Motorhammer – Round 35 EP

Round 35 EP Cover Art

Motorhammer – Round 35 EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 03/06/2021
Running Time: 21:47
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

“Greetings, metal maniacs”. Have you already heard these words in many radio shows? Maybe some of you that read my reviews have already heard it from the great DJ Dave Softee on his amazing show called Metal Meltdown. I remember when he interviewed the Brazilian Thrash Metal band Machinage and that day I discovered the awesome radio station called Metal Messiah Radio. This station has been promoting many Brazilian bands for years, also great metal bands from all around the world. I’ve lost count of how many bands I have introduced to them after that, also how many Brazilian bands I have discovered, just by their DJs promoting them.

Now, the radio has a special Brazilian member, the amazing Isaura La Cour. She joined forces with Matthew Szablewicz (DJ Szab), from the NYC Metal Scene show to offer a proper space for the Brazilian scene. As a result of this incredible work by Matthew, Isaura and their crew; I have been lucky to discover another amazing band who are the subject of this review! The Brazilian Thrash Metal band, with less than one year of existence, Motorhammer!

Ok! I am using my Charles Xavier telepathic powers to read your thoughts and I know you are thinking that a band who have been around for less than a year cannot offer anything, so astonishing, to justify the positive impression I have had. You would be wrong! Motorhammer are new but all the members involved are very experienced in the Brazilian scene. The vocalist/drummer/founder Edson Graseffi, for example, has more than 30 years experience and he has been a part of many important bands in Brazil, so this EP was born to celebrate Edson’s career with material that he composed or helped to compose throughout the decades. To make it possible, he invited guitarist (also producer) Renato Haboriny and bassist (a long-time friend of Edson as well) Daniel Corvo; two respected musicians in Brazil.

The album is a compilation of four old compositions that Edson was part of (plus a cover) that have been re-recorded, with better production values. By the way, this was the first thing that made me love the band on first listen. What a killer record production. It’s similar to what legendary bands like Destruction or Exodus can extract from the studio or what producers like Andy Sneap can offer. Maybe you think this isn’t relevant considering many big bands do it, but the prices to have the proper studio time and equipment in Brazil, to reach this level of production, are very high, so I must highlight it.

Musically, the songs have a similar sonority in terms of composition, even though they come from different bands that Edson was a part of. The opening track ‘Fighting Against The Walls’ (originally from Edson’s band called Punch but that was used regularly by his band that came right after them, called Panzer) has pure Exodus heaviness & spirit where they opt for cadenced music, amazing drum fills and groove. ‘Warning Hell’ (originally from another of Edson’s band called Reviolence) is a bit faster and it reminded me of the brutal style from Germany’s Destruction. ‘Rage Over Rage’ (originally from the band Chasing Fear) also explores cadenced rhythms and leaves space open for great riff work. Edson also shows a different vocal style on this track, exploring parts with cleaner singing alongside good melodies. The last two songs have amazing dancing bass following excellent percussion on drums.

‘The Metal Church’ (Also from Reviolence) is like a heavy ballad. For this one, try to imagine a divine performance from Ronnie James Dio fronting a Thrash Metal band. Ironically, you could mention the band Metal Church as one of the influences here as well? It is an amazing song. The closing track ‘Allied Forces‘ is a cover song from Canadian band Triumph that showcases Classic Metal from the 1980’s but, once again, dressed in a Thrash Metal style.

“Round 35” is an amazing EP that shows the Thrash Metal veins within Edson, together with all the great musicians that were (or still are) partners of him on his path. Trust me; to make Heavy Metal for such a long time in Brazil is not an easy task. 35 years/rounds is an anniversary very much worth celebrating and I wish many new rounds for Motorhammer. For now, we have a show of riffs and solos from Renato Haboriny, strong bass from Daniel Corvo and amazing drum/vocal work from Edson. The three of them together are able to kick some serious ass.

‘Fighting Against The Walls’ (Audio)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Fighting Against The Walls
02. Warning Hell
03. Rage Over Rage
04. The Metal Church
05. Allied Forces (Triumph Cover)

LINE-UP:
Edson Graseffi – Vocals, Drums
Renato Haboriny – Guitars
Daniel Corvo – Bass

LINKS:

Motorhammer Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto 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.

Heavy Smasher – Heavy Smasher

Heavy Smasher Album Cover Art

Heavy Smasher – Heavy Smasher
Self-Released
Release Date: 10/07/2021
Running Time: 37:19
Review by Victor Augusto
8/10

Hello, my friends, readers of my silly thoughts about the music of people who sold their souls for someone that nobody cares about. I am back to my regular life after a chaotic month of July when myself and my wife fought against this insane disease called Covid-19, but I won’t be as negative as I was on my At The Gates review, sorry for that. The main reason for this, despite the fact I am very happy to have my normal life back, is also because, today, we have a band with a positive sonority in their offering. I am talking about the Brazilian band Heavy Smasher with their classic self-titled, debut album.

Firstly, it is an honour to review material from my great friend and drummer Bruno Rocha. He is not only smashing his drum kit for this record, but also a very respected reviewer in Brazil and known as the Ambassador of the Russian band Aria, as I mentioned in my review of their most recent releases. In fact, we will call him the ruler of the beautiful city of Caucaia? (Laughs). Of course, we have many things here that makes this album very good, so let’s talk about what really matters, the music.

“The analogy to angels is purposeful and the image of the fallen angel is increasingly similar to what is understood as rock/metal sound.”. This is how the band explain the opening song ‘We Are Angels’ and the blast of this first track shows everything you can expect from the band. It is pure Heavy Metal with energy to recharge your soul and great positive feeling from all the love and passion we have for Heavy Metal. Musically, it would be easy to mention the sound of the mighty Judas Priest (from both eras with Halford and Owens on vocals), but Heavy Smasher have their own kind of play on that sound. It is more a matter of influence in this case, mainly on the riff structures and cadence.

How have the band members shown their ability on this album? Well, I can say that Bruno explores all kinds of drum styles, with rhythmic flow and fast double kicks. He chose not to be as violent as some drummers and he chose sensibly because he can play well enough to offer a great sound. The guitars of Nando Smasher and Diego Quântico have excellent chemistry between them on the riffs. Considering that we are talking about a Heavy Metal band that is more in the classical style, it means that you also have very well played solos. The bass of Luís Paulo helps to make everything heavier and is very present among the wall of guitars, as you can hear on ‘Heavy Smasher Sound’.

Nildo Gomes tries to be more aggressive with his vocal style and he is the main reason that I mention the Priest influence with both singers. Sometimes his voice is clean, reminding me of calmer songs from Priest with Halford, like in ‘In The Abyss’ or in ‘Screaming All’. However, for most of the album, he is more aggressive, in a Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens way. Don’t expect screaming high range notes which can be a bit annoying sometimes. Nildo navigates through the melodic vocals, but always with a touch of aggressiveness!

As Nando explained on the band’s EMQ’s interview with us (link below), the word Smasher in their name comes from the desire to play something heavy and is also inspired by the Hulk words “Hulk Smash” and it is that reason they have a pretty heavy sound, despite playing traditional Heavy Metal. I had the impression that the arrangements for the songs was more inspired by Black Sabbath and Dio Albums. As a result, it is like hearing Priest compositions with stronger sounding guitars, similar to the older Sabbath albums. How good do you think that could be?

The lyrics contain themes more connected to our reality. Things from the power of Heavy Metal as a way of life and also issues that we face on a daily basis. The way that Heavy Smasher use them in their music is always with a positive energy that makes you feel strong and ready to fight. I enjoyed this debut album more for all good vibes that it offers. Even the production sounds like it has a good dose of organic and raw sonority. Maybe the intention was to flee from that plastic digital sonority, that so many bands use nowadays, without sounding awful.

“Heavy Smasher” is a pretty brutal album for the Classic Heavy Metal genre but, at the same time, it carries all the good energy and mood from this style. Perhaps sounding heavy and energetic, taking care to not sound massive and tiring was the main goal for the band on their first release. It just shows that the band is more than mature enough for a debut album! Congratulations for a great album Heavy Smasher!

TRACKLISTING:
01. We Are Angels
02. Heavy Smasher Sound
03. Sunrise Rebel
04. Clash Of The Gods
05. FireFight
06. Face Up Reality
07. In The Abyss
08. Screaming All
09. To Be Strong

LINE-UP:
Nildo Gomes – Lead Vocals
Nando Smasher – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Diego Quântico – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Luís Paulo – Bass, Backing Vocals
Bruno Rocha – Drums

LINKS:

Heavy Smasher Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto 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.

At The Gates – The Nightmare Of Being

The Nightmare Of Being Cover

At The Gates – The Nightmare Of Being
Century Media Records
Release Date: 02/07/2021
Running Time: 45:37
Review by Victor Augusto
10/10

“Legend: a very famous person, especially in a particular field, who is admired by other people.” (Oxford English Dictionary). Yes, I want to start with this definition and hold it in your mind until the end of the review. Hello again my friends. After the terrible nightmare of having my beloved wife in an ICU due to COVID-19 complications, I return with my writing (We are all so relieved she is well again Victor – Rick). During these weeks that I lived inside a hospital in Brazil, I could have (again) music as a relief. Guess what, I was listening to the new At The Gates offering and it is not the first time that their music has followed me during tough times. The band’s masterpiece “Slaughter Of The Soul” was an important album when I was a teenager and lived in a poor neighbourhood when, at that time, my life was full of misfortune!

Maybe, the concept of At The Gates lyrics, reflects the world itself. Maybe, you think it is a bit depressing to hear, while you are going through dark days as I currently am. Right now, I am writing this as I see my wife struggling to breathe. Their music shows how difficult it is to live in this world, but at the same time, they offer an incredible source of energy and hope with their superb riff structures and beautiful melodies. Are you confused with my ideas so far? So, here are my thoughts listening to just the opening song ‘Spectre Of Extinction’. A punch of riffs just like At The Gates know how to compose. Everything is allied with brutal drum fills and good melodies. It makes me feel like dying inside a hurricane, but having those chaotic fierce winds gives me energy to fight. This is how I connect myself with music, and At The Gates can offer it in a perfect way.

I won’t be repetitive about their importance of having created a unique sonority that is a Swedish trademark. What I can say is how this album has the perfect balance between all the brutality from their 90’s releases together with the cadence from their two previous albums. The quality of having crystal-clear sound in the recording process, another trademark of Swedish sonority, is still present. Maybe, on the last album, “To Drink From The Night Itself”, they purposely offered a slightly dirty production, but now they have returned with a good balanced production and a more organic one.

Guitarists Martin Larsson and Jonas Stålhammar give us superb work and I don’t think they ever questioned the absence of long-time guitarist Anders Björler, who left the band in 2017 (If you have ever considered At The Gates amazing guitar work, just listen to this album). The bass of Jonas Björler is more present on this album. I love how he commands the cadence which lets Martin and Jonas free to play their melodies and harmonies.

Tomas Lindberg and Adrian Erlandsson are the kind of musicians that make everything sound good if they are present. Adrian is a brutal drummer and his versatility of extreme beats with cadenced parts is astonishing. His intro on ‘The Paradox’ is devastating. Tomas interprets all the lyrics as few singers can do and also has a unique voice. He is also a very cool person, as he showed when we chatted a little on Gimme Metal radio with my friend DJ JET, which happened about a month ago.

Ok Victor, what makes this album special? The new elements that I couldn’t remember on their previous albums. Take four minutes of your life to listen to ‘Garden Of Cyrus’. It has everything we have come to expect from At The Gates, but with a calm intro, well guided by bass, with the beautiful addition of Saxophone. The orchestration on ‘Touched By The White Hands Of Death’ and ‘The Fall Into Time’ are also something new that give an epic atmosphere. ‘Cosmic Pessimism’ shows a calm song with clean guitars dictating the cadence while Tomas sings in a more talking style rather than screaming.

With these thoughts, I have attempted to understand what makes an excellent band become a legendary one. If you look at the history of At The Gates, especially what they have created for Heavy Metal around the world, you will understand the meaning of legend or legendary. Moreover, after so many albums, they are still able to surprise their fans. I don’t need to explain the power of these Swedish pioneers.

“The Nightmare Of Being”!

It is dark. It is heavy. It is technical. Maybe the most important detail is that it is the pure At The Gates that we all know and love! Thanks for surprising us again and also thanks for helping me to stay strong again.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Spectre Of Extinction
02. The Paradox
03. The Nightmare Of Being
04. Garden Of Cyrus
05. Touched By The White Hands Of Death
06. The Fall Into Time
07. Cult Of Salvation
08. The Abstract Enthroned
09. Cosmic Pessimism
10. Eternal Winter Of Reason

LINE-UP:
Tomas Lindberg – Vocals
Adrian Erlandsson – Drums
Jonas Björler – Bass
Martin Larsson – Guitar
Jonas Stålhammar – Guitar

LINKS:

At The Gates Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Agusto 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.

Crypta – Echoes Of The Soul

Echoes Of The Soul Album Cover Art

Crypta – Echoes Of The Soul
Napalm Records
Release Date: 11/06/2021
Running Time: 41:40
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

What makes a band famous? Well…If you find the answer, then quit your job and enjoy all the money you will probably make after discovering it. Maybe, what isn’t a secret, is to have any kind of fame or minimal attention from fans around the world, is just reality and truth which means you must work like hell to get anywhere. If you are in an Extreme Death Metal band, take this work and dedication and double the effort. Of course, you will suffer many frustrations and misfortunes along the way. Who said it would be easy? Nevertheless, it is the strength and desire to keep going that will make you stronger. Is anything that I have said, so far, related to the history of Crypta? Maybe, you could tell me the answer.

If you look into Crypta’s birth and their short career, you will know that part of the band could easily have quit from everything music related after what has happened in their lives, but we are not here to talk about the past. The only thing that I will mention, about the rupture of Nervosa, is how it has allowed this band to finally see the light of the day and I must congratulate everyone, in both camps, for how everything was handled. No fights or drama was made public to the fans. Just two sides that separated kept walking in different directions. So, now I’m going to talk about the present and the future of the amazing band, Crypta?

“Echoes Of The Soul”! What a title. What an album! What a debut! If we expected a sound more connected to Death Metal, after what we heard from Fernanda Lira and Luana Dametto on their last album with Nervosa, then our expectations have been surpassed with something darker and heavier. They have brought the spirit we had already seen from them both but with the addition and incredible technique from two amazingly talented guitarists; Sonia Anubis and Tainá Bergamaschi. As a result, this is a very organic Brutal Metal that is incredibly well worked out with great melody and astonishing solos.

Solos!!! Yes, we have to talk about them! Sonia and Tainá must get a special mention for all the work they have put in on this album. If you love the chemistry among guitar teams such as Smith/Murray, Tipton/Downing or even Hanneman/King, you will be delighted with partners in crime Anubis/Bergamaschi. They have created something special. You can expect melodies and technique from classic Heavy Metal bands and also the aggressiveness from the great names of Death Metal. For me, the solos are the thing that most caught my attention.

Organic drums! I already knew Luana was an incredible drummer, but she has exceeded my expectations on this material. It is a lesson of brutality and versatility. She has mixed incredible blast beats with many tempo changes. The production gives the drums a very organic sound, it’s amazing how they have extracted a natural sonority.

Riffs and bass! Of course, we have remarkable riffs, but don’t you think that the wall of guitars hides Fernanda’s bass. Her sound is very clear and strong here. I also have to mention how her vocal lines work so much better in this band. They are a little different from her previous work. It sounds like Chuck Schuldiner singing in a more Black Metal style.

It is hard to find a highlight in an album so entirely amazing. Probably, I would just elucidate things like the nice lead on ‘Possessed’ and the dense atmosphere where Luana keeps on with blast beats while the main rhythms stop, letting just calm guitars play in the background. The solo on ‘Death Arcana’ is probably my favourite one and the solos on ‘Kali’ show more of a Morbid Angel inspiration. ‘Blood Stained’ brings a more Thrash Metal spirit and this track even has good work on the toms. There is a beautiful and dark intro for ‘Dark Night Of The Soul’, as well as the ending with its clean guitars.

Now it’s time for Victor’s confusing thought. The intro song of the album, ‘Awakening’ is repeated at the end of the final track ‘From The Ashes’, it creates a cycle that connects the end and the beginning of the album. Now, look at the words “from the ashes”. Could it be related to a rebirth? The end of something is always connected to a new beginning! Could it represent life as a constant cycle of renewals? Is it related to the rebirth that partners in crime, Fernanda and Luana, have had after their departure from their old band, which resulted in the birth of this one? What do you think?

What I can say 100% is congratulations for such an incredible album. It sounds like a mix of the aggression from 90’s Tampa, Florida bands, together with the production care and melody from the bands that appeared in Sweden. It amazing how it has an organic production but also a clean production. As I said before hard work, passion and dedication are the basic things to enable a good response from the fans, but when you have a team like this, full of incredible musicians, things become easier. The result couldn’t be more different. A brand new band that can be already considered huge and mature! I hope to see them on tour in a near future!

‘Starvation’ (Official Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Awakening
02. Starvation
03. Possessed
04. Death Arcana
05. Shadow Within
06. Under The Black Wings
07. Kali
08. Blood Stained Heritage
09. Dark Night Of The Soul
10. From The Ashes

LINE-UP:
Fernanda Lira – Vocals & Bass
Luana Dametto – Drums
Sonia Anubis – Lead Guitars
Tainá Bergamaschi – Guitars

LINKS:

Crypta Promo Shot - credit Renan Facciolo
Picture by Renan Facciolo

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto 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.

A Fool’s Mockery – Empire Of Doubt

Empire Of Doubt Album Cover Art

A Fool’s Mockery – Empire Of Doubt
Self-Released
Release Date: 01/02/2021
Running Time: 63:43
Review by Victor Augusto
8.5/10

Music can be a very interesting thing and I am not just talking just about the act of hearing it, but how it connects people around the world. As you probably know, I am the first Brazilian to be part of Ever Metal and during almost 2 years with this beautiful team, I have understood a little more of the culture in the UK, even if I still live an ocean apart from them. But it is funny that, even though I have got closer to them, I still discover things from there, from friends in my own country and this is how I found out about A Fool’s Mockery, an amazing band from the UK, thanks to their singer and my great friend Emannuel Thorsen.

Emannuel is also Brazilian and we lived in the same city when he was part of a great band called Hell Bound. When he moved to the UK, he had to leave that band, but his path converged with the other members of A Fool’s Mockery. Now, this is a new era for him and the band, with their first release. I don’t know exactly how they ending up meeting each other but my advice to you is that, after listening to “Empire Of Doubt” for the first time is not to expect immature music and performance just because it is a debut album. I don’t know their ages, but they are young as a band, however, this is a very mature album. So, let’s understand what it has offer to us, the listeners.

Opening track, ‘The Great Lie’, shows what I consider to be a mix of Classic Heavy Rock (Deep Purple) with Power Metal elements such as the fast drum fills and Emmanuel’s vocals interpretations. The presence of Jase Tyler’s keyboards is another element that navigates between Classic and the more Melodic Power Metal style. By the way, Jase is also the man who holds the drumsticks in the band (at least, in the studio) and I must highlight how astonishing he is on both instruments. Next track, ‘Let The Truth Be Known’ keeps the happy spirit of the band’s sonority and, once again, the keyboards are very present. In this song, the bass of Scott Gurnett also has a strong presence, considering there are almost no guitars, just short and good solos.

I guess the dramatic change of the album’s sonority happens on ‘Enter The New’ where progressive elements take over. If before, I felt a balance between Classic Rock and Power Metal, this time I could feel the influence of bands such as Rush and Dream Theater. This makes it sound a little less Metal and Rock and, as I’m not the biggest fan of Progressive Metal, I started off worried but, in this instance, I absolute love the end result.

As with most material labelled ‘progressive’, you get extensive songs, such as the beautiful ‘The Heretic’ and the eighteen minute long ‘Cardinal Sinner’. The former I loved because it has a lot of different cadences and moments. It is the best time to check out the versatile riffs of guitarist Eddy Bleasdale and, once again, there are excellent independent bass lines from Scott Gurnett. What I admire here is how the band maintain a smooth atmosphere even when things become heavy!

The instrumental ‘Much’ has the same spirit, but with more space for kick ass drum work, even showcasing some blues influence. However, we still have space for heavier stuff such as ‘Wrath Of The Divine’ or the more ballad driven, in a very good Deep Purple way, ‘Plea for Forgiveness’. To epically finish the album, the band present ‘Legacy’ which includes great orchestration. Emmanuel’s beautiful vocal interpretation together with Jase, Eddy and Scott show how incredible they are on their instruments, without creating music full of annoying and over the top virtuosity.

Despite “Empire Of Doubt” being a debut album, it is wonderful how they have worked so hard to create great material. The main goal, at least for me, is how they found a way to mix different genres, that on their own, may be considered a little boring for those of us not fans of them but, in this case, sounded cool and the listening experience became incredibly enjoyable. This album is 63 minutes long, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it.

If you are fan of Rock/Progressive bands like Rush and Deep Purple but like something a little more Metal, or love Progressive Heavy Metal but miss the simplicity of Rock then I am certain that you will love and admire how A Fool’s Mockery have combined the best of these two worlds.

‘The Great Lie’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Great Lie
02. Let the Truth Be Known
03. Enter The New
04. The Heretic
05. Much (Instrumental)
06. Wrath Of The Divine
07. Plea For Forgiveness
08. Cardinal Sinner
09. Legacy

LINE-UP:
Emannuel Thorsen – Vocals
Jase Tyler – Drums, Keyboards, Percussion
Eddy Bleasdale – Guitars
Scott Gurnett – Bass

LINKS:

A Fool's Mockery Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto 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.

Dominus Dominantium – Chained: Epiphany Of The Soulless

Chained: Epiphany Of The Soulless Album Cover Art

Dominus Dominantium – Chained: Epiphany Of The Soulless
Self-Released
Release Date: 25/05/2020
Running Time: 45:28
Review by Victor Augusto
9.5/10

I’m used to hearing, at least, two or three new bands each month for review so it is, probably, not a surprise for me when I discover insanely good bands from different parts from the world. I guess that it is the most interesting thing that happens in this line of work, allied with all the great new friends we make when writing about a specific band. Sometimes we make a few enemies as well, but I still love them too 😊. I still consider myself a novice writing about and reviewing music and after four years I am still impressed each time I discover a good scene and bands from a specific country. So, here I am again with another band from the Dominican Republic, a country that has really surprised me with its quality music.

My contact with Dominus Dominantium came about after I had written a review of one of the best bands I had ever heard in my life, Ophion. Guess what? They are also from the same country. Of course, I was immediately impressed by the quality and dedication of these bands to offer their best for the listener. Both bands have released only one album so far and in the case of “Chained: Epiphany Of The Soulless”, we can hear an album that enchants on the very first listen, even if you are not a fan of Symphonic Black Metal. So let us embark on this journey of apocalypse!

Yes, this album is about the apocalypse and even though the genre that labels the band is Symphonic Black Metal, you mustn’t expect anything satanic here, in fact, It is quite the opposite. It is similar to Dimmu Borgir’s sonority, from the early years, around 2000, but with a concept about the Apocalypse from the Bible. If you’ve read the band’s EMQ’s (linked below), you will know that the band name Dominus Dominantium is taken from the inscription called “Rex Regum et Dominus Dominantium” that means “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”. It is located on the facade, above the door of the historic palace Palazzo Vecchio, where there is a medallion with the monogram of Jesus Christ between two lions in a blue field, surmounted by a gable.

As you can see, there is a great concept in this album that is amazingly interpreted by these people. Musically, you can expect brutal Black Metal with swathes of orchestration and beautiful interpretations with the guttural voice of Ivan Escarfullery (Dominus Vobiscum), alongside the beautiful lyrical voice of Century Khoury (Dominus Century) and the narrations from Rafael Medina (Dominus Dantae). They all show an incredible understanding of the subjects they write about and for sure, Century is the main surprise because she brings a specific kind of vocals that will not bore you due to her incredibly versatile style. The guitar work shown by Gerard Alexander (Dominus Armengol) and Jose Alfredo Ferreras (Dominus Gabriel) is very well arranged in a Black Metal style, but with great melody, especially on their solos. Bassist Junior Carrasco (Dominus Argimir) has a hard job to follow them but does amazing work.

Another highlight is the insane drum work of Giancarlo Ravelo (Dominus Efren). He brings the complete package, everything you could possibly want from an extreme drummer is present. Fast double bass, blast beats, long drum fills and dramatic, rhythmical changes. Everything is perfectly executed by Giancarlo. If you are a fan of good drumming and also want to really understand the power of this band, just take 8 minutes of your time to listen to the beautiful ‘Act III: The Repent (One Last Cry Ov Regret)’. It is one of the most beautiful and heavy songs I have ever heard in my life. From the cadence and beautiful vocals to the insanely fast parts, it is a track that really demands hard work from all of the musicians.

‘Act V: The Fall Ov Babylon (Tore The Veil Ov The Eyes)’ is another aggressive song that explores the best of all the musicians. Maybe, ‘Act VI – The Seven Seals Ov The Apocalypse (The Arrival Ov The Endtimes)’ showcases the vocals of Century more and a melodic side to the band that appears inside all the density of their sonority. The final part of the album is completed using more narration from Rafael but we still have great heavy parts. I must also highlight closing track ‘Act IX – The Apocalyptic Overture (Holocaust Ov Greediness)’. What a beautiful way to finish the album.

The entire album is full of dense keyboards and orchestrations, but the aggressive guitars and drums are always present. Personally, what makes me most happy, is when I see any conceptual album that flees from a boring and repetitive sonority. As already mentioned, this is only Dominus Dominantium’s debut album but they have really put an incredible amount of effort into creating it. No matter what kind of subject you like, the art of being able to effortlessly convey what you want to say in music is what will make you a good artist and Dominus Dominantium have created a wonderful odyssey about the theme they are exploring. ‘Masterpiece’ is the word that defines it!

Act V: The Fall Ov Babylon (Tore The Veil Ov The Eyes) [Audio]

TRACKLISTING:
01. Act I: Prologue (The End Is Just The Beginning)
02. Act II: The Apocalypse (The Revealed Antichrist)
03. Act III: The Repent (One Last Cry Ov Regret)
04. Act IV: The Rise Ov Babylon (A Requiem Ov The Deceased Pedophiles)
05. Act V: The Fall Ov Babylon (Tore The Veil Ov The Eyes)
06. Act VI: The Seven Seals Ov The Apocalypse (The Arrival Ov The Endtimes)
07. Act VII: Chained (The Epiphany Ov The Soulless)
08. Act VIII: Fall Ov Lucifer (Corrupted Wisdom Ov Thy Splendor)
09. Act IX: The Apocalyptic Overture (Holocaust Ov Greediness)

LINE-UP:
Century Khoury (Dominus Century) Vocals
Rafael Medina (Dominus Dantae) Keyboards, Backing Vocals and Narrated Voices
Junior Carrasco (Dominus Argimir) Bass
Giancarlo Ravelo (Dominus Efren) Drums
Gerard Alexander (Dominus Armengol) Lead Guitars
Jose Alfredo Ferreras (Dominus Gabriel) Lead/Rhythm Guitars
Ivan Escarfullery (Dominus Vobiscum) Vocals and Clean Voices

LINKS:

Previous EMQ’s Interview with Dominus Dominantium

Dominus Dominantium Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto 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.

Brunno Mariante: Heal Or Kill – 15th Year Anniversary Tour

15th Year Anniversary Tour Cover

Brunno Mariante: Heal Or Kill – 15th Year Anniversary Tour
Self-Released
Release Date: 14/04/2021
Running Time: 57:31
Review by Victor Augusto
8/10

I guess I sometimes have the spirit of an old man, even though my body is not as old as I think it is and let me repeat the thing I always say in the intros of my reviews. Yes, my nightmare intros. I will constantly say how much I admire musicians or bands that work really hard to share and spread their music. For sure, Brunno Mariante is a good example of a professional that has a mind a little ahead from regular Brazilian bands. I had always heard about him, even though I’ve never stopped to pay close attention to his work before. Nevertheless, as I always say, we are like radio frequencies and have a connection with people who are on the same wavelength, and who have the same spirit and passion for the cause. Walking in this path I was lucky to be introduced to Brunno thanks to a friend, who is also one of the best Brazilian reviewers, my friend Mauro Antunes.

As the album title suggests, Brunno has been on the road for a long time and this material is put together mainly from his solo career with the addition of a few songs from Vindicta, the band he is a part of. Despite this, he has worked in other bands and projects alongside important Brazilian names. He reached a certain point in his career and decided to focus on his solo band and his studio solo album “Heal or Kill”. This album had important Brazilian guests such as Vitor Rodrigues (Torture Squad/VoodooPriest) and Val Santos (Viper). Even Blaze Bayley joined him on this record, which shows how much Brunno is respected as a musician. So, let us delve deeper into this live material that travels along his musical journey.

I can mention two different stages from this concert. First, a more traditional style that embraces songs from Brunno’s solo career like ‘Ascension’ and ‘Holocaust’, also heavier parts like ‘Onslaught’. These songs are just three from all the new, and still unreleased, music that appears here and let’s talk about them. It is possible to see a trademark from Brunno’s sonority. What came to my attention most is how guitarist Paulo Bertoni sounds and feels so free on stage, even commanding the solos of these tracks. I must tell you that Paulo is a guest musician here, but if I hadn’t known him from his great Brazilian band Kadabra and nobody had mentioned him as a guest, all listeners would think he was a long-time member of the band, all because of his synergy with the team.

For the already released songs, guitarist Andreas Dehn is the main guy on solos, like in ‘Shadows Remain’. I have to highlight him on ‘Alone’ because he also does a small section of vocals, exploring medium range notes that reminded me somewhat of Warrel Dane. It is interesting how he puts in a good vocal performance on a song that also has Isabela Pereira’s beautiful voice. She is another guest who shares lead vocals with Brunno. Her participation is amazing especially with the harmonies from them both on the chorus. Continuing with the ‘older songs’, I did enjoy ‘No Time To Waste’ because of the energy that it brings to the listener. Even Punk Rock is present here on ‘Rage Hurricane’ .The ballad ‘Winter Fiends’ appears at a good moment with Michel Turim on acoustic guitar alongside Rafael Leoni on keys and backing vocals. Great choice before everything turns heavier.

Brunno Mariante Live Pic

Now the second part! So far, I have talked about songs that Brunno released as a solo artist and Traditional Heavy Metal is a good way to describe it. However, this album also showcases heavier material from his band Vindicta, which brings something doomier and also delves into the realms of Death Metal, such as on ‘Realm Of Darkness’, which offers a good dynamic on the album. For me, there is a highlight here, not just from the Vindicta tracks, but of the entire album and that is ‘New Holy Fire’ with its keyboards and the beautiful intro riff which is Deep Purple in style. Again, the special guest of Isabela with her strong voice gives new life to the ‘old’ Holy Fire*. Probably my favourite of the album.

It is a really complete live/DVD album which navigates through a huge part of Brunno’s career. I liked how drummer Leonora Mölka offers amazing versatility on her drum parts and bassist Rick Posi rescues the spirit of 80’s rock/metal in his performance. If you prefer watching the video of this offering, you will see a small, but professional stage with all band members really showing the energy of a live concert. The audio is also amazing and believe me, I hear even great mainstream bands committing mistakes on live material/albums with regards to quality, but here everything is amazing.

Sorry to extend my review, but with amazing material that tries to cover 15 years existence of an artist, it is natural to have many things to say. Therefore, my last words to describe it is that you are free to grab a beer or whatever you like to drink and enjoy this album. It is undeniable that everyone involved put a 100% of their hearts into producing it.

*The original song is called ‘Holy Fire’ and this new version received the name ‘New Holy Fire’.

Brunno Mariante – 15th Year Anniversary Tour (Full Concert)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Clockwork
02. Ascension
03. Holocaust
04. Shadows Remain
05. Onslaught
06. Alone
07. Ready To Die
08. New Holy Fire
09. Winter Fiends
10. Realm of Darkness
11. No Time To Waste
12. Lost Station
13. Rage Hurricane
14. Heal Or Kill
15. River Of Sorrow

LINE-UP:
Brunno Mariante – Vocals
Andreas Dehn – Guitars
Rick Posi – Bass, Backing Vocals
Leonora Mölka – Drums

Special Guests:
Paulo Bertoni – Guitars
Michel Turim – Acoustic Guitars
Rafael Leoni – Keyboards / Backing Vocals
Isabela Pereira – Vocals

LINKS:

Brunno Mariante Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto 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.

Heretic – Entity EP

Entity EP Cover Art

Heretic – Entity EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 05/10/2020
Running Time: 31:51
Review by Victor Augusto
8.5/10

One thing that will probably never happen is me releasing a book. Firstly, because I don’t have many interesting things to talk about, except Heavy Metal and I already talk a lot about that here on Ever Metal. Maybe, though, I could write a text that includes everything I think is important to survive in the music industry and how bands can create a good fanbase. I often highlight the bad habits of some bands, but today I must mention one important positive detail that I see occasionally, the regularity of material releases and guess what? Brazilian band Heretic is one amazing example of this!

The year was 2019 and I reviewed the album “Are You…Comfortable?”. To my surprise, they then released “(Dis) Covering” (which included covers of great bands from the 80’s) and then “Code Alive” (Their first live album that marked the first few concerts with this current line-up). Not satisfied, they have now appeared with this EP, “Entity”. Is that enough? No! They already have a new full album also ready to be released this year. Isn’t this great in terms of inspiration for compositions? Moreover, it doesn’t stop there (I sound like a telemarketing seller that always has one more good thing to offer when selling a product, hahaha). Heretic is not your typical Heavy Metal band. They have a strong Oriental and Middle Eastern sound present in their music, something that is not easy to do, if you are not from a country that is used to this sound. However, Heretic has been working hard for years to do it.

The trajectory of this incredible Brazilian band is pretty long as well. They started as just an instrumental band, created by the master of riffs, of multi-instrumentalist, Guilherme Aguiar who feeds himself on guitar riffs and Pamonha*. His inspirations, alongside his versatility, are great keys to Heretic’s sonority. He appears to have balanced his influences from all of the Death Metal and Thrash Metal bands that he is, or was, a part of or knew and has mixed these with new elements. The, not so new, singer Erich Martins provides an amazing interpretation with his vocals as well. The high level of this team is completed by Laysson Mesquita who uses a fretless bass to increase the complexity of the music.

I will mention the aggressiveness on ‘Lurking Around’ and ‘Cultural Starvation’, allied to a good cadence. In addition, the beautiful vocal lines on ‘Golden Rule’ allied to the calm guitar that becomes gradually heavier with more desperate high notes from Erich and the heavy bass on all tracks. It is hard to explain what the most interesting thing is here, because “Entity” is such a consistent EP. For me, what makes it so good is how they have found an amazing balance between the Heavy Metal and the Oriental. Sometimes the ‘Oriental’ is the main character within a song, sometimes it just complements the good, traditional, heavy metal structure. Nevertheless, they fit each other perfectly.

Even the closing song, a cover of ‘The Real Thing’ by Faith No More, has been done in such a way, that it fits with Heretic’s original material. All the tracks are examples of how mature this band has become after releasing 8 albums, 3 EP’s and a live album in just 11 years of existence (with another new album being released in July). Here we have great musicians, who look for professional promotion and have an amazing number of releases that offer a pretty unique kind of music. I can use all of those things to define Heretic and what they have achieved with “Entity”. What an amazing job.

*Pamonha is a typical Brazilian food made by corn and cooked with the corn skin as wrapping.

‘Lurking Around’ (Audio)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Deceiver Ghost
02. Lurking Around
03. Golden Rule
04. Cultural Starvation
05. Rebellions
06. The Real Thing (Faith No More Cover)

LINE-UP:
Erich Martins – Vocals
Guilherme Aguiar – Guitars/Oriental Composition
Laysson Mesquita – Fretless Bass
Moyz Henrique (Special Guest) – All Guitar Solos

LINKS:

Heretic Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto 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.

Raphael Olmos – Make Riff, Not War EP

Make Riff, Not War EP Cover Art

Raphael Olmos – Make Riff, Not War EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 06/05/2021
Running Time: 15:48
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

Do you remember the first review I did for Ever Metal, when I became part of this beautiful team in 2019? No? It was a review of “The Beloved Bones: Hell” from the Brazilian band Dark Avenger, but wait…this album was released two years before I did the review. Why did I decide to do it? Considering that being part of Ever Metal was (and still is) the best thing that has happened to me in this world of reviews/interviews, I decided to make a tribute. It was a tribute for my dear friend Mario Linhares, who passed away in 2017. It is not just a tribute to a great musician; it was a tribute to a great friend who shared the same passion in music to me. Our friendship came from this passion.

During these four years reviewing and interviewing, I have made friends. Some of them became close friends, others not so much. However, the good ones really make all the work and passion for the music worthwhile, and Raphael Olmos is one of these examples. If you don’t know him, search for “Kamala” here, on Ever Metal, and you will find amazing material about the band. He is the founder member of this important Brazilian Thrash Metal band and we started to talk with each other after a review of the band’s EP in 2017. We became friends because I think we have some values in common. We are here for music. It is our passion and we work for it. No arrogance or competition, just mutual support to spread the word of Heavy Metal.

To talk about Raphael and his first solo release, I must mention everything he has conquered with Kamala. 18 years on the road, 5 studio albums, 1 EP, and 6 European tours that resulted in a live album, “Live In France”. Good, isn’t it? In addition, and more amazingly, the band has done this without any label to support them. As result, they have become well known in Europe as well as in Brazil, after almost two decades.

Of course, the pandemic that we have all been living through for over a year has hit all the band’s plans for now, including the new Kalama album, which is already completed. However, the good news is that Raphael decided to show off all of his musical creativity, whilst the band wait for the right moment to release the new offering. As a consequence, we can hear the instrumental EP “Make Riff, Not War”.

What is new on this EP? Well, it is 100% instrumental and Raphael recorded all instruments. Even the drums, despite them being programmed, sound great and that has helped a lot with the result. Musically, we can hear Raphael’s trademark Thrash style, but with the addition of melody, harmonics and well-structured elements on guitars.

The first song ‘Dealing With Pain’ starts slowly with several harmonies and ‘Jacaré’ keeps the sonority growing as the heaviness increases. It is Interesting how the drums and bass have a nice funky cadence that fits with the strong riffs and great solos. I feel the inspiration of guitarists such as Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, but with a good balance between virtuosity and the strong sonority that we are more used to hearing in heavy genres. It suddenly finishes, as swiftly as an alligator attack (Jacaré means alligator in Portuguese).

‘A Fake Leader In A Real Chaos’ is even faster and carries a chaotic sonority that the song title suggests. Again, Raphael shows good soloing alongside all riffs that have a more Death Metal feel. I liked the fast double kicks and amazing drum fills for this one. ‘Riffle’ follows a similar structure as well but offers more space for interesting bass lines. This song has riffs with a strong guitar pick, solos still have good structure and technique, but this time they are faster with more wah wah and whammy pedals, which is more connected to Kamala’s sonority. The closing song ‘Hope’ is a combination of the four previous tracks mixing harmonies and heaviness.

Music is our weapon and the Riff is a shotgun! In my recent video interview with Raphael, he explained that this is the analogy behind the track ‘Riffle’. Actually, that analogy, pretty much represents the whole EP. This release is the result of all the hard work from someone who lives and breathes music and guitars. A person who delivers music every day, even those days without concerts. Congrats, Raphael for everything you have achieved. It is this work ethic that has seen him endorsed by international brands (Solar, Evertune, Bogren Digital and Skull Strings).

Overall, “Make Riff, Not War” is the perfect example of what a band/musician should do to continue spreading their music. It is an honour to see a good, professional musician in my country, Brazil. We have plenty of good musicians, but few that are professional or hardworking.

‘Riffle’ (Official Video)

Link to my interview with Raphael Olmos talking about “Make Riff, Not War”

TRACKLISTING:
01. Dealing With Pain
02. Jacaré
03. A Fake Leader In A Real Chaos
04. Riffle
05. Hope

LINE-UP:

Raphael Olmos – Guitars, Bass and Drum Programming

LINKS:

Raphael Olmos Promo Pic, photo credit Fernando Righetto
photo credit Fernando Righetto

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto 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.

The Crown – Royal Destroyer

Royal Destroyer Album Cover Art

The Crown – Royal Destroyer
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 12/03/2021
Running Time: 45:45
Review by Victor Augusto
10/10

Ok, before I start my smooth talk, let me travel back in time. The year was 2002 and my older brother appeared at home with two albums from a Swedish Death Metal band. If you have already read my EMQ’s as an Ever Metal team member (if not, you can read it after this review, https://ever-metal.com/2020/07/14/emqs-with-victor-augusto/), you will understand how my brother has a peculiar way of insisting you listen to music. I clearly remember, to this day, when The Crown albums “Hell is Here” (1999) and “Deathrace King” (2000) started to play on our old stereo. After that, I understood how amazing the music from Sweden was. What a brilliant memory.

I really struggled to follow the band’s career, after the year of 2000, because I was living in a very poor neighbourhood, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), without access to the internet or a computer; even though those two things were becoming popular at that time. Heavy Metal was a very strange kind of music for people who lived in that place too. I had no money to buy magazines either, but the years have passed and after almost two decades, here I am. I could not believe that someday I would be able to review The Crown and it is even better considering “Royal Destroyer” is one of the band’s best albums, maybe ‘the best’, who knows? So, let’s get to the review itself.

“What is happening, Victor?”. Those were my wife’s, scared, words after I screamed a concise and loud “Holy Shit!”. Yes, it happened while I was listening to the pure destruction of the opening track ‘Baptized In Violence‘. What a killer way to open an album with its extreme Hardcore mixed with Death Metal that is The Crown’s trademark. The best thing is that ‘Let the Hammering Begin!’ and ‘Motordeath’ maintain the violence that keeps your level of adrenaline extremely high. This last one has fast guitar picks on the initial riff. Again, I could not believe that I was listening to so many insane tracks. Moreover, it doesn’t stop there.

For sure, I thought that the upcoming songs would be not as strong as the first four. Even classic albums usually have one or two tracks that are just filler to complete the set list, but with “Royal Destoyer”…bloody hell no! The only change here is the speed which becomes more cadenced, but all the tracks are pretty insane. ‘Glorious Hades’ shows the more melodic side of The Crown, without losing the heaviness. ‘Full Metal Justice’ explores their thrash metal elements more and has beautiful double kicks and fast drum fills. I loved how ‘Devoid Of Light’ brings a Morbid Angel spirit to The Crown’s identity. Everything ends with a good atmosphere on ‘Beyond The Frail’ and I could not believe what I had just heard. If my brother were with me, we would probably react like teenagers, exactly how we did 20 years ago.

Founder member Marko Tervonen is an absolute riff machine and his (not so) new partner in crime Robin Sörqvist’s guitar work makes everything more remarkable with all his solos. There is also a great chemistry between drummer Henrik Axelsson and bassist Magnus Olsfelt, another founding member. The versatility of Henrik to play fast styles, that change from Hardcore to the most brutal Death Metal, is very well complemented by the powerful bass of Magnus, as you can hear on ‘Ultra Faust’. Of course, vocalist Johan Lindstrand is also a fundamental member of the band, having been there since the beginning, when they were still called Crown of Thorns, during the nineties.

The Crown are masters of mixing their Death Metal with a lot of Thrash Metal and also a little Punk therefore their fans will know what to expect, however, this time they have utterly stamped their identity and made their music even stronger. I couldn’t imagine being able to review an album so strong that it surpasses their two masterpiece albums “Deathrace King” and “Crowned In Terror”. My first thought after hearing “Royal Destroyer” for the first time was “There is not one, single song that is bad on this album”.

If you are a fan of The Crown, you will probably know that they are one of the biggest names to have made the Swedish Metal scene famous around the world. You will also know all the ups and the few downs that the band have overcome. This line-up has basically stayed the same since “Death Is Not Dead” (2015) and their last album “Cobra Speed Venom” (2018) received a response that a legendary band deserves. As a result of all the touring from the previous album and a stable line-up, we now have “Royal Destroyer”.

It is an album made up of 100% amazing songs! It shows the experienced band we already know, but with an intense energy as if they are young and ready to conquer the world! As a reviewer, it is a pleasure to review such an amazing piece of work. As a fan, I have the same feeling listening to “Royal Destroyer” that I had when I was a young boy, back in 2002, adding in a mix of feelings from everything that I have learnt from that period until today. I am also proud to see such an important band continuing to thrive in the Worldwide Metal scene.

Grattis till Sveriges bästa band!

‘Motordeath’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Baptized In Violence
02. Let The Hammering Begin!
03. Motordeath
04. Ultra Faust
05. Glorious Hades
06. Full Metal Justice
07. Scandinavian Satan
08. Devoid Of Light
09. We Drift On
10. Beyond The Frail

LINE-UP:
Johan Lindstrand – Vocals
Magnus Olsfelt – Bass
Marko Tervonen – Guitar
Robin Sörqvist – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Henrik Axelsson – Drums

LINKS:

The Crown Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto 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.