Aawks – (((((Heavy On The Cosmic)))))

(((((Heavy On The Cosmic))))) Album Cover Art

Aawks – (((((Heavy On The Cosmic)))))
Black Throne Productions
Release Date: 02/12/22
Running Time: 38:56
Review by Dark Juan

Greetings and salutations, dear friends. It is I, Dark Juan, and after three weeks of frantic activity I have FINALLY been able to seat myself upon the Sofa of Eternal Peril and listen to some music. I have one of the Smellhounds, the Dread Lord Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover,  beneath my left arm and making typing phenomenally more difficult than it needs to be, and am also massively managing to procrastinate because the next review in my list to do is a punishment bestowed upon me by Simon “I’m Going To Whip You Until You Bleed. Actually I Won’t, But I WILL BE PUNISHING YOU!” Black and to say that it is a possibility that I might be unkind about said album is akin to being quite sure that bears defecate in forests or other wooded areas. This punishment is being meted out to your good correspondent because of his absolute inability to follow rules with regards to templates for reviews, and in the interests of full disclosure, I am an absolute twunt for not following them. However, my card has been truly marked and even I, your favourite libertine, Hellpriest and generally all round good egg, has had to kowtow to editorial will, as we all at ever-metal.com do this for no money, merely for the love of the music, and our editorial team frankly have had enough of my bullshit. Justifiably so…

Oh well. You would think, with my work in wrangling young people, that I would be a dab hand at following rules but you’d be wrong. Anyhoo, this particular offering on the altar of my somewhat capricious will is Aawks’ “(((Heavy On The Cosmic)))” and this Canadian quartet of space cadets are musically somewhere out at the edge of the solar system and heady for interstellar space at a pretty handy clip. Yes, my friends, we have returned to the world of Psychedelic Space Rock and we are also in the realm of the King of Fuzz. ‘Beyond The Sun’ opens with a narrator discussing the likes of mescaline, LSD and psilocybin before the slow grind of extremely stoned Space Rock starts, all Sabbath and Monolord like. Obvious and immediate influences also are Hawkwind, Electric Wizard and Windhand.

The problem is that I am not horrifically stoned right now.

Immediate likes are the organic, ultrafuzzy sound of the band and the clean, melodious singing of Kris Dzierzbicki. Whoever produced the drum sound on the album is also brilliant. The metalware on the kit is clear and fresh and cuts through the soupy fuzz to allow the odd moment of clarity as the ‘Beyond The Sun’ slows itself down from what is a pretty good clip for a Stoner band to the heavily relaxed pace of a massively tripping Dark Juan for the minute that closes out the song.

‘Sunshine Apparitions’ sounds rather like a much more heavily medicated Wolfmother – all heavily phasered licks and the kind of riffs that Dark Juan would give at least one testicle to have written before he retired from performing music. The finish to this song is fucking epic, all staccato drumming and a languid and flowing guitar solo tickling the hypothalamus, and contrasts nicely with the Punky chugging (with underlying fuzz phaser) of the verse of ‘The Woods Mix’ before the velocity is slowed and we return to slow, massively drawn out riffing in the middle eight and the second break. Such is the level of phasering and fuzz that has been applied to the guitars on this record, the solos on this song sound like they have been performed on a Stylophone. This is not a problem, though. It’s just egregious levels of effects and I am behind that in a big way.

‘All Is Fine’ opens with feedback and some serious Sabbath supplication from an utterly mountainous central guitar riff and then gets its groove on in a rather pleasant fashion. It slows to the kind of mogadon slow crawl that Doom and Stoner bands love until the end of the song, though, yet doesn’t reduce the power it has over your cruelly abused psyche throughout. The bass makes sure your LSD flooded nervous system gets a bloody good rattling throughout the whole album and the vocals are also brilliant throughout. The production of the whole album is top notch – everything is distinct to a point, but it is underpinned with a kind of organic soupiness that fits the music perfectly. It is thick and gloopy and like being slowly coated with molasses.

Which is not a perverted sexual fantasy of mine, by the way. Just thought I should clear that up. Could you imagine clearing up molasses, though? Absolute fucking nightmare…

Downsides, next. Although a thoroughly competent and listenable album, I have a couple of problems with it. It doesn’t deviate much, if at all, from the musical template of Doom/ Stoner/ Space Rock insofar as there are fairly sprightly verses which are broken up with grinding, slow passages in middle eights and the end of songs, and it doesn’t have the same joie de vivre that was evident on, say, Sonic Flower’s last release. There’s too much of a tendency to rely on ultra-heavy Sabbath based riffs and far too much of an over-reliance on the phaser pedal throughout the album, sometimes all the whooshing is a bit distracting to the listener. In short, the dynamics are all a bit samey.

To conclude this rambling nonsense, then – Aawks bring you all the goodness of Psychedelics mixed with Metal, but don’t do enough with it to lift them out of the scuzzy, stoned pack of other bands in the same vein, although it has to be said that this kind of music does have a fairly rigid blueprint. I like them, but I don’t love them.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Aawks 7/10 for a competent but unspectacular album. The potential for greatness is there, though. 

01. Beyond The Sun
02. Sunshine Apparitions
03. The Woods Mix
04. All Is Fine
05. Electric Traveller
06. Space City
07. Star Collider
08. Peeling Away

Kris Dzierzbicki – Guitar, vocals
Dan Trickett – Bass
Roberto Paraíso – Guitar
Randylin Babic – Drums


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.

Fuzznaut – Apophenia

Apophenia Album Cover Art

Fuzznaut – Apophenia
Release Date: 04/11/22
Running Time: 27:59 
Review by Dark Juan

Greetings, my dear ones. I am Dark Juan and I am now officially off work for a week having done six 48 hour shifts in ten days. I am somewhat fatigued, but do I let that stop me regaling you with Very Good Things from the world of Heavy Metal? No, I do not! There is nothing (including a three-week bout of the Rona) that will prevent me from sharing my sage and salient wisdom with you all about the wonders of Metal in all its forms. Even Trap Metal. Yes. I said it. Whatcha gonna do about it, fam?

It doesn’t help that I have not had a drink for three weeks either. I have become testy and irritable and any form of amusement whatsoever has me bent over, hacking like an old sailor with a forty a day Woodbine habit. That’s because I am still shaking off COVID-19. Mrs Dark Juan would say that’s normal. But I will state for the record that it is only when I am faced with actual physical labour does this happen, for I am an artist, rather than a grafter and there’s nothing more disastrous than tasking me with DIY because it (or I) will end up in pieces, unable to be rescued, and leaking profusely, on the floor. I wonder how the kitchen I installed in my erstwhile French home is holding up. And the stud wall in the lounge. Everything probably collapsed as soon as I stopped paying attention. Still, that’s a them problem for the new owners.

Today’s platter of Metal goodness is brought to you by Pittsburgh based guitarist Emilio Rizzo and represents the internal headspace of said august composer, and is entitled “Apophenia”. If you do not know what apophenia is, then go and consult a dictionary, you uneducated peasant. Or, alternatively, read on, for I shall define it for you: it is the tendency to perceive meaningful connections between unrelated things. Like claiming contrails are chemical control of the populace when they are really just the result of cold air hitting hot metal. There’s some morons out there who think that governments can affect whole populations with a couple of aircraft because they are credulous and thick. Which is a dangerous combination – witness the majority of British voters. When they can be arsed voting, anyway. Proportional Representation now!

Anyhoo, this most unusual (dare I say abstruse? Fuck it, I am) of records opens with the title track and is not what you might expect from the name of the project. You would be expecting, no doubt, meaty yet furry slabs of ultradoom, fronted by a man whose throat has been destroyed by decades of bourbon and Marlboro Reds. Instead you get six tunes which are a guitar and nothing else. No bass, no percussion, no chain smoking simian bellowing words at the listener. Instead, you get a thoughtful and intelligent stab at Doom that places as much importance on melody as it does worshipping at the Mighty Altar Of The Riff. Rizzo has to be a good guitar player to keep the interest of the listener because he has nothing to hide behind, no other band members to distract the punter from his work. A simple yet tremendously fuzzy riff opens ‘Apophenia’ and Rizzo plays with tones and timbre as a way to keep a kind of heavily stoned focus on the whole shebang. Simple guitar lines slither, slink and crawl their way around a kind of fog-covered, purple and blue landscape where there’s no natural light and only bioluminescent creatures enable the Fuzznaut to pick a path through the (possibly dangerous) flora and fauna.

‘Parasitic Oscillator’ brings back memories of running a Boss HM-2 pedal through a shitty ten-watt Starfire practice amp at frankly astonishing (to my parents when I was a mere Zelator in the One True Faith) volumes and playing the kind of experimental riffs you play when you’re exploring your guitar when you have just started out on the instrument. It has a kind of strangely innocent quality that switches into predatory prowling when the fuzz pedal is stomped on and wanders through strangely foreshortened musical hinterlands where the edge of the universe is clearly visible, yet curiously unreachable, no matter how far you travel. ‘What You Seek, Seeks You’, as well as being a candidate for best song title of all time switches up the mogadon slow groove of the first two songs for something slightly more…. Active, being rather more jangly although this soon gives way to meaty riffage, and the odd slowly wailing solo. 

It is indeed an esoteric listening experience, this album. Having just a guitar and nothing really else lends a surreal, almost haunting ambience to the record. It is actually pretty fucking hypnotic, as there is just relaxed fuzz, a languid, syrupy slowness that curls around the listener and grips to a point just before you start to panic – that last half-inch between comfort and fear. Emilio Rizzo, and by extension, you, the listener, have nowhere to hide and that’s a fucking uncomfortable feeling, whoever you are. ‘5184’ starts off with a small repeating lick that could be from a Tool song before that lick is interspersed with chonky chugging and Sabbath-conjuring riffing and the switching between both analogous to black and white.

In short, Fuzznaut creates atmospheric heaviness that is as disturbing as it is enjoyable, as intense as it is shimmering. Textures change and metamorphose beneath the fingers and sensation builds up to shredding, razorwire levels. A kind of malevolent resonance, if you will…

The obvious demerit to this record (which really isn’t one as this music is very idiosyncratic as it is deeply personal to the player) is the lack of a whole band, and therefore the album can prove to be a very challenging listen when you are not an experienced Doomster or music fan in general. Or simply when you’re not in the mood. It is however, extremely unique in sound and execution and to this grizzled old bastard it’s wonderful. If you are an intrepid consumer of music, you’ll find much to enjoy on “Apophenia”. If you aren’t, you will wonder what the fuck is going on.

Apocalyptic vibes for uncertain times.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Fuzznaut 8/10 for a recording that has many merits, but has had two marks deducted for the extremely limited audience it will enjoy, and the fact that it might prove a bit too out there even for the Doom crowd.

01. Apophenia
02. Parasitic Oscillation
03. What You Seek, Seeks You
04. Hawks Over Fifth
05. 5184
06. Seconds Between A Swing And A Hit

Emilio Rizzo – Guitar


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.

Zeahorse – Let’s Not (And Say We Did)

Let's Not (And Say We Did) Album Cover Art

Zeahorse – Let’s Not (And Say We Did)
Copper Feast Records
Release Date: 29/01/2021
Running Time: 33:09
Review by Steven Hooke

Returning after a 4+ year break are noise rock-merchants Zeahorse, a Sydney-based four-piece who combine fuzzy, sludge metal riffs with clean psychedelic vocals in a delivery not a million miles away from punk rock.

Invoking a heavier approach than 2016 offering “Torana Dreamin”, much of which is courtesy of bassist Ben Howell whose mired tone could rival the Bloop, “Let’s Not (And Say We Did)” consequently draws in a lot of comparisons to Fugazi, Hawk Eyes and to a lesser extent, Helmet. Opener ‘Designer Smiles’ does this almost immediately, a filthy, bassy riff that acts as lead conductor to the music, before the hypnotic vocals of Morgan Anthony come sprawling in, resulting in a high-energy melancholy, dating back to 90’s grunge (complete with a very ‘Black Hole Sun’-esque solo).

The album then breaks into a brilliant three-part special from ‘Panic Laps’ to ‘The Ladder’. ‘Panic Laps’ has a nice injection of pace, even as Anthony continues his floating vocals, in a well-worked clash of tempos and brings the album from the 90’s feel of ‘Designer Smiles’ into the present day. Follow-up ‘Guilty’ feels like it has more of an attitude in the vocal delivery, akin to Hawk Eyes’ Paul Astick, accompanied by a lingering vocal hook the chorus will stick with you for the rest of the day. And then ‘The Ladder’ presents a bit of a kick up the arse, as it leans more towards Zeahorse’s punkier roots. The song packs tight bassline riffs, a punchier chorus, and a general frenzy that is perhaps lost in the more aloof, stonery tracks heard prior.

The latter half of the album feels like it takes a step pack in tempo and makes up for it in a gluttony of riffs. ‘One Of Everything’ is a sole three minute shot of adrenaline, in amongst blown-amp-sounding, face-gurning riffs, with ‘Cut The Slack’ almost falling into stoner doom territory, owing to the cloud of psychedelia that makes its way into the fold as well.

By garnering comparison and directly/indirectly drawing inspiration from a multitude of names, Zeahorse almost back themselves into a corner of “why listen to the new thing instead of the original thing that we already know and like?” In response, the band does a fine job of establishing their own identity throughout the majority of the album. Songs like ‘One Of Everything’ and ‘Panic Laps’ never feel punk enough to be outrightly branded Fugazi 2.0, but show enough homages to bring in new fans.

For those about the riff and maybe certain horticultural practices, this album should be a winner. Intense, bass-heavy sounds stomping their way through psychedelia and 90’s grunge, with interludes of punk rock to keep the party going, Zeahorse are heading into their metal phase with gusto and with more than ample ideas at their disposal.

‘Designer Smiles’ (Audio)

01. Designer Smiles
02. Panic Laps
03. Guilty
04. The Ladder
05. Cut The Slack
06. 20 Nothing
07. One Of Everything
08. Don’t Laugh

Morgan Anthony – Lead Vocals, Guitars
Max Foskett – Guitars
Ben Howell – Bass
Julien Crendal – Drums


Zeahorse Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Steven Hooke 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.


King Bong Logo


Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Milan, Italy based Instrumental Psychedelic Stoner band, King Bong. Huge thanks to them for taking part.

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

We are King Bong, an instrumental psychedelic band. We play mostly improvised music. We started in 2008 with the aim of playing heavy riffs adding some improvisation and we’ve now published 16 albums. Our sound has evolved to include many different influences: what started off as a combination of doom riffs and psychedelic funk grooves evolved into progressive compositions first, and into free improvisation including elements of jazz and noise later.

How did you come up with your band name?

The name was actually the reason we started the band: on the 9th of March 2008 Teo sent an SMS to Andrea and Alberto, with a joke: “We should make a band called King Bong and play the doomiest riffs”. Said and done.

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

We’re from Milan, Italy. The country as a whole doesn’t have a huge metal/rock scene, if compared to others like Germany, or the UK, but Milan being a big city and closer to the borders with other countries is the city where most touring bands stop. Small live clubs have been struggling in recent years, and Covid has forced some to close. The scene is still there but it’s likely less healthy than a few years ago.

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

“Beekse Bergen, vol. 6 – OGOPOGO”. Released on 5th March. It’s the latest chapter in our ongoing project: a series of live improvisations based on a map we drew.

(It’s 4 CD’s and 4 Hours long and what I’ve heard of it is pretty damn good! – Rick)

Taken from the above!

Beekse Bergen XXII w/ Chris Haskett (Henry Rollins Band, David Bowie, Tool).

Who have been your greatest influences?

They’re very different for each one of us, but as a band we could name the Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath, Motorpsycho, Parliament\Funkadelic, King Crimson, Metallica, Faith No More, Ulver, Miles.

What first got you into music?

Our parents exposed us to music since we were born, so it was natural for us to pick up an instrument when we were kids. Bizarrely enough, none of our parents are actually musicians!

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

We’d love to play with Nils Petter Molvær.

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

Roadburn! Because it’s the best festival, with the best music and we’ve been attending it for a decade. They’re able to constantly evolve and find new flavours of heavy music. They give every musician enough time (no 20 minutes sets at 1PM!), they have a fantastic sound system, they treat fans with great respect. It’s a dream.

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

Two friends from Rome brought us a huge piece of guanciale. It’s a kind of cured fatty meat that is the basic ingredient for carbonara (God forbid you use bacon!). We were very grateful, for several meals!

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

“Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom is not truth.
Truth is not beauty.
Beauty is not love.
Love is not music.
Music is THE BEST.”
– Frank Zappa

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

Jerry Garcia.

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

We love the freedom that comes with art: we keep exploring and learning and we can’t wait to find something new to try. We hate the fact that it’s almost impossible to make a living out of it.

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

We’d love for it to be more about actual music.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Blind Guardian – “Nightfall In Middle-Earth”

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

We enjoy a bit of everything, but certainly not cassettes. Fuck cassettes!

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

We once played in Koper in a fantastic squat. It was  fully packed, with a nice stage and a great sound crew. Half-way through our gig we were interrupted by local hero/artist/provocateur, Marko Brecelj. He was moved by our music and he needed to give a speech to the house. He then proceeded to thank us, and we resumed playing. Amazing night.

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

We were once told by a great artist that no matter what daily job you might have, if you’re a musician you will always be one, even when you don’t earn from it. We might work in different fields, but at the core we’re musicians.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Robert Fripp, Dave Grohl, Andy Summers, Grace Slick and Tony Iommi.

What’s next for the band?

We’ve also just reissued our 2017 LP “Sand ≈ Return” through Mandrone Records.

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

We’ve got a Facebook page and a BandCamp account, plus our albums are available on most major streaming services.


Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

We’ve never tried them, but we can say that we love pulled pork.

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

The King is happy to welcome you in his family: come along, follow us in our explorations and we promise you’ll never get bored!

King Bong Band (Stefano Di Noi PH)
Stefano Di Noi PH

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.

Captain Obvious – Let It Burn EP

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Captain Obvious – Let It Burn EP
Release Date: 01/03/2019
Running Time: 15:10
Review by Tsarina Wilson

Captain Obvious are two brothers from Paris. They are 19 and 21 years old and are called Joseph and Angus. They spent all of 2018 writing and recording this EP, it was finally recorded in Nashville (USA) in the Sputnik Sound Studios (The Raconteurs, Black Motorcycle Club) and mastered by Brian Lucey (Royal Blood, The Black Keys, Artic Monkeys) for a more professional and polished sound.
The young brothers have been playing music for almost 10 years, which is dedication in itself, and this EP proves their dedication to their music. Self-belief goes a long way in today’s music, and once you hear the tracks you will be surprised to realise there are only the two of them; Joseph is the guitarist, bassist and vocalist and Angus is the drummer.
The EP may only be five tracks long but I’m sure the amount of work that went into them will prove popular to many. With almost a psychedelic rock feel and an anarchist outlook, it has a real rebel vibe and I think the younger generation will find their appeal more so than I did.
Saying that, the tracks are edgy and punchy if a little short but with some great guitar riffs and with the energy that comes across you can tell the lads put their heart and soul into every note.
01. Let It Burn
02. Head
03. Shadows
04. Pop Songs
05. Psycho Dance

Promo Pic1
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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.

Bus The Unknown Secretary – Never Decide

BUS - Never Decide Cover

Bus The Unknown Secretary – Never Decide
Riding Easy Records
Release Date: 01-03-2019
Running Time:-48:57
Reviewer Tsarina Wilson

Bus The Unknown Secretary (aka B.U.S) are a quartet from Greece with a unique sound. Are they rock? Yes! Are they deep? Yes! Are they dark? Yes! But are they typical? Hell no!
Having a bird chirping in the back ground of the opening song, then “one, two, three” as if they are being counted in is not your typical start, so straight away your ears prick up and you wonder what’s next? Well, that would be silence, and then the guitar riff of ‘You Better Come In, You Better Calm Down’ comes straight at you, followed by the vocal’s, with a hint of growl to them, the tone almost psychedelic but with a chant in the background.
Bill Politis (vocalist/guitar) explains there is no happy ending here, but the question remains “Door A or Door B, time to change or time to die, never decide…” Now, that’s what I call a deep dark question!
This leads me to ‘Lucifer’. This is a very dark song, sounding very much like Ozzy at the beginning, yet haunting with amazing backing vocals which harmonize so brilliantly.
The whole album “Never Decide” is rock hypnotic, it packs a punch yet sends you off into so many different directions. It has rock, gruff vocals and great guitar riffs, with almost a poppy edge to some of the tracks and is almost one big head spin. You just get to think you have sussed the album then it goes in a totally different direction again. Some of the tracks are short, but very intense and punchy, and all the way through there is a definite 70’s rock vibe. Thin Lizzy, Ozzy Osbourne, Johnny Rotten and Alice Copper all spring to mind which is why I think the album is so crazy. One thing it definitely isn’t is boring.
B.U.S. were formed in 2011, releasing two EP’s “The Impious Tapes” followed by the “Cross EP” (2014) and a full-length album “The Unknown Secretary LP” in 2016. During that time, they have toured extensively throughout Greece and neighbouring nations.
Second album “Never Decide” was recorded in just five days in February 2018, and what a crazy five days those must have been, with multi-talented engineer and band beloved friend John Vulgaris at Electric Highway Studios in Athens, Greece. The entire band, drummer Aris Fasoulis, bassist Spiros Papadatos, guitarist Fotis Kolokithas and, of course, Bill Politis recorded the instrumental tracks live in three days and the last two were for vocals. Over the two months that followed Vulgaris and the band fine-tuned the mix into the masterful album we have been given.
If you want something different and exciting then give B.U.S a listen!
01 You Better Come In, You Better Calm Down
02 The Hunt
03 I Buried Paul
04 Lucifer
05 First Life Suicide
06 Moonchild
07 Into the Night
08 Evil Eyes
09 Dying
10 This King
BUS Promo Pic1
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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.

Spacetrucker – Smooth Orbit

Smooth Orbit Cover

Spacetrucker – Smooth Orbit
Release Date: 17/08/2018
Running Time: 51:00
Review by: Alun Jones

“Have a listen to Spacetrucker, I think you’ll like them!” came the recommendation from Rick at Ever Metal HQ. So I did. And he was right – the “Smooth Orbit” album is one of the most exciting listens I’ve had for a long, long time.
These psychedelic space monkeys have created a superb Stoner Rock classic that’s right up my space lane. Throw in some fuzzy Grunge and Classic Rock and Spacetrucker have achieved the almost impossible: put a huge, acid-warped grin on my ancient, grumbly mug.
First track ‘Sample Of A Sample’ warms the jets up nicely for take-off with a trippy lead and some bongos. Yes, bongos! Past the two-minute mark it erupts into a face-melter of a riff that had my cranium nodding like an Easter Island statue after some herbal refreshment.
Mike Owen (guitar/vocals), Rob Wagoner (bass/vocals) and Del Toro (drums) seem to be able to magically conjure up the grooves with uncanny ease. ‘Meat Wagon’ is another brilliant track with a pulsating, infectious riff.
In true lazy journo style (hey, I’ve had a few), Spacetrucker combine the stoner slouch of Fu Manchu and early QOTSA with classic Sabbath and Purple, mixing in some Mudhoney and Melvins fuzzy sludge on the way. Perfect, in other words. If any of those bands get your hyper drive firing, this is for you.
There are some Iommi-esque shorter numbers and experimental sounds that add a further dimension to the proceedings, constantly keeping the listener on their toes. ‘Vanishing Point, Science of Us’ has an almost Nirvana Unplugged vibe before bursting into a crushing rocker. This is followed by another monster riff with ‘Pulling Teeth’.
Plus the final track, ‘Lost In The Sauce’, is over ten minutes long! An extended jam floats in and builds beautifully, never rushing but enticing the listener along on every step…!
This might not be the most critical review I’ve composed, but I don’t care. “Smooth Orbit” is a triumph of an album and I love it. The only reason it didn’t get ten out of ten is it needs more references to skateboards and 1970’s muscle cars. Other than that, I need a vinyl version, please?
If any of the above references to sub-genre labels and other bands resonates with you, I urge you do a Boba Fett and track this album down now.
All of this “space trucking” talk reminds me my days working with Deep Purple back in the early seventies. I was working as the band’s roadie/driver when one time, in the middle of the night in the Arizona desert, we got a flat. I left the Purps partying in the back whilst I went out in to the freezing, dusty highway to change the tyre. I was distracted for a moment, and I swear blind that I saw several lights zipping about in the sky at unbelievable speeds. “UFOs!” I thought.
I rushed back onto the bus and dragged the band out to take look (all except Roger Glover, who was busy knitting). Except when we got outside, the lights had vanished. The Purps weren’t amused and blamed it on me overindulging in peyote. Gillan was very gentlemanly about it all and even gave me a hand with the tyre. Blackmore had a tantrum about the delay and docked me a day’s pay. The bastard!
01. Sample Of A Sample
02. Not As Hung
03. Breach
04. Meat Wagon
05. Fuck Up
06. Hotbox Airlock
07. Cat March
09. Vanishing Point
10. Lost In The Sauce
Promo Pic1
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun 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.

Stew – Hot EP

Hot EP Cover

Stew – Hot EP
Release Date: 01/06/2018
Running Time: 17:13
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

Have you ever had that warm, fuzzy feeling of bliss and contentment when you stick a CD on and straight away it reminds you of times gone past? Yes? Well, that’s exactly the feeling I got when I started playing this new EP from Swedish band Stew. I didn’t really know what to expect as, once again, I hadn’t read the notes that came with the EP, but I was (very) pleasantly surprised.
Stew hail from Lindesberg / Ӧrebro in Sweden, forming in early 2017 and are made up of the power trio of Markus Asland on bass and vocals, Nicklas Jansson on guitar and Nicklas Dahlgren on drums. The music they play is a mix of classic rock, blues and soul, heavily influenced by the late 60’s and 70’s era.
The bands notes state that they play a “gritty and nostalgic fusion of classic rock and blues inspirations” and they are not wrong! You could almost have been transported back four decades as soon as this EP kicks in with the track ‘Might Be Keeping You’, which, by the way was picked for Classic Rock Magazine’s Best Of The Year in 2018!!
And Classic Rock, themselves, couldn’t have summed it up any better if they had tried; “spewing embers of psychedelic wonder, Stew emerged from Sweden this year with an album so far out that half of us still haven’t come back. This track is a highlight, a deep, rumbling ode to the days when metal was acid-rock and life was consistently wild.”
With groovy riffs, strong vocals (love this guy’s voice!) and swinging drums this is classic yet with a modern twist. With a little bit of blues, a little bit of rock and killer guitars, these guys have nailed the sound of the 60’s / 70’s with true musicianship.
With influences stated by the band including the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Free, Deep Purple, Grandfunk Railroad, Buddy Miles, Rory Gallagher and Spooky Tooth, these guys wouldn’t have been out of place at the great Woodstock Festival in 1969.
Despite only being around for just about two years, this band sounds like it is a seasoned veteran of the 60’s and 70’s and have decided to get back together for a reunion tour, playing all their old hits.
I loved this EP from the very moment it started and the only gripe I have with it is that’s it’s just not long enough! Just as I am really getting into it, it finishes. So, my next comment would be, I am REALLY looking forward to an album when one is done. I think that would be on my play list for a very long time to come!
The only other thing I can comment on about this EP and band is the fact that they are unsigned! Why these guys haven’t been snapped up by a record company is beyond me, but I hope they are very soon. With a little bit of support, Stew could really go places!!
1 Might Be Keeping You
2 If This Will Be
3 Tongue Tied
4 Dig For Gold

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King 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.

1968 – Ballads of the Godless

Ballads Of The Godless Cover

1968 – Ballads of the Godless
Release Date: 06/07/2018
Running Time: 38:24
Review by Alun Jones

Sometimes, without warning, it all comes flooding back and I’m thrust into the nightmare of that jungle. Thirty days on patrol with no chopper cover. The heat, unbearable; sweat running in rivers down my spine. Cradling my M16 like a good luck charm, praying under my breath that there ain’t no VC gonna unload a torrent of lead at me and my buddies. Trudging on, hour after hour, waiting to get back to the LZ for evac. Chukka-chukka-chukka, the Hueys overhead and the rush of wind from the blades.
Maybe these guys from 1968 were in Nam too. Maybe this debut album, “Ballads of the Godless” is actually a lost relic from those days that’s just been unearthed. Maybe 1968 invented heavy, psychedelic rock after hearing Hendrix and Cream and some of those old blues guys. Certainly seems crazy enough to be true.

Opening with “Devilswine”, 1968 lay out their ground plan confidently. It’s a mighty power groove that makes your head nod, setting the tone for the whole album. “Screaming Sun” follows and adds a more psychedelic shine, Jimi Coppack’s vocals soaring while the riffs hammer. “Temple of the Acid Wolf” adds further intricate detail, with shades of vintage Soundgarden. 1968 set about laying waste to all in its sights like Ozzy manning the Air Cav machine gun on a strafing run.

It’s not all Ride of the Valkyries mayhem however. Last track on Side 1 (vinyl lovers!), “S.J.D.” is an instrumental that provides a more reflective tone. Acoustic guitar and piano feature, in a stylistically fine salute to the classics of the genre.

This bleeds nicely into Side 2, track 1 – “Chemtrail Blues”, where guitarist Sam Orr gets chance to unleash Hendrixian guitar flourishes over a bluesy beat. It’s like that time me and my buddy chewed acid in a fox hole while under fire. The rocket traces in the sky lit up like God’s neon veins.

“McQueen” opens with some infectious bass, before melting out of a mellow vibe and into a crushing chorus. The bottom end is nice and heavy throughout, The Bear delivering pummelling yet warm playing.

Rhythms are also tight and show a groove more contagious than jungle malaria. Dan Amati on drums shines on “The Hunted” in particular. Final track “Mother of God” brings on a deceptively laid back, acid dripping feel as we finally get some R’n’R in Saigon.

“Ballads of the Godless” reveals more and more depth, thought and intricacy with each listen. On this first album, the band make good on a lifetime studying from the past masters. My only question is how will 1968 continue to evolve and add to their sound? I can’t wait to find out.

For now, it’s back to reality. No more choppers overhead, cries in the jungle and that oppressive, relentless heat. Until I spin “Ballads of the Godless” again…

01. Devilswine
02. Screaming Sun
03. Temple Of The Acidwolf
04. S.J.D.
05. Chemtrail Blues
06 McQueen
07. The Hunted
08. Mother Of God


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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun 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.