Amorphia – Merciless Strike

Amorphia – Merciless Strike
Awakening Records
Date: 15/01/2020
Running Time: 36:04
Review by Victor Augusto
8.5/10

Once again, I’m astonished to see how far Heavy Metal music can go around the world. Recently, I reviewed a band from Bangladesh, and I talked about how if access to information through the internet didn’t exist, we probably would never know about smaller bands from many places around the world, and now here I am, finding another amazing band! This time, it’s a band from India, pretty much next door to Bangladesh, called Amorphia! The thing that impressed me most about them is how they display a very experienced kind of style, that I would associate with a band on their third or fourth album release, living in a country where their music is popular, and the Heavy Metal scene is strong. Actually, it’s only the band’s second album! But from what I can see, they’ve been received well by the critics since their first release.

Eighties Old School Thrash Metal. Yes, this definition mostly definitely is Amorphia’s music. On first listen, I felt like I had travelled back to the days when I listened to old German releases like Kreator or Sodom. To be more specific, if you took the war theme disgraces that Sodom talked about, Tom Angelripper’s singing style, and the guitar technique of Kreator, you’d probably get something similar to Amorphia. Their track, ‘Upcoming Terror’, is a perfect example of this. Of course, this is just a reference to help you picture the band’s spirit. There are many more influences, from all the old school Thrash Metal bands.

Some songs, like ‘Radiation Overdose’, which is my favorite track from the album, make you imagine the concept from the lyrics. It’s political criticism about the traumas and consequences of war, and it got me thinking that this theme is still important to reflect upon, even though bands have been using these kind of lyrics for decades, because all these political issues are still happening around the world.

What we have here is a short album with all songs in the same cadence, just exploring different techniques on drums, or solos. Vasu Chandran’s riffs are amazing and responsible for bringing the heaviness to the music. I liked the bass lines from Faizaan Mecci, and they’re not hidden behind the guitar wall. They create interesting structures that are independent from the rest of the sound. Vivek Prasad plays linear fast rhythms throughout the album and uses a lot of drum loops to make the music interesting. The snare drum sound is loud and it gave me the sense hearing Amorphia at a concert.

As I said before, all tracks have similar structures and are amazing, but the album’s title track ‘Merciless Strike’ is a bit different. This song chooses faster drum passages with double bass and explores faster guitar picking. That amazing independent bass line that I talked about by Faizaan Mecci is present in this song. It is, probably, the most complete song from the album.

“Merciless Strike”is just the band’s second album and Amorphia shows the maturity of a much more experienced band who live on the road and have many albums released. I have no idea if Thrash Metal is a popular genre in India to inspire new bands to play as well as Amorphia, but I can assure you that this is a pure Old School Thrash Metal album, with good production that sounds aggressive, but with a clear sonority at the same time!

TRACKLISTING:
1. Death Zone
2. Judgement Day
3. Merciless Strike
4. Mutants’ Rise
5. Upcoming Terror
6. Radiation Overdose
7. Martian Law
8. Blazing Glares

LINE-UP:
Faizaan Mecci – Bass, Backing Vocals
Vivek Prasad – Drums
Vasu Chandran – Vocals, Guitars

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/Amorphiathrash/
www.instagram.com/amorphia_thrash/
www.twitter.com/AmorphiaI
www.amorphiathrash.bandcamp.com/
www.youtu.be/Wn5CgVoS2UA

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.

Eternal Armageddon – In Light In Dark In Hate

Eternal Armageddon – In Light In Dark In Hate
Self-Released
Release Date: 10/04/2020
Running Time: 33:00
Review by Victor Augusto
8/10

I know the music industry can be very unfair sometimes. Actually, it’s been unfair for a long time, and since the change from CD/LPs to MP3, and now digital streaming, some things have got worse. Probably for mainstream bands, this radical change was tough, forcing them to work much harder to earn the amount of money they were used to. Labels had to reformulate their distribution methods, and some (big and small) went bankrupt. However, if this technology, and information access didn’t exist, we probably would never know about smaller bands from many places around the world. And I bet that this amazing band from Dhaka, in Bangladesh, would have been in that ‘unknown’ category for me. Sometimes bad things can bring good results.

As always, I like to think about my first impression when I hear the first song from any band I’m about to review. My initial thought, before listening to Eternal Armageddon was, “Ok, I will review a Black Metal one”, but I was partially wrong. The band’s music is essentially Thrash Metal, even if that’s not what their sound is aiming for. Are you confused?! I was too when I heard it! I don’t mean that the band has a confusing sonority, but that their riff structure is similar to Thrash Metal. The main difference is that everything is arranged in a Black Metal style. Guitar, bass and vocals are pure Black Metal, but playing in a Thrash Metal way.

Lyrically, they explore the issues that come with religion when it’s used as political power to manipulate people, and other sickness. From what I could understand, I didn’t hear silly Anti-Christian themes that run through traditional Black Metal bands, but a way of criticizing the dark side of religion, and not the faith itself. On the other hand, they just elucidate obscure themes in songs such as ‘Hazam the Black Reaper’. I hope I am right in my perspective!

The opening song ‘Black Thrash Bastards’ leaves no doubts about the fusion of Thrash and Black Metal, both by the name and in the music. Good riffs from ‘Turag’, with some breaks on the cadence, and a very raw vocal by ‘Abrar’. There’s a break on this track and the bass of ‘Abrar’ restarts the song slowly, and it grows until they return with all devastation. ‘Rashik’ chooses a fast cadence, but not as extreme as some Black Metal bands play. As you can see, I’m describing Thrash Metal elements, but you need to imagine all of it in an obscure way. All the tracks have a similar structure, with a mix of fast paced songs like ‘No Lord Above’ and slower ones such as the closing song, ‘Satanic Whispers ‘, but all are heavy and obscure.

Maybe this kind of mix of styles is nothing new. Actually, if you listen to what Sodom have been playing since the eighties, it’s similar to what Eternal Armageddon are doing now. If you toke Sodom’s music, changed the war themes from the lyrics, and put in an Abbath vocal style, Eternal Armageddon is what you would end up with. Sometimes the band put more technique on compositions. One example of this is, ‘Obey To None’, which is my favorite track of the album.

Now, I’m usually a Thrash Metal Lover but not so much of a fan of Black Metal. But, the union of these two genres in Eternal Armageddon’s sound gives a good balance, allowing me listen to it without getting tired or fed up. “In Light In Dark In Hate” is brutal, heavy and obscure at the same time, and if that sounds like something you’d like, give it a listen.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Black Thrash Bastards
2. Hate Reincarnated
3. Hazam The Black Reaper
4. In Light In Dark In Hate
5. No Lord Above
6. Obey To None
7. Satanic Whispers

LINE-UP:
Abrar – Vocal and Bass
Turag – Guitar
Rashik – Drums

LINKS:
www.eternalarmageddon.bandcamp.com/album/in-light-in-dark-in-hate
www.facebook.com/Eternalarmageddon
www.instagram.com/eternal_armageddon
www.youtube.com/channel/UCjj7JAO4FEzhepSTMzPp2CQ
www.open.spotify.com/album/7K6vNCiVRZAsXlV25FOUyE

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.

Validor – In Blood In Battle 2020

Validor – In Blood In Battle 2020
Symmetric Records
Date: 06/04/2020
Running Time: 48:32
Review by Victor Augusto
8/10

There is a question I often ask myself and it is ‘what makes an album strong or remarkable?’ Of course, there are many possible explanations and I wouldn’t dare try to explain something, so complicated, that I don’t know the answer to, but I have some opinions/points of view as a fan of Metal. When I picked Validor’s “In Blood In Battle album to review, I had no idea who they were or where they were from, I just knew that they played Epic Power/Classic Heavy Metal. It is always complicated to analyse this style after hearing so many incredible bands from the eighties who were the first to play this genre and then all the others that have appeared since, making this music massive. I was afraid that I was going to have mixed feelings, happy to hear the genre that was the first one I loved but also worried that I would hear ‘more of the same’.

Validor are a Greek band and while they prepare their fourth album, they decided to also give the correct value to their debut, which had a small budget, and re-record the ‘spine’ of it (guitars, bass and drums), whilst leaving the original vocals and guitar solos to preserve the band’s spirit from 2011, when the original record was released. As I said before, I’ve never heard Validor’s music, so my initial impressions are based on a partly re-recorded debut album. It is absolutely full of passion and anger which is even better than just playing well or creating incredible solos, at least for me! I am tired of releases, full of musicians, just trying to be faster than the speed of light or the most technical in the world. Validor provide emotion.

The first song ‘The Riddle Of Steel’ has a kind of Celtic acoustic intro with a beautiful clean voice that reminded me of my favourite singer of all time, Mr. Eric Adams from Manowar, who used to sing beautifully in this way. As the music gets fast and heavier, it is possible to hear all of Validor’s influences emerging. Classic metal like Manowar and Judas Priest are combined with heavier bands such as Iced Earth and Blind Guardian. Maybe , as this is Validor’s first album, these influences are more apparent, as they hadn’t yet found their own identity, but it is impressive how they work so well together.

One thing that makes me love a band or song is when they put emotion and interpretation into their music, no matter the concept or subject. Riffs that make you bang your head or pick an invisible guitar unconsciously are a good sign of this and the songs ‘Stealer Of Souls’ and ‘The Dark Tower’ are perfect examples. It is amazing how incredibly beautiful the guitars, bass and solo variations are. They really put everything into these tracks, and it is a masterclass of how to play good power metal full of feeling and energy.

A few songs, like ‘Through The Storm’, bring a more melodic influence to the fore, similar to Helloween, but if you want to hear real heaviness then a song like ‘Wrath Of Steel’ is a good example, once again, there is an Iced Earth influence, which gives value to the riffs and aggressiveness. Another highlight is the last, and title, track ‘In Blood In Battle’ where the band combine all these elements together, it is a complete song.

This, partially re-recorded, reissue is a good way to understand the seeds of Validor’s music. You can hear the pure and genuine influences! It is maybe a little bit raw, but it is enough to understand their capability. After hearing the album, I imagine how they are playing now they have become a more experienced band. I intend to find out and I recommend you do so too!

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Riddle Of Steel
02. Sword Of Vengeance
03. The Last Emperor
04. Stealer Of Souls
05. Through The Storm
06. The Dark Tower
07. Stormbringer
08. Wrath Of Steel
09. In Blood In Battle

LINE-UP:
Odi Thunderer – Vocals, Guitar
Bob Katsionis – Lead Guitar, Bass and Keyboards
Apollo Giannoulis – Drums and Classical Percussion

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/validor.gr/
www.validor.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/symmetricrecords

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.

Interview with Raphael Olmos and Isabela Moraes of Kamala

Interview with Raphael Olmos and Isabela Moraes of Kamala
By Victor Augusto

Hi everyone, it’s Rick,

Our man in Brazil, Victor, recently got the chance to interview Brazilian Thrash Metallers Kamala! It’s about time that some of these hardworking and very professional bands got a chance to shine outside of their homeland, and in Kamala’s case, Mainland Europe is starting to take notice. I shall now hand you over to Victor and would like to thank, not only him, but Raphael and Isabela for this interview

Keeping a Heavy Metal band alive demands a lot of work and struggle, especially in countries where this genre is not a popular one, and this work in very honorable. Against all the odds, Brazilian Thrash Metal band Kamala, after 17 years on road, has been growing fast in the last few years, especially in Europe. Their singer/guitarist Raphael Olmos, along with drummer Isabela Moraes, explain how they conquered it and the next step for their upcoming album.

Victor: Please. Introduce yourself and tell us when you started to play your instruments and what made you want to create Kamala.

Isabela: Hi, I am Isabela Moraes, drummer for almost 14 years. I have loved this instrument since childhood, because I have a cousin that plays drums too, but I started to learn properly at 15 years old, when my older sister gave me my first drumsticks.

Raphael: Hey, I am Raphael Olmos, guitarist, vocalist and founding member of Kamala.

I started to play when I was 13 years old, after watch the VHS “…a year and a half” by Metallica, I knew that I wanted to be a professional musician when I was 15/16 years old.

And I created Kamala when I was 18 years old…to make the music and the band that I wanted to listen to as a metalhead.

Victor: Since the early days, Kamala showed a different concept, when playing Thrash Metal. The Oriental visuals and sounds have been present in your music since that time. Why did you create this concept for the band?

Raphael: Kamala was born in 2003, and when I created, I wanted to make a band that mixed the heaviness and the energy of metal, with beautiful oriental visuals and melodies…and positive lyrics.

The world is already too negative, and as an artist, when we release a song or an album, we have the responsibility for each person that is connected with the band… I am not talking about religion but, for me, the oriental culture influence is more about the energy stuff, and it is really something that I admire.

Victor: In 2012, Kamala released the third, and the bands last album, with two guitar players in the line-up, “The Seven Deadly Chakras”, and since “Mantra” album (2015); you are in a trio formation. What has been the biggest change in Kamala’s sonority?

Raphael: The biggest change for me, is the way we turned more thrash metal, and more organic. The string tuning turned from drop B to drop D, and the riffs was more ‘IN YOUR FACE! As a trio, we wanted to create something that we can play live, so we need to be better musicians and explore within ourselves the most intricate (that is possible to us) playing, whilst maintaining a strong presence on stage.

Victor: It is rare to find underground bands really fighting to be professional or that want to have a life on road. It demands that the members give up their regular jobs, and live far from family and friends, and you have been on this path since 2014, when the line-up changed to a power trio. How hard was it to find people like Allan Malavasi and Isabela Moraes that had the same desire to make Kamala a famous band?

Raphael: We still have side jobs, but the main point is the band, because the band is getting bigger and bigger, and we need to make more international tours, for example, to spend more time on the road…and a band like us, needs to have all the members with the same objective, to make that happen. Many people wish to live by playing music, but they don’t live for the music, you know. Playing well, is the minimum thing to have as a professional band, but there are many others points to look out for when you share your time and energy with other musicians.

Victor: Kamala has been touring a lot in Europe since the “Mantra” album. Nowadays, you often have more concerts scheduled in Europe than in Brazil. How did the band conquer this space in Europe?

Isabela: I think this happens because we have frequent release of new material, so this creates some expectations to watch the band in action and this opens some doors to showcase our work. We always try to be the most professional that we can in all stages of our jobs within the band. For example, on every tour, we make a specific set-list presentation for every single gig, all the things that we need to speak and songs that we will play in a 40 min, 60 min or 90 min set. We try to be always prepared for any situation on stage…

Victor: From all the countries you play in Europe, France is the one that has showed a true passion for the band. I remember in 2018, when you released your last studio album “Eyes of Creation”, some journalists, who were working at Hellfest, said that they lost the count of how many people they saw wearing Kamala t-shirts in the crowd. Do you know why Kamala became so huge in France?

Raphael: Yeahhh, this is fucking amazing! No, we never expected to be so big in France, and on our first European tour, in 2013, the crowd was a little “cold”…but we returned in 2015 and, since then, we fell in love with France and the French people with our art! Every European tour, we play in France, and in 2016 we made a full French tour…playing every type of gig that you can imagine, and the energy is always AWESOME!

Victor: Recently, some endorsements have appeared and you, Raphael, have become part of the Solar guitars (Sweden) and Evertune (USA) family. How did it happen, and do you think the fact that the band has been playing a lot outside of Brazil helped with the endorsement deals?

Raphael: For sure, being in a Brazilian band, that is constantly touring outside Brazil, helped to open the “eyes and ears” of both brands.

So, besides really good visual stuff, a band with a lot of shows per year and good social media numbers is important and all those points I think were important to brands that I dreamed of and loved. It turns out that these are the brands that trust and believe in my art and work. It is something that I’m really proud of it!

Victor: Kamala has recently released its first live album called “Live in France”. You recorded this during the last Kamala’s show of the sixth European tour, in October of last year and released it in December, just 2 months after the show. How did you decide on that and how was the process to record it?

Isabela: Actually, we didn’t know that we would be recorded, we just knew that the owner of the venue planned to make a live broadcast of our concert on Facebook.

And we were really tight because it was our last gig on this tour. We played and when we were done, he told us that he had recorded our performance in multitrack…It was a big surprise for all of us when we listened. The sound was amazing and in that same moment, we decided to use this material!

Victor: The band has already started the process of recording the new album. What could we expect from the music on this album and when will you release it?

Isabela: The new album is done and ready. Now, with this pandemic situation, we are waiting for a better moment to release, but the album is really beautiful, and the songs are powerful, with intense lyrics, heavy riffs and too much groove. We loved the result and we are extremely excited to show it to all of you.

Victor: I have to say, it is so impressive how Kamala have become so huge in Brazil and in Europe without any label support. Everything you do is independent. Pure work! Do you feel that now is the right time to have one big label help you reach the next level, for example playing European festivals?

Raphael: Yes…a loooooooot of work! And for sure, we feel that we are ready for this next level, to sign with a good international label, play in summer European festivals and make full tours supporting bigger bands. We have lived all the tests through these years, and we know that with a label, the KAMALA name will become bigger and bigger, because a label searches for a band that can be on the road many days/months per year, to promote the releases, and we work a lot for this too!

Victor: Thanks a lot, and please use this space to leave a message.

Isabela: Thanks, one more time, for all the support and opportunity. It is always a pleasure to be part of this. Thanks to all the fans around the world, who have followed us all these years. Stay at home, be safe and healthy. Soon we will be together to bang our heads!!

LINE-UP:
Raphael Olmos – Vocals and Guitar
Allan Malavasi – Vocals and bass
Isabela Moraes – Drums

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/kamalaofficial
www.youtube.com/user/kamalaofficial
www.instagram.com/kamalaofficial/
open.spotify.com/artist/5mbUdP134DvKlRFr4AhsHO

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

Lost Legacy – In The Name Of Freedom

Lost Legacy – In The Name Of Freedom
Pure Steel Records
Release Date: 20/03/2020
Running Time: 45:46
Review by Victor Augusto
8/10

It’s not rare that I find myself analysing a band on the album cover art and the title songs names before I hear anything of their music. I must confess that I thought New York based Lost Legacy was a religious themed band, or their chosen subject was historical wars with religion involved. Maybe because the cover art reminded me of something sacred. Well, I wasn’t totally wrong, considering the main band’s theme is war, but the album’s concept is about soldiers sent to fight, not only in your country, but in others as well.

The lyrics don’t mention enemies, neither support any political side, but it is possible to hear parts mentioning situations like defending other nations against tyranny. It could be dangerous being easily misunderstood by the radical defenders of any political sides. But If you’re not like that, you will realise that the main idea of Lost Legacy’s lyrics is an interpretation of all the suffering these soldiers live through during war. From the fear of being in a battle you hear in ‘Front Line’, to a personal question of a warrior – if he will be remembered if he dies – in the beautiful song, ‘Will You Remember’.

It is important to highlight that the album is a phenomenal interpretation by the band. Imagine classic Heavy Metal or Power Metal, but change everything they perfectly interpret about power, steel, dragons and sword, to bombs, guns, death and all the trauma war can cause.

Musically, the band has an important differential in their sonority. Mainly, it is Classic Heavy Metal, but also with Power Metal elements, and they have vocal lines that remind me of Warrel Dane (R.I.P.). For me, the main goal of Lost Legacy is to not talk about the old-fashioned themes of Classic Metal bands, nor repeat things that Power Metal bands do all the time (constant double bass, high vocal screams all the time, etc.). However, if you are not a fan of Nevermore because you think Warrel Dane’s voice is too repetitive, despite being incredibly good, please, meet Mr. David Franco. Good voice and not repetitive or massive.

I must congratulate the guitarists Jorge Pulido and Scott Bennett for the great solos and riffs. Jochen Witllinger also does an amazing job to follow them on bass and AJ Spinelli provides incredible drum lines too, with plenty of variation. But the beautiful piano in the opening song ‘Rise To Glory’ shows the beautiful side of Lost Legacy’s music.

‘My Faith’ is a good song to represent the band’s sonority. ‘In The Name Of Freedom’ explores more fast guitar riffs and solos but, as I said before, everything happens without being massive or repetitive. The guitar work in ‘Take Me Away’ is very similar to Accept in style. All tracks could be considered highlights, but I did really enjoy ‘Enough Is Enough’ for the catchy riffs and heaviness.

“In the Name of Freedom” is an intense album that carries the dramas and feelings of a subject that people think is beautiful in movies but is completely full of pain for those who have to live it. Even though it is only the band’s second release, the experience of being on the road for 22 years has definitely helped them to record an amazing album.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Rise To Glory
02. My Faith
03. Front Line
04. In The Name Of Freedom
05. Take Me Away
06. Enough Is Enough
07. Will You Remember
08. Rules Of Engagement

LINE-UP:
David Franco – Vocals
Jochen Witllinger – Bass
Jorge Pulido – Guitars
Scott Bennett – Guitars
AJ Spinelli – Drums

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/LostLegacyNY
www.instagram.com/lost_legacy_ny/
twitter.com/LostLegacyNY
open.spotify.com/artist/0ksHjNFgRbn8BWkntku7es
www.youtube.com/user/puresteelrecords

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.

Antipope – Apostle Of Infinite Joy

Antipope – Apostle Of Infinite Joy
Fertile Crescent Productions
Release Date: 21/02/2020
Running Time: 44:46
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

Once again, I have decided to navigate through unknown seas, this time going deeper into the world of Gothic music. As I used to say before writing something about a genre that I don’t listen to often, my apologies to the band and fans if I’ve written something wrong, but I’ll do my best to express how amazing I have found the Finnish band, Antipope.

My first impression on hearing this album for the first time was that it was like travelling back in time to 1995 and listen to “The Gallery” by Dark Tranquillity. I could feel some influences from them, especially on a few of the guitar harmonies of Antti J. Karjalainen. However, Antipope’s music goes further than Melodic Death Metal sonority, making it just an (good) Influence, not a carbon copy. The atmosphere created by the band along the melodies is really paradoxical, because the music is a mix of dark and depressive sounds, but the melodies bring happiness to it. Maybe it’s got me confused, but it is what I felt.

The opening track, ‘Harbinger Of Dawn’, demonstrates what I am saying – with clean notes before all the heaviness appears. The great drum lines of Tuska E. help to give a good cadence. At this point, it was simply Melodic Death Metal that came to my mind. But then, ‘Natural Born Heretic’ appears, exploring speed and fast tempos, but you’d be mistaken for thinking that all the melodies and technique would be left behind because of this. They weren’t. And what a great solo from Antti J. Karjalainen in this song, too.

My second impression of Antipope appeared in ‘Intoxicating Darkness’. After a great bass intro from Joni Tauriainen, I felt some Doom influence in the way Mikko Myllykangas sings. This Doom Influence increases with the title track, throughout its seven-minute track time, displaying many variations. Maybe some Blackened Death influences are present in this song too. What I can assure is that even though it’s 7 minutes long, this song is so amazing that you won’t realize the time flying.

The violent side of Antipope returns in ‘Red Goddess’ and ‘Venereal Ritual For Dispersion And Reintegration Of The Soul’ even though the last one has a few slow parts. ‘Serpent Of Old’ is not as fast, but it’s definitely heavy with a good focus on riffing. The closing song ‘0=2’ is a kind of mix of everything you’ve heard so far from Antipope’s music.

As I said before, I am not the most knowledgeable person to talk about the genres I mentioned, but my impression was that Antipope don’t get stuck in only one style. “Apostle Of Infinite Joy” is a lesson in technique and has brilliant compositions. Antipope put in the best of all the styles that have influenced them, and offer a good balance between heaviness and dense atmosphere. The final result is nothing less than an amazing record. For sure, it is one of the best releases of 2020.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Harbinger of Dawn
02. Natural Born Heretic
03. Intoxicating Darkness
04. Apostle Of Infinite Joy
05. Red Goddess
06. Venereal Ritual for Dispersion and Reintegration of the Soul
07. Serpent of Old
08. 0=2

LINE-UP:
Mikko Myllykangas – Vocals
Joni Tauriainen – Bass
Antti J. Karjalainen – Guitars
Tuska E. – Drums

LINKS:
www.antipope.info
www.facebook.com/Antipope/
www.twitter.com/antipope_band
www.instagram.com/antipope_band/
www.spotify.com/album/45X0a6O6ELJNZl0aAt0WJI
www.youtube.com/channel/UCwjQceSCS0gQJZrHeDVBmkQ

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.

Hazzerd – Delirium

Hazzerd – Delirium
M-Theory Audio
Release Date: 24/01/2019
Running Time: 48:57
Review by Victor Augusto
8/10

“You just have to listen to 30 seconds of a Hazzerd song to love this band!”. Yes, I wrote something like that when I reviewed the previous album, “Misleading Evil”, from Canadian Thrash Metal band Hazzerd, back in 2017. Three years later, and the band are still showing something impressive with their new offering, “Delirium”. Now, listening more carefully to their music, I think the band’s secret is their pure passion for Thrash Metal. Maybe it sounds silly, but I am really being serious. If you have a chance, watch any Hazzerd video live, and listen to this album, and you would understand what I am saying. It is not a matter of playing faster than the speed of light, or being the most technical musician in the world, but a matter of putting in your feelings and playing with passion.

The guitar work from Toryin Schadlich and Brendan Malycky is the first thing you hear on this album, with great harmonies that open ‘Sacrifice Them (In The Name Of God)’. I must confess that their solos, and some of the bass lines remind me of traditional Heavy Metal!

Some of the melodies have a bit of Judas Priest combined with bands like Megadeth or Anthrax. David Sprague creates intriguing funky bass lines throughout, but he has his highlight moments, such as the introduction part of ‘Victim Of A Desperate Mind’ or in ‘Illuminated Truth’, which bring to mind Cliff Burton lines from old Metallica.

The excellent work on the instrumental song ‘Call Of The Void’ brings in 80’s NWOBHM influences, with an Iron Maiden sonority. My favorite song is definitely ‘Waking Nightmare’. It is a real mix – a bluesy intro, again reminding me of Maiden songs like ‘Remember Tomorrow’, but with a hard punch similar to Overkill.

I also have to confess that I hadn’t realized the line-up until I watched a video of the band recently. But when I saw Dylan Westendorp playing drums and singing, I became an even bigger fan of the band. It is incredible how he can play so insanely and create difficult vocal lines with a mix of aggressiveness and melodic sounds.

The melancholic instrumental ‘The End’ closes the album and again Hazzerd show why they are an incredible band. Heavy sounds with plenty of good influences mixed and distilled into amazing Thrash Metal. It is no surprise that “Delirium” is being played on Heavy Metal radios stations around the world. It is definitely an incredible album.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Sacrifice Them (In The Name Of God)
02. A Tormented Reality
03. Sanctuary For The Mad
04. Victim Of A Desperate Mind
05. Call Of The Void
06. Dead In The Shed
07. Illuminated Truth
08. Waking Nightmare
09. The Decline

10. The End (Outro)

LINE-UP:
Toryin Schadlich – Guitars
Dylan Westendorp – Drums and Lead Vocals
David Sprague – Bass
Brendan Malycky – Guitars

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/HazzerdThrash
www.instagram.com/hazzerdthrash/
www.hazzerdthrash.bandcamp.com/
www.youtube.com/user/TheParanormal4
www.spotify.com/artist/1U9J6D5J0m5B8R48KzUyOs

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.

Andralls – Bleeding For Thrash

Andralls – Bleeding For Thrash
MDD Records
Release Date: 19/10/2019
Running Time: 36:58
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

I am not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to telling you what makes a band so respected by its fans, respect like Brazilian Thrash Metal band Andralls receive after 22 years on the road. Of course, with so many years struggling in a country which focusses on a very different musical culture from Heavy Metal, it is normal that Andralls has lived through difficult times, but it looks like all problems they have faced have helped them to get stronger and “Bleeding For Thrash”, their sixth studio album, is a good example of what I am saying.

After a short hiatus, the band returned with vocalist/guitarist Alex Coelho and everything looked good for the writing/recording of the next album, except for the fact that Alex was diagnosed with thyroid cancer during the process. He was incapable of singing for a few months, but he won this fight and finally Andralls have delivered an insane album that makes the seven years of waiting, since last album “Breakneck” was released in 2012, worth it.

Playing fast and heavy is the band’s trademark, maintaining focus on a good cadence, being not too fast or slow, just at a good Speed (Metal) to value the riff. The opening song ‘We Are the Only Ones’ is enough to understand Andralls’ sonority. Some interesting details make the album even more attractive like the song ‘Andralls on Fire, Pt. III’ which is full of references, in the lyrics, to the band’s old songs. The composition and lyrics of ‘Legion’ are a tribute to Brazilian Death Metal band Rebaelliun who had Fabiano Penna as the main composer, he was also part of Andralls line-up in the past. What the band could never imagine is that the song would become a tribute to Fabiano, as he passed away in 2018. Also, the instrumental song ‘27*02*18,’ which finishes the main album, is another tribute to Fabiano and this song title refers to the day he died (27/02/2018).

‘Acid Rain’ is a cover song for the Brazilian band Subtera and the track ‘Noiséthrash’ is much slower and breaks the sequence of fast songs. Vocals are delivered in a speech like manner and they talk about the union and passion of life among crazy Metalheads who share the same passion about music. The word Noiséthrash is a pun in Portuguese (Nois é Thrash) that is informal jargon for “We Are Thrash”. It is also a pun for Noise and Thrash, in English. Very clever, well done Andralls!

The album has two bonus live songs, recorded during SWR Barrosselas Metalfest in 2018. One is the opening song from this album that shows that Alex’s voice is still the same before and after his battle with cancer and ‘Fear Is My Ally’, originally recorded on the “Inner Trauma” album (2005), which shows the old Andralls and how the new songs keep that same spirit alive.

“Bleeding For Thrash” is more than a good Thrash Metal album. It shows a band full of passion and who are still very important to the Brazilian scene, even after so many years on the road. Welcome back Andralls, the kings of Fasthrash*.

*Jargon used by the band to define their sound. Fast and Thrash!

TRACKLISTING:
01. We Are the Only Ones
02. Andralls On Fire, Pt. III
03. 64 Bullets
04. Bleeding for Thrash
05. Legion
06. Noiséthrash
07. After Apocalypse
08. Imminent Cancer
09. Acid Rain – Fasthrash Version (Subtera Cover)
10. On Fire
11. 27*02*18
12. We Are The Only Ones (Live At SWR Barrosselas Metalfest 2018)
13. Fear Is My Ally (Live At SWR Barrosselas Metalfest 2018)

LINE-UP:
Alex Coelho – Vocals and Guitars
Felipe Freitas – Bass
Alexandre Brito – Drums

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/andrallsfasthrash
www.instagram.com/andrallsfasthrash/
www.youtube.com/user/andrallsclassico
www.spotify.com/album/24L9FAmImFnOFknphaYBH6

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.

HellgardeN – Making Noise, Living Fast

HellgardeN – Making Noise, Living Fast
Brutal Records
Date: 10/04/2020
Running Time: 34:27
Review by Victor Augusto
7.5/10

Many bands could seem to be totally unknown or new when they appear with a first release, but some work extremely hard before this first step to increase the expectations and anticipation of their first recorded release. Brazilian thrashers HellgardeN are a great example of this. They have been making noise and living fast for a few years, and I had the privilege of seeing them live before hearing this album, so I am one of those people who waited eagerly to hear it.

On the subject of all things that any band must plan and prepare before entering the studio, I have to mention the production of this album. It pleased me. It is raw, but good at the same time, and is refreshing, as there are plenty of albums sounding over digitalized and soulless. The distorted vocals and few guitar effects reminded me a little of Crust/Grindcore bands, just in terms of arrangements.

So, let me talk about the music. The Thrash Metal of HellgardeN has a lot of excitement in compositions and uses many good tempo variations to avoid repetition. So far, nothing new from what a good band in this genre must play. Guitarist, Caick Gabriel, does a great job with good riffs. Diego Pascuci screams a lot, and the mix makes his voice blend very well with all the other instruments. Guilherme Biondo has good bass lines which complement Caick’s guitar work and Drummer, Matheus Barreiros had the hard work to brake and change all cadences. In my opinion, his work, together with Caick are the highlights in the music and they create a good sonority with groove.

All the songs are good, but a couple stand out for me. ‘Evolution or Destruction’ shows the band’s ability to create catchy riffs. ‘Brainwash’ is my favorite due to the straight structure and more aggressive riffs. The album’s title track ‘Making Noise, Living Fast’ has a good bass sound opening it, as well as a good chorus, and lyrics that express the band’s spirit. ‘Possessed By Noise’ follows the same idea, but this last one has a fast and amazing ending to close the album.

Now, I should say what has worried me about HellgardeN’s music, and what I haven’t enjoyed since my first listening. Between many bands that have inspired them, probably Pantera is the strongest influence and it could be a problem. Of course, Pantera are a legendary group and I don’t need to explain why, even if anyone who is reading this review doesn’t like them. The problem is not being influenced by them, but when you sound exactly the same, like a copy sometimes, it could be dangerous. I will mention just two songs to enlighten what I am saying. The first one is ‘Spit on Hypocrisy’, with almost the same riff and cadence from ‘A New Level’. The second one and worst offender is ‘Fuck the Consequences’, that is totally like ‘Fucking Hostile’. Even Phil Anselmo’s counting (one, two, three, four) to open the song is identical on HellgardeN’s version.

Of course, I love to hear Pantera and everything that reminds me of them, but not when it sounds like a cover band. Probably this similarity will help them to conquer a few fans, as we all miss this important band since they quit almost 20 years ago, and a reunion is becoming (or has already become) almost impossible, after everything that’s happened during this time. But in my opinion, if HellgardeN are working on having a longer career, they must look for their own identity; this similarity will not work. Worse than that, the band could suffer by gaining the title of “Pantera Cover Band” and making this disappear, even when they create their own identity, could be hard. Considering that band’s members are working hard to be professional (different from most Brazilian underground bands, by the way) I think it is a subject to pay attention to.

However, it is not the end of the world (right, COVID 19?). The band did an amazing job for a first release and I can assure that you are going to have exciting concerts with these guys exploding with energy on stage. If you like powerful shows, just grab a beer and go to see them. The main thing here is that “Making Noise, Living Fast” shows a band hungry for blood with a great sound, great cover art, and it’s easy to listen to. Enjoy it!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Spit On Hypocrisy
02. Evolution Or Destruction
03. Learned To Play Dirty
04. Fuck The Consequences
05. Brainwash
06. Making Noise, Living Fast
07. Believe In Yourself Or Die
08. Possessed By Noise

LINE-UP:
Diego Pascuci – Vocals
Caick Gabriel Cavallari – Guitars
Matheus Barreiros – Drums
Guilherme Biondo – Bass

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/OfficialHellgardeN/
www.instagram.com/officialhellgarden
www.twitter.com/HellgardeNbr
www.spotify.com/artist/5TaQEYrbgw7mdKGtVNI2ye
www.youtube.com/channel/UClHK28vwf-Kkavveir7AhoA

Photo by Thiago Victal II

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.

Semblant – Obscura

Semblant – Obscura
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 06/03/2020
Running Time: 48:44
Review by Victor Augusto
8/10

Before I start my review, I must apologize to fans of Gothic Metal if I make any mistakes during this review. I must confess that I had no idea what kind of music Semblant played when I picked this album for listening. I didn’t even realize they were Brazilian. I don’t want you to think I had a bad impression of this album, it’s just a matter of talking about a genre that I am not so familiar with. However, let me cut my smooth talk and continue to what really matters, the band’s third full-length album “Obscura”.

Semblant are not a new band, they have been together for almost 15 years. When I heard this album for the first time, I got the impression that this was an experienced band that knows exactly what they are doing, and I was correct. Considering that I’m not a follower of Gothic/Dark Metal, I will try to express my feelings as an ordinary listener.

Here is something inspired by the great Swedish Melodic Death metal bands from the nineties, but not so melancholic in style. The guitar work is excellent, but it explores riffs and solos in a more simplistic way, as you can hear in the track ‘Barely Breathing’, always having the bass to support the heaviness. The impression I get is that the keyboards of J. Augusto are a bit hidden in the music and it surprises me because, when I hear the term Gothic Metal, intense and loud keyboards are the first thing that come to my mind. Drummer Welyntom Sikora follows the rhythmical guitars and strongly explores double kicks throughout the album, but without many cadence changes.

I won’t say that the vocals are the highlight, but it feels, to me, that the compositions are built using them and the final mix sees both singers ahead of the other instruments, except the drums. The vocals consist of the powerful female voice of Mizuho Lin and the guttural male voice of Sergio Mazul. Mizuho explores her high range with great melody while Sergio uses different kinds of screams, but they complement each other excellently. Both have the perfect amount of time to use their voices. As I said before, my impression is that the creation of the music was built entirely around their voices.

The album has basically the same structure throughout with the duets of vocals, double kicks, fast guitars and bass, but there are a few segments which differ, for instance, on the track ‘Wallachia’ that uses a more operatic approach vocally and slightly Black Metal arrangements within the riffs, the ballad ‘Daydream Tragedy’ which surprised me with clean male vocals and slow cadence followed by guitars without distortion, while the opera style vocals return on final track ‘Insomnia’ where a few solos are reminiscent of Tom Morello in style.

Dark and Gothic Metal are styles far beyond my knowledge, but thinking impartially, Semblant come across as a professional and very consistent band that know exactly what they want from their music. They are Heavy, direct and don’t tire you with complex arrangements. This probably explains why “Obscura is such a good album and Semblant have conquered legions of fans around the world during their career.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Murder Of Crows
02. Left Behind
03. Dethrone The Gods, Control The Masters (Legacy Of Blood Pt. IV)
04. Mere Shadow
05. Porcelain
06. The Hunter, The Hunger (Legacy Of Blood Pt. V)
07. Wasteland
08. Barely Breathing
09. Wallachia
10. Daydream Tragedy
11. Insomnia (Bonus Track)

LINE-UP:
J. Augusto – Keyboards
Sergio Mazul – Vocals (male)
Mizuho Lin – Vocals (female)
Juliano Ribeiro – Guitars
Welyntom “Thor” Sikora – Drums
Johann Piper – Bass

LINKS:
www.semblant.com.br
www.facebook.com/semblantband
www.instagram.com/semblantofficial
www.youtube.com/OfficialSemblant
www.twitter.com/bandasemblant

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.