Saffire – Where The Monsters Dwell

Where The Monsters Dwell Cover

SAFFIRE – WHERE THE MONSTERS DWELL
Perris Records
Release Date: 20/04/2018
Running Time: 49:23
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

Next on my list of albums to review was another Swedish rock band. This time, it was the turn of Saffire, another Gothenburg based hard rock band, and what a band they are.
Formed in 2005 when Victor Olsson and Dino Zuzic were still at school, their idea was to form a band based on old school hard rock and metal, but with a modern twist to it. They claim to be for fans of “80’s melodic hard rock bands like Deep Purple and Rainbow” and, although I can see where this label comes from (at times the singer has more than a resemblance to the late, great Ronnie James Dio!) I would compare them more to power metal bands Firewind and Evergrey.

The band underwent several personnel changes before settling on their final line up of Victor Olsson on guitars, Tobias Jansson (former singer with fellow Swedish band Evil Masquerade) on vocals, Dino Zuzic on keyboards, Magnus Karlsson on bass and Anton Roos on drums in 2010 and a self-titled EP was recorded and released the same year.

The band played a lot of live shows and in 2013 they signed with Inner Wound Recordings for the release of their debut full length album “From Ashes To Fire.” The album was highly praised all over the world and Rocknytt.net, Sweden’s biggest rock website, placed the album in their top 10 list of best albums of 2013.

They toured all over Scandinavia, playing some of the biggest festivals like Sabaton Open Air and the Ton of Rock Gothenburg Sound Festival, alongside bands such as Slayer, Steel Panther, At The Gates and Sabaton.

November 2015 saw them release their second album “For The Greater Good” and, like its predecessor, was highly praised worldwide, leading to a sold-out release show in Gothenburg in January 2016, and many festival appearances that year including the Sweden Rock Festival, Metallsvenskan, Skogsröjet and Rock In Lisch, with bands such as Queen, Ghost, Twisted Sister and The Hellacopters.

“Where The Monsters Dwell” is the band’s third release and is nearly fifty minutes of real quality. This is a band who have mastered the art of song writing and are all superb musicians, two of the most important elements of being a band.

I love rock and metal bands that have strong vocals, whether that’s just in the power and intensity of the singing or whether the vocals have something different or special about them, and Tobias Jansson certainly pulls this off. From the very first note of the very first song I knew he was special. As I previously mentioned he wouldn’t be out of place singing for the likes of Firewind or Evergrey, two other bands I absolutely adore.

It’s not just the vocals that make this album though. The four other members are simply outstanding musicians. The guitar work is almost flawless, with fantastic solos and riffs that will get your head banging, even if you don’t want it to! The drumming is tight and energetic, and I would love to see Anton, the drummer, in action in a live setting. I can imagine him hitting those skins as if his life depended on it.

The album, as a whole, is straightforward, down to earth heavy rock/metal. I don’t like to pigeon hole bands so whether you consider these guys heavy rock or metal, I don’t really care. All I know is this album will have you dancing around the living room, strumming your air guitar and banging away on those air drums like a loon.

I had been listening to the album in my car until today when I decided to buy a set of external speakers for my laptop! And I must say, the louder you play this album, the better it sounds. I thought it was awesome anyway but coming through those speakers, it just blew me away.

It combines elements of a whole range of genre, from heavy, traditional metal to power metal, and there are even some funky grooves thrown in too. Of course, there is the obligatory ballad in Fortress, but it certainly doesn’t sound out of place on this album.

I am rather ashamed to say that I hadn’t heard of this band before reviewing this album, but for a relatively young band still, they have produced something that is mature and, I’ll say it again, of real quality. I will certainly be checking out their previous albums and am definitely a fan since listening to this.

If you have never heard of Saffire then you are missing out in a big way! Go grab yourself a copy of this album and see for yourself.

I just have one question for the band…………. WHEN ARE YOU COMING TO LONDON????
Simply awesome!!

 

TRACK LISTING
1. Wolf Among The Sheep
2. Hard To Keep, Hard To Find
3. Valley Of The Damned
4. Broken Crown
5. Where The Monsters Dwell
6. How Cold Is Your Blood
7. Road To Paradise
8. Perfectly Worthless
9. Dark Horizon
10. Fortress
11. The Rainmaker

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/saffiresweden/
http://saffire.se/
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.

Bob Kulick – Skeletons in the Closet


Skeletons In The Closet Cover

BOB KULICK – SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET
Vanity Music Group
Release Date: 15/09/2017
Running Time: 43:55
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

You must be doing a good job as a review website when someone approaches you to review their latest album, right? But, when that someone is none other than American guitarist and Grammy Award winning record producer, Bob Kulick, you must be doing an awesome job! Well, that’s exactly what happened to us at Ever Metal headquarters and we are honoured to review his latest album ‘Skeletons in The Closet.’

Best known for his studio work with Kiss and his tenure with WASP, Bob was born in Brooklyn, New York, and is the older brother of former Kiss lead guitarist, Bruce Kulick, who, incidentally, was put forward for the job by Bob, himself.

Bob took a chance in 1973 and auditioned for the lead guitar spot in the then-new band, Kiss, but, although he impressed the other members of the band, it was the glitzier, Ace Frehley, who had auditioned directly after him, who was chosen to fill the spot.

Despite this, Bob later played (albeit uncredited) on four Kiss albums: Alive II (he played on three of the five studio tracks on the second side), Unmasked (where he played guitar on the track Naked City), Killers (playing on all four of the new studio tracks) and some minimal work on Creatures of the Night. He also played guitar on Paul Stanley’s 1978 solo album and on his 1989 solo tour.

But his contribution to the music world didn’t stop there. He has also worked with the likes of Motorhead, Meatloaf, Doro, Lou Reed and Tim “Ripper” Owens as well as playing guitar on WASP albums The Crimson Idol and Still Not Black Enough. This, as well as forming his own bands Balance, Skull and Murderer’s Row, have earned him 11 platinum or gold records throughout his career.

So, what of this album? Well, after a career spanning over forty years, this is actually Bob’s first solo album!! Recorded at Vegas View Recordings in Las Vegas, and produced and engineered by Bob himself, along with Bobby Ferrari, this is a collection of five new tracks and five classics from his albums with Skull and Murderer’s Row and features an array of musicians.

For a first solo album it would have been nice for all the tracks to be brand new ones, but I don’t really know much about Bob’s catalogue, so they were all new to me. While this is fine with me, older fans might feel a bit cheated by this.

Despite this, Skeletons in the Closet is a feel-good album, with lots of great rock tracks. The first half of the album consists of the five new tracks, probably the best of these being “London”, which tells the story of Jack the Ripper, and features the vocals of Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider. The only slightly ‘dodgy’ track of these five being the cover of “Goldfinger!” I didn’t really see the point of it and didn’t think it quite worked. I would have much rather seen another track like “London” or opening track “Rich Man”.

As previously mentioned, I don’t know much about Bob’s back catalogue so none of the classic tracks were known to me, but my favourite of these must have been title track “Skeletons in the Closet”. Sounding like it could easily have been pinched from the back catalogue of WASP, it features the vocals of David Glen Eisley, although he could easily be mistaken for Blackie Lawless (who I actually thought was singing at first!)

This album was never going to break any new ground, and I can picture some of the “older” music fans saying that it’s all been done before but even if you buy it simply for Bob’s guitar playing, its more than worth it. I’ve had this in my car for over a week now and I am still not bored with it, each track sounding better the more times I listen to it.

So, if you are a fan of technical music and poetic lyrics then this is not the album for you, but if you like a bit of rock you can listen to loud in your car with the roof down then go and get a copy of this! I loved it and I am sure you will too!

 

TRACK LISTING:

  • Rich Man
  • Not Before You
  • London
  • Goldfinger
  • Player
  • India
  • Skeletons in The Closet
  • Guitar Commandos
  • Eyes of A Stranger

 

SOCIAL MEDIA:

  • https://en-gb.facebook.com/BobKulickMusic/
  • https://twitter.com/bobkulickmusic?lang=en
  • https://www.deezer.com/en/artist/1195005/top_track
  • https://www.instagram.com/bobkulickmusic

 

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

 

Vega – Only Human

Only Human Cover

Vega – Only Human
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 11/05/2018
Running Time: 52:57
Review By Beth Jones
9/10

My first experience of Vega was at Amplified 2017 and I was an instant fan. I love their kind of melodic, American rock – it brings out my girly side. Having been a life – long Bon Jovi fan, they sit very nicely in my tastes, and I was very pleased when I found out that they were releasing a new album this year.

Only Human is Vega’s fifth album. The band have produced it themselves, and have teamed up with legendary Canadian musician and producer, Harry Hess of Harem Scarem, to mix and master the final product, and what a pretty damn fine final product it is! Since it’s release date on 11th May 2018, I have had it on in my car as my ‘cheer me up on the drive to work’ music and it really does the trick!

Whilst Vega do sound very much like Bon Jovi, Nick Workman sounding very similar to JBJ in particular on this album, they do definitely have their own sound. That being said, they do fit very neatly into that style, it is very 80s, very American and very easy to get on with. With the quality of the songs on this album, this could quite easily be an album from a multinational chart topping band of that genre. It is 12 tracks of thumping American style melodic rock, with a good mix of upbeat anthems and ballads, all of which have catchy hooks, great melodies, and a finesse in the production quality that shows not only the skill, but the passion and craftsmanship of those involved.

It is really hard to pick out a favourite track from the album as they are all so good, however I think I do have two favourites; the title track, ‘Only Human’, and ‘Last Man Standing’. These were the two tracks that instantly caught my attention on first listen, and are definitely the tracks that I now sing along with.

Only Human, appearing about half way through the album, has the feel of a classic stadium anthem, starting off quietly, just vocals, keys and drums. I can imagine the staging for it – packed stadium, low lighting, the whole crowd cheering, spotlight on Nick for the verse, smoke machine, then BAM! Lights up! More Smoke! Drums! Guitars! Keys! Crowd going wild! Bouncing! WE ARE ONLY HUMAAAAAN…… Then I stop getting lost in the song and focus on the road because I am driving! But that is what that song does to you, and that for me is the mark of a good song and the whole point of music – the fact that it takes you somewhere else and makes you feel good. It has a more modern feel, whilst still hanging on to its classic roots. It is one of those songs that will stay ageless.

Last Man Standing, positioned in slot 3 on the album, is a different kettle of fish! More upbeat, but very 80’s American Rock. Good solid chunky rhythms underpin the whole song, with bass and rhythm guitar providing good riffs that echo each other in the chorus, along with a very catchy melody line, with classic harmonies in 3rds on the title line, which give the track a very nice lift. This is a track that you can really move to, and even if you are too cool to have a bop, I can guarantee you that you will not be able to resist some sort of movement to this song, whether that be a slight toe tap, or a very aloof nod of the head in time. IT WILL MAKE YOU DO IT – IT IS INFECTIOUSLY GOOD!! This track is my ear worm at the moment. I can be stood in the kitchen at work making a brew, and then all of a sudden, there it is!!! So goddamn catchy!!

The vibe of the whole album is pretty much encapsulated by these two songs. This is 12 tracks of really solid, really catchy ear worms that wouldn’t be out of place at any ‘mainstream’ event, but fit perfectly into the world of rock too, and it is for this reason that I am pretty sure the Vega boys are some kind of sorcerers, and their songs are their spells!! They certainly have me hooked!

If I had one criticism, and believe me it is incredibly hard to find one on this album, this is just because I am properly fussy, it would be that the vocals on track 11 (Fade Away) seem to be slightly out of sync with the rest of the track – just by a tiny bit – in the chorus, so it feels like the vocals are rushing. Whether this was an issue in mixing, or it is meant to be like that, I’m not sure, but it just doesn’t hit the level of brilliance the other tracks do. For this reason, it is my least favourite track on the album and, depending what mood I am in, I do sometimes skip it as my brain can’t cope with it being not quite in sync!

Other than that, this is an absolutely stonking album. OK, it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but it most certainly is mine, and judging by some of the other reviews it has picked up so far, I am not the only one who thinks so. If you are a connoisseur of high class Melodic Rock, you need this album in your collection now…right now!

TRACK LIST

  • 1. Let’s Have Fun Tonight
  • 2. Worth Dying For
  • 3. Last Man Standing
  • 4. Come Back Again
  • 5. All Over Now
  • 6. Mess You Made
  • 7. Only Human
  • 8. Standing Still
  • 9. Gravity
  • 10. Turning Pages
  • 11. Fade Away
  • 12. Go To War

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • http://www.vegaofficial.co.uk/
  • https://www.facebook.com/OFFICIALVEGA

 

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/VEGATHEBAND1https://open.spotify.com/artist/4fn3t2tBoP4nIOoqXAENIT
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ffofwP9VnE ‘Worth Dying For’ (Official Video)

Vega Pic by Beth Jones, Amplified Festival 2017

 

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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photographs are the property of Beth Jones and PhotograBee – http://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages

Nitish Pires – Am I Evil?

Am I Evil Cover

NITISH PIRES- AM I EVIL?
Self Release
Release Date: 18/02/2018
Running Time: 44:22
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

I am always on the lookout for something different when I am reviewing so when Richard suggested I review this album, I jumped straight on it. And boy, was he right? Again!

This couldn’t be more diverse to anything I am used to listening to (and I listen to A LOT of stuff!) as it has been recorded by Nitish Pires, an alternative singer/songwriter from Mumbai, India. Now, don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been avoiding Indian rock/metal, it’s just that this particular genre of metal has never appeared on my radar, until now! And if I knew then what I know now about it, I would have sought it out much sooner.

Because I FRIGGIN’ LOVED IT!

But let me tell you a little bit about Nitish first.

He started on his musical journey in 2009 with the formation of his rock band “Nakshrata” and they released one album ‘Gulfam’, written entirely by Pires himself and released on Universal Music.

In 2007, he went solo, writing two albums ‘Sahedein’ and ‘Chauraha’, while also recording numerous tracks for TV adverts across India for companies such as Vodafone, Nokia and Fila, and has even composed a complete score for feature film “Soch Lo.”

He was proclaimed as the first Indian to tour to promote is music by The Times India when he visited 25 cities in India promoting ‘Chauraha’ and his non-stop work earned him a nomination for Best Indian Rock Album at the prestigious G.I.M.A Awards.

2014 saw him take a well-earned break to travel the world, during which he gained inspiration that would accumulate into his latest work – Am I Evil?

And in case you missed it earlier – I FRIGGIN’ LOVED THIS ALBUM!

Never have I heard an album where each track was totally different to the others, and this was, by no means, a bad thing. The entire album lasts just over 44 minutes, but it has the feel of being much shorter, a characteristic I think that can be put down to the diversity throughout. I am a great fan of uniqueness and this album is certainly that.

Mixing modern day thrash guitar riffs and screaming vocals with traditional instruments and lyrics, this album certainly has a lot more to offer than a lot of the albums released nowadays. The songs are three dimensional, each one standing out in its own right, and the album seems to take you on a journey, making your experience a lot of sounds along the way, almost as if you are experiencing Nitish’s journeys with him.

The album was recorded using his laptop and native instruments and sounds and definitely creates a unique sound. His inspiration from rock legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath are obvious, but combined with “Pires’ driven and tenacious nature, along with his DIY skills” (he used pillows and duvets to change his bedroom into a suitable recording space!) the album is given a down to earth and honest feel yet keeps that rock atmosphere.

My favourite track on the album is ‘You Fake’, which mixes traditional Indian singing with harsh metal vocals and seems full of rage and hatred, but tracks ‘Big Black Wings’, ‘Need You’ and ‘Not Going Mad’ are also stand out tracks for me. In fact, there is not a bad song on the entire album, and none could be considered as “fillers.”

If you have never listened to Indian fused rock/metal, then I suggest you go out and buy this album.  It is one of the best albums I have heard this year, and nigh on two and a half weeks in my car is a great testament to that!!

 

TRACK LISTING

  • 1. Fade Away
  • 2. Crazy BC-AD
  • 3. Johny 006
  • 4. You Fake
  • 5. Need You
  • 6. Big Black Wings
  • 7. It’s My Way
  • 8. Happy Nuclear
  • 9. Not Going Mad
  • 10. Hello Good Morning
  • 11. Undoe Se Maara

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • www.nitishpires.com
  • www.facebook.com/nitishpiresofficial
  • https://www.instagram.com/nitishpires

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