EMQ’s with BLACK SHEETS OF RAIN

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EMQ’s with BLACK SHEETS OF RAIN

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Lancaster based NWOTHM band Black Sheets Of Rain. Huge thanks to them 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 Ever Metal and your esteemed readership! This is Rich Davenport, lead vocalist and guitarist with Black Sheets Of Rain. We’re a power trio influenced by Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Anthrax, Kings X, Accept, Iron Maiden, Saxon and Thin Lizzy. My bandmates are Dave Nuttall (drums/vocals) and Matt Lambourne (ex Solomon Groove, bass) Dave and I have been playing together in various bands since 2012. We hooked up with Matt in 2016, and everything seemed to fall into place, his bass style and songwriting was a perfect fit and helped us define our sound, which is melodic Heavy Metal with hints of doom and thrash.
Dave has previously played with the Toy Dolls, a punk band that some of you may know, and I was in a later version of Atomkraft with Tony Dolan, who’s now in Venom Inc. Tony has guested on one of the songs on our debut EP, more on that later!

How did you come up with your band name?

It’s an album title and song by Bob Mould, formerly with Husker Du.

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

We’re from the UK, and there’s a thriving metal scene here, not least on the more old school/traditional metal side of things, which has been much healthier in recent years. We’ve gigged with bands like Seven Sisters, Eliminator and Conjuring Fate, all of whom are excellent twin guitar metal bands, and we’ve also shared stages with Damaj, who are thrash influenced and Dogsflesh, who are punk/metal crossover.

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

Our debut EP “In The Eye Of The Storm” is out on April 26th via W.A.R. Productions, available from www.blacksheetsofrain.com There are two lyric videos you can check out on the site, including one for ‘No Rest’, which features a guest appearance from Tony Dolan of Venom Inc. The EP was produced by Tony Wilson who produced the BBC Friday Rock Show with Tommy Vance for many years.

Who have been your greatest influences?

For me personally, Tony Iommi from Sabbath has been a huge influence, not only in terms of his monolithic riffs, but also with regard to his soloing. I really admire Gary Moore, Randy Rhoads and Michael Schenker when it comes to lead guitar, and from a songwriting point of view, it’d be Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy.

What first got you into music?

I listened to one of my dad’s Beatles albums when I was 7, one of their early records called “With The Beatles”. That got me interested in music, around the tail end of punk, and I started paying more attention to the radio. I got into metal through a friend at primary school when I was 8, his older brother was a metalhead. There was a kids TV show called Tiswas that had a lot of metal bands on, I saw Saxon, Motorhead and Maiden on there for the first time. I bought Run To The Hills after seeing the video on there when I was 9, and that was it, I was hooked!

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

It would have to be the metal god himself, Rob Halford.

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

Wacken in Germany, I’ve heard so many great reports about it and I’ve never been. After we played I could hang around and watch the rest of the bill!

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

Thankfully I’ve never been given anything strange or disturbing!

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

Thank you for your support and interest in our music, it’s very much appreciated and never taken for granted.

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

Jimi Hendrix. He was so far ahead of the curve, and moved guitar playing so far forward in such a short time. I’d love to see what he’d come up with next, and to hear his playing through a modern-day guitar rig.

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

Playing music is a huge release and it’s therapeutic when times get tough. Playing live is probably what I enjoy most, seeing and hearing the audience reaction, and locking in with the other guys in the band. On the hate side, it would be the behaviour of scam artists who try to prey on bands.

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

I’d like to see more easily available advice for up and coming or independent bands, so that they can avoid getting ripped off. The Musician’s Union is really good for that side of things, but not everyone’s aware of it.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Judas Priest – “Screaming For Vengeance”.

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

CD’s or Vinyl, purely for the sound quality. I’m old school, I prefer a physical copy of an album, so I can check out the artwork and lyrics.

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

Our last gig at the Bobbin in Lancaster, supporting Dogsflesh, was probably the best reaction we’ve had so far, although it’s hard to pick a favourite. Supporting Conjuring Fate and Damaj at the Venue in Carlisle was another highlight.

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

Stand up comedy, I’ve dabbled with it in the past and enjoyed it, and nobody threw anything at me, so that’s a good sign…!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Stewie Griffin, Dr Evil, Stan Lee, Robin Williams and Marge Simpson.

What’s next for the band?

As many gigs as possible, and we’re writing a full-length album which we hope to release in 2020.

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

www.facebook.com/blacksheetsofrain and www.blacksheetsofrain.com.

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I’d go with biscuit. They’re addictive, and it’s hard to stop after one, so in the event of a pig out, it’s probably better to say you’ve just eaten a pile of biscuits rather than a pile of cakes, it sounds healthier.

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

Thanks for your time too, and to your readers for theirs in reading this. Please check out the lyric videos on our website or Facebook page, and if you like what you hear, hopefully we’ll see you at a gig sometime soon! Cheers!

 

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Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of 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.

Cauldron – New Gods

New Gods Cover

Cauldron – New Gods
Dissonance Productions
Release Date: 07/09/2018
Running Time: 42 mins
Review by: Alun Jones
7/10

Listening to Canadian Trad metallers Cauldron, I can almost feel my Converse hi-tops sticking to the carpet in a dingy 80’s rock club, swigging from a rapidly warming bottle of Newcastle Brown, clad in an Iron Maiden T-shirt and waiting for my mullet to grow out into a full length rockin’ hairdo. Them were the days, eh?!

Yes indeed, Cauldron is proud paid-up members of the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal club. Or proper metal, if you prefer? In other words, if Angel Witch and Diamond Head are your thing, you won’t go far wrong here.

Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t want to accuse these Toronto terrors of ripping anyone off, or being stuck in the past. In fact, it’s quite refreshing to listen to old school heavy rock they way it used to be played. This sound isn’t as prevalent as it should be nowadays.

‘Prisoner Of The Past’ starts things off with a suitably meaty riff, and the best news is – you can bang your head to it! Like, properly nod that noggin to the beat as you drive along. Throw some horns too, if you want. Cauldron ain’t gonna judge you, let yourself go!

Appropriately the second track is ‘Letting Go’, and it’s obvious that the band are able to weld together some sharp melodies to the music. Band members Jason Decay, Ian Chains and Myles Deck have obviously studied their influences hard and can unleash the goods with precision. ‘No Longer’ rides another infectious intro and you can be sure we’re on exciting, though safe, ground.

“New Gods” follows pretty much the same formula throughout; though the final part of fourth track ‘Save the Truth – Syracuse’ (maybe it’s just the “Syracuse” bit?) adds some experimentation that reminded me of Van Halen’s ‘Sunday Afternoon In The Park’. After that, another blazer of a song in ‘Never Be Found’.

Unfortunately, Cauldron do blow it with ‘Together As None’ – a nearly-power ballad, the track that would’ve been extracted for a single. Here the band manage to add too much fromage to their fondue. This is the lighter waving, last dance smoocher that no-one needed to be reminded of. Almost-not-quite good enough for the Rocky IV soundtrack.

Thankfully they get their shit together to finish the record with a spritely, Iommi style instrumental (‘Isolation’) and a final, Priest style rocker in ‘Last Request’.

Whether you admit it or not, you love old school rock and metal. Of course you do, and “New Gods” is more honest celebration than cliché. However, please be warned that some of the ingredients may be fast approaching their Best Before date.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Prisoner Of The Past
2. Letting Go
3. No Longer
4. Save The Truth – Syracuse
5. Never Be Found
6. Drown
7. Together As None
8. Isolation
9. Last Request

LINKS:
http://cauldronmetal.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CAULDRONmetal/

https://www.instagram.com/cauldronmetal/
https://www.dissonanceproductions.co.uk/
https://www.youtube.com/user/CauldronVEVO/videos

http://www.theendrecords.com/

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun 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.

 

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 Seven Sisters

 

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Seven Sisters are a four-piece metal band from West London, England forged from the same steel as the NWOBHM acts of yesteryear. They have gained a reputation as a “stellar” act in the heavy metal scene, playing shows all over the UK and Europe and proving that “they are not simply copying the template laid down by the fathers of heavy  metal but they are moulding their own sound to usher in a new era.”

I recently had the chance to interview Graeme from the band and here is what he had to say:

Hi, I am Dawn from Ever Metal. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for us. I hope you are all well?

All good here, cheers for talking to us!

Ok, for those who don’t know who you guys are, can you tell us a bit about the background of the band?

Sure! We’re a Heavy Metal band from West London, currently promoting and touring our second album which was recently released on Dissonance Productions. Our sound is a bit of 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.

So, your new album, The Cauldron and The Cross, was released in April of this year. How has it been received?

Yeah it’s been received really well on the whole! We’re not massively surprised as we were really happy with the way the album turned out, but it’s always nice when people understand and buy into what you’re trying to do as a band.

Would you consider yourself part of the NWOTHM (New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal) movement? If not, what would you describe your particular genre?

Yeah I guess so. I’m not sure how much of a coherent movement it is, but there’s definitely a fair few bands around playing traditional-sounding metal, and we’re one of those bands. I don’t think we’re a straight up copy of the original sound of the late 70s and early 80s, but it’s definitely a major influence and I think that should be pretty obvious to anyone listening to our music. We prefer to just think of ourselves as a Heavy Metal band though, rather than trying to pigeonhole it too specifically. It’s too easy to become obsessed with genre labels, rather than just listening to something on its own merit and deciding if you like it or not.

We all have a guilty pleasure when it comes to music, what’s yours?

Not really, actually. I listen to all sorts of stuff, but I don’t feel guilty or embarrassed by any of it as it’s all music I like. I listen to plenty of stuff that isn’t Heavy Metal. But if you mean things that people might be slightly surprised by, then ABBA are one of my favourite bands of all time. That might be a guilty pleasure for some people, but I think they were amazing songwriters with an incredible sense of melody. Some of their song structures are more similar to the type of thing you’d expect a prog band to do than a pop group, but a lot of people don’t even notice as the songs are so well-written and catchy. I think that’s something a lot of metal bands could learn a thing or two from, actually.

What bands have been your greatest influences, both individually and as a band?

Obviously the NWOBHM movement, as I mentioned earlier. But we like a lot of European and North American bands too. Helloween really spring to mind here. We’re also pretty obsessed with Yngwie Malmsteen! We listen to all sorts of stuff individually though. I’m really into hair metal and AOR, Kyle listens to a lot of progressive rock (Frank Zappa is his idol), and Steve and Javi like some of the more extreme stuff like thrash and death metal. This probably all creeps into the overall sound of Seven Sisters in one way or another.

If you could bring back one metal legend, who would it be and why?

Most of my metal heroes are still alive actually. I’d maybe say Ingo Schwichtenberg. I really like the first three Helloween albums, they were a massive part of me growing up and getting into metal, and he’s one of my favourite drummers of all time. I would have loved to get to see him play live.

How have you been enjoying your recent gigs with Toledo Steel? I was gutted I missed the British Steel 2 Festival at the end of May.

Yeah they’ve been fun! Toledo Steel are good friends of ours, and they’re a great live band so it was cool getting to watch them do their thing every night. They’re really funny guys and great company too, so we had a right laugh driving round the country in a van with them. I can’t ever remember laughing as much as I did on that tour!

There has been some controversy over the price of gig tickets recently what with the Ozzy Osbourne/Judas Priest and Metallica gigs. Do you think metal shows are overpriced?

I guess they can’t be over-priced if people are willing to pay them and the shows still sell out, but personally I’m not interested in paying £140 to see Lars Ulrich attempting to play the drums. I’ve always found it interesting that Maiden’s ticket prices are significantly lower than bands like Metallica and Ozzy – and Maiden are actually still good live too. I guess maybe some bands treat their fans with a bit more respect than others, but that’s nothing new. If people are willing to pay crazy money to see a band, I don’t have a problem with it. I just have better uses for my severely limited bank balance myself!

Who is the driving force behind the band? Is there one of you that takes charge and organises everyone else?

Kyle is definitely our driving force. The vast majority of the music comes from him, although I chip in with a riff or two here and there if I have anything good. The lyrics are more of a collaborative effort between the two of us, and Steve and Javi then come up with their own drum and bass parts. So whilst Kyle is definitely the mastermind of the band, I think the songs wouldn’t sound the same if it wasn’t for the individual input of all four of us.

So, what’s next on the horizon for Seven Sisters?

We’re playing some shows in Europe and Ireland over the autumn to promote the new album, and we’re hoping to do as many summer festivals next year as we can. After that, I guess it’ll be time to sit down and start working on a third album!

Well, thank you for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Not a problem. Thanks for talking to us, and cheers to anyone that took the time to read this!

 

SOCIAL LINKS:

  • https://sevensistersuk.bandcamp.com/
  • https://en-gb.facebook.com/sevensistersheavymetal/

 

 

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.

Interview with Toledo Steel

 

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Toledo Steel are one the leading forces in the NWOTHM wave. Recently, I had the chance to do an email interview with Richard from the band.

Hi! I’m Dawn from Ever Metal. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for us. I hope you are all ok?

Hey! Yeah we’re all doing great cheers. Glad we can be doing this interview with you!

Ok, for those who haven’t heard of Toledo Steel before, can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

The band officially formed back in late 2011, myself and Matt Dobson (our drummer) are the only two original members from that first lineup though. We both wanted to form this kind of band for a few years prior to actually meeting each other but we didn’t have much luck finding likeminded people. This soon changed though after we put our heads together and it wasn’t long before we had our first lineup and were busy writing songs in preparation to get out there and play live.
Since our formation we released a bunch of demo tracks and followed it up with two self financed independently released E.P’s. We love playing live of course and have always tried to play as many shows as possible! Not just within the U.K but venturing over to Europe fairly frequently too.

Your debut album “No Quarter” was released through Dissonance Productions on the 18th May 2018. How is being received, both by the critics and reviewers and by the public? And, more importantly, how did the album release party go?

So far the feedback we’ve been receiving has been great! You only have one chance to make a statement with the first album and you don’t wanna drop the ball and undo the good work you’ve done in the years prior with the building up of the bands name and profile. We couldn’t have asked for a better album release show either, it was tied in with the Frost and Fire festival which took place in Camden and we played the official after party. The festival was totally sold out and everyone in attendance was already on a high from the whole thing so it only contributed even more so to a great atmosphere when we played.

You have been doing a lot of gigs with Seven Sisters, how has that been? How was the British Steel 2 festival at the end of May? I was gutted I missed that!

The shows with Seven Sisters have been awesome. They’re a great bunch of guys that we get along with really well so teaming up with them as much as we can makes total sense. The British Steel 2 event was cool also, that was also Primitai’s album release show who are also signed to Dissonance Productions so it was great to see that.

With festival season now in full swing, what would be your favourite festival to play and why?

There’s so many great festivals so that’s a tough question to answer but something like Sweden Rock or Hellfest would be great exposure to a bigger audience. There’s so many cool smaller festivals too that we want to play, Keep it True in Germany for example.

You are a favourite with Dean Archer at The Rock Den in Hatfield. What do you think of guys like him and what they are doing for the rock/metal scene?

I think that people like Dean are essential to the music scene and the future of Rock and Metal music. He makes a real effort to bring different bands to the Rock Den and play alongside some of the more established older bands. If every city had promoters and venues like this, there’s no doubt that the scene within the U.K could begin to thrive even more so.

Your website describes you as “one of the UK’s leading forces in the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal!” Is this just the new name for NWOBHM?

I guess so! The NWOTHM tagline just makes it clear that it’s a new wave of bands coming through with the NWOBHM inspired sound. The term NWOBHM is specific to that era so it makes sense to alter it slightly.

With venues closing down all the time and people seemingly preferring to watch cover bands and tribute bands, where do you see the future of metal lies? Some of the “older” metal heads are saying there is nothing new coming through. Do you think this is the case?

People who say that there’s nothing new coming through need to open their eyes and ears a bit more! Haha. There’s plenty of new rock and metal bands emerging the world over. Sure, it’s not all gold and you gotta scratch beneath the surface a bit to discover these bands but there most definitely is a lot of new stuff worth listening to.

How do you all cope with being in a band, with rehearsals and gigs etc as well as jobs and family life? You must all be knackered all the time!

None of us have kids so that simplifies things and we work it around our day jobs fairly easy enough. We’re not robots, so yeah there are days where we’re a little tired but I personally feel like I’ve always got energy. I like to be as active as possible really, I can’t sit down for hours on end in front of the T.V for instance. Having something to constantly look forward to or do band wise outside of day to day life suits us down to the ground really.

Who is the driving force behind the band? You know, the guy that organises rehearsals, gets you all together when you need to be, that sort of thing?

Matt is great with all the organisation of things and the finer details. He is essentially the band manager and he’s done a fantastic job. We tend to always rehearse on the same day each week so we all know the score with that, but the booking of shows and networking side of things is handled primarily by him.

So, what’s next on the horizon for Toledo Steel?

Next up we plan to continue getting out there playing live and promoting the new album of course! We’re also gonna start working on ideas for album number two fairly soon as well. A music video for one of the album tracks is well under way too and it won’t be long before we’ll be able to release that! We’re really excited to get that finished off and up online, it’s looking pretty cool so far.

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

No worries and cheers to everyone that’s supported us so far and continues to do so. “No Quarter” can be streamed online via Spotify or physical copies bought from us directly or via Amazon, HMV Stores or ITunes etc. Keep supporting emerging bands and spread the word to keep the music and scene alive!

 

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.