Monolith – Sentience

Monolith – Sentience
Self-Released
Release Date: 13/11/2020
Running Time: 53:10
Review by Beth Jones
7/10

Hands up who likes Progressive/Tech/Djent/Industrial/Electro Metal??!!! Ah good!! Me too! Well I’ve got a little something you might like.

Monolith is a one-man project that’s got all that and more. It’s the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist, and an old friend of mine, Nathan Hughes. And his debut album, “Sentience” has just landed. Formed as a project for his university degree in 2018, Monolith has grown into his ‘passion project’, culminating in this release. It’s a meld of everything, like one big metal caravan filled with whatever the hell you want, ready to set off on a trek to wherever the hell you want, down all the twisty and turny A roads and dirt tracks you can find! Metaphorically speaking!

The album explores a myriad of soundscapes, infusing synth effects with more traditional metal instrumentation. It starts with ‘Sentience I – Awakening’. The opening couple of bars sound like ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, which I thought was pretty fitting for the direction this album is aiming to take. But it quickly becomes a guitar and drum driven track full of darkness and intrigue, as well as a myriad of complex rhythms and interlocking sections. A great start.

‘Lucid’ is up next. Groove funk central!! It starts off with drums and some pretty nifty bass licks, and then tumbles into groove laden guitar. But don’t get too comfortable, as some crazy synth then drills into your brain followed by a ridiculously complex rhythm section, then some full-on thrash! It’s impossible not to move to, but do NOT try to bang you’re head, as you will either a) get annoyed at yourself for going off beat, or b) look like you’re having some kind of episode.

‘Departure’ takes you on a much floatier and more calming journey to start with. Massive reverb on a solo guitar, with wave sound effects in the background, lead into bass synths, and a Pink Floyd style guitar solo that’s indulgent, but not to the point of it becoming tacky. It’s just peaceful. I likey. ‘Skyline’ comes next. This takes the crazy djent prog madness of the first two tracks, and the mellowness of ‘Departure’, and chucks them both together, purely because it can. It also has synth sax, again, because it can. Although, I’m a bit of an old fuddy duddy when it comes to wind instruments, because I was brought up in a house full of very proficient sax players, and synth versions of them grind my gears. They just sound corny. Sorry.

Anyway, moving on! In the middle of the album, at track 6, ‘The Elusion’ we’re introduced to some more new sounds. An almost 90’s grunge feel, cloaking, but not completely obscuring, the crazy proggy madness that we have been gifted with so far. Given the point in the album, and the track name, I think this is very cleverly thought out bit of placement. Possibly a metaphor for the ‘more socially acceptable’ version of ourselves that a lot of us over here in metal corner have to create in our day to day lives, in order to be accepted within ‘normal’ circles.

The next tracks, starting with ‘The Price Of Reality’, are a much darker journey. Slower than what has gone before, and with more trepidation. ‘The Price Of Reality’ using sludgy doom inspired sections, and ‘Lost’ making use of a minor key, an altogether slower tempo, and synth strings, giving it a stark and overarching feeling of sadness. Being a melancholy soul, this is my favourite track on the album. The musicality in the instrumentation really is superb here, and the progressions and cadences almost send it into the realms of a classical composition.

‘Cmd_Shutd0wn’ sees us heading swiftly back into Electro/Djent, and is hugely Gojira inspired. It’s only a small track, but it’s no less technical. It also marks the beginning of the reverse, which will bring us full circle to the sounds that opened this album. This is more noticeable however in the penultimate track, ‘Transcend’ which draws influence from everything that has already been introduced, and neatly packages it into a little under 4 minutes. ‘Sentience II – The Neon Dreamscape’, closes the album in much the same way, ending with the same synth sounds that we were first met with in the opening bars of the album.

Musically, this album displays the undeniable talents that Nathan has, as both a musician and a composer. It’s also superbly mixed and mastered, given that the sound is huge, but was basically put together in his bedroom. But, there is a fairly large elephant in the room, that I haven’t addressed as yet. This album, in its current form, is purely instrumental, and is crying out for vocals. While every track is masterfully constructed and played, there is a vocal shaped hole in them all, that needs filling to take this album to the next level. Maybe I’m biased as vocals are my thing, but for me, with vocals, this album would be a solid 10.

That said, if you like any of the aforementioned musical styles, you really should check out “Sentience”. With Monolith, and this release, Nathan has taken a really great step onto the metal project ladder.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Sentience I – Awakening
02. Lucid
03. Departure
04. Skyline
05. Overseer
06. The Elusion
07. The Price of Reality
08. Lost
09. Cmd_Shutd0wn
10. Transcend
11. Sentience II – The Neon Dreamscape

LINKS:

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.

Protosequence – A Blunt Description Of Something Obscene EP

Protosequence – A Blunt Description Of Something Obscene EP
Lacerated Enemy Records
Release Date: 19/05/20
Running Time: 44:54
Review by Dark Juan
1000/10

It appears that I am unable to stop writing today. Fresh off the words I have shared about Black Vatican, I am now sitting here quietly wondering where the fuck my face has gone after it has just been blown clean off. I’m not ready to face the world gazing out of a naked skull and it will make obtaining new followers somewhat more challenging if I am not able to rely on my suave good charm and devastatingly handsome and desirable looks. I mean, my face was an absolute work of art, enough to render a Botticelli angel meaningless and drab in the background of my shining and beauteous visage. And thanks to Canadian supertech death metallers Protosequence, I don’t have it anymore. The absolute bastards have torn off my face and stamped all over it and left me a bloodied ruin. This, you’ll be surprised to know, is a Very Good Thing indeed.

“A Blunt Description Of Something Obscene” is the latest EP from these Canadian madmen (they didn’t even say please or sorry when they lacerated my face. So much for the vaunted Canadian politeness) and, as is my wont with EP’s, I shall describe it to you track by track… Strap yourselves in.

Opening song ‘Savagery In Fundamental Behaviours’ starts off immediately as the band mean to go on with some ultra complex jazz influenced drumming before the face tearing begins and you are just plastered against the far wall with the supertechnical riffing and drum work even before the deep, guttural and sepulchral vocal from Josh Hahn attacks you as well. I have seldom heard such technical mastery and complex musicianship, yet with the music still remaining accessible and listenable. This song is absolutely fucking brilliant.

The title track comes next and starts off with some clean singing over gentle guitar work. Don’t be fooled. I was and it cost me limbs as they suddenly activate all weapons and turn the song into a flailing, sharp edged war machine and proceed to bludgeon me into absolute submission. More crushingly heavy complexity is the order of the day here, with an added order of extra speed just because they obviously got bored playing insanely complicated technical music at a mere 140 bpm. Clearly 200bpm is where it’s at for Protosequence. There’s a beautiful bit of drumming in the middle eight where Logan slowly speeds his tempo up flawlessly. I have just flooded the house with sex wee. Lord Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover and Hodgson Biological-Weapon are whimpering piteously as they struggle against the tide to safety on the high ground across the road. Send help. This song is absolutely fucking brilliant.

Track three is ‘Bleeding The Alienist’ and is just fucking spectacular. The mastery this band have over their instruments defies description, especially drummer Logan Vars, who appears to have been genetically fused with an octopus, as it is impossible for a human with a normal number of limbs to do what he does with a drumkit. Also, his double bass drumming. What’s he using? A fucking pneumatic drill? His playing is physically fucking impossible, butty bach. There is no hope for Elland anymore. Protosequence are causing extinction level amounts of sex wee. Most of the Calder Valley is flooded and the levels are rising. My trousers are a sodden mess. My car has floated away. The Army have been called in. This song is absolutely fucking brilliant.

There’s only one more song to go and that’s called ‘The Pale’. It is at this point that Protosequence decide they aren’t fucking about anymore and aim for lightspeed. Every single demented, possessed person in the band dials up their already extraordinary talents up to 11 and just fucking kills the listener stone dead with some of the most brutal music I have ever heard. There’s a new calendar after Protosequence caused me to destroy the world with emanations of sex wee in proportions never before encountered. The year is 1AP (After Protosequence) and humanity is clinging perilously to existence. Cities have crumbled, Hodgson, Igor and Sir Zeusington Zeus KCVG, VC, MM, DFC and Bar, Croix De Guerre are all curled around a fire in North Dean Woods, where Mrs. Dark Juan berates me for destroying the world and making it hard to create the felt badger she has been commissioned to make. This song is absolutely fucking brilliant.

So there we have it. A group of egregiously talented Canadian madmen make the music that caused the apocalypse….. Hang on a minute!

Oh. My. Fucking. God.

I think I am going to spontaneously combust. They’ve only gone and fucking put INSTRUMENTAL VERSIONS OF EVERY FUCKING SONG ON HERE AS WELL!!!! There’s going to be a fucking cosmic sex wee singularity here in a minute!

Fucking transcendent supertechnical death metal. I AM DONE. I am more spent than Austin fucking Powers. It’s a waste of time any other band releasing any more music ever. Nothing can top this, surely. Protosequence are the band that Necrophagist fans have been dying for.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is now utterly redundant. There is no hope for humanity and none of you can read this because when the sex wee explosion happened you were either all killed or there is no electricity anymore but in the interests of preserving the old ways it awards Protosequence 1000/10. Yes, I know the scoring system is wrong and you can’t get more than 10/10. No, I don’t care. Just buy the fucking record.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Savagery in Fundamental Behaviours
02. A Blunt Description of Something Obscene
03. Bleeding the Alienist (ft. Joe McKee)
04. The Pale
05. Savagery in Fundamental Behaviours (Instrumental)
06. A Blunt Description of Something Obscene (Instrumental)
07. Bleeding the Alienist (Instrumental)
08. The Pale (Instrumental)

LINE-UP:
Jacob Teeple – Bass
Josh Hahn – Vocals
Dylan Parker – Guitar/Vocals
Logan Vars – Drums

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/protosequence/
www.instagram.com/protosequence/
www.laceratedenemyrecords.bandcamp.com/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/1lFTm0bEh8bX8YfiUS9ACz
www.youtube.com/channel/UCkRvg9SxQT9c6MJu1WLmj5g
www.facebook.com/laceratedenemyrecords/
www.laceratedenemy.bigcartel.com/

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.

Sertraline – Clouded Minds & Silver Lines EP

Sertraline – Clouded Minds & Silver Lines EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 15/05/2020
Running Time: 19.43
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Hello again, ladies and germs. I appear to be compulsively communicating with you this evening. I can’t stop listening to metal and spewing words out. It’s not like I have even had any Bolivian marching powder today. Unless they have shoved a metric fuckton into this bottle of Sol beer I am drinking. It’s been a testing day at Dark Juan Terrace and I still haven’t made it to the supermarket for the weekly shop. Yes, even hellpriests need to do the weekly shop. I go through a fearsome quantity of oils and unguents – they are so much better for conducting the electricity, you see. You can’t go around torturing nubile young things without lubrication and blood is a shockingly bad lubricant… not to mention it doesn’t smell as nice as moonflower and ylang ylang…

I know, I know. I’m supposed to be writing about records. This time it is a five track EP from the estimable Sertraline, progressive technical metallers from the grim streets of Stoke On Trent. Don’t mock them. Someone has to live there. More than one of the populace of Etruria has claimed to this hellpriest that the best thing about Stoke is the A500 out of it towards either Nantwich or Stafford, depending on whether you run North or South. It does have its advantages though. There are many convenient service stations on your way to Alton Towers through it…

So, “Clouded Minds & Silver Lines” is the EP I am currently enjoying. I’m going to do this review a little differently than normal and do it song by song, if you’ll permit me, with a brief overview at the end. Let us plunge up to our necks into some British heavy fucking metal…

Track one is ‘Inside Out’ and it opens with a gloriously soaring vocal from Lizzie before she demonstrates that she has some serious chops at the lower end of the range as well, switching from clean and waspish to gravel throated vocal martyrdom with no discernible effort. Backed by a band of some quite frankly breathtaking musicians, this song effortlessly sets out the Sertraline stall from the opening moment. Almost impossibly technical and superbly produced, this is a fucking brilliant song.

‘Mean To Me II’ is next, and is a kind of sequel to a song off the 2017 EP “Guilty”. More mid paced than the opener, this song gives the players of instruments time to shine, with some freakishly delicate and complicated guitar work involving distended harmonics and choppy, deadly riffing and Lizzie swapping between a guttural roar and a blank eyed, lost little girl voice before they all launch into one of the finest middle eights I have ever heard. We are talking goosebumps and sex wee everywhere. Gallons of sex wee everywhere. The carpets are ruined. All my pants are utterly destroyed. I haven’t seen Lord Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover since he disappeared down the stairs just in front of the sex wee tsunami. This is a fucking brilliant song.

We are three songs in with ‘2205’ and my enthusiasm for Sertraline is beginning to look like a localised ecological disaster. Sir Zeusington Zeus, KCVG, VC, MM, DFC and Bar is looking unfavourably upon the mad, half drunk human cavorting wildly around the room, despite the fact he has been permitted to sleep ON MY BED and Hodgson Biological-Warfare is shouting at me because he got hit full in the face by sex wee and he doesn’t like it. Mrs Dark Juan is also displeased, because a) the carpets are ruined, b) the carpets are RUINED, c) she can’t find Igor either and d) she’s just remembered it was my turn to make tea and I have been seduced by Lizzie and Sertraline. Rather more uplifting in lyrical content than the previous two songs, it slides effortlessly into the lugholes and gives your poor, drug addled brain what can charitably be described as a right good seeing to. This is a fucking brilliant song.

Song four is ‘Screaming For Sleep’ and it’s more fast paced than ‘2205’, but again the musicianship is remarkable in its richness and complexity. Another song with a fucking amazing middle eight and frankly Sertraline are draining me dry, right now. The pressure wave has just blown the front door off the hinges and the street is filling up. There’s animals and furniture heading in all directions. Mrs Dark Juan is screaming about divorce again. Send help. Please. This is a fucking brilliant song.

Fifth and final song is ‘Isolation’ and frankly there is no hope left for humanity. Even though I am now a dried and withered husk, the sex wee just keeps flowing and a number of countries are reporting seismic activity due to the weight of fluid. Iceland is particularly worried because they are having lots of tremors and think that the emanation of millions of gallons of sex wee might have destabilised their already energetic geological fault and that there may be a volcanic eruption. There’s talk of Dark Juan being put on trial for crimes against humanity at The Hague. My defence is literally going to be, “ITS ALL SERTRALINE’S FAULT!!!!!!” This song is notable for the fact that Sertraline don’t seem to give a fuck who they are hurting anymore and just go in for the kill like the seasoned assassins they are. Everything wonderful about Sertraline is distilled into this one piece of musical mastery. There’s polyrhythms. There’s guitar riffs that only 18-fingered mutants can play. There’s syncopation and drumming that can only be performed by supercomputers thanks to fractured time signatures and the vocalist reaching ever further into her vocal range. And the ending is sublime. Fractured riffs play over a single held keyboard note and the virtuosity of guitarists Mike and Tom, and bassist and Keeper Of The Sacred Sauce Hendo is displayed in such a way that I am never picking up a stringed instrument again. There’s no point. This is a fucking brilliant song.

This was supposed to be a quick review. Instead it has turned into another 1000 word epic. Sorry, not sorry. Also, why the hell aren’t Sertraline ABSOLUTELY FUCKING MASSIVE RIGHT NOW?

Buy Sertraline records from now on otherwise I am going to find and execute every single last fucking one of you.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System thinks Sertraline are fucking brilliant and offers them a prostrated 10/10 because they are just too awesome to be mere mortals. Maybe I have found my gods at last. A contender for record of the year, in my humble opinion.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Inside Out
02. Mean To Me II
03. 2205
04. Screaming For Sleep
05. Isolation

LINE-UP:
Lizzie – Vocals
Mike – Guitar
Tom – Guitar
Hendo – Bass (keeper of the famous Northern relish?)
Si – Drums

LINKS:
www.wearesertraline.com/
www.facebook.com/WeAreSertraline/
www.twitter.com/wearesertraline
www.instagram.com/Sertraline_Official/
www.youtube.com/user/wearesertraline

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.

Interview with Red Method – Rabidfest 2019 – 17/08/2019

Logo TOP

Interview with Red Method
Rabidfest 2019, 17/08/2019
By Sheri Bicheno

Hi again everyone, it’s Rick. Here is another Rabidfest interview that the awesome Sheri did for us and it is with Tech/Death/Progressive Metallers Red Method, a band that really hasn’t been around very long but is made up of ex-members of Meta-Statis and The Defiled so they know their chops. They were the Ever Metal band of the weekend at the Festival putting on a scintillating performance that got the whole venue moving like a swarm of angry bees and we cannot wait to see them again, oh and they were lovely as well!

So back to the interview, it’s safe to say that Sheri knows the guys pretty well so it’s really more of a chat and a laugh. Just think of yourself as an insect ambling passed and stumbling upon a brief moment of fun and madness!

Thanks to both the band and Sheri!

Sheri: HELLO GUYS!

Alex: WHAT’S UP!

Jeremy: We love yoooou Sheri!

Sheri: I love you!

Alex: We love you more actually.

Sheri: NOPE, That’s impossible.

Here I am, with Red Method! So you guys have been around – what not even 7 months!?

Jeremy: We unleashed this monstrosity.

Sheri: And you’ve already played most of the major UK festivals and you’ve gone bang!?

Alex: It’s gone really fast I guess we’ve learnt from our past mistakes and we’re doing it now the right way. It’s like a second chance in life.

Jeremy: It’s like having a girlfriend that you’ve messed up too many times and then you just know what to do with them, what drinks to buy them, what food to cook them..!

Sheri: Hahahaha so Red Method is like a constant date?

Alex: Taking the music industry on a constant date haha.

Quin: The way we see it, we’ve got nothing to lose, we are just going for it all in.

Sheri: This is the way to do this! And for people that don’t know about the dandy… let’s elaborate on the Chicken Dandy.

Alex: I’m glad you asked that hahaha.

Jeremy: Chicken Dandy was invented in 2006 on the road with Ted Maul. There we were all hanging out and a girl came out from the crowd and she looked…literally looked like a chicken. Then I came out and said “She looks like a Chicken Dandy!” and since then… everything revolves around Chicken Dandy; music, chicken, restaurants… we are in search of Chicken Dandy always.

Sheri: Always!

Quin: I just had my Chicken Dandy from over the road.

Alex: Best Chicken in town.

Jeremy: Nobody knows really…what’s that song we been listening to?

Alex and Jeremy rap along to ‘Star 69’ lyrics by Fatboy Slim:
“They know what is what but they don’t know what is what, they just strut, what the fuck?”

Jeremy: We been following something but we don’t really know what it is.
Alex: Like the meaning of life! What’s chicken dandy, it’s the same question!

Sheri: No one knows.

Quin: We should maybe replace our lyrics with a piece of some Chicken Dandy.

Alex: Yes!

Sheri: Beautiful! So what are you up to next that you can tell us?

Quin: Oh everyone’s looking at me! I guess we’re not really active on the live front until October. But we are working on a few more visuals that will be coming out, new things that we are gonna be shooting and filming and preparing for the release of the album. It’s more about building momentum after that point and then just see where we can go once we release the album.

Jeremy: Think we also have something being released in September. We arealso shooting something in September for the Album Launch. We’re going to Spain on Holiday to eat some Tapas haha. Go get some Press in Madrid. We already have festivals booked for next year and we’re just getting ready for some big things.

Alex: Our album is coming out, man!

Quin: Yeah, the album will be just in the run up to Christmas.

Sheri: Long awaited, we are looking forward to it!

Quin: It’s been an interesting time, that’s the way I look at it.

Alex: We have laughed a lot and we’ve had an amazing time so far

Jeremy: Yeah it’s been a hell of a journey. A hell of a journey!

Sheri: And this is the last date for this tour?

Jeremy: Yeah it’s the last one and it’s been brutal since Bloodstock!

Sheri: Which was absolutely amazing. That Sophie tent was absolutely rammed!
So lastly… give some of your best advice?

Quin: Don’t do it.

Alex: Get online, go to the Red Method bigcartel site and buy a few t-shirts and support the bands that you’re into. Plant the seeds so the weeds can grow mo’fo’s.
<3

On 21st September 2019 at 10am Red Method will release their version of ‘Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana via Metal Hammer so make sure you tune in!

 

LINKS:
https://redmethod.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/RedMethodBand/

https://www.instagram.com/redmethod_/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2qhpR9Fcqguv_l7C_7HqIQ

 

Massive Rabidfest Group Shot BOTTOM

 

 

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