EMQ’s with ARYEM

Aryem Logo

EMQ’s with ARYEM

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview, with Mexico City based, Symphonic Metal band Aryem. 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?

Hi! We’re Aryem, a symphonic metal band with Karen M-Dozza on vocals, Diego Heero Maaginen as composer and bassist, Javier Días on guitars and backing vocals and Luis A. Echegollen on drums!

The band was formed in 2012, though the current line-up was finally consolidated in 2019. We released the album “DANGEROUS PARADISE” on March 21st, 2020. We’ve played various online festivals with a few bands like Jinjer and Nervosa, and thankfully the popularity of our album in Aryem’s fan community had, as a result, the release of an extended version of the record, including the orchestral versions of the songs, on November 13th, 2020.

How did you come up with your band name?

Aryem is a combination of the words for “Spirit” and “Soul” in Latin because our music explores the avatars of human existence. We stand for unhinged passion and visceral raw emotions in music. We think it was a natural choice for a name.

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

We’re from Mexico, Mexico City. The metal scene here is awesome for us, because there are so many kinds of bands and styles that we’ve had a chance to listen to or play with. We really enjoy the metal scene here.

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

We released our debut album “Dangerous Paradise” on March 21st, 2020, and our latest release is ‘REBORN’ the first single of the upcoming album “The Bird’s Assembly”.

‘Reborn’ (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

We all have very different backgrounds, though we share a mutual love for metal and especially Symphonic Metal (i.e. Nightwish, Epica, Kamelot, etc.). But composing wise, our greatest influences have to be the Greek composer Yanni, the amazing film composers John Williams and Danny Elfman, along with the greats from music history like Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Beethoven, Mahler, Brahms, Stravinsky, amongst others.

What first got you into music?

Love for the emotions it causes. Music is a wonderful medium to express what you feel, what you think… we were all collectively captivated by it, and it went on from there. The desire to be able to express such things in sound and share said passion with an audience in one of the most honest and expressive styles there is…Metal.

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

If this was a letter to Santa Claus, hands down it’d have to be Yanni, along with bands such as Nightwish, Epica, Skillet, Ensiferum, Mago de Oz…we really look up to them.

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

Resurrection Fest, Wacken, Domination… Those are festivals we’ve visited in our younger years and were astounded by the experience. We would love to be able to perform in them, and give the same emotions to the audience that we got as teens!

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

Besides underwear on stage with a phone number on it? Hahahaha…probably that one time we were gifted crickets. Literally a small Tupper full of crickets.

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

We are honoured that you share our passion for Aryem’s music! And literally, we wouldn’t be able to do ANY of the things we do without you. YOU represent everything Aryem stands for, and we couldn’t be prouder to be part of such a beautiful community as the one you’ve all created around us. It’s amazing, and we can’t wait for all the new adventures that lie in store for us…together!

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

Freddie Mercury or Alexi Laiho, no questions asked.

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

The connection with the audience, hands down. It’s wonderful…and the emotion of performing music is beyond anything we’ve ever felt before.

What do we hate? Maybe the fact that in Mexico, there is a kind of stigma around being a musician. It’s not taken as a real job or career, something we’ve struggled with in society and even from a few family members…It can be tough sometimes.

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

To give more chances to upcoming bands. There are some AMAZING talents out there that deserve a shot.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Live At The Acropolis” by Yanni, “Once” by Nightwish or “Design Your Universe” by Epica. It depends on which of us answers, hahaha.

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

Anything as long as it’s not pirated!

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

Two, Funnily enough, the first one is of the smaller ones. The first time we performed with Karen we did so at a small club, and she just brought the heat! We had never felt like that performing with other singers and it was an AMAZING feeling for us.

The second one, we recently went to a place called Rio Verde in a state called San Luis Potosi. That’s the first time we’ve played since the Pandemic begun, and we were thankful to be back on stage with a live audience after a year and a half of lockdown.

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

We can’t imagine doing literally anything else. Maybe acting, but that’s a huge maybe. We’re terrible actors (And we still have the guts to act on our music videos…go figure…)

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Yanni, James Hetfield, Tuomas Holopainen, Simone Simons and Floor Jansen.

What’s next for the band?

On October 8th, 2021, we’re releasing our second album “The Bird’s Assembly”! It’s inspired by the Persian poem “The Conference of the Birds” by Attar of Nishapur (1177 AD). The record is an intense and explosive experience into the true nature of humanity’s soul. Unhinged passion, visceral raw emotions and intensity roam free in every corner of this album.

To make this album… we had to go through some dark places… and we did and faced things we never thought we’d ever encounter. And now, it’s ready to come to the light.

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

You can find us in Spotify, Amazon, Apple music, i-Tunes, the whole thing! But we do encourage you to come join the Aryem Family in our socials, we’re always connecting with the tribe and having a blast on the comments (There’s also some special music exclusive to each platform)!
www.facebook.com/aryemband
www.instagram.com/aryemmetal 
www.open.spotify.com/artist/0LiR5Xmjnk2veqhjCZ8sMZ
www.youtube.com/channel/UCJtUmRoy__0Zx3RvT4o8yFg

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

They are a biscuit sized cake 😉 Or a cake sized biscuit if you’re 50 cm tall!

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

Thank you, Ever Metal, for having us! It’s been a lot of fun answering your questions! And hey, if you’re reading this and have never heard of us before, come join the party! If you like our music, you can join the Aryem family (Which is full of amazing folks!) and you can share it with your friends! If you hate our music, you can send it to your worst enemy and ruin his day! It’s a win win, ain’t it?

No but, seriously, thank you so much, and we can’t wait to connect with you on our socials!!!

Aryem 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.

Rhapsody Of Fire – I’ll Be Your Hero EP

I'll Be Your Hero EP Cover Art

Rhapsody Of Fire – I’ll Be Your Hero EP
AFM Records
Release Date: 04/06/2021
Running Time: 41:07
Review by Beth Jones
10/10

Good morning my lovely bunch of heathens, rogues, and degenerates. How the hell are you? It feels like an age since I last wrote a review. I mean, it isn’t, but there’s a lot going on here at Ever Metal HQ at the moment, and life is fast becoming the shitty gift that just keeps on giving. The sun is shining today here in the Wales, too. Great. Unless you’re the possessor of true Celtic skin, like me. If that’s the case, in this weather you will, like me, find the plight of the lowly vampire incredibly relatable. Even my eyeballs are sweating. I mean come on! This is Wales! We’re not used to this sort of heat! We’re used to rain, and sheep, and the distant sounds of a male voice choir lilting over the hills. Anyway, the saving grace in amongst all the detritus is, as always, music. And today I have a cracker for you.

Italian Symphonic Power Metal legends, Rhapsody Of Fire, have been bringing their melodic powerhouse of sounds to our ears for a fair while now. And they’re new EP, “I’ll Be Your Hero”, certainly lives up to the epic sounds that we have come to expect from them. It’s the build up to their next album release, and contains their new single and title track, alongside 7 other tracks; the Japan bonus track, ‘Where Dragons Fly’, 2 live recordings, and 4 versions of the same song, ‘The Wind, The Rain And The Moon’, all sung in different languages – the previously released English version, and versions in Italian, Spanish, and French, respectively.

Opening with the title track, this EP bounds in like a runaway freight train. It’s brash, and theatrical, and hugely decadent, but I bloody love it! The vocals of Giacomo Voli are just sublime. He has such a rich tone to his voice, and it blends so well with the other orchestration that’s going on. The melody line of ‘I’ll Be Your Hero’ is also hellishly catchy and will become your earworm in no time at all.

‘Where Dragons Fly’ takes the pace down a little, but still has some dramatic sweeping orchestration in the midsections. Then, in complete contract, a live version of ‘Rain Of Fury’ pummels in like a hammer drill! What a song! Power Metal with speed and precision. Stunning guitar solos, stunning synths and keys, drums that could easily turn your brain into pulp, and, of course, blistering vocals. The drama and theatrics stay right in the mix for ‘The Courage To Forgive’ (live), as well. It’s slower, but everything just has so much passion. And again, some ridiculously brilliant guitar work enters into the affray. It really does make every bit of me feel alive (and that’s no mean feat these days, I can tell you)!

But the star of the EP is ‘The Wind, The Rain and The Moon’. It’s beautiful and melancholic from the start. Even though their genre suggests a huge classical element, Rhapsody Of Fire have really pushed into the realms of pure classical with this song. The orchestral strings that make up the body of the song remind me of Barber’s ‘Adagio For Strings’. Sweeping and soaring, mournful and lilting. Stunningly beautiful. Add into that Giacomo’s perfect Tenor voice, and you have something truly magnificent. Then plant into it a climactic point, where guitars, and gentle drums join, and what you have is, in my opinion, one of the most perfect power ballads I have ever heard. And just to make it even more beautiful, we get to explore it in multiple languages, too. Singing in choirs, as I did back in the day, let me experience singing in multiple languages. My favourite (aside from Welsh) was always Italian, because of its full and rounded vowel sounds, which make it so expressive. Listening to ‘Senza Un Addio’ reconfirmed this for me. Italian really is the music of song. This, however, should take nothing away from the Spanish or French versions.

So, to sum up, this EP is rather good. The musicianship, passion, production, and orchestration is as close to perfect as you’re likely to get. You should definitely give it a spin.

I’ll Be Your Hero’ (Official Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. I’ll Be Your Hero
02. Where Dragons Fly
03. Rain Of Fury (Live)
04. The Courage To Forgive (Live)
05. The Wind, The Rain And The Moon
06. Senza Un Addio
07. Sin Un Adios
08. La Force De Me Battre

LINE-UP:
Giacomo Voli – Vocals
Alex Staropoli – Keyboards
Roby De Micheli – Guitars
Alessandro Sala – Bass
Manu Lotter – Drums

LINKS:

Rhapsody Of Fire Promo Pic (Credit @emanuelealiprandiphotography)
@emanuelealiprandiphotography

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth 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.

Interview with BRING TO BEAR

Bring To Bear Ever Metal Banner

Interview with BRING TO BEAR
By Rick Tilley

Hi Everyone, it’s Rick…

There is nothing I love more than introducing people to brand new bands especially ones that, not only know how to write great music, but also embrace the ‘business’ side of things with an excellent online presence and striking visuals.

One such band is UK Symphonic Folk Metal Quintet BRING TO BEAR, who recently chatted to us about their debut single and video ‘THE SHADOW RUSE’ which is being released tomorrow, Friday 16th July.

I’d like to send huge thanks to them for the interview.

Enjoy!

Q: For a new band, this is truly a wonderful debut, how long have you been playing together and how did you get together?

BtB: Thanks very much, that’s very kind of you to say. Hristo and I (Ian) met through being in a gypsy punk band together and played in that band for a few years now. We realised that we both love metal and during May of the first UK lockdown we decided to start a metal band together. We wrote a few short demos to show the style we wanted to play and posted these on the website Bandmix. We then contacted people through Bandmix and Facebook to see if they were interested in joining us. We managed to get the current line-up (excluding bass) by January this year, so I suppose you could say we have been playing together as a band for about 7 months now.

Q: Can you tell us a little more about each of the members in BRING TO BEAR?

BtB: Hristo plays electric guitar and is also a good bassist, so he did the bass recordings. He is strongly influenced by grunge music, and he is originally from Bulgaria. I (Ian) play accordion and keys, and do the growling, and I am originally from South Africa. I’m very much into symphonic metal and folk metal, gypsy punk, film scores, Viking music. Izabela is lead vocalist and she’s from Poland. She’s a big fan of Nightwish and Frank Sinatra. Simon is the token UK local; he plays drums (and a range of traditional Thai instruments) and loves folk metal and death metal. Nik is our other guitarist and he’s originally from Russia and the UAE. He is really into melodic metal and melodic death metal, particularly bands like Dream Theater.

Q: You have a very rich textured sound (inclusive of instruments like the Accordion), accompanied by fascinating complementary visuals. Please can you share some of the inspirations that went into crafting your sound and visual style?

BtB: The sound of BRING TO BEAR is a balance we are learning to find because we basically have 3 lead instruments (both guitarists and the accordion), as well as 2 vocal styles. When we started the band the phrase, we had in mind, was “Amon Amarth with an accordion” and the idea was to have heavy driving riffs as the foundation of the sound, with powerful tremolo sections, and then add the flavour of accordion to that (because what else would I play??), interspersed with strings and brass (keyboard) to give it some more depth and variety. And on top of that we wanted strong and powerful drumming. A lot of the guitar riffs are also influenced by bands like Pantera, Mushroomhead, and Rammstein. And the folk and symphonic elements are influenced by bands like Nightwish, Korpiklaani, traditional folk music, and film score melodies. The visuals are based on creating a scene of adventure because we believe our music is adventurous. Due to the double meaning of the band name, the bear animal seemed like an obvious inclusion in some visuals and also works as a representation of the growling, and it sets the context of the forest too. Then the lady in the hood represents the clean female vocals. And some beams of light breaking through the shade of the canopy and some mist, and it gives it a strong sense of mystery and intrigue.

Q: Your debut single ‘THE SHADOW RUSE’ will be available tomorrow. Can you share some insight on this debut track, as well as why and how you chose it as your debut offering to introduce the world to BRING TO BEAR?

BtB: ‘The Shadow Ruse’ is a song about the balance between light and dark. It’s easy to look at a situation from one point of view and label it “good” or “bad”, but the same situation seen from another point of view can be the opposite. All that changed is the perception, so the situation is effectively neither good nor bad but just in balance. So, our perceptions make us judge things and this affects how we react to them, even if the perception is not real. It’s like a game of shadows in the mind and it can be hard to make sense of it. The song also represents how we often end up leaning into some aspects of ourselves too much that we neglect their opposites, so it’s also about finding the balance of the light and dark parts of our own character. It was chosen by vote really, but the criteria used for the voting was that it needed to be a song that had a strong, in-your-face start and be a balanced combination of the various textures we use in our music. Incidentally, it was the very first song that Hristo and Ian worked on together for Bring to Bear, and it was used to convince the other members to join the band. So, if it was convincing enough for people to join the band, maybe it will be convincing enough for others to join our journey.

Q: Given you are a new band we have no prior insight into the meaning of your name. However, we are dying to know the origin and meaning of BRING TO BEAR?

BtB: The name primarily comes from the phrase “bring [something] to bear”, meaning to bring into effector to make something happen that you really want to have happen. But the dual meaning comes in with the bear animal which is an obvious link in the name, and the bear animal often represents courage and strength, so the courage to go for what you love and the strength to make it happen.

Q: Your Social Media presence and content are especially striking for a band fresh out the blocks. Can you share some insight on your strategic drive and fantastic efforts to invite fans to join your journey and follow your musical adventure?

BtB: We are looking to create a strong online presence first, partly due to the pandemic and partly because that’s where most potential fans will ever see and hear us. We want to use this to tell our story of trying to go after what we love doing, and hopefully we can inspire others to do the same. We’re not looking to rush things, but we want to make sure that each thing we create, whether music, video or art, is high quality and a true reflection of the band, and we’d rather release things in smaller amounts to not keep people waiting too long between releases. Within the band we have a variety of other skillsets and things that we each love doing so we are trying to use these as well. For example, Nik loves photography and videography, so he has been filming all our videos, and I (Ian) love creating visual art, so I am happy to spend time working on that for the band. And then our PR manager, Devo, has done a great job with helping us to craft how we tell the story and with editing the videos.

Q: Where did you record ‘THE SHADOW RUSE’, and please share some more about the BRING TO BEAR writing and recording process?

BtB: The song was originally written as a punk song for the gypsy punk band that Hristo and I met through, but it didn’t really fit with the rest of that band’s songs. So, when we decided to start Bring To Bear, we took that song and made it heavier. First Hristo wrote the guitar riffs and structure of the song and emailed a recording to me, then I added accordion and emailed it back to him (this was during the first UK lockdown). So, the writing process was a back-and-forth process with Hristo guiding this song’s outcome. Once we had all the other band members, we did two rounds of home recordings where each person recording their parts of the song and we combined them into a mix. This worked well to get us ready for the studio recordings, and we then recorded ‘The Shadow Ruse’ at Audiohaus Studios in Wembley.

Q: Starting a band in lockdown with fresh material is incredibly determined, and you must be eager to also get yourselves out there for live shows (as soon as conditions allow). What is on the cards in that respect for BRING TO BEAR, and what can we look forward to next?

BtB: Yeah, we are quite determined to see where the music takes us. Our very next step is to find a bassist so that we can get gigging as soon as possible. We will then look to play some local shows first and apply to various venues and festivals. We’ll have to see how that goes but we do hope to be able to play our music in many different places. We are releasing a 3 track EP in September which will include a cover song and 2 originals. And then we will look to release some follow up singles later this year once they are ready.

Q: Thank you for your time and the opportunity to chat to you. We wish you every success for your debut single ‘The Shadow Ruse’ and very much look forward to the upcoming EP.

BtB: Thanks very much! We really appreciate being able to chat to you, and we really hope people will love listening to our music as much as we love making it.

BRING TO BEAR ARE:
Izabela Smyt – Lead Vocals
Ian Tarboton – Accordion, Keyboards & Growls
Hristo Nikolov – Guitars
Nikiforos Rotas – Guitars
Simon Jones – Drums

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

Bring to Bear - The Shadow Ruse Cover

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Rick Tilley and 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.

Metalwings – A Whole New Land

A Whole New Land Album Cover Art

Metalwings – A Whole New Land
Self-Released
Release Date: 11/06/2021
Running Time: 69:39
Review by Simon Black
8/10

This is the sophomore release from Bulgarian Gothic/Symphonic five piece Metalwings. It is a double first for me as both the first encounter I have had with them, as well as being the first band I have reviewed from Bulgaria. The band is the brainchild of Vocalist, Electric Viola and Keyboard player Stela Atanasova, whose classical background and training stands out very loud and clear. Vocally her style is very much in that Classical and Operatic tradition, with the more extreme vocal notes coming from an uncredited member of the band. The downside is that vocally the extreme counterpoint is a little too far in the background and had it been a bit more on an equal footing, this would have felt more of a full on Metal album, rather than a very Classical album with a Metal vein running through it.

Ambitiously the band also utilises a full orchestra and conductor, rather than taking the Nightwish route of synthesising what they need, which really adds to the overall epic quality of the piece, but again this detracts from the heaviness, despite the fact that what’s going on with the traditional Metal instruments is fast, powerful and heavy as hell – it’s just taking a back seat to the orchestra and vocals. I’m not saying this is a bad thing – far from it, as for people like me that grew up on a classical diet before crossing into the dark side as a teenager, then this is musically absolutely ticking all of my boxes. But it took time to get to that viewpoint…

Brevity is not what this band are about. At nearly an hour and ten minutes of run time across the eleven tracks this is not a faint hearted ‘wham bam, thank you ma’am’ delivery in the slightest. The down side of the time taken though, is that this does lack immediacy and many listeners may struggle to continue focussing, which is why even the most complex Symphonic records work best with a couple of accessible hand-wavers to help engage the less-attentive or classically inclined.

The Symphonic and the Gothic work best when they take their time to build up layers of mood with sound and this bunch nail it perfectly. Equally they take time to unpick and appreciate, and a casual first pass listen is simply not going to do justice to the monumental technical and musical effort that has gone into the crafting of the album. I have to stress that, because when you are an independent & self-financing band, the costs of recording and producing “A Whole New Land” will not have been insignificant. I am curious to know how they will tour this, particularly outside of their home market, as taking more than five of them on the road will clearly be something of a challenge and some of the music will lose its sense of majesty if it’s delivered by the click of a switch live.

It’s long, it’s technically complex with superb musical depth, but needs a good three listens before you really start to appreciate the work that has gone into it. With a bit more balance of the accessible and immediate, then this would be top drawer stuff. That said, if the chance to fly to Bulgaria and watch them do the whole thing live with the full orchestra comes up, I will seize it with both hands.

‘Monster In The Mirror’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. A Whole New Land
02. Monster In The Mirror
03. Like A Willow Without Tears
04. I See Your Power
05. Silence
06. Still Believe In Us
07. Killer Of The Angel’s Love
08. Wonders Of Life
09. Passengers Between The Rails Of Life
10. Second Chance
11. Milo Moe Libe

LINE-UP:
Stela Atanasova – Operatic Vocals, Electric Viola, Keyboards
Grigor Kostadinov – Guitars
Vlad Enev – Bass
Angel Kitanov – Keyboards
Nikola “Blackie” Ivanov – Drums

LINKS:

Metalwings Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with ADRIAN BENEGAS

Adrian Benegas Logo

EMQ’s with ADRIAN BENEGAS

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Asuncion, Paraguay based Symphonic/Power Metal solo artist, and also member of Tragul, Adrian Benegas. Huge thanks to Adrian, 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?

Hello, this is Adrian Benegas, a songwriter, producer and keyboardist. I’ve started this solo project with the release of my debut solo album called “THE REVENANT” back in November 2019.

How did you come up with your band name?

Easy, 😉 My parents did it for me, haha.

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

I’m from Paraguay, a small country in the heart of South America. Well, we’ve a nice “still growing” community of metal heads over here, there are a lot of bands producing music and trying to be heard.

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

Well, as I mentioned, I’ve released an album called “THE REVENANT” in November 2019. Lately, I’ve been releasing the 2 promotional singles taken from my new EP “DIAMONDS IN THE DARK” released  on May 21st, 2021. The first one called ‘ORPHAN OF LIFE’ and the second, ‘POISONED LOVE’.

‘Poisoned Love’ feat. Herbie Langhans and Sascha Paeth (Animated Short)

‘Orphan Of Life’ feat. Herbie Langhans and Sascha Paeth (Lyric Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Tough one because I listen to all kind of music since I was young. But into metal, and during my adolescence I remember listening to a lot to bands like Stratovarius (with Timo Tolkki), Rhapsody (original line-up), Nightwish (with Tarja), Sonata Arctica (original line-up), Ozzy Osbourne, Dionysus, Crimson Glory, and many more. As a composer, I always admired the music of Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, Howard Shore, Enya, among others and my favourite composer and pianist of classical music is Frédéric Chopin from the Romantic period.

What first got you into music?

The need to express myself. As an escapist, I was and am always lost in my own mind and imagination so I needed/need to put all these crazy/dreamy stuff somewhere, hehe. So, that’s why I got into music.

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

I am used to working with the musicians I like. So, more than musicians, I think I dream to work in great studios with great producers. Maybe one of my life dreams is to record and produce an album in Abbey Road with a big orchestra playing my songs. Anyway, if you ask me for a “current” singer I would say Jake E, he is phenomenal.

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

Maybe Wacken because in my opinion, it is the greatest metal festival out there. Anyway, someday I’d love to produce my own festival 😉.

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

Well, not weirdest but the most I liked was a beautiful abstract hand-made painting that is hung in my living room. Love abstract art!

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

More than a message, I’d say THANK YOU.

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

Hmmm…Tough one again haha, maybe Freddie Mercury.

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

The part that I most enjoy of being a musician is that the so called “work” is total fun, I mean, my “work” consists of expressing myself and helps me to manage stress or anxiety, etc. So, I think it’s the best work I could have. And the part that I don’t like too much is the social media madness, I mean, everything that is part of being a musician but has nothing to do with “music” itself, hehe.

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

I don’t know, I mean, it is what it is. I try to understand and manage it as much as I can. Music industry has a good and bad side, same as all things in life so I’m fine with it.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Just one?? Haha, very difficult! I mean, it’s kinda impossible. Sorry! 😊

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

I grew up listening to vinyls (when I was a kid), then I moved to cassettes and finally CD’s. Nowadays, I’m most into streaming services so If I get nostalgic, I would choose cassettes but at the end, life goes on and we have to adapt ourselves to the new generation’s formats.

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

The next one 😉

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

Maybe a writer, painter, movie maker or something where I can express ideas and tell stories.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Well, my closest friends.

What’s next for the band?

Promoting my new 5 track EP, released on May 21st, called “DIAMONDS IN THE DARK”, that I had the pleasure to produce in collaboration with Herbie Langhans (Firewind, Avantasia) and German producer Sascha Paeth during the pandemic lockdown in 2020.

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

You can visit my website: www.adrianbenegas.com, where you will find not only my solo project but also, my parallel symphonic metal project TRAGUL.

Also, my Instagram: www.instagram.com/adrianbenegasmusic and Facebook, www.facebook.com/adrianbenegasmusic

Find my videos on Youtube: www.youtube.com/adrianbenegasofficial and finally, listen to all music on Spotify and all streaming platforms.

Listen to the EP Here
www.sym.ffm.to/yvrx2q1

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Biscuit? haha

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?Thanks for having me! It was a pleasure to answer to all the questions! Rock On and stay heavy

Adrian Benegas Header

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.

Nergard – Eternal White

Eternal White Album Cover Art

Nergard – Eternal White
Pride & Joy Music
Release Date: 21/05/2021
Running Time: 50:20
Review by Simon Black
7/10

Andreas Nergård has been running this Symphonic outfit for a while now and the fourth album “Eternal White” is definitely a deviation from the love child of Avantasia and Stratovarius approach of the past. Now we all know that bands need to change direction to thrive from time to time, but let’s face it, recording ensemble Metal Opera’s with a cast of thousands in a locked down Europe ain’t gonna be happening for a while, so while necessity may be the motherfucker of invention here, that doesn’t mean that some thought has not gone into pulling it off credibly.

This one has apparently been four years in the making and I am guessing lockdown caused something of a slight rethink. What this means is that they’ve kept the vocals more tightly limited to three core voices in Stefani Keogh, Andi Kravljaca and Mathias Indergård – who nonetheless make it sound way bigger by varying their styles significantly – most noticeably with Keogh who has a quite alarmingly spooky death growl to go with that classic clean Symphonic style.

This particular historical concept piece focusses on the disastrous Carolean Death March of 1790, which is the object lesson of the old adage of ‘an army marches on its stomach’ and illustrates why it’s never a good idea to invade Norway in the winter, as 3,000 soldiers can freeze to death in a remarkably short space of time.

The album doesn’t get off to a great start however – with the overly Symphonic opener ‘God Forgive My Haunted Mind’ taking far too long to get things going and sounding a bit obvious for seven minutes whilst doing it. So my strong recommendation is start with track two and go back afterwards, because the rest of the album is really well crafted and flows with ease through a variety of well-structured and delivered songs. Like most concepts, picking up the story takes repeated listens and this is no exception. It also gathers pace as it goes, which is why I recommend playing with the order on first listen, because you will appreciate the subtlety of the slow build far more once you’ve had a chance to pick out your high spots. By the time we get half way through the album tracks like ‘Beneath Northern Skies’ and the superb ‘Where No One Would Shed A Tear’ you will most likely be hooked, with the storytellers holding you in the palm of their hands in time to surprise you with one extra surprise vocal guest in the form of the fabulous Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, but hey it’s always nice when he shows up soaring at the top of the ceiling as is his want.

Musically it’s not breaking any new Symphonic ground, although it’s expertly delivered and crisply produced. What makes it work slightly above the many similar acts is the vocal tag team’s storytelling. It’s like listening to a great musical audiobook with a Metal tinge and makes a change from the majority of the genre, where the concept remains a complete mystery to all but those who crafted it and the most patient of fans.

‘Carry Me’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. God Forgive My Haunted Mind
02. Pride Of The North
03. From The Cradle To The Grave
04. Carry Me
05. Beneath Northern Skies
06. Where No One Would Shed A Tear
07. Downfall
08. Now Barely There
09. Eternal White
10. Erasing The Memories

LINE-UP:
Stefani Keogh – Vocals
Andi Kravljaca – Vocals, Lead Guitar
Mathias Indergård – Vocals
Ørrjan Halsan – Rhythm guitars
Andreas Nergård – Drums, Keys & Orchestrations

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Video Interview with Christoffer Holm of VENGEANT

Vengeant Logo

Video Interview with Christoffer Holm of VENGEANT
By Sheri Bicheno

Hello all! Sheri here…

This time, I am sharing with you a lovely and deep chat I had with the equally nice Christoffer Holm of Swedish Symphonic Metal band Vengeant!

Vengeant are a brand-new International band, with their vocalist Danae Komodromou hailing from Greece! Currently, they are working on their forthcoming, debut, EP, with their first single ‘Angels Battle Cry’ released in February 2021. Their second single ‘The Unreal’ will follow on 23rd April. Both will be available on all major platforms!

I discover that there is a particular and interesting theme to the much anticipated, forthcoming album with Vengeant and one that will delight many fans of collectible and tradable card games.

Watch this space…

VENGEANT Video Interview by Sheri Bicheno

Vengeant are:
Danae Komodromou – Vocals
Christoffer Holm – Lead Guitar and Bass
Dennis Eriksson – Rhythm Guitar
Alfred Fridhagen – Drums

LINKS:

‘Angels Battle Cry’ (Visualiser)

Vengeant Promo Painting (Artwork by Sanjin Halimic)
Artwork by Sanjin Halimic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno and 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.

Avaland – Theater Of Sorcery

Theater Of Sorcery Album Cover Art

Avaland – Theater Of Sorcery
Rockshots Records
Release Date: 02/04/2021
Running Time: 62:53
Review by Beth Jones
8/10

France is not necessarily the first country I think of when it comes to exciting European metal. But recently there seems to be a heck of a lot of good music coming out from bands based there. And Avaland is certainly no exception to this rule. The brainchild of Adrien G. Gzagg, Avaland is an Epic/Symphonic Heavy Metal Opera project, and their first album, “Theater Of Sorcery,” has just landed. Now, this genre, I know, can be pretty chalk and cheese. Some people love it, some just think it’s pretentious. Personally, I can’t get enough of it! It is lavish joyfulness, created by melding together musical artforms, in a way that would make the ancient apothecaries fawn! So, what does this latest offering from the guilty pleasure gods bring? Well let’s find out!

“Theatre Of Sorcery” is a tale of adventure; the story of a young sorcerer, Adam Wilstorm, on a quest to bring back the light to the kingdom of Avaland. But, to succeed, he must learn to harness the storm within his powers. It’s a huge production, and a pretty astonishing composition, as Adrien is only 22! And it features some well-healed guest stars, too; Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Zak Stevens (Savatage/TSO), Zaher Zorgati (Myrath), Emmanuelson (Rising Steel), Stéphan Forté (Adagio), and Madie (Nightmare) to name but a few.

The album begins with the title track, which sets the scene for this grand production. It’s theatrical and I can imagine it looking spectacular on a stage. Musically, it’s good solid Heavy Metal, with a twist of Power, and Symphonic. In places, it almost reminds me of Jeff Wayne’s “War Of The Worlds,” but with a heavier, metal twist.

Good solid Metal anthems pepper this album, but they’re embellished with classical orchestration, choral harmonies, and traditional folk instruments, that sit in the mix, making for a very exuberant and indulgent feast of musical joy. But alongside that are crunching riffs and rhythms that you just have to bang your head to. And what Epic theatrical metal opera masterpiece would be complete without some face-melting guitar solos? Well, certainly not this one, as they’re also there by the bucket load, courtesy of some big-name guitarists.

I think my favourite track on the album is ‘Deja-Vu’. It starts with a solitary melancholy piano, but quickly launches into a powerful rhythmic track, with melodic verses, and peaks and troughs that make it punchy and exciting. It also has one of those delicious guitar solos that I alluded to earlier. I’m going to skirt over the fact that this track fades out at the end. As you’ll know, this is one of my pet hates, so there was a touch of inner turmoil for me with this, because I really like it!! I will also add that it’s not the only song to succumb to the dreaded fade out.

Production wise, no corners have been cut either. Placing of instruments, panning, and effects are all used to their full potential, to explore the depth and expansiveness of recorded music, making this a much more mature album than you’d expect from a debut penned by someone of such a tender young age. (I am almost green with envy right now! At 22 I could barely write a second-rate pop song, let alone an entire metal opera!) There’s nothing new or groundbreaking about this album, but if the likes of Avantasia do it for you, then you’ll love this album.

‘Theater Of Sorcery’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Theater Of Sorcery (feat. Emmanuelson)
02. Gypsum Flower (feat. Scheepers/Emmanuelson/Zorgati)
03. Let the Wind Blow (feat. Zorgati/Heli/Kanji)
04. Storyteller (feat. Zak Stevens)
05. Escape To Paradise (feat. Zorgati/Kanji)
06. Holy Kingdom Of Fools (feat. Jeff Kanji)
07. Never Let Me Walk Alone (feat. Madie)
08. Deja-Vu (feat. Emmanuelson)
09. I’ll Be Ready For Your Love (feat. Heli Andrea)
10. War Of Minds (feat. Zorgati/Madie)
11. Rise From The Ashes (feat. Zorgati/ Madie/ Stevens/ Heli/ Kanji/ Emmanuelson/ Scheepers)

LINE-UP:
Adrien G. Gzagg – Composer, Writer, Lead Singer, Keyboards and Orchestrations
Christophe Feutrier – Guitars
Lucas Martinez – Guitars
Camille Souffron – Bass, Double-Bass
Léo Mouchonay – Drums

Guests / Characters:
Adrien G. Gzagg – Adam Wilstorm
Zaher Zorgati (Myrath) – Adam’s Inner Voice
Jeff Kanji – Jacob Reiser, Adam’s Best Friend
Heli Andrea (Mobius/Olane) – Solveig Elweiss, Adam’s Beloved
Emmanuelson (Rising Steel/Ellipsis) – The Master Of Sorcery
Zak Stevens (Ex-Savatage/TSO/Archon Angel) – The Storyteller, appearing form the past
Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear/ex-Gamma Ray) – Aloïsius Jestens, King Of Avaland
Madie (Nightmare/Faith In Agony) – The Guardian Angel

Guests Guitars:
Ricky Marx (Ex-Pretty Maids/Now Or Never) on ‘Theater Of Sorcery’
Stéphan Forté (Adagio) on ‘Gypsum Flower’
Ayman Mokdad (Venus Syndrome/Alien Encounters) on ‘Never Let Me Walk Alone’
Virgile (ex-Rising Steel/Schräpnel) on ‘Deja-Vu’

LINKS:

Avaland Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth 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.

Ghosts of Atlantis – 3/6/2/4

3/6/2/4 Album Cover Art

Ghosts of Atlantis – 3/6/2/4
Black Lion Records
Release Date: 26/03/2021
Running Time: 40:12
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Good afternoon, my battle brothers and my sisters in slaughter. It is I, Dark Juan, Generalissimo and High Priest of all things metal. It is unaccountably sunny and clement in my mountain fastness of Dark Juan Terrace and as the shining horrible hot thing in the sky shines its baleful eye directly upon my pale and interesting countenance, my spirits lift from the morbid gloom of this most trying of winters and look forward into the joys of spring and possibly going out and meeting some people again instead of furtively scurrying through back doors and hoping the nosey old bitch at no. 42 didn’t spot you. That last sentence was not autobiographical. Oh no. Dark Juan would never countenance breaking any laws or orders. That would be a Very Bad Thing indeed. Never have I EVER even so much as fractured a law. Apart from the time my friend Gary Newgrosh was up a lamp post trying to steal a road sign and two gentlemen in suits with warrant cards asked whether I knew the lad with the road sign under his jacket and my drunken teenage response was “Piss off, I don’t talk to strange men.” And my speeding ticket last month. And all the stuff I have done in churches that I shouldn’t have. Some of them even consented…

None of which has anything to do with the fact that I am listening to Suffolk based gothic/symphonic/progressive blackened metallers Ghosts Of Atlantis’ debut offering, enigmatically entitled “3.6.2.4”. My immediate gut reaction about this record is that Cradle Of Filth have much to answer for as this style of quasi-black metal with added megagoth is now being touted as the Witch County sound (because Suffolk has had more than its fair share of witches and wise women, you see. The lucky bastards. Up North we just hung ours on Pendle Hill or in Alderley Edge.) I’m well aware that the sound of Cradle Of Filth and their ilk (Devilment, The Blood Divine and the like) are something of an acquired taste (I acquired mine in 1994 with ‘The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh’) and therefore a lot of metalheads will discount this as a load of gothic bollocks, which will be to their detriment as there is a lot more to Ghosts Of Atlantis than ever more high-pitched demented screaming and gothic nightmare. GOA happily welds in progressive riffs and time signatures and there is more than an element of power and symphonic metal with the clean vocals and the lyrical content and this lifts them easily above comparisons with the Filth and young Daniel Davey.

Ghosts of Atlantis are men on a mission to make sure that we remain acquainted with Ancient Greece and the lost city of Atlantis (or if you’re Welsh, Cantre’r Gwaelod, apparently just off the coast of Borth and Ynyslas, fact fans!) and base their songs around these concepts. Vocals run the whole gamut from absolute gut churning guttural roar to Filth-esque hellshriek to ZP Theart’s clean howl and some gorgeous harmonies. The high concept and that desire to switch from death screams and violence to progressive storytellers is most evident on ‘Gardens Of Athena’ which is an absolute tour de force as to why most experts about music consider metal a very difficult and complex style of music to play, almost classical in nature, as it moves from absolute murderous power and speed to soft acoustic and keyboard led passages, to Meshuggah style fractured time signatures, to power metal storytelling and back again. The fucking musicians on this record basically are living reminders to the fact I quit playing music because I frankly am not good enough. These people are mutants. Drummers should not be able to play such speedy and complicated rhythms and then change the fuckers mid song. It’s not fair. The guitarists should not have any fingertips left and the lead vocalist clearly has given up any thought of using his larynx in later life because he’s busily turning it to chunky salsa on this record. Commitment is not quite the word when it comes to Mr. Primmer’s vocal style. More, “I hate this piece of comically shaped gristle in my throat region and I am going to reduce it to its component atoms by means of abusing it so hard there should be a court case pending.” I dread to think how he whispers sweet nothings to his significant other. Probably from the next town over.

This record seriously has everything a metal fan (and not a few goffs) could desire. There’s utter powerviolence and speed, complexity in songwriting and riffage (the work of Colin Parks and Dex Jezierski on the guitars is superb – often choppy and sharp, frequently rapid and machine gun like but also classical, fluid and drop dead gorgeous, normally several times in the same song), the keyboard work is swoopingly gothic and sinuous (not unlike Cradle Of Filth in the more goff passages, but also gorgeously Eastern sounding in parts) and the drummer (Rob Garner) clearly has been issued with extra limbs by whoever is in charge of Quartermaster stores for that sort of thing. There’s no other explanation for what the hell he achieves behind his kit. Al Todd on the bass is also excellent but he is sometimes swamped by the sheer grandiosity of the music. The production is also pretty spot on too, although I find the guitar sound a little too highly engineered for my taste and I’d like to hear more bass, but it is a clear and legible sound that Ghosts Of Atlantis enjoy and the tiny niggles I have with the sound do not detract from my considerable enjoyment of what can only be described as a magnum opus, which is staggering in scope and jaw dropping in execution. Where I was blown away by The Machinist for their record’s sheer power and sonic violence, I am blown away by this record because it is a record that is greater than its influences might suggest it would be. Mixing Meshuggah, Cradle Of Filth, Hecate Enthroned, Dragonforce and Luca Turilli could have ended up a huge and disjointed mess, instead we have something that should become classic. The elements employed slot together seamlessly and every song drips uniqueness and splendour.

In conclusion, it’s fucking brilliant. Ghosts Of Atlantis are going to be huge if they carry on like this. My only concern is that the musical influences are that diverse, that the more gothic might avoid them because they are too metal and the metal kids might avoid them because they are too goth, or too progressive. Alternatively, I could just be spouting a load of ultrashite and Ghosts Of Atlantis will follow in the path of their Suffolk witchy, gothic cousins Cradle Of Filth and achieve global domination in short order.

I hope they do. For a debut album, this is absolutely fucking incredible.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Ghosts Of Atlantis a stonking 10/10 for an almost perfect record that has everything. Well done, gentlemen. Well done indeed.

*Polite applause*

‘Halls Of Lemuria’ (Official Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Third Pillar
02. Halls Of Lemuria
03. False Prophet
04. The Curse Of Man
05. When Tridents Fail
06. Poseidon’s Bow
07. Gardens Of Athena
08. The Lost Compass

LINE-UP:
Colin Parks – Guitars, Backing Vocals (Clean)
Phil Primmer – Vocals
Dex Jezierski – Guitars
Al Todd – Bass
Rob Garner – Drums

LINKS:

Ghosts Of Atlantis 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.

Corporain – Purge // Purity

Purge//Purity Album Cover Art

Corporain – Purge // Purity
Volcano Records
Release Date: 26/02/2021
Running Time: 52:44
Review by Simon Black
8/10

It’s my own fault, as I keep saying ‘yes’ to them, but most of the music emanating from Italy that lands in my direction to review tends to be of the Symphonic / Power / Progressive bent, is more often than not some great conceptual piece with strong operatic overtones and either directly a part of or at least influenced by the Rhapsody family of acts. So when something like this arrives that doesn’t fit that mould in the slightest, then it makes an incredibly refreshing change. Which is odd, because Progressive and Symphonic are definitely a part of Corporain’s DNA, but they don’t sound like anything else I’ve heard recently from Italy’s fine Metal stables recently.

And bloody good with it they are too…

Unlike much from those more overtly operatic corners of the country, this is highly accessible craftsmanship and a far more modern sounding record than I expected from this Tuscany-based four piece. That said, the classical motes are in there, particularly in the quite frankly outstanding keyboard work from Edoardo Giacomelli, who most of the time sticks to a classical piano sound lending the whole album a distinctive and consistently mature sound. I can’t praise his musical contribution enough and he’s the beating soulful heart of this record. The three instrumentalists all share the vocal duties, running the gamut of styles from Heavy and Hard, to Rock ’n’ Roll, to clean Power, to Nu-Metal, to heart-achingly soulful and so many shades in between. I know this contradicts what I said about a distinctive and consistent sound, but despite the range of vocal sounds they somehow achieve this.

They do exactly the same thing with the songs, which bounce round a whole range of styles whilst still sounding like it’s the same band at heart. It’s incredibly disconcerting, but works a treat and the inherent contradiction that the more progressive elements throw at the ear, such as seamlessly flicking between a burst of brutal heaviness and some beautiful melodic sections without jarring in the same track is quite exceptional. These songs betray a musical skill and song-writing excellence way beyond their years, not to mention no small amount of restraint and focus, meaning the songs are not sacrificed on the altar of overt technical wizardry, but instead just accentuates that structure. It also has incredible depth, with each listen like peeling an onion layer by layer to reveal something I missed the previous time round. This is a highly impressive debut of the calibre that doesn’t come round often, with a well-rafted record that’s like the gift that keeps on giving. This is clearly an act to watch.

‘Rage’ (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Millenium
02. Inception
03. The Purge
04. Apocalypse
05. Hollow
06. Pitch Black
07. Never Forget
08. Rage
09. Whispering The Wind

LINE-UP:
Edoardo Giacomelli – Keyboards & Vocals
Andrea Singulti – Guitar & Vocals
Iacopo Campinoti – Bass & Vocals
Marco Visconti – Drums

LINKS:

Corporain Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.