EMQ’s With Twisted Mind

Twisted Mind Logo

EMQ’s With Twisted Mind

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Israeli Modern Power Metallers, Twisted Mind. Huge thanks to their front man, Yanir, 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?

Hi guys, my name is Yanir and I’m the lead singer and front man of Twisted Mind. Twisted Mind is an Israeli oriental “Happy Metal” band. The concept of happy metal as we see it is here to break the stigma that metal music must be always dark, scary, sad, or angry. We believe there is much more to it, and we want to share it with the rest of the world. Our band has five different kinds of people from different aspects of the Israeli culture. Combined, we create a whole new kind of harmony that creates a bridge between completely different worlds.

I personally come from a background of mainstream POP and RNB culture and music. Dan, our guitar and bouzouki player comes from the Israeli/ Yamen and heavy metal culture and music and it goes on with the other band members creating a great fusion, making our music new, fresh and unique. 

How did you come up with your band name?

As I mentioned before, we all come from different aspects of the Israeli culture, and we all have a lot in common but also a lot of different opinions and views on anything so the name Twisted Mind for us is all about combining different views and cultures in peace and understanding, thus creating amazing new stuff.

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

Well, Israel is a very small country so even if we would split it into regions, it would not matter. But to answer your question, metal music in Israel is more of an underground kind of music. Having said that, our local scene is super active and bubbly, you can find amazing talented, and powerful metal bands and artists, but you would probably not hear metal music on the main radio and TV stations or at big events. The metal industry in Israel is pretty small and unfortunately not accepted as it should be, mostly out of the stigma that metalheads are violent and perverse.

 What is your latest release?

Our latest release was a single out of our upcoming EP that would air on the 9th of December. The single is called “Long live rock and roll” and it’s a statement song Yanir started to write after a post on social media stating that rock & roll and metal music are dead. We wanted to state a very important thing… rock & roll and metal will never die! We will make sure of it 😉

Who have been your greatest influences?

Well, that’s a hard question for us because each band member’s answer will probably be different. But the nominees for that title will probably be Metallica, Muse, Linkin Park, Avenged Sevenfold and even Bon Jovi, Robbie Williams and some killer artists from the POP industry. 

What first got you into music?

For me personally, it was my way of “being good at something” and being accepted to a social group I wanted to be a part of. I was an outsider all my life, and felt alone most of the time, even today it’s hard for me to feel a part of something. Music was my friend, teacher, and lover, it’s my home. It was and still is the only thing I feel complete with. Without it, I would probably be lost and empty by now. And also, girls love singers 😉

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

This is such a hard question! There are so many incredible bands and musicians we would like to work with! But if we have to choose one, in particular, we would probably choose Metallica. No, wait! Maybe Muse, or Bruno mars or even Lady Gaga. We love making new and unpredictable fusions so we think it could create some amazing tunes.

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

We want to play them all! From Hellfest to Sziget! But our main goal, for now, is playing at the Wacken open-air festival.  

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

Once, a fan came to David (our drummer) after the show, she gave him a drumstick and said it’s a very special one, when he asked her why she told him to say “alohomora” and when he did, she simply spread her legs. I think that was the weirdest one yet.

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

Chase your dreams and don’t let anybody put you down, stay true to yourself but be open and accepting to others no matter where they come from or what they do. Try to be happy and always smile, cause a smile is a great superpower. And always remember, don’t be ashamed of your scars, they are beautiful tattoos, they are the thing that marks you as who you are, and they are the things that make you always special as fuck. 

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

For me personally, it would be Chester Bennington, for sure! I’ve been through so much shit in my life and Linkin Park was a great beacon of light for me back then. I will always be grateful to him.

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

We love meeting new and interesting people, and we love sharing with them our opinions and views about life. We also love the fact that music is the only language that unites people, no matter who they are, how old are they, where were they born, etc. We hate the fact that for us to be musicians, we must concentrate on a lot more than just the music itself. Things like fitness or industry laws and politics at. I mean… just let us hit the stage! 

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

The bureaucracy and its cold-hearted side, the part of it that is focused only on the money side of it. Don’t get me wrong, money is great and there is no shame in earning money! But we need more soul in that tasty dish, ladies and gentlemen.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Metallica’s Black album.

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

Downloads and then vinyl, of course!

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

The best gig we played so far is the IMF 2021. The IMF 2021 was a local metal festival, during the covid 19 pandemic we suffered from closure on our borders, so no band outside of Israel was allowed to fly here, so a local promoter created a festival based on more than twenty local metal bands! It was amazing! Great vibes and energy!

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

Doing? I would probably die. We don’t know… maybe a more secure work in our local high-tech industry? We’ve heard there is a lot of money there 😉 Or probably just eat… eat to death.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

James Hetfield because he’s awesome, Gordon Ramsey because then we know the food will be incredible, our producer Omer Lampert because he’s always super fun and funny to have around, Ariana Grande because, I mean, just look at her… and a random reporter ‘cause that dinner is going to get super crazy super-fast and we need someone to report it.

What’s next for the band?

The release of our EP on the 9th December and we are already working at the studio on a new album which includes 10 new songs. We hope you’re ready 😉

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

https://www.facebook.com/twistedmindmusic
https://www.instagram.com/twistedmind.bandil/
https://www.youtube.com/@TwistedMindband
https://orcd.co/twistedfstp
https://www.tiktok.com/@twistedmind.il

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?

I would like to say the right answer is Bap! “Can I have this Bap please?” sounds great to me LOL. 

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

We thank you for the interview it was a lot of fun, and we hope to meet you face-to-face next time. Maybe in one of our shows.

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.

Twisted Mind – From Slave to Prophet EP

From Slave to Prophet EP Cover Art

Twisted Mind – From Slave to Prophet EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 09/12/22
Running Time: 24:07 
Review by Paul Hutchings
8/10

‘For fans of Metallica, Muse, Dhafer Youssef, Linkin Park, Orphaned Land’ says the blurb that accompanies this intelligent and captivating EP. It’s a bold statement but I can see exactly why the band have said that,  for there are touches of all those listed in these five songs. 

It’s fair to say that the opening song ‘Long Live Rock & Roll’ is a bit of a joyous statement. Nothing much to dive deep into, but it’s a cracking tune that varies in pace, style and has a groove that is catchy as hell. It’s got a spirit and vibrancy that demands your attention, the interplay is excellent and Yanir Chmiel’s vocals are superb. 

The band incorporate oud and bouzouki into their music, adding traditional elements of which they are rightly proud. ‘Burning Grounds’ has a delicious riff which hangs, a semi-blues feels about the song, but with the stomp of Pearl Jam in their prime. It’s tasty stuff and it has a darker lyrical content. ‘Burning Grounds’ is the band’s protest song, a reflection of the corruption across the world. It doesn’t matter where you live, those in power are fucking us all over and Twisted Mind will know better than most. It’s anthemic, stirring, and uplifting. 

‘Walked through Hell’ tells the tale of a toxic love story. It may not have the same power as the previous song, but the music makes up for it with a climbing, dramatic tempo, and more bouzouki. It’s got a great combination of instruments that give it something a bit extra. It’s followed by the sequel to the same story in ‘Back Home’, which takes a slightly softer and slower pace – semi ballad but not in that AOR sloppiness but a cinematic style which brings the band neatly into play with orchestral elements. It’s a neat variation and works well. 

It’s the final song and title track that sees the band echo elements of the mighty Orphaned Land, which tells the story of Josef and his journey from slavery to prophet in Egypt. It’s different from all the other songs and brings the EP to close with a real change of style. It’s another uplifting and majestic song that really brings the band’s quality to the fore. 

‘Walk Through Hell’ Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Long Live Rock & Roll
02. Burning Grounds
03. Walked Through Hell 
04. Back Home
05. From Slave to Prophet 

LINE-UP:
Lahav Zityat – Guitar +Oud
Or Cohen – Bass Guitar 
David Darash – Drums 
Yanir Chmiel – Lead Vocals 
Dan Saliman – Guitar + Bouzouk

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 HYPNAGONE

Hypnagone logo

EMQ’s With HYPNAGONE

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview with French Progressive Modern Metal band, Hypnagone. huge thanks to their guitarist, Yann Roy, 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?

Well my name is Yann ROY and I’m the guitarist of HYPNAGONE, which I believe we can call “prog, modern metal” if it makes any sense, even if I’d rather call it a “metal band”. Whatever, everyone will consider the style of the band by his own references. Concerning its history, the band is simply the gathering of best friends that met at Nancy’s M.A.I in 2017, that shared the same musical tastes and wishes and just worked to realize them with the band and ‘’Qu’il Passe’’.

How did you come up with your band name?

Our bass player Antoine, the founding member of Hypnagone, found the name. Contrary to what some may think, “Hypnagone” does not refer to any geometric figure or stuff like that, nor any eccentric ideas, but to “hypnagogia”.

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

We are from the east of France, Nancy. The local scene is really vivacious, we have lots of great places to play (l’Autre canal, la Laiterie, Chez Paulette etc.), and awesome bands like Death Whore (Antoine is, by the way, their bassist), Bridge of Souls, Berlin Heart, Disregard us, etc.

What is your latest release? 

Our first album “Qu’il Passe”. We are really proud to finally release this first work and we can’t wait to have the first impressions on it!

Who have been your greatest influences?

Metallica, Periphery, “Ocean Machine” of Devin Townsend and Strapping Young Lad’s “ “Melana Chesmata” by Triptykon, Vangelis and his work for Blade Runner, “Endtroducing” of DJ Shadow, and last but not least Vertikal of Cult of Luna. Here are the most fundamentals influences of Hypnagone.

What first got you into music?

It was Metallica’s ‘’Français Pour Une Nuit’’. The location, the songs, the playing, everything was gathered to make a huge impression, and sure enough I was hooked. The DVD is still in my bookshelf to this day and I watch it from time to time, it never misses to make an impact.

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

In my concern it would be Hangman’s chair, and I already know Antoine would tell you Cult of Luna or Brutus ; Jackou would say Periphery, and Adri would say that he doesn’t care ahah. But what is sure is that the entire band would have a guest solo of Tim Cappello!

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

It would obviously be “Festival de Nimes”, which takes place in the ancient arenas of Nimes, precisely where Metallica did their “Français Pour Une Nuit”. Who wouldn’t dream to play in such a place? Playing under the watch of Maximus Decimus … pretty tempting!

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

I’ll tell you when I’ll receive one ahah.

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

A huge thanks, because the reactions and overall feedbacks are very positives for a debut album and a new band, we have more listenings than I could have expected, and we can already see that some people are really following us, which is not only surprising, but truly incredible ! So, thanks to all, because without you, we couldn’t be anything.

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

Peter Steele, without a doubt. He was such a great musician, such a wonderful singer (here I am thinking about the song ‘Wolf Moon’) … I regret we have so few albums and songs of Type O …

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

Actually, I think I hate more things than I enjoy to be honest. I could try to be “attractive” and “nice” and lie, but I prefer to be honest (even if I understand why some have to and don’t blame them for it). The most important and enjoyable part, for me, is the writing and rehearsing process. When your songs, your own feelings become alive and acquire their own flesh so to speak. The shows are different, and usually you’re dependant on conditions that you have no control over, which can be very, very frustrating. But sometimes when everything goes right, when the crowd are with you and all the right circumstances are gathered, then some shows are really unforgettable. But still, it is a very frustrating side of music … There’s no need to explain why music and furthermore metal have changed and is, for me, not so attractive anymore, and moreover it would not be useful. The only thing I can say is that, no matter what is uncomfortable in music, we couldn’t stop. It’s a too important part of us, so we do what we have to.

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

Because I would change everything, let’s say nothing.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

I have many, but right now I’m thinking of “Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia”, by Dimmu Borgir. I love almost all of Dimmu’s work, but this one is very unique to me.

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

CDs, because I drive a lot and this is the support available in my GOLF ahah.

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

It wasn’t with Hypnagone, because our first gigs have not happened yet. But otherwise, it was when I was still in Dust In Mind, when we opened for Hypocrisy and Soilwork in Köln.

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

What I’m currently doing in the same time: philosophy. Besides Hypnagone, Antoine and I are ending our philosophy studies, so I would be teacher or researcher.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Rick O’Connell, Hank Moody, Rick Bugenhagen, Guts and Peter Steele. Would be great for sure, wouldn’t it?

What’s next for the band?

A. We are getting ready for the first shows! We can’t wait to make our songs alive on stage and to share them with the audience and fans. I’m very curious to see how it will sound. Besides, we are already working on the next songs to come.

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

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/HYPNAGONE
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/hypnagone/
Bandcamp : https://hypnagone.bandcamp.com/

Overall, here’s a link to condense all the others : https://orcd.co/hypnagone-quil-passe

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?

I would say … a Batch? I don’t know, but thanks to you there’s one thing more to eat and discover before I die!

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

First of all, let me thank you for your questions: I’m really happy to have had the chance to speak not only about my project Hypnagone, but about music we all love and share, so thank you for this opportunity! Otherwise, I just want to thank everyone, because so far the overall feedback is tremendous, which is pretty surprising insofar we are playing a very particular type of music. I would have expected more negative reactions, and even the critical feedbacks were very relevant to me; thereby, let me be the spokesman of the band and thank every person which did or will listen to our work!

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 BRIDGE OF SOULS

Bridge Of Souls Logo

EMQ’s With BRIDGE OF SOULS

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with French Modern Metal/ Metalcore band, Bridge Of Souls. 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?

BRIDGE OF SOULS (Modern Metal / Metalcore). We met in a bar where there were jams. We got on well and became very good friends. We wanted to play all together, so we launched the creation of this group. And here we are a few years later with the release of this first album “Iris”.

How did you come up with your band name?

Drinking a lot of Jagermeister.

Seriously, we already had this name from the beginning, I had read a book that spoke of Greek mythology and this famous bridge that led lost souls to hell, the bridge of souls (Jérémy, Frontman).

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

We are from Nancy, a city in the east of France. Metal is well established there because we have two mythical places of the music scene in France, the Music Academy Internal and the concert hall Chez Paulette Pub Rock which has welcomed groups from all over the world.

What is your latest release?

Our previous production is a 6 track EP called “Overcome” released in 2019.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Periphery, Imminence, Crown the empire, Ice nine Kills , Intervals.

What first got you into music?

We all have different paths. Some started music later than others, some already had other bands, or had already worked in the music industry, but we all have the same thing in common, it’s the love of music.

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

There are a lot of them, but we wouldn’t be against a featuring with the singer of Periphery Spencer Sotelo, or the singer of ice nine kills, Spencer Charnas.

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

Hellfest in France is one of the biggest metal festivals in the world.

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

It wasn’t a gift but a child asked us to autograph his teddy bear

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

We can’t wait to get back on stage and present this new album to you live, and we have a few surprises in store for you.

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

Freddie Mercury.

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

The studio and the creation are the most interesting parts. On the negative side, the difficulty today in finding concerts unfortunately, in France in any case, many halls have closed because of the Covid.

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

Streaming and platforms. Even if it is easier today to make yourself known thanks to these platforms, living solely from musical creation has become almost impossible.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Thriller” (Michael Jackson).

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

Vinyl , the sound is incredible!

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

The best was a springboard for a festival in Nancy. We’ve never had such a crazy public. But we can’t wait to be on November 4th for the release party because this date will surely be incredible.

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

We all have a job next to music because it is very difficult to make a living from it today.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Freddie Mercury, Spencer Charnas, Malcom X, Jean Claude Van damme and Eminem.

What’s next for the band?

We are currently working to find concerts and festivals and we have also started thinking about the next album.

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

FACEBOOK  https://www.facebook.com/Bridgeofsoulsonline/ 
INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/bridgeofsoulsband/
TWITTER https://twitter.com/Bridge_Of_Souls
SPOTIFY https://open.spotify.com/artist/5qgYUF6XC972mx4ZU7cAAz
YOUTUBE  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiKixsQgRvbMbACu41wU0IQ/featured

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?

A bap.

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

Thank you!

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.

Obsidious – Iconic

Iconic Album Cover Art

Obsidious – Iconic
Season Of Mist
Release Date: 28/10/2022
Running Time: 53:16
Review by Rory Bentley
7.5/10

One of the many downsides of having a lot of guitarist friends is that they constantly confuse being able to play the shit out of one’s instrument with making good music that I’d actually want to listen to. I get told to check out new bands that wouldn’t know a chorus if it tea-bagged them while they were practicing their sweep picking. For this reason, I’m always wary of Tech-Metal bands. Some are great but most of them leave me utterly bemused in a flurry of songless audio pud-pulling. Obsidious call themselves ‘Modern Metal’ in their press notes but you’re not fooling anyone lads! Most of you were in Obscura, one of the shreddiest of the Tech-Death bands, and all your listed influences are Prog and Tech bands that have had 20 year plus careers! If half the bands in this scene were as creative with their music as these press notes are with the truth I wouldn’t have spent my whole Ever Metal tenure cherry-picking Hardcore releases from the review schedule.

Thankfully as you can see from the rather positive score at the top of the page, this debut album has enough sizzle and song-writing nous to appeal to an audience far beyond people who are in a relationship with a metronome. For a first go-around, “Iconic” (ballsy name), does an impressive job of turning its Prog-Metal magpie act into a cohesive whole that avoids pretty much all the pitfalls of that Monuments album that I probably graded far too generously a few months ago. It’s surprisingly lean, sonically varied and hints at an exciting future.

Those familiar with the pedigree of the instrumental contingent of the band will be fully aware that they are as fundamentally sound as it gets and can perform the kind of skin and string acrobatics that would make Robert Fripp’s head spin, but it is the man on the mic that provides the final piece to this chaotic jigsaw. I don’t know where they got Javi Perera from (mainly because I got bored of reading the press notes) but he is like a Prog Metal chimera (the mythological hybrid animal not the noughties Metal band) traversing smooth Tesseract cleans, Symphony X operatics and gritty Devin Townsend bellows. He’s so good at the theatrical side of things that I caught myself in a reverie imagining Dream Theatre with a tolerable singer. A guy can dream right?

Not only is he adept  at the whole singing thing, but his distorted vocals are also excellent, possessing a guttural quality and robust thickness that would be more at home on a Morbid Angel or early Opeth record. The often characterless phoned-in approach to harsh vocals is one of my least favourite aspects of this genre; so to hear some growls that have a set of bollocks on them is a refreshing and welcome addition.

Of course neither the musical or vocal chops would amount to much if the songwriting wasn’t up to snuff. Thankfully Obsidious already seem to have a good grasp on this key area, for the most part knowing when to be judicious with editing. I’d still trim a few songs here and there but to produce a 53 minute album in this style without boring me is quite the feat. If you want to know if this album’s for you the opening track will tell you all you need to know.

Touching on the full range of the band’s influences, ‘Under Black Skies’ acts as something of an overture for the rest of the record. We get the dizzying Dream Theatre leadwork, the filthy chug of Djent and the bubbling fretless bass of early Cynic and latter day Death. All capped off with a masterfully chameleonic vocal performance from Perera. This is 6 minutes of Progressive genre-hopping with a catchiness that elevates it above its niche source material.

‘Sense Of Lust’ isn’t quite as broad in its palette, but opts for a more muscular brutality, thuggishly channeling Meshuggah by way of Strapping Young Lad as chanted vocals collide with mechanical riffs and atonal soloing. This nastier approach is incredibly welcome and it is this aggression that anchors the album when the band go on their more florid flights of Prog-inspired fancy. ‘Devotion’ performs a similar function later on in the album, cleansing the palate between more indulgent numbers by bringing the King Kong riffing of Gojira to the party.

Album highlight ‘I Am’ transported me back in time by a decade as it ignited the memory of trying to digest and make sense of Devin Townsend’s bat-shit and obnoxiously heavy “Deconstruction” album, combining grit with grandeur and smashing my head off in the process. Despite being one of the compositions that could perhaps do with a bit of trimming, it also offers a great example of the band’s innate ability to write memorable hooks that cut through the chaos.

To conclude, this is an excellent starting point and although it still feels like a band feeling their way into a sound that’s uniquely their own, there’s enough evidence in their present powers of Prog alchemy to suggest that they’re not a million miles away from achieving their goal. There will be very few Metal releases that will match “Iconic” on a technical level this year, and even fewer that will hint at such a bright future. Album number 2 is where I feel things will really take off but this maiden effort contains more than enough fire and flashiness to hit the spot for anyone in need of some violent virtuosity in 2022.

‘Iconic’ Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Under Black Skies
02. Sense Of Lust
03. Iconic
04.Bound By Fire
05. Iron and Dust
06. I Am
07. Delusion
08. Devotion
09. Nowhere
10. Lake Of Afterlife

LINE-UP:
Linus Klausenitzer – Bass
Rafael Trujillo – Guitars
Sebastian Lanser – Drums
Javi Perera – Vocals

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rory Bentley 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.

Rituals – Show Me The Signs EP

Show Me The Signs EP Cover Art

Rituals – Show Me The Signs EP
Self-released
Release Date: 02/09/22
Running Time: 11:06
Review by Dark Juan
8/10

I’m still here, you know.

Will anyone ever let me out?

Please?

I’ll be good, I promise. You took my weapons away and I’m nothing without my weapons. There’s still open wounds on my arms where you tore out my wet-wired combat systems and my biomorphic rifle. You even took my augmented targeting eye. I’m no threat to anyone at the moment. The blood loss and the rupturing of my nutrient sacs have left me weaker than a day-old kitten and I can barely lift up my head. Look, the blades under my fingernails won’t even extrude anymore. The electro-convulsive shock “therapy” put paid to that. Let me out, you fucking bastards. I’m no longer combat capable. In fact, it’s pretty safe to say I’m not capable of anything right now. You could send in a toddler and they’d take me the fuck apart. I’M NOT A THREAT and I’m dying. If it’s my time I want to die in the open air with the sun on my face and not in the fucking cage, you hear me? I’ve been telling you this for days and you’ve got my vitals on your displays and you can see that I’m fading!

LET ME OUUUUUUUT!!!

I can hear booted footsteps and rattling coming down the corridor. The grinding of metal on metal as the key enters the lock and twists. The door is thrown open and an entire fire team of combat-boosted troopers take up crossfire positions around the room. I show them the ragged scars on my arms where my rifle was torn from me and stagger towards the wall. While they push my face into the wall and start to secure my arms, probably for yet another interrogation session, I subtly alter my body chemistry, speed up my metabolism and oxygen/ blood concentration and feel my mouth fill with acidic saliva. Spun roughly round by one of the men I spit straight into his eyes and watch them start to burn as the acid in my saliva eats into them. Arching my arm around his throat and using him for cover I form a fist with my left hand and direct it in the direction of another trooper. A quick clench and the hidden fleshports open and diamond sharpened, titanium tipped bone darts from the webbing between my fingers are released to bury themselves in the face of the poor bastard opposite me. He falls, the fast-acting neurotoxin coating the darts going to work on his nervous system almost immediately and dropping him like a twitching, spasming sack of shit. 

My body automatically shoves energy from healing reserves into what combat function I have left, the third man being obliterated by organic explosive bolts shot from my shoulder launcher, which melds back into my flesh after discharge. I sink my armoured teeth into the throat of the trooper I still have hold of, tear it out in a welter of blood and cartilage and launch him at the last trooper standing. I follow this flying corpse up and bury my fist in the collar of the trooper as I look deep into his wide, terrified eyes and pin him against the wall. My rictus grin becomes a serene smile as I extrude a long, wickedly sharp bone knife out of my right wrist, below my upturned hand, before I push it, exquisitely slowly, up through his chin, his soft palate, through his sinuses and ultimately into the base of his brain. He’s down too and I drop him after watching his eyes roll backwards in his head. Dickheads, you can’t fight a man who is a biomorph. I’m still at least 86% combat effective but nutrients and rest from trauma are needed. Thankfully this place is easy to escape from, and escape I have and returned to…

Dark Juan Terrace, where you find me recuperating and hiding out from the authorities and listening to a three-track EP from young British bruisers Rituals, while the mechadendrites in my flesh reconstruct and reconfigure my biomorphic rifle.

Parts of the above story may not be entirely accurate.

Rituals are from Newcastle and this is the first time they have come to my attention on record although they appear to be building up a positive buzz on the UK gig circuit. But what, I heard literally no one ask because I am in my home and therefore not privy to the outside world currently do they sound like and are they worth your attention, and that of the UK Metal scene in general?

The opening cut on the EP is called ‘Show Me The Signs’ and it is so Emo it makes me want to cry in my bedroom and claim that my entire family abused me cruelly by not letting me wear fishnet gloves, black nail polish and New Rocks to school. Opening with a clean chord medley, but with a very odd little half-second pause before the distortion kicks in, it’s all soaring choruses, impassioned clean vocals and heavily produced guitars – Dark Juan can easily picture the guyliner and the power fist on the high notes and the swoopy Emo dreamboy haircut. It’s a good tune though, and the production of the whole EP is pretty groovy with only (as usual) the snare drum sounding like someone twatting Tupperware with sticks of celery. Everything else is very clear and distinct.

Second track in is entitled ‘Oceans Subside’ and it appears that Rituals had listened to quite a lot of Korn before writing this tune. Now, the band do describe themselves as “Contemporary Metal” so some modern influences should be clearly discernible. Do not necessarily dismiss my having a poke at the band as not liking them – Korn are just as viable an influence as Ten Years After or some obscure Blues band from Kentucky who only released one single in 1957, that you can only obtain after giving a blowjob to One Tooth Dave in the record shop in Mammoth Cave, KY. Mammoth Cave. Like your mum’s after I have visited. Fnaar Fnaar. It is also a rather good tune with a strong emo bent on the chorus once again, but with some very chonky riffing and a very Nu-Metal guitar line in the verse.

The last offering on this small platter is ‘In Devastation’ and this is where Rituals start to really shine with a song that is an unholy result of a violent sexual encounter between Korn, Slipknot and Optimum Wound Profile. This song is a speedy, aggressive gut-puncher out to flatten you in less than a minute. It is an uncompromising monster where the vocalist lets fly with the kind of roaring that normally only comes out of Mordor, the drummer appears to be wildly spasming and guitarist and bassist flail desperately to keep up. There’s still some clean emotional singing but rather less of it than on the first two tracks. This is a cracking tune.

So there we have it. Rituals. A band that melds the sonic fury of Slipknot at their most aggressive, the spasmodic Nu-Metal of Korn and the soft, seductive crooning of AFI and HIM. Makes a change from my usual fare of oddities, Synthwave and all the 70’s tinged Doom in the world, but absolutely well worth taking a punt on if you want to hear some well-produced, high fidelity Modern Metal from a young and promising UK band. Dark Juan will ALWAYS champion the underground in jolly old Blighty. Shame they haven’t put anything about who plays what on any bio or anything because I can’t find out. The PR company didn’t include it in their EPK either. This is mildly irritating.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Rituals 8/10 for a generally brilliant EP marred by a bit of dodgy song construction and the band wearing their influences rather too proudly on their sleeves. Still, it knocks the block off a lot of other releases this year, so the lads should be proud. Howay!

And they can always take pride and solace in the fact that they will always be better than Warrior fucking Soul.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Show Me The Signs
02. Oceans Subside
03. In Devastation

LINE-UP:

If the band would like to furnish me with their identities and what they do, that’d be grand. Otherwise it’s done by description. From left to right…

Leopard skin-shirted love god – does something.

Slightly dodgy looking backward cap and blue denim-wearing geezer lurking in the background – does something else.

“Strawberry blonde” obvious frontman with questionable moustache and swoopy, dreamy  emo-Hitler haircut – vocals.

Long-haired throwback to the big four thrash bands circa 1987. Bet he’s wearing white basketball boots – does stuff other than vocals. Probably.

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 ARCHIVES

Archives Logo

EMQ’s With ARCHIVES

Hi everyone. Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Northern Irish Modern Metal band, Archives. Huge thanks to their Bassist, Paul, 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, my name’s Paul and I play bass.

The band started with a few of the other members getting together over lockdown to record some music. Once there were a few tracks together the whole thing just snowballed into a debut album. 

I joined up shortly after the recording process, and we’ve just added our new drummer Jack Woods to the line-up!

How did you come up with your band name?

It was a bit of fluke actually, we were in the studio with the producer and he mentioned getting some ‘old recordings out of the archives’ … and the rest is history.

Where are you from and what is the Metal & Rock scene like there?

We’re all from the Belfast/Larne area – there’s a really good metal scene here with lots of other great bands, and across a lot of different sub-genres which keeps every gig interesting.

What is your latest release?

Our latest release is our album “Decay”, and we’re just bringing out a new music video for the track ‘Mapmaker’.

Who have been your greatest influences?

For me it would have to be old Parkway Drive, August Burns Red, Architects. I think most of the guys would agree!

What first got you into music?

I got my first guitar after playing Guitar Hero 3, so I guess it would have to be that!

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

For me, it would have to be Invent Animate.

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

Hmm that’s a tough one, it would be really cool to get on Download.

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

I haven’t received any gifts, someone needs to fix that at the next gig!

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

Thanks to everyone for the support, it’s been amazing. And we’ve got some big things coming soon, so stay tuned!

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

Freddie Mercury

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

Getting on stage and seeing the crowd getting into some of the heavier tracks.

I could probably live without the waiting around before gigs!

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

It would be great to see more big tours make it over here, we seem to get missed on UK tours a lot.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Parkway Drive – “Horizons”

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

Has to be vinyl.

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

Our album launch gig in Voodoo was incredible!

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

Well, I’ve still got my current day job as a software developer, so I guess it would be that.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Louis Theroux, Sam Carter, Steve Carrell, Freddie Mercury, Courtney LaPlante.

What’s next for the band?

We’re just getting back in the studio to start work on our 2nd album, and we’ve a few tours lined up this summer in England and Scotland!

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

You can find us on instagram @archives_uk
And links to all our socials and tickets for gigs etc can be found here: https://linktr.ee/Archivesuk

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

It’s definitely a cake!

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

Thanks for having us on EMQs!

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.

The Federation – Towards The Sun

Towards The Sun Album Cover Art

The Federation – Towards The Sun
Self-Released
Release Date: 29/05/22
Running Time: 41:01
Review by Simon Black
8/10

It’s moments like this that make this game worthwhile you know. 

As a slightly older chap, I’m highly conscious about how easy it is for people to get very set in their ways about their music tastes. Generally, most of us get exposed to the most variety of music influences in our mid to late teens, then start to focus a bit, but our tastes tend to only truly crystallise in our early twenties. After this, for many people, those tastes tend to then become fairly fixed – which is why older bands always have a guaranteed audience and newer ones have an uphill struggle influencing older folks in their direction. That’s sort of the reason I came back to reviewing after a long break, because I was conscious that this was happening to me too, unless an unexpected support slot blew a new band wide open for me and the best part of this gig is that I literally get the chance to listen to several hundred new bands every year that I would not otherwise have come across. 

The Federation, hailing from somewhere in deepest, darkest Norway aren’t strictly a new band, as this is their second album, but “Towards The Sun” is a subtle change of direction for them, moving away from the more Heavy Rock sound of their 2020 debut “Hungry Sleep” into a way more Modern Metal direction. If you compare the two, it doesn’t feel like the same band at all. 

There’s also a crisply precise rhythm section pounding away in here as well, that is a million miles away from the slightly looser feeling debut, but where this really steps up to the plate for me is in the crisply technical precision that’s going on in general instrumentally. There’s an almost Progressive edge here, with subtle melodic flows, twists and time changes that simultaneously make perfect sense while catching you on the hop, and I can see them working brilliantly live. 

And then there’s the vocals, because these are really the icing on this cake of brutal technical delivery, with an entrancing, charismatic and utterly effective performance from Magnus Helmersen, who although he always had a gruffer edge on that debut record, here’s he’s mixing that up with a predominantly cleaner sound, to the point when I really wondered if it was the same person. But in terms of capturing your attention, it’s a whole lot more effective. Highlights include ‘Fear of Death’, the relentlessly nod-along banger ‘Rumble’ and the crisp and punchy title track.

Yes, it’s moments like this, that are the ones that make that slog worthwhile – finding something new, that really makes you stop and listen. More please.

‘By The River’ Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Black Fortress
02. Fear of Death
03. Life of The Fallen
04. Rumble
05. Towards The Sun
06. Sacred
07. Sin
08. Silence The Leader
09. Reign of The Toxic King

LINE-UP:
Magnus Helmersen – Vocals
Thomas Aarsund Strand – Lead Guitar
Pål Vegar Leth-Olsen – Rythm Guitar
Ørjan Vingen – Bass
Robert “Red Max” Myrhaug – 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.

EMQ’s With AZ THE WORLD BURNZ

Az The World Burnz Logo

EMQ’s With AZ THE WORLD BURNZ

Hi Everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with USA Modern Metal band, Az The World Burnz. 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?

JONNY 2 MICS: I’m Jonny 2 Mics, vocalist / screamer.

JAY TENN: My name is Jay Tenn, vocalist.

LOCH 360: I’m Loch (lock) Three-Sixty. I’m a tenor vocalist and emcee.

ANGEL SHANE: My name is Shane aka Angel Shane. I’m a vocalist for the band and I also play piano and drums. I met Jonny 2 Mics almost 3 years ago, helping him out in the studio. Then all of sudden, a mutual friend brings Jay Tenn over to showcase his skills. We recorded a basic freestyle on another friend’s track and was, basically, inspired to come up with a new approach to the music. So between myself, Jonny and Tenn, things started off as something random and magical. And then that’s when Tenn really became inspired and sought out to bring his past bandmate, Loch 360, on board. And after hearing Loch freestyle and sing with us, that was the straw the broke the camel’s back for me and the group we all know today,“Az The World Burnz”, was formed.

How did you come up with your band name?

ANGEL SHANE: We were sitting down listening to some of the songs that we were putting together. We noticed that we each had our own unique style that blended very well together without realizing that that would eventually become our thing. Tenn jumped up – basically excited and made a comment that our music was going to explode people’s minds and push forward their horizons, in regards to their concepts of music. And with so much unpredictable activities going on globally, from then on “Az The World Burnz” became the name.

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

ANGEL SHANE: We live in the United States. Tucson Arizona to be exact. The Metal / Rock scene here is huge between all races and cultures. 

JAY TENN: Rock is definitely on its way back to the top.

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

LOCH 360: Well, we’ve just released our newest single ‘End of Suffering’ with a music video now showing on YouTube. This song is also streaming on all major platforms. The song is a tribute piece dedicated to a brother and former bandmate who recently passed away. We wrote this song in his honour and we hope to inspire people to cherish those great moments you spend with loved ones.

Who have been your greatest influences?

ANGEL SHANE: My mother was my greatest influence. She’s a singer / songwriter and she specified raising me to open up to all genres and types of music.

JAY TENN: Michael Jackson, Donny Hathaway, Prince, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Randy Travis, Garth Brooks, Lil Wayne, Tech N9ne, Three 6 Mafia, Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Linkin Park.

What first got you into music?

ANGEL SHANE: From birth. My mom sings. My dad sings. My entire family is associated with artists like Stevie Wonder. Through my bloodline, all of us are affiliated with music in some way.

LOCH 360: Hardships. Making music became my therapy during some darker times.

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

ANGEL SHANE: Amy Lee of Evanescence, David Draiman of Disturbed, or Jamie Foxx and just do a crazy funny freestyle.

JONNY 2 MICS: I could see us collaborating with Post Malone or Tech N9ne.

LOCH 360: I’d like to see an Az The World Burnz / Stands With Fists collaboration. Us and Foo Fighters could be interesting.

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

JAY TENN: Lollapalooza and the Bonnaroo Festival.

ANGEL SHANE: I would like to perform at any of the large Latina or Hispanic festivals because it would force me to expand beyond primarily English cultured songs.

LOCH 360: Rolling Loud and Coachella

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

ANGEL SHANE: A condom. That was weird as hell. That was the weirdest thing I ever got from a fan.

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

ANGEL SHANE: Follow the music that you feel. That would be my only message to them.

LOCH 360: If you have a dream that you see yourself doing, don’t let anyone stand in your way of getting there. Absolutely no one.

JAY TENN: We don’t need your money. Just “Like, Share, and Subscribe”. If you will watch a 15 second Ad for some stupid shit then you can take 3 seconds to like us, hate us, or just talk about us.

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

ANGEL SHANE: Michael Jackson or Prince

LOCH 360: Jimi Hendrix

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

JAY TENN: The creative process is where I thrive. I just hate the politics.

ANGEL SHANE: I mostly enjoy the fact of writing something or producing something that people can feel and absorb. I only hate other musicians that write shit that has no purpose.

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

ANGEL SHANE: The manipulation. That’s an easy answer.

LOCH 360: I would like to eradicate payola. It’s distorting our reality.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

ANGEL SHANE: Damn. It’s a toss up between Hybrid Theory by Linkin Park and Kamikaze by Eminem. Both of these just set a precedence. 

JAY TENN: Ghetto Dope

LOCH 360: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

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

JAY TENN: I’ll show my age. Vinyl of course.

LOCH 360: Cassettes are king. They were so easy to carry, easy to fix, easy to dub over. It had 2 sides, even if both sides played the same music.

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

JAY TENN: A tribute show for a really good friend and bandmate, raising money for an unexpected loss.

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

LOCH 360: If I weren’t a musician, I think I’d be a video game developer. 

JAY TENN: Gyno for the stars.

ANGEL SHANE: Custom audio for all types of vehicles (cars, boats, jets, etc.).

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

JAY TENN: Rob Dyrdek Elon Musk, Russell Brand, Dave Chappelle, and Post Malone

ANGEL SHANE: My band 

What’s next for the band?

LOCH 360: Well, warmer weather is right around the corner and we’ve got a few summertime hits brewing right now. We have a few shows booked up for the spring so you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot from us in the coming months.

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

LOCH 360: Just go to @aztheworldburnz if you’re using Tik Tok, Facebook, or Instagram. Our website, which is presently under construction, is www.aztheworldburnz.com . And you can subscribe to our YouTube channel, Az The World Burnz Music.

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

LOCH 360: I would definitely say it’s a cake although I’ve never had one.

JAY TENN: In the states, these look like some delicious cookies.

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

LOCH 360: We’d just like to thank each and everyone who has played a role in our successes thus far on this journey. We have an amazing and supportive circle that has really propelled us forward at lightning speed. Thank you to all of our new and pure, genuine fans who’ve given us shot to earn our way onto their playlists and hearts. A very special thanks to our marketing team at TAG Publicity. And lastly, thank you Ever Metal for sharing our story.

Az The World Burnz “End Of Suffering” (Debut Music Video) –

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 MAPS OF DARKNESS

Maps Of Darkness Logo

EMQ’s with MAPS OF DARKNESS

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Transatlantic Modern Metal collaborative project, Maps Of Darkness. Huge thanks to one half of the duo, and main man, Dmitry, 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 Dmitry. I play guitar (mostly). But on this record I played guitars, bass, and keys.

How did you come up with your band name?

I wanted a name that would capture the essence of exploring the shadow parts of our nature – all the traumas we gather as we travel through our lives and how they inform the choices we make in the present moment.

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

I live in LA, currently. The metal / rock scene there needs no introduction.

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

Our latest release is the single ‘Haywire Empire’.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Iron Maiden, David Bowie, Dream Theater.  

What first got you into music?

My older cousin, who started playing guitar when we were kids. I wanted to play all those Metallica riffs as well as he could. 

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

There are so many. Plini, Rob Halford, Steven Wilson.

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

Glastonbury. It’s iconic.  

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

…!

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

Pay attention to the world around you. There’s more to life than you think.

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

Freddie Mercury. 

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

Love – the recording process. Hearing all the disparate musical ideas come together to create something cool and unique. Hate – changing guitar strings. The strings on my guitar haven’t been changed in 10 years.

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

No idea. I’m not in the “industry.”

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Somewhere in Time” by Iron Maiden.

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

I love them all. I still have my “Painkiller” cassette that I bought when it came out forever ago. It sounds so good! 

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

We haven’t played any gigs as Maps of Darkness. So – let’s revisit this question in the near future.

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

AI research and development. 

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Shirley Manson, Kurt Vonnegut, Joan Didion, Bruce Dickinson, Tosin Abasi. 

What’s next for the band?

We have a few more singles lined up. Perhaps we’ll shoot a video. We hope to finish our debut album ASAP.

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

Instagram. Or our website: https://www.mapsofdarkness.com/

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Both?  

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

Thanks for reading and checking out Maps of Darkness! We appreciate you.

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.