Torso – A Crash Course in Terror

A Crash Course in Terror Album Cover Art

Torso – A Crash Course in Terror
APF Records
Release date: 27/01/2023
Running time: 30:00
Review by Alun Jones
9.5/10

BLEEAUURRRGH!!! It’s a jump scare to wake anyone out of hibernation, running for safety behind the sofa. What a way to start the year! APF records present “A Crash Course in Terror”, the debut album from Torso. Formed from the smouldering corpse of Possessor by that band’s Graham Bywater (frontman / guitarist), Torso skulk in a murky Grindhouse nightmare.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin. ‘Heads Start to Roll’ introduces the album with a John Carpenter-esque, menacing, keyboard-led theme which immediately unsettles the listener. Then the chainsaw guitars cut through, the song erupts, and the listener is dragged along by the scalp in a ferociously paced fairground ride from hell. 

The retro, electro keyboard themes dotted throughout help to set this album apart in its own fuzzy VHS world. Spooky instrumentals like ‘Pranks’, ‘Depth Charge’ and ‘Death TV’ add a dread atmosphere, part Prog and part video nasty soundtrack.

‘Sinking Spell’ is like The Melvins rocking out to a Texas Chainsaw Massacre back projection. The lo-fi, raw sound of the heavier numbers keeps everything within the Torso world: ‘Precious Blood’ could be a punked up hybrid of Angel Witch and Electric Wizard. Finally, the epic ‘Circuit Breaker Breaker’ has a B-movie, doom metal fury that sounds as if the final survivor is running for their life from a vicious psycho killer.

My only complaint with this album is that at just 30 minutes, it’s a little short – I’d have loved another 5 minutes of mayhem. But at least “A Crash Course in Terror” is to the point. That’s much preferable to yet another 80-minute Metallica album – I haven’t finished listening to all the songs on their last record yet…

“A Crash Course in Terror” by Torso. A fantastic, gruesome recording and a perfect start to the year. Can 2023 get any better?

TRACKLISTING
01. Heads Start to Roll
02. Pranks
03. Sinking Spell
04. Depth Charge
05. Precious Blood
06. Death TV
07. Circuit Breaker Breaker

LINE-UP
Graham Bywater – All instrumentation and lyrics 
Wayne Adams – Keyboards on 2, 4 and 7

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.

King Kraken – MCLXXX

MCLXXX Album Cover Art

King Kraken – MCLXXX
Self-Released
Release Date: 27/01/23
Running Time: 46:11
Review by Dark Juan
9/10

Hello. Guess who’s back after depressingly few shenanigans over the now past festive period? I am Dark Juan, and now I have finally re-joined the 21st Century by reconnecting myself to the Information Superhighway and having moved from Dark Juan Terrace to the more conducive surroundings of Crow Cottage I can finally bring your attention to this new years’ crop of head-mashing extreme music.

I hope that you all receive all the blessings you wished for in 2023, and a shitload more that you didn’t know you wanted. I’m having a beer or two while I listen to the Welsh groovesters who have called themselves King Kraken. “MCLXXX” is their debut full length release and if you know your UK Metal scene you will have seen or heard them somewhere. You know, like a lingering fart that some dirty bastard has dropped with a sound not unlike felt being ripped and fucked off giggling while you chew on what they have left behind.

I’m not saying that King Kraken are like the smell of shit. It was a poor analogy, OK? I was saying that King Kraken are omnipresent. Because they are…

Lest I need a JCB to dig myself an even bigger hole, I’m going to delicately leave that statement behind me and describe some music for a change. King Kraken employ the power of groove like few other bands do and their tunes are absolutely banging, butty bach!

Album opener ‘Devil’s Night’ doesn’t fuck about with any subtlety. It’s straight into some high-octane heavy fucking metal where special mention must be given to the extraordinary throat of Mark Donoghue, whose edgy, gravelly vocals are just sheer class, reminding this mildly cranially traumatised reviewer of a slightly more melodic Neil Fallon – in fact, the whole band operate in the same musical stratum as Clutch, with the melody of Black Stone Cherry, the complexity of Mastodon and the groove power of Pantera chucked in there to create a brew that’s intoxicating as well as powerful.

The band don’t let up at all – ‘Man Made Monster’ is a briskly tempo’d straight ahead rocker with a chorus designed to have a bunch of sweaty, hairy bastards and bitches howling it back at the band, yet there’s a slightly jarring but fucking brilliant pair of solos in the middle of the song (one almost trad metal twin guitar shenanigans and one bluesy and groovy), ‘Bastard Liar’ takes no prisoners whatsoever and ‘Walls Of Jericho’ references Dio-era Black Sabbath rather splendidly, but with added roaring from the agile, adaptable throat of Donoghue.

The performance of the whole band sounds eye-bulgingly committed and more than a little bit scary in intensity – the whole record has a kind of slightly deranged, spit-flecked quality that screams that King Kraken are a cracking (see what I did there?) bunch of lads to go out on the lash with but piss them off and you’ll be retrieving your head from a different county than where you found your legs. The record is slickly produced, but slightly lacking in bottom end. Speaking as a man who likes big butts and cannot lie, Dark Juan feels that cranking up that fucking bass would allow King Kraken to knock Dark Juan’s untalented arse clear into the next room, although the playing of Karl Meyer is faultless. The guitar work on this album is second to none as well – Pete Rose hammers home a solid rhythm backdrop to the incendiary and inventive soloing of lead guitarist Adam Healey, whose playing encompasses everything from the Blues to modern Metal to give him a very unique style, which is perfectly translated to the record. Drummer Richard Mears puts in a hard-as-nails performance on the drums, although he is poorly served by the mix of the record as it has rendered his bass drum about as resonant as a fart in a vacuum, and his snare is haphazardly and unexpectedly mobile around the mix. However, we must remember that I am listening to a debut recording and there are going to be some points which ain’t fucking perfect. This will be taken into account when the record gets its score from The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System shortly.

Ignoring the slightly dodgy production, there’s virtually nothing to dislike about this record. Enthusiastic and worryingly intense performances from the whole band, highly original soloing and arrangement of the music, a vocalist who’s a fucking PEACH (yeah, I do mean hairy and squishy. What’cha gonna do about it?) of a frontman and so much groove that Pantera have downed tools and fucked off home from their tour because they can’t compare to this bunch of Wales-based sheep botherers. Can’t say fairer than that, can you?

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System would like to remind you that it still exists after a few weeks away due to moving houses and shit like that. It would be privileged to award King Kraken 9/10 for a debut record that’s that full of promise, Fry’s Turkish Delight wants its catchphrase back… A mark was deducted for not having a big enough bottom end and a slightly dodgy production. Otherwise, a fucking brilliant record and a hell of a way to open the 2023 account. Good lads. Da iawn.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Devils Night
02. Bastard Liar
03. Green Terror
04. Veins
05. Haddonfield ’78
06. Man Made Monster
07. Walls of Jericho
08. Proctors Ledge
09. Chaos Engine
10. Castle of Bone

LINE-UP:
Mark Donoghue – Vocals
Pete Rose – Rhythm guitar
Karl Meyer – Bass
Adam Healey – Lead guitar
Richard Mears – Drums

LINKS:

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

EMQ’s With Die Tired

Die Tired Logo

EMQ’s With Die Tired

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with USA Rock ‘n’ Rollers, Die Tired. Huge thanks to their guitarist, Matt DeAngelis, 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 Matt DeAngelis and I am the guitarist / vocalist for Die Tired. Our project first started with bassist (Jim Lee) and myself working together in a previous band. When that project dissolved, we continued to write, play shows, and work on our craft. We then met second guitarist, Sean Boyle, through a mutual friend. The three of us began working on what was the foundation of many of our earlier and current releases. Once we started to find a groove, our trio knew we needed to bring in a drummer. Believe it or not, I found Brandon on a local musicians group on Facebook where he posted a video of him playing a cover to a deep cut of the band The Used. I reached out to him and the rest is history.

Die Tired is a multifaceted band, pulling inspiration from Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, Pop Punk, and just about anything else that they can play on a guitar! On stage, their upbeat and passionate performances always leave you wanting more. It’s impossible to not tap your foot, nod your head, or belt out the lyrics to their incredibly eclectic take on Rock ‘N Roll. It’s a good day to Die Tired!

Die Tired are:
Matthew DeAngelis – Vocals & Guitar
Sean Boyle – Guitar
Jamieson (Jim) Lee – Bass
Brandon Ballantyne – Drums.

How did you come up with your band name?

Our name is originally derived from the old Marines adage: “You can run, but you’ll just die tired,” one might assume that their music has ominous undertones and potentially dark themes. Well, to Die Tired it is a Punk Rock way of saying, “Carpe diem!”

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

We are from Reading, PA in the United States. There is a very strong local scene here for all types of music. Regarding Metal and Rock, several bands in this area are hard working hard and playing shows. We also are in a great location with not only local venues to play, but not a far trip to Philadelphia or New York to play clubs in that area as well.

What is your latest release?

We have a new single “Play” and accompanying video out right now. You can check it out on all major streaming services, our YouTube channel, and on our website.

Who have been your greatest influences?

For me personally, I pull guitar influences from Jerry Cantrell, Dimebag Darrel, Dave Mustain, David Gilmore and Devin Townsend. Lyrically, I pull from a variety of sources and writes from various genres and media. 

What first got you into music?

I started playing music in 3rd grade. It was the violin for my school’s music program. I had lessons and played as part of the orchestra through about 8th grade. I credit a lot of this time and energy to my ear training and understanding of how music works. My uncle then bought me my first electric guitar in 7th grade. It was a black squire with a combo amp that came with it. Perfect to get started riffing on and I was hooked ever since.

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

Katatonia

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

Rock in Rio Brazil. We’ve been dying to get to Brazil to play some shows for our fans. They’ve been giving us so much love lately and asking when we’d come play. 

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

Haven’t had anything too wild yet. We are mostly gifted with beers and shots!

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

Thank you all for the continued support. Writing music and playing live shows for the fans is why we do this. There is nothing better than sharing the music experience and interacting with fans. We will continue to push ourselves to write the best music we can and put on the best live shows for you. We can’t make this all happen without the fans.

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

Dimebag Darrell Abbott. Just a legendary player and personality. 

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

I love the ability to be creative and share that vision with others. Writing a song that connects with someone is such an amazing experience. The never-ending search for the ultimate tone drives me crazy!

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

Fairer pay so more musicians and artist could see a sustained and financially viable career more attainable.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Deftones – White Pony

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

Tough one here, but I’m going to go with downloads as having access to all your tunes anywhere and anytime at a high quality is hard to beat. However, I do still really value the creative process of full albums and the artwork. For this, a vinyl package is definitely the best to take in the whole experience. 

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

We just recently hit a huge fall festival this past fall. It was our biggest crowd to date, and everyone had such a great energy. This one show at the Grape Room (Philly area) always stands out, too. It’s this intimate venue with a great vibe and for whatever reason we were just all clicking and on fire that night. Performance wise, that show always stands out and I always reference it as a level we have to at least strive for every time we play live.

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

Most likely still in the music business. I also really enjoy working in studios and on recording projects. 

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Jerry Cantrell, Diembag Darrell, Bruce Campbell, Devin Townsend, David Gilmore.

What’s next for the band?

We have a bunch of plans in the works. This includes finishing up a run of shows in support of our latest release. We then plan to hit the studio to record the new material we have ready to track. The release of the new music (early 2023) will coincide with a run of shows, new music videos, and accompanying art and visual media.

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

Official website: Dietiredband.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dietiredband
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dietiredband
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCml0g8nq3J7PlFFgg30hW8A
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3u85MmjA5iOpAtvZPWyus2
Instagram: https://instagram.com/die.tired 

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?

Gotta be a Bap!?!

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

Nothing at this time as I think we’ve covered it. Thanks all!

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of 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.

Aawks – (((((Heavy On The Cosmic)))))

(((((Heavy On The Cosmic))))) Album Cover Art

Aawks – (((((Heavy On The Cosmic)))))
Black Throne Productions
Release Date: 02/12/22
Running Time: 38:56
Review by Dark Juan
7/10

Greetings and salutations, dear friends. It is I, Dark Juan, and after three weeks of frantic activity I have FINALLY been able to seat myself upon the Sofa of Eternal Peril and listen to some music. I have one of the Smellhounds, the Dread Lord Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover,  beneath my left arm and making typing phenomenally more difficult than it needs to be, and am also massively managing to procrastinate because the next review in my list to do is a punishment bestowed upon me by Simon “I’m Going To Whip You Until You Bleed. Actually I Won’t, But I WILL BE PUNISHING YOU!” Black and to say that it is a possibility that I might be unkind about said album is akin to being quite sure that bears defecate in forests or other wooded areas. This punishment is being meted out to your good correspondent because of his absolute inability to follow rules with regards to templates for reviews, and in the interests of full disclosure, I am an absolute twunt for not following them. However, my card has been truly marked and even I, your favourite libertine, Hellpriest and generally all round good egg, has had to kowtow to editorial will, as we all at ever-metal.com do this for no money, merely for the love of the music, and our editorial team frankly have had enough of my bullshit. Justifiably so…

Oh well. You would think, with my work in wrangling young people, that I would be a dab hand at following rules but you’d be wrong. Anyhoo, this particular offering on the altar of my somewhat capricious will is Aawks’ “(((Heavy On The Cosmic)))” and this Canadian quartet of space cadets are musically somewhere out at the edge of the solar system and heady for interstellar space at a pretty handy clip. Yes, my friends, we have returned to the world of Psychedelic Space Rock and we are also in the realm of the King of Fuzz. ‘Beyond The Sun’ opens with a narrator discussing the likes of mescaline, LSD and psilocybin before the slow grind of extremely stoned Space Rock starts, all Sabbath and Monolord like. Obvious and immediate influences also are Hawkwind, Electric Wizard and Windhand.

The problem is that I am not horrifically stoned right now.

Immediate likes are the organic, ultrafuzzy sound of the band and the clean, melodious singing of Kris Dzierzbicki. Whoever produced the drum sound on the album is also brilliant. The metalware on the kit is clear and fresh and cuts through the soupy fuzz to allow the odd moment of clarity as the ‘Beyond The Sun’ slows itself down from what is a pretty good clip for a Stoner band to the heavily relaxed pace of a massively tripping Dark Juan for the minute that closes out the song.

‘Sunshine Apparitions’ sounds rather like a much more heavily medicated Wolfmother – all heavily phasered licks and the kind of riffs that Dark Juan would give at least one testicle to have written before he retired from performing music. The finish to this song is fucking epic, all staccato drumming and a languid and flowing guitar solo tickling the hypothalamus, and contrasts nicely with the Punky chugging (with underlying fuzz phaser) of the verse of ‘The Woods Mix’ before the velocity is slowed and we return to slow, massively drawn out riffing in the middle eight and the second break. Such is the level of phasering and fuzz that has been applied to the guitars on this record, the solos on this song sound like they have been performed on a Stylophone. This is not a problem, though. It’s just egregious levels of effects and I am behind that in a big way.

‘All Is Fine’ opens with feedback and some serious Sabbath supplication from an utterly mountainous central guitar riff and then gets its groove on in a rather pleasant fashion. It slows to the kind of mogadon slow crawl that Doom and Stoner bands love until the end of the song, though, yet doesn’t reduce the power it has over your cruelly abused psyche throughout. The bass makes sure your LSD flooded nervous system gets a bloody good rattling throughout the whole album and the vocals are also brilliant throughout. The production of the whole album is top notch – everything is distinct to a point, but it is underpinned with a kind of organic soupiness that fits the music perfectly. It is thick and gloopy and like being slowly coated with molasses.

Which is not a perverted sexual fantasy of mine, by the way. Just thought I should clear that up. Could you imagine clearing up molasses, though? Absolute fucking nightmare…

Downsides, next. Although a thoroughly competent and listenable album, I have a couple of problems with it. It doesn’t deviate much, if at all, from the musical template of Doom/ Stoner/ Space Rock insofar as there are fairly sprightly verses which are broken up with grinding, slow passages in middle eights and the end of songs, and it doesn’t have the same joie de vivre that was evident on, say, Sonic Flower’s last release. There’s too much of a tendency to rely on ultra-heavy Sabbath based riffs and far too much of an over-reliance on the phaser pedal throughout the album, sometimes all the whooshing is a bit distracting to the listener. In short, the dynamics are all a bit samey.

To conclude this rambling nonsense, then – Aawks bring you all the goodness of Psychedelics mixed with Metal, but don’t do enough with it to lift them out of the scuzzy, stoned pack of other bands in the same vein, although it has to be said that this kind of music does have a fairly rigid blueprint. I like them, but I don’t love them.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Aawks 7/10 for a competent but unspectacular album. The potential for greatness is there, though. 

TRACKLISTING:
01. Beyond The Sun
02. Sunshine Apparitions
03. The Woods Mix
04. All Is Fine
05. Electric Traveller
06. Space City
07. Star Collider
08. Peeling Away

LINE-UP:
Kris Dzierzbicki – Guitar, vocals
Dan Trickett – Bass
Roberto Paraíso – Guitar
Randylin Babic – Drums

LINKS:

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

EMQ’s With Ivory Gates

Ivory Gates Logo

EMQ’s With Ivory Gates

Hi everyone.! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Brazilian Progressive Metal/ Heavy Rockers, Ivory Gates. Huge thanks to their Bassist, Hugo Mazzotti, 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 Hugo Mazzotti, bass player (and cellist for the first 2 albums). I formed the band with Matheus Armelin (guitarist) in the year of 2000 with the desire to create music with our influences from the 70’s and 80’s with a progressive and heavy approach. Since then, more than 20 years and five albums, we are still firmly on the path of Heavy Rock. 

How did you come up with your band name? 

A friend of ours who knew we loved the band Fates Warning came up with the idea for the name Ivory Gates based on the song ‘The Ivory Gate of Dreams’.  That simple. 

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

We are a Brazilian band, from the São Paulo region. The rock scene here is somewhat strong, but mainly for the more extreme styles (Sepultura, Krisium) or melodic Power Metal (Angra, Shaman). For Ivory Gates’ style of music, more focused on traditional and progressive Heavy Metal, it’s much smaller. But it was the path we chose. 

What is your latest release? 

The album “Behind the Wall”, released in the year of 2022 by Green Bronto Records. 

Who have been your greatest influences? 

Iron Maiden, Queensryche, Fates Warning and Kansas are the main bands that have influenced Ivory Gates since day one. Personally, Steve Harris (number 1), John Entwistle, Gary Thain & Geezer Butler. 

What first got you into music? 

When KISS came to Brazil, in the year of 1983, I discovered a new kind of music. Love at first listen. And I never looked back since then. 

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

With the band, Mercyful Fate for sure. With a musician, Kerry Livgren (Kansas), Steve Harris (Iron Maiden), Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon) or Lou Taylor (former Satan/Blind Fury singer).

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

Wacken Open Air. Nowadays there’re some great festivals (Sweden Rock, Hellfest and Keep it True to name a few) but Wacken is the one! 

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

There are only two types of music: the good and the bad. keep your mind always open to good music. 

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

Ronnie James Dio, the greatest metal singer of all time. 

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

Playing live is the best part for sure. The worst, perhaps, is the feeling of not playing as I would like and knowing that this quest will never end 

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

This is a very difficult question to answer. I believe that the industry is first and foremost a business for profit and that it is what it is because of the way people consume music. If people now want streaming, the industry will always try to offer it to the public in a way that can make the most profit possible. Of course, I would like more support for artists etc, but that’s not the real world. 

Name one of your all-time favourite albums? 

“Powerslave” (Iron Maiden), “Awaken the Guardian” (Fates Warning), “Don’t Break the Oath” (Mercyful Fate) and “Out of Reach” (Blind Fury). I can’t choose just one out of these four.

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

I don’t believe there is a right answer, but my preference today is vinyl, more for the artistic aesthetics. In terms of sound, with a good stereo, all formats are good. 

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

It’s a hard answer, but one show that comes to mind right away is opening for Angra a few years ago. The audience response to Ivory Gates’ songs was simply amazing 

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

This is a question that has already been answered in my daily life. I work as a safety engineer in fire protection matters 

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party? 

Steve Harris, Bruce Dickinson, Jim Matheos, Joey Vera and King Diamond. 

What’s next for the band? 

To finish a series of compositions that we already have for an upcoming album. Our intention is not to take that long for another Ivory Gates release. 

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

https://ivorygatesofficial.bandcamp.com
https://spoti.fi/3KLO3d3
https://facebook.com/ivorygatesoficial/
https://youtube.com/c/IvoryGates

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?

Obviously, this is a very difficult question for me. By research my answer is “a Bun a Cob”. If it’s wrong, blame it on Google. LOL 

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

Mainly thank you, Ever Metal UK, for the opportunity to talk a little about Ivory Gates. And it’s also important to highlight the work and support that labels like Green Bronto Records do supporting artists to show their music to a wider audience. That’s what makes the scene exist and, in the not so distant future, when the big names, unfortunately, are no longer here, metal will live on. And for the general public, give new artists a chance. How knows your future favourite band isn’t hiding somewhere on Spotify, just waiting to be heard?

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 Hunting Giants

Hunting Giants Logo

EMQ’s With Hunting Giants

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Canadian Heavy Rock/ Metal band, Hunting Giants. Huge thanks to their Vocalist, Steve, 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 Steve, the vocalist. Hunting Giants united when friends who hadn’t played together in a decade decided to cut the filler out of their progressive roots and write compact, punchy and groove-driven music. The three instrumentalists met their singer, who had moved across the country with a dream of joining a new musical project, and within two months had recorded their first five-song EP.

How did you come up with your band name?

We had gone through hundreds of names and put them on a long list of potential names. After amassing several hundred options, we went through them all and found the gem, Hunting Giants, hidden within.

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

We are from Vancouver, Canada. The Metal scene is very strong here, and the promoters and other bands are incredibly supportive. We are truly grateful to be in the scene we are in.

What is your latest release? 

We have just released our first full-length album, “Mythos”.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Queen, Tool, Mastodon, Alice in Chains, Progressive Rock from the 70’s, Rammstein, 90’s Grunge.

What first got you into music?

I have sung in a church choir when I was in my very early years, little do they know the seeds of Metal they were sowing.

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

We would love to write an epic ballad with Opeth.

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

We would choose to play Wacken Open Air Fest in Europe. We were getting close to appearing at that festival before Covid, we want another crack at it.

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

An offer to do intimate activities in the world’s grungiest bathroom.

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

Be Brave and take action even if you are scared.

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

Peter Steele of Type O Negative. I think he would get a kick out of being a zombie.

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

I love having the ability to make people feel emotions with just instruments and voice. I hate how little we get paid.

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

I would much prefer for musicians of small and medium size audiences could earn profits from their music.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Lateralus” by Tool, blew my mind when I was a young man.

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

CDs are right up our alley as we were all kids in the 90’s. Nothing better than a nice thick art book in an album.

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

We played for Hempfest 2019 in Seattle, Washington. It was our first time playing for Americans and they did not disappoint.

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

I was studying to be a molecular geneticist before I dropped out and joined a Metal band.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

The Dalai Lama, Maynard James Keenan, Joe Rogan, Tony Robbins, and Zombie-Resurrected Peter Steele

What’s next for the band?

We are entering gig season this winter now that we have released Mythos. Next summer we will be crushing a festival near you!

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

You can find all our of information and social media at:

http://www.huntinggiants.com 
https://www.facebook.com/huntinggiantsband
https://www.instagram.com/huntinggiantsband
https://www.twitter.com/huntinggiants
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiV3lNMOogHrmHXCbGfpZow
https://huntinggiants.bandcamp.com/
https://music.apple.com/ca/artist/hunting-giants/1360427901
https://open.spotify.com/artist/7xZeBnB58o33zopgAbg0Yo

Music Video – Ancient Text – https://youtu.be/NkEQ6m8bzx4 

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?

Oooh, we won’t cheat on this one. Hmmmmm, we are going to go with a Tea Cake. British people love their tea, right?

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

Thank you for spreading the world of Hunting Giants with us!

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.

Goldsmith – Of Sound and Fury

Of Sound And Fury Album Cover Art

Goldsmith – Of Sound and Fury
MDD Records

Release Date: 24/06/22
Running Time: 41:59
Review by Paul Hutchings
7/10

Although badged as Thrash, there is a lot more to the third album from Germans Goldsmith. Six years after their last release, “Fire,” the band, now a trio deliver a Heavy Metal album which blends the hardened Thrash elements with wider, Classic Rock influences in an album of quality. 

Goldsmith is led by vocalist and guitarist Michael Goldsmith, who has toured for over a decade with Blues-Rock icon Bernard Allison. That experience is combined with bassist Dominik Schweizer and drummer / producer Christoph Brandes, with many flashes relating to Goldsmith’s time with Thrashers Blackend. 

So, what do we get with “Of Sound and Fury”? Well, a ferocious opener in ‘Inherit the Wind’ blows any cobwebs away, the musicianship tight and controlled, whilst still threatening to explode at any moment. A classic Heavy Metal theme runs deep in the album, with the second track ‘When A Soul Leaks Black’ surging with melody whilst retaining a harder edge and including some very tightly played guitar. 

As the album progresses, there are multiple styles that ooze out. There are shades of Volbeat’s up-tempo Hard Rock on ‘The Parade of Euphoria,’ and more than a touch of the melodies employed by Ghost on ‘Demons of Your World.’ What Goldsmith do well is incorporate these elements without taking them too far. So, although you can pick out snippets, there remains the solidity of the band’s core in each song. 

The Thrash roots appear throughout the album. More Metallica than Slayer, there’s plenty of faster, aggressive music here, all balanced with rich melodies that enhance and lift the songs. The explosive second half of ‘Demons of Your World’ also sees double tracked guitar giving the song a Maiden / Metallica vibe. It’s enjoyable stuff. 

Inevitably, for we are talking about a German band here, there is a ballad tucked away. ‘For Those with the Dreams That Were Crushed’ is typically crafted, with rich vocal harmonies and acoustic guitar work. It’s got a seventies feel about it, almost Crosby, Stills & Nash in places. It’s certainly a pause on the more frenetic music that is served before it. 

The final three songs conclude the album in a more expected manner. ‘Hero’ isn’t the strongest of the songs, more Power Metal than anything else, whilst the anthemic ‘Higher, Further, Faster’ is rather average. That leaves ‘The Reprise,’ a six-minute instrumental track to finish and this is a solid way to bring things to a close, with thick riffs, superb musicianship and a high tempo guaranteed to get the head nodding. 

With a decent production thanks to Brandes, “Of Sound and Fury” is certainly an enjoyable album, despite a couple of flaws. 

‘Hero’ Official Lyric Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Inherit the Wind
02. When A Soul Leaks Black
03. The Parade of Euphoria
04. Demons of Your World
05. For Those with The Dreams That Were Crushed 
06. Hero 
07. Higher, Further, Faster 
08. The Reprise

LINE-UP:
Michael Goldsmith – Guitars / Vocals 
Dominik Schweizer – Bass 
Christoph Brandes – 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.

EMQ’s with L.A. PROJECT

L.A. Project Logo

EMQ’s with L.A. Project

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Portuguese Heavy Rock project, L.A. Project. Huge thanks to main man Luis Amaro 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?

Hello, my name is Luis Amaro and I’m the guitar player and bass player of this project. This is a studio music project. This started with the covid 19 lock down. At first, I thought of doing a project like Joe Satriani style only instrumental, but as I worked on the songs, I felt it needed voice, so I invited 3 different singers because the songs are different in the way I see. them The EP “5 Dimensions” has 5 tracks – 3 are songs and 2 are instrumental. I also invited 2 different drummers to bring a new spirit on the tracks.

How did you come up with your band name?

L. A. PROJECT is just myself – L.A is my initials, all music and art concepts are made by me.

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

Portugal, and there are a few good Thrash Metal bands, and some bands that try to make music like the most popular Portuguese band, Moonspell. But if you look at Hard Rock or Heavy Rock, there are just 1 or 2, and it’s not easy to start a Rock band in Portugal. Covers bands are very popular, so sometimes is easier to go with the cover band.

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

In February we released an EP with 5 tracks and 5 videos.

Who have been your greatest influences?

My influences are mainly late 80s music. Van Halen, Dokken, Mr. Big, Journey.

What first got you into music?

I studied classical guitar and double bass, and when I was younger I started a band just for fun with my friends. And now I try to put into my music all the things I like when I’m listening to music. This is my music.

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

Doug Aldrich

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

Hellfest, because they have always the best bands and new projects that are just starting out.

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

A cup of coffee!

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

Stay tuned because this summer will be hot.

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

Andre Matos, the singer of Angra

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

I enjoy the pleasure and the energy of playing and making a song. I hate when some people don’t even want to give me 1 minutes of attention.

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

Digital platforms! People should buy more CDs.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Metallica “Ride the Lightning”

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

CDs!

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

I was in a Thrash Metal band call Exiled, and we played with Disaffected and Sadist. The place was crowded and a lot of moshing it up was happening.

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

Working with honey bees

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I think I’d invite Alex Skolnick, Lukky Spark, Doug Aldrich, Nuno Bettencourt and Zach Wylde.

What’s next for the band?

This summer a new single is coming out, with a new line-up.

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laprojectpt

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

For me is a biscuit!

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

Thanks for this opportunity and don’t forget L. A. PROJECT

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 BAD EARTH – M2TM Edition

Bad Earth Logo

EMQ’s With Bad Earth – M2TM Edition

Hi everyone. Welcome to another special Bloostock Metal 2 The Masses edition of our EMQs interview. This time it’s with North Wales based Heavy Rock/ Rockcore band, Bad Earth. Huge thanks to their drummer, Ben Burke, for taking part. 

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

I’m Ben “Sor” Burke, I play Drums for Bad Earth. Bad Earth are a 3-piece Hard Rock band from North Wales and have been going for a few years (about 8) with a few different members coming and going, but founding member Steve “Geordie” Coxon has been the main guy doing vocals and guitar from the start. I’ve been with the band about 2 years with Karl “Jagerbomb” Ditcher coming in the same time to fill in on bass duties. Over the last 2 years the band have been involved in some big gigs – Bloodstock, Hammerfest, Sophiefest and supporting Black Spiders. Hopefully we can continue with these big gigs.

What genre of Metal do you play?

We have a bit of all sorts going on, can play on Metal shows, Biker rallies and Rock shows. So, we’re not Metalcore or Hard Rock… We’re Rockcore!!

How did you come up with your band name?

There are all types of stories going around about how BAD EARTH got their name but the simplest way to say is it’s about a dodgy lead / cable…

Where are you based and what is the Metal / Rock scene like there? 

We’re based in North Wales (2 Wrexham and 1 Denbigh) and I’d say the scene in both towns are a bit dismal. Wrexham over the years have tried their hardest to keep live music going but finding it hard to maintain people coming to shows. And I don’t think Denbigh has any “scene”!

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

We’re in the middle of recording an album now. We have a few recordings from previous members, but with this line up there is a few live videos, a live practice video and a new song released last year called ‘Shallow Man’.

Who have been your greatest influences?

We have many different influences in the band. Geordie likes Clutch, Motorhead & Orange Goblin. Ben likes Lamb Of God, Killswitch Engage & Metallica. Karl likes Tool, Nine Inch Nails & Dillinger Escape Plan. So a real mix in the band.

What first got you into music?

I (Ben) Come from a musical family, my uncle is a bit older than me and plays guitar and was into Skid Row & Slayer bands like that when we were younger and every time I went round to my Nan’s house, he’d be in his bedroom thrashing out on his guitar and I wanted to play music so got into the bands he was into. There is a few of my family members play guitar so I wanted to break the mould and wanted to play the drums.

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

As all 3 of us are into different bands we’d all pick someone different. We’ve also talked about a second guitarist coming in but think we’re happy as a 3 piece, a lot less politics and bullshit! 

What does Bloodstock Festival represent to you? 

I think it’s about how friendly the festival is, how they cater for the fans and even how they look after up and coming bands and give them the chance to play a major festival. It’s probably the best organised one and it’s nice and compact. Not like other festivals where you need a 3 day camel ride between the tent and arena.

Have you been to Bloodstock, and if so, what’s your favourite memory from the festival?

I have been twice to Bloodstock and I was very lucky to play it both times too, on 2 different stages, 2019 I won North Wales M2TM with my then band Scars of Remembrance and played the New Blood Stage and in 2021 on the Jägermeister Stage with Bad Earth, we forwarded our EPK on to Simon Hall and luckily he asked us to play that stage. I think 2021 was my favourite memory because we played on the Thursday and then partied like rockstars for 3 days solid, having a right good laugh and made loads of new friends. We’re hoping to get on the New Blood Stage with this band or even better the Sophie Lancaster stage……

What are you going to bring to M2TM that you think will earn you a place on the New Blood Stage?

Just a great energetic hard rockcore set with no bullshit or gimmicks, just straight to the point, fast pace, this is what we’re about, there’s only 3 of us and we do carry a big sound as a 3 piece. We love what we do on stage, people can see that and we all fill in on vocals (well try) so people are not just fixed on the “vocalist”.

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

Go and like our fucking Facebook page!! 

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

I’ve been playing drums for 25+ years, so I’ve been about but just to be on a stage playing music in front of a nice big crowd and everyone enjoying it and having band members that love it too is what I enjoy. I hate travelling to shows and there’s no one there and you’re just playing to band members and bar staff, that seems a waste of time to me. And over charging people for shows, I hate that too!

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

There are loads of things that need changing but the big one has to be the selling or steaming of music, Artist can’t seem to make much money anymore from their music and you have these streaming sites that earn millions from band’s music with the band seeing next to nothing from it… unless your massive like Metallica that is!!!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

I have 100’s of albums and I love listening to music so to narrow it down to an all-time favourite album is impossible for me, so I’ll say the album I’m listening to at the moment – Jinjer, “Macro”.

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

I’m a massive CD collector, I have 100’s of them.

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

I have played loads of good gigs over the years and so many to choose a best gig, we’ve played Bloodstock, Sophiefest, Pentrefest, but our last one was a special one as we weren’t even meant to be on the bill and got asked the day before, it was this year’s Hammerfest 13, we had a very good reception and loads of good comments off people after it.

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

I have a full-time job as I’m not a rockstar and this band pays shit money!! LOL.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

No one as I’m as chef by day job, they’d get me to cook so it’ll only be “Which four people would you invite to a dinner party? Fuck that!!! Ha ha!

What’s next for the band?

We’re in the middle of recording an album, we’re doing that ourselves, we have Pentrefest coming up along with Smoke on Trent Fest and M2TM North Wales to compete in.

Where can people find you online? Drop us your links below:

E:mail – bad.earth@hotmail.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BADEARTH
Instagram   https://www.instagram.com/bad.earth 
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/bad-earth-1
Youtube – Bad Earth 

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Is it a “Jaffa Cake” or “Jaffa Biscuit”?????

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

Thanks to everyone for checking us out, we have some merch so please buy it as Karl is running out of “Jager bomb” funds!!! We’re in the process of recording new material and will look at getting them on CD’s “YES FUCKING CDS!! HOW OLD ARE WE????” We look forward to seeing you at a gig in the near future. If you are bored go and check some of our interviews from Bloodstock and Pentrefest as we don’t half utter bollocks, but it’s fun. Cheers! Bad-Earth-N.

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.

Shot Down Twice – Shot Down Twice EP

Shot Down Twice EP Cover Art

Shot Down Twice – Shot Down Twice EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 21/01/22
Running Time: 29:03
Review by Simon Black
8/10

Hailing from Ontario in Canada, Shot Down Twice are on their second EP as they try and punch out to a wider global audience, which let’s face it has been something of a challenge for any band just getting going during the shit show of the last couple of years. Given that so many acts in that situation are effectively shooting in the dark without the benefit of honing their craft in front of demanding live audiences, this can be a challenge. That said, Shot Down Twice seem to be doing fine on the song-writing side of things, which is probably not surprising given that none of the members are on their first rodeo (although this act has only been going for a couple of years). Getting out live might prove to be interesting given that their studio rhythm section is one man, so either another pair of hands is going to be needed live or the bass or drums are going to end up on a click track when on stage (which let’s face it, is deeply unsatisfying both for the players and the audience given that it robs a performance of the risk and edginess that live shows bring with them), but that’s a problem for another day.

Musically, this is good old fashioned Hard and Heavy Rock, although there’s a little more of a Metal edge to it given that the two guitarists are more than happy to take a little bit of Iron Maiden/Wishbone Ash harmonised riffage into the mix, plus a certain amount of down-tuned heaviness which always brings weight to proceedings. The songs are flexible and surprisingly varied, but there’s a clear house sound, built mainly on the back of the positively tangible chemistry between the players. And then there’s Carmen North’s somewhat spectacular range and gutsy delivery, which belies her youth and really holds court well whilst still keeping the cohesive band feel. She’s emphatic and confident in her phrasing, and the net effect is of a much more established and mature band rather than something brand spanking new and – more importantly exciting. Even when they strip things back with the acoustic ballad opening of ‘Goddess Of The Sun’s opening bars, I’m wowed by the subtle and emphatic harmonies in the vocal lines, and when it switches pace to a mid-tempo semi-acoustic rocker the switch does not jar, because these guys weave so well together. It’s not so much a case of shot down as shooting very high indeed.

I’m only a couple of listens in and I want more baby, much more – and I think that you might too.

‘Undermine/Overthrow’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. By Design
02. Talk To Me
03. At A Loss
04. Long Haul Blues
05. Undermine/Overthrow
06. Goddess of the Sun

LINE-UP:
Carmen North – Vocals
Jeff Wilson – Guitar
Pat Rogers – Guitar
Rusty – Drums, Bass

LINKS:

Shot Down Twice Promo Pic

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.