Exelerate – Exelerate

Exelerate Album Cover Art

Exelerate – Exelerate
From The Vaults
Release Date: 10/03/2023 
Running Time: 46:02 
Review by: Chris Galea

When I first delved into this homonymous album from Exelerate, the music kept throwing my mind back to classic U.S. Metal bands such as Vicious Rumors, Chastain, Apocrypha and Satan’s Host. Turns out they’re actually Danish and this is the band’s debut album.

I say it’s a debut album but it doesn’t really sound like one…the musicianship and tightness of the songs are what you’d expect from battle-hardened (Metal) troopers. The album starts and finishes with soft, mellow moods but in between are several bouts of whiplash-inducing Power/Thrash Metal. 

Earlier on I made reference to a number of U.S. Metal bands but most of all “Exelerate” kept reminding me of Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins. In fact I continuously had to check if the singer was Alan Tecchio. Turns out his name is actually Stefan Jensen and he’s got an amazingly powerful voice. But it’s not only Jensen that shines. The rhythm section is furious throughout the album and the songs are always punctuated by blazing guitar solos.

A few tracks have melodies that I associate with middle-eastern music and although there are no ‘ballads’ the songs sometimes slow down…briefly…before getting back to good old energetic Heavy Metal. Sometimes those mellow parts work, sometimes they don’t, but for sure their contrast helps accentuate the music’s heaviness.

So yes this is an excellent debut album and if any of the names I’ve dropped already have a place in your record collection then I’d strongly recommend you check out Exelerate.

‘Release’ Official Video:

01. Arrival
02. No Escape
03. Spawn Of Satan
04. Release
05. Children Of The Sun
06. God Of Man
07. Lethal Assault
08. In Between Sanity (feat. Sofia Schmidt)
09. Epilogue

Mads Sørensen  –  guitars
Stefan Jensen  –  vocals, guitars
Io Klarstrup  –  bass
Stig Eilsøe-Madsen  –  drums


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris Galea 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.

Stöner – Boogie to Baja EP

Boogie to Baja Album Cover Art

Stöner – Boogie to Baja EP
Heavy Psych Sounds
Release date: 24/02/2023
Running time: 27:00
Review by: Alun Jones

You need to ask yourself, is this review late?  Or have I, the humble author of this review, chosen to emulate the gonzo journalism style of Hunter S Thompson?  And by that I mean, get so baked listening to this latest EP from Stöner that I lost all track of time in a psychedelic swirl, handing in the assignment a month overdue?  Or did the dog eat my review?  Only you can be the judge.  And the Ever Metal editors of course, who may decide to hand me my marching orders.

Let’s ignore all that and have a little chat about this release, shall we?  Gather ye round!

In a perfect example of a band name doing exactly what it says on the tin, Stöner are essentially a stoner rock supergroup comprising of Brant Bjork (Kyuss, Fu Manchu, solo), Nick Oliveri (Kyuss, QOTSA, Mondo Generator) and Ryan Güt (Brant’s drummer).  As a band, they take the desert rock template and steer it off into the ultimate version of this style.

As a result, the head bending riff of ‘Stoner Theme (Baja Version)’ and the grooving rumble of ‘Night Tripper vs No Brainer’ slouch comfortably alongside a punkier ‘It Ain’t Free’.  All the influences and intricacies of desert rock are succinctly demonstrated with a clanging garage rock cover of ‘City Kids’ (Pink Fairies/Motörhead); through to ‘Boogie to Baja’: a ten-minute driving rocker that reeks of desert parties, never ending skies and lamentable substance abuse.

‘Boogie to Baja’ is the highlight of this set, but the whole EP is a great primer for the band Stöner and the varied music they create.  Almost an Idiot’s Guide as to what to expect for the uninitiated, it’s also inventive and addictive for the aficionado.  I ordered the vinyl copy and I’ve already played it to death.  That’s how late this review is.  But don’t you be late: go check out ‘Boogie to Baja’ now. 

PS: I don’t own a dog.   

PPS: Would’ve finished this review sooner, if not for adding all the umlauts. 

01. Stöner Theme (Baja Version)
02. City Kids
03. Night Tripper vs No Brainer
04. It Ain’t Free
05. Boogie To Baja



Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones 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.

Cruachan – The Living And The Dead

The Living And The Dead Album Cover Art

Cruachan – The Living And The Dead
Despotz Records
Release Date: 24/03/2023
Running Time: 51:55
Review by Chris Galea 

Probably before Folk Metal was even a genre, somewhere near Dublin Cruachan were already giving traditional music a rougher, more Metal edge. That was 30 + years, 8 albums and several line-up changes ago. Multi-instrumentalist Keith Fay is the only original member still in the band and on album no. 9 the services of a number of session musicians are called upon to lay down these new songs.

The album is called “The Living And The Dead” which at first glance seems to be thematically based on feelings of loss and the ensuing pain. But more to the point is that it’s quite possibly Cruachan’s magnum opus. 

All the hallmarks of folk music are here… Violin, tin whistle, bagpipes, accordion, sing-along choruses… But they never interfere with the heaviness of the music. Likewise even when the music gets quite furious – as in ‘The Ghost’ for example – the Folk traits are never snuffed out. All this is due to the superlative songwriting quality that pervades the whole album. 

In ‘The Changeling’ during a bewitching intro you can sense that riffs are round the corner but you’re still floored when they do burst forth. And it’s not just ‘The Changeling’, great riffs can be found elsewhere in the album too. ‘The Witch’ is another headbanger that has a classic Thin Lizzy vibe to it and is embellished by a solo from Rage, Venom’s guitarist.

Speaking of guests, it’s worth noting that the aforementioned ‘The Ghost’ owes some of its intensity to the singing of Mathias ‘Vreth’ Lillmåns, vocalist of Finntroll, another Folk Metal pioneer.

‘The Dead’, which closes the album, has a deceptively simple but haunting melody using acoustic guitar and violin which alternates with some truly caustic Black Metal vocals. Weirdly enough it all works beautifully.

I have taken a few songs as examples to back up my assertion that although the album has its own character, there are many shades and facets to that character. Although the album impressed me straight away, I found myself liking it more each time I gave it a spin and uncovered more of its facets.

Personally I only reserve 10/10 ratings for great albums that also have something unique about them. “The Living And The Dead” does indeed have that special ingredient. I dare envision that this one is destined to be a classic of the genre.

‘The Crow’ Promotional Video:

01. The Living
02. The Q
03. The Hawthorn
04. The Harvest
05. The Festival
06. The Ghost
07. The Crow
08. The Reaper
09. The Children
10. The Changeling
11. The Witch
12. The Dead

Keith Fay – vocals, guitars, banjo, mandolin, percussion
Dave Quinn – guitars
Audrey Trainor – violin
Joe Farrell – bass
Tom Woodcock – drums


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris Galea 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.

Alex Nunziati – Black Space Void

Black Space Void Album Cover Art

Alex Nunziati – Black Space Void
Moribund Records
Release Date: 24/03/23
Running Time: 36:53
Review by Paul Hutchings

According to the blurb that accompanied this release, “Black Space Void” is a highly anticipated release. Well, I might be a bit mutton in my old age, but I can’t believe that many were waiting on tenterhooks for this second solo album, for despite its raw feel, there’s not a lot going on here to really excite. In fact, it’s a struggle to plough through the whole eight tracks. 

Italian Alex Nunziati has a pedigree, with his other outfits including Malamorte, Theatres des Vampires and Lord Vampyr, all bands I admit I know nothing about. Nunziati’s first solo album “Il Mangiatore di Peccati” (“The Eater of Sin”) was released last year, but again didn’t reach these ears, so I’m taking Black Space Void without any baggage. The huge challenge with this album is twofold. Firstly, as a solo project where the artist plays everything, it’s incredibly difficult to be overly critical, because this is immense musicianship in many ways. The other challenge is that it’s impossible not to draw comparisons and here it’s Sepultura, Cavalera-era that rears its head throughout. And unfortunately, if I want to listen to Sepultura, then it’s one of those albums that I reach for. 

The musicianship is rudimentary at times, and at other times it’s a real struggle. There isn’t one song on this album that really grabbed me by the throat and demanded I play it again. Instead, the music just washed over me without any real impact. The opening track ‘The Revenge of the Humans’ is an average song, whilst the laborious ‘Stardust’ does absolutely nothing to get either the thrash juices flowing, or the more curious synapses engaged. 

‘The Universe Doesn’t Need Us’ does add a bit of bite for the first minute, before descending into a crossover hybrid that really doesn’t spark the fire in any real way. It may take a while before you realise that “Black Space Void” has a total Sci-Fi lyrical content, with outer space themes alongside humanity’s mistreatment of Earth. All very honourable indeed, but let’s face it, it’s time for a cull anyway. 

The biggest problem I have with “Black Space Void” is that it’s just average from start to finish. Nothing stands out, despite the obvious talent. A classic example is ‘Possessed By Astral Eternity’. It’s frenetic, played very well, and does absolutely nothing. Even the final song ‘Vulnerable’ with its racing thrash vibe fails to ignite. Overall, a disappointing release. 

01. The Revenge of the Humans
02. The Day the World Died Again
03. Stardust
04. The Universe Doesn’t Need Us
05. Possessed By Astral Entity
06. Black Space Void
07. The Prophet
08. Vulnerable 

Alex Nunziati – Everything


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Hutchings 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.

Mortalus – We Are Human

We Are Human Album Cover Art

Mortalus – We Are Human
Release Date: 24/02/2023 
Running Time: 32:09 
Review by Victor Augusto 

Mortalus! One of the greatest bands that I’ve had the chance to discover since I’ve been working in this complicated environment of heavy metal music. It makes me very happy when I have the chance to meet new independent bands, considering I always had this desire to support them, and I don’t think the fact of having a label behind a band could change many things in someone’s career. 

The first thing that made me enjoy their music is how mature they are, displaying a freedom from any chains among their style. I’ll point out they are a Heavy Metal band even though it could sound like a silly observation from my side. But they’re different… Let me put it this way. They have the Rock and Roll spirit that Mr. Lemmy Kilmister and Motörhead taught us for many years, but with heavy arrangements. Am I less confused about my thoughts, now?

Well, you will hear good riffs and solos. They are very catchy and offer heaviness in a good measure that doesn’t let you get tired. Michelle Gann is responsible for the guitar work, and she also creates a good vocal line, that is perfectly well balanced between melodic and aggressive voices. Right after the first heart beating, which starts the opening song ‘Battle Born’, you will immediately feel hypnotised by the quality of music.  By the way, I associate these heart beats with the album title, because this is the sound that proves we are alive and still humans. Maybe it’s just a coincidence.

The bass of Bryan Bedgood complements all the music, and we don’t have that empty or thin sound which some bands with just one guitar can suffer. On ‘Intended Victims’ it’s good to hear his clean bass lines from the first notes. The drums of Patrick Mahoney helps on heaviness, with a strong beating. The kicks reminded me of the famous arrangements by Lars Ulrich, mainly used after the black album “Metallica”.  

It looks like the album title refers just to the lack of humanity that we have been living with all the chaos around the world. The album cover shows a mix of a human and something like a robot or android, which seems to be closer to becoming a reality than a fiction, as it was in the past when we saw many movies talking about this dystopia. ‘Blood Red Sunset’ even shows more introspective interpretations and depressive melodies. 

The album finishes with a version of ‘Danger Zone’, which was a famous song from the movie “Top Gun”, in 1986. The difference is that Mortalus play it with a heavier arrangement, to offer a more aggressive sound. It’s funny because the original track was played in happy moments of adrenaline when the pilots flew their fighter’s jet. But if it was in a war situation with the risk of dying, I believe that the Mortalus version would fit better for a movie soundtrack like that. 

Overall, I loved the album. The only aspect that I believe they could take care of for further releases is the recording productions, especially on the drum sound. It is a nice production, with a focus on an organic sound, which I loved, but I would like a bit more finesse . Nevertheless, it doesn’t decrease the excitement of any of the material.

What I most enjoyed is the fact that they don’t need to be chained by formulas or style. They know what they want to play, without sounding lost or confusing. No rules nor chain around it, just their souls and hearts, because they are all humans, and so are we!

‘Intended Victims’ Official Music Video  

01. Battle Born
02. The FiXX
03. Fearless
04. Intended Victims
05. Dearest FriEND  
06. Blood Red Sunset  
07. We Are Human  
08. Danger Zone

Michelle Gann – Vocals and Guitar
Bryan Bedgood – Bass and Vocals
Patrick Mahoney – Drums and Percussion  


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 Answer – Sundowners

Sundowners Album Cover Art

The Answer – Sundowners
Golden Robot Records
Release Date: 17/03/23
Running Time:  43:07
Review by Paul Hutchings

It’s been a long time. Seven years on hiatus, and a day that many feared would never happen is looming large. The return of Northern Ireland’s The Answer, with their brand-new album “Sundowners”. If ever there was an example of a band who were always on the verge of greatness, it’s probably The Answer. Formed in 2000, the band were hailed as the best new band by Classic Rock magazine in 2005, not long after the release of their debut album “Rise”. A tour with AC/DC on their “Black Ice” tour in 2008/9 seemed the perfect springboard to launch the band into the stratosphere. Live they were virtually untouchable, and yet despite solid albums in “New Horizon”, 2015’s “Raise A Little Hell” and their most recent release, 2016’s “Solus”, the band hit a metaphorical wall. The hiatus has allowed them to regroup, deal with family joy and sorrow, and return to the studio in April 2022 for the first time since 2015. 

Singer Corman Neeson. “We’ve been through a lot as a band, toured the world, made six great records we’re all proud of, and always done our best to make honest and timeless music that connects with rock and music fans in general. After six albums and a lot of road miles we felt we needed to step back from it all and reset. Whilst that wasn’t an easy decision, with retrospect it’s possibly the best decision we’ve ever made because after seven years away we all came back fired up and the end result is an album we’ve been waiting to make our whole lives…full of good time rock n roll and positive energy created by four brothers who quite frankly just really missed each other. We’re back and we’re ready to bring our best album ever to you!

First impressions are good. The title track is moody, a six-minute statement that The Answer are back. Their traditional, Blues-soaked style very much in evidence. A first spin through the release is reassuring. The Answer are in form, with each of the component parts working collectively. Neeson’s Plant-esque delivery remains pleasingly smoky. His range is as good as ever.  Paul Mahon’s guitar playing brings that old-time swagger whilst the rhythm section of Waters and Heatley is locked tight. Everything sounds tight, yet natural and organic. “Sundowners” isn’t an album that’s been forced. 

But let’s backtrack through the album a little. ‘Sundowners’ isn’t your usual bombastic opener. It begins with an almost Western vibe before Waters’ bass lays down the beat, Mahon shimmers over the top of the building tempo and Neeson comes in with his understated tones. Mahon’s slide work is fantastic, the beat continues, and this sounds every inch a signal of confidence. It takes balls to open with a six-minute track that veers away from their more mainstream sound and The Answer have proved they have big ones. This has a magical echo and vibe. 

‘Blood Brothers’ is more The Answer of old. A big stomping song, Neeson’s allowed to let go and the whole band just jumps along. It’s anthemic, with a delicious hook and switch of pace. The tempo changes direction completely on ‘California Rust’, which benefits from some thick Hammond organ which gives the song great depth. This one is going to be a cracker live, with its Deep Purple feel. 

The Answer have always drawn deep on their gospel tendencies and ‘Want You to Love Me’ sees them back in that glorious style with female backing singers and more lush keyboards. ‘Oh Cherry’ brings in harmonica, a thumping, driving bass line and another earworm. It’s hard to be unimpressed by the Northern Ireland quartet on this form. ‘No Salvation’ drops back to the band’s bluesy roots, with Neeson allowed space to really use that magnificent voice to full potential. It’s a laid back, chilled song that demonstrates the versatile nature of the band. It contrasts with ‘Cold Heart’ that follows, another classically crafted song that grabs you with its energy and vibrancy. 

There’s an excitement here as you listen, for these songs should fit neatly alongside staples in the live show. There’s more to come though, with the groove of ‘All Together’, the triumphant Rock ‘n’ Roll stomp of ‘Livin’ on the Line’, which is sure to tear a hole in those summer festivals, and the Zeppelin/Royal Blood edged ‘Get back on It’ all propelling the band along with style. Of course, it wouldn’t be right to have an album by The Answer which doesn’t contain at least one more gentle song and closing track ‘Always Right’ is just the one. A beautifully crafted semi-acoustic finale, it’s the perfect song to bring the album to a close. 

“Sundowners” is not only a fabulous piece of work, but also a sign of hope. My heart dipped when the band went on hiatus, and it skipped a beat when I heard the band were back in the studio. It hasn’t disappointed and the forthcoming tour with Oli Brown in support will only cement the experience. It’s a huge welcome back. 

‘Livin’ On The Line’ Official Video

01. Sundowners
02. Blood Brothers
03. California Rust
04. Want You to Love Me
05. Cherry
06. No Salvation
07. Cold Heart
08. All Together
09. Livin’ on the Line
10. Get Back on It
11. Always Right 

Cormack Neeson – Vocals
Paul Mahon – Guitars
Mickey Waters – Bass
James Heatley – Drums


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Hutchings 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.

Night Demon – Outsider

Outsider Album Cover Art

Night Demon – Outsider
Century Media Records
Release Date: 17/03/2023
Running Time: 37:11
Review by Richard Oliver

Traditional heavy metal is in a very healthy place in 2023.  Metal will always continue to evolve and expand in different sounds and directions but the origins of the genre are never forgotten or overlooked.  As well as a good chunk of the old school bands still kicking out great albums and putting on fantastic live shows, there has been a newer generation of bands disregarding anything beyond the 80’s and performing traditional heavy metal like it is still 1983.  The NWOTHM (New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal) movement has countless bands in it and one of the best out there are California’s Night Demon who are releasing their third full length album “Outsider”.

Much like the previous two Night Demon albums, “Outsider” is some straight up heavy fucking metal taking influence from the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) scene as well as the US power metal scene of the 80’s with a sound that is rough and ready as well as very melodic.  You have songs which are driven by the driving riffs and pounding rhythm such as ‘Obsidian’ and ‘Escape From Beyond’ as well as songs where melody and atmosphere take centre stage such as ‘Beyond The Grave’ and ‘A Wake’ though one of the clear highlights of the album is one where all these elements are combined in ‘The Wrath’ with a melodic first half giving way to a riotous second half where the sound verges on speed metal.  Despite only being a three piece, the guys in Night Demon make up for it in a beefy sound and intensive performances with a fantastic vocal and thunderous bass performance from Jarvis Leatherby whilst Dusty Squires pounds his drums into dust and Armand John Anthony rips out killer riffs and sweet solos aplenty.

Night Demon have taken on the difficult third album challenge with relish and released an absolute belter of an album in “Outsider”.  Is it original sounding? Fuck no.  Does it sound good?  Fuck yes!  Like nearly all of the bands in the NWOTHM movement this is an old school sounding record with the sole intention of playing classic sounding heavy metal.  Having got into metal music at a time when it was deemed tragically uncool to like old school heavy metal with the fashion being rapping, baggy jeans and chains but heavy metal doesn’t need to be cool and whilst fashions and trends may come along they will always die off.  WIth bands like Night Demon still flying the flag for traditional heavy metal and sounding this damn good, it is safe to say that true metal will never die.

‘Escape From Beyond’ Official Video

01. Prelude
02. Outsider
03. Obsidian
04. Beyond The Grave
05. Rebirth
06. Escape From Beyond
07. A Wake
08. The Wrath
09. The Last Day (Bonus Track)

Dusty Squires – Drums
Armand John Anthony – Guitars & Keyboards
Jarvis Leatherby – Vocals & Bass


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Oliver 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.

Hanoi Rocks – Oriental Beat (40th Anniversary)

Oriental Beat (40th Anniversary) Album Cover Art

Hanoi Rocks – Oriental Beat (40th Anniversary)
Svart Records
Release Date: 17/03/23
Running Time: 35:48
Review by Simon Black

Imagine if you will a teenaged version of me starting to get into Hard Rock and Metal music for the first time in the late 1980’s. Although I came from the Prog and Rock end of things originally, the more raucous sounds, wild image and excessive lifestyle of the Glam movement caught my ear for a while, although you will be pleased to know I grew out of it quite quickly. By the time that brief dalliance occurred, Hanoi Rocks were already gone, unable to keep going for long after the death of drummer Razzle at the hands of Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil driving under the influence. The fact that he got away so lightly in the eyes of the law is as much of a crime as the early death of this hugely influential act in the eyes of many.

Whether they would have kept going for much longer is debatable anyway – excess, substance abuse, a bit more excess, back-to-back albums, a little bit more excess, a gruelling touring schedule and divisive egos were already working away at their foundations after a whirlwind four years since their debut album hit the racks and the band relocated to London from Stockholm. I didn’t come across them until the fag end of the 80’s when a dear late friend, who loved the band unequivocally educated me with a worn-out VHS copy of their seminal performance at London’s Marquee Club (it’s long since deleted but you can find it on YouTube, and the soundtrack at least is available on the “All Those Wasted Years (Live)”). It’s an electric and insanely lively performance, and musically fuck all to do with Glam Metal, fusing instead British Punk sentiment and attitude with good old-fashioned Rock ‘n’ Roll, which is why people still talk about them now (Guns ‘N’ Roses debut album is a straight fusion of Hanoi Rocks and Aerosmith for a start). 

I was on board from that point, despite having ditched anything else with a whiff of hairspray and eyeliner by that point. The trouble is by that then their discography had become as rare as rocking horse poo… I caught frontman Mike Monroe’s solo efforts in the early 90’s once, and a previous reunion happened a while ago, but for most of the last 40 years things have been quiet.

Cut to 2023. With another reunion on the horizon, the band have reduxed their 1982 classic, and have gone right back to the masters and remixed and remastered again from scratch. To be fair they’ve done a fab job, given the age of the source material which retains the frenetic energy, rawness and sheer unique sound of their songs whilst still sounding pretty darn rich on modern sound equipment. One in the eye for all the retro wannabees desperately trying to mix ancient and modern…

The challenge with all of Hanoi Rocks studio albums is that the relentless rate of writing and production (five studio albums in four years) meant that song writing consistency was always something of a challenge. So, although classic belters like ‘Motorvatin’ or ‘Oriental Beat’ blast things off fantastically here, a lot of the remainder of the album is a lot more stylistically experimental than the house sound they have subsequently cemented in the audience consciousness. That’s the band finding their feet true, and throwing all sorts of other influences that living in London at the turn of the 80’s would have brought in, with Monroe’s pure Punk vocal arrangements, Reggae back beats and rhythm riffs, Ska’s hybrid experimentalism (and saxophone) spliced with the more 70’s Hard Rock elements howling from Andy McCoy’s guitar all illustrates the band’s ethos of throw it all at the wall and see what sticks perfectly. 

Having never actually managed to track down a copy of this record at the time, I was hearing it fresh when this re-issue landed and I am really struck by how well it has aged, regardless of the redux that’s been done in the studio. Having just last night watched Monroe playing a support slot with Black Star Riders, the same seems to apply to the frontman who does not seem to have aged much and retains the stamina of his much younger self to this day. 

I’m hoping the reunion happens, but I’m also hoping they keep at it long enough to give the same treatment to their back catalogue. One down, four to go pretty please.

‘Oriental Beat (2022 remix)’ Official Audio


01. Oriental Beat
02. Motorvatin’
03. No Law Or Order
04. Teenangels Outsiders
05. Sweet Home Suburbia
06. MC Baby
07. Don’t Follow Me
08. Visitor
09. Lightnin’ Bar Blues
10. Devil Woman
11. Fallen Star


Michael Monroe – Vocals, Saxophone, Harmonica
Andy Mccoy – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Nasty Suicide – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Sam Yaffa – Bass
Gyp Casino – Drums


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black 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.

Fange – Privation

Privation Album Cover Art

Fange – Privation
Throatruiner Records
Release Date: 10/03/23
Running Time: 40:00
Review by Dark Juan

Finally! I am going to be rid of the far larger than life size turkey head that has been the balefully staring bane of my life for at least two weeks. The main difference with it now is that Mrs Dark Juan has given it a fez. I know not why. It is wise to not ask questions.

Anyway, it’s leaving the house and thereby increasing living space in Crow Cottage by around 17%. The good folk of Sowerby Bridge will have their chance to enjoy it when it is resident in The Turk’s Head and also when Mrs Dark Juan carries it through town to get it there. 

None of this has anything to do with the record I am trying to listen to (I say trying because Mrs Dark Juan keeps talking to me and The Dread Lord Sir Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover keeps shouting for absolutely no reason and Hodgson Biological-Warfare keeps nudging me to try and convince me to give him a third breakfast. He’s already conned Mrs Dark Juan into thinking I am an abusive son of a bitch who doesn’t feed him and acquired a second breakfast via deceit. He is a lying chonky shit machine) which is from a Breton Industrial band called Fange. As you all know who read this claptrap, Dark Juan was resident in Brittany for a while (in a village called Lignol, in Morbihan) and so is an enthusiastic fan of anything from there, especially kouign-amann and Breton cider. So, will these Rennes-based extremists live up to Dark Juan’s rosy-hued vision of everything Breton by giving us an amazing record, or will Dark Juan have to reconsider his view that the French Extreme Music scene is one of the most diverse and exciting out there? Let us spin this disc upon the Platter of Splatter ™ and see what results from it…

In a staggering display of what passes for competence in my life, I am writing this missive before mid-afternoon. Hence there might be withering sarcasm or a complete lack of clarity because I am still half asleep after returning from wrangling young people.

The album opens with ‘A La Racine’ (‘At The Root’) and it is a harsh and abrasive experience – extreme vocals that tear at the hearing of the poor listener grind against guitars that flay and eviscerate and the drum machine is a massively percussive engine that hammers itself straight into the solar plexus and just keeps on pounding. ‘Sang-Vinagre’ (‘Vinegar Blood’ literally – this however could be my French failing me and it is actually ‘Acid Blood’ or some equivalent) is an equally savage proposition but melds light and dark beautifully, with elements of Post-Punk in the guitar work, and dare I even say that there are echoes of a deliciously Industrial Paradise Lost in parts. Think a heavier “One Second” and you’ll get the idea.

I know there are purists out there who deride the use of a drum machine on Extreme recordings. Well, I bid them all defiance, thumb my nose at them and say “Fie!” to their opinions because they are fucking WRONG. There are times (especially in Industrial music) where a drum machine adds a level of precision and percussive assault that a human drummer can’t. I give you Godflesh as the example that proves the rule. And Necrophagist, come to think of it. They released a classic album of Technical Death Metal with a drum machine. Fange are no different. They use a drum machine to considerable advantage. Think of it more as a massy and devastating warhammer than percussion and revel in the slaughter and the splatter of internal organs as they are torn out by hammer induced blunt force trauma.

‘Né Pour Trahir’ (‘Born To Betray’) displays a particularly blackened Gothic Industrial exterior, with waspish and ethereal guest vocals from Cindy Sanchez (Lisieux, Candélabre) forming a beautiful yet dangerous counterpoint to some fine Post-Punk guitar work simmering gently beneath the pummelling Industrial music and oily Sludge that is the backbone of this utterly maniacal Breton band.  

The production on this album is a masterclass in Industrial Metal sound – it is almost biomechanical in complexity with a mix of such artistry that Dark Juan has decided it should have a street party in its honour. This has not gone down well with the denizens of Sowerby Bridge because I have a) blocked the road outside Crow Cottage, thereby removing access to the theatrical curtain manufacturers up the road and b) I am the only one at the party because Mrs Dark Juan has to do FIFTEEN illustrations for the Centre for Folklore, Myth and Magic up the road in Todmorden by mid-March and she is having a major panic about timescales. It is a cloying, rich mix that is all-encompassing in its extremity. It surrounds, seduces and then bludgeons the listener to half to death before getting out the big rocks for a bit of peine forte a dure. Never let it be said that Fange don’t know how to show you a fucking good time, especially if you are into a bit of pain to get your rocks off…

To summarise, then: Fange effortlessly weld the arctic coldness yet ultra-humanistic Industrial alienation of Godflesh with the rich, pitch-thick, full sound of Sludge Metal and the dark and ghostly elegance of Gothic rock and Post-Punk and the icy mechanics of Coldwave and this resonates so fully with Dark Juan that he has fallen into a musical event horizon and is silently seated in the lounge, unmoving and uncommunicative and gently dribbling because he cannot comprehend such utter fucking perfection in music. Fange hit every musical spot Dark Juan has and a few he didn’t know about. This really is Industrial at its best, and the French appear to have cornered the modern Industrial scene and battered it into cowering submission. With Fange and P.H.O.B.O.S there’s no one to touch them.

Fucking AWESOME.

Le système breveté de notation des éclaboussures de sang de Dark Juan a rappelé que la France est un pays merveilleux et que la Bretagne est encore meilleure par Fange et ne peut rien faire d’autre que de leur attribuer le dix sur dix pour la musique industrielle la plus parfaite qu’il ait entendue depuis des années. 10/10 for the Anglophones out there. Merci, messieurs! Merci BEAUCOUP…

01. À La Racine
02. Sang-Vinagre
03. Les Crocs Limes
04. Né Pour Trahir
05. Enfers Inoculés
06. Portes D’Ivoire
07. Extrême-Onction

Antoine Perron – Bass, Vocals
Benjamin Moreau – Guitars, Vocals, Machines
Matthias Jungbluth – Vocals, Lyrics 
Vague – Guitars, Vocals 


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan 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.

Hand Of Doom – Stray From The Path

Stray From The Path Album Cover Art

Hand Of Doom – Stray From The Path
Release Date: 06/01/23
Running Time: 35:35
Review by Dark Juan

Here I am and here I remain. Even if my hearing hasn’t remained. I have foolishly been left to my own devices downstairs while Mrs Dark Juan has a snooze upstairs as she FINALLY succumbs to her almost Soviet work ethic. But without the gulags, oppression and Communism, obviously. There is no place for that sort of business in the glorious People’s Republic Of West Yorkshire where lads are lads and the lasses are… rather harder than the lads to be honest, judging by the amount of dresses a smidgeon below minge-base and high heels I have seen tottering through actual blizzards on my infrequent visits to the local hostelries. 

To be fair, that WAS just the lads.

Anyway, I am not here to tell you about the attire of the frankly terrifying ladies of the Calder Valley. A mere two of them have more teeth than the entire Osmond family and it is quite a singular sight to behold, ah tell thee. I AM HERE to tell you about the record I am currently spinning upon the goodly and puissant Platter of Splatter ™, which is one of our august editor Simon “Be Grateful It Wasn’t The Triple-CD Symphonic Power Metal One I Sent You, Despite You Agitating To Give It To Rory, You Massive Bullying Arsehole” Black’s wild card choices. This is a system we have evolved at Ever-Metal Towers to try and get some very underground bands some media coverage and bring them to the attention of the record-buying public, especially when they are doing all their own PR and pressing and the like. Obviously, with the pressures of day jobs, extremely limited budgets, families and suchlike, their requests don’t always get to us in time for release date, and such was the case with London-based Hand Of Doom, a Death Metal power trio. Hence the January release date. It didn’t help that their Google Drive file was password protected and I had to wait to gain access to the music, but gain entrance (fnarr fnarr) I did and now I am subjecting the inside of my head to some good old-fashioned violent fun.

First impressions of the album are that it is varied and surprising – for a Death Metal band, Hand Of Doom collectively possess considerably more chops musically than your average gorehounds. There’s elements of classic Morrisound Studios DM in the music as well as a rather strong Slayer influence in parts, although the production of the record is very much of the 80s Eurothrash blueprint. The guitar work is especially good, although lacking a certain amount of meat in the sound – a thicker sound would have been to the advantage of the band as their music needs a bit of chonk to it. However, there are times where the curiously lightweight production works, for example on the Hardcore-tinged ‘Blades’. Allowances must be made, however, for this is a debut record, and for the reasons I have already detailed in the paragraph prior to this one.

‘Living Corpse’ is a fucking decent tune though – a mix of Biohazard and Deicide without a branded dickhead at the helm. Speedy, dangerous and uncompromisingly murderous, this song lights the pleasure centres of Dark Juan’s brain up like a locked room full of half-naked virgins and a Viagra dispenser that Dark Juan has the only key for. Both the dispenser and the room…

The album opens and closes with some gorgeous chord medleys and classical guitar work and the title track (and album closer) is also worthy of note for the use of keyboards in there that brought a tear to this jaded old bastard’s eye because it reminded him of ‘Chapel of Ghouls’ by Morbid Angel. This can only be a good thing, because Hand Of Doom don’t play a style of DM like that so it is a nod and a knowing wink rather than blatant copyism. The music on the record as a whole is satisfyingly complex and well played and executed. There’s the odd dodgy switch of tempos or keys but it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the music which has an interesting Technical element to it without making Hand Of Doom a Tech Death band – dare I say this and piss the band off? Fuck it all, I’m going in. There’s the odd element of Kings X, of all people, that I can hear in there that lends an unusual (but wholly welcome) almost Prog element to the music. I have to say that I dig it.

One thing I fucking don’t dig though, is the utterly appalling drum sound on this album. The bass drum especially sounds like it is made from Amazon delivery boxes and plywood and is being whacked with a perilously close to being rotten halibut. It emits a flat, flaccid thud. The snare is frequently inaudible and the bass drum overpowers the rest of the kit to an alarming degree at times. When the drummer bashes the tinware, there are two options as to what the tinware is going to do – it either cowers trembling behind the sofa where it can’t be discerned, or it inhales a shitload of Bolivian marching powder and is all up in your face spoiling for a good old-fashioned straightener on the cobbles. There’s no happy medium. Also while I am criticising the production – stop doing a Newsted on the bassist and turn the poor fucker up. The vocals are fucking ear-shatteringly magnificent though.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has this to say about Hand Of Doom – they are a band that exude considerable promise and certainly have the talent to go far and do very very well, but they need to start exercising a bit of quality control on the production front and maybe invest a little more in this going forward. Otherwise, a jolly fine record that gets 6/10 for a flawed, but promising debut.

01. The Endless Path
02. Permafrost
03. Barbed Wire Noose
04. Bleeding Mind
05. Creeping Black
06. Blades
07. Living Corpse
08. Stray From The Path

Gus Everitt  – Guitar, vocals
Andreas Morelli-Mae – Bass, vocals 
Jonathan Hanen – Drums


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan 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.