Lacuna Coil – Live From The Apocalypse

Live From The Apocalypse Album Cover Art

Lacuna Coil – Live From The Apocalypse
Century Media Records
Release Date: 25/06/2021
Running Time: 60:03
Review by Simon Black
7/10

Livestreams have been both a lifeline and a curse for bands in these dark times. Whether you like them or not, I fervently believe that they may be something that stays with us when this pandemic lark finally becomes a memory. Because let’s face it, it’s not economically viable to play touring gigs that just showcase your new album in its entirety. Even among your die-hard fan base, that’s likely to be a niche thing, promoters will be wary of the unknown quantity if it’s not already a chart success, and although it’s something you might want to do a couple of decades after the event to celebrate your greatest album hit’s multi-decade anniversary for example, a quick look at most band’s touring schedules, when they do, reveal that normally only a smaller number of shows will get clocked up for these. Even the likes of Metallica have only included these sorts of full run-throughs as bonus disk material on their more expansive special editions in the past (although it doesn’t matter how many ways you package “St. Anger”, it’s still “St. Anger”).

But then when you can’t tour, the live stream format gives you the opportunity to do something that you couldn’t normally consider and given that the production costs are so much lower and the fact that the world is desperate for anything live right now, then a full album showcase is suddenly a viable proposition both now, and potentially moving forward. This album was recorded in September in the band’s home city of Milan in an empty club, and like many livestreams has taken full advantage of the fact that much of the uncertainty of a genuine live performance has been ironed out (since they are not truly live), particularly with regard to the sound mix, which is very close to that of 2019’s Black Anima album, the release getting the full run through treatment here. The almost laughable irony is that the very subject matter of that dark and apocalyptic studio album has been playing out in real life, hence the ‘Apocalypse’ sub-tag. If you are a fan with only the standard version then this might be a big jump, as not only does it have the five extra tracks only available on the bonus track version, but there’s also ‘Bad Things’ to boot.

The tracks aren’t played in the same order as the studio versions, but otherwise are a pretty accurate rendition of that sound and period. Performances are blisteringly tight though, but almost no stage banter and interaction made it to the recording, so it does feel quite sterile and flat – not helped that any live recording never sounds the same without a roaring crowd for the band to feed off of. The other challenge I have is that this album in particular, with the exception of the closing piano accompanied solo vocal ballad ‘Save Me’, has songs that all hit the same pitch and tone and after about five Gothic Metal heart-renders, things start to get a little repetitive. But then this is not a release aimed at winning new fans so much as pleasing the old ones, who are going to love it. It’s moody, emotional and tight as a gnat’s bum hole in terms of playing, but just lacking the spark that this format struggles with – and that comes from us.

‘Veneficium’ (Live From The Apocalypse)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Anima Nera
02. Sword Of Anger
03. Save Me
04. Now Or Never
05. Reckless
06. Through The Flames
07. Apocalypse
08. Black Feathers
09. Under The Surface
10. The End Is All I Can See
11. Veneficium
12. Black Dried Up Heart
13. Bad Things
14. Layers Of Time
15. Black Anima
16. Save Me (Apocalypse Version)

LINE-UP:
Cristina Scabbia – Vocals
Andrea Ferro – Vocals
Marco “Maki” Coti-Zelati – Guitars , Bass, Keyboards & Synths
Diego “DD” Cavallotti – Guitars
Richard Meiz – Drums

LINKS:

Lacuna Coil Promo Pic (Photo Credit - Cunene)
Photo Credit – Cunene

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.

Paradise Lost – At The Mill

At The Mill Album Cover Art

Paradise Lost – At The Mill
Nuclear Blast
Release Date: 16/07/2021
Running Time:73:35
Review by Simon Black
8/10

One thing about a new record from Paradise Lost, is that you are never quite sure what you are going to get, especially live. Let’s face it, these dour chaps from darkest Yorkshire have certainly run the gamut of styles since “Lost Paradise” first appeared on the erstwhile Peaceville label so many moons ago. That record marked the true birth of Gothic Metal, from the deeply heavy down-tuned melodies, Greg Macintosh’s blisteringly moody and flowing solos and Nick Holmes’ distinctive Death Metal style vocals. By the time I had got into them properly when “Icon” was released in 1993, they had moved up to the much larger reach of Music For Nations and Holmes vocal style had shifted to a more mainstream Metal grunt – part Hetfield, part leonine roar. This style was cemented on their magnum opus “Draconian Times”, which is still one of my top ten all-time favourite records. Then they surprised everyone by revealing that Depeche Mode was also as big an influence as Black Sabbath and as the labels got upgraded to even more commercial ones, so too did their sound – to the point where they could barely be considered Rock, let alone Metal, by some fans. By the time we got to the 21st Century, the major labels and their overt commercial influence had long gone and the band started to bring back the Metal to the point where vocals have come, full circle, to a full Death grunt.

With that honest return to their roots has come success that they haven’t seen since the 90’s, with last year’s “Obsidian” seeing them return to the top forty for the first time in a long while – and rightly so – it’s a superb record (as indeed was its predecessor “Medusa”), so I was very keen to hear live renditions of material from this latest album. I would argue that, apart from the brief Synthwave glitch in the middle of Paradise Lost’s career, their musical style has actually remained pretty consistent – it’s the stylistic approach to vocals that varies the most. With that breadth of mode available in the recorded catalogue comes an unknown quantity whenever these chaps’ step onto a stage – what style is Holmes going to give us today? The answer is nearly all of the above for this recording (with the exception of the 90’s roar) and neither does he stick to using a tone consistent with what was originally recorded on the studio version. I personally don’t mind, as such is his command of technique – whatever he chooses invariably works. That flexibility and variety is a life saver here…

This release was recorded ‘live’ from their rehearsal space in Bradford at the tail end of 2020 as a livestream, which I missed at the time. Whether you like the format or not, they have kept many bands alive and quite frankly if it’s a choice between a webcast or not, then something is eminently preferable to nothing. Their most recent release “Obsidian” donates three tracks to the set list with ‘Fall From Grace’, ‘Ghosts’ and ‘Darker Thoughts’, but I was quite surprised that only ‘Blood And Chaos’ made it from “Medusa”. In addition, for those that watched the original set, there are also three tracks that were only available previously if you purchased the VIP package included here. The vast majority of the set is 90’s favourites that have been a staple of their lives shows for a while, although despite 2020 being the 25th Anniversary of “Draconian Times”, only ‘Shadowkings’ makes it into the set.

It’s a set list that I cannot fault, but what does disappoint is the flat recording mix. Holmes and Macintosh are clear and well-presented, but the drums suffer from an excessively trebly cymbal crash and that deeply heavy, emotively visceral, Melodic Gothic rumble from Stephen Edmondson’s Bass and Aaron Aedy’s mood-manipulating Rhythm Guitar are barely audible at all. It’s like my days in a house share in the 90’s where, after a particularly lively party, our stereo was reduced to one speaker and no bass after a guest fell asleep on it and forgot to put their pint down safely first. Given that this was a controlled semi-live recording in an empty venue, more effort should have been given to this, as normally these chaps have a rich and meaty live sound to be feared and respected. Definitely a case of trouble at’ Mill…

What makes this work despite the sound challenges (which bizarrely work in the favour of the less overtly Metal tracks), is the fact that Holmes’ is absolutely on blisteringly tight form. From the brutal rendition of ‘Widow’ that opens the set, to the incredibly haunting delivery of ‘Faith Divides Us, ‘Death Unites Us’ he completely and utterly commands the listener’s attention. Even the Synthwave infused ‘So Much Is Lost’ works, due to the heart and soul he pours into it. None more so that the hauntingly beautiful closer ‘Darker Thoughts’, where his delivery echoes fatigue, raw emotion and haunted lack of hope from its acoustic and emotive intro to its booming close.

I remain slightly divided on this release even after three or four listens, as despite the teeth-grindingly frustrating mix, this also has some of the tightest musical performances I have heard from these chaps live, combined with an outstanding vocal performance from Holmes. The mix is annoying, but if you are a deep and devoted fan of this band, that’s unlikely to impede your enjoyment too much because this so far is the only chance we have had to hear live renditions from “Obsidian”, which more than makes up for engineering frustrations.

‘Darker Thoughts’ – Live At The Mill (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Widow
02. Fall From Grace
03. Blood And Chaos
04. Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us
05. Gothic
06. Shadowkings
07. One Second
08. Ghosts
09. The Enemy
10. As I Die
11. Requiem
12. No Hope In Sight
13. Embers Fire
14. Beneath Broken Earth
15. So Much Is Lost
16. Darker Thoughts

LINE-UP:
Nick Holmes – Vocals
Gregor Mackintosh – Lead Guitar
Aaron Aedy – Rhythm Guitar
Stephen Edmondson – Bass
Waltteri Väyrynen – Drums

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.

Metalwings – A Whole New Land

A Whole New Land Album Cover Art

Metalwings – A Whole New Land
Self-Released
Release Date: 11/06/2021
Running Time: 69:39
Review by Simon Black
8/10

This is the sophomore release from Bulgarian Gothic/Symphonic five piece Metalwings. It is a double first for me as both the first encounter I have had with them, as well as being the first band I have reviewed from Bulgaria. The band is the brainchild of Vocalist, Electric Viola and Keyboard player Stela Atanasova, whose classical background and training stands out very loud and clear. Vocally her style is very much in that Classical and Operatic tradition, with the more extreme vocal notes coming from an uncredited member of the band. The downside is that vocally the extreme counterpoint is a little too far in the background and had it been a bit more on an equal footing, this would have felt more of a full on Metal album, rather than a very Classical album with a Metal vein running through it.

Ambitiously the band also utilises a full orchestra and conductor, rather than taking the Nightwish route of synthesising what they need, which really adds to the overall epic quality of the piece, but again this detracts from the heaviness, despite the fact that what’s going on with the traditional Metal instruments is fast, powerful and heavy as hell – it’s just taking a back seat to the orchestra and vocals. I’m not saying this is a bad thing – far from it, as for people like me that grew up on a classical diet before crossing into the dark side as a teenager, then this is musically absolutely ticking all of my boxes. But it took time to get to that viewpoint…

Brevity is not what this band are about. At nearly an hour and ten minutes of run time across the eleven tracks this is not a faint hearted ‘wham bam, thank you ma’am’ delivery in the slightest. The down side of the time taken though, is that this does lack immediacy and many listeners may struggle to continue focussing, which is why even the most complex Symphonic records work best with a couple of accessible hand-wavers to help engage the less-attentive or classically inclined.

The Symphonic and the Gothic work best when they take their time to build up layers of mood with sound and this bunch nail it perfectly. Equally they take time to unpick and appreciate, and a casual first pass listen is simply not going to do justice to the monumental technical and musical effort that has gone into the crafting of the album. I have to stress that, because when you are an independent & self-financing band, the costs of recording and producing “A Whole New Land” will not have been insignificant. I am curious to know how they will tour this, particularly outside of their home market, as taking more than five of them on the road will clearly be something of a challenge and some of the music will lose its sense of majesty if it’s delivered by the click of a switch live.

It’s long, it’s technically complex with superb musical depth, but needs a good three listens before you really start to appreciate the work that has gone into it. With a bit more balance of the accessible and immediate, then this would be top drawer stuff. That said, if the chance to fly to Bulgaria and watch them do the whole thing live with the full orchestra comes up, I will seize it with both hands.

‘Monster In The Mirror’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. A Whole New Land
02. Monster In The Mirror
03. Like A Willow Without Tears
04. I See Your Power
05. Silence
06. Still Believe In Us
07. Killer Of The Angel’s Love
08. Wonders Of Life
09. Passengers Between The Rails Of Life
10. Second Chance
11. Milo Moe Libe

LINE-UP:
Stela Atanasova – Operatic Vocals, Electric Viola, Keyboards
Grigor Kostadinov – Guitars
Vlad Enev – Bass
Angel Kitanov – Keyboards
Nikola “Blackie” Ivanov – Drums

LINKS:

Metalwings Promo Pic

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.

Ghosts of Atlantis – 3/6/2/4

3/6/2/4 Album Cover Art

Ghosts of Atlantis – 3/6/2/4
Black Lion Records
Release Date: 26/03/2021
Running Time: 40:12
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Good afternoon, my battle brothers and my sisters in slaughter. It is I, Dark Juan, Generalissimo and High Priest of all things metal. It is unaccountably sunny and clement in my mountain fastness of Dark Juan Terrace and as the shining horrible hot thing in the sky shines its baleful eye directly upon my pale and interesting countenance, my spirits lift from the morbid gloom of this most trying of winters and look forward into the joys of spring and possibly going out and meeting some people again instead of furtively scurrying through back doors and hoping the nosey old bitch at no. 42 didn’t spot you. That last sentence was not autobiographical. Oh no. Dark Juan would never countenance breaking any laws or orders. That would be a Very Bad Thing indeed. Never have I EVER even so much as fractured a law. Apart from the time my friend Gary Newgrosh was up a lamp post trying to steal a road sign and two gentlemen in suits with warrant cards asked whether I knew the lad with the road sign under his jacket and my drunken teenage response was “Piss off, I don’t talk to strange men.” And my speeding ticket last month. And all the stuff I have done in churches that I shouldn’t have. Some of them even consented…

None of which has anything to do with the fact that I am listening to Suffolk based gothic/symphonic/progressive blackened metallers Ghosts Of Atlantis’ debut offering, enigmatically entitled “3.6.2.4”. My immediate gut reaction about this record is that Cradle Of Filth have much to answer for as this style of quasi-black metal with added megagoth is now being touted as the Witch County sound (because Suffolk has had more than its fair share of witches and wise women, you see. The lucky bastards. Up North we just hung ours on Pendle Hill or in Alderley Edge.) I’m well aware that the sound of Cradle Of Filth and their ilk (Devilment, The Blood Divine and the like) are something of an acquired taste (I acquired mine in 1994 with ‘The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh’) and therefore a lot of metalheads will discount this as a load of gothic bollocks, which will be to their detriment as there is a lot more to Ghosts Of Atlantis than ever more high-pitched demented screaming and gothic nightmare. GOA happily welds in progressive riffs and time signatures and there is more than an element of power and symphonic metal with the clean vocals and the lyrical content and this lifts them easily above comparisons with the Filth and young Daniel Davey.

Ghosts of Atlantis are men on a mission to make sure that we remain acquainted with Ancient Greece and the lost city of Atlantis (or if you’re Welsh, Cantre’r Gwaelod, apparently just off the coast of Borth and Ynyslas, fact fans!) and base their songs around these concepts. Vocals run the whole gamut from absolute gut churning guttural roar to Filth-esque hellshriek to ZP Theart’s clean howl and some gorgeous harmonies. The high concept and that desire to switch from death screams and violence to progressive storytellers is most evident on ‘Gardens Of Athena’ which is an absolute tour de force as to why most experts about music consider metal a very difficult and complex style of music to play, almost classical in nature, as it moves from absolute murderous power and speed to soft acoustic and keyboard led passages, to Meshuggah style fractured time signatures, to power metal storytelling and back again. The fucking musicians on this record basically are living reminders to the fact I quit playing music because I frankly am not good enough. These people are mutants. Drummers should not be able to play such speedy and complicated rhythms and then change the fuckers mid song. It’s not fair. The guitarists should not have any fingertips left and the lead vocalist clearly has given up any thought of using his larynx in later life because he’s busily turning it to chunky salsa on this record. Commitment is not quite the word when it comes to Mr. Primmer’s vocal style. More, “I hate this piece of comically shaped gristle in my throat region and I am going to reduce it to its component atoms by means of abusing it so hard there should be a court case pending.” I dread to think how he whispers sweet nothings to his significant other. Probably from the next town over.

This record seriously has everything a metal fan (and not a few goffs) could desire. There’s utter powerviolence and speed, complexity in songwriting and riffage (the work of Colin Parks and Dex Jezierski on the guitars is superb – often choppy and sharp, frequently rapid and machine gun like but also classical, fluid and drop dead gorgeous, normally several times in the same song), the keyboard work is swoopingly gothic and sinuous (not unlike Cradle Of Filth in the more goff passages, but also gorgeously Eastern sounding in parts) and the drummer (Rob Garner) clearly has been issued with extra limbs by whoever is in charge of Quartermaster stores for that sort of thing. There’s no other explanation for what the hell he achieves behind his kit. Al Todd on the bass is also excellent but he is sometimes swamped by the sheer grandiosity of the music. The production is also pretty spot on too, although I find the guitar sound a little too highly engineered for my taste and I’d like to hear more bass, but it is a clear and legible sound that Ghosts Of Atlantis enjoy and the tiny niggles I have with the sound do not detract from my considerable enjoyment of what can only be described as a magnum opus, which is staggering in scope and jaw dropping in execution. Where I was blown away by The Machinist for their record’s sheer power and sonic violence, I am blown away by this record because it is a record that is greater than its influences might suggest it would be. Mixing Meshuggah, Cradle Of Filth, Hecate Enthroned, Dragonforce and Luca Turilli could have ended up a huge and disjointed mess, instead we have something that should become classic. The elements employed slot together seamlessly and every song drips uniqueness and splendour.

In conclusion, it’s fucking brilliant. Ghosts Of Atlantis are going to be huge if they carry on like this. My only concern is that the musical influences are that diverse, that the more gothic might avoid them because they are too metal and the metal kids might avoid them because they are too goth, or too progressive. Alternatively, I could just be spouting a load of ultrashite and Ghosts Of Atlantis will follow in the path of their Suffolk witchy, gothic cousins Cradle Of Filth and achieve global domination in short order.

I hope they do. For a debut album, this is absolutely fucking incredible.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Ghosts Of Atlantis a stonking 10/10 for an almost perfect record that has everything. Well done, gentlemen. Well done indeed.

*Polite applause*

‘Halls Of Lemuria’ (Official Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Third Pillar
02. Halls Of Lemuria
03. False Prophet
04. The Curse Of Man
05. When Tridents Fail
06. Poseidon’s Bow
07. Gardens Of Athena
08. The Lost Compass

LINE-UP:
Colin Parks – Guitars, Backing Vocals (Clean)
Phil Primmer – Vocals
Dex Jezierski – Guitars
Al Todd – Bass
Rob Garner – Drums

LINKS:

Ghosts Of Atlantis Promo Pic

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.

Swarmageddon – Inhuman

Swarmageddon – Inhuman
Self-Released
Release Date: 03/10/2020
Running Time: 35:31
Review by Steven Hooke
8/10

Hailing from a picturesque corner of France, Swarmageddon was pulled into life by frontwoman and vocal juggernaut Marion Volle, whose Angela Gossow-meets-Charlotte Wessels vocals lead the charge in this gothic metal-tinged melodic death metal affair. With an intro track seemingly written to beat the living piss out of the listener, “Inhuman”is an all-too increasingly rare foray in melodeath, evolving the genre to be more 70% riffs and 30% fika.

Tipples of piano and swells of orchestral arrangements add volume to the mountain of riffs on display, used to add a sense of doom and mystery to first proper track ‘Of A Billion Screams’ and ranging itself to being power metal’s punky younger sibling on parts of ‘The Fall’. The War of the Worlds-ian pulses at the start of ‘Brave New World’ further the album’s influences as well as its cyberpunk narrative, before you settle into ‘Blood Stained Origami’ – lead single, album highlight and overall absolute banger. Tempo changes, brutality without being ridiculous, melody without being soft, and interjections of clean vocals without feeling forced, it is a titan of a song and sure to go down as one of Swarmageddon’s live staples (when we’re allowed live music again).

Also coming through the whole ensemble are some weighty riffs and more than ample amounts of chug from Guillaume Schappacher and Morgan Koch, who marry classic Gothenburg metal tropes with at times, tech death and black metal. ‘Blood Stained Origami’ again being a gluttony of ideas and thunderous guitar work. As all this is taking place, those waves of orchestration and symphony ripped straight from a gothic opera bolster the darkened realm that Swarmageddon have created, similar to the stylings of Cradle of Filth who are the masters of using said techniques to create some of the heaviest parts of their sound.

One final shoutout needs to be made for drummer Thibaud Szadel who is a force to be reckoned with on “Inhuman”. Sometimes feeling he’s playing to his own agenda, Szadel is an absolute brute on the kit and often feels like he’s in control of the song, above the vocals or guitars, thanks to some prime production work. Making full use of the range of extreme metal to create an expansive and dangerous musical output, and optimising my own personal favourite styling in heavy music in acknowledging melodic moments does not mean turning into a pop rock band (I’m looking at you metalcore/most melodeath bands formed after 2010). Just look at the choruses to ‘Death Traps’ or ‘Reanimation’, or even the cleanly-sung final quarter of ‘Blood Stained Origami’, soaring melodies but a high measure of the heaviness is still there thanks to the performance of Szadel.

For an album operating in two musical realms that have come under a lot of flack in recent years, Swarmageddon do an incredible job at delivering more quality and technique than most stalwarts of the genres have in the last 10 years, all in their debut. Sure enough symphonic extreme metal is not a new concept and Swarmageddon aren’t writing new musical history, but so few in the last few years have *got it* in the same way this group has. Whilst there’s an argument for the album’s length – take away the intro/outro tracks and it comes in at around 30 minutes across 6 songs – in which case beefing up the run time must be consistent with their ideas and their willingness to borrow from other genres. Otherwise, it is a success in beautiful brutality for Swarmageddon on their debut, an absolute gem in the underbelly of heavy music.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Silence
02. Of a Billion Screams [ft. Trivette (Antropofago)]
03. Death Traps
04. Brave New World
05. Blood Stained Origami
06. The Fall
07. Reanimation
08. Die and Retry

LINE-UP:
Marion Volle – Vocals
Guillaume Schappacher – Guitars
Morgan Koch – Guitars
Ludovic Boiteux – Bass
Thibaud Szadel – 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.

EMQ’s with ADDER’S FORK

EMQ’s with ADDER’S FORK

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Austrian based Gothic Metal project Adder’s Fork. Huge thanks to main man Marko 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?

Hi, my name is Marko and I’m the man behind ADDER’S FORK. Everything within this project is made by me, all instruments, vocals and production. Sometimes I collaborate with friends, but basically AF is my baby and it was born a few years after the demise of my older (less professional) extreme metal attempts. I’m looking for the finest mixture of classic metal heaviness and profound 80’s music, like The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission and especially early The Cure.

How did you come up with your band name?

Adder’s Fork originates from Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, It’s an ingredient for a special brew that three witches are cooking up in their cauldron. I actually kind of stumbled upon it and thought it would fit the imagery well.

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

I’m from Austria, a little country in the centre of Europe. Our scene is pretty small, it’s rather hard to find well known international bands. Some of our more famous heavy artists include Belphegor, Pungent Stench and of course Summoning. I’ve actually gained more fans from foreign scenes, to be honest, but I’m working on that.

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

“The Fatalist” is my new 4-track-EP, you will be able to download it for free very soon (Bandcamp, Website) and pre-order your (also free) CD, if you are still into physical releases. An accompanying music video was released on 4th December! This EP might be the finest thing I’ve ever done in terms of songwriting and performance, but be sure to check out its predecessor as well, “The Individualist” (+ music video) was released in 2018 and I’m still holding it in high regard:

‘The Fatalist (A Coming Dark)’ (Official Video 2020)

‘The Individualist’ (Official Video 2018)

Who have been your greatest influences?

The Cure, (early) Rotting Christ, The Sisters of Mercy, Megadeth, The Sound, Woods of Ypres.

Basically, Heavy Metal and Dark Wave/Post-Punk/Goth music from the 80’s. I’ve never been too much into idolizing certain musicians, but Dave Mustaine’s guitar playing has taught me a lot in my early days and Robert Smith has shown me how many different emotions can be transported through unique singing styles. The late David Gold’s multi-instrumental abilities and the resulting approach to songwriting/recording and his hard-hitting lyrics are an inspiration to this day.

What first got you into music?

It was the moment I realized that the commercial radio sounds would rarely resonate with my kid-self. I started searching for music outside the box of the usual easy listening fluff one is constantly being battered with and the excitement, that fresh, different soundscapes provided, keeps me going to this day.

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

Idle Hands/Unto Others – this could be an amazing synergy, but I tried and Gabe told me there was not enough time in their hands (pre-Covid) and I believe him 😉

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

I’d prefer the more intimate feel of smaller clubs, pubs and generally indoor arenas, it makes the music breathe a lot stronger, meaning that the festival experience has less to do with the actual material presented, as the social activity (and heavy drinking!) matter more.

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

Nothing weird yet, the best things I got were CD reviews by people who didn’t actually work for magazines, but did this as a favour and I also got Adder’s Fork band-shirts printed for me!

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

Thank you for actually taking the time to listen to my music. It’s hard enough to be recognized these days and TIME is the greatest value.

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

Ronnie James Dio. If I could choose one or two more, it would be Peter Steele and David Gold. So much talent lost way too soon.

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

Good – being creative; playing with words, playing with moods. The element of surprise.

Bad – Expectations. I also hate that money talks, like it does everywhere in the world.

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

The “all for the money”-mentality of many label monstrosities. Creativity and artistic expression are being held hostage by those who have control over the distribution and visibility of bands.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Rotting Christ – “Triarchy of the Lost Lovers”; it has the best mixture between grimness and soothingly beautiful melody, extremely strong, varied songwriting and it’s one of the most memorable extreme metal records I have ever heard. Simple and complex at the same time. Intense, gritty, mystical, powerful and catchy as hell. A masterpiece for all eternity!

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

Vinyl – just for their appearance alone, digital releases for the ease of use.

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

Waldstock Open Air 2006 – the tiny version of the original Woodstock here in Austria. We were just a bunch of young dudes having our first festival gig. It did work out rather well, considering how inexperienced we were.

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

Since being a solo musician doesn’t quite pay your bills, I also have a day job + various other interests in Via Ferratas (and everything involving mountains) and I’m also writing reviews for a metal webzine.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Sakis Tolis, Robert Smith, Nergal Adam Darski, Stefan Necroabyssious and Brittney Slayes. Quite the conversations would arise, don’t you think?

What’s next for the band?

CD pressing for The Fatalist EP and a website overhaul.

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

www.addersfork.wordpress.com/
www.facebook.com/addersforkofficial/
www.addersfork.bandcamp.com/

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

It’s a biscuit, right? I actually have no idea!

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

I thank you for asking me all these questions and actually shedding some light onto my project! If any of you readers enjoy Gothic Metal with heavy riffs, lots of melodies and a hefty dose of 80’s dark elements – be it New Wave, Post-Punk or even the gloomier side of Synth Pop – listen to Adder’s Fork, you will not regret it!

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.

Aeternitas – Haunted Minds

Aeternitas – Haunted Minds
Wormholedeath Records/The Orchard/Aural Music
Release Date: 20/11/2020
Running Time: 48.08
Review by Dark Juan
5/10

Cordial greetings, dear friends and fellow followers of the Left-Hand Path! It is I, Dark Juan, and I trust I find you full of that Friday feeling and you are rapidly filling yourselves with alcohol and other party treats and that you are indulging in a lengthy and debauched weekend planned with your significant others. As long as there is love in the world then I am content. That, and worship of our Lord and Master of mankind, Shaitan. May the Horned One drink in your debauches like the finest wines and reap a fearful tally of souls from children who can’t spell Santa correctly… The little bastards will wish they had not asked for puppies for Christmas when the hellhounds are delivered, and they find the bloody, ravaged and half-eaten corpses of their parents being tossed around like ragdolls by Fido. Have you noticed that I am not amused by the imminent festivities yet? Bah, and indeed humbug…

This evening, I have gone down a different musical path than I normally do, and I will make a valiant and probably unsuccessful attempt to be factual about German gothic symphonic metal band Aeternitas and their latest offering, entitled “Haunted Minds”. Now, if you know me and considering the amount of crap I write for Ever-Metal, you really should by now, and you will no doubt be aware that I am a sad old goff and love anything pompous and overblown. Now, considering that, you would think that I would be a rabid fan of anything that involves metal and fucking orchestras, would you not? Well, normally you’d be correct, but gothic symphonic metal has to be done RIGHT, otherwise it just sounds like a colossal shitshow that some fucker has thrown some violins at.

Well…

It appears Aeternitas have listened to a metric fuckton of “Once” era Nightwish and taken ‘Dark Chest Of Wonders’ as a starting point and have stretched that particular sound as far as they can physically take it without descending into some keyboard led white noise explosion. However, Aeternitas are by no means as talented as that merry bunch of Finnish (and Dutch) orchestra enthusiasts, and it shows. Both the male and female vocalists are strictly average, bordering on poor in Aeternitas, and for this style of music to work you have to be an exceptional vocal talent, able to soar above the music. Neither Julia Marou or Alex Hunzinger are exceptional, and Alex in particular is not acceptable, as he doesn’t have an interesting voice, and nor can he growl properly, so you end up with some kind of bizarre halfway house vocal which is barely tolerable. He is a much better conductor of an orchestra, though. The symphonic parts of the record are fucking brilliant and the choir excellent and his arrangements good. The songs, however, are derivative and uninteresting. Julia’s voice is too low in the mix of the record and frequently sounds a half-tone flat while singing, and she also has a weak vibrato and range. For this style of metal to work, you need a coruscating skyrocket of a voice and Julia’s alto just doesn’t cut it.

The songs on the album are also uninspiring. Every song on the record sounds like a variation on ‘Dark Chest Of Wonders’ apart from album closer ‘My Haunted Mind’ which is an execrable piano ballad which ends the whole distinctly average shebang on the dampest of damp squibs. I fucking hate ballads and this one’s a stinker, ladies, gentlemen and people of other genders, being mournful without being interesting and overlong by about a minute, thereby prolonging the agony longer than you need it to be. Ironically, though, it shows exactly what Julia is capable of, switching from alto to contralto in parts and showing some interesting variation in her vocal style.

There’s so much I didn’t enjoy on this record. The songs all sound the same, Alex’s vocal is poor, the mix is fucking shocking and produces an experience not unlike listening to Nightwish whilst immersing your head in a bath of scalding hot treacle, none of the instruments are sharply produced and the bass overpowers everything. The drums are flat and lifeless, you can barely hear the guitar work and the keyboards disappear in and out of the overall sound. The vocals also sound muffled, as if they were recorded by a microphone located in a different room to the singer. It’s all so…mechanical. There is no passion, no soul.

Best tune on here? ‘Castles In The Air’ by a country fucking mile. Starts with bombastic pomposity and builds to a pretty groovy chorus that gets you singing along handily and stands head and shoulders above the rest of the album.

Disappointed doesn’t even cover the emotion I am feeling right now. Average. Painfully average.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Das Patentierte Dunkle Juan Blood Splat Bewertungssystem) awards Aeternitas 5/10 for an uninspired Nightwish-lite album. Meh. It got 5/10 because of the strength of the classical arrangements and because of the fucking slamming chorus on ‘Castles In The Air’.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Destiny
02. Fountain Of Youth
03. The Unforgivable Sin
04. The Birthmark
05. Castles In The Air
06. Fallen Innocence
07. The Ring
08. Another Day
09. The Beautiful
10. The Final Path
11. My Haunted Mind

LINE-UP:
Julia Marou – Vocals
Alex Hunzinger – Guitar, vocals
Anja Hunzinger – Keyboards
Daniel T. Lentz – Guitar
Rick Corbett – Bass (This man does not sound German!)
Frank Molk – Drums (There is an umlaut over the O but I am too disappointed to sort it out.)

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.

EMQ’s with THE INFERNO DOLL

EMQ’s with THE INFERNO DOLL

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Calgary, AB, Canada based Gothic Metal artist The Inferno Doll. Huge thanks to Laura ‘Inferno’ Vargas 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?

Hi there! My name is Laura, I’m a Chilean singer and songwriter living in Canada and The Inferno Doll is my solo project. I write and perform Gothic Metal with some elements of Black and Industrial and my music is inspired by Dark Romance, Gothic Literature and personal experiences. I’ve been a solo artist since 2015 and before The Inferno Doll, I fronted the Chilean Metal band Sacramento. Today I live in Calgary in the province of Alberta, Canada.

How did you come up with your band name?

It all started with nicknames my friends were giving me: Laura Doll, Broken Doll, Inferno Doll, Laura Inferno, etc because I was collecting some of the Living Dead Dolls and there was this song I love ‘The Broken Doll’ by Autumn Tears and well when I started the idea of this project the name of The Inferno Doll came to me naturally.

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

I am originally from Chile and the metal scene over there is crazy and intense. Chilean metalheads are the best! Now I live in Calgary, Canada and the metal scene here is pretty amazing!

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

I am releasing a new EP on October 30th called “Sacrifice” that will have its first music video by mid-November.

‘Sacrifice’ Fest. Dawn Howard (Audio)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Devil Doll and a bunch of vampire literature I read. Also, life itself and different events that had occurred and that marked me in some way or another.

What first got you into music?

My Dad: he taught me to play the guitar when I was very very young. And a music teacher in school when I was also very young that was always supporting my singing. And The Phantom of the Opera.

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

It would be Mario Panciera, also known as Mr. Doctor. The man behind Devil Doll. This would be amazing because he’s no longer active and is a mystery of a man.

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

Mera Luna Festival. Is my favourite festival. This and Wacken.

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

I haven’t received it yet.

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

Don’t let anyone talking you out of your dreams. If you want to make your dreams come true, work hard, focus and don’t give up.I love you.

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

That would be Freddie Mercury.

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

Everything. To be able to create the music and artistry with no limits. To sing my heart out and finding people identifying themselves with my words. The art of being a musician is what I love.

I can’t think of anything right now that I hate about being a musician.

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

That they stop making money out of the artist.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“The Girl Who Was…Death” by Devil Doll.

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

I like CD’s and Vinyl.

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

In 2016 when The Inferno Doll performed live for the first time. This was in Santiago, Chile.

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

I would be a writer. Of poems or short stories.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Just my closest friends.

What’s next for the band?

Writing a new album which I plan to release in 2021.

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

www.theinfernodoll.com/
www.theinfernodoll.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/theinfernodoll/
www.instagram.com/theinfernodoll
www.twitter.com/theinfernodoll
www.open.spotify.com/artist/7FS1ja2qO6MTtBFUwb8a0J
www.youtube.com/theinfernodoll

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

No idea. I’ve never had one.

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

Thank you for this interview. And stay tuned for “Sacrifice” that will be out on streaming platforms October 30th!

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.

Lindsay Schoolcraft – Worlds Away

Lindsay Schoolcraft – Worlds Away
Cyber Proxy Records
Release Date: 09/10/2020
Running Time: 45:25
Review by Dark Juan
9/10

Hello, you bunch of beautiful but frequently dangerous and unpredictable people. It is I, Dark Juan, and I have been beset by travails these past few days that would test kings, let alone mere mortals. It’s a good job I’m speshul, really, otherwise I might have become REALLY cross and let’s face it, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. People rarely like me when I am drunk and cheerful so if I’m pissed off you have no chance. Sir Zeusington Zeus, VC, KCVG, MM, DFC and Bar, took it upon himself to eat the ONLY important piece of mail we have received at Dark Juan Terrace in WEEKS… Bear in mind this document is absolutely necessary for me to continue my work of wrangling recalcitrant young gentlemen and you can imagine the rage and recrimination poured upon his unfortunate canine head. Yes, I am ashamed to say I gave him a good telling off. However, he appears to have forgiven me as he has adopted his usual position of lying next to me upon my jewelled chaise-longue and forcing my left arm into a most disadvantageous position causing me significant discomfort as I type this nonsense. And farting most unappealingly.

Shall we get on with writing something about Canadian gothic metal goddess Lindsay Schoolcraft’s “Worlds Away” album, then? The first thing you should know is that this release is by no means a heavy metal record, as Lindsay has reinvented some of her music for strings and electric harp as well as recorded two new songs written for the harp. A notable feat for Ms. Schoolcraft is that if you were listening to this album in isolation, that is to say if you were not aware of these songs before playing this, then you would not be aware that they are harp and string-based re-imaginings of existing songs. This is a plus and showcases the basic high quality of the songwriting. Lindsay has a very appealing voice, her mezzo-soprano (bordering on contralto in parts) lilting and soothing and flowing with the glissandos on her harp. This is a record best listened to in a dark room, through headphones, in silence. Then, and only then, will you understand the bewitching quality of the music. And it’s also gothic as fuck. Songs of darkness, broken hearts and shattered love abound, most noticeably on ‘Dangerous Game’ where Lindsay manages to convey the deep sorrow, crushing sadness and barely contained rage that accompanies a cheating lover and their shenanigans being uncovered.

Lindsay is accompanied on several tracks by original Evanescence drummer Rocky Gray, who adds some interesting flavours of electronic percussion, particularly appealingly on album closer ‘Warn Me’ as he adds a powerful cadence to the sensuous gentleness of Lindsay’s voice and harp. It is also a very worthy album closer as it brings the haunting, darkly romantic quality of the rest of the record to a rushing, thunderous climax (fnarr fnarr). ‘Masquerade’ has a carnival-like sound to it, underpinning a cinematic-quality lyric that instantly transports you to the inside of Lindsay’s head and is one of the finer songs on the record, resonant and thrilling. ‘Dance On The Strings’ benefits from a particularly mournful viola line played by the mysteriously named Dagda and sends this reviewer into mental realms of gothic splendour where all the ladies are gorgeously attired in flowing lace gowns, and the gentlemen in brocade frock coats and breeches, facing each other across a lushly appointed salon before engaging in a mirror dance of unnatural movements and disturbing tempos as black candles illuminate a splendid but unearthly scene, while monsters with venomous jaws and misshapen, unsuited limbs prowl the night outside, ready to strike down the unready and the vulnerable…

So, as we haul ourselves back from the demesne of tortured metaphor that I frequently inhabit we come to the point where I have to draw some conclusions about what I have just listened to. I fucking loved this record. I loved the Sharon Den Adel quality of Lindsay’s voice (both are mezzos, although Den Adel is more soprano in range, whereas Lindsay is more contralto) and the lushness of harp and strings. The cinematic quality of the lyrics are also superb and as I said previously, this is a record best listened to in the dark, in headphones and in seclusion. Then, and only then, will you be able to appreciate the gothic splendour of the music Lindsay Schoolcraft has created. Only then will you be able to appreciate its lustre. Also, it helps if you are actually a sad old goff like what I am.

Lush, staggeringly beautiful, emotional, challenging and frankly gorgeous. It is proof that quality songwriting is key to great music, regardless of genre because the sparse instrumentation and reliance on Lindsay’s voice solely should have been a demerit, but it isn’t in this case as instead it provides a very intimate listening experience. No, I’m not going there about intimacy. Dark Juan is perfectly able to behave himself, thank you very much. Most of the time.

The Patented Dark  Juan Blood Splat Rating System(Le système breveté d’évaluation des éclaboussures de sang Dark Juan, pour les Canadiens françaises. De rien) awards Lindsey Schoolcraft 9/10 for a small piece of Gothic splendour. I’m all overcome. Waft my fevered brow.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Worlds Away
02. Saviour
03. Darkness Falls
04. Fading Star
05. Stranger
06. Where I Fall
07. Dance On The Strings
08. Dangerous Game
09. Your Mind
10. Masquerade
11. Warn Me

LINE-UP:
Lindsay Schoolcraft – Vocals, Lyrics, Electric Harp, String Direction, and Co-Production
Spencer Creaghan – Additional String Programming on ‘Worlds Away’, ‘Darkness Falls’, and ‘Warn Me’
Dagda – Viola on ‘Darkness Falls’, ‘Stranger’, ‘Dance on the Strings’, ‘Your Mind’, and ‘Where I Fall’
Rocky Gray – Electronic beats on ‘Worlds Away’, ‘Stranger’, and ‘Warn Me’

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.

EMQ’s with BEHOLDER’S CULT

EMQ’s with BEHOLDER’S CULT

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Brasília, Brazil based Doom/Gothic Metal band Beholder’s Cult. Huge thanks to vocalist/guitarist Felipe Stock 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?

Hello everyone at Ever Metal, my name is Felipe Stock and I’m the vocalist/guitar player in the Brasília based Doom Metal band Beholder’s Cult. The band has been around since the end of 2016 but not until a reasonable time after that, we were able to start playing live and recording material the way we intended in the beginning.

How did you come up with your band name?

That is a tricky question…guess a little bit of nerdy, stoner and doom references together.

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

I’m from Brasília, the capital of Brazil, a very young city age wise but not so much in its preferences. Even so, we have a blooming metal scene around here with many great bands in various subgenres of metal.

As for the past, Brasília is nationally known for a punk rock scene in the 80’s and some big metal acts that came out of the concrete here.

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

Our first and only release so far is our EP “Cult of Solitude” with only four songs. We are in the middle of recording our first full length with 9 new songs that will be out in 2020!

The EP is available here (among other music streaming platforms):

Who have been your greatest influences?

As a band it would be (and know my fellow band mates will agree) My Dying Bride, Saturnus, Anathema among many others. Personally, I would need to say a lot of names from Camel to Agalloch.

What first got you into music?

Hard to say what gave the first spark; but it is safe to say Black Sabbath was involved in it. As for playing, since I remember myself being a person I was planning some band with friends.

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

It would be Daniel Brennare from Lake of Tears.

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

There are lots of cool metal festivals around the world, but I guess I’d choose Metaldays because of the beautiful scenario. Of course, there is also Wacken…

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

It was a mysterious booze a guy really wished me to drink with him after a show. I spent the next day puking my insides out while we were going to another gig in a neighbouring city. Also, one time, a guy received a patch as a gift from one band and immediately after, and in front of the one that gave him the patch, gave it to me “as a gift”. It was awkward…

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

Stay true to yourself as long as it respects the boundaries of other people being themselves.

Always have a glass of water when drinking wine.

Middle age crisis is real.

(These are all very wise words – Rick 😊)

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

Dio, Peter Steele or Layne Staley

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

Enjoy: Composing songs and concepts for the album and playing for people who like our style of music.

Hate: The bureaucracy to be able to do the above and carrying big Speakers.

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

I have little knowledge of the music industry outside underground metal to say something properly, so I guess it will be for small labels and new bands to get more chances to show their work.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Saturnus – “Veronika Decides To Die” (This one is unanimous in the band)

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

Downloads for practical reasons.

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

The best is yet to come! Hahaha

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

No one in the band is a professional musician even though we have a full-time artist who is also a voice actor! As for myself, I work in environmental conservation projects currently in the Atlantic Forest.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

That’s a hard one…keeping it music related I guess Bruce Dickinson, Tony Iommi, Andrew Latimer, Nergal and Paul McCartney. I guess it would make a nice party…each one can bring their own drinks…

What’s next for the band?

New album, promo videos and live performances when the pandemic allows.

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

All the music streaming platforms (Spotify, iTunes, Deezer etc…) and the following:
www.facebook.com/beholderscult/
www.instagram.com/beholderscult/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCUzD-Jm8nZp8Ro15QXaz-Uw

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I had to google it because I didn’t know the name of these biscuits…so yeah, biscuit.

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

Just to thank you all from Ever Metal, specially Victor Augusto, and anyone reading this! Hope you get the time to check our sound and maybe tell us some impressions on some of our social media.

Thanks!

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.