Soldier – Storm Rider EP

Storm Rider EP Cover

Soldier – Storm Rider EP
Starhaven Records
Release Date: 12/08/2019
Running Time: 15:49
Review by Paul Monkhouse
8/10

It’s incredible to believe that Soldier are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year and, much like some of their other contemporaries from the NWOBHM era, they still have an awful lot to offer as this three track EP ably shows. Whilst the band have had more line-ups than the Met Police, founding member and original guitarist Ian Dick has found himself a perfect combination of talent to power them on and keep the name and music very much alive. Having somewhat sadly decided not to gig this year (but who knows what the future holds) this new release is a perfect indicator of the force they still harness but also acts as a perfect introduction to newcomers of this seminal band.

The title track ‘Storm Rider’ kicks things off in fine style with its insistent riff, powered by the guitars of Dick and Miles Goodman. This has elements of some of the best of that initial rush of creativity and fire from forty years ago but also gives it a great, modern sound. There was a real song-writing skill that a lot of the bands of that heady era, like Saxon, Praying Mantis, Diamond Head and Samson, had and this is very much the case here as their ear for a melody as well as something that has that visceral excitement comes through on every track. Singer Richard Frost has been a real find and has a voice that’s perfect for the material, his vocals having both power and a honeyed tone to them. The guitar solo at the end of the song is all you could hope for and leads nicely into a fade before the second song, ‘R.N.R.’, kicks in.

Despite the well-worn subject of a guitar slinging hero, the song is utterly irresistible and glories in an instant appeal that sounds just so good whilst treading that line between hard rock toughness and AOR. These guys put other artists of the genre in the shade. The epic ‘Little Big Horn’ is the sort of thing that Iron Maiden used to make when they were at the first, early peak of their career and at just over six minutes in length gives you time to really revel in its delights. It has both the style and subject matter of early Maiden but with a lot more polish as the guitars charge full pelt at you, vocals weaving the tale and the bass and drums (of Steve Barlow and Tim Churchman respectively) pound with precision. It really is a great way to end the E.P. and leaves you not only marvelling at the music therein but desperately craving more. Fortunately, there’s quite a back catalogue to explore and this release is a pure distillation of what makes Soldier’s brand of melodic metal so enduring. Here’s to the next 40..!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Storm Rider
02. R.N.R.
03. Little Big Horn

LINE-UP:
Richard Frost – Vocals
Ian Dick – Guitar
Miles Goodman – Guitar
Steve Barlow – Bass
Tim Churchman – Drums

LINKS:
https://www.soldiernwobhm.com
https://www.facebook.com/soldiernwobhm
https://www.youtube.com/user/SOLDIERNWOBHM1

 

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse 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.

Sacrilege – ‘The Court of the Insane’

The Court Of The Insane Cover

Sacrilege – ‘The Court of the Insane’
Pure Underground Records
Release Date: 02/08/2019
Running Time: 55:12
Review by Paul Monkhouse
7/10

It’s arguable that many of the bands that are known and loved in the rock world wouldn’t be here without the advent of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Those were heady days when this new breed of long-haired musicians seemed to pop up from virtually every town and city in the UK, filling the pubs and clubs with a sea of denim and leather scented with patchouli oil. The fact that so many of these bands are still around or have reformed shows that there is such a huge hunger for this much loved genre and that giants like Iron Maiden and Saxon are still packing out venues and playing with as much fire as anyone else on the scene. Not all were as successful as Maiden, but they still put their hearts and souls into it and Sacrilege are one such band. Originally formed in ’82 they enjoyed five good years together before going their separate ways only to reform again, twenty-five years later, in 2012 and have been constantly working since then. “The Court Of The Insane” is their new album and it pushes the clock back to those exhilarating days when the world sat up and listened and the weekly edition of music paper ‘Sounds’ was full of amazing tours and must-buy new albums.

‘Celestial City’ heralds the album with keys and that soon morphs into a guitar intro that captures the fire of the old days and races off with a song very Maiden-like in its scope. It must be said that vocalist/guitarist Bill Beadle doesn’t have the range of Bruce Dickinson but his singing fits perfectly with the band and adds real character to the Sacrilege sound. Second track, ‘Lies’ ups the ante on the drama and the band really take off for the title track of the album, the drums and bass of Neil Turnbull and Jeff Roland respectively being up in the mix, happily displaying the strength of a classic uncluttered three piece. It’s indeed a powerful number with a maelstrom of guitar and maniacal laughter at the end, showing the grasp of both narrative and musical punch.

‘Depression’ rips along like the best of Judas Priest and that theme is continued on ‘No Bequeath’ with its long instrumental passage and metallic edge. It’s not all balls out hard rocking as ‘The Prophet’ shows more light and shade, a much more melodic start giving way to an epic rampaging riff and some great fret burning by Beadle. The band seem to be very much aware of their heritage whilst pushing forward and broadening their ambitions on the album, a definite feeling of both old and new mixed in that will appeal to both the younger and older fans. Whilst the production and dramatic passages do seem at times very much harking back to the early 80’s, perhaps showing that there isn’t a multi-million-pound .budget behind them, this adds to the charm and authenticity of the album and is bound to bring a smile.

‘Unhinged Mind’ has much to enjoy about it and is another epic that sees the band let loose, not constrained by the need to just rush through tracks with indecent haste. ‘I Can Hear the Silence’ turns up the heat once more and is full of British Steel whilst album closer ‘Ride Free’ has lyrical and vocal flashes of The Who whilst having the gnarly heaviness that approaches Motörhead. A very fine way to finish and overall the album is a good reminder for those around at the birth of the NWOBHM and a pointer for a younger generation wanting to explore the thrill of something they missed at the time but is still very much worth supporting today.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Celestial City
02. Lies
03. The Court Of The Insane
04. Bring Out Your Dead
05. Depression
06. No Bequeath
07. The Prophet
08. Unhinged Mind
09. I Can Hear The Silence
10. Ride Free

LINKS:
http://www.sacrilegenwobhm.com
https://www.facebook.com/Sacrilegerock/
https://www.instagram.com/billsacrilege/

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse 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 SACRILEGE

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EMQ’s with SACRILEGE

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with UK NWOBHM / Heavy Rock band Sacrilege! Huge thanks to vocalist/guitarist Bill Beadle 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?

Hi I’m Bill Beadle and I’m singer/songwriter/guitarist for heavy rock band Sacrilege who I formed in 1981/82. We were then billed as best new band of 1983 and appeared on the 6th episode of the David Jensen Rock Shows TV series, which also featured U2 and The Stranglers alongside Sacrilege that week. I kept Sacrilege playing live up until 1987 when I then decided to stop playing, I reformed the band and we played our first comeback gig in October 2012.

How did you come up with your band name?

At the time I was going to call us Blizzard. I’m a massive Sabbath fan but coincidently Ozzy returned with his new band calling themselves Blizzard of Ozz so I had to find a different name. While watching a film one night called ‘Demetrius and the Gladiators’ the star (Victor Mature) saw these dead gladiators being thrown into a massive pit, he shouts out ‘That’s Sacrilege’ so that was it.

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

We are from the UK and the metal scene, in fact music scene, isn’t doing so well unless you are a covers or tribute band it seems! There are some great original bands out there not getting a chance so we are pleased to have our loyal support.

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

“The Court Of The Insane”, our new album, which is on the Pure Steel record label and is due out on 2nd August this year (2019)!

Who have been your greatest influences?

Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and in the last 10 years Nightwish!

What first got you into music?

Those bands I mentioned but primarily Black Sabbath. When they seemed to be finishing with Ozzy leaving I thought I’d see if I could write and form a band, this I did and now seven albums later I’m still writing and playing even if I did have a long break in-between. You can hear my influences in the Sacrilege tracks.

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

Tony Iommi, no doubt there!

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

The old Castle Donnington ‘Monsters Of Rock’ which is now Download Festival. I’ve been to see many of my favourite bands there and always wanted to play rather than watch but they seem to have changed the genre of bands that play so in this country it would be Bloodstock or abroad Wacken.

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

A very shy girl once got her friend to come over to speak to me! She said her friend liked me very much but didn’t have the courage to come over to talk so she wanted me to have this, it was a picture of her friend naked, I thought not that shy then? Haha!!

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

Thanks for all your support and please tell you friends about how much you enjoyed our music and stage show. The support and messages we receive are all very special and we wouldn’t be playing without you.

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

That’s a hard question we have lost so many great artists and characters! Lemmy Probably closely followed by Dio, Phil Lynott and Gary Moore.

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

Seeing the smiles and enjoyment on people’s faces from the stage then talking to them after the show. I hate being let down by people which happens a lot in this business.

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

More venues opening rather than closing and the music industry could help with that.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Studio album then Black Sabbath’s “Vol 4” but live album it would be “Unleashed In The East” by Judas Priest!

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

Always loved Vinyl when I was younger and if we went back to those days I’d be happy!

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

The best gig is a very hard question as playing on a big stage where we can let off our Pyros and put a full stage show on is hard to beat but we played in Cambridge at the Melbourn Rock Club recently and the support and reaction from the crowd was very special. We also did a show in Hamburg last month and, again, from a crowd that didn’t know us the reaction was brilliant, so those two were very special but overall I’d have to go for the Malta Metal Festival. We were made to feel so welcome, the crowd was great and we made many many friends there!

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

I’d always be a musician it would just depend on what scale, either that or drive a train or something.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Doro, Floor Jansen, Charlotte Wessels and Tarja plus a referee haha!!

What’s next for the band?

We have just had Paul Macnamara (Guitarist) join us permanently so we want to really tour with the new album and play as many places as possible improving our stage show and then start recording album number eight.

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

We use the normal sites Facebook, Twitter, Reverbnation, Instagram and our own webpage plus YouTube!
https://www.facebook.com/Sacrilegerock/
https://twitter.com/BillSacrilege
https://www.reverbnation.com/sacrilege
https://www.instagram.com/sacrilegenwobhm/
http://www.sacrilegenwobhm.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCytK8ge7u4R67JdXduLaxpA

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

That’s the best question of the interview haha! Cake it’s in the name!

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

A special thanks to my band mates Neil Turnbull, Jeff Rolland, Paul Macnamara and Road Manager Richard Ellender, we all work to put the best show on and it’s a pleasure having these guys as friends and band mates.

 

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 both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Praying Mantis – Gravity

Gravity Cover

Praying Mantis – Gravity
Frontiers Music
Running Time: 58:00
Release Date: 11/05/2018
Review by Chris White
5/10

Praying Mantis are, by all accounts (ok, their PR Company’s account), one of the most influential bands from the NWOBHM period! I’m geared up for tight leather trousers, warbling vocals and twin guitar harmonies, colliding with big, thunderous bass riffs.

This record is also featuring a new vocalist and drummer in conjunction with the original members, so it seems that the band have achieved a good level of momentum since their last release in 2015.

In kicks the first song, ‘Keep It Alive’ and all is not going to plan. Heavy layered vocal harmonies guide us into a forgettable verse and an improved chorus that at least has a slightly catchy feel to it. My first impression is that the singer is trying too hard to outperform Graham Bonnet in the ‘louder and higher’ singing repertoire, but at least he sounds like he is having fun.

The second track, ‘Mantis Anthem’, features a retro Bontempi-sounding intro and as things go on, I wonder if this is more AOR than NWOBHM? It sounds a bit desperate as it goes on. Anthems are about waving that lighter in the air at the live gig, but I fear that if you were waving a cigarette lighter in the crowd to this song, you would most likely suffer narcolepsy and accidentally set fire to yourself.

Without wishing to dissect each song individually from here on in, my notes contain phrases such as ‘a bit like a testicle-equipped version of Vixen without the Richard Marx songs’, ‘plods along a bit’ and ‘acoustic guitar with yet more full-on helium fuelled singing’.

Finally, the album finished with the song ‘Final Destination’, complete with a wailed “dessssssteena-shunnnnnnnn” outburst from the vocalist, as if to prove a point. The point was clearly that after 5 minutes 16 seconds, it made me wish I was heading towards my final destination as well.

TRACKLISTING:
01 Keep It Alive
02 Mantis Anthem
03 Time Can Heal
04 39 Years
05 Gravity
06 Ghosts Of The Past
07 Destiny In Motion
08 The Last Summer
09 Foreign Affair
10 Shadow Of Love
11 Final Destination

LINKS:
http://www.prayingmantis.rocks/
https://www.facebook.com/PrayingMantisUKRockMetal/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9mgPe1jTBoyfVZs2wRidsQ

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris White 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.

Satan – Cruel Magic

 

cruel magic cover

Satan – Cruel Magic
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 07/09/2018
Running Time: 49:42
Review by Chris Galea
10/10

With a debut album released back in 1983, it was only after Satan’s 2011 reunion that the quintet started becoming relatively prolific as a recording band. Truth be told, Satan have been fairly consistent in the quality of their material, a fact complemented by a reputation for impressive live shows. With this “Cruel Magic”, the band notches 5 albums and therein lies the band’s dilemma: how do they retain the style that has gained them fame and admiration while not stagnating?

For a start the band has gone for a rawer, more ‘live’ sound. Regarding this aspiration, I read somewhere that in the recording studio they tried to resist the temptation to make too many takes, even if that meant leaving individual mistakes in the final product. And I have to say that’s certainly the impression I got from listening to the album. Rather than put me off, this approach was a masterstroke – it somehow gives the songs more appeal, makes them feel more genuine, more intuitive.

But the biggest achievement of “Cruel Magic” is that none of the songs feel boring and yet you know that they can only come from Satan. This is all down to the excellence of the songwriting. The riffs and vocals phrasings of ‘Into The Mouth of Eternity’ remind us that Metallica were one of the many bands influenced by Satan. ‘Ophidian’ is destined to be a classic in Satan’s repertoire. Besides having some blistering guitar solos ‘Legions Hellbound’ is notable for the smooth way the songs shifts from/to mellow and heavy parts.

I loved the guitar harmonies of ‘The Doomsday Clock’, a song about impending doom. ‘Ghosts Of Monongah’ is about the West Virginia mining tragedy of 1907 while in ‘Who Among Us’ Satan rise to the defence of Jesus Christ’s messages. You can see that even thematically, “Cruel Magic” is diverse, even though the songs seem to have a common thread of a foreboding doom. Suitably enough, the album ends with ‘Mortality’, a song where Satan play around with atmospheres and guitar sounds with interesting results.

Spot-on drumming, great melodies, inspired guitar solos, excellent songwriting….what more can one hope for? This is an album that I am liking more and more with each listen.

I’m generally hesitant to give full marks ratings but “Cruel Magic” is the archetype of all that is great about Heavy Metal.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Into The Mouth of Eternity
2. Cruel Magic
3. The Doomsday Clock
4. Legions Hellbound
5. Ophidian
6. My Prophetic Soul
7. Death Knell For A King
8. Who Among Us
9. Ghosts Of Monongah
10. Mortality

LINE-UP:
Brian Ross – vocals
Russ Tippins – guitars
Steve Ramsey – guitars
Graeme English – bass
Sean Taylor – drums

LINKS:
http://www.satanmusic.com/
https://www.facebook.com/officialsatanpage

https://satanuk.bandcamp.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuLTFfi-peM ‘The Doomsday Clock’ (Official Video)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seven Sisters – The Cauldron and The Cross

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SEVEN SISTERS – THE CAULDRON AND THE CROSS
Dissonance Productions
Release Date: 13/04/2018
Running Time: 51:18
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

After having the opportunity to interview Graeme from Seven Sisters recently, I thought to myself that I really should give their new album The Cauldron and The Cross a spin, and why not give it a review at the same time.

Seven Sisters are a four-piece heavy metal band from London, who are, in their own words, forged from the same steel as the NWOBHM acts of yesteryear. Formed in 2013 by Kyle McNeil (vocals/guitars) and Graeme Farmer (guitars) in 2013, they are inspired by the likes of the Paul Di’anno era of Iron Maiden, Angel Witch and Virtue.

Says the band: “we have a mix of old school heavy metal (the NWOBHM movement in particular) and elements of power metal, thrash metal and things like that. We’re pretty progressive in places, but our songs are heavily melodic and hopefully pretty catchy too.”

The band have gained a reputation over the past few years as a stellar act in the heavy metal scene, playing shows all over the UK and Europe off the back of two independent releases, “The Warden Demo” in 2014 and “Lost in Time” 7” in 2015. They have since signed to Dissonance Productions and The Cauldron and The Cross is their second album.

With its main source of inspiration being a book written by Marion Zimmer Bradley called “The Mists of Avalon”, The Cauldron and The Cross is a concept album, a story that involves the two religions of Paganism and Christianity. With its myth and magical title tracks and a cover artwork depicting what looks like a scene from a fantasy film, this album has all the hallmarks of a typical power metal release.

But, this is power metal with a twist. Although, the power elements are unmistakably there, the thrash elements the band themselves stated were an influence can also be heard, but then so can the NWOBHM traits.

But that’s not all. On top of all this are the subtle prog influences too. I have never really been a prog rock/metal fan but the time changes throughout the individual tracks are clear to hear. Time changes are one of the aspects of prog music that turned me off the genre, but in this album, they seem to flow a lot better. And this, along with the changes in key, really does make it seem as if the music and lyrics are talking to you.

This is a band that obviously has an immense talent. Despite the relatively short time they have been together, they work so well and sound like they have been doing this for years. And that is something not found very often.

I read somewhere that the band intended on being a five piece, looking to recruit a singer to fill the fifth place and that Kyle was only a stand in singer. I can honestly say, that in my opinion, NOT getting that fifth person was the best thing for the band. Kyle is an absolutely fantastic singer with a voice that can cover a whole variety of ranges. He is ideally suited to the music the band play and I think that if they were to replace him now (please don’t) the whole dynamic of the band will change.

This album has everything from the speed metal of the opening track “Premonition” to the Maiden-influenced “Once and Future King” to the slower pace of “Blood and Fire.” There is also the ‘obligatory’ power ballad in “Oathbreaker” but this is, by no means, just a track that has been thrown in because people expect a ballad. It fits perfectly into the structure of the album and is one of the best tracks on it.

Stand out tracks for me, apart from “Oathbreaker” as mentioned above, are “Blood and Fire” and the double epic tracks “The Cauldron and The Cross Parts 1 and 2” at the end of the album, but my absolute favourite must be “The Turning of The Tide.” I could have that track on repeat for hours and not get bored with it.

So, should you go out and by this great album from this fantastic young band? Yes, you sure as hell do! This is a must for power metal fans, thrash metal fans, NWOBHM fans and traditional heavy metal fans alike.

I absolutely adored this album, and, for me, this is one of the best albums that has been released this year.

TRACK LISTING
The Premonition
Blood And Fire
Once And Future King
Partings The Mists
Turning Of The Tide
Oathbreaker
A Land In Darkness
The Cauldron And The Cross Pt.1
The Cauldron And The Cross Pt.2

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://sevensistersuk.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/sevensistersheavymetal/

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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.

 

Interview with Desolation Angels

DA_Band_02

Desolation Angels were one of the forefathers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal era. Now, nearly forty years later, they are still rocking and I, recently, had the chance to interview them.

Hi, I’m Dawn from Ever Metal. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us and I hope you are all ok?

Hi Dawn, yes we are all ok thanks.

Ok, so for those who have been hiding in a remote cave somewhere for the past thirty odd years, can you give us a quick background of the band?

Desolation Angels was formed in early 1981 by childhood friends Robin Brancher and Keith Sharp based in the East End of London. The band started writing and rehearsing and soon built up a reputation playing live.

The band’s first single, ‘Valhalla’, was recorded at a studio in Cheltenham in 1982 and, by this time, the band was touring extensively the UK. In 1984, their debut self titled album ‘Desolation Angels’ was recorded at Thameside Studios, London

After spending eight years in the USA playing live shows and recording, the band returned to the UK.

* After various personnel changes since the reformation of Desolation Angels in 2012, the band members are: Robin Brancher (guitar), Keith Sharp (guitar), Clive Pearson (bass), Chris Takka (drums) Paul Taylor (vocals).

Answered Clive Pearson

So, your latest album “King” (great name by the way!) was released on February 23rd of this year (2018), how is it being received? I see you have had some great reviews.

The name seems to have been a good choice, well done to Rob on that one….. it needs to be mentioned first that we were so fortunate to have Chris Tsangeridies listen to the demos and see the potential in the songs to agree to give us his time to make this album so special in so many ways. It so tragic that this was to be his final gift to the music world as he certainly took this on to ensure he handed over a fantastic album. He brought out the best in DA AND we will be ever thankful to his dedication to produce and engineer these songs which the ‘reviews tell it all. The enjoyment of working with Chris and hearing all his tales of his past were very entertaining when recording can be such a stressful experience. He put the fun and enjoyment into those weeks of hard work…. the album is selling very well and so it should as it is one of those albums that gets better each time you listen to it. That is down to the song writing and the great man CT…. thanks Chris may you RIP in Valhalla with your great friend Gary Moore.

Answered by Clive Pearson.

And how was it working with the late, great Chris Tsangeridis?

I may have answered that in previous question.

He was a true musician who loved working in the industry and to help those musicians around him. His history speaks for itself and no air of greatness within his personality which could really have been the case. He’d work with anyone who had desire and commitment to their music… see his autobiography as it would take the whole Metal Nation edition to cover his character and albums.

Answered by Clive Pearson.

The official launch party for the album was on March 23rd at The Devonshire Arms in Camden. I was gutted I couldn’t get there. How did it go? Lots of drunkenness and shenanigans?

The Dev is a perfect venue for this event as it is a true metal pub in Camden which is one of the most diverse towns in London. Great atmosphere and punters. I think my other half should cover the drunken shenanigans as she won that one hands down. I give you her number and the Premier Inn in London where she was carried to after the gig and made a grand entrance…….. I am sure they can fill you in on that one… lots of punters were up for a big night and it did not disappoint.

Answered by Clive Pearson.

So, you are happy with the line up now?

It’s not just a line up it’s a big family with all the wives and girlfriends part of the group.

Answered by Paul Chatfield

I checked out your latest tour dates on your website and I see you are doing a lot of double headers with another great band Sacrilege (and some with support from Satan’s Empire). What’s is like working with those guys? They are all a great bunch.

They are all a great bunch. We have got a few under our belts already and the one that stands out was at the Underworld in Camden … I seem to get on well in Camden……… Sacrilege are a real good time rock and roll party animals that enjoy themselves on and off stage. We are also pretty much the same age so got a lot of those old days to catch up on and reminisce about. Satan’s Empire have a new album out and sure deliver live. I know Paul Lewis from when he was in Belladonna so cool to be gigging with them now..
Look forward to the next ones coming up…

Answered by Clive Pearson.

And you have the NWOBHM GDR #3 in Nuneaton in November. Are you looking forward to that? It’s a shame it’s not in London again though.

We played the first one in London and good to see it gathering pace a few years now. Great to have Tokyo Blade, Tysondog on the bill plus The Deep & Airforce. We all gigging regularly over the years so will be a big party.

Tokyo Blade will be the 2nd time we shared the stage who are good friends with Rob and Keith so good times will be had…

You play in Europe a lot. Do you think your music is better received there and do you prefer playing there or on home soil?

We really enjoy playing in Europe, the fans seem more dedicated, they know the material and really appreciate the fact you come over. I suppose we were a bit spoilt for choice in the UK. There is, and has always been loads of great bands evolved here through the years so fans have a massive choice. Don’t get me wrong it’s fantastic to play to a great crowd in the UK but the European crowds seem to let their hair down a bit more and really rock out.

Answered by Paul Taylor

I am the first to admit that I am not the biggest fan of NWOBHM (yet here I am interviewing one of the original bands from the era!) and I must say I prefer the last album to the earlier stuff. What have you done that has changed your sound so that even a NWOBHM-disliker like me loved your album?

The NWOBHM label is just that, a label! It was just a way to remarket what had always been there, good old-fashioned rock bands. All the radio stations just played either disco music or punk. Purple, Sabbath, UFO, Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash, Budgie, Lizzy and Priest were still all there and they inspired us, younger bands. So it could be that you like the King album because we’re now better at producing great rock albums than we were 30 years ago . The original values of the music are the same as they’ve always been, strong powerful guitar riffs with a solid rhythm section and melodic vocal tunes with interesting lyrics. We chose Chris T to produce the album because of his fantastic track record and his love of great rock music. He loved the album and did a brilliant job. It would seem that we’ve done what we intended to do, make an album traditional NWOBHM fans would like but also cross the boundaries in to the established hard rock fan base who would normally dismiss NWOBHM bands because of the label.

Answered by Paul Taylor

Ok, so I am friends with most, if not all of you, on social media of some sort, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and I have seen you “in the flesh” so to speak. You are all a great bunch of guys and I would love to interview you face to face after a gig at some point! Would this be ok with you guys?

For sure we always happy to give interviews and answer question for readers on Skype or phone.
Or come backstage after gig and we can have few beers and chat..

So, what’s next for Desolation Angels?

Keep on gigging for as long as we can and record the next album.

Answered by Paul Chatfield

Well, thank you so much for your time. I look forward to seeing you on the road and maybe we can get that interview squeezed in. Is there anything you would like to add?

Thanks for asking us to do this interview spread the word www.desolationangels.co.uk

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, 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.

 

The Deep – Premonition

Premonition Cover

THE DEEP – PREMONITION
Independent
Release Date: March 2015
Running Time 53:37
Review by Rick Tilley
10/10

This review was first published in 2015 and is reprinted here courtesy of Brutiful Metal Radio

When vocalist Tony Coldham kindly sent me The Deep’s four track demo last year I immediately knew we were in for something special! Tony has now very kindly sent me an un-mastered copy of ‘Premonition’, the band’s debut album, due in March 2015 and if the demo whetted your appetite then this is going to absolutely knock you for six and remember I’m listening to an unfinished version!

Some members of The Deep have been around the music business since the early 1980’s, and have been part of Airrace and Rogue Male, amongst other bands. It’s fair to say that between them they have a rich heritage but if you don’t believe me then listening to ‘Premonition’ will be the only evidence you need! The Deep’s sound is rooted between Classic Hard & Heavy Rock, Melodic Rock and NWOBHM so think Saxon meets UFO and Uriah Heep and this album has given me goose bumps in places I didn’t know you could get them!

First and foremost is Tony Coldham’s voice which is utterly outstanding, reminiscent of one of my favourite vocalists Bernie Shaw (Uriah Heep, Grand Prix, Praying Mantis). Tony’s singing is the centrepiece of The Deep, power and emotion ring out in equal fashion and he absolutely destroys many modern day ‘singers’, but as I said in my review of the demo, that in no way takes anything away from the rest of the band who are all utterly superb. Paul Smith and Mick Feleppa’ guitar work & backing vocals are fabulous. Riffs and solos fly with abandon, whether the song is heavier or more ballad driven (The Deep are extremely good at mixing things up) and bassist Don Whiberley along with drummer Steve Kingsley have become a very solid and entertaining rhythm team!

Being in a superb band doesn’t just mean having good musicians though. You all know as well as I do that what matters most are the songs themselves and ‘Premonition’ is packed to the rafters with good songs. All four tracks from the demo are present and correct but the six new tracks showcased here are equally as good and it feels like the album has been sequenced perfectly, something a lot of bands don’t bother with now in the downloading era! From the opening Saxon like riff of ‘The Rider’ through to closer ‘Turn Me Loose’ this is 100% quality and I’m privileged to be one of the first to here it! Highlight moment for me currently, and it’ll probably change, is ‘Saga’. One of the quieter tracks but it’s near seven minutes of perfection and is just magnificent!

It’s only the middle of January and to receive an album of this magnitude so early on in 2015 is really quite something special. Even though there will be other bands that get given more column space this year I will be shouting The Deep’s name from the rooftops until you all get fed up with me because this band is too good to ignore and ‘Premonition’ is a must have for any lover of Classic Rock & Metal’. I’ll be damned if I know what this album will sound like when it’s actually completed because I honestly don’t think the band can make it any better!

 

TRACKLIST

  • 01. The Rider
  • 02. You Take My Breath Away
  • 03. Night-Stalker
  • 04. Cold-Hearted
  • 05. All I Want
  • 06. Out Of Touch
  • 07. Premonition
  • 08. Spell-bound
  • 09. Saga
  • 10. Turn Me Loose

 

Social Media

  • http://www.thedeepband.co.uk/
  • https://www.facebook.com/TheDeepUK/

Cover Artwork

  • http://cadiesart.com/home

 

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

Reproduced with the kind permission of Brutiful Metal Radio