Dead Romantic w/Avarus, Solarshift and Rosen Bridge Whittles @ Tokyo, Oldham 02/10/2021

Dead romantics at Whittles Tokyo Oldham

Dead Romantic
w/Avarus, Solarshift and Rosen Bridge
Whittles @ Tokyo, Oldham
02/10/2021
Review by Rob Sutton

I have been waiting to get a gap in my calendar to check this venue out for some months now as I have seen many pictures and videos of a massive outdoor stage. Although this gig was on the indoor stage, I still had a nosey at the other one. I must say both stages are sizeable here, great for gigs and perfect for a festival. The venue itself feels fresh and new with lots of seating, both inside and out, as well as a good selection behind the bar, perfect as I didn’t drive to this one. The toilets also are of a high standard even if someone seemed to have had a fight with some paper towels and littered them everywhere…

ROSEN BRIDGE

Tonight, we kick off with a new band for me, Rosen Bridge from North Wales. These boys combine Djent with Metalcore, which is apparent from the outset with a pair of ironing boards for guitars (8 strings); both Marcus and Eddie (guitarists) do well to provide not only tasty riffs but some lovely harmonies giving the whole sound a melancholy feel to it. This is backed up with Alex (vocals) using both clean and screamed vocal styles. It does end up meaning some of the songs do get stuck in your head. While some of Alex’s cleans were a little flat on occasions, he more than made up for this with the screams and his showmanship. Oh, and this guy has some of the best dance moves I have seen from a front man! Sam (bass) who is very loud in the mix adds a fantastic touch of groove to the sound and Rowan (drums) does very well to keep everyone in time, even with the addition of backing tracks and some fantastic pauses within the songs. I personally would really struggle to stay in time to these songs. All of this comes together to create a beautiful blend of aggression and beauty, a sound which I very much enjoyed and look forward to seeing again next month.

https://www.facebook.com/RosenBridgeUK

SOLARSHIFT

Second on tonight and for the second time it’s Solarshift. Last time I reviewed these Manchester based Nu/Metalcore brutes, they blew me away! This time was much the same, Ben was his usual charismatic self on stage and pumped the crowd up and got them off their feet. His voice again was cracking, both growls and cleans. Now, with this stage being much wider than the stage in Wigan, it was much easier to focus on the rest of the band this time. Drum wise, he really goes for it! As I said last time it’s nothing too fancy but it gives the music so much energy and bounce. He is well into this and looks like there is a spring in his chair with the amount he is bouncing. Sadly, with the guitarist and bassist just stood there, barely moving for most of the set, you really lose the feel. For example, Ben will shout bounce and he will, whereas the other two will stand there and look at each other. It is sad as Solarshift have a unique sound and to me probably the best overall in the underground Manchester scene and really will go far. But when these bigger stages come calling they may look a little out of place when half the band is stood still.

https://www.facebook.com/solarshiftmusic

AVARUS

Continuing the bouncy vibe of this evening comes the third band Avarus, another band I have already reviewed. Since then, I have been listening to their latest EP “Parallels” a fair bit which meant I was annoying the people around me by singing along to quite a few of their tracks. This was greatly helped by the fact they sounded big tonight. Each instrument was very clear to hear and with the fact they all were bouncing around and generally looking like they were having the time of their lives really helped. This was a much shorter set than last time and I did feel like I wanted a few more songs out of them. Their modern take on metalcore really feels tight and polished, showing that they wouldn’t look out of place on a big stage, it was just a shame they didn’t get the crowd reaction they deserved tonight.

https://www.facebook.com/avarusofficial

DEAD ROMANTIC

Finally, we have Dead Romantic. These guys are a bit different from the previous three bands as there is barely a growl in sight. But this is not a problem as I am sat listening to these guys feeling 14 again. It’s nostalgic and really takes me back to my early teens. I really wanted to sing along however I didn’t learn any of the lyrics beforehand. These guys absolutely dominated this stage; this was even with a lot more space than the previous bands. They looked like they were in their element, like they were having fun and because of this the crowd did too. There was a proper party atmosphere for these guys! A couple of things that really caught my eye were Mike’s (guitar) fantastic solos that were scattered throughout the set; each one had its own feel to it. Another was the distinct lack of backing tracks, this all being done live by Sam (keyboards). It was really refreshing to see these done live as opposed to pre-recorded. These guys will go far; they strike a chord with many age groups and fan bases, all this despite only forming in April 2021 and this being their fourth ever gig. Honestly, this was a phenomenal achievement to be headlining a gig with this much confidence, ability and passion whilst only being a band for 6 months, simply incredible.

https://www.facebook.com/deadromanticband

I loved this line up tonight, I loved the venue, I want to come back again and see how this all works outside. It’s a great place with great people and if the line ups are this good going forward this venue will surely be a staple for many bands on tour!

LINK:

https://www.facebook.com/whittlestokyo

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton 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.

Black Tongue w/Ashen Crown, Blood Church, and Tumanduumband, The Gifford Arms, Wolverhampton 03/10/2021

Black tongue At The Gifford Arms Poster

Black Tongue
w/Ashen Crown, Blood Church and Tumanduumband
The Gifford Arms, Wolverhampton
03/10/2021
Review by Rob Sutton

It’s been a long time since I have ventured to the Midlands for a gig and my third time visiting Wolverhampton. Tonight, took me to The Gifford Arms, a fantastically gothic themed pub where the owners have clearly put a lot of thought into making this place stand out from the other pubs in the area and other venues across the UK. There are so many details to take in, from the giant bat above the beer garden to the throne by the main bar. It’s truly a place I would recommend visiting.

TUMANDUUMBAND

Tonight, is a heavy affair as it’s the final date of Black Tongue’s UK tour. While the venue (upstairs) may seem a little on the small side it does provide a more intimate feel to this gig. This plays right into the first band of the nights hand. Two piece Satanic/Doom outfit Tumanduumband from Stourbridge. Sadly, issues with the bass led to a lengthy delay at the start of the gig and with a curfew on the night this isn’t a great start but can’t be helped either. So, before I start, I am not the biggest fan of the doom genre and with there only being a bassist and a drummer I am apprehensive on what to expect. The whole show begins with eerie drones from the bass while the drummer begins to baptise members of the audience with blood and chant ‘hail Satan.’ This immediately sucked me in and once the music kicked in the whole feel felt incredibly dark, more so than most black metal I listen to. I felt like I was at a cult meeting. This is an interesting concept and one I did enjoy but it did feel a bit out of place on this bill and the ‘Hail Satan’ chant did get a bit tedious after the first four times.

https://www.facebook.com/tumanduumband

BLOOD CHURCH

Next up was Blood Church from Telford. This is a band I have been following for quite some time and was lucky enough to catch them on the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock this year. They were one of my highlights from the stage as well, so my expectations were high. On first viewing of Blood Church, they are all coated in corpse paint much like you would expect from a Black Metal band, though once the haunting twang of the guitar intro ended and Chris (vocals/bass) shouts ‘let’s get this shit going Wolverhampton and the first track kicks in, you will not find conventional black metal but a hybrid of Deathcore, Black Metal and Slam all being done on ironing boards (8 string guitars). From that first note this is an onslaught and the whole venue turns into a brawl, front to back, side to side, there isn’t a single person standing still. The breakdowns these boys have created are amongst the heaviest in the scene right now topped with a vocal range that many of the top vocalists in deathcore would be jealous of. This all makes it an intense, heavy and simply incredible set and one of the most enjoyable I have seen this year.

https://www.facebook.com/BloodChurchBand

ASHEN CROWN

Ashen Crown has been at the forefront of the underground metal scene for some years now, it’s easy to see why as well. Not only have they got a great social media presence but their music is fantastic. Their take on death metal isn’t reinventing the wheel but sounds fresh. The harmonies throughout each solo are almost beautiful and do put a smile on your face. These guys are also the most interactive band of the night, actually wandering into the crowd on the rare occasions a pit isn’t blocking their path. With the previous two bands being a bit slower in overall tempo it was quite nice to have a bit of speed on the night, they really lifted the energy of the evening even if they didn’t quite get the reaction Blood Church before them did. Ashen Crown managed to secure a slot on the Sophie Stage at Bloodstock this year and from this performance it’s easy to see why. They are engaging, fast, tight and technically on point. These guys already are on the up in the underground scene and with performances like this, they will continue on the up.

https://www.facebook.com/ashencrown.uk

BLACK TONGUE

While the support bands tonight have been fantastic, there is really only one reason we are all here, the down-tempo, Hull heavy-weights, Black Tongue. They have been making a name for themselves by being brutally heavy and relentless in their aggression. Tonight, is no exception. I thought the pits for Blood Church were carnage but I hadn’t seen anything yet. At this point I’m probably one of only ten people in the room not in the pit, bodies are literally being flung everywhere, nearly taking out the P.A. system, the bar and even the band themselves. Black Tongue perform with such precision, all done through a laptop meaning the drums aren’t your standard acoustic kit but a more modern electronic kit and there isn’t a guitar cab in sight. It’s a very interesting set up which sounds fantastic for the most part but in places can end up sounding a little too artificial for a live show. They were also plagued with every guitarist’s worst nightmare, a broken string. While they did their best to fill the time by getting the crowd to tell jokes, it did take a while and I think deprived us of a fair few songs. Nevertheless, the full set was relentless, they completely owned this stage and probably every stage they played on the tour. Black Tongue are by far the heaviest band on these shores and are the perfect band to either snap your neck to or snap someone else’s neck to.

https://www.facebook.com/blacktongueuk

This was a long day, Wolverhampton is a fair drive on a Sunday night, but it was worth it. The venue was sublime, the bands were fantastic and this made it one of the best Sunday evenings I have spent in a long time.

LINK:

https://www.facebook.com/GiffardArms

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton 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.

This Is Turin w/Human Hell and Portrayal Of Ruinn The Salty Dog, Northwich, Cheshire 10/09/2021

This Is Turin poster

This Is Turin
w/Human Hell and Portrayal Of Ruinn
The Salty Dog, Northwich, Cheshire
10/09/2021
Review by Rob Sutton

It feels like forever since I’ve been to a home town gig and it has many advantages. Firstly, I can walk to it, so no driving and secondly I can drink. I did have quite a few at this gig because it has been far too long since I had last been to a gig here. The Venue itself has had quite a makeover during lockdown; we now have a quality beer garden and seating out the front. Also, with local laws in Northwich now allowing drinking outside the front of a pub, means I’m not leaving my drink unattended. Tonight, is the first metal gig in a long time and we have a local headliner, a familiar opening band and a new second band, all of which were on the much heavier side of metal meaning no clean singing…oh no, the horror!

First up and this will now be the second time I have reviewed these guys, were Manchester’s Portrayal Of Ruinn. Last time I saw them I was saying how I wanted to see them on a bigger stage, alas it’s a smaller stage than last time. Nevertheless, their stage presence has vastly improved. All members seem to be banging their heads throughout and even Tom (guitarist) was off stage bouncing around and getting in people’s faces. This really works with their genre, they are deathcore and deathcore is in your face heavy. The fact that the sound here was so clear allowed for the crowd to really hear the way Tom (bass, yes I know two Tom’s is confusing), Tom (guitars) and Sean (guitars) all work in harmony to bring the riffs and breakdowns right to the forefront. This is helped by Chris (drums) providing the driving force behind them all. Calvin (vocals) has also much improved since last time; his range seems to get better with each gig. Sadly, with the sound being so clear, it was obvious when the intro track, which was played on a phone, ended up playing a completely different song in the background. I would isolate the intro so this doesn’t happen. This was a much stronger set than in July and is really showing how these guys are finding their sound and the stage show to match. I was gutted they didn’t get the reaction they deserved.

https://www.facebook.com/portrayalofruinn

Next up was a new band for me, Human Hell from London. These boys really bring the aggression, there is no mercy from the breakdowns and Dillinger Escape Plan style beat from the drums. The complete set is unrelenting and fantastic. I even ended up having a mosh and I wasn’t even that drunk. Much like Portrayal Of Ruinn before them, their guitarist found it a challenge to stay on stage, wandering off to start pits with onlookers and then deciding to go for some fresh air outside…The joys of a wireless set up. I wonder what the drunken revellers on the streets of Northwich thought of this? There was a strange style of vocals over this heavy hardcore music, it reminded me almost of a black metal style shriek, I’m not complaining as it works wonderfully and compliments the down tuned guitars brilliantly. These boys are a strange mix of many styles which all combine into a ferocious blend of metal. If you are one for heavy aggression, check these guys out but if you are not a fan of band members being up close and personal, I would stand well back. Actually, they’ll still find you.

https://www.facebook.com/HumanHellUk

Headlining tonight are Cheshire heavyweights, This is Turin. This is a band I have followed since their previous incarnation, FallOut when I was about 14. They have progressed massively since those early days and have become a Blackened Tech Metal machine destroying any venue in their wake. This is apparent tonight as every song sees a sea of banging heads, flailing arms and probably a bit of blood for good measure. It is so clear to see from tonight’s performance why these guys have gotten as big as they have recently, with the new tunes from the latest EP “T.U.R.I.N” getting the crowd in a frenzy all under the control of Daz (vocals). This is not to say Hayden (guitars), Davey (guitars) and Splinter (bass) aren’t doing the same, quite the opposite. While Splinter can be seen also off stage intimidating the crowd (he is bloody tall), Hayden and Davey will be banging away shredding every riff with immense precision. Now, I couldn’t go any further without mentioning Ben (drums), he is rapidly becoming known for being one of the fastest drummers in the scene right now (please watch Forlorn World’s performance from Bloodstock). Tonight, is another example of his sheer speed and brutality, he is incredible! This is Turin owned this night, like they do most gigs they play, 50 minutes flew by in what was a stunning set. There is a lot more to come from these guys yet. Keep watching!

https://www.facebook.com/thisisturin

By the end of the night, I was a drunken mess as usual, but it was amazing to see so many people from the North West in my home town, it puts a massive smile on my face. I’m really hoping more gigs can happen in Northwich and we get the turn out like we had on the night. Good friends, good beer, excellent music. What more could you ask for on a Friday night?

LINK:
https://www.facebook.com/saltydogpub

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton 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.

Fields of the Nephilim w/The Faces of Sarah The Tivoli, Buckley, North Wales 10/09/2021

Fields Of The Nephilim Poster 10-09-2021

Fields of the Nephilim
w/The Faces of Sarah
The Tivoli, Buckley, North Wales
10/09/2021
Review by Alun Jones

It had been a good 18 months since I last attended a gig, and leaving the house to join a throng of fans enjoying live music seemed like a very strange proposition. I’d actually forgotten all about the concert, as tickets had been booked long before lockdown. Heading up to the Tiv was both exciting and, if I’m honest, a little unnerving.

On entering the venue, it was just like old times: a great vibe as the crowd drank and awaited the bands. As life was getting back to normal, the Goths had crept from the shadows near and far, ready to witness Fields of the Nephilim.

The support band, The Faces of Sarah, were already attempting to breathe life into the evening. Unfortunately, and unusually for the Tiv, they could hardly be heard. I wasn’t too far away, but could barely make out the sound of the instruments. The guitarist looked to be going for it, throwing shapes like a crazed gibbon, but to no avail. The dual lead vocals were extremely impressive, however the poor sound made them come across like an AOR outfit.

https://www.facebook.com/thefacesofsarah

Had my old copy of the Usborne Book of Goths been on my person, I could’ve ticked off several obvious dark rock tropes from the moment Fields of the Nephilim took the stage. There was so much dry ice the band could barely be seen, just a group of grey silhouettes in dusty cowboy hats. They begin in true over the top, cinematic style with ‘The Harmonica Man’. Atmosphere is poured on with no restraint.

And that’s exactly what I paid my money for: I wanted the full experience without any subtlety, and by God, that’s what the audience got.

FOTN erupted into ‘Preacher Man’ and we all loved it. There’s no onstage frontman/audience banter (till the very end) and that, again, is just how I expected it. The songs bounce along like little Goth demons knowing Halloween isn’t far away.

‘Moonchild’ was an obvious highlight, with its slow, moody intro leading into the searing guitar and rumbling bass. The whole set is all treat, no tricks – I got the feeling that this is exactly how FOTN would’ve performed 30 years ago. The whole set is absolutely note perfect and full of every excess that the audience could devour.

https://www.facebook.com/FieldsOfTheNephilim

I’d also forgotten how much I enjoy live music. This evening was a fantastic reminder of what we’ve been missing – can’t wait for more.

LINK:
https://www.facebook.com/The-Tivoli-Venue-111869355544823

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.

Sertraline w/Dreameater, Lost In Lavender Town and Aleya The Bread Shed, Manchester

Sertraline at the Bread Shed Manchester poster

Sertraline
w/Dreameater, Lost In Lavender Town and Aleya
The Bread Shed, Manchester
09/09/2021
Review by Rob Sutton

I’m in Manchester again and I’m sure my body is beginning to suffer with all the gigs this month, but, after no gigs for a whole year I’m making up for it. Tonight’s line-up is on the progressive/Djenty side and at a venue I have come to love, The Bread Shed. Normally at this point I’ll bang on about lavatories and beer, the toilets are fine but there is not enough beer behind the bar, in fact nearly everything on tap is off?! Oh well sober it is!!

First on is Chester/Manchester based Aleya, a post-hardcore, modern metal band. It seems there are a lot of bands in this genre at the moment, so in the underground, a band needs to stand out. For me it is the guitarist, with a smattering of gorgeous solos thrown into nearly every song and are a pleasure to listen to, that gets my attention. Sadly, the sound for these guys is not the best and while the drums were also clear, the bass and vocals did get lost in the mix. This is a shame as the front man has a cracking range from what I’ve heard on Spotify but I just couldn’t hear much of him. I think, due to this, the crowd did struggle to engage with them which in turn led to a bit of a static show on stage baring the occasional bounce from the vocalist. I don’t want to say this was a bad set or that there was much wrong with it but I just couldn’t hear everything clear enough to form a good opinion.

https://www.facebook.com/aleyaofficial

So, for anyone that knows me, they will know instrumental bands really don’t do much for me, I always think to myself ‘when are the vocals going to kick in.’ This was not the case with Stoke based Lost In Lavender Town. Their sheer talent while playing is simply sublime! So many obscure beats for you to attempt to bang your head to along with beautiful harmonies to lose yourself in. I found myself thoroughly enjoying them and now completely understand why these guys won the Stoke M2TM a few years ago. This was all helped by the sound quality being so much better for them. It was easy to pick out each instrument and really enjoy the talent on display.

https://www.facebook.com/lostinlavendertown

Things take a heavy turn for main support band Dreameater, the whole room seemed to spark into life with their opening track and heads were away banging. These guys are brutally heavy and loud. I love it! It’s breakdown after breakdown with hints of hardcore thrown in for good measure. These boys, despite only being a 4 piece, truly owned the stage, in some cases even hardcore dancing on stage and the crowd loved every single minute of it! A personal highlight from the set was when the genre completely switches to almost rap (yes he was scream rapping). This really marked them out for me. The ability to throw other influences in while still retaining their sound really kept you hooked. These boys are heavy, exciting and downright brutal! More please!

https://www.facebook.com/dreameaterukband

Last up and, who appear to be, a fan favourite of the evening is Sertraline, a band that would normally be a five piece but seem to be a bassist down. Sadly, this showed throughout the set as there was very little low end and also not helped by the sledgehammer before them. Never the less, their take on the prog genre is very enjoyable. There are some fantastic riffs and solos which are executed beautifully and with a massive smile on their collective faces, yes I don’t think either guitarists stopped smiling for the whole set and made everyone in the room seem like they didn’t have a care in the world. This is also helped by vocalist Lizzie’s enthusiasm and charisma on stage (pretty sure she was smiling for the full set too). She seemed completely in her element with the crowd singing back to her during almost every song. I can completely see why they have such a following and are playing Download next year and can’t wait to see what is to come from them, especially after hearing two of their new songs. However, there is a bit of a down side to the future as Lizzie has announced that this is her last tour before she leaves the band. Hers are huge boots to fill and I really hope her replacement can live up to the standards she has set. I look forward to it.

https://www.facebook.com/WeAreSertraline

So, an impromptu gig on a Thursday, I enjoyed some serious talent and an instrumental band which is a first. It was a shame there wasn’t a bigger turnout, more beer on tap and the sound wasn’t great for some of the bands but it was an evening showcasing some serious UK talent and many more bands to see again!

LINK:
https://www.facebook.com/TheBreadShedMcr

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton 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.

Dawn Ray’d w/Agvirre, Underdark and Gospelheim The Factory, Manchester 03/09/2021

Dawn Ray'd Poster

Dawn Ray’d
w/Agvirre, Underdark and Gospelheim
The Factory, Manchester
03/09/2021
Review by Rob Sutton

Back in Manchester for the first time since we were grounded and boy oh boy has this place changed, so many more skyscrapers and my usual car park is no longer 24/7, but wasn’t a problem with this gig finishing early. So anyway, The Factory! This venue is clearly a nightclub, very obvious by the improvised stage which, for a gig other than black metal, perhaps would have been a bit restrictive for bands, but it was fine for this evening. Sadly, the toilets do feel like prison toilets but they are functional and clean so it is what it is.

First band up tonight is Gospelheim, this was their debut show and, all things aside, this is a solid set. The mix of depressing singing with black metal is something very different but it works and is very nice to listen to. You could almost describe it as Placebo with blast beats. It did feel like the band lacked confidence at the beginning of the set. Ricardo and Lenore’s vocals did get a bit lost in the mix but this was soon rectified as they gained confidence through the set. This was for me, at its peak during the 4th song where they were both beautifully in sync and gave this eerie dark ambience which was spine tinglingly good. For me the end of this set highlights why these guys will go far. Musically, the whole sound was out of this world, John’s drums really drive each of the songs fantastically and the lack of crowd interaction replaced with samples between songs also fully threw you into the atmosphere Gospelheim were creating. Honestly, this set was a fantastic insight into what these guys will be capable of with a few more gigs under their belt.

https://www.facebook.com/gospelheim

Next up were Nottingham based band Underdark who brought a lot more noise to proceedings. These guys really did step things up to another level. The sheer precision in their execution was phenomenal and the passion the vocalist was showing on stage really did suck you into their performance. When the in your-face wall of noise relents the melodies that take its place are surreal, it really does feel out of this world. I was left wanting a lot more songs in this set and will really have to check them out at a headline show if they come back. Another massive prop to these guys is, when one of the guitarists did have an issue, they continued through and it was barely noticeable. Vocally in Black Metal we are used to high pitched shrieks but Underdark add a very unusual low growl to the mix. It is used sparingly but really adds another layer to their sound. Honestly, you can see why they have played Bloodstock before and I think other festivals really should look at Underdark seriously!

https://www.facebook.com/Underdarkuk

Agvirre, another Manchester band with some familiar faces, both John (drums) and Ricardo (guitar) from Gospelheim are back on stage again and straight from the off they look much more comfortable playing here. Probably because Agvirre have gigged before and the pressure of their first gig has now passed. Agvirre are a very interesting blend of different styles. They go from very atmospheric and fast paced to almost rock in sound. For me the Keyboards did become a bit over powering in places but when the levels were right it pieced together fantastically and did send shivers down your spine. Using a Ghost Bath style voice isn’t really something I am a fan of but, in all fairness, it is well executed and when it was used it did fit. There was also a lot of silence between songs, something the previous two bands filled with either backing tracks or engaging with the audience. I’m not one for silence between songs, especially in this genre, as I end up feeling like I’m back in reality, something I don’t want in a Post Black Metal band. By the crowd reaction, these guys do strike the right chord in the scene and on recording I enjoy them a lot, it just didn’t work for me live.

https://www.facebook.com/agvirrewrath

Lastly its Liverpool/Leeds heavyweights Dawn Ray’d and boy do things take another odd turn. Firstly, we have a violin, which completely steals the show. The folk element that’s added here is just sublime, you really are taken out of this reality and end up closing your eyes and feel completely tranquil. The fact that he is also the vocalist as well is a testament to this guy’s talent; his voice is up there with some of the best in the genre. It’s punchy and unrelenting! This set is by far and away the most polished of the night, there wasn’t a single noticeable mistake in the whole performance. Speaking of performance, my god the drummer here is a beast! Such speed and precision in his technique is a pleasure to not only watch but to hear as well. From what I could see the same can be said guitar wise, however, they were completely lost in the mix. I found myself wandering around the venue trying to pick them out. Only when they switched to clean were they audible. Now this is not a fault of the band, they were flawless but with the lack of guitars it did feel empty. I was in awe over the talent these guys showed tonight the set itself was sublime and this means Dawn Ray’d are another band on my list to watch again.

https://www.facebook.com/dawnrayd

So, this was something different for me. While I am a fan of Black Metal and Post Black Metal it is not a genre I know that much about aside from the odd band here and there. After watching these four bands I want to know more and find more. The mix of brutality and beauty is something that really hits me in a good way. Hats off to Badgerfest Promotions for this gig as it was very well organised and attended, I can’t wait for the next one!

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Badgerfestpromotions
https://www.facebook.com/factorymanchester

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton 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.

Acid Reign: Tour Of Entitlement, Central Live Music Venue, Wrexham 11/09/2021

Acid Reign Tour Of Entitlement  Wrexham Poster

Acid Reign: Tour Of Entitlement
w/Reaper and Thrashatouille
Central Live Music Venue, Wrexham
11/09/2021
Review by Beth Jones

Gigs are back! Can I get a ‘Hell Yeah’?!! Whoop! And they have now become the busses of music – none for ages, then a load turn up at once! The beauty about tonight’s gig is it was, literally, a mile from Ever Metal HQ, and in the best venue Wrexham has! Winning! It was our second time in two weeks seeing the mighty Acid Reign, after an awesome headline spot at Beermageddon on August bank holiday weekend, so we knew we were in for a good show. And to make it even better, providing support were two of our favourite local-ish bands, food-based Death/Thrashers, Thrashatouille, and one of the most exciting young Thrash bands around, Reaper.

After arriving before doors, and having a lovely chat with long lost friends, and some much-needed hugs, we made our way in, purchased beverages, and headed down the front for our night openers, Thrashatouille. Having seen them at the very nervous occasion that was the Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses North Wales final in July, it was lovely to welcome them back to the stage in a time where people had thrown caution to the wind, and no-one looked quite as terrified! And they brought us a show to match our re-invigorated moods! Since the M2TM final, they’ve worked on their sound and their stage show, and it told. It was heavier, crunchier, and more in your face than we’ve seen them before, and it really upped their game. They also finished differently to what we were used to, replacing the customary red velvet cake faceplant with a cover of ‘Word Up’ – or ‘Fry Up’ as they had lovingly repurposed it! They brought the show to the crowd, and the crowd was pleased. Great way to start the night.

https://www.facebook.com/Thrashatouille

Reaper were up next. These guys hold a special place in my heart after agreeing to play my 40th Birthday charity gig back in 2019, before the end of the world as we know it happened. I love their sound, and their passion, and am infinitely irritated by the immense talent they have at such a young age, but also have a huge amount of motherly pride and protective instinct for them. I am, pretty much, old enough to be their mum, and while that is disturbing, it also instils me with much pride when they smash it out of the park. And boy did they do that here! They play fantastic Progressive Thrash Metal, done superbly well, by uber talented youngsters, who are hungry as hell for the music they love, in its purest form. They played everything up for the audience, and frontman Dan Moran even gave a heartfelt speech on the anniversary of 9/11, one of the most devastating atrocities we have ever seen, to much applause from the audience. This was my favourite ever performance I have seen from them, and the crowd absolutely lapped them up. And that’s a really good thing, because it wasn’t just all the regulars at this gig, it was people who only come out of the woodwork for big names, too. And those people need to hear new and exciting music like this, because this is the future of metal right here. ** RANT ALERT** When the Big 4 have quit touring, and all the legends of old are swilling soup from sippy cups in retirement homes, these are the people who are going to be keeping the metal dream alive! Bands like Reaper, who are stupidly talented, endlessly endearing, and preposterously passionate about the music they love, are the lifeblood of Rock and Metal, and the sooner everyone gets on board that boat, the better. These are the people the legends were 40 years ago, but apathy is killing their game. Please, please, I implore you – if you haven’t seen a small band that you’ve never heard of before, make this year, and the return of live music, the time that you change that. If you don’t, this scene dies when the bands who were lucky enough to make it big in the glory years finally get too old for this shit.

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialReaperUK

From the new boys to the old boys. Our headline act, Thrashers, Acid Reign, have been kicking it, with a small hiatus(!), since 1985. And now they’re back, and clearly feeling incredibly entitled this year, given the name of their tour! So, (**with tongue firmly in cheek, and in complete jest** – thought it was better to point that out now than get angry messages) for the rest of this review, I will refer to them all as Karen! They had a torrid time leading up to this gig. Karen (Paul), one of their guitarists, was struck down with the dreaded lurgi, so couldn’t be at the gig – big love – be ok soon dude. The band had a choice to make – cancel, or play as a four piece. They (thankfully) decided that the show must go on (and boy are we glad about that). Then, their tour bus broke down halfway here, and they had to be rescued (or brought to their untimely death, depending on what your view of our little hometown is) by a lovely volunteer driver!

But, despite fate trying to conspire against them, they made it, and they hit the stage! Karen (H) was on top form, running about the place, climbing on the speaker stack, stealing drumsticks to hit cymbals with, and making a trip to the bar mid-song, for alcoholic refreshments. He even had a customary wander into the crowd a few times to see what things looked like from the other side.

Now, at this point, I would like to mention an incident that occurred, which could have put a huge downer on the night. One of the (very drunk) revellers (who I don’t think, surprisingly, was from Wrexham) decided that it would be really fun to exit the pit backwards, at high speed, and plant the back of his head into a brick wall. Cue the awesome metal community! A couple of people put him into the recovery position, and a few others formed a wall to make sure that the continuing pit didn’t collide with him. He was up and smiling again within a couple of minutes, which was a massive relief, and everyone got on with the night. Karen (H ) checked he was ok, and announced it to the crowd, and all was well with the world again.

So back to the band! Karen on Bass (Pete) got really hot and took his T-shirt off, Karen (Cooky) on guitar gave a disapproving look, and then Karen (H) decided to join Bass Karen, because it was very, very hot. The lesser spotted Karen on drums (Marc) just kept his cool and did drum things, and pulled drum faces, because…drummer!

They also had a signed setlist from back in the day thrown on stage with them, from the crowd, after being turned into a paper aeroplane. In case you’re interested Acid Reign guys, it was thrown by a guy lovingly known as ‘Big Oggy’. He’s a massive fan…!

In all seriousness, seeing these guys in our small town was an absolute blast. They are tight as a nun’s chuff and consummate performers. When you have the talent to flow with a performance like this, you know you’re on to something good. And they are onto something good, and hilarious, and so, so endearing. What a fabulous show, despite being a member down. Long may this rebirth continue. Kudos to all the Karen’s of Acid Reign for wanting to feel the entitlement again, and to Fozzy and Beany of NEW Metal Productions for bringing their entitled asses to Wrexham. Don’t leave it so long next time guys, because we need your joy much more often. Love you xx

https://www.facebook.com/acid.reign.thrash

FURTHER LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions
https://www.facebook.com/GoodforaudioEntertainment
https://www.facebook.com/Powerzonemetal
https://www.facebook.com/wrexhameventsguide

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.

Avarus EP Launch, The Waterloo, Blackpool 28/08/2021

Avarus EP Launch Poster

Avarus EP Launch
w/Where Oceans Burn and Asleep At The Helm
The Waterloo, Blackpool
28/08/2021
Review by Rob Sutton

Another week, another gig, Well this is my third of the week but the only one I’m reviewing. So, the lovely northern sun shines brightly on the coastal resort of Blackpool and it would have been wrong not to have gone for a stroll along the beach, especially as The Waterloo is less than five minutes walk from the seaside.

From the outside I was very reserved about this venue, it does look like an old working man’s pub and this is highlighted by a bowls green at the rear. However, looks can be deceptive as once you walk into this venue prepare to be amazed. I was greeted by a huge stage, a bar stacked with all the booze one could imagine and staff that are amongst some of the friendliest in this industry. Now the make or break for this venue…the toilets…WOW! Not only are they clean but clearly someone has taken the time to make them stand out. The men’s are constructed with old beer kegs and the women’s with old drum kits (no I didn’t go in the women’s). Honestly if you haven’t been to this venue then I highly recommend it.

Tonight’s gig is Avarus’ EP launch and kicking off proceedings is a band I have already recently reviewed, Asleep At The Helm. As I have stated in my last review, these guys are mega and tonight felt even better than last time. This was down to a couple of things; firstly, a much bigger stage and secondly I was sober… 😊 So, I was able to really appreciate exactly what their live shows are all about and straight from the opening track pits are in full swing, these are kept going throughout the set with Dylan (vocals) and Brandon (guitar/vocals) pumping the crowd up at every possible moment. The complete set is a fantastic blend of brutal breakdowns, break neck speed and harmonic choruses. These harmonies are beautifully split between Dylan, Brandon and Adam and work plus Brandon’s voice is on top form tonight! His range is simply sublime! While it may seem like Ryan (bassist) is a little left out from the vocal duties he more than makes up for it by bouncing and spinning around the stage, honestly he looks like he is having the time of his life. The same can be said for the machine behind the kit, Dan, who between constantly smiling can be seen singing along to pretty much every song. Several tracks that really stood out for me are ‘Outsiders’ (check it out on YouTube or Spotify); ‘Deaf Ears Hear No Voices’ and their fantastic cover of ‘Lady’!

https://www.facebook.com/AsleepAtTheHelmOfficial

Next up was Where Oceans Burn from Manchester. I had never actually heard of this band before so was going in with an open mind. I must say I was not disappointed. The guitar tone that both Ben and Ross have is to die for! It’s so goddamn heavy and really hits you in the chest, I could not get enough of this and it left me wanting more, come the end of the set. Ben is a phenomenal guitarist; he is all over the fret board tapping and sweeping all while bouncing around like a maniac on stage. You do find it hard not to be mesmerised by him (maybe it’s the pink hair) but either way I enjoyed watching him. Vocally, we were treated to a mix of high and guttural screams and even the odd ‘bree’ from Alex. His range really is something else and his delivery was also on point. However, I’m not sure whether it was his choice or the sound tech to add a load of reverb to his voice but for me this didn’t work, I think personally his voice didn’t need it. Throughout the set I found myself singing along to songs I had never heard before, yes they are that catchy. I now can’t get ‘The Only Home We Know’ out of my head. Again, I’d thoroughly recommend seeking these guys out if you like your Djenty metalcore.

https://www.facebook.com/Whereoceansburn

With that, we arrived at the last band of the night Avarus and, straight away, I am going to apologise as after three gigs and numerous early shifts topped with a 60 mile drive, my body was flagging big time so I didn’t quite manage until the end of their set. However, what I heard followed on beautifully from the two preceding bands with more catchy choruses and big breakdowns. Avarus stand out with their use of eight string guitars and the fact that it feels like there is more of an emphasis on melody, especially with the new EP tracks. These tracks are certainly the ones that stand out to me. I was lucky enough to catch ‘Nothing Left To Save’ and I love Lucas’ vocals as it really does remind me of Architects and he pulls the style off brilliantly. The use of their backing tracks also really adds to the ambience of the set, which fully engrosses you within their sound. Dare I say it’s beautiful? This is followed with effective and bouncy beats from Becky behind the kit and grooves from both Jay and Mikey. What I saw I loved and will definitely see these Blackpool Brutes out again. Check out their debut EP “Parallels” now!

https://www.facebook.com/avarusofficial

What can I say about this gig? £5 for three (should have been four) bands who represent some of the highest quality in the northwest, one of the best venues I have been to in a long time, reasonable beer prices, good location, fantastic staff and a pizza truck outside, Oh and quality loos. I think that should say why you should check these bands and venue out. This whole gig was so much more than I expected and I cannot sing the praises of all three bands and the venue enough! See you all soon!

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

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton 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.

Beermageddon 2021 Day One

Bermageddon 2021 Poster

Beermageddon 2021 Day One
Stoke Prior Sports & Country Club
Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove
27/08/2021
Review by Beth Jones and Rick Tilley

Rick Here,

Before I hand you over to Beth for the Day One review of Beermageddon I would like to say that I did have notes written to add my thoughts but she has done such a good job of not only describing the evening, but also echoing my sentiments, that I’ve just left it alone. I will just say that this was our first Beermageddon, as it had always managed to clash with something else, but we are well and truly converted and will return for, hopefully, many years to come!

Gig, gig, gig, gig, yay, friends, field, music, argh, panic! That’s essentially the best description I can give you of the lead up to our first time venturing out into the world properly since, what I shall lovingly describe as, the Clusterfuck Armageddon that was the last 18 months. So many things, none of them good, but let’s not dwell on that eh? Instead let me tell you about the positively lovely way to make our return from the hermit hole back into a semi functional society that was Beermageddon Festival. A small and close-knit family festival where a whole lot of love happened.

After only making the final decision that I was confident enough to leave the comfort of my sofa the day before the festival, I wasn’t my usual organized self. But, armed with some beer, a brand new and entirely free tent (long story) and negative lateral flow tests, Rick and I, and our willing apprentice (well 14-year-old, but I figured that was a nicer description than ‘moody cow’) set off for our destination El Paradiso…sunny Bromsgrove!

The journey was annoying, but as soon as we arrived at the campsite, it felt like we had come home. Seeing the smiling faces of old friends, and people who would become new friends, was a very welcomed tonic to the numb depressive melancholy. Putting up the tent however was not! Turns out the best coping strategies for erecting your canvas are swearing, sweating, and cider. This is a fact I already knew but had somehow forgotten since it’s been a while. Anyway, now that I looked like a bedraggled swamp thing, it was time for some bands! To ease everyone back in to existing in the same 2-meter space as someone else, without freaking out, there were only 4 bands on the Friday night.

First up, and hailing from Scotland, Cuttin’ Edge provided some great rock to get the party started for the small and slightly terrified looking crowd that had decided it was in for a penny, in for a pound, and taken the plunge to venture indoors! Hi-Octane, dirty riffs and rugged grizzly vocals where the name of the game for these guys. A sort of Motorhead meets ZZ Top feel which blew away some cobwebs and had everyone tapping along as they stood at the bar (yes a real bar, with real life human people, serving real pints – amazeballs), or nodding along down at the front. This was a brilliant way to kick things off. A real tempo setter, that let everyone know that a very good weekend was in store.

Cuttin' Edge

https://www.facebook.com/cuttinedge2018

Midlands Hard rockers, Shackled, took to the stage next, fresh from a performance on the Jager stage at Bloodstock 10 days or so previously. They kept the pace and crunch going, and had a real groove. Driven by chunky riffs and rumbling bass, and some sumptuous soloing, they continued to remind the gathered crowd, who now looked slightly less petrified, of the joy of actually seeing a band live. And by the looks on their faces, they were having equally as much fun as we were. God it’s so good to be back!

Shackled

https://www.facebook.com/ShackledRock

Control The Storm were a late addition to the bill, due to good old ‘Rona striking. Hey, I love CTS but hadn’t yet seen them live, so I was fine with that, and their live performance lived up to their recorded material. Epic melodic metal with more than a hint of synth, they gave us a heavy and full sound that was tight as anything, and exciting. The symphonic strings and vocal harmonies are what make it for me. But the technicality of the guitar riffs and solos are also impressive. And, by that point, everyone had thrown off their woes, and found their groove again. The party was in full swing, and the ale was flowing almost as gleefully as the music.

Control The Storm

https://www.facebook.com/ControlTheStorm

Putting us to bed were the finest bunch of upstanding gents you’re likely to meet in a field, in Bromsgrove, in August – Wired THC. After winning the public vote in 2019, they returned to headline the Friday this year, and if we thought we’d been partied already that night, they had a thing or two to teach us. A superb Hardcore/Thrash crossover, Wired ripped the entire leafy village of Stoke Prior a new one with this set. The room was bouncing, and full of magical energy for the entire set. Audience participation was the name of the game, and the performance came complete with a couple of guests visiting the stage, including Wired superfan, Jag’s bestie, and one of the nicest people you will ever meet in your life, the legend that is John Matthews! What a way to finish the day.

Wired THC

https://www.facebook.com/WIREDTHC

Rick and the teen had already admitted defeat before Wired had finished, but I stayed to the death, and then wandered back to camp Ever Metal. I was, ironically, far too wired to even think about attempting to crawl into the tent, so I sat in my car for a bit, watching the last of the revellers mingling in the area outside the hall where this wonderful evening had taken place.

And here’s where I take things from larking around, to heartfelt and philosophical. I felt a warmth and comfort that I hadn’t felt for some time sitting there in my car, even though the night air was beginning to chill. The breeze was carrying a sound to my resting place, that brought me a lot of peace. That was the sound of joyful laughter. Of friends catching up after too long apart. Of new friendships being formed after an isolation that no-one had ever had to contemplate or comprehend before. Something special had just taken place and I was so thankful to be part of it. And tomorrow would be another day, and we were looking forward to that immensely…

LINKS:
www.beermageddon.co.uk/
www.facebook.com/beermageddonfestival
www.facebook.com/groups/247287828724525

Beermageddon 2022 Event Page
www.facebook.com/events/247818157211596

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones, Rick Tilley, 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.

And Heavy Metal For Wigan XXIII: Redemption

And Heavy Metal For Wigan, The Boulevard, Wigan 07-08-2021 Poster

And Heavy Metal For Wigan XXIII: Redemption
Defied w/ Solarshift, Shrike and Bloodmores
The Boulevard, Wigan, England
07/08/2021
Review by Rob Sutton

Another week, another gig and this time it’s off to Wigan. Did you know Wigan sent a pie to space? Anyway, The Boulevard is a venue I have not been to before and has also had a recent refurb. It’s a lovely venue with fantastic facilities and good beer (driving this time meant I didn’t have a chance to fully explore what the bar had to offer).

BLOODMORES

So, the terrible weather that had descended on the North had set the scene beautifully for tonight’s opening band Bloodmores. Now I have seen these boys many times and really think they don’t get the recognition they deserve and tonight proved this. This set was tight, insanely tight. Every song felt thoroughly rehearsed and it provided a very early assault on my ears. The absolute powerhouse behind the kit was not only brutally fast but incredibly technical with the beats and fills which was mesmerising! The sheer speed his legs were moving became just a blur. Guitar-wise the lead role was switched not only between songs but in some cases during. This really highlighted the immense talent that these guys had. Sadly, the vocals did get lost during a few songs but this was more of a sound issue as opposed to a band issue. When they could be heard they were that lovely meaty death metal growl, they really complimented the music. I did feel, that while the bassist was also very strong, he did feel distant from the rest of the band, this was most apparent when a breakdown would kick in and the whole band was in sync but he would just slightly bob. Saying this I did appreciate, during one breakdown, where he came off stage and just went crazy. More of that please! Now Bloodmores have been working hard as they are already on album number 2 and the tracks they played from this were on another level, I would have just liked something in the background while they changed guitars. Complete silence really lost a lot of energy. Having said all this, they were fantastic and if you’re a death metal fan I would highly recommend them!

https://www.facebook.com/Bloodmores

Now, as stated earlier, the venue had recently been refurbished. This meant that the floor in front of the stage still had wet paint. Because of this, barriers were put up in front of the stage which left almost no room for pits or even headbanging…hmmm not well planned here.

SHRIKE

Anyway, enough of me ranting as next up was Shrike, a band I have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with many times and with their new single ‘Martyrs’, was looking forward to seeing a new Shrike. ‘Martyrs’ was the opening number and this is a belter of a song! I love the tone of the guitars the brutality of the drums, everything about this tune. Sadly, after that I felt the energy drop; the clean singing didn’t work for me and personally I feel a lot of practice is needed to fully polish the style they are going for. The ‘oohs’ were out of tune and there were a few longer gaps between songs which let the energy drop further. Having said this they still maintained the heavy which I loved and the last song ‘In Pursuit Of The Wych’ feels like an old classic. Shrike have a lot of talent and a lot of quality songs. Their stage presence during the set is insane; they really use all their wireless instruments to their advantage and dominate the stage but, for me, this wasn’t the best I’ve seen them , but I know next time will be better.

https://www.facebook.com/shrikeofficial

SOLARSHIFT

As I am from near Manchester I feel like I have seen most Manchester based bands on multiple occasions. However, Solarshift I have somehow never witnessed before. Why have I not seen them before?! Holy cheese balls these guys are good! The fantastic blend of KoRn style Nu Metal with the new age Metalcore is mix I never thought I’d like. Honestly the stagemanship of vocalist Ben is so engaging you can’t help but focus on him. This is not to say the rest of the band aren’t good, they really are. The drums, sound simple, but work beautifully in every song and provide the beat to bounce to. (There are a lot of bouncy beats, it’s like a workout). With the bass and guitars providing added meat, it makes this set feel like it should be on a large stage with a sea of people bouncing away. I had the same feeling watching these as I did watching Parkway Drive. Bounce, jump, spin, love life! Now I have to comment on the use of samples, for Beth, who will read this first. They are fantastic and add an extra layer to what is an already phenomenal sound. Also, bass drops! So, I have to bounce back to the front man, he has one of the best voices in the underground scene. Not only can he growl but he can shout and sing. All of these flow from each other seamlessly with such control and power. My only criticism with this set is I wanted more! Please check these guys out, you will not be disappointed.

https://www.facebook.com/solarshiftmusic

DEIFIED

This leads us to the final band of the evening. A band who are really gaining momentum in the UK metal scene, Deified. From the first beat this band oozes with professionalism and charisma. Is it any wonder they are playing the SOPHIE stage at Bloodstock? Now I will comment that they are the only band tonight who didn’t use in-ear monitors and this did mean that their set didn’t feel quite as tight as the previous three bands. However, they made up for this with fantastic melodies echoing that of At the Gates (love Melodeath) and utilising numerous guitar styles such as tapping and sweeping to make each song feel fresh, keep you engaged and guessing what they are going to do next. I love the humour front man Jamie has, he is a natural entertainer although, I don’t think, banging his head on the ceiling during the first song was in the script. Deified are a no B.S straight up metal band who always provide a good show, always look like they are having the time of their lives, no matter how big or small the crowd is, and because of this have become one of the most enjoyable live acts in the scene to watch.

https://www.facebook.com/deified

Tonight, was a real showcase of what metal in the Northwest has to offer. The calibre and professionalism of all the bands made this one of the best ‘local’ gigs I have ever been to. I would recommend checking all four of the bands out. I would recommend checking the Boulevard out as it is a fantastic venue and lastly I would recommend highly, going to one of And Heavy Metal For Wigan’s gigs as Oli has an ear for putting together incredible line ups!

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/andheavymetalforwigan
https://www.facebook.com/boulevardwigan
https://www.facebook.com/wiganart

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton 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.