Road Trip – Merry Go Round

Merry Go Round Album Cover Art

Road Trip – Merry Go Round
Epictronic
Release Date: 21/01/2022
Running Time: 53:36
Review by Martin Bennewith
8.5/10

“Merry Go Round” by Road Trip (Dave Hulatt) is a mixture of all the things I like about rock music. As an album rooted in they Psychedelic Rock genre, by nature it does not place itself right in your face with flashiness and overagression, instead it meanders through the time it takes to listen, with clear influences of early Barrett driven Floyd, as well as crossing into the realms of more arty, Progressive Rock, and the occasional flirt with a harder 70s sound. The album has a large focus on lead guitar, and to a lesser extent synthesised leads, where some may feel this is overdone, for the most part, I think it is a breath of fresh air.

The album begins with ‘Cracks In Space’, which has a Late 60s Psychedelic Rock feel, sometimes crossing into harder Rock. It is energetic, with dreamy lyrics, overdriven guitars but a fresh and easy listen. 

Next is ‘The Rabbit Hole’, which begins as eerie Folk, but emerges into softer Rock, with swirling tense lead guitar, progressive, hypnotic rhythms, and some swirling synths to compliment the guitar.

The third track, ‘Light of Perfection’ is introduced by Sweet guitar sounds prior to some delicate piano which carries emotion. With almost a country feel, the buildup is upbeat and progessive, and the lead guitar kicks in telling the story, with some synth bubbles creating a dreamy feel. This leads to a more tense section with a change of rhythm. A nice track.

Next is ‘Station In The Sky’. Classic Psychedelic Rock lyrics and singing style, dreamy, musically tense and modal – fun! The lead playing explores the possibilities of the underlying harmony well, with sinister musical breaks adding to the tension.

‘The Maze’ has an epic sounding beginning, which leads to an interesting part that is hard to pin down rhythmically and musically, and we get the same sort of dreamy lyrics again, over a loose Rock and Fusion jam. The number ebbs and flows, and evolves enough to keep me interested.

The next track, ‘Times Gone By’ is a bit different. It begins with a soft, emotional soulful feel, and when the lead guitar kicks in, the mood is emphasised some more, with floating melodies and effects that are soft and sustained. The mood slightly evolves and becomes even more laid back and reflective as the number progresses. A sweet instrumental track.

‘Welcome To The Dark’ is next, and in contrast, is very tense musically, but with a soft synthesised melody and stirring lyrics, which use spoken word to create a dystopian atmosphere. The number progresses into some heavier moments, with overdriven guitar and more synth moments. It’s in a minor modal musically with a hypnotic underlying rhythm.

‘The Trip’ can be described as an energetic improvised Classic Psychedelic Rock jam, with synth and lead complimenting each other; a foot tapping and head moving song. It is easy to get lost in this one, as I did. The vocals and lyrics are very dreamy, and it is a lot of fun!

Finally, ‘Merry Go Round’. The beginning is quite different, with chiming bells and swirling synths before the drums and guitars kick in, introducing the vocals. It has quite a melancholy and laid back feel at first, which evolves and changes into something more urgent. A nice end to a nice album.

Generally I found this album very easy to listen to, in fact it was so easy to listen to, I played it several times before starting this review. I am not saying there is no depth, rather it captivates and keeps the interest going with the subtle changes in style, musicality and rhythm. Although the track names, lyrics, and vocal style are a bit trippy, it actually feels like a work of art that could be appreciated whatever the state of mind, and that emotional but unpredictable lead guitar style that dominated the entire album left an impression. I think if I have any criticism, it would be that it sometimes felt a bit lacking in direction and even slightly self-indulging, which is understandable as a solo project. But if you can tap into the overall feel then it does captivate, which is why I will give this a 8.5/10.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Cracks In Space
02. The Rabbit Hole Of Time
03. The Light Of Perfection
04. Station In The Sky
05. The Maze
06. Times Gone By
07. Welcome to the Dark
08. The Trip
09. Merry Go Round

LINE-UP:
Dave Hulatt – Everything

LINKS:

Road Trip 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 GIANT WALKER

EMQ’s With GIANT WALKER


Hi Everyone! Welcome to another EMQs, this time with UK Based Heavy Progressive Rockers, Giant Walker. Huge thanks to them all 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?

Hey, we’re Giant Walker and we play Heavy Progressive Rock.  We’ve been playing music together since 2015, but Giant Walker was born a mere few months ago, as a rebirth of one of our previous projects.

How did you come up with your band name?

We were brainstorming different band names for months before we settled on Giant Walker.  In the end, Jordan (bass) was looking at mythical creatures and from that inspiration, imagined a giant being walked by a little child and so ‘Giant Walker’ was created!

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

We’re all from Newcastle, UK, but ¾ of the band now live in the South of England.  I’d say Newcastle has a quite lot of rock and metal fans but unfortunately, doesn’t get anywhere near the amount of funding and infrastructure as South and London.

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

Our latest single, ‘Optophobia’ was released on the 3rd of December, and followed our debut single, ‘The Fact in Fiction’ which came out on the 15th of October!

Who have been your greatest influences?

We obviously all have our own different inspirations, but collectively we’d say Soundgarden, Karnivool, Queens of the Stone Age, Deftones, The Contortionist, Radiohead, Tool, Big Wreck, Rage Against the Machine.

What first got you into music?

Everyone in the band grew up in households where music was and still is a big deal, so that’s definitely had a big influence on us pursuing music. We all chased that cathartic feeling you get when you find a new song that you really connect with, and this adds so much detail to the memories you have when you think back to being a kid.

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

That’s super tough, but we’d probably have to say Josh Homme – we’re a big fan of his work and also because he has such a distinct sound, it would be really interesting to write with him and see how the styles would work together.

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

Probably Download, because it’s one of the – if not the most – iconic rock festivals in the UK, so definitely one that you idealise playing as a kid.

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

No gifts

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

Bring gifts 😉

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

Chris Cornell

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

Being a musician means you have the ability to create something that captures exactly how you feel at any given moment in time, which is pretty cool, as then when you’re old and unable to function you have your life documented in sound.  In terms of what we hate – it’s expensive AF!

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

One of the worst things about the music industry, in general, is just the fact that because you enjoy it, people expect you to do it for free when you still need to make a living.  So, we’d say making sure artists are actually paid a decent percentage for music streaming.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Soundgarden – “Superunknown”

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

CDs

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

Well, very depressingly, we haven’t actually played a gig as Giant Walker because of the shenanigans of the past year and a half!!

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

Jamie – Skateboarding and doing generally nothing productive with my life

Alex – Fuck knows! My other passion is cooking, so maybe a chef…

Jordan – Hard to say as by about 4 years old, I knew I only wanted to play music.  But before that, I wanted to be a fireman so… that?

Steff – I’d like to think I’d still be creating something in some sense, so perhaps some kind of digital art…  Or maybe like, organising music events. Who knows!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Ozzy Osbourne, Gordon Ramsay, Jack Black, Louis Theroux and probs our mate, Lewis… it would be rude to leave him out.

What’s next for the band?

More singles on the way and some live shows (fiiiiinally)!!!

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

Facebook – www.facebook.com/giantwalker

Instagram – www.instagram.com/giantwalkerband

Website – www.giantwalker.co.uk

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyE2MMmggMfXKtSxHVv2iMA

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

They are a cake masquerading as a biscuit.  But ultimately, a cake – clues in the name 😉

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

Thanks Ever Metal for having us!  And to all those reading, thanks for listening!  We’re just getting started, so stay tuned!

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.

SchwertMann – Theater Of Grief

Theatre Of Grief Album Cover Art

SchwertMann – Theater Of Grief
Glassville Records
Release Date: 05/11/21
Running Time: 41:10
Review by Simon Black
8/10

This is the lockdown project from the frontman of Dutch Progressive Rock act, Kayak, Bart Schwertmann. He had been working on this before the world went to hell in a handbasket, but a combination of a nasty hernia, a full-on breakdown and a global pandemic meant that he has been able to devote the time to completing this conceptual piece, despite his involvement in Kayak having been a relatively recent thing, as this had been bubbling around for a good deal longer. It’s not clear which other musicians have been involved in the project – “musician friends” are the only credit the press release gives and it’s at times like this that I really miss the sleeve notes of a physical copy, but judging by the technical virtuosity on display here, we’re taking old hands at the Prog game and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that some of the other members of Kayak are involved in at least some capacity (although Schwertman does contribute bass and guitar parts to this along with vocals).

Musically this is a very warm and melodic record, despite the dark tone of the lyrical content, and that’s entirely down to the beautifully rich and clear timbre of Schwertmann’s voice, which is singing from the heart and with a hell of a lot of soul. The subject matter seems to have been heavily influenced by some of the rougher personal moments in his recent history and it’s a thematic concept rather than a literal story based on those experiences. This is slightly more of a Progressive Metal, than Rock outing that fans of Kayak may be expecting, but that said the musical style does venture into more familiar territory from time to time, with the ballad ‘Rainbow’ in particular being more of what Kayak fans would appreciate if the outré Metal of ‘Burning Down’ is too much. Personally, these more aggressive moments are the better ones, as vocally this forces Schwertmann into less familiar territory, which he delivers with power, aplomb in an utterly captivating manner, with the penultimate track ‘Can You Save Me?’ probably illustrating the best of what this record has to offer.

Producer Niels Lingbeek has done a cracking job here to boot, with a rich clear sound and a mix that allows the instruments to shine, whilst keeping Schwertmann front and centre, as is right, in a manner he may not get to deliver on his day job. This is a very rich and warm record and one that took a few listens before I could put fingers to keyboard, not because it was a tough nut to deconstruct, but because I kept getting distracted and lost in the work. That’s a good sign on any day.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Panic Mode
02. Antelope     
03. So Tired       
04. Burning Down           
05. There’s A Place         
06. Supernatural Forces
07. Rainbow      
08. Can You Save Me     
09. No One Else Can

LINE-UP:
Bart Schwertmann – Vocals, Bass & Guitar
Other Musicians not credited

LINKS:

SchwertMann Promo Pic

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.

Deadglow – Machine Skin/Your Blood (Parts 1-3) Dual Singles

Machine Skin, Your Blood (Parts 1-3) Dual Singles Cover Art

Deadglow – Machine Skin/Your Blood (Parts 1-3) Dual Singles
Self-Released
Release Date: 01/10/2021
Running Time: 17:02
Review by Beth Jones
8/10

Hello, my lovelies, I’m here voicing my opinion again. Now, we don’t usually review singles, but today’s subject is slightly different. It’s a dual single release – what would have been a double A side in the good old days – and it’s prog, so is just over 17 minutes long. In my book, that counts as an EP, and I co-own this site and make the rules, so there!

Disclaimer out of the way, let’s talk music! Deadglow are a Progressive Rock/Alternative Metal trio from Oulu in Finland, an area of the world that has a habit of producing some pretty epic musicians. This dual single release is a precursor to the release of their debut album, “Machine Skin”, on 29th October. I have to say, that listening to these two tracks has whet my appetite for the upcoming release, which I will be gladly snaffling off our review pile! So, what are Deadglow all about?

Well, instantly, I’m getting Pink Floyd vibes – the soaring guitar solos, steeped in echo and sumptuousness. But that’s melded with a darker, and more modern tone on percussion, and a more gothic element in the vocals.

‘Machine Skin’ begins with some very 80’s prog synth, with a pulsing rhythm. Then, without warning, it drops into a complete rhythm change, melding 80’s anthemic rock ballad with Floyd-esque guitars. It’s straightforward from this point, and a nice listen. Great vocals, and vocal harmonies, bags of echo, but a strong rhythm holding everything together. There is some impressive guitar work here too, from soring solos to dual harmonised sections.

‘Your Blood (Parts 1-3)’ is much darker. Beginning with a single, Hammond style, synth chord, joined by guitar (this really couldn’t get any more Pink Floyd influenced if it tried). But then along comes the heavier toned drums, giving it a modern twist. And when the vocals hit, it’s very 90’s gothic. Think Nick Cave doing a guest spot with Pink Floyd, and you’re somewhere in the right area. Personally, I think that would be spectacular!

I like this a lot. It’s different, yet familiar, all in the same breath.

We are very much looking forward to the videos that accompany these tracks and to reviewing the album.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Machine Skin
02. Your Blood (Parts 1-3)

LINE-UP:
Simo Lukkari – Lead, Rhythm & Bass Guitar
Juho Mikkonen – Drums, Percussion
Jukka Ruottinen – Vocals

With Guests:
Sami Perttunen – Co-Lead guitar on ‘Machine Skin’
Mika Pohjola – Keyboards

LINKS:

LINK TO OUR INTERVIEW WITH DEADGLOW:

Deadglow Promo Pic (Credit Sami Perttunen)
Photo by Sami Perttunen

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.

Interview with DEADGLOW

Deadglow Interview

Interview with DEADGLOW
By Rick Tilley

Hi Everyone.

Finnish Progressive Rock/Alternative Metal trio Deadglow are gearing up to release their debut album “Machine Skin” on 29th October. As a precursor to that their first, dual, singles and videos ‘Machine Skin’/’Your Blood (Parts 1-3)’ are about to devour your senses. Their sound encompasses Pink Floyd to Death via Tesseract as well as inspiration from Sci-Fi/Horror movies, books and art.

With this in mind, we thought it would be great to have a chat with them about the band, so my thanks go to vocalist Jukka Ruottinen, guitarist/bassist Simo Lukkari and drummer Juho Mikkonen for their time.

You can find a link to our review of the singles at the end of the interview.

Q: How did Deadglow form?

Simo: I wanted to create music that I am really into, but instead of forming a band, I approached Deadglow from a different angle. I wrote some songs and booked a studio without rehearsing for recording a single. It worked out well, so I decided to continue. I had plans to record material with different musicians, but things worked out so well that I cancelled that. Deadglow is all about sound, echoes and making something that you love and like to listen to. Deadglow is only a year and a half old, but we have already twelve songs recorded and more to come.

Jukka: Simo needed a vehicle to release his music, so he asked me to work with him on some songs. I then joined to add vocals to his new project. After the first recording session, Juho Mikkonen joined as drummer. We have some friends helping us on some tracks, but the three of us is Deadglow for now.

Q: Who are the members of Deadglow and can you tell us a little more about yourselves?

Simo: I have been playing guitar from the age of 14 and I have been writing music for several years now. I played Hair Metal, Glam Rock and Grunge as well as toured for some time in Finland. When I write music, I am usually heavily inspired by something like a movie or a certain atmosphere. It is the best way to get rid of reality.

Jukka: I’ve been singing my whole life and playing guitar from my teens. Mostly my bands played slow acoustic songs, but Grunge and heavier music have always been what I love. The last 5 years I’ve been singing a lot of Rock. The music that Simo creates inspires me to write lyrics, and takes me to places, so it’s great to be part of Deadglow. Simo is one hell of a guitar player and I like Juho’s hard hitting drumming.

Juho: I’ve been playing drums for 21 years with different bands. Styles have varied from Black Metal to Thrash Metal and Rock. Last year Simo sent me a couple of demos and asked me if I was available to play drums. The demos hit me right away and reminded me somehow of the music of my youth that I love. Besides musical talents, Simo and Jukka are also nice guys, so why would I not take the opportunity! I also play in a band called The Groupie High School and have my own firm.

Q: What is the origin of the Deadglow name, and what are your primary influences?

Simo: The inspiration came from the Stephen King novel “IT”. It refers to the glow you can see in the mouth of Pennywise when he prepares to eat. I guess I can say that a lot of the Deadglow inspiration comes from 80s Horror and Sci-Fi books and movies. We all love 80’s music, sounds, echoes, synths, horror movies and art. We are influenced by Stephen King books, John Carpenter movies and H.P Lovecraft.

Q: Is it possible for you to describe the musical genre of Deadglow, and how did you decide on this style?

Simo: I think we don’t have a primary genre, but if I had to pick one, I would say it is Old School Heavy Metal meets Pink Floyd. I have always been a fan of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, but also like a lot of different genres. So, if the mood changes, then the music changes. The main thing in Deadglow is the sound…our song ‘Your Blood’ is the primary Deadglow sound, it means echoes from a different world.

Q: Are you keen to take this album out on the road, for live performances?

Simo: We have some killer tracks and hopefully we can do some shows soon. We also have some demo songs for our second album already. To do a live show with this type of band is a bit harder than with a normal Rock group. For example, in upcoming songs we need to play with two different drum sets, because there is just so much to play. If you want to play that live, basically, you must have two drummers on stage, or you must arrange that somehow. It will be the most ambitious thing any of us has ever done.

Q: When did you decide to go into the studio, and how was the recording experience?

Simo: After we recorded a single, we decided to record the whole album in the same style. No rehearsing, just straight to the studio. We recorded the whole album in four or five days, so it meant that we had to practice a lot on our own. The whole experience was good, and we recorded in a professional high-end studio with high-quality gear. We used only analogue recording and played as much naturally, as we could, to avoid fixing much afterwards.

Q: What is the driving force behind your songwriting?

Jukka: Simo creates the music first, then I try to write lyrics and vocal melodies that suits the music. Some songs sound dark, some lighter, so the lyrics also go through all kinds of emotions. I don’t really like to explain words too much, so I hope they tell something to everyone. I saw the album and single cover before all the lyrics were final, so that kind of also affected my writing. For some reason I was also reading a lot of dystopian books and watching TV series when writing.

Q: What inspire the visual elements of Deadglow?

Jukka: The primary visual inspiration comes from Simo’s love of all kinds of classic Sci-Fi and Horror. It’s all about the state of this world; humans will destroy all nature, and eventually nature will have its revenge…or the machines will get us! The look and the feel are dystopian…the end of everything is sorrowful, but the new beginning will come, and it means also hope!

Q: What does the next 12 months look like for Deadglow?

Simo: a lot of promotion and creating a new, mind-blowing concept album.

THANK YOU

BIO:

Deadglow is a Progressive Rock/Alternative Metal trio from Oulu in Finland consisting of Jukka Ruottinen (Vocals), Juho Mikkonen (Drums) and Simo Lukkari (Guitar & Bass).

The Deadglow sound is progressive and melodic, yet straightforward. You can hear echoes of Death, Judas Priest, Alice In Chains and Pink Floyd, whilst appealing to fans of TesseracT, Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus and Amorphis. The talented trio is inspired by 80’s music, sounds, echoes, synths as well as Sci-fi and Horror movies and art.

Deadglow has been hard at work recording their debut album “MACHINE SKIN” (coming Friday 29th October) in a professional high-end studio in Finland using only high-quality analogue recording gear. They furthermore played as naturally as possible, to avoid fixing much afterwards. On Friday 1st October, the first dual singles and videos from this upcoming album will be unleashed called ‘MACHINE SKIN’/‘YOUR BLOOD (PARTS 1 – 3)’!

DEADGLOW ONLINE:

MEDIA REPRESENTATIVE:

Devographic Music Agency

LINK TO OUR REVIEW OF ‘MACHINE SKIN’/‘YOUR BLOOD (Parts 1-3)’

Deadglow Promo Pic (Credit Sami Perttunen)
Photo by Sami Perttunen

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Rick Tilley 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.

One Hundred Thousand – Zodiac

Zodiac Album Cover Art

One Hundred Thousand – Zodiac
Self-Released
Release Date: 09/04/2021
Running Time: 72:00
Review by Beth Jones
9/10

By nature, Progressive Rock/Metal is an expansive and exploratory genre. Possibly why I love it so much. So, as always, I jump at the chance of exploring further when a new name lands in my review pile.

One Hundred Thousand are a progressive outfit from New Jersey, USA. They have been active since 2017, and recently released their sophomore album, “Zodiac”. As exploratory goes, this one is a smorgasbord. It’s a concept album, with every song exploring traits of a particular sign of the zodiac. Lyrically, it follows a protagonist over the course of a year, from a place of ‘devastating personal loss, through the illusion of hope, to an enigmatic finale’. The way the band released this album is also intriguing. They started with ‘Aries’, the first track, back in March 2020, as the pandemic hit, and continued releasing one track a month, to correlate with the star signs, finishing with ‘Pisces’, which was released in February this year.

The first thing that hits you about this album is precision. Its intricate and heavy melodies, riffs, and rhythms are oozing with detail. There isn’t a single note or beat that isn’t there for a reason. This makes it expansive and immersive, but also delicate. Sweeping areas of ambience are demolished by gritty guitars, thumping percussion, and down tuned rumbling bass, only to rise again with sumptuous solos and soaring clean vocals, which give way to raw vocals, Modern Metal style. And if you listen carefully, there are some extra details added low down in the mix, which fill out this already massive sound even more.

‘Gemini’ is one of a few stand-out track for me. It starts with acapella voices in harmony, with a whole bag of reverb on, which makes it dark and mysterious. But then it moves into guitars, vocals, and a fiendishly complex rhythm. It’s got the tone of 90’s Indie Rock, but a hefty injection of proginess, too. But, and yes here comes my gripe, FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIC, PLEASE STOP FADING TRACKS OUT! It has always been, and will always be my biggest, nails down a blackboard bugbear. I appreciate this is only my opinion, and there are probably many others who wouldn’t agree, but I want every song to come to a close, not disappear into the distance ad infinitum.

When it comes to hard and heavy tracks, ‘Scorpio’ wins the prize. It has the essence of a modern metal track in terms of tone, and harsher vocals, but it still remains firmly in prog territory. It has a frenetic middle section, and even double kick drum going on, which definitely move it into a heavier territory than the rest of the album up to that point.

Now, I’m not huge on star signs, but I do know that mine is Sagittarius, so I was keen to listen to that track. It’s a very interesting track – quite 70’s vocal harmonies, and very experimental. But, again, every detail is superbly executed. The modern metal sounds come into this song too, adding extra flavour as the album begins to move towards its climactic end. That’s followed by ‘Capricorn’, which hands down wins for expansiveness. There’s so much in this track. It’s like a five-course meal all in one song, exploring a variety of different musical sounds and styles. Love it.

‘Pisces’, the final track, although slow in tempo, is pretty brutal, and see the sound work through various different experimental elements again. It’s an interesting way to close out an album, although I don’t find it as strong as some of the other tracks. That said, apart from my one little gripe about the fades, this is a wonderfully intriguing body of work, and if you like anything progressive and huge, then you’ll enjoy this.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Aries
02. Taurus
03. Gemini
04. Cancer
05. Leo
06. Virgo
07. Libra
08. Scorpio
09. Sagittarius
10. Capricorn
11. Aquarius
12. Pisces

LINE-UP:
Alex Goldenthal – Guitar
Andrew Magnotta – Bass
Rich Matos – Vocals
Gregg Sgar – Guitar
Kurt Wübbenhorst – Drummer

LINKS:

One Hundred Thousand 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.

EMQ’s With A FOOL’S MOCKERY

A Fool's Mockery Logo

EMQ’s With A FOOL’S MOCKERY

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview courtesy of Victor, with Manchester, England based Progressive Metal/Rock band, A Fool’s Mockery. Huge thanks to drummer/keyboardist Jase Tyler 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 Jase Tyler, the drummer and keyboardist in A Fool’s Mockery. The band originated in North Wales, where me, the guitarist Eddy Bleasdale and the bassist Scott Gurnett began recording our debut album while completing our master’s degrees at University. We were joined a year later by Emannuel Thorsen for vocals. It was all recorded in a very “on-the-go” way using my laptop, composing and recording whenever we had spare time.

How did you come up with your band name?

It was Scott who suggested the name; I think the “Fool” part was inspired by the Jester who appears on the cover artwork of the band Edguy. “Mockery” was a euphonious word to complete the name.

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

We are based in the UK, and most of us live in the city of Manchester. Here the rock and metal scene is thriving – before 2020 there were plenty of rock and metal gigs in various venues, ranging from bands making a stop on a world tour, to small performances in bars. I hope to see this continue in the near future.

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

At the beginning of February, we released our debut concept album “Empire of Doubt”. This followed the release of the two singles ‘The Great Lie’ and ‘Plea for Forgiveness’ in the previous month, which were each accompanied by a music video and a lyric video, respectively. These are available to watch on our YouTube channel. We are all extremely pleased with what we’ve come up with, and we look forward to making the next one!

‘The Great Lie’ (Official Video)

‘Plea For Forgiveness’ (Lyric Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

For me personally, the bands Dream Theater, Avantasia, Ayreon, Ghost and The Neal Morse Band have captivated my ears like no others! But one thing I find so refreshing and wonderful about working together with the other AFM members is that we all herald from different musical genres – so if you were to ask any of the other guys the same question, you’d get a totally different answer. I’m also partial to the more “classic” metal bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest etc – but then, who isn’t!

What first got you into music?

It was through learning to play the drums and joining my first band that I became infatuated with music – both in listening and performing. That pushed me into finding out what other drummers were doing in famous bands, so I explored their discographies and learned some of their songs. The composition side of music became much more exciting for me personally with this album “Empire Of Doubt” since it’s my first real use of the keyboard in song writing.

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

I’d love to work with Tobias Sammet, since his voice has always seemed so powerful yet expressive to me. I also think Jordan Rudess’ keyboard playing is in a class of its own, and it would be majestic to jam with him some day. I love Arjen Lucassen’s musical arrangements, so it would be pretty cool to collaborate with him too!

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

Definitely Wacken! I’ve dreamt of playing there since I was about 15. I love the community that is present there, and the pure emotion from all the acts on stage. As Eric Martin said when he was there – it’s the Mecca of heavy metal!

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

A pair of shoes.

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

I would emphasise the importance of perseverance – don’t let circumstance stop you from achieving a goal! I believe our album is a testament to that effect: we recorded it without expensive equipment, while at University, and finished it during the abomination of a year that was 2020. Keep on reminding yourself that there is always another way to accomplish something!

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

Ronnie James Dio.

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

I love how it allows me to be creative and express myself, and specifically in the setting of the band, how collaboration results in a melting pot of ideas. Someone might come up with a riff, which gets reinterpreted by someone else, and ends up in various iterations throughout a song from having different people’s perspectives and input into that musical idea. I hate the tedium that is an inevitable necessity of the recording process: I am something of a perfectionist, so I’ve recorded some parts many more times than I’d care to mention for the sake of them sounding the way I want.

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

More music and less ego.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Conceptual albums have always stood out to me. I’m torn between naming Dream Theater’s “Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory” and The Neal Morse Band’s “The Similitude Of A Dream” as my favourite! Both feature excellent virtuosic musicianship and storytelling, with brilliant thematic reprisals which complement their respective narratives. If any of the readers have not heard these albums, I can thoroughly recommend having a listen! The artists have each made a huge contribution to the Progressive Rock genre with these albums.

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

Vinyl, Cassettes and CDs for sure.

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

Headbangers Attack Festival.

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

I suppose I’d be doing the same job as I am now, just with less to occupy my free time. I currently work in a genomics company, developing diagnostic products for cervical cancer. I’ve also been involved with microbiological research.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Angela Gossow, Michael Kiske, Doro, Eric Adams and Rob Halford.

What’s next for the band?

Hopefully, after the pandemic we can get together to work on a second album, and all being well we can play some live shows! This depends on a lot of things though, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

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

You can find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and you can listen to our music pretty much anywhere! The main website from which you can purchase the album digitally is Bandcamp, and most of our other websites (merch etc) are linked to from there as well.
www.facebook.com/AFoolsMockery
www.twitter.com/afoolsmockery/
www.instagram.com/afoolsmockery/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCE8BkNLxaMi2fErdcBSI8eg/
www.afoolsmockery.bandcamp.com/
www.afoolsmockery.dizzyjam.com/ (Merch)

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Cakes harden as they go off, whereas biscuits turn soft. Jaffa cakes become hard if left out for a while, so I’d say they are cakes.

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

Rock on.

Victor’s original review of “Empire Of Doubt”

A Fool's Mockery 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.

A Fool’s Mockery – Empire Of Doubt

Empire Of Doubt Album Cover Art

A Fool’s Mockery – Empire Of Doubt
Self-Released
Release Date: 01/02/2021
Running Time: 63:43
Review by Victor Augusto
8.5/10

Music can be a very interesting thing and I am not just talking just about the act of hearing it, but how it connects people around the world. As you probably know, I am the first Brazilian to be part of Ever Metal and during almost 2 years with this beautiful team, I have understood a little more of the culture in the UK, even if I still live an ocean apart from them. But it is funny that, even though I have got closer to them, I still discover things from there, from friends in my own country and this is how I found out about A Fool’s Mockery, an amazing band from the UK, thanks to their singer and my great friend Emannuel Thorsen.

Emannuel is also Brazilian and we lived in the same city when he was part of a great band called Hell Bound. When he moved to the UK, he had to leave that band, but his path converged with the other members of A Fool’s Mockery. Now, this is a new era for him and the band, with their first release. I don’t know exactly how they ending up meeting each other but my advice to you is that, after listening to “Empire Of Doubt” for the first time is not to expect immature music and performance just because it is a debut album. I don’t know their ages, but they are young as a band, however, this is a very mature album. So, let’s understand what it has offer to us, the listeners.

Opening track, ‘The Great Lie’, shows what I consider to be a mix of Classic Heavy Rock (Deep Purple) with Power Metal elements such as the fast drum fills and Emmanuel’s vocals interpretations. The presence of Jase Tyler’s keyboards is another element that navigates between Classic and the more Melodic Power Metal style. By the way, Jase is also the man who holds the drumsticks in the band (at least, in the studio) and I must highlight how astonishing he is on both instruments. Next track, ‘Let The Truth Be Known’ keeps the happy spirit of the band’s sonority and, once again, the keyboards are very present. In this song, the bass of Scott Gurnett also has a strong presence, considering there are almost no guitars, just short and good solos.

I guess the dramatic change of the album’s sonority happens on ‘Enter The New’ where progressive elements take over. If before, I felt a balance between Classic Rock and Power Metal, this time I could feel the influence of bands such as Rush and Dream Theater. This makes it sound a little less Metal and Rock and, as I’m not the biggest fan of Progressive Metal, I started off worried but, in this instance, I absolute love the end result.

As with most material labelled ‘progressive’, you get extensive songs, such as the beautiful ‘The Heretic’ and the eighteen minute long ‘Cardinal Sinner’. The former I loved because it has a lot of different cadences and moments. It is the best time to check out the versatile riffs of guitarist Eddy Bleasdale and, once again, there are excellent independent bass lines from Scott Gurnett. What I admire here is how the band maintain a smooth atmosphere even when things become heavy!

The instrumental ‘Much’ has the same spirit, but with more space for kick ass drum work, even showcasing some blues influence. However, we still have space for heavier stuff such as ‘Wrath Of The Divine’ or the more ballad driven, in a very good Deep Purple way, ‘Plea for Forgiveness’. To epically finish the album, the band present ‘Legacy’ which includes great orchestration. Emmanuel’s beautiful vocal interpretation together with Jase, Eddy and Scott show how incredible they are on their instruments, without creating music full of annoying and over the top virtuosity.

Despite “Empire Of Doubt” being a debut album, it is wonderful how they have worked so hard to create great material. The main goal, at least for me, is how they found a way to mix different genres, that on their own, may be considered a little boring for those of us not fans of them but, in this case, sounded cool and the listening experience became incredibly enjoyable. This album is 63 minutes long, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it.

If you are fan of Rock/Progressive bands like Rush and Deep Purple but like something a little more Metal, or love Progressive Heavy Metal but miss the simplicity of Rock then I am certain that you will love and admire how A Fool’s Mockery have combined the best of these two worlds.

‘The Great Lie’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Great Lie
02. Let the Truth Be Known
03. Enter The New
04. The Heretic
05. Much (Instrumental)
06. Wrath Of The Divine
07. Plea For Forgiveness
08. Cardinal Sinner
09. Legacy

LINE-UP:
Emannuel Thorsen – Vocals
Jase Tyler – Drums, Keyboards, Percussion
Eddy Bleasdale – Guitars
Scott Gurnett – Bass

LINKS:

A Fool's Mockery Promo Pic

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.

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.