Tank – Sturmpanzer

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Tank – Sturmpanzer
Dissonance Productions
Release Date: 16/11/18
Running Time: 56.38
Reviewer Tsarina Wilson
6/10

The long-awaited album “Sturmpanzer” by Tank has finally been released but has it been worth the wait?

Tank, who have been going for many years, were often compared to Motorhead as both bands are fronted by bass playing vocalists and play with hard core riffs and heavy vocals, typical of the 80’s metal scene but Tank have added a bit of a modern twist.

This album was announced way back in 2006 by founder member Algy Ward and, as the finishing touches were being added, Ward stated the album would be released in early 2016. This was then pushed back to the present day and, going back to my first question, was it worth the wait?

I definitely think it was for the established fan base they have but it might not appeal to everyone. Despite this, “Sturmpanzer” is a very strong album, it’s heavy and non-stop throughout, with a few colourful lyrics thrown in for good measure.

Formed in 1980, the band ploughed on through the years with line-up changes before being disbanded in 1989. Algy Ward resurrected it in 1997, playing tour dates around Europe and Japan for a few years.

In 2008 a new line up was once again announced, while in 2012 the band announced a Live DVD recording from their previous summer tour of Poland. The band also released details of the return of former drummer Steve Hopgood, along with information of a forthcoming album “War Nation”, released on 4th June on Metal Mind Productions.

I can see where the comparison to Motorhead lies, but during “Sturmpanzer” it’s just with the vocal style and that’s as far as it goes. There are times where you wonder exactly what you are listening too, as there is a rock, fast punk and aggressive style similar to a lot of bands of the 80’s.

‘Revenge Of The Filth Hounds’ is a confusing track as it sounds like it is on a loop and is a mishmash of different bits put together, with added excerpts from various television series sound tracks thrown in for good measure. The last track ‘Field Recording Of The Field’, which was mainly a telephone ringing, seemed pointless to me but may mean something to others who have been fans for many years.

Tracks
1-Two Thousand Miles
2-March
3-No More War
4-Liannes Crying
5-First They Killed The Father
6-Sturmpanzer Pt 1&2
7-Living In Fear of….
8-Which Part Of F.O. Don’t U Understand
9-The Last Soldier
10-Little Darling
11-Revenge Of The Filth Hounds Pt 1&2
12-Field Recording Of The Field

Links:
https://www.tankofficial.com/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/556235897916772/

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Vikkie ‘Queen of Rock’ Richmond 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.

Ascendant-A Thousand Echoes

A Thousand Echoes Cover

Ascendant-A Thousand Echoes
Pure Steel Publishing
Release Date: 20/04/2018
Running Time 60:40
Reviewer Tsarina Wilson
10/10

Work on this album started in late 2014 and was completed in 2017, and I’m so glad it was, as this is an album you can really get your teeth into. It is just a joy from the first song to the last. At first, I thought I had pressed play on the wrong song and was listening to Manowar so had to check my files. But I was definitely listening to this album.
The band was formed in 2012 by Alaa, Puneet and Ashish, with Aram and Younmi added a few months later to complete the line-up.

The album consists of eight tracks (not including the intro track) and by track three I was totally hooked; the drumming alone is just immense.

The album is inspired by true experiences of the band, with three of the five members having grown up in war-torn Syria, experiencing loss and tragedy and seeing first-hand things that no one should have too. It is the unseen victims of war and the innocent people suffering who are the main themes of this album.

There are some welcome special guests contributing to the album, including brothers Simon and Elias Abou Assali, who feature on the track ‘Land Of A Thousand Echoes’ which tells the story of people risking their lives to brave dangerous seas and escape their war-torn country, seeking refuge in a safe place. This is a personal experience of the brothers, who managed to do just that a few years ago. The album also features Lindsay Schoolcraft from the legendary Cradle Of Filth on the track ‘Light’ and Hadi Sarieddine (Solo & Benevolent) lent his talents to the intro arrangement for ‘Twilight Of Eden’ and ‘Fog Of War’.

The band line up is Youmni Abou Al Zahab on vocals, Puneet Sharma on bass, Alaa Abousaada on guitars, Ashish Shetty on guitars, and Aram Kalousdian on drums, and together they are a pure joy to listen to. If you are not playing either air guitar or air drums by track six, then I would be shocked!

If you listen to the lyrics you can almost imagine the terror these guys have been through and putting these stories to a great rock music backing really gives it the wow factor, the expression in their music is excellent. You need to realise these lyrics are not written by someone with no knowledge of facts. These guys have actually been there and endured horrors that most of us cannot even begin to imagine.

Thankfully, they survived and have now given us this incredible album and you could mistake them for a band who have been around many years, not just the short time they have been. They have poured their heart and soul into this album, and then a little bit more. I could honestly listen to this album all day.

The drums on “Land Of A Thousand Echoes” are awesome and the guitar riffs are crystal clear and mixed with the powerful vocals, this band is one I know we will be hearing a lot more of in the future.

‘Tears Of His Majesty’ leads you into a false sense of security, starting as a “lighters in the air” track but then suddenly launching itself into pure rock. (Have I commented how much I so love this album?!!) And even when you think they have given everything, the last track will definitely leave you out of breath, as it is almost 13 minutes of pure heaven!

I honestly have nothing bad to say about this album and, in fact, I only gave it a 9 to start with! I adjusted this to a 10 and I can’t wait for future music from these guys. They definitely have a new fan to add to the many they already have and, sorry guys, but you now have a new groupie…. keep rockin’ lads.

TRACKLIST:
1 Twilight Of Eden (Intro)
2 Doomsday Machine
3 Walls Between Us
4 Fog Of War
5 Morning Light
6 Land Of A Thousand Echoes
7 False Illusion
8 Tears Of His Majesty
9 At The End Of The World

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/ascendanttheband/
https://www.instagram.com/ascendanttheband/
https://ascendanttheband.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQuRd-a–qM6bBvBKMQ7f0Q

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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.

A Gathering Of None – One Last Grasp At Hope

One Last Grasp At Hope Cover

A Gathering Of None – One Last Grasp At Hope
Independently Released
Release Date: 06/04/2018
Running time: 44:00
Review by Vikkie Richmond
7/10

American hard rockers A Gathering Of None are no strangers to the music scene; having been around since 2012, in this transigent day and age, that could class them as veterans. “One Last Grasp At Hope” is their third release and their second full length effort.

I don’t like to pigeonhole bands, because the music a group of people create is unique and should not be put into a box labelled as one thing or another, however my first listen to this album (and my first listen to them as a band, full stop) had them partly in the ‘alt rock’ category and partly in the hard rock camp. It doesn’t really matter, the important point is whether the album is any good.

I confess I wasn’t set on fire by the first track, the speedy ‘What For’; featuring some nice guitar licks and some nifty percussive highlights, with a time signature change or two, but it did have me tapping my toes and nodding my head, so it can’t be all bad. Next up, ‘No Stone Unturned’ started off with a lick that was worthy of Thin Lizzy and continued with some nice vocal harmonies, despite a ‘vintage’ whiff about it. Tracy Byrd’s vocals don’t do a lot for me, but he does have a fair set of pipes on him.

Out of a total of eleven tracks, I didn’t dislike any of the songs, they were all listenable, with those worthy of further mention being the soaring ‘Break My Stride’ and the slightly dirty ‘Dissolution’.

Special mention goes to ‘You Stagnate’, which was worthy of Alice In Chains, or any other band that arose out of the dark ashes of the hair metal age at the start of the 90’s. In fact, I felt like I was listening to different albums at times, such were the style differences between some of the songs.

I liked this album; I feel that A Gathering Of None are competent musicians and having listened to some of their back catalogue, they are honing their craft as they go, album by album. It’s not an album I would listen to on repeat, but that’s just my choice. Take a listen yourself and make your own mind up; I suspect you’ll like it.

TRACK LISTING:
01 What For
02 No Stone Left Unturned
03 Break My Stride
04 Fabulous Mishap
05 You Stagnate
06 Reaching Out
07 Dissolution
08 Something You Should Know
09 Predatory Male
10 I Hope I’m Wrong
11 Move Along

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

https://www.instagram.com/agatheringofnone/
https://agatheringofnone.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeIEuZl2EvKKRkMakpH0yJw

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Vikkie ‘Queen of Rock’ Richmond 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.

Drawn And Quartered – Hail Infernal Darkness

 

Hail Infernal Darkness Cover

Drawn And Quartered – Hail Infernal Darkness
Krucyator Productions
Release Date: 03/04/2018
Running Time: 36:46
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
6/10

One of the things you cannot do as a reviewer (or at least you shouldn’t do!) is stay inside your comfort zone when it comes to music. Reviewing the same genre time and time again will make you unappreciative of the music and your reviews will all start to sound the same. (well, that’s my opinion of it anyway!)

So, being the thrash/power/traditional heavy metal fan that I am, I decided to take a huge leap out of my comfort zone and review a death metal album. But, before I tell you what I think of the album, I will give you a little history of the band.

Drawn And Quartered were originally formed over two and a half DECADES ago, in 1993, under the name of Plague Bearer. Since changing their name, this Seattle based band have earned themselves huge admiration from critiques and listeners alike because of their unconventional and dark structured song-writing.

Now, six highly acclaimed full-length releases and numerous demos and EP’s, show why their existence in the underground is invulnerable and indestructible, and they have mastered the influences of bands such as Immolation, Incantation, Morbid Angel and Autopsy in their own way.

Even their own publicity notes say they “push the boundaries of traditional death metal by infusing technically complex riffs, while retaining the dreadful and raw environs with dexterity.”

“Hail Infernal Darkness” was the band’s third full length album, originally released on CD by Moribund Records, in 2006, having been mixed and mastered by Jesse O’Donnell at The Autopsy Rooms. Now, for the very first time this timeless masterpiece has been released on 12″ vinyl format by Krucyator Productions.

So, as I said at the start of this review, I am completely out of my zone with this album as I am not a fan of death metal in anyway BUT having given this a few listen throughs, there are some positive points to the whole genre.

While the guitars are fast, and the drums are pounding, the music is anything but a noise. The guitarists are obviously very talented musicians as there is some great guitarwork hidden under all the speed and growling vocals and riffs galore punch you in the stomach so hard they reverberate around your very being from some time after the track has finished. The drummer, who also possesses a LOT of talent, must lose a gallon of sweat during a live performance as the drumming is so fast it’s any wonder he keeps up.

Death metal vocals have always been a bug-bear of mine, always preferring clean vocals no matter what the speed or ferocity of the music, and this album is no different. Some may argue it’s the vocals that make death metal what it is, but I don’t think anything in the world could make me change my mind.

Musically, I loved this album. Its fast, its intricate and its raw. This album is brutal for brutality’s sake, yet it is also very atmospheric. Darkness, death and extreme violence are images conjured up while listening to this and, although that could just be my overactive writer’s imagination kicking into play, with title tracks such as “Blind, Torture, Kill”, “Throne Of Desolation” and “Nightghoul of the Graveyards” I think this is precisely the reaction they were looking for.

Despite my limited death metal knowledge but relying on my intense research as I reviewed this, I think this will appeal to a lot of death metal fans. But don’t take my word for it, go and grab yourself a copy and see for yourself!

TRACK LIST
1. Procession of Pain
2. Genocide Advocacy
3. Hail Infernal Darkness
4. Blood of a Million Martyrs
5. Throne of Desolation
6. Suffer a Traitor’s Fate
7. Escape to Cremation
8. Bind, Torture, Kill
9. Nightghoul of the Graveyards

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/drawnandquartered
https://drawnandquartered1.bandcamp.com
http://krucyatorproductions.com

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

Brothers of Metal – Prophecy Of Ragnarök

Prophecy Of Ragnarök Cover

Brothers of Metal – Prophecy Of Ragnarök
Label: AFM Records
Release Date: 16/11/2018
Running time: 51:23
Review by Lotty Whittingham
10/10

It was easy to regard them as Sweden’s best kept secret until now. Due to their recent signing to AFM Records, Brothers of Metal have re-released their mighty debut “Prophecy of Ragnarök”, potential warriors eager to hear the stories of their quest, and this album is a worthy quest of strength, power and determination.

It’s very rare nowadays to find an album that displays great anthems from start to finish but Brothers of Metal achieves this mighty feat. For any fans of Sabaton, Manowar and Powerwolf, I highly recommend this album to you, and after one listen, you will want to ride into battle with them.

The album doesn’t beat around the bush. It goes straight into battle with the song ‘The Death Of Light God’. The rapid drum beats and guitar riffs will make anyone want to get up, don their battle garments and charge. It gives you the first taste of what the band can give the listeners. It also gives a first taste of the vocal power between the singers. Ilva Eriksson’s vocal range covers a wide spectrum from powerful to sensitive, providing the perfect contrast to Joakim Lindbäck Eriksson’s roaring and rough vocals. Last but not least, there is Mats Nilsson, who provides the tongue of the gods. A great vocal technique that works in favour of these warriors.

It’s a given cliché to say there is something for everyone, yet that statement applies to this album. There is an eclectic selection of powerful songs that could all be anthems in their own right. From the sweeping ballad ‘Yggrasil’ to the merry shouts of ‘The Mead Song’, there is something to suit every mood under the sun. Noted, another cliché but it’s true!

‘Son Of Odin’ is as mighty as the track name itself. It starts off with a stately roar of thunder and the rest is just as grand. It’s a great song to go into battle with. The lyrical content is also fantastic, getting the balance of posing a threat and a light comic side spot on. The battle lyrics include “I am the son Odin, I bring lightning from the sky” and “Fire, blood and magic leaves me with a thirst”. The comical lyrics include “Loki is my brother, he has no sex appeal” and “I want to ride to battle, but now I’ve lost my horse.” Given this description, this mighty song is easily a favourite on the album.

No album is usually complete without a slow track and ‘Yggrasil’ provides the perfect calming down before heading into battle again. It’s a beautiful ballad that will bring Vikings and shieldmaidens together for some much-needed intimacy and contains a combination of powerful voices.

Fans of Viking Metal and all other sub genres alike now have a new party song, titled ‘The Mead Song’ and it will encourage non-stop partying and letting down of hair. Everything from the merry beats to the shouting chants screaming “MEAD” and “ANOTHER” will go down well with fans and new listeners alike. Theoretically, this song will go down a treat with those experiencing it live.

It ends on a triumphant note with the song ‘We Believe In Metal’. This song is a grand climax to the album, yet it still leaves you wanting more. With this re-release, it’s evident that 2019 will be the year Brothers Of Metal invade the airwaves and venues alike to spread their powerful message.

AXE TIME, SWORD TIME are the battle cries everyone will be hearing and chanting before you know it.

Tracklist:
1. The Death Of The God Of Light
2. Son Of Odin
3. Prophecy Of Ragnarök
4. Defenders Of Valhalla
5. Concerning Norns
6. Yggdrasil
7. Tyr
8. Siblings Of Metal
9. Gods Of War
10. Freya
11. The Mead Song
12. Sleipnir
13. Fire Blood And Steel
14. We Believe In Metal

Links:
https://www.facebook.com/brothersofmetalofficial/
https://www.instagram.com/brothersofmetalofficial/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjTRADohcFt4lKeVrd0Kuxg

 

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

Visigoth – Conqueror’s Oath

Conqueror_s Oath Cover

Visigoth – Conqueror’s Oath
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 09/02/2018
Running Time:
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

As many of you who have read my previous reviews will know, there are two genres of metal that I am particularly fond of. One is thrash, and the other is power metal, and Visigoth fall into the second of the two.

Now, being a power metal fan, I personally believe there are two distinct types of power metal, the first being the Hammerfall / Blind Guardian / Iron Saviour-esque metal that the Europeans and Scandinavians are so good at producing. The second could only be described as the cheesier type of power metal, you know, the kind that Manowar make…. hail to the king and all that?!

Well, Visigoth fall somewhere in between the two!

Formed in Salt Lake City, Utah in January 2010, they released their debut album “The Revenant King” in 2015 and earned themselves an underground following worldwide with their impassioned and electric live shows, performing at the highly esteemed Keep It True, Frost and Fire and Pounding Metal festivals, sharing the stage with Metal Blade legacy acts and inspirations Cirith Ungol and Omen.

In the words of their own press release, they have dedicated themselves to “worshipping at the ageless altars of heavy metal with a singular focus on writing music inspired by their favourite records,” and because of this, they wear their influences proudly on their sleeves.

Music to me is all about making the listener feel something and if an album can make you envisage a scene or storyline in your head, just like reading a book can, then the music makers have done their job.

This album is a typical “steel and glory” offering, the kind that conjures up images of hammers, axes and swords, of burnt and pillaged towns and of screaming and crying women and children, with heroic themes of conquest and adventure.

The booming baritone of vocalist Jake Rogers is the driving force of the band and, alongside the consistent drums and duelling guitars, with their savoury harmonies and meaty riffs, brings a larger than life energy to the songs.

This is an album of “8 iron-forged anthems of pure metal magick, guaranteed to satiate the hunger of the rock ‘n’ roll hordes.”

It was recorded at the Boar’s Nest with engineer extraordinaire Andy Patterson (Subrosa, Deathblow, Dreadnought) and mixed by Dave Otero of Flatline Audio (Satan’s Host, Nightbringer, Khemmis) The breath-taking cover artwork was designed by underground album art legend Kris Verwimp, whose work has also graced the covers of records by Absu, Bewitched, Desaster, Horna, Moonsorrow, Skullview, Arkona and many more.

This is a good, old-fashioned album full of solid heavy metal, from the slow and triumphant anthems such as Steel and Silver, the faster paced tracks like Warrior Queen. The band sound like they were formed decades ago, despite being a newish band, and although this album brings nothing new to the table, if you want to stick an album on and reminisce about the simpler times of heavy metal, then this is the album for you.

It is a juggernaut of pure American true metal done right. The only thing that really lets this album down is the track “Salt City.” Not because it is a bad song, I actually quite like it, but it doesn’t seem to fit in with things and it distracts you from the unstoppable march that has been the rest of the album.

This doesn’t, however, mean that you shouldn’t give this album a listen, because, if you are a power metal fan of any sort, you definitely should.

A mix of Manowar and Hammerfall with a hint of NWOBHM and traditional heavy metal can’t be all that bad now can it?

TRACK LISTING
01. Steel and Silver
02. Warrior Queen
03. Outlive Them All
04. Hammerforged
05. Traitor’s Gate
06. Salt City
07. Blades in The Night
08. The Conqueror’s Oath

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://en-gb.facebook.com/visigothofficial/
https://twitter.com/visigothslc?lang=en
https://visigothofficial.bandcamp.com/
https://instagram.com/visigothslc

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

Brainstorm – Midnight Ghost

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Brainstorm – Midnight Ghost
AFM Records
Release Date: 28/09/2018
Running Time: 51:38
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

Being just over forty years of age but preferring a lot of the older bands, I was always late to the party where many bands were concerned. Brainstorm were one of these such bands. I first heard them one night when I was browsing through YouTube. They appeared as a “recommended bands” on the right-hand side of the screen so I thought I would check them. And I am glad I did. From the very first track I listened to, I loved them. They were just the sort of metal that I loved.

But, then they kind of disappeared from my radar.

So, when Rick sent me the new album, I just had to review it to see if they are still as good as I remembered. And they are!! But first a little history!

Brainstorm are power metal band from Germany (where else? All the decent power metal bands seem to come from Germany!) They were formed in 1989 (hence why I was late to the party with these guys. I was only 12!) by guitarists, Torsten Ihlenfeld and Milan Loncaric, and drummer Dieter Bernert, and are known for playing a somewhat darker style of music than most power metal bands.

During their early years they built up a solid groundwork with several demo releases and live appearance. They signed their first record deal in 1997 and the self-produced album “Hungry” was released, to great reviews. Chart entries in many European countries followed and their intense live performances were catapulting them into the champions league of or metal, resulting in the band being asked to perform at many of the big festivals.

And now on to their new album “Midnight Ghost”. This is the band’s 12th studio album (man, I need to buy some of their back catalogue), produced by Seeb Levermann and recorded at the Greenman Studios. It was released on 28th September 2018 by AFM Records.

Although not a concept album in the strictest sense of the word, there is a thematic thread running through the tracks…the fear of ghosts, monsters under your bed, the bogeyman in your wardrobe and wild beasts in the night….all fears that many of us have had since childhood and this is all depicted magnificently in the cover artwork produced by Gyula Havancsak (who has also worked with the likes of Accept and Stratovarius).

This album has a sound that it bound to delight all power metal fans and was even a surprise for the five band members themselves. Says vocalist Andy P Franck; “It’s pretty unusual that musicians still get the shivers down their spines when they listen to the new material after a long and energy-sapping production. In this case, we can really say that all Brainstorm musicians are total fans of our new recording. Midnight Ghost is the album we want to be measured by in the future.”

From the anthemic opener “Devil’s Eye” to the driving “When Pain Becomes Real” to the punchy “Haunting Voices”, Brainstorm more than live up to the term ‘melodic power metal.’ They deliver the full range of their typical trademarks, awesome melodies, dynamic grooves and extremely heavy, pounding guitar riffs. The galloping drums that I so love are there too, and of course, magnificent vocals. One of the things that made me fall in love with this band the first time I heard them was Andy P Franck’s voice. Strong and powerful yet able to carry off a huge range that adds dimension to the band’s sound and this he still has in abundance!

All the tracks are fantastic in their own right but together they make up an awesome album that should be in any metal fan’s collection. Not only do they bring the power element that they are so good at, but there are elements of thrash, traditional and speed metal too.

Says Andy P Franck; “Midnight Ghost is faster, more melodic and at the same time also tougher than all our previous releases.” And I couldn’t agree more. Why stick to one genre or aspect of metal when you can combine many and achieve a sound like this?

I can’t fault this album really and I really don’t want to take it out of my car. But, alas, needs must for the next review!

All I can say though is, when are you coming to England guys!!?

TRACK LISTING
01 – Devil’s Eye
02 – Revealing The Darkness
03 – Ravenous Minds
04 – The Pyre
05 – Jeanne Boulet (1764)
06 – Divine Inner Ghost
07 – When Pain Becomes Real
08 – The Four Blessings
09 – Haunting Voices
10 – The Path

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://en-gb.facebook.com/officialbrainstorm/
https://www.brainstorm-web.net/site/

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