Iron Angel – Hellbound

Hellbound Cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqOnjTi-ZEK84JF9Roo1c_Q
https://www.facebook.com/mightymusic666/
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.

 

Saffire – Where The Monsters Dwell

Where The Monsters Dwell Cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/saffiresweden/
http://saffire.se/
Promo Pic1

 

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

Manimal – Purgatorio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rose Tattoo – Blood Brothers

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ROSE TATTOO – BLOOD BROTHERS
Label: Golden Robot Records
Release Date: 18th May 2018
Running Time: 73.31
Review by Tsarina Wilson
9/10

The 2018 bonus reissue of Rose Tattoo’s classic 2007 album was released on the 18th May 2018 through Golden Robot records.

The album contains some truly great tracks, plus live, adrenalin-packed versions, which only adds to the already brilliant album. These include Man About Town, Black Eyed Bruiser and Sweet Meat… just to name a few.

The album features the fantastic vocals of the one and only Angry Anderson, whose voice can transform, in a heartbeat, from gentle and mellow to full on scream and not miss a beat, Mark Evans from AC/DC on bass, Angels and Skyhooks axeman Bob Spencer, Aussie Crawl’s John ’Watto’ Watson up the back and the Pete Well’s endorsed Dai Pritchard on the slide guitar.

The band are touring the UK in September 2018 with dates to include the 02, the ABC in Glasgow and the 02 Academy 2 Birmingham, and with the energy these guys put into their songs, these gigs will be ones not to miss from this high-octane band.

Angry’s voice is raw with no let-up in any of the tracks. It’s totally 100% all the way. A modern rock sound but with their trademark riffs makes this album timeless. The live tracks give you just a taste of what you can expect if you are luckily enough to see these guys live…

Sadly, a few members have passed away (who are probably jamming away on another level) and these are paid homage to in the album and Angry wrote Once In A Lifetime in memory of Pete Wells who passed away in 2006.

The band still play with the same passion as always and give it their all, whether in the studio or live, and this is a band who doesn’t have an age limit, to either them or their fans!

Rose Tattoo are rough, ready and raw and this album is them at their best. Black Eyed Bruiser is just thumping all the way through and how Angry hits and keeps some of the notes is just amazing. The slide guitar is intense in Once In A Lifetime, and listening to the album you would be forgiven, if you didn’t know who the singer was, for mistaking him for a young gritty voiced singer. This is only half right as Angry is 71 but, believe me, he isn’t ready to hang up his singing and this guy has more energy than most younger men on the scene, having been with the band since 1976 and his voice still cuts to the bone.

There is everything from head banging tracks to more blues tracks, this album seriously has it all. Nothing To Lose leaves you almost breathless, with lyrics like ‘never had a problem with drinking till I ran out of booze’ Never had a problem with lying couldn’t lay straight in bed…

This is a band who will not lay down and retire any time soon. They seem to still have so much to give and I hope there are many more albums coming our way from these guys… keep on rockin!!
TRACK LISTING

Black Eyed Bruiser
Slipping Away
Once In a Lifetime
1854
City Blues
Sweet Meat
Man About Town
Creeper
Stand Over Man
Nothing To Lose
Lubricated
Man About Town Live
Black Eyed Bruiser Live
Once In A Lifetime Live
Sweet Meat Live
Standover Man Live
Nothing To Lose Live

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

https://www.facebook.com/RoseTattoo
https://www.rosetattoo.com.au/
Promo Pic1 by Darryl Edwards

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.

 

Resin – The Cycle of Need

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RESIN – THE CYCLE OF NEED
Attic Records
Release Date: 13/07/2018
Running Time: 47:52
Review by Rick Tilley
10/10

Right, before I get started on this review, it’s fair to say I haven’t been writing so much recently. Actually running a website/page gives you very little time to do anything else and, on top of that, I’ve found out I’m tremendously OCD about everything that I do so it all probably takes twice as long as it should do! I love what I’m now doing but sometimes you want to get back to just listening to some fantastic music and writing about how it makes you feel so I’m going to do that more often from now on!

Coming to that decision has been made so much easier thanks to Leicestershire Grunge/Hard Rock band Resin, whose latest album “The Cycle Of Need” has punched a huge emotional hole inside of me. I’ve known these ‘guys’ for a few years now and have interviewed them on more than one occasion. They know that when I first heard them, I wasn’t at all sure about whether I actually liked them or not, if you want to use sub-genres then Grunge isn’t my favourite word, but I’ve stuck with them and watched them grow. In 2015 there were a few line-up changes and they released their “Persecution Complex” EP which was a big step forward in quality and now we have the new album!

“The Cycle Of Need” sees the introduction of violinist Emma Bennett (Cadence Noir) as a sixth member and I’d like to shake the hand of the person that decided they needed to add strings of a different kind because her inclusion in the band is an absolute masterstroke! If you add that this collection of songs are, far and away, easily the best thing that Resin have ever recorded then things are looking more than good. Resin have found their complete sound and I absolutely adore it. Their mix of Grunge, Metal, Hard Rock and Folk is a joy to listen to, in fact it’s haunting and the more I listen to this album the more it moves me. Yes, they have revisited a couple of songs from their first album but these recordings do them so much more justice they may as well be completely new compositions!

Dave Gandon’s vocals are superb and the lyrics are sung with such feeling that it’s difficult not to wipe away a tear when listening to them, whether that’s tears of sadness or anger! Resin can be very hard hitting one minute, some of the riffs here are huge, and then completely floor you with something so gentle and beautiful the next but nothing sounds disjointed or out of place. It’s not just Dave or Emma that excel though, every member has stepped up to the plate and delivered huge performances and the production, handled by Neil Hudson at Initiate Audio, has given Resin the massive sound they have always deserved.

I’ve listened to thousands of bands over the years and whilst it’s lovely to feel safe with the Classic, Power and Thrash Metal bands that I love so much, sometimes it’s amazing to hear something different and that challenges me on multiple levels. Arguably, Resin have come up with a sound that I personally don’t think sounds like anyone else and that’s not an easy thing to say in 2018!

“The Cycle Of Need” is a breath-taking achievement and one which Resin should be hugely proud of. When music can speak to the listener like this album has done to me and then I get to write about it, well it just proves I’ve got nearly the best job in the world. I say nearly because the only way it could be better is if I had written the tracks myself.

I urge everyone that reads this to buy or stream “The Cycle Of Need” and really digest what’s on offer. It deserves that level of commitment because the music has been written and performed with such passion. Awarding full marks to an album is not something I often do but never have I found it as easy as I have done here!

TRACKLIST

  • 01 Never Learn
  • 02 Monster
  • 03 Shitstorm
  • 04 Clouds
  • 05 Angel
  • 06 Burn
  • 07 Poison
  • 08 Open Heart Trauma
  • 09 Blood Of Angels (Bonus Track)

LINE-UP

Dave Gandon: Vocals/Guitar
Mark ‘Chez’ Roseby: Guitar/Vocals
Simon Yarwood: Guitar
Drask George: Bass/Vocals
Ryan ‘Sticks’ Hextall: Drums/Percussion
Emma Bennett: Violin

LINKS:

  • http://www.resinband.com/
  • https://www.facebook.com/resinonline
  • https://www.instagram.com/resinband/
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZ8T_TS83q0 ‘Burn’ (Official Lyric Video)
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7qxHoTh710 ‘Monster’ (Official Video)

 

Promo Pic

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Satan’s Empire – Rising

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SATAN’S EMPIRE – RISING
3M’s Music
Release Date: 25/05/2018
Running Time: 52:07
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

So, here I am again, with yet another NWOBHM album to review. Not bad for someone who is not really a fan of the genre, eh? But, that’s the beauty of reviewing. There is always something to review that is out of your comfort zone.

So, Satan’s Empire? Hmmmm, a band originally founded in Dundee, Scotland during the NWOBHM years of the late 70’s / early 80’s, there is surprisingly little information about them on the internet. They were most known for their song “Soldiers of War” which featured on the “Leadweight” compilation album for Neat Records and this gained them an almost mythical status.

After a thirty-year hiatus, they reformed in 2015 with the original London line up, consisting of Paul Lewis on guitar, Wayne Hudson on bass, Derek Lyon on vocals, Sandy McRitchie also on guitar and Magpie (Gary Bowler) on drums, releasing their first EP in 2017, and this, their first full-length album, released on 15th June 2018.

Over thirty years is a long time to wait for a band’s debut album so was it worth the wait?

I would say a resounding YES!

This is not just a NWOBHM album, it is a stonking modern day heavy metal album. Each track stands out by itself and there really are no fillers. Some could consider it a bit cliched with track names like “Slaves of Satan”, “Shout it Out (Hail!)” and “Dragon Slayer” but this in no way takes away from the musicianship and talent that has gone into producing this album.

The biggest compliment I think I can give this album is that it reminded me very much of a Saxon album, and a good Saxon album at that. I don’t know whether they have drawn influence from the Barnsley band or whether this was a total coincidence, but, in my opinion, it worked very well.

Satan’s Empire are a band that perform regularly at venues near me (always on a bloody Sunday when I can never make it I might add though!) but I was lucky enough to see them at The Roundhouse in Dagenham when they supported Alan Davey’s Ace of Spades and that was when I realised they are actually a really good band. They were excellent in a live setting and the energy and enthusiasm they had on that stage has transferred effortlessly to the cd.

I, for one, hope to see them many more times live, and I also hope they continue to make the music they are doing now and make many more great albums.

You never know I might actually become a NWOBHM fan because of it 😊

 

TRACK LISTING

  • Slaves of Satan
  • Shout it Out (Hail)
  • Satan’s Empire
  • Soldiers of War
  • Dragon Slayer
  • Come Back
  • On the Road to Hell
  • Lucifer
  • Politician
  • Suicide Man

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://en-gb.facebook.com/SatansEmpireOfficial/
  • https://twitter.com/empiresatan?lang=en

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

 

Yatin Srivastava Project – Chaos//Despair

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YATIN SRIVASTAVA PROJECT – CHAOS//DESPAIR
Incendia Music
Release Date: 25/05/2018
Running Time: 47:06
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

After reviewing the Nitish Pires album recently, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on yet another Indian metal album, and this time it was the new release by the Yatin Srivastava Project, Chaos//Despair. Yatin is a guitar player / musician based in New Delhi, India, and this is his first full length album.

Having started out as a bedroom project, Yatin has taken huge steps to get out there as a full-blown progressive rock/progressive metal band in the Indian and United Kingdom independent music scene and has previously released two EP’s (“The Dream Plays in Reverse” and “Constructing an Acoustic Dream”), a live DVD as well as two brand new singles and has been featured in UK magazines “Powerplay Magazine” and “Fireworks Magazine.”

With influences ranging from Porcupine Tree, Karnivool and TesseracT to Tool, Devin Townsend Project and Opeth, it is clear where their sound leans. Taking its original inspirations from the soundscapes and ambience of Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, Karnivool and so on, they have mixed in an element of electronic music inspired by bands such as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails to create a personalised sound the band can call their own. On the live stage, they are lead by a powerful female voice, courtesy of Marissa Landy and incorporate a tight musical section comprising of Archie Farrer on bass, Sam Machin on guitars and Arjun Gupta on the drums.

At just over 47 minutes long, and almost two years in the making, the album is divided into two broad themes of “Chaos” and “Despair” and mostly deals with Yatin’s experiences throughout the last few years, with topics such as political disarray, religious fear-mongering, war, loss, lack of inter-personal connections and battles relating to mental health and personal strife all making an appearance.

“The sonically diverse record’s goal is to make the listener think, and possibly continue the conversation, about things that are usually not talked about in society today,” says the band’s notes. And if an album can conjure that from a listener then I think its half way there to winning the battle.

Most of the album was produced by Yatin himself in various living rooms and makeshift studios but the band decided to record the drums at Plug n Play Studios with musician-extraordinaire Anindo Bose (founding member of Indian Fusion band “Advaita”). It also features an array of guest musicians including Craig Blundell (Steve Wilson) and Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief) as well as various Indian artists prevalent in the Indian music industry including Dhruv Visvanath, Kunal Singh (The Stage 2 Competitor), Sanjeeta Bhattacharya (Berklee Alumni) and Arjun Mathur (Meinl Drums Endorsee).

I didn’t mind this album, although it is a little too proggy for me. I like my music a bit more in your face than this, but I think a lot of progressive rock and progressive metal fans will love this. It has an ambience about it that is synonymous to the progressive side of the genre and, with the crossover between prog and electronic, it should appeal to a wide range of listeners.

Indian metal/rock music is a genre I had never explored before but if the last two Indian albums I have reviewed are anything to go by, it’s something that I won’t be ignoring again. Go and check Yatin Srivastava Project out…. you might just be surprised!

 

TRACK LISTING

  •  1. Alive
  •  2. Ozone
  •  3. Cognizance
  •  4. The Unknown
  •  5. Program.Obsolete
  •  6. Forgotten

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

https://www.facebook.com/YatinSrivastavaProjectOfficial/

http://www.yatinsproject.com/

  • www.twitter.com/yatinsri951
  • www.instagram.com/yastinsproject

 

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

 

 

Bloodstock ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ North Wales Final Central Station, Wrexham 15/06/2018

00 M2TM North Wales Logo

Bloodstock ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ North Wales Final
Central Station, Wrexham 15/06/2018
Review by Beth Jones with pointless bits from Rick Tilley!

After what seemed a very long time, Friday 15th June was the night – The Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses North Wales Final! It was the culmination of months of hard work by both the bands and the organisers, and was set to be a great show, combining competition bands and showcase bands for an evening extravaganza! We, at Ever Metal HQ, were really excited for the event, not least because it was a chance to have a catch up with old friends, but more so because we had been at most of the heats, and the semis, and were excited to see which band would be rewarded for their efforts with the ultimate prize – a spot on the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock 2018.

Following the packed nature of the heats, it was good to see a move of venue for the final, from the ‘cosy and bijou’ Atomic, to the much more substantial Central Station Venue. This allowed NEW Metal Productions to have two stages and alternate them – a brave decision, but did it work? We will come to that later!

First up on the main stage, to get us all in the mood, were instrumental trio, Archetype. This was our first experience of them. One word – Proggywoggydoodahh! I don’t think I need to explain any further than that. It was quite funny trying to watch the audience bang their heads to the rhythm, only to be fooled by a random bar of 13/8 instead of a good old 4/4 beat. Watching reasonably sober metal heads collectively trying to look cool when someone steals their solid rhythm is quite amusing! Aside from that, Archetype were clearly very talented musicians and clearly know how to write a good prog tune, but I have to say, after a short while, I found it quite difficult to listen to. It was too much for my brain to take sober, Rick, on the other hand, loved them!

01 Archetypehttps://www.facebook.com/wearethearchetypeUK/

A quick hop over to the second stage followed to catch Pelugion. We love these guys and it is easy to see why they have had success this year in the M2TM final in Coventry – if their performance that evening was half as good as their performance as guests here, then they were very worthy winners. They make one hell of a sound with just the three of them, and their connection is really strong, which gives their performance a confidence beyond their years. They provide you with classic heavy metal, quite Sabbath like in places, and give everything 100% welly! Love them.

02 Pelugionhttps://www.facebook.com/pelugion/

Next was the first of the competition bands on the main stage, Impavidus. In my last review, I called them ‘female fronted’ and got a bit of stick for it, so this time I shall refer to them as Michelle and her all male backing band!! Joking aside, these guys are all properly talented musicians, and Michelle’s vocal versatility is astounding. We had been massively impressed with them at the Semi Final and felt certain that they would walk it in the final. Sadly, the sound let them down. Central Station is a notorious venue for problematic acoustics, and Impavidus were not helped by this one little bit. I think that the bad sound quality gave them a bit of a knock, and the spark and chemistry we saw in the semis just wasn’t quite there, which in turn affected their overall performance. Maybe it was nerves, maybe it was the size of the venue, maybe it was the low – level lighting or the way it sounded on stage, who knows. We were truly gutted for them, but I think it was probably a worthwhile experience – things like that tend to focus your mind on areas that you can improve on.

03 Impavidushttps://www.facebook.com/impavidusuk/

Moving back to the second stage, we were greeted by local band, IN DEPTHS. Again, another first time for us, but with them hailing from just over the border and having had success recently in the Mammothfest Best Band competition, we were intrigued to check them out. The first thing that caught my attention was the bright white floor lights that they were using on stage. This totally changed the mood of the performance in a very clever way. The effect of it was almost like a bad dream – strange shadows creating distortions in features, which fitted well with their musical style. It was much harsher than I was expecting and quite intricate and complex, a bit Djent, and quite animated. Whilst I’m not a massive fan of the genre, it was really good to see them thinking about the overall look and staging and it was nice to see a bass player, on a six – string bass, actually utilising all the strings – kudos for that!

04 In Depthshttps://www.facebook.com/InDepths/

Returning once again to the main stage, we were ready and waiting for our next competition band, Cadence Noir. Again, we had really enjoyed these guys from their heat and semi and had high hopes for them. They were very different to everything that had been on so far, with much more of a party feel to them. They were lively, rocky, well-rehearsed, and had the best sound of the evening so far. They too had thought about their image, and the fact that they have a violin player and the bass player switches between standard electric bass and upright semi acoustic double bass gave them more of an edge. They gave a great performance and had the whole crowd bouncing and dancing and really partying. It was certainly a hard act to follow and I was pretty confident that we had just seen a winning performance, although the band themselves where not of the same opinion when we had a chat with them in the smoking area afterwards, during what was a well needed break from proceedings.

05 Cadence Noirhttps://www.facebook.com/CadenceNoir/

Following the short interval, the next competition band, Redwood Avenue, took to the main stage. As you all know by now, my opinion of these guys has changed a lot from when I first saw them, however I think this is because they have grown in confidence and finesse, and their performance here was no exception to this rule. They always have a good following too, which helps drive their performance along. Front man Aled is very animated, and the skills of the drummer keep everything very tight throughout their complex songs. With their Djent, Modern Metal sound, it was a huge contrast to the previous two bands we had seen in the competition this evening, which was great – variety is the spice of life, and they do what they do well. I sometimes wish their guitarists would be a little more animated though. I think this is made more noticeable by the fact that the bass player and drummer, along with Aled, are animated, so it sticks out like a sore thumb. To coin a phrase I used in my first review about them, they are only young; it will come with time and experience!

06 Redwood Avenuehttps://www.facebook.com/redwoodavenue2014/

Once more back over to the second stage we headed, for the last band of the night on that stage, the fantastic Welsh nutcases, Lifer! Although I have listened to plenty of their music, this was a first time for me seeing them live. What a diamond bunch of lads they are, and what a chemistry they create on stage. They are thrashy, doomy, and heavy, and generally awesome. Scriv has a great presence as a front man and knows how to hold a tune and an audience in the palm of his hand. I really enjoyed their set and will endeavour to see them again soon. It was nice to have them in the mix with all the young bands that we had seen so far, as they are like the voice of experience for them – the ones who have been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, and are still loving it and showing us that they are loving it!

07 Liferhttps://www.facebook.com/lifermetal/

The final Competition band was up next – OMV. Hold on to your hats folks, things are about to get a lot more sweary. One thing is for certain – Richie OMV certainly has a lot of fucks to give! Call me a prude, but there was a bit too much fuckery for my liking if I’m honest, which is a shame, as I really like their music, but the over use of our favourite expletive, as well as a few other choice words, was a big turn off for me. That said, they did put on a good show and it was, as ever, tight and well-rehearsed. I love the fact also that they had more than one generation of their family there to support them – as they have had at each of their performances in the M2TM competition. That was really nice and they did do their family proud with their performance – just please lay off the expletives a little – it doesn’t do you any favours!

08 OMVhttps://www.facebook.com/omvmetalband/

And that was it for competition bands. Whilst Rob Bannister deliberated on, what was most definitely, a very tough decision, we were treated to some good solid thrash metal in the form of Solitary. They were our guest headliners and they certainly filled that spot brilliantly, even if quite a few of the audience hadn’t got the stamina to stay until the end…lightweights! The people who did stay were treated to a fantastic performance from them, with huge energy and passion and groove laden tunes back to back throughout their set.

09 Solitaryhttps://www.facebook.com/Official.Solitary/

So, to the decision – Rob took to the stage, the room divided into four definite parties! Who would win? I had a feeling I knew but was intrigued to see if Rob would go that way. ‘The winner of this year’s Metal 2 The Masses North Wales Final is ………… CADENCE NOIR!!!!’ Whilst there was obvious disappointment in the room from the fans of the other bands, the general consensus was that it was the correct decision on the night – apart from the Cadence Noir guys, who were completely shocked and thought Redwood Avenue should have won! After obligatory congrats / commiserations / photos, the crowd drifted off, all knowing they had just witnessed a super night of music with a competition of four bands, completely diverse in style, but all equally talented at what they do. It really was anyone’s game. We had an absolute blast, as we have had throughout the competition, and came home happy and content that a good night had most definitely been had. My only criticism was that the night seemed to take a long time to get to the decision. I think the second stage was good, but possibly dragged things out a little too much, however all the bands on there were fantastic. The sound on there was better than the sound on the main stage, which kind of irritated me a bit, but the room which the second stage was in is much easier to set sound in – that is more a fault with the building though – believe me I saw Soulfly in there a good while ago and it was a wall of noise, so even the big bands struggle.

Myself and Rick feel very privileged to have been at all these gigs and would like to express our thanks for the hard work and dedication of all involved, not only the bands, But Fozzy and Beany for having the determination to pull off the events, all of which ran like absolute clockwork. Also, thanks to Rob Bannister for coming all the way to little old Wrexham to judge it, as well as Dani Maguire from ‘Powerzone’ on Calon FM and John Matthews from ‘Totally Tankered’, who cast the judges votes in the heats and semis. Not only have we had a great time at each show, but we have met and become friends with some wonderful people along the way, and that is what music is all about – the universal language that brings people together. It would be lovely to see this as the springboard for more of the same in this town.

10 Winners

Huge congratulations to Cadence Noir – have fun at BOA 2018. LONG LIVE METAL!

SOCIAL MEDIA

North East Wales Metal Productions:

https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions/

The Powerzone Radio Show:

https://www.facebook.com/Powerzonemetal/

Metal 2 The Masses Official Public Group Page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/m2tmofficial/

Bloodstock Festival:

https://www.facebook.com/bloodstock/

Central Station, Wrexham:

https://www.facebook.com/centralstationvenue/

 

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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photographs are the property of Beth Jones and PhotograBee – http://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages

Bob Kulick – Skeletons in the Closet


Skeletons In The Closet Cover

BOB KULICK – SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET
Vanity Music Group
Release Date: 15/09/2017
Running Time: 43:55
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

You must be doing a good job as a review website when someone approaches you to review their latest album, right? But, when that someone is none other than American guitarist and Grammy Award winning record producer, Bob Kulick, you must be doing an awesome job! Well, that’s exactly what happened to us at Ever Metal headquarters and we are honoured to review his latest album ‘Skeletons in The Closet.’

Best known for his studio work with Kiss and his tenure with WASP, Bob was born in Brooklyn, New York, and is the older brother of former Kiss lead guitarist, Bruce Kulick, who, incidentally, was put forward for the job by Bob, himself.

Bob took a chance in 1973 and auditioned for the lead guitar spot in the then-new band, Kiss, but, although he impressed the other members of the band, it was the glitzier, Ace Frehley, who had auditioned directly after him, who was chosen to fill the spot.

Despite this, Bob later played (albeit uncredited) on four Kiss albums: Alive II (he played on three of the five studio tracks on the second side), Unmasked (where he played guitar on the track Naked City), Killers (playing on all four of the new studio tracks) and some minimal work on Creatures of the Night. He also played guitar on Paul Stanley’s 1978 solo album and on his 1989 solo tour.

But his contribution to the music world didn’t stop there. He has also worked with the likes of Motorhead, Meatloaf, Doro, Lou Reed and Tim “Ripper” Owens as well as playing guitar on WASP albums The Crimson Idol and Still Not Black Enough. This, as well as forming his own bands Balance, Skull and Murderer’s Row, have earned him 11 platinum or gold records throughout his career.

So, what of this album? Well, after a career spanning over forty years, this is actually Bob’s first solo album!! Recorded at Vegas View Recordings in Las Vegas, and produced and engineered by Bob himself, along with Bobby Ferrari, this is a collection of five new tracks and five classics from his albums with Skull and Murderer’s Row and features an array of musicians.

For a first solo album it would have been nice for all the tracks to be brand new ones, but I don’t really know much about Bob’s catalogue, so they were all new to me. While this is fine with me, older fans might feel a bit cheated by this.

Despite this, Skeletons in the Closet is a feel-good album, with lots of great rock tracks. The first half of the album consists of the five new tracks, probably the best of these being “London”, which tells the story of Jack the Ripper, and features the vocals of Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider. The only slightly ‘dodgy’ track of these five being the cover of “Goldfinger!” I didn’t really see the point of it and didn’t think it quite worked. I would have much rather seen another track like “London” or opening track “Rich Man”.

As previously mentioned, I don’t know much about Bob’s back catalogue so none of the classic tracks were known to me, but my favourite of these must have been title track “Skeletons in the Closet”. Sounding like it could easily have been pinched from the back catalogue of WASP, it features the vocals of David Glen Eisley, although he could easily be mistaken for Blackie Lawless (who I actually thought was singing at first!)

This album was never going to break any new ground, and I can picture some of the “older” music fans saying that it’s all been done before but even if you buy it simply for Bob’s guitar playing, its more than worth it. I’ve had this in my car for over a week now and I am still not bored with it, each track sounding better the more times I listen to it.

So, if you are a fan of technical music and poetic lyrics then this is not the album for you, but if you like a bit of rock you can listen to loud in your car with the roof down then go and get a copy of this! I loved it and I am sure you will too!

 

TRACK LISTING:

  • Rich Man
  • Not Before You
  • London
  • Goldfinger
  • Player
  • India
  • Skeletons in The Closet
  • Guitar Commandos
  • Eyes of A Stranger

 

SOCIAL MEDIA:

  • https://en-gb.facebook.com/BobKulickMusic/
  • https://twitter.com/bobkulickmusic?lang=en
  • https://www.deezer.com/en/artist/1195005/top_track
  • https://www.instagram.com/bobkulickmusic

 

598905AA-bob-kulick-skeletons-in-the-closet-featuring-dee-snider-todd-kerns-brent-fitz-eric-singer-and-more-due-in-september-image

 

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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

 

Nitish Pires – Am I Evil?

Am I Evil Cover

NITISH PIRES- AM I EVIL?
Self Release
Release Date: 18/02/2018
Running Time: 44:22
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

I am always on the lookout for something different when I am reviewing so when Richard suggested I review this album, I jumped straight on it. And boy, was he right? Again!

This couldn’t be more diverse to anything I am used to listening to (and I listen to A LOT of stuff!) as it has been recorded by Nitish Pires, an alternative singer/songwriter from Mumbai, India. Now, don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been avoiding Indian rock/metal, it’s just that this particular genre of metal has never appeared on my radar, until now! And if I knew then what I know now about it, I would have sought it out much sooner.

Because I FRIGGIN’ LOVED IT!

But let me tell you a little bit about Nitish first.

He started on his musical journey in 2009 with the formation of his rock band “Nakshrata” and they released one album ‘Gulfam’, written entirely by Pires himself and released on Universal Music.

In 2007, he went solo, writing two albums ‘Sahedein’ and ‘Chauraha’, while also recording numerous tracks for TV adverts across India for companies such as Vodafone, Nokia and Fila, and has even composed a complete score for feature film “Soch Lo.”

He was proclaimed as the first Indian to tour to promote is music by The Times India when he visited 25 cities in India promoting ‘Chauraha’ and his non-stop work earned him a nomination for Best Indian Rock Album at the prestigious G.I.M.A Awards.

2014 saw him take a well-earned break to travel the world, during which he gained inspiration that would accumulate into his latest work – Am I Evil?

And in case you missed it earlier – I FRIGGIN’ LOVED THIS ALBUM!

Never have I heard an album where each track was totally different to the others, and this was, by no means, a bad thing. The entire album lasts just over 44 minutes, but it has the feel of being much shorter, a characteristic I think that can be put down to the diversity throughout. I am a great fan of uniqueness and this album is certainly that.

Mixing modern day thrash guitar riffs and screaming vocals with traditional instruments and lyrics, this album certainly has a lot more to offer than a lot of the albums released nowadays. The songs are three dimensional, each one standing out in its own right, and the album seems to take you on a journey, making your experience a lot of sounds along the way, almost as if you are experiencing Nitish’s journeys with him.

The album was recorded using his laptop and native instruments and sounds and definitely creates a unique sound. His inspiration from rock legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath are obvious, but combined with “Pires’ driven and tenacious nature, along with his DIY skills” (he used pillows and duvets to change his bedroom into a suitable recording space!) the album is given a down to earth and honest feel yet keeps that rock atmosphere.

My favourite track on the album is ‘You Fake’, which mixes traditional Indian singing with harsh metal vocals and seems full of rage and hatred, but tracks ‘Big Black Wings’, ‘Need You’ and ‘Not Going Mad’ are also stand out tracks for me. In fact, there is not a bad song on the entire album, and none could be considered as “fillers.”

If you have never listened to Indian fused rock/metal, then I suggest you go out and buy this album.  It is one of the best albums I have heard this year, and nigh on two and a half weeks in my car is a great testament to that!!

 

TRACK LISTING

  • 1. Fade Away
  • 2. Crazy BC-AD
  • 3. Johny 006
  • 4. You Fake
  • 5. Need You
  • 6. Big Black Wings
  • 7. It’s My Way
  • 8. Happy Nuclear
  • 9. Not Going Mad
  • 10. Hello Good Morning
  • 11. Undoe Se Maara

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • www.nitishpires.com
  • www.facebook.com/nitishpiresofficial
  • https://www.instagram.com/nitishpires

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