Tag Archives: Metal

SOLENCE

Solence band photo

SOLENCE (from l-r): David Straaf (guitar), Markus Videsater (vocals), Johan Sward (keyboards), David Vikingsson (drums)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Since meeting and forming while at high school in their native Sweden, four-piece Solence have all been on a journey that has taken them from teenagers playing cover versions of tracks by the likes of Imagine Dragons and Ed Sheeran, to young men who independently write, produce, and mix music that is a well-crafted, hard-hitting combination of electronic rock, metal, and pop, which has gained them a sizable following on both Spotify and YouTube.

With the quartet having recently unveiled a new single, ‘Empire Of The Sun‘, ahead of an eagerly-anticipated debut album release this autumn, I spoke to frontman Markus Videsater about all this and more.

How did the band initially form?

We initially formed when we all went to high school in a small city called Norrköping, which is about two hours from Stockholm.

How did the name Solence come about?

(laughs) Funny that you’re asking, actually, as we first had another name, In Reverence, which was back in 2011, I think, but there was this other band, from Stockholm, that had the same name, so we started competing against each other, trying to beat the other band in Facebook likes, and whoever had the most at a certain point would get to keep the name.

The fight for the name ultimately stopped when the other band filed a name patent, so we then changed our name to Solence, just because it sounded cool to us, but it doesn’t really mean anything.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

Avenged Sevenfold, In Flames, Dream Theater, Periphery, and basically every pop star for the last decade.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We all aim at the same thing, I would say. All of us try to write the best song possible, that at the same time feels energetic and original. We really love classic melodies and big choruses with dope and original productions.

What inspires the band lyrically?

For me as the main lyricist, I would say that I’m most inspired by personal feelings or things happening to me or people in my life. I love to write cool things that feel close to the heart.

You’ve just brought out a new single, ‘Empire Of The Sun’. How has the immediate reaction to that been?

Great! Our fan base is so amazing. We’re so lucky to have approximately 60,000 people subscribed to our YouTube channel, so every time we drop a new video, it has been crazy.

Also, Spotify has been really supportive putting it in playlists with about 500,000 followers in total, so that really helps.

And so far, the band’s tracks have had over 20 million streams across all platforms, with 200,000 monthly listeners on Spotify alone. I can imagine that was something you weren’t anticipating when Solence started.

(laughs) You’re right! We just happen to be four guys who really love to make music together, and who are all driven – like I said before – to just write the best songs we possibly can.

The numbers are a bonus to us, but of course, we’re very happy to be able to do this on such a high level.

This autumn, you will be unveiling your debut album. How has the recording process for that been going?

It has been long, I would say! Everyone who’s been in a band probably knows how hard it is keeping four guys together and working on a project they’ve had since we were 16, but after years of other distractions, we’ve come back to this band fully committed, and it feels better than ever, and the album will really show the journey we’ve made both as musicians and as individuals.

And what can be expected from the album?

Hopefully a lot of happiness and headbanging!

The band have toured across their native Sweden and much of continental Europe. How is the experience – for you all – of playing live?

We’ve all been playing live in different constellations since we were very young – I think I was seven when I first started – so doing live shows now feels relaxed and fun, and it’s also the place we really can share the music with the fans and enjoy the hard work we’ve been putting into recording it.

What are your plans for the rest of 2019?

We’re going to finish off recording the album, bring out a few singles from it, and then release the album.

And finally, what is the band’s long-term aim?

Honestly, we just want to deliver the best songs that we possibly can, as we’re really driven by the craft of songwriting and the power of a really well-written tune, but we also want the whole world to hear them…

Solence Single Cover

‘EMPIRE OF THE SUN’ – THE LATEST SINGLE FROM SOLENCE – IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND THEIR DEBUT ALBUM WILL BE RELEASED THIS AUTUMN.

FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

 

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SYTERIA

Syteria band photo

SYTERIA (from l-r): Pablo Calvo (drums/vocals), Keira Kenworthy (bass/vocals), Jackie “Jax” Chambers (guitar/vocals), Julia Calvo (vocals)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
PHOTO by MARC McGARRAGHY of YELLOW MUSTANG PHOTOGRAPHY

Formed in 2015 by Jackie “Jax” Chambers, current lead guitarist of Girlschool, one of the pioneers of the new wave of British heavy metal, and including bassist Keira Kenworthy, daughter of Mike, former drummer of Raven, an outfit considered to be a major influence on such legendary bands such as Metallica and Slayer, Yorkshire four-piece Syteria pride themselves on crafting a heavy blend of punk and rock that manages to positively sound both nostalgic and modern.

With this – and some brilliantly put together live sets – the band have been able to leave a lasting impression on audiences everywhere, which is something they will be hopeful of doing again this year, what with a series of gigs and festival appearances across the UK, and the release of ‘Reflection‘, the eagerly-anticipated follow-up to their well-received 2017 debut album, ‘Rantobot‘.

Jax and Keira recently spoke to me about all this – and much more.

Firstly, how did the band form?

JACKIE “JAX” CHAMBERS (guitar/vocals): I’d always wanted to have another band besides Girlschool, so that I’d be constantly playing and recording, so at the end of 2015, I put the word out, and I found Julia through a mutual friend of ours on Facebook.

Julia then found Keira online, and then we got together with her dad Mike to rehearse, with Julia‘s brother Pablo helping us out on drums. We initially looked for a permanent drummer, but then we saw Pablo and how good he was, so we decided to keep him on.

How did the name Syteria come about?

JAX: I am heavily into meditation these days, and I was reading a book where I came across the word “siteria“, which I believe is a spiritual name of a flower. I haven’t seen that reference since, but I liked it.

However, I thought it would look better written with a Y rather than an I, so I changed it and put it forward to the rest of the band as a possible name. We already had a long list of possible band names, so we decided to narrow it down little by little, which was easy to do as all the other ones we liked had already been taken by other rock bands across the world.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

JAX: When I write a song, I tend to start with a drum loop and jam around with it until I find a melodic riff or something that works, and then build it from there.

I have a lot of words that I’ve written over the years, which I’m still writing now, as I really love writing songs, and I try to add as much melody as I can in each instrument, and then building it up with the harmonies to top it all off.

KEIRA KENWORTHY (bass/vocals): It’s actually not as straightforward for me, as I need to be in a mindset to write songs, and most of the time, I’m too busy playing bass! (laughs)

When I do write though, I will always start with the rhythmic parts before I even think of a melody. I may also write out a few lyrics beforehand, and try to imagine in my head what the music is going to sound like, so it fits in with those lyrics.

What inspires the band lyrically?

KEIRA: There has been a lot going on in the world lately, which has really got our creative juices flowing. What is there not to talk about?

We can all agree that this is not a very happy planet right now, what with corporations and governments consistently letting us down, and the only way that they will realise this is through a revolution that would give power back to the people.

JAX: Despite this, we try not to be too negative with our lyrics. We make sure that we add a little humour here and there, as there’s enough doom and gloom out there as it is without us adding to it, so we like our music and melodies to be uplifting, and we also like our lyrics to make people smile.

In 2017, you brought out a debut album, ‘Rantobot’, to rave reviews, and it was also nominated for an Independent Music Award. Honestly, were any of you surprised by the response the album got at all?

JAX: It was so flattering to read all the positive reviews, because as a band, and as a songwriter, the best you can hope for is that people out there like what you’re doing.

When we had finished recording the album, we knew we had something special, as we had put so much love into it in the first place, and I think we have something truly unique in that we have four-part harmonies, which we use in every song so it helps to give them that sing-along feel.

KEIRA: The response was truly shocking for me, as usually you would expect at least some divisive opinion when it comes to reviewing an album, so we feel fortunate to have brought out something that somehow managed to tick all the boxes with our fans, and hopefully, we will do just as well with the follow-up.

On the subject of the follow-up – entitled ‘Reflection’, and coming out later this year – how has the recording process been for that?

KEIRA: Myself, Jax, and Pablo have been travelling down to Wales to record the drum and bass parts, which me and Pablo have been pretty quick at laying down, as we both lock in as a rhythm section, and know our parts well. We actually managed to record those parts of the tracks in only two days!

JAX: It will be my turn to head into the recording studio next, to record the guitar parts, and then Julia will go in to do the vocals.

It should all be done within ten days, as we’re not one of those bands who will spend months in the studio, and we’ve split the recording process in two parts, as we’ll be playing a lot of gigs in between, including our set at Camden Rocks.

Also, how will the new album differ stylistically to the first?

KEIRA: This will be the first time that each member of the band has written a song, so the style will be more diverse, and with the songs that each of us has written, our influences and personalities shine through better, as each of our individual influences and styles have now become much more important to the uniqueness of our sound.

JAX: There will still be some rants in there, of course!

You mentioned Camden Rocks earlier. Which other bands/artists are you personally looking forward to seeing play there?

KEIRA: We’ll be headlining the Dublin Castle on the Sunday evening, so it would be great for us to be able to catch a few other acts beforehand. Personally, I would love to see Bad Touch and Black Sixteen.

JAX: Unfortunately, I’m in the unusual situation that I won’t be able to attend most of the festival, as I’ll be in Wales, recording the guitar parts for ‘Reflection‘. However, I will be coming down for the Sunday, and I’m hoping to catch some new bands, and also seeing what else is around.

I personally think events like this are fabulous, as bands who nobody may have heard of get the chance to play and potentially be discovered.

And it will be the first time the band will have played in Camden since your equipment was stolen, which must have been a rather traumatic experience for you all.

JAX: It happens, unfortunately, and it was such a downer after we had had a great night at The Lounge playing with Hands Off Gretel, another band who are from Yorkshire.

KEIRA: I think when you’ve heard so many stories of other bands getting their gear nicked, then you have no doubt in your mind that it could happen to you as well, so we have always been vigilant with our gear since the beginning, but it wasn’t enough to stop us getting nearly £1,500 worth of gear stolen by some scumbags.

JAX: And it wasn’t as if they had stolen it from outside the venue, as we had parked our car in the car park of the nearby hotel we were staying at, which was underground, had CCTV cameras, and was near the main entrance, so we assumed that everything would be secure.

Of course, the hotel management didn’t do anything about it, and the police seemed like they couldn’t have cared less, which was a shame, but we were just grateful that they hadn’t taken the car as well, so we went, “It could have been worse, and nobody’s died“, and just dealt with it.

You’ve toured across the UK, and have played numerous festivals, some as far afield as Greece and Thailand. How were they as experiences?

KEIRA: I loved it when we did the gigs abroad, as it always felt like we were going on a mini holiday, and even if we are away for only a few days, we managed to make our experience memorable in some way, for example, the first gig we ever did abroad was in Zurich in Switzerland, and we actually recorded a live album there, which unfortunately is no longer available, as it was only a limited edition release.

The Wildfire Festival in Scotland was also a blast to do, as we had a great crowd and a great sound. During the end of our set there, we were finishing off with ‘When I Get Out Of High School‘, and Jax noticed that there were some little girls with inflatable guitars, so we invited them up on stage with us, and afterwards, we autographed each one of the guitars. Bless ’em! (laughs)

And how is it overall performing on stage?

KEIRA: It’s brilliant! Pablo and I are very tight as a rhythm section, and each of the band members mesh together, becoming one full unit.

JAX: That’s where we really come into our own, as we all love playing live, and I think our personalities show through in every performance.

Even when we’re not really feeling it before a gig, as soon as we hit those first few bars of a song, we’re transported into our little world of fun, but we always try to involve the audience as well, as after all, we’re there to entertain them.

KEIRA: We have the energy, and we’ve got the look, plus some choreography! Come and see us to believe it! (laughs)

And lastly, album aside, what has the band got lined up for the near future?

JAX: With the release of ‘Reflection‘, we hope to be touring as much as possible, and right now, we’re in talks about a distribution deal to release it, but firstly, we’re currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the recording, so everyone who has helped in that will get their album three months before it is actually released, as our way of saying thank you.

Also, we will be putting out some new videos to go along with the tracks, which are always fun to do.

Syteria Album Cover

‘REFLECTION’ – THE SECOND ALBUM FROM SYTERIA – WILL BE RELEASED LATER THIS YEAR. THE BAND ARE CURRENTLY RAISING FUNDS FOR ITS RECORDING, SO IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE, GO TO www.kickstarter.com BEFORE JUNE 6. 

SYTERIA WILL ALSO BE PLAYING AT CAMDEN ROCKS NEXT WEEKEND. THEIR SET WILL BE AT THE DUBLIN CASTLE, SUNDAY JUNE 2, AT 10:45pm. MORE INFO ON THE FESTIVAL CAN BE FOUND BELOW:

Camden Rocks 2019 final poster

ALSO, FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE BAND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

 

 

 

 

TOP FIVE BANDS/ARTISTS TO SEE AT CAMDEN ROCKS 2019

Camden Rocks 2019 final poster

by JOE WILLIAMS

Next weekend, over 400 emerging and established bands and artists will be descending on 20 venues across the famed London market district of Camden for the 2019 Camden Rocks Festival, and for those who are planning to go, here are the top five acts that you simply don’t want to miss out on:

The Wild Things band photo

THE WILD THINGS – Saturday June 1, 2pm, The Monarch

Reminiscent of Paramore, yet with a melodic, self-cultivated British twist, The Wild Things have been tipped as one of the dark horses of this year’s festival.

Fans of the acclaimed BBC TV show ‘Uncle‘ may well recognise vocalist/guitarist Sydney Rae White, who played Gwen, but on stage, she has a different presence altogether, and with a consistent string of songs in their back pockets, there’s no wonder why this British rock quartet have been tipped as ones to watch by the likes of Kerrang!Classic Rock, and BBC Introducing.

The Blinders band photo

THE BLINDERS – Saturday June 1, 7.30pm, Dingwalls

Replacing Welsh rock outfit Pretty Vicious – who have unfortunately had to pull out of playing at this year’s festival – the Doncaster three-piece are one of the more recognised names amongst the British alternative scene, and have been slowly but surely leaving their mark with some truly unique performances.

Accompanied by the powerful and dark tonal range of bassist Charlie McGough, and drummer Matt Neale, vocalist/lead guitarist Thomas Haywood has a stand-out range in his vocals that has rocked every room they’ve crossed since the band started out in 2016.

Three years on, they have recently been promoting last year’s debut album ‘Colombia‘ with much touring, and will be looking to continue their rise with a strong outing this June.

Frank Turner photo

FRANK TURNER – Saturday June 1, 8.45pm, The Electric Ballroom

Headlining the Saturday, the seven-studio album-producing punk and folk singer-songwriter needs no introduction to those close to the indie scene.

Following his time as part of post-hardcore collective Billion Dead, he ventured into his now-renowned acoustic solo career, and has since provided a taste of uplifting and empowering vocals across the world.

As well as taking to the stage as a solo artist, he has also reunited with his former bandmate, Ben Dawson, to form Mongol Horde, along with guitarist Matt Nasir, and Despite having been born in Bahrain, Turner has always been seen as a Londoner, and he will look to return that favour as he returns to Camden once again.

Best Of Enemies band photo

BEST OF ENEMIES – Sunday June 2, 12pm, The Black Heart

Following off the back of the first day, there will be no better place to get yourself settled back into the spirit of Camden Rocks then by going to The Black Heart to see pop-rock four-piece Best of Enemies, who will be making the short trip north from Croydon.

Showcasing their recently-released EP, the band look to take their ever-growing audience by surprise by encapsulating beautifully-paced vocals, and pairing them with addictive hooks.

Hands Off Gretel band photo

HANDS OFF GRETEL – Sunday June 2, 8.30pm, The Camden Assembly

Stemming shades of the 90’s grunge scene, the colourful South Yorkshire outfit will look to kick into a final night of Camden Rocks with the typical riotous swagger that has become a staple of the current line-up’s fearsome presentations.

Performing across the circuit since forming in 2015, they showed little mercy in releasing their debut album ‘Burn the Beauty Queen‘, which received plaudits from all corners of the UK, including Louder Than War, who stated at the time, “It marks the start of a career that could well see them becoming as big as Nirvana, Marilyn Manson, or Miley Cyrus over time….. given the breaks, and skilful management.

The band will certainly be hoping that their appearance at Camden Rocks will lay down further foundations for them to do just that.

TICKETS FOR CAMDEN ROCKS 2019 ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR THE SATURDAY, SUNDAY, AND BOTH DAYS, STARTING FROM £40. FURTHER INFO ON THIS CAN BE FOUND AT THE FESTIVAL’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE.

 

 

 

FIRST WAVE OF BANDS ANNOUNCED FOR MACMILLAN FEST 2019 – NOTTINGHAM

Oceans Ate Alaska band photo

OCEANS ATE ALASKA

Skarlett Riot band photo

SKARLETT RIOT

Macmillan Fest 2019 sees the festival in its 10th year of raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support, having started out with humble beginnings in a local social club to a multi-venue metropolitan festival having raised a staggering total of £38,000!

InVisions band photo

INVISIONS

One of the festival’s founders, and this year’s organiser, Kris Graham-Martin says: “When I started this event at the age of 16, it was hard to be taken seriously by any bands or venues at one point. For the first few years, it was difficult to find our feet and find our layout as it currently stands today. I’d say one of the biggest nightmare these days is co-ordinating announcements and organising 70+ artists. With all its challenges though, it’s still one of my most favourite events to organise every year!

The Bottom Line band photo

THE BOTTOM LINE

Parting Gift band photo

PARTING GIFT

The festival works to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, as well as to bring together the local talent of Nottingham with the wider UK music scene. Last year alone, £10,000 was raised, whilst this year, early bird tickets have sold out even before any band announcement!

MACMILLAN FEST 2019 – NOTTINGHAM WILL BE TAKING PLACE IN THE CITY ON SEPTEMBER 7, FURTHER DETAILS OF WHICH CAN BE FOUND BELOW:

Macmillan Fest 2019 - Nottingham poster

 

WEAK13 ALBUM EXCLUSIVE

Weak13 band photo

Despite initially forming almost two decades ago, and having amassed a loyal following over that period, it wasn’t until the release of debut album ‘They Live‘ towards the end of 2016 that Weak13 finally got the praise and acknowledgement they had spent such a long time working for.

They Live‘ caught a lot of bands off guard, as they weren’t expecting it at all, and if they’re really honest about it, it inspired some of them to really step up their game” recalls the band’s vocalist/guitarist, and man of many talents, Nick J. Townsend. “Also, it scared the hell out of critics because it meant that they had to tolerate hearing people calling us serious musicians.

Therefore, when the time came for the West Midlands rock collective to begin planning a follow-up, they realised that in order to effectively build on the momentum generated by their first full-length offering, everything had to be moved up to a whole new level.

We simply knew that we had to better ‘They Live‘ in every way possible, and this meant we had to make it bigger, better, and bolder than anything we had ever done before.” states bassist Wesley Smith.

And the best way in which to achieve this, the band quickly realised, was for them to record a double album.

As a rule, independent bands such as ours tend not to make double albums, and mainstream artists shy away from it. Loads of them talk about the idea, but in reality, when you hear the state of modern music releases, many struggle to write even three good tunes,” says Nick, “so we thought about recording twice the normal amount of songs, and making them all hit-worthy, stand-alone bullets.

Another reason for deciding to do this, Nick says, was a desire from himself and his bandmates to create something that would have the same lasting impact as a certain release from years before had had on them.

I remember when I was younger buying the ‘Use Your Illusion’ double albums by Guns N’ Roses, and thinking how brave and massive they were, as releasing what was essentially four albums worth of songs all in one go was unheard of even then, and we thought long and hard about Weak13 doing the same.

And so, for the last couple of months, the collective have been hard at work putting together what will be the first half of a 15-track release, the process of which so far has been relatively smooth and trouble-free.

From a bass point of view, it’s all falling into place very nicely, and its sounding amazing even at an unmixed stage, so that can only be a positive thing.” says Wesley, with Nick adding, “I’ve never felt this confident before in the studio, and I simply haven’t been able to get the tunes that we’ve recorded so far out of my head. Hell, I’ve even been playing air guitar to the raw mixes while listening to them in my car!

However, despite all of this positivity, the band’s devoted legion of followers will have to wait almost another year for the album to come out, with Wesley explaining, “We’re looking at getting it out by April or May 2020, as we want to make sure that everything sounds as good as we know it can be by then, but even that could change, as it ultimately depends on whether we’ll be happy with it.

Despite this though, Weak13 say that their second full-length offering will be well worth the rather lengthy wait. “It will have that classic Weak13 feel, but with a few shocking turns and twists” teases Wesley, with Nick adding to this by saying, “There will be a wider range of crazy shit happening. The last record did a really good job of introducing our sound, but this time around, it feels so much stronger, as we’re going to be doing a lot of brand new things that I know our fans are just going to love.

In the meantime, the band can exclusively reveal to us that the album is going to called ‘Aluminium‘, with Wesley saying, “We will leave the puzzle of why we’re calling it that to for the listener to solve when they hear certain lyrics and see the album cover, and interestingly, aluminium is the 13th element of the periodic table.

However, Nick is keen to point out that while that link is purely coincidental, the title is still important, concluding, “It will make more sense when you hear the whole album.”

‘ALUMINIUM’ – THE SECOND ALBUM FROM WEAK13 – WILL BE RELEASED IN APRIL/MAY NEXT YEAR, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND HERE.

ALSO, DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE AWARD-NOMINATED VIDEO FOR ‘CLOSURE’ HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOlfLaGUu_I

 

 

 

 

 

INSANE DRIVER

Insane Driver band photo

INSANE DRIVER (from l-r): Dan Bigal (guitar/backing vocals), Nei Sousa (bass/backing vocals), Eder Franco (vocals), Wagner Baterista (drums), Dave Martins (guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
PHOTO by DENISE DE AZEVEDO

With a sound that effectively combines classic rock n’ roll with explosive modern metal, and lyrical content that speaks about such subjects as society’s impositions and internal feelings, Sao Paulo five-piece Insane Driver are considered to be one of the most promising bands to come out of the Brazilian metal scene, and one of the quintet’s guitarists, Dan Bigal, recently told me about their journey up to now, future ambitions, and much more.

Firstly, how did the band initially get together?

DaveWagner, and Nei already had a band in the past, and in 2013 – a few years after that had finished – they decided to meet again and start a new band, so that was the very beginning of Insane Driver, which at the time was called Project Rocker

They started to rehearse, write songs, and began to search for a new vocalist and a new guitarist, and it took almost three years from the beginning until the release of our self-titled debut album in February 2016.

How did the name Insane Driver come about?

Actually, we needed a name for the band that was better and stronger than Project Rocker, which didn’t really feel like a real band name, as well as a name that people respected, and which also showed off a little bit of our personality.

We then did a brainstorming session, with each one of us throwing names about until someone said Insane Driver, which we went with because we thought it represented exactly how we sounded. 

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Basically, we start by writing the instrumentals, and then structuring the song, riffs, chorus, melodies etc…

Then, once the structure and instrumental is done, we start to work on the lyrics, which we believe – in parallel with all the other details (backing vocals, guitar doubles, breakdowns) – makes all the difference.

What inspires the band lyrically?

We first define the subject of the song, and also the feelings and the ideas that we want to express within the track, and we will just put our feelings about that subject, and then, all the magic happens. 

We don’t really have any main inspirations, but some of our songs have been influenced by movies and TV shows, for example, ‘Fallen Dreams‘ was inspired by the Tom Cruise movie ‘Vanilla Sky‘, whereas ‘Buried Thoughts‘ was inspired by a character from the TV show ‘Hannibal‘.

In 2016, you brought out your self-titled debut album. How was the response to that?

It was truly beyond our expectations, as it came out of nowhere, because I mean no-one had really heard of the band, none of us were famous, so I can really say that we started from square one, and now we can say we’re worldwide, as we’re being listened to in 70 different countries, according to Spotify.

The album was considered one of the best of 2016 by the media at home in Brazil, who also chose us as their most promising band of that year, so it was really amazing getting all that recognition just from one album, and we really hope that we get that on subsequent releases. 

As you just said, Insane Driver are seen as one of the most promising bands to come out of Brazil. In your opinion, how is the current state of the metal scene there?

Honestly, it’s really bad, and I can confidently say that the metal scene is ill over here, as there are just a few good places in the entire country to play, and a lot of bands accept very bad conditions, just so they can stay active.

The talent is definitely here, but it doesn’t help when producers are charging bands to warm up the big concerts, as it does not help the scene to renew and grow stronger.

How is the experience of performing live for you all personally?

We love it, and it’s why we make music, as there is nothing better than to be at a loud concert, with people going crazy, generating a positive atmosphere, and screaming out the songs that you’ve created. It’s very gratifying. 

What are the band’s plans for the near future?

At the moment, we are focusing mainly on composing our next album, so in the near future, we will be releasing some new singles, as well as launching a crowdfunding campaign, so those who want to can help us to record the album, but for now, all I can say is that we’re very excited with the songs that we have already produced, and we’re all anxious to get them out there. 

And finally, what is your long-term aim?

We really want to be able to reach more and more people, and eventually to spread out our reach everywhere, as we truly believe in the potential of the band, we receive a lot of positive feedback – pretty much on a daily basis now – and one day, we want to be in the position where we expect to perform to huge crowds everywhere, play at the biggest festivals, and for all of us to be able to financially depend solely on our music, so we can just live our lives. 

Insane Driver band logo

FURTHER INFO ON INSANE DRIVER CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

 

 

 

 

 

APPALLING – ‘Inverted Realm’

(Redefining Darkness)

Appalling Album Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Two years ago, Appalling impressed their growing legion of followers with debut album, ‘Secrets Of The Adept‘, which effectively combined metal that was blackened and brutal-sounding with lyrical content which focused on themes of death, degradation, and the collapse of humanity.

Now – in the late spring of 2019 – the Virginia five-piece have unveiled ‘Inverted Realm‘, a follow-up which sees the band firmly build on the solid foundations they laid with their first full-length offering.

Providing a strong opening to proceedings is ‘Hot Coals For Branding‘, which whilst rather lengthy in comparison to the majority of the other tracks, is chaotic, intoxicating, and alarming, with a fast, aggressive pace throughout, led by a gnarling vocal delivering and infectious guitar riffery.

Shameful Kiss‘ keeps up the heaviness and high energy, with the vocals and intensity almost cranked up to maximum levels, making for a sound that is very moshpit-friendly.

Epileptic Sermon‘ is a rather similar-sounding affair, whilst ‘Artifact And Vessel‘ is slightly slower, but contains grittier riffs, and a bleaker tone overall.

Fifth track ‘A Mutilator At Large‘ is pretty much comprised of three segments, the first and last sounding frantic, fierce, and deliciously evil, with the middle part being calmer, but more anguished, which is represented by the hoarse screaming of the quintet’s frontman.

Critical Thinking‘ marks a return to the musical stylings that were present in songs two and three, containing intense bursts of vocal savagery and merciless instrumentals, accompanied by dark, tense undertones, and closing the album is ‘Templar‘, a five-minute riff-heavy number that sees the sound being blackened to its very core.

Overall, although not entirely abundant in originality, ‘Inverted Realm‘ is a release packed full of well-crafted tracks that really capture Appalling‘s penchant for bleak sonic tones, venom-fuelled vocals, and lyrics that are about as far away from optimistic as you can possibly get.

This album comes highly recommended for all of the moshers out there, and further represents a further step in the right direction for a collective who are now rapidly-growing in popularity.

TOP TRACK:A Mutilator At Large’

(4/5)