Barbarian Hermit – One Remastered

One Reissue Album Cover Art

Barbarian Hermit – One Remastered
APF Records
Release Date: 29/01/2021
Running time: 48:18
Review by Alun Jones
9.5/10

Writing these reviews for Ever Metal isn’t easy, you know. I’m sure I speak for the whole writing team when I say that we pour our heart and soul into all our prose. Each of us lives with the fear of the dreaded Writer’s Block, gnawing at our bones. So, I decided that my review of this reissue of the 2016 debut album by Barbarian Hermit, released by the mighty APF Records, would need some help.

But who could assist with such a task? Why none other than my old friend, Volkrugg the Decimator – barbarian warlord of Ages Long Forgotten. Of course: no-one is better qualified! And seeing as I’ve basically been a hermit for the last year, between us we should have it covered.

Take it away, Volkrugg…

“Greetings, people of the 21st Century! I am Volkrugg the Decimator – warlord of the Mist Realm, conqueror of the Thorspian cities, leader of the barbarian hordes of Vossk. My good friend, Al, has begged me for my musings concerning the recorded work of Barbarian Hermit, and lo – I shall render it unto thee with vicious glee!

“From the very start, these seven songs burst forth like an army of Ionian Thrask Vandals! They wield their war axes with vengeful power, surging down from the mountains on thundering hooves of hell. The brief respite of sometime calmer moods offer shelter from the maelstrom of war, yet always the majesty and power of conflict lurks temptingly!

“Verily, hearing these odes, I was mindful of my fallen brothers from glorious battles past – gone but ne’er forgotten, proudly drinking and brawling in Valhalla!”

There you go, I couldn’t have said it better myself. “One” is a great, sludgy, fuzzy celebration of relentless force and mesmerising intricacies. Both Volkrugg, his band of berserker warriors and myself are all big fans. You’d be a fool of mythic proportions to miss this album, and be warned – Volkrugg fed his last court jester to a tiger. Barbarian Hermit reviewed by a barbarian and a hermit – you can’t get a more honest opinion than that.

Through The Periscope Of The Deadly Sub (Audio)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Mermaid
02. Tigerhorse
03. Burn The Fire
04. Barbarian Enforcement Agency
05. Alma
06. Widowmaker
07. Through The Periscope Of The Deadly Sub (Bonus Track)

LINE-UP ON “ONE”:
Simon Scarlett – Vocals
Mike Regan – Guitars
Adam Robertshaw – Guitars
Chris Wood – Bass
Loz Brindley – Drums

LINKS:

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.

Acid Mammoth – Caravan

Caravan Album Cover Art

Acid Mammoth – Caravan
Heavy Psych Sounds
Release Date: 05/03/2021
Running Time: 40:17
Review by Chris Galea
7.5/10

“Caravan” consolidates the music style of Acid Mammoth…a Stoner Doom that’s heavy, dense and fuzzy. However, some changes are immediately noticeable in respect to the band’s previous album “Under Acid Hoof”.

For example, overall, I feel there has been a marked improvement as far as production and mixing is concerned, even though the sound of the snare drum takes some getting used to. The singing of Christos Babalis Jr. sounds less like Ozzy than in previous releases – that wasn’t a bad thing of course, but it’s good to hear Jr. try to assimilate his own personality into the singing.

Maybe it’s just my impression but there also seems to be an effort to infuse more melody into the dark atmosphere of the band’s music. And there are more guitar solos than before. Sometimes all this doesn’t entirely convince (as in ‘Berserker’ or in parts of ‘Ivory Towers’) but when this new approach works, it works marvellously. Case in point is the title-track, an epic 11-minute plus song dense with hypnotic riffs. I also felt a significant improvement in the drumming of Marios Louvaris, more in the sense of feel than technique.

So, although I’m not absolutely won over, “Caravan” is definitely a step up for Acid Mammoth.

Imagine Black Sabbath meeting Hawkwind to serenade the world as it burns…I reckon that ‘serenade’ would sound pretty close to “Caravan”.

‘Caravan’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Berserker
02. Psychedelic Wasteland
03. Ivory Towers
04. Caravan
05. Black Dust

LINE-UP:
Chris Babalis Jr. – Guitar & Vocals
Chris Babalis Sr. – Guitar
Dimosthenis Varikos – Bass
Marios Louvaris – Drums

LINKS:

Acid Mammoth Promo Pic

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.

Acid Mammoth – Under Acid Hoof

Under Acid Hoof Reissue Album Cover Art

Acid Mammoth – Under Acid Hoof
Heavy Psych Sounds
Re-release Date: 12/03/2021
Running Time: 44:53
Review by Chris Galea
7/10

I do know a few Metal bands that have (or had) father and son within the line-up but it’s safe to say that there aren’t many such cases. One of them, though, is Acid Mammoth. Have I got your attention? Good. Now for the more pertinent matters…

Acid Mammoth is a Stoner Doom band from Greece. “Under Acid Hoof” is the band’s 2nd album, originally released in 2020 but Heavy Psych Sounds have repackaged the album, added two bonus tracks and re-released it in 2021. But was it worth re-releasing? Well, there’s a ton of Stoner Doom bands out there but Acid Mammoth seem to be one of the more interesting of the lot. So that would be a ‘yes’.

Downtuned fuzzy guitars, viscid and filthy riffs and lyrics with a penchant for the occult…that’s “Under Acid Hoof” in a nutshell. I know it’s hard to find a Metal band that isn’t influenced by Black Sabbath, especially a Doom band, but with Acid Mammoth the influence is very direct. The vocals of Chris Babalis Jr (who also plays guitar) in fact, sound like a photocopy of Ozzy. Originality and diversity of ideas are not two of the album’s strongest points. Also, I’m not 100% convinced by the sound – sometimes one instrument drowns out another. But there are other things to enjoy here if Doom’s your thing…

In ‘Tree Of Woe’, for example, the drums and guitar riffs really work great together. ‘Jack The Riffer’ is well-written and contains some scorching riffs (ah, Jack The ‘Riffer’…now I get it!). Apocalyptic scenarios are described in the lyrics of ‘Tusks Of Doom’ and the song’s music certainly strives to illustrate that.

As heavy as a stampede of Mammoths, “Under Acid Hoof” has a charm that reels you closer to the band.

‘Them!’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Them!
02. Tree Of Woe
03. Tusks Of Doom
04. Far Harrad (Bonus Track)
05. Jack The Riffer
06. Under Acid Hoof
07. White Hag (Bonus Track – Live)

LINE-UP:
Chris Babalis Jr. – Vocals, Guitars
Chris Babalis Sr. – Guitars
Dimosthenis Varikos – Bass
Marios Louvaris – Drums

LINKS:

Acid Mammoth Promo Pic

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.

The Brothers Keg – Folklore, Myths And Legends Of The Brothers Keg

The Brothers Keg – Folklore, Myths And Legends Of The Brothers Keg
APF Records
Release Date: 11/09/2020
Running Time: 43:45
Review by Alun Jones
9.5/10

And lo, the ancient seers have foretold of the coming of the Brothers Keg. Anticipation building slowly, the wise masters of APF Records have foretold a fortuitous event, something that would elate the masses and bring joyous union to the land. At least it feels that way! Old Al can’t be the only one who’s been expecting something special with this release?

The Brothers Keg are a three-piece band from London way, comprising Tom Fyfe on drums, Tom Hobson on guitar and vocals and Paul Rosser on bass/vocals. Together, their music is colossal stoner/doom with a huge sound, massive ambition, and a fine angle on self-mythologising. The result is an album so epic, so over the top, and downright fun, that the Brothers deserve every ounce of assured swagger that they no doubt possess.

Tom Hobson himself describes the sound as “HP Lovecraft meets Queen’s ‘Flash Gordon’ listening to Jeff Wayne’s ‘War of the Worldsat the wrong speed, smoking a medieval spliff dipped in poppers.” That’s this review written really – do I need to sell this any harder to you?!

If you need more persuasion, imagine a cult sci-fi fantasy B-movie soundtrack featuring spoken word narration and bludgeoning riffs, and you’re halfway there. Tracks like ‘Moorsmen’, and ‘The Army Of The Thirsty Blade Approaches’, are skull splittingly mighty, generating a genuine feeling of excitement.

‘No Earthly Form’, and ‘Brahman’ have it all: heavy guitar and pounding rhythm; countered with atmospheric psychedelia that the listener can absorb like a movie. ‘Brahman’ is nearly 13 minutes of music that doesn’t outstay it’s welcome: from meditative chanting, a killer stoner riff, and washes of acid-soaked guitars creating a spacious landscape.

The narration adds to the band’s mystique without being cheesy or silly. Yes, it’s all ridiculously good fun – but the sheer weight of musical invention adds up to something exceptional. Add in some glorious cover artwork (that looks like a cyborg He-Man pursued by a demented Skeletor) and “Folklore, Myths And Legends Of The Brothers Keg” possesses an undeniable charisma. I want the vinyl, the t-shirt, the poster – I want everything! Hell, I want Brothers Keg action figures (with weapons and musical accessories, features small parts, ages 3 and up) and I want them NOW!

Another contender for album of the year? You betcha.

Of course, the Brothers Keg aren’t the only famous brothers in rock. Those crazy Van Halen boys are two of my favourites – oh, I used to have some wild times with them. Like the time they pulled the thread out of the crotch of David Lee Roth’s pants, so when he performed one of his patented scissor jumps – the pants split, and Diamond Dave’s family jewels were revealed for all. You didn’t need to be in the front row to see it everything, I can tell you.

Dave had his revenge at a later gig, though. Backstage, he switched out the blue M&Ms in a complimentary dish for laxative pills; Eddie’s tight white trousers were not a pleasant site at all that night. Now you know why their rider has always stipulated the blue M&Ms are removed ever since…

TRACKLISTING:
01. Moorsmen
02. From the Records of Arthur Shnee
03. No Earthly Form
04. The Ice Melteth
05. Introducing the Brothers Keg
06. Brahman
07. The Army of the Thirsty Blade Approaches
08. Castle Keg
09. Epilogue

LINE-UP
Tom Fyfe – Drums
Tom Hobson – Guitar/Vocals
Paul Rosser – Bass/Vocals

LINKS

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.

Son of Boar – Stoned Wail Single

Son of Boar – Stoned Wail Single
Self-Released
Release Date: 26/06/2020
Running Time: 17:39
Review by Alun Jones
9/10

Singles don’t often get reviewed here at Ever Metal, purely because there’s so damn many of them. They just can’t compete with the album reviews. But rules are made to be broken, and this release from Son of Boar demanded some attention. Having witnessed the live onslaught of this band at Pentre Fest earlier this year, Son of Boar have risen on to my personal favourites list, and I’m damn near rabid for any new material.

Waves crash as a mesmeric bass begins to chime, creating a deceptively ambient vibe. Guitars and drums warm the sound as the band slowly build momentum. They’re in no rush, but when the main riff kicks in, it’s worth the wait. Luke’s vocals roar and the song rises like a leviathan from the depths. ‘Stoned Wail’ is 9 minutes of powerful, groove laden doom rhythms: thundering bass, churning guitars and crashing drums. This fisherman’s tale is indeed a whopper of humungous proportions.

With two additional live tracks (‘Outlet’ and the boogie influenced ‘The Weekend’), this is a great introductory package to a band destined for big things. ‘Stoned Wail’ is taken from the forthcoming debut album, which, to be honest, I’m shitting my shoes off in anticipation for. TUSKS UP!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Stoned Wail
02. Outlet (Live)
03. The Weekend (Live)

LINE-UP:
Luke Oliver – Vocals
Adam Waddell – Guitar
Lyndon Birchall – Guitar
Gaz Bates – Bass
Luke Doran – Drums

LINKS:
www.sonofboar.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/SonOBoar
www.twitter.com/Son_Of_Boar
www.instagram.com/son_of_boar/
www.youtube.com/channel/UC1YKTfwlyEpZfmjqNyTF5Dg

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.

EMQ’s with SON OF BOAR

EMQ’s with SON OF BOAR

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Bradford, UK based Stoner/Doom Metal band, Son Of Boar. Huge thanks to bassist Gaz Bates 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?

I’m Gaz, I play Bass in Son Of Boar. This band is a mishmash of other Bradford bands really, started with Lyndon (Guitarist) looking for members for another band and after a long process we landed with this line-up, Luke D on Drums, Luke O on Vocals, Adam on Guitar and Lyndon and I.

How did you come up with your band name?

It basically translates to ‘Sons of Bradford’ which is where we are from, the Bradford Sigil has a tongueless Boar Head on it, the story of which is told on our EP “A Tongueless Tale”. I’d tell you the story but I dont want to rob you of the pleasure of listening to it!

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

Bradford or ‘Bratfud’ as the locals say, in West Yorkshire. The metal scene in Bradford is killer! And I’m not just saying that; We have bands like Ironrat, Psychlona, Black Falcon, Gods Of Hellfire and Dawn Of Elysium. Not too far away we have Sound of Origin, Master The Crown and loads more that escape me at the moment.

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

The latest recorded release is “A Tongueless Tale”, which is on Spotify and Bandcamp. We do have two recently released live videos on our YouTube that we recorded at Voltage Studios in Bradford.

Who have been your greatest influences?

For me personally Black Sabbath, but then again who isn’t influenced by them, really? Collectively bands like Pantera, Grand Magus, Rammstein, The Misfits and Down usually come up when we are talking about music.

What first got you into music?

I’m the youngest by 8 years in my family, so I had to listen to whatever my brothers listened to; so Blur, The Seahorses, and Pulp from one brother, and Dry Kill Logic, Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Placebo from another, so I was always listening to music! My eldest brother got a Bass and I kinda stole it, and it went from there.

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

I couldn’t say, so many to pick from! Though we did just tour with Everest Queen, and I would love to do a split with those guys! And now i think of it, Goblinsmoker! There’s none heavier and I’d love to work with them.

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

Again… So many to pick from! Download has a special place in my heart, so I’ll go with that.

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

Praise! I know that’s daft, but we are always taken aback when someone says they like us!

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

GO SEE LOCAL BANDS! DONT PAY TO SEE COVER OR TRIBUTE BANDS!

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

Randy Rhoads. Guy’s time was cut too short.

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

Playing to a crowd that really likes us is always great! What I hate is when people think this is a ‘hobby’ and dont take it seriously.

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

I’d close the pay gap between covers bands and original bands and I’d rid the term ‘Female Fronted’ as it isn’t a genre and is daft, a band is a band, dont have to specify there is a female singing.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Shooter Jennings – “Black Ribbons”.

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

Ahhh… I love a good Vinyl, but downloads are easier and dont take up any room so my other half can’t complain!!

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

We played Opium in Edinburgh last year and the crowd was insane! People doing backflips off the stage and everything! That was pretty cool.

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

Well I still work a daytime job, so I’d still be doing that. I’m in customer service…

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Ozzy Osbourne, David Lee Roth, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Iggy Pop! Imagine the stories!

What’s next for the band?

We are currently recording our next release! Can’t say too much about it, but we are super excited.

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

We are on Bandcamp: www.sonofboar.bandcamp.com  and Spotify, just search us! We are looking at new content for our YouTube channel also.

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Cake! This isn’t the first time I have had this discussion! They are considered a cake for tax purposes.

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

Thanks for asking us to do this! I’d like to say: Keep going to shows, keep supporting bands, and don’t be a D*ck!!

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.

Gallows Pole – This Is Rock

This Is Rock Cover

Gallows Pole – This Is Rock
Pure Rock Records
Release Date: 30/08/2019
Running Time: 40:43
Review by Chris Galea
5/10

With such a gory-sounding moniker and an artwork vaguely reminiscent of Judas Priest’s “Sin After Sin” I expected to hear something heavy and ferocious. I couldn’t have been more mistaken.

The album’s genre could broadly be described as Hard Rock but occasionally sets foot in Country Rock and Stoner Doom territory. More importantly though, overall “This Is Rock” feels bereft of passion and is characterised by half-assed drumming and disinterested (male) vocals.

In some songs – such as ‘You Got Me’ and ‘Point of no Return’ – I did find some gratifying moments but still not enough to get me hooked.

Until I heard “This Is Rock”, Gallows Pole was an unknown entity to me…whereas in fact this Austrian band has been around for several decades. So it pains me to say that the album sounds more like something you’d expect from a pub band.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Summerdays
02. Heaven Knows
03. Midnight Gambler
04. Point Of No Return
05. You Got Me
06. Daylight
07. When I Sleep
08. Move On Out
09. When You Love

LINE-UP:
Alois Martin Binder – vocals, guitars, bass
Dina Höblinger – vocals
Harald Prikasky – guitars
Harry El Fischer – guitars, vocals
Andy Wagner – drums

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/GALLOWS-POLE-174803492598152/

 

Bandpic

 

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.

 

Duel – Valley Of Shadows

Valley Of Shadows Cover

Duel – Valley Of Shadows
Heavy Psych Sounds
Release Date: 17/05/2019
Running Time: 38:00
Review by Alun Jones
8/10

Duel have been on my radar for quite a while. Despite hearing a few tracks via the band’s social media, I’d never sat down, ear-goggles locked in place, to listen to a full album. So, I was pretty stoked to have the opportunity to review their latest album: “Valley Of Shadows”, released recently by Heavy Psych Sounds.

Hailing from Austin, Texas, these four fiends are responsible for an almighty stoner doom racket; full on heavy rifferama with psychedelic and classic metal references. In case that description alone doesn’t grab you like a graveyard ghoul on the way to an unholy shindig, their whole aesthetic is tripped out in the sort of late-night, B-movie gore that’s lurid enough to make your eyes pop.

It’s like Dracula Has Risen from the Grave sound-tracked by a bunch of longhair ne’er-do-wells, and that’s just how I like it.

‘Black Magic Summer’ opens up the proceedings with some appropriate rain-soaked sound effects, before launching into the heavy-as-a-crypt-door attack. There’s a brilliantly melodic middle section too, adding some light to the gloom.

Second track ‘Red Moon Forming’ has a direct, driving pace that’s infectious and purposely concocted to inspire the raising of horns. ‘Drifting Alone’ has a real classic desert rock vibe, with a cool head shaker riff.

‘Strike And Disappear’ comes on like the vampire Western that Tarantino needs to make. A slower, bluesy pace with a dusty feel, it’s the first taste we get of a very different – and effective – approach. It melts into a ferocious, face pummelling section that screams blood and violence.

Songs like ‘Tyrant On The Throne’ have a classic metal, almost (gasp!) Iron Maiden feel to them. Otherwise, the sound explores more of the head-banging, smoke induced groove of bands like Trouble and The Obsessed.

But just like the best stoner metal movers and shakers, there’s always room for some ZZ Top-style boogie, which particularly comes to the fore in the final track, ‘The Bleeding Heart’.

As always, my sound comparisons are only meant as genuine compliments. Duel manage to create an album full of their own spirit and character, and it’s one hell of a fun ride. At turns hypnotic, fist pummelling, and sombre; “Valley of the Shadows” pulls the stake out of the stoner doom corpse and brings it back to bloody life again.

The last time I actually was involved in a duel, it was a case of duelling banjos. I was on a canoeing trip with some buddies out in the Appalachian back country. We ran into some unsavoury redneck types, one of whom challenged me to a banjo showdown. Of course, I threw in some licks that my old mentor Jimi Hendrix had shown me, and the creepy little weirdo had no chance: I was victorious.

Unfortunately, the locals weren’t too happy and we had a bit of a run-in of sorts with ‘em later. It was all fun and games really, and we were on our way home soon enough. But I tell you: just whatever you do, don’t mention piggies to my buddy Bobby!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Black Magic Summer
02. Red Moon Forming
03. Drifting Alone
04. Strike And Disappear
05. Broken Mirror
06. Tyrant On The Throne
07. I Feel No Pain
08. The Bleeding Heart

BAND LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/DUELTEXAS/
https://www.instagram.com/dueltexas/
https://duel3.bandcamp.com/

RECORD LABEL LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/

 

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.