Various Artists – Live In The Mojave Desert – Volumes 1-5

Various Artists - Live In The Mojave Desert - Volumes 1-5

Various Artists – Live In The Mojave Desert
Heavy Psych Sounds
Volumes 1-5
Review by: Alun Jones

Hi everyone, it’s Rick. Before I hand you over to Alun I wanted to give you just a little extra background on these releases. All of these performances were a partnership between the California Desert Wizard Association and, in Europe, Heavy Psych Sounds to bring you a series of world-premiere 1080p HD livestream concerts that would subsequently be released as digipak and vinyl versions. All performances were recorded in 24 track ProTools and inspired by Pink Floyd’s 1972 Concert Documentary, “Live At Pompeii”!

Hello there! Remember me? It’s me, that bloke who occasionally reviews albums for Ever Metal and spins ropey old yarns about rock’n’roll. Yeah, him. Sorry I’ve been absent for a while, had a few things on my all-you-can-eat buffet plate recently. More about that another time (if the lawyers allow me). For now, recline in your favourite easy chair, and let’s review. Are you with me? Good.

Right then, bit of a mammoth task, this one. “Live In The Mojave Desert” is actually a series of five albums, each recorded live (of course) amongst the sand and rocks of the Californian desert. It’s probably like Star Trek, when Kirk and crew are roaming around the cliffs and valleys – but in the dark, and with guitars and lights and stuff – and no one dies (hopefully).

Earthless, Live In The Mojave Desert Vol.1 Cover

Volume 1: Earthless
Release Date: 02/04/2021
Running Time: 77:00
9/10

Up first in my sequence of albums is the legendary Earthless, a band who should need no introduction. I listened to their offering whilst on a trip to North Wales; sadly, the surf was flat, but the sonic musings of this three piece fitted perfectly with the rolling roads between green valleys and big skies. In the land of druids and standing stones, witches and warriors, this was a perfect soundtrack. The songs are a journey in themselves, awash with psychedelic Hendrix style explorations. Only three songs, but they’re plenty lengthy and offer huge scope. It’s actually quite beautiful.

Nebula, Live In The Mojave Desert Vol.2 Cover

Volume 2: Nebula
Release Date: 09/04/2021
Running Time: 48:05
8/10

An offering in this series from my old buddies Nebula was very welcome, their brand of psych drenched sci-fi hard rock being something I’m somewhat partial to. This is the album with the most obviously “live” feel – not that it’s sloppy at all, the very occasional tiny imperfections and wall of fuzz give a genuine and celebratory vibe. Opening track ‘To The Centre’ is a feedback drenched, blistering explosion. ‘Giant’ is another standout track with a bouncing, crazy gonzo riff.

Spirit Mother, Live In The Mojave Desert Vol.3

Volume 3: Spirit Mother
Release Date: 16/04/2021
Running Time: 33:20
8.5/10

Spirit Mother are another band I’ve not heard before, and they were a real surprise. Their first song, ‘Tonic (Exodus Inc)’ is straight off the soundtrack of some forgotten Italian/Turkish 1970s’ horror movie. The band take the standard desert/doom rock and add violin, and everything veers off in a totally unexpected direction. From mournful 70’s rock on “Ether” to creating their own genre of gothic Spaghetti Western (“Dead Cells”), it’s like Morricone on peyote orchestrating The Exorcist.  Strangely beguiling.

Stöner, Live In The Mojave Desert Vol.4 Cover

Volume 4: Stöner
Release Date: 27/04/2021
Running Time: 46:33
9/10

Next on the list was the debut release of Stöner, the very aptly named stoner rock “supergroup” which features Brant Bjork (Kyuss, Fu Manchu, solo etc) and Nick Oliveri (Kyuss, QOTSA, Mondo Generator etc etc). With Brant’s drummer, Ryan Güt whacking the tubs. As a fan of these rogues’ other bands, I was definitely curious about this release. No fear here: this is exactly what I hoped it would be: desert rock royalty. ‘Rad Is Rad’ features a relentless, rolling bassline that drags the listener along on a head-nodding journey whilst Brant croons in his laid-back manner. The big, groovy bass continues in ‘The Older Kids’, and the tracks develop a trancelike vibe as it progresses. And strap yourself in for the final song, ‘Tribe/Fly Girl’ – over 13 minutes that will melt your eyeballs. Definitive.

Mountain Tamer, Live In The Mojave Desert Vol.5 Cover

Volume 5: Mountain Tamer
Release Date:09/05/2021
Running Time: 36:05
8/10

The album I listened to last in the collection was Mountain Tamer, a band I wasn’t familiar with previously, but a cool name. And a cool name goes a long way with me. The Mountain Tamer sound is raw and in-your-face, with mighty, meaty riffs that clunk around in full-on doom style. There’s also a mind expanding, trippy element to their music, leaving me with the impression of Black Flag in a collision with Hawkwind. This unique approach is best exemplified by stand out tracks ‘Black Noise’ and ‘Scorched Earth’, but it’s all damn fine.

That’s it: five albums, five bands, and a mind-blowing excursion into the remote desert valleys. Whether showcasing how it should be done, or abducting the listener in a smoke-filled UFO to be probed in new realms, these live collections are a trip.

TRACKLISTINGS:
Earthless – Live In The Mojave Desert: Volume 1
01. Violence Of The Red Sea
02. Sonic Prayer
03. Lost In The Cold Sun

Nebula – Live In The Mojave Desert: Volume 2
01. To The Center
02. Man’s Best Friend
03. Giant
04. Clear Light
05. Highwire
06. Wall Of Confusion
07. Tomorrow Never Comes
08. Let’s Get Lost
09. Messiah
10. Perfect Rapture

Spirit Mother – Live In The Mojave Desert: Volume 3
01. Tonic (Exodus Inc)
02. Ether
03. Go Getter
04. My Head Is Sinking
05. Martyrs
06. Premonitions
07. Dead Cells
08. Black Sheep
09. Space Cadets

10. Heathens

Stöner – Live In The Mojave Desert: Volume 4
01. Rad Stays Rad
02. The Older Kids
03. Own Yer Blues
04. Nothin’
05. Evel Never Dies
06. Stand Down
07. Tribe/Fly Girl

Mountain Tamer – Live In The Mojave Desert: Volume 5
01. Warlock
02. Turoc Maximus Antonis
03. Chained
04. Death In The Woods
05. Black Noise
06. Funeral Of A Dog
07. Living In Vain
08. Scorched Earth

LINKS:
Earthless:

Nebula:

Spirit Mother:

Stöner:

Mountain Tamer:

Heavy Psych Sounds:

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 Shi – 死

Shi logo

EMQ’s with Shi – 死

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview, with Louisville, Kentucky based Depressive Suicidal Stoner Doom band, Shi – 死. Huge thanks to guitarist/vocalist, Bael, 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?

Howdy! I’m Bael and I play guitar and do vocals for Shi. We are a Depressive Suicidal Stoner Doom band from Louisville, KY. We’ve been playing together for I think just over 5 years now, with our current sound really coalescing about 2-3 years ago.

How did you come up with your band name?

I took 3 years of Japanese in High School, and was trying to figure a way to incorporate the language into musical projects before the band formed. Shi translates to “death”, and it felt fitting for a metal/doom band. I’d be lying if I said the name hasn’t provided some challenges, but we’ve all grown to dig it.

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

Louisville, KY is a little bit of an odd spot. It’s too north to be southern, but a bit too southern to be northern. We’ve got a little bit of that midwestern air about us as well…it’s a weird city for sure. However, we’ve got a great music scene with tons of talented bands (Blind Scryer, Prayer Line, Volcandra, Bad Wires, the list goes on and on)

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

We have a new album coming out on October 15th, “Basement Wizard”, and we just put out the first single, ‘Rehash’, on Spotify for streaming right now!

‘Rehash’

Who have been your greatest influences?

So, each of us pull a bit of varied influence as players and have pretty wide tastes, but for this particular band it’s other rad doom bands. Weedeater, Church of Misery, Bongzilla, and of course Black Sabbath are all big ones for us. We all also really like classic rock stuff, so some of that comes out in our songwriting when we get together.

What first got you into music?

For me, as far as actually playing music, it was just what another friend wanted to do. We were in middle school and he was going to pick up the drums. I wanted to basically do anything he did, and he already knew a guitarist, so I said I’d learn bass so I could be in a band with them. Eventually started playing guitar myself as well.

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

Really any of the aforementioned influences would be incredible! We also would love to branch out and get a little more out there, so being able to work with instrumentalists or performers from other genres would be neat. We just like to play, have fun, and see what comes of it.

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

Psycho Las Vegas and Muddy Roots both jump to mind as far as larger fests, but any of the Doomed and Stoned fests around would be super cool. Getting to play over in Japan or Europe would be awesome as well!

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

I don’t know if we’ve ever received a gift from a fan….especially not one that would be considered weird!

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

Keep on keeping on.

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

Freddie Mercury, for sure.

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

It’s kinda liberating putting yourself out there creatively, but at the same time it’s terrifying. Not knowing how folks might react to your work is really the double edged sword of it all, isn’t it!

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

I really don’t know…my gut reaction would be to go back closer to where there were talent scouts and labels were proactively out looking for talent to sign and support, but that also leads to a lot of predatory practices. It seems like moving away from that has given artists and creatives more autonomy, and the advent of technology and digital distribution allows smaller independents to put their material out there more easily and widely than ever before.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”. I’ve listened to it countless times, and it never really gets old. A true masterpiece! Although, my Last.FM account says that the Jesus Christ Superstar ’96 London Studio Cast is my most listened to album since I’ve been scrobbling through there.

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

Each serves their own purpose. I wouldn’t say any single one is best! I mostly listen to streams/digital these days but that’s just for ease of access at work.

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

That’s probably a toss-up between our first album release show in January of 2020, and the Louisville is Dead fest from 2019. Both were wild times with lots of friends.

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

Probably all the things I currently do outside of music; Twitch streaming, watching movies, being a boring old person!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I’m way too introverted to want to host a dinner party…I’d just leave that up to the others!

What’s next for the band?

Putting out this album on October 15th, and then playing the album release show the next night on October 16th at our home base Mag Bar here in town!

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

You can basically find us everywhere by searching ShiLouisville!
www.facebook.com/shilouisville/
www.instagram.com/shilouisville/
www.shilouisville.bandcamp.com/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/4meXIy0Tw9Ag5yY32lKiB2

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I’ve never had them, but now I know what I’m gonna search for next time I’m at an international market!

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

We super appreciate you allowing us to fill this out, and hope you enjoy the new tunes! Be well, y’all.

Shi Promo Pic (Credit JPF Designs)
Photo Credit – JPF Designs

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.

Hippie Death Cult – Circle Of Days

Circle Of Days Album Cover Art

Hippie Death Cult – Circle Of Days
Heavy Psych Sounds
Release Date: 21/05/2021
Running Time: 37:15
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Hello, dear children of the night, who, like me, are probably vastly overheated and cranky, as summer stubbornly persists over northern England, and doesn’t appear to be going away after a couple of days like it normally does, to be replaced by the iron grey skies and stair rods of driving rain that we are used to, and at the moment would frankly welcome. I have a tan! I haven’t had a fucking tan since 1996 and now my beautiful alabaster skin has a definite brown tinge to it and my goff credentials are utterly ruined forever. No more can I mock goths in hot weather, knowing that secretly I am one (for the record I am currently seated in the lounge at Dark Juan Terrace, clad in black Vans, black denim cut off shorts and black St. Pauli totenkopf t-shirt) of the pale revenants of the night. Instead, I have a “healthy glow” and I want no part of it!

I am instead consoling myself with gallons of iced cider and the latest offering to the altar of Ever-Metal.com from the excellently named Hippie Death Cult of Portland, Oregon. That is in the United States of America, if your geography is as poor as some of the young gentlemen in my charge at my other job. One of them pointed at India the other day and was absolutely convinced it was France and wouldn’t be told otherwise until I showed him the Channel fucking Tunnel and that it came out at Calais and not fucking Chennai.

In other news, briefly, Field Marshal and our Great Leader Rick “Don’t Try Sucking Up To Me, It Won’t Get You Anywhere, You Shocking Tart” Tilley fielded some enquiries about just what it is Mrs. Dark Juan creates while I write this nonsense. I sent him a picture of her latest creation and now he is traumatized (completely and utterly – Rick). However, Anabelle from Cradle Of Filth seems quite taken by it so as far as I’m concerned, it’s all gravy. Mrs. Dark Juan is now currently making fingers(!) while listening to some form of baroque ghost story. Her psyche is absolutely shot to fuck with a constant diet of horror films, M.R. James stories and the darkest imagination for creations I have ever known…

Oh yeah, music review…

Hippie Death Cult – Oregonian, as I believe I have already said. I’m sorry. I’m a bit hungover after the wicked strength lager I drank last night. HDC are really a quite interesting band who have taken the sounds and expansiveness of progressive music and melded them to a combination of the grittiness of classic rock sensibilities and the fuzz overdrive of doom and stoner. The result is rather extraordinary, being fuzzy and slow enough to please the doomsters, yet offering some absolutely incredible riffing and pounding heavy metal to entertain the mainstream crowd, and also having a lovely touch of exploratory madness to lift the music from the mundane or the repetitive. In short, It’s fair to say it’s fucking brilliant and I am a massive fan after this, their sophomore effort.

The sound is extremely cohesive, the mix solid and the production clear and legible, even if the snare drum is lacking some punch. The bass is clearly and cleanly heard and the guitar snarls and roars with a real classic rock sound. As an experiment, I bought some proper old 70’s cans from my mate Tony and played this record back-to-back through them, to compare them to the headphones I normally use. Hippie Death Cult sound absolutely fucking huge through the older phones and merely competent (production wise, this is) through the newer ones. Therefore, I am junking the newer ones immediately.

The opening song on the record is called ‘Red Meat Tricks’ and sets a tone that just begs you to listen more, melding classic rock vibes with progressive elements and some glorious coruscating riffs and solos including a scale in the middle eight that just made me wet my pants with sex wee excitement. Guitar and bass are both used as lead instruments and this offers even more interest on a song that beguiles as well as slays. The second song is entitled ‘Hornet Party’ and the chord medley at the start of the tune immediately just says ‘Seasons In The Abyss’ and Slayer to me, before blasting into the ionosphere with some speedily concussive metal, being sinuously wrapped around by that chord medley. The song as a whole reminds this metal loving idiot of a mix of Slayer and ‘Hooker With A Penis’ era Tool, and let’s be honest that’s a fucking great thing – Tool and Slayer are two of the greatest exponents of their art there are.

Track three, ‘Walk Within’, is where we diverge from the more metal elements of the music and has piano and clean, fingerpicked guitar and a dreamy, ethereal vocal line with a much more proggy sound – it kind of reminds me of a less folky Blood Ceremony throughout the song, until it ends with a huge, dissonant crash and into the fourth cut of the album – ‘Circle Of Days’’ which opens with a  superfuzzy doom riff before morphing gently into a supremely technical and complex prog metal song, but with rather more earthiness and soul than most prog and technical metal – there’s gorgeous harmonies, intertwining vocal lines, guitar that alternately wounds and bewitches, yet it maintains a relaxed and smooth groove than you can lean into and special mention must be made of vocalist Ben Jackson. The boy has a fucking amazing set of pipes on him. Equally happy performing a wail worthy of the Ozzmeister himself, to a gravelly low pitched (but still clean) sound, to a more than passable Dave Wyndorf analogue, Ben proves his versatility on every single song and is a fine, fine rock singer. The last tune on the record is called ‘Eye In The Sky’ and is by far the most psychedelic offering on here, with soft wah on the chiming, shining guitars, until four minutes in when the song takes a massive left turn and delivers a metal riff of such shining splendor (imagine Jerry Cantrell at his heaviest in Alice In Chains and make it more metal) I can’t help but fall to my knees and give thanks to the gods of meal for giving me this to listen to. And the solo. Oh, my FUCKING GOD THE SOLO!!!!!!

Yeah, it’s fair to say I am a bit of a fan and Hippie Death Cult (and others like them) are EXACTLY the reason why I trawl the underground for music – under here is where the ultraclassic live. This is where you find the most egregious talents and the greatest music. With rare exceptions, I find the underground bands more astonishing than the mainstream ones. There is NOTHING like Hippie Death Cult in the mainstream and that is to the mainstream’s detriment, because this is sheer inventiveness and music made for the sake of performance. Hippie Death Cult are truer to the soul and idea of metal than Metallica and their ilk will ever be. This record is heavy as fuck, rich, organic, chock full of feeling and absolutely fucking amazing.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has listened to this record three times back-to-back already and shows no sign of slowing down because it’s just so fantastic. 10 out of fucking 10 without a question. Buy this. Now. Don’t argue. Just buy it.

Red Meat Tricks’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Red Meat Tricks
02. Hornet Party
03. Walk Within
04. Circle of Days
05. Eye In The Sky

LINE-UP:
Ryan Moore – Drums
Eddie Brnabic – Guitar
Ben Jackson – Vocals/Keys
Laura Phillips – Bass/Vocals

LINKS:

Hippie Death Cult Promo Pic

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.

Ungraven/Slomatics – Split EP

Ungraven & Slomatics Split EP Cover Art

Ungraven/Slomatics – Split EP
Blackbow Records
Release date: 05/03/2021
Running time: 30:53
Review by Alun Jones
8/10

How did you spend your time during the pandemic? Did you learn a new language or a musical instrument? Did you get out there running, hammering marathons and getting super fit? Or, like most of us, did you hang on there by your finger nails, just about keeping it together and escaping the monotony? Well luckily for us, these two bands – Ungraven and Slomatics – decided to put their talents to creative use and deliver some music to keep us all sane in these bizarre times.

This is one EP, two bands and six songs in total. First off, we have Ungraven, who despite only being formed in 2019 feature musicians of fine pedigree: Jon Davis (Conan), David Ryley (Fudge Tunnel) and Tyler Hodges (Tuskar). ‘Defeat The Object’, their first offering, features a reliably sturdy riff to nod your head to. Next track, ‘Onwards She Rides To A Certain Death’ comes galloping out of the gates like an armour covered battle horse – it’s no nimble dressage, more like a cavalry charge into a frenzied battle. Ungraven’s final song, ‘Blackened Gates Of Eternity’, has a grinding intensity that has an industrial feel.

Slomatics pick up the baton and start off with the brutally heavy, atmospheric ‘Kaän’, which seems to move sideways rather than forwards. Slow and hefty, I’ve seen ox bow lakes form quicker than the pace of this monster. ‘Proto Hag’ follows a similar style, but you’ll be glad to learn that it’s even more intense. Slomatics have been building their reputation for some years now, and these tracks confirm their prominence. Their final song, ‘Monitors’ – probably my favourite on the whole EP, though I feel bad singling out one track – only pushes their reputation further. The music is almost trancelike, with a magnetic melodic element.

This split EP is dense and compelling. Both Ungraven and Slomatics impress with their conviction and integrity. The only down side is that approx. 31 minutes just isn’t enough. This is a very enjoyable starter, but it just makes me hunger for a full plate of whatever these two immense bands can serve up. Please sir, can I have some more?

TRACKLISTING:
01. Defeat The Object (Ungraven)
02. Onwards She Rides To A Certain Death (Ungraven)
03. Blackened Gates Of Eternity (Ungraven)
04. Kaän (Slomatics)
05. Proto Hag (Slomatics)
06. Monitors (Slomatics)

UNGRAVEN LINE-UP:
Jon Davis – Vocals
Tyler Hodges – Drums
David Ryley – Bass

SLOMATICS LINE-UP:
David – Guitars
Chris – Guitars
Marty – Drums, Vocals

UNGRAVEN LINKS:

SLOMATICS LINKS:

Ungraven & Slomatics Promo Pic (Slomatics pic credit Gerry Dollso)
(Slomatics pic credit Gerry Dollso)

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 KING BONG

King Bong Logo

EMQ’s with KING BONG

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Milan, Italy based Instrumental Psychedelic Stoner band, King Bong. Huge thanks to 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?

We are King Bong, an instrumental psychedelic band. We play mostly improvised music. We started in 2008 with the aim of playing heavy riffs adding some improvisation and we’ve now published 16 albums. Our sound has evolved to include many different influences: what started off as a combination of doom riffs and psychedelic funk grooves evolved into progressive compositions first, and into free improvisation including elements of jazz and noise later.

How did you come up with your band name?

The name was actually the reason we started the band: on the 9th of March 2008 Teo sent an SMS to Andrea and Alberto, with a joke: “We should make a band called King Bong and play the doomiest riffs”. Said and done.

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

We’re from Milan, Italy. The country as a whole doesn’t have a huge metal/rock scene, if compared to others like Germany, or the UK, but Milan being a big city and closer to the borders with other countries is the city where most touring bands stop. Small live clubs have been struggling in recent years, and Covid has forced some to close. The scene is still there but it’s likely less healthy than a few years ago.

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

“Beekse Bergen, vol. 6 – OGOPOGO”. Released on 5th March. It’s the latest chapter in our ongoing project: a series of live improvisations based on a map we drew.

(It’s 4 CD’s and 4 Hours long and what I’ve heard of it is pretty damn good! – Rick)

Taken from the above!

Beekse Bergen XXII w/ Chris Haskett (Henry Rollins Band, David Bowie, Tool).

Who have been your greatest influences?

They’re very different for each one of us, but as a band we could name the Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath, Motorpsycho, Parliament\Funkadelic, King Crimson, Metallica, Faith No More, Ulver, Miles.

What first got you into music?

Our parents exposed us to music since we were born, so it was natural for us to pick up an instrument when we were kids. Bizarrely enough, none of our parents are actually musicians!

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

We’d love to play with Nils Petter Molvær.

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

Roadburn! Because it’s the best festival, with the best music and we’ve been attending it for a decade. They’re able to constantly evolve and find new flavours of heavy music. They give every musician enough time (no 20 minutes sets at 1PM!), they have a fantastic sound system, they treat fans with great respect. It’s a dream.

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

Two friends from Rome brought us a huge piece of guanciale. It’s a kind of cured fatty meat that is the basic ingredient for carbonara (God forbid you use bacon!). We were very grateful, for several meals!

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

“Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom is not truth.
Truth is not beauty.
Beauty is not love.
Love is not music.
Music is THE BEST.”
– Frank Zappa

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

Jerry Garcia.

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

We love the freedom that comes with art: we keep exploring and learning and we can’t wait to find something new to try. We hate the fact that it’s almost impossible to make a living out of it.

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

We’d love for it to be more about actual music.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Blind Guardian – “Nightfall In Middle-Earth”

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

We enjoy a bit of everything, but certainly not cassettes. Fuck cassettes!

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

We once played in Koper in a fantastic squat. It was  fully packed, with a nice stage and a great sound crew. Half-way through our gig we were interrupted by local hero/artist/provocateur, Marko Brecelj. He was moved by our music and he needed to give a speech to the house. He then proceeded to thank us, and we resumed playing. Amazing night.

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

We were once told by a great artist that no matter what daily job you might have, if you’re a musician you will always be one, even when you don’t earn from it. We might work in different fields, but at the core we’re musicians.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Robert Fripp, Dave Grohl, Andy Summers, Grace Slick and Tony Iommi.

What’s next for the band?

We’ve also just reissued our 2017 LP “Sand ≈ Return” through Mandrone Records.

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

We’ve got a Facebook page and a BandCamp account, plus our albums are available on most major streaming services.

www.facebook.com/kingbongofficial
www.kingbong.bandcamp.com/

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

We’ve never tried them, but we can say that we love pulled pork.

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

The King is happy to welcome you in his family: come along, follow us in our explorations and we promise you’ll never get bored!

King Bong Band (Stefano Di Noi PH)
Stefano Di Noi PH

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 MARS ERA

Mars Era Logo

EMQ’s with MARS ERA

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Florence, Italy based Stoner/Alternative Metal band Mars Era. Huge thanks to the band 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 guys, here’s speaking Mitch, Dave, Tom and Leo. We are MARS ERA, a stoner alternative metal band born in 2014 in Florence (ITA).

How did you come up with your band name?

It’s just that…we like humans…but we definitely love Martians!

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

We’re based in Florence, but we come from different parts…of the universe!

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

In 2017 we released “DHARMANAUT”, our first LP, via Argonauta Records, and now we’re ready to roll with our next release, “ONIRO”, out on 19th February 2021!

‘Brighter Than The Sun (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

We can surely say that the alternative metal scene of 2000’s mixed with stoner rock and psychedelic rock music of the 70’s could be a perfect description of our mixed influences.

Anyway, we could tell that there’s one of us who grew up with Pink Floyd, someone with Beatles and Led Zeppelin and someone with the Encyclopedia Metallum in his pocket!

What first got you into music?

The power of the music itself, the magic that melts different souls together just playing it!

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

Aaaaaah, there’s lot of bands we’d like to collaborate with!

Stoned Jesus! We love their sound, it’s evolving release after release in an original way.

Elder…seen live in Bologna two years ago, amazing musicians and songwriter, great psychedelic and progressive rock!

Last but not least, Bud Spencer Blues Explosion. We had the opportunity to share the stage in 2016 on one of our first summer festivals. Live they rock, neutron bomb sound!

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

Pinkpop Festival, for sure. How could you forget Eddie Vedder in 1992 climbing above the crowd?

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

A perizoma…ahem…but we cannot say anything else…

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

Keep rolling stronger and stronger, cause we have to make this world a better place!

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

Chris Cornell. Each of us was born with Soundgarden and then Audioslave. We miss him a lot.

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

Enjoy: the power of playing live in front of the crowd. It’s pure energy. We benefit from it second by second when we are on the stage.

Hate: the deadlines…We used to say “we’ll be ready when we are!”

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

TV Talent shows. They’re not the worst thing that happened…but maybe they could be managed in a more illuminating way. Why just pop? We want to listen to every kind of music genre in talent shows. People’s music taste is too much addressed by music industry nowadays.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Dave: – “Superunknown” – Soundgarden
Leo: – “Ghost Reveries” – Opeth
Mitch: – “10000 Days” – Tool
Tom: – “Around The Fur” – Deftones

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

Vinyl, they last forever.

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

Music W Festival, opening to Chelsea Wolfe. A great show, it was our first festival and we were so excited to play!

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

Probably living on Mars, trying to improve the underground station below Amanthes Planum Region. Have you been there too?!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

We would have to invite Lemmy of Motorhead ‘cause there’s no party without alcohol! R.I.P.

Rick Rubin, one of the best producer nowadays to ask his advice.

Cristina Scabbia, ‘cause she’s one of the best metal vocalists nowadays and…of course…cause she’s so damn Hot!

Maynard James Keenan & Tool! Cause we want to have a barbecue with them!!!

What’s next for the band?

We are focused now on our upcoming album, “ONIRO”. It will be released via Argonauta Records on 19th February 2021.

“ONIRO” is a warning to an internal awakening: it’s the story of an ordinary man who finds himself facing his innermost fears which, changing through music, become real and tangible dreams. Only by facing these difficulties, our character will overcome the obstacles that arise on his long and imaginary journey. An oniric travel that leads to a final awakening.

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

We are on Facebook and Instagram. Come to our page and leave us a like! We need your support!
www.facebook.com/mars.era.live
www.instagram.com/mars_era/
www.youtube.com/channel/UC5gavuhF-W_mGQ9HKctbb3A

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Jaffa…don’t you remember that the “The cake is a lie”????

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

May the Mars Era be with You!

Mars Era 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.

Red Spektor – Heart Of The Renewed Sun

Red Spektor – Heart Of The Renewed Sun
Kozmik Artifactz
Release date: 02/10/2020
Running Time: 40:45
Review by Dark Juan
Score: Fucking millions out of 10!

Good afternoon once again, acolytes and denizens of the world. Of climes unknown to me, Brazil (hi, Victor!) and of Australia, a continent where even the wildlife is designed to kill humankind, yet where people still survive although their surroundings wage a guerrilla war, knocking off a victim here and there. And to anywhere else on this strange little blue ball careening through the galaxy at a steady 67,000 miles per hour. You are my brothers and sisters, you dear people, and my heart explodes with love for you all.

Actually, that’s a big fat lie. I am a twisted, obsidian wreck of a man only concerned with furthering my gospel and defiling virgins in the name of The One That Walks Backwards, and absinthe. My hellhounds (all three currently snoring in various positions of repose – Sir Zeusington Zeus VC, KCVG, MM, DFC and Bar stealing all the warmths in front of the radiator, Hodgson Biological-Warfare asleep on the sofa, welded to the side of Mrs. Dark Juan as usual and the Dread Lord Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover tilting at windmills, shouting at absolutely nothing and trying to fight dogs three times his size to no avail as is a normal day at Dark Juan Terrace…) are relaxed for once, enabling me to exhort the delights of Stoke-on-Trent heavy rock trio Red Spektor to you in peace, for once in my miserable goddamned existence! That, and the fine cup of Yorkshire tea by my side (other hot beverages are available, but trust me you wouldn’t want to fucking bother) enable me to give my full attention to an album that appears to be so far up my street it has parked its psychedelic painted Type 1 VW camper van in my front room, much to the consternation of Mrs. Dark Juan, who is upset that I have not told her that we were expecting visitors, from another plane of reality or otherwise.

Before we begin, a disclaimer – There will be drug references and an overuse of the word psychedelic in the following ranting. This is because psychedelic stoner rock gets me more excited than being left alone in a room full of cloned Gemma Arterton’s in varying states of undress and I have an endless supply of Viagra. You can thank me later for the mental image that has left you with.

Opening track ‘Warflower’ transports us instantly into the mid 70’s psychedelic explosion with a pleasing mix of Wolfmother, Hawkwind at their most muscular and the more exploratory parts of Steppenwolf and Blue Oyster Cult as a basis for their sound, with added Sir Lord Baltimore and LSD dripping Cream. This diverse mix of musical influences is indeed a Very Good Thing. It is well known that Dark Juan is a sucker for stoner and doom and added psychedelia just makes me dance like a hippy with those strange hand movements that only hippies and goth girls do to “Lucretia My Reflection”. It’s all phaser, fuzz and tube screamers and its fucking brilliant! Every instrument is mixed very well, and the clarity of the sound is excellent. The bass of Mr. Rob Farrell cuts cleanly through the mix without over powering the sound of the band as a whole and the riffs, man. The fucking riffs! Riffs of such splendour and majesty and acid fuelled power that I can’t help but prostrate myself at their feet and worship their shining puissance whilst weeping that I am the world’s shittest guitarist. Also, the impassioned howl of Mr. John Scane deserves note as he rips out his soul with his vocal, at the same time as whipping out cutting yet utterly groovy solos on his guitar. I am being transported on giant rainbow waves of mescaline fuelled enthusiasm into a stoner universe I haven’t visited since I reviewed Blackwulf, several years ago. This record is a mighty fucking beast, stomping around among the galaxies in there. Mainly because the drumming on this record, by Mr. Johnny Esp, is utterly magnificent. His drums are also produced to perfection, cymbals being punchy and easily clearing the bass and snare drum, and the bass drum being thrilling and resonant and not sounding like a taut dishcloth being clouted by a length of wet four by two.

‘Masquerade’ is a standout tune on the record, fuzz driven guitar being driven by sexy basslines and touches of Hammond organ while John howls his impassioned heart out. It has to be said that I currently love this modern reinterpretation of the early stages of hard rock and heavy metal that is being explored by the likes of Red Spektor, Lucifer, Häxan and the like. Having reviewed Blue Öyster Cult’s live record recently, I have had occasion to compare the mastery of BÖC’s early output with the more modern version that we call psychedelic stoner, and with this record by Red Spektor I am pleased to report to you all that this album is a modern classic in the making, if there’s any cosmic fucking justice.

‘Long Way Down’ has the trippiest opening I have heard in years, valve-driven fuzz phasered guitar with lashings of reverb and echo over a grooving bassline that suddenly jumps into the kind of hard rock riff that makes this hellpriest weep for joy, and want to cut the hands off every other guitarist out there. Then there’s some of the bluesiest soloing I have heard in a good long while as well.  Vocally, John Scane sits in a range best described as what Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale would have sounded like had he not got his bollocks stuck in a vice during recording sessions and this is to his credit. ‘Violet Sun’ is arguably the most psychedelic song on the record – echo, reverb and phaser turned up to the max for the utterly glorious acid-fuelled solo. The valve-driven, tube screamer sound adds to the ambience – it is a record that sounds like it has been played on the richest sounding pieces of old equipment the band could get their hands on.

In short, this record sounds absolutely PERFECT for what it aspires to be. Vintage, trippy as fuck and hard as hell. All bases are covered – the psychedelic aspect with the sound and the sometimes (ahem) exploratory middle eights, the hard rock with the tempos and distortion and soloing, and the blues in the arrangement of the songs (especially on ‘Hell To Pay’ – that verse is bluesy as fuck mate before we go skyrocketing off into purple edged, LSD fuelled universes of the mind on the soloing) and the vocal being of the classic rock type. It is safe to say I’m a bit of a fan, and proof that music doesn’t have to be spectacularly fast and roaring to be heavy as fuck, man.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is utterly broken beyond repair right now, to the imminent despair (and probably fury) of Editorial Lord Richard of Tilley, as he doesn’t like me making a mockery of his scoring system, but it is currently reading about 47,000,000 out of 10. It could be a calibration error.

A serious contender for Album of The Year. Red Spektor are THAT good.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Warflower
02. Revol
03. Masquerade
04. Guided Tears
05. Long Way Down
06. Violet Sun
07. Hell To Pay
08. Ivory Towers

LINE-UP:
John Scan – Vocals/ guitar
Johnny Esp – Drums
Rob Farrell – Bass

LINKS:

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.

Moths/The Stone Eye – Split EP

Moths/The Stone Eye – Split EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 21/08/2020
Running Time: 25:34
Review by Alun Jones
8/10

Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. Which is why I like to mix my drinks. And my strippers. Why stick to just one, when you can explore everything life has to offer? This split EP offers two bands and four tracks in total, showcasing a considerable amount of musical diversity and talent.

First up is Puerto Rican band Moths, with their track ‘Intervention’. Beginning deceptively calm, restrained and quite beautiful, it soon builds and descends from a chunky stoner riff. And then, at pretty much the halfway mark, ‘Intervention’ erupts into a full-on aggressive growl fest, though still portraying an adept progressive spirit.

The meandering intrigue of the opening track is followed by a less surprising cover of the Black Sabbath classic ‘Hand of Doom’. A great song, but I was hoping for more original material or an unusual cover. No fear though, Moths inject the Sabs tune with plenty of atmosphere, the powerhouse vocals of Damaris Rodriguez helping to make their own mark on the song. Not easy with a genuine metal standard like this, Moths have the class to pull it off.

Then it’s over to The Stone Eye, for their track ‘Prescence of the Mind’. These guys are from Philadelphia, PA in the USA. A little harder to pin a style on, they journey on a stoner path that adds in psychedelic detours akin to some of the best 90’s alternative rock – but never abandoning a gutsy garage rock swagger.

A cover of the old trad ballad ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ is next from The Stone Eye. Delivered in a bluesy style, it contrasts nicely with the other songs. It both delights and begs for another play.

And there you have it: four songs, different in style but each displaying a sound that seems to well define both bands. An excellent endeavour from both Moths and The Stoned Eye, you’d be well rewarded in tracking this down.

And while we’re on the subject of moths: Glenn Danzig – remember him? Singer/visionary with the Misfits, Samhain, and of course, Danzig. Body builder, martial arts master and expert on the occult. Scared to death of moths, I shit you not. Always running around with his hands over his face, hiding under tables if there was one around. Eventually, I learned to calm Glenn down by telling him that moths were simply goth butterflies. Amazingly, it worked.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Moths – Intervention
02. Moths – Hand of Doom
03. The Stone Eye – Prescence of Mind
04. The Stone Eye – Wayfaring Stranger

MOTHS LINE-UP:
Damaris Rodríguez – Vocals
Jonathan Miranda – Guitars
Omar González – Guitars
Weslie Negrón – Bass
Daniel Figueroa – Drums

MOTHS LINKS:

THE STONE EYE LINE-UP:
Stephen Burdick – Guitar, Vocals, Bass (Track 2)
Jeremiah Bertin – Percussion
Christian Mechem – Guitar, Vocals (Track 1)
Wolfgang Noll – Bass (Track 1)

THE STONE EYE 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 HER NAME WAS FIRE

EMQ’s with HER NAME WAS FIRE

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Lisbon, Portugal based Stoner Rock duo, Her Name Was Fire. Huge thanks to vocalist/guitarist João Campos 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 João, I am the singer and guitarist for the duo Her Name Was Fire. We started in 2016 when I asked Tiago the drummer if he was interested in creating a stoner rock duo, and the chemistry was there from the first jam. So far, we have recorded an EP then our debut LP “Road Antics’” in 2017 that took us to a lot of stages and cool adventures. We are currently working on the release of our second album “Decadent Movement”.

How did you come up with your band name?

We were looking for a name that had all the right ingredients, Her Name Was Fire was the one that best conveyed what we are trying to do musically. It has an element of mystery, danger and it’s clearly a rock’n’roll name that alludes to a femme fatale, so it was a winner combo.

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

We are from Portugal, the metal scene here is very active, there are loads of bands, gigs and metal festivals, the most know are Vagos Metal Fest and VOA.

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

We released the single ‘Allure’ two weeks ago.

Our new album “Decadent Movement” was just released on April 3rd and we are pretty stoked with what this album came to be.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Musically it changed along the time, started with Soundgarden and Alice In Chains, then Tool and Jeff Buckley and then came the stoner phase from Kyuss, QOTSA to Electric Wizard among other things like the classics -Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath or The Doors.

What first got you into music?

Thankfully my brother always had good taste in music and when I was 12/13, he introduced me to all the grunge bands, punk and even metal. I always had a curiosity about musical instruments and when I was 16 a classmate taught me my first chords as well as showing me the classics – he had old Zeppelin, Sabbath and Doors vinyl from his parents.

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

Well I would love to do something with Trent Reznor, that would be out of this world.

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

Tough choice, we still have a lot in our checklist, but from the top of my head Roadburn Festival is definitely one of the top ones. From all we saw about it, it seems to have the coolest vibe, bands and a lot of art happening besides the concerts.

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

Well nothing too crazy, our fans are pretty chilled, just the occasional shot that you don’t even want to know what is in it!

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

Well since we are living in weird times with this pandemic, just stay home, stay safe, take care of each other and blast the new album from the couch. Soon enough we will be enjoying each other’s company with awesome live music.

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

Probably Jimi Hendrix, he still owes humanity a couple of killer albums.

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

I love creating new songs and playing live. I hate the long waiting hours from the soundcheck to the show.

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

Not change but regain something lost, the music industry changed so much that the Labels are no longer interested in creating careers. You either have a hit from the get-go or you are done. Artistic development takes time and nowadays it’s all about how to make money fast.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Superunknown” from Soundgarden, I don’t know how many hundreds of times I have listened to it. It has inspired me throughout my life and musical journey.

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

Downloads and streaming services are without a doubt the most practical, but nothing beats putting on a vinyl and just enjoying it from side to side.

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

Probably the one gig we opened for Vintage Caravan at RCA Club in Lisbon. Awesome venue, line up and crowd, it was one of the best nights we had for sure.

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

Being an illustrator, which is my other passion and source of income.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Jim Morrison, Bill Hicks, Hunter S. Thompson, Maynard James Keenan and David Bowie. That sounds like a fun night.

What’s next for the band?

Releasing “Decadent Movement” and promoting it as soon as this storm passes. We want to play this album live so bad because these are fun songs to play, we feel they will gain a new depth when we do it live.

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

You can find us here:
www.instagram.com/hernamewasfire/
www.facebook.com/HerNameWasFire
www.hernamewasfire.bandcamp.com/

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

The eternal dilemma…Can we just settle for mini cake biscuit?

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

Thanks for the interview! Just stay safe and listen to the album “Decadent Movement” which was released on 3rd April 2020

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.