W.A.S.P. & South of Salem – O2 Academy Bristol, 23/03/2023

WASP poster

W.A.S.P. & South of Salem
O2 Academy Bristol

Review by Simon Black
Photography By Paul Hutchings

It’s a ridiculously wet night in Bristol tonight and a sold-out Bristol Academy is taking a while to fill up thanks to the slightly paranoid approach the venue is taking of insisting everyone goes through an airport style metal detector, making me wonder if W.A.S.P. are still all that controversial after 40 years. But then Blackie’s been allegedly shot at, received countless death threats and a near miss with a tampered-with Jaguar over the decades, although I suspect it’s more likely to be a backlash against the venue than the artist. 

I can’t get into the review proper without qualifying that, but basically the O2 live organisation did nothing to deter the reputation they have earned as one that likes to wring every penny out of a crowd. Not just the obscene bar prices that one might expect from a central London venue – not out in the sticks, then there’s the subject of merchandise. The support act were the only ones selling anything, but let’s face it at £40 a shirt they weren’t going to be shifting many units when the price point is £30 for a headliner and £20-25 for the support, all of which screams of having to part with 40-50% of the take to the venue if you compare the prices to their Bandcamp page (hint). This explains why there was no W.A.S.P merch at all, as Blackie’s answer was likely to have involved two words, the second one being “Off”. 

Bournemouth’s rapidly rising South of Salem don’t hit the stage until a good hour after the doors open and most of the 1,600-capacity crowd have been standing up for a while by this point, so are more than ready for them. It’s remarkable how well this band have done in such a short time given they did not form long before lockdown, but they’ve worked hard and earned their dues, and if the performance tonight is anything to go by then it’s not hard to see why. They rocked it.

It’s not a huge stage at the best of the time, and with the headliner’s backdrops and risers taking up a lot of room the band have to carefully pick their way through the narrow space available and have their work cut out for them. But these guys know how to work a room that isn’t there to see them, and despite the lack of space throw out a huge amount of energy and passion that very quickly makes people forget the woes of entry and waiting. 

Blessed with a really good sound mix and a generous amount of lighting the songs are just what is needed tonight. Their brand of ballsy Hard Rock has been around for decades (fortunately so have most of the audience), so that process does not take long and their forty odd minute set whizzes by leaving an appreciative bunch of folks who will happily go out of the way to see them again, myself included.


This gig has been a long time coming. In fact, for me personally this is the final show in the clutch of events that have been kicked down the can a fair few times since the world first went to hell in a hand cart (and ironically enough coincided on the 3rd anniversary date of the UK entering lockdown). Blackie Lawless had the bug, and had it hard early on in January 2020, when most of the world was still not recognising what was inbound. Given that he also had malingering long-Covid symptoms for a while and is a man in his 60’s, which makes his performance tonight all the more commendable and he more than anyone else in the room is humble and happy to be here on the other side of it all.

Although advertised as a return to the blood and thunder days of the 80’s, the reality is flaming signs, drinking blood from the skulls of your PMRC enemies and throwing raw meat into the crowd are not going to happen anymore, but that doesn’t stop the band making the effort to put a proper show on without so much as a sparkler in terms of pyro. Turns out they don’t need it, and to be honest Rammstein have made all that their own now. The 19th Century side show banners evoke a darker take on the “Inside The Electric Circus” era feel they are aiming for, but the retro theatrics remain confined to a couple of back projection screens in their midst showing vintage video footage, although it’s clear that the set was designed around a much larger stage size, so the band still don’t have much space to work with. Lawless still manages to dance around nimbly – no mean feat given the amount of space the floor-stand for his infamous bones and bike parts mike stand ‘Elvis’ takes up, but it’s still a great prop and a great way of keeping the energy moving on stage.

The first thing that strikes you though is how little Lawless voice has aged. He may be a bit out of breath for his in-between song banter with the crowd, but he still hits the notes spectacularly well and all in the songs’ original keys, which is highly unusual for a band 40 years out. Again, the whole sound mix is handled brilliantly, allowing all the instruments to crisply be heard individually, with Lawless slavish drive for perfectionism making sure that all the extra sound layers and elements are audible and not just drowned out in an excessive amount of amperage. 

W.A.S.P. have always maintained a unique sound (OK, we’ll pretend “K.F.D.” didn’t happen), but it’s the distinctive songs from their 80’s heyday that always shift the audience response up a few notches live, so with a set comprising of material no older than 1992, the crowd responds accordingly with a circle pit an aging contemporary Thrash band would love to see. The set list is pure nostalgia, opening with a four-song medley and a couple of other belters from their first three albums, before changing pace completely with three tracks from “The Crimson Idol”. That may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I still love that album to bits, and am absolutely delighted at their inclusion, even if ‘The Idol’ still feels like it’s desperately trying to redo “The Wall” (’Comfortably Blackie’, anyone?). Nevertheless, it’s consummately delivered and still for me remains one of the most moving bits of solo guitar work ever. 

The older material finishes things off, and with ‘Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)’ getting an airing and the loudest singalong of the night – despite us all being told it would never get played again a while back. This is W.A.S.P. giving the crowd what they’ve been missing for a very long time, and that’s their money’s worth. Oh, and a nice touch to credit every musician who has contributed to W.A.S.P. over the years on their play out. The only thing I can really complain about is that the lighting really struggles to pick Blackie out, but again I suspect that’s a side effect of squeezing into such a dinky stage.

The fact that that distinctive sound has been recaptured so perfectly, was delivered so consummately as well, and with the energy from the frontman that would have been a tough delivery if he was half his age, I am left feeling with what I wanted most – a show that captured this seminal band at their best, and indeed probably better than I have ever seen them play before. 

You can catch up on a good night’s sleep, but you can’t catch up on a good night out, and this was a very, very good night out.




Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. Photography the property of Paul Hutchings. 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.

Morass of Molasses – End of All We Know

End of All We Know Album Cover Art

Morass of Molasses – End of All We Know
Ripple Music
Release Date: 24/03/23
Running Time: 37:00
Review by Paul Hutchings

If you’ve ever seen Morass of Molasses live, you’ll know that it’s an intoxicating experience. The heavy blues riffs that the band purvey with such ease are mesmerising. Their laidback style disguises an underlying quality which here, on their third full-length album, is laid bare for all to see and hear. It’s no surprise to find that this 37-minute trip is another journey into space and time, a pleasing excursion that ebbs and flows with thick riffs contrasting with gentler passages and melancholic reflection. 

There’s a confidence that oozes through Bones Huse, Phil Williams and Raj Puni. Tours with Orange Goblin, Crowbar and Elephant Tree as well as appearances at Bloodstock and HRH Doom vs Stoner have honed the band’s technical approach, and their ability to make genuine, heart-felt music is evident here. With the use of flute on the likes of Terra Nova, the band have expanded their soundscape, providing a sonic sweep that embraces all aspects of their heavy stoner and swamp music. Not bad for a band from Reading. 

“End of All We Know” opens with the heavy groove of ‘The Origin of the North’. It’s a swaying intoxication which draws on a real seventies’ vibe, the retro feels given full head. Close your eyes and sway as the music envelopes, drawing you deep before all power is temporarily cut for a gentle interlude, before the chaos intensifies. 

Whilst Morass of Molasses stick to a relatively similar style in terms of delivery, with Bones Huse’s vocal style very much following a pattern, it’s the content of what they do that works best. The heavy riffs dominate, whilst Huse is most comfortable with his frantic, rage-filled roars that erupt in the most unlikely moments. The dual guitar work is delicate at times, whilst letting loose on others to explode in a crazed, kaleidoscopic carnival of aural colours. 

Songs like ‘Sinkhole’, the jagged edge of ‘Naysayer’ with its compelling hook and psychedelic leanings and the trippy explorative ‘Terra Nova’ with added flute all add to the overall experience. Closing track ‘Wings of Reverie’ shows the band’s calmer side, although you are left anticipating the crunching riff which inevitably crashes back in. It’s a bit of a curved ball, a melodic trip that ebbs and flows, with Williams delivering some beautiful lead guitar work. It’s a fine finale to another solidly good album by one of the UK’s underrated bands. Crushing doom, raging metal, psychedelic and trippy, it’s all here, wrapped up with a huge sludgy sound that compliments the avalanche of riffs that fall.  

“End of All We Know” builds on the discography that Morass of Molasses have created and stands comfortably alongside debut album “These Paths We Tread” and sophomore release “The Ties That Bind”. The sweeping dynamic that they create is substantial, unique, and absorbing. I fully recommend you dive in deep… And enjoy the journey. 

01. The Origin of North
02. Hellfayre
03. Sinkhole
04. Naysayer 
05. Slingshot Around the Sun 
06.Terra Nova
07. Prima Materia
08. Wings of Reverie

Bones Huse – Vocals & Baritone Guitar
Phil Williams – Lead Guitar 
Raj Puni – Drums & Vocals 


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.

Alex Nunziati – Black Space Void

Black Space Void Album Cover Art

Alex Nunziati – Black Space Void
Moribund Records
Release Date: 24/03/23
Running Time: 36:53
Review by Paul Hutchings

According to the blurb that accompanied this release, “Black Space Void” is a highly anticipated release. Well, I might be a bit mutton in my old age, but I can’t believe that many were waiting on tenterhooks for this second solo album, for despite its raw feel, there’s not a lot going on here to really excite. In fact, it’s a struggle to plough through the whole eight tracks. 

Italian Alex Nunziati has a pedigree, with his other outfits including Malamorte, Theatres des Vampires and Lord Vampyr, all bands I admit I know nothing about. Nunziati’s first solo album “Il Mangiatore di Peccati” (“The Eater of Sin”) was released last year, but again didn’t reach these ears, so I’m taking Black Space Void without any baggage. The huge challenge with this album is twofold. Firstly, as a solo project where the artist plays everything, it’s incredibly difficult to be overly critical, because this is immense musicianship in many ways. The other challenge is that it’s impossible not to draw comparisons and here it’s Sepultura, Cavalera-era that rears its head throughout. And unfortunately, if I want to listen to Sepultura, then it’s one of those albums that I reach for. 

The musicianship is rudimentary at times, and at other times it’s a real struggle. There isn’t one song on this album that really grabbed me by the throat and demanded I play it again. Instead, the music just washed over me without any real impact. The opening track ‘The Revenge of the Humans’ is an average song, whilst the laborious ‘Stardust’ does absolutely nothing to get either the thrash juices flowing, or the more curious synapses engaged. 

‘The Universe Doesn’t Need Us’ does add a bit of bite for the first minute, before descending into a crossover hybrid that really doesn’t spark the fire in any real way. It may take a while before you realise that “Black Space Void” has a total Sci-Fi lyrical content, with outer space themes alongside humanity’s mistreatment of Earth. All very honourable indeed, but let’s face it, it’s time for a cull anyway. 

The biggest problem I have with “Black Space Void” is that it’s just average from start to finish. Nothing stands out, despite the obvious talent. A classic example is ‘Possessed By Astral Eternity’. It’s frenetic, played very well, and does absolutely nothing. Even the final song ‘Vulnerable’ with its racing thrash vibe fails to ignite. Overall, a disappointing release. 

01. The Revenge of the Humans
02. The Day the World Died Again
03. Stardust
04. The Universe Doesn’t Need Us
05. Possessed By Astral Entity
06. Black Space Void
07. The Prophet
08. Vulnerable 

Alex Nunziati – Everything


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.

The Answer – Sundowners

Sundowners Album Cover Art

The Answer – Sundowners
Golden Robot Records
Release Date: 17/03/23
Running Time:  43:07
Review by Paul Hutchings

It’s been a long time. Seven years on hiatus, and a day that many feared would never happen is looming large. The return of Northern Ireland’s The Answer, with their brand-new album “Sundowners”. If ever there was an example of a band who were always on the verge of greatness, it’s probably The Answer. Formed in 2000, the band were hailed as the best new band by Classic Rock magazine in 2005, not long after the release of their debut album “Rise”. A tour with AC/DC on their “Black Ice” tour in 2008/9 seemed the perfect springboard to launch the band into the stratosphere. Live they were virtually untouchable, and yet despite solid albums in “New Horizon”, 2015’s “Raise A Little Hell” and their most recent release, 2016’s “Solus”, the band hit a metaphorical wall. The hiatus has allowed them to regroup, deal with family joy and sorrow, and return to the studio in April 2022 for the first time since 2015. 

Singer Corman Neeson. “We’ve been through a lot as a band, toured the world, made six great records we’re all proud of, and always done our best to make honest and timeless music that connects with rock and music fans in general. After six albums and a lot of road miles we felt we needed to step back from it all and reset. Whilst that wasn’t an easy decision, with retrospect it’s possibly the best decision we’ve ever made because after seven years away we all came back fired up and the end result is an album we’ve been waiting to make our whole lives…full of good time rock n roll and positive energy created by four brothers who quite frankly just really missed each other. We’re back and we’re ready to bring our best album ever to you!

First impressions are good. The title track is moody, a six-minute statement that The Answer are back. Their traditional, Blues-soaked style very much in evidence. A first spin through the release is reassuring. The Answer are in form, with each of the component parts working collectively. Neeson’s Plant-esque delivery remains pleasingly smoky. His range is as good as ever.  Paul Mahon’s guitar playing brings that old-time swagger whilst the rhythm section of Waters and Heatley is locked tight. Everything sounds tight, yet natural and organic. “Sundowners” isn’t an album that’s been forced. 

But let’s backtrack through the album a little. ‘Sundowners’ isn’t your usual bombastic opener. It begins with an almost Western vibe before Waters’ bass lays down the beat, Mahon shimmers over the top of the building tempo and Neeson comes in with his understated tones. Mahon’s slide work is fantastic, the beat continues, and this sounds every inch a signal of confidence. It takes balls to open with a six-minute track that veers away from their more mainstream sound and The Answer have proved they have big ones. This has a magical echo and vibe. 

‘Blood Brothers’ is more The Answer of old. A big stomping song, Neeson’s allowed to let go and the whole band just jumps along. It’s anthemic, with a delicious hook and switch of pace. The tempo changes direction completely on ‘California Rust’, which benefits from some thick Hammond organ which gives the song great depth. This one is going to be a cracker live, with its Deep Purple feel. 

The Answer have always drawn deep on their gospel tendencies and ‘Want You to Love Me’ sees them back in that glorious style with female backing singers and more lush keyboards. ‘Oh Cherry’ brings in harmonica, a thumping, driving bass line and another earworm. It’s hard to be unimpressed by the Northern Ireland quartet on this form. ‘No Salvation’ drops back to the band’s bluesy roots, with Neeson allowed space to really use that magnificent voice to full potential. It’s a laid back, chilled song that demonstrates the versatile nature of the band. It contrasts with ‘Cold Heart’ that follows, another classically crafted song that grabs you with its energy and vibrancy. 

There’s an excitement here as you listen, for these songs should fit neatly alongside staples in the live show. There’s more to come though, with the groove of ‘All Together’, the triumphant Rock ‘n’ Roll stomp of ‘Livin’ on the Line’, which is sure to tear a hole in those summer festivals, and the Zeppelin/Royal Blood edged ‘Get back on It’ all propelling the band along with style. Of course, it wouldn’t be right to have an album by The Answer which doesn’t contain at least one more gentle song and closing track ‘Always Right’ is just the one. A beautifully crafted semi-acoustic finale, it’s the perfect song to bring the album to a close. 

“Sundowners” is not only a fabulous piece of work, but also a sign of hope. My heart dipped when the band went on hiatus, and it skipped a beat when I heard the band were back in the studio. It hasn’t disappointed and the forthcoming tour with Oli Brown in support will only cement the experience. It’s a huge welcome back. 

‘Livin’ On The Line’ Official Video

01. Sundowners
02. Blood Brothers
03. California Rust
04. Want You to Love Me
05. Cherry
06. No Salvation
07. Cold Heart
08. All Together
09. Livin’ on the Line
10. Get Back on It
11. Always Right 

Cormack Neeson – Vocals
Paul Mahon – Guitars
Mickey Waters – Bass
James Heatley – Drums


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.

Saxon – Live, w/ Sweet Savage – Ulster Hall, Belfast 

Saxon Live Ulster Hall Belfast Poster

Saxon – Live, w/ Sweet Savage
Ulster Hall, Belfast 
Live Review and Photography by Paul Hutchings

According to Biff Byford, Saxon haven’t played Belfast since 1983. I think the great man has got his wires crossed, for Saxon, while not regular visitors to Northern Ireland, have played there a good number of times over the years. It has, however, been seven years since Biff and his band last played round the corner at the Limelight, on the ‘Battering Ram’ tour in 2016. Little wonder that this show, the band’s first time in the splendid Ulster Hall, was sold out a few days before the show. 

Saxon’s show the night before in Dublin had been a frenzied affair according to social media. Heading out on the next leg of their Carpe Diem tour which they had commenced in the UK and Europe in Autumn 2022, this latest run sees the band head back to Germany for several dates before their summer festival season begins. For a band whose combined age is 329 years, they are true warriors of the road; Saxon’s work ethic is incredible. 

Back in the early 1980s, a small Belfast band called Sweet Savage provided one Vivian Campbell to the world. Campbell would of course go on to join Dio for the first three albums, and then Def Leppard. Another member of Sweet Savage in the 1990s, Simon McBride, is the current guitarist of Deep Purple. But there’s a lot more to Sweet Savage than just providing the world with guitar heroes. Founding member Ray Haller remains the driving force in the band. His energy is infectious, as he powers along with driving bass lines as well taking the lead vocals. He’s joined by guitarist Phil Edgar, a staple in the band’s line-up since 2011 whilst anchoring the unit is drummer Marty McCloskey, who provided a solid platform. A spread of tracks from the band’s back catalogue including their most well-known album, “Killing Time”, the title track of course, famously covered by Metallica in 1991. New tracks from their forthcoming album ‘Bang!’ including a second ever play for new one ‘Leave Me Alone’ bode well the songs receiving a decent reception. A solid if unspectacular cover of Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Rocker’ went down well, leaving them to finish with ‘Killing Time’ and a reception that befitted their status. 

Sweet Savage

Sweet Savage | Facebook

With the Ulster Hall at full capacity, Saxon strode onto the stage with the confidence that only bands of their stature can demonstrate. At 72 years of age, Biff Byford is still THE frontman, striding around the stage, conserving energy where possible, but still vigorously head banging on several occasions. Saxon’s set list is drawn heavily from “Carpe Diem”, 2022’s fine release, with six tracks spread across the evening’s show. The title track is the ideal opener, and the band lace the new tracks amongst old classics. You want a Saxon setlist – this was it. 22 songs, dating back to 1980 with virtually every staple included.  ‘And The Bands Played On’, ‘Dallas 1PM’, ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’ and a raucous ‘Motorcycle Man’ which comes early in the set all get the expected roars of approval. 

“Carpe Diem” is over a year old, so the ‘new’ tracks are firmly established. ‘Dambusters’ gets a huge roar, whilst there are also robust versions of ‘The Age of Steam’, ‘Living on the Limit’ and ‘Black is the Night’. Older cuts like the resurrected ‘Metal Head’ earn huge reactions. The lighting is predominantly blues and reds, and one wonders by the reaction to ‘Power and the Glory’ and the overwhelming fan vote for ‘Crusader’, combined with the booing which greeted the mention of Dublin, if this is intentional. It’s always sensible to take the temperature of the audience but I may be being way too over the mark.

‘The Eagle Has Landed’ is imperious, with Nibbs Carter driving the band along with his huge bass lines. As ever, the backline of Carter and drummer Nigel Glockler are reliable, a concrete foundation for the other members of the band. It’s noticeable that Paul Quinn seems to be taking more of the rhythm work these days, although when he lets loose his guitar work is as fluid as ever. Doug Scarratt, his partner in crime, shreds with an ease that is outrageous. But it’s Biff who is the focal point for the band, his word play between songs receives cheers, as does the cheeky wag who throws his denim jacket onto the stage for Biff to sign at the end of ‘Denim and Leather’. The wag is mildly scolded by the veteran frontman before the band give it everything in the inevitable set closer. As the metal community of Belfast lose their heads for the final three minutes and ‘Princess of the Night’ shakes the Ulster Hall foundations, the promise that Biff makes that Saxon will be back seems real. With receptions like this, why the hell wouldn’t you? 

Saxon | Facebook



Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Hutchings and Ever Metal. Photography the property of Paul Hutchings. 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.

Blackmore’s Night – Shadows of the Moon 25th Anniversary Edition

Shadows Of The Moon Album Cover Art

Blackmore’s Night – Shadows of the Moon 25th Anniversary Edition
Arising Empire Records
Release Date: 10/03/23
Running Time: 73:12 
Review by Paul Hutchings

It’s interesting to look back on Ritchie Blackmore’s transition from guitar hero to neo-folk maestro. The man who was integral to the foundation of Deep Purple, who brought Ronnie James Dio to the wider rock world’s attention with Rainbow, who moved from themes of demons, wizards, kings and queens to to more mainstream rock songs before returning to Deep Purple for a period, formed Blackmore’s Night in the mid-90s with Candice Night, sharing their passion for Medieval and folk-rock music. The couple’s first album, “Shadows of the Moon” was released in 1997 and although it was in part an acoustic release, the chemistry between Blackmore and Night was evident. This 25th anniversary release sees the album remastered and remixed, with the inclusion of two unreleased acoustic home-recorded tracks. There’s also a DVD which carries some exclusive bonus material (I didn’t have access to this, so the review is based on the album only). 

While I’ve dallied with the odd piece of music, I’ll admit that Blackmore’s Night have always presented as a bit too twee, strange, and downright eccentric for me to do more than dip my toe into. That’s changed with a deep dive into this re-release, for Shadow of the Moon is simply magical. Sure, it’s very left of what I would usually listen to, but there’s no denying the exceptional ability of Ritchie Blackmore, or the velvety smooth vocals of Candice Night. The title track is exceptionally catchy, a real earworm although I’m not sure if that is the intention. 

The more Medieval styles, such as ‘The Clock Ticks On’ may not be to everyone’s taste, but there is ample here to select a couple of tracks to enjoy. The arrival of Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson on flute for ‘Play Minstrel Play’ is inspired and fits perfectly. There’s a timelessness about this record that allows it to fit in as well today as it would have 25 years ago, or even several centuries ago! 

The delicate ‘Ocean Gypsy’ sees a stunning performance from Night, and Blackmore’s sublime guitar work is simply delicious. Blackmore dips deep into his classical influences throughout the album, although ‘Writing on the Wall’ has a semi-disco beat to it, along with some electric flicks which remind us of what a guitarist the man in black was and still is. There’s even a slight country twang to Blackmore’s soulful bluesy playing on ‘No Second Chance’. ‘Spirit of the Sea’ is a perfect piece of tranquillity, with the mandolin taking a prominent part. 

Even the reworking of ‘Greensleeves’ works stunningly well, whilst the version of ‘Wish You Were Here’ leads you to the two final songs. Acoustic home recorded versions of the title track (which allows Blackmore opportunity to show more fine guitar work) and ‘Spirit of the Sea’ show how Night’s voice has matured in the last quarter of a century, but never fear, she still brings it magnificently. 

If you’ve always been afraid to dip into Ritchie Blackmore’s world of castles, knights and his neo-classical influences, this is the right time to have a go. “Shadow of the Moon” is a gorgeous record, and I for one have no qualms about enjoying it far more than I anticipated. 

01. Shadows of the Moon
02. The Clock Ticks On
03. Be Mine Tonight
04. Play Minstrel Play
05. Ocean Gypsy
06. Minstrel Hall
07. Magical World
08. Writing on the Wall
09. Renaissance Faire
10. Memmingen
11. No Second Chance
12. Mond Tanz
13. Spirit of the Sea
14. Greensleeves
15. Wish You Were Here
16. Shadow of the Moon (Ritchie & Candice Anniversary Home Edition)
17. Spirit of the Sea (Ritchie & Candice Anniversary Home Edition)

Ritchie Blackmore – Guitars, bass, drum, mandoline, 
Candice Night -Vocals
Pat Reagan – Keyboards
Gerald Flashman – Recorders, Trumpet, French Horn
Tom Brown – Cello
Lady Green – Voila
Ian Anderson – Flute on Play, Minstrel, Play
Scott Hazel – Backing vocals on Play, Minstrel, Play 


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.

Jenner – To Live is to Suffer

To Live Is To Suffer Album Cover Art

Jenner – To Live is to Suffer
Fighter Records
Release Date: 07/03/23
Running Time: 37:12
Review by Paul Hutchings

“To Live is to Suffer” is a reissue of Serbian Thrash/Metal outfit Jenner’s debut album which was first released in 2017. So, what we’re doing here is reviewing an album that was first issued six years ago, which makes any objective view of the album a challenge. At the time of issue, Jenner was a quartet, whereas today they are a trio with guitarist Alexandra Stamenković now handling vocal duties as well as the fretwork. It’s therefore a review based on what was then, rather than what is now and that makes it difficult. In fact, only  Stamenković was in the line-up who originally recorded this record. 

Opening track ‘Factory of Death’ is a pacy number that rips along at decent speed. Elements of Priest and Maiden are evident, although there are any number of influences that you can identify within the band’s sound. The vocals are routine, singer Angelina Mitic working at the very limits of her ability, but it doesn’t detract from a reasonable opener with some decent lead work. 

The problem here is that Jenner have one style of track. There’s little variation and whilst they are adept at what they do, the songs all blend into each other. There is genuinely nothing bad about this album, but I’d arrived at penultimate song ‘Silent Killer’ without realising that I’d already listened to six songs. “To Live is to Suffer” is a listenable album with some sharp playing, but it lacks the songs to make it memorable. Whether the new line-up can make it any different is open to debate. Hopefully, their second album which is promised for later this year can do that. There are a couple of bonus demos with this revised release, but I think you’d have to be a hardcore fan to be excited by that. 

01. Factory of Death
02. Hear the Thunder Roar
03. Demon’s Call
04. The Heath is Coming Again
05. On the Judgement Day
06. How Deep is Your Greed
07. Silent Killer
08. Opened (On the Table)

Aleksandra Stamenković – vocals/guitar
Selena Simić– drums
Anja Mirković- bass


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.

Kold – Intet Mere Er

Intet Mere Er Album Cover Art

Kold – Intet Mere Er
Vendetta Records
Release Date: 03/03/23
Running Time: 44:00
Review by Paul Hutchings

Crushing atmospheric intensity is the order of the day with this debut release by Danish duo Kold. Having released their self-titled EP in 2021, Nicklas Johansen (bass & guitar) and Mathias Skov Samsø Jepsen (vocals & Drums) now offer up 44 minutes of crushing darkness, which leans heavily into the black metal of old. 

The songs are long, expressive workouts, with banks of shimmering tremolo riffing and thunderous blastbeats. Nothing instant, with the shortest track being the opening ‘Vinden, Den Kalder Dit Navn’ at 7:50. Jepsen’s demonic screams are classic in style, ferocious and harrowing. They work well, scraping over the melodies that Johansen offers up with his guitar work.

It may be formulaic, but there is some variation. The songs tend to meander, allowing them time to breathe and grow. ‘Ødeland’ sees an expansive and elongated track develop organically, crafting a sonic soundscape which is both sinister yet uplifting. The main thrust of this type of Black Metal remains frenetic speeds, pulsating rhythmic variations and a landscape full of bleakness, isolation, and misery. 

Throughout the record, the driving passion is evident, the contrasts in story telling a raging melting pot which centres on the fragility of life. The final track is the standout song on this album. ‘Nattefrost’ rolls the icy veil over the whole release. A ten-minute epic, it starts with a lone guitar, eking out a pathway which slowly emerges. Feverish and explosive, it progresses with a savagery that excels the other tracks on the album, before slipping into acoustic clarity, a pattern that is repeated before the tumultuous ending. 

There are gaps. The production is probably exactly what is required for this style, slightly fuzzed and raw. The compositions work together, bringing melody through although it’s often hidden. It won’t be an album for those who dislike Black Metal. But for those who still live in the 90s, this old school style is likely to appeal. Raw, but with potential. 

01. Vinden, Den Kalder Dit Navn
02. Ødeland
03. Forgabt I Virvar
04. Et Mørke
05. Nattefrost 

Nicklas Johansen – Bass & guitar
Mathias Skov Samsø Jepsen – vocals & Drums


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.

Interview with Sammy Duet of Goatwhore

Interview with Sammy Duet of Goatwhore
The Fleece, Bristol

Interviewed by Paul Hutchings

Three shows from the end of a gruelling tour across Europe, Paul and Rich caught up with Goatwhore guitarist and founder Sammy Duet before the band scorched The Fleece in Bristol. We start off by checking in on how the European tour has been for Sammy, the band, and the entire crew.

“It has been fantastic, way better than I expected,” says Sammy.

 Four weeks into the tour, that sounds like a good place to be. Did any countries stand out?

“The UK has been surprisingly insane. Manchester was insane. One kid came up on the stage and went to stage dive and I was like, we support that! Then I went on the mic, and I said, “Our stage is all stage and that’s when all hell just broke loose! Like three or four kids up there at the same time just diving on the stage, it was great. There was no venue security, like there won’t be like tonight. You’re right up close.”

I wondered if Sammy had noticed any change in their return to Europe, the first time since the pandemic. 

Financially Sammy is clear. “That’s the only real thing, you know. Yeah. And I mean, the turnouts have been fantastic, but I think there would be even better if people wouldn’t be so scared to come out, would you understand? You know, some people are just afraid of getting sick and all that stuff, but, you know, even some of the promoters were saying, the show would probably be twice as large if people still weren’t so afraid of it.” 

I think there may be more to this, with the financial challenges now but also, I wonder how many people have simply lost the drive and willpower to come out on a wet Wednesday or Thursday to watch a band. It’s an interesting debate. 

I’d interviewed Sammy for another site just before the release of their latest album, “Angels Hung From The Arches of Heaven”. It’s a crushing album. How had the reaction been to the album afterwards?

“Yeah, we’d been sitting on it for so long, you know, that it was just kind of, we were extremely excited when it was finished, you know, but then the kind of honeymoon kind of ended by the time the album came out to the public. But I mean, I still love the record, you know? The reaction to the record has been fantastic. You know, everybody has been totally into it, which is awesome. You know, which I didn’t expect that reaction being that there’s not so much of a departure on this record, but we tried some new things. This is definitely the darkest record we put out so far as, like, a whole. There’s not so much of, like, the rock and roll vibe to this as our past records. This one is just pure darkness, you know.”

Goatwhore have been adding new songs into the setlist. How have they been received? 

Sammy is enthusiastic. “Yeah, they’ve been going great. I mean, we played five new songs in the set so it’s basically doing a 45-minute set and splitting it in half. The reactions have been great, you know, we’ll play a new song. Then we’ll play other more familiar songs and people will get familiar with that and be excited. Then that’s when the chaos just starts.”

With a catalogue stretching back over three decades, how does a band like Goatwhore find the right mix for the setlist? How do you integrate new songs without disappointing the old guard?

“We try to pick out, for lack of a better term, the fan favourites from the oldest songs, you know. These are staples that must stay in the set. And then try to whittle that down so we could fit new stuff in there.”

This run is Goathwhore’s first since the album was released, although they had been out for a couple of US tours, including a run with Incantation last summer. How had Goatwhore coped with getting back together? 

“It’s been fantastic. You know, we’ve been waiting to do this since the fucking pandemic. So, I mean it’s great. You know, everybody’s super stoked to be out here playing live again. Yeah, everybody in the band is, this is what we do.”

Like most of us, there must have been times in the darkest days when there were questions about the future of live music. Was this the same for Sammy? 

“Yeah, nobody knew if we were ever gonna be able to play live again. Yeah, it was a scary time, you know.”

The tour is pretty stacked with Revocation but also Creeping Death and Alluvial. How are the bands going down with the fans?

“They’re cool. You know, this is my first-time meeting the guys from Creeping Death, and we all get along fine. And I’ve known a couple of guys from Alluvial from the past, we’re friends from just like years and years ago. And Revocation, of course, I believe we took them out in the United States on one of their first tours, so we’ve known them for forever as well, so it’s basically just a bunch of friends hanging out.”

Being on the road has never sounded glamorous to me, but this is life for many bands. It isn’t too challenging, Sammy explains. 

“Sometimes when people need a rest, and the party is going on up here. I’ll be like, go downstairs. Take this shit down there! There’s only an old man up here!” Sammy tells us that having been on the road for 30 years means he’s adapted. “I try to sleep as much as possible, even if, like during the day, you get a half hour nap in here or there, that helps immensely. I usually just get something to eat and sleep the whole time. Basically, that’s my pattern unless there’s something really cool that I want to see or do. Yeah, I just get some food and just sleep the whole fucking day.”

Given that the last album was written a good while ago, is Sammy writing new music now?

He explains that they had so many extra songs written for the last album that they already have plenty of material. “We had so many extra songs for this last record that there’s still, like, five songs that are there that can be used. We can revamp them, and revisit them, and fix them a little bit. But then, I’m constantly writing when I’m at home, you know? So, I probably have the next album written. Really, if it came down to it and we needed to put out a new album right now, I could do it!” 

As the tour is almost over (two more dates after the Bristol show), what’s next for Goatwhore after they get home? 

“We’re going home for about a month,” Sammy explains. “And we go out with Eyehategod for, I believe, three weeks in the US. Then after that, there’s a festival in Maryland called Hell in The Harbour. And they brought back to Milwaukee Metal Fest. And we’re doing that as well. Those two fests are very close to each other so I’m sure we’re going to do another tour just around that you know.” Goatwhore are also talking about possibly coming back to Europe in October. 

As a UK festival goer, how do the US festivals compare to European ones? 

“Um, American festivals are usually very disorganised, you know, compared to, like, the European festivals. Like everything runs like clockwork. You know what I’m saying?” 

Goatwhore last played Bloodstock in 2016 when they headlined the Sophie tent on the final day (after Slayer). Sammy agrees that being inside works better for them. 

“Oh yeah, I remember being in there for that. It was one of those gigs you gotta be inside. I hate playing in daylight,” Sammy laughs. 

A couple of hours later, Goatwhore stoked the fires with a set of such intensity that we’re still smoking from it. They really are a band who you need to experience at least once in your life. 


Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Paul Hutchings and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, 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.

Trapeze – Don’t Stop The Music – Complete Recordings Vol 1 1970 -1992 

Don’t Stop the Music – Complete Recordings Vol 1 1970 -1992 Album Cover Art

Trapeze – Don’t Stop The Music – Complete Recordings Vol 1 1970 -1992 
Cherry Red Records
Release Date: 24/02/23
Running Time: 
Trapeze: 40:11
Medusa: 40:15
You Are the Music … We’re Just the Band: 37:52
Live In Dallas – Part 1: 47:00
Live In Dallas – Part 2: 37:00
Welcome to the Real World: 59:05
Review by Paul Hutchings

I’m ashamed to admit that despite my huge admiration for Glenn Hughes, my knowledge of his music is patchy at best. I’m fully on board with his work with Deep Purple and The Dead Daisies, love his collaboration with Tony Iommi on 2005’s “Dopamine”, and have dipped in and out of his solo work. But there’s a whole world of work that he recorded 50 years ago with Trapeze that’d I’d never really touched upon. 

That’s been put right with this comprehensive collection from Cherry Red Records which features the first three albums from Trapeze released from 1970-72 and recorded for the Threshold label. It’s complimented by two live shows, a 1973 set in Dallas and an intimate Borderline show in London in 1992.

Originally formed from two bands in the Midlands, Finders Keepers and The Montanas, the band’s first album was the self-titled “Trapeze”. It’s by far the most experimental of the collection, with plenty of psychedelic rock and progressive pop than the other records. In fact, at times, it’s hard to distinguish it as a rock album. The sound is more sixties than seventies, with Hughes taking lead vocals, bass, and trombone! Dave Holland is the other well-known name in the band, the man who later go on to spend nearly a decade in Judas Priest. The line-up also features Whitesnake guitarist Mel Galley. It’s an interesting release, with plenty of vocal harmonies and Hughes bass lines dominant. 

A mere six months later the band’s second album, Medusa was released. It’s a harder edged record, with more of the blues, funk and soulful rock that the band would establish as their sound. Medusa saw the band down to a power trio, with John Jones and Terry Rowley having left after the release of Trapeze. The songs are longer, with opener ‘Black Cloud’ ticking along at 6:14 and second track ‘Jury’ over eight minutes in length. The latter is a definite early seventies sprawling rock fest, with plenty of tempo changes and extended musical workouts. Galley’s playing is exceptional. You can hear similar styles in the early Judas Priest albums, which is suggestive of the styles around at the time. 

Their third album “You Are the Music … We’re Just the Band” saw Trapeze include some special guests and really move into the funk-induced groove that Hughes has always carried. There are several guests on the album, including B. J. Cole on steel guitar, plus Rod Argent on electric piano. It’s the best album of the three, with tracks like ‘Keepin’ Time’, ‘Feelin’ So Much Better Now’ and the dance fest that is ‘You Are the Music’ all grabbing the attention. 

The two live albums showcase Trapeze at different stages of their career but both show that Hughes’ powerful and distinctive vocals were a major highlight of the band. The “Live in Dallas 1973” comes in two parts but both see Trapeze go full expansion with tracks drawn predominantly from the last two studio albums. There are several lengthy live workouts which see Trapeze in full flow. ‘Jury’, ‘Your Love is Alright’ and ‘Medusa’ all roll in at over ten-minutes in length, with a couple also clocking over nine-minutes. 

Of course, Hughes departed Trapeze to join Deep Purple in 1973, and the band continued without him. It’s the final release here, the 1992 Borderline show that sees Hughes back with the classic line-up recording “Welcome to the Real World”. It’s a demonstration of the power that this trio could truly bring, and whilst Trapeze never really gained the heights they should have, this collection is an ideal introduction to one of the most innovative and essential outfits of the time. 

01. It’s Only a Dream
02. The Giant’s Dead Hoorah!
03. Over
04. Nancy Gray
05. Medley: Fairytale/Verily Verily/Fairytale
06. It’s My Life
07. Am I
08. Suicide
09. Wings
10. Another Day
11. Send Me No More Letters
12. It’s Only a Dream

01. Black Cloud
02. Jury
03. Your Love Is Alright
04. Touch My Life
05. Seafull
06. Makes You Wanna Cry
07.  Medusa 

You Are the Music… We’re Just the Band
01. Keepin’ Time
02. Coast To Coast
03. What Is a Woman’s Role
04. Way Back to The Bone
05. Feelin’ So Much Better Now
06. Will Our Love End
07. Loser
08. You Are The Music

Live In Dallas – Part 1 Recorded live at the Majestic Theatre, Dallas, Texas, USA, 27th April 1973
1 Way Back To The Bone
2 You Are The Music
3 Jury
4 Seafull
5 Your Love Is Alright

Live In Dallas – Part 2 (1973)
Recorded live at the Majestic Theatre, Dallas, Texas, USA, 27th April 1973
1 Medusa
2 Black Cloud
3 Keepin’ Time
4 Touch My Life

Welcome To the Real World – Live
Recorded live at The Borderline, London, 16th May 1992
1 You Are The Music
2 Way Back To The Bone
3 Welcome To The Real World
4 Coast To Coast
5 Midnight Flyer
6 Homeland
7 Touch My Life
8 Your Love Is Alright
9 Black Cloud

Glenn Hughes – vocals, bass, trombone
Mel Galley – guitar, vocals
Dave Holland – drums
Terry Rowley – organ, piano, flute
John Jones – vocals, trumpet

Medusa / You Are the Music… We’re Just the Band / Live In Dallas:
Glenn Hughes – vocals, bass
Mel Galley – guitar, vocals
Dave Holland – drums

Welcome To the Real World – Live:
Glenn Hughes – vocals, bass
Mel Galley – guitar, vocals
Dave Holland – drums
Colin Downes – keyboards


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.