Beyond Forgiveness – Live To Tell The Story Sliptrick Records Release Date: 23/09/2019 Running Time: 54:00 Review by Victor Augusto 8.5/10.0
Maybe I am getting old and forgetting things I’ve said before, but probably I’ve already told what I am thinking now. After many years listening to extreme Heavy Metal, I have started to appreciate all kinds of work, no matter what the genre is. Symphonic Metal was never something that I listened to often, but with the small amount of experience I have since starting to hear all kinds of Metal, I have begun to give more value to compositions where musicians put their soul into the music.
Beyond Forgiveness has just released their second full length album and don’t expect music full of happiness as most symphonic bands used to play. First of all, the 10 tracks of this record are full of feeling with lyrics that are very well expressed alongside the heaviness from the rest of the band. The angelical voice of Talia Hoit is always calm and very well complemented by the guttural and clean vocals of Richard Marcus and Greg Witwer (also guitar players). It is extremely interesting how the album is very dynamic, like the soundtrack of a multi-chapter epical history.
Musically, the band offers a heavy riff structure. The fact is everything on guitar is played in a good cadence which helps to increase the immersion of the dense atmosphere along with the keyboards and symphonic arrangements. Following the same idea, the double kick drums are not as fast as is usual with this kind of style. The opening song ‘Echoes’ shows the calm side of the band as the track ‘Live To Tell The Story’ shows the fast side of them. The lyrics navigate from mythological themes, like the famous story of Icarus in ‘If I fall’, to human experiences lived by man.
I enjoyed the opening riffs of ‘One Last Time’ and also the clean depressive notes of ‘Consolation’ that was able to change the course of the music a small amount. The album ends with Talia singing with a symphonic background, without drum or guitars, in ‘Forever Dream’.
I really felt the spirit of all band members in every single part of this album. Maybe you will prefer faster songs, or a more aggressive vocal. Myself, I wished it too had some faster riffs and a mix that could give the instrumental passages the same volume as the vocals sound here; however, it is undeniable that the band have put their spirit into the concept. In a world where we hear plenty of soulless groups release an album just to have one, it is very impressive to hear an album like “Live To Tell The Story”.
Congratulations to the entire band.
2. Live to Tell the Story
3. If I Fall
4. One Last Time
6. Leaves of Lothlorien
8. When Rivers Turn Red
10. Forever Dream
Talia Hoit – Vocals
Richard Marcus – Guitars\Backing Vocals
Greg Witwer – Guitars\Backing Vocals
Sean Rogers – Drums
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto 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.
Helligators – Hell III Sliptrick Records Release date: 04/06/2019 Running Time: 60:00 Review by Alun Jones 8.5/10
Listening to “Hell III” – the new Helligators release – and you can almost smell the Cajun cookin’ and moonshine brewing. This is greasy, crazy biker rock from the southern states. No doubt Helligators have fine-tuned their art in a roadhouse shack just off some dusty highway, the sounds of the bayou just inches away. The heat and the trees, the swamp and the…
What? They’re from where? Like Rome, Florida or something? What, actual Rome? In Italy? Oh. Well ya could’a fooled me!
Yes, Helligators are from Rome, Italy – though my first listen to this album had me thinking of something far more Corrosion of Conformity in origin. “Hell III” is powerful, dirty hard rock with just a hint of stoner metal, big melodies and southern charm. But not southern USA charm, apparently…
Anyway, this third album from the band blows the doors off with the huge, raucous rampage of ‘Rebellion’ – a great start to the album. It reeks of attitude and speeds out of the gates in a Motörhead fashion.
Following tracks ‘Here To Stay’ and ‘Bleeding’ apply the brakes slightly, but are just as crushingly relentless. This is big chunky guitar territory; guitars courtesy of Kamo and El Santo are head bangingly infectious and also intricate when called for.
There’s a definite change of pace with the almost bluesy ‘Where I Belong’ – but by Jupiter, the chorus is monstrous. The skilled vocals of Simone “Dude” have a versatility that keep everything together and has class enough to avoid a parmesan power ballad stench.
Helligators are certainly stretching their creativity with this album. ‘The Prison (Confession Pt 1)’ and ‘Gone (Confession Pt 2)’ demonstrate an ability to develop an epic suite of music. Meanwhile, the instrumental ‘Bassthard Session’ also shows the rhythm section – Alex (drums) and Pinna (Bass) to full effect.
But it’s the fast, super charged Rock’N’Roll of total bangers like ‘Born Again’ and ‘Pedal To The Metal’ that are the great prize here. Hard rock that’s loud and fun – Helligators came, saw and conquered all.
Did I tell you about the time I was in Italy with Ozzy, on tour in 81? I took him and the band to a restaurant after the gig for some quality Italian grub. Ozzy was off his tits and thought the spaghetti was worms, and tried to snort them. It ended with food everywhere and Ozzy pissing up the walls. I had a right job apologising to the manager and sorting everything out. Ozzy – lovely bloke; absolute liability.
02. Here To Stay
04. Where I Belong
05. Born Again
06. The Prison (Confession pt.1)
07. Gone (Confession pt.2)
08. Until I Feel No More
09. Bassthard Session III
10. Even From The Grave
11. Pedal To The Metal
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.
Kill All The Gentlemen – The Loss And The Rapture Sliptrick Records Release Date: 22/11/2018 Running Time: 39:37 Review by ‘Dark Juan’ 8/10
Greetings, neophytes, zelators and the mildly curious about the occult activities of the Left Hand Path. It is I, the Groove Ipssisimus Dark Juan here to give you the “benefit” of my wisdom about many things: One of them might even be what I’m supposed to be writing about, but to be honest I think you might be shit out of luck on that score today, and possibly for the rest of the week. Mainly because it has been that hot here I haven’t been able to do anything apart from lie on the cool tiled floor of the lounge, bemoan the French government for allowing this heatwave to happen and curse Satan for not shutting the back door to hell behind me after I kicked him in his nefarious big red balls and fucked off after he dared to suggest my soul belongs to him. As far as I am concerned, you have to have a soul in order for it to belong to anyone, and the twisted, foetid little black knot of unspeakable rage that lives in my chest does not qualify as a soul. More a weapon. Anyway, I am sat (sitting would be the correct grammar, according to my guest who has just left to go skiing in the Alps. He’s a lawyer and went to a very exclusive school where they taught him Latin and stuff. My Dying Bride taught me Latin – Incendere suus, damnare suus vita. Dare suus ad art ventus) in my Fourth Invocation Robes (Summer Weight (Refrigerated)) dying slowly of dehydration whilst simultaneously drinking as much alcohol as I can cram down my avid throat whilst I listen to Kill All The Gentlemen’s latest offering, entitled “The Loss And The Rapture” (Phew, we got to it in the end. Well done for sticking with me this far…) This band is based in England, more specifically Exeter in Devon, although I am privately convinced that at least two members of the band are NOT Devonian by birth. I shall leave you, dear reader, to work out who they might be.
Disclaimer – My Fourth Invocation Robes (Summer Weight) are a lie. I’m wearing green pyjama pants with Animal from the Muppets on them, black and white striped espadrilles and a not wholly unironic Spinal Tap t-shirt. This is because I have had a high concentration of supreme quality metal recently and because of sex wees, trouser explosions and sheer excitement coupled with being of a certain age I have single-handedly created a Breton underwear drought. Hence with the expectation of this being a rather splendid slab of depleted uranium heaviness, I have elected to eschew pants. No tighty whities for Dark Juan!
I am not disappointed with the heaviness. This is not music. It is an avalanche with some poor fucker on skis in front of it. It is brutality and violence in musical form. This is A VERY GOOD THING. I know I rattle on about melody and quality tunesmithing, but there are times you (I, certainly) just want to have your brain turned to soup. KATG are rather good at this, but to write them off as just a kind of fairly generic death/ extreme metal band is to not pay sufficient attention to them. The title track of this record is a FUCKING GLORIOUS THING THAT EVERY SINGLE METAL FAN SHOULD HAVE A COPY OF BY ORDER OF DARK JUAN YOU FUCKING BUNCH OF BASTARD PHILISTINES!!!!!! It is almost prog in its complexity, with light and dark and fucking loud and quiet and vocals that range from the chilling whisper you get in your ear a split second before the brandished steel blade is drawn across your throat and your lifeblood pumps from you in minutes, to the kind of open throated roar that normally emanates from a giant, radioactive lizard intent on razing Japanese cities to the ground. It is a roar you should never play at any volume in San Francisco as you will just seismically stimulate the San Andreas Fault into an early earthquake. Well done, Kill All The Gentlemen; you have turned a beautiful 1920s city by the sea into a massive fucking Lovecraftian hole simply by the power of your heavy fucking metal. This is behaviour that needs to be encouraged. Can you please do the same to the bunch of Jesus freaks and all round unpleasant cock juggling thundercunts that are the Westboro Baptist Church, please? I might have a highly illegal and possibly unstable cache of trinitrotoluene secreted somewhere nearby should you need some explosive assistance… The album as a whole is a solid and powerful piece of speedy, sharpened metal with a bass sound that reminded me greatly of the 80’s British thrash band Acid Reign. The opening cut on this record, ‘I Welcome The Horror’ has the potential to be a minor classic, starting with the kind of music that you would expect from 80’s Italian horror films before Adam Martin howls, “It’s coming…… NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW!” and you are led down a spiky, flesh ridden, blood-soaked rabbit hole of metal brutality seldom experienced from British bands. It is a fine song and it is representative of the whole record. It is speedy and powerful and jolly good fun if you like mosh pits and losing your teeth while cannoning off other people intent on changing their own dentistry. All the songs are exciting, solid slabs of granite hard heavy metal underpinned with the prodigious roar of the estimable Mr. Martin. The title track is far and away my favourite on the record though, as it stands head and shoulders above the rest for quality, interest and ability. This is not to say that the rest of the record is bad because it really isn’t! ‘These Are Godless Times’ is another absolute stormer of a song and hopefully destined for permanent airplay on many record stations.
In short then, KATG have shaken me out of a post visit bout of existential misery, but they have also caused me to cane the gin and tonic and now I’m wankered all over again.
Thank you, gentlemen, thank you.
A fine, fine record then. Give them your readies and buy their records.
The Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has been quaffing many alcoholic beverages during the course of this album and awards it a splendidly squiffy 8/10. Well worth your effort, though. British metal is back on the up!
01. I Welcome The Horror
02. Sing For Me Sinner
03. Where Here Is I Know Not
(Could be the Dark Juan theme tune! We went to La Gacilly for a photographic exhibition yesterday. Got lost twice. The Volkswaffe doesn’t have sat nav, which made opportunities for deflowering virgins and subverting the Church tricky as we were on the minutes. I had to content myself with telling a nun she worshipped a false god and she needed cock…)
04. These Are Godless Times (Well, I am doing my best! Burn down a church!)
05. Death’s Very Emissary (Oh yes, that IS me…)
06. The Loss And The Rapture
07. Damnation Be My Guide
08. Once A Slave
(NEVER A FUCKING SLAVE! DARK JUAN WILL ACHIEVE DOMINION OVER ALL!!! Probably to a soundtrack of Kill All The Gentlemen.)
Adam Martin – Vocals/Guitar
Christian Axsel – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Thomas Arne Rørstad – Drums
Ben Andrew – Bass
Drums on the album recorded by Olan Parkinson
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.
Bastian – Grimorio Sliptrick Records Release Date: 31/07/2018 Running Time: 59:30 Review by Chris Galea 9/10
Before delving into “Grimorio”, Bastian were a new proposition to me but I decided against looking for any information about the band until I actually listened to this album. That way, I reckoned, I could form an opinion based on the music alone. Speaking of which…
Candlemass seem to have been a strong influence on “Grimorio”. The lead vocals are incredibly good…very solid with powerful screams. In fact, the overall level of musicianship is quite high and the sound really brings the best out of these songs. So far so good.
Despite the candour of its influences, the music in “Grimorio” has its own character and that’s quite an achievement for a style that revels in traditional Metal. For example ‘The Time Has Come’ has some tasty Blues Rock undertones and ‘Epiphany’s Voodoo’ is an instrumental that kicks off with a delightfully funky vibe using hand percussion and Hammond sounds. ‘Infinite Love’, on the other hand, is a melancholic song with Prog Rock traits. And all the while, throughout the album, the listener never doubts that this is essentially a Metal album.
OK, there were a couple of songs that I wasn’t too enthusiastic about but by and large, the band/album was a welcome discovery.
Incidentally, afterwards I did seek more info about Bastian. The band is the brainchild of Italian guitarist Sebastiano Conti (‘Bastian’ being a diminutive of ‘Sebastiano’), who here recruits the talents of bassist Federico Paulovich (Destrage), drummer James Lomenzo (Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth, Black Label Society) and Danish singer Nicklas Sonne (Defecto, Theory).
“Grimorio” was released back in July but I’m glad it dropped in late rather than never.
1. Pale Figure
2. Sly Ghost
3. The Trip
4. Infinite Love
5. It’s Just A Lie
6. Southern Tradition
7. The Time Has Come
8. Epiphany’s Voodoo (instrumental)
9. Black Wood
10. Fallen Gods
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris Galea 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.
Machine Gun Kelly – No Easy Way Out Sliptrick Records Release Date 30/01/2018 Running time: 38:00 Review by Vikkie ‘Queen of Rock’ Richmond 6/10
I was perplexed when I searched for Machine Gun Kelly online and I got results back for an American rapper who has over 5m likes on Facebook. Further research revealed that there is also an Italian rock band of the same name, with a somewhat more modest 3,500 likes (not too shabby). I’m no copyright expert, but I expect to see some sort of a legal battle occurring at some point in the future … interestingly, it appears that the Italians may have had the name first.
This Machine Gun Kelly are not rappers, indeed they are a band of four rockers who have apparently been in existence since the year 2000, but ‘No Easy Way Out’ is only their third full length offering, one demo and one EP notwithstanding. This album is the first to feature new guitarist/bassist Manfre.
I’ve never really understood why bands include an intro on an album; this one is no exception, it’s called ‘Broadcast Humanity’ and it’s basically snippets of radio broadcasts, but… well, it’s so short, what is the point? I suppose it could be because the first track proper was a chuggy, riff laden beast of a song, titled ‘Broadcast King’. I quite liked it until the vocals kicked in. As with many European artists I have listened to lately, the musicality of the record is there, but in my opinion the vocals let it down. That’s not to say that Mikke has a bad voice, it’s just not to my taste.
There are some great tracks on this album, although I have to say sadly the vocals weren’t really my cup of tea on any of them. ‘Eye of the Storm’ featured a great, slide guitar sound at the start before morphing into a fast, somewhat repetitive refrain.
The simple drum and guitar intro to ‘Nothing Ever Changes’ was promising; the song had a big, brash sound to it with a catchy lick (it was going around my head for hours after I’d listened to it). The ballad like opening to ‘Hard Times’ was interesting, and there was a cheeky little riff going on at about 3 and a half minutes in.
If I had to pick a ‘favourite’ track, I suppose it would probably be ‘Take What You Need’, purely for the vaguely dirty feel to it, however, at times the guitars sounded a little discordant and jarring.
The production isn’t sparkling on this album, but there is evidence of some talented musicians here and it’s a bit of a rip-roaring, semi-classic yet somewhat dated outing for the Italians. You could do worse than give it a listen; I wish I’d liked it more, but it just wasn’t my bag. I would imagine that MGK are probably really good live as the songs have that raw, untamed edge that would translate well into the live environment.
Intro (Broadcasted Humanity)
Eye Of The Storm
Nothing Ever Changes
Stand Or Fall
No Easy Way Out
Take What You Need
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Vikkie ‘Queen of Rock’ Richmond and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
Alphastate – The Grind Sliptrick Records Release Date: 03/04/2018 Running Time: 37:28 Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King 7/10
Alphastate are a Greek metal band, formed in 2013 as a personal project of Pete Breaker (guitars). Vocalist Manos Xanthakis joined in in 2015 and the line up was complete in 2016 with the additions of Dimitris Tsounakis on bass and Fivos Andriopoulos on the drums. They released their first album “Out of the Black” in 2015 and received excellent and positive press globally.
Says the band: “we wanted to combine modern metal with 80’s and 90’s influences such as Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera and Nevermore to create a very personal and extreme style with no boundaries.”
So, what genre of metal are Alphastate? To pigeonhole them into one category would be wrong and do them a severe injustice. They play heavy metal that is heavier than normal, but they have thrown in a bit of power too, with just a hint of doom (think Sabbath, Candlemass and Trouble), and this gives them an almost unique sound.
I always think the vocals make any band and am always on the lookout for bands that have distinctive and different singers. If I am totally honest, on the first run through of the album, I didn’t actually like Manos’s vocals but after listening a few times, I realised I really didn’t give him much credit. His vocals are deep, and unmistakably Greek, which is by no means a bad thing. He could quite easily fit into a band such as Firewind if they were ever on the lookout.
I must admit that I hadn’t listened to the band’s first album before listening to this one, but the promo notes that came with the album stated that they wanted to take a more modern and aggressive approach musically with this new album. They wanted “very loud and distinctive guitars, a more modern production that had the vocals pushed up front and drums that punched through the sound.”
I think they were successful on all three counts. Take the guitars out of this album and they would slot straight into a Pantera album, the drums are strong and tight, and I have already mentioned the vocals above.
This album includes a lot more of the band’s own thoughts and experiences making it the most personal release so far, and sonically it is their best. They have made an album that is “pure aggression with the best songs they have ever written.”
One thing that I wasn’t overly keen on with this album, was the lack of variation. Each song seemed to sound much like the last, and I am not sure if this is due to unfamiliarity with the tracks. Maybe with a few more listens through, the songs may start to separate a bit.
But this doesn’t take away from the fact, that this is a solid album, and for a band that has only really been together properly since 2016, it’s a good sign of things to come.
Give these guys a go……and they may just surprise you!
02. Phantom Desires
03. Speak Your Mind
04. Theater Of Lies
05. The Grind
07. Behind The Dark
08. Heaven’s World
09. Man Made God
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.