EMQ’s With ExpiatoriA

ExpiatoriA Logo

EMQ’s With ExpiatoriA

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Italian Heavy/ Thrash Metal band, ExpiatoriA. Huge thanks to their vocalist, David Krieg, for taking part.

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

My name Is David Krieg, and I’m the singer of ExpiatoriA. The band was formed at the behest of the brothers Massimo and GB Malachina (lead guitar & bass) between the end of the 80’s and the first half of the 90’s. The line-up was led by the charismatic figure of singer Massimo Cottica (a prominent figure in the Genoese underground at the time). Two demo tapes were recorded: “Tribute To Death” and “Symphonies Of Decomposed Human Flesh”. The band also participated in the compilation “Nightpieces” with the track “Sufferin’ Days”. In those years ExpiatoriA played an aggressive mix of techno thrash and obscure metal, and the band built a solid reputation thanks to the excellent reviews and live performances. Unfortunately, however, there is a setback when Max Cottica leaves the band to move to Ireland. The group was no longer able to continue with a new singer in the years to come and in the end broke up. 

In 2010 ExpiatoriA returned to the scene involving Max Cottica again, at least at the beginning. After numerous other vicissitudes and a decisive turn towards doom sounds (as was in the original intentions), the line-up reaches its current and more stable stage, with myself (David Krieg) on vocals, Edoardo Napoli on guitar, Fulvio Flux Parisi on keyboards, and Enrico Meloni on drums, as well as the Malachina brothers, of course, a.k.a. the initiators of the project.

How did you come up with your band name?

ExpiatoriA is the ancient Latin concept of “scapegoat” in the liturgical meaning of the Catholic religion. We have chosen this moniker by overturning its destination: we are no longer the freaks, the outcasts, the strange, the unwanted, and we have no sin to atone for (except those for which we accept responsibility as reasonable beings); in a sort of new inquisition, it is now WE who point the finger at the TRUE sinners and demand their atonement.

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

We come from Genoa, Italy. The local rock / metal scene is always in turmoil and is capable of producing remarkable and even historical realities: two essential names above all, Necrodeath and Sadist. 

The problem of Genoa is the excessive provincialism of the experts who find it hard to believe in REALLY alternative productions, as well as a certain “laziness” of a part of the public who prefers to complain about the absence of important events, only to sin of guilty absenteeism when such events are finally organised. Not to mention that a large section of the public is controlled by the dominant media and totally ignores the real rock scene. 

Despite this scourge, there are brave pioneers who get involved, and among a thousand ups and downs, they manage to organise remarkable evenings or events (see the recent Metal Valley Fest with Voivod headlining, in which we also participated). In addition to this, it must be recognized that there is no shortage of valid bands. I’ll mention a few names, but there are so many: Abysmal Grief, Segno del Comando, Loculo, Winternius, Malombra, Tenebre, Stramonia, et … There are still many out there, and they are all valid.

What is your latest release?

“Shadows” is Expiatoria’s full length debut. It represents the culmination of a long and troubled journey that began in 1987. After several demo tapes, multiple line-up changes and forced breaks, the band finally freed itself from all those negative factors that have always held back its growth, and now it is ready to stay and leave an important trace in the scene.

“Shadows” will be released on November 4 2022 via Black Widow Records and Diamonds Prod. The album contains 6 tracks of doom, gothic, obscure and atmospheric heavy metal. Pre-orders are open on our Bandcamp page: https://linktr.ee/expiatoria 

“Shadows” features the contribution of some outstanding musicians within the Italian rock and metal scene: Diego Banchero (founder and bassist of label-mates, the dark prog band Il Segno del Comando) in “Asylum of the Damned”, Edmondo Romano (wind instruments for countless projects and bands) in “Asylum of the Damned”, Raffaella Càngero (voice of heavy-prog-folk band La Janara) in “Ombra – Tenebra Part 2”, and Freddy Delirio (keyboards in Italian cult horror metallers Death SS) in “7 Chairs and a Portrait”.

The song writing process has often been hindered by the pandemic and the rules to contain it, but this adversity has only strengthened our determination to pursue the goal of making a work that has been postponed for too long. We thought like a family, supporting each other, and the result is a deeply felt album, aimed at those people who don’t just listen to music superficially.

In this sense, “Krieg (My Last Song)” is an example of emotional identification.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Above all, the mighty King Diamond (both as a soloist and with Mercyful Fate). Then I could say Candlemass (and the Doom scene in general), the most obscure NWOBHM and also a pinch of dark prog. In some aspects, I could say that due to the harmonic construction of the songs and dramatic theatricality, we have some affinities with Type O Negative.

What first got you into music?

The will to create by myself what I like most to listen to. In a way it’s about giving life to your favourite music, the one that no band has ever produced in a single form: I’ve always liked the idea of taking the elements I prefer from my favourite artists and combining them in a single style. Which eventually becomes “mine”.

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

I would have liked to collaborate with Antonius Rex very much, but unfortunately, his departure makes this desire impossible. I generally like to establish artistic and human relationships with other musicians, and I consider it an honour in equal measure to work with big names as well as with emerging bands. So, point blank, I’d tell you I’d like to sing on a Void of Silence album.

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

I’ll give you an unusual answer, considering the kind of music we offer, but I’d really love to play at the Obscene Extreme Festival if the latter weren’t exclusively dedicated to death-grind-brutal: because it has to be really fun and crazy. But it would damage our dark image, haha!

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

Not a real gift (intended as an object), but a personal fan of mine (who has become a real friend over time) travelled several km to visit me at my home and get to know me.

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

Go to live gigs as often as you can: the scene, whether it’s ExpiatoriA or any other band, must be supported in order to continue to exist. And if you are part of a band, too, don’t wage stupid wars among the poor: we are all in the same boat. It is the most banal, but also the most sincere message that I can send.

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

All those who left too soon and who could have given much more to the music. Unfair to mention only one.

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

Considering myself an interpreter even before a musician, I take on the burden of an experience that is at the basis of every aspect related to making music, be it compositional, interpretative, management in life or more generally professional. 

In this sense, even the most pleasant aspect (which can be expressing oneself creatively) hides the other side of the coin: the spasmodic search for a catharsis which not only can also leave you in pieces, but which is not always replicable with the same intensity every time. This makes me feel the responsibility of reaching a compromise between the sincerity of my artistic expression and the duty to always maintain a high level of professionalism. In this dichotomy reside both the things I love and hate most about being a musician.

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

I would reform the whole record industry all over again, including the perception that people have of it, including those musicians who don’t know how to relate to it in a reasonable and productive way.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Aaarrghh!!! Too many to mention. So point blank, I say “Don’t Break the Oath” by Mercyful Fate.

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

Vinyl Forever!!! I benefit from all the aforementioned supports because I am not a caveman incapable of evolution, but the vinyl remains the best way to enjoy music, artwork and various details.

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

The next One, I hope. Our goal is to improve from time to time.

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

I really don’t know… for sure, always something related to artistic expression: Given my propensity to tell stories by playing with images and words, perhaps a writer or a film-maker.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

King Diamond, Lemmy (back from the dead), the wrestler Undertaker, Jim Carrey and Julian Assange.

What’s next for the band?

Play live wherever possible: starting on November 5th, we will begin a mini Autumn tour in northern Italy, after which we will record a split with our friends Segno del Comando based on the same idea, some sort of concept album. The creation of a video clip is also in the works. The car has started, and there is a lot of gasoline.

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

We’re on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Bandcamp: https://linktr.ee/expiatoria 

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?

Muffin.

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

Embrace the Shadows and join us in this journey through the dark. 

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.

Whirlwind – 1714

1714 Album Cover Art

Whirlwind – 1714
Fighter Records
Release Date: 22/11/22
Running Time: 51:00 
Review by Paul Hutchings 
7/10

Although established in 2012 as a parallel project, it’s taken over a decade for Mark Wild to finally deliver the debut album by Whirlwind. The band that hails from Barcelona were established with the aim of writing songs influenced by the likes of Running Wild, Accept and Helloween, with an emphasis on the old school style of those bands. 

It’s fair to say that they’ve achieved their objective for “1714” is exactly what you’d expect when you read that. Ten tracks of thunderously paced heavy metal with a traditional 1980’s sound, it’s non-stop Power from start to finish. Well played, high tempo and following a standard template of riffs, verses, choruses, harmonies, and solos that shred, there’s little else to say expect that if you aren’t a fan of this kind of Metal, you’ll probably be better off avoiding “1714”. If you are partial to a bit of dramatic, clichéd but perfectly executed over the top Power Metal, then this album is well worth checking out. 

You may be asking what is the album’s theme? What Whirlwind have done here is drawn attention to the Catalonian events of 1714, namely the Siege of Barcelona which led to the fall of the city during the war of Spanish Succession. A key part of Spanish history, it’s certainly well worth researching a bit more about this. 

Following the intro of “1714”, the band launch into opening song ‘The Call’. It’s the first opportunity to hear Héctor Llauradó’s vocals and the guy can hold a note. The music is fast and furious, with some excellent lead work. As you work your way through the album, it’s evident that the band stick closely to their chosen blueprint. There’s a little variation on ‘Torture, Knife & Fire’ whilst ‘Gallows Tithe’ sees the band utilise some dual guitar harmonies in the style of Iron Maiden. It’s all perfectly enjoyable, and you’ll soon find yourself nodding along with memorable hooks digging deep.

It’s probably a little long at 51 minutes, although I’m sure that many power metal fans would argue that there is no such thing as enough of this style of Metal. There are also, as one might expect a couple of fillers – ‘Cannons of Infuriation’ being one for me. But overall, there’s little to dislike. 

‘Gallow Tithe’ Official Audio

TRACKLISTING:
01. 1714 (intro)
02. The Call
03. Under Siege
04. Rebels Arise!
05. Torture, Knife & Fire
06. Gallows Tithe
07. Cannons of Infuriation
08. The Bastard Duke
09. Immortal Heroes
10. Red September
11. Echoes of Time

LINE-UP:
Mark Wild – Rhythm Guitar 
Artur – Lead Guitar 
Héctor Llauradó – Vocals 
Jordi – Drums

LINKS:

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

U.D.O. – The Legacy

The Legacy Album Cover Art

U.D.O. – The Legacy
AFM Records
Release Date: 18/11/2022
Running Time: 150:43 
Review by Richard Oliver
7/10

“The Legacy” is a massive two disc and 33 song retrospective of the solo career of Udo Dirkscheider and his solo band U.D.O. Udo himself has one of the most recognisable voices in German Heavy Metal having been the legendary frontman for Accept in their classic years and his solo band was formed in 1987 upon his departure from Accept. The band has been on and off in the intervening years as has Udo’s time with Accept but for many years U.D.O. has been his primary project with a whopping 18 albums released between 1987 and present day as well as numerous E.P.’s and live albums. 2022 is the 35th anniversary of the formation of the band and as such AFM Records are releasing a massive retrospective of the band with material taken from every album as well as a handful of rarities.

Unlike most career retrospectives which tend to regurgitate the same and most obvious songs from a band’s discography, “The Legacy” picks some less obvious song choices as well as ensuring no era of the band is missed out. The album starts with the most recent material and works its way back starting with songs from the latest album “Game Over” and ending with the debut album “Animal House”. Song choices include ‘Decadent’, ‘Dominator’, ‘Man And Machine’, ‘Holy’ and ‘Independence Day’, ‘Break The Rules’ and ‘Pandemonium’ from the “We Are One” collaborative album with Das Musikkorps Der Bundeswehr. On the first disc there are some rare songs which would not have been heard by a good chunk of the U.D.O. fanbase having been released either as Japanese bonus tracks such as ‘What A Hell Of A Night’ and ‘Dust And Rust’ or released on a special AFM Records compilation such as ‘Falling Angels’. The second disc is the strongest in my opinion featuring songs off the older albums which are more my preference though there are some heavy metal bangers on the first disc.

“The Legacy” is an apt title for this compilation showcasing Udo Dirkschneider’s career post-Accept and a monstrous feast of German Heavy Metal. With a running time of 2.5 hours and 33 songs it is a lot to digest in one sitting, but it works as a great introduction for anyone who has yet to check out any U.D.O. material. For the long term fan there is little here apart from the 4 rarer songs but this is a great collection of material to celebrate the 35th anniversary year of the U.D.O. band and highlights some lesser known songs from the band.

‘Dust And Rust’ Official Audio

TRACKLISTING:

Disc 1:
01. Fear Detector
02. Metal Never Dies
03. Wilder Life
04. Pandemonium
05. One Heart One Soul
06. Make The Move
07. What A Hell Of A Night
08. Pain
09. Decadent
10. Falling Angels
11. Metal Machine
12. Steelhammer
13. Dust And Rust
14. I Give As Good As I Get
15. Rock ‘n’ Roll Soldiers
16. Dominator

Disc 2:
01. Mastercutor
02. Vendetta
03. 24 7
04. Blind Eyes
05. Man And Machine
06. Like A Lion
07. Shout It Out
08. Holy
09. Freelance Man
10. Independence Day
11. Metal Eater
12. Future Land
13. Blitz Of Lightning
14. We’re History
15. Break The Rules
16. Go Back To Hell
17. They Want War

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Oliver 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.

Whiteabbey – Volume Two

Volume Two Album Cover Art

Whiteabbey – Volume Two
Self-Released
Release Date: 04/11/22
Running Time: 35:38
Review by Laura Barnes
7/10

Metal is a vast, vast thing. The idea that Cannibal Corpse, Nightwish and Limp Bizkit each belong to the same musical family is a bonkers one. There are, of course, some people who are opposed to such bonkersosity (see: The Metal Archives ‘Rules’ page), but I personally believe that the Metalverse is better for it. The constant smashing and mix-mashing of boundaries and genres means that Metal is constantly evolving. You could spend your whole life listening to the genre and still, lying on your deathbed at the ripe old age of 102, load up Bandcamp and discover something new. 

This is a very long-winded way of informing you that Whiteabbey’s “Volume Two” contains something I never in a million years thought I would hear: a Power Metal version of Take That’s ‘Rule The World’. This proves to be a bloody good time (as long as you don’t take yourself, or the song, too seriously), but also tells you everything you need to know about Whiteabbey. This is Power Metal at its most poppy and cheesy. This is Power Metal that your Gran would like. 

I don’t mean that as an insult. The last couple of months, I’ve been wading through seas of Black Metal and Prog, so when I listened to this album, I was struck by how accessible it was. This is an album of catchy earworms, an album you can sing along with after just one listen. Clocking out at just 35 minutes, “Volume Two” is full of tightly structured songs that charge forward with confidence. It doesn’t particularly reinvent the wheel, but it’s perfect for fans of bands like Sonata Arctica and Battle Beast. 

Album opener ‘Swan’ begins the album with an enjoyable but fairly standard Melodic Metal song featuring instrumentals that are reminiscent of Nightwish in their “Once” era. It is quickly overshadowed by its more anthemic successor, ‘Guardian’. This is an absolute fist-pumper of a track, with a passionately sung chorus, an incredibly impressive guitar solo, and a piano riff that makes me feel like I’m battling the Final Boss in a JRPG.

Of course, an album like “Volume Two” wouldn’t be complete without a power ballad. ‘Wish’ sees Whiteabbey take a somewhat stripped back approach to this time-honoured tradition. The usual electric guitar riffs are traded in for acoustic melodies that help to foreground the story of the song, a kind of back-and-forth evaluation of a failed relationship. Although it is a comparatively slower song, the back-and-forth style vocals give the song an energetic feel that will keep you engaged throughout, and the lyrics have enough specificity to make the song feel like a real conversation between two ex-lovers.

Other highlights include ‘Wicked’, a very chuggy and dramatic song that has major Battle Beast vibes, and ‘Shadows’, a magnificently malevolent earworm. Despite Whiteabbey having a slightly gentler sound compared to most Power Metal bands, ‘Shadows’ demonstrates that Whiteabbey are both willing and capable of pulling out all the stops when necessary. And then, of course, we come full circle with their very unique version of ‘Rule The World’.

As talented musicians, there is certainly room for Whiteabbey to take larger risks in future albums. Having short, tightly structured songs makes for an enjoyable listen, but it would be exciting to see them occasionally throw the formula out the window and show off their creativity – I am sure that they are more than capable. That said, I do hope we continue to see more from Whiteabbey. “Volume Two” takes a surprisingly gentle approach to power metal that I have scarcely encountered amongst newer bands, and it would be interesting to hear more. 

TRACKLISTING:
01. Swan
02. Guardian
03. Angels
04. Wish
05. Shadows
06. Wicked
07. Heaven
08. You
09. Rule The World

LINE-UP:
Tamara Bouwhuis – Vocals
Stevie McLaughlin – Vocals, Lead Guitar
Steve Moore – Guitars, Bass

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.

Leatherwolf – Kill The Hunted

Kill The Hunted Album Cover Art

Leatherwolf – Kill The Hunted
Rock Of Angels Records/ Soulfood Music
Release Date: 11/11/22
Running Time: 50:10
Review by Simon Black
6.5/10

Leatherwolf are one of those acts that I have found to be somewhat elusive over the decades, and chronically overlooked at the time of their inception. I first came across them in 1989 when backpacking around the USA and their “Street Ready” album was released. This was the first time I had really encountered the USA incarnation of Power Metal, and at the time their unique selling point came from what they cheesily referred to as the “Triple Axe Attack”, which genuinely appears to be the first time a Metal act had three full time guitarists in the mix. This meaning any layering you produce in the studio can be reproduced live in those pre-digital days, so if you thought that Iron Maiden came up with that idea when the invited Brice and Adrian back, then onto the naughty step with you…

This was quite an important step at the time really, as with three equally talented six stringers, the different styles and playing signature voices allowed for a broad range of tone and I dutifully carried back a now very well-worn vinyl copy of that record to dear old Blighty. I was quite surprised that no-one in Europe ever seemed to have heard of them when I got home though, and for years I have been trying to get hold of that record in digital format, which has proved as hard to find as rocking horse droppings unless you want to pay over the top import fees (although it has literally just been released on streaming platforms mere weeks ago). What also didn’t help was Grunge, which effectively wiped them out not long after “Street Ready” was released. They regrouped as Hail Mary, but that self-titled album only recently saw the light of day a couple of months back, and it wasn’t until 1999 that they were back under their original moniker. So, I have more than a small amount of curiosity about this one.

A lot has happened in the intervening years. There’s line-up changes, and there’s line-up changes, but this band clearly installed a revolving door in their rehearsal space a long time since. Only drummer Dean Roberts remains from the line-up I encountered all those years ago, and with the distinctive voice of Michael Olivieri having only recently vacated the post (albeit for the second time) I was fully expecting this to sound like band to sound nothing like what I had heard all those years ago. 

Well, they do and they don’t…

Let’s start with the vocals. New lungsman Keith Adamiak has all the advantage of youth, as well as being tonally not dissimilar from Oliveri, although I would argue he’s got a lot more rock’n’roll roughness to his tone, whilst still being able to hit the high notes bang to rights. This brings an edginess that lends the music the power and energy of that long ago time, without feeling over-polished and desperately trying to get commercial appeal (which “Street Ready” most definitely suffered from). It’s always a risk bringing an unknown young new player into an established brand, but this is one risk that has paid off, as his performance is powerful, charismatic and with enough energy to power the street in a blackout.

Musically it’s harder to pin down. 

Having not heard anything from their output in the intervening years, it’s difficult to track the evolution. That said, stylistically this is absolutely coming from the same place as that early material, with fast paced Power Metal being absolutely the order of the day. That said the kind of triple-layered harmonies that grabbed my attention way back when are not that prevalent. The production seems to be a bit fragmented too, with the music generally benefitting from a rounded mix, but the vocals sometimes sound like they’ve been added in with a different hand at the mixer, and can sound a little crisp and trebly compared to the instrumentals, but that’s a minor niggle as it actually helps bring Adamiak to the fore although the fact that this mix can change so much from track to track gets annoying after a while.

What it’s lacking though is the catchiness of the past, and that’s down to some quite by the numbers song writing in places. Opener ‘Hit The Dirt’ and the title track deliver the goods well enough, and the more epic and richly rounded ‘The Henchman’ is spot on and definitely a nod to the past with that distinctive instrumental interplay front and centre, but tracks like ‘Madhouse’ and ‘Medusa’ feel like the kind of padding that should never have made it beyond the pre-production stage. Overall, the record feels a little rushed and patchy, with that sound inconsistency proving to be a real bugbear as time wears on.

But this to all intents and purposes is a new act, with an old name, and one that is clearly not done gelling with the current line-up. When it’s on form, it delivers superbly, but that stylistic and recording inconsistency makes me feel that a punchier EP of the best tracks would have been a better step until that process has completed.

‘Kill The Hunted’ Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Hit the Dirt 
02. Nobody 
03. Kill the Hunted 
04. Only the Wicked 
05. Madhouse 
06. Medusa 
07. The Henchman 
08. (Evil) Empires Fall 
09. Road Rage 
10. Lights Out Agan 
11. Enslaved 

LINE-UP:
Barry Sparks – Bass
Dean Roberts – Drums
Rob Math – Guitars
Luke Man – Guitars
Keith Adamiak – Vocals
Wayne Findlay – Keyboards / Guitars

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.

EMQ’s With BASTYON

Bastyon Logo

EMQ’s With BASTYON

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Scottish Heavy Metal band, Bastion. Huge thanks to their Vocalist/ Guitarist, Andy Johnson, 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 Andy Johnson from Scottish Heavy Metal band Bastyon. I do lead vocals and guitar. Bastyon were formed in early 2018 and our current line-up is myself, Tony O’Neill on guitar, Jamie Hunter on bass and Garrie Day on drums.

We released our debut album “Bastyon” in mid-2020 to great critical acclaim, even scoring an impressive 9 out of 10 in Powerplay magazine issue 235.

We have recently finished our 2nd album “The End Of Reason” which is due for release on 19th December 2022

How did you come up with your band name?

I had a song called “Bastion”, I thought it would be a cool name but we changed the spelling to “Bastyon” to avoid confusion with another band with the title “Bastion”, so now the name of the band (and the song) is “Bastyon”.

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

We are from central Scotland (Fife and Glasgow), there is a fantastic Rock and Metal scene here, loads of great local bands who we have had the pleasure of playing with at various venues in Fife, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

What is your latest release?

Our new album is called “The End Of Reason”, due for release in December 2022, we have already released a few songs from it as “tasters” – “Wrong Inside”, “Dreams Of Valhalla”, “The Jungle” and “End Of Reason”.

We have also done a video for “Dreams Of Valhalla”, which is available on YouTube.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica, Megadeth, Ozzy Osbourne, Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio and plenty others.

What first got you into music?

Watching Top Of The Pops when I was a kid. I can still remember the first time I saw the ‘Run To The Hills’ video by Iron Maiden, I thought it was the best thing I’d ever heard, especially that crazy guitar solo.

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

Yngwie Malmsteen. The guy is an amazing guitarist but his songs are nowhere near as good as they used to be so I could write the songs for him, that would be a win!

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

Rock In Rio, it just looks amazing, what a crowd!

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

A bag of chips (chippy chips).

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

Support your local music scene by going to the local gigs and buy some merchandise if you can.

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

Jimi Hendrix.

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

I just love playing, especially when you have a receptive crowd and people sing along. Worst part is the travelling and loading the gear in, but ultimately it is worth it.

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

Ticket prices, especially unruly “re-sale” sites which are just a rip off.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Powerslave” by Iron Maiden.

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

CDs.

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

Undoubtedly when we supported the mighty Wolfsbane in Bannermans, Edinburgh earlier this year. To share a stage with Blaze Bayley was an absolute blast.

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

Gardening.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, Royce Gracie and Muhammad Ali.

What’s next for the band?

Lots of gigs, promoting the new album and preparing the songs for our 3rd album.

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

Facebook – https://facebook.com/bastyon.metal
Bandcamp – https://bastyonband.bandcamp.com 
YouTube – https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCzyfPYSDfcm0XrMghmZawKA/videos

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?

In Scotland it’s always a roll. Usually with square sausage.

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

Thanks to everyone who has supported us in any way, bought our music and merchandise and we’ll see you down the front. Cheers!

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.

Stryper – The Final Battle

The Final Battle Album Cover Art

Stryper – The Final Battle

Frontiers Music srl

Release Date: 12/10/22

Running Time: 46:23 

Review by: Chris Galea 

8.5/10

Dubious record label policies affected the tardiness of this review’s publication but nevertheless I felt the album merited a few words on these virtual pages. I remember, back in the late 1980s, being engrossed by this band’s music… A music that’s come to be inseparable from the religiously-themed lyrics of the songs. Almost 40 years later, not only hasn’t “The Final Battle” lost any of that early exuberance but this is quite possibly one of Stryper’s strongest albums.

It kicks off with all guns blazing – ‘Transgressor’ is heavy as hell without forgoing Stryper’s characteristic choir vocals and strong melodies. This song is also an accurate representation of the whole album, which is heavy, melodic and has Michael Sweet’s lead vocals in tip-top shape. This is not to say that each song is indistinguishable from the next. To give a few examples: ‘The Way, The Truth, The Life’ has a slower but pulsating tempo while ‘Heart & Soul’ is characterised by crunching riffs, tempo changes and inspired guitar solos from Oz Fox.

The album is also very well produced and the sound picks up on all the subtle nuances of the songs’ melodies. I get the impression that this time Stryper has devoted significant attention not only to the quality of the individual songs but also to the album as a holistic product.

In a recent interview Michael Sweet lamented how the band still remains underacknowledged after all these years and after 13 studio albums. But the band’s confidence certainly doesn’t seem dented. One hopes that this album title is not a dig at a finality of Stryper’s recording output and that we’ll hear from this band for more years to come.

‘Same Old Story’ Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Transgressor
02. See No Evil, Hear No Evil
03. Same Old Story
04. Heart & Soul
05. Near
06. Out, Up & In
07. Rise To The Call
08. The Way, The Truth, The Life
09. No Rest For Wicked
10. Till Death Do Us Part
11. Ashes To Ashes

LINE-UP:
Michael Sweet – Lead Vocals, Lead & Rhythm Guitar
Oz Fox – Lead and Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Perry Richardson – Bass, Vocals
Robert Sweet – Drums & Percussion

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. 

EMQ’s With Furi Helium

Furi Helium Logo

EMQ’s With Furi Helium

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Spanish Heavy Metal/ Thash band, Furi Helium. Huge thanks to them for taking part. 

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

We are Furi Helium, a Thrash / Heavy Metal band from Barcelona. We have been playing since 2012, when 5 Metal guys gathered to play some covers. Then we started to create our own songs and defining our own style, which has been build up from the many different influences of all five members.

How did you come up with your band name?

Pretty uncommon name… We are often misspelled as Fury Hellium, but our actual name is Furi Helium (means Black Sun in Latin). 

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

We are from Barcelona (Catalonia). Here the most influential band are Crisix and Angelus Apatrida, but apart from them, the Metal scene is getting absorbed sometimes by Punk and Hardcore scenes.

What is your latest release? 

Our latest release is the first single (The Inherent Fate) of our upcoming album “Far From Sanity”. This song talks about the Fermi Paradox and how humans are destroying our planet because of our insatiable behaviours.

Who have been your greatest influences?

At the very beginning we were influenced by Iron Maiden, Hammerfall… but as long as we evolved, and our music did too, we were more influenced by Thrash Metal bands such as Slayer, Testament, Exodus, Lamb of God…

What first got you into music?

We did get into metal music because of both: our families and our close friends. Each member of the band had different experiences to explain that.

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

We’d like to collaborate with our national bands like Crisix, which are bringing their music abroad, lately. This will be very interesting for us!

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

Talking about Festivals, we could not avoid talking about Wacken Open Air in Germany or even Hellfest in France. Attending and playing in both would be pretty amazing. In addition, we would like to play in Resurrection Fest in Galiza.

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

Something that cannot be told…. 

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

We are prepared to make a step forward to bring our music to levels we had never thought of about before.

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

We do really think that he would be Jeff Hanneman or Dimebag Darrell. Two of the most influential character for us.

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

We do love, more than creating, designing and experiencing new music instead. We also love playing in front of our fans. We hate getting upset and frustrated if thinks don’t go as planned.

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

We think one of the worst things in the current music industry is the eagerness of other music styles / artist to influence our own style and scene. 

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Reign in Blood” by Slayer, probably.

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

They are pretty different in their own way. It’s difficult to answer because each person in the world prefers something different from our perspective. 

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

We have played in a festival in front of +2000 people, more or less.

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

Each one of us have our own jobs aside from the music, so, we are professionals of our jobs. 

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Dave Lombardo, Brice Dickinson, André Olbrich, Chuck Billy and Josh Wilbur.

What’s next for the band?

Touring to show our new upcoming album to our fans.

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/furihelium/ 
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/FuriHelium 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FuriHelium/ 
Bandcamp: https://www.furihelium.bandcamp.com 

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?

Maybe Bread Roll? In Spanish is called Pan de Leche.

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

Thank you so much to give voice to unlabelled and underground bands. 

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

EMQ’s With Iron Kingdom

Iron Kingdom Logo

EMQ’s With Iron Kingdom

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Canadian Heavy Metal band, Iron Kingdom. Hugh thanks to their guitarist, Chris Osterman, for taking part. 

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

My name is Chris Osterman, I play Lead Guitar and am the Lead Vocalist for the Canadian Heavy Metal act Iron Kingdom.

Iron Kingdom formed in 2011, and since then we’ve released 5 full-length albums (including “The Blood Of Creation”’ to be released this November 04th 2022) and toured across 3 continents. Iron Kingdom is a Traditional styled Heavy Metal act with a similar approach to our influences (acts like Helloween, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Scorpions – among many others.)

How did you come up with your band name?

Well, it was actually quite challenging at first, the funny thing is that we told ourselves whatever we chose, we can’t use the words ‘Black’ or ‘Iron’ in the band name… clearly we failed with that idea, Ha ha! Once we came across the word ‘Kingdom’ we were pretty much settled, ‘Iron’ just added the nail to the coffin so to speak, plus added a lot more meaning. Essentially the ‘Iron Kingdom’ is a haven or Mecca for Metalheads, it’s more of a place than anything else, an imaginary or fantasy realm where Heavy Metal is the law, and it’s a community of people (not unlike a Metal Festival) that work and live together.

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

We’re from Vancouver, Canada. The Metal scene here can be quite diverse, but we found our crowd of old-school Metal lovers over the years by playing every Metal show we could get our hands on. Personally, I think our scene is amazing, there are lots of great people who look out for one another, and we have some fantastic promoters and venues along with some rad bands too!

What is your latest release?

Well, currently we’re promoting our first single ‘In The Grip Of Nightmares’ as it was just released in support of our coming album “The Blood Of Creation” due November 4th, 2022. I think this album will be a truly special release for fans of the band new and old, I think there’s a lot of diversity in our writing on this one, along with a fantastic production job from all fronts. Really can’t wait to get this one out there!!

Who have been your greatest influences?

For me personally I’d say Helloween, Iron Maiden, Queensrÿche, Judas Priest, Fates Warning, Crimson Glory and Savatage among a bunch of others, most bands that have a bit of a Progressive touch, but also killer riffs and vocals, those bands draw me in pretty quick!

What first got you into music?

Actually I’d say my interest came from two directions, first was my sister playing Classical Piano in the living room of my family home, hearing her play, I just knew that music called to me, but I also knew I wasn’t capable of whatever sorcery she was creating on that piano ha ha ha!. Secondly, around the same time, my uncle gave me Deep Purple’s Machine Head on CD. I recall listening to Deep Purple and just being astonished by the sound they got across that album, everything was perfect, every note, every hit on the drums, I couldn’t get enough of it, but I didn’t even understand what I was hearing. To me, this was just how music was made. I found out pretty quickly that was not exactly the case, and I developed my specific taste in music from that point on.

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

I think it would be really cool to do something with Kai Hansen from Gamma Ray and Helloween. He seems like a really fun guy, but I also think he’s very talented, and I think we’d have some really cool ideas together if we ever had the chance!

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

As typical as it probably sounds, I think the main stage at Wacken Open Air would be incredible. Ever since playing in a Metal band, I saw that as a kind of ‘You’ve made it’ moment. To successfully achieve that would be a dream come true for me.

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

I don’t know if it’s considered weird, but I do think it’s the coolest ha ha, a fan (and now friend) of ours from Chicago sent me a Bobblehead of myself! Gotta say, I didn’t expect it and I was totally blown away, I keep it on my speakers as an inspiration!

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

Do what makes you happy, life’s hard enough as it is, so you might as well be working towards things you enjoy! 

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

Definitely Dio. His death hit me hardest and I just wish he was still around, he seemed like one of the most genuine people and I wish he had more time to keep bringing amazing music to the world.

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

I love going on tour, playing music for our fans and seeing the world all at the same time, is just amazing to me.

Never been much of a fan of the financial struggle that music has these days. I wish there was a little more money to go around, for the venues, for the promoters for the bands, I wish it was easier, but we do it for the love of it. Maybe someday the money will get easier but it’s a long way to the top!

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

I’m not a fan of Digital platforms. Yes in some ways it’s cool, easy to travel around, and easy to consume, but it really kills the art of it all. I think physical albums are the best format and I think you don’t truly experience the music the same way when it’s been turned into an mp3 on your phone.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Deep Purple – “Machine Head”. It’s just perfection, top quality musicians writing some of their best works all on one record with amazing production and everything just feels so natural yet so perfect.

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

Vinyl, when mastered properly, that’s simply the truth. An analogue signal taken from the recording studio and directly imprinted onto the record is the purest form to listen to music. It’s certainly not the easiest way to listen but it sounds the best because it’s the highest quality. Anything digital can still sound good, but it’s simply a fact that the waveforms are digitally reconstructed to replicate what may have been played prior to digitalisation.

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

Probably Keep It True XVII in Germany. Performing with other amazing acts from around the globe in front of 2500 die-hard metal heads all crammed into an arena with merchandise from all your favourite bands? Yep, this one takes the cake for now!

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

Well, I also do lighting, audio and video for events, so I guess I’d keep doing that! It’s actually pretty fun!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Dave Murray (Iron Maiden), Glenn Tipton (Judas Priest), Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), Klaus Meine (Scorpions) and to top it all off Jack Black just to keep things interesting!

Would be great to actually get to know them as people, and I think Jack Black is hilarious, but also someone I respect and think we could get along.

What’s next for the band?

After we release our new record “The Blood Of Creation” I think we’ll be discussing touring options, where we want to take the record in a live setting! Hopefully, that will include some festival appearances as well!

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

Official Website: www.iron-kingdom.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ironkingdom

Instagram: www.instgram.com/iron_kingdom

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iron_kingdom 

Bandcamp: https://iron-kingdom.bandcamp.com/ 

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2pLp6DH9PNhzqvorK0wG1B 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/IronKingdom

Stream – In The Grip of Nightmares – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0HrAd6WGNI

The Making of The Blood of Creation – https://youtu.be/TSrv44SXQ-A

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?

Guessing here… Tea Cake…?

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

Just to say thank you so much for the interview, and thanks to everyone who took the time to read it! If you haven’t heard our new single yet, go check it out! ‘In The Grip Of Nightmares’ on our YouTube channel. Truly hope you all enjoy the new record as much as we do!

Keep It Steel!

Chris Osterman

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.

Trouble – The Distortion Field

The Distortion Field Album Cover Art

Trouble – The Distortion Field
Hammerheart Records
Release date: 14/10/2022
Running time: 01:03:00
Review by: Alun Jones
9/10

More Trouble! Another welcome re-issue from Trouble’s back catalogue courtesy of Hammerheart Records, here we have their 2013 album “The Distortion Field”, back in circulation. This was the last studio effort the band have released (at this time) – and with vocalist Eric Wagner (RIP) absent, replaced by Kyle Thomas (of Exhorder and Alabama Thunderpussy). 

Sure enough, things get off to a solid start with a thunderous ‘When the Sky Comes Down’ and ‘Paranoia Conspiracy’, both reliably Trouble-some rockers. The album really picks up a gear or three with ‘The Broken Have Spoken’, a lumbering riff juggernaut that reminded me of Pantera. Then there’s ‘Sink or Swim’, a mighty, pacey mountain shaker with a chorus hook so big it could reel in a Kraken.

There’s little of the psychedelic, hippy journeys found on the Def American albums. Instead, there’s the almost ballad ‘Have I Told You’, which haunts like vintage Alice in Chains. The quality only dips with ‘Glass of Lies’, which is a little too barroom boogie for me – though the last section of the song thankfully reverts to a funereal Doom speed.

For the most part though, songs like ‘Hunters of Doom’ deliver exactly the kind of chugging riffology that the listener would expect. ‘Butterflies’ illustrates Trouble’s doom strategy perfectly again – slow, heavy crunch with another almighty chorus. 

Add in the bonus track ‘The Apple from the Snake’ and this is prime Trouble. Newcomers may want to start with something from the band’s earlier work, but a re-issue of “The Distortion Field” is fantastic news for fans. Add this record to your collection and keep your fingers crossed for something new in the near future. 

My mate Keith Moon was a troublemaker who needed no introduction – blowing up toilets, scrappy food fights and driving limousines into swimming pools. He was good as gold round at his old mum’s house, though. I went there once with Keith, and it was all very pleasant. Cup of tea, slice of cake, lovely conversation with Mrs Moon. Very down to earth. Until I got home later that is and spent the entire evening on the loo. Moony told me later that his mum – another practical joker – had laced my food with laxatives. Very bloody funny.

TRACKLISTING:
01. When the Sky Comes Down
02. Paranoia Conspiracy
03. The Broken Have Spoken
04. Sink or Swim
05. One Life
06. Have I Told You
07. Hunters of Doom
08. Glass of Lies
09. Butterflies
10. Sucker
11. The Greying Chill of Autumn
12. Bleeding Alone
13. Your Reflection
14. The Apple From the Snake

LINE-UP:
Rick Wartell – Guitars
Bruce Franklin – Guitars
Kyle Thomas – Vocals
Mark Lira – Drums
Rob Hultz – Bass

LINKS:

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