Crimson Thunder – Force Of Reason

Crimson Thunder – Force Of Reason
Volcano Records
Release Date: 06/03/2020
Running Time: 40:35
Review by Chris Palmer
9/10

Well, hello dear Ever Metal readers! Having been reported as absent without leave from review duties throughout the Heavy Metal Music Scene for a year, I’m somewhat pleased that the current situation in our beloved nation has brought me back full circle to another occupation that some think I’m good at!

Instead of travelling the country with my local football team and writing about one of the sports I love, the current situation and my ever-weakening health resulted in a twelve-week lockdown in self-isolation being issued to yours truly. While contemplating what to do with so much free time and thinking of ways to avoid the ever-increasing pit of darkness and despair, a Knight in Shining Armour appeared across the realms of social media in the form of our dearest Sir Richard Tilley and his army of warriors at Ever Metal Headquarters.

I’m delighted to admit that I succumbed to his charms and offer of writing for this marvellous website, and I look forward to sharing my thoughts of all things Metal with you, dear readers. This journey begins with a trip across the seas to the beautiful country of Italy, where we embrace the explosive force of Heavy/Power Metal Quartet, Crimson Thunder.

Founded in November 2012 by the merging of two separate bands, this foursome studied Italian Epic Heavy Metallers Dark Quarterer religiously, before playing their favourite covers of classic metal bands at local shows. With their sound now established, Crimson Thunder released an EP in 2017 entitled “Thunder Wrath”. Last month the band, consisting of Alessio Ricci [Guitar/Vocals], Daniele Giomi [Guitar], Giuseppe Orlando [Bass], and Gabriele Orsi [Drums] released its debut album to an unsuspecting world.

The album is entitled “Force Of Reason”, and it was released on the 6th of March via Volcano Records. Containing nine tracks the album takes listeners on an over-the-top, epic journey of explosive Heavy/Power Metal from start to finish.

Upon pressing play you’re greeted by the calming sounds of ‘Ouverture’, which serves as an introduction to the album, before launching you into the powerful and majestic ‘Ghosts In The Crimson Eye’. This monster of an opening contains everything you’d expect from a Heavy/Power Metal unit, there’s wonderful soaring vocals, fierce shredding guitars, and a thunderous rhythm section that’ll leave you breathless, as these Italians set the tone of the album straight from the start.

‘A Song For The Undead’ continues the trend as beautifully fast guitars lead you into a false sense of security… Just when the adrenaline peaks, the song changes tempo, leaving you wondering what the hell just happened! What then meets you in the darkness is a ballad-type number with an Operatic-feel that belongs on a theatre stage if nothing else. The high-range vocal attack is mixed together with more aggressive growls, which makes things interesting to say the least. Don’t be put off, however, because normality resumes with the beautiful, keyboards-led title-track, which contains an exquisite guitar solo during the second half. The song rolls along smoothly, encouraging you to just close your eyes, embrace and absorb the sounds. Feeling calm and relaxed, these Italians then throw you off guard with ‘Manipulator Of Minds’ and its pummelling rhythm, before the storming “Rain Of Tears” blasts from the speakers, proving that this album continues to improve the more you listen to it.

The remaining third of the album continues that upward trend of improvement, as Crimson Thunder seem (in my humble opinion) to have left the best until last. “Light The Dragonfires” kicks this section off and sees this quartet putting on a truly masterful display of Heavy/Power Metal. This track will have you hitting the repeat button several times while headbanging in unison to the addictive rhythm, a feat that will be repeated for penultimate number ‘Footprints In The Void’. The album closes with the powerful, bombastic, and beautiful “A Tale Of A Hopeless Revenge”, which leaves you in awe of these Italians.

Overall, “Force Of Reason” is an album that has the potential to launch Crimson Thunder towards the forefront of the Heavy/Power Metal scene. The album contains a collection of songs which portray the band’s abilities as musicians who sit comfortably within their chosen genre. There’s plenty of variety throughout, yet each track follows its predecessor perfectly, thus allowing the music to flow, keeping the listener interested. “Force Of Reason” is definitely an album that deserves the attention of any Heavy/Power Metal music collector. It’s over-the-top, melodic, and heavy… What a thrilling listen!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Ouverture
02. Ghosts In The Crimson Eye
03. A Song For The Undead
04. Force Of Reason
05. Manipulator Of Minds
06. Rain Of Tears
07. Light The Dragonfires
08. Footprints In The Void
09. A Tale Of A Hopeless Revenge

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/crimsonthunderband
www.twitter.com/crimsonxthunder
www.instagram.com/crimsonthunderofficial/
www.spotify.com/artist/2ctMR7Gxi9epCIHHDq8Ufx
www.crimsonthunder.bandcamp.com/releases
www.youtube.com/channel/UCHMlm3PabJ3FKt4BvldZXhg
www.volcanopromotion.com
www.facebook.com/volcanopromotion/

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

Ross The Boss – Born Of Fire

Ross The Boss – Born Of Fire
AFM Records
Date: 06/03/2020
Running Time: 45:22
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

It has not been a long time since I saw a few videos of Ross The Boss playing in great festivals, mostly with cover songs from his old band, which was an interesting reminder of the music from one of my favourite bands, that I listened to exhaustively during my childhood. If you don’t know who Ross The Boss is, he originally played guitar in Manowar, who had a great and controversial history during the 1980’s. Another thing that many people maybe don’t know is that, during the 1970’s, he was in a Punk Rock/Hardcore band too. It was a surprise to me that his band was about to release their fourth full album, and it made me a little angry that I’ve never heard his work on this project before, considering how much of a fan I am.

Despite the title, “Born Of Fire” isn’t a copy of what Ross played in the past. First, let’s talk about the team in this band. It’s brought together great names, like Mike LePond (bassist for Symphony X, Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins), and brought a great dynamic to the music, mixing aggressiveness with skilled technique. Steve Bolognese adds to the Thrash Metal spirit, fleeing from the traditional drum lines of Power Metal. Of course, with Marc Lopes you would expect to hear a typical Classic Heavy Metal/Power metal singer with that kind of gummy voice, but surprisingly, it’s not. Marc has a new power to his vocal, reaching the high notes and adding some screams, which reminds me of Metal Church. His interpretations are great and deliver some good excitement for those who like a heavier kind of vocal.

The album production is excellent, with all instruments sounding loud and clear. The songs are far from old-fashioned Classic Metal and have a mix of progressive and power metal elements, together with a thrash Metal spirit. It’s beautiful to see Ross still playing fast and incredibly well. His solos are amazing, with a lot of feeling and technique. Seriously, everything here sounds simple, but has complex structures at the same time, making it seem that more than one guitar player is not necessary to create remarkable music.

Some epical tracks, like ‘Maiden Of Shadows’, show off Ross’ roots, nodding to things that he used to play, but songs like ‘Glory To The Slain’ and ‘I Am The Sword’ bring a more aggressive sonority. The title track ‘Born Of Fire’ has a melodic chorus, which is easy to memorize and sing along to. Slowing down the cadence, ‘The Blackest Heart’ reminds me of old Black Sabbath, just with less doomy parts. The thing that stands out is that, despite the genre explored in each song, all tracks have an extra dose of aggressiveness!

Without exacerbated virtuosity, what you hear is pure and good Heavy Metal, as it should be! Great riffs, heavy, and very well played. For me, it’s awesome to see Ross The Boss burning his guitar again, with so many precise solos, and with other greats as bandmates, who just increase the beauty of this album. “Born Of Fire” is an incredible work with potential to show the world just how amazing Ross The Boss, the band, has become.

TRACKLISTING:

01. Glory To The Slain
02. Fight The Fight
03. Denied By The Cross
04. Maiden Of Shadows
05. I Am The Sword
06. Shotgun Evolution
07. Born Of Fire
08. Godkiller
09. The Blackest Heart
10. Demon Holiday
11. Undying
12. Waking The Moon

LINE-UP:

Ross The Boss – Guitars, Keyboards
Mike LePond – Bass
Marc Lopes – Vocals, Keyboards

Steve Bolognese – Drums

LINKS:

www.ross-the-boss.com/
www.facebook.com/rossthebossofficial/
www.twitter.com/officialrtb
www.instagram.com/official_ross_the_boss/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCpFPepzxskxHXaYLZC-EQpw
www.facebook.com/afmrecords/

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

Elvenking – Reader Of The Runes: Divination

Elvenking – Reader Of The Runes: Divination
AFM Records
Release Date: 30/08/2019
Running Time: 52:34
Review by Mark Pritchard
10/10

Recently, I’ve had a lot going on personally, but for the last few weeks I’ve been listening to Italian Folk Power Metal Band Elvenking’s recent album, “Reader Of The Runes: Divination”. It has certainly kept me busy, and it has been great to grab a few moments to sit back and listen. I’m quite a fan of the genre and these guys, along with this album, is no exception. They use quite a lot of string sounds, and I don’t know what it is, but the inclusion of violins always makes me enjoy songs that little bit more. Even though listening to the album has been really great and relaxing, it isn’t a slouch. Lancs’ drumming, whether it’s nice and calm or fast and intense, along with the beautiful playing of both Aydan and Rafahel on guitars, and Jakob and Lethien on bass and violin respectively, make it a musical masterpiece! Add in to that the amazing vocals of Damna and, for me, you have as close to a perfect album as you’ll ever get, and certainly an awesome listening experience.

With each song, the album grows stronger. Whether it’s the haunting close harmony melodies, or full on power metal riffs, I can’t get enough, and this album will definitely by high up on my play list for a long time to come. The album starts with a track called, ‘Perthro’, which is a calm, ethereal introduction, and actually gives me chills. It sets the tone of the album brilliantly, with clever instrumentation, and wonderful harmonies. I really like the use of instrumentals throughout the album, which maintain the pace and tone of the music, with no drop in enjoyment. The listening journey that Elvenking have created gives you both fast and powerful, as well as some calmer songs, making it both relaxing, but intense in equal measures. For me, “Reader Of The Runes: Divination” is a real standout album.

“Reader Of The Runes: Divination’ is an easy 10 out of 10! I absolutely love this album and I can’t stop listening to it! Every track is a standout song, but there’s one I feel stands above the others, and that is the second track, ‘Heathen Divine’. The acoustic guitar introduction slowly moves into the main song, creating a real intensity that I really like. It has been a great pleasure having the chance to review this album and has been a welcome break from the stresses and strains of the day-to-day grind. A highly recommended choice for anyone liking their power metal with plenty of folk influence!

TRACKLISTING:

01. Perthro
02. Heathen Divine
03. Divination
04. Silverseal
05. The Misfortune Of Virtue
06. Eternal Eleanor
07. Diamonds In The Night
08. Under The Sign Of A Black Star
09. Malefica Doctrine
10. Sic Semper Tyrannis
11. Warden Of The Bane
12. Reader Of The Runes – Book I

LINKS:

www.elvenking.net/
www.facebook.com/pg/elvenking.official/
www.instagram.com/elvenking.official/
www.youtube.com/user/ElvenkingOfficial

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.

EMQ’s with MALEFISTUM

EMQ’s with MALEFISTUM

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Jens Faber of Pagan/Power/Melodic Death Metal Project Malefistum. Huge thanks to him 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, my name is Jens. I am founder of Malefistum and play Guitar, Bass and Keyboards on this album. Due to contract rights I am not allowed to reveal the drummer. I founded this project in 2019. Most of the songs are performed by Melissa Bonny (Ad Infinitum, Serenity, Warkings, Rage of Light). One song is performed by Federica Lanna (Sleeping Romance, Volturian), another one by Zagan (Black Messiah) and another one by Eric Dow (Helsott)

How did you come up with your band name?

Sounds simple but this name Malefistum just came to my mind one day.

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

I come from Bochum/ Germany where I founded my main band Dawn of Destiny years ago. Main influence has been Equilibrium and Ensiferum and we mix it with some power metal and melodic death ingredients.

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

The album “Enemy” is our debut. In February the first single “Towards the Sun” was released, two other singles will be released in the next weeks.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Actually I’m influenced by many different metal styles. In case of this Malefistum album it’s been folk/pagan metal as well as some Dark Tranquillity, Wintersun and Mercenary.

What first got you into music?

Just like many musicians I started early with listening to music but began to play Keyboard when I was 18 and guitar even later. I was listening to classical heavy metal and mostly power metal. It took a time to get used to harsh vocals but now I love it J

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

My all-time faves are Savatage, this would be a dream. I love Therion as well and would like to write songs together with Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish) or Tobias Sammet (Avantasia, Edguy)

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

I guess everybody would love to play at Wacken, of course on the main stage at 8pm… but who can achieve that? I must confess I’m not familiar with most festivals so I could not really pick up one certain festival.

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

Not so many fans, so not many gifts, haha. Honestly there was not really anything weird.

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

Please keep on buying CD’s, go to concerts, support as good as you can and already did.

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

I would choose Steve Lee from Gotthard and Jimi Jamison from Survivor. They had great, great voices.

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

I enjoy most writing songs. This is my real passion. Playing gigs with Dawn of Destiny is nearly always fun as well. I hate being there that early in order to put out equipment and then wait for hours for the beginning of the show.

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

Of course I would like to sell my music, not donate it because we all put so much money and passion in this. It should be possible to make snippets for YouTube etc. not put the whole song or album on it. Although metal fans are more faithful then many others. It gets so difficult for small projects like mine to produce new albums or even to try to make a living out of it.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Savatage – “Dead Winter Dead”, Therion – “Gothic Kaballah”, Europe – “Out Of This World” and so many more.

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

As a child I loved vinyl but I’m more into CDs and (legal) downloads now.

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

With Dawn of Destiny we supported Sabaton some years ago, that was fantastic as well as a small tour with Axxis. Guess I would choose these ones.

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

I am a teacher, that’s my main job and I love it! J

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Jon Oliva, John Petrucci, Tuomas Holopainen, Charlotte Wessels and Melissa Bonny J

What’s next for the band?

There is a video coming with Melissa for the third single in April, really looking forward to it.

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

Unfortunately I’m not very good in using social media but I try to use Facebook and YouTube but too little people follow me so I need the support from my label and other people as well.

https://www.facebook.com/MalefistuM-109917317191323/
https://www.youtube.com/user/evilbobath
http://www.fastball-music.com/

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I’d say biscuit and I love it.

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

Thank you as well. I’m grateful for every kind of support.

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

Sascha Paeth’s Masters Of Ceremony – Signs Of Wings

Signs Of Wings Cover

Sascha Paeth’s Masters Of Ceremony – Signs Of Wings
Frontiers Music SRL
Release Date: 13/09/2019
Running Time: 46:54
Review by Lotty Whittingham
10/10

Nearly ten years ago, I went to a gig at The Joiners, Southampton. In one of the opening bands, I noticed a young passionate vocalist. One of the most talented I had seen on the circuit; she eventually left the band to study music in the USA but not before finding out her name was Adrienne Cowan. Fast forward to today, I watched her provide vocals for Avantasia on their sold-out tour and I have heard her vast vocal range on new album “Signs Of Wings” from Sascha Paeth’s Masters Of Ceremony.

Sascha Paeth is widely recognised on the metal circuit. He has worked alongside metal giants such as Kamelot, Rhapsody, Epica and Avantasia. After five years of discussions about a possible collaboration with Frontiers, it’s happened and this masterpiece has come to light.

It opens with the appropriately titled ‘The Time Has Come’. The album is finally here and it’s not going to be forgotten anytime soon. This song comes down on you with a bang and gives you only a small taste of what is to come. It also gives you a taste of Cowan’s vast vocal range of straight up growls and beautiful melodic vocals.

I say a small taste as the song variety on this record is quite vast. You have the straight up and aggressive heavy metal sounds such as ‘Sick’ and ‘My Anarchy’. You also have tracks that give something a little bit different, for example ‘Radar’ has a folky vibe. Below are a few great examples of what can be found on this brilliant album.

I love the bouncy, folky melody of ‘Radar’. The pipes and accordion playing alongside the aggressive guitars and drums caught my attention instantly. When you listen carefully, you can hear the poetic lyrics telling a gallant story on how they sail the seas without a radar. I also felt a sense of power when listening to this track, particularly hearing the line “we will be free” growled and sang at different times of the song.

‘The Path’ is a beautiful ballad that allows you to take a break from the hard-hitting aggression. With most metal ballads, they go back into the distortion from the electric guitars and drums. Not complaining, just an observation. What I really like about ‘The Path’ is that it keeps to this stripped-down arrangement of piano, vocals and cello throughout the track. It is one of the best ballads I have heard for a while. I can imagine experiencing this live will be a magical experience.

‘Bound In Vertigo’ is a sweeping and energetic track. The chorus is a memorable one and it will be swimming around in your head for days after listening to it. In this track, the guitar work is fantastic. The riffs and solos make you want to practice air guitar wherever you happen to be.

It ends on an appropriately soaring note with the title track. It ends the album with a bang and leaves you wanting more. This album is an uplifting masterpiece, one that will be treasured and respected by metal fans across the board.

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Time Has Come
02. Die Just A Little
03. Radar
04. Where Would It Be
05. My Anarchy
06. Wide Awake
07. The Path
08. Sick
09. Weight Of The World
10. Bound In Vertigo
11. Signs of Wings

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/saschapaethsmastersofceremony

https://www.instagram.com/saschapaethofficial/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmpM-LiUsB-0OtEGmTb7FoQ

 

 

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.

Dragonforce – Extreme Power Metal

Extreme Power Metal Cover

Dragonforce – Extreme Power Metal
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 27/09/2019
Running Time: 52:51
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
8/10

Greetings and salutations my dark minions, corruptors of nubile virgin flesh and destroyers of the false church of Christ the Deceiver! It is I, the Dark Prince of Heavy Fucking Metal, the Gothfather, the Groove Ipsissimus and the legend in his own head that is Dark Juan, and I am here to impart wisdom, offer sage opinion and to influence you weak minded souls on to the Left Hand Path and to sell your immortal essence to the Evil One. WHAT? NO! I’m not talking about some kind of Satanic sperm bank, so pack your fucking giggling in, you long haired herberts! Well, there’s another high quality, super heavy metal introduction totally ruined by you filthy minded perverts. You all disgust me. Seriously, what would the One Who Walks Backwards want with gallons of metal kid baby gravy? Litres of metal manfat? IN FACT DON’T FUCKING ANSWER THAT EVER AND KEEP IT TO YOURSELVES! LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!!

Clearly, I have taught you well.

Anyway, I’m back after a sojourn to jolly old Blighty, by way of Cymru, where a meeting of minds took place with the utterly charming Beth Ever Metal and the truly gentlemanly Rick Ever Metal. We might even have got drunk, howled at Cards Against Humanity (Dark Juan mightily approves of the sheer possible level of sacrilege this game entails) and played guitar till about 3am and were utterly appalled at the level of sheer and uncompromising savagery a teenage girl can attain at said card game. Suffice it to say that I, Dark Juan, well known for my level of silken verbal venom, was very nearly outclassed. Nearly, but not quite! Must try harder, Sian!!!

So, that’s three hundred and thirty four words in and not a damned thing about the record I’m listening to. Are you even interested or have your eyes glazed over yet? Wake up. I’m going to tell you about Dragonforce’s latest album, subtly entitled Extreme Power Metal. Pay attention…

It’s fair to say Dragonforce are something of an acquired taste. And I am yet to work out whether they are a massive joke perpetrated on the metal masses, or whether they are the result of two young men whose parents simply WEREN’T paying sufficient attention to the noises coming out of Messrs Li and Totman’s bedrooms. Imagine the conversation downstairs…

Mrs. Li (or Totman) to Mr. Li (or Totman), “Darling, Herman’s (Sam’s) doing pinch harmonics and two handed tap ons in G Mixolydian again. He’s been at it for hours. Can’t you please have a word?”

Mr. Li (Totman) treads wearily to the foot of the stairs and bellows, “HERMAN! (SAM!) SHUT UP WITH THAT RACKET! WE GAVE YOU GUITAR LESSONS SO YOU COULD PLAY FUCKING CLASSICAL! EVEN TREY FUCKING AZAGTHOTH PLAYS SOME CLASSICAL! WHY CAN’T YOU CONSTANTLY MASTURBATE LIKE A NORMAL TEENAGER?”

“But Dad, I’m moving on to C Ionian! Listen!” (cue a flurry of several million notes delivered in a breathless fashion in less than three seconds.)

Mr. Li (Totman), “There’s no talking to that child. I’m going back to whiskey, guilt ridden wanking and complaining about the neighbours.”

And there we have it. This is a record where songs are just vehicles for Herman and Sam to go absolutely insane on electric guitars and launch with no warning into an extensive, lengthy and ridiculously complex solo complete with pained orgasm faces. Actually, that is far too simplistic a view to take about the music of Dragonforce. Even if it is true as fuck. Dragonforce are capable of writing fine tunes that are so oiled chesty macho that even Manowar would submit before them (if you like that thought, tell me and I’ll write you some stuff that will make your eyes water, kiddo. You’ll never look at Joey DiMaio the same way again. Not sure whether that’s a threat or a promise…)

OK, several minutes later, having finally rid myself of the somewhat uncomfortable images that the idea of Dragonforce/Manowar slash fiction have conjured up in the sewer that passes for my imagination let us discuss the album. Please, for the love of God…

Album opener Highway To Oblivion’s intro sounds so uncomfortably like a poor quality metal Christmas record it actually hurt my ears until there’s some short, glorious two handed tap ons and then it’s blastbeats, double bass drumming, palm muting, whammy bar dives, insanely complex guitar solos and the kind of lyrics that only THE MOST MASCULINE metal bands can write all the way. If there were any justice, Dragonforce would be able to discover the eighth musical note as they are quite, QUITE spectacularly talented musicians. Why they have chosen to almost be a parody of heavy metal eludes me apart from the fact it makes me giggle like a schoolgirl faced with her first picture of Peter Steele in a state of indiscretion…

I do have some problems with Dragonforce and this album. Vocalist Marc Hudson is dreadfully weak and a terrible fit for the musical talent on display here. Coming after Z.P. Theart (who was also terrible as a vocalist) you would have expected Dragonforce to have an absolutely belting singer, but they have appeared to opt for the merely average – perhaps because Sam and Herman are the joint centres of attention? Also, the loss of Vadim Pruzhanov on keyboard is keenly felt (Coen Janssen of Epica performed on this record) as the keys are lacking the coherence and the symbiosis with the arrangement of the music they enjoyed previously. However, polished and crystal clear does not do the production job of this record justice. It is a production masterpiece. Every single sound is rendered with perfect clarity (no mean feat with two virtuoso guitarists jousting with the rest of the band and large and expansive keyboard parts) and there are simply not enough superlatives to describe the joy of it. I could moan about the length of the guitar solos, but let’s face it – everyone knows what they are getting with Dragonforce, don’t they? It would be remarkably churlish to have a bash at them for what they have built their career on, eh?

Now I’ve finished moaning, this record is entertaining as fuck. It’s well known that I am a sucker for theatre and overblown pomposity and the kind of metal that brings back the halcyon days of Dio’s “Holy Diver”, Ozzy’s “The Ultimate Sin” and the like. Dragonforce do this, but they do this at hypersonic velocities and with a sense of fun that metal sometimes seems to be lacking. You do get the feeling that Dragonforce are seeing just how far they can push the outrageous pseudo-masculinity, the pomposity and the egregious complexity of their musicianship whilst people still buy and debate their releases. All while they are fucking pissing themselves laughing behind closed doors. I think I might love this record. I know I DO love the ambiguity of Dragonforce’s sense of humour. It does all sound a bit samey, though. Saying that, there are only seven musical notes and Dragonforce use them with such boundless rapidity it’s all bound to sound like that.

So, as a musician and seventh rate guitarist myself, I am utterly compelled by the musicianship on display on this record. As a lyricist (truly terrible but it still counts!) I am amused, shocked, appalled (at the disgraceful banality of the lyrics at some points – Dragonforce can and have done considerably better) and astonished (the backing vocals are sublime, some of the choruses really do evoke memories of the huge sounds of 70s and 80s AOR like Journey and Toto and Boston) all at once. I adore the absolute gung-ho speed, the sheer conviction of the playing and the obvious amusement and enjoyment of the band setting new standards of melodic lightspeed velocity. It should not be possible to solo convincingly and accurately at the speed Dragonforce operate at. Also, they have even managed to shoehorn a fucking bagpipe intro into the song entitled ‘Remembrance Day’.

All of this enthusiasm though, counts for naught when you get to the twisted, fucked up, bizarre, incredible (probably for all the wrong reasons) and utterly insane album closer. This song is NEXT FUCKING LEVEL DRAGONFORCE INSANITY THAT HAS TURNED MY BRAIN INSIDE OUT AND NOW I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF! I have honestly been laughing my arse off for the past twenty minutes, to the point Mrs. Dark Juan has been throwing stuff at me and I have upset the hellhounds and Hodgson Fartpants has been emitting the sort of smells banned by the Geneva Convention. Please, dear friends, allow me to attempt to describe what is possibly the greatest cover version of all time! I’m fucking giggling already…

Picture, if you will, an introduction sounding remarkably like old fashioned 8-bit chiptunes that sound vaguely familiar before Dragonforce launch into the usual hyperspeed riffing they are known for. Then the lyric kicks in. You listen disinterestedly for a moment (because they will inevitably be howling about dragons or swords or some other shit) before you realise that the lyric and the vocal arrangement sounds vaguely familiar. And then it hits you. They have only gone and fucking covered Céline bastard Dion.

Yes, Dragonforce have taken the shittiest wankfest of saccharine pity ballads and turned it into the most balls to the wall, metal anthem I have ever heard. They have managed to take the world’s most obscenely putrid song and turn it into a four minute warp speed guitar solo with occasional vocals. That simply has to be a good thing, right? They have even made it pleasurable to listen to.

Pleasure! Always a good point to finish on!

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Dragonforce 8/10 for their breakneck and inventive approach to metal. Two marks are deducted – one for a poor vocalist and ONE FOR MAKING ME LIKE A CÉLINE DION SONG, YOU BUNCH OF ABSOLUTE TWATS!!!

TRACKLISTING: (I’ll be honest; I’ve been wetting myself at some of these…)
01. Highway To Oblivion (OK, fairly normal metal band fodder)
02. Cosmic Power Of The Infinite Shred Machine (Holy fuck this is off the scale lunacy! I approve.)
03. The Last Dragonborn (Too much Game Of Thrones, perhaps?)
04. Heart Demolition (Jokes aside, we have all been there.)
05. Troopers Of The Stars (Metal word salad for Starship Troopers. Literally a few words away from a Sarah Brightman song!)
06. Razorblade Meltdown (Is this a song about sustainability and metal recycling? One can only encourage this sort of behaviour…)
07. Strangers (Three words away from a Saxon classic.)
08. In A Skyforged Dream (Yeah, if you say so, chaps. I know what skyclad is, not skyforged…)
09. Remembrance Day (OK, there’s a message here. No jokes.)
10. My Heart Will Go On (Holy fuck. Holy fucking fuck. Jesus fucking Christ in chariot driven sidecar. Fuck me crossways and call me Roger the Cabin Boy. This actually might be the greatest thing I have ever heard.)

LINE-UP:
Herman Li – Guitar
Sam Totman – Guitar
Marc Hudson – Vocals
Gee Anzalone – Drums
(Frederic Leclercq played bass but quit before the album release.)

LINKS:

Home


https://www.facebook.com/dragonforce/

https://www.instagram.com/dragonforcehq/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUA7-MNA9NyrpimQo7Dw8g

 

Promo Pic

 

 

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

Riot V – Live In Japan 2018

Live In Japan 2018 Cover

Riot V – Live In Japan 2018
AFM Records
Release Date: 02/08/2019
Running Time: 1:50:03
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

There are certain bands that Rick just KNOWS I love, and if one of their albums pops into our Ever Metal inbox, he will send it over to me without even asking! One such band is Riot V!

I became a fan when I first heard ‘Flight of the Warrior’ a few years back (I always said I was born FAR too late!!) and have loved them ever since, reviewing AND interviewing them for Ever Metal.

Now, despite my love of the heavy/power metal band from the USA, reviewing this album always had one drawback for me. It’s a LIVE album! My consensus about live albums is that (and you can quote me on this!) “THEY ARE POO!” None of the so-called classic live albums from Kiss Alive II, to Queen’s Live Killers to Thin Lizzy’s Live and Dangerous did ANYTHING for me. Some might call me a philistine for saying that, but I also know there will be a fair few people who will agree with me. I get used to singing along to a track as they have recorded it and then along comes a live album where the singer thinks he can just sing the songs as he wishes….and all my timing goes out the window!! So, this album automatically drops a point for being a live one! Sorry!

Ok, just a brief history on the band. Riot were formed in the USA by guitarist Mark Reale in 1975. (Mark, unfortunately, died in 2012 but I am sure that he would be immensely proud of the Riot V legacy that still lives on.) Their debut album “Rock City” was released in 1979 and was mainly appreciated in the UK where NWOBHM was bursting onto the scene. But there was another country that welcomed the album with open arms and that was Japan.

‘Warrior’ was released as a 7” EP in Japan and the song has been Japan’s heavy metals fan’s favourite for 40 years. To further reinforce the relationship between band and country was the release of their second album “Narita”, which was named after the people’s struggle with the government over the construction of New Tokyo International Airport at Narita.

So, what better country to release a live album from and on March 11th, 2018, Riot V played their sixth album “Thundersteel” in its entirety at Club Catta in Japan.

The first thing I will say about this album, though, is that at 1 hour and 50 minutes long, that’s 23 tracks, you certainly would have got value for money with this gig!!

The second thing I will say is that this is not like any other live album I have ever heard! And that, my friends, is a good thing.

Now, this is going to sound like the ramblings of a mad woman but the thing I absolutely hate about live albums (apart from the lyric thingy mentioned above) is the crowd noise. I know this is necessary to give the album that live, raw sound but when it kind of overtakes the lyrics and music, it’s all a bit of overkill. This album, however, doesn’t have this. Yes, there is the sound of the crowd after each song (as there should be) and at the “crowd participation” bits (another pet hate of mine!) but it is not so in your face as I have heard on other live albums. I don’t know if this is because the producers have turned down the sound of the crowd while the band are singing or because the Japanese fans are actually silent at these times! Whichever it is, it’s a good thing in my eyes (or should I say ears!?)

Another thing I don’t understand about live albums is why the band actually release them when they have obviously been pretty dire on the night! I’m guessing this is a contractual obligation or something of that nature, but I would have thought releasing a decent recording would be a better idea. Anyway, the reason behind me making this point is that Riot V need not worry.

This is a brilliant live album. The band sounded absolutely fantastic, Todd Michael Hall’s voice holding out for the whole of the 1 hour and 50 minutes. Those who are Riot fans will know that this is nowhere near the original line-up, far from it, but they play so well together, if you close your eyes, you could almost believe it was the original band up on that Japanese stage.

All the hits are included on this album, from ‘Thundersteel’, to ‘Angel Eyes’, to ‘Johnny’s Back’ to ‘Road Racing’ and ‘Swords and Tequila’. I, personally, love all these tracks and many more in addition and the only gripe I would have with this live album is that the track ‘Outlaw’ has not been included (my second favourite track after ‘Angel Eyes’) but the rest of the album make up for this one little misdemeanour.

So, what did I think of this album? Hated it!! Haha only joking! As live albums go it was actually very good. It originally dropped one point for being live but in my opinion, it doesn’t drop any more. I might be a tad biased being the big Riot V fan that I am but do me a favour and give it a go yourself. Hopefully, you will agree with me.

I have never seen Riot V live in concert (hint hint guys! I’m in London by the way!) but one thing this album did do was make me want to see these guys live! Hopefully this will be something I can do before I pass over to the heavy metal gig in the sky, but in the meantime this album will be a necessary substitute.

Riot V – one of the best, underrated bands ever!!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Armour Of Light
02. Ride Hard Live Free
03. On Your Knees
04. Metal Soldiers
05. Fall From The Sky
06. Wings Are For Angels
07. Land Of The Rising Sun
08. Take Me Back
09. Messiah
10. Angel Eyes
11. Metal Warrior
12. Thundersteel
13. Fight Or Fall
14. Sign Of The Crimson Storm
15. Flight Of The Warrior
16. On Wings Of Eagles
17. Johnny’s Back
18. Bloodstreets
19. Run For Your Life
20. Buried Alive
21. Road Racin’
22. Swords And Tequila
23. Warrior

LINKS:
https://www.areyoureadytoriot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/riotrockcity/

https://www.instagram.com/officialriotv/


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

 

Riot V Picture

 

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.

EMQ’s with DIALITH

Dialith Logo

EMQ’s with DIALITH

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Danbury, CT. Epic Symphonic/Power Metal band Dialith! 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?

Krista: Our name is Dialith, and we play symphonic/power metal. In 2015, I (Krista) posted an ad on Craigslist: “singer looking to start symphonic metal band”, and Alasdair answered! We happened to like all the same bands and lived in neighbouring towns, so it made sense to immediately start working together. We found Cullen through mutual friends and asked him to join. Then Mark and Charles found us through another Craigslist ad we had posted, and they completed our line-up.

How did you come up with your band name?

Krista: We really wanted a single word name, but all the good ones were taken! Dialith is a made-up word consisting of Greek roots that means “Through Stone.” We like to think that it evokes the image of nature’s triumph over human constructs.

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

Krista: We’re from the United States, specifically New York and Connecticut. Metal is definitely not mainstream in the US, but it does have a dedicated following. In the northeast, there is a vibrant local scene that spans all subgenres, the most popular being Death Metal and Metalcore, but as a Symphonic/Power metal band we were definitely welcomed and we found our own niche.

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

Alasdair: Our debut album, “Extinction Six” will be out on August 16th 2019. We’ve already released a music video for the first single ‘The Sound Of Your Voice’, which you can check out here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAoLfXEpPAo

Who have been your greatest influences?

Krista: As a singer specifically and as someone who is a natural soprano, Sharon den Adel and Simone Simmons were vocalists that I tried to emulate, and I also wanted to add in the dramatic flair that singers like Tarja Turunen and Vibeke Stene had brought to their respective bands. Of course, I’ve also always admired the power that Floor Jansen possesses.

Alasdair: I’ve considered my two pillars of songwriting to be a combination of Nightwish and Arch Enemy. Tuomas from Nightwish has a really good “big picture” approach to composition, with each song being greater than the sum of its parts. With Arch Enemy, I was obsessed with their earlier albums when the Amott brothers were writing together in full force, and learning their songs gave me an entirely new approach to my own songwriting. Apart from that, I like to pick bits and pieces off of other artists whenever I hear something I like.

Cullen: Rather than list bands I like to credit some of the drummers that inspire me. Gene Hoglan, Frost, and Mike Portnoy are some of my favourites in modern metal. John Bonham, Neil Peart, and Bill Ward are drummers I have been listening to since I was introduced to heavy music when I was younger and taught me the building blocks to becoming a drummer.

What first got you into music?

Krista: While they weren’t the catalyst for wanting to be in a band, my first experience with really loving an album was Evanescence’s “Fallen”, however uncool that may make me! I was ten or eleven when I first heard them on the radio and really loved that sound.

Alasdair: When I was in middle school, I didn’t listen to much music. I thought everything that was on the radio was the only option out there. One day when I was 14, a friend showed me Nightwish’s masterpiece track “Ghost Love Score” and it completely changed my life. I had no idea that kind of music existed and that started me on the path of discovery!

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

Krista: I personally would love to collaborate with Eluveitie, I think they have one of those most unique sounds in metal and I love the inclusion of folk instruments.

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

Krista: 70,000 Tons of Metal! Who wouldn’t want to play a giant heavy metal cruise?

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

Krista: So far we haven’t received any gifts from fans, weird or otherwise!

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

Krista: We enjoy making and performing music, so come out and see a show and let us know what kind of merch you would be interested in!

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

Cullen: Chuck Schuldiner of the band Death.

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

Cullen: I enjoy playing shows and seeing the crowd interact with the band and meeting many new friends. I dislike that I can’t be a musician full time yet.

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

Cullen: If I could change one thing about the music industry I would make it so bands see more proceeds from the recorded music they worked hard on.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Krista: “Mother Earth” by Within Temptation.

Alasdair: “Once” by Nightwish.

Cullen: “Rust In Peace” by Megadeth.

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

Krista: I love collecting CD’s, but I like the ease of downloading or streaming music.

Alasdair: For physical media, I much prefer CD’s for the relative durability, but I’ll admit I’m lazy and have slowly gravitated towards downloads and streaming.

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

Cullen: The Shamrock Cafe in Suffield, CT when we opened for Archaic Decapitator.

Alasdair: I agree with Cullen. When we played at the Shamrock, the bar was totally packed and there was great energy from the crowd. Even though from where I was standing I could only hear the drum set and white noise, I still had an awesome time haha.

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

Krista: All the members of this band have full time jobs in addition to music, but personally I think I would probably be trying to work in the non-profit sector.

Alasdair: If I wasn’t a musician, all I can say is I wouldn’t be doing much at all!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Krista: Oh man… Honestly I just enjoy dinner parties with my friends, no famous people needed!

Alasdair I spend a lot of time with musicians, don’t need that many egos all concentrated in one place hahaha.

What’s next for the band?

Alasdair: We already have new music written for beyond this first album. After its release, we plan for a more internet based approach, with an emphasis on releasing music videos.

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

Follow us on all our links here!
http://www.dialith.band
http://www.dialith.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/dialithband
https://www.instagram.com/dialithband/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5wywW2UrEeMkGlUc-AlyBw

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Krista: I honestly have no idea what a Jaffa Cake is…

Alasdair: Don’t worry Krista! I’m from the UK, I’ll handle this. If I had to choose, I’d say they’re small cakes. Do you have some? 😀

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

Thank you so much for the questions! We really look forward to our first ever big release and can’t wait to hear people’s reactions once they listen to the final song on the album. Be sure to check out our music video if you haven’t already!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAoLfXEpPAo

 

Promo Pic

 

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

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.