Keys Of Orthanc – Of The Lineage Of Kings

Of The Lineage Of Kings Album Cover Art

Keys Of Orthanc – Of The Lineage Of Kings
Naturmacht Productions
Release Date: 05/02/2021
Running Time: 53:22
Review by Rick Eaglestone
9/10

What would happen if there was an edition of the Lord of The Rings where the soundtrack was just black metal encased with dungeon synth? What would it sound like? Well, Orcs, Hobbits & Wizards let me introduce you to the new album from Canada’s Keys of Orthanc – “Of The Lineage Of Kings”.

For the last few years Keys of Orthanc have been producing Lord of the Rings themed albums, their previous album “Unfinished Conquests” the band’s first full dungeon synth album was only released 7 months ago and was made whilst working on this new album.

The title track ‘Of The Lineage Of Kings’ starts off very much as the previous release – dungeon synth with an ominous film score feel before ‘Shards Of Narcil’ erupts, wielding a longsword ready to battle. Next track ‘Her Mighty Heart’ feels very much like an extension of Shards but in particular I enjoyed the spoken cries to battle as it really tells the story of the album.

A short interlude is provided by ‘To The Paths Of The Dead’ before, for me, the highlight track ‘The Last Alliance’ takes shape. There are so many things that make this track stand out – the black metal parts, especially, make me feel that I’m taking the haunted path through the white mountains…

This is followed up by the equally powerful ‘King Of The Reunited Kingdom’ the cries of “Hold your guard!!” are still with me. Then the album moves in an entirely different direction with ‘I’ve Seen The Dragons Fly’ before arriving at the final, mind blowingly ambitious, 15-minute Caladan Brood cover track ‘Book Of The Fallen’, which is done so well that I immediately had to put on that bands 2013 album “Echoes Of Battle”.

“Of The Lineage Of Kings” has engulfed me like a whisper from Wormtongue and it is just as difficult not to play this as it is to break his spell.

‘Her Mighty Heart’ (Audio)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Of The Lineage Of Kings
02. Shards Of Narcil
03. Her Mighty Heart
04. To The Paths Of The Dead
05. The Last Alliance
06. King Of The Reunited Kingdom
07. I’ve Seen The Dragons Fly
08. Book Of The Fallen (Caladan Brood Cover. On CD & Tape as a hidden track)

LINE-UP:
Dorgul – Compositions, Guitars, Fretless Bass, Piano, Synths
Harslingoth – Vocals
Sarah Kitteringham – Additional Vocals on ‘Her Mighty Heart’
Dominic Nucciarone – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rick Eaglestone 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.

Grima – Rotten Garden

Rotten Garden Cover Art

Grima – Rotten Garden
Naturmacht Productions
Release Date: 22/01/2021
Running Time: 43:40
Review by Rick Eaglestone
9/10

Continuing with the studio only project, concentrating on the pagan ethos based on the worship of the elder forest, Russia’s grotesque pairing once again prepare to walk their own black metal path with fourth album – “Rotten Garden”.

‘Cedar And Owls’ has a beautifully woeful tone throughout with swirling solos and naturalist soundscapes which is so serene in places that when the fury of ‘Mourning Comes At Sunset’ takes hold I was taken aback slightly.

I am a huge fan of certain sounds in black metal and ‘At The Foot Of The Red Mountains’ has some absolutely sublime accordion included that, combined with the guitar parts, just had me going back to it again and again – This is ,easily, highlight track of the album for me!

Things take on a much calmer pace with the instrumental ‘Old Oak’ which weaves into the early part of title track ‘Rotten Garden’ and includes slices of fury with that accordion again but with added hypnotic keyboards which almost gave it a dungeon synth feel.

There is a real cold, frostbitten atmosphere to ‘Grom’ that I really enjoyed but that’s not quite the end, also included as a bonus track, is a re-recording of the 2015 track ‘Devotion To Lord’ which, if not familiar with the band previously, should make the listener go back and check out the bands previous offerings.

We are only one month into the new year, yet I don’t think it is an unimaginable assumption that by the time we reach year end “Rotten Garden” would’ve made many peoples top album lists.

‘Cedar And Owls’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Cedar And Owls
02. Mourning Comes At Sunset
03. At The Foot Of The Red Mountains
04. Old Oak
05. Rotten Garden
06. Grom
07. Devotion To Lord 2020 (Bonus Track)

LINE-UP:
Vehelm – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keyboard
Morbius – Guitar, Bass

LINKS:

Grima Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rick Eaglestone and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, 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.

Theatre Of Tragedy – Musique (20th Anniversary Edition)

Theatre Of Tragedy – Musique (20th Anniversary Edition)
AFM Records
Release Date: 04/12/2020
Running Time: 88:44
Review by Rick Eaglestone
9/10

20 Years after its initial release “Musique” has returned – this time, its first on vinyl, also brings with it a multitude of bonus and unreleased tracks.

There must have been something in the water around the late 90’s and early 00’s as it seemed to be a fashion for bands to deviate from their roots and step in another direction. Now, with some bands, it took me a while to accept this but with Theatre Of Tragedy it was instantaneous and a really nice change from the symphonic sound that was quickly becoming overdone and saturated

It may be sacrilegious to feel this way but opening track ‘Machine’ is still my all-time favourite track, which after two decades may now be accepted, as at the time, I received gasps of horror and disgust from friends when revealing this.

Tracks like ‘City Of Light’, and especially ‘Fragment’, still give me goosebumps. There is no denying just how hypnotic Liv Kristine’s vocals are…even now!

Title track ‘Musique’s electronica sound hasn’t dated, as the melodies that accompany it strike a great balance. This is also true of the following track ‘Commute’ The lyrical content takes a more futuristic approach with ‘Radio’ and as previously mentioned Liv Kristine’s vocal shine through but, on this occasion, more so Raymond I Rohonyi’s as well as the hypnotic riff running throughout.

First single to be released ‘Image’ weaves into the pulsating song about street fighting ‘Crash/Concrete’, which has a little slice of harsh electro, so the slower ‘Retrospect’, which follows, is a welcome change of pace.

The intro to ‘Reverie’ still reminds me of a Commodore 64 game loading but, in fairness, the sound is in keeping with the start of the millennium so, once you get past that, you should enjoy the track. ‘Space Age’ is appropriately named, but purely instrumental. Originally, at this point, the album contained the track ‘The New Man’ but with this version it’s the French version of ‘Image’

This 20th Anniversary Edition does contain ‘The New Man’ further on, as well as the unreleased ‘Quirk’, which has a great chorus and blends in well with both the remastered tracks, by Jacob Hansen, and alternative versions included. A final note is that both formats (CD and Vinyl) have the same tracklist, so there is no need to have to buy both editions.

It’s nice to play an album that you haven’t heard in a few years and still feel the same way about it! This has been remastered well and from a personal stance it’s something that I will be re-purchasing on the newer format in the near future.

TRACKLISTING:

CD1
01. Machine
02. City Of Light
03. Fragment
04. Musique
05. Commute
06. Radio
07. Image
08. Crash/Concrete
09. Retrospect
10. Reverie
11. Space Age
12. Image (French Version)

CD2
13. Fragment
14. Machine
15. City Of Light
16. Reverie
17. Radio
18. Commute
19. Retrospect
20. Quirk
21. Crash/Concrete
22. The New Man

LINE-UP:
Raymond I. Rohonyi – Vocals
Liv Kristine – Vocals
Frank Claussen – Guitars
Lorentz Aspen – Keyboards
Hein Frode Hansen – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rick Eaglestone 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.

Viking Queen – Hammer Of The Gods

Viking Queen – Hammer Of The Gods
Dr Johns Surgery Records
Release Date: 15/10/2020
Running Time: 38:19
Review by Rick Eaglestone
6.5/10

Talk about timing, I was deep in the midst of a debut novel about Vikings when this album came through! So, whilst my eyes were scanning the damage being dealt in the book, my ears were going into battle with Viking Queen, who were part of the Norwegian TV series “Norse Rednecks”, and who have now released their debut album “Hammer of the Gods”.

Opener and title track ‘Hammer Of The Gods’ is fist pumping classic rock at its finest which transcends into ‘Empire Of Death’ effortlessly.

It wouldn’t be a classic rock album without a ballad, right? ‘Knives Through My Heart’ is just that, but it stays at one level, which is a shame because I do like a ballad with a little bite…

Both ‘Blood Of The Viking’ and ‘Trail Of The Viking’ seem to blend together into ‘Swords And Dragonheads’ which does have a really good guitar solo, but is really repetitive. However, my highlight track of the album ‘Going Nowhere Fast’ does soften the blow somewhat.

‘Can’t Stand The Pain’ is another step in the right direction as to is ‘Sunstone’, which did get repeated a fair few times.

Finally, the battle ready ‘Warriors Last Stand’ closes the album nicely.

At the time of writing this, the band are looking for new members, so it will be interesting to see how Viking Queen will sound when their clan has re assembled.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Hammer Of The Gods
02. Empire Of Death
03. Knives Through My Heart
04. Blood Of The Viking
05. Trail Of The Viking
06. Swords And Dragonheads
07. Going Nowhere Fast
08. Can’t Stand The Pain
09. Sunstone
10. Warriors Last Stand

LINE-UP ON THE ALBUM
Lady E – Vocals
Miss White – Backing Vocals
Robban – Guitars
TJ – Bass
Chris Chruick – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rick Eaglestone 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 Rick Eaglestone

EMQ’s with Rick Eaglestone

What is your name, what do you do, and can you tell us a little bit about how you ended up doing it?

I’m Rick – I now mostly write reviews and host radio shows. I started off doing shows/podcasts over a decade ago which due to ill health I stopped. I then met my wife who convinced me to start a blog which, in its infancy, was just book related as I am a huge bookworm and former bookseller. Whilst doing this I was contacted by someone who knew my previous work and asked me if I wanted to start doing shows again and as the time was right, I said yes and then also started focusing on music-based reviews too – so it’s come full circle really.

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

I am originally from London but now live in Leicestershire and have only really started dipping my toes into the local scene but have found it very welcoming, I previously lived in Cardiff and absolutely adored it – Womanby Street is a fabulous place.

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

At this moment in time, it has to be “Galdrum” by Stormkeep

Who have been your greatest influences, in music or in life?

It would have to be my Mum as she gave me a strong sense of who I am as a person and instilled in me a never give up attitude even though I was a very poorly kid who was always in hospital and also trying to navigate a lifelong Disability alongside everything else. When I discovered Metal, my Mum would bring my Walkman into hospital, so I didn’t have to endure hospital radio. Either that or it was to stop me requesting Iron Maiden so frequently on it, and I also found solace in the storytelling aspect of the songs.

What first got you into music?

I think it was TV shows and films, mainly the 1986 Transformers Movie which I had for my birthday the following year, it has the most fantastic soundtrack and is something I still listen to.

Which current bands or musicians would you like to see collaborate on a record?

I would like to see Pemphigoid do something with Kieran Scott.

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

I think it would have to be Hellfest. The line-up is always really good and everybody I know who has been says it’s a great weekend.

What’s the weirdest music related thing you own?

It may not be the weirdest but it’s something that I have an emotional connection with, which is a 1977 Muppets Album, which I still have. It actually won a Grammy in the same year I was born, 1979.

If you had one message for your Ever Metal readers, what would it be?

Don’t be apprehensive about trying new ventures.

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

Lemmy.

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

I would like to see people not be so dismissive of bands or a particular style just because it’s either not their thing or they just don’t want to admit that they actually like the bands /singers because it seems to be the cool thing to say you don’t like a certain band or act. I know a lot of bands are like Marmite but do what you want? I bloody love Marmite!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Paradise Lost – “Draconian Times”

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

I enjoy the physical format and most of my purchases this year have been cassettes, but I have also bought some Vinyl and CD’s from listening to downloads/streaming.

What’s the best gig that you have been to, and why?

My most emotional was Iron Maiden at Twickenham in 2008. I am big rugby fan and also the set list was full of tracks that took me back to the first metal album I ever bought aged 8 or 9, which was “Live After Death”. Another, just for the line-up, was BST in 2014 which had Black Sabbath, Soundgarden, Faith No More, Motorhead & Soulfly.

What do you get up to when you’re not writing/taking photos?

I try to read whenever possible, watch action films from the late 80’s early 90’s and go to the gym, health permitting.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Rhod Gilbert, David Attenborough, James Earl Jones, Rob Zombie and Kate Beckinsale.

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

100% Cake, Custard Cream is the supreme rule of biscuits.

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

It’s a been a strange year, enjoy the parts you can & look forward to the future.

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.

Rick E’s Top Ten Releases Of 2020

Rick E’s Top Ten Releases Of 2020
By Rick Eaglestone

Hi Everyone,

Here are Rick E’s top ten releases of 2020 and it’s a really interesting selection. Rick hasn’t been with us long but, apart from me having to get used to the fact there is now another Rick here (it shouldn’t be allowed I tell you 😊), he has slotted into the team really well, has a great sense of humour…oh and good taste in music. I’m looking forward to working with him more in 2021.

Rick T

10. Helzgloriam – Decapitated Mystics Of The Serpent (July 2020)

www.facebook.com/Helzgloriam

‘Decapitated Mystics Of The Serpent’ (Full Album Premiere)


9. Grimorte – Esoteric Ascendence EP (October 2020)

www.facebook.com/GrimorteDoom

‘The Procession’ (Official Lyric Video)


8. Dark Doom – Mourning’s End (November 2020)

www.facebook.com/darkdoomofficial

‘Dusk’ (Lyric Video)


7. Burden of Ymir – And Then Twilight Fell (October 2020)

www.facebook.com/BurdenOfYmir

‘Splitting The Wolf’ (Audio)


6. Foul Body Autopsy – Consumed By Black Thoughts EP (October 2020)

www.facebook.com/FoulBodyAutopsyofficial

Consumed By Black Thoughts (Full EP)


5. Paradise Lost – Obsidian (May 2020)

www.facebook.com/paradiselostofficial

‘Darker Thoughts’ (Official Video)


4. Cultus Profano – Accursed Possession (August 2020)

www.facebook.com/CULTUS.PROFANO

‘Cursed in Sin, Op. 25’ (Audio)


3. Afsky – Ofte Jeg Drommer Mig Dod (May 2020)

www.facebook.com/afskymusic

‘Tyende Sang’ (Audio)


2. Ulcerate – Stare Into Death and Be Still (April 2020)

www.facebook.com/Ulcerate

‘Dissolved Orders’ (Official Video)


1. Burial – Satanic Upheaval (May 2020)

www.facebook.com/burialtheband

‘Hellish Reaping Screams’ (Audio)

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rick Eaglestone 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.

Kalt Vindur – …And Nothing Is Endless

Kalt Vindur – …And Nothing Is Endless
Witching Hour Productions
Release Date: 07/08/2020
Running Time: 34:31
Review by Rick Eaglestone
8.5/10

It’s currently cold, bleak and icy right now – I have two choices, turn up the heating to make it hotter than the flames in hell or tough it out with some Subcarpathian Black Metal from Southern Poland and as I am fan of the cold I’ve gone for the second option with “…And Nothing is Endless” by Kalt Vindur who were kind enough to provide me with a physical copy for review purposes.

The intro track ‘Solar Cross’ may be short but  its full of foreboding urgency and is a speculator build up to ‘Inner War’, which itself, is probably my highlight track of the entire album. It’s frostbitten to its very core – the bass sound that rings throughout is great with tempo changes aplenty.

Acoustic guitars in black metal is something that needs to be used more – case in point, the introduction to ‘The Blind Sin Hunter’ as it sets up the track brilliantly and really suits the aesthetic of the album – particularly the artwork from Maciej Kamuda.

The very well-balanced melodies the band collectively put forward are encapsulated in ‘Eyes Ov Gods’ before the straight up fury once again takes hold with ‘Dirty Yields’. At this point I would like to point out that the album, so far, has thrown up some really nice surprises which to be honest has only made my listening experience, thus far, a pleasant one.

‘Red Glow’ thunders through into title track ‘…And Nothing Is Endless’ which for me is the most atmospheric track of the release with some great guitar work once again. Although I have my highlight track, if I had to pick a track to recommend the band to someone it would have to be ‘The Golden Age’. This is why I love black metal – this track in particular really reminds of Black Dawn.

Just as the album began, so to, does it end with instrumental outro “Crescent Moon Of Chors” which for me didn’t have the same impact as the start of the album.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Solar Cross
02. Inner War
03. The Blind Sin Hunter
04. Eyes Ov Gods
05. Dirty Yields
06. Red Glow
07. …And Nothing Is Endless
08. The Golden Age
09 Crescent Moon Of Chors

LINE-UP:
Celsus – Vocals
Svart – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Additional Vocals.
Ver – Electric Guitars
S – Bass
Xakhariash – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rick Eaglestone 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.

Putrid Offal – Live at Hellfest 2017

Putrid Offal – Live at Hellfest 2017
Xenokorp
Release Date: 13/11/2020
Running Time: 28:15
Review by Rick Eaglestone
7/10

It doesn’t need me to point out the obvious reasons why there hasn’t been much live music year and I know that I’m not the only one who marked up their calendar in 2019, ready for all the festivals this year, only to either cross them off or forget to do that and when the time comes to reveal the next month seeing the reminder of what could’ve been…

Yes, there’s been livestreams, but even then they haven’t been entirely straight forward so when I threw my hat into the pot to join the Ever Metal family I was very pleased indeed to learn the band I had chosen to review have a newly released live album as I had only been playing their latest studio album “Sickness Obsessions” last month. In fact, the latest studio album contains a DVD with the full set of this show.

It is highly fitting that Putrid Offal chose this show as it their home country after all. The album wastes no time starting, it is straight in with the frenzied ‘Livor Mortis’ and the gut wrenching ‘Purulent Cold’.

The lead single from latest album ‘Let There Be Rot’ slices back into 2015 and revisits the track ‘From Plasma To Embalming’.

The absolute highlight for me is hearing ‘Repulsive Corpse’ I love the guitar work on this track it’s been my favourite track of theirs since I first heard it, and nothing has changed.

Skull Pounding alert here for ‘Necrotic Mutilation’ which is followed by shortest track of the album ‘Gurgling Prey’ which has drumming very reminiscent of incredibly early Slayer and both ‘Rotted Flesh’ and ‘Organic Excavation’ have a great death gore throwback feel to them. Finally, the set ends with a short savage attack in the form of ‘Suffering’.

For a live album “Live At Hellfest 2017” is incredibly short but having watched the actual live performance it is the full set, as it was performed. This is a shame as I would’ve liked to hear a few tracks from the early splits, in particular ‘Obscurum Per Obscurius’ and maybe a little more crowd noise/interaction for the real live feel.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Livor Mortis
2. Purulent Cold
3. Let There Be Rot
4. From Plasma to Embalming
5. Repulsive Corpse 2:51
6. Necrotic Mutilation
7. Gurgling Prey
8. Rotted Flesh
9. Organic Excavation
10. Suffering

LINE-UP:
Franck Peiffer – Vocals
Philippe Reinhalter – Guitars
Frédéric Houriez – Bass
Laye Louhenapessy – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rick Eaglestone 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.