Static Tension – Ashes To Animation

Ashes To Animation Cover

Static Tension – Ashes To Animation
Buried By Sky Records
Release Date: 11/01/2019
Running Time: 56:19
Review by Stephen Moss

Static Tension’s debut, full-length, album “Ashes To Animation has been a frustrating album to review. I have listened to it so many times, at different times of the day and night, over the last week in the hope that repeated plays would make it grow on me and so that I could be honest and fair but no matter how many times I have listened I’ve still found myself feeling just as frustrated as the first time I pressed play!

Here are the good points!

Firstly, the music itself is amazing, Greg Blachman’s guitars are great and some of the solos will blow you away.

I play drums, so I find myself paying a lot of attention to them in music. Tom Sager is highly talented; he is not overly repetitive and does a fantastic job in building suspense and emotion!

The bass doesn’t seem like just a background instrument. For example in the track ‘Bury My Body’ the music has an intense climax and the bass is front and centre, loudly kicking you in the teeth.

If “Ashes To Animation” was an instrumental album then I would absolutely love it, however, it isn’t and that’s where my issues come into play!

Here are the not so good points!

There were two glaring issues and I’ll start with the lesser of them.

Opening track ‘Kindling’ is an awfully poor way to start an album. The first track should set the mood for an album, but this song should be hidden away in the middle or end of the album. As a stand-alone track it’s okay. It’s a melodic, repetitive kind of song but I just zone out to it. It doesn’t make me want to keep listening; it makes want to take melatonin and sleep.

Alice In Chains seem to be one of Static Tension’s biggest influences and they know how to start an album. Compare ‘Kindling’ to the AIC track ‘Them Bones’ which kicks off the “Dirt” album and you’ll see that Static Tension have completely missed the mark! In my opinion the aforementioned ‘Bury My Body’ should kick things off but that track also highlights my other issue with the band – they lack PASSION in the vocals!

There isn’t any raw emotion in the lyrics. The entire time I’m listening to “Ashes To Animation” I get the overwhelming feeling that I’m listening to an Alice In Chains cover band. They put so much effort in trying to sound like other bands rather than create their own identity that they come across as fake, forced, shallow and ultimately fluff rock!

With a couple of exceptions on the tracks ‘No Return’ and ‘Got To Give, which sound real, believable and heart-felt. vocalist Rob Rom sounds monotone and unfeeling. His delivery rarely matches the intensity of the music and he just doesn’t sound real or believable!

‘Serpentine’ sees Static Tension trying to sound like Tool, specifically their song ‘Schism’. Musically they have done a phenomenal job but, yet again, the vocals are the weak link, failing to match the suspense of the music and, ultimately, you just end up feeling let down and ‘Blank Silhouette’ sounds like the band Days Of The New have hired AIC’s Layne Staley to sing with them!

When I say that the vocals lack passion or emotion, I don’t mean from power or indeed yelling. Even the quietist of acoustic tracks can have huge passion and feeling but most of the vocal delivery on this album feels entirely disconnected.

The best way I can describe it is to reflect on what happened to the band Flyleaf. Their original vocalist Lacey Strum had been through some dark times and wrote deeply personal songs that she delivered with huge emotion, desperation and anger. When she left the band she was replaced by Kristen May and Flyleaf were never the same again because, although she was a good singer, she could never deliver the songs with the same passion!

Static Tension certainly have all the tools musically but it’s a real shame that the vocal delivery feels so forced and that they desperately seem to be trying to sound like their heroes rather than forge their own path. I really wanted to connect with this but I have come away feeling rather disappointed!

01. Kindling
02. Bury My Body
03. No Return
04. In Spite
05. Absence
06. Got To Give
07. Serpentine
08. Blank Silhouette
09. Where’s The Air
10. Bloody Shadow



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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.

Symetria – Symetria

Symetria Cover

Symetria – Symetria
Tripsquad Records
Release Dat: 09/2017
Running time: 38:43
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

“Old school metal never died, it went back to it’s home in New Jersey, where it belongs.”

Symetria are a quintet from the Garden State of New Jersey, and this is their self-titled debut album released in September 2017.

The band first got together when core members, Vince Santonastaso (vocals) and Kevin Gust (guitar) met through a Craigslist ad, and after playing covers from the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Metallica, Santonastaso realised there was more to their musical life. The two of them signed up old friend Fernando Carrera on bass and Blair Smith on drums, and the initial line up of Symetria was formed.

The name Symetria derives from the Polish word for ‘symmetry’, although the literal translation would be “balanced and intelligent”, which is exactly how the members of the band see themselves and their vision for the future.

The band spent the autumn of 2016 writing and working up a live show, playing their first gig, in the November at a Toys for Tots charity show, to critical praise across the board. By now they had also been in touch with Tim McCurtie, former M.O.D guitarist, who had just formed his own label called Tripsquad Records, and Symetria were his first signing.

The band hit the studio with producers Eric Rachel (Burnt by the Sun and M.O.D) and Mcurtie, and they laid down eight tracks in seven days. Second guitarist, James Soto, also joined at around this time.

The band, themselves, are a bit of a throwback to the sound of the 80’s and 90’s, when bands such as Overkill, T,T Quick and M.O.D ruled the tri-state area. They are hard and heavy, with an underproduced, raw sound, and I have read other reviews almost berating the band for harping back to a sound of a by-gone era.

I, on the other hand, have no problem with a current band emulating a sound of the past, and even adding a little modern-day twist to it. It may have all “been done before” but I believe that is the beauty and magic of music. It can transport you back to a time and a place in the past, and bring back nostalgic memories, while still being part of the modern-day scene.

The album, itself, is played with the confidence and power of a band who have built up many years’ experience, with many of the tracks dealing with modern day themes and topics. The track “Flying High” deals with the ugliness of addiction (Kevin Gust’s addiction and recovery), “Too Late” calls for the immediate action for whatever it is you intend to do in life because tomorrow is never guaranteed, while “Venial Sin” is about the Seven Deadly Sins. Says Santonastaso: “a vinial sin is a lesser sin. I chose the name because I wanted to draw attention to the sad truth that so much of our lives have become trivial now, and so little really has meaning anymore.”

Ok, so this album is not going to win any major awards for originality, or break any new ground, but for a debut, I think this is a solid album that shows the band have a lot of potential.

Go and check them out, you may just like what you hear!

01. Wakening
02. Flying High
03. Vinial Sin
04. All The Same
05. Stomp
06. Time
07. Too Late
08. Symetria


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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 interview, 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

Mason Hill – Mason Hill EP

Mason Hill EP Cover

Mason Hill – Mason Hill EP
Release Date – December 2015
Running Time: 18:02
Review by Beth Jones

Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, Mason Hill are, in my opinion, one of the most exciting new bands to hit the scene in a very long time. Their classic heavy rock style, combined with their talent and professionalism on stage give them the full package. Their debut EP is just a brief snippet of their skills and a very tasty bite of what is to come.

Showing off a range of their musical styles very succinctly, the four tracks on the EP develop through the chunky, toe tapping riffs of ‘Survive’ to the classic power Ballad of ‘Where I Belong’, visiting the influences of Country, AOR and classic heavy metal along the way. Their chunky riffs, driven bass, intricate guitar solos and tight drum fills give the EP a real pace and snap. But for me, the thing that makes it is the vocal range of Scott Taylor – this man has some pipes!!! Back that up with some great harmonies and it all comes together to form a very neat, but very exciting little package that definitely leaves you wanting more!

My feature track would have to be ‘Where I Belong’. This track for me is the classic ‘lighters in the air’ song that finishes off a gig perfectly and leaves you welling up with tears of joy. Starting acoustically with just Scott’s vocals and a beautiful guitar line provided by James Bird, the song floats into full band mode with a skillfully understated Rhythm section provided by Craig McFetridge on percussion and Matthew Ward on bass. It is lilting and melancholy and has the feel of a Pink Floyd epic of yesteryear, especially with the guitar solo, which I think would impress the great Mr Gilmour himself. The song gathers intensity throughout, building to its climax of defined rhythms, power vocals and twiddly solos working in perfect harmony and it is almost a shame when it finishes! Every time I listen to this track I notice something new. It makes me smile, it makes me cry, and it makes me want to listen to more – I simply cannot wait for the album and I will be first in the queue to buy it!

My only criticism, and the reason why the score is just off a perfect 10 is because the third track, ‘Now You See Me’ fades out at the end. This is one of my biggest bug bares in music – BOYS YOU ARE MORE TALENTED THAN THAT, THINK OF A WAY TO FINISH IT!!!! But seeing as this was one of their earliest recordings, and they are a new band, I will let them off for now – just don’t do it again!!!

That aside though, this is an exciting first EP from a very exciting young band. I am excited, and I am rarely excited by anything, so that is an achievement!

01. Survive
02. Your Memory
03. Now You See Me
04. Where I Belong


Mason Hill Pic2

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