Vio-Lence – Let the World Burn EP

Let The World Burn EP Cover Art

Vio-Lence – Let the World Burn EP
Metal Blade Records
Released: 04:03:22 
Running Time: 24:00
Review by Paul Hutchings
7/10

Nostalgia. It’s something that is part and parcel of the Metal world. Is it possible to have a conversation with another metalhead without drifting back to “the good old days”? Well, when you get to your half century those times become more and more faded in the memory. When something that was pivotal to you over 30 years ago returns, there is unsurprisingly a certain amount of trepidation. 

Where is he going with this, I hear you ask? Well, let me take you back to 1985 and Oakland, California. The Bay Area Thrash movement was in full swing, and Thrash bands were appearing like rain on a Welsh Bank Holiday weekend. Surging out as part of the second wave of Thrash was Vio-Lence, whose early line-ups included Phil Demmel, Sean Killian, Perry Strickland, and Robb Flynn (Machine Head). Vio-Lence released three albums before their breakup in 1993, with “Eternal Nightmare” and “Oppressing the Masses” held in high regard within the Thrash community. The band returned a couple of times before becoming a full-time going concern in 2019, where they returned to the live arena. 

Now we finally have their first original material in 29 years in the shape of ‘Let the World Burn’, a five track EP that features Demmel, Strickland, Killian as well as new members Bobby Gustafson (ex-Overkill) and Christian Ober Wolbers (Powerflo, Beowülf, Fear Factory). The band has already released the title track plus ‘Flesh from Bone’ on lyric videos and now we finally get the chance to digest all five tracks. 

The first thing to notice about Vio-Lence circa 2022 is that they’ve managed to retain that 80’s vibe which is often missing in today’s Thrash circles. Demmel has taken on the mantle of main songwriter, and he admits that the move to the classic Vio-Lence sound wasn’t a problem. “That came very naturally. I hadn’t written a lot of Thrash in the past 17 years or so but being the main songwriter for the band over the years I wanted that sound, I wanted that mid-80’s raw thing, but I also wanted to capture our signature notes and structures and stuff like that.”

But this isn’t a trek down memory lane for each song has its own contemporary feel. ‘Flesh from Bone’ doesn’t begin that brilliantly but soon erupts into a real Thrash monster. It’s a foot stomper of a song, with the bruising riffs charging along with Gustafson’s bludgeoning drumming and the thunderous bass line. This allows Killian to spit and snarl the lyrics over the top in a visceral performance, it may only be one track, but it’s already sounding promising and it’s a rager. 

Can Vio-Lence keep the momentum up? The good news is yes, as ‘Screaming Always’ proves. A fast, punching semi-Hardcore attitude sees the tempo at full pelt, the vocals of Killian surprisingly impressive although I’m not over thrilled about the Rob Flynn-style rapping towards the end of the track. Killian has always been marmite vocally and it’s unlikely he’ll gather many new fans, but his style is his style and that’s what makes him unique. His delivery on the slower but just as heavy ‘Upon Their Cross’ is remarkable, given this is a singer who not so long ago was severely unwell. 

The playing on this EP is as stellar as you’d expect from such musicians. Demmel as primary songwriter has delved deep into the Thrash roots, each song bringing something a little different to the table, but all inherently thrash in nature and vibe. Alongside Demmel, Gustafson’s years in Overkill are evident whilst Wolbers links tightly with Strickland to provide a rock-tight rhythm section. 

It was always the band’s intention to release an EP rather than a full length and you only have to read some of the interviews with Killian to confirm why. Originally a one-off gig to say thanks to those who had supported his liver transplant, Vio-Lence realised that there was still an appetite for their music but that just exploring if the dynamic would work again was enough. The fact that they have managed to put some decent thrasher together is remarkable, especially when you consider the poor cover of ‘California Uber Alles’. The stomping drive of ‘Gato Negro’ brings a different attitude and sound, but at no point do the band veer too far from their old school sound.  The title track closes the EP, and it’s another thrashing beast with visceral guitar work and Killian’s down the line delivery. The slow narrative echoes some of Dave Mustaine’s work, but it sits solidly within the song. 

With festival appearances once again scheduled for 2022, including a highly anticipated booking with Bloodstock Open Air, there is an air of optimism in the camp. On a day when the world careered out of control once more, it’s good to know that the old school may still be able to bring some quality to the table. 

‘Let The World Burn’ Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Flesh from Bone
02. Screaming Always
03. Upon Their Cross
04. Gato Negro
05. Let the World Burn

LINE-UP:
Phil Demmel – Guitars
Bobby Gustafson – Guitars
Sean Killian – Vocals
Perry Strickland – Drums
Christian Olde Wolbers – Bass

LINKS:

Vio-lence promo pic
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS- NOVEMBER 6,2021: Violence photographed at Reggies in Chicago, Illnois on November 2021. © Gene Ambo

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Hutchings 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.

Overkill – The Atlantic Years 1986 – 1994

The Atlantic Years Album Cover Art

Overkill – The Atlantic Years 1986 – 1994
BMG
Release Date: 03/12/21
Running Time: 05:12:02
Review by Simon Black
Taking Over – 8/10
Under The Influence – 7/10
The Years Of Decay – 9/10
Horrorscope – 9/10
I Hear Black – 6/10
W.F.O. – 5/10
Overall – 8/10

Overkill are one of those Thrash acts that at the time barely registered on my radar. Even though they paid their dues in Europe (unlike a few of their peers). But the reality was they were very much part of the USA scene, particularly the East Coast and never achieved anything like the same level of success as some of their contemporaries. Like many acts who have struggled across the decades, Overkill have been plagued by line up stability issues. We can sit here and debate cause and effect if you like, but it’s a matter of personal viewpoint as to whether the lack of success caused the instability, or vice versa, however the reality is the two frequently fly together. 

That said, this box set covers the prolific period when Overkill and their ilk carved their niche, and for my money cut their best material, before the changing musical landscape of the 90’s kicked everything into touch for all but the established stadium players. It doesn’t include their Metal Blade debut ‘Feel The Fire’ but covers the three seminal (and then the three slightly less seminal) albums that followed it. My exposure to their back catalogue had been quite sparse to date, as I only really began to be aware of them with 1989’s ‘The Years of Decay’ so I was hearing most of the records in this set in full for the first time.

“Taking Over” really feels like a debut album, even though it isn’t. Like so many Thrash acts getting a major label debut at the time, it was very much done on the cheap, with studio time no doubt grabbed in graveyard shifts with huge amounts of time pressure. As is often the case when that happened, the pressure of this added no small amount of energy to proceedings and despite the relatively poor production standards compared to what follows in this edition, it has fire and energy in abundance. At this stage they are still playing as a four piece as well, but despite that, the sound has richness and depth in spite of the garage feel of production. I would argue that they still have their Speed Metal roots a little more visible here – tracks like ‘Fear His Name’ definitely fit in that more traditional Metal vein and show Bobby Blitz as being more than capable of carrying a tune in the higher register as he had yet to adopt the more Thrashy snarling style that became his trademark later on.

When we get to “Under The Influence”, that move to straight out Thrash is coming out loud and clear. The tunes sound more down tuned and heavy and the oodles of reverb on display last time out are gone for good. Equally the arrangements have that more staccato Thrash feel to them and the vocals are following suit, although Bltz can still hit a high note or two when required. This is raw and energetic Thrash of the finest order, stripped back and overflowing with aggression. Unfortunately, this is also where the line-up challenges start to bite, with founding drummer Rat Skates having parted way in between album cycles.

“Years of Decay” is probably the most definitive of the albums to date here though. Changing producers for the first time, the band manages to capture a solid mixture of the raw energy that makes them tick, and with some vastly improved production values. Not only that, but the band are starting to get a little more technical with their arrangements and time changes. There are some quite lengthy pieces on here to boot – most notably the title track, and the Sabbath infused ‘Playing With Spiders/Skullcrusher’, but then splicing two songs together that share a key and a time signature to make one big one is an old trick. The big change is that this is the first time Overkill achieve that elusive ‘whole album feel’. Thrash with its focus on Speed and energy frequently meant songs with a short sharp delivery and duration, and their early albums certainly exhibit this. This one feels like a lot more time has been taken to craft an album that is intended to be listened to end to end, with only their classic floor filler ‘Elimination’ feeling out of place here. This was certainly the point when for me Overkill stepped up beyond from the melee of acts this movement offered into the second tier, biting at the heels of the Big Four of the day.

By the time we get to “Horrorscope” (which was released fairly quickly after “Decay”) an awful lot has changed. Founding guitarist Bobby Gustafson has parted on bad terms and was replaced with not one but two six-stringers in the form of Merritt Gant and Rob Cannavino. This really adds something to the sound – with two players able to throw in the depth of sound of having dedicated rhythm and lead when required, plus the old standby of the harmonised riff, but suddenly this doesn’t quite feel like Overkill any more. Maybe it’s just the teething troubles of running in new players, or maybe it’s the more lavish production, but the polish this adds for me feels like something more immediate and dangerous has been lost. This is frustrating, as the technical delivery here is quite something else – take the razor sharp timing from the rhythm section on ‘Blood Money’ – it’s absolutely spot on and a complete contrast to the edgy chaos of “Under The Influence”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s their most polished effort yet, but in many ways as I started listening I found myself initially preferring the looseness of their early days. Vocally though Blitz seems to have successfully melded the Thrash with his considerable cleaner vocal skills in the right balance, and that’s here to stay. By the time we get to the end though, my rites of passage are over and I’m finding myself falling a little bit in love with this record.

“I Hear Black” sees yet another change in direction and unfortunately one that falls somewhat flat on its face. No doubt under major label pressure to emulate what was coming out of the Seattle scene, we see Overkill attempting to strip their delivery down to the detriment of quality. The trouble is it sounds less like Grunge and more like something a Stoner act would do and Bobby Blitz’s voice sounds completely out of place here. Although to be honest the return of producer Alex Perialas to the fold brings back some of the more immediate and energetic feel that had been polished out of their sound in the two intervening albums, but it can’t recover from the completely bum steer that the song writing has taken. It’s a massive own goal and one that the market concurred with, as at a time when evolving musical styles were creating commercial pressures, they should have stuck with their more distinctive  and pure Thrashy roots and ridden out the storm.

And to be fair that’s exactly what they did next with “W.F.O.”, which from the opening bars screams their return to their natural state, but sadly somehow this doesn’t feel like it’s going to go anywhere. The sound is flat and Blitz sounds completely off of his game, with songs that meander and fail to grab the attention. To be fair, it may show a return to the Thrashy style of yore on the surface, but it’s completely missing the energy or integrity and the songs just ain’t in the same league. 

The trouble is it’s a direction change that’s come too late and simply isn’t convincing in its delivery as the twin guitarists depart simultaneously and the label decides it’s time to drop the dead donkey. Overkill will lick their wounds, regroup and slowly regain and rebuild their credibility as the 90’s wind down and people start remembering them for their significant contribution to a style that totally revolutionised music, and swept away the old order, before ironically having the same thing happened to them with the next big new thing on the block. But these albums beautifully chart the rise and fall of a movement that literally reshaped Metal, and a band that were absolutely at the forefront of that.

TRACKLISTING:
Taking Over
01. Deny the Cross
02. Wrecking Crew
03. Fear His Name
04. Use Your Head
05. Fatal if Swallowed
06. Powersurge
07. In Union We Stand
08. Electro-Violence
09. Overkill II (The Nightmare Continues)

Under The Influence
01. Shred
02. Never Say Never
03. Hello from the Gutter
04. Mad Gone World
05. Brainfade
06. Drunken Wisdom
07. End of the Line
08. Head First
09. Overkill III (Under the Influence)

The Years Of Decay
01. Time to Kill
02. Elimination
03. I Hate
04. Nothing to Die For
05. Playing with Spiders/Skullkrusher
06. Birth of Tension
07. Who Tends the Fire
08. The Years of Decay
09. E.vil N.ever D.ies

Horrorscope
01. Coma
02. Infectious
03. Blood Money
04. Thanx for Nothin’
05. Bare Bones
06. Horrorscope
07. New Machine
08. Frankenstein” (Edgar Winter; instrumental
09. Live Young, Die Free
10. Nice Day… for a Funeral
11. Soulitude

I Hear Black
01. Dreaming in Columbian
02. I Hear Black
03. World of Hurt
04. Feed My Head
05. Shades of Grey
06. Spiritual Void
07. Ghost Dance
08. Weight of the World
09. Ignorance and Innocence
10. Undying
11. Just Like You

W.F.O.
01. Where It Hurts
02. Fast Junkie
03. The Wait/New High in Lows
04. They Eat Their Young
05. What’s Your Problem
06. Under One
07. Supersonic Hate
08. R.I.P.
09. Up to Zero
10. Bastard Nation
11. Gasoline Dream

LINE-UP:
Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth – Vocals
Bobby Gustafson – Guitars
Merritt Gant – Guitars
Rob Cannavino – Guitars
D. D. Verni – Bass
Rat Skates – Drums 
Sid Falck  – Drums
Tim Mallare – 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.

Flotsam And Jetsam – Blood In The Water

Blood In The Water Album Cover Art

Flotsam And Jetsam – Blood In The Water
AFM Records
Release Date: 04/06/2021
Running Time: 53:37
Review by Simon Black
10/10

“You have to listen to this!” These words were said to me at the tail end of the 1980’s by my old school friend, housemate and partner in grime, as I returned to our house of debauchery ready to wreck the weekend. Earlier that day he had purchased vinyl copies of both Flotsam’s ‘Doomsday For The Deceiver’ and the then only just recently released ‘No Place For Disgrace’, so I sat down with a cold one for a quick listen before we went out to paint the town red, but were so entranced by these records that we did in fact forget to go out.

The former record has its place in history as the only album and band to ever receive a 6K review from Kerrang! back in the days where that sort of thing mattered, because we all read it, but frankly both of these gems got listened to so much that the records got worn out. It seemed to me a heinous crime back in those days that this act never achieved the heights of Metallica in the same time lines, but then the latter stealing the former’s bass player (only to turn him off in the mix) is one of the many, many contributory factors in all of that that, never mind the usual challenges of shitty label behaviour, and line-up instability. And bless them, they’ve kept at it through all the grief and shit without losing integrity, although only relatively getting the sort of recognition they deserve and fourteen albums later seem finally starting to make the right sort of waves. I also remember being absolutely blown away by their performance at Bloodstock back in 2014, so for me the campaign to get them on the special guest slot at next year’s show starts right here and right now, because this new record is an absolute monster.

This album opens explosively with ‘Blood In The Water’ – its opening bars are fast, furious, drowning in energy and tighter than a flea’s rectum; with a beat pause before changing tempo to a more melodic harmonised guitar intro before turning up the pace for the verse – a mode retained as it alternates between verses, choruses and bridges. If that doesn’t hammer you into wakefulness then the wisely chosen and blistering single ‘Burn The Sky’ should do the trick – more paced at the outset but no less relentless and impressive when it gets going, because let’s face it, these chaps should have trademarked the words ‘fast’ and ‘furious’ before Universal Studios. But it’s not all furious Thrashing here today and the moments when the record takes a slower and more thoughtful pace is when it kicks up another level. ‘Cry For The Dead’ is a slow burning ballad that takes an emotive and moving boost in tempo, exploring a subject we have all had to live through in the last year or so. When A.K. Knutson screams “I can’t live without the ones I love” we believe it. ‘Too Many Lives’ follows the theme, with way more aggression, but is no less moving and these two are definitely amongst the best songs this massively underrated act have delivered in the past thirty-five years.

The production is absolutely crisp and clear, pulling off the trick of sounding fresh and immediate and well-produced with every musician loud and clear in the mix whilst simultaneously retaining a homogenous band mix and feel. Finally, I can’t let these words pass without a few words about A.K. Knutson’s vocals here either. This does not sound like a man well into his fifties – his voice can shred the high notes, growl the floorboards into insensibility and every shade in between – with transitions between these two states that flawlessly and furiously fly by. ‘On fire’ doesn’t even begin to describe how well he delivers on this record.

A few words about Andy Pilkington’s beautifully crafted cover whilst I am it, as with its demonic alligator lurking in blood-filled post-apocalyptic city ruins, it perfectly evokes the demonic adornment of both the original ‘Doomsday’ record and the colouring and mood of ‘No Place’, making this feel like a wonderfully thematic bookend to a 35 year career, albeit one which feels like it’s just getting into its stride. Still relevant, blisteringly well-written and delivered, this feels like a pinnacle record right here, right now. I’ve given it a 10/10, but I wish we had a Nigel Tufnel eleven setting, because that’s what this band have delivered.

‘Brace For Impact’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Blood In The Water
02. Burn The Sky
03. Brace For Impact
04. A Place To Die
05. The Walls
06. Cry For The Dead
07. The Wicked Hour
08. Too Many Lives
09. Grey Dragon
10. Reaggression
11. Undone
12. Seven Seconds ‘Til The End Of The World

LINE-UP:
Eric “AK” Knutson – Vocals
Steve Conley – Guitar
Michael Gilbert – Guitar
Bill Bodily – Bass
Ken K. Mary – Drums

LINKS:

Flotsam And Jetsam Promo Pic

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.

Intruder – Re-issues


Intruder – Re-issues
A Higher Form of Killing/Escape From Pain EP/Psycho Sava
Lusitanian Records
Release Date: 27/11/2020
Running Time: 46:42/29:24/54:17
Review by Simon Black
7/10
5/10
8/10

So, back in the day when Thrash had emerged from the underground and the Big Four were now filling arenas, there was a second wave of bands that never got anything like the same kind of exposure shortly before the scene collapsed under the waves of change. Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee (“It’s a Music City Jim, but not as we know it”) Intruder were very much of this second wave, with a debut Speed Metal album that no-one heard, shortly followed by these three releases once they were signed to Metal Blade, that were released over a three-year period. Although they toured extensively in the continental USA, Canada and Mexico they were completely unknown over here in Europe until bands like Morbid Angel started namedropping them in interviews. But by then in 1992 though, they had been dropped from Metal Blade, although tensions within the band at the time meant they may well have folded anyway. Either way, apart from a couple of brief reformations in the intervening decades, that was your lot.

Cut to 2019, and the band have apparently reformed and were a thing again, although clearly Covid got in the way, but more tragically guitarist Greg Messick also passed away in September of last year. So, with nothing new on the horizon, those Metal Blade releases have found a new home and the opportunity for the rest of the world to see what all the fuss was about.

“A Higher Form Of Killing” was their first full Thrash influenced piece, although there’s enough of a carry-over of the Speed Metal sound (particularly in the largely cleaner vocal approach) that I can see this band attracting both Thrashers and the more traditionally inclined audience back in the day. Think of a much more rough and ready sounding Randy Rampage-era Annihilator, with a snort of Nuclear Assault for good measure and baked in an oven with Flotsam & Jetsam for forty-eight minutes. Musically though this album is definitely without the classically trained virtuosity of a Jeff Waters, but that said there is no shortage of technical skill in the band (although some of that classical sound comes on later releases), with some blisteringly fast time changes and clever switches in style mid-song. Overall, I am taken back to my youth by the energy, naivety and two raised fingers in the general direction of L.A. that this whole movement was about. The only negative here is that the mix does not seem to have been given much of a remaster, and the quality of the production is definitely of the day.

The “Escape From Pain” EPat the time wasn’t giving the fans much that was new. A Chicago cover to open with, one new track that gives the release its title and three old favourites from their (at the time) scarce first album – the band were the first to admit that at the time it was done so they could have an excuse to tour. What it does benefit from is a much better recording sound that still retains the energy, but actually gives you a chance to hear what vocalist Jimmy Hamilton was capable of (he’s almost lost in the mix on ‘Higher Form’). The ‘25 or 6 to 4’cover probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but seems something of an oddity thirty years later. The title track however is positively epic, and with a running time of nearly nine minutes is something of a novelty for a genre that prided itself on Speed of delivery. It’s complex, clever and technically brilliant, but sound wise suffers from the absence of budget or engineering expertise in the studio, and there’s more of this approach to come on the next release. The remaining tracks are pure speed metal, and give an insight into their pre-Thrash Speed Metal direction, but frankly the song writing of the later material shows much more maturity, but again, it seems that little could be done to remaster for the age we live in.

By the time we get to “Psycho Savant”we are clearly listening to a band that took a long time to find their own sound, which is possibly not surprising in a state dominated by its contribution to Country music. Although it lacks the naïve charm of “A Higher Form Of Killing”, it’s got the richest sound of the three and distils all the skills they’ve developed along the way into an album that holds the attention despite the average run time of its songs being in the seven-minute bracket. The musicianship is many orders of magnitude improved and despite the flood of complex time changes, this baby just flows. It also balances the two forces of Speed and Thrash Metal, not to mention a healthy portion of emerging Power Metal and it would really have been interesting to see where this would have taken them in the years to come had they continued through the wilderness years that Grunge and Nu-Metal wrought on the scene. There’s also a lyrical maturity in here that feels ahead of its time, most noticeably on ‘Geri’s Lament’, which tackled the disturbing subject of the appalling treatment of older folks in care homes, with righteous anger at those that pocketed the money of those for whom they were supposed to be caring for.

Either way, this is a fascinating insight into an act that deserved far more attention than they got at the time and who hopefully are not gone for good.

TRACKLISTINGS:
A Higher Form Of Killing (1989)
01. Time Of Trouble
02. The Martyr
03. Genetic Genocide
04. Second Chance
05. (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone
06. Killing Winds
07. The Sentence Is Death
08. Agents Of The Dark (M.I.B.)
09. Antipathy
10. Mr. Death

Escape From Pain EP (1990)
01. 25 or 6 to 4 (Chicago Cover)
02. Escape From Pain
03. Cold-Blooded Killer
04. Kiss Of Death
05. T.M. (You Paid The Price)

Psycho Savant (1991)
01. Face Of Hate
02. Geri’s Lament (When)
03. The Enemy Within
04. It’s A Good Life
05. Invisible
06. Traitor To The Living
07. Final Word
08. N.G.R.I.

LINE-UP:
Jimmy Hamilton – Vocals
Arthur Vinett – Guitar
Greg Messick – Guitar
Todd Nelson – Bass
John Pieroni – 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 FIRING SQUAD

EMQ’s with FIRING SQUAD

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Woodstock, New York based Thrash Metal band, Firing Squad. Huge thanks to guitarist Jack Weiss 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 Jack Weiss. I play rhythm guitar in Firing Squad. I met Will Lange at a heavy metal workshop hosted by Scott Ian of Anthrax in 2015. We’re still tight with Scott to this day. Will and I were in a band together from 2015 to 2019. After that band broke up, we started Firing Squad with Alan Rosenbaum on drums and Elliot Mangione on bass.

How did you come up with your band name?

We named the band after the song ‘Firing Squad’ by Power Trip. Riley Gale Forever.

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

We’re from Woodstock, New York. A great place to live if you want to be a washed-up hippie who plays the blues. There’s not much going on in terms of punk or metal.

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

We released the “American Carnage” EP in February, and our new single, ‘Police State of Mind’ comes out November 10th.

‘American Carnage’ (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Ramones, Dead Kennedys, Anthrax, Megadeth, Power Trip, to name a few.

What first got you into music?

My parents introduced me to a lot of the music I love. Growing up, I watched The Yellow Submarine religiously. From there, my dad put me on to The Ramones and a bunch of other classic punk.

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

Jello Biafra, without a doubt. He’s a total genius and a big inspiration.

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

Gizzfest in Australia. I’m a huge fan of all the bands on Flightless Records.

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

The clap!

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

Don’t trust anyone over 30.

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

Vince Neil.

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

The most rewarding aspect for me is songwriting. I’ve got nothing to hate. I just want to make good music.

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

Higher emphasis on artistry as opposed to profits.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“New Clear Days” by The Vapors. Great band, great album. Couldn’t tell you how many hundreds of times I’ve listened to it. Their other two records are amazing too. “Magnets” and “Together”. Check them out!

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

Vinyl for sure.

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

We played a crazy show at Dad Shack in Oneonta, New York. Don’t look for it, it’s not there anymore.

Great energy, tons of kids. Our gigs in Oney always went the hardest.

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

Dedicating myself to a life of crime.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Phoebe Bridgers, Arik Ancelin, Noam Chomsky, Joan Jett, and Ty Segall.

What’s next for the band?

Our new single ‘Police State of Mind’ comes out November 10th. So we’re hyping that up as well as writing new material and getting ready to record again.

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

For social media, we use Instagram and Facebook. For streaming we prefer Spotify.

www.instagram.com/firingsquadofficial/
www.facebook.com/firingsquadofficial
www.open.spotify.com/artist/47lDAPYSirKNnYAPOnC1P1

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I’ll have to try one and find out.

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

Make sure to check out our EP “American Carnage” available everywhere! Keep your eyes out for ‘Police State of Mind’. It’s our best track yet. Thanks!

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.

EMQ’s with MADZILLA

EMQ’s with MADZILLA

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Las Vegas, Nevada based Thrash Metal band Madzilla. Huge thanks to them for taking part.

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

Hi! Thank you for having us at Ever Metal!

Madzilla are David Cabezas (Lead Vocals, Guitar), Daniel Gortaire (Bass/Background Vocals), David Oliveri (Guitar/Background Vocals), and Robert Wiggin (Drums).

Madzilla started as a project David C had. The Band officially launched in 2018, but the project itself began years earlier, when an unfortunate car accident, in which David lost a great childhood friend, lead to the creation of the band’s earliest single “Judgment Day”, a song dedicated to the final moments of life, and the loss of a loved one. Having a few songs written, David felt the need to get these ideas and feelings heard, which lead to the creation of Madzilla LV.

How did you come up with your band name?

“Madzilla” is a metaphoric representation of the dark side of human nature. It represents the need to rule, and the unstoppable search for power that can take over a person’s mind. “Madzilla” itself is an insane version of the fictional monster “Godzilla”. “Godzilla” is a wild animal therefore he hunts and kills for survival. “Madzilla” on the other hand enjoys blood and destruction, and kills and destroys for its own rise to power.

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

Madzilla is based in The United States, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The local Metal Scene here is good. There are several venues that often have metal shows booked, and there is very good response from audiences around the city. Las Vegas being as entertainment driven as it is, gives a wide variety of opportunities to local bands to perform and get good amounts of exposure.

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

The “Vengeance” EP is our latest release. It delivers a hefty mix of melodic, classic thrash-metal, reminiscent of the likes of Megadeth, Metallica and Iron Maiden.

It’s available on platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.

We just released a music video featuring our latest single ‘The Last Goodbye’, which, lyrically, describes the frustration that arises when trapped in one’s own world, and the inability to see the light when surrounded by it.

The Last Goodbye (Official Video)

Vengeance  (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

David C: Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, and Zakk Wylde

Daniel: Metallica, Rammstein, Sepultura, Kiss, and Rob Zombie.

Robert: Kiss (Eric Carr of course), Iron Maiden, and Overkill, Tommy Aldridge, and Nick Mensa

David O: My musical influences are Iron Maiden, Steve Vai, and Guthrie Govan.

What first got you into music?

David C: When I was 13, a friend of mine showed me a bunch of songs he was into. I wasn’t really into most of his stuff, but when Metallica’s ‘One’ played, I was blown away!! I could not believe something like that existed. By the end of the song I remember saying to myself “This is exactly what I want to do with my life!”

Daniel: I was a little 10 year old boy when a friend introduced me to Pantera’s ‘Vulgar Display of Power’, and Sepultura’s ‘Arise’. When I first heard the sound of distorted guitar chords, I knew my life would be filled with endless Rock Music love

Robert: Seeing Kiss when I was super little made me wanna be a RockStar, and Eric Carr made me want to be a drummer.

David O: Iron Maiden has always been an influence of mine. In particular, I have always enjoyed and learned from Adrian Smith’s playing.

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

Five Finger Death Punch probably, since they’re from Vegas as well, it would be a good experience.

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

Resurrection Fest in Spain, or Rock in Rio. Because we like traveling and learning from different cultures.

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

David C: A fan once asked me out

Daniel: Drinking moonshine out of a plastic bag

Robert: His iguana to take on tour in Japan

David O: A fan once sent me a picture of her son

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

Never give up! Always follow your instinct, and don’t give up, no matter what!

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

Dimebag Derrell

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

One of the things we enjoy most is playing live shows. We love the interaction with fans, it’s the main reason why we do this. We hate when we have to drive through snow while touring!

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

How expensive it has become

Name one of your all-time favourite albums

David C: Metallica’s “And Justice For All…”

Daniel: Pantera’s “Vulgar Display of Power”

Robert (Drums): Kiss’ “Creatures of the Night”

David O (Guitar): Iron Maiden’s “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”

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

All of them have great things about them, our answer is all of the above haha!

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

Our best show was definitely at the Hawthorne Theatre in Portland, Oregon. It was one of the shows we did on our latest tour, this past February, alongside metal legends, Soulfly. We were really in it that night, and of course the audience played a big part on that. We feed on the audience’s energy, and that night the crowd was very alive, which made us rock!

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

David C: There was never a doubt in my mind that music was the path for me. I have no idea what my life would be like without it.

Daniel: Music has always been like a language to me. It’s my way to express myself. It has never gotten on the way of other things in my life, such as video directing, cooking, or even being an athlete, I believe it all works together.

Robert: If I wasn’t a musician, I’d be teaching rock history I believe.

David O: Probably Dancing

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

David C: Zakk Wylde, Alissa White-Gluz, Bruce Dickinson, Mike Portnoy, Robert Trujillo

Daniel: Zakk Wylde, John 5, Scott Ian, Dee Schneider, James Hetfield

Robert: Jim Morrison, Lonn Friend, Eric Carr, Lemmy, Phil Spector

David O: Zakk Wylde, Steve Vai, Guthrie Govan, Patrick Stuart, David Bowie

What’s next for the band?

Touring!

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

www.madzillalvband.com/
www.facebook.com/MadzillaLV
www.instagram.com/madzillalv
www.youtube.com/channel/UCd5IaGtujBwjgidOMfIZyJw
www.open.spotify.com/artist/7mUgbySqW8IrSowDLFIX0a

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Definitely a biscuit!

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

Thank you so much, we’re thrilled to be a part of this!

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.

EMQ’s with BOMBSCARE

EMQ’s with BOMBSCARE

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Bakersfield, California based Thrash Metal band, Bombscare. Huge thanks to vocalist/bassist, Patrick Murphy, 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 Patrick Murphy, I’m the vocalist/bassist of the band. Myself and my brother/guitarist Tom founded the band the end of 2013. At first it was just a studio thing because we couldn’t find members. But we eventually got a drummer in 2015 and played as a 3 piece for a good while. We put out our first release “T-Minus…” in 2017 and did a small tour to support it. On the road we realized something was missing, so we brought in a second guitar player, and that solidified the line-up we have today. We put out an EP in March this year, titled “Bastions of Blood”, but due to the current state of things we can’t tour, so we’re just writing and doing behind the scenes stuff until we can get back on the road.

How did you come up with your band name?

I smoked some weed, sat on the couch, and tried to think of a cool band name, and Bombscare kept coming back to me. I did a quick internet search, and nothing came up at the time so that was that.

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

We’re based out of Bakersfield, Ca which is the lower mid part of the state. We’re about two hours north of LA. There isn’t much of a thrash metal scene here, it’s more of a hardcore thing here as far as heavy music goes. So, we play a lot of hardcore shows here, not that that’s a bad thing. I honestly prefer mixed genre gigs. But if we want to play with other thrash/death bands we usually have to travel.

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

Our latest release is an EP, “Bastions of Blood”. Our buddy Issac Sanchez (Trinity Sound Studios) did our tracking, and we were blessed with the opportunity to work with Bill Metoyer (Skull Seven Productions). The artwork is a colab of my friends Britton Shrum (New Wasteland Design) and Joe Ortega (Useless Artworks). The EP’s available on CD and all digital formats.

Who have been your greatest influences?

My favourite band is Forced Entry. They were based out of Seattle, Wa, and were active from 84-95. I first found out about them a little late (maybe 6 years ago), but when I first heard them, I was floored. They changed the way I go about making my own music. So, without Forced Entry, style wise, Bombscare would be a very different band.

What first got you into music?

Metallica and Iron Maiden made me love music. I got “Master of Puppets” and “Powerslave” as a kid and it was game over for me, that was it!

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

That’s a tough one. If I’m shooting for the top here, it would be an honour to do something with Exodus. But on a more achievable level, I would love to do something with my buddies in Paralysis or Intent.

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

Wacken. That’s self-explanatory.

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

This didn’t happen in Bombscare, but one time I signed this kid’s rotten ass shoe he was wearing. That was pretty messed up.

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

Thank you for being a fan. You have no idea how much any level of support is appreciated.

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

I wish they were all still here. It’s really hard to answer that one but I guess I’ll go with Cliff Burton. I love Newsted, but it would be really interesting to see what could have been, you know what I mean?

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

It’s the only thing that makes me happy. I live and breathe my music. Being on stage is my therapy, if you see us live, I think you would pick up on that pretty easily. I hate the business end of things. I handle pretty much all of it in the group and it kind of sucks the life out of you! But if you have aspirations in this game, it’s what you have to do.

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

I wish there was more artist development on the label/management end. It seems as though no one will touch you with a ten foot poll unless you’ve got huge numbers on social media, which is a crock of shit in my opinion, because anyone can just get numbers and it doesn’t equate to talent. I’d rather have a smaller number and it be all organic then having a large number that has no idea who you are. Social media is a blessing and a curse. But hey, what do I know?

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Here’s a few.
Forced Entry- “As Above, So Below”
Razor- “Shotgun Justice”
Solstice- “Solstice”
Forbidden- “Twisted Into Form”
Vio-Lence- “Oppressing The Masses”
Dark Angel- “Time Does Not Heal”
Demolition Hammer- “Tortured Existence”
Nuclear Assault- “Handle With Care”
Exhorder- “The Law”

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

I like CD’s best, but I know vinyl is super popular. I don’t get the cassette thing. I’m old enough to remember dealing with them. They suck and they break!

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

Opening for Skeletal Remains was a lot of fun.

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

Exactly what I’m doing now. I’m a body piercer and a stagehand. I love both of my jobs.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I hate dinner parties. I’m pretty antisocial, kind of counter intuitive for being a frontman but it is what it is.

What’s next for the band?

With the whole Covid thing, all our plans for this year are shot. So, I guess all there is to do is write, demo, rehearse, and figure out what to do when concerts exist again. If we get the finances in order, I would love to buy on to a larger tour package.

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

www.facebook.com/bombscareband
www.instagram.com/bombscareband

Our music is available at
bombscare.hearnow.com/

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I had to look up what that was. I guess I would call it a cake, but the term biscuit has different meanings in the US and UK, so I guess it could go either way.

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

Thank you for the interview and thank you to everyone that reads this. Bombscare is:

Patrick Murphy: vocals/bass
Tom Murphy: guitar
Gar Flores: guitar
Fernando “Nano” Villagran: drums