M2TM Manchester 2023, Heat 2

M2TM Manchester 2023 Heat 2 poster

M2TM Manchester 2023, Heat 2 – Divinitas, The Machinist, Visitor and Archetype 
The Rebellion, Manchester 
Live Review by Rob Sutton

After the incredibly tough Heat 1, I was excited to see what Heat 2 had to offer, especially as 3 of the 4 bands were new to me. So I am not going to blabber on and I’ll dive straight into it.

First up was newcomers Divinitas who I had tried to research beforehand but drew a blank. I then found out that these guys actually don’t have a Facebook so my efforts were pointless. In fact, this was only their second gig and from the awkward start to their set where it felt like they had no idea who was taking the lead to kick things off and a very long intro, it felt like their second gig. But, as the set went on things really did start to pick up, the riffs really did shine and then the lead sections cut through beautifully adding a fantastic layer to their metalcore sound. Heck, they even threw in a breakdown or 2 which absolutely hit the spot. Everything became tight and well oiled after the first song and was an absolute pleasure to watch. Now with these guys being instrumental there was minimal crowd engagement from them which to me didn’t matter, I would have cut it out completely and let the music shine through. This is where the question lies, do Divinitas need a vocalist? Well yes and no, yes as it will really work in the metalcore scene but you would need a really stunning vocalist to match them, and they would risk becoming ‘yet another metalcore band’ and no because they actually work really well as an instrumental group. To summarise, this was an impressive set once it kicked in and it’s well worth keeping an eye on these guys!

(No Facebook)

Things take a darker turn as industrial black/death outfit The Machinist hit the stage and right off these guys kick in with their Anaal Nathrakh style. Now straight off these guys don’t have a drummer but this actually doesn’t matter too much as the style does lean towards a more electric sound and fits perfectly. The only issue is that the drum track doesn’t seem to be of the best quality, most notably when it came to the snare rolls which just sounded messy and distorted. The backing tracks in general didn’t seem to have been mixed very well on the night and thus lost a lot of their impact and it did kill their ambience. Luckily the guitars are where The Machinist shine as the lead tremolo picking is absolutely sublime and the sheer speed these guys are playing at is just mesmerising. There is also a lot of energy on stage with plenty of movement from both the vocalists. I do love the styles used by both vocalists but I’m not sure the sound they’re going for needs 2 vocalists as they were very similar in style. The fact the band went seamlessly from one song to another really did keep the energy throughout the set, but for me was let down by trying to engage with the crowd. In this case I think less is more when it comes to engagement. Now, I was really looking forward to these guys as they are a unique sound in the underground scene right now but with the sound issues and the meh backing track it actually fell a bit flat.


For the first time tonight we have a full band in the shape of Visitor, straight away you can tell these guys have brought a crowd and whip them into a thrashy craze. Their presence on stage is something that is unmatched this evening and they really do dominate the stage. I really dig the thrashy parts in their set, the shouts work, the pacing is brilliant and the drums are blistering. There are also some cheeky breakdowns thrown in the mix which are perfect for waking up the next day with whiplash. Now sadly when the thrash side stops we get a metalcore side with lots of clean singing… Now, I have to be honest, the singing really isn’t great. Yes, it’s cool that it’s the drummer using a Britney Spears mic but God it’s flat, lacks power and is just whiney. Saying that the frontman’s singing isn’t much better and suffers with similar issues. Being honest because of the singing I couldn’t enjoy this set as much as I wanted to, saying that I’m 100% loving the thrashy breakdowns and the stage show they did put on.


Finally we go back to an instrumental band in the shape of Archetype, who I had actually seen the night before in Rhyl, so I had a good idea what to expect. What can you expect from Archetype? Well tonight’s set was fairly tight but still had the odd missed note or two but I wouldn’t say it was anything too alarming and they did utilise the whole stage really well. Archetype are showmen and this shows tonight as their professionalism really shines through. Honestly their music is very interesting and chops and changes throughout the show, though I did ask myself, is this just trying to be clever for clever sake or is this actually something I would enjoy? Erm for me this is maybe just a bit clever and show offish which kind of works, but I can’t help but feel that this is just Zebedy without vocals. That’s no bad thing as I enjoy Zebedy a lot, and I sort of enjoy Archetype too and this set was good and did tick all the boxes so in terms of this competition and this was probably the strongest on the night.


So last week I mentioned the lighting and despite my previous review not being published before the event the lighting was better tonight on the whole. Though it didn’t quite work for the Machinist. So, in terms of the results, this was a slightly weaker heat than the last one in my opinion but Visitor went through on crowd and Archetype on the judges. Both were good enough to go through in my opinion but Divinitas have certainly made a new fan tonight!




Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton 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.

M2TM Manchester 2023, Heat 1

M2TM Manchester 2023 Heat 1 Poster

M2TM Manchester 2023, Heat 1 – Dekaytah, The Island, Wrath of Man & Blacklist
The Rebellion , Manchester
Review by Rob Sutton

It feels like only yesterday that Manchester’s final was won by Portrayal Of Ruinn but here we are back for another year and with what looks like the toughest competition to date. 


Dekaytah are a fairly new band on the scene, but one which I personally shared the stage with at the tail end of 2022 and they really impressed me then – so I was excited to see what a couple of months had done for them. Firstly, I did miss a song due to well traffic and bloody road works, but they did kick the competition off in fine style, bags of energy on stage and a cracking mix of different subgenres. Everything from Hatebreed to Lamb of God and hints of Metalcore in there as well. This all blended perfectly together, and the crowd absolutely loved it firing off into pits throughout the set. Their musicianship was pretty spot on as well, with the only niggle I could find was the actual singing. It wasn’t great in fairness, but the screams and shouts did make up for this. Honestly Dekaytah set the bar really high not only for the night but for the whole competition. A really impressive start.


The Island 

A complete change of pace in The Island was up next and they took things down a more Hard Rock route. For me the first song took way too long to kick in and when it did really lacked punch, which was a shame as in terms of performance it was really tight and had a good blend of influences which reminded me off Tool crossed with Placebo. Once the set kicked in, they really did turn up the energy most notably when the front man got rid of the guitar and gave it some beans, and then more so with the solos cutting through beautifully. Now his voice again didn’t quite work. The shouts were good and fitted the genre well, but the singing was off key and dare I say it, a bit drab. He did however make up for this with the ‘nice guy’ persona on stage, which I really liked as it was a complete change to the aggressive hyper front men in Metal. Although The Island weren’t my cup of tea, they were good and I really did enjoy the last song, but I think nerves got the better of them.


Wrath of Man 

Another band that have been well and truly on my radar for the past few years is Wrath of Man. Now these guys have been about for a while and with two members also in All Consumed, you would expect a certain level of professionalism. This is exactly what we got, after the slight delay with the backing track they bounce on stage hyping the crowd and kick straight in with a heavy as fuck Death Metal tune. Again, the crowd instantly start pitting, headbanging and well the usual Metal things. The riffs on display here are absolutely brutal, a good cross between Groove and Death, with a slight hint of Thrash. Couple this with some blistering drums and a snare that echoes in your ears for the next few days, and you get the idea just how intense these guys were. The vocal ranges used were also pretty damn sweet with the lows being gut wrenching and the highs and shouts slotting in just the right places, but again the singing did nothing to me. I’d prefer just the growls and screaming if I’m honest. Nevertheless, this was an incredibly slick and professional performance and raised the bar even higher.



Last up was Blackpool thrashers Blacklist, another band that have been on my radar for a fair few years. These guys also aren’t short of experience, and it shows. Despite another issue with what I think was an intro track they bounced on stage hyping the crowd and immediately kicked into… well Thrash. To me this is what Blacklist are, ticking every box when it comes to Thrash Metal and their performance. It was tight, energetic, epic solos, thundering bass and a crowd going mental. Yes, pits throughout once again with a huge wall of death and even a slow dance pit. I honestly loved this set and that’s coming from someone who isn’t into Thrash, but it did everything that you would want from a show. I really couldn’t find any fault with them.


For me three bands deserved to go through and it was a tough one to call, but Dekaytah went through on crowd vote – which didn’t surprise me as they seemingly brought most of the crowd but still had done enough to warrant a judges vote too. Wrath of Man went through on the judges views, which I can also agree on. Blacklist definitely should be in the hunt for a wildcard if there is one though.

OK now I have to rant. Lighting… for Dekaytah there was basically nothing going on just a pre-set, The Island got some fancy bits throughout, and Wrath of Man got the same treatment but then Blacklist had nothing until the last song. This is a competition and lighting places a huge part in how an audience looks at a band. In the interest of fairness either put a pre-set and leave it for every band or go nuts for every band, not as and when you feel like it. Also please check levels for backing tracks. Speaking to the bands using them for intro’s, it transpired that these weren’t checked during their line check and left a band stood side of stage in silence waiting, I wouldn’t mind but these were thirty-minute changeovers, so there really is no excuse.

Aside from that this was a well attended and promoted show and has set the standard for the rest of the heats.




Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton 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.

Thrashatouille, Pariah and Betray The Throne – The Blind Pig, Sowerby Bridge

Thrashatouille, Pariah and Betray The Throne Poster

Thrashatouille, Pariah and Betray The Throne
The Blind Pig, Sowerby Bridge
Review by Dark Juan

Hello, ladies, gentlemen and people of all other genders. It is I, Dark Juan, and in a tumultuous divergence of form (mainly because I am totally misanthropic and suffer considerable social anxiety), I, in the august company of Mrs Dark Juan, actually ventured out of Dark Juan Terrace on a SATYRDAY (sic) no less – this for two reasons. Firstly, The Blind Pig is a venue well known to Mrs Dark Juan and myself, because we have been friends with Julie, the absolutely delightful landlady, for many years, and because Mrs Dark Juan has made another “wonderful” creation for her to be placed in the venue. This was a giant pig’s head that Mrs Dark Juan had mounted on a baroque frame. Nothing unusual there you might think? 

Oh no. Oh, no, no, no, no!

Mrs Dark Juan has somehow contrived to make the pig’s head both terrifying AND also like it has been flayed, and now it is VERY angry and hell-bent on revenge. Unsurprisingly, Mrs Dark Juan thinks it is “cute”, Julie fucking loves it and stuck it on the wall next to the performance area between bands. One might think that the baleful glare of a pissed off, flayed pig monster would wonderfully focus the performances of the bands, wouldn’t one? Thankfully, your correspondent was there to report on the proceedings.

First to pass under the critical observation of Dark Juan is Thrashatouille, the food-based Thrash Metal band (sans bassist for this gig because the real world intervened and he had to go to work) fronted by fellow Ever-Metal.com alumnus and hyperactive metal pixie™ Rob Sutton, the Pastry Chef, who was a delightful young gentleman to meet, even if there was a raised eyebrow from the cake-fucking homunculus when a large and already inebriated beardy weirdy lurched menacingly towards him to say hello. Nevertheless, the band kicked off a fine evening of metal and shenanigans with their most original blend of fast thrashing and food-based puns. Even Mrs Dark Juan, who is notoriously hard to please, was charmed by the antics of Thrashatouille and their pint-sized fizzing firebomb of a frontman within two songs, but as a baker, she was utterly horrified and disgusted by the antics described in ‘Red Velvet Romance’, where the protagonist really LOVES cake and chooses to express his love of baked treats in a… priapic fashion. Our cheerful little golem of a frontman then smeared cake upon his face whilst roaring and howling like he had an entire regiment of large and well-endowed dragoons rampaging up his chutney ferret and then a punter more pissed than Dark Juan licked it from Rob’s salty sweet face… 

Not to mention the famed inflatable “DONUT!” made an appearance and a young chap in the audience came perilously close to being brained on the ceiling when surfing with it to the soundtrack being provided by ‘Maccies Monday’. All in all, a bit of a blinder of a show (as Dark Juan said in a most inebriated fashion to the band’s guitarist after the show without actually having twigged to the fact that said fine gentleman is visually impaired. This caused much hilarity and Dark Juan was thoroughly chastened but got a hug anyway) played by a band who were frankly the perfect way to start a Saturday night of Metal in a breezy and cold Yorkshire. And they won a fan in Mrs Dark Juan, which is not an easy thing to do. Top marks for a cracking set, full of giggles and moshing in equal measure.


Next up were Pariah, who it has to be said, left Dark Juan a bit cold. Their Machine Head-esque Thrashamania was perfectly acceptable, but I think the boys were on to a loser in a big way having to follow the bunch of baked goods violators before them. Pariah were a bit too serious after all the shenanigans and this was to their detriment. The rest of the crowd lapped up their speedy, aggressive Metal in an appreciative fashion though, so my being a bit disinterested could just have been me being a bit of a cockwomble and busily bothering Rob for a Thrashatouille t-shirt. Plus, Mrs Dark Juan had moved on to the Jack and cokes at this point and was requiring increasingly careful wrangling. Saying that, though, the lead singer playing an Explorer? Top marks for Metal guitar loveliness right there. Pariah were tighter than a gnat’s arse throughout their set and were perfectly approachable folks afterwards when faced with a horribly pissed Dark Juan trying to make friends with them. A pissed Dark Juan on a full-scale charm offensive is something to both behold and absolutely shit yourself at…

In short, Pariah are a very good band who play music that isn’t entirely to Dark Juan’s taste. This does not mean that they are not worthy of your attention.


Now, the headliners. Betray the fucking Throne. Not having to come to my attention before, I had no preconceptions of what they would sound like and their particular brand of sonic fury was fucking intoxicating! An absolutely brutal blend of UK Hardcore and the heaviest of Metal combine to bring you the aural experience of being trampled by a large and angry herd of socially conscious elephants chasing a bunch of neo-Nazis whilst all wired on metric fucktons of cocaine. The Blind Pig erupted! There was an instant pit formation, bodies bouncing any which fucking way and a wall of death – sad to relate, but your correspondent went down like a sack of fucking spuds on a wet patch, although the vocalist, an excellent and august gentleman, rescued Dark Juan’s hat and plonked it back on his head for him. Even Mrs Dark Juan, who is now a vastly experienced teenager, got her fighting blood up and rampaged into the pit for a bit of good old-fashioned violence and was slinging bodies all over the fucking shop. 

Betray The Throne know how to play a fucking SHOW. Rampant, chest-beating aggression, power, breakdowns and beatdowns were the order of the day and their punishing, pugilistic brand of UK Hardcore Metal was just, well, fucking sublime for this mouldy old twat having ventured out for the evening. They were also fucking lovely people to chat to after. Their set was over all too fast, so two achy old farts repaired to the smoking area to go and terrorise the bands afterwards with good old Yorkshire friendliness. Having extracted a hug from the frankly terrifying (but otherwise really most  charming) bass player from Betray the Throne and having told Rob and Thrashatouille they can crash at the soon-to-be-acquired Chez Dark Juan at the other end of the road from The Blind Pig (Mrs Dark Juan has warned him that she will not be accepting any baked goods from him in case he has bonked them) we retired into the rainy night and the Schwerer Gothikpanzer and home.


A fucking brilliant night!



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.

Karma’s Puppet W/Severenth, Recall the Remains, Portrayal of Ruinn

Karma's Puppet Poster

Karma’s Puppet
W/Severenth, Recall the Remains, Portrayal of Ruinn
The County Bar Chesterfield
Review by Rob Sutton

Returning to The County Rock Bar in Chesterfield is something I have wanted to do since their M2TM final, not just for the stunning scenery on the drive there but because this is a cracking venue. This time it was made even better as the prices seemed cheaper (although there was an increase during the night), the venue was even cleaner than last time and the sound tech was spot on for every band! So, this gig had been put together by Bloodstock winners Karma’s Puppet and they had invited other winners from around the country, all bands I have reviewed before making this fairly easy for me.

First up was Manchester’s Deathcore mob Portrayal Of Ruinn a band who have probably had the most reviews from me. This is an odd one for me as I have never seen them open a gig before though I must say they fill this role just as well as they do other slots. Their energy on stage doesn’t lack and there is plenty of headbanging throughout. Calvin (vocals) is pretty spot on with his delivery even showing of a pig squeal which was probably the best I’ve heard from him. In fairness though they did tonight what Portrayal do, engage the crowd, play breakdowns, get everyone involved and have a good time. They did however bring out one of their newer pieces ‘Echo Chamber’, which still keeps their sound but works as a slight evolution of what they already have. Saying that though, I can’t remember hearing a ‘bleugh.’ If there wasn’t one I’m not complaining as it does get a little repetitive during their sets. So, POR as openers, yep it works, they played fantastically, the crowd loved them and I really enjoyed their set. A great start to the show.


Recall the Remains begin the Metalcore invasion of the night and straight off these guys mean business! Jacob fully demands the crowd’s attention, as he always does and then keeps them in the palm of his hand. His vocals tonight are again on point with each of his gutturals and his highs sitting perfectly (though I heard him do some disgusting noises during sound check that I didn’t hear during their set… is this on the album?). 

For the second time tonight, we have a band showing off a new song and this one is a belter! The riffs really shine through and their whole sound just feels heavier than usual. I also noticed throughout Recall the Remains set that there were a few more backing tracks within their songs, mainly during the choruses. This really enhanced the power of them and coupled with Jordan’s (bassist) soaring cleans do send tingles down your spine. Again, I’ve seen Recall the Remains numerous times, so I can say their stage show and performance was exactly what I expected. What wasn’t was the change of set list and the addition of a new song. Whether they read my last review or not I don’t know but this new set stunned me and I think it’s fair to say this was the best and most enjoyable set I have seen from them.


From one Metalcore band to another, this time it’s the North Wales boys Severenth who for once have actually set up their merch!!! Now as with every band on this bill, I have seen these guys on numerous occasions but tonight they too have mixed their set up. I had no idea which song was next which really kept me engaged and trying to guess which was next. 

Onto their performance, now I have previously commented on their take on Metalcore and heavily taking inspiration from European metal, mainly Germany and it just works so well and tonight is one of the tightest I’ve seen them, with the guitars of both Jack and Adam really shining through on the solos. Pete’s voice is also spot on with his cleans feeling almost effortless and also the addition of more lows is very welcome. As with the previous 2 bands Severenth also have decided to throw in a new song ‘Dance With Me’. I loved this tune! It still sounds like Severenth, which is good as I really don’t want these guys to go down the Modern Metalcore route like every other Metalcore band does. This song does however feel like a rejuvenated Severenth, they looked so into this tune and happy to be showcasing it, loved it! I guess what more can I say, another band putting on a performance which was the best I’ve seen from them, tonight’s really going well!


Finally we have Karma’s Puppet and it was Max (drums) who had asked me if I would review this night, well his exact words were ‘I’m not sure if I will regret this, but…’ well so far Max, you guys have pulled out a beast of a line up! So, can Karma’s Puppet keep the trend going? Of course they can! Last week in Bolton they played an absolute blinder of a set and took the York by the scruff of the neck. Tonight… its the same! 

They always bring energy by the bucket load and treat the crowd to a whole host of singalongs, breakdowns and a wall of death! Yeah, the crowd really lapped these guys up. As I mentioned at the beginning, the sound has been stunning tonight and for Karma’s Puppet they just sound massive, a credit to both the sound tech and the band themselves. Not only do they sound huge, but they are tight yet again and Alex’s voice is stunning again (I may not have liked it at first but it’s grown on me and is now stuck in my head). 

There is also a theme tonight of new songs and for Karma’s Puppet it’s ‘Thorns’. This feels like an instant classic with perfect parts for crowd interaction, catchy choruses and a breakdown, the crowd once again love it. I mean what can I say, Karma’s Puppet have just elevated themselves yet again and keep getting better with every show, watch out world, Metalcore Metallica are on a mission!


I have to say, I was looking forward to this gig, four bands whom I love watching, in a venue that I like and with great friends, I mean what more can I ask for? Every band brought a solid set and each of their new songs have really whetted my appetite for the new releases (looks like recorded reviews might be back on the menu for me). So, in response to Max’s comment… I’m glad you asked me to pop down and considering this is probably the only review I have ever written where I can’t find any negatives… well that speaks for itself!




Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton 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.

Ghosts of Atlantis w/ Recall The Remains, Collapse Of Colour, Bruteallies and Vanitas – The Alma Inn

The Alma Inn  Ghosts of Atlantis

Ghosts of Atlantis w/ Recall The Remains, Collapse Of Colour, Bruteallies and Vanitas
The Alma Inn, Bolton
Review by Rob Sutton

August has arrived! And early on in the month I found myself returning to the Alma on what was probably one of the busiest weekends for gigs in Manchester, with gigs at the Retro Bar, Whittles in Oldham, and The Spinning Top in Stockport. This meant that pulling a crowd was always going to be difficult, but still a fair number of people were in attendance. Now, with the weather being absolutely stunning and the gig due to start 5:30pm I was expecting the venue to use the outdoor stage but no, we were inside sadly. This was a 5 band bill and I was expecting the first band to probably be due on at around 6pm. This would seem ideal for anyone travelling for this event (which was nearly everyone), but sadly this was not the case and the first band didn’t start until 8pm! We will come back to this point later.

First up was a new band for me, Vanitas, who began proceedings with a techy, atmospheric vibe. I will say the riffs on here are simply brilliant, and when the more atmospheric parts come to the forefront their sound is absolutely huge. There was a fair amount of movement on stage as well with most of them grinning from ear to ear throughout the set. But while the music was on point, vocally it was a bit hit and miss. Don’t get me wrong, she has a fantastic voice but some notes were flat and the shouts did sound a little strained. But when she hit the notes, wow it worked. I also had a feeling that there were a few lines missed from some songs as she went to sing and then smiled and turned to the guitarist, but this wasn’t really that noticeable for the average watcher. A personal treat was inviting Jacob from Recall the Remains for the final song, the combination of her voice with his just brought a whole new dimension to their sound, and one I would perhaps look to add on a few more songs. I found myself smiling a lot throughout this set, I loved the concept and how massive they sounded, but a little more practice and some vocal warm ups may help elevate this to the next level.


Late additions Bruteallies hit the stage next, though we did have to wait for what felt like an eternity for them to come on (rant incoming at the end). Once they did, they picked up the energy in terrific fashion! Their blend of melodies and thrash is one that is not seen too often in the genre and really does set them apart from others. The amount of energy these guys have on stage was frankly unrivalled by the other bands and this meant the crowd were fully engaged moshing, and even attempting a pit! Another massive prop to these guys were the solos, which were mindblowingly good throughout, and the thrashy breakdowny riffy things also hit the sweet spot. Now I am not the biggest fan of thrash but these guys really do it for me. Vocally it’s more death metal than thrash and the speed they play is unrelenting. There were, however, a couple of slip ups when changing the tempo of the music but this wasn’t a glaring issue. What was a glaring issue for me, was in fact, an encore. Now as I have previously said the gig has already started 2 hours later than advertised and the changeover was ridiculously long, so whether it was just down to the band who decided fuck it, and played another song, or whether it was the (dis)organiser who allowed this, it really fucked the rest of the bands up. If this was a case of the band just playing, then this is a dick move being the second band on the bill. If this was the organiser then they need to sort their shit out! Having said that, this was a very enjoyable performance.


Again with the bloody long changeovers, another half hour change over is really beginning to push this past the final busses and trains, and why were they tuning on stage! Goddamn!! Anyway, Collapse of Colour eventually took to the stage with their take on metalcore. Yup, Rob was watching another metalcore band! I was actually quite excited to watch Collapse of Colour as on recording they seem to have all bases covered for the genre. Live though, unfortunately, it felt really thin and sadly really generic. I could tell exactly what was coming next and this is the problem; nothing new or original. It wasn’t all meh though, as I really digged the vocalist’s ‘bleughs’, and some of the breakdowns were pretty on point. The few who were watching really got into these too. I will also point out that the final song of their set was really fucking good, it seemed like everything they had been playing prior was building to one song that defined them. In summary, Collapse of Colour are ok, they do what they say on the tin and do it fairly well, but if you’re looking for something new, these aren’t your guys.


From one metalcore band to another, this time in the shape of Recall the Remains. Now I have raved about these guys previously on a number of reviews and here they pretty much did the same again. The tone of both the guitar and bass were absolutely mega, the charisma on stage was brilliant, the harsh vocals were brutal as fuck, and the cleans, although not quite as good as they have been, were still very good. The way these guys engaged with the crowd was like no other here, and those that didn’t have to catch a bus or train were treated to some top quality showmanship and some fantastic music alongside it. Another prop to these guys was the speedy changeover by comparison to everyone else (only 20 mins) which unfortunately by this point really didn’t matter as it was already half 10 with another band still to go. My only slight criticism with this set was that I saw pretty much the same thing 9 months ago. Something slightly different would be welcome. Otherwise I can’t really fault Recall the Remains, they always put on a show, are always tight, and always play good music. I mean what’s not to like?


Over an hour later than they should have been on, Ghosts of Atlantis took to the stage and boy were they worth the wait. Personally these guys incorporate every genre I love, from melodic death metal, to symphonic black metal, and they do it just perfectly. There really isn’t another band around at the moment that sounds like them and this is what I search for! The set itself was as tight as you could possibly imagine, and they took us through pretty much their entire album in stunning fashion. The energy on stage is eerie, yet energetic, with all axmen headbanging throughout, as the front man glared through the crowd. It’s a lovely blend of the 2 style of presence. One thing they could have used a bit more of was the backing tracks (I know, I can’t believe I actually said this either!). For most bands they are like an added extra, but for Ghosts of Atlantis they are a massive part of their sound and add a whole other element to their show. It wasn’t a massive issue though, as they could be heard on the slower more atmospheric parts pretty well, and they really elevated the soaring clean vocals. 

If you have read a review of mine before, then you will know that one of Rob’s cardinal sins is to play a new song last, as it never really hits the mark or carry the oomph of the more well known songs. Well Ghosts of Atlantis did this, and I stand corrected!! Their new song was unbelievably good, to the point where my hairs stood on end and I was muttering ‘fuck you’ to the band. If this is what album 2 has in store for us then oh my fucking god take my money! What a show these guys put on and personally this was worth the wait as this ranked among my favourite sets of the year!


Right rant time! Whoever organised this event needs to sort their shit out! Firstly this wasn’t a last minute gig, it has been planned for months, so why in fucks name did the event have a start time of 5:30 and then no bands on until 8:00?! What this meant is anyone who came to watch the bands missed the last 2, due to travelling. This would not have been an issue had the gig started at 6:00. And then to add insult to injury, the changeovers were 30 fucking minutes! This was completely unnecessary, as 15 or 20 minutes would have been fine. So in summary of the whole event, good bands, cheap beer, nice staff, but probably the most unorganised event I have ever been to. If this had been a pay to get in event, a lot of people would have asked for refunds!

One quick note about the Alma, I go to gigs with a blind friend and the head bar staff did come up to him and asked if he needed anything or was there anything she could do to make the place more accessible, this was incredible and meant so much to him, other venues, take note!



Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton 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.

Graham Bonnet Band / Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters – Academy 3, Manchester

Graham Bonnet Band Poster

Graham Bonnet Band / Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters
Academy 3, Manchester
Review by Dark Juan

My friends! It has been an eventful week and no mistake! At the date of writing this epistle it is the day before I embark on my 48th lap around the sun, and tomorrow I get to go and feed arctic wolves which really is quite exciting. And drink lots of single malt whiskey. What was also exciting over the past few days was meeting old friends and new (NoHandsDan and Mikey) from the US and spending time in their august company, meeting a friend from the tattoo industry and having a beer with her, her (and now our) friend Helen and Mrs Dark Juan and whiling away an hour (and considerable funds) in Halifax Modellers’ World. I came out with a Vought F4U-1D Corsair and a bottle of intermediate US Navy blue paint. None of which even holds the tiniest of candles (votive or otherwise) to what I did at the end of July.


Yes, I made the acquaintance of one Mr. Graham Bonnet, esquire. Regular readers will know that I have been a fan of this true gentleman for forty fucking years and I NEVER pass up the chance to tell anyone and everyone just how amazing he is. He’s absolutely fucking amazing, by the way. A true giant among hard rock and heavy metal vocalists. A man who made sure he was so different from the denim and leather clad hordes it made him truly distinctive. A man whose coiffure was always impeccable, whose stage attire was always elegant, whose shades were always impenetrable and whose musical chops are fucking insane. A Skeggy boy done good…

So, Mrs Dark Juan and I attended this gathering of the faithful at the marvellous Academy 3 in Manchester. The older UK readers among you all out there will no doubt remember this as the Hop And Grape. I memorably attended Pist.On there many years ago myself. Whilst Dark Juan and Mrs Dark Juan were amiably chatting to two chaps at the bar there was a rather massive thunderclap of sound and the always superb Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters exploded like a glitter-filled firework onto the stage. Now, Dark Juan knows Beth herself from the South Wales metal scene and has always found her a charming and lovely person, and indeed has had a long and involved discussion about just how good Paul Stanley signature Silvertone guitars are, and she’s from Lancashire to boot. 

BB&TBD have successfully cornered the market in good time rock n roll, their heavily KISS-influenced sound being the perfect way to kick off the party. Beth herself is a compelling and friendly frontperson, turning the fact that she had forgotten her acoustic guitar’s strap into an opportunity for some up close and personal action with the rabidly enthusiastic front row, seating herself at the front of the stage and singing her heart out. Likewise, the whole band were in spectacular form – guitarist Luke Strickland Gilmore throwing shapes like there’s no tomorrow, tub thumper Sam Brain being punishing in the rhythm department and Dan Rowe being chock full of low-slung bass attitude. Rather less of which was shown when he was cornered at the bar after their set by Mrs Dark Juan and obliged to buy her a drink… And at the front of it all was Beth herself, a compact ball of fizzing energy and good vibes with an Ibanez Iceman and a rasping rock and roll voice to die for. Highlight of the set was a raucous and cheerful version of ‘Jack And Coke’. Sadly my entreaties for them to play ‘Show Us Your Teeth’ went unheeded, but this is a British band to watch and cherish. They really should be massive.


Now, this gig was supposed to come with an interview with Graham Bonnet himself, but due to logistical problems (mainly being the fucking M6 motorway and various motorists’ inability to drive along the fucking thing without binning their vehicles), the band arrived late in Manchester and there simply was not enough time to conduct one. However, I shall here offer my endless gratitude to Ever-Metal.com’s own Wallace Magri and six-string slinger Conrado Pesinato of the Graham Bonnet Band for their work together in making this evening happen. A photo pass was provided in recompense and your highly excited correspondent was primed with an extraordinary view of the proceedings. After I immediately abandoned Mrs Dark Juan to her fate (and inextricably linking Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters to hers mainly through her coercion of their bass player), made friends instantly with Jeremy, another photographer in the pit, the ever-engaging Graham Bonnet bounded out on to the stage and magic was afoot…

Holy fuck.

Holy fucking fuck.

Jesus Christ in a chariot-driven sidecar.

This was not a gig. This was fucking alchemy. The band were all tighter than an entire swarm of gnats’ chuffs and the man himself was a whirling tornado of limbs and voice. And, salaaming piously at his Converse-shod feet was Dark Juan, literally weeping for joy. This was somewhat regrettable when Dark Juan attempted to get back up and discovered he was stuck to the floor. It was the Academy 3, after all…

The set was incredible – the band playing lots of songs from Rainbow’s “Down To Earth”, including (it has to be said) a supreme rendition of ‘Since You Been Gone’, the soaring tones of Graham took us through a magnificently stentorian version of MSG’s ‘Assault Attack’ before launching into an extremely lugubrious version of Dark Juan’s favourite song in Graham Bonnet’s enviable canon – ‘Night Games’. Cue a slightly puzzled look from behind the impenetrable shades of the man himself at the rabid dickhead in the photo pit howling his own song back at him from a range of two yards instead of being a professional. However, the sheer power and commitment in his delivery puts to shame many acts who are much younger (the man is 74 years of age and rules a stage like no-one else can). The hunger and the passion of the whole band was clear to see and it made for a fucking awesome rock show.

The soundman has to be given major props for his work – the sound was crystal clear and everything easily heard but not overpowering – the absolutely superb shredding of Conrado Pesinato being note perfect throughout, Alessandro Bertoni playing his absolute heart out on the keys (I have never seen anyone throwing shapes on the keys before!) and there was also the low-end, admirably and elegantly handled by the ever-divine Beth-Ami Heavenstone. I can say nice things about her now because Mrs Dark Juan has met the lady in person, and they hit it off splendidly together and I now no longer risk death. As did I. 

The Very Good Things just kept on coming – I was far too carried away to even remember half the songs a highlight for me was the absolutely storming rendition of ‘Imposter’ from the Graham Bonnet Band’s current offering “Day Out In Nowhere” with the man himself holding the mic out for the assembled faithful to howl the admittedly colossal chorus back at him. https://www.ever-metal.com/2022/05/27/graham-bonnet-band-day-out-in-nowhere/ is the link you need if you wish to read the frothing madness that masquerades as a record review in my head.

After the evening’s offers were concluded, Dark Juan was cordially invited by the estimable and wonderful Conrado Pesinato (a very friendly and generous man, by the way, and an absolute pleasure to make his acquaintance) to come backstage to meet Mr. Graham Bonnet himself and make a personal introduction. As it turns out, after the man had listened to a good ten minutes of uninterrupted and quite disgraceful fangirling and wild exhortations from the writer of this rubbish, he proved to be a consummate gentleman, and upon learning I have been a fan of forty years standing, simply said, “What the fuck’s wrong with you, then?” and then happily signed my list of unasked interview questions. As did the ever-wonderful Beth-Ami. Yes, for once I went prepared. Even if I had originally forgotten my Dictaphone, necessitating a panicked dash back to the Schwerer Gothikpanzer to recover it. Graham even submitted gracefully to Mrs Dark Juan wrangling him for photos. The man is a bona fide fucking god and I will not hear a single fucking word against him ever. And I got a hug from Beth-Ami as well. My life is complete. There’s even photographic proof of it, courtesy of Mrs Dark Juan! Who didn’t kill me.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System still has not come down off the enormous emotional high and awards Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters and the Graham Bonnet Band infinity out of 10 for that rarest of things, a fucking perfect night in the company of wonderful people. It was lovely to catch up with Beth Blade herself after the show as well. What an evening, guys, gals and all other genders. What a fucking evening.



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.

Summer Smash 2022

Summer Smash 2022 Poster

Summer Smash 2022
Asylum 2, Birmingham
Review by Rob Sutton
Photography by Sian Irvine Photography

It seems 2022 is the year for me to be travelling to Birmingham as, prior to this year, I hadn’t been in over 10 years, yet here I found myself back for the 3rd time! Not like I’m complaining as there is an insane number of venues. This time round I found myself at the Asylum for the first time, and straight away thought the venue was lush! Proper toilets with bog roll and working locks, a substantial bar with many beverages on offer and a dedicated room for merch! Perfect don’t you think? So this gig was a crossover with both Metal and Punk being alternated throughout the day, however the Metal side did thin substantially as Wired THC unfortunately pulled out the evening before, and a member of Embodiment fell seriously ill at the venue and ended up in A&E. This left just 2 metal bands playing and 4 punk bands. 

First up was Short Heath Boys… Well, it was 1 guy and an acoustic guitar but this seemed an appropriate way to begin the gig, and he wasn’t short on humour, which is something I definitely like when it comes to acoustic artists, mainly because most of them spend the whole set moaning about their life. Don’t get me wrong he was moaning about things… but this was moaning about having the shits, something I am all too familiar with considering the lyrical content of my own band. His voice itself had a gritty tone to it; more of a rock style, which really fitted well, honestly this was a very uplifting and comedic way to start the day.


Now at this point I have to point out that I was playing this gig as well and because of this I had to set up, do interviews etc. boring bands stuff basically. This meant I was unable to catch any of Curbdawgz but my glamorous photographer did manage to grab a fair few shots.


After them was my own band, Thrashatouille. Now I won’t do what I did last time and write a jokey review about how unbelievably brilliant we were because… I am not that type of person, so again there are photos of our set and a pile of destroyed inflatable’s as some of the crowd thought they were edible and actually tried to eat them! Though, the vocalist was bloody epic 😉 (Dark Juan here: the lead “singer” of Thrashatouille is a hyperactive bloody pixie, spends half of his life sounding like he’s vomiting out his own anal tract and doesn’t seem to have a home to call his own considering he’s ALWAYS bloody out! Thrashatouille are actually rather good, though!)


With 2 bands pulling out of the gig last minute this did mean there was plenty of time to fill, which was rather lucky as the vocalist for Sick Pins barely made it to the venue in time to start their set. Once these guys kicked in their concoction of many influences became apparent. Yes, they are punk, but there is also the influence of Ska and even reggae in bits as well. This mash of genres was utterly genius and incredibly fun to watch. Couple this with a very energetic show and it just worked beautifully. A personal love of this set was the vocal harmonies which came from pretty much every member. These just made parts of their songs sound huge. Another personal highlight was the bass tone, just yes! Crunchy and so clear within their sound, I love it. I may not have been much of a fan of Punk music before but these guys certainly have made me want to delve deeper into this genre.


From one Punk band to another and this time Face Up take the stage, first things first, what a voice! She uses a combination of shouts and screams, which really seemed fitting on a line up such as this, and Face Up seem to bridge the gap between Punk and Metal perfectly. Again there was so much energy exerting itself from the stage, with the vocalist bursting into the crowd to knock a few people around and begin the pits which were then present throughout their set. The control these guys had over the crowd was simply stunning; they had everyone in the palm of their hands, even making them do the Macarena! Musically as well, everything just fitted the day perfectly, with a personal highlight being how clear the guitars were within their sound! As before, I think I’m being won over by Punk bands!


It was back to normality for me next, with some Metal from a band who I previously raved about in their M2TM final. Since then, they did get the call to Bloodstock and from that performance, they did deserve it! But could Hellfekted top the last time I saw them? Well, in honesty… no. That is not me saying this set was bad because it was, in fact, far from it. The sheer speed these guys play is just brilliant and their blackened thrash just hits the spot with so many metal fans. Hellfekted are also well known for being very engaging while on stage and again today was no exception, with plenty of shouts to the crowd and getting over the barriers to mosh with the crowd. This leads me straight on to a personal annoyance. When you are speaking to the crowd, please shut the drummer up! Happening once is fine, but between every song we were met with him pissing about on the drum kit, which meant no one could hear what is being said. Honestly, shut up please! Anyway, guitar wise the riffs are simply fantastic and really drive their songs along, with an outstanding thrash tone from both guitars, which just makes this so much better. Same with the vocals, they are absolutely on point mixing both a thrashy shout with black metal rasp. This was by no means the tightest I have seen Hellfekted, but I honestly really love these guys. The music is just phenomenally good and this is proven by the fact they are now playing Bloodstock. 


The final band of the night was SuckerPunch, and they made it a special one, as it was their album launch! Now this was more of the Punk I was expecting, no real gimmicks or mixing of genres, just straight up Punk and hey, straight off I found myself really enjoying the sound! Again the bass tone for these guys was just fantastic and, as I’ve said about previous bands, really cut through. Now by this point there was a huge crowd who were fully on board dancing and moshing away throughout the set, and SuckerPunch did a fantastic job of keeping the hype and continually pumping the crowd up. Though it was a bit of a shame that there wasn’t much in the way of movement on stage. Seeing the other Punk bands earlier being hyper and bouncy, I was expecting these guys to look a little more engaged in their music, but sadly it was just a slight bob of the head. Having said that, the crowd didn’t seem bothered by this and that seemed to be all that mattered. I enjoyed the music a lot, but there wasn’t much in the way of stage antics for me to watch.


So, I took a few things from this gig! Firstly, I now like Punk music, secondly Birmingham’s music scene is bloody mega, and thirdly, this was an extremely well organised event, and I would recommend next year’s event to anyone! I will take this time to wish the singer of Embodiment a speedy recovery and I do hope to see them live soon, as their music is right up my street. Also I really need to catch Wired THC as they’re another band whose name floats around but I have never managed to watch. (Beth here – they’re fecking mega live! Can’t wait to see them at Beermageddon in a couple of weeks!!)




Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton and Ever Metal. Photography by Sian Irvine. 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.

Crepitation, This Is Turin, Beneath The Ruin, Chinsniffer – The Outpost, Liverpool – 11.02.22

Crepitation, This Is Turin, Beneath The Ruin, Chinsniffer
The Outpost, Liverpool
Live Review by Rob Sutton

Liverpool has always been a strange place for gigs, they aren’t short of venues or bands for that matter but there never seems to be that many gigs actually going on. So this was the first time in Liverpool for a long time and also my first time I had been to the outpost. Now the venue is pretty small but on the positive side, they serve food! Shame I didn’t know this beforehand otherwise I wouldn’t have filled up on McDonalds. Anyway, this line up was quite possibly the most diverse line up I have been to in a long time. I personally love a mixed line up as each band completely changes the atmosphere and can sometimes mean you find a new genre to obsess over!

Kicking things off was 3 piece chaotic / tech / noise band Chinsniffer from Liverpool, first off all those three words completely describe these guys! The whole sound is complete chaos! I mean there isn’t even a guitar – just bass, drums and a keytar. This does provide a very eclectic mix of influences which does mean it is very interesting to listen to, even if sometimes it is a little much. Vocally it is also manic and in fairness I couldn’t understand anything that was being said (not a bad thing for this genre). The drawback of this set was between the songs; while there were bits of humour which was appreciated but for the most part the members did end up looking at each other which made it feel like I was watching their practice. Chinsniffer were an interesting watch, although I’m not sure if I enjoyed it or whether I was just interested in the chaos?


Second on was Beneath The Ruin, a band I had never heard of nor seen before. They bring a more Progressive side to the evening, so that means not a single scream or growl in sight. Well, the vocalist did try a couple of times but this did not work and he admitted couldn’t scream on stage. Nevertheless, this was a nice change and a nice sound they are aiming for, almost pretty. Vocally, the singing was reasonably good, though did get significantly better as the set went on. Perhaps his voice wasn’t quite warmed up enough at the beginning. Beneath the Ruin also boast a keyboardist which really does add a whole other texture to their set and adds a more ambient feel to their sound, throw this with a fantastic bass tone and these guys start stand out. Beneath The Ruin were a good watch and I did enjoy them, while not the tightest band and there were a few mess ups in some songs, it was a solid show.


This Is Turin are a powerhouse in the Technical Death Metal scene and have been on some incredible line ups and festivals in their past. Tonight was the first time in a long time that I had seen them support another band and thus play a shorter set. Sadly the Cheshire based technical difficulties struck one of the guitarists which delayed them starting and also seemed to throw them off their game. I’m not entirely sure what it was but the first two or three songs did feel almost forced. This soon went away and normal business did resume – their usual charismatic front man, the stunning guitar solos and blistering drums just seemed to come alive! A stand out moment was for me ‘Misery’, this is such a banger of a tune and the crowd seemed to come alive for this song but I would have had this as the closing song rather than the new song, while the new song is a solid tune and showcases their Blackened Death metal sound, it didn’t work as a closing track. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed this is Turin but I have watched them perform better. Probably an off day, it happens.


A rare hometown show for Crepitation is something that apparently doesn’t come up too often. Now I have seen Crepitation before and just loved the bizarre vocals that they have. Honestly between the two vocalists making pig noises, grunts and just about any ungodly sound you didn’t even know a human could make, there are some amazing riffs which really make these guys stand out further from the rest in the Slam scene. I also have to give note to both their intro and outro samples, I won’t say what they are as I don’t want to give away too much of their set but they were absolutely hilarious! Crepitation had the whole crowd head banging though surprisingly there was neither pits nor much two-stepping, I did find this odd but still, the crowd all had smiles on their face and to me that’s what matters with slam. Brutally heavy but a bit tongue in cheek and fun. This set was fantastic again they really are one of the top bands within their genre and if you like heavy (very very heavy) then these guys are a must!


Liverpool surprised me, the venue filled up nicely and there was a really friendly atmosphere around the gig. I will have to keep my eye open for more in the city as I am sure I’m missing some. 

Venue – https://www.facebook.com/OutpostLiverpool 
Promoter – https://www.facebook.com/Ukslamfest 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton 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.

Ghozt / Wolves In Winter – The Parish, Huddersfield – 18.02.22

Ghozt / Wolves In Winter
The Parish, Huddersfield
Review by Dark Juan

So, a couple of weeks ago I was finally tempted by Mrs Dark Juan to leave the comforting confines of Dark Juan Terrace (mainly to get away from her giant and terrifying “Beelezbugs” which she is currently unleashing on to an unsuspecting world populace – Clearly she wishes that everyone around the world to have an experience not unlike camping in the Australian outback) and go out into the heavy, black and pendulous world of Huddersfield, to a splendid bar called The Parish, which is LGBTQIA+ friendly, and is a local West Yorkshire rock hotspot, and a fucking lovely place to have a pint and a babble with like-minded people. Granted, the car park machine was utterly incomprehensible and I was probably charged many shekels too much for parking the Schwerer Gothikpanzer in it, but such a good night was had that zero fucks were given. Is it possible to give negative fucks?

So having got on my glad rags (Sisters Of Mercy hoodie, Blackwulf cap and combat pants. I’m nothing if not sartorially elegant) and collected our good friend Mrs L. Jack (small but fearsome). We proceeded to buy alcohol and mosey on upstairs to have a butcher’s at the West Yorkshire based Wolves In Winter. This is a band with a serious pedigree, being as it features members who have variously played in Chorus Of Ruin, Solstice, Slammer, Ironrat, Lazarus Blackstar, Pigwitch, Slammer and Monolith Cult. The sound guy at The Parish appears to have lost his hearing decades ago considering how fucking LOUD the sound was. However, although my ears were bleeding after a mere fifteen seconds, the sound quality was superb and clarity of each instrument top-fucking-notch. Oh, disclaimer here…. My mate Izak plays bass for Wolves In Winter and his sound and ability make me want to weep and cut myself open because I want that level of talent so much.

A thunderous crack in the space-time continuum emanated from the stage as WIW slammed into gear and opened with ‘Nemesis’. Once I had peeled myself from the back wall of the venue and braced myself in front of the sonic onslaught (front-and-centre, natch) I started to pay attention. This is a band that deserves to be huge. Mixing impassioned, clean vocals with a percussive, doomy assault not unlike being slowly crushed under a 20 tonne concrete block, WIW impressed me mightily. Second track in was entitled ‘Promised Harvest’ and the often short-changed emotional component of doomy metal came screamingly to the fore from vocalist Jake, whose highly-charged vocal delivery tugs at heartstrings in a very similar to one Halifax metal legend, Mr Nick Holmes of Paradise Lost. Sadly, though, there was not enough time for the band to run through ‘Pastime For Helots’, but by jiminy the crowd were not short changed.

Wolves of Winter have everything. Massive, MASSIVE riffs, huge songs, a bottom end heavy enough to spontaneously create sinkholes and a drummer who flails at his kit like he’s possessed by the devil. In short, superb musicians and a sound that encompasses all the bands I listed a couple of paragraphs ago. Also, it was bloody lovely to see Izak again after sojourns abroad for many years. Wales counts as abroad, right?

The Dark Juan Patented Blood Splat Rating System awards Wolves In Winter 10/10 for an awesome set that turned me into an overnight fan. Can’t wait to give them all my money for merch and shit when they eventually sort some out.


And then … the main event. I normally do not do cover bands. An exception had to be made for this, though. Ghozt. I mean, a fucking Ghost cover band. A FUCKING GHOST COVER BAND! I knew nothing about this genius! Let’s be fair, Ghost are a polarizing band at the best of times, personally Dark Juan is of the opinion that they are the most exciting thing to happen to metal in the past ten years and brought back a welcome sense of showmanship and theatre and good old fashioned silliness back into an increasingly po-faced and miserable genre. Also, their mix of modern metal sensibilities and retro chops appeals deeply to Dark Juan. Anyone who thinks they are overrated or lightweight are just plain wrong and I WILL fight them about this. To not understand Ghost is to not understand where metal came from…

However, I am here to discuss Ghozt. Who cover Ghost songs. And WHAT A FUCKING SHOW IT WAS!!! Fronted by a facsimile of Papa Emeritus II, backed by a rabid pack of “Meliora” era Nameless Ghouls, Ghozt took us on an hour and a half of greatest hits. Everything from oldies like “Ritual” through to the latest songs ‘Hunter’s Moon’ and ‘(Call Me) Little Sunshine’, this romp through the best bits of Ghost was intoxicating to say the least. The Ghouls played their black little hearts out, Papa worked the crowd (and there was a sizeable one) just like our actual beloved Anti-Pope should and there were liberal blessings bestowed upon the adoring masses in the form of pin badges and Devil Dollars. Papa II’s vocals were occasionally a little patchy and he occasionally struggled to hit the high notes, but by fucking Satan I was singing every single word back at him and it just DID NOT FUCKING MATTER ONE LITTLE BIT! This was a show that was just sheer, unadulterated fun. The ersatz Ghouls engaged with the crowd more than the actual Ghouls do and all the jokes were in there too (the foiled attempt to play ‘Enter Sandman’ being a particular highlight) and they even played ‘Miasma’, sadly without Papa Nihil appearing to play his kick-ass sax solo. But all the hits were covered – ‘Rats’, ‘Dance Macabre’, ‘He Is’, ‘Cirice’, ‘Guhleh / Zombie Queen’ and ‘From The Pinnacle To The Pit’ being particularly magnificent and it was a fucking joyous occasion for a fraction of the cost of full-cream Ghost. Papa Emeritus (in all his guises, including impostors) and Dark Juan go hand-in-hand to preach the gospel of Satan via the means of stupid words in my case, and surprisingly melodic metal in theirs. Again, the sound quality was absolutely on the money and every instrument was clearly defined and Papa soared over the lot just as he should.

Never have I wanted to buy a Hagstrom guitar and play dress up again as much as I do right now.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System experienced some form of nirvana watching Ghozt play live, and the young gentlemen that he wrangles found it all highly amusing when Dark Juan turned up for work slightly hungover and unable to speak due to overuse of the old voicebox. Considering my knackered throat and lack of desire to work the day after I can do nothing but award Ghozt the full Satanic Panic 10/10 for the most fun I have had at a gig in years.


Venue – https://parishpub.co.uk/ 
Promoter – https://www.facebook.com/parishevents 

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.

Underdark w/ Burial, Inhuman Nature, and Argesk

Underdark at the Alma Inn 2022 Poster

w/ Burial, Inhuman Nature, and Argesk
The Alma Inn, Bolton – 04/02/2022
Review by Rob Sutton

This was always going to be a strange gig as the Alma themselves had taken over the promotion following the previous promoter doing some very naughty things. This promoter, who will remain anonymous for this review, had impacted the scene massively in a positive way, and then proceeded to hurt the scene, and many people. This even lead to a number of chants throughout the night saying ‘F*ck **** ******’. Despite all of this, the attendance for this gig was incredible! The Alma is known as being a very cosy venue at the best of times, but this was on another level, you could barely move around! Again a massive testament to those that made sure this event happened. Although, last time I was here the toilets were frankly vile, so I was hoping this may have changed in the last couple of years… nope! Still no goddamn toilet seat! Come on!

Rant over and it was a night of mainly Black Metal. First up was Manchester based Argesk, who I have seen a few times before and they have always impressed me. I like the old school Symphonic Black Metal feel they have going, it really does feel like Emperor or Dimmu Borgir from their early days. Hits the right notes for me! They also manage to mix raw Black Metal pace with elements of melody, which again give you the cold Norwegian feels. They even add in a bit of clean singing in a handful of songs, which I personally felt their set could have done without, as unfortunately the singing was flat, and if anything took away from their sound rather than adding to it. Vocally, the rest was spot on, and even though I am usually not a fan of growling/ screaming between songs as crowd interaction, the fact that his diction was so clear made it work very well. This is probably the only time I would ever say this. What annoys me more about Argesk is that I have seen them play M2TM on a few occasions and they have never got to the final. These guys are good enough and offer an older darker feel that is certainly missing from this year’s Manchester event.


The slight outlier in the line up was Inhuman Nature, who are a Thrash machine! Having said that, vocally there’s a slight hint of Black Metal, which makes them stand out from other Thrash bands for me. These guys hit the ground running, quickly whipped the crowd into a frenzy of head banging and pits! There were even a few crowd surfers… impressive considering the size of the venue. Inhuman Nature provided everything a Thrash fan would want; speed, aggression and breakdowns and they did this with insane quality. I have never been a huge Thrash fan; I normally get bored pretty quickly when watching it. But Inhuman Nature were something very different, and it worked for me. Not only did I watch the whole thing but I had a massive smile on my face while head banging throughout their set. For me this was the best Thrash set I have seen, and dare I say the best Thrash band I have seen?


Burial were up next, and they followed on with yet more aggression, although taking more of a darker, Black Metal twist. By this point however, I was getting collared by many people at the bar so sadly missed a lot of their set. I do apologise, it just means I will have to catch them again.


Finally tonight and for me, the second time I had seen them perform, it was Underdark. The whole evening took a much darker turn as they played through their catalogue of depressive Black Metal. As with the last time I saw them, vocally they were incredible; the range within the songs is fantastic to listen to and provided a nice change to the usual bands of this genre. Adding to that, the guitar harmonies underlined their aggression and pain, and really evoked a melancholy feel to their set. There was some fantastic pacing throughout each song, mixing blast beats with much slower, more melodic parts. This truly was a fantastic set and showcased how diverse and talented the underground Black Metal scene is!


This was again another showcase of brilliant Black Metal, and although the venue still needs work, the beer is good and the bands were great, so what is there to complain about?


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton 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.