Night Demon – Outsider

Outsider Album Cover Art

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

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

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

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

‘Escape From Beyond’ Official Video

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

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


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

Insomnium – Anno 1696

Anno 1696 Album Cover Art

Insomnium – Anno 1696
Century Media Records
Release Date: 24/02/23
Running Time: 50:30
Review by Rick Eaglestone

Finnish metal melancholists Insomnium tell us a tale woven with sorrow and the last crumbling vestiges of hope, based a short story by Niilo Sevänen all through their ninth studio album “Anno 1696”

The album begins with almost a storytelling aspect. The instrumental start builds to crushing heaviness, with the lyrics reflecting on ‘1696’, and some really nice melody. This continues on to ‘White Christ’, which features Rotting Christ’s Sakis Tolis.

Next, with both the ethereal and fury, is the album’s most ambitious and longest track, ‘Godforsaken’. For me the inclusion of Johanna Kurkela confirms that this is the album’s absolute highlight. This is followed up with some great, fast paced folk elements in ‘Lilian’ and ‘Starless Paths’, with touches of modern day Amorphis, making this trilogy of tracks the most enjoyable section of the album.

As it moves on into ‘The Witch Hunter’ “Anno 1696” continues with the historic age of unrest narrative and has some elements that hark back to “Since the Day It All Came Down”. Then immediately following on is the majestically acoustic “The Unrest”, which would’ve been a fantastic album closer in my opinion. But then the piano laden entrance to ‘The Rapids’ begins, and as the building crescendo of swirling guitar sounds and pounding drums grow, I had to seriously consider retyping my last statement, as Insomnium perfectly encapsulate the albums aesthetic in this final offering.

Insomnium are a band that have continually delivered, and for someone who has unintentionally started off the year reading books about, or related to witchcraft, this album came at the perfect time.

‘Godforsaken’ feat. Johanna Kurkela Official Music Video

01. 1696
02. White Christ (feat. Sakis Tolis)
03. Godforsaken (feat. Johanna Kurkela)
04. Lilian
05. Starless Paths
06. The Witch Hunter
07. The Unrest 
08. The Rapids

Niilo Sevänen – Bass / Vocals
Jani Liimatainen – Guitars / Clean Vocals
Markus Vanhala – Guitars / Clean Vocals
Markus Hirvonen – Drums
Ville Friman – Guitars


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.

Sanguisugabogg – Homicidal Ecstasy

Homicidal Ecstasy Album Cover Art

Sanguisugabogg – Homicidal Ecstasy
Century Media Records
Release Date: 03/02/2023
Running Time: 45:16
Review by Richard Oliver

A band that I have seen mentioned quite a bit but never heard are Sanguisugabogg and with a name like that they are a band that will certainly make you take notice. Made up of the Latin word for leech and the English slang for toilet, Sanguisugabogg formed in Columbus, Ohio in 2019 and “Homicidal Ecstasy” is the second album for the band.

Sanguisugabogg perform a very murky, brutal, down-tuned and utterly filthy style of Death Metal and the album is a definite step up from their 2021 debut “Tortured Whole”. As vocalist Devin Swank states ““Everything became more legit. The musicianship, the production, the lyrics – which delve much more into horror and body horror – are more thought-out. It’s not just a bunch of dick and fart jokes.” The sound of the album very much matches the lyrical content of horror and body horror being an absolutely vile and uncompromising mash of Modern Brutal Death Metal, Murky Old School Death Metal with elements of Hardcore and Grindcore thrown in for good effect. Songs such as ‘Skin Cushion’, ‘Mortal Admonishment’, ‘Pissed’ and ‘Necrosexual Deviant’ shift from gnarly blasting violence to barrages of chuggy riffing and bludgeoning drums to slow and sludgy moments of pure foetid filth. Sanguisugabogg are basically making Death Metal sound as disgusting as possible.

“Homicidal Ecstasy” is an album which will appeal to those who like their Metal as filthy sounding as humanly possible but where it suffers a bit is that it is just a bit too samey throughout and, apart from a few standout songs that I mentioned above, the songs on the album are difficult to distinguish from one another. Sanguisugabogg have got a formula that works, and I imagine that when performed live these songs will sound absolutely killer but on record it all gets a bit too samey but if you are in the mood for utterly vile and depraved death metal then “Homicidal Ecstasy” will meet those requirements.

‘Necrosexual Deviant’ Official Video

01. Black Market Vasectomy
02. Face Ripped Off
03. Pissed
04. Testicular Rot
05. Hungry For Your Insides
06. Skin Cushion
07. A Lesson In Savagery
08. Narcissistic Incisions
09. Mortal Admonishment
10. Proclamation Of The Frail
11. Necrosexual Deviant
12. Feening For Bloodshed

Cody Davidson – Drums
Devin Swank – Vocals
Ced Davis – Guitars
Drew Arnold – Guitars


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.

Krisiun – Mortem Solis

Mortem Solis Album Cover Art

Krisiun – Mortem Solis
Century Media Records
Release Date: 29/07/2022
Running Time: 40:13
Review by Victor Augusto

What do you think about bands that are still able to surprise their fans after 30 years of existence? How impressed would you be if I tell you about a band that has never stopped releasing albums, neither has stopped touring along all these decades and they are still releasing impressive material? Do you still believe it is possible? I can assure it is and we will talk about it today. 

The mighty Krisiun! 

If you have never heard of them, they are a band of three Brazilian brothers that decided to leave behind everything in their lives to move from their small town of Ijuí, in the south of the country, to São Paulo to stay around the biggest Heavy Metal scene in Brazil. The reason for this decision was simply to put in all efforts and dedication for the band. Their brutality and fast speed for music called a worldwide attention that resulted in non-stop tours around the world, all along the decades. 

Many things have happened so far. First, they showed how fast and powerfully they can play, especially on stage, where you can see their primal energy and adrenaline. After they conquered the world with this amazing success, they even added few grooves and more cadenced rhythms to their sound without losing the brutality, mainly since the “AssassiNation” album, back in 2006. One more interesting thing is how organic and natural they started to sound in studio. They went completely against the current trend of all digitized and soulless production from many Extreme bands nowadays. OK, I have tried to summarize their path so far, because these details will be important to understand the context of this new album which translates from “The Death of The Sun” in Latin.

It is the most mature album from Krisiun, in my humble opinion. I could hear the perfect match of everything I mentioned from their past. The brutality and fast speed, but with cadenced parts. The best part is how organic and clear they sound on the album’s production. It’s beautiful to hear a real sound from a drum. Moyses Kolesne guitar’s sound is even more straight and to the point, with riffs and a good blast of heaviness. There are not so many layers of guitars that (again) could make the music a bit plastic. Alex Camargo’s bass is strongly present as well, to increase the heaviness.

Alex’s singing is very straight and to the point with his voice as well, and his anger gives a good interpretation of the lyrics on “Mortem Solis”, that somehow represents what we live and what we suffered along these last two years, but in an even darker thematic. Max Kolesne drums surprise with such a different versatility. I really love how creative he is. In ‘Necronomical’ for example, the Motörhead spirit and cadence is suddenly changed with killer drum fills that I was not expecting. At the end, this song finishes in the traditional Krisiun style. 

On this record, the way that Max put the drum fills down is a bit different from the previous one. I felt like he tried to extend these parts and it is quite interesting because among a sequence of blast beats, these drum fills can really surprise the listeners and bring their attention back, like he did on ‘Sworn Enemies’. As reference to make it clear how Max is killing his drum set here, you just must imagine the Dave Lombardo versatile style, but played by a Death Metal Drummer. Is it enough for you?

The Middle Eastern and Oriental music on ‘Dawn Sun Carnage (Intro)’ seems like an intro to a more obscure and aggressive song that goes to the end of the album, and it is a pure carnage. Musically, they kept all the key elements, but it is a bit more brutal, especially on ‘As Angels Burn’. Everything abruptly ends on ‘Worm God’.

“Mortem Solis” sounds more than brutal and aggressive. It offers excitement and adrenaline to keep us connected to the album. It also carries everything that made Krisiun so well known in the Death Metal genre, but their experience even offered a better result. They have been doing it for a long time, but as I said before, I felt they reached almost perfection now. Maybe the two years without touring due to the pandemic helped them to put out of the chest all their anger on it.

‘Swords Into Flesh’ (OFFICIAL VIDEO) 

Video interview: Alex Camargo of Krisiun:

01. Sworn Enemies
02. Serpent Messiah
03. Swords into Flesh 
04. Necronomical
05. Tomb of the Nameless 
06. Dawn Sun Carnage (Intro)
07. Temple of the Abattoir
08. War Blood Hammer
09. As Angels Burn
10. Worm God

Alex Camargo – Vocals and bass
Max Kolesne – Drums
Moyses Kolesne – Guitars 


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.

Oceans Of Slumber – Starlight And Ash

Starlight And Ash Album Cover Art

Oceans Of Slumber – Starlight And Ash
Century Media Records
Release Date: 22/07/22
Running Time: 48:28
Review by Dark Juan

Hello, my fiends. It is I, Dark Juan, and I am discovering the delights of Aldi’s Dr. Pepper analogue. It is called Professor Peppy and for some reason this has amused the fuck out of me and I giggle every time I look at the bottle. I am a man of simple pleasures and even simpler humour. In fact, Mrs Dark Juan would claim (with some justification) that I am just simple. She’s probably right.

As this rock spins around the sun, covered in a load of humans who account for only the most infinitesimal percentage of the mass of the universe, yet who consider themselves so important that the universe should bend over and reveal its secrets to us, I find myself ruminating on the nature of humanity. A race capable of squandering so much potential by allowing themselves to be governed by the people who are most unsuited to power – those being the ones who clamour to wield it. Why do we trust our lives to psychopaths and hypocrites? Why do we, the people, not rise up against these oppressors and forge a different path for ourselves? I, Dark Juan, did not consent to be governed by anyone. Indeed, I’d be much more comfortable if I were governing myself. My mate Tony and I will have the UK sorted out in five minutes flat, when we tear down the system and build a new one based on Yorkshire common sense and not on rich folk protecting their own. Come the revolution you’ll find me leading from the front. Something has to change.

 Flat caps will be compulsory on a Sunday.

Speaking of revolution, I am listening to Houston, Texas based Oceans Of Slumber. If you are a long time studier of my peculiar compositions, you’ll no doubt recall that I reviewed “The Banished Heart”, being the last long playing release by the band I have heard, way back when in 2018, and properly raved about it, the sheer intelligence of the music and the absolute ASSET that the voice of Cammie Beverly is. Her soulful delivery runs the full gauntlet from softly charming and seductive to venom-spitting fury and she was a part of a modern progressive metal masterpiece at that time. Shall we see if Oceans Of Slumber have another one on their hands?

First of all, I note with trepidation that the blurb states that “Starlight And Ash” marks a new sound for the band (“You are all witnesses to the birth of Spinal Tap Mark II. Hope you enjoy our new direction…”) with a decided pivot towards Southern Gothic music. Now, I don’t know whether you metalheads have actually heard any Southern Gothic music, but it is best described as country music written by even more depressed musicians than normal practitioners of country. They are more at risk of mental health difficulties than blues musicians and Amy Winehouse combined. It is slow and gloomy and all about peoples’ dead dogs, lovers, the Appalachian Mountains and how beautiful they are even though Emmie-Lou fell off one of them and her head exploded like an overripe melon, but by god the scarlet on the white was gorgeous to behold. Basically it sounds like Willie Nelson discovered depressive black metal and the Sisters Of Mercy at the same time and then stuck a wailing violin and a twangy bastard banjo over the top of it and dug up the corpse of Rover to weep over whilst drinking whiskey and rye.

I’m not sure I like it. All the right ingredients are there – lush songwriting, a crystal clear production that renders everything more glacial and pure than an Antarctic winter, staggering musicianship and the emotional and ardent singing, but I can’t help it. It feels somehow contrived. ‘Just A Day’ amply demonstrates this – an absolutely jaw-dropping song, but one much superior to much of the album because it is more concentrated on being heavy than clever. And the cover of The Animals’ seminal ‘House Of The Rising Sun’ is fucking awful. If Cammie had sung an acapella version, it would have been goosebump-inducingly wonderful, but slinging a mournful cello over finger-picked acoustic guitar and possibly the most disinterested-sounding keyboardist ever does not constitute an acceptable version of a bona fide classic. 

I think I have identified the problem. I think this album has been too long in the making. It’s been overthought and overwrought. The band are trying too hard. There are flashing moments of brilliance, but it is not a very cohesive thing. ‘The Shipbuilder’s Son’ is a perfect case in point – satisfyingly chuggy guitars give way to mournful, affecting quiet passages and then to soaring, slow crunching, but there’s too much stopping and starting and too much reliance on Cammie Beverly’s undeniable vocal supremacy to carry the composition through, and this is a recurring problem throughout the album. It’s too self-indulgent. And it’s not because I don’t understand progressive music either. I have a 14-cd box set of Van Der Graaf fucking Generator on my review list…

It’s a crying shame because the opening track, ‘The Waters Rising’ is simply brilliant, effortlessly melding Cammie’s warm, intimate delivery with an electronically enhanced drumbeat and soulful backing vocals, and an interesting lyric, and a slowly building sense of purpose, especially when the band hit the gas and crash into the heavy fucking metal, however briefly. 

Wow. I’m so disappointed I want to go and kill someone’s beloved pet or child in a bizarrely misplaced act of vengeance because I wanted to love this record so much, and I just don’t. It is slow and maudlin and not what I remember Oceans Of Slumber to be. When they start playing metal, it is absolutely staggering in its intelligence and complexity, but the metal moments are too few and far between and there’s too much focus on noodling – ‘Hearts Of Stone’ is a brilliant metal song but it is followed by ‘The Lighthouse’ which is not a good metal song. It is not a metal song at all. The styles the band are trying to merge are too divergent. I intensely dislike the little slide guitar lick on it, but as Cammie sings her heart out, she’s capable enough to turn the ugliest sow’s ear into a glorious silk purse and she lifts it beyond poor, to acceptable.

In conclusion, then. A record that tries too hard to meld music made by depressed shotgun owners who would massacre their way around surrounding farms if they didn’t have instruments, with heavy metal. It doesn’t really gel and the Southern Gothic elements jar uncomfortably against the heavier stuff. When it’s good it is simply sublime but there are not enough great moments on the record. The main saving grace is the singing of Cammie Beverly, which is always exemplary. Southern Gothic music should be of an earthy, home grown quality that speaks of isolation and pain, yet this album suffers from having too clean a production that robs the songs of any emotion or pathos.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is astounded that it has actually reached the dizzying heights of competence in review writing for several minutes now, but remains disappointed in Oceans Of Slumber and awards them 6/10 for a real bum note in their otherwise enviable canon.

01. The Waters Rising
02. Hearts Of Stone
03. The Lighthouse
04. Red Forest Roads
05. The Hanging Tree
06. Salvation
07. Star Altar
08. The Spring of 21
09. Just A Day
10. House Of The Rising Sun
11. The Shipbuilder’s Son

Dobber Beverly – Drums, piano 
Cammie Beverly – Lead vocals 
Mat V. Aleman – Keyboards 
Semir Ozerkan – Bass, backing vocals 
Jessie Santos – Guitars 
Alexander Lucian – Guitars, backing vocals 


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

Witchery – Nightside

Nightside Album Cover Art

Witchery – Nightside
Century Media Records
Release Date: 22/07/22
Running Time: 35:47 
Review by Rick Eaglestone

Masters of infernal metal since the 90’s, Sweden’s Witchery are poised to release their most undeadly ambitious album to date; “Nightside”.

The band waste no time in attempting to raise the dead with opening track ‘Witching Hour’, which is a non-stop rollercoaster of furious beats and solo’s – great start to the album and an early contender for my highlight track. But then the intro to ‘Don’t Burn the Witch’ hits, and this my fellow metal fan has to be my highlight track!! It has the aura of Satyricon’s ‘Fuel for Hatred’ about it too, which is an added bonus.

The album continues to flow with ‘Storm of the Unborn’ and interludial ‘Er Steht in Flammen’ before the unholy trinity of ‘Popecrusher’ ‘Left Hand March’ & instrumental ‘Under the Altar’ take hold of the middle section. The first two tracks of this trinity are heavy, but they in no way compare to the sheer ferocity that is ‘Churchburner’! I am honestly taken aback just how fast and heavy it is in parts – more of this please.

‘Crucifix and Candle’ has the best start to a track of the entire album, and when most of the lyrical content is effectively The Lord’s Prayer, you can’t help but appreciate just how wonderfully blasphemous it is! Also, it has a wonderful solo towards the end, and if that wasn’t enough, the band casually unleash ‘A Forest of Burning Coffins’ which is maybe even heavier than ‘Churchburner’.

The album concludes with the ominous and foreboding title track ‘Nightside’, which for me personally finishes this album off in just the right way.

Heavy metal witchcraft at its finest.

‘Popecrusher’ Official Video

01. Witching Hour
02. Don’t Burn the Witch
03. Storm of the Unborn
04. Er steht in Flammen
05. Popecrusher
06. Left Hand March
07. Under the Altar
08. Churchburner
09. Crucifix and Candle
10. A Forest of Burning Coffins
11. Nightside

Angus Norder – Vocals 
Jensen – Rhythm Guitars
Rickard Rimfält – Rhythm and Solo Guitars
Victor Brandt – Bass Guitar
Chris Barkensjö – Drums 


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.

Vomit Forth – Seething Malevolence

Seething Malevolence Album Cover Art

Vomit Forth – Seething Malevolence
Century Media Records
Release Date: 08/07/22
Running Time: 29:01
Review by Rick Eaglestone

Vomit Forth aren’t a band I’m familiar with, but that was immediately slapped out of me with the short ‘Untitled’ intro – there’s something about Synths right now that I just can’t seem to get enough of. This was different though, as there was something dark and twisted about it which seeps into the bludgeoning ‘Eucharist Intact’. I’ve been well and truly initiated.

Hands down ‘Pain Tolerance’ has to be my highlight track. It’s full of OSDM elements, but has a snarling quality that just invades my eardrums. This is followed immediately by the absolutely unrelenting ‘Tortured Sacrament’, which make me feel how I did when I discovered Cannibal Corpse in the 90’s. It’s a strange feeling, the warmth of nostalgia with the cold crushing heaviness, but that’s what I’m left with here.

At this point of listening to my review, my wife walks in and pulls a face like someone has run over a kitten. If the track in question ‘Unrecognizable’ was a vehicle, it would be a monster truck – poor fictional kitty, also, this track has a phenomenal guitar solo and title track ‘Seething Malevolence’ has live crowd favourite written all over it. 

This album is unapologetic in its delivery ‘Severely Wounded’ briefly gives the impression that maybe, just maybe, things may mellow the band, though they may well have other plans to continue to engulf the listener with really skull pounding Death Metal, but just sprinkle in these subtle elements throughout. It’s incredibly well blended, with tracks like ‘Carnivorous Incantation’ & synth laden instrumental ‘I Feel Nothing’ feeling like throwbacks, but with a firm boot pressed into the future.

“Seething Malevolence” concludes with ‘Predatory Saviour’, which has some great basslines and final track ‘Pious Killing Floor’ showing all the mercy of a Vipco vaults of horror movie! 

Vocalist Kane Gelaznik wanted to change how people look at Death Metal and collectively Vomit Forth may just have succeeded. 

‘Carnivorous Incantations’ Official Video

01. Untitled
02. Eucharist Intact
03. Pain Tolerance
04. Tortured Sacrament
05. Unrecognizable 
06. Seething Malevolence
07. Severely Wounded
08. Carnivorous Incantation
09. I Feel Nothing
10. Predatory Saviour
11. Pious Killing Floor

Nick Herrmann – Drums
Ricky Brayall – Guitar
Tyler Bidwell – Bass
Kane Gelaznik – Vocals


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.

Monuments – In Stasis

Monuments – In Stasis
Century Media Records
Release Date: 15/04/2022
Running Time: 50:00
Review by Rory Bentley 

Alright kids it’s time for my first Tech-Metal review for the website, strap in and get that bottom guitar string ready because shit’s about to get djenty!

Monuments have carved out a solid place in the modern Metal scene alongside the likes of Tesseract and Periphery without quite breaking through to those levels of success. Nonetheless they have their avid group of followers and it’s easy to see why on the basis of the first few cuts on “In Stasis”. They have the dizzying riff work one would expect, a slick incorporation of electronics and some impressive soaring vocals contrasted with the obligatory shouty bits. It’s all performed with stellar musicianship and a big shiny production job and generally ticks all the boxes of the genre but therein lies the problem for me.

As someone with a pretty casual relationship with this genre, I tend to look for something that deviates a little from the beaten path to hook me in. I love the way that Tesseract have streamlined their progressive sound to something more direct and punchy without shedding the polyrhythms and complexity of their older work, but perhaps this balancing act is beyond most band’s capabilities or desires. Which is probably why I’m presented here with an album that loses a little of its impact largely due to a gruelling 50 minute runtime

Don’t get me wrong there is a lot to enjoy on here, Periphery frontman Spencer Sotelo lends his commanding voice to album highlight ‘Arch Essence’ to great effect in a song that shows a songwriting finesse that isn’t always present throughout the album. Elsewhere ‘Somnus’ provides a groovy off-kilter riff that is as catchy as it is abrasive, as it underpins rhythmic screams that have an almost hip hop feel to them. Add these tracks alongside ‘False Providence’ and its satisfying bass slapping and stirring symphonic outro and it’s clear to see that the band do possess a proficiency for balancing chaos with composition, I just wish it was more present throughout the runtime.

My main gripe with the flow of the album is that the first half of it stays in the same lane for too long, offering up ideas I’ve heard too many times before. While the likes of ‘No One Will Teach You’ and ‘Lavos’ are technically impressive in their proclivity to send the kitchen sink soaring through the air while switching on a dime to high-register saccharine vocals, I found myself worn down a lot earlier than I’d like. Some songs like ‘Cardinal Red’ veer too far into riff soup territory to really find their feet and the transition between abrasive chaos and conventional pop hooks is jarring in a way that doesn’t compliment either end of the spectrum. The fact that I’ve heard a lot of these ideas executed before by the band’s peers and to greater success means I’m sometimes caught between disoriented bemusement and ambivalent familiarity. It’s crazy but it’s a crazy that I’ve seen before.

Thankfully by the time the slick vocal runs on ‘Makeshift Harmony’ and the more disciplined songwriting of The Cimmerian’ close things out and the band venture further up the fretboard, I have a much more positive view of the album as a whole. In fact I believe that with a little resequencing and more judicious editing there is a really solid album in here.

As it stands this was an overall enjoyable listen that showed flashes of more widespread appeal but perhaps fails to deviate from the genre’s formula enough to truly satisfy anyone but the Djent faithful. I’m interested to see if they can break beyond these boundaries next time because there’s plenty of evidence on ‘In Stasis’ that they have the tools.

‘Makeshift Harmony’ Official Video

01. No One Will Teach You
02. Lavos
03. Cardinal Red
04. Opiate
05. Collapse
06. Arch Essence
07. Somnus
08. False Providence
09. Makeshift Harmony
10. The Cimmerian 

John Browne – guitars
Adam Swan – bass 
Mike Malyan – drums, samples
Andy Cizek


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.

Ignite- Ignite

Ignite Album Cover Art

Ignite- Ignite
Century Media Records
Release Date: 25/03/22
Running Time: 31:00
Review by Rory Bentley

I tell you what mates, it feels good to be back on home soil and talking about some Hardcore again, this time we’re talking about Orange County veterans Ignite and their new self- titled effort. Ignite have long stood out from the crowd with their ultra-melodic but no less intense approach to Hardcore, bolstered by the powerful, crystal clear tenor of original vocalist Zoltán Téglás, but now they find themselves seven albums in surrounded by bands that have liberally ‘borrowed’ from them and with a new singer in the form of Eli Santana. Do we need a new Ignite album in 2022? My answer is yes we need bands like Ignite more than ever.

At a brisk 31 minutes “Ignite” is brimming with aggression, passion and gigantic singalong hooks that tackle social injustice headfirst. Eli Santana immediately stamps his authority all over the album as ‘Anti Complicity Anthem’ comes screeching through the speakers, possessing a robust high register croon that effortlessly takes the baton from his predecessor.

After ‘The River’ brings some Gothic melancholy to the table and ‘This Day’ snaps your head back with furious pace and boisterous gang vocals, things really start cooking. ‘On the Ropes’ channels lurching bass and jangling chords into an eruption of kinetic Bad Religion harmonies that are catchy as they are intense while ‘The Butcher In Me’ is an outstanding songwriting showcase that has all the hallmarks of a hit single while never losing its menacing Hardcore edge. If you miss the old Rise Against sound then Ignite has got you covered here in a big way.

‘Call Off The Dogs’ provides the biggest hook of the album with the fist pumping chant of “Deny your programming” and a bouncing Nu-metal riff that really catches fire in the screamed breakdown section. From here on out it’s a straight dash to the finish line with every song hitting the mark until the brooding closer ‘Let the Beggars Beg’ seduces you with melancholic strumming that builds into hulking AFI style riffs that masterfully build into yet another huge chorus.

While I can’t honestly say that Ignite are doing anything new here, it has been a long time since they sounded this vicious, focused and full of spite and even longer since they’ve produced something this consistent. There are no dips in quality or momentum over these 10 tracks and enough variety to avoid fatigue setting in. This is music that deals with ugly reality and isn’t afraid to slug you in the face with it, but it sweetens the deal with an abundance of melody.

With AFI going full goth a long time ago, Bad Religion mellowing with age and Rise Against going the stadium route you could do a lot worse than turning to Ignite for scabrous punk with a hint of California sunshine. This one’s getting bumped loud and proud in my garden this summer!

‘The Butcher In Me’ Official Video

01. Anti-Complicity Anthem
02. The River
03. This Day
04. On The Ropes
05. The Butcher In Me
06. Call Off the Dogs
07. The House is Burning
08. Enemy
09. State of Wisconsin
10. Let The Beggars Beg

Kevin Kilkenny– guitar
Nik Hill– guitar
Brett Rasmussen– bass
Craig Anderson– drums
Eli Santana– vocals


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.