Munroe’s Thunder – The Black Watch

The Black Watch Album Cover Art

Munroe’s Thunder – The Black Watch
RFL Records
Release Date: 11/11/22
Running Time: 52:16
Review by Simon Black

Ronny Munroe’s contribution to the US Power Metal scene in my humble opinion goes somewhat and criminally underrated. I guess part of the problem is that he has so often stepped into the lead vocal role for a number of established acts that have seen a decline in their fortunes before he got there, and therefore has the toughest job of all – that of bearing the front man’s burden as they endeavour to get back to where they once (when the vocalists’ the fans are expecting to see are no longer around). It’s a thankless job, and so far he’s done that for both Metal Church and Vicious Rumors most notably, but the reality is that he’s been rather prolific since the early 1980’s, contributing to numerous other acts and a plethora of work under his own name in recent years. I had the Frontiers Between Worlds project come across my desk last year, but that was less than satisfactory as it fell into the sausage factory category that much of that label’s output can tip into when the guest artists are treated like visiting session musicians in a high-volume factory model, rather than being front and centre when it comes to conceptualising, writing and delivery.

That personal element is what makes a massive difference here on “The Black Watch”. On the surface this might appear like yet another historical conceptual Power Metal album, of which let’s face it, there are too many to count, but this story (and it’s all about the somewhat gruesome 16th century period of Scottish history surrounding Mary Queen of Scot’s) has family tree links to Munroe’s own origins and consequently he’s thrown a lot of effort into making this feel a little more real and personal than so many of the endless cookie cutter Power concepts bother to do.

The other factor that helps massively is that this kind of endlessly repetitive Power output is very much the norm in Europe, and America’s take on Power Metal is a very different beast indeed. That historical contribution to Metal Church and Vicious Rumors stands front and centre at this point, because despite having a deep love for the Euro / Power variant, I’ve always found the USA variant far more interesting – as it’s closer in source to the NWOBHM root, whilst incorporating the harder Speed / proto-Thrash edge that was super important to the movement in the 80’s in America. That and a focus on writing accessible and commercially acceptable songs has always given this variant the edge for me, even if they’ve never been huge in the native lands, and all those strengths are brought to bear with this record.

Monroe is such a charismatic and powerful front man, that it’s an absolute joy to hear him throwing his enthusiasm and energy into this record. He’s still got one hell of a range on him, and I always prefer it when clean vocal delivery has that powerful and throatier Rock’n’roll edge to it, and this is what Munroe absolutely does best. ‘Thirty Years War’ stands head and shoulders above much of the material on here for that reason – as it’s all about his voice and delivery, and a song that as it slowly builds from its balladic and soft introduction just what a stylistic range he has. Not that the fist pumping rollercoaster style of the bulk of the rest of the album doesn’t deliver the goods too, and in spades.

Musically this is very much all about Munroe, and despite a very robust instrumental delivery from the rest of the band, they do take a back seat in the mix to allow him to do what he does best. But to be fair, I can’t really fault the song-writing of anything on here, as the precise construction allows for that storytelling to actually step forward, accentuated by Munroe’s controlled and emphatic delivery – something so many Power concepts completely miss. For once the story has a chance to grab you and make you want to keep listening, as opposed to being something buried so deep in the crafting that it takes hours of repeated listening to even begin to unpick this.

Accessible, powerful and with a rich and charismatic delivery, finally something that allows the world to see what this vastly underrated frontman can deliver when the shackles of being a hired hand for other people’s projects are lifted.

‘Echoes Of The Dead’ Official Audio

01. Battle Cry
02. The Black Watch
03. Awaken The Fire
04. Gray Hall
05. Babbington Mary
06. Brace For The Night
07. Dead Man’s War
08. Falkirk
09. Thirty Years War
10. Echoes Of The Dead
11. The Executioner

Ronny Munroe – Vocals
David Mark Pearce – Guitars, bass
BJ Zampa – Drums 
Justin Zych – Guitar 
Oliver Wakeman – Keyboards


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.

Exclusive Video Premiere – Playhouse – Dancing At Funerals

Exclusive Video Premiere
Playhouse – Dancing At Funerals
RFL Records
Release Date: 12/08/2022

Today, Playhouse, Canada’s melodic hard rock masters, drop a new video for ‘Dancing At Funerals,’ the title track from their brand new album that released on July 22nd. And here at Ever Metal, we are privileged to have the exclusive video premiere!

The video offers a deep and emotional look into the fine line between life and death. It encompasses everything about this album, and it is best explained by Playhouse vocalist Peter Cat: “The Song Is About Death Celebrating Life.” It is a dark, yet well-conceived video that touches plenty of emotions. 
And here it is!

‘Dancing At Funerals’ Official Video

About the band:

Formed in 1987, five high school friends set out to be the biggest rock band to ever come out of Canada. With a reputation for their high-energy shows and big anthems, they quickly began filling every club & theater that they played.  The band was destined for global success, selling thousands of copies of their two EPs; 1988’s “Little Monster” and 1990’s “Tongue, Tied & Twisted.” Just like so many bands in the early ’90s, the success that seemed to be theirs for the taking never fully manifested, and after almost a decade of decadence and steady touring in support of such bands as ExtremeKiller DwarfsLee Aaron and Harem Scarem, the band decided to call it quits. It was an end of an era………but some things never fully come to an end.
Fast forward to 2016, and the band reunited and entered the studio with veteran producer and guitarist of Slaves on Dope; Kevin Jardine, to record new songs. In 2017, for the 1st time in 25 years, Playhouse returned to the stage with a sold-out comeback show in Montreal, Canada. Many high-profile shows followed, including opening slots for The Dead Daisies, L.A. Guns, Buckcherry, Dizzy Reed’s Hookers & Blow, Helix, and Warrior Soul. The band also releases their first album “The Rock N’ Roll Circus” to critical acclaim in 2018 and followed that up with a single and video, “Revolution Tonight,” in 2020!
The band has joined forces once again with legendary Canadian producer Kevin Jardine(Faith No More, Mastodon, Run DMC, Cypress Hill, Anthrax, Korn, Sepultura, Beastie Boys, 3rd Bass, Men Without Hats). This album is sure to turn a lot of heads and will open the ears of the core fans as well as new listeners alike.

About the album:

The album “Dancing At Funerals” presents a mature and classic-sounding Playhouse, and a very diverse ride through 13 original, yet different tracks; it’s a musical journey through life.
Peter Cat explains: “Dancing At Funerals” is a beautifully-crafted, dark record. Inspired by the dead and written for the living. It’s our best record so far!
The album release has been preceded by the release of 3 singles, ‘The Storm,’ ‘Hell’s A Long Way Down’ and ‘Champagne,’ all have which have been receiving critical acclaim from media and fans alike. ‘Hell’s A Long Way Down’ is a great example of a more mature Playhouse and has been a front-runner for the album. 
Peter Cat gives some background about the track:  
“Danny sent me chords and music to a beautiful country song. I wrote a melody and lyrics about a sinner in Memphis, Tennessee who confesses on his death bed to a priest who also happens to be his younger brother. “Hell’s a long way down,” the priest says!
The track was recorded between September 2020 and May 2021 at Uplift Studios and produced by Kevin Jardine, written and performed by Playhouse. The video was filmed and directed by Jared Pollack of Jared Pollack Media.
Peter Cat: “This is a beautiful country rock song and we are really proud that it’s tasty like a Tennessee Whiskey”
The video for ‘Hell’s A Long Way Down’ can be viewed here:
The most recent single from the album, “Champagne,” features rapper Annakin Slade who delivers a cool and subtle piece to the song. The latest single switches gears from the band’s usual hard rock vibe and throws an emotional twist into a cool, summer, classic. The band offers some incite into the single:
Bassist, Danny Williams: “Pete came over to my place one night, we had some wine and ended up writing Champagne. Our producer Kevin Jardine suggested we get Annakin Slayd to lay down a rap and when all was said and done, we ended up with a feel-good summer song.”
Video for ‘Champagne’ can be viewed here:
Peter Cat: ‘Champagne’ is a quirky summertime love song inspired by a Greek goddess and written for the lovers and dreamers.”
“Dancing At Funerals” is now available in all digital formats at:
 Order The CD Now at:

Tour dates are being announced for the “Too Old To Die Young” Tour. Updates for everything that is Playhouse can be found at the links below.

Peter Cat – Vocals
Danny Williams – Bass
KK – Guitar
Eric “Freak” Westergard – Guitar
Steve Creep – Drums


Disclaimer: This article is solely the property of RFL Records, released to Ever Metal for the purposes of the video premiere of ‘Dancing At Funerals.’ It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this article, 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.

Turbosnake – Cold Blooded

Cold Blooded Album Cover Art

Turbosnake – Cold Blooded
RFL Records
Release Date: 30/07/2021
Running Time: 21:33
Review by Wallace Magri

I was a big fan of Hair Metal, back in the 80’s. It was in 1985 when I bought “Out of the Cellar”, from Ratt, and suddenly I was dragged into all the L.A.’s Sunset Strip Scene bands, specially the Glam/Sleaze Metal ones – W.A.S.P., L.A. Guns, Faster Pussycat, Mötley Crüe, Guns n Roses, Poison, etc – mostly due to their ‘fuck you attitude’. Even though they were dressing and looking like chicks, that combination of cross-dressing, and glitter looks, aligned to unpretentious, right in your face sleaze/punk 3 minutes songs,  seemed pretty impressive to me.

Personally, I’d had enough of Hair Metal music by the time bands like Firehouse, Trixter and Nelson invaded MTV’s video heavy rotation broadcasts. It’s not that I hated them, but they didn’t have the sleaze dirty balls, and outrageous attitude, to keep things going through the 90’s. Everything became too catchy and overly palatable, designed for the average audience’s consumption. And, unfortunately, the bands from the 80’s couldn’t handle their own devices, succumbing themselves thanks to internal fights and drug addictions, under the expanse of their dubious musical direction at that time.

Basically, what is heard on Ontario, Canada based Turbonsake’s new EP, “Cold Blooded”, is exactly a revival of that 80’s Hair Metal era. It’s clear right from the opening track, ‘Turbo Lovers’, which has a Sleaze Metal/Punk conduction, that reminded me a lot of the songs from Faster Pussycat’s debut album, and also “Appetite for Destruction” (the Sleaze Metal album from Guns n Roses).  2minutes and 46 seconds, that’s all Turbonsake need to shove their credentials right in our faces!

If you possibly have any doubt over Turbonsnake’s intentions, I think that a song called ‘Gas, Grass or Ass’ makes their point very clear, right? I even assume that you can manage a blind singing of that song’s chorus by yourself, completing the next verse: ‘Gas, grass or ass…’ (…nobody rides for free…). If it’s some Poison, weekend buzz, celebration music that you’re looking for, that is exactly what you get here!

Of course, you also have the Arena Rock style catchy and melodic song, ‘Lightning in a Bottle’, that sounds pretty honest to me. I mean, Turbosnake actually seem to enjoy what they’re playing here and, taking a look at the band’s press release, they are all very experienced musicians – all of them have been around for a while, playing with Hair Metal bands, whether it be their own songs, or cover songs from the 80’s bands (anyway, you can barely tell the difference between them…).

Also, according to the press release, Turbonsnake are about to hit the road and play their music live –a Glam Era extravaganza, complete with spandex, glitter and debauchery – only for a night, for good time sake. That seem a very appealing proposal, especially after all that we’ve been through in these crazy times. I think that everybody deserves to hang out all night long with no limits!

Sometimes music is just about having fun, drinking a beer, getting in trouble and laughing our asses off, eventually reminding us that the 80’s Hair Metal excesses had its charm.

01. Turbo Lovers
02. Gas, Grass or Ass
03. Road Warrior
04. Lightning In a Bottle
05. Drinking Tunes
06. Pit Viper

Vocals – Ryan Thomas
Drums – Brendan Douglas
Guitar – Andrew Tapley
Bass – Eric Roelofsen
Guitar – Grant Rushton


Turbosnake Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Wallace Magri 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.