Rioghan – Different Kinds Of Losses

Different Kinds Of Losses Album Cover Art

Rioghan – Different Kinds Of Losses
Inverse Records
Release Date: 09/12/22
Running Time: 49:10
Review by Laura Barnes 
9/10

It is to my shame that I hadn’t heard of Rioghan prior to her appearing in Ever Metal’s inbox. Finnish songwriter and poet Rioghan Darcy fuses Gothic Rock, Folk, and Alternative Metal in a way that is right up my street. The sound she achieves through this fusion is one that is contemporary and progressive, deserving of a place beside similar genre fusing pros such as Cellar Darling, Sylvaine and Euphrosyne. 

“Different Kinds Of Losses” opens with teardrop-like keyboards, and Rioghan making a quiet yet decisive declaration: “I am rain / creeping on your window”. The verse continues in this vein, gradually introducing guitars before exploding into a heavy, stormy, Katatonia-like chorus followed by a bluesy guitar solo. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, but lucky for Rioghan, she doesn’t need one. ‘Sight’ is a strong song that works as a sneak-peak trailer for the reset of “Different Kinds Of Losses”. If you liked that, then the introspective and atmospheric journey that Rioghan is about to take you on is one you’ll be grateful for. 

For the most part, Rioghan’s touch is a gentle one. Even with the heavy instrumentals on tracks like ‘Breath’ and ‘Bruises’, her expertly controlled vocals provide a compelling contrast. As a result, the album achieves a certain psychological quality, creating the impression of an ordinary human being grappling with emotions far larger and wilder than anything they’ve ever felt before. This aspect of the album especially shines through on ‘Innocence’, a stellar song about enacting justice on your own terms, for your own sake. It’s an extremely powerful song that will undoubtedly resonate with people who are struggling in the aftermath of hurt. ‘Home’ is another album highlight – the moody verses build up beautifully towards an almost poppy chorus that you can easily belt out with your ist in the air. If “Different Kinds Of Losses” was a live show, ‘Home’ is the song they’d sing for the encore.

All in all, Rioghan is a difficult artist to categorise. The doominess of bands like Oceans of Slumber fuses with the electronic elements of Banshee, yet the music still remains catchy and accessible. The genreless sound of “Different Kinds Of Losses” means that this album will reach and touch audiences from all sectors of the music world. A very exciting debut! 

TRACKLISTING:
01. Sight
02. Promises
03. Breath
04. Home
05. Bruises
06. Time
07. Innocence
08. Reflection
09. Lights
10. Summer

LINE-UP:
Rioghan Darcy – Vocals
Teemu Liekkala – Guitars, Bass, Keys
Valtteri Revonkorpi – Drums 
Marko Hautamäki – Cello
Tony Kaikkonen – Harmonica

LINKS:

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

EMQ’s with JOY SHANNON AND THE BEAUTY MARKS

Joy Shannon & The Beauty Marks Logo

EMQ’s with JOY SHANNON AND THE BEAUTY MARKS

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Los Angeles, California based Celtic Pagan Dark Folk Band, Joy Shannon And The Beauty Marks. Huge thanks to Joy Shannon 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?

My name is Joy Shannon and I play Irish or Celtic harp and Cello and sing. I have written music since was a child but started writing and recording seriously when I was about 18 years old.

How did you come up with your band name?

I first began performing just under my own name, but once I started adding band members, I thought we should add a backing band name for fun. I have been criticized for how verbose it can be, but I blame it on being Irish…we have never been short on words. The name the Beauty Marks comes from my fascination with the history of the 17th century witch trials. I read about how people could be accused of being witches if they possessed birth marks, or what we today could call beauty marks, on their bodies. So thought, I would call my band the beauty marks, to own that we would all be accused witches if we lived back then.

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

I live in Los Angeles at the moment, and most of my bandmates live here too, but one of my singers lives in Oakland, CA. The music scene has been very deeply impacted by Covid, of course, but typically, there are interesting shows happening in LA, San Francisco, Oakland and into Oregon and Washington state that we like to participate in.

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

Our latest full-length album release is called “The Cave”. The Cave” is my seventh studio album and was recorded at Lava Studios in Copenhagen with producer Christopher Juul, best known for his work with the Nordic folk band, Heilung. The cover art was designed by the UK based illustrator Adrian Baxter, known for his intricate artwork in the metal genre.

While I previously released albums with my Celtic folk band Joy Shannon and the Beauty Marks”, I chose to record this album alone, in step with the theme of the solitary spiritual experience that inspired this conceptual album.

The Cave” was inspired by a revelatory spiritual experience in a cave on the island of Crete, one that bears evidence of ritualistic use from 30,000 years ago. As I walked into the cave, its high ceiling opened up and the cooing of pigeons perched high in the rocks created an echoing symphony of rhythmic coos, which sounded like a heartbeat. With its red rock walls and distinct smell of iron, the cave felt like a living thing – the very womb of the earth itself. In the flickering light and dancing shadows, I felt the sense of the ancestors walking amongst us with their timeless wisdom.

After this experience, I began to research the use of caves in ancient Irish rituals and beyond. This journey led me to create a multilayered album that explores the mythologies of ancient peoples, as well as the stories we tell ourselves within our own personal caves.

While the album was written and recorded in late 2019, its themes of meditation in solitude and facing fears alone in the darkness of a cave, felt relevant in the midst of the isolation during the quarantine of the global pandemic. It is my hope that my album may offer solace and comfort, during these challenging times.

‘Síonnan’ – (Audio)

Who have been your greatest influences?

I cannot remember what came first, but when I was 12, I came across both Nick Cave and The Birthday Party, and Gavin Friday and The Virgin Prunes. Both Nick Cave and Gavin Friday and the lyrical and emotional content of their music set me on the right road for me to explore musical genres that would inspire me to this day.

What first got you into music?

I lived in this row of town houses when I was a small child and I could hear my neighbours play music through the walls. I have a very early memory of hearing “The Joshua Tree” album by U2, which came out when I was 5 years old, being played very loud by my next-door neighbours. I remember listening through the wall to the bass and the howling sounds of the vocals and thinking to myself- whatever THAT is…I want to do that.

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

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, Gavin Friday, and Rome.

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

I would love to play the Midgardsblot Festival in Norway. I love playing music at sacred ancient sites like that ancient Iron Age burial site.

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

Some lovely witches in New Orleans wrote me a letter that they use my song, ‘Hecate’ in one of their rituals. That’s a lovely gift to think that my song is used in a spiritual way.

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

I hope that my music helps make my listeners feel like they are not alone in their places of spiritual and emotional healing. I write my music from some of the darkest and loneliest places in my own heart…the place in my heart that longs to connect to spiritual wisdom of my ancient ancestors and bring healing to this troubled earth in some way. I long to reconnect to the indigenous spirituality of my ancient Irish ancestors, whose spiritual lineage was broken through recent history. I write songs about my journey of healing this ancestral wound and I hope somehow my music has magic in it that finds the ears that are supposed to hear it.

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

Oscar Wilde…he was a rock star in his own way…or perhaps the ancient Irish god Lugh who was said to have been the ultimate harpist.

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

I love everything about the creative spark that inspires me to write music. When I hear a song in my heart and mind and I translate it into my fingers through my harp and into words through my voice, it’s truly like some sort of magic. I love recording and performing for various reasons too, but I do not enjoy promoting myself. It’s extremely hard for me to tell people they should listen to my music, which is why I always need help with that part of putting an album out. I am actually quite shy when I am not singing or playing my harp.

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

It’s a difficult thing – I love that music is accessible to hear for the ideas, on one hand, but I hate that many musicians do not get paid a living wage.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Let Love In” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

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

Vinyl. I love seeing the art so large… though I have amazing memories pouring over the tiny lyrics in some of the first CD’s I was buying as a kid though.

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

I have really enjoyed playing shows at the “Thirst for Light”, or now called “Cascadian Litha”, summer music festival in Washington state. It’s in the Cascadian forest up there and they set up stages amongst these huge trees. It’s just so inspiring to hear your own music bouncing off these ancient giant trees. I have always felt like I was playing a show in the forests of Lothlorien when I was there.

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

I am also a tattoo artist, who specializes in Celtic and Nordic mythological artwork, so I split my time doing both. When I have toured, I booked tattoos along the way in various cities. For example, when I recorded my album in Copenhagen last year, I also tattooed there at Kunsten På Kroppen. I actually met the producer of my new album through my tattoo connections.

I met the incredible Nordic style tattooer, Kai Uwe Faust, about 5 years ago at a tattoo convention in Florence, Italy. We became friends and I made it a goal to tattoo at his shop one day. When I did, I also played a music show there and he told me he wanted me to meet his producer friend Christopher Juul and his partner Maria Franz, who he was starting to record music with. The project that Kai, Christopher and Maria were recording became the incredible band Heilung. Kai said, you should record with Christopher, because I think he would really understand your sound. I felt he was right, but at that time (2017), I had just put out my last album, “Aes Sídhe”, and was not ready to start anything new yet. But when the time came to work on this new album “The Cave”, it was such a dream to work with Christopher Juul. But I would not have connected to him if it wasn’t for my tattooing work.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Oscar Wilde, Grace O’Malley, JRR Tolkien, Maud Gonne, Queen Maeve

What’s next for the band?

I hope some wonderful things…despite the challenges of the world right now.

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

www.joyshannonandthebeautymarks.com/
www.facebook.com/JoyShannonandtheBeautyMarks
www.instagram.com/joyshannon/
www.joyshannonandthebeautymarks.bandcamp.com/
www.youtube.com/user/joyshannon

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Lembas bread

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

Thank you so much for speaking to me! Go raibh maith agat!

Joy Shannon 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.

EMQ’s with PENANCEVILLE

EMQ’s with PENANCEVILLE

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Deepest, Darkest Essex, UK based Heavy Western band Penanceville. Huge thanks to guitarist/vocalist Rusty 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?

Rusty. Guitar and vocals. Driver of the Winnebago.

How the band came to be?

Preacher Rusty emerged from the wilderness, the scrapped pages of the book of grudges in his bloody right fist. He pointed to the ground, and on that very spot Penanceville came into being.

How did you come up with your band name?

It’s the place all the rotten people gravitate to.

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

We’re from the Deep South. Of Essex…

The band is currently championing a genre of 1 band. It’s been dubbed Heavy Western.

It’s stuck and works as a quick explanation of what we do.

Americana mixed with Rock, I guess.

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

We’ve released 4 singles. We’re in all the usual online places. Spotify, iTunes, YouTube – blah blah blah.

The latest single is ‘The Body’. It’s written in the tradition of a good old-fashioned murder ballad.

‘The Body’ (Lyric Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Musically? – Raised on stuff like Skynyrd, Stones, A lot of Blues- The Kings. Johnny Winter.

Then got into Metal and found my way into Americana and bluegrass.

What first got you into music?

The Muppets. Top of the Pops. And my parents always had music on. Motown from my mum and rock and blues from dad.

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

Punch Brothers. They are on another level as players and writers.

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

Pink Pop because it’s always embraced so many different bands and genres.

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

Drugs and drawings of the band.

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

I am in no position to be giving out advice!

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

That’s a real tough one. Maybe Tom Petty as the world lost him too soon and I feel like he wasn’t done being great.

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

Creating and playing live are the 2 things you can’t beat.

Logistics of getting all the maniacs in the band into the same place at the same time.

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

That it supported new artists better. But that’s a long conversation.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Just one?! I’ll go with Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Second Helping” as it’s a good sound track for the good weather we’ve been having recently.

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

Vinyl – Looks great and is great, it’s encouraging people to buy music. Cassettes are pretty crappy, but hold a special place in my heart. Mix tapes and my Walkman.

CD’s are a bit boring. And Downloads are convenient, I guess.

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

With this band we played a few cool festivals last year and played a great one at the Railway in Southend. We were just on it that night.

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

Learning to be a musician.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

(Rick Here – This one wasn’t answered so I don’t know if it was a mistake, refusal or that there just isn’t anyone Rusty would invite!!)

What’s next for the band?

Writing new tunes and waiting for the world to open up.

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

www.open.spotify.com/artist/7bAsGBKx890ssmP4pVYqs6
www.facebook.com/penanceville/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCOeALlAG_sHpBvAJRWsX0HQ

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Cakes. Clue’s in the name. Plus, Stephen Fry told me so.

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

Check us out if you want to hear something a bit different.

Photo by Film Free Photography

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.

Mike West – The Next Life

Mike West – The Next Life
Self-Released
Release Date: 07/08/2020
Running Time: 33:27
Review by Beth Jones
7/10

We first came across Mike West at our favourite haunt, Mcleans Pentre, and he instantly became a hit with me. His southern style acoustic jams conjure images of chilling round a campfire as the sun sets. And now we can all enjoy the sultry tones of his gravelly pipes from the comfort of our own homes, with “The Next Life” – his debut full length album! You can’t beat a bit of country folk/blues, can you? The tormented, Jack Daniels fuelled ramblings of the jaded, set to music, has long been a favourite of many a music fan, and I’m no exception! When listening to Mike, you’d be forgiven for thinking that he was a pure deep south cowboy, come across the pond to serenade us with ramblings penned on his back porch. But he’s not, he’s actually from Rock Ferry up on the Wirral!

“The Next Life” is packed full of all the bluesy goodness that I would expect from Mike, and has a few tracks that were my favourites live, too! It starts with the title track, which is a lilting, folk inspired tune. The addition of slide and violin here really enhances the sound, and the track travels through tempo changes which keep it interesting. And, of course, on top of it all sits Mike’s unmistakable vocals. They’re reminiscent of Tom Waits, and this pleases me greatly!

The album continues in a similar lamenting style, with Mike’s lyrical poetry featuring strongly throughout. This is one of his strongest points – his word smithery creates a wonderful storytelling element, which is both heartfelt and thought provoking. This is displayed perfectly in track 3, ‘What If?’.

With most tracks recorded in a minor key, the melancholy air of this album is tangible, but not in a bad way. It takes me back to my days playing in a folk band, where the best songs were always in a minor key! That said, I think my favourite track on the album is ‘For Them’, which is actually in a major key! However, it doesn’t lose any of it’s storytelling ability, and is full of reflection upon life, which is Mike’s forte.

The production of this album is also very well done. Recorded at Kingwood Studios in Liverpool, it has the effect of a live performance, which somehow adds to the impact of the music. And more importantly, while the addition of other instruments does fill out the sound, nothing overpowers Mike’s guitar and vocals, which are the stars of the show.

Because of Mike’s unique vocal style, “The Next Life” might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it’s a very well created debut full-length, of which he should be extremely proud. There’s nowhere to hide when playing acoustically and creating a set of songs that are musically sound, deep and thoughtful, but also able to captivate an audience, is a difficult thing to master. With this album, Mike West has done them all for me, and I look forward to seeing where he takes things to next, as I think he has really found himself, and now has a lot more to give.

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Next Life
02. Work On
03. What If?
04. Company I Keep
05. Away I Go
06. Father to Son
07. Rock Ferry
08. For Them
09. No Grave

LINE-UP:
Mike West – Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica and Bass
Paul Miceli-Fagrell – Harmonica, Recording and Mixing
Amy Chalmers – Violin
Travis Egnor – Pedal Steel, Slide Guitar

LINKS:
www.mike333west.com/
www.mikewest333.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/mikewest333/
www.instagram.com/mike333west/
www.twitter.com/Mike333West
www.open.spotify.com/artist/4Pd2PAm9bznnxQLxQdQQ5W
www.youtube.com/channel/UCgNLsH3duyQg_VH_qlK9kpQ

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.

EMQ’s with Turkey Vulture

Logo

EMQ’s with Turkey Vulture

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Southern Connecticut based Metal/Punk/Folk duo Turkey Vulture ! Huge thanks to Jessie May 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?
Hi Ever Metal, thanks for talking with us! My name is Jessie and I play guitar and sing for Turkey Vulture, and also recorded the bass for our singles. The drummer Jim Clegg and I started this band in the winter of 2018 — but we have played together in different local outfits for more than a decade. So this is the latest project!
How did you come up with your band name?
I love turkey vultures for some reason. You see them all over the place where we’re from. I joked for years about starting a band called “Turkey Vulture” and eventually the joke became a reality.
What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?
We’re from Connecticut, which is in the northeast region of the United States. There is an active local metal scene here, and some notable metal bands have come out of our small state — like Liege Lord, Fates Warning, and Hatebreed to name a few.
What is your latest release?
We are releasing a two-track single on June 28th, 2019 — an original titled “Boxer” and a cover of the Dolly Parton’s classic “Jolene”. We’re then hoping to record an EP this summer.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Both Jim and I enjoy a lot of different genres of music. For this band, folk music has been a conceptual influence on my end. Jim listens to a lot of punk and Metallica, which definitely comes through in his drumming.
What first got you into music?
I don’t know, I’ve been doing some sort of music since elementary school. Hearing the strings teacher play a bluegrass riff on the violin when I was eight made me want to play the violin — which was short lived, but got me into string instruments. I shifted over to cello and bass some time in middle school (a lot less ear-splitting when you’re learning how to play) and the rest is history!
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Brandi Carlile or the Indigo Girls, and write some kind of fuzz rock song with them.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Maryland Doomfest!!!! Or Psycho Las Vegas. Or the bar down the street, what the hell!
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Haha, we don’t have fans yet. But related to another band I’m in that has like three fans, one time a dude gave me some wampum he made himself — that was pretty cool.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
“Be our fan.”
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Robert Johnson. He never got to see his own musical legacy.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love writing songs and connecting with people — music creates a common ground where one wouldn’t otherwise exist. But the older I get, the less I like sending endless emails and texts to arrange local shows. I think the future might be just recording and putting the songs online, and just playing a couple shows a year.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I would want to go back to a time when a live band was the standard entertainment. My dad told me that when he was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, every neighbourhood had a couple of garage bands that would play parties and school dances and stuff. Now that idea seems so foreign!
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Thin Lizzy – “Live And Dangerous”.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs or Downloads?
I don’t think I’ve had a device with a cassette player in twenty years (ten for my car), so cassettes are out. And vinyl has the best sound and artwork, but I don’t own a record player and don’t see that changing anytime in the near future lol. So I’m a CD and download girl myself — I download a lot of music from bandcamp and burn it onto CDs, which I listen to in the car.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Well, I’m not a musician by day — I’m an elementary school librarian. So while I’m not doing music, I’m helping kids check out Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and telling them to “use walking feet” as opposed to sprinting everywhere they need to go. It’s not a bad gig.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Curtis Dewar and his wife, Matt Bacon (he doesn’t get a plus one), Nate Carson, and my friends Baldwin and Carrie. Jim would be my plus-one, so I guess that’s seven! But I’m a librarian and not a math teacher, so who’s counting….
What’s next for the band?
We’re going to record a couple more songs and play some gigs this summer. Hopefully people will dig what we’re putting out there and we can build a regional audience. I’d also like to put out a split EP at some point — never done that before, and I think it would be fun to collaborate with another band.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
We are on Facebook, Instagram, and bandcamp right now:
https://www.facebook.com/turkeyvultureband/
https://www.instagram.com/turkeyvultureband/
https://turkeyvulture.bandcamp.com/releases
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I don’t know what those are.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank YOU again for taking the time to include us on your site! We appreciate you for helping a new band get the word out.
 
Turkey Vulture Photo
 
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 both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.