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.

DevilsBridge – Endless Restless EP

DevilsBridge – Endless Restless EP
Fastball Music
Release Date: 10/04/2020
Running Time: 26:55
Review By Mark Pritchard
8/10

On what was a really nice and sunny Sunday afternoon I found myself contemplating what to do to pass the time, and of course, avoid boredom! Should I play on consoles, watch a tv series or have a movie day? And then it hit me like a fly hitting my glasses (pesky things)! Listen to DevilsBridges’ newest EP, “Endless Restless”, and get on with reviewing it! Not a hard decision to make really! So, I positioned myself in my writing chair, the window open next to me offering a nice cold breeze.

DevilsBridge, a relatively young Heavy Metal band formed in 2012, are based in St. Gallen in Switzerland. However, they have only just started releasing material, with two singles and two official music videos on their YouTube channel released last year, and recently their first ever EP – “Endless Restless”.

I have been listening to the EP religiously each day in order to write this review, as it gives out a lot more than just the 6 songs on it would suggest! Heavy drums from JC Daisy, amazing fast paced guitars from both lead guitarist Tom White & Simon Black, as well as bass from Steve D.R.T, which helps keep the instrumentals altogether. Along with the pace of each song, and with a backline like that, are the vocals of Dani Nell of which, though intense, are quite clean as well. The combination of these delivers all the elements for one damn awesome band.

I have listened over and over to this EP, and come to realise that it doesn’t matter how many times I listen, I cannot pick a standout song! From start to finish, all 6 songs are really good in their own ways, which allow the EP, as a whole, to be a symphony of metal for the ears. It’s melodic enough to hear every part clearly, but heavy enough to get a real groove going, too!

If you want to listen to intense headbanging music, that has clean vocals which allow the listener to sing along, then DevilsBridge, and this EP, are for you! Even though I was full of cold, and not 100% well when this EP played, I moved my desk chair back and headbanged from start to finish! Although I am gutted that this EP only has 6 songs, I’m already looking forward with excitement to their next release, whether it be another EP, an album, or a music video.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Captain Devil
02. Centrifuge Of Life
03. Endless Restless Heart
04. Fire Free
05. 2Souls
06. 555

LINE-UP:
JC Daisy – Drums
Tom White – Lead Guitar
Simon Black – Guitar
Steve D.R.T – Bass Guitar
Dani Nell – Vocals

LINKS:

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.

Vernon Of Persia – Ascend EP

Vernon Of Persia – Ascend EP
Self-Released
Release Date 10/01/2020
Running Time: 24:06
Review by Tammy Lomax
9/10

So, I did actually ask Mr. Editor to throw some random albums at me and one of the ones he selected was Vernon Of Persia. Well what can I say, Mr Editor knows me very well indeed!

Vernon Of Persia are a five-piece Progressive Metalcore band from San Antonio, TX. They began their journey in 2016 when two brothers, Tyler & Kalen Thomas came together with the other three members joining later that year and “Ascend” is their second release!

They are so far up my street they are hammering at my front door! I am more than welcoming, come in and join me for a cuppa. I feel all light and fluffy after listening to “Ascend”. These guys definitely give me my fix.

There is no mucking around with long introductions when ‘Weightless’ opens proceedings, just a massive wallop to the face, from the start, setting a standard of supreme talent. The only minor niggle for me is when second track ‘Ascend’ plays. There is a prolonged gap between ‘Weightless’ finishing and that starting and it’s similar at the end. A very long fade out? ‘Ascend’ is a belter of a track though so be assured it’s not detrimental toward the talent seeping through from Vernon Of Persia.

Throughout the entire six track EP there are some blinding choruses and bridge sections, it’s almost like there is a fight taking place between good and evil. I do appreciate clean singing if it’s done well and fits in the right place. Vernon Of Persia pin that particular trait down, completely.

For example, ‘Sea Of Trees’ (my favourite track on the EP), has a powerful and seemingly dominating riff but the vocals meet and over-take entirely, claiming complete territory. “Climb to the top of the mountain, reach the sky” go the lyrics! Yes, I am singing along, disregarding the fact I might sound like a cat getting strangled.

It really sounds like they are using some serious equipment and they sure know how to use it to their advantage! There is a tremendous amount of technique and skill cemented together here. It shines through, crystal clear. I visually see them playing in the sky to the entire world. Fan-bloody-tastic!

I had to listen to final track ‘Marc Of The Okubo’ a few times to understand its flow. At first, I felt they were trying to cram too much in, and it seemed a bit misplaced and off beat, But no, that’s not the case at all, it’s a case of opening up your ears! Keep up Tam!! There’s a belter of a bassline leading the whole track and powerful double kick drums do not go unnoticed. You can’t miss them, they are fast.

Vernon Of Persia are continually growing and have already played with some huge bands like As I Lay Dying, Within The Ruins, Suicide Silence etc…and the more they experience, the more they will grow. They have released a REALLY good EP here. All the tracks are far more advanced than on their previous EP “Relativity Of” (which I also listened to) It’s full of flavour, you have super-hot, spicy and sweet …it tastes marvellous with the right amount of mixture, texture and technique, thus it does not spoil. 😉

Thank you for letting me review these guys Mr Editor and good luck to Vernon Of Persia!

TRACKLISTING:
01 Weightless
02 Ascend
03 All Through My Veins
04 Inner Sleep
05 Sea Of Trees
06 Marc Of The Okubo

LINE-UP:
Tyler Thomas – Drums/Synth Producer/Back-up Vocals
Kalen Thomas – Guitar/Producer
Steven Giro – Bass/Producer
Anthony Narvarijo – Vocals/Lyrics
Jamie Vargas – Guitar/Producer

LINKS:
www.vernonofpersia.com/
www.facebook.com/vernonofpersia/
www.twitter.com/vernonofpersia
www.instagram.com/vernonofpersia/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/7wAEqmtpExyonohPglLNOc
www.youtube.com/channel/UC7nwR2qKyoXHvDDzQdKZLTQ

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.

Cadence Noir – A Reckless Endeavour EP

Cadence Noir – A Reckless Endeavour EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 19/06/2020
Running Time: 24:32
Review By Beth Jones
8/10

As we approach summer the days are getting warmer, the nights are drawing out, and the sun has currently got his hat firmly on, and what better way to celebrate this than will a good bit of Gothic Folk ‘n’ Roll! It’s time to put on your best crushed velvet cravat, crack open a bottle of red and find a shady patch, because the new Cadence Noir EP is about to drop (Well in a month or more, but who’s counting – every day’s Thingday at the moment, right? 🙃).

These guys have now been around for almost a decade, but our history with them is more recent, in part. From stumbling upon them a few years ago, then discovering that frontman Ade was a childhood friend who I’d not seen for nigh on 30 years, to watching them progress and win the North Wales M2TM in 2018, a year which also saw the release of their debut full length album, “Physical Copy”. Since then, we’ve seen them a good few more times, and now welcome the release of their second EP.

Recorded in somewhat odd, but sensibly socially distant circumstances, due to the current plague situation, “A Reckless Endeavour” sees the band finally getting the last of their old tracks formally put to press, along with some ‘new’ tracks. I say new, as some of these have been concepts for a good while, but like a fine wine, have been maturing to give them that true vintage flavour. Releasing this EP now leaves them time to, as their press release says, ‘focus on writing entirely new terrible material as the still immature late 30’s angsty millennial lefty goths that they are, were and always will be!’

“A Reckless Endeavor” is very much what we’ve come to know and love about Cadence Noir; a jaunty hop, skip and jump through the suitably dark and disturbed! With deep routes in folk sounds, enhanced by Violinist Emma Bennett, along with the raspy vocal style of Ade Perrie, the solid guitar work of Ade and Nick Chamberlain, and the steady hands of Tom Smith on Bass and David Budge on Drums, this EP is a catchy mix of happy Goth Punk-Folk Celtic Thrash Pop metal, with a couple of surprises thrown in. Drums is all I’m saying. You’ll have to have a listen, but… Hey Yeah! Drums.

Music wise, this is Cadence Noir through and through and it makes you smile with your eyebrows. However, where I think they have upped their game is in the recording, and given the circumstances, that is a pretty awesome achievement. The mix on this EP is spot on – so kudos for that. Will it realign the universe and unite the nations? Doubtful, but it is bloody good fun, musically pleasing, conceptually solid, well recorded, and will get your toes tapping. You can’t really ask more than that. Personally, I think this is their best release yet. Check it out.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Weighing Owls
2. Hammered And Sickened
3. A Reckless Endeavour
4. Down The Park
5. My Place
6. Dave’s Turnip Tart
7. Hey Yeah (Secret Track)

LINE-UP:
Adrien Perrie – Guitar and Vocals
Nick Chamberlain – Guitar and Backing Vocals
Tom Smith – Bass
Emma Bennett – Violin
David Budge – Drums and Percussion

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/CadenceNoir/
www.twitter.com/CadenceNoir
www.instagram.com/cadencenoir/
www.cadencenoir.bandcamp.com/
www.youtube.com/channel/UC2kb6CwpIEHr_CrL31UgcKg

By Beth Jones

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.

Cry For Mercy – Automatic Breakdown EP

Cry For Mercy – Automatic Breakdown EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 26/03/2020
Running Time: 15:36
Review by Beth Jones
9/10

Lockdown is still upon us, unsurprisingly I may add. It could have been horrific, but thankfully the kids are finding ways to amuse themselves, and any time is wine o’clock here at EMHQ! We’re keeping ourselves busy with all the new releases that are still appearing, in spite of the sucky nature of the world outside our windows. Within this ever-expanding list was the new EP from one of our local favourites, Cry For Mercy.

After having a really good run in the 2019 Metal 2 The Masses competition, and making a bit of a name of themselves locally as a very talented and catchy blues rock band, these three down to earth guys aren’t letting lockdown stop them from putting new music out there. The release of this EP was supposed to happen in physical form, but was instead released digitally. Although checking on their Facebook page, they do now have physical copies.

So, to the music! This is their second EP release, and after really enjoying their first, I was very eager to give this one a spin. At only 4 tracks and a little over 15 minutes, it’s a short burst of what the Cry For Mercy boys can do, but in terms of the songs, it is concentrated goodness! Each track has a great swinging blues rock feel, with cracking riffs, some really smooth guitar solos, and gravelly vocals making it the perfect soundtrack to a road trip through a dusty sun-bleached dessert in Nevada (after lockdown is lifted of course – currently please stay at home, etc, etc).

In terms of production, this EP is a big step up from their first release. I love it when you can see measurable progress in a band, and this is demonstrated perfectly here. The balance of every instrument in the mix is spot on, and the timings and ‘togetherness’ of everything really shows the progress they have made in terms of being tight in performance in order to create a fully gelled sound.

I particularly like the second track, ‘Skin Crawl’ as it has some great dynamic variations, progressing through full on vocal harmonies and crunchy chords, to a softer vocal and fingerpicked guitar section, which then picks up again into the very catchy chorus!

These guys have a very classic sound. A mix of Mama’s Boys, with some early AC/DC, and a good hit of deep-south groove, which is easy and pleasurable to listen to, and always makes me smile. Another great release guys, now get cracking on an album please, because 15 minutes just isn’t enough for me!

TRACKLISTING:
1. Automatic Breakdown
2. Skin Crawl
3. Fire
4. Breaking Down The Walls

LINE-UP:
Kevin Plant – Bass/Lead Vocals
Andy Cutty – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Steven Taylor – Drums

LINKS:
www.cryformercy.co.uk/
www.facebook.com/cryformercyofficial/
www.twitter.com/cryformercy3
www.instagram.com/cryformercyofficial/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/78fR4BEnRQLJqky32oZM4D

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.

Cry For Mercy – Overload EP

Overload EP Cover

Cry For Mercy – Overload EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 17/10/2019
Running Time: 14:59
Review by Beth Jones
8/10

Cry For Mercy first popped onto our radar as one of this year’s competing bands at the North Wales M2TM competition, and instantly had our eyes opened wider and glued to their performance! Sadly, they only reached the semis in this competition, but this was nothing to do with their talent – more to do with their fit in the preferred genre – i.e. they just aren’t metal. What they are is absolutely top-quality rock and blues. We were so glad when they announced that they would be releasing an EP and were even more glad that they sent it to us to have a listen to!

So, to the EP!! Yes, yes, yes and more yes! It is top quality, good old fashioned RRrrockkk! Groovy as hell, with a good smattering of southern blues to boot. These three chaps know exactly what they want to sound like and capture it perfectly in four tracks, which are beautifully mixed and produced, and completely echo their polished and professional stage performance.

The title track, ‘Overload’, starts things off. It is a good, fast paced classic rock toe tapper. It is simple and straightforward and doesn’t outstay its welcome. It reminds me in places of ZZ top and totally would not be out of place on one of those ‘Driving Songs’ compilation albums that I seem to have so many of! I could certainly see myself pumping it out in a big American convertible whilst heading off into the sunset on Route 66! (Yes, I am a queen of clichés, so what! Shoot me!).

Next up is ‘Under Dark Skies’, bringing the pace down a little to full on groove level! It makes you pull that face that to you says ‘groove’, but to anyone looking in and not knowing what you are listening to says ‘gurning weirdo’! (Come on, you’ve all done that face at some point, and if you haven’t, you will when you listen to this EP!) In all seriousness, it is a superb track and shows off Bassist and Lead Vocalist Kev Plant’s superb voice and enviable range.

Track three, ‘We Won’t Go Down’, is again a good solid anthem, with a particularly catchy chorus which will be stuck in my head for some time! This track also shows off the drumming skills of Steven Taylor, who gets to do a few more fills and hit cymbals lots! Again it doesn’t outstay its welcome and could be the soundtrack to a myriad of ‘deep south’ style cult films, when the good guys decide to smash the bad guys once and for all (‘From Dusk till Dawn’ was the first thing that popped into my head, but it would work for so many!)

The final track, ‘I Don’t Know’, is probably the heaviest track on the album, but again is classic rock – starting with some solid and catchy guitar riffage from Andy Cutty, who also adds backing vocals to this track, and indeed the rest of the EP, creating some great harmonies and adding extra depth to the vocals, which makes it even better.

I am really impressed with these guys and their first release – yes, its not metal, and yes there are little tweaks that could be made here and there, but that does not detract from the strength of this as their maiden voyage into the world of recorded material! I had a brief conversation with Powerzone’s Dani Maguire about it and he summed it up perfectly:

“You know what I like about Cry For Mercy? They sound familiar. Like I’ve known them for decades. I mean, the sort of band you can slam on when you get in from a hard day at work, chug a cold one and just enjoy for what it is. Hard rocking, hardworking, skilful and comfortable with what they do, which puts me at ease as a listener. Nothing pretentious yet totally fresh.”

I 100% echo Dani’s words and thoroughly recommend that you look these guys up and give this EP a spin. My most major criticism is that it is too short – I want more guys! Get back in that studio!!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Overload
02. Under Dark Skies
03. We Won’t Go Down
04. I Don’t Know

LINKS:
https://www.cryformercy.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/cryformercyofficial/

https://www.instagram.com/cryformercyofficial/

 

 

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.

Prison – Come, Annihilation. EP

Come, Annihilation EP Cover

Prison – Come, Annihilation. EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 29/03/2019
Running Time: 11:01
Review by Stephen Moss
8/10

Prison are from Seattle, describe themselves as Thrash/Punk/Doom and WOW, I could write an entire article on just how awesome the first track of this EP is. However, I’ll try to contain myself.

“Come, Annihilation.” starts off with a fantastic song! ‘Into The Pit’ and it is one of the best Punk songs I’ve heard in a long time. The very first time I listened to it, about 35 seconds into the song, I had to plug my phone into my drums and play along to the track. I have over 38,000 songs on my phone and ‘Into The Pit’ is now in my top 50 most played songs. Buy this song!

The Second song on the EP is called ‘Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Cares’ This is also a really good Punk song. After that, the songs become more average street punk songs. Nothing really stands out and the rest of the EP isn’t really memorable.

Even though the rest of the “Come, Annihilation.” didn’t hold up to the level of awesomeness of the first two songs, it is still a good EP. Not every release is full of smash hits!

What “Come, Annihilation.” does very well is show off the band’s potential. The band do such an amazing job on their first two tracks that I’m really excited to follow the band as they make new music.

If you’re a fan of street punk and bands like: Hot Snakes, The Casualties, The Unseen, S.T.U.N., and None More Black then you need to check out this EP.

Prison hit all the major points for a good punk band. The songs are short, fast, loud, catchy, angry, and make you want to mosh with your middle fingers raised in the air!

I’m genuinely excited to see what’s next for this band. Kudos to Prison for doing punk right!

Must have songs are ‘Into The Pit’ and Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Cares’

TRACKLISTING:
01. Into The Pit
02. Who Lives Who Dies Who Cares
03. I Do Not Value Life
04. I Welcome Death
05. We Live In Filth
06. The Smell Of Flesh

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/prisonseattle/
https://prison.bandcamp.com/

 

Promo Pic

 

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.