Ward XVI – Unplugged And Sedated EP

Ward XVI – Unplugged And Sedated EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 24/11/2020
Running Time: 23:45
Review by Simon Black
9/10

So, the thing is, this record wasn’t supposed to happen. Many acts have had to take all that 2020 had to give without the benefit of lubrication (which many may not survive), but it’s a double kicker when you are a self-produced act on the verge of something special and desperately need to get out on the road to spread the word. Judging by the fact that in the intervening time since last year’s quite sublime “Metamorphosis” album, Ward XVI have managed to get that album on a whole bunch of Top 10 articles as the year burned out (including my own), not to mention cropping up on a couple of top track listings too. This all seems to tell me that I am worrying needlessly – and quite right to, as I firmly believe that this bunch have the potential to go the distance. They’ve come a long way since their Bloodstock New Blood performance and have used that platform for exactly what it is intended to be – a springboard to better things. They’ve taken the ball, run with and it and are in the process of kicking it out of the park, whatever the world throws at them.

The band’s Facebook page had been debuting snippets of this on the run up to Christmas, and this EP finally landed before the year ended. At twenty-three minutes run time, it is short and sweet – consisting of five acoustic versions of previously released songs (four from “Metamorphosis” and one from 2017’s “The Art Of Manipulation”). It’s a release born of necessity, with lone acoustic guitar work from Dr Von Stottenstein and the most hauntingly beautiful vocal performance from Psychoberrie. What it also does is expose brilliantly the deeply rich and powerful song-writing that sits at the heart of this band, and it takes a moment for me to acknowledge that yes, this is the same Shock-Rock Metal band that I’ve been raving about for the last few months. The only negatives I can throw in the direction of this release (and I really am scraping the bottom of the barrel in even bothering) is that it is so short, as you really are left wanting more.

It’s 2021 and we’re all inmates now…

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Cradle Song
02. Burn The Witch
03. Daisy Chains
04. Shadows
05. Ward XVI

LINE-UP:
Psychoberrie – Vocals and Lyrics
Dr Von Stottenstein – Guitar

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black 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.

Riveting Truth – Riveting Truth EP

Riveting Truth – Riveting Truth EP
Roxx Records
Release Date: 13/11/2020
Running Time: 16:09
Review by Chris Palmer
7/10

Riveting Truth is a two-piece Christian Metal outfit from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The band, which is completed by Dave Bentley (Vocals & Guitars) and Andrew Rudd (Bass), was formed in 2017 as the duo drew from their musical influences of Melodic Groove Heavy Metal.

Having worked together in the 1990’s, Dave and Andrew released an independent album with the band Legacy. Touring throughout southern Ontario and its surrounding areas for several years, Legacy also opened for bands such as Whitecross, as the duo learned their musical chops before taking a hiatus in order to pursue different career paths.

As the duo’s paths crossed again, Riveting Truth was born. Serving as an avenue for the musicians to share their influences of Melodic Groove Heavy Metal, Riveting Truth also delivers a profound message to listeners. The band name alone serves as a double-edged concept that Jesus Christ is the Riveting Truth (John 14:6) that can fasten the gospel to our hearts, souls, and minds. How fitting it is then, that the duo have signed to Christian Rock ‘N’ Metal specialists Roxx Records for the release of their debut EP.

The EP is self-titled and contains four slabs of Melodic Groove Heavy Metal. Released last month, it certainly lives up to Roxx Records’ statement of intent, because it really is one of the loudest and boldest releases from within the Christian Rock ‘N’ Metal scene. Whether it’s perceived as being one of the best, however, is a question of personal choice. The duo are certainly taking this project seriously though, because this release features guest solos from two guitar legends of the Christian Metal scene: Namely, Dennis Cameron (Angelica) and Rex Carroll (Whitecross)!

The EP kicks off in epic, heavy fashion, with the rumbling ‘The Prison’. With its message of drawing strength from God during difficult times of temptation, etc…, ‘The Prison’ is a thunderous opening and features exquisite guitar solos by Dennis Cameron. Swiftly following is the equally heavy ‘Stand Trial’, which announces itself with an impressive rhythm. The heavy riffs will pound the eardrums, while the screaming guitar solos from Rex Carroll are a joy to the ears.

A beautiful rumbling bassline from Andrew drags you into the opening sections of ‘Skeletons In The Closet’, before Dave’s guitar enters the frame and the song settles into a nice heavy rhythm. You’ll feel the urge to bang your head to the infectious grooves, before smiling to the delightful little bass solo during the song’s second half. Just as you’re getting used to the band’s sound, a harsh vocal attack from Dave announces the arrival of the fourth and final offering on this E.P., ‘Give Up The Ghost’. While this number contains a good rhythm, chugging riffs, and a terrific guitar solo, the vocal attack takes some time to get used to, and if I’m being honest, I’m quite relieved when the song comes to an end.

Overall, “Riveting Truth” is a captivating release. It is worth the admission price based on the opening three songs alone. However, Dave’s vocal style does take a little getting used to, but once it hits you, the repeat button will get pressed numerous times…except for the final number, ‘Give Up The Ghost’. I’m sure there are those of you who will dig this song, no question, and I accept/respect that. Unfortunately, it just didn’t do anything for me, no matter how many times I try to listen to it.

However, I won’t let such a minor, personal preference affect my rating here because, with “Riveting Truth”, what you get is sixteen minutes of great Melodic Heavy Groove Metal which delivers a profound Christian Message. I look forward to a full-length offering from this Canadian duo, who are definitely worthy of your attention.

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Prison (Featuring Dennis Cameron)
02. Stand Trial (Featuring Rex Carroll)
03. Skeletons In The Closet
04. Give Up The Ghost

LINE-UP:
Dave Bentley – Vocals & Guitars
Andrew Rudd – Bass

LINKS:

This review was originally written for Metal Gods TV

‘The Prison’ (Lyric Video)

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris Palmer, Metal Gods TV, 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.

The Damnnation – Parasite EP

The Damnnation – Parasite EP
Xaninho Discos
Release Date: 10/11/2020
Running Time: 16:06
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

Do you know what makes me happy in the early hours of the morning? The answer is waking up with a song glued in my mind and ideas being whispered into my ear (hello schizophrenia), ready to write a review of a debut release! Yes, I love to write about debut albums/EP’s and follow the evolution of a band after that, but today we have a slightly different situation. As I have already said, in previous reviews, I give my entire support for a band, no matter if it is a young one or a famous one. If I realise that I am investing my time in a professional group, then it is all ok for me. Amateurs can go away! Therefore, I hope you are all well, safe and also ready to understand my ideas! This is another fail, on my part, to try and write a good intro, sorry boss! (It’s a perfectly good intro Victor – Rick)

The Damnnation (yes, it does have a double ‘N’, because it is a mix of Damn and Nation, as Vocalist/Guitarist Renata Petrelli already explained in the band’s EMQ’s interview) was created last year with three musicians that have good experience with other bands, including tours in Europe. This experience has helped them to compose mature songs, with well thought out arrangements and a good production. Good balance! Yes, there is a good balance between all the instruments and the sound which is crystal clear but dirty!

The song ‘World’s Curse’ was not randomly chosen to open the EP. It was the first single released and it showed to the world the face of this young, new-born band. Even with a different line-up at that time, it is perfect to understand their musicality. Firstly, simple but catchy riffs. You get all the heaviness and speed that a good heavy Metal bands should deliver, thanks to Cynthia Tsai who smashes her drum kit without mercy and the independent bass lines of Camis Brandão which bring an extra punch to this track. The melodies from Renata ’s guitar, also her solo, are a great highlight on the band’s sonority. I really loved it.

The current line-up hasn’t changed the band’s spirit, in actual fact, bassist Aline Dutchi and drummer Leonora Mölka have helped the band’s evolution and it is notorious for what you hear from ‘Apocalypse’, the second track, until the end of the EP. Again, the melodies and all guitar work from Renata, together with the excellent bass work from Aline, is brilliant. They perfectly complement each other. As for Leonora, the word that came to my mind most while I was listening to this was versatility. Of course, she also hits hard and doesn’t let the speed diminish, but her work with the hi hat, crash, ride, and china cymbals brings a kind of simplicity in the midst of all the blast beats and fast stuff, that is very well thought out.

The title track has clean guitar and also acoustic guitar, in a perfect ‘Fade to Black’ (Metallica) style, but don’t be fooled, this is an extremely heavy song. The rhythmical cadences along with good double kicks and strong bass brings a good and dark atmosphere. The main difference here is that this song makes you feel like Amon Amarth members are banging their heads while playing ‘The Pursuit of Vikings’. Is this enough for you to enjoy this track? I hope so! The closing song ‘Unholy Soldiers’ is a mix of all elements that I’ve mentioned so far, with a good and slow distorted bass intro that progressively gains speed and heaviness. This time I felt that the song leaves more space for Renata’s vocals, with a good interpretation of what happens inside the mind of a profane soldier.

As mentioned before, The Damnnation’s members have brought good experience from all their years on the road. If you ask me about the highlight, I will answer that there is a positive aspect that goes further than just talking about the musicality. For me, freedom is what I believe is the most important definition of this EP. Freedom to explore vocal lines, work on melodies and mix different styles into the same song. As a consequence of this freedom, you can hear an incredible EP from a band with just one year of existence. Can you imagine what these three women are going to achieve on a complete album? While we wait for that, listen to “Parasite” without fear.

TRACKLISTING:
01. World’s Curse
02. Apocalypse
03. Parasite
04. Unholy Soldiers

LINE-UP:
Renata Petrelli – Vocals and Guitars
Aline Dutchi – Bass and Vocals
Leonora Mölka – Drums

LINKS:

Photo by Jessica Mar

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.

Grimorte – Esoteric Ascendance EP

Grimorte – Esoteric Ascendance EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 31/10/2020
Running Time: 18:01
Review by: Tammy Lomax
10/10

My head has been battered since starting my new job, systems overlapping systems galore! But the weekend is here Mofos! And do you know what this entails? That’s right, MUSIC!

Let me introduce you to Grimorte. They are a new two-man project consisting of…Kieran Scott from the band Ashen Crown, who is the vocalist and Lewis Borthwick, from the band Archierophant, who plays the instruments and is Master of Production. The project itself sits somewhere between atmospheric Black/Death Metal and Doom.

Grimorte are all things chilling and they explore the mysteries that surround Aleister Crowley and the occult, with this debut EP telling us of a woman’s journey, whose innocence is ripped away and replaced by possession.

Ok, at this point I am shitting it!

I can’t even sleep with my feet outside the bed and I am, admittedly, a huge fluff pants! Friends have stated many times “It’s just a film” But that is NOT how I see it! It’s a script FYI! Someone out there has this in their head, and do you know what is worse?! SOMETIMES THEY ARE BASED ON TRUE EVENTS!!

Right, where was I? Oh yeah, this possessed lady, right, (ok, I’m calming my tits).

“She is lulled into the esoteric pagan and Satanist practices of the golden dawn and awakes to find her new demonic form.” I would be livid if I woke up to this, mind you first thing in the morning…there is definitely a resemblance.

To add to the dark story, obviously “Esoteric Ascendance” was released on 31/10/20, Halloween…

Now let’s get to the music.

Opening Esoteric Ascendance is track ‘The Procession’ The vocals hit you immediately, personally the most deathly vocals I’ve heard in a while. You begin to unravel and visualize unsettling scenes, breaking down the story piece by piece and become drawn in with the simple note progressions. It’s truly poetic and full of passion. This duo are definitely onto something.

The following track ‘Sequestrate’ slowly builds with the most haunting atmosphere. It is more melodic, and it marches you into the EP. It feels nostalgic with a doomy edge and vocals that are accompanied by a depressing energy and added layers. This is a much more beefy and weighty accomplishment.

Third track ‘Esoteric Ascendance’ is definitely an eye opener for me, or shall I say a chaotic roller coaster. The shrieking vocals and slow tempo lead me to a distorted guitar section, catapulting me straight into the plot of the story! They then proceed to rip me away, hurling me back and forth, my head is all over the place, in the best possible way, of course.

Finally, ‘Firvir’ is 100% advanced modern black metal. By this point I feel possessed, and maybe that’s exactly Grimorte’s aim? This is my favourite track on the EP, there are layers upon layers, and you can really explore and hear the depths of their combined talents and ideas. It is an offering of chilling detail and rich tastes; you cannot dismiss the infinite variety of intonations that have been used meticulously.

This 18-minute EP had me enthralled from the first second. It is elegance at its finest, with the combined skills of Kieran and Lewis brought to the fore. Just like baking the perfect cake, It is carefully structured, and the sections do not over spill or run into each other and as a debut release they have done an unreal, first-class job.

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Procession.
02. Sequestrate.
03. Esoteric Ascendance.
04. Firvir.

LINE-UP:
Kieran Scott – Vocals.
Lewis Borthwick – Instruments/Production.

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax 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.

King Bull – What Happened Here? EP

King Bull – What Happened Here? EP
Riot Records
Release Date: 30/10/2020
Running Time: 18:11
Review by Martin Bennewith
8/10

Sometimes it is nice to sit down and listen to a good bit of rock music – music that has a familiar ring to it and that doesn’t try to be anything out of the ordinary. I kind of get that feeling with King Bull. King Bull are a young Canadian rock band, playing music with a style that is long before their time, and they pull it off well enough. I would describe it as rock with a touch of punk, with a swirling vocal style against dirty guitars and a driving rock beat. ‘What Happened Here?’ is a 5 track EP that demonstrates well what King Bull are about, that is, no nonsense, energetic rock.

The first track ‘Pay Attention’ has a fitting title – it is a short number, with distorted guitar, energetic vocals, and some neat simple fills. It has a positive vibe to it, and is a nice way to start.

The second helping, ‘Secret Sauce’ follows the same formula but is slightly less rough around the edges than the first – and is stretched out with more rhythmic builds and guitar fills. Once again, the vocal work is full of energy, and the stirring vocal style works really well here.

Track three ‘Dontcha Know’ has a different feel to the first two – it is not quite a rock ballad, and the best way to describe it is like a cross between Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and Guns N’ Roses knocking on heaven’s door – so again it is pure rock with uneasy vocals, sometimes fluttering, sometimes screaming, but always true.

Next comes ‘The Defender’ – and this one is very raw – it is probably the most punk sounding track on the EP, it is just raw dirty guitar energy and screaming vocals. The beat is driving and carries the track forward at a nice pace.

We finish with ‘B-side Baby’ – this track has a more serious storytelling feel to it, it has more defined sections, and holds back in parts to emphasise the vocals. There are some nice guitar feels once again and an epic guitar and scream fuelled finish to wrap things up.

Because of the unpretentious and simple nature of this EP there is not too much to say about it, so this was quite an easy review to do  – it is rock music as it should be, and it really speaks for itself. 8/10.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Pay Attention
02. Secret Sauce
03. Dontcha Know
04. The Depender
05. B-Side Baby

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Martin Bennewith 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.

Milk White Throat – Hierarchy EP

Milk White Throat – Hierarchy EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 18/09/2020
Running Time: 21:51
Review by Tammy Lomax
10/10

I miss Brighton, I miss it a lot. Not just because of the diversity, but because of the people. My circle of friends are the most important and genuine people I have in my life, some of them coming from Brighton.

When I moved there, I felt at home for the first time in my life, it’s very versatile. I struggle blending in up North, where I am now. I wear a metal t-shirt and feel I’m being judged all the time. In Brighton, you can literally be anyone you want to be and there is no judging, well you still get the odd dick, it’s expected anywhere.

I left just over a year ago, but Brighton did enable me to broaden my horizons and expand my music career. After removing the dicks from my life and trying to settle in “Planet North”, Mr Editor and I began chatting! He and Beth have lots of cheek kisses coming their way, he has helped me get out of my rut, mentally, and channel the crap into my writing.

I mention all of this because Alternative/Progressive band Milk White Throat are from Brighton. I have seen them play live on numerous occasions and I bloody love them. I do have a dirty mind at times (All the time dear readers, all the time – Rick), and to be fair how can I not go off on a tangent with a name like this?! “Milk White Throat”, Oh gosh. Yes please! 🤭

The name Milk White Throat is actually taken from a line in the Nick Cave song, ‘Black Hair’.

Starting in 2000 as a Thrash/Death metal band, ‘Milk White Throat’ refuse to be pinned down to a particular genre, mainly because there is so much variety and creativity, individually and collectively as a group…fuck the rules!

During this time, the line-up has slowly reduced in size and by 2016 only three members remained.

They have continued to evolve and have now returned with their self-released EP “Hierarchy.” Whilst still sticking to variety, the three songs that make up “Hierarchy” are their most mature and melodic effort to date, progressing forward from 2018 EP “House Of Fire”.

The songs represent an individual’s fragility from different perspectives. Our minds can certainly be a fragile thing for sure, especially during these times.

As “Hierarchy” is only three tracks long. I am going to go through them one by one, with as much information as I can.

Opener ‘Closed Eyes’. It is written from the perspective of the world within oneself. It can be a struggle to accept who we are and what everything around us is actually about. What is our existence worth to ourselves? The track itself is over 7 minutes long and they jump straight in with the most alluring vocals, they are light as a feather, well balanced and everything is…calm. The music moves me in ways I can’t explain. Their guitar work meets the flow then excels as it progresses, giving us some umph. It’s pretty clear there are some personal experiences behind this music, you can feel it and the passion.

Next up is ‘Sleepless’ and It is written from the perspective of a parent and the continuous battles mentally. Are our children a true reflection of ourselves and are we qualified to raise a child? Fans have made comparisons with Deftones, I understand why. There is more energy in this track, but a continuous graceful flow remains. Vocalist Brian Thomas is slightly fiercer, but you can hear his growls being held back, no room for gruesome growls here guys! ‘Sleepless’ is also the lead single and has a wonderful accompanying video filmed in The Underworld, Camden Town!

Finally, title-track ‘Hierarchy’ is written from the perspective of someone failing to live up to society’s expectations. Are we just a number and statistic in the outside world? How do we use all of this information to better ourselves? This takes you on a journey, all sections are dynamic, and the tempo is fast, but it still flows with the other two tracks.

I am now going to sound like the biggest cheese ball going!

“Hierarchy” is a perfect representation of how we see our lives in general. It covers different points of views, experiences, opinions (*cheese ball incoming*) and my perspective is, LOVE! Love is the perspective! We should inject that good juice daily, seeing potential in the negatives, seeing inspiration in the darkest of moments, seeing beyond all limitations. The sky is not the limit, our minds are!

The work that has been created on this stunning EP is exceptional. It moves you in so many emotional ways. Although it is short it is balanced throughout. I cannot really do it any justice, so please do check it out.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Closed Eyes
02. Sleepless
03. Hierarchy

LINE-UP:
Tom Humphrey – Guitars.
Guillaume Croizon – Drums.
Brian Thomas – Bass and Vocals.

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax 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.

Quinn The Brain – Open Wide EP

Quinn The Brain – Open Wide EP
Self – Released
Release Date: 29/05/2020
Running Time: 17:10
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Good evening, my dear ladies and gentlemen. I am lounging upon my chaise longue, sipping from a delicately jewelled chalice and sporting my Seventh Invocation Robes (Autumn Weight) after a busy couple of days involving proselytising, being endlessly shouted at by the Dread Lord Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover, smashing up indestructible sofas and having Mrs. Dark Juan experience medical emergencies requiring trips to the apothecary and then the hospital. This is of course not in order of importance and rather more to do with my permanently derailed train of thought. I should have been wrangling young gentlemen as per my normal employment, but Mrs. Dark Juan comes first. At least that’s what I promised her when we first started seeing each other. Wink wink. I’ll let you judge how trustworthy I am on that score.

Also, for Seventh Invocation Robes (Autumn Weight), read beat up old (yet supremely comfortable) Batman onesie. I’m all about full disclosure, me.

I’m also all about writing about the music I’m listening to. What a segue. Tonight’s offering is an intriguing and beguiling band of Texan misfits called Quinn The Brain. Now, if you are of a certain age (and can recall MTV actually playing music videos and having Vanessa BLOODY Warwick ruining Donington for everybody) you may remember a poorly animated and distinctly sarcastic programme on MTV called Daria, about a young alternative lady called Daria Morgendorfer and her adventures with Jane and Trent.  And her endless watching of Sick, Sad World. Digressing? Me? Never… Anyway, there was an episode of Daria called Quinn The Brain That’s where Quinn The Brain got their name from. They have therefore earned a bonus point for having a cool name from a TV show beloved of Dark Juan in his youth. I’m easily bought.

As this is a four track EP, I am going to do a track by track critique. Let us begin…

The record opener is also the title track. Beginning with a simple, chiming guitar lick, it rapidly goes down a rage-filled rabbit hole of fury and reminds this reviewer greatly of ‘Bruise Violet’ by Babes In Toyland in the delivery of the vocal by Arta Salehi in parts. This is not a criticism as Kat Bjelland is a fine, fine basis to take your performance from. Musically, the song rampages from riot girl rage and kickass riffs to alt-rock twanging before hitting off kilter vocals and rapid loud-quiet-loud dynamics. I like this very much so far. Hopefully track two lives up to the promise of this stomper of an opener…

Track two is ‘Step On Me’. My, this is grungy. All lo-fi guitar and angst-ridden lyrics with a tough punk edge to take the grunge undertones up a notch and out of the navel gazing bollocks that most grunge was. Special mention goes to bass player Steve Blackheart on this one, who serves up some of the filthiest, sexiest bass I have had heard for a long time. Lyrically, this one is about working in an industry where no-one cares about you and the futility of your trying to achieve something when no-one will ever notice. Welcome to the world that most of us inhabit. Although this is the weakest offering it’s still a fucking slamming song and well worth your time.

Lucky three then – entitled ‘Comes In 3s’ and about bad luck coming in threes and dreading the next piece of shitty bastard luck to empty its capacious, disease-ridden arse in your unsuspecting lap. Again we enjoy some sexy, sexy fucking bass from Mr. Blackheart and some very tasty guitar work from Arta as well as a vocal that oozes snotty, fuck you attitude without having to resort to the kind of inane, ball squeezing squealing that large, hirsute, bearded men frequently employ when they are playing heavy metal. This is one of the more unusual songs as it straddles the fence between grunge, punk and metal (is that more than one fence? Fuck knows.) Oh, and it’s a full moon at the end of the song too, so all fucking bets are off…  Another top, top song.

Onto the record’s closing tune now, and it’s called ‘Dark Skies’ and it is by far the most metal of the songs on this EP. It’s got an absolutely doomtastic central riff and just drips melody and menace at the same time. Vocally, Arta treads a finely judged line referencing strong female vocal leads like Brody Dalle, Kat Bjelland, Die So Fluid’s Grog and even a bit of faux-cute Courtney Love and the words reference the loss of innocence, while skilfully leaving it to the listener’s imagination just what innocence has been lost. Such subtlety in songwriting is a rare and precious thing, especially in metal and other extreme music which tends to just bludgeon you over the head with the message the band wants you to understand. This is also a fucking kickass tune.

So, this is only a 17-minute EP but as a body of work it is extraordinarily complete. It’s a short but comprehensive journey down an absolutely rage filled tunnel of violence, edged weapons and negative emotions, and the musicians back this up by being able to emote this on their instruments as well as being able to rely on Arta’s witheringly intense vocal delivery going voraciously straight for your soft, white throat. I CANNOT WAIT for a full album, boys and girl! This really is one of my favourite records of 2020 so far, and I have listened to some high-quality alternative music this year. Quinn The fucking Brain are fucking magnificent!

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (y’all) awards Quinn The Brain a colossal 10/10. Treasure this, Quinn The Brain. It is a rare and precious thing. Dark Juan officially loves you.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Open Wide
02. Step On Me
03. Comes In 3s
04. Dark Skies

LINE-UP
Arta Salehi – Vocals and Guitar
Billy Kimmel – Drums
Steve Blackheart – Bass

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ 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.

Eskimo Callboy – MMXX EP

Eskimo Callboy – MMXX EP
Century Media Records
Release Date: 11/09/20
Running Time: 20:40
Review by Steven Hooke
7/10

Way back in the day, German Electronicore outfit Eskimo Callboy broke ground with viral hit ‘Is Anyone Up?’, a catchy yet horrendously gaudy tome about an early 2010’s revenge porn website that apparently had it in for the metalcore community. It garnered the band moderate success and attention for a style of music that was at an all-time high in popularity. Ultimately though, it was the Asking Alexandria’s, Attack Attack!’s and Enter Shikari’s of the scene that broke through into commercial success with the Germans seemingly fizzling away as a modern one-hit wonder.

However, as it turns out, the group has been persevering in mainland Europe with the backing of a dedicated Electronicore community and are fit to re-debut as Eskimo Callboy 2.0.

Armed with new co-vocalist Nico Sallach, Eskimo Callboy caught everyone’s attention with the unbelievably infectious ‘Hypa Hypa’ earlier in the year. In one fell swoop, the band managed to address nearly every complaint thrown at the Electronicore genre over the past decade –  from over-saturation of auto-tune, bland riffs and an over-reliance on the electronic aspect – and produce a well-written, well-mixed, earworm belter that is as much indebted to The Devil Wears Prada as it is to Scooter.

The bar for the rest of the EP then, has been set. And to start with, it holds up pretty darn well.

‘Hate/Love’ brings familiarities of Asking Alexandria on their “From Death To Destiny” run with a strong hard rock vibe strung throughout the metalcore and a chorus fit for Reading/Leeds as much as it is for Download. The ludicrously named ‘MC Thunder II (Dancing Like a Ninja)’ damn-near reaches the same ridiculous levels of ‘Hypa Hypa’ with the electronics comfortably and properly supporting the slew of power chord riffs as Nico and resident screamer Kevin Ratajczak lose their collective minds, before returning to the world of europop-rock for the chorus.

There is a definite drop in the quality post-‘MC Thunder II’ though. Initial thoughts of ‘Monsieur Moustache’ were that it sounds like a B-side to Enter Shikari’s debut album, which makes sense when you realise that it is in fact a rerecording of one of Eskimo Callboy’s first songs released, dating back to 2010. The lyrics have been updated to make it *slightly* less problematic but the post-hardcore/screamo with a Fisher-Price keyboard yeeted at it mix has not aged well at all. It’s the same story again for ‘Dramaqueen’, another “classic” rehashed with the new line-up and ender ‘Prism’ which features the finger finagling prowess of German percussive acoustic guitarist Tobias Rauscher, is a full acoustic reconstruction of a track from their 2019 album “Rehab”. Weirdly enough, out of everything on the EP, this acoustic ballad is the most jarring thing you’ll hear. After over 15 minutes of dance-party metalcore spanning a decade, to then suddenly jump to sombre, moody balladry is like running track for a triathlon only to find the swimming section will be in a pool of hummus.

MMXX is nothing if not a fun affair. Trying to feel like a nightclub and a rock show at the same time is no easy task, and to pull it off as well as the first half of the EP has, should earn Eskimo Callboy all the acclaim they deserve, particularly when you consider the current music climate. Lyrically, they still won’t exactly be challenging Tool anytime soon. The broken English charm that endeared them to so many in the early days is still there, but so is the “woo! Sex!” mentality from the glory days of neon and black shirts and hair sprayed fringes.

If you can withstand the lyrical choices being made, and you want something to fill the void Falling in Reverse left behind when Ronnie decided to be a super serious and broody Rockstar man, then this new era of Eskimo Callboy could very well be the ones for you.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Hypa Hypa
02. Hate/Love
03. MC Thunder II (Dancing Like a Ninja)
04. Monsieur Moustache
05. Dramaqueen
06. Prism [ft. Tobias Rauscher]

LINE-UP:
Kevin Ratajczak – Unclean Vocals, Keyboards, Programming
Nico Sallach – Clean and Unclean Vocals
Daniel Haniß – Lead Guitar
Pascal Schillo – Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Daniel Klossek – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
David-Karl Friedrich – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Steven Hooke 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.

Moths/The Stone Eye – Split EP

Moths/The Stone Eye – Split EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 21/08/2020
Running Time: 25:34
Review by Alun Jones
8/10

Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. Which is why I like to mix my drinks. And my strippers. Why stick to just one, when you can explore everything life has to offer? This split EP offers two bands and four tracks in total, showcasing a considerable amount of musical diversity and talent.

First up is Puerto Rican band Moths, with their track ‘Intervention’. Beginning deceptively calm, restrained and quite beautiful, it soon builds and descends from a chunky stoner riff. And then, at pretty much the halfway mark, ‘Intervention’ erupts into a full-on aggressive growl fest, though still portraying an adept progressive spirit.

The meandering intrigue of the opening track is followed by a less surprising cover of the Black Sabbath classic ‘Hand of Doom’. A great song, but I was hoping for more original material or an unusual cover. No fear though, Moths inject the Sabs tune with plenty of atmosphere, the powerhouse vocals of Damaris Rodriguez helping to make their own mark on the song. Not easy with a genuine metal standard like this, Moths have the class to pull it off.

Then it’s over to The Stone Eye, for their track ‘Prescence of the Mind’. These guys are from Philadelphia, PA in the USA. A little harder to pin a style on, they journey on a stoner path that adds in psychedelic detours akin to some of the best 90’s alternative rock – but never abandoning a gutsy garage rock swagger.

A cover of the old trad ballad ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ is next from The Stone Eye. Delivered in a bluesy style, it contrasts nicely with the other songs. It both delights and begs for another play.

And there you have it: four songs, different in style but each displaying a sound that seems to well define both bands. An excellent endeavour from both Moths and The Stoned Eye, you’d be well rewarded in tracking this down.

And while we’re on the subject of moths: Glenn Danzig – remember him? Singer/visionary with the Misfits, Samhain, and of course, Danzig. Body builder, martial arts master and expert on the occult. Scared to death of moths, I shit you not. Always running around with his hands over his face, hiding under tables if there was one around. Eventually, I learned to calm Glenn down by telling him that moths were simply goth butterflies. Amazingly, it worked.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Moths – Intervention
02. Moths – Hand of Doom
03. The Stone Eye – Prescence of Mind
04. The Stone Eye – Wayfaring Stranger

MOTHS LINE-UP:
Damaris Rodríguez – Vocals
Jonathan Miranda – Guitars
Omar González – Guitars
Weslie Negrón – Bass
Daniel Figueroa – Drums

MOTHS LINKS:

THE STONE EYE LINE-UP:
Stephen Burdick – Guitar, Vocals, Bass (Track 2)
Jeremiah Bertin – Percussion
Christian Mechem – Guitar, Vocals (Track 1)
Wolfgang Noll – Bass (Track 1)

THE STONE EYE LINKS:

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.

13 Burning – Unholy EP

13 Burning – Unholy EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 14/08/2020
Running Time: 25:00
Review by Beth Jones
7/10

Well, it’s Wednesday! Or ‘hump day’ as some call it (stop snickering at the back, it means it’s the hump of the week, and once you’re through it, you’re on the way to the weekend)! And what better way is there to make it through a humpy Wednesday, than with a bit of metal? None, my good people! None at all!!

This evenings listening is presented by Oxford based NWOBHM band, 13 Burning, in the shape of their recently released debut EP “Unholy”. Formed in 2014, their mission is to combine the traditional sounds of classic heavy metal, with storytelling of mythology, war, and witchcraft.

The EP opens with the title track and gives us everything you would expect from a classic NWOBHM band. Face melting riffs, slightly edgy vocals with perfect Shakespearean diction, a great steady 4/4 beat, and a booming bass line. It’s like bish bash bosh, meat and two veg, heavy metal. And there is not a single thing wrong with that. It takes me back to the good old days, when hair was flowing, boots were cowboy, and everything was double denim clad. And not a pair of rose-tinted glasses in sight!

We’re treated to some awesome musicianship on this release too – a notable example is the ripping solo in track 2 ‘Wings Of A Dream’, which really brings that song to life.

Track 3, ‘Day Of Reckoning’ begins in theatrical fashion; spoken word with a ton of echo, backed up by some eerie and ethereal sound effects. I think this is actually my favourite track. It’s got a slower pace which helps to show off vocalists Dan Abrams pipes really well, and hints at how they can diversify their sound from the traditional. Saying that, it does kind of remind me of the more drug induced tracks that appeared back when peace and love were a thing…just with more riffage!

The final track, ‘Valhala’, again starts in a more slow, lamenting style, with Dan’s vocals sitting atop the mix. Lyrically, it’s pretty poetic, too. Completely in keeping with their mission. And this track is a close second for my favourite track. It’s a biggy, at over 8 minutes long, but has a sharp change of pace in the middle, taking us back to the comfortable groove of classic metal! By the way, unless you by the CD, you won’t hear this track, because it’s a bonus track only on the physical copy. And the lesson here is BUY MERCH AND BUY PHYSICAL COPIES!!!!! Stream, shmeam!!!! Heathens!!! Anyway, where was I?…

Ah yes! “Unholy”, as a debut EP, is a sound footing for 13 Burning to start out with. It’s not ground-breaking, but as a first tentative step into the world of having the balls to put your tunes onto a shiny circle of coated plastic for all to hear, it’s pretty worthy. There are a couple of itchy teething problems that could probably do with ironing out to take them to the next level. The mix is a little muddy in places, and the balance of instruments isn’t always right. But that almost gives it the authentic NWOBHM feel. So, you have to make a call. If it’s ‘perfection’ in the modern day that you seek, then maybe check go out some Ed Sheeran. But if you want proper no nonsense British Heavy Metal, then you could do a lot worse than looking these guys up. I think 13 Burning have a lot more to give (hence my score) and I very much look forward to hearing where they go next.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Unholy
02. Wings Of A Dream
03. Day Of Reckoning
04. Valhala

LINE-UP:
Dan Abrams – Vocals
Phill Millward – Guitars
Sarah Thompson – Bass
Steve Kearley – Drums

LINKS:

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.