Callus – Hogpocalypse

Hogpocalypse Cover

Callus – Hogpocalypse
Self-Released
Running Time: 49:00
Release Date: 27/01/2019
Review by Rick Tilley
9/10

If you have been following Ever Metal regularly for the last year, then there is a 96.7% chance you have heard us mention Lancaster based Metal band Callus, at least once. Having seen/met them, for the first time at Hammerfest 2018, and being utterly blown away by not only the quality of their music but by how awesome they are as people, Beth and I went on to watch their progress through the Mammothfest Battle Of the Bands competition, which culminated in them winning their regional final, interviewed them twice, managed to get them on the bill at Wrexfest, reviewed their debut EP, wrote multiple gig reviews, watched their joy as they were asked to play The Jägermeister Stage at Bloodstock 2018 (where they went down an absolute storm), did a ‘Callus Day’ on the Ever Metal pages (where we exclusively premiered a trailer for the debut album) and also attended Vocalist/Guitarist Louis Clarke’s wedding, to the lovely Jennie, where Beth was asked to be official photographer. It’s fair to say we have, not only championed them as a superbly talented band that need to be on your radar, but have become firm and good friends with them!

Debut album “Hogpocalypse” has been a long time coming and with everything I’ve written above, whatever the outcome, this review was always going to be a tough one to write. On the one hand, if the album didn’t live up to expectations, how was I going to tell them how I felt and on the other, if it was good, how was I going to write it without you, dear readers, thinking I was just blowing smoke up their backsides? Well I’ve had a good long think and the only thing I can do is tell the truth, as I see it, and hope that everyone who reads this believes my integrity because “Hogpocalypse” is a triumph!

If you’ve not heard Callus before then the first thing you need to know is that they don’t sound like anyone else. They combine a whole host of genres together in a unique way so one minute you are listening to a down-tuned, Doom-laden, Sludge filled, Punky edged riff reminiscent of the Melvins and the next you’re listening to killer Thrash akin to Megadeth or Overkill. Round that out with snippets of Traditional Metal, all quite often in the same song, and their sound is a breath of fresh air. Next up is the fact that this all comes out of three people. Founding members, the aforementioned Vocalist/Guitarist Louis Clarke and Vocalist/Bassist Ben Wormwell plus Drummer Ryan Ormerod make unholy and thunderously heavy music (on album and live) that sounds more like six or seven people, however, everything is incredibly catchy and you cannot stop yourself from moving to the music…try keeping still, I guarantee you won’t be able to do it!

Callus don’t play particularly complicated music or fill it with blazing guitar solos but they hypnotise you with quality riffs and rhythmic playing. It’s all about how vocals, guitar, bass and drums work together to bring power, precision and HEAVY to the table. Every track from the opening, stonking, riff of ‘Boar’ to the closing refrains of ‘Zygote’ are mesmerising and will have your neck snapping in so many different directions that you better hope the local hospital has beds available!

Everything presented here is eerie and horror filled, it’s crusty, rat infested and thick with evil but it’s also beautiful to behold and proof that space in the music is sometimes just as important as filling that space. “Hogpocalypse” is the soundtrack to an H. P. Lovecraft Book/Film where you don’t know if you’ll ever come out on the other side with your sanity intact but you jump right in anyway because the journey is too good to miss. Once you’ve heard tracks such as ‘Leg Slice’, ‘Skunk’, ‘The Dunwich Horror’, ‘The Primordial’ or ‘Where Savage Things Grow’ you’ll want to do that too!

Louis, Ben and Ryan are all young, but very accomplished, musicians and kudos must also be given to Ryan’s beautiful production and mixing which was done at his home studio. This is a complete do-it-yourself album with everything being self-recorded and to have a product of this quality must make the three of them incredibly proud because it puts many ‘more expensive’ albums to shame!

“Hogpocalypse” is everything I wanted and so much more so all I can say is huge congratulations to Callus for their hard work and dedication to get to this point. If they have the guts to keep going then it will be a travesty if they aren’t justly rewarded! Miss them at your peril!

TRACKLIST:
01. Boar
02. Infinite Beef Machine
03. Under The Waste
04. Skunk
05. Leg Slice
06. The Primordial
07. The Dunwich Horror
08. Where Savage Things Grow
09. Dreameater
10. Zygote

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Callus.band/
https://www.instagram.com/callus_uk/
https://callus117.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZOSaYdZBmL8DhLMPjLWggQ

Promo by Beth Jones

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley 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.

All photos courtesy of Beth Jones and PhotograBee Images
https://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages/

Last Union – Twelve

Twelve Cover

Last Union – Twelve
ROAR Rock Of Angels Records
Release Date:21/12/2018
Running time: 53:58
Review by Lotty Whittingham
8/10

We’re all different and unique one way or the other but one thing we all crave is that morale boost when things aren’t going so well. How would we go about that? Comfort from a loved one, time to yourself or listening to something uplifting. An uplifting album that comes to mind is the debut album from Progressive Metal outfit Last Union.

“Twelve” is a portfolio of empowering and positive sounding tracks that will have you smiling within minutes.

Spurred on by positive reactions to their music, vocalist Elisa Scarpeccio and guitarist Cristiano Tiberi took some bold steps. First they invited Uli Kusch (ex-Helloween, ex-Masterplan) to join the ranks. He had expressed interest in becoming a full-time member after hearing the music. That similar story is behind Symphony X bassist Mike LePond, not to mention that Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie sings on a few of the tracks of this stellar debut.

As previously mentioned, the album provides uplifting and empowering tones. This comes immediately with the opening track ‘Most Beautiful Day’. This soaring melody contains beautiful vocals from Elisa Scarpeccio. She has a fabulous voice that is the icing on the cake of the powerful riffs, sweeping rhythms and a key bass line. This track will place smiles across faces.

“Twelve” is an eclectic portfolio of tracks. For a first album that’s often quite a hard thing to achieve but in the case of Last Union, “Twelve” achieves this with flying colours. The one thing all the tracks have in common is that each has a way of providing empowerment in a straightforward way. They know which notes help people feel positive and they hit them immediately!

‘Hardest Way’ is somewhat the ballad of the album, it has a slower rhythm than the others. It gives the listener that uplifting feeling yet gets them to think at the same time. This is one of the tracks where you can hear all the musical arrangements working so well together. The on-point drum rolls, guitar solos that are bound to become timeless, beautiful vocal work and keyboard melodies that provide the ideal accompaniment. It’s one of the most well-rounded tracks on the album.

From the moment ‘Taken’ starts to play, you can tell instantly from the dirty riff that it’s a punchy song. This is one of the songs that features James LaBrie as a guest vocalist and his voice is perfect alongside Elisa’s. The harmony between these two is on point and the instrumental aspects provide the perfect accompaniment. It’s another example of a song where the elements fit together so well.

The melody of ‘Limousine’ starts off with a brilliant riff that will be swimming around in your head for hours, even days. What follows is a soaring melody that reminds you of living life in the fast lane. The beautiful vocals, excellent riffs, energetic rhythm and pounding bass line work together well to produce this song.

It ends on a rapid note with the song ‘Back In The Shadow’. It gives you one last glimpse of the band’s well put together material in a style they know best. The teamwork in the band’s work can be heard clearly in the songs. Each element of the record works alongside the other in a valiant fashion.

A great debut album all around.

TRACKLIST:
01. Most Beautiful Day
02. President Evil (Feat. James LaBrie)
03. Hardest Way
04. Purple Angels
05. The Best Of Magic
06. Taken (Feat. James LaBrie) – Radio Edit
07. 18 Euphoria
08. A Place In Heaven (Feat. James LaBrie)
09. Ghostwriter
10. Limousine
11. Back In The Shadow
12. Taken (Feat. James LaBrie)
13. President Evil (Feat. James LaBrie) – Video Version

LINKS:
http://www.lastunion.it/
https://www.facebook.com/lastunion/

https://www.instagram.com/lastunion

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcQ_OpRsicJ3HF4j_v5rULw

 

Promo Pic1

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

 

Cadence Noir – Physical Copy

physical copy cover

Cadence Noir – Physical Copy
Self-Released
Release Date: 22/12/18
Running Time: 33:09
Review By Beth Jones
6/10

After 8 years of fannying about, Cadence Noir, my favourite Gothic Folk’n’Rollers (yes, it is a genre, shut yer face) have finally released their debut album. It dropped just in time for the Christmas panic buyers to slip it into a loved one’s stocking (shrewd move chaps, shrewd move!) I almost fell off my chair when they announced the news that it was actually happening, so eagerly awaited its arrival, and am now finally getting round to writing my thoughts on it a month after the event!

It is instantly recognisable as Cadence Noir. It is the sound that The Levellers would make if they had been playing all-night drinking games and jamming blues with Jim Morrison, Lemmy and Ozzy! Its raucous, its loud, its heavy, its bouncy and its blues folk jazzy! They are a proper party band, with an unmistakably unique sound, and that has transferred well onto the album. Ade’s scratchy vocals juxtaposed with Emma’s soaring, pure violin, and backed up by solid rhythms and crunchy guitars, with more than a smattering of Celtic influence, makes for a really interesting mix.

The album is a fine selection of ditties, with their classic, and one of my favourites, ‘The Traveller’ kicking off proceedings. It is an upbeat foot tapper which is sure to get things swinging, so it is a great way to start an album. The majority of the album moves at a frenetic pace and keeps your attention, however one song, which is 80% ballad, sticks out for me; ‘A Truth Held Dear’. It has a deep melancholy about it that I really like.

In the band’s press release, they say:

“Is it polished? No. Is it the height of pro audio production? God no. Does it sound like Cadence Noir? Yes it does.”

I have to concur, especially on the production side. The mix is a little top-heavy for me and this lets it down – I’m a bass girl and like to hear a meaty bottom end full of boom! Admittedly that isn’t really what Cadence Noir are about, and they did record their parts in separate home studios, so I will give them a bit of leeway, but I think the top end could do with coming down just a touch! However, I do quite like the rawness of it in a musical sense – if it had been too polished, it wouldn’t have been right.

All in all, this is a pretty fine debut album – let’s not leave it another 8 years for the follow up eh, guys?!

I have based this review on the download version sent over by the band but we shall definitely be buying the CD because…if you purchase the physical copy of “Physical Copy” (It’s an awesome title for an album) you not only get an extra track in the shape of live favourite #FFBB (Fuck Fuck Boom Boom), you also get a DVD of Cadence Noir’s full set from Bloodstock 2018 plus some other DVD extras! Value for money indeed!

TRACKLISTING:
01 The Traveller
02 Remoaner
03 Demon’s Lament
04 Church
05 Voyages
06 A Truth Held Dear
07 Homage
08 Hold Me Down
09 A Dove Amongst Eagles
10 #FFBB (CD Bonus Track)

LINE-UP:
Adrien Perrie – Guitar/Vox
Emma Bennett – Violin
Tom Smith – Bass/Double Bass
David Budge – Drums/Percussion
Nick Chamberlain – Guitars
Martin Jackson – Guitar/Vox (Hold Me Down)

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

https://www.instagram.com/cadencenoir/
https://cadencenoir.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2kb6CwpIEHr_CrL31UgcKg

promo pic1 (photo credit robert balmer photography)

 

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.