Hand Of Doom – Stray From The Path

Stray From The Path Album Cover Art

Hand Of Doom – Stray From The Path
Release Date: 06/01/23
Running Time: 35:35
Review by Dark Juan

Here I am and here I remain. Even if my hearing hasn’t remained. I have foolishly been left to my own devices downstairs while Mrs Dark Juan has a snooze upstairs as she FINALLY succumbs to her almost Soviet work ethic. But without the gulags, oppression and Communism, obviously. There is no place for that sort of business in the glorious People’s Republic Of West Yorkshire where lads are lads and the lasses are… rather harder than the lads to be honest, judging by the amount of dresses a smidgeon below minge-base and high heels I have seen tottering through actual blizzards on my infrequent visits to the local hostelries. 

To be fair, that WAS just the lads.

Anyway, I am not here to tell you about the attire of the frankly terrifying ladies of the Calder Valley. A mere two of them have more teeth than the entire Osmond family and it is quite a singular sight to behold, ah tell thee. I AM HERE to tell you about the record I am currently spinning upon the goodly and puissant Platter of Splatter ™, which is one of our august editor Simon “Be Grateful It Wasn’t The Triple-CD Symphonic Power Metal One I Sent You, Despite You Agitating To Give It To Rory, You Massive Bullying Arsehole” Black’s wild card choices. This is a system we have evolved at Ever-Metal Towers to try and get some very underground bands some media coverage and bring them to the attention of the record-buying public, especially when they are doing all their own PR and pressing and the like. Obviously, with the pressures of day jobs, extremely limited budgets, families and suchlike, their requests don’t always get to us in time for release date, and such was the case with London-based Hand Of Doom, a Death Metal power trio. Hence the January release date. It didn’t help that their Google Drive file was password protected and I had to wait to gain access to the music, but gain entrance (fnarr fnarr) I did and now I am subjecting the inside of my head to some good old-fashioned violent fun.

First impressions of the album are that it is varied and surprising – for a Death Metal band, Hand Of Doom collectively possess considerably more chops musically than your average gorehounds. There’s elements of classic Morrisound Studios DM in the music as well as a rather strong Slayer influence in parts, although the production of the record is very much of the 80s Eurothrash blueprint. The guitar work is especially good, although lacking a certain amount of meat in the sound – a thicker sound would have been to the advantage of the band as their music needs a bit of chonk to it. However, there are times where the curiously lightweight production works, for example on the Hardcore-tinged ‘Blades’. Allowances must be made, however, for this is a debut record, and for the reasons I have already detailed in the paragraph prior to this one.

‘Living Corpse’ is a fucking decent tune though – a mix of Biohazard and Deicide without a branded dickhead at the helm. Speedy, dangerous and uncompromisingly murderous, this song lights the pleasure centres of Dark Juan’s brain up like a locked room full of half-naked virgins and a Viagra dispenser that Dark Juan has the only key for. Both the dispenser and the room…

The album opens and closes with some gorgeous chord medleys and classical guitar work and the title track (and album closer) is also worthy of note for the use of keyboards in there that brought a tear to this jaded old bastard’s eye because it reminded him of ‘Chapel of Ghouls’ by Morbid Angel. This can only be a good thing, because Hand Of Doom don’t play a style of DM like that so it is a nod and a knowing wink rather than blatant copyism. The music on the record as a whole is satisfyingly complex and well played and executed. There’s the odd dodgy switch of tempos or keys but it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the music which has an interesting Technical element to it without making Hand Of Doom a Tech Death band – dare I say this and piss the band off? Fuck it all, I’m going in. There’s the odd element of Kings X, of all people, that I can hear in there that lends an unusual (but wholly welcome) almost Prog element to the music. I have to say that I dig it.

One thing I fucking don’t dig though, is the utterly appalling drum sound on this album. The bass drum especially sounds like it is made from Amazon delivery boxes and plywood and is being whacked with a perilously close to being rotten halibut. It emits a flat, flaccid thud. The snare is frequently inaudible and the bass drum overpowers the rest of the kit to an alarming degree at times. When the drummer bashes the tinware, there are two options as to what the tinware is going to do – it either cowers trembling behind the sofa where it can’t be discerned, or it inhales a shitload of Bolivian marching powder and is all up in your face spoiling for a good old-fashioned straightener on the cobbles. There’s no happy medium. Also while I am criticising the production – stop doing a Newsted on the bassist and turn the poor fucker up. The vocals are fucking ear-shatteringly magnificent though.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has this to say about Hand Of Doom – they are a band that exude considerable promise and certainly have the talent to go far and do very very well, but they need to start exercising a bit of quality control on the production front and maybe invest a little more in this going forward. Otherwise, a jolly fine record that gets 6/10 for a flawed, but promising debut.

01. The Endless Path
02. Permafrost
03. Barbed Wire Noose
04. Bleeding Mind
05. Creeping Black
06. Blades
07. Living Corpse
08. Stray From The Path

Gus Everitt  – Guitar, vocals
Andreas Morelli-Mae – Bass, vocals 
Jonathan Hanen – 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.

Ingested – Ashes Lie Still

Ashes Lie Still Album Cover Art

Ingested – Ashes Lie Still
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 04/11/2022
Running Time: 44:00
Review by Rory Bentley 

In my never-ending quest to review everything Metal Blade puts out this year it’s time for some Brutal Death Metal that I’m only allowed to crank when my wife’s out because it gives her a headache (and I’m sick of hearing that excuse as it is – amirite lads?! Eh? Eh?). 

So, you know that Metal thing? Turns out the UK’s fucking great at it. We invented it when some lad called Tony chopped his fingers off over 40 years ago – and we’re pretty bloody great at it in the present day as well. Furthermore, it’s really satisfying that we’re really good at the nastiest, most foul aspects of it, as exemplified by local heroes like Venom Prison, Pupil Slicer and Dyscarnate. Ingested can also be added to that list as they come roaring back with album number six “‘Ashes Lie Still”.

Upon reading the press notes (for once) and seeing that this album potentially offers a departure and a more melodic approach, I was praying that this wouldn’t be the moment the band introduced bland clean vocals and castrated their absolutely vile Death Metal approach. Thankfully this proclaimed dynamism doesn’t compromise on the brutality one iota and still contains enough sonic bile to incite the desire to disrespect one’s surroundings. There are hulking riffs and big hooks throughout the album along with a healthy dose of melody, but the face-breaking intensity is always present; it’s just that now it’s catchy as fuck!

Despite featuring the lilting melodic vocals of Julia Frau, the title track opens things up in a suitably mean fashion, quickly racing to chug city via blast boulevard and shrieking like a seething pig / man hybrid all the way. Stitching the whole thing together is a clean picked arpeggio, that acts as an unsettling motif and a further demonstration of the band’s growth as songwriters. By the time the swelling majesty of the outro has hit like a tidal wave of anguish, it’s already clear that the sonic tweaks Ingested have made are a welcome addition to the band’s strong foundations, rather than an unnecessary reinvention.

On ‘Shadow In Time’ Jason Evans demonstrates his canny knack for creating big vocal hooks without having to do any actual singing and ruining everything. You guys know I love melodic vocals, but this kind of music works best when the front person sounds like a disgusting goblin creature experiencing severe road rage! As if they knew me personally, the band caps the song off in a flurry of deranged whammy-bar squealing and a beatdown section that made me want to commit abhorrent acts of extreme physical violence. More than usual I mean.

Not content with merely injecting their molten brand of filth with more compositional variety, the band have also enlisted the help of some excellent guest vocalists. Aside from the ethereal presence of the aforementioned Julia Frau, Aborted legend Sven De Caluwé lends his haggard pipes to the abrasive stomp of ‘Hollow Words’ and bolsters the scowling mantra of ‘Fuck your hollow words!’ in a cathartic anthem brimming with spite. Elsewhere Trivium main man and Metal polymath Matt Heafy lays down some shrill commanding growls on one of the album’s grandest moments ‘All I’ve Lost’, which features widescreen symphonic parts that elevate the surprisingly vulnerable lyrics to biblical heights.

Despite staying within the confines of Brutal Death Metal, there are enough bells and whistles added to the band’s tried and tested sound to make for an engaging and varied listen from start to finish, with things going out on a melancholic yet malevolent high on the tortured melodicism of ‘Scratch The Vein’. The runtime absolutely flies by even if everything on here doesn’t hit the emotional highs of the gut-wrenching ‘Tides Of Glass’, which is possibly the most successful incarnation of Ingested’s current direction.

All in all, this is an immensely satisfying release that will please the Death Metal die-hards while adding new dimensions and a magnificently huge production job that will no doubt broaden the band’s appeal. Like I said the UK rules at Metal, and this is an example to shove down the stupid throat of anyone that says otherwise. Sorry to be needlessly aggressive but this album does that to me! 

‘All I’ve Lost’ Official Video

01. Ashes Lie Still
02. Shadows In Time
03. You’ll Never Learn
04. Tides of Glass
05. From Hollow Words
06. Sea of Stone
07. All I’ve Lost
08. With Broken Wings
09. Echoes of Hate
10. Scratch the Vein

Jason Evans – Vocals
Sean Hynes – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Lyn Jeffs – Drums


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rory Bentley 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.

Venom Prison – Erebos

Erebos Album Cover Art

Venom Prison – Erebos
Century Media Records
Release Date: 04/02/2022
Running Time: 48:59
Review by Rory Bentley

Venom Prison have held a special place in my heart since my skin was peeled from my oversized head in 2015 by their frankly vile debut “Animus”. Their blend of traditional Death Metal twinned with the nastier end of Hardcore (without being Deathcore), combined with a lyrical approach that focused on real life horror over pantomime gore was an instant hit with me. 2019’s “Samsara” somehow managed to raise the ferocity levels and harrowing subject matter as demonstrated in the devastating ‘Uterine Industrialisation’ (which is about forced surrogacy, kids!). Point being, Venom Prison are, for my money, one of the best Death Metal bands in the world right now, both on record and live.

As great as they are at smashing your skull into powder though, there was a creeping sense on 2020’s stopgap release ‘Primeval’ (a re-recording of their first two EP’s with two new tracks added on), that the Welsh / Russian quintet had a little more in their locker than they were letting on. Possibly they were curbing their more experimental instincts in favour of dealing out the putrid Death Metal assault that they do better than pretty much everyone else. After all, it’s understandable that a band would want to play to their strength, experiments are a dangerous path to walk for many extreme bands; Suicide Silence and Morbid Angel arguably never recovered from their adventures away from their core sound.

When you’re an up and coming band in this incredibly fragile industry sometimes one false move can be incredibly costly, so I totally get the inclination to stay ‘on brand’,  but speaking purely as a music fan I crave progression and stylistic twists from my favourite bands. “Erebos” definitely makes no bones about sticking its neck on the line to do something different, but do these risks pay off?

As you can see by the score at the top of the page that was an utterly redundant question. Rarely have I seen a band make such a huge sonic departure and absolutely nail literally everything they were shooting for! From the cinematic intro track ‘Born From Chaos’, with its ominous gang chants of the album title it is evident that we are going to be getting a different Venom Prison, but in no way is one prepared for how different version 2.0 really is.

As scalding anthem ‘Judges Of The Underworld’ looms into view with its ferocious breakdowns, stomping slam riffs and seething attack on the criminal justice system we get Larissa Stupar introducing actual melodic singing, with the refrain of “Guilty As Charged” both crooned and roared like Burton C. Bell except, y’know… good! It doesn’t hurt that it has a crushing breakdown that could incapacitate a woolly mammoth as well.

Up next ‘Nemesis’ slugs you with a rousing Hardcore style vocal hook that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Slipknot album, appropriately the main riff has a real Nu-Metal bounce to it, though it never loses the grimy ferocity of Death Metal. There are also some eerie samples droning beneath the surface that add an extra wrinkle to the Venom Prison sound, already I’m invested in the band’s new direction – but there’s so much more to come.

‘Comfort Of Complicity’ is next with a very welcome nod to the hyper-speed aggression of previous albums, but yet again we get another curveball when it segues into the best Arch Enemy song you’ve heard for years. Guitarists Ash Gray and Ben Thomas erupt into the kind of regal melodic leads that would have Michael Amott and Jeff Loomis applauding as Larissa screams another anthemic hook over the top. My mind is already blown but nothing can prepare me for what follows.

‘Pain of Oizys’ begins with delicate piano and trip hop beats that owe more to Portishead than Pig Destroyer before we get an unrecognisable Larissa hauntingly crooning the most personal, fragile lyrics of her career. It’s genuinely gorgeous and moving, and when the rousing death metal chorus thunders in it hits so much harder. This is Venom Prison showing off now!

Although this is as extreme as the album gets in terms of sonic departure, there are still new ideas and revelatory moments on every song that follows. The wonderfully titled ‘Golden Apples of Hesperides’ features lilting eastern melodies as the backdrop to an allegorical attack on the evils of social media while ‘Veil of Night’ tugs at the heartstrings with a triumphant Melodeath rumination on grief.

By the time we get to cinematic closer and bitter riposte to capital punishment ‘Technologies of Death’ there can be no doubt that this is one of the metal releases of the year. I cannot overstate how floored and delighted I am by this incredible leap into the unknown that Venom Prison have taken. 

This is why I don’t give high scores to well-executed re-treads by veteran bands, or solid efforts from newcomers. “Erebos” is unequivocal proof that metal can be forward-thinking, innovative and utterly thrilling without having to compromise its abrasive integrity. Venom Prison are now unquestionably one of the best Metal bands in the world and this album is absolutely essential listening.

‘Pain Of Oizys’ Official Video

01. Born From Chaos
02. Judges Of The Underworld
03. Nemesis 
04. Comfort of Complicity
05. Pain of Oizys
06. Golden Apples of Hesperides
07. Castigated In Steel and Concrete
08. Gorgon Sisters
09. Veil Of Night
10. Technologies Of Death

Larissa Stupar – Vocals 
Ash Gray – Guitar 
Ben Thomas – Guitar
Mike Jeffries – Bass
Joe Bills – Drums


Venom Prison Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rory Bentley 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.

All Consumed – Rise Of The Godless

Rise Of The Godless Album Cover Art

All Consumed – Rise Of The Godless
Release Date: 18/06/2021
Running Time: 37:18
Review by Rick Eaglestone

Preston’s All Consumed return with a new album, serving up a diabolical delight for the death metal palette.

“Rise Of The Godless” begins with an introduction worthy of a movie score ‘Retribution’ is the combination of Beethoven & Gangs of New York that evokes a feeling that something ominous is about to happen, and just like a sneak attack from Jason Vorhees himself, first single release ‘Through Violence Worship’ pummels into your skull.

The drums throughout ‘Fall Of The Gods’ are just sublime which seem to only make the riffs even more powerful, and the bass on ‘Limbless’ combined with Skeech’s guttural vocals blend in so well with the guitar parts. This is easily one of my highlight tracks as there are so many elements that I love – especially the air raid siren!

‘Dishonour Killings’ is , for me, their equivalent of Cannibal Corpse’s ‘Surround, Kill, Devour’. I can see this being a huge live favourite. Following this is “Shapeless Existence” which, somehow, complements the previous track perfectly.

‘Crucifixion’ and ‘Bathe In Blood’ are absolutely maniacal in their delivery and final track ‘Suicide Of The Soul” closes the album with the listener wanting and needing more.

‘Through Violence Worship’ (Official Video)

01. Retribution (intro)
02. Through Violence Worship
03. Fall Of The Gods
04. Limbless
05. Dishonour Killings
06. Shapeless Existence
07. Darkest End
08. Crucifixion
09. Bathe In Blood
10. Suicide Of The Soul

Michael Skeech – Vocals
Darren McGillivray – Guitar
Richard Galbraith – Bass
Dave Kenyon – Drums


All Consumed Logo

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rick Eaglestone 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 VOYD

VoyD Logo

EMQ’s with VOYD

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with North East England based Death Metal band, VoyD. Huge thanks to Chris Swainston and Jonah Lambton for taking part.

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

Hey, this is Chris & Jonah of VoyD. We are a studio-based death metal band, we both play guitar, Jonah also plays bass. We met at our place of work, quickly realised we liked metal, we both played guitar and promptly decided to form a band.

How did you come up with your band name?

The band name we wanted something to be short, simple and memorable. And of course, something that sounded metal and after the usual thought vomit of thousands of ideas we decided to settle on VoyD.

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

We are from a small town in the North East of England and its very rural were we are from. No scene as such to speak of, we have to travel to major cities to see shows.

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

Our latest release is our second album, titled “Death’s Crown”. It will be self-released April 17th and we plan to  drop a lyric video of our first single ‘Well Of Emptiness’ on March 20th.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Compiled together our influences contain, Avenged Sevenfold, Septic Flesh, Brendon Small, The Black Dahlia Murder, Revocation, Death.

What first got you into music?

Chris: I remember hearing Slipknot’s ‘Wait And Bleed’ and that was all I needed to start my journey.

Jonah: I remember my parents playing music from The Shadows, AC/DC and Rainbow  when I was younger.

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

The list is endless but, Brendon Small would be phenomenal to work with.

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

Hellfest in France, also 70,000 TONS of Metal.

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

Never happened yet!

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

Thank you for the support and we hope you enjoy “Death’s Crown”.

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

Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan.

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

Playing and writing music is a fantastic outlet, also seeing the hard work come together is really rewarding. We don’t really hate anything.

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

Breaking into the industry seems to be the biggest mountain for bands at our level. Although with services popping up like DISTROKID and TUNECORE it has made a big difference for getting our music across the globe.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Chris: The Black Dahlia Murder – “Nocturnal”.

Jonah: Avenged Sevenfold – “Self-Titled”.

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

Vinyl for Collectability, any physical merch supports the artist.

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

Unfortunately, we haven’t reached this stage yet. We are in the process of looking for members to complete a live line-up.

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

Jonah: I would have liked to work with wood, joinery, carpentry etc.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

No dinner parties, beer and pizza around a fire with friends.

What’s next for the band?

We are looking to expand from the studio into a full live band when we find the members, we are also in the very early stages of writing another album.

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

Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp etc. the usual spots.

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Jaffa cakes are a cake, but orange clubs every time.

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

Thank you so much for getting back to us and giving the opportunity to speak to you. Our new album “Death’s Crown” is out on all digital platforms April 17th.

We hope you enjoy it.

Chris & Jonah, VoyD

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.


Deliberate Miscarriage Logo


Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with South Wales based Death Metal band, Deliberate Miscarriage. Huge thanks to bassist/vocalist, Charlie Rogers, 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?

Charlie, I’m the bassist and vocalist. Deliberate Miscarriage is a new death metal band based in South Wales. Currently a two-piece with Adam on guitar,  we’re looking for a drummer to complete the line-up, and hope to find someone in time for when live music returns.

How did you come up with your band name?

A result of my partner and I spitballing ideas. The tracks that we’ve released so far were already written by that point, so it was just a case of trying to match an equally grim name to the subject matter.

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

South Wales! There’s a ton of great bands from the area, and a fair level of support for them.

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

“Ghost Of Christmas Blast” is a 3 track EP we released on Boxing Day, following a demo we released in the summer of 2020. We have plans for a full-length release, and have begun the initial planning process for that.


Who have been your greatest influences?

As a bassist, definitely Alex Webster. I play fingerstyle, and his book is a must read for all aspiring low enders. Vocally, I’m a big fan of Corpsegrinder, and Glen Benton – I especially like the split highs/lows that Deicide feature across some of their songs.

What first got you into music?

My family are all musical to some degree, and I grew up playing the trombone both classically and in jazz groups. I picked up the bass guitar before going to university, and it was downhill from there!

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

There’s a ton of great bands I’d love to work with in some form or another, but I guess the dream would be to collab with my favourite band “Demilich”, or have frontman Antti Boman guest on a track.

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

70,000 tons looks like an absolute blast.

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

We’re not quite there yet!

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

Thanks for checking out our music so far, and brush your teeth tonight.

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

Chuck Schuldiner for sure – too young to have caught Death live, would love to have the opportunity to see that.

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

Music is like a language, and you can communicate with people from all over the world with blastbeats. Writers block is probably the only thing there is to hate about music, apart from shitty music of course.

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

Get more people to go to more gigs, especially local gigs. There’s a trove of gems out there on the local scene, and they don’t get the attention they deserve. I’d also want to fix the insane copyright system.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Demilich – “Nespithe”
Death – “Symbolic”
Pestilence – “Consuming Impulse”
Necrophagist – “Epitaph”
Cannibal Corpse – “Skeletal Domain”
Blotted Science – “The Machinations of Dementia”
Nile “Those Whom The Gods Detest”
Dream Theater – “Images and Words”
Herbie Hancock – “Headhunters”
Primus “Frizzle Fry”

(Okay, you can choose 10!!! 😊 – Rick)

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

CD’s – physical without being cumbersome or delicate, and a good backup for my iTunes library. I still use a 5th gen iPod, and a stack of CD’s at home keeps my sanity in case there’s a problem with my computer and digital library.

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

Either opening for Demilich while I was with a previous band, or playing at the Leipzig film festival with an orchestra performing music from movies.

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

Hard to say as it’s been such a large part of my life. Probably would’ve tried harder to be a roller coaster designer!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Alex Webster, Antti Boman, Erik “Big Money” Salvia, Bill Bailey, and my friend Olivier Pinard

What’s next for the band?

Recruiting a drummer hopefully! Album plans for the summer though, either way.

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


Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

They feel like a cake, but are the size of a biscuit, and usually would enjoy two or three with a cuppa so I think we’ve gotta go biscuit. The Pineapple edition are incredible either way.

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

Thanks for checking us out, we’re keen to get out there and hope to see you in the pit!

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.

Interview with Hecate Enthroned

Interview with Hecate Enthroned
By Tammy Lomax

I recently had the wonderful privilege to get some questions over to long term bass player Dylan Hughes, from the band Hecate Enthroned. These absolute legends have been going strong for over 25 years!

Q: Firstly known as ‘Amethyst’ then ‘Daemonum’ in 1993, Hecate Enthroned were alleged to be one of the most intense bands that erupted from the death metal scene back in 1995. You embraced a symphonic black metal style in the early days, progressing and advancing with time and adding more elements of melodic death metal! What inspires and motivates you guys to keep going?

Dylan: We originated in Wrexham, North Wales. Back then the scene was young and very exciting, seeing bands come over for the first time, bands that are now regarded as instigators and albums that have become classics, gigs were sold out and the energy around the whole scene was electric. Being a part of that; recording albums, playing gigs was very intoxicating and fired what we were doing and of course we were young 😊 Now we’re older, wiser but still have the same passion for writing and playing music, we love creating as a band and doing shows, the energy and drive is still there and we have been incredibly lucky to have an amazing fan base that have supported us for over 25 years so producing for them and getting the reactions and feedback we do really keeps us going.

Q: In 1995, the first demo released, “An Ode For A Haunted Wood” was the start of something beautiful. MTV featured this release and Hecate Enthroned were one of the first extreme black metal bands to gain from this experience. Hecate Enthroned caught the attention of Blackend Records and you all collaborated to remaster the tape and turn it into a E.P “Upon Promeathean Shores (Unscriptured Waters)” From this moment you guys had a true black metal sound. How did the band conclude to this decision and why?

Dylan: Blackend had heard the ‘Ode…’ demo and our constant gigging had gained us a following over here enough for them to contact us and show considerable interest. We played a mini-UK tour in I think ‘94 or ‘95 with Primordial and Sigh. This did really well and after seeing us on the London date Blackend offered us the contract. They were a decent label and as a subsidiary of PHD they had excellent distro and promo. As the ‘Ode…’ demo was so popular we rehashed and re-recorded those songs as the first EP for Blackend “Upon Promeathean Shores…” and the track ‘Ode For A Haunted Wood’ got a video and playtime on MTV Headbangers Ball. There were very few black metal bands with videos at that time, so it did get us a lot of publicity and literally went across the world, with PHD distro our releases were one of the few bands and labels that got to countries outside of EU and US, and fans from those early times are still with us now.

Q: In 1997 Hecate Enthroned released its first full-length album “The Slaughter Of Innocence”. Produced by Andy Sneap, it directed the band to a faster, more brutal chapter. It was very well-received; however, the band did experience some negativity by being criticised as a “Cradle of Filth rip-off”. How did you guys approach this and what was the outcome?

Dylan: we’ve never given any credence to the COF press, we were both UK bands playing symphonic black metal, we shared members and COF were the bigger band so its natural this will happen. Most press and journalists don’t have the knowledge or imagination to write anything other than comparing bands to other bands, in a way we all do it. We just got on with what we do, we always have, we write the music we feel in the way that’s natural to us. As you say that album was fast and brutal, we have always been on the brutal side of symphonic and with a very Black Metal feel even with the Death Metal edge we have, our natural playing style is aggressive and that’s what comes out along with the orchestral and more gothic elements.

Q: At the end of 1997, a couple of band members were replaced by yourself and guitar player Andy Milnes. The following year Hecate Enthroned released their second full-length album “Dark Requiems…And Unsilent Massacre”. Using keyboards as the main instrument and adding layers of horrifying atmosphere, brutally consistent with the previous albums, What is your favourite track to play on this particular album and why?

Dylan: Yes, as a band develops, members will change or people will come in and out, it’s about finding the musicians that work with the band and that contribute to the creative process while bringing elements of themselves that either enhance or compliment, not always easy but we have been very lucky with the people we have had in over the years, some great musicians and friends. That album was again very fast & very nasty but with a darker overall feel, due in no small part to the production given by Pete ‘pee wee’ Coleman. We still play a few tracks from that album live and I’d say a favourite to play is the title track ‘Dark Requiems…’ it’s a powerful fast paced song with a really atmospheric end that builds into something horrific.

Q: The last album released by Blackend Records was “Redimus” in 2004, it showed a more aggressive edge and was produced by Phil Green via Blue Room Studios. In February 2013, guitarist Nigel Dennan and you were interviewed for the Hungarian documentary ‘Attention! Black Metal’, then later that year signed a new deal with Crank Music Group and delivered the album “Virulent Rapture”. Why did you sign a new deal and is there any advice you can give to bands regarding networking and getting their name out there?

Dylan: There had been around 10 years since the last album “Redimus” was issued, we had still been playing live but no studio work and no label. We had received a lot of offers but none we could work with or liked, and our personal lives had developed to where a lot of things were on hold. The offer from Crank was good and we went for it, unfortunately they didn’t exist for that long and reissues became difficult, but they did a great job with the album and it remains a favourite amongst fans if not a bit of a cult classic. Fortunately, our current label M-Theory Audio have rereleased “Virulent Rapture” this year and fans now have the chance to add it to their collection, also a beautiful vinyl release. The best advice for bands looking at contracts is to get a lawyer, a good one. Networking and promo are now online, social media, if you’re good with that stuff you’ll do well. It’s very easy for bands to self-promote as everyone is online.

Q: In 2006 Hecate Enthroned embarked on a UK headline tour playing in London, Southampton, Nottingham, Bradford and Wolverhampton. In 2007 you performed in Norway at Inferno Festival alongside Immortal, as well as several shows in Spain, Bulgaria, Romania and Germany. In 2013 Hecate Enthroned headlined a mini-UK tour, then headlined at the Hell Fast Attack Festival. With so many festivals and tours under your belt, What has been the most memorable and rewarding?

Dylan: Most memorable tour was probably EU with Satyricon and Behemoth in 2000, some great cities and venues on that and with 2 great bands who were both starting to really get huge 😊. Festival wise it would probably be Inferno as the bill was incredible and Brutal Assault in CZ, again great bill and what a great location for a fest, an old army camp. Such a cool vibe there. MetalDays as well, again it’s an incredible extreme metal fest with such good organisation in gorgeous surroundings.

Q: Hecate Enthroned were scheduled to do a gig in Bogotá in December 2012, which would have been your first show in South America, sadly it was cancelled twice. In the same month, the band announced they had fired both vocalist Dean Seddon and drummer Rob Kendrick. Rob was then replaced by Gareth Hardy, and in April 2013 Elliot Beaver was announced as Seddon’s replacement. How do you keep focused regardless of setbacks and disagreements in the band?

Dylan: Yes, that was very unfortunate and disappointing. South America holds great support for us, one of our biggest fan bases so not getting there and having several cancellations is very upsetting. But like anything in life if you love doing something and it means everything to you then you just get on with it, work around it, learn from it and progress.

Q: Since 2014, Hecate Enthroned have been preparing and gearing up, ready to deliver a new album “Embrace Of The Godless Aeon” which was eventually released in 2019. How do you prepare, and what are the processes involved when writing a new album?

Dylan: We constantly write and have ideas, rehearsals regularly turn into jam sessions as well as individuals having ideas and riffs, it all comes together in rehearsals and we thrash ideas out into songs. There are always parts and riffs hanging about, some never get used and others can wait a long time before they do but it’s a band process and everyone contributes. The completed songs then get hammered out until they work and are ready to be recorded. By the time we’re in the studio the songs are there.

Q: This year has had a devastating impact on the music industry, how have you occupied yourselves and what can we expect from Hecate Enthroned in 2021?

Dylan: It has been difficult for us to do anything, obviously no gigs but due to restrictions even rehearsing has been patchy. We recruited a new drummer in Matt Holmes this year and literally only had a couple of rehearsals with Matt before the first lockdown so obviously priority, when we got the chance, was hammer the set and old songs with Matt. But there hasn’t been much of that in recent months due to personal circumstances around shielding and health. It’s been the same for everyone and it’s been so sad seeing venues and bands disappear, but we will get through this and, when we can, we will get back to the stage and resume blasting. We have some rescheduled fests and tours for 2021 we just hope these can become reality.

Q: Lastly, If you could all have one icon over for fine dining and beers, who would it be and why?

Dylan: I know Lemmy is dead but…got to be the man. And for obvious reasons, who else could you enjoy some fine dining with 😉

Many thanks for the interview Tammy and we wish all of you and everyone out there the very best. We are strong together and we will get through all this shit, see you all on the road very soon!!!!

Thank you so much Dylan and Hecate Enthroned, it’s been an absolute pleasure working with you over the last few weeks.

‘Plagued By Black Death’ (Brand new Lyric Video from the reissue of the “Virulent Rapture” album)

Andy Milnes – Guitar
Nigel Dennan – Guitar
Dylan Hughes – Bass
Joe Stamps –-Vocals
Pete White – Keyboards
Matt Holmes – Drums


Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Tammy Lomax and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Phobetor – When Life Falls Silent

Phobetor – When Life Falls Silent
Black Jasper Records
Release Date: 17/07/2020
Running Time: 40:10
Review by Steven Hooke

For as long as time has been a follow-able construct in the eyes of man, there has been a constant battle between generations. From music to money, business, politics, how to properly cut the grass and everything in between, the old guard stands firm in their belief in that back in their day, peace and tranquility roamed the land, whilst the new kids on the block offered up new ideas and alternatives. Following into this extremely prolonged metaphor is London-based trio Phobetor and their seeming attempts to blend the duelling generations together through the medium of death metal. A genre definitely not drenched in creative misalignment.

The debut album features vocalist Debora Conserva and guitarist Mitch Revy, flanked by new drummer Marc Dyos from the symphonic power metal band Pythia. Together, the trio forge their own path into the world of death metal, combining the songwriting tropes of today with delivery and presence of classic DM. The modern-day elements unsurprisingly hold up pretty well, Revy’s guitar work and the constant churning of riff after riff after riff is amongst the highlights of the album, with particular mentions going to ‘Blind Widow’ and ‘Bury My Name’, and their respective incorporations of groove metal and the Gothenburg metal scene in at the highest tier. However, these riffs are difficult to spot in the first few listens due to the old school death metal durge-sounding production style.

Now, far be it for me – a self-confessed production snob – to criticize the production of a debut death metal album. But this goes beyond me wanting every album to sound as crisp as a Devin Townsend-directed Pringles advert. There is a strong argument that a strong debut is trapped behind questionable production choices. It takes decent headphones and a little concentration to truly hear the ideas Revy has conjured up, and they simply just don’t crunch in the way they’re meant to.

The album, as a whole, is drenched in modern creative ideas. From the dark orchestral opening of ‘Merging Infinity’, to Conserva’s albeit rare dabbles with clean vocals, Dyos’ more progressive rolls and fills, and the frequent tempo changes, it’s all so far removed from the old school days of “play fast, be heavy”.

Whether it was a stylistic decision, a financial wall, or if Conserva and Revy had a particular idea for the album before the introduction and experience of Dyos (as well as session bassist Richard Hunter from Maelstrom) came into play, remains to be seen. But something that they definitely should be holding on to for the follow-up is the range of their frontwoman. Conserva combines the low-end, bassy gruff of Angela Gossow, with the strong, unwavering screams of Dani Filth, resulting in a dynamic warcry performance that greatly succeeds, in spite of the noted turn-offs. Focus on any of her screams throughout the album and they are pristine, razor-sharp, and often the most commanding part of a song.

While we have been spoiled over the past few years with near-perfect debuts (Conjurer, Fvneral Fvkk, Møl) it’s often missed that it’s possibly the hardest album to get right, being the starting block for a band’s image and their presence in their respective musical community. Will “When Life Falls Silentset the death metal world on fire? In its current state, my guess would be no. But, that is not to say there’s nothing here. Individual components of this outfit are there itching to break out, but some serious consistency needs to be established to really define what kind of band Phobetor wants to be.

01. Merging Infinity
02. A Toxic Lie
03. Whispers of Dissonance
04. Blind Widow
05. Psychopathy
06. Bury My Name
07. Harmony of Solitude
08. Dysmorphia
09. When Life Falls Silent

Debora Conserva – Vocals
Mitch Revy – Guitar
Marc Dyos – Drums
Richard Hunter – Bass (Session)


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.

Bloodyard – Orchard Of Corpses

Bloodyard – Orchard Of Corpses
Release Date: 01/05/2020
Running Time: 42.27
Review by Dark Juan

Hello, my mischievous little munchkins and pixies. I trust you have all been cavorting around ancient forests like the good little misanthropic spirits you are and terrifying small children? Capital, my pernicious little piskies, capital. It seems that you are now allowed to go and get a haircut, but you aren’t yet allowed to adorn your skin with art. Because tattoo studios aren’t some of the most hygienic places in the world are they? I normally avoid politics because it’s a) Boring as fuck for you lot to read, b) I’m right and you’re wrong (TRUST ME ON THIS!) and c) the art of debate appears to have died a grisly and unpleasant death because we are all apparently snowflakes repeating fake news, regardless of which point of view we have. Suffice it to say that the current parasite inhabiting Number 10 appears to be hell bent on killing off our entire scene and I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT! Apparently the choleric Mrs. Phillips from number 42, Saddleworth Road can now toddle off and get her fucking blue rinse sorted out and gossip with her equally unhealthy friends at a 1 metre distance in a hair salon full of hair clippings but we can’t get fucking tattoos or piercings and go and watch some heavy fucking metal played live in a sweaty, salty club somewhere. Even the mop topped fuckwits have their beloved fucking football back. It is not right and Boris is a right pigfucking cunt.  I’d like to curse the entire planet but that would leave me no virgins to defile and that would not be a good thing. I get testy when I am not able to perpetrate horrors on the wildly resisting bodies of nubile young victims. I’d like to say that that is my rant over but it probably is only the beginning… For the record, Dark Juan does not like football – if I want to shout myself hoarse for 90 minutes at people who aren’t listening and don’t give a fuck anyway I’ll just go to work as normal and I don’t have to pay investment groups gajillions of pounds for a season ticket to go and be wet, poor, cold and deafened.

Well, this is thrilling. I have, clenched in my sweaty and considerably sexually aroused hands the debut album from Lancaster death metal speedsters Bloodyard. Led by Amazonian, and not in the least bit frightening, frontwoman Donna Hurd, who appears to have been doing unspeakable things with acid, broken glass and large amounts of gravel to her voice, they have unleashed a record that would have done a very well established act justice. This is an excellent debut. My arousal only increases. You lucky things. I must note that it appears, from my past couple of reviews, the UK is undergoing a rather splendid wave of British death metal at the moment. And especially fronted by the fairer sex. This is not me being misogynist (although the darker ideas I have about ladies absolutely are…) this is me commenting that I find it gratifying that women are standing up in a genre that has not been historically populated by women and making it their own. Both Basement Torture Killings’ Beryl and Bloodyard’s Donna are as good as the classic male vocalists of the genre and actually better than the David Vincents of the world. I’m conflicted about the past couple of sentences because I’m not trying to draw comparisons. I’m all about equal rights (rites?) and I am a feminist, and to my sensibilities I have just been tremendously sexist, where all I was trying to say was that Donna is a great DM vocalist. Fuck’s sake. Being woke is hard sometimes. It’s staying in the review because I do think it a great thing that more extreme genres are starting to be populated by women and I believe in being honest with all you good folk out there. Extreme metal has been a sausage fest for too long.

Let’s move to less deep water where I can’t get myself in trouble any more, shall we? The music is excellent. The guitar sound is rather more crisp and legible than most death metal and there is an undercurrent of more traditional metal underpinning Bloodyard’s sound that proves to be an advantage, as it manages to break the unrelenting brutality up and makes “Orchard Of Corpses” something greater than the sum of its parts. There are also little thrash touches – on “Antithesis” especially there is an extremely Slayerish moment… I’ll let you all find out what that is. The fact that the band hail from the Historic County Palatine of Lancashire is another point in their favour considering your favourite Satanic shock rock hack is a Lancastrian boy too (apart from Donna, who is very obviously Scottish, but she does count as Northern and therefore brilliant!) The drumming on the record is tighter than a gnat’s chuff, the bass happily vibrates your nethers into a state of priapic excitement, the guitar work incisive and sharp, and the vocals facemeltingly intense. What’s not to love?

There are a couple of negative points I’ll quickly address because they are minor and don’t really impact on my enjoyment of the record – there is a slight case of musical schizophrenia as Bloodyard do appear to have moments of being unsure as to whether they want to be full bore death metal or add some groove in there, and a couple of the songs do feel to be a bit overlong, “Antithesis” (that song again!) could comfortably have had a minute shaved off the end of it and no one would have been the wiser. But, and this is a BIG FUCKING BUT, it is a debut album and a very, very good one. Everyone has to start somewhere and hopefully quality control will become better as Bloodyard continue their hopefully meteoric rise.

Standout tracks are “All Hail The Crimson King” which is just meaty as fuck, “Antithesis” which combines death, groove and thrash in a fashion that can only be described as sexual and the title track, which is old school DM of the highest calibre. Hopefully we are seeing a NWOBDM forming with Bloodyard in the vanguard.

To summarise – Bloodyard’s battlewagon is combat ready and devastatingly lethal, but the engine is missing a beat or two. Otherwise it’s a matt black, lead belching death machine razing everything, and butchering everyone around it. Just the kind of thing that gets my lust murdering tendencies fired up. Well done, you beautiful bunch of axe murdering bastards.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Bloodyard a blistering 8/10 for a first class debut. Can’t wait to make them the soundtrack to my own personal apocalypse.

01. Blood Begets Blood
02. Mortem
03. Rupture The Mask
04. Orchard Of Corpses
05. All Hail The Crimson King
06. Stack The Pyre
07. Choke
08. Purge The Rot
09. Antithesis

Donna Hurd – Vocals
Nick Adamson – Guitar
Dave Cowley – Bass (Proof of my theory that all bands have a hidden Dave! There is ALWAYS A DAVE!)
Matty Lee – 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.

Blood Oath – Infernum Rex Diabolus

Blood Oath – Infernum Rex Diabolus
Release Date: 15/12/2019
Running Time: 41:41
Review by Sheri Bicheno

Christ, this is one fast and thumping album!! It will turn you to absolute mashed potato…

Blood Oath, from Leicester, are one of those bands that are not going to go unnoticed, they are on everyone’s lips, and if you’ve seen them rip up the stage donning (fake) blood and a killer presence, you’ll have seen why! Forming in 2015, they have been rising through the levels, reigning chaos wherever they play. In the, just over four years they have been going, they have graced the New Blood Stage of Bloodstock 2017, Uprising, Ragnarok, Unearthed Festival, HRH Metal plus many notable others. “Infernum Rex Diabolus” is an album to get your ears around if you are well into your old-school death metal and mix it with elements, which to me, are quite Slayer-esque.

We are first walloped with the track ‘Angels To Some…Demons To Others’; a slow and melodic intro riff eases us into the next five minutes which is an earthquake of thrash. It’s a powerful start and the vocals are pretty evil, however, very clear. One thing about next track ‘Obliteration Ov Mankind’, that should be noted, is Ady McGlennon’s outstanding drumming – fast paced, aggressive and top notch, keeping the momentum going, it is clearly this track’s backbone.

NOW THEN – something wicked this way comes with the track ‘Infernum Diabolus’. This has to be my favourite track on the album and it really shows what Blood Oath are fully capable of. The monster riff that introduces us to this track takes us forward into a slow but absolutely belting headbanger of a tune. It then speeds up, with twists and turns of changing pace, something I absolutely need in a good track I want to get heavy to. Mark ‘Thrax’ Johnson’s vocals here are low and growling, a pure demonic crazy train, but again very clear and well cut.

This is a track that will give you the following face of approval…

Halfway through track ‘Howling Of The Draugr’ the double-bass is UNBELIEVABLY intense and I fear if you are the headbanging sort, your head may just fall off, it’s utter whiplash. I love how this track blends that superspeed drumming with the slower riffs and bass giving it an almost doomy tone.

“Infernum Rex Diabolus” takes us through some crushing riffs from Mike Freeman and Frazer Hart and Bill Fordham’s bass blends its elements of Blackened Thrash/Death Metal and even a hint of Doom into a cocktail that just blows you away. Turn this up LOUD!

Blood Oath have achieved something pretty special, there is not one bad track and it does what it promises. No compromises. Killer album!


01. Angels To Some…Demons To Others
02. Obliteration Ov Mankind
03. Infernum Diabolus
04. Lycanthropic Bloodlust
05. Monuments To Our Ruin
06. Born Godless
07. Howling Of The Draugr
08. Entwined And Un-Divine
09. Solitude And The Silence


Mark Thrax Johnson – Vocals
Frazer Hart – Guitar
Mike Freeman – Guitar
Bill Fordham – Bass

Ady McGlennon – Drums


https://www.instagram.com/bloodoath_uk https://open.spotify.com/artist/6gcXkAjPfy4QoDTvOWrSa5

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno 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.