Wallace’s Top Ten Releases Of 2021

Wallace’s Top Ten Releases Of 2021
By Wallace Magri

Hi all, Beth here! We have one more top ten in store for you, and this time it’s from Wallace, who, alongside Victor, makes up our Brazilian team! Wallace is a joy to have on the team, and I’ve been inspired by his passion for music many times. So let’s see what his favourite releases are from this last year. Over to you Wallace…

Hi, you all. 2021 was my first-year writing for Ever Metal, and it is quite an honour for me, because I am from Brazil and I always wished to have the opportunity to talk to people from all around the world about my favourite musical style: Industrial Metal! I used to contribute to webzines from Brazil, but I had to write in Portuguese, so few people from abroad could keep in touch with my impressions about the albums I reviewed.

So, I asked my mate from Brazil, Victor Augusto, to talk to the guys from Ever Metal about giving me a chance to write an Industrial Metal review for the blog. That was how I debuted here, reviewing Terminal’s “Blacken the Skies” first album. As a matter of fact, that was supposed to be a one-time collaboration for Ever Metal but, suddenly, I was invited to join the team!!! It was a great gift for me, because it allowed me to get in touch with the folks from Team Ever Metal, and I was also able to help them by reviewing some of the hundreds of releases that get to us every month.

I wish I could have done more, but I did my best, and I listened to a lot of new music from underground bands, and I consider it was a great year for Metal music – as a fallout from the ongoing pandemic, bands took their time to get into the studio and share with us their emotions and creativity, through the fourth form of art: Music.

So, here it goes – my Top 10 albums list, based mainly on the releases that I reviewed in 2021, but it also has other bands’ releases that I wasn’t able to write about (just because time goes by so fast and I am such a lazy typer guy…). And, of course, I selected some albums from Brazilian’s bands that I think you should take a listen to.

Hope you enjoy it!

1. Eisbrecher – “Liebe Macht Monster”

This was a killer release! I really love Neue Deutsche Härte’s heavy guitar riffs and powerful chorus, mixed with the Dark-Electro/Gothic Rock vibe, whose elements are all over “Liebe Macht Monster”. 

I know that Eisbrecher are well known in Europe, but in Brazil metalheads use to ignore that musical style, since we are very conservative, as a rule, over the Heavy Metal genres that we consume here – Traditional/Power/Thrash/Death Metal, basically – which is a shame. 

After all, Metal Music can be delivered in many ways, even through electronic sonorities and gloomy sampled ambiences.  Why not give NDH a chance? So, in honour of my Brazilian friends, aiming for them to keep an open mind for electronic elements on Heavy Metal music, Eisbrecher is my Top release of 2021!

Liebe Macht Monster Album Cover Art

https://www.facebook.com/eisbrecher

2. NYTT LAND – “Ritual”

As I told you before, since I became a regular reviewer for Ever Metal, I’ve taken the opportunity to explore musical styles that I don’t usually listen to. That was how I got in touch with Nytt Land’s “Ritual”, and it was a total surprise for me. I spent, literally, 5 weeks in a row listening to this album on repeat mode.

This isn’t a collection of habitual Folk Metal songs, that tend to sound a little bit too festive, and kind of cartoonishly exotic for foreigners’ tastes. Nytt Land took Folk Metal to the next level on “Ritual” and completely blew me away!

What we have on “Ritual” is an authentic shamanic ritual song collection, where the heaviness of the music arises from the traditional folk instruments such as flutes, tagelharpa, and horns, with a few inserts of samples taken from live sounds of Nature, as well as throat singing techniques. 

Heavy music right through the elements of Mother Earth. Bravo!

Ritual Album Cover Art

https://www.facebook.com/nyttland

3. Mercic – “MERCIC_7_2021” / “MERCIC_8_2021” 

That one was reviewed by Beth Jones, and I loved the way she put in words what is heard on Mercic’s Industrial Metal double assault release, “MERCIC_7_2021” / “MERCIC_8_2021”! 

I have reviewed Mercic’s previous releases for a Brazilian blog around 2017 and 2020 and, eventually, I became friends with Carlos Maldito, the man behind Mercic, which made it possible for me to follow the creation of this Industrial double masterpiece.

What we have here are two albums that complement one another. On the album #7, Carlos highlights the heaviness of Industrial Metal programming samples and dystopic ambiences, that are the soundtrack for him to sing his Experimental Poetry, in Portuguese, regarding loss, anger and urging the listeners to free themselves from the shackles of our fake society’s values.

On the album #8, Carlos explores the different textures and ambiences provided by the electronic elements, along with acoustic guitars and piano in the mixture, where Industrial music dialogues with the Portuguese’s fado elements, showing us that electronic music isn’t always about dancing. If you enjoy Nine Inch Nail’s “Ghost V-VI” ambience, you certainly gonna like this one!

Mercic 7 8 Album Covers

https://www.facebook.com/MERCICmusic

4. Terminal – “Blacken The Skies”

That was the first album that I reviewed for Ever Metal, so, of course, it is very special for me. As everybody knows, in Brazil we speak Portuguese, so English isn’t my mother tongue, so it takes me a lot of effort to keep my mind focused on the syntactic structures of the English language, while my brain tries to find the right semantic terms to express my impression on the albums.

I must thank Ever Metal’s staff for the effort in the proof reading of my texts and I am pretty sure that, in a lot of ways, most of my reviews are the result of the collaboration of my struggle trying to write reviews in English with the kindness of Ever Metal’s staff to help me to reach that goal! Thank you, folks, it means a lot to me!

Regarding Terminal’s debut album, “Blacken the Skies”, as I wrote in the review: The music heard on ‘Blacken the Sky’, the debut album from Terminal, a Canadian studio project idealized by Tomas Mark Anthony – who is a producer, singer and multi-instrumentalist – is hugely influenced by the already mentioned New German Hardness. However, it is not common sense harsh Industrial that is delivered over the 12 songs on the album, since the Dark Electro stablished ambience dialogues with 70’s Glam Rock right in the first song, ‘Terror Ride’ – whatta instant hit it is, Marc Bolan would say, if he was sat right here by my side, while I write this review. He would find quite the same catchy chorus here that was heard on ‘Get It On’, but with a very distinct approach. And surely the T Rex leader would approve it right away.

I also would like to thank Mark Anthony, who inspired me with “Blacken The Skies” cool songs in my first ride on the UK’s album review fields!!!

Blacken The Skies Album Cover Art

https://www.facebook.com/terminal.industrial

5. Dorsal Atlantica – “Pandemia”

Dorsal Atlantica was one of the very first Brazilian’s Heavy Metal bands, formed around 1979. They started as a Punk Rock band actually, but their sound became heavier and heavier in the 80’s, until they reached their own Extreme Metal formula, on the classical album “Antes do Fim” (1986).

The band’s leader, Carlos Lopes, is a total Left Wing guy and, as some of you might know, here in Brazil we elected a complete Right Wing Religious Lunatic as a President, called Jair Bolsonaro, who is as much of an asshole as Donald Trump use to be – with the only difference being that ‘our’ President speaks his stupid things in Portuguese!

So, on “Pandemia”, Carlos Lopes completely tramples on Brazil’s President and his supporters, creating a fable that tells the story of an empowered mule, followed by gorillas, who oppress the birds, who represents the innocent and poor people from Brazil. Musically, despite the Heavy Metal and Punk influences “Pandemia” is basically composed on typical Brazilian musical styles patterns – like forró and candomblé rhythm sections – and native musical instruments, such as a ‘guitarra baiana’.

“Pandemia” was a crowdfunding project, supported by more than 500 Metalheads from Brazil. Of course, I was one of them, that’s why I have a copy of it right here in my home, with my name written in the support acknowledgements – that is what authentic metalheads do, they support financially the local bands scene.

Anyway, if you want to purchase it, I think you can find “Pandemia” on a local store’s website, named Die Hard Records. (www.diehard.com.br)   

Pandemia Album Cover Art

https://www.facebook.com/dorsalatlantica

6. Skold – “Dies Irae”

That was another album that I was very proud of reviewing for Ever Metal, because I’ve followed Tim Skold’s musical career since he formed Shotgun Messiah, back in the 80’s – a Hair Metal band that moved from Sweden to Los Angeles looking for success.

The funny thing about my connection with Skold’s music is that, just like him, somewhere in the 90’s I traded the Hair Metal band’s Hard Rock style and I also migrated to Industrial Metal. That transition is well represented on Shotgun Messiah’s last record, “Violent New Breed” (1993), one of the very first Industrial Metal albums to date.

Then, I followed Tim Skold through the KMFDM era and I was amazed when he joined one of my favourite artists, Marilyn Manson, for a couple of years, first playing bass and, afterwards, composing and playing guitar on Manson’s underrated album “Eat Me, Drink Me” album.

“Dies Irae” brings Tim Skold back to the Heavy Metal guitar riffs, to reinforce the gloomy Dark-Electro musical ambience, that was missing on his previous solo albums. ‘Dirty Horizon’, ‘Terrified’ and ‘This is the Way’ were always in my headphones, around 2021!

Dies Irae Album Cover Art

https://www.facebook.com/skoldofficial

7. Dirty Glory – “Miss Behave”

Now that you already know that I am from Brazil and that I also love Hair Metal, I want to introduce you to a super cool Glam Metal band from Brazil named Dirty Glory, who kicks ass on “Miss Behave”, their second album, released in July.

Actually, I started to write a review for this album, but around July/August my life was a complete mess, so I couldn’t manage finishing it. It was a crazy year for all of us, so I did my best to keep my mind straight and tried not to push myself too hard on my many professional and hobbies activities…

Anyway, you should take a look at “Miss Behave”, because, aside from the great musical skills of the Dirty Glory members, what we have here isn’t only revival of the Hair Metal’s Golden Era. It felt to me like the band had picked it up from where the 80’s bands left it off, driving that musical style to new perspectives, as heard on ‘Faded Mirrors’, ‘The Maze’ and ‘Sacred Hearted’.

Unfortunately, Dirty Glory announced their split just a couple of days before I finished this review, which is very sad news to the Brazilian underground scene, and for anyone around the world who enjoy good songs, full of good energetic compositions and great execution.

I hope they reconsider their decision and get back together soon, to the benefit of us all!

Miss Behaving Album Cover Art

https://www.facebook.com/dirtyglory

8. Ministry – “Moral Hygiene” 

As you may have noticed, my Top 10 Best of List shows some of the albums that I have reviewed for Ever Metal in 2021, and other ones released by underground bands, because it is our duty to support bands with little media exposure.

I think that Ministry is halfway between the mainstream media and underground. Once again, I haven’t reviewed that album for Ever Metal, because I was stuck with personal issues, and I also had lots of work to do in my regular job (in my spare time I am a bloody lawyer!!). 

But I did listen to “Moral Hygiene” a lot, like a hundred times, and I felt really amazed by how Al Jourgensen found himself able to compose and produce cool Industrial Metal music after getting himself rid of massive drug abuse. And “Moral Hygiene” is one of the best Ministry albums to date, where we find an (almost) sober Al revisiting his band’s legacy, featuring Jello Biafra, from the Dead Kennedys, on ‘Sabotage is Sex’ (Al and Jello used to play together in an Industrial Punk project named Lard, back in the 90’s), and we can also listen to some songs that connects to the “Twitch”-era (1986), such as ‘Death Roll’ and ‘Believe Me’.  

Of course, most of the album is based on traditional Industrial Metal, the musical style that Ministry created in the 80’s. So, Industrial Metalheads, you are summoned up to check out this one!!

Moral Hygiene Album Cover Art

https://www.facebook.com/WeAreMinistry

 9. Nephila – “Nephila”

I am going to finish my Top 10 List with two bands whose musical styles are very different from what I used to listen to, but they caught my attention since the first time that I listened to their albums, thanks to their authenticity.

The first one is Nephila’s debut self-titled album, that I decided to pick up randomly from Ever Metal’s monthly releases’ list and I was quite surprised with their Space Rock musical journey. That was an amazing experience, and it allowed me to find one of the best albums of the year, out of my Industrial Metal comfort zone.

What a trip it was to review “Nephila”, as I wrote in the my impressions for the album: Highly recommended for those who are into listening to consciousness expansion music, with a lot of Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Iron Butterfly, Hawkwind and 70’s Prog Rock’s experimentations. Take it easy on the pink haze smoke and dry mushrooms made of rainbows, and just let the music fly you away to outer space.”

Nephila Album Cover Art

https://www.facebook.com/swenephila

 10. Switchback – “Batendo de Frente” 

And, to finish my list, I must mention the second EP from Brazilian based band Switchback, “Batendo de Frente”, who play a feracious Crossover Metal varying from Thrash Metal riffs to Punk HC simple musical structures – influenced by the 90’s Hardcore bands from the New York scene, such as Madball and, mostly DRI.

I’ve had the privilege of following the band’s trajectory since their beginning, and I can testify about their efforts to make underground music without any financial or mainstream media support.  “Batendo de Frente” is basically an album that was not meant to exist, if it weren’t for the strength and resistance of musicians and supporters who believe in underground music.

You should take a listen to “Batendo de Frente” (available on Spotify), if you are into Crossover Metal: 4 songs, 10 minutes, that’s all they need to deliver their message, fulfilled with anger, and hate against the oligarchy that dominates the circles of political power in Brazil, enriching themselves with the misery of our people!

Fuck them and Their Law!!

Batendo De Frente EP Cover Art

https://www.facebook.com/switchbackoficial

That’s all folks. Thanks to the readers who spent some time reading my reviews in 2021, and super thanks to everyone on Ever Metal’s crew who welcomed me with open arms. I want you to know that I love to read the reviews from the other Ever Metal members, who inspire me to push myself to write better texts to our readers every time I sit in front of my laptop with my headphone fuelled with Metal Music in my head!

See you in 2022!

Read Wallace’s original reviews here:

By Beth Jones

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.

Skold – Dies Irae

Dies Irae Album Cover Art

Skold – Dies Irae
Cleopatra Records
Release Date: 05/03/2021
Running Time: 38:18
Review by Wallace Magri
9.5/10

Tim Skold is well known as a multi-instrumentalist, synth programmer plus a highly requested composer and music producer. His first musical journey was around 1987 with the Swedish Glam/Sleaze Metal band Shotgun Messiah, that recorded three albums and, by the way, the last Shotgun Messiah’s release, “Violent New Breed” (1993), was one of the very first Industrial Glam/Rock albums to date. After splitting Shotgun Messiah, Tim Skold launched himself into a solo career, releasing “Skold” in 1996, and right after that, he was invited to join KMFDM.

For those who are not that familiar with Industrial Rock/Metal Music, KMFDM is an institution in that genre. They were one of the pioneers on turning the noisy-non-commercial Industrial’s original proposal (search for Throbbing Gristle on google) into a more electronic Heavy Oriented sound, once they realized that it would be a cool idea to sample really extreme heavy guitar riffs and repeat them to the limit, until it becomes a wall of sound that fit just fine with the Industrial noisy beats and raging vocal performances.

Tim Skold collaborated on KMFDM’s 1997 album “Symbols” and remained in the band for “Adios”, released in 1999. After leaving KMFDM he started to produce and compose with Marilyn Manson and ended up playing bass guitar on “The Golden Age Of Grotesque” (2003) and also composed all the songs, programmed the samples and produced Marilyn Manson’s 2007 underrated album “Eat Me, Drink Me”. On that album there were lots of good guitar licks and solos, performed by Tim Skold. On ‘Evidence’ I heard the best guitar solo ever, on a Manson album (I am sorry, John 5…).

Anyway, after being fired from Marilyn Manson, Tim Skold went back to his solo career for good, releasing “Anomie” (2011), “The Undoing” (2016) and “Never is Now” (2019). On those albums, Skold flirted a lot with Electro Synth Industrial and relegated the live guitar element to a second place role.

“Dies Irae”, on the other hand, is another kind of monster. “So let me start from the beginning, because that will help you understand”*. Skold’s fifth album is mostly built over ferocious live guitar riffs, as heard right in the first song, ‘Dirty Horizon’. That reminded me of Mercyful Fate’s ‘Don’t Break The Oath’ NWOBHM Satanic Music (which was my favourite bedtime nightmare music, in my messed up childhood back in the 80’s).If you enjoy those kind of guitar oriented Metal songs, but also accept some dark-electro ambience in the seasoning, just listen to ‘This Is The Way’, and tell me what you think about that kick ass guitar solo in the middle. On ‘Unspoken’ Tim Skold has, arguably, performed his best guitar solo to date (* By the way, I’ve taken the first verse of the ‘Unspoken’ lyrics to help me to introduce my impressions on the album)

After listening to “Dies Irae” a bunch of times, it felt like Tim Skold is in his best shape ever, delivering the kind of music that he helped to create along with KMFDM and mostly in the Marilyn Manson years, from whom he inherited that peculiar singing technique. So, beware, because Tim Skold’s vocals are something that the listeners need to get used to. Don’t expect something like King Diamond here because he sings in a constant growling and distorted style, for the purpose of expressing his feelings through his viscera.

On ‘Terrified’, Skold explores in its perfection that sort of “singing technique” and it really gives me Goosebumps, especially while he sings the melancholic chorus: “I am not afraid of dying/I am fucking terrified”. Follow that by listening to the post-electro-punk ‘Love Is A Disease’ and keep going with ‘As Above so Below’ and ‘Kill Yourself’.

On ‘Silicon Dreams’ he invocates his best David Bowie’s melodramatic approach in the pre-chorus, that fit just fine with Industrial Rock/Metal music. I am afraid to say that David Bowie ruled the crazy minds of all those “cyberpunks and crypto-anarchists”, such as Skold, Trent Reznor and Marilyn Manson, allowing them, in silicon dreams, be kings and queens, through their noisy machines, while worshipping Baphomet (*adapted from the ‘Silicon Dreams’ lyrics and listening to Bowie’s “Black Tie White Noise”, from 1993, right now).

The fact is that “Dies Irae” has many exciting moments and shows that Skold is delivering the goods to keep his relevance in the growing EMB/Gothic/Industrial scene. If you enjoy this kind of music, just push the play button and I am sure that you are going to enjoy the guitar work, the production, mixing and the excellent choices of programming and layers of noise that provides the songs a good taste of gloomy ambience that defines the general aesthetic of the album.

‘Dirty Horizon’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Dirty Horizon
02. Unspoken
03. The End Is Near
04. Terrified
05. Love Is A Disease
06. This Is The Way
07. Silicon Dreams
08. As Above So Bellow
09. Kill Yourself
10. Goodbye

LINE-UP:

Tim Skold – Guitars, Vocals and Programming

LINKS:

Skold 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.