Parrilla – Femme Fatale: Ensnared By Venus EP

Femme Fatale: Ensnared By Venus EP Cover Art

Parrilla – Femme Fatale: Ensnared By Venus EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 31/07/2021
Running Time: 27:04
Review by Wallace Magri
9.5/10

According to the press release: “Ensnared by Venus is the first part of the Femme Fatale trilogy of EP’s from Parrilla – an industrial metal force of nature, unafraid to detonate reckless sonic devices beneath the boundaries of the genre and dance amongst the wreckage”.

I don’t usually copy any of the press release, because I am here to give MY impressions on the albums, not THE BAND’S ONE, with all due respect. But that one line helped me with the introduction paragraph this time, especially because I loved the expression ‘dance amongst the wreckage’, that represents exactly what I think about Industrial Metal Music!

It is funny, because I was chatting with a friend of mine, Claudio Borges, a Brazilian DJ, record store owner that also co-host of the Youtube Heavy Metal Channel, called Resenhando Rock (check it out!), and, as we were talking about Nine Inch Nails’ influence on Metal Music in the 90’s, he introduced me to a Danzig album that I had never heard before (“Danzig 4”), and that is a hell of a album, with a good taste of goth and industrial elements within.

To me It felt pretty similar to what I heard on “Feme Fatale: Ensnared by Venus”, which is very aggressive – thanks to the heavy and dirty guitar riffs heard on ‘Law Of Texas’ and ‘Bleed, Cry, Pray, Die’, for instance – and it is danceable as well. The first song captures a Ministry vibe, while the second one is a little more Dark-Gothic influenced.

‘Show Me’, the first single taken from the EP (released on 31st of July), is a Dark-Electro piece of dystopic dance and I really enjoyed Dani Messmer vocals – as I enjoyed Danzig’s vocals on the aforementioned album, “Danzig 4” – because it is spooky and a little melodic sometimes. Highlights are the great programming and keyboards that stand out with gloomy ambience, giving the song a nice Harsh Industrial element.

All six songs on the EP are worth listening to. ‘Mannequin Complex’ is halfway between Gothic Rock and Neue Deutsche Harte, that reminded me of Eisbrecher with New Metal screaming vocal lines in the arrangement, which is unusual, at least for that kind of musical style. ‘Desire’ goes in that same direction, with, maybe, a little more of a Rammstein-like approach, with a bit of post-punk to reinforce the heavy conduction of the song.

This excellent EP’s last song, ‘Femme Fatale’ proves that Parrilla got it right in the press release description of their musical style because, even though it was possible for me to realize all the musical references that I have mentioned in this review, the band has its own identity, which is “an industrial metal force of nature, unafraid to detonate reckless sonic devices beneath the boundaries of the genre and dance amongst the wreckage”, indeed.

So, enjoy it Industrial Metalheads because it doesn’t get better than this!

‘Show Me’ (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Law Of Texas
02. Bleed, Cry, Pray, Die
03. Show Me
04. Mannequin Complex
05. Desire
06. Femme Fatale

LINE-UP:
Dani Messmer – Vocals & Guitars
Luke Megran – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Chris Howell – Bass & Backing Vocals
David Page – Drums

LINKS:

Parrilla Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Wallace Magri 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.

Eisbrecher – Liebe Macht Monster

Liebe Macht Monster Album Cover Art

Eisbrecher – Liebe Macht Monster
RCA Deutschland
Release Date: 12/03/2021
Running Time: 56:29
Review by Wallace Magri
9/10

So, here I am…a guy from Brazil, trying to write in proper English about a band from Germany that doesn’t give a shit about the rule that you should sing in English if you want to have your music noticed around the world.

By the way, I’ve just reviewed an album from a Portuguese band – named Grunt (check it out!) – and I said there that, even though they have some lyrics in Portuguese (yeah, in Brazil we speak Portuguese), I wasn’t able to understand a single word that they sang, but even so, I enjoyed it. And that doesn’t mean that I don’t care about lyrics, which I do, a lot.

But there are certain musical styles whose message behind the songs are not about WHAT is being sung, but HOW the speech intonation dictates exactly what the words should mean – even when you don’t have a German or Portuguese translator dictionary by your side. Vocals aren’t supposed to be only about semantics at all.

Listening to “Liebe Macht Monster”, Eisbrecher’s 8th album, I remembered what I’d said in my very first review for Ever Metal (Terminal – “Blacken The Skies”, check it out): Neue Deutsche Härte is the perfect Heavy music for the pandemics fucked up era that we live in, mostly due to the Teutonic power vocals, which lend grandeur to the melody and intimidates those who listen to NDH’s songs. Allied to that, the disturbing guitar riffs and Dark-Electro Industrial ambience fulfils the role of putting the listener into a trance allowing them to understand any kind of language through beats and melodies…at least while hypnotized by the song and dance thing.

Have you ever watched the movie ‘Midsommar’? If you did, you would remember what happens in the last ‘ladies’ dance’. That is what I am talking about here. If you haven’t watched the movie (which you should do), just listen to album opening track, ‘Es lohnt sich nicht ein mensch zu sein’, to understand what I mean: the organic drum beat combines perfectly with the synth’s bass tune and layers of gothic ambience that open space to the heavy guitar riffs to settle the tone of the music and then the vocal lines kick in to confer even more heaviness to the song as a whole. Even tough I don’t speak a single word of German; I am singing along to the mid-tempo chorus of that song right now! And the lyrics make sense to me, as a matter of fact.

Well, if you didn’t get into the same musical trance as I did listening to ‘Es lohnt sich ein Mensch zu sein’, and also if you don’t know what the hell NDH is, just read the following explanation about their music from Eisbrecher’s lead singer, Alex Wesselsky: “eternal bloodbaths between rock/metal and pop electro-industrial” (available on Eisbrecher’s website).

Eisbrecher have been around since 2003, releasing albums regularly and constantly growing their fan base in USA and Europe. In Germany, the albums “Die Höle muss warten” (2012) and “Schock” (2015) were certified gold and “Sturmfahrt” hit #1 in the German charts. They have also played on major European festivals, such as Summer Breeze and Wacken Open Air, as well as gigs with UDO and Scorpions and a bunch of tours around Europe.

And it seems like Eisbrecher is getting very busy during the COVID-19 lockdown, since they released “Schickalsmelodien” in 2020 (where they perform cover songs from German bands) and, only 5 months later, here I am giving my impressions on their latest release “Liebe Macht Monster”, that shows Alexx Wesselsky (vocal) and Noel Pix (lead guitar, programming and production) allowing themselves some experimentation, delivering a much more synth pop approach on ‘Systemsprenger’ and ‘Leiserdrehen’. On ‘Wer bin ich’ we listen to something close to what bands like Bring Me The Horizon used to play, in a very accessible musical outfit.

Die-hard fans don’t need to get worried about that unfamiliar approach, because “Liebe Macht Monster” keeps the traditional musical style heard on the previous albums from the Ice Brakers.  ‘Himmel’ relates to the Electro Gothic with magnificence. On ‘Dagengen’, Dero Goi, from the band Oomph!, shares lead vocals with Alexx on one of the best songs of the album.

‘FAKK’ and the title track are based on Neue Deutsche Härte’s heavy guitar riffs and powerful chorus, as can be heard on any of Eisbrecher’s back catalogue – that anyone, regardless of language spoken, is able to sing along to. Which takes us back to the main theme this review was based on.

Eisbrecher’s new album is definitely worth the listen, even though you may get a little lost on the language diversity. Just let your mind be guided by the heavy electronic beat and guitar riffs that are going to help you to find out your way into their Neue Deustche Härte world and, suddenly, it will feel like home.

‘FAKK’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Es lohnt sich nicht ein mensch zu sein
02. FAKK
03. Nein Danke
04. Im Guten Im Bösen
05. Frommer Mann
06. Dagengen (feat. Dero Goi)
07. Liebe Macht Monster
08. Sytemsprenger
09. Wer bin ich
10. Himmel
11. Kontrollverlust
12. Leiserdrehen
13. High Society
14. Es lebe der Tod

LINE-UP:
Alexx Wesselsky – Vocals
Noel Pix – Lead Guitar, Programming, Production
Jürgen Plangger – Rhythm Guitar
Maximilian Schaver – Keyboards/Programming
Achim Färber – Drums
Rupert Keplinger – Bass

LINKS:

Eisbrecher Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Wallace Magri 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.

Argorok – Usurpator

Argorok – Usurpator
Self-Released
Release date: 20/11/2020
Running Time: 48:02
Review by Dark Juan
8/10

Hello, minions. I no longer know what day it is. The days just merge into one long constant grind interrupted only by the joyous inky blackness of sleep. I’m completely sober (there is an unopened bottle of whiskey sitting in the kitchen, which is fucking unheard of at my gaff) and I am just seated upon my couch, staring into the ineffable darkness and contemplating a life well wasted. Not because I have been disporting myself in a genial and self-destructive fashion as is my wont of a Yuletide, but more because I’m fucking shattered from work. Two consecutive 96-hour work weeks, followed by an upcoming third and the running around that normally happens around the False God’s illegitimate son’s birthday have wiped me out, hence the reason why I have not been quite so productive and cheerful as I usually am, for which I can only profusely apologise, not least to our esteemed Editor, Metal Monarch and all-round good egg Richard “You Had Better Write Something Soon Or I’ll Tear Your Nipples Off” Tilley…(The bloody cheek – Rick)

Note: Mrs Dark Juan just asked who I was writing about and looked confused when I said Argorok. She said Aga-Rock? Do they sing about large country homes and equally large stoves? I will take care of her later…

In other news, 2020 has been a bit of a motherfucker hasn’t it? Can’t wait to see the back of the twat, to be honest, but it has been a vintage year for underground metal. I’ve not been this excited about the music for a long time and it just seems to be getting better and better. May 2021 see the back of this unprecedented pandemic (it will happen sooner if you all JUST FOLLOW THE FUCKING RULES FOR A BIT) and we can actually go out and have gigs again.

So, having dragged the ancient and recalcitrant magic electronic box of tricks from the dank cupboard of its semi-retirement, I am listening to the stylings of a new German beat combo named Argorok. The estimable Rick added this to my review list because he thought I might enjoy it, as I am somewhat of a fan of Neue Deutsche Härte and the German language, being as Argorok’s style can best be described as the result of a filthy, perverse drunken liaison between death metal and Neue Deutsche Härte, having been egged on to do so by folk metal and industrial. Then power metal stopped for a quick look before shuffling off home, disgusted but also desperate for a frenzied wank. So it is an eclectic mix of styles – obviously there is a large element of Neue Deutsche Härte, with the mid paced marching tempo – immediately I am reminded of Eisbrecher, Rammstein and Megaherz with the industrial perfection of the riffing and with the frequently staccato keyboards stabbing through the heavily produced guitar sound, but they differ from those three NDH luminaries by veering off piste into the black runs of power and folk metal – the middle eight of ‘Königin der Asche’ being a notable and very groovy demonstration of this. The keyboards are of note because they frequently add a second line of melody and gorgeousness beneath crushing heaviness – more often than not there are lovely little piano melodies hiding in darkened corners and the keys also act as a second rhythm instrument in concert with the guitar – a fine example of this is on ‘Kalter Stein’. ‘Katharsis’ is also interesting as it contains a short sitar passage. Yes, a fucking sitar!

The vocal is also interesting to your erstwhile correspondent, as it is a full-blooded death metal roar in the classic style, but utilising the German language. Now, those of you that frequently follow the bollocks I write, and appear to keep getting away with against all the odds, will note that I am something of a fan of the German language, regarding the guttural nature of it as a perfect fit to the industrial base of Neue Deutsche Härte. I am pleased to report that it sounds absolutely fucking uncompromisingly murderous when you hear a death metal vocal sung in German – vocalist Boa has a set of lungs and a throat seemingly constructed from angle iron, gorse bush thorns and sulphuric acid which only enhances the experience for he is a fine vocalist, capable of singing cleanly with a gravelly deliver y or full-on bowel shaking churn. Bassist and programmer Bill also has a very appealing death scream which underpins the main vocal nicely…

So, we are being unremittingly positive here, aren’t we? We can’t possibly have that for too long and there are some faults that need rectifying – The sequenced drumming sounds far too artificial and soulless on the metal passages, although it is a bonus for interesting patterns on the more outlandish parts of the record, for example ‘Meister Der Lügen’ which appears to take the form of a nursery rhyme before going to some very dark places indeed. And there are times when the guitar overwhelms everything else. There are also other times when the Neue Deutsche Härte overpowers the more interesting parts of the music. That’s a shame because Argorok have a LOT of potential to be even better than they are already. Don’t get me wrong – I love this band because I love industrial, NDH and interesting influences and German vocals but they could be even BETTER if they dialled back the metal and went to more experimental places. The Machinist and Fractal Generator have a lot to answer for regarding this as they have totally blown away all opposition as far as experimenting with the death metal sound goes – Argorok aren’t quite at that level yet, but the potential is there, because “Usurpator” is entertaining as fuck and if you love Rammstein, OOMPH!, Megaherz et al, you’ll be pretty pleased with Argorok.

To quickly summarise, I like this band a lot, but it’s a pretty raw product. With some work it could be truly ground-breaking.

Meine Herren von Argorok, ich liebe Ihre Band und Ihre Musik.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Das Patentierte Dark Juan Blutspritzer-Bewertungssystem – I’m not apologising, I fucking love doing that in different languages) awards Argorok 8/10 for a flawed but still most worthy album, and one that will be in fairly constant rotation in the Mighty Gothikpanzer (which has split an intercooler pipe somewhere. The bastard.)

Tracklist (With helpful and probably hilariously inaccurate translations):
01. Aus Der Tiefe (From The Depths)
02. Protector (Do I really have to translate this for an English audience?)
03. Odyssee (Fairly self-explanatory as well.)
04. Refugium (This ain’t even German so I’m not playing)
05. Königin der Asche (Queen Of Ashes)
06. Kalter Stein (Cold Stone)
07. Hinter Der Maske (Behind The Mask)
08. Katharsis (Erm, yeah. You can work that out for yourselves too)
09. Meister Der Lügen (Master Of Lies)
10. Tag Des Zorns (Day Of Anger)

LINE-UP:
Boa – Vocals
Andy – Guitar
Bill – Bass, programming, backing vocals

LINKS:

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