Primitai – Violence Of The Skies

Violence Of The Skies Album Cover Art

Primitai – Violence Of The Skies
ROAR! Rock Of Angels Records
Release Date: 26/03/2021
Running Time: 64:15
Review by Beth Jones
9/10

Before I start to review Primitai’s new album, “Violence Of The Skies”, I have to offer the coveted and extra special (so special that no-one except me knows it exists, and it has no physical presence) award for the best website ever to have graced the internet. If you’re a Spectrum/C64 kid of the 80’s I implore you to check it out, and I promise that you will not be disappointed. Spectacular piece of marketing! I take all my hats off to whoever designed it.

Ok, now I’ve stopped playing on the Primitai website, I suppose I should get on with what I’m actually meant to be using this space for. Let’s have a chat about the album that goes along with this ingenious internet creation! This is a space themed concept album, telling a story about “escaping the end of the world, seeking new victories and facing unknown dangers.” And, aside from that, it’s solid Heavy damn Metal, which is why we’re all really here, right? We lust for new tunes to bang our heads to and get lost in, while the rest of the world tears itself apart. Well, this album can offer you that, for just over 64 minutes of your day at least.

Deep rooted in Classic Heavy Metal, but exploring things on the Power, and Progressive side as well, Primitai join a growing breed of ‘modern’ Classic Heavy Metallers, bringing back all the vim and vigour of the greats, in a more modern way. Powerful bass, intricate rhythms, and synth are the name of the game, along with the soaring harmonised vocals, epic solos, and the duelling guitar cadences that are so synonymous to Heavy Metal. It’s Maiden with modern, Priest with more power, and Queensrÿche with an extra ‘Je ne sais quoi’!

Every track is fast paced, and in your face, but each offer their own unique little twists, to create a full story (I particularly liked the little twiddle at the end of ‘Warriors Of Time’). ‘Innocent’ has a real chug to it, especially in the middle section, which helps express the exciting direction that this sound is taking, as well as exhibit a number of other styles from across the eras. The guitar sound here I find quite 90’s Grunge in a lot of places. There’s plenty of classic European Power Metal influences rammed into this rather tasty pick and mix, as well. One such example is ‘Put To The Sword’.

‘The Cold Surface Of The Moon’ starts off with solitary piano, with effects that make you feel that it’s echoing in the emptiness of space. This is a marked change from the tracks preceding it, but it pretty quickly ramps up into another roaring anthem. However, I would say that this is one of the most classic sounding tracks on the album, with a lot of 70’s prog vibes going on in it, too. I’m a sucker for the old sound, so I think this is one of my favourite tracks on the album. This feel also continues in the following track, ‘I’ll Live Again’. However, after starting with solitary guitar, here there’s more punch when everything kicks in, and we get one of those epic guitar solos I mentioned earlier.

All in all, this is an exciting and toe-tapping album. And I really only have one criticism, but it’s nothing to do with the band, or anything that could have been controlled, it’s more a general irk with the need for everything to be digital these days (when I were a lass, you were lucky if you had a cassette player that didn’t eat your tapes, and you always kept a pencil handy just in case). The files we get to review from are usually MP3s and they compress the shit out of everything. I’ve got pretty dodgy ears anyway, but add into that the hell of compression, and I find that the vocals become muddy. This irritates me immensely, because Guy Miller has a superb voice, and the vocals should be star of the show in this genre (shut your face guitarists – you get your chance in the solos, and I’m a vocalist, so I’m biased).

But that aside, cracking album. Listen to it, have a play on their website, and that will be an afternoon well spent.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Stars Are My Guide
02. The Uprising
03. The Violence Of The Skies
04. Valley Of Darkness
05. Warriors Of Time (feat. Vladimir Djedovic and Mladen Pecovic)
06. Innocent
07. Put To The Sword (feat. Paul Quinn)
08. The Cold Surface Of The Moon
09. I’ll Live Again
10. The Storm Kings (feat. Tom Draper)
11. The Huntress (CD Bonus Track)
12. Prophecies (CD Bonus Track)

LINE-UP:
Guy Miller – Vocals
Srdjan Bilic – Lead and Rhythm Guitars
Scott Miller – Bass and Synth Arrangements
Jonathan Warren – Drums
Sergio “Cheko” Pedro Giron – Rhythm Guitar on ‘Innocent’/ co-Lead Guitar on ‘The Uprising’, ‘Innocent’, and ‘Stars Are My Guide’

Special Guests:
Paul Quinn (Saxon) – Guitar Solo on ‘Put To The Sword’
Tom Draper (formerly of Primitai, Carcass, Pounder) – Guitar Solo on ‘The Storm Kings’
Mladen Pecovic – Guitar Solos 1 and 2 on ‘Warriors Of Time’
Vladimir Djedovic (The Tilt) – Synth Arrangement and Keyboard Solos on ‘Warriors Of Time’

LINKS:

Primitai Promo Pic

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

Hevilan – Symphony Of Good And Evil

Symphony Of Good And Evil Album Cover Art

Hevilan – Symphony Of Good And Evil
Brutal Records
Release Date: 19/03/2021
Running Time: 55:16
Review by Beth Jones
8/10

Good afternoon again my merry bunch of fellow music lovers! Tis I, Beth, come to give you more of my opinions! I’m in a jolly good mood today; the sun is shining, I’ve painted a door frame, and it is that finest of days in the sporting calendar – the day the mighty Welsh dragons take on the English in Rugby Union’s 6 Nations. That’s why I’ve decided to sit down and write now, as the likelihood of me still being able to write later is slim to none (I’ll either be happy drunk or angry drunk, depending on the score at the final whistle!)[***LATER EDIT*** It was indeed the happiest of days for me, and everyone else in Wales – Da Iawn Bois!!] Anyway, enough of this witty banter and repartee, it’s time to tell you about some music, this time in the form of Brazilian Heavy Symphonic Metallers, Hevilan, and their new album “Symphony Of Good And Evil”.

Hailing from São Paulo, and formed in 2005, this will only be the band’s second full-length release, the previous being “The End of Time”, way back in 2013. Now, I do love a good bit of crossover when it comes to genre, and Hevilan certainly do that. They are no doubt symphonic, but there’s more than a smattering of Prog and Thrash in this album too, along with very deep roots in Power and Classic Heavy Metal. Alex Pasqualle’s vocal style definitely draws influence from Bruce Dickinson and the like, and a lot of the riffs and solos are pure, bang your head, Heavy Metal.

The Album kicks off with ‘Dark Paradise’, a crunching track full of Thrash rhythms and heavy chunky riffs. It’s a fast and furious start that sets the tone and pace for things to come. There are a fair few cross-rhythms in the middle of this track, too, which adds an extra depth of complexity, and displays some incredibly talented musicianship. This track rolls seamlessly into ‘Rebellion Of The Saints’, which follows the same vein, but adds in some choral harmonies, and harsher vocals, giving the whole thing a broader feel.

After a rip-roaring 20 minutes spanning the first four tracks, the intensity comes down a little for ‘Always in My Dreams’. It’s a pure Heavy Metal power ballad, and we get to hear Alex’s vocals in full clarity, as well as a delicious guitar solo from Johnny Moraes. Lush, as they say here in the Wales! BUT, and this is one of my only qualms with the album, this track finishes with the dreaded fade out!!! Argh!

Following that little interlude, the pace picks back up again, with a mixture of Symphonic, Thrash, and Classic metal, in the two parts of ‘Devil Within’. But then it’s time for another curveball with ‘Waiting for the Right Time’, which throws in a stripped back section almost akin to David Bowie.

And then we reach the business end of the album, which really is the pièce de resistance in the shape of the four-movement ‘Symphony Of Good And Evil’. Starting with a piece using purely classical instrumentation and choir, this dark and expansive work is much more progressive, experimental, and exploratory than the previous tracks, and centers around specific musical motifs. It’s a very clever full work, within a work, and the rousing strings and choral orchestration boost everything to the next level.

All in all, this is a very pleasing album. My stand-out track would have to be ‘Great Battle’. It’s a real thumper! And, musically, there’s nothing on this album that isn’t done with technical brilliance and skill. Aside from the qualm of the fade out (which incidentally happens in the 3rd part of ‘Symphony Of Good And Evil, too), my only other slight irritant is that, on a few occasions, the mid-tones are a little overbearing in the mix. But that’s a small thing that is easy to overlook when the standard set by Hevilan on this album is so high.

A cracking listen! Would highly recommend if you like any of the aforementioned genres!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Dark Paradise
02. Rebellion Of The Saints
03. Great Battle
04. Here I Am
05. Always In My Dreams
06. Devil Within Part I: Evil Approaches
07. Devil Within Part II: Hammer Of Gods
08. Waiting For The Right Time
09. Symphony Of Good And Evil Part I: Revelation
10. Symphony Of Good And Evil Part II: Dark Ages
11. Symphony Of Good And Evil Part III: Song Of Rebellion
12. Symphony Of Good And Evil Part IV: Epilogue

LINE-UP:
Johnny Moraes – Guitar
Alex Pasqualle – Vocals
Biek Yohaitus – Bass
Rafael Dyszy – Drums

LINKS:

Hevilan Promo Pic

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

Ghost Avenue – Even Angels Fail

Ghost Avenue – Even Angels Fail
Self-Released
Release Date: 07/08/2020
Running Time: 50:47
Review by Tsarina Wilson
9/10

Ghost Avenue are a brilliant, punchy metal band from Oslo, Norway and display a great blend of 80’s Metal with a modern twist. They have all the trademarks of a good Rock/Metal band, with great riffs, awesome drumming and fab vocals/backing vocals. Since first hitting the scene in 2002, they’ve been growing and have played many live shows, including support for Tad Morose at the Norway Rock Festival alongside bands like Status Quo, Accept, Nightwish and Turbonegro, I bet the place was bouncing that night!

Now with 6 releases (1 demo, 1 EP and this, their 4th full-length album) under their belt, they have produced some great work. And from the early days to now, it’s fair to say that their music definitely stands the test of time. Like a lot of bands, they’ve had people come and go, but the current line-up is solid, and full of talent. And this album perfectly displays that. Their talents are blended together, with each having something to put into the musical pot in both performance, and conception of the songs.

This album was recorded at the Lionheart Studios, and was mixed by Oyvind Voldmo Larsen, at the award-winning studio, The Panic Room, in Skovde, Sweden. And, may I say, he has done an amazing job.

One thing I will say at this early point is, I would recommend you don’t play this album too loud. Yes, we all like our music loud, I know, but believe me, the bass almost beats out of your chest and makes your head explode! It’s intense and super powerful, but also strangely soothing.

Despite the booming bass and raw undertones, “Even Angels Fail” isn’t overpowering. It explores clear vocals, and constant changes in tempo. Kim Sandvik’s voice has a distinct gruffness to it, but isn’t overly raspy, so is kinder on the eardrums!

Their high voltage, pure power sound must come across so well in their live shows. Let’s be honest, they’re not a stand still kinda band! With the strong vocal mix of Kim and Andre, they show us that, just because they are a heavy metal band, getting the right balance of vocals and harmonising is just as important as having killer riffs to back it up.

The track ‘Northman’ has a great Nordic theme and is full of harmonically rich vocals, blending with mesmerising guitar, and thumping drums. This upbeat track is one that you just can’t get out of your head. I love the Valhalla input, and I so hope that, in time, we get a video to accompany this track.

It comes across that the guys have such passion about their music, and their performance. The album makes you feel everything that they feel, the passion, the power, the depth. The winning combination of brilliant song-writing, musical talent aplenty, and superb production, have made for a very strong album.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Best of The Best
02. Breakdown
03. Wasted Generation
04. The Fallen
05. Still Craving
06. Take Cover
07. Northman
08. Hero
09. A Violent Disturbance of The Peace
10. Even Angels Fail

LINE-UP:
Kim Sandvik – Vocals
Petter Lein – Drums
Magnus Liseter – Bass
André Berger – Guitar and Vocals
Thomas  Eljarbø – Guitar

LINKS:

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

Ignited – Steelbound

Ignited – Steelbound
Self-Released
Release Date: 26/10/2019
Running Time: 39:21
Review by Victor Augusto
8.5/10

Do you know that old Uncle who, despite all the terrible jokes at Christmas, spends all year mumbling about everything? It doesn’t matter if everything is good, he will still complain about anything, just for the love of complaining. Perhaps this grumpiness is what represents some older Heavy Metal listeners (the young ones too, sometimes). It is obvious that you will have already heard some Heavy Metal fan saying that he doesn’t like a kind of music because it is too modern. The opposite happens to when he thinks the music is dated and repetitive. Let’s be honest! Do you really believe that a band can bring something new to the table after so many fruitful decades with so many styles being perpetuated for eternity? I guess, not even the best clairvoyant could answer that. Why am I saying all this? No Reason! 😊. They are just random thoughts to explain what I felt when listening to Ignited’s debut album “Steelbound” for the first time.

Could it have been nostalgia? Maybe. For sure, I had a mix of feelings that reminded me of many classic Heavy Metal bands, but with a touch of modernism and I don’t mean the low tuning that some Power Metal bands use as an excuse to promote that they are “reinventing” themselves. Being very non-comprehensive, my first impression of this album was like hearing a mix of Judas Priest and Accept, as an overall concept about their sonority. Now, as my comments, about this Brazilian quartet, become ever more confusing I felt a proper heaviness from Dalton Castro’s guitars, together with strong and present bass from Sama Benedet and, together, they create a good wall for Maurício Velasco to be free on the double kick drums. So far then, we have the most traditional lines possible, but with something new that I promise I will mention.

Apparently, their sonority is the typical one that we hear from the aforementioned bands that influenced Ignited. Ignited have done a great job and all instruments are well equalized, they are also very clear. So far, everything is inspired by the classic bands, right? Yes! Totally! What I feel from the “modern” side, is the sound of the drums, which are a bit digitized for me. However, nothing more than that, after all, Maurício has done important work for the overall heaviness. So, maybe, it is more related to the production than the compositions themselves.

Now let’s go to the vocals, which deserve a few more words. No! I am not saying that the vocals are more important than all other instruments, but I would like to highlight a few aspects. The high range notes, in the Rob Halford style, are done with mastery. Sometimes, I hear singers trying to do this, but often the result is not so good. There are also many moments with further clean voices in the style of our most divine entity in Metal, called Mr. Ronnie James Dio. It sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Well, it’s just a matter of taste. The quality of the members of Ignited is unquestionable, however, I found the repetitive high notes/screams a bit tiring and I ended up enjoying more the interpretations when there is more cadence. As I said before, it is just a matter of taste.

We are looking at an album full of attributes. Excellent recording, musicians and compositions. If you’re the grumpy uncle, who complains that classic big-name bands are dying out, then listen to Ignited. “Steelbound” is a powerful album, with complex elements, that easily sounds like other mainstream bands, mainly Judas Priest. If you don’t like innovation, then here is an album where you can hear something very influenced by the past, but also framed with a more youthful design. Personally, it gave me a good feeling, because it reminded me of the old Dark Avenger, which is, probably, one of the greatest names of Traditional Heavy Metal that we have ever had in Brazil. Obviously, this also includes the similarity of Mario Linhares voice in relation to Denis Lima, vocalist of Ignited.

Are there more highlights? Listening from first track ‘Ignition’ through to closing song ‘Rotting’ there are powerful guitars, good rhythm changes allied with amazing melodies and remarkable solos. The entire album exposes what I have spoken about so far. It is an excellent debut!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Ignition
02. Pain
03. Steelbound
04. Living In The Dark
05. Call Me To Run
06. Times
07. Ground Pounding
08. Shining Void
09. Roaring Gears
10. Rotting

LINE-UP:
Denis Lima – Vocals
Dalton Castro – Guitars
Sama Benedet – Bass
Mauricio Velasco – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto 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.

13 Burning – Unholy EP

13 Burning – Unholy EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 14/08/2020
Running Time: 25:00
Review by Beth Jones
7/10

Well, it’s Wednesday! Or ‘hump day’ as some call it (stop snickering at the back, it means it’s the hump of the week, and once you’re through it, you’re on the way to the weekend)! And what better way is there to make it through a humpy Wednesday, than with a bit of metal? None, my good people! None at all!!

This evenings listening is presented by Oxford based NWOBHM band, 13 Burning, in the shape of their recently released debut EP “Unholy”. Formed in 2014, their mission is to combine the traditional sounds of classic heavy metal, with storytelling of mythology, war, and witchcraft.

The EP opens with the title track and gives us everything you would expect from a classic NWOBHM band. Face melting riffs, slightly edgy vocals with perfect Shakespearean diction, a great steady 4/4 beat, and a booming bass line. It’s like bish bash bosh, meat and two veg, heavy metal. And there is not a single thing wrong with that. It takes me back to the good old days, when hair was flowing, boots were cowboy, and everything was double denim clad. And not a pair of rose-tinted glasses in sight!

We’re treated to some awesome musicianship on this release too – a notable example is the ripping solo in track 2 ‘Wings Of A Dream’, which really brings that song to life.

Track 3, ‘Day Of Reckoning’ begins in theatrical fashion; spoken word with a ton of echo, backed up by some eerie and ethereal sound effects. I think this is actually my favourite track. It’s got a slower pace which helps to show off vocalists Dan Abrams pipes really well, and hints at how they can diversify their sound from the traditional. Saying that, it does kind of remind me of the more drug induced tracks that appeared back when peace and love were a thing…just with more riffage!

The final track, ‘Valhala’, again starts in a more slow, lamenting style, with Dan’s vocals sitting atop the mix. Lyrically, it’s pretty poetic, too. Completely in keeping with their mission. And this track is a close second for my favourite track. It’s a biggy, at over 8 minutes long, but has a sharp change of pace in the middle, taking us back to the comfortable groove of classic metal! By the way, unless you by the CD, you won’t hear this track, because it’s a bonus track only on the physical copy. And the lesson here is BUY MERCH AND BUY PHYSICAL COPIES!!!!! Stream, shmeam!!!! Heathens!!! Anyway, where was I?…

Ah yes! “Unholy”, as a debut EP, is a sound footing for 13 Burning to start out with. It’s not ground-breaking, but as a first tentative step into the world of having the balls to put your tunes onto a shiny circle of coated plastic for all to hear, it’s pretty worthy. There are a couple of itchy teething problems that could probably do with ironing out to take them to the next level. The mix is a little muddy in places, and the balance of instruments isn’t always right. But that almost gives it the authentic NWOBHM feel. So, you have to make a call. If it’s ‘perfection’ in the modern day that you seek, then maybe check go out some Ed Sheeran. But if you want proper no nonsense British Heavy Metal, then you could do a lot worse than looking these guys up. I think 13 Burning have a lot more to give (hence my score) and I very much look forward to hearing where they go next.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Unholy
02. Wings Of A Dream
03. Day Of Reckoning
04. Valhala

LINE-UP:
Dan Abrams – Vocals
Phill Millward – Guitars
Sarah Thompson – Bass
Steve Kearley – 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 both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Validor – In Blood In Battle 2020

Validor – In Blood In Battle 2020
Symmetric Records
Date: 06/04/2020
Running Time: 48:32
Review by Victor Augusto
8/10

There is a question I often ask myself and it is ‘what makes an album strong or remarkable?’ Of course, there are many possible explanations and I wouldn’t dare try to explain something, so complicated, that I don’t know the answer to, but I have some opinions/points of view as a fan of Metal. When I picked Validor’s “In Blood In Battle album to review, I had no idea who they were or where they were from, I just knew that they played Epic Power/Classic Heavy Metal. It is always complicated to analyse this style after hearing so many incredible bands from the eighties who were the first to play this genre and then all the others that have appeared since, making this music massive. I was afraid that I was going to have mixed feelings, happy to hear the genre that was the first one I loved but also worried that I would hear ‘more of the same’.

Validor are a Greek band and while they prepare their fourth album, they decided to also give the correct value to their debut, which had a small budget, and re-record the ‘spine’ of it (guitars, bass and drums), whilst leaving the original vocals and guitar solos to preserve the band’s spirit from 2011, when the original record was released. As I said before, I’ve never heard Validor’s music, so my initial impressions are based on a partly re-recorded debut album. It is absolutely full of passion and anger which is even better than just playing well or creating incredible solos, at least for me! I am tired of releases, full of musicians, just trying to be faster than the speed of light or the most technical in the world. Validor provide emotion.

The first song ‘The Riddle Of Steel’ has a kind of Celtic acoustic intro with a beautiful clean voice that reminded me of my favourite singer of all time, Mr. Eric Adams from Manowar, who used to sing beautifully in this way. As the music gets fast and heavier, it is possible to hear all of Validor’s influences emerging. Classic metal like Manowar and Judas Priest are combined with heavier bands such as Iced Earth and Blind Guardian. Maybe , as this is Validor’s first album, these influences are more apparent, as they hadn’t yet found their own identity, but it is impressive how they work so well together.

One thing that makes me love a band or song is when they put emotion and interpretation into their music, no matter the concept or subject. Riffs that make you bang your head or pick an invisible guitar unconsciously are a good sign of this and the songs ‘Stealer Of Souls’ and ‘The Dark Tower’ are perfect examples. It is amazing how incredibly beautiful the guitars, bass and solo variations are. They really put everything into these tracks, and it is a masterclass of how to play good power metal full of feeling and energy.

A few songs, like ‘Through The Storm’, bring a more melodic influence to the fore, similar to Helloween, but if you want to hear real heaviness then a song like ‘Wrath Of Steel’ is a good example, once again, there is an Iced Earth influence, which gives value to the riffs and aggressiveness. Another highlight is the last, and title, track ‘In Blood In Battle’ where the band combine all these elements together, it is a complete song.

This, partially re-recorded, reissue is a good way to understand the seeds of Validor’s music. You can hear the pure and genuine influences! It is maybe a little bit raw, but it is enough to understand their capability. After hearing the album, I imagine how they are playing now they have become a more experienced band. I intend to find out and I recommend you do so too!

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Riddle Of Steel
02. Sword Of Vengeance
03. The Last Emperor
04. Stealer Of Souls
05. Through The Storm
06. The Dark Tower
07. Stormbringer
08. Wrath Of Steel
09. In Blood In Battle

LINE-UP:
Odi Thunderer – Vocals, Guitar
Bob Katsionis – Lead Guitar, Bass and Keyboards
Apollo Giannoulis – Drums and Classical Percussion

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/validor.gr/
www.validor.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/symmetricrecords

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto 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.

Invictus – Eden

Invictus – Eden
Iron Shield Records
Release Date: 24/01/2020
Running Time: 39:23
Review by Tsarina Wilson
7/10

Invictus, who were founded in 2017 in Bavaria, released their first E.P “Burst The Curse” in March 2019 (Mark did a review of that). Now they give us their debut full-length album “Eden”.

The band, which consists of Nicolas Peter on vocals, Fabio Winter and Andreas Honsberg on guitars, Fabian Scharf on bass and David Knobbe on drums come across as a group from days gone by with their sound of Judas Priest/Helloween style Traditional Heavy Metal. This isn’t a bad thing, by any means, but something just isn’t gelling for me. Don’t get me wrong it’s a good listen with strong guitar riffs and great drumming plus the voice of Peter, who has so much energy in his delivery, cranking out some great lyrics, but they seem to be trying to cram so much into the album it gets a bit much for me, personally. It’s almost like putting a Mentos into a bottle of fizzy drink; it overflows so much I cannot get a grip of what’s going on. Tracks, when played individually, seem fine but put them all together and I’m like “stop the world, I want to get off” although ‘Styx’ is a track I was completely not expecting, a classic Power Metal ballad that is well executed.

The guys in Invictus are obviously very talented and this is only their debut, but I think with hindsight, they have fallen into a trap. Rather than sounding like Invictus they have taken a load of bits that worked for other bands and have used them in their own music. Yes, of course you will be influenced by others, but I shouldn’t be sitting there thinking to myself “that bit is from Priest, that bit is from Accept, that is by Helloween/Gamma Ray oh and that bit is Blind Guardian” It sounds like a collection of 80’s Metal clichés that have already been overused.

Every review that Invictus receive is going to be a learning curve for them and I’m sure their fanbase will stick by them, but to gain a wider audience they need to find their own voice and not mimic others quite so much!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Intro
02. The Hammer
03. Inside Your Head
04. The Garden Of Eden
05. Through The Storm
06. Thought Of An Idea
07. Livin’ In The Future
08. Styx
09. Break The Chains
10. Insomnia
11. Burning Empire

LINE-UP:
Nicolas Peter – vocals
Fabio Winter – guitars
Fabian Scharf – bass
Andreas Honsberg – guitars
David Knobbe – drums

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/InvictusHeavyMetal
www.instagram.com/invictus_metal_official/
www.invictusheavymetal.bandcamp.com/
www.soundcloud.com/invictusmetal
www.open.spotify.com/artist/2vXotrzz7JPAa7M2JLE5VW
www.youtube.com/channel/UCMvNHGJU8lZJvZ6UzHCWSaA

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

Crimson Thunder – Force Of Reason

Crimson Thunder – Force Of Reason
Volcano Records
Release Date: 06/03/2020
Running Time: 40:35
Review by Chris Palmer
9/10

Well, hello dear Ever Metal readers! Having been reported as absent without leave from review duties throughout the Heavy Metal Music Scene for a year, I’m somewhat pleased that the current situation in our beloved nation has brought me back full circle to another occupation that some think I’m good at!

Instead of travelling the country with my local football team and writing about one of the sports I love, the current situation and my ever-weakening health resulted in a twelve-week lockdown in self-isolation being issued to yours truly. While contemplating what to do with so much free time and thinking of ways to avoid the ever-increasing pit of darkness and despair, a Knight in Shining Armour appeared across the realms of social media in the form of our dearest Sir Richard Tilley and his army of warriors at Ever Metal Headquarters.

I’m delighted to admit that I succumbed to his charms and offer of writing for this marvellous website, and I look forward to sharing my thoughts of all things Metal with you, dear readers. This journey begins with a trip across the seas to the beautiful country of Italy, where we embrace the explosive force of Heavy/Power Metal Quartet, Crimson Thunder.

Founded in November 2012 by the merging of two separate bands, this foursome studied Italian Epic Heavy Metallers Dark Quarterer religiously, before playing their favourite covers of classic metal bands at local shows. With their sound now established, Crimson Thunder released an EP in 2017 entitled “Thunder Wrath”. Last month the band, consisting of Alessio Ricci [Guitar/Vocals], Daniele Giomi [Guitar], Giuseppe Orlando [Bass], and Gabriele Orsi [Drums] released its debut album to an unsuspecting world.

The album is entitled “Force Of Reason”, and it was released on the 6th of March via Volcano Records. Containing nine tracks the album takes listeners on an over-the-top, epic journey of explosive Heavy/Power Metal from start to finish.

Upon pressing play you’re greeted by the calming sounds of ‘Ouverture’, which serves as an introduction to the album, before launching you into the powerful and majestic ‘Ghosts In The Crimson Eye’. This monster of an opening contains everything you’d expect from a Heavy/Power Metal unit, there’s wonderful soaring vocals, fierce shredding guitars, and a thunderous rhythm section that’ll leave you breathless, as these Italians set the tone of the album straight from the start.

‘A Song For The Undead’ continues the trend as beautifully fast guitars lead you into a false sense of security… Just when the adrenaline peaks, the song changes tempo, leaving you wondering what the hell just happened! What then meets you in the darkness is a ballad-type number with an Operatic-feel that belongs on a theatre stage if nothing else. The high-range vocal attack is mixed together with more aggressive growls, which makes things interesting to say the least. Don’t be put off, however, because normality resumes with the beautiful, keyboards-led title-track, which contains an exquisite guitar solo during the second half. The song rolls along smoothly, encouraging you to just close your eyes, embrace and absorb the sounds. Feeling calm and relaxed, these Italians then throw you off guard with ‘Manipulator Of Minds’ and its pummelling rhythm, before the storming “Rain Of Tears” blasts from the speakers, proving that this album continues to improve the more you listen to it.

The remaining third of the album continues that upward trend of improvement, as Crimson Thunder seem (in my humble opinion) to have left the best until last. “Light The Dragonfires” kicks this section off and sees this quartet putting on a truly masterful display of Heavy/Power Metal. This track will have you hitting the repeat button several times while headbanging in unison to the addictive rhythm, a feat that will be repeated for penultimate number ‘Footprints In The Void’. The album closes with the powerful, bombastic, and beautiful “A Tale Of A Hopeless Revenge”, which leaves you in awe of these Italians.

Overall, “Force Of Reason” is an album that has the potential to launch Crimson Thunder towards the forefront of the Heavy/Power Metal scene. The album contains a collection of songs which portray the band’s abilities as musicians who sit comfortably within their chosen genre. There’s plenty of variety throughout, yet each track follows its predecessor perfectly, thus allowing the music to flow, keeping the listener interested. “Force Of Reason” is definitely an album that deserves the attention of any Heavy/Power Metal music collector. It’s over-the-top, melodic, and heavy… What a thrilling listen!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Ouverture
02. Ghosts In The Crimson Eye
03. A Song For The Undead
04. Force Of Reason
05. Manipulator Of Minds
06. Rain Of Tears
07. Light The Dragonfires
08. Footprints In The Void
09. A Tale Of A Hopeless Revenge

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/crimsonthunderband
www.twitter.com/crimsonxthunder
www.instagram.com/crimsonthunderofficial/
www.spotify.com/artist/2ctMR7Gxi9epCIHHDq8Ufx
www.crimsonthunder.bandcamp.com/releases
www.youtube.com/channel/UCHMlm3PabJ3FKt4BvldZXhg
www.volcanopromotion.com
www.facebook.com/volcanopromotion/

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris Palmer 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.

Absolva – Side By Side

Absolva – Side By Side
Rocksector Records
Release Date: 17/04/2020
Running Time: 58:17
Review by Tsarina Wilson
9.5/10

We welcome back Absolva with their fifth album “Side By Side” and it’s good to hear they have come back in such style. These guys are at the top of their game when it comes to keeping us entertained with their songs! Yes, we can compare some of their music to great bands such as Maiden & Saxon etc but they stand proud on their own merit. With ten new tracks and two covers they give us nearly an hour of pure Heavy Metal! Absolva are led by the strong vocals of Christopher Appleton, who also plays lead guitar and produced the album, along with Luke Appleton (Iced Earth) on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, Martin Mcnee on drums and Karl Schramm on bass and backing vocals. The drumming was recorded in Belgium in November 2018 and other parts of the album were recorded at Rocksector HQ in Manchester during 2019/2020. Mastering was done by Ade Emsley (Iron Maiden, Voodoo Six and Tank amongst others) The front cover art work was the work of Akriant Illustrations (Iron Maiden, Star Wars, Blaze Bayley) and I’m telling you this because Absolva always deliver a great package.

“Side By Side” is very much an album of anthems, ‘The Skies Your Limit’ is one such track with some absolutely crazy riffing and manic drumming, Absolva certainly keep you on your toes. On the title track you can imagine a large crowd singing the chorus at the tops of their voices, fists held high. Just when you think it’s going to be a slower song…boom you get hit by the guitar solo and drumming and then it’s back to the slower vocals and the combination is brilliant. Christopher’s voice is so powerful yet you hear every single word he sings and with the, also powerful, backing vocals coming in at just the right times everything feels spot on!

My favourite track is definitely ‘Legion’! I’ve sat with my head phones on listening to this song over and over and the epic guitar riffs are so air guitar worthy, you end up banging your head along while yelling Legion every time they do (sorry neighbours, oops) but I don’t think the guys would be too worried if they knew, I get the feeling they love what they do and like to whoop up the crowds at their gigs. Other tracks like ‘Eternal Soul’ prove that although they get compared to other great band’s they have their own identity and following. It’s great to hear such a talented bunch, musically and vocally, all combined together delivering quality song after quality song!

The bonus tracks of ‘2 Minutes To Midnight’ (Iron Maiden) and ‘Heaven And Hell’ (Black Sabbath) are both brilliantly covered but never take away from Absolva’s own raw talent, they really stand on their own two feet! Yes we know all bands are influenced by others they have listened to and admired from their past but the fresh material from Absolva, and the very obvious talent they have, puts them on a pedestal!

Absolva are going from strength to strength with each album, this is their fifth since they got together in 2012 (plus a live album/DVD), are certainly showing others how it should be done and that a smaller UK band can easily compete with larger, more established acts. They work tirelessly but absolutely love what they do and it shines through on “Side By Side”. This is an album I shall have on repeat for a long time. Well done lads!

TRACKLISTING:

01. Advocate Your Fate
02. Burning Star
03. The Sky’s Your Limit
04. Side By Side
05. Living A Lie
06. Legion
07. Eternal Soul
08. End Of Days
09. Heart Lets Go
10. From This World

Bonus Tracks:

11. 2 Minutes to Midnight (Iron Maiden Cover)
12. Heaven And Hell (Black Sabbath Cover)

LINKS:

www.absolva.com
www.facebook.com/Absolva
www.instagram.com/Absolva
www.twitter.com/Absolva
www.youtube.com/user/Absolva

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

EMQ’s with GEMINI WOLVES

Gemini Wolves Logo

EMQ’s with GEMINI WOLVES

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Providence, Rhode Island based Classic Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band Gemini Wolves ! Huge thanks to vocalist/guitarist Bryan Martin 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?

Bryan Martin – guitar/vocals
This band is comprised of seasoned veterans of the New England metal scene. We play what we call..wolf metal!

How did you come up with your band name?

I’ve always had a connection with wolves. And the Gemini means we have two sides. We can be heavy or we can play melodic or both. Not every song is about wolves but every wolf has a song.

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

USA. The scene is actually growing again. There are tons of new bands and a lot of established bands touring our area again.

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

We are working on our first single now!

Who have been your greatest influences?

The band has so many, Amon Amarth, Dream Theater, Scorpions, Saxon!
I would say mine is Saxon!

What first got you into music?

In junior high my best friend got me really into music, Motley Crue, Saxon, Dio, Accept. Later I found The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Robert Johnson etc.

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

I would say Steve Vai, but maybe the band would say any of the above listed influences.

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

SWEDEN ROCK just about the best festival in a great musical nation.

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

In a previous band someone brought us a headstone from an old grave.weird.

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

Play it loud. Live the best life you can and always be yourself!

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

Randy Rhoads!

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

I like the creativity. I hate the pay!

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

Like Sweden, more support for upcoming bands. More attention to unknown acts!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Wasp – “The Crimson Idol”

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

CD’s.

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

Ralph’s Diner. 100 degrees and totally metal!

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

Writing!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Steve Vai, Donald Trump, Blackie Lawless, Biff Byford, Doro Pesch!

What’s next for the band?

Recording and gigs!

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

All of them!
https://www.facebook.com/GeminiWolvesband/
https://www.instagram.com/geminiwolvesband/
https://geminiwolves.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6r2tOZuHVhVISU0pktEdzA

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Never heard of it..hopefully …cake?

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

Thank you for doing this. Keep howling with us!!!

 

 

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