Interview with Sami Hinkka of Ensiferum

Interview with Sami Hinkka of Ensiferum
By Beth Jones

Hi Everyone,

Beth recently got the chance to have a chat with Sami Hinkka, bassist of awesome Folk Metal band Ensiferum. I’d like to thank Sami very much for his time. Enjoy!

Beth: Thanks for taking the time to do an interview with us, it’s really appreciated.

Sami: My pleasure! 😊

Beth: Firstly, for any of our readers that don’t know you, could you give us a brief history of the band?

Sami: Back in early 1990 Markus Toivonen was getting into heavier music and at some point, instead of playing cover songs he wanted to have his own band. It was Amorphis’ “Tales From The Thousand Lakes” that showed him the way: melodic metal with heroic/mythical lyrics. After few line-up changes, many albums and tons of gigs on every continent, here we are now!

Beth: You’ve just released your 8th studio album, “Thalassic” and it’s an absolute killer! It’s themed around the sea and water. Where did you get the inspiration for that theme from?

Sami: The idea popped in my head when we were promoting our previous album “Two Paths” and many journalists kept asking, ‘was it a theme album’. My default answer was that we can’t really make a theme album, because of the way we compose. This started to piss me off! Why would I as a lyric writer, and we as composers, set this kind of barrier to ourselves? So, I suggested to other members that we make a theme album next. Everyone was into it. I listed lots of rough demos we had of the new songs, while I did long walks around Helsinki. It’s a coastal city so very often I walked on a seashore, and many of the melodies took my imagination to sea battles, etc. So, there was the theme. Everyone agreed that it was a good theme, and broad enough, so I started to read about sea-related myths, legends and historical events around the world. In the end I had way too many cool topics for lyrics, but it was quite easy to find the perfect match for each song.

Beth: Personally, I think the themed nature of “Thalassic” was brilliant. Are you going to explore a theme in the future? And if so, what potential themes would you like to look at?

Sami: I really don’t know. We haven’t talked about it yet. We have bunch of raw songs for the next Ensiferum album under work. Let’s see what the future brings.

Beth: There are a lot of nods in this album to the sounds of early Ensiferum. Is this intentional, or is it just the way your sound is evolving, almost coming full circle?

Sami: We never compose stuff intentionally; I mean we don’t think “that seems to be popular song so let’s keep making more songs like it…”. We compose and arrange together as a band, and the point is to write stuff that we love, and that we love to play. We are very lucky that there seems to be many metal heads around the world that like the same thing as we do, heh!

Let’s see how the next album sounds, because we always want to go forward and push our music boundaries.

Beth: When you’re creating a work like this, how do you approach songwriting, especially with all the orchestration?

Sami: It all starts from a good melody, that’s the corner stone of every Ensiferum song. Harmonies, layering, orchestrations, folk instruments, etc. are easy to arrange once you have a good image of the song.

We have democracy in the band, so everyone can bring ideas, every idea is tried, every idea can be twisted and turned to something totally different than the original idea was, and the key thing for us is that we arrange the songs together. This way, everyone can stand behind every note of every song. It’s a slow method but that that’s the way we love to write music, as a band.

Beth: With all the recent weirdness in the world, what have you been doing to keep yourselves busy?

Sami: We have been having few sessions where we checked out new ideas, we played a stream gig and one real festival show, woohoo! I really miss touring…

In the spring, when COVID-chaos started, I recorded my very first solo release and made a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the mixing and professional artwork. I was lucky to find a day job to pay my bills, but the problem is that it slowed down all my music projects a lot. But now my solo EP is mixed, and I just found a professional person to make a world class lyric video for the first single so the EP should be out in early autumn.

Beth: I’ve just watched the ‘Festival Simulator’ video for ‘Rum, Women, Victory’ (awesome song by the way!). Was it fun getting all the crazy clips in from fans, and what do you think of the final cut?

Sami: This was an insane project! I think it’s our best video ever! It felt so awesome to see how many people sent clips and how they enjoyed the new song! I have always said it: We have the best fans in the world!

Beth: And you did a live stream on 10th July. How did it go and how did it feel playing live in a way that is still so alien to many of us? Was it more nerve wracking than usual?

Sami: It was very weird. I have always seen Ensiferum more as a live band, and the best part of playing live is the interaction with the crowd and seeing people having good time, moshing, singing along etc. So, when that element was missing, it just felt weird. It was nice to play the new songs and chat with fans during the breaks we had on the gig, but I dare to say it was once in a lifetime thing for us to do a stream gig.

Beth: The scene is flooded with emerging bands at the moment, and the current climate has allowed a lot of people to discover music, both through playing and listening, which is amazing. What would be your best piece of advice for people just starting out in a band?

Sami: Simply, have fun. Find similar-minded people and create music that you love. Don’t worry if your influences can be heard “too much” in the beginning, you will find your own style. And generally, for every musician; try to listen to, and play all kind of music, because that will broaden your musical horizon and give you tools to become a better composer.

Beth: Now we all have a different way of working, how do you think the music scene will change and adapt, and do you seen this evolution as an opportunity to grow your audience with things like virtual gigs and fan videos?

Sami: I really don’t know. I’m an old geezer who believes in hard touring to convince people with your music. Of course, modern ways give chances of “short cuts” to reach lots of people, and one can become “one hit wonder”, or whatever, and that’s totally fine for me. I think whatever you do, just do it honestly and don’t pretend to be something that you are not, because that’s gonna back fire in the long run.

Beth: This has certainly been a memorable year, for all the wrong reasons! Do you know yet if you’re going to be able to play live to any audiences this year, and if not, what’s in store for you in 2021?

Sami: We have few gigs still lined up for 2020, I really hope they will happen. For 2021 we have lots of plans and we have a new album to promote! So, I’m crossing my fingers for scientists to find the vaccine fast, so that we can get back on the road as soon as possible.

Beth: And finally, what message would you like to give to your fans right now?

Sami: In case you haven’t listened to “Thalassic” yet, please do. Stay safe and hope to see you all soon on the road!

Beth: Thanks again for your time. We absolutely love the new album here at Ever Metal HQ, and really hope that we get to see you perform it live sometime very soon!

Sami: Thank you very much for your kind words! 😊

All the best to you and hopefully we’ll see you soon somewhere! Stay safe!

Hello, it’s Rick again!

If you haven’t read Beth’s full review of Ensiferum’s latest album “Thalassic”, which was released on 10th July 2020 via Metal Blade Records, then hit the link below.

To keep up to date with everything Ensiferum related then visit the following links:

www.ensiferum.com
www.facebook.com/Ensiferum
www.instagram.com/ensiferummetal/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCJSZkYiD1tDoyw2icpflQRQ
www.open.spotify.com/artist/0krXCIkthz13P8o0v2tksH

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

Bofo Kwo – Space/ Time Carnivorium

Bofo Kwo – Space/ Time Carnivorium
Sliptrick Records
Release Date: 30/06/2020
Running Time: 44:36
Review by Dark Juan
9/10

Good evening, my good brethren and sorority of the Church of The Poisoned Mind. I trust I find you all well, hale and hearty, or are you dying gracefully on your silken chaise-longues after a weekend of drug fuelled wanton debauchery? I myself have been sharpening my wits on the skulls of hapless former victims and putting ignorance about our Lord and Master, The One Who Walks Backwards, to the sword. Normally with a foul snicker, a gallon of aviation fuel and a match. There are some right ignorant bastards out there, boys and girls. It is your duty to educate these motherfuckers and sharp sticks just ain’t gonna cut it. You’re going to need to go full on Highlander on these arseholes and use claymores. You don’t cut with a claymore, you hew. Like Conan the barbarian did – “Sweat dripping from his bulging sinews and from beneath his square-cut mane of black, shoulder length hair, Conan hefted his impossibly large two-handed broadsword (fnarr fnarr), roared a challenge to his heinous foe before plunging his extraordinary blade to the hilt (fnarr FNARR!) into the soft groin of his enemy. Tearing upwards with a sobbing gasp (what the FUCK was it about Robert E. Howard and his obsession with Conan’s weapon and what he was doing with it?), a welter of entrails and blood coated his hands and the vile beast shuddered its last, to fall stone dead by his sandaled feet.”

Quality writing, that. I’m sure you were just as entertained and edified as I was by that little pastiche. As usual there is a point to the madness. What? What do you mean you don’t believe me? You absolute SHOWER!!! ANYWAY, to drag you all back to the point of all this, I am listening to a magnificently barmy Finnish band called Bofo Kwo, and the record is entitled ”Space/ Time Carnivorium”. This is a concept album by some Finnish mentalists from Helsinki, detailing the journey of three cannibals (Bofo Kwo, Bomari and Wamufo) among the stars and their adventures as they leave trails of devastation, murder, and probably a lot of half eaten meals behind them, before graduating to eating alien flesh (hope they had a sophisticated lab setup to test for pathogens – imagine contracting some mental new form of alien hepatitis) and then performing a last human sacrifice before hoping to attain the power of immortality via mystic teachings of the ancients and becoming the Golden God. Oh, and they appear to arbitrarily start a war against Rex Talpas, The Rodent King, because fuck you, Rex, your people are fucking delicious with a barbeque glaze and a nice Caesar salad. This is spectacularly insane stuff, not out of place on an Esoctrilihum album, and that worthy Frenchman is seriously fucked in the head… Bofo Kwo aren’t quite as demented as Esoctrilihum but they are close. I should tell you about the main characters in the band as each band member plays one and then we have this strange kind of meta-black death metal hybrid where the members of the band perform as the characters while playing the music – it’s not like Coheed and Cambria where the story was told from the point view of a narrator in Claudio Sanchez. We have Bofo Kwo , The Cannibal King and his associates. They are Wamufo and Bomari, albino twins, one male and one female and they follow/ are dragged along in the wake of Bofo Kwo and his abundantly clear cannibalistic psychopathy.

So, a cut above the usual Satanic bollocks that BM bands normally spew out then. I imagine Bofo Kwo listened to Emperor’s “Prometheus: The Discipline Of Fire & Demise” and thought that they could come up with a more insane concept after drinking a shitload of something potent. While the musicianship is by no means close to Emperor’s lofty standards, this is a mighty fine blackened death/ deathened black metal record. It’s rather less frenetic than traditional black metal, but this to your advantage as there are many little things and other genres of music that creep around the edge of your cognition. There’s little touches of industrial music, or goregrind and my personal favourite – Bofo Kwo have rediscovered power electronics. Don’t panic, metal purists, they are kept strictly as mood enhancers, although I’d personally like to hear Bofo Kwo take BM in a whole violent, new direction and meld power electronics with black metal and see what kind of carnage that bastard chimera could wreak among an unsuspecting populace…

In the spirit of this being a concept album, it is going to be impossible to choose a favourite song as it has to be listened to in sequence in order for you to follow the story effectively. The songs do stand out as individual entities though – I particularly enjoyed ‘Green Leviathan’ as a stand-alone song. But then the lyrics reference previous songs and you need to go back to understand it fully. It’s not so much a listening experience, as much as a get horrifically fucking stoned, buy some expensive headphones and sink into your mind’s eye while you get bludgeoned to death by chronically insane Finnish people experience. It is a bleak musical picture that Bofo Kwo paint. The music is cold, barren and steely and the performances excellent. Main vocalist Ted (playing Bofo Kwo himself) alternately roars and howls and shrieks in an entertainingly deranged fashion that fully meets with Dark Juan’s approval. The music is intricate and interesting and the mix passable. It’s difficult to hear cymbals and the producer appears to have not been able to make his mind up about whether he wanted to embrace the purity of the traditional lo-fi black metal sound (guitars sounding like they have been recorded in a Norwegian forest in a gale force wind by a microphone that has been fashioned from razorwire, sputum and polystyrene cement. From a submarine off the Swedish coast) to the warmer, thicker aesthetic of death metal and dare I say it, grunge (guitar and bass sounding like they have been recorded on equipment created entirely out of meat. In a slaughterhouse. In the unrefrigerated bit) and this leads to a sometimes confusing sound. However, the bass is enough to eviscerate you cleanly at twenty five yards, and the riffs are just simple and effective killing machines without embellishment.

And I think that’s where my main problem with Bofo Kwo lies. They should have gone BIGGER. With the overarching tale underpinning the songs and the aesthetic, I think Bofo Kwo have been too reserved with the music. They should have thrown the entire fucking kitchen at it. You’re telling a story about intergalactic cannibals – you simply can’t go too big. It’s not fundamentally possible. Anyway, I’m being churlish. This is that rare thing, a record that is interesting simply because of how many norms it breaks. It is musically adventurous, not afraid to delve deep for influences that might escape you on the first listen, and let’s face it, Dark Juan is a fucking sucker for concept albums. I love them. There are many things you will miss during the initial listen of this record and by jiminy it rewards repeated attempts at it. Just to hear Whitehouse-esque power electronics. Add to this that Bofo Kwo are doing this on their DEBUT album, and you have to conclude that once the rough edges are knocked off, this bunch of maniacal cannibal holocaust Finnish mad bastards are going to do great things. I think I am in love.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System(Patentoitu tumman Juanin verihiutausluokitusjärjestelmä – fuck it, close enough!) awards Bofo Kwo a splendidly bonkers 9/10 for a record that is a gnat’s wing away from greatness.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Plate Of Hate
02. Second Sun
03. Epic
04. New Destination
05. Green Leviathan
06. Bullets of Despair
07. The Massacre

LINE-UP:
Ted Egger (Bofo Kwo) – Vocals
Janne Winther (Bomari) – Backing Vocals
Kimmo Lindholm (Wamufo) – Lead Guitar
Elmo Winther (Lord Elmonioz) – Backing Vocals

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/BofoKwo/
www.bofokwo.bandcamp.com/

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.

Antipope – Apostle Of Infinite Joy

Antipope – Apostle Of Infinite Joy
Fertile Crescent Productions
Release Date: 21/02/2020
Running Time: 44:46
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

Once again, I have decided to navigate through unknown seas, this time going deeper into the world of Gothic music. As I used to say before writing something about a genre that I don’t listen to often, my apologies to the band and fans if I’ve written something wrong, but I’ll do my best to express how amazing I have found the Finnish band, Antipope.

My first impression on hearing this album for the first time was that it was like travelling back in time to 1995 and listen to “The Gallery” by Dark Tranquillity. I could feel some influences from them, especially on a few of the guitar harmonies of Antti J. Karjalainen. However, Antipope’s music goes further than Melodic Death Metal sonority, making it just an (good) Influence, not a carbon copy. The atmosphere created by the band along the melodies is really paradoxical, because the music is a mix of dark and depressive sounds, but the melodies bring happiness to it. Maybe it’s got me confused, but it is what I felt.

The opening track, ‘Harbinger Of Dawn’, demonstrates what I am saying – with clean notes before all the heaviness appears. The great drum lines of Tuska E. help to give a good cadence. At this point, it was simply Melodic Death Metal that came to my mind. But then, ‘Natural Born Heretic’ appears, exploring speed and fast tempos, but you’d be mistaken for thinking that all the melodies and technique would be left behind because of this. They weren’t. And what a great solo from Antti J. Karjalainen in this song, too.

My second impression of Antipope appeared in ‘Intoxicating Darkness’. After a great bass intro from Joni Tauriainen, I felt some Doom influence in the way Mikko Myllykangas sings. This Doom Influence increases with the title track, throughout its seven-minute track time, displaying many variations. Maybe some Blackened Death influences are present in this song too. What I can assure is that even though it’s 7 minutes long, this song is so amazing that you won’t realize the time flying.

The violent side of Antipope returns in ‘Red Goddess’ and ‘Venereal Ritual For Dispersion And Reintegration Of The Soul’ even though the last one has a few slow parts. ‘Serpent Of Old’ is not as fast, but it’s definitely heavy with a good focus on riffing. The closing song ‘0=2’ is a kind of mix of everything you’ve heard so far from Antipope’s music.

As I said before, I am not the most knowledgeable person to talk about the genres I mentioned, but my impression was that Antipope don’t get stuck in only one style. “Apostle Of Infinite Joy” is a lesson in technique and has brilliant compositions. Antipope put in the best of all the styles that have influenced them, and offer a good balance between heaviness and dense atmosphere. The final result is nothing less than an amazing record. For sure, it is one of the best releases of 2020.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Harbinger of Dawn
02. Natural Born Heretic
03. Intoxicating Darkness
04. Apostle Of Infinite Joy
05. Red Goddess
06. Venereal Ritual for Dispersion and Reintegration of the Soul
07. Serpent of Old
08. 0=2

LINE-UP:
Mikko Myllykangas – Vocals
Joni Tauriainen – Bass
Antti J. Karjalainen – Guitars
Tuska E. – Drums

LINKS:
www.antipope.info
www.facebook.com/Antipope/
www.twitter.com/antipope_band
www.instagram.com/antipope_band/
www.spotify.com/album/45X0a6O6ELJNZl0aAt0WJI
www.youtube.com/channel/UCwjQceSCS0gQJZrHeDVBmkQ

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.

EMQs with Barbe-Q-Barbies

EMQ’s with BARBE-Q-BARBIES

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Helsinki based Rock band Barbe-Q-Barbies. Huge thanks to vocalist Niki for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My Name is Niki and I am the singer in Barbe-Q-Barbies.
I joined the band in 2006 after Niina the drummer asked me to join.

How did you come up with your band name?

One of the founders of the band is Niina who plays the drums! She made up the name after watching Soundgarden’s music video ‘Black Hole Sun’ where they are grilling Barbie dolls!

What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We are all from Finland and we live in Helsinki. The Rock/Metal scene is very popular around here as you can tell because most bands from Finland that made it big are either rock or metal!

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)

We released our 4th album called “Borrowed Time in 2019, with one single/music video ‘Dis-funk-tional’.

Who have been your greatest influences?

This is always a hard question as through the years I’ve listened to so much music, different artists and different genres like Pop, R´n´B, Hip-Hop and, of course, Rock music. But to name a few I listened to when growing up I would say Queen, Guns ‘n Roses, Metallica, Skunk Anansie, Soundgarden, Nirvana etc…the list goes on!

What first got you into music?

I used to love to dance so I listened to lots of music and of course sang along all the time, MTV back in the days when they still played music videos was really inspiring. Also my brother used to listen really loud to Alice Cooper everyday so I guess that might have inspired me to!

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

I would love to work with Dave Grohl, I met him once and he was so down to earth and I love the Foo Fighters.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Download Festival would be cool but let’s say any festival in the world because we love to play at festivals, like all bands do!

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Probably old, used men’s underwear!!

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

A Big Thank You and lots of love and hope to see you at the shows!

If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Tough one! I would say Freddie Mercury because he would have written so many more killer songs! But…I was really upset hearing about Chris Cornell’s death as well because he was such a brilliant artist, singer and songwriter and he left way too early!

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love writing music and preforming! There’s nothing really I hate about it, maybe lack of sleep when touring because I’m always scared to lose my voice!

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Probably to make a law against using autotune!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Audioslave – “Audioslave”.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

I should probably say vinyl but I don’t have a vinyl player at the moment. I do have between 500-1000 CD’s but usually I listen to iTunes or Spotify on my phone because that’s the easiest 😄!

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Last summer we played many festivals but my favourite was probably Provinssi/Finland.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

When I was a kid I dreamed of becoming a firefighter but that wouldn’t have worked cause I’m too short! I guess I would’ve become a dancer because I used to dance a lot when I was younger.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Well that’s a tricky question, should it be people I know or wish I knew lol! Me and my Fiance love throwing dinner parties at our house and we made our basement into a band rehearsal place so we usually have dinner and then go downstairs jamming.

So a good group that have already been at our parties would be Andy & Angela Mccoy, Esa Holopainen (Amorphis) Niclas Etelävuori (Flat Earth) and our former Guitar player from BQB Kaisa Karjalainen (Fox Confession)! She is a dear friend and she could play the electric violin with my fiance on the drums then we would have lots of fun and an interesting jam night lol!

What’s next for the band?

We just signed a management deal so let’s see what that will bring us in the near future!

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Mostly Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!
www.instagram.com/barbeqbarbies/
www.facebook.com/barbeqbarbies/
www.twitter.com/BarbeQBarbies

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

A biscuit cake lol!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Happy 2020 everyone!
Hope you enjoy our music and hope to see you at the shows!
Niki

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

Lordi – RecorDead Live; Sextourcism In Z7 (2CD)

Recordead Live - Sextourcism In Z7 Cover

Lordi – RecorDead Live; Sextourcism In Z7 (2CD)
AFM Records
Release Date: 26/07/2019
Running Time: 90:33
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
8/10

BEER! MORE BEER! Mrs. Dark Juan is shirking her duties and telling me I am a lazy fat bastard for demanding my beer being brought to me. Now, she’s undoubtedly correct on all three counts, for I freely admit I’m a lazy fat bastard but nevertheless she should not address the Groove Ipssissimus, the Love Commando and the head of the clergy in that fashion. It’s just…. unsympathetic! Especially when I am creating literary genius for your edification, dear acolytes!

Good evening, I am Dark Juan and I have taken time out from my extremely busy schedule of defiling Christian women, virgins and religious institutions to share with you important matters of metal. France is Catholic, you see. I have an incredibly large task ahead of me to subvert these people. Still, one lady at a time, eh? My neighbour Helene (age 74) made the mistake of asking what I was listening to, the other day. She then had to weather a one hour lecture on just why Lawnmower Deth are amazing in halting and incorrect French. Cobwoman Of Deth Meets Mr. Smellymop took some explaining. Funnily enough, she’s taken to crossing the road and running to the nearest house whenever I am outdoors at the same time as her. I was hoping to discuss the neo-classical connotations of symphonic black metal with her at some point. Oh well. I’m sure she will be receptive to a conversation in about three months.

In other news, while I waffle aimlessly in a desperate attempt to fill out what is now traditionally not a short review, I’m listening to the Finnish nutters called Lordi. Yes, I’m listening to “RecorDead Live; Sextourcism in Z7”. It’s no secret that I am partial to any band that has an egregious image, and Lordi have that in spades. They also have some fucking killer songs – ‘Blood Red Sandman’ should be an enduring metal classic. It was also the song and video that introduced Lordi to an agog young neophyte back in Manchester many moons ago and launched a 25 year love affair with them. AND THEY ALSO WON EUROVISION! Truly, a band to be revered in Dark Juan’s world, then!

The problem is, though, the fact that I don’t really like live albums, because I consider them to be inferior versions of the proper songs. In order to properly appreciate live versions of songs, you have to be there, basking in the atmosphere, being hot, sweaty and pressed tightly against a total stranger… However, having got that minor rant out of the way, we have to establish whether this album is worth expending wonga on, don’t we? From a quantity point of view Lordi have it licked (hurgh hurgh) as there are a throbbingly massive 20 songs on offer here.

Lordi are a heavy metal band in the classic mould – lots of melody and power chords. This is a good thing because they sound like they belong in the Shot In The Dark Ozzy era 1980’s, when I was growing up and first getting into metal, and therefore they immediately provoke memories of good times and horrific hangovers off Thunderbird wine. Also, Lordi have some fucking killer tunes. Some absolute belters! And they also have a similar childish propensity, as I do, for pithy and silly wordplay. Hence they open the show with Sexorcism. A very silly song, but perfectly enjoyable and Mr. Lordi’s voice is a bit raw to start with but he soon warms up and he’s bang on form by the time he gets to ‘Your Tongue’s Got The Cat’. Mr. Amen however is masterful on the guitar, being virtually note perfect throughout the concert. Mr. Ox on bass is also excellent as is Mr. Mana on drums. I also enjoyed Ms. Hella on the keys – I was a big BIG fan of Awa (such long, elegant fingers crawling slowly down my spine and along my hips to my……. STOP THAT!!!!) and was devastated when she left Lordi. But Ms. Hella has awoken previously dormant feelings in …….Enough. The flock don’t need to know that, Dark Juan, you bloody pervert.

The album mix is also a bit patchy when it first gets going, as if the sound engineer has suddenly remembered he has a job to do and puts down his beer in a hurry. Again it settles down after a couple of tracks and we achieve a happy, well balanced sound which is uncommonly clear for a live recording. There is the odd bum note and the backing vocals also take a song or two to warm up but this is part and parcel of live performance.

There’s every one of my favourite Lordi songs on here: ‘Would You Love A Monsterman?’, ‘Blood Red Sandman’, ‘The Devil Is A Loser’, ‘Who’s Your Daddy?’ and of course the finale of the whole shebang is ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’, an absolute monster of a track and their legendary Eurovision winning song. All the songs on the record (and indeed by Lordi in general) are designed specifically to be chant along fun. They have massive, MASSIVE choruses and are just good old metal singalong fodder. The thing is, Lordi are also a VISUAL medium and I can’t help but think we are missing an essential part of the full experience with just a record, so there’s kind of a gap in my enjoyment of it. It’s hard to elucidate, but the music requires you to be able to SEE Mr. Lordi and the rest of the band waving their arms, wings and other as yet unnamed limbs about and generally being awesome. They evince the vaudeville joy and sense of fun that is often missing from metal nowadays. It’s schlocky, messy and involves a fuckton of dressing up, and who the fuck doesn’t love that sort of thing?

I love Lordi. I love bands that have theatre and performance value. I love theatricality. This is why I think Ghost are amazing and fuck the haters. I love Lordi’s live album but it isn’t top marks because there’s no visual component. My god, I have almost written a competent review.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is utterly appalled with itself for daring to actually write something that might actually have some useful value and has gone off to sulk in the corner, but awards 8/10 for a fine live album.

Note: There are Blu-Ray/DVD versions but we only received the CD version to review!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Sexorcism
02. Would You Love A Monsterman?
03. Missing Miss Charlene’s House Of Ghosts
04. Your Tongue’s Got The Cat
05. Heaven Sent Hell On Earth
06. Mr. Killjoy
07. Rock the Hell Outta You
08. Blood Red Sandman
09. It Snows In Hell
10. She’s A Demon
11. Slashion Model Girls
12. Naked In My Cellar
13. Rock Police
14. Hug You Hardcore
15. Evilyn
16. The Riff
17. Nailed By The Hammer Of Frankenstein
18. Who’s Your Daddy?
19. Devil Is A Loser
20. Hard Rock Hallelujah

LINE-UP:
Mr. Lordi – vocals
Mr. Amen – guitar
Mr. Ox – bass
Mr. Mana – drums
Ms. Hella – keyboards

LINKS:
http://www.lordi.fi/
https://www.facebook.com/LordiOfficial/

https://www.instagram.com/lordiofficial/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn5gK-xJtOxYHzubFazyCKQ

 

Live Shot

 

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.

 

Marianas Rest – Ruins

Ruins Cover

Marianas Rest – Ruins
Inverse Records
Release Date: 26/04/2019
Running Time: 55:24
Review by Lotty Whittingham
9/10

Finland is a well-known breeding ground for current and future household names in Heavy Metal. Children Of Bodom, Nightwish and Ensiferum are just a few of these, the list is endless. With the melancholic sounds of their second album “Ruins”, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Marianas Rest added to this growing list of metal legends.

“Ruins” explores how the mind can slowly crumble; introversion, putting up walls and eventually disappearing into your own mind. Teemu Aalto (Insomnium/Omnium Gatherum) is the man behind the mixing of the album. Both Marianas Rest and Teemu get across the frightening effects of poor mental health perfectly. Having had experiences with bad mental health myself, these effects were hard hitting, raw and relatable.

The album starts off with the song ‘Kairos’. This track has contributions from Timo Virkkala on the cello and Insomnium’s Niilo Sevanen reciting Lord Byron’s poem. The rapid tones and prevailing brutality set off the ambience for what’s to come on the rest of the album. The effects of the record and the content it possesses are raw and revealing.

The introduction to the track ‘The Spiral’ lures you in with a seemingly smooth guitar riff; the senses heighten when you hear the heart beat sound effects. This part of the track reflects what anxiety feels like on a daily basis. The transition to the screaming and brutality is sharp and abrupt, very much like the mind when it’s experiencing a frightening time.

The narration leading you to put walls up and not let anyone in hit home with me personally. When the mind starts to crumble, it has you believe that you are entirely alone and you feel that opening up to someone will make you a burden. The lyric stating that you are safe within the walls your mind has put up reinforces this.

‘Unsinkable’ is more melodic and still keeps to that raw brutality from the previous tracks. From what I can hear in the lyrical content, it talks about memories coming back and reminding you of either past mistakes or remnants of a life you once had. I like the song structure here; the verses are stripped back a little to reveal the regrets and wishes. The chorus has a brutal presence that I think reflects the hopelessness and loneliness we feel when we realise what we have done or given up.

“Ruins” ends on a poignant note with the track ‘Omega’. The introduction of the track lures you in slowly; surely there is a glimmer of hope by the end of the album, right? Guess again. After this very sombre opening, ‘Omega’ allows the listener to experience one last blast of brutality and misery before coming to an end.

It’s rare that an album gets you to scratch the surface and dig deeper, “Ruins” allows you to do just that. It is an album filled with hopelessness and despair and portrays the frightening side effects of what goes on in the mind.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Kairos
02. The Spiral
03. Hole In Nothing
04. The Defiant
05. Unsinkable
06. Shadows
07. Restitution
08. Omega

LINKS:
http://marianasrest.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marianasrestofficial

https://www.instagram.com/marianasrestofficial/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdcCG_mNj82WjjExpiJEwVA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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

EMQ’s with STARGAZERY

Stargazery Logo

EMQ’s with STARGAZERY

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Finnish Melodic Heavy Metal band Stargazery! Huge thanks to Guitarist/Backing Vocalist Pete Ahonen for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Pete Ahonen – Guitars & Backing Vocals. I started this band somewhere in 2005 simply because I wrote a song that imo didn’t fit to my other bands (Burning Point & Ghost Machinery) style. That song was later named to ‘How Many Miles’ 🙂
Since then we’ve released two albums, “Eye On The Sky” (2011) and “Stars Aligned” (2015). Currently we’re recording our third album “Constellation” and hopefully it is out by the end of this year. Also the new single ‘Sinners In Shadows’ will be released within a week.

How did you come up with your band name?

I think we started as Stargazer, but soon realized there are so many Stargazer’s out there and just added the Y 🙂

What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We are from Finland and the scene seems to be ever growing and vibrant. Lots of new bands popping up and the older ones conquering the world. 🙂

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)

The latest album is “Stars Aligned” which was released in 2015, but the new single ‘Sinners In Shadows’ will be released in a week and the whole album “Constellation” within the year 2019
STARGAZERY – Sinners In Shadows – official Video (PURE LEGEND RECORDS)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Twza379Zk_Y

Who have been your greatest influences?

80’s Metal/Hard Rock in general. Whitesnake, Dio, Yngwie Malmsteen, Def Leppard etc.

What first got you into music?

I think my biggest epiphany came when my friend’s sister was blasting Accept and suddenly I was like, what is this!? This I need more 🙂 Hai lii hai looo…‘Fast As A Shark’!

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I think any of these 80’s bands out there still doing it 🙂

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Wacken! Definitively Wacken :-). It is like THE Metal Festival in the world!

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

I think we haven’t received any odd stuff….yet 🙂

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Thank you for your support!

If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Hmmm there are many great musicians that have passed way too soon, but maybe Ronnie James Dio.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love creating something out of nothing, I love working in the studio and love playing on stage. Maybe not ‘hate’, but to travel hours and hours and the waiting before going on stage are a bit ‘unpleasent’.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

More money to support the smaller bands and give them a chance to shine!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

To pick just one is haaaard! Hmmm, let’s just say Accept – “Restless And Wild”

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

CD’s & Vinyls. I do have few Cassettes too and I buy them from the flea-markets etc if they’re cheap :-). Downloads are not the thing for me.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

I think there isn’t one single gig, but some of the highlights are definitively Sweden Rock, Tuska Festival, Jalometalli Festival etc. I enjoy every gig we do!

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Very difficult question….I think I would be just “normal” family / working man, without the music 🙂

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

My wife, my mom and couple good friends!

What’s next for the band?

A new video single ‘Sinners In Shadows’ will be released within a week and we continue to record our third album “Constellation”.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Youtube and Facebook mostly.
https://www.facebook.com/stargazery/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxR-v9ftG5Rjkud8KKiHn3g

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

😀 Tough! I’d say biscuit!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you very much for this great interview! I hope people love the new single / album and also purchase the Eye On The Sky vinyl ! Feel free to drop us a comment and join our facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/stargazery
Cheers!
Pete Ahonen
Stargazery

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, 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.

EMQ’s with BOFO KWO

Bofo Kwo Logo

EMQ’s with BOFO KWO

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Finnish, Symphonic Black Metal band Bofo Kwo who, by the way, are brilliant as well as being hilarious! Huge thanks to them for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Bofo Kwo: I am Bofo Kwo, the tribe leader and lead vocalist. The band was formed in 2014 based on a novel by Theodore Salmondi Egger, called the Legend of a Cannibal King. The Band then took it further, went to space and after several decades, hopefully, the first Metal band to ever perform in outer space.

Wamufo: I am Wamufo. I arrange and compose the chants and rituals we need for our feasts. I also play the noise machine you call guitar during our feasts.

Bomari: I am backup vocalist Bomari, I also do the makeup and costumes and general creative stuff.

How did you come up with your band name?

Bofo Kwo: It is based on the Main Character of the Legend of a Cannibal King Novel.

Wamufo:???

Bomari: Also based on a true cannibal story but with some twist and turns.
What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?
Bofo Kwo: Finland, I guess cold?

Wamufo: I’ve lost count on the numerous home worlds we’ve had.

Bomari: Norway, make a guess.

What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Bofo Kwo: Our latest single is called “Second Sun” and it is from our upcoming album to be released fall 2019, the album is called “Space/Time Carnivorium”.

Bomari: Second SUN

Who have been your greatest influences?

Bofo Kwo: Space/Time, Aliens, Cannibal Documentaries, Black Metal, ROCK, and Grunge!

Wamufo: Black metal, cheap sci-fi TV and everything I can gather from the junkyard.

Bomari: Life.

What first got you into music?

Bofo Kwo: The search for the end of the endless agony of being human and what not.

Bomari: Feeelings and stuff.

Wamufo: Refuse to answer!

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Bofo Kwo: Rumours are that we will collaborate with a Rodent King of the Mighty “Dirty Rats” from Australia already on the upcoming album.

Bomari: Rob Zombie

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Bofo Kwo: Download festival because I heard they don’t make you shave your bush.

Bomari: Can’t think of any

Wamufo: Roadburn, Dour, Wacken

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Bofo Kwo: Bold of you assuming that we have fans? I am under contract to hand over any gifts I get to Wamufo so he has to answer this one.

Bomari: Anxiety

Wamufo: Bofo Kwo might be obligated to hand over the gifts, but I know he’s hoarding them somewhere. People seem to like posting us these pieces of paper with numbers on them, and after some investigation they seem to disappear in to Bofo Kwo pillow or he traded them for cat food.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Bofo Kwo: Be one with the Metal, and please share our content so more people discover or get offended by our music.

Bomari: Be yourself

Wamufo: The message is gone. Long live the message

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Bofo Kwo: Dimebag

Wamufo: Nah, let the dead rest. They deserve it

Bomari: Lemmy

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Bofo Kwo: Free food I enjoy the most, I hate the most that the food is not human flesh tho.

Waumfo: There are some super comfortable couches hidden inside the venues of feasting. Napping on those. Napping inside the trunk of our “tour vehicle” is the worst, unless I kidnap the money pillow, which is super comfy.

Bomari: Being creative, the pressure

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Bofo Kwo: Artists gets paid first and the most instead of last and maybe nothing.

Bomari: The pressure of releasing and squeeezing the creativeness out of artist is the worst, if we could let artist work on their own time and using their creative energy when it’s there and not squeezing it. It’s the killer.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Bofo Kwo: Behemoth – “The Satanist”

Wamufo: Khanate – “Things Viral”

Bomari: Blank, can’t think of one spec

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Bofo Kwo: Vinyl!

Wamufo: Claymation

Bomari: Vinyl for sure

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Bofo Kwo: Our secret gig in Amsterdam March 2019. Weird stuff happened.
VIDEO HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTwxniHLcTY

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Bofo Kwo: Working for the Earth Space Defence.

Wamufo: Sabotaging the ESD.

Bomari: I’m actually a fisherwoman on the side…

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Bofo Kwo: The tastiest fattest peoples, they are the best to make stew of.

Wamufo: I’d rather not get criticized for cold canned ravioli by five people.

Bomari: *laughing* and nobody knows why.

What’s next for the band?

Bofo Kwo: New Single, new Album and Fall live shows. Album will be called “Space/Time Carnivorium”

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

https://www.facebook.com/BofoKwo/
https://bofokwo.bandcamp.com/releases
https://sliptrickrecords.com/finnish-group-bofo-kwo-join-the-sliptrick-roster/

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Bofo Kwo: I met a dude named Jaffa on a planet far away, he tasted more like lasagne but maybe a bit Cakish?

Wamufo: You should ask that from J. Cakes.

Bomari: It doesn’t matter, they’re fucking tasty.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Bofo Kwo: Ever Metal is amazing. To think that they supported a rural space Black Metal band like us is just outstanding.

Bomari: Cheers, shine on.

Wamufo: Eat your greens and stay hydrated.

 

Bofo Kwo Photo

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, 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.