Blue Hour Ghosts – Due

Due Album Cover Art

Blue Hour Ghosts – Due
Rockshots Records
Release Date: 12/02/2021
Running Time: 38:59
Review by Dark Juan
8/10

Salut! I trust you are all having the most splendid day imaginable? Yes? Excellent. You find I, Dark Juan, in a most agreeable humour considering I have work tomorrow and I am in fact sober even though Argos (a particular shop in the UK, fans from other climes) were having what could only be described as a twat of a day considering their IT systems were down and no fucker could buy anything. This was annoying because I need to buy a hairdryer. Not for me, you understand, as I am somewhat follically challenged (but this just makes me a more streamlined and sleeker killing machine), but because I am SICK TO DEATH of Mrs Dark Juan’s hair trying to kill me while I sleep by infiltrating my throat. Honestly, her hair leads a semi-independent life all of its own and it is frequently homicidal. One wonders whether it would rank among the more unusual deaths ever recorded by West Yorkshire Police when it finally succeeds in its quest to off me and it will probably have half consumed my corpse by the time the plod get here. It once spat out an entire tortilla chip at me once. I shit you not. Also, I have been subject to some mockery from the leek and dragon enthusiast part of Team Ever Metal and other Welsh friends (MANY, many Welsh friends), due to a load of blokes named variously Jones, Davies or Griffiths chasing a funny shaped ball around a field better than us Saesnegs whilst wearing worryingly tight shorts. But the English do that too.

Three hundred words and I haven’t told you a damned thing about the music. Well, if you insist… Today’s offering comes from the land of Ferraris, Birra Moretti, and Cristina Scabbia (sigh…). Yes, Blue Hour Ghosts are from Modena in Italy, and I am listening to their sophomore offering “Due”, which is “Two” for all you dastardly souls who have never bothered to learn another language. Pay attention, you at the back, there will be a test later.

The record kicks off with ‘Walking Backwards’ and I am immediately smacked in the face with shimmering, very 80’s sounding keyboards and a clean (as in doesn’t sound like the vocalist is straining to have a colossal chilli fuelled shit, or more worryingly sounding like he’s on a very gruff vinegar stroke) singer over a meaty riff. I have returned to the righteous path of metal after a sojourn into the realms of industrial and the frankly whacked out bonkers barmy. However, rather than return to the world of the extreme, I have chosen the more melodic and grandiose path that Blue Hour Ghosts tread. Employing a sound that is a melange of Katatonia, Porcupine Tree, more than a little Coheed And Cambria (in the arrangement of the songs) and a soupcon of Paradise Lost, BHG are never going to be a particularly violent band. What they do have are pretty good songwriting chops and a fine grasp of English compared to my woeful knowledge of Italian. I always find it mightily impressive when non-native English speakers create songs in English when I could just about ask for two beers in their language (and can’t even do that in Afrikaans).

Further on into the record there is ‘Lower The Wires’ which marries an epic vocal from Ricky DC and a massive fucking chorus over keyboards inspired by Rammstein in parts, what with the way they swirl and prowl below the dual guitar attack of Diego Angeli and Francesco Poggi. This is actually a record that is somewhat greater than the sum of its parts – When I read the blurb and it said it was melodic metal, I was prepared to be unimpressed, because quite a lot of melodic metal is frankly a bag of shite and needs actual proper talent to make it work. Thankfully, BHG have the talent to make it work and work well. A lot of credit goes to keyboard batterer Simome Pedrazzi for this because his keyboards are never less than stunning, forming Rammstein-esque stabbings and eerie atmosphere before morphing into huge, skyrocketing, coruscating walls of sound that counterpoint the chunky riffing of the guitars superbly, but never overwhelm the band entirely. The vocal harmonies are also fucking brilliant, reminding me of Coheed And Cambria when they are sung in higher registers. ‘Damn Wrong’ is also a good, slowly rocking, melancholy tune that really reminds me of “One Second” era Paradise Lost, having the black misery and nihilism that the Yorkshire miserabilists made famous. I could really picture Nick Holmes singing this song and being as I am a BIT of a fan of Paradise Lost, this is not really a demerit.

Production wise this record is actually pretty damned good. Production and engineering has been ably handled by Giuseppe Bassi, of Fear Factory notability. His handling of the bass guitar of Matteo Malmusi is especially noteworthy as it is easily audible but doesn’t overpower the rest of the band and is a writhing, sinuous underpoint to the music rather than just something there to give the music a bit of a fat arse. However, the drums sound lifeless and artificial (although very competently played) and the china cymbal really can grate somewhat as it appears to have developed a superiority complex over the rest of the percussion and decided that it should be the ONLY cymbal that is heard. Some of the song arrangements can also be a little…choppy on key changes and middle eights but these are really minor gripes compared to the expansive songs and sound that the band enjoy on this record.

So, Italy proves once again to us that the metal scene there is vibrant and wide-ranging. There’s clearly more to the Italian scene than just Lacuna Coil and Corpsefucking Art and I’m looking forward to dipping my toes in further. Forza Italia!!!

Yes, it is fair to say that I am actually more than a little impressed by Blue Hour Ghosts. Solid, experimental, heavy and melodic as well, they cover most bases that excite this perennial enfant terrible and the sex wee quotient is fairly high. While we aren’t going to experience flooding, as Calderdale Council have invested heavily in sex wee flood defences since the last time (that was The Machinist’s fault) the quantity is sufficient to call town planners’ decisions into question about whether they can build houses on the flood plain at the bottom of the hill. This is music that you would play on an epic roadtrip around the warmer climes of Europe with the top down at dusk. I like it.

A lot.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Il sistema brevettato di valutazione degli schizzi di sangue Dark Juan – fuck it. Close enough. I’m sure the gentlemen will correct my Italian if they read what I have written about them) has been pleasantly shocked and awards Blue Hour Ghosts 8/10 for a damned fine melodic metal record with melancholy overtones. Surprising and excellent.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Walking Backwards
02. On Black Clouds
03. Dead In August
04. Damn Wrong
05. Shine
06. Fearless
07. Lower The Wires
08. Disheartened
09. Involved/Bored

LINE-UP:
Ricky DC – Vocals
Diego Angeli – Guitars
Francesco Poggi – Guitars
Simome Pedrazzi – Keyboards
Matteo Malmusi – Bass
Andrew Gunner – Drums

LINKS:

Blue Hour Ghosts 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.

EMQ’s with THE VENUS FLY TRAP

EMQ’s with THE VENUS FLY TRAP

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Northampton, UK based Gothic/Post Punk/Dark Wave band The Venus Fly Trap. Huge thanks to Alex Novak for taking part.

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

Alex Novak/Venus Fly Trap (Vox)

Not a straightforward answer as the line-up has changed many times, but to summarise, I had finished being in a band called ATTRITION who were based in London at the time. I had done one album and toured Holland with them. Decided to move back to my native Northampton (famous for BAUHAUS, ALAN MOORE and the film KINKY BOOTS), hooked up with my brother JOHN NOVAK (ISAWS/WHERES LISSE) and TONY BOOKER an x-art school student (I had also studied at Northampton Art School).The line-up changed pretty quickly. We originally used a drum machine but then decided to use a drummer instead. ANDY DENTON was drumming for a local band CROWMAN at the time. He joined the band and as these things happen, more band changes and he ended up playing guitar. He has done for a number of years. Myself and ANDY DENTON (Guitar/Programming) have produced four albums together “DARK AMOUR”, “ZENITH”, “NEMESIS”, and most recently a new studio album, “ICON” which came out in 2018, probably our most consistent period as a band.

How did you come up with your band name?

Hard to pick a name that has not been used before. I liked the idea of a plant that eats insects rather than the other way round, the connections with the planets Venus and Mars, mythology, sci-fi, so there were plenty of images and ideas to play around with.

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

England (UK), the music scene here is pretty strong whatever type of music you are into.

What is your latest release?

We have a new release available VENUS FLY TRAP/ALEX NOVAK – “MERCURIAL 1978-2018” on CD/DL via Glass Records Modern. It is a best of VFT and other projects, bands I have been involved with including ISAWS, RELIGIOUS OVERDOSE, TEMPEST, ATTRITION, NOVA STATE CONSPIRACY, THE DEN and SPORE. A career spanning retrospective for people to delve into and explore further if they wish, about eighty minutes of music packed into this release.

www.glassmodern.bandcamp.com/album/mercurial-1978-2018

Who have been your greatest influences?

Everybody is influenced by somebody else. The trick is to take these elements and arrange them into something original, never wanted to sound exactly like another band, always striving to do something unique.

What first got you into music?

When Punk exploded it changed my perception, it was a get up and give it a go attitude, minimal experience, but it did not matter, it was the ideas that counted. The DIY approach got people to do music who would not have thought of it before.

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

We are always open to collaboration, no one specific.

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

A country we had not been to before or in an unusual location would be my criteria.

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

Dont want to start a competition to come up with weird items.

If you had a message for your fans what it be?

Dont come out of the bunker until the all clear has been given.

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

If I had that power, I would be using it on myself.

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

Experiences, gigs, travel, interaction with different people and anything is possible, the downside is logistics of travelling and the hanging around.

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

If you don’t like what’s going on, do your own thing, create an alternative.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Such a difficult question to answer.

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

Put out material on all formats! The one thing about vinyl is you have a lot more scope for artwork/design because you have a bigger space to create on.

What is the best gig you have played to date?

Hopefully, it will be the next one, although 2019 was a pretty good year for us gig wise.

If you were not a musician, what else would you be doing?

Well, as mentioned earlier, I studied graphic design and later photography so something to do with the arts, but I also run a record shop, which I have been doing for the last twenty years.

www.facebook.com/SpiralArchiveRecords/

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Five people who hated each other, sit back and watch the fireworks.

What’s next for the band?

Re arranging dates for September that were organised for May to tie in with the release, but due to events beyond our control this did not happen. All the latest info here.

www.facebook.com/thevenusflytrapuk/

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Cake according to the name, small cake though…

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

See you all on the other side.

SONY DSC

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.

EMQ’s with LORDS OF SALEM

Lords Of Salem Logo

EMQ’s with LORDS OF SALEM

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with German based Rock/Metal/Gothic/Doom band Lords Of Salem! 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?

Hello, my name is Apostel and I’m the vocalist from Lords Of Salem. First plans to start this band came up 2015, when Marple (Bass) travelled to Wacken. In 2016 the first line up was complete we started with the songwriting and rehearsals. 2017 we entered the stage for the first time.

How did you come up with your band name?

Inspired by Rob Zombie’s movie “The Lords of Salem”!

What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?

We are from Germany and of course the metal scene is quite big. Everybody listens to different styles of Rock & Metal. There are festivals like Wacken, Summerbreeze, Bang Your Head, With Full Force and many more. So the German metal scene is pretty vital.

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

Our latest release is our EP “Hell Over Salem” and 2 videos “Hell Over Salem & “Rock n Roll Machine”, now we are at work on the next video.

Who have been your greatest influences?

In my case, Kiss, Mötley Crüe, Alice Cooper, Motörhead, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Alien Sex Fiend, The Cure, Bauhaus and so many more.

What first got you into music?

Kiss, Kiss and Kiss!

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

Beastö Blancö!

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

Wacken ’cause it’s the biggest in Germany!

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

None

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

Guys, you rock!

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

Lemmy Kilmister!

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

Love – Playing live / hate – pay to play!

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

Nothing, it is what it is.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Ace Of Spades – Motörhead

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

In earlier days I preferred Vinyl, now I buy CD’s!

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

Walpurgisschlacht Hexentanz Festival

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

A fighter pilot!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Paul Stanley, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, Vince Neil and Mikkey Dee

What’s next for the band?

Songwriting for the first Album!

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

Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Bandcamp, YouTube and many more…
https://lords-of-salem.jimdo.com/
https://www.facebook.com/lordsofsalemmusic/
https://lordsofsalemmusic.bandcamp.com/releases
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5XGCOxZ4ivPlohLtOErsUV

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Don’t like ’em at all.

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

Thank you for your support and making this interview possible and THX to our fans – rock on guys! LORDS OF SALEM.

 

Promo Pic1

 

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.

Cadence Noir – Physical Copy

physical copy cover

Cadence Noir – Physical Copy
Self-Released
Release Date: 22/12/18
Running Time: 33:09
Review By Beth Jones
6/10

After 8 years of fannying about, Cadence Noir, my favourite Gothic Folk’n’Rollers (yes, it is a genre, shut yer face) have finally released their debut album. It dropped just in time for the Christmas panic buyers to slip it into a loved one’s stocking (shrewd move chaps, shrewd move!) I almost fell off my chair when they announced the news that it was actually happening, so eagerly awaited its arrival, and am now finally getting round to writing my thoughts on it a month after the event!

It is instantly recognisable as Cadence Noir. It is the sound that The Levellers would make if they had been playing all-night drinking games and jamming blues with Jim Morrison, Lemmy and Ozzy! Its raucous, its loud, its heavy, its bouncy and its blues folk jazzy! They are a proper party band, with an unmistakably unique sound, and that has transferred well onto the album. Ade’s scratchy vocals juxtaposed with Emma’s soaring, pure violin, and backed up by solid rhythms and crunchy guitars, with more than a smattering of Celtic influence, makes for a really interesting mix.

The album is a fine selection of ditties, with their classic, and one of my favourites, ‘The Traveller’ kicking off proceedings. It is an upbeat foot tapper which is sure to get things swinging, so it is a great way to start an album. The majority of the album moves at a frenetic pace and keeps your attention, however one song, which is 80% ballad, sticks out for me; ‘A Truth Held Dear’. It has a deep melancholy about it that I really like.

In the band’s press release, they say:

“Is it polished? No. Is it the height of pro audio production? God no. Does it sound like Cadence Noir? Yes it does.”

I have to concur, especially on the production side. The mix is a little top-heavy for me and this lets it down – I’m a bass girl and like to hear a meaty bottom end full of boom! Admittedly that isn’t really what Cadence Noir are about, and they did record their parts in separate home studios, so I will give them a bit of leeway, but I think the top end could do with coming down just a touch! However, I do quite like the rawness of it in a musical sense – if it had been too polished, it wouldn’t have been right.

All in all, this is a pretty fine debut album – let’s not leave it another 8 years for the follow up eh, guys?!

I have based this review on the download version sent over by the band but we shall definitely be buying the CD because…if you purchase the physical copy of “Physical Copy” (It’s an awesome title for an album) you not only get an extra track in the shape of live favourite #FFBB (Fuck Fuck Boom Boom), you also get a DVD of Cadence Noir’s full set from Bloodstock 2018 plus some other DVD extras! Value for money indeed!

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Traveller
02. Remoaner
03. Demon’s Lament
04. Church
05. Voyages
06. A Truth Held Dear
07. Homage
08. Hold Me Down
09. A Dove Amongst Eagles
10. #FFBB (CD Bonus Track)

LINE-UP:
Adrien Perrie – Guitar/Vox
Emma Bennett – Violin
Tom Smith – Bass/Double Bass
David Budge – Drums/Percussion
Nick Chamberlain – Guitars
Martin Jackson – Guitar/Vox (Hold Me Down)

LINKS:

promo pic1 (photo credit robert balmer photography)
Robert Balmer Photography

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

Eleanor – Celestial Nocturne

Celestial Nocturne Cover

Eleanor – Celestial Nocturne
Mighty Music
Release Date: 30/03/2018
Running Time: 56.15
Reviewer Tsarina Wilson
6.5/10

When I first asked to review this album, I had no idea that it would all be in Japanese, so it was a little bit of a surprise when the album first started. I have previously reviewed bands who sing in both their native language and English, but this was a first for me and unfortunately, I don’t speak Japanese…!!

Eleanor are a Japanese Melancholic, Symphonic, Gothic Metal band (phew, a little bit of everything), founded in 2006 by Ippei J Malmsteen (guitars) and Shiori Vitus (vocals) in Osaka. Their sound has been influenced by bands such as The Gathering, Sentence and Amorphis, and, in fact, their name Eleanor was a song by The Gathering.

Their debut album “A Circle of Lament” was released in 2011 in Japan by Black-Listed Records. Two years later their second album “Breathe Life Into The Essence” was released also by Black-Listed records and was highly rated, with lots of attention from overseas. As a result, Eleanor appeared on the Metal Female Voices Fest Vol 11 in Belgium as the only Japanese Metal band.

They then went on to perform as an opening act for Eluveitie’s Japanese tour in 2014. In 2016, their third album “Celestial Nocturne” was released in Japan by Rubicon Music and they played the largest number of live shows in their history.

In 2017, Eleanor signed an international deal with Scandinavian leading Rock/Metal label Mighty Music and on the 30th March 2018, “Celestial Nocturne” was released world-wide and included three bonus tracks.

The band consists of Shiori Vitus on vocals, Ippei J Malmsteen on guitars and keyboards, Neo on guitars, Lupin on bass, Carlos on drums and Jet Rumi on chorus and percussions.

So, as I couldn’t actually understand the lyrics of the album, this was quite a difficult review to do but you can hear so much passion in Shiori’s voice and the riffs are almost haunting. I can imagine some of these tracks being used as end title music for a film of dark heartache or mystery as they have that sort of sound to them. And then you hear ‘Buried Alive!’ This track is such a change from the rest of the album, it’s very upbeat and light, a refreshing change as everything else is very dark and melancholy. But dark and melancholy is what the band are noted for.

The album has a lot of instrumental sections and there is nothing better than a good guitar interlude, this album giving you plenty of them, especially ‘Thirsty’ and ‘Defying’, a track which has an almost Spanish flamenco hint. Most of the tracks have a strong drum beat which keeps the album bouncing along nicely and mixed with great harmonies, you have yourself a very interesting album.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Fall From Grace
02. Defying Gravity
03. Far Beyond Dystopia
04. Solitude
05. Eternal Moment
06. Empyreal Beauty
07. Buried Alive
08. Lazy Noise
09. Thirsty
10. War Cry
11. Mellow Ⅰ – Sleeping Water – (European Bonus Track)
12. Mellow Ⅱ – Far Beyond Dystopia – (European Bonus Track)
13. Mellow Ⅲ – Defying Gravity – (European Bonus Track)

LINKS:

Promo Pic1

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