Kalidia – The Frozen Throne

The Frozen Throne Cover

Kalidia – The Frozen Throne
Inner Wound Recordings
Release Date: 23/11/2018
Running Time: 46:17
Review by Mark Pritchard
9/10

Around two weeks ago I asked Italian Melodic Power Metal band Kalidia about the possibility of doing a review of their new album “The Frozen Throne” and was given the go ahead which was an amazing reaction and so here I go. Most might not know, but I have been a big fan of this band since I first heard them and to have the opportunity to review them is an honour, however, being a fan and friend of the band will have no effect on this review.

I have been listening to “The Frozen Throne” since I had my copy delivered a few weeks back and I will say that with the title track ‘Frozen Throne’ being first it really opens up for what the rest of the album can be. I know that with many albums some people, not all, tend to pass over songs to listen to the title track if it’s further down the track list. I, admittedly, have done this myself but this album starts with it and the song is an amazing opening to the album. “The Frozen Throne” is fast paced, has good intensity and added with the beautiful vocals this is a head-banger of an album and gives fans of both Melodic Metal and Power Metal an awesome aural experience for their ears! Whilst listening you can hear the passion Kalidia put into their music!

There are a good mix of tempos on display, some fast paced and intense tracks but also some slower and less intense which gives “The Frozen Throne” such a good balance as a whole! Having said that my favourite song on this album is in fact one of those slower songs and that song is ‘Midnight’s Chant’. It is very soothing to listen to and the lyrics really put my mind at rest even when I am upset and feeling down. I would definitely put this song as one of my top 10 favourite songs to listen to when I am down.

Now comes the rating and I shall be scoring the album as a whole as well as rating my favourite song separately. “The Frozen Throne” album gets 9 out of 10. It contains 11 awesome songs with mixture of fast and slower tracks and is an absolute top album to listen to! As for my favourite song, the aforementioned ‘Midnight’s Chant’, well, I can’t rate it anything but a 10 out of 10, such an amazing song which really lifts me up, not something that is always easy to do!

I would like to thank each member of Kalidia, Dario Gozzi (Drums), Roberto Donati (Bass), Federico Paolini (Guitars) and Nicoletta Rosellini (Vocals) for giving me the opportunity to review this amazing album and I can’t wait for any new releases they have planned, they make one hell of a band to listen to!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Frozen Throne
02. Circe’s Spell
03. Black Sails
04. Orpheus
05. To The Darkness I Belong
06. Myth Of Masada
07. Midnight’s Chant
08. Go Beyond
09. Amethyst
10. Lotus
11. Queen Of The Forsaken

LINKS:
https://www.kalidia.com/
https://www.facebook.com/KalidiaOfficial/

https://www.instagram.com/kalidia_official/

https://www.youtube.com/user/KalidiaBandOfficial

 

Kalidia Pic (Photo Credit - Andrea Endryus Pensalfine, Endryus Music Photography)

 

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.

All photos courtesy of Andrea Endryus Pensalfine and Endryus Music Photography

 

Steel Raiser – Acciaio

Acciaio Cover

Steel Raiser – Acciaio
Iron Shield Records
Running Time: 42:53
Release date: 15/02/2019
Review by Lotty Whittingham
8/10

Through metal, a lot of strong bonds and friendships are formed. Often, it’s to the point where bands are formed. This is definitely the case with Italian Heavy Metal outfit Steel Raiser. They have unleashed their latest album “Acciaio” and the word translates to Steel from Italian. Coincidence? Given the sturdy material that this album offers, it’s far from that.

“Acciaio” gets off to a straight forward start with the tracks ‘The Fourth Seal (Intro)’ and ‘Demon Angel’. It’s well known that a great intro to an album can make a difference to how you enjoy the rest of the content. The atmospheric intro lures the listener in before they are treated to the musings of ‘Demon Angel’. First impressions? The production seems a tad quiet. If anything, it encourages the listener to crank up the volume to maximum power. Let’s be honest, that is the only way to experience those finger blistering solos and prevailing vocal work. They do say every cloud has a silver lining.

The style at first comes across as very old school Heavy Metal. Judas Priest comes to mind. That style is reinforced on the track ‘Heavy Metal Hero’. It’s a song that will undoubtedly go down as a classic in years to come. Particularly when the chorus swims around your head minutes, even hours after listening.

As you delve further into the album, some Power Metal influences can be heard. Particularly with the vocal work. Blind Guardian springs to mind when listening to the track ‘Rising Phoenix’. If you want a rough idea of what the love child of Rob Halford and Hansi Kürsch will sound like, then listen to the fantastic vocal work of Alfonso Giordano.

It’s quite rare to come across a song that makes you raise an eyebrow yet you can’t help but laugh. When it comes to “Acciaio”, there is a song called ‘Genghis Khan’ on the album. Songs about historical figures are usually fascinating to listen to as it encourages you to find out more about the person and how they made history. It also makes you wonder why the band decided to write about said figure. Anyway, going back to the song. When you start listening, you can hear Asian influences within the music alongside the Thrash elements. After listening to this track, you will be chiming “gong gong Genghis Khan” before you know it!

If ballads are your thing then “Acciaio” has a beautiful one. It’s entitled ‘Wherever’ and it tugs at the heartstrings. There are dramatic arrangements, passionate vocals and sweeping clashes on the drums, this ballad ticks all the boxes. The concluding track ‘Up The Fist’ helps you feel motivated and ready to go. More than apt. given that one of the lines is “Are you ready?”

It’s evident from the album that Steel Raiser are not a band to be messed with and “Acciaio” will ensure that their music is heard. Get the album, crank to the max and enjoy the ride!

TRACKLISTING:
01 The Fourth Seal (Intro)
02 Demon Angel
03 Heavy Metal Hero
04 The King Of The Night
05 Genghis Khan
06 Rising Phoenix
07 Highway Eagle
08 Wherever
09 Night Of The Duster
10 Spirits Of Vengeance
11 Man Of Rage
12 Up The Fist

SOCIAL MEDIA:
https://www.facebook.com/SteelRaiserOfficial/
https://www.instagram.com/steelraiserofficial/

https://www.youtube.com/user/steelraiser/videos

 

Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham 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.

 

The Three Tremors – The Three Tremors

the three tremors cover

The Three Tremors – The Three Tremors
Steel Cartel
Release Date: 18/01/2019
Running Time: 58:41
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
10/10

I don’t tend to hand out 10 out of 10’s when I am reviewing all that often and there have only been a handful since I first started. Many albums make it to 9 but, for me, an album must have just that little something extra to push it to a 10!

This album certainly has that!

The Three Tremors harnesses three of Earth’s mightiest and relentless voices in heavy metal together as one, producing “one of the all-time great power metal albums” as said by Knac.com

So, who are these three magnificent voices? Well, they are, none other, than Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Dio’s Disciples), Sean “The Hell Destroyer” Peck (Cage, Denner & Shermann, Death Dealer) and Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin (Jag Panzer, Satan’s Host, Titan Force) and already being massive fans of a lot of their previous bands, I knew I was going to enjoy this one.

The band also features a group of mighty metal veterans from San Diego, the talents of guitarist Dave “Conan” Garcia, with Casey “The Sentinel” Trask as second guitarist and bassist Alex Pickard and drummer Sean Elg completing the line-up.

Sean and Tim originally met in San Diego when Sean’s band Cage opened for Judas Priest on the Jugulator tour and when Sean wanted to resurrect a 2018 version of a vision he had from long ago, Tim agreed straight away, and Harry quickly joined next.

Says Sean: “it took a long time to put together, create the right songs, and get it properly arranged, but the results are beyond my wildest expectations. I think the fans are really going to freak out on what we have done with this record, and live it’s going to be almighty, I assure you!

So, what of the album? Well, according to the press notes it is “12 new tracks that depict monumental stories of time honoured heavy metal themes!” and the artwork has been designed by renowned artist Marc Sasso (Dio, Halford, Adrenaline Mob, Death Dealer, Cage) to “showcase an apocalyptic battle between demonic hyper-wolves and The Three Tremors, who marched into an underworld overshadowed by evil forces only armed with bullets powered by heavy metal sorcery to reclaim the dystopian lands.

In essence, this is a power metal album, with a huge chunk of traditional and heavy metal thrown in, and what an album!

Mixing together three of metal’s finest vocalists into one mighty sonic power might have seemed a bit of a risky move. How would they work together? Would one overpower the others? Would they all fight for supremacy?

The answer was a resounding success. All three singers feature on every track and they all work so well together. One minute you think you are listening to Judas Priest, the next Cage or Death Dealer. The multiple vocalists give the songs depth, almost bringing them to life. There are no egos with the singers either. Each one is a fantastic singer in his own right, the breadth of each of their history’s testament to that, but one voice is not trying to fight to be above the others and each singer is on par with the rest.

But a band wouldn’t be a band without the musicians. Based on the Cage line-up, these guys are immense. The two guitarists play well together, and with riffs and solos galore, they are easily the hidden gems of the band. The rhythm section of the bass and drums are tight, and they do their job to perfection, although the drumming is insane at times!!

For a group of musicians who have really only been together for such a short period of time, they shouldn’t be as good as they are!! Bands that have been together for longer do not sound as polished and finished as these guys do!

I said at the start of this review that to get a 10 from me a band needed that little bit extra, and I think what gives this album that oomph is the experience the band members have. But, please, do not take my word for it. Go and get yourself a copy of this awesome album and see for yourself. If you are not blown away by it, then I will eat my hat!

I can’t wait for these guys to tour and once they do, I hope they venture to this side of the Atlantic!

“Three times louder than a sonic boom, three fingers on the hand of doom.”

TRACK LISTING:
1. Invaders From The Sky
2. Bullets For The Damned
3. When The Last Scream Fades
4. Wrath Of Asgard
5. The Cause
6. King Of The Monsters
7. The Pit Shows No Mercy
8. Sonic Suicide
9. Fly Or Die
10. Lust Of The Blade
11. Speed To Burn
12. The Three Tremors (bonus track)

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/thethreetremors/
http://thethreetremors.com/

https://instagram.com/thethreetremors
promo pic1

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.

 

Ascendant-A Thousand Echoes

A Thousand Echoes Cover

Ascendant-A Thousand Echoes
Pure Steel Publishing
Release Date: 20/04/2018
Running Time 60:40
Reviewer Tsarina Wilson
10/10

Work on this album started in late 2014 and was completed in 2017, and I’m so glad it was, as this is an album you can really get your teeth into. It is just a joy from the first song to the last. At first, I thought I had pressed play on the wrong song and was listening to Manowar so had to check my files. But I was definitely listening to this album.
The band was formed in 2012 by Alaa, Puneet and Ashish, with Aram and Younmi added a few months later to complete the line-up.

The album consists of eight tracks (not including the intro track) and by track three I was totally hooked; the drumming alone is just immense.

The album is inspired by true experiences of the band, with three of the five members having grown up in war-torn Syria, experiencing loss and tragedy and seeing first-hand things that no one should have too. It is the unseen victims of war and the innocent people suffering who are the main themes of this album.

There are some welcome special guests contributing to the album, including brothers Simon and Elias Abou Assali, who feature on the track ‘Land Of A Thousand Echoes’ which tells the story of people risking their lives to brave dangerous seas and escape their war-torn country, seeking refuge in a safe place. This is a personal experience of the brothers, who managed to do just that a few years ago. The album also features Lindsay Schoolcraft from the legendary Cradle Of Filth on the track ‘Light’ and Hadi Sarieddine (Solo & Benevolent) lent his talents to the intro arrangement for ‘Twilight Of Eden’ and ‘Fog Of War’.

The band line up is Youmni Abou Al Zahab on vocals, Puneet Sharma on bass, Alaa Abousaada on guitars, Ashish Shetty on guitars, and Aram Kalousdian on drums, and together they are a pure joy to listen to. If you are not playing either air guitar or air drums by track six, then I would be shocked!

If you listen to the lyrics you can almost imagine the terror these guys have been through and putting these stories to a great rock music backing really gives it the wow factor, the expression in their music is excellent. You need to realise these lyrics are not written by someone with no knowledge of facts. These guys have actually been there and endured horrors that most of us cannot even begin to imagine.

Thankfully, they survived and have now given us this incredible album and you could mistake them for a band who have been around many years, not just the short time they have been. They have poured their heart and soul into this album, and then a little bit more. I could honestly listen to this album all day.

The drums on “Land Of A Thousand Echoes” are awesome and the guitar riffs are crystal clear and mixed with the powerful vocals, this band is one I know we will be hearing a lot more of in the future.

‘Tears Of His Majesty’ leads you into a false sense of security, starting as a “lighters in the air” track but then suddenly launching itself into pure rock. (Have I commented how much I so love this album?!!) And even when you think they have given everything, the last track will definitely leave you out of breath, as it is almost 13 minutes of pure heaven!

I honestly have nothing bad to say about this album and, in fact, I only gave it a 9 to start with! I adjusted this to a 10 and I can’t wait for future music from these guys. They definitely have a new fan to add to the many they already have and, sorry guys, but you now have a new groupie…. keep rockin’ lads.

TRACKLIST:
1 Twilight Of Eden (Intro)
2 Doomsday Machine
3 Walls Between Us
4 Fog Of War
5 Morning Light
6 Land Of A Thousand Echoes
7 False Illusion
8 Tears Of His Majesty
9 At The End Of The World

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/ascendanttheband/
https://www.instagram.com/ascendanttheband/
https://ascendanttheband.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQuRd-a–qM6bBvBKMQ7f0Q

Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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.

Brothers of Metal – Prophecy Of Ragnarök

Prophecy Of Ragnarök Cover

Brothers of Metal – Prophecy Of Ragnarök
Label: AFM Records
Release Date: 16/11/2018
Running time: 51:23
Review by Lotty Whittingham
10/10

It was easy to regard them as Sweden’s best kept secret until now. Due to their recent signing to AFM Records, Brothers of Metal have re-released their mighty debut “Prophecy of Ragnarök”, potential warriors eager to hear the stories of their quest, and this album is a worthy quest of strength, power and determination.

It’s very rare nowadays to find an album that displays great anthems from start to finish but Brothers of Metal achieves this mighty feat. For any fans of Sabaton, Manowar and Powerwolf, I highly recommend this album to you, and after one listen, you will want to ride into battle with them.

The album doesn’t beat around the bush. It goes straight into battle with the song ‘The Death Of Light God’. The rapid drum beats and guitar riffs will make anyone want to get up, don their battle garments and charge. It gives you the first taste of what the band can give the listeners. It also gives a first taste of the vocal power between the singers. Ilva Eriksson’s vocal range covers a wide spectrum from powerful to sensitive, providing the perfect contrast to Joakim Lindbäck Eriksson’s roaring and rough vocals. Last but not least, there is Mats Nilsson, who provides the tongue of the gods. A great vocal technique that works in favour of these warriors.

It’s a given cliché to say there is something for everyone, yet that statement applies to this album. There is an eclectic selection of powerful songs that could all be anthems in their own right. From the sweeping ballad ‘Yggrasil’ to the merry shouts of ‘The Mead Song’, there is something to suit every mood under the sun. Noted, another cliché but it’s true!

‘Son Of Odin’ is as mighty as the track name itself. It starts off with a stately roar of thunder and the rest is just as grand. It’s a great song to go into battle with. The lyrical content is also fantastic, getting the balance of posing a threat and a light comic side spot on. The battle lyrics include “I am the son Odin, I bring lightning from the sky” and “Fire, blood and magic leaves me with a thirst”. The comical lyrics include “Loki is my brother, he has no sex appeal” and “I want to ride to battle, but now I’ve lost my horse.” Given this description, this mighty song is easily a favourite on the album.

No album is usually complete without a slow track and ‘Yggrasil’ provides the perfect calming down before heading into battle again. It’s a beautiful ballad that will bring Vikings and shieldmaidens together for some much-needed intimacy and contains a combination of powerful voices.

Fans of Viking Metal and all other sub genres alike now have a new party song, titled ‘The Mead Song’ and it will encourage non-stop partying and letting down of hair. Everything from the merry beats to the shouting chants screaming “MEAD” and “ANOTHER” will go down well with fans and new listeners alike. Theoretically, this song will go down a treat with those experiencing it live.

It ends on a triumphant note with the song ‘We Believe In Metal’. This song is a grand climax to the album, yet it still leaves you wanting more. With this re-release, it’s evident that 2019 will be the year Brothers Of Metal invade the airwaves and venues alike to spread their powerful message.

AXE TIME, SWORD TIME are the battle cries everyone will be hearing and chanting before you know it.

Tracklist:
1. The Death Of The God Of Light
2. Son Of Odin
3. Prophecy Of Ragnarök
4. Defenders Of Valhalla
5. Concerning Norns
6. Yggdrasil
7. Tyr
8. Siblings Of Metal
9. Gods Of War
10. Freya
11. The Mead Song
12. Sleipnir
13. Fire Blood And Steel
14. We Believe In Metal

Links:
https://www.facebook.com/brothersofmetalofficial/
https://www.instagram.com/brothersofmetalofficial/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjTRADohcFt4lKeVrd0Kuxg

 

Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham 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.

Visigoth – Conqueror’s Oath

Conqueror_s Oath Cover

Visigoth – Conqueror’s Oath
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 09/02/2018
Running Time:
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

As many of you who have read my previous reviews will know, there are two genres of metal that I am particularly fond of. One is thrash, and the other is power metal, and Visigoth fall into the second of the two.

Now, being a power metal fan, I personally believe there are two distinct types of power metal, the first being the Hammerfall / Blind Guardian / Iron Saviour-esque metal that the Europeans and Scandinavians are so good at producing. The second could only be described as the cheesier type of power metal, you know, the kind that Manowar make…. hail to the king and all that?!

Well, Visigoth fall somewhere in between the two!

Formed in Salt Lake City, Utah in January 2010, they released their debut album “The Revenant King” in 2015 and earned themselves an underground following worldwide with their impassioned and electric live shows, performing at the highly esteemed Keep It True, Frost and Fire and Pounding Metal festivals, sharing the stage with Metal Blade legacy acts and inspirations Cirith Ungol and Omen.

In the words of their own press release, they have dedicated themselves to “worshipping at the ageless altars of heavy metal with a singular focus on writing music inspired by their favourite records,” and because of this, they wear their influences proudly on their sleeves.

Music to me is all about making the listener feel something and if an album can make you envisage a scene or storyline in your head, just like reading a book can, then the music makers have done their job.

This album is a typical “steel and glory” offering, the kind that conjures up images of hammers, axes and swords, of burnt and pillaged towns and of screaming and crying women and children, with heroic themes of conquest and adventure.

The booming baritone of vocalist Jake Rogers is the driving force of the band and, alongside the consistent drums and duelling guitars, with their savoury harmonies and meaty riffs, brings a larger than life energy to the songs.

This is an album of “8 iron-forged anthems of pure metal magick, guaranteed to satiate the hunger of the rock ‘n’ roll hordes.”

It was recorded at the Boar’s Nest with engineer extraordinaire Andy Patterson (Subrosa, Deathblow, Dreadnought) and mixed by Dave Otero of Flatline Audio (Satan’s Host, Nightbringer, Khemmis) The breath-taking cover artwork was designed by underground album art legend Kris Verwimp, whose work has also graced the covers of records by Absu, Bewitched, Desaster, Horna, Moonsorrow, Skullview, Arkona and many more.

This is a good, old-fashioned album full of solid heavy metal, from the slow and triumphant anthems such as Steel and Silver, the faster paced tracks like Warrior Queen. The band sound like they were formed decades ago, despite being a newish band, and although this album brings nothing new to the table, if you want to stick an album on and reminisce about the simpler times of heavy metal, then this is the album for you.

It is a juggernaut of pure American true metal done right. The only thing that really lets this album down is the track “Salt City.” Not because it is a bad song, I actually quite like it, but it doesn’t seem to fit in with things and it distracts you from the unstoppable march that has been the rest of the album.

This doesn’t, however, mean that you shouldn’t give this album a listen, because, if you are a power metal fan of any sort, you definitely should.

A mix of Manowar and Hammerfall with a hint of NWOBHM and traditional heavy metal can’t be all that bad now can it?

TRACK LISTING
01. Steel and Silver
02. Warrior Queen
03. Outlive Them All
04. Hammerforged
05. Traitor’s Gate
06. Salt City
07. Blades in The Night
08. The Conqueror’s Oath

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://en-gb.facebook.com/visigothofficial/
https://twitter.com/visigothslc?lang=en
https://visigothofficial.bandcamp.com/
https://instagram.com/visigothslc

Promo Pic1

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.

Sonic Rebellion! featuring Skyward & Grimpulse, Sinbin at The Plough and Harrow, Leytonstone, 10/11/2018

45583062_1730525257056651_5463611803999141888_n

Sonic Rebellion!
featuring Skyward & Grimpulse
Sinbin at The Plough and Harrow, Leytonstone
10/11/2018
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

A few years ago, when I was still doing my radio DJ stints, I decided to take my Metal Asylum show into a live setting and the Sonic Rebellion nights were born. I had to give it all up for various reasons but a friend of mine, Linz Griffin, decided to take the nights on for himself. He continued with just the DJ theme for a time, but after a while, decided to introduce bands into the formula, a decision which I think is one that should really have be taken a long time ago.

I must admit, I hadn’t been to many of Linz’s Sonic Rebellion nights for one reason or another, but I saw this one and I thought to myself, why not go and see what it is all about? So, I did.

I arrived at the Plough and Harrow at about 8 o’clock and there was already a fair few people there. Whether they were just friends of the two bands performing I don’t know, but it gave the place an instant atmosphere anyway.

The Plough and Harrow pub, itself, has been in Leytonstone since the early 19th century, but a few years ago, a side building was refurbished, rejuvenated and re-invented as The Sinbin, and has been hosting gigs and functions ever since.

The venue itself is a 150 capacity room, with plenty of space, lots of seating areas and a stage that can easily hold 4 or 5 musicians and all of their gear. I, personally, think the location is a bit of a problem for some people, as the nearest tube station is a good 10 to 15 minutes walk away, but you know what some people are like. They don’t want to know if the train doesn’t drop them directly outside!!

Being a DJ night too, there was a young lad DJ’ing when I first arrived. He had been given the opportunity by Linz as a guest DJ, and I must admit he did an awesome job, the crowd seemingly enjoying what he was playing. It actually made me miss my days as a DJ!

So, anyway, on to the bands!

Grimpulse were up first. They were due on stage at 9pm but, I think due to the weather being so crap (heavy rain!!) the organisers delayed them for a bit and they finally took to the stage at about 9.35pm.

Grimpulse are a young, four-piece local band, hailing from the East End of London. I was introduced to them before they hit the stage and I must say, for a young band, they had the air of a much more mature bunch of guys. They seemed to genuinely enjoy what they do, and at the end of the day, that’s really what is all about.

If I had to pigeon hole these guys, I would say they were a mix of speed and death metal. Musically, they were excellent, each member obviously a very talented musician. The gruff vocals, however, won’t appeal to everyone and this might cut down who they can reach out to but overall, they were very good.

I, personally, feel that any band should have the right to play whatever style they want to and be able to enjoy playing it without being judged or booed off stage. These guys were far from being either and the crowd seemed to be enjoying them.

The guitarists were both fantastic and both ended up without their shirts (one even had no shoes or socks on!) I don’t know if this has any impact on this review whatsoever but I thought I would throw it in just so you can see what sort of guys these are.

As if their stage antics weren’t enough to get the crowd going, they finished their set with an absolute stomping rendition of Sepultura’s Refuse/Resist, something that went down VERY well with the crowd.

03

The second band onto the stage were the fantastically named Skyward. These guys were formed in London in 2014 and, in their own words, fuse “World Metal with 90’s Epic Metal.” So, being a melodic, power metal band (which I had checked out before the gig) I KNEW I was going to enjoy them!

They opened up their set with a typical power metal epic, full of great guitar work and fantastic keyboards. I have heard people say they don’t like keyboards in metal, but I do think they add that certain “something” with the right band. And that “something” was apparent with Skyward, as Fabio Garau (who I am sure I have met before!) is awesome on the keys.

Again, this is a band with obviously a lot of talent, from the great solos supplied by the guitarists to the awesome voice of the singer. If you have read any of my reviews you will know that I am a proper fan of distinguishable vocals, something that stands out from the rest.

The singer in this band definitely stood out to me. His voice was strong and powerful just as a power metal singer should be, but he also had a stage presence that not all frontmen necessarily have. I would suggest that he has been performing a lot of his life, and if he hasn’t, he has definitely got the part down to a tee.

Upon hearing them live, I looked them up on Facebook and was pleased to see that they have released an EP and this I certainly will be adding to my collection. With a bit of promotion, I think these guys can actually go very far indeed.
04

With both bands having done their thing onstage it was down to the DJ’s to take over. I didn’t stay right to the end of the night but I am sure the crowd enjoyed the rest of the night very much indeed 😊

Sonic Rebellion Links:

https://www.facebook.com/sonicrebellionsinbin/

Grimpulse Links:
https://www.facebook.com/grimpulse/?ref=br_rs

Skyward Links:
https://www.facebook.com/skywarduk/
https://skyward.bandcamp.com/

 

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.

All photos are the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King.

Brainstorm – Midnight Ghost

658023

Brainstorm – Midnight Ghost
AFM Records
Release Date: 28/09/2018
Running Time: 51:38
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

Being just over forty years of age but preferring a lot of the older bands, I was always late to the party where many bands were concerned. Brainstorm were one of these such bands. I first heard them one night when I was browsing through YouTube. They appeared as a “recommended bands” on the right-hand side of the screen so I thought I would check them. And I am glad I did. From the very first track I listened to, I loved them. They were just the sort of metal that I loved.

But, then they kind of disappeared from my radar.

So, when Rick sent me the new album, I just had to review it to see if they are still as good as I remembered. And they are!! But first a little history!

Brainstorm are power metal band from Germany (where else? All the decent power metal bands seem to come from Germany!) They were formed in 1989 (hence why I was late to the party with these guys. I was only 12!) by guitarists, Torsten Ihlenfeld and Milan Loncaric, and drummer Dieter Bernert, and are known for playing a somewhat darker style of music than most power metal bands.

During their early years they built up a solid groundwork with several demo releases and live appearance. They signed their first record deal in 1997 and the self-produced album “Hungry” was released, to great reviews. Chart entries in many European countries followed and their intense live performances were catapulting them into the champions league of or metal, resulting in the band being asked to perform at many of the big festivals.

And now on to their new album “Midnight Ghost”. This is the band’s 12th studio album (man, I need to buy some of their back catalogue), produced by Seeb Levermann and recorded at the Greenman Studios. It was released on 28th September 2018 by AFM Records.

Although not a concept album in the strictest sense of the word, there is a thematic thread running through the tracks…the fear of ghosts, monsters under your bed, the bogeyman in your wardrobe and wild beasts in the night….all fears that many of us have had since childhood and this is all depicted magnificently in the cover artwork produced by Gyula Havancsak (who has also worked with the likes of Accept and Stratovarius).

This album has a sound that it bound to delight all power metal fans and was even a surprise for the five band members themselves. Says vocalist Andy P Franck; “It’s pretty unusual that musicians still get the shivers down their spines when they listen to the new material after a long and energy-sapping production. In this case, we can really say that all Brainstorm musicians are total fans of our new recording. Midnight Ghost is the album we want to be measured by in the future.”

From the anthemic opener “Devil’s Eye” to the driving “When Pain Becomes Real” to the punchy “Haunting Voices”, Brainstorm more than live up to the term ‘melodic power metal.’ They deliver the full range of their typical trademarks, awesome melodies, dynamic grooves and extremely heavy, pounding guitar riffs. The galloping drums that I so love are there too, and of course, magnificent vocals. One of the things that made me fall in love with this band the first time I heard them was Andy P Franck’s voice. Strong and powerful yet able to carry off a huge range that adds dimension to the band’s sound and this he still has in abundance!

All the tracks are fantastic in their own right but together they make up an awesome album that should be in any metal fan’s collection. Not only do they bring the power element that they are so good at, but there are elements of thrash, traditional and speed metal too.

Says Andy P Franck; “Midnight Ghost is faster, more melodic and at the same time also tougher than all our previous releases.” And I couldn’t agree more. Why stick to one genre or aspect of metal when you can combine many and achieve a sound like this?

I can’t fault this album really and I really don’t want to take it out of my car. But, alas, needs must for the next review!

All I can say though is, when are you coming to England guys!!?

TRACK LISTING
01 – Devil’s Eye
02 – Revealing The Darkness
03 – Ravenous Minds
04 – The Pyre
05 – Jeanne Boulet (1764)
06 – Divine Inner Ghost
07 – When Pain Becomes Real
08 – The Four Blessings
09 – Haunting Voices
10 – The Path

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://en-gb.facebook.com/officialbrainstorm/
https://www.brainstorm-web.net/site/

989683

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.

Primal Fear – Apocalypse

Apocalypse Cover

Primal Fear – Apocalypse
Frontiers Music
Release Date: 10/08/2018
Running Time: 50:10
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

I always knew that I was going to enjoy this album as I have been a fan of Primal Fear for as long as I can remember, the question was HOW MUCH was I going to like it?

Billed as “for fans of Judas Priest, Accept, Helloween, Gamma Ray and Iced Earth” (I don’t know about anyone else but that would sell it straight away for me), Primal Fear were first formed in 1997 but two of Germany’s most respected metal musicians; Ralf Scheepers, former Gamma Ray vocalist and bassist/vocalist Mat Sinner.

Their first self-titled album was released in March 1997, and in the following 21 years they have released a further 11 albums, becoming one of the most beloved and respected heavy metal bands around the globe.

Their last two studio albums, “Delivering The Black” and “Rulebreaker” saw them climbing the charts and earning even more critical praise than before and with the release of their new album “Apocalypse”, they have once again raised the bar in heavy metal to even greater heights.

Produced by Mat Sinner and recorded, mixed and mastered by Jacob Hansen at Hansen Studios, “Apocalypse” brings together German power metal, elements of pure thrash metal and traditional heavy metal along with some 1970’s European hard rock.

Primal Fear had kind of fallen off my radar in the last few years. Reviewing newer bands, a lot of the time meant that a lot of the older ones had been temporarily resigned to the back seat, but I was glad this one dropped in my inbox.

So, the question that needs to be asked is, did this album live up to my recollection of them from albums gone by?

Simple answer is, YES AND THEN SOME!

The album opens with the atmospheric and apocalyptic title track, with its bell tolls and choral, almost chanting, vocals before it launches you headfirst into the rest of the album, which has a severe ‘in your face’ rock and roll attitude.

The album is classic Primal Fear, the galloping riffs, the frantic double pedals that add a sense of urgency and speed and Scheepers piercing high screams. Everything that got Primal Fear noticed in the first place.

This is hard, driving speed metal at its best, but has that Teutonic power/heavy metal sound that the Germans do best.

Stand out tracks for me include “Blood, Sweat and Fear”, “Hounds of Justice” (which I am aware that some reviewers did not like! But hey, we can’t all agree on everything can we?” and “The Beast”.

“Supernova” is the albums power ballad and shows the more theatrical side of Scheepers singing and “Eye of the Storm”, although not technically what I would class as a ballad, is a slower, more melodic offering, showing just what these guys are capable of.

“King of Madness”, the album’s first single, is probably the most radio friendly and is an absolutely stunning track. I would have bought the album purely based on this one track if I hadn’t received it for reviewing purposes. It’s a great advert for an awesome album.

We all know the story that Scheepers tried out for the Judas Priest job after Rob Halford left (the gig eventually going to Tim “Ripper” Owens!) but I, for one, am glad he didn’t get the job. Just think, if Ralf had joined Judas Priest, we might never have had the pleasure of a band like Primal Fear over the past 21 years!

The more I listen to this album the better it gets. I only wish I could have made it to the gig in London on 11th October, but maybe I’ll catch them next time, where I will definitely be down the front!

TRACK LISTING
Apocalypse
New Rise
The Ritual
King of Madness
Blood, Sweat and Fear
Supernova
Hail to the Fear
Hounds of Justice
The Beast
Eye of the Storm
Cannonball

SOCIAL MEDIA
http://www.primalfear.de/home/
https://en-gb.facebook.com/PrimalFearOfficial/
https://myspace.com/primalfearofficial
https://www.deezer.com/en/artist/4807?autoplay=true

https://tunein.com/artist/Primal-Fear-m152476/?autoplay=true

https://instagram.com/primalfearofficial

 
31167067_1575966199168081_7437132934160580608_o

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.

Alphastate – The Grind

 

The Grind Cover

Alphastate – The Grind
Sliptrick Records
Release Date: 03/04/2018
Running Time: 37:28
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
7/10

Alphastate are a Greek metal band, formed in 2013 as a personal project of Pete Breaker (guitars). Vocalist Manos Xanthakis joined in in 2015 and the line up was complete in 2016 with the additions of Dimitris Tsounakis on bass and Fivos Andriopoulos on the drums. They released their first album “Out of the Black” in 2015 and received excellent and positive press globally.

Says the band: “we wanted to combine modern metal with 80’s and 90’s influences such as Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera and Nevermore to create a very personal and extreme style with no boundaries.”

So, what genre of metal are Alphastate? To pigeonhole them into one category would be wrong and do them a severe injustice. They play heavy metal that is heavier than normal, but they have thrown in a bit of power too, with just a hint of doom (think Sabbath, Candlemass and Trouble), and this gives them an almost unique sound.

I always think the vocals make any band and am always on the lookout for bands that have distinctive and different singers. If I am totally honest, on the first run through of the album, I didn’t actually like Manos’s vocals but after listening a few times, I realised I really didn’t give him much credit. His vocals are deep, and unmistakably Greek, which is by no means a bad thing. He could quite easily fit into a band such as Firewind if they were ever on the lookout.

I must admit that I hadn’t listened to the band’s first album before listening to this one, but the promo notes that came with the album stated that they wanted to take a more modern and aggressive approach musically with this new album. They wanted “very loud and distinctive guitars, a more modern production that had the vocals pushed up front and drums that punched through the sound.”

I think they were successful on all three counts. Take the guitars out of this album and they would slot straight into a Pantera album, the drums are strong and tight, and I have already mentioned the vocals above.

This album includes a lot more of the band’s own thoughts and experiences making it the most personal release so far, and sonically it is their best. They have made an album that is “pure aggression with the best songs they have ever written.”

One thing that I wasn’t overly keen on with this album, was the lack of variation. Each song seemed to sound much like the last, and I am not sure if this is due to unfamiliarity with the tracks. Maybe with a few more listens through, the songs may start to separate a bit.

But this doesn’t take away from the fact, that this is a solid album, and for a band that has only really been together properly since 2016, it’s a good sign of things to come.
Give these guys a go……and they may just surprise you!

 

TRACK LIST
01. Trapped
02. Phantom Desires
03. Speak Your Mind
04. Theater Of Lies
05. The Grind
06. Forevermore
07. Behind The Dark
08. Heaven’s World
09. Man Made God

 

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/AlphastateMetal/
https://www.instagram.com/alphastate_official/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCngyPMt1FVY2fdGJ0pbmc4g
https://sliptrickrecords.com/alphastate/

 

Alphastate

 

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.