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

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!

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

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


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

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!

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

Nicolas Peter – vocals
Fabio Winter – guitars
Fabian Scharf – bass
Andreas Honsberg – guitars
David Knobbe – drums


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

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!

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


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

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!


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)


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.


Gemini Wolves Logo


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?


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?


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!

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.