Tokyo Blade – Dark Revolution Dissonance Productions Release Date: 15/5/2020 Running Time: 55:45 Review by Mark Pritchard 9/10
Recently, while trying to help get a sofa into my grandma’s house, I suffered an unfortunate foot injury (it turns out feet don’t like getting wedged between a sofa and a gate! Who knew?!). It was pretty darn painful! the next day, as I rested my leg, I decided that it was the perfect chance to listen to one of the new albums I’d asked for to review from Ever Metal! My choice that day, and since, has been “Dark Revolution” by long standing British heavy metal band Tokyo Blade.
Tokyo Blade are based in Salisbury, Wiltshire in the UK and are a New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band. They’re old hats in the music business now, having been active since 1983, but are definitely still going strong! Since forming in the 80’s they have put in a lot of hard work, releasing 7 singles, 6 EPs and 9 full-length albums with “Dark Revolution” being their 10th!
Listening to this album, and looking at when they started, I can’t help but hear some comparisons with the likes of Maiden, Metallica, and Megadeth, but at the same time, these guys have a sound completely their own. Steve Pierce’s drumming drives from fast to faster, and the guitar work by both Andy Boulton and John Wiggins is great. This wonderful guitar work is especially evident when they solo. It’s fast but then it hits the solos and really comes at you more. They blend all this with bass work by Andy Wrighton, which helps keep the main pace of songs going, and the very clean vocals of Alan Marsh, to create one hell of a band!
“Dark Revolution” is full of great songs, but I if I had to choose a standout it would be ‘Perfect Enemy’. From start to finish it keeps the same tempo, but near the start of the song it has a great solo which drew me in. As the song progresses, we’re treated to another beautiful solo. And as if that wasn’t enough, the vocals are amazing!
I have listened intently to this album and have thoroughly enjoyed it! I would easily recommend this album to all who are fans of the likes of Metallica, Maiden etc, and especially albums released in the 1980’s, as these guys are just as good as the aforementioned bands, well in my eyes anyway! I know that I will be looking at getting this album myself in CD form when I can.
TRACKLISTING: 01. Story Of A Nobody 02. Burning Rain 03. Dark Revolution 04. The Fastest Gun In Town 05. Truth Is A Hunter 06. Crack In The Glass 07. Perfect Enemy 08. See You Down In Hell 09. The Lights Of Soho 10. Not Lay Down And Die 11. Voices Of The Damned
LINE-UP: Steve Pierce – Drums Andy Boulton – Guitars Alan Marsh – Vocals John Wiggins – Guitars Andy Wrighton – Bass
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Mark Pritchard 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.
‘Diamonds In The Dust’ – Ones You May Have Missed! 2019 Album Round Up Part One Reviews by Paul Monkhouse
This year has been an absolutely bumper year for music and has seen a veritable tidal wave of superb releases. It would have been very easy to miss some great new recordings by bands large and small. Now, we don’t want you to miss some potential crackers so here’s a round-up of some of the best that are well worth checking out…
The Bloodshake Chorus – “Live At Epic Studios” Independent Released: 06/2019 8/10
East Anglia’s favourite rocking ghouls released this live album to great acclaim earlier this year and it truly catches their raw edged shows. Imagine, if you will, the perfect house band for The Munsters or The Addams Family and you get the idea of what these guys sound like, all psychedelic fuzz, 60’s covers and a truly entertaining show that will both thrill you and get you singing with happy abandon. Some off-kilter choices such as ‘These Boots Are Made for Walking’, ‘Jolene’ and ‘Delilah’ are superbly twisted but it’s on the soulful interpretation of ‘I (Who Have Nothing)’ that the band, in particular singer JJ Darby, shine showing their more artistic side. They may have been shunned by ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ after going down fantastically well in the studio but The Bloodshake Chorus will most definitely have the last (maniacal) laugh.
Whitesnake – “Flesh And Blood” Frontiers Music srl Release Date: 10/05/2019 8/10
David Coverdale has always been one of the finest singers in rock and after the highs of his relatively brief tenure with Deep Purple he has gone on to conquer the world with the hard rock colossus that is Whitesnake. Purists may prefer the late 70’s / early 80’s classic line-up that produced some of the most exciting bluesy hard rock of the era but things change and it was with the ‘1987’ album that saw the band really take flight. The hard rock template produced by that album has been pretty much adhered to over the years and this new release is more of the same but also is one of his best since that particular record was released. Whilst the line-up seems to have rotated on a constant merry go round and there is a really audible roughness in DC’s vocals on the first track it seems like the current mix of guitarists Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra have really upped the ante and the album bristles with some later period classic Whitesnake raunch and roll. The old swagger is back and the tongue in cheek single ‘Shut Up and Kiss Me’, rockers ‘Trouble is My Middle Name’, ‘Get Up’ and in particular the laid back mainly acoustic ballad ‘After All’ are just some of the highlights on the release. A real grower and one that proves there’s still plenty of life in this particular ‘Snake.
This Finnish five piece shows that girls can rock just as hard as the boys and the album is jam packed with some truly brilliant party-ready hard rock and attitude. This isn’t dumb heads-down full-on metal but has a sense of melody and dynamics that shows a huge grasp of both instantly catchy songwriting that is imbued with real intelligence. With tracks like ‘Diz-Funk-tional’, ‘Alive’, ‘Made Of Scars’ and ‘Borrowed Time’ this has to be one of the best albums you’ll hear this year.
The Treatment – “Power Crazy” Frontiers Music srl Release Date: 22/03/2019 7/10
The Treatment have come a long way since they formed in the world famous academic environs of Cambridge eleven years ago and their brand of classic hard rock has seen them tour with the likes of Kiss, Motley Crue, Status Quo, Motörhead, Alice Cooper, Thin Lizzy, Steel Panther and Buckcherry amongst many others. “Power Crazy” is the quintet’s fourth album and their first with vocalist Tom Rampton who replaced the departing Mitchell Emms two years ago, the band gelling quickly and producing some of their strongest material on this set. Opener ‘Let’s Get Dirty’ sets their stall out with a number that takes its cues from the great AC/DC and could well point this album to be the perfect one to listen to whilst the Aussie giants work on their latest opus due next year. This isn’t to say that the band either ape Angus and Co or are derivative as that is far from the case, they have produced something that is full of all the best bits of the bands you love wrapped around some terrific songs and performances. ‘Bite Back’, ‘King Of The City’ and ‘The Fighting Song’ are worth the price of admission alone and there are another nine barnstormers to get your teeth into. Let’s get rocked!
Dead Daisies – “Locked And Loaded” Spitfire Music Release Date: 23/08/2019 7/10
Line-ups don’t get much starrier than The Dead Daisies. Having had past or present members of (amongst others): Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, Journey, Guns n Roses, INXS, The Rolling Stones, Ted Nugent and Motley Crue in their ranks they can truly boast some of the biggest names in the business. This latest album is equally as stellar and is a collection of cherry-picked studio or live takes of some of the greatest songs in rock history, played by the various versions of the band since their inception. To hear them rip into such songs as ‘Midnight Moses’, ‘Fortunate Son’, ‘Rocking in the Free World’ and two Beatles numbers in the shape of ‘Revolution’ and ‘Helter Skelter’ is an absolute joy. Somewhat foreshadowing events, they also tackle ‘Highway Star’ and now can boast having Deep Purple’s Glenn Hughes join them following the recent departure of Marco Mendoza and John Corabi. Who knows what they will cover with ‘The Voice of Rock’ now fronting them, but, if it’s anywhere near as good as the tracks on this album, they’ll certainly be blowing the roofs off of everywhere they play.
Wayward Sons – “The Truth Ain’t What It Used To Be” Frontiers Music srl Release Date: 11/10/2019 9/10
Led by the inimitable Toby Jepson, this, the bands sophomore album, shows just what a great unit they have become and that many hours on the road touring up and down the country has really paid off. With all songs written by the former Little Angel there is a both a continuity of style and a chance for the band to stamp their own individual identities on the recording process. It is, at times, an angry album, railing against social injustice and the nonsense that is happening in the world and shows a real depth of connection and heart way beyond the usual hard rock fare. Sure, there is much to enjoy and the myriad of touches show influences from such bands as diverse as The Clash, Queen and ELO alongside some epic (but never overwrought) guitar work by Sam Wood, great keys by Dave Kemp, thundering rhythm provided by Nic Wastell and Phil Martini, all topped by the outstanding vocals of Mr Jepson. An album that at once looks back to some of the classic rock bands of the past whilst very much looking to the future and developing their own groove with tracks such as ‘As Black As Sin’ and ‘Feel Good Hit’ really showing the way. It rocks hard and makes you think and because of that it’s one of the very best and most passionate albums you’ll hear all year.
Down ‘N’ Outz – “This Is How We Roll” UMC Release Date: 11/10/2019 10/10
Initially a love letter to the great Mott the Hoople, Joe Elliot and his all-star band of merry men have really broken out on their own with this album full of classy new songs and a terrific cover of a Tubes classic. Magic happens when you take one Leppard, three Quireboys, a Vixen and a Wayward Son into the studio and the results are as stellar as the bands line-up. Kicking off with the scorching ‘Another Man’s War’, it’s pretty much full pelt into a magical and wonderful musical mystery tour from that moment onwards as the album twists and turns, a mix of full-on hard rock ‘n’ roll, old school boogie, lush ballads and a touching tribute to David Bowie in the shape of ‘Goodnight Mr Jones’. The songwriting is superb, the performances brilliant and the production huge. Don’t expect Def Leppard or The Quireboys as the Down ‘n’ Outz are neither but what they’ve produced is the next step in a fascinating evolution. Seriously, you must own this album.
The Swamp Born Assassins – Dead Man’s Train Carnivora Records Release Date: 01/06/2019 7/10
You can practically smell the bourbon the moment the first notes play. On this, the Assassins second album, the six-piece Glasgow rockers improve on and grow their passion for all things Southern Rock, surpassing their impressive debut with more layers of sound and a conviction that seeps through the recording like spilled blood on a wooden roadhouse floor. The moment you board this particular train, the title track blazing away, it’s an unstoppable adrenaline fuelled ride with no thoughts of putting on the brakes. Full of huge riffs, rapid fire rhythms, sway and thunder this really does run the gamut of the genre from heads down Southern boogie to Cajun blues that smoulder like a steaming bowl of gumbo. Amongst the highlights, ‘The Weeping Tree’ glistens with classic slide guitar, ‘Rise Up’ is full of Celtic spirit and ‘Crank It Up’ does exactly what the name suggests. Best listened to with a bottle of whiskey, this is a great meeting of North and South.
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse 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 authoritie
Acid Reign – The Age Of Entitlement Dissonance Productions Release Date: 27/09/2019 Running Time: 44:05 Review by Victor Augusto 9/10
It is very interesting how Thrash Metal bands that appeared in the middle to late 1980’s have some similarities. First of all, their main purpose and sonority were different from the first Thrash Metal bands created, probably as a natural evolution of this musical genre. The second thing I think is similar between them is how they have great technique to play riffs to a very high level. I don’t know why many of those bands quit early, but returned after decades, for our happiness. Did the name Death Angel come to your mind while reading this? Yes! It is an example of a band that has a similar history to UK Thrashers Acid Reign.
Born in 1985, they had a great career with two full albums ‘The Fear’ (1989) and ‘Obnoxious’ (1990) before quitting in 1991. Their rebirth happened in 2015, where, had they not disbanded, they would have been celebrating 30 years of noise and now their new offering is the amazing “The Age Of Entitlement”. On first listen, I could hear bands such as Havok or Overkill as reference points, but after careful listening it has been possible to catch personal influences and details which make Acid Reign different.
Despite their experience to create remarkable riffs and an excellent recording/production that increases the killer compositions further, it is the influence of classic British Heavy Metal bands in some melodies and also of Hardcore/Punk in a few songs that register with the listener. Of course these just complement the band’s style, because the Thrash Metal reigns supreme here.
The instrumental song ‘T.A.O.E. ‘shows an epical spirit before the destruction of ‘The New Low’ kicks in with the main Thrash Metal elements that we all know. Slowing down the rhythms, ‘Within The Woods’ is a long eight minute track with a more complex structure and (again) I could feel a little of the classic British bands in it with all the harmonies and tempos changes. The Hardcore influence is strong in the short song ‘Ripped Apart’ as is the Punk Rock vibe on the dancing ‘Blood Makes Noise’. The awesome ‘Sense Of Independence’ explores the heavier side of Acid Reign as does the track ‘United Hates’ which closes the album.
There is no doubt that Howard, Paul, Cooky, Pete and Marc knew exactly what they wanted and desired when making this album. “The Age Of Entitlement” shows a mature band that has taken all the heaviness from great Thrash Metal and has mixed that with many good influences from other genres to create their own identity. It is a magnificent way to show the world that Acid Reign is really back.
2. The New Low
4. My Peace Of Hell
5. Blood Makes Noise
6. Sense Of Independence
8. Within The Woods
9. Ripped Apart
10. United Hates
Howard “H” Smith – vocals
Paul Chanter – guitars
Cooky – guitars
Pete Dee – bass
Marc Jackson – drums
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.
Cauldron – New Gods Dissonance Productions Release Date: 07/09/2018 Running Time: 42 mins Review by: Alun Jones 7/10
Listening to Canadian Trad metallers Cauldron, I can almost feel my Converse hi-tops sticking to the carpet in a dingy 80’s rock club, swigging from a rapidly warming bottle of Newcastle Brown, clad in an Iron Maiden T-shirt and waiting for my mullet to grow out into a full length rockin’ hairdo. Them were the days, eh?!
Yes indeed, Cauldron is proud paid-up members of the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal club. Or proper metal, if you prefer? In other words, if Angel Witch and Diamond Head are your thing, you won’t go far wrong here.
Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t want to accuse these Toronto terrors of ripping anyone off, or being stuck in the past. In fact, it’s quite refreshing to listen to old school heavy rock they way it used to be played. This sound isn’t as prevalent as it should be nowadays.
‘Prisoner Of The Past’ starts things off with a suitably meaty riff, and the best news is – you can bang your head to it! Like, properly nod that noggin to the beat as you drive along. Throw some horns too, if you want. Cauldron ain’t gonna judge you, let yourself go!
Appropriately the second track is ‘Letting Go’, and it’s obvious that the band are able to weld together some sharp melodies to the music. Band members Jason Decay, Ian Chains and Myles Deck have obviously studied their influences hard and can unleash the goods with precision. ‘No Longer’ rides another infectious intro and you can be sure we’re on exciting, though safe, ground.
“New Gods” follows pretty much the same formula throughout; though the final part of fourth track ‘Save the Truth – Syracuse’ (maybe it’s just the “Syracuse” bit?) adds some experimentation that reminded me of Van Halen’s ‘Sunday Afternoon In The Park’. After that, another blazer of a song in ‘Never Be Found’.
Unfortunately, Cauldron do blow it with ‘Together As None’ – a nearly-power ballad, the track that would’ve been extracted for a single. Here the band manage to add too much fromage to their fondue. This is the lighter waving, last dance smoocher that no-one needed to be reminded of. Almost-not-quite good enough for the Rocky IV soundtrack.
Thankfully they get their shit together to finish the record with a spritely, Iommi style instrumental (‘Isolation’) and a final, Priest style rocker in ‘Last Request’.
Whether you admit it or not, you love old school rock and metal. Of course you do, and “New Gods” is more honest celebration than cliché. However, please be warned that some of the ingredients may be fast approaching their Best Before date.
1. Prisoner Of The Past
2. Letting Go
3. No Longer
4. Save The Truth – Syracuse
5. Never Be Found
7. Together As None
9. Last Request
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun 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.
Tank – Sturmpanzer Dissonance Productions Release Date: 16/11/18 Running Time: 56.38 Reviewer Tsarina Wilson 6/10
The long-awaited album “Sturmpanzer” by Tank has finally been released but has it been worth the wait?
Tank, who have been going for many years, were often compared to Motorhead as both bands are fronted by bass playing vocalists and play with hard core riffs and heavy vocals, typical of the 80’s metal scene but Tank have added a bit of a modern twist.
This album was announced way back in 2006 by founder member Algy Ward and, as the finishing touches were being added, Ward stated the album would be released in early 2016. This was then pushed back to the present day and, going back to my first question, was it worth the wait?
I definitely think it was for the established fan base they have but it might not appeal to everyone. Despite this, “Sturmpanzer” is a very strong album, it’s heavy and non-stop throughout, with a few colourful lyrics thrown in for good measure.
Formed in 1980, the band ploughed on through the years with line-up changes before being disbanded in 1989. Algy Ward resurrected it in 1997, playing tour dates around Europe and Japan for a few years.
In 2008 a new line up was once again announced, while in 2012 the band announced a Live DVD recording from their previous summer tour of Poland. The band also released details of the return of former drummer Steve Hopgood, along with information of a forthcoming album “War Nation”, released on 4th June on Metal Mind Productions.
I can see where the comparison to Motorhead lies, but during “Sturmpanzer” it’s just with the vocal style and that’s as far as it goes. There are times where you wonder exactly what you are listening too, as there is a rock, fast punk and aggressive style similar to a lot of bands of the 80’s.
‘Revenge Of The Filth Hounds’ is a confusing track as it sounds like it is on a loop and is a mishmash of different bits put together, with added excerpts from various television series sound tracks thrown in for good measure. The last track ‘Field Recording Of The Field’, which was mainly a telephone ringing, seemed pointless to me but may mean something to others who have been fans for many years.
TRACKLISING: 01. Two Thousand Miles 02. March 03. No More War 04. Liannes Crying 05. First They Killed The Father 06. Sturmpanzer Pt 1&2 07. Living In Fear of…. 08. Which Part Of F.O. Don’t U Understand 09. The Last Soldier 10. Little Darling 11. Revenge Of The Filth Hounds Pt 1&2 12. Field Recording Of The Field
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.
Seven Sisters – The Cauldron and The Cross Dissonance Productions Release Date: 13/04/2018 Running Time: 51:18 Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King 9/10
After having the opportunity to interview Graeme from Seven Sisters recently, I thought to myself that I really should give their new album The Cauldron and The Cross a spin, and why not give it a review at the same time.
Seven Sisters are a four-piece heavy metal band from London, who are, in their own words, forged from the same steel as the NWOBHM acts of yesteryear. Formed in 2013 by Kyle McNeil (vocals/guitars) and Graeme Farmer (guitars) in 2013, they are inspired by the likes of the Paul Di’anno era of Iron Maiden, Angel Witch and Virtue.
Says the band: “we have a mix of old school heavy metal (the NWOBHM movement in particular) and elements of power metal, thrash metal and things like that. We’re pretty progressive in places, but our songs are heavily melodic and hopefully pretty catchy too.”
The band have gained a reputation over the past few years as a stellar act in the heavy metal scene, playing shows all over the UK and Europe off the back of two independent releases, “The Warden Demo” in 2014 and “Lost in Time” 7” in 2015. They have since signed to Dissonance Productions and The Cauldron and The Cross is their second album.
With its main source of inspiration being a book written by Marion Zimmer Bradley called “The Mists of Avalon”, The Cauldron and The Cross is a concept album, a story that involves the two religions of Paganism and Christianity. With its myth and magical title tracks and a cover artwork depicting what looks like a scene from a fantasy film, this album has all the hallmarks of a typical power metal release.
But, this is power metal with a twist. Although, the power elements are unmistakably there, the thrash elements the band themselves stated were an influence can also be heard, but then so can the NWOBHM traits.
But that’s not all. On top of all this are the subtle prog influences too. I have never really been a prog rock/metal fan but the time changes throughout the individual tracks are clear to hear. Time changes are one of the aspects of prog music that turned me off the genre, but in this album, they seem to flow a lot better. And this, along with the changes in key, really does make it seem as if the music and lyrics are talking to you.
This is a band that obviously has an immense talent. Despite the relatively short time they have been together, they work so well and sound like they have been doing this for years. And that is something not found very often.
I read somewhere that the band intended on being a five piece, looking to recruit a singer to fill the fifth place and that Kyle was only a stand in singer. I can honestly say, that in my opinion, NOT getting that fifth person was the best thing for the band. Kyle is an absolutely fantastic singer with a voice that can cover a whole variety of ranges. He is ideally suited to the music the band play and I think that if they were to replace him now (please don’t) the whole dynamic of the band will change.
This album has everything from the speed metal of the opening track “Premonition” to the Maiden-influenced “Once and Future King” to the slower pace of “Blood and Fire.” There is also the ‘obligatory’ power ballad in “Oathbreaker” but this is, by no means, just a track that has been thrown in because people expect a ballad. It fits perfectly into the structure of the album and is one of the best tracks on it.
Stand out tracks for me, apart from “Oathbreaker” as mentioned above, are “Blood and Fire” and the double epic tracks “The Cauldron and The Cross Parts 1 and 2” at the end of the album, but my absolute favourite must be “The Turning of The Tide.” I could have that track on repeat for hours and not get bored with it.
So, should you go out and by this great album from this fantastic young band? Yes, you sure as hell do! This is a must for power metal fans, thrash metal fans, NWOBHM fans and traditional heavy metal fans alike.
I absolutely adored this album, and, for me, this is one of the best albums that has been released this year.
TRACKLISTING: 01. The Premonition 02. Blood And Fire 03. Once And Future King 04. Partings The Mists 05. Turning Of The Tide 06. Oathbreaker 07. A Land In Darkness 08. The Cauldron And The Cross Pt.1 09. The Cauldron And The Cross Pt.2
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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.