Nile, with Krisiun, In Element, and Decrepid – ‘The Garage’, London – 06/11/2022

Nile, with Krisiun, In Element, and Decrepid
‘The Garage’, London
Live Review & Photos by Chris Galea


Decrepid are a local Brutal Death Metal band – as far as I can remember this was my first foray into their music. They sounded tight and intense … jeez, if this was only the first band, I dread to imagine how flayed my body and mind will be by the end of the event. Anyway, the vocals sounded particularly fierce and occasionally I heard some cool guitar licks amongst a ferocious barrage of riffs.


In Element stood out from the rest of the bill but not necessarily for the right reasons. The band does a sort of Industrial / Nu-Metal cross-bred with Crematory-type sonorities. They sounded a bit lost to me to be honest and definitely weren’t my cup of tea. At times their singer kept babbling incoherently for more than my patience could endure. As in the case of Decrepid, In Element had very little stage space to move about. Consequentially their singer performed standing on the pit barrier, and it was weird avoiding any collisions when I skirted from one side of the pit to the other to take my photos. Brownie points to the band for their efforts in providing a visually impactful show despite stage restrictions.


Krisiun’s confidence in delivering the goods was clear as the band steam-rolled through their set with fearsome tightness. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past thirty years, Krisiun, from Brazil, infuse the aural menace of Thrash and Death Metal. The Kolesne brothers that make up the band performed a sort of greatest hits from their vast repertoire with an understandable leaning towards their new album “Mortem Solis”.

The Garage happily lapped everything up and the band members seemed quite pleased at the audience’s reaction. Highlights for me included some guitar shredding from Moyses Kolesne that I hadn’t always picked up from the band’s recordings. Set closer ‘Hatred Inherit’ was particularly impressive too but was delivered with the same passion that the trio showed for the whole set. Quite a good live band.


Nile upped the ante in terms of brutality and the crowd responded to that with some serious moshing. Sounding immensely tight, the U.S.A. quartet delivered its own brand of Death Metal inspired by Ancient Egypt and its grim mythology.

Behind the drum kit, George Kollias was particularly impressive … tight, precise and relentless. I remember meeting him when he was playing with Greek band Nightfall … he has built up quite a name for himself since then. Similarly, guitarist, band founder and riff-meister Karl Sanders was excellent as he flew through one intricate series of riffs to another without getting entangled.

Despite the fact that the band members seem to work well together, this line-up is actually quite new. Brian Kingsland, on guitar and lead vocals, joined just as the band started working on “Vile Nilotic Rites”, Nile’s most recent album, from which the band played a couple of numbers tonight. Bass player and lead growler Julian David Guillen has only been with Nile for a few weeks, and this is in fact his very first tour with the band. 

Thankfully I exited The Garage relatively unscathed but pleased as it had been a while since I attended such a good Death Metal gig.



Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris Galea and Ever Metal. Photography property of Chris Galea 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.

Beyond Your Design, Hellfekted, Reaper, Born Pariah – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 22/10/22

Beyond Your Design, Hellfekted, Reaper, Born Pariah
The Hairy Dog, Derby
Review by Rob Sutton 
Photos by Klare Sherwood

Derby isn’t a place I go to often for gigs, this in fact being only my second time in the city but when an offer comes to review an EP launch at the Hairy Dog, I can’t really refuse. Now the venue itself is one of my personal favourites, we have a covered smoking area with a food van at the front, a main bar room with really good toilets, a main event room with a huge stage, plenty of space and a bar. Although the toilets in here are not to the same standard as in the pub. Oh and a games room as well, honestly what more do you want from a venue? Oh, cheap beer, check. £4 a pint… Winner! 

So, moving on from the venue and to our opening band for the evening Born Pariah, who start things off as they mean to go on – Thrashy. Now as we know, Thrash really isn’t my first choice when it comes to Metal subgenres, but these guys describe themselves as more Groove than Thrash. To me they do still have an awful lot of Thrash elements to them, but certainly  the riffs on display here really highlight a more groovy side and I do really dig this, as they really get the crowd’s heads bobbing along. This is amplified by the heavy hitter behind the drums. He really is hammering that kit and provides a real thud to the grooves. Another special mention has to be to the bassist, who actually gets time to shine on multiple occasions, yes boys and girls we have bass solos!!! Joking aside these fitted beautifully within their songs and was a really nice change from the usual guitar intros. 

While the music is solid and performed to a high standard, the stage show, not so much. I like a band that engages with the crowd and Born Pariah barely even announce a song. Not only that, but for the most part they are just stood on stage with a slight Bob, aside from the drummer who was actually going full beans and completely stole my attention. Born Pariah looked like they were bored on stage and sadly that left me a little bored too, luckily the music was good though.

Reaper are a band that Ever Metal are all too familiar with and are one of Editor Beth’s personal favourites, though this is the first time I have actually reviewed them. So where do I stand? Well first off there is way more stage presence, in fact Reaper don’t stand still and this is made more impressive by the speed they are playing at. Now the quote from Dan (vocals / guitar) used for tonight was ‘Thrash, Rock and Prog, 3 dead genres for the price of one’ now I’ll be honest Reaper are way more Thrash than Rock or Prog, but those influences are clear to see and do give them a nice USP, but I wouldn’t stray too far from the Thrash side as they do it bloody well. I mean the solos are frankly mind-blowing, the drumbeats are blisteringly good, the bass holds the low end to perfection and just everything fits together so beautifully. Not to mention the great interactions with the crowd and the excellent use of the masses of space on stage (although the merch plug was really cringy) but for me Reaper highlight what Thrash is all about, fantastic showmanship, fast music, a lot of energy and really good fun. Dare I say it… one of the top Thrash bands in the underground scene right now.

Hellfekted are up next filling the main support slot on this tour with Beyond Your Design. Now last time there were a few things I wasn’t that keen on from Hellfekted, but since then they have had some mega shows and an appearance at Bloodstock. All this seems to have given the band a real boost, which means tonight’s performance is on another level of good. As with Reaper, these guys use every inch of the stage to their advantage which makes for very entertaining watching as well as sheer admiration as once again, the speed these guys play at is just mind boggling. All this on display really does get the crowd nodding away happily but the cries for circle pits are a little off putting. OK attempt one got a solitary participant and attempt 2 got another, but for me after the first go, maybe shout for a pit instead. To be fair to Hellfekted, their take on Blackened Thrash really is a sight to behold and I haven’t seen a band like these perform with such precision and speed. Honestly, if you haven’t watched them or heard them… do it!

Although the support bands have been absolutely on point tonight there really is only one reason this gig is taking place and that is the release of Beyond Your Design’s latest EP. First off, they have a stand-in drummer for this show from Reaper and this is a very welcome addition, even if it is only for this show as the last few shows have been without and while the backing tracks are good, nothing beats the real thing. While the rest of the bands this evening have sounded predominantly Thrash, Beyond Your Design are way more Metalcore sounding, though I won’t mention the band they sound like (please see my roast of these guys)(Wasn’t TRIVIUM by any chance was it, Hyperactive Metal Pixie ™? – Dark Juan). This has meant that there are way more parts that you can happily sing along to and boy is their material catchy! Seriously ‘United we Fall’ was stuck in my head for days after this gig! This is really helped by the quality of the clean singing being crisp and very understandable. 

Now as before, BYD really do own the stage filling every space they can and couple this with a very commanding front man, the crowd are in the palm of their hand, and yes, this time we do get pits, we get shouts back and we get headbanging. There were a couple of guests throughout the set, firstly Liam from Hellfekted comes back on and adds a very nice level of Thrash to their sound but had to mention the dreaded phrase ‘circle pit’ at least this was third time lucky. Also joining on stage was Dan from Reaper taking over from Rob on guitar, while Dan did a mighty job on the guitar, releasing Rob to be just a vocalist was fucking amazing! The man is like a caged animal! He just flipped and completely dominated the stage, got right into the crowds faces and just put on an almighty show. I wish he would do this more as I loved it! BYD played a phenomenally engaging, stupidly tight and just an all-round incredible set, I honestly can’t fault this show… Best set of the year? Maybe so…

This may have been a fair way to travel and with a lot of thrash on the bill, I didn’t expect to enjoy the gig this much but my god the bands smashed it. I would highly recommend any of the bands as well as the venue! What a night!




Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. All photographs property of Klare Sherwood – KS Photography. 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.

Thrashatouille, Pariah and Betray The Throne – The Blind Pig, Sowerby Bridge

Thrashatouille, Pariah and Betray The Throne Poster

Thrashatouille, Pariah and Betray The Throne
The Blind Pig, Sowerby Bridge
Review by Dark Juan

Hello, ladies, gentlemen and people of all other genders. It is I, Dark Juan, and in a tumultuous divergence of form (mainly because I am totally misanthropic and suffer considerable social anxiety), I, in the august company of Mrs Dark Juan, actually ventured out of Dark Juan Terrace on a SATYRDAY (sic) no less – this for two reasons. Firstly, The Blind Pig is a venue well known to Mrs Dark Juan and myself, because we have been friends with Julie, the absolutely delightful landlady, for many years, and because Mrs Dark Juan has made another “wonderful” creation for her to be placed in the venue. This was a giant pig’s head that Mrs Dark Juan had mounted on a baroque frame. Nothing unusual there you might think? 

Oh no. Oh, no, no, no, no!

Mrs Dark Juan has somehow contrived to make the pig’s head both terrifying AND also like it has been flayed, and now it is VERY angry and hell-bent on revenge. Unsurprisingly, Mrs Dark Juan thinks it is “cute”, Julie fucking loves it and stuck it on the wall next to the performance area between bands. One might think that the baleful glare of a pissed off, flayed pig monster would wonderfully focus the performances of the bands, wouldn’t one? Thankfully, your correspondent was there to report on the proceedings.

First to pass under the critical observation of Dark Juan is Thrashatouille, the food-based Thrash Metal band (sans bassist for this gig because the real world intervened and he had to go to work) fronted by fellow alumnus and hyperactive metal pixie™ Rob Sutton, the Pastry Chef, who was a delightful young gentleman to meet, even if there was a raised eyebrow from the cake-fucking homunculus when a large and already inebriated beardy weirdy lurched menacingly towards him to say hello. Nevertheless, the band kicked off a fine evening of metal and shenanigans with their most original blend of fast thrashing and food-based puns. Even Mrs Dark Juan, who is notoriously hard to please, was charmed by the antics of Thrashatouille and their pint-sized fizzing firebomb of a frontman within two songs, but as a baker, she was utterly horrified and disgusted by the antics described in ‘Red Velvet Romance’, where the protagonist really LOVES cake and chooses to express his love of baked treats in a… priapic fashion. Our cheerful little golem of a frontman then smeared cake upon his face whilst roaring and howling like he had an entire regiment of large and well-endowed dragoons rampaging up his chutney ferret and then a punter more pissed than Dark Juan licked it from Rob’s salty sweet face… 

Not to mention the famed inflatable “DONUT!” made an appearance and a young chap in the audience came perilously close to being brained on the ceiling when surfing with it to the soundtrack being provided by ‘Maccies Monday’. All in all, a bit of a blinder of a show (as Dark Juan said in a most inebriated fashion to the band’s guitarist after the show without actually having twigged to the fact that said fine gentleman is visually impaired. This caused much hilarity and Dark Juan was thoroughly chastened but got a hug anyway) played by a band who were frankly the perfect way to start a Saturday night of Metal in a breezy and cold Yorkshire. And they won a fan in Mrs Dark Juan, which is not an easy thing to do. Top marks for a cracking set, full of giggles and moshing in equal measure.

Next up were Pariah, who it has to be said, left Dark Juan a bit cold. Their Machine Head-esque Thrashamania was perfectly acceptable, but I think the boys were on to a loser in a big way having to follow the bunch of baked goods violators before them. Pariah were a bit too serious after all the shenanigans and this was to their detriment. The rest of the crowd lapped up their speedy, aggressive Metal in an appreciative fashion though, so my being a bit disinterested could just have been me being a bit of a cockwomble and busily bothering Rob for a Thrashatouille t-shirt. Plus, Mrs Dark Juan had moved on to the Jack and cokes at this point and was requiring increasingly careful wrangling. Saying that, though, the lead singer playing an Explorer? Top marks for Metal guitar loveliness right there. Pariah were tighter than a gnat’s arse throughout their set and were perfectly approachable folks afterwards when faced with a horribly pissed Dark Juan trying to make friends with them. A pissed Dark Juan on a full-scale charm offensive is something to both behold and absolutely shit yourself at…

In short, Pariah are a very good band who play music that isn’t entirely to Dark Juan’s taste. This does not mean that they are not worthy of your attention.

Now, the headliners. Betray the fucking Throne. Not having to come to my attention before, I had no preconceptions of what they would sound like and their particular brand of sonic fury was fucking intoxicating! An absolutely brutal blend of UK Hardcore and the heaviest of Metal combine to bring you the aural experience of being trampled by a large and angry herd of socially conscious elephants chasing a bunch of neo-Nazis whilst all wired on metric fucktons of cocaine. The Blind Pig erupted! There was an instant pit formation, bodies bouncing any which fucking way and a wall of death – sad to relate, but your correspondent went down like a sack of fucking spuds on a wet patch, although the vocalist, an excellent and august gentleman, rescued Dark Juan’s hat and plonked it back on his head for him. Even Mrs Dark Juan, who is now a vastly experienced teenager, got her fighting blood up and rampaged into the pit for a bit of good old-fashioned violence and was slinging bodies all over the fucking shop. 

Betray The Throne know how to play a fucking SHOW. Rampant, chest-beating aggression, power, breakdowns and beatdowns were the order of the day and their punishing, pugilistic brand of UK Hardcore Metal was just, well, fucking sublime for this mouldy old twat having ventured out for the evening. They were also fucking lovely people to chat to after. Their set was over all too fast, so two achy old farts repaired to the smoking area to go and terrorise the bands afterwards with good old Yorkshire friendliness. Having extracted a hug from the frankly terrifying (but otherwise really most  charming) bass player from Betray the Throne and having told Rob and Thrashatouille they can crash at the soon-to-be-acquired Chez Dark Juan at the other end of the road from The Blind Pig (Mrs Dark Juan has warned him that she will not be accepting any baked goods from him in case he has bonked them) we retired into the rainy night and the Schwerer Gothikpanzer and home.

A fucking brilliant night!



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.

Karma’s Puppet W/Severenth, Recall the Remains, Portrayal of Ruinn

Karma's Puppet Poster

Karma’s Puppet
W/Severenth, Recall the Remains, Portrayal of Ruinn
The County Bar Chesterfield
Review by Rob Sutton

Returning to The County Rock Bar in Chesterfield is something I have wanted to do since their M2TM final, not just for the stunning scenery on the drive there but because this is a cracking venue. This time it was made even better as the prices seemed cheaper (although there was an increase during the night), the venue was even cleaner than last time and the sound tech was spot on for every band! So, this gig had been put together by Bloodstock winners Karma’s Puppet and they had invited other winners from around the country, all bands I have reviewed before making this fairly easy for me.

First up was Manchester’s Deathcore mob Portrayal Of Ruinn a band who have probably had the most reviews from me. This is an odd one for me as I have never seen them open a gig before though I must say they fill this role just as well as they do other slots. Their energy on stage doesn’t lack and there is plenty of headbanging throughout. Calvin (vocals) is pretty spot on with his delivery even showing of a pig squeal which was probably the best I’ve heard from him. In fairness though they did tonight what Portrayal do, engage the crowd, play breakdowns, get everyone involved and have a good time. They did however bring out one of their newer pieces ‘Echo Chamber’, which still keeps their sound but works as a slight evolution of what they already have. Saying that though, I can’t remember hearing a ‘bleugh.’ If there wasn’t one I’m not complaining as it does get a little repetitive during their sets. So, POR as openers, yep it works, they played fantastically, the crowd loved them and I really enjoyed their set. A great start to the show.

Recall the Remains begin the Metalcore invasion of the night and straight off these guys mean business! Jacob fully demands the crowd’s attention, as he always does and then keeps them in the palm of his hand. His vocals tonight are again on point with each of his gutturals and his highs sitting perfectly (though I heard him do some disgusting noises during sound check that I didn’t hear during their set… is this on the album?). 

For the second time tonight, we have a band showing off a new song and this one is a belter! The riffs really shine through and their whole sound just feels heavier than usual. I also noticed throughout Recall the Remains set that there were a few more backing tracks within their songs, mainly during the choruses. This really enhanced the power of them and coupled with Jordan’s (bassist) soaring cleans do send tingles down your spine. Again, I’ve seen Recall the Remains numerous times, so I can say their stage show and performance was exactly what I expected. What wasn’t was the change of set list and the addition of a new song. Whether they read my last review or not I don’t know but this new set stunned me and I think it’s fair to say this was the best and most enjoyable set I have seen from them.

From one Metalcore band to another, this time it’s the North Wales boys Severenth who for once have actually set up their merch!!! Now as with every band on this bill, I have seen these guys on numerous occasions but tonight they too have mixed their set up. I had no idea which song was next which really kept me engaged and trying to guess which was next. 

Onto their performance, now I have previously commented on their take on Metalcore and heavily taking inspiration from European metal, mainly Germany and it just works so well and tonight is one of the tightest I’ve seen them, with the guitars of both Jack and Adam really shining through on the solos. Pete’s voice is also spot on with his cleans feeling almost effortless and also the addition of more lows is very welcome. As with the previous 2 bands Severenth also have decided to throw in a new song ‘Dance With Me’. I loved this tune! It still sounds like Severenth, which is good as I really don’t want these guys to go down the Modern Metalcore route like every other Metalcore band does. This song does however feel like a rejuvenated Severenth, they looked so into this tune and happy to be showcasing it, loved it! I guess what more can I say, another band putting on a performance which was the best I’ve seen from them, tonight’s really going well!

Finally we have Karma’s Puppet and it was Max (drums) who had asked me if I would review this night, well his exact words were ‘I’m not sure if I will regret this, but…’ well so far Max, you guys have pulled out a beast of a line up! So, can Karma’s Puppet keep the trend going? Of course they can! Last week in Bolton they played an absolute blinder of a set and took the York by the scruff of the neck. Tonight… its the same! 

They always bring energy by the bucket load and treat the crowd to a whole host of singalongs, breakdowns and a wall of death! Yeah, the crowd really lapped these guys up. As I mentioned at the beginning, the sound has been stunning tonight and for Karma’s Puppet they just sound massive, a credit to both the sound tech and the band themselves. Not only do they sound huge, but they are tight yet again and Alex’s voice is stunning again (I may not have liked it at first but it’s grown on me and is now stuck in my head). 

There is also a theme tonight of new songs and for Karma’s Puppet it’s ‘Thorns’. This feels like an instant classic with perfect parts for crowd interaction, catchy choruses and a breakdown, the crowd once again love it. I mean what can I say, Karma’s Puppet have just elevated themselves yet again and keep getting better with every show, watch out world, Metalcore Metallica are on a mission!

I have to say, I was looking forward to this gig, four bands whom I love watching, in a venue that I like and with great friends, I mean what more can I ask for? Every band brought a solid set and each of their new songs have really whetted my appetite for the new releases (looks like recorded reviews might be back on the menu for me). So, in response to Max’s comment… I’m glad you asked me to pop down and considering this is probably the only review I have ever written where I can’t find any negatives… well that speaks for itself!




Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton 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 Bunny, The Bear, w/Cabin Boy Jumped Ship, Rosen Bridge, In Depths, Aleya

The Bunny the Bear Poster

The Bunny, The Bear, w/Cabin Boy Jumped Ship, Rosen Bridge, In Depths, Aleya
Penny Black, Wrexham
Review by Rob Sutton

Wrexham really is starting to feel like a home away from home, so when a gig with bands I used to listen to in college and bands from the local scene I’ve been following for a few years are all on the same bill then its a no brainer! Now The Penny Black has had a good makeover recently and actually feels and looks like a proper venue, but it falls short on a few things, firstly, the toilets are horrific! No locks, no seats, no bog roll and look like they haven’t seen a mop in years. Also, the beer prices are ridiculous, £4.50 for a bottle of beer and the taps being turned off again is frankly daylight robbery! Though if you’re sober like I was then the prices aren’t a huge issue but still… wow!

So first up was Chester / North Wales based Aleya, a band I have put on at gigs before and probably will again. Judging by the amount of fans with their merch on, they also have a good following in Wrexham, this is impressive as they have a fairly sizeable crowd despite being the openers. Now Metalcore is something I seem to come across at nearly every gig I go to, and it can get a bit samey, but Aleya seem to have a bit of a spark about them. Firstly they are stupidly catchy, ‘Losing Sleep’ being one that is still stuck in my head, and secondly because they don’t sound like they’re aiming for the new age Architects style of Metalcore. The riffs are sounding much more melodic and tonight are played fantastically, not to mention both clean and screamed vocals being on point for the most part. Though towards the end of the set the cleans really started to suffer and there were a lot of missed notes and he did sound out of breath. Saying that, their energy tonight was stunning, they were a fantastic opener and hopefully should get a fair few more gigs with performances like this. Oh, I would recommend a wireless mic as he does like to wander.

In Depths are a band I don’t think I have reviewed before, though I have seen and played with these guys many times. First up these guys do stand out on this bill, with the focus being on Metalcore and Electronic In Depths bring pure brutality by the bucket load! Their cross between Beat Down and Deathcore is quite a mix and leads to a sound that is so ungodly heavy it makes thunder sound like a knock on the door. Now the last few times I have seen them, technical issues have really let them down but there is nothing of the sort tonight apart from the odd bit of feedback, instead the crowd are met with a well-oiled machine that just flicks from one song to another effortlessly, the use of backing tracks really work a treat for this! Honestly, I have never seen these guys perform to such a high standard, the aggression and precision is just to die for and the whole set I’m just stood in awe! Honestly this was brutal on another level!

Third up on this monster bill is another one of my personal favourites Rosen Bridge and after the onslaught before them it was back to the Metalcore theme of the night but with a bit more of a Djenty twist. Now I can bang on about how much I love what these guys do and the fact that I was singing along to a good half the set probably is a big giveaway to how much I enjoyed them. Though I’ll try and put my biased aside, to start the vocals were a little quiet, which really hampers these guys as they are a massive focal point of the band but by the second track the levels are much better. 

As with In Depths, Rosen Bridge performed absolutely on point, tight as a drum, tons of energy and fantastic crowd engagement. This time I find myself more drawn to the drums, they are absolutely ballistic tonight, so much power and speed all in the right places, he is honestly top of his game tonight! Now it also wouldn’t be a Rosen Bridge review without a comment on the singer Alex’s dance moves, if you haven’t seen them, they are quite a sight during a Metal performance. All in all Rosen Bridge did what they always do, put a massive smile on my face so nothing else matters. Oh and extra points for dedicating ‘Watchers’ to me and giving a shout out to Thrashatouille! That’s one way to butter up a reviewer!

Filling the roll of main support this evening is Cabin Boy Jumped ship, a band that have been around a fair while now and before this tour hadn’t gigs prior to the world ending. Their sound had initially started out as proper Electronic Metalcore, but has evolved to a slightly more modern sound while still retaining their roots. This I am a fan of as I have said prior, I’ve seen a lot of Metalcore bands recently and this means CBJS stand out to me. 

These guys hit the stage and unleash carnage on the crowd of Wrexham and truly raise the standard to a new level. The whole performance is slick, tight and just a pleasure to watch! Now normally I would say there is way too much reliance on the backing tracks during the set as a lot of vocals and guitars are also thrown in as well as the Dance beat, but in this rare circumstance, it works and that is primarily down to the genre they play. It is supposed to sound over mixed and the fact the whole band remain beautifully in time throughout makes this all the better. Again, I find myself drawn to the drummer as this time he is the one providing the clean backing vocals and does so perfectly. The fact that CBJS blend so many genres, from Metal to Rap to Dance truly sets these guys apart and dare I say this… this was one of my top performances of the year so far so naturally, that’s another T-shirt to my collection!

Back in the good old days a very young Rob stumbled across a band called The Bunny, The Bear and immediately fell in love with their unique crossover sound and catchy choruses. So, when he found out they were playing Wrexham he instantly messaged the main lady of Ever Metal asking if he could review this (thank you Beth). So, as you can tell I was excited! Starting off TBTB let their backing band showcase their normal music which was a really nice touch, albeit a tad off-genre for the night but still I like this! 

What I wasn’t much of a fan of was the bassist wandering around asking everyone if they could hear him, mate, speak to the sound tech! Though this would have been pointless as I shall explain later. Kicking off TBTB set was my personal favourite ‘Aisle’ this song really took me back and the voices matched exactly what I envisioned them to sound like live so, of course I was singing along. After this though is where, and there is no other way of putting this, it all goes to shit! That bassist I mentioned decided again to spend his time in the crowd and thus hit the deck and broke his bass leaving us with no bass for the rest of the set. I later find out that he had twisted his ankle at a previous show and had spent most of the evening downstairs getting drunk. Honestly, I hope they weren’t paying him as this frankly was the single least professional thing I have ever seen from a band especially a touring one of this calibre. 

Sadly, from there the rest of the set just ended up messy and all over the place, nothing seemed to fit together properly, no one looked like they wanted to perform on the night and most of the crowd had buggered off. It just looked so amateur, like a group of mates had got together, never practiced and decided to do a gig. Don’t get me wrong the sound was far from ideal for them and they did have numerous issues with the mics but this does not hide the fact that this was an absolute joke of a set. I really like this band and will still listen to them online but I can’t justify spending money to watch people prat around on stage and be too pissed to even play. No thanks!

Aside from my disappointment with the headliners, this was a really good show, the rest of the bands brought their ‘A’ game and I truly loved all of them, the venue does need work and also a centre monitor (many vocalists mentioned this) but that is a small issue in what can only be described as a fantastic evening!




Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton 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.

Beermageddon Festival 2022

Beermageddon Festival 2022 Poster

Beermageddon Festival 2022
Stoke Prior Sports & Social Club, Bromsgrove
26 – 28/08/2022
Review and Photography by Beth Jones

Beermageddon has been a mainstay in the UK Metal scene for a decade! It’s only a small indoor festival, but that makes it one of my favourites, as you truly experience the ‘Metal family’. Everyone knows everyone, and it’s more like a reunion party than a festival. It’s close knit and intimate, and my new favourite festival, after attending for the first time last year. For this 10th anniversary event, all the bands performing were selected from bands who have performed at previous years, which made it even more of a reunion event. 

We arrived on the Thursday this year and had time to catch the Thursday night disco. Which was awesome. There is nothing more perfect in the world than us bunch of ‘misfits’ (as society would make us) dancing to the Cha-Cha Slide! Copious ale was quaffed and a great night was had by all! And after a night in the tent, and a morning and afternoon to recover from said quaffing, it was time for the music to begin properly! 

Day 1

Melted Messiah

This unintentional one-man Black Metal band played at Beermageddon 2021. I say unintentional, because they’re usually a 2 piece, but this year the drummer got Covid the day before the festival. Last year I think I said something along the lines of ‘it would be better with a full band’. I wanted to be able to say something different this time, but with the drummer missing, I can’t. He’s got some good riffs, but it needed drums at the very least and would still work better as a full band. What I will say though is hats off to him for getting up and doing it, rather than cancelling the gig. That takes courage. I just really hope that next time I see Melted Messiah, it’s as a full band.

Sorceress Of Sin

Again, these guys played last year. They’re fast and furious, and their frontwoman, Lisa Skinner, has one hell of a voice. They seemed a lot more punchy this year, and got the crowd going straight away. After a few songs they slowed it down with a ballad, that showed their softer side really well. I liked these guys last year, and I still do!

After our first two bands, it was time for the annual fancy dress show! This year’s theme was The Wild West, and there were some very… very interesting twists on this! There are certain things that I just will never be able to unsee… And the less said about that, the better! But the eventual winner was a gorgeous little cowboy of about 6 months old, with his panto horse dad. Very cute, although I think the cheering was a bit much for him… And the baby didn’t look too impressed either, boom boom! 

Wired THC

What better way to follow some crazy fancy dress nonsense than with some Hardcore Thrash? And Wired never disappoint or fail to bring the party and the crowd! It was awesome to see so many kids absolutely loving it down the front, and we were joined in the photo pit by a budding young photographer, who looked chuffed to bits and scared to death in equal measures! This is what we need! More of this. More of the next generation living their dreams!

Ashen Crown

Our first night headliners were the ever heavy Ashen Crown. They went down a storm here last year and won the public vote to headline the Friday night this year. And they did just that in style. Ultimate powerhouses in every department, their performance was tight, professional, and thunderous. The perfect way to round off day 1.

Day 2

Day 2 started with a sponsored head shave, with all proceeds going to RACPA (Rock Against Child Pornography and Abuse) who are the charity mainstay at Beermageddon. The soon to be shaven lady was our very own queen of North East Wales Metal Productions, Beany’s good lady – Kelly Hatton! She looked terrified and a little hung over, but they raised £215 in the charity bucket and more still on the just giving page! The final total by the end of the weekend was nearly £700. Fair play to Kelly – a great sport, and for a brilliant charity.


After a brief pause to grab another beer and roll a fag, it was time for our first music of the day. Another favourite of NEW Metal Productions, and us at Ever Metal, Bloodyard provided the perfect way to shake of the remaining hangovers and aching heads. They’ve got more punch than a Title belt fight, and boy did they bring it to this show! Donna Hurd is such an amazing front woman, and her presence on stage is both aggressive and mesmerising in equal measures, and the rest of the band are just as punishing and brutal. Metronomic drums, killer riffs, and pure power from the bass make the whole thing an epic sound. LOVE them! One of my sets of the weekend!


From a brutal Death Metal fist in the kisser, to Atmospheric Black Metal! Scottish band Ruadh brought the dark and tortured forest into Stoke Prior Sports and Social Club. No easy achievement, but they did it gloriously! I’d never come across them before, but our roving reported Rob recommended them, and he wasn’t wrong. With a great mix of really beautiful clean vocals and growls, and some expansive samples fitting into the burning riffs and rumbling bass, they had the room in the palm of their hands. Great job!


If we thought we’d been heavied earlier, then Agrona were about to make us think again! In full corpse paint and capes (which make for great photos), this 5-piece Symphonic Black Metal band from our homeland of Wales brought heart pounding beats, blood curdling screams and spine-chilling growls, with some epically heavy riffs and rhythms to boot. The sun beating down outside in contrast to the metaphorical lagoon-like blackness on stage was quite a paradox. Music like Agrona needs to be accompanied by fierce, raging tempests! They were a bit too heavy for me, but nevertheless very skilled. Another great set!


Another Black Metal band in full corpse paint! Musically, I think these guys were the tightest all day, purely because they had a lot of changes within their songs, that required careful navigation. Their front man looked every bit as tortured as his screams and growls sounded, pulling some brilliant faces and writhing around as if possessed by some dark force. The bass player however had clearly been possessed by evil Tigger! He was a very bouncy chap! Again, this wasn’t really my cup of tea, but they are very good and the crowd enjoyed it a lot.


German Thrash! I’d never heard these guys before because, if you’ve ever read any of my reviews, you’ll know that Thrash isn’t really my thing. But these guys absolutely smashed it out of the park – stage presence, charisma, talent, party spirit, and more importantly GREAT FUCKING MUSIC!!! They’re more Thrashy Heavy Metal, and in my opinion, they should have headlined the night. You have a new fan in me chaps! Danke!!! Another massive highlight of the weekend for me! And the brilliant thing is that they have now been announced as NEXT YEAR’S HEADLINERS!!! Whoop!

Footprints In The Custard

If I said I’d never seen these bunch of ne’er-do-wells before I’d be lying. I’d also be lying if I said they didn’t hold a special place in my heart. So it was ace to see them as main support here, and they brought their usual brand of madcap, observational comedy Thrash / Death / Whatever The Fuck It Is Metal to the now sizeable crowd. There was chanting and bouncing from the get go, and it was, as always, a pleasure photographing them! I have to confess that I ducked out pretty quickly though, because the room was so full and so hot that I had the choice of ducking out or dropping in a heap, and this camera shit is expensive! But I stayed outside and ate chips while I listened, and they were, as always, super smashing great!


Saturday headliners Rannoch are a very technical Progressive Death Metal 3-piece who haven’t come on my radar before. The first thing that struck me was no drummer. Everything percussive was sampled. They are all obviously very skilled musicians, but I want live music to be at least mostly live, and this took so much away from their set. Call me old fashioned if you wish. I’m not sure whether they have a full-time drummer as the photographs I can find only shows the three of them, but apparently the drummer who was supposed to be with them was ill so couldn’t attend. 

This performance was also blighted with horrific feedback. Not the band’s fault obviously, but it made it impossible for me to stay in there. The crowd had already thinned massively after Footprints (let’s face it they’re a hard act to follow), and this forced a lot more people out of the room. All this combined made them look nervous on stage, and that made it difficult for me to really connect with them as a band. It was a shame to be honest, because their technicality was brilliant, and the rest of the day was absolutely killer!

Day 3

After the first proper sleep since Wednesday, it was time for us to do it all again! First on the bill for day 3 was the traditional group photo, along with a hand fasting ceremony. This was just lovely! Call me girly if you want, but it made me all emotional! The couple being handfasted had their original hand fasting at the first Beermageddon, and this was renewing their vows after ten years, with festival founder and top man Jim Beerman as their minister! After that, it was on to the music.

Cuttin’ Edge

Our first band of the day was some Scottish high octane Heavy Rock in the shape of Cutting Edge. These guys opened last year’s festival and were great. They’re no nonsense and basically just channel their inner Motorhead. The absolute perfect way to start the last day, which always has a ‘fuck it let’s just celebrate the hell out of shit because we’ve all got to go back to normal life tomorrow’ feel about it. Loved them.

I Saw The World Burn

I’ve been wanting to catch these guys for a while, because I’ve heard a lot of good things about them, so I was very glad to the chance here. It was their first gig for 3 years too! They pack a punch, and their front woman has a hell of a growl on her! She had a mic issue here, though, which was a shame. She jumps around a lot, but the sound kept cutting out because of what appeared to be a dodgy cable. The sound guy tried to sort it out after the 3rd song, so we could actually hear the sound of the effort she was putting in on stage, but it still didn’t work. Next was a mic swap, but that didn’t work either! It was finally tracked to a DI box issue, leaving the band playing instrumental while the frontwoman had a boogie on stage, so the crew could plug her up a different way. Despite this technical malfunction, they were still awesome! Will look out for them again soon.

Kill All The Gentleman

This is another band I’d not come across. They’re a Melodic Death / Groove band from Devon. One word. Tight. No in fact two words! Fucking tight!!!! They were shouty and heavy, but musically absolutely brilliant, and frenetic from the start. The gathered crowd loved it. Great set.

Raised By Owls

The true gods of Comedy Metal! Any band that has a 2 second song about memes and can get the crowd dancing to the Chucklevision theme music, wins points from me. They are essential Extreme Metal Redcoats, and that is totally cool in my book! The audience was large and every single one, from the kids to the older generation was smiling and joining in with the copious audience participation elements. The stage presence of these guys is enough to captivate the audience alone, but then add in some face melting riffs, and crazy but hilarious vocals and you have a complete performance. Every household should own a miniature Raised By Owls band like a pet, which they can pull out for parties so everyone goes ‘Nawwww’. End of.


This time last year, Sun Of The Endless Night (SOTEN) played their first ever gig here at this festival. This year they came back as a last minute replacement for a band that had to pull out, and I was bloody glad they did! Seeing them a year on was just beautiful. They no longer looked nervous, they looked commanding. Si Cobb is an awesome front man anyway, but the rest of the band matched his level of stage presence, and they all looked like they were having a ball. They’re Thrash, but they’re good Progressive Thrash that’s exciting, and current, and I am excited to see just how far these guys can grow. Along with Godslave, they were my favourites of the weekend!

Face Up

When the party needs to get really pumped to the climax then these are your band. Good solid Hardcore / Punk, with Thrashy riffs, charisma seeping out of every pore of their anatomies, and most importantly, damn good tunes! They whipped the crowd up straight away, and the room was packed with excitement. We got an extra-large photo pit, with added security for this one, too, which was ace for us togs! I love watching bands having a great time on stage, and these guys really were. Again, an awesome show, and a highlight of the weekend.

Acid Reign

Acid Reign headlined last year, and it was something very special, so to see them back again this year was great. With the addition of new guitarist Matt (Control The Storm), they took to the stage for another hour of madcap tomfoolery and it was again the perfect end to this great festival. H was on form, climbing on speakers, jumping into the crowd, and bouncing about in his usual fashion, and the rest of the band looked happy and relaxed, which was great to see.

And just like that, the festival was done. I had an absolute blast this year, and Steve, who was a metal festival virgin and had been cautious about the weekend, finished the weekend saying “I’m gutted it’s over – I don’t want to go home! It’s been amazing!” That basically sums up everyone’s feelings. Huge thanks to the bands who played killer sets, the crew and security who made everything run smoothly, and of course to the main man, Jim Beerman, for being crazy enough to organize this whole thing in the first place. Here’s to the next ten years!


Disclaimer: This review and all photographic images are solely the property of Beth 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.

Ghosts of Atlantis w/ Recall The Remains, Collapse Of Colour, Bruteallies and Vanitas – The Alma Inn

The Alma Inn  Ghosts of Atlantis

Ghosts of Atlantis w/ Recall The Remains, Collapse Of Colour, Bruteallies and Vanitas
The Alma Inn, Bolton
Review by Rob Sutton

August has arrived! And early on in the month I found myself returning to the Alma on what was probably one of the busiest weekends for gigs in Manchester, with gigs at the Retro Bar, Whittles in Oldham, and The Spinning Top in Stockport. This meant that pulling a crowd was always going to be difficult, but still a fair number of people were in attendance. Now, with the weather being absolutely stunning and the gig due to start 5:30pm I was expecting the venue to use the outdoor stage but no, we were inside sadly. This was a 5 band bill and I was expecting the first band to probably be due on at around 6pm. This would seem ideal for anyone travelling for this event (which was nearly everyone), but sadly this was not the case and the first band didn’t start until 8pm! We will come back to this point later.

First up was a new band for me, Vanitas, who began proceedings with a techy, atmospheric vibe. I will say the riffs on here are simply brilliant, and when the more atmospheric parts come to the forefront their sound is absolutely huge. There was a fair amount of movement on stage as well with most of them grinning from ear to ear throughout the set. But while the music was on point, vocally it was a bit hit and miss. Don’t get me wrong, she has a fantastic voice but some notes were flat and the shouts did sound a little strained. But when she hit the notes, wow it worked. I also had a feeling that there were a few lines missed from some songs as she went to sing and then smiled and turned to the guitarist, but this wasn’t really that noticeable for the average watcher. A personal treat was inviting Jacob from Recall the Remains for the final song, the combination of her voice with his just brought a whole new dimension to their sound, and one I would perhaps look to add on a few more songs. I found myself smiling a lot throughout this set, I loved the concept and how massive they sounded, but a little more practice and some vocal warm ups may help elevate this to the next level.

Late additions Bruteallies hit the stage next, though we did have to wait for what felt like an eternity for them to come on (rant incoming at the end). Once they did, they picked up the energy in terrific fashion! Their blend of melodies and thrash is one that is not seen too often in the genre and really does set them apart from others. The amount of energy these guys have on stage was frankly unrivalled by the other bands and this meant the crowd were fully engaged moshing, and even attempting a pit! Another massive prop to these guys were the solos, which were mindblowingly good throughout, and the thrashy breakdowny riffy things also hit the sweet spot. Now I am not the biggest fan of thrash but these guys really do it for me. Vocally it’s more death metal than thrash and the speed they play is unrelenting. There were, however, a couple of slip ups when changing the tempo of the music but this wasn’t a glaring issue. What was a glaring issue for me, was in fact, an encore. Now as I have previously said the gig has already started 2 hours later than advertised and the changeover was ridiculously long, so whether it was just down to the band who decided fuck it, and played another song, or whether it was the (dis)organiser who allowed this, it really fucked the rest of the bands up. If this was a case of the band just playing, then this is a dick move being the second band on the bill. If this was the organiser then they need to sort their shit out! Having said that, this was a very enjoyable performance.

Again with the bloody long changeovers, another half hour change over is really beginning to push this past the final busses and trains, and why were they tuning on stage! Goddamn!! Anyway, Collapse of Colour eventually took to the stage with their take on metalcore. Yup, Rob was watching another metalcore band! I was actually quite excited to watch Collapse of Colour as on recording they seem to have all bases covered for the genre. Live though, unfortunately, it felt really thin and sadly really generic. I could tell exactly what was coming next and this is the problem; nothing new or original. It wasn’t all meh though, as I really digged the vocalist’s ‘bleughs’, and some of the breakdowns were pretty on point. The few who were watching really got into these too. I will also point out that the final song of their set was really fucking good, it seemed like everything they had been playing prior was building to one song that defined them. In summary, Collapse of Colour are ok, they do what they say on the tin and do it fairly well, but if you’re looking for something new, these aren’t your guys.

From one metalcore band to another, this time in the shape of Recall the Remains. Now I have raved about these guys previously on a number of reviews and here they pretty much did the same again. The tone of both the guitar and bass were absolutely mega, the charisma on stage was brilliant, the harsh vocals were brutal as fuck, and the cleans, although not quite as good as they have been, were still very good. The way these guys engaged with the crowd was like no other here, and those that didn’t have to catch a bus or train were treated to some top quality showmanship and some fantastic music alongside it. Another prop to these guys was the speedy changeover by comparison to everyone else (only 20 mins) which unfortunately by this point really didn’t matter as it was already half 10 with another band still to go. My only slight criticism with this set was that I saw pretty much the same thing 9 months ago. Something slightly different would be welcome. Otherwise I can’t really fault Recall the Remains, they always put on a show, are always tight, and always play good music. I mean what’s not to like?

Over an hour later than they should have been on, Ghosts of Atlantis took to the stage and boy were they worth the wait. Personally these guys incorporate every genre I love, from melodic death metal, to symphonic black metal, and they do it just perfectly. There really isn’t another band around at the moment that sounds like them and this is what I search for! The set itself was as tight as you could possibly imagine, and they took us through pretty much their entire album in stunning fashion. The energy on stage is eerie, yet energetic, with all axmen headbanging throughout, as the front man glared through the crowd. It’s a lovely blend of the 2 style of presence. One thing they could have used a bit more of was the backing tracks (I know, I can’t believe I actually said this either!). For most bands they are like an added extra, but for Ghosts of Atlantis they are a massive part of their sound and add a whole other element to their show. It wasn’t a massive issue though, as they could be heard on the slower more atmospheric parts pretty well, and they really elevated the soaring clean vocals. 

If you have read a review of mine before, then you will know that one of Rob’s cardinal sins is to play a new song last, as it never really hits the mark or carry the oomph of the more well known songs. Well Ghosts of Atlantis did this, and I stand corrected!! Their new song was unbelievably good, to the point where my hairs stood on end and I was muttering ‘fuck you’ to the band. If this is what album 2 has in store for us then oh my fucking god take my money! What a show these guys put on and personally this was worth the wait as this ranked among my favourite sets of the year!

Right rant time! Whoever organised this event needs to sort their shit out! Firstly this wasn’t a last minute gig, it has been planned for months, so why in fucks name did the event have a start time of 5:30 and then no bands on until 8:00?! What this meant is anyone who came to watch the bands missed the last 2, due to travelling. This would not have been an issue had the gig started at 6:00. And then to add insult to injury, the changeovers were 30 fucking minutes! This was completely unnecessary, as 15 or 20 minutes would have been fine. So in summary of the whole event, good bands, cheap beer, nice staff, but probably the most unorganised event I have ever been to. If this had been a pay to get in event, a lot of people would have asked for refunds!

One quick note about the Alma, I go to gigs with a blind friend and the head bar staff did come up to him and asked if he needed anything or was there anything she could do to make the place more accessible, this was incredible and meant so much to him, other venues, take note!



Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton 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.

Esprit D’Air (with support from Nebulesse) – Rebellion, Manchester

Espirit D'air Poster

Esprit D’Air (with support from Nebulesse)
Rebellion, Manchester
Live Review by Laura Barnes

Now, prior to this night I hadn’t been to a gig in what feels like an agonizingly long time, so allow me to self-indugently set the scene here. It is a scorching Tuesday evening in Manchester. The streets are busy with jolly day-drinkers making the most of lingering sun. Outside of the Rebellion bar stands a small queue, in which people of all ages, genders and subcultures mingle excitedly as they wait for the doors to open. Rebellion is exactly the kind of venue I was craving: all wood-chipped and sticky-floored with just a tad of peeling fluorescent paint. It is also an intimate venue: perfect for a night like this one. 

Manchester locals Nebulesse were the first and only support act, and boy-oh-boy do they do their job with gusto. Nebulesse play what can best be described as noughties style alt-rock, but my more creative description is this: emo with a deliciously spicy kick. Being a support act can be challenging, especially when playing to a fanbase as dedicated as Esprit D’Air’s – more on this later – but Nebulesse handled this challenge with ease, winning the crowd over in what felt like an instant. If there were any doubters, they were soon silenced by Nebulesse’s rousing cover of My Chemical Romance’s ‘House of Wolves’. A special mention must be made here to Nebulesse’s absolutely electric frontwoman Pix, who commanded the crowd in an authentic and characteristically Northern way. By the end of their set, people were enthusiastically singing along to the anthemic ‘No More Waiting’. Nebulesse aren’t just a band that give you a good bloody show, but are also one you would happily grab a pint with at the end of the night. I recommend you check them out sooner than later; they are one to watch.

With the band all fired up, it was time for Esprit D’Air themselves. Esprit D’Air, it seems, are suckers for a dramatic entrance – one by one the band members enter the stage to rapturous applause, accompanied by the cinematic ‘Into The Oceans’ intro track. The biggest cheer arose when frontman Kai arrived. Dressed in loose black robes and silver jewelry, he looked like a very joyous grim reaper. And that joy was infectious! Although Esprit D’Air’s music is emotive and has a strong focus on personal struggles, there was something euphoric about the whole night. It is rare for a band to enjoy performing as much as the crowd enjoys watching, but this gig saw the band and the crowd feeding each other’s excitement until it filled the entire room.  Esprit D’Air played a very no-nonsense set; the focus was very clearly on the music, with only brief introductions to their hits. Such a focus really allowed for their musicianship to shine. The killer drum solo in the first half of the set was the perfect way to keep the crowd on their toes, and set the live Esprit D’Air experience apart from the studio album experience. Likewise, within the dark walls of Rebellion, the guitar solos were much larger and more powerful than on the albums. Free from glossy production, Esprit D’Air unleashed their full potential. It was delightful.

Another special mention here must go out to the fans. Gigs are always places of camaraderie and friendship, but Esprit D’Air have fostered a whole community of fans. People who had only ever spoken on the dedicated fan Discord server met each other for the first time, exchanging gifts and hugs aplenty. Half the crowd already seemed to know each other, and the other half all made friends over the course of the show. Gigs are life-affirming events, and as frontman Kai serenaded the crowd with ‘Guiding Light’ I remembered why I had missed them so much.


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Laura Barnes 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.

Graham Bonnet Band / Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters – Academy 3, Manchester

Graham Bonnet Band Poster

Graham Bonnet Band / Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters
Academy 3, Manchester
Review by Dark Juan

My friends! It has been an eventful week and no mistake! At the date of writing this epistle it is the day before I embark on my 48th lap around the sun, and tomorrow I get to go and feed arctic wolves which really is quite exciting. And drink lots of single malt whiskey. What was also exciting over the past few days was meeting old friends and new (NoHandsDan and Mikey) from the US and spending time in their august company, meeting a friend from the tattoo industry and having a beer with her, her (and now our) friend Helen and Mrs Dark Juan and whiling away an hour (and considerable funds) in Halifax Modellers’ World. I came out with a Vought F4U-1D Corsair and a bottle of intermediate US Navy blue paint. None of which even holds the tiniest of candles (votive or otherwise) to what I did at the end of July.


Yes, I made the acquaintance of one Mr. Graham Bonnet, esquire. Regular readers will know that I have been a fan of this true gentleman for forty fucking years and I NEVER pass up the chance to tell anyone and everyone just how amazing he is. He’s absolutely fucking amazing, by the way. A true giant among hard rock and heavy metal vocalists. A man who made sure he was so different from the denim and leather clad hordes it made him truly distinctive. A man whose coiffure was always impeccable, whose stage attire was always elegant, whose shades were always impenetrable and whose musical chops are fucking insane. A Skeggy boy done good…

So, Mrs Dark Juan and I attended this gathering of the faithful at the marvellous Academy 3 in Manchester. The older UK readers among you all out there will no doubt remember this as the Hop And Grape. I memorably attended Pist.On there many years ago myself. Whilst Dark Juan and Mrs Dark Juan were amiably chatting to two chaps at the bar there was a rather massive thunderclap of sound and the always superb Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters exploded like a glitter-filled firework onto the stage. Now, Dark Juan knows Beth herself from the South Wales metal scene and has always found her a charming and lovely person, and indeed has had a long and involved discussion about just how good Paul Stanley signature Silvertone guitars are, and she’s from Lancashire to boot. 

BB&TBD have successfully cornered the market in good time rock n roll, their heavily KISS-influenced sound being the perfect way to kick off the party. Beth herself is a compelling and friendly frontperson, turning the fact that she had forgotten her acoustic guitar’s strap into an opportunity for some up close and personal action with the rabidly enthusiastic front row, seating herself at the front of the stage and singing her heart out. Likewise, the whole band were in spectacular form – guitarist Luke Strickland Gilmore throwing shapes like there’s no tomorrow, tub thumper Sam Brain being punishing in the rhythm department and Dan Rowe being chock full of low-slung bass attitude. Rather less of which was shown when he was cornered at the bar after their set by Mrs Dark Juan and obliged to buy her a drink… And at the front of it all was Beth herself, a compact ball of fizzing energy and good vibes with an Ibanez Iceman and a rasping rock and roll voice to die for. Highlight of the set was a raucous and cheerful version of ‘Jack And Coke’. Sadly my entreaties for them to play ‘Show Us Your Teeth’ went unheeded, but this is a British band to watch and cherish. They really should be massive.

Now, this gig was supposed to come with an interview with Graham Bonnet himself, but due to logistical problems (mainly being the fucking M6 motorway and various motorists’ inability to drive along the fucking thing without binning their vehicles), the band arrived late in Manchester and there simply was not enough time to conduct one. However, I shall here offer my endless gratitude to’s own Wallace Magri and six-string slinger Conrado Pesinato of the Graham Bonnet Band for their work together in making this evening happen. A photo pass was provided in recompense and your highly excited correspondent was primed with an extraordinary view of the proceedings. After I immediately abandoned Mrs Dark Juan to her fate (and inextricably linking Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters to hers mainly through her coercion of their bass player), made friends instantly with Jeremy, another photographer in the pit, the ever-engaging Graham Bonnet bounded out on to the stage and magic was afoot…

Holy fuck.

Holy fucking fuck.

Jesus Christ in a chariot-driven sidecar.

This was not a gig. This was fucking alchemy. The band were all tighter than an entire swarm of gnats’ chuffs and the man himself was a whirling tornado of limbs and voice. And, salaaming piously at his Converse-shod feet was Dark Juan, literally weeping for joy. This was somewhat regrettable when Dark Juan attempted to get back up and discovered he was stuck to the floor. It was the Academy 3, after all…

The set was incredible – the band playing lots of songs from Rainbow’s “Down To Earth”, including (it has to be said) a supreme rendition of ‘Since You Been Gone’, the soaring tones of Graham took us through a magnificently stentorian version of MSG’s ‘Assault Attack’ before launching into an extremely lugubrious version of Dark Juan’s favourite song in Graham Bonnet’s enviable canon – ‘Night Games’. Cue a slightly puzzled look from behind the impenetrable shades of the man himself at the rabid dickhead in the photo pit howling his own song back at him from a range of two yards instead of being a professional. However, the sheer power and commitment in his delivery puts to shame many acts who are much younger (the man is 74 years of age and rules a stage like no-one else can). The hunger and the passion of the whole band was clear to see and it made for a fucking awesome rock show.

The soundman has to be given major props for his work – the sound was crystal clear and everything easily heard but not overpowering – the absolutely superb shredding of Conrado Pesinato being note perfect throughout, Alessandro Bertoni playing his absolute heart out on the keys (I have never seen anyone throwing shapes on the keys before!) and there was also the low-end, admirably and elegantly handled by the ever-divine Beth-Ami Heavenstone. I can say nice things about her now because Mrs Dark Juan has met the lady in person, and they hit it off splendidly together and I now no longer risk death. As did I. 

The Very Good Things just kept on coming – I was far too carried away to even remember half the songs a highlight for me was the absolutely storming rendition of ‘Imposter’ from the Graham Bonnet Band’s current offering “Day Out In Nowhere” with the man himself holding the mic out for the assembled faithful to howl the admittedly colossal chorus back at him. is the link you need if you wish to read the frothing madness that masquerades as a record review in my head.

After the evening’s offers were concluded, Dark Juan was cordially invited by the estimable and wonderful Conrado Pesinato (a very friendly and generous man, by the way, and an absolute pleasure to make his acquaintance) to come backstage to meet Mr. Graham Bonnet himself and make a personal introduction. As it turns out, after the man had listened to a good ten minutes of uninterrupted and quite disgraceful fangirling and wild exhortations from the writer of this rubbish, he proved to be a consummate gentleman, and upon learning I have been a fan of forty years standing, simply said, “What the fuck’s wrong with you, then?” and then happily signed my list of unasked interview questions. As did the ever-wonderful Beth-Ami. Yes, for once I went prepared. Even if I had originally forgotten my Dictaphone, necessitating a panicked dash back to the Schwerer Gothikpanzer to recover it. Graham even submitted gracefully to Mrs Dark Juan wrangling him for photos. The man is a bona fide fucking god and I will not hear a single fucking word against him ever. And I got a hug from Beth-Ami as well. My life is complete. There’s even photographic proof of it, courtesy of Mrs Dark Juan! Who didn’t kill me.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System still has not come down off the enormous emotional high and awards Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters and the Graham Bonnet Band infinity out of 10 for that rarest of things, a fucking perfect night in the company of wonderful people. It was lovely to catch up with Beth Blade herself after the show as well. What an evening, guys, gals and all other genders. What a fucking evening.


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.

Summer Smash 2022

Summer Smash 2022 Poster

Summer Smash 2022
Asylum 2, Birmingham
Review by Rob Sutton
Photography by Sian Irvine Photography

It seems 2022 is the year for me to be travelling to Birmingham as, prior to this year, I hadn’t been in over 10 years, yet here I found myself back for the 3rd time! Not like I’m complaining as there is an insane number of venues. This time round I found myself at the Asylum for the first time, and straight away thought the venue was lush! Proper toilets with bog roll and working locks, a substantial bar with many beverages on offer and a dedicated room for merch! Perfect don’t you think? So this gig was a crossover with both Metal and Punk being alternated throughout the day, however the Metal side did thin substantially as Wired THC unfortunately pulled out the evening before, and a member of Embodiment fell seriously ill at the venue and ended up in A&E. This left just 2 metal bands playing and 4 punk bands. 

First up was Short Heath Boys… Well, it was 1 guy and an acoustic guitar but this seemed an appropriate way to begin the gig, and he wasn’t short on humour, which is something I definitely like when it comes to acoustic artists, mainly because most of them spend the whole set moaning about their life. Don’t get me wrong he was moaning about things… but this was moaning about having the shits, something I am all too familiar with considering the lyrical content of my own band. His voice itself had a gritty tone to it; more of a rock style, which really fitted well, honestly this was a very uplifting and comedic way to start the day.

Now at this point I have to point out that I was playing this gig as well and because of this I had to set up, do interviews etc. boring bands stuff basically. This meant I was unable to catch any of Curbdawgz but my glamorous photographer did manage to grab a fair few shots.

After them was my own band, Thrashatouille. Now I won’t do what I did last time and write a jokey review about how unbelievably brilliant we were because… I am not that type of person, so again there are photos of our set and a pile of destroyed inflatable’s as some of the crowd thought they were edible and actually tried to eat them! Though, the vocalist was bloody epic 😉 (Dark Juan here: the lead “singer” of Thrashatouille is a hyperactive bloody pixie, spends half of his life sounding like he’s vomiting out his own anal tract and doesn’t seem to have a home to call his own considering he’s ALWAYS bloody out! Thrashatouille are actually rather good, though!)

With 2 bands pulling out of the gig last minute this did mean there was plenty of time to fill, which was rather lucky as the vocalist for Sick Pins barely made it to the venue in time to start their set. Once these guys kicked in their concoction of many influences became apparent. Yes, they are punk, but there is also the influence of Ska and even reggae in bits as well. This mash of genres was utterly genius and incredibly fun to watch. Couple this with a very energetic show and it just worked beautifully. A personal love of this set was the vocal harmonies which came from pretty much every member. These just made parts of their songs sound huge. Another personal highlight was the bass tone, just yes! Crunchy and so clear within their sound, I love it. I may not have been much of a fan of Punk music before but these guys certainly have made me want to delve deeper into this genre.

From one Punk band to another and this time Face Up take the stage, first things first, what a voice! She uses a combination of shouts and screams, which really seemed fitting on a line up such as this, and Face Up seem to bridge the gap between Punk and Metal perfectly. Again there was so much energy exerting itself from the stage, with the vocalist bursting into the crowd to knock a few people around and begin the pits which were then present throughout their set. The control these guys had over the crowd was simply stunning; they had everyone in the palm of their hands, even making them do the Macarena! Musically as well, everything just fitted the day perfectly, with a personal highlight being how clear the guitars were within their sound! As before, I think I’m being won over by Punk bands!

It was back to normality for me next, with some Metal from a band who I previously raved about in their M2TM final. Since then, they did get the call to Bloodstock and from that performance, they did deserve it! But could Hellfekted top the last time I saw them? Well, in honesty… no. That is not me saying this set was bad because it was, in fact, far from it. The sheer speed these guys play is just brilliant and their blackened thrash just hits the spot with so many metal fans. Hellfekted are also well known for being very engaging while on stage and again today was no exception, with plenty of shouts to the crowd and getting over the barriers to mosh with the crowd. This leads me straight on to a personal annoyance. When you are speaking to the crowd, please shut the drummer up! Happening once is fine, but between every song we were met with him pissing about on the drum kit, which meant no one could hear what is being said. Honestly, shut up please! Anyway, guitar wise the riffs are simply fantastic and really drive their songs along, with an outstanding thrash tone from both guitars, which just makes this so much better. Same with the vocals, they are absolutely on point mixing both a thrashy shout with black metal rasp. This was by no means the tightest I have seen Hellfekted, but I honestly really love these guys. The music is just phenomenally good and this is proven by the fact they are now playing Bloodstock.

The final band of the night was SuckerPunch, and they made it a special one, as it was their album launch! Now this was more of the Punk I was expecting, no real gimmicks or mixing of genres, just straight up Punk and hey, straight off I found myself really enjoying the sound! Again the bass tone for these guys was just fantastic and, as I’ve said about previous bands, really cut through. Now by this point there was a huge crowd who were fully on board dancing and moshing away throughout the set, and SuckerPunch did a fantastic job of keeping the hype and continually pumping the crowd up. Though it was a bit of a shame that there wasn’t much in the way of movement on stage. Seeing the other Punk bands earlier being hyper and bouncy, I was expecting these guys to look a little more engaged in their music, but sadly it was just a slight bob of the head. Having said that, the crowd didn’t seem bothered by this and that seemed to be all that mattered. I enjoyed the music a lot, but there wasn’t much in the way of stage antics for me to watch.

So, I took a few things from this gig! Firstly, I now like Punk music, secondly Birmingham’s music scene is bloody mega, and thirdly, this was an extremely well organised event, and I would recommend next year’s event to anyone! I will take this time to wish the singer of Embodiment a speedy recovery and I do hope to see them live soon, as their music is right up my street. Also I really need to catch Wired THC as they’re another band whose name floats around but I have never managed to watch. (Beth here – they’re fecking mega live! Can’t wait to see them at Beermageddon in a couple of weeks!!)




Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton and Ever Metal. Photography by Sian Irvine. 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.