Pelugion – I

I EP Cover

Pelugion – I
Self-Released
Release Date: 04/08/2018
Running Time: 37:26
Review by Dawn King
9/10

On 27th July 2018, Ever Metal had the privilege and the honour to premier Pelugion’s video for the track ‘Bane Of Humanity’ and now we are proud to review their debut EP “I”.

Pelugion are a three-piece rock/metal outfit from Coventry, England and the trio, Andy Sweeney, John Pittaway and Brandon Balou, first met at college in September 2012 while they were studying music performance. They started off by doing Black Sabbath and Metallica covers at college gigs, but once the college days were over, they found new rehearsal rooms and wrote their first original track.

It was then that Pelugion was born!

The threesome gigged heavily around England, they won a slot playing the Godiva Festival, which is the UK’s biggest free family festival, and signed a management deal with FATangel Management and PR, as well as releasing a music video for the track ‘Serpent’s Mistress’. This extensive gigging gained them recognition for their energetic performances and massive sound.

In 2016, they released the song ‘Bide My Time’, which was produced, mixed and mastered at Woodworm Studio by Mike Exeter, who has worked with legends such as Black Sabbath, Dio and Judas Priest, and this grabbed the attention of Wildfire Festival in Scotland, where they performed later that year.

2017 was a busy year for them. They played the sold-out HRH Metal at the O2 Academy in Birmingham, were a special guest performer at the Mosh Against Cancer in Coventry, performed their first acoustic set at Uprising Festival in Leicester (which we also had the pleasure of reviewing) and embarked on a tour with Welsh heavyweights, Lifer!

2018 saw them head back to Wales for the popular Dementia Aware Fest and they once again appeared on the bill at Uprising. They also gained a spot at Bloodstock Festival in Derby after winning the Coventry Metal 2 The Masses and receiving worldwide radio airplay is helping them on their way to becoming an international band!

So, what of this fantastic EP? Well, I think I just said it. It’s fantastic! From the opening basslines of first track ‘Monster’ I knew this was going to be a killer EP. With influences such as Black Sabbath, Metallica, Megadeth, Soundgarden, Alterbridge, Black Label Society, Kyuss and Down, they have added their own unique twist on things to produce what can only be described as a stonking sound. Heavy, sometimes sludgy yet melodic and upbeat, if this EP doesn’t have you banging your head and throwing the horns then nothing will.

The EP is a collection of the band’s recordings to date, put together over a period of three years! Some of it has never been heard before, while some of it had only been available on digital format, but now for the first time it has all come together on CD, and really is a must for fans old and new.

This has everything a great EP should. Groove-laden, chunky riffs, melodic, powerful vocals with just the right amount of grit, funky bass lines and frantic drumming. Pelugion can seemingly turn their hand to anything, from the slow-tempo Sabbathesque type tracks to speedy and more thrash numbers.

We recently set up a page on the Ever Metal site showcasing bands we support and Pelugion were one of the first to be added to the list. This was due to their extreme capabilities, talent and hardworking ethic.

It may have taken three years to get this EP out, but if this is an indication of what is to come from this group of lads, then we all should be very excited about the future of metal.

Just don’t let it take three years for the follow up!

TRACKLIST:
1. Monster
2. Bide My Time
3. Desire
4. Bane Of Humanity
5. Remedy
6. Bury Me
7. Serpent’s Mistress
8. Believe

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/pelugion/
https://pelugion.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBqeFH9qFFkcu35PAQWVXxQ

https://www.instagram.com/pelugion/

 

Promo Pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn King 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.

Solitary – Nothing Changes: 20th Anniversary Edition

Nothing Changes, 20th Anniversary Edition Cover

Solitary – Nothing Changes: 20th Anniversary Edition
DOC Records
Release Date: 20/08/2018
Running Time: 56:44
Review by Dawn King
9/10

It was the mid-90’s, thrash metal was dying and the heady days of “The Big Four” were fast becoming fading memories. But, one man in the north of England wasn’t prepared to sit around and reminisce about the good old days.

Rich Sherrington had always had a dream to follow in the footsteps of his heroes, Xentrix, and in 1994, he formed his own band, Solitary, and against all reason and sense, started the thrash comeback!

The first Solitary album “Nothing Changes” was released in 1998 on Holier Than Thou Records and bristling with its snarling riffs and ready to fight attitude, even the press couldn’t deny the intensity and integrity of the album. They received positive reviews from major magazines such as Terrorizer, and they hit the road for two UK tours. The rest, as they say, is history!

In 2008 they released the album “Requiem” and in 2017, they released “The Diseased Heart of Society”, which was harder, faster and more focussed, and was welcomed with open arms by a society that was much more tolerant of thrash metal.

Now, twenty years later, they have re-released the album that originally set them on their road. There is new artwork, a host of bonus tracks, and a little injection of modern-day studio wizardry, to give the album a heavier and more aggressive sound and it is only available on CD, with NO digital platform whatsoever, so get your copy while you can!

For those of us who weren’t around the first time this was released, there are five bonus demo tracks tagged onto the end of the album, showing just how their sound has changed. Maybe they included these to tempt newer fans to their music or maybe it was just to give older fans a taste of what was, only the band will know that, but either way, I think they are a great addition to an already awesome album.

From the opening bass lines of first track ‘Within Temptation’ it’s obvious this band is not messing around. With chunky riffs and snarling, menacing vocals, these guys are every bit as good as the original thrash bands of the 80’s. With the likes of Metallica, Machinehead, Pantera, Testament and Slayer as influences, they should have been the forefathers of a new wave of UK thrash, so why do they only have just over 4,000 likes on Facebook? (and yes, I do know that Facebook likes is NOT an indicator of how good a band is, before anyone jumps on this comment!)

This no-frills album is fantastic from start to finish, just the type I could listen to repeatedly and still not be bored with it. If this album was their debut back in 1998, then what a debut! There are very few bands that crash onto the scene with a gem of a premier, but these guys should have done just that!

Being a thrash girl at heart, this album gives me everything that I need. The riffs are heavy and meaty, hitting you right in the belly, the trembling basslines and galloping drums are, in a word, superb, and the vocals have just the right amount of grit to give a gruff sound without descending into the dirty vocals that I so hate!

Stand out tracks for me would have to be ‘A Second Chance’ with its hints of Metallica and Pantera and ‘The Downward Spiral’ a brutal groove track that will have you banging your head from the very first note but, in all fairness, there is not a bad track on this album.

It was the advance of the Seattle ‘grunge’ sound that originally contributed to the downfall of thrash in the 90’s and, at the time, I was a huge fan of the grunge scene, thrash not really hitting my radar until later (I was in my late teens so don’t hate me!)

Looking back, I wish I was that little bit older so I could have appreciated this when it was first released. I am, however, now a huge fan and will definitely be buying anything else they have done.

Ever Metal recently reviewed a gig they did in Wrexham and I so wish I could have been there for that! But any time they hit the South East now, I will be in attendance!

These guys are simply awesome!!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Within Temptation
02. The Downward Spiral
03. A Second Chance
04. Bitterness
05. Nothing Changes
06. Clutching Straws
07. No Reason
08. Twisted
09. Fear
10. A Second Chance (1996 Demo)
11. The Bottom Line (1996 Demo)
12. What Price (1996 Demo)
13. No Reason (1996 Demo)
14. Fear (1996 Demo)

LINKS:
http://www.solitary.org.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/Official.Solitary/

https://solitary94.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/solitarypreston?feature=watch

 

Solitary 2018

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn King 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.

Wreck-Defy – Remnants Of Pain

Remnants Of Pain Cover

Wreck-Defy – Remnants Of Pain
Self-Released
Release Date: 01/02/2019
Running Time: 44:58
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

When Rick asked me to do him a favour and squeeze a review in for him, there were six words in his message that stood out to me – “former members of Annihilator and Testament.” That was all I needed to say yes as I am a mahoosive fan of both, especially Testament, and I always love coming back to my roots.

Wreck-Defy are a thrash band from Thunder Bay, Ontario in Canada and as previously mentioned features former members of Annihilator, Testament and Demolition Hammer. They were formed in 2016 when Matt Hanchuck got together with his friend Justin Steer, who had agreed to do the vocals on the debut record “Fragments Of Anger”, which was released in 2017. Shawn Drover from Megadeth was brought in to play drums, and his brother Glen, also ex-Megadeth, agreed to mix and master the album.

Fast forward to 2019 and 1st February saw the release of their latest offering “Remnants Of Pain.” With a new line-up featuring Matt on guitars, Aaron Randall, ex-Annihilator, on vocals, and Greg Christian, formerly of Testament, on bass, they used studio session drummer Dave O’Neal for the album, but have since been able to recruit the amazing Alex Marquez from Demolition Hammer and Solstice for future shows and tours.

The album has been mixed, mastered and edited by Juan Urteaga, who has also produced for Testament, Heathen, Vicious Rumors and Dragonlord, to name a few!

So, what of the new album? Well, this is nothing short of a thrash-fest that will have you banging your head from start to finish!

It has all the hallmarks of a great thrash album, from the rumbling, frantic drums, to the faster than lightning guitars and raw, aggressive vocals. Says Matt; “the new record has a street level sound that is a throwback to the burgeoning thrash movement from the mid 1980’s with a more modern-day production value,” and this is exactly the reason why I love it so much.

I always said I was born too late as a lot of the music I listen to now was around before I was old enough to appreciate it, but I love the fact there are bands out there who want to bring this sound back again. For the young ones like me (!) it gives us the chance to live through something we would otherwise have missed and I, for one, would love to see a full thrash revolution happen now.

The album deals with a lot of social issues, says Matt; “lyrically, it’s about many of the negative aspects in life, such as war, addiction, tyranny etc,” and I would be keen to sit down with a copy of the lyrics as I listened to it. There are a lot of concerns that need dealing with in society these days, and if we can’t get these dealt with through other means, what better way than through music?

The two stand out songs on the album for me were ‘Broken Peace’, a track FULL of fast, frantic riffs and drumming, and ‘Looking Back’ which has a strong Testament feel to it, but there really are no bad tracks on the album. With nine tracks lasting just under three quarters of an hour, this truly is a feast for your ears!

If you love your thrash metal, as I do, then I highly recommend you go and buy this album. You would be missing out on a right little gem!

TRACKLISTING
01 Killing the Children
02 Broken Peace
03 Riverview
04 Looking Back
05 18oz of Chrome
06 The Divide
07 Art Of Addiction
08 Angels and Demons
09 Blackend Cloth

LINKS
http://www.facebook.com/Underground4560/
https://wreck-defy.bandcamp.com/releases

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King 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.

Amplified Festival 2018, Gloucestershire, July 8th 2018, Day Three

00 Day3 Lineup

Amplified Festival 2018
Quarry Downs, Gloucestershire
July 8th 2018, Day Three
Review by Rick Tilley with help from Beth Jones
Photographs by Beth Jones
10/10

I’m not quite sure when everybody else got back to the tent Saturday Night/Sunday Morning because, as soon as my head had touched the pillow, I was away with the fairies. This is, somewhat, a double edged sword for me with my back problems. I usually don’t sleep very well but when I do, because I’ve lain in the same place for too long, I feel much more pain. Add to that the fact that camping is not very good for me, so when I woke up on the Sunday morning, I looked and felt like Quasimodo. Once I had managed to negotiate actually getting out of the tent, which certainly wasn’t as easy as it should have been, another thing hit me…it was even hotter than it had been the previous two days. My fresh T-Shirt literally crumpled and stuck to me, the sky was shimmering and the angry red orb, that was the sun, looked like it was ready to take top billing in a 1970’s apocalyptic disaster movie. Even the bullocks in the field across the road from us, who the previous day had looked like a gang of naughty teenage boys ready for a punch-up, suddenly looked like they had been let out from an old people’s home for the day and could barely stand up straight!

Welcome to Ever Metal’s review of Amplified Festival 2018 Day Three!

Once everybody was awake and ready we crawled slowly over to the arena and immediately stocked up on water. I’m not sure it’s particularly healthy but I was literally beginning to sweat salt and this was before any band had played a note!
We arrived at the Very Metal Art Stage just as the first band of the day, Beth Blade & The Beautiful Disasters, were starting their set! Cardiff’s very own rock chick, Beth Blade is always a good way to pass some time and at 10.15am, on an already ludicrously hot morning, was no exception. The first thing we noticed, from the last time we had seen the band live, was that the bass player had shrunk by about 18 inches. It wasn’t the heat but new bassist Vincent Grieve! If you’ve not seen or heard Beth before then imagine a mix of Kiss, Suzi Quatro and Joan Jet, good old 70’s/80’s Rock N Roll. She has huge power on stage, a proper gravelly rock voice and massive presence plus a great band behind her. She isn’t a shy lass, certainly woke everybody up and the sizable crowd had a blast, as well as huge grins on their faces!

01 Beth Blade & The Beautiful Disasters Day3.jpghttps://www.facebook.com/BBATBDofficial/

Heading over to the Red Stripe Main Stage it was clear that people were starting to slow down slightly, unless your name was Michael Randall that is, but I certainly didn’t want to miss the next band. Carrying on the Hard Rock theme, albeit in a Jack Daniels coated Southern style, Thirteen Stars ambled onto the stage and promptly blew any remaining tumbleweed away with a huge bang. Hailing from the sunshine state of…Cumbria these guys are so laid back they’re horizontal but WOW, they are good. If you didn’t know better you would swear they were from Kentucky, Tennessee or Louisiana. They play proper bluesy, groove laden Rock N Roll and even though, having seen them before, I know they rip it up in a club setting, they were perfect for this Sunday Morning slot, especially in the sun with a cheeky Cloven Hoof Rum! I got so lost in the moment that, in what seemed like about ten minutes, they had ambled off stage again to rapturous applause. Absolutely superb!

02 Thirteen Stars Day3https://www.facebook.com/ThirteenStars/

Just as we were starting to get all Woodstocked up and considered changing outfits to flares and one of Simon Yarwood’s shirts we arrived back at the Very Metal Art stage and I got my soul ripped out by one of the most mesmerisingly brilliant and emotionally charged performances I’ve witnessed in many years, courtesy of the utterly incredible King Leviathan. With them being one member down and not wearing their usual garb onstage there were a few mutterings from some, before they started, as to whether it would work but I can tell you now that there wasn’t one person, who watched their performance, that wasn’t absolutely astounded at the end. Vocalist/Guitarist Adam Sedgwick was an unstoppable force on that stage and I couldn’t peel my eyes away from him. Blackened Thrash Doom isn’t usually Beth’s thing but we were both gobsmacked at the ferociously beautiful music that was coming out of the speakers. To know that King Leviathan will soon be no more is a very sad thing indeed. Completely compelling and enthralling from start to finish King Leviathan, amongst an ocean of fantastic performances over the weekend, were my band of the Festival!

03 King Leviathan Day3https://www.facebook.com/KingLeviathanMetal/

After the emotion of King Leviathan’s performance and also realising that, even though I had covered myself in sun tan lotion, my neck was starting to blister we found a small area of shade by the sound desk and chilled out, chatting to others, whilst the VMA stage was readied for another “do not miss” band Resin!

I’ve known some of the band for a fair few years now and having seen and interviewed them a number of times before, plus knowing violinist Emma Bennett from her other band Cadence Noir, we were really looking forward to seeing this performance as it was the first time Beth had seen them and the first time I had seen them properly live with this line-up. It was also going to be interesting to see how the, as yet unstoppable, sound team handled a six-piece band with a violin player and three guitarists. I needn’t have worried because the sound engineers nailed it and Resin were absolute class from first note to last.

Musically this is a band of ultra-talented musicians (well, cough, apart from Simon). Their songs are incredibly dark and emotional, and the performance echoed these emotions. What they do is almost installation art as well as music; with the stage being jam packed full of a motley crew of tattoos and piercings, loud shirts, and the statuesque gothic beauty of Emma. Off stage the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Dave Gandon, guitarist/vocalist Mark ‘Chez’ Roseby, bassist/vocalist Drask George and guitarist Simon Yarwood are absolutely lovely guys but on stage they are incredibly intense. This is the place where they thrive and their emotions are laid bare. Backed up by the fantastic drumming of Ryan Hextall and the beautiful violin work of Emma, Resin were nothing less than haunting, a perfect fit for the Sunday line-up and a must see if they gig near you!

04 Resin Day3https://www.facebook.com/resinonline/

Because we were covering the event and wanted to properly watch as many bands as we could we walked back to the main stage again and I thought to myself that if I hadn’t lost at least half a stone by the time I got home then I would be a bit miffed, however, it was now so stupidly hot that some people had either left the arena to find some shade amongst the trees or just stopped, wherever they were, and sat/laid down. Many had done this about midway between the two stages so that they could still hear/see the bands without moving (the beauty of no clashes working a treat). This did result in some of the Sunday afternoon bands playing to, what looked like, a thin crowd but that wasn’t actually the case, everybody was just spread out!

Next up on the Red Stripe Main Stage were Scottish Progressive metallers Ramage Inc. and, as they played, a thought went through my head and it went something like this! “Fuck Me it’s hot, how is nothing on fire?” followed pretty quickly by the realisation that something was on fire and it was Ramage Inc. Having never seen these guys before, or listened to much of their music, it was another of those ‘Why the heck have I been so stupid?’ moments! This four piece band from Edinburgh has oodles of talent and their songs are so damn catchy and dark. Equal parts melody, rhythm and power, fans of Devin Townsend will adore them, although you probably already know that as I appear to be very late to the party. On the day Ramage Inc. were absolutely superb and, since returning home, their albums “Feel The Waves” and “Earth Shaker” have been played whenever I have the spare time! They are another hugely compelling band!

05 Ramage Inc. Day3.jpghttps://www.facebook.com/RamageInc/

While Beth nipped over to see Marc and Nici at the Corrosive Merch/Goblin Dreams Stands I ventured into the very hot and VERY crowded G’s Bar Stage to check out The SoapGirls. Now, if you don’t know about The SoapGirls they are two Sisters, Noemie and Camille, who play Raw Rock/Punk Rock tunes and they play them whilst pretty much in the nude! I got told many times over the weekend that they are both lovely girls and I’m not disputing that for one second. I’ve also got no objection to anyone, male or female, who wants to get up on stage with nothing on and play music, a prude I am not. However, I’ve heard 1,000+ bands play their style of music and play it much better. With all due respect to The Soap Girls I really don’t think they would have the huge following they’ve managed to get if they went onstage in T-shirts and Jeans. You can call me cynical if you want but it’s a promotional tool that they have used well!

https://www.facebook.com/thesoapgirls/

By this time my body really wasn’t responding very well but, if you know me, you’ll know I don’t give in without a fight so it was back to the Very Metal Art Stage to watch a band, that we hadn’t seen live before, but were really looking forward to. I could wax lyrical about Twisted Illusion, because they were so good, but I’m going to leave this bit to Beth because her write up sums it up perfectly!

“Twisted Illusion took the bronze medal spot for performance of the weekend for me, only outdone by Evil Scarecrow and Soil. If heaven exits, this is the soundtrack that is playing! Matt Jones, Matt McDade and Mark Wagstaff are three unbelievably gifted musicians, all meeting in perfect harmony to make Prog Mecca! It reminded me of the bit in Bill and Ted, when Rufus takes them to the utopian future after Wild Stallion’s music has brought about world peace! I was absolutely blown away by the tone and range of Matt Jones’ vocals and his incredibly decadent guitar solos. It was self-indulgent and ego laden but all tongue in cheek. Twisted Illusion’s stage presence plus witty repartee and banter from Matt J made it mesmerising and they are now my new favourite band, so much so that we are going to see them for my Birthday treat this year!
Twisted Illusion – So good they make you pull a sex face!”

06 Twisted Illusion Day3https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTIband/

What I’ve heard of Florence Black, up to this point, has been really good and when speaking with people, across the course of the weekend, it was a name that had come up a fair bit as a band punters wanted to watch so it was back to the Red Stripe Main Stage to see them and we were very glad we did. A trio from Merthyr Tydfil (Hey, we definitely had to support the Welsh bands) they play thumping Classic Hard Rock, with a little modern twist, and they do it very adeptly too. Vocalist/Guitarist Tristan has an awesome set of pipes and, along with their strong melodies, this made for a really enjoyable performance. Florence Black were another great booking for a Sunday slot, especially with the good weather, and a band I very much look forward to seeing live again soon!

07 Florence Black Day3https://www.facebook.com/florenceblackUK/

What I had loved about the Sunday, so far, was that the bands booked, with the odd exception, had been a little more laid back and perfect for a crowd whose energy levels were probably a little on the waning side, but if anyone mistakenly thought that things were starting to wind down, then they were rudely awoken when the magnificent Shrapnel hit the Very Metal Art Stage. Another band I have been a fan of for a fair while, but had never seen live before, Shrapnel are an utterly furious juggernaut of Thrash & Speed Metal, their sound giving a huge nod to the likes of Testament and Exodus but stamping their own twist onto proceedings as well. They sounded like a squadron of advancing Challenger Tanks and had heads snapping in all directions. I love my Thrash and this felt like a starter, main course and dessert all in one go. Rather than feel completely drained by the time they left the stage I felt utterly re-invigorated!

08 Shrapnel (Sian Irvine)https://www.facebook.com/ShrapnelOfficial/

With a renewed spring in my limp I hobbled, with Beth, back to the Red Stripe Main Stage because there was absolutely no way we were missing the next band. We first saw Mason Hill live, about a year ago, at RockWich 2017 and they absolutely blew us away, in fact it had almost brought Beth to tears so emotional was their performance. Since then we’ve met them, interviewed them, seen them live a couple more times and have championed them on Ever Metal and we were absolutely stoked they were playing on the big stage at Amplified. Unfortunately, the heat had got the better of a lot of people by this point, so sadly the crowd was a little sparse but that never stops Mason Hill and they gave every ounce of energy they had. They play Classic Melodic Rock with a Modern twist, have great material that is really catchy, they are all gifted musically and they play with excitement and passion. They even graced us with some new tracks that will be on their debut album and they are fabulous. We aren’t the only ones who think they rock, they’re now signed to Frontiers Music and they don’t sign unless they see something special! It’s a shame more people didn’t see them because they deserved to be playing to a much bigger audience but they still made some new fans at Amplified. Part of my step-daughters photography prize was to photograph them being interviewed by us later in the day and it was a joy to catch up with five of the nicest people you’ll ever meet! We love Mason Hill!

09 Mason Hill Day3https://www.facebook.com/masonhillofficial/

From a photography point of view Beth says that, Misfit’s guitarist, Doyle’s band was her favourite of the weekend. ‘Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein’ is an incredibly striking subject with his sculpted make-up and hair, body of a young Arnold Schwarzenegger and towering stature enhanced by some magnificent platform boots! Musically Doyle are, unsurprisingly a bit like The Misfits, churning out catchy, Horror themed, sludgy Punk/Rock n Metal. Frontman Alex ‘Wolfman’ Story is also an intriguing character. He looked like he had sunk three bottles of Jack Daniels before hitting the stage and his banter, in-between songs, was unusually humorous with each track being introduced as ‘this one is a love-song that you can dance to if you want’ in a slurred accent, before launching into another great performance. It was too hot to dance and there were a few too many love songs but Doyle are the embodiment of US Rock n Roll excess. You feel like they should have been playing this material at New York’s CBGB’s club in the 1970’s whilst throwing TV’s out of hotel windows and driving vintage cars into swimming pools. It’s hard to believe Mr Doyle is actually a vegan! Make sure you catch them on tour!

10 Doyle Day3https://www.facebook.com/OFFICIALDOYLE/

By this time my legs were completely numb, it’s very weird walking on what feel like lumps of wood, but I had said at the outset that I intended to watch as many bands as I possibly could and next up on the Very Metal Art stage were a band I hadn’t seen live for many years…Xentrix!

Alongside Onslaught, Xentrix were always one of my favourite UK Thrash bands and it’s hard to believe that it’s nearly thirty years since I trudged into London, as I used to do on a regular basis, to buy their debut album ‘Shattered Existence’. Like many bands they’ve gone through a couple of break-ups and many line-up changes but at Amplified they were utterly superb. Bull-Riff Stampede guitarist Jay Walsh is now also vocalist/guitarist in Xentrix and he did a cracking job. They were tight with razor sharp riffs and thunderous drumming fighting for supremacy and once again, any thoughts of slowing down from the Amplified crowd were banished as necks shook and legs stamped. As the sun slowly started to dip and the inferno level temperature subsided by a degree or two, it looked like everyone had been given booster pills! This was a fantastic performance from an excellent band and it certainly won’t be years until I see them again!

11 Xentrix Day3https://www.facebook.com/xentrixmetal/

Back on the Main Stage it was time for Industrial/Alternative Metal heavyweights Sulpher to crank up their amps but I had to bow out due to needing medication/water and a fresh t-shirt, however, Beth went to watch them so here are her thoughts!
“I really love Industrial Rock/Metal, I don’t know why; I think it’s the raw edge power of it. The low bass and harsh drums just get to me. I think that the band were on stage, although it was a little difficult to tell sometimes with the amount of dry ice that was being pumped out! Having not seen Sulpher before, I didn’t know if this was a normal occurrence or if someone back stage had broken the switch on the machine but it certainly added to the atmosphere of their music! Again, the crowd was a little thin as many were still in the process of finding shade/nursing burnt skin or were in the G’s Bar Stage watching the, much talked about, Ward XVI and unfortunately I think this got to the band a bit with the between song banter being a little harsher than was necessary. It was a shame because, musically, Sulpher were absolutely outstanding”

I will add that even though I couldn’t see the band properly, I could hear them pretty well (I hope those sound guys were well paid because they deserved every penny) and Sulpher sounded fantastic. Since returning, Beth and I have checked out a fair bit of their music and neither of us would hesitate to go and see them again!

12 Sulpher Day3https://www.facebook.com/SULPHERMUSIC/

We were now heading towards the twilight of Amplified 2018 but the Headline band on the Very Metal Art stage was one I love but didn’t think I would ever see live so, even though I felt like a rat with no legs stuck up a drainpipe, I was as close to front and centre as I could be. With a massive portable lighting rig having appeared on stage along with a drum kit the size of a military cargo plane there was very little space left to actually stand but when Belgian Thrash/Speed Metal machine Evil Invaders flicked the on switch it was like they were playing Wembley Stadium.

I’ve already told you how much I like my Thrash and that there had been some awesome Thrash bands on over the course of the weekend but Evil Invaders took it to Def-Con 4. Their energy levels could have supplied the National Grid, which was just as well considering the amount of aircraft landing lights onstage. Vocalist/Guitarist Joe looked like the bastard lovechild of Lemmy and the Tasmanian Devil, his scowl utterly monstrous, and was a whirlwind of adrenaline from start to finish. Lead guitarist Max and bassist Joeri weren’t far behind and how the three of them managed to circumnavigate the space available without crashing into one another was astounding. All you could see of drummer Senne from behind the massive framed kit was a tornado of arms and hair and the occasional maniacal grin. If you’ve never heard of, or seen, Evil Invaders before then rectify that now because a band that is made up of equal parts Kreator, Heathen, Holy Moses, Iron Angel, Metallica, Exodus, Motörhead and a pinch of Septic Death is a pretty magnificent one in my book! They were a perfect wat to bring proceedings to a close on the VMA Stage and I really hope I get to see them live again!

13 Evil Invaders, VMA Stage Headliners Day3https://www.facebook.com/evilinvaders/

During the Evil Invaders set Beth and I discovered Rum Bellini’s from the Cloven Hoof stand and they were absolute nectar, just about giving me enough energy to walk, one last time, to the Red Stripe Main Stage!

“And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain…” Here we were for the final performance on the Main Stage for another band from Beth’s formative years, Irish Rockers, Therapy? Now I’m going to be honest, when people, including Beth, talk to me about music in the 1990’s I nearly always do a ‘meh’ face. However, I cannot deny, that I was proved wrong yet again! Therapy? gave a fabulous performance with a mix of classic tracks and new material from the forthcoming album “Cleave”. Andy Cairns must be one of the nicest frontmen I’ve ever watched and between him, bassist Michael McKeegan and drummer Neil Cooper they make a heck of a lovely noise!

Everyone was having the time of their lives, singing along to just about every track and the atmosphere was electric, as the angry sun finally dipped below the horizon to give us some respite. It was almost as if Therapy? were battering it into submission! We had to sit down for most of their set, because we had definitely hit the proverbial wall. My back was agony and my legs were in serious danger of losing circulation plus Beth had developed elephantiasis in her ankles, but from our picnic blanket which had been very kindly supplied by the Motley Brew and with our cuppas aloft, we sang and cheered and smiled that melancholy smile you do when you know that something utterly fantastic has happened, but is coming to an end. Thank you Therapy? for an enthralling and brilliant way to end our Amplified 2018!

14 Therapy (Sian Irvine)https://www.facebook.com/Therapyofficial/

If you wanted still more then Welcome Back Delta were getting ready to play on the G’s Bar Stage but, like the previous two evenings, we finished with the Main Stage Headliner. We settled back down in the Motley Brew tent and chatted to anybody and everybody that arrived and we said goodbye to some who were packing up and leaving that night. There were no words to describe how we felt by this point, we were ridiculously tired, sweaty, dirty, in pain, drained, thirsty and a thousand other things but we also felt elated, thrilled, rapturous, enthralled, inspired and intoxicated, not by alcohol, but by the atmosphere and experience. It was very clear to see that we weren’t the only ones who felt like it either. After what felt like a wonderful eternity we finally dragged ourselves back to the tent for much needed sleep.

We didn’t get any sleep because a group of people, camping near us, decided that Sunday night was party night, hey they were just enjoying themselves, but with very groggy eyes we finally gave up trying to sleep at 6:00am and started to pack up. Mercifully, but also ironically, the temperature had decided to drop, somewhere in the region of 15 degrees, overnight. Had that happened a day earlier there would have been more people watching bands on the Sunday and my neck wouldn’t have looked like a bad case of Leprosy but I can say, with a clear conscience, that this was the best open air Festival weekend I have ever attended. It may not have had the largest audience, every event has to start somewhere, and it may have been hotter than everlasting purgatory in Hades but the atmosphere was the best I’ve experienced. You all know that we are family and I have never experienced that family feeling quite as much as I did at Amplified 2018. It would take me too long to name people individually so thank you from the bottom of my heart…you all know who you are!

I’m only going to mention one name because without his vision, drive and stubbornness Amplified wouldn’t have happened in the first place and, after last years debacle, it certainly wouldn’t have got to year two without his bloody mindedness. Gary Paterson take a bow and make sure you have a rest because Amplified 2019 is going to be even bigger and better, I’m not sure how but it will be!
Links:
https://www.facebook.com/amplifiedfestivalUK/

https://www.instagram.com/amplifiedrocks/

15 Amplified Logo

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

Shrapnel & Therapy? Photographs courtesy of Sian Irvine Photography
https://www.facebook.com/siankirairvinephotography/

All other photos courtesy of Beth Jones
https://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages/

CALLUS: “Hogpocalypse” Debut Album Teaser Premiered On Ever Metal!

CALLUS: “Hogpocalypse” Debut Album Teaser
Premiered On Ever Metal
05/08/2018
Article by Rick Tilley

Ever Metal are extremely proud to premiere a short teaser from the forthcoming, debut, album from Lancaster based Metal band CALLUS. We now know it’s entitled “HOGPOCALYPSE”, believe me, that’s an awesome title that describes CALLUS and their music perfectly, but what we don’t know yet is when the release date will be. However, I’m going to put my neck on the line and say that it will be absolutely ‘Hogtastic’!

Check out the teaser here:

CALLUS describe themselves as “Down-tuned stoner metal fused with thrash and sludge elements for a truly obnoxious, quite furious and outright terrifying sound” and that’s about as good a description as you’ll get. They combine a huge range of influences that together should sound completely wrong but CALLUS do the impossible and turn it into one of the heaviest, tightest and most enjoyable things I’ve heard from a band in years.
Whilst we await the album go and listen to, or buy, a copy of their EP “Through Blood, Sweat, Piss And Pain” and see why Ever Metal adore them and also make sure to see them live if they turn up at a venue or festival near you, because they pride themselves on being a ‘live band’. After seeing them four times in recent months, there is no doubt they are absolutely thunderous in a live setting.

If you want to know why I love doing this job so much then listening to CALLUS will give you the answer!

CALLUS ARE:
Louis Clarke – Guitar and Vocals
Ben Wormwell – Bass and Vocals
Ryan Ormerod – Drums

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Callus.band/
https://www.instagram.com/callus_uk/
https://callus117.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZOSaYdZBmL8DhLMPjLWggQ

Callus – Through Blood,Sweat, Piss And Pain EP

Through Blood, Sweat, Piss And Pain EP Cover

Callus – Through Blood,Sweat, Piss And Pain EP
Independent
Release Date: 26/03/2017
Running Time: 15:44
Review by Beth Jones
10/10

When I hear the words ‘Thrash’, ‘Stoner’ or ‘Doom’, I can be known to pull a face of overwhelming underwhelmedness. Its not usually my bag, but then you don’t usually get the whole lot in one fell swoop! Until now!

The debut EP from our tip for the top, Lancashire based CALLUS, is a weird and whacky meld of all of the above, with added classic heavy metal, and even a bit of punk to boot! It is 3 tracks of fast paced, grove laden, bass driven, riff loveliness, with an interesting concept intro and outro to book end the main tacks.

With obvious influences of Metallica and Megadeth, the first track, ‘Chimp Militia’, kicks off big time from the outset, in classic thrash style, with over driven guitar at a pace, being joined by bass and drums after a few bars. You think you are safe in the knowledge this is a solid thrash tune, then all of a sudden, the chorus comes and slaps you with some punk, with Louis Clarke and Ben Wormwell delivering ‘call and response’ style vocals. Then, as quickly as it started, it stops! If you weren’t listen at the beginning, you will certainly be giving it your full attention now!

‘Cycloid’ is up next – this is much more classic, very early Metallica, but with an added twist of Doom with Louis’ versatile vocal style; low growls to high screams, yet again ripping up the rules in favour of something new! One thing that Callus don’t seem to fuss about is intricate solos – there is no need for them in their music – but this one does have an extra little dash of guitar noodling half way through, as the tune cycles in a repetitive loop before speeding up, as the name would suggest! The rhythms really are the back bone of their music, not just in the percussive sense, but across the whole band, and that couldn’t be truer than in this song, which has very hypnotic qualities deep within its repetitiveness.

Then just as you were getting comfortable with thrash-doom, up pops a jaunty stoner-doom-thrash-sic piece, ‘The Root Of All Evil’, to really break your mind. A full on mix of the elements with some very slow, heavy stoner doom sections that give you an eerie sense of an impending apocalypse, combined with classic and thrash metal progressions, and Ben’s ridiculously heavy vocals, again backed up by insane rhythms, making the whole thing feel like you are going down a steep hill a bit faster than you probably should be, and suddenly have no control over your legs anymore. It is sublimely mental! I AM A HUGE FAN OF IT!!!

These three tracks, coupled with the soundbites from public information broadcasts of the cold war era, really take you on a journey into some odd, hallucinogenic, nuclear armageddon of the mind in a way that I am not sure I have seen a band of their young years do before. They are certainly musically very wise and create pieces to a standard way beyond that which the relative infancy of their band would suggest. I have to remind myself sometimes when I listen to Callus that they are a very new band, with this EP only being released last year, and them having been basically Louis and Ben with a succession of drummers for pretty much the entire of their five year old career. The percussion on this self-produced EP, as well as the mixing, was provided by Mark Johnson, however he has since left the line-up and new drummer, Ryan Ormerod, has more than filled his shoes.

Personally, I am pretty much convinced that they are all wizards, as none of the above should work at all, let alone as brilliantly as they have made it work on this EP, and in the live performances we have seen of them. As a debut EP, this is stunning. They have really set the bar. Their song writing is superb, their musicianship sublime and complete, and their production values intelligent and thoughtful, making them the full package; the real deal. They are a breath of fresh air in a saturated market and I really hope that their hard work and individuality pays off, and they carve out a brilliant career for themselves, as they thoroughly deserve it!
TRACKLIST:
01 Intro
02 The Chimp Militia
03 Cycloid
04 The Root Of All Evil
05 Outro

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Callus.band/
https://www.instagram.com/callus_uk/
https://callus117.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZOSaYdZBmL8DhLMPjLWggQ

 

Promo by Beth Jones

 

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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photographs are the property of Beth Jones and PhotograBee – http://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages

 

Callus, Live at Wrexfest, Atomic, Wrexham 28/07/2018

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Callus
Wrexfest, Atomic, Wrexham 28/07/2018
Review by Beth Jones

I love it when an idea goes to plan! When Brendan (head honcho at Wrexfest) contacted me and said they wanted to do a metal night at Wrexfest this year and who would I suggest to try and get for the line-up, one band immediately came to mind – CALLUS!

After seeing these guys at Hammerfest earlier this year and being totally blown away by them, and subsequently following them through social media and in the flesh as they progressed through the heats at Mammothfest, Battle Of The Bands, Chester, it was a complete no brainer that our favourite three piece from the North should be part of it. When we found out that they were on the bill, we were a touch happy!

The evening had a diverse billing, ranging from slightly softer rock, to Metalcore, to …erm… a band called Glove who I am not sure how to classify! But we are all for diverse here at Ever Metal! It is what keeps music alive.

Wrexfest is an event which has been plagued by the weather and other factors since it started in 2013, but it battles on. This year, due to various issues, two of the bands on the Atomic bill had pulled out by the time we arrived, however this did mean that CALLUS got a longer set time – two thumbs good in our book!!

After conducting a very funny interview with the boys down a side alley two minutes from the venue, we headed back to watch them do their thing. They had told us that, because of their extended set time, they were able to chuck in some new stuff and we were super pumped to hear it! They did not disappoint!

The dictionary definition of CALLUS currently reads: ‘A thickened and hardened part of the skin or soft tissue, especially in an area that has been subjected to friction’. This however will soon have the addendum…’subjected to friction from epic moshing to an amazing three piece who take you to a new level of awesome’.

O.M.G… I seriously cannot put into words how good CALLUS are! They are a weird mix of Thrash, Stoner, Doom, Progressive and Classic Metal, that should never work, but somehow it does, and brilliantly at that! They have a mix of chunky riffs, down tuned grooves, growly, shouty vocals, and insane drumming that gives you no choice but to move!

When they started their set the room was semi full, and it isn’t a big room, but as they played, the crowd grew and grew until it was packed to the rafters with people drawn to their sound. It was awesome!

I have stages of mosh – level 0 – ‘yeah they are ok – I will nod my head a bit’, level 1 – ‘I will take my hair out of my pony tail, because even though it is weird and wispy, I may want the hair effect as I nod my head to show that I am really in to this’, then level 2 – I will also now remove my glasses for I can feel my body going and I have no control over it, and if I don’t remove them they will end up in someone’s pint’! I was at level 2 mosh by the second song! I haven’t done that since my Tivoli days in the late nineties (and my body still knows it today!) but I seriously could not help myself!

These guys are so slick, so professional, so tight that you would swear they were a huge band of seasoned professionals, not a widely unknown one in the infancy of their career. I guarantee that they will not be unknown for long – they are too good not to get noticed! They kept the crowd thoroughly entertained throughout the 45 minute set and didn’t at any point lose anyone’s interest. Every single song was a smasher, and they performed the new stuff like it had been part of a great set for years. The audience were in the palm of their hands, even the breaks between songs, where guitarist/vocalist Louis Clarke switched guitars or retuned, were covered by an interesting sound effect which lead beautifully into the next song. Their set was not only jam packed with catchy, riffy grooviness, but was cleverly thought out and meticulously planned to keep the pace and momentum going from start to finish. We had not heard much of bassist/vocalist Ben Wormwell on vocals before now, but tonight we got to hear his vicious growl in some of the new material and it was growly and excellent! All of this brilliance was kept in check and time, and backed up by some of the most intricate tub-thumping I have ever seen, from drummer (and ego) Ryan Ormerod – the speed at which he moves his feet on the pedals, without triggers, is astounding!

I literally do not have enough superlatives in my vocabulary to describe how good these guys are, how they have completely won us over and have our utmost support here at Ever Metal, not only for the absolute amazing talent they all have, both individually and as a group, but also because they are three great, down to earth, genuine guys who deserve to be truly recognised for their hard work and dedication to their art. We are nearly old enough to be their parents, but I genuinely don’t think I could have been prouder of their performance here, if they were my own kids. #proud.

I implore anyone who has not heard them or seen them yet, to check them out and go and see them, you will not be disappointed. We eagerly await their debut album and will be first in the queue to buy our copy. A huge well done and a massive thank you to you guys for ripping it up in our little town!
CALLUS LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Callus.band/
https://www.instagram.com/callus_uk/
https://callus117.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZOSaYdZBmL8DhLMPjLWggQ

 

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

All photographs are the property of Beth Jones and PhotograBee – http://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages