Nephila – Nephila The Sign Records Release Date: 04/06/2021 Running Time: 35:45 Review by Wallace Magri 9.5/10
To keep going on my mission to get in touch with other Rock/Metal styles, just to have a break from my Industrial Metal compulsion, this time I selected a band by its musical style. I wanted some hazy smoke flowing around the room, some old-fashioned Psychedelic Stoner Rock, with a Hard Rock touch, just to keep things a little dazed and confused.
Once again, I was lucky enough to choose a cool album from the bag – the debut self-titled release from Nephila, a Swedish based neo hippie troupe consisting of seven masked musicians, with visual expressions to merge mysticism, folklore, and storytelling into a theatrical journey. They take us to the 60’s and 70’s counterculture movement, that philosophers call The May ‘68 ‘Revolutions’, to protest for peace, love, freedom of art expression and…irradiating good vibes and psychedelic experiences everywhere.
So, let us ‘escape’ to Nephila’s own side-world full of green valleys, mushrooms, waterfalls and beautiful sonorities, that relates to mother nature through female folk singing, to turn everything even more light and joyful. Looking at the band’s photos, they look like Middle Earth RPG game characters, steampunk & cosplay fashioned. Cool.
Another thing that caught my attention on Nephila is the dual vocal on the songs, and, good Lord, what beautiful work they perform on the album. It felt to me like one of the girls has a more soulful blues technique, while the other has that folk operatic reach (yeah, I don’t know who is who). The duet they sing on ‘Belladonna’ is just awesome.
‘Guidance to Agony’ has a mainly blues rock conduction, but suddenly the music gets into typical Prog Rock breaks and complexifications in the mixture, and even a bridge in the middle, when a hazy Moog organ taking us on Space Rock musical trips! Very pleasant, indeed. The heaviest song on the album is ‘Clavata’, that reminded me of the Occult Rock bands of the 70’s, that I used to call proto-metal bands, such as Lucifer’s Friend and all the amazing bands of the great Rock and Roll and Hard Rock 70’s era.
‘Mushrooms Creatures’ is total experimental Timothy Leary Prog Rock style; you can actually hear the elemental creatures through the guitar onomatopoeias and it is also the guitar solo that brings a Classic Rock pinch to the fine psychedelic Rock sounds. Hey, I wasn’t born to live during the 60’s and neither were Nephila’s band members, but I do know that some of the purple haze and mushrooms of that time are still around. These fungi grow everywhere, you just have to pick them and eat them, and then, well…just try them and you tell me how the story goes…😊
Highly recommended for those who are into listening to consciousness expansion music, with a lot of Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Iron Butterfly, Hawkwind and 70’s Prog Rock’s experimentations. Take it easy on the pink hazy smoke and dry mushrooms made of rainbows, and just let the music fly you away to outer space.
‘Belladonna’ (Official Video)
TRACKLISTING: 01. White Bones 02. Who Are You? 03. Mushroom Creatures 04. Belladonna 05. Guidance to Agony 06. Clavata 07. Alla Galaxer Centrum
LINE-UP: Stina Olsson – Vocals Josephine Asker – Vocals Johan Lööf – Drums David Press – Bass Jacob Hellenrud – Guitar Anton Athley – Guitar Johan Larsson – Organ
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Wallace Magri 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.
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview, with Thessaloniki, Greece based Psychedelic Heavy Stoner Rock band, Grande Fox. 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?
We are Grande Fox; we play Psychedelic Heavy Stoner Rock. Nevertheless, listeners always find a lot of evidence from other genres and this is because the band leaves open the possibility of experimentation when creating new material as long as it always has something essential to say and represent.
The band has so far created 4 recordings during the six years of active presence, the LP “Space Nest” (2016), the EP “Kulning” (2018), the Single ‘Documento’ (2019) and LP “Empty Nest” (2021).
How did you come up with your band name?
The idea of the name is a combination of admiration of the fox and the way of survival in nature but also the way of hunting its prey and at the same time the great spirit that characterizes us as people, as a company, as a brotherhood with high goals and creativity that sometimes it floods our minds and we get to the point where we push ourselves hard enough to choose the final forms of our projects.
What country/region are you from and what is the metal/rock scene like there?
We are from Greece, Thessaloniki. The truth is that in recent years, in Greece, a stoner rock community has been created around new and old bands in their majority, independent of record companies. An underground music world. We believe that it is still in its infancy and has not known its peak but is heading there.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Our latest release is the LP “Empty Nest” which is accompanied by three videos, two videoclips for ‘Manganite’ and ‘Rottenness Of Youth’ and a lyric video for ‘Hangman’.
‘Manganite’ (Official Video)
Rottenness Of Youth’ (Official Video)
‘Hangman’ (Lyric Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
Many artists influenced us and for sure we would need 10 pages to name them all. From Black Sabbath to Guns n’ Roses, from Rage Against The Machine to Fever 333, from Audioslave to Linkin Park, from Pink Floyd to Pearl Jam even from Marilyn Manson to Tool, Limp Bizkit to Deftones and the list goes on and on and on…
What first got you into music?
Passion and a strong need of expression especially in harsh times like these. Music is our way out. It is the gate of light in times full of darkness, is the redemption from the slavery of misery but above all modern and “easy” life.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
From our country that would probably be Planet of Zeus, 1000mods, Vic, Narcosis, Dendrites and many other big bands.
And from abroad we would love to collaborate with bands such as Clutch, Monster Magnet, Godsmack, TruckFighters, My Sleeping Karma and truly many many more.
If you could play at any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Historically speaking that would be the first Woodstock Festival but as long as this is not a possibility anymore we would say Hellfest Open Air Festival and UK’s Download Festival.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Some piece of Rasta Hair from a crazy dude who’s said to be a magician…That was a bit creepy and scary but kinda funny too.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Many of our songs hide messages either lyrically or visually.
We believe in the complexity and diversity between people and we are ideologically and artistically opposed to any fascist or racist culture and ideology.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
That would certainly be Chris Cornell!!!
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And do you hate?
What we enjoy most is the union of the frequencies that we emit the moment we play. Something magical happens when you let the music seduce you in this way. You radiate energy and feel in tune with the others next to you. It is an alternative form of communication. Common language for the whole world regardless of race, preferences and specialties. It is the common denominator that unites us and we like that most of all.
What we do not like at all is the jealousy of other musicians in our underground community. Sometimes the lack of respect they give birth to with ugly behaviour and the selfish element within them that does not allow them to accept something new and innovative. The new authentic wave of music that often comes from the same feelings or experiences that are the cause and for themselves to write music.
What they need to understand is that we have entered a new era of consciousness and understanding and that, whether they like it or not, leads to a greater artistic flourishing. Such attitudes and behaviour do not suit us and do not represent us.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Streaming royalties need to be fair and distributed fairly. Streaming services are doing worse damage to revenue than we could have ever imagined with paid downloads.
We are now reaching the point of the “Spigot” business where the anticipated future of media distribution was all some form of streaming. And the current business model is not growing with the times.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Linkin Park – “Reanimation”
What’s the best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Downloads are more practical and fits better in our way of living nowadays but Vinyl is absolutely more sentimental and valuable to use, it connects you to another era, a period that changed everything full of light and inspiration. We also like cassettes and CD’s too because we have connected their existence with memories we had when we were kids.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
That’s a tough answer to give because every concert gave us something to remember. Probably we would say our gig in Germany at Blackland a live stage, one of the oldest in Berlin where we received such a great energy from the crowd that we’ll never forget. The vibe, the response of the people and their admiration they showed to us was a unique experience.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Probably professional athletes. The mindset on what we do as an indie band and what athletes do to achieve goals is very similar . Discipline , Dreams , Goals, Strategy, Practice, Patience, Self-Sacrifice are just some of the many similar factors that an athlete and an indie band definitely share.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
We don’t usually do dinner parties…but we love cocktail and beer parties! In that case we would love to drink some alcohol alongside Mike Shinoda, Zack de la Rocha, Tom Morello, Myles Kennedy and Flea.
What’s next for the band?
We are preparing new video clips with songs from our new album “Empty Nest” and we are under discussion for a series of live performances. As we have already started to generate new musical ideas for future projects.
What social media/website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa cakes are biscuit sized cakes ! So definitely it’s both!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
We thank you a lot and we wish to all people prosperity and health.
Stay safe , stay strong and support community.
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.
Moths/The Stone Eye – Split EP Self-Released Release Date: 21/08/2020 Running Time: 25:34 Review by Alun Jones 8/10
Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. Which is why I like to mix my drinks. And my strippers. Why stick to just one, when you can explore everything life has to offer? This split EP offers two bands and four tracks in total, showcasing a considerable amount of musical diversity and talent.
First up is Puerto Rican band Moths, with their track ‘Intervention’. Beginning deceptively calm, restrained and quite beautiful, it soon builds and descends from a chunky stoner riff. And then, at pretty much the halfway mark, ‘Intervention’ erupts into a full-on aggressive growl fest, though still portraying an adept progressive spirit.
The meandering intrigue of the opening track is followed by a less surprising cover of the Black Sabbath classic ‘Hand of Doom’. A great song, but I was hoping for more original material or an unusual cover. No fear though, Moths inject the Sabs tune with plenty of atmosphere, the powerhouse vocals of Damaris Rodriguez helping to make their own mark on the song. Not easy with a genuine metal standard like this, Moths have the class to pull it off.
Then it’s over to The Stone Eye, for their track ‘Prescence of the Mind’. These guys are from Philadelphia, PA in the USA. A little harder to pin a style on, they journey on a stoner path that adds in psychedelic detours akin to some of the best 90’s alternative rock – but never abandoning a gutsy garage rock swagger.
A cover of the old trad ballad ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ is next from The Stone Eye. Delivered in a bluesy style, it contrasts nicely with the other songs. It both delights and begs for another play.
And there you have it: four songs, different in style but each displaying a sound that seems to well define both bands. An excellent endeavour from both Moths and The Stoned Eye, you’d be well rewarded in tracking this down.
And while we’re on the subject of moths: Glenn Danzig – remember him? Singer/visionary with the Misfits, Samhain, and of course, Danzig. Body builder, martial arts master and expert on the occult. Scared to death of moths, I shit you not. Always running around with his hands over his face, hiding under tables if there was one around. Eventually, I learned to calm Glenn down by telling him that moths were simply goth butterflies. Amazingly, it worked.
TRACKLISTING: 01. Moths – Intervention 02. Moths – Hand of Doom 03. The Stone Eye – Prescence of Mind 04. The Stone Eye – Wayfaring Stranger
MOTHS LINE-UP: Damaris Rodríguez – Vocals Jonathan Miranda – Guitars Omar González – Guitars Weslie Negrón – Bass Daniel Figueroa – Drums
THE STONE EYE LINE-UP: Stephen Burdick – Guitar, Vocals, Bass (Track 2) Jeremiah Bertin – Percussion Christian Mechem – Guitar, Vocals (Track 1) Wolfgang Noll – Bass (Track 1)
THE STONE EYE LINKS:
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun 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.