Slaves To Fashion – The History Of Heavy Metal

The History Of Heavy Metal Cover Art

Slaves To Fashion – The History Of Heavy Metal
Release Date: 13/02/2021
Running Time: 59:17
Review by Simon Black

I’m really somewhat bemused by this release. Norway’s Slaves To Fashion started life as P:O:B. for the first ten years of their existence before reincarnating and taking a more Progressive Metal direction, then going more Modern Metal after a fairly major line-up reshuffle and now we get this, and I cannot decide whether it is a case of unintentional parody or honest tribute. Now Lordi took a narrower take on this sort of approach last year, but given that they were clearly taking the piss, we took it for what it was. This record is taking (as the title implies) a ten song voyage through the history of our favourite music genre and all its little sub-genres, with all the tracks having already been released one at a time over the course of 2020, which let’s face it, is a great way to relieve the monotony of lockdown. It’s an ambitious, if not always entirely successful project.

‘MCMLXX’ (or 1970 for those who aren’t au fait with Latin), does what you expect and bastardises the opening moments of Black’s Sabbath’s debut with the more Hammond organ driven hard rock sound of other contemporaries like Deep Purple. They even try and match the production values, but you get the idea. It sounds right, but the track does little other than tick boxes. Next up comes ‘The Priest Of Maidenhead’, which does exactly what you would expect it to do with a title like that, although it’s way more ‘Rocka-Rolla’ than British Steel, with not the slightest sign of Eddie at all. It’s one of the better moments on the record, as it stands up well on its own whether or not you get the references.

‘Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘N’ Roll’ takes us down the dubious commercial 80’s American radio-friendly territory, but mercifully without all the make-up or any risk of putting Norway’s contribution to the Paris climate agreement at risk through excessive use of hairspray. Like so much of that period, it’s by the numbers pap, making ‘Thrash Of The Titans’ a welcome breath of fresh air when it comes up next (and the emotions felt during those moments between tracks pretty much summarise the whole of that decade for those of us who lived through it first time round). As a song it’s also one of the stronger moments again and I would be interested to see what happened if they wrote more like this, although to be honest it’s still a little flat in its production, lacking the genuine ‘genie in a bottle’ energy of the likes of Testament, to whom the resemblance is strongest. At seven and a half minutes it also somewhat outstays its welcome, given that speed was the essence of this period.

‘Expressions Of Extremity’ is more aligned to the birth of Black Metal and probably owes the three original members of Venom some royalties for the first segment, although instrumentally it’s also channelling a lot of Mercyful Fate in its second phase, before heading towards the whole Norwegian movement. …Only with notably better production, which again rather misses the point of that whole movement with its Underground = Cool; Mainstream = Bad culture. Maybe they can go and repaint a Norwegian church to make up for it.

‘Garden Of Chains’ takes us through Grunge and like the original movement, keeps it mercifully short, so I am going to do the same. ‘The Evergrowing Tree’ is probably more comfortable Prog Metal territory for this band and with a nearly thirteen minutes of run time that does not drag. This is really where they are at their best, as it’s their home turf, albeit with more overt and blatant Fates Warning / early Dream Theater tropes in the opening segment, before taking into the more modern heavier and extreme sounding variants that have emerged in the decades since. It also pulls in touches of the Symphonic (and even some Rammstein, complete with German lyrics) just for the hell of it as an encore.

‘The Power Of Metal’ manages to encapsulate the whole cookie cutter Power genre in one track. It’s like taking every mytho-historical concept album from German intravenously in five minutes flat, although it’s missing the charismatic vocal performance of Kiske/Sammet proportions to go with the musical nods to the influential acts they came from. Meh. ‘The Nu Wine’ is the token Emo contribution to the record and quite frankly I hated it all then and I hate it still now (although parts of it are more Chester Bennington than the man himself was). Moving on and finishing, we have ‘Too Close (To See Clearly)’, which I’m calling their ‘Hoover’ track, as it’s sucking up everything else from Folk to Metalcore that didn’t find a home earlier.

So, how do I feel in summary? Well, it’s quite an achievement and it does absolutely nail some of the sounds of the periods. Supporting this (and because they were all released individually over last year) you have the added advantage of individual pieces of cover art for each track, which are very much more tongue in cheek than many of the tracks themselves and bring a huge smile to the face. Where this record does sometimes fail is that it feels like a musicologist’s technical analysis of each given style and does not always capture the essence or energy of the distinct sub-genres, but as an exercise in musical proficiency – it’s top notch! As a record that moves the Metal world forward, less so.

02. The Priest Of Maidenhead
03. Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘N’ Roll
04. Thrash Of The Titans
05. Expressions Of Extremity
06. Garden Of Chains
07. The Evergrowing Tree
08. The Power Of Metal
09. The Nu Wine
10. Too Close (To See Clearly)

John Lind – Bass
Vidar Ingvaldsen – Drums
Torfinn Sirnes – Guitars
Johannes Støle – Keyboards, Vocals
Stein Arild Grønås – Vocals (Backing), Guitars


Slaves To Fashion Promo Pic (by Stones Photography)
Picture by Stones Photography

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.

Godless Agenda – Death Awaits You All

Death Awaits You All Cover

Godless Agenda – Death Awaits You All
Release Date: 08/11/2019
Running Time: 38:58
Review by Victor Augusto

When you hear a great album that’s considerably better than the regular ones, what do you think about the band? Do you think about the musicians themselves, the band’s experience as a whole, or the producer’s work? I often analyze many possible reasons, like a stable line-up or long tours between each album, to explain it. If I have the physical CD, I look through the booklet to find the main lyric writer and song writer. When you follow a band for years, or you are friends with the members, it’s possible to work out who came up with a riff or arrangement, just by listening to the music. But what about a one-man band? How does it differ? My guess is it’s the freedom to express all creativity and build whatever that musician wants.

The Norwegian band Godless Agenda has just one member – Øystein Bjerkan, which made me realise he recorded all instruments and vocals! His style is Death/Thrash Metal, inspired by bands like the German and Bay Area Thrash Metal bands from the eighties and bands like Sepultura and Satyricon. At first, I thought that the diversity of influences for a one-man band could be dangerous, or sound confused, but it was just the opposite. Everything was very well explored and it’s possible to hear how deep each track went into those influences.

I could hear Black Metal and a little bit of Doom Metal inspiration in ‘The Legacy of Man’, but it doesn’t flee from the Thrash/Death Metal where Godless Agenda is based. I also could hear a lot of Sodom influences right from the opening song ‘Death Awaits You All’. ‘Kill The Cockroaches’ comes in a similar way. The lyrics in this one though, could have many meanings. “Cockroach – We’re better when you’re gone” in the chorus sometimes sounds like a killer who just kills for fun, but it maybe also has a political meaning, with ‘cockroaches’ being a political view of foreign people who live in your country.

Another interesting track is ‘Let The Children Come to Me’. It has a more aggressive sound and talks about child abuse within the church that has hit the news globally, many times throughout the years. The Christian church is not the only religion explored in this album, as you will hear in ‘Fear Me (Inch Allah)’, that relates a man’s view of using a suicide belt in a terror attack. This track shows the melodic side of Godless Agenda, with clean guitars and beautiful harmonies in some parts.

Despite all the great songs and compositions, this album is let down by its production. The recording’s not bad and the raw sonority helped to increase the spirit of the thematic subjects, but the mixing doesn’t bring a proper equalization of the instruments. Sometimes it sounds like a Demo-record, a very good Demo by the way, but for a debut album with so many good tracks, it deserves a better production.

The 39 second song ‘The Ballad of Donald Trump’, a political song describing the view of the songwriter, finishes the album in a more Hardcore vibe. “Death Awaits You All” is a debut album that shows what a talented musician can do with the freedom to explore their own ideas alone. It is an easy album to enjoy and you will have fun listening to it.



  1. Death Awaits You All
  2. Kill The Cockroaches
  3. Let The Children Come To Me
  4. Fear Me (Inch Allah)
  5. Rise From Ohe Pits
  6. The Legacy Of Man
  7. Devoured From Within
  8. The Ballad Of Donald Trump


Øystein Bjerkan



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

EMQs with Aspherium


EMQs with Aspherium

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQs interview with Aspherium. Huge thanks to guitarist, Marius 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?

Hey! My name is Marius, I play guitar and sing in the progressive death metal band Aspherium. We started out in 2007, and have released three albums. The latest one The Embers of Eternity which just recently was released!

How did you come up with your band name?

The name just appeared when trying to figure out a band name. I was trying to combine different words and finding something cool, and somehow I ended up with Aspherium. We thought it sounded nice, and it wasn’t taken by anybody else since we just made it up!

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

We are from Norway, and as is well known around the world, black metal is a pretty major thing here. But Norway has a lot of great bands in most genres. We have played with so many great Norwegian bands, and we have made really good friends in the Norwegian metal scene.

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

We recently released out third album The Embers of Eternity! It’s a concept album where our planet has ended up in a pretty dystopian future. The whole albums flows as a cohesive piece, and we are super proud of this album. It has everything from death and black metal sections to acoustic guitars and even a synth solo. We blend a lot of different elements together, but we work really hard on the arrangements and how well everything flows together naturally.

Who have been your greatest influences?

I’d say band like Metallica, Opeth, Machine Head, Fear Factory, Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, Pantera, Nile and Meshuggah. I don’t think we sound a lot like those bands, but those bands helped shape us as musicians, and have definitely influenced how we write and play.

What first got you into music?

I’ve always loved music ever since I was a kid, and that love just kept growing as I got older. I got a keyboard for Christmas when I was 9, and tried that for a while, but it didn’t really stick. But when I got into Metallica at age 11, I knew I needed a guitar, and from that point it has been a major part of my life.

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

It would be amazing to do something with Devin Townsend, if we could get him to something really brutal and epic that would be awesome. Also it would be fantastic to do something with Marty O’Donnell who used to work for Bungie and who did the Halo soundtracks. He and Halo in general has been huge inspirations for us, so that would be perfect.

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

It would be really cool to do something huge like Rock in Rio, Download festival or Wacken. We have played a few festivals in Norway, but never at the big stage and at a good time slot, so to have the opportunity to play for such a huge crowd would really get our music in front of so many new potential fans, it would be amazing.

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

We haven’t really received anything weird. I think alcohol is the one we get, and that’s just appreciated!

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

I just want to let them know how much we appreciate that they take the time to listen to our music and help spread the word a out the band. And the people who buy music and merch, we can’t thank you enough!

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

I think it would have to be Dimebag. That’s the one that affected me the most. Dimebag and Pantera were huge inspirations when I was getting into metal and learning to play guitar. If Dime never died, I think Pantera definitely would have gotten back together and made more great music.

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

The most enjoyable is the journey that you take with the music. From creating it, to recording it and then finally playing it live. It’s so cool to create something from nothing and then end up playing it live for people who love it.

What I hate is working really hard and spending countless hours working, only to end up with nothing. Not in regards to writing music, this is more the business and industry side of things.

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

The most obvious thing would be that bands would actually get paid decently on streaming services.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Opeth – Still Life. Pretty close to a perfect album! The songs are amazing, very intricate, but also brutal and beautiful. I really dig the concept, and everything on the album works so well together to create this amazing musical journey.

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

Vinyl for the experience! I feel like you appreciate it more when you have a physical part to relate to. You put the album on and look at the artwork when you listen. And you can’t just skip to another song, or any other artist in the world for that matter… You have to get up and flip to the b side. I really love the whole experience. That said, I love the convenience of streaming. I stream music every day when I’m out walking and doing stuff. It’s a great way to check out, and find new artists. And extremely easy access to pretty much all the music you can think of.

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

The one that comes to mind first is Paris a few years ago in a fairly small club. We won the crowd over and they went crazy with crowd surfing and stuff. It was very cool to see how they went from “Who the f are these guys? ” to “This is amazing!” in just a few minutes.

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

When I was a kid I wanted to be an archaeologist, so maybe that? More likely I would probably make video games, music videos or maybe photography.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Gordon Ramsay can make the food, Mikael Åkerfeldt can play acoustic guitar to set the mood and then James Hetfield, Robb Flynn and Devin Townsend can tell stories from the road.

What’s next for the band?

Right now we are waiting for our drummer to get done with some surgeries on his hands. So we will be back on the road next year. We are working on promoting the new album, so since we can’t play live right now we are trying to more online stuff, like interviews like this one 😉 We will also try to make more video content to promote the music. So tell your local promoters that you want Aspherium to come to your town next year!

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

We are on most social media platforms, but Facebook and Instagram are probably the main ones. And Spotify for the music streaming.

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Jaffa Cakes are clearly biscuits designed to infiltrate the cake community, and try to convert them to biscuiteers. It worked for a while, but growth has stagnated somewhat the last few years.

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

Thanks to everyone for reading, and I hope you take the time to listen to our new album The Embers of Eternity! Be sure to let us know what you think on social media!






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.

Conception – My Dark Symphony EP

My Dark Symphony EP Cover

Conception – My Dark Symphony EP
Conception Sound Factory
Release Date: 23/11/2018
Running Time: 26:41
Review by Mark Pritchard
Intro by Rick Tilley

Hi everyone, Rick here. I wouldn’t usually write an intro to another members review but I thought it important this time because of who the band is. Mark got in touch with me last week to double check the following review which was going on his blog and my ears immediately pricked up when I heard the band’s name, especially as Mark hadn’t heard of them before. Purely down to my workload, I hadn’t seen that Conception were back, for the first time in twenty years, and even more amazingly with original Conception and ex Kamelot vocalist Roy Khan at the helm. To say I am a huge fan of this man and his voice is an understatement and when he left Kamelot EIGHT years ago it was a big shock to many people. I have Conception’s four original albums which were recorded between 1991-1997 and if, like Mark, you haven’t heard of them before then I wholeheartedly recommend you check them out. This brand new EP is a wonderful return and proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we need Roy’s stunning vocals back in the Metal world.

Read on for Mark’s full review!

Around seven days ago I was asked if there was a chance I would be interested in doing a review of an EP which was released in November 2018 called ‘My Dark Symphony’ by Norwegian Hard Rock band ‘Conception’. After being asked about the possibility of doing the review I started having a listen and thought I would happy to review the EP and I haven’t looked back. Over recent weeks I have reviewed all different types of bands which have been awesome in their own ways but these guys are nice to listen to because their music is slower than the previous bands which, after the intensity of the others, is amazing.

I will admit that I hadn’t heard of Conception before and since listening to this EP I feel stupid for not having had. Straight away this made me feel calm and relaxed which is an amazing feeling to have when listening to music and because recently my mental health has been on edge this EP made it easy to see sense and stay being myself which has been something I have struggled with. Whilst listening to these guys you can hear the elegance of all four members as one!

‘My Dark Symphony’ starts out with the song ‘re:conception’ which is an instrumental and gives you the feeling of what the rest of the EP might be like but, in my opinion, it threw me a curve ball, I have enjoyed listening to the EP thoroughly and even though the first song seemed different it also shows what they can do whether the music includes vocals or not.

I have listened to ‘My Darkest Symphony’ more times than I count and I would suggest to anyone who likes Hard Rock or Metal in general to listen to these guys because they know what they are doing. Each song on this EP draws you in and that is always something I enjoy when listening to a release for review. I will say this is one of my favourites because of the dedication the band has put in. Since forming all the way back in 1989, a year after I was born, Conception have not released anything since 1997 but they have not lost any of their talent which is something most bands might worry about.

love this EP and each song I enjoy in each own way but for me there is a stand out song and that song is the title track ‘My Dark Symphony’. I don’t know what it is but this song stands out so much and I could listen to it a million times and would still enjoy it.

I would like to thank the friend who asked me if I would be interested in reviewing ‘My Darkest Symphony’ and would also like to thank the band itself, Roy Khan – Vocals, Tore Østby – guitar, Ingar Amlien – bass, and Arve Heimdal – drums, the dedication you have put into this after all these years is absolutely magnificent.

1. re:conception (Instrumental)
2. Grand Again
3. Into the Wild
4. Quite Alright
5. The Moment
6. My Dark Symphony


Conception Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Mark Pritchard 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.


Gothminister – The Other Side

Gothminister_The Other Side Cover

Gothminister – The Other Side
AFM Records
Release Date: 13/10/2017
Running Time: 34:09
Review by Mike Tasak

By no means a stranger on the industrial scene, Norway’s favourite electronic noisemakers, Gothminister, are back with ‘The Other Side’, their sixth and latest album.

Fans of the band know what to expect by now; lashings of industrial mayhem spliced with heavy doses of melody across the board. This is the path the band have trodden since their inception and ‘The Other Side’ doesn’t really deviate from that path. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, Gothminister have become extremely adept at their brand of industrial metal and certainly do it better than most. Opening track ‘Ich Will Alles’ sets the tone perfectly and there are elements through the album that do harken to the heavier melodic elements of fellow countrymen Apoptygma Berzerk.

The only track that truly deviates from their normal approach is the pseudo-ballad ‘Aegir’, a surprisingly emotive and melodic track that, while different, meshes perfectly with the surrounding tracks. The tempo heads up a couple of notches with ‘We Are The Ones Who Rule The World’, a definite stand out banger of a song.

Album closer ‘Somewhere In Time’, fuses Dimmu Borgir-esque orchestral manoeuvres (in the dark) with the standard Gothminister formula, though Bjorn’s vocals have never felt as strong as they do here.

All in all, ‘The Other Side’ doesn’t reinvent the industrial wheel but then, I don’t think that was ever the intention. What you get is a stunningly strong album that might leave industrial purists a little put out but a strong album that has definite crossover appeal. Another highly successful addition to a successful career and an album well worth giving a few spins.

Stand out Tracks: Aegir, We Are The Ones Who Rule The World

01. Ich Will Alles
02. The Sun
03. Der Fliegende Mann
04. Aegir
05. Red Christ
06. We Are The Ones Who Rule The World
07. All This Time
08. Day Of Reckoning
09. Taking Over
10. Somewhere In Time



Disclaimer:  This review is the sole property of Mike Tasak and Ever Metal.  It is strictly forbidden to reproduce any part of this review, unless you have the explicit permission of both parties; failure to comply will be treated as plagiarism and reported to the relevant authorities.