The Damnnation – Parasite EP

The Damnnation – Parasite EP
Xaninho Discos
Release Date: 10/11/2020
Running Time: 16:06
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

Do you know what makes me happy in the early hours of the morning? The answer is waking up with a song glued in my mind and ideas being whispered into my ear (hello schizophrenia), ready to write a review of a debut release! Yes, I love to write about debut albums/EP’s and follow the evolution of a band after that, but today we have a slightly different situation. As I have already said, in previous reviews, I give my entire support for a band, no matter if it is a young one or a famous one. If I realise that I am investing my time in a professional group, then it is all ok for me. Amateurs can go away! Therefore, I hope you are all well, safe and also ready to understand my ideas! This is another fail, on my part, to try and write a good intro, sorry boss! (It’s a perfectly good intro Victor – Rick)

The Damnnation (yes, it does have a double ‘N’, because it is a mix of Damn and Nation, as Vocalist/Guitarist Renata Petrelli already explained in the band’s EMQ’s interview) was created last year with three musicians that have good experience with other bands, including tours in Europe. This experience has helped them to compose mature songs, with well thought out arrangements and a good production. Good balance! Yes, there is a good balance between all the instruments and the sound which is crystal clear but dirty!

The song ‘World’s Curse’ was not randomly chosen to open the EP. It was the first single released and it showed to the world the face of this young, new-born band. Even with a different line-up at that time, it is perfect to understand their musicality. Firstly, simple but catchy riffs. You get all the heaviness and speed that a good heavy Metal bands should deliver, thanks to Cynthia Tsai who smashes her drum kit without mercy and the independent bass lines of Camis Brandão which bring an extra punch to this track. The melodies from Renata ’s guitar, also her solo, are a great highlight on the band’s sonority. I really loved it.

The current line-up hasn’t changed the band’s spirit, in actual fact, bassist Aline Dutchi and drummer Leonora Mölka have helped the band’s evolution and it is notorious for what you hear from ‘Apocalypse’, the second track, until the end of the EP. Again, the melodies and all guitar work from Renata, together with the excellent bass work from Aline, is brilliant. They perfectly complement each other. As for Leonora, the word that came to my mind most while I was listening to this was versatility. Of course, she also hits hard and doesn’t let the speed diminish, but her work with the hi hat, crash, ride, and china cymbals brings a kind of simplicity in the midst of all the blast beats and fast stuff, that is very well thought out.

The title track has clean guitar and also acoustic guitar, in a perfect ‘Fade to Black’ (Metallica) style, but don’t be fooled, this is an extremely heavy song. The rhythmical cadences along with good double kicks and strong bass brings a good and dark atmosphere. The main difference here is that this song makes you feel like Amon Amarth members are banging their heads while playing ‘The Pursuit of Vikings’. Is this enough for you to enjoy this track? I hope so! The closing song ‘Unholy Soldiers’ is a mix of all elements that I’ve mentioned so far, with a good and slow distorted bass intro that progressively gains speed and heaviness. This time I felt that the song leaves more space for Renata’s vocals, with a good interpretation of what happens inside the mind of a profane soldier.

As mentioned before, The Damnnation’s members have brought good experience from all their years on the road. If you ask me about the highlight, I will answer that there is a positive aspect that goes further than just talking about the musicality. For me, freedom is what I believe is the most important definition of this EP. Freedom to explore vocal lines, work on melodies and mix different styles into the same song. As a consequence of this freedom, you can hear an incredible EP from a band with just one year of existence. Can you imagine what these three women are going to achieve on a complete album? While we wait for that, listen to “Parasite” without fear.

TRACKLISTING:
01. World’s Curse
02. Apocalypse
03. Parasite
04. Unholy Soldiers

LINE-UP:
Renata Petrelli – Vocals and Guitars
Aline Dutchi – Bass and Vocals
Leonora Mölka – Drums

LINKS:

Photo by Jessica Mar

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.

Macakongs 2099 – Amor

Macakongs 2099 – Amor
Self-Released
Release Date:15/01/2020
Running Time: 22:30
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

Something very peculiar about the Musical Scene from the city where I live (Brasília, the capital of Brazil), is how Heavy Metal and Hardcore bands show a great union and connection with each other. Much hard work goes into the promotion of events where these two genres play shows together. Many local Hardcore bands act in this way and all of them are very-old bands Of course, it has not happened from nothing. Bands like Terror Revolucionário and Death Slam (both of whom have taken part in EMQ’s interviews here at Ever Metal), among many others made it happen, mainly through the promotion of the concerts I mentioned. Macakongs 2099 could not be left out of this history, since they have been on the road since 1998 and have promoted many events, opening space for the most diverse local bands. The quartet spreads their Hardcore, with a critical and social content, always with an acid criticism and a hint of humor to talk about it. Ironically, their newest full album is called “Amor” (that means love in Portuguese).

The band’s sonority values straight compositions, with strong riffs. All songs are short and all lyrics are in Portuguese, now sung by the bassist and band’s leader Djalma Phu. This time, I can feel that they are more focused on Thrash Metal than just on pure Hardcore, and this probably has something to do with guitarist WA, considering he also plays in an amazing Thrash Metal band called Degola. He has added some solos alongside all the beautiful rhythms played by the guitarist Léo, giving a special emphasis to the music. The cool thing about both guitarists is the freedom with which they play, not sticking to a formula. Drummer Thiago doesn’t use complicated drum lines which increases the feeling on the album and makes it easy to digest.

“Amor” is a short album, and it is hard to talk about highlights when you have such an awesome record from beginning to end. However, I will mention what most caught my attention and quote them in the order they appear on the album. ‘Traiu Sinistro’ has the addition of clean vocals. It also has extremely strong lyrics about people who were friends and betrayed each other. The melodious voice adds to the theme, creating a counterpoint to the heaviness of the instruments. ‘Combustível da Dominação’ has a Dead Kennedys vibe at its beginning, bringing a classic Punk Rock spirit, in addition to the lyrics being very hard about our alienation and how easily people can be manipulated.

Now, stop everything you are doing, as I am going to talk about ‘Haters Amam’ (that means haters love). What a CLASSIC song! The best on the record, in my humble opinion. Not only because it portrays the idiocy in which we live in a divided Brazil, where people are totally blind, exactly as explained in ‘Combustível da Dominação’. They are killing themselves on the streets, in defense of pets called politicians, while the politicians continue screwing and laughing at this war among the population. It is such a strong track, with a furious riff and tightly fitting drum variations that make it beautiful. The accompanying video begins with an interruption of your normal TV programming to the “free hardcore campaign” I confess that I had a good laugh when Phu says on the lyrics that he never voted on a “Distrital” (specific kind of Brazilian politician) because he doesn’t even know what they are useful for. What a song!

Still talking about influences, you can hear some Exodus on ‘Terra de Ninguém’. The distorted bass notes from the beginning of ‘Cerrado Sem Miragem’, which closes the album, reminded me of the S.O.D. song ‘Milk’, as well as the idea of a direct, aggressive sound, even if this track is a Rap, arranged in Heavy Metal, with the special participation of Dino Black. Once again, this time with the reinforcement of Dino, they expose many issues from society that, we, the people pretend do not exist.

Summarizing what I think about this amazing album. You can hear the heaviness of good old Hardcore, which the city of Brasília has known since the 90’s, from all Macakongs 2099 roots, but it is heavier now. There is a good and dirty production, and they have made it like this on purpose, without taking away the quality and equalization of all the musicians. They also don’t sound dated because of the added Thrash Metal elements, which gives a disguised brutality in the false calm that the album presents. In other words, we have a lovely album for worshippers of good and pure Crossover. Listen to it with all the love from your heart.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Sobreviventes do Caos
02. Traiu Sinistro
03. Combustível da Dominação
04. Haters Amam
05. Amargo Arrependimento
06. Pesadelo da Realidade
07. Terra de Ninguém
08. Tristes Conclusões
09. Cerrado Sem Miragem

LINE-UP:
Djalma Phu – Bass and vocals
Léo – Guitars
WA – Guitars
Thiago Brito – Drums

LINKS:

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.

Ignited – Steelbound

Ignited – Steelbound
Self-Released
Release Date: 26/10/2019
Running Time: 39:21
Review by Victor Augusto
8.5/10

Do you know that old Uncle who, despite all the terrible jokes at Christmas, spends all year mumbling about everything? It doesn’t matter if everything is good, he will still complain about anything, just for the love of complaining. Perhaps this grumpiness is what represents some older Heavy Metal listeners (the young ones too, sometimes). It is obvious that you will have already heard some Heavy Metal fan saying that he doesn’t like a kind of music because it is too modern. The opposite happens to when he thinks the music is dated and repetitive. Let’s be honest! Do you really believe that a band can bring something new to the table after so many fruitful decades with so many styles being perpetuated for eternity? I guess, not even the best clairvoyant could answer that. Why am I saying all this? No Reason! 😊. They are just random thoughts to explain what I felt when listening to Ignited’s debut album “Steelbound” for the first time.

Could it have been nostalgia? Maybe. For sure, I had a mix of feelings that reminded me of many classic Heavy Metal bands, but with a touch of modernism and I don’t mean the low tuning that some Power Metal bands use as an excuse to promote that they are “reinventing” themselves. Being very non-comprehensive, my first impression of this album was like hearing a mix of Judas Priest and Accept, as an overall concept about their sonority. Now, as my comments, about this Brazilian quartet, become ever more confusing I felt a proper heaviness from Dalton Castro’s guitars, together with strong and present bass from Sama Benedet and, together, they create a good wall for Maurício Velasco to be free on the double kick drums. So far then, we have the most traditional lines possible, but with something new that I promise I will mention.

Apparently, their sonority is the typical one that we hear from the aforementioned bands that influenced Ignited. Ignited have done a great job and all instruments are well equalized, they are also very clear. So far, everything is inspired by the classic bands, right? Yes! Totally! What I feel from the “modern” side, is the sound of the drums, which are a bit digitized for me. However, nothing more than that, after all, Maurício has done important work for the overall heaviness. So, maybe, it is more related to the production than the compositions themselves.

Now let’s go to the vocals, which deserve a few more words. No! I am not saying that the vocals are more important than all other instruments, but I would like to highlight a few aspects. The high range notes, in the Rob Halford style, are done with mastery. Sometimes, I hear singers trying to do this, but often the result is not so good. There are also many moments with further clean voices in the style of our most divine entity in Metal, called Mr. Ronnie James Dio. It sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Well, it’s just a matter of taste. The quality of the members of Ignited is unquestionable, however, I found the repetitive high notes/screams a bit tiring and I ended up enjoying more the interpretations when there is more cadence. As I said before, it is just a matter of taste.

We are looking at an album full of attributes. Excellent recording, musicians and compositions. If you’re the grumpy uncle, who complains that classic big-name bands are dying out, then listen to Ignited. “Steelbound” is a powerful album, with complex elements, that easily sounds like other mainstream bands, mainly Judas Priest. If you don’t like innovation, then here is an album where you can hear something very influenced by the past, but also framed with a more youthful design. Personally, it gave me a good feeling, because it reminded me of the old Dark Avenger, which is, probably, one of the greatest names of Traditional Heavy Metal that we have ever had in Brazil. Obviously, this also includes the similarity of Mario Linhares voice in relation to Denis Lima, vocalist of Ignited.

Are there more highlights? Listening from first track ‘Ignition’ through to closing song ‘Rotting’ there are powerful guitars, good rhythm changes allied with amazing melodies and remarkable solos. The entire album exposes what I have spoken about so far. It is an excellent debut!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Ignition
02. Pain
03. Steelbound
04. Living In The Dark
05. Call Me To Run
06. Times
07. Ground Pounding
08. Shining Void
09. Roaring Gears
10. Rotting

LINE-UP:
Denis Lima – Vocals
Dalton Castro – Guitars
Sama Benedet – Bass
Mauricio Velasco – Drums

LINKS:

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.

Sins Of Shadows – The Master’s Way

Sins Of Shadows – The Master’s Way
Self-Released
Release Date: 25/05/2020
Running Time: 42:44
Review by Victor Augusto
8/10

I guess everyone who reads my reviews knows that I am the worst person in the world to write introductions, but today I will try something which I have learnt from reading my Ever Metal colleagues reviews. I have realized that I must be more polite and humanize myself, because I’ve never asked a simple and basic question to you all and this question is “How are you, my friends?” Ok, considering I’ve already used up all of my sympathy, now I can talk about the review (Sorry, next time I will try to be as sweet as my mates, today I have failed). However, I’m talking about how to be sweet and I guess this word is the one that mostly defines the band I am going to review today. A sweet band, that’s if this crazy definition even exists!

No. It doesn’t mean a lack of heaviness of aggressiveness or all good adjectives that metalheads love to hear about a Heavy Metal band. Sins of Shadows incorporate many different styles but all of them are sublimely diluted throughout the songs. To make it easier to understand, I prefer to say that they are a Heavy Metal band who use influences from classic Iron Maiden to something more complex like Iced Earth, especially with the heaviness of the wall of guitar from Nicolas Jacon. The bass lines of Sébastien Normand follow the ideas of good and traditional heavy metal. There appears to be more space for independent lines, maybe, due to the fact they have just one guitarist!

My great surprise was to hear Elena Penalver singing. I love to hear female voices in Heavy Metal bands, and I miss more women doing it. I confess I am not a huge fan of soprano voices, despite all the beauty of it, but Elena uses her clean vocal with good high ranges, and her vocal interpretation is very well inspired from the likes of Dio, Bruce Dickinson and Eric Adams. She has a good balance between melody and aggression.

You can hear the entire album without becoming bored, because the band always bring a drastic change to their sonority. I can highlight the beautiful solo in ‘Not In My World’, it is very well worked out as are the good bluesy cadence and rhythmical breaks throughout it. ‘Today’s The Day’ reminded me a lot Iron Maiden. It sounds like a faster version of ‘The Longest Day’ from the not so famous, but amazing, album “A Matter of Life and Death”. Of course, it is a version full of heaviness but, sometimes, the drums follow a similar cadence to what we are used to hearing from Mr. Nicko McBrain.

Do you want more examples of all drastic changes of the band’s music? If your answer is yes, then you must hear the beautiful instrumental ‘The Mountain’. It is very Swedish Melodic Death Metal in style and oriented to the classic Dark Tranquility albums, without losing the main identity of the band’s sonority. ‘Sense of Hope’ also grabbed my attention because of the clean guitar intro and by the way it progressively changes and grows.

Now I’ll try to explain my insane words about the band during my intro to this review. There is a ‘feel good’ atmosphere listening to the “The Master’s Way” and I guess it reflects the spirit of the three members from this amazing French band. Three seemingly sweet people projecting their feeling on their music. Of course, I like all the versatility and desire to cover different genres. All melodies are well done throughout and fit well alongside all the riffs. Maybe the production could have had some close attention to really explore all their potential, but it doesn’t let Sins Of Shadows down. Take a day when you want to relax to listen to this album. That would be the perfect way to enjoy this great work.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Master’s Way
02. A Man in the Crowd
03. Not in My World
04. Today’s the Day
05. Far from Me
06. The Mountain
07. Sense of Hope
08. My Lost City

LINE-UP:
Nicolas Jacon – Guitars
Elena Penalver – Vocals
Sebastien Normand – Bass

LINKS:

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.

Sacramentia – Prophecies Of Plague

Sacramentia – Prophecies Of Plague
Extreme Sound Records/Old Shadows Records
Release Date: 06/06/2020
Running Time: 39:18
Review by Victor Augusto
8.5/10

Since I’ve joined forces with this incredible team called Ever Metal, I have seriously put into my mind that I should keep my focus on professional bands for reviews and promotion, no matter if it’s a new or famous band. I also believe, that all people are like radio frequencies and we have a connection with people that are on the same wavelength, and who have the same spirit and passion for the cause. Within this scenario, I had the great opportunity to meet the young people from Sacramentia, a band from a small city called São João da Boa Vista, in the state of São Paulo (Brazil). After our first contact, we worked a lot to spread the word of their debut album and a good friendship has appeared from all of it.

With all I have explained, you are probably asking why I took so long to write a review about them (I know you are not really asking, hahaha), but my honest answer is that I didn’t know if I could write good words about them. “So, Victor, Are you telling us that Sacramentia’s music is not good?” (Again, I am imagining some of you asking it). No, my friends, it is just the opposite. It is so good, and also so complex, that I took a long time to understand their sonority. I was first confused when vocalist Renan showed me the single ‘Crucifiction’ before the album’s release. The title is a fiction about the crucifixion of Christ. Firstly, I thought they were a Black Metal band, but the lyric video of this song shows the exact history of the crucifixion that you read in the Holy Bible. Right after that, I got very confused, if they are a Black Metal Band or a band that worship God or Christ, as many bands do in Brazil (then they are called a White Metal band).

Sacramentia are, actually, not Black or White Metal. The band just play a dark and heavy music that navigates in a Death Metal and Thrash Metal sonority. They talk about lunatics that are involved with religion but from the corruption side…men that use this institution for their own good and the people who are blinded by faith. Actually, the band’s name is a combination of ‘Sacra’ and ‘Dementia’ which explains perfectly what they want to tell us. Most of Renan’s vocal interpretations sound like a priest vociferating religious dogma or trying to corrupt his followers. The most interesting interpretation is on ‘Silent Sinner‘, where he really looks like a devilish priest whispering to his believers.

Musically, this is extremely interesting, utilizing a bunch of influences which mix hugely different bands and genres. The bass of Guilherme Melo is an important instrument that received good volume in the recording process and increases all the darkness and heaviness. The guitar work of André Guimarães and Guilherme Mendes is also very interesting, with the riffs and solos, and even the clean notes, like on the track ‘Scum’, giving an obscure sound. This song shows how good the band are band at creating good variation in their music. ‘In Integrum Pandemonium’ is another example of a mix of their inspirations. For me, this song is like Marduk playing Slipknot, because the initial riff reminds me of ‘Before I Forget’, but the song structure and arrangements is more akin to Black Metal. It also has good Brazilian drum percussion from Leo Michelazzo.

Another good song is ‘Black Psalm’, the longest on the album, which creates a mixed atmosphere. ‘Necrolust’ is the fast track and, again, it is about sacred sins related to sexual temptation within the Church. Brutal song by the way! To summarize what you can expect from “Prophecies Of Plague”, it is an album which combines all the energy of a Thrash/Death Metal band but with Black Metal arrangements. Sometimes, they even sound like Swedish Melodic Death Metal with obscure Norwegian musical influences.

Throw away your thoughts of silly Satanism subjects and instead, listen to a narration of the obscure histories that have happened inside the sacred temple of god and all the moral and personal conflicts that the people involved with it have suffered. For sure, “Prophecies Of Plague” is a pretty intense album, but with a good power too. Become immersed, musically, and thematically, in a subject that always messes with our minds. Maybe it looks like an old-fashioned theme, but it is still a TRULY relevant theme.

Considering all the restrictions new bands here have with affording a good production, Sacramentia have undoubtedly extracted the best from their musicians. They used a four-track soundboard to record this album, but it is not a bad record, they have just put a good level of rawness into their sound. Nice job!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Scorn Fate
02. Scum
03. In Integrum Pandemonium
04. Black Psalm
05. Silent Sinner
06. Necrolust
07. Crucifiction
08. Falling State ov Mind
09. Ancient
10. Unknown Gods

LINE-UP:
Renan Bezan – Vocals
André Guimarães – Guitar
Guilherme Mendes – Guitar
Guilherme Melo – Bass
Leo Michelazzo – Drums

LINKS:

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.

Onslaught – Generation Antichrist

Onslaught – Generation Antichrist
AFM Records
Release Date: 07/08/2020
Running Time: 37:53
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

I have to confess that writing review introductions is always a kind of nightmare for me. I always try to flee from that usual boring writing that often repeats what we’ve already read on band releases. Therefore, I use the technique of telling some kind of history. Most of the time, it’s related to the band, but not always (again boss, don’t fire me)! But it’s impossible to not tell a true history when Onslaught is the subject. My relationship with Onslaught began on November 17th, 2009. On this day, I saw Onslaught playing in Brasília (the capital of Brazil), the city where I live. Ok, it wasn’t the greatest production and the venue wasn’t as big as the band deserved. But, despite all the issues (that is so typical of Brazilian concert producers), what I saw that day was an insane band on stage! It didn’t matter that it was 2am on a Tuesday or that a lot of chaos happened in a small pub. Onslaught played as if they were in front of a huge festival crowd.

Ok, now let me switch from fan mode to reviewer mode and talk about what matters – “Generation Antichrist”, the new Onslaught album. It’s finally here, after 7 years of non-stop touring since the last one, and with important line-up changes, especially the change of long-time singer Sy Keeler, to David Garnett (also Bull-Riff Stampede). I was full of expectation about what this album would sound like. After listening to the short opening song ‘Rise To Power’, which is full of good melodies and a very intense atmosphere, ‘Strike Fast Strike Hard’ suddenly hits my ears!! And what can I say about it? RIIIIFFFF! Yes, Riff! This was the first word I screamed after listening to this incredible track. What a killer song. Powerful riff and heavy as anything. The purest Onslaught putting their soul and making me bang my head like a teenager hearing Heavy Metal for the first time ever. Make riff, not war. Ok, no more fan mode, I promise 😊.

Luckily, ‘Bow Down To The Clowns’ keeps this sensation going, like I was at a live concert with them playing song after song without taking a breath. The sound is furious! It’s like Nige Rocket is conducting his troop as a lead pilot from a fighter squad, flying supersonic, ready to explode the universe! The riffs and solos, together with his “partner in crime” Wayne Dorman are just incredible. I noticed a couple of differences from their previous sound though. James Perry has a strong groove and hits his kit hard. He also uses good double bass passages to flee from the usual Thrash rhythm drumbeats.

Jeff Williams, who has been playing in the band since their return in 2006, contributes to this groove, too. His highlight is in the last song, ‘A Perfect Day To Die’, with an insane bass intro. This song was previously released last year, with Sy on vocals, and it is perfect to illustrate the difference between both singers. Personally, I felt that David Garnett chose to keep the band’s spirit similar to Sy. Maybe the biggest difference is how fast he can speak in some parts, which offers a good dynamic for vocal interpretations, as you can hear in ‘Religiousuicide’. Actually, everything is fast in this song and shows a different side of Onslaught.

Still talking about the album, the band offers songs with more cadence, like the title song ‘Generation Antichrist’, which also has a strong chorus. ‘Empires Fall’ follows the same idea. Don’t expect anything without heaviness on this album either!

Even though the album’s title could suggest an antichrist theme, I felt that the lyrics are more critical towards how humans use religion to gain power and destroy lives, using religious beliefs to manipulate things. An issue that has been cursing humanity for a long time and it is still a trend and topic full of barbarism.

It feels weird talking about Onslaught, considering I live in a hugely different country to them. But I think they’re a legendary band, not only in England, but worldwide. I also feel like Onslaught has nothing more to prove. No matter what turbulence they live in, they will always offer a killer album. How could I not love it? If you don’t agree, please listen to “Generation Antichrist”. It proves everything I am saying.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Rise To Power
02. Strike Fast Strike Hard
03. Bow Down To The Clowns
04. Generation Antichrist
05. All Seeing Eye
06. Addicted To The Smell Of Death
07. Empires Fall
08. Religiousuicide
09. A Perfect Day To Die (2020 version)

LINE-UP:
Dave Garnett – Vocals
Nige Rockett – Guitar
Wayne Dorman – Guitar
Jeff Williams – Bass
James Perry – Drums

LINKS:

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.

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
8/10

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.

TRACKLISTING:
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:
www.smokeandmirrorsproductions.bandcamp.com/ (All tracks and line-ups)
www.facebook.com/SmokeAndMirrorsProductions/
www.facebook.com/KingofallKlings/
www.instagram.com/kingofallklings/
www.facebook.com/taylor.nordberg.1
www.instagram.com/uncle_teets/

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
8.5/10

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.

TRACKLISTING:
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

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

LINKS:
www.valvera.com.br
www.facebook.com/bandavalvera/
www.instagram.com/valveraband
www.open.spotify.com/artist/3S87lwfQs6K1O1WsQrpPhz
www.deezer.com/artist/8945888
www.youtube.com/valveraoficial
www.brutalrecords.com/

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
9/10

“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.

TRACKLISTING:
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

LINE-UP:
Iron King (lead bass guitar)
Marco Fino (lead vocals & rhythm guitar)
Lord Drum (drums)

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/guardianoflightningofficial
www.twitter.com/GuardianofLigh2
www.instagram.com/guardian_of_lightning_/
www.open.spotify.com/album/5xwjQG0hYDWjNEjOY1bp8A
www.youtube.com/GuardianofLightning
www.eclipserecords.com/release/cosmos-tree-guardian-of-lightning/

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
9/10

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!

TRACKLISTING:
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)

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

LINKS:
www.brutalrecords.com/
www.instagram.com/scars.thrash/
www.facebook.com/scars.thrash/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCVxq9GLRKzsP5CnZ8GcEisw
www.open.spotify.com/artist/4FCGqzVWLxkupz86e6bhgJ

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.