Woven Man – Revelry (In Our Arms)

Revelry (In Our Arms) Cover

Woven Man – Revelry (In Our Arms)
Undergroove Records
Release Date: 11/01/2019
Running Time: 34:17
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
9/10

Good evening, my fellow dark souls of black and other ill-suited arabesques. Dark Juan here, coming down off a spectacularly drunken Saturday night with Eurovision. But we shan’t go into that. All you need to know is that Dark Juan approves of all Eurovision shenanigans, especially when Icelandic BDSM aggrotech acts show support for Palestine in the middle of Tel Aviv. Madonna, though. She was a fucking disaster zone. She sang flatter than a witch’s tit all through her song. The poor old sausage, desperately trying to remain relevant. Give up, old girl. You’re a granny now, like, and hanging about with idiotically named rappers repeating the last word of a line whilst using a square wave processor and doing some kind of bizarre electronic reggae-lite is not dignified. And stop dressing like a fucking steampunk sky-pirate, as well.

Yeah, Woven Man. Of course I have remembered what I am here for. They are Welsh. I’m allowed to make any Welsh joke I like because I lived there for several years, and let me tell you most of them were come up with by Welshmen. However, guitarist Lee “Roy” Davies, during his tenure with Lifer, stayed at my house in Yorkshire one time and was PERSONALLY responsible for the worst hangover I have ever suffered, the sawn off little shit. Never before or since has a trip to Ripon ever taken four hours from Halifax…..

“Revelry (In Our Arms)” starts, rather interestingly, and in my opinion jarringly, with a banjo. Cue the possibility of a joke about hillbillies considering it was recorded in Llanelli, but I have just remembered I have played the Mason’s Arms in Llanelli and my old band used to practice there… Makes me a hillbilly too then. Shit. Can’t do that one. Bollocks. Anyway, we are soon rid of the banjo and suddenly the inside of my head explodes with a COLOSSAL explosion of fuzz tinged distortion as the Woven Man battlewagon gets kicked into gear with ‘Calling Down The Leaves’. Holy fuck. That production is huge. It’s like somebody bludgeoning you with heavy fucking metal. Yes, this is what we want! The opening riff sends my eyeballs spinning and we are away with a nine minute paean to the gods of stoner and space rock. Yes, this record is heavier than an anvil at terminal velocity, but there are touches of Kyuss and more especially Hawkwind in the opening song. Especially near the end of the song. This is a good thing. I fucking love Hawkwind and immediately love anyone else who does too.

Running through the record there’s a distinct Clutch vibe going on, but this again is no bad thing. The songwriting is good, the vocals diverse and interesting and the music played with the kind of relaxed aplomb that can only come with being off your tits on some party treats. Every song is good. ‘I Am Mountain’ starts with a bass riff that rearranged my internal organs, turned my liver into liquid and made my blood come out of my nose. The sound of both bass and guitar is magnificently, cosmically humungous and ‘I Am Mountain’ has an almost grunge like, Soundgardeny arrangement and structure, with a guitar line dripping with wah wah before the chorus kicks in, in the most satisfyingly metal way possible and melts your face, again. There’s a lot of face melting on this record. ‘With Willow’ is the third track on this five song debut, and it is Sabbathian and Clutchy and my personal favourite track for my 4am commute to work at maximum volume. It’s a stonker and never fails to wake me the fuck up. ‘Maker’s Mark’ starts with the kind of clean electric guitar chord medley Metallica favoured at the start of ‘Harvester Of Sorrow’, but played with considerably more finesse than the overrated Yank chancers. And then it explodes. Again my brains are smeared across the wall behind me by the sheer enormity of the sound of this record, necessitating a quick clean up lest Mrs. Dark Juan complains about the mess. She’s sick of me leaking body fluids and organs all over the house when I listen to metal. She says that blood is a very persistent stain on the curtains. Closing track ‘Of Land And Sky’ has caused my brainpan to explode and now the lounge looks like that nightclub in the third Hellraiser film after Pinhead decides to show the clientele what he thinks a good time is. It is good and the vocal has a very appealing harder, heavier more brutal edge, Sion roaring “SUMMON THE TEMPEST!” and sounding rather like the rather wonderful Karl Middleton of Earthtone9 whilst doing so. In fact, the whole song reminds me of that brilliant Nottingham mob, with added sludge.

Woven Man have released a hell of a record. Brutal, proficient and one that rewards multiple listens. I’ve played it so many times you’ll hear “SUMMON THE TEMPEST!” from underground in the corner of an old graveyard somewhere. That will be me in my grave. And I’m not just saying it because Lee is one of my friends. It is a fucking killer record and one that proper should put Welsh metal on the map. Best thing to come out of Wales since the road back to England, really. For the record, I’m fucking joking here, alright? I loved Wales and living in Castell Newydd Emlyn. And Cwmdwyfran. And Aberystwyth. Other fine Welsh things are Felinfoel Double Dragon beer, Llanelli’s finest pint. Or Brains’ SA. Or Fuel Rock Club on Womanby Street in Cardiff. Or Crowleys Rock Bar in Swansea. It appears there are many fine things to come out of West and South Wales and Woven Man are one of the finest. I order you all to spend all of your money on Woven Man gear and music. Right away, you UTTER SCOUNDRELS!!!

Also, cofiwch Dryweryn. Diolch yn fawr.

(Rick here, for those that do not know or understand the Welsh language this translates to “Remember Tryweryn. Thank you very much”. Google Dryweryn/Tryweryn and you’ll find out about this piece of Welsh history that is forgotten by many and not known about by many more!)

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (System Sgorio Gwastadedd Gwaed Gwlyb Juan Tywyll yn y Cymraeg… Ha! Bet that took you by surprise didn’t it? I actually know a bit of [probably incorrect] Welsh!) has forbore from making any jokes about wellington boots and sheep during this review because it was taken aback by the brilliance on display here. 9/10. Woven Man lose a mark for not giving me enough heavy fucking metal on this record. I need more. I can’t even say that Wales are shit at rugby anymore, because they won the Six Nations. I’ll never forgive them for the Manic Street Preachers, though. That’s unforgivable.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Calling Down The Leaves
02. I Am Mountain
03. With Willow
04. Maker’s Mark
05. Of Land And Sky

WOVEN MAN ARE:
I don’t know. Apart from the legendary Lee “Roy” Davies, they haven’t seen fit to leave any information on the internet that might enlighten me… I shall just consult the physical copy Lee sent me. Ah ha, here we go…
Sion McKinnon – Vocals
Donal Owen – Drums
Andrew Brookes – Bass
Mark Pitts – Guitar
Lee “Roy” Davies – Guitar

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/wovenisms/
https://www.instagram.com/wovenman/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs2ZP08NopIx6dRKNPkMEFg

 

Promo Pic1

 

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.

Dirge – Lost Empyrean

Lost Empyrean Cover

Dirge – Lost Empyrean
Debemur Morti Productions
Release Date: 14/12/2018
Running Time: 55:38
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
10/10

Good evening, dear brothers and sisters of the one true faith. That being metal, not one of the false prophets and their excuses for religions. Only metal is real. There is no Zuul, only metal. If you’re an Eighties kid you’ll get that reference. If not, I’d like to say sorry for confusing you but I’m really not, so I won’t. Well, that’s started this review off with a faintly negative and nihilistic tone. Again, sorry not sorry! Anyway, shall we see whether Dirge can turn these frowns upside down and whether they are worth discharging mucho dinero on? Walk with me, dear friends of Baphomet, into my playroom. That’s where my kickass stereo is. Ignore the surgical instruments – they are just for decoration, after all. No, that’s not blood, its patina. What? No, I didn’t lock the door behind you, Karen. The deadlocks automatically activate. Please, have a seat. Thank you.

Now we will begin…

A bunch of most estimable Parisians, Dirge took the extraordinary step of announcing that they were splitting up after 25 years two months after they released the record I am listening to, “Lost Empyrean”. This has caused me great upset and consternation because this record is a spectacularly brutal affair and Dirge hadn’t come across my Satanic radar before. Lost Empyrean is absolutely huge. It’s colossal. It’s mountainous, monolithic riffs of splendour and magnificence. And I’m fucking pissed off with the bastards for splitting up on me, especially considering Paris is within easy reach of the village I am slowly purging of all its inhabitants. They remind me of a less polished Crowbar, with elements of Swans, Red Harvest (circa ) and Paradise Lost. This is a splendid set of influences to have in my not actually very humble at all opinion, because PL, RH and Swans are fucking awesome, dude. The production job on this record is that rarest of things – perfect for the music that is recorded. Every instrument is rendered with precision. I can hear every drumbeat with perfect clarity and there is a meaty resonance about them that is normally lacking in metal recordings. Normally, metal bass drums sound like someone smacking some taut polythene with a wet and rather perturbed and upset rat. The guitars are razorwire flails, operating at neck height and are chunky as fuck, man. It is not a subtle guitar sound. It is the sound of electric guitar used properly, as a weapon, not a musical instrument; and the bass. Oh, holy fuck, the bass. If there were emojis on Word documents there would be love hearts all over the fucking page just because of the bass guitar. The rumbling, earthquake inducing, lo fi splendiferousness of the bass sound cannot be overstated.

Fuck me crossways. This is apocalypse music. This is the sound of the slow, drawn out, tortured end of the world. It’s shrieking and grinding tectonic plates being forced apart and the heat and power of released magma flows. This is the sound of a multitude of unstoppable armoured vehicles, covered in demonic sigils and crushing human lives down to chunky salsa beneath their spiked tracks. It is the sound of screaming diesel engines belching foul smoke from blackened exhausts and the roar of high powered high explosive shells demolishing fortifications, before matt black battlewagons crush all resistance under their tracks and plough relentlessly on, on to where you are cowering, hidden away in the ruins. It’s the sound of the end of your world, when the muzzle of a robotically controlled machine gun points to your place of concealment and saws the wall you’re hiding behind in half with a burst of half inch calibre leaden slugs. This record is slower and heavier than your mum in a pair of plutonium knickers with a lead brassiere…, while she is wearing a pair of depleted uranium shoes. It is THAT heavy, if you like droney, shoegaze stuff that is. If you revere Dragonforce, you’ll hate it with a vengeance unparalleled in human history. Lost Empyrean is the slow moving means of your death. It doesn’t rely on speed. It relies on superior quality songwriting and the fact Dirge play slow enough to let the music expand. Like the blastwave of a nuclear detonation. This music is utterly, UTTERLY uncompromising. It will not stop until you have been reduced to your component parts and it is grinning through bloodied teeth at you… There’s no point telling you what the best tracks are. This is an album that REQUIRES your attention from start to finish. It honestly is more than the sum of its parts and is a superior experience when listened to as a single body of work, through headphones, where you can subject your cranium to the type of crushing forces normally experienced by a jet fighter pilot pulling 9g. Or your dad, when your mum rides him like a cowgirl.

I never thought I would say this, but this record is the equal of P.H.O.B.O.S’s Phlogiston Catharsis, a record I judged to be the album of the year last year. They too are French. French metal is fucking astonishingly good. I haven’t yet heard a French heavy metal record I haven’t liked. Dirge (until they broke my fucking heart by splitting up, the absolute SHOWER!) are well worth elevating to the Dark Juan Pantheon Of Wonderful Excellence, where they sit with such luminaries as the aforementioned P.H.O.B.O.S. and Rivers Of Nihil and Gunship and others.

Ejaculate vast wads (of cash, you fucking filthy pervert) and buy everything Dirge have ever done so they will reform and I can go and have my brain turned to soup at a Dirge gig. You need Dirge in your life. Everyone needs Dirge in their life.

Simply staggering. I am literally sat in a dark room on my own with Dirge ringing in my head, wondering how the fuck does metal top this. I’m not sure it can. One thing is for certain, I’m not writing anything else tonight because anything else I listen to is just going to sound like appalling shite. I’m going for a lie down. My brain hurts.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Das Patentierte Dunkle Juan-Blut-Splat-Bewertungssystem, just because I like the way it sounds in German) has ruined every pair of trousers it has with many, many Dirge induced sex wees, has levelled its own house by playing Dirge too loudly and is currently sat shell-shocked among the wreckage wondering what to do with itself. This means Dirge are awarded 10/10. Full fucking marks, brothers and sisters of the true faith. FULL FUCKING MARKS.

TRACKLISTING:
01 Wingless Multitudes
02 Hosea 8 7
03 Algid Troy
04 The Burden Of Almost
05 Lost Empyrean
06 A Sea Of Light
07 Sarracenia

DIRGE ARE: (were, as it transpires…. this is devastating news)
Marc T.
Alain B.
Stéphane L.
Luz
They did not deign to tell me what instruments they played and I am too drunk to care… you have the internet, you find out!

LINKS:
http://www.dirge.fr
https://www.facebook.com/pg/DIRGE.fr/

 

Session Dirge - Paris, decembre 2017

 

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.

 

 

Nightrage – Wolf To Man

Nightrage - Wolf To Man Cover

Nightrage – Wolf To Man
Despotz Records
Release Date 29/03/2019
Running Time: 43:55
Review by Lotty Whittingham
9/10

It’s no secret that the mighty wolf is often associated with the metal community. Bands like Powerwolf, Sonata Arctica and Wolf have turned this to their advantage, whether it’s writing songs about the wolf or naming their band after it. Nightrage have also done this successfully with their latest album “Wolf To Man”. It takes you on a brutal, fist banging and melodic journey about the demise of mankind.

The album goes straight in for the kill with opening track ‘Starless Night’. This gives you a great first glimpse of their high-quality sound, it’s one that balances sheer brutality and melodic tunes perfectly. Another thing that you notice is the brilliant guitar work, particularly in the solos and chorus. These melodic and brutal arrangements work flawlessly together to create some fantastic tunes.

Across the album, you can hear this remarkable balance between the two perfectly. One minute you could be rapidly headbanging along to the beats, the next minute you are practicing air guitar along to the tuneful solos. No track is the same either, each one showcases a different story. The track can either make you want to start a revolution or go on a murderous rampage. It’s hard to pick the best tracks off the album so here are a few of the songs that demonstrate the impeccable talent of Nightrage.

‘Embrace The Nightrage’ could easily cause a rampaging riot with its fast pace and ruthlessness in the verses. The victorious sounding chorus can encourage you to carry on or it can mark the end of a successful rampage. Especially when the band screams “embrace the nightrage”, there’s a great sense of empowerment and strength behind this phrase.

The transition from sweeping melodic arrangements to thrash metal arrangements in the song ‘By Darkness Drawn’ are flawless. This fist pumping, headbanging tune will make you want to start your own mosh pit wherever you happen to be. This is a dominant track and definitely one of many highlights on the album.

The chilled introduction to ‘Disconnecting The Dots’ gives a different vibe to the rest of the album. The title alone is open to interpretation and the introduction to this song is a great way to illustrate this phrase. The acoustic guitars in the bridge also portray a more relaxed vibe that can represent the title. The rest of the song continues to showcase the band’s brilliant balance between melodic beauty and sheer brutality.

It ends on a strong note with the tracks ‘Escape Route Insertion’ and instrumental ‘Lytrosis. Escape Route Insertion’ provides one more brutal blast screaming at us to escape reality, something that we can all relate to.

The instrumental Lytrosis provides a calming atmosphere with the stripped-down tones and mellow guitar riffs. It’s a wonderful way to help the listener relax after experiencing a sheer force of brutal metal.

“Wolf To Man” is a melodic death metal treasure for old and new listeners alike. Nightrage are not ones to mess with and the mighty strength from them is concrete evidence of this.

Warning: Not for the fainthearted or easily offended.
TRACKLISTING:
01. Starless Night
02. Wolf to Man
03. Embrace The Nightrage
04. Desensitized
05. God Forbid
06. By Darkness Drawn
07. The Damned
08. Arm Aim Kill
09. Gemini
10. Disconnecting the Dots
11. Lytrosis

SOCIAL MEDIA:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/nightrage

Home



https://www.instagram.com/nightrageofficial/

https://www.youtube.com/user/NightrageTV

 

Promo Pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham 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.

Bearfist – Smile You Son Of A Bitch EP

smile you son of a bitch ep cover

Bearfist – Smile You Son Of A Bitch EP
Independent Release
Release Date: 18/01/2019
Running Time: 20:54
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
7/10

As I was also preparing an interview for Essex based band, Bearfist, I had already done a bit of research before listening to the EP, something which I never do! But even then, I wasn’t prepared for the sonic onslaught that my ears were about to suffer, and I do not mean that in a bad way!

Screaming vocals have never really been my bag, but one thing that reviewing has taught me is to never judge a band or their music based on one aspect of them alone!

Bearfist are a four-piece band hailing from Chelmsford, Essex (so essentially a local band for me!) and were formed in late 2014. The band’s heavy groove laden songs and intense live shows earnt them a reputation that saw them grace the stage at some of the UK’s favourite festivals. To note, they have played at Bloodstock in 2016, after winning the London region of Metal to the Masses, HRH Metal in 2017 and Hammerfest in 2018.

The band, itself, was an idea that started off as a chat over a few beers between mates (let’s face it, we have all been there after a few alcoholic beverages, just most of us never actually bring it to fruition) and ended up as the “groove laden wall of noise that you hear today.”

Says the band, “we originally just jumped in a rehearsal room with a bucket load of riff ideas to see what sort of animal we had on our hands.”

They didn’t just produce an animal, they produced a monster and they have press quotes to back that up!

Says Metal Hammer, “combining weighty riffs with throat-shredding vocals, Bearfist are just metal AF.” “One of the most complete acts to play the New Blood Stage,” said Virtual Festivals, regarding Bloodstock, 2016 and Overdrive also stated of the Bloodstock performance, “Bearfist just destroy it. If we were to gauge the future of metal on today’s performance from Bearfist, it is safe to say we have nothing to worry about.”

So, what is it about the band that has produced this level of praise?

“Smile You Son Of A Bitch EP” is the third EP from the beast that is Bearfist, after the releases of “The Fifteenth Day” in 2015 and “Foundations” in 2016, and was produced, mixed and mastered by Justin Hill (ex-Sikth vocalist). The cover photographs were taken by Loki Films and the final layout of the cd had been designed and edited by band member Jon Holland.

The one thing that stands out to me about this four track EP is the sheer amount of energy that emits from it. Even with it playing through the earphones on my laptop (and the earphones not actually being in my ears!) the power is there to be heard.

The guitars are heavy, with riffs that hit you right in the stomach, and in my mind, there is nothing better than heavy guitars. The drumming is tight and frantic, with double kicks popping up all over the place and in a live setting this guy must work up a real sweat! Musically, these guys are top notch and even the vocals, which as I said are not my cup of tea, are first class, performed with a raw intensity that you just cannot but admire.

This is a raw and brutal EP that will have you banging your head from start to finish and I would love to the see the mosh pit at a Bearfist gig as I think it would be mental (I wouldn’t, however, want to be IN it though!!)

If you like your metal fierce and right there in your face, then this is an EP for you. And even if you don’t, give it a try. It will blow away some cobwebs and you might just find yourself moshing along with the rest of us!

TRACK LISTING:
01 Death’s Emissary
02 Destroy The Magnet
03 I’m Your God
04 Bleed The Wrong Way

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/bearfistuk/

https://www.instagram.com/bearfistband/
https://bearfistuk.bandcamp.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChDY68CgeuE6zCOzC1AY78Q

 

promo pic1

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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.