Interview with Seven Sisters

 

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Seven Sisters are a four-piece metal band from West London, England forged from the same steel as the NWOBHM acts of yesteryear. They have gained a reputation as a “stellar” act in the heavy metal scene, playing shows all over the UK and Europe and proving that “they are not simply copying the template laid down by the fathers of heavy  metal but they are moulding their own sound to usher in a new era.”

I recently had the chance to interview Graeme from the band and here is what he had to say:

Hi, I am Dawn from Ever Metal. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for us. I hope you are all well?

All good here, cheers for talking to us!

Ok, for those who don’t know who you guys are, can you tell us a bit about the background of the band?

Sure! We’re a Heavy Metal band from West London, currently promoting and touring our second album which was recently released on Dissonance Productions. Our sound is a bit of a mix of old school Heavy Metal (the NWOBHM movement in particular) and elements of power metal, thrash metal and things like that. We’re pretty progressive in places, but our songs are heavily melodic and hopefully pretty catchy too.

So, your new album, The Cauldron and The Cross, was released in April of this year. How has it been received?

Yeah it’s been received really well on the whole! We’re not massively surprised as we were really happy with the way the album turned out, but it’s always nice when people understand and buy into what you’re trying to do as a band.

Would you consider yourself part of the NWOTHM (New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal) movement? If not, what would you describe your particular genre?

Yeah I guess so. I’m not sure how much of a coherent movement it is, but there’s definitely a fair few bands around playing traditional-sounding metal, and we’re one of those bands. I don’t think we’re a straight up copy of the original sound of the late 70s and early 80s, but it’s definitely a major influence and I think that should be pretty obvious to anyone listening to our music. We prefer to just think of ourselves as a Heavy Metal band though, rather than trying to pigeonhole it too specifically. It’s too easy to become obsessed with genre labels, rather than just listening to something on its own merit and deciding if you like it or not.

We all have a guilty pleasure when it comes to music, what’s yours?

Not really, actually. I listen to all sorts of stuff, but I don’t feel guilty or embarrassed by any of it as it’s all music I like. I listen to plenty of stuff that isn’t Heavy Metal. But if you mean things that people might be slightly surprised by, then ABBA are one of my favourite bands of all time. That might be a guilty pleasure for some people, but I think they were amazing songwriters with an incredible sense of melody. Some of their song structures are more similar to the type of thing you’d expect a prog band to do than a pop group, but a lot of people don’t even notice as the songs are so well-written and catchy. I think that’s something a lot of metal bands could learn a thing or two from, actually.

What bands have been your greatest influences, both individually and as a band?

Obviously the NWOBHM movement, as I mentioned earlier. But we like a lot of European and North American bands too. Helloween really spring to mind here. We’re also pretty obsessed with Yngwie Malmsteen! We listen to all sorts of stuff individually though. I’m really into hair metal and AOR, Kyle listens to a lot of progressive rock (Frank Zappa is his idol), and Steve and Javi like some of the more extreme stuff like thrash and death metal. This probably all creeps into the overall sound of Seven Sisters in one way or another.

If you could bring back one metal legend, who would it be and why?

Most of my metal heroes are still alive actually. I’d maybe say Ingo Schwichtenberg. I really like the first three Helloween albums, they were a massive part of me growing up and getting into metal, and he’s one of my favourite drummers of all time. I would have loved to get to see him play live.

How have you been enjoying your recent gigs with Toledo Steel? I was gutted I missed the British Steel 2 Festival at the end of May.

Yeah they’ve been fun! Toledo Steel are good friends of ours, and they’re a great live band so it was cool getting to watch them do their thing every night. They’re really funny guys and great company too, so we had a right laugh driving round the country in a van with them. I can’t ever remember laughing as much as I did on that tour!

There has been some controversy over the price of gig tickets recently what with the Ozzy Osbourne/Judas Priest and Metallica gigs. Do you think metal shows are overpriced?

I guess they can’t be over-priced if people are willing to pay them and the shows still sell out, but personally I’m not interested in paying £140 to see Lars Ulrich attempting to play the drums. I’ve always found it interesting that Maiden’s ticket prices are significantly lower than bands like Metallica and Ozzy – and Maiden are actually still good live too. I guess maybe some bands treat their fans with a bit more respect than others, but that’s nothing new. If people are willing to pay crazy money to see a band, I don’t have a problem with it. I just have better uses for my severely limited bank balance myself!

Who is the driving force behind the band? Is there one of you that takes charge and organises everyone else?

Kyle is definitely our driving force. The vast majority of the music comes from him, although I chip in with a riff or two here and there if I have anything good. The lyrics are more of a collaborative effort between the two of us, and Steve and Javi then come up with their own drum and bass parts. So whilst Kyle is definitely the mastermind of the band, I think the songs wouldn’t sound the same if it wasn’t for the individual input of all four of us.

So, what’s next on the horizon for Seven Sisters?

We’re playing some shows in Europe and Ireland over the autumn to promote the new album, and we’re hoping to do as many summer festivals next year as we can. After that, I guess it’ll be time to sit down and start working on a third album!

Well, thank you for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Not a problem. Thanks for talking to us, and cheers to anyone that took the time to read this!

 

SOCIAL LINKS:

  • https://sevensistersuk.bandcamp.com/
  • https://en-gb.facebook.com/sevensistersheavymetal/

 

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Angel Heart – Angel Heart

Angel Heart Cover

ANGEL HEART – ANGEL HEART
Mighty Music
Release Date 18-05-2018
Running Time 48:08
Reviewer Tsarina Wilson
9.5/10

Most members of the band Angel Heart are part of the established Norwegian heavy metal band Highland Glory and have musical roots that go back to 1980’s hard rock such as Judas Priest and Queensryche. The group’s line up consists of the clean, crisp voice of Trine Elise Johanson, keyboards and guitars by Lars Andre’ Larsen, drums by Morten Faeovig and bass by Oystein Aaseby Pedersen, and together they make an amazing band. They released their debut album on 18th May 2018, the self-titled “Angel Heart”.

This album has lots of great qualities. Trine’s voice is just outstanding, so clean and crisp and just one of those voices you can listen to, close your eyes and drift off to another world. The guitar riffs keep you wanting more with every song and with a drum beat that has you playing air drums, what is there not to like with this album? It’s fun, it’s punchy, it’s emotional and it’s packed with energy from start to finish. Even if you’re not into rock music, this album is catchy and such a great listen.

The stereotypical rock music from Norway seems to have to an assumed persona of harsh looking and gruff sounding, but this is like night and day to what you think it is going to be. The intense lyrics of ‘She Is Strong’ chill you to the bone, and, being a mother myself this hit a chord with me. It is very much a girl power song, a real anthem to us ladies, and with power melodies “angel’s face and angel heart,” the intensity of the music brought a tear to my eye.

Then there’s ‘Rock Friends’. The guitar riffs that start this off are just amazing. And hey, we all have rock friends. I can see this being sung loud and proud at any concert about true friendships and being there for each other, and the lyrics “we’ll be friends until the end” sums up most rock friendships.

Worth the Wait? Yes, it has been as I can’t say one bad word about this album. It has everything you could want in a rock album; a knock out rock beat, amazing guitar riffs, and such outstanding vocals. The songs have so much meaning behind them, they are catchy, and you will know the words in no time. Rest assured you will soon be singing along with them at the top of your voice (and this is where I say sorry to my neighbours!)
It’s very rare to find an album where there isn’t at least one track you’re not into, not sure of or don’t like. Well, this is one such album as I love every single one of them. The listener is transported from Hard Rock to Soft in a heartbeat and without losing any of the enjoyment.

The last track ‘Sailing Against The Wind’ is very emotional, a story of loss but remembered always in dreams, compared to the rest of the album. This is an emotional roller coaster and if you have ever lost anyone special this will certainly hit home.
If this is their debut album, then I hope they are already writing new material for the next one as I will be waiting for it. Just brilliant!

 

TRACK LISTING
01. Burning Desire
02. Run Away With Me
03. I Don’t Need Love
04. Forever Free
05. She Is Strong
06. My Spirit Will Live On
07. Rock Friends
08. Worth The Wait
09. Sailing Against The Wind
SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/AngelHeartTheBand/

http://mightymusic.dk/
https://www.facebook.com/mightymusic666/

 

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

Iron Angel – Hellbound

Hellbound Cover

IRON ANGEL – HELLBOUND
Mighty Music
Release Date 04-05-2018
Running Time 46:44
Review by Tsarina Wilson
9/10

Iron Angel is a band who formed back in 1980 but one that is very much still going strong, even though there have been some changes in line up throughout the band’s career to date and, with their sound and energy, I bet their live shows are something out of this world, leaving the fans just as much out of breath as they are.

The band was formed in Hamburg in 1980 and are known for the two classic eighties metal albums “Hellish Crossfire” from 1985 and “Winds of War” from 1986. The band have toured with King Diamond, toured South America in 2017, which was a great success and performed at Headbangers Open Air in Germany in 2015.

The band have now, finally, released their comeback album “Hellbound” through Scandinavian premiere rock label Mighty Music, and are looking forward to completing a North & South American Tour for the Autumn of 2018.

Started in the 80’s alongside bands like Judas Priest, Saxon, and Iron Maiden, they have had a long and successful career with a few changes in line up along the way.
In 2000 they went into the studio to record their album “The Rebirth” but before they could finish it then band member Peter Wittke sadly died in a tragic car accident. The band cancelled everything and remained that way for four years. In 2004 Dirk and Mike tried to recruit new members and worked on a new album for three years but couldn’t find the members they wanted to join them, so they decided to put things on hold again. As a parting gift to the fans they presented the EP “Back From Hell”, which was done in a different style than they had done before. Sadly, a couple of months after the split another band member, Sven Struven, died.

Today’s line up consists of Dirk Schroder on vocals, Robert Altenbach and Mitsch Meyer on guitars, Didy Mackel on bass and finally Maximillian Behr on drums.

They had a dip in their career around 2014, when Didy Mackel noticed there were a lot of people wearing Iron Angel T-shirts at a festival and got in touch with Dirk Schroder via Facebook. After getting together to chat, September 2014 was officially when Iron Angel were back rocking, and what a brilliant outcome for the fans. Without that initial contact we could have been denied such brilliant work and crazy speed metal.

Vocals by Dirk are just brilliant. They are gritty, powerful, and intense, almost storytelling. The guitar riffs are just insane, and the drums are crazy. I bet they are all shattered after each show they do, as it’s crazy how the hell they keep the pace up for one song let alone a whole show is beyond me, but they do and it’s no wonder they are the success they are today.

I must admit ‘Deliverance In Black’ has to be my favourite track. It’s non-stop all the way through. “Close your eyes for ever taste your destiny” – you must remind yourself these are not some young band in their late teens but slightly older than that, and with so much energy in their music, these guys make it sound so easy and effortless.
‘Blood And Leather’ must be about bikers as the lyrics “hear me coming, feel my roaring engine, chrome and steel my cradle and hearse” is definitely a biker’s chant if ever I heard one.

When I first took this review on, I listened to the first few minutes and thought ‘okay but now I need to listen to more and look into them more’, and what surprised me was just how addictive, to listen to, these guys are.

When I realised it was German Speed Metal, I was expecting screams and nothing else, but thank you guys! You totally and, yes, pleasantly surprised me! Yes, it’s fast, yes, there is a totally insane drum beat all the way through and yes, you will be in guitar heaven, but you hear every word and they don’t miss a beat from one track to the next. It’s almost like you listen holding your breath, get to the end and think ‘jeez now I can breathe.’

I seriously hope they come to the UK in the future, as I think they would be insane to see live.
TRACKLIST:
01. Writings On The Wall
02. Judgement Day
03. Hell And Back
04. Carnivore Flashmob
05. Blood And Leather
06. Deliverance In Black
07. Waiting For A Miracle
08. Hellbound
09. Purist Of Sin
10. Ministry Of Metal
SOCIAL LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/IronAngel.hh/
https://www.instagram.com/iron._angel/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqOnjTi-ZEK84JF9Roo1c_Q
https://www.facebook.com/mightymusic666/
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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

 

Kissin’ Dynamite – Ecstasy

Ecstasy Cover

KISSIN’ DYNAMITE – ECSTASY
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 06/07/2018
Running Time 53:12
Review by Lotty Whittingham
10/10

German Hard Rockers KISSIN’ DYNAMITE have been on the radar for quite some time now, over the past few years they have been earning the respect and recognition from fans and critics alike. They released a new album a couple of months back. It’s the appropriately named “Ecstasy” and it is more than safe to say that it is a new gem for the Hard Rock Community.

Long-time fans of the band are aware that Kissin’ Dynamite are well known for their solid discography containing tight vocal work, excellent riffs and solos creating outstanding melodies. Their latest release is no exception to the rule, in fact this is their best release to date.

When you are having one of those days where everything is going wrong or if you are simply feeling down and lost; there is a song for that. ‘I’ve Got The fire’ is one of those uplifting songs that will brighten anyone’s day, especially with its powerful chorus. Along with the empowering ‘You’re Not Alone’ these two songs are a great way to kick off the record.

“Ecstasy” contains an eclectic selection of tracks. You have the likes of the title track and ‘Superhuman’ that give you an instant energy boost with their rapid beats and passionate melodies. There are some sweeping, inspirational tunes within songs such as ‘Breaking The Silence’ and ‘Waging War’. There is sass in the track ‘Somebody’s Gotta Do It’. The ballads ‘Still Around’ and ‘Heart Of Stone’ contain that special something for the listeners to enjoy and appreciate.

The title track provides power and punch; the first few seconds make you want to go somewhere as fast as you can. It gives off confidence and supremacy with its upbeat melody and fast paced rhythm, particularly ideal for that important gym workout or training run for that vital marathon. Guest vocalist Anna Brunner (EXIT EDEN) emphasises this power with her passionate vocal work.

The song ‘Breaking The Silence’ can quite easily start a revolution with its line “Can you hear us? We’re here to break the silence.” This dominant melody inspires listeners with its marching beat, powerful vocals and excellent guitar work. The chorus sticks in your head for days on end after the first listen, that’s the power this track has.

Across their discography, there is one common occurrence: KISSIN’ DYNAMITE’s talent to create some beautiful ballads. ‘If Clocks Were Running Backwards’, ‘Fireflies’ and ‘The Final Dance’ are the ones that come to mind. It is more than safe to say that both ‘Still Around’ and ‘Heart Of Stone’ can be added to this list. ‘Still Around’ reminds one of BON JOVI classic ‘Always’ not just with the melody and beat but with the vocal work. The stripped-down ‘Heart Of Stone’ provides a stunning end to a truly remarkable album.

Conclusion? This album is a fantastic treat for the fans of the band, the Hard Rock community and anyone who is looking for something different to add to their discography. It is mandatory that you crank up the volume to this album and enjoy the passion that this record gives off.

 

TRACKLIST
01 I’ve Got The Fire
02. You’re Not Alone
03. Somebody’s Gotta Do It
04. Ecstasy
05. Still Around
06. Superhuman
07. Placebo
08. Breaking The Silence
09. Waging War
10. One More Time
11. Heart Of Stone
SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.kissin-dynamite.de/en/
https://www.facebook.com/Kissindynamiterocks/

https://www.instagram.com/kissin_dynamite/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAFZYLnN2-VUBzzAEjwrGSQ

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham 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.

Toxikull – The Nightraiser EP

The Nightraiser EP Cover

TOXIKULL – THE NIGHTRAISER EP
Mosher / Firecum Records
Release Date: 23/03/2018
Running Time: 25:36
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

Anyone who knows me, knows that of all the metal genres that exist, the one I love the most is thrash, so when a thrash album landed in my inbox to review, I was all too excited to get it reviewed.

The offering was from Portuguese “fearless, taunting, leather-jacket wearing and maniacal” quintet, Toxikull, and they certainly play their metal HEAVY and FAST!

Formed in Cascais, Portugal, in 2016, the band is fronted by brothers Lex Thunder and Michael Blade and they are one of the most promising European underground bands when it comes to heavy/speed/thrash, displaying all the qualities of the genre; impressive vocals, a tight rhythm section, blazing guitar solos and carefully crafted melodies.

The band issued a full-length album “Black Sheep” in 2016 and this EP is their second release, and what an EP it is! At first listen, if I am honest, I didn’t really like it, but I persevered with it, giving it a few more go’s, and I am so glad I did, otherwise I would have missed a gem of an EP.

Says frontman Lex of the EP; “It’s an appeal to rebellion and some social criticism. Music wise this EP is a bit different from Black Sheep, it’s faster, stronger and more aggressive. The influences of the music from the past are also a bit different, this one’s more on the speed/heavy metal side.

In truth, it is a “relentless, sonic attack” that just doesn’t give up from start to finish and combines some of the best elements that made heavy, speed and thrash metal so popular. Despite only coming into existence in 2016, these guys have a sound like they are straight from the mid 80’s, taking you on a journey back to the time of bands such as Exciter, Agent Steel and Razor.

The EP is just over twenty-five minutes long and, along with five original recordings, it features a cover of rock and roll royalty Axl Rose’s early band Hollywood Rose’s song “Rocker.” Says Lex; “I always thought it was a killer tune, living off the spirit of rock and roll. Unfortunately, this brilliant song never got a proper recording, so we took the chance and did it ourselves, and recorded it the way we wanted it to sound.”

The cover work is painted by Italian artist Velio Josto and the art meets the bands idea of “something pure, actually painted in ink and without any digital effects.

All in all, this is a fantastic EP, and although I haven’t actually listened to the first album, I will make it my job to do just that. The vocals are out of this world, the guy hits every note and scream without any trouble, and the guitar solos are awesome. The rhythm section is tight and concise, and the production is great. It’s a little bit longer than what I would consider an EP but, due to the intensity and energy that comes from it, I think it’s actually the perfect length.

So, if you fancy a trip back to the 80’s, put on your leather jacket and go and get yourself a copy of this EP. You’ll be transported back in no time!!

 

TRACK LISTING:
Nightraiser
Surrender Or Die
Hell Master
Freedom To Kill
Satan Bloody Satan
Rocker (Hollywood Rose Cover)

SOCIAL LINKS:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ toxikull/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/ channel/UCOgab_PJ927_ bktNjdlEJ4w
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ toxikullmetalll/
Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/ artist/6SxegIsNxLM48Kt92WU6Wf
Bandcamp: https://toxikull.bandcamp.com
Record Label: www.mosherrecords.com

 

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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.

Saffire – Where The Monsters Dwell

Where The Monsters Dwell Cover

SAFFIRE – WHERE THE MONSTERS DWELL
Perris Records
Release Date: 20/04/2018
Running Time: 49:23
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

Next on my list of albums to review was another Swedish rock band. This time, it was the turn of Saffire, another Gothenburg based hard rock band, and what a band they are.
Formed in 2005 when Victor Olsson and Dino Zuzic were still at school, their idea was to form a band based on old school hard rock and metal, but with a modern twist to it. They claim to be for fans of “80’s melodic hard rock bands like Deep Purple and Rainbow” and, although I can see where this label comes from (at times the singer has more than a resemblance to the late, great Ronnie James Dio!) I would compare them more to power metal bands Firewind and Evergrey.

The band underwent several personnel changes before settling on their final line up of Victor Olsson on guitars, Tobias Jansson (former singer with fellow Swedish band Evil Masquerade) on vocals, Dino Zuzic on keyboards, Magnus Karlsson on bass and Anton Roos on drums in 2010 and a self-titled EP was recorded and released the same year.

The band played a lot of live shows and in 2013 they signed with Inner Wound Recordings for the release of their debut full length album “From Ashes To Fire.” The album was highly praised all over the world and Rocknytt.net, Sweden’s biggest rock website, placed the album in their top 10 list of best albums of 2013.

They toured all over Scandinavia, playing some of the biggest festivals like Sabaton Open Air and the Ton of Rock Gothenburg Sound Festival, alongside bands such as Slayer, Steel Panther, At The Gates and Sabaton.

November 2015 saw them release their second album “For The Greater Good” and, like its predecessor, was highly praised worldwide, leading to a sold-out release show in Gothenburg in January 2016, and many festival appearances that year including the Sweden Rock Festival, Metallsvenskan, Skogsröjet and Rock In Lisch, with bands such as Queen, Ghost, Twisted Sister and The Hellacopters.

“Where The Monsters Dwell” is the band’s third release and is nearly fifty minutes of real quality. This is a band who have mastered the art of song writing and are all superb musicians, two of the most important elements of being a band.

I love rock and metal bands that have strong vocals, whether that’s just in the power and intensity of the singing or whether the vocals have something different or special about them, and Tobias Jansson certainly pulls this off. From the very first note of the very first song I knew he was special. As I previously mentioned he wouldn’t be out of place singing for the likes of Firewind or Evergrey, two other bands I absolutely adore.

It’s not just the vocals that make this album though. The four other members are simply outstanding musicians. The guitar work is almost flawless, with fantastic solos and riffs that will get your head banging, even if you don’t want it to! The drumming is tight and energetic, and I would love to see Anton, the drummer, in action in a live setting. I can imagine him hitting those skins as if his life depended on it.

The album, as a whole, is straightforward, down to earth heavy rock/metal. I don’t like to pigeon hole bands so whether you consider these guys heavy rock or metal, I don’t really care. All I know is this album will have you dancing around the living room, strumming your air guitar and banging away on those air drums like a loon.

I had been listening to the album in my car until today when I decided to buy a set of external speakers for my laptop! And I must say, the louder you play this album, the better it sounds. I thought it was awesome anyway but coming through those speakers, it just blew me away.

It combines elements of a whole range of genre, from heavy, traditional metal to power metal, and there are even some funky grooves thrown in too. Of course, there is the obligatory ballad in Fortress, but it certainly doesn’t sound out of place on this album.

I am rather ashamed to say that I hadn’t heard of this band before reviewing this album, but for a relatively young band still, they have produced something that is mature and, I’ll say it again, of real quality. I will certainly be checking out their previous albums and am definitely a fan since listening to this.

If you have never heard of Saffire then you are missing out in a big way! Go grab yourself a copy of this album and see for yourself.

I just have one question for the band…………. WHEN ARE YOU COMING TO LONDON????
Simply awesome!!

 

TRACK LISTING
1. Wolf Among The Sheep
2. Hard To Keep, Hard To Find
3. Valley Of The Damned
4. Broken Crown
5. Where The Monsters Dwell
6. How Cold Is Your Blood
7. Road To Paradise
8. Perfectly Worthless
9. Dark Horizon
10. Fortress
11. The Rainmaker

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/saffiresweden/
http://saffire.se/
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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.

Manimal – Purgatorio

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MANIMAL – PURGATORIO
AFM Records
Release Date: 07/09/2018
Running Time: 42:01
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
10/10

Every once in a while, an album pops into your inbox that just grabs you from the onset and has a lasting impression on you, so much so that you just have to give it ten out of ten when you review it. I can’t remember the last time I gave a ten for a review but this album by Manimal certainly deserves it.

Formed in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2001, the four piece have previously released two albums, The Darkest Room in 2009 and Trapped in the Shadows in 2015, both showing how the band have stayed loyal to heavy/traditional influences and are prime examples of modern and trend-setting power metal.

Fast forward to 2018 and their latest album, Purgatorio, sees the band takes their outstanding qualities almost to the point of perfection. The album is nine tracks long, and the band have pulled out all the stops, creating different tempos and atmospheres throughout and writing choruses that have “true anthem potential!”

Says frontman Samuel Nyman: “our goal has always been to write songs we love and believe in. The challenge is to make a song with strong hooks without being too predictable. It’s just a bonus when we realise that people around the world seem to have the same good taste in music as we do!”

The album has been produced by Manimal themselves, says Nyman: “Just like the previous two albums we produced this one ourselves; mainly because we like to have full control of the production. We are control freaks to the bone, and the thought of putting our creations into hands of an external producer simply scares us!”

Each band member, however, still had their own little piece of the album to concentrate on. Singer Nyman is the epicentre of this amazing album. Inspired by singers such as Rob Halford, Geoff Tate and Michael Kiske, his voice oozes self-confidence and passion, the kind that makes you go “wow” as soon as he opens his mouth.

The fabulous song writing is courtesy of guitarist, Henrik Stenroos, a true riff icon, whose hooks and licks provide the foundation for many of Manimal’s songs and drummer André Holmqvist, whose tight and powerful drum style is comparable to that of legends such as Tommy Lee and Mike Portnoy, co-wrote the lyrics.

Finally, bassist Kenny Boufadene was in charge of mixing the album and also produces the band’s videos.

Despite undertaking much of the album, themselves, they also enlisted the help of some well-known support. Firstly, the drums were recorded by Jakob Hermann (Anthrax, Europe, Machinehead and Evergrey) at Top Floor Studios. Secondly, the album was mastered by Tony Lindgren at Jens Bogren’s famous Fascination Street Studios, and lastly, the album cover work was designed by Claudio Bergamin (Judas Priest).

This album has soooooo much to offer. The title track and “Edge of Darkness” are a typical variety of haunting melodies and classy grooves, with a hidden sadness, that has become one of the band’s trademarks. But, after a little research, there are a few tracks that are a little different for Manimal, such as “Denial” with its Rammstein-esque riff, and “Spreading The Dread” with its remarkable rhythm.

This is an album that, to quote the press release notes, “sounds monolithic despite the fact that the individual songs ooze a wide range of different details and special features.” There is exceptional compositional talent that they have now mastered for the third time.

If I had to explain Manimal’s sound to someone who had not heard of them, I would describe them as this….they are the best bits of a variety of metal genres all rolled into one, Judas Priest meets Primal Fear meets Angel Dust meets every other goddamn band there ever was!

I was in love with this album from the very first note of the very first song. Even now, as I write this review and the album has been played almost to death (although not quite) in my car for my journeys to and from work, I am listening to it again! There really is not a bad song on the album, and although the whole “all killer, no filler” quote is a bit of a cliché, its one that is actually true of this album, and I actually think its gets better the further into the album you get (which is really saying something as it starts on such a high anyway!)

The last three tracks “Denial” (my absolute favourite! Its one of those tracks you can play on a loop time and time again and still not tire of it!), “Edge of Darkness” and “The Fear Within” are my stand out tracks, although the title track, “Traitor” and “Behind Enemy Lines” are just as good. And the remaining two tracks, “Manimalized” and “Spreading the Dread” are not far behind. The first track on the album “Black Plague” is an intro and sets the scene for some awesome metal to come.

I could talk all day about how much I loved this album, but I think the best thing you can do, is go out and get yourself a copy and see for yourself! I would bet anything that you won’t be disappointed!

I just hope these guys are planning on doing some gigs over here in England (hint hint guys!) because I will be right down the front for it!!

The album was only released on the 7th of September 2018 (today’s date is the 12th September!) and I am already looking forward to the next album of awesomeness these guys produce!

You have definitely got yourselves a new fan here!!!

TRACK LIST
1. Black Plague
2. Purgatorio
3. Manimalized
4. Spreading The Dread
5. Traitor
6. Behind Enemy Lines
7. Denial
8. Edge Of Darkness
9. The Fear Within

SOCIAL MEDIA
http://www.manimal.se/
https://www.afm-records.de/en/m/69-manimal-2.html
https://www.facebook.com/manimalofficial/
https://www.instagram.com/@manimalofficial

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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.

Interview with Toledo Steel

 

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Toledo Steel are one the leading forces in the NWOTHM wave. Recently, I had the chance to do an email interview with Richard from the band.

Hi! I’m Dawn from Ever Metal. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for us. I hope you are all ok?

Hey! Yeah we’re all doing great cheers. Glad we can be doing this interview with you!

Ok, for those who haven’t heard of Toledo Steel before, can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

The band officially formed back in late 2011, myself and Matt Dobson (our drummer) are the only two original members from that first lineup though. We both wanted to form this kind of band for a few years prior to actually meeting each other but we didn’t have much luck finding likeminded people. This soon changed though after we put our heads together and it wasn’t long before we had our first lineup and were busy writing songs in preparation to get out there and play live.
Since our formation we released a bunch of demo tracks and followed it up with two self financed independently released E.P’s. We love playing live of course and have always tried to play as many shows as possible! Not just within the U.K but venturing over to Europe fairly frequently too.

Your debut album “No Quarter” was released through Dissonance Productions on the 18th May 2018. How is being received, both by the critics and reviewers and by the public? And, more importantly, how did the album release party go?

So far the feedback we’ve been receiving has been great! You only have one chance to make a statement with the first album and you don’t wanna drop the ball and undo the good work you’ve done in the years prior with the building up of the bands name and profile. We couldn’t have asked for a better album release show either, it was tied in with the Frost and Fire festival which took place in Camden and we played the official after party. The festival was totally sold out and everyone in attendance was already on a high from the whole thing so it only contributed even more so to a great atmosphere when we played.

You have been doing a lot of gigs with Seven Sisters, how has that been? How was the British Steel 2 festival at the end of May? I was gutted I missed that!

The shows with Seven Sisters have been awesome. They’re a great bunch of guys that we get along with really well so teaming up with them as much as we can makes total sense. The British Steel 2 event was cool also, that was also Primitai’s album release show who are also signed to Dissonance Productions so it was great to see that.

With festival season now in full swing, what would be your favourite festival to play and why?

There’s so many great festivals so that’s a tough question to answer but something like Sweden Rock or Hellfest would be great exposure to a bigger audience. There’s so many cool smaller festivals too that we want to play, Keep it True in Germany for example.

You are a favourite with Dean Archer at The Rock Den in Hatfield. What do you think of guys like him and what they are doing for the rock/metal scene?

I think that people like Dean are essential to the music scene and the future of Rock and Metal music. He makes a real effort to bring different bands to the Rock Den and play alongside some of the more established older bands. If every city had promoters and venues like this, there’s no doubt that the scene within the U.K could begin to thrive even more so.

Your website describes you as “one of the UK’s leading forces in the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal!” Is this just the new name for NWOBHM?

I guess so! The NWOTHM tagline just makes it clear that it’s a new wave of bands coming through with the NWOBHM inspired sound. The term NWOBHM is specific to that era so it makes sense to alter it slightly.

With venues closing down all the time and people seemingly preferring to watch cover bands and tribute bands, where do you see the future of metal lies? Some of the “older” metal heads are saying there is nothing new coming through. Do you think this is the case?

People who say that there’s nothing new coming through need to open their eyes and ears a bit more! Haha. There’s plenty of new rock and metal bands emerging the world over. Sure, it’s not all gold and you gotta scratch beneath the surface a bit to discover these bands but there most definitely is a lot of new stuff worth listening to.

How do you all cope with being in a band, with rehearsals and gigs etc as well as jobs and family life? You must all be knackered all the time!

None of us have kids so that simplifies things and we work it around our day jobs fairly easy enough. We’re not robots, so yeah there are days where we’re a little tired but I personally feel like I’ve always got energy. I like to be as active as possible really, I can’t sit down for hours on end in front of the T.V for instance. Having something to constantly look forward to or do band wise outside of day to day life suits us down to the ground really.

Who is the driving force behind the band? You know, the guy that organises rehearsals, gets you all together when you need to be, that sort of thing?

Matt is great with all the organisation of things and the finer details. He is essentially the band manager and he’s done a fantastic job. We tend to always rehearse on the same day each week so we all know the score with that, but the booking of shows and networking side of things is handled primarily by him.

So, what’s next on the horizon for Toledo Steel?

Next up we plan to continue getting out there playing live and promoting the new album of course! We’re also gonna start working on ideas for album number two fairly soon as well. A music video for one of the album tracks is well under way too and it won’t be long before we’ll be able to release that! We’re really excited to get that finished off and up online, it’s looking pretty cool so far.

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

No worries and cheers to everyone that’s supported us so far and continues to do so. “No Quarter” can be streamed online via Spotify or physical copies bought from us directly or via Amazon, HMV Stores or ITunes etc. Keep supporting emerging bands and spread the word to keep the music and scene alive!

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Desolation Angels

DA_Band_02

Desolation Angels were one of the forefathers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal era. Now, nearly forty years later, they are still rocking and I, recently, had the chance to interview them.

Hi, I’m Dawn from Ever Metal. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us and I hope you are all ok?

Hi Dawn, yes we are all ok thanks.

Ok, so for those who have been hiding in a remote cave somewhere for the past thirty odd years, can you give us a quick background of the band?

Desolation Angels was formed in early 1981 by childhood friends Robin Brancher and Keith Sharp based in the East End of London. The band started writing and rehearsing and soon built up a reputation playing live.

The band’s first single, ‘Valhalla’, was recorded at a studio in Cheltenham in 1982 and, by this time, the band was touring extensively the UK. In 1984, their debut self titled album ‘Desolation Angels’ was recorded at Thameside Studios, London

After spending eight years in the USA playing live shows and recording, the band returned to the UK.

* After various personnel changes since the reformation of Desolation Angels in 2012, the band members are: Robin Brancher (guitar), Keith Sharp (guitar), Clive Pearson (bass), Chris Takka (drums) Paul Taylor (vocals).

Answered Clive Pearson

So, your latest album “King” (great name by the way!) was released on February 23rd of this year (2018), how is it being received? I see you have had some great reviews.

The name seems to have been a good choice, well done to Rob on that one….. it needs to be mentioned first that we were so fortunate to have Chris Tsangeridies listen to the demos and see the potential in the songs to agree to give us his time to make this album so special in so many ways. It so tragic that this was to be his final gift to the music world as he certainly took this on to ensure he handed over a fantastic album. He brought out the best in DA AND we will be ever thankful to his dedication to produce and engineer these songs which the ‘reviews tell it all. The enjoyment of working with Chris and hearing all his tales of his past were very entertaining when recording can be such a stressful experience. He put the fun and enjoyment into those weeks of hard work…. the album is selling very well and so it should as it is one of those albums that gets better each time you listen to it. That is down to the song writing and the great man CT…. thanks Chris may you RIP in Valhalla with your great friend Gary Moore.

Answered by Clive Pearson.

And how was it working with the late, great Chris Tsangeridis?

I may have answered that in previous question.

He was a true musician who loved working in the industry and to help those musicians around him. His history speaks for itself and no air of greatness within his personality which could really have been the case. He’d work with anyone who had desire and commitment to their music… see his autobiography as it would take the whole Metal Nation edition to cover his character and albums.

Answered by Clive Pearson.

The official launch party for the album was on March 23rd at The Devonshire Arms in Camden. I was gutted I couldn’t get there. How did it go? Lots of drunkenness and shenanigans?

The Dev is a perfect venue for this event as it is a true metal pub in Camden which is one of the most diverse towns in London. Great atmosphere and punters. I think my other half should cover the drunken shenanigans as she won that one hands down. I give you her number and the Premier Inn in London where she was carried to after the gig and made a grand entrance…….. I am sure they can fill you in on that one… lots of punters were up for a big night and it did not disappoint.

Answered by Clive Pearson.

So, you are happy with the line up now?

It’s not just a line up it’s a big family with all the wives and girlfriends part of the group.

Answered by Paul Chatfield

I checked out your latest tour dates on your website and I see you are doing a lot of double headers with another great band Sacrilege (and some with support from Satan’s Empire). What’s is like working with those guys? They are all a great bunch.

They are all a great bunch. We have got a few under our belts already and the one that stands out was at the Underworld in Camden … I seem to get on well in Camden……… Sacrilege are a real good time rock and roll party animals that enjoy themselves on and off stage. We are also pretty much the same age so got a lot of those old days to catch up on and reminisce about. Satan’s Empire have a new album out and sure deliver live. I know Paul Lewis from when he was in Belladonna so cool to be gigging with them now..
Look forward to the next ones coming up…

Answered by Clive Pearson.

And you have the NWOBHM GDR #3 in Nuneaton in November. Are you looking forward to that? It’s a shame it’s not in London again though.

We played the first one in London and good to see it gathering pace a few years now. Great to have Tokyo Blade, Tysondog on the bill plus The Deep & Airforce. We all gigging regularly over the years so will be a big party.

Tokyo Blade will be the 2nd time we shared the stage who are good friends with Rob and Keith so good times will be had…

You play in Europe a lot. Do you think your music is better received there and do you prefer playing there or on home soil?

We really enjoy playing in Europe, the fans seem more dedicated, they know the material and really appreciate the fact you come over. I suppose we were a bit spoilt for choice in the UK. There is, and has always been loads of great bands evolved here through the years so fans have a massive choice. Don’t get me wrong it’s fantastic to play to a great crowd in the UK but the European crowds seem to let their hair down a bit more and really rock out.

Answered by Paul Taylor

I am the first to admit that I am not the biggest fan of NWOBHM (yet here I am interviewing one of the original bands from the era!) and I must say I prefer the last album to the earlier stuff. What have you done that has changed your sound so that even a NWOBHM-disliker like me loved your album?

The NWOBHM label is just that, a label! It was just a way to remarket what had always been there, good old-fashioned rock bands. All the radio stations just played either disco music or punk. Purple, Sabbath, UFO, Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash, Budgie, Lizzy and Priest were still all there and they inspired us, younger bands. So it could be that you like the King album because we’re now better at producing great rock albums than we were 30 years ago . The original values of the music are the same as they’ve always been, strong powerful guitar riffs with a solid rhythm section and melodic vocal tunes with interesting lyrics. We chose Chris T to produce the album because of his fantastic track record and his love of great rock music. He loved the album and did a brilliant job. It would seem that we’ve done what we intended to do, make an album traditional NWOBHM fans would like but also cross the boundaries in to the established hard rock fan base who would normally dismiss NWOBHM bands because of the label.

Answered by Paul Taylor

Ok, so I am friends with most, if not all of you, on social media of some sort, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and I have seen you “in the flesh” so to speak. You are all a great bunch of guys and I would love to interview you face to face after a gig at some point! Would this be ok with you guys?

For sure we always happy to give interviews and answer question for readers on Skype or phone.
Or come backstage after gig and we can have few beers and chat..

So, what’s next for Desolation Angels?

Keep on gigging for as long as we can and record the next album.

Answered by Paul Chatfield

Well, thank you so much for your time. I look forward to seeing you on the road and maybe we can get that interview squeezed in. Is there anything you would like to add?

Thanks for asking us to do this interview spread the word www.desolationangels.co.uk

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Onslaught – VI

VI Cover

ONSLAUGHT – “VI”
AFM Records
Release Date: 20/09/2013
Running Time 39:30
Review by Rick Tilley
10/10

This Review was first published in 2014 and is reprinted courtesy of Brutiful Metal Radio

I have been a big fan of Onslaught since their debut album ‘Power From Hell’ hit the streets in 1985. They were at the forefront of the UK Thrash movement back then and a perfect counterpart to the Bay Area and German scenes. I was also lucky enough to be part of the crowd who witnessed one of Sy Keeler’s very first gigs with the band at The Marquee Club, London in April 1986 when they supported Exciter. Due to the timetable running a bit late everyone was inside the venue when Onslaught emerged onstage to soundcheck ‘Let There Be Death’, which they did with such ferocity and precision that there were bodies and open mouths everywhere you looked. It was one of those spine tingling moments that only happen occasionally, it remains forever scorched onto my brain and second album ‘The Force’ is still one of my all time favourites!

What happened in subsequent years up until their eventual split in 1991 is a story for another day, needless to say I was more than a bit surprised, but extremely happy, when they decided to get back together in 2005. “VI” is Onslaught’s third album since returning and not only is it the best of the three it is also very close to being their finest hour. This is about as heavy and precise as a squadron of British Chieftain Tanks hitting you at full force, in other words “Fucking Immense”! Thirty second intro ‘A New World Order’ leads into ‘Chaos Is King’ and for the next forty minutes the skin is going to be melted from your face. Keeler’s venomous, spitting vocals improve as he ages and this is arguably his best ever performance. Founding member Nige Rockett and Andy Rosser Davies’ guitar work is outstanding, and in places reminiscent of Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman (R.I.P) and Annihilator’s Jeff Waters. Jeff Williams bass thunders and rumbles in perfect unison and new drummer Mic Hourihan appears to have been taking lessons from Gene Hoglan such is his split second timing. There really isn’t a poor track here and ’66’Fucking’6′ is going to become a thrash anthem!

Yes, I unashamedly love this album and after such brilliant releases from Exodus, Testament, Annihilator and Kreator in recent years I’m proud to say that Onslaught have matched them. I’m just pissed I never got round to reviewing this last October because it would have been top three in my albums of the year list. Double check the score I’ve given this, believe me, I don’t hand that out very often!

 

Tracklist

  • 1. A New World Order
  • 2. Chaos Is King
  • 3. Fuel for My Fire
  • 4. Children of the Sand
  • 5. Slaughterize
  • 6. 66’Fucking’6
  • 7. Cruci-Fiction
  • 8. Dead Man Walking
  • 9. Enemy of My Enemy

 

Social Media

  • https://www.powerfromhell.com/
  • https://www.facebook.com/onslaughtuk/
  • https://www.instagram.com/onslaught_uk_official/

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and Ever Metal.  It is strictly forbidden to reproduce and part of this review, unless you have the explicit permission of both parties; failure to comply will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Reproduced with the kind permission of Brutiful Metal Radio