EMQ’s With THE CASSINI PROJEKT

The_Cassini_Projekt_logo

EMQ’s With THE CASSINI PROJEKT

Hi everyone. Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Irish Progressive Metal solo project, The Cassini Projekt. Huge thanks to main man Alex McDonnell 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 Alex McDonnell and I play guitar, bass and keyboards. I created my band originally to put out guitar solo oriented Prog Rock. I was getting fed up with setting up bands only for people not to show up or leave because they weren’t ready to put in the commitment it takes to regularly rehearse and perform. I thought, why let people who aren’t that interested in music hold me back, so became my own band, a veritable, one-man Prog-Metal solo project. Seeing others out there like Steve Wilson or Devin Townsend showed it was possible.

My vision for the band was variegated: I wanted to react against the media status quo which praised the Post-Punk revival, but had a somewhat dismissive view of guitar solo oriented Rock and Prog; at the same time, I also wanted to write music without rules concerning structure, fitting into one style or conforming to audience expectations. The whole point was, and continues to be, to defy those expectations. So, I cross any genre which takes my fancy, even though I’m mostly closely aligned with Prog and Metal. I could have a Dance track, an Industrial song or an acoustic ballad, I can do whatever I want.  It’s a conduit for a vision, I guess you could say inviting a world steeped in science fiction, esoterica, HP Lovecraft, guitar solos, Prog and Medieval fantasy into the “real” world. I think this is one of the transcendent aspects of art in that it can be used to summon an alternative reality into this one. You get the experience of that and expand your horizons. The Beatles did it with their rooftop gig for example. When you go to a gig, you’re entering an art installation of sorts – an experience that offers an alternative reality for a brief time; that’s the magic of music.

How did you come up with your band name?

It was a circuitous route to come up with the name. I’m quite interested in space exploration, so I thought, why not name my band The Cassini Projekt because the Cassini Huygens probe was launched around the same time to explore Saturn and its moons. Incidentally, Saturn is my favourite planet with its rings and plethora of orbiting satellites, which are diverse and hold many as yet unknown secrets, like Enceladus and Titan. The Sega Saturn is also my favourite games console and feels twinned to my life in that it’s a chaotic and odd mish mash of engineering, similar to my brain. It would also sometimes surprise and subvert underestimations when it would exceed its limitations and featured games at the height of Sega’s creativity, yet it was also doomed, just like me! This was the tripartite conjunction which made the ‘The Cassini’ namesake meaningful. I spelled “Projekt” with a “k” because it looks cool and as it turned out, unbeknownst to myself, spelling it this way lends a certain Krautrock affectation, which makes it even cooler?

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

I’m from Dublin, Ireland. The Metal/Rock scene is small but active, if not thriving. There are lots of great bands there including Scathed, Syllian Rayle and the likes. The Irish Rock and Metal Archive does a lot to promote the scene.

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

My latest release is “Blue Ocean Event”, to be released on the 18th of July. The title refers to the full melting of the polar ice caps from climate change ushering in a catastrophic collapse for civilisation with billions dying. For example, the song ‘Go Down’ concerns environmental collapse and revelry in destruction in a kind of Freudian death-drive way. The idea that the world is unsalvageable so you might as well cheer on its end, but also, perhaps that the collective subconscious has a desire, an attraction if you will, to annihilate itself. ‘The End of Everything’ is about societal implosion and evolution, while ‘Exile’ is about being a refugee in a war-torn world impacted by climate change. ‘Fight to the End’ is about bloody revolution and again the euphoric enjoyment of global annihilation (if you play the backwards whispers in the song in reverse you might hear a message about human instrumentality!). ‘Cauterise’ on the other hand is a savage, misanthropic attack on the corruption of the judicial system and calls into question the legitimacy of human governed, centralised laws. ‘Roadwave’ is focused on a financially induced suicide and cosmic paranoia about a Loki type god who savours the irritation and torment of its subjects, while ‘False Dawn’ is about a transcendent experience, seeing multiple versions of the self across parallel realities simultaneously. In a similar vein ‘The Sacred Song’ is about predetermination and lack of agency in the universe. ‘Fight to Believe’ is in some ways the centre piece of the album and is loosely based on Roland of Gilead’s torturous path in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Roland sacrifices everything (and realises the folly of this at the end) to reach the nexus of all realities in the multiverse, which is made manifest in the Tower. By the same token I have sacrificed much, perhaps too much to make this album! But there again, I think the transference of one’s soul ichor into a piece of music is what makes it come alive, which is what I attempted to do here so je ne regret rein! While there are mostly serious themes, there is one moment of brevity with ‘Hell is a Place in Mexico’, which concerns an ill-fated trip to Mexico where our hapless protagonist drinks too much Tequila and goes on a psychedelic vision quest.  In a similar lighter fashion, ‘Neurotic Insomniac’ is about accessing parallel realities through dreams to hear songs that were written in timelines contiguous to our own and then nicking them for one’s own creative endeavours!

Who have been your greatest influences?

Great question, my greatest influences include Queen, The Mars Volta, Opeth, Pink Floyd, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, Beck, Thin Lizzy, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and 90s Sega Music by composers like Yuzo Koshiro, Takenobu Mitsuyoshi and Kentaro Koyama. The guitar tracks in Sega Rally and Virtua Cop had a massive formative influence growing up. In addition, Queen with the grandiose bombast, experimentation with multiple genres and harmonisation would be the alpha and omega of my musical universe. However, here’s the interesting thing, in the studio the engineer frequently noted how my tunes sounded like Rush, and I’ve never listened to them! He also likened some songs to Blink 182, so I guess the Pop Punk influence shaped me a bit when I was growing up despite not listening to any of it. In a certain way, I feel a kind of kinship with Punk in terms of that snarling, defiant attitude towards authority and established ways of doing things.

What first got you into music?

Another great question, my brother played me lots of Queen, The Beatles, Mozart, Beethoven, The Stranglers, Buddy Holly and later Ice T! There were instruments lying around because he had a band called The Supersonic Oranges, so I would pick them up and experiment with them. I started learning piano at around 7 years of age and then moved onto guitar around at around 14.

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

I wouldn’t mind collaborating with Mx.iTerra as I feel her creative vision is similar to my own – Cyberpunkish with heavy guitars. Maybe Bear McCreary – he digged my cover of his tune ‘Prelude to War’. Or Mick Gordon who composed the Doom Eternal OST, which was my favourite “album” of 2020.

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

I would choose The Cambridge Rock festival because I like Cambridge, Prog Rock bands play at it, and there is beer to be had. 

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

If kind words are a gift, I’ve been offered some which bemused me in the extent of their praise.

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

Thank you for your appreciation of my music, you are the chosen ones and together we will achieve global domination, enslaving this wicked race known as humanity on behalf of all lifeforms it has subjugated!

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

This is a tough question…I would lean towards saying Freddie Mercury because he was a hilariously unique human being, but I’m thinking if John Lennon hadn’t died, we’d have more Beatles records. Jimi Hendrix was also going in a funky direction. I think I’ll pick Freddie Mercury though.

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

I most enjoy the creative process. I love writing and recording. Playing live is also a gift even if it’s to one person. In terms of what I’m disinterested in or at worst hate, I would say marketing, self-promotion and social media. I just don’t have the brain for that those hats. 

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

Stopping the pressure and expectation to conform to one genre would be a good start. A lot of old bands like Queen, Thin Lizzy, The Beatles or even more recent artists like Beck didn’t limit themselves to just one style, but then there weren’t Spotify playlists which encourage this. Phil Anselmo made a good point that when he was starting off, bands would have ten or eleven influences, whereas now you have bands emulating just one artist and sounding like a carbon fibre copy. I think we need more variation and more of a Punk Rock spirit of doing your own thing against the grain. Bucking the trend needs a revival.  

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Ooh this one is tricky, but I’ll say “The Bends” by Radiohead. There is not one weak song on it, and I love the way it is an upfront guitar album. In my opinion it is the perfect album; ‘Planet Telex’, ‘Just’, ‘My Iron Lung’ and ‘Fade Out’ are incredible but every other song kicks ass too. They were firing on all cylinders with that one, the guitar work was innovative for the time. For example, the harmonics in the solo for ‘The Bends’ sounds novel and uplifting while the rising octave scale in Just is taking you on a trip. I wanted the same approach for “Blue Ocean Event”; I picked my best songs and emphasised the guitars.   

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

Vinyl hands down for me. With Vinyl you have all the cool artwork and putting one on forces you to listen to the whole album to get that narrative experience, which immerses you in a different world. It’s like a sacred rite, removing the Vinyl from the album sleeve and carefully placing it on the record player, hoping not to desecrate its sacred grooves. You also own the album; you’re not renting it from a service; I think with the way things are going with respect to subscriptions and everything being rent-based where “you’ll own nothing and be happy”, it’s nice to say something is yours – it gives a sense of sovereignty doesn’t it?

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

I did enjoy playing a particular gig in Durham when the wind blew through my hair for extra epicness, at medium setting! The after-show party was also interesting to say the least when the bassist nearly burned down his own house. I’d say in terms of gigs, while I write music for myself, the performances are for the people. Therefore, I believe in putting on the most entertaining show possible. I also have some cool ideas involving electricity and a mix of science and the occult (kind of like the imagery in Metropolis crossed with what you’d find in HP Lovecraft stories) for future live shows.  

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

I would like to be a film director. I enjoy making music videos, doing the postproduction with VFX and compositing in addition to scripting ideas.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I would invite Lemmy for sure, he’d get the party going and Tommy Wiseau, who is a genius for making a film as legendary as The Room. Other guests would include Mozart as he was a party animal and could give some poetry recitals. Perhaps, Ada Lovelace because she liked to gamble, and we could play craps and roulette. I’d also invite Jimi Hendrix as a fellow lefty guitarist and science fiction fan.  

What’s next for the band?

I’m recording a new album called “Grass Messiah”; it’s even weirder than “Blue Ocean Event”. A lot of the songs are story based and more esoteric. There are also more drop tunings. Even though the lyrics are little bit more whimsical, the vibe is heavier. I’m hoping to release that one sometime in next few years, time will tell!

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

I’m really active on YouTube which you can find here:
https://www.youtube.com/c/CassiniProjekt

I have some new, exciting covers coming up, including a rather wild interpretation of a Brahms’ violin concerto, which will be released on my channel in the coming months. I upload all original material to Spotify and Bandcamp, in addition to YouTube. You can find my Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6U7RkRtMus7YYkzRIl1YAp

and Bandcamp
https://cassiniprojekt.bandcamp.com/

I also like to preview experiments on Soundcloud
https://soundcloud.com/the-cassini-projekt

I’m active on Twitter
https://twitter.com/CassiniProjekt

and Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/TheCassiniProjekt/

and Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/cassiniprojekt/

You can also find my music on:

Apple Music
https://music.apple.com/us/artist/the-cassini-projekt/1084157329

And all the rest…

Tidal
https://tidal.com/browse/artist/7603092

Tik Tok
https://www.tiktok.com/@thecassiniprojekt

Itunes
https://music.apple.com/gb/artist/the-cassini-projekt/1084157329

Jamendo
https://www.jamendo.com/artist/378777/the-cassini-projekt

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Biscuit easily. The texture of the base is that of a biscuit. It’s also too small to be a cake. It’s like the difference between planets and moons. Biscuits are the orbital bodies of cakes, they derive from cakes, but cakes are the larger, gravitational objects. If you had a cake and a Jaffa cake before you, which would you eat first? More than likely the cake for dessert after the main course, followed by the Jaffa cake with a cup of tea. This is the order of things. So it is in space, as it will be in the dining room. (Note from the Ed – this is my favourite answer to the Jaffa Cake question ever! – Beth)

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

Yes, thanks for these interesting questions, I enjoyed answering them. Also be sure to follow me on social media and listen to my album “Blue Ocean Event” because it will give you special powers of divination, telekinesis, telepathy, invisibility at will and the ability to fly. Further, I’m down to play any events, so get in touch! 

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.

James LaBrie – Beautiful Shade Of Grey

Beautiful Shade Of Grey Album Cover Art

James LaBrie – Beautiful Shade Of Grey
Inside Out Music
Release Date: 20/05/22
Running Time: 48:17
Review by Simon Black
8/10

Although I’m hugely appreciative of Dream Theater and the wave of Progressive Metal they have spawned all the way back to the early 1990’s, I have to confess that I haven’t taken the time to listen to any of lungsman James LaBrie’s solo records. It’s always interesting when a distinctive band and a major contributor to their overall sound does step sideways, because you get a window on the kind of material they might chose to listen to away from their day job. In LaBrie’s case there is nothing particularly different going on here with his vocal style choices. The music is firmly in the Melodic Hard Rock, with enough Progressive flourish to keep it interesting, but which allows the voice to lead. 

When they do such outings, two things usually happen. Either it’s the same as the band they are best known for (but without the politics of that line up) or it’s the singer plus an acoustic guitar for the majority of the songs (something that often happens with solo efforts because the material comes out of hotel room isolation and tour boredom). I understand that the former was more prevalent on his first three solo outings, but “Beautiful Shades of Grey” doesn’t go to the other extreme, instead employing a lot of semi-acoustic work but with a full band in support, with the electric and overdriven guitars used sparingly. That allows LaBrie to mostly do what he does best, which is belt out loud and proud, but with enough moments of subtlety and softness to make for an interesting mix. 

The song structures are far more straight ahead Rock, but that’s fine as they don’t distract from what’s going on and whereas you may not get to unpick the musical complexity like skinning an onion on layer at a time that you do from his main band, it still works because the focus is on mood, tone and catchy and enjoyable song-writing. It’s a bit like 70’s Yes when they were focussed on getting something short enough to get played on the radio. In fact that 70’s root couldn’t be more clear than the only cover here, which is a stomping rendition of Led Zeppellin’s ‘Ramble On’. The other high points are the lead song ‘Devil In Drag’ (and check out the electric version included on some versions of the record), the dark and moody ‘What I Missed’ and the mellifluous instrumentals and catchy melodies of ‘SuperNova Girl’.

Tonally this makes for a mellow, but emotively charged album which I am appreciating more and more with each listen. Worth a check out, as Dream Theater fans are going to see another side of James, and detractors may be pleasantly surprised.

‘Am I Right’ Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Devil In Drag
02. SuperNova Girl
03. Give And Take
04. Sunset Ruin
05. Hit Me Like A Brick
06. Wildflower
07. Conscience Calling
08. What I Missed
09. Am I Right
10. Ramble On
11. Devil In Drag (Electric Version)

LINE-UP:
James LaBrie – Lead & Backing Vocals
Paul Logue – Acoustic Guitars & Bass
Chance LaBrie – Drums & Percussion
Christian “Chrism” Pulkkinen – Keyboards
Marco Sfogli – Lead Acoustic & Electric Guitars

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 Leo Maia

EMQ’s With Leo Maia


Hi everyone. Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Brazilian Progressive Rock/Metal musician, Leo Maia. Huge thanks to him 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 Leo Maia, I’m a singer first and a music theory nerd that loves to compose Progressive Rock / Metal. In order to fulfil my crazy compositions and turn them into music, I also play guitars, keyboards and learned to produce music so I can unleash my madness into the world.

I’ve always been composing, in fact the next single that I’m working on right now was composed 10+ years ago. I just had never put in the effort on recording and producing my music. I’ve always been trying to find musicians that could play with me in an actual band but I never found people who were both technically skilled to play Progressive Rock and willing to play my style of the genre (which is much less mechanical then modern Prog productions).

Then, after my terrible experience last year with a spontaneous collapse of the left lung, I found myself in a recovery mode at home not being able to sing, which pushed me to buying a guitar and keyboards, learning how to produce on YouTube and finally composing a piece inspired by the terrible hospital experience. Once I had written and recorded the instrumental parts for this 9 minute Prog song, I finally had sufficient lung strength to sing again and recorded Pneumothorax’ vocals, really not knowing if I would be able to sing it entirely since it was my first time singing after the lung collapse. The single’s reception has been so nice that I’m super pumped and working on my next single, not to mention collaborations.

 How did you come up with your band name?

It’s my name 😀 (actually, my name is Leonardo Maia Carneiro de Novaes, but Leo Maia for short.) 

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

I’m from Brazil, Rio de Janeiro. The scene there is pretty good, there are plenty of local bands and whenever the big bands show up the gigs are super energetic. One thing that I found to be really different when I moved to Canada was the energy on Metal shows. I went to an Iron Maiden concert over here and it was nothing like the ones I’ve been to in Brazil, people over there are really CRAZY about Metal and their idols.

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

‘Pneumothorax’. It is a single about my experience with a spontaneous left lung collapse. It’s very dynamic and purposely crafted for story-telling. For example, it starts calm with a tranquil piano, which represents my calm day, until there’s an abrupt break, which is the lung collapsing. It then develops into ambient riffs that represent my fear of going into the emergency room, pain due to chest tubes being inserted, anxiety and eventually a heavy energetic solo hospital discharge, back to the piano tranquillity of home.

The song is not just a song but it’s the story behind it that’s very important for experiencing it in its entirety, and for that, I’m releasing an animated lyrics video on May 5th on YouTube that will surely help.

Who have been your greatest influences?

King Crimson is my greatest influence hands down. I lean heavily on the vintage Prog influences as I believe they were the masters of intentional composition and song-writing. Selecting harmonies and melodies that have a purpose in the song, Bill Brufford’s polyrhythmic drums, Mel Collins blow instruments, they all have a place in my compositions.

That said, I mix these vintage influences with more modern sounds, such as Mogwai, Dream Theater, Ayreon. All that while trying to make sure I am not leaning into mechanical technical execution of instruments and keeping the melodies simple in order to glue the music together, aiming to make Progressive music that is more accessible and organic. The songs are still extremely complex in terms of time signatures and harmony, but the objective is for the listener to feel it rather than consciously notice it and the band Oceansize is another big influence that sets a good example on how to do it for my own inspiration.

What first got you into music?

My dad, he always had a vinyl collection and when I was 6 years old my favourite playtime with him would be Pink Floyd – “The Wall”. He would put me in a chair and shake it as the airplane and bombs exploded in the background and we would go through the entire record like this. I eventually learned how to play guitar and music theory and then into singing lessons.

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

While I currently collaborate with Jeff Black (Gatekeeper), a local amazing metal musician and personal friend in the Vancouver area, if I could select one musician to collaborate with in the entire world it would be Arjen Anthony Lucassen from Ayreon. I absolutely love Ayreon, I have most of their vinyl records (signed by Arjen) and the singers in the project have always been an inspiration for me. I think singing on an Ayreon record is a personal dream for sure.

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

To be frank i would like to be at the Cruise to the Edge. The thought of being in a cruise ship with members of Yes, Gentle Giant and others playing is absolutely amazing, and being backstage with these people would be amazing.

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

I haven’t received any gifts from fans (yet) given that I just released my debut single. But maybe someday 🙂

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

Thank you so much for supporting me on this journey and for the reception that ‘Pneumothorax’ had. I really like how you not only listen to it, but connect with the story and with my personal emotions / experience.

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

That’s a tough one, there are so many! I’m thinking Chris Squire from Yes as his bass lines are timeless. That said, I absolutely would love to see Freddy Mercury live as I never had that opportunity…

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

I really enjoy how music theory can connect to emotions. Being able to lean on the knowledge of how each note, chord, time signature can make the listener feel is extremely empowering and I love to think deeply about each piece when composing. 

What I hate is that you get 80% of the work done quickly, and you feel like you have a great song, but the 20% remaining of arrangements, producing, selecting takes and so on takes so much more time than the composing and performing and you need to be resilient in order to actually release music instead of just composing them. Not to mention the music marketing effort that you need to put as an independent artist. 

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

I would love it if I could focus on simply creating music and performing my best. The current state of the industry, as an independent artist, means this is just part of what I do. The other part is constantly promoting, producing, dealing with releases that end up placed under another artist’s profile. I however love connecting with fans on a personal level through social media though.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

King Crimson – “Islands”. Yes, it’s extremely under-rated and a hot take here, but I am constantly reaching for it for the emotional message. It’s just stunningly beautiful.

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

They each serve their own purpose. I prefer to listen to music on Vinyl, the connection with the album imposed by not being able to quickly skip songs and how it forces you to pay attention in order to get up and flip it when its time makes the music experience more valuable when comparing to just looping music streaming platforms forever which almost makes the music become background instead of your attention focus. That said, being able to have music on the go on my phone is absolutely amazing 🙂

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

I haven’t played my own compositions in a gig yet, I can’t play all instruments at once and sing, but maybe someday I’ll have a group of skilled musicians to perform with me. I have however played cover songs and that was awesome. The instance I’m remembering here had Deftones and Muse covers with other friends in Brazil.

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

I am also a software engineer, but I’m considering this question as ‘what would i be doing with my free time when not working to pay my bills’ and the answer to that is probably traveling and exploring the world and in between travel and video games 🙂

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

If people around me, I’m always inviting Jeff Black (Gatekeeper) and a couple Spanish violinist musicians over for dinner. If people that I don’t particular know, then I would love to sit Arjen Anthony Lucassen at a table with Robert Fripp and Bjork and see what comes out of it 🙂

What’s next for the band?

I’m working on 2 things right now. One is my next single called ‘Sonhos’. I’m currently recording guitars for it and looking for a saxophonist to record the sax portions. Then, I’ll move into vocals, mixing and releasing in the next couple months. It’s a song with Portuguese lyrics about the everlasting chasing of your dreams, always almost within reach, and when you think you’ll get there you wake up, its morning again, time to brew coffee and go to work and live the mundane.

The second thing is a collaborative Power Metal song with Jeff Black, I’ve just written vocal melodies, lyrics and recorded many layers of vocal tracks that I sent him for the song called ‘Wintertide’. He’ll be producing and releasing it soon.

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

You can find all my links in my koji linktree: https://withkoji.com/@leomaiaprog 

But I’ll also link them here manually for ease of clicking:
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0CdVWkG0ar9qoVmZC83K5L
Instagram: https://instagram.com/Leomaiaprog 
TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@Leomaiaprog 
Facebook: https://facebook.com/Leomaiaprogrock 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Leomaiaprog 
Bandcamp: https://leomaia.bandcamp.com/ 

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Biscuit!

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

Thanks for connecting through here! I would like to reiterate my philosophy for making Prog Rock / Metal that is both vintage and modern, by feeling organic and focusing on song writing rather than overwhelming difficult technical execution, with the hopes of making it accessible to even people who are not musicians or into thousand notes per second type of music.

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.

Obsidian Sea – Pathos

Pathos Album Cover Art

Obsidian Sea – Pathos
Ripple Music
Release Date: 04/02/22
Running Time: 39:52
Review by Dark Juan
9/10

I don’t know what to do with myself. The weather outside is no longer trying to kill me. I went out with the Smellhounds this morning and there were no wheelie bins flying past me that will be needing to go on speed awareness courses, no refusal to go out from Rear-Admiral Sir Zeusington-Zeus (KCVG, VC, DFC and Bar, Order of The Red Banner, Croix de Guerre), even when he was desperate for a shit and especially no plastic bottles trying to brain me. Instead, I walked past a skip that had the contents of a house clear out in it and managed to snatch up a decent copy of Iron Maiden’s “Dance Of Death” for absolutely no money whatsoever. I am contemplating going back for the Counting Crows CD I saw, but I probably won’t because a) I am fundamentally lazy, and b) Counting Crows are a bit shit really.

It was ironic that when I was writing this review (and the paragraph above, at the time when Blighty was suffering from the kind of wind that I normally produce after a healthy breakfast of California Reaper chillies), there technically was not a website for these words to be posted on. Head Honcho General Field-Marshal Beth “One Inch Closer, Buster, And You’ll Be Wearing Your Balls As Earrings” Jones (she was quite cross at this point and by no means the usual delightful fairy she normally is), undertook a bit of a revamp, which, being as I am a libertine and enthusiast of mind altering substances and not an IT expert, I can only believe involved a large amount of twitching bottoms, incipient panic and a serious case of brown trousers time if it all went wrong. In which case, it was wonderful to write for you all. Actually, I’m lying. I don’t even LIKE Heavy Metal and you’re all longhaired Herbert’s and drug addicts and you’ll be going to hell faster than Glenn Danzig’s favourite cum sock. Also, tattoos suck. And piercings mean you have given your souls to Satan [they followed your punctuation – ED]. 

Repent, you pricks and ask Almighty God for forgiveness, before it is too late and you damn your souls to Hell for eternity and you find yourself being probed in ungentlemanly manners by shaggy hooved demons with tridents. Which is uncomfortable even if you’re a fan of double penetration.

Or you could completely ignore the above and give yourself the aural treat of listening to the fourth album from Bulgarian Progressive Proto-Rockers Obsidian Sea. “Pathos” is its name and it is spinning on the Deck of Death as we speak…

First off, what do these three fine gentlemen sound like? On the opening song ‘Lament The Death Of Wonder’ the first thing that strikes my educated lugholes is how much the vocal harmonies and especially the lead performance of Anton Avramov remind me of Psychotic Waltz circa “A Social Grace”. This should not be taken as a demerit because ‘Another Prophet Song’ is one of Dark Juan’s all-time favourites. The band (being a power trio) have a sound that is best described as Classic Rock and Metal, crossed with a strong Progressive and Psychedelic component. This album is fucking massively groovy and can be described as a Very Good Thing indeed. ‘Lament The Death Of Wonder’ sets the store for the album in magical fashion, reminding this listener of an interesting mélange of Wolfmother, Lucid Sins, Friendship, Lucifer and Red Spektor in sound. Throw in a bit of the more esoteric moments of Hawkwind in there as well and you have an intoxicating mix of styles that references Classic Rock and Metal yet still sounds incredibly vibrant, fresh and accessible. ‘I Love The Woods’ opens on a simple clean riff that then breaks into a gently distorted version of it, but the music is languid and fluid and is allowed to breathe. Where Obisidian Sea triumph is that they allow fucking NOTHING TO INTERFERE WITH THE MAJESTY OF THE GROOVE. The groove is all. Everything is groovy in the world of Obsidian Sea and Dark Juan is all about being the grooviest groovemeister the world has ever seen. Elongated bridges and movements abound and middle eights happily become middle thirty-twos in the finest tradition of Prog Rock and Psychedelic expressionism, yet nothing outstays its welcome. Indeed, the only negative point so far is that there is no cowbell. Everything needs more cowbell.

The production of this record is punchy as hell as well. The bass rumbles the old derriere in splendid fashion and the sound of the drums (apart from the floor tom – more on that later) and cymbals are well balanced, with nothing overpowering the other instruments. The soloing of Mr. Avramov on the guitar is also worthy of your attention, because when he rips he is a supple, fluid and incendiary soloist. The vocal harmonies are also just magical and the whole album just has riffs for fucking days, mate. The choppy, stop-start, ultra-chonky riffing on ‘The Long Drowning’ is just so…. Magnificent, when taken with the obvious vocal talents of these three fine Bulgarian gentlemen on their harmonies. And they are able to pick up their metaphorical skirts and give their instruments a bloody good, judicious spanking when they want to as well.

The opening riff to ‘Sisters’ stood out to me as well because it sounded like a half-speed Coheed and Cambria song. I think it was ‘The Crowing’, but this morphed quickly into a hairy-arsed Blues Rock riff of some seismic significance, before this bunch of Bulgarian musical miscreants chucked in some acid infused Stoner and Psychedelic influences, and then, in the middle eight, threw in a Doom Metal, mogadon slow riff overlaying some serious fuzz and phaser-wah shenanigans during the solo.

I think it’s safe to say I am a bit of a fan of Obsidian Sea based on the experience of this album. Discerning listeners who enjoy Lucifer and Lucid Sins and Blood Ceremony might well find this record to their considerable advantage. I’m fucking loving it, baby. Any band that worships at the Temple of The Groovy wins a fan in Dark Juan. And Obsidian Sea are High Priests of The Groove.  Everything on this record has been done right as well. The song arrangements are good, the lyrics excellent for non-native English speakers, the production on the money – apart from a curious flat spot on the low floor tom that makes tub-thumper Bozhidar Parvanov sound like he is employing an inventive and experimental new method of hitting it, by the simple expedient of using a recently defrosted cod, or some other kind of equally flaccid white fish substitute rather than a drumstick. However, this is extreme nit-picking, because I have to find something to criticize, because after all I am a critic. As in someone who writes about something because he can’t fucking do it himself.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Патентованата система за оценка на пръски кръв от Dark Juan for our Bulgarian friends) offers itself humbly to the service of the High Priests of The Groove that are Obsidian Sea with a stonking 9/10 for a sublime Psychedelic Rock and Metal hybrid album that beguiles, charms and seduces in the most unseemly manner. Sex wee. Sex wee fucking everywhere. Again. Buy this record.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Lament The Death Of Wonder
02. The Long Drowning
03. Sisters
04. Mythos
05. The Revenants
06. I Love The Woods
07. The Meaning Of Shadows

LINE-UP:
Anton Avramov – Guitars and Vocals
Delyan Karaivanov – Bass and Backing Vocals
Bozhidar Parvanov – Drums

LINKS:

Obsidian Sea Promo Pic

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.

Road Trip – Merry Go Round

Merry Go Round Album Cover Art

Road Trip – Merry Go Round
Epictronic
Release Date: 21/01/2022
Running Time: 53:36
Review by Martin Bennewith
8.5/10

“Merry Go Round” by Road Trip (Dave Hulatt) is a mixture of all the things I like about rock music. As an album rooted in they Psychedelic Rock genre, by nature it does not place itself right in your face with flashiness and overagression, instead it meanders through the time it takes to listen, with clear influences of early Barrett driven Floyd, as well as crossing into the realms of more arty, Progressive Rock, and the occasional flirt with a harder 70s sound. The album has a large focus on lead guitar, and to a lesser extent synthesised leads, where some may feel this is overdone, for the most part, I think it is a breath of fresh air.

The album begins with ‘Cracks In Space’, which has a Late 60s Psychedelic Rock feel, sometimes crossing into harder Rock. It is energetic, with dreamy lyrics, overdriven guitars but a fresh and easy listen. 

Next is ‘The Rabbit Hole’, which begins as eerie Folk, but emerges into softer Rock, with swirling tense lead guitar, progressive, hypnotic rhythms, and some swirling synths to compliment the guitar.

The third track, ‘Light of Perfection’ is introduced by Sweet guitar sounds prior to some delicate piano which carries emotion. With almost a country feel, the buildup is upbeat and progessive, and the lead guitar kicks in telling the story, with some synth bubbles creating a dreamy feel. This leads to a more tense section with a change of rhythm. A nice track.

Next is ‘Station In The Sky’. Classic Psychedelic Rock lyrics and singing style, dreamy, musically tense and modal – fun! The lead playing explores the possibilities of the underlying harmony well, with sinister musical breaks adding to the tension.

‘The Maze’ has an epic sounding beginning, which leads to an interesting part that is hard to pin down rhythmically and musically, and we get the same sort of dreamy lyrics again, over a loose Rock and Fusion jam. The number ebbs and flows, and evolves enough to keep me interested.

The next track, ‘Times Gone By’ is a bit different. It begins with a soft, emotional soulful feel, and when the lead guitar kicks in, the mood is emphasised some more, with floating melodies and effects that are soft and sustained. The mood slightly evolves and becomes even more laid back and reflective as the number progresses. A sweet instrumental track.

‘Welcome To The Dark’ is next, and in contrast, is very tense musically, but with a soft synthesised melody and stirring lyrics, which use spoken word to create a dystopian atmosphere. The number progresses into some heavier moments, with overdriven guitar and more synth moments. It’s in a minor modal musically with a hypnotic underlying rhythm.

‘The Trip’ can be described as an energetic improvised Classic Psychedelic Rock jam, with synth and lead complimenting each other; a foot tapping and head moving song. It is easy to get lost in this one, as I did. The vocals and lyrics are very dreamy, and it is a lot of fun!

Finally, ‘Merry Go Round’. The beginning is quite different, with chiming bells and swirling synths before the drums and guitars kick in, introducing the vocals. It has quite a melancholy and laid back feel at first, which evolves and changes into something more urgent. A nice end to a nice album.

Generally I found this album very easy to listen to, in fact it was so easy to listen to, I played it several times before starting this review. I am not saying there is no depth, rather it captivates and keeps the interest going with the subtle changes in style, musicality and rhythm. Although the track names, lyrics, and vocal style are a bit trippy, it actually feels like a work of art that could be appreciated whatever the state of mind, and that emotional but unpredictable lead guitar style that dominated the entire album left an impression. I think if I have any criticism, it would be that it sometimes felt a bit lacking in direction and even slightly self-indulging, which is understandable as a solo project. But if you can tap into the overall feel then it does captivate, which is why I will give this a 8.5/10.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Cracks In Space
02. The Rabbit Hole Of Time
03. The Light Of Perfection
04. Station In The Sky
05. The Maze
06. Times Gone By
07. Welcome to the Dark
08. The Trip
09. Merry Go Round

LINE-UP:
Dave Hulatt – Everything

LINKS:

Road Trip Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Martin Bennewith 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 GIANT WALKER

EMQ’s With GIANT WALKER


Hi Everyone! Welcome to another EMQs, this time with UK Based Heavy Progressive Rockers, Giant Walker. Huge thanks to them all 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, we’re Giant Walker and we play Heavy Progressive Rock.  We’ve been playing music together since 2015, but Giant Walker was born a mere few months ago, as a rebirth of one of our previous projects.

How did you come up with your band name?

We were brainstorming different band names for months before we settled on Giant Walker.  In the end, Jordan (bass) was looking at mythical creatures and from that inspiration, imagined a giant being walked by a little child and so ‘Giant Walker’ was created!

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

We’re all from Newcastle, UK, but ¾ of the band now live in the South of England.  I’d say Newcastle has a quite lot of rock and metal fans but unfortunately, doesn’t get anywhere near the amount of funding and infrastructure as South and London.

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

Our latest single, ‘Optophobia’ was released on the 3rd of December, and followed our debut single, ‘The Fact in Fiction’ which came out on the 15th of October!

Who have been your greatest influences?

We obviously all have our own different inspirations, but collectively we’d say Soundgarden, Karnivool, Queens of the Stone Age, Deftones, The Contortionist, Radiohead, Tool, Big Wreck, Rage Against the Machine.

What first got you into music?

Everyone in the band grew up in households where music was and still is a big deal, so that’s definitely had a big influence on us pursuing music. We all chased that cathartic feeling you get when you find a new song that you really connect with, and this adds so much detail to the memories you have when you think back to being a kid.

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

That’s super tough, but we’d probably have to say Josh Homme – we’re a big fan of his work and also because he has such a distinct sound, it would be really interesting to write with him and see how the styles would work together.

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

Probably Download, because it’s one of the – if not the most – iconic rock festivals in the UK, so definitely one that you idealise playing as a kid.

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

No gifts

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

Bring gifts 😉

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

Chris Cornell

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

Being a musician means you have the ability to create something that captures exactly how you feel at any given moment in time, which is pretty cool, as then when you’re old and unable to function you have your life documented in sound.  In terms of what we hate – it’s expensive AF!

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

One of the worst things about the music industry, in general, is just the fact that because you enjoy it, people expect you to do it for free when you still need to make a living.  So, we’d say making sure artists are actually paid a decent percentage for music streaming.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Soundgarden – “Superunknown”

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

CDs

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

Well, very depressingly, we haven’t actually played a gig as Giant Walker because of the shenanigans of the past year and a half!!

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

Jamie – Skateboarding and doing generally nothing productive with my life

Alex – Fuck knows! My other passion is cooking, so maybe a chef…

Jordan – Hard to say as by about 4 years old, I knew I only wanted to play music.  But before that, I wanted to be a fireman so… that?

Steff – I’d like to think I’d still be creating something in some sense, so perhaps some kind of digital art…  Or maybe like, organising music events. Who knows!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Ozzy Osbourne, Gordon Ramsay, Jack Black, Louis Theroux and probs our mate, Lewis… it would be rude to leave him out.

What’s next for the band?

More singles on the way and some live shows (fiiiiinally)!!!

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

Facebook – www.facebook.com/giantwalker

Instagram – www.instagram.com/giantwalkerband

Website – www.giantwalker.co.uk

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyE2MMmggMfXKtSxHVv2iMA

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

They are a cake masquerading as a biscuit.  But ultimately, a cake – clues in the name 😉

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

Thanks Ever Metal for having us!  And to all those reading, thanks for listening!  We’re just getting started, so stay tuned!

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.

SchwertMann – Theater Of Grief

Theatre Of Grief Album Cover Art

SchwertMann – Theater Of Grief
Glassville Records
Release Date: 05/11/21
Running Time: 41:10
Review by Simon Black
8/10

This is the lockdown project from the frontman of Dutch Progressive Rock act, Kayak, Bart Schwertmann. He had been working on this before the world went to hell in a handbasket, but a combination of a nasty hernia, a full-on breakdown and a global pandemic meant that he has been able to devote the time to completing this conceptual piece, despite his involvement in Kayak having been a relatively recent thing, as this had been bubbling around for a good deal longer. It’s not clear which other musicians have been involved in the project – “musician friends” are the only credit the press release gives and it’s at times like this that I really miss the sleeve notes of a physical copy, but judging by the technical virtuosity on display here, we’re taking old hands at the Prog game and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that some of the other members of Kayak are involved in at least some capacity (although Schwertman does contribute bass and guitar parts to this along with vocals).

Musically this is a very warm and melodic record, despite the dark tone of the lyrical content, and that’s entirely down to the beautifully rich and clear timbre of Schwertmann’s voice, which is singing from the heart and with a hell of a lot of soul. The subject matter seems to have been heavily influenced by some of the rougher personal moments in his recent history and it’s a thematic concept rather than a literal story based on those experiences. This is slightly more of a Progressive Metal, than Rock outing that fans of Kayak may be expecting, but that said the musical style does venture into more familiar territory from time to time, with the ballad ‘Rainbow’ in particular being more of what Kayak fans would appreciate if the outré Metal of ‘Burning Down’ is too much. Personally, these more aggressive moments are the better ones, as vocally this forces Schwertmann into less familiar territory, which he delivers with power, aplomb in an utterly captivating manner, with the penultimate track ‘Can You Save Me?’ probably illustrating the best of what this record has to offer.

Producer Niels Lingbeek has done a cracking job here to boot, with a rich clear sound and a mix that allows the instruments to shine, whilst keeping Schwertmann front and centre, as is right, in a manner he may not get to deliver on his day job. This is a very rich and warm record and one that took a few listens before I could put fingers to keyboard, not because it was a tough nut to deconstruct, but because I kept getting distracted and lost in the work. That’s a good sign on any day.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Panic Mode
02. Antelope     
03. So Tired       
04. Burning Down           
05. There’s A Place         
06. Supernatural Forces
07. Rainbow      
08. Can You Save Me     
09. No One Else Can

LINE-UP:
Bart Schwertmann – Vocals, Bass & Guitar
Other Musicians not credited

LINKS:

SchwertMann Promo Pic

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

Deadglow – Machine Skin/Your Blood (Parts 1-3) Dual Singles

Machine Skin, Your Blood (Parts 1-3) Dual Singles Cover Art

Deadglow – Machine Skin/Your Blood (Parts 1-3) Dual Singles
Self-Released
Release Date: 01/10/2021
Running Time: 17:02
Review by Beth Jones
8/10

Hello, my lovelies, I’m here voicing my opinion again. Now, we don’t usually review singles, but today’s subject is slightly different. It’s a dual single release – what would have been a double A side in the good old days – and it’s prog, so is just over 17 minutes long. In my book, that counts as an EP, and I co-own this site and make the rules, so there!

Disclaimer out of the way, let’s talk music! Deadglow are a Progressive Rock/Alternative Metal trio from Oulu in Finland, an area of the world that has a habit of producing some pretty epic musicians. This dual single release is a precursor to the release of their debut album, “Machine Skin”, on 29th October. I have to say, that listening to these two tracks has whet my appetite for the upcoming release, which I will be gladly snaffling off our review pile! So, what are Deadglow all about?

Well, instantly, I’m getting Pink Floyd vibes – the soaring guitar solos, steeped in echo and sumptuousness. But that’s melded with a darker, and more modern tone on percussion, and a more gothic element in the vocals.

‘Machine Skin’ begins with some very 80’s prog synth, with a pulsing rhythm. Then, without warning, it drops into a complete rhythm change, melding 80’s anthemic rock ballad with Floyd-esque guitars. It’s straightforward from this point, and a nice listen. Great vocals, and vocal harmonies, bags of echo, but a strong rhythm holding everything together. There is some impressive guitar work here too, from soring solos to dual harmonised sections.

‘Your Blood (Parts 1-3)’ is much darker. Beginning with a single, Hammond style, synth chord, joined by guitar (this really couldn’t get any more Pink Floyd influenced if it tried). But then along comes the heavier toned drums, giving it a modern twist. And when the vocals hit, it’s very 90’s gothic. Think Nick Cave doing a guest spot with Pink Floyd, and you’re somewhere in the right area. Personally, I think that would be spectacular!

I like this a lot. It’s different, yet familiar, all in the same breath.

We are very much looking forward to the videos that accompany these tracks and to reviewing the album.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Machine Skin
02. Your Blood (Parts 1-3)

LINE-UP:
Simo Lukkari – Lead, Rhythm & Bass Guitar
Juho Mikkonen – Drums, Percussion
Jukka Ruottinen – Vocals

With Guests:
Sami Perttunen – Co-Lead guitar on ‘Machine Skin’
Mika Pohjola – Keyboards

LINKS:

LINK TO OUR INTERVIEW WITH DEADGLOW:

Deadglow Promo Pic (Credit Sami Perttunen)
Photo by Sami Perttunen

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.

Interview with DEADGLOW

Deadglow Interview

Interview with DEADGLOW
By Rick Tilley

Hi Everyone.

Finnish Progressive Rock/Alternative Metal trio Deadglow are gearing up to release their debut album “Machine Skin” on 29th October. As a precursor to that their first, dual, singles and videos ‘Machine Skin’/’Your Blood (Parts 1-3)’ are about to devour your senses. Their sound encompasses Pink Floyd to Death via Tesseract as well as inspiration from Sci-Fi/Horror movies, books and art.

With this in mind, we thought it would be great to have a chat with them about the band, so my thanks go to vocalist Jukka Ruottinen, guitarist/bassist Simo Lukkari and drummer Juho Mikkonen for their time.

You can find a link to our review of the singles at the end of the interview.

Q: How did Deadglow form?

Simo: I wanted to create music that I am really into, but instead of forming a band, I approached Deadglow from a different angle. I wrote some songs and booked a studio without rehearsing for recording a single. It worked out well, so I decided to continue. I had plans to record material with different musicians, but things worked out so well that I cancelled that. Deadglow is all about sound, echoes and making something that you love and like to listen to. Deadglow is only a year and a half old, but we have already twelve songs recorded and more to come.

Jukka: Simo needed a vehicle to release his music, so he asked me to work with him on some songs. I then joined to add vocals to his new project. After the first recording session, Juho Mikkonen joined as drummer. We have some friends helping us on some tracks, but the three of us is Deadglow for now.

Q: Who are the members of Deadglow and can you tell us a little more about yourselves?

Simo: I have been playing guitar from the age of 14 and I have been writing music for several years now. I played Hair Metal, Glam Rock and Grunge as well as toured for some time in Finland. When I write music, I am usually heavily inspired by something like a movie or a certain atmosphere. It is the best way to get rid of reality.

Jukka: I’ve been singing my whole life and playing guitar from my teens. Mostly my bands played slow acoustic songs, but Grunge and heavier music have always been what I love. The last 5 years I’ve been singing a lot of Rock. The music that Simo creates inspires me to write lyrics, and takes me to places, so it’s great to be part of Deadglow. Simo is one hell of a guitar player and I like Juho’s hard hitting drumming.

Juho: I’ve been playing drums for 21 years with different bands. Styles have varied from Black Metal to Thrash Metal and Rock. Last year Simo sent me a couple of demos and asked me if I was available to play drums. The demos hit me right away and reminded me somehow of the music of my youth that I love. Besides musical talents, Simo and Jukka are also nice guys, so why would I not take the opportunity! I also play in a band called The Groupie High School and have my own firm.

Q: What is the origin of the Deadglow name, and what are your primary influences?

Simo: The inspiration came from the Stephen King novel “IT”. It refers to the glow you can see in the mouth of Pennywise when he prepares to eat. I guess I can say that a lot of the Deadglow inspiration comes from 80s Horror and Sci-Fi books and movies. We all love 80’s music, sounds, echoes, synths, horror movies and art. We are influenced by Stephen King books, John Carpenter movies and H.P Lovecraft.

Q: Is it possible for you to describe the musical genre of Deadglow, and how did you decide on this style?

Simo: I think we don’t have a primary genre, but if I had to pick one, I would say it is Old School Heavy Metal meets Pink Floyd. I have always been a fan of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, but also like a lot of different genres. So, if the mood changes, then the music changes. The main thing in Deadglow is the sound…our song ‘Your Blood’ is the primary Deadglow sound, it means echoes from a different world.

Q: Are you keen to take this album out on the road, for live performances?

Simo: We have some killer tracks and hopefully we can do some shows soon. We also have some demo songs for our second album already. To do a live show with this type of band is a bit harder than with a normal Rock group. For example, in upcoming songs we need to play with two different drum sets, because there is just so much to play. If you want to play that live, basically, you must have two drummers on stage, or you must arrange that somehow. It will be the most ambitious thing any of us has ever done.

Q: When did you decide to go into the studio, and how was the recording experience?

Simo: After we recorded a single, we decided to record the whole album in the same style. No rehearsing, just straight to the studio. We recorded the whole album in four or five days, so it meant that we had to practice a lot on our own. The whole experience was good, and we recorded in a professional high-end studio with high-quality gear. We used only analogue recording and played as much naturally, as we could, to avoid fixing much afterwards.

Q: What is the driving force behind your songwriting?

Jukka: Simo creates the music first, then I try to write lyrics and vocal melodies that suits the music. Some songs sound dark, some lighter, so the lyrics also go through all kinds of emotions. I don’t really like to explain words too much, so I hope they tell something to everyone. I saw the album and single cover before all the lyrics were final, so that kind of also affected my writing. For some reason I was also reading a lot of dystopian books and watching TV series when writing.

Q: What inspire the visual elements of Deadglow?

Jukka: The primary visual inspiration comes from Simo’s love of all kinds of classic Sci-Fi and Horror. It’s all about the state of this world; humans will destroy all nature, and eventually nature will have its revenge…or the machines will get us! The look and the feel are dystopian…the end of everything is sorrowful, but the new beginning will come, and it means also hope!

Q: What does the next 12 months look like for Deadglow?

Simo: a lot of promotion and creating a new, mind-blowing concept album.

THANK YOU

BIO:

Deadglow is a Progressive Rock/Alternative Metal trio from Oulu in Finland consisting of Jukka Ruottinen (Vocals), Juho Mikkonen (Drums) and Simo Lukkari (Guitar & Bass).

The Deadglow sound is progressive and melodic, yet straightforward. You can hear echoes of Death, Judas Priest, Alice In Chains and Pink Floyd, whilst appealing to fans of TesseracT, Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus and Amorphis. The talented trio is inspired by 80’s music, sounds, echoes, synths as well as Sci-fi and Horror movies and art.

Deadglow has been hard at work recording their debut album “MACHINE SKIN” (coming Friday 29th October) in a professional high-end studio in Finland using only high-quality analogue recording gear. They furthermore played as naturally as possible, to avoid fixing much afterwards. On Friday 1st October, the first dual singles and videos from this upcoming album will be unleashed called ‘MACHINE SKIN’/‘YOUR BLOOD (PARTS 1 – 3)’!

DEADGLOW ONLINE:

MEDIA REPRESENTATIVE:

Devographic Music Agency

LINK TO OUR REVIEW OF ‘MACHINE SKIN’/‘YOUR BLOOD (Parts 1-3)’

Deadglow Promo Pic (Credit Sami Perttunen)
Photo by Sami Perttunen

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Rick Tilley and 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.

One Hundred Thousand – Zodiac

Zodiac Album Cover Art

One Hundred Thousand – Zodiac
Self-Released
Release Date: 09/04/2021
Running Time: 72:00
Review by Beth Jones
9/10

By nature, Progressive Rock/Metal is an expansive and exploratory genre. Possibly why I love it so much. So, as always, I jump at the chance of exploring further when a new name lands in my review pile.

One Hundred Thousand are a progressive outfit from New Jersey, USA. They have been active since 2017, and recently released their sophomore album, “Zodiac”. As exploratory goes, this one is a smorgasbord. It’s a concept album, with every song exploring traits of a particular sign of the zodiac. Lyrically, it follows a protagonist over the course of a year, from a place of ‘devastating personal loss, through the illusion of hope, to an enigmatic finale’. The way the band released this album is also intriguing. They started with ‘Aries’, the first track, back in March 2020, as the pandemic hit, and continued releasing one track a month, to correlate with the star signs, finishing with ‘Pisces’, which was released in February this year.

The first thing that hits you about this album is precision. Its intricate and heavy melodies, riffs, and rhythms are oozing with detail. There isn’t a single note or beat that isn’t there for a reason. This makes it expansive and immersive, but also delicate. Sweeping areas of ambience are demolished by gritty guitars, thumping percussion, and down tuned rumbling bass, only to rise again with sumptuous solos and soaring clean vocals, which give way to raw vocals, Modern Metal style. And if you listen carefully, there are some extra details added low down in the mix, which fill out this already massive sound even more.

‘Gemini’ is one of a few stand-out track for me. It starts with acapella voices in harmony, with a whole bag of reverb on, which makes it dark and mysterious. But then it moves into guitars, vocals, and a fiendishly complex rhythm. It’s got the tone of 90’s Indie Rock, but a hefty injection of proginess, too. But, and yes here comes my gripe, FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIC, PLEASE STOP FADING TRACKS OUT! It has always been, and will always be my biggest, nails down a blackboard bugbear. I appreciate this is only my opinion, and there are probably many others who wouldn’t agree, but I want every song to come to a close, not disappear into the distance ad infinitum.

When it comes to hard and heavy tracks, ‘Scorpio’ wins the prize. It has the essence of a modern metal track in terms of tone, and harsher vocals, but it still remains firmly in prog territory. It has a frenetic middle section, and even double kick drum going on, which definitely move it into a heavier territory than the rest of the album up to that point.

Now, I’m not huge on star signs, but I do know that mine is Sagittarius, so I was keen to listen to that track. It’s a very interesting track – quite 70’s vocal harmonies, and very experimental. But, again, every detail is superbly executed. The modern metal sounds come into this song too, adding extra flavour as the album begins to move towards its climactic end. That’s followed by ‘Capricorn’, which hands down wins for expansiveness. There’s so much in this track. It’s like a five-course meal all in one song, exploring a variety of different musical sounds and styles. Love it.

‘Pisces’, the final track, although slow in tempo, is pretty brutal, and see the sound work through various different experimental elements again. It’s an interesting way to close out an album, although I don’t find it as strong as some of the other tracks. That said, apart from my one little gripe about the fades, this is a wonderfully intriguing body of work, and if you like anything progressive and huge, then you’ll enjoy this.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Aries
02. Taurus
03. Gemini
04. Cancer
05. Leo
06. Virgo
07. Libra
08. Scorpio
09. Sagittarius
10. Capricorn
11. Aquarius
12. Pisces

LINE-UP:
Alex Goldenthal – Guitar
Andrew Magnotta – Bass
Rich Matos – Vocals
Gregg Sgar – Guitar
Kurt Wübbenhorst – Drummer

LINKS:

One Hundred Thousand Promo Pic

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