Epoch Of Chirality – Nucleosynthesis

Nucleosynthesis Album Cover Art

Epoch Of Chirality – Nucleosynthesis
Self-Released
Release Date: 23/07/2021
Running Time: 48:48
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Good afternoon from the hallowed lands of West Yorkshire, where pendulous skies abound, the moors brood and beguile you in their sparse and barren splendour, and where the Smellhounds are currently emitting scents that could conceivably be used for ethnic cleansing in some less salubrious regimes. Mrs. Dark Juan is currently sat across from me in the lounge, creating yet another warped objet d’art dragged from the blackest pits of her imagination whilst giggling her little head off at Joe Lycett telling stories about how he had to come downstairs while living with his parents when experiencing some tumescence after a saucy dream about Idris Elba. This scenario was indeed chortlesome.

Oh, how I laughed as I wondered what it would be like to have an erotic dream instead of the blood-soaked horrors that pass for my dreamworld. Especially as I woke this morning from dreaming of having slaughtered my way through an entire company of Russian Spetsnaz using nothing but my teeth and a combat knife. Their combat wrestling training didn’t count for anything much considering how easy it was to tear their arms off and beat them to death with the wet ends…

Such violent imagery reminds me of the slew of action movies that thrilled young Dark Juan in the Eighties – Commando, The Terminator, Predator, Cobra and the like as well as all the video nasties like Anthropophagous Beast and Cannibal Holocaust. These all shared one thing, and that was an epic soundtrack. Which, and this for once is a fucking bang tidy segue, leads us on to the music of Epoch Of Chirality, being a one-man musical project emanating from the somewhat fevered imagination of Mr. Richard How of the South-West of jolly old England.

This is EOC’s second release, after Richard’s debut EP which was entitled “Dawn Of Chirality” in 2020. As a quick aside, Chirality is a property of asymmetry important in several branches of science. The word chirality is derived from the Greek χειρ (kheir), “hand,” a familiar chiral object. Basically, it means a non-superimposable mirror image of an object. Now we have that bit of Wikipedia bothering out of the way, I can begin to describe “Nucleosynthesis”, this being the process that creates new atomic nuclei from pre-existing nucleons (protons and neutrons) and nuclei. Which is a rather fitting way to describe a second musical release then, “Dawn Of Chirality” being analogous to the Big Bang, and “Nucleosynthesis” being the creation of the Universe. Or at least Epoch Of Chirality’s universe, which operates in a kind of dark light, neon dripping Blade Runner-esque dystopian galaxy of electronic soundscapes merged with the cutting fury of heavy metal.

As regular readers of my terrible ramblings will know, I have a real soft spot for synthwave (be it Outrun, or Vapourwave (I REFUSE TO USE THE RUBBISH AMERICAN SPELLING!) or whatever) and two of my absolute favourites from this style of music are Master Boot Record (an Italian madman who identifies himself as an IBM 486 Central Processing Unit. Remember them? Oh, and he has an unhealthy obsession with ASCII) and Gunship (British, absolutely brilliant and now can be forgiven for their travesty of a former band, Fightstar, mainly because they have brought Tim fucking Capello back to the attention of a rapt audience, thankfully without the purple spandex). Both of which are big fucking boots to try and fill. Epoch Of Chirality leans more toward the cinematic soundscapes of MBR and also doesn’t employ any vocals, letting the music try to hold your interest all by itself, rather than following the electro-pop stylings and emotionally fraught singing of the worthy British combo.

Thankfully, EOC manages to stand proud with the music and is fresh and original sounding. Every song brings a different flavour and mood, ‘Maiden Voyage’ being particularly schizophrenic with 80’s tinkly bonk Bontempi keyboards meeting martial drumming, eastern sounding flurries on keys transforming into glockenspiel runs and then trumpets and gothic piano taking over with the occasional stab of electric guitar until it switches gear and tempo and turns into a rampaging metal beast. Album opener ‘Dawn Of Chirality’ beguiles with waves of soft, foamy keyboards building slowly into pure, full on metal riffing with coruscating waves of electronic sound beneath it as the drums build into a percussive, machine gun wall of sound and the oh so 80’s keyboard rises magnificently over it all and I’m just waiting for Airwolf to rise out of its secret volcano hangar dramatically through the caldera and shoot down shitloads of bad guys. ‘The Abyssal Fleet’ is pure cinema in musical form, being an Imperial march full of bombast, and easily conjuring the image of a grim and mighty fleet of battle-scarred starships slipping their moorings and travelling towards a warzone where the hellish power of their particle beam weapons and explosive gravitic lances will level the surface of an enemy planet in short and terrible order. ‘Undercity Rising’ has my imagination running riot with images of muties emerging from under Mega-City One with murder and mayhem on their minds, and only a thin line of Judges to meet them.

Every tune on the album evinces a feeling of big-screen theatrics from the age of neon-tinged dystopian nightmares. ‘Labyrinth’ could easily be the soundtrack to an epic car chase through a darkened, mirror universe Miami, scattering the shattered bodies of unwary pedestrians in the wake of speeding vehicles exchanging gunfire and grenades, while our muscle bound hero escapes all attempts on his life with witty one-liners and an assault rifle that miraculously never runs out of ammunition. Apart from the middle eight which makes it sound like you’re going to enter some kind of dark tunnel or dread fortress before the song returns to speed and chunky fucking riffing and the full-on car chase aesthetic. The last tune, ‘Paradox’, brings back memories of the more esoteric moments of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark in the intro and is so bright, shiny and Tron-like it made me weep tears of joy for a childhood lost to Satan worship, extremely perverse sexual encounters and absinthe, before turning into the most metal song on the album. There is also a magnificent guitar solo that also made me become highly excited and spasmodically jerk around the lounge and has raised the ire of at least two Smellhounds and Mrs. Dark Juan. It is a most fitting climax to an album that is utterly perfect for hitting a motorway at 3am with 200 miles to cover. You too can experience the feeling that you are fleeing hordes of heavily armed bastards in shiny black Jaguars on your work trip to Basingstoke simply by popping Epoch Of Chirality in the CD player and letting your imagination run riot.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Epoch Of Chirality and Ever-Metal will not accept any legal liability for the fact you’ll probably hit 130 mph on the M1 in your Vauxhall Corsa just outside of Luton and will have to explain to Hertfordshire Police that the music made you do it, and that there isn’t in fact a horde of heavily armed bastards racing after you in shiny black Jaguars intent on letting your brains escape through your nose via the medium of 9mm Parabellum bullets.

On that happy note, if you like Master Boot Record, Carpenter Brut, Pertubator, Gunship and the like, you’ll probably adore this. I do. If you are more a trve metal kvlt person, you’ll hate it because it has more influences than guitar, bass, drums, drugs, misogyny and alcoholism and it will fry your little brain. For everyone else, I officially declare this record fucking brilliant. You should give it a bash.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards the full 10/10 to Epoch Of Chirality and loves the magical, 80’s arcade aesthetic of it all so is off to Arcade Club in Bury in short order to go and destroy hordes of filthy alien enemies on R-Type II to a soundtrack of Epoch Of Chirality resounding through my headphones.

‘Labyrinth’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Dawn Of Chirality
02. Undercity Rising
03. Caravan To The Midnight Mountain
04. Boreal
05. Pyramid Cybergod
06. Maiden Voyage
07. The Abyssal Fleet
08. Labyrinth
09. Paradox

LINE-UP:
Richard How – Multi-instrumentalist uber-talented BASTARD!!!
(Especially because I can’t even fucking play the guitar properly, let alone anything else…)

LINKS:

Album Advert

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

Bjarte K. Helland – Maniae EP

Maniae EP Cover

Bjarte K. Helland – Maniae EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 18/06/2021
Running Time: 22:51
Review by Simon Black
7/10

It takes all sorts to make a genre and body of music that is the Church of All Things Rock And Metal. That means that for those of us who plough through a couple of hundreds records a year in order to encourage you to support the artists (whether we like them or not), it means you have to be prepared to be taken out of your comfort zone and occasionally be pleasantly surprised. This short, but fascinating EP is a solo project of Quadrasonic, FastLoaders and Pitch Black Mentality drummer Bjarte K. Helland. It’s also an entirely instrumental piece, focussing on a complex hybrid of Progressive Rock/Metal and Jazz Fusion. However, you would expect him as a drummer to dominate the sound and the mix, but he doesn’t (although the footwork is phenomenal). If anything, the strings are front and foremost in the mix, particularly Jarle H. Olsen’s rather fantastic and effortlessly fluid guitar work.

This is obviously intended to be a studio project, but despite the choice of style it’s remarkably easy to listen to and although the openers ‘Lyssa’ and ‘Light of Erebus’ are pure Jazz Fusion, the more straight ahead Rock beat of ‘Monolith’ illustrates that there’s plenty in there for the more heavily inclined without losing that subtlety and complexity. Jazz Fusion is often in danger of alienating its listeners by going down an overtly showy road, but because this piece focuses on melody and catchiness first and foremost – rather than appealing only to those who know or care about the difference between a secondary dominant and a tritone substitution, diminished or otherwise. Bottom line is for those with a Prog bent, then this is going to tick a few boxes with its technically dazzling but fundamentally listenable approach to a style of music that isn’t for all but which works like a dream here.

‘Light Of Erebus’ (Official Visualizer)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Lyssa
02. Light Of Erebus
03. Monolith
04. Rabid

LINE-UP:
Jarle H. Olsen – Guitars
Ric Fierabracci – Bass
Bjarte K. Helland – Drums

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.

Liquid Tension Experiment – LTE3

LTE3 Album Cover Art

Liquid Tension Experiment – LTE3
Inside Out Music
Release Date: 16/04/2021
Running Time: 61:39
Review by Chris Galea
10/10

It’s hard to believe that it has been over 20 years since the first Liquid Tension Experiment (LTE) CD popped into my letter box but on listening to the band’s 3rd album, it feels much less than that.

For the uninitiated, LTE was formed after 4 academically trained musicians got together in one room hoping that something worthwhile would emerge from their collaborative efforts. The musicians were guitarist John Petrucci and drummer Mike Portnoy, who at the time were both parts of Dream Theater; ex-King Crimson bassist Tony Levin and keyboardist Jordan Rudess. Well, something worthwhile had emerged…in fact so productive was the chemistry between them that Jordan Rudess ended up being invited to join Dream Theater…where he remains to this day. The first LTE album was quickly followed by another but that was the distant 1999.

In a nutshell LTE is an instrumental band that inhabits the boundaries of Progressive Metal. The beauty of this project is that there are no significant constrictions, whether artistic or commercial, on what to create. Having said that, I’d say that “3” feels Jazzier, Bluesier, Funkier and perhaps more eclectic than the previous 2 LTE albums. And yet the source of the music is immediately recognisable. Case in point is ‘Beating The Odds’, which John Petrucci recently described as the “feel-good song of the pandemic”.

The tracks I liked most are also the ‘weirdest’…the most adventurous…of the lot: ‘Liquid Evolution’ and ‘Rhapsody In Blue’. The latter track, in particular, seems to possess the musical playfulness often associated with Frank Zappa.

When you hear Tony Levin extracting a series of harmonics from his bass, you know that Chris and Kevin (whoever they are) are about to embark on another journey. I’m referring to the track ‘Chris & Kevin’s Amazing Odyssey’ (Note: the 1st LTE album had featured a track called ‘Chris And Kevin’s Excellent Adventure’).

‘Shades Of Hope’ contains some of the emotional intensity of ‘Out Of The Blue’, a track that appeared on Petrucci’s recent “Terminal Velocity” solo album.

Mike Portnoy sounds relentless in ‘The Passage of Time’, the closest the album gets (musically speaking) to Dream Theater. In this track his drumming works particularly well with Petrucci’s fiery riffs.

All musicians are in excellent form, individually and collectively. There’s no doubt in my mind that this third LTE outing delivers on its potential and expectations in leaps and bounds.

‘The Passage Of Time’ (Official Video)

‘Hypersonic’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Hypersonic
02. Beating The Odds
03. Liquid Evolution
04. The Passage Of Time
05. Chris & Kevin’s Amazing Odyssey
06. Rhapsody In Blue
07. Shades Of Hope
08. Key To The Imagination

LINE-UP:
Tony Levin – Bass Guitars, Chapman Stick
John Petrucci – Guitars
Mike Portnoy – Drums
Jordan Rudess – Keyboards

LINKS:

Liquid Tension Experiment Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris Galea 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 ROBYN FERGUSON

EMQ’s with ROBYN FERGUSON

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with South African based Guitarist, Vocalist & Prog Prodigy, Robyn Ferguson. Huge thanks to Robyn for taking part.

Robyn is a passionate musician from South Africa who knows how to work hard and play hard! Known for her dynamic live performances and adept guitar skills with acts like Adorned in Ash and Sistas of Metal, Robyn has been flying solo the past 2 years with 3 powerhouse releases now under her belt. The last year has not been easy for Robyn and her Satellite EP “Harbinger” follows close on the heels of her hugely successful debut EP “Alizarin”and sophomore EP “Falling Forward”. In her mental, emotional and spiritual journey to rise above health challenges. Robyn states that “there were many challenges faced and some that are still being faced. I am happy to say that, despite all these battles and still having some nerve damage and paralysis in parts of my body, (like 3 of the 5 fingers on my left hand), the creation of this album has been so liberating and exciting. This past year has completely kicked me into a different frame of mind and I’ve found myself looking at the world through a different lens. This year has pushed and pulled me like no other and I hope that this record will bring hope to those who are facing their own battles and inner demons.”

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about your history?

Robyn Ferguson, I’m a guitarist and vocalist and have been a solo musician since 2019

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

I’m from South Africa! The scene is small but solid!

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

My latest release is my satellite EP called “HARBINGER”; a 2 track EP that closely follows my EP called “Falling Forward” from earlier this year.

‘Premonitions’ (Visualiser)

‘Apparitions’ (Audio)

Who have been your greatest influences?

So, so many, but I have to foremost mention Devin Townsend, Karnivool and Polyphia!

What first got you into music?

I think, I was just born with a love for it.

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

The epic Devin Townsend!

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

I honestly want to play them all, because it’s my dream to play on the stages of the world.

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

Their napkin…who knows why they had one.

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

Do what you believe in, and push forward!

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

The legendary Mr. Ronnie James Dio!

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

Creation, composition and being on stage are among my favourite things. I hate hauling gear…my poor back!

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

Most definitely Egos!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Polyphia – “Renaissance”

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

All of the above haha!

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

Rock no Rio in Angola was so, so amazing!

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

A Graphic Designer.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

My five personalities. 😊

What’s next for you?

Collaborations…and a lot more music, so watch this space!

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

www.robynferguson.com/
www.instagram.com/robyn_aia/
www.facebook.com/officialrobynferguson/
www.twitter.com/robyn_aia
www.robynferguson.bandcamp.com/releases
www.youtube.com/robyn-ferguson
www.open.spotify.com/artist/00147tpTlsA5XELYX03vuO

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

My answer is…42. 😊

Robyn is proudly endorsed by Ibanez Guitars South Africa

#ibanezsa #ibanezsouthafrica #ibanez

Represented by David Devo Oosthuizen

Devographic Music Media, PR, Events & Artist Management Agency – South Africa
devo@devographic.com

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.

I Built The Sky – The Zenith Rise

I Built The Sky – The Zenith Rise
Self-Released
Release Date: 01/11/2019
Running Time: 43:29
Review by “Dark Juan”
10/10

Good afternoon, dear friends and acolytes of the slightly left field version of whatever bastardised sort of religion that’s entertaining me in my thoughts these days. I am Dark Juan and today is a momentous occasion for I am writing this in a) the early afternoon, b) sober and c) with Igor the Evil One “assisting” me by crawling under my left arm and refusing to move, rendering the blood supply to my left hand absolutely useless and causing numbness and discomfort. Like what I appear to do to nubile young ladies when I’m on the pull. Apparently telling them it is the will of God is not the way to go. Neither is Satanic chanting and brandishing your sacrificial dagger and telling them you are going to cut out their beautiful, still beating heart and drink the lifeblood from its last laboured pulsations as the life fades from their dark kohled eyes. Also, being a follower of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and wearing your sacred colander when you go out does not a successful encounter make. Wearing an Ever-Metal.com t-shirt does in fact turn you into a pussy (or cock) magnet though, so I suggest you all render yourselves irresistible to the opposite sex and purchase one immediately, and you too could be drowning in clunge…

Where was I?

Politicians are all cun… no. I did that last review and I do like to try to keep things fresh and novel for you, my good people. Ah yes… I Built The Sky. A solo project of an obviously possessed Australian musician who appears to have about 47 fingers on his fretboard hand, judging by the speed and complexity of his soloing and general playing! I’m quite scared for him because the price he must have had to pay the devil for this level of talent means that he’s going to be suffering extraordinary levels of punishment in Hell for quite some time. I Built The Sky is an instrumental project, and my first task is to assess whether the music suffers from a lack of vocals. It doesn’t. Not having the distraction of a vocal allows the guitar to breathe and to allow other instrumentation to come through and not have to compete with some wailing cretin trying to be the centre of attention. I also enjoy the style of playing on this record – its progressive, not in the naming songs after Cirith Ungol and dwarves sense, but in the experimental and satisfyingly complex sense. There are unusual time signatures and dissonance and all manner of good things here. Remember Yngwie Malmsteen and the fact that his musical prowess appeared to be built entirely from how fast he could play arpeggios and scales and he only had a singer to bridge the gap between guitar solos? I Built The Sky are nothing like that. They are built more on the Joe Satriani and Steve Vai principle of exploring the outer reaches of what the guitar is capable of as an instrument. Also, he quite clearly has mutant hands with elongated, prehensile fingers because some of the solos he plays appear to be physically impossible to us non mutants with normal hands. Bet Ro Han wouldn’t have any problems playing “Arpeggios From Hell”.

There’s a pleasing sub-djent quality to some of the songs on here too – opening track “Up Into The Ether” reminding me greatly of Infinitee in particular and having an excellent djenty central riff. On the middle solo, there’s some fearsomely fast picking going on as well, but I like the outward looking, expansive feel of the music, where on the slower bits it’s allowed to grow and spread in front of you. Here’s a musician with that rare ability to know just when to shut the fuck up playing and allow the music to breathe and become a living thing. Second track “Journey To Aurora” is probably the nearest we get to actual djent on the album – it straddles the fine point between full on djent and the pinnacle of heavy metal guitar playing and switches seamlessly from one to the other and back again before going into Floydian explorations of inner space before coming back out spitting venom because it clearly didn’t like what it saw in there. And from the point of view of a (admittedly very poor) musician I am blown away by the complexity of the arrangements of the music as well as the high quality of the actual songwriting. There is not an extraneous piece of music on the whole record. It all fits perfectly together and is surprisingly legible and easy to listen to. I find myself preferring instrumental albums more and more these days.

My favourite tune on here is the staggeringly massive “Wormhole Traveller”. Holy fuck. Jesus Holy High Christ in a chariot driven sidecar from the stars. It goes from black metal warp speed to introspective slow grind industrial to glorious goth metal solo, out – Tool’s Tool for musical creativity and complexity and still remains groovy and listenable. It is very very good and has left this hellpriest a metalgasmed out dirty, sticky, drained and sated mess on the lounge floor. Which I’m sure you’ll agree is a fine outcome, if a slightly disturbing image that will be sticking with you for your evening meal. Thank me later. Mrs. Dark Juan won’t. It’s such a persistent stain. So, we have extreme talent, musical promiscuity, staggering technique and an ear for a good tune and no need for squealing attention seekers. Dark Juan is pleased. And spent. If you like dense, complicated music that will give you something new on every listen, then I Built The Sky come highly recommended – however if you wish to listen to something boneheaded and simple, this ain’t for you. Cerebral music for cerebral people. Or guitar enthusiasts who will spend their lives picking the record apart note by note. Good luck learning it, chaps and chapesses. You need fingers that can do the Kessel Run in less than nine parsecs to keep up with some of it.

Marvellous.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Mate – for Ro is Australian and has so far avoided my notably dodgy sense of humour about where people come from) has tossed another shrimp on the Barbie and cracked open a tinnie in the back of its ute (ah, that’s more like it) and awards I Built The Sky 10/10 for a whooping skyrocket of a record. Well done, sir, well done. Bonzer.

I Built The Sky are:

Rohan “Ro Han” Stephenson – Antipodean guitar wizard.

TRACKLISTING:

01. Up Into The Ether
02. Journey To Aurora
03. Wormhole Traveller
04. Stellar Evolution
05. Light Pillars
06. Stars And Darkness
07. The Zenith Rise
08. The Only Way Out Is Up
09. Diamond Dust
10. Moonbow

LINKS:

https://www.ibuiltthesky.com
https://www.patreon.com/ibuiltthesky
https://www.facebook.com/pg/ibuiltthesky
https://www.instagram.com/ibuiltthesky https://open.spotify.com/artist/4URPAJlk8ay7npvNVVLpKN
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJZ2ZyMR9pgwXeV7uT_akDg

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

EMQs with Aspherium

3540263990_logo

EMQs with Aspherium

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQs interview with Aspherium. Huge thanks to guitarist, Marius 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! My name is Marius, I play guitar and sing in the progressive death metal band Aspherium. We started out in 2007, and have released three albums. The latest one The Embers of Eternity which just recently was released!

How did you come up with your band name?

The name just appeared when trying to figure out a band name. I was trying to combine different words and finding something cool, and somehow I ended up with Aspherium. We thought it sounded nice, and it wasn’t taken by anybody else since we just made it up!

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

We are from Norway, and as is well known around the world, black metal is a pretty major thing here. But Norway has a lot of great bands in most genres. We have played with so many great Norwegian bands, and we have made really good friends in the Norwegian metal scene.

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

We recently released out third album The Embers of Eternity! It’s a concept album where our planet has ended up in a pretty dystopian future. The whole albums flows as a cohesive piece, and we are super proud of this album. It has everything from death and black metal sections to acoustic guitars and even a synth solo. We blend a lot of different elements together, but we work really hard on the arrangements and how well everything flows together naturally.

Who have been your greatest influences?

I’d say band like Metallica, Opeth, Machine Head, Fear Factory, Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, Pantera, Nile and Meshuggah. I don’t think we sound a lot like those bands, but those bands helped shape us as musicians, and have definitely influenced how we write and play.

What first got you into music?

I’ve always loved music ever since I was a kid, and that love just kept growing as I got older. I got a keyboard for Christmas when I was 9, and tried that for a while, but it didn’t really stick. But when I got into Metallica at age 11, I knew I needed a guitar, and from that point it has been a major part of my life.

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

It would be amazing to do something with Devin Townsend, if we could get him to something really brutal and epic that would be awesome. Also it would be fantastic to do something with Marty O’Donnell who used to work for Bungie and who did the Halo soundtracks. He and Halo in general has been huge inspirations for us, so that would be perfect.

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

It would be really cool to do something huge like Rock in Rio, Download festival or Wacken. We have played a few festivals in Norway, but never at the big stage and at a good time slot, so to have the opportunity to play for such a huge crowd would really get our music in front of so many new potential fans, it would be amazing.

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

We haven’t really received anything weird. I think alcohol is the one we get, and that’s just appreciated!

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

I just want to let them know how much we appreciate that they take the time to listen to our music and help spread the word a out the band. And the people who buy music and merch, we can’t thank you enough!

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

I think it would have to be Dimebag. That’s the one that affected me the most. Dimebag and Pantera were huge inspirations when I was getting into metal and learning to play guitar. If Dime never died, I think Pantera definitely would have gotten back together and made more great music.

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

The most enjoyable is the journey that you take with the music. From creating it, to recording it and then finally playing it live. It’s so cool to create something from nothing and then end up playing it live for people who love it.

What I hate is working really hard and spending countless hours working, only to end up with nothing. Not in regards to writing music, this is more the business and industry side of things.

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

The most obvious thing would be that bands would actually get paid decently on streaming services.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Opeth – Still Life. Pretty close to a perfect album! The songs are amazing, very intricate, but also brutal and beautiful. I really dig the concept, and everything on the album works so well together to create this amazing musical journey.

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

Vinyl for the experience! I feel like you appreciate it more when you have a physical part to relate to. You put the album on and look at the artwork when you listen. And you can’t just skip to another song, or any other artist in the world for that matter… You have to get up and flip to the b side. I really love the whole experience. That said, I love the convenience of streaming. I stream music every day when I’m out walking and doing stuff. It’s a great way to check out, and find new artists. And extremely easy access to pretty much all the music you can think of.

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

The one that comes to mind first is Paris a few years ago in a fairly small club. We won the crowd over and they went crazy with crowd surfing and stuff. It was very cool to see how they went from “Who the f are these guys? ” to “This is amazing!” in just a few minutes.

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

When I was a kid I wanted to be an archaeologist, so maybe that? More likely I would probably make video games, music videos or maybe photography.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Gordon Ramsay can make the food, Mikael Åkerfeldt can play acoustic guitar to set the mood and then James Hetfield, Robb Flynn and Devin Townsend can tell stories from the road.

What’s next for the band?

Right now we are waiting for our drummer to get done with some surgeries on his hands. So we will be back on the road next year. We are working on promoting the new album, so since we can’t play live right now we are trying to more online stuff, like interviews like this one 😉 We will also try to make more video content to promote the music. So tell your local promoters that you want Aspherium to come to your town next year!

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

We are on most social media platforms, but Facebook and Instagram are probably the main ones. And Spotify for the music streaming.
http://www.facebook.com/aspherium
http://www.aspherium.com
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1f9vK1LjJ4YPpThBEiiI25?si=c2_pNeu5RMK1UAmvKBW6kg
https://www.instagram.com/aspherium/
https://twitter.com/aspherium
https://www.youtube.com/aspherium

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Jaffa Cakes are clearly biscuits designed to infiltrate the cake community, and try to convert them to biscuiteers. It worked for a while, but growth has stagnated somewhat the last few years.

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

Thanks to everyone for reading, and I hope you take the time to listen to our new album The Embers of Eternity! Be sure to let us know what you think on social media!

Marius
Aspherium

 

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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 CARPATHIA

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EMQ’s with CARPATHIA

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Boston, MA. Alternative Progressive Metal band Carpathia! Huge thanks to them for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Samantha: vocalist
Jason: Drums
Bobby: Guitars
Andrew: Bass

Bobby and Jason had known each other for a long time because their dad’s grew up as friends. Periodically they would get together and jam until one day they decided to start a band. Bobby and Andrew were playing in another band together at the time.

How did you come up with your band name?

Andrew was doing some research on Captains of ships names, and stumbled across the name “RMS Carpathia”, the ship that saved the remaining survivors from the titanic ship wreck.

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

USA. We live in New England, and there are times when shows are quite lively, and at others not so much. It’s difficult to get people out to local events nowadays, but we try.

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

We just released our very first EP called “1912”.

Who have been your greatest influences?

JASON: Matt Halpern, Thomas Pridgen, Matt Greiner

SAMANTHA: Chris Cornell, Eddie Vedder, Lacey Sturm

ANDREW: Avenged Sevenfold, Parkway Drive

BOBBY: As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, Dream Theater

What first got you into music?

SAMANTHA: “Growing up I used to sing a lot of Mariah Carey and pop like material, and my sister Sheila was always encouraging me to develop my skills. It wasn’t until after she tragically passed away that I started getting into the heavier stuff”

JASON: “I had a bunch of cousins who played guitar as a kid, which made me want to become a musician too. I wanted to do something different than them, so I decided I would try drums. My parents bought me a drum set and I instantly fell in love with it.”

BOBBY: “My grandfather bought me my first drum kit at the age of 10 years old, and I grew from there”

ANDREW: “My stepdad was always in bands growing up and a good bit of my childhood was spent at local shows so it’s always been something I wanted to do. Having a stutter also lead me to pursue ways to express myself without speaking so music naturally filled that void for me.”

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

SAMANTHA: Nothing More

BOBBY: The Joy Formidable

JASON: Periphery

ANDREW: Tech N9ne

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

What’s the biggest festival of all time? That one!

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

SAMANTHA: Well, one time a fan actually gave me a $50 gift certificate to a lingerie store *eye roll*.

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

At every show, we always encourage those who are dealing with any issues, whether they be big or small, to reach out; talk to us, talk to someone, just as long as they are heard and understood. No one should have to be alone in this world.

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

SAMANTHA : Chris Cornell

JASON: Kurt Cobain

ANDREW: Cliff Burton

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

The best parts of being a musician are playing your songs in front of an audience that enjoys it, writing music, expressing yourself, and being unique from most other people in the world. The worst parts of being a musician are the lack of funds, the expensive equipment, and the emotional toll we take upon ourselves.

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

There should be more opportunities for musicians to succeed, whether that be through jobs, or actually touring/signing with labels. Labels should help the band, the band shouldn’t help the label. Also, we wish people would rather like to see a live performance than watch one on their phone.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

SAMANTHA: Gojira – “The Way Of All Flesh”

JASON: Killswitch Engage “As Day Light Dies”

BOBBY: Can’t Decide!

ANDREW: Parkway Drive – “Horizons”

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

We like a good CD.

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

Puddle of Mudd, Main Stage, Worcester Palladium!

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

JASON: I’d want to work with Animals in some way.

BOBBY: I’d either be a chef, or a fucking sniper.

SAMANTHA: I always thought it would be cool to work a job where I’d be able to travel the world.

ANDREW: Own my own landscaping company or go back to school to be a lawyer

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Russel Brand, Andrew’s Dad, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jack Black, Ozzy Osbourne!

What’s next for the band?

We are literally, as we type, in studio recording our next EP and have discussed touring come October/November.

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

https://www.facebook.com/CarpathiaBandOfficial/
https://www.instagram.com/carpathia_official_/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/3PMdK4gXIBS4PRHFtHyvxR?si=I3riyW8fQz-AW4of8VOPzw

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

We’re Yanks so we’ve never had one before, for some Boston cream pie?

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

Thank you for reaching out, and we hope your followers enjoy our music and get to know us a little better!

 

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

Anaal Nathrakh/Akercocke/Khost – The Asylum, Birmingham – 05/04/2019

Gig Poster

Anaal Nathrakh
Akercocke
Khost
The Asylum, Birmingham – 05/04/2019
Review and Pictures by Sheri Bicheno

Having just had my chat with Dave Hunt of Anaal Nathrakh – myself, Jim Beerman and Dave Wilkins headed into The Asylum to get our metal on.

The Asylum downstairs main stage is dark, big and already starting to get full and down the front at the barrier, a crowd of people eager to get a similar amount of metal on is starting to take shape.

Khost
First band Khost are from Birmingham and if you like your doom, these are the guys to check out. They appear on the stage as a two man act with guitars, synths and raw, deep vocals, chanting and satanic growls, like something you’d expect from a horror movie ritual. Their track played live ‘Subliminal Chloroform Violation’ is a clear example of this. Stage presence is kept dark and smoky with an air of mystery about them. The drawn out, deep and bassy strings deliver an intoxicating feeling with the growling and backdrop of chants and cymbals. I really enjoyed watching these guys perform and liked that the doom and elements of black metal were not compromised.

01 Khosthttps://www.facebook.com/khostband/

Akercocke
Whilst waiting, Jason Mendonca goes along the front line and addresses everyone to ask if they are “READY FOR SOME METAL”. Behind me, the room has filled right up, jam packed to the very back – moving to another spot would be a challenging option here… and the hype is getting more and more intense as the stage fills with red lights and smoke, a red mist effect, and…

Akercocke take to the stage, Sam Loynes smashes right into the long drone of the keyboard synths and then the guitars and bass are let loose on the low and melodic intro to ‘Horns of Baphomet’. Immediately, Jason’s vocals are delivered to us at their full pelt, it is almost majestic. We get a combination of high growls & beautiful whale song type vocals through lyrics “I can hear you calling” to low & deep growling plus the emotion of the wailing for horrifying effect.

David Gray’s drums are masterful, the backbone of what holds Akercocke in place – everything just fits perfectly with the tempo and pace of vocals, strings and synths. How Akercocke can cram so many elements of their style into each song, from one extreme to the other and make it not sound like it’s thrown together is mind blowing.

We are then taken into the song ‘Verdelet’, it is fast paced and energetic. The pit behind me is already going crazy and the crowd surfers have begun. Everyone is having an utterly wicked time. As the set goes on, we get a proper journey through what Akercocke are about, performance wise. How they blend through tones that are hard, fast, energetic walloping into some gentle, progressive and beautifully paced moments to creating devastating emotion, are displayed throughout.

02 Akercockehttps://www.facebook.com/akercockeofficial/

ANAAL NATHRAKH
They enter through a dark mist and the UTTER DESPAIR begins straight off the bat. Behind me, a sea of people are going absolutely mental – this is Anaal Nathrakh’s first home town show for a while and they are welcomed back with so much passion from their viewers. It’s bloody beautiful.

Upon entering the stage, the presence of these guys is something to behold. The utter energy that radiates off the stage… strings and beats just bounce off each other, the pace is ever changing and brings a new vibe around every corner. Dave Hunt’s vocals demonstrate demonic low growls and high pitched wails to a beautifully balanced range… all at once! The concepts that come out in the lyrics are of utter relevance, addressing the global issues of poverty, warfare and depravity.

The live track that stood out for me is ‘Forward’, taken from their most recent album “A New Kind Of Horror”.

Lyrics:
“Forward!
Forget your fear, the guns at your back scream
Forward!
Who gives a fuck if your enemy’s starving?
Forward!
No place for cowards, up and over
Forward!
Your country needs you, so start killing”.

Throughout their set, bodies are floating amongst the crowd and pints are flying from every direction. There’s a guy next to me that tries his hand at sitting on the barriers and getting his friends to catch him as he falls – which hilariously and epically fails but, unscathed, he emerges back to thrashing around in the room sized pit behind me… cue where Jim Beerman’s famous “Nathrakhccident” happened… but it’s ok, he found a new tooth. 🙂

If you’re not familiar with Anaal Nathrakh, now is a good time to get your ears into these guys. – mixing elements of progressive, death, black and extreme metal, they are a force to be reckoned with!

03 Anaal Nathrakhhttps://www.facebook.com/Anaalnathrakhofficial/

Rick Here;
Thanks Sheri, sounds like everyone had a fabulous night! If you haven’t then you definitely need to check out all three bands!

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno 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.

Oh. – Metallia

Metallia Cover

Oh. – Metallia
Self-Released
Release Date: 28/07/2018
Running Time: 25:13
Review by Dawn King
8/10

I don’t know if this is true for everybody, but there comes a time every now and then that I get bored of listening to the same ol’ music and want to find something “different.” Well, you can’t get much different than Oh.

Oh. is Greek progressive metal multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer, Olivia Hadjiioannou who arrived onto the international music scene in 2013, with her award-winning debut EP, “Sleeping World”. She has since released a prog-metal album “Synemotion” on vinyl and four avant-garde progressive ballads and her latest project is this album “Metallia” released in July of 2018.

Since her appearance on the music scene, she has accumulated many honours including, but not limited to, three international music video awards, most recently at the London Greek Festival for single ‘Deserted Eyes’, semi-finalist in the 2017 International Songwriters Competition and she had been added to the Prog Archives in the Crossover Prog Category.

Driven by a passion to musically reveal an “inner-story”, she can play the guitar (electric and acoustic), bass, drums, violin, piano and percussion and her voice has been compared to the likes of Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Happy Rhodes, Céline Dion, Melissa auf der Maur, Sharon den Adel and Anneke van Giesbergen (impressive list eh?). She composes, produces, mixes and masters her music in Athens, Greece.

Playing all those instruments, Oh. is a true do-it-yourself artist but she says; “I never felt as if there were a question of whether I can play music or not. Music is always a question of whether you have something to say.”

And she certainly does have something to say. Her music “evokes intense imagery, entices the listener to journey into epic sonic landscapes and finally escape into intense ecstatic oblivion!” She wants to touch the soul with her music, whether that be in “the dark recesses of sorrow or the heights of elation.”

But you need to listen carefully to her music because there is so much more to her than first appears. Combining frenetic, harmonic guitar solos, multi-layered vocals, head-banging riffs, fantastical violins, groovy bass lines and furious drumming, there are many twists and turns to her progressive rock and metal style. And let’s not forget, this lady plays ALL of the instruments herself!

Since its release in 2018, the album has had 32 different reviews from thirteen countries worldwide, was in the top 10 of the 2018 Progressive Metal EP Chart and was listed as one of the best albums of the year in 2018 by Metal Nation Radio!

Described by the lady herself, the album is an “epical prog-metal compilation in 6 parts – a multi-layered sonic piece of ravishing solo electric guitars, time-bending tempo shifts, grooving bass lines and deranged drums” and she is not far wrong!

Featuring just six tracks and lasting a little over 25 minutes, this album goes against everything that should be considered ‘epic’ but that is the only word I can think of to describe it. It is eccentric (I can see where the Kate Bush and Tori Amos references come in!), atmospheric and really does conjure up all sorts of images in your head while you are listening to it. The guitars whisper of Satriani and Vai and there is a whole host of musical sounds (wails, screams, bongos to name a few) to take you on your journey which Oh. describes as a spiritual one that will “transmute your subliminal mind map.”

‘Experimental’, ‘eclectic’, ‘strong’, ‘packs a punch’ are just a few of the words and phrases I have seen to describe this album and I would agree with every single one of them. Although instrumental (how the album is described by Olivia herself!) prog-metal is not really my thing, I can recognise talent where I see it. And this is one extremely talented woman!

This album won’t appeal to everyone, but anyone with a love of progressive music in general should really check it out!

But be prepared to be gob-smacked, bowled-over and totally amazed all at the same time!

TRACKLISTING:
1. Red Lion
2. Bee
3. Androgyny
4. Resurrection
5. Dragon’s Kiss
6. Triumph

LINKS:
http://www.olitunes.com
http://www.facebook.com/olitunes

https://www.instagram.com/olitunes/
http://music.olitunes.com

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

 

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