EMQ’s With Slowmo75

Slowmo75 Logo

EMQ’s With Slowmo75

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with UK Hard Rockers, Slowmo75. Huge thanks to their Guitarist/ Backing Vocalist, Stan, for taking part. 

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

I’m Stan, I play rhythm guitar and sing backing vocals.

The band started a year or so before I joined. I had followed them from back then as I was friends with a couple if the guys, like many bands do the starting line-up changed and they thought about adding a 2nd guitarist to the band, I’d literally left a band and the same week got a invite to come down and jam, so I learned the set and 2 rehearsals later I was playing my first gig as part of the band. Now if you ask Mustang our vocalist, he will tell you that I never actually got asked to join I just turned up 1 day and never left!!

How did you come up with your band name?

Legend has it, one of the original members was sat in his car and saw the road markings in front of him that read SLOW on his side and SLOW on the opposite side but upside down from his point of view it read SLOWMO75.

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

Were based in Sutton in Ashfied. Which we lovingly class as Robin Hood County … a.k.a. Nottinghamshire.

The scene in our town, like many towns isn’t heaving, but the wider picture we have some fantastic venues close by, in Nottingham, Sheffield, Derby and Chesterfield and lots of great bands.

What is your latest release?

We released a single Called ‘Freakshow’ a couple months back and it seems to be our best received track so far, we also had a beer brewed to coincide with the single and that sold too, however I think me and a couple of the band made a dint in that.  

Who have been your greatest influences?

Personally my biggest influences were My uncle Eddie, who played Drums in a local band when I was growing up, he was a rocker and a biker with a big beard long hair and tattoos. I was just in awe of him growing up.

Musically I started with Nirvana and the whole Grunge/ Seattle scene bands. Alongside Guns ‘n’ Roses, Extreme… me and my mates would swap cassettes, but then I discovered the band Snot and that really opened my eyes to how a bunch of different styles could merge to create such an explosive groove with such power, likewise with the Deftones such subtle and brutal music all combined into huge walls of sound.

What first got you into music?

We always had music on at home. As a kid we would have the radio or records on more than TV my dad would have Queen, Leo Sayer, The Police on, my Mum would have Lionel Richie, Simply Red.

So, our house was full of music, weirdly though I dint get into playing music till about 16 when my mate was having guitar lessons, so we built a band around him. I was the singer and we all just picked up the rest of the instruments we needed to play as a band

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

For me it would be Florence Black. I absolutely love the band, to say they’re only in their mid-20’s they really strike a chord with an old, Nu-Metalhead like me ha ha! I spoke to Tristian and asked him about that and he said his dad got him into that stuff , so it makes sense.

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

It would have to be Download. I go there every year and it’s the history surrounding Donnington that makes it special, the heritage. Every band that plays there says the same thing, a couple of my mates have played it with their bands too so I’m totally jealous ha ha!

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

Not with Slowmo, but I once played an acoustic set in a beer garden one summer, whilst I was playing a kid came up and handed me a picture she had drawn of me playing. It’s not weird but it’s probably the only gift I’ve had, oh and someone once thew a slipper on stage …. I don’t know what that classes as??

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

Keep going to gigs, take your kids, introduce them to the live scene let them experience it before we lose it, and especially come see us play

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

WOW!!!!! I genuinely don’t know who, there’s so many people that have sadly passed, I think when Taylor Hawkins passed away, myself and my wife shed a tear. I’d followed Foo Fighters throughout their entirety, from their first gigs over here in the 90’s up to the last time I saw them headline Leeds festival in 2019? I think.

I think his death impacted on me more than others.

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

I love making music and then standing on stage playing it, seeing how people respond to it, that’s a feeling like no other.

I don’t hate anything as such, I’m not great at promoting, making content for socials etc. so I guess that’s my least favourite part, but I do appreciate that, that is the way that the music industry is going and so it’s part of the job.

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

I’d like to put more of the personal approach back into it, as I said before I want to make music but I don’t enjoy making “content”. But what you gonna do? The kids want it all instantly, and in their hand not out at a sweaty gig, ears ringing.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Again sooooo hard it’s probably easier to ask me which of my 4 kids a prefer !! I always say that “Appetite For Destruction” is a Masterclass in Rock ‘n’ Roll so it is 100% ONE of my favourites but the list is endless.

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

I have to admit that I use a streaming service for day to day listening. But when I buy music I like to have something physical, like a CD, however I currently don’t have a CD player, nor a record or tape player …. SHOCK HORROR!!

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

We recently played an all-day event at the Corporation called Steel Paws Festival and it was great. It had a fantastic vibe, a great sound and was for a great cause, it was also a really good gig for the band. We were really together and we were making one hell of a sound! It was a good performance to a very receptive audience.  

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

I’m a Joiner by trade and a contract supervisor 9-5, so when I’m not trying to be a rock star that’s where you find me ha ha!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Mark Tremonti, David Grohl, Justin Hawkins and the Wife (she wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t invite her) I know that’s only 4, but I only have a small dining room.

What’s next for the band?

We’re going back to the lab. We have a LOT of songs that need finishing and demoing ready to put the ep together and out so it’s a bit of time spent on that.

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

Facebook and Spotify are our main accounts.
https://www.facebook.com/slowmo75band
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1aC6rXuDf40bY5IZcTXdGh

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

Oh its most definitely a COB.

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

Thank you for reading this, and please, please keep going to gigs spreading the word that music is best experienced live. Show your kids, take them to see bands and don’t forget to see them at the small venues too.

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.

Joe Lynn Turner – Belly Of The Beast

Belly Of The Beast Album Cover Art

Joe Lynn Turner – Belly Of The Beast
Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group
Release Date: 28/10/22
Running Time: 50:11
Review by Simon Black
10/10

Joe Lynn Turner is, like fellow under-rated lungs man Graham Bonnett, a man known first and foremost for his contribution to the revolving door that was 70’s and 80’s supergroup Rainbow, which made everyone passing by the mike stand into a global name no matter how brief their stint behind that mighty stand (although to be fair he lasted as long as Dio did and was there for their biggest chart success in ‘I Surrender’). Both though, have suffered from the millstone that was success with that act and the fact that it eclipsed anything else either of them did before or after. 

To be fair the last time Turner crossed my radar was during his stint with Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – a match apparently made at label Polydor’s suggestion and not one driven by any love between the two. My overarching memory I have from a live show from the “Odyssey” tour at the fag end of the 80’s was Turner came across as immensely frustrated on stage, whilst singing his heart out and trying to act like a professional whilst a petulant Malmsteen hogged the limelight. Expecting to be given a bit more of an equal billing given his pedigree, he found himself constantly pushed to the edge of Rock City in Nottingham’s tiny stage by Malmsteen’s ego and theatrics, lest he end up losing an eye to a machine head. Or indeed a hair piece as it turned out… 

Although to be fair, at that point I have to confess to being more interested in watching the interplay between Malmsteen and the utterly fantastic Jens Johansson in their heyday (not to mention an unknown support band from Newcastle called The Quireboys who blew all of them offstage), but Turner was top notch live and at the time it was the stimulus to go and listen more to his period with Blackmore, which had largely passed me by at that time rather than anything by Malmsteen.

So, sorry Joe, but I’ve had some catching up to do, and I suspect a few of you may too. So, you may well have noticed from the header of this page that I have chosen to give this release one of my scarce and precious top dollar scores – something I don’t do often, and with good reason. He’s been releasing solo material for a while, and a quick spin through the back catalogue indicates exactly what you would expect, but why is this is special enough to deserve that score?

For a start, this sounds deeper, darker and heavier than anything I have heard Joe Lynn Turner put his name to before. The reason for that, and the lynchpin of this release, is that it’s a collaboration with the versatile Swedish multi-instrumentalist and producer Peter Tägtgren (best known for his contributions to Death Metal act Hypocrisy, Industrial act Pain and the other founding half of what Rammstein frontman Till Lindemann does when he’s bored). In many ways this is more of a supergroup project than a Turner solo album when you look at everyone the pair of them have worked with between them, but I don’t care how they market it, because it’s a fantastic piece of music from start to finish.

It is perhaps apt that at this point in his career, Turner has chosen to ditch the trademark coiffured barnet wig and embrace the reality of his bold, brave and beautifully bald bonce. And all power to him for doing so. What I had not appreciated until this point, was that actually he has been suffering with alopecia all the way through his life and career, and not felt confident enough to be himself until now. 

Good for you mate. And do you know what? This album feels like a celebration of that self-worth.

Like I said, it’s not what you expect and therefore unlike anything else in his back catalogue. It feels like this collaboration has unleashed a deep, dark and rich vein of profoundly raw, personal emotion and damned fine song-writing that has lain untapped for too long, for fear that it goes against the establish JLT brand and sound. Well, it’s never too late to realise your true potential, and this album most spectacularly does that.

Musically the influence of Tägtgren hits you in the face from the get-go, fusing uniquely the kind of Hard Rock arrangements and riffage with a dark, down-tuned and dirty Industrial flavour that punches you round the head with a couple of dirty gold bricks exactly the same way the best of Nine Inch Nails or Killing Joke do when their on top of their game. That means catchy hooks and arrangements, in a dark and brutal oily Industrial sauce, whilst still sounding like a Hard Rock / Melodic Metal album. That massive contradiction is no mean feat to pull off, creating darkness and depth whilst still retaining poignant Melodic catchiness on each and every song.

And then there’s Joe’s performance itself. 

Like the music, he has taken a gruffer and rougher style of delivery, whilst losing not one iota of his significant vocal range. Yes, the clean notes scale beautifully high and melodically, but there’s a rough ‘n’ roll gruffness to the delivery that comes completely from left field, fits the musical tone like a hand in a dirty leather studded glove and punches you on the chops when you least expect it. From the dark and brutal opening title track, a song born out of the feelings of fear and apocalyptic gloom the pandemic brought, this album does not let up for the whole of its 50 minutes. Even the more slow and moody closer ‘Requiem’ packs a punch, despite being possibly the weakest song on here, but you neither notice or care by this point because this absolutely does not feel like it’s coming from a man who has clocked up a whopping total of 40 album releases up to this point. 

What it is a deep, dark and utterly wonderful rebirth of a man who has been overlooked for far too long. Now please get out on the road soon and prove it to us. So, do I regret my ten out of ten score? Yes, I do, and that’s only because I cannot turn it up to 11…

‘Belly Of The Beast’ Official Lyric Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Belly of the Beast
02. Black Sun
03. Tortured Soul
04. Rise Up
05. Dark Night of the Soul
06. Tears of Blood
07. Desire
08. Don’t Fear the Dark
09. Fallen World
10. Living the Dream
11. Requiem

LINE-UP:
Joe Lynn Turner – Vocals
Peter Tägtgren – Guitars, Bass & Programming
Sebastian Tägtgren – Drums
Love Magnusson – Guitar solos

LINKS:

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

Alter Bridge – Pawns and Kings

Pawns and Kings Album Cover Art

Alter Bridge – Pawns and Kings
Napalm Records
Release Date: 14/10/2022
Running Time: 53:34
Review By Alex Swift
8/10

Myles Kennedy and co. are, to this writer, one of the greatest acts in Metal today. They have continued to be that, despite the cries of elitists who bemoan the fact that they have a degree of crossover appeal. So, for the avoidance of any doubt, I view “Blackbird” and “Fortress” as absolute classics in the genre, and “ABII” and “The Last Hero” to be deeply overlooked. In fact, while I come back to 2019’s “Walk the Sky” infrequently, I think that album saw the band solidifying that while they may not be the most diverse band musically, the sound they have honed is distinctly theirs and is one they perform exceptionally well. “Pawns and Kings” continues on that path. 

 ‘This Is War’ continues Alter Bridge’s tradition as architects of the brilliant opening songs – a trend which dates back to the band’s inception. Pawns & Kings begins in stunning form with this lavish and potent call to arms. There isn’t a drawn-out introduction like there was on earlier openers. Rather, it accelerates to full speed with the now-iconic hefty Mark Tremonti riff and a huge vocal line from Myles Kennedy in the chorus. It’s a noble rallying cry that wonderfully frames the record from the outset. The powerful ‘Dead Among the Living’ follows. It features yet another catchy vocal line from Kennedy, who is once again supported by Tremonti, who has a markedly larger vocal presence on this record. Side, note, Myles Kennedy has said that the reason for this is he feels fans are put off by his vocal style – I think that’s modesty as both vocalists are on fine form throughout. Still, one of their strongest riffs in a while can be heard on this song, which seems to reprise earlier tracks like ‘Come to Life’ and ‘Ties That Bind’ in its Post-Grunge aesthetic. The record’s standout track, ‘Silver Tongue’, is a low-end rumbling behemoth that wraps up the opening trio of commanding anthems. What Alter Bridge excel at here is striking powerfully and quickly without ever losing sight of their magnificence and size.

The Mark Tremonti led ‘Stay’ is the first of the ballads on this album. Moments like this display the guitarist’s incredible song-writing ability, even if they are schmaltzy and overly sentimental. It’s cheese, sure, but its fine, rich, and mature cheese with a significant emotional aftertaste. This also holds true for the subsequent upbeat song Seasons of Promise. ‘Fable Of the Silent Son’, the band’s longest song to date, can also a be found on the album. The band must have had lots of confidence to write a piece which eclipses ‘Blackbird’ – a song so emotionally affecting that it deserves to be viewed with absolute reverence within Metal – in length. Indeed, while this doesn’t quite reach those lofty heights, the heroic piece is without a doubt one of their best to date. It begins with Kennedy in the limelight before exploding into a thumping riff. Together, Tremonti and Brian Marshall throw down powerful guitar riffs that are overlaid by soaring voices. You will be completely engrossed by the time the solo comes around since it moves smoothly through the duration. Both this song and the sumptuous ‘Sin After Sin’, a mid-tempo rocker that highlights the rhythm section as the band’s hidden pulse, have strong Prog characteristics, showing that while Alter Bridge are not often viewed as incredibly versatile, they excel at combining influences.

Although you probably know what to anticipate from an Alter Bridge album by this point, you cannot dispute that they do everything to absolute perfection. The band has come to the realisation that what they do best is to be authentic, and their audience will appreciate them for that too. There is no doubting that Pawns & Kings ranks among their greatest creations.

TRACKLISTING:
01. This Is War
02. Dead Among the Living
03. Silver Tongue
04. Sin After Sin
05. Stay
06. Holiday
07. Fable Of the Silent Sun
08. Season of promise
09. Last Man Standing
10. Pawns & Kings

LINE-UP:
Myles Kennedy – Lead And Backing Vocals, Rhythm, And Lead Guitar
Mark Tremonti – Lead And Rhythm Guitar, Backing And Lead Vocals
Brian Marshall – Bass
Scott Phillips – Drums, Percussion

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alex Swift 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.

Sea of Snakes – The Serpent & The Lamb

The Serpent & The Lamb Album Cover Art

Sea of Snakes – The Serpent & The Lamb
Metal Assault Records
Release Date: 14/10/22
Running Time: 42:00 
Review by Paul Hutchings
9/10

Drawing deep from the well of Metal, Hard Rock, and Stoner with an additional serving of Doom, the debut album from Los Angeles quartet Sea of Snakes should resonate with those who like their music to combine genres. It’s a sludgy sound that combines Black Label Society with Alice in Chains in a high octane ten-track riff fest. 

Opening with the powerful ‘Start a War’, Sea of Snakes begin the release with a pounding, high tempo driver of a track that immediately gives notice of intent. Thick riffs combine with Jason Busiek’s superb throaty roar. Reminiscent of Zakk Wylde and Chris Cornell, Busiek’s delivery fits ideally with the overall tempo of the song, which bristles with energy for the first part, slowing to a more powerful yet slower pace and then hitting the speed button once again as the song picks up speed. It’s a huge opener, a statement of intent and a testosterone fuelled rampage. 

It’s Sabbath worship next on ‘Demon Seed’, a slower but crunchier piece which sees Busiek bring a swagger to his vocals as the slow burning riff cascades. There’s more than a hint of the bluesy side of Down, such is the NOLA feel, but whatever the influences, it’s a song that soaks deep into the bones. The riffs keep coming, a dirty, fuzzed up feel on ‘Get the Gun’, whilst the crunching doom-soaked ‘End of the Sun’ drops a different style, less urgency, more sludge with some bone jarring segments that could damage foundations. Busiek can vary his vocals as well, moving into a slower, more measured but still emotive pace. 

Continuing in the variation of style comes the haunting ‘Dead Man’s Song’ which is a little grungy, echoing the kind of evocative piece that Alice in Chains delivered so well. It’s a poignant track, the ringing vocal over some superb guitar work from Jim McCloskey. It’s perfectly positioned in the running order, allowing a breather before the tempo increases for ‘Third Kind’, a groove-based hard rocker that’s addictive in both feel and delivery. The deluge of riffs continues with ‘In Hell’, whilst there is more Sabbath-tinged darkness on ‘God of Creation’. 

The final two songs don’t let up. ‘Hands are Tied’ is an intense ride, fires burning as the band turn up the fuzz substantially. It’s heavy, it’s rowdy, and it’s intoxicating. To conclude the album with a track as powerful as the sludge ridden ‘The Ritual’ merely shows the quality on offer here. 

For a band formed only two years ago, “The Serpent & The Lamb” is an assured debut release. There’s a confidence about it which is fantastic, the sheer fury with which the tracks crash in bruising and in Busiek, they have a singer who can really adapt to the range the band bring. 

‘Third Kind’ Official Video


TRACKLISTING:
01. Start A War
02. Demon Seed
03. Get the Gun
04. End of the Sun
05. Dead Man’s Song
06. Third Kind
07. In Hell
08. God of Creation
09. Hands are Tied
10. The Ritual 

LINE-UP: 
Jim Mccloskey – Guitars
Jeff Murray – Drums
Jason Busiek – Vocals
Lorenzo Almanza – Bass

LINKS:

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

Gun – The Calton Songs

The Calton Songs Album Cover Art

Gun – The Calton Songs
Cherry Red Records
Release Date: 14/10/22
Running Time: 01:00:14
Review by Simon Black
8/10

It’s been a long while since I’ve heard anything from Glasgow’s Gun. They were a big part of the soundtrack to my early 1990’s, as their “Swagger” and “Gallus” albums were monster UK hits at the time, crossing the aisles spectacularly with the Metal crowd as well as the Rock one, cementing them into that decade for many people, with certifiable UK chart success to go with that. I remember seeing them on a support slot with The Rolling Stones and bizarrely, Iron Maiden around that time, fitted in with both musical sectors with ease and were seemingly unstoppable – particularly with the global reach that their hugely successful cover of ‘Word Up’ brought with it. 

Then … nothing, as they fizzled out mid-decade…

…Until 2008, when with original singer Mark Rankin now out of the equation, former Little Angels frontman Toby Jepson stepped up to the mike for a while, until Dante Gizzi passed on bass duties and took over finally vocally, and the band have been recording new albums and material ever since. This is an interesting experience to listen to, as Dante has such a similar, slightly rasping tone to Rankin, so much so that I didn’t actually realise that vocal duties had been passed on intially…

This collection of songs is a little different from what people like me for whom the band’s sound had crystalised three decades in the past might expect. For a start, thirteen of the fourteen songs on here are re-recordings on previously released material, with a heavy focus on the first three records but with a semi-acoustic rather than conventional Hard Rock overdriven guitar sound. There is a new song opening things up though, with current single ‘Backstreet Brother’ as the only Hard Rock electric song on the disk. But it does so soulfully and emotively, setting the tone for the whole album, which is a rose tinted and affectionate love note to the Calton area of Glasgow which is so central to the band’s history.

It started as a lockdown mess about, but grew wings and gives the listener a chance to hear a completely different take on material that we’re used to sounding much harder and heavier. It’s massively helped by a rich, fat production that allows the listener to appreciate layers to the likes of ‘Better Days’ or ‘Money’ that might otherwise pass you by. That said, the addition of a horn section on ‘Word Up’ was somewhat disorientating, but no worse than what Korn did to it in 2004.

I was expecting a Hard Rock album and didn’t get that. But this stopgap release (the band are already working on a new studio album) showed a richer and deeper side to this band that I did not expect, with soulful and emotive delivery. Oh, and I’m completely sold on Dante’s vocals…

‘Backstreet Brothers’ Official Video:

TRACKLISTING:
01. Backstreet Brothers
02. Better Days
03. Coming Home
04. Steal Your Fire
05. Word Up
06. Frantic
07. Taking On The World
08. Crazy You
09. Money
10. Shame On You
11. Don’t Say It’s Over
12. Inside Out
13. Higher Ground
14. Watching The World Go By

LINE-UP:
Dante Gizzi –  Lead Vocals
Giuliano “Jools” Gizzi – Guitar
Paul McManus – Drums 
Andy Carr – Bas
Tommy Gentry – Guitar

LINKS:

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

Talas – 1985

1985 Album Cover Art

Talas – 1985
Metal Blade
Release Date: 23/09/22
Running Time: 41:26
Review by Simon Black
9/10

It has been a long time. Well, since 1985 in fact, hence the album title…

OK, Talas didn’t completely stop that year, but that was when powerhouse Bass maestro Billy Sheehan took the then job of a lifetime in David Lee Roth’s solo band (when that really meant something) he effectively stopped Talas’s upward trajectory dead in its tracks. And I guess he’s been a little busy ever since, given that Mr Big were far from an underground project either, not to mention the dozens of other bands he’s squeezed in over the years. Singer Phil Naro and drummer Mark Miller are back with Sheehan, alongside newcomer Macedonian guitarist Kire Najdovski, who contributes way more than lowering the average age of the band by two decades and fits in beautifully with these old pro’s.

The project came to fruition remotely during the pandemic, and although a lot may have happened since, the band have literally picked up exactly where they left off – with all bar one of the tracks on here having originally been written for what would have been their fourth album had they not folded. Although ironically it’s that this very track – the ballad ‘Black and Blue’, that feels a little out of place, given that the remainder are a case study on superfast technically brilliant musical delivery of the kind that you would expect from these formidable maestro’s of old.

With 27 years of pot-simmering to allow for a massive tightening up of any weak spots in the arrangements of these old tracks, this album is a joy from start to finish. Sheehan delivers exactly what you expect, with bass finger work that proves they can still move at drill speed (check out his bass solo driven closer 7IHd h if you don’t believe me). Naro’s vocals have never sounded better, and Miller still remains one of the most technically underrated drummers of his generation. Then there’s Najdovski  – not the kind of shredder you might have expected, but a soulful player with mood, groove and buckets full of subtle technique, who counterpoints then band perfectly and feels like he has been there for a lot longer than he has. I can’t really fault much on here, and to be honest even ‘Black and Blue’ is an outstandingly good track, just not as quite good as the others, but then that’s an impossibly high watermark for any band…

Having been absolutely fired up by the news of this fabulous rebirth and a few joyful spins of this disk, the news that since it was recorded the tragic death of Phil Naro to cancer in 2021 means this may be the last we ever hear of Talas is a hard kick in the guts, having only just got them back. Regardless, what we have here is simultaneously a joyful rebirth, a fitting epitaph and possible the finest record Talas ever delivered in their long, if sporadic career.

‘Crystal Clear’ Official Video 

TRACKLISTING:
01.  Inner Mounting Flame
02. I’ll Take the Night
03. Crystal Clear
04. Don’t Try to Stop Me Tonight
05. Do You Feel Any Better
06. On the Take
07. Come When You Call
08. The Power to Break Away
09. Black & Blue
10. Close to the Killer
11. 7IHd h

LINE-UP:
Billy Sheehan – Bass
Mark Miller – Drums
Phil Naro – Vocals
Kire Najdovski – Guitar

LINKS:

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

House Of Lords – Saints And Sinners

Saints And Sinners Album Cover Art

House Of Lords – Saints And Sinners
Frontiers Records s.r.l.
Release Date: 16/09/2022
Running Time: 51:24
Review by: Chris Galea 
8/10

In this new House Of Lords album, only vocalist James Christian remains from the original line-up and it wasn’t even Christian who conceived the band. Nevertheless, the band’s sound is more or less intact. And Christian’s voice is more than intact… in fact it’s really in top shape.

There’s a discernable fine quality in these songs, all within the niche of catchy Hard Rock with a nod to classic Whitesnake. Great vocal harmonies, more than competent musicianship, groove, ballads… all this and more bursts forth from the get go.

Sometimes the band almost runs out of steam, but before that actually happens along comes another great song to save the day. For my money “Saints And Sinners” is one of the band’s best album for years.

‘House Of The Lord’ Official Video 

TRACKLISTING:
01. Saints And Sinners
02. House Of The Lord
03. Take It All
04. Road Warrior
05. Mistress Of The Dark
06. Avalanche
07. Roll Like Thunder
08. Razzle Dazzle
09. Dreamin’ It All
10. Takin My Heart Back
11. Angels Fallen

LINE-UP:
James Christian – Vocals, Guitars
Jimi Bell – Guitars
Mark Mangold – Keyboards
Johan Koleberg – Drums

LINKS:

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

Little Villains – Battle of Britain

Battle Of Britain Album Cover Art

Little Villains – Battle of Britain
Spira Records
Release Date: 15/09/22
Running Time: 35:00 
Review by Paul Hutchings
6/10

Way back two decades ago, a chance meeting between Phil ‘Philthy animal’ Taylor and James Childs in an electronic store in L.A. led to the formation of Little Villains. After Taylor’s death in 2019, the band’s first album “Philthy Lies” was released. Scroll forward three years and we are now looking into the whites of Little Villains’ fourth studio release “Battle of Britain”.

It’s an album that takes you back to a time when raw power counted for more than polished production. It deserves to be played loud. The riffs are plentiful, the compositions at times rudimentary. ‘Butcher Bird’ for example, is basic, vocally ropey, but still quite compelling. Opening track ‘Messerschmidt’ was one of the first singles, along with ‘Spitfire’ and ‘Watching You’. They all have enough to be enjoyable without blowing you away. 

The tracks are short, fast and with a Punk-tinged hue. ‘Mush’ hammers away, a pounding drumbeat propelling a semi-Desert Rock Queens of the Stone Age instrumental which is irresistible to tap along to. ‘In His Blood’ discloses the vocal limitations, although the Maiden style harmonies distract. ‘Words of Insanity’ pinches more than a soupcon of ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ and the two-minute ‘Boy-Next-Door’ is a pogo stomp throwaway. 

It’s probably the two aircraft themed songs that bookend the album that work best. ‘Messerschmidt’ with its marching intro and effects conjures up images of the German war machine’s most effective fighter whilst ‘Spitfire’ genuinely emits the heart of old school Motörhead, with its high tempo riffs and manic drumming pushing everything along at pace. 

My main question is where you go with this album. It’s okay, rough, ready, and enjoyable, despite some rather tired and predictable German accents on the final song. An amusing listen or two, but I’m unlikely to be running to the nearest store or online emporium to pick up a copy. 

‘Messerschmitt’ Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Messerschmitt
02. Crying Out for More
03. Butcher Bird
04. Mush
05. In His Blood
06. Words of Insanity
07. Boy Next-Door
08. The Last
09. Watching You 
10. Spitfire

LINE-UP:
James Childs – Vocals, Bass
Owen Childs – Guitar
Chris Fielden – Drums
Guest appearances by Nick Davidge (Guitar, Vocals, and Simon Hedges – Bass) 

LINKS:

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

Thundermother – Black And Gold

Black And Gold Album Cover Art

Thundermother – Black And Gold
AFM Records
Release Date: 19/08/22
Running Time: 42:49
Review by Simon Black
9/10

Thundermother somewhat impressed me last year when I reviewed their re-issued expanded edition of their “Heatwave” from 2020. So I grabbed this one with open arms, because shit-hot Hard Rock bands of this calibre are a rarity in a crowded market full of copycats. It’s impressive not least for the fact that they had to practically start again from the ground up after some crippling line-up changes since their debut, but this incarnation of the band have a lot going for them. 

As with last time out, the music is back to basics anthemic Hard Rock, with roots back to the early 80’s, but a Modern and hugely up to date feel to them. With a lovely fat guitar sound and a huge dose of crunch-bang-wallop that evokes AC/DC on a good day (in sound that is, although to be fair you get stylistic nods as well from time to time – the title track being the most obvious occasion but ‘I Don’t Know’ probably owes Angus royalties too) this album belts you where it hurts right from the get-go.

With nothing coming in over four and a half minutes, these ladies deliver a dozen tight, well-structured and highly anthemic belters that really belong on bigger stages before long, which considering their reputation live can not be too far away. Five albums and a painful reboot later, and this does not sound like a band with any shortage of fire, energy or potential. Obviously, in any commercially pitched outfit aimed at the more Melodic end of the market, there’s a few slower numbers in there, but these too work seamlessly, as Guernica Mancini’s vocals are little short of spectacular. Soulful, powerful and with a lustrous emotional edge that Steven Tyler would tip the nod to. She must be one of the strongest players in this scene today.

This incarnation of the Swedish four piece is an absolute powerhouse though, and these four ladies are destined for much, much more if they can keep this up. Gutsy, beautifully written, lavishly produced and heart-pumpingly delivered, this one is clearly going to get a lot more play time from me…

‘Watch Out’ Official Music Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Light In The Sky  
02. Black And Gold 
03. Raise Your Hands  
04. Hot Mess  
05. Wasted 
06. Watch Out 
07. I Don’t Know You 
08. All Looks No Hooks  
09. Loud And Free 
10. Try With Love 
11. Stratosphere 
12. Borrowed Time

LINE-UP:
Filippa Nässil – Guitar
Guernica Mancini – Vocals
Emlee Johansson – Drums
Mona “Demona” Lindgren – Bass

LINKS:

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

Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disasters – Mythos, Confession, Tragedies, and Love

Mythos, Confession, Tragedies And Love Album Cover Art

Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disasters – Mythos, Confession, Tragedies, and Love
Beautiful Disasters Records
Release Date: 08/07/22
Running Time: 40:03
Review by Laura Barnes
8/10

The cover of Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disaster’s third album is a haunting one. The grim reaper looms over a woman who has, seemingly, ripped open her own heart. Album covers – in my view, in any case – often act as promises to the listener. The smashed mirror of Black Flag’s “Damage” promised raw and unfiltered rage, and it delivered. The Vikings that populate Amon Amarth’s various offerings let you know that yes, this album is indeed about Vikings. Here, the cover of “Mythos, Confession, Tragedies and Love” promises precisely what its namesake implies: confessions. 

The third album from Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disasters is clearly a very personal one, with vulnerability and hope imbued into every song. Soulful classic rock style vocals combine with crunchy, post-grunge style riffs and guitar solos that err just on the softer side of metal to create a slick and punchy slice of modern rock that feels meaningful and deliberate. Instead of merely following formula, Blade and her Disasters embrace uncertainty throughout “Mythos, Confession, Tragedies and Love”, in every sense of the word. Lyrically, Blade wrestles with nuanced emotions and situations, most notably demonstrated on ‘Sin Eater’ and ‘Hold Your Heart’. ‘Sin Eater’ is an emotional journey: what starts with ‘You can’t crucify me more than I’ eventually becomes ‘I am reborn / No longer fractured’ with a furious guitar solo for a tripling helping of catharsis. ‘Hold Your Heart’ is a mature ballad that goes beyond the usual don’t-leave-me! or I’m-so-sorry! territory that classic rock ballads tend to cling to. Instead, this track reckons with the experience of seeing somebody you love in pain yet being unable to help them. This poignant moment on the album shows just how far Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disasters have come since they released their first album of punky floorfillers back in 2017. 

That being said, whilst this album does frequently venture into heavier territory, the punk and alternative rock influences remain an integral part of Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disaster’s music. ‘Tonight I’m With You’ is a joyful pop-rock anthem that wouldn’t be out of place on an Orianthi album, and undoubtedly a speeding down the highway, windows down, singing your heart out kind of song (and yes, I’m using the American word here, because there is absolutely nothing rock n’ roll about being on the M62), and bonus track ‘New York Time’ is a super fun earworm that could have easily slid into the Rock of Ages soundtrack without raising any eyebrows. 

The competition for my favourite song on the album, however, has resulted in a tie. ‘Sacrifice’ and ‘Persephone’ are both equally innovative and layered. ‘Sacrifice’ sees every element of the Disasters come together to create a hook that is sombre yet still manages to pack a thunderous punch. The inclusion of piano and acoustic guitars uplifts the storytelling ability of ‘Sacrifice’; the moment when Blade puffs out her chest and belts out ‘You have no power over me!’ delivers the fierce impact that it has earned. ‘Persephone’, meanwhile, takes a more atmospheric route, with the kind of thick and tasty bass that keeps your heart pumping as you headbang away – and trust me, there’s a lot of headbanging to be done here. 

So, what’s next for Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disasters? Having pushed their songwriting further than ever before, where can they go from here? Now that the band has a tight grip on their sound, the time could be ripe to let loose and take some risks. I would love to hear Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disasters with a more rough-and-ready production style that would really show off Blade’s vocal talent and allow each element of the Disasters to shine. Or perhaps even a live album! After an album like “Mythos, Confession, Tragedies and Love”, the sky is the limit. 

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Otherside
02. Sin Eater
03. Tonight I’m With You
04. Who You Are
05. Hold Your Heart
06. Undo Me
07. Persephone
08. Ozymandias
09. Sacrifice
10. Trigger Warning
11. Still Not Asking For It
12. I Never Knew (Bonus Track)
13. New York Time (Bonus Track)

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.