EMQ’s with HYPERBOREUS

Hyperboreus Logo

EMQ’s with HYPERBOREUS

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Kyiv/Kiev, Ukraine based Progressive Death Metal band, Hyperboreus. Huge thanks to multi-instrumentalist, Avalanche, 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 Avalanche. I play guitar, bass, drums and doing vocals. Originally band was formed on the edge of 2009/2010 and was active as a concerting metal act, releasing two demos. After several line-up changes the band led into some sort of hiatus until 2018. During that time, we’ve prepared songs from the old and new material. It took some time to rehearse songs, solve some personal issues and find a proper studio. Finally, album was recorded during October 2020 –  May 2021.

How did you come up with your band name?

It’s come up from Ancient Greek mythology, philosophy and literature adding some Roman elements of pronunciation. In simple words – it’s something ancient, huge and unknown as civilization of Hyperborea, which is still to be found.

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

We’re from Kyiv, Ukraine. Metal scene in our country is not as strong as in many European countries for different reasons. But anyway, we have numerous black metal bands and a really strong black metal scene, plus many interesting bands in different sub-genres from drone doom to mathcore. Obviously, it’s not about prestige to make metal music in our country, it’s more about inner feeling.

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

We released our debut album “Fighting With God” on August 29th. It’s the album about phenomenon of personality, society and civilization. Developing from the lower to upper forms (even dystopic), staying the same weird and meaningless. Where imaginary “tradition” meets bloody and hopeless “reality” and formalistic “future” in one spot on a trace of a long way.

‘Convulsive Suffocation’ (Audio)

Who have been your greatest influences?

It’s a big amount of composers, performers and bands. Let’s stop on a few – John Cage, Frank Zappa, Death, Cynic, Atheist, Meshuggah, Canvas Solaris.

What first got you into music?

Listening to Beethoven and Chopin when I was a kid. By the age of 13 for about a year I tried to begin to learn guitar by myself. I was walking around it, trying to play some chords, seeing no proper result, and abandoning it. It repeated for 5-6 times, but then I literally forced myself and soon good results were visible and hearable. Music is about the discipline first, ha-ha.

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

Kamasi Washington, Mononeon, John Hollenbeck

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

Obviously, UK Tech Fest and Prog Power. Simply, for the audience and sub-genre festival idea.

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

His wet t-shirt after our show.

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

The end is just begun.

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

Chuck Schuldiner

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

For joys I’ll be predictable – creation of music itself in the studio. Hate when you need to hear your track before release 1000+ times ‘till you can feel nothing.

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

Stop making stupid people famous.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

So hard to choose one. Ok, Death – “Human” (1991).

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

It’s personal thing for each listener how to consume favourite music. Any of this can give richness of master tapes, but each of them can provide a person to the world of music. As for me, I prefer digital copies.

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

I think, it’s yet to come.

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

I have a daytime job now, so I believe it would be something close to it. You never know.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Lemmy Kilmister, Sid Barrett, Jello Biafra, Randy Rhoads, Neil Peart

What’s next for the band?

Preparing our second album.

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

All possible. Especially, Instagram.

www.linktr.ee/hyperboreus

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Cakes. Courts don’t make fail decisions, ha-ha.

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

Stay metal and develop yourself for any cost!

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.

Opeth – Blackwater Park 20th Anniversary Edition

Blackwater Park (20th Anniversary Edition) Album Cover Art

Opeth – Blackwater Park 20th Anniversary Edition
Music For Nations
Release Date: 16/07/2021
Running Time: 76:43
Review by Dawn Smith
9/10

When I asked the good people at Ever Metal if I could return to the family as a reviewer, much to my relief, they welcomed me back with open arms. My first job was to look through the album list and pick an album that I wanted to review. One jumped out of the screen straight away!

I had never really given Opeth much thought in the past, only having a copy of “Blackwater Park”, which I had probably listened to three times (at most!) and nothing of the other stuff they had done. Progressive music didn’t really feature on my radar and the album sat at the bottom of the CD pile, gathering dust.

Now, twenty years later, my musical tastes having become a little more diverse, so I felt ready to give the album the attention it deserved and what better way than with the 20th Anniversary Edition?

But first, a little history!

Opeth were formed in Stockholm, Sweden in 1989, originally, as a death metal band, and over the years have changed their sound to consistently include elements of progressive, folk, blues, classical and jazz as well as death metal and the death metal growls from the early years. Cleaner vocals have appeared on later albums to the point that their last album “In Cauda Venenum”, released in 2019, featured no growls at all.

The band has had several personnel changes over the years, including the replacement of every single original member and Mikael Akerfeldt, lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter has been the main driving force behind the band since the departure of original singer, David Isberg in 1992.

Speaking of the band’s changing sound Akerfeldt has been quoted as saying “I don’t see the point of playing in a band and going just one way when you can do everything. It would be impossible for us to play just death metal – that is our roots, but we are now a mishmash of everything, and not purists to any form of music. It’s impossible for us to do that, and quite frankly, I would think of it as boring to be in a band that plays just metal music. We’re not afraid to experiment, or to be caught with our pants down, so to speak. That’s what keeps us going.”

In 2001 the metal word was in a post-grunge state, but Opeth were forging a unique creative path and after four albums of imaginative and immersive heavy metal, the first being “Orchid” released in 1995, the band were ready for a career- defining statement and that came in the form of “Blackwater Park”.

Originally released on March 12th, 2001, “Blackwater Park” was the band’s fifth album, and soon become their magnum opus, their flagship album. It became known as the “thinking metal fan’s album” and was something to challenge the listener. It opened the band up to a much wider audience, including the metal underground and the progressive rock world inclusive! To quote the band’s own notes to the album, it “saw the Swedish metallers kick open prog’s ornate doors, fed death metal through the cosmic kaleidoscope and introduced a generation of music nerds to a world of limitless musical possibilities.”

The album was produced by Steve Wilson, a move that was to be the start of a lifelong friendship and Mikael Akerfeldt says that “Blackwater Park was the stepping stone in professionalism for us!”

The album can be summed up as a mix of melodic moments, spine-tingling atmospherics and crushing heaviness, or just simply musical perfection. With the bonus live version of ‘The Leper Affinity’ and several songs over ten minutes long, the album’s popularity has proved that music fans, and metalheads in particular, are more open-minded than they are given credit for, and that metal music can have depth, subtlety, sophistication, and imagination.

With thirteen studio albums under their belt, along with live albums and DVD’s, the band have proven they are now one of the most consistently extraordinary live bands on the planet, and one I need to see…soon!

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Leper Affinity
02. Bleak
03. Harvest
04. The Drapery Falls
05. Dirge For November
06. The Funeral Portrait
07. Patterns In The Ivy
08. Blackwater Park
09. The Leper Affinity (Live)

“BLACKWATER PARK” LINE-UP:
Mikael Åkerfeldt – Lead Vocals, Guitars
Peter Lindgren – Guitars
Martín Méndez – Bass
Martin Lopez – Drums
Steven Wilson – Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Mellotron, Guitars
Markus Lindberg – Percussion

LINKS:

Blackwater Park 20th Anniversary vinyl versions

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn Smith 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 BETRAYAL

Betrayal Logo

EMQ’s with BETRAYAL

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Bavaria, Germany based Progressive Death Metal band, Betrayal. Huge thanks to vocalist/guitarist, Alex, 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?

Alex (Vocals/Guitar). Betrayal was originally formed in 2005 by Manuel (Drums) and a couple of fellow musicians. An EP was released in 2007 and a lot of live performances followed in the next two years including supporting act for bands like Deadlock, Eisregen, Fear My Thoughts, Equilibrium and many more. In 2009, part of the line-up decided to leave the band, which led to missing spots for rhythm guitar, bass and vocals. Alex joined the band on rhythm guitar end of 2009. After that, a long search for vocals and bass began. Finally, end of 2014, Philipp joined the band on bass and Alex took over the vocals. With this line-up, Betrayal recorded their first full length album “Infinite Circles” in 2015 which received very good reviews in the underground scene worldwide. In 2019 Basti took over the lead guitar position and joined Betrayal in their reinvention. With this line-up Betrayal returns with a new full-length album in 2021. Be prepared!

How did you come up with your band name?

We hear this question a lot and are always disappointed for giving a lame answer! The band’s name has no deeper meaning. It somehow came up and had a good sound to our ears 😉.

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

We’re from Bavaria, Germany. Our scene here has been slowly shrinking in the last couple of years, but we have a strong base on which we rely and build on.

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

Better talk of our upcoming full album release on April 16th 2021 – “Disorder Remains”.

‘War’ (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

We are definitely a Death Metal band with a strong favour for the technical side as well as the blackened/dark side of this music genre. A big influence, of course, is Death. The combination of Technical Metal, which has that unique groove to it, definitely inspired every one of the band members. We like to keep up the atmosphere and underline the concept of the record. The godfathers of this “atmospheric” metal are Behemoth for us. Their whole concept from music to stage appearance is just amazing. Another great influence is Swedish Melodic Death Metal, especially the guys from At The Gates. I think, we have some progressive approaches on the new album as well. At the same time, we try to give our music the required brutality and rhythm, which in combination builds an atmosphere that leads you to keep listening to the music and make it fun to perform live.

What first got you into music?

Since all of us come from more or less musical families, music has always been a part of our lives and we started learning instruments early on. For example, our drummer was taken to Jazz and Rock concerts very early in his life by his father, who himself is a musician. He played the sax at the end of our song ‘The Shell’.

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

Due to our latest experiences – Belphegor.

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

Hard question. We played some so far and the best ones are typically the smaller ones (e.g., Protzen Open Air). But…who doesn’t want to play Wacken?

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

Can’t think of any weird stuff.

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

Bring some beer.

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

Lemmy.

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

Hanging around with friends and to work on stuff we all have a focus on. As in every good relationship sometimes there are some arguments in the family. That happens…

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

Oh boy…there is so much to say. But we can’t change the whole industry so we have decided to deal with it the best we can.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“The Sound Of Perseverance” – Death.

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

Depends on who you are talking to. For me: Downloads because I am on the road pretty much. For our drummer it’s cassettes/vinyl, for our Tech its vinyl. In the end it comes down to supporting the bands, where you probably should prefer the Hard-Copies over the downloads.

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

For me that’s probably the last gig of our tour with Belphegor and Suffocation at the Futurum Club in Prague just before the Corona lockdown. Incredible intense crowd. A great way of ending this journey for us.

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

We all have full-time jobs and doing this in our free time.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

What’s next for the band?

Promoting our new record, recording some videos etc… Get some stuff ready for the fans to enjoy. Hopefully, get back on stage soon to do what we do best.

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

www.shop.betrayal.eu/
www.facebook.com/BetrayalGER/
www.instagram.com/betrayal_ger/
www.soundcloud.com/betrayal-ger
www.open.spotify.com/artist/6pZ32hZEL726Nz5iWkjwqX
www.youtube.com/channel/UCHt31DIR4UcEHI1JW5bo7CA

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Yes, absolutely.

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

Thanks for having us! Big greetings to everyone out there who keeps on supporting art in general! Keep the cultures alive and don’t forget the small bars, clubs and artists in this weird time.

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 WEIGHT OF EMPTINESS

EMQ’s with WEIGHT OF EMPTINESS

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Buin, Chile based Progressive Death/Doom Metal band, Weight of Emptiness. Huge thanks to bassist Mario Urra for taking part!

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

Hello friends, my name is Mario Urra, bassist of Weight of Emptiness.

We formed as a band in 2015, managing to release our first album in 2017 entitled “Anfractuous Moment for Redemption”, and in 2019 we released the album “Conquering the Deep Cycle”.

How did you come up with your band name?

The name of the band is related to the human feeling of pain in its lower circle. It is at that moment that you feel that you have nothing, but the weight on your shoulders is the greatest meaning in your life.

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

We are from Chile, Metropolitan Region, south of the capital. And in this region, as in all of our country, the metal scene is still concentrated in the underground. We have export bands; however, there is no market that exists in other regions of the world.

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

Our latest video is ‘Invisible Mind Workers’; part of the promo singles for our second full length “Conquering The Deep Cycle”. Additionally, we released a lyric video, “Weight of Emptiness”, celebrating the 5 years of the band.

‘Invisible Mind Workers’ (Official Lyric Video)

‘The Flame’ (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Personally, my biggest influences are in bands and bassists…. On bass I think there is no one like Geddy Lee (Rush), Chris Squire (Yes), Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) or Snake (Voivod). But as for bands I listen to everything from The Beatles to Cannibal Corpse. Metal is a great pyramid and each one puts his brick.

What first got you into music?

My first experience was when I heard the song ‘Phantom of the Opera’ by Maiden, but on May 13, 1993 it was seeing Sepultura at the Caupolicán Theater in Santiago…. When I came out of that experience, I knew what I wanted in life.

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

Although it is something impossible, I would like to play one day in Dorso, a Chilean band…. But its leader is the bassist and vocalist, so as I told you…. It is impossible.

If I could play in a band, outside of my country. I would love to play in Voivod or Kreator.

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

I think Wacken is the dream of every metal band. Hopefully, we can go one day. I would very much like to bring the art of my friends and myself to such an important stage for metal fans.

However, if we are going to play in a bar with ten people, believe me we do the same show, with the same intensity.

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

Most of the time they give me some mugs of beer, with that I am more than happy. But once in Vigo, Galicia, a couple of women (who were girlfriends) invited me to spend their honeymoon with them. Unfortunately, I was in charge of merchandising that day.

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

First, an infinite thank you to them, from all sides of the planet. Second, I would tell you that we are already working hard on more material for you.

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

Uffff what a difficult question. But I choose Chuck Schuldiner from Death. I think he could have shown us a million more things. Special mention to John Lennon.

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

What I enjoy the most is making music, getting together with my band friends, that connection of the five is priceless. And on the other hand, I don’t hate anything, because if there is something uncomfortable in this, one talks about it and it is solved.

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

Personally, and referring to my country Chile, I would expand the music market which is actively towards foreign music or to a handful of ballads or tasty bands from Chile. The rest is underground. The few fans keep it. However, we are the vast minority.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

A Farewell To Kings” (1977), by Rush. It is the power trio par excellence. As a child my head exploded with ‘Xanadu’ and ‘Cygnus’. I think that if I die, I want that same goodbye to the gods.

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

I grew up with cassettes, then I had a giant CD collection. But I keep sticking with vinyl. Listening to great classics and listening to new material in that format is very nice.

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

The best was in Barcelona, Spain, at the “Sala Monasterio” on September 7, 2019. Where we played one of the longest and most complete Setlists. The audience was phenomenal, as were the bands that accompanied us. A special greeting to Don Mota.

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

The truth is that I have a career, I am an Industrial Civil Engineer, and I am dedicated to being a Contract Administrator, especially in the area of project planning and control. Maybe I would get together more to play soccer or have a good barbecue on the weekends.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

What a difficult question. First of all, I would invite my band friends Jano, Juanzer, Nidia, Alejo and Weo. Now if the guests really did arrive, I would invite Mille Petrozza, Jayden James, Alex Lifeson, Scarlett Johansson and Rodrigo Pera Cuadra.

What’s next for the band?

Due to the social outbreak in my country, and the pandemic, many events were postponed to us, which was the current “Conquering Tour”. However, that left us time to compose, and at this moment we are walking to release our third album, however it has no definite release date.

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

You can follow us on our official page www.weightofemptiness.com as well as follow us on all our social networks such as on our Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter. To listen to our music via streaming you can find it on digital platforms such as Spotify or Deezer. If you want to see our audio-visual material, enter our YouTube channel, and finally if you want to get any album or merchandising of the band write us to weightofemptiness@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/Weightofemptiness/
www.instagram.com/weightofemptiness/
www.twitter.com/Weight_of_E
www.open.spotify.com/artist/7n8FVerG2QVstroA507x0M
www.youtube.com/channel/UCPjZBSkHqfSQDaBlG92P-qw

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I don’t know Jaffa cakes, but we are biscuits when we are alone, but we are cake when we are together.

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

I would like to thank the guys in the band, both those who play and those who always accompany us like Pizzi and Torito, Nelson Vicencio and Marcelo Vásquez for their collaboration, to all the friends, fans and family in Chile, and to all the friends who during these years we have known throughout the world.

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 APOKRISIS

EMQ’s with APOKRISIS

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with São Paulo, Brazil based Progressive Death/Thrash Metal band Apokrisis. Huge thanks to guitarist Evandro Bezerra for taking part.

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

I’m Evandro, guitar player from Apokrisis.

The band started its activities at the end of 2007, where me and Rodrigo made some rehearsals with covers from the bands we like to listen to. The main idea was make the music that we love, since we’re always heavy metal fans. In time, some ideas came to the light and we started with our own songs.

How did you come up with your band name?

Rodrigo brought the idea. We were searching for an uncommon name what could translate the thematic of the lyrics, so APOKRISIS, which is an ancient Greek word that means Revelation, carries the synthesis from this concept.

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

We are from São Paulo, Brazil and there are so many good heavy metal bands here.

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

We are promoting our brand-new single ‘Absinthe From The Gods’, taken as the first single from our four album “Misanthropy”, which will be released at the end of this year 2020.

‘Absinthe From The Gods’ (Promo Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

We like a lot of bands: Iced Earth, Pantera, In Flames, Slayer, Death, Arch Enemy, Testament, Dream Theater, Metallica, Kreator, Helloween, and so many more. So, for sure, we have a large mix of influences in our music.

What first got you into music?

At 11 years old I was starting my interest for heavy music, so, as almost every kid, I started to play some notes on an acoustic guitar, and to jump to electric guitar was in a blink of an eye…so, this is the story.

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

Iced Earth, definitely Iced Earth (lol).

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

WACKEN OPEN AIR and BLOODSTOCK, for sure!

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

I never get any gifts; I think our fans don’t like me…(lol).

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

I’m really honoured to have each one of you, following and supporting what we do, you are amazing!!!

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

Dimebag Darrell…this guy was awesome, but his music will remain forever!

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

I love to transmit my feelings through my music, really love it!

I hate to play in some places that do not offer support for the bands…this is really bad.

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

Heavy Metal could have more popularity as other music styles.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Alive In Athens” from Iced Earth.

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

I like CD, I really do prefer it.

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

FORCAOS, it’s a great music festival which happens every year in Brazil.

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

Working with “I.T”, I work with this actually.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

My daughter, my wife and my three band mates…

What’s next for the band?

We are preparing all the stuff for the release of “Misanthropy” at the end of this year, so be prepared to smash your ears with some heavy stuff out there…

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

www.open.spotify.com/artist/2XNf6yCvTS6bBIBanHU7Bk
www.music.apple.com/br/artist/apokrisis/1203151993
www.deezer.com/br/artist/11883607
www.youtube.com/channel/UCzzff61BANckPF1wgIfytZw
www.play.google.com/music/preview/Aarvbk365ip4d6jrissjuboy2jq
www.music.amazon.com/artists/B01N6Y0QL2/apokrisis
www.br.napster.com/artist/apokrisis
www.facebook.com/apokrisisofficial/
www.instagram.com/apokrisis_official/

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I never tasted it before, in Brazil we don’t have Jaffa’s cake…sorry.

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

We appreciate the opportunity and support, and we hope to get back to the Gigging as soon as this pandemic ends, but stay tuned on our social media to get all the new stuff from Apokrisis.

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.

Descend – The Deviant

Descend – The Deviant
Aftermath Music
Release Date: 26/06/2020
Running Time:55:53
Review by Beth Jones
6/10

I’ve been pretty spoilt recently, as far as music is concerned! The sheer volume of excellent new releases is staggering, especially in the current climate, and getting the chance to pen some thoughts about them has been great. Next up for me is Swedish Progressive Death Metal quintet, Descend.

These guys have been around a good few years now, originally starting out as a Thrash band in 2003. However, through line-up changes and new musical influences creeping in, their style has morphed into what they now offer. Their first album, “Through The Eyes Of The Burdened” was released in 2011, and in 2014 they released a second album, “Wither”. Since then, the line-up has changed somewhat again, with the addition of Raul Vicente (bass) and Emil Nissilä (drums).

Recorded at Wing Studios, Stockholm, with Sverker Widgren (Diabolical) as producer, their third studio album, and latest release, “The Deviant” is being billed as their ‘milestone’ album. So, what does it sound like?

Well, the first thing that strikes you is power. The opening track, ‘Avalin’ hits you with a catchy riff and melody from the beginning. This is less of a track, and more of an intro/walk on piece, and at only 1 minute 40 in length, would be just about enough time to get the band on stage, let the crowd go wild, and do a quick line check.

This progresses swiftly into track 2, ‘Blood Moon’, which starts with a riff that is pure classic Thrash. It quickly drops off into a quiet mid-section, with clean vocals and acoustic sounds being the driver, then pumps back up for the chorus to guttural screams and growls, skilful wandering bass, and a hint of a blast beat, as well as some dark and overdriven down tuned guitar riffage.

The album continues on in this way, through four more tracks which all appear to be going for some sort of record in length. ‘Standard for prog!’ I hear you cry. Well, yes, but I do have an issue with this. Musically, this album is definitely Death, Melodic Death in places, with a good few nods to classic Thrash sounds. However, in my opinion it is lacking a little in the prog department. Don’t get me wrong, it has elements, but sometimes they feel a little forced, almost like afterthoughts to make it ‘fit in’ with the genre. The inclusion of a tenor sax solo in the penultimate track, “Wallow”, is interesting, but again feels like it’s been done purely ‘to prog it up’. And, dare I say, the extended length of the tracks has a tendency to be a little boring, as they’re not extended in order to introduce new variations around a theme, or explore different elements in instrumentation, they are just there to make the songs longer.

The only exception to this comes halfway through the album in the form of track 4, ‘Lily’. This track does do what it says on the tin, it’s Melodic Death in the heavy sections, and does successfully bring it down to indulge in some exploration in the middle. If the rest of the album was the same calibre as this song, it would be much more pleasing.

These guys are, without question, very talented technical musicians. The album is peppered with some extremely good guitar solos, precision drumming at impressive tempos, and bass lines that explore a decent range. And the ability of singer Nima Farhadian Langroundi to go from clean vocals to guttural roars and tortured scream is very impressive. But I’m not getting the important connection, that comes from the soul, when I listen to this album. I think this is a band who have the potential to do great things, but I think they really need to focus on what they actually want to be, and let themselves really feel the music rather than getting hung up on the technical detail.

Production wise, it’s pretty good, although I do find that sometimes the vocals are a little further back in the mix than I would like. It’s a very guitar driven sound though, so this is probably intentional. And if I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a thousand time. STOP BLOODY FADING TRACKS OUT BECAUSE YOU CAN’T WORK OUT HOW TO FINISH THEM!!! As a musician, and a huge fan of live music, it infuriates me! You can’t achieve that level of fade live, so why do it on a recording? Yet again, we see it here, with the final track on the album. It’s disappointing.

So, to sum up; Has it got some interesting elements? Yes. Is it technically very good? Yes. Did I like it?… it’s ok. It’s not terrible, but nor is it ground-breaking.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Avalin
02. Blood Moon
03. The Purest One
04. Lily
05. Wallow
06. The Deviant

LINE-UP:
Andreas Lindström – guitars
Alexander Wijkman – guitars
Nima Farhadian Langroudi – vocals
Raul Vicente – bass
Emil Nissilä – drums

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/DescendOfficial/
www.instagram.com/descendofficial/
www.descend.bandcamp.com/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCfWjdGm10-b7E4Y51eYnCMA
www.open.spotify.com/artist/33EUSEyZ6PyFhsFrXIfsjb

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