WINO – Forever Gone

WINO – Forever Gone
Ripple Music
Release Date: 26/06/2020
Running Time: 46 mins
Review by Alun Jones
8/10

Who remembers that old TV programme, The Fall Guy? You know, the one where the Six Million Dollar Man becomes a stuntman/bounty hunter, getting into all kinds of daredevil scrapes whilst pursuing the bad guys? At the end of every episode, old Lee Majors (for it was he) would be seen chilling in his backyard hot tub, mulling over events whilst drinking a cold beer and smoking a big, fat cigar.

Well let it be known that I, too, like to relax in the tub with a beer after a long, hard day of whatever-the-fuck-it-is-I-do. None of your business, really. Just take it from me, I need to unwind in a mass of bubble bath, with candles and refreshment. And of course, some music, just to add to the ambience.

This might not sound very metal to you, but let me tell ya: this new album from doom metal originator Scott “Wino” Weinrich would make ideal tunes for chilling in the tub. Or pondering lost loves and fortunes in a dusty bar. Or sound tracking a lonely drive across the desert, escaping an inevitable encounter. But to be honest, I like the bathtub metaphor best, ‘cos I’ve not used it before.

‘Forever Gone’ is stripped down and intimate; the title song itself is just Wino the man, plus acoustic guitar. Beautifully melancholic, the listener can really get lost in this. ‘Taken’ also ploughs a lonesome path, with Wino’s voice revealing a soulfulness that I’d never appreciated before.

For any fans of The Obsessed or Saint Vitus who were hoping for something louder and more aggressive, there’s not too much of a leap from familiar ground really. Other than the sonics, the emotions of loss and despair are what unifies Wino’s other output to this endeavour. ‘Dark Ravine’ brings a more Americana style to the proceedings, but it’s all still intense as hell, whether the guitars are turned right up or not.

It’s not all gloom, though: ‘You’re So Fine’ introduces a laid back, country blues number that sounds almost boogie-ish. Throw in a great cover of Joy Division’s ‘Isolation’ and this is an album that’s certainly full of surprises.

Great music can create images in your head for your own movie; “Forever Gone” is one of those. Melodic yet mournful, intense and introspective, there are dozens of stories to be told within the grooves of this record.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Forever Gone
02. Taken
03. The Song’s at the Bottom of the Bottle
04. No Wrong
05. Dark Ravine
06. Dead Yesterday
07. You’re So Fine
08. Crystal Madonna
09. Lavender and Sage
010. Was Is and Shall Be
11. Isolation

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/ScottWeinrich/
www.twitter.com/scottweinrich
www.scottwinoweinrich.bandcamp.com/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/6vP6pVpKHwEFO4wX9eT4cv

www.ripple-music.com/
www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
www.ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
www.en.ripple.spkr.media/

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

Howling Giant/Sergeant Thunderhoof – Turned To Stone: Volume 2 – Masamune & Muramasa

Howling Giant/Sergeant Thunderhoof – Turned To Stone: Volume 2 – Masamune & Muramasa
Ripple Music
Running Time: 40.56
Released: 31/07/2020
Review by Dark Juan
9/10

Good afternoon, my screaming hordes of the undead! It is I, Dark Juan, and I have returned to share the benefit of my syllabification with you all. I apologise for my lack of communication over the past few weeks, but I have been in a dark place for a while. It happens. A lifetime of debauchery, defiling the House of God and his attractive younger followers (old Mrs. Williams from number 48 can just FUCK OFF! I have no interest in her withered dugs…) and generally being Ever-Metal’s resident libertine and sex pest takes a mental toll, and combine this with a job that requires considerable mental fortitude and colossally long hours and my ever more speedy entropic rush towards the grave (yes, for I have now passed the halcyon days of my mid-forties and am now skidding towards the grave. If my mother had crossed her legs I could be two weeks younger!) and a dog who seems determined to kill himself and simultaneously cost me a fucking fortune at the vet (Sir Zeusington Zeus, KCVG, VC, MM, DFC and Bar has eaten something that does not even qualify as food YET AGAIN!) I have been compelled to deal with some next level depression and anxiety. It has now been beaten back into its little hole in my mind and the lid slammed and padlocked shut.

As this has happened to me, it makes it even more imperative that you all follow My gospel. Love each other and look after each other. Ask the normally garrulous friend who’s being unnaturally quiet whether they are well. Make sure your people are safe and well. Love without measure. And do it without constraint. Thus spake Dark Juan…

Now all that tedious nonsense is out of the way, I am listening to a very interesting split from Howling Giant and Sergeant Thunderhoof based on the legend of two Japanese swordsmiths, Masamune and Muramasa, who once competed to create the finest sword there has ever been. Now, if you’re me, this is a fucking awesome concept and already this record has my interest simply because I’m a simple twat who is easily distracted. Each song (there is only two on the record) clocks in around the twenty-minute mark. Which tells you immediately you are in for some sprawling, experimental stoner rock.

First up is Howling Giant with ‘Masamune’. This is not the kind of music you expect to emanate from Nashville, Tennessee, where this power trio are from. Instead of old-fashioned rock and roll, you get dirty DIRTY fuzzed out grooves and huge drums. The song, although lengthy, does not drop away from your interest for a second. It is an epic composed of several easily readable parts which flow easily into each other and make for a mightily satisfying whole. The guitar work is solid, if unexceptional, but the sheer majesty of the riffs in every part is absolutely undeniable. The riffs are colossal. Absolutely fucking massive riffs, mate. The vocals are impassioned, clear and the lyrics interesting and easily heard (too much stoner depends solely on the power of the riff and to fuck with everything else) and the bass and drums are more than adequately meaty. I have been seated upon the sofa, sipping upon a glass of absinthe, with my eyes closed and have been transported into galaxy sized cosmic green-tinged soundscapes and it has to be said I have been fucking enthusiastic about it. Howling Giant have written a fucking good song and you should all check them out. My bank account is protesting already.

Next up we have Somerset based British psychedelic bruisers Sergeant Thunderhoof. Rather more experimental (emphasis on the mental) than Howling Giant’s more polished take on stoner/ doom, this bunch of cosmic time travellers have taken the more elemental parts of psychedelia and rock and fused them (in the heart of a red dwarf star) into the kind of metal that’s heavier than a pair of titanium underpants. ‘Muramasa’ is less of a song and more of an event horizon. Absolutely saturated in fuzz and possessing a bass sound that surely has cost the souls of a number of members of the band, this song is a much more single-minded entity than Howling Giant’s. Whereas the Nashville band opt for loud and quiet parts and obvious movements in the song, the Hoof (this is what they are going to be called because I simply cannot be arsed to type Sergeant Thunderhoof every time) go straight for the jugular and their track is one long, long cohesive entity. One long drug fuelled, incredibly heavy experience, underpinned with some truly amazing vocals from Mr. Dan Flitcroft. The drums are also noticeably more prominent than in Howling Giant’s song.

So, here we have a battle royale between Americans and the Brits. Who comes out on top? It’s a riff-off! Howling Giant have the songwriting chops – their song is the more intricately written of the two and has interesting composition on its side, but the mighty Hoof have the galactic heaviness required for this style of music. Vocally, Sergeant Thunderhoof trample all over Howling Giant’s Tom Polzine. Guitar wise – the skills are pretty equal, but the edge goes to the Hoof simply because their sound is so much more massive. As a cohesive piece of work, I’d give it to Howling Giant as their song is the more expansive of the two, willing to go and explore outer ranges of the stars, while the Hoof boys are content to eat a shitload of shrooms and explore innerspace. Both bands employ absolutely majestic riffs that are brutally magnificent and if you’re looking to get into stoner or doom, this is the perfect place to start. A fucking brilliant record, even if I can’t decide whether or not it is an EP or an album because of the forty-minute running time.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System would seriously fail a drug test right now and offers the record as a whole 9/10 for some almost perfect stoner and doom. Howling Giant get 8/10 for their song and Sergeant Thunderhoof 9/10 for theirs. Victory goes to Muramasa!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Howling Giant – Masamune
02. Sergeant Thunderhoof – Muramasa

HOWLING GIANT ARE:
Tom Polzine – Guitar and Vocals
Zach Wheeler – Drums and Vocals
Sebastian Baltes – Bass and Vocals

SERGEANT THUNDERHOOF ARE:
Dan Flitcroft – Vocals
Mark Sayer – Guitar
Jim Camp – Bass
Darren Ashman – Drums

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/howlinggiant
www.howlinggiant.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/sergeantthunderhoof
www.sergeantthunderhoof.co.uk/

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

Stew – People

People Cover

Stew – People
Ripple Music
Release Date: 11/10/2019
Running Time: 37:24
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
10/10

At the beginning of this year I had, what can only be described as, the absolute pleasure to review the “Hot” EP by this young band from Sweden. I gave it 9 out of 10 as I was so impressed and even stated in my review how much I was looking forward to reviewing the album once it was done.

Well, the album has now been completed and, as you can already see from the score I have given it, it’s an absolute stonker! But, to be fair, I already knew that would be the case!!

Formed in early 2017, the band hail from Lindesberg / Ӧbero in Sweden and is made up of the power trio of Markus Asland on bass and vocals, Niklas Jansson on guitar and Niklas Dahlgren on drums. Their own band notes state they play a “gritty and nostalgic fusion of classic rock and blues inspiration” and this just about sums them up perfectly.

I said in my review of the EP that the music enticed a “warm, fuzzy feeling of bliss and contentment” as you were transported back to the past and this album gives you that feeling once again….and more! Playing a mix of classic rock, blues and soul, this band is obviously heavily influenced by the sounds of the late 60’s/70’s era. And that is by no means a bad thing.

With groovy riffs, strong vocals (this guy’s voice is outstanding) and swinging drums, this is classic rock but with a modern twist. With a little bit of blues, a little bit of rock and killer guitars, these guys have nailed the sound of the 60’s/70’s with true musicianship.

With influences such as Jimi Hendrix, Free, Deep Purple, Grandfunk Railroad, Buddy Miles, Rory Gallagher and Spooky Tooth, they were always on to a winning formula, but they do it with a class that could easily put them up there with the best of the genre.

A quote from Classic Rock magazine regarding the EP stated that the music was “spewing embers of psychedelic wonder” and these guys would not have been out of place at the Woodstock Festival in 1969. They really are the perfect band to just chill out to.

Just like the EP the whole album was recorded live except for the vocals and solos and recording finished in just nine days! Something of an accomplishment!

When the EP was released Stew was an unsigned band (a sacrilege if you ask me as they should have been snapped up ages ago!) but I was extremely pleased to see that they have now been signed to Ripple Music and I know with the backing of a record label and the hard work they so obviously put into their music, this band will go places. They are still young and have many successful years ahead of them.

Its not very often I give a 10 out of 10, having only dished out a handful during my reviewing career, but this album certainly deserves it. In fact, it actually deserves an 11!

I am sooooo impressed with these guys that I will be following them very closely in the future and monitoring just how successful they are going to be. I am even going to recommend to Rick we add them to our “Bands We Follow” page on our site.

Keep up the good, no great, work guys and I hope to see you at a gig over here sometime! Now, THAT would just be the icing on the cake!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Intro
02. Right On Time
03. People
04. Newborn
05. Endless Journey
06. Play The Fool
07. Goddess
08. Afraid Of Getting Nowhere
09. Sweet And True
10. Fruits
11. Morning Again

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/stewsweden/
https://twitter.com/Stew13434878
https://www.instagram.com/stew_band/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh6gQxEftIRnjg_nxDmThwQ

 

Promo Pic1

 

 

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