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
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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.

 

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

 

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.

Evil Scarecrow – Chapter IV: Antartarctica

 

Chapter IV, Antartarctica Cover

Evil Scarecrow – Chapter IV: Antartarctica
Dead Box Records
Release Date: 28/09/2018
Running Time: 48:45
Review by Beth Jones
10/10

Earth. 2018. The planet is in the grip of a dense stupidity, where man-size tissues attack poor offended snowflakes daily, and boys are forced to carry their school books in microwaves. Little do the poor earthlings know that their planet faces a new threat, in the shape of hot red people from outer space! The only hope lies at the feet of a crack team of renegades, known only as Evil Scarecrow, who must carry out a mission to play kick ass music to save the world, their mission, code name: Antartarctica.

Whether these intrepid minstrels are battling aliens, or fighting evil spirits they do it with style, and this new offering is no exception. In fact, for me it is the most rounded and musically mature album that they have released to date – even though their themes are still as bonkers and tongue in cheek as always, which makes them the band we have come to know and love.

The album kicks off with ‘Skulls Of Our Enemies’. A great tune to get things started, that could almost be a space age James Bond-esque theme for the impending Armageddon! It certainly has an element of impending large-scale disaster about it and is a great way to start!

One of their singles from this album, ‘Red Riding Hood’, is up next! This is such a great track – one of my favourites on the album, and it is absolutely terrifying! We saw them perform it live at Amplified this year and the 10-foot-tall grotesque Red Riding Hood stage character is the stuff of nightmares! But still tongue in cheek, with ingenious lyrical japes throughout, and musically great hooks, as well as the accustomed big chorus that is great to sing along to, that makes it very typically Evil Scarecrow.

Their songs really are huge musical numbers that accompany a theatrical extravaganza perfectly, and this theme continues throughout the whole album. It is proggy in places, it is symphonic and grand in others, with gothic and classic heavy metal thrown in alongside a healthy dose of electronica, as well as all the poise and excitement of a piece of spectacular theatre, which, combined with the lyrical craziness, could only be described as if the Goons or the Pythons had written Futurama through the medium of song then released it under the umbrella of Disney!

The album moves on, a pace and pretty soon ends up at ‘Hurricanado’, another rip-roaring tempestuous sing along, again with spectacularly catchy riffs, hooks and a big audience participation element. This track marks the half way point in the album, and is perfectly positioned at the peak, with its fast pace and the manic growls and howls of Dr Hell. By this point in an album I have usually heard one song that has made me pull a meh face, but not a chance here. Every element is perfectly placed, and not over egged. No song outstays its welcome, and each is different enough not to be boring, but has enough in common to make the story flow. It is witchcraft!

Track 7, ‘Polterghost’, is another favourite of mine, and not just for the madcap story, but for the brilliant chunkiness of the rhythm section, making it great for rocking out too, and the brilliant guitar work in the solo, which is not over stated or fussy, but fits the track perfectly.

What I think is really needed at this point in the album, is something to properly lose your shit too. Yet again the Scarecrows’ super sixth sense knew this and slotted in ‘Cosmos Goth Moth Gong’, because why not! It is by far the heaviest track on the album and brilliant to boot. I’m now wishing that one of the songs on this album was mediocre, as I am running out of ways to say, ‘this is damn brilliant’! This super track gives you the sense that the album is building to some totally explosive, all out galactic warfare, finale, that may result in certain death, or at the very least, a little bit of maiming. And then…
‘The Ballad Of Brother Pain’. Wow! This I did not expect! All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a toned down, slow ballad, with clean vocals and stripped back effects, that is melancholy and has a beautiful, almost ethereal quality about it, then a huge and brilliant guitar solo in the middle, taking it to the big lift ending! Again, a sing along, of stadium proportions, which blew my mind! I frikkin love this song! And indeed this album!

The closing, and title track, ‘Antartarctica’, combines all of the above, in a nightmarish, apocalyptic vision, of epic proportions with this piece on its own being an impressive 10 minutes in length! They have taken every element used so far and created an eclectic masterpiece, full of great guitar work, changes in tempo and dynamics, growls, clean vocals, rough and heavy rhythms, classic gothic cadences, narration, tension and suspense, a cuddly toy and probably the kitchen sink too!

Something very special happens when you listen to Evil Scarecrow. It brings out your inner child. No matter how bad your day is, a quick listen to this, or any Evil Scarecrow album, will bring you round and transport you into their crazy, warped Sci Fi world! The difference being with this album, is they have now really bedded in and are thinking bigger, and better, and creating musical masterpieces song after song after song. Their writing is now so mature, that they are approaching the point of complete perfection, hence my perfect rating.

This is probably the best album I have heard all year. I can’t really say much more than that, other than, get out there people, buy it and listen to it and love it like a brother, whilst you still have the chance! The world will be brought to an end by stupidity and people taking offence at the colour of the sky, but at least Evil Scarecrow will have made the end infinitely more enjoyable!

TRACKLIST:
1. Skulls Of Our Enemies
2. Red Riding Hood
3. Way To Die
4. The Magician
5. Hurricanado
6. Gus, Zag And The Turnip King
7. Polterghost
8. Cosmos Goth Moth Gong
9. The Ballad Of Brother Pain
10. Antartarctica

 
LINKS:
http://www.evilscarecrow.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/Evil.Scarecrow
https://www.youtube.com/user/drrabidhell

https://www.instagram.com/evilscarecrowuk/

 

Promo Pic1

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