Tsarina’s Top Ten Releases Of 2020

Tsarina’s Top Ten Releases Of 2020
By Tsarina Wilson

10. Battle Born – Battle Born EP (June 2020)

www.facebook.com/battlebornuk

‘Bring the Metal Back’ (Official Audio)


9. Die Ego – Culto (June 2020)

hwww.facebook.com/DieEgoMetal

‘Anger Is Yours’ (Official Video)


8. Brothers of Metal – Emblas Saga (January 2020)

www.facebook.com/brothersofmetalofficial

‘One’ (Official Video)


7. Rose Tattoo – Outlaws (March 2020)

www.facebook.com/RoseTattoo

‘Rock ‘n’ Outlaw’ (Re-Recorded)


6. Ozzy Osbourne – Ordinary Man (February 2020)

www.facebook.com/ozzyosbourne

‘Ordinary Man’ (Official Video)


5. Green Day – Father of All Motherfuckers (February 2020)

www.facebook.com/GreenDay

‘Meet Me On The Roof’ (Official Video)


4. Scarlet Aura – Stormbreaker (March 2020)

www.facebook.com/scarletaura

‘Battle Cry’ (Official Video)


3. Unto the Wolves – Year Three (August 2020)

www.facebook.com/untothewolves

‘A Culture Of Machines’ (Official Video)


2. Massive Wagons – House of Noise (July 2020)

www.facebook.com/MassiveWagons

‘In It Together’ (Official Video)


1. Cats in Space – Atlantis (November 2020)

www.facebook.com/catsinspaceband

‘I Fell Out Of Love with Rock ‘n’ Roll (Official Video)

To read the original reviews, where available, follow these links:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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.

Cats In Space – Atlantis

Cats In Space – Atlantis
Harmony Factory/Cargo Records UK
Release Date: 27/11/2020
Running Time: 46:08
Review by Tsarina Wilson
10/10

Just when you think nothing is going to be good in 2020 with all that’s gone on, Cats In Space bounce back and rescue the year, with “Atlantis”, their epic new album. It’s firmly in my top 3 albums of the year, and to be fair, they all run at equal first place. If you want an album to blow away the cobwebs, pick you up, and make you feel good, then this is the number one album to go to.

This is Cats In Space fourth studio album, and it’s as puuuurrrrfect as ever (sorry couldn’t resist). It sees new frontman Damien Edwards, who was one of the stars of Jeff Wayne’s “War of the Worlds” bring an amazing singing voice to add to the talents that Cats In Space already contain. Cats In Space released their first album, “Too Many Gods”, in 2015, and followed it with “Scarecrow” in 2017. Then, after the brilliant “Cats Live” in 2018, recorded live at the Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, they released “Daytrip To Narnia” (which I had the pleasure to review). Their whole sound just blew me away and I honestly didn’t think there was much they could improve on. Oh, how wrong I was!

There have been a couple of changes within the band. When Paul (Manzi) said farewell, vocalist Mark Pascall joined. During this time, the band played the London Palladium, then headed overseas, putting in some real hard graft, that included 2 albums, 2 tours, and a Christmas hit, all packed into one crazy year. Then, when 2020 turned weird, the guys knew the one thing the whole world needed was some uplifting, heart pounding, good feeling music. Enter Damien, and with him on board they embarked on their mission to bring some musical joy back to us all. And I’m so glad they did, I needed something to get my claws into! Produced by the band’s songwriter and guitarist, Greg Hart, and engineered and mixed by Ian Caple (Simple Minds, Tindersticks), this new album is definitely the antidote I needed to 2020.

“Atlantis” starts with ‘Dive’, a great instrumental, complete with submarine “dive, dive” sound effects! Yes, I know it’s the tracks name, but when you’re not quite expecting it, it’s a bit of a surprise. This gives a peek into what’s to come over the 45 or so minutes of this album: guitar, drums, synthesizers, bass, and who knows what else!

Damien’s vocals, which are so powerful and expansive, are a total compliment to this already a great band. They’re crisp and clear, and can be powerful, but also soft, often hitting notes that makes the speakers rattle. But they don’t take anything away from the harmonisations which are superb.

‘Spaceship Superstar’ has all the whistles and bells, plus some noises that take you back to the old space invader games machines! It also has a real 80’s rock feel to it. You will soon be tapping your foot to the track! It’s lively, fun, and so full of energy. The synthesizers are a great twist here too, and with the bass, and guitar riffs, each holding their own within the track, it just keeps giving and giving.

‘Sunday Best’, to me, almost had a hint of ‘Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon’(Queen). It’ll have you dancing round the house, with its up-tempo, feel good factor. Again, the vocals and harmonising are impeccable. This, along with other tracks, will have crowds bouncing when we get back to being able to go to concerts again!

My favourite track has to be ‘Marionette’, which starts off at a slower tempo, then, just when you think “this is it”, all hail the guitar riffs, bouncing bass and great drumming, twisted in with synths! Then everything goes back slow. These guys twist and turn throughout the album.

Every track on “Atlantis” deserves its place. They are all a unique blend of exceptional song writing, orchestration, and harmonies. It’s endlessly playable, and has a perfect treasure of melodies within each track. The guys have a wealth of experience, and this bursts through, not only with the masterful vocals, or the band’s overall performance, but within the songwriting and musical arrangements, too.

One final shout out has to be to Mike Moran, and his orchestra, who took part on the album, and helped to make it as awesome as it is. This is an album packed with songs that will transport you away to your own “Atlantis”. The blend of older styles, and futuristic sounds, will have you playing it over and over again. Cats In Space are hoping to be back out on tour in 2021, in both the UK, and overseas, and I can’t wait.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Dive
02. Spaceship Superstar
03. Revolution
04. Sunday Best
05. Listen To The Radio
06. I Fell Out Of Love With Rock ‘n Roll
07. Marionettes
08. Queen Of The Neverland
09. Magic Lovin’ Feelin’
10. Can’t Wait For Tomorrow
11. Seasons Change
12. Atlantis

LINE-UP:
Damien Edwards – (Jeff Wayne’s War of The Worlds)- Lead & Backing vocals
Greg Hart – (Asia, Mike Oldfield, Moritz)-Guitars, acoustic guitars, vocals, tubular bells, Moog
Steevi Bacon – (Robin Trower)- Drums, percussion, timpani, harmonica, whistles
Andy Stewart – (Moritz)-Piano, electric piano, synthesizers
Dean Howard – (Ian Gillian, Bad Company)-Guitars, slide guitars
Jeff Brown – (Sweet)-Bass guitars, vocals

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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.

Ghost Avenue – Even Angels Fail

Ghost Avenue – Even Angels Fail
Self-Released
Release Date: 07/08/2020
Running Time: 50:47
Review by Tsarina Wilson
9/10

Ghost Avenue are a brilliant, punchy metal band from Oslo, Norway and display a great blend of 80’s Metal with a modern twist. They have all the trademarks of a good Rock/Metal band, with great riffs, awesome drumming and fab vocals/backing vocals. Since first hitting the scene in 2002, they’ve been growing and have played many live shows, including support for Tad Morose at the Norway Rock Festival alongside bands like Status Quo, Accept, Nightwish and Turbonegro, I bet the place was bouncing that night!

Now with 6 releases (1 demo, 1 EP and this, their 4th full-length album) under their belt, they have produced some great work. And from the early days to now, it’s fair to say that their music definitely stands the test of time. Like a lot of bands, they’ve had people come and go, but the current line-up is solid, and full of talent. And this album perfectly displays that. Their talents are blended together, with each having something to put into the musical pot in both performance, and conception of the songs.

This album was recorded at the Lionheart Studios, and was mixed by Oyvind Voldmo Larsen, at the award-winning studio, The Panic Room, in Skovde, Sweden. And, may I say, he has done an amazing job.

One thing I will say at this early point is, I would recommend you don’t play this album too loud. Yes, we all like our music loud, I know, but believe me, the bass almost beats out of your chest and makes your head explode! It’s intense and super powerful, but also strangely soothing.

Despite the booming bass and raw undertones, “Even Angels Fail” isn’t overpowering. It explores clear vocals, and constant changes in tempo. Kim Sandvik’s voice has a distinct gruffness to it, but isn’t overly raspy, so is kinder on the eardrums!

Their high voltage, pure power sound must come across so well in their live shows. Let’s be honest, they’re not a stand still kinda band! With the strong vocal mix of Kim and Andre, they show us that, just because they are a heavy metal band, getting the right balance of vocals and harmonising is just as important as having killer riffs to back it up.

The track ‘Northman’ has a great Nordic theme and is full of harmonically rich vocals, blending with mesmerising guitar, and thumping drums. This upbeat track is one that you just can’t get out of your head. I love the Valhalla input, and I so hope that, in time, we get a video to accompany this track.

It comes across that the guys have such passion about their music, and their performance. The album makes you feel everything that they feel, the passion, the power, the depth. The winning combination of brilliant song-writing, musical talent aplenty, and superb production, have made for a very strong album.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Best of The Best
02. Breakdown
03. Wasted Generation
04. The Fallen
05. Still Craving
06. Take Cover
07. Northman
08. Hero
09. A Violent Disturbance of The Peace
10. Even Angels Fail

LINE-UP:
Kim Sandvik – Vocals
Petter Lein – Drums
Magnus Liseter – Bass
André Berger – Guitar and Vocals
Thomas  Eljarbø – Guitar

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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.

Satanica- Resurrection Of Devil’s Spirit

Satanica- Resurrection Of Devil’s Spirit
Iron Shield Records
Release Date: 24/07/2020
Running Time: 38:48
Review by Tsarina Wilson
8/10

Well, this is just the thing to wake you on a Sunday morning, Satanica, from Japan, are brilliantly loud and full on from the start. These guys endorse everything you want and expect from a Heavy Metal band.

Satanica were founded in 2002, “Resurrection Of Devil’s Spirit” is their fourth album and it’s been 10 years since “We Are Satan’s Preacher” which was the third!! It has been a long time coming but we have been given a combination of songs and epic production which all make for a very strong album.

With main-man Ritti Danger, formerly of 80’s band Witch’s Kiss, being in charge of drums and vocals, you get the feeling of someone who puts everything into every track, there is passion and emotion from start to finish, this is a total romp of an album.

With a definite feeling of classic Heavy Metal/NWOBHM about Satanica, it’s like being transported back to the early days of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden or Saxon and definitely in a good way (especially for those of us who grew up back in those days)! Satanica take you on a Heavy Metal ride of pure nostalgia and talented showmanship. Instrumental track ‘Kamikaze’ shows this in abundance and it also gives us the proof, if ever it was needed, that Metal is not always about the vocals, Satanica certainly have a lot to give musically! However, the vocals are 100% headbanging fun and you seriously cannot help loving hem, especially on tracks like ‘Thunderstorm’. Add in thrilling guitar work and drumming and it all combines into one seriously crazy track.

Will “Resurrection Of Devil’s Spirit” appeal to everyone? No, probably not, but I would suggest listening to it a few times before giving it your verdict. it’s very much one of those releases that you will either take to or not, but with the intensity and passion Satanica provide, it grows on you and it’s very hard not to really get into!

One thing though guys, please don’t make us wait another 10 years for album number five!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Resurrection
02. Bloodthirsty
03. Liar
04. Black Widow
05. Kamikaze (Instrumental)
06. Thunderstorm
07. Dark Star
08. Like A Fire
09. Deal With The Devil

LINE-UP:
Ritti Danger – Vocals/Drums
Ozzie Alastor – Guitar/Vocals
Shee Lipps – Guitar
K.Z. Behemoth – Bass/Vocals

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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.

Chaosaint – In The Name Of

Chaosaint – In The Name Of
Self-Released
Release Date 19/06/2020
Running Time: 22:19
Review by Tsarina Wilson
8/10

On a quiet Monday morning I decided to review Chaosaint’s new EP “In The Name Of”. It wasn’t quiet for long; I can say that much! These guys, who hail from Newcastle, Australia, seemingly don’t understand the meaning of it! This four-piece initially formed while still at school, in 2001. They were originally known as Exhale, and toured around their home region and Sydney, including a support spot for power metal band “Dungeon” at an all-ages show in Penrith, in December 2001. Sadly, with band members relocating at the end of 2002, it seemed like the end of the band. Fast forward to late 2015, and guitarist Jon Cribb approached other members of the band to propose they started writing new material. And thus, the newly formed “Chaosaint” started their return to making music.

Like a lot of guys their age, they grew up listening to epic bands like Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Metallica, and Ozzy, and you can see where they get their energy from, that is so prominent in their music. Like I said, this is not quiet! Straight away, you’ll see what I mean, with opener, ‘Knives Are Drawn’. It was ‘bosh’ – straight in! They are loud and raw (in a good way), and have a passion in their music which speak volumes. The energy in the guitar riffs is like being on a metal theme park ride, Shay’s voice is so powerful and rich, and Steve’s deep, gruff backing vocals make for a great combination.

Track 3, ‘Darkness Following’, has a brilliant guitar opening and sweeeeeeeeet drumming! Of this track the band say, “It’s a song about no matter how hard you try, your hardest and darkest emotions are always with you, you can run away, but your problems stay with you until you confront them or alternately carry them with you for the rest of your life”. So true!

‘In The Name Of’ almost has an ‘Enter Sandman’ hint at the start, which is always good! Again, Shay’s voice is strong and powerful and blends brilliantly with Steve’s backing vocals. If you were to listen to these vocals separately you would never think they would blend together! Its like having the devil on one side of you and an angel on the other, and an almighty battle in the middle! There are no losers but we, as listeners, definitely win! Such an amazing track.

This may be just an EP, but the guys certainly give you their all in the final track. With hard hitting vocal, head splitting drumming and passionate guitar riffs, what they lose on number of tracks, they make up for in passion, energy, power and the intensity of their music. It will blow your speakers!

Passion is the buzz word here. It comes through in waves and by the bucket load and this is just their first EP! Due to not being able to get out and about because of COVID-19 they’re already working on material for a full-length album to be released in 2021, and also intend to release more material from some initial lost recording sessions later this year. I can’t wait!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Knives Are Drawn
02. Both Eyes Open
03. Darkness Following
04. In the Name Of
05. Blackened Days

LINE-UP:
Shay Burgess – Vocals/Guitars
Jon Cribb – Rhythm Guitar
Chris Neilson – Drums
Steve Baker – Bass/Backing Vocals

LINKS:
www.chaosaint.net/
www.chaosaint.bandcamp.com/www.facebook.com/chaosaintmusic
www.instagram.com/chaosaint
www.youtube.com/channel/UCsV9WqwnGh3shqy8_xTNiHA/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/3vS0MhvVl0pwwdXQT7Namn

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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.

Ancient Curse – The New Prophecy

Ancient Curse – The New Prophecy
Pure Steel Records
Release Date: 29/05/2020
Running Time: 57:48
Review by Tsarina Wilson
8/10

Ancient Curse formed in 1985. Since then, they’ve always had the same line up of singer/guitarist Pepe Pierez (ex-Sons of Seasons), guitarist Gunnar Eixleben (ex-Riot Instinct). Bassist Thorsten Penz (G.L.A.S.S.) and drummer Matthias Schroder, and they’re still making great music today. They’re kind of Power Metal, kind of Proggy, and even though they formed way back when, they’re definitely not your typical 80’s band in any shape or form. Their ‘storm and stress’ phase emerged in the mid-1990’s, with one mini and two full-length albums. And now the guys from Bremen are making a return with 9 new heart thumping tracks in the shape of their new release, “The New Prophecy”, which I’m sure you will agree are unique and just amazingly good.

The album starts off with an interesting guitar section, before you get hit with full on powerful, rapid drumming, and just brilliant guitar riffs. I would describe their metal as speed metal meets Nordic, it has so much power behind it and the guitar execution is immense.

The seamless shift between tracks means the enjoyment of the album is continuous throughout with no let up. And their storytelling is superb. Track three ‘The Shadow’ could easily be used in a horror film – think nightmare scene and you’re there. I will add that this album is definitely not one if you’re suffering a hangover (no I wasn’t, before anyone asks!). The constant thundering drumming makes your head bang all the way through.

One thing that stands out, aside from the brilliant drums and guitar work, is Pepe’s incredible voice, which is not only crisp and powerful, but has variations which are enough to set the spine tingling. The backing vocals are also so complimentary to Pepe; they blend seamlessly together, and it just proves that, even after two decades, these guys have what it takes.

Track six, ‘One Moment Of Fortune’, starts off all nice and gentle, then there’s that head splitting drumming again, epic guitar riffs and, just when you think your head might explode, you suddenly go into slow, deep vocals. This is when you can perfectly hear Pepe’s vocal skills, it’s almost haunting. It’s like he’s the embodiment of the monster under your bed! This track is over 7 mins of pure enjoyment, it takes your through every emotion possible, starting gently, building up, going manic, and slipping back to dark and creepy! And the harmonising is brilliant!

Another track which will leave you in no doubt of Pepe’s skills is ‘Mind Chaos’. At 6 minutes plus, the guys certainly give you value for money! And here, Pepe’s voice shifts to almost whisper singing (if Phantom of the Opera ever gets a sequel, they need this track, it will give you goose bumps).

One thing that is evident across the whole album is the effortless way the guys blend together. The guitar riffs have you either playing air guitar or drift into your thoughts, usually just before you’re brutally awoken again by the drumming that could probably wake the devil!

Overall, I love the album and hope they guys don’t make us wait as long for their next album. They break the mould of the way metal should sound and are unique. So many bands just play what everyone else does, but here we have something different, something fresh, but powerful. It’s been a pleasure to review.

TRACKLISTING:
01. We Follow The Signs02. Fire And Ice03. The Shadow
04. Man Of The Storm
05. Hypnotize
06. One Moment Of Fortune
07. Forever Young
08. Mind Chaos
09. Prophecy

LINE-UP:
Pepe Pierez – Vocals/Guitars
Gunnar Eixleben – Guitars
Thorsten Penz – Bass
Matthias Schroder – Drums

Special Guests
Henning Basse – (Metalium/Sons of Seasons)Oliver Palotai – (Kamelot)

LINKS:
www.ancientcurse.de/
www.facebook.com/Ancient-Curse-417582438351759
www.twitter.com/ancientcursehb
www.instagram.com/ancientcursehb/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCGYAYn3kl25GlzJw0iQLXzg
www.open.spotify.com/artist/6FsoxZ7ETwkzjAeRzs0On0

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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.

Unto the Wolves- Year Three

Unto the Wolves- Year Three
Self-Released
Release Date 24/08/2020
Running Time: 64.03
Review by Tsarina Wilson
9.5/10

Ok for anyone who hasn’t heard of Unto the Wolves (where have you been?), I’ll give you a brief run down. Unto the Wolves is a one-man metal project. John “Gage” Sifuentes doesn’t just write the tracks, he plays all the instruments, and records it all as well! When someone says, “oh they’re the complete package”, believe me this guy is that. His influences come from bands such as Trivium, In Flames, Megadeth, Demon Hunter and many more. Gage’s vision with the Unto the Wolves project is to inspire tolerance of race, religious beliefs and cultures. He truly believes that people need to be accepted no matter their backgrounds.

I was lucky enough to review “Year Two”, Unto the Wolves’ last album, and so hope I get to do “Year Four”! After “Year Two” I thought, ‘wow this guy seriously can’t get any better’, then along comes “Year Three” to prove me wrong. You truly know that Gage puts his heart and soul into his music, you can feel the passion coming through your speakers. He has no plans to tour as far as I know, but I would love to be able to see him perform his music, even if it was on videos on YouTube, maybe something he may consider for the future? We can but hope.

The album title refers to his third year of content on his Patreon page, on which his work is released monthly to his followers. Then, at the end of the year, it’s all put together to make one album to be released. As a bonus on Patreon, you also get other things like daily thoughts etc. Gage is very much for his followers and fans and this is such a refreshing change. When you have loyal fans, being in touch with them and getting feedback is so important, and no one is more in touch with their followers than this brilliant man.

Because of the way he does things, the album took just over a year to make, and no doubt as soon as this is released, Gage will be starting on “Year Four”. There is nothing typical about the album. Each track is like a mini story within itself. There is so much emotion and energy on every track, but they all vary in composition. Some are non-stop, others are build-up, boom, slow down and repeat. One thing they are not is boring, or the same as a lot of other music out there. We are talking a complete metal breath of fresh air. On track three, ‘The Pacifist’, we have the addition of Kiara Laetitia, which was a pleasant surprise as it added just a little twist when you weren’t expecting it. Some tracks are pretty long – up and over 8 mins – but don’t be put off by that, as this is talent through and through.

His music is gritty, has hard hitting drumming with heavy metal vocals, but you will often hear a completely different musical instrument added in his songs. This is the inspiration for where the song comes from, be that culture, religious text, or similar that he has chosen to inspire him. Gage doesn’t want you to listen to a song from his point of view or his thinking. He wants you to have your own thoughts on it, and your own interpretation of what you think or feel, as everyone is different, and a song can mean something different to each person. Every one of Unto the Wolves albums are unique, there is no stereotypical song, each one makes you think about what you get out of the track. I think my favourite has to be track 7, ‘The Scars Alignment’. This track was so deep for me and made me think about my life and occurrences.

Once you start to listen to the album “Year Three”, it’s very difficult to stop. It’s addictive (in a good way), you think, ‘oh just one more track’, then ‘no, ok one more’! You find yourself submerged in a rollercoaster ride of emotions and thoughts. You would never be able to air drum to this (yes, I tried), I got to the end of track 12 and felt like I’d been on a fast spin cycle! So much energy, time and emotion, all in one album! Totally awesome!

TRACKLISTING:
01. A Resonance (Speaking Stones)
02. Steadfast (Church of all Worlds)
03. The Pacifist (Feat. Kiara Laetitia) (Italy)
04. Eye Of The Beholder (Iceland)
05. Fracture (Korea)
06. Validity Incarnate (Sweden)
07. The Scars Alignment (Cuba)
08. Calming Of The Neurosis (Medieval Europe)
09. The Catalyst Horizon (Janism)
10. Adaptive Nature (Russia)
11. A Culture Of Machines (Neo-Luddism)
12. Villain And Fiend (Scottish Folklore)

LINKS:
www.patreon.com/Untothewolves
www.facebook.com/untothewolves
www.twitter.com/Gage_Sifuentes
www.instagram.com/untothewolves

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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.

Greyhawk- Keepers Of The Flame

Greyhawk- Keepers Of The Flame
Fighter Records
Release Date: 16/06/2020
Running Time: 44:05
Review by Tsarina Wilson
8/10

Monday mornings. They’re not great, are they?! They need cheering up. So, for a change, I decided to start a Monday morning with a review of the new release by American metallers, Greyhawk. I have to say, this album had me totally confused at first. I always listen to any album 2 or 3 times before I write anything down, but this one had me truly stumped! Was it a metal opera? Was it metal storytelling, with vocals as varied as the amount of beer on sale these days?! So, this review is the product of a good few re-starts! Man, these guys know how to throw a spanner in the works with their music! Incidentally, Greyhawk are so metal they even have their own beer, and let’s be honest not many can say that!

Greyhawk’s quest started in 2018, when five metal guys (featuring alumni from bands like Skelator, Aggression, Prelude to a Pistol and Prophets of Addiction) met up and brought their unique style to life. This is their debut full length album on Fighter Records, and it brings something new to the table. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but then who is these days! Adding a bit more variety into music is what its all about, and these guys certainly stand out in a crowd, and I get the feeling that was their aim.

‘Gates Of Time’ starts the album. It’s very laid back, very calm, with a hint of Manowar, and short and sweet. This was where I thought I’d got the measure of their sound, but I was wrong! So, what’s next? Well that would be crazy drumming, epic guitar riffs and ear-piercing screams, followed by a voice I just wasn’t expecting! This fast-moving track has vocal variations all over it, and makes you giddy! In some places you think the vocals don’t actually match the content, but that’s what makes this album so different, and we like to be different don’t we?

There’s a lot of storytelling throughout this album. In ‘Drop the Hammer’, you can imagine the guys on stage telling the story with visuals on a backdrop. But that element takes nothing away from some truly amazing guitar riffs that make you sit up and listen. I can only imagine how epic it must be to be able to play like that. The guys take it down a notch for ‘The Rising Sign’, where Taylor’s voice is almost haunting, but still so powerful, and the addition of nicely timed backing vocals blend well. But don’t be fooled! This track maybe slower, but the power and feeling are still very strong here. The track builds and builds until the end, with low lamenting vocal harmonies in the background, which are quite chilling.

I Think my favourite track has to be ‘Ophidian Throne’. The tone of Taylor’s voice makes the hairs on your neck stand up and gives you chills.

This is definitely a Marmite album – you’ll either love it or hate it – there’s no in between! The variations from one track to another are a little hard to get your head around, but who wants to listen to the same thing over and over? It’s storytelling, meets Manowarish (yes, I just made that word up!), with a blend of metal, operatic vocals, crazy but intense guitar riffs, and heart thumping drumming. I found it a bit like a Chinese puzzle, it looks impossible, but you just have to take time to figure it out. With ear splitting screams that catch you off guard at times, it’s also not an album that you will fall asleep listening to! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!!

If this is what these guys can do for a debut album, then the future is exciting! If they grow from this, their albums will be insanely powerful and intense. With this album they have really shown what’s possible and what they’re made of. Great work guys and amazing cover artwork too!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Gates Of Time
02. Frozen Star
03. Drop The Hammer
04. Halls Of Insanity
05. The Rising Sign
06. R.X.R.O
07. Don’t Wait For The Wizard
08. Black Peak
09. Masters Of The Sky
10. Ophidian Throne
11. Keeper Of The Flames

LINE-UP:
Rev Taylor – Vocals
Darin Wall – Bass
Jesse Berlin – Guitars
Alika Madis – Guitars
Nate Butler – Drums

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/Greyhawkmetal
www.greyhawkmetal.bandcamp.com
www.twitter.com/greyhawkmetal
www.instagram.com/greyhawkmetal/

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

EMQ’s with Tsarina Wilson

EMQ’s with Tsarina Wilson

What Is your name, what do you do, and can you tell us a little bit about how you ended up doing it?

Hi, my name is Tsarina “T” Wilson, my day job is cleaning/housekeeper/laundry at a well-known sausage company in North Yorkshire! My other job is writing reviews for Ever Metal. I met Rick when he was a drummer and instantly hit it off with his crazy sense of humour. A while later he asked for people to help with reviewing music and I asked to help. He knew I had dyslexia but was still kind enough to let me give it a go. I’ve been here since and enjoy all that it has become.

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

I live in North Yorkshire, but in the middle of nowhere so only a few pubs near-by. There are often bands in York etc.

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

My favourite album so far this year has to be “Culto” by Die Ego, but with so many new ones on the horizon then that could change but, to date, it has to be “Culto”. My favourite single is definitely ‘Bangin In Your Stereo’ by Massive Wagons along with their video for the song!

Who has been your greatest influences, in the music or in life?

Greatest influence has to be my Dad (sadly no longer with us) he introduced me to music and how to enjoy it.

In music then Motorhead, Queen, Manowar, Meatloaf.

What first got you into music?

My Dad! He used to have his own nightclub and he had music nights, everything from rock ‘n’ roll to rock nights. He taught me to sit and listen to the lurics and feelings behind the songs.

What’s the weirdest music related thing you own?

I own a plectrum that Meatloaf played with on stage in Exeter! He would sing, then play some guitar then flick the plectrums out into the crowd. One flew up and when straight down my top. I had a kind offer of help to retrieve it, but I politely declined…

If you had one message for your Ever Metal readers, what would it be?

Be kind, it doesn’t take a moment to say hi to someone or just be there for someone who needs a chat. With all the things going on in the world today you never know if there could be something you could do just to put a smile on someone’s face. One message, text, call, note etc could be all it takes.

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

That new bands get more of a chance to be seen and get their work recognised! So many of them spend all their spare time on the road and promoting themselves whilst holding down their day jobs and having family life. It would be great if there was a platform for up and coming bands to be seen and not spend so much of their own money just to get up and running.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Meat Loaf – “Bat Out Of Hell”, which can always be sung LOUD and PROUD!

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

Vinyl at home, definitely and downloads while out and on the go.

What’s the best gig that you have been to, and why?

Out of the bands I have been able to see then Meat Loaf! I have social anxiety so find being in large groups terrifying! Going to gigs is something I am working on.

(Bless her though, Tsarina rarely missed a gig when the band I was in played, but that was probably to do with the fact that large crowds weren’t a thing at our gigs 😊 – Rick)

What do you get up to when you’re not writing/taking photos?

Ooooh good one! Working a lot and running, but my favourite thing is visiting my grandkids (yes, I am THAT old lol)!

What five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Meatloaf, Barry “Baz” Mills (Massive Wagons), Lemmy, Gage (Unto The Wolves) and Yvette Fielding (she makes me giggle so much)!

Jaffa cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Who cares, they are lush…lol!

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

Manners cost nothing so let’s start being kind to others. You may be having a great day but you never know what is going on in another person’s life/mind/home. I don’t care if you’re black, white, brown, green, gay, straight, bi-sexual, trans anything, I will treat you as you treat me. My private life is just that, but if you ever want to chat, I’m always here for anyone who needs help. Music has helped me overcome many things in life and picked me up when I have been down.Lastly, thanks to the boss Rick for giving me a chance (I just give him nightmares while trying to get through my reviews with lack of comma’s and full stops, but joking aside, cheers Rick you will never know how good if felt to finally have someone believe In me and give me encouragement and not put everything I do down, I owe you big time, but will have to settle for a drink.

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

Die Ego – Culto

Die Ego – Culto
Self-Released
Release Date: 12/06/2020
Running Time: 40:01
Review by Tsarina Wilson
8.5/10

Die Ego are a three-piece metal band, based in London (UK) and surprisingly this is their debut album, you will get what I mean when I say “surprisingly”. The band was first formed by Diego Fardel (lead guitar) and Gabe Scapigliati (vocals and bass). After trialling a few drummers who didn’t make the band they secured Dave Grosz and then Die Ego officially were formed.

In 2018 they released their first demo “Songs For The Insanity” and gained notoriety for their live gigs, which certainly got them noticed by the metal community. They’ve played such venues as the O2 Islington, and Camden Rocks Festival. The bands description of their debut album is “Culto is a raw and powerful demonstration of our essence and spirit. Our mindset was to produce an honest album that reflects the bands journey and makes a statement of what we are all about”.

Ok on with the review, If you like your music loud, raw, hard hitting, and dark, these are your guys! We start the album with the title track, ‘Culto’, which begins with piano playing and what sounds like a child’s voice, but, within the first minute, you’re catapulted into the rich undertones of the vocals, a combination of deep gruffness with some epic screams, which combined with great guitar riffs, sets the bar for the rest of the album. As you work your way through the tracks it’s a dark but exciting journey. You don’t want to get off the metal bus in case you miss out on something.

‘Demons Have Demons’ gives you total goose bumps with gravelly vocals which sound like they have been summoned from the bowels of hell! These guys certainly don’t want you to not to be entertained while listening to the album! The album has a steady pace, which I liked, because I think if they had gone too crazy, then the gruff vocals may have been lost and the intense vocals, which get into your soul, may not have had the same impact.

This album is one of those that will embed into your sub conscious and give you nightmares! Not bad for a band that hasn’t been around for more than a few years! “Culto” certainly makes an impact. These guys draw inspiration from all the best. From Pantera and Metallica, through to Alice in Chains and Slipknot, and although Die Ego have only just started out, I can see us in years to come comparing new and up and coming metal bands to them. Their music is powerful yet has a deep soul to it, I was asked by my son (who loves metal music too) to describe the album, and I said it was like my soul had gone to hell to visit and enjoy itself.

It may not be for everyone, but all I’d say is don’t listen to it once and think “nah, not for me”. Listen to it a few times and take in the passion and confidence, that the band has in bucket loads. Going back to my comment about “Culto” ‘surprisingly bring a debut album’, well I have reviewed quite a few bands now and I always look up other things they have done. Sometimes as a reminder of forgotten tracks, or just to refresh my mind, but when I couldn’t find anything other than this album, I was truly surprised! The confidence they seem to exude is of a band that has been around for many years, and I have no doubt that some time in their future, I will have the pleasure of their second album to review.

If I had to have a favourite track it would be ‘Don’t Get Close’. From the start, it had me, then in came the intense lyrics – it was just the perfect combination and had me transfixed all the way through. This album has it all, raw gruff vocals that will make your ears bleed, addictive drumming, and guitar riffs that will make you wish you had learnt to play a guitar yourself. Well done guys, this was a great debut album and lets’ hope you’re out gigging again very soon.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Culto
02. Anger is Yours
03. Treatment of Silence
04. Demons have Demons
05. The Grave
06. There is No Tomorrow
07. I Promise
08. Don’t Get Close

LINE-UP:
GABE: Vocals and Bass Guitar
Diego: Lead Guitar
Dave: Drums

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/DieEgoMetal/
www.twitter.com/DieEgoMetal
www.dieego.bandcamp.com/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCi5CxHa83uX70tvQgfFBDcQ
www.open.spotify.com/artist/4Yrsxw1DTctEeGRgPjAYRd

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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.