Miasthenia – Sinfonia Ritual (feat. Ifall)

Sinfonia Ritual Cover

Miasthenia – Sinfonia Ritual (feat. Ifall)
Mutilation Productions
Release Date: 31/08/2019
Running time: 30:32
Review by Victor Augusto
10/10

One thing that I do admire in some bands is when they constantly keep evolving even after two decades of existence. If they can still impress their fans after so much time, they probably deserve all the attention they get. Firstly, I do have to describe Miasthenia’s music to make it clear. Miasthenia are a Pagan Metal band who bring the creepy sonority from Black Metal, but they play it incredibly with the harmonies, melodies and techniques of a great Heavy Metal band. The Portuguese lyrics are far from the silly Satanism or Antichrist themes you often get. Vocalist Susane Hécate delves deep into old civilization histories and describes how the Christians enforced their dogmas and culture, sometimes with bloodshed, during the 16th Century colonization. She has a Doctor’s degree in history and teaches at a local university and both of these things help her to create romances based on the theme.

Her keyboard parts are very noticeable on the compositions and have a great contrast with all the riffs. Marcos Thormianak is a killer guitar player too and his riffs and guitar work, together with Hécate’s keyboards, create a dense atmosphere. It is not superbly overblown like the symphonic parts from bands like Dimmu Borgir, however, it is as well composed, and Miasthenia just play it in a simpler manner. Basically the band have extreme and aggressive songs, that talk about Maya or Indians. All of this is strongly highlighted with an awesome record production, but don’t forget that I am talking about a band that was born from Black Metal influences in Brazil. Can you believe that this is possible? Yes, it is!

“Sinfonia Ritual”, specifically, consists of songs from Miasthenia’s last three albums, Antípodas (2017), “Legados do Inframundo” (2014) and “Supremacia Ancestral” (2008) that have been rearranged into totally symphonic versions. If the original tracks are amazing by their arrangements and heaviness these versions, created in collaboration with producer ‘Ifall’, create a vastly more epic atmosphere. Orchestration has reproduced all the riffs, vocals and keyboards. Just the drums and solos have been left behind.

The extract from the five songs that you can read on the CD booklet says: “In the ritualistic disease of the singing and dancing of Taqui Ongo’s preachers, Andean priests lamented the forgetfulness of ancestral rites and they announced the rebellion of the Huacas (Andean spirits) against the Christian religion. In Yucatán, the Mayan priest Chilam Balam predicted the “13 Ahau Katún”, that is an age marked by the arrival of Christians colonizers and it corresponds to the end of an ancient era, when agony evokes the force of blood sacrifices in the revival of death-rebirth-life rites to Xibalbá. In North America, the great tribal alliance of the Iroquois gave rise to the “Kayanerehn Kowa” or “The Great Law of Peace” which celebrated the end of wars and conflicts, in rituals that ensure the balance and harmony among native nations that fight for your rights. In 1542, in the South America forests, the powerful female Indian warriors Coniupuyaras confronted the Orellana conquering troops on the huge Amazonas River, disturbing the Christian and patriarchal order imposed by colonialism. “Deuses da Aurora Ancestral” celebrates the ancient tribal resistances that inspire us and connect us with the infinite ways of be, ways of being and ways of resist; in the past or in the present”.

Listening to “Sinfonia Ritual”, I felt like I had entered inside the soul of Miasthenia and discovered thorough details from them. It is like I can see their skeleton and ‘spinal tap’ from them their melodies, music structures and harmonies; all of it without the “Skin” of heaviness of the original songs. You just have to open your mind and embark on this saga to feel how glorious Miasthenia are.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Taqui Ongo
02. 13 Ahau Katún
03. Kayanerehn Kowa
04. Coniupuyaras
05. Deuses Da Aurora Ancestral

LINE-UP:
Susane Hécate – Vocals, Keyboards
Thormianak – Guitars
Prometheus – Drums
Ifall – Arrangements, Synths, Vocals and Percussion

LINKS:
https://www.miasthenia.com/
https://web.facebook.com/miasthenia/
https://www.instagram.com/miasthenia_band/

https://www.youtube.com/user/Miastheniaband

 

 

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

EMQ’s with THE RISEN DREAD

The Risen Dread Logos

EMQ’s with THE RISEN DREAD

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Dublin based Metal band The Risen Dread! Huge thanks to guitarist William Ribeiro and drummer Colum Cleary 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?

William: My name is William, I’m the guitarist of the band The Risen Dread. The band started in 2018 when Colum Cleary found me lost somewhere in Dublin haha. That’s when it all started for me. We struggled a bit to find people who would fit in with our ideas and how we want to sound.

We’ve just released our EP on the 27th September. The art was created by Marcelo Vascos, the same artist who has done the latest Slayer album arts, alongside his works for Kreator and HateBreed among others.

Colum: I’m Colum. I hit things. Was it 2018? Oh shit yeah. Fucking February 2018. Originally for a Chester Bennington tribute gig! That gig did not happen. The band did.

How did you come up with your band name?

William: I’ll leave this with Colum as he was the mastermind behind it.

Colum: Well basically, we argued for a long time over what to call ourselves and we eventually settled on ‘The Risen Dread’. The idea behind which was to encapsulate the feeling of the existential dread that rises within. That risen dread!

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

William: I’m Brazilian and have been living in Ireland for about 5 years. I can talk about the metal scene in both countries, but I’ll focus on the Brazilian scene, leaving the Irish for Colum. I think most of the Brazilian bands have lost their identity a bit. If you remove the big ones like Krisiun, Sepultura and Angra… most of the bands in the underground scene try to play whatever is in the mainstream now.

Colum: I’m Irish. Dublin born and bred! Been living here my whole life. As for the metal scene here, in my opinion it is heavily populated but in need of a fresh perspective and possibly a new direction as it is kinda in the same rut just cycling through. There are a few stand outs however like ‘Warpath’.

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

William: EP “Delusions” which was released on 27th Sept 2019 and ‘Revelations’ Lyric Video which was released on 22nd Sept 2019

Colum: Yeah. Them.

Who have been your greatest influences?

William: as a guitarist I’d say Kiko Loureiro, he’s not the greatest in the world. But, I like the fact that he also plays classic guitar.

Colum: Ah I have too many but mainly Chris Adler (Lamb of God) and Moe Carlson (Ex-Protest the Hero)

What first got you into music?

William: Family, I always had cousins who play acoustic guitar.

Colum: Family. I come from a very musical one.

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

William: It’s hard to tell, there’re too many good bands out there. I’d still stick with The Risen Dread. As much as I like other bands, The Risen Dread is something that I’ve been in since the beginning.

Colum: Yeah, I dunno. I’d like to get lessons off a good few musicians and train and practice with them but collaborate? Nah I’m good with the lads.

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

William: There’re some good festivals, I’d say Full Force Fest.

Colum: Graspop. Wacken is tempting and all but Graspop is my own go to festival, been there three times.

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

William: I have never gotten a gift from a fan. But in my first band back 15 years ago, a girl walked into our backstage room and stripped for us. She came out of nowhere.

Colum: Lucky bastard. I ain’t got anything. No one loves me…

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

William: Enjoy our EP and there are still more cool things to come soon.

Colum: We’re only beginning. It’s all still to come. Enjoy the taster as the next thing we have in the pipeline is on a whole other level.

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

William: Dio, I’m a big fan of the classics.

Colum: Can I make a band outta dead folks…please?
Keith Moon – Drums
Jeff Hanneman – Guitar
Dimebag Daryl – Guitar
Paul Gray – Bass
Mitch Lucker – Vocals

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

William: The fact you get to create something you feel proud about it. Something that you own and doesn’t matter what others think of it, as long as you like it. What I hate? The recording process, it’s usually tiring and stressful.

Colum: Getting to be a creative soul and just unleash on a kit in the room with the lads and on stage. It’s just a rush. Mainly, I detest that I’m a perfectionist. I’m known as the band cunt cause I’m always the one who’s blunt and just points out song issues and mistakes.

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

William: I think sometimes it’s too closed. It’s hard to get in. Even the underground scene! Promoters like working with the same bands all the time, either because they like them or because they’re their mates.

Colum: Yeah, to be honest the death of the lifestyle really. Gone are the days of just being a musician and doing your thing. It’s all about being a business man now too. Can we go back to those days?

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

William: “Imaginations From The Other Side” by Blind Guardian, I know Colum may be thinking “for fuck sake William” hahaha.

Colum: Oh, so you like power metal now eh? To be fair the title track of that album is pretty good. I’m more set in my ways: “VII: Sturm und Drang” by Lamb of God or “Fortress” by Protest the Hero.

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

William: CD’s

Colum: CD’s. Those physical copies!

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

William: I played in the Metal festival 15 years ago for more than 1K people, that was my first time on a big stage.

Colum: Eh…can I refrain from this question…A school hall with like 300 people back like 11/12 years ago.

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

William: I don’t know. Perhaps, just an ordinary guy who loves music in general!

Colum: Currently, studying 3D Modelling and VFX. So maybe something associated with that?

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

William: My wife, Marco Feltrin, Colum Cleary and Mat Maher. I’d rather being with people who are close to me.

Colum: I know five people?

William: yeah, he knows 5 people. But they don’t like him hahaha!

What’s next for the band?

William: We’ve just released our EP, so we want to gig as much as we can, we’ll probably get a video clip out this year and release something next year. Single, or EP, or a Full album! We don’t know that yet.

Colum: Gigs. All the gigs!

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

William: We use all social media, just started Twitter. Our EP is available in all streaming platforms. Here’s the links.
https://www.facebook.com/TheRisenDread/
https://www.instagram.com/therisendreadband/
https://twitter.com/TheRisenDread
https://open.spotify.com/artist/7yXRTjZOwuCY1BXlnba4sr

Colum: Them ^^^

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

William: Biscuit 😊

Colum: A biscake.

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

William: I’d like to thank you Rick and Ever Metal for opening this space to introduce The Risen Dread.

We’re a very new band trying to be as much professional as we can. Working heard. We hope to hit UK very soon.

Colum: First, we gig. Then WORLD DOMINATION.

 

 

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.

RAM – The Throne Within

The Throne Within Cover

RAM – The Throne Within
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 13/09/2019
Running Time: 49:06
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
10/10

Rick and I have recently come up with a system when it comes to my reviews. Whereas all the other reviewers will take a look at the album list and pick what they would like to review, Rick will just send over a few albums for me to review. He knows my taste probably better than I do, and, as I am so busy with posting stuff to the site and news to the Facebook page, it means I don’t waste precious time (Rick is the one who puts together the album list so he is already working on it.)

Anyway, enough wasting time telling you about the logistics of how we work behind the scenes, I cannot begin to tell you how happy I was when I saw he had sent me the new Ram album to review (I think I actually did a little squeal!) I have been a fan since I first heard “Forced Entry” way back in 2005 and although they had kind of fallen off my radar for a period of time, I was glad they were still making music.

2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the band, an achievement the band is proud of. Says guitarist Henry Granroth – “it feels great! I would say it’s quite an effort to keep it together for such a long time, and I don’t think anyone involved would have imagined this to be a mission of that length. Hopefully, we’ll have the strength to keep going if not twenty more, at least ten. Who knows?”

And what better way to mark the anniversary than with this fantastic album.

Ok, a bit of history first though.

Ram were formed in 1999, in Gothenburg, Sweden, by guitarist Henry Granroth. He wanted to form a “real heavy metal band” as he had become sick of the misinterpretation of metal that was ruling the scene at the time. He met Daniel Johansson, a young but very experienced and talented guitarist, who had a very traditional style of playing metal guitar.

After a long search they found Oscar Carlquist, a powerful heavy metal vocalist with a mutual hatred of the current metal scene, who, in turn, brought in drummer Morgan Pettersson, who still played in the old 70’s/80’s hard and heavy drum style.
Lastly, the band recruited the legendary Leif Larsson, a former member of Frozen Eyes and their line-up was complete.

In 2003, the band released their first EP “Sudden Impact” and it was a hit on the underground scene, the first 1,000 copies selling out in just a few months. They hit the road, playing a number of festivals in Europe and went on tour as support for Sebastian Bach. They were also recognised by Germany’ Rock Hard Mag as one of the best newcomers of 2004.

They released their full-length debut, the aforementioned “Forced Entry” in 2005, an album which brought the entire old school heavy metal community to its knees, and the rest, as they say, is history.

“The Throne Within” is the Swedish quintet’s latest album, released on 13th September 2019 via Metal Blade Records and it is clear this is a band who has upped its game to deliver a record with its roots deep in classic heavy metal yet wielding an energy and freshness that places it very much ‘in the now.’

Unlike its 2017 predecessor “Rod” there is no concept that unifies the lyrics and every song speaks for itself.

Says Granroth – “it is unmistakable RAM, there are fast songs, heavy songs, mid-tempo and slower tempos as well. There’s melody and there’s grit. The arrangements are recognizable, but some may be unorthodox. We wrote songs with no particular type of record in mind. Sometimes you have a clear picture, sometimes you don’t, and this time we just got together and started writing and saw where that took us.

The album opens with the epic ‘The Shadowwork’, which explodes to life with a scything riff, making it clear that 2019 RAM are playing at full force.

Having previously released six full length albums, this one doesn’t deviate the band away from their core sound which has its roots set firmly with the likes of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Accept with maybe a tinge of King Diamond creeping in here and there.

Instead, it has raised the bar of their founding principles and this can be placed above anything else they have done before. With a high octane, unmissable, 80’s attitude, this band has both the look and the sound that is able to transport us back to the heady days of the 1980’s when, as some people would say, ‘metal was metal!’

Long have bands like RAM been the loyal protectors of the old guard of heavy metal and this album proves they are still to this very day. People may say ‘it’s all been done before’ and ‘this isn’t bringing anything new to the scene’ but this album is a true tribute to the metal of the 1980’s and I can only say that this is a good thing. I, personally, like to listen to the new stuff being made today but I also do like to listen to the older stuff too, and if it can be done by a band such as RAM then all the better.

The production of this album is of a greater quality than their previous offerings, providing a polished sound with true grit that gives the guitars, in particular, a bit of extra oomph.

With the twin guitars giving us some awesome solos and riffs, and the rhythm section being tight and solid, the other element that sets this album apart is the vocals. Carlquist has a strong, powerful voice that is so suited to this type of metal and provides that finishing touch to already brilliant musicianship.

This is an album of 100% kick ass metal. But don’t take my word for it, go and get yourself a copy and see for yourself!!!

TRACKLISTING:
1. The Shadowwork
2. Blades Of Betrayal
3. Fang And Fur
4. Violence (Is Golden)
5. The Trap
6. No Refuge
7. Spirit Reaper
8. You All Leave
9. Ravnfell

LINKS:
http://ram-metal.com/
https://www.facebook.com/RAMheavymetal
https://www.instagram.com/ramheavymetal/
https://ramheavymetal.bandcamp.com/

 

Promo Pic

 

 

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.

Interview with Rich Rutter of Toledo Steel – The Firehouse, Southampton – 13-09-2019

Rich Rutter of Toledo Steel

Interview with Rich Rutter of Toledo Steel
The Firehouse, Southampton 13-09-2019
By Lotty Whittingham

Bands like TOLEDO STEEL are ensuring the heavy metal scene still thrives. Before they took to the stage in Southampton; Lotty Whittingham caught up for a quick chat with lead vocalist Rich Rutter about their tour, their latest release and differences between the UK and European Metal scenes.

Hello Rich, thanks for joining us. First off introduce Toledo Steel to the readers?

I’m Richard Rutter from Toledo Steel, I’m the singer and we’re a traditional heavy metal band that’s based in Southampton.

Speaking of Southampton, we are at The Firehouse tonight. A local hotspot for you guys.

How has the tour been going so far?

It’s a short number of dates, it’s three shows in a row. We played the first on in Newcastle and that was a great show. It was a long drive but the scene up there is pretty consistent and we have played there before. It was a great way to start the short tour.

You also have some European tour dates after this short run?

Yeah that’s right, in two weeks’ time we’re going to Belgium again for one show and then we’re following that up with our two first shows in France. So it will be falling on the Friday in Belgium, the Saturday in a city just outside of Paris and then the Sunday in Paris.

You’ve toured Europe quite a lot, do you notice any significant differences in the metal scenes in each of the countries? For example ticket sales, audiences?

Yes there is definitely a big difference, I think the UK is good but it’s quite hit and miss. Whereas Europe on the whole tends to be more reliable with regards to getting a good turnout at shows, people are more likely to travel further to see a band that they like. In the UK, unless it’s right on their doorstep, they don’t necessarily venture out to see bands unless it’s a big name. So it’s different in Europe in a number of ways.

You must have quite a big fan base in Europe?

Yes it’s slowly building up! We just try and play as much as we can. Hopefully each time we go back, there will be a few more people. So we try and build that up slowly.

There’s also a huge heavy metal scene in Europe too?

Yes definitely. Especially in countries like Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium.

You released your debut album last year, am I right in thinking they are all brand new Toledo Steel tracks and not ones from previous EPs?

Yes that was all fresh material on that album, so it was eight new tracks. Prior to that, we had done two independent EPs. The first one was just a three track to get us started and the second one was slightly longer it was five tracks on that one. Obviously, we had to follow that up with a full length album with all new material.

Would you re-master any of the previous tracks?

Not remaster as such but re-release possibly. I mean we still have a few copies left of each EP and if they all go, our label Dissonance Productions maybe planning to release both EPs as one package at some point.

Do you guys have a particular routine when it comes to writing songs?

It depends from song to song. Everyone contributes in some way. Quite often, it will be Tom our guitarist who comes up with a riff idea and that will inspire a lyrical theme. We then just kind of flush it out from there. Sometimes it might come from a solo or a bass riff, it depends on the song. Sometimes it can be lyrics inspire a melody, a chorus and we work the guitars around that. We build it from there on out.

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to start a band?

Get out there and give it go. I mean make sure you get the right bunch of people that are in the same head space as you so you have a clear direction. Take it seriously, work hard at crafting some decent songs. Don’t rush to play live and make sure you get it together enough in the rehearsal room before playing shows. Get out there and learn as you go.

Big thanks to Rich for talking to Lotty.

You can read Lotty’s full review of the Southampton gig at the following link:

https://ever-metal.com/2019/09/16/speed-queen-toledo-steel-skyryder-the-firehouse-southampton-13-09-2019/

Dawn previously interviewed Rich in 2018. You can check that interview at the following link:

https://ever-metal.com/2018/09/03/interview-with-toledo-steel/

Image courtesy of Tomasz Wrobel at TzW Photography
https://www.facebook.com/Tzwphotography/

TOLEDO STEEL LINKS:
http://www.toledosteel.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/toledosteelband/
https://www.instagram.com/toledosteelband/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgbmPNkl-J9g-og3gP_BmRA/videos

 

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham and 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.

Dragonforce – Extreme Power Metal

Extreme Power Metal Cover

Dragonforce – Extreme Power Metal
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 27/09/2019
Running Time: 52:51
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
8/10

Greetings and salutations my dark minions, corruptors of nubile virgin flesh and destroyers of the false church of Christ the Deceiver! It is I, the Dark Prince of Heavy Fucking Metal, the Gothfather, the Groove Ipsissimus and the legend in his own head that is Dark Juan, and I am here to impart wisdom, offer sage opinion and to influence you weak minded souls on to the Left Hand Path and to sell your immortal essence to the Evil One. WHAT? NO! I’m not talking about some kind of Satanic sperm bank, so pack your fucking giggling in, you long haired herberts! Well, there’s another high quality, super heavy metal introduction totally ruined by you filthy minded perverts. You all disgust me. Seriously, what would the One Who Walks Backwards want with gallons of metal kid baby gravy? Litres of metal manfat? IN FACT DON’T FUCKING ANSWER THAT EVER AND KEEP IT TO YOURSELVES! LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!!

Clearly, I have taught you well.

Anyway, I’m back after a sojourn to jolly old Blighty, by way of Cymru, where a meeting of minds took place with the utterly charming Beth Ever Metal and the truly gentlemanly Rick Ever Metal. We might even have got drunk, howled at Cards Against Humanity (Dark Juan mightily approves of the sheer possible level of sacrilege this game entails) and played guitar till about 3am and were utterly appalled at the level of sheer and uncompromising savagery a teenage girl can attain at said card game. Suffice it to say that I, Dark Juan, well known for my level of silken verbal venom, was very nearly outclassed. Nearly, but not quite! Must try harder, Sian!!!

So, that’s three hundred and thirty four words in and not a damned thing about the record I’m listening to. Are you even interested or have your eyes glazed over yet? Wake up. I’m going to tell you about Dragonforce’s latest album, subtly entitled Extreme Power Metal. Pay attention…

It’s fair to say Dragonforce are something of an acquired taste. And I am yet to work out whether they are a massive joke perpetrated on the metal masses, or whether they are the result of two young men whose parents simply WEREN’T paying sufficient attention to the noises coming out of Messrs Li and Totman’s bedrooms. Imagine the conversation downstairs…

Mrs. Li (or Totman) to Mr. Li (or Totman), “Darling, Herman’s (Sam’s) doing pinch harmonics and two handed tap ons in G Mixolydian again. He’s been at it for hours. Can’t you please have a word?”

Mr. Li (Totman) treads wearily to the foot of the stairs and bellows, “HERMAN! (SAM!) SHUT UP WITH THAT RACKET! WE GAVE YOU GUITAR LESSONS SO YOU COULD PLAY FUCKING CLASSICAL! EVEN TREY FUCKING AZAGTHOTH PLAYS SOME CLASSICAL! WHY CAN’T YOU CONSTANTLY MASTURBATE LIKE A NORMAL TEENAGER?”

“But Dad, I’m moving on to C Ionian! Listen!” (cue a flurry of several million notes delivered in a breathless fashion in less than three seconds.)

Mr. Li (Totman), “There’s no talking to that child. I’m going back to whiskey, guilt ridden wanking and complaining about the neighbours.”

And there we have it. This is a record where songs are just vehicles for Herman and Sam to go absolutely insane on electric guitars and launch with no warning into an extensive, lengthy and ridiculously complex solo complete with pained orgasm faces. Actually, that is far too simplistic a view to take about the music of Dragonforce. Even if it is true as fuck. Dragonforce are capable of writing fine tunes that are so oiled chesty macho that even Manowar would submit before them (if you like that thought, tell me and I’ll write you some stuff that will make your eyes water, kiddo. You’ll never look at Joey DiMaio the same way again. Not sure whether that’s a threat or a promise…)

OK, several minutes later, having finally rid myself of the somewhat uncomfortable images that the idea of Dragonforce/Manowar slash fiction have conjured up in the sewer that passes for my imagination let us discuss the album. Please, for the love of God…

Album opener Highway To Oblivion’s intro sounds so uncomfortably like a poor quality metal Christmas record it actually hurt my ears until there’s some short, glorious two handed tap ons and then it’s blastbeats, double bass drumming, palm muting, whammy bar dives, insanely complex guitar solos and the kind of lyrics that only THE MOST MASCULINE metal bands can write all the way. If there were any justice, Dragonforce would be able to discover the eighth musical note as they are quite, QUITE spectacularly talented musicians. Why they have chosen to almost be a parody of heavy metal eludes me apart from the fact it makes me giggle like a schoolgirl faced with her first picture of Peter Steele in a state of indiscretion…

I do have some problems with Dragonforce and this album. Vocalist Marc Hudson is dreadfully weak and a terrible fit for the musical talent on display here. Coming after Z.P. Theart (who was also terrible as a vocalist) you would have expected Dragonforce to have an absolutely belting singer, but they have appeared to opt for the merely average – perhaps because Sam and Herman are the joint centres of attention? Also, the loss of Vadim Pruzhanov on keyboard is keenly felt (Coen Janssen of Epica performed on this record) as the keys are lacking the coherence and the symbiosis with the arrangement of the music they enjoyed previously. However, polished and crystal clear does not do the production job of this record justice. It is a production masterpiece. Every single sound is rendered with perfect clarity (no mean feat with two virtuoso guitarists jousting with the rest of the band and large and expansive keyboard parts) and there are simply not enough superlatives to describe the joy of it. I could moan about the length of the guitar solos, but let’s face it – everyone knows what they are getting with Dragonforce, don’t they? It would be remarkably churlish to have a bash at them for what they have built their career on, eh?

Now I’ve finished moaning, this record is entertaining as fuck. It’s well known that I am a sucker for theatre and overblown pomposity and the kind of metal that brings back the halcyon days of Dio’s “Holy Diver”, Ozzy’s “The Ultimate Sin” and the like. Dragonforce do this, but they do this at hypersonic velocities and with a sense of fun that metal sometimes seems to be lacking. You do get the feeling that Dragonforce are seeing just how far they can push the outrageous pseudo-masculinity, the pomposity and the egregious complexity of their musicianship whilst people still buy and debate their releases. All while they are fucking pissing themselves laughing behind closed doors. I think I might love this record. I know I DO love the ambiguity of Dragonforce’s sense of humour. It does all sound a bit samey, though. Saying that, there are only seven musical notes and Dragonforce use them with such boundless rapidity it’s all bound to sound like that.

So, as a musician and seventh rate guitarist myself, I am utterly compelled by the musicianship on display on this record. As a lyricist (truly terrible but it still counts!) I am amused, shocked, appalled (at the disgraceful banality of the lyrics at some points – Dragonforce can and have done considerably better) and astonished (the backing vocals are sublime, some of the choruses really do evoke memories of the huge sounds of 70s and 80s AOR like Journey and Toto and Boston) all at once. I adore the absolute gung-ho speed, the sheer conviction of the playing and the obvious amusement and enjoyment of the band setting new standards of melodic lightspeed velocity. It should not be possible to solo convincingly and accurately at the speed Dragonforce operate at. Also, they have even managed to shoehorn a fucking bagpipe intro into the song entitled ‘Remembrance Day’.

All of this enthusiasm though, counts for naught when you get to the twisted, fucked up, bizarre, incredible (probably for all the wrong reasons) and utterly insane album closer. This song is NEXT FUCKING LEVEL DRAGONFORCE INSANITY THAT HAS TURNED MY BRAIN INSIDE OUT AND NOW I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF! I have honestly been laughing my arse off for the past twenty minutes, to the point Mrs. Dark Juan has been throwing stuff at me and I have upset the hellhounds and Hodgson Fartpants has been emitting the sort of smells banned by the Geneva Convention. Please, dear friends, allow me to attempt to describe what is possibly the greatest cover version of all time! I’m fucking giggling already…

Picture, if you will, an introduction sounding remarkably like old fashioned 8-bit chiptunes that sound vaguely familiar before Dragonforce launch into the usual hyperspeed riffing they are known for. Then the lyric kicks in. You listen disinterestedly for a moment (because they will inevitably be howling about dragons or swords or some other shit) before you realise that the lyric and the vocal arrangement sounds vaguely familiar. And then it hits you. They have only gone and fucking covered Céline bastard Dion.

Yes, Dragonforce have taken the shittiest wankfest of saccharine pity ballads and turned it into the most balls to the wall, metal anthem I have ever heard. They have managed to take the world’s most obscenely putrid song and turn it into a four minute warp speed guitar solo with occasional vocals. That simply has to be a good thing, right? They have even made it pleasurable to listen to.

Pleasure! Always a good point to finish on!

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Dragonforce 8/10 for their breakneck and inventive approach to metal. Two marks are deducted – one for a poor vocalist and ONE FOR MAKING ME LIKE A CÉLINE DION SONG, YOU BUNCH OF ABSOLUTE TWATS!!!

TRACKLISTING: (I’ll be honest; I’ve been wetting myself at some of these…)
01. Highway To Oblivion (OK, fairly normal metal band fodder)
02. Cosmic Power Of The Infinite Shred Machine (Holy fuck this is off the scale lunacy! I approve.)
03. The Last Dragonborn (Too much Game Of Thrones, perhaps?)
04. Heart Demolition (Jokes aside, we have all been there.)
05. Troopers Of The Stars (Metal word salad for Starship Troopers. Literally a few words away from a Sarah Brightman song!)
06. Razorblade Meltdown (Is this a song about sustainability and metal recycling? One can only encourage this sort of behaviour…)
07. Strangers (Three words away from a Saxon classic.)
08. In A Skyforged Dream (Yeah, if you say so, chaps. I know what skyclad is, not skyforged…)
09. Remembrance Day (OK, there’s a message here. No jokes.)
10. My Heart Will Go On (Holy fuck. Holy fucking fuck. Jesus fucking Christ in chariot driven sidecar. Fuck me crossways and call me Roger the Cabin Boy. This actually might be the greatest thing I have ever heard.)

LINE-UP:
Herman Li – Guitar
Sam Totman – Guitar
Marc Hudson – Vocals
Gee Anzalone – Drums
(Frederic Leclercq played bass but quit before the album release.)

LINKS:

Home


https://www.facebook.com/dragonforce/

https://www.instagram.com/dragonforcehq/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUA7-MNA9NyrpimQo7Dw8g

 

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 AGE OF FIRE

Age Of Fire Logo

EMQ’s with AGE OF FIRE

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Charlottesville, Virginia based Metal band Age Of Fire! Huge thanks to guitarist Greg Brown for taking part!

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

My name is Greg Brown and I’m the guitar player and founder of the band. Age of Fire dates back to 1988! We started out in South Florida as a thrash band and within a couple years morphed into a Prog band but changed the name, then disbanded in 1993. I then started studying classical guitar and went a whole other direction for many years although I was still listening to more metal than any other genre. About 10 years ago, I revisited our old reel to reel tapes and moved to digital since tape degrades in time. This was released on iTunes, self- titled even though we weren’t performing. Last year, I re-mastered it again but added some bonus tracks. I had such a blast doing this and wanted to really write again in the metal genre. So I wrote a bunch of tunes, mostly instrumental, but also did the vocals and bass and had a few drummers sit in and the response was beyond anything I was expecting. The disc is called “Obsidian Dreams”. This year has been epic for the band. I started working with Michael Heck who has been laying down bass and drums for a new release called “Shades of Shadow”. He has also been helping on the audio side as well. We re-recorded some tracks and he’s also mixing and mastering the new release. We also have Laura Viglione on a few tracks which has been awesome, her voice is amazing and I can’t wait for everyone to hear her!

How did you come up with your band name?

I’ve read many theological books over the years. The end of times or Armageddon has always fascinated me. There was something I read that referred to the time just before the end, when everything has gone wrong as the Age of Fire. It resonated with me.

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

I’m from the US. Like I said we started in South Florida in the late 80’s and there was a vibrant metal scene but I moved in 1993 after the band split up. We are based in Charlottesville, Virginia and there is no metal scene whatsoever. No venues and no real support beyond a once in a blue moon gig or house party. For the last year and a half the band has focused on studio work and getting it on the web. With the newest release “Shades of Shadow”, we hope to be hitting the stage in larger markets and festivals.

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

The first single is “Time Is Running Out” with me on vocals/guitars and Arnaud Krakowka guesting on drums. Check it out.
https://ageoffire.bandcamp.com/track/time-is-running-out

Who have been your greatest influences?

Wow! Originally AC/DC. When “Back In Black” come out I knew I wanted to play guitar. Not necessarily as a career but I wanted to play. Then “Number Of The Beast” came out and I was blown away. Early Metallica also had a huge influence on me. Over the years I’d say: Van Halen, Pantera, Nevermore, Satriani and Nightwish.

What first got you into music?

AC/DC – “Back In Black” for sure. I love that disc. It’s really a complete package.

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

I’d love to play with Nightwish. I think they are epic. I would also love to play with Jeff Loomis. I’ve met him a few times over the years but never played with him.

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

Wacken, without a doubt! Because it’s Wacken! It’s the largest metal festival in the world with tens of thousands of die hard metal fans. It would be great to expose our music to that many people at one time, what a rush.

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

A baritone ukulele! I was teaching a theory class for adults in the evenings and after the semester ended, one of my students gave me a baritone ukulele. So out of left field!

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

Thank you all for your support!!! That’s such a biggie. As an artist we want to get our creations out in the world and hopefully get appreciated. To know that there are people listening to our music is such a great feeling. Without the fans we are just playing in empty rooms and airwaves.

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

Randy Rhoads, he left us too early. His playing and legato solos were so well thought out. Incredible player!

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

I love creating music. It’s such a process, coming up with ideas and seeing them come to fruition is truly gratifying. As far as hating music?! Hmmm, there are some very negative social connotations about being a musician. It’s funny though, some of the most well respected musicians were outcasts and thought down on at the time. Mozart died poor, Beethoven notorious for his temper and Bach even spent time in jail over his music.

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

The lack of payment from streaming companies is criminal. Currently a necessary evil!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Operation Mindcrime” by Queensryche! It never gets old to me and I’ve been into it since it came out.

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

Recently I’ve been expanding my vinyl collection. Best? I think it depends on lifestyle. I have CD’s laying around everywhere in my car but have a full collection of downloads as well.

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

That’s a hard one since I’ve been gigging for 35 years. There are a few that standout. New York City this past January as a solo artist stands out. In 1992 we did a gig in Orlando for Hurricane relief. Disney paid for advertising and we got to play through Foreigners PA system. Lots of people helping other people, good time!

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

I’m a total space nerd. Astronomy and human space exploration! I don’t want to go to space but I think it is something worthwhile for the human race. When you see the magnificence of space it helps my day to day worries go away. It’s so vast, it just helps me put it in perspective.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Eddie Van Halen, Jeff Loomis, David Lee Roth (he cracks me up), Bruce Dickinson, and Todd La Torre.

What’s next for the band?

Finishing the next CD “Shades of Shadow” is top of list. Lots of things are happening really fast. Updating website (www.age-of-fire.com), then marketing the new disc and shows in support of it! We are looking into touring certain areas next Summer, too soon to fully disclose where.

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

Our website, and Facebook probably best for us.
https://www.age-of-fire.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ObsidianDreams9/

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Not sure I know what they are but if they say cake in the name, I’m going with cake.

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

For streaming our back catalogue please check out ageoffire.bandcamp.com/
Thank you so much for the interview! It’s greatly appreciated.

 

 

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.

Riot V – Live In Japan 2018

Live In Japan 2018 Cover

Riot V – Live In Japan 2018
AFM Records
Release Date: 02/08/2019
Running Time: 1:50:03
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

There are certain bands that Rick just KNOWS I love, and if one of their albums pops into our Ever Metal inbox, he will send it over to me without even asking! One such band is Riot V!

I became a fan when I first heard ‘Flight of the Warrior’ a few years back (I always said I was born FAR too late!!) and have loved them ever since, reviewing AND interviewing them for Ever Metal.

Now, despite my love of the heavy/power metal band from the USA, reviewing this album always had one drawback for me. It’s a LIVE album! My consensus about live albums is that (and you can quote me on this!) “THEY ARE POO!” None of the so-called classic live albums from Kiss Alive II, to Queen’s Live Killers to Thin Lizzy’s Live and Dangerous did ANYTHING for me. Some might call me a philistine for saying that, but I also know there will be a fair few people who will agree with me. I get used to singing along to a track as they have recorded it and then along comes a live album where the singer thinks he can just sing the songs as he wishes….and all my timing goes out the window!! So, this album automatically drops a point for being a live one! Sorry!

Ok, just a brief history on the band. Riot were formed in the USA by guitarist Mark Reale in 1975. (Mark, unfortunately, died in 2012 but I am sure that he would be immensely proud of the Riot V legacy that still lives on.) Their debut album “Rock City” was released in 1979 and was mainly appreciated in the UK where NWOBHM was bursting onto the scene. But there was another country that welcomed the album with open arms and that was Japan.

‘Warrior’ was released as a 7” EP in Japan and the song has been Japan’s heavy metals fan’s favourite for 40 years. To further reinforce the relationship between band and country was the release of their second album “Narita”, which was named after the people’s struggle with the government over the construction of New Tokyo International Airport at Narita.

So, what better country to release a live album from and on March 11th, 2018, Riot V played their sixth album “Thundersteel” in its entirety at Club Catta in Japan.

The first thing I will say about this album, though, is that at 1 hour and 50 minutes long, that’s 23 tracks, you certainly would have got value for money with this gig!!

The second thing I will say is that this is not like any other live album I have ever heard! And that, my friends, is a good thing.

Now, this is going to sound like the ramblings of a mad woman but the thing I absolutely hate about live albums (apart from the lyric thingy mentioned above) is the crowd noise. I know this is necessary to give the album that live, raw sound but when it kind of overtakes the lyrics and music, it’s all a bit of overkill. This album, however, doesn’t have this. Yes, there is the sound of the crowd after each song (as there should be) and at the “crowd participation” bits (another pet hate of mine!) but it is not so in your face as I have heard on other live albums. I don’t know if this is because the producers have turned down the sound of the crowd while the band are singing or because the Japanese fans are actually silent at these times! Whichever it is, it’s a good thing in my eyes (or should I say ears!?)

Another thing I don’t understand about live albums is why the band actually release them when they have obviously been pretty dire on the night! I’m guessing this is a contractual obligation or something of that nature, but I would have thought releasing a decent recording would be a better idea. Anyway, the reason behind me making this point is that Riot V need not worry.

This is a brilliant live album. The band sounded absolutely fantastic, Todd Michael Hall’s voice holding out for the whole of the 1 hour and 50 minutes. Those who are Riot fans will know that this is nowhere near the original line-up, far from it, but they play so well together, if you close your eyes, you could almost believe it was the original band up on that Japanese stage.

All the hits are included on this album, from ‘Thundersteel’, to ‘Angel Eyes’, to ‘Johnny’s Back’ to ‘Road Racing’ and ‘Swords and Tequila’. I, personally, love all these tracks and many more in addition and the only gripe I would have with this live album is that the track ‘Outlaw’ has not been included (my second favourite track after ‘Angel Eyes’) but the rest of the album make up for this one little misdemeanour.

So, what did I think of this album? Hated it!! Haha only joking! As live albums go it was actually very good. It originally dropped one point for being live but in my opinion, it doesn’t drop any more. I might be a tad biased being the big Riot V fan that I am but do me a favour and give it a go yourself. Hopefully, you will agree with me.

I have never seen Riot V live in concert (hint hint guys! I’m in London by the way!) but one thing this album did do was make me want to see these guys live! Hopefully this will be something I can do before I pass over to the heavy metal gig in the sky, but in the meantime this album will be a necessary substitute.

Riot V – one of the best, underrated bands ever!!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Armour Of Light
02. Ride Hard Live Free
03. On Your Knees
04. Metal Soldiers
05. Fall From The Sky
06. Wings Are For Angels
07. Land Of The Rising Sun
08. Take Me Back
09. Messiah
10. Angel Eyes
11. Metal Warrior
12. Thundersteel
13. Fight Or Fall
14. Sign Of The Crimson Storm
15. Flight Of The Warrior
16. On Wings Of Eagles
17. Johnny’s Back
18. Bloodstreets
19. Run For Your Life
20. Buried Alive
21. Road Racin’
22. Swords And Tequila
23. Warrior

LINKS:
https://www.areyoureadytoriot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/riotrockcity/

https://www.instagram.com/officialriotv/


https://www.youtube.com/user/officialriotnycTV

 

Riot V Picture

 

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.

Graham Bonnet Band – Live In Tokyo 2017

Live In Tokyo 2017 Cover

Graham Bonnet Band – Live In Tokyo 2017
Frontiers Music s.r.l
Release Date: 12/07/2019
Running Time: 72:15
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
10/10

Good evening, my flock of the disaffected, the vain, wall eyed and insane. Tonight you are going to witness a man totally lose his shit about a woman. Possibly..!

It is well known I am not a fan of live albums, because the live experience requires a visual component. Thankfully, Graham had this covered for me and has kindly provided me with the footage that goes along with this record, so I hereby offer my thanks and salutations to this mighty and puissant stalwart of metal. The man is a fucking legend…
So, yeah, this is a live recording of Graham and the guys (and gal. Oh, Beth-Ami, be mine. Even your name is perfect. My twisted, shrivelled black heart beats only for you, my proud beauty… sigh) playing some of the more unusual and rare tunes from his days with Alcatrazz, MSG, Impellitteri and Rainbow as well as his stuff with the Graham Bonnet Band. And fuck me crossways, this is good…

I’d even go as far as to say this is fucking classic. This is how metal should sound in the live setting. Alright it’s as Trad Metal as it gets, but nothing touches Trad Metal for riffs and hooks and anthemic choruses. Metal’s most famous accountant’s haircut has assembled a band of uncommonly high talent and it shows through in every single sublime guitar lick from Conrado Pesinato (complete with array of highly amusing guitar solo faces), in Mark Benquchea’s ultra-metronomic drumming (complete with array of highly amusing focused drummer faces) and the legendary Jimmy Waldo hitting the keys like a man possessed (I really don’t want to talk about his face). At the front of it all there’s the Skeggy Boy. A man in command of himself, and his audience! A living legend at the fucking greatest, mightiest height of his powers! A man that makes Corey Taylor look like an amateurish fucking chancer who shouts a lot! A man who demands your attention and your loyalty, and does it so effortlessly you don’t even notice yourself falling to your knees and offering supplication in the form of opening your own veins and spilling your lifeblood at his impeccably shod feet…

And then there is the fragrant, beautiful, heart stopping Beth-Ami Heavenstone. A woman so perfect my heart breaks every time I even look at her. Dark Juan lost his soul to her years ago, but she never even noticed such is the level of her perfection. An angel on Earth with a bass guitar and a smile that makes this hellpriest nearly believe in God. A woman of such magnificence, she makes every other woman within 500 yards of her utterly insignificant. I am not worthy of her attention… No one is, so how did that Lincolnshire howler do it? The absolute bastard! I’ll find out. I will fucking find out and then I’ll bottle it and go and find her…

Sorry, I might have slightly digressed. Yes, the record. Oh my fucking god, the record. This is the best live album I have ever heard. There is not a dropped note in the entire performance and Graham is absolutely at the peak of his powers, effortlessly soaring through his vocal range and reminding us all just what a mighty influence he has been for decades. He looks and sounds like he is enjoying the fuck out of what he is doing and that is infectious. Even I, a notoriously hard and critical man to please with music, have been caterwauling along with every single chorus of every single song. Hodgson Fartpants (one of Dark Juan’s Hellhounds. So named because I could make a fortune out of renting him to dodgy Middle Eastern regimes for chemical warfare purposes…) immediately showed his displeasure with my off key shrieking by fucking off upstairs and going to sleep on my pillows. Plus, the man is a genius level songwriter. Not so much for content, but for the ease with which he crafts such exquisite choruses. You only have to hear Night Games or Samurai once to understand what I’m talking about. And another thing while I am frothing with such incredible enthusiasm… the backing vocals! The harmonies! Oh, the motherfucking harmonies. They hit you at the base of your spine.

And the utterly desirable and simply jawdropping Beth-Ami Heavenstone (have I told you how amazing she is yet? No? How remiss of me) has a gutwrenchingly sweet alto that reduced me to a quivering mass of pathetically lovestruck goo within seconds of her singing the backing vocal to the chorus of S.O.S. There are some voices that give you goosebumps. She has one, on top of all her other sublime qualities. WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO MAKE YOU NOTICE YOUR MOST ARDENT ADMIRER, BETH-AMI? TELL ME, TELL ME, I IMPLORE! NOTICE ME, SENPAI, NOTICE ME!

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to need to take a cold shower in Antarctica after this one, boys and girls.

…As we wrench ourselves back into the business of actually being useful to you readers and telling you about the record, then. The production and sound quality are far beyond adequate. Every instrument and cymbal is easily heard and the lead vocal, although to the fore of the mix, is not overpowering the rest of the music. The backing vocals are similarly high in the mix but again are not blanketing the instruments. The song choices for this gig are equally inspired. Everything from the ultra-classic Since You’ve Been Gone through to MSG’s Dancer through to the absolute highlight of the record – an extraordinarily sleazy, sexual, filthily orgasmic rendition of All Night Long! The record ends, somewhat bizarrely, with an alternate lyric studio version of The Crying Chair, which, although interesting and a damned fine rock and roll record, jars somewhat with the fucking awesome night we have just had listening to Graham fucking Bonnet live. Yes, I know I am swearing a lot. No, I don’t care. I am expressing joy. Fuck you. It seems like it was almost bunged on there as an afterthought, you know? Kind of like that last sentence!

Ladies, gentlemen and people of all other genders (I’m nothing if not inclusive. I hate everyone equally) we have on our hands here a perfect storm of a live album – superbly played by the musicians, sublime lead vocals from a living metal legend, well produced, well mixed, with inspired song choices, the biggest ever choruses in metal, and Beth-Ami Heavenstone. Have I told you how much she turns me into a quivering schoolboy every time I set eyes on her? How my heart does little flip flops as I gaze at her magnificent bass playing prowess? How I wish those long, elegant fingers were touching me and her cool gaze and tinkling laugh were for my eyes and ears only? No? We could be here for some time, then….

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is cross-eyed with desire right now and actually really needs to take a shower in liquid nitrogen, but has struggled manfully on to award the Graham Bonnet Band 10/10 for an utterly fucking brilliant live record. It really should be like 150/10. It is the finest live album I have ever heard. And Graham Bonnet is a musical hero of mine. And Beth-Ami, I adore you.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Eyes Of The World
02. California Air
03. S.O.S.
04. Night Games
05. Stand In Line
06. Into The Night
07. Love’s No Friend
08. Dancer
09. Samurai
10. Desert Song
11. Rider
12. Since You’ve Been Gone
13. Assault Attack
14. All Night Long
15. Lost In Hollywood
16. The Crying Chair (Intended Lyric Version)

LINE-UP:
Graham Bonnet – Vocals
Conrado Pesinato – Guitar
Beth-Ami Heavenstone – Bass (You’re going to be hearing quite a lot about her. Sorry, not sorry.)
Jimmy Waldo – Keyboards
Mark Benquchea – Drums

LINKS:
https://www.alcatrazzofficial.com/
https://www.facebook.com/grahambonnetmusic/



https://www.youtube.com/user/GrahamBonnetHimself

 

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.

Scrollkeeper – Path To Glory EP

Path To Glory EP Cover

Scrollkeeper – Path To Glory EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 13/09/2018
Running Time: 19:55
Review by Dawn King
8/10

Ok, so I have been out of the loop where the actual reviewing of things is concerned for a while and, technically, this review should have been written months ago. So, I apologise to the band Scrollkeeper for the delay with this. Hopefully, it will be worth the wait though.

Scrollkeeper are a band from Houston in Texas, formed in 2016, who specialise in high-energy, anthemic, original material that is “reminiscent of metal’s halcyon days!” – TRADITIONAL heavy metal to you and me!

The band consists of Simon Marfleet on drums, Justin McKittrick on vocals, Alexander K on lead/rhythm guitars, John Morris also on lead/rhythm guitars and Will Sullivan on the bass and “Path To Glory” is their latest four track EP.

With influences cited as (deep breath here!) Les Warner, Ken Owen, Bruce Dickinson, Leather Leone, Geddy Lee, Andy Laroque, Ritchie Blackmore, Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen and Geezer Butler, the band’s debut show was as support for Delain and Hammerfall in 2017 and they have since shared the stage with the likes of Manilla Road, Dirkschneider, Angra and Cloven Hoof. They have also kept a busy show schedule in the Houston area with some out of town festivals as well as being scheduled to open for British heavy metal veterans, Saxon, in 2019.

The self-released EP “Path To Glory” was recorded at Sound Arts Studio and Nocturnal Sound Studios in Houston, Texas and was engineered by Brian Baker and the band’s guitarist, Alexander K. It was mixed and mastered by Ricardo Camargo at Tidalwar Studios in Queens, New York and the artwork was done by German illustrator, Helge C Balzer.

So, now you know a bit of the history of the band and some background to the music, what of the EP?

Well, this really has everything that all great traditional heavy metal albums should have. The drums are galloping, and the riffs are crunching. Justin’s voice is well suited to this type of metal, being powerful and strong and the guitar solos are fantastic.
There is such a high energy throughout the EP that if you are not headbanging with your sword held high by the end of track one then something is wrong with you! I had this on repeat for more than half a dozen runs through and I was banging my head whilst cooking my chili con carne!

The pace throughout the EP hardly seems to let up (slowing down slightly for the track ‘Surrender’) and the choruses are anthemic (just as the band promised!) Scrollkeeper, as a whole, are tight and concise and although I find the vocals a little ‘flat’ at times, there really isn’t anything to dislike about this EP. The only drawback I could find is that it just wasn’t long enough. I would love to have seen what these guys could do for a whole album, and I wait with bated breath until one is released!

Did I like this EP? Hell, yes! Do I recommend you go and give it a listen? Again, hell, yes!
I can’t wait to see what these guys come up with next, and if this is anything to go by, it’s bound to go down a storm!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Not Of This Earth
02. Path To Glory
03. Surrender
04. Fortune Favors The Bold

LINKS:
https://facebook.com/scrollkeeper

https://www.instagram.com/scrollkeeperhm/
https://scrollkeeper.bandcamp.com/


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoZ6aSK0QOAqGEgxNO_Xhmw

 

Promo Pic1

 

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn 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.

EMQ’s with UNVEIL THE STRENGTH

Unveil The Strength Logo

EMQ’s with UNVEIL THE STRENGTH

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Unveil The Strength, an International Heavy Metal/Rock band based out of Austin, Texas! Huge thanks to bassist Matt Snell 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?

Matt Snell – Bassist. I have known Mark Wolfe for several years. We have discussed working on music together and our schedules finally matched up. I flew out to Austin Texas to work on our EP at Marks studio. While we were working there we recruited Tim Hassemer on drums and soon thereafter Matt Guillory came on board on keys/synth. Matt G. was speaking with Andy James about the band and he was really into it. Our EP quickly became a full length album with the addition of Andy. We are quite pleased and feel we have a solid record.

How did you come up with your band name?

Unveil the Strength is the mantra of Mark Wolfe’s entire life. It is quite an epic journey and the driving force behind the band. Mark has seen first-hand the horrors of war. He was homeless, and suffered not only physical injury, but PTSD. He has literally risen from the ashes. It is within all of us to find and reveal our inner strength.

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

Myself, Mark, Tim and Matt G are all from the States. Andy James is from England. Here in the States the “scene” is alive and well. It is ever evolving. The club scenes in some towns are maybe down a bit, but when you see a full scale proper show brought to an area it is sold out. People say it’s dead, but that just isn’t true. It’s an exciting time to be in the music business!

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

Our record “FOUNDATIONS” is complete. We have released 2 songs so far. ‘Vengeance and Misery’ has been out a bit and we just released the video for our new single ‘Hells Never Over’.
You can watch it here!
https://youtu.be/xb-cNiEdXZY

Who have been your greatest influences?

As a bassist, I have to go back to my roots. Cliff Burton – Steve Harris – Frank Bello – David Ellefson. When it comes to bands, it is a different question. Are we influenced by success? Are we influenced by Technical proficiency? Are we influenced by Image? For me it would be Opeth. While their style doesn’t translate into Unveil the Strength, they are a testament to an ever evolving “we do what we want to do” attitude and I still to this day after listening for 20 years, stop when I hear them and listen. I can’t say that for many bands.

What first got you into music?

I was raised in a household that supports the arts of all kinds. As a kid I had piano lessons which turned into Saxophone lessons which turned into guitar lessons and then I found Bass at around age 17. For me it was what I was meant to do. Music is in my family. It is a truly amazing gift to be able to do what I do and to have seen all I have seen. I am truly Blessed.

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

That’s a tie hahaha… Avenged Sevenfold and Disturbed. Everything they do is a home run. They are some of the best people I have known and toured with over the years and it would be a lot of fun to work with them!

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

Again, it’s a tie! A 3 way tie… Download – Rock Am Ring and Rock Am Park. Having played these festivals a few times I can say from experience, they were defining moments in my life. I can only work to get back there again!

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

People send gifts quite often. I never received anything weird that I can recall. I’m guessing the tour manager took all the weird stuff. If you knew him you would understand. Fans taking the time to make gifts, bring food etc. are so far beyond kind! It really shows something about the good world we live in.

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

Always be true to yourself. Have empathy and never be afraid to reach out if you are struggling. Life is a marathon, not a sprint and we don’t always have the answers and that’s ok.

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

One? Really? There’s so many. In the past year alone so many have been lost! Well if it is just one, I would say John Lennon. Aside from the massive catalogue of amazing music, he was bringing a message of love, unity and peace.

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

I love performing. That’s really the whole reason we do this. The time on stage regardless of how big the venue is the gift! I don’t hate. It is a practice I have worked on for several years, and it is gone from my life here on earth. I have no room to hate anything, except mushrooms…they can go directly back to hell!

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

I would love to see a shift in concept where all music should be free. The current generation was raised with so much access to free music that the concept of “buying” music is lost. People will work their lives away to pay for anything they want but seem to feel art has little value. It really isn’t about “money” in my pocket; it is about the sustainability of an industry and the concept that art of all kinds has value in our lives.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Opeth – “Ghost Reveries”

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

All of em! whatever you like…. and you forgot 8 track!!!

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

2010 – Donington Park UK with 5FDP! Was a great day!!

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

I run a Tattoo shop here at home. I flipped houses for a while and was quite good at it. Otherwise recreation for me here in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is Skiing – Hiking – Mountain Biking and Boating on Lake Tahoe. I searched for a home for most of my life until I found this place.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

My Wife Shannon, Thich Naht Hahn, George Carlin, Winston Churchill and John F Kennedy!

What’s next for the band?

We are currently in pre-production for our next video and are actively working to secure a set of tours to support our album “FOUNDATIONS”.

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

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0hvhKcb8OyJvH96DWU9sxr
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwc6ndVdRv_ca6VYWCwJQQg
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/unveilthestrength/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unveilthestrength/

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

They’re gross that’s what they are – Orange and chocolate ‘DO NOT’ belong together…fight me..!

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

Thank you for chatting with me. Some great questions here!! Please take a second to follow our social media sites to keep up on all the news and check out our videos on YouTube!!! Share em! It’s such a fun easy way to find new music with your friends!!

 

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.