Snær – Frozen Alchemy Self-Released Release Date: 12/03/2021 Running Time: 41:10 Review by Rick Eaglestone 7/10
Maine’s Snær entwine legend and fantasy with their debut album “Frozen Alchemy”.
The aptly titled ‘Into’ eerily could’ve been placed into ‘The VVitch: A New-England Folktale’ movie soundtrack, whereas the doom laden ‘Black Stain’ tells the tale of local legend Colonel Buck, who burned his witch mistress at the stake and, as she burned, she cursed him to have a stain for all eternity – The drumming on this track really stands out for me.
Coming in with blackened thrash elements, both ‘Rise Of The Sea Ghouls’ & ‘Black Bear Mauling’ tear away relentlessly, before the longest track and my personal highlight ‘Endless Suffering’. The melodic intro feels really emotional, almost in the same vein as Metallica’s ‘Fade To Black’, it then changes pace various times, but still maintains that melodic tone throughout.
The title track ‘Frozen Alchemy’ is Snær’s ‘Black Sabbath’ with slow purposeful bass tones, menacing drums and absolutely gripping guitar riff. It is quite fitting then that the track is about a secret magical practice brought to Maine by Viking Shaman.
I really enjoyed the instrumental ‘Snær’ as it fits well within the landscape of the album and the marching beat of ‘March To The Ovens’ encapsulates the band’s philosophy, the extermination of the entire human race.
Finally, a very ambitious cover of Bathory’s ‘The Return Of Darkness And Evil’ completes the album. Now, not only do I love this track, but this is a great cover and really suits vocalist Joseph Doome incredibly well, in fact, so much so, that I actually went back and replayed the whole album again.
‘Black Stain’ (Audio)
TRACKLISTING: 01. Intro 02. Black Stain 03. Ghouls Of The Sea 04. Black Bear Mauling 05. Endless Suffering 06. Frozen Alchemy 07. Snær 08. March Of The Ovens 09. The Return Of Darkness And Evil (Bathory Cover)
LINE-UP: Joseph Doome – Lead Vocals/Bass Jeffrey Lloyd Snader – Lead Guitar Conrad Lausier – Drums
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.
Ghosts of Atlantis – 3/6/2/4 Black Lion Records Release Date: 26/03/2021 Running Time: 40:12 Review by Dark Juan 10/10
Good afternoon, my battle brothers and my sisters in slaughter. It is I, Dark Juan, Generalissimo and High Priest of all things metal. It is unaccountably sunny and clement in my mountain fastness of Dark Juan Terrace and as the shining horrible hot thing in the sky shines its baleful eye directly upon my pale and interesting countenance, my spirits lift from the morbid gloom of this most trying of winters and look forward into the joys of spring and possibly going out and meeting some people again instead of furtively scurrying through back doors and hoping the nosey old bitch at no. 42 didn’t spot you. That last sentence was not autobiographical. Oh no. Dark Juan would never countenance breaking any laws or orders. That would be a Very Bad Thing indeed. Never have I EVER even so much as fractured a law. Apart from the time my friend Gary Newgrosh was up a lamp post trying to steal a road sign and two gentlemen in suits with warrant cards asked whether I knew the lad with the road sign under his jacket and my drunken teenage response was “Piss off, I don’t talk to strange men.” And my speeding ticket last month. And all the stuff I have done in churches that I shouldn’t have. Some of them even consented…
None of which has anything to do with the fact that I am listening to Suffolk based gothic/symphonic/progressive blackened metallers Ghosts Of Atlantis’ debut offering, enigmatically entitled “18.104.22.168”. My immediate gut reaction about this record is that Cradle Of Filth have much to answer for as this style of quasi-black metal with added megagoth is now being touted as the Witch County sound (because Suffolk has had more than its fair share of witches and wise women, you see. The lucky bastards. Up North we just hung ours on Pendle Hill or in Alderley Edge.) I’m well aware that the sound of Cradle Of Filth and their ilk (Devilment, The Blood Divine and the like) are something of an acquired taste (I acquired mine in 1994 with ‘The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh’) and therefore a lot of metalheads will discount this as a load of gothic bollocks, which will be to their detriment as there is a lot more to Ghosts Of Atlantis than ever more high-pitched demented screaming and gothic nightmare. GOA happily welds in progressive riffs and time signatures and there is more than an element of power and symphonic metal with the clean vocals and the lyrical content and this lifts them easily above comparisons with the Filth and young Daniel Davey.
Ghosts of Atlantis are men on a mission to make sure that we remain acquainted with Ancient Greece and the lost city of Atlantis (or if you’re Welsh, Cantre’r Gwaelod, apparently just off the coast of Borth and Ynyslas, fact fans!) and base their songs around these concepts. Vocals run the whole gamut from absolute gut churning guttural roar to Filth-esque hellshriek to ZP Theart’s clean howl and some gorgeous harmonies. The high concept and that desire to switch from death screams and violence to progressive storytellers is most evident on ‘Gardens Of Athena’ which is an absolute tour de force as to why most experts about music consider metal a very difficult and complex style of music to play, almost classical in nature, as it moves from absolute murderous power and speed to soft acoustic and keyboard led passages, to Meshuggah style fractured time signatures, to power metal storytelling and back again. The fucking musicians on this record basically are living reminders to the fact I quit playing music because I frankly am not good enough. These people are mutants. Drummers should not be able to play such speedy and complicated rhythms and then change the fuckers mid song. It’s not fair. The guitarists should not have any fingertips left and the lead vocalist clearly has given up any thought of using his larynx in later life because he’s busily turning it to chunky salsa on this record. Commitment is not quite the word when it comes to Mr. Primmer’s vocal style. More, “I hate this piece of comically shaped gristle in my throat region and I am going to reduce it to its component atoms by means of abusing it so hard there should be a court case pending.” I dread to think how he whispers sweet nothings to his significant other. Probably from the next town over.
This record seriously has everything a metal fan (and not a few goffs) could desire. There’s utter powerviolence and speed, complexity in songwriting and riffage (the work of Colin Parks and Dex Jezierski on the guitars is superb – often choppy and sharp, frequently rapid and machine gun like but also classical, fluid and drop dead gorgeous, normally several times in the same song), the keyboard work is swoopingly gothic and sinuous (not unlike Cradle Of Filth in the more goff passages, but also gorgeously Eastern sounding in parts) and the drummer (Rob Garner) clearly has been issued with extra limbs by whoever is in charge of Quartermaster stores for that sort of thing. There’s no other explanation for what the hell he achieves behind his kit. Al Todd on the bass is also excellent but he is sometimes swamped by the sheer grandiosity of the music. The production is also pretty spot on too, although I find the guitar sound a little too highly engineered for my taste and I’d like to hear more bass, but it is a clear and legible sound that Ghosts Of Atlantis enjoy and the tiny niggles I have with the sound do not detract from my considerable enjoyment of what can only be described as a magnum opus, which is staggering in scope and jaw dropping in execution. Where I was blown away by The Machinist for their record’s sheer power and sonic violence, I am blown away by this record because it is a record that is greater than its influences might suggest it would be. Mixing Meshuggah, Cradle Of Filth, Hecate Enthroned, Dragonforce and Luca Turilli could have ended up a huge and disjointed mess, instead we have something that should become classic. The elements employed slot together seamlessly and every song drips uniqueness and splendour.
In conclusion, it’s fucking brilliant. Ghosts Of Atlantis are going to be huge if they carry on like this. My only concern is that the musical influences are that diverse, that the more gothic might avoid them because they are too metal and the metal kids might avoid them because they are too goth, or too progressive. Alternatively, I could just be spouting a load of ultrashite and Ghosts Of Atlantis will follow in the path of their Suffolk witchy, gothic cousins Cradle Of Filth and achieve global domination in short order.
I hope they do. For a debut album, this is absolutely fucking incredible.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Ghosts Of Atlantis a stonking 10/10 for an almost perfect record that has everything. Well done, gentlemen. Well done indeed.
‘Halls Of Lemuria’ (Official Lyric Video)
TRACKLISTING: 01. The Third Pillar 02. Halls Of Lemuria 03. False Prophet 04. The Curse Of Man 05. When Tridents Fail 06. Poseidon’s Bow 07. Gardens Of Athena 08. The Lost Compass
LINE-UP: Colin Parks – Guitars, Backing Vocals (Clean) Phil Primmer – Vocals Dex Jezierski – Guitars Al Todd – Bass Rob Garner – Drums
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.
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada based Blackened Metal band WinterheartH. Huge thanks to guitarist/vocalist Andrew Marsh 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?
I’m Andrew Marsh. I’m the guitarist and vocalist for WinterheartH. Pleasure to meet you guys. My idea for WinterheartH began as early as back when I was in high school. My dream was to write music and perform in a band. I always wanted to be in an Extreme Metal act. Met my original bassist Robbie Butler back in high school. Knew him from his brother who is my age. Eventually we started hanging out and said lets jam. It took years but we found a guy named Michael Small on drums. Throughout the years since those days there has been line-up changes. I’m now the only original member left, and we are now three full length albums in. The current line-up is myself, Lenny Carey on bass and Brad Ivany on drums.
How did you come up with your band name?
Back in the early days we were bouncing around lots of different names but couldn’t decide. One night after rehearsal I brought Robbie home and it began to start snowing. Robbie says how about… Winterhearth?? I stopped and paused and said Robbie that’s a great band name!
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
I’m from Canada. I live in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador. It’s the most eastern province. NL is and always was dominated by Irish Traditional music. There is a Metal/Rock scene here. There are lots of great bands. Everyone is unique in their writing and style. I feel a lot of that is living here we barely see a big production come through in the rock department. Therefore rather than living somewhere where in 2 weeks we may see 4 major label acts and all of a sudden we want to sound just like them, we just pave our own paths and soak up what we see from live footage or if we vacation to a festival/show once or twice a year.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Our latest release will be our third full-length album “Riverbed Empire”. The album contains 9 brand new songs from the very depths of the frosty Hell we dwell in haha!
‘Charmed (by the Dead)’ Official Lyric Video
Who have been your greatest influences?
Overall, it would be without a doubt my friends, family, manager and co-workers. They all support me as well as keep me grounded. As a musician it really began early as a pre-teen seeing videos of guys like Cliff Burton & Dave Mustaine. The way they approach their art and performance is second to none! Of course, the older you get the more bands you discover. Nowadays I’m non-stop listening to bands like Opeth, Immortal, Entombed and Carcass to name a few. Trust me I can go for hours.
What first got you into music?
Well, like I said, hearing musicians like Cliff Burton and Dave Mustaine play really jumpstarted it. Really dove into the Thrash and NWOBHM realms before discovering Extreme Metal. That definitely started after hearing Venom for the first time as well as Celtic Frost. I just wanted more.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Recently we had two guest features on Riverbed Empire. We had Anabelle Iratni from Devilment perform Lyre as well as some vocals for ‘Marshlands’. We also had Hugo Doyon-Karout from Beyond Creation and Brought By Pain to do a fretless bass solo on the title track. Both musicians are stellar at what they do. It was an honour to work with them. Now if I can just get a collaboration with Max or Igor Cavalera my inner 14-year old would probably say kill me now my life is complete haha!
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
That’s a tough one. I’ll play almost any festival. As long as I get to entertain. In Canada it def would be Quebec Deathfest. I wouldn’t even know what to do after I play cause there are so many Extreme Metal acts to see in such little time! Internationally I’ve been checking out Obscene Extreme. So much variety of different styles within the extreme realm. With that being said I’ll take just about any festival of course!
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Nothing is coming to mind. I don’t recall getting any gifts really. I’m one of those guys who get mad when people give me gifts. I just feel like I didn’t earn it. With that being said I apologize to any fans who have given me gifts and I just can’t bring up one at this very moment.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Don’t let the bastards bring you down! Keep grinding your goals. If you know you can make your goals happen and make it sustainable keep on grinding! However, fail means first attempt in learning so if something doesn’t work out, you can definitely find something else in a similar situation and still be just as happy.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
That’s a super tough one. It would definitely be someone like Cliff Burton. Someone who was young, had their whole life ahead of them but sadly got their life taken away by something that was preventable.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love that I have an artistic outlet to express myself. I love meeting new people. I love chatting with other musicians to see what makes them tick and then check out the music that influences them. One thing I do hate is the politics at times. I hate seeing negativity because someone wanted to try something new and gets ridiculed. Emotions are raw and they’re putting it into their art. You don’t know what’s going on their personal lives just to hear someone say back they are a sell-out or a one trick pony.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
The one that’s coming to my mind the most would be specifically the K-pop industry. The music is extremely catchy, and the performers are amazing at what they do at such a young age. But behind the scenes you can almost say its corporate slavery from the stories that leak out.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Only one? Well one that comes to mind is “Heartwork” by Carcass. It was so ahead of its time in songwriting and production. Pretty sad when I heard due to this Covid mess the release date for the newest Carcass album is postponed. Hopefully not for too long.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
That’s a tough one! Personally, I love vinyl the most. I love having a massive piece of artwork to look at while spinning a record and relaxing. I enjoy cassettes as well especially when its demo tapes. No problems at all with CD or downloads especially if the music was completed & produced digitally. It’s also nice having a streaming service on my phone for my morning nature walks.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
So many great memories. If I had to pick one, I’d say Maritime Metal & Hard Rock Fest 5. Met a lot of amazing people that night who I still connect with today.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Well my day job is an audio-visual technician. I have my papers in Music & Recording Arts and some courses in advertising. Now if you really want to go off the wall, I’d say milling wood in a saw mill.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Honestly, I’d probably invite a bunch of people who are all complete opposites just to watch the madness unfold haha. On a serious note definitely invite Anabelle and Hugo as a thank you for the guest features. Probably invite Max Cavalera just so I can bug him to be a guest on a future song. Always wanted to meet Ozzy Osbourne and I’d say Willie Nelson as well. Just imagine the stories those guys have.
What’s next for the band?
Getting our album heard by as many people as possible! We are looking at different approaches regarding livestreaming shows due to Covid 19 turning the whole entertainment industry upside down.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Don’t know what that is. Gimme 30 secs while I get it up on google images. Woah! It has the presentation of a cake but take a bite and it looks like a biscuit. What kind of sorcery is this?
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
It’s been a pleasure! All I gotta say is look us up! Listen to our music. Hopefully, things can go back to normal in the not so distant future. Everybody take care!
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.