano Rex Gutture Werle are longtime friends and have played with me in other bands. In 2017 we thought we were ready to record something. So, we got ready and started recording in 2019, and the EP was released in April this year.

How did you come up with your band name?

Each of our songs is like hymns to the dead, sung by the high priest Satanas.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We are from the South of Brazil, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. We are from a region colonized by German immigrants, from small and very conservative cities. As such, the scene is relatively small. It has improved a lot in recent years. But when we want to go to shows we always need to go to cities like São Leopoldo, Novo Hamburgo or the capital Porto Alegre.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Our self-titled EP is our first release.

‘Requiem’s Sathana’ (Promo Lyric Video)

‘Legion’ (Promo Lyric Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

The bands that influenced me to like metal were Sepultura, Metallica and Black Sabbath. The bands that influenced me to play black metal were Emperor, Dark Funeral and Marduk.

What first got you into music?

I started to become interested in music because of the feeling of energy, of strength that it transmitted.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

To be honest, with no one. My project is enough for me.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

I believe that the dream of consumption of most heavy metal bands is to play Wacken. I think it’s an honest festival and it honours metal as it should be. Wacken is a metal festival that plays metal. Here in Brazil we have Rock in Rio that plays almost everything and no longer represents the name it has.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

I never received a fan gift.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

I would like true fans of heavy metal to honour the style of music, the lifestyle they say they like. At least support the bands, going to the shows, buying the records. The little they do is enough to keep the scene alive.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Dimebag Darrell, for sure!

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love the energy that the music conveys. Being a musician and being aware that you can create that energy is fantastic. I have nothing to hate as a musician.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

This artificialism that reigns in music. Nowadays no more classics are created. That’s because everything is so fleeting, so fast that there’s no time to absorb a song. I sincerely believe that today’s songs have no soul.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Don’t Break The Oath” – Mercyful Fate!

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Vinyl and CD for sure!

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

We never played live with this project. But in the early 2000’s we did memorable shows with other bands that we played in.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

In fact, the question should be the other way around. Music is just a hobby for me. I am a teacher and civil servant.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I am a little misanthropic. I don’t see myself inviting one person to dinner, so imagine five!

What’s next for the band?

Due to this pandemic, at the moment we are only focused on promoting the record. Next year, if all this goes away, we will think about what to do.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

The material can be checked on Bandcamp, Youtube, Spotify, Deezer and Music Apple. Anyone interested in purchasing the physical CD can contact Cianeto Discos (www.cianetodiscos.com.br/).
www.cianeto.bandcamp.com/album/requiems-sathana
www.open.spotify.com/artist/5hkVMEE0Aib5A0PRZnUkjy
www.youtube.com/channel/UCf9wucUPHLe9OfXHQdlgI8w
www.facebook.com/requiemssathana/

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Sorry, I have no idea what that is.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

I would like to thank you for your interest and long life in metal!

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of 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.

Volkihar – Blood Magik Ritual

Volkihar – Blood Magik Ritual
Self-Released
Release Date: 26/10/2020
Running Time: 27:01
Review by Emma Torkington
7/10

Volkihar is a Vampiric Black Metal project that has taken influence from the popular game series Elder Scrolls.

“Blood Magik Ritual” is a 10 track, debut release, and is exactly what you expect from a second wave Black Metal band, it’s heavy, with deep growling vocals and some killer guitar. The first song, which is also the title track, sets the scene perfectly for what awaits you! It starts with hard drum beats and shredding guitar riffs then the deep vocals hit you hard and, overall, it’s a great track to start off with. ‘Struggle For Survival’, takes you on a slightly faster journey but remains very much guitar heavy and, with those growling vocals, you feel yourself nodding along without even realising it. The seamless transition between tracks has not gone unnoticed! The ease of listening to this album is really a credit to Volkihar!

Half way through ‘The Shaken Lamb Bleats’, which is an interlude, is a great melodic break between the heavier tracks and I, for one, was not expecting it. ‘Thrall’s Blood is up next and after that beautiful interlude this slams you back into the heavy, gut punching riffs you expect. As with all the tracks so far, I’m still nodding along and even as the track comes to a close, with the guitar notes fading out, you leave the end of that song with a smile. My favourite track is ‘Slay The Dawnguard’. For me, this song provides everything I love about this genre. You immediately sit up and pay attention to what you are listening to, and are present and in the moment with it!

As you reach the end of the album you think you have gotten to know this band/project and their signature sound…then Volkihar drop the last track, ‘Bathing In Moonlight’ which contains a beautiful chorus of voices and harmonies. It is an unexpected, yet somehow fitting end to the debut album.

However, there was one thing that did let this album down. I feel that the drums could have been louder and the vocals turned up a little as it can be a struggle to hear them over the guitars. This was a key factor in the rating I have given.

Overall, though, if you are a fan of Black Metal and have a love for Elder Scrolls then I do suggest you check out Volkihar! “Blood Magik Ritual” is out now and ready to download. For all their information see below.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Blood Magik Ritual
02. Struggle For Survival
03. March For Blood
04. Feast On The Herd
05. The Shaken Lamb Bleats (Interlude)
06. Thrall’s Blood
07. The Machinations Of Court
08. Slay The Dawnguard
09. Onwards To A Blackened Son
10. Bathing In Moonlight (Outro)

LINE-UP:
Lord Malice – All Instruments
Normakk – Second Guitar, Vocals and Lyrics on ‘Slay The Dawnguard’

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Emma Torkington 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.