Interview with Desolation Angels

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Desolation Angels were one of the forefathers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal era. Now, nearly forty years later, they are still rocking and I, recently, had the chance to interview them.

Hi, I’m Dawn from Ever Metal. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us and I hope you are all ok?

Hi Dawn, yes we are all ok thanks.

Ok, so for those who have been hiding in a remote cave somewhere for the past thirty odd years, can you give us a quick background of the band?

Desolation Angels was formed in early 1981 by childhood friends Robin Brancher and Keith Sharp based in the East End of London. The band started writing and rehearsing and soon built up a reputation playing live.

The band’s first single, ‘Valhalla’, was recorded at a studio in Cheltenham in 1982 and, by this time, the band was touring extensively the UK. In 1984, their debut self titled album ‘Desolation Angels’ was recorded at Thameside Studios, London

After spending eight years in the USA playing live shows and recording, the band returned to the UK.

* After various personnel changes since the reformation of Desolation Angels in 2012, the band members are: Robin Brancher (guitar), Keith Sharp (guitar), Clive Pearson (bass), Chris Takka (drums) Paul Taylor (vocals).

Answered Clive Pearson

So, your latest album “King” (great name by the way!) was released on February 23rd of this year (2018), how is it being received? I see you have had some great reviews.

The name seems to have been a good choice, well done to Rob on that one….. it needs to be mentioned first that we were so fortunate to have Chris Tsangeridies listen to the demos and see the potential in the songs to agree to give us his time to make this album so special in so many ways. It so tragic that this was to be his final gift to the music world as he certainly took this on to ensure he handed over a fantastic album. He brought out the best in DA AND we will be ever thankful to his dedication to produce and engineer these songs which the ‘reviews tell it all. The enjoyment of working with Chris and hearing all his tales of his past were very entertaining when recording can be such a stressful experience. He put the fun and enjoyment into those weeks of hard work…. the album is selling very well and so it should as it is one of those albums that gets better each time you listen to it. That is down to the song writing and the great man CT…. thanks Chris may you RIP in Valhalla with your great friend Gary Moore.

Answered by Clive Pearson.

And how was it working with the late, great Chris Tsangeridis?

I may have answered that in previous question.

He was a true musician who loved working in the industry and to help those musicians around him. His history speaks for itself and no air of greatness within his personality which could really have been the case. He’d work with anyone who had desire and commitment to their music… see his autobiography as it would take the whole Metal Nation edition to cover his character and albums.

Answered by Clive Pearson.

The official launch party for the album was on March 23rd at The Devonshire Arms in Camden. I was gutted I couldn’t get there. How did it go? Lots of drunkenness and shenanigans?

The Dev is a perfect venue for this event as it is a true metal pub in Camden which is one of the most diverse towns in London. Great atmosphere and punters. I think my other half should cover the drunken shenanigans as she won that one hands down. I give you her number and the Premier Inn in London where she was carried to after the gig and made a grand entrance…….. I am sure they can fill you in on that one… lots of punters were up for a big night and it did not disappoint.

Answered by Clive Pearson.

So, you are happy with the line up now?

It’s not just a line up it’s a big family with all the wives and girlfriends part of the group.

Answered by Paul Chatfield

I checked out your latest tour dates on your website and I see you are doing a lot of double headers with another great band Sacrilege (and some with support from Satan’s Empire). What’s is like working with those guys? They are all a great bunch.

They are all a great bunch. We have got a few under our belts already and the one that stands out was at the Underworld in Camden … I seem to get on well in Camden……… Sacrilege are a real good time rock and roll party animals that enjoy themselves on and off stage. We are also pretty much the same age so got a lot of those old days to catch up on and reminisce about. Satan’s Empire have a new album out and sure deliver live. I know Paul Lewis from when he was in Belladonna so cool to be gigging with them now..
Look forward to the next ones coming up…

Answered by Clive Pearson.

And you have the NWOBHM GDR #3 in Nuneaton in November. Are you looking forward to that? It’s a shame it’s not in London again though.

We played the first one in London and good to see it gathering pace a few years now. Great to have Tokyo Blade, Tysondog on the bill plus The Deep & Airforce. We all gigging regularly over the years so will be a big party.

Tokyo Blade will be the 2nd time we shared the stage who are good friends with Rob and Keith so good times will be had…

You play in Europe a lot. Do you think your music is better received there and do you prefer playing there or on home soil?

We really enjoy playing in Europe, the fans seem more dedicated, they know the material and really appreciate the fact you come over. I suppose we were a bit spoilt for choice in the UK. There is, and has always been loads of great bands evolved here through the years so fans have a massive choice. Don’t get me wrong it’s fantastic to play to a great crowd in the UK but the European crowds seem to let their hair down a bit more and really rock out.

Answered by Paul Taylor

I am the first to admit that I am not the biggest fan of NWOBHM (yet here I am interviewing one of the original bands from the era!) and I must say I prefer the last album to the earlier stuff. What have you done that has changed your sound so that even a NWOBHM-disliker like me loved your album?

The NWOBHM label is just that, a label! It was just a way to remarket what had always been there, good old-fashioned rock bands. All the radio stations just played either disco music or punk. Purple, Sabbath, UFO, Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash, Budgie, Lizzy and Priest were still all there and they inspired us, younger bands. So it could be that you like the King album because we’re now better at producing great rock albums than we were 30 years ago . The original values of the music are the same as they’ve always been, strong powerful guitar riffs with a solid rhythm section and melodic vocal tunes with interesting lyrics. We chose Chris T to produce the album because of his fantastic track record and his love of great rock music. He loved the album and did a brilliant job. It would seem that we’ve done what we intended to do, make an album traditional NWOBHM fans would like but also cross the boundaries in to the established hard rock fan base who would normally dismiss NWOBHM bands because of the label.

Answered by Paul Taylor

Ok, so I am friends with most, if not all of you, on social media of some sort, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and I have seen you “in the flesh” so to speak. You are all a great bunch of guys and I would love to interview you face to face after a gig at some point! Would this be ok with you guys?

For sure we always happy to give interviews and answer question for readers on Skype or phone.
Or come backstage after gig and we can have few beers and chat..

So, what’s next for Desolation Angels?

Keep on gigging for as long as we can and record the next album.

Answered by Paul Chatfield

Well, thank you so much for your time. I look forward to seeing you on the road and maybe we can get that interview squeezed in. Is there anything you would like to add?

Thanks for asking us to do this interview spread the word www.desolationangels.co.uk

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Kaine – A Crisis of Faith

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KAINE
A CRISIS OF FAITH
SELF RELEASED
8 out of 10
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

When I hear the name Kaine, I always think of them as a new band just starting out, full of young guys wanting to make their mark on the metal scene. Now, while the “wanting to make their mark” bit is true, the band, itself, has been around since 2009.

Hailing from East Anglia, Kaine is a four-piece set up with influences from bands such as Iron Maiden and Saxon, which they have mixed with the thrash element I so love and have produced a fresh take on an older genre. Their site states they “combine traditional / NWOBHM with thrash / speed metal” and, despite not being the biggest NWOBHM fan, as you will have come to know by now, this is a combination that I have grown to love.

So, for those of you who don’t know much about the band, and if you don’t where have you been for the past nine years, let me tell you of some of their achievements so far.

They have supported some of the biggest names in current heavy metal, such as Alestorm, Evil Scarecrow, Savage Messiah, I-AM-I (which features ex-Dragonforce and current Skid Row singer ZP Theart), The Wild Lies and Absolva (a band that features members of Iced Earth!) and they have also shared the stage with legends such as Diamond Head, Praying Mantis, Tygers of Pan-Tang, Grave Digger, Holocaust, Lawnmower Deth, Annihilated, Tytan (ex-Angel Witch) and Onslaught.

On top of this, they were also voted GMA Breakthrough UK band of 2013 and in 2017, the band’s website was recognised as the 87th top metal blog in the world by Feedspot.

So, what does this band have to offer? Well, in my opinion, absolutely everything! With four fantastic musicians, excellent song writing abilities and a work ethic that’s second to none, this band should be bigger than what they are!

A Crisis of Faith is the band’s third album, officially released on February 1st, 2018, and having reviewed the previous one, The Waystone, I can see how they have grown as a band. I stated in my review then that they had “taken a great, big pot, thrown in some traditional heavy metal and a handful of NWOBHM, while adding a bit of thrash and a pinch of prog.” This album takes it all to the next level and feels a lot more ‘proggy’ to me than the last. This, however, doesn’t take away from the heavy crunching riffs and pounding drums that are still present, but it does show just what this bunch of guys can do.

I have always been an admirer of vocals that stand out from the rest, because let’s face it, who wants to listen to a band whose singer sounds just like any other band? And that, for me, is one of the things that makes this band a bit different to the rest. Rage Sadler’s vocals are somewhat quirky and will maybe not appeal to everyone, but I think they add character to the band. And he can actually sing, a trait that not too many bands deem important these days!

The other thing that stood out on this album for me was the bass playing. Being mum to a budding bass player I am starting to notice the bass lines in songs more and more now but the playing on this album just blew me away. I have seen Kaine live a few times with Stephen Ellis on bass now and he is simply a phenomenon.  I never knew bass player’s fingers could move so fast! And with Saxon Davids on guitar (what a player!) and Chris MacKinnon on drums (and a lot of other stuff!! Versatility, now that’s the name of the game) these guys are everything a band should be!

Stand out songs for me were Fall of Jericho (check out the bass!) which I think is a favourite among a lot of other fans too, and Alone (In My Forgotten Rage) although I don’t think there is a bad song on the album.

I know that the music of Kaine doesn’t appeal to everyone, but I think they have been overlooked by a lot of people. They work extremely hard and endure personal hardships to do what they do, and, for this, I think they should be applauded. If you give just one unsigned band you may have discounted a listen, then let it be this band!

Get yourself a copy of A Crisis of Faith (and at just a couple of quid they are a steal) and see for yourself!

 

Note: Since the recording of this album, drummer Chris Mackinnon has announced he is leaving the band. While this is a mighty blow for the band, here at Ever Metal we appreciate Chris has his own reasons for doing this. We would like to wish him all the very best for his future musical endeavours and hope he achieves what he is looking for.

We would also like to wish incoming replacement Liam Etheridge the best of luck with Kaine and look forward to many more years of music from a great bunch of guys.

On the 3rd May 2018, it was also announced that guitarist, Saxon Davids and bassist Stephen Ellis, were also leaving the band. We at Ever Metal would like to wish them both the very best in what they choose to do and we also hope Rage Sadler can salvage the band and come back bigger than ever!

 

TRACK LISTING

  • 1 Heaven’s Abandonment
  • 2 Fall of Jericho
  • 3 A Night Meets Death
  • 4 Crisis of Faith
  • 5 Afterlife
  • 6 Frailty of the Blade
  • 7 Voice in Hell
  • 8 Behind the Preacher’s Eyes
  • 9 The Mind is Willing
  • 10 Alone (In My Forgotten Rage)

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://kaine-metal.com/
  • https://kaine.bandcamp.com/
  • https://en-gb.facebook.com/kaineband/
  • https://www.instagram.com/kaineband/

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Chasing Ghosts – These Hollow Gods

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Chasing Ghosts- These Hollow Gods (2018)
Mighty Music
Release Date: 9th February 2018
Running Time: 38.58
Reviewer Tsarina Wilson
8/10

This band was formed by Lee Brueton and were influenced by bands such as Paradise, Lost, Moonspell, and, as a personal opinion, I can hear some London After Midnight, with its dark rock, moody yet clean and unhindered.

The band are made up of Nelson Cancini (vocals), Lee Brueton (bass/synth), Ashley Clark (rhythm guitar) and Harry Mitten (lead guitar). They guys were brought together to produce honest and unrelenting rock music. They were winners of Ubeat “Rock Act of the Year” 2016, which is one of the most celebrated emerging music awards. Drums on this album were provided by Gary Fuller.

This album was recorded by “Enter Shikari” engineer, Tim Morris, and has aired on over 50 radio stations worldwide. The track ‘Fallen From Grace’ became the band’s first official video featuring Pixie Le Knot, actress and contortionist from Game of Thrones, and it debuted on Amp’d TV, hosted by Kerrang’s very own Johnny Doom.

Chasing Ghosts have played at venues including The Camden Assembly, Proud Camden, The Craufurd Arms, and headlined the O2 Academy 2 in Liverpool. A European tour is planned for 2018 to coincide with their album launch in Copenhagen and festival dates are to be announced soon.

The title track was written about our role models, idiots and those we ultimately view as gods in family, religion, music and amongst celebrities. Those people we have devoted our lives to but have given nothing but false hope and disappointment back. Everyone has a “hollow god”.

The guitar riffs are sometimes almost haunting, the songs are lyrically very deep, dark and angry yet trying to get a message across and every element of this album, from the art work, production and mixing has been created by the band with no compromise. The songs are the result of blood, sweat and tears; hard work that has very obviously paid off. There are no gimmicks and no razzle dazzle, just pure hard raw rock with a story to tell. We all have dark days, loss in our lives, sadness and pain and times when we feel we are very alone, but this band have shown, in their own way, that we are not, others are there for us, and things can be turned around.

Don’t think just because the songs are quite dark that it’s all doom and gloom. This band really is great listening and, with the title track These Hollow Gods, it really makes you think of those people we put way up on a pedestal and give everything to but get nothing in return. The lyric “at what cost they came to us these hollow gods in which we trust” says it all.

The energy these guys have put into the whole package is just amazing and with the dark rock/goth tones they are well worth going to see. They are very much a dark night, candles on, just float off listening to some decent music, kind of band. They are not to everyone’s taste, but they are very refreshing in this day and age of plastic music that all sounds the same. These guys definitely don’t and that is yet another plus to them.

TRACK LISTING

  • Everything Changes
  • This Fear
  • From Depravity
  • These Hollow Gods
  • Dark Skies
  • Fearless
  • Fallen From Grace
  • One Last Try

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • www.facebook.com/Cghostsmusic
  • www.chasingghosts.co.uk/
  • http://mightymusic.dk/artists/chasing-ghosts/
  • https://twitter.com/chasingghostsau?lang=en
  • https://tunein.com/artist/Chasing-Ghosts-m1048121/?autoplay=true

 

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Desolation Angels – King

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Desolation Angels – King
Running time: 46:00
Dissonance Productions
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

Now, I have never hidden the fact that I am not the biggest New Wave of British Heavy Metal fan, but that doesn’t mean I will shy away from reviewing it. And what better NWOBHM band to review than Desolation Angels?

Formed in 1981 in London, England, they released their self-financed first single Valhalla in 1983, by which time they had established themselves as a solid pub and club band throughout London’s East End, playing alongside other NWOBHM bands such as Chariot and Elixir. Their self-titled debut album, recorded at Thameside Studios in London, was finally released in 1984 and they earned themselves a great reputation for their potent live performances.

But the band thought their true path lay elsewhere and they relocated to Los Angeles, California soon after, spending eight years there. They returned to England in the early nineties before splitting in 1994.

The release of the Feels Like Thunder boxset in 2008 prompted original guitarists Robin Brancher and Keith Sharp to reform the band and by 2012 they were playing live again. New additions of Clive Pearson on bass and Chris Takka on drums in 2013 and the acquisition of former Elixir singer Paul Taylor on vocals in 2015 complete the current line-up.

2014 saw the release of a new EP titled Sweeter Than Meat, while their debut, self-titled album was reissued in 2016.

King (great name by the way!) is their new album, officially released on February 23rd, 2018 by Dissonance Productions. The album was produced by the late, great Chris Tsangeridis (RIP) and is a blistering return to everything that made the band so electrifying the first-time round.

I have often touched on the subject of progression in a band’s sound while writing a review, and this time will be no different. Many bands get berated for not progressing with the times, while others are criticised for doing just that. It seems the bands just cannot win whatever they do.

I sit on the fence with this one. I love to hear a band’s sound change as they progress through their career but, at the same time, I want to hear the sound that made them in the first place. Desolation Angels have maintained their sound from the NWOBHM wave in the early 80’s but have added a huge dose of contemporary aggression to their mix of classic, heavy, chorus-driven metal that will leave necks sore everywhere they go.

I saw a quote stating they were looking for “meticulous song writing, anthemic oomph, hard rock swagger and plenty of street level heavy metal grit” and I think that is exactly what they have achieved with this album. It’s a nostalgic snapshot of the early days of classic and traditional heavy metal that will leave older listeners harping back to the “good old days” while the youngers ones will wish they had been there (me included!).

I think the album gets better the further into it you get, with the second half featuring the stronger songs. Now, when I say, “the second half”, what I mean is from track number four “Rotten to the Core” (which also happens to be my favourite song on the album…. reminds me of so many people!) so really, we are talking about most of the album!!

The first single from the album “Another Turn of the Screw” is due to be released in March 23rd, the same day as the official album launch party that is taking place at The Devonshire Arms in Camden, and, although I can see why they have chosen this as the first single (appeals more to the mainstream etc etc) I would have liked to have seen “Rotten to the Core” or “Sky of Pain” but then that’s just my opinion!!!

Overall, this is a great album (over a week in my car is testament to that!) that I think all fans, old and new, of the NWOBHM sound will love and is must to add to any collection. I am not a NWOBHM fan and I loved it. A great album from a great bunch of guys!

When’s the next album out?!

 

TRACK LISTING

  • 01 – Doomsday
  • 02 – Another Turn Of The Screw
  • 03 – Devil Sent
  • 04 – Rotten To The Core
  • 05 – Your Blackened Heart
  • 06 – Find Your Life
  • 07 – Hellfire
  • 08 – Sky Of Pain
  • 09 – My Demon Inside

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • http://www.desolationangels.co.uk/
  • https://en-gb.facebook.com/DesolationAngels/
  • https://myspace.com/desolationangeluk

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities