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.

Video Interview with RAPHAEL OLMOS

Raphael Olmos Make Riff, Not War EP Cover Art

Video Interview with RAPHAEL OLMOS
By Victor Augusto

Hello Everyone, It’s Victor!

I’m incredibly pleased to share with you my recent interview with Raphael Olmos!

Raphael, the founder/guitarist of Brazilian Thrash Metal band Kamala, is about to release his first solo EP “Make Riff, Not War”. I talked to him about this new EP and how the constant tours by Kamala, in Europe, are helping him and the band reach new heights outside of Brazil.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Raphael very much for his time!

I hope you all enjoy the interview.

RAPHAEL OLMOS Video Interview by Victor Augusto

Background songs by Kamala and Raphael Olmos. All Rights Reserved.

Kamala – Eyes of Creation
Kamala – My Religion
Kamala – Wake Up
Kamala – Believe
Raphael Olmos – Dealing With Pain
Raphael Olmos – Jacaré
Raphael Olmos – A Fake Leader In A Real Chaos
Raphael Olmos – Riffle
Raphael Olmos – Hope

RAPHAEL OLMOS LINKS:

KAMALA LINKS:

Raphael Olmos – ‘Riffle’ (Official Video)

Kamala – ‘Internal Peace’ (Official Video)

Original Review of Kamala – “Live In France”

Previous Text Interview with Kamala’s Raphael Olmos and Isabela Moraes.

Previous EMQ’s Interview with Kamala

Raphael Olmos Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview 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.

Venomous – Tribus EP

Tribus EP Cover Art

Venomous – Tribus EP
Brutal Records
Release Date: 19/02/2021
Running Time: 21:38
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

Is this a review of a Melodic Death Metal band?!? No, no, no, my friends. It would be so unfair to call this Brazilian band just by that genre, at least for us, the ever-amazing readers of Ever Metal. I hope you are all good and safe today as we have a paradoxical EP to talk about. Paradoxical due to the complexity of the compositions whilst being catchy at the same time. I can say that in front of us are an intriguing band musically and thematically. Of course, the melody and Death Metal are very present in their music, but Venomous are a blend of many things that are hard to explain.

First, it is obvious that Venomous are honouring the old days of Brazilian Power Metal band Angra, from the “Holy Land” album, released in 1996. Sometimes we can hear structures that sounds like Angra being played by a Death Metal band. There is also the Piano! Those who are fans of the master conductor Andre Matos, know how he put incredible classical piano in Angra’s music (also in Shaman and his solo band). Even the solos reminded me of the structures and beautiful work between Kiko Loureiro (yes, Kiko from Megadeth) and Rafael Bittencourt, from the 90’s. This is just one, very important, element apparent from Venomous. So let me summarize and talk about the songs to enlighten the readers who, like myself, have never heard of this amazing Brazilian group before (…bad Victor).

“And the hope only dies if we stop believing”. This lyric is from the opening track ‘Eerie Land’ and it carries a positive message amongst all the chaos illustrated. The piano intro that appears is typical of the regional music played in the northeast of Brazil, similar to Baião*, but arranged into Heavy Metal. It brings the sensation of those whose lives are surrounded by beautiful nature, but also cursed by the corruption and killing that has occurred due to political desires to exploit these lands. A Brazilian picture of suffering, but with a message to stay strong.

When I looked at the name of the others three songs; ‘Trinity’, ‘Duality’ and ‘Unity’; I thought that there must be some theory about the numbers three, two and one. I used all of my efforts to try and understand it and here is what I suspect could be the mystery surrounding it or what it could, maybe, be related to.

‘Trinity’ – “No Religion, nor politics. Cause races and cultures are all the same”. Universe, Sun and our planet are the three things that I saw as trinity, within the lyrics. All the energy that comes from them reflect on us because we are supposed to have no fight or division amongst ourselves, as politics and religion used to, and still, do. Our source of power and faith are out there on these three elements!

‘Duality’ – “We walk around oblivious and tamed”. Titans and Satan’s, in the lyrics, could be connected to what make people oblivious and tamed. The duality that, mentally or physically, enslaves all of us. The lovely dancing percussion right after the independent guitar riffs at the beginning of this song, alongside the melodies, are so beautiful and taken from Brazilian musicality.

‘Unity’ – “And together we’ll see better days”. In the end, we must all act and stay united to become a powerful unity. The two previous songs navigate throughout issues of humanity to show how we can overcome them and it ends with this song. The darkest atmosphere of the EP is present here. It is, probably, the most Death Metal track and what a delightful way to finish, with all the heaviness fading out, resting on just beautiful sequences of notes from the piano.

If you are thinking that I am mad with this analysis (by the way, I agree with you), you must look to the EP cover. Maybe it is just art, but maybe it has some subliminal messages too. Broken chains, a snake swallowing itself and three (Tribus) different stages of our planet. The beginning (birth), the world as we know nowadays and then the breaking of it in two parts, after so many disgraces. Have a look and tell us what you think?

Among all these ups and downs of the thematic, the band has used elements of typical Melodic Death Metal with Metalcore breakdowns. The already mentioned “Angra and Baião elements” just increase the complexity of the band. The sonority is heavy and dense, also very remarkable and catchy. If I could mention any highlight, it would probably be the way that Venomous have united so many different elements to create superb music.

This is the first time I have heard Venomous and I have immediately become a fan of them. “Tribus” perpetuates the legends that started the Heavy Metal Scene in Brazil, but also shows unique identity for the band.

Amazing EP! Parabéns!

‘Eerie Land’ (Official Video)

*Baião is a very popular and famous genre of music from the northeast side of Brazil. This area has a unique culture, not only in music, but also with their way of life and how the population handle all the issues in those states.

Here is a video entitled “Luiz Gonzaga – Baião” so that you can understand and learn about this music.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Eerie Land
02. Trinity
03. Duality
04. Unity

LINE-UP:
Thiago Pereira – Vocals
Gui Calegari – Guitars
Ivan Landgraf – Guitars
Renato Castro – Bass
Lucas Prado – Drums

LINKS:

Venomous 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.

Nervosa – Perpetual Chaos

Perpetual Chaos Album Cover Art

Nervosa – Perpetual Chaos
Napalm Records
Release Date: 22/01/2021
Running Time: 44:37
Review by Victor Augusto
8.5/10

Hello everyone. Here I am again to repeat something that all of us are completely tired of reading in my reviews, but today I must repeat it here… The lack of professionalism!!! Yes! This phrase is my biggest complaint about Brazilian bands. We have hundreds of killer bands releasing astonishing albums, but I can count on both hands how many are really working to be a professional. Nervosa are, for sure, one of the best examples of professionalism that have appeared here in the last decade. I won’t go deeply into details of what the bands should or should not do, but, if there is one thing that I have to mention, that summarizes Nervosa’s work ethic over the last 10 years, then it is their total immersion in living and breathing the band. Investing 100% of your time into a band is something that I admire greatly. Everything that the band have achieved is purely the result of this work. Ok, now I am feeling better!

The new Nervosa Age! I won’t enter into details of everything that happened last year. Nervosa was a Brazilian power trio, two members left and guitarist, Prika Amaral rebuilt the band very quickly to focus on this album with three more girls from different parts of the world. My honest congratulations go to Prika, the new members and also to the old ones. You haven’t made a soap opera of this split, as most bands do after a huge breakup, at least in Brazil. It is a new era for all sides and the focus is on the new material and the future. I have full respect for both sides! So, now I’ll cut my smooth talk and focus on what really matters, the music.

Is “Perpetual Chaos” the best Nervosa album? Maybe…it is hard to say, considering that every fan of Heavy Metal could have a different taste for music and I respect that. At least for me, I always saw Nervosa as a band full of energy. Great energy on stage, great energy to spread Heavy Metal, great energy to spread their name all around the world, also to spread the Brazilian scene (Have I already said the word professionalism?). Despite my huge admiration for the band, I must confess that I wasn’t a huge fan of their music before. I felt that something was missing; even though they released three incredible albums before this. When I pushed the play button for this one, I immediately heard something mind-blowing, and the word technique was the first thing that popped into my head.

Please, don’t misunderstand me, the previous albums were still amazing, but there is a natural evolution and the new line-up has brought what I think was the missing piece of the band’s sonority. Starting with the only original member remaining, Prika Amaral. Her playing is insane here ! So many incredible guitar riffs! Maybe she had a greater liberty to explore different lines, being the only guitarist in the band for such a long time. She has explored the Thrash Metal style that even incorporates a few aspects of Death Metal, like in ‘Kings Of Domination’. Her solos are short in a very precise Andreas Kisser (Sepultura) way of playing, as you can hear on ‘Pursued By Judgement’.

Of course, she has the incredible Mia Wallace on bass who amazingly fills the absence of a second guitarist. Mia’s bass is not as loud as on previous Nervosa recordings, but it is still clearly heard and she is more present on the groove. Different arrangements, but with new purpose! Moreover, Mia sounds very aggressive in her role.

Vocalist Diva Satanica has an incredible range in her screams, from the low guttural up to the ripped vocals. Her versatility has offered more interpretation and more options to create new ideas for this album. Her singing on the chorus of ‘People Of Abyss In Hell’, alongside the amazing rhythm guitar and bass is incredible. You can hear many guest singers, including Schmier from Destruction (who is also the godfather of Nervosa from the early days of the band) on ‘Genocidal Command’. Erik Ak on ‘Rebel Soul’ makes the vocals even more enjoyable by his totally different kind of voice in Nervosa music. This track also shows a more melodic side to Nervosa.

Now here is the highlight of this new Nervosa era. Eleni Nota! What a killer drummer! If you consider that Nervosa have had many incredible drummers in their line-up, it could have been the hardest job ever to find someone to fill this seat. Eleni has not only filled it, but she has exceeded all expectations. Thrash Metal beats, blast beats or double kicks like in ‘Blood Eagle’. Even Hardcore beats like ‘Time To Fight’ are present here. Everything is played with a lot of aggression and technique. Everything is even better with the organic drum sound that even reminded me of Igor Cavalera on “Chaos A.D.”. I have listened to this album more than 10 times and am sure that Eleni could easily perform amongst the best Heavy Metal drummers if the world. Congrats Eleni Nota 10*

The versatility of the band is well defined by all the styles they are able to perform in an astonishing way. “Perpetual Chaos” is a show of aggressiveness and technique. From the fast, opening track ‘Venomous’, with a killer intro riff, passing by the cadenced ‘Godless Prisoner’ through to the obscure riffs of ‘Under Ruins’ that ends the album, you will hear incredible compositions. The Hardcore/Metal ‘Time to Fight’ made me imagine the band destroying the entire venue of an open-air festival, whilst closing an insane concert.

An Experienced band? Yes, it is the main impression here; even though the team is brand new. There is such a killer chemistry between them all. I am glad that Nervosa have showed that they are still a band that makes all Brazilians proud to see a new worldwide famous group after all the great names that have come from here. Respect and admiration define this. Respect for everything the band has been working for and admiration that they stay strong and look to the future, not the past. I cannot imagine what they will achieve when they tour this album (as soon as it is possible).

Parabéns Nervosa!

*It is just a silly joke from a silly reviewer because the word Nota means grade in Portuguese.

‘Under Ruins’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Venomous
02. Guided By Evil
03. People Of The Abyss
04. Perpetual Chaos
05. Until The Very End (feat. Guilherme Miranda)
06. Genocidal Command (feat. Schmier)
07. Kings Of Domination
08. Time To Fight
09. Godless Prisoner
10. Blood Eagle
11. Rebel Soul (feat. Erik Ak)
12. Pursued By Judgement
13. Under Ruins

LINE-UP:
Diva Satanica – Vocals
Prika Amaral – Guitar
Mia Wallace – Bass
Eleni Nota – Drums

LINKS:

Nervosa 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.

Ophion – Antediluvian

Antediluvian Album Cover Art

Ophion – Antediluvian
Nefast Films Records
Release Date: 02/09/2020
Running Time: 37:43
Review by Victor Augusto
9.5/10

The magic of the music! Yes! That was my first impression when I heard Ophion for the first time. Among hundreds of things that I could list, one of them that defines “The magical side of Heavy Metal or Rock music” is meeting new and good people, who share the same passion for it. If it weren’t for those people, I probably would never know about many incredible bands around the world. Ophion are another case of lovely people who love good music. And hearing this album just once was enough to realize that I was in front of one of the best albums I’ve heard in my life, but also that I have an extremely hard job to do, where reviewing it is concerned!

Maybe the first thing that will pop up in your mind when you push the play button for this album is a Behemoth musical influence with them. For most of the people, they will probably feel it, but for me things worked different. My reference of Ophion’s sonority on first hearing them was Ukrainian band, 1914, and I will explain why. Does the title “Blackened Death Metal” mean something to you? For me, it means the kind of music that 1914 play. Of course, I am talking about two bands who explore Death Metal, in an intense dark atmosphere, that comes from the subject they are talking about. In Ophion’s case, the dark atmosphere is not the war, but another context.

I’m not clever enough to understand what they are exploring in the lyrics, but what I could understand is something like Atlantean history, with a lot of other things involved. All the songs have a very deep interpretation of these subjects. It is epical, and heavy at the same time. Imagine all the aggressiveness from good Death Metal, allied with Black Metal sounds, from bands similar to Marduk. That’s how I would describe Ophion, but again, with a hugely different context to the lyrics, when compared with these other mentioned bands.

According to guitarist Focalor, who, alongside the singer Monarch, took part in an EMQ’s interview for Ever Metal (read the interview here), the meaning of band’s name is something like “a name that originates from a treatise entitled Ophiolatreia, on the universality and worship of the serpent, as well as another work, now lost, but mentioned therein, by Pherecydes Tyrus named Theology of Ophion.” Well, I guess I could not even dare myself to enter into exploring the band’s thematic, but don’t be afraid to watch the videos on their YouTube channel. You will be amused.

Musically, the band plays exactly what I described about their genre. Most of the time it’s extremely Death Metal. Sometimes, the ‘blackened’ part appears more, as dragged riffs, or vocal lines through Monarch’s interpretations, alongside bass lines typical of a few Black Metal bands. For me, the first three songs on “Antediluvian” are enough to show how powerful Ophion’s compositions are. ‘Panophion’, ‘Kalassa’ and ‘Atlantean Gates’! What a killer way to start an album! Especially ‘Atlantean Gates’! It is the best song on the album in my opinion. It also carries a good video which helps you understand the bands visuals and concept.

After the beautiful acoustic instrumental ‘Dissolution…And Resurgence’, that shows a very technical side to Ophion, we get ‘Grand Babylonia’, that has an easy-to-understand chorus, and then the remarkable riffs from the extreme song ‘The Course Of Empire’ right after. Then, as the album nears the end, the song ‘Theology’ appears, full of melodies alongside chaotic spirit from the music driving it into a faster and more extreme song. The bonus track ‘In The Night Of Ages’ keeps the same heavy spirit.

It is the first time I’ve heard Heavy Metal coming from the Dominican Republic. But I don’t care where the music comes from, as long as it’s great, which this is! Ophion really shocked me on the first listening. It is heavy, dense, and extreme. The band have given this album good production and shown great care for the composition. As a result, we are in front of an amazing and complex album, but one that’s easy to digest at the same time. I was a little skeptical about finding a new & amazing band that could shock me as Ophion have done. But now I am a new fan of them, for sure.

‘Atlantean Gates’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Panophion
02. Kalassa
03. Atlantean Gates
04. Dissolution…And Resurgence
05. Grand Babylonia
06. The Course Of Empire
07. Theology
08. In The Night Of Ages (Bonus Track)

LINE-UP:
Focalor – Guitars
Monarch – Vocals
Wolv – Guitars

LINKS:

Ophion 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.

Video Interview with GRANADA

Granada Logo

Video Interview with GRANADA
By Victor Augusto

Hello all, It’s Victor!

If someone asks me why South American bands, perhaps, have a kind of unique aggressiveness in their way of playing or in how they express themselves with their music, I would say it is the consequence of all the crap we have to live with in a continent full of cultural richness, but that, at the same time, is also full of misfortune. Despite the good things, all South American countries are “cursed” by poverty, corruption and violence. Obviously, all of this suffering reflects in our society and, consequently, in the music that emerges from here.

Recently, I took some time out with Guille Estévez and Marcos Edward, of Argentine Metal band GRANADA, to talk about their last release “Amarre”, that is composed of five tracks, and which reports a view of who witnesses and experiences the suffering of living in a dysfunctional family. All the tracks have videos on the band’s YouTube Channel, illustrating the themes in the lyrics, along with the laws that criminalize the particular abuse that is the subject of each song, as well as the phone numbers to report those crimes in Argentina.

I would like to thank Guille and Marcos very much for their time and for talking about these issues!

GRANADA Video Interview by Victor Augusto

I also send thanks to DJ Joker (James Jones) from Metal Messiah Radio and Raphael Olmos, singer/guitarist of Brazilian Thrash Metal band Kamala for joining us as special guests.

I hope you all enjoy it.

GRANADA LINKS:

“Amarre” (Full EP)

Original Review of “Amarre” on Ever Metal

Stream “Amarre” EP
www.open.spotify.com/album/7HunWHeaJRJ1ThycQD5Ea5
www.deezer.com/br/album/125136772

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Victor Augusto and 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.

Aria – Re-Recorded Albums

Aria - Baptism By Fire & Armageddon Album Cover Art

Aria – Re-Recorded Albums
Baptism By Fire/Armageddon
M2BA
Release Date: 16/10/2020
Running Time: 57:18/54:07
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10
9/10

When I was a young and cute (already overweight) kid, back in the nineties, I clearly remember watching a few interviews, on Brazilian TV channels, with local Heavy Metal bands. None of the interviewers were used to interviewing Heavy Metal bands, and they all asked the same question of them, which was, “Why do you sing in English and not in Portuguese?”. Bands like Angra and Sepultura were becoming famous at that time, and they used to explain the commercial side of singing in English, and how it helps to reach fans around the world. Other smaller bands used to answer that it is impossible to sing Heavy Metal in Portuguese. Nowadays, we have many Brazilian metal bands proving that it’s perfectly possible to have Heavy Metal sung in Portuguese. I can’t even imagine how many times Aria heard that question along their 35 years of fame and existence, but still set out to be a legendary band who sang in Russian and still do to this day.

Before I start my review, I have to say that what made me incredibly interested to hear these two re-recorded albums is how enthusiastically my friend Bruno Rocha talks about Aria. He spreads so much positivity about the band, here in Brazil, that he is known as the “Ambassador of Aria in Brazil”. For anyone who doesn’t know Bruno, he is a much-respected reviewer/interviewer here. Among many websites he is part of, he is the mind behind a blog called ‘The Atmosphere’, and he is one of the few reviewers that really does a good job and isn’t arrogant or an idiot (something rare in Brazil). Therefore, thanks Bruno for showing me this legendary Russian band. Thanks to you, Aria has a new fan.

Now, about these two albums! They were totally re-recorded, in 2020, by the current line-up, because the original records couldn’t be made available on digital streaming platforms, due to issues that aren’t worth mentioning. Considering that the original albums had good record production two decades ago, the idea of the re-recording was to keep that same essence. Do we have a better record production? Sure! The guitars of Vladimir Kholstinin and Sergey Popov are louder and stronger. The bass of Vitaly Dubinin is still very present, and particularly important for Aria’s sonority, but here it’s clearer and a little deeper in the mix than on the originals. The drums of Maxim Udalov are also louder and clearer.

The only member in the current line-up that was not in the band on the original records vocalist Mikhail Zhitnyakov, but don’t worry, he’s done an amazing job. He’s perfectly interpreted the style of the previous vocalist, Arthur Berkut. For me, hearing the band for the first time, I felt that the idea was to create almost the same album, without any further innovations. The only change is the new and modern recording, but they have really kept the essence of the originals.

Musically, my first impression was, I suspect, the same as most Aria fans. It was as if I was listening to a Russian version of Iron Maiden. For example, ‘Executioner (Палач)’ is pretty similar to the structure of ‘Dream of Mirrors’ from Maiden’s “Brave New World” album. And ‘The Blood of Kings (Кровь королей)’ reminded me of the clean intro to ‘Sign Of The Cross’ (“X-Factor album”), also from Maiden. There are other influences too. The song ‘White Flag (Белый флаг)’ is similar to Whitesnake, even with that typical “wolf howling” from Dave Coverdale on this song intro. What I liked about the vocals is their beautiful and clean style. It has a perfect blend to not be tiring, like Power Metal singers used to be. Good interpretations and good vocal ranges.

After listening many times to both albums (the originals and re-recorded versions), I had some doubts and I got curious about their history. Again, Mr. Bruno helped by answering all of my questions. So now, I guess I can put down some informed considerations about Aria. The band was born in the middle of the NWOBHM age, and they draw heavily from the feel of classic Heavy Metal influences, like Accept, and Judas Priest, but with a few progressive elements too. However, we are in front of two albums that were originally recorded after the year 2000, when the band were already experienced and famous. It means that they have their own identity too, despite all these references.

Now, here’s my impressions as a new young fan of Aria. I feel that they could easily have performed among the mainstream bands that appeared in the eighties. Probably, the political tensions that the world was facing at that time, restricted them to just their own country. Despite this, it is amazing how they kept bringing constant releases, and built a legion of fans. Thankfully, it now seems that they are becoming as famous as they deserve, around the world. These re-recorded albums show the same spirit of the original ones. The old fans will feel honoured to have them available on digital streaming platforms…albums that respect their history. The new fans (myself included) will be able to get to know the band. The transcription of the album title, band members and songs to English, makes it even easier to access their music.

Epic, heavy, and modern all at the same time. These words can define the re-recorded “Baptism By Fire” and “Armageddon” albums. Aria is a band that puts many emotions into their music and it makes them different. These albums are a fantastic way to offer a gift for the old fans and conquer new fans too.

‘Coliseum (Колизей)’ – Taken From “Baptism By Fire”

Messiah (Мессия) – Taken From “Armageddon”

TRACKLISTINGS:

Baptism By Fire (Originally Recorded and Released in 2003)
01. Patriot (Патриот)
02. Baptism By Fire (Крещение огнем)
03. Coliseum (Колизей)
04. Executioner (Палач)
05. Your New World (Твой новый мир)
06. There Up High (Там высоко)
07. White Flag (Белый флаг)
08. Battle (Битва)
09. Prince Of Darkness’s Ball (Бал у князя тьмы)
10. Battle Field (Поле битвы (бонус трек)

Armageddon (Originally Recorded and Released in 2006)
01. Last Sunset (Последний закат)
02. Marked By Evil (Меченый злом)
03. Guardian Of The Empire (Страж империи)
04. The New Crusade (Новый крестовый поход)
05. Messiah (Мессия)
06. The Blood Of Kings (Кровь королей)
07. Viking (Викинг)
08. Alien (Чужой)
09. The Light Of Bygone Love (Свет былой любви)
10. Your Day (На крыльях ветра)

LINE-UP:
Mikhail Zhitnyakov – Vocals
Vitaly Dubinin – Bass
Vladimir Kholstinin – Guitars
Sergey Popov – Guitars
Maxim Udalov – Drums

LINKS:

Aria Band 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.

Musical Massacre – Inhuman

Inhuman Album Cover Art

Musical Massacre – Inhuman
German Democratic Recordings
Release Date: 11/12/2020
Running Time: 38:48
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

One of the best things about being part of a great team as I am at Ever Metal, alongside people who truly support Heavy Metal around the world, are the number of friends and bands we can meet on this journey. Even before I joined Ever Metal, I had met amazing people. Do you want one example? In 2017, I started to listen to a Heavy Metal radio show called ‘Sare’s Invasion’, hosted by my dear friend Sara McIntosh, and there I met Olaf, the guitarist of the German band that I am reviewing right now. There, I also met Ritchie Randall from the band Gravehuffer, alongside other people and, in all cases, I became a fan of their bands and was able to review their albums. DJ Sara also mentioned Ever Metal to me and, thanks to her, I am here now, destroying another intro on one of my reviews 😊. Look at how music has connected people from Brazil, USA, UK, and Germany. Isn’t it so amazing? Anyway, let’s talk about the third Musical Massacre album, “Inhuman”.

Musical Massacre is that kind of band that has been making noise for a long time. They were born in the nineties but quit after a few years with just two demos released. This is the third full album since they returned in 2012. Again, they have a new singer on this album, like a curse of changing the singer for each new release, but Wolfgang (Rothbauer) has brought a new spirit to MuMa (this is what we, the fans, call the band). On first listen, I felt very clearly that he kept a guttural, dragging voice, typical of the band, but he has the versatility to offer a rawer kind of voice, too.

I don’t know how this singer change has influenced them, but musically, the band still value all of the dark atmosphere, from the war themes they talk about. It is not the usual blackened spirit like from bands such as 1914, who are totally immersed with World War One. MuMa show an incredibly sad spirit when they talk about their themes. Their music is more like old school Death Metal, like Bolt Thrower or Asphyx. This time, they have given more value to melodies, alongside faster cadences, than the previous album “Off To War.” It sounds much more aggressive and angrier this time. The band have chosen a less clear production for “Inhuman”, which surprised me, but it’s nothing too dirty, and it keeps a good sonority for the album.

My greatest surprise here, however, were the melodies. It is not a new element for Musical Massacre, but the work between Andrè Hase and Olaf Gerold is very impressive. They complement each other, sometimes with independent riffs from each guitar, and not only that typical wall of rhythms that we are used to hearing from the band. ‘Foxhole’, the first track after the beautiful/melancholic acoustic ‘Awakening’, is a good example of this new face of the band. Still talking about guitar, I noticed a stronger guitar pick over a few parts, as on the title track ‘Inhuman’.

‘The War – The Transcendence – The Possession’ is an interesting song because of all the riffs. This even reminded me of Sepultura in the “Chaos AD” era, not only through the composition, but also the arrangements. This song showed me a new element of the band’s sonority, like the (already mentioned) melodies on the chorus, which reminded me of bands that are not a specific influence for them, like Dark Tranquility. Nevertheless, if you consider that the main message of every album from Musical Massacre is the sadness and disgrace that comes from war, it is easy to fit on “Inhuman”. Another example that has this strong element is ‘When Compassion Dies’. So much reference to Gothenburg Melodic Death Metal from the nineties. Of course, it is just a reference, for a few moments, but it shows how the band is navigating through new oceans, even though they keep the heavy sonority of an old school Death Metal band.

David Beyer does a great job on drums, always with a good cadence, but using double kicks and exploring rhythmical changes. Great drums fills, too. The bass of Uwe Limberger is noticeably clear, considering it appears between two heavy guitars. The ending song of the album ‘Gustloff’ shows some influences that reminded me of Trey Azagthoth, even though Morbid Angel is not exactly a main reference to their sound.

If you are a guitar lover, you are probably going to love this album. Not only the guitar work, either. It’s also amazing how MuMa can mix together all the heaviness from strong, old school Death Metal, with a sonority that is not hard to digest. Everything is so clear to hear in each musical style that it could have easily become a mass of sound if it weren’t so well played or recorded. These changes in the band’s music, after the two previous releases, has brought about their most mature album. “Inhuman” is the same Musical Massacre we know, but it carries an evolution, and a new face, coming with the new singer, that can offer more possibilities on vocal lines. I cannot wait to see how it will sound live!

‘Warhead’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Awakening
02. Foxhole
03. Operation Neptune
04. Warhead
05. Inhuman
06. When Compassion Dies
07. …and Those Shall Bleed
08. The War – The Transcendence – The Possession
09. Gustloff

LINE-UP:
Wolfgang Rothbauer – Vocals
Andrè Hase – Guitars
Olaf Gerold – Guitars
Uwe Limberger – Bass
David Beyer – Drums

LINKS:

Musical Massacre 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.