EMQs with Acid Reign

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EMQs with Acid Reign

Hi everyone. Welcome to our new EMQs interview with Acid Reign. Huge thanks to vocalist Howard H Smith for taking park!

 
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Howard H Smith and I am vocalist with UK thrash band Acid Reign. We go back to the 80’s so history available here
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid_Reign   It’s too much to type! 😊

How did you come up with your band name?

Bass player came up with it.

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

England. All good thanks, thriving.

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

New album “The Age Of Entitlement” was out on September 27th 2019.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Fish from Marillion.

What first got you into music?

Marillion made me fall in love with music. I already liked music but they were my first love.

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

We are collaborating with one of my favourite artists Suzanne Vega on our new album.

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

Goodwood Festival of Speed, some of the most awesome cars you will ever see all gathered in one place. Heaven.

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

A handmade Acid Reign lighter for my 47th birthday in Almera Spain.

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

See you out on the road!

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

Dave Mustaine. Too soon?

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

Performing live and creating new music. People moaning on social media because bands do not plan their careers/tours/releases around THEIR wishes. Hence The Age Of Entitlement”.

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

Festivals/venues taking a percentage of merch sales.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Reign In Fucking Blood!

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

CD’s for the car, Vinyl for the house and Downloads on the move.

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

Bloodstock 2015, hands down the best show this band has EVER played.

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

I have been a stand-up comedian for 25 years and still am!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Mohammed Ali, Gore Vidal, Bill Hicks, Salvador Dali and Jeff Hanneman

What’s next for the band?

Touring our first album for 29 years, festivals and all that good stuff.

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

Here you go:

https://www.facebook.com/acid.reign.thrash

https://www.instagram.com/acidreignukac/

https://acidreign1.bandcamp.com/

http://wwwyoutube.com/user/AcidReignTV

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

It’s a biscuit! You can tell by the shape and size, it’s a cake in name only.

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

Thank you for the support and to all of you reading this. It feels great to be back with a new album after all these years. If you haven’t heard it please seek out The Age Of Entitlement I promise it’s not shit! 😊

Thanks that was a lot of fun with some cool and unique questions.

 

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.

 

EMQ’s with Forged In Black

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EMQ’s with Forged In Black

Hi everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Forged In Black. Huge thanks to vocalist Stoz for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Hi guys, Stoz here lead singer of Forged in Black. We’ve been forging away creating our style of British Heavy Metal for 10 years now, since schoolboys Kieron Rochester and Andy Songhurst started the band. Our members are Kev on drums, Bone on guitar, Andy on lead guitar and Kieron on bass. We’ve just celebrated our 10th anniversary with a home town show in Southend on sea Essex to finish the decade in style.

How did you come up with your band name?

Originally the band was named “Merciless Fail” by Kieron and Andy. In 2013 we felt the name wasn’t as strong as the band were becoming so we changed it to our most anthemic song title from our first release “Forged In Black”.

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

We are all from Southend-On-Sea in England. Nationally, we believe the metal is strong in the veins of our Country men and women, and there are so many fantastic bands about. With festivals such as Bloodstock giving smaller bands opportunities it is opening the local scenes up to exposure that just wouldn’t be there without them, due to venue closures.

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

This year we released our second album “Descent of the Serpent” produced by Romesh Dodangoda (Motörhead, Bring Me The Horizon) and released via Fighter Records. It’s released worldwide via all streaming site and our website. We have a couple of music videos up if you check out our Youtube and Facebook www.facebook.com/forgedinblacks

Who have been your greatest influences?

All 5 of us have our own favourite styles, artists and genres. To name a few of them collectively I’d say, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Judas Priest, Pantera and some Death metal thrown in there for Bone.

What first got you into music?

My mother has always had love for music, so I grew up with the Beatles, Doors and everyone during 60’s-80’s blasting out on the car radio or on in the house.

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

We recently opened up for the Three Tremors at a show in London, so we’d love Tim Ripper Owens to jump on a track in the future. That would work great and he’s such a fantastic singer. I’ve been a big fan for years.

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

To be honest we’d like to play them all!! They are great fun and the fans are there for one reason and that’s to bang their heads to Metal.

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

I can’t think of any weird ones.

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

We love you and thank you for supporting us for the last 10 years. See you in 2020 for bigger and better things.

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

For me it would 100% have to be the master, Ronnie James Dio. To talk to him about all his creative and magical ways.

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

It has to be playing live, the energy of that and the execution of our performance in front of great people all there to rock. Hate, it would have to be the long drives.

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

Bigger pay-outs from streaming sites.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Epicus Doomicus Metallicus – Candlemass – I love the doom, the songs and the singing by Johan Langquist. I always have a copy in the car.

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

I think I prefer CDs. It comes with artwork you can behold and admire, lyrics or information inside. So for me, yes CDs. Until I leave them laying around and break them.

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

This year we headlined the Serpents lair VIP stage at Bloodstock, so that’s the best so far and this year. Great fun and a great festival.

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

We all have day jobs, so I guess we’d just be doing them with a large Forged in Black hole in our lives.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Kev, Andy, Bone, Kieron and James Hetfield, that would be interesting.

What’s next for the band?

Up next for us as we storm into 2020, is a lot of social media behind the scenes bits and bobs. As we release new gig dates, record more music videos for tracks off “Descent of the Serpent” and continue writing album number 3! So make sure you are on our Facebook, Instagram and twitter pages for great new content.

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

You can check us out on our website www.forgedinblack.com with links to all social media and online stores. www.facebook.com/forgedinblacks

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Clues in the title for me, a cake and not on my shopping list.

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

Thank you for your questions and we hope to speak more in 2020.

 

 

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.

EMQ’s with In Depths

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EMQ’s with In Depths

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Chester based Metal band In Depths! Huge thanks to Vocalist Callum Smith for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Callum from In Depths here, I do vocals, I joined in October 2018 taking over from Liam Ruddock.

We formed in 2012 in college between members in Chester & Wrexham. Over the next few years there were several releases with varying changes in sound but with one constant, it’s always been heavy, this led up to the first full length album “Devil In The Deep” in 2018 which has seen success over varying platforms.

We have spent the last year playing lots of shows across the UK which has led us to meet & play with some great bands both on tours & in festivals.

How did you come up with your band name?

Liam originally came up with the name but I know depression & mental health were very important subject matters to him so to hazard a guess & say what I take from the name it would be struggling with mental health ‘drowning in the depths’ if you will & I think the album title almost confirms this.

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

From the UK (North Wales & England) it has a decent metal & rock scene, especially in terms of hardcore acts there’s a lot of really good music coming from some great guys. The underground is teeming with talent & energy right now. I think people are getting very pissed off with austerity & the effect it’s having on both health and mental health. The UK is angry and it shows.

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

The “Devil In The Deep” album which has recently seen its one year anniversary, but we have some new music recorded & just being finalised for its release.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Personally I have many, gangster rap from early 2000s & metal like Marilyn Manson, Slipknot & the nu metal of the same period kicked it all off, flowing into the metalcore & deathcore scene of my teen years. Bands like Whitechapel, Job for a Cowboy, Waking the Cadaver creating the urge for needing something heavier as I grew older & bands like Cradle of Filth & Theatres Des Vampires pushing me towards something a little more melodic, whether that went into the speed and noise of gore & slam bands or simple thick low end heaviness of bands like Emmure or heavy yet beautifully melodic things such as Shadow of Intent’s titan of a release earlier this year.

I know our drummer Aaron was massively inspired by Chris Adler & Joey Jordison growing up, as teenagers we would watch these guys online all the time.

They all get thrown into the pot along with the rest of the guys influences but Nu Metal was huge for all of us so you’ll hear a lot of those influences in In Depths’ music.

What first got you into music?

I first started listening to the early 2000’s gangster rap that my brother would have on but oddly enough upon playing Need for Speed on PS2 I was introduced to metal. It was so angry and raw, I had to hear more.

From there I went to HMV & bought Marilyn Manson’s “Smells Like Children”, frankly it freaked me out but it grew on me and obviously shaped the love I have for evil sounding music.

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

Personally it would be Marilyn Manson, the dude is a genius & his vocal style is incredible, working with the man would be my life complete he’s always been a massive idol to me.

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

Headline Coachella for the ensuing hilarity.

But in all seriousness we ain’t fussy, Download is obviously a huge one but I think really if Warped Tour came back I’d kill for a slot.

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

In Scotland playing at The Fishermans Arms in Arbroath a few fans wanted us to sign set lists (which was an honour in itself) this one dude then eats the signed set lists whole making sure he shows me his open moth when finished so I knew he swallowed the entire thing.

So yeah if anyone wants to get us a gift just eat weird things for our amusement, it is appreciated.

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

To just be yourself & fuck what everyone else thinks. There’s so much pressure at the moment from family, friends, society etc. To be this & think that! Everyone has to be pigeon holed to a group & it’s so divisive, it’s complete bullshit. So yeah fuck all that.

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

Can I have two? Euronymous & Dead from Mayhem I want to know what really happened, those dudes have got to have some crazy stories & an old school line up Mayhem tour? Yes please! I’m sure Varg would be up for it.

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

I love the feeling of being on stage, you sort of go into this headspace where you’re not really in control of your body & it’s amazing, pure ecstasy for at least an hour afterwards & love talking to new fans we’ve made at the show.

Worst thing is definitely (for me anyway) sleeping in the van & not being able to shower. I love my home comforts. (The lads rip on me for this)!

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

More chances for local supports on bigger tours, I think it would be great to see the local lads opening for the big boys in the game. It would get their music out to a much wider audience because sadly there are people who don’t tend to frequent local gigs but go to see the larger bands playing.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

An album which means a lot to the band is Slipknot’s “Iowa”, it’s heavy and aggressive in a way that until that point hadn’t really been done and you can feel the effects of that album in so many metal & punk releases since as it is in our own music but personally I’d have to say Whitechapel’s “This Is Exile”. It blew me away vocally and a lot of the reason I do the style of vocals I do is because of that album.

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

For convenience I can’t deny downloads and the power they hold, it would have been impossible for us to have been heard by so many without the medium of download & streaming. On the flip side though I can see what harm it’s causing to bigger artists & nothing beats being able hold the product in your hand with this large artwork print so vinyl is the most satisfying as a consumer.

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

Personally it was a hometown show we played in G21 in Chester, was only a small room but it was packed and the energy was insane. Everything was getting broke, glasses, mic cables, faces. Conducted my first wall of death, spent half the show in the pit to my own band & managed to do the encore feeling like I was on the verge of passing out of exhaustion.

It was the moment that made me go, this is home & this is what I need to be doing with my life.

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

Well my other job is selling wood & agricultural products but I wouldn’t like to say I’d choose to be doing that. I’d actually really enjoy owning my own coffee shop so we’ll go with that, but music is the only thing I could see myself doing with as much passion.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

1. Marilyn Manson (do I need to explain this one?)
2. Dickie Allen, I have a lot of respect for that man, he is a literal demon.
3. Junji Ito. A Japanese comic book horror artist, we couldn’t understand each other but he could draw me some great pictures.
4. That guy who makes fried doinks on Youtube.
5. Kanye West. He is our lourd and savior Yeezus.

What’s next for the band?

A few singles to be released to show the world the new In Depths. Shows, shows & more shows & writing for album number 2.

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

https://www.facebook.com/InDepths/
https://www.instagram.com/indepthsofficial/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/4zDa3H9E7FwzkrUGkl0n4n

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

CAKE! Science proved it, they go hard when stale not soft like a biscuit.

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

Keep an eye out for new music & new video very soon along with some new lines of merch.

We’ll be destroying a town near you in 2020.

 

 

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.

EMQ’s with Reaper

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EMQ’s with Reaper

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Liverpool based Metal band Reaper! Huge thanks to Vocalist, Guitarist and, apparently, punch bag Daniel Moran for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Dan here! I’m the Lead Vocalist, one of the guitarists, and the designated comedic punch bag of the group. I do the latter brilliantly and the two former probably above average!
We started in 2011 with our first show being March 22nd. Anthony (Dalton) and I have known each other since we can remember and started learning Metallica tunes in my attic in our early teens. We’ve very slowly started to understand what it takes to call yourself a “serious project” and, in the first few years of fumbling about, we learned that the hard way. We were just dumb kids writing thrash head songs for the first time without any real clue of how the industry worked.

With the line-up we have now, we genuinely think that time spent understanding ourselves creatively will pay off in the long haul. Here’s to another 10!

How did you come up with your band name?

Ant said it one night and our eyes lit up and that was that! No major story there unfortunately, but, as the years have gone by, we’ve started to really relate to the name creatively aside from it being a catchy, one word name.

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

We’re from the UK, despite our bassist, Elliott, being part Greek, and Dalton being half Sicillian. Couldn’t tell you what the scenes are like there but the scene in England is bizarre. There are spaces like Plymouth, Manchester, and Glasgow that have treated us amazingly and have sourced some of the best crowds we’ve ever played for. On the other hand, our hometown is super hit and miss! We’re fortunate in that we have a very dedicated core fan base at home, but the venues are very few and far between and there are some nights where it can be pretty barren. We’ve seen some bands play to 100 people one gig and 6 months later play the same place with a serious PR push and barely break even. It’s very strange!

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

Our latest single, as of now, is ‘Death Games’ (available on all major streaming services!!!). We recorded in the Motor Museum with Loïc Gaillard and the man is a godsend. We have never worked with such a forward thinking and productive engineer before and he is our go to for our eventual second release. We love you Loïc!!!
https://open.spotify.com/album/24UIv9qr9Yudif9NZXwWTQ

Who have been your greatest influences?

Over the years, the Testament, Megadeth, old school Metallica, and Iron Maiden influences have been plentiful. That said, this new line-up we have; it’s changed our scope a great deal in terms of what we’re coming up with to push the envelope. We’d say we are leaning WAY more into the progressive elements. We take inspiration from almost anywhere.

Elliott is a huge black metal fan, but equally loves Type O Negative, Scouse Dave is a modern metal fiend but is also an Elton John fanatic, Ant’s three favourite artists are Thin Lizzy, Megadeth and fuckin Eminem, and I’m a colossal Prog head but will equally scream along to The Pointer Sisters. It’s very eclectic but that’s what makes the creative energy in the room so freeing. There are absolutely ZERO boundaries.

What first got you into music?

My Dad found some old cassette tapes from the attic when I was a kid and got me to take a car ride with him one night to show me some stuff. Foreigner’s Urgent came on first and I enjoyed that but then Jukebox Hero came on and I was just entranced. All I can remember was saying to my Dad “I want to do that”. Never looked back!

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

Jesus, we can only pick one!? I mean, the dream would be supporting someone like Metallica or Judas Priest; the classic names. I’d obviously be ecstatic to work with Devin Townsend personally. However, if we’re talking someone we could see happening soon? I’d personally love to call out for Caligula’s Horse to come over to the UK and have us support them! If you haven’t heard them, get their album “Bloom” immediately, it is a must.

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

BLOODSTOCK! BLOODSTOCK! BLOODSTOCK! I’ve said it once and I will say it again. There is no place in the gigging area ANYWHERE in the UK that feels more like home. We’d play there every year if they’d have us. We’re really pushing ourselves after Simon Hall saw us at our M2TM Grand Final as the guest headliners and gave us some much appreciated, critical advice.

If anyone at the BOA camp sees this, you have our sword for as long as Catton Hill stands. Hellfest would be amazing too!

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

Well we’ve not received a gift from a fan but thank you dearly for making us so insecure RICHARD!! (we love you really)

The strangest thing that happened to us as the result of a fan was a dude who had literally spent 3 years waiting to catch us live and, as soon as we finished our first song, before the crowd even had the chance to applaud, he just screamed “I HAVE BEEN WAITING ALMOST HALF A DECADE TO SEE YOU AND IT HAS FINALLY HAPPENED THANK YOU CHRIST!” Guess he was into it?

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

WE HAVE A SHOW DECEMBER 15TH AT REBELLION AND WE’RE PLAYING LOADS OF NEW SHIT SO BUY STUFF AND COME DOWN.

Also thank you all for your continued support we love you long time <3

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

Dio! Without hesitation! He left an enormous hole that isn’t getting filled any time soon. Hearing about him having passed was absolutely devastating. To have had him around just a little bit longer to tell him how much he has influenced us would have meant the world.

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

For the band, I’d say what we love is experimentation. Metal elitism is something we absolutely loathe. The idea that being boxed into one position is how to be “a true metal band” is just asinine. We purposefully do our best to push the envelope and try different things so that we can find what makes us really tick as a unit. That’s what has made writing with this project so fulfilling for me.

The worst thing? The uncertainty! Let me make something clear to anyone reading this that isn’t aiming for a career in the music industry. This isn’t a fucking hobby. Musicians find themselves spilling their hearts out into their written works as well as needing the practical know-how to keep it running like a business. Planning tours, new merch, sending EPKs, recording albums, financing the whole thing; it’s all seriously hard work. To have the indoctrinated idea of luck being your arbiter in the back of your head, if you REALLY want to make a living doing this, is scary as all hell.

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

The politics! We couldn’t care less what band likes who, who had problems with what project, whatever else. This job is hard enough without the bullshit bickering. Drama obviously brings eyes towards you but the stress of keeping that facade up is tangible, man. I don’t know how anyone could do it. Cancel culture online has a lot to do with it. We’ve got a lot to say on this next disc we’re working on regarding all that.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

To shed some light on a stellar local disc, “Legion” by Scare Tactics is an absolute triumph of an album. It is criminal that ST haven’t been picked up yet. Recommend them to the moon and back!!

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

It kind of depends on what you’re using it for and the convenience of it really! If we’re talking strictly about the sound of each, I’d say vinyl. There’s an imperfect warmness to them that I just cannot fault. A belter sound system, a top notch player and a night in! Cannae beat it pal!!

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

With this line up, I’d say Glasgow. That crowd was just absolutely insane. They were by far the rowdiest bunch of guys we’ve ever played to and they’re super welcoming. We would absolutely love to come back.

All together though, I’d say BOA2017! The tent was packed to the rafters, even Theresa from Metaprism said it’s one of the biggest New Blood Stage crowds she had ever seen! And to send off our pal Chris Lillie properly there just felt fitting. It wasn’t the best we’ve ever played, but it was the best we’ve felt in front of a crowd.

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

Truthfully, no idea! I have a lot of interests outside of music for sure but nothing that would fulfil me the same way. I’d like to consider being a therapist of some form, or maybe a chef? Tough question really! Short answer: something that wouldn’t leave me in a state of existential crisis on the reg.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I’d get Boris Johnson and have four cardboard cut outs of Trump surrounding him with “you never called” stapled to their chin.

I’d cook gammon.

What’s next for the band?

Finding shows for 2020, working MUCH harder on our YouTube page so you guys can get a little closer with us, a kickstarter for our second album, new single, more artwork and merch from our wonderful endorser, Crossfade Graphics, tighter live shows, some special occasion shows and HOPEFULLY getting ourselves around the festival circuit!

Next year is our year man, we can feel it in our bones.

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

We are on ALL major streaming platforms and we are super active on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter SHAMELESS PLUGS!!
https://www.instagram.com/officialreaperuk/
https://www.facebook.com/OfficialReaperUK/
https://twitter.com/BandReaper

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

If you call Jaffa Cakes biscuits, you pronounce the J in fajita.

Cakes go hard when you leave them out. Biscuits go soft. Jaffas go hard, ergo they’re a fucking cake.

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

Our best wishes to the Ever Metal family and a huge thanks to you guys for having us!

 

 

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.

Def-Con-One – Warface

Warface Cover

Def-Con-One – Warface
Scarlet Records
Release Date: 19-06-2012
Running Time: 51:10
Review by Rick Tilley
9/10

Hi Everyone. One of the previous places I wrote reviews for was US Radio Station Brutiful Metal Radio which closed its doors a while back and their website disappeared along with all the reviews I wrote! I thought it would be great if we could repost the reviews on Ever Metal so that they are not lost completely and, possibly, you can discover some great albums and bands you may have missed the first time around! Do bear in mind that line-ups may have changed and, in some cases, the bands may be no more but the albums created at that time are what is important so delve into the fairly recent path and have a read!

This Def-Con-One review first appeared in 2013

2012 was a storming year for great albums, but when I first heard “Warface”, from the UK’s Def-Con-One, it went straight into my top ten releases of that year. If you want brutal groove then this is the band for you and quite simply I see them as a modern day Pantera. Put together by the severely underrated Antton Lant (one time Venom drummer) this is about as much fun as you can have, whilst systematically feeling that you have had your insides kicked out of you by a size 12 boot!

Kicking off with an almost tribal drum rhythm, opener ‘Never Look Back’ sets the scene for what is an uncompromising fifty minutes of pure hardcore metal, with so much groove you will not be able to keep still. Apart from the staggering and heavy-as-shit drum patterns, from Antton, which pepper the album like a bad rash, Vocalist Davey Meikle is a real find. He screams and sings in equal measure with an evil ferocity that defies belief. Guitarist Johnny Hunter and Bassist Steve Miller cannot be overlooked. This is a real band, and one that requires all four members to collectively strip the skin from your face. March Of The Dead’, ‘Blood’, ’10 Bullets’, ‘In Death’ and the title track, the list is endless of tracks that deliver a hammer blow to your groin and with ‘Feeling Cold’ Def-Con-One have delivered one of the most hauntingly brilliant acoustic tracks I have heard for years. There is just not one dud on this album. Fantastically well produced by the band themselves, there really is no reason for you not to check these guys out.

Having finally witnessed them live at Hammerfest V, where they literally blew the roof off of the venue, you might have guessed correctly that I rather like this band and predict huge things for them. With album number two in the pipeline and plenty of upcoming gigs throughout the year Def-Con-One could not be a better name for this awesome band from Newcastle and I defy you not to like them.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Never Look Back
02. March Of The Dead
03. Warface
04. Hold On
05. Blood
06. Steeped In Pain
07. 10 Bullets
08. Feeling Cold
09. My Halo
10. Hit List
11. In Death
12. Give Me Strength

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/defcononehq/
https://www.instagram.com/def.con.one.official/

https://www.youtube.com/user/skuzzy/featured

 

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley 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 FORMICARIUS

Formicarius Logo

EMQ’s with FORMICARIUS

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with London based Black Metal band Formicarius! Huge thanks to them for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Hægtesse – Bass, Vocals: We are Formicarius and we play a pretty unique blend of black and death metal. The band is a melting pot of our various influences – we borrow electrifying lead guitars and insane shredding from old school heavy metal and classic 80’s thrash, counterpoints and harmonies influenced by Baroque/Classical music and symphonic, atmospheric elements from bands like Emperor and Dimmu Borgir, who were initially reviled for introducing these elements to black metal. As it turned out, history ended up looking kindly on these pioneers of the second wave of black metal despite them being sneered at by black metal elitists and confusing the hell out of genre purists. We’re no strangers to this ourselves and hopefully we’ll have a similar legacy of genre-defying innovation, a pretty bold statement!

The majority of us have been playing together for over ten years and we’re veterans of the current wave of UK extreme metal, having lent our unholy talents to bands such as De Profundis, Domitorem and Aeternum. When our old band dissolved, instead of looking for other musicians to join us, we formed a new band with the same members, but a much darker, more focused sound. Valdr joined us recently after a number of different drummers had to move on for various reasons and he’s really stepped up to the plate to be the final missing ingredient in the devilish concoction that is Formicarius!

How did you come up with your band name?

Nazarkardeh – Guitars: The Formicarius is the earliest European text to discuss the subject of Witchcraft. Written by the 15th century theologian Nider, his transcription of a Swiss Inquisitor’s dealings with a coven of Witches who practiced transformation, child sacrifice and Satanic worship predates even it’s more famous counterpart, the Malleus Maleficarum.

Put it this way – if the Malleus Maleficarum is the Reign In Blood of the Witch hunter, then the Formicarius is it’s Show No Mercy.

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

Nazarkardeh: We are from the UK. Unfortunately! One of the few good things about living here is our metal scene! Despite the fact that any status Britain had as a cultural powerhouse is long gone, UK Extreme metal is incredibly diverse and has gone from strength to strength in the last few years. To list just a couple of my favourites we have Deadwood Lake, Live Burial and Repulsive Vision who are all making a serious impact both in and out of the UK, but there are many, many more!

I wish them all the success that this country makes so difficult to attain.

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

Hægtesse: Our latest release is our sophomore album, “Rending The Veil Of Flesh”. It’s a real step up from our first album in terms of production, songwriting and even the packaging of the album. We’re always learning from our mistakes and I feel that this album really cements what we want the Formicarius sound to be – epic and technically proficient but with engaging melodies and a strong sense of narrative running through each track. The first single off the new album, which we released a lyric video for, is ‘Early Will I Seek Thee’, featuring Sakis Tolis of Rotting Christ on guest vocals and Nicholas Millar of Aklash on violin! The track is a pretty good showcase of what we’re all about these days, which is why we chose it as our lead single.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Hægtesse: The music is written by Morath, Lord Saunders and Nazarkardeh, so I’m probably not the best qualified to answer this question! Having said that, the influences are evident to the careful listener! We absolutely adore the complex interplay of melodies and harmonies employed by bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, so this is a huge part of our sound. This harmonic sensibility is a big part of Baroque and later Classical music, another huge influence of ours – check out the counterpoints in O, Dread Impaler, for example. Visually and vocally, we’re in thrall to second wave black metal bands like Immortal and Dimmu Borgir and to some extent Cradle of Filth, who lend us their gothic atmosphere and uniquely British take on black metal.

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

Nazarkardeh: As Hægtesse mentioned, we were fortunate enough to have Sakis Tolis of Rotting Christ feature on one track, which was a huge honour. Rotting Christ’s unashamedly catchy, refined and well written take on Black Metal was a big inspiration for Formicarius. The Fourth Horsemen is directly influenced by King of a Stellar War for example!

As for others in the future, there are a few that come to mind. Rob Halford was talking about making some black metal with Ihsahn and Nergal recently… I wonder how we could convince him to ditch them and make some Blackened British Steel with us instead?

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

Nazarkardeh: I can’t really think of any but we don’t need gifts from our fans. The fact that there are people out there supporting our music is a gift enough!

One of the stranger things I’ve seen someone do at a show is Sieg Heil us. Not sure what that guy was thinking in assuming we were that way inclined, but fortunately he was dealt with. The less our scene tolerates those cretins the better.

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

Hægtesse: We’re not an overly political or ideological band, but impossible to exist in a public sphere and not project some message simply by acting in the way that you do. Even if you have no explicit message, some people will still draw lessons from your behaviour. Our unconscious message seems to be something along the lines of “don’t worry about what anyone else thinks, do what you want to do”.

For years (stretching back to when we first started making music together in our previous incarnation) we’ve been accused of being confused about our genre, been called derivative and even boring. That doesn’t matter to us, because we’re not really making music for anyone else. We make the music we like making for the simple fact that we like making it. So our ethos, the message we deliver just by existing and being visible is a pretty corny one – just be yourself!

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

Nazarkardeh: Does Nicolo Paganini count? The guy was refused a Christian burial because his supernatural violin skill convinced people he was possessed by Demons. That’s more metal than the edgiest faces in Black Metal can attest to. Perhaps we could swap him for Varg Vikernes?

If not then I think I’d choose someone who died before their time. Randy Rhoads comes to mind – it’s a shame that we’ll never see what incredible things he could have achieved… Or maybe Chuck Schuldiner! Could have carved out a legacy for Control Denied just as he did for Death?

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

Hægtesse: The best thing about being a musician is those moments when you nail a piece of music and you’re just completely absorbed in it, whether than be on stage, in the rehearsal room or in your bedroom. The only way to achieve those moments is the answer to the second question: hours and hours of repetitive, focused, tedious practice! So like most things in life, you have to suffer just a little bit to get something worthwhile or fulfilling in the end.

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

Nazarkardeh: This is a difficult question – so many complaints about the music industry come with an image of the past seen through rose-tinted glasses. Just look at all the dinosaurs from the era of guitar shaped swimming pools whining about the Internet on Blabbermouth!

I could complain about Spotify’s weak payouts to bands despite their own gargantuan profits, but those are injustices that aren’t limited to the music business, and aren’t symptoms of this industry but another system that needs to be destroyed…

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Nazarkardeh: if I had to choose one metal album it would be “Abigail” by King Diamond. I won’t explain why, just listen to it! However it holds a particular significance for me because, well… what the hell is it? It would be short sighted just to call it heavy metal with it’s heaviness and atmosphere. It’s far too dark to be power metal. It clearly isn’t black metal despite the influence of King on the genre. But does any of that matter? The ability of a record to break through the barriers of subgenres to create something truly unique is something that really strikes a chord with me.

Honourable mention goes to Death’s “Individual Thought Patterns”, Morbid Angel’s “Covenant” and Windir’s “Arntor” which are among the close contenders for similar reasons.

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

Hægtesse: This is a strange debate in terms of the dogmatic and evangelical attitudes people take to transmitting information in some physical vector into sound waves that hit their ears and their brains interpret as “music”. It’s not even one I think is particularly relevant. There are hundreds of factors that can enhance or hinder our enjoyment of music beyond the objective physical qualities of the sound. So the medium I’m playing music on isn’t as important for me as the mood I’m in or whether I’m hungry, for instance, in determining how much I enjoy it.

I do a lot of travelling on the London underground and the convenience of having every single song I own (I think a more pertinent debate is streaming vs. purchasing music and I opt for the latter every time I appreciate and want to support an artist) on my phone to drown out sniffling bankers or howling school children is a godsend. I don’t miss the days of carting around multiple CDs and carefully cradling my Walkman so it didn’t skip every 30 seconds!

Having said that, there is nothing that compares to minutely examining a badass vinyl cover for every single cool little detail while you’re jamming out to an album for the first time! Our artwork, designed by Moonroot Art and our own multi-talented Morath is an amazing example of the intricate style influenced by artists like Necrolord, whose cover for Emperor’s “In the Nightside Eclipse” is an absolute masterpiece.

So there really is no point debating the absolute best way to consume music, people have their preferences for whatever reasons and I’m fine with that!

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

Nazarkardeh: They say you’re only as good as your last show. Good, because our last show was our best! Our last show in London supporting Asagraum was us playing our strongest material with our strongest line-up. After our first few shows getting used to playing “Rending The Veil Of Flesh” material live and getting comfortable with the new presence in the band – our supernaturally skilled drummer Valdr – this show felt like the culmination of that process. If I’m right, then next time someone asks me this question it’ll be about the next show!

What’s next for the band?

Nazarkardeh: We have one final show of the year on December 14th in Zebbug, Malta! It feels good to finally take Formicarius beyond Great Britain to further pastures. We are already in talks about further shows in support of “Rending The Veil Of Flesh” both at home and abroad.

Writing for album number 3 has begun. I can’t say much bar that it takes everything we find special about “Rending The Veil Of Flesh” and intensifies it. But more on that later…

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

http://www.formicarius.co.uk/
https://formicariusuk.bigcartel.com
https://www.facebook.com/formicariusband/

Nazarkardeh: Formicarius can be heard on whichever platforms you consume music, and can be found on whichever social media platform you prefer.

 

 

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

 

 

EMQ’s with AND NOW THE OWLS ARE SMILING

And Now The Owls Are Smiling Logo

EMQ’s with AND NOW THE OWLS ARE SMILING

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Norfolk, UK based Atmospheric Black Metal project And Now The Owls Are Smiling! Huge thanks to Nre for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Nre. I play all instruments in And Now The Owls Are Smiling, other than drums which are programmed. The project came from trying to find a way to channel feelings of misery and isolation into something useful.

How did you come up with your band name?

The name of the band comes from the rural area where I live. I see many Owls and thought that if they ever smiled at humans and were no longer afraid of us as a species, then the human race is doomed. There is a reference to this in the song ‘An Indictment’ on the new album, which incidentally are the first lyrics I ever wrote for the band.

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

I live in rural England. North Norfolk to be precise! The scene around here is pretty non-existent. But in England as a whole, it’s great. The amount of really good black metal in the UK at the minute is exciting. There’s so much diversity. It’s thriving.

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

The latest release is an album, which was released on 1 November 2019 called “The Comforting Grip Of Misery”. It’s a study of depression, but also one of hope. How nature and tranquillity can play a huge part in lifting desolate spirits.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Too numerous to really nail down! But if you listen to And Now The Owls Are Smiling, you can hear a lot of Hermodr, Lustre, and Drudkh to name a few. Autumn Aurora by Drudkh held a massive part of shaping the sound at the beginning. I love traditional folk music too, so you can find a lot of that influence in And Now The Owls Are Smiling.

What first got you into music?

Hard to say! I started to learn guitar aged around 8 / 9. Ever since, I’ve always found great peace in playing and trying to learn as many instruments as possible. I wanted to have something useful to do in my spare time as a child. Art and music were huge passions of mine.

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

That’s a really hard question as I like to work alone. It would depend on what the project was, but I don’t think it would be another metal musician. If I were to work with someone else, I would like to draw influence from a totally different musical sphere to what I currently do. Possibly someone like Steve Knightley! His songs are basically acoustic folk versions of And Now The Owls Are Smiling. Haunting, melancholy etc! That would be an interesting project to work on for sure.

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

Bloodstock! I don’t really like travelling too much, so Bloodstock would work for me. It’s a great festival and it’s 3 hours from where I live.

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

I have never received any gifts from fans. I could make something up that sounds really wild and interesting, but I’m not about bullshitting anyone. So nothing!

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

Thank you so much for all your support. I hope you like what I’m trying to do and will continue to support all my future work. And also, send me some weird gifts so I have an interesting answer next time to the previous question.

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

Quorthon or Peter Steele! Too hard to decide!

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

Just picking up a guitar and playing it with no idea of what you’re trying to write. Just strumming and eventually finding a melody or riff that works. That’s pretty much how I write. I’ll sit and have no ideas but eventually something comes out and once you have that initial idea, everything flows from it. That’s absolutely the best thing about playing an instrument. What do I hate? Praise, and I don’t mean that to come across as ungrateful or dickhead-like, but I’m quite a shy person. When people tell me they really like what I do or ask for a picture or signature, I get really quite bashful and uncomfortable, as nice as it is.

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

I know virtually nothing about the industry. I just play and make music. Everything else is left up to other people and I like it that way. The least amount of people I have to deal with, the better.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Hermodr – “The Howling Mountains”

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

Vinyl and CD’s!

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

Probably London Deathfest around 2004 /5 can’t remember exactly when. It was with an old band at The Underworld in Camden. That was great fun. Either that or at the Dynamo in Eindhoven! Same band and again, was great fun.

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

An artist possibly! Who can say? Musician is not a full time job for me at the minute so who’s to say what I would be doing. Definitely not a nurse or surgeon though as I’m terrified of needles!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

People that would argue a lot so I could just sit in the background drinking and laughing. Dinner parties are not my thing so I’d like to disappear in the shadows and watch drama unfold. Anyone who would dislike each other’s company enough that they would fight and ignore me! That would be perfect.

What’s next for the band?

I’ve already started writing album 3 and have a very close friend coming up with all the artwork and design. It’s going to feel like much more of a ‘bigger project’ than anything I’ve done before. I’m also in contact with a drummer to session on the album for me as the ideas I have are just not going to work with programming drums. Plus, I detest programming drums so that works for me.

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

I use Facebook and Bandcamp. I’m not really very technologically savvy, but it’s possible I may end up using Instagram if someone can show me how the hell it works and what you have to do.

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I honestly couldn’t care less. I’m neither a cake or a biscuit person. But if I had to answer on pain of death, I’d probably say cake.

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

Nothing really! Just again to say thank you to everyone who has supported me so far and please keep doing so. I’m so proud of “The Comforting Grip Of Misery”. The easiest next step would be to make that album again, but the new direction my writing is taking is hopefully going to blow people away.
And stay miserable.
Nre!

 

 

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.

 

Ashen Crown – Obsolescence

Obsolescence Cover

Ashen Crown – Obsolescence
Independent
Release Date: 01/11/2019
Running Time: 42:24
Review by Sheri Bicheno
9.5/10

One thing you have to be absolutely clear about when you listen to Ashen Crown… is that you are going to get a walloping!

These guys have been going for almost three years and in that short time have taking a slice of the underground music scene like their very own hot morello cherry pie. SO! GOOD!

Their first major festival was Bloodstock’s New Blood Stage in 2017 and Ashen Crown have catapulted into both headlining and line-up shows including supports for some of the best; Obituary, Memoriam and King Parrot plus storming fests such as HRH Metal, Hammerfest, Uprising, and Manor Fest. This speaks volumes. If you haven’t seen these guys perform and want some filthy riffs to mesmerise you, then you have to give them a go.

Debut album “Obsolescence” does not disappoint.

I’m detecting tones in this album’s concept that a HUGE change will be happening in life before long… to become OBSOLETE! Faith, fate, politics, life and death or destruction! Lyrically, there are several tracks that shine a light on this.

First track ‘Unbroken Faith’ introduces the craft of Ashen Crown with ringing bells and rain, almost like something you would expect from a Black Sabbath track. Then an almost doomy riff slowly sets in… sedate, seductive…and then BAM, vocalist Kieran Scott starts off deep, gnarly and fast paced while the guitars, drums and bass come in hard, matching the vocals. It’s not very often an opening track takes you on a journey of pure onslaught and sets the bar for the rest of the album…however, ‘Unbroken Faith’ gives you tingling anticipation for what’s coming next!

On next track ‘Crimson Sea’, Mike Ellis’ drums are exceptionally fast and ever changing in direction. They absolutely batter you matching the aura of this album exactly. Guitarists Ste Fowkes, Jay Rogers and bass player Phil Milman take you down a winding path with their combination of riffs and strings. Let them take you with them…this is gonna be a hell of a journey!

What I really love is at about three minutes in the polar opposite happens… compete calm and all is quiet. Black and Grey…grieving strings and whispers which say “I wipe the ash from my eyes…, these rotting bodies burning around me!” The elements here are of an expression of loss and a fire burning dim. Use that as a metaphor however you might like. The beauty of music is that you can express it in any way you hear or feel it.
Then… we are taken upwards again through flames and utter destruction until the fade out. ‘Crimson Sea’ is going to be absolutely face-melting live!

Third track ‘Ultimatum’ hammers straight into you from the outset. This is a voyage of pure evil riffs and winding strings, fast paced and aggressive… then a third of the way through, another quiet section and a slowly rising shadow, with Kieran’s whispering growls and one heck of a build-up. The guitars here really shine and give you an utterly transdimensional space goat feel. (Rick here! I’m not quite sure what a ‘transdimensional space goat feel’ is but after listening to “Obsolescence” many times myself I can say that, whatever it is, it’s damn good!). Come away from this track with your mind set on what you should now fully expect for the rest of this album!

‘Right To Rise’ is full of riffing and hammering, the drums here are again, incredibly fast and pounding. There is no break in energy on this track and it full on pelts you. I imagine live it would suit those who like to non-stop pit throughout a song. It is absolutely chaotic and Kieran’s demonic growls are in full swing, in fact this is a very good example of how Kieran’s vocals and the rest of the band sync well with the pace. Fast vocals, riffs, bass and drums throughout… and they are perfectly in unison.

Track five is ‘Guilty Of Hatred’ and I gotta say – this reminds me more of a Thrash Metal Ashen Crown. Higher pitched vocals kick in half way through…“The voices speak to me. They tell me I am not the problem”! Say no more, the message is loud and clear!
This is a track full of energy and jump and I am envisioning a full on circle pit here in my lounge to this. I LOVE how this track is set out lyrically; sending the message of a battle of inner love and peace!

Next up is ‘Blood Beneath Us’ and, if you didn’t know, Ashen Crown have released an accompanying lyric video for this one.

This track introduces us to a suspenseful but mellow opening riff. Some hard hitting riffage and drums then come along and pull the metaphorical rug from beneath your feet for a little while. Then the chorus hits and there is a playful edge to of some of the lyrics. Pure evil tones are right here and then…Kieran’s demonic growls are beautifully accompanied and opposed by the operatic and haunting vocals of Francesca Stevens which places the perfect cherry on the cake to this track. ‘Blood Beneath Us’ is completely different to Ashen Crown’s other tracks and is a welcome change. There is a very beautiful balance apparent.

Nearing the end ‘Fall Of Thine Eyes’ gives us our last journey into that fast space rushing past you with harsh vocals and face melting riffs that get you moving like there’s a twister chasing you. This bit of chaos ironically eases us into the very last track ‘Under The Leaves’ which, shows a very raw, emotional and slightly softer, more melodic side to Ashen Crown. I think this one is one of my favourite tracks. It starts slow and spacey, taking you through the aftermath of all the chaos of the previous tracks… but still retains its own aggression and fire. I tell you what, turn off all the lights, lay down or chill out and blast this track. Let it take you places to still keep your fire burning…euphoria in the dark!

Also, it is worth mentioning that “Obsolescence” was recorded and mixed by Neil Hudson of Krysthla/Initiate Audio – hence, this beast of an album’s fantastic sound quality.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Unbroken Faith
02. Crimson Sea
03. Ultimatum
04. Right To Rise
05. Guilty Of Hatred
06. Blood Beneath Us
07 Fall Of Thine Eyes
08. Under The Leaves

LINE-UP:
Kieran Scott – Vocals
Ste Fowkes – Rhythm Guitar
Jay Rogers – Guitar
Phil Milman – Bass
Mike Ellis – Drums

Links:
www.facebook.com/ashencrown.uk
www.twitter.com/AshenCrown
FATangel PR Social Media:
F: www.facebook.com/fatangelpr/
T: www.twitter.com/fatangel_family
PR: Dan Carter dan@fatangel.co.uk

 

ACpromo3

 

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno 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 ARX ATRATA

logo

EMQ’s with ARX ATRATA

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with UK based Atmospheric Black Metal Project Arx Atrata! Huge thanks to Ben for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

I’m Ben from Arx Atrata, an atmospheric black metal project from the UK, playing music inspired by acts such as Coldworld, Winterfylleth, Sojourner, Lustre, Agalloch, and many others. Currently it’s a studio project that started almost a decade ago, with the third full-length release coming out last month.

How did you come up with your band name?

That has been long forgotten sadly! Choosing names is a difficult business and inventing something in Latin was one way of finding something that hasn’t already been taken. It roughly means “blackened citadel”.

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

I am from the UK and as I’m sure you’re aware, it varies a lot depending on where you are and what particular music you’re into. It seems to me that festival attendances are doing well but smaller gigs are suffering and it’s tough for bands to get shows. There are so many great acts across the UK but almost all the bands I know struggle to book gigs. So, it’s a mixed bag.

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

The latest album came out last month, titled “The Path Untravelled”.
https://arxatrata.bandcamp.com/album/the-path-untravelled

Who have been your greatest influences?

This is a hard one to answer as I’ve always tried to weave many different aspects into the music. My background is more from the UK doom scene so the distinctive leads and harmonies of acts like Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride play a large part in how I approach composition, but from the black metal side I’m inspired by how bands like Winterfylleth, Der Weg Einer Freiheit, or The Great Old Ones can create furious-sounding music without compromising on memorable riffs and motifs. And there are bands that transcend the boundaries – Agalloch, Primordial, early Woods of Ypres, Empyrium, October Falls – these acts have always motivated me to blend different styles together in a cohesive way.

What first got you into music?

When I was a child I remember being interested in pop music, like many of my peers. I was given a keyboard by my grandparents which sparked some interest in composing my own works. As I approached my teens I started to develop more discerning taste, and at some point got the foolish idea that I could learn guitar and be in a metal band. Now, it’s a couple of decades later, and I’m still learning guitar! But with a handful of albums and EPs released across various projects I can at least say the process has been productive.

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

I am in two other bands – Twilight’s Embrace (http://www.twilightsembrace.com) and Fjords (https://www.facebook.com/fjordsofficial/) – so it could be said that I’m already collaborating. But, while both those bands are just as important as Arx Atrata, there are things I can do with my own project that are not possible when you have to take other people into consideration. So for this, I prefer to work alone!

That said, I’d love to get to release split albums or CDs in future. I particularly like the idea of both acts writing with the other band’s music in mind to come up with a release that is a cohesive whole.

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

Arx Atrata is currently not a live act – but if it were to become one, I’d love to perform at some of the interesting European festivals. Prophecy Fest in Germany is held in a cave, which sounds like a unique experience. We could probably turn the reverb levels down for that show.

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

I have never received a gift from a fan!

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

Not so much our fans, but I think the one thing I’d like metal fans in general to know is that bands really need your support. Musicians of today have more reach than ever before but see a lot less reward for it. Bands can have thousands of listeners on Spotify, but can’t get shows because only 10 people show up for local gigs. Buying merchandise is better than nothing, but I don’t think we really want a world where being a musician is mostly about buying and selling artwork and t-shirts, trying to fit in gigs and songwriting on the side. So I’d say – go to the shows, buy the records. If fans don’t support musicians, nobody will.

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

It would be a difficult choice between Pete Steele of Type O Negative and David Gold of Woods of Ypres. Either way, we’d get another morose album with a distinctive baritone vocal delivery and there aren’t enough of those.

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

The best thing and the worst thing is playing live. When it goes well, it’s amazing. But there’s a lot of preparation and pressure too. And too many shows see you playing to tiny crowds for free, leaving you wondering whether it’s worthwhile.

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

I don’t think the music industry needs to change too much at all. What needs to change is the internet industry being able to get away with ripping musicians off. If you go on YouTube, there are hundreds of thousands of songs uploaded without permission, each with thousands or sometimes even millions of plays. On Blogspot there are tons of pages with links to illegal album downloads hosted on ad-supported cyberlockers. So all these companies selling ads are making money, the website hosts are making money, but the musicians who make all this entertainment just have to suck it up and become t-shirt salesmen. That’s what needs to change.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” by Iron Maiden! In hindsight that was probably the midpoint between their more radio-friendly earlier material and the ever longer and more progressive work that followed, and the balance was struck perfectly. The title track is a masterpiece, one I’d like to cover some day.

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

There’s a big clamour for vinyl and cassettes in the black metal world these days and I find it fascinating, especially as someone old enough to have grown up with cassettes and who was grateful to make the move to the superior-sounding CD’s! I don’t think I even have a hexagonal pencil to hand if I needed to fix a cassette’s prolapsed innards today. Vinyl is a nice format for collectors, especially given the opportunity to really showcase the artwork, but from an audio engineering point of view it’s almost impossible to get a vinyl to sound as accurate to the original material as a CD or a download would. Downloads are pretty unexciting but at least they’re not unleashing more plastic on the world, so you can support bands that way and boost your environmental credentials at the same time.

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

Arx Atrata hasn’t played any shows yet, but with my other bands Twilight’s Embrace had a great outing at Bloodstock many moons ago, while Fjords made a lot of new fans at the Warhorns Festival in 2018.

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

As with almost all musicians these days, I am already doing other things! If I tried to pay the bills with my music I would have starved or frozen to death, depending on whether I started in summer or winter respectively! My day job is as a computer game developer, so I’m lucky in that it’s a relatively creative field, and that I can afford to cover my costs as a musician.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I hate dinner parties, so nobody!

What’s next for the band?

Not much, to be honest! The traditional thing is to release an album and then play some shows to support it, but with that not being an immediate option for Arx Atrata, the agenda is looking pretty bare. Maybe it’s time to find some live musicians to help me out!

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

The music can be streamed and bought at the Bandcamp page: https://arxatrata.bandcamp.com/

Important updates appear on the homepage:
http://www.arxatrata.com/

And occasionally other news will be reluctantly added to social media channels – https://www.instagram.com/arxatrata/
https://twitter.com/arxatrata/
https://www.facebook.com/ArxAtrata/ .

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Both, depending on the context!

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

Thank you Ever Metal for asking the questions, and thanks to the reader for getting this far! Please check out “The Path Untravelled” at our Bandcamp link above. And if perhaps you’re into more of the melodic doom/death/prog type of metal, keep an ear out for the new Fjords video and record which are coming out this month – you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

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.

EMQ’s with FRACTIONS

Fractions Logo

EMQ’s with FRACTIONS

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Leicester, UK based Prog/Tech Metal band Fractions! Huge thanks to drummer Steve Humphreys for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name’s Steve and I play drums for Leicester prog/tech metal band Fractions. We’ve all been in different bands in our local area and formed what would become Fractions when they all disbanded.

How did you come up with your band name?

It was thrown out there as an idea by our (now departing) vocalist. We couldn’t agree on a name for a long time and I think it was just a throwaway suggestion in the practice room that we all really liked

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

We’re from Leicester in England (Hinckley to be specific) and currently the Leicester scene is something very special. There are a lot of talented bands in the area doing very well for themselves and we are very proud and privileged to be a part of it all. We even all took part in an event recently where 28 band members from numerous Leicester bands joined forces and did an evening of covers, it was a lot of fun and will be happening again so look out for that…

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

Our latest release is a single called ‘Mind’ which is due to be part of an upcoming release called “Soundness of”. It was received very well at the time and has become a solid addition to our live sets. We feel like it is a big progression from our first EP and hopefully gives folk a taste of what’s to come.

Who have been your greatest influences?

For the band we would certainly cite Tesseract as a huge influence, both in terms of the genre we play but also the musical freedom, we never want to pigeonhole ourselves and nothing is off the table when it comes to new material. As for myself Dave Lombardo has got to be at the top, I don’t think I’d be able to play half as fast as I can now if I hadn’t learnt so much Slayer in my teens!

What first got you into music?

A cassette that a school friend gave to me, it had “Nevermind” by Nirvana on one side and “Smash” by The Offspring on the other. That tape changed my life!

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

I’m a bit of a folk metal geek so to drum along with the rest of someone like Finntroll or Ensiferum would be a huge buzz for me.

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

To say that you’d been on stage at Wacken would be a huge personal accolade but realistically taking Fractions to Euroblast would probably be the biggest international festival that we would sit the most comfortably on.

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

A friend of ours locally is a master baker and makes THE BEST flapjacks and for one of our Leicester shows he made a special batch of FracJacks. We took a few and left the rest on the merch table, needless to say there was none left over for us to take home!

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

Thank you to anyone and everyone who has ever given us any of there time at a show, festival, or even online. I’ll always love what I do but when what you do is validated by others it’s a feeling you can’t pay for.

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

Chuck Schuldiner without a doubt! By the time I knew who Death were, he’d already passed away so he’s someone I’ve never seen live.

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

My favourite part is playing live but it’s more than just the time you’re on stage, it’s the traveling, hanging out at the venue with other bands and generally having a laugh with the mates you are in a band with. There’s a few things that bug me but my biggest things are inconsiderate drummers, those who spend 10 minutes of a 15 minute changeover sitting behind the kit slowly packing their gear away, or those who set their gear up 4 hours before they play right in the middle of a small room that 3 other bands have to share!

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

I’d love to see more breaks given to emerging metal bands. I appreciate that labels etc taking on bands is risky and nowadays you almost need to be a fully proven entity before anyone will touch you, but I really think some of the major labels could have “apprenticeship” type contracts where they don’t pump sums of money into you but at least give you some opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise had.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

It’s got to be “Nattfodd” by Finntroll.

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

Depends on the circumstances as an in-car record player would be a terrible idea, but generally I prefer everything about vinyl over anything else.

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

I think it’s got to be the Zil Arena in Moscow supporting Tesseract. Having a capacity crowd absolutely chomping for you to get on stage, for them then all to go crazy the minute you started right through to the end of our set was something else. Not to mention then getting to watch Tesseract from side stage after that with plenty of beer and vodka!

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

Travelling to more Leicester City away games and playing more Warhammer!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

First would have to be my wife as I’m sure I’d get in trouble for not inviting her! The other 4 are tricky, I think I’d have to have Dave Lombardo and Joey Jordison to talk drums with, and then maybe guys like Bruce Dickinson and Tom Araya who you’d imagine would be really cool and have some great stories to tell.

What’s next for the band?

As I touched on earlier our vocalist is leaving the band at the end of the year after one or 2 more shows so the search for a replacement with kick into 5th gear. We are also well into writing our next record so the aim is to have it finished by the time a new vocalist is in place so we can record their parts, release it and hit the road.

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

Nearly all of them! I’d definitely say though to check us out on;
Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Fractionsuk/
And BandCamp
https://fractions-metal.bandcamp.com/
Where all of our merch is available to listen to and buy.

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

By definition, a cake is soft and goes hard when it goes off. Whilst I’ve never owned a Jaffa Cake long enough for it to go off though, I assume they would go hard if left long enough!

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

Thank you too! I would like to say if any vocalists out there are looking to join a band auditions are open, and as I said earlier nothing is off the table as far as writing goes and the same can be said for vocal style. Don’t feel you can’t do it or won’t be a good fit, just send an email to fractionsuk@hotmail.co.uk and who knows what might happen…

 

 

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