Interview with Hecate Enthroned

Interview with Hecate Enthroned
By Tammy Lomax

I recently had the wonderful privilege to get some questions over to long term bass player Dylan Hughes, from the band Hecate Enthroned. These absolute legends have been going strong for over 25 years!

Q: Firstly known as ‘Amethyst’ then ‘Daemonum’ in 1993, Hecate Enthroned were alleged to be one of the most intense bands that erupted from the death metal scene back in 1995. You embraced a symphonic black metal style in the early days, progressing and advancing with time and adding more elements of melodic death metal! What inspires and motivates you guys to keep going?

Dylan: We originated in Wrexham, North Wales. Back then the scene was young and very exciting, seeing bands come over for the first time, bands that are now regarded as instigators and albums that have become classics, gigs were sold out and the energy around the whole scene was electric. Being a part of that; recording albums, playing gigs was very intoxicating and fired what we were doing and of course we were young 😊 Now we’re older, wiser but still have the same passion for writing and playing music, we love creating as a band and doing shows, the energy and drive is still there and we have been incredibly lucky to have an amazing fan base that have supported us for over 25 years so producing for them and getting the reactions and feedback we do really keeps us going.

Q: In 1995, the first demo released, “An Ode For A Haunted Wood” was the start of something beautiful. MTV featured this release and Hecate Enthroned were one of the first extreme black metal bands to gain from this experience. Hecate Enthroned caught the attention of Blackend Records and you all collaborated to remaster the tape and turn it into a E.P “Upon Promeathean Shores (Unscriptured Waters)” From this moment you guys had a true black metal sound. How did the band conclude to this decision and why?

Dylan: Blackend had heard the ‘Ode…’ demo and our constant gigging had gained us a following over here enough for them to contact us and show considerable interest. We played a mini-UK tour in I think ‘94 or ‘95 with Primordial and Sigh. This did really well and after seeing us on the London date Blackend offered us the contract. They were a decent label and as a subsidiary of PHD they had excellent distro and promo. As the ‘Ode…’ demo was so popular we rehashed and re-recorded those songs as the first EP for Blackend “Upon Promeathean Shores…” and the track ‘Ode For A Haunted Wood’ got a video and playtime on MTV Headbangers Ball. There were very few black metal bands with videos at that time, so it did get us a lot of publicity and literally went across the world, with PHD distro our releases were one of the few bands and labels that got to countries outside of EU and US, and fans from those early times are still with us now.

Q: In 1997 Hecate Enthroned released its first full-length album “The Slaughter Of Innocence”. Produced by Andy Sneap, it directed the band to a faster, more brutal chapter. It was very well-received; however, the band did experience some negativity by being criticised as a “Cradle of Filth rip-off”. How did you guys approach this and what was the outcome?

Dylan: we’ve never given any credence to the COF press, we were both UK bands playing symphonic black metal, we shared members and COF were the bigger band so its natural this will happen. Most press and journalists don’t have the knowledge or imagination to write anything other than comparing bands to other bands, in a way we all do it. We just got on with what we do, we always have, we write the music we feel in the way that’s natural to us. As you say that album was fast and brutal, we have always been on the brutal side of symphonic and with a very Black Metal feel even with the Death Metal edge we have, our natural playing style is aggressive and that’s what comes out along with the orchestral and more gothic elements.

Q: At the end of 1997, a couple of band members were replaced by yourself and guitar player Andy Milnes. The following year Hecate Enthroned released their second full-length album “Dark Requiems…And Unsilent Massacre”. Using keyboards as the main instrument and adding layers of horrifying atmosphere, brutally consistent with the previous albums, What is your favourite track to play on this particular album and why?

Dylan: Yes, as a band develops, members will change or people will come in and out, it’s about finding the musicians that work with the band and that contribute to the creative process while bringing elements of themselves that either enhance or compliment, not always easy but we have been very lucky with the people we have had in over the years, some great musicians and friends. That album was again very fast & very nasty but with a darker overall feel, due in no small part to the production given by Pete ‘pee wee’ Coleman. We still play a few tracks from that album live and I’d say a favourite to play is the title track ‘Dark Requiems…’ it’s a powerful fast paced song with a really atmospheric end that builds into something horrific.

Q: The last album released by Blackend Records was “Redimus” in 2004, it showed a more aggressive edge and was produced by Phil Green via Blue Room Studios. In February 2013, guitarist Nigel Dennan and you were interviewed for the Hungarian documentary ‘Attention! Black Metal’, then later that year signed a new deal with Crank Music Group and delivered the album “Virulent Rapture”. Why did you sign a new deal and is there any advice you can give to bands regarding networking and getting their name out there?

Dylan: There had been around 10 years since the last album “Redimus” was issued, we had still been playing live but no studio work and no label. We had received a lot of offers but none we could work with or liked, and our personal lives had developed to where a lot of things were on hold. The offer from Crank was good and we went for it, unfortunately they didn’t exist for that long and reissues became difficult, but they did a great job with the album and it remains a favourite amongst fans if not a bit of a cult classic. Fortunately, our current label M-Theory Audio have rereleased “Virulent Rapture” this year and fans now have the chance to add it to their collection, also a beautiful vinyl release. The best advice for bands looking at contracts is to get a lawyer, a good one. Networking and promo are now online, social media, if you’re good with that stuff you’ll do well. It’s very easy for bands to self-promote as everyone is online.

Q: In 2006 Hecate Enthroned embarked on a UK headline tour playing in London, Southampton, Nottingham, Bradford and Wolverhampton. In 2007 you performed in Norway at Inferno Festival alongside Immortal, as well as several shows in Spain, Bulgaria, Romania and Germany. In 2013 Hecate Enthroned headlined a mini-UK tour, then headlined at the Hell Fast Attack Festival. With so many festivals and tours under your belt, What has been the most memorable and rewarding?

Dylan: Most memorable tour was probably EU with Satyricon and Behemoth in 2000, some great cities and venues on that and with 2 great bands who were both starting to really get huge 😊. Festival wise it would probably be Inferno as the bill was incredible and Brutal Assault in CZ, again great bill and what a great location for a fest, an old army camp. Such a cool vibe there. MetalDays as well, again it’s an incredible extreme metal fest with such good organisation in gorgeous surroundings.

Q: Hecate Enthroned were scheduled to do a gig in Bogotá in December 2012, which would have been your first show in South America, sadly it was cancelled twice. In the same month, the band announced they had fired both vocalist Dean Seddon and drummer Rob Kendrick. Rob was then replaced by Gareth Hardy, and in April 2013 Elliot Beaver was announced as Seddon’s replacement. How do you keep focused regardless of setbacks and disagreements in the band?

Dylan: Yes, that was very unfortunate and disappointing. South America holds great support for us, one of our biggest fan bases so not getting there and having several cancellations is very upsetting. But like anything in life if you love doing something and it means everything to you then you just get on with it, work around it, learn from it and progress.

Q: Since 2014, Hecate Enthroned have been preparing and gearing up, ready to deliver a new album “Embrace Of The Godless Aeon” which was eventually released in 2019. How do you prepare, and what are the processes involved when writing a new album?

Dylan: We constantly write and have ideas, rehearsals regularly turn into jam sessions as well as individuals having ideas and riffs, it all comes together in rehearsals and we thrash ideas out into songs. There are always parts and riffs hanging about, some never get used and others can wait a long time before they do but it’s a band process and everyone contributes. The completed songs then get hammered out until they work and are ready to be recorded. By the time we’re in the studio the songs are there.

Q: This year has had a devastating impact on the music industry, how have you occupied yourselves and what can we expect from Hecate Enthroned in 2021?

Dylan: It has been difficult for us to do anything, obviously no gigs but due to restrictions even rehearsing has been patchy. We recruited a new drummer in Matt Holmes this year and literally only had a couple of rehearsals with Matt before the first lockdown so obviously priority, when we got the chance, was hammer the set and old songs with Matt. But there hasn’t been much of that in recent months due to personal circumstances around shielding and health. It’s been the same for everyone and it’s been so sad seeing venues and bands disappear, but we will get through this and, when we can, we will get back to the stage and resume blasting. We have some rescheduled fests and tours for 2021 we just hope these can become reality.

Q: Lastly, If you could all have one icon over for fine dining and beers, who would it be and why?

Dylan: I know Lemmy is dead but…got to be the man. And for obvious reasons, who else could you enjoy some fine dining with 😉

Many thanks for the interview Tammy and we wish all of you and everyone out there the very best. We are strong together and we will get through all this shit, see you all on the road very soon!!!!

Thank you so much Dylan and Hecate Enthroned, it’s been an absolute pleasure working with you over the last few weeks.

‘Plagued By Black Death’ (Brand new Lyric Video from the reissue of the “Virulent Rapture” album)

LINE-UP
Andy Milnes – Guitar
Nigel Dennan – Guitar
Dylan Hughes – Bass
Joe Stamps –-Vocals
Pete White – Keyboards
Matt Holmes – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Tammy Lomax 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.

Standing Like Statues – Reality Checkpoint EP

Standing Like Statues – Reality Checkpoint EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 13/11/2020
Running Time: 14:28
Review by Tammy Lomax
10/10

I cannot explain in actual words how much I needed this day off. I have been breaking my back for months with barely any time to congress. Today is different, the house is tidy and very quiet, and I am submerging myself into my happy place, my musical bubble.

Today’s selection are Cambridge alt-rockers Standing Like Statues. They self-released their second EP “Reality Checkpoint” on 13/11/2020, which is produced by Romesh Dodangoda (Motörhead, Bring Me The Horizon).

Formed in 2015, Standing Like Statues have supported bands such as We Are The Ocean, Fort Hope and Courage My Love. They have also experienced being featured on BBC Look East and BBC Introducing Cambridge, ‘Reality Checkpoint’ is the follow up to 2015’s “Makeup And Mind Games” and their inspirations come from bands like 30 Seconds To Mars and Biffy Clyro.

My favourite track on the EP is opener ‘Skylines’, it hit me like a brick. I had it on loop for a while and discovered I resembled the lyrics. There is an elevating light when you listen, even more so when the lyrics hit home. It is energetic and the electronic elements have much texture and weight, Vocalist Jamie Wiltshire explains that this track is about feeling claustrophobic, by not being true to oneself because of fear of not being accepted. Are you known to keep apologising to the person you love because you can’t control the anxiety that eats away at you? If you do, then this track is for you, suggested as a cry for help but with an answer! The vocal ranges are good, they don’t sound over bearing when the high notes are reached, and they are projected in a crystal-clear manner. There is stability flowing between the lyrics and the instruments, nothing overwhelms each other. I absolutely love it!

The following tracks ‘Stupid Love’ and ‘Confidence’ align together nicely, They are definitely a bit bouncier. When ‘The Best Kind of Anxiety’ plays, there is more creativity regarding the technical side and it ends the EP on a high, the same high you get with ‘Skylines’. I can safely say, beyond any doubt that Standing Like Statues are going to bring a huge breath of fresh air to the music industry.

This EP is superlative, especially during these times, you literally feel a surge of inspiration after listening. Also, I literally cannot put across how sweet the production is, it is fabulous darling!

Just under 15 minutes long and I honestly love what Standing Like Statues have created. At the moment, there are an enormous amount of people who are suffering, Standing Like Statues have reached out and excelled themselves! Feeling a bit shit? Listen to this, on repeat…

TRACKLISTING:
01. Skylines
02. Stupid Love
03. Confidence
04. The Best Kind Of Anxiety

LINE-UP:
Jamie – Vocals
Effy – Drums
Exidion – Guitar
Chris – Bass
Meitar – Guitar

LINKS:

Photo by Daniel Akerley

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax 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.

Grimorte – Esoteric Ascendance EP

Grimorte – Esoteric Ascendance EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 31/10/2020
Running Time: 18:01
Review by: Tammy Lomax
10/10

My head has been battered since starting my new job, systems overlapping systems galore! But the weekend is here Mofos! And do you know what this entails? That’s right, MUSIC!

Let me introduce you to Grimorte. They are a new two-man project consisting of…Kieran Scott from the band Ashen Crown, who is the vocalist and Lewis Borthwick, from the band Archierophant, who plays the instruments and is Master of Production. The project itself sits somewhere between atmospheric Black/Death Metal and Doom.

Grimorte are all things chilling and they explore the mysteries that surround Aleister Crowley and the occult, with this debut EP telling us of a woman’s journey, whose innocence is ripped away and replaced by possession.

Ok, at this point I am shitting it!

I can’t even sleep with my feet outside the bed and I am, admittedly, a huge fluff pants! Friends have stated many times “It’s just a film” But that is NOT how I see it! It’s a script FYI! Someone out there has this in their head, and do you know what is worse?! SOMETIMES THEY ARE BASED ON TRUE EVENTS!!

Right, where was I? Oh yeah, this possessed lady, right, (ok, I’m calming my tits).

“She is lulled into the esoteric pagan and Satanist practices of the golden dawn and awakes to find her new demonic form.” I would be livid if I woke up to this, mind you first thing in the morning…there is definitely a resemblance.

To add to the dark story, obviously “Esoteric Ascendance” was released on 31/10/20, Halloween…

Now let’s get to the music.

Opening Esoteric Ascendance is track ‘The Procession’ The vocals hit you immediately, personally the most deathly vocals I’ve heard in a while. You begin to unravel and visualize unsettling scenes, breaking down the story piece by piece and become drawn in with the simple note progressions. It’s truly poetic and full of passion. This duo are definitely onto something.

The following track ‘Sequestrate’ slowly builds with the most haunting atmosphere. It is more melodic, and it marches you into the EP. It feels nostalgic with a doomy edge and vocals that are accompanied by a depressing energy and added layers. This is a much more beefy and weighty accomplishment.

Third track ‘Esoteric Ascendance’ is definitely an eye opener for me, or shall I say a chaotic roller coaster. The shrieking vocals and slow tempo lead me to a distorted guitar section, catapulting me straight into the plot of the story! They then proceed to rip me away, hurling me back and forth, my head is all over the place, in the best possible way, of course.

Finally, ‘Firvir’ is 100% advanced modern black metal. By this point I feel possessed, and maybe that’s exactly Grimorte’s aim? This is my favourite track on the EP, there are layers upon layers, and you can really explore and hear the depths of their combined talents and ideas. It is an offering of chilling detail and rich tastes; you cannot dismiss the infinite variety of intonations that have been used meticulously.

This 18-minute EP had me enthralled from the first second. It is elegance at its finest, with the combined skills of Kieran and Lewis brought to the fore. Just like baking the perfect cake, It is carefully structured, and the sections do not over spill or run into each other and as a debut release they have done an unreal, first-class job.

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Procession.
02. Sequestrate.
03. Esoteric Ascendance.
04. Firvir.

LINE-UP:
Kieran Scott – Vocals.
Lewis Borthwick – Instruments/Production.

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax 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.

Milk White Throat – Hierarchy EP

Milk White Throat – Hierarchy EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 18/09/2020
Running Time: 21:51
Review by Tammy Lomax
10/10

I miss Brighton, I miss it a lot. Not just because of the diversity, but because of the people. My circle of friends are the most important and genuine people I have in my life, some of them coming from Brighton.

When I moved there, I felt at home for the first time in my life, it’s very versatile. I struggle blending in up North, where I am now. I wear a metal t-shirt and feel I’m being judged all the time. In Brighton, you can literally be anyone you want to be and there is no judging, well you still get the odd dick, it’s expected anywhere.

I left just over a year ago, but Brighton did enable me to broaden my horizons and expand my music career. After removing the dicks from my life and trying to settle in “Planet North”, Mr Editor and I began chatting! He and Beth have lots of cheek kisses coming their way, he has helped me get out of my rut, mentally, and channel the crap into my writing.

I mention all of this because Alternative/Progressive band Milk White Throat are from Brighton. I have seen them play live on numerous occasions and I bloody love them. I do have a dirty mind at times (All the time dear readers, all the time – Rick), and to be fair how can I not go off on a tangent with a name like this?! “Milk White Throat”, Oh gosh. Yes please! 🤭

The name Milk White Throat is actually taken from a line in the Nick Cave song, ‘Black Hair’.

Starting in 2000 as a Thrash/Death metal band, ‘Milk White Throat’ refuse to be pinned down to a particular genre, mainly because there is so much variety and creativity, individually and collectively as a group…fuck the rules!

During this time, the line-up has slowly reduced in size and by 2016 only three members remained.

They have continued to evolve and have now returned with their self-released EP “Hierarchy.” Whilst still sticking to variety, the three songs that make up “Hierarchy” are their most mature and melodic effort to date, progressing forward from 2018 EP “House Of Fire”.

The songs represent an individual’s fragility from different perspectives. Our minds can certainly be a fragile thing for sure, especially during these times.

As “Hierarchy” is only three tracks long. I am going to go through them one by one, with as much information as I can.

Opener ‘Closed Eyes’. It is written from the perspective of the world within oneself. It can be a struggle to accept who we are and what everything around us is actually about. What is our existence worth to ourselves? The track itself is over 7 minutes long and they jump straight in with the most alluring vocals, they are light as a feather, well balanced and everything is…calm. The music moves me in ways I can’t explain. Their guitar work meets the flow then excels as it progresses, giving us some umph. It’s pretty clear there are some personal experiences behind this music, you can feel it and the passion.

Next up is ‘Sleepless’ and It is written from the perspective of a parent and the continuous battles mentally. Are our children a true reflection of ourselves and are we qualified to raise a child? Fans have made comparisons with Deftones, I understand why. There is more energy in this track, but a continuous graceful flow remains. Vocalist Brian Thomas is slightly fiercer, but you can hear his growls being held back, no room for gruesome growls here guys! ‘Sleepless’ is also the lead single and has a wonderful accompanying video filmed in The Underworld, Camden Town!

Finally, title-track ‘Hierarchy’ is written from the perspective of someone failing to live up to society’s expectations. Are we just a number and statistic in the outside world? How do we use all of this information to better ourselves? This takes you on a journey, all sections are dynamic, and the tempo is fast, but it still flows with the other two tracks.

I am now going to sound like the biggest cheese ball going!

“Hierarchy” is a perfect representation of how we see our lives in general. It covers different points of views, experiences, opinions (*cheese ball incoming*) and my perspective is, LOVE! Love is the perspective! We should inject that good juice daily, seeing potential in the negatives, seeing inspiration in the darkest of moments, seeing beyond all limitations. The sky is not the limit, our minds are!

The work that has been created on this stunning EP is exceptional. It moves you in so many emotional ways. Although it is short it is balanced throughout. I cannot really do it any justice, so please do check it out.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Closed Eyes
02. Sleepless
03. Hierarchy

LINE-UP:
Tom Humphrey – Guitars.
Guillaume Croizon – Drums.
Brian Thomas – Bass and Vocals.

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax 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.

Thirteenth Sign – The Ashes Of A Treacherous Silence

Thirteenth Sign – The Ashes Of A Treacherous Silence
Self-Released
Release Date: 02/10/2020
Running Time: 70:54
Reviewed by Tammy Lomax
8/10

By nature, I am a positive person, full of beans 90% of the time. But lately, I’ve been feeling quite flat in myself, the pressures of modern life can sometimes take us away from the beautiful thing that is life!

I did have a chat with Mr. Editor (she did indeed – Rick), as I didn’t feel as confident in my writing that day, unusual as I normally bring all the bubbles, but the last thing I wanted was for this to reflect in my writing, so I decided to sit on this album for a bit.

Kick-starting my fitness and religiously meditating my brain, I now feel ready to swallow “The Ashes Of Treacherous Silence” the new album by Thirteenth Sign.

The band actually started off under the name ‘Skeletal Embrace’ back in 1998/99 in Norfolk. They managed to record 3 demos, then decided to change their name. After releasing their debut album “Oracles Of Armageddon” in 2008, they went and played Hammerfest, supporting Napalm Death and Anaal Nathrakh. They then released two more albums, “Rise Of The Black Angel” (2012) and “Evolutions End” (2016). Originally Norfolk based, band members left and were replaced with new members from Nottingham, thus they now consider themselves Nottingham based.

Now to the album itself. Go Forth Tammy, I tell myself “I got this”.

Let me start with the meaning behind the lyrics. They are based upon the true story of some of Britain’s most notorious serial killers, but the album does not focus on the actual killings themselves but delivers insight to what made those killers commit such evil crimes. Therefore, we get songs about neglect, domestic violence, depression, suicide, and betrayal and the spoken pieces in between tracks give the album a definite “Operation: Mindcrime” feel, which is to be expected as that concept album was their initial inspiration for this!

I can’t see a happy dance happening any time soon.

‘WN-3617’ opens the album which is just over a minute-long introduction and It’s actually really creepy.

‘The Bond Of Wicked Blood’ opens the album, in suitably gruesome fashion but, personally, I feel the album really kicks off with next track ‘Impulse Control’. We are marched forward into the album, there is a really good repetitive riff and the tempo meets this making it feel completely thrash.

The first thing I noticed was drummer Lloyd. His accelerated beats rip and slay hard. His blazingly fast double kick drums turn me into a trembling mess! They are hard to keep up with but not misplaced at all. Drummers like this are rare gold dust.

Throughout the entire album you also have some befitting vocals. The only slight niggle for me is on final track ‘The Scars Of Betrayal” where they are a no-no from me. They are not terrible, but they are not great either. It’s difficult to understand what is going on and they seem to be out of place in comparison to the rest of the album. The musicianship is still remorseless though, and severely intense.

As a whole, the album is way beyond being quiet. There are so many moments that illustrate this. For example, ‘Electric Hammer’. This is the first video released from the album with their new line-up and was recorded during the lockdown by Loki Films! Thirteenth Sign transport all the chaos in this track. The production is clear, projecting a real clean and relentless sound. I actually resembled a hippo at this point as my jaw hit the ground. You can hear every string and strum on those guitars, and I have to bow my head with respect. They nail it totally.

Recording began in Feb 2020 and Covid-19 could have derailed everything, but the band were able to continue recording the remainder of the album at their home studios during lockdown. Thank goodness for that as this cruel and destroying album can now be heard by everyone!

Ok, so my overall thoughts are:

Thirteenth Sign have undoubtedly proved to themselves and demonstrated that if you want to do it, whatever it may be, then get UP and do it. They have bonded well together and their creativity and talent is completely apparent. There is enough variation in track tempos and there is a crisp production. They have delivered and it certainly stands out from their previous albums. From what I can gather, they bring a bloody good party, and they know EXACTLY what they want. “The Ashes Of A Treacherous Silence” deserves a huge slap on the back.

Cheers guys.

TRACKLISTING:
01. WN-3617
02. The Bond Of Wicked Blood
03. Impulse Control
04. Electric Hammer
05. Demons Within
06. Locked In A Deadly Embrace
07. The Spider’s Web
08. Walls Of Jericho
09. The Bone Collector
10. Leach
11. The Perpetual Darkness
12. Ashes For Eternity
13. Silent Witness
14. The Scars Of Betrayal

LINE-UP
Chris Hubbard – Rhythm Guitar
Reno Ramos – Vocals
Dale Stringer – Lead Guitar
Lloyd Stringer – Drums
Dave Thomas – Bass

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax 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.

ColdHarbour UK – Live Stream Review

ColdHarbour UK
The Seagull Theatre, Lowestoft
Live Stream Presented by Centrepin T.V
26/09/2020
Review by Tammy Lomax

Screw you Coronavirus!!

With all the cancellations it might feel like you’ll never watch your favourite band onstage again, however, we have to adapt to this pandemic, whether we like it or not. So, the next best thing? Live streams baby!! Yeah!!

It’s surely better than nothing right? Be grateful for what we can do virtually, the love of our technology, our saviour but yet our own worst enemy at times.

Beer at hand? Good, now let’s crack on.

On Saturday 26/09/2020 at 8pm I was prepared and ready, sat on my sofa waiting for the live stream performance from ColdHarbour UK. It is a bit odd that I have my fluffy socks on, it’s a very sad affair that my ‘kock out boots’ are collecting dust. Up until now, I have been a Twitch virgin and I must say that it appears to be an excellent platform for occasions like these.

ColdHarbour UK are a three-piece Grunge/Prog/Metal band from Norwich. Tonight, they have a decent 1 hour set and It’s doubly special for us listeners/watchers because they are playing 5 new songs! The stage and setup are really cool. There is enough space between the three members, and they are all facing inwards, ready to open their set! ColdHarbour UK were born ready! I feel some nervousness for them, after all this is still a very new way of presenting a live performance, but that’s exactly what the buzz is about!

By the time fourth track ‘Sonorous’ kicked in, there were a fair few people tuning in to the stream and the fellas were getting some positive feedback on the live chat, this was definitely adding to their performance. At this point, they were all settled in, they sounded tight, the hard work and commitments with rehearsal’s having paid off. More and more energy was coming from all of them, the riffs were flying out hard and the sound of the bass was like a dribbling monster. No lie, one day I want a bass like that. It was a chunky funky BAD ASS!

So, we get to just over half way through and I frantically manage to squeeze a few questions in on the live chat

Tammy: “These times at the moment are absolutely bonkers right?! So, how have you prepared yourselves for tonight’s live stream?”

ColdHarbour UK: “A big shout out to Earth Studio’s, Pete has been fantastic. He has been flexible following social distancing rules and allowed us to use the studio for rehearsal, preparing ourselves for tonight”.

Tammy: “You are playing a lot of new tracks tonight, can you tell us the process of writing these tracks, and what are the inspirations behind your magic?”

ColdHarbour UK: “We build ideas as a group, Alex and Tom work on the main melodies and then we collaborate”. “Our inspirations are varied! Tom and Alex like Prog and Metal and Ian likes Grunge and Metal”.

Tammy: “When Covid-19 is over and some normality resumes, what are your plans and hopes for the future as a unit?”

ColdHarbour UK: “We plan to record and release our stuff, so we can be heard, this does take some time and money though”.

Now, with the questions out of the way, I really need to point out my favourite track from the performance. ‘Silence Is Deafening’ was projected and performed with precision. It was one of the new tracks, but I heard no misfires or awkward notes. Vocals were clean and clear and the bass didn’t overshadow either it was just a perfect mix.

Wow, by this point they were absolutely pumped up. There were positive interactions and even more feedback coming from the crowd. I felt I was attending an actual gig in my FLUFFY SOCKS!!

The rest of the performance was mainly instrumental although there were some vocals and you could really hear their talent. They have a great concoction of ideas and the three of them work together perfectly.

ColdHarbour UK are definitely committed and I personally have a soft spot for these fellas! Regardless of Covid-19, they are still pushing themselves and are full of creativity and new ideas, I really see a bright future for these guys.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Hour Of The Wolf
02. State Of Mind
03. Dorje’s Wish
04. Sonorous*
05. Subterfuge*
06. Blackest Days
07. Silence Is Deafening*
08. 13 & Four*
09. Somewhere To Call Your Own
10. Fall Away
11. Roots*
12. Battlestar Spactacular

*New Tracks.

LINE UP:
Tom Brown – Vocals and Guitars.
Alex Taylor – Bass
Ian Arnold – Drums

LINKS:
You can watch the full performance here…
www.facebook.com/1306612549359805/posts/3462156187138753/

www.facebook.com/ColdHarbourUK/
www.instagram.com/coldharbour_band_uk/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/2GLXhpPmCxJc9BIwm1sQ9s
www.youtube.com/channel/UCtBnBwCFdSEJR1nrybWDnsA

www.facebook.com/CentrepinTV/
www.facebook.com/seagulltheatre/
www.facebook.com/WendyHouseRecordingStudio/

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax 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.

Soulwound: The Suffering

Soulwound: The Suffering
Inverse Records.
Release Date: 11/09/2020
Running Time: 48:10
Reviewed by Tammy Lomax
9/10

Hello lovely people. Today I have the amazing privilege to review Soulwound’s new album “The Suffering” which was released in September via Inverse Records. It’s the third album from Soulwound, who formed in the 90’s, and come from a small village called Myllykoski, Kouvola, in Finland. They offer fast, brutal aggressive metal with a hint of old school.

Their motto (which I love) is “fuck what anyone else thinks”, and to be fair, it is spot on. One thing I’ve learned in my life is, it’s human error to judge. We don’t even realise we do it sometimes, but we do.

Personally, my family never really understood my passion for metal music. My mother calls it the ‘Devil’s Music’, which I accept, as it’s her opinion. Doesn’t mean I agree though! Nor will I waste energy debating to try change her mind. Instead, I’ll go sailing in my music bubble boat, ready to press play on this album.

‘The Waste Of Life’ opens the album. There’s definitely some suspense, and my instincts screamed at me that something was coming. As the track developed, I found myself waiting for the unknown. I’ve never heard any Soulwound until now, so I had no idea what to expect. Then BOOM! Absolutely crazy fast, they launch some meaty guitar solos into the mix, along with gut erupting vocals. Oh! I may not have known what to expect but by this point, I felt extremely excited.

Wasting no time at all, track ‘Ritual Cleansing’ appears. The drums made me dribble, they were so incredibly intense and fast. Wow these guys have some huge balls that’s for sure. My face felt like it had been set on fire! I was barely inside the album and had already started jumping about like a chicken who’d lost its head! This track had got me thinking, “I am unsure if I will be mentally sound after listening to this album in its entirety!”

The next track, ‘Pleasures’, is perfectly placed. I REALLY enjoyed the deep doomy gloomy vibes here. Vocalist IIkka Valkonen’s range and variations have me in absolute awe. It’s a weighty 6 min track, with some belting guitar work, especially when the solo comes flooding in. Why have I only just now heard of these fellas?! ‘The Cult Of I’ follows this, and you really feel their passion in it. They are drip feeding us bit by bit throughout the album, adding something a little extra, something a bit different, totally opposite to ramming it all in straight away.

‘Meat Puppets’ keeps the consistency going after ‘Hivemind’, however it’s more together than ‘Hivemind’. I am not lying though, when I tell you I kept running out of breath as I listened. I just kept getting smashed repeatedly, it’s absolutely relentless!

I couldn’t have begged harder for, or been happier, when ‘This Hatred’ arrived. It gave me just a moment to take everything in, because ‘Error In The System’ broke me a little. I am astounded that a band has managed to do this to me! They literally are the full pudding. Well, for a few moments anyway, before they slaughter you up all over again. You can’t deny that these guys fit their own personal mould. They are literally peeing on everything, claiming ownership.

The last tracks on this monster album are ‘Apex Parasite’ and ‘Death Of The Sun’. And they literally left me speechless, I no longer have any words! They do calm it down massively at the start of the final track, but they make it work. I actually preferred this after what I’d just gone through. I felt all sway-ey and black metal-y with ‘Death Of The Sun’. However, I got a feeling they would close the album the same way they opened it, and I wasn’t wrong! Around 6 mins in, I was getting bashed to hell again 😅 I contemplated taking a break, just to go put my face in a bucket of ice!

Well, what can I say?! That was intense. All hell broke loose in my lounge. Soulwound’s music is created and crafted by guys who know what they like and know exactly how to bring it. They mention “It will probably take repeated listens to take in all the details embedded in the songs” I see no problems with this statement, I have stored it into my playlist anyway, y’know, so I can do all that to myself again!

‘The Suffering’ seems to me to be an evolution of Soulwound’s journey. Go and check them out.

And one final thought. Let’s be more accepting of others liking different things. Don’t make anyone feel outcast because they like a particular something that you don’t. One day in the future, humanity will accept others, regardless of race, religion, likes, or dislikes. Let’s carry each other. ❤🖤

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Waste Of Life.
02. Ritual Cleansing.
03. Pleasures.
04. The Cult Of I.
05. Hivemind.
06. Meat Puppets.
07. Error In The System.
08. This Hatred.
09. Apex Parasite.
10. Death Of The Sun.

LINE – UP:
IIkka Valkonen – Vocals.
Niko Huusari – Guitars.
Mikko Huusari – Guitars.
Join Järvenmäki – Bass.
Janne Huusari – Drums.

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax 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.

Countless Skies – Glow

Countless Skies – Glow
Willowtip Records
Release Date: 06/11/2020
Running Time: 43:38
Reviewed by Tammy Lomax
10/10

I really ought to express how much I love what I do here at Ever Metal. I have had some emotional times during the lockdown, as I am sure we all have, right? Having an outlet is important for our health and wellbeing. We all need a chance to escape and just be ourselves and…breathe. I do it via my writing, and I am very grateful. Without it, I dread to think! 😅 Plus, I have the amazing opportunity to get my hands all over some new music!

So, during these emotionally challenging times, I thought Countless Skies was a perfect selection.

UK based, they erupted onto the metal scene in 2014 with their self-titled EP. “Glow” is the follow-up to 2016’s full-length debut, “New Dawn”, and takes the band’s progressive brand of Melodeath metal to a new level. Recently, they have shaken hands and sealed the deal with Willowtip Records for the release of “Glow”.

The album itself was recorded in the home studio of guitarist James Pratt. He says “It took a lot of learning and some expensive purchases, but it did have its upside. Not under the normal time constraints of being in a studio, we could take more risks, and get better performances from everyone. We also spent a lot of time adding more layers, harmonies, and even some extra instruments”. “Glow” was also mixed and mastered by Juho Räihä of SoundSpiral Audio.

Well, let’s play this bad boy then!

‘Tempest’ makes me a happy Tammy. What a perfect way to open this album. The setting for it is my perfect place, the beach. As the waves fade you are hit with the most atmospheric vibe. Vocalist Ross King is pure, he strikes some notes that honestly had me flabbergasted. The tech vibe bumps you spiritually and powerfully. You instantly realise this album is going to be full of raw emotion!

I am really liking the added instrumental extras, too. They fit, are in the right place, and definitely hit the spot! I’m feeling very zen!

‘Summit’ brought to mind Cradle Of Filth. Throughout you have some injurious drums, they literally are bashing at your ears. The tech remains, but you have some coatings of harmonies, and it’s all moulded together very well.

Tracks ‘Moon’ and ‘Zephyr’ flow together, perfectly matching the previous tracks. I do understand what Countless Skies are doing, and fair play. Sometimes you can’t guarantee the results you desire when adding some new flavours. It could be seen as trying to squish too much together, but it’s not with these fellas! They also take their time through each track, and that is a good thing, especially with all these new sounds. Anyway, why is everyone in such a rush these days? Good things come to those who wait!

The tracks ‘Glow’ Part One, Part Two, and Part Three, bring the album to a climax. Part One has been released already and had a good amount of attention. I can say now that I was absolutely dumbfounded with them and they left me speechless. And to be fair, shutting me up from waffling takes some serious doing! I am stunned. I just let these 3 tracks play together out of respect, and really tuned my ears, and my actual everything into them. They’re a montage of EVERYTHING!

I am assured there is a feel of Pink Floyd, just more modern, especially when the instruments play and tell their story, you drift off in your own music bubble and the story unfolds. I feel a love story, passion, fire, and some dangers and challenges. These tracks are a 20-minute opus split into three parts.

There has been a lot more creativity put into these masterpieces, the results are positive.

For me, this album could not have come at a better time. I really needed to get some of these built up emotions out! It just had to happen, and what better way to do it than with Countless Skies. They have demonstrated and proved through their music that, it doesn’t matter who you are, or what you are about, it’s literally all about feeling the music.

Who else is missing gigs?!

I miss gigs so much. Live streams will just have to do for now but, as soon as everything resumes some normality, I’m certainly going to a Countless Skies gig!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Tempest
02. Summit
03. Moon
04. Zephyr
05. Glow Part 1
06. Glow Part 2
07. Glow Part 3

LINE – UP:
Ross King – Vocals and Guitars.
James Pratt – Guitars and Backing Vocals.
Phil Romeo – Bassist and Clean Vocals.
Nathan Robshaw – Drums.

GUESTS/SESSION MUSICIANS:
Arianna Mahsaveh – Cello (Tracks 2/5)
Marcello Ciciriello – Piano (Tracks 1/4/5)
Anthony Trimming – Choir (Tracks 2)
RJ Learmouth – Choir (Tracks 2)
Vicky Harley – Choir (Tracks 2)

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax 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.

Behemoth – A Forest EP

Behemoth – A Forest EP
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 29/05/2020
Running Time: 19:15
Review by Tammy Lomax
10/10

Hello again you lovely lot, I hope you are all doing well during the mayhem, it’s all a bit surreal! On the other hand, the weather has been stunning! I cannot explain in actual words how honoured I am right now, All the squeaks! Please, let me tell you why. I have the opportunity to share my opinion on Behemoth’s EP “A Forest” which was released by Metal Blade Records, on the 29th May 2020.

Arggghhhhh! The excitement is literally bursting out of me. I have been a huge, HUGE fan of Behemoth since I began my little journey in the metal world. I was introduced to them through a close friend, who honestly, in my opinion was the master of all things Black Metal. He knew his music and then some! His enthusiasm just hooked me, sitting in the passenger seat, he popped it on through the car stereo, and boom! The more I listened the more I fell in love with them.

Coming from Poland in 1991, Behemoth are considered to have birthed the Polish Metal underground scene. A colossal amount of metal band’s inspirations actually come from Behemoth, hardly surprising as they are the bee’s knees.

As soon as my fingers touched play, I was straight into the Behemoth vibe. There’s a great aura poking you promptly. ‘A Forest’ opens up this 4 tracked EP, elegantly and fearlessly. The drums made me solidify, then when the vocals hit my ears, I became a goopy mess. Grasping my morning coffee, I instantly thought to myself, what a perfect way to start my day! The faster rhythm slides in like butter and It is so risqué! A very basic track if you don’t mind me saying, but it’s just wonderfully emotional.

The second track is a repeat of ‘A Forest’, but performed live in Warsaw, Poland in 2018 at the Merry Christless show. I appreciate the creativity of putting the mastered version of ‘A Forest’ alongside a live version of the track; it’s something I feel Behemoth can get away with. Now, in this day and age, from a band with such high eminence, we surely expect perfection, both live and in the studio? Well you won’t be left disappointed. Here, Behemoth sound sharp, and more importantly, on point. For this live performance they called ‘Niklas Kvarforth’ from Shining to join the stage, and the atmosphere is so bewildering! These emotions of mine are flying around and I ought to get a grip! It felt as though I was amongst the crowd, growing more and more passionate! This was actually the last day of the Behemoth tour and you can definitely feel their energy and performance on stage.

I found myself questioning ‘Is it normal to be this excited about the next track?’ as I sat, literally looking like a big numpty, during my commute on the train! I was masked up though, so hopefully no-one noticed my odd expression! Wearing a mask indubitably has its perks!

‘Shadows Ov Ea Cast Upon Golgother’ is the 3rd track on the E.P, and I decided to ramp it up on my earphones. It’s fast, and the vocals are hard and rustic, they really know how to build you up. They get a little faster with each section, and you’re on the edge, waiting. If you know Behemoth, then you will understand me when I say, “it’s coming”! And my oh my indeed it was. As they work the bass into the drums, the insane speeds on the guitars come out of nowhere, the smile on my face was HUGE! I felt so stimulated. I love the messy instrumental section before it ends, it’s effulgent. 👌

‘Evoe’ ends the E.P, and with it, Behemoth are instantly throwing their divine magic at you. I sense it’s even possible they are teasing us slightly with a hint of a new sound. It’s more industrial in certain parts throughout the track, but it’s not totally clear. They are just hitting you with their carnage, their beautifully executed carnage, #myfacemelted!

So, all in, I would say I don’t care if I just burst into a million pieces after such a short E.P. These Polish monsters of metal just keep giving us a little bit more. I really ought to point out the artwork too. It is very cultivated, and I confidently feel it captures Behemoth’s new chapter, maybe a slight glimpse and small offering before they emotionally smash us to smithereens with album 12? Who knows, all I know is I can’t bloody wait.

I have to thank Mr Editor for letting me dig my teeth into this one, it means the absolute world.

TRACKLISTING:
01. A Forest (feat. Niklas Kvarforth).
02. A Forest (live from Merry Christless, Warsaw, Poland, December 2018).
03. Shadows ov Ea Cast Upon Golgother.
04. Evoe.

LINE – UP:
NERGAL – Rhythm, Lead and Acoustic Guitars, Throat, New Aeon Propaganda and War Strategy
INFERNO – Drums ov Annihilation and Artillery
ORION – Low End Frequencies and Fornication
SETH – Rhythm and Lead Guitars

LINKS:
www.behemoth.pl/
www.facebook.com/behemoth
www.twitter.com/behemothband
www.instagram.com/behemothofficial
www.behemoth.lnk.to/youtube

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax 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.

Black Pestilence – Hail The Flesh

Black Pestilence – Hail The Flesh
Self-Released
Release Date: 01/05/2020
Running Time: 34:09
Review by Tammy Lomax
8/10

Tissues at the ready guys, we’re definitely going to need them!

Rolling in from Calgary, Canada, Black Pestilence started out as a solo studio project for bass player Valax, back in 2008. Pretty soon, one became three, and since then, there’s been over 12 years of hard work, releasing vast amounts of material, with motivation from huge bands like Municipal Waste and Midnight. Their latest release, “Hail The Flesh” has just been released, and is my subject here today. It’s Black Metal, mixed with punk, and some serious tapping into experimental sound and noise.

The moment album opener, ‘Hail The Flesh’, kicks in, all cards are on the table. I do like to indulge and ramp the volume up, and I most definitely needed to hear this a little bit louder! As the album continued, I was really drawn in by the lashing riffs winding into the intoxicating bass, the sound leaking through the speakers is fantastic, and I’m dribbling! It has some absolutely destroying vocals. They are colossal and literally slashing throughout the entire album. There is a lot of pain and misery in the lyrics, it’s a fantastic outlet, especially given recent events going on in the world. Stick that middle finger up!

Guitarist Daniel, and drummer Davey, complement Valax’s sound, and each other, superbly. For example, in the tracks ‘True To The Dark’ and ‘Cloven Decision’ the clunky bass sucks onto you like a Vacuum, and while you’re firmly stuck in place, you’re slapped with some fast guitars and even faster, harder drums. Amaze balls!! While we’re on the subject of drums, Davey Hellfire is actually jaw dropping. He is undoubtedly fast and certainly efficient. There’s nowhere that he isn’t consistently delivering it all.

‘Hellfire’ is ultimately the best track for me. It has many angles happening, whilst also being insanely swift. The strumming on the guitar follows a really deep bass and the riffs just melt me. I feel like my insides have been imploded! It’s hard and compacted, and I love it!

‘Ephemeral’ ends the album beautifully and most importantly, powerfully. I previously mentioned, Black Pestilence could be tapping into the experimental? Well, this is a perfect example. These fellas are more than capable of pulling on the heartstrings. This is a very well balanced and emotional track. It’s actually really beautiful. Hand me the tissues, will you?! I think next time I may need to review something a little less emotional! Give myself a little break so I can repair what is left off my brain!

Black Pestilence have a great concoction of sounds going on, they are fast paced, with dissolving slapping bass, diverse guitar skills, excellent footwork on the drums and vocals that can rip you apart in seconds! Every single track is done really well too, and there’s an aggressive atmosphere throughout! Your ears feel like they are bleeding!

However, in my personal opinion, Black Pestilence do play it safe with this album. Let me explain. Although the music itself is punchy and solid, it’s not overly technical, or mechanical. It’s robust and destructive, but there’s a certain ‘stability line’ to it and I just don’t feel these guys have pushed themselves to their potential. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not slating, quite the opposite. I love their sound, but I feel they could have tapped into being a bit more experimental. There’s some extreme talent within the band and it is paramount they explore that.

Aside from that small gripe, I love it. The whole album hammers at you like a pneumatic drill, at 100 mph. The album artwork is also bloody awesome and a well fitted representation of Black Pestilence.! It’s a robust design and offers some real rawness! It reminds me of artwork for bands like Bolt Thrower. And similarly, if you like Bolt Thrower, you’ll like Black Pestilence. In fact, if you enjoy any gut ripping black metal, then you’ll definitely appreciate these fellas. Pop over to their page and give them a like.

Look after each other everyone!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Hail The Flesh
02. Spurn All Gods
03. Hellfire
04. True To The Dark.
05. Cloven Division
06. Godless
07. Frauds To The Throne
08. My Will To Power
09. Ephemeral

LINE – UP:
Valax – Bass, Vocals, Samples
Daniel Toews – Guitar
Davey Hellfire – Drums

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/blackpestilenceband/
www.instagram.com/blackpestilence/
www.blackpestilence.bandcamp.com/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/1p0tK4ckGfA6YOEUIAaOcO
www.youtube.com/channel/UC5QS0AEYmWtwpZWwg6-CQfA

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax 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.