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Thursday 18 February 2021

Reviews: Inglorious, Degenerate Mind, Eternal Fear, Dovorian (Reviews By Matt Bladen)

Inglorious - We Will Ride (Frontiers Music)

There aren't many bands who can survive a wholesale change of membership but that's basically what happened to 70's classic rock revivalists Inglorious after their previous album in 2019. The two remaining members are drummer Phil Beaver and singer Nathan James who has not only been leading the band since it's inception but has also dabbled with musicals in the meantime. With three new riffers aboard We Will Ride was written during 2020 and recorded in Cardiff against lockdown restrictions and it's the sound of a reinvigorated Inglorious, bringing a melting pot of influences to this record that go beyond the Whitesnake/Rainbow 'classic rock' style they have been associated with. There's the hip shaking hard rocking of She Won't Let You Down Messiah has a touch of Dio and Medusa could very much be a Glenn Hughes number (but isn't that Glenn Hughes number). However we also get some thunderous metal styling on He Will Provide, a bit of sleaze on Do You Like It and of course some emotional balladry that gives James a chance to show off his impressive vocals range. We Will Ride announces the second coming of Inglorious as much slicker, meaner prospect than before. 8/10

Eternal Fear – The Other Side EP (Self Released)

Having sown the seeds of heavy metal across their native Sweden since 2002’s Never Ending Existence, Eternal Fear are now in the process of writing their fifth full length record. Seemingly out of those sessions comes this quick release EP of 6 tracks to get the blood flowing ready for the new full length. The band have been exposed to UK audiences a few times due their London show which was recorded for a live release and their set at HRH Vikings. This EP celebrates the bands 25 years together and they have done this by putting together a mini-record full of thrashy riffs, power metal choruses and even some shouty death vocals. 

Heavier numbers such as Post War Dream have touch of Trivium to them as the thrash metal riffs shift into speedy lead breaks, Defenders Of The Realm and Dream Stealer shift into the power metal genre. For me though the best track here is the cinematic 1944/No Surrender a very, VERY, Maiden-like song. It’s pretty basic stuff but enjoyable. If you’ve never heard of Eternal Fear before then I would suggest checking out this EP as it gives you a brief intro to what these Swedes do very well. All eyes on the new full length. 6/10

Degenerate Mind - B​.​L​.​E​.​V​.​E. (Self Released)

It’s no secret that the Greeks love a riff, they have cultivated quite a stoner rock scene in the country that keeps getting bigger. What is evident is how most of these bands are all at a high level, giving reverence to the genre leaders while forging their own identities. The latest band to add to this pile of quality stoner riffing is Degenerate Mind from Athens who play the style of driving rock n roll that US Space Lords Monster Magnet and Greek legends Nightstalker are known for. It’s sort of hazy desert rock (Black Monday) mixed with filthy biker riffs, with a punk edge (Never Care). Stratos’ voice is rough and ready, thick with accent much like Nightstalker’s Argy or Planet Of Zeus’ Babis but with that wild vocoder of Wyndorff. 

Beneath him are songs packed with riffs from Manos (guitar) who feeds everything through walls of Orange Amps as the rhythm section of Tasos (drums) and Doros (bass), thunder along on Cross The Line while bringing a slumbering bit of doom on Rites Of Passage which like the rest of the album shifts gear into a more direct style of rocking. There’s a whole run of sounds from the stoner/doom/sludge scene here with the psychedelic Acts Of Sober a real favourite for me. B.L.E.V.E is a really strong debut album from these Greek stoner rockers. Crank it up! 8/10

Dovorian – The Light & Dark (Self Released)

Yet another project born out of lockdown. Dovorian is the first musical endeavour from Dover resident Adam Sayer who says that when he is not doing music things does a “9-5 office job and spends time with (his) wife and kids”. I’ll admit expectations were low, however as the first track Lost started off, above the thrashy, galloping riffs and very much programmed drums was a voice I had heard numerous times before. It seems that this budding multi-instrumentalist from Dover has managed to get Evergrey’s Tom S Englund sing and write the lyrics for this album. As well as that Evergrey’s Jonas Ekdahl mixed and mastered the album. 

Now Lost does sound a little like a B-side but as we get to Betrayal things improve significantly the music takes a power metal meets AOR tone, Englund has some broken hearted lyrics and there’s even some explosive soloing, from here the musical style really sits comfortably into the melodic metal sound of bands like Eden’s Curse, Royal Hunt and of course Evergrey where the anthemic qualities of power metal are joined by the pop smarts of AOR. This means that this record has a couple of ballads You Are The Reason the most saccharine, thankfully it’s followed by two stormers which once again show off the great guitar playing from Sayer.

Ache is particularly good, sounding like modern Evergrey. Yes the drums and keys are very much computers and there are too many ballads but there’s been a lot of time and musical skill put into these tracks and you have to applaud that. It will be interesting if this stays a studio project or evolves into something bigger. 7/10

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