Höllentor – Divergency

Divergency Album Cover Art

Höllentor – Divergency
Release Date: 17/02/23
Running Time: 33:00
Review by Rory Bentley

Another week, another wildcard release. Simon Black has quickly realised that he can assign releases to us lowly Metal scribes out of pure spite, pairing us with records that we’re likely to detest and give a needlessly vicious review to. Mainly myself and Dark Juan as we both have a proclivity to take things too far. Thus I found myself with something Power Metal adjacent in my inbox, fuse lit and ready to explode and piss off more of the Metal community. Luckily for me this ruse has backfired as this is actually a decent little release!

With a few notable exceptions this Trad/Power Metal style is never going to be my vibe. I’m a skinhead kid from the midlands who likes his Metal with a large dose of Hardcore, but I can appreciate a well-crafted, lean record like this. In fact I’ve actually just bumped up the original score as I’m writing this with the album in the background for one last listen!

The 33 minute runtime was a sight for sore eyes before I’d even pushed play – “At least it’ll be over quickly,” I thought somewhat melodramatically, but the fact that everything here ranges from solid to occasionally excellent had me doing cartwheels. I mean not really, I’m too fat for cartwheels but you get the idea!

‘Behind The Wall’ kicks things off in solid fashion, wasting no time with ornate intros and slapping you round the noggin with a big slab of beefy riffage. The raspier vocal style was a welcome relief as well, possessing just the right balance of dramatic gravitas and down to earth grit. This bulkier approach continues in the title track which has a strong chorus and a satisfying mid paced chug.

Even more encouragingly the album actually gets better as it ticks along. ‘Lotus Eater’ stomps on your face like the best moments of that other American Power Metal band we don’t talk about anymore, maintaining a level of momentum that ensures nothing feels plodding. ‘Seize The Day’ is rousing blue collar Trad Metal that fans of Visigoth would raise a beer to and ‘Vikings Pride’ is pure silly fun.

By the time the stirring ‘We Are Chosen’ has reached its climax in a flurry of ear splitting shrieks from ex-Priest man Tim ‘Ripper’ Iwens and roaring feedback, I’m left very satisfied with a thoroughly entertaining listen that doesn’t overstay its welcome. You could do a lot worse than this for your Denim and Leather fix and it comes with the added bonus that Simon’s cruel little trick didn’t work. Result!

‘Divergency’ Official Video

01. Behind The Wall
02. Divergency
03. Find The Light
04. Judgement Day
05. Kraken Awakens
06. Lotus Eater
07. Seize The Day
08. Vikings Pride
09. We Are Chosen

Glen Poland and some famous Metal lads


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rory Bentley 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.

Attercopus – Last Utterance

Last Utterance Album Cover Art

Attercopus – Last Utterance
Release Date: 17/02/23
Running Time: 60:14
Review by Dark Juan

It is well known that Dark Juan is a fan of extremity in all its forms, be it musically, sexually or just how much drugs and booze I can cram into the massive gap where my soul should be but it is not quite so well known that Dark Juan also has an expansive and broad musical taste that encompasses everything from baroque Classical to the fastest, most aggressive Metal there is. It is also fairly unknown that I am more than partial to a bit of Progressive Rock. Yes, Dark Juan likes men in breeches spinning round playing flutes and extended jams where the music goes exploring dimly lit hinterlands full of psychedelic swirling patterns and scantily-clad elf women, beckoning Dark Juan to come forward and taste the pleasures of their flesh and drink from their potions of desire, with Dark Juan immediately forging a path through the undergrowth to their fairy glen where there are promises of fleshly pleasures hitherto untasted by mortal men…

Sorry. I really shouldn’t use my imagination when I am writing a (supposedly) record review. This missive is another of the mighty and puissant Simon “Do It, Or Taste My Steel Tipped Cat O’ Nine Tails, Ratboy” Black’s wild card reviews, whereupon the wrangler of everyone else’s writing assigns an underground or British band to us at random to get the writers out of their comfort zones and to get some newer or do-it-yourself bands some proper recognition. Hence, today’s spinning disc of doom upon the Platter of Splatter ™ is “Last Utterance” by South Wales-based bards Attercopus.

Opening with ‘Caravan’ and a gentle, flute-led intro and Eastern sounding wah and phaser-soaked guitar, Attercopus take their time building up a head of steam before unleashing a riff of such Sabbathian majesty Tony Iommi was running screaming for the phone to call his lawyer but this is where the Sabbath influence ends and the Space Rock takes over. And the Prog… Rob Harrison tootling his flute like his life depends on it in the central part of the song as well as doubling up with some expansive guitar work – imagine, if you will Black Sabbath kidnapping Hawkwind and them forcing Gentle Giant and Jethro Tull to fight in a pit to the death, clad only in sheer loincloths, their oiled torsos gleaming and rippling in the shaft of sunlight illuminating the pit from a giant skylight as they attack and clasp each other as they wrestle for dominance and dominion over the other… 

Good grief. What the fuck is wrong with me today?

‘Chemical Pigs’ sees Rob breaking out the squawky sex horn which adds a serious Hawkwind vibe to the proceedings on this spiky, razor-edged song which successfully moulds Prog, Sludge and Space Rock together in a wholly satisfying fashion – exemplary musicianship from the whole band on this song (Lloyd Stratford on bass and Martin Jones on drums) as they take us on an elongated exploration of the universe on the middle eight (more like a middle sixty-four on this song) that never dips into self-indulgent noodling and manages to remain purposeful and tense. ‘LV-246’ (not sure whether that’s supposed to be LV-426, Alien xenomorph fans!) has an almost Jazzy section but is generally one of the beefier songs on the record – think the Garage Rock feel of ‘Night Of The Hawks’ by Hawkwind and Sabbath’s ‘Fairies Wear Boots’, amalgamated and sent shambling into the ether. The guitar and bass interplay on this song is pretty fucking special and the soloing is tasty as fuck throughout. Rob’s voice is engaging and likeable if not particularly memorable and it fits the music well, but this is a minor criticism considering the annoyingly talented bastard can toot his flute (cheeky!) like the incomparable Alia O’ Brien, can drop panties at a hundred yards with the squawky sex horn and plays the guitar as well, thereby taking care of all the panties in a half-mile radius. He’s nearly as bad as Lisa Mann for awesome musician-ness. Arsehole. I hate him. And there are key and tempo changes all over the fucking place and it’s awesome because it all has about four hundred key riffs in the song and must have been a right bastard to write and remember… even if it has one of the longest drawn out endings ever, not unlike one of Dark Juan’s orgasms…

‘Space Garden’ starts off with a super-stoned Prog bent, absolutely decides it is staying exactly where it is and having all the snacks and really references the influence of Gentle Giant and the more hippy-dippy moments of Hawkwind, all mad phaser and wah-wah on the guitar, whizzy and whooshing electronics and the sax (I will never stop calling it the squawky sex horn so don’t even test me) being the lead instrument and being all beguiling and shit, like it is beckoning you into the title of the song. Lloyd Stratford goes absolutely fucking barmy on his bass on this one, playing almost like it is a lead guitar and flitting up and down the fretboard flaying his fingers like a man possessed. All this underpins a languid and almost liquid vocal, honeyed and charming, and it is a fucking long, relaxed jam lasting 12 minutes or so – again, it doesn’t overstay its welcome and keeps the listener charmed throughout. This is a measure of high-quality songwriting and really fucking terrific musicianship. Oh, and the intro on ‘Astral Projection’ had me thinking I was listening to ‘Silver Machine’ until the monstrous central riff kicked in and there’s another riff in the bridge that reminded me briefly of fucking Swedish Rap-Metal rapscallions Clawfinger (Remember them? ‘Warfair’ being the song) at one point. Now THAT is an esoteric fucking influence for a Space Rock combo and no mistake…

Criticisms, for I am a critic – The record has a curiously artificial-sounding production that takes some of the warmth from the music and makes it almost sound like parts of it are sequenced rather than played. Dark Juan feels that this record should have had a more organic sound to better fit the music. I also have issues with the sound of the drums – again, there is clarity and everything is easily listenable, but they sound like poor Martin Jones is using Tupperware for a snare drum and there is no resonance at all on the bass drum, which means there is an unpalatable lack of richness that their music undeniably deserves. But that’s it for criticism – I’m not sure whether the sound of the album was a conscious choice or just the limitations of equipment… Otherwise this is a fucking masterclass in LSD-fuelled psychedelic madness from opening flute to closing reverberation. The musicianship of the band is absolutely breathtaking, their compositions and songwriting flawless and their execution brilliant. It’s just the production job I have a problem with. Da iawn, boyos! Da iawn…

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (System Sgorio Gwaed Splatter Juan Tywyll Patent – I’m not convinced by your skill at Welsh, Google Translate) awards Attercopus 8/10 for a flawed gem of an album marred only by the lifeless sound of the production which robs the album of some of its considerable charm.

01. Caravan
02. Chemical Pigs
03. LV-246 (I am not sure whether this is a typo on my EPK because the planet that Hadley’s Hope colony was on is LV-426 – Science Fiction Editor/ Spod. Yeah, it’s me…)
04. Space Garden
05. Astral Projection
06. Chrysalis
07. Wasteland

Rob Harrison – Guitar, vocals, flute and sax
Lloyd Stratford – Bass
Martin Jones – 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.

Floor Jansen – Paragon

Paragon Album Cover Art

Floor Jansen – Paragon
Crash Records
Release Date: 24/03/23
Running Time: 34:39
Review by Simon Black

Like many people I only really came across the highly impressive Ms. Jansen after she had joined Nightwish in 2013, but the building blocks of this album date back to her days in fellow Symphonic pioneers After Forever. Although highly respected, the band petered out after a decade or so, but this highly anticipated solo album has thematic content dating back from those days, as well as being lynch-pinned around the highly talented multi-instrumentalist Gordon Groothedde. Groothedde had producer duties back in the After Forever days, but he is a hugely talented musician and songwriter in his own right and plays a huge amount of the instrumental content on this album as well as contributing to the song-writing.

She may have been the voice of two fundamental Symphonic Metal acts, but that’s not what “Paragon” is about. Stylistically this is a soaring piece of very mainstream Pop-Rock that just happens to have one of the best Metal vocalists on the planet behind it, which is why it really straddles the two seemingly incompatible audiences very well. At the end of the day, it’s that astounding vocal range, power and charismatic performance that is going to bring people to this album, and Jansen absolutely hits the spot here.

Her vocal performance doesn’t pull any punches at all, so don’t expect a watered-down version of her normal self – it’s just the music is more way less loud and heavy but has lost none of the complexity and technicality behind the arrangements. Whereas in Nightwish, she’s sharing a busy stage with a shed load of talented players bouncing off each other, this record is all about her, and consequently steps back to let her shine. That said the arrangements are far from simplistic, with progressions that allow her to show her enormous range and build presence as the songs unfold. They are also all quite short, all under four minutes and focussed on telling a story, many of which take on a different light when viewed through the prism of her recent battle with cancer (‘Hope’ and ‘Invincible’ in particular). 

If you want soaring huge metal epics, then her day job band is where you probably should head, but if you want an insight into what makes Floor tick then yes, you are going to be pleasantly surprised. 

‘Me Without You’ Official Video

01. My Paragon
02. Daydream
03. Invincible
04. Hope
05. Come Full Circle
06. Storm
07. Me Without You
08. The Calm
09. Armoured Wings
10. Fire


Floor Jansen – Vocals
Gordon Groothedde – Bass, Guitars, Drums, Piano & Keys, Strings & Brass, Midi,
Backing Vocals
Ivo Maarhuis – Drums
Ton Dijkman – Drums
Wouter Hardy – Piano & Keys, Midi, Strings & Brass, Midi


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.

Hatesphere – Hatred Reborn

Hatred Reborn Album Cover Art

Hatesphere – Hatred Reborn
Scarlet Records
Release Date: 31/03/23
Running Time: 49:28
Review by Paul Hutchings

I described Hatesphere’s tenth album “Reduced to Flesh” as capable of starting a fight in an empty room, such was the anger and venom that surged through it. Over four years since that release, the Danes are back with album 11, and as the title indicates, they aren’t here for tea and sandwiches. 

It’s a riotous ride, stretched over close to 50 minutes and welcomes vocalist Mathias Udall to the fold. He’s the band’s fifth vocalist in their 20+ year history, with only guitarist Peter Lyse Karmark remaining from the original line up that formed in 2000. Udall brings a ferocious delivery to the band’s blend of thrash and death metal, which is underpinned by a driving groove. 

At this stage in their career, Hatesphere don’t need to prove a thing, and they provide a crunching album crammed full of vicious riffs, dynamic, spiralling guitar work and razor-sharp lead guitar. It’s cohesive, delivered with full force and balanced with subtle changes of tempo and melody that enhance each song. 

Lyrically, “Hatred Reborn” is based on man’s fascination with evil. It’s a topic that many bands have approached in the past, and Hatesphere’s punishing delivery brings extra spice to a time-honoured topic in the metal world. There’s plenty of savagery here, as the band push through the boundaries of darkness. From the opening intro ‘The Awakening’, the pummelling and explosive ‘Gravedigger’, and ‘The Truest Form of Pain’, this is a robust and solid release. There’s enough variation contained within the album to retain interest throughout, with the changes of style noticeable without detracting. ‘Gravedigger’ for example, switches between full-on thrash to more deathcore breakdowns before returning to full throttle aggression. An ambitious cover of the Scorpions ‘Another Piece of Meat’ is certainly unique, with a blindingly heavy vibe that makes the song hardly recognisable at times. It’s a raw version of a classic song from back in the day. The digipack provides a bonus live song in ‘The Fallen Shall Rise in a River of Blood’ which provides a glimpse into the band in their real environment. 

With a strong production thanks to Tue Madsen and some inspired cover art by Stefan Skjoedt, Hatesphere’s 11th release demonstrates that the band are still a hungry, gnarly outfit, with plenty of miles left in the tank. Well recommended if you like your metal snarling, angry, and totally in your face. 

‘Hatred Reborn’ Official Play Through

01. The Awakening
02. Hatred Reborn
03. Cutthroat 
04. Gravedigger 
05. 918  
06. Darkspawn 
07. The Truest Form of Pain 
08. Brand of Sacrifice
09. A Violent Compulsion
10. Spitting Teeth
11. Another Piece of Meat (Scorpions cover)
12. The Fallen Shall Rise in a River of Blood

Mathias Uldall – Vocals
Peter Lyse Karmark – Guitar
Kasper Kirkegaard – Guitar
Jimmy Nedergaard – Bass
Mike Park Nielsen – 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.

Demons Down – I Stand

I Stand Album Cover Art

Demons Down – I Stand
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 10/03/2023
Running Time: 51:29 
Review by: Chris Galea

For fans of House Of Lords, the moniker Demons Down will sound familiar….it was in fact the title of HOL’s 3rd album of 1992. This is no co-incidence since Demons Down was formed by guitarist Jimi Bell (House Of Lords, Autograph), bassist Chuck Wright (House Of Lords, Quiet Riot) and workaholic drummer Ken Mary (House Of Lords, Chastain, Flotsam & Jetsam, Alice Cooper, Fifth Angel, etc, etc). Chilean singer James Robledo and Italian guitarist Francesco Savino complete the line-up.

Unsurprisingly the music of Demons Down is reminiscent of House Of Lords but…and here’s the interesting thing…the music of Demons Down can stand on its own two feet even without the House Of Lords name to prop it up. Maybe that’s why the album is called “I Stand”!

One of the things I liked in this album is how the keyboards know when to create an atmosphere by itself and when to work with the guitars and vocals. Then there are the agile guitar licks which nudge the songs away from the mainstream Hard Rock sound (check out ‘Stranded In The Middle Of Nowhere’, which sounds like a forgotten Tesla song). ‘Book Of Love’ is a good epitomy of the album with its lush vocal harmonies and inescapable hooks.

Yes there are a couple of songs that feel like fillers, but by and large the album’s music has groove, interesting melodies, drama and great songwriting…all of which make “I Stand” a very strong debut album.

‘I Stand’ Official video:

01. I Stand
02. Disappear
03. Down In A Hole
04. On My Way To You
05. Where Will Our Tears Fall?
06. Book Of Love
07. Stranded In The Middle Of Nowhere
08. Follow Me
09. To The Edge Of The World
10. Search Over The Horizon
11. Only The Brave

James Robledo – Vocals
Jimi Bell – Guitars
Francesco Savino – Guitars
Chuck Wright – Bass
Ken Mary – Drums
Additional Musicians:
Alessandro Del Vecchio – Keyboards, Guitars, Backing Vocals


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.

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.

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.

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


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