Smoke & Mirrors (Jeramie Kling & Taylor Nordberg) – 1 Song In 1 Day

Smoke & Mirrors (Jeramie Kling & Taylor Nordberg) – 1 Song In 1 Day
Smoke & Mirrors Productions
Release Date: From 21/03/2020 to 09/04/2020
Running Time: 46:21
Review by Victor Augusto

You are probably tired of hearing about how all our lives have become a wreck in this insane year of 2020. Jobs, families, mental sanity…everything we’ve known has been damaged / changed and we could all write a book about it when this Covid 19 situation finishes, if it ever does finish someday. Inside this hurricane the music industry is also struggling, but if we try to look on the bright side (or, at the very least, the less dark side); this lockdown has changed how bands are promoting themselves without concerts. For many bands, they are working better (as they should have worked even before this chaos started) with interesting material offered to give their fans the possibility of delving more deeply into their work. The inspiration for composition and for the amount of new songs appearing every day is a very positive aspect of this trying time!

Among this inspiration, two crazy men (in a good way), Jeramie Kling (Venom Inc, Massacre, The Absence) and Taylor Nordberg (Massacre, The Absence) joined forces, at the Smoke & Mirrors Recording Studio that Jeramie owns and Taylor Works, to create something very unusual and unique. They composed 12 songs from all the genres you could imagine, from Heavy Rock n’ Roll up to the heaviest Black or Death Metal. So far, so good? But no! They did more than ‘just’ compose them! Each song was recorded with different guests and each was completed in ONE day. But no, not only recorded! The whole process of writing, recording and mixing each song was done in just one day!! Always on a Saturday, “Slam Saturday” as they were named. Of course, Jeramie and Taylor invited different guest musicians to fit each genre and well-known names from bands such as Savatage, Soilwork, Marduk, Grave, Northtale, Kreator, Heathen, Exodus and many more took part. Is that good or is that good?

Explaining each song for those of you reading this is not an easy task but let me try. ‘Eternal Unlight’ (the first song released) and ‘Grief Eater’ are in a Deicide style, but in ‘Chaos Has Told You To Suffer’ you can hear something more Black Metal. ‘Monsters We Hide’ surprised me with classic Heavy Metal sounds in a Judas Priest or Accept style, with great vocals from Marc Lopes (Ross The Boss). ‘The Echo Mirror’ is similar but owes more to Power Metal. The doom cadence of ‘Terror In The Shape Of Suns’ reminds me of Black Sabbath with Deidra Kling’s beautiful voice and ‘Drag Them to the Guillotine’ has a pure Cannibal Corpse influence.

Of course, Motörhead couldn’t be left out of this and ‘Stay Clean For Me’ is a perfect song that could figure alongside any of Lemmy’s work, this time with Mr. Tony Dolan from Venom Inc. on vocals. ‘Undefeated’ is fast and shows how a good Hardcore song should be, similar to what Hatebreed play and ‘Obliteration Now’ has the same inspiration, but it is more Thrash and Heavy Metal. ‘Dying Day’ is melodic Death Metal that totally reminded me of what Dark Tranquility do so well. The album finishes with ‘A Silent War’ which is pure Thrash Metal sounding like the 80’s Bay Area Thrash Metal bands, specifically 80’s Anthrax!

Considering the minimal time they had to write, record, mix and take care about all the details of each song, I can assure you that the results are brilliant. We don’t exactly have what sounds like a full album here, nor anything that has a singular identity, but what we do have is an album that sounds like a compilation of material from many bands that we know and love in many different genres

The main difference is that this sounds like a compilation of brand-new songs from all the bands I mentioned. Jeramie and Taylor have done an amazing job of creating an album that carries the spirit and the power of all those incredible old bands you know. Congratulations to them both and to all the guests who stamped their style on each song. It truly is a remarkable achievement.

01. Eternal Unlight
02. Grief Eater
03. Monsters We Hide
04. Terror In The Shape Of Suns
05. The Echo Mirror
06. Drag Them To The Guillotine
07. Stay Clean For Me
08. Chaos Has Told You To Suffer
09. Undefeated
10. Obliteration Now
11. Dying Day
12. A Silent War

LINKS: (All tracks and line-ups)

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.

Válvera – Cycle Of Disaster

Válvera – Cycle Of Disaster
Brutal Records
Release Date: 28/08/2020
Running time: 40:30
Review by Victor Augusto

Maybe I am becoming repetitive with my speech, similar to what some bands do with their music, considering it is almost impossible to offer something completely new in Heavy Metal. Of course, about my speech, it is more a matter of laziness to find good words to express myself (Please boss, don’t fire me!) (Don’t worry Victor, you’re safe – Rick). Ok, what I am trying to say is that I don’t expect anything new from bands, but there are two things that still intrigue me when brutal music is the subject. Firstly, if you can offer complex and heavy music, but at the same time, make it simple and catchy, you will have my attention. Secondly, it doesn’t matter if what you play has already been played by tons of bands before, but if you can still put anger (in the very good meaning of the word) and passion into the music, then you will also have my attention. With this explanation, we can now talk about this album and review!

As you may imagine, the Brazilian Thrash Metal band Válvera does, exactly, the two things I mentioned above, and they go further. Their music is brutal, like good Thrash Metal should be, but it is not the same old Thrash Metal that other bands repeat constantly. It is something full of heaviness, very well thought out with catchy riffs, amazing song structures and good melodies too. As for the anger, well that probably comes from all the subjects covered in the tracks. This is easy to explain because the lyrics focus on many disgraces that human beings have suffered with through the years. Do you want one example? Well, ‘Glow of Death’ is about the famous case of contamination by Cesium-137, which happened in Brazil in 1987. At that time, some people tried to sell equipment found in the garbage, but it had all been in contact with a machine used for radioactive therapy. They had no idea what they were dealing with or selling, and it caused the death of hundreds of people.

Musically, I can hear a very mature band, focused on cadence, which offers good value to the riffs. Nothing is extremely fast but it’s far from being slow. Title track ‘Cycle of Disaster’ contains a wall of heaviness from guitarists Glauber Barreto and Rodrigo Torres and it is possible to understand that the band don’t want to keep repetitive structures in their music. You can hear many variations here and it brilliantly keeps the listeners attention throughout the album. Glauber also explores some melodies with his vocals on the excellent ‘The Damn Colony’, which showcases a catchier kind of music without losing its powerful sonority. Even the solo is played differently with the usual ‘Kerry King style of playing’ making way for something much more melodic and well-structured!

If Gabriel Prado has already showed sonority on his bass during the opening song ‘Nothing Left To Burn’ and drummer Leandro Peixoto shows his technique on ‘Glow Of Death’, then in ‘All Systems Fall’ both appear stronger than ever and do a magnificent job together. Maybe it is not the album’s best song but it actually feels like all the members have put their identity into the composition and if that isn’t the case then the person who wrote it has thought really closely about the feelings of their bandmates

‘Fight For Your Life’ has a more positive spirit and makes you feel stronger after listening to all the struggles and disgraces mentioned by the band. This song also shows more melodies and solos inspired by classic heavy metal bands and it opens space for the last song, the furious ‘Bringer Of Evil’ with its fast cadence. It is a perfect song choice to finish this great album.

I confess that I’ve never heard anything from Válvera before. Maybe I heard someone talking about them and it was interesting try to understand what they want to play. The first thing that popped into my head was that the band knew exactly what they wanted to achieve with this record. This is a natural step for a band releasing their third album after 10 years of existence and many tours but it is not just a case of being a mature band, I feel like they have focused on getting a good producer, not just to have good arrangements or recording sound, but who seems to have travelled deep into the band’s soul to extract their best compositions and help them to reach this amazing result.

Once again, I don’t know if that was what really happened with the relationship between Válvera and their producer Rogério Wecko, but I can assure that the final result is incredible. “Cycle Of Disaster” shows a professional band that is ready to go much further in their career.

01. Nothing Left To Burn
02. Cycle Of Disaster
03. Glow Of Death
04. The Damn Colony
05. All Systems Fall
06. Born On A Dead Planet
07. O.S. 1977
08. Fight For Your Life
09. Bringer Of Evil

Glauber Barreto – Vocals and Guitars
Rodrigo Torres – Guitars
Gabriel Prado – Bass
Leandro Peixoto – Drums


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.

Guardian Of Lightning – Cosmos Tree

Guardian Of Lightning – Cosmos Tree
Eclipse Records
Release Date: 17/07/2020
Running Time: 33:09
Review by Victor Augusto

“We Are The First Thunder Metal Band”. With these words, I started on my journey to understand and review “Cosmos Tree” the debut album from Guardian Of Lightning, an amazing 3-piece band from São Paulo, Brazil. First, I was curious as to what exactly this unknown genre (at least for me) was, but after listening to their album several times, I guess I could understand it. Nevertheless, it is especially important to highlight that despite what they call themselves, their music is what comes first, and their music is very impressive.

What I could extract from the meaning of Thunder Metal on hearing Guardian Of Lightning for the first time is the following. Firstly, their lyrics and concept are connected to the power that comes from nature in a way to recover our energies and soul. All the lyrics have positive messages, but nothing is esoteric, and it is healthy, like a mantra connecting music and nature. The second thing that could be related to Thunder Metal is the loudness that comes from their instruments which are heavy and powerful like thunder. I guess this comes to mind due to their similarities with Motörhead and Manowar, mostly in the arrangements, and especially the vocals that really remind me of Lemmy Kilmister.

The sonority itself gives value to heavy guitars guiding the songs rhythmically. The incredible percussion of ‘Lord Drum’ increases the aggression where the speed is filled by strong hits on his drum kit and amazing tempo changes. The most interesting aspect of their music is that the bass does all leads and solos, obviously something that we are used to hearing from guitars. Therefore, the bass of ‘Iron King’ is the main instrument throughout the record and I feel that it makes the guitar of his father ‘Marco Fino’ better to follow. This is pure and heavy Rock n’ Roll and I mean a VERY HEAVY Rock n’ Roll but It is also Heavy Metal. However, I can’t think of any style that relates to Guardian Of Lightning other than when I mentioned Motörhead? The similarities between them are very apparent. Something that is not only Metal but also much heavier than just Rock n’ Roll.

There are more elements that make “Cosmos Tree” brilliant. Mantras you hear in the ‘Intro’ before the title track ‘Cosmos Tree’ kicks the album off show everything that the band are trying to achieve. This song also has a guitar sound that reminds me somewhat of the sounds of nature. ‘Aligned With The Stars’ includes some rattle (maybe it is another instrument, but it reminds me a lot of a rattle) throughout the song, that fits well with the drums. I also have to mention my favorite tracks, the beautiful ‘Sound Of Thunder’ that includes touching piano in the song and the lovely and heavy ballad ‘Be Like The Moon’ that finishes the album.

Perhaps Guardian Of Lightning hasn’t brought anything new to the table, that is for you to decide, but I find it interesting how their music navigates through Rock and Heavy Metal. If you like Rock but miss the heaviness of Heavy Metal or if you like Heavy Metal and miss the simplicity of good Rock n’ Roll then “Cosmos Tree” is the perfect album for you. Of course, fans of good and well-played bass are going to love this amazing band.

01. Intro
02. Cosmos Tree
03. Raise Your Sword
04. Sound of Thunder
05. Aligned with the Stars
06. Follow Your Silver Shine
07. Inside of Us
08. Another Place
09. Be Like the Moon

Iron King (lead bass guitar)
Marco Fino (lead vocals & rhythm guitar)
Lord Drum (drums)


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.

Scars – Predatory

Scars – Predatory
Brutal Records
Release Date: 07/08/2020
Running Time: 57:35
Review by Victor Augusto

I know that the Heavy Metal industry is not always fair with bands, no matter which part of the world they’re from. If you live in a country like Brazil, where the industry is a nest full of snakes and this kind of music is not even close to being popular, it can be even worse. Just playing good music is not enough. Bands must give their lives working on it, but like everything in the world, this nasty scenario brings a positive side. This hostile environment can be a beacon to guide us to find bands who have survived their passion throughout the years. For those who know the history of Scars, you will understand that this band is a pure example of persistence and loyalty to their fans and to the local scene.

The band has been on road since the 90’s with two long hiatuses. The first one ended in 2004 when the band had huge success with the incredible “The Nether Hell”. The second one finished in 2018. Now, Scars have finally delivered the gift that their fans have been waiting for, for so long! A gift called “Predatory”. Probably the most mature and complete album from them, it carries a mix of everything the band have done so far, but with new and improved elements. The band sound thirsty for blood, as always, but with enough experience to know what to do or not do in their music. The heaviness, and everything from good Thrash Metal, is very well balanced, and they have incredible technique.

The title song ‘Predatory’ opens the album, and it’s immediately possible to feel the blast of the purest Thrash Metal that we (fans) all know from Scars. As well as all the incredible riffs and a little bit more groove this time, I felt that the band have also taken some further steps. I am talking about Thiago Oliveira’s solos. He has brought virtuosity to the band without losing the furious side of the solos. He and his partner in guitar, Alex Zeraib, provide a masterclass when riffs are the subject, considering it’s the band’s trademark, as you can hear in ‘These Bloody Days’. João Gobo shows incredible drum variations that go from classic Thrash beats to fast double kicks, but it doesn’t let the music become overpowered by the heaviness. ‘Beyond The Valley Of Despair’ is a slower song, but it is perfect to explain the versatility of João.

Régis F. is even better in his vocal interpretations with the concept of human beings destroying themselves and the entire world around them. Even in ‘Ancient Power’, that has some massive cadenced and strong riffs, he shows all of the aggressiveness of his voice, screaming full of hate. Marcelo Mitché has his highlights too, when his independent bass lines appear and increase the groove, such as in the great song ‘The 72 Faces Of God’. This is a song that flees a little from the strong punch but is still an immensely powerful track.

Another new element in Scars sonority, at least for me, is what you can hear in the instrumental song ‘The Unsung Requiem’. It reminded me of the sort of things Steve Vai or Yngwie Malmsteen might play, but with a dark and hellish atmosphere. Again, it is obvious that Scars have worked hard to increase their technical side. I don’t remember anything similar to this song in any previous Scars albums. The amazing harmonies in the beginning of ‘Ghostly Shadows’ is another example that demonstrates what I’m saying. It is like a guitar shred influence, without sounding exacerbated or repetitive.

As a fan, I think back to 2005, when I read many interviews and good words about Scars, for the first time. After listening to this record, I still have the same impression about the band that I had 15 years ago. That we are looking at one of the most honest and persistent bands from Brazil. They have survived this ‘predatory’ industry, despite some adversities throughout their career. Their desire to be strong and relevant is connected to their respect for the fans. It is enviable, and probably a good source of energy to keep strong in front of any issues. This passion and truth will inspire people who take this music seriously. “Predatory” is another Scars’ masterpiece. A lesson in Thrash Metal, and it shows that Scars are definitely back!

01. Predatory
02. These Bloody Days
03. Ancient Power
04. Sad Darkness of the Soul
05. The Unsung Requiem (Instrumental)
06. Ghostly Shadows
07. The 72 Faces of God
08. Beyond the Valley of Despair
09. Violent Show
10. Armageddon (Bonus Track)
11. Silent Force (Bonus Track)

Régis F. (vocals)
Alex Zeraib (guitars)
Thiago Oliveira (Lead guitars)
Marcelo Mitché (bass)
Joāo Gobo (drums)


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.

Sacred Sin – Born Suffer Die

Sacred Sin – Born Suffer Die
Lusitanian Music
Date: 24/04/2020
Running Time: 11:30
Review by Victor Augusto

I am not a guy who believes in love at first sight, but when music is the subject, I can affirm that it is a perfect possibility. Maybe with a little change in the expression to “love at first listen” which is more appropriate to describe what I’ve felt on hearing the Portuguese band Sacred Sin for the first time. Just one song was enough to assure me I was hearing an incredible band and I couldn’t avoid the thought of “finally, remarkable music to listen to”, considering the massive amount of bands releasing good material, but few of them can be remarkable!

Of course, I am not talking about a young band, considering Sacred Sin have been on the road since 1991 and they have just had a short hiatus between 2011 and 2013, but they have returned with full force and this EP also celebrates the return of one of the original members, guitarist To Pica. All the years of Sacred Sin experience look like they have helped the band to know exactly what they want in their compositions.

As I said before, we have here an experienced band that plays incredible Death Metal with a mix of all the brutality of Morbid Angel with all the technique of the Swedish bands from this genre. All arrangements and compositions left me astonished by the sonority they created, from the opening riff of the first song ‘Born Suffer Die’. I was also hugely impressed with the intense atmosphere over all the brutality. This wonderful blend is what you will hear on this EP until the third and last song ‘Cursed’.

Very special mention goes to second track ‘False Deceiver’. This is an absolutely incredible song. For me, it is like a classical song that easily could figure out in any mainstream Death Metal album. The guitar work, with the riffs and solos, together with the insane drum variations and the amazing vocal interpretation; make this song so special that I’ve been listening to it, without stopping, since the first day I heard it.

Despite being a short EP, “Born Suffer Die” is a perfect release to show how incredible Sacred Sin are. This EP also makes us (fans) wish for a new full-length album, at least in my case, a new fan of the band, I am very eager for it.

Parabéns Sacred Sin!!!

01. Born Suffer Die
02. False Deceiver
03. Cursed

Jose Costa – vocals & bass
To Pica – guitars
Luis Coelho – guitars
G. R. – drums


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.

Re-Armed – Ignis Aeternum

Re-Armed – Ignis Aeternum
Black Lion Records
Release Date: 05/06/2020
Running Time: 46:47
Review by Victor Augusto

I guess I am not the only person in the world that has a dream to visit different countries and learn about their culture, food, and drink. Of course, many people have this dream, but it is very expensive, and a short five-day trip is not enough to understand everything about another country. Maybe it is just my impression, but sometimes I feel like I know more about a country from listening to their music, in my case, imagining local scenes and bands. Here I am talking about Finland and whilst I can’t visit to see its beauty I have, at least, got this specific review and band to give me a good impression of Heavy Metal.

Re-Armed are not a new band considering this is their fourth album and I was impressed by how they managed to include so many elements throughout the 46 minutes of this record. The balance between all of these elements is sublime and it is hard to say which of them is the most prevalent. Of course, Melodic Death Metal is probably the first thing that will appear in the listener’s mind, but influences like the symphonic darkness from Septic Flesh or keyboards that perhaps remind of Cradle Of Filth are present on this album although these elements are not used to exacerbate their sound like some bands use. The technique of the solos and the excellent record production are of a quality that you usually associate with Power or Symphonic Metal bands. This is magnificent considering Re-Armed’s music is nothing like those two genres.

I also have to mention something related to the atmospheric music that comes from the multiple Doom influences contained within the album, like the beautiful ‘The Hollow Lights’. Maybe it is the slow cadence, the clean vocals in this song (cleaner than other songs) and all catchy and lilting melodies that made me feel it. I had this same impression during the slow introduction of ‘Remain Unbounded’ even though this track speeds up, in a perfect Dark Tranquility style, after the intro. All the heaviness returns in ‘Words Left Unsaid’, keeping a good cadence and ‘Voyager’ also seems to rescue the fast spirit from the two first songs on the album, that are perfect to understand the essence of Re-Armed. This time, in ‘Voyager’, the keyboards reminded me of old Progressive Rock players, like Rick Wakeman, for example.

As you can see, Re-Armed are a very complete band. What left me most astonished is how they manage to marry so many incredible and diverse elements, yet the music is still so easy and enjoyable to listen to and digest. I don’t know anything about Finland, but in terms of Metal, I can assure you that the bands that come from there have perfected the art of clear production and of writing melodies and harmonies. I can and will call “Ignis Aeternum” a masterpiece, considering the complexity of the compositions, but which also sound simple at the same time. If you are a fan of good music, you will easily love everything on this album from the first note until the last.

01. Dive Within
02. Beyond The Horizon
03. Ode To Life
04. Eager To Collapse
05. Resistance
06. The Hollow Lights
07. Remain Unbounded
08. Words Left Unsaid
09. Voyager
10. Built To Last

Oskari Niekka – Guitars
Juhana Heinonen – Bass
Iiro Karjalainen – Drums
Allan Välimaa – Guitars
Jouni Matilainen – Lead vocals


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.

Godscum – The Zodiac Horrorscope

Godscum – The Zodiac Horrorscope
Lion Music
Release Date: 20/06/2020
Running Time: 54:21
Review by Victor Augusto

I must confess that, about a year ago, I got tired of writing reviews due to the number of Thrash Metal bands recording albums that always sounded the same. Of course, I cannot expect anything new from this genre, but it is incredible how many bands release material with soulless or plastic sonority. Luckily, there are still bands like Godscum, from the Netherlands, that offer interesting music. The fact that their musical style is not so easy to define means that we are stood in front of a good band.

In the opening song ‘The Great War’, the listener will be able to understand the band’s idea. It starts slowly after a speech with few a drum hits and riffs, but soon it is filled with heaviness. At that moment, Godscum opt for a more cadenced rhythm and the name Fear Factory popped quickly into my mind, maybe because of the double kicks from Drummer Pim Goverde which follow the riffs and also the clean vocals from Steven Tolkamp in some parts. This is just a reference though because Godscum’s music goes further than just one influence.

The dynamic between guitarist Marcel Coenen and bassist Jochen Fuenders brings a spirit of good Rock n’ Roll, with no huge complications in the music, just a heavy and straight sonority. In ‘NWO’, for example, I felt something like southern music being played by Pantera. By the way, Pantera is another influence you are going to hear in songs like ‘The Path Of Life’ and ‘Drain The Life’ that show a faster and more Thrash Metal side to the band. There are even some slower and more doom-laden tracks present such as ‘Carnage Angel’, without the insane riffs!

While talking about Thrash Metal, the song ‘Stand Our Ground’ is one that mixes more elements like groove, clean instrumental passages and great work on backing vocals, especially near the end of the song where many people are screaming the song title together. After a brief pause in the music, an insanely catchy and simple riff returns, whilst people are still screaming. This return is extremely heavy and well created showing why I think this is the most complete song on the entire album.

I also like the way Godscum finish the album and the final two songs are great examples of how the band put a lot of variation into their compositions. These two tracks are ‘Indifferent Eyes’ with a more sentimental way of exploring melodies, but still being totally Thrash Metal and the final track ’Dawn Of Eternity’ which is very calm, exploring clean vocals and guitars with a slow cadence that gains in heaviness throughout its seven minute running time. It also leaves space to let Marcel explore a well-constructed solo.

Hopefully, you can see that “The Zodiac Horrorscope” is a versatile album and it shows a very mature band willing to explore different styles and create a good blend of interesting elements alongside their Thrash Metal. At the same time, Godscum offers simpler music, trying to flee from the complex sonority and confusion, which bands full of technique often show. Here, you are going to hear plenty of variation that doesn’t let the Groove or Thrash become repetitive. I felt touched by the album’s simplicity and geniality.

01. The Great War
02. NWO
03. The Path Of Life
04. Carnage Angel
05. Kill It
06. Drain The Life
07. Ripper
08. For Liberty
09. Thy Kingdom
10. Stand Our Ground
11. Indifferent Eyes
12. Dawn Of Eternity

Steven Tolkamp – Lead Vocals
Marcel Coenen – Guitar and Backing Vocals
Jochen Fuenders – Bass and Backing Vocals
Pim Goverde – Drums


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.

Granada – Amarre EP

Granada – Amarre EP
Running Time: 20:59
Review by Victor Augusto

If someone asks why maybe South American bands have a kind of unique aggressiveness in their way of playing or in how they express themselves in their music, I would say that 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 misfortunes. All South American countries are “cursed” by poverty, corruption and violence despite all other good things. Obviously, all this suffering reflects in society and, consequently, in the music that emerges from there.

The Argentine band Granada came up with another release and have brought a concept, based on all these problems that we live with in our countries. “Amarre” is composed of five tracks that reports a view of who witnesses and experiences how hard it is to live in a dysfunctional family. It goes further. All the tracks have videos on the band’s YouTube Channel, illustrating what the band says, along with the laws that criminalize the particular abuse that is the subject of each song, as well as the phone numbers to report that crime in Argentina. It is an excellent way to bring consciousness and awareness to people of these problems, through the music, something that even politicians cannot do well.

An interesting thing about the EP title “Amarre” is that it could mean ties, like people tied in a specific hell or abuse that is related to the songs. However, Amarre also means spiritual ties that some local spiritual religions do in two evil kinds of desires. One, is the desire of having a person tied in your life, like in slavery. The other way could be just like bringing disgrace to someone, like a voodoo. The songs talk about suicide, family abuse, violence against woman, etc. You can hear things in the Spanish lyrics like “Shut up, I am your father/mother” which relates to family abuse of power and “Until Death do us apart” related to a woman waiting to die after suffering so much abuse in her marriage but is powerless to act.

Musically, ‘Autoridad’ shows a fast and aggressive Thrash/Hardcore style and ‘Golpes’ shows dizzy riffs, blast beats and breaking rhythms with a lot of heaviness, similar to Agnostic Front. The Hardcore and Punk vein appears more strongly in ‘Sometido’ and it fits well with short moments of double kicks in the drums and a guitar solo in an Andreas Kisser (Sepultura) style. ‘Castracion’ has the Death Metal inspiration diluted in the band’s sound, with strong riffs that reminded me of Trey Azagthoth (Morbid Angel). The ending song brings a feeling of a person being dragged by the music due to all the broken rhythms. This feeling of agony and suffering has a reason and it helps to summarize what the title track ‘Amarre’ is.

Guille Estevez does a good interpretation of the lyrics, along with his precise guitar work. The drums of Marcos Edwards give a lesson of versatility, going from Punk through Thrash and Death Metal in a blink of an eye. He is the main force of all aggressiveness and excitement that you are going to hear on this release. There is no bass recorded on “Amarre”, but Damian Mayster’s second guitar keeps a good sonority and gives the proper sound that the band needs. To create a more aggressive atmosphere, the recording was made in a live format, at El Attic studio, in an analog way, without editing or adjustments. Everything recorded in one take! The rawness increases the dark atmosphere of the theme, extracting an excellent sound, musically speaking.

What I can assure about the twenty minutes of this listening is that “Amarre” shows perfectly what Granada is capable of doing when they decide to turn all the anger from their lives into music. I felt touched by the concept and by the power of their sonority. For sure, we have one of the best releases of this insane year!

01. Autoridad
02. Golpes
03. Sometido
04. Castración
05. Amarre

Guille Estévez – Vocals and Guitars
Marcos Edwards – Drums
Damian Mayster – Guitars


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.

Nightwölf – Unleash The Beast EP

Nightwölf – Unleash The Beast EP
Kill Again Records
Release Date: 15/07/2020
Running Time: 25:41
Review by Victor Augusto

Sometimes I feel a mix of nostalgia and pride when I hear something related to traditional Heavy Metal. Probably, it happens because I started listening to Heavy Metal with bands like Iron Maiden and Manowar and this music was so present in my life when I was kid. I have to confess that it is not my favorite style nowadays, since I found all the energy and aggressiveness of Thrash and Death Metal, but I cannot help but enjoy and be proud of young bands starting their career, who represent so well those great bands from the 80’s. The band I am referring to is Nightwölf, from the city where I live (Brasilia, the capital of Brazil) with their debut release, “Unleash The Beast”, an incredible EP.

With the purest Heavy Metal, they are inspired mostly by Judas Priest, but there are good Accept and Queensrÿche influences. First, it is important to highlight the extreme quality of guitarists Adan Hessen and Rafael Roan, which alternate and complement each other with excellent bass and guitar solos. They bring something similar of that magical chemistry between great guitar players like Adrian Smith with Dave Murray or Glen Tipton with K.K. Downing. Another good example is in ‘Shadowmaker’, where you can hear something more akin to Michael Weikath and Kai Hansen, with similar leads that Helloween used to play during the ‘Keeper of the Seven Keys’ era. It is just a matter of influence!

The distorted bass of Guilherme de Almeida could easily disappear between two killer guitarists, but his parts sound loud and are inspired by the bassists of the two bands already mentioned in the first paragraph of this review. Should I mention Lemmy Kilmister in his sonority? No, because I MUST mention it. At least I had this impression in ‘Perpetual Crime’, which is a more rhythmical song that has some isolated bass lines by Guilherme that totally refer to ‘Stay Clean’ (Motörhead). I’ve also mentioned Accept in this review, haven’t I? Yes! You Just have to hear ‘Halls Of Hell’ to understand what I am talking about and I could also notice in “Lunam et Sanguis’, the instrumental track that opens this EP, a great reference to the beautiful ‘The Crown And The Ring’ from Manowar.

Still talking about band members, the drummer João Videira (the man of a thousand clones*) creates good tempo changes being very versatile and far from repetitive and lead singer Jack Znake gives a wonderful showing and sings with his hugely powerful voice. The coolest thing is that he doesn’t sound exhausted, like those who abuse the high range notes, something that is very typical in these genres. He opts for an interpretation that shows a big difference. Both his visual, in the promotional picture of the band, and his voice reminds me of Eric Adams (again) from Manowar, who for me, is the best singer that ever existed in this style. One detail that I noticed is that the mix leaves the volume of the voice a little further back than usual, perhaps to highlight the instruments, but everything is very well equalized.

All the tracks are exciting. Some are faster and others opt for heaviness with great cadence The main thing here is that the band have managed to use many influences and have created a good mix, with the instrumental being above average and not sounding lost. I believe that the production, although good, still doesn’t capture all the power from Nightwölf. Perhaps, a clearer production with more heaviness to rescue the excitement that the compositions offer would work, but these are just details with a perfectionist vision.

We are talking about musicians with an enviable technique. On their debut release, they have kicked ass to make “Unleash The Beast”. Can you Imagine what they will be able to do in the future? The beast has, most definitely, been unleashed!

(*This is a joke from the day I drank so much at a concert and I said hello to five different people that I thought were João Videira due to the similarities between them. Actually, João wasn’t there that day. He was at home! 😊)

1. Lunam et Sanguis
2. Unleash The Beast
3. Shadowmaker
4. Perpetual Crime
5. Halls Of Hell
6. Holy Machine

Jack Znake – Vocal
Adan Hessen – Guitar
Rafael Roan – Guitar
Guilherme de Almeida – Bass
João Videira – Drums


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.

EMQ’s With Victor Augusto

EMQ’s With Victor Augusto

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

Hello everyone. I am Victor Augusto, the Brazilian reviewer of Ever Metal. I work in the Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller. When I was about to go to university, I realized that the way I was living was totally unhealthy. I had to wake up at 4 am to get a bus and cross the city to study, without safety and money, so I decided to try the military contest to have a regular life and job. The fact that my father is a pilot in the Air Force influenced me to choose Air Traffic Control as work and here I am. 15 years working on it.

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

I live in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. The Metal scene here is full of great and insane bands despite the fact the city is not so big. Most of the bands are new and have to work extremely hard to reach a good level of success, but they do great concerts to amuse us. The concerts are made by the bands. Sadly, we don’t have a lot of fans going to the concerts, but the few ones that go are amazing.

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

“Quadra” from Sepultura is an incredible release. For me this is the best 2020 release so far, but I must mention the beautiful single “Saturnalia” from the Italian band Deathless legacy and “Amarre” from the Argentine band Granada. Both demanded a lot of work and study to understand the concept and write good reviews about them.

Who have been your greatest influences, in music or in life?

Andreas Kisser from Sepultura is the guy I want to meet someday. He is not only a great guitar player. He suffered a lot with Sepultura after Max Left the band and he, with all other members, struggled for a decade to keep Sepultura alive. He not only did it well, but he put Sepultura on an incredible level. He is a very polite person even when people bother him asking dumb polemical questions about the past. He shows a true passion for the music and for Sepultura. For me, he is an example in music. For my life, I have few close friends that are more important than my own family to help me be a better human.

What first got you into music?

My brother’s bullying (laugh). My older brother is a person that listen to one single song that he loves the entire day. It could be the best song in the world, but after 24 hours listening to the same music you can hate it (laugh). He showed me Rock and Heavy Metal when I was just 8 years old, even he tortured me listening to the same record all long day for a month. But if he didn’t do it, I would have never known what heavy metal is.

Which current bands or musicians would you like to see collaborate on a record?

Andreas Kisser in a Kamala album. They know each other and Kamala is a Thrash Metal band that is growing fast in Europe.

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

I am not a festival guy. I am more the guy who has fun at smaller concerts. I have much more fun watching festivals on TV, drinking beer on sofa, but I believe Wacken Open Air is the dream of any metal head. I wish someday I could go to Wacken and enjoy the trip to visit the rest of Europe.

What’s the weirdest music related thing you own?

I have a doll that was the first doll my wife had when she was kid. This doll was left in a wet closet and is full of mould that I cannot clean. I use it to do funny movies to promote my radio guest slots. The doll always appears threatening if I can’t tune in to the radio show.

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

I would say you are reading the most passionate writers about music.

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

Despite the fact I miss Jeff Hanneman a lot, considering Slayer is my favourite band of all time, I would bring Ronnie James Dio back. I love his voice and everything he did in Heavy Metal. I miss him since he died.

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

My answer will be restricted to the Brazilian industry that I know a lot. All the philosophy of “pay to play”. At least in Brazil, if you pay tons of money, you will have success in the music industry. For Heavy Metal, things are harder here, but the bands that get more space in the main magazines or media also pay the best promoters and they are not always the best bands. There are too many egos, too much money and other issues involved. So, to summarize, I wish that the bands who are the most passionate and write the best music were more successful. That is the most important thing.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

It is hard. I have at least 20 albums that I can’t live without, but I will name the album that made me love Heavy Metal. It is not the band’s best album, they are not even my favourite band, but it was the album that appeared first in my life and made me love it. I am talking about Manowar – “The Triumph Of Steel”.

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

I am still the CD guy because it was what I had when I was kid, but I think you must listen to what is easier for you and good for the band. Digital streaming is the best option nowadays. Easy to hear on your cell phone and it gives some return for the band.

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

Another hard question. Probably the Heaven and Hell concert. The reason is that I am such a fan of Dio, and I paid a lot of money to see this concert. Many problems happened that day, but I could see it. The day was May 16th of 2009. Exactly one year before Dio’s death. The concert was perfect and for me it is my fav one.

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

Work, drink, brew and watch something related to aviation or Formula 1. Nowadays, I write reviews or record spoken reviews/interviews for radio around the world and this is the biggest part of my life. I do love it.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

If you like to have a good chat and hear good heavy metal music, you are totally invited to my house anytime. I brew at home and I can do awesome hamburgers (huge). Considering I am from Brazil, I wish to have dinner with my reviewer’ friends of Ever Metal, someday. I love them!

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Ahhh. I don’t know. I don’t have these in Brazil, but if it is good, I will eat it!

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

I am so proud to support Heavy Metal around the world on Ever Metal. Music is a huge part of my life since I was 8 years old and I love the way all reviewers/photographers work on Ever Metal. It is like my second family in a country miles away from mine. Thanks people. I love you!

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