Axel Rudi Pell – Lost XXIII

Lost XXIII Album Cover Art

Axel Rudi Pell – Lost XXIII
Steamhammer / SPV
Release Date: 15/04/22
Running Time: 54:43
Review by Simon Black
9/10

Very few in the UK’s rather niche Melodic Metal market have even heard of this man (despite his chart successes everywhere), although he’s been cranking out solo albums for decades after a brief stint in Steeler in the 80’s. In many ways he’s a defining backbone in the overall sound of the Melodic Metal movement and probably also the template for eighty percent of the output of the Italian label Frontiers, who have singularly failed to bag him.

So for the benefit of my friends in the UK, Pell is an accomplished guitarist and songwriter from Germany, with an absolute flair for capturing the catchy Melo-Metal song. This is his twenty-first studio record in thirty years – that’s a prodigious rate of output for any artist, and there’s been no shortage of live and compilation records as well. He’s also managed to keep his line up stable for over twenty years (some swivelling on the drum stool notwithstanding) so I would expect the output to be a bit formulaic, stale and by the numbers by this point, given that he usually releases something every year. 

How wrong I was…

It’s easy to be pulled into that kind of thinking – like Power Metal, it’s a genre with few true originals, and many, many copycats; but in Pell’s case it’s a reputation well deserved. Check out the infectious radio friendly ‘No Compromise’ for a start. It’s the kind of track that had it been released in the USA in the mid-80’s would have had them headlining arenas state wide faster than you can say “Paternity law suit” on a Mötley Crüe tour bus. I even found myself enjoying the balladic current single ‘Gone With The Wind’, and that’s normally the point I am reaching for the skip button, but this one is thoughtful, soulful and moody, and really gives the gravelly edged larynx of Johnny Gioeli a chance to shine. 

In many ways it’s a stylistic greatest hits for Pell, who’s choices in thematics have bounced round the aisles over the decades. From the 80’s lighter-wavers I mentioned above, to the heavier more technical shredding phase of the mid-90’s (‘Freight Train’), or the out Power nonsense of ‘Follow The Beast’, to the blindingly good instrumental ‘The Rise of Ankhoor’ and the epically heavy closing title track, this one runs the gamut, but without sounding messy or jaded.

I wasn’t expecting to like this at all. Indeed I kept putting off writing the review, which meant it had a full five spins by the time I rolled up my sleeves, by which time I was hooked! Unexpectedly and surprisingly memorable.

‘Gone With The Wind’ Official Audio

TRACKLISTING:
01. Lost XXIII Prequel (Intro)
02. Survive
03. No Compromise
04. Down On The Streets
05. Gone With The Wind
06. Freight Train
07. Follow The Beast
08. Fly With Me
09. The Rise Of Ankhoor
10. Lost XXIII

LINE-UP:
Johnny Gioeli – Lead and Backing Vocals
Axel Rudi Pell – Lead, Rhythm and Acoustic Guitars
Ferdy Doernberg – Keyboards
Volker Krawczak – Bass
Bobby Rondinelli – Drums

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.

Trick Or Treat – Creepy Symphonies

Creepy Symphonies Album Cover Art

Trick Or Treat – Creepy Symphonies
Scarlet Records
Release Date: 01/04/22
Running Time: 49:50
Review by Simon Black
8/10

A couple of years ago I reviewed this Italian one-time Helloween tribute act’s previous outing “The Legend of the XII Saints” – a rather odd piece that was originally released as twelve singles on a concept and kept the seat warm whilst the world went into lockdown (with a filler compilation coming out in between). It was OK, but felt a little strained as a concept, so I was curious to see where “Creepy Symphonies” might go.

That Helloween (and indeed Gamma Ray) influence is very loud and clear this time well, with Alessandro Conti vocally channelling his inner Kiske throughout this record, as well as that classic Germanic Melodic Power Metal being a deep and vibrant influence on their sound. Given that Helloween have managed to resurrect and reinvent themselves so spectacularly recently, there’s clearly plenty of room in the marketplace for something similar, but this ain’t no Frontiers style olive oil knock off – they’re a band with a lot to offer in their own right.

Lyrically there’s a lot of that influence going on too, with ten songs that play around with some popular comic horror or pop culture themes, but there’s also a few darker elements at play here that poke at humanity’s tendency to play the fiddle whilst the world burns. This darker shade alongside their normal quirkiness works remarkably well, and makes for a much stronger outing this time round, precisely because it avoids the common Power Metal trap of taking itself excessively seriously. Because let’s face it, rounding off with a twelve minute epic with the 80’s TV Cartoon and toy brand ‘He-Man’ as your subject is never going to be taken seriously, ever (stand up ‘The Power of Grayskull’, this is your moment). When it’s delivered in a well-structured and superbly played package of virtuosity like this, what you get is a song that ought to be a joke, but is in fact a highlight.

Variety is also the pumpkin-esque spice of life here too, with plenty of balance between rollocking Power belters, good steady rockers and Power ballads that don’t bore. With seven albums under their belt to date, it’s easy to get complacent, but this is a band made up of strong players with other projects on the go, and therefore able to bring a strong and rigorous song-writing discipline to bear. The consequence is that I can’t really fault a single track on here, resulting an album that stands head and shoulders above 2020’s “…XII Saints”. 

‘Creepy Symphony’ Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Trick Or Treat
02. Creepy Symphonies
03. Have A Nice Judgment Day
04. Crazy
05. Peter Pan Syndrome (Keep Alive)
06. Escape From Reality
07. Falling Over The Rainbow
08. Queen Of Likes
09. April
10. The Power Of Grayskull

LINE-UP:
Leone Villani Conti – Bass
Guido Benedetti – Guitars 
Alessandro Conti – Vocals
Luca Setti – Drums
Luca Venturelli – Guitars

LINKS:

Trick Or Treat 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.

Felskinn – Enter The Light 

Enter The Light Album Cover Art

Felskinn – Enter The Light 
ROAR! Rock Of Angels Records
Release Date: 25/02/22
Running Time: 50:08
Review by Simon Black
6/10

Felskinn is the brainchild of singer Andy Portmann and despite being around in one form or another since 2006, this is only album number four. To be fair their first two releases came fairly close together in the mid noughties, with over a ten year hiatus until 2018’s ‘Mind Over Matter’. Pandemic’s notwithstanding four years seems a manageable gap between releases, although this is their first rodeo for my ears.

This Swiss five piece are firmly in the Hard Rock / Melodic Metal category, with the sort of classic Euro sound that automatically makes one think they might be Swedish. Either way they’re in crowded waters and probably needed to be a little more distinctive to stand a chance of standing out amongst their many peers. It’s got a lavish production sound – not a bad job considering they did it themselves, but the challenge I have is that despite some nice sounds and playing and some creditable vocals from Portmann that the tracks themselves are often fairly generic and perhaps lacking some of the strong, catchy melodic hooks you need to stand out. That said, I’m enjoying their overall sound more than these words might imply and it feels like a case of being a bit shy of a few killer hooks and riffs to give the whole album a more impactful feel. I suppose if they had, I might be complaining that they were being too commercial…

It has its moments though, normally when it’s trying to be a bit more weighty with tracks like ‘The Saviour Was Born’ holding their own better than others by being both a bit more heavy, but also notably more anthemic, but when this one comes in after the half way point you can see many may have been turned off by that point. ‘Life Beyond The Line’ keeps that weight and once again feels the more catchy for being a bit more hook-laden and I’m left with the overall impression that this is two slightly different records that have been stitched together. The darker, heavier tracks in the second half work much better however and save this from being mediocre. Which is a shame as I like their overall sound and performances, I just feel that a bit more originality, gumption and mood would have gone a long way, although it’s absolutely worth starting at the half way point.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Darkness In Your Eyes
02. Send The Angels Down
03. Enter The Light
04. Your Life Is Mine
05. World Will End
06. Driven
07. The Saviour Was Born
08. Life Beyond The Line
09. Lonely Heart
10. The Final Reason
11. Where
12. SixFiveFour

LINE-UP:
Andy Portmann – Vocals
Martin Rauber – Lead & Rhythm Guitars, Backing Vocals
Tom Graber – Rhythm & Lead Guitars, Backing Vocals
Beat Schaub – Bass, Backing Vocals
Ronnie Wolf – Drums, Backing Vocals

LINKS:

Felskinn 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.

Beneath The Silence – Black Lights

Black Lights Album Cover Art

Beneath The Silence – Black Lights
Prime Collective
Release Date: 11/02/22
Running Time: 40:38
Review by Simon Black
6/10

Whilst pitching themselves as Melodic Metal, there’s a lot more in the mix for this Danish five piece. For a start the synth-laden mood and tone of the whole piece feels more like fairly generic Gothic / Symphonic in the Lacuna Coil or Within Temptation mould, but with the added brutality of some more Metalcore riffage to make things sound a bit more punchy. To be truly Melodic Metal in my book though, your songs need to be a little more uplifting and positivity focussed even when in minor keys which is not what’s happening here, whereas this material is definitely in the tradition of all things dark and moody. That’s not to say that it’s not effective, but it’s not breaking any boundaries of originality here either. This is slightly frustrating as this feels like a case of potential untapped rather than a deficit of talent. 

However, the band have youth on their side and clearly the playing chops to grow into that space, and this is their first full-length album to go alongside the slow burn couple of EP’s they have managed to date since their inception in 2013. The songs on here are all well delivered and produced, with a clearly very cohesive interplay between the instrumentalists even if the arrangements are a bit by the numbers. That’s where I struggle with this record – the songs are well rounded each and of themselves, but after you’ve heard a few of them it starts to get a bit repetitive. We’re three tracks in until ‘In The Shadow Of Your Eyes’ starts to feel feel a bit more differentiated, with its more emphatic phrasing and pacing which shifts the emphasis from the instruments and allowing Mette Hessellund’s vocals to lead strongly from the front.  I’ve also got a soft spot for the closer ‘Nowhere To Go’which is why it was probably a wise choice for the first single, but in the spaces in between things can get a bit repetitive and Hessellund can get a bit lost in the mix on occasions.

Perhaps Aarhus in Denmark is not drowning in similar sounding acts the way Finland or Sweden are (this may not be surprising as you think, as when I visited it twenty years ago it was quite short on bars, never mind Metal clubs), but if you are going to compete on a global stage you need to be perhaps a little more differentiated than the competition. When it stands out, it stands out well, but a little bit more variety in tone would have gone a very long way here.

‘In the Shadow Of Your Eyes’ Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. All I See
02. Break You
03. In the Shadow of Your Eyes
04. Take Over Me
05. Open Wounds
06. The Taste of Bitterness
07. Wide Awake
08. Over the Edge
09. Fear
10. Nowhere to Go

LINE-UP:
Mette Hessellund – Vocals
Rene Larsen – Guitar 
Søren Stenhøj Draws – Bass
Daniel Rasmussen – Guitar
Mikkel Thuesen Petersen – Drums

LINKS:

Beneath The Silence 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.

Dying Light – Far From Life

Far From Life Album Cover Art

Dying Light – Far From Life
Self-Released 
Release Date: 28/01/22
Running Time: 43:01
Review by Simon Black
8/10

Dying Light are a new act out of New Jersey, but in fact represents a new project from a clearly very experienced group of musicians. You can always tell when this happens, as many self-produced first albums from less experienced players often leave a lot to be desired in the production department, but older hands know what sounds good and understand the importance of a focus in quality in that department. That shines through loud and clear here, as the production is loud, lavish and with a lovely fat well-rounded feel to them, that leaves every instrument clear to the ear whilst creating a cohesive band sound, which quite frankly tells me that producer Charlie Berezansky not only knows his onions, but knows when to add garlic to boot.

Musically this is nodding in lots of directions, with elements of Stoner Groove particularly in the vocal department, but weaving in and out of a solid Melodic Metal/ Traditional Metal base. What it most definitely has, is oodles and oodles of heaviness and some really moody melodies that create an almost Gothic atmosphere at times. If reading this you think that sounds a bit of an eclectic mix, then you would be right, because when an act forges a sound that’s uniquely their own, then old hacks like me struggle often to pin them down stylistically – until someone uses them as an example of something new and christens them with their own sub-genre. I’m not sure that Dying Light need that yet, but what they do deliver is well-crafted songs pulling together a number of stylistic influences without sounding derivative. What’s best is that whilst not sounding like they are bristling with overt technical pizazz many of these songs are actually quite the reverse, because as any band will tell you it’s a lot harder to play slower than faster.

I love the down and dirty guitar interplay from Jim Haldenwang and Doug Edwards because it’s weaving at its best and it allows Jeff Ross’s haunting and moody vocals the space to keep you focussed. His voice has a lovely rich timbre and this is clearly a man who knows how to use his phrasing and emphasis charismatically. The only downside to the record I can really hang a hat on is that the tone and pace does not very too much throughout, with minor keys dominating throughout. But the album doesn’t overstay its welcome so this is not really an issue, and with all that experience ensuring a good sense of structure persist it’s really only a minor quibble. Heavy, moody, catchy and well-crafted, this is a really promising starting step.

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Cycle
02. Parasite
03. Far From Life
04. Walk Away
05. Darker Fear
06. Cry Out
07. Mercy
08. Follow You
09. The Season
10. Sweet Death
11. Dead Inside

LINE-UP:
Jeff Ross – Vocals
Jim Haldenwang – Guitar
Doug Edwards – Guitar
Chris Fritz – Bass and Backing Vocals
Shaun Dilliplane – Drums

LINKS:

Dying Light 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.

Ilium – Quantum Evolution Event EP

Quantum Evolution Event EP Cover Art

Ilium – Quantum Evolution Event EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 14/01/22
Running Time: 23:27
Review by Simon Black
7/10

Although I had not come across them until this point, Ilium have spent the last twenty years being quite prolific little beavers. Since 2002, there have been no less than eight full length albums (or seven if you don’t count completely re-recording your debut with a different line up) and half as many EP’s. This is the sort of Melodic Power Metal that’s found all over Northern Europe, but seems much more scarce in their native Australia, which may go part of the way to explaining why I had not come across them before. Add to that the endless line-up changes that make it hard to keep momentum and what you end up with is an act that have all the right elements in play, but are not as far out of the blocks as you might expect after twenty years of hard work. This needs to change, as they have all the right elements in play to be a way bigger contender. 

This current incarnation still centres around the lynch pin of guitarists Jason Hodges and Adam Smith, but although credited only as a guest, still retains the vocal services of Lord Tim, and Tim Yatras on the drum and producer stools, as seems to have been the case since 2017. First off, that experience and maturity are loud and clear from the opening bars. This is really solidly crafted and well-written stuff. Power Metal fans lap this sort of thing up, but although it’s got all the standard tropes you expect from the genre it doesn’t sound like it’s been factory produced like so many albums from the genre do. 

The Antipodean perspective means that, although all the usual influences are loud and clear, the overall sound is subtly different, and different again from the American branch of the genre. What this means is that although you’ve got strongly technical flourishes in there, it’s not overtly Progressive and completely avoids the Neo-Classical, which to be honest is no bad things as it’s completely been done to death in my humble opinion (take note Italy). It’s also song-writing with a clearly Traditional stamp too, so if the song is  intended as a high tempo belter, it doesn’t outstay its welcome, slamming its message home in under three and a half minutes. When they slow down, take their time, and craft something more complex such as the really strong ‘Hostile Sky’, the run time subtly grows, but again shows restraint, so no twenty minute epic concept pieces here (at least this time).

Overall this has given me a thirst to find out more about these guys as I’m left curious, interested and hungry for more.

Quantum Evolution Event’ Official Lyric Video

TRACKLISTING:
1.  Quantum Evolution Event
2. Tsetse
3. Undergods
4. Hostile Sky
5. Mothcaste

LINE-UP:
Jason Hodges – Guitar
Adam Smith – Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Lord Tim – Vocals
Tim Yatras – Drums

LINKS:

Illium 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.

Scars Of Solitude – If These Walls Could Talk EP

If These Walls Could Talk EP Cover Art

Scars Of Solitude – If These Walls Could Talk EP
Inverse Records 
Release Date: 26/11/21
Running Time: 21:56
Review by Simon Black
7/10

This Finnish Melodic Metal four piece have been quiet for a while. Having been around since 2015, and with 2017’s “Deformation” album being quite a long way in the past, the band have clearly been impacted by all things COVID, with this six track EP only now seeing light of day. I’ve not come across them before, and at first thought they might be British, given that they’ve got a lot in common with the more Emo sounding Bullet For My Valentine, but there’s some positively shredding guitar work hidden in there, which bizarrely sits alongside all the melancholy melodies and moody keyboards quite well. What this ends up meaning is that you have a band that, whilst clearly having one foot in the Alternative camp, also has enough touches of more Modern Metal to be interesting.

It takes a little bit of listening to, but once your ear starts to get caught by the subtle complexity and time changes going on here, you realise the depth and ingenuity that has gone into the songwriting – none more clearly than on the title track itself. At first it came across as cacophonous, but on repeated listens it becomes quite the earworm. Even when things speed up a bit, such as the Metalcore verging on Thrash ‘Lullaby Of The Ill-Fated’, the bizarre contradictions continue to work in a disconcerting but highly effective way.

Prolific output is not a trademark of these guys, given that over the years we’ve only had one album (and that’s quite a short affair), plus various singles, and as run times go, this twenty-two minute six track is a little on the short side even for an EP. But the material on here is interesting, clever and complex and leaves me hoping that a full length album with the space and depth to explore this experimental side in a meaningful way is going to be something worth waiting for.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Dark Matter
02. Left on Read
03. No Riddance
04. If These Walls Could Talk
05. Lullaby of the Ill-Fated
06. Burden

LINE-UP:
Tuomo Laulainen – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Jasper Ranta-Nilkku – Lead Guitar
Lassi Pollari – Bass Guitar
Niki Kuivakangas – Drums & Percussions

LINKS:

Scars Of Solitude promopic

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.

Life Of A Hero – Letting Go

Letting Go Album Cover Art

Life Of A Hero – Letting Go
Battlegod Productions
Release Date: 12/11/21
Running Time: 42:28
Review by Simon Black
7/10

The UK has seen a number of interesting new faces emerge from the Melodic Metal and Hard Rock scenes of late. This is an interesting project, formed to give vocalist Russ Grimmett (son of Lionsheart vocalist Steve Grimmett) a platform, with the rest of the band made up of members from Midnite City and Vega. The presence of experienced musos gives the project and robust and workmanlike solidity, even if it’s not really breaking any new ground instrumentally. That extends to the production as well, which is beautifully crisp and well-delivered, so a big thumbs up there. Russ’s voice is clean and strong, with plenty of presence and range, if perhaps needing a little more charisma and subtlety to vary the melodies from the obvious from time to time.

The title track does a good rollicking job of reeling you in, and might actually have made a better choice of first single than ‘3D’, but it sets the tone well. Most of the songs are lively little belters and have a good strong song-writing structure and plenty of energy, if perhaps a little short on some of the Melodic hooks and catchiness you need to make a splash in this rather crowded marketplace. To be distinctive here you need something unique in your sound, or exceptional in your delivery, so by the numbers writing simply doesn’t cut the mustard. When they vary the tone a little, with the slightly more moody ‘Stay For A while’ for example, then things step up a notch or two in that regard. Grimmett’s voice stops being one of the players on this one and becomes the full focus of your attention, at which point the potential of this outfit becomes clear. When he’s on form and flying, it’s when he’s not following the rhythm melody lines to the letter, and this track works because he’s a bit more front and centre, rather than being an equal presence in the mix, but that’s the difference between being a vocalist and a true front man, although to be fair experience and having to work your material in front of a live crowd who are there to see the headliner gets you there eventually.

The album does struggle a bit in the middle, but the anthemic fist-puncher ‘Shine A Light’ brings things back from the brink and again the divergence of melody lines in the verse helps, although anthemic choruses need, nay demand, that you align the melodies in this case. When ‘Letting Go’ was good, it was great, but a bit of confidence to push beyond the obvious song structures would have made this a more consistent hit, and if the calibre of ‘Stay For A While’ and ‘Shine A Light’ had been maintained throughout then this would have scored much higher. Nevertheless, a really promising start.

TRACKLISTING:
01. 3D
02. Letting Go
03. In My Dreams
04. Caught In A Lie
05. Don’t Waste My Time
06. Stay For A While
07. Down And Out
08. Risk It All
09. Shine A Light
10. Falling Apart At The Seams
11. When We Let Go

LINE-UP:
Russ Grimmett – Vocals
Miles Meakin – Guitar
Alex Nash – Guitar
Josh “Tabbie” Williams – Bass
Pete Newdeck – Drums

LINKS:

Life Of A Hero 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.

Thirty Fates – Circus Black

Circus Black  Album Cover Art

Thirty Fates – Circus Black
Rockshots Records
Release Date: 12/10/21
Running Time: 37:52
Review by Simon Black
7/10

This Greek three piece are an unusual find. Although they’ve been around, on and off, for decades, their footprint outside of their native land is not a huge one. But, as I’ve got a little bit more exposed to the Hellenic Metal scene over the last two years, the more I realise that there’s an awful lot of great bands tucked away there, that the rest of the world knows nothing about. Then there’s the impressive guest stars they’ve managed to get involved on this one…

The album title and the cover hint that this might be a concept piece, but the only circus related content comes and goes fairly early, with lead track ‘Indifferent People’ (which also features a guest turn from Angel Wolf-Black, whose backing vocals manage to sound like a full choir was present), with most of the rest of the material being standard Melodic Metal fare. The first thing that strikes you is that this is a very rich and fat sound for a three piece, so one assumes that guitarist, Elias Tzintzilonis, is laying bass down in studio to boot, but I would be curious to see how they might approach a live performance, given the multiple guitar parts and some quite progressive keyboard pieces, that crop up from time to time. 

The latest single, ‘Be Free’, opens with the distinctive screamed introduction from Ripper Owens, a man who, let’s face it, takes the standard of anything he touches up a couple of notches, but actually is in the background here. All the guests are singing largely in harmony to Papakostas, who is more than capable of leading the vocal delivery anyway, but a couple of extra octaves of vocal range from Ripper never harms a Metal song. When they do change pace with the ballad closer, ‘Because We Fly’, it takes you somewhat by surprise, given that it steps sideways stylistically, reflecting perhaps Papakostas’s Pop orientated activities in the intervening years. It shows a level of depth and maturity that make me wish they had stayed a little longer in this groove, as musically it’s also one of the more interesting arrangements, wheeling around a little stylistically, before settling into familiar Power ballad territory. Either way, it’s the strongest song on the album.

This is an album that doesn’t immediately grab you, but it’s worth taking a little longer to invest, as it’s definitely a grower.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Circus of Fate (intro)
02. Indifferent People
03. The Pretender
04. Just For A Little
05. Sign of Rebellion
06. The Edge of Destiny
07. Be Free
08. Depression
09. Because We Fly

LINE-UP:
Elias Tzintzilonis – Guitars
Nick Tzintzilonis – Drums
Stelios Papakostas – Vocals

LINKS:

Thirty Fates 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.

EMQs with OVERSENSE

EMQs with OVERSENSE

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with German Modern Melodic Metal band, Oversense. Huge thanks to lead guitarist, Jasmin ‘Jassy J.’ Pabst, 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?

Hey everyone! My name is Jassy. I am the lead guitarist of OVERSENSE. The band itself started as a studio project of Danny, our singer and rhythm guitarist, and our drummer Paddl, back in 2012.

They both wanted to get the songs live on stage so that they searched for fellow musicians. Bassist Vau joined very soon, he played guitar before though. In 2014 the first EP “Dreamcatcher” was released, followed by the debut album “The Storyteller” in 2017. In the end of 2017 I joined the band (small fun fact: the guys searched for ‘metal girl’ on YouTube, found me, and wrote to me to ask if I wanted to join) and after some lineup changes OVERSENSE consists now of Danny (vocals, guitars), Paddl (drums, backing vocals), Vau (bass, backing vocals) and me, Jassy (lead guitar).

How did you come up with your band name?

It’s rather funny. Danny lives in a village called ‘Obersinn’. If you translate this name roughly into English you get: ‘ober’ = ‘over’ ‘sinn’ = sense. OVERSENSE.

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

We are from Germany. The Metal / Rock scene here has been getting smaller over the years, but we still got some very big festivals like Wacken (W:O:A), Rock am Ring , Summer Breeze and many more. You might have heard of them! Especially club shows are very popular for underground acts and music enthusiasts!

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

Our latest release is “EGOMANIA”, the second OVERSENSE album in total. It came out on September 17th 2021, via Dr. Music Records. With Love being our most recent single, featuring a horror-ish music video, directed by Mirko Witzki. We already plan to write more heavy stuff for you people!

Who have been your greatest influences?

I can just speak for myself. Including also my bandmates’ story would totally take a full page, haha. My interest in music is very vast. Sum 41 got me into playing guitar! I count Michael Paget, Synyster Gates, Alexi Laiho, Guthrie Govan, Jen Majura, Yasi Hofer, Django Reinhardt, Jim Root and indeed Kirk Hammet as my biggest influences. When it comes to bands, I listen to Equilibrium, Children Of Bodom, Slipknot, System Of A Down, Disturbed, The Birthday Massacre, Amorphis, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Dark Tranquility, In Flames, Nothgard, Trivium etc. concerning the heavier genres and to The Beatles, Cage The Elephant, movie / game scores and Neo Classical stuff.

What first got you into music?

Actually it was my father! He is a huge 60s, 70s music enthusiast. I got my first cassette from him with songs from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich, The Kinks, The Honeycomes, Slade, Sweet and many many more! I was about 2 years old.

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

That is a tough question as there are so many amazing artists out there! I recently collaborated with one of my favorite bands – Equilibrium. I guess I would choose Slipknot this time. Even if some people might roll with their eyes, haha.

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

WACKEN! It has a great atmosphere with great people – it’s a legendary festival! Also you get to meet many of your own idols there to exchange ideas, or just to say hi.

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

If we stick to gifts you enjoy – (I had ‘special gift pictures’ from male people… yikes) – it’s a Texas shaped guitar pick and a PAC-Man mini-amp! Thank you Rebecca again! =)

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

Music connects people and shouldn’t be a playground for hate and jealousy. We are all one big family, so treat everyone with respect.

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

Actually I don’t like this question whenever it’s asked. No one should be preferred to be back from the dead as every loss was tragic.

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

Playing for people and seeing the joy in their eyes, inspiring people to pick up the guitar might be the most amazing aspects. I do dislike stalker fans who claim all your attention, being creepy and disrespectful. Also receiving dick-pics and sexist comments is a burden you need to carry. It sucks. Additionally, as a female guitarist, it feels like you get a lot more criticism for the same skill level compared to a male guitarist. Because your looks and your seductive movements give you the success! Your boobs and you ass. Sure! Just leave me alone with this shit… Yep, I hate that! Hahahaha!

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

Less sexism please and more chances for smaller bands. There are close to none post 2015 big bands out there rocking stadiums and festivals. Make it possible these people can actually live from their art.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Equilibrium – “Sagas”

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

CDs!

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

Also a tough one. Maybe it was during our 2018 tour as support act for DORO in Memmingen. But Wiesthal Open Air and Darmstadt – Goldene Krone this year featured amazing crowds that totally tore up the ground!

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

I studied maths and physics and up to now I am still a teacher as dayjob! On a more, less boring side, I might have become a gamer, hahahaha.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

With or without family? If I don’t include family because that might be the intention of the question: My boyfriend, my best friends. Yeah. Friends! Why should I invite people I never met or talked to?

What’s next for the band?

Playing some shows and recording new music of course!

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

www.oversense.de
www.facebook.com/oversensemusic
www.instagram.com/oversensemusic
www.twitter.com/oversenseband
www.youtube.com/oversensemusic
www.tiktok.com/@oversense.music
www.twitch.tv/oversense
http://bit.ly/oversense_spotify

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

They are disgusting hahahaha, sorry xD Biscuit otherwise.

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

Thank you for having me / us ! Guys, don’t let metal and rock die! Support your local bands, go to shows when it’s possible again, have a great time, get inspired by everyone and everything that brings you joy! =)

Stay safe and healthy!

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.