Anaal Nathrakh/Akercocke/Khost – The Asylum, Birmingham – 05/04/2019

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Anaal Nathrakh
Akercocke
Khost
The Asylum, Birmingham – 05/04/2019
Review and Pictures by Sheri Bicheno

Having just had my chat with Dave Hunt of Anaal Nathrakh – myself, Jim Beerman and Dave Wilkins headed into The Asylum to get our metal on.

The Asylum downstairs main stage is dark, big and already starting to get full and down the front at the barrier, a crowd of people eager to get a similar amount of metal on is starting to take shape.

Khost
First band Khost are from Birmingham and if you like your doom, these are the guys to check out. They appear on the stage as a two man act with guitars, synths and raw, deep vocals, chanting and satanic growls, like something you’d expect from a horror movie ritual. Their track played live ‘Subliminal Chloroform Violation’ is a clear example of this. Stage presence is kept dark and smoky with an air of mystery about them. The drawn out, deep and bassy strings deliver an intoxicating feeling with the growling and backdrop of chants and cymbals. I really enjoyed watching these guys perform and liked that the doom and elements of black metal were not compromised.

01 Khosthttps://www.facebook.com/khostband/

Akercocke
Whilst waiting, Jason Mendonca goes along the front line and addresses everyone to ask if they are “READY FOR SOME METAL”. Behind me, the room has filled right up, jam packed to the very back – moving to another spot would be a challenging option here… and the hype is getting more and more intense as the stage fills with red lights and smoke, a red mist effect, and…

Akercocke take to the stage, Sam Loynes smashes right into the long drone of the keyboard synths and then the guitars and bass are let loose on the low and melodic intro to ‘Horns of Baphomet’. Immediately, Jason’s vocals are delivered to us at their full pelt, it is almost majestic. We get a combination of high growls & beautiful whale song type vocals through lyrics “I can hear you calling” to low & deep growling plus the emotion of the wailing for horrifying effect.

David Gray’s drums are masterful, the backbone of what holds Akercocke in place – everything just fits perfectly with the tempo and pace of vocals, strings and synths. How Akercocke can cram so many elements of their style into each song, from one extreme to the other and make it not sound like it’s thrown together is mind blowing.

We are then taken into the song ‘Verdelet’, it is fast paced and energetic. The pit behind me is already going crazy and the crowd surfers have begun. Everyone is having an utterly wicked time. As the set goes on, we get a proper journey through what Akercocke are about, performance wise. How they blend through tones that are hard, fast, energetic walloping into some gentle, progressive and beautifully paced moments to creating devastating emotion, are displayed throughout.

02 Akercockehttps://www.facebook.com/akercockeofficial/

ANAAL NATHRAKH
They enter through a dark mist and the UTTER DESPAIR begins straight off the bat. Behind me, a sea of people are going absolutely mental – this is Anaal Nathrakh’s first home town show for a while and they are welcomed back with so much passion from their viewers. It’s bloody beautiful.

Upon entering the stage, the presence of these guys is something to behold. The utter energy that radiates off the stage… strings and beats just bounce off each other, the pace is ever changing and brings a new vibe around every corner. Dave Hunt’s vocals demonstrate demonic low growls and high pitched wails to a beautifully balanced range… all at once! The concepts that come out in the lyrics are of utter relevance, addressing the global issues of poverty, warfare and depravity.

The live track that stood out for me is ‘Forward’, taken from their most recent album “A New Kind Of Horror”.

Lyrics:
“Forward!
Forget your fear, the guns at your back scream
Forward!
Who gives a fuck if your enemy’s starving?
Forward!
No place for cowards, up and over
Forward!
Your country needs you, so start killing”.

Throughout their set, bodies are floating amongst the crowd and pints are flying from every direction. There’s a guy next to me that tries his hand at sitting on the barriers and getting his friends to catch him as he falls – which hilariously and epically fails but, unscathed, he emerges back to thrashing around in the room sized pit behind me… cue where Jim Beerman’s famous “Nathrakhccident” happened… but it’s ok, he found a new tooth. 🙂

If you’re not familiar with Anaal Nathrakh, now is a good time to get your ears into these guys. – mixing elements of progressive, death, black and extreme metal, they are a force to be reckoned with!

03 Anaal Nathrakhhttps://www.facebook.com/Anaalnathrakhofficial/

Rick Here;
Thanks Sheri, sounds like everyone had a fabulous night! If you haven’t then you definitely need to check out all three bands!

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno 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.

Rise To Fall – Into Zero

Into Zero Cover

Rise To Fall – Into Zero
Self-Released
Release Date: 30/09/2018
Running Time: 47:00
Review by Stephen Moss
7/10

“Into Zero” is the fourth album from Rise To Fall. The band classifies their style as Melodic Death Metal and is in the same boat as “In Flames” or “Disarmonia Mundi”. The band’s sound isn’t unique, however, I never got the feeling that they were simply trying to mimic their influences. Listening to the album, you definitely get a sense of who Rise to Fall are and what they stand for as a band.

I absolutely love the way the album starts off. It has an almost science fiction feel to it. The song, ’The Descendant’, starts off soft like gently knocking at the door and then the metal steps up and kicks the freaking door down! This definitely made me excited to see what else the album had to offer.

“Into Zero”, overall, is put together well and definitely does a lot of things right but it also has a couple of things that would have made it more enjoyable for my taste. The tracks do have some variety, however, I would have liked to see a bit more as some of the guitar melodies start to feel a bit repetitive.

You can hear each instrument nicely. I never got the feeling that one person overshadowed another but I would like to have seen the bass stand more on its own rather than just follow the guitar all the time. Lyrics are genuine, raw and filled with emotion and the guitar solos will melt your face! Guitarists Hugo Markaida and Dann Hoyos play fast and seriously shred, yet they are melodic at the same time. Last, but not least, Xabier del Val is the drummer, he’s amazing and the double bass in this album is SICK! I absolutely love the drums on this album. It’s a beautiful balance that Rise To Fall were able to achieve.

My top three songs are ‘Survivor’, ‘Effects Of The Terrestrial Syndrome’ and ‘The Descendant’.

TRACKLISTING:
01 The Descendant
02 In The Wrong Hands
03 Acid Drops
04 House Of Crosses
05 Virgin Land
06 The Empress
07 Temptation Feeds On Our Weaknesses
08 Zero Hour
09 Effects Of The Terrestrial Syndrome
10 Survivor
11 Game Of Appearances
12 White Canvas

LINKS:
http://www.risetofall.net/
https://www.facebook.com/risetofallofficial/

https://www.instagram.com/risetofallofficial/

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

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Stephen Moss 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 NUCLEAR

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EMQ’s with NUCLEAR

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Santiago, Chile Thrash/Death/Punk Metal band Nuclear Huge thanks to them 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?

Hey, thanks for this interview. My name is Francisco Haussmann, I play guitars in Nuclear. To make the long story short, Nuclear was born from the ashes of another band called Escoria back in 2003. After a few line-up changes and 5 albums in the bag, the band is writing music for the 6th album. In 2014 we got signed by Candlelight Records, UK (now Spinefarm Records/Universal Music) and we released one album under that label.

How did you come up with your band name?

To be honest, I don’t recall exactly how, but we did want to have a powerful name representing our music and live performances. We thought of the nuclear power and how uncontrollable and potentially dangerous is.

What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?

Chile, South America. I’d say metal scene here is like any other. You can find an excellent feedback and support for foreign acts but not that much for local bands. I think it is constantly growing for the better though. People understand the importance of the local scene and how difficult it is for a band to build a fan base. Our geography does not help much either as it becomes pretty difficult for bands to visit other countries in South America and vice versa (quite the opposite as Europe for instance).

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

Our latest album is called “Formula For Anarchy” from 2015. However, we released a single in 2016 called “Libertad Condicionada”. It is a cover song from Chilean punk rock band.

Who have been your greatest influences?

There are too many to write, but I’d say Old School Thrash and Death metal were the first influences we had. Sepultura, Kreator, Dismember, Benediction, Entombed, Slayer, Exodus, Unleashed. In time, we have been widening our taste of music and a lot of Punk, Hardcore and Grindcore have given us pretty rad ideas for our music.

What first got you into music?

I’d say something happened when I first watched Live Corruption VHS from Napalm Death back in the day. It was so intense, so brutal and I instantly knew that I wanted to have a band. I was perhaps 12 years old and did not have any instruments at home so I asked some friends to lend me theirs and that’s how it started.

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

I would love to have LG Petrov or Alex Camargo from Krisiun singing one of our songs. Both are big influences on Nuclear’s work and how we see metal music nowadays.

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

For some reason, I have always wanted to play Bloodstock Festival in UK. I think that festival has a really good vibe and the line-ups over the years have been brutal AF!

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

We’ve received a lot of gifts from fans and nothing really weird to be honest. We’ve got flags, CDs, tees, beers, etc. We did receive a very cool gift once. It was a hand-painted very detailed and dedicated portrait of us as a band. We have it in our rehearsal room.

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

Many thanks for these years of constant support. Underground music is difficult in every sense of the word and it would be ever more difficult if we hadn’t got our fans supporting us at every show. We are lucky to have a very strong and loyal fanbase backing us up from many countries around the world.

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

That’s a tough one. I don’t know about rock star but I’d say Chuck Schuldiner. He was one of a kind and he left us way too early.

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

I rarely think of this. I enjoy pretty much everything about being a musician. Playing music gives you something only musicians know how to describe it. Those goosebumps you get when you play live or when you finish a new song, It’s something unique. I don’t think I hate anything about this. Maybe the lack of support between bands or the constant hatred in social media.

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

I don’t think there’s commitment from labels towards new bands. I understand that this is a business but it looks like A&Rs are not getting out as much as they are supposed to. There are tons of bands out there that don’t stand a chance. I believe it is very short-term thinking if you consider that many of the big bands are about to finish their careers.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Benediction – “Subconscious Terror”.

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

I collect vinyl. I love the way they sound and everything about the package.

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

That’s a really tough one. We’ve had many memorable gigs in the past!

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

I am actually also a Chemical Engineer, so I’d say that I would be working full time as one.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

My band. Besides being band mates, we are also best friends and I believe that’s why we have stayed strong as long as we have. You can have a discussion or fight from time to time but in the end, everything comes back to normal and keep having a good time. This might sound as a cliché, but metal music is not about money and if you’re not making tons of it, what’s the point of staying together if you don’t remain friends and have a good time?

What’s next for the band?

We are right in the middle of a new album recording. As soon as we finish it, we will start touring everywhere we can to support it. Stay tuned for upcoming news!

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

https://www.facebook.com/nuclearcl/
https://www.instagram.com/nuclearthrash/
https://nuclear.bandcamp.com
You can actually visit www.nuclear.cl and find pretty much anything you want.

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Cake definitely.

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

Many thanks for the interview! We cannot wait to have the new stuff ready to show everyone! Stay tuned!

 

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Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of 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 DORYLUS

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EMQ’s with DORYLUS

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Stevenage, UK Melodic/Death/Thrash Metal band Dorylus. Huge thanks to them for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

I’m Joe I’m the lead vocalist and guitarist for UK Metal band Dorylus.
We formed in 2015 with original members; Bassist Tom Oliver, Guitarist Craig Carmichael and Drummer Mitch Cartwright after our previous bands had gone their separate ways.

How did you come up with your band name?

So me and Tom where at a pub talking about potential band names and he had suggested that insects had really cool sounding names but Cicada, while sounding like an awesome band name, the bug itself is a bit dull. So in true metal fashion we hit up Google for a list of the most dangerous insects in the world and “Dorylus” was number 4 on the list.

What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?

We are from England and based in Hertfordshire.
The Hertfordshire metal scene is one of the most incredibly supportive scenes in the country IMO. It has so many incredible bands that are really pushing the envelope of originality and keeping things interesting. If you put on a metal show in Hertfordshire it seems you’re guaranteed a good turnout, with all the regulars and bands that show up all the time to support an incredible growing scene. I thank the BOA M2TM competition going on at Club 85 in Hitchin for helping nurture such an amazing environment to make music.

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

So we are currently preparing to release our Debut full length album on June 7th it’s called “Without Sin” and it’s taken the last 3 years to write and record and our first single is coming soon!

Who have been your greatest influences?

Personally my biggest influences as a musician have been Josh from Bloodshot Dawn, Chuck from Death, Randy from Lamb of God, Adam from King Leviathan and Ola England from Feared and the Haunted.

What first got you into music?

As basic as it sounds I remember hanging out with a friend when I was about 12 he’d brought round Metallica’s ‘Black’ album and the minute he put it on the aggression and raw feeling that I had never been able to understand when I’d heard metal before suddenly started to make sense I couldn’t not bang my head. my brother overheard us rocking out to it and the next day he dumped a bunch of CDs in my hands which included the likes of Machine Head, Soil and Slipknot as well as some classics like AC/DC and Iron Maiden. From then on I knew music was all I wanted in my life.

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

There are so many incredible bands in my local scene right now and to be honest I’d love to do something with every single one of them. I feel like I’d enjoy working with friends a whole lot given the opportunity. So… any bands in my local scene that would like to collaborate HIT ME UP haha!

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

100% it would have to be Bloodstock Open Air.
Not just because it’s an awesome festival but because of the work it does for the growing Underground Metal community. It has an entire stage that runs all weekend dedicated to what’s happening in the underground. It’s such a good thing to be involved with and it would be and absolute pleasure to be up on one of those stages one day!

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

Damn I wish I had something interesting to say for this… but honestly we don’t get gifts from fans. Although someone did stick a dildo on my guitar while I was playing once… but I think it was the bands dildo (long story) anyways so I don’t think that counts.

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

WE BLOODY LOVE YOU CRAZY BUNCH OF NUTTERS!!! …(also the album comes out June 7th).
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

There are too many to choose from but I’d probably say Chuck (Schuldiner). I’d love to have another Death album and to see where he would have taken his musical journey. Death have been a band that has had a vibe across all of the albums that made it still feel like the same band while maturing so much musically it’s why they have been a huge influence on how I approach writing music.

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

It’s a release or more like it’s real. While I’m on the road I feel more like myself than when I’m at work or at home. The only thing I hate is that I can’t do it 24/7… the wages suck a bit as well.

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

Actually nothing really! The music industry is fairer than it has ever been for Metal. It’s no longer about ‘right time, right place’. It’s no longer a game of luck. You can’t be lazy and get lucky, you can’t just spend money and you can’t be in it for the money because there isn’t any. The only people who are left playing Metal are the ones with the true unbridled passion for it, the people doing it because they love it and it’s making music better every day.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Paean Heretica” by King Leviathan. I’d been following this band for a couple years with their first 3 EPs playing on repeat almost constantly and once they released this album it changed my ideas of what I could accomplish musically.

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

First off, anything that has people listening to music. To be honest I wish I was old enough to have been around in the tape trading days.

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

That’s a pretty big toss up we’ve had so many good shows and shared the stage with so many incredible bands it’s hard to think.
I think I’d have to go with London 2016 M2TM Grand Final. While we didn’t go through and we definitely have played better since the atmosphere in that room was amazing. Playing alongside some of our best friend’s in Gevaudan, Slave Steel, Dead Before Mourning and Bearfist, to a packed room of people, was just one of my favourite experiences.

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

Being bored as hell at my day job… nah I’d probably have tried my hand at art or acting I like being creative and I love attention.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Only 5!!!
Matt Berry, Ian Mckellen, Morgan Freeman, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mike Tyson.
Just so I could hear them make small talk

What’s next for the band?

New line up (announcement soon).
New album.
Tour through June (still dates available so Hit Me Up).
Move on to another EP or Album ASAP. I don’t want to take 3 years for the next one!

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

We do a lot of stuff with Facebook and Instagram
https://www.facebook.com/dorylusband/
https://www.instagram.com/dorylusband/
And all of our current music is on Spotify
https://open.spotify.com/artist/41BStS4SHDO5KApFfb20Tk
(As well as everywhere you can buy or stream music)

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

A new breed of food called BISCAKE!

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

Just that we are really honoured to be given this platform to promote our band and our album and hopefully you’ll all enjoy what we have coming up in the future.

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of 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.

 

Sadist – Spellbound

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Sadist – Spellbound
Scarlet Records
Release Date: 09/11/2018
Running Time 38:44
Review by Chris Galea
9/10

Apart from “Tribe” (1995), which I have long considered to be the band’s magnum opus, the output from Sadist has been somewhat chequered. But the band truly has a unique sound – akin to other luminaries such as Atheist, Pestilence, Obscura and Nocturnus, Sadist forge a Death Metal that is highly refined on a technical level but use keyboards to accentuate the music’s heaviness and provide a spruce of atmosphere. Before spinning this disc, I feel a degree of optimism but would “Spellbound” provide a rant-free listening experience? I take a deep breath and dive in….

The first thing that needs mentioning is that each song in “Spellbound” is inspired by a different Alfred Hitchcock film thriller. Some are based on well-known films such as “Psycho” or “Rear Window”. Others are based on obscure films from the silent-movie era, such as “The Mountain Eagle” and “Downhill”. Incidentally “Mountain Eagle” is lost (the BFI is still searching for one copy of it) so I wonder on what material Sadist based their song of the same name.

All these Hitchcockian elements, which Sadist infuse into their songwriting, add a certain intrigue to the album’s music. This is particularly obvious in the opening track, ‘39 Steps’. The album has some virtuoso-quality bass lines, such as in the title-track, which is also an excellent song. “Spellbound” also boasts some top quality guitar shredding – in this context, ‘Stage Fright’ and ‘Rear Window’ spring to mind. ‘Notorius’ is an intriguing instrumental track that enriches the album’s dynamics.

The way many of the album’s songs end abruptly enforce the notion that “Spellbound” was meant to be one distinct entity rather than an album of several songs. The album itself is rather short but I suppose that that is preferable to having weak material mar the album. Ironically, “Spellbound” doesn’t have any track that really stands out from the rest.

So yes, despite some very minor things, “Spellbound” is a superb album and a refreshing take on the Death Metal genre.

TRACKLIST:
1. 39 Steps
2. The Birds
3. Spellbound
4. Rear Window
5. Bloody Bates
6. Notorius
7. Stage Fright
8. I’m the Man Who Knew Too Much
9. Frenzy
10. The Mountain Eagle
11. Downhill

Line-up:
Alessio Spallarossa – drums
Andy Marchini – bass, vocals
Tommy Talamanca – guitars, keyboards
Trevor Nadir – vocals

LINKS:
http://www.sadist.it/
https://www.facebook.com/Sadist-466835156803523/
https://vk.com/club690597
https://www.instagram.com/sadist_official/
https://www.youtube.com/user/Sadistribe

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

 

Amplified Festival 2018, Gloucestershire, July 8th 2018, Day Three

00 Day3 Lineup

Amplified Festival 2018
Quarry Downs, Gloucestershire
July 8th 2018, Day Three
Review by Rick Tilley with help from Beth Jones
Photographs by Beth Jones
10/10

I’m not quite sure when everybody else got back to the tent Saturday Night/Sunday Morning because, as soon as my head had touched the pillow, I was away with the fairies. This is, somewhat, a double edged sword for me with my back problems. I usually don’t sleep very well but when I do, because I’ve lain in the same place for too long, I feel much more pain. Add to that the fact that camping is not very good for me, so when I woke up on the Sunday morning, I looked and felt like Quasimodo. Once I had managed to negotiate actually getting out of the tent, which certainly wasn’t as easy as it should have been, another thing hit me…it was even hotter than it had been the previous two days. My fresh T-Shirt literally crumpled and stuck to me, the sky was shimmering and the angry red orb, that was the sun, looked like it was ready to take top billing in a 1970’s apocalyptic disaster movie. Even the bullocks in the field across the road from us, who the previous day had looked like a gang of naughty teenage boys ready for a punch-up, suddenly looked like they had been let out from an old people’s home for the day and could barely stand up straight!

Welcome to Ever Metal’s review of Amplified Festival 2018 Day Three!

Once everybody was awake and ready we crawled slowly over to the arena and immediately stocked up on water. I’m not sure it’s particularly healthy but I was literally beginning to sweat salt and this was before any band had played a note!
We arrived at the Very Metal Art Stage just as the first band of the day, Beth Blade & The Beautiful Disasters, were starting their set! Cardiff’s very own rock chick, Beth Blade is always a good way to pass some time and at 10.15am, on an already ludicrously hot morning, was no exception. The first thing we noticed, from the last time we had seen the band live, was that the bass player had shrunk by about 18 inches. It wasn’t the heat but new bassist Vincent Grieve! If you’ve not seen or heard Beth before then imagine a mix of Kiss, Suzi Quatro and Joan Jet, good old 70’s/80’s Rock N Roll. She has huge power on stage, a proper gravelly rock voice and massive presence plus a great band behind her. She isn’t a shy lass, certainly woke everybody up and the sizable crowd had a blast, as well as huge grins on their faces!

01 Beth Blade & The Beautiful Disasters Day3.jpghttps://www.facebook.com/BBATBDofficial/

Heading over to the Red Stripe Main Stage it was clear that people were starting to slow down slightly, unless your name was Michael Randall that is, but I certainly didn’t want to miss the next band. Carrying on the Hard Rock theme, albeit in a Jack Daniels coated Southern style, Thirteen Stars ambled onto the stage and promptly blew any remaining tumbleweed away with a huge bang. Hailing from the sunshine state of…Cumbria these guys are so laid back they’re horizontal but WOW, they are good. If you didn’t know better you would swear they were from Kentucky, Tennessee or Louisiana. They play proper bluesy, groove laden Rock N Roll and even though, having seen them before, I know they rip it up in a club setting, they were perfect for this Sunday Morning slot, especially in the sun with a cheeky Cloven Hoof Rum! I got so lost in the moment that, in what seemed like about ten minutes, they had ambled off stage again to rapturous applause. Absolutely superb!

02 Thirteen Stars Day3https://www.facebook.com/ThirteenStars/

Just as we were starting to get all Woodstocked up and considered changing outfits to flares and one of Simon Yarwood’s shirts we arrived back at the Very Metal Art stage and I got my soul ripped out by one of the most mesmerisingly brilliant and emotionally charged performances I’ve witnessed in many years, courtesy of the utterly incredible King Leviathan. With them being one member down and not wearing their usual garb onstage there were a few mutterings from some, before they started, as to whether it would work but I can tell you now that there wasn’t one person, who watched their performance, that wasn’t absolutely astounded at the end. Vocalist/Guitarist Adam Sedgwick was an unstoppable force on that stage and I couldn’t peel my eyes away from him. Blackened Thrash Doom isn’t usually Beth’s thing but we were both gobsmacked at the ferociously beautiful music that was coming out of the speakers. To know that King Leviathan will soon be no more is a very sad thing indeed. Completely compelling and enthralling from start to finish King Leviathan, amongst an ocean of fantastic performances over the weekend, were my band of the Festival!

03 King Leviathan Day3https://www.facebook.com/KingLeviathanMetal/

After the emotion of King Leviathan’s performance and also realising that, even though I had covered myself in sun tan lotion, my neck was starting to blister we found a small area of shade by the sound desk and chilled out, chatting to others, whilst the VMA stage was readied for another “do not miss” band Resin!

I’ve known some of the band for a fair few years now and having seen and interviewed them a number of times before, plus knowing violinist Emma Bennett from her other band Cadence Noir, we were really looking forward to seeing this performance as it was the first time Beth had seen them and the first time I had seen them properly live with this line-up. It was also going to be interesting to see how the, as yet unstoppable, sound team handled a six-piece band with a violin player and three guitarists. I needn’t have worried because the sound engineers nailed it and Resin were absolute class from first note to last.

Musically this is a band of ultra-talented musicians (well, cough, apart from Simon). Their songs are incredibly dark and emotional, and the performance echoed these emotions. What they do is almost installation art as well as music; with the stage being jam packed full of a motley crew of tattoos and piercings, loud shirts, and the statuesque gothic beauty of Emma. Off stage the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Dave Gandon, guitarist/vocalist Mark ‘Chez’ Roseby, bassist/vocalist Drask George and guitarist Simon Yarwood are absolutely lovely guys but on stage they are incredibly intense. This is the place where they thrive and their emotions are laid bare. Backed up by the fantastic drumming of Ryan Hextall and the beautiful violin work of Emma, Resin were nothing less than haunting, a perfect fit for the Sunday line-up and a must see if they gig near you!

04 Resin Day3https://www.facebook.com/resinonline/

Because we were covering the event and wanted to properly watch as many bands as we could we walked back to the main stage again and I thought to myself that if I hadn’t lost at least half a stone by the time I got home then I would be a bit miffed, however, it was now so stupidly hot that some people had either left the arena to find some shade amongst the trees or just stopped, wherever they were, and sat/laid down. Many had done this about midway between the two stages so that they could still hear/see the bands without moving (the beauty of no clashes working a treat). This did result in some of the Sunday afternoon bands playing to, what looked like, a thin crowd but that wasn’t actually the case, everybody was just spread out!

Next up on the Red Stripe Main Stage were Scottish Progressive metallers Ramage Inc. and, as they played, a thought went through my head and it went something like this! “Fuck Me it’s hot, how is nothing on fire?” followed pretty quickly by the realisation that something was on fire and it was Ramage Inc. Having never seen these guys before, or listened to much of their music, it was another of those ‘Why the heck have I been so stupid?’ moments! This four piece band from Edinburgh has oodles of talent and their songs are so damn catchy and dark. Equal parts melody, rhythm and power, fans of Devin Townsend will adore them, although you probably already know that as I appear to be very late to the party. On the day Ramage Inc. were absolutely superb and, since returning home, their albums “Feel The Waves” and “Earth Shaker” have been played whenever I have the spare time! They are another hugely compelling band!

05 Ramage Inc. Day3.jpghttps://www.facebook.com/RamageInc/

While Beth nipped over to see Marc and Nici at the Corrosive Merch/Goblin Dreams Stands I ventured into the very hot and VERY crowded G’s Bar Stage to check out The SoapGirls. Now, if you don’t know about The SoapGirls they are two Sisters, Noemie and Camille, who play Raw Rock/Punk Rock tunes and they play them whilst pretty much in the nude! I got told many times over the weekend that they are both lovely girls and I’m not disputing that for one second. I’ve also got no objection to anyone, male or female, who wants to get up on stage with nothing on and play music, a prude I am not. However, I’ve heard 1,000+ bands play their style of music and play it much better. With all due respect to The Soap Girls I really don’t think they would have the huge following they’ve managed to get if they went onstage in T-shirts and Jeans. You can call me cynical if you want but it’s a promotional tool that they have used well!

https://www.facebook.com/thesoapgirls/

By this time my body really wasn’t responding very well but, if you know me, you’ll know I don’t give in without a fight so it was back to the Very Metal Art Stage to watch a band, that we hadn’t seen live before, but were really looking forward to. I could wax lyrical about Twisted Illusion, because they were so good, but I’m going to leave this bit to Beth because her write up sums it up perfectly!

“Twisted Illusion took the bronze medal spot for performance of the weekend for me, only outdone by Evil Scarecrow and Soil. If heaven exits, this is the soundtrack that is playing! Matt Jones, Matt McDade and Mark Wagstaff are three unbelievably gifted musicians, all meeting in perfect harmony to make Prog Mecca! It reminded me of the bit in Bill and Ted, when Rufus takes them to the utopian future after Wild Stallion’s music has brought about world peace! I was absolutely blown away by the tone and range of Matt Jones’ vocals and his incredibly decadent guitar solos. It was self-indulgent and ego laden but all tongue in cheek. Twisted Illusion’s stage presence plus witty repartee and banter from Matt J made it mesmerising and they are now my new favourite band, so much so that we are going to see them for my Birthday treat this year!
Twisted Illusion – So good they make you pull a sex face!”

06 Twisted Illusion Day3https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTIband/

What I’ve heard of Florence Black, up to this point, has been really good and when speaking with people, across the course of the weekend, it was a name that had come up a fair bit as a band punters wanted to watch so it was back to the Red Stripe Main Stage to see them and we were very glad we did. A trio from Merthyr Tydfil (Hey, we definitely had to support the Welsh bands) they play thumping Classic Hard Rock, with a little modern twist, and they do it very adeptly too. Vocalist/Guitarist Tristan has an awesome set of pipes and, along with their strong melodies, this made for a really enjoyable performance. Florence Black were another great booking for a Sunday slot, especially with the good weather, and a band I very much look forward to seeing live again soon!

07 Florence Black Day3https://www.facebook.com/florenceblackUK/

What I had loved about the Sunday, so far, was that the bands booked, with the odd exception, had been a little more laid back and perfect for a crowd whose energy levels were probably a little on the waning side, but if anyone mistakenly thought that things were starting to wind down, then they were rudely awoken when the magnificent Shrapnel hit the Very Metal Art Stage. Another band I have been a fan of for a fair while, but had never seen live before, Shrapnel are an utterly furious juggernaut of Thrash & Speed Metal, their sound giving a huge nod to the likes of Testament and Exodus but stamping their own twist onto proceedings as well. They sounded like a squadron of advancing Challenger Tanks and had heads snapping in all directions. I love my Thrash and this felt like a starter, main course and dessert all in one go. Rather than feel completely drained by the time they left the stage I felt utterly re-invigorated!

08 Shrapnel (Sian Irvine)https://www.facebook.com/ShrapnelOfficial/

With a renewed spring in my limp I hobbled, with Beth, back to the Red Stripe Main Stage because there was absolutely no way we were missing the next band. We first saw Mason Hill live, about a year ago, at RockWich 2017 and they absolutely blew us away, in fact it had almost brought Beth to tears so emotional was their performance. Since then we’ve met them, interviewed them, seen them live a couple more times and have championed them on Ever Metal and we were absolutely stoked they were playing on the big stage at Amplified. Unfortunately, the heat had got the better of a lot of people by this point, so sadly the crowd was a little sparse but that never stops Mason Hill and they gave every ounce of energy they had. They play Classic Melodic Rock with a Modern twist, have great material that is really catchy, they are all gifted musically and they play with excitement and passion. They even graced us with some new tracks that will be on their debut album and they are fabulous. We aren’t the only ones who think they rock, they’re now signed to Frontiers Music and they don’t sign unless they see something special! It’s a shame more people didn’t see them because they deserved to be playing to a much bigger audience but they still made some new fans at Amplified. Part of my step-daughters photography prize was to photograph them being interviewed by us later in the day and it was a joy to catch up with five of the nicest people you’ll ever meet! We love Mason Hill!

09 Mason Hill Day3https://www.facebook.com/masonhillofficial/

From a photography point of view Beth says that, Misfit’s guitarist, Doyle’s band was her favourite of the weekend. ‘Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein’ is an incredibly striking subject with his sculpted make-up and hair, body of a young Arnold Schwarzenegger and towering stature enhanced by some magnificent platform boots! Musically Doyle are, unsurprisingly a bit like The Misfits, churning out catchy, Horror themed, sludgy Punk/Rock n Metal. Frontman Alex ‘Wolfman’ Story is also an intriguing character. He looked like he had sunk three bottles of Jack Daniels before hitting the stage and his banter, in-between songs, was unusually humorous with each track being introduced as ‘this one is a love-song that you can dance to if you want’ in a slurred accent, before launching into another great performance. It was too hot to dance and there were a few too many love songs but Doyle are the embodiment of US Rock n Roll excess. You feel like they should have been playing this material at New York’s CBGB’s club in the 1970’s whilst throwing TV’s out of hotel windows and driving vintage cars into swimming pools. It’s hard to believe Mr Doyle is actually a vegan! Make sure you catch them on tour!

10 Doyle Day3https://www.facebook.com/OFFICIALDOYLE/

By this time my legs were completely numb, it’s very weird walking on what feel like lumps of wood, but I had said at the outset that I intended to watch as many bands as I possibly could and next up on the Very Metal Art stage were a band I hadn’t seen live for many years…Xentrix!

Alongside Onslaught, Xentrix were always one of my favourite UK Thrash bands and it’s hard to believe that it’s nearly thirty years since I trudged into London, as I used to do on a regular basis, to buy their debut album ‘Shattered Existence’. Like many bands they’ve gone through a couple of break-ups and many line-up changes but at Amplified they were utterly superb. Bull-Riff Stampede guitarist Jay Walsh is now also vocalist/guitarist in Xentrix and he did a cracking job. They were tight with razor sharp riffs and thunderous drumming fighting for supremacy and once again, any thoughts of slowing down from the Amplified crowd were banished as necks shook and legs stamped. As the sun slowly started to dip and the inferno level temperature subsided by a degree or two, it looked like everyone had been given booster pills! This was a fantastic performance from an excellent band and it certainly won’t be years until I see them again!

11 Xentrix Day3https://www.facebook.com/xentrixmetal/

Back on the Main Stage it was time for Industrial/Alternative Metal heavyweights Sulpher to crank up their amps but I had to bow out due to needing medication/water and a fresh t-shirt, however, Beth went to watch them so here are her thoughts!
“I really love Industrial Rock/Metal, I don’t know why; I think it’s the raw edge power of it. The low bass and harsh drums just get to me. I think that the band were on stage, although it was a little difficult to tell sometimes with the amount of dry ice that was being pumped out! Having not seen Sulpher before, I didn’t know if this was a normal occurrence or if someone back stage had broken the switch on the machine but it certainly added to the atmosphere of their music! Again, the crowd was a little thin as many were still in the process of finding shade/nursing burnt skin or were in the G’s Bar Stage watching the, much talked about, Ward XVI and unfortunately I think this got to the band a bit with the between song banter being a little harsher than was necessary. It was a shame because, musically, Sulpher were absolutely outstanding”

I will add that even though I couldn’t see the band properly, I could hear them pretty well (I hope those sound guys were well paid because they deserved every penny) and Sulpher sounded fantastic. Since returning, Beth and I have checked out a fair bit of their music and neither of us would hesitate to go and see them again!

12 Sulpher Day3https://www.facebook.com/SULPHERMUSIC/

We were now heading towards the twilight of Amplified 2018 but the Headline band on the Very Metal Art stage was one I love but didn’t think I would ever see live so, even though I felt like a rat with no legs stuck up a drainpipe, I was as close to front and centre as I could be. With a massive portable lighting rig having appeared on stage along with a drum kit the size of a military cargo plane there was very little space left to actually stand but when Belgian Thrash/Speed Metal machine Evil Invaders flicked the on switch it was like they were playing Wembley Stadium.

I’ve already told you how much I like my Thrash and that there had been some awesome Thrash bands on over the course of the weekend but Evil Invaders took it to Def-Con 4. Their energy levels could have supplied the National Grid, which was just as well considering the amount of aircraft landing lights onstage. Vocalist/Guitarist Joe looked like the bastard lovechild of Lemmy and the Tasmanian Devil, his scowl utterly monstrous, and was a whirlwind of adrenaline from start to finish. Lead guitarist Max and bassist Joeri weren’t far behind and how the three of them managed to circumnavigate the space available without crashing into one another was astounding. All you could see of drummer Senne from behind the massive framed kit was a tornado of arms and hair and the occasional maniacal grin. If you’ve never heard of, or seen, Evil Invaders before then rectify that now because a band that is made up of equal parts Kreator, Heathen, Holy Moses, Iron Angel, Metallica, Exodus, Motörhead and a pinch of Septic Death is a pretty magnificent one in my book! They were a perfect wat to bring proceedings to a close on the VMA Stage and I really hope I get to see them live again!

13 Evil Invaders, VMA Stage Headliners Day3https://www.facebook.com/evilinvaders/

During the Evil Invaders set Beth and I discovered Rum Bellini’s from the Cloven Hoof stand and they were absolute nectar, just about giving me enough energy to walk, one last time, to the Red Stripe Main Stage!

“And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain…” Here we were for the final performance on the Main Stage for another band from Beth’s formative years, Irish Rockers, Therapy? Now I’m going to be honest, when people, including Beth, talk to me about music in the 1990’s I nearly always do a ‘meh’ face. However, I cannot deny, that I was proved wrong yet again! Therapy? gave a fabulous performance with a mix of classic tracks and new material from the forthcoming album “Cleave”. Andy Cairns must be one of the nicest frontmen I’ve ever watched and between him, bassist Michael McKeegan and drummer Neil Cooper they make a heck of a lovely noise!

Everyone was having the time of their lives, singing along to just about every track and the atmosphere was electric, as the angry sun finally dipped below the horizon to give us some respite. It was almost as if Therapy? were battering it into submission! We had to sit down for most of their set, because we had definitely hit the proverbial wall. My back was agony and my legs were in serious danger of losing circulation plus Beth had developed elephantiasis in her ankles, but from our picnic blanket which had been very kindly supplied by the Motley Brew and with our cuppas aloft, we sang and cheered and smiled that melancholy smile you do when you know that something utterly fantastic has happened, but is coming to an end. Thank you Therapy? for an enthralling and brilliant way to end our Amplified 2018!

14 Therapy (Sian Irvine)https://www.facebook.com/Therapyofficial/

If you wanted still more then Welcome Back Delta were getting ready to play on the G’s Bar Stage but, like the previous two evenings, we finished with the Main Stage Headliner. We settled back down in the Motley Brew tent and chatted to anybody and everybody that arrived and we said goodbye to some who were packing up and leaving that night. There were no words to describe how we felt by this point, we were ridiculously tired, sweaty, dirty, in pain, drained, thirsty and a thousand other things but we also felt elated, thrilled, rapturous, enthralled, inspired and intoxicated, not by alcohol, but by the atmosphere and experience. It was very clear to see that we weren’t the only ones who felt like it either. After what felt like a wonderful eternity we finally dragged ourselves back to the tent for much needed sleep.

We didn’t get any sleep because a group of people, camping near us, decided that Sunday night was party night, hey they were just enjoying themselves, but with very groggy eyes we finally gave up trying to sleep at 6:00am and started to pack up. Mercifully, but also ironically, the temperature had decided to drop, somewhere in the region of 15 degrees, overnight. Had that happened a day earlier there would have been more people watching bands on the Sunday and my neck wouldn’t have looked like a bad case of Leprosy but I can say, with a clear conscience, that this was the best open air Festival weekend I have ever attended. It may not have had the largest audience, every event has to start somewhere, and it may have been hotter than everlasting purgatory in Hades but the atmosphere was the best I’ve experienced. You all know that we are family and I have never experienced that family feeling quite as much as I did at Amplified 2018. It would take me too long to name people individually so thank you from the bottom of my heart…you all know who you are!

I’m only going to mention one name because without his vision, drive and stubbornness Amplified wouldn’t have happened in the first place and, after last years debacle, it certainly wouldn’t have got to year two without his bloody mindedness. Gary Paterson take a bow and make sure you have a rest because Amplified 2019 is going to be even bigger and better, I’m not sure how but it will be!
Links:
https://www.facebook.com/amplifiedfestivalUK/

https://www.instagram.com/amplifiedrocks/

15 Amplified Logo

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley, Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of all parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Shrapnel & Therapy? Photographs courtesy of Sian Irvine Photography
https://www.facebook.com/siankirairvinephotography/

All other photos courtesy of Beth Jones
https://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages/

Homerik – Homerik

Homerik Cover

Homerik – Homerik
Running time: 46:33
Homerik Productions
Release Date: Halloween 2017
Reviewed by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
6.5/10

I always knew when Rick at Ever Metal asked me to do him a favour and review a band for him that it was not going to be a run of the mill band. I knew there was going to be diversity and that there was a very good chance that I wouldn’t like the album. I think Rick assumed that too, and how I love proving him wrong.

Homerik are an American band formed in New York City but after listening to the album, you could assume that they had, in fact, come from anywhere in the world, and this is where the diversity comes in.

A trio comprising of composer and lyricist, Kenneth Candelas and two further lyricists, Andrew Petriske and Obed Gonzalez, they are a melting pot of different cultures and musicianships.  Unsatisfied with mainstream metal and the amount of “regurgitated” stuff around at the moment, they wanted people to look into the possibilities of metal and how such a brutal genre could be made into something beautiful and unique.

Andrew and Ken both derive their inspiration from the many genres of metal the band are influenced by, but, as a whole, they are not shy of exploring other genres of music.

Swayed by their interests which include (to name a few) Ancient Egypt, Dark Fantasy, Lord of the Rings, Norse Mythology and Game of Thrones, they have orchestrated a force of guitars, drums, bassoon (how often do you hear of one of those in metal music!?) piano, brass and strings, that would be worthy of the inclusion into any film score. All this is complemented by the mystifying and alto vocal work of Carla Candelas and Nilsa Astacio, who, combined together, make a chillingly beautiful narrative of a little girl who suffers reoccurring nightmares of abuse and neglect.

Classed by themselves on their Facebook page as Symphonic, Progressive Death Metal, I would also like to add “atmospheric.” With influences such as (deep breath here) Nightwish, Wintersun, Nile, Deicide, Behemoth, Symphony X, Children of Bodom, King Diamond, Opeth, Epica and Kamelot (and that wasn’t all of them!) it is easy to see elements of every one of these bands showing throughout the music and the band can easily switch from one sound to the next, showing great diversity and, above all, talent!

Says Obed Gonzalez: “what you are about to listen to is a project made by people, for people, and for it to unify the world and their peoples.” If any band could manage to unify the world with their music, then this band could. With classic death metal vocals to accompany the symphonic aspects of the band, there are also the sounds of Asia and the Middle East all thrown in for good measure.

This album is not going to appeal to everyone, but even then, it has an approachability to all music listeners whether they are devout music fans or not!

If you like your metal straight forward and in your face then don’t buy this album, but if you like something a bit different, a bit atmospheric and a bit eccentric even, then this is the album for you.

I liked it, proving Rick and, probably myself, wrong…..you might just do!

 

TRACK LISTING

  • 1. Into the Pits of Oblivion 01:53
  •  2. Unforgotten Kin 03:14
  •  3. An Angel of Darkness 04:49
  •  4. Curse of the Black Nile 05:45
  •  5. The “Ire” of Green 03:58
  •  6. Wendigo 05:00
  •  7. The Balance of Power 05:39
  •  8. Bread and Circuses 03:22
  •  9. A Song of the Night: Part I 07:15
  •  10. The Legion 05:35

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://www.facebook.com/homerikofficial/
  • https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUcYLfk1tEX4vli_KWUzsBQ
  • http://market.homerik.org/
  • https://twitter.com/homerikofficial?lang=en

 

Promo Pic1 (16)

 

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