EMQ’s with THE SULLEN

EMQ’s with THE SULLEN

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Greek Metal project The Sullen. Huge thanks to Petros Petalas 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?

I am Petros, I write, play and record all the instruments and vocals for The Sullen. The band was formed in 2018, right after we split up Final Words of Sorrow, my previous band, for a variety of reasons, mostly of a personal nature.

How did you come up with your band name?

It’s a description of the faces I’d come across outside on a daily basis. It resembles that aspect of the big city: millions of people going about their lives, bottling up their emotions behind an emotionless and kinda melancholic face.

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

I am from Athens, Greece, currently residing in Trikala. The Metal and Rock scene here has a lot to offer, both in terms of quantity as well as quality, but it’s really rare for a band to “stick to it” and break through. There’s a lot of reasons for that though, and it’s not entirely the fault of one single factor. Corruption, poverty, the problematic mindset around the distribution of music, the fact that music has to, more often than not, take the back seat in a person’s priorities -since it’s unlikely it will pay the bills- are all factors that hinder a band’s ability to put in the effort needed to “make it”.

That said, there are these few bands that make it despite all of that, and it’s something that fills me and most musicians with hope.

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

It’s the “Rituals of Death” EP, which came out on May 25th, 2020. It consists of 3 tracks: ‘Crimson’, ‘Earthen Sky’ and ‘Rituals of Death’. You can watch our lyric video for “Crimson” here:

Who have been your greatest influences?

Mainly Melodic Black Metal and Doom/Gothic bands like Tribulation, Dissection, Primordial, Paradise Lost, Opeth, but I’d also like to explore adding elements of pop-punk and metalcore into the mix, like sum41, A Day to Remember and others.

What first got you into music?

Well, listening to it, haha. I’ve always been keen on music, since 5th grade or so, be it videogame soundtracks, music videos on TV or Radio songs. And it was always the “darker”, or rather “sadder” stuff that got my attention, even at that age.

How I got into metal though is funnier: when I first got my internet connection, I’d heard about “Limewire”, where I could find any song (and virus) out there! So, I was browsing the genre tags at some point and the label “Death Metal” caught my eye. Subsequently we can say that my transition into Metal was pretty unorthodox, with bands like Cannibal Corpse, Lamb of God, Arch Enemy and Children of Bodom.

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

You know, collaborations are a weird thing, you never know beforehand if it’s going to go good or sour, so I wouldn’t like to prejudge anything. If the question refers to any collaboration that would be sort of a dream-come-true though, then that would be Tobias Forge, Ghost.

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

In terms of “Oh my God, we played there!!” then Wacken, because it’s the oldest (and biggest?) European festival that hosts extreme metal music.

In practical terms, any festival that’s held in a good closed venue, with similar-vibe bands. I am not well aware of such fests though.

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

Can’t think of any really weird ones, it’s been mostly drinks, CD’s and books. What a boring answer, haha.

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

Be true to yourselves and what you want. Not to what your peers want of you.

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

That would be Freddie Mercury. Even though I am not the biggest Queen fan out there, I think the world of music lost a lot with his death.

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

I enjoy being able to express abstractions in sound, to manifest physically that melody that’s been stuck in my head. I enjoy the process of writing music, start to finish. It’s a really unique kind of fulfilment.

I hate the industry part of it. Especially the marketing. I’m not saying that it’s bad that it is there, it’s more of a necessary evil, but I really hate that I have to do it. Maybe because I’m bad at it? Sure. But I thoroughly dislike it.

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

The “pay to play” deals. Be it for concerts, “record labels” or magazine reviews. I find it unethical; I find that it puts musician in the place of the customer rather than that of the creator. I’m all for a scene that’s harder to get into rather than that. We have the tools to change these things, it’s time we put them in good use.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“The Funeral Album” by Sentenced. It’s kept me company countless times.

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

Cassettes I find to be good exclusively for nostalgia purposes, so they’re a no-go.

Vinyl gives the best medium to enjoy the art of an album, and it’s also the most show-off-ish medium. I don’t own Vinyl records, but I get the appeal and I do enjoy looking at them. Sound-wise they are not the more accurate in the era of digital recording. Maybe it was back in day where music was recorded in analog gear. Vinyl adds its own “colour” to the sound which might be preferable to some, but not to others.

CD’s are kind of a baby Vinyl: smaller, more convenient but they don’t decorate the walls as good as Vinyl.

Digital mediums are by far the most convenient. I’d like to see anyone make a Vinyl playlist. Or even skip 7 songs on an album. Or better yet listen to them on the road. Sound-wise it can be 100% accurate, but it can also be of the absolute worst quality.

So, verdict: Downloads/Streaming for listening to the music, Vinyl for showing off your collection.

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

As “The Sullen”, we haven’t played any. We aren’t even “we” as of yet.

As Petros, it has to be supporting Septic Flesh with W.E.B., in 2016.

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

I mean, I have a vast variety of interests, ranging from arts like photography and cinematography, to philosophy and politics, to programming and “hardcore science”… So probably something out of these.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

The Pope, Till Lindemann, Kim Kardashian, Gary Holt and Her Majesty the Queen of England.

What’s next for the band?

Full length album and becoming a band. Both are currently in the process.

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

You can find us on:
www.facebook.com/thesullenband/
www.instagram.com/thesullenband/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCWQPzWr6-1_OvgI3WzKTJiw (subscribe guys, this URL is ugly)
thesullenband.bandcamp.com/

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I’ve always considered them a biscuit, but then why are they called Cakes? Really makes you think.

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

Well thank you for hosting us and supporting musicians! Stay safe, stay strong!

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.

Behind The Smokescreen – Scars Within EP

Scars Within Cover

Behind The Smokescreen – Scars Within EP
Unsigned
Release Date: 01/06/2018
Running Time: 23:01
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

One thing we are proud of at Ever Metal is the diversity and range of music that we review. My last three reviews couldn’t have been any more different if I tried. I have gone from a progressive rock band to a 60’s/70’s influenced psychedelic band and now to this new EP from Greek band Behind The Smokescreen, an Aggressive / Groove metal outfit.

Formed in Ioannina, Greece, in 2013, the band is made up of Nikonas Tsolakos on vocals, Nasos Drougas on rhythm guitars and backing vocals, Kyriakos Magdalis on drums, Evaggelos Roukos on bass and Dimitris Lucas on lead guitars. The EP was mixed and mastered at Crown Audio Conspiracies by Achilleas Kalantzis and the cover artwork was designed by Giannis Tagmatarchis.

This is a band who wear their influences on their sleeve and have maintained a great respect and admiration for bands such as Pantera, Machinehead, Lamb of God and Black Label Society. I’m sure they would be the first to admit they are not trying to break any new ground with this EP, but it is still a stonking recording none the less.

The EP kicks off with ‘Too Ambitious’ and I absolutely loved the opening intro with its galloping guitars and heavy riffs that rumble in your belly. I was expecting really growling vocals to kick in (probably because experience has shown me that if I really love the music, I am going to hate the vocals!) but was pleasantly surprised when they didn’t. The vocals are aggressive and in your face, but at least you can still hear what the singer is singing and is even quite melodic in places.

The guitar work is fantastic throughout the EP and the solos are out of this world. The rhythm section is solid, and everybody seems to fit together perfectly. I do think a lot of the heavier bands are accused of “just making a noise” but it takes a lot of talent to be able to make a noise and it be as good as this EP!

My head was banging, and my foot was tapping the whole way through this and I just wished it lasted longer! I think these guys would be immense in a live setting so if I hear they are visiting London town at any point I will be there, with bells on! (well ok studs and buckles but you get my drift!)

I hope these guys are going to put out a full-length album soon but, in the meantime, I will go and check out their previously released album “Age of Corruption.” I suggest you all go and do the same!

As the famous Oliver once said…. please sir, can I have some more?!

TRACKLISTING:
1 Too Ambitious
2 Broken Is The Word
3 Future Re-Set
4 Shelter In I (Bonus)

LINKS:
http://www.facebook.com/behindthesmokescreengr
http://www.youtube.com/behindthesmokescreenvault
http://www.instagram.com/behind_the_smokescreenband
https://behindthesmokescreengr.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6xh34hCCkDQsMAAyWWy9mg

 

Promo Pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King 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.

Alphastate – The Grind

 

The Grind Cover

Alphastate – The Grind
Sliptrick Records
Release Date: 03/04/2018
Running Time: 37:28
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
7/10

Alphastate are a Greek metal band, formed in 2013 as a personal project of Pete Breaker (guitars). Vocalist Manos Xanthakis joined in in 2015 and the line up was complete in 2016 with the additions of Dimitris Tsounakis on bass and Fivos Andriopoulos on the drums. They released their first album “Out of the Black” in 2015 and received excellent and positive press globally.

Says the band: “we wanted to combine modern metal with 80’s and 90’s influences such as Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera and Nevermore to create a very personal and extreme style with no boundaries.”

So, what genre of metal are Alphastate? To pigeonhole them into one category would be wrong and do them a severe injustice. They play heavy metal that is heavier than normal, but they have thrown in a bit of power too, with just a hint of doom (think Sabbath, Candlemass and Trouble), and this gives them an almost unique sound.

I always think the vocals make any band and am always on the lookout for bands that have distinctive and different singers. If I am totally honest, on the first run through of the album, I didn’t actually like Manos’s vocals but after listening a few times, I realised I really didn’t give him much credit. His vocals are deep, and unmistakably Greek, which is by no means a bad thing. He could quite easily fit into a band such as Firewind if they were ever on the lookout.

I must admit that I hadn’t listened to the band’s first album before listening to this one, but the promo notes that came with the album stated that they wanted to take a more modern and aggressive approach musically with this new album. They wanted “very loud and distinctive guitars, a more modern production that had the vocals pushed up front and drums that punched through the sound.”

I think they were successful on all three counts. Take the guitars out of this album and they would slot straight into a Pantera album, the drums are strong and tight, and I have already mentioned the vocals above.

This album includes a lot more of the band’s own thoughts and experiences making it the most personal release so far, and sonically it is their best. They have made an album that is “pure aggression with the best songs they have ever written.”

One thing that I wasn’t overly keen on with this album, was the lack of variation. Each song seemed to sound much like the last, and I am not sure if this is due to unfamiliarity with the tracks. Maybe with a few more listens through, the songs may start to separate a bit.

But this doesn’t take away from the fact, that this is a solid album, and for a band that has only really been together properly since 2016, it’s a good sign of things to come.
Give these guys a go……and they may just surprise you!

 

TRACK LIST
01. Trapped
02. Phantom Desires
03. Speak Your Mind
04. Theater Of Lies
05. The Grind
06. Forevermore
07. Behind The Dark
08. Heaven’s World
09. Man Made God

 

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/AlphastateMetal/
https://www.instagram.com/alphastate_official/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCngyPMt1FVY2fdGJ0pbmc4g
https://sliptrickrecords.com/alphastate/

 

Alphastate

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King 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.