Woven Man – Revelry (In Our Arms)

Revelry (In Our Arms) Cover

Woven Man – Revelry (In Our Arms)
Undergroove Records
Release Date: 11/01/2019
Running Time: 34:17
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
9/10

Good evening, my fellow dark souls of black and other ill-suited arabesques. Dark Juan here, coming down off a spectacularly drunken Saturday night with Eurovision. But we shan’t go into that. All you need to know is that Dark Juan approves of all Eurovision shenanigans, especially when Icelandic BDSM aggrotech acts show support for Palestine in the middle of Tel Aviv. Madonna, though. She was a fucking disaster zone. She sang flatter than a witch’s tit all through her song. The poor old sausage, desperately trying to remain relevant. Give up, old girl. You’re a granny now, like, and hanging about with idiotically named rappers repeating the last word of a line whilst using a square wave processor and doing some kind of bizarre electronic reggae-lite is not dignified. And stop dressing like a fucking steampunk sky-pirate, as well.

Yeah, Woven Man. Of course I have remembered what I am here for. They are Welsh. I’m allowed to make any Welsh joke I like because I lived there for several years, and let me tell you most of them were come up with by Welshmen. However, guitarist Lee “Roy” Davies, during his tenure with Lifer, stayed at my house in Yorkshire one time and was PERSONALLY responsible for the worst hangover I have ever suffered, the sawn off little shit. Never before or since has a trip to Ripon ever taken four hours from Halifax…..

“Revelry (In Our Arms)” starts, rather interestingly, and in my opinion jarringly, with a banjo. Cue the possibility of a joke about hillbillies considering it was recorded in Llanelli, but I have just remembered I have played the Mason’s Arms in Llanelli and my old band used to practice there… Makes me a hillbilly too then. Shit. Can’t do that one. Bollocks. Anyway, we are soon rid of the banjo and suddenly the inside of my head explodes with a COLOSSAL explosion of fuzz tinged distortion as the Woven Man battlewagon gets kicked into gear with ‘Calling Down The Leaves’. Holy fuck. That production is huge. It’s like somebody bludgeoning you with heavy fucking metal. Yes, this is what we want! The opening riff sends my eyeballs spinning and we are away with a nine minute paean to the gods of stoner and space rock. Yes, this record is heavier than an anvil at terminal velocity, but there are touches of Kyuss and more especially Hawkwind in the opening song. Especially near the end of the song. This is a good thing. I fucking love Hawkwind and immediately love anyone else who does too.

Running through the record there’s a distinct Clutch vibe going on, but this again is no bad thing. The songwriting is good, the vocals diverse and interesting and the music played with the kind of relaxed aplomb that can only come with being off your tits on some party treats. Every song is good. ‘I Am Mountain’ starts with a bass riff that rearranged my internal organs, turned my liver into liquid and made my blood come out of my nose. The sound of both bass and guitar is magnificently, cosmically humungous and ‘I Am Mountain’ has an almost grunge like, Soundgardeny arrangement and structure, with a guitar line dripping with wah wah before the chorus kicks in, in the most satisfyingly metal way possible and melts your face, again. There’s a lot of face melting on this record. ‘With Willow’ is the third track on this five song debut, and it is Sabbathian and Clutchy and my personal favourite track for my 4am commute to work at maximum volume. It’s a stonker and never fails to wake me the fuck up. ‘Maker’s Mark’ starts with the kind of clean electric guitar chord medley Metallica favoured at the start of ‘Harvester Of Sorrow’, but played with considerably more finesse than the overrated Yank chancers. And then it explodes. Again my brains are smeared across the wall behind me by the sheer enormity of the sound of this record, necessitating a quick clean up lest Mrs. Dark Juan complains about the mess. She’s sick of me leaking body fluids and organs all over the house when I listen to metal. She says that blood is a very persistent stain on the curtains. Closing track ‘Of Land And Sky’ has caused my brainpan to explode and now the lounge looks like that nightclub in the third Hellraiser film after Pinhead decides to show the clientele what he thinks a good time is. It is good and the vocal has a very appealing harder, heavier more brutal edge, Sion roaring “SUMMON THE TEMPEST!” and sounding rather like the rather wonderful Karl Middleton of Earthtone9 whilst doing so. In fact, the whole song reminds me of that brilliant Nottingham mob, with added sludge.

Woven Man have released a hell of a record. Brutal, proficient and one that rewards multiple listens. I’ve played it so many times you’ll hear “SUMMON THE TEMPEST!” from underground in the corner of an old graveyard somewhere. That will be me in my grave. And I’m not just saying it because Lee is one of my friends. It is a fucking killer record and one that proper should put Welsh metal on the map. Best thing to come out of Wales since the road back to England, really. For the record, I’m fucking joking here, alright? I loved Wales and living in Castell Newydd Emlyn. And Cwmdwyfran. And Aberystwyth. Other fine Welsh things are Felinfoel Double Dragon beer, Llanelli’s finest pint. Or Brains’ SA. Or Fuel Rock Club on Womanby Street in Cardiff. Or Crowleys Rock Bar in Swansea. It appears there are many fine things to come out of West and South Wales and Woven Man are one of the finest. I order you all to spend all of your money on Woven Man gear and music. Right away, you UTTER SCOUNDRELS!!!

Also, cofiwch Dryweryn. Diolch yn fawr.

(Rick here, for those that do not know or understand the Welsh language this translates to “Remember Tryweryn. Thank you very much”. Google Dryweryn/Tryweryn and you’ll find out about this piece of Welsh history that is forgotten by many and not known about by many more!)

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (System Sgorio Gwastadedd Gwaed Gwlyb Juan Tywyll yn y Cymraeg… Ha! Bet that took you by surprise didn’t it? I actually know a bit of [probably incorrect] Welsh!) has forbore from making any jokes about wellington boots and sheep during this review because it was taken aback by the brilliance on display here. 9/10. Woven Man lose a mark for not giving me enough heavy fucking metal on this record. I need more. I can’t even say that Wales are shit at rugby anymore, because they won the Six Nations. I’ll never forgive them for the Manic Street Preachers, though. That’s unforgivable.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Calling Down The Leaves
02. I Am Mountain
03. With Willow
04. Maker’s Mark
05. Of Land And Sky

WOVEN MAN ARE:
I don’t know. Apart from the legendary Lee “Roy” Davies, they haven’t seen fit to leave any information on the internet that might enlighten me… I shall just consult the physical copy Lee sent me. Ah ha, here we go…
Sion McKinnon – Vocals
Donal Owen – Drums
Andrew Brookes – Bass
Mark Pitts – Guitar
Lee “Roy” Davies – Guitar

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/wovenisms/
https://www.instagram.com/wovenman/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs2ZP08NopIx6dRKNPkMEFg

 

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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.

Dirge – Lost Empyrean

Lost Empyrean Cover

Dirge – Lost Empyrean
Debemur Morti Productions
Release Date: 14/12/2018
Running Time: 55:38
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
10/10

Good evening, dear brothers and sisters of the one true faith. That being metal, not one of the false prophets and their excuses for religions. Only metal is real. There is no Zuul, only metal. If you’re an Eighties kid you’ll get that reference. If not, I’d like to say sorry for confusing you but I’m really not, so I won’t. Well, that’s started this review off with a faintly negative and nihilistic tone. Again, sorry not sorry! Anyway, shall we see whether Dirge can turn these frowns upside down and whether they are worth discharging mucho dinero on? Walk with me, dear friends of Baphomet, into my playroom. That’s where my kickass stereo is. Ignore the surgical instruments – they are just for decoration, after all. No, that’s not blood, its patina. What? No, I didn’t lock the door behind you, Karen. The deadlocks automatically activate. Please, have a seat. Thank you.

Now we will begin…

A bunch of most estimable Parisians, Dirge took the extraordinary step of announcing that they were splitting up after 25 years two months after they released the record I am listening to, “Lost Empyrean”. This has caused me great upset and consternation because this record is a spectacularly brutal affair and Dirge hadn’t come across my Satanic radar before. Lost Empyrean is absolutely huge. It’s colossal. It’s mountainous, monolithic riffs of splendour and magnificence. And I’m fucking pissed off with the bastards for splitting up on me, especially considering Paris is within easy reach of the village I am slowly purging of all its inhabitants. They remind me of a less polished Crowbar, with elements of Swans, Red Harvest (circa ) and Paradise Lost. This is a splendid set of influences to have in my not actually very humble at all opinion, because PL, RH and Swans are fucking awesome, dude. The production job on this record is that rarest of things – perfect for the music that is recorded. Every instrument is rendered with precision. I can hear every drumbeat with perfect clarity and there is a meaty resonance about them that is normally lacking in metal recordings. Normally, metal bass drums sound like someone smacking some taut polythene with a wet and rather perturbed and upset rat. The guitars are razorwire flails, operating at neck height and are chunky as fuck, man. It is not a subtle guitar sound. It is the sound of electric guitar used properly, as a weapon, not a musical instrument; and the bass. Oh, holy fuck, the bass. If there were emojis on Word documents there would be love hearts all over the fucking page just because of the bass guitar. The rumbling, earthquake inducing, lo fi splendiferousness of the bass sound cannot be overstated.

Fuck me crossways. This is apocalypse music. This is the sound of the slow, drawn out, tortured end of the world. It’s shrieking and grinding tectonic plates being forced apart and the heat and power of released magma flows. This is the sound of a multitude of unstoppable armoured vehicles, covered in demonic sigils and crushing human lives down to chunky salsa beneath their spiked tracks. It is the sound of screaming diesel engines belching foul smoke from blackened exhausts and the roar of high powered high explosive shells demolishing fortifications, before matt black battlewagons crush all resistance under their tracks and plough relentlessly on, on to where you are cowering, hidden away in the ruins. It’s the sound of the end of your world, when the muzzle of a robotically controlled machine gun points to your place of concealment and saws the wall you’re hiding behind in half with a burst of half inch calibre leaden slugs. This record is slower and heavier than your mum in a pair of plutonium knickers with a lead brassiere…, while she is wearing a pair of depleted uranium shoes. It is THAT heavy, if you like droney, shoegaze stuff that is. If you revere Dragonforce, you’ll hate it with a vengeance unparalleled in human history. Lost Empyrean is the slow moving means of your death. It doesn’t rely on speed. It relies on superior quality songwriting and the fact Dirge play slow enough to let the music expand. Like the blastwave of a nuclear detonation. This music is utterly, UTTERLY uncompromising. It will not stop until you have been reduced to your component parts and it is grinning through bloodied teeth at you… There’s no point telling you what the best tracks are. This is an album that REQUIRES your attention from start to finish. It honestly is more than the sum of its parts and is a superior experience when listened to as a single body of work, through headphones, where you can subject your cranium to the type of crushing forces normally experienced by a jet fighter pilot pulling 9g. Or your dad, when your mum rides him like a cowgirl.

I never thought I would say this, but this record is the equal of P.H.O.B.O.S’s Phlogiston Catharsis, a record I judged to be the album of the year last year. They too are French. French metal is fucking astonishingly good. I haven’t yet heard a French heavy metal record I haven’t liked. Dirge (until they broke my fucking heart by splitting up, the absolute SHOWER!) are well worth elevating to the Dark Juan Pantheon Of Wonderful Excellence, where they sit with such luminaries as the aforementioned P.H.O.B.O.S. and Rivers Of Nihil and Gunship and others.

Ejaculate vast wads (of cash, you fucking filthy pervert) and buy everything Dirge have ever done so they will reform and I can go and have my brain turned to soup at a Dirge gig. You need Dirge in your life. Everyone needs Dirge in their life.

Simply staggering. I am literally sat in a dark room on my own with Dirge ringing in my head, wondering how the fuck does metal top this. I’m not sure it can. One thing is for certain, I’m not writing anything else tonight because anything else I listen to is just going to sound like appalling shite. I’m going for a lie down. My brain hurts.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Das Patentierte Dunkle Juan-Blut-Splat-Bewertungssystem, just because I like the way it sounds in German) has ruined every pair of trousers it has with many, many Dirge induced sex wees, has levelled its own house by playing Dirge too loudly and is currently sat shell-shocked among the wreckage wondering what to do with itself. This means Dirge are awarded 10/10. Full fucking marks, brothers and sisters of the true faith. FULL FUCKING MARKS.

TRACKLISTING:
01 Wingless Multitudes
02 Hosea 8 7
03 Algid Troy
04 The Burden Of Almost
05 Lost Empyrean
06 A Sea Of Light
07 Sarracenia

DIRGE ARE: (were, as it transpires…. this is devastating news)
Marc T.
Alain B.
Stéphane L.
Luz
They did not deign to tell me what instruments they played and I am too drunk to care… you have the internet, you find out!

LINKS:
http://www.dirge.fr
https://www.facebook.com/pg/DIRGE.fr/

 

Session Dirge - Paris, decembre 2017

 

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 BLACK HORIZON

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EMQ’s with BLACK HORIZON

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with French Heavy Metal band Black Horizon. 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?

Hi. I’m Dom and I play bass guitar in BLACK HORIZON. We play heavy metal!!!
The band was born in the south of Paris in 1991 with my brother Seb and a great friend of us on the guitars. After many changes, Fifi (drums) arrived in 2002 and Alex (lead vocals) in 2017. We’ve played with many other bands like Blaze Bayley, Paul di Anno, Satan Joker, Killers, Tank… in France, Belgium, Russia… and recorded many EP and one LP “The Choice” before “Dark Light”.

How did you come up with your band name?

We choose our name using the initials “B” and “H” in memory of our friend Hervé Boucher who died in sad circumstances when he was very young. We would like to pay homage to him and to keep thinking about him when we play music. His disappearance is probably a source of inspiration for the dark side of some of our lyrics…!

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

We come from France. Metal scene is not very well considered in this country! In fact, there are many very good bands but Heavy Metal stays an underground scene (most of the part, of course…)! Most of people here are attracted by big festivals where they can see all their favourite bands at one time, but it’s more difficult with smaller concerts.

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

In the past, we took part in one French Heavy Metal compilation and one tribute album to a French speed metal band called “Killers” and we have released 3 EP’s:
Our first one was “Did You Hear It? After, we put out “The 1st Door” and “T.I.M.E.”!
Then we released our 1st album “The Choice”. This is the first part of the story told in “Dark Light “, our new album. It’s a story about a guy, schizophrenic, who’s watching for his past, looking for the reason why he is killing insane people! Listen to the new album, you’ll discover why…! 😉
“Dark Light” will be released on May 17th around the world via German label “Pure Steel Publishing”.
We were lucky to have with us Blaze Bayley the ex-singer of Iron Maiden. He participates in a duet with Alex on one of our songs ‘Walking Close To Me’.
We also have a second special guest, Andy Kuntz, the singer of Vanden Plas, who was kind enough to sing on an acoustic version of a love song ‘Miles Away’!
We worked very hard to propose to our fans a product of quality concerning the sound as well as the inside artwork.
We are very proud of what we are going to propose and can’t wait to share it with you.

Who have been your greatest influences?

For me, it’s Iron Maiden. I love Harry’s bass playing, all their compositions, their shows and the way they are. We are all fans of Maiden, Judas Priest, Helloween, Saxon, Dio…! For some of us, Pantera and many more…!

What first got you into music?

My parents love music, especially my father who is a fan of classic music and they gave me the taste for it. When I was a teenager, I had a friend who was listening to heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest etc. And I loved it as soon as I heard the first notes!

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

We have already played with Blaze Bayley who is one of our very special guests on the new album and Paul Di’Anno. It should be logical now for us to work with Bruce Dickinson, don’t you think? 😉
If we could work with Iron Maiden, I would be the happiest bass player in the world… Who knows?
And personally, I would love to collaborate with Accept to!

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

Perhaps Wacken Open Air Festival, because for me it’s one of the most important Metal Festivals. It’s like a symbol of this kind of music!

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

A pair of socks! 😉

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

Thank you very much for your support and for believing in the BLACK HORIZON music.
Be a little patient, our album release is on May 17th with “Pure Steel Publishing” and you will be able to find it everywhere, to listen to us on all the musical platforms.
But the main thing is that you stay all faithful as usual.
We love you and stay in touch.

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

I think Bon Scott because he died young and I really think that he could have done great things with AC/DC!

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

What I like most is when I feel that I share emotions with the audience and the band during concerts.
What is annoying me the most is to have lots of ideas for new songs at night and not to remember them when I wake up! ;-(

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

You ask me to think like a business man… that I’m not!! I really don’t know what to do to make it work better but I’m sure that the music industry is following a bad way to encourage creativity by always promoting main stream productions and not simply good musical taste… Which is not objective, I admit but I think you know what I mean, you always hear the same kind of music on radio (at least, this is it in France).
So, perhaps establishing parity on funds allocated on different kinds of music… When it’s not private funds… but it’s nearly always private funds designed to make money…Mmmm! Ok, next question! 😉

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

It’s a very difficult question…
I love albums like “Piece Of Mind” from Iron Maiden, or “Dark Ride” from Helloween, or “Resurrection” from Rob Halford!

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

I love vinyl because of the artwork. Pictures are very important for most metal bands!

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

For me, one of our best gigs was during the race of the 24 hours of Spa Francorchamps (Belgium). It was one of our biggest ever and we played one hour and a half in front of bikers. I’m fond of motorbikes since ever, so to associate two of my passions at the same time was really amazing!

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

I would be a race motorcycle pilot…!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Dan Simmons (The writer of “Hyperion”), The Dalai Lama, Steve Harris, Rob Halford and Tobias Sammet 🙂

What’s next for the band?

We release our album “Dark Light” on May 17th via Pure Steel Publishing.
We prepare our tour. Most of the dates will be programmed from September.
We are working on 2 videos and on new songs also… Keep in touch!

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

Most of the time, we use Facebook to communicate. You can find us on all classic platforms, Spotify, Deezer, Youtube and our new website www.blackhorizon.fr is currently under construction!
https://www.facebook.com/BLACK-HORIZON-OFFICIEL-FRANCE-242782372398831/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/0K4EsbpZuG2IW0janEXBAD

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

A biscuit made of cake 😉

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

Thank you for your questions, long live “Ever Metal Questions” and heavy metal Music, can’t wait to share our new Album “Dark Light” on stage with all our fans all over the world.
Keep on Rockin’
Dom Crispino Bass on BLACK HORIZON

 

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Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of 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.

 

Rock Goddess – This Time

This Time Cover

Rock Goddess – This Time
Bite You To Death Records
Release Date 01/03/2019
Running Time: 37:07
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
4/10

Oh, god. It hurts to write this. It hurts so much. I never thought I would hear myself say this. Rock Goddess have released a poor record. I’m not even going to fly off into my usual realms of fantasy. It hurts because I love Rock Goddess and have done for thirty years and I have been hopelessly in love with Jody and Julie Turner for all that time. They were a formative influence on this hellpriest when I was a mere neophyte and for that I have them to thank for my love of the heavy metal ladies who show the men what true ballsiness is like…

I am genuinely sad. Rock Goddess appear to have not evolved beyond 1984 in sound. Jody’s vocal is forced, and the music would not be out of place in the classic rock room of the much lamented and missed Jilly’s Rockworld in Manchester, may it rest in peace. The music is ultra-Trad Metal, all big harmonies, mid-tempo and lyrics of sometimes absolute banality – the best tune on the record is ‘Calling To Space’ and there is an abundance of nonsense lyrically on it. And the chorus on ‘This Time’… “This time, this place, nothing has changed…” is disturbingly accurate as a description of the music on offer here. Oh, I hate myself so much right now. Being critical of Rock Goddess is like kicking hundreds of kittens and puppies with hobnailed boots, such is my regard for them and their undeniable legacy of brilliance. Here’s another example of the lyrical content on display, “In your car, we go far, we can be you and me. Just us, in lust…” This is from ‘Drive Me Away’, the album closer, a sodding rock ballad that perpetuates the very worst of the horror that metal is sometimes guilty of… I suppose it doesn’t help that I fucking CAN’T STAND BALLADS! It is all turgid and banal lyrics, terrible wailing guitar solo and sheer awfulness from start to finish, complete with fade out with Jody howling, “Drive me away-ay” ad infinitum…

The disappointment doesn’t end there. Last track on the record is a radio friendly edit of the opening song ‘Are You Ready’. So, you get to “enjoy” the opening record with some lyrics blocked out. Arsebiscuits. The song was about as offensive as gardening anyway. Blocking out the word shit and putting on the opening song as the closer is more than a little disingenuous. I don’t like the production on the record either, come to that. It is far too bass heavy and this is a shame because Jody has some serious chops and can peel off a withering, incendiary guitar solo. The guitar sound itself is excellent, sharp, biting and pointy and I will never say a bad thing about the drumming skills of Julie Turner. But this record is a scandalous waste of the talents of these ladies. The best thing I can say about it is that some of the songs will be absolutely magnificent chant-a-longs in the live setting, but as a recorded work it is so disappointing I want to cry bitter tears of regret and sorrow, because a band I revere has disappeared up its own arse. Please, PLEASE, ladies, set me right on your next record because this is just too painful for words. I’m going for a lie down.

I’d love to say don’t waste your money on this, but I just can’t bring myself to do it because I love Rock Goddess so much. Ok, Dark Juan, diplomacy. You’re good at that – ha ha ha ha ha no I’m not, I’m a complete and total bastard, but this bastard wants Rock Goddess to survive so we can all get an absolute banger of a record next time. Buy at your peril, unless you are a fan of metal in the Eighties and you haven’t got beyond that. If that’s the case, you’ll probably love it.

I don’t. And that hurts.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is sorely disappointed, crying into its beer and wondering whether it is possible to exterminate every single other band on the planet so we only have Rock Goddess left. Apparently it is unfeasible so they are awarded a decidedly not groovy 4/10. I hate myself so bad.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Are You Ready? (No. Not anymore. Do you realise how much devilment and subverting of the Catholic Church I’ll have to do to make myself feel better?)
02. Obsession (With the Eighties, yeah)
03. Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right (Depends on the wrongs you are doing in my view…)
04. Calling To Space (Banging tune, shite lyrics.)
05. Flying To See You (I’ll be happy to see you as long as you leave your sodding guitar at home…)
05. Why Do We Never Learn (Argh, a pertinent question indeed, considering this album.)
06. This Time (I’m running away and listening to David Lee Roth’s “Skyscraper” rather than this record.)
07. It’s My Turn (To put down the instruments and regroup. Yes, yes it is!)
08. Drive Me Away (ay, ay, ay, ay, ay)
09. Are You Ready? Radio Edit (Otherwise known as an utterly pointless exercise and an excuse to bulk out the record with exactly the same tune as the opener with one episode of the word shit dubbed out. Cynical in the extreme.)

LINE-UP:
Jody Turner – Lead Guitar & Lead Vocals
Julie Turner – Drums & Backing vocals
Jenny Lane – Bass Guitar & Backing vocals

LINKS:
http://www.rockgoddessoffical.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/Rockgoddessrocks/

https://www.instagram.com/rockgoddessofficial/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy85kAGbB_y-vFWTUxU9Q-A

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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.

Powderhead – Don’t Let Them Win

Don_t Let Them Win Cover

Powderhead – Don’t Let Them Win
Self-Released
Running Time: 40:10
Release Date: 14/04/2018
Review by Paul Monkhouse
7/10

One of the great things about writing for a site like this very one is that we absolutely love supporting the many underground bands in the country alongside the many established bands. It’s seems as though every week a new talent pops up and is ready and raring to compete with the big boys. Far from rock being dead (as some naysayers have it) I believe that the scene has some incredible bands coming through. Sure, things have changed seismically over the past few years but that hasn’t stopped the hungry young guns hitting their local pubs, clubs and festivals forging a name for themselves the hard way. Every town in the country has some incredible new artists absolutely ripping it up on the live scene and vying for that one big breakthrough. Social media might have killed record sales as they were known but it’s such a force for good as by the click of a mouse you can discover amazing talent on your own doorstep. Such is the case with Powderhead…

Formed in Cambridge, Powderhead have just released their first album “Don’t Let Them Win” and it’s a rough-edged gem full of snotty attitude and firey riffs. Reminding me of some of the more D.I.Y. releases of the NWOBHM (but with better production) it snaps and snarls through ten tracks of hard rock that is given a bit of a punk feel by lead singer Helen Johnson. Like the brilliant Pearler, here is another band that has a very ‘street’ feel to it that takes the best elements of primal hard rock and mixes with it with a real swagger.

Opening track ‘Mad Phil’ sets out their intent from the off with its punk feel that changes just before the chorus as it throws into the mix some classic rock guitar that has a touch of Metallica. The sinewy twists in the tracks are a thread that runs through the album as each track throws in the odd tempo change which shows more of a freewheeling style of writing rather than a contrived attempt to do something different. Admittedly some of the little turns don’t pay off in the way they should, particularly in a couple of the chorus’s where it tends to lean heavily of melodies that are meant to catch the ear but rather seem a little out of place but it’s a small criticism. ‘Take It’ starts off with a hook laden chant before ripping into some furious fretwork accompanied by a banshee scream as it charges into a confrontational statement that takes no prisoners.

Much of the album features some terrific hard rock that takes elements from the 80’s and 90’s bands like Saxon, Pantera and Megadeth and injects it with the venom of 70’s punk. It’s not all fury though as one of the outstanding tracks happens half way through the album giving a real change of pace in ‘Forgotten Line’, the album’s sole ballad. Far from being something that is thrown in just for the sake of it, the track is a welcome change from the full-on tempos and adds some real colour to the CD. Not only does it really let Helen’s vocals shine but contains an epic and soaring guitar solo by Jack Lawson.

The album finishes in fine style with the real ‘one two punch’ of ‘Kick and Scream’ and ‘The Butcher’ that are powered by some sterling work on the drums and bass topped by some more vicious fretwork and grab you by the throat vocals. As a debut it’s not perfect but time will mean the band continue to grow in their song writing and arranging skills, adding more razor-sharp edges to their material as indicated by what is an impressive full-length debut.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Mad Phil
02. Take It or Leave It
03. Cut it Loose
04. Super-Sized Stoner
05. Toxicate
06. Forgotten Line
07. Sycophant
08. Wrapped
09. Kick and Scream
10. The Butcher

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/powderheadband

https://www.instagram.com/powderheadband/
https://powderhead.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGzKELbhkUMSem1KmsPk6BQ

 

Powderhead Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse 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.

 

Corrosion of Conformity – The Gramercy Theatre, New York City -13/02/2019

COC Gramercy Theatre 13-02-2019 Poster

Corrosion of Conformity
The Gramercy Theatre, New York City
13/02/2019
Review and Pictures by Andy Jansons

More than thirty years on from their formation, legendary North Carolina Heavy Metal band Corrosion of Conformity are still going strong and drawing sold out crowds. They are currently on tour throughout the US supporting their most recent album “No Cross No Crown”, which was released on January 12th 2018 via Nuclear Blast. They are being supported on the current tour with the excellent Metal bands Crowbar, Mothership and Weedeater. After February 13th show they will be replaced by The Obsessed. New York Cities, The Gramercy Theatre was almost filled to capacity, with very little room left to move around.

All the support bands did their job perfectly and got the crowd going, with Louisiana rockers Crowbar playing just before C.O.C. giving us that Southern Metal vibe readying everyone for what was to come!

Corrosion of Conformity started their set with ‘The Stonebreaker’ from their seventh studio album “In The Arms of God”, followed by ‘Wiseblood’ and the only song from the “No Cross No Crown” album called ‘Wolf Named Crow’.

They were amazing! COC’s longtime vocalist Pepper Keenan delivered an excellent performance and sounded just like he did in his youth, with a deep southern voice.

Bassist Mike Dean brought full energy to the show with his relentless running around the stage. Another long time band member Reed Mullin was flawless on the drum set whilst the only original band member and founder Woody Weatherman who has been in the lineup throughout the bands existence, delivered a perfect performance on the lead guitar.

The assembled crowd embraced all their songs with excitement, but COC’s hits ‘Albatross’ and ‘Clean My Wounds’ were the pinnacle the of the show!

LINKS:
http://coc.com/
https://www.facebook.com/corrosionofconformity/

https://www.instagram.com/coccabal/

 

COC12

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Andy Jansons 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.

All photos courtesy of Andy Jansons.

 

The Three Tremors – The Three Tremors

the three tremors cover

The Three Tremors – The Three Tremors
Steel Cartel
Release Date: 18/01/2019
Running Time: 58:41
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
10/10

I don’t tend to hand out 10 out of 10’s when I am reviewing all that often and there have only been a handful since I first started. Many albums make it to 9 but, for me, an album must have just that little something extra to push it to a 10!

This album certainly has that!

The Three Tremors harnesses three of Earth’s mightiest and relentless voices in heavy metal together as one, producing “one of the all-time great power metal albums” as said by Knac.com

So, who are these three magnificent voices? Well, they are, none other, than Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Dio’s Disciples), Sean “The Hell Destroyer” Peck (Cage, Denner & Shermann, Death Dealer) and Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin (Jag Panzer, Satan’s Host, Titan Force) and already being massive fans of a lot of their previous bands, I knew I was going to enjoy this one.

The band also features a group of mighty metal veterans from San Diego, the talents of guitarist Dave “Conan” Garcia, with Casey “The Sentinel” Trask as second guitarist and bassist Alex Pickard and drummer Sean Elg completing the line-up.

Sean and Tim originally met in San Diego when Sean’s band Cage opened for Judas Priest on the Jugulator tour and when Sean wanted to resurrect a 2018 version of a vision he had from long ago, Tim agreed straight away, and Harry quickly joined next.

Says Sean: “it took a long time to put together, create the right songs, and get it properly arranged, but the results are beyond my wildest expectations. I think the fans are really going to freak out on what we have done with this record, and live it’s going to be almighty, I assure you!

So, what of the album? Well, according to the press notes it is “12 new tracks that depict monumental stories of time honoured heavy metal themes!” and the artwork has been designed by renowned artist Marc Sasso (Dio, Halford, Adrenaline Mob, Death Dealer, Cage) to “showcase an apocalyptic battle between demonic hyper-wolves and The Three Tremors, who marched into an underworld overshadowed by evil forces only armed with bullets powered by heavy metal sorcery to reclaim the dystopian lands.

In essence, this is a power metal album, with a huge chunk of traditional and heavy metal thrown in, and what an album!

Mixing together three of metal’s finest vocalists into one mighty sonic power might have seemed a bit of a risky move. How would they work together? Would one overpower the others? Would they all fight for supremacy?

The answer was a resounding success. All three singers feature on every track and they all work so well together. One minute you think you are listening to Judas Priest, the next Cage or Death Dealer. The multiple vocalists give the songs depth, almost bringing them to life. There are no egos with the singers either. Each one is a fantastic singer in his own right, the breadth of each of their history’s testament to that, but one voice is not trying to fight to be above the others and each singer is on par with the rest.

But a band wouldn’t be a band without the musicians. Based on the Cage line-up, these guys are immense. The two guitarists play well together, and with riffs and solos galore, they are easily the hidden gems of the band. The rhythm section of the bass and drums are tight, and they do their job to perfection, although the drumming is insane at times!!

For a group of musicians who have really only been together for such a short period of time, they shouldn’t be as good as they are!! Bands that have been together for longer do not sound as polished and finished as these guys do!

I said at the start of this review that to get a 10 from me a band needed that little bit extra, and I think what gives this album that oomph is the experience the band members have. But, please, do not take my word for it. Go and get yourself a copy of this awesome album and see for yourself. If you are not blown away by it, then I will eat my hat!

I can’t wait for these guys to tour and once they do, I hope they venture to this side of the Atlantic!

“Three times louder than a sonic boom, three fingers on the hand of doom.”

TRACK LISTING:
1. Invaders From The Sky
2. Bullets For The Damned
3. When The Last Scream Fades
4. Wrath Of Asgard
5. The Cause
6. King Of The Monsters
7. The Pit Shows No Mercy
8. Sonic Suicide
9. Fly Or Die
10. Lust Of The Blade
11. Speed To Burn
12. The Three Tremors (bonus track)

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/thethreetremors/
http://thethreetremors.com/

https://instagram.com/thethreetremors
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.

 

Bastian – Grimorio

Grimorio Cover

Bastian – Grimorio
Sliptrick Records
Release Date: 31/07/2018
Running Time: 59:30
Review by Chris Galea
9/10

Before delving into “Grimorio”, Bastian were a new proposition to me but I decided against looking for any information about the band until I actually listened to this album. That way, I reckoned, I could form an opinion based on the music alone. Speaking of which…

Candlemass seem to have been a strong influence on “Grimorio”. The lead vocals are incredibly good…very solid with powerful screams. In fact, the overall level of musicianship is quite high and the sound really brings the best out of these songs. So far so good.

Despite the candour of its influences, the music in “Grimorio” has its own character and that’s quite an achievement for a style that revels in traditional Metal. For example ‘The Time Has Come’ has some tasty Blues Rock undertones and ‘Epiphany’s Voodoo’ is an instrumental that kicks off with a delightfully funky vibe using hand percussion and Hammond sounds. ‘Infinite Love’, on the other hand, is a melancholic song with Prog Rock traits. And all the while, throughout the album, the listener never doubts that this is essentially a Metal album.

OK, there were a couple of songs that I wasn’t too enthusiastic about but by and large, the band/album was a welcome discovery.

Incidentally, afterwards I did seek more info about Bastian. The band is the brainchild of Italian guitarist Sebastiano Conti (‘Bastian’ being a diminutive of ‘Sebastiano’), who here recruits the talents of bassist Federico Paulovich (Destrage), drummer James Lomenzo (Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth, Black Label Society) and Danish singer Nicklas Sonne (Defecto, Theory).

“Grimorio” was released back in July but I’m glad it dropped in late rather than never.

TRACKLIST:
1. Pale Figure
2. Sly Ghost
3. The Trip
4. Infinite Love
5. It’s Just A Lie
6. Southern Tradition
7. The Time Has Come
8. Epiphany’s Voodoo (instrumental)
9. Black Wood
10. Fallen Gods

LINE-UP:
Sebastiano Conti – guitar
Nicklas Sonne – vocals
James Lomenzo – bass
Federico Paulovich – drum

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/bastianband/

https://sliptrickrecords.com/bastian/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJibyblJK1JAPUgwKR9XEtQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK9kGUV10Qw It’s Just A Lie (Official Video)

Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris Galea 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.

Machine Head – Starland Ballroom, New Jersey, 02/11/2018

 

Band Machine Head performance

Machine Head
Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, New Jersey
02/11/2018
Review by Andy Jansons

This summer the heavy metal world was rattled by news that two longtime band members of genre heavyweights Machine Head would be departing the band. Guitarist Phil Demmel and drummer Dave McClain will no longer be with the band following the ongoing US winter tour. So this tour, in support of their latest album “Catharsis”, has become a sort of farewell tour, with an uncertain future for the band!

Enthusiasm from the fans to see the band has not subsided. This performance at the Starland Ballroom in New Jersey was at near capacity. On this tour Machine Head are performing without support bands and have scheduled more than twenty songs in their set. Their performance took around three hours! That’s three hours of relentless and powerful blasts of heavy metal. Nobody showed any sign of fatigue, neither the band, nor the fans. Only a select few can deliver such a performance and Machine Head are one of them.

This ongoing ‘Freaks & Zeroes’ tour includes all the fan favourites, with the most represented albums being “Catharsis” and “The Blackening” which had four songs each. Every song was delivered with fury. Robb Flynn sang with huge emotion, Dave never showed any fatigue or missed a beat at the drums, Jared McEachern and Phil were simply amazing at bass and guitar. For me, and I noticed for a lot of other attendees, the peak of the show was the song Davidian from their debut album “Burn My Eyes”. It was the first Machine Head song I heard and remains a perfect definition of who the band is. After an extensive encore performance the band closed their set with Halo from “The Blackening” album.

According to the only remaining founding member and driving force of the band Robb Flynn, this is not the end. How things will be shaped in the future we will know soon, but there is still time to catch band on this US tour until the end of the month!

Andy Jansons Links

  • https://andrisjansons.com/
  • https://www.jmpressphoto.com/
  • https://www.facebook.com/jansonsofficial
  • https://www.facebook.com/andy.jansons
  • https://twitter.com/jansonsofficial
  • https://www.instagram.com/jansons_official/

 

Machine Head Links:

 

Tour Dates

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Andy Jansons 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.

All photographs are the property of Andy Jansons

 

Brainstorm – Midnight Ghost

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Brainstorm – Midnight Ghost
AFM Records
Release Date: 28/09/2018
Running Time: 51:38
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

Being just over forty years of age but preferring a lot of the older bands, I was always late to the party where many bands were concerned. Brainstorm were one of these such bands. I first heard them one night when I was browsing through YouTube. They appeared as a “recommended bands” on the right-hand side of the screen so I thought I would check them. And I am glad I did. From the very first track I listened to, I loved them. They were just the sort of metal that I loved.

But, then they kind of disappeared from my radar.

So, when Rick sent me the new album, I just had to review it to see if they are still as good as I remembered. And they are!! But first a little history!

Brainstorm are power metal band from Germany (where else? All the decent power metal bands seem to come from Germany!) They were formed in 1989 (hence why I was late to the party with these guys. I was only 12!) by guitarists, Torsten Ihlenfeld and Milan Loncaric, and drummer Dieter Bernert, and are known for playing a somewhat darker style of music than most power metal bands.

During their early years they built up a solid groundwork with several demo releases and live appearance. They signed their first record deal in 1997 and the self-produced album “Hungry” was released, to great reviews. Chart entries in many European countries followed and their intense live performances were catapulting them into the champions league of or metal, resulting in the band being asked to perform at many of the big festivals.

And now on to their new album “Midnight Ghost”. This is the band’s 12th studio album (man, I need to buy some of their back catalogue), produced by Seeb Levermann and recorded at the Greenman Studios. It was released on 28th September 2018 by AFM Records.

Although not a concept album in the strictest sense of the word, there is a thematic thread running through the tracks…the fear of ghosts, monsters under your bed, the bogeyman in your wardrobe and wild beasts in the night….all fears that many of us have had since childhood and this is all depicted magnificently in the cover artwork produced by Gyula Havancsak (who has also worked with the likes of Accept and Stratovarius).

This album has a sound that it bound to delight all power metal fans and was even a surprise for the five band members themselves. Says vocalist Andy P Franck; “It’s pretty unusual that musicians still get the shivers down their spines when they listen to the new material after a long and energy-sapping production. In this case, we can really say that all Brainstorm musicians are total fans of our new recording. Midnight Ghost is the album we want to be measured by in the future.”

From the anthemic opener “Devil’s Eye” to the driving “When Pain Becomes Real” to the punchy “Haunting Voices”, Brainstorm more than live up to the term ‘melodic power metal.’ They deliver the full range of their typical trademarks, awesome melodies, dynamic grooves and extremely heavy, pounding guitar riffs. The galloping drums that I so love are there too, and of course, magnificent vocals. One of the things that made me fall in love with this band the first time I heard them was Andy P Franck’s voice. Strong and powerful yet able to carry off a huge range that adds dimension to the band’s sound and this he still has in abundance!

All the tracks are fantastic in their own right but together they make up an awesome album that should be in any metal fan’s collection. Not only do they bring the power element that they are so good at, but there are elements of thrash, traditional and speed metal too.

Says Andy P Franck; “Midnight Ghost is faster, more melodic and at the same time also tougher than all our previous releases.” And I couldn’t agree more. Why stick to one genre or aspect of metal when you can combine many and achieve a sound like this?

I can’t fault this album really and I really don’t want to take it out of my car. But, alas, needs must for the next review!

All I can say though is, when are you coming to England guys!!?

TRACK LISTING
01 – Devil’s Eye
02 – Revealing The Darkness
03 – Ravenous Minds
04 – The Pyre
05 – Jeanne Boulet (1764)
06 – Divine Inner Ghost
07 – When Pain Becomes Real
08 – The Four Blessings
09 – Haunting Voices
10 – The Path

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://en-gb.facebook.com/officialbrainstorm/
https://www.brainstorm-web.net/site/

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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.