Moonscape – Entity, Chapter II: Echoes From A Cognitive Dystopia

Entity, Chapter II: Echoes From A Cognitive Dystopia Album Art

Moonscape – Entity, Chapter II: Echoes From A Cognitive Dystopia
Self-Released
Release Date: 23/11/2020
Running Time: 37:28
Review by Victor Augusto
8/10

Here I am to review the amazing Norwegian band, Moonscape, for the second time. Back in 2017, I was lucky to review the first part of this saga, called simply “Entity”, and I have both a good memory about it, and a regret. Regret, because that album really deserved a better explanation, but I was so young as a reviewer, and immature, that it was impossible at that time. The good memory is of all the amazing people, connected to the band, that I became friends with, including Mr. Håvard Lunde, the one-man-band, and the mind behind the Moonscape concept and music. He is responsible for the composition and this time, he has surpassed himself, working out how he could connect all the guest musicians, to make this album sound as it does. Let me try to free myself from regret and explain why this material is so amazing.

The “Entity” concept (in both parts) is something like Rick Wakeman’s “Journey To The Centre Of The Earth”. Part one was like one song, divided into chapters. This album goes the same way, but we have four songs that have a logical sequence and don’t sound like only one track. In both cases, I used Rick Wakeman’s work as a reference, in terms of the album structure. Is it Progressive Rock/Metal music? Hell yes! Nevertheless, it has a specific sonority, very well balanced between what we know about progressive Heavy Metal bands. I feel that Håvard didn’t want to be stuck in one simple genre, because there are even a few Death Metal parts on this record, like the blast beat and guttural voice that open ‘The Ails To Withstand’.

There is incredible detail here. Quickly, use the scroll down bar to read the MANY guest musicians on this album, and you’ll understand what I mean. Have you read it? Good! Now, come back here and join me with my thoughts. Could you imagine yourself putting together so many contributors, to create good songs, as Håvard has done? It is the most impressive aspect for me. The way that all the guest musicians fit together, to create a good sequence in the songs is amazing! Just the work of all the singers is a hard job because each of them interprets one character in this history.

The concept, for what I could understand, is about someone who tries to flee from this world and hide himself deep inside his own mind, but his terrors and demons can still find him. All the characters (Shadowself, Demon, The Dreamer, Angel, Father and The Erratic) are different states of his mind, that create an inner conflict. But, maybe, they are all real people around the person who’s trying to flee away from this life. No matter what it represents, it is astonishing how all the singers create a different interpretation of each character, exploring angelical or tenor vocals, right to guttural voices. Again, the hard work to put all of it together is what caught my attention the most.

Musically, there’s everything from varied Heavy Metal styles, in good balance. There are various speeds, with loud bass and heavy guitars. Moonscape even use saxophone, violin and piano. Of course, the guitar and keyboard solos are the strongest elements along the tracks, but the other instruments help add different atmospheres, as the chapters are evolving in each track, alongside the new tensions and events from this saga.

At the end of the last song ‘In the Mourning Hours’, there are a few seconds of the intro of the first song from the previous album “Entity” (what we could call Pt1). Håvard also put in the sound of a heartbeat and that made me curious to understand what it means. Is this a sign of a rebirth? Is it the beginning of the same cycle, that will repeat over again? I don’t know, but this mystery will make the listener think about it and hear the album with more attention.

As with most albums from one-man bands, I just feel that the record could have had a little bit more attention paid to the production. However, if you consider that we have more than ten musicians, from all parts of the world, recording their parts alone, I’m certain that Håvard is a wizard and did some kind of magic to put it together! It is the kind of album that makes people think about their lives. I feel that Moonscape was never a band that wanted to record an easy-to-understand album. Moreover, this is the magical side of what Moonscape is. I hope you enjoy this journey through “Entity, Chapter II: Echoes From A Cognitive Dystopia” as much as I did.

TRACKLISTING:
01. A Prelude To Grief
02. Illusion Or Reality?
03. The Ails To Withstand
04. In The Mourning Hours

LINE-UP:
Håvard Lunde – Vocals, Bass, Lead/Rhythm/Acoustic Guitars, Percussion and Programming

GUEST MUSICIANS:
Pauli Souka (Coldbound) – Lead Vocals as ‘Shadowself’
Runar Steen Hansen (Firefight) – Lead Vocals as ‘Demon’
Drake Chrisdensen (Ruins of Elysium) – Lead and Backing Vocals as ‘The Dreamer’
David Åkesson (Qantice) – Lead Vocals as ‘The Erratic’
Marcela Villarroel – Lead Vocals as ‘Angel’
Andreas Jonsson (ex-Spiral Architect) – Lead Guitars
Cezar Popescu (Days of Confusion) – Lead Guitars
Bret Barnes (Independent) – Saxophone
Linus Abrahamson (Guthrie Govan, Andromeda etc.) – Lead Guitars
Aaron Minich (Nekrogoblikon) – Keyboards
Eirik Dischler (Shamblemaths) – Organ
Alexandra Laya (Qantice)- Violin
David Russell (Independent) – Piano
Leviathan (Ex-Unspoken, Kvesta, Abyss Below) – Lead Guitars
Rafael Agostino (Armored Dawn) – Keyboards
John Kiernan – Lead Guitars
Mark Anthony K. (Projekt Gemineye/The Dark Monarchy) – Lead Guitars
Diego Palma (LordDivine) – Keyboards

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.

Incognosci – A Biography Of Madness

A Biography Of Madness Cover Art

Incognosci – A Biography Of Madness
Extreme Sound Records
Release Date: 22/10/2020
Running Time: 27:04
Review by Victor Augusto
8.5/10

Incognosci have finally released their debut album and maybe you are thinking that in front of us is a raw album made by people without experience. Sometimes it can happen with young bands releasing their first material, but I must tell you a few details that you probably don’t know about this Brazilian group. It is not easy to have a Heavy Metal band in my country (as you already know from me writing about it hundreds of times) and it is even worse if you play extreme Metal. In this case, the members have taken more than a decade to release this debut after line-up changes and all the struggles that being in a band demand. Of course, they are extremely active in their local scene along with other bands, like Gutted Souls, for example. However, if you look at it from a commercial or business point of view, it is horrible for a band to spend so much time without a release, but if you take the time to listen to “A Biography Of Madness”, you will understand how it was actually good for Incognosci!

Firstly, they are very experienced musicians as a consequence of all the years working together and with other bands. What every member does here is almost as if they are aliens from a distant and evolved civilization, playing on our humble planet. They are insane on their instruments. I could swear that I was listening to a band with more than three albums released and that survive by travelling around the world on long tours. This is obviously not the case with Incognosci, but what they have achieved as musicians is astonishing and they have delivered an incredibly mature work. There is a good balance between being extreme, but not sounding exacerbated or massive.

Now, let’s talk about the music itself. “A Biography Of Madness” is extreme Death Metal with Gore elements. It combines the aggressiveness and speed of Cannibal Corpse with elements of Obituary or Deicide from the Tampa Death Metal scene of the 90’s, mostly in terms of arrangements. There is also a much-diluted Djent feel which brings a modern flavour. The musical highlight are the complex variations they have created inside each song. It is insane how they vary the sonority many times with tremendous speed.

Having Jonathas “Jon” Pereira as lone guitarist sets him free to explore interesting techniques with his guitar, but it could also be because he has a killer bassist alongside him. Marcos Medeiros is highly creative with his bass and all the independent bass lines he has written are astonishing. Sometimes, it is like hearing hellish funk rearranged into Extreme Death Metal, as you can hear on the intro to ‘Perfect Specimen’. ‘Tales Of Insanity’ also has amazing bass work and Marcos fills the rhythm section during Jonathas solo, without worry. You will not notice that empty feeling, bands with one guitarist, sometimes have during solos!

Iron has a powerful, guttural voice and he has explored different vocal lines. This is the first time I have heard him doing ‘Pig noises’. He has departed from the usual style of Death Metal singers in one small detail. I can understand many things that he sings, and it shows his great ability on vocals that are noisy, but clean at the same time. Maybe, it is similar to the David Vincent (Morbid Angel) way of singing. Finally, the drum work that Braulio Drumond has put together for the album is the most impressive thing here, in my opinion. Many drummers can play faster than the speed of light, but to play fast with many tangled parts…well, few people can do that. He also hits his drum kit HARD and the music never sounds repetitive thanks to him. The opening song ‘Aftermath’ is a good example of what I am talking about!

The experience of the individuals has made “A Biography Of Madness” a terrific work. The album is short, the production is organic, the arrangements are very well thought out and the complexity of the compositions makes this an easy album to digest. It is a blend of the good and gold Old-School Death Metal, but with new elements. There is not a single song that sounds boring. All of them have received good attention and they are very professionally written. As a result of all these positive aspects this is an album that you won’t get tired of after 2 or 3 tracks, which can sometimes happen.

“A Biography Of Madness” is an amazing debut, I promise you.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Aftermath
02. Awaken The Desperate
03. Perfect Specimen
04. Traumatize The Masses
05. Eleven Years
06. Tales Of Insanity
07. Final Descent Into Madness
08. Trapped In Spontaneous Disintegration

LINE-UP:
Iron – Vocals
Jonathas “Jon” Pereira – Guitar
Marcos Medeiros – Bass
Braulio Drumond – 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 said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Gravehuffer – NecroEclosion

NecroEclosion Cover Art

Gravehuffer – NecroEclosion
Black Doomba Records
Release Date: 15/01/2021
Running Time: 46:04
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

My lack of creativity to write introductions is nothing new for all the readers of Ever Metal, but today I have to repeat something that I often mention in this part of my reviews. How amazing it is seeing a band’s evolution when I have the pleasure to follow them, releasing albums, since they formed. Of course, Gravehuffer, from Joplin, Missouri, are not a young band and they have very experienced musicians, but I am the lucky guy who has reviewed all of their albums since 2017, and I have to say that Gravehuffer is one of the most intriguing and challenging bands that I have reviewed so far. Let me try to explain what I am saying.

First! “NecroEclosion” is the band’s best album in my opinion! When I discovered Gravehuffer in 2017, with the “Your Fault” album, I thought they were more a Crust/Hardcore band at that time. After seeing some reviews of them, I realized that they played more than just one or two genres. They have a great mix of Extreme metal allied with their roots in Punk/Crust/Hardcore/ or whatever you want to call them. With this album, the band have explored all blends of those genres at their extreme. From Punk Rock to the non-faceless* (I will explain this later) blast beats of good Death Metal. Yes. You will have fun with it at the end of this review!

Second! This is a pure American album in terms of its concept or context. I talk regularly about the pure things of my country, but this time I tried to enter into the head of an American citizen to understand all the lyrics and all of their criticism. Lyrically this is an ocean of interesting themes. The first song ‘Custom Of The Sea’ is enough to understand Gravehuffer’s music. It is about those who stayed at sea a long time during the colonization. Many people went mad and died. Musically, you can hear all the aggressiveness of the band in this song with all the fast broken tempos from good Grindcore that sometimes slows down with a Doom influence. Everything offers an intense and dark atmosphere.

Third! There is the typical acid humor that Gravehuffer always use in the best way, as you hear in ‘Death Before Disco’. It starts with a funny version of ‘You Should Be Dancing’, from the Bee Gees, that shows the wreck that Disco music made of the music industry decades ago. It also criticizes the cocaine stuff involved with those who were part of it. I love the pure Grindcore and heavy killer intro after this creepy, funny parody intro. It could easily put the entire venue down if Gravehuffer plays it live! Still with good humor, the short ‘Stingray’ is more Punk Rock in style, but full of great, small solos. Yes, we have plenty of excellent and different stuff here, and I am not talking about that stuff from Disco clubs, that could make Robocop (with rusty hinges) dance like hell! (That sounds like me when I’m dancing – Rick)

Fourth (if I haven’t lost count). The Doomy side of the band appears in ‘Smaller Than Death’. ‘Ghost Dance’ also keeps the dark feeling, but it has an important message about the mass killing of the Native American Indians in the USA. Despite this song having more of a Thrash Metal sonority, it carries some backing vocals, like the ghost of the Indians ancestors screaming for help to anyone who could stand and fight. Melodies bring the feeling of a ‘last breath of hope’ amongst all the chaos, that sadly didn’t save them from the cowards killing. There are good historical and political facts explored here!

Fifth! After the pure hardcore song ‘Quarantine Death Machine’, that even reminded me of Sepultura in some parts, you get the dramatic song ‘Causes’ that sounds like someone has already given up on his life. We also have ‘Mad Wolf’ that is about a Japanese movie/manga series ‘Lone Wolf and Cub’. And what about Dan ‘Chewy’ Mongrain (Voivod) doing an epic solo on ‘Sight To The Sky’ or the Curran Murphy (Annihilator, Nevermore) ‘Smaller Than Death’ solo? Do you remember when I said about the ocean of different subjects or plenty of styles that the band play?

Last (almost…)! What I love about Gravehuffer is the total open mindedness of them to explore whatever they want. They could easily be called a “Whatever metal / hardcore” band to describe their music. This raw sonority allied with all the insane changes of rhythm and atmosphere they create is the perfect face of Gravehuffer. “NecroEclosion” is the band at their prime with inspiration and composition. They are secure of what they are doing, being audacious and without any fear to try new sonorities and arrangements. It is pure Thrash! It is pure Hardcore! It is pure Grindcore! It is pure Death Metal! It is pure Crust! It is pure whatever you want to call them and it is great!

This review finishes here, but don’t fool yourselves. The non-official truth about this album comes from the next and ‘true’ last paragraph.

*This last paragraph is a joke about bloody reviewers that are so lazy, they fail to understand some band’s sonority and write stupid things without doing any research. The quoted parts are from a review that should have stayed buried!

The band’s music is not even close to being “terrible”. Maybe the “not so hot production” is because the band intended the album to be dark and cold. Do you want hot things? (I will not suggest what you should try in respect of our readers)! Try not to be a faceless reviewer. First, we have a lot of context here, and you haven’t woken your ass up from your sofa to do any research about it. The blast beats are not a “total joke” they are pure and natural, with a huge amount of power…you don’t have the brain to understand what a triggered drum is or isn’t. “No catchy riffs”? No, no, no! Probably, no catchy ears on your head!… “band brought an empty meal to the table on Thanksgiving”! Do you want a full meal for your Thanksgiving (If your diet is not so restrictive, of course)? Try to learn how to understand a band first, otherwise, you can work on another job or hobby. Our Thanksgiving will be better without lazy “reviewers”! Writing reviews just to publish something, without any research to understand is wrong…I guess any person with an “F” grade on a school graduation/exam can do a better job than you! Have a good 2021!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Custom Of The Sea
02. Hellhound
03. Sights To The Sky
04. Death Before Disco
05. Stingray
06. Smaller Than Death
07. Ghost Dance
08. Quarantine Death Machine
09. Causes
10. Backpack
11. Mad Wolf

LINE-UP:
Travis McKenzie – Vocals
Ritchie Randall – Guitar/Vocals
Mike Jilge – Bass
Jay Willis – Drums/Vocals

LINKS:

Gravehuffer Promo Pic

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

Pandemmy – Subversive Need

Pandemmy – Subversive Need
Self-Released
Release Date: 06/03/2020
Running Time: 35:37
Review by Victor Augusto
9.5/10

Being part of what people call the Heavy Metal scene may seem like just being a member of a band or a reviewer in any magazine, as if they are all independent and not connected. No, we are all working in synchronism to make a huge machine (music) reach around the globe. The best part of this machine is the many incredible bands I have met so far. Not only that, but also all the friends that I made after one review. Here it was the same. My friend Raphael Olmos from Kamala introduced me to Pedro Valença (guitars) and I discovered one more good and professional band. Once again, the good music has connected people from different places and I was lucky to receive this incredible work to review, so let us start our journey about the Brazilian Death/Thrash Metal band Pandemmy.

The band has a good maturity after several releases over the last decade. On a first audition, you will be sure of good Death Metal played brutally, but after listening carefully; you will realize that their music contains more than just one genre. It is a perfect match of Death Metal and Thrash Metal. Maybe in its essence, Death Metal comes first, but the versatility and all the tempo changes throughout are amazing. Overall, we have a dark atmosphere, sometimes even a small Black or Doom influence, which is a good soundtrack of the albums subject. The lyrics are about human beings lack of morality that we all have to face in our daily lives. Pandemmy decided to be a bit more specific and stick the finger in the scars that are old problems in Brazil and other new issues that we are suffering in this country.

Straight away, the first song shows it. ‘Deforestation’ is perfect Death Metal with a strong and doomy cadence, showing the power of the guitar work on riffs with a dramatic atmosphere and the sound of a burning forest. It is inspired by an old problem of the Amazônia forest devastation in Brazil. We have been facing this problem for decades, but just this year it was brought to worldwide attention. ‘Webchaos’ is about the war of information that occurs on the internet, mainly when a nation suffers with distorted information by the news, sometimes just to create panic or to hide a more critical problem. ‘Neo Hate’ and ‘Xenophobia’ go the same way. Each track has an important message about and against all the chaos we live in.

Musically, there is a strong work on intense atmosphere. Pandemmy bring a sad vibe with the reality they mention, but they also bring a kind of hope with certain melodies. Melodies that come after all the destruction are uplifting and make you feel strong to stand up and fight. Brazilians will probably feel and understand better what the band exposes with small details, such as the short Maracatu percussion section (local music typical of the northeast, where the band live) at the end of ‘Xenophobia’. Why? Because people from the northeast suffer with a kind of Xenophobia inside Brazil. Moreover, this short percussion sounds like the last breath of hope for a people who have been struggling with poverty for so long, and who now despair after being forgotten by politics.

I love how Pandemmy mix many genres in their music. There is the amazing guitar work of Guilherme Silva and Pedro Valença. Good riffs and the solos are very catchy, not so exacerbated in speed or aggressiveness, but can hear a good balance of melody and heaviness. Marcelo Santa Fé has the hard job to follow them and his bass is not hidden. The drums of Vitor Alves are the soul of everything. What a killer and unrelenting work. He uses cadences that come from dancing percussion through to furious blast beats. In addition, the Thrash Metal beats are all incredible. You won’t get tired of this album mainly because of the creativity of different tempos used.

This album is not a conceptual album like a history divided into chapters, but it could easily be considered one. It sounds like a paradox to what I have just said, but if you stop to analyze the world we are living in today, you can see that it is pure chaos, but with hidden traps to slaughter you slowly. New and different traps that we’ve been facing for a long time. Considering the way that Pandemmy expose everything could be seen as chapters of this book of hate.

“Subversive Need” has many important chapters, with a killer soundtrack behind, to bring consciousness to all people who live in society. It is rich musically and lyrically and you don’t need to put the chapters in a correct or particular order. If you hear any song, no matter the sequence, you will feel what Pandemmy is showing you through their music. Is it a complex album? Absolutely! However, it is also very easy to digest and to enjoy. Amazing work!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Deforestation
02. Neohate
03. Free Mumia (A Panther In The Cage)
04. Webchaos
05. Xenophobia
06. I Choose My Blood
07. Terror Paranoia
08. The Illusion of Suffering
09. Charlottesville

LINE-UP:
Guilherme Silva – Vocals/Guitars
Pedro Valença – Guitars
Marcelo Santa Fé – Bass
Vitor Alves – 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.

The Last Reign – Evolution

The Last Reign – Evolution
Self-Released
Release Date: 18/09/2020
Running Time: 54:25
Review by Victor Augusto
8.5/10

Here it is! 2021! And finally, we can leave the last insane year behind. As always, I use this time to stop for a while and think about everything that’s happened throughout the year, not only in my personal life, but also in all my work on reviews and interviews. Probably you will hear me saying that I need to improve in many areas, because I will never feel like I am doing it properly! Even though I’ve revised a few plans, there are still some simple things that I wish to stay the same. One of them is the desire to be surprised with something exciting in an album, that I find on the first listen, when writing a review. However, when I first got this album, I didn’t find it ‘different’ to start with, and I have to confess that it took some weeks until I finally got that ‘surprise’, and I will explain why. So, here we go!

First, when I talk about not be impressed straight away, it is nothing related to the quality of the band. That is unquestionable. And I loved their music right from the first song. Focusing on the album as a whole, “Evolution” has the sound of the best kind of Swedish Melodic Death Metal, which appeared during the nineties. I could hear a mix of the dark atmosphere from bands like Dark Tranquility, for example. When it comes to the arrangements, this album reminded me a bit of Entombed, and another Swedish influence that I could feel was At The Gates and The Crown, in regard to the aggressiveness and punch, over all the sonority. With these incredible bands that I’ve mentioned, you’ll probably already have an idea how great this album is.

The instrumental intro on ‘Genesis’ is very dense with the sound growing until it explodes into the song ‘Evolution Of A Dying Race’ that is pretty brutal. Actually, the entire album is extremely aggressive, mainly because of the work of the drummer, Vince Mayer. This guy is a relentless machine! He plays fast the entire album. When the rest of the band seems to slow down, he increases his parts. An example of this is in ‘The Hourglass’, where he keeps destroying his drum kit while the rest of the band slows!

The guitar sound in this album is another highlight. Brian Platter does an amazing job with the wall of heaviness, and he fits in interesting melodies, and short solos, to give a new perspective to the music.

Adam Svensson does a good job on vocals with his interpretation, although there are not so many variations in his voice, but it does fit pretty well in the band’s idea of sonority. The only negative point (maybe not so positive) is the bass of Joe Maggio being a little hidden among the dense heaviness of the band. Considering he plays very well, and the band has just one guitar, I wish it could be loud, and have more independent parts, like I heard in a few parts of ‘Ironclad Torment’. It could offer a good dynamic, different from the guitar lines, and maybe the atmosphere that the band creates asks for this kind of sound. However, that is just a matter of taste and it is still an amazing work by Mr. Maggio.

Now let’s get to what really surprised me. The Last Reign is an American band. Yes, this simple detail shocked me. Most American Death Metal bands I’ve heard are extremely brutal. I guess the fact I am a huge fan of the great scene that came from Tampa in the early nineties made me relate Death with those bands, but I could feel this kind of brutality pretty sublimely in The Last Reign’s music. They really brought all the elements from the mentioned melodic Death Metal, but there are a few aggressive lines diluted over it, and that is what I think is cool, the mix of two very different worlds in the same album. Sometimes they even add a versatility from Thrash Metal, as you can hear on the drums during ‘Terminal Threshold’, and I think versatility is the best word to define Vince’s work in this album.

Another detail that pleased me is how all the songs are very well worked. There is not a single weak song. There is no song composed just to complete the album. All tracks are amazing, and you will have fun until the last song ‘Architects of Genocide’ which is an absolute killer! By the way, if you start listening to this album from the last track, going back to the first song, you will have fun in the same way. All these details, together with amazing production, is what makes “Evolution” an incredible album, and I hope it surprises you as much as it surprised me.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Genesis
02. Evolution Of A Dying Race
03. Annihilation Of The Ancients
04. Ironclad Torment
05. The Hourglass
06. Fallen Dark
07. No Horizon
08. Terminal Threshold
09. The Storm
10. Devoid
11. Luminosity
12. Architects Of Genocide

LINE-UP:
Adam Svensson – Vocals
Brian Platter – Guitars
Joe Maggio – Bass
Vince Mayer – 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.

Victor’s Top Ten Releases Of 2020

Victor’s Top Ten Releases Of 2020
By Victor Augusto

Hello to you all.

Here are Victor’s top ten releases of 2020. This gives me a chance to send Victor massive thanks and gratitude for the immense amount of work he has put in to Ever Metal this year. Reviews, South American EMQ’s interviews, helping with translation and his wonderful video interview with Scars and all of this on top of a very busy job as an air traffic controller in the Air Force. I know many lovely people, but few have the same passion and dedication as Victor, who lives and breathes the scene and music. I am very honoured to call him a friend and colleague.

Rick

10. Sacramentia – Prophecies of Plague (June 2020)

www.facebook.com/sacramentia.official

‘CruciFiction’ (Lyric Video)


9. Guardian of Lightning – Cosmos Tree (July 2020)

www.facebook.com/guardianoflightningofficial

‘Cosmos Tree’ (Official Video)


8. Re-Armed – Ignis Aeternum (June 2020)

www.facebook.com/rearmed

‘The Hollow Lights’ (Official Video)


7. White Crone – The Poisoner (February 2020)

www.facebook.com/whitecrone

‘The Dream Of Tiamat’ (Audio)


6. Onslaught – Generation Antichrist (August 2020)

www.facebook.com/onslaughtuk

‘Religiousuicide’ (Lyric Video)


5. Scars – Predatory (August 2020)

www.facebook.com/scars.thrash

‘Predatory’ (Lyric Video)


4. Sacred Sin – Born Suffer Die EP (April 2020)

www.facebook.com/sacredsinpt

‘Born Suffer Die’ (Full EP Audio)


3. Granada – Amarre EP (January 2020)

www.facebook.com/granadametal

‘Amarre’ (Full EP Lyric Video)


2. Sepultura – Quadra (February 2020)

www.facebook.com/sepultura

‘Means To An End’ (Official Video)


1. Deathless LegacySaturnalia (March 2020)

www.facebook.com/Deathlessmetal

‘Saturnalia’ (Full Short Film)

To read the original reviews, where available, follow these 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.

Video Interview with SCARS

Video Interview with SCARS
Interview, Recording, and Editing by Victor Augusto

Hi Everyone

In September 2020, Victor travelled to São Paulo to meet and interview Legendary Brazilian Thrash Metal band, SCARS. Ever Metal are beyond proud to Premiere that interview.

They talk about their history and incredible 2020 comeback album, “Predatory”, as well as depression, suicide, faith, and their loyal fanbase. They also allow us a glimpse into a SCARS rehearsal.

I would like to send my sincerest gratitude to the band for their time/passion, and to Victor, who has spent MANY hours and days, over the past few weeks, putting this video together.

SCARS Video interview by Victor Augusto

I would also like to thank DJ Jet (Gimme Metal/Sick Drummer Magazine) and
DJ Joker (Metal Messiah Radio) for their contributions.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Rick
Owner/Editor

SCARS LINKS:

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.

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.