Thundermother – Black And Gold

Black And Gold Album Cover Art

Thundermother – Black And Gold
AFM Records
Release Date: 19/08/22
Running Time: 42:49
Review by Simon Black
9/10

Thundermother somewhat impressed me last year when I reviewed their re-issued expanded edition of their “Heatwave” from 2020. So I grabbed this one with open arms, because shit-hot Hard Rock bands of this calibre are a rarity in a crowded market full of copycats. It’s impressive not least for the fact that they had to practically start again from the ground up after some crippling line-up changes since their debut, but this incarnation of the band have a lot going for them. 

As with last time out, the music is back to basics anthemic Hard Rock, with roots back to the early 80’s, but a Modern and hugely up to date feel to them. With a lovely fat guitar sound and a huge dose of crunch-bang-wallop that evokes AC/DC on a good day (in sound that is, although to be fair you get stylistic nods as well from time to time – the title track being the most obvious occasion but ‘I Don’t Know’ probably owes Angus royalties too) this album belts you where it hurts right from the get-go.

With nothing coming in over four and a half minutes, these ladies deliver a dozen tight, well-structured and highly anthemic belters that really belong on bigger stages before long, which considering their reputation live can not be too far away. Five albums and a painful reboot later, and this does not sound like a band with any shortage of fire, energy or potential. Obviously, in any commercially pitched outfit aimed at the more Melodic end of the market, there’s a few slower numbers in there, but these too work seamlessly, as Guernica Mancini’s vocals are little short of spectacular. Soulful, powerful and with a lustrous emotional edge that Steven Tyler would tip the nod to. She must be one of the strongest players in this scene today.

This incarnation of the Swedish four piece is an absolute powerhouse though, and these four ladies are destined for much, much more if they can keep this up. Gutsy, beautifully written, lavishly produced and heart-pumpingly delivered, this one is clearly going to get a lot more play time from me…

‘Watch Out’ Official Music Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Light In The Sky  
02. Black And Gold 
03. Raise Your Hands  
04. Hot Mess  
05. Wasted 
06. Watch Out 
07. I Don’t Know You 
08. All Looks No Hooks  
09. Loud And Free 
10. Try With Love 
11. Stratosphere 
12. Borrowed Time

LINE-UP:
Filippa Nässil – Guitar
Guernica Mancini – Vocals
Emlee Johansson – Drums
Mona “Demona” Lindgren – Bass

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.

Sole Syndicate – Into The Flames

Into The Flames Album Cover Art

Sole Syndicate – Into The Flames
Scarlet Records
Release Date: 17/06/22
Running Time: 01:08:18
Review by Simon Black
10/10

Sweden’s Sole Syndicate somewhat blew me away with their 2020 Sophomore “Last Days of Eden”, so much so, that it landed firmly and squarely in my top ten list for that somewhat painful year, so expectations are somewhat high for this ‘tricky third’ album. Journalists always harp on about this sort of phrase by the way and it harks back to the ye olden days when bands would have songs lined up for labels that they had been honing for years before getting signed, the best of which would make it to album number one, the rest and some odds and sods on the second… before the shocking realisation that the cupboard was now bare and a third album was overdue. It’s probably irrelevant these days, given most acts have been having to keep the creativity going before then with EP’s and demos in a digital world that is not satisfied for you to simply recycle old material once you land a deal.

But it’s still a useful benchmark, because it often marks a turning point for a band in other ways, as they hit the point where they have been probably at this for the best part of a decade, have established themselves and feel they can experiment a little… This can be a dangerous experiment for many however – diverge too far from your core sound and you alienate the fanbase; stay too samey and people quickly point it out to you. There’s a razor fine line between these two stops and I am pleased to say that Sole Syndicate are walking that tight rope perfectly fine, thank you very much.

Whereas “The Last Days of Eden” was a rose tinted, yet soulfully sadness tinged slab of beautifully crafted Melodic Hard Rock, “Into The Flames” is way darker, more sombre and brutally heavy in comparison. Thematically it’s taking the concept one stage further, given what we’ve all lived through over the last two years and its subject matter focusses on the damage we are doing to our Eden, and indeed ourselves. Opening with the ruthlessly delivered and Djent-tinged single ‘Forsaken’ this is an album that keeps battering for a long time without losing momentum. 

It’s also got a much fatter, polished production sound to it as well, which lends it an epic feel in comparison to the stripped back to basics Hard Rocking of their previous album. What it feels like is the natural evolution of a band moving from tracks that work well in sweaty clubs to those that need more depth and structure in larger venues, which I hope they will start to play despite the damage the pandemic has done to their momentum (although to be fair that’s a level playing field for the whole industry).

Performance wise the band have lost none of the edge and I still remain amazed that Jonas Månsson delivers all the lead vocal and guitar parts on his own, or indeed that this is a four piece band, given how much depth and layering is going on this time out. Despite its length, these songs are so well crafted that time just flies. Even the nearly eleven minutes run time of the closing title track does not outstay its welcome, allowing changes, complexity and a hint of the progressive to lead you by the ears and steal you away.

Darker and heavier than it’s predecessor, yet losing none of the Melodic heart-twinges and soulful delivery that won me over before, this is a natural progression of a band that started with ten from me, and just went up to eleven. This isn’t a change of direction, this is a launchpad…

‘Forsaken’ Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Forsaken
02. Count to Zero
03. Brave Enough
04. Shadow of My Love
05. Miss Behave
06. Dust of Angels
07. Sunset Strip
08. Do You Believe
09. In the Absence of Light
10. Freak Like Me
11. Back Against the Wall
12. Into the Flames

LINE-UP:
Jonas Månsson – Vocals, Guitar
Katja Rasila – Keyboards, Vocals
David Gustafsson – Bass, Vocals
Henrik Zetterlund – Drums

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 D.I.G

EMQ’s with D.I.G

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Bengtsfors, Sweden based Hard Rock Power Trio D.I.G. Huge thanks to guitarist/vocalist Björn Holmström 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 Björn and I play guitar and sing in D.I.G. The history of the band is that we formed for my 30th birthday party. We played some covers and found that playing together was really fun! Since I had some tunes written we continued to play, and the rest is history so to speak 😉

How did you come up with your band name?

Getting a good band name is one of the hardest things ever! And our name might not be the easiest but it was fun when we decided. We had a little band party and we joked around with names. This was during Christmas time and I said “dopp I grytan” in English that would be “dip in the pot” it´s a Swedish Christmas thing 😊 and then we just put dots between and hey you got D.I.G!

What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?

We are from Sweden. Sweden has produced a lot of metal bands so the scenes for bands are pretty good! There are a lot of good metal studios and producers. What is not good is the live scene! The rock metal scene is getting smaller every year with clubs closing down or shifting focus. People need to get out off the couch and support live music.

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

We have a pretty new single out called ‘In The Blink Of An Eye’. A pretty straight forward rock song! And we will probably release a new single in October.

‘In The Blink Of An Eye’ (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

My parents always loved music, my dad played guitar and my mom played piano. So, I guess they are the ones that got me into music. But I remember KISS was the first big influence. But man, I have soooo many bands I like and that I feel have influenced me a lot.

What first got you into music?

KISS made me get interested in music and the at age 13-14 me and a childhood friend started our first band! We played a bunch of Black Sabbath songs but I don’t think we ever wrote our own material.

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

Since I´m a rocker I would get Mike Portnoy (Ex Dream Theater and more) on drums, Dug Pinnick on bass (King´s X) Mark Tremonti on guitar (Alter Bridge) and Russel Allen on vocals (Symphony X) And I would just hang around and try to act as cool as possible haha.

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

Sweden Rock Festival! Since it´s the biggest rock festival in Sweden it would be so much fun the be able to play there! But also, Hellfest in France would be cool! Just such an amazing festival and the feeling is so cool there.

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

Weeeell, do we have fans haha? Yeah some! But getting a gift hmmm don’t know if that has happened yet? May be some beer and booze haha.

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

Hang on! This corona shit will end and then we will get back on the road and we hope to see you all then!

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

Chris Cornell! Miss that voice so much!

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

The community! Musicians getting together and talking music and gear that’s the best!

I do hate that people don’t take musicians and music seriously. Music today is just something that people take for granted, or at least the masses do. Everybody I know listens to music but they don’t want to contribute to the craft behind it. Just pay Spotify and everything is ok! People need to support music and artists so that they can survive and keep on doing music.

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

I would like bands and artists to have a fair chance of making a living on music! People need to understand music ain’t free. We do put a lot of time into our craft, learning to play, writing music, recording music, releasing music! It´s a long chain and today people go on youtube to watch music and Spotify to listen. I think Spotify should be like 39 dollars per month and they should start paying the artist more per stream! Feels like I could rant on forever hehe.

But yeah there are a lot of things to change!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

One of, not the most! But one of my favourite albums is “Images And Words” by Dream Theater. Just a classic album!

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

I see it like this! For audio quality CD! If an album is made today it would sound better on CD. Vinyl is great for albums that was originally released on vinyl. A Cassette is just hipster to me haha.

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

Bomber Bar in Motala (Sweden) and Lilla helfvetet in Mora (Sweden) Great gigs with great people! I really hope they can survive during these hard times cause we would love to go back there!

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

Own a BBQ joint! I love to cook and BBQ is the best!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Oh man that’s tough! It should be interesting people and fun! Like this I think

1. Quentin Tarantino, cause he can talk a lot. 2. The Johansson brothers (ex Yngwie) because they can get the party going haha. 3. Sofia Vergara, Actress, she seems funny and pretty good looking. 4. Ricky Gervais, no comments needed. 5. Karl Pilkington!

What’s next for the band?

We are going to hit the studio and record music! We plan to release an album by the end of the year.

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

Please follow us on:
www.facebook.com/digband/
www.youtube.com/c/digtheband
www.open.spotify.com/artist/6hu6g5p29GPAydztJU7wU1

We are also on Spotify ,Itunes and more! Just search for D.I.G and listen to the songs ‘In The Blink Of An Eye’ and ‘Think’ to get an idea of who we are.

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

What are Jaffa Cakes?????? Please send some 😉

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.

Corroded – Bitter

Corroded - Bitter Cover

Corroded – Bitter
Despotz Records
Release Date: 25/01/2019
Running Time: 50:15
Review by Tsarina Wilson
10/10

When first listening to this album, I went from track to track thinking “oh this is my favourite track” then the next one came on and it was “no this one is.” Then I got to the end and there wasn’t one single track I could fault or think that wasn’t quite as good.
Swedish hard rock band, Corroded’s debut album “Eleven Shades of Black” was released in 2009 and their track “Time and Again” was used in the Swedish version of ‘Survivor.’
In 2010 the band won the “Breakthrough of The Year” award at Bandit Rock Awards and their next album “Exit to Transfer” went straight to number six in the Swedish Album chart. They then went on the write ‘Age of Rage’ for EA Games, a song that would feature as the theme song for the “Battlefield Play4Free,” and it achieved its gold status with millions of streams being downloaded.
After that “Defcon Zero”, which pushed every limit, and they hit the road with both Pain and on their own successful European headline tour, which made them one of the most prominent Swedish hard rock acts, and fully deserved too.
“Bitter” will leave you with no doubts as to just how good these guys are. There are crushing riffs, and vocals that sound like they come from the bowels of hell. They are powerful and explosive, but you can tell they have a passion for what they do.
Their last album was recorded 6 years ago but, due to a shift of labels it was only released in 2017, so the band spent a lot of time touring to keep the fans happy. Although touring the world was fun to play for the fans, they also knew they had to make another album sooner rather than later as not to lose momentum. This left the guys only one weekend to write material (wow no pressure then!) Once they started, though, lyrics were not hard to sort, as the break with their first record label and the political state of the world, had them all irritated and angry.
“We felt it was time to move on and there’s no better way to do it than to make a hard-hitting metal album.”
The first track ‘Bitter INTRO’ I was thinking ok, I must have got the wrong album, as the 2:21 track is almost Jean-Michel Jarre-like and not what I was expecting at all. But you must expect the unexpected from this album as you’re soon left in no mind what these guys are capable of.
If you need any more proof of it after listening to the album, then check out their videos. They are epic and seeing their lead singer Jens Westin in a silver suit body bopping on the floor in the video to their track ‘Burn’ had me in stitches.
Guys you are something else! Totally brilliant!
Talking of ‘Burn’, the manic tempo, full of anger and the emphasis on the BUUUUUURN in such a deep growl, gets to your soul and then, just as you think the track is ending, you slip into a Spanish guitar interlude. But please don’t worry, the guys haven’t suddenly gone soft, as within a short time, you are back to amazing guitar riffs and heart thumping drumming.
The band consists of Jens Westin on vocals and guitar, Thomas Anderson on guitar and backing vocals, Bjarne Elvsgar on bass and Per Solang on drums, and together give us a dark, melancholic, angry, album that is full of rage. This comes out so much in the track ‘Black’ you can really hear the anger and frustrations these guys have been through and their way of expressing it is literally music to our ears. There is no hiding away from the passion these guys have put into this album and I’m sure the crowds at their shows are crazy, with lots of fist pumping and headbanging going on.
‘Scream’ has a crazy speed, with totally insane drumming and the vocals leave you with a sore throat and those guitar riffs are just from another world.
Yes, the album is dark and angry, but you must listen to it over and over again! It’s just so damn good. It’s an album of what nightmares are made of but, wow what a nightmare!
Just epic!
TRACKLISTING:
01. Bitter INTRO
02. Breathing
03. Cross
04. Burn
05. Black
06. Testament
07. Scream
08. Cyanide
09. Destruction
10. Time
11. Drown
12. War
LINKS:

Corroded – The Official Website


http://www.instagram.comcorroded_sweden
https://www.instagram.com/corroded_sweden/
https://despotz.bigcartel.com

 
Promo Pics
 
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.

Volster – Perfect Storm

Perfect Storm Cover Art

Volster – Perfect Storm
Rock of Angels Records
Release Date: 20/04/2018
Running Time: 52:16
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

If there was ever a case of don’t judge a book by its cover (or in this instance by its name) then its Volster. When I was first assigned this to review, I must admit my heart sank a teeny tiny bit. I was certain that they were going to be a black metal band with a name like that, and although I know reviewing means stepping out of your comfort zone occasionally, I wasn’t in the mood for a black metal band.

So, imagine my surprise, and joy, when track number one “King of the Hill” came through the speakers!

No more of a black metal band than I am the Queen of Sheba, Volster are, in fact, a melodic, hard rock band from Sweden, and features ex members of Masquerade and House of Heavy.

The band was started by guitarist Ulf Anderson and bass player Henrik Lundberg, who were both members of the band Masquerade in the late 80’s and early 90’s. They met up in 1996 to record a four song demo, called Volster, but nothing much more happened.
In 2013 (17 years later!!) they decided to pick up where they left off and plans were made to start a band, performing the songs from the demo and also writing new ones. They kept the name Volster.

Says Henrik Lundberg: “brought up with music from the 70’s and 80’s the roots are deep. So, it is no surprise our music is built from these glorious decades even if we also involve some more modern flavours. The main ingredient is the melody, what else makes a great song other than the great vocals and interesting riffs, of course. With member having been active in the music business for decades, now is the time to make all our music dreams come true, playing the music we love. Volster is melodic hard rock as it’s supposed to be.

And I couldn’t agree more. I always preferred the heavy side to US glam rock with bands such as Skid Row and Motley Crue, but Volster offer a bit more. Throw in a bit of Aerosmith and a touch of Ozzy and you are the way to getting what this band is about.

As previously mentioned, the album kicks off with the infectious “King of the Hill” and it doesn’t let up until it finishes with the heavy “Ends With Me”. The album is full of stomping rhythms and heavy riffs, which mixed with clean and clear vocals, makes for an awesome hard hitting rock album.

Although this is the debut full length album for the band, they are by no means the new kids on the block. A wealth of experience to draw on and a passion to make the music they want to, how they want to, means they are at an advantage to other bands releasing their debut album.

Produced by themselves, the album is also co-produced and mixed by Max Norman (Ozzy Osbourne, Lynch Mob, Armored Saint, Lizzy Borden, Megadeth and Y&T) and mastered by Thomas ‘Plec’ Johansson (Soilwork, Onslaught, Armageddon, Degradead, Dynazty) at The Panic Room Mastering.

“Breathless” is probably my favourite track on the album but there are plenty of others that I also enjoyed. The songs are well written and fantastically executed. These guys are great musicians on top of everything else, with their sound firmly stuck in the classic hard rock era.

This is a must have album for every modern hard rock fan and I certainly will be keeping my eye holes and ear balls open for anything new they do!

TRACKLISTING:
01. King Of The Hill
02. Heaven Or Hell
03. Perfect Storm
04. Breathless
05. Still In Love
06. Babylon
07. Hero
08. Games Of War
09. Easier Said Than Done
10. I Don’t Care
11. Drifting Away
12. Ends With Me

LINKS:

Volster Promo Pic

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.