Cruachan – The Living And The Dead

The Living And The Dead Album Cover Art

Cruachan – The Living And The Dead
Despotz Records
Release Date: 24/03/2023
Running Time: 51:55
Review by Chris Galea 

Probably before Folk Metal was even a genre, somewhere near Dublin Cruachan were already giving traditional music a rougher, more Metal edge. That was 30 + years, 8 albums and several line-up changes ago. Multi-instrumentalist Keith Fay is the only original member still in the band and on album no. 9 the services of a number of session musicians are called upon to lay down these new songs.

The album is called “The Living And The Dead” which at first glance seems to be thematically based on feelings of loss and the ensuing pain. But more to the point is that it’s quite possibly Cruachan’s magnum opus. 

All the hallmarks of folk music are here… Violin, tin whistle, bagpipes, accordion, sing-along choruses… But they never interfere with the heaviness of the music. Likewise even when the music gets quite furious – as in ‘The Ghost’ for example – the Folk traits are never snuffed out. All this is due to the superlative songwriting quality that pervades the whole album. 

In ‘The Changeling’ during a bewitching intro you can sense that riffs are round the corner but you’re still floored when they do burst forth. And it’s not just ‘The Changeling’, great riffs can be found elsewhere in the album too. ‘The Witch’ is another headbanger that has a classic Thin Lizzy vibe to it and is embellished by a solo from Rage, Venom’s guitarist.

Speaking of guests, it’s worth noting that the aforementioned ‘The Ghost’ owes some of its intensity to the singing of Mathias ‘Vreth’ Lillmåns, vocalist of Finntroll, another Folk Metal pioneer.

‘The Dead’, which closes the album, has a deceptively simple but haunting melody using acoustic guitar and violin which alternates with some truly caustic Black Metal vocals. Weirdly enough it all works beautifully.

I have taken a few songs as examples to back up my assertion that although the album has its own character, there are many shades and facets to that character. Although the album impressed me straight away, I found myself liking it more each time I gave it a spin and uncovered more of its facets.

Personally I only reserve 10/10 ratings for great albums that also have something unique about them. “The Living And The Dead” does indeed have that special ingredient. I dare envision that this one is destined to be a classic of the genre.

‘The Crow’ Promotional Video:

01. The Living
02. The Q
03. The Hawthorn
04. The Harvest
05. The Festival
06. The Ghost
07. The Crow
08. The Reaper
09. The Children
10. The Changeling
11. The Witch
12. The Dead

Keith Fay – vocals, guitars, banjo, mandolin, percussion
Dave Quinn – guitars
Audrey Trainor – violin
Joe Farrell – bass
Tom Woodcock – drums


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

Fredlös – Fredlös

Fredlös Album Cover Art

Fredlös – Fredlös
Release Date: 10/02/2023
Running Time: 60:00
Review by Rory Bentley

Alright let’s cut to the chase, you’ve seen the score at the top of the page and it’s now my job to justify it in writing. In my opinion all I should actually have to do is encourage you to push play on the link below while I stand back with my hands in the air and a smug ‘told you so’ look on my face, but if you absolutely insist on me waxing lyrical about this album then strap in my friends, because I have plenty to say.

Once in a while an album comes along from a brand-new band that does exactly what you want other albums in that style to do while adding a whole plethora of elements you didn’t even know you wanted. This is how I felt when I first heard Oceans of Slumber’s “Winter” album and Code Orange’s “Underneath” 4 years later. There’ve been plenty of amazing releases in between and after those seminal works that have been just as gratifying but I can’t think of any off the top of my head that have managed to tread the fine line between providing something comfortingly familiar and entirely new at the same time without a single misstep. Until now!

Although I’ve been very vocal about my love for (nearly) all things Nordic and Folky, I’m still pretty damn shocked that a Folk Metal release is looking absolutely nailed on to be my album of the year. Nonetheless Fredlös seem to have come with the right songs at the right time, providing the soundtrack for cold winter mornings driving by frozen country landscapes to work as well as acting as a  soothing blanket during the dark nights, transporting me from my (admittedly lovely) suburban life to the Mediaeval Swedish countryside with tales of struggle, sorrow and ethereal darkness. I’m always cautious about being a prisoner of the moment when I first hear an album I really like, particularly as my biggest pet peeve with other music writers is the tendency so hand out huge scores to things that are clearly flawed or just lacking in innovation, but after playing this record way into double figures in the six days I’ve had it, I really do feel this is as fantastic as I initially suspected.

Those of you balking at the thought of anything Folk-related because it conjures images of trolls and accordions need not fret- this is far more on the Myrkur, Darkher end of the spectrum than the dancing with the goblins side (which I also like!). One playthrough opener ‘Våt varm jord’ should be more than enough to convince that Fredlös are a whole different proposition, with mournful Folk  instrumentation pulling you into another realm as the earthy, melancholic vocals of Liv Hope glide over the top. There’s something rustic and wild in her delivery that gives her the feel of a grizzled storyteller which adds an undercurrent of menace to her beautiful melodies. By the time the throat-shredding male vocals and pounding drums have given way to a hypnotic bassline and Tool-like psychedelic guitars,  it should be clear that we’re dealing with different gravy here.

Still not convinced ? May I present to you the sprawling majesty of ‘Otto’. Throwing in some Doom guitars bolstered by strings that sound like they’ve been fashioned out of deer bones, the song waltzes sullenly to a huge chorus that you can imagine dejected peasants singing round a campfire as they plot to overthrow their douchebag land baron. Once again Liv Hope is on fire, bringing a sense of drama to each line as the traditional instruments envelop the song like a pissed-off version of Wardruna. I also got some cool My Dying Bride vibes off this one, albeit delivered with a little less melodrama (I’m not slagging the melodrama off, I like MDB, this is just different!)

‘Farsot’ then comes along and shows that the band can pick up the pace when they want to with a punchier number that chugs along like mid-period Opeth, switching tempos with ease and anchored by an evil sounding riff and a punchy chorus. At this point things get next level Nordic as a clap of thunder and the sound of ravens provides the intro to the robust, marching guitars of ‘Missväxt’, a song that bristles with ominous tension, almost dipping into Post-Rock territory. 

If you’re going to complete the holy trinity of having a self-titled song on your self-titled album then you’d better have penned an absolute rager. The groovy, driving guitars that kick off the title track are the riposte to that, lead by a full-throated guest vocal from Erik Grawsiö. This feels like a super-melodic Bathory song, never quite going full Black Metal but maintaining an intensity that will satisfy fans on the heavier end of the spectrum. It’s probably the closest thing on here to a ‘banger’ and I can see this one going over fantastically in the live arena.

Every great album needs a great closer, fail to stick the landing and that 10 quickly drops down to an 8 no matter how great the previous tracks have been. Closing things out with a near 13 minute epic on a fairly long album is a ballsy move indeed, but Fredlös make it look easy.  As grand finales go, ‘Requiem’ is a gorgeous, widescreen masterpiece. It brings all the disparate elements of the album together and still adds extra surprises on top. Not least the most luscious string arrangements yet and some truly spine chilling kulning vocals, which for those at the back is an ancient Scandinavian herding call that sounds phenomenal on every song I’ve ever heard it employed on. The song contracts and expands majestically, fluctuating between mountainous tremolo picking and tear-jerking balladry that strays into Prog territory without ever feeling indulgent. A truly jaw-dropping curtain call.

I’d normally nit-pick and try to find a few bits of constructive criticism at this point, but for perhaps the first time ever I’m coming up empty. This is an album so good in fact,  that I’m only just telling you that the band features former Entombed guitarist Alex Hellid. If this record  was bang average I’d have padded this review out with a paragraph on “Wolverine Blues”, but in reality this uncharacteristically sycophantic rant I’ve served up has only scratched the surface of this magnificent opus.

“Fredlös” is an album bursting with ideas and pastoral charm, sounding both ancient yet  timeless, serene yet furious and bound together by masterful composition. Don’t you dare let this one pass you by, this is one of the first truly great releases of 2023.

‘Våt Varm Jord’ Official Music Video

01. Våt Varm Jord 
02. Otto
03. Farsot
04. Missväxt
05. Fredlös
06. Uppror
07. Undergäng
08. Deus 
09. Requiem

Robert Lindgren – Bass Guitar
Tomas Karlson – Guitar
Liv Hope – Lead Singer
Fredrik Danielsson – Guitar
Victor Dahlin – Keyboards
Alex Hellid – Guitar


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.

Grimner – Urfader

Urfader Album Cover Art

Grimner – Urfader
Despotz Records
Release Date: 18/11/2022
Running Time: 55:00
Review by Rory Bentley

During my very first review for Ever Metal I recounted the devastating psychological toll that lock down had taken on me which manifested in me liking Folk Metal, something which has never truly gone away as my glowing review of Verikalpa’s beer drenched debut will attest to. Now at the end of the year I am still no further forward from disrupting my proclivity towards jaunty music made by silly Nordic lads dicking about in the woods. As the resident Hardcore aficionado at EM, and a shaven-headed angry man that stomps around in Doc Martens all day listening to Agnostic Front, I can’t even begin to tell you what an image-killer this is for me, but you can’t fight what you like!

Swedish Folk dorks Grimner are a supreme example of everything I like about the genre. There is a rustic sense of ancient mystery evoked by the traditional instruments and mythological subject matter, there are big sing-along hooks and there’s a fine balance of silly fun and wistful melancholy that only the best Folk Metal bands can capture. When “Urfader” is at its best, it is every bit as enchanting and whimsical as the frankly stunning album art and represents a high-water mark for 2022 Folk Metal. I can’t believe I’m typing some of these sentences.

There are three main aspects to Grimner’s sound that really jump out at me and separate them from the pack on “Urfader”. Beginning with the most accessible aspect, the band are really great at the actual Metal part of the genre. A big gripe with Folk Metal is that the riffs and guitarwork often seem perfunctory and generic, with a mid-tempo Thrash riff that Gary Holt would chuck in the bin often making up the spine of a song that seems way more interested in beating you over the head with an accordion. One listen to the searing Melodeath attack of ‘Dar Froet Skall Spira’ is enough to leave you in no doubt that these guys are students of the Metal game and capable of composing songs that would stand up by themselves were they stripped of the bells and whistles that go with the Folk side of things. The lead guitar work is also very well done, with impressively structured solos that do so much more than ape the main melody for a few bars.

The second aspect that sets Grimner apart is a fair bit more divisive to the casual listener- there is a SHIT LOAD of flute on here! Despite the praise I’ve heaped on the axe-slinging contingent of the band, the flute is very much the dominant instrument and your mileage with this record will vary depending on your tolerance of this. Personally, I’m all for it and it’s hard to imagine the huge instrumental hook of ‘Vasterled’ popping as hard with any other instrument. As I have confessed before, Nightwish are my favourite band for reasons I still don’t completely understand, so I’m no stranger to a Folky hoe-down at the centre of a song, so those who love a bit of mid-2000s Nuclear Blast before they started signing cooler bands will feel right at home here. But if energetic opener ‘Hamtad Av Valkyrior’ gave you too many goblin-dancing vibes when the main hook kicked in, its going to be a long listen for you.

The final most distinctive part of Grimner’s sound is their truly excellent vocal harmonies. Gang vocals are as big a part of Folk Metal as they are of NYHC, again a sentence I wish I wasn’t typing, but true nonetheless. If part of your song doesn’t sound like a bunch of lairy blokes in a tavern ruining someone’s quiet post-battle pint, you’re fucking up at Folk Metal, however, rarely are these vocals so pristine and refined while still maintaining that rowdy feel. ‘Ulvhendars Natt’ is lifted from a catchy thrasher to a bombastic anthem by the strident vocal work in the chorus, and ‘Ur Vagorna’ features some gorgeous close harmonies over delicate finger picking in the intro. These two numbers appear back-to-back and illustrate the full breadth of the band’s sound, and both are immensely enhanced by top-notch singing arrangements.

Inevitably my main gripe is that the album is too long, because that’s nearly always my response, but I do feel the impact of the very finest cuts, particular in the latter part of the record, such as the excellent ‘Glod’, would be greater if some of the less essential tracks were consigned to B-sides and bonus tracks. There’s nothing remotely poor on any of this 55 minute runtime, but there’s only so many dungeon-synth-on-crack sections a guy can take before inevitable fatigue sets in. The sheer discipline and brevity Finntroll showed in their 2020 comeback album is a big part of why I feel they have yet to be surpassed at this sort of thing, despite Grimner often matching the quality of their finest moments.

When all’s said and done, though, “Urfader” is a finely composed, raucously performed and surprisingly intricate addition to the modern Folk Metal canon, and as winter draws near you’ll be hard pushed to find a better soundtrack to knocking back some ales and tearing it up with your Troll posse to see out 2022.

‘VästerledOfficial Video

01. Hämtad Av Valkyrior (Retrieved By Valkyries)
02. Där Fröet Skall Spira (Where The Seed Shall Sprout)
03. Västerled (Westbound)
04. Ulvhednars Natt (Night Of The Ulfheðinn)
05. Ur Vågorna (Out Of The Waves)
06. Helvandrarna (The Hel-Walkers)
07. Elftevisan (Eleventh Tune)
08. Glöd (Embers)
09. Ivaldes Söner (Sons Of Ivalde) 
10. En Sista Sköldborg (One Last Shield Fort) 
11. Tiundaland (Tiundaland)

Ted Sjulmark – Vocals, guitars
Martin Boe – Vocals, guitars 
David Fransson – Bass, backing vocals
Johan Rydberg – Flutes, mandola
Kristoffer Kullberg – Keyboards
Henry Persson – Drums


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

EMQ’s With Opus Arise

opus Arise Logo

EMQ’s With Opus Arise

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Canadian Folk/ Prog ensemble, Opus Arise. Huge thanks to their Guitarist/ String player, Shawn, 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 Shawn, Guitarist / String Player and founding member of Opus Arise. It’s an ensemble with folks who have a love for Prog, Metal, Classical and Video Game music.

How did you come up with your band name?

Just finding two words that who be kinda of a cool balance between the Classical and Metal elements of the band.

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

We are from Vancouver B.C! It has grown quite a bit over these last few years, especially with festivals such as Hyperspace Metal Festival, Modified Ghost, Armstrong Metalfest, etc.

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

“The Network” releases December 2nd, finally!

Who have been your greatest influences?

From Prog like Dream Theater and Symphony X to Classical Composer such as Holst and Sibelius to Video Game Composers such as Nobuo Uematsu and Hitoshi Sakimoto.

What first got you into music?

“Machine Head” from Deep Purple and “Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven.

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

Always down to work with composers who want to bring their works to life.

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

ProgPower would be a rad time, I think attendees would be curious who the heck we are.

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

We’ve had some folks under the influence of alcohol and drugs give us interesting feedback after sets.

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

Be yourself!

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

Can’t answer that one, too many…

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

Without a doubt the creative work into making music and seeing the results of it. The business / monetary side of things always brings it down, for me at least.

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

Less competition and more community.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Images and Words” by Dream Theater.

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

Downloads / Streams for the average listener, the former three for the collectors.

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

Playing Star Wars covers at a Canucks game to 18,000+ people back in 2019.

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

I was heavily into Martial Arts before focusing on music solely, I was also into drawing comic books when I was younger as well.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

My bandmates!

What’s next for the band?

We have our 2018 demo “Invisible Walls” fully re-recorded and should be out next spring. Our follow-up is nearly done being written and got plans for recordings of arrangements of pieces from Movies to Video Games.

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

 Time for a very British question now. As an alternative to the humble sandwich, is the correct name for a round piece of bread common in the UK either a Bap, a Barm (or Barm Cake), a Batch, a Bun, a Cob, a Muffin, a Roll or a Tea Cake?

I should inquire that to Mr. Readman…

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

Thank you for the interview, we hope everyone enjoys “The Network”!

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.

The Wolves of Avalon – Y Gododdin

Y Gododdin Album Cover Art

The Wolves of Avalon – Y Gododdin
Godreah Records
Release Date: 25/11/22
Running Time: 28:00 
Review by Paul Hutchings

The Wolves of Avalon’s fourth album tells the story of the Gododdin, the northern warriors documented in ancient poems by the Welsh bard Aneirin. The band, formed by Metatron (The Meads Of Asphodel) and songwriter James Marinos, have also called in reinforcements with Tony ‘Demolition Man’ Dolan (Venom Inc), Thurios (Drudkh), Hoest (Taake), Wulfstan (Forefather) and Nico Millar (Aklash). 

The result is a 28-minute blend of darkened metal and folk, combining melancholic passages with sweeping cinematic elements that confuse, surprise and delight in equal measure. Ignore the rather awful piece of artwork that looks like a fifth year’s computer project and let your blood be stirred by the anthemic songs that cascade forth. There’s the opening ‘Through the Murdering Night’, the powerful and stirring ‘Men of Gododdin’, and the swirling, semi-Hawkwind exploration of The Shining Company. All bring something different in style and tempo, whilst delivering the story and boiling everything in one dramatic manner. 

Using different voices, changes of pace and linking to the past, The Wolves of Avalon have produced a dramatic, evocative, and passionate release. ‘Dead Men’s Cloaks’ combines dark, sombre parts with soaring segments to create a storyboard based on swords, spears, bravery, and pledges to fight until the death. Like the Meads of Asphodel, this is music steeped in the ancient ways, of history long forgotten through the ages. By the time you reach the finale, ‘Is This How It’s Meant to Be’, with its intricate instrumental passages, you’ll either be searching for the band’s other releases or recoiling in horror at the tweeness of the whole album. 

However, it grabs you, there’s no doubting the quality of the musicianship and the overall concept. It is unlikely to be for everyone, but if you like your pagan folk metal, then it is most definitely worth a listen. 

‘Men Of Gododdin’ Official Video

01. Through the Murdering Night 
02. Men of Gododdin 
03. The Shining Company 
04. Dead Men’s Cloaks 
05. Is This How It’s Meant to Be

Metatron – Vocals
James Marinos – Bass/Rhythm Guitar/Keyboards/Backing Vocals 
Steve Wallace – Lead Guitar 
Mike Lewin – Lead Guitar 
Steve Clark – Drums 


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

EMQ’s With Norrsköld

Norrsköld Logo

EMQ’s With Norrsköld

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Swedish Melodic Black/ Folk Metal band, Norrsköld. Huge thanks to guitarist Henrik Bodin-Sköld 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?

Henrik Bodin-Sköld, guitarist and main songwriter in Norrsköld. Norrsköld started out pretty much as a studio project by me in 2013. The overall ambition of the music was to combine “the best of worlds” considering melodic metal and black metal. A large part of the inspiration for the song writing came from early 90’s Scandinavian acts like Dimmu Borgir, Dissection, Opeth and In Flames. So, the aim of Norrsköld has been “What would it sound like if all of these bands would join forces and create something with a modern production?” And we write music that somewhat corresponds to this. Norrsköld had a live performance era between 2015-2018, including European tours with Amon Amarth and Nightrage etc. Nowadays, the main focus is once again on creating and recording music as a studio project. However, live shows in the future are not an impossibility.

How did you come up with your band name?

It’s basically a wordplay with my origin (Norrland) and my family name (Sköld). Initially it felt like a natural name for the one-man studio project it all began with.

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

Me, I’m from the northern part of Sweden (Hälsingland region). Most of the other guys / girls that have been / are a part of the project comes from the west coast of Sweden (Gothenburg primarily).

What is your latest release?

Three singles have been released in October / November, prior to the release of our new album Prisma Aeternus (release date on Spotify and similar platforms 2022-11-07). Music videos have also been produced for two of these singles, available on our official Youtube channel.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Metal wise I’d say Dissection, Opeth and early In Flames. In general, most influence has been taken from soundtracks to movies and video games (an underrated source of inspiration).

What first got you into music?

I stumbled upon a keyboard at a very early age (4 or so). Then we have this thing in Sweden called municipal music education, where every kid gets the chance to get educated in one or several instruments “for free” during the primary school years. I believe this is one of the explanations that Sweden has produced so many acknowledged musicians throughout the years.

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

It would be really interesting to record / perform an album together with a grand orchestra in a great concert hall sometime. To really explore the soundscape in all dimensions. Would also be a cool thing to co-arrange a song or two together with the Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds. 

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

I’d say we would fit pretty good in the Wacken context. It just feels like a natural habitat for our kind of melodic death / black metal hybrid.

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

Once after a gig, a guy comes up to the stage giving me a hand drawn portrait of myself, which he’d been creating with crayons during the concert. Honouring but unexpected.

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

Melodic metal can still be interesting! If you’re into death / black metal and want a touch of Scandinavian sounding melodies, Norrsköld should definitely be considered.

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

Cliff Burton. Even though he accomplished great things while being alive, I think he had a lot left in the tank in terms of composing REALLY interesting and harmonic metal. A truly open-minded musician.

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

Having the gift of expressing oneself in not only words, but also in tones. I believe some feelings and moods are not possible to express in words, why composing is such a unique medium for this.

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

Well, make better room for up-and-coming artists on the greater platforms / venues. There’s a great need of “refreshment” especially in the metal scene. There are SO many exceptionally good bands out there that get stuck in the struggle of actually reaching out. 

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Morningrise” by Opeth. A timeless classic. Delicate mix of nature romanticism, death metal aggressiveness and a haunting melancholy created with almost weeping guitars. Mikael Åkerfeldts finest.

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

Soundwise it’s definitely vinyl. Although in order to find an artist that actually deserves to be listened to on vinyl, download / streaming services are gold for discovering new (and not necessarily world famous) artists.

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

Must have been at arenas in St. Petersburg and Moscow, together with Amon Amarth. There was an overwhelming response from the audience, especially in Moscow.

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

Myself, I actually work in the environmental business, with focus on climate change. It’s a pretty decent work for being a “non-artsy” one. As a main alternative, I’d say being a full time author.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Not to unexpected maybe, but I would arrange a “composer’s dinner” with representatives from different genres. I’d really like to hear the stories behind how come up with their own special kind of music, and generally listen to how they create songs. I’d invite Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish), John Frusciante (Red Hot Chilli Peppers) and, resurrected from their graves, Cliff Burton (Metallica) and Jon Nödtveit (Dissection). I imagine quite interesting discussions around the table. And a lot of drinks.

What’s next for the band?

Heavy focus on promoting the new album and videos. Maybe do some playthroughs. Will also continue to write and perfect new music during next year. 

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

Mostly Instagram, Facebook and Youtube. Check out our channels / accounts!

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Definitely a bis-cake hybrid.

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

Thank YOU for taking the time to notice our music! Just want to recommend everyone to give our music a listen, especially if you’re into ultra-melodic and catchy black / death metal music.

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.

Saor – Origins

Origins Album Cover Art

Saor – Origins
Season Of Mist
Release Date: 24/06/2022
Running Time: 41:18
Review by Chris Galea 

It was abundantly clear, when I had reviewed Saor’s debut album back in 2013, that this was not your average run-of-the-mill one-man-band.  Andy Marshall, the driving force behind Saor, is one extremely talented chap who doesn’t seem shackled with any genre expectations. So while it’s awkward to pigeon-hole the music of Saor (actually a major selling point for me), there certainly are clear elements from Black Metal, Folk Metal and Death Metal.

With “Origins”, Mr.Marshall has truly outdone himself. The album’s songwriting is impeccable and the atmosphere is bewitching. There are a lot of folksy elements, such as the guitar melodies in the title-track or chants and the bagpipe sounds in ‘Fallen’, but those elements never steal the limelight. Indeed everything is always done with the compositional aspect of the song as the ultimate beneficiary. And it’s not just the atmosphere that intrigues: the riffs, for example, are both catchy and aggressive. Production-wise, “Origins” is very well balanced too and it’s hard to find fault with anything about this release. 

“Origins” is over in a jiffy and In fact, my only gripe is the album’s brevity. We need more of this great music!

‘Origins’ Official Music Video

01. Call Of The Carnyx
02. Fallen
03. The Ancient Ones
04. Aurora
05. Beyond The Wall
06. Origins

Andy Marshall – songwriter, vocals & all instruments
Dylan Watson – session drums
Sophie Marshall – female backing vocals


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

Týr – A Night At The Nordic House

A Night At The Nordic House Album Cover Art

Týr – A Night At The Nordic House
Metal Blade
Release Date: 18/03/22
Running Time: 01:26:29
Review by Simon Black

Not a band I have ever come across before, but Týr get two firsts from me today by also being the first band from the Faroe Islands that I’ve come across. Whilst lyrically and thematically being all about Norse mythology, Týr have much more of a heart-thumping Folk Metal feel to them than the more outwardly Metal stalwarts of all things Viking like Amon Amarth do. Apart from subject matter, there’s everything to compare between them, so don’t assume that if you are familiar with one, that you know the other. 

This is a good enough place to start with the band though, although what makes this slightly harder to wrap your head around as an introductory record is the fact that this is a live performance with The Symphony Orchestra of the Faroe Islands, so there’s a massive Symphonic Metal style overlay here that might distract you. It actually works really well because unlike many of these sort of collaboration projects the orchestra is not overly dominant in the mix, with the focus remaining with the core four members of the band whilst simultaneously giving you a shortcut to their greatest hits from the eight studio albums that precede this. It’s also been hanging around for a while, having been recorded in early 2020 before the music industry went turned tits up, but with Covid presumably having put plans on ice this seems like a sensible choice for a release. 

Let’s be clear, this is not a slot-filler for the sake of it. These sorts of collaborations have become de rigeur since Metallica did their first “S&M”, but there’s clearly a lot of thought gone into getting the balance right and still making it sound like the band are sticking to their guns. And then let’s not underestimate the deeply Folk feel here, and its effect. There’s a massive cultural disconnect between the concept of orchestral and classical music, with its implied elitism and the middle ages “street” of Folk, which is about as blue collar as you can get without storming the bastille. That’s why I raised my eyebrows when I read about this, but they absolutely pull off the dichotomy – but it’s clear why the orchestration is played lower in the mix than the band are.

This is a band unafraid to use simple unaccompanied vocal harmonies in their native Faroese language from time to time too, which when you throw a choir into the mix as well add a hugely rich and cinematic feel to the proceedings. Check out the insanely epic ‘Ragnars Kvæði’ if you don’t believe me for sheer effect. In fact “epic” is a good word for this whole endeavour, as at eighteen tracks you get plenty of bang for your buck, but with so much variety in tone, pace and style that you don’t get chance to get bored. 

Style wise for every Faroese language Folk piece, you’ve got more Folk Metal-esque fist-pumping English language fare like the anthemic ‘Blood of Heroes’, which is one of those tracks with a singalong chorus for which no previous familiarity is required that mercifully doesn’t get ulled into Power Metal territory. It’s worth noting that the anthemic choruses work just as well even if you don’t speak a word of Faroese, because these guys know how to craft engaging and punchy songs. The band wisely alternate between style and language to keep the pace fresh and to keep the novelty of the special nature of the project, and with a vocalist in Heri Joensen who can alternate between a gruff Metal delivery, high end classically clean and nasally folk as and when it stays crisp and dynamically fresh throughout.

The audience are clearly deeply enjoying themselves and it would be interesting to watch the live DVD that goes with this, as the strength of performance alone here has my curiosity piqued enough to want to know a little more about this act. However this 96 minutes is a cracking introduction to a band who clearly can cut the mustard live, and with some solid enough tunes in their repertoire to warrant further analysis.

‘By The Sword In My Hand’ Live Video

01. Hel’s Prelude
02. Gates of Hel
03. Grindavísan
04. Sunset Shore
05. Ragnars Kvæði
06. Gavotte from Suite in G Minor
07. Blood of Heroes
08. Ramund Hin Unge
09. Hold the Heathen Hammer High
10. The Lay of Thrym
11. Tróndur í Gøtu
12. Mare of My Night
13. Turið Torkilsdóttir
14. Fire and Flame
15. Torkils Døtur
16. Ormurin Langi
17. By the Sword in My Hand
18. Álvur Kongur

Heri Joensen – Vocals / Guitar
Hans Hammer – Guitar
Gunnar Thomsen – Bass / Vocals
Tadeusz Rieckmann – Drums


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

Fall Of Stasis – The Chronophagist

The Chronophagist Album Cover Art

Fall Of Stasis – The Chronophagist
Release Date: 25/02/22
Running Time: 49:31
Review by Dark Juan

Good afternoon. I have exiled myself to the lounge of Dark Juan Terrace as Mrs Dark Juan has taken over the kitchen for the baking of many brownies for our petite enfant terrible. I don’t mean The Dread Lord Igor Egbert Brian Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover, either, much as he might want to be hand fed brownies as he reclines upon his chaise longue, which is covered in the skins of his previous victims. I am mildly aggrieved because I have been made to engage in physical labour (on a Sunday! For shame!) whisking eggs, because the drive shaft to the food processor has magically vanished as soon as it was required. And the company that makes the damned machine would charge a mere £2.99 for a replacement, but don’t have any in stock because they are a colossal bunch of German wankers. Anyway, my plan for today was not to write the bollocks you are now reading, but to in fact bottle 80 pints of beer I have had brewing in the cellar. However, Mrs Dark Juan has taken over the kitchen so it won’t be happening till at least tomorrow as I have to go and babysit later and I’m fucked if I am washing and sterilising 80 beer bottles this evening.

In other news, I went to visit my daughter last week and discovered that she earns significantly more than me at half my age. Make of that what you will, but it appears that wrangling young gentlemen is not the industry I need to be in. Neither is writing entertaining opinion pieces, because I do this free, gratis and for nothing apart from now having one of the most kick ass underground Metal record collections in the world nowadays…

…Which leads us neatly into the reason you’re ploughing through the usual stream of consciousness drivel that prefaces what you have actually come to read about. Today it is Canadian (Montreal-based) Metal pioneers Fall Of Stasis, debut is fizzing angrily away through my headphones. This six-piece list Finntroll, Fleshgod Apocalypse, The Black Dahlia Murder, Unexpect and Ne Obliviscaris as bands whose fans might enjoy their music. I’d agree in the main, especially Fintroll, but there is a major and powerful influence on the music they haven’t mentioned, whose fans would absolutely fucking adore Fall Of Stasis, and that is Cradle Of Filth. Lead vocalist Jessica Dupré’s waspish, wide-eyed scream is very reminiscent of the demented howling of one D. Filth, Esq. and the music reminds this mad bastard of the Vaudeville qualities of Suffolk’s finest Gothic mentalists as well, with the loud / quiet / loud dynamic, Gothic overkill, lush orchestration, classic Metal components and outlandish speed of The Filth all faithfully displayed. 

Where Fall Of Stasis differs from Cradle Of Filth, though, is in the vocals. Although Dupré faithfully can reproduce the range of shrieking of the Tiny Suffolk Terror, the deeper ranges and clean singing are left to guitarist Gabriel Bernier and this is to the benefit of the music, as his rich, deep roar and actual genuine ability at emoting when singing cleanly, complements the howling histrionics of Dupré rather nicely. In fact, the band’s sound is rather more interesting than just a Cradle Of Filth analogue. While there is a major Filth influence, there’s nice little touches of Anathema (mainly from the emotional sound of the clean vocals, and when the band take the foot off the accelerator) and The Blood Divine, as well as the inventiveness of arrangement of The Black Dahlia Murder. 

‘Baron’ is the most Cradle-like track on here, being a full-velocity blast through Black and Death Metal with lush, velvet draped gothic keyboards swirling underneath the music and the vocals closely following the Filth blueprint. ‘Swarm Of Casualties’ introduces a Hardcore chant into the Gothic madness and ‘The Last Waltz’ introduces a carnival-like element during the middle part of the song. This is also where Fall Of Stasis differ from Cradle Of Filth. They write about modern social issues and personal experience, where Dani Filth and Darren White et al would be much more likely to write about the light of the moon, or a fictional vampire, or something equally ethereal. I like both, to be fair.

Although the music is similar to Cradle Of Filth in a big, big way (especially their stuff around ‘Thornography’ and ‘Damnation And A Day’) I find the lyrical component and the arrangements different enough to allow Fall Of Stasis to stand apart and to be judged on merits that have nothing to do with Suffolk’s manglers of Gothic Metal. Now then, I mentioned the “G” word. Regular perusers of the verbose nonsense I write know that Dark Juan is a hide-boundcard carrying Sad Old Goff who was wearing black nail polish before emo’s were even fucking BORN and therefore is generally all over any gothic release on’s release lists like a predatory vampire is after a consumptive, alabaster skinned young girl who shrieks a lot instead of getting the fuck out of Dodge. Quite a lot of the time this is disappointing, because quite a lot of Gothic Metal bands simply don’t have the chops to manage it. Schysma were a notable exception (mainly because they are all bat shit insane), and so are Fall Of Stasis. FOS return speedy Gothic Metal back to being interesting after some time in the doldrums (mainly because only Cradle Of Filth do it well enough to be of interest) and I for one am fucking happy about this. My favourite era of Metal is the early to mid-90’s where Death, Black and Alternative Metal all exploded at once, and Fall Of Stasis exhibit just the kind of sound that floats my black-painted, rusty boat.

However, the production job on the album is also early Cradle of Filth. Remember the sound of “Cruelty And The Beast”? That wispy, cluttered, yet powerless production that seemed to forget that bottom end even existed? Yeah, that. This album would have very much benefitted from a heavier, more bassy sound, as well as a tiny bit more treble. The mid-range is where everything is at and it all becomes a bit muddy at times, normally when the band is at full chat and clarity is lost in favour of clattering. This is only a minor point of order though, because this is a debut album, and it is an astonishingly self-assured one, chock full of gothic splendour, blurred speed and music that will take your eyes out at a hundred metres. The arrangements of the songs are interesting, varied and inventive, the lyrics thought provoking and intelligent and the musicians all absolute masters and mistresses of their craft and once more Dark Juan has been transported to the heavens on frothy purple waves of enthusiasm for yet another new favourite band. It’s still only February and already I have a candidate for the top ten releases of 2022. I love this album that much, and so should you fuckers!!!

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Le système breveté d’évaluation des éclaboussures de sang Dark Juan pour mes amis canadiens-français) awards the first 10/10 of 2022 to these Canadian madmen and women for an album that is contemporary yet brings back memories of when Metal was at the height of its powers, and yet slays with as much ease as a tactical nuclear weapon. Also, I fucking love the idea of a time-eater as a concept (a chronophagist, if you will).

I wanted to say a personal thank you to the band for the extremely professional EPK they sent, complete with listening notes for each song, which really enhanced the aural experience of their album. So here it is. Merci, mes amis!

01. Wilted Forests
02. Fall of Stasis
03. Drunken Howl
04. Baal Arise
05. The Cult
06. Twilight Carnival
07. Baron
08. The Last Waltz 
09. Swarm Of Casualties
10. The Chronophagist (Featuring Viky Boyer)

Jessica Dupré – Lead Vocals
Gabriel Bernier – Lead Guitar / Backing Vocals
Tristan Bergeron-Boucher – Rhythm Guitar
Mathieu Groulx – Bass
Sergei Lecours – Drums
Mélissa Bissonnette – Keyboards


Fall Of Stasis 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.

Bloodywood – Rakshak

Rakshak Album Cover Art

Bloodywood – Rakshak
Release Date: 18/02/22
Running Time:
Review by Beth Jones

If you’ve not come across Bloodywood yet, then you clearly haven’t been paying attention, damn it!! Everyone needs a bit of their music in their lives and there is no day that can’t be infinitely improved with a quick blast of one of their tunes. For those who haven’t heard them, they are a Folk Metal band from India, who specialise in combining traditional Indian instruments such as the percussive Dhol and the single-stringed Tumbi, with absolutely blistering and hard hitting Modern Metal. And by gum do they do it well.

Their new offering “Rakshak” is centred around a theme of healing, in a variety of forms. The word ‘rakshak’ is Hindi for ‘protector’ or ‘guardian’ and the band state that their goal with this album is to make a positive impact on people’s lives. 

‘Gaddaar’ Kicks off the album. It’s a hellishly catchy number combining familiar Bhangra sounds with some absolutely punishing Metal riffs and violent vocals. It’s one of the most exciting album openers I’ve heard in a while to be honest. It’s impossible not to move to it. There’s a section of Hindi chanting in it too, which flows seamlessly back into the brutal vocals of Jayant Bhadula. He has one hell of a set of pipes! 

There are some great Rap Metal vocal sections through Bloodywood’s music too, provided by Raoul Kerr – and in these areas, their sound becomes almost akin to Linkin Park, but heavier. ‘Aaj’ has a great example of this, as does ‘Zanjeero Se’, which also takes on a very Modern Metal feel through the guitar work, and the overdriven tones. It’s bloody clever stuff.

Another aspect of their music is mournful flute solos, which appear at various points throughout the album. They really shine on ‘Jee Veerey’ and add a haunting depth to this track in particular. It’s like a weird juxtaposition of the intense, in your face Modern Metal sounds and the calming Traditional Folk sounds, which really works outstandingly well. 

And it really is a combination of all these sounds that make up Bloodywood, and this album. Every track is attacked with punch and hi-voltage energy, but delicately interwoven with uplifting Folk. My Favourite track is ‘Dana-Dan’. It’s intricate, with a whole ton of rhythms changes between sections, it’s sonically massive and down-right dirty as. This could be complete carnage at a live show. There would be some serious slamming going on. I LOVE IT!!

Bloodywood are by far one of the most exciting bands around at the moment. They are making more and more of a name for themselves globally, and rightly so, because they’re fresh, and so very passionate about what they do, which is just a great thing to see. This album needs to be a mainstay on your playlists.  

‘Aaj’ Official Video

01. Gaddaar
02. Aaj
03. Zanjeero Se
04. Machi Bhasad
05. Dana-Dan
06. Jee Veerey
07. Endurant
08. Yaad
09. BSDK.exe
10. Chakh Le

Karan Katiyar – Guitar, Flute, Percussion, Composition, Production
Raoul Kerr – Rap Vocals
Jayant Bhadula – Aggressive Vocals


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