Burnt Out Wreck – Stand and Fight

Stand and Fight Album Cover Art

Burnt Out Wreck – Stand and Fight
Burnt out Wrekords
Release Date: 18/11/22
Running Time: 60:00
Review by Paul Hutchings
7/10

I first saw Burnt Out Wreck at a Hard Rock Hell event in North Wales in 2017. I enjoyed them then, with their basic, AC/DC feel and vibe, and their first two albums “Swallow” and “This is Hell” both worked well. Led by former Heavy Pettin’ drummer Gary Moat, the band bring an old school sound with absolutely no shame.

Unpretentious is probably a good description of Burnt Out Wreck. They play hard rock ‘n’ roll with plenty of rhythm, in part due to a dual guitar attack as well as a solid rhythm section in Paul Gray and Alex Carmichael. Moat’s vocals echo Bon Scott and Udo Dirkschneider at times, but he brings his own unique style to the songs. 

11 songs span an hour of music which is enjoyable from start to finish. You can admire the solidity of the tracks, the quality of the musicianship and the witty lyrics. From opening track ‘Big Up Yourself’, the chug of ‘Turpentine’ and the finale of ‘I’m A Loser Too’ it’s all good stuff. Sure, it’s not going to win any prizes for originality, but sometimes comfort is what we want and Burnt Out Wreck bring it in spades. 

Moat has put blood, sweat, and tears into this album. “These are eleven of the best songs I’ve written. This really was the ‘difficult third album’, inspired by the worst one and a half years in my life, but the result was worth the struggle, and this is something I’m really proud of. I invite you all to Stand and Fight“.

With new guitarist Richard Upson shredding for fun and in some style throughout, this is an album that demonstrates that there can be a future for bands who want to create honest, good-time music. They can do the more sentimental stuff, such as the melodic ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’, and bluesy delivery (‘I’m A Loser Too’) but it’s when they kick out the jams on songs like ‘Big Up Yourself’ that they really hit their peak. And when they do, then it’s worth every minute. 

‘Stand And Fight’ Official Video



TRACKLISTING:
01. Big Up Yourself
02. Stand and Fight
03. Lion
04. Ain’t Done Nothing Wrong
05. More than Anything
06. Pain and Suffering 
07. Turpentine
08. Blood, Sweat and Tears
09. Wake Up
10. Take It or Leave It
11. I’m A Loser Too

LINE-UP:
Gary Moat – lead vocals/ rhythm guitar
Alex Carmichael – bass guitar/ backing vocals
Andy McLaughlan – lead guitar/ backing vocals
Richard Upson – lead guitar/ backing vocals
Paul Gray – drums

LINKS:

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.

Candlemass – Sweet Evil Sun

Sweet Evil Sun Album Cover Art

Candlemass – Sweet Evil Sun
Napalm Records
Release Date: 18/11/2022
Running Time: 54:00
Review by Rory Bentley
7/10

Let’s begin with a confession – I love Candlemass. In fact I love pretty much all Epic Doom from Solitude Aeternus to Crypt Sermon. The combination of disgusting riffs and theatrical vocals sprinkled with arcane lyrics and melodies is a real blind spot for me to the point where I sometimes overlook the flaws of albums that fall into this category in a way that I wouldn’t let, say, a Thrash band get away with. Add this admission to the fact that Candlemass are the inventors and kings of this shit, and you can see there is a definite risk of me giving their 13th (oooh spooky) record an easy ride. With that in mind let’s get the negatives out the way before wanking off Leif Edling for the rest of the review. 

First things first the album is too long considering the relative lack of variety on display here. This is a common accusation levelled at latter day Candlemass records, with songs often staying on an idea for too long or lacking structural discipline. Opener ‘Wizard of the Vortex’ is a good example of this, staying in the tried and tested Doom lane until the last few seconds where it brings in creepy mediaeval melodies and spooky layered vocals before abruptly moving onto the next song. I would have loved to hear this idea expanded on rather than tacked on the end as a jarring afterthought. I mean the song still absolutely slaps, but it had the potential to be even better with some tweaking.

As alluded to earlier, the limited variety on display here makes more superfluous cuts such as the solid, but unremarkable ‘Crucified’ seem like unnecessary inclusions that stop the album from being the lean killing machine that could sit in the lofty company of the band’s late 80’s output. Even the guest vocals from Avatarium powerhouse Jennie-Ann Smith on ‘When Death Sighs’ fail to add the sort of change of pace and tone the album needs. Don’t get me wrong she’s obviously fantastic because she’s incapable of nothing less, but she only appears for the chorus hook and she’s way too far down in the mix to truly leave her mark on the song. I can understand the reservation to show up Johan Langquidst on the mic but come on lads – when you’ve got someone with pipes like Jennie-Ann in the studio you need to let her off the leash.

Despite these pretty major gripes, I really dig this album and I’ve played the absolute shit out of it since I got it. When Candlemass are at the top of their game, which is quite often over the course of this record, they’re damn near untouchable at this whole Doom schtick. The title track is a melodramatic banger with a super catchy chorus and a riff that you could remove tattoos with. Particularly props must go to Johan Langquidst’s pantomime villain vocals which really sell Leif Edling’s beautifully silly lyrics. His voice has understandably changed since his sonorous, more clean style on the band’s debut album, but his more weathered, raspier tone sounds just as commanding and is delivered with an audible wink.

Major props must go to producer Marcus Jidell, who captures the band at their thundering best with a lively and crisp mix. Despite their defiantly dated song-writing approach, the band still sound very contemporary, with a guitar tone younger bands would kill for. Although some fans may prefer a more rough and ready production job and a heavier dose of reverb, Jidell’s approach works very well and stops the band sounding like a throwback. Ironically they have gone in the opposite direction of many of the younger Doom bands they have influenced, who often appear obsessed with attaining a deliberately retro sound.

Despite my earlier complaint that the album is too long, there are plenty of highlights scattered from front to back whether it be the storming full-throttle ‘Angel Battle’ early on, or the supremely satisfying Viking rager ‘Scandinavian Gods’ towards the end of the record. For a heritage band to put something out that’s so good that I can compare it to younger hungrier acts without being unfair is no small feat. Nearly 40 years into their career, Candlemass still have plenty to offer and “Sweet Evil Sun” is a worthy addition to a legendary catalogue.

‘When Death Sighs’ Official Lyric Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Wizard Of The Vortex    
02. Sweet Evil Sun    
03. Angel Battle    
04. Black Butterfly    
05. When Death Sighs feat. Avatarium
06. Scandinavian Gods    
07. Devil Voodoo    
08. Crucified    
09. Goddess    
10. A Cup Of Coffin (Outro)

LINE-UP:
Johan Lanquist – Vocals
Lars Johansson – Lead Guitar
Mappe Björkman – Rhythm Guitar
Leif Edling – Bass
Janne Lind – Drums

LINKS:

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.

Euphrosyne – Keres

Keres Album Cover Art

Euphrosyne – Keres
Self-Released
Release Date: 25/11/22
Running Time: 29:38
Review by Laura Barnes
9/10

Praise be to the malevolent gods, for we have been blessed with more Black Metal! Today’s offering is Black Metal from all the way from sunny Athens, delivered to us by the eclectic Euphrosyne. Euphrosyne are architects of what is now called ‘Post-Black Metal’: Black Metal that boldly breaks the sacred laws forged in Norway back in the nineties. With clean vocals, brass instruments, and a high production quality, Euphrosyne are pioneering an exciting and accessible form of Black Metal. 

Euphrosyne are all about atmosphere. Album intro ‘Black Opal’ makes this clear from the get-go, guiding us towards the album’s heart with a saxophone-led instrumental piece that conveys an eerie sort of beauty. Don’t be fooled, however – Euphrosyne aren’t here to coddle you. The wall of noise that hits you the second that intro ends is an immense one, thick and foreboding. From the get-go, their artistic vision is clear: take the best of Black Metal’s sheer intensity and raw emotional power and combine it with melodies that allow you to make sense of the confusion, find meaning in the chaos. ‘When My Fears Conquered All’ is a perfect example of this. The verses are a whirlwind of guttural vocals and echoing guitars, while the clean vocals of the chorus are clear and hooky enough to make you press that replay button. 

Interestingly, the melodic parts of Euphrosyne remind me of a very different band: Skunk Anansie. Indeed, Efi Eva’s passionate vocals are slightly reminiscent of Skin’s, but the comparison goes deeper than that. Much like Skin, Efi Eva has an ability to take complex emotions and sing about them with striking authenticity. Her lyrics are both articulate and haunting – when she sang out ‘I was drowning as a child / Inside my mother’s belly’ I stopped what I was doing and became deeply fascinated with the narrative of the song. In a genre that often expresses the unspeakable, Euphrosyne’s eloquence gives them a distinct identity. 

Also worthy of note here are the brass instruments played throughout “Keres”. The White Ward influence is clear, but not overwhelming. Where White Ward’s saxophone inclusion gives their music a distinct noir feel, Euphrosyne take a more bluesy approach, particularly on ‘Within The Ages’. On this track, it isn’t just the brass that provides the blues influence, but the guitars, too. It is clear that Euphrosyne aren’t just throwing random instrumentals at the wall and seeing what sticks. There is a clear thoughtfulness to their approach that makes “Keres” a unique and cohesive album. For this reason, you should really listen to this album. Don’t listen to it on shuffle. Don’t have it on in the background while you play the new God of War game (although that would be a pretty dope experience, I have to admit). If you allow yourself to truly get lost into the music, then you will see this album for what it is: an outstanding debut from outstanding musicians. 

TRACKLISTING:
01. Black Opal
02. Pale Days
03. When My Fears Conquered All
04. Sister of Violence
05. Sunbringer
06. Within the Ages
07. Keres

LINE-UP:
Efi Eva – Vocals
George Gazis – Bass
Kostas Mamalis – Drums
Alex Despotidis – Guitars

LINKS:

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.

Whirlwind – 1714

1714 Album Cover Art

Whirlwind – 1714
Fighter Records
Release Date: 22/11/22
Running Time: 51:00 
Review by Paul Hutchings 
7/10

Although established in 2012 as a parallel project, it’s taken over a decade for Mark Wild to finally deliver the debut album by Whirlwind. The band that hails from Barcelona were established with the aim of writing songs influenced by the likes of Running Wild, Accept and Helloween, with an emphasis on the old school style of those bands. 

It’s fair to say that they’ve achieved their objective for “1714” is exactly what you’d expect when you read that. Ten tracks of thunderously paced heavy metal with a traditional 1980’s sound, it’s non-stop Power from start to finish. Well played, high tempo and following a standard template of riffs, verses, choruses, harmonies, and solos that shred, there’s little else to say expect that if you aren’t a fan of this kind of Metal, you’ll probably be better off avoiding “1714”. If you are partial to a bit of dramatic, clichéd but perfectly executed over the top Power Metal, then this album is well worth checking out. 

You may be asking what is the album’s theme? What Whirlwind have done here is drawn attention to the Catalonian events of 1714, namely the Siege of Barcelona which led to the fall of the city during the war of Spanish Succession. A key part of Spanish history, it’s certainly well worth researching a bit more about this. 

Following the intro of “1714”, the band launch into opening song ‘The Call’. It’s the first opportunity to hear Héctor Llauradó’s vocals and the guy can hold a note. The music is fast and furious, with some excellent lead work. As you work your way through the album, it’s evident that the band stick closely to their chosen blueprint. There’s a little variation on ‘Torture, Knife & Fire’ whilst ‘Gallows Tithe’ sees the band utilise some dual guitar harmonies in the style of Iron Maiden. It’s all perfectly enjoyable, and you’ll soon find yourself nodding along with memorable hooks digging deep.

It’s probably a little long at 51 minutes, although I’m sure that many power metal fans would argue that there is no such thing as enough of this style of Metal. There are also, as one might expect a couple of fillers – ‘Cannons of Infuriation’ being one for me. But overall, there’s little to dislike. 

‘Gallow Tithe’ Official Audio

TRACKLISTING:
01. 1714 (intro)
02. The Call
03. Under Siege
04. Rebels Arise!
05. Torture, Knife & Fire
06. Gallows Tithe
07. Cannons of Infuriation
08. The Bastard Duke
09. Immortal Heroes
10. Red September
11. Echoes of Time

LINE-UP:
Mark Wild – Rhythm Guitar 
Artur – Lead Guitar 
Héctor Llauradó – Vocals 
Jordi – Drums

LINKS:

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.

U.D.O. – The Legacy

The Legacy Album Cover Art

U.D.O. – The Legacy
AFM Records
Release Date: 18/11/2022
Running Time: 150:43 
Review by Richard Oliver
7/10

“The Legacy” is a massive two disc and 33 song retrospective of the solo career of Udo Dirkscheider and his solo band U.D.O. Udo himself has one of the most recognisable voices in German Heavy Metal having been the legendary frontman for Accept in their classic years and his solo band was formed in 1987 upon his departure from Accept. The band has been on and off in the intervening years as has Udo’s time with Accept but for many years U.D.O. has been his primary project with a whopping 18 albums released between 1987 and present day as well as numerous E.P.’s and live albums. 2022 is the 35th anniversary of the formation of the band and as such AFM Records are releasing a massive retrospective of the band with material taken from every album as well as a handful of rarities.

Unlike most career retrospectives which tend to regurgitate the same and most obvious songs from a band’s discography, “The Legacy” picks some less obvious song choices as well as ensuring no era of the band is missed out. The album starts with the most recent material and works its way back starting with songs from the latest album “Game Over” and ending with the debut album “Animal House”. Song choices include ‘Decadent’, ‘Dominator’, ‘Man And Machine’, ‘Holy’ and ‘Independence Day’, ‘Break The Rules’ and ‘Pandemonium’ from the “We Are One” collaborative album with Das Musikkorps Der Bundeswehr. On the first disc there are some rare songs which would not have been heard by a good chunk of the U.D.O. fanbase having been released either as Japanese bonus tracks such as ‘What A Hell Of A Night’ and ‘Dust And Rust’ or released on a special AFM Records compilation such as ‘Falling Angels’. The second disc is the strongest in my opinion featuring songs off the older albums which are more my preference though there are some heavy metal bangers on the first disc.

“The Legacy” is an apt title for this compilation showcasing Udo Dirkschneider’s career post-Accept and a monstrous feast of German Heavy Metal. With a running time of 2.5 hours and 33 songs it is a lot to digest in one sitting, but it works as a great introduction for anyone who has yet to check out any U.D.O. material. For the long term fan there is little here apart from the 4 rarer songs but this is a great collection of material to celebrate the 35th anniversary year of the U.D.O. band and highlights some lesser known songs from the band.

‘Dust And Rust’ Official Audio

TRACKLISTING:

Disc 1:
01. Fear Detector
02. Metal Never Dies
03. Wilder Life
04. Pandemonium
05. One Heart One Soul
06. Make The Move
07. What A Hell Of A Night
08. Pain
09. Decadent
10. Falling Angels
11. Metal Machine
12. Steelhammer
13. Dust And Rust
14. I Give As Good As I Get
15. Rock ‘n’ Roll Soldiers
16. Dominator

Disc 2:
01. Mastercutor
02. Vendetta
03. 24 7
04. Blind Eyes
05. Man And Machine
06. Like A Lion
07. Shout It Out
08. Holy
09. Freelance Man
10. Independence Day
11. Metal Eater
12. Future Land
13. Blitz Of Lightning
14. We’re History
15. Break The Rules
16. Go Back To Hell
17. They Want War

LINKS:

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

Exciter – Kill After Kill (Re-issue)

Kill After Kill Album Cover Art

Exciter – Kill After Kill (Re-issue)
Cherry Red Records
Release Date: 18/11/22
Running Time: 37:56
Review by Rick Eaglestone
7/10

Thirty years after its original release Canadian Speed Metal pioneers Exciter’s 1992 classic “Kill After Kill” sees itself getting a revamp, ready for the old faithful to reminisce over and for a whole new generation of fans to discover. In this case I’m the latter, although I could even qualify with the earlier statement too although even though at that point, as I had only been a few years into my Metal journey.

I can immediately tell you that 12-year-old me would have absolutely lost it on opening track ‘Rain Of Terror’ it’s a full of blasting drums, shrilling vocals and solo’s galore!! Onwards onto ‘No Life No Future’ The change of pace for ‘Cold Blooded Murder’ still manages to keep your head nodding at a steady pace and then makes you text your parental life giver and ask them if they still have your original jacket with the glass eye & bullet belt. This pace continues for the start of ‘Smashin ‘Em Down’ which does pick up speed and has some great guitar parts.

Doomier elements engulf ‘Shadow Of The Cross’, which blend into almost a ballad and as much as I enjoyed full on assault tracks this has to be my highlight track as for the most part it did remind me of Mercyful Fate. It is then back to business as usual with ‘Dog Eat Dog’. ‘Anger, Hate & Destruction’ has all the elements that feel it would be a big live favourite, which is paired with ‘The Second Coming’ and although this is literally my introduction to the band (I have subsequently made up for this and explored more of their work) and my gut is these are potentially the biggest tracks of “Kill After Kill”

The album concludes with a live version of ‘Born To Kill’ which I particularly enjoyed as it gave me a good indication of how the band performed at the time of album’s original release. A great choice for reissue. 

TRACKLISTING:
01. Rain Of Terror
02. No Life No Future
03. Cold Blooded Murder
04. Smashin’ ‘Em Down
05. Shadow Of The Cross
06. Dog Eat Dog
07. Anger, Hate & Destruction 
08. The Second Coming
09. Born To Kill (Live)

LINE-UP:
Dan Beehler – Vocals, Drums
John Ricci – Guitars
David Ledden – Bass

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rick Eaglestone 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.

R3VO – Fireflies EP

Fireflies EP Cover Art

R3VO – Fireflies EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 16/11/22
Running Time: 23:30
Review by Simon Black
9/10

Occasionally something comes across the bows that takes you completely by surprise. 

R3VO are based in Berlin and have only really started to get off the starting blocks since their inception in 2019 thanks to you-know-what. An email in the EM inbox direct from the band started the conversation, and since I’m always up for a bit of Prog I went for it myself, because they did ask very nicely and took the trouble to find us online rather than via a PR company. A bit of research indicates that despite their relative newness, this is a band who are making dents in a crowded marketplace. A quick spin of this EP quickly indicates why.

Normally if five tracks bounced around the influences encompassing everything from Pop to a Funky Electronica, to the down-tuned nastiness of Grunge with the anger of Groove-soaked Hardcore in a Metal sandwich with an eclectic vocalist with a strong Alternative bent (but without the annoying whinging of Emo) then I would normally be arguing that it was time to pick a couple of these flavours and nail things down a bit more tightly. Not here though, because the key word missing from that last list is the one which makes it possible for all of these things to co-exist in the same twenty-three minutes and that is ‘Progressive’.

The name may invoke a Star Wars droid unit, but as a musical unit this rather young four piece are incredibly tight. To be able to shift between all these styles fluidly within tracks like a jazz band riffing off the moment, yet still retaining the overall coherent song-structure is no small achievement. So much so that this takes me a good five end-to-end spins before I can even begin to start writing this, which is usually a sign that either I’ve got a real clanger on my hands and I’m trying to work out how to pull my punches, or that I have found a band I am going to fall in love with.

For a four piece they really max up the richness in the sounds, and despite the fact that the individual tracks sound like they may have been recorded at different times, this is a remarkably cohesive debut EP. With haunting yet subtly powerful vocals, some incredibly fluid and technically complex instrumental work and most of all, real damned deep ear-worm catchiness, this seems like an incredibly promising start. The title track and single ‘Fireflies’ is an absolute catchy monster, and deserves a shit load of airplay, but I can tell from the technical wizardry and subtlety in everything else that yes, this is a band to love.

‘Fireflies’ Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Artificial Pleasure
02. Fireflies
03. Dorian Gray
04. Darling
05. Aluminium

LINE-UP:
Altair Chagué – Drums
Jan Kurfürst – Guitar
Leo Lotux’s – Vocals
Victor Nissim – Bass

LINKS:

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.

Seething Akira – Nozomi

Nozomi Album Cover Art

Seething Akira – Nozomi
FiXT Music
Release Date: 11/11/22
Review by Dark Juan
Running Time: 38:40
7/10

Rather annoyingly, Shell Energy Broadband has more dropouts than the cast of an American high school slasher and it has been presenting me with difficulties with uploading fantastic new reviews for you, the beautiful people out there, to happily peruse. Combined with the bout of COVID bastardness which is still affecting your good correspondent with extreme fatigue and a work schedule that has been somewhat punishing, even the good work of keeping the world in touch with the Metal underground has been too challenging recently and I was forced to take a break from writing while I reclaimed enough energy to write again. However, I have sufficiently pissed myself and Mrs Dark Juan off by doing nothing to clamp on the cans and tackle the increasingly extensive review list I have. 

Today, we are remaining in jolly old Blighty and revelling in the stylings of a band from the (shudder) South of England, specifically Portsmouth. There’s a Portsmouth in West Yorkshire too, on the way to Burnley, but I can’t for the life of me understand why it is called Portsmouth because it IS NOT NEAR ANY FUCKING PORTS, and this fact pisses me off more than I can hope to explain to you. Nevertheless, I have now conquered my ire and I am ready to share views and opinions about talented people and their art again…

Seething Akira are a band of diverse and wide-ranging influences and it is important to note this from the beginning as they frequently take their music down unusual and challenging paths – these British bruisers gleefully smash Nu-Metal, Metalcore, Electronic Dance Music, Industrial, Emo and Drum and Bass together, shock it back to life with egregious amounts of amplification, set it loose upon unsuspecting record reviewers and sit there giggling like schoolgirls as said record reviewer tries desperately to make some sense of their day-glo painted Frankenstinian horror.

There’s a perfectly charming thirty-odd second opener that’s all synthwavey and gorgeous with female choral singing, and then the band crash into ‘Never Permanent’, keyboards chopping from left to right in my headphones and then…. Electric alchemy. Guitars slam into the back brain, and a very Emo vocal gives way to a (very Southern England-accented) Hardcore shouty bit, and then a staccato keyboard break links into a lighters-aloft chorus. It’s very glossy, highly polished stuff that will appeal greatly to any baby goths or Emos and people who also appreciate their Metal being a little different from the norm. This sad old goff is quite enjoying himself with Seething Akira’s music. It offers dimensions that Metal sometimes doesn’t. ‘Metaphors’ amply displays this – with a kawaii female vocal sample giving way to a punishing tempo and some fucking angry shouting and some pretty fucking stellar guitar work. The sample comes back in the break and forms the backbone to a pretty awesome Drum and Bass based (see what I did there?) second movement in the song. Also, absolutely COLOSSAL break with Star Wars laser noises and all sorts. This song is the highlight of the album, being bouncy and joyous and yet still possessing a spine of steel.

“Fuck it, let’s take the risk!” is a lyric from the aforementioned song and it could be Seething Akira’s motto as they ride wildly over genre and type and do donuts over the remains of them. However, next comes a bit of a weak point in ‘Lost At Sea’ where the guys channel their inner Britpop mop-tops for the chorus and verse and the noisier shouty bits feel a bit… Contrived really, but the keyboard work on this tune is fucking epic.

‘Internal Antagonist’ resets the balance though, with a meaty-as-fuck Metalcore / Nu-Metal stomper that should see pit virgins worrying for their personal safety, and with a massive chorus and absolutely slamming Drum and Bass break to boot that is melded seamlessly into the Metal to finish the song off.

I ended that last paragraph having written exactly six hundred and sixty-six words, which was incredibly pleasing.

This is a very intriguing album indeed, sonically, too. The production is some of the best work I have ever heard clarity-wise with every instrument perfectly placed in the mix and the vocals also forward, but not overpoweringly so, in the final work. Keyboard breaks and Drum and Bass sections join perfectly into the overall sound and the drums themselves (can’t tell whether they are sequenced or not – possibly they are) and the writing of the music is pretty fucking awesome as it melds influences that really shouldn’t work together but do – ‘Something In The Water’ transitions from Drum and Bass into an oh-so-very-Metal guitar solo and just works. The problem is that there is very little soul in the sound of the album – it is too clean and polished and there is a bit of a lack of quality control – ‘Frequencies’ is a pretty generic sounding Rap Metal shoutalong with added electronic wibbly bits and the chorus is rather bland and uninteresting.

Otherwise, it’s pretty good fun – the joining of Metal and Drum and Bass is an awesome sounding combo and reminds me somewhat of Cubanate and their attempted fusing of Metal and Techno, but I feel Seething Akira have tried to market to a more mainstream Metal crowd. And that might be their problem – the mainstream Metal audience is notoriously conservative and Seething Akira’s sound might prove too challenging for the bullet belt and black jeans brigade. If you’re willing to take a risk, though, Seething Akira are pretty fucking good technicolour, day-glo fun. You can dance and mosh – frequently in the same song.

Remember how I said ‘Metaphors’ was the highlight of the album? It shares that honour with ‘Dioxide’ that chucks an absolutely fucking slamming Drum and Bass keyboard bit into the mix that the guitar follows, and the result is something so breathtakingly bludgeoning that it has immediately found its way into Dark Juan’s favourite songs. But this is also the problem with quality control rearing its head again – if the band are capable of this absolute supremacy, why are they also writing heavier Britpop songs? And the terribly self-serving rap on ‘Reason To Breathe’ just sets this reviewer’s teeth on edge, even if it is about a baby girl. In fact, the whole song is tawdry Emo bollocks. Bleurgh.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Seething Akira 7/10 for a record of extreme peaks and troughs. When it is great its fucking sublime, and when the quality drops it is frankly horrible. Thankfully the good outweighs the bad.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Never Permanent (Intro)
02. Never Permanent
03. Metaphors
04. Lost At Sea
05. Internal Antagonist
06. Something In The Water (Intro)
07. Something In The Water
08. Frequencies
09. Punishment Instructions
10. Dioxide
11. Reason To Breathe
12. Stars

LINE-UP:
Kit Conrad – Vocals
Charlie Bowes – Vocals
Richard Ellis – Bass
Simon Williams – Guitar
John Corney – Guitar

LINKS:

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.

Spider God – Fly In The Trap

Fly In The Trap Album Cover Art

Spider God – Fly In The Trap
Repose Records 
Release Date: 11/11/22
Running Time: 40:30
Review by Rick Eaglestone
8/10

After an array of split releases, EP’s and even a pop covers album, the time has come for the arachnid Spider God to unveil their first full length album – “Fly In The Trap”. This is a concept album that explores the chilling mystery of Elisa Lam, the young Chinese-Canadian woman whose body was found submerged in the rooftop water tank of her L.A. hotel in 2013. 

The album opens at a furious pace with opener and first single ‘The Fifty Second Murderer’ which is followed up the galloping charge of ‘Traces Of Hubris’. Then there is my highlight track of the album ‘A Thousand Lonely Spiders’, which is a wonderful mix of Blistering Black Metal with tinges of traditional Heavy Metal embedded into it. 

Up next is ‘The Hermit’ which has some great melodic undertones and is complimented fantastically well with ‘Labyrinth Of Hallways’, which starts off at a much slower pace which gradually builds into its searing attack. Second single ‘Flies In The Trap’ features guest vocals from artists even more elusive than the collective assembled here, both Revenant Marquis and A Forest Of Stars feature on this track and it feels like a supergroup of the unknown.

The album concludes with ‘Hiroshima Mon Amour’ & Invisible Light’, which ends what has been a real listening experience pouring from the speakers in a cold torrent whilst telling its story which is something I am now going to explore further now I have listened to the album a few times. I have discovered a documentary entitled Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel which is available via Netflix and no doubt after that I will come back to the album with a slightly different approach which will inevitably mean I will enjoy the album even more.

A majestically unnerving creation. 

‘Flies In The Trap’ Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Fifty Second Murderer 
02. Traces Of Hubris
03. A Thousand Lonely Spiders
04. The Hermit 
05. Labyrinth Of Hallways
06. Flies In The Trap
07. Hiroshima Mon Amour 
08. Invisible Light

LINE-UP:
G – Everything

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rick Eaglestone 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.

Soul Grinder – Anthems From The Abyss

Anthems From The Abyss Album Cover Art

Soul Grinder – Anthems From The Abyss
MDD Records
Release Date: 11/11/22
Running Time: 42:16 
Review by Richard Oliver
8/10

A band that has been making waves in the extreme metal underground in Germany are Bremen death metallers Soul Grinder who are releasing their second album “Anthems From The Abyss”.  These guys flew into my radar with the release of their debut album “Chronicles Of Decay” in 2020 and they seriously impressed me with their no-nonsense but utterly brilliant approach to death metal.  An E.P. “Lifeless Obsession” followed last year which maintained the level of sheer quality displayed on the debut album so it is safe to say that this is an anticipated release and thankfully one that does not disappoint.

What we get with “Anthems From The Abyss” is a wonderfully straightforward death metal sound where the almighty riff is put front and centre.  There are so many riffs and rhythms on this album that demand vicious headbanging and the inevitable neck injuries.  There are plenty of moments of that irresistible old school death metal groove as well as some nods to thrash metal plus moments of sheer gnarly brutality.  Soul Grinder are not reinventing the wheel by any stretch but are just simply delivering absolutely killer death metal.  There can’t be a self-respecting death metal fan on the planet who won’t lose their shit to ravenous tunes such as ‘Insidious Resurrection’, ‘Supreme Enemy’, ‘From The Nether Realm’, ‘Warcurse’ and the killer title track.  There are odd hints at melody throughout the album plus there is also a minimal use of keyboards for atmosphere but these moments are few and far between.

Soul Grinder have again impressed with another killer death metal album.  It has killer riffs, filthy groove, battering rhythms and ferocious vocals – the key ingredients to any good death metal album.  One or two songs get overshadowed by the album’s more memorable songs but there is absolutely no denying that Soul Grinder have death metal down to a fine art.  They have won over metalheads in Germany and now is the time for them to impress the world.  “Anthems From The Abyss” is the album to help them achieve that.

‘Spirit’s Asylum’ Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Anthems From The Abyss
02. Insidious Resurrection
03. The Soul’s Mirror
04. Supreme Enemy
05. I Am The Silencer
06. Blood Harvest
07. From The Nether Realm
08. The Last Supper
09. Spirit’s Asylum
10. Warcurse

LINE-UP:
Mathias Junge – Vocals/Bass
Jan Resmer – Guitar Backing Vocals 
Matè “Balrogh” Balogh – Drums

LINKS:

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