Leprethere – Tarnished Passion

Tarnished Passion Album Cover Art

Leprethere – Tarnished Passion
Release Date: 24/03/24
Running Time: 32:40
Review by Dark Juan

Having been mocked unmercifully by Rory Bentley in the staff Facebook chat about my preambles not being at all relevant to the bands I listen to, I have decided to cock a snook at him and continue to campaign for him to receive the triple CD Symphonic Power Metal epic we have on our review books, that NO-ONE WANTS TO TOUCH. I would have done it, but haven’t, and this is because Dark Juan feels that he really would not have the vocabulary to adequately describe the singular brilliance of such a release. Rory does and Rory really, REALLY loves Power Metal in all its forms and Dark Juan is of the opinion that Rory should have it and it will be a labour of love for him and the review will end up being a fine and transformative piece of descriptive writing, of considerable interest to the reader and absolutely informative, seeing as Rory is ENTIRELY professional and would not AT ALL compromise the excellent standards of journalistic integrity we have at Ever-Metal.com. There would be absolutely no jokes about dragons and heroes with bulging thews and sticking their battleaxe where I wouldn’t put the ferrule of an umbrella. Oh no. Not from Rory.

Today’s spinning brain-masher on Dark Juan’s Platter of Splatter™ is from Minsk, in Belarus, from two chaps called Anton and they play a rather explosive blend of Math Metal and Progressive Death Metal with a bit of dissonance chucked in for good measure. It makes for a most interesting listen indeed. 

Regular readers of the nonsense I put out and Ever-Metal.com foolishly publishes will know that Dark Juan is extremely turned on by any form of Progressive or Technical Death Metal because the combination of velocity, heaviness and sheer technical ability of the musicians (‘Worthless’ more than adequately demonstrates this, having four distinct movements in a song that lasts a mere two minutes and forty-five seconds, yet is cohesive and well written. Having an opening line of “SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!” is also a massive bonus) hits every pleasure centre in the lump of grey meat that serves as the brain of your favourite faux-Satanist and reduces him to a twitching, orgasmic mess in very short order. Mrs Dark Juan is very grateful for this because it means she doesn’t have to and she can get on with work. Work at this point is a fabric sculpture of a hare that she has taken a chunk out of and made it look like a geode on the inside. She asked whether she should give it a ribcage. I ran and hid.

Yes, Leprethere appear to have charmed your ersatz Metal hack somewhat. They effortlessly meld the brutality of Death Metal and the complexity of Prog and Math Metal. Think Necrophagist and Protosequence getting jiggy with Meshuggah and early Mudvayne. Now wonder what the resultant offspring would look like. I’ll wait…

Leprethere are very much a band of light and shade – for every full-on turbo nutter bastard of a song like ‘Consecration’, there’s a “slow” song in the vein of ‘Shining II‘. I really enjoyed the full bore enthusiasm of the performances on the album – it has that je ne sais quoi that lifts a record from merely competent to a labour of love. Guitar Anton flails the living fuck out of his guitar at all times, with his fractured, tortured, complex riffing forming a perfect counterpoint to the demented howling, screaming and lung-burstingly aggressive roaring from Vocal Anton, and the compositions of the songs show a worrying and complete disregard for the usual rules of tempo, rhyme and meter, such is the complexity of the songwriting. Tempo and key changes abound, the loud/quiet/ FUCKING LOUD dynamic is used to surprisingly sparing and effective… effect. Yes, I know. If you don’t tell anyone, I won’t.

Album opener ‘Shining I’ is a furious statement of intent rather than a song. It says that Leprethere are going to cudgel your brains with song structures that you need to be a member of MENSA to understand properly (there’s more than one sequence written in 13/8 time, for fuck’s sake) and simultaneously gut you with raw power. ‘Shining II’ is actually really quite reminiscent of the fucking amazing Earthtone9 and considering Dark Juan is a rabid fan of that mob of worthy British Math Metal manglers, this can be described only as a Very Good Thing. Vocal Anton’s performance also sounds not unlike the throat desecration of Karl Middleton at his finest. 

It’s safe to state that Dark Juan is a bit of a fan of Leprethere’s music then. There’s not much negative shit to report on, really, because any demerits are outweighed by the sheer good humour and enthusiasm of the two Antons and their… alarmingly vigorous performances. The sequenced drums and bass, while not annoyingly so, are very obvious and the drums are especially artificial sounding, but to be fair, there are points on this album where I am not sure a physical drummer’s meat computer would be able to cope. However, Dark Juan is a fan of drum machines in music simply because they can take you into realms of musical insanity that human drummers can’t. See Godflesh and the Sisters Of Mercy and Necrophagist. Leprethere take Death Metal to new levels of hypertechnical ecstasy and then sustain it, seemingly with ease. The production of the record is actually pretty decent for a self-released album. The vocals are not overpowered by the spasmodic St. Vitus Dance of the music and the guitar(s) are decently produced and the overall sound of the album has a warm quality that hints threateningly at further dangers within – like the gates of Hell. My only complaint is that the cymbals are too low in the mix and they are frequently overpowered by rapid-fire thumping from the floor tom. The guitars are well mixed though and flit around the mix in a predatory fashion, moving from ear to ear and then smacking you right in the centre of the forehead before slinking away to lurk menacingly around the edges of the sound.

One can only hope that we hear much more from Leprethere in the future.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Запатэнтаваная сістэма ацэнкі пырскаў крыві Dark Juan для ўсіх нашых беларускіх сяброў) awards Leprethere 9/10 for an excellent record with jaw-dropping complexity and more than adequate firepower.

01. Shining I
02. Shining II
03. Shining III
04. Aftermath
05. Worthless
06. Collapse
07. Adoration
08. Consecration
09. Tarnished Passion

Anton Berezovskiy – Guitar
Anton Bandarenka – Vocal


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.

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.

Fange – Privation

Privation Album Cover Art

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fucking AWESOME.

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

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

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


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

Hand Of Doom – Stray From The Path

Stray From The Path Album Cover Art

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

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

To be fair, that WAS just the lads.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Dunwich Dreams – Rise Of The Seventh Sun

Rise Of The Seventh Sun Album Cover Art

Dunwich Dreams – Rise Of The Seventh Sun
Release Date: 10/03/23
Running Time: 34:24
Review by Dark Juan

Once more into the breach, dear friends – this review is the result of another one of Simon “Sounds Up Your Street And They Have Been Bothering Me For Ages” Black’s lucky dips (to be fair, a mixture of Metal and Electronics is generally what pleases the lugholes of your favourite ersatz Metal hack), where the good team of Ever Metal get assigned a record that has been sent to us by the bands themselves, as opposed to a PR company or label, in an effort to connect you good readers to the true underground. There have been some absolute gems that we have discovered since we have been doing it and some that are… strictly average, let’s say, because I am wary of battering down someone’s art and passion simply because I haven’t enjoyed it. Unless they have been total arseholes, anyway. Everyone could be more like Nicholas Golden of GLDN, who was gracious when I wasn’t massively a fan of his record, out of which a mutual respect and a kind of friendship has grown, where we now support each other’s work passionately because he’s a good egg and a fine musician who had had a slight misstep. 

I’ve said it before and I will say it again – I am a music CRITIC and therefore I am not going to think everything is wonderful and I am not at Ever Metal to tell you everything I hear is amazing because a) it isn’t, and b) I am not here to blow smoke up the arses of bands, because if I do then I am doing you readers a disservice (especially when your record-buying budgets are somewhat constrained after the calamities of the past couple of years). With that in mind, today’s platter is by Alberquerque, New Mexico-based Dunwich Dreams, who were formed in 2015, “Rise Of The Seventh Sun” being their second full-length release. They write music based upon their love of horror literature.

I’m going to be honest here – this is a very raw release. The guitar sound is pure Line 6 Spider (as in very… artificial sounding) and the drums curiously far down the mix for a record that combines Metal and Electronic music. Normally the drums are at the forefront providing a percussive drive and they are just a noisy backdrop to the music of Dunwich Dreams. I can see what the band are trying to achieve with their arrangements and their attempts to fuse Metal and Electronics, but it is all just way too disjointed. The guitar work is far too spasmodic and lacks flow and clarity, especially on ‘Coded For Contention’ (where the guitarist is struggling to keep time in places) and the sequenced bass the band are using is simply horrible, being all clanky and clunky. It is obviously artificial, but I am not sure whether the band intended it that way. The electronics are much better but there is far too much reliance on “Pretty Hate Machine” era bloops and squelches – however this could be due to limited equipment rather than any great deficit the band themselves have. The vocals are also not to the taste of this Hellpriest – a scratchy, Manson-esque growl is all well and good and to the credit of Rosary Leyba, but his clean vocals are lacking, and he struggles with them.

‘The Somnambulist’ is a good enough tune and moves along at just the right pace for a good, solid mosh and also ‘Vengance’s Folly” (sic – I’m fairly sure that’s a misprint in the blurb) is a pretty good KMFDM analogue that would have benefited greatly from a different vocalist. The Industrial Rock of this song needs a Lucia Cifarelli singing on it rather than Rosary’s proto-death growl. And the guitarist is out of time on the song again when he’s chugging.

I am not thrilled by Dunwich Dreams, and you all know that I will always try to find positives in what I listen to. There is much promise here – the melding of Metal and Industrial and Electronic has the potential to be jaw-droppingly good, but the ambition of the band appears to be outstripping abilities but I really do feel that Dunwich Dreams would benefit from a better guitarist (this is coming from a guy who left his last band because he was too shit a guitar player!) and to rein in the ambition and concentrate on writing solid songs before striking out in search of expansive new vistas.

Oh, and ‘Violent Sticky Sex’ was a massive disappointment, being more of a plodding dirge when it could have been a stomping sex-a-thon just right for courting Metal couples. I think Dark Juan will stick to ‘Closer’ by NIN when on the path of seduction…

To draw this review to a conclusion then: This album is a raw, unfinished thing that could have done with another few weeks being rehearsed before going into the studio and it being re-produced by someone who knows what they are doing as it sounds like it was recorded in one take in someone’s basement. The guitar sound is deeply unpleasant, the bass twangy, the drumming less audible than it should be and the electronics overpowering. I am not sure what Dunwich Dreams are trying to say with their music.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System doesn’t get many duds nowadays and it just increases the disappointment when it does. Dunwich Dreams are not one for the annals of Dark Juan’s music collection and therefore are awarded 4/10. There’s oodles of promise, but there’s a metric fuckton of work ahead for Dunwich Dreams to do to realise it. British bruisers Spectral Darkwave do it so much better…

01. The Black Wings Of War
02. Onward to Ragnarok
03. Rise Of The Seventh Sun
04. A Darkness Hungers
05. Coded For Contention
06. The Somnambulist
07. Vengance’s Folly
08. Violent Sticky Sex
09. The Serpent’s Flight

Rosary Leyba – Vocals / Electronics
Jordan MacDonald – Guitar
David Harris – 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.

Mark Harris / JOHN 3:16 – Procession

Procession Album Cover Art

Mark Harris / JOHN 3:16 – Procession
Alrealon Musique
Release Date: 03/03/23
Running Time: 46:50
Review by Dark Juan

Greetings, dear friends. It is I, Dark Juan, and I have (in meatspace, anyway) somehow ended up as a professional in my career of wrangling recalcitrant young ladies and gentlemen, quite without realising how I have done this. The people I work for have, for some unaccountable reason, decided that I should be in charge of other adults. Even as far as my now having to interview other adults with a view to chucking them at the kids we look after.

This is not going to end well.

Quite apart from the sudden outbreak of impostor syndrome I now have (having never been off the bottom rung of the ladder ever before) there is a somewhat crushing sense of responsibility that I hope I’ll get over soon. I mean, which idiots think I am mature enough to wrangle adults effectively? I’m sure you have all read lots of the previous five years of frothing output I have committed to the ether and can only agree that I am clearly a six-year-old with language development issues in the body of an adult with an incipient alcohol problem and a sheer disregard of authority.

I am now the authority. Holy fuck.

None of the above has absolutely anything to do with the music I am currently subjecting my headspace to, being a collaboration between Mark Harris and JOHN 3:16 and released by Alrealon Musique. Full disclosure here – I have never heard of Mark Harris or JOHN 3:16 before and I chose this record simply because the description in the list of albums available for review at Ever-Metal Towers had Industrial next to it. Anyone who is familiar with my musical map will know that Dark Juan loves himself a bit of Industrial music. However, “Procession” is not pure Industrial – it is something rather more delicious. 

Opening with the title track, the album slowly fades into the consciousness of the listener and builds to a coruscating wall of sound that batters the brainpan as much as it delights. It is slow moving, yet not ponderous. It’s more like the controlled, sinuous creeping of an apex predator rather than the slothful languor of a… a… sloth. Yeah, I should have thought about that metaphor a bit more before committing it to the keyboard.

This kind of dangerous, snake-like groove continues on the second tune (the record is instrumental [emphasis on the mental] throughout) ‘Cold Like The Stars’, giving the music a freezingly cold, expansive feel, yet also managing to make you feel like you’re basking in the radiation of a nearby, newly minted star cluster. The music of Mark Harris and JOHN 3:16 is not a comfortable place – it has the harshness of an Industrial spine, melded with the introspection and navel-gazing of Shoegaze and the expansiveness and mellowness of Ambient music, all combined into a wide-eyed, empty-staring whole – like the music is meditating to rid itself of the bloodlust and rage that lurks beneath the surface and sticks its fanged little face up to remind you all that it is still here and it still wants a mouthful of flesh.

The vibe changes on ‘He once made us tremble_He once inspired awe’ where a guitar chord (just one) builds and builds and builds upon layers of distortion until it becomes uncomfortable to listen to and a throbbing Industrial backbeat gives a sense of purpose and not a little paranoia to the piece. It really is a spine-tingling thing and quite took the breath of your favourite ersatz Metal hack away, to the point where Mrs Dark Juan was concerned enough to ask whether I was alright, seeing as I had gone all rigid and I was covered in goose pimples.

The goose pimples made a return on ‘When The Lord Took My Hand’, another tune that is not encumbered with any sense of urgency. The experience is not unlike watching the slow calving of an iceberg from the parent glacial shelf. It is long, drawn out, incipient violence dressed in fine velvet, the menace creeping through the softly swirling music with harsh guitar and electronic roaring before descending back into languid, flowing, liquid ambience.

If you are a fan of the kind of polished, heavy Industrial purveyed by the likes of Stabbing Westward, or Ministry (to be fair, there is an influence from early Ministry in the music. Think “The Land of Rape And Honey”, “Twitch” and “With Sympathy” with their Electropop influences) or early Pitch Shifter, you may not enjoy Mark Harris and JOHN 3:16. If you are a fan of the angst and pain and massive (almost Phil Spector-like) walls of sound of Swans, the epic soundscapes of Boards Of Canada, the Ambient, nebula-like swirling of Air and The Orb and the pulsating Industrial heartbeat of “Slateman /  Cold World” era Godflesh, all combined into an uncomfortable and challenging miasma of sounds where harsh aural violence is at war with the swoopiness, calm and serenity of Ambient music then this record is so far up for street it’s in your house staying for tea and biscuits and playing with your dog. 

To summarise then, if you want a jaw-dropping, colossal wall of sound hitting you directly in the guts and turning you into chunky salsa, you aren’t getting it. If you want a war of sounds and ambience colliding and turning into new and expansive forms, then you’re gonna dig Mark Harris and JOHN 3:16’s collaboration on this album. The production on the record is fucking marvellous as it plays tricks with sounds and elements of the music, sometimes the guitar snapping angrily at your face, sometimes the cymbals turned up in the mix to such an extent you risk nosebleeds and systolic collapse, sometimes a cosseting, enveloping swirliness holding you close and warm and overwhelming anything else… it’s fucking wonderful. This is an album of subtlety rather than out and out aggression. And that, my friends, makes for a listening experience that is as visceral as it is relaxing. It’s music as a narrative, not as a standalone piece. It has a story, but it is YOU that is the storyteller…

I need a lie down.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Mark Harris and JOHN 3:16 9/10 for a magnificently wide-ranging album. I took a mark off because I feel that their music will not gain the audience it deserves and although I love the fuck out of it, not everyone will.

01. Procession 
02. Cold Like The Stars 
03. He once made us tremble_He once inspired awe 
04. Men of Sand 
05. When The Lord Took My Hand 
06. We Walk Across The Rooftops 
07. Hades_Unseen 

Mark Harris – Live Electronics, Sound Processing.
Philippe Gerber also known as JOHN 3:16 – Guitars, Bass, Drums, and Moog Pedals.


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.

Funus – MONO

Funus – MONO
Release Date: 25/02/23
Running Time: 36:00
Review by Dark Juan

The sun is shining through the window of Crow Cottage and Dark Juan is cowering behind the last vestige of shadow in the corner, as far as he can get away from the caustic rays and hunched over his laptop (surprisingly not in a state of indiscretion at this time) avoiding the fuck out of it, for Dark Juan is a creature of the night, a predator of the inky, Stygian blackness and a hunter and haunter of the young and the beautiful. The Smellhounds, however, are fucking loving it and are spread-eagled on the lounge floor baking themselves and emitting the kind of stench that would normally emanate from the Apothecarion of a Traitor Space Marine legion, and Mrs Dark Juan is currently engaged in making a fez for an oversized turkey’s head.

Yes, you DID read the last part of that sentence correctly. To be fair, I don’t care if Mrs Dark Juan makes it a felt replica of an M3 tactical helmet or a fucking tracked, armoured vehicle to live in (to be fair, the pub next door to Crow Cottage does have a Scimitar CVR(T) completed with 30mm Rarden cannon parked in the car park. No, I am not joking, it is absolutely true) as long as I am rid of the baleful, glassy, dead stare of a mounted turkey’s head, several times above life-sized out of my fucking lounge and into the Turk’s Head pub where it belongs and where it can upset the good patrons of that hostelry instead. It’s seriously messing with my karma, dudes, dudettes and dudekin (which is a word I have just made up to cover the other genders – Dark Juan is nothing if not inclusive and a friend to you, regardless of which sexuality or gender you identify with) and I need it out of my house. Birds are fucking weird anyway, being as they are basically the nth generation of (mostly) flying dinosaurs.

Today, the roving Dark Juan Platter of Splatter™ is visiting the Netherlands, and a one-man musical project (yes, another ridiculously talented bastard who can do it all by themselves and makes mere mortals like Dark Juan feel vastly inadequate) by Ruben Vermeulen which is called Funus. Interestingly, Ruben was a practitioner of the dark arts of Black Metal, once upon a time, yet Funus is not like this. Funus operate in a softer, more melancholic musical wave that encompasses the likes of Opeth- style Prog Metal (‘Soul Faced’), the acoustic led tortured lamenting of the likes of Swans (‘Gloom and Dusk’, ‘Would You’) and the ambient, sweeping atmospherics of (also Dutch, and once featuring the absolutely GLORIOUS Anneke Van Giersbergen) The Gathering.

So, yes, here we have navel-gazing Gothic Rock, melancholic Shoegaze, Progressive Metal elements and lots of intricate acoustic guitar work. It was somewhat of a surprise to Dark Juan, who had deliberately not listened to the album before reporting on it so he could listen without prejudice. ‘Embracings Relived’ is a spectacularly Gothic piece of music, chock-full of wispy, whooshing atmospheric synths overlaid with increasingly complex acoustic guitars, layered upon each other and a gorgeous, lamenting female vocal courtesy of Sabina Knol – if Lindsay Schoolcraft was nearby she could have written this with extra harp. But not cowbell.

‘Orb of Inner Voices’ and ‘Soul Faced’ are the songs on offer that are most of interest to the Metal listener, both of which manage to reference the Gothic Prog stylings of Opeth, Alcest’s Neige and his subsequent captaining of his own unusual musical ship and the sweeping vastness of the sound of The Gathering AT THE SAME TIME – both songs are unhurried Gothic explorations of feelings and pain with meaty, yet never overstated electric guitar and multi-tracked, layered vocals that beguile and seduce the listener into the world of sorrow that Ruben appears to live in. Poor Ruben. Lad needs to get out more…

Another tune of considerable interest to the Metal-leaning readers of this nonsense is ‘Never Heard’ which somehow welds the Punkish teenage fury of Troublegum-era Therapy? with the universe-spanning sense of depth that Swans used to display with such tortured ease when Michael Gira decided to unleash the angst with electric guitar as well as acoustic. The acoustic guitar on this song is a particularly emotional and surprisingly empowered thing, where you would expect it to be buried underneath the walls of electric alchemy and as the song progresses we again dip into the melancholy Gothic-tinged Progressive music that Opeth perform so valiantly.

Production-wise, this record is absolutely faultless! Especially the treatment of the acoustic guitar, which is never overwhelmed by the other instruments. It would have been so easy to crank up the distortion and drown the acoustic under waves of aggression but that would have been a disservice to the sheer quality of the playing and also the arrangements of the songs. This is an artful record indeed, a masterclass in arrangement, production and performance. Everything is judged with such perfect discernment in terms of what could have been (and I will be honest, Dark Juan expected it to be) a colossal experiment in self-aggrandisement and dick-waving, and your faithful ersatz rock hack is supremely impressed and will be prostrating himself and salaaming piously at the feet of Ruben Vermeulen for quite some time to come because the man is a musical fucking GENIUS and his music travels right up Dark Juan’s spine and sits at the back of his awareness, busily shaking his hypothalamus and getting some endorphins out there.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (het gepatenteerde Dark Juan bloedspatten beoordelingssysteem voor onze Nederlandse vrienden) awards Funus 9/10 for a record that is absolutely superb in execution, performance and production, dripping with emotion and pathos yet not overdoing it, which is both rare and precious and shows a very keen appreciation of both is own music, and his audience as well. Bravo! A mark has been deducted because although there are many Metal elements on the record, there may be only a limited audience for this very eclectic music and I write for a Heavy Metal website…

01. Gloom And Dusk
02. Would You
03. Soul Faced
04. Embracings Relived
05. Orb Of Inner Voices
06. Never Heard
07. On Unknown Wings

Ruben Vermeulen – Fucking everything on the record… (Dark Juan will cease his pitiful ramblings and put himself back in the cupboard immediately for he is clearly untalented and inadequate. Ruben is the superior man here).


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.

Wolves In Winter – The Calling Quiet

The Calling Quiet Album Cover Art

Wolves In Winter – The Calling Quiet
Argonauta Records
Release Date: 24.02.23
Running Time: 40:27
Review by Dark Juan

Greetings and salutations, chaps, chapesses and people who identify as neither of these things. It is I, Dark Juan, and I am here to tell you about music and shit, although barely half the words in this review will probably be about music and rather a lot more about whatever twisted fancy has seized my mind this time.

Dark Juan has mentioned many times that he lives in the Calder Valley in West Yorkshire, and that this area appears to be the epicentre of Doom Metal in the UK, as it has birthed the likes of Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Doom and the like. Wolves In Winter are also from this area and are composed of ex-members of Solstice, Lazarus Blackstar, Monolith Cult, Slammer, Chorus Of Ruin and others. Most of whom I drank with before I was aware they were in big ass British bands when I fetched up here in pursuit of Mrs Dark Juan many years ago. They were kind enough to inform me that they would break my fucking legs if I caused Mrs Dark Juan any suffering. Therefore, I have tried not to although there are a number of people who would contend that I cause suffering merely by existing. To be fair, they aren’t wrong, but Mrs Dark Juan is a tolerant soul and only threatens me with death when I am being particularly grumpy or unpleasant. Considering the amount of time I spend asleep, there really isn’t much time for me to fit being a twat in…

Wolves In Winter are that rarest of things for Dark Juan – a band that I got to see live, supporting a Ghost cover band (https://www.ever-metal.com/2022/03/15/ghozt-wolves-in-winter-the-parish-huddersfield-18-02-22/ being the link you require, should you wish to read about the Wolves In Winter live experience. Bless them, they even gave me the set list) before they had recorded anything, and to summarize the band and their sound, I had to peel my broken, bleeding and aching carcass from the back wall of the venue when they were playing as the band sounded absolutely fucking MONUMENTAL and that was where their sound plastered me. This has also transposed itself on to “The Calling Quiet”. Whoever mixed this album knows their Sludge and Doom Metal. There’s more bottom end than a battleship crammed full of heavyweight female Russian hammer throwers. The drums are all masterfully produced and easily heard above the geology-destabilising bass of Izak and the guitars rise phoenix-like above it all during lead lines and solos, otherwise they just lend themselves to levelling mountains alongside the bass. The vocals of Jake are also pretty fucking special, as they are impassioned and clean and the boy can emote. When we saw him live, Mrs Dark Juan described him as the “Ginger Thom Yorke of Doom”. I honestly don’t know whether this was a compliment, but all I know is I love his voice, his delivery and the whole fucking band and their sound. Jake sounds like an unholy coupling of a lower-ranged Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder. Which is an image I am struggling to shake from my mind.

The music is like an unstoppable avalanche of power hitting you. Riffs of colossal majesty intertwine with sinuous lead lines and overall, the sound of Wolves In Winter can best be described as a beguiling and smoky melange of Paradise Lost and Crowbar, with a bit of Chorus Of Ruin and a smidgeon of Opeth chucked in for good measure. This is sludgy as fuck and I love it. ‘Oceans’ is all long, drawn-out grooves and almost choir-like backing vocals (but dissonant and harsh) and more than one song draws from twin guitar lead lines like the most classic of Metal bands but done with style and panache that fits the music perfectly. ‘Calling The Quiet’ shows this off to best effect in the intro to the song. A simple chord medley under the verse leads to a chorus and bridge of prodigious power, underpinned with the Sludge Metal of the rest of the band, yet played with a kind of almost prog sensibility, with a deep understanding of light and dark and allowing the music to space to breathe and develop in an almost organic way. The song ebbs and flows beautifully from quiet to FUCKING LOUD and it’s a hell of a closer to the record.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System cannot express how much it adores Wolves In Winter and their quintessentially British take on Sludge and Doom Metal and can do nothing else but award the full on 10/10 for a debut album that’s fucking perfect in every detail.

01. Cord That Ends The Pain 
02. Nemesis
03. Pastime For Helots
04. Promised Harvest
05. Oceans
06. Calling The Quiet

Izak – Bass
Adam – Drums
Wayne – Guitar
Enzo – Guitar
Jake – 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.

Atrocious Filth – OVV

OVV Album Cover Art

Atrocious Filth – OVV
Moans Music / Fabryka Halasu
Release Date: 24/02/23
Running Time: 33:22
Review by Dark Juan

There is a dinosaur sized, half-finished turkey’s head and neck on the seat next to me. It stares directly into what is left of my soul with it’s dead, wide-open white glass eyes and I’m sure the creepy fucking thing keeps moving in my peripheral vision, inching ever closer to your faithful correspondent as he bashes at this keyboard with increasing fear and a slowly growing panic. I am not safe in this house. All the creepy as fuck things Mrs Dark Juan keeps making are going to one day go on the march in search of their twisted creator and not remain safely in the places that have bought them and made their homes. I am in danger. The velociraptor-sized bird’s head has lurched a perceptible inch or two closer and I swear the fucking thing is threatening me…

Welcome to a normal day in Crow Cottage. I am ignoring the turkey sculpture and its nefarious plans for me and instead listening to Atrocious Filth from Poland. When I requested Atrocious Filth, editor emeritus Simon “The Archbishop Of Banterbury” Black had a giggle at Dark Juan’s expense and claimed, “Well, that’s all you write anyway, innit?” 

The above sentence might have been paraphrased, as Simon is a man of cut-glass English diction and Received Pronunciation. He’s also not wrong. Girls’ finishing schools are currently on the alert, and every convent in a thirty-mile radius.

Atrocious Filth were originally formed in 1991 with ex-members of Vader in there, but then went off to do other things, and then got back together in 2016, and this “OVV” album represents only the third recorded release from these worthy Polish heavyweights.

The band combine the uncompromising heaviness and weighty sound of early “Industrial” era Pitch Shifter, the sub-zero, icy coldness of Godflesh and the dissonance and humanity of Murder Inc and Killing Joke. These, as regular readers will know about Dark Juan and his absolute lack of musical taste or discretion, are all Very Good Things, because Dark Juan’s primary musical love (besides the Sisters Of Mercy) is Industrial, in all its forms from EBM and futurepop through to barely listenable noise (hello, brb>voicecoil and Omnibadger!)

Atrocious Filth are a superb bunch of musicians – ‘D’ (the song titles are all letters) shows this off to advantage as the band seamlessly combine Djent, Jazz and Industrial into a horrible to behold new shape and then just start TWISTING the poor music until it snaps in half. It takes you through a maelstrom of harsh dissonance that punishes the senses and only lets up after four and a half minutes of aural torture. There is so much more to Atrocious Filth than mere power and a bit of mastery of their instruments, though. ‘A’ wafts and wefts over swooping atmospherics, a subdued martial drumbeat and almost choral vocals, as a simple, chiming guitar line slowly creeps in and the vocalist groans and cries out, clearly in pain until the band all kick in in a very Nine Inch Nails-esque slow burn of growing, glowering menace patiently building up to bloodlust-sating murderousness – and then, distortion. Building horror threatens to overwhelm the listener whereupon everything calms back down to the martial drumbeat at the start of the song as the desire to murder is sated.

‘O’ is different again, with the counterbeat playing and unsettling time signatures reminding this correspondent of an Industrial Meshuggah. In fact, this sense of unease and unfamiliarity is what sets “OVV” apart from many Industrial releases. Yes, it is unrelenting, uncompromising and heavier than the entire 80s Soviet men’s and women’s weightlifting teams combined and noisier than a room full of Wärtsilä marine diesels, but the music of Atrocious Filth has this curious, organic quality permeating it – like the unsettling movement beneath the skins of carcasses when they are being consumed by bacteria and maggots. Atrocious Filth are the soundtrack to industrial slaughterhouses where humans are the meat being butchered – where skinned and eviscerated men and women hang on meathooks on an ever-moving, endless production line and dark-eyed, silent, pasty children are locked in veal crates, unable to move or turn round, soiled with their own filth and occasionally fed the ground down, pelleted remains of the ones that didn’t grow to a profitable age… It is the sound of the vermin scurrying across the blood soaked floors carrying off the bits of meat that were missed and the disturbing undulation of the offal and the skin and offcuts in the rusted steel bins that are going to the stinking waste piles outside…

As you can see, Atrocious Filth has got Dark Juan’s imagination wound up to an insane and somewhat bloodsoaked degree. Well done, gentlemen. I love music that makes me see things inside my head – I also love music that is blessed with a total lack of compromise and is inventive as fuck and this is where Atrocious Filth really score. Their music is avant-garde and interesting, rather than just jackhammer bludgeoning and if I can dare say it, there is subtlety and layers upon layers to discover on “OVV”. I’ve listened to it three times back-to-back to the point of Mrs Dark Juan retiring to the bedroom in disgust while Dark Juan sits unspeaking and transfixed. Industrial is really not her thing. At least she’s taken that fucking turkey’s head with her…

“OVV” is a nearly perfect album, sound-wise – the production and mix of the music is absolutely on the money here. It allows the bass and guitar to stretch themselves to hearing-threatening levels yet they remain tightly controlled so the percussive assault of the drums and the underlying predation of the synths and electronics can also shine through. No one thing overwhelms the other, which on a record this sonically dense is a pretty staggering achievement. 

If you are a fan of Industrial music on the heavier, more metallic side then Dark Juan INSTRUCTS you to obtain this record. Atrocious Filth’s inventive, unusual and fucking brilliant take on Industrial needs to be heard and the word passed on as fast as possible. Kocham ten zespół!

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Opatentowany system oceny rozprysków krwi Dark Juan dla naszych polskich przyjaciół) awards Atrocious Filth the full beans – 10/10 for an Industrial album of singular uniqueness and crushing heaviness, which will be hailed as a classic in a few years. I think it is now.

01. F
02. N
03. L
04. T
05. D
06. A
07. O

LINE-UP for “OVV”:
Andrzej Choromanski – Guitar
Leszek Rakowski – Bass
Tomasz Bardega – Vocals
Gerard Niemczyk – Drums
Agnieszka Polubinska – Cello in “L”
Tony Kinsky – Vocals on “T” & “O”
Bartlomiej Kuzniak – Textures


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.

Naut – Hunt

Hunt Album Cover Art

Naut – Hunt
Season Of Mist
Release Date: 24/02/23
Running Time: 38:24
Review by Dark Juan

It is well known that Dark Juan is a Sad Old Goff ™ and is frequently to be found rattling around in the nether reaches of his musical archive looking for the bootleg copies of ‘Wide Receiver’ and ‘Jolene’ by the Sisters Of Mercy he knows are in there, because he recollects buying them from some dodgy fanzine or other many moons ago. Although I might have been wasted on any number of substances back then and it could be what is left of my memory playing tricks on me. Also, many moons ago, your favourite Hellpriest and sex symbol for the half-blind and wholly drunk wrote for another online zine and had the conspicuous delight of reviewing Bristolian Post-Punkers Naut. 

Ah, Bristol. A fine city indeed. Where I saw Ghost for the first time in the company of three quarters of Doomcrow (being the band I molested the guitar in when I lived in Wales) and the main place in Britain you can see the bridge leading to the wilderness where there be dragons. Cymru am byth, even though I am not Welsh. I left part of my heart there. I recollect giving the band a high score for their modern take on classic Gothic Rock and this time I will leave out all the descriptions of a skinny, pale youth with slicked back black hair and a tie-dyed long tailed shirt and leather strides trying somewhat desperately to make the ethereal wisps of girls with outrageous coiffures in The Banshee back in Manchester notice him…

Such were my teenage years. There is a point to this preamble and that is that Naut unashamedly take inspiration from classic Goth Rock. Now Dark Juan is somewhat older and considerably more grizzled and would eschew leather trousers as deeply uncomfortable when doing the silly Goth hands dance whilst fading in and out of view because of the fug of clove cigarettes suffusing a small room with conspicuous overamplification, he is able to look beyond the dark wonders of those halcyon times and hopefully give you an unbiased and honest review of the disc currently spinning on the Platter of Splatter.

“Hunt” is Naut’s debut full length release and it is one Dark Juan has been waiting for the correct moment to savour, being as I was such a fan of “Hit The Lights”, Naut’s debut recording. The influences are as you might expect on a Goth / Post-Punk record – The Sisters Of Mercy, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Fields Of The Nephilim and Siouxsie And The Banshees being the obvious ones. The Sisters are a prevalent influence right down to the drum machine that Naut employ after parting company with their drummer. ‘Damocles’ is a perfect melding of the sonorousness of the baritone of Gavin Laubscher and the sweeping majesty of a Sisters composition, yet with rather more muscularity than Eldritch’s mob. ‘8 In 3’ is a much Punkier affair, reminding this correspondent of the likes of The Damned in their more Goffik moments (see “Grave Disorder”), but still with that sinuous quality, that dangerous sexiness, that predatory yet fragile emotion that embodies proper Gothic Rock. The music is very percussion driven, like a throbbing diesel engine pushing a matt black, yet stained with rust, warship through the waves near a foreign, enemy shore on a mission of espionage. The power of Naut’s music is not derived from out and out aggression. It is derived from tight and focused emotional chi, delivered precisely on a single part of your body, calculated to break you down piece by piece, starting with stealing your heart…

The guitar work is masterful on this album, going from softly chiming notes to coarse and aggressive riffing with ease and fluidity but always retaining an extremely emotional quality, like when you’re both angry and desperately sad at the same time and you’re crying great snotty tears while strangling someone for what they have done to you. ‘Unity Of Opposites’ encapsulates this feeling exactly, the chorus being an impassioned, almost shouted refrain of “Blood on your hands!” repeated, while the synths of Laura Taylor wail and whoosh in typically ethereal fashion around the words. 

Mention of the work of the bass player, Andi Effe, must also be made. He, and Naut as a whole, understand the central importance of the bass guitar in Goth Rock. It is a growling, pack-leading predator searching for prey to sink its unfeasibly large fangs into – bass and drums are the foundations of this music and Naut execute it fucking perfectly.

Even though Naut sound absolutely classic in their music, there is something about it that drags all the old, good stuff kicking and screaming into the light of the 21st Century. It is timeless music, played with the kind of heartbroken passion that Goth Metal misses out on while the singers are exploring the upper reaches of their operatic vocal ranges. Naut is dirty, cellar and gutter dwelling vampirism, all faded grandeur and torn, yet fine raiment and dust-stained marble white skin coming to sink famished fangs into the throats of the beautiful people of a brightly lit modern city and it is, to be frank, fucking brilliant music.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System’s heart is racing, and it has turned all the lights off, lit an incense stick and is seated, transfixed in the dark as it listens to Naut. Way back when I reviewed their debut EP, I deducted marks for it not being Metal. Not this time. “Hunt” is as powerful as a Metal record, just not by sheer amplification or distortion or speed. Heartbreak and sorrow leading to tear-stained violence are what make this record special and it is being awarded a full 10/10 because it is so awesome. I don’t even care that it isn’t Metal. It’s close enough kin to count and I am prepared to fight each and every fucking one of you about it. We have a contender for record of the year and its only fucking February.

01. Dissent
02. All the Days
03. Gold & Death
04. Damocles
05. 8 in 3
06. Unity of Opposites
07. Nightfall
08. Watchers

Gavin Laubscher – Vox, Drum Programming, Songwriting
Jack Welch – Guitars, Percussion, Songwriting
Laura Taylor – Keys, Synths
Andi Effe – Bass Guitar


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.