Beermageddon 2021 Day Two

Beermageddon Poster

Beermageddon 2021 Day Two
Stoke Prior Sports & Country Club
Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove
28/08/2021
Review by Beth Jones & Rick Tilley

The dawning of day two in our little patch of grass, in a rather damp field in Bromsgrove brought with it some interesting feelings. Mainly still happiness it has to be said. But that was now joined with sleep deprivation, and the nagging question of “How the actual fuck does anyone enjoy camping?!” Every bone in my body felt like it had been ripped out and used to hit something with, then repositioned, only not quite in the right place, and good lord, what was that repulsive smell? Oh yeah…me!

But my woes were soon distilled when I was greeted by the smiling face of Noel Edmunds in the portaloo. I say the smiling face, what I really mean is the smiling faces… Many, many Noels watched as I conducted my morning ablutions, and while his porcelain mush does make me reminisce about Saturday night TV of my childhood, it makes any other, er… action, shall we say, slightly less easy. (Rick here. Just so you don’t think Beth has completely lost the plot, overnight, someone had stuck many A4 photos of UK TV Presenter Noel Edmunds all over the insides of the portaloos)!!

After my hallucinogenic toilet experience, and a quick can as a breakfast aperitif, we headed to the lovely JW Catering burger van for bacon, as is customary at such events. This marvelous little eatery was one of two at the event, the other being Little Al’s Kitchen, and between the two of them, they did a marvelous job catering for the revelers, even me, the awkward one with food intolerances.

And with that, it was back to business. The first event of the day was a small remembrance service for friends lost. This year has been harsh on the Metal community, as it has with communities, across most of the world. And this was a chance to remember with fondness. Rick and I observed from afar, as, with this being our first year, we felt it should be silent observers of the Beermageddon family of old at this point.

After a moment of melancholy, what we needed was more music. First up to provide us with our boogie boots for the day were Heavy Melodic Metallers, Sorceress Of Sin. Fronted by Lisa Skinner, a veritable powerhouse of vocals, they took us through half an hour of thunderous classic Heavy Fucking Metal, which again got the party started in fine fashion. One of our reviewers, here at Ever Metal, recently reviewed their new album “Constantine” and was very impressed. Judging by their performance here, his positive views were well founded. A great way to start the day.

Sorceress Of Sin

https://www.facebook.com/Sorceressofsin

Next up was a firm favourite of ours, with the added bonus of also being Welsh (CYMRU AM BTYH), Democratus (Okay, so they might be from the South, so not proper Wales, like up North here, but I’ll let them off, because they’re jolly nice chaps ** covers head and waits for North/South divide backlash** I’m joking guys, please take nothing I say seriously, apart from the good stuff). One thing that always gets me with these guys is the power and passion in Steve’s voice, and this performance was no exception. Melodic Death Metal of the finest caliber, and those gathered in the room clearly agreed, as there was much jollification and banging of heads.

Democratus

https://www.facebook.com/democratusband

Black Pyre where a new name to us, but again from the Wales (we plan to take over the world you know! One band at a time). They painted a stark Black metal picture for the gathered crowd, and this is the point where I will hand over to the esteemed Mr Tilley to tell you more about them, as he’s more into the Blacker side than me!

Hello, it’s me to talk about Black Pyre’s performance. Not being familiar with the material and with them being a Black Metal band it did take me a couple of songs to get into but then everything clicked big time. Black Pyre don’t play everything at light speed and that is, very much to their advantage. This is Doom laden and evil Black Metal that is old-school and reminded me on several occasions of late 80’s Bathory, which from me is high praise. I thoroughly enjoyed them and am looking forward to getting much more familiar with their music. Now, back to Beth…

Black Pyre

https://www.facebook.com/BlackPyreMusic

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from our next band, Dies Holocaustum. I like things to be a surprise, so I don’t check out any bands that I haven’t come across before we go to a festival, especially one where there are no clashes so you can conceivably watch every band. I was thinking, given the name, that we might be in for something blackened and doomy, but in fact what we actually got was some bloody good Old-School Death Metal, with more than a lot of Thrash thrown in for good measure. Really Heavy, really punch you in the face until your teeth fall out, really solid, and tight as anything. I was very impressed.

 Dies Holocaustum

https://www.facebook.com/diesholokaustum

Repulsive Vision were another new name for us, but they brought another full-on Old-School Death Metal show our way, just after teatime, on a sunny Saturday, in a posh leafy village. The naughty in me really fucking loves that. What would the neighbours say? I don’t know, but my field of fucks to give doth be barren!! What a performance these guys put in. So much energy and emotion unleashing from them in what, in the grand scheme of things, was a pretty small space. The whole room was bouncing, and it was epic. I also have to mention here a fledgling metal head who, for the entire weekend, was having the time of their lives! I’ve since discovered their name – Oz. And they were slamming and circle pitting good style during this performance. It warms my heart to see the future living the dream right now. My 14-year-old is rather reserved, but she also approved of these guys, and you could tell this from the slight movement of her head. Her resting bitch face was slightly less restful, which is a firm sign of positivity!

Repulsive Vision

https://www.facebook.com/RepulsiveVision

Filling up the main support slot tonight were a band that we, at Ever Metal HQ are familiar with, and very fond of, Ashen Crown. Hailing from the West Midlands and bringing a technical hit of Extreme/Death Metal, these guys are probably the band we knew most about at this festival. Having been another of the bands fresh from Bloodstock, frontman Kieran had been allowed out of quarantine, after picking up the dreaded rona, some 9 hours before this gig, and he was feeling the penance of the lurgi on his vocals. However, that didn’t show in their performance one little bit. It was tight as ever, heavy as ever, and in your damn face as ever. I don’t think I have ever seen these guys give a bad performance yet, regardless of the venue. Keiran mate, you really had nothing to worry about. And the gathered crowd will reaffirm that.

Ashen Crown

https://www.facebook.com/ashencrown.uk

Our headliners for Saturday were a comedy party punk band, lovingly known as The Kunts, or Kunt And The Gang, depending on which circles you move in. In full festival tradition, Saturday is the time when everyone is warmed up enough, and suitably oiled by drink, to have fun, before the inevitable Sunday ‘OMG I think I might be dead, I smell dead, I don’t remember what the outside world looks like, and my liver has become a warzone’ lull sets in. The Kunts were indeed the perfect soundtrack for that. Sadly, I was probably too sober to appreciate them fully, as I can’t take pictures drunk, and Will Tudor would have thrown me out of the pit if I was, because I would have been a liability (health and safety is vital in these situations). They were essentially a very comedic anarchic punk rock act, which was musically done well, and they had an endearing stage presence. The prude in me got bored of the toilet humour quickly, but the anarchist in me loved it! And ‘Fucksticks’ is now my new favourite expletive for when things go wrong and is infinitely more satisfying than ‘Buggeration’ which is what it has replaced.

The Kunts

https://www.facebook.com/kuntandthegang

And with that, Day 2 was over, and we were knackered, so we went to bed!

LINKS:
www.beermageddon.co.uk/
www.facebook.com/beermageddonfestival
www.facebook.com/groups/247287828724525

Beermageddon 2022 Event Page
www.facebook.com/events/247818157211596

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones, Rick Tilley, 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.

Beermageddon 2021 Day One

Bermageddon 2021 Poster

Beermageddon 2021 Day One
Stoke Prior Sports & Country Club
Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove
27/08/2021
Review by Beth Jones and Rick Tilley

Rick Here,

Before I hand you over to Beth for the Day One review of Beermageddon I would like to say that I did have notes written to add my thoughts but she has done such a good job of not only describing the evening, but also echoing my sentiments, that I’ve just left it alone. I will just say that this was our first Beermageddon, as it had always managed to clash with something else, but we are well and truly converted and will return for, hopefully, many years to come!

Gig, gig, gig, gig, yay, friends, field, music, argh, panic! That’s essentially the best description I can give you of the lead up to our first time venturing out into the world properly since, what I shall lovingly describe as, the Clusterfuck Armageddon that was the last 18 months. So many things, none of them good, but let’s not dwell on that eh? Instead let me tell you about the positively lovely way to make our return from the hermit hole back into a semi functional society that was Beermageddon Festival. A small and close-knit family festival where a whole lot of love happened.

After only making the final decision that I was confident enough to leave the comfort of my sofa the day before the festival, I wasn’t my usual organized self. But, armed with some beer, a brand new and entirely free tent (long story) and negative lateral flow tests, Rick and I, and our willing apprentice (well 14-year-old, but I figured that was a nicer description than ‘moody cow’) set off for our destination El Paradiso…sunny Bromsgrove!

The journey was annoying, but as soon as we arrived at the campsite, it felt like we had come home. Seeing the smiling faces of old friends, and people who would become new friends, was a very welcomed tonic to the numb depressive melancholy. Putting up the tent however was not! Turns out the best coping strategies for erecting your canvas are swearing, sweating, and cider. This is a fact I already knew but had somehow forgotten since it’s been a while. Anyway, now that I looked like a bedraggled swamp thing, it was time for some bands! To ease everyone back in to existing in the same 2-meter space as someone else, without freaking out, there were only 4 bands on the Friday night.

First up, and hailing from Scotland, Cuttin’ Edge provided some great rock to get the party started for the small and slightly terrified looking crowd that had decided it was in for a penny, in for a pound, and taken the plunge to venture indoors! Hi-Octane, dirty riffs and rugged grizzly vocals where the name of the game for these guys. A sort of Motorhead meets ZZ Top feel which blew away some cobwebs and had everyone tapping along as they stood at the bar (yes a real bar, with real life human people, serving real pints – amazeballs), or nodding along down at the front. This was a brilliant way to kick things off. A real tempo setter, that let everyone know that a very good weekend was in store.

Cuttin' Edge

https://www.facebook.com/cuttinedge2018

Midlands Hard rockers, Shackled, took to the stage next, fresh from a performance on the Jager stage at Bloodstock 10 days or so previously. They kept the pace and crunch going, and had a real groove. Driven by chunky riffs and rumbling bass, and some sumptuous soloing, they continued to remind the gathered crowd, who now looked slightly less petrified, of the joy of actually seeing a band live. And by the looks on their faces, they were having equally as much fun as we were. God it’s so good to be back!

Shackled

https://www.facebook.com/ShackledRock

Control The Storm were a late addition to the bill, due to good old ‘Rona striking. Hey, I love CTS but hadn’t yet seen them live, so I was fine with that, and their live performance lived up to their recorded material. Epic melodic metal with more than a hint of synth, they gave us a heavy and full sound that was tight as anything, and exciting. The symphonic strings and vocal harmonies are what make it for me. But the technicality of the guitar riffs and solos are also impressive. And, by that point, everyone had thrown off their woes, and found their groove again. The party was in full swing, and the ale was flowing almost as gleefully as the music.

Control The Storm

https://www.facebook.com/ControlTheStorm

Putting us to bed were the finest bunch of upstanding gents you’re likely to meet in a field, in Bromsgrove, in August – Wired THC. After winning the public vote in 2019, they returned to headline the Friday this year, and if we thought we’d been partied already that night, they had a thing or two to teach us. A superb Hardcore/Thrash crossover, Wired ripped the entire leafy village of Stoke Prior a new one with this set. The room was bouncing, and full of magical energy for the entire set. Audience participation was the name of the game, and the performance came complete with a couple of guests visiting the stage, including Wired superfan, Jag’s bestie, and one of the nicest people you will ever meet in your life, the legend that is John Matthews! What a way to finish the day.

Wired THC

https://www.facebook.com/WIREDTHC

Rick and the teen had already admitted defeat before Wired had finished, but I stayed to the death, and then wandered back to camp Ever Metal. I was, ironically, far too wired to even think about attempting to crawl into the tent, so I sat in my car for a bit, watching the last of the revellers mingling in the area outside the hall where this wonderful evening had taken place.

And here’s where I take things from larking around, to heartfelt and philosophical. I felt a warmth and comfort that I hadn’t felt for some time sitting there in my car, even though the night air was beginning to chill. The breeze was carrying a sound to my resting place, that brought me a lot of peace. That was the sound of joyful laughter. Of friends catching up after too long apart. Of new friendships being formed after an isolation that no-one had ever had to contemplate or comprehend before. Something special had just taken place and I was so thankful to be part of it. And tomorrow would be another day, and we were looking forward to that immensely…

LINKS:
www.beermageddon.co.uk/
www.facebook.com/beermageddonfestival
www.facebook.com/groups/247287828724525

Beermageddon 2022 Event Page
www.facebook.com/events/247818157211596

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

Interview with BRING TO BEAR

Bring To Bear Ever Metal Banner

Interview with BRING TO BEAR
By Rick Tilley

Hi Everyone, it’s Rick…

There is nothing I love more than introducing people to brand new bands especially ones that, not only know how to write great music, but also embrace the ‘business’ side of things with an excellent online presence and striking visuals.

One such band is UK Symphonic Folk Metal Quintet BRING TO BEAR, who recently chatted to us about their debut single and video ‘THE SHADOW RUSE’ which is being released tomorrow, Friday 16th July.

I’d like to send huge thanks to them for the interview.

Enjoy!

Q: For a new band, this is truly a wonderful debut, how long have you been playing together and how did you get together?

BtB: Thanks very much, that’s very kind of you to say. Hristo and I (Ian) met through being in a gypsy punk band together and played in that band for a few years now. We realised that we both love metal and during May of the first UK lockdown we decided to start a metal band together. We wrote a few short demos to show the style we wanted to play and posted these on the website Bandmix. We then contacted people through Bandmix and Facebook to see if they were interested in joining us. We managed to get the current line-up (excluding bass) by January this year, so I suppose you could say we have been playing together as a band for about 7 months now.

Q: Can you tell us a little more about each of the members in BRING TO BEAR?

BtB: Hristo plays electric guitar and is also a good bassist, so he did the bass recordings. He is strongly influenced by grunge music, and he is originally from Bulgaria. I (Ian) play accordion and keys, and do the growling, and I am originally from South Africa. I’m very much into symphonic metal and folk metal, gypsy punk, film scores, Viking music. Izabela is lead vocalist and she’s from Poland. She’s a big fan of Nightwish and Frank Sinatra. Simon is the token UK local; he plays drums (and a range of traditional Thai instruments) and loves folk metal and death metal. Nik is our other guitarist and he’s originally from Russia and the UAE. He is really into melodic metal and melodic death metal, particularly bands like Dream Theater.

Q: You have a very rich textured sound (inclusive of instruments like the Accordion), accompanied by fascinating complementary visuals. Please can you share some of the inspirations that went into crafting your sound and visual style?

BtB: The sound of BRING TO BEAR is a balance we are learning to find because we basically have 3 lead instruments (both guitarists and the accordion), as well as 2 vocal styles. When we started the band the phrase, we had in mind, was “Amon Amarth with an accordion” and the idea was to have heavy driving riffs as the foundation of the sound, with powerful tremolo sections, and then add the flavour of accordion to that (because what else would I play??), interspersed with strings and brass (keyboard) to give it some more depth and variety. And on top of that we wanted strong and powerful drumming. A lot of the guitar riffs are also influenced by bands like Pantera, Mushroomhead, and Rammstein. And the folk and symphonic elements are influenced by bands like Nightwish, Korpiklaani, traditional folk music, and film score melodies. The visuals are based on creating a scene of adventure because we believe our music is adventurous. Due to the double meaning of the band name, the bear animal seemed like an obvious inclusion in some visuals and also works as a representation of the growling, and it sets the context of the forest too. Then the lady in the hood represents the clean female vocals. And some beams of light breaking through the shade of the canopy and some mist, and it gives it a strong sense of mystery and intrigue.

Q: Your debut single ‘THE SHADOW RUSE’ will be available tomorrow. Can you share some insight on this debut track, as well as why and how you chose it as your debut offering to introduce the world to BRING TO BEAR?

BtB: ‘The Shadow Ruse’ is a song about the balance between light and dark. It’s easy to look at a situation from one point of view and label it “good” or “bad”, but the same situation seen from another point of view can be the opposite. All that changed is the perception, so the situation is effectively neither good nor bad but just in balance. So, our perceptions make us judge things and this affects how we react to them, even if the perception is not real. It’s like a game of shadows in the mind and it can be hard to make sense of it. The song also represents how we often end up leaning into some aspects of ourselves too much that we neglect their opposites, so it’s also about finding the balance of the light and dark parts of our own character. It was chosen by vote really, but the criteria used for the voting was that it needed to be a song that had a strong, in-your-face start and be a balanced combination of the various textures we use in our music. Incidentally, it was the very first song that Hristo and Ian worked on together for Bring to Bear, and it was used to convince the other members to join the band. So, if it was convincing enough for people to join the band, maybe it will be convincing enough for others to join our journey.

Q: Given you are a new band we have no prior insight into the meaning of your name. However, we are dying to know the origin and meaning of BRING TO BEAR?

BtB: The name primarily comes from the phrase “bring [something] to bear”, meaning to bring into effector to make something happen that you really want to have happen. But the dual meaning comes in with the bear animal which is an obvious link in the name, and the bear animal often represents courage and strength, so the courage to go for what you love and the strength to make it happen.

Q: Your Social Media presence and content are especially striking for a band fresh out the blocks. Can you share some insight on your strategic drive and fantastic efforts to invite fans to join your journey and follow your musical adventure?

BtB: We are looking to create a strong online presence first, partly due to the pandemic and partly because that’s where most potential fans will ever see and hear us. We want to use this to tell our story of trying to go after what we love doing, and hopefully we can inspire others to do the same. We’re not looking to rush things, but we want to make sure that each thing we create, whether music, video or art, is high quality and a true reflection of the band, and we’d rather release things in smaller amounts to not keep people waiting too long between releases. Within the band we have a variety of other skillsets and things that we each love doing so we are trying to use these as well. For example, Nik loves photography and videography, so he has been filming all our videos, and I (Ian) love creating visual art, so I am happy to spend time working on that for the band. And then our PR manager, Devo, has done a great job with helping us to craft how we tell the story and with editing the videos.

Q: Where did you record ‘THE SHADOW RUSE’, and please share some more about the BRING TO BEAR writing and recording process?

BtB: The song was originally written as a punk song for the gypsy punk band that Hristo and I met through, but it didn’t really fit with the rest of that band’s songs. So, when we decided to start Bring To Bear, we took that song and made it heavier. First Hristo wrote the guitar riffs and structure of the song and emailed a recording to me, then I added accordion and emailed it back to him (this was during the first UK lockdown). So, the writing process was a back-and-forth process with Hristo guiding this song’s outcome. Once we had all the other band members, we did two rounds of home recordings where each person recording their parts of the song and we combined them into a mix. This worked well to get us ready for the studio recordings, and we then recorded ‘The Shadow Ruse’ at Audiohaus Studios in Wembley.

Q: Starting a band in lockdown with fresh material is incredibly determined, and you must be eager to also get yourselves out there for live shows (as soon as conditions allow). What is on the cards in that respect for BRING TO BEAR, and what can we look forward to next?

BtB: Yeah, we are quite determined to see where the music takes us. Our very next step is to find a bassist so that we can get gigging as soon as possible. We will then look to play some local shows first and apply to various venues and festivals. We’ll have to see how that goes but we do hope to be able to play our music in many different places. We are releasing a 3 track EP in September which will include a cover song and 2 originals. And then we will look to release some follow up singles later this year once they are ready.

Q: Thank you for your time and the opportunity to chat to you. We wish you every success for your debut single ‘The Shadow Ruse’ and very much look forward to the upcoming EP.

BtB: Thanks very much! We really appreciate being able to chat to you, and we really hope people will love listening to our music as much as we love making it.

BRING TO BEAR ARE:
Izabela Smyt – Lead Vocals
Ian Tarboton – Accordion, Keyboards & Growls
Hristo Nikolov – Guitars
Nikiforos Rotas – Guitars
Simon Jones – Drums

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

Bring to Bear - The Shadow Ruse Cover

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

Bloodstock M2TM North Wales, Grand Final 2020 (!) Central Station, Wrexham 03/07/2021

Bloodstock M2TM North Wales, Grand Final 2020 (!)
Central Station, Wrexham
03/07/2021
Review by Beth Jones, with interjections from Rick Tilley
Pics by Beth Jones

You know that feeling you get when something you’ve been waiting for, for so long, finally happens? It’s a kind of warm nervousness, that consumes you and you literally can’t think about anything else. Well, that was me, leading up to this gig – the first since the dizzy days of early 2020, when no-one was ill, masks were something you wore at Halloween, and Covid was that new bug that people, thousands of miles away from us, were getting sick with. To say I was a little nervous was an understatement. A lot has happened since March 2020, and very few of us are the same people that we were back then. The thought of being in a room full of people was terrifying. The thought of having the responsibility of taking photographs after barely even looking at my camera for 15 months filled me with fear and trepidation. But the thought of seeing dearly missed friends again, and getting to watch live music as well, filled me with a kind of euphoria that’s actually impossible to explain, but equally doesn’t need any explaining at all.

The fact that this gig was the long-awaited Final of the Bloodstock M2TM North Wales 2020 competition made it all the more special, because one of the 6 brilliant competing bands would finally get the chance to grace the New Blood stage at, what is without question, one of the most loved festivals on the metal calendar. As an extra treat, Thrash metal legends, Virus were headlining. With the current restrictions, this gig had to be seated, and socially distant, with table service, masks, and hand sanitizer aplenty, so it was a little weird, but damn were we in for a treat with the music. So, here’s my rundown.

Thrashatouille

Thrashatouille have become a household name around these parts, with their comedic culinary Thrash Metal anthems that are guaranteed to cook up a storm. This would, in normal times, be accompanied by a lot of people violently hurling around inflatable food and generally losing their collective shit in a good old fashioned mosh pit – remember them?… Despite this not being able to happen, these crazy chefs still pulled off an awesome show. Given the fact everyone’s been out of the game for so long, it was amazing to see how tight and polished their sound still was. They supplied everyone with cake too, which was nice (although I couldn’t eat them because I’m allergic to pretty much everything)! They took us on a rip-roaring tour of their classics, finishing, as they do, with ‘Red Velvet Romance’. And what a joy it was to witness frontman Rob Sutton smashing a freshly primed red velvet cake into his face again. I’ve missed that.

https://www.facebook.com/Thrashatouille

Krank

Next up were Krank, those crazy kids from up the North Wales coast, whose show is guaranteed to be a little weird, if nothing else. Before they started, they distributed squeaky rubber chickens to the gathered crowd, and before long the venue sounded like a battery farm. I mean, the inner child in us all just can’t resist a squeaky toy, right? Now, it’s fair to say, in the past I’ve never really ‘got’ Krank. Their madcap zaniness was too much even for me. But this time it was different. They had a coherent story running through their show and were even joined on stage by some lizard people, and a sugarplum fairy fly! It was still zany and madcap, but it had a structure that I thought definitely improved the show, and certainly my enjoyment of it. Again, musically they were tight.

https://www.facebook.com/krankislife

Cry For Mercy

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. These guys deserve to go a very long way. Their brand of Southern Blues Rock always makes for sweet listening, and they are thoroughly nice guys to boot. Over lockdown, they released their second EP “Automatic Breakdown” and debut album “Resist”, which I was lucky enough to review, and we got to hear some tracks off both, alongside some of their older tunes. Lead singer Kev Plant has a stunning voice and guitarist Andy Cutty knows exactly how to make his guitar sing the blues. But much as it pains me to say, I don’t think Bloodstock’s New Blood Stage would be right for them, although they would be superb playing a set on the Jager stage. However, I’d love to see them at some of the bigger Rock festivals as, at those, they would go down an absolute storm. (Call Of The Wild and Ramblin’ Man Fair please take note – Rick)

https://www.facebook.com/cryformercyofficial

Scarfoot

Scarfoot are a 3 piece that have intrigued us from their inception. And this performance was by far the best performance Rick and I have ever seen them give. Newish bass player, Rhys Jones, has really settled in now and what a difference he has made. Prior to him joining, they were good, but something wasn’t quite right. It was a je ne sais quoi that was missing from what they did, which always irritated us, because we could see the potential for them to be great. This performance answered our question of ‘have they got it right now?’ with a resounding ‘HELL YES’! They were by far the most improved band on the night, and they have grown their sound into a kind of dark Progressive Stoner/Sludge/Doom-esque thriller. Scarfoot are not easy to pigeonhole and that is to their benefit. Seeing as they’re still fairly young as a band, if they can keep this level of progression going then their future is pretty damn exciting.

https://www.facebook.com/thescarfootband

Severenth

Since their comeback gig in 2019, Severenth have been firmly planted on our radar. Their Modern Metal vibe and incredible stagecraft give me a little warm feeling – joy, I think! They are just so bloody good at what they do. They also have an incredible frontman in Peet Bailey. Not only is he super talented, but his stage presence and expressiveness are mesmeric, and exudes the passion that the whole band put into their performance. He’s also a photographer’s dream because he’s incredibly photogenic! Everything about their performance, for me, was next level, and I’m excited for their future as a band.

Rick Here – I agree with everything Beth has said but, as a former drummer, I have to also mention Severenth sticksman Dave Roberts, who is absolutely thunderous behind the kit. There were several occasions during their performance when I actually thought he and the drums were going to launch into orbit, such was his ferocity and precision.

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialSeverenth

Mad Spanner

This gig was probably the last time we’ll ever see Mad Spanner as, very sadly, they decided to call it a day last year, due to different personal issues and other commitments. But they came back for this gig to give us what we wanted – the madcap trio of Extreme Metal and comedy that they are. Unfortunately, drummer, Ben, had to pull out the day before, as Track and Trace identified him as a close contact of someone who was Covid positive. Bloody Covid! This didn’t deter Michael Randall and Dan Ashley however and they, bravely, cobbled together a show of Stand-Up comedy from Michael (something else he is annoyingly good at – Rick), some instrumental versions of their favourite Mad Spanner tracks, with Michael on Drums (yes, he is good on those too – Rick) instead of Bass, and Dan downtuned to make up for the lack of low-end sounds, and a guest appearance from Ashen Crown’s Kieran Scott to dep on vocals for several ‘classics’. It was still fun, it was still mad cap, but it was a real shame that their swan song wasn’t with all three of them together. They will be successful at whatever they, individually, choose to do next!

https://www.facebook.com/MadSpanner

Virus

With all the competing bands done, it was time for the headline act. Thrashers Virus, with Venom Inc. frontman, Tony Dolan subbing on Bass. I couldn’t help but have a little titter at the irony of a headline band named Virus in the middle of a pandemic…

Rick is a huge Virus fan, and a huge Venom Inc. fan, so was a little bit pleased about this choice of headliner. He was also really chuffed that he would get to see Tony again for the first time in 30 years. So, it’s probably best if I let him tell you about them…

Hi Everyone, It’s Rick. I never got to see Virus play back in the dim and distant prehistoric past of the 1980’s, and with the band splitting up in 1990, I thought my chance had passed. However, in recent years they have been active again and in 2019, released their stunning fourth album “Evolution Apocalypse”. When they were announced as special guest headliners for this I was overjoyed. To then find out that Tony ‘Demolition Man’ Dolan was standing in on bass nearly sent me over the edge! I last met Tony in 1990 after seeing him play with Venom and I was also a big Atomkraft fan so, as you can imagine, this was turning into something of a ‘bucket list’, must see, gig for me.

Did they deliver…HELL YES, THEY DID! The inimitable Coke Finlay was firing on all cylinders and the band were as tight as a tight thing. Tony hadn’t even had a chance to rehearse with them in person and had learnt everything, by ear, remotely. He was note perfect for the whole performance, highlighting what great musicians these guys are, he also throws some of the best shapes and bass faces in the business. This performance was pure joy for me and I hope I get to see Virus (and Venom Inc.) again soon!

Meeting and chatting to Coke, before they played and catching up with Tony, for the first time in three decades, afterwards, also proved what absolute gentlemen they both are. Honestly, after being stuck in the house for nearly 18 months, thanks to Covid, I really couldn’t have wished for anything better. There was definitely a tear in my eye as they came offstage!

https://www.facebook.com/virusthrash

Now I’m going to hand you back to Beth for the conclusion…

Just as Virus were heading onstage, we had the tough job of coming to a decision about who the winner of this North Wales M2TM Grand Final should be. Usually this would be decided by Bloodstock’s Rob Bannister, but again, due to the damn virus (not the band), this job was left up to the organisers, Fozzy and Beany, and a judging panel consisting of Rick and I representing the Ever Metal posse, and Powerzone’s Dani Maguire. For us, it was a pretty clear-cut decision, and after a short deliberation, it was decided. Severenth had played a blinder and were the fully deserving winners on the night. We hope they have a thoroughly amazing time at Bloodstock Festival.

And with that, some quick elbow bumps, a few more photos, Rick catching up with Tony Dolan and a few waves, the night was over. What a fantastic way to start getting back to some sort of normality. A huge thanks to Stew Bassett and the team at Central Station for ensuring that everything on the day was as safe as possible in these weird times. And of course, to North East Wales Metal Productions’ Fozzy and Beany, who never gave up hope, and were determined to put on a great show, come hell or highwater.

But the special thanks from the day must go to all the bands who turned up and played their hearts out to remind us why we’re all in this community. The love and binding power of music, especially live music, is what makes it a pleasure for me to be involved with our metal family, in however small a capacity. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and that has never been truer. Friendship, as well as the music, make all of us tick. And damn did it feel good to be ticking along with friends again!

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/bloodstock
https://www.facebook.com/groups/m2tmofficial/
https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions/
https://www.facebook.com/GoodforaudioEntertainment/
https://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages
https://www.facebook.com/Powerzonemetal/
https://www.facebook.com/phoenixrisingrocks/
https://www.facebook.com/TheImpactZoneOnRadioDeeside/
https://www.facebook.com/evermetal2017/

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

Interview with Peter Toussaint of FOURTH SON SOUTH

Fourth Son South Feature Image ( Credit Alouise Jamneck )
Photo by Alouise Jamneck

Interview with Peter Toussaint of FOURTH SON SOUTH
By Rick Tilley

Hi Everyone, It’s Rick.

One of the many things I love about this wonderful job/hobby is finding out about bands and scenes in different parts of the world. One of the countries where there seems to be a large and burgeoning number of great bands is South Africa. One of those bands is new Overdrive Indie Hard Rockers, Fourth Son South, who have just released their latest, standalone, single ‘Hold On’. Ever Metal recently got the chance to have a quick chat with founding member/vocalist/guitarist Peter Toussaint about the track and future plans.

Enjoy!

Greetings Peter and thank you for taking the time to chat to us.

Your new single ‘Hold On’ follows in hot pursuit of your album “The Sounds Around Your Head” (released in November 2020). This album has done remarkably well for Fourth Son South with 3 singles in close succession to each other (‘They Run, We Hide’, ‘Positive’ and ‘Reflections’). These all had great reach and also chart coverage. We look forward to this brand-new single with another motivational theme (especially at a time we all need it most).

Q: You have evidently been very busy; what has been driving you to release such a salvo of sensational music?

PT: I forever have music dancing around in my head. After I got my home studio up to a decent level last year, I finally found myself in the position to be independent of others so I could record whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. And then the lockdown gave me the time to do so.

Q: Your single ‘Positive’ inspired us at the height of the second Covid wave, and now ‘Hold On’ aims to encourage and motivate us again to stay strong, as better times will come again. As an artist sternly affected by Covid, how have you been able to remain so optimistic and motivated; enough to even create this aspirational track?

PT: I must admit that last year I also went down the negative spiral. It’s so easy to fall into the negative abyss. For me, the only way out, was to kick myself and start creating. That was when I started writing and recording the tracks that became “The Sounds Around Your Head”. When that album was released and we got such great feedback, I knew that I should use that positive energy and feeling to write songs that would carry that energy.

Q: ‘Hold On’ is musically an evolution from the tracks on “The Sounds Around Your Head”, taking your song writing, vocal style, performance as well as instrumentation to the next level. Share some insight with us on this progressed bearing and what motivated this?

PT: Hahaha, I never know where a song is going when I start. I often have certain concepts that I’d like to try out (in this case it was a quite aggressive riff and a twin solo). I guess there’s an evolution going on but it’s not something I’m aware of whilst I’m busy writing new material.

Q: As a new single ‘Hold On’ is presently a standalone track. Will there be an album coming soon? Please shed some light on what is in the works for Fourth Son South for us to look forward to?

PT: I have got quite a few demos that still need to be elevated to proper songs. Then I must get the guys in to record their parts (and track the drums in a different studio). So yes, there’s still quite a bit of work to do but I would like to still release an album or EP this year. All also depends on the quality of the songs when they are finished. Some songs never make it to an album Hahaha!

Q: As the ‘fourth son’ deciding to travel ‘south’ from your native Dutch homeland, have you been able to take Fourth Son South there for a tour yet, or will this be high on your agenda post Covid? Where else are you planning to go once the pandemic finally allows?

PT: Fourth Son South only became a band during the pandemic, so it has not been possible to go anywhere properly. I do know that there are lots of people in the Netherlands who can’t wait to see us live but we will all have to wait. When all is cleared, we’d love to do a tour in the Netherlands and surrounding countries.

Q: With a lot of coverage and exposure globally, what territory would you say has been your most devout supporter to date?

PT: I think the most airplay has been in the UK and the US. Especially the singles ‘Positive’ and ‘Reflections’ are being played a lot there. And of course, here in South Africa!

Thank you for your time and energy Peter and good luck with the release of ‘Hold On’ this Friday 9 July!

Thank you so much! We’re looking forward to playing live again!

FOURTH SON SOUTH ARE:
Peter Toussaint – Lead Vocals & Lead Guitar
Franco Jamneck – Bass Guitar & Vocal Harmonies
Dale McHardy – Rhythm Guitar
Carel Viljoen – Drums & Vocal Harmonies

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘Hold On’ (Audio)

‘Hold On’ is available on Bandcamp and all good streaming services!

Hold On Cover Art

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

INTERVIEW WITH FRAGMENT SOUL

Fragment Soul Logo

INTERVIEW WITH FRAGMENT SOUL
By Rick Tilley

Hi Everyone

I first heard about Greek Progressive/Doom/Melancholic Metal band Fragment Soul back in April of this year, when they released the video for their track ‘A Choice Between Two Evils’ (which you can see below) and it is an absolutely beautiful piece of music. It may be mournful and sombre but also strangely uplifting and it connected with me deeply. It also helped that the wonderfully cinematic video, by Natalia Drepina, is beautifully made.

On May 7th, 2021, Fragment Soul released their debut album “Axiom Of Choice” and if you love any of the genres mentioned then it comes highly recommended.

We were recently able to do a quick Q&A with the band which I am very grateful for. As an introduction to them it is perfect and I hope that we can have a more in depth chat with them in the near future.

Enjoy
Rick

Q: To start with, can you please explain why you chose the name “Fragment Soul”. And what does it mean?

A: Hello there! First of all, we would like to thank you for this interview.

Fragment Soul meaning in a free translation is “all of the pieces of a splintered soul, viewed together as one”. It’s a band name that we believe fits with the music we create.

Q: Do you believe that being from Greece has helped your career?

A: Greece, especially Corfu, where most of us are,  is a place that we grew up in and the inspiration is huge. On the other hand, for sure, a bigger town could help us decrease the costs we have as a band, especially now, that is our start.

Q: Tell us about your new work.

A: “Axiom Of Choice” is based on a concept written by Spiros Georgiou The album is a 42 minute full length album of Prog/Dark-Melancholic metal. Progressive Metal from a sorrowful world, I like to say a sweet melancholy with a glimpse of hope inside a horror reality.

Q: Before you started Fragment Soul, were you experienced with other bands?

A: Jimmy Louvros (guitar) and I were working on a previous band we had for a couple of years. Kostas is also in a band called ‘Sunburst’ and Vangelis has his own band ‘Sedate Illusion’. Nick, as the youngest, had a band in his hometown for a few years.

Q: Can you tell us who your musical influences are?

A: Personally, my tastes are around bands like Opeth, Katatonia, Draconian, Swallow The Sun, Anathema, Karnivool, King Crimson, Rush, Pink Floyd and many more.

Q Regarding your songwriting, tell us about your lyrics. What they are about?

“Axiom Of Choice” is a concept album that represents a journey through romance, torment, fear and, at the end of it, an unexpected tranquility that drives the main characters into despair and deliverance alike.

Q: Why did you decide to sing in English and not in Greek?

A: Mainly because of our influences!

Where did you record the album?

A: The recordings happened in Corfu at Tube Studio, except for the drums that were written at Kostas home Studio.

The mixing and mastering happened at Fascination Street Studios. Mixing was by Linus Corneliusson and Mastering by Tony Lindgren.

Q: Speaking about live performances, do you have a lot of experience? What was your best gig up until now?

A: All of us have experience of live shows. As Fragment Soul, with our debut album released less than two months, we haven’t done any yet. The pandemic has had its role delaying live shows. Let’s see how things are going to be in the next few months.

Q: There are a lot of Hard Rock/Metal bands in Greece. Why do you think that is?

A: Greece is one of the biggest scenes in Europe for Rock/Metal. I can’t explain why, but it seems our interest in those genres, as a country, is huge.

Q: Do you believe that passion is important being in a Rock/Metal band?

A: Passion is important in any aspect of life, especially when you refer to any kind of art. Rock and Metal are genres that demand huge amounts of emotion to compose and execute.

Q: The last lines are yours…Thank you so much for this interview!

A: I would like to thank you again about this interview and to everyone that is reading, also a huge thank you. We are looking forward to meeting each one of you!

Fragment Soul are:
Spiros Georgiou – Bass
Dimitris Louvros – Guitar
Vangelis Kakarougas – Piano, Keyboards
Nick Argyriou – Vocals
Kostas Mylonas – Drums, Percussion

Album Guest Appearances:
Special Member: Heike Langhans (Draconian) – (Vocals)
Guest: Egan O’Rourke (Daylight Dies) – (Vocals)

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘A Choice Between Two Evils’ feat. Heike Langhans(Official Video)

Fragment Soul Promo Pic

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

European Metal Festival Alliance 2020

European Metal Festival Alliance 2020
Virtual Festival – Live In Your Living Room
7th/8th/9th August 2020
Review by Beth Jones with annoying interjections from Rick Tilley

With the world still in the grips of a global pandemic and the flickering light of the chance of live music happening at all this year steadily dimming, the great and the good of European metal decided that sitting on their laurels and moping was not the way forward. Something needed to be done to feed the metal fans’ lust for a festival. And, as always, the best solutions to problems are found with a little thinking outside the box. In this case, ‘if we can’t bring the fans to the festival, then why not take the festival to them’. Ok it may not be what we truly want. Nothing beats drinking beer in a field with your best friends, amongst other like-minded souls who truly understand how we all fit in to this crazy world, and watching fellow like-minded souls thrashing things out on an awesome stage to bring us all pleasure. But, in the circumstances, it’s a pretty reasonable compromise, you just have to get into the right mindset. You can’t always have what you want, so run with what you can have.

With that in mind, 13 of the best independent Metal festivals from around Europe decided to get together to bring the Metal to us! They were Art Mania (Romania), Bloodstock (England), Brutal Assault (Czech Republic), Dynamo Metalfest (The Netherlands), Alcatraz (Belgium), Into The Grave (The Netherlands), Leyendas DEL Rock (Spain), Metal Days (Slovenia), Midgardsblot (Norway), Motocultor (France), Party.San (Germany), Resurrection (Spain), and Summer Breeze (Germany).

So, here at Ever Metal HQ, we found ourselves cracking open a can at 10:50 am, and logging on to the live stream, to stand in the virtual arena queue for the European Metal Festival Alliance 2020! To be honest, I much prefer this way of queuing! A sofa and a cold beer sure beats sitting on your bag drinking a warm beer! Now usually at this point in a live review, I’d spilt off and do it day by day, band by band, and have accompanying photos. But this year, even though the photo pit (just in front of my TV) was easier to get to, and a lot less crowded than normal, sadly no pictures were taken! So, I’m going to give you a run-down of my highlights for each day. There were some old favourites, some surprises, and also some gems of discovery!

FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS

I was still technically working on Friday, but another bonus of attending a virtual festival paired with working from home is that you can multi-task! There were three bands that stood out for me on this first day, Evil invaders, Alien Weaponry and Rotting Christ.

Evil Invaders

Having seen these guys before, I knew they were a great live band, and this performance was no exception. Here we were treated to a special set, filmed with a live audience at a private location in Flanders, Belgium. It was as blistering and crazy as you would expect from these guys, but it was also as tight as a tight thing! Their stagecraft is second to none. If you Like crazy speed thrash with added insanity eyes, these guys have got it covered! They were one of my favourite bands to photograph at Amplified festival back in 2018, because they’re so full of energy and fun, and Frontman Jöe pulls the best faces! If there’s one band that everyone should see live, it’s these guys. They’re invigorating, and are firmly planted in my ‘favourites’. Loved it!

www.facebook.com/evilinvaders/

Alien Weaponry

Ever since these guys popped onto the scene, they have excited me. Their fresh brand of metal, many in New Zealand’s native language ‘Te Reo Maori’ is spectacular. It both sickens me and fills me with joy that people so young are filled with this much creative flair. Their performance for this set was again filmed in front of a live audience, and started with an invigorating All Black’s style haka, that set the tone for the whole performance. It was alive and electrifying! These guys are firmly on my bucket list of ‘people to see live’!

www.facebook.com/AlienWeaponry

Rotting Christ

I’d never really paid much attention to these guys before. The name just made me think that it just wouldn’t be the sort of thing I would be in to. Well, damn! Was I wrong!!! This performance, recorded behind closed doors, was so full of passion and prowess, it was as if it had been created in front of a sell-out crowd. This is no mean feat, considering that the energy coming from the fans is a large part of the driving force behind live performances. Their brand of black metal is steeped in sounds from traditional eastern European music. Their use of droning and harmonic 5ths enhanced their black metal riffs and rhythms to create a very pleasing sound. I feel incredibly stupid for ignoring them for so long, they’ve been around since 1987! A very worthy closing act for Friday!

www.facebook.com/rottingchristofficial

Rick’s Friday Interjection

Parasite Inc.

Rick here: It would be wrong of me not to pipe up and let you know who my favourite band of the Friday were. Whilst the three bands that Beth has picked were all superb and definitely worthy of mention, German Melodic Death metallers Parasite Inc. knocked it right out of the park as far as I was concerned. Very heavy, but hugely catchy, their playing was exemplary, and they were as tight as a very tight thing. Their mix was also spot on with every instrument sounding huge without overshadowing. If you’ve not checked them out before then ensure you do. It is now my intention to make sure I see them properly live as soon as I can!

www.facebook.com/ParasiteInc/

SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS

After a very comfortable night’s sleep in our camp (aka our bedroom), it was time to get up and do it all again! We were pleasantly surprised to find the toilets still in a usable condition for our morning ablutions! Again, something we’re not accustomed to on the second day of a festival! I could get used to this! Another great day of metal was stacked up ready behind the login gates, so what would be today’s highlights for me?

White Walls

There is something very special about discovering a new band that blow your mind. And that’s made even more special when it’s a ‘first band of the day’ band. The spot traditionally occupied by the lesser known names, some may ignore, but for me, seeing these bands is always my quest! And Romanian Progressive Alt Metal band, White Walls, were my treasure. Vocalist Eugen Brudaru absolutely blew my mind with the versatility of his voice; from metalcore screams, to soaring falsetto, his range was astonishing. And it didn’t stop there. Their blistering riffs, progressive rhythms and technical prowess was masterful. I would go as far as saying, from a technique point of view, the whole thing was perfect. One thing I find is often, when a band gets weighed down with technical performances, they lose some of their soul. But not these guys, and that was a joy to not see! They are a band that I will be checking out further, and following with eagerness! They’re very close to releasing a new album too! I’m already salivating at the prospect! My band of the weekend by a country mile.

www.facebook.com/whitewallsofficial

Lepoka

Saturday afternoons at a festival are made for one thing, and one thing only – PARTYING! Whether it’s in a field with thousands of other drunkards, or in your own living room, it has to be done. And there is no better accompaniment to said party, than some jaunty Spanish monks delivering what they call ‘Folkoholic Metal’! They describe this as ‘festive folk metal that invites you to drink and dance and that also hides an important message of struggle and self-improvement.’ I was mainly in the drink and dance camp at the time, I have to say! Self-improvement was the last thing on my mind, because at that moment, I was just fine! They put on a great show, and looked like they had a great time doing it, which I love. The joy of music deserves to be as pleasurable for the performer as it is for the listener, so when it looks like a band are having a great time, then I’m much more likely to get on board with it! If you like any sort of Viking/folk/party/drinking metal, check these guys out.

www.facebook.com/lepokafolk

Avatar

Last time I saw Avatar was at Bloodstock, when they were bumped up to the main stage after another of the band’s plane was delayed. The arena went from ‘Ava…who?’ to ‘FUCKING AVATARRRRRRRRR’ in the space of one song! It was amazing. And from then on, it was obvious that these guys were destined for great things. The show here was a recording of previously unseen footage from their headline set at Alcatraz Festival 2019. My god how I wish I had been at that show! They are an incredibly talented bunch of musicians from Gothenburg, who’s tight as you like heavy metal melds perfectly with the theatrics of a slightly unhinged and freakish circus. I particularly liked the Trombone solo here! It added to the insanity! Sadly, but as is traditional with festivals, a technical hiccup cut the show slightly short, with the feed going down just before the end. But it didn’t detract from their splendid performance, and who are we to argue with tradition, eh?! The fact that the feed got an almighty lag about 10 minutes before it died also actually added to the craziness! The picture was a few seconds behind the sound which made for a bit of a mind-melt moment  – if you were drunk and worrying that you’d maybe over done it, it’s ok, all of us who had drunk ourselves sober by that point saw it too! Anyway, Avatar smashed it, and I can’t wait to see them live again ASAP!

www.facebook.com/avatarmetal

Rick’s Saturday Interjections

Venom Inc.

Me again! I cannot fault Beth’s choices, but I have to make additions. Firstly, Venom Inc. Surprisingly, I’ve never seen Venom Inc. live, in the flesh, although I have seen Venom on quite a few occasions, with various line-ups, over the years…the first time on ‘The Seventh Date Of Hell’ at Hammersmith Odeon in 1984, which was a definite eye opener for a 16yo Rick, but I digress. On this particular Saturday, whilst sitting in my lounge with a bottle of Hobgoblin, Venom Inc. were an excellent, short, sharp shock to the system, racing through their #EMFA set with barely a pause. Wonderful stuff!

Angelus Apatrida

The other band, who are definitely worthy of mention, are Spanish Thrash Metallers Angelus Apatrida, who I’ve been a fan of for a fair while. They played an amazing set of machine gun Thrash, so precise it would probably take your head off at 500 yards! Not only did they play superbly, but it was evident they were having a huge amount of fun doing it. They are another band who I much catch ‘properly live’ at the earliest opportunity.

www.facebook.com/angelusapatrida/

SUNDAY HIGHLIGHTS

In the same why that Saturday is party day at a festival, Sunday is ‘nurse the hangover and rue the fact that you’re not as young as you used to be’ day. This calls for bands on earlier in the day to be solid, not too much of an assault on the ears or eyes, and something that will help get that first ‘hair of the dog’ pint down. Also, in traditional festival fashion, we missed the first band because we were still trying to haul our asses out of bed! Oops!

Skyeye

Slovenian Heavy Metallers, Skyeye, were the first band we tuned into, and they were a perfect way to start off our Sunday. If you like classic heavy metal in the vein of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, then these are the guys for you. Their music is littered with the classic riffs of heavy metal from back in the day, and vocalist Jan Leščanec has the perfect set of pipes to complete the sound. Their performance here was full of passion and performed flawlessly, even within the weird circumstances. They were certainly the perfect antidote to an overdone Saturday and made my body feel like it was rejecting itself slightly less. They also helped me get the first Strongbow Dark Fruits of the day down (I actually don’t particularly like that cider, but… traditional for a festival isn’t it!). They were just really easy to listen to. They know exactly what sound they want, and they do it well.

www.facebook.com/SkyEyeBand/

Svart Crown

Now given what I’ve already said about Sundays at festivals this might seem like an unusual pick. And to be honest, given my taste in music, Blackened Death isn’t really the direction I would usual go in. However, French Blackened Death maestros, Svart Crown, caught my attention. It was heavy as hell, not great for my brain, but it was technically absolutely spot on. And it had some really exploratory elements to it, which as some of you may know, I really like. This special performance was filmed in the old theatre of Ramatuelle, which made a wonderful backdrop with its temple like columns, complete with orange glow lighting and dry ice a plenty! Like I say, not usually my bag, but I was very impressed with this performance!

www.facebook.com/SVARTCROWN

Mass Hysteria

French industrial groove tech metalcore, with a hint of thrash! Or at least that’s my best description of them! Shit many bricks they’ve got a groove! And who knew the lilting poetry of the French language could be shouted with such venom and brutality! Their riff laden chunkiness is like chocolate for the ears, and you can properly move to it! These are another surprise find for me, but now on the list of ‘must see’. Rick also says that they have a sexy drumkit! And they can drop into a bit of thrash without a second thought, too – bonus points for that! Got to love a bit of versatility! A wicked livener for my now fully normalized (hahaha) and raring to go evening brain! ALLEZ!! Spectacle fantastique!!

www.facebook.com/masshysteriaofficiel/

Sabaton

This year has been a battle for everyone, fighting an invisible enemy. So, what better and more apt a way to close a festival than the ultimate battle metal band, Sabaton. This previously unseen footage was recorded at their headline slot at Bloodstock 2019. Sadly, we weren’t there to witness it live, but I now envy all that were. What a fantastic show!! Rick remembers seeing Sabaton at the Engine Shed  in Lincoln, back in December 2009, supporting Dragonforce, so the fact that they have grown to the point of headlining a festival, the size of Bloodstock, is tantamount to their hard work and dedication, and that shows through brilliantly in their performance here. It’s exciting, its powerful, and it doesn’t half pack a punch, and they carry it all off with the utmost professionalism and musicianship. Powerful vocals, superb harmonies, the thumping pulse of the rhythm section, and solid riffs, make Sabaton a band who most will find something they like in. This is a band who know exactly who they are and where they’re going. Everything you want in a headline band. Another job brilliantly done. What a perfect finish to a weekend that, under the circumstances, was pretty spot on!

www.facebook.com/sabaton

Rick’s Sunday Interjection

Kissin’ Dynamite

Yes, okay, I know I’m hijacking Beth’s review again, but I couldn’t not mention Kissin’ Dynamite, who I’ve been a fan of since their first album, and who always put on a blinding show. Their performance at #EMFA was no exception as they galloped through a cracking set of hugely catchy melodic hard rock, with choruses that get stuck in your head for days. Their musicianship was spot on and vocalist Hannes Braun proved, yet again, what a superb voice he’s got. I’ll shut up now and let Beth sum the weekend up!

www.facebook.com/Kissindynamiterocks/

All in all, for me certainly, European Metal Festival Alliance 2020 has been brilliant. A huge thank you must go to all those involved in creating this experience; Their hard work and dedication has, yet again, proven that it is possible to overcome the odds. Yes, it might be very different to what we’re used to, but just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s wrong. And, in the future, this sort of festival streaming could be the key to making festivals accessible for people who aren’t in a position, through whatever reason, to actually attend in the flesh. The choice of bands was great, as it gave people a chance to check out some that they might otherwise have ignored in an actual live festival setting. The onsite facilities were pretty top notch too – almost homely (lol).

But, joking aside and above all else, even though all the viewers might have been spread out in little clusters all over the place, the feeling of the mighty metal community spirit was still tangible. The good side of social media meant that we could all comment and converse throughout the event. We were together, even though we were apart. That, to me, is the most important thing about Metal. The community we’re all part of shares a common passion, and while we’re all individual within it, none of us need an explanation as to why others are there. In a world that’s ripping itself apart faster and faster as each day goes by, we have a common ground. Music. So, by whatever means possible, let’s enjoy what we have and let the music play on.

LINKS:
Art Mania (Romania)
Bloodstock (England)
Brutal Assault (Czech Republic)
Dynamo Metalfest (The Netherlands)
Alcatraz (Belgium)
Into The Grave (The Netherlands)
Leyendas DEL Rock (Spain)
Metal Days (Slovenia)
Midgardsblot (Norway)
Motocultor (France)
Party.San (Germany)
Resurrection (Spain)
Summer Breeze (Germany)
www.metalfestivalalliance.com/
www.emp.co.uk/

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

EMQ’s With Rick Tilley

EMQ’s With Rick Tilley

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

Hi Everyone, I’m Rick, and I try to look professional owning and running Ever Metal, as well as having to deal with the motley team of people that write/review and take photos for us… believe me, this is no easy task! 😊

Now, the boring bit! I was born with two hereditary & degenerative conditions of my spine which have affected me since the age of 11. In 2002 I had to give up full-time work. Starting in school, and for many years afterwards, I also played drums in Rock & Metal bands, driving around in the back of battered cars and vans, with a variety of instruments, amps, other long-haired musicians and bassists called Colin, falling all over the place so we could play gigs to two people and a dog. If you’ve ever watched ‘The Comic Strip Presents…Bad News’ then you’ll get the idea. I eventually had to give this up as well as it got too painful to play.

Being unable to work or indulge in my passion for playing music (plus a hobby of purchasing far too many drums, cymbals and cowbells) was something of a major kick to the balls. Along with my worsening pain I drifted into depression and hid away. In 2012 I hit rock bottom and realised I had to make some serious changes. A friend suggested I try writing and reviewing as I had good knowledge of Rock/Metal. I am naturally shy and had lost all my self-confidence so it was a struggle, but I persevered and eventually started to really enjoy receiving a new monthly batch of albums to review. It gave the days purpose again, and it was good for my brain. I did this for the next 5 years, writing for various webzines and an internet radio station.

In 2017 I got the opportunity to come onboard at Ever Metal as joint owner, when it was a fledgling site, to work alongside 1 other person and to see if we could grow, and I’ve never looked back. Several people have come and gone but we are now a team of 16 and growing every month!

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

I was born in Hillingdon, Greater London. I lived and worked in London until 1999 when I moved to Lincolnshire. In 2015 I met Beth and moved to beautiful North Wales!

Being from London, and an 80’s kid, I was very lucky to live through the Metal/Rock golden era and was constantly at gigs from the age of 14. The scene then, and in Nottingham when I moved to Lincolnshire were both awesome.

North Wales is a much quieter proposition but Fozzy, Beany and Frank at North East Wales Metal Productions are working their backsides off to bring more gigs back into Wrexham and the surrounding areas. We are also fairly close to Liverpool and Manchester which both have very active scenes, in fact, Manchester, probably has the best underground Metal scene in the UK.

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

As Editor of a webzine, even a small one like Ever Metal, this is never going to be an easy question to answer, because I am constantly listening to new music, and so much is being released. But, I’m going to go with “The Poisoner” by White Crone. It’s a monster debut album, which delivers a blast of Dio-esque old-school Heavy Metal by a lady (Lisa Mann) who is much more used to releasing Blues albums.

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

My major influence growing up was my Dad, an incredibly kind man who, hopefully, taught me wrong from right, and to treat everyone equally, regardless of where they come from and what their views are. It didn’t stop me being an idiot sometimes, but it has helped tremendously as I’ve got older.

I was a loner as a child and, before I discovered Rock music, you could nearly always find me with my head buried in a book, way beyond what I should have been reading. I read Homer’s ‘The Iliad’ and ‘The Odyssey’ at a very young age, Carl Sagan, Arthur C. Clarke and Sir David Attenborough brought to me the wonders of Science and Natural History; Marvel comics, Isaac Asimov and Stephen Hawking all had a big impact on me. My two greatest non-musical influences though, were Star Trek and, my favourite author, Stephen King. I also have a warped sense of humour, thanks to The Goons, Monty Python and The Goodies!

Musical influences you can read below so I don’t repeat myself!

What first got you into music?

Simple answer to this is my Parents.

They weren’t musical but they loved music, so it was always available in the house when I was growing up. I often used to search through their collection of vinyl and listen. The Carpenters (I still think Karen Carpenter has one of the purest voices I’ve ever heard), The Shadows, Abba, Frank Sinatra, Neil Sedaka, Swing, Blues, Folk, Classical, Musical Theatre etc. My life was already enriched with music way before I discovered Metal and Rock and I will always be thankful to Mum and Dad for that.

1975 sticks in the memory because my Dad and I were listening to the radio when ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was first played. I was 7 and my Dad turned to me and said, “This band are going to be huge”. He was a massive fan of Queen and they were the first ‘Rock’ band I listened to.

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

I often think that the best collaborations are the ones you least expect, although if Devin Townsend’s name is mentioned, the results will be gold!

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

As far as outdoor Festivals in the UK go then my favourite is Bloodstock for the music and atmosphere, but I would love to get to one of the big European Festivals such as Wacken, Hellfest or Graspop.

However, at Ever Metal we are all about the underground, so these days, I do prefer to roll up to cover as many of the many smaller festivals and multi-day events that happen around the UK as I can such as Badgerfest, Rabidfest, Pentre Fest, Stone Dead, SOS, Beermageddon etc. etc. etc.

What’s the weirdest music related thing you own?

Probably CD’s & Demos with me playing the drums. What’s weirder were the few occasions when I was asked to sign them (many years ago).

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

It sounds like a huge cheesy cliché but thank you. You don’t know what it means to me to see how we have grown over the last 3 ½ years. It’s onwards and upwards from here!

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

We have lost so many, before their time over the years, but the one that sticks out for me is Freddie Mercury. We will never see his like again!

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

There are two. (Sorry, I’m breaking my own rules).

Firstly, I would like streaming services to actually pay bands a proper cut. Getting 15,000 streams of your latest single is incredible, unfortunately the £3.67 you may get for doing that takes the piss. Creating music to a high standard isn’t easy or cheap and I don’t know why current attitudes expect bands and artists to basically give their work away for free. ‘Exposure’ doesn’t pay bills. Many of these services are raking it in so the very least they should do is pay a fairer percentage!

Secondly, I’d very much like the practice of charging bands for a review or feature/interview in certain magazines/webzines to stop. The bands create the music, play the gigs and give you your content. It’s hard enough as it is, without then being told if they want a review, they have to pay for it, in fact it stinks! I will never charge a band, however big we may or may not get. Bands, if you get asked to pay then refuse and come to one of the sites that will provide you with honest coverage for free.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

There are so many I could mention, and I wouldn’t even be scratching the surface, however, I’m going to go with one that had a massive impact on me as a kid. This band became, still are, and will always be my favourite band

Saxon – “Strong Arm Of The Law”

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

For writing/website purposes Downloads and Streaming are what I deal with most these days, but my favourite format will always be vinyl. I’m very glad that I held on to my vinyl collection!

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

‘There Can Be Only One’!…Queen, Wembley Stadium 12th July 1986.

One year after Queen destroyed the stage at Live Aid, they were back at a sold-out Wembley Stadium in front of 72,000 fans and this was the second night. Status Quo, The Alarm and INXS supported and, for pretty obvious reasons, this is the best gig I’ve ever been at. I was right down the front (I’m even on the ‘Live At Wembley’ DVD) and for two hours I watched four musical geniuses at work. It was an absolutely stunning day and it feels like it only happened last week, not 34 years ago.

What do you get up to when you’re not writing

I don’t often get a chance to actually write album reviews these days, most of the time I spend on Ever Metal is taken up with Social Media, news, e-mails, editing, looking after the reviewers and the album list, talking to bands, management, PR reps and labels and sharing all the reviews and interviews. When we aren’t in the middle of a pandemic I also cover as many local gigs/festivals as I can (when my health lets me) and I am ably assisted in most of this by Beth. Running a site like this actually takes a heck of a lot of work, and certain people will tell you I’m a little bit OCD about doing it to the best of my ability. I would rather spend an extra 5-10 minutes doing something right than rushing and making an error or having it look a mess. It is very important to me to not only represent the bands properly but also our brand!

Outside of Ever Metal and when my back doesn’t restrict me to bed, I love watching horror and science-fiction films as well as terrible B-Movies. My stomach will agree that I like food far too much, and I also love getting out into the Welsh Countryside, although these days I cannot get too far!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

As stated above, I am rather partial to a good meal and Beth is an awesome cook, but it wouldn’t be fair for her to do the cooking so my five would be Beth, Freddie Mercury, Neil Peart, Stephen Fry and Stephen King.

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

There is a reason why this question has always been on the EMQ’s. Beth thinks it is a biscuit, when everyone should know that it is a cake! Many people know about the court case, but even without, that it’s clearly a cake. We will never agree on it and, because of that, we thought we would have a laugh with the bands we interview, and it has thrown up some quality answers!

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

Some of us have filled in this adapted interview just for fun. Lockdown has made us all go a bit loopy here, well more loopy than usual!

I want to thank each and every one of you for continuing to follow us pretending we know what we are doing; and all the bands, because without their music we would have nothing to share with you; and finally, all the members of the Ever Metal team who, for some reason, call me boss…there has never been a more inaccurate title!!!!

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.

Rabid Bitch of the North – Nothing But a Bitter Taste

Nothing But A Bitter Taste Cover

Rabid Bitch Of The North – “Nothing But A Bitter Taste”
Hostile Media
Release Date: 18/08/2017
Running Time 34:37
Review By Rick Tilley
8.5/10

If you were lucky enough to be at Bloodstock Open Air Festival back in 2014 you may well remember that there were flyers and stickers EVERYWHERE promoting a band called Rabid Bitch Of The North playing the Jager Stage on the Sunday. Now, not only do I like to check out a band I’ve never heard of before, especially one with such a brilliant name, but I also love it when a band goes above and beyond to promote themselves and you really couldn’t turn anywhere without seeing that name. I therefore made my way over to said stage on the Sunday at the appointed time and it took about half a song to convince me that RBOTN were awesome and I dubbed them NWOBHM meets Rush, thanks to them being a three piece and the fact that vocalist/bassist Joe McDonnell sounds like a young Geddy Lee on steroids.

I got in touch with them after Bloodstock to see if they would like me to review their, at the time, current release “Defending Two Castles” single, expecting to get MP3’s! However I was asked for my address and, within a week, the most comprehensive promotional package I had ever seen arrived on my doorstep including two CD’s, cassette, t-shirt, patch, three pin badges, business card, flyers and beautifully presented biography all of which was sealed in a DANGER: “HEAVY METAL RABIES” plastic bag! Now that is dedication to your art and since then I’ve always kept an eye on what they have been up to!

Well now it’s 2017 and the three guys from Belfast, who make up Rabid Bitch Of The North, have finally delivered their debut album “Nothing But A Bitter Taste” and all the unique promise I heard three years ago has been directed into a release that’s certain to see them progress to the next level! I said in my previous review that RBOTN sound like nothing you’ve heard before! You can argue with me all you want about that, and yes there are MANY references to other bands past and present from Judas Priest, Saxon, Tank and Raven to Anvil, Venom and yes that little bit of Heavy Metal Rush I keep hearing (listen to the track ‘Gilded Men’ for an idea of what I mean), but they put it all together into something that truly defines them and amidst an ocean of sound alike bands, all clamouring for attention, it’s somewhat refreshing to hear something just a little bit different!

Of course it will help if you are already a fan of Traditional Heavy Metal & NWOBHM as to whether you love Rabid Bitch Of The North and I think it’s also fair to say that Joe’s voice won’t appeal to everyone but bar those two things ”Nothing But A Bitter Taste” is fantastic and something that my ears absolutely adore! From opening track ‘The Missionary’ (which contains several riffs and a vocal performance that Judas Priest would be more than proud of), through the Anvil feel of ‘God Of Punishment’ and the Middle Eastern sounding bridge of ‘Demon Mind’ to the humour and Proto Thrash of album closer ‘Trapped In 1999’ RBOTN have completely delivered.

Guitarist Gerry Mulholland, who also produces all of Rabid Bitch Of The North’s material, certainly knows how to write a catchy riff and plays them like the bastard son of Phil Campbell and Brian Tatler. He may not be the world’s most intricate soloist but what he does play works within the song and no notes are wasted. As for drummer Chris Condie, well, he’s all over his kit like a virulent rash, always respecting the song structure but not afraid to experiment a little which further lifts RBOTN away from the plethora of traditional metal bands all plodding to a standard time signature.

Joe, Gerry and Chris have bonded into an extremely tight and potent force, one which can only be achieved by years and years of gigging in any hole…sorry, venue that’ll put you on. There is no substitute for getting out on the road in a battered van and living on Pot Noodle and beer and you get the feeling RBOTN have done plenty of that to get to where they are now!

“Nothing But A Bitter Taste” is anything but that, It’s a smooth and sweet collection of thunderous Classic Heavy Metal and NWOBHM with a small twist and if you see the name ‘Rabid Bitch Of The North’ advertised in a town near you (assuming it’s not an advert for the local female weirdo who ends up being an ex-girlfriend very quickly) then you need to go and squeeze into your old denim and patch jackets, throw the horns and check them out and you also need to buy this album!

RBOTN are indeed the equivalent of Heavy Metal Rabies and if you think that sounds disparaging then you’ve only got to remember how many of us Metalheads like a prolonged dose of Anthrax to see that couldn’t be further from the truth!

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Missionary
02. Chance
03. Nothing But A Bitter Taste
04. Gilded Men
05. God Of Punishment
06. Demon Mind
07. Defending Two Castles
08. Trapped In 1999

LINKS:

Promo Pic2 (1)

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities

Neverworld – Visions Of Another World

Visions Of Another World Cover

Neverworld – Visions Of Another World
Dream Demon Recordings/Self Released
Released 22/03/2014
Running Time 57:27
Review By Rick Tilley
9/10

THIS REVIEW WAS WRITTEN AND FIRST PUBLISHED IN 2014

I am honoured to be one of the first people to listen to and review the debut album ‘Visions Of Another World’ from Progressive NWOTHM Metal band Neverworld. I know there are a lot of people who have been pulling their hair out waiting for this so I’ll not beat around the bush, are you ready everyone…Forget the bubblegum, this CD kicks ass BIG TIME!! Neverworld have delivered a rip roaring and emotional nine songs of metal magic and fantasy spread over nearly an hour and I still fail to understand why they have not been snapped up by a record label! Hopefully with this release, and the exposure it will undoubtedly bring, Neverworld will be able to hold their collective heads up high and say “We have arrived!”

Opening with the ticking of a clock and gorgeous orchestration, the instrumental ‘Tempus’ sets the scene wonderfully. This leads headlong into the title track riff and we’re off on our Neverworld journey of discovery. When vocalist and guitarist Ben Colton kicks in with his trademark thundering scream the Cheshire cat grin on my face was huge. Not only is this track heavy it has wonderful melody, a sublime chorus and immense guitar solos courtesy of Colton and fellow axe master Jack Foster. Believe me these two make an outstanding team. Couple that with the fabulous bass work of Gary Payne, drumming of Mike Vaughan and keyboard wizardry of Daniel Potter and you’ve got a super talented bunch here! Not content with this amazing opening salvo the guys then lead in, almost immediately, to arguably their best known song and anthem ‘They Live’. If you’re already a fan of the band then you’ll know what an absolutely mighty track this is. Instantly recognisable as giving Neverworld their signature sound it is one of those songs that will be remembered long after I’m gone! ‘Blood & Romance’ is up next, a near perfect 10 minutes of emotional impact that introduces us to sublime female guest vocalist Christina Gajny. Her voice compliments Ben’s superbly and she puts a lot of more well known female singers to shame! Without pause for breath the titanic riff of ‘Ghosts’ comes next and also what I think is Ben’s crowning moment vocally on the album. He absolutely nails the singing with enough power to split an atom!

I could go on telling you how good these tracks are. ‘The Wheel Of Misfortune’, ‘Eminent Reprisal’, ‘Salt Water Bandits’ (with guitar work that gives me goose bumps) and final song ‘This Fire’, which comes full circle and leads back into the ticking clock, are all utterly superb, the quality of writing, lyrics and musicianship is outstanding and you would be correct in thinking I’m just a little bit in love with this band. As far as influences go then think Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Gamma Ray, Judas Priest, Sonata Arctica, Iced Earth and Blind Guardian amongst others i.e. some of my favourites which is probably why this works so well for me!

Of course, I always try to be completely honest when reviewing and if there is one (only very slight) weak point, it’s in the production. Mike’s snare drum could definitely do with being higher in the mix, especially on the heavier numbers as it can get a bit lost, and on a couple of occasions Daniel’s keyboards come through a little too loudly, but you also have to remember that Neverworld do not have the resources to employ Mr ‘Uber’ Producer and this whole album has been produced by themselves. With that in mind, I sort of feel bad even mentioning it!

At the end of the day, for a debut album, this is nothing short of blissful to listen to and I’m utterly stoked for the guys that they’ve released something this good because they deserve nothing less. Artwork and CD booklet are also of extremely high quality, damn, I know how hard they’ve worked on this and it shows. It’s only March and I have yet another contender for my top five albums. Get ready everyone because Neverworld are here to stay!!

Neverworld photo courtesy of Sally Newhouse

TRACKLISTING:
01. Tempus
02. Visions Of Another World
03. They Live
04. Blood And Romance
05. Ghosts
06. Wheel Of Misfortune
07. Eminent Reprisal
08. Salt Water Bandits
09. This Fire

LINE-UP:
Mike Vaughan – Drums
Jack Foster – Guitars
Ben Colton – Vocals, Guitars
Gary Payne – Bass
Daniel Potter – Keyboards

LINKS:

31c Neverworld Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities

Reproduced with the kind permission of Brutiful Metal Radio