Putrid Offal – Live at Hellfest 2017

Putrid Offal – Live at Hellfest 2017
Xenokorp
Release Date: 13/11/2020
Running Time: 28:15
Review by Rick Eaglestone
7/10

It doesn’t need me to point out the obvious reasons why there hasn’t been much live music year and I know that I’m not the only one who marked up their calendar in 2019, ready for all the festivals this year, only to either cross them off or forget to do that and when the time comes to reveal the next month seeing the reminder of what could’ve been…

Yes, there’s been livestreams, but even then they haven’t been entirely straight forward so when I threw my hat into the pot to join the Ever Metal family I was very pleased indeed to learn the band I had chosen to review have a newly released live album as I had only been playing their latest studio album “Sickness Obsessions” last month. In fact, the latest studio album contains a DVD with the full set of this show.

It is highly fitting that Putrid Offal chose this show as it their home country after all. The album wastes no time starting, it is straight in with the frenzied ‘Livor Mortis’ and the gut wrenching ‘Purulent Cold’.

The lead single from latest album ‘Let There Be Rot’ slices back into 2015 and revisits the track ‘From Plasma To Embalming’.

The absolute highlight for me is hearing ‘Repulsive Corpse’ I love the guitar work on this track it’s been my favourite track of theirs since I first heard it, and nothing has changed.

Skull Pounding alert here for ‘Necrotic Mutilation’ which is followed by shortest track of the album ‘Gurgling Prey’ which has drumming very reminiscent of incredibly early Slayer and both ‘Rotted Flesh’ and ‘Organic Excavation’ have a great death gore throwback feel to them. Finally, the set ends with a short savage attack in the form of ‘Suffering’.

For a live album “Live At Hellfest 2017” is incredibly short but having watched the actual live performance it is the full set, as it was performed. This is a shame as I would’ve liked to hear a few tracks from the early splits, in particular ‘Obscurum Per Obscurius’ and maybe a little more crowd noise/interaction for the real live feel.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Livor Mortis
2. Purulent Cold
3. Let There Be Rot
4. From Plasma to Embalming
5. Repulsive Corpse 2:51
6. Necrotic Mutilation
7. Gurgling Prey
8. Rotted Flesh
9. Organic Excavation
10. Suffering

LINE-UP:
Franck Peiffer – Vocals
Philippe Reinhalter – Guitars
Frédéric Houriez – Bass
Laye Louhenapessy – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rick Eaglestone 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.

Blue Öyster Cult – 45th Anniversary Live In London

Blue Öyster Cult45th Anniversary Live In London
Frontiers Music srl
Released Date: 07/08/2020
Running Time: 1:13:54
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Good afternoon, you wall eyed, vain and insane creatures. It is I, Dark Juan, addressing you after a particularly physical 48 hour duty shift wrangling recalcitrant young gentlemen. Said young gentlemen have been firmly reminded of just what constitutes acceptable behaviour, and suffice it to say it was not the extensive levels of property damage that was caused yesterday morning. I told them if it were the House of the False God it would have been ok, but not when it is your own bed. Thankfully, the Mighty Gothmobile (my particularly ratty looking, ancient Audi. Even Hellpriests need to travel. But it is black, and the stereo is KICKASS) emerged unscathed, not that you would be able to tell due to the state of it. Anyway, now I’m seated in the lounge of Dark Juan Terrace, Mrs. Dark Juan across from me, as she is drawing a really quite disturbing changeling creature and the Hounds of Smell are distributed about various items of furniture and I am on my fourth cup of tea of the day, listening to the stylings of the mighty and puissant Blue Öyster Cult.

Unsurprisingly, given the title of the album, this is a 45th anniversary performance of the finest of BOC’s music, recorded in London at the O2 Indigo. In fact, it is a show comprising the entirety of BOC’s FUCKING CLASSIC first album with added extras, rare songs and ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper’. No, stop that shaking of your heads. I SAID STOP IT! You would only have been disappointed if the band hadn’t played it, and let’s face it, it is a fucking stone cold classic hard rock song and puts a lot of modern bands to shame with the sheer scale of its vision. Anyway, I’m done arguing with you. You’re wrong.

Starting with a typically understated greeting from the veteran New York noiseniks, they waste no time with niceties and crash straight into opening number ‘Transmaniacon MC’. As well as it having oodles of Hammond organ (but sadly no cowbell), you can’t help but be mightily impressed with the quality of the sound production and mix. It is fucking perfect, baby. Every instrument is clearly audible, the bass drum resonates superbly and does NOT sound like someone belting a taut, wet tea towel with an equally wet and very flaccid dead rat, and no one part of the band overshadows the other. The bass guitar is also top notch, easily cutting through and just grooving its way around the music. Blue Öyster Cult’s sound engineer must be some kind of fucking archmage, his work is that good. Now, as you are well aware, I am not normally a fan of live records, but by Jiminy this is fucking amazing – I’m not sure whether it is the innate (insanely high) quality of the songs, the fact that the band just EFFORTLESSLY groove or what. All I know is that I’m fucking LOVING IT LARGE! Blue Öyster Cult’s Eastern tinged, funky, groovy, psychedelic sound is not for everyone, but if you want to hear a live recording played with passion, precision and sheer joy, you can do no better than this record. I mean it. I am seldom so enthusiastic about this sort of stuff, but this atmospheric, spacey kind of exploratory hard rock is right up my fucking street, seeing as I am an Ipsissimus Of The Temple Of The Groove, and I am being transported on great, purple clouds of acid tinged enthusiasm and the high just keeps on getting bigger, man. ‘Then Came The Last Days Of May’ is particularly noteworthy with its amphetamine fuelled speedy middle eight and solo before it changes gear and slams back into the colossal groove it was following. Also of note for the more metal tinged warriors amongst you, my children, is ‘Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll’ as it has one of the most classic sleazy guitar riffs ever committed to celluloid, before the acid trip hits and then there’s honky tonk piano and some kind of bizarro fucking echoey fuzz phasery bit that then crashes into the kind of soloing that just makes you weep with ketamine fuelled joy and false endings and all kinds of shenanigans before slamming back into the groove for a final four bars… Then there is a surprisingly violent version of ‘Workshop Of The Telescopes’. Oh, this is what music should be like.

Listening to Blue Öyster Cult, you are reminded of the roots of this thing we called metal, and how it welded the sounds of jazz, rock and roll, psychedelia and the blues together. BÖC do it expertly and effortlessly. I’ll be honest here – I was expecting a jaded, tired band completing a jaded, tired performance in a blatant cash grab for the anniversary of the release of their first record. Instead I got an obviously committed band, playing classic music with the kind of passion that is lacking from a lot of modern metal, with a surfeit of skill, musicianship and songwriting talent. There isn’t a SINGLE bum note anywhere and I can detect no overdubs covering mistakes.

In short, if this isn’t regarded as a classic live album in the future, I’m going to eat Ever Metal supremo Rick Tilley. He’d barbecue so beautifully and I imagine with shallots and an apple jus he would be most agreeable on the palate. (This is news to me and I’m actually quite perturbed by the thought! – Rick)

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Blue Öyster Cult a shining and sparkling 10/10 for a classic live album – pin sharp, fucking perfect and still heavy as fuck, man. Heavy. As. Fuck. Every song is a classic masterpiece. Every fucking song. And let’s face it, if you don’t love ‘Godzilla’ you have no fucking soul and you’re dead to me.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Transmaniacon MC
02. I’m On The Lamb, But I Ain’t No Sheep  (I do SO appreciate wordplay.)
03. Then Came The Last Days Of May
04. Stairway To The Stars
05. Before The Kiss, A Redcap (Psychedelia for the win!)
06. Screams (Could be written for the sounds Mrs. Dark Juan emits when I’m being enthusiastic about something. Like Blue Öyster Cult currently.)
07. She’s As Beautiful As A Foot (I’m slightly concerned by this.)
08. Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll
09. Workshop Of The Telescopes
10. Redeemed
11. Buck’s Boogie
12 Godzilla (Stadium BANGER!!!)
13. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper
14. Tattoo Vampire (I never noticed that my first teenage band, The Theatre Upstairs, had ripped off the opening drum pattern from this. Please don’t sue me, Blue Öyster Cult. I have nothing worth having besides a number of elderly dogs of uncertain temper. And, judging by the state of their arses, gastric problems.)
15. Hot Rails To Hell

LINE-UP (as if you didn’t fucking know already!)
Eric Bloom – Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser – Guitar, Vocals
Richie Castellano – Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals
Danny Miranda – Bass Guitar, Vocals
Jules Radino – Drums, Percussion

LINKS:

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.

Kamelot – I Am The Empire – Live From The 013

Kamelot – I Am The Empire – Live From The 013
Napalm Records
Release Date: 14/08/2020
Running Time: 97:12
Review By Beth Jones
10/10

You know when you finally get round to paying attention to a band that you should have paid attention to a long time ago. And then when you do, you feel like the dumbest decision you ever made was leaving it until now to do that. Well…um…yeah, that. I know, I know!! I will hold my hands up and you may throw rotten fruit at me and call me an idiot for leaving it this long to pay attention to American Symphonic Metal aficionados, Kamelot. But please rest assured that this sort of oversight will never happen again!

This most recent release is an epic live album, featuring their performance at the legendary 013 in Tilburg, Netherlands. It features 21 extraordinary tracks, with guest appearances from some renowned names, and spans an extensive nearly 100 minutes of play time. And I’m guessing that you may have already worked out from my score, that, for me, this is 100 minutes of pure extravagant joy!

The album begins with a triumphant instrumental overture, befitting of any good Arthurian film to accompany a riding sequence, with Arthur and the knights traversing rocky terrain. What better way is there to open a show for a symphonic metal band by the name of Kamelot, eh? None I tell thee!

From there we travel through hit after hit of grand melodies, from new songs to classics, encompassing intricate harmonies, powerful rhythms, and insatiable instrumentation that fills every beat with drama and beauty. We’re also treated to guest appearances from the likes of Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy), Charlotte Wessels (Delain), Elize Ryd (Amaranthe), Lauren Hart (Once Human) and Sascha Paeth (Avantasia, Epica and more)!

But for me, the aspect that gives me those excited, ‘tingles down the spine’ moments, is Tommy Karevik’s stunning vocals. They are both powerful and effortless, with a richness and purity that could melt even the coldest heart. If there is some kind of heavenly Eutopia for us to pass over to in the afterlife, I sure hope this is the soundtrack.

One track that particularly stands out for me, and displays these silky vocals perfectly, is ‘Here’s to the Fall’. In a change to the pacey and orchestrated masterpieces that have bathed us to this point, this ballad is more stripped back. It doesn’t have face melting solos, or earth-shattering power drumming. It is a melancholic piece with the perfect marriage of Piano and vocals at the forefront, backed up with strings and gentle bass. It has the feeling of a great operatic aria, steeped in sadness, somewhere in the middle of a Broadway musical, where one of the lesser main characters has departed before their time. Being a huge fan of musicals and all things dramatic and operatic, and a big old emotional softy, this ticks all the boxes for me! And god, that voice!!! I have gone all melty.

Now, my usual gripe with live albums is the production/annoying crowd noise/bits where the vocals disappear in the mix etc, etc. But, because this album has been mixed and mastered by Sascha Paeth, none of this is applicable – everything is placed perfectly, every instrument cuts through at the right level, and the vocals sit beautifully throughout. Even the crowd noise works! It’s like they’re an extra facet to the band, and it really makes you feel like you are there, immersed in the whole live experience! At one point there is a section where, I’m guessing, the band got the crowd to do the old ‘Which side can shout the loudest’ routine, and even this is panned between the left and right channels to give you the correct feel of it! Attention to detail like that is what makes great production stand out.

So, to the bad points. There are none! It’s perfect. That’s the shortest paragraph I’ve ever written.

“I Am The Empire – Live From The 013” is available in digital format, as well as CD digipak, Deluxe Box (including the album), Blu-Ray/DVD, and vinyl. I would suggest that if you like Symphonic Metal, Power Metal, Operatic Metal, Musical Theatre, or simply just want something bloody marvellous to listen to, then you should invest in this album.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Transcendence (Intro)
02. Phantom Divine (Shadow Empire) – feat. Lauren Hart
03. Rule The World
04. Insomnia
05. The Great Pandemonium
06. When The Lights Are Down
07. My Confession – feat. Eklipse
08. Veil Of Elysium
09. Under Grey Skies – feat. Charlotte Wessels (live premiere)
10. Ravenlight – feat. Sascha Paeth
11. End Of Innocence
12. March Of Mephisto – feat. Alissa White Gluz
13. Amnesiac
14. Manus Dei

15. Sacrimony (Angel Of Afterlife) – feat. Alissa White Gluz & Elize Ryd
16. Drum And Keys Solo
17. Here’s To The Fall
18. Forever
19. Burns To Embrace – with Children’s Choir including Thomas Youngblood’s son
20. Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy) – feat Alissa White Gluz
21. Ministrium (Shadow Key)

LINE-UP:
Thomas Youngblood – guitars
Tommy Karevik – vocals
Oliver Palotai – keyboards
Sean Tibbetts – bass
Alex Landenburg – drums

LINKS:
www.kamelot.com/band/
www.facebook.com/kamelotofficial
www.instagram.com/kamelotofficial
www.twitter.com/KamelotOfficial
www.youtube.com/kamtv
www.vk.com/kamelot_official

Photo by Tim Tronckoe

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.

Kamala – Live In France

Live In France Cover

Kamala – Live In France
Self-released
Release Date: 27/11/2019
Running Time: 32:53
Review by Victor Augusto
9.0/10

Keeping a Heavy Metal band alive in Brazil could be considered honorable for so many reasons that I should write a book to talk about it! Heavy Metal is not even close to being popular in this country, but despite that, and many other issues, there are a great number of impressive records being released every year. Against all the odds, Kamala appeared and gave a great example of what a professional band must do to stay alive. They’ve been on the road since 2007 and started to play in Europe in 2013, where the band grew an incredible fan base, especially in France.

Kamala became a trio after the great album “Mantra” (2015), and the mantras and oriental music that once complemented the band’s sound, is not as obvious now, but it is still there. The work on a straighter guitar and bass made them sound more Thrash Metal than before. The last line-up change was new drummer, Isabela Moraes, who has been with the band since the recording of the acclaimed “Eyes of Creation” (2018). This album opened many doors for the band, especially overseas, where they have concentrated their recent shows.

The studio sound in the last two albums focused on Raphael Olmos’ riffs and on the great support of Allan Malavasi’s excellent bass work, which masked the absence of a second guitar, even during the solos. Of course, this “live” studio spirit increased their performance on stage, and here they’ve created a live album to explore this new path. Another good reason for a live album is the fact they have been more in Europe than their own country. The city of Lembras saw their last show on their 6th European tour, and the synergy between them was on its prime after an entire tour, playing every day.

Different from many live albums, all the instruments sound strong and clear. The guitar is like a punch straight in the face, with killer tones throughout, even during the wah-wah on solos. Allan Malavasi’s bass remains impactful all the time, with really good solos. Another interesting point, which I already observed at the shows that I was saw in person, is how the sharing of vocal duties between Olmos and Malavasi made the band seems to have not only one frontman, but two.

My biggest surprise is Isabela Moraes’ killer sounds on this album. Where she seemed to value groove and cadence on the studio record, here she sounds thirsty for Thrash, with a much greater speed. There is no way you can listen to the intro of “Suicidal Attack” only once, the way she smashes her drum kit. Another song that she put in her way of playing is “My Religion”, making the snare louder than the original version.

The set list for this live work focuses on the last two albums, and songs like “Stay With Me”, as well as the excellent “Believe”, are a great sample of what Kamala are. I must give a special mention to the amazing song “Mantra”, which is the last track of the album. In my opinion this is the best of Kamala’s songs, and I dare to say, even one of the best Thrash Metal songs I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s total destruction, with several nuances and rhythmical changes enhancing its great moments, the chorus being the best moment in my opinion.

Since their early days, Kamala wasn’t just one more awesome band among all other great Brazilian bands. From all countries that they have played, France was the one that really embraced this trio with the same passion that the band put on stage when they play. “Live in France” is one more brick in this great career in Europe, and a great way to show that Kamala continue to get bigger.

TRACKLISTING:

  1. Internal Peace
  2. Open Door
  3. Believe
  4. Stay With Me
  5. Take Away
  6. My Religion
  7. Suicidal Attack
  8. Mantra

LINE-UP:

Raphael Olmos – Vocals and Guitar
Allan Malavasi – Vocals and bass
Isabela Moraes – Drums

LINKS:

https://www.facebook.com/kamalaofficial

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

https://www.instagram.com/kamalaofficial/

https://open.spotify.com/artist/5mbUdP134DvKlRFr4AhsHO

Promo Pic 2019

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.

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.

Lordi – RecorDead Live; Sextourcism In Z7 (2CD)

Recordead Live - Sextourcism In Z7 Cover

Lordi – RecorDead Live; Sextourcism In Z7 (2CD)
AFM Records
Release Date: 26/07/2019
Running Time: 90:33
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
8/10

BEER! MORE BEER! Mrs. Dark Juan is shirking her duties and telling me I am a lazy fat bastard for demanding my beer being brought to me. Now, she’s undoubtedly correct on all three counts, for I freely admit I’m a lazy fat bastard but nevertheless she should not address the Groove Ipssissimus, the Love Commando and the head of the clergy in that fashion. It’s just…. unsympathetic! Especially when I am creating literary genius for your edification, dear acolytes!

Good evening, I am Dark Juan and I have taken time out from my extremely busy schedule of defiling Christian women, virgins and religious institutions to share with you important matters of metal. France is Catholic, you see. I have an incredibly large task ahead of me to subvert these people. Still, one lady at a time, eh? My neighbour Helene (age 74) made the mistake of asking what I was listening to, the other day. She then had to weather a one hour lecture on just why Lawnmower Deth are amazing in halting and incorrect French. Cobwoman Of Deth Meets Mr. Smellymop took some explaining. Funnily enough, she’s taken to crossing the road and running to the nearest house whenever I am outdoors at the same time as her. I was hoping to discuss the neo-classical connotations of symphonic black metal with her at some point. Oh well. I’m sure she will be receptive to a conversation in about three months.

In other news, while I waffle aimlessly in a desperate attempt to fill out what is now traditionally not a short review, I’m listening to the Finnish nutters called Lordi. Yes, I’m listening to “RecorDead Live; Sextourcism in Z7”. It’s no secret that I am partial to any band that has an egregious image, and Lordi have that in spades. They also have some fucking killer songs – ‘Blood Red Sandman’ should be an enduring metal classic. It was also the song and video that introduced Lordi to an agog young neophyte back in Manchester many moons ago and launched a 25 year love affair with them. AND THEY ALSO WON EUROVISION! Truly, a band to be revered in Dark Juan’s world, then!

The problem is, though, the fact that I don’t really like live albums, because I consider them to be inferior versions of the proper songs. In order to properly appreciate live versions of songs, you have to be there, basking in the atmosphere, being hot, sweaty and pressed tightly against a total stranger… However, having got that minor rant out of the way, we have to establish whether this album is worth expending wonga on, don’t we? From a quantity point of view Lordi have it licked (hurgh hurgh) as there are a throbbingly massive 20 songs on offer here.

Lordi are a heavy metal band in the classic mould – lots of melody and power chords. This is a good thing because they sound like they belong in the Shot In The Dark Ozzy era 1980’s, when I was growing up and first getting into metal, and therefore they immediately provoke memories of good times and horrific hangovers off Thunderbird wine. Also, Lordi have some fucking killer tunes. Some absolute belters! And they also have a similar childish propensity, as I do, for pithy and silly wordplay. Hence they open the show with Sexorcism. A very silly song, but perfectly enjoyable and Mr. Lordi’s voice is a bit raw to start with but he soon warms up and he’s bang on form by the time he gets to ‘Your Tongue’s Got The Cat’. Mr. Amen however is masterful on the guitar, being virtually note perfect throughout the concert. Mr. Ox on bass is also excellent as is Mr. Mana on drums. I also enjoyed Ms. Hella on the keys – I was a big BIG fan of Awa (such long, elegant fingers crawling slowly down my spine and along my hips to my……. STOP THAT!!!!) and was devastated when she left Lordi. But Ms. Hella has awoken previously dormant feelings in …….Enough. The flock don’t need to know that, Dark Juan, you bloody pervert.

The album mix is also a bit patchy when it first gets going, as if the sound engineer has suddenly remembered he has a job to do and puts down his beer in a hurry. Again it settles down after a couple of tracks and we achieve a happy, well balanced sound which is uncommonly clear for a live recording. There is the odd bum note and the backing vocals also take a song or two to warm up but this is part and parcel of live performance.

There’s every one of my favourite Lordi songs on here: ‘Would You Love A Monsterman?’, ‘Blood Red Sandman’, ‘The Devil Is A Loser’, ‘Who’s Your Daddy?’ and of course the finale of the whole shebang is ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’, an absolute monster of a track and their legendary Eurovision winning song. All the songs on the record (and indeed by Lordi in general) are designed specifically to be chant along fun. They have massive, MASSIVE choruses and are just good old metal singalong fodder. The thing is, Lordi are also a VISUAL medium and I can’t help but think we are missing an essential part of the full experience with just a record, so there’s kind of a gap in my enjoyment of it. It’s hard to elucidate, but the music requires you to be able to SEE Mr. Lordi and the rest of the band waving their arms, wings and other as yet unnamed limbs about and generally being awesome. They evince the vaudeville joy and sense of fun that is often missing from metal nowadays. It’s schlocky, messy and involves a fuckton of dressing up, and who the fuck doesn’t love that sort of thing?

I love Lordi. I love bands that have theatre and performance value. I love theatricality. This is why I think Ghost are amazing and fuck the haters. I love Lordi’s live album but it isn’t top marks because there’s no visual component. My god, I have almost written a competent review.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is utterly appalled with itself for daring to actually write something that might actually have some useful value and has gone off to sulk in the corner, but awards 8/10 for a fine live album.

Note: There are Blu-Ray/DVD versions but we only received the CD version to review!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Sexorcism
02. Would You Love A Monsterman?
03. Missing Miss Charlene’s House Of Ghosts
04. Your Tongue’s Got The Cat
05. Heaven Sent Hell On Earth
06. Mr. Killjoy
07. Rock the Hell Outta You
08. Blood Red Sandman
09. It Snows In Hell
10. She’s A Demon
11. Slashion Model Girls
12. Naked In My Cellar
13. Rock Police
14. Hug You Hardcore
15. Evilyn
16. The Riff
17. Nailed By The Hammer Of Frankenstein
18. Who’s Your Daddy?
19. Devil Is A Loser
20. Hard Rock Hallelujah

LINE-UP:
Mr. Lordi – vocals
Mr. Amen – guitar
Mr. Ox – bass
Mr. Mana – drums
Ms. Hella – keyboards

LINKS:
http://www.lordi.fi/
https://www.facebook.com/LordiOfficial/

https://www.instagram.com/lordiofficial/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn5gK-xJtOxYHzubFazyCKQ

 

Live Shot

 

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.

 

Entombed – Live Clandestine

Live Clandestine Cover

Entombed – Live Clandestine
Threeman Records
Release Date: 17/05/2019
Running Time: 54:00
Review by: Alun Jones
8/10

Live albums, as I’ve stated before, are something of an issue for me. They should be devoured ravenously, but sometimes, like vegetable pizza, they just don’t live up to expectations.

Too often, live albums suffer with poor sound, ruining the immersive experience. Other times, they’re just a cynical cash-in to milk fans of more money, when there’s no new product to flog.

Occasionally, a live recording will deliver the goods – and even I have to admit that this album from Entombed is pretty damn impressive.

What we have here is Entombed celebrating the 25th Anniversary of their classic “Clandestine” album with a performance of the work in full, from start to finish. Original members Nicke Andersson (drums), Uffe Cederlund (guitar) and Alex Hellid (guitar) are joined by Robert Andersson (vocals) and Edvin Aftonfalk (bass) – both from Morbus Chron. These five musicians recreate a mighty masterpiece which is both exciting and vital.

“Clandestine” was Entombed’s second album, and followed in the footsteps of its predecessor to help breathe life into Death Metal. With this concert performance, the sound is great – those buzzsaw guitars really attack the senses – showing the band are on top form. Audience noise is present, but not intrusive, actually helping put the record in context nicely.

The songs are still just as savage, just as brutal – serving as a fine reminder of just how great “Clandestine” was. Or is! All of the tracks are meticulously recreated, but it sounds as intended – as a tribute and celebration, not a cash in. “Left Hand Path” (from the debut album), tagged on at the end, makes the listener crave more.

Great live recordings should enable the listener to feel like they were actually there. The performance and sound must be both representative of the studio material, yet also have the power to immerse the listener in the experience. Entombed have succeeded in capturing a great performance and atmosphere with “Live Clandestine”. Fans will be rabid for this; for the uninitiated it’s well worth investigating.

Still, I can only award 8 out of 10 – because as good as this is, I can’t help wishing we had new material from Entombed to gorge on.

Fun live album fact: if you play Iron Maiden’s “Live After Death” backwards, you’ll hear Bruce Dickinson rehearsing voice-overs for Lucozade adverts. FACT!

TRACKLISTING:
01. INTRO
02. LIVING DEAD
03. SINNERS BLEED
04. EVILYN
05. BLESSED BE
06. STRANGER AEONS
07. CHAOS BREED
08. CRAWL
09. SEVERE BURNS
10. THROUGH THE COLONNADES
11. LEFT HAND PATH

LINKS:
http://entombed.org
https://www.facebook.com/entombedclandestine/

http://www.youtube.com/theentombed

 

Promo Pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun 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.

Devin Townsend Project – Ocean Machine: Live At The Ancient Roman Theatre, Plovdiv

ocean machine, live at the ancient roman theatre plovdiv cover

Devin Townsend Project
Ocean Machine:Live At The Ancient Roman Theatre, Plovdiv
InsideOut Music
Release Date: 06/07/2018
Running Time: 157:43
Review by Beth Jones
10/10

Before I start this review, I will let you all know that I am incredibly biased about DTP as I think that Devin Townsend is something of a god amongst men. I am a huge fan of anything and everything he creates.

Disclaimers aside, I was so looking forward to the release of this live album. The recording for this was carried out at a special performance on 22nd September 2017 at Plovdiv Roman Amphitheatre, Bulgaria. A friend of mine was at this gig and had said that the whole thing, in the setting it was, had moved him to tears it was so mind blowing, and he is not a crier, so I knew it was going to be something pretty special.

I was not disappointed!

You know when Devin is involved, you are going to get a good show, and listening to this album I found myself imagining how magnificent it must have been to listen to all these spectacular tracks being played in such a dramatic setting. The first section of the album is a selection of classics, requested by the fans, and accompanied by the Orchestra and Choir of the Plovdiv State Opera, then the second section is the iconic “Ocean Machine” album, in its entirety, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its release! What’s not to like!

“Ocean Machine” is, for me, one of the best albums Devin has ever made, and this performance of it was something very special. Devin himself said about the performance:

Plovdiv and this live package represents a lot to me, it signifies the end of one era, and the celebration of another. Amidst a gruelling touring year, this show came together with much blood, sweat, and tears, and the result is the culmination of many aspects of my work on one stage.

Ocean Machine was released 20 years ago, and though Marty (drums) is no longer with us, I was able to finally perform the album in its entirety with the original bassist John ‘Squid’ Harder on this night. On a cold evening in an old city in the ancient theatre, many lifelong milestones came to a conclusion on this night and I’m exceptionally proud of it.”

And so he should be. This album is epic in many ways, not least its length. The main thing that bowled me over is the sound – it is immense – so full of dynamics and power, it is amazing that the amphitheatre is still standing – but also so full of serenity, so rich and impeccably balanced that nothing sounded wrong or out of place. On a live album, this is masterful.

The passion and perfection that Devin brings to all his music transposes so well to a live setting that you sometimes forget that this is a live album. The artists he chooses to work with are also some of the finest musicians currently, and they really get Devin’s vision and help him interpret it stunningly, and the sustained energy throughout this epic performance was astonishing, invigorating and tangibly electric.

It totally blew my mind and all I could do was sit and listen in awe to this most beautiful and inspiring music. You cannot help but let it in to your soul – stunning track after stunning track executed with flawless magnificence. I would have given all my limbs to have been there and experienced that. Everything, even down to the album artwork, is exquisite. If you don’t listen to anything else ever, listen to this album. Trust me on this, you will not regret it.

It is very sad that DTP has come to an end, and that fact made this performance almost bittersweet, with an air of nostalgic melancholy, but as always with Devin, this is just the end of one chapter and the start of the next. Empath, Devin’s next solo project, is due for release at the end of March 2019 and will see him work with some more absolute greats. I have it pre-ordered already! I cannot wait to see where he takes things next. This man is my absolute idol.

I wanted to turn the scoring up to 11 on this, because this album is so worth more than a 10/10, but Rick is a hard man to bargain with, so I had to stick to the 10!

(This album is also available on DVD/Blu-Ray)

TRACK LIST
By Request Set with Orchestra
01. Truth
02. Stormbending
03. Om
04. Failure
05. By Your Command
06. Gaia
07. Deadhead
08. Canada
09. Bad Devil
10. Higher
11. A Simple Lullaby
12. Deep Peace

Ocean Machine
01. Seventh Wave
02. Life
03. Night
04. Hide Nowhere
05. Sister
06. 3 A.M.
07. Voices in the Fan
08. Greetings
09. Regulator
10. Funeral
11. Bastard
12. The Death of Music
13. Truth

LINKS
https://www.hevydevy.com/
https://www.facebook.com/dvntownsend

https://www.instagram.com/dvntownsend/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8KIhclVaK0Des9uMrJlt1w

 

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.

Twisted Illusion – I Have Music, I Have Life (Live Album)

 

I Have Music, I Have Live Cover

Twisted Illusion – I Have Music, I Have Life (Live Album)
Self-Released
Release Date: 21/12/2018
Running time: 41:02
Review By Beth Jones
6/10

I’m slightly frustrated today, listening to the new live release by the fabulous Twisted Illusion, and I will tell you why.

For those of you who have not come across Twisted Illusion, they are a bunch of uber-talented guys who create a very unique brand of Prog Metal. Front man Matt Jones is a big character, and they have excellent stage presence live, and brilliant musicality recorded. They work hard and live for their art.

Their new release “I Have Music, I Have Life” was recorded live at a recent gig in Norwich. This is where my frustration comes in. Musically, they are as always superb; complex rhythms, outstanding vocals, and ripping guitar solos. Unfortunately for the first three or four songs, you can’t hear anything properly apart from the vocals, as the live mix was not great at all. First niggle. It does improve after about ten minutes, but it is still missing a bit of volume on the Bass for me and is still a bit hit and miss with some of the vocal levels in comparison with everything else.

Once the sound becomes more equal, it is much easier to hear the guitar wizardry of Steve Revier, who was appearing with them for this performance. He has great tone and it works really well, complimenting Matt’s vocals and guitar and adding an extra element to the sound.

The set is a very lively one, full of a whole roster of cracking tunes, which makes it move on a pace whilst the music is playing, but here is my beef number two; Too much rabbiting between songs. I don’t mind a bit of banter, and it is a good thing to be connected with your audience, but I think on a live album, it is difficult to stay connected when you can’t hear some of what the crowd or other band members are saying and responding to. It forces you to lose interest a little. I also have to say that, whilst I am no prude, there is rather gratuitous use of the word c**t at the beginning of the album, and because the album is recorded as one long track, rather than multiple tracks, you can’t skip it! Now, I can get over this because I know that good music is coming, but a lot would have an issue with it and would turn the album off before a single note had been played and that would be a travesty and completely counter – productive to what the band are trying to achieve. It is unnecessary. The music is awesome and can speak for itself, so let it!

Whilst this has got me doing my teacher face a little, there are many, many good elements – the actual performance from a playing point of view is difficult to fault, the vocals are huge, the complexity of the compositions is warped but insanely brilliant and these things combined make Twisted Illusion instantly identifiable, whether it is a live recording or a studio album, and this release is definitely one to have for TI fans old and new. However, I can’t help feeling that maybe it would have been better to take more time over releasing it – maybe recording it at a different gig and making sure that the recorded sound mix was spot on before putting it out there. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m too picky. Maybe I am in a bad mood. I still love Twisted Illusion and hope that they can continue making great music for a long time.

TRACKLIST:
01 TI Live at Norwich

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

https://www.instagram.com/twistedillusion__official/
https://twistedillusion.bandcamp.com/
https://twistedillusion.bigcartel.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK0IxAnfXG7ibOx4HUyOHQQ

 

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.