LESS-RECENT/OLDER REVIEWS – E

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EDGE OF PARADISE – IMMORTAL WALTZ (Pure Steel Records)

Review by Sloof

Edge Of Paradise seems to be a young Californian band that released already an EP in 2013. Now they take the big leap towards international success and Pure Steel Records offered them a chance to fulfill their dream. Normally, I am impressed about the releases of this label, as they know what the people want and they always aim for quality.

At long last, everybody makes mistakes, and I guess that Edge Of Paradise is the misstep for the label this time. It’s all a little strange, as the band has members that look good, hail the leather and spikes tradition and they have a good looking female vocalist named Margarita Monet. When a band shows up with some female attraction, things can hardly go wrong, but we need more than visual satisfaction. The music is at the end the most important thing when you have to review, buy or judge a new band, and Edge Of Paradise might be a promising act, they also have some issues to work on.

Just like the EP, the first full length album opens with ‘A Perfect Shade of Black’ that has a very spherical intro. From the moment that the vocals demand their spot, it’s like a hairball to an owl. Things are counteracting, a bad feeling occurs, and the whole arrangement collapses. The vocals of Margarita irritate from the beginning and she didn’t succeed to convince me throughout the album. People that are familiar with the first EP, well, you can also find the tracks ‘In A Dream’, ‘Break Away’ and ‘Ghost’ on this new album, so there is not that much to discover. 9 tracks and a duration of 40 minutes is way too long for my ears. The band is too special and the songs are too much divided in fragments, which result that they miss cohesion.

If this is what the edge of paradise has to offer, I prefer to stay in Hell… http://www.edgeofparadiseband.com/

My rating: 58/100 (Bad, substandard)


EGONAUT – DELUMINATI (Target/Mighty Music Records)

Review by Sloof

Another one from Target / Mighty Music, and as usual, we have to deal with a band that is bursting with quality. Egonaut hails from Sweden, and they have spent the last ten years in refining their blend of stoner rock, metal and doom into a bastard child of those genres, carving their own niche that allows them to stand out in the ever so crowded metal scene. The band is totally unknown so far, but while I was inspecting their info sheet, it appears that they released already two albums in the past.

“Electric” was a 2011 release and “Mount Egonaut” was released two years later. The band took some time again, and their third album “Deluminati” is scheduled to be released on August 28th. worldwide. There should be a huge difference in the sound between this new album and the previous releases, as the band added mellotron and moog, which results in a bigger and more atmospheric touch.

The artwork and overall impression on this release is dark, cold and gloomy. Perhaps that’s the impression that occurred as the band entered the studio during the winter, when times are cold and dark, when the world seems to turn into a dark and white surrounding. The lyrics of the songs are printed in the booklet, but the font is hard to read, which fits perfectly in the general mood that this band is evoking. When I listened to the album for the very first time, the sound and arrangements refer a bit to Divided Multitude from Norway. A very heavy layer with a progressive touch, great vocals and musicians that have a passion for their instrument. This is not Doom Metal or Stoner Rock, as Egonaut has much more to offer!

‘From The Coals’ has a dark and heavy approach where the moog/organ of Dennis Zielinski takes control from the beginning. The pace is decreasing with ‘Pariah’ which has a little Doom approach as well. Great performance by vocalist Fredrik Jordanius who adds a mystical atmosphere to the song. If you prefer up-speed tracks, take some time to explore ‘The Beholder’ or ‘Lustitia Infernalis’! Great songs that will create a cool effect at live gigs! Egonaut isn’t afraid to be a misfit as well. Perfect example is the closing track ‘Waypoints’ that is ending this album in a very special way.

All in all, Egonaut knows how to surprise people as they are capable to bring their music with a very personal and original approach, while building a bridge between the seventies hard rock and contemporary Metal. http://www.egonaut.se/ /https://www.facebook.com/egonautswe

My rating: 83/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

A lot of humor, an unusual point of view and total freedom, that’s what Electric Beans are aiming for, but I have doubts, serious doubts after listening to their live album ‘Sans Moderation’ (in English: ‘Without Moderation’). I wonder where the moderation would have taken place as the 68 minutes that this album takes are a real challenge where you constantly will look for dissipation, unrestrained power and uncontrolled madness. Not a second! Humour? Perhaps in the lyrics, but I have serious doubts as well.

Songs like ‘Supermarché’, ‘Coup D’jus’ and ‘Jeudi’ predict little excitement. “Seulement moderation” would be a more appropriate title but I guess that this is not valid for the Heavy layer in some of the songs, as I consider this band as a simple rock band, nothing more, nothing less. Their French lyrics don’t add a landmark at all, and the vocals of Arno are really poor. He’s exploring his limits and they are rather limited. ‘J’ai Perdu Mon Téléphone’ has some guitars in the arrangement but they often sound totally out of tune. 13 songs of boredom that takes 68 minutes and I guess that this album is only valid for die-hard fans/relatives of the band, if there are any… There are rumors that this release will be followed by a DVD as well, but I do hope that I won’t receive it, as I have my restrictions as well.

This band is categorized as a punk meets fusion band, more appropriate is their own description: it’s like a messy chili con carne: punk, rock, fusion, British-electro-gypsy-jazz. Fact is, I don’t like Chili Con Carne because of the red kidney beans that gives me a flatulent feeling and considering this, I must admit that this band has only thing in common with Chili Con Carne: my intestines start to protest… to order and additional info, check: http://www.electricbeans.fr/

My rating: 50 / 100 (Bad, substandard)


ELECTRIC GUITARS – STRING FEVER (Target/Mighty music Records)

Review by Sloof

Two of Denmarks very best rockguitarists are ready for another missile as their second album ‘String Fever’ is going to be released on February 26th. 2016. We welcome Mika Vandborg and Soren Andersen as they are the keymembers of Electric Guitars that teamed up with Peter Kjobsted on bass and Morten Hellborn behind the drums. This quartet is going to set the place on fire with passionate and straight forward songs that have some bluesy influences accompanied with rock steady sounds! It’s all very powerful but at the same time dosed as well, it’s passionate without becoming mellow and Uli Jon Roth is an influence in sound and arrangement, without exaggerating! Having guitar players like Mika and Soren on board, must result in a priority deal for the stings, but I must say that they always kept an eye on the overall arrangement. It’s not a solo excursion of shredders who put the other members in the shade. It’s more a well-balanced exercise where all members are equal but with a small preference to the guitarsolos. You want to hear some names, some influential partners in crime? Well I guess that Joe Bonamassa meets Rory Gallagher comes close to the final definition of the modern electric guitar wizards.
The title track opens this album and gives you a direct idea of what you will get. Furious guitars, some influences of a ‘blues gathering’ and vocals that support the whole track. ‘White Flag’ is a bit slower but contains a majestic vocal part. There are some old Deep Purple influences, and the chorus line lifts this song to heights! ‘Running Out Of Time’ continues the pace and ‘Let It Rock’ adds some AC/DC influences. This track is much slower, has a steady rhythm and will appeal to many old school Hard Rock adepts! ‘Girlfriend’ is totally diverse as it contains a sing along vibe in this love story. It’s more comparable with the material that can be found on the ‘Bucket List’ album of Soren Andersen, recently released under the Abo moniker. ‘Day Off’ continues with some Southern Blues arrangement, where the pace is really slow, but the guitars demand their spot constantly.

The album switches into a different style with the song ‘She Wants My Guitar’ where we hear a (!) Peter Gabriel sound while the lyrics have some hidden sexual content. The quality decreases in ‘Follow Your Heart’, but luckily, that’s only temporary as ‘Finally Me’ reveals another classic track with an XXL solo! There are some ups and downs, but all in all, there is also a lot of beauty to discover.

‘String Fever’ is an album that will generate a lot of joy for those that are hooked on Rock and Blues material. If you want your material with a rougher edge, it might be a nice acquaintance, but I guess that you will expect some more power. Nevertheless, Electric Guitars their second output is above the average and if you want vocals with a hoarse element and vivid stings, check them out to get an impression: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMR7tJuT5bM Order at: http://www.targetshop.dk/uk/370245/Electric_Guitars/String_Fever/

My rating: 80/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)


ELVENSTORM – SOULREAPER (Infernö Records)

Review by Spirit In Black

Elvenstorm, a band from France which started in 2008 has two albums released and played many live shows. ‘Soulreaper’ is an EP with two new songs and two cover songs. First song of the EP is the titletrack and has a Helloween-ish vibe. A fast, powerful song with a sing a long part that will do great in a live setting. ‘Sworn To The Dark’ is the other new song, fast played with a lot of power and featuring nice guitar riffs!

‘Tyrants’ is a cover by Heaven’s Gate and I have no idea if this accurate with the original due to I’m not familiar with Heaven’s Gate. Anyway, it does sound pretty cool. Time for the second cover track called ‘Black Magic’, one of my all time favorite Slayer songs ! I have to say Elvenstorm delivers a great job with this way composition, I like it a lot… the part at the end of the song is pretty cool too !

They play Power Metal in style of (old) Helloween, Running Wild and similar bands. One thing that makes it pretty different, this band has a female vocalist that has just as much (or even more!) balls as her male colleagues. http://elvenstorm-metal.wix.com/elvenstorm / https://www.facebook.com/Elvenstorm Order via THIS link .

My rating: 80/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)


ELYOSE – IPSO FACTO (Dooweet Records)

Review by Sloof

Ipso Facto can be translated like ‘actually itself’, so I guess that the lyrics of this band are about the spiritual feeling of mankind, about feelings in general, about the inner self and relations to it. Ipso Facto is also the name of the new album of Elyose, and if my info is correct, it should be the second release by this band.

They play a kind of industrial metal with a female touch behind the microphone. And speaking about a female touch, I would like to refer to the front cover of this new album. What a lovely girl is presented! She radiates sweetness and softness but at the same time, she has a dangerous look in the eyes. I guess that Justine Daaé, the female vocalist of this band knows very well what she wants to reach with this album.

The songs have a furious and heavy foundation, but her voice adds a totally different approach. It’s a mix between opera and Gothic but with a very personal touch. She has a very good voice with a very high range, but at the same time, she’s capable to give the songs the necessary heaviness!

‘Ipso Facto’ begins very strong with ‘Femme De Verre’ after a short instrumental intro. ‘Plus qu’Humain’ adds a sensual touch in the beginning, but when the vocals of Justine alternate with the male vocals of Florent Jannier (Arkan), we get a whole different story. It’s a little bit like the beauty and the beast. My personal favorite track is ‘De Guerre Lasse’ because it has a very melodic chorus and the music and vocals fits like a glove. This is a perfect example how music melts together and absorbs lyrics! Great! It could bring us too far but while listening to this album, I often had Amaranthe in mind. It’s less bombastic, and the vocals are limited to female vocals only, but the musical interpretation has common elements with Amaranthe.

They have shot a video for the track ‘Rédemption’, which can be found at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PCqUeds3Pg and where you will see the transformation of Justine into a cold killer. Didn’t I tell you in the beginning that she hides danger in her eyes!?

Elyose is a band with impact and skills. The combination of the music with the vocal chords of Justine is a very good move and ensures a personal sound and individual approach, which we greatly encourage! Once again, a great album from an outstanding band from France! https://fr-fr.facebook.com/ElyoseOfficial

My rating: 84/100 ( Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)


EMBRYO – EMBRYO (Logic(il)Logic Records)

Review by Sloof

There are many bands out there with the name Embryo and the name of this band suggests that we have to deal with a Death Metal band, it’s not always a certainty as I know a band from Germany with the same name and they play Fusion Rock with Jazz influences. For clarity, this band is an Italian band that started around the year 2K and after some lineup changes, they are ready for their third album!

Their first album was released in 2006 as ‘Chaotic Age’, followed by a successor in 2010 ‘No God Slave’. The mechanical death metal riffs that characterized this second album gained depth and melodic accents on the new album and that’s a move in the right direction! The new material has a kind of Peter Tägtgren approach and being compared with the likes of Hypocrisy is a compliment isn’t it? For this third album, Francesco Paoli of Fleshgod Apocalypse gave them a helping hand as the one who took care of all drums. If you know Francesco or his band Fleshgod Apocalypse, you know that he is one of the tightest drum animals that dwell the earth, so a deadly attack from the skins is secured!

The songs have a dreamy and spooky layer and that gives an extra to the vocals of Roberto Pasolini. Rather unusual that Death Metal outfits add so many keyboards and atmospherically parts in their music, but Embryo proves that it works! From the first track ‘An Awkward Attempt’ till final track ‘I Am Pure Hate’ we get 11 songs that underlines the quality of the Italian Death Metal scene! Fans of Hour Of Penance, Fleshgod Apocalypse and occasionally Meshuggah have a perfect band to complete their record collection!

My rating: 80/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)


END OF THE DREAM – ALL I AM (Independent)

Review by Sloof

Holland is known for great female fronted metal bands, and when you think that they reached their level, a new band is presented with the name End Of The Dream. About one year ago, August 2014, they started to record their own material for their first full-length debut album ‘All I Am’, which is now available. As this is an independent release, you won’t find it in your local record store, so I advise to check their live gigs or homepage to order your own personal copy! It’s worth the money as you get 9 songs that are worth each penny! At the same time, it’s a little odd that this band is still unsigned, as there is a whole pile of new signed bands waiting for a review, but many of them fail to achieve the same quality.

‘All I Am’ starts with the track ‘Follow The Angels’ and initially, I had a little doubt when the vocals of Micky Huijsmans entered the song. It was unnecessary to worry as the vocal lines switched into a better direction when the chorus dropped in. I can only conclude that Holland can add a brilliant vocalist to their roster. We already encountered the capacities of Sharon (Within Temptation), Simone (Epica), Charlotte (Delain), Floor (ReVamp/Nightwish), amongst many others, but Micky can top them all. I don’t want to push her voice into the Gothic style, as I prefer it more to say that she has a more typical metal voice, comparable with our Belgian prides Michelle (Hell City) and Julie (Ethernity). Micky has a very wide range and the musicians of End Of The Dream know perfectly how to create a great vibe with elements of Progressive Metal meets Symphonic/Heavy Metal.

Variety is present as well, so if you want a little bombast with a sensitive touch, listen to ‘All I Am’ where the song is bursting out a few times. My personal favorite track is ‘Colder’ as it has a recognizable chorus line and ‘Dark Reflection’ because of the bombastic character. The latter track takes almost 10 minutes, so you can expect a lot of breaks in this top notch arrangement!

End Of The Dream is a band that has the capacities to have a great future ahead. They need to surround themselves with the right people to get to the next level in their career, and in my opinion, it’s only a matter of time. It would be a pity that this band gets swallowed by the incredible amount of shamble releases from signed bands! They truly deserve better and ‘All I Am’ is only a first step! http://www.endofthedreammusic.com/

My rating: 86/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)


ENERTIA – PIECE OF THE FACTORY (Divebomb Records/Tribunal Records)

Review by Spirit In Black

Melodic Thrash Metal band Enertia comes from the New York area in the US. ‘Piece Of The Factory’ is the band’s fourth full-length album in their 19 years of existence. According to their bio there is a possibility that this will be their last album, due to various reasons. Let’s hope it doesn’t come that far.

It will be too bad because ‘Piece Of The Factory’ is a good album! The band didn’t choose to go for another direction, they decided to make a new album in the same style as their previous released albums. Nothing wrong with that I think. You know what to expect! An album packed with Melodic Thrash Metal in the vein of nowadays Flotsam and Jetsam style, many times combined with guitar riffs and solos that has a high Testament level.

Mostly all songs have what Melodic Thrash Metal is about: catchy riffs, pounding drums by Jeff Daley, heavy bass lines by Joe Paciolla (ex-Arch/Rival/ex-Cold War a.o.) and many great, melodic guitar solo’s. Fast with mid-tempo parts and yes, there are even some groovy moments. I caught myself a lot of times thinking this way guitar leads & riffs, drum duties, bass lines, vocal deliveries are really awesome! With regard to amazing guitar solo’s, better take a good listen to ‘Hard To Follow’ where an outstanding shred service by Roman Singleton reign supreme. They also have a top-notch singer within their ranks, Scott Featherstone (Ion Vein/ex-Attika) stands strong behind the microphone and offers a real good job.

Reading the lyrics, it seems someone had to release some anger from his chest. The songs are telling a story on the album from the beginning to end… might be too much to call it a concept album though. In one way or another, there’s a strong connection between all of the songs.

Although I stated earlier in the review that many parts are awesome, I don’t like a couple of songs on ‘Piece Of The Factory’ very much. These tracks aren’t bad or anything like that, they just doesn’t work for myself. Overall, it’s a very decent album that Enertia can be proud of!

Fans of US Power/Thrash Metal should not hesitate to purchase ‘Piece Of The Factory’, do it blindfolded and you won’t be disappointed at all. The ones who enjoyed the latest efforts of Flotsam & Jetsam might like this album for sure! Order Enertia’s first album in 11 years at: http://tribunalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/piece-of-the-factory Additional info at:http://www.animated-insanity.com/enertia.html

My rating: 80/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)


ETHERNITY – OBSCURE ILLUSIONS (Independent)

Review by Stefan

Originating from Belgium (Namur), Ethernity began its quest back in 2000 when the brothers Julien (keys), drummer Nicolas Spreutels and cousin Francois (bass) formed the band with good intentions and ambitions. The first period of existence, they only played instrumental compositions but that changed with the arrival of singer Julie Colin who got the absolute approval of fellow band members. First demo “All Over The Nations” awoke from the dark, followed by a second/self produced demo album entitled “The Journey” in 2006. Heard from good sources, both has quality songs on board and there was more good news on the move.

Ethernity recruited Gregory Discenza as lead guitarist and two more demo recordings called “Quest Of Forgiveness” (2008) & “Broken Memories” (2010) found their way to the surface of the earth. The band’s reputation got more and more attention from the press and media… they shared multiple stages with Power Metal highlights as Gamma Ray, Benedictum, Jorn, Masterplan, Tarja Turunen, Symphony X, Evergrey, DGM, a.o. They must have been very busy those days of touring but still, they had some more important works to complete, finishing a new album.

Finally, the recordings started between June 2012 and October 2013 in their own home studios. Produced by Nicolas & Julien Spreutels and mixed/mastered by Simone Mularoni (DGM/Empyrios) at the Italian based Domination Studio, Ethernity’s new album “Obscure Illusions” was released on the 20th. of March 2015 as a self financed effort !

There are twelve tracks to admire on Ethernity’s new cut and if you like rock-solid, dark and obscure ProgPower Metal with a whole lot of melodic filled technical skills, I can only give you good advice to implement a purchase right away. Ethernity’s front lady Julie Colin seems to be the right person on the right spot. She’s able to use her voice in multiple ways (clear but powerful, emotional…full of passion!) and that’s good to keep the songs interesting and varied. Ethernity’s ProgPower Metal performance mainly has a dark character played with gracefulness. Throughout the entire “Obscure Illusions” running time, the rhythms are constantly changing which brings sweet tempered moments to my ears. The combativeness is on as the band delivers their tracks with aggressiveness, catchy choruses, the full progressive touch including classic elements to work out contagious as well. Long story short, the elaboration of “Obscure Illusions” beckons to professionalism.

Each one of the players has its own qualities which protrude far above the average but still and first of all, my preference goes out to the virtuoso oriented guitar works of Gregory Discenza which are phenomenal in every respect. The way this guy handles his electric machine gun grabs me by the throat. Gregory’s unceasing manner of technical guitar playing speaks to my imagination really. The band’s keyboard specialist in charge named Julien Spreutels is one of a kind also. I can’t call myself a real fan of keyboard actions but anyhow, this guy is able to amaze me quite a lot. He is worthy to be compared with the greatest keyboardists hailing us from the contemporary Progressive Metal scene. I only have laudable words of full respect to everyone present in the camp of Ethernity but what about the songs?

First, satisfying to the ear track” is undoubtedly ‘Shadows On The Wall’, all because of its heavy load character and fast pace, pure technical minded. This one is all about credible nowadays Power Metal with no missing elements at all. Everyone in the band delivers an impressive performance but still want to emphasize that guitarist Gregory Discenza demands my complete attention… this is truly magnificent ! Emotions blaze high during the song ‘Never Thought’. Thanks to Julie’s great and well fitting vocal service in the first place, the rhythm sections achieve a high level so this one is just another highlight. ‘Alone’ showcases the versatility of the front lady in charge, slightly rougher this time and damn right, she has survived the test with much devotion. The heavy guitar sections on ‘Rancor’ almost knocking me outta control and keyboardist Julien deserves all my appreciation for his magnificent keyboard performance on ‘Broken Memories’, his fellow band brother Mr. Vincenza shows again his outstanding, full technical guitar tactics (maybe I’m repeating myself but a fact is a fact). Fanciers of piano driven power ballads featuring great vocals and a lot of passion should check out ‘After All Has Turned Out To Pain”, enjoy and take a deep breath before next song ‘XIII” will reach your eardrums. When we talk about first class Progressive Power Metal, this song explains everything… from beginning to end overwhelmingly good so I’d like to raise my thumbs up to each one in the band !

Does this mean we have had the best so far? Well I have to say no because Ethernity’s “Obscure Illusions” ends with the title track, a sophisticated killer epic piece. Almost 15 minutes of pure pleasure and admiration strike again. This overwhelming composition is enlivened by three guest vocalists being Tom E. Englund from Evergrey, Kelly Sundown Carpenter (Firewind, Outworld and Beyond Twilight) and DGM’s Mark Basile. These are frontmen radiating sheer class by totally different types of vocal deliveries but while listening to ‘Obscure’s Illusions’, all the singing performances fit perfectly with each other. Also the voice of Julie Colin fully meets the quality standards ! Would I proclaim the title song as THE absolute highlight? The answer is yes without any kind of hesitancy!

Throughout the entire album, a dark and obscure feel is in control and has an overwhelming effect on my inner soul. The sovereign cover artwork by Nicolas Spreutels looks fabulous, the booklet consists of nice pictures and lyrics, the sound quality earns a high score,… In short, this album hits you like a bomb but still, there’s something to bump me in the chest-something that displeases me a lot actually.

For what reason this brilliant band is still around without a proper record deal under their arms? Sorry but I really don’t understand it ! Ethernity are not the only ones who have to deal with this erroneous situation. It’s just a shame that great bands with international appeal walk around under the heading of ‘unsigned’. Therefore, I want to release a lure to all ProgMetal targeted records companies to venture an approach with a full-fletched act like Ethernity. A great female fronted outfit who just unleashed their second killer effort entitled “Obscure Illusions” in full glory. Go check ‘em out at:http://www.ethernity.be/band.html

My roints: 85/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)


EPSILON – ZU RICHTEN (Target/Mighty Music Records)

Review by Sloof

The quintet Epsilon from Austria was formed around 2003 and struggled with a lineup change recently. Fresh ideas were brought by drummer Urge (also in Bastard Peels and Bionic Beatz) and guitar player Schmidi (Defiled Utopia). With this new lineup, they entered the Stage One Studio to complete their second full length album with renowned producer Andy Classen. One thing is for sure, if Andy is involved, the sound quality is always top-notch!

The Austrian painter Roman Träxler designed the front cover artwork that portrays a new kind of human being that does not eat, can’t hear, see nor speak and thus cannot do any harm to the world. Vocalist Krise, responsible for the lyrics of the songs, deliberate the self-perception of mankind, its misconduct and ethical action. Interesting themes that really fit to a band that likes to play in the extreme scene. ‘Zu Richten’ is a German album title that can be translated as ‘to judge’, and I’m sure that topics like this are inexhaustible for metal bands!

‘Explicit Enough?’ is the first track on this album and this one coincides with the bush! A pace that is decisive and vocals that are really brutal and heavy. About the vocal chords of Krise, I must remark that they sound really unusual. It’s not comparable with the grunts of Kam Lee from Bone Gnawer or Chris Barnes from Six Feet Under, but he’s bringing his lyrics with a whispering touch, ceremoniously and portentous at the same moment. It’s not easily comparable, so I suggest to give this band a try and see for yourself if they appeal to your personal flavor. Fans of Illdisposed, Fallenfyre, early Entombed, Bloodbath (musical wise) might be surprised about this Austrian Death Machine which also uses clean vocals to give the songs a little variety (‘Witness My Transformation Evisceration’). A special notification is necessary for the drumming skills of Urge. He’s bringing hell on earth and his nanosecond precision is praiseworthy! Not every track is ‘over the top’ in speed, and that’s a good move, as slower and heavier songs interrupt the Shinkansen (Japanese high speed railway) attack. ‘Can They Suffer?’ starts with a guitar solo, which are rather rare on this release, and ‘Im Namen Gottes’ is a short musical introduction to ‘Die Schuld Des Lebens’, probably the best track on this album that takes 7 minutes!

They played the Wacken Open Air 2012 Festival, but that’s not automatically a huge achievement, as this year’s edition brings a lot of bands that are totally unknown but are booked because of chauvinistic content. Don’t tell me that W.O.A. is sold out because bands like Blechbolosn, Bembers, Knasterbart, Kaerbholz, Fat King Konrad, Feuerschwanz, Haudegen, Vroudenspil or Tears For Beers are playing. Same goes for Epsilon as they can’t be described as an added value. Musical wise, things are sorted out decently. The songs sound great, but I miss attitude and variety. This is the second album of Epsilon, and I’m sure that there is potential in the band, but thus far, it’s still present in the ‘salvaged zone’. https://www.facebook.com/epsilonthrash

My rating: 79/100 (Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing)


EVENLINE – DEAR MORPHEUS (Dooweet Agency)

Review by Officer Nice

This band seems to be heading from out of Paris. Since the cowardly attacks a few months ago Paris and music has another sense when people are talking about it. The music scène will never be the same again because of the fact some fanatic retards killed innocent visitors of a Rock concert. Our safety is taken away for a part and Europe became ever since a headless creature in which the civilians don’t believe anymore. Nevertheless those terrible facts made people see that France also has a public for Rock music. France has never actually been a big Rock and Metal country in the past but since a few years things are changing. More and more French Metal bands are born but I suppose they will never reach the level of their German and British brothers.

Evenline saw the light in 2009 and released one EP ever since. This album was first released in 2014 but now you can get this one with a bonus CD. On this extra silver disc you will find the acoustic version of some tracks of the album. This kind of alternative Metal is mixed with Progressive touches and that makes it very enjoyable to listen to. You will hear some more melodic tunes like Alice In Chains, Alter Bridge etc. but at some points Progressive touches are added. You will recognize sounds that will remind to for example Wolverine, a fantastic band that will release a new album later this year. The banduses heavy loaded guitars on great Rocking tunes and singer Aarno Guezic really fits this kind of music. His vocal sound is very exciting and he contains a strong pair of lungs that lifts them up to a higher level. Evenline has, with this kind of music, opportunities for the future, no doubts. Of course you need to like this kind of Alternative Rock / Metal but there is a public for it. Don’t expect long hairs, leather jackets, headbanging musicians…. So be open minded!

I gave this album several spins and I really was pleased with it. It gave me at some points a nostalgic feeling, reminding me to the Nineties movement and it even gave me some kind of summer breeze. It’s still winter, I know, but Evenline was able to bring me in the right mood. Fans of this kind of Rock / Metal can by this one blindfolded, the rest should give it a shot. For me tracks like ‘Misunderstood”, “Without You”, “Already Gone” and “You Should Have Left Me” are working. Great stuff. Check at http://www.evenline-music.com or http://www.facebook.com/evenlinemusic… Order through THIS link !

My rating: 83/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)


[EVERTRAPPED] – UNDER THE DEEP (Hellstorm Recordz)

Review by Nathan McLeod

Must say that I’m really ‘peculiar’ when it comes to ‘death-metal’ & ‘death-metal’ bands nowadays. Mainly because the ‘death-metal’ I grew up on was that of ‘Insanity’ (RIP Bud Mills), ‘Possessed’, ‘Morbid Angel’, ‘Cynic’, ‘Atheist’ (RIP Roger Patterson), & of course ‘DEATH’!!!!!! (RIP Chuck). And with ‘most’, not all, but most ‘death-metal’ artists nowadays ‘completely’ abandoning the ‘whole’ death-metal genre & roots of ‘yesteryear’.

Now although these ‘Montrealan’s’ [EVERTRAPPED] are a more ‘melodic-progressive’ death-metal artist, just something about their 3rd ‘full-length’ CD ‘Under The Deep’ that does it for me. It’s not ‘boring’. It’s not ‘repetative’ musically. The vocals are not ‘horrid’. ‘Keyboards’ are not overdone. And can really tell that the whole CD ‘musically’ was ‘well’ thought out & ‘written’ properly. There’s ‘direction’ in other words.

So, who do [EVERTRAPPED] remind me of? That’s a tough one as ‘numerous’ artists come to mind as ‘simultaneously’ cannot pinpoint one, two, a few. I’d say some ‘Obituary’ crossed with ‘AbsentiA’. (Less any symphonic) And a bit of ‘Gorguts’ & ‘Skinless’. Hats off to these lads with the ‘whole’ DIY with the ‘production’, ‘engineering’, etc. There really is A LOT of ‘talent’ within [EVERTRAPPED] “both” musically & behind the scenes appearing on ‘Under The Deep’!

Their ‘official’ ‘Under The Deep’ video can be viewed here on YouTube: https://youtu.be/iBbC7jpb6WY

My rating: 86/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

[EVERTRAPPED]:

*James Brookes – Vocals

*Frederick Dupuis – Guitar/Samples/Programming

*Vincent Benoit – Guitar

*John Yates – Bass

*Eric Lamire – Drums

*Isanielle Enright – Vocals

‘Under The Deep’ track info:

I) […] II) Arise From The Ashes III) Underneath The Deep IV) Palace Of Injustice V) Hypnotized By Hate VI) Blood Of The Fallen VII) Lethal District VIII) Burning Through Vengeance IX) Reaper X) Embrace The End – total run-time 53:50.

Produced by [EVERTRAPPED]. All recording, editing, mixing, & mastering by Frederick Dupuis.

Drums & vocals recorded & engineered by Eric Lamire. Bass recorded by John Yates.

Photos & artwork by Philip Faith: www.philipfaithphotagraphy.com … Band photo by Luc Delorme.

[EVERTRAPPED] contact info:

*Website: www.evertrapped.com

*Metal Archives: http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Evertrapped/3540313127

*ReverbNation: https://www.reverbnation.com/evertrapped

*Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/evertrapped

*E-mail: evertrapped@gmail.com

*YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/evertrapped

*MySpace: https://myspace.com/evertrapped

Thanks to ‘Jon Asher’ & ‘Asher Media Relations’:

www.ashermediarelations.comashermedia@gmail.com


EVIL – SHOOT THE MESSENGER (Target/Mighty Music Records)

Review by Sloof

Woow! Evil!!?? As the logo indicates, it should be the band that released a brilliant EP in 1984 that softened my teens! Remembering that era, I was thrilled by legendary releases like Sortilège their eponymous EP and debut album ‘Métamorphose’ and ‘Burning The Cross’ from Mercyful Fate. Also Evil surpassed the style with underrated quality and the songs on the EP ‘Evil’s Message’ were fresh, new and probably the first Danish Speed Metal attack! How can I describe the feeling when this first full length album dropped into my mailbox? Excitement, curious and perhaps with trembling hands I offered the disc to my CD player, hoping that the next miracle would take place.

‘Shoot The Messenger’ is the title of that debut album which took until 2015 to be released and the original drummer Freddie Wolf is still present. Actually, he’s the one that holds all strings as he wrote the music and played all instruments to get the job done. Longtime friend Soren Nico Adamsen (vocalist of Artillery from 2007 – 2012) offered a helping throat during the recordings and from March 30th. 2015, ‘Shoot The Messenger’ will be in your local record store.

How about the songs on this debut album, do they surpass my expectations? Is this debut album something to look forward to? With great regret, I must say that I am disappointed. It leaves a saddening feeling, a hopeful idea becomes a great disappointment, and at those moments, my heart starts to bleed. Songs like ‘Big Show’ leave an uninspired taste and even the ballad ‘Keep It True’ is toes curling. The only positive note that I can add is the vocal contribution of Soren, as he’s capable to lift bad songs to a barely acceptable level. The first single ‘I Could Be Your Hero’ demonstrates his abilities, but once again, it indicates that a good voice also needs good songs to create something magical, and that’s the missing ingredient.

Perhaps, it would be fruitful to keep the memory of Evil alive with the ‘Evil’s Message’ EP only. It would avoid a shameful embarrassment and I hope that they don’t take the album title literally, for my own concern. Their final message on the infosheet is ‘Evil’s coming…’ but I guess that this includes many meanings.

My rating: 58/100 (Bad, substandard)


EVIL DRIVE – THE LAND OF THE DEAD (Target/Mighty Music Records)

Review by Sloof

This is the first review of a 2016 release and the honor goes to Evil Drive from Finland. In general, female fronted extreme metal bands are rather rare if you skip Arch Enemy (both with Angela Gossow and Alissa White-Gluz), Huntress, In This Moment and of course Iwrestledabearonce, so if you want to start a new band, why not filling some open gaps? Perhaps that’s the idea of Finish Metal freaks Evil Drive.

The album takes about 40 minutes and after a short intro, the first track ‘World Cleaners’ takes off. Good interaction between the vocals and guitars, the pace is great and luckily we get a lot of axe attacks. This is a very good start as it has a lot to offer, and when the pace increases at the end of the track it’s already a first highlight! ‘Bullet’ is a track that I know already from a video that they released, a few years ago. The topics about devastation, danger and killing continues with the track ‘War’. This one is a lot slower but has at the same time a lot of Arch Enemy influences. Well done, and suitable for a single as well! Something totally different comes our way with the song ‘No Way In The Lie’ which is a very sensitive track and gives the perfect break in the album. Viktoria seems to be capable to use her voice in many different ways. I just love this track, as it’s exploding into a bombastic and heavy masterpiece! The whole album is beyond the average and will invite you for another round of Death metal.

They shot already an official video for the title track and although head banging is present from the very first second, you will agree that the vocal capacity of Viktoria Viren is rather limited. And that’s the only comment that I can give on this release. It’s not meant as negative or to tear down the band, but only meant as a good advice for the future. Perhaps, one will ask if a wide range is a necessity. Well, it adds flavor to the dish, it adds variety and avoids boredom, so Yes, it is!

Talking about Evil Drive, the band is still young and ready to flourish, but they will have to pay more attention on the vocal capacities and performances to get noticed by a larger crowd. The album pleased me during the review sessions, but it’s not yet timeless, so that’s their biggest challenge for the next album! http://www.evildrive.net/

My rating: 79/100 (Decent but best previewing)


EVIL INVADERS – PULSES OF PLEASURE (Napalm Records)

Review by Sloof

By chance I saw an article in the newspaper today with an overview of chart entries and the Thrash Metal outfit Evil Invaders from Belgium entered the charts at #33 in the Ultratop 200. What an achievement for an extreme metal act that just released their debut album ‘Pulses Of Pleasure’ at Napalm Records. Of course, we all knew that Evil Invaders is one of the hardest working metal bands in our little country, but once you see the results in the charts, it surely creates a moment of shock!

The band started in 2007 and after the release of a demo ‘D-emokill’ and EP ‘Evil Invaders’, it’s time to move on. They won the Wacken Metal Battle in 2013, toured Japan, went on the road with Destrucion and travelled 40.000 km in only 1 year, so it’s mildly stated that Evil Invaders are eagerly waiting to get the world served on a plate. And they will! Their ‘back to the future’ approach results in songs that are furious, old school Speed Metal style but with a perfect sound and production! Referring to the Canadian influence Razor their second album, the quartet is aiming at Thrash and Speed Metal audiences that want to revive the good old days when hundreds of fans were headbanging and fists were pounding! Bring on the bullet belts, studs and leather, put on your leather jacket and scream and shout your most favorite Metal Hymn while you have a few beers in both hands! Speed Metal is on the loose and Evil Invaders will denounce their pulses of pleasure!

Napalm Records did a good move by offering a contract to these youngsters that are willing to go hard and fast! Fans of early Raven, Nasty Savage, Agent Steel and of course Razor will be thrilled about the metal mayhem that is created, and my personal highlight on this album are the numerous outstanding guitar solos that add a melodic touch to the songs. This is music that must be heard, and it doesn’t need long epistles to indicate why this band is so hot. They fill the gap that was created in the mid 90ies, and they do it with bravura!

My rating: 83/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)


EVOLVENT – WHATEVER HAPPENS (Dooweet Records)

Review by Sloof

Gothic Metal from France, Paris to be precise, isn’t a daily event, but when I received the album ‘Whatever Happens’, I was quite impressed about the front cover artwork. Not only the lady was looking great, but the whole artwork made it clear what kind of music I would find on this disc. Gothic with a little Symphonic is the band’ description and ‘Whatever Happens’ is the second album of Evolvent. They released already a few EP’s in the past and a debut album (‘Delusion’) in 2011, and for their second album, they worked with Bernett Records again. If my info is correct, the album should be in the stores already, but that may vary, depending on the region where you live in.

The first track is an intro that sounds very promising, but when the first track ‘Win Or Die’ starts, I was holding my breathe. Female vocals often sound too female, they are mostly found in the higher region and for some people, it has an annoying effect. With Emma Elvaston, I have a few dilemmas and doubts. She’s doing efforts to give her throat the best of her abilities, but she’s not comparable with the other front woman like Helena Iren Michaelsen (Imperia), Simone Simons (Epica) or nowadays Nightwish vocalist Floor Jansen. Some musical influences are comparable with Ethernity, but I prefer the latter. One of the best songs on this new album is the single release ‘Love Doesn’t Love Me’, so if you want to have a little preview, just check the You Tube channel and start your search for this track.

Track 5 ‘Our Fate’ is extremely sensitive! It’s a good example of the ‘less is more’ principle and while Emma is doing all she can, we hear very nice and fragile instrumental support. Beautiful and definitely an added value as Emma isn’t going into the highest regions. ‘We Are’ has again a very bombastic layer in the beginning (a track that would fit in a band like Kamelot as well) but suddenly, the song is switching into a totally diverse direction. Evolvent is a band with a lot of possibilities, but I guess, the major issue is to write and compose songs that fit as one piece with the voice of Emma. She has the capacities and the skills, so do the musicians, but everything is worked out in a parallel direction, and I want to hear a fusion, a merge between the vocals and the instruments. I’m sure that their third album is going to be their ‘make it or break it’ album! Evolvent FaceBook

My rating: 73/100 (Decent but best previewing)


EXCEPT ONE – HAUNTED HUMANITY (Dooweet Agency)

Review by Sloof

Female fronted metal bands often have the comment that their front woman is too gentle, sings too high, is too feminine and sort of things. Well, I have good news for those that want a little more aggression.

Except One is a band from Paris and they have a bombshell at the microphone. Name of that bitch is Estelle and she presents herself as Sexy Freaky Vocals. I’m sure that a lot of tall man would make a U-turn when they would meet in the dark, not because of her looks, but because of her gimmicks. She has make up in Cradle Of Filth tradition, with piercings and a very rough image. If you take a look at their video of the track ‘Disease’, you will notice that she’s not afraid to use a bludgeon to destroy stuff and at the same time demolish a whole family. Shocking, but I loved it!

On this new EP ‘Haunted Humanity’ we get 7 songs that have three things in common: aggression, aggression and aggression. While the black bald bass of Boris is creating a layer of concrete we hear ultimate guitar riffing by Baby Face Guitar Junior and Shaved Balls Guitar Ad’ibou. There is no time to wait, no time to waste, as Estelle is giving commandos to get totally into the red.

This band is original, wild, convincing and a must-hear to those that want something new without being afraid of excessive moments. Except One is perhaps the most original band from France in months, and I guess that this situation and position will maintain for the rest of the year! Great job, great attitude and great renewal! Official Homepage at: http://www.exceptone.fr/

My rating: 88/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)


 EXODUS – BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT (Nuclear Blast Records)

Review by Nathan McLeod

Welcome back to the fold ‘Zetro’. ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ is like ‘#12+’ with full-length ‘Exodus’ releases. (I’ve lost count). And ‘Zetro’s’ 1st ‘Exodus’ release in over a decade since ‘Tempo Of The Damned’. Which was not as ‘heavy’ as ‘Blood In, Blood Out’. None the less, if I had to choose between ‘Tempo Of The Damned’ & ‘Blood In, Blood Out’, ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ gets my vote by far!! When it comes to ‘researching’ the ‘statistics’ & ‘numbers’ with other ‘reviews’, it seems the ‘opposite’ & ‘Tempo’ receiving more love. Oh well, to each their own.

And you have here with ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ another ‘hour’ average ‘epic’ release as you have had with the last three (3) ‘Rob Dukes – Exodus’ releases. In fact ‘musically’ here, & may be ‘mistaken’, but the music sounds as if it was ‘written’ prior to ‘Rob’s’ departure? As well A LOT of the ‘lyric’ style does too, ‘intertwined’ with a ‘lyrical’ style that of ‘Fabulous Disaster’ & ‘Impact Is Imminent’, touching a little bit with ‘Tempo’. A LOT more backing vocals ‘appearing’ that I’m not use to hearing or ‘recall’ for that matter since their ‘Tempo’ release.

Yes, ‘approximately’ 85-90% of ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ was written by ‘Gary Holt’. And of course, did a ‘superb’ job writing most of the CD. I do need to give ‘Lee Altus’ A LOT of ‘credit’ where ‘credit’ is ‘due’ with not only his ‘guitarmanship’ as ‘Gary’s’, but also his writing ‘ability’ & ‘capability’ on ‘Body Harvest’ & ‘Honor Killings’, which amongst ‘Numb’ & ‘Collateral Damage’ are my favourite tracks on ‘Blood In, Blood Out. And a ‘kick-ass’ job at the ‘engineering’ helm ‘Jack’! Gave it that ‘signature’ ‘Exodus’ sound as the last ‘several’ releases, with a ‘hint’ of difference.

I was watching some YouTube footage of not only the ‘official’ ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ video which can be viewed here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c69S3pD8qI , but ‘live’ footage of ‘Zetro’ with a bit of some ‘interview’ material, & as ‘explosive’ as ‘Zetro’ is on ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ he is live! I’d have to say much-much moreso than the ‘Zetro’ of ‘yesteryear’. Almost as if ‘Zetro’ had breathed some ‘new’ life within his decade long ‘exodus’; no pun intended. Was also ‘curious’ if he was going to sing any ‘Rob Dukes’ material during ‘recent’ tour(s)? ‘Apparently’ has & must say ‘Zetro’ pulls ‘Rob’s’ material off with N/P’s ‘whatsoever’! Props!!!

‘Tom Hunting’ has always been alongside ‘Gene Hoglan’ the ‘heaviest’ ‘hitting-pounding-brutal’ drummers in ‘thrash-metal’ today! Both ‘John Tempesta’ & ‘Paul Bostaph’ did ‘excellent’ jobs when ‘Tom’ was briefly away from ‘Exodus’, but, you ‘cannot’ replace the ‘signature’ sound of ‘Exodus’ nor any band for that matter.

‘Sadly’ what I believe ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ lacks is the ‘eerie’, ‘twisted’, ‘sinister’, ‘cynical’, ‘creepy’, & ‘heavy’ vibe that was ‘captured’ during the ‘Rob Dukes’ era of ‘Exodus’ with the ‘Atrocity’ & ‘Exhibit’ releases. Morseo with ‘Exhibit’. And as much as I am ‘happy’ to see ‘Zetro’ back, I am as ‘sad’ to see ‘Rob’ leave. IMO I believe it was a ‘matter’ of time before ‘Zetro’ returned. I wish ‘Rob Dukes’ all the best of ‘luck’ & further ‘success’ as I do ‘Zetro’ & ‘Exodus’, whom has brought the ‘iconic’ & ‘epic’ vocals back!!

The ‘Salt The Wound’ video featuring ‘Kirk Hammett’ can be viewed/listened to hear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMs9yNlBp4c – And ‘once’ again, “Welcome back Zetro”.

My rating: 85/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

‘Blood In, Blood Out’ track info:

I) Black 13 II) Blood In, Blood Out III) Collateral Damage IV) Salt The Wound V) Body Harvest VI) BTK VII) Wrapped In The Arms Of Rage VIII) My Last Nerve IX) Numb X) Honor Killings XI) Food For The Worms – total run-time 1:02:31.

‘Exodus’:

*Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza – Vocals

*Gary Holt – Guitar

*Lee Altus – Guitar

*Jack Gibson – Bass

*Tom Hunting – Drums

 

*Chuck Billy – Vocals

*Kirk Hammett – Guitar

*Dan The Automator – Programing/Electronics

Produced by Exodus. Engineered by Jack Gibson. Mixed, mastered, drum tracking, & engineering by Andy Sneap @ Backstage Studios – England. Drums recorded @ Studio D. Assistant drum engineering by Jason Victorine & Matt Mullin. Overdubs recorded @ Goats ‘R Us Studios. Cover art by Par Olofsson. Layout by Gustavo Sazes. Band Photos by Eus Straver.

Dedicated to the memory of: Debbie Abono – Armand Butts Crump, III – Jon Torres – Kody ‘the original Shovel Headed Kill Machine’ – Akihiro Yokoyama – Jeff Hanneman ‘the original Angel Of Death’ – You are all missed – R.I.P.

‘Exodus’ contact info:

Website: www.exodusattack.com

ReverbNation: https://www.reverbnation.com/exodus

Metal Archives: http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Exodus/173


Exuviated is a Belgian band that was formed in 2006 in the French speaking part of our country, Marche-en-Famenne, to be precise. Honestly, I must confess that I haven’t heard of them before, so I guess that they are mainly operating in the Southern area of Belgium and France instead of Flanders. That’s a pity, as there are not so many bands in Belgium that play Death Metal, so we should embrace them the best way possible. The band released an EP in 2009 (‘An Era’s Condemned’) and a first full length album in 2011 (‘Morpheus Orphan’).

The new album is set to be released at the end of 2015 by Spinal Records and that’s a good decision as their previous album was an independent release. First of all, the front cover artwork is truly awesome! One of the best artworks that I saw from a Belgian band, so horns up for www.threadbare.be who are a design clinic, specialized in Metal music surgery. There are similarities with Spiros Antoniou from Septic Flesh, who I consider as one of the leading artwork artists, mainly known as Seth Siro Anton. ‘Last Call To The Void’ contains 10 tracks and from the very first sentence ‘I Have No God’ in the song “No Faith Remains”, it’s obvious that we have deal with a band that is furious. The guitars of Cédric Grandhenry (original member since 2008) and Renaut Van Oeyen (member since 2014) are fierce and frantic, while the rhythm section of Grégory Grandhenry (drums and brother of Cédric) and Léo Ivanciu (bass) but a layer of concrete all over the disc.

There is no open space nor gap present, everything is melted down into a huge slab of metal! The vocals of Jean-Philippe Sonnet are very brutal, a bit comparable with the U.S. Death Metal giants like Obituary, Autopsy, Immolation, Suffocation and why not: Cannibal Corpse. The next track is ‘Secret Passenger’ and this one is totally diverse, as Jean-Philippe adjusts his voice into a more commercial (?) approach. It is even understandable, so just try to think! Those that like there Death Metal in a blazing speed should listen to ‘The Open Mouth Of Decay’ and if you want a totally different approach, just skip to the title song of the album.

Many songs have the same approach and that might possibly cause a lack of variation. Some tracks reminded me of the greats of Bolt Thrower, but they have a higher quality label. The most special songs are my personal favorites, so it indicates that the overall sound of the band needs a kind of upgrade. You can be heavy as hell when you try a different approach, and I refer to ‘Secret Passenger’ and ‘Last Call To The Void’, that I consider as highlights of the album. One more thing: the song ‘Black Empty Faces’ has pig squeals like Suicide Silence, and that’s totally otiose.

Focus on one style and refine the songs a bit more by improving the vocals, that’s the only advice that I can give to exceed on the next album. http://www.exuviated.com/

My rating: 79/100 (Decent but best previewing)