Master Charger – Origin Of The Lugubrious

Master Charger – Origin Of The Lugubrious
Stoned Rocka Recordings
Release Date: 21/08/2020
Running Time: 38:28
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Good afternoon, you heinous hellions and lugubrious Luciferians! I am Dark Juan and this review is brought to you by very little sleep, thanks to the young gentlemen I wrangle for money and a distinct lack of appreciation on their part, and their steadfast refusal to GO TO FUCKING SLEEP, even in the face of my threatening the most dire recriminations (yes, I have a penal Tellytubbies DVD and I am not afraid to deploy it! If they carry on then it’s the Ringo Starr narrated Thomas The Tank Engine and if that does not work then it’s time to freak them the fuck out with Chorlton And The Wheelies) and an amount of caffeine that would make the most extreme coffee enthusiast gasp at the increase in their heart rate, and subsequently I thought it would be a wise and sage idea to commit my somewhat frothing thoughts to the electronic ether before the inevitable and canyon deep emotional crash happens. Welcome to the “sound” (because you’re reading this…) of one slightly deranged man and his collapse into utterly devastating exhaustion.

Every collapse has to have a soundtrack, doesn’t it? Today’s selection for my own personal descent into blessed oblivion is a slightly late entry into the pantheon of my ramblings – the UK’s own groove merchants Master Charger. This bunch of hairy herberts hail from, and I quote, “The blackest heart of the Midlands”, which could range from anywhere from Wolverhampton to Mansfield, frankly. Don’t go there though. There be dragons and a forest in which a man in a strange hat and funny tights runs around robbing the postman and shit with his mates and some bird called Marion.

What do you get for your money with Master Charger, I heard literally no-one apart from the 47 different personalities occupying my head ask? You get some of the filthiest, oil-stained, diesel belching, sludgy stoner metal it has ever been my pleasure to experience. There is not a word to describe the crushing, brow beating heaviness on display. Monolithic is not a big enough word to explain the fucking mahoosive riffs on this record. The riffs are that fucking huge they block out the sun and the overall sound of the record is so expansively huge that it is slightly larger than the known universe – the bass is a ground shaking battlewagon heading straight for the flimsy wooden fence you’re hiding behind, the guitar so sludgy and heavy that every step shakes another organ loose in your already pitifully broken body and the drums…. well, actually the drums are curiously lifeless. Where the rest of the band sound alive and organic (as do the cymbals, which are masterfully produced) the drums sound like someone twatting the taut bottom of one of the false god’s followers with a wet tea towel, but without the enticing squeals. The vocals are another fine point of note – Mr John James (pleasingly alliterative) employing a voice not unlike a more muscular, slightly less whiskey-soaked Spike of The Quireboys. John Jones (still pleasingly alliterative, and no, I’m not going to get bored of it) also is a fucking slamming guitar player, allowing space in the music and his playing to allow the songs to breathe, and more importantly, making them absolutely bastard groovy.

Unlike fellow British stoner stalwarts (pleasingly alliterative) Red Spektor, Master Charger have dialled down the psychedelia in favour of METAL and they have created something dangerous. The record opens with a three-minute groove instrumental which is also the title track, beginning with the sound of the crackling you hear on vinyl records before a slow build-up of wah drenched guitar. Then there is a tumultuous avalanche of sound and you are suddenly picking yourself up from the rubble of what remains of your house. Mrs Dark Juan is not pleased because she did the housework yesterday and now there is brick dust on the antimacassar. Sir Zeusington Zeus VC, KCVG, MM, DFC and Bar, Croix de Guerre is looking plaintively at me because the radiator he was asleep in front of isn’t working anymore and it is all Master Charger’s fault for levelling Dark Juan Terrace.

Second tune in (‘Embers Of The Sun’) we are treated to John James’ (pleasingly alliterative) magnificent howl and the kind of post-Sabbath riffing that makes this hellpriest weep with a strange and unfamiliar feeling called joy. If this song was meant as a statement of intent, then it’s brutally effective. There isn’t a single wasted note in this song. It’s fucking brilliant. And that middle eight, man. It’s like a fucking double time death march to go murder some Nazis, which means it should only be encouraged.

And it’s the same, song after song. Interesting lyrics, the pleasingly alliterative John James’ voice and guitar and the thunderous bass work of Dave Hayes kicking your sorry little arse into the middle of next week and although the drum sound is a little flat, Jon Kirk’s drumming is top fucking notch. I could waste your time and mine going through every song on the record finding new tortured metaphors and superlatives to tell you how great it is, but I’m not gonna. I can sum it up really easily. Although the middle eight of ‘Blood, Sand’ is particularly sexy and deserves your attention. So is ‘Who The Hell Are You’ which has a riff of such majestic prowess it has brought forth a torrent of sex wee the likes of which has been unseen since July. Mrs Dark Juan is now even more unhappy because we are now rendered homeless in a sex wee flood zone because of Master Charger.

Master Charger are fucking brilliant. A band with roots in the classic blues rock of the 60’s and 70’s, coupled in an unholy and possibly illegal and definitely bestial sexual union with groove, stoner rock and heavy fucking metal and the music is the bastard chimera bursting forth into your unsuspecting headspace. How the fuck three men can make a noise this huge will always be a cosmic mystery. Support British metal. Buy this record. Holy fuck, buy this record.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is currently floating on giant fluffy purple clouds of enthusiasm for Master Charger and their sublime take on stoner metal and awards them 10/10. FULL FUCKING MARKS, BOYS, and you have totally fucked up my plans for my top ten of the year!

I need a lie down.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Origin Of The Lugubrious (Damn, I love the word “lugubrious”. It sounds exactly like what it is describing)
02. Embers Of The Sun
03. Blood, Sand
04. Who The Hell Are You
05. Buried By Time And Dust
06. Our Time Has Come
07. Earthbound Hellbound

LINE-UP:
John James (pleasingly alliterative) – Guitar and Vocals
Dave Hayes (disappointingly not alliterative) – Bass
Jon Kirk (also not alliterative, for SHAME!) – Drums

LINKS: (234. Sorry. I couldn’t help myself)

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.

The Gates Of Slumber – Live In Tempe Arizona

The Gates Of Slumber – Live In Tempe Arizona
Self-Released
Release Date: 28/02/2020
Running Time: 37:40
Review by Alun Jones
8/10

Right then, who’s up for some big, fat riffs played at a crawling, slow pace? You know I am. Never more ready. So, let’s plunge in and have a listen to this live opus from The Gates Of Slumber! I can promise you that TGOS not only have one of the best band names ever invented – they also do magnificently heavy, Sabbath influenced doom.

This gig was recorded live at the Clubhouse, in Tempe, Arizona – back in 2011, supporting the mighty Orange Goblin. You can almost feel the heat and smell the beer at the venue on this recording.

Starting out with ‘Bastards Born’, the riff is slow and menacing, with mournful vocals. Second track ‘Ice Worm’ ups the tempo a little, with a chugging groove. The highlight of the album is possibly the gloomy ‘Day Of Farwell’, which is allowed to breathe and sprawl, featuring some spellbinding guitar. ‘Coven Of Cain’ rocks out, before the band slow down to a monolithic pace for ‘The Wretch’.  Moving those stones from South Wales to Salisbury to create Stonehenge was probably faster. Finally, the band are at their most Sabbath with the crunching ‘The Jury’.

Audience reaction is very low in the mix, and the sound is very clear, with no studio or soundboard trickery. What the listener is left with is a very honest representation of The Gates Of Slumber – those guitars and drums are free to go straight for the jugular. It might not be the sort of album that will blow the mind of the casual listener, but for anyone who’s schooled in the melancholy beauty of Saint Vitus and The Obsessed, this is a short but sweet treat.

Will that do for the review, guys? I’m knackered myself after last night. I wasn’t partying with Ozzy and Slash again, honest. I was up all night with Brian May, going on about his bloody astronomy. “Really Brian? That is fascinating. You don’t say? Yawn.” Didn’t get a wink of sleep.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Bastards Born
02. Ice Worm
03. Day Of Farewell
04. Coven Of Cain
05. The Wretch
06. The Jury

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.

EMQ’s with JUNIOR BRUCE

EMQ’s with JUNIOR BRUCE

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Orlando, Florida based Stoner / Sludge / Doom Metal band Junior Bruce. Huge thanks to vocalist Scott Angelacos 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?

My name is Scott. I do all the hollering and provide metal hornz 🤘🏽 for the crowd while the dudes do, whatever it is they do, behind me.

This band started in 2008 with a few friends and the idea of combining Black Flag with Black Sabbath. We have released 2 full lengths and an EP with A389 Records out of Baltimore since then.

How did you come up with your band name?

We were really into bad movies at the time and our guitar player had just bought me Death Race 2000 as a gift. This would be the original from 1975. It’s a horribly awesome and dumb movie with Sylvester Stallone and David Carradine. It is full of these awesome character names like Machine Gun Joe, Matilda the Hun, Lt. Fury, and Junior Bruce.

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

We are from the U.S. Orlando, Florida actually.

Everyone is still staying away from live events. The pandemic has everything shut down and it’s getting very scary for the venues we love and continue to try to support. I hope there is a way for them all to be able to survive these times, but we may be back in the VFW halls or backyards when we get to playing again.

After saying all that sad shit…I can tell you there are a bunch of amazing bands from down here: Holly Hunt, Ether Coven, The Glorious Rebellion, Intoxicated, Horsewhip, and Thunderclap to name just a few.

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

We have a new album coming out via Sludgelord on Halloween. It’s called “Pray For Death”.

‘The Sleeper Awakens’ Single!

Who have been your greatest influences?

Jack Burton and Snake Plissken.

What first got you into music?

I guess first, when I was really young, I found boxes of my father’s records and loved looking at the naked ladies on the Parliament Funkadelic covers. I was like, shit yeah!!…Later, I used to watch my uncle play with his rock band in my Grandmas basement. He would chase me out if I came down (funny cigarettes are not for kids), so I would stand on the steps and bang my head to their classic rock.

My friends and I started a band when I was 14 or 15. It was fucking awful, but I was already hooked.

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

John Carpenter!

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

Stop bringing up shows. you are making me depressed. (Sorry!!!)

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

Has to be a dreadlock. Although I did also get a framed My Little Pony watercolour. So, you decide?

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

I miss your face. Also, support your local music venues however you can. We need them to survive!

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

Dude!! One?? I can’t do just one! Two is as low as I will go. Ronnie James Dio, and Kurt Cobain.

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

I really love creating and preforming. I really hate the frustrations that come with creating and preforming.

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

Not a thing. It’s obviously perfect in every way.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Pink Floyd – “Obscured By Clouds”.

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

Vinyl…remember the Parliament Funkadelic record??

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

Quite honestly, I really can’t pick, but maybe Maryland Death Fest, or playing with Pentagram with our original drummer Tanner before he passed (RIP).

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

Smoking weed…well, I still smoke weed, but I would continue to too.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Here’s a list and what I expect them to bring:
Tom Petty – Ambrosia salad
Tom Araya – Flank steak with chimichurri sauce.
Tom Jones – Beer
Tommy Chong – Brownies
Tom Selleck – Macaroni

What’s next for your band?

We are going to do some videos from the studio and hopefully a livestream or ten until we can play shows again.

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

www.facebook.com/juniorbrucerocks/
www.instagram.com/juniorbrucemetal

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Uh…cake is kinda in the name there bro…Orange for me. I hate the raspberry ones. Also, please explain the difference between a biscuit and a cookie?

(Answer – In the UK both biscuits and cookies are sweet. Biscuits are hard and crunchy and cookies are softer and slightly doughier, although I’m sure there are regional differences, like there are with bread rolls…and that’s a completely different question – Rick, Editor 😊)

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

Thanks so much for taking the time to check us out!

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 RITUAL EARTH

EMQ’s with RITUAL EARTH

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Philadelphia, PA based Space Doom Stoner Metal band Ritual Earth. Huge thanks to drummer Chris Turek and vocalist George Chamberlin 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?

Chris: I am Chris from Ritual Earth and I smash drums. Ritual Earth evolved from the ashes of our previous band Chimpgrinder. As we developed a more progressive style, George joined on vocals to compliment the band, and we needed a new name, but continued and expanded the ethos of our prior writing subjects.

George: I’m George, I sing. I recall listening to Chimpgrinder’s “Simian Space King” and thinking how much I’d love to add melodic vocals over something similar to that. A year later, they wrote me on Facebook based off a recommendation from Erik Caplan of Thunderbird Divine. We’ve been Ritual Earth now since March-ish of 2018.

How did you come up with your band name?

Chris: Ritual Earth evokes the tribal and rhythm depths of space and time.

George: Our bass player, Chris Scott had originally come up with it. There was a combination of ideas as to what it represented, tying in previous lyrical themes with the new evolution of music and storytelling we were developing.

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

Chris: We reside in the greater Philadelphia area. Prior to Covid we had a decent local scene, a nice collective of local bands, and touring bands.

George: There are so many great bands in the Philly area as well as venues to choose from. Philly is also a hot spot for touring bands, being between NYC and Baltimore or DC, so a lot of bigger bands come through which helps our local scene out tremendously. There is also a really strong punk rock to metal or doom crossover here as well. It’s not uncommon to meet someone at a doom show only to realize ya met before 10 or 15 years ago at a warehouse punk rock squat.

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

Chris: Our latest is an independently recorded and released full length album titled “MMXX”.  Available September 1, 2020 at

https://ritualearth.bandcamp.com/

Who have been your greatest influences?

Chris: You name it, I am influenced by everything, for drums, Don Brewer from early Grand Funk days, Rich Hoak is a drumming hero, and the obvious choices, Bonham, Ward, Baker, Mitch Mitchel, Krupa, etc…

George: Vocally speaking, Ozzy and Chris Cornell are the two big ones that have stuck with me. When I was younger, regardless of how heavy the music was, I always gravitated towards the more melodic singers of their respected genres; Joey Belladonna, Bobby Blitz Ellsworth, Eric Wagner, John Garcia, Eddie Sutton, hell even Vince Neil to name a few. I am also a huge Voivod fan and occasionally I do hear a Snake influence on my vocals as well if not lyrically.

What first got you into music?

Chris: Back in the day, a ZZ Top tape and a Walkman. It’s just grown from there.

George: Music was in my life at an early age. My mother sang in a country band when I was very young, so I grew up thinking that music is just something that what we did. What really hit me though was listening to the Misfits for the first time and watching that “Why Be Something You’re Not” videotape. All of that energy and tension with the band and crowd, that’s when I realized this is what I really wanted to do.

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

Chris: For this record we collaborated by introducing keys by Mark Boyce, I would love to do that again and record and develop something really crazy.

George: I always wished I could’ve taken part in one of the Desert Sessions, just seems like a great time and a lot of creativity going on. That being said, I’d love to see or do something similar with any of our local musicians or bands here in the Philly area.

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

Chris: Wacken of course. Does it really need explanation?

George: Psycho Las Vegas, it just sounds like an adventure.

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

George: Nothing weird or crazy for me, there was one time someone came to a show and gave me a shirt from my very first band because I had said to a mutual friend that I didn’t have one. I thought that was pretty cool.

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

Chris: Share our music, give it away, spread the word!

George: Music is an art, and a very personal one at that. There is no right or wrong way to go about it.

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

George: I’m not sure I’d want to bring anyone back as I fear it could ruin their legacy, but if I had to choose, I think it’d have to be Randy Rhoades. I’m betting the Ozzy output would have remained consistently stellar and I’d be very curious to see what else Randy could do with a guitar.

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

Chris: When you’re playing music, nothing else exists. There is nothing to hate about being a musician.

George: Most, that feeling you get when the band is performing, and everyone locks in and you start to flow together and become one supernatural unit. There is no drug that can give you that feeling. Hate? I dunno, hate’s a strong word. I think what I dislike the most is when our craft isn’t respected.

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

Chris: Find the next Led Zeppelin! We need some big talented bands heard again.

George: One thing…I just wish the motivation 100% of the time was for the love of music, nothing more.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Chris: I can’t speak for the others in the band, and hard to pick favourites, but Brutal Truth’s “Sounds Of The Animal Kingdom” never lets me down.

George: Soundgarden – “Badmotorfinger”

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

Chris: I really like Vinyl, but digital is an obvious choice for ease of consumption.

George: Vinyl sounds the best and it will always remind me of being a kid and going through a layout looking at the pictures, reading the lyrics and notes as the record spins. I feel there is a special connection to a record and band when you have a physical format that a digital download just doesn’t offer. Digital however is easier to travel with, but that’s where it ends for me.

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

Chris: I like any gig where we can be loud and make noise. Playing shows with heroes and legends like Corrosion of Conformity, or Wino is always great.

George: The last Ritual Earth show at Century Bar in Philly. It was where everything clicked before we started to record, everything really felt right, we were tight as shit and confidence was at an all-time high. I felt that our set that night was flawless, everything and everyone was “on”.

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

Chris: I would be an astronaut, space explorer, surfing the waves of mental impulse and floating further away from myself.

George: I’d probably be playing more “dad softball”, haha. I will say though, playing music keeps me feeling young.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Chris: No one, I prefer to be a hermit in the mountains or the solitude of outer space.

George: Bret Hart, Randall Cunningham, Henry Rollins, Gary Oldman and Jon Stewart.

What’s next for the band?

Chris: Hunker down and lock into more writing until things open up again.

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

www.ritualearth.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/RitualEarthDoom/
www.instagram.com/ritualearthdoom/

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Chris: What the hell are Jaffa cakes?

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

Chris: Spread the word, Ritual Fucking Earth!

George: Thank you for all that you do!

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 MOTHS

EMQ’s with MOTHS

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with San Juan, Puerto Rico based Stoner/Progressive Metal band MOTHS. Huge thanks to bassist Weslie Negrón 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 Weslie Negrón, bass player for Moths. The band started with an idea to make more challenging music for myself. Previous to Moths I was playing in a Death/Thrash Metal band and I’ve never been particularly a fan of any those genres. Though I owe that band most of the experience I have today, I wanted to try something different music-wise and that’s when I got in contact with Jonathan (Lead Guitar) whom got in contact with Omar (Rhythm Guitar) and we started jamming and we came up with ideas fairly quickly actually. After that Damaris (Vocals) and Danny (Drums) joined the band later and we got to record our first EP “MOTHS”, which came out in 2018 and had a great reception from the press, being reviewed by the likes of Bandcamp, Heavy Blog is Heavy!, and more. We also got to do a mini run of shows in the US Mainland in 2019.

How did you come up with your band name?

I’m a huge fan of the band The Ocean Collective and they have a track called “The Metaphysics of the Hangman”, which is a name that I really liked to name a band after. I remember writing the acronym “M.O.T.H.” on a piece of paper to start organizing ideas and that’s when I noticed that the word “MOTH” was formed, and I wondered if any other band had the name. Of course, there like 100 bands that a variety or form of “moth” as part of their name, so I just added the letter “s” and that was that.

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

We’re from San Juan, Puerto Rico. We have a solid, active Metal scene over here that has been running since the late 80’s. The best thing about the scene here is that we have everything for everyone. If you want Death Metal, we have a Death Metal band, if you want Black Metal, we have a Black Metal band, and so on. I really invite people to check the Puerto Rican Metal scene starting with bands like Fullminator, Calamity, Ritual Kannabis, Paricia’s Patience, Omnifariam, Avandra, a bit of everything for everyone.

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

As I mentioned before, we released our self-titled EP “MOTHS” in November 2018. The EP consists of three original tracks and a cover of King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man”. I believe this EP is a good introduction to the music that we play and where we’re headed to. A mix of Progressive, Stoner, Doom, and even Jazz here and there.

Moths – Lepidoptera (Official Audio)

Who have been your greatest influences?

As a band we don’t really have established influences, everyone in the band listens to a variety of different music which we all bring to the table whenever we sit to write new music. Personally, bands like Opeth, Porcupine Tree, and Black Sabbath are some of my main influences and usually bands that I look after if I’m going through a mental block and want to create something.

What first got you into music?

The first band that got me into Metal/Rock and maybe music in general was Linkin Park. I was 10 years old when I heard them for the first time, and I was completely blown away with Chester’s vocals and the overall aesthetics of the band. After that, and growing in the early 2000’s, I went through the “emo phase” listening to bands like My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, and all that. Later a friend of mine introduced me to all the classics, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Anthrax, etc. and I was hooked, and the rest is history.

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

I got to say that I’ve always loved the idea of having Steven Wilson working on any album that we make, either as a producer, mixer, anything at all. I think it would be very interesting knowing his perspective about our music. Also, someone like Josh Homme or maybe even Dave Grohl would be very interesting as well. As an Opeth fanboy, having some involvement with Mikael Akerfeldt would be awesome as well. There are so many great, talented people out there that I would love to work with.

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

I believe that we would somehow be a good fit in a festival like Roadburn festival or even Psycho Las Vegas. Though they have varied a bit more in the past few years, I think that we can blend in with the rest of the bill that these festivals tend to curate. Honestly, Roadburn would be a dream, just being able to travel to the Netherlands and be surrounded with the top bands in the genre would be such an honour for us.

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

I don’t think we’ve ever received any gifts from fans yet. If you want to give us something, please, don’t make it weird (laughs).

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

I’ve always been thankful of anyone that takes a bit of their time to press play on music that we’ve created. With the infinity of entertainment options that are out there, the fact that they choose to press play on any of our songs it’s something that really means a lot to us, so I would say “Thank you!”

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

I guess that the answer to this question is between Freddie Mercury and Richard Wright. Freddie because I think that listening to his voice live must be an out of this world experience. With Richard Wright it would be to have the original Pink Floyd be reunited once more and maybe witness them playing, I don’t know, The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here back to back? I’m sure that would’ve been a cathartic experience.

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

I like creating soundscapes and being able to share ideas with other equally or more talented people. It’s always fun to learn the different ways and musical perspective of other musicians, it’s fun. I don’t think I “hate” anything about being a musician, though I would love for the gear to carry itself into and out of the stage on every live show (laughs).

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

The streaming royalty rates. The actual major consumption of music is through streaming and not even big-name artists are being compensated well enough to be able to make a living from their own songs. These companies should reconsider what they pay to the artists in order for it to be balanced and equal for everyone. I’m not again streaming at all, actually It is also the main way I consume music, but artists have been feeding the pockets of these companies for a long time and we’re not saying the same fair response back.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Oh man there are so many, but I would say that my all-time favourite album is Ayreon’s “The Human Equation”, a Metal Opera that has people like James LaBrie, Devin Townsend, Mikael Akerfeldt in the same album. If you haven’t checked that album, make sure you do so, you won’t regret it.

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

I grew up listening to CD’s and MP3’s, so I guess I would lean towards the comfort and practical aspects of these mediums. If we talk quality, it’s between a CD’s or Vinyl. CD’s has been mentioned twice, so I would go with CD’s. But it really doesn’t matter to me as long as the recording sounds good.

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

I’ve had so many good gigs that I’m thankful for having the chance to have played with. I had the opportunity to open for Metallica with my old band back in 2016, that was something else. With Moths I would say that our mini tour around the US Mainland was fun and full of energy, we weren’t really sure what was going to be the reaction from the audience, and we were able to get a lot of thumbs up after our sets.

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

Maybe something related to the Music Business industry. I love networking and getting to know different aspects of the Industry, especially when it has to do with Metal. I also find that working at the post office must be very interesting.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Man, I think it would be fun to be in the same room with Mikael Akerfeldt, Steven Wilson, Jonas Renkse, Devin Townsend, and Troy Sanders. I believe that some laughs and very interesting topics of conversation can be had with these guys.

What’s next for the band?

We have a Split album coming up with our friends from The Stone Eye from Philadelphia, which will be out on August 21st. Both bands will release one original track and we will releasing our arrangement of Black Sabbath’s “Hand of Doom” while The Stone Eye will release their cover of the classic American folk tune “Wayfaring Stranger”.

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

You can follow Moths in the following Social Media platforms:
www.mothspr.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/MOTHSPR/
www.instagram.com/moths_pr/
www.twitter.com/MOTHS_PR
www.youtube.com/channel/UCJnO5Yhow2zDxFUiZzazpkQ

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I have no idea what Jaffa Cakes are, but you should try some Mofongo if you haven’t (laughs).

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?Thank you for the interest and the chance of having us at Ever-Metal. We can’t wait for this whole pandemic thing to end so we can go back and play live with you guys. Make sure you check our EP “MOTHS” out while you wait for the Split and, again, thank you for all of your support

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.

Desert Storm – Omens

Desert Storm – Omens
APF Records
Release Date: 01/05/2020
Running Time: 39:46
Review by Alun Jones
9.5/10

Put your feet up, relax – pour yourself a drink and take the weight off your feet. All you need to do is chill – I’ve already done the hard work. I’ve found your new favourite band: they’re called Desert Storm, and their latest album has just been released by APF records.

If you’re new to the name, Desert Storm are from merry old Oxford; and since forming in 2007, have been building their following formidably. They’ve appeared at major rock festivals; plus supported and toured with some personal heroes of mine (Corrosion of Conformity, The Atomic Bitchwax amongst others). I saw Desert Storm a few years ago supporting the mighty Karma to Burn; they managed to steal the show from the headliners, as far as I was concerned.

Opening with a sombre, haunting spoken word piece, “Omens” proceeds to take the listener on a journey that is powerful, yet also introspective. It’s an otherworldly trip that’s both visceral and immediate, but also demands greater exploration.

‘Black Bile’ demonstrates the strategy perfectly: heavy, grinding and relentless – with moments of melody that blend into the whole without jarring. In absolute basics, this is the sludge of Down combined with the aspirational progressiveness of Mastodon. Thudding, head banging riffs adorn ‘Vengeful Gods’, but there’s also an almost Morricone-like cinematic sensation as the song develops and grows.

At times anthemic, there are also magnificently effective sections of the songs that contrast beautifully with the hard driving doom metal.  ‘Pain, Grief And Suffering’ features an extended mid-section that is beguilingly serene. When the heavy re-enters, it’s all the more neck-breakingly persuasive. Throw in a captivating solo and you’re on to a highlight.

‘The Path Of Most Resistance’ builds from humble beginnings to a massive groove riff of Sabbathian splendour; whilst ‘Lockjaw’ is short and brutal. This leads us to the final track, ‘Rebirth’: a masterpiece that is heavy only in sentiment. What a song. Despite a medieval vibe, it’s the ideal soundtrack to spin whilst driving through the desert in a stolen Dodge Challenger as the sun sets, with Smokey on your tail.

Every song on “Omens” can be enjoyed on its own merits, but as a whole plays as a genuine compendium that the listener can enjoy from start to finish. I knew Desert Storm were good, but I didn’t expect them to have grown so much. Or deliver a new album with so much scope. Here’s a British band that could step up into national – and then international – consciousness. They just need your support. Do it. I’m off to buy the vinyl version.

Talking about deserts – did I tell you about that infamous escapade on one of my legendary soul-searching soirees into the Mojave? I crept into my usual cave to seek shelter, only to encounter Jim bloody Morrison hogging it. He was out of his gourd on peyote and mumbling about Aldous Huxley or some such. There was no way I could meditate with that loon around, so I threw him out. Break through that to the other side, Jimbo! My Yaqui shaman and I needed the space to contact Atlantis.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Omens
02. Black Bile
03. Vengeful Gods
04. Pain, Grief and Suffering
05. The Path Of Most Resistance
06. The Machine
07. Lockjaw
08. Rebirth

LINE-UP:
Chris White – Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Ryan Cole – Guitar
Chris Benoist – Bass
Elliot Cole – Drums
Matthew Ryan – Vocals

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/desertstormuk/
www.desertstorm.bandcamp.com/
www.twitter.com/desertstormuk
www.instagram.com/desertstormuk/
www.facebook.com/apfrecords/
www.apfrecords.bandcamp.com/
www.apfrecords.co.uk/

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 MNRVA

01 MNRVA Logo

EMQ’s with MNRVA

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Columbia, SC based Doom/Stoner/Sludge Metal band MNRVA! Huge thanks to Vocalist/Guitarist Byron Hawk 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?

Byron Hawk, I play guitar and sing. We started in the summer of 2018. We wanted to do something sludgy and mid-slow tempo so started out with a few covers of Melvins, Witchthroat Serpent, and Bereft (WI) and then jumped right into working on our own songs. They started coming out with a little 80’s prog, a little 90’s sludge, and a little 2000’s metal, so we just ran with it. Not as bluesy as a lot of stoner rock today, but definitely heavy.

How did you come up with your band name?

Gina, our drummer, wanted to use Owl of Minerva, but there is already a band with that name, and there are a number of bands called Minerva too, so we just stripped it down to MNRVA. Something about the goddess of both wisdom and war fits our vibe I think. The stripped down version is pretty identifiable too so it works well. We’ve had it long enough already that it feels right.

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

We’re a US band, so the scene overall in the country is good, but differs a lot with region and city. We live in the South-eastern part of the country, so most big tours come through the region either in major cities like Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC, or smaller cities like Charleston, SC and Asheville, NC. We live in Columbia, SC, which is the state capital. There is a really good small scene here and it’s close to many other mid-large sized cities to play gigs. The music scene in Columbia is a network of smaller genre-specific scenes across 4-5 venues and we tend to stay connected to those both in terms of playing and attending shows.

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

We are preparing to release an EP called “Black Sky” on October 4th from a recording session earlier in the year. We’ll be releasing it through Bandcamp and then preparing to release a full record in early 2020. We’ve also got a video in the planning stages, but waiting to put out any specifics about it other than it will be a song from the EP called ‘Not The One’.

Who have been your greatest influences?

This is a tough one. I’ve listened to a lot of music for a long time. As far as more classic 80’s doom goes, I’d have to say Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, and even Fates Warning. Too many artists from the 90’s influenced how I write and play, but I’d say Melvins for sludgy guitar tone and just general attack of the instrument. In the 00’s I listened to a lot of Deftones and A Perfect Circle, both have really influenced my songwriting. In this decade I might say Mastodon—great sound, playing, and songwriting. Their vocal approach influences MNRVA a lot I think. Kevin, our bassist, and I share vocal duties and we try to play off of each other like they do. But even all of this seems like a limited list. I listen to a lot of stuff across a number of genres from blackened doom to experimental noise.

What first got you into music?

Seeing friends play and thinking I could do it too. I grew up in Texas and historically there has been a great music scene there. Getting into that and having a community around music was a huge draw as well.

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

Chino Moreno of Deftones seems pretty successful with all of his collaborations, so I might put him at the top of the list. Would love to write riffs with him and hear his voice over them. Guitar-wise it would be super cool to play with Jim Matheos of Fates Warning. I think his musical sensibility would be great to write with and learn from. Who would I want to get on stage with and bang out some songs? Refused would be fun.

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

Another tough question, since there are so many great ones. We’re definitely interested in playing the Maryland Doomfest at some point, but I’d also really like to play Keep It True or Hammer of Doom over in Germany. Was always a fan of many German bands and they of course have a great scene and tradition there.

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

I did a lot of music trading back in the day so lots of tapes, CDs, stickers, zines, and shirts, but nothing particularly weird.

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

Come see us live if you get the chance!

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

If it is only one, I’d have to say Hendrix. Everything fuzz or distortion-related today goes back to him both in terms of playing and tone. There is no way we’d have the sounds we do today without him. Would love to see what else he could have done with a longer career.

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

I love the creativity. Writing songs and developing the music I hear in my head is tops for me. Also just expressing myself through music and performing those songs live. I’d probably say I hate carrying equipment the most.

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

I wish there were a better, more sustainable way to make a living as an artist, just across the board. This isn’t a knock on labels or downloading or anything in particular. It’s always been difficult, especially in the US, to survive as an artist. The world would have a lot more great music with more support.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Going out on a limb I’d say Fear Factory’s “Digimortal”. Probably not even their favourite record of theirs, but I think that one slays top to bottom. Great songwriting, great sound, super heavy and intense! Metal all the way. I used to listen to that one on a loop, and did so for a long time.

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

Might be out of fashion for the moment, but I’m still a fan of CD’s. I like vinyl, but don’t collect it. Gina, our drummer, is a huge vinyl collector. I’m still not sure what the draw is to go back to cassettes, but there is room in music for all of the above. Bring ‘em on.

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

For me personally that’s a tough one. Back in the day I was in a band called Arcane and we played shows with Watchtower, Solitude Aeturnus, Fates Warning, Sanctuary, and one with Death Angel and Forbidden. Those were good times and great shows. For MNRVA, I’d say our last local show in Columbia. Our sound is really coming together and getting dialled in and feels good when all of that happens live.

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

Trying to figure out how to be a musician!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Outside of music, I’d love to get five modern artists together and just talk about making art and creativity in general. People like Pollock and Jasper Johns from the US, and maybe Duchamp, Dali, and Matisse. Creativity cuts across mode and genre and it would be super interesting to hear this diverse group of artists talk about their methods of production and theories of creativity, figure out what might be common across them, and then maybe also common to making music.

What’s next for the band?

Working on a video with a local filmmaker here in Columbia, preparing for the EP release and show, and then shopping the full record around for a record label. We are hoping to get the record a wider circulation and then turning that into some festival shows.

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

Right now we primarily use Facebook, but will be releasing our EP via Bandcamp. That seems to be the best site at this point. It’s a great network and easily allows fans to buy and download directly.
https://www.facebook.com/mnrvasc/

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

No idea. Had to look it up! I’m gonna go out on a limb and say biscuit. But in the US we call them cookies. Definitely looks like a cookie to me.

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

Come check out MNRVA on Bandcamp after October 4th 2019 and give our new EP a listen!
https://mnrva.bandcamp.com/

 

02 MNRVA band photo

 

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 both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.