Redshark – Evil Realm (Expanded Edition)

Evil Realm (Expanded Edition) Album Cover Art

Redshark – Evil Realm (Expanded Edition)
Iron Oxide Records
Release Date: 04/06/2021
Running Time: 45:05
Review by Simon Black
6/10

Originally released as a five-track EP back in 2019 and presumably because COVID is still making life difficult for everyone in Barcelona, this release sees the record expanded into a full length version by splicing together this EP and its predecessor 2016’s “Rain Of Destruction” EP – with the ‘Destroy What Destroys You’ single thrown in for good measure. So this is very much a single disk summary of their back catalogue and evolution to date and not cutting any new territory. That said if, like me, you are new to the band then it’s as good a place to start as any.

That single ‘Destroy What Destroys You’ is full of 80’s infused Thrash and is the only song on here to have an original and re-recorded version. It’s also a very succinct summary of what the band are like at their best now, as it’s dripping with energy and youthful enthusiasm. The older material is more NWOBHM than Speed, but works well as vocally it’s got a very different delivery. That said, I love the energy, brashness and fury of the more recent tracks, which show a band really getting a grip with what their core sound is about.

It’s all very fast and furious and definitely more classic early Thrash/NWOBHM/Speed Metal hybridisation in style, suffering from the hangover left by punk, with a cheesy cover straight out of that period, although I have to say I love the repeated use of the band’s red shark mascot on all their branding. Most of the songs fly by in three minutes, but when they do take their time on slower and longer material, it works pretty well too, giving vocalist Pau Correas time to expand his style and show his range.

The downside of the splicing the back catalogue together is that despite label owner and Producer Bart Gabriel doing his best to remaster this, I suspect the original source material was too limited to do much with. If you don’t have the original studio masters then this can be problematic, but sometimes, even when you do, really basic recordings don’t give even the best engineer much to work with, so consequently the recording quality jumps around all over the place. It’s not clear if this is home or studio captured originally – maybe a combination of both, but either way the sound quality doesn’t do the material enough justice. Now, I know many 80’s trailblazers managed quite well with piss-poor resources back in the day, but in reality in a crowded 21st Century marketplace where recording technology is available to anyone with a half decent computer it seems a real let down. Bizarrely, the older the material  the better the recording quality is, even though the songs are not as strong, as those earliest songs have a much fatter sound.

These boys have got what it takes in terms of tunes and delivery, but desperately need to put these old recordings to bed and start afresh. If these tracks had been given the chance of a fresh studio recording session, then this would have been a very different end product, although I appreciate that COVID may not have made that an option. When they do, they may just be unstoppable…

‘Burn Your Flag’ (Official Visualiser)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Destroy What Destroys You
02. Sentenced To Kill
03. Burn Your Flag
04. The Beginning Of Storm
05. Stronger Than Ever
06. Destroy What Destroys You (remix)
07. Lost In The Streets
08. Lights Of Darkness
09. Witch
10. Fight The Rules Of Power
11. On The Edge Of War
12. Lights Of Darkness

LINE-UP:
Pau Correas – Vocals
Philip Graves – Guitars
Javier Bono – Guitars
Chris Carrest – Bass
Mark Striker – Drums

LINKS:

Redshark Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black 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 ARCHED FIRE

Arched Fire Logo

EMQ’s with ARCHED FIRE

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview, with Finland based Heavy/Speed Metal band, Arched Fire. Huge thanks to all of them for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Ari: We’re Arched Fire, a Heavy Metal/Speed Metal band. Kristian Herkman (vocals), Janne Särkelä (lead, rhythm & acoustic guitars), Mika Rytilahti (bass), Aslak Purojärvi (drums), Ari Väntänen (rhythm guitar).

We’ve been playing together for about three years, but the first year and a half happened 30 years ago. Kristian is the last one to join, the rest of us played together already when we were 15. WormHoleDeath recently released the first Arched Fire album “Remote Control”.

How did you come up with your band name?

Mika: I looked up some words from a dictionary. I didn’t like “Arched Fire”, but I thought the others would have other options for a name. They didn’t and they loved what I had, so we became Arched Fire.

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

Ari: We’re from Finland. Originally from Finnish Lapland, now from all over the country. As 1Star Music stated in our 5/5 album review: “Finland leads Europe in terms of metal bands per capita as the country has 70,3 metal bands per 100,000 residents (2019).” Based on that, the Finnish scene is doing fine.

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

Kristian: It’s our widely praised debut album titled “Remote Control”.

Ari: A couple of the songs, ‘Remote-Controlled End’ and ‘Wormhole’, have been released as video singles, and there’s at least two more to come.

‘Escape (Lyric Video)

‘Wormhole’ (Lyric Video)

‘Remote-Controlled End’ (Lyric Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Assu: I love many old-school bands like Metallica and Obituary, I like everything fast and dangerous. There are a few newer bands that I like, like Red Eleven and Lost Society. They both are from my home city Jyväskylä.

Kristian: For vocals, my greatest influences for all time have been Rob Halford, Eric Adams, Bruce Dickinson and Sebastian Bach. Lately Jordan Jacobs, Heri Joensen and Joey Belladonna have been at the top of my list.

Janne: My biggest musical influence has always been Ritchie Blackmore in all his bands and incarnations. Even my first guitar was white because of him.

Ari: As a band, probably the Big Four of Thrash. Their classic late Eighties records, to be exact.

What first got you into music?

Janne: I’ve been fascinated with music as long as I remember. My older brothers used to listen to 70’s rock, like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, and it was through them I got into rock music, without even noticing it myself. Music has been essential for my survival in life.

Kristian: A Finnish rock band called Dingo was a big thing in Finland when I was three years old. There’s a VHS tape of me singing their song “Autiotalo” at that time.

Ari: Bands like KISS, WASP and Twisted Sister were huge among my 10-year-old peers in 1984. That’s when the madness started.

Assu: I listened to all kinds of bands when I was young. My mother travelled a lot in Europe, and from every trip she brought me new music that I wasn’t able to find in Kemijärvi, where we lived. I wanted to form a band since I was like 10.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?

Kristian: We could play together with Anthrax.

Mika: Metallica?

Ari: I’d love to do something with Läjä Äijälä of Terveet kädet.

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

Kristian: I wanna play at Tuska Festival in Helsinki since it’s here where I live and I haven’t played here yet.

Ari: Sessiorock in Kemijärvi, Finland. We played there in 1989 and we want a rematch.

Assu: I’ve always wanted to play Wacken, Germany. I’ve been there once and I loved the atmosphere.

Mika: Wacken because I’ve never been there before – so why not start from there?

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Assu: A girl gave me her rain boot and kept the other to herself.

Mika: Never received any fan gifts… It would be weird to get one.

Kristian: I don’t remember receiving any gifts. Some have offered me drinks. Maybe those two are related.

Ari: All I’ve ever gotten from them is cool air. Big metal fans do a great job.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Kristian: You are the best!

Ari: Send me weird gifts. No organic materials, please.

Janne: Thank you very much, you mean a lot to me.

Mika: Keep on dreaming, and good things will happen.

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

Kristian: Dimebag Darrell since he died way too soon. R.I.P.

Ari: Razzle from Hanoi Rocks. The guy really loved life.

Mika: Cliff Burton.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Mika: I love the feeling and the flow when the new music or lyrics are happening through me…because I don’t feel that I’m creating something, it’s just coming from somewhere outside or from the cosmos, I don’t know. I think it’s some kind of magic. I hate rehearsing.

Kristian: I enjoy the flow state of mind when you start composing a song from nothing and it just creates itself and surprises you. I hate being apart from my family for a long time.

Janne: Of everything I do, making music gives me the biggest feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. It makes me think that I don’t need a lot of material things and keeps me in an active and youthful state of mind.

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

Ari: I’d love to see musicians getting more money from streaming royalties. A lot more. The way things are now is plain ridiculous.

Kristian: I’d create small robot figures that would play the music of the album. Each band should have their own figures that people need to buy to listen to the music.

Mika: More music in vinyl format. Thank you.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Assu: Carcass – “Reek Of Putrefaction”.

Janne: Deep Purple – “Made In Japan”. I remember my brother and I playing it loud and being all excited about it!

Mika: Entombed – “Clandestine”.

Ari: Radiopuhelimet.- “K.O.” Intense, original, humane – ask Jello Biafra.

Kristian: Judas Priest’s “Painkiller” is my all-time favourite. I bought the CD over twenty years ago and I could not believe that I had not heard from it sooner. I was thrilled by the epic dystopian feelings of that record.

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

Mika: Vinyl.

Kristian: Nowadays I prefer streaming, but twenty years ago I really liked sitting down and reading the booklet while listening loud to CD’s from the big stereos I had then. That experience should be provided to kids nowadays also.

Ari: Vinyl for the cover art and the needle ritual. CD’s for being so handy. Cassettes for being so cool. Downloads I do not like.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Mika: No good gigs in my repertoire. Always something goes wrong…Spinal Tap gigs, mostly.

Kristian: There have been a lot of fun gigs, but the biggest audience for me was when I played a guitar solo with Manowar onstage in Turku, Finland in 1999. Joey DeMaio told me that I could get lucky with the ladies that were on the stage. Although Eric Adams said that I played well, the tour crew soon led me back to the audience and I didn’t see the ladies again.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Kristian: I’m doing finance. Science is also my thing.

Ari: I’d write about music. Actually, that’s what I do anyway.

Janne: I could be a carpenter, or I’d work with computers. I work in a school now, and my current job allows me to use many of my skills.

Mika: I’d be a game innovator.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Kristian: I’d invite Esko Valtaoja, Matt O’Dowd and Michael Stevens for interesting topics, Ismo Leikola for comedy and Elon Musk to pay the dinner. Arched Fire would play a gig at the end of the night.

Assu: I would invite my mother and father (they’ve both passed away), and then a big-breasted blonde, and then two more big-breasted blondes.

Janne: I’d invite four – the guys in the band.

Mika: Me too. We don’t see each other too often because we live all over Finland.

Ari: The Rolling Stones.

What’s next for the band?

Ari: “Remote Control” is now out for streaming, and it will have its worldwide cd release this summer. We’ll boost it with a couple of videos.

Kristian: We are working on our second album. We have a lot of new and old songs and we will choose the best ones for the album.

Mika: More and more music. That’s what it’s all about.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

www.archedfire.com
www.facebook.com/OfficialArchedFire
www.instagram.com/arched_fire_official/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/2rOCJxqnlJYY5DUCDKLhcO
www.youtube.com/channel/UC6oMSQ7J6mVnBXEL50K9pUQ

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Kristian: They are a biscuit because they are too small to be a cake. Cake is a lie!

Ari: Biscuits with orange marmalade and dark chocolate on top. I just had a couple with coffee.

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

Kristian: Stay strong and keep heavy speed alive!

Mika: Keep on rockin’!

Ari: Don’t believe everything you read.

Arched Fire Promo Pic

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.

EMQ’s with LEATHER WITCH

Leather Witch Logo

EMQ’s with LEATHER WITCH

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Manizales/Pereira, Colombia based NWOBHM/Speed Metal band, Leather Witch. Huge thanks to guitarist, Pablo Meza, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Hi there!!! I´m Pablo Meza and I play the lead guitars in Leather Witch.

Leather Witch is a female fronted young project that began in 2017 as an intention to remind the roots and perform NWOBHM. Currently our line-up is: Tania “Soulstorm” on vocals, José Uribe on bass, Juan “Chamo” Hurtado on drums, Pablo Meza and new member Fredy Loaiza on lead guitars.

How did you come up with your band name?

The band’s name comes up due to the fact that our lead singer is a woman who impersonates a witch and wears leather as a sign of rebellion.

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

We are originally from Colombia and the band is split into two neighbouring cities: Manizales and Pereira, both located in the central west of the country and best known for being at the heart of coffee production in the region.

Colombia has definitely littered so many underground bands especially when it comes to death metal and extreme genres, many of them all are top of the range bands and are worth keeping an eye on…or an ear! There’re also Webzines and radio stations that support underground music, you can look up Golpea en la Radio, Maldito Metal Colombiano, Oráculo Magazine, Rock Sound-Sonido Extremo, etc.

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

Our latest release is our full-length album called “Leather Witch”. There´re two official videoclips ‘Pull The Trigger’ and ‘Stronger Than Death’ and a lyric video ‘Murder Ride’ available on YouTube.

‘Pull The Trigger’ (Official Video)

‘Stronger Than Death’ (Official Video)

‘Murder Ride’ (Lyric Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

We are a NWOBHM band and part of our influences are Accept, Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Metal Church, Judas Priest, Doro, among others. We are mainly oriented to both German and British schools.

What first got you into music?

In spite of the fact that there´re no musicians in my family, my grandparents and mom are huge music fans and very keen on collecting old music vinyl and I could say that was my first approach to music mania. Later on, I got into rock and metal stuff because of a school mate. That´s how it all began!

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

I´d genuinely crave riffing with Judas Priest, Accept and Ozzy! I get my hopes up too high, you see! 😊

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

Maybe Wacken or Hellfest as they gather massive audience from all over the globe and also the best bands, besides, I want to visit Germany to try its beer and France for their streets, cuisine and wines!

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

I wouldn’t say “weirdest” but “memorable”. On a birthday, once an Irish girl gave me a crafted wooden box with twelve poems inside from her favourite Irish poet (William Butler Yeats) on twelve pieces of paper, she told me I had to read one every month, so I would finish them all by my next birthday. I still treasure them.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Keep the heavy metal flame alive, Witches and B#tch€s! \m/

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

Freddie Mercury or Hendrix!

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I enjoy the fact of being capable to express myself through my music and share my anger, hope, talent and passion with others. I hate the lack of venues and support to bands; I also abhor what the music industry has turned into.

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

It’d be cool if record labels treat their bands as business partners and not like their pink-collar employees.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Judas Priest’s “Painkiller” without a doubt!

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

Every format is oriented to certain targets, you know; collectors are keen on buying music in physical format and they constitute a market niche that keeps the business and labels alive, nonetheless if the band aims to get real promotion and broadcasting, it is key to adapt to the changes the music industry has been through and take part of all this digital thing. Our album is on all the platforms and that´s certainly been the most effective way for people to get to know about us. We also released both vinyl and CD’s for those who enjoy the ritual of opening a booklet, appreciate the artwork, watch the band´s pictures and read the lyrics!

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

I remember playing for about 20,000 people at an open-air festival in Colombia called Ancon with a power metal band I used to played in. That was in 2005.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Well, apart from being a musician, I´m an English professor, day dreamer, wine snob, amateur cook, coffee maker/addict and 80’s music enthusiast.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I would invite Gandhi, Hitler, Stalin, Trump and Napoleon, so I would have a seat, serve a glass of red wine and watch them fix the world!

What’s next for the band?

We aim to keep promoting our debut album by making one or two more videos this year to stay prevailing in this lockdown time. We also hope to build up an even stronger relationship with our record label (Steel Shark) with a view to keep working alongside.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

You can listen to the whole record and watch our videos on:
www.youtube.com/channel/UCd2cXRI3C4MBPCJTLnyqxfg
www.open.spotify.com/artist/43KJPUlpk7wCfh4zt817hu
www.deezer.com/en/album/147355362

You can also follow us on:
www.facebook.com/LeatherWitchBand
www.instagram.com/leatherwitchband/

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

UFO-shaped pieces of bakery!

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

Thank you for this space on your webzine and I would like to invite you all to visit Leather Witch social networks and also support your local bands. Share their stuff, buy the merch and go to gigs once the world hopefully gets back to normal.

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.

Ignitor – The Golden Age of Black Magick

Ignitor – The Golden Age of Black Magick
Metal On Metal Records
Release Date: 31/10/2020
Running Time: 35:14
Review by Simon Black
6/10

Texas based Ignitor have been banging their particular brand of NWOBHM snorting Speed Metal since 2003, and even with seven albums under their belt since that time, they still sound like a young, furious band trying to kick down the doors. It’s worth dwelling on this for a moment, given that my review platter is awash these days with bands trying to recreate the sound and feel of a decade many of them did not live through. Ignitor clearly did and seem to have understood that feel is less about recreating a sound using technology that puts the 80’s into the Stone Age, and more about an energy born of the necessity of limited studio time, improvisation and having the word ‘Metal’ running through your bones like a stick of blackened seaside rock.

And recreate it they do, right down to the spiky studded stage gear and cringe worthy cover art that has adorned many of their albums (although this one is quite restrained compared to the teenage wet dream that was 2009’s “The Spider Queen”). It is tongue firmly in someone else’s cheek though and they are from Texas, so I will cut some slack and cast my mind back to my teens. This is pure 80’s Heavy Metal, with a production sound that captures that era and that magic metal hot source – energy and enthusiasm. Sadly, at some point however, strong song-writing starts to get you further than enthusiasm and this is where the album suffers slightly.

The bands and records that are influenced by this period currently flying around often focus on nailing the sound, but completely miss the attitude that drove that period. Not so Ignitor. The bands that really nail it balance the feel and the ethos, whilst remembering that the genre carried on growing and developing for another 50 years beyond that period, so bring the best of both worlds. Sadly “The Golden Age of Black Magick” is just that little too focussed on the past. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some solid performances here. Jason McMaster (who has been round the block a while) on vocals gives an absolutely full-on performance, which whilst slightly lacking in range he more than makes up for in attitude. Musically there is a tight (if slightly tinny sounding) rhythm section at work here, and the balance of two simpatico guitarists who interweave seamlessly to sound as one. But the songs don’t quite stand out enough on their own, and I am struggling to find a stand out song that says, ‘this is the essence of the album’. The whole thing has a slightly unfinished demo feel to it, as if the writing process was that bit too hurried and that’s a real shame, as with that extra bit of ‘Oomph’ in the engine room the rest of the ingredients were in place for a cracking bit of Metal. Maybe next time…

TRACKLISTING:
01. Secrets Of The Ram
02. Countess Apollyon
03. The Golden Age Of Black Magick
04. Hell Shall Be Your Home
05. Tonight We Ride
06. Steel Flesh Bone
07. Execution Without Trial
08. Stoned At The Acropolis

LINE-UP:
Jason McMaster – Vocals
Stuart Laurence – Guitar
Robert Williams – Guitar
Billy Dansfiell – Bass
Pat Doyle – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black 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.

Wrestling – Ride On Freaks

ride on freaks cover

Wrestling – Ride On Freaks
Inverse Records
Release Date: 14/09/2018
Time: 47:21
Reviewer Tsarina Wilson
9.5/10

Wrestling are a Heavy Metal band from Oulu, Finland and “Ride On Freaks” is their debut album. From the very first track ‘Let’s Get Born’ you’re on an epic ride of frantic drumming, the tempo is crazy, and the guitar riffs keep this track as fast at the end as it was from the start.

The band consists of guitarist Risto Nyman, vocalist Tommi Saha, and drummer Janne Kela, the original old school metal band members, who have been joined by bassist Riku Rousu and guitarist Pekka Moilanen, making this a complete, well mixed metal band. All members have played in other bands for years and you can tell, from this album, that their talents blend well together, making them the band they have become, with each having something to “bring to the table.”

There is a definite Ozzy Osbourne hint to the sound, which is great especially in the track ‘Venom Makes Me Stronger’ but there is also a touch of punk and a lot of speed metal. You will definitely not be bored with this album at any point. The vocals, which hit notes I didn’t think possible by a metal singer, are intense and the guitar riffs, especially in the track ‘Kitsch In America’ are insane.

Then comes the track ‘WrestleMania VI.’ Having spent many years forced to watch wrestling on television thanks to a son who was and still is crazy on it, this track takes you right back to those good old days. It’s a power driving, body slamming song which any wrestler would love to have as their walk out track. In fact, it is a salute to the late wresting hero James Brian Hellwig, otherwise known as “The Ultimate Warrior” and, wow, it really does him justice. The lyrics were co-written by Antti “Rota” Junttila from the band FM2000 and is mostly spoken but it easily transports you back to those days of watching the wrestling and all the carnage that went with it.

Some tracks are seriously 80’s metal, but this is not a bad thing and composer Risto did actually write some of the lyrics back then. There is a hint of Motorhead with the gruff voice and fast guitars and, like Motorhead, this sort of metal is timeless and just brilliant.

Wrestling certainly give it all in this album and then a little bit more. “Ride On Freaks” is such a great album and once you think you have it figured out, they completely change the direction of it. The vocals that change from gruff and low to insanely high, the drumming that goes 100 miles an hour and such awesome guitars, really take this album to a whole different level. You are shattered just listening to it, it’s that insane.

The final track is very dark and very deep. Its inspiration was taken from the mass suicide that took place in Guyana in 1978, given the name “Jonestown Massacre.” There have been several songs about this but not from this point of view and this moody, dark track makes you think, but hey that’s what tracks are for, to provoke thoughts so well-done guys.

Overall, I love this album. “Ride On Freaks” is a blend of crazy, dark, fast, brilliant metal. The guys have so much talent and mix it up so there is not a chance that you will not be left wanting more. I seriously love this album.

The album was recorded at Anvil Road Studio and mixed and mastered by Harri Eksyma (Earmore Studios)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Let’s Get Born
02. Surreal Killer
03. Venom Makes Me Stronger
04. Kitsch In America
05. Drunk And Alone
06. Wrestlemania VI
07. Beyond The Limits
08. Feels Like Midnight
09. Driving All Night
10. The Solution To All Your Problems
11. See Delight

LINKS:

promo pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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.

Sonic Rebellion! featuring Skyward & Grimpulse, Sinbin at The Plough and Harrow, Leytonstone, 10/11/2018

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Sonic Rebellion!
featuring Skyward & Grimpulse
Sinbin at The Plough and Harrow, Leytonstone
10/11/2018
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

A few years ago, when I was still doing my radio DJ stints, I decided to take my Metal Asylum show into a live setting and the Sonic Rebellion nights were born. I had to give it all up for various reasons but a friend of mine, Linz Griffin, decided to take the nights on for himself. He continued with just the DJ theme for a time, but after a while, decided to introduce bands into the formula, a decision which I think is one that should really have be taken a long time ago.

I must admit, I hadn’t been to many of Linz’s Sonic Rebellion nights for one reason or another, but I saw this one and I thought to myself, why not go and see what it is all about? So, I did.

I arrived at the Plough and Harrow at about 8 o’clock and there was already a fair few people there. Whether they were just friends of the two bands performing I don’t know, but it gave the place an instant atmosphere anyway.

The Plough and Harrow pub, itself, has been in Leytonstone since the early 19th century, but a few years ago, a side building was refurbished, rejuvenated and re-invented as The Sinbin, and has been hosting gigs and functions ever since.

The venue itself is a 150 capacity room, with plenty of space, lots of seating areas and a stage that can easily hold 4 or 5 musicians and all of their gear. I, personally, think the location is a bit of a problem for some people, as the nearest tube station is a good 10 to 15 minutes walk away, but you know what some people are like. They don’t want to know if the train doesn’t drop them directly outside!!

Being a DJ night too, there was a young lad DJ’ing when I first arrived. He had been given the opportunity by Linz as a guest DJ, and I must admit he did an awesome job, the crowd seemingly enjoying what he was playing. It actually made me miss my days as a DJ!

So, anyway, on to the bands!

Grimpulse were up first. They were due on stage at 9pm but, I think due to the weather being so crap (heavy rain!!) the organisers delayed them for a bit and they finally took to the stage at about 9.35pm.

Grimpulse are a young, four-piece local band, hailing from the East End of London. I was introduced to them before they hit the stage and I must say, for a young band, they had the air of a much more mature bunch of guys. They seemed to genuinely enjoy what they do, and at the end of the day, that’s really what is all about.

If I had to pigeon hole these guys, I would say they were a mix of speed and death metal. Musically, they were excellent, each member obviously a very talented musician. The gruff vocals, however, won’t appeal to everyone and this might cut down who they can reach out to but overall, they were very good.

I, personally, feel that any band should have the right to play whatever style they want to and be able to enjoy playing it without being judged or booed off stage. These guys were far from being either and the crowd seemed to be enjoying them.

The guitarists were both fantastic and both ended up without their shirts (one even had no shoes or socks on!) I don’t know if this has any impact on this review whatsoever but I thought I would throw it in just so you can see what sort of guys these are.

As if their stage antics weren’t enough to get the crowd going, they finished their set with an absolute stomping rendition of Sepultura’s Refuse/Resist, something that went down VERY well with the crowd.

03

The second band onto the stage were the fantastically named Skyward. These guys were formed in London in 2014 and, in their own words, fuse “World Metal with 90’s Epic Metal.” So, being a melodic, power metal band (which I had checked out before the gig) I KNEW I was going to enjoy them!

They opened up their set with a typical power metal epic, full of great guitar work and fantastic keyboards. I have heard people say they don’t like keyboards in metal, but I do think they add that certain “something” with the right band. And that “something” was apparent with Skyward, as Fabio Garau (who I am sure I have met before!) is awesome on the keys.

Again, this is a band with obviously a lot of talent, from the great solos supplied by the guitarists to the awesome voice of the singer. If you have read any of my reviews you will know that I am a proper fan of distinguishable vocals, something that stands out from the rest.

The singer in this band definitely stood out to me. His voice was strong and powerful just as a power metal singer should be, but he also had a stage presence that not all frontmen necessarily have. I would suggest that he has been performing a lot of his life, and if he hasn’t, he has definitely got the part down to a tee.

04

Upon hearing them live, I looked them up on Facebook and was pleased to see that they have released an EP and this I certainly will be adding to my collection. With a bit of promotion, I think these guys can actually go very far indeed.

With both bands having done their thing onstage it was down to the DJ’s to take over. I didn’t stay right to the end of the night but I am sure the crowd enjoyed the rest of the night very much indeed 😊

Sonic Rebellion Links:

Grimpulse Links:

Skyward Links:

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