EMQ’s With MOONSHADE

Moonshade Logo

EMQ’s With MOONSHADE

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Portuguese Melodic Extreme Metal band, Moonshade. Huge thanks to their vocalist, Ricardo Pereira, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

I’m Ricardo Pereira, lead singer of Moonshade – no clever puns to offer like ‘lead screamer’ or ‘lead sinner’, I’m afraid. This project began back in 2011, and since then we have released a demo called “The Path Of Redemption”, the “Dream | Oblivion” EP, our debut album “Sun Dethroned”, and a live session EP with songs from “Sun Dethroned”, titled “The Eventide Sessions”, released during COVID-19 season. We are now about to release our second full-length album, “As We Set The Skies Ablaze”.

How did you come up with your band name?

The name already existed when I auditioned. It’s a double entendre, meaning either a spectre in the moonlight, or the ‘shade’ provide by the moon during an eclipse. I gather it was also an homage to Moonspell, but don’t quote me on that.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

Moonshade hail from Portugal. We do have a very healthy amount of festivals and large touring bands often play here regularly, but in terms of Portuguese bands, the scene here, with less than a handful of exceptions, is essentially underground. It’s been better, COVID-19 hit us hard, but I prefer seeing that as an opportunity, and tons of bands did – small shows are popping up everywhere, and summer festivals are back. Feels almost normal again!

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Our latest releases were the singles ‘Epitaph’, ‘Blood Of The Titans’ and ‘Everlasting Horizons’, taken from our upcoming album “As We Set The Skies Ablaze”, to be released independently on July 22nd.

Who have been your greatest influences?

I’m getting old, so influences are starting to pile up like crazy. However, I hold a special place in my heart for Rammstein and Metallica, who got me into Heavy Metal. I also draw a bunch of inspiration from the punk and hip hop scenes.

What first got you into music?

A couple of friends decided to take guitar lessons, which was great to pick up chicks, and I did it mostly to try and fit in. I was already into Rock, Punk and Metal, but actually participating, making music? It suddenly made sense. Ditched the lessons because I’m really not a Goo Goo Dolls type of guy, joined a Rock band where a friend taught me how to play the electric guitar, we played a few covers – Metallica, Green Day, Sum 41, etc. – and there it was.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?

Tosin Abasi from Animals as Leaders!

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Hellfest or Wacken. Those are the big leagues, after all.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Their undivided attention. That’s worth more than gold nowadays.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Get drunk on art and happiness.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Freddie Mercury. The best part is he’d owe me one, that would be one hell of a feature.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Being able to create something that makes you proud and gives others joy. What I hate about it is absolutely nothing.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

How perishable everything is now. An album lasts for months before being mostly forgotten. It would be great if people took the time to actually listen.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Rammstein’s “Mutter”. It was my first album ever, my mother bought it for me.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, or Downloads?

Mostly whatever suits your fancy. You should know vinyl pays best for the band, followed by CDs and cassettes, then streaming. Don’t download music.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Definitely Vagos Open Air Festival, opening for Amorphis and Within Temptation back in 2015.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I’m already a biologist, so I guess I would focus on that. Writing novels would also be an option!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

That’s easy – my bandmates, and my wife Sofia, who happens to be our media manager. 

What’s next for the band?

Releasing our album and taking it to the grand stage!

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Everything about us can be found at our website on https://www.moonshadeofficial.com

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

They’re a lie!!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you so much for having me and to everyone reading this, follow Moonshade on social media and on your streaming platform of choice, we have tons of news coming your way. Join us. You are expected!

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

My Own Fear – Violence Made History

My Own Fear – Violence Made History
Music-Records.fr
Release Date: 15/04/22
Running Time: 39:00 
Review by Paul Hutchings 
5/10

Sometimes you just don’t gel with an album from the opening track. French extreme metallers My Own Fear’s release “Violence Made History” is one of those. An atmospheric intro promised much, with a haunting backdrop to single piano notes, but the hope dispersed like morning mist in bright sunlight as soon as the vocals kicked in on the first track, ‘6:1 – 8’ for they bring absolutely nothing to the party. 

For a band that formed over a decade ago and whose influences included Death, Slayer, The Haunted, Kreator and Morbid Angel, this is a rather routine album. There’s a decent chug to the music, with a mix of Thrash and Death Metal but overall, it’s rudimentary and uninspiring. ‘Dux Bellarum’ sees vocalist Nicolas Benloulou’s throaty roar dominate in Old School Death Metal style, but its so raw that I struggled with even the deep rumbles that emanate from deep within. 

Maybe I’m being a bit harsh. For although the music is unrefined, and the vocals grate more than they should, there are flashes of potential. ‘Hell Fire Club (H.F.C.) has some promising breakdowns and the odd structure that works well, despite the slightly disjointed connection. The explosive crossover feel of ‘Ghosts on the Warpath’ is reasonable, but if I’m listening to a band who claim to bring Thrash and Death to my door, I want the music to hold my attention as a bare minimum. Unfortunately, I was wandering and drifting early in the album, and it was hard to log back in. 

It may be that the rather muffled production didn’t help, but in essence, the main reasons I found this a difficult album remained the same throughout. I struggled with the gruesomely challenging vocals, and the repetitive nature of the songs. There was definitely some decent work trying to escape from the mire of relentless similarity but trying to get it unlocked was a struggle. The schizophrenic nature of tracks like ‘Salem’ for example, merely served to frustrate. One minute pulsing Death Metal, the next raging Thrash, followed by doom-laden passages and even some Classic Heavy Metal. It was all a bit of a car crash. 

Finishing with a three-part track devoted to the ‘Era of the Rats’ there was at least a little more promise, with ‘Devoured by Pestilence – Era of the Rats Part 2’ a tasty thunderous beast, and even the vocals weren’t too demanding. Overall, this is an album I’d have enjoyed more with a bit more refinement. It’s savage, aggressive and many I am sure will really love it. For me, it’s one to leave in the memory banks and move on. 

‘Hell Fire Club (H.F.C)’ Official Music video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Once Upon a Fall
02. 6:1-8
03. Dux Bellarum
04. Hell Fire Club (H.F.C)
05. Torquemada
06. Ghosts on the Warpath
07. Salem
08. 1349 – Era of the Rats Part One
09. Devoured by Pestilence – Era of the Rats Part Two
10. Empire of the Rats – Era of the Rats Part Three

LINE-UP:
Nicolas Benloulou – Vocals
Fabrice Darmon – Guitar
Stephane Neraud – Guitars
Gilles Sala – Bass 
Sebastien Geley – Drums

LINKS:

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

Black Crown Initiate – Live at The Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver – 16/03/22

Black Crown Initiate
Live at The Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver – 16/03/22
Photos by Arturs Feists

Extreme metal band from the USA, Black Crown Initiate is the sound of a sentient being at war with itself and everything else; an ent. Photos from the show in Vancouver BC, Canada. Venue – Rickshaw Theatre Date – March 16, 2022

Disclaimer: This photo album is solely the property of Artus Feists. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of these images, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Abbath – Dread Reaver

Dear Reaver Album Cover Art

Abbath – Dread Reaver
Season Of Mist
Release Date: 25/03/2022
Running Time: 39:00
Review by Rory Bentley
8.5/10

Splish splash I was taking Abbath! Right, now that I’ve got that out of my system, it’s time to review the third solo record from the former Immortal frontman, entitled “Dread Reaver”. 

There’s a lot to like about Abbath, he sings like a zombified Lemmy, he has the charisma of David Lee Roth and he looks like a disgruntled badger. I’ve never been a huge Black Metal guy but Immortal are definitely one of the bands that I can get down with. They have a cool atmospheric feel, the production is normally just the right side of dirty without becoming an unlistenable mulch and they have riffs and hooks for days. A big part of those hooks was their gurgling rockstar frontman, who brought a sense of fun and down to earth relatability to Black Metal – and that has definitely carried over into his solo career.

“Dread Reaver” represents perhaps the most cohesive collection of songs Abbath has produced as a solo act, melding Hard Rock swagger and Extreme Metal menace perfectly to create an acerbic attack that makes you want to shake your hips. As ‘Acid Haze’ fades in with pounding drums and lead work straight out of the Stadium Rock playbook, it hits you with a nasty riff and things kick into warp speed as Ukri Suvilehto proceeds to smash the absolute shite out of his kit. By the time Abbath caps everything off with a blood curdling sustained scream you’re left in no doubt that he and his band of Nordic warriors can still throw down hard.

‘Scarred Core’ begins with gurgled shamanic vocalisations and some Eastern sounding melodies while continuing the relentless pace of the opener. Abbath has never sounded better on the mic here, bringing in a hint of melody to his guttural croak that somehow makes this cacophony into a cast iron sing-along rager. This canny ear for a good hook is all over the record with ‘Myrmidon’s’ perplexing meld of Classic Rock and nihilistic filth providing another showcase for a vocalist that oozes starpower without neutering the deathly croak that made us all love him in the first place.

Although most of the songs stay in the same lane and there’s less experimentation than previous releases, there’s still plenty of rhythmic shifts and tonal twists and turns to stop the record falling into monotony. ‘Dream Cull’ has a lilting flamenco intro and strong tremolo melodies to go with its tribal chanting verses and ‘The Deep Unbound’ turns on a dime from full pelt fury into a jaunty swing that makes you want to ride into battle and drink the blood of your enemies. Maybe that’s just me. I should probably get help. We also get a beefed up version of Metallica’s ‘Trapped Under Ice’ that sounds exactly as one might expect, but is a delight nonetheless.

The finale of this eminently danceable slice of evil comes with the title track which is the best song on here for my money. The main riff is a scalding exercise in pit-starting songcraft with squealing harmonics Kerry King would be proud of. With the anthemic chorus and seductively occult grooves, this may be the best ‘mainstream’ Black Metal bop since Satyricon’s ‘Fuel for Hatred’. Lovely stuff!

With a punchy runtime, laser-focused writing where no song breaks the five minute mark and just enough new tricks to keep long term listeners engaged, ‘Dread Reaver’ is the shape-throwing necro soundtrack we need in these fucked up times. Crack a beer, slap on your corpse paint and get your dancing shoes on- there’s a party in the frozen woods and everyone’s invited!

‘Dread Reaver’ – Official Streaming Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Acid Haze
02. Scarred Core
03. Dream Cull
04. Myrmidon
05. The Deep Unbound
06. Septentrion
07. Trapped Under Ice
08. The Book of Breath
09. Dread Reaver

LINE-UP:
Abbath – Guitar, Bass & Vocals
Ukri Suvilehto – Drums
Ole André Farstad – Lead & Acoustic Guitars
Mia Wallace – Bass on Acid Haze, Scarred Core, The Deep Unbound & Dread Reaver

LINKS:

Abbath Promo Pic

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.

Darkthrone – Eternal Hails……

Eternal Hails...... Album Cover Art

Darkthrone – Eternal Hails……
Peaceville
Release Date: 25/06/2021
Running Time: 41:23
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

I find myself seated alone at Dark Juan Terrace. Mrs. Dark Juan is away looking after her petits-enfants. The Smellhounds are quiescent and, rather more remarkably, not gassing the place out with their sulphurous and necrotic farts, and I was wondering what I should do with myself considering self-abuse ain’t my style (he sez ‘ere), I am awash with Yorkshire tea already and I can’t be arsed to build a model today. I am sat here basically not doing anything and frankly it’s annoying me, because I am in a right funny mood. I can’t even repair the Mighty Gothikpanzer’s wipers because the replacement part hasn’t arrived yet. None of which matters to you out there reading this and expecting a record review.

Speaking of record reviews, I had a fantastically interesting discussion with someone on that there internet about whether or not I should restrict myself to reviewing underground releases, or whether I should pick up on the occasional big band, and give them the dubious benefit of my wisdom as well – based on the premise that bigger bands don’t need the coverage from upstart internet based magazines like ever-metal.com, but the underground bands most certainly do. I’m personally of the opinion that I should review whatever the fuck I want (and do just that because I am the most contrary BASTARD) but allow myself the luxury, occasionally, of having a bash at the big boys too. Therefore, I am a champion of the underground but I also get the chance to tell you about some of the bands I have loved for decades – hence my total and utter adoration and hero worship of Graham Bonnet… This led into a larger discussion about whether festivals should be relying on super established acts to draw people in, and the seeming dichotomy between matters fiscal and matters of integrity to the scene but I’m not boring you with that.

Anyway – Bands I have loved for decades. Darkthrone are one of them. Ever since “A Blaze In The Northern Sky”, in fact. I love Darkthrone for their sheer disregard for the mainstream and their utter commitment to their own musical vision, and I will now tell you all about “Eternal Hails……”, their latest platter.

Opening with the utterly melancholy ‘His Masters Voice’ it’s obvious that Fenriz and Nocturno Culto have been listening to a LOT of Candlemass over the past few years. Employing a slow tempo not unlike Paradise Lost’s early work, the production initially sits at odds with the music, being as it is of the usual black metal lo-fi-recorded-in-a-hyperbaric-chamber-with-cans-attached-to-strings aesthetic, but with rather more doom than black metal in the music. The sheer quality of the musicianship and songwriting soon makes you forget about this, though. However, the classic BM production sound appears to be a studio contrivance this time, as apparently the usual studio method (Necrohell II – 8-track mobile recording equipment in an old bomb shelter) wasn’t available anymore because said recording equipment died a suitably Viking death, leading the boys to go to Chaka Khan Studios in Oslo instead. Just how do I quantify this music for you? Blackened doom metal? Doomy black metal? Who knows? All I know is that it is rather fucking good, actually. The pace picks up a bit on ‘Wake Of The Awakened’ and it is a pleasingly morose mid-paced stomper, but still rather doomier than you’d expect, being all slowed down black metal riffs and Nocturno Culto’s trademark serrated growl never sounding better. ‘Voyage To A Northpole Adrift’ is by far the song that has the most to thank black metal for, again being a fairly classic BM song slowed down to doom speeds with little flourishes of Celtic Frost and Trouble thrown in there just to confound and beguile the listener. ‘Lost Arcane City Of Uppakra’ throws a decidedly punk opening riff into the mix as well as a speedier middle section before breaking down into gently tapped cymbals and simple guitar and bass with an equally simple, yet ethereal keyboard. Then everything gels together and the guitars crash back in like a shield wedge of Viking reavers hitting your front line of swordsmen and this carries on to close off the album in perfect fashion. Darkthrone have not lost the skill of making less be considerably more in terms of atmosphere and feeling, even if that atmosphere and feeling is dying of exposure on a freezing cold hillside a mile from a dark and threatening forest, made indistinct through nebulous mist and snow that cuts your skin like tiny blades.

It’s not a cheerful record, this. It’s unremittingly grim. It’s endless grey steppes and howling winds and barely glimpsed horrors in the shadowy dark. I’ll be honest, I’ve enjoyed the fuck out of it but it hasn’t done anything for my already sour mood! Saying that though, it managed to conjure up visions in my head while I was listening to it with my eyes closed and cans on, and not a lot of music is able to do that with such ease. In fact, the more I listen to “Eternal Hails” the more I sink into it and the more it charms and seduces me. Especially because there isn’t a song under 7 minutes in length on the album, which gives Darkthrone more time to conjure up these musical wastelands. Possibly a classic in the making, I reckon, and absolutely uniquely Darkthrone.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Det patenterte Dark Juan blodsprutsystemet for våre norske venner) awards Darkthrone 10/10 for a sprawling exploration of just where black metal can go if you dial down the pseudo-Satanic lunacy and allow other influences to creep in and wrap themselves around you, whilst maintaining that martial edge that the likes of Dimmu Borgir have forgotten about in their quest to make their music as huge as possible. Simply a brilliant record from two masters of their twisted, arcane and unique craft.

‘His Masters Voice’ (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. His Masters Voice
02. Hate Cloak
03. Wake Of The Awakened
04. Voyage To A North Pole Adrift
05. Lost Arcane City of Uppakra

LINE-UP: (As if you need fucking telling unless you’re totally ignorant!)
Fenriz – Drums, guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals, lyrics
Nocturno Culto – Vocals, guitars, bass, producer, lyrics

LINKS:

Darkthrone Promo Pic

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.

Anaal Nathrakh – Reissues

Anaal Nathrakh Reissues

Anaal Nathrakh – Reissues
When Fire Rains Down From The Sky Mankind Will Reap What It Has Sown/
Hell Is Empty, And All The Devils Are Here
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 13/08/2021
Running Time: 26:03/33:52
Review by Dark Juan
10/10
10/10

Good afternoon, dear friends. You find me writing this review from the depths of my bed of pain and iniquity. Yes, I am slightly off colour, but my dramatic persona insists that these are my final fleeting moments upon this scabrous planet. However, I was well enough to go to the pictures last night so clearly whatever malaise I am currently suffering isn’t all that threatening to my existence, or indeed my output for Ever-Metal.com. Added to the already calamitous news that I am clearly at death’s door is that fact that I have run out of milk for brews. This is an absolute scandal in the North of England, and my shame is such that I have closeted myself away in my oak-panelled study with a bottle of brandy and a stiletto. My undoing is complete.

However, before I dispatch myself from this mortal coil bearing the stigma of not being able to make proper brews, I must share with you my ruminations upon the music I am listening to, which frankly is what you’re here for, and Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard “GET OUT OF BED, YOU BLOODY SOFTARSE, BEFORE I GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO REALLY WHINGE ABOUT. WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? BRONTE COUNTRY? ONLY THE LASSES IN THOSE CRAPPY BOOKS ARE ALLOWED TO SWOON ALL OVER THE FURNITURE AND TAKE THEMSELVES TO BED TO MOPE, YOU FUCKING MALINGERER!” Tilley has just been escorted at the point of a rapier from my bedchamber by Mrs Dark Juan and Hodgson Biological-Warfare, who had embedded his teefs in Rick’s arse and was hanging on for dear life. Such is life in Dark Juan Terrace. For reasons of verisimilitude, I must point out that Rick hasn’t been round our gaff, Hodgson doesn’t make a point of attacking visitors and Mrs Dark Juan made me a rather lovely, cooked breakfast this morning and doesn’t really know the finer points of swordplay. Rick also isn’t THAT mean and basically allows me to get away with loads considering EM is his baby, so all in all I’m winning here… (I’m glad you cleared that up – Rick)

So, without even the slightest attempt at a segue into matters musical, let me talk about the latest reissues from Metal Blade, and more specifically Anaal Nathrakh. If you don’t know who these British extreme metal legends are by now, I suggest you rectify this immediately by buying their entire back catalogue and subjecting the inside of your head to possibly the most extreme band the UK has ever had to offer. If there were ever a band that were the epitome of recorded fury, it is Anaal Nathrakh. The song ‘Never Fucking Again’ is not music. It’s several minutes of sheer, untrammelled hatred towards everything and everyone. Kim Jong fucking Un would surrender North Korea in seconds. General Noriega would have given up in Panama after about a minute of Anaal Nathrakh being blasted at him from a US Army helicopter. I’m sure if V.I.T.R.I.O.L. saw a room full of the world’s cutest puppies and kittens and had had a blow job to completion moments before seeing the cute animals, he would still write a song that sounds like him machine gunning a host of devils in a locked room until they were basically liquid, ably backed by Irrumator basically killing every musical instrument that he has ever possessed.

“When Fire Rains Down From The Sky, Mankind Will Reap What It Has Sown” is first up, and it’s still as fucking amazing as it ever was. I know I have banged on about reissues being cynical cash grabs in the past, but that’s not necessarily true in these post-COVID times, where bands are having to clutch at every single straw of funding just to survive, so everyone re-releasing stuff is getting a big fat pass, plus the quality of the vinyl that is being produced is pretty stunning. Anyway, “Fire” (it’s far too long a title to keep typing in full) is quite simply brutality distilled into musical form. It just doesn’t let up, ever. Irrumator and V.I.T.R.I.O.L have never sounded so violent. It is unapologetic hate music and it is fucking brilliant. Every single song is faster than the USS Enterprise at Warp 9 and more violent than a pack of drunken Glaswegians fighting an equally drunken pack of Russians, being egged on by a bunch of Wrexham chavs. The fallout is spectacular, and this record never fucking FAILS in taking my breath away. Still as vibrant and exciting as it ever was (I got the original on release day, thought that a number of years of listening to black metal would make it palatable, and was slightly dismissive of the power of the band. How FUCKING WRONG I WAS!) and THE benchmark for British extreme music. Not even The Machinist come close to Anaal Nathrakh for sheer sonic Armageddon. It is the perfect extreme record. The standout song (now there’s a loose description of what Anaal Nathrakh do) will always be ‘Never Fucking Again’. It is the PERFECT distillation of the sheer hatred and misanthropy I feel towards some aspects of the human condition. I fucking ADORE “When Fire Rains Down From The Sky, Mankind Will Reap As They Have Sown” and I am stoked that it has been released again, because it is absolutely one of my favourite records of all time. Buy it and have your brains cudgelled to soup.

I also have the reissue of “Hell Is Empty, And All The Devils Are Here”. Erm, chaps, they are only here because Satan let you play a gig in Hell and all the devils fucked off up here because you scared the living shit out of them and they fled. Ever seen a devil piss himself in fear? I have, and that was because of you two, Irrumator and V.I.T.R.I.O.L. You magnificent bastards. Anyhow, this record is where the blueprint of maximum attack, howling sheer bloody murder and music that is banned under the Geneva Convention as cruel and unusual punishment changes. Anaal Nathrakh discovered clean singing, industrial and tempos below 1000000bpm. Did this change the savagery level from nuclear holocaust down to fluffy bunny? Did it FUCK! The band are still just as focused and nihilistic, from the first second of ‘Solifugae’, being a minute of crushing guitar work that launches the first actual song ‘Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen’ (“Hell’s Vengeance Boils In My Heart” and the proper name of the Queen Of The Night aria in The Magic Flute opera. You’re welcome) which has a grandiose, operatic feel through V.I.T.R.I.O.L discovering that his vocal chords can be used for other things besides aural savagery and actually having a bloody good blast at actual singing. This gives the album more musical interest than previous recordings and allows the song to take you places Anaal Nathrakh have never been before. It’s fucking glorious. ‘Screaming Of The Unborn’ is also interesting, because it has mid-paced (for Anaal Nathrakh) sections and V.I.T.R.I.O.L’s usual murderous scream gives way to a sepulchral and extremely threatening roar with considerable numbers of people shitting themselves in abject, brown trousered fear. ‘Virus Bomb’ returns to the hyperspeed (and demented, homicidal howling) we all love Anaal Nathrakh for and mates this with a chorus and middle eight Emperor would have given Samoth’s testicles for with more of the same choral sounding clean singing as the first song. Purists won’t like the fact that they decided on a bit of, well, slightly less dark and obsidian, cloying black, rather than just the sound of Hell’s mechanised and armoured regiments screaming from the dark. But I do.

Both records have the kind of production that black metal does not normally employ. Anaal Nathrakh do not sound like they have been recorded in an interstellar fishbowl hurtling around Mars with equipment made from tin cans and string. Both albums have a rich, full sound that only enhances the bitter, vitriolic hatred that passes for their music and makes them a cut above 99% of most black metal releases. I never understood why black metal bands stuck to the wasp in a jam jar sound when they were much more powerful with a proper production job.

Anyway, it’s no secret I fucking love Anaal Nathrakh and I am fucking delighted to be writing about them, and I abjure thee to buy these reissues (both on vinyl of many colours as well as CD) because they are awesome.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has finally stopped the bleeding and the leakage of brain matter from the nose and awards Anaal Nathrakh 10/10 for both records. The very best that Britain has to offer. Absolutely uncompromising and irreplaceable.

TRACKLISTINGS:
When Fire Rains Down From The Sky, Mankind Will Reap What It Has Sown:
01. Cataclysmic Nihilism
02. How The Angels Fly In (We Can Never Be Forgiven)
03. Never Fucking Again
04. Genesis Of The Antichrist
05. Atavism
06. When Fire Falls From The Sky, Mankind Will Reap What It Has Sown

Hell Is Empty, And All The Devils Are Here:
01. Solifugae (Intro)
02. Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen
03. Screaming Of The Unborn
04. Virus Bomb
05. The Final Absolution
06. Shatter The Empyrean
07. Lama Sabatchthani
08. Until The World Stop Turning
09. Genetic Noose
10. Sanction Extremis (Kill Them All)
11. Castigation And Betrayal

LINE-UP:
V.I.T.R.I.O.L (Dave Hunt) – Vocals
Irrumator (Mick Kenney) – Everything Else

LINKS:

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

Chaos Doctrine – And In The Beginning…They Lied

Chaos Doctrine – And In The Beginning…They Lied
Self-Released
Release Date: 25/06/2021
Running Time: 40:46
Review by Wallace Magri
9.5/10

Chaos Doctrine is a South African based band, that brings to us, in their sophomore album “And in the Beginning, They Lied”, a chaotic mixture of Extreme Metal music, guided by old school bay-area Thrash Metal, elements of Black Metal, technical sections similar to Death Metal and Industrial Metal programming fuelled with noise layers, to give the proper ambience to their partially conceptual album, with lyrics addressing themes of religion, corrupt politicians, mass media control within a very dystopian scenario.

Don’t get me wrong, the fact that Chaos Doctrine allow interactions among musical styles to create their sonority doesn’t mean that they are a band without musical direction or trying to appeal to a too wide audience. On this album the band has been able to move forward from their self-titled debut record, released in 2018, developing a very peculiar sonority, that possesses unique identity.

I’ll make things easier for the Ever Metal readers: You know a band called Slayer, right? So, put Slayer in the epicentre of the musical chaos delivered by Chaos Doctrine and we have the basis to start to describe the metal assault that awaits you here! As a matter of fact, they play a cover version of ‘South Of Heaven’ on the album  and, at the same time that they pay tribute to their main influence, they also had the ability to reactivate the rage of that seminal song, with an approach which is much rawer and more disturbing.

Disturbed is a good word to help to describe how I felt when I started closely listening to the nine original tracks (the Slayer’s cover is a bonus track) on the album. I noticed some slips in the mixing, but nothing that spoilt my enjoyment of “And In The Beginning…They Lied”.

This is because they have reached the skill to keep the listener well fed during the listening experience – a hard thing to do these days when people have plenty of songs (and other things) to distract them and they see no point on wasting time listening to a whole album.

What we have here is 36 minutes of very well arranged, original, heavy music and it sounds clear that the band took their time in the composition of each one of these songs, making it tough for me to find some highlights to talk about in more detail. I will say that the opening intro, ‘And In The Beginning…’, followed by ‘Blood Serpent God’ are a superb way to kick off the album: Industrial Metal elements to help with the gloomy ambience, Fear Factory style, but, when the guitar/bass/drum assault kicks in it, personally, relates to old school Extreme Metal, in a time when bands weren’t quite aware of the distinguishing elements amongst Thrash/Death/Black Metal. In the 80’s bands like Possessed, Slayer, Exodus, Kreator, Destruction etc were creating a new musical genre based on the things they were used to listening to, and giving their best efforts to turn it more brutal and unpalatable – by their own means.

That is the same sensation I had listening to ‘Blood Serpent God’, because Chaos Doctrine pick various heavy metal element that are needed for their own music benefit – in this case, old school paced Thrash/Black Metal with a brutal chorus (reminiscent of Sepultura’s “Arise”-era) and Industrial Metal interventions.

Now, welcome to the Slayer side of the story, delivered expertly in ‘Black Friday Bedlam’ – a kick ass old-school Thrash Metal track guided by strong guitar riffs and ferocious drum and bass. I also enjoyed the duel between the screamed vocals, that are guttural as fuck, and the other vocal line, that evokes Tom Araya at his best!

Even though the songs are built around the talent of all the musicians, I think that what gives them the old-school flavour is the guitar work, because it is not full of ultra-technical playing, as many shredders use these days. The solos have more feeling, helping in the transition of the songs, like in ‘Father Grigori’.

I think that with these tips, you can proceed on your own to the rest of the songs on “In the Beginning…They Lied”, whose quality speaks for itself. Now, you may ask me why I rated the album 9.5, if it is that good. Well, the answer is because I am sure that they will come back with new releases that are going to beat this one. They are a young band, very focused on their musical creation. So, I’ll save my 10 for the next one!

‘Blood Serpent God’ feat. Anna Hel (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. And In The Beginning…
02. Blood Serpent God (Feat. Anna Hel)
03. Black Friday Bedlam (Feat. Jörgen Sandström)
04. Harlot
05. Nocturna Mors
06. Father Grigori
07. The Rite
08. Christ Church Horizon
09. They Lied
10. South Of Heaven (Bonus Slayer Cover)

LINE-UP:
Daniel Burger “Dr D” – Vocals
Alec Surridge – Guitar
Rory Townes – Drums
Phil Carstens – Bass, Backing Vocals

LINKS:

Previous EMQ’s Interview with Chaos Doctrine:

Chaos Doctrine ‘Harlot’ Visualiser Video – Ever Metal Premiere:

Chaos Doctrine ‘Enjoy The Silence’ Video – Ever Metal Premiere:

Chaos Doctrine Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Wallace Magri 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.

Ophion – Antediluvian

Antediluvian Album Cover Art

Ophion – Antediluvian
Nefast Films Records
Release Date: 02/09/2020
Running Time: 37:43
Review by Victor Augusto
9.5/10

The magic of the music! Yes! That was my first impression when I heard Ophion for the first time. Among hundreds of things that I could list, one of them that defines “The magical side of Heavy Metal or Rock music” is meeting new and good people, who share the same passion for it. If it weren’t for those people, I probably would never know about many incredible bands around the world. Ophion are another case of lovely people who love good music. And hearing this album just once was enough to realize that I was in front of one of the best albums I’ve heard in my life, but also that I have an extremely hard job to do, where reviewing it is concerned!

Maybe the first thing that will pop up in your mind when you push the play button for this album is a Behemoth musical influence with them. For most of the people, they will probably feel it, but for me things worked different. My reference of Ophion’s sonority on first hearing them was Ukrainian band, 1914, and I will explain why. Does the title “Blackened Death Metal” mean something to you? For me, it means the kind of music that 1914 play. Of course, I am talking about two bands who explore Death Metal, in an intense dark atmosphere, that comes from the subject they are talking about. In Ophion’s case, the dark atmosphere is not the war, but another context.

I’m not clever enough to understand what they are exploring in the lyrics, but what I could understand is something like Atlantean history, with a lot of other things involved. All the songs have a very deep interpretation of these subjects. It is epical, and heavy at the same time. Imagine all the aggressiveness from good Death Metal, allied with Black Metal sounds, from bands similar to Marduk. That’s how I would describe Ophion, but again, with a hugely different context to the lyrics, when compared with these other mentioned bands.

According to guitarist Focalor, who, alongside the singer Monarch, took part in an EMQ’s interview for Ever Metal (read the interview here), the meaning of band’s name is something like “a name that originates from a treatise entitled Ophiolatreia, on the universality and worship of the serpent, as well as another work, now lost, but mentioned therein, by Pherecydes Tyrus named Theology of Ophion.” Well, I guess I could not even dare myself to enter into exploring the band’s thematic, but don’t be afraid to watch the videos on their YouTube channel. You will be amused.

Musically, the band plays exactly what I described about their genre. Most of the time it’s extremely Death Metal. Sometimes, the ‘blackened’ part appears more, as dragged riffs, or vocal lines through Monarch’s interpretations, alongside bass lines typical of a few Black Metal bands. For me, the first three songs on “Antediluvian” are enough to show how powerful Ophion’s compositions are. ‘Panophion’, ‘Kalassa’ and ‘Atlantean Gates’! What a killer way to start an album! Especially ‘Atlantean Gates’! It is the best song on the album in my opinion. It also carries a good video which helps you understand the bands visuals and concept.

After the beautiful acoustic instrumental ‘Dissolution…And Resurgence’, that shows a very technical side to Ophion, we get ‘Grand Babylonia’, that has an easy-to-understand chorus, and then the remarkable riffs from the extreme song ‘The Course Of Empire’ right after. Then, as the album nears the end, the song ‘Theology’ appears, full of melodies alongside chaotic spirit from the music driving it into a faster and more extreme song. The bonus track ‘In The Night Of Ages’ keeps the same heavy spirit.

It is the first time I’ve heard Heavy Metal coming from the Dominican Republic. But I don’t care where the music comes from, as long as it’s great, which this is! Ophion really shocked me on the first listening. It is heavy, dense, and extreme. The band have given this album good production and shown great care for the composition. As a result, we are in front of an amazing and complex album, but one that’s easy to digest at the same time. I was a little skeptical about finding a new & amazing band that could shock me as Ophion have done. But now I am a new fan of them, for sure.

‘Atlantean Gates’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Panophion
02. Kalassa
03. Atlantean Gates
04. Dissolution…And Resurgence
05. Grand Babylonia
06. The Course Of Empire
07. Theology
08. In The Night Of Ages (Bonus Track)

LINE-UP:
Focalor – Guitars
Monarch – Vocals
Wolv – Guitars

LINKS:

Ophion Promo Pic

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.

Incognosci – A Biography Of Madness

A Biography Of Madness Cover Art

Incognosci – A Biography Of Madness
Extreme Sound Records
Release Date: 22/10/2020
Running Time: 27:04
Review by Victor Augusto
8.5/10

Incognosci have finally released their debut album and maybe you are thinking that in front of us is a raw album made by people without experience. Sometimes it can happen with young bands releasing their first material, but I must tell you a few details that you probably don’t know about this Brazilian group. It is not easy to have a Heavy Metal band in my country (as you already know from me writing about it hundreds of times) and it is even worse if you play extreme Metal. In this case, the members have taken more than a decade to release this debut after line-up changes and all the struggles that being in a band demand. Of course, they are extremely active in their local scene along with other bands, like Gutted Souls, for example. However, if you look at it from a commercial or business point of view, it is horrible for a band to spend so much time without a release, but if you take the time to listen to “A Biography Of Madness”, you will understand how it was actually good for Incognosci!

Firstly, they are very experienced musicians as a consequence of all the years working together and with other bands. What every member does here is almost as if they are aliens from a distant and evolved civilization, playing on our humble planet. They are insane on their instruments. I could swear that I was listening to a band with more than three albums released and that survive by travelling around the world on long tours. This is obviously not the case with Incognosci, but what they have achieved as musicians is astonishing and they have delivered an incredibly mature work. There is a good balance between being extreme, but not sounding exacerbated or massive.

Now, let’s talk about the music itself. “A Biography Of Madness” is extreme Death Metal with Gore elements. It combines the aggressiveness and speed of Cannibal Corpse with elements of Obituary or Deicide from the Tampa Death Metal scene of the 90’s, mostly in terms of arrangements. There is also a much-diluted Djent feel which brings a modern flavour. The musical highlight are the complex variations they have created inside each song. It is insane how they vary the sonority many times with tremendous speed.

Having Jonathas “Jon” Pereira as lone guitarist sets him free to explore interesting techniques with his guitar, but it could also be because he has a killer bassist alongside him. Marcos Medeiros is highly creative with his bass and all the independent bass lines he has written are astonishing. Sometimes, it is like hearing hellish funk rearranged into Extreme Death Metal, as you can hear on the intro to ‘Perfect Specimen’. ‘Tales Of Insanity’ also has amazing bass work and Marcos fills the rhythm section during Jonathas solo, without worry. You will not notice that empty feeling, bands with one guitarist, sometimes have during solos!

Iron has a powerful, guttural voice and he has explored different vocal lines. This is the first time I have heard him doing ‘Pig noises’. He has departed from the usual style of Death Metal singers in one small detail. I can understand many things that he sings, and it shows his great ability on vocals that are noisy, but clean at the same time. Maybe, it is similar to the David Vincent (Morbid Angel) way of singing. Finally, the drum work that Braulio Drumond has put together for the album is the most impressive thing here, in my opinion. Many drummers can play faster than the speed of light, but to play fast with many tangled parts…well, few people can do that. He also hits his drum kit HARD and the music never sounds repetitive thanks to him. The opening song ‘Aftermath’ is a good example of what I am talking about!

The experience of the individuals has made “A Biography Of Madness” a terrific work. The album is short, the production is organic, the arrangements are very well thought out and the complexity of the compositions makes this an easy album to digest. It is a blend of the good and gold Old-School Death Metal, but with new elements. There is not a single song that sounds boring. All of them have received good attention and they are very professionally written. As a result of all these positive aspects this is an album that you won’t get tired of after 2 or 3 tracks, which can sometimes happen.

“A Biography Of Madness” is an amazing debut, I promise you.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Aftermath
02. Awaken The Desperate
03. Perfect Specimen
04. Traumatize The Masses
05. Eleven Years
06. Tales Of Insanity
07. Final Descent Into Madness
08. Trapped In Spontaneous Disintegration

LINE-UP:
Iron – Vocals
Jonathas “Jon” Pereira – Guitar
Marcos Medeiros – Bass
Braulio Drumond – Drums

LINKS:

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 said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with OPHION

Ophion Logo

EMQ’s with OPHION

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Dominican Republic based Extreme Metal band, Ophion. Huge thanks to, Focalor and Monarch, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

We are Focalor and Monarch of the band Ophion and we play extreme metal, or, as some would prefer to say, Blackened Death Metal. The band was founded sometime in 2017 with the intention of creating music centered around a series of concepts ancillary and very generally summed up by the name of the band.

How did you come up with your band name?

Focalor: The name originates from a treatise entitled Ophiolatreia on the universality and worship of the serpent, as well as another work, now lost, but mentioned therein, by Pherecydes Tyrus named Theology of Ophion.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

Focalor: We hail from the Dominican Republic, even though Monarch is currently based in Spain.

The metal scene in the Dominican Republic can be understood as an ebbing and flowing of sorts, with some periods of activity driven by particular bands and supporters, who carry the scene for some time, and then retreat into inactivity, giving way to other small waves of bands and supporters, albeit with the occasional ‘survivors’. It should be remarked that extreme metal, I.e., death and black, have proven to be the most enduring.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Focalor: Ophion’s debut album “Antediluvian” was released a short while ago, on 2nd September. More recently, we’ve published a drum cam for ‘Panophion’, as well as a live session of sorts for ‘Kalassa’. We are currently working on a concept video for the track Atlantean Gates.

‘Kalassa’ (Lyric Video)

‘Panophion’ (Drum Cam Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Focalor: Dissection, Deathspell Omega, Behemoth

Monarch: As far as vocal style and arrangements, I’d say Nagash from Troll, Thebon ex-Keep of Kalessin, Satyr from Satyricon and Attila from Mayhem. However, as for focus on lyrical content, doubtless, Dani Filth.

What first got you into music?

Focalor: When I was about five, I was completely seized by guitars at music shops, after having discovered, of course, bands such as Metallica, and their “Black” Album and Black Sabbath’s “Heaven And Hell”, which I had received as a gift from my mother. Later on, at about 9, I came to discover other bands like In Flames and At the Gates – I remember being filled with a desire to dominate my instrument more fully, you know; and, when I reached my 13th year, I put together my first band: Soul of Death.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Focalor: Ihsahn (Emperor)

Monarch: Keep of Kalessin

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Focalor: Wacken Open Air. I really like how so many subgenres are brought together in one place,  the audience’s incredible energy and scenography, lights, sounds, the whole deal.

Monarch: Beyond the Gates. There’s something about Norway.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Focalor: Beer!

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Focalor: Thank you for supporting us and long life to metal!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Focalor: Jon Nödtveidt de Dissection

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Focalor: We both appreciate the creative and recording processes. But not being able to fully live off it is quite unfortunate.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Focalor: More opportunities for bands to make the art economically profitable.

Monarch: No room for weakness in extreme metal. Go listen to it.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Focalor: Dissection – “Storm Of The Light’s Bane”

Monarch: Covenant – In Times Before the Light

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Focalor: Digital possession can never replace the value of physical ownership. Vinyl or CD’s.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Focalor: Destrucción Masiva 2017

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Focalor: Sound engineer, photography, and video production for metal bands

Monarch: Music should not impede one’s other industries.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Focalor: My band brethren.

What’s next for the band?

Focalor: Finish music video for ‘Atlantean Gates’ and continue working on new music for the next album.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

www.ophion-official.bandcamp.com
www.open.spotify.com/album/3dM33JvJLstCIgcxfg1O2e
www.youtube.com/channel/UCrBJQKz3pQh53ungXTWw7YA
www.facebook.com/temple.of.ophion

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Focalor: A Cuiskit? Nay, not all problems can be solved by the mixing of parts…

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

First of all, we have to thank for the support in the Europe scene, waiting this way also to get in touch deeper in other countries, also letting all you know we are currently working on our new material, let’s keep in touch and long live to metal.

Ophion Promo Pic

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