The Black Dahlia Murder – Verminous

The Black Dahlia Murder – Verminous
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 17/04/2020
Running Time: 35:53
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

It is pitch black, so dark you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. A sinister pall hangs over the place where I am walking and a hunter’s moon feebly tries to shine down through the scudding clouds and the wind howls through the trees and down the narrow track I traverse. Somewhere in front of me I can hear the hurried breathing of another person. I know where they are. I have been following them for quite some time. Silently and without hurry. My boots make no sound against the damp earth and the smell of petrichor floods my senses. The breathing has turned left and is currently waiting (or concealing themselves) behind a large and venerable oak tree. I stop dead, and make no sound. Not even my breathing is audible. Clad as I am in black from head to foot there is no way I can be seen in the eldritch dark.

Movement! From behind the tree there is a rushed and panicked lurch towards the path. I reach forward, obtain a fistful of hair, pull back and draw my beautiful blade across the exposed throat. When you do this, your victim can still scream. It’s not like in the films where a razor-sharp blade instantly shuts someone up. In reality, you keep sawing until you’re through the windpipe and you’re virtually holding a severed head in your hand. Death is a messy business…

Ah, hello! I didn’t hear you come in. No, it’s not blood, it’s an art installation I’m playing with. Good evening. I’m Dark Juan and you are no doubt here to be educated and entertained by my thoughts on “Verminous”, the latest offering by the rather splendid The Black Dahlia Murder? As I suspected. Please do be seated in this sumptuous wingback chair by the fire and perhaps I can offer you a warming brandy? A rich burgundy? No? Absinthe? As you wish…

TBDM (I keep spelling murder wrong and it’s getting on my tits!) were formed in Waterford, Michigan in 2001, and it was around 2004 that they came to my somewhat dubious attention as a band that were happy to play with genres, much still be heavier than all the female members of your family in their very best depleted uranium pants. “Verminous” is their ninth album release and it really should be illegal under Strategic Arms Limitation Treaties as this is not a record I’m listening to, it’s a fucking weapon! Opening with the title track after a bit of a TBDM hiatus, I’m immediately looking for the skin off my face, because it has been instantly torn off. The band has lost none of the savagery that permeated early releases, instead honing and sharpening their sound, and forming delicate scalpel bladed death machines instead of charging at you and clubbing you to death with the nearest rock. However, here be melody and structure instead of blastbeat driven histrionics. This is a very thoughtful record. On first listen, it’s almost superficially simple, but then you listen again and you hear some magnificently complex arrangements played at warp speed. On repeated listens the album opens up in front of you like a carrion-reeking corpseflower, showing you incredible beauty within the stench. There are simply some sublime arrangements on here. TBDM describe themselves as a melodic death metal band but they are something much, MUCH greater. Effortlessly taking black metal influences, prog, death metal, tech death and classic metal and welding them into some kind of horrific matt black murder machine belching everything short of Zyklon B from its exhausts as it cuts a bloody swathe across an unsuspecting world, TBDM redefine just what extreme metal is. And this is even before you get to the powerhouse vocalist that is Trevor Strnad. A man who appears to be possessed by at least four different demons, judging by how his range encompasses earthquake inducing low tones, the kind of midrange a buzzsaw emits as its blade passes effortlessly through your midsection to the high notes emitted by the swarm of killer hornets currently enveloping your head, plunging their venomous stings deep within it, Strnad remains one of this hellpriest’s favourite vocalists.

The album steamrollers you on the first three tracks. TBDM are out to kill you, pure and simple. How good a strategy this is for creating a fanbase I don’t know, but they are all clearly psychotic and every song is a finely crafted piece of complexity and dare I say delicacy. The violence is placed upon a teetering precipice of musicianship as the band ask the listener the question, “Just how far do you want to go?” The production of the record by the band themselves is another high point. Arctically clear and cold, the production is superb and utterly fits the music although the band have managed to still retain soul and personality in the music – most modern tech or melodic death opts to have a sonically sharp, but utterly lifeless production that shows off the instruments, not the songs. Here the production manages to weld the instruments into a cohesive whole, where no one part overshadows another, yet every instrument has its personality shining though. Bonus marks for excellence.

Highlight of the record for me is the simply hypersexy ‘The Leather Apron’s Scorn’. Six songs in, an extremely complex opening sequence breaks into staggeringly heavy chugging and Strnad howls like he’s about to have an embolism. There’s even fucking cowbell! TBDM literally have covered all bases on this one. It is just staggering, there are time changes, polyrhythms, vocals that go from the depths of hell to the heights of the upper atmosphere before the middle of the song reminds us of classic death metal with the guitar soloing, then there’s some black metal speed and it is just jaw dropping in intensity. This is just ONE song. The whole album is this sonically complex, which is why I have decided to concentrate on just one song. Otherwise we’d be here all fucking day.

Dark Juan is currently just sitting quietly in his seat, staring aimlessly into his computer screen, trying to put words to what he has just heard.

There are no words.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has decided that this is the first record in the history of heavy metal that does not need more cowbell. 10/10.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Verminous
02. Godlessly
03. Removal Of The Oaken Stake
04. Child of Night
05. Sunless Empire
06. The Leather Apron’s Scorn
07. How Very Dead
08. The Wereworm’s Feast
09. A Womb In Dark Chrysalis (Interlude)
10. Dawn Of Rats

LINE-UP:
Trevor Strnad – Vocals
Brian Eschbach – Guitar, Vocals
Max Lavelle – Bass Guitar
Alan Cassidy – Drums
Brandon Ellis – Lead Guitar

LINKS:
www.tbdmofficial.com
www.facebook.com/theblackdahliamurderofficial
www.twitter.com/bdmmetal
www.instagram.com/theblackdahliamurder_official
www.youtube.com/user/blackdahliamurdertv

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.

Antipope – Apostle Of Infinite Joy

Antipope – Apostle Of Infinite Joy
Fertile Crescent Productions
Release Date: 21/02/2020
Running Time: 44:46
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

Once again, I have decided to navigate through unknown seas, this time going deeper into the world of Gothic music. As I used to say before writing something about a genre that I don’t listen to often, my apologies to the band and fans if I’ve written something wrong, but I’ll do my best to express how amazing I have found the Finnish band, Antipope.

My first impression on hearing this album for the first time was that it was like travelling back in time to 1995 and listen to “The Gallery” by Dark Tranquillity. I could feel some influences from them, especially on a few of the guitar harmonies of Antti J. Karjalainen. However, Antipope’s music goes further than Melodic Death Metal sonority, making it just an (good) Influence, not a carbon copy. The atmosphere created by the band along the melodies is really paradoxical, because the music is a mix of dark and depressive sounds, but the melodies bring happiness to it. Maybe it’s got me confused, but it is what I felt.

The opening track, ‘Harbinger Of Dawn’, demonstrates what I am saying – with clean notes before all the heaviness appears. The great drum lines of Tuska E. help to give a good cadence. At this point, it was simply Melodic Death Metal that came to my mind. But then, ‘Natural Born Heretic’ appears, exploring speed and fast tempos, but you’d be mistaken for thinking that all the melodies and technique would be left behind because of this. They weren’t. And what a great solo from Antti J. Karjalainen in this song, too.

My second impression of Antipope appeared in ‘Intoxicating Darkness’. After a great bass intro from Joni Tauriainen, I felt some Doom influence in the way Mikko Myllykangas sings. This Doom Influence increases with the title track, throughout its seven-minute track time, displaying many variations. Maybe some Blackened Death influences are present in this song too. What I can assure is that even though it’s 7 minutes long, this song is so amazing that you won’t realize the time flying.

The violent side of Antipope returns in ‘Red Goddess’ and ‘Venereal Ritual For Dispersion And Reintegration Of The Soul’ even though the last one has a few slow parts. ‘Serpent Of Old’ is not as fast, but it’s definitely heavy with a good focus on riffing. The closing song ‘0=2’ is a kind of mix of everything you’ve heard so far from Antipope’s music.

As I said before, I am not the most knowledgeable person to talk about the genres I mentioned, but my impression was that Antipope don’t get stuck in only one style. “Apostle Of Infinite Joy” is a lesson in technique and has brilliant compositions. Antipope put in the best of all the styles that have influenced them, and offer a good balance between heaviness and dense atmosphere. The final result is nothing less than an amazing record. For sure, it is one of the best releases of 2020.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Harbinger of Dawn
02. Natural Born Heretic
03. Intoxicating Darkness
04. Apostle Of Infinite Joy
05. Red Goddess
06. Venereal Ritual for Dispersion and Reintegration of the Soul
07. Serpent of Old
08. 0=2

LINE-UP:
Mikko Myllykangas – Vocals
Joni Tauriainen – Bass
Antti J. Karjalainen – Guitars
Tuska E. – Drums

LINKS:
www.antipope.info
www.facebook.com/Antipope/
www.twitter.com/antipope_band
www.instagram.com/antipope_band/
www.spotify.com/album/45X0a6O6ELJNZl0aAt0WJI
www.youtube.com/channel/UCwjQceSCS0gQJZrHeDVBmkQ

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

EMQ’s with SHADE OF HATRED

EMQ’s with SHADE OF HATRED

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with De Bilt, Netherlands based Melodic Death Metal band Shade of Hatred. Huge thanks to vocalist Rik van Schaaik for taking part.

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

My name is Rik and I do vocals on the last two Shade of Hatred releases. If you want a bit more of an in-depth story, you can read our biography. But I’ll give you the quick rundown.

Shade of Hatred as a concept started under another name about ten years ago. Our guitarist – Florian- and drummer -Yannick- met in high school and started playing metal together. Ever since we’ve had quite the line-up change but the philosophy of the band remained unchanged. We aim to create the perfect blend of bombastic pounding riffs and sweeping catchy melodies. Accompanied by thundering drums that groove as much as they make you want to bang your head. Oh yeah, there’s also lyrics. You can read them if you like!

How did you come up with your band name?

I personally wasn’t around during this process, but I guess the band really needed an edgy name. Over the years the name started to have a deeper meaning to all of us. The “shade” started to refer the darker side of the human experience we want to cast light on. By telling stories through our lyrics, we aim to explore these darker avenues of the human psyche and history.

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

We hail from the Netherlands and honestly, I like the scene here. The Dutch are a somewhat sober bunch of people, so you don’t see that much crazy-ass crowds. But, there’s a deep love for the music and I think that might be more important than people getting drunk and banging their heads. 😉

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

Our latest release is the full-length album called “Reflection on Ruin”. Check it out!

Who have been your greatest influences?

It’s difficult to say. All band members bring something different to the table. When we started out, bands like Arch Enemy, Amon Amarth, Kataklysm, God Dethroned and Carcass inspired us musically. Nowadays, bands like Gojira, Decapitated and Meshuggah come to mind.

What first got you into music?

As a kid, music just didn’t really do anything for me. In my teens I heard one of those Linkin Park / Jay-Z collab tracks on the radio and thought: “Man, this guitar stuff is kind of cool, but I could do with less gangsta-rap”. Later I figured out that the parts of the song I liked were basically all coming from LP and I really got into their music! After that it was a downward spiral into heavier, more brutal shit. All the way down to Cattle Decapitation!

As for making music myself. I figured out I could growl kind of by accident and decided to do some Amon Amarth covers. Soon after that my first band invited me as their vocalist and the rest is history.

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

Oh man, that’s difficult. I’d really like to collab with Terry Stooker and Patty Gurdy again (like we did on the latest album). They really added that last 10% of awesome for me. 😊

If you’re asking what band I would like to share the stage with one evening, I think Gojira would be the one to pick.

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

Man, Metaldays! We played there last year on the “New Forces” stage and I really want to go back! Headlining this time of course. 😉

Seriously, look up some pictures. The atmosphere, the environment. Everything is so fucking amazing!

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

Panties. Thrown on stage. I will never forget that one! xD

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

I really dislike the word “fan”, though I have difficulty explaining why. But to the people who’ve enjoyed our music, especially the ones who come to gigs frequently, thank you. I know it’s corny but just knowing that our music has impacted them in some way makes it all worth it. <3

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

So many great musicians have passed away. If I had to choose one, it would be Chester Bennington. His death has had the most impact on me on an emotional level and his passing is one of the saddest ones I can recall.

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

I just love to perform. Especially in front of a crowd that seems to be having a good time! It almost feels like a transformation. You become this version of yourself with heightened senses. Everything you do and feel is so much more intense, and you feel… Alive. Nothing can replace that.

What I hate the most about it is the level of self-critique we all seem to experience. For me personally, that “voice” seems to emphasise the failures much more that the things that are going right. Focussing on that hyper-critical voice for too long can become very toxic and detract from the beautiful side of making music.

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

I don’t pretend to be smart enough to know what the music industry needs right now. If I could change something it would be the arguing among metal-fans. Seriously, I like what I like, and you like what you like. Can we all just get over it? No band is inherently “better” to listen to than another band. Just love what you love. Be proud of it by sharing that love for music instead of critiquing the other guy’s preferences. 😉

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

I don’t really believe I have one. Ask me one day and I’ll say “England Keep My Bones” by Frank Turner and another day I’ll answer with “Spirit” or “Helvetios” by Eluveitie. Ask me now and I’ll have to say “Monolith of Inhumanity” by Cattle Decapitation.

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

I’ll add streaming music to that. For convenience it’s streaming and downloads. For the experience of listening and “putting on an album” I really love Vinyl.

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

I’ll have to say Metaldays. Not just because of the gig itself but the entire experience. It was the first big trip we made together as a band and I never felt this kind of unity with a group of people. Everything was epic! Well… that is until I puked and pooped myself into a German hospital. 😛

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

About the same things I do now when I’m not with the band. Just without a purpose in life. 😛

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

My band mates. All four of them. The last spot is reserved for someone willing to do all the dishes 😉

What’s next for the band?

We’re currently not playing gigs because of “the thing”, so we’re writing new music. We’ve also started to care more about our (social) media presence. None of us really enjoy the social media culture so we want to produce some content that is more in line with our values. Stay tuned for that!

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

We try to make our music available everywhere from streaming platforms like Spotify, Deezer and iTunes to download platforms like Bandcamp. For communication we mainly use Facebook, though we’ve started using Instagram a bit more lately.
www.facebook.com/shadeofhatred/
www.instagram.com/shade_of_hatred/
www.shadeofhatred.bandcamp.com/

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Dude, are you kidding? The British will come and get me if I give you the wrong answer!

Btw. Dude…. Did you ever eat stroopwafels?!

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

Thank you for your time as well! And for taking an interest in the band. 😊

To all your readers out there, check out the new album “Reflection on Ruin”, it’s everywhere if you know how to look for it. (You know… type in the title and stuff 😉 )

Cheers!

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

EMQ’s with MALEFISTUM

EMQ’s with MALEFISTUM

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Jens Faber of Pagan/Power/Melodic Death Metal Project Malefistum. Huge thanks to him for taking part.

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

Hi, my name is Jens. I am founder of Malefistum and play Guitar, Bass and Keyboards on this album. Due to contract rights I am not allowed to reveal the drummer. I founded this project in 2019. Most of the songs are performed by Melissa Bonny (Ad Infinitum, Serenity, Warkings, Rage of Light). One song is performed by Federica Lanna (Sleeping Romance, Volturian), another one by Zagan (Black Messiah) and another one by Eric Dow (Helsott)

How did you come up with your band name?

Sounds simple but this name Malefistum just came to my mind one day.

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

I come from Bochum/ Germany where I founded my main band Dawn of Destiny years ago. Main influence has been Equilibrium and Ensiferum and we mix it with some power metal and melodic death ingredients.

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

The album “Enemy” is our debut. In February the first single “Towards the Sun” was released, two other singles will be released in the next weeks.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Actually I’m influenced by many different metal styles. In case of this Malefistum album it’s been folk/pagan metal as well as some Dark Tranquillity, Wintersun and Mercenary.

What first got you into music?

Just like many musicians I started early with listening to music but began to play Keyboard when I was 18 and guitar even later. I was listening to classical heavy metal and mostly power metal. It took a time to get used to harsh vocals but now I love it J

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

My all-time faves are Savatage, this would be a dream. I love Therion as well and would like to write songs together with Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish) or Tobias Sammet (Avantasia, Edguy)

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

I guess everybody would love to play at Wacken, of course on the main stage at 8pm… but who can achieve that? I must confess I’m not familiar with most festivals so I could not really pick up one certain festival.

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

Not so many fans, so not many gifts, haha. Honestly there was not really anything weird.

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

Please keep on buying CD’s, go to concerts, support as good as you can and already did.

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

I would choose Steve Lee from Gotthard and Jimi Jamison from Survivor. They had great, great voices.

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

I enjoy most writing songs. This is my real passion. Playing gigs with Dawn of Destiny is nearly always fun as well. I hate being there that early in order to put out equipment and then wait for hours for the beginning of the show.

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

Of course I would like to sell my music, not donate it because we all put so much money and passion in this. It should be possible to make snippets for YouTube etc. not put the whole song or album on it. Although metal fans are more faithful then many others. It gets so difficult for small projects like mine to produce new albums or even to try to make a living out of it.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Savatage – “Dead Winter Dead”, Therion – “Gothic Kaballah”, Europe – “Out Of This World” and so many more.

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

As a child I loved vinyl but I’m more into CDs and (legal) downloads now.

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

With Dawn of Destiny we supported Sabaton some years ago, that was fantastic as well as a small tour with Axxis. Guess I would choose these ones.

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

I am a teacher, that’s my main job and I love it! J

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Jon Oliva, John Petrucci, Tuomas Holopainen, Charlotte Wessels and Melissa Bonny J

What’s next for the band?

There is a video coming with Melissa for the third single in April, really looking forward to it.

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

Unfortunately I’m not very good in using social media but I try to use Facebook and YouTube but too little people follow me so I need the support from my label and other people as well.

https://www.facebook.com/MalefistuM-109917317191323/
https://www.youtube.com/user/evilbobath
http://www.fastball-music.com/

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I’d say biscuit and I love it.

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

Thank you as well. I’m grateful for every kind of support.

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

DarkTower – Obedientia

Obedientia Cover

DarkTower – Obedientia
Electric Funeral Records
Release Date: 06/11/2019
Running time: 41:38
Review by Victor Augusto
10/10

I often ask myself if it is possible that a band will offer anything new nowadays, after everything we know, and have heard, in Heavy Metal. Maybe I am being skeptical, but I don’t think we will ever hear innovation or something revolutionary inside music again. Despite that, I do believe it is possible to find ways to flee from “more of the same”. Following this path, I can mention Brazilian Melodic Black/Death Metal band DarkTower who have been conquering South America for more than 10 years touring regularly and releasing two great albums “…of Chaos and Ascension” (2013) and “Eight Spears” (2016). If these two albums showed to fans their huge technical ability, “Obedientia” comes with a new purpose.

Always inspired in chaos that rules the world, this time DarkTower have got their specific scenario from where they live in Brazil. An unstable country in terms of economy, governments and now, a nation split by political worship that makes them ready to kill each other, blinded by angry and foolish attitudes. No, you won’t hear any political statements like you do with Thrash Metal bands or the antichrist screams associated with Black Metal bands but you will hear all the darkness from their daily anger and suffering, which is very well elucidated by complex and heavy compositions. It is like you are hearing a soundtrack of the apocalypse. A non-fictional apocalypse; A real apocalypse!

The acoustic intro of ‘Punishment’ becomes heavier and epical until ‘Downfall’ devastates all of us with killer riffs, blast beats and screams about the mental maze of a lunatic who cannot think or act for himself due to religious dogma. Next track ‘God Above Nothing’ is the most aggressive song and it represents the church leaders, allied with politics, using the people’s faith to control and manipulate them. This religious theme actually represents exactly what is happening in the band’s country, where the slogan “God Above Everything” was used massively during the most recent political campaign. As I said before, do not expect specific names to be mentioned here, as the idea of “Obedientia” is to make clear how dangerous a nation that worships snakes and lunatics can be, no matter which side they represent.

The instrumental prelude of ‘Highland Ceremony’ explains the story behind ‘Winged Snake’s Communion’. It is about an old South American tribe called Cañari, who, in the mountains of South Ecuador, still keep their old traditions alive even after all the wars and changes in civilization. This song reflects an idea of the traditions Brazil has lost throughout the years. More songs make clear what the band wants to warn you about, like the chorus “I Won’t Kneel For You” in the title track ‘Obedientia’ and the metaphoric references of sculpted leaders when they say “Man of Clay” in the lyrics of ‘Praxis Against Ignorance’.

The main theme is brilliant and very well interpreted by vocalist Flávio Gonçalves with a Black Metal vocal inspiration but also with Death Metal power and the band follow him with the fabulous guitar work of Raphael Casotto and Rafael Morais who alternate insane riffs and solos and create a dense atmosphere. This is highlighted by the great and, sometimes, independent bass lines of Rodolfo Ferreira and drummer Rômulo Grilo increases the heaviness with numerous tempo changes, from slow cadences and percussion to extreme blast beats.

After ‘The Carnal Splendour’ which is the last act of musical violence, the calm and beautiful ‘…As the Obedient Marches to the Abyss’ closes the album! Epic, Powerful, Dark and, at the same time, realistic about the human living chaos!

Maybe “Obedientia” doesn’t bring anything new to listeners, but it is undeniable we are in front of a masterpiece. All the darkness and emotion in the music make the listener enter into this experience angrily. It feels like every detail, every single note and lyric has been studied to create a perfect match between all band members. Listen and appreciate while the obedient march to the abyss.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Punishment
02. Downfall
03. God Above Nothing
04. Highland Ceremony
05. Winged Snake’s Communion
06. Praxis Against Ignorance
07. Obedientia
08. Rites of Conscience
09. The Carnal Splendour
10. …As The Obedient Marches to the Abyss…

LINE-UP:
Flávio Gonçalves – Vocals
Raphael Casotto – Guitars
Rafael Morais – Guitars
Rodolfo Ferreira – Bass and Vocals
Rômulo Grilo – Drums

LINKS:
https://www.darktowerofficial.com/
https://www.facebook.com/darktowermetal/
https://www.youtube.com/user/darktowertv
https://www.instagram.com/darktowerofficial/

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

 

Promo Pic1

 

 

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

EMQ’s with THE LAST REIGN

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EMQ’s with THE LAST REIGN

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Buffalo, NY Melodic Death Metal band The Last Reign! Huge thanks to them for taking part!

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

We are The Last Reign and we play Melodic Death Metal. Brian, our guitarist and songwriter, started the band back in 2015. Paying homage to bands of the 90s such as In Flames, Soilwork and At the Gates, hoping to capture that classic sound again which doesn’t exist as much today! Within a year and a half we released our debut accompanied by a two week tour. 2019 marks the return of the band after a 2 year hiatus with a new line-up aside from founding member, Brian.

How did you come up with your band name?

The band name was derived from a few different ideas, but came out quite naturally. First and foremost is our way of fighting to bring back the classic era of melodic death metal. The second is more personal and comes from my own ‘last reign’ so to speak as a person that is willing to put 100% into an original act one last time.

What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?

We are from the USA (Buffalo, New York). It’s such a big country, and in our area the scene really depends on your flavour of metal. I’ve seen Persefone travel in all the way from Andorra and play for 35 people, and Slipknot play for almost 14,000. We do get a pretty constant stream of touring acts but often we may have to drive a few hours to another city or state. Metal rarely hits the open radio in my experience, but the community is strong in this age of the internet.

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

“Prelude” (EP) was released on October 11 and much to its namesake contains two songs that will continue to evolve and will appear in their final form on our sophomore album “Evolution,” which will be out summer 2020.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Every band member has their own personal influences, but the band as a whole is very much inspired by 90’s In Flames / Soilwork / At the Gates.

Vince: Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), Ray Herrera (Fear Factory), and Henry Ranta (Soilwork).

Brian: Queen, Jesper Stromblad (In Flames), John Petrucci (Dream Theater)
Seth: Victor Wooten, Billy Sheehan, Brad Smith (Blind Melon), Jim Wynne (Buffalo NY local legend)

Adam: Johan Lindstrand of The Crown would probably be my greatest influence as far as the vocals are concerned, something about his style and placement of his vocal lines always spoke to me. Also, Mikael Stanne from Dark Tranquillity has also always been one of my favourites.

What first got you into music?

Vince: My dad was a guitar/bass player and I grew up going to his wedding band and jazz club gigs. He got me set up with a drum set and lessons as a kid, and made sure I had gear and transportation through high school and beyond.

Brian: At a young age, I was around my older brother a lot in the late 80s/early 90s. He was constantly listening to bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest and I haven’t looked back since.

Seth: I started out playing trombone at a very young age, essentially everyone in my immediate family plays something or have at some point. I picked up the bass and began to teach myself about the age of 14, I wanted an instrument that I could bend and even break the rules on.

Adam: I would have to give credit to my brother for getting me into music, he would frequently blast music on his home stereo system when I was younger. There was always something playing like Metallica, Def Leppard, or Aerosmith. Definitely not my favourite bands these days but everyone starts somewhere.

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

Andy Gillion from Mors Principium Est!

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

Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany because it is one of the largest metal festivals in the world and it sounds like an incredible experience.

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

Sadly, I can’t think of anything to date, but hopefully that will change.

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

Just keep listening and sharing. The scene is oversaturated due to the ease of releasing music which makes it even more difficult to be heard.

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

Chuck Schuldiner, incredibly talented musician. I will always wonder what the album after “The Sound of Perseverance” would have sounded like.

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

I love that I actually get to create! So many hobbies are of consumption, be it a Netflix binge, browsing YouTube, or even sharing memes around. Playing music can be cathartic and rewarding for sure. That said, it’s a very resource intensive hobby, the amount of money, time, and effort that goes beyond just actually playing an instrument. It really is a labour of love and is difficult to expand the hobby into a career.

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

Download and Streaming! Although there are many benefits to the medium, I feel it causes people to not appreciate music as much as they used to. Gone are the days where you’d buy an album or two and listen to that album to death whether it was good or not. Nowadays, you get 30 seconds in to a song that isn’t great and you just move on to the next album.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Vince: Dream Theater – “Scenes From A Memory”.

Brian: What Vince said!

Seth: A Perfect Circle – “Thirteenth Step”.

Adam: The Crown – “DeathRace King”. Although, I gotta hand it to my bandmates, “Scenes From A Memory” is a great album as well.

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

Vinyl all day!

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

April 27th, 2017. It was the final night of our tour and what a show to go out on! It was one of those rare instances where not only all of the bands were solid, but the crowd full of energy for the entire show. It was a sight to behold.

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

Vince: I would probably be the biggest badass in the world…of Warcraft.

Brian: Graphic Designer.

Seth: Working on my car/motorcycle collection.

Adam: Studying geology, mainly volcanoes.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Vince: Ola Englund, David Maxim Micic, Devin Townsend, Keanu Reeves, Chris Pratt.
Brian: John Cusack, Guy Pearce, Sven de Caluwé (Aborted), Jimi Haha (Jimmie’s Chicken Shack), Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon).

Seth: Victor Wooten, Stevie Wonder, Seth Rogan, Steve Vai, Maynard.

Adam: Chuck Schuldiner (Death), Brendan Small (Metalocalypse/Dethklok), George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher (Cannibal Corpse), Warrel Dane (Nevermore), Tuomas Holopainen and Floor Jansen (Nightwish). I know that’s six, don’t care.

What’s next for the band?

We are hard at work on our sophomore album, “Evolution.” Through the rest of 2019 we will be fleshing out the last few songs and entering in to pre-production, with tracking and mixing planned for early 2020.

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

We primarily use Facebook and Bandcamp to communicate and share our music, but we’ve recently started up on Twitter as well. We also have our music available on Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play music, etc.
https://www.facebook.com/thelastreignmusic/
https://www.instagram.com/thelastreign/
https://thelastreign.bandcamp.com/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/588LSViuxUlGIwSwDYKPrk

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I believe in the states the closest term would be a cookie. Our biscuits are more what would be called a scone overseas!

 

 

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

Amon Amarth – Berserker

Beserker Cover

Amon Amarth – Berserker
Metal Blade Records (North America)/Sony Music (International)
Release Date: 03/05/2019
Running Time: 56:35
Review by Tsarina Wilson
9/10

Amon Amarth’s eleventh full-length “Berserker” is a non-stop beast of an album with killer riffs, growling vocals and more energy than ten well known energy drinks and if you’re not headbanging by the end, I think you need to look into your choice of musical taste!

The band, which consists of Johan Hegg on vocals, Ted Lundstrom on bass, Johan Soderberg on guitar, Olavi Mikkonen also on guitar and Jocke Wallgren on Drums definitely knows how to pack a punch into an album.

Each track is its own mini story with awesome drumming and guitar riffs. Hegg’s gravel voice is epic, yet, unlike a lot of bands of this genre, you can still understand him which is a blessing as the power that goes into all the tracks would be lost and that would be a shame. These fast and heavy songs have brutal melodies whilst not missing a beat and go into some of the craziest riffs I have heard in a while.

The Swedish band recorded the album in Los Angeles with renowned studio guru Jay Ruston (Anthrax/Stone Sour) manning the controls and it was after recording several rounds for the new songs (initially with fellow Swedish metal icon Peter Tagtgren and later with Ruston himself) the band crossed the Atlantic to make the final recording in LA.

The track “The Berserker At Stamford Bridge” is a visceral but vivid historical tale, recounting the Vikings last stand against the English army in 1066 and with epic lyrics such as “Englishmen, I am waiting here, in my heart I know not one ounce of fear”, it conjures images in your head of a Viking stood tall and strong, wielding a axe not scared of death one bit.

Johan Hegg says that this is Amon Amarth 2.0 and I must agree. This album is so intense and powerful. Why would a band want to just keep going over and over the same things? Fans would soon wander off, so the fact they plan to explore themselves musically is only going to benefit us fans and they certainly are a band who wants to please the fans as well as themselves.

Hegg admits he has (and I quote) “the best fucking job in the word” and you can tell this by the album. They are not a band who just put lyrics to music and bang out album after album. There is a definite vibe in the album, a passion, a dynamic which has the hairs on the back of your neck on edge. It’s like listening to a metal story book and you need to keep listening to find out the next chapter.

Amon Amarth give it 100% and it shows, even the album cover is epic.

What can I say? Impressed? Yes! Love it? Hell yes! These guys give it hell.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Fafner’s Gold
02. Crack The Sky
03. Mjolner, Hammer Of Thor
04. Shield Wall
05. Valkyria
06. Ravens Flight
07. Ironside
08. The Berserker At Stamford Bridge
09. When Once Again We Can Set Our Sails
10. Skoll ans Hati
11. Wings Of Eagles
12. Into The Darkness

LINKS:
https://www.amonamarth.com/
http://www.facebook.com/AmonAmarth

https://www.instagram.com/amonamarth/
https://youtube.com/AmonAmarthOffical

 

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

EMQ’s with AS I DESTRUCT

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EMQ’s with AS I DESTRUCT

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Australian Melodic Death Metal band As I Destruct. Huge thanks to them for taking part!

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

My name is Matthew Marotti, lead guitarist from As I Destruct. Our old band was called Quaero Verum. No one knew how to say it, let alone spell it. So we decided a makeover was in order.

How did you come up with your band name?

Luke liked it and really pushed for it. Also anyone familiar with “Threat Signal” knows that the song kicks major arse!

What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?

We are from Australia. The metal scene here is diverse, with a lot of young hungry bands really up for the task. The competitive nature and drive to bring metal heads together resonates throughout our lovely, ageing population.

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

Our latest album is called “From Fear to Oblivion”. We have so far released two singles from the album. The tracks are ‘Redemption’ and ‘A Question of Faith’.
‘A Question of Faith’ has its very own film clip, done by the people at Against the Grain Studios. They did a fantastic job. We highly recommend that you go and check the video out on YouTube. They didn’t even pay me to say that!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1lwR_2VPyI

Who have been your greatest influences?

Mine personally that have shaped the sound for this particular record is Nevermore, Hypocrisy, Old Man’s Child and my dad’s awesome record collection. We are talking growing up on the original vinyl’s of Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Dio. That was until my younger brother took all the records out of the sleeves and smooshed them against our old tiled floors! I hate to imagine how much they would be worth today.

What first got you into music?

Growing up in my old house I was always surrounded by music. During the day, my Mum would play stuff from Taylor Dayne, Madonna and Cher while my Dad at night would blast stuff from Richie Blackmore, Ronnie James Dio and Tony Iommi.
I did enjoy Dad’s taste in music a little more. Though Mum’s selection would have helped me more with the ladies…

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

If I didn’t say Jeff Loomis I probably would be lying. The guy’s a total freak.

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

Download Festival. It is the only heavy metal festival that took a chance on Australia when no one else would, post-Soundwave. It would be a dream to play in front of a big crowd in my hometown.
I guess a girl can dream…

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

My mates bring their partners to shows, so their patience of sitting through our show might be the biggest gift of all? Right?

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

Thanks for your support. You don’t realise that every time someone tells me the album is awesome what that does for me. Nothing beats it. It’s a surreal feeling. Honest to God, feel these nipples!

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

I’d probably die trying to decide between Chuck Schuldiner and Ronnie James Dio.

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

Writing songs is something that I enjoy the most. Dealing with my crippling fear of failure and self-doubt makes the first point a little more/less enjoyable.

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

I would create a grant for musicians called Matthew Marotti. That person would receive a headline show at the Download Festival plus $1 million spending money. Australian dollars, not Monopoly because that game sucks and I already owe people money!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Defiance of Existence” from Old Man’s Child. That album gets me.

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

I love collecting CDs. Currently I am at approximately 500 CDs. I wouldn’t say they are like my kids because I am not sure my children will bring me that much happiness.

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

Playing at HQ in Adelaide. Our friends, family and our amazing fans came in full support and gave us a show. I hope we returned the favour lml lml.

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

Professional wrestling. Not even kidding. I saw The Undertaker as a kid and thought he was the coolest thing ever. Still do.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Five of my best mates, provided it’s an open bar. You’re welcome lads.

What’s next for the band?

Touring, writing and not splitting up. We keep this train going now for as long as humanly possible.

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

The classics, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Pornhub. Basically where we know lots of people go for a good time, not a long time.
https://www.asidestruct.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AsIDestructBand/

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

The most biscuit-cake there is. Ha ha but seriously, Jaffa is the abortion of all desserts.

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

If you love your melodic death metal with extra angst, head over to http://www.asidestruct.com/shop and pick yourself up a copy of “From Fear to Oblivion”. Thanks again guys for your love, support and letting us crash on your couch!

 

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Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of 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.

The Crawling – Wolves And The Hideous White

Wolves And The Hideous White Cover

The Crawling – Wolves And The Hideous White
Grindscene Records
Release Date: 16/11/2018
Running Time: 34:13
Review by Sheri Bicheno
9/10

I had seen the name of this band pop up many times over the last year or so and after seeing them play Mammothfest 2018, I jumped at the opportunity to review this album.

I was not disappointed.

The Crawling are a three piece Northern Irish Metal band forming in 2014 with the release of debut single “Choking on Concrete” in January 2015. EP “Light of Dark Days” was then released in October 2015, followed by debut album “Anatomy of Loss” in 2017.

Combining elements of Doom and Melodic Death Metal, The Crawling have a perfect balance of absolute chaos within their style.

Upon hearing the first track of this album; title track ‘Wolves And The Hideous White’ – I am immediately hit with the velocity of what this album is about to bring. No going in easy here. Full pelt, mate… and I am drawn in!

The vocals are deep and dark, there is storytelling throughout the album, the riffs are beautifully ever changing – from slow and deep in ‘Drowned In Shallow Water’ to the harsher and more demanding tones in ‘Rancid Harmony’, with the skills behind that growling bass and intense double pedal, I imagine visions of being surrounded by black silk.

Focusing on the lyrics, in this example, particularly in the title track:
“Dragging sunlight across my skin. Glide so soft; seven heart strings on the violin.
Sadness song, for all to hear. A final wish to end it all and make you disappear.
Tell the wolves I’m home.
Drowning in rats.
Tell the wolves I’m home.”

There is a story behind this album – some beautiful song writing flares up as you listen to each track and really pricks your ears up to what you interpret the story to be.

Relatable or not, the pure energy and emotion behind the voice is undeniable.

This is a beautiful, dark and diverse album and one that I am going to be holding on loop for some time.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Wolves And The Hideous White
02. Still No Sun
03. Drowned in Shallow Water
04. A Time For Broken Things
05. Rancid Harmony
06 Promises and Parasites

THE CRAWLING ARE:
Andy Clarke – Guitar and Vocals
Stuart Rainey – Bass and Vocals
Gary Beattie – Drums

LINKS:
http://thecrawlingband.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/thecrawlingband/

https://www.instagram.com/thecrawlingband/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH3BctSUcu444jfMp0MDY1A

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno 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.