Eleanor – Celestial Nocturne

Celestial Nocturne Cover

Eleanor – Celestial Nocturne
Mighty Music
Release Date: 30/03/2018
Running Time: 56.15
Reviewer Tsarina Wilson
6.5/10

When I first asked to review this album, I had no idea that it would all be in Japanese, so it was a little bit of a surprise when the album first started. I have previously reviewed bands who sing in both their native language and English, but this was a first for me and unfortunately, I don’t speak Japanese…!!

Eleanor are a Japanese Melancholic, Symphonic, Gothic Metal band (phew, a little bit of everything), founded in 2006 by Ippei J Malmsteen (guitars) and Shiori Vitus (vocals) in Osaka. Their sound has been influenced by bands such as The Gathering, Sentence and Amorphis, and, in fact, their name Eleanor was a song by The Gathering.

Their debut album “A Circle of Lament” was released in 2011 in Japan by Black-Listed Records. Two years later their second album “Breathe Life Into The Essence” was released also by Black-Listed records and was highly rated, with lots of attention from overseas. As a result, Eleanor appeared on the Metal Female Voices Fest Vol 11 in Belgium as the only Japanese Metal band.

They then went on to perform as an opening act for Eluveitie’s Japanese tour in 2014. In 2016, their third album “Celestial Nocturne” was released in Japan by Rubicon Music and they played the largest number of live shows in their history.

In 2017, Eleanor signed an international deal with Scandinavian leading Rock/Metal label Mighty Music and on the 30th March 2018, “Celestial Nocturne” was released world-wide and included three bonus tracks.

The band consists of Shiori Vitus on vocals, Ippei J Malmsteen on guitars and keyboards, Neo on guitars, Lupin on bass, Carlos on drums and Jet Rumi on chorus and percussions.

So, as I couldn’t actually understand the lyrics of the album, this was quite a difficult review to do but you can hear so much passion in Shiori’s voice and the riffs are almost haunting. I can imagine some of these tracks being used as end title music for a film of dark heartache or mystery as they have that sort of sound to them. And then you hear ‘Buried Alive!’ This track is such a change from the rest of the album, it’s very upbeat and light, a refreshing change as everything else is very dark and melancholy. But dark and melancholy is what the band are noted for.

The album has a lot of instrumental sections and there is nothing better than a good guitar interlude, this album giving you plenty of them, especially ‘Thirsty’ and ‘Defying’, a track which has an almost Spanish flamenco hint. Most of the tracks have a strong drum beat which keeps the album bouncing along nicely and mixed with great harmonies, you have yourself a very interesting album.

TRACKLIST
1.Fall From Grace
2.Defying Gravity
3.Far Beyond Dystopia
4.Solitude
5.Eternal Moment
6.Empyreal Beauty
7.Buried Alive
8.Lazy Noise
9.Thirsty
10.War Cry
11.Mellow Ⅰ – Sleeping Water – (European Bonus Track)
12.Mellow Ⅱ – Far Beyond Dystopia – (European Bonus Track)
13.Mellow Ⅲ – Defying Gravity – (European Bonus Track)

LINKS:
http://www.eleanorjapan.com
https://www.facebook.com/eleanorjapan/

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

 

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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.

Bastian – Grimorio

Grimorio Cover

Bastian – Grimorio
Sliptrick Records
Release Date: 31/07/2018
Running Time: 59:30
Review by Chris Galea
9/10

Before delving into “Grimorio”, Bastian were a new proposition to me but I decided against looking for any information about the band until I actually listened to this album. That way, I reckoned, I could form an opinion based on the music alone. Speaking of which…

Candlemass seem to have been a strong influence on “Grimorio”. The lead vocals are incredibly good…very solid with powerful screams. In fact, the overall level of musicianship is quite high and the sound really brings the best out of these songs. So far so good.

Despite the candour of its influences, the music in “Grimorio” has its own character and that’s quite an achievement for a style that revels in traditional Metal. For example ‘The Time Has Come’ has some tasty Blues Rock undertones and ‘Epiphany’s Voodoo’ is an instrumental that kicks off with a delightfully funky vibe using hand percussion and Hammond sounds. ‘Infinite Love’, on the other hand, is a melancholic song with Prog Rock traits. And all the while, throughout the album, the listener never doubts that this is essentially a Metal album.

OK, there were a couple of songs that I wasn’t too enthusiastic about but by and large, the band/album was a welcome discovery.

Incidentally, afterwards I did seek more info about Bastian. The band is the brainchild of Italian guitarist Sebastiano Conti (‘Bastian’ being a diminutive of ‘Sebastiano’), who here recruits the talents of bassist Federico Paulovich (Destrage), drummer James Lomenzo (Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth, Black Label Society) and Danish singer Nicklas Sonne (Defecto, Theory).

“Grimorio” was released back in July but I’m glad it dropped in late rather than never.

TRACKLIST:
1. Pale Figure
2. Sly Ghost
3. The Trip
4. Infinite Love
5. It’s Just A Lie
6. Southern Tradition
7. The Time Has Come
8. Epiphany’s Voodoo (instrumental)
9. Black Wood
10. Fallen Gods

LINE-UP:
Sebastiano Conti – guitar
Nicklas Sonne – vocals
James Lomenzo – bass
Federico Paulovich – drum

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

https://sliptrickrecords.com/bastian/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJibyblJK1JAPUgwKR9XEtQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK9kGUV10Qw It’s Just A Lie (Official Video)

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

Ascendant-A Thousand Echoes

A Thousand Echoes Cover

Ascendant-A Thousand Echoes
Pure Steel Publishing
Release Date: 20/04/2018
Running Time 60:40
Reviewer Tsarina Wilson
10/10

Work on this album started in late 2014 and was completed in 2017, and I’m so glad it was, as this is an album you can really get your teeth into. It is just a joy from the first song to the last. At first, I thought I had pressed play on the wrong song and was listening to Manowar so had to check my files. But I was definitely listening to this album.
The band was formed in 2012 by Alaa, Puneet and Ashish, with Aram and Younmi added a few months later to complete the line-up.

The album consists of eight tracks (not including the intro track) and by track three I was totally hooked; the drumming alone is just immense.

The album is inspired by true experiences of the band, with three of the five members having grown up in war-torn Syria, experiencing loss and tragedy and seeing first-hand things that no one should have too. It is the unseen victims of war and the innocent people suffering who are the main themes of this album.

There are some welcome special guests contributing to the album, including brothers Simon and Elias Abou Assali, who feature on the track ‘Land Of A Thousand Echoes’ which tells the story of people risking their lives to brave dangerous seas and escape their war-torn country, seeking refuge in a safe place. This is a personal experience of the brothers, who managed to do just that a few years ago. The album also features Lindsay Schoolcraft from the legendary Cradle Of Filth on the track ‘Light’ and Hadi Sarieddine (Solo & Benevolent) lent his talents to the intro arrangement for ‘Twilight Of Eden’ and ‘Fog Of War’.

The band line up is Youmni Abou Al Zahab on vocals, Puneet Sharma on bass, Alaa Abousaada on guitars, Ashish Shetty on guitars, and Aram Kalousdian on drums, and together they are a pure joy to listen to. If you are not playing either air guitar or air drums by track six, then I would be shocked!

If you listen to the lyrics you can almost imagine the terror these guys have been through and putting these stories to a great rock music backing really gives it the wow factor, the expression in their music is excellent. You need to realise these lyrics are not written by someone with no knowledge of facts. These guys have actually been there and endured horrors that most of us cannot even begin to imagine.

Thankfully, they survived and have now given us this incredible album and you could mistake them for a band who have been around many years, not just the short time they have been. They have poured their heart and soul into this album, and then a little bit more. I could honestly listen to this album all day.

The drums on “Land Of A Thousand Echoes” are awesome and the guitar riffs are crystal clear and mixed with the powerful vocals, this band is one I know we will be hearing a lot more of in the future.

‘Tears Of His Majesty’ leads you into a false sense of security, starting as a “lighters in the air” track but then suddenly launching itself into pure rock. (Have I commented how much I so love this album?!!) And even when you think they have given everything, the last track will definitely leave you out of breath, as it is almost 13 minutes of pure heaven!

I honestly have nothing bad to say about this album and, in fact, I only gave it a 9 to start with! I adjusted this to a 10 and I can’t wait for future music from these guys. They definitely have a new fan to add to the many they already have and, sorry guys, but you now have a new groupie…. keep rockin’ lads.

TRACKLIST:
1 Twilight Of Eden (Intro)
2 Doomsday Machine
3 Walls Between Us
4 Fog Of War
5 Morning Light
6 Land Of A Thousand Echoes
7 False Illusion
8 Tears Of His Majesty
9 At The End Of The World

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/ascendanttheband/
https://www.instagram.com/ascendanttheband/
https://ascendanttheband.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQuRd-a–qM6bBvBKMQ7f0Q

Promo Pic1

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.

Gama Bomb – Speed Between The Lines

 

Speed Between The Lines Cover

Gama Bomb – Speed Between the Lines
AFM Records
Release date: 12/10/2018
Running time: 35.07
Review by: Alun Jones
8/10

Hello and welcome to Thrash School. For todays lesson, you will need:

• Skin tight jeans (preferably with ripped knees)
• Faded Acid Reign t-shirt
• Studded leather belt and 1x studded leather wrist band
• White hi-top leather Converse
• Black leather jacket (denim vest over jacket optional)
• Baseball cap with “NOT” written under the peak

Because today we will be listening to the new album by Gama Bomb, entitled “Speed Between the Lines”.

These merry metallers have an uncanny ability to rewind the cassette of time to a simpler age. It’s like grunge never happened. Instead, we get twelve face-lacerating tunes that rush by in uncompromising fashion. This is thrash metal, kids, buckle up for the ride.

Eighties thrash was often pre-occupied with party bum-out vibes like nuclear destruction. Apparently, it’s a post-Cold War world though, so these boys don’t wallow in misery for too long. Not that they don’t have a social conscience: witness the admirable stab at the current political climate in “Alt Reich”.

But they’re just as happy dedicating an ode to Kurt Russell, which is perfectly justified in my opinion. Kurt is, of course, an icon of twentieth century popular culture. Not convinced? Go watch The Thing and Big Trouble in Little China and you can thank me later.

Back to the music. Although diversity isn’t Gama Bomb’s strong point – Master of Puppets this ain’t – the listener is rewarded with a dozen tracks that speed by relentlessly. The musicianship is amazing, with blitzkrieg lead guitar all over the place.

The occasional change of pace would add some additional colour, but you can’t fault the commitment and enthusiasm of this band. This album is the full package with cool themes and some of the best song titles I’ve heard in a long time (666teen? Give them an award NOW). The music is intense and exciting in equal measure, bringing to mind classic Overkill, Anthrax and Nuclear Assault.

So dig out your old Variflex skateboard and ask your big brother’s mate to buy you a two litre bottle of cider from the Co-op. With Gama Bomb you can party like it’s 1987. This history lesson is over.

Track listing:
1. Give Me Leather
2. A Hanging
3. 666teen
4. Bring Out the Monster
5. R.I.P. U
6. Motorgeist
7. Alt-Reich
8. Stay Rotten
9. We R Going 2 Eat U
10. Kurt Russell
11. World Gone to Hell
12. Faceblaster

Social Media:
http://www.gamabomb.net
http://www.facebook.com/gamabomb
dh@afm-records.de

Promo Pic1

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

Massive Wagons with Those Damn Crows & Mad Haven, The Live Rooms, Wrexham, 17/11/2018

 

 

A full review of the gig can be found here:

https://ever-metal.com/2018/11/28/massive-wagons-with-those-damn-crows-mad-haven-the-live-rooms-wrexham-17-11-2018/

Social Media:

 

Disclaimer: This photo album is solely the property of Beth Jones and PhotograBee Images – https://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages/
It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of these images, 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.

Sonic Rebellion! featuring Skyward & Grimpulse, Sinbin at The Plough and Harrow, Leytonstone, 10/11/2018

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Sonic Rebellion!
featuring Skyward & Grimpulse
Sinbin at The Plough and Harrow, Leytonstone
10/11/2018
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

A few years ago, when I was still doing my radio DJ stints, I decided to take my Metal Asylum show into a live setting and the Sonic Rebellion nights were born. I had to give it all up for various reasons but a friend of mine, Linz Griffin, decided to take the nights on for himself. He continued with just the DJ theme for a time, but after a while, decided to introduce bands into the formula, a decision which I think is one that should really have be taken a long time ago.

I must admit, I hadn’t been to many of Linz’s Sonic Rebellion nights for one reason or another, but I saw this one and I thought to myself, why not go and see what it is all about? So, I did.

I arrived at the Plough and Harrow at about 8 o’clock and there was already a fair few people there. Whether they were just friends of the two bands performing I don’t know, but it gave the place an instant atmosphere anyway.

The Plough and Harrow pub, itself, has been in Leytonstone since the early 19th century, but a few years ago, a side building was refurbished, rejuvenated and re-invented as The Sinbin, and has been hosting gigs and functions ever since.

The venue itself is a 150 capacity room, with plenty of space, lots of seating areas and a stage that can easily hold 4 or 5 musicians and all of their gear. I, personally, think the location is a bit of a problem for some people, as the nearest tube station is a good 10 to 15 minutes walk away, but you know what some people are like. They don’t want to know if the train doesn’t drop them directly outside!!

Being a DJ night too, there was a young lad DJ’ing when I first arrived. He had been given the opportunity by Linz as a guest DJ, and I must admit he did an awesome job, the crowd seemingly enjoying what he was playing. It actually made me miss my days as a DJ!

So, anyway, on to the bands!

Grimpulse were up first. They were due on stage at 9pm but, I think due to the weather being so crap (heavy rain!!) the organisers delayed them for a bit and they finally took to the stage at about 9.35pm.

Grimpulse are a young, four-piece local band, hailing from the East End of London. I was introduced to them before they hit the stage and I must say, for a young band, they had the air of a much more mature bunch of guys. They seemed to genuinely enjoy what they do, and at the end of the day, that’s really what is all about.

If I had to pigeon hole these guys, I would say they were a mix of speed and death metal. Musically, they were excellent, each member obviously a very talented musician. The gruff vocals, however, won’t appeal to everyone and this might cut down who they can reach out to but overall, they were very good.

I, personally, feel that any band should have the right to play whatever style they want to and be able to enjoy playing it without being judged or booed off stage. These guys were far from being either and the crowd seemed to be enjoying them.

The guitarists were both fantastic and both ended up without their shirts (one even had no shoes or socks on!) I don’t know if this has any impact on this review whatsoever but I thought I would throw it in just so you can see what sort of guys these are.

As if their stage antics weren’t enough to get the crowd going, they finished their set with an absolute stomping rendition of Sepultura’s Refuse/Resist, something that went down VERY well with the crowd.

03

The second band onto the stage were the fantastically named Skyward. These guys were formed in London in 2014 and, in their own words, fuse “World Metal with 90’s Epic Metal.” So, being a melodic, power metal band (which I had checked out before the gig) I KNEW I was going to enjoy them!

They opened up their set with a typical power metal epic, full of great guitar work and fantastic keyboards. I have heard people say they don’t like keyboards in metal, but I do think they add that certain “something” with the right band. And that “something” was apparent with Skyward, as Fabio Garau (who I am sure I have met before!) is awesome on the keys.

Again, this is a band with obviously a lot of talent, from the great solos supplied by the guitarists to the awesome voice of the singer. If you have read any of my reviews you will know that I am a proper fan of distinguishable vocals, something that stands out from the rest.

The singer in this band definitely stood out to me. His voice was strong and powerful just as a power metal singer should be, but he also had a stage presence that not all frontmen necessarily have. I would suggest that he has been performing a lot of his life, and if he hasn’t, he has definitely got the part down to a tee.

Upon hearing them live, I looked them up on Facebook and was pleased to see that they have released an EP and this I certainly will be adding to my collection. With a bit of promotion, I think these guys can actually go very far indeed.
04

With both bands having done their thing onstage it was down to the DJ’s to take over. I didn’t stay right to the end of the night but I am sure the crowd enjoyed the rest of the night very much indeed 😊

Sonic Rebellion Links:

https://www.facebook.com/sonicrebellionsinbin/

Grimpulse Links:
https://www.facebook.com/grimpulse/?ref=br_rs

Skyward Links:
https://www.facebook.com/skywarduk/
https://skyward.bandcamp.com/

 

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

All photos are the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King.

Airforce, The Cart & Horses, London, 27/10/2018

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Airforce
The Cart & Horses, London
27th October, 2018
Review and Pictures by Chris Galea

I’m sure that, to some degree, the symbolic meaning of tonight’s gig fuelled the pervasive fervor. And that symbolic meaning had something to do with Iron Maiden.

Doug Sampson, drummer of Airforce, performed with Iron Maiden at the ‘Cart & Horses’ at a time when that band was starting to assert its dominance over the Metal scene. Here was where Iron Maiden played their very first gigs, something that was probably convenient for Steve Harris as he lived just up the road from here. Besides that, Iron Maiden used to rehearse about 5 minutes’ drive from this pub. Chop Pitman and Tony Hatton, respectively Airforce’s guitarist and bassist, remember the first Maiden gig well as they were there (or should I say ‘here’).

This area of NE London is also home of the West Ham football team (from whom Iron Maiden adopted the ‘Up The Hammers’ battlecry). Tonight West Ham were playing away – this meant the ‘Cart & Horses’ was already thronging with punters by the time Airforce started assembling their gear. The fact that this was Halloween night added a further element of fun to the ambience with many attendees dressed in gory costumes and fake blood (yes, there was also someone dressed as Eddie, Iron Maiden’s mascot).

That might have been a long-winded way to put tonight’s show in context but it hopefully helped you, the reader, seep in the atmosphere before the air-raid siren sounded and Airforce finally hit the stage…..

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All the four band members wasted no time in immersing themselves into the performance, especially bass player Tony Hatton. On lead vocals was Italian national Ivan Giannini, who has joined Airforce only recently. Previous singer Dilian Arnaudov had to return to his native Bulgaria due to personal matters. Ivan proved to be an incredibly good singer with a phenomenal set of pipes.

On the subject of singers, Dilian’s singing with Airforce is rougher around the edges whereas Ivan’s voice is much more melodic. So for better or for worse, Airforce’s music changes depending on who of the two is singing. At this juncture the band needs to decide which of the two roads to take. But I’ve digressed…

Mid-way through the set Chop started a song with a riff that made me think he was ripping off Accept’s ‘Princess Of The Dawn’. After a few moments, I told myself, “Hold on, this IS ‘Princess Of The Dawn!”. A surprising choice of song to cover but, if I may speculate, perhaps we can take it as an indication of what sound Airforce is going for. That’s a heartening thought. An even odder cover was ‘Eleanor Rigby’ of The Beatles. But luckily both Accept and The Beatles are bands I love so I wasn’t one to complain.

Most of the original songs performed I was hearing for the first time. And what I heard were songs that were lively, mean-spirited and exciting and to be honest I enjoyed them all. Judging from the crowd’s involvement, ‘Finest Hour’ and ‘Sniper’ went down particularly well, in part thanks to the video clips of those songs that were released recently. ‘Life Turns To Dust’ – a catchy mid-tempo song with some cool melodies – also found its way into the set. ‘The Reaper’ was a new song and one which I immediately took a liking to. Finally the band rounded off their triumphant performance with a cover of Judas Priest’s ‘Breaking The Law’.

Special credit must go to Ivan for learning the Airforce songs at very short notice. He hardly spoke except of course to sing and most of the crowd banter was left to Chop. That was perfectly understandable but still I think it would have looked better if the Italian were more loquacious.

From the currently active musicians with roots in the NWOBHM, Airforce are one of the bands I am liking most these days – they seem to be one of the few bands of the NWOBHM generation that I feel are coming up with quality material that hasn’t mellowed too much with time. On top of that, as evidenced by tonight’s performance, the delivery of that material is dynamic and convincing.

So although the band’s future is not yet written in stone, tonight I sensed some very promising signs. The diversely composed audience of the ‘Cart & Horses’ would probably second me on that.

Setlist:
Fight
Life Turns To Dust
War Games
Fine Line
The Reaper
Heroes
Son Of The Damned
Faith Healer/Princess Of The Dawn
Lost Forever
Finest Hour
Band Of Brothers
Why Has It Come To This?
Sniper
Eleanor Rigby
We Wanna Rock
Breaking The Law

Links:
https://www.airforceuk.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/chop.airforce/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=TN01fGFRnF4 (‘Sniper’ Official Video)

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