Innasanatorium – Odyssey Of The Mind

Odyssey Of The Mind Album Cover Art

Innasanatorium – Odyssey Of The Mind
Self-Released
Release Date: 10/07/2021
Running Time: 54:02
Review by Simon Black
9/10

Hailing from Perth, Innasanatorium (great name by the way) are a Progressive Thrash influenced Modern Metal outfit unleashing their debut on the world. Thematically conceptual rather than a story-driven concept album in itself, the record deals heavily with issues of mental health both positive and negative, as well as the usual political ire beloved of all things Thrash.

For a self-produced record the sound and production are rich, deep and lavish. So many debuts have great tracks that are lost in unprofessional recording techniques and penny-pinching, but not so this one. It’s beautifully captured, and brings those well-crafted and technically proficient tracks to the fore. The modern metal flavour brought by having a fairly broad range of singers (three no less, one of who is the band’s manager) gives their sound the kind of luxuriance that bands normally take a few albums to get into their stride with, by which time they are normally starting to scrape the bottom of the song catalogue. In this case you have the cream of their repertoire, but with the kind of production normally only found when a major label is throwing everything at a new signing.

And let’s not leave the song-writing and arrangements out of this. Again this has the feel of an album that has been properly pre-produced professionally, with the arrangements tightened and honed to precision. The technical proficiency in the Prog side of things is fairly formidable too, and does not stop the flow of the songs to the ear, which is why I think this has been pre-produced so well. It’s a different feel from what you get when that tightness has had its birth in songs which have had a few years of live playing to hone down the unnecessary elements. Each and every song on here is well-crafted and flows, and before you know it fifty-five minutes has passed in a blur of beautifully melodic yet brutal riffage interlaced with effortlessly fluid solos in a sauce of heaviness and moodiness that is quite distinctive and fresh.

This record manages to pull the trick off of being both melodically enticing in the instrumental department, whilst brutal and dark in the rhythmic structures and tones. Add to this a really well-balanced use of a scale of vocals from extreme (but intelligible) to the clean and high with many stops in between and you have one of the strongest unsigned debut’s I’ve heard in a while, and a band that has found their clear and distinctive sound early.

‘Show Me Your Scars’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Intro
02. Show Me Your Scars
03. The Decline (Odyssey Of The Mind Part 1)
04. Night Terrors
05. Shifting Shadows
06. The Despair (Odyssey Of The Mind Part 2)
07. Innasanatorium
08. Science In The House Of God
09. The Desire (Odyssey Of The Mind Part 3)
10. Accelerated Oblivion
11. Outro

LINE-UP:
Adam Bomb McDonald – Vocals
Ryan Pearce – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Rapid Man – Guitars
Metal C (Tim) – Bass
Justin Sanity (Kelvin) – Backing Vocals

LINKS:

Innasanatorium Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black 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.

Rubicon – Demonstar

Demonstar Album Cover Art

Rubicon – Demonstar
Rock City Music Label
Release Date: 16/07/2021
Running Time: 59:53
Review by Simon Black
8/10

We don’t get too many things to listen to from Russia. A quick look at the major contributors to the genre over there quickly reveals part of the reason why…English is not widely used as a language within the community so many bands seem to stick to their native tongue. Although that should not be a barrier to international recognition (Rammstein being the most notable example of what happens when you stick to your guns regardless), international record labels might think otherwise and without them it’s damn hard to self-produce and promote outside of your native market. Consequently, Russia is still something of a closed Metal shop about which the rest of the world hears far too little. What’s also not helped is the few, that have crossed my desk in recent years, have suffered somewhat from production values that leave something to be desired. If Metal bands themselves are thin on the ground in a given market, then it follows that producers and studios with the right equipment and experience to bring the best out of their music are even more so. Which is what makes this record so refreshing to listen to.

Although Rubicon have been banging their particular blast beat driven drum since the year 2000 it took until 2018 and three years of recording effort for them to get an album released (“Welcome To Wasteland”), making this sophomore piece seem positively exuberant in its haste to follow on. First off, this record shows their twenty years of experience really clearly, even if studio recording is a relatively recent extension to their repertoire. You wouldn’t know to listen to it – as this sounds rich, professional and thoroughly well-crafted…and yes, it’s in English!

The sound is a mixture of Modern Metal, with elements of Power and some quite Industrial motes in the harmonics. Contributory to this, no doubt, is that their bassist Dmitry “Belf” Safronov is an established producer in his own right, which is clearly visible in the amount of pre-production to the arrangements that have gone into this. Not to mention that with a French guitarist and an American session musician in the mix, this really is an international project which has added much more to the richness.

And rich it definitely is, with almost a full hour’s worth of brutally efficient and powerfully delivered Metal that rushes you along like a small, helpless mammal strapped to a white water raft. That pace and momentum isn’t all about brevity and three minute wonders either, as over half the tracks clock in at five plus minutes, showing a maturity and technical ease to the song-writing and structures that hold the attention, peppered as they are with carefully restrained instrumental virtuosity. Pulling off these sorts of long and complex arrangements is a challenge to many bands, who usually save that for ‘obligatory epic album closer’ but Rubicon achieve it at least three times on this record without sounding boring or repetitive.

In guitarist Bob Saliba, Rubicon, have a highly skilled player, who can power the riffs, shred the solos with breath-taking ease and who also finds moments to deliver some beautifully delivered Spanish acoustic guitar that add depth and variety, counterpointing perfectly Safronov’s orchestrations (which presumably will involve a full blown keyboard player when they come to do this all live). Front and foremost in the mix however are Ivan “Ian” Bulankov’s roaring and dark, yet soaring and engaging vocals. As the driving force behind the band, he clearly has a robust vision in his mind, but his delivery is powerful, broad and thoroughly charismatic with a really good range. This is rich and layered but has a surface appeal that easily engages the listener from the get-go. One to watch…

‘Demonstar’ (Official Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Demonstar
02. Neon Gladiators
03. Last Floor Of Hell
04. Down The Darkness
05. Speed Of Night
06. Snake King
07. If It Bleeds
08. The Darkness Machine~
09. Robot God
10. I, Immortal
11. Line Of Dreams

LINE-UP:
Ivan “Ian” Bulankov – Vocals
Bob Saliba – Lead & Acoustic Guitars
Dmitry “Belf” Safronov – Bass, Arrangements
Katerina Pobedinskaya – Keys

LINKS:

Rubicon Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black 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.

Internal Conflict – A P O R I A

A P O R I A Album Cover Art

Internal Conflict – A P O R I A
PHD
Release Date: 09/07/2021
Running Time: 40:15
Review by Simon Black
9/10

It’s always heart-warming when a band from my erstwhile neck of the woods gets to that next level. Internal Conflict are one of those bands that has taken their winning slot from Metal To The Masses to the Bloodstock New Blood Stage in 2013 and absolutely run with it, returning to the Sophie stage a few years later and pulling in a record deal along the way. For many that triumphant first day at Bloodstock is as high as it goes, but these Leicester boys have taken things forward with energy, determination and sheer bloody mindedness and they are going to be back playing the Sophie Lancaster Stage this year. With a full album and an EP already under their belt, it’s been several years since we heard anything from them and if the quality of the material on here is anything to go by, they have spent those last three years wisely, crafting a sophomore album that feels natural, fresh and thoroughly Modern. As is so often the case with bands with a Progressive streak, they’ve managed the writing and recording process themselves, utilising the not inconsiderable talents of producer Neil Hudson (Krysthla) for the mixing and mastering. And it doesn’t sound like he came in at the end of the process either, which tells me that these chaps have learnt the value of a pre-production process themselves – no easy trick for a band to master, but master it they have.

The music continues the themes of darkness and challenge that have been their stock in trade over the years, with recent global events having added plenty of fuel to the lyrical fire. It’s moody, it’s angry and it’s thoroughly brilliant. Add to this an incredible fresh Melo-Death mixed vocal style that works brilliantly over the complex Progressive instrumental delivery and what I have in my hands is one of the strongest records of the year so far.

Opening with the brutally emphatic rhythmic pounding of ‘Kingdom Of Apathy’, this is an album that does not pull its punches. ‘Paresthesia’ has a brutal and complex cacophony of beats and melodies that is both dizzying and focussed simultaneously, and the technically blistering tightness of ‘Atlas Down’ is unrelenting brutality at its best. This is heavy as fuck Prog Metal in a way I’ve never come across before – it shouldn’t work but it absolutely does. The album keeps the anger and energy throughout its forty minutes as well without sounding repetitive, but throws in tempo shifts that completely contradict where the song started from, but brilliantly emphasis the lyrical content like the sudden reveal in a penultimate episode of a Netflix TV show. The album closer ‘Kayfabe’ is absolutely worth holding out for. The double-bass drum work, interlaced with an almost Gothic guitar and keys melodic interplay, but weaved across with some brutal shredding and a few moments of pause and grace make this one of the most rewarding and well-crafted songs on the record – plus it’s going to be a bugger to play live.

So please, if you are going to Bloodstock this year, please drag your hungover arse out of your tent for that opening graveyard Sunday morning Sophie slot, because it looks like it’s going to be an absolute doozy…

‘Bleed The Sky’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Kingdom Of Apathy
02. Paraesthesia
03. Atlas Down
04. Bleed The Sky
05. Hollow Heart
06. Traitorous
07. The Line
08. Kayfabe

LINE-UP:
Adam Kyle – Vocals
Sean Rice – Guitar, Synth
Matt Hall – Guitar, Clean Vocals
Dan Laffar – Bass
Chris Bentley – Drums

LINKS:

Internal Conflict Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black 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 RITUALS

Rituals Logo

EMQ’s with RITUALS

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Newcastle, England based Metal band, Rituals. Huge thanks to guitarist, Ewan, 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?

I am Ewan. I play guitar in Rituals. We are a metal band from Newcastle, England formed in 2018, and we are currently getting ready to release our debut EP “AWAKE” on the 3rd of September 2021.

How did you come up with your band name?

We didn’t really think too hard about it, I just remember thinking of the word on a train back from college and that it would make a good name for a band. So, when me and Lewis discussed starting a band together, and we needed a name, I mentioned Rituals and it just fit with the music that was being written.

Where are you from and what is the Metal & Rock scene like there?

We are from Newcastle which has currently got a great metal scene coming through which feels great to be a part of.

What is your latest release?

Our previous release was a track called ‘False Royal’ which came out in October 2020; however, we have just released the title track from our new EP “AWAKE’ which came out on the 11th of June. It is a song we are all really proud of and can’t wait to share with everyone.

‘Awake’ (Official Video)

‘False Royal’ (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Everyone in the band is influenced by a range of different genres and bands. From the metal scene it is bands like While She Sleeps, Architects, Bury Tomorrow and Bleed From Within but also artists outside of metal like Tom Misch, Depeche Mode and Oasis.

What first got you into music?

What first got me into music was hearing and watching Elvis Presley as a kid, that was who inspired me to pick up a guitar in the first place!

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

Personally, I’d love to get someone like Noel Gallagher singing on a track, I think he has such a great voice and ear for melody, that hearing him over a melodic bridge in a metalcore track would be really interesting. We can all dream right!

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

It would have to be Download Festival! With the amount of iconic sets that have taken place at that festival it would be an honour to get to play it.

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

Nothing weird yet, guess we’ll have to wait and see what the future holds!

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

Thank you for taking time to listen to our music, we truly appreciate you taking time out of your day to listen to our music, and we can’t wait to share what is next with you all!

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

Cliff Burton, the guy had a major part in Metallica’s songwriting, so it would have been great to hear more of his music than the 3 albums we got.

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

I love the feeling of hearing the final mix back of a song, hearing what you imagined in your head when demoing the track all in a mix, is something I’ll never get sick of. There’s honestly nothing I hate, otherwise I wouldn’t be trying to do it, but the paranoia of gear going wrong on stage is something I could do without!

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

Whilst streaming is so convenient, I miss going out and buying a new album and hitting play and not knowing what was going to come out of the speakers. So, bringing back the prominence of physical formats would be it for me.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Always tough to pick one, but I would go for Depeche Mode “Playing The Angel”. The album came out in 2005, but still to this day I listen to it and pick up on new nuances that I had not noticed. The album overall has a great sound, each song holds its own, which is massively important in an album.

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

Vinyl, you can’t beat that feeling of holding a record in your hands. It gives you a physical connection with the record and the artwork, as opposed to staring at it on a screen.

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

Best show so far would be the last time we played Newcastle in February 2020, the atmosphere in the venue was great and we went up there and gave it everything.

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

Honestly not a clue, would maybe be a tattoo artist or something, I’d still need to be creative!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

For me I’d want to get 5 great songwriters around the table so I can pick their brains, so it would be Damon Albarn, James Hetfield, Mark Tremonti, Trent Reznor and Rob Flynn. Could you imagine!

What’s next for the band?

We have our debut EP “AWAKE” coming out on the 11th of September, and will be announcing some live shows soon, so keep an eye out on our socials! We are also putting plans in place for the follow up to “AWAKE”.

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

We use Twitter, Instagram and Facebook mainly, and our music is available on all major streaming platforms!
www.facebook.com/RitualsUKMusic/
www.instagram.com/ritualsuk/
www.twitter.com/Ritualsukmusic
www.open.spotify.com/artist/6zaggWMA34L6ag8GRa8pHh

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

It’s a biscuit sized cake isn’t it, so I would have to say cake!

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

Thank you for doing this interview with us, we massively appreciate it!

Rituals Promo Pic

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.

Sour Times – The 11th Hour

The 11th Hour Album Cover Art

Sour Times – The 11th Hour
Self-Released
Release Date: 14/05/2021
Running Time: 27:33
Review by Beth Jones
8/10

Certain times call for certain music, don’t you find? Depending on what’s going on in your immediate world, or the world at large, music can help to appease your emotions by connecting a feeling to a sound. The last couple of weeks anger, confusion, and frustration have been fairly forefront for me, so hearing the angry sounds of Old-School New York Hardcore, with a current twist, was definitely needed. Supplying the rage for me are Sour Times, an American duo who grab New York Hardcore by the nuts, and insert smatterings of Modern Metal, and Modern Prog, into it. It’s been tough to find much information about them online, as their band name is also the name of a song by Portishead and Google seems intent on defaulting any combination to that song. Well, one thing’s certain – this is definitely not Portishead!

From the information on the press release, this new release, “The 11th Hour”, is aptly named. The 11th hour is the last moment you have, to change things, before everything goes to shit. We all know that feeling, right? We’ve all been there. Some of you, dear readers, may be their right now. All I can say to that is, have courage in your convictions, and don’t ignore that feeling in your gut, because it’s usually right. It’s fair to say that, since their inception in 2018, Sour Times have had some troubling points, and have been forced into change, with music man Ben Reigle suffering a series of near-fatal strokes in 2019, then having to relearn everything, including how to play his instruments. I’m guessing he now seriously embraces how precious and finite time actually is, and the need for change before it’s too late. Near death experiences tend to do that to you.

I absolutely take my hat off to him for the strength and determination it will have taken, not only to relearn skills, but also to learn them to the level displayed here, and to have the courage to channel the tortures and heartache into what is a really superb album. It’s raw and roaring from start to finish, with the epic screams and growls of Joseph Izayea placing fury at the heart of the sound. But it’s also led by strong melodies, riffing that draws from classic thrash, and thumping rhythms that place it firmly in the more modern.

There are some moments of relative calm dotted throughout, though. Some in the midst of thumping tracks, others that lead in or lead out of tracks, to set or resolve a mood. Track 5, ‘Interlude’, is exactly this – 52 seconds of calm amongst the fury. For me, all of these calm moments illustrate realization, and on a physical level, really display the musical skill and understanding within the instrumentation.

This really is a very well created album, not just for the backstory, but for the solid direction in which the backstory has led the sound. Production wise, I have no qualms. It’s all placed well, clear, and polished, but it doesn’t lose any of the rawness that is so symbolic of this sound. Its edgy, fierce, and powerful. If you like New York Hardcore, or more modern bands like Gojira or Whitechapel, you will like this album a lot.

‘Duality’ (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Rage Motivator
02. Duality
03. Dismay
04. Obey
05. Interlude
06. Lily White
07. The 11th Hour
08. Death & Taxes
09. Burn

LINE-UP:
Ben Reigle – Instrumentals
Joseph Izayea – Vocals

LINKS:

Sour Times Promo Pic

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

INTERVIEW WITH EMPIIRES

Empiires Logo

INTERVIEW WITH EMPIIRES
BY Stephanie Stephens

Dallas, TX hard hitting, hard rocking, energy driven sensation EMPIIRES are coming in strong with their latest single and video for ‘THROUGH THE FLAMES’. Fire riffs, hooks that pull you in with ease and the catchy melodic nature that slides in and out of the track just confirms these guys are going to be excelling in the music community in no time.

They are putting excitement back into the game of music bringing a unique approach of blending modern metal and hard rock soundscapes with groovy melody and ear catching choruses and dynamic, killer guitars that will pull you in and will leave you content to stay and enjoy.

I had a chance to ask the guys about how the band became to be, what the process is for songwriting and found out some fun facts about the members. Enjoy!

Q: I’m so excited to have you guys a part of the East Coast Romper, I pride myself in helping people get to know up n coming bands and you guys have such a catchy, high energy and relatable sound that I can’t wait to promote the hell out of you. So, on that note tell me How EMPIIRES became a band and what each member brings to the overall sound of the band?

A: We all knew each other and have worked together in some capacity prior to this band. We started talking about writing and that led to working on some ideas. The next thing you know, we’re making demos. Each member of the band has their own strengths but I think it’s the chemistry of the four of us together that makes it work.

Q: Being from Dallas, TX; how has that inspired you guys as musicians and just your look into the world of art in general?

A: There are lots of rock and metal bands from Texas so it’s an inspiring environment to be in as a band.

Q: You have a special spelling for your band name; can you tell me the reasoning and what the band name means to you?

A: We were looking for something to make the name stand out. Our graphic artist friend showed us a couple of logos with this spelling and thought that looked cool.

Q: Your newest single ‘THROUGH THE FLAMES’ is addicting. I have had it on repeat since I got introduced to it. How was the writing process for it? And was it a fun song to write because the sound makes me feel like there was hi-energy and a lot of positivity when it was all coming together?

A: Thanks for checking it out, it’s always great to hear someone tell you that they connected with our song. We did have a good time writing it! The riff and the lyrics worked well together live and we were hoping that would translate in the recording process.

Q: Along with the track being just badass, the lyrical content shines with overcoming obstacles in life. How do you guys pick subject matter to write about and with a song like this does it feel cathartic when it’s written and you listen to what you came up with?

A: The lyrics and the story just kind of wrote itself about fighting through adversity. We were thinking most people could identify with the feeling of going through tough situations.

Q: If you could look back on any song the band has written and take a lyric, you’re proudest of that you wrote, what song would it be from and what is the line?

A: I think we’re really proud of the chorus in ‘Through the Flames’. It tells the story of why we can’t walk away from situations even when they are really tough.

Q: Another single you guys released prior to this new one is a song called ‘LOVE OR HATE’, a darker side of the band. Do you guys pride yourself on being diverse in your sound and if so, how do you know when to pump the brakes about being overly diverse or does it not matter?

A: We’re always trying to write the best song that we can and not repeat ourselves. We write a lot of different songs and see which ones make it through the process that a band goes through with new material. It’s kind of like a dating show, the ones that stick around make it!

Q: In your opinion what makes you really go insane? Love OR hate?

A: I think they both come with their own level of insanity, just depends on what part of the process they’re in!

Q: With the singles doing well have you guys thought about releasing a full album or EP or do you feel that singles are the way to go in this day and age of rock music?

A: We’re thinking about creating some type of package once we have enough singles to put that together. Whatever format that’s on, we just want to make our music available to the listener.

Q: Mentally how did you guys deal with the chaos we all endured the last year and half and how does it feel now that life for the music world is slowly coming back to normal?

A: We dealt with it by focusing on writing and recording. We knew things would get back to normal at some point and wanted to be prepared as a band to go out there and kick some ass when it did.

Q: Have you spoken about touring and if so any hints or info you can share with the public?

A: We’ve been playing shows and talking about doing some touring. We’re just looking for the right situation and will probably have something put together for this fall. Looking forward to getting back out there on that level!

Q: What is one thing about live shows you feel will be the hardest to get the rust off personally for you?

A: Pacing ourselves and not getting too excited from the beginning of the show. That was the hardest thing about our first few shows. We’re ready to go out there and slay it because we’re excited about what we have to deliver.

Q:Three fun facts that people may not know about the band or band members you would love to share?

A: We worked on a TV show together. Toured in other bands together. Have written and recorded together for film and television.

Q: What inspires you guys when you think about the fans of EMPIIRES and has there been one highlight from a fan interaction that stands out for you?

A: When anyone tells you they identify or connect with your music, that’s really cool. Probably the best ones are when people tell you that they put on your music for workout motivation or to deal with a tough day.

Q: Anything I missed touching upon you guys are working on you want to share before we end this? (Plus, I just want to wish you all the best of luck, you have something really motivating and powerful in these tracks I heard)

A: We’re working on a video for our next single release, looking forward to that and playing more shows! We want to thank everyone who helped us put out our music and the people listening. Thank you all!

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘Through The Flames’ (Official Lyric Video)

Empiires Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. 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.

INTERVIEW WITH S.A.M.

S.A.M. - Remedy (Feat. Danny Worsnop)

INTERVIEW WITH S.A.M.
By Stephanie Stevens

Welcome to the world of S.A.M. (SAVAGE AFTER MIDNIGHT), a band that came storming into 2019 with a ton of fire and intention. “11:59” was the EP that drove the band into the ears, hearts and mouths of the rock world. With singles like ‘10 FEET TALL’ and ‘UNLEASH’, songs that penetrated with so much melody, elaborate groove and vocals that made you understand what diversity is! It was no wonder this band was gaining a fanbase at a powerful rate!

Just about the time that an explosion for the band was on the edge of hitting, a pandemic of the world hit and everything came to a standstill. The members of S.A.M. didn’t let this hinder or halt them from continuing to interact with fans and grow the bands fanbase more! They also created and, when I say creating, they did an outstanding job as they worked with friends Jack Fowler of Sleeping With Sirens and the one and only Danny Worsnop of Asking Alexandria to put together a new single that not only blows away their older work but showcases the strength in songwriting and growth this new band is achieving on a daily basis. ‘REMEDY’ fires on all cylinders; intricate, ballsy, energy packed and melodically enticing, It’s a track that’s addictive. This Memphis quintet is ready to hit it even harder in 2021 and I am absolutely stoked to be part of the mix supporting them for their future.

I had a chance to chat with band member JT about future tour plans, the new EP they have in the works, how ‘REMEDY’ took shape and the fun they had making the action packed video for the single.

Q: Welcome new fans of your band into the world that is S.A.M.! How did you guys form and what makes your band members stellar people to work with?

A: What’s up everyone, we always love adding new members to the S.A.M Fam! We formed a number of years ago and have evolved through a few different name changes through the years before settling on S.A.M. This current line-up of the band is pretty awesome! Most of us have a long history with each other from playing in various bands around Memphis – so it’s been pretty smooth to transition into this latest version of the project.

Q: You had some massive momentum going before Covid hit with your amazing EP “11:59”. With all the hype with the release did that keep you guys energized and positive during quarantine or was it an emotional time for you all?

A: Thank You for the kind words on “11:59”! Yeah, we kept positive through the pandemic, despite the pause in touring. We took the time to take stock and write a ton of new material with a killer group of collaborators! I think it was emotional in the sense that no musicians had the chance for over a year to connect with their live audience. That part was certainly challenging.

Q: During 2020 did you stay active on social media to stay close with fans? Or did you take the downtime to focus on making new music?

A: A little of both, the entire world had plenty of time to sit at home and do nothing, and we tried to stay as active on social media as we could. I think the hard part was we had nothing to promote – so at times it can be difficult to stay connected.

Q: The new single ‘Remedy’ is brilliant! How did the song take shape in your mind and how did both Jack Fowler of Sleeping With Sirens and Danny Worsnop from Asking Alexandria come into the fold?

A: Thank You!!! We’ve been blown away at the response ‘Remedy’ has gotten and we’re truly grateful. Both those guys are family to the band, so putting those collaborations together was actually sooth despite the pandemic. They both did such a killer job making the song what it came to be.

Q: With having both Jack & Danny work with you on the song – how did that change the creative process for S.A.M. and what was the biggest thing you learned from working with them?

A: Our process is a bit different and really works for us in the sense that none of the band ever gets too personal or territorial with the writing process, in fact we ADORE having other people come in and contribute to our music. We think that it adds to the diversity and growth of the band’s sound. As far as what we learned, we learned Danny can sing his ASS off!!! And Jack absolutely rips when push comes to shove. It was crazy how naturally that song came together!

Q: Most people ask band members what motivated them to be in a band. I want to know what motivated you or inspired you to compose and write songs? And do you feel you grow in knowledge with every song you create?

A: We’ve always been inspired by the song writing process in general. I think in the beginning stages for any songwriter, you call upon personal experience to create the song. Many years ago, we changed our approach to songwriting, and started writing based on characters of a story rather than what’s happening in our own lives. We found that approach has opened up a whole universe of concepts we can touch on now. Of course, you’ll always derive material from personal experiences, but we don’t feel as tied up with that as we used to.

Q: Lyrically with ‘Remedy’ what do you hope people take away after hearing this track?

A: To cut out those toxic people in your life that bring no joy, and serve no purpose other than to hinder your personal growth.

Q: Another cool aspect of your band is the amazing videos you put out. Do you feel making videos is as important as songwriting?

A: It’s certainly a different art form, it’s strange because you never want to assume that your version of the song means the same thing to every type of person, you always want to leave the door open for fans to create their own experiences and interpretations of your music…I think that’s part of the magic in art. With the video to ‘Remedy’, we swear Shi & Danny just wanted an excuse to make a 4 minute action film!! 😉

Q: How did making the ‘Remedy’ video test your creativity? How fun was it having Danny onboard for it?

A: Wayyy too much fun! The making of ‘Remedy’ didn’t necessarily test our creativity like a normal video concept would, I think it was more that we wanted to capture the essence of the moment. Danny and Shi were in the moment and doing things on the fly. I think that’s why the video came out so well, it was natural and just flowed.

Q: You have an EP in the works for later this year – how would you compare the vibe of it to “11:59”?

A: The vibe is different because we’ve grown as a band and as songwriters. We think we’ve also taken the production to another level. We’re excited to share more as the year goes on – because it shows the natural growth of the band.

Q: Being in Memphis/Nashville – have you been able to play locally yet? I’m sure you’re excited to get back to playing live!

A: Other than a live stream show we did for Amazon Music on Twitch a couple of weeks ago, we haven’t yet. But we hope to soon.

Q: Will you be touring in 2021? Any hints on who you may tour with?

A: There’s a lot of discussions in the works – but we can’t make any announcements just yet. Follow us on our Socials so you can see when we’ll be coming to your town! I think it’s safe to say that in 2022 we should be back in full swing again on the touring front.

Q: Any special words to your fans and the new people who will be hearing ‘Remedy’ for the first time and becoming fans?

A: Check out our stuff, and connect with us everywhere – we always love hearing from the fans. Be sure to go listen to ‘Remedy’ on Spotify and all the other streaming platforms. Most importantly – Keep your heads up, we’re almost past this Pandemic mess. Thanks everyone!!

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

S.A.M. feat. Danny Worsnop – ‘Remedy’ (Official Music Video)

S.A.M PR Photo  - Credit Matt Bender @TheBenderMatt
Photo by Matt Bender @TheBenderMatt

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. 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.

Skarlett Riot – Invicta

Invicta Album Cover Art

Skarlett Riot – Invicta
Despotz Records
Release Date: 07/05/2021
Running Time: 48:08
Review by Beth Jones
10/10

As a reviewer, I will never tire of the privileged position that we have of being introduced to new music on a daily basis. Music, for me, has always been a lifeblood, and a constant, which travels with me, wherever life leads. The creation of music is a journey which strives to make emotional connections, in whatever form that may take. And, as a listener, one of the best feelings in the world is hearing an album, or indeed any piece of music, that connects with you straight away. In that instant, you know you’ve found something special. This doesn’t necessarily happen all the time, but when it does, it is magical.

I’m going to say, straight up, that “Invicta”, the latest release from UK Modern/Alternative Metal band, Skarlett Riot, is one of those magical albums. And that’s because it’s been created with emotion at its forefront. The band themselves say about the album “We’ve overcome so much together as a band throughout the years and “Invicta” represents the physical and mental struggles we’ve experienced together and individually, making us who we are today.”

Musically, Skarlett Riot could be likened to a combination of Killswitch Engage and Evanescence (who incidentally are two of my favourite bands). It’s a chunky, technical, riff-heavy sound, with lots of hooks and progressive elements, and a combination of screams, growls, and clean vocals from the exceptional pipes of Skarlett, all pulled together through brilliant melodies. It’s fast and ferocious, and played, mixed, and produced perfectly, making it an irresistible listen from start to finish.

However, the ‘great album’ status of “Invicta” moves a step higher for me, with one track in particular. Recently, I’ve not been in the best place. A lot of historical detritus decided to invade my headspace in a way that it’s never managed to before, and it’s not been much fun. ‘Into Pieces’, lyrically, is a track that could have been written from my soul. It’s a more acoustic-based track, compared to the speed and punchiness of the rest of the album. And it’s a melancholic journey from start to finish, which caught me off-guard on first listen. I’ve now lost count of how many times I’ve listened to that track alone in the past couple of weeks. It’s been my go-to track, I’ve had it on repeat, I’ve turned it up full pelt in the car and sung my heart out to it (it didn’t take long to learn it word-for-word, because I felt like I already knew it), I’ve wandered round the house humming it, and I’ve cried to it. I feel very lucky to have found it, and Skarlett Riot. This is the start of a beautiful friendship between me and their music.

And that’s all I really have to say about this album. There’s only so many ways to say ‘this is next-level brilliant’ in one review. The magic music triangle of technical perfection, passionate emotions, and connection, glows intensely throughout this masterpiece of a record, making it a very strong contender for my number 1 album of 2021, and it’s only May. It’s going to take some beating; I can tell you that.

‘Stronger’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Breaking the Habit
02. Gravity
03. Black Cloud
04. Underwater
05. Stronger
06. Cut the Ties
07. Into Pieces
08. Not Alone
09. To the Flames
10. Falling
11. Human

LINE-UP:
Skarlett – Lead Vocals/Guitars
Danny – Guitars/Backing Vocals
Tim – Bass/Backing Vocals
Luke – Drums

LINKS:

Skarlett Riot Promo Pic

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

EMQ’s with ANCIENT SETTLERS

Ancient Settlers Logo

EMQ’s with ANCIENT SETTLERS

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Multinational based Modern Melodic Death Metal band, Ancient Settlers. Huge thanks to keyboardist, Rene Gonzalez, 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?

Hello, I am Rene Gonzalez; I am the band’s keyboardist!

Well, the band started as a little idea made by Carlos Chiesa (Rex), during the pandemic, he started contacting the drummer, as Herman(drums) is a long-time friend of Carlos’s, then he recruited me, and i just couldn’t say no, their ideas were exactly what i was looking for!

How did you come up with your band name?

The idea abstractly related to the heavy diaspora that’s currently happening in our origin country; We decided to leave our homes, to have a better chance at a good future.

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

We’re originally from Venezuela, most of us, our singer is originally from Finland, but we migrated to Europe (Spain, France, and Portugal).

European Rock/Metal scene is pretty solid, as it’s always been.

South American Rock/Metal Scene, well, not that much, but the good thing of it is the DIE HARD fans over there!

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

Our brand new EP, it’s called “Autumnus”, in the meantime, wait for our debut full-length album.

‘Diamond Eyes’ (Lyric Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

If you ask me, and only me; it’s a tricky question, it’s heavily panned, it can go from Bach to Jens Johansson, Hans Zimmer, Skrillex, DeadMau5, Armin Van Buuren, and so on and so forth…

Let’s not forget Nobuo Uematsu!

About the bands, I think… Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, Dark Tranquility, Lamb Of God, Amorphis, etc.

What first got you into music?

Since I was very little, I started playing piano (family, peer pressure, pianist grandpa), going to music schools, and having in-house teachers.

Later in my really early teen years, a friend of mine introduced me to STRATOVARIUS, I remember clearly saying the same thing every 90’s kid that got into synths said “how does this keyboard sound like a guitar? I wanna do that, it’s so cool”!

Yeah, before that, my father taught me some rock n roll bands, and mostly 70’s prog/rock bands… as usual, I guess!

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

You guessed it right, Jens Johansson!

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

Well, there’s Wacken, but the dream would be the Knotfest! Because of the atmosphere there. Metalheads coming from different part of the world to enjoy the music.

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

A 1 year subscription to Netflix, and a bottle of snake rum *laughs*

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

It’s always darkest before bright, we’ll see you soon, hopefully!

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

Easy, BACH! He’s the first rockstar, contrary to popular belief.

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

Love: Creative brainstorm process, studio time, ideas exchange, when something sounds beautiful!

Hate: when HDD crashes, writer’s block, HDD crashes, again… oh, that’s so not cool *laughs*!

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

I would bring GIGGING BACK; oh, we miss those!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

My all-time favourite; Throne of Chaos – “Menace & Prayer”.

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

Well, I was born in ‘87, and my youth was the 90’s, so I will have to go for CD’s!

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

In words of our dear Hideo Kojima, the best is yet to come!

We’re looking forward to ending the current situation and headline the POST-PANDEMIC FEST, yeah, it would be a great name for a rock/metal fest, c’mon, it is! *laughs*

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

Database Analyst, Big Data Splunker, Database Architect…oh yeah, it’s my current job, tends to be boring, but it’s fun, sometimes!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

This depends, do you want it to be a fun dinner party? or a highly formal dinner party?

If party mode is on; Ricky Gervais, Mozart, Salieri (just for the fun of the disputes), Alexi Laiho (RIP), Genghis Khan!

If formal mode; BACH, Charles de Gaulle, my Mom, Ivan the Terrible, and Sejong the Great.

What’s next for the band?

A ton of work, we’re recording what would be our first LP, and we’re very hyped about it, it’s gonna be kick-ass, that i can promise!

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

www.ancientsettlers.es/
www.facebook.com/AncientSettlers
www.instagram.com/ancientsettlers/
www.tiktok.com/@ancientsettlers
www.soundcloud.com/ancient-settlers
www.open.spotify.com/artist/2tnmS1TH4J9mA3UzCcPcpm
www.youtube.com/channel/UCrFjLIVTh4IBRFbnNzbuTdg

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Google told me they’re biscuit-sized cakes! so they’re a mutation of biscuits, and cakes too! You have the best of both worlds! Taste of cakes, portability of biscuits! IT’S A DARWINIAN MIRACLE!

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

Thanks a lot for your time, this was great!
To all people out there, we’ll see you soon, don’t worry!
Don’t forget, biscuit-sized cakes are awesome!

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.

Ironbourne – Ironbourne

Ironbourne Cover Art

Ironbourne – Ironbourne
Pure Steel Records
Release Date: 26/03/2021
Running Time: 51:03
Review by Simon Black
6/10

Not to be confused with the very similarly spelt Northern Irish outfit, this act hails from Sweden and is a very NWOBHM influenced, but equally quite Modern Metal sounding act, with more than a few Stoner tropes, adding an ear-ringingly heavy layer to their sound. The constituent members have all been round the block a while, but this act is fairly recent in its incorporation however and, as a debut, makes an impressive opening salvo. I can’t find too much about them as beyond a Facebook page they don’t have too much of a web presence, which realistically is something you chaps need to fix if you ever get around to reading this.

One thing about this album, it’s wonderfully heavy without feeling overtly down tuned or depressive, which means despite most of the songs being fairly slow in pace, you are left with a largely up-beat feeling. It’s quite disconcertingly effective. The challenge is that too many of the tracks are equally paced in their delivery, so after the half way point in the album, you are craving for a change of pace. We get this with the highly impressive ballad ‘Too Late’, which gives the guitarists a chance to play acoustically, to the point that it almost feels like a completely different band. When another and much faster pace change comes quite late with the very positively speedy ‘Runaway’, you are left with the feeling that more variety would have made this a more interesting record. All the constituent parts work well though – these are musicians with a strong sense of mood and they know how to get a rich sound in the recording process and Torbjörn Andersson’s voice is loud, powerful and hypnotic. The epic closer ‘Year of Judgement’ probably encapsulates all the best elements and also dares to be a bit more experimental and trippy with the sound, adding a much-needed layer of reverb to add to that epic and haunting feeling.

The challenge I have with this album is not that there is absolutely nothing bad about it, but it just fails to deliver anything eyebrow-raisingly exceptional for a big chunk of its length and that’s down to too many of the songs feeling the same in pace and tone. All the tracks are absolutely competent enough, the musicians play well, the sound is rich and mature, but the song-writing sometimes lacks the punchy, dangerous edge that this sort of music thrives upon, although the three tracks I have called out absolutely do, making this an album that feels slightly unfinished. Perhaps this is just a symptom of a band that really need to be in the same physical space for the chemistry to fire up, so I would be curious to see what a live show looks like. When they vary the pace and become more experimental, this band soars and hopefully they can take those elements and run with them. Nonetheless, an impressive start.

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Dreamer
02. Elusive Reality
03. Varsel
04. Twilight Of Gods
05. Too Late
06. Covenant
07. Hit The Wall
08. Runaway
09. Year Of Judgement

LINE-UP:
Torbjörn Andersson – Vocals
Olof Geijer – Guitars
Lars Andersson – Bass
Jonas Windle – Guitars
Stefan Viktorsson – Drums

LINKS:

Ironbourne Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black 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.