EMQ’s with DYSTORCHESTRA

Dystorchestra Logo

EMQ’s with DYSTORCHESTRA

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Louisville, Kentucky based Progressive Rock/Metal band, Dystorchestra. Huge thanks to guitarist, David Kisselbaugh, 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?

My name is David Kisselbaugh, and I am the guitarist for the Progressive Metal band Dystorchestra. I’m joined in Dystorchestra by Shawn Dugdale (Keyboards and Guitar), Shawn Matty (Guitar), Tim Owens (Drums), Joe Easley (Bass) and Steve Yocum (Vocals). We formed out of a passion for progressive music and combined that with our love of story-telling to produce narrative driven music that reflects the times we live in.

How did you come up with your band name?

Dystorchestra is a portmanteau of the words Dystopia and Orchestra. We felt like it was a perfect description of the subject matter of most of our songs and the density of the music.

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

We are from Louisville, KY in the United States. We have a vibrant metal and original music scene here. It’s generally more on the metalcore side of the genre historically but we’re starting to see more progressive and technical bands show up.

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

Our latest release is our debut album “Deus Ex Machina Pt. 1” as well as a companion novella to bring the story of the music to life. “Deus Ex Machina, Pt. 1” tells the story of Thomas, an infantry soldier who is conscripted to fight on the front lines of an endless domestic war that has torn the United States apart. He is forced to choose, first, between family and country, and second, between the family he is born into and the family he has made with the fate of the world resting on his decisions.

‘Burn It Down’ (Lyric Video)

‘Anarcadia’ (Audio)

Who have been your greatest influences?

That’s one of the best things about being in Dystorchestra. We all have vast and varied influences, and they all coalesce in our sound. There are the obvious progressive influences like Coheed and Cambria, Queensrÿche, and Dream Theater. But you can also find some death metal, funk, and jazz/fusion aspects in our sound.

What first got you into music?

For me it was the 90’s rock bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, etc. I quickly moved on to the shred stuff that came in the 80’s on the Shrapnel label and heavier metal like death and thrash metal.

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

I would say having Steven Wilson produce the next Dystorchestra album would be an incredible collaboration. I think he would bring out some truly magical stuff in this context. But, isn’t everything he does magical?!

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

I’d love to be on our hometown festival Louder Than Life. There’s nothing like playing a huge hometown crowd.

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

I can’t think of an answer for this. But, in a previous band, we were opening for a big regional band that had a member who went by the name Goat. To thank them for giving us a shot we gave them a taxidermized goat’s head. They mounted it on the inside of their van.

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

Thank you. We put this music together for our own gratification. To make something we believed in completely. The fact that so many others have responded to it is truly touching.

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

Frank Zappa. Hands down. I would love to talk to him about what he truly felt was important in music and ask him about how he went from hearing such crazy music in his head, to putting it on stage.

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

I love performing most. Nothing like playing for others. I hate the load out at the end of the night.

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

Streaming royalties. It remains the most broken part of the industry. I don’t have all of the answers to this issue, but an artist who has thousands of streams a month should be able to sustain themselves financially on that usage. If the business models of the streaming companies who provide the service cannot support that, they either need to get a new business model or find a way to support it.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

King Crimson – “Thrak”. It was my gateway to progressive music and stays in rotation today. Doesn’t have a lot to do with how Dystorchestra sounds but it led me to a lot of things that formed my approach to music today.

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

Honestly, I think CD’s were the apex of fidelity. I still like to buy them and listen to the full lossless tracks at least a few times before succumbing to the convenience of downloads/streaming. That is, of course, getting harder and harder to do.

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

A sweaty club gig at Third St. Dive in Louisville, KY. The crowd was amped and a mosh pit developed that spilled out of the front door into the middle of Third St. downtown. The Bar owner was blowing fireballs with Bacardi 151. Truly epic night!

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

If we’re talking artistically, I’ve always wanted to work in sketch comedy.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I’d like to be a fly on the wall for the conversation if Steven Wilson, Claudio Sanchez, Jake Willson, Mikael Akerfeldt and Guthrie Govan were all having dinner together. I don’t think I would have a thing to say. I would just want to absorb that vibe.

What’s next for the band?

As the Covid restrictions ease up we’re going to be mounting a stage show for “Deus Ex Machina Pt. 1” and start writing songs for Pt. 2.

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

Everything can be found at www.dystorchestra.com. That has links to everything we do.

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Being an American, I’ve never had them. But, Wikipedia tells me they are biscuit sized cakes, so, we’ll go with that!

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

Thank you for having us!

Dystorchestra 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 party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Twisted Illusion – Temple Of Artifice

Temple Of Artifice Album Cover Art

Twisted Illusion – Temple Of Artifice
Self-Released
Release Date: 28/05/2021
Running Time: 35:52
Review by Beth Jones
9.5/10

The music scene in the UK is full of some very exciting bands right now. So much so, that it can be difficult to make an impression in an already saturated market, unless you’re a) a different level, and b) prepared to put in the hours and legwork that self-promotion requires. One band that has both of these factors down to a ‘T’ is Manchester based progressive rock aficionados, Twisted Illusion. I first encountered TI on the Very Metal Arts stage at Amplified festival a good few years back, and was instantly captured by their exciting sound, which combined all the music I loved, and wrapped it up in a compelling stage presence in the form of frontman and driving force behind TI, Matt Jones. Since that first encounter, I’ve been an avid follower of the band, not just in a press sense, but also as a genuine fan.

It’s fair to say, in the last few years, TI have experienced some ups and downs. But Matt’s relentless passion to make them a household name has kept on driving him forward, refusing to let adversity steal his dreams. Now, finally, it’s starting to look like his complete and persistent dedication to his art is beginning to pay off. And this re-recorded version of the 2016 debut album will, I have no doubt, be the springboard that launches them to the next level. Obviously, I own the original album, which was great anyway. But this release is not just a remaster or remix, it’s a full re-record (done mainly in Matt and Saxon’s flat), and my god has it taken things to a new level! They’ve also been on a single releasing mission, with the majority of the 7 album tracks having been released as official singles in the last month!

The main thing that hits you is how full the sound is now. On first listen, I sent Matt an excited message that basically said “This is mega! It’s expansive as fuck!!!” Powerful vocals are the leader here, but the instrumentation that sits behind them is equally as mesmerising. Saxon is an absolute beast on solos, and his additional vocals complement Matt’s voice perfectly! Everything has elements of Queen and Rush deep routed within the style (I mean what’s not to like there already), but those elements are formed into something uniquely different. Add into that Matt’s ingeniously dark lyrics, set to up-tempo ‘happy’ sounding melodies, and you have the TI sound. It’s just exciting. I can’t really describe it any other way. It makes me want to listen, and keep on listening until the power dies. It’s a classic sound, with a modern twist, and it’s executed in a way that makes even the most complicated sections make perfect sense.

My favourite track was, and still is, ‘Hatred Is A Virtue’ – it’s the track that contains the lyric ‘I have music, I have life’, which has almost become the bands tagline, and it’s so damn true. This track is powerful, pacey, and full of classic rock riffage, that makes you move, as well as some pretty proggy timings! (It’s also one of the best ones to scream along to the chorus to when they’re playing live!… God how I miss live music. Like, every bit of my soul is aching to see a band on a stage again right now).

The release of this album marks the start of a very busy year for TI, as they are set to release three more albums – the newly recorded versions of “Excite The Light” Part I, II, and III. I’ve heard them, and they’re mind blowing, hence my 9.5 score here – our esteemed lord and master at Ever Metal, Mr Richard Tilley, won’t let me do scores over 10/10 now, because it’s mathematically impossible, and I need somewhere to go for those next three masterpieces 😉.

So, to sum up, if you appreciate clever lyrics, thoughtful song structure, ultra-talented musicians, and proggy, classic rock sounds, you need this album in your life. And Matt, and TI deserve to be huge. This much talent should not go unnoticed.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Imitate Me: Part 1
02. Freedom To Fail
03. Hatred Is A Virtue
04. Apocalypse…#LOL
05. Online And In Line
06. A Moment Of Lucidity
07. Imitate Me: Part 2

LINE-UP:
Matt Jones – Guitars/Vocals
Saxon Davids – Guitars/Vocals
Mark Wagstaff [back for this album only] – Bass
Chris Jones – Bass
Andy Gotteri – Keys
Jess Lawton – Keys
Phil Shacklady – Drums

Kenny Souter – KING OF MERCH! The best merch guy ever, no question, and a jolly happy sausage, despite what Zuckerberg thinks!

LINKS:

Twisted Illusion Promo Pic

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

Video Interview with Johnny Ray of THE MOURNING

The Mourning Logo

Video Interview with Johnny Ray of THE MOURNING
By Sheri Bicheno

Hello Everyone! Sheri here…

I am back with another new 2021 interview – and this time I had the wonderful opportunity to have a chat with vocalist/keyboardist Johnny Ray of Florida based Progressive Rockers The Mourning.

Johnny Ray will also be recognised by fans of the band 3 Headed Snake.

As for The Mourning well, I feel, these guys are wonderfully different. They blend Progressive Rock with elements of Jazz, Metal and, what I would call, a Spooky Alternative sound. I find this interesting as there are not too many Prog Rock bands that would enter the realm of mixing Jazz with their music and creating something so soothingly melodic whilst taking you down a Tim Burton style staircase at the same time.

The Mourning formed in 2017 with Johnny Ray recruiting Drummer Jason Berlin, Bassist Spence Howard and Guitarist Thomas Griggs, and together they released the 2018 EP “Theosis”. They then added Keyboardist John Richardson and Guitarist Andrew Stout during live sessions and are now creating their first full length album, due to be released for the Summer of 2021!

Have a watch and see what’s in store…

THE MOURNING Video Interview by Sheri Bicheno

The Mourning are:
Johnny Ray – Vocals/Keyboards
Jason Berlin – Drums
Spence Howard – Bass
Thomas Griggs – Guitars
John Richardson – Keyboards
Andrew Stout – Guitars

LINKS:

‘Hush’ (Audio)

The Mourning Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno and 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.

Heyoka’s Mirror – The Uninvited King

The Uninvited King Album Cover Art

Heyoka’s Mirror – The Uninvited King
Self-Released
Release Date: 06/03/2021
Running Time: 50:49
Review by Beth Jones
9/10

Rick, the grand high wizard here at camp Ever Metal, knows my tastes pretty well now. Not really a surprise, as he has lived with me and my eclectic temperament for the last 6 years! So, when Calgary based Progressive Rock/Metal band, Heyoka’s Mirror dropped their debut album, “The Uninvited King” into the EM inbox, he sent it in my direction. Their email stated that they had been likened to a variety of bands, including my all-time favourites, Queen, which made me pay attention.

I can confirm that there’s definitely a vast variety of influences in Heyoka’s Mirror’s sound, including the aforementioned gods of music themselves. The opening track ‘The Light Within’ starts with drums, alongside some delicious synth and guitar, very much akin to the likes of The Enid. But it launches into an indulgent guitar solo, which just has Brian May written all over it, and some ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ vocal harmonies.

The tracks that follow are much heavier, drawing from Classic Heavy Metal, Symphonic Metal, and a touch of Thrash, 70s Hard Rock, and 90s Grunge to boot, but all with the overarching difficult rhythms and ‘might as well chuck it in, why the fuck not’ nature of prog. We even get some death growl vocals, because, in prog, anything goes! There are some pretty groove-laden riffs throughout, too (‘Shadow Man’ is full of them).

The mid-point to the album treats us to a 10-minute prog marathon, exploring the full range of progressive sounds, right from the more modern, to the more classic. It’s full of discordant guitars, crazy vocals, soft interludes, pauses, reverb, complicated rhythmic patterns, and unexpected cadences. My kid brother once dropped acid at Reading Festival, and completely missed Metallica (one of the main reasons he went in the first place) because he was curled up in a ball on the floor, facing away from the stage, rocking and staring into a hallucinogenic abyss that had opened up in the field in front of him. I’m fairly sure that this track was probably pretty similar to the sounds inside his head at that moment!

Ironic, really, that the next track on the album is called ‘Asylum’ (On a side note, this is also nearly 9 minutes long, and as bonkers as the previous track, which makes me very happy. Great bit of classical inspired piano, and jazz funk bass in the middle of it, too, before the bonkers kicks off again).

The album takes a twist from this point, sticking to a modern prog sound, with a hint of djent. That is until the final track ‘Celebration Of Light’, which almost brings everything back full circle, in epic, cinematic, 70’s inspired anthem style. It’s a great way to finish an album. Beautiful sweeping guitar solos, vocal harmonies, thumping drums, and expansive synth sounds triumphantly march towards the climax of what is, indeed, a mighty fine debut album. This is the musical equivalent of philosophical debate, in an attempt to reach the Nirvana of complete understanding, whilst high on psychedelic drugs. It’s an impressive thing to behold.

‘Asylum’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Light Within
02. Heavy Rain
03. Shadow Man
04. The Darkness Within
05. Asylum
06. Deal with the Devil
07. King Of Deception
08. Celebration Of Light

LINE-UP:
Andrew Balboa – Guitar/Synth/Vocals
Omar Sultan – Guitar/Vocals

Additional Album Line-up:
Casey Lewis – Drums
Johnny Kerr – Drums
Brendan Rothwell – Bass
Renan Weignater – Bass

LINKS:

Heyoka's Mirror Promo Pic

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

Pentesilea Road – Pentesilea Road

Pentesilea Road Album Cover Art

Pentesilea Road – Pentesilea Road
Self-Released
Release Date: 26/02/2021
Running Time: 71:00
Review by Simon Black
6/10

This is pure Prog. Originally starting life as a solo effort from all round instrumentalist Vito F. Mainolfi, the outfit has extended over lockdown to a wider project, although clearly Mainolfi remains front and centre given that he is delivering guitars, bass, programming and assorted other instruments. The record has actually been available digitally for a while, with a physical version now available this month.

Opening with the lengthy instrumental ‘Memory Corners’, this band deliver pure 70’s influenced Prog from the opening bars and throughout its, quite lengthy, seventy-one minutes of run time. As you would expect, there’s plenty of instrumental breaks and nearly all of the twelve tracks clock in over six minutes of run time, so experimentation is very much the order of the day. Lorenzo Vincenzo Nocerino has a slightly more edgy vocal tone than is normal for this sort of Prog, where cleaner than clean is the norm but actually it works quite well, but the strongest song is when the vocals open up and goes full on rock mode with the guest appearance of Ray Alder from Fates Warning on ‘Shades Of The Night’ being a good example – although he does feel like he has been added to the mix quite latterly.

Recording remotely through lock down has been a challenge many acts have had to manage in the last eighteen months, but many at least have had the advantage of working together physically before Covid called a halt to travel. That’s important here, because with contributions coming from band members and assorted guests located in The Netherlands, Italy, Spain and the USA who have not worked together face to face there comes the risk of fragmentation.

There is some great playing here and I cannot fault the skill of this, but where the album is weaker is the song-writing. Even though by its very nature Progressive music is not going to opt for over-simplification of song-structure, this one rambles just that little bit too much in many places. It’s worth noting that even the masters of the genre can lose focus in this way though and there’s a fair number of noughties-era Dream Theater records for example that suffer from this sort of meandering and slightly lost feeling. The trick would appear to be to have a strong core song structure and then play around the edges, whereas in this instance the experimental parts have been allowed to predominate. It will be interesting to see if the same thing happens again when all of the players are in the same room together when material is written and recorded, as all this could simply be the product of the fact that the core material is based on Mainolfi’s original demo’s, with everyone else added later and remotely.

In fact ‘demo’ is probably the key word here. This very much has the feel of a record that is only at the pre-production stage and is missing that crucial studio phase when the artists develop their short hand interactive personal chemistry (perhaps more vital in Prog or Jazz than any other musical genres) and where a firm handed producer focusses them on tightening up the arrangements. Get these guys in a room together to polish for a few weeks, then I suspect the end product will be quite formidable.

‘Memory Corners’ (Visualiser)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Memory Corners (feat. Mark Zonder)
02. Stranded
03. Genius Loci
04. Spectral Regrowth (feat. Mark Zonder)
05. Stains (feat. Michele Guaitoli)
06. Give Them Space (feat. Mark Zonder)
07. Shades Of The Night
08. The Psychopathology Of Everyday Things
09. Noble Art (feat. Ray Alder)
10. Pentesilea Road
11. A Tale Of Dissidence
12. Shades Of The Night (feat. Ray Alder)

LINE-UP:
Vito F. Mainolfi – Guitars, Bass, Backing Vocals, Programming & Whatever Else
Ezio di Ieso – Pianoforte & Keyboards
Alfonso Mocerino – Drums
Lorenzo Vincenzo Nocerino – Vocals

Special Guests:
Ray Alder – Vocals on ‘Shades Of The Night’, ‘Noble Art’
Mark Zonder – Drums on ‘Memory Corners’, ‘Spectral Regrowth’, ‘Give Them Space’
Michele Guaitoli – Vocals on ‘Stains’
Paul Prins – First Solo on ‘Give Them Space’

LINKS:

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

EMQ’s with THE GREY

The Grey Logo

EMQ’s with THE GREY

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Cambridge, England based Instrumental Post Rock/Metal band, The Grey. Huge thanks to drummer, Steve, 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?

I’m Steve and I play the drums; Charlie plays guitar and James plays bass.

We’ve been a band for around 4 years now and have released 2 records as well as a couple of singles. I first met the others quite a few years prior to when we first started jamming when we played a show together in other bands. I have a feeling I was jokingly dressed up as an 80’s rocker in leopard print spandex and a giant blonde wig, picture Dee Snyder haha!

I’m not entirely sure but I think we were supporting one of Bill Steer from Carcass’ other bands which in of itself is pretty cool. After that Charlie and I kept in touch through Facebook and he asked me a few times to come and jam with them but due to living about an hour away and playing in other bands I always put it off until one day I took them up on the offer and the rest is history.

How did you come up with your band name?

So, we didn’t want anything too obscure or something that sounds cool but really didn’t mean anything and so decided upon The Grey for a specific reason. As a band we like to play with the dynamics between heavy and lighter sounding parts and felt like The Grey represents the juxtaposition between this nicely.

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

We would call ourselves Cambridge based however we all live about 30 minutes to 1 hour away and as a result I don’t really feel like we associate with any one scene however we have been “adopted” by the London Doom Collective (www.facebook.com/londondoomcollective/) who put on loads of great shows and play at the Club 85 in Hitchin with bands like Everest Queen and Ritual a lot who while being musically different to ourselves are still great to watch and hang out with.

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

“Dead Fire” album – Released through Ripcord Records.
www.ripcordrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dead-fire

‘Petra’ (Audio)

Who have been your greatest influences?

This is a difficult one to answer as it really depends on the context. As a fan of music and drumming I would have to say John Bonham, Stewart Copeland, Roger Taylor and Mick Fleetwood and having parents buying records in the 70-80’s. I was introduced to music through their band’s and they are all drummers who help to define the bands they are members of. Later this would evolve into the punk bands from the mid 90’s to early 00’s from labels Like Fat Wreck and Epitaph such as Pennywise and Bad Religion and later developing into hardcore with bands on Revelations, Good Life and Dead & Gone Records.

What first got you into music?

Neither of my parents are musical however I have fond memories as a child of going through their record collection and pulling out classics like the first Sabbath record, Thriller and Dark Side Of The Moon and the feeling of putting on headphones and sticking the needle on the record still evokes something inside me.

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

For me that’s an easy one, Aaron Turner. I’m a big fan of Isis and just about everything he does. I’m also going to answer on behalf of Charlie the guitarist as I know he’s a Big Alice In Chains fan so I think for him, it would have to be Jerry Cantrell.

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

Easy, Roadburn.

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

There hasn’t been anything really weird however Charlie and Jim get a lot of fans nerding out on gear. I’ve had 2 people say they were brought to tears watching us live, one of who cried a little when he told me so that’s probably the strangest fan interaction, I’ve had.

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

Thank you and we really do appreciate your support.

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

Jesus…He’s pretty rocking right?

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

I love the comradery, whether it’s in the studio, rehearsing or playing shows. I hate disco load outs!

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

The disparity (monetarily) between the artists and those who facilitate them.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

First one that comes into my head is “Rumours”.

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

For supporting the band, CD’s. For the experience vinyl, for convenience downloads.

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

We’ve been lucky enough to tour with Will Haven so that will always be the answer to that one.

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

Probably my day job, being an engineer.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Jesus, Ghandi, Freddie Mercury and the 2 guys I play in a band with…I’m fair like that!

What’s next for the band?

We’ve just released our latest album on CD with Ripcord www.ripcordrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dead-fire

and will be back on the road touring as soon as we can.

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

All of them…
www.facebook.com/TheGreyUK/
www.instagram.com/thegreyband/
www.thegrey2.bandcamp.com/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/4IOraLrm86hXDzMKNhJEST

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Soft, spongey, orangey delights that are eaten however the hell you like.

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

Nothing other than thanks for listening to me ramble on and please check us out…

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.

ARTNAT – The Mirror Effect

The Mirror Effect Cover

ARTNAT – The Mirror Effect
Self-Released
Release Date: 01/03/2021
Running Time: 60:40
Review by Martin Bennewith
8/10

If you want to sit down and listen to a feast of progressive, art-rock, you cannot really go wrong with listening to Artnat’s debut “The Mirror Effect”. There certainly is a theme of simplicity marrying with the complex, as the musical mix-up of a fusion style rhythm section, analogue synth sounds along with a lead guitar, that throughout and without sounding flashy, tells a complex musical story.

Opener, ‘Riding the Edge’ has an eerie feel, dark sounding vocals against a backdrop of fusion, with a lazy guitar and synths swirling around varying tonal centre. The rhythm is also quite complex and changeable. Because of the arty nature, it does need some active listening to really appreciate the musicianship involved.

Second track, ‘Eternal Dance Of Love’ is a more laid-back number, with emotional lead guitar and sweet vocal lines against strings and piano, but the track progresses and builds to an energetic rhythmic plateau, and then calms down for the bass driven calmer ending.

There is a lot of music on this album, so I will not cover everything, however it is fair to say that the theme of progressive art-rock runs throughout. Track 3 ‘Return To Om’ will get a mention, as at 14 minutes long, it is a quarter of the album. This track is a mashup of energy and dream from the swirling bass and rhythms, with some sweet vocals, psychedelic melodic synth, and inspiring guitar. It is certainly an interesting journey that takes you from a certain softness to an energetic fusion.

Another standout track for me is ‘Cosmic Machinery’ – this has a very psychedelic improvised feel to it and is almost on the edge of being disturbing. It is chaos but in a good way. Just when you think you have got the meaning, it changes as it pulls away from one part of the journey and sends you on the next part. The grinding synths along with the lead create atonal mayhem against an ever-evolving rhythm.

The title track ‘The Mirror Effect’ centres around chants, vocal storytelling and harmony over piano, but drifts back into the arty guitar that is a theme through the album. There are interesting sections dropped in, such as a tribal sounding rhythm and chanting, as well as some synthesised mayhem. It is an interesting track but to a point that almost caricatures the rest of the album, which is quite fitting for the title track.

‘The Dramatic Beauty Of Life’ begins with some lovely atmospheric sounds, along with some keys, and then breaks into a fusion jam on the drums and bass with some excellent Moog and guitar leads.  It sounds like a free for all, with a jazz edge to it, which develops through the introduction of some vocal sounds and eventually an abrupt ending that contrasts from the slow beginning. An interesting track, although it can be hard to follow at times.

The final track ‘Finale’ is a fitting end, and meant to sound like the end – strings, a choir, piano, and a brass section – there are no guitars in sight. It is detached from the rest of the album but works well to spell out that it is all over.

I did not need to describe every track on this album, as there is a theme running throughout. This means it can be described as a whole from key moments. For what it is, “The Mirror Effect” works well. It is not an easy listen, so I would not recommend it when you are relaxing or driving, but if you want to listen to something that is musically complex, while at the same time not overstretching technical boundaries, then it is certainly worth a go.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Riding The Edge Of Darkness
02. Eternal Dance Of Love
03. Return To OM
04. From Chaos To Beauty
05. A View From Above
06. Cosmic Machinery
07. The Mirror Effect
08. Celebration
09. The Dramatic Beauty Of Life
10. The Complex Art Of Creation
11. Finale

LINE-UP:
Manuel Cardoso – Guitars
Gui da Luz – Synths
Sara Freitas – Vocals
Paulo Bretão – Basses
João Samora – Drums
André Hencleeday – Keyboards

LINKS:

Artnat Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Martin Bennewith 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 THE TRUTH COUNCIL

The Truth Council Logo

EMQ’s with THE TRUTH COUNCIL

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Central Illinois, USA based Prog Rock band, The Truth Council. Huge thanks to all of 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?

Mitch Bland – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Jason McMichael – Lead Guitar
Brock Massaglia – Drums
John Massaglia – Vocals, Bass Guitar

John: We are The Truth Council and we play rock n roll with a dash of prog. We formed in the cold winter of 2019. The weather was interfering with gigs, so I thought “Why not write some songs?” I recruited some friends and began writing.

How did you come up with your band name?

John: I remember thinking of something that meant nothing. I googled it and nothing came up. So, I ran with it.

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

Mitch: Central Illinois, USA. The Metal/Rock scene in Central Illinois is incredible. We have no shortage of amazingly talented musicians/bands in our little area of the world. This is a scene I believe could rival that of any bigger city.

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

Jason: Our debut EP “13 Degrees” was released last year, we are currently finalizing the last two songs for our second EP entitled “The Green Planet”. Latest single released for a limited time before CD release is called ‘Wide Awake’ We also released our first video for a song off of “13 Degrees” called ‘Beyond God’ All can be found on YouTube and our Facebook page.

‘Wide Awake’

‘Beyond God’ (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Brock: It’d definitely be a 3-way tie with Mike Portnoy, Neil Peart, and Matt Garstka.

What first got you into music?

Mitch: Whether it was just hanging out at home, family gatherings, or driving in the car, there was always music playing. I was drawn to it at a very young age and was constantly getting told by my parents to quit tapping my feet and hands. It was pretty clear I was going to grow up and play music.

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

Jason: Chris DeGarmo. Fantastic song writer and hasn’t been really heard from in many years.

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

John: ProgPower Fest here in the States would be cool. Progstock would be cool also.

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

Brock: I haven’t been given a gift from a fan yet, someone did hand me a bottle of wine during a show. Not super weird, but sweet of them.

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

Mitch: First, thank you all for supporting The Truth Council. We appreciate every single one of you. Second, keep supporting local/unknown bands. I’ve found some of the best music comes from the unsigned bands not yet heard on the radio.

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

Brock: Easily Neil Peart, I never got to see Rush play live.

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

Jason: Things I enjoy the most is the satisfaction you feel the next day after completing a recording session when you listen back to the song. I also enjoy playing to a full venue. Only thing I really hate is the opposite, which is playing to an empty venue. You tend to hype yourself up for every show and when you hit the stage and look out to a near empty venue it takes all the wind out of your sail.

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

John: Trying to get labels to take chances on new acts.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Mitch: “Promised Land” – Queensrÿche.

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

Jason: I love the sound and simplicity of vinyl, it’s nice to see the strong come back. For ease-of-use downloads are nice as long as they are obtained legally and the artist gets paid for the work.

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

John: Probably an acoustic show last year at the Fulton County Resource Center – best crowd ever.

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

Brock: I’d be attempting to be a European gigolo.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Jason: Chris DeGarmo ( to discuss collaborating) Joe Bonamassa (to discuss guitars), Gordan Ramsey (to prepare food and for entertainment) Eddie Trunk (great story teller) Scarlett Johansson (obvious eye candy).

What’s next for the band?

Mitch: We are currently finishing up our next EP titled, “The Green Planet”. We are shooting for a May release on that. In March, we get back to once again playing live shows. Hoping we can get more on the books now that the reins of the Covid restrictions are starting to loosen up a bit. In the meantime, we’ll just keep writing new material for the 3rd EP.

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

Brock: We’re on every popular social media site and streaming source. Facebook, Instagram, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube.

www.facebook.com/thetruthcouncil
www.instagram.com/thetruthcouncil/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/3vDVAbvzmM5lveJcHIpCVa
www.youtube.com/channel/UCrvRFMFy7QYTmgkcq-ERZmQ

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

John: Im afraid you have me at a loss, I have no idea, but I like biscuits.

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

Everybody Love Everybody!!!

The Truth Council 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 party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with EGOR LAPPO

Egor Lappo Logo

EMQ’s with EGOR LAPPO

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Saint Petersburg, Russia based Progressive Metal/Rock project, Egor Lappo. Huge thanks to Egor 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?

My name is Egor Lappo, I play a bit of everything, but mostly guitars, vocals and I do all the producing/mixing for my music. I never liked the idea of being in a band, cause it’s a rare thing when you don’t have a leader and everything just works out or you do have a leader and everyone is ok with the fact that their opinion may not be taken into account.

How did you come up with your band name?

I couldn’t come up with any good name that I wouldn’t be ashamed of in perspective. So, I named my project after my own name because most of my favourite musicians do it at some point of their career. Or they name it after their childhood nickname and that one wasn’t an option because it wasn’t cool.

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

Russia, Saint-Petersburg. I don’t know. The part of the reason why I like music is that it’s some form of an escapism for me. This may sound stupid, but I have a hard time finding Russian music that resonates with me and helps me to feel being ‘not there’. There are 2-3 artists from Russia I enjoy listening to. Oh, and I am originally from Kaluga, and the music scene there is the reason why I moved to a bigger city, cause there is none of it.

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

Latest release is “Make The Sun Shine More” EP, it was released in July 2020 and it’s sort of a turning point for me. My first 2 albums and this EP are very prog-metal stuff with some other genres blended in.

But my next album “Trancevoicer” (which is going to be out on March 19th) is a much more focused record. I decided to write a storyline and make it a concept album just to have some distinctive style to it and not to switch between genres and sounds way too much. (It’s one of the best albums I’ve heard so far this year – Rick)

‘The Mask of Kindness’ (Visualiser)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Chronologically: Ritchie Blackmore, Tomi Putaansuu, Alex Lifeson, James Hetfield, John Petrucci, Devin Townsend, Neal Morse, Tobias Forge, Tim Smith, Filippo Neviani.

What first got you into music?

Hearing O-Zone, Arash, Plazma on the radio all the time when I was 10. But if we are talking about heavy music – definitely Deep Purple, this was the only band I’ve been listening to since being 11-13.

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

All of the musicians that I adore are able to write/produce their own stuff with many line-up changes in their bands. So, I don’t know how I would help them. But I would like to collaborate with Sleep Party People, John Mitchell, Roine Stolt and Kyros.

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

Cruise to the Edge – there is no doubt about it.

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

They keep sending me money through Bandcamp for some reason, that’s weird…

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

Well…If you listen to my music and it resonates with you in some way – I am happy to provide some background soundtrack to your thoughts or life or whatever you are going through. No, seriously, thank you.

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

I am not sure about it, all of them. But it was very sad when Tim Smith from Cardiacs passed away last July.

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

I hate the lack of choice, because once you subconsciously devote yourself to this way of living – there is no turning back. Maybe there is and I am still in the teenage-rebel phase of my life, who knows. I enjoy feeling great once I finish writing/recording/mixing some song and, in the end, it perfectly represents what I was trying to say, that blueprint that once appeared for some reason.

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

This is a great question and I don’t know. Some people say that Spotify doesn’t pay artists enough. Well…look at how many streams U2, Lewis Capaldi and all these huge bands/artists have. And think about how much Spotify should pay them. I am not an expert, but I think charging more money for monthly subscriptions would help. Because now you pay the same amount of money in a month (and you can listen to any music non-stop for 30 days) that you’ve had to pay in 2005 for a pirated CD of some band’s discography in 128 kbps. There could be 4 songs on that CD, 15 minutes each and you would still pay the same, but now for listening to a 15-minute track you ‘pay’ the artist the same amount as if it was a 30 second track.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Nek – “Calore Umano”. The title track is the most heavenly-joyful-sounding thing I’ve ever heard.

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

For me downloads are the best, but no streaming service will replace the good old Sony Walkman for me.

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

We can skip that question; no gigs were played 😊.

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

Woodcarving.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Ian Gillan, Bono, Wheeler Walker Jr, Dean Ween, Al Jourgensen.

What’s next for the project?

I am in the process of trying to promote my new album “Trancevoicer” now. I have some ideas about the next album, but I have to second-guess them enough times before making some coherent decisions.

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

Burnt Coffee Reviews is a great website. I highly recommend you check it out.
www.burntcoffeereviews.com/

www.egorlappo.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/EgorLappoMusic
www.instagram.com/egorlappo/
www.vk.com/egor_lappo
www.open.spotify.com/artist/0wLW47tB5wit7vIDggmhkU
www.youtube.com/user/EgorLappo

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Mini-cakes and I love them!

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

Yes, lately I gained some weight eating tons of 7Days croissants.

Egor Lappo 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 party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Moonscape – Entity, Chapter II: Echoes From A Cognitive Dystopia

Entity, Chapter II: Echoes From A Cognitive Dystopia Album Art

Moonscape – Entity, Chapter II: Echoes From A Cognitive Dystopia
Self-Released
Release Date: 23/11/2020
Running Time: 37:28
Review by Victor Augusto
8/10

Here I am to review the amazing Norwegian band, Moonscape, for the second time. Back in 2017, I was lucky to review the first part of this saga, called simply “Entity”, and I have both a good memory about it, and a regret. Regret, because that album really deserved a better explanation, but I was so young as a reviewer, and immature, that it was impossible at that time. The good memory is of all the amazing people, connected to the band, that I became friends with, including Mr. Håvard Lunde, the one-man-band, and the mind behind the Moonscape concept and music. He is responsible for the composition and this time, he has surpassed himself, working out how he could connect all the guest musicians, to make this album sound as it does. Let me try to free myself from regret and explain why this material is so amazing.

The “Entity” concept (in both parts) is something like Rick Wakeman’s “Journey To The Centre Of The Earth”. Part one was like one song, divided into chapters. This album goes the same way, but we have four songs that have a logical sequence and don’t sound like only one track. In both cases, I used Rick Wakeman’s work as a reference, in terms of the album structure. Is it Progressive Rock/Metal music? Hell yes! Nevertheless, it has a specific sonority, very well balanced between what we know about progressive Heavy Metal bands. I feel that Håvard didn’t want to be stuck in one simple genre, because there are even a few Death Metal parts on this record, like the blast beat and guttural voice that open ‘The Ails To Withstand’.

There is incredible detail here. Quickly, use the scroll down bar to read the MANY guest musicians on this album, and you’ll understand what I mean. Have you read it? Good! Now, come back here and join me with my thoughts. Could you imagine yourself putting together so many contributors, to create good songs, as Håvard has done? It is the most impressive aspect for me. The way that all the guest musicians fit together, to create a good sequence in the songs is amazing! Just the work of all the singers is a hard job because each of them interprets one character in this history.

The concept, for what I could understand, is about someone who tries to flee from this world and hide himself deep inside his own mind, but his terrors and demons can still find him. All the characters (Shadowself, Demon, The Dreamer, Angel, Father and The Erratic) are different states of his mind, that create an inner conflict. But, maybe, they are all real people around the person who’s trying to flee away from this life. No matter what it represents, it is astonishing how all the singers create a different interpretation of each character, exploring angelical or tenor vocals, right to guttural voices. Again, the hard work to put all of it together is what caught my attention the most.

Musically, there’s everything from varied Heavy Metal styles, in good balance. There are various speeds, with loud bass and heavy guitars. Moonscape even use saxophone, violin and piano. Of course, the guitar and keyboard solos are the strongest elements along the tracks, but the other instruments help add different atmospheres, as the chapters are evolving in each track, alongside the new tensions and events from this saga.

At the end of the last song ‘In the Mourning Hours’, there are a few seconds of the intro of the first song from the previous album “Entity” (what we could call Pt1). Håvard also put in the sound of a heartbeat and that made me curious to understand what it means. Is this a sign of a rebirth? Is it the beginning of the same cycle, that will repeat over again? I don’t know, but this mystery will make the listener think about it and hear the album with more attention.

As with most albums from one-man bands, I just feel that the record could have had a little bit more attention paid to the production. However, if you consider that we have more than ten musicians, from all parts of the world, recording their parts alone, I’m certain that Håvard is a wizard and did some kind of magic to put it together! It is the kind of album that makes people think about their lives. I feel that Moonscape was never a band that wanted to record an easy-to-understand album. Moreover, this is the magical side of what Moonscape is. I hope you enjoy this journey through “Entity, Chapter II: Echoes From A Cognitive Dystopia” as much as I did.

TRACKLISTING:
01. A Prelude To Grief
02. Illusion Or Reality?
03. The Ails To Withstand
04. In The Mourning Hours

LINE-UP:
Håvard Lunde – Vocals, Bass, Lead/Rhythm/Acoustic Guitars, Percussion and Programming

GUEST MUSICIANS:
Pauli Souka (Coldbound) – Lead Vocals as ‘Shadowself’
Runar Steen Hansen (Firefight) – Lead Vocals as ‘Demon’
Drake Chrisdensen (Ruins of Elysium) – Lead and Backing Vocals as ‘The Dreamer’
David Åkesson (Qantice) – Lead Vocals as ‘The Erratic’
Marcela Villarroel – Lead Vocals as ‘Angel’
Andreas Jonsson (ex-Spiral Architect) – Lead Guitars
Cezar Popescu (Days of Confusion) – Lead Guitars
Bret Barnes (Independent) – Saxophone
Linus Abrahamson (Guthrie Govan, Andromeda etc.) – Lead Guitars
Aaron Minich (Nekrogoblikon) – Keyboards
Eirik Dischler (Shamblemaths) – Organ
Alexandra Laya (Qantice)- Violin
David Russell (Independent) – Piano
Leviathan (Ex-Unspoken, Kvesta, Abyss Below) – Lead Guitars
Rafael Agostino (Armored Dawn) – Keyboards
John Kiernan – Lead Guitars
Mark Anthony K. (Projekt Gemineye/The Dark Monarchy) – Lead Guitars
Diego Palma (LordDivine) – Keyboards

LINKS:

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.