Stoned Jesus- Music interview


Hello, could you introduce yourself to the readers?

 - Hey we’re Stoned Jesus from Ukraine, still alive at the moment of answering this interview. I’m Igor, the vocals-guitar-songwriting-everything else guy.

Could you describe your musical journey?

 - From a one-man band concerned with creating a good stoner doom album back in 2009 to the eclectic and confident heavy prog trio now – quite a trip!

How would you describe your sound?

 - It’s something we’re constantly working on actually, and I can’t really say we’re there yet. Which really makes this journey even more exciting. I’d say a Stoned Jesus song is rather heavy yet melodic, groovy yet structurally interesting, dark yet never boring.

What can you tell me about your previous four records, and how they have shaped your sound now?

 - I see them as this logical progression from the genre standards towards something of our own… I’d say either The Harvest (2015) or Pilgrims (2018) is my favourite, give them a spin or two if you haven’t yet!

How did you come up with the band name ‘Stoned Jesus’?

 - Well, it’s not like a genius name, is it? Or do you want me to tell you how the mushroom wizard on the giant bong took me to the desert and the name appeared written in stars in the sky, ahah.

You recently signed to Season of Mist, which is a huge signing. How did it come about?

 - Thanks! I was in touch with Michael from SoM before, we’re both in love with some obscure prog artists nobody else seems to care about. So, I mentioned to him we left the previous label and would like to work with somebody who understands the artsy side of the rock/metal world… and who does this better than SoM honestly? So here we are, heh. 

What hopes and aspirations do you think Stoned Jesus will get from the deal?

 - Reaching out to more people who are genuinely interested in some new and original rock/metal music has always been our goal since forever. So, I truly hope SoM will help us on our way to excellence!

Do you feel it is difficult for bands to get such deals with record labels?

 - These days yes, absolutely. I have a few other music projects, one of which is called Arlekin recorded a new album last year. I was terrified at the idea that as an artist you gotta find a label – and a good one, preferably! I ended up releasing it independently so give it a spin if you care – it’s available at arlekin.streamlink.to/LP2021

You have a new single out called ‘Porcelain’, what can you tell me about the song?

 - It was one of the rare songs that the guys in my band (Sergii – bass, Dmytro – drums) loved instantly when I brought it, so it became our favourite quickly. It’s an obvious choice for the first single because it perfectly shows all the best sides of Stoned Jesus – it’s dark yet catchy, weird yet groovy, heavy yet melodic. I’m loving it!

Do you have plans for a new album? What is next for Stoned Jesus in 2022?

- We’ve recorded it last summer actually, but due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine AND the vinyl crisis in the music industry had to push it back to early 2023. “Porcelain” is on it, as well as a few other tracks which we’ll try to release during 2022. This is the plan for now – to survive basically and to release new tracks amidst all of that. If you want to help us with this – donate to comebackalive.in.ua! Thanks

Interview by Anselm Anderson

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Fonzy and Company-Touche EP Review


Eclectic quartet Fonzy and Company released their third EP Touche last week. Produced by Innersound Audio, the four-track EP combines Indie. Pop and Alternative elements to create a burst of energetic rock for the listener.

Formed in 2019 by lead vocalist/guitarist Fonzy Armour as a solo recording project, Armour decided he needed some company upon feeling impressed with the material recorded. Long-time friends Olivia Jury and Sam Bennett joined on vocals and bass, respectively. The trio soon released two EPS', Last Birth and Is It Me? to critical acclaim, garnering 1500 worldwide radio plays. The trio went through several lineups until they decided three was a company and they added lead guitarist/vocalist Lauren Hannah and bassist Sam Lane last year as permanent members.

The EP opens with the anthemic 'The Kids Stay Home', a feel-good slab of pop-punk with a raw energetic feel and bouncing beats that set the feeling for the remainder of the release. Next up is the heavier 'Precious Malicious' that sees vocalist Fonzy Armour swap verses with fellow vocalists Olivia Jury and Lauren Hannah over scorching guitar leads and solos. The song breaks up with a more mellow part of dreamy pop guitar passages. ' No Way Man (You Are Old)' is a fun two-minute of old-school pop-rock that sounds like Jury and Fonzy are in their element. The frenetic guitar riffs and hook-laden choruses remind me of acts like Green Day and Jimmy Eat World.

And finally, 'The Serenade' is a ballad with luxurious melodies to wrap up an enjoyable outing for Fonzy and Company.

Overall, Touche brings 30 minutes of Happy Days with mature songwriting, relatable lyrics and surprisingly heavy riffs.

Rating 8/10

Words by Anselm Anderson.


'The Kids Stay Home'


Song of the Day- Jane N' The Jungle- Dirty Dog

Photo Credit: Jim Louvau

Female-fronted Hard rock act Jane N' The Jungle return with hard-hitting new single 'Dirty Dog'. Produced by Chuck Alkazian at Pearl Sound Studio in Detroit. Lead singer Jordan White tells the tale of being sexually assaulted and left 'feeling like a dirty dog'.

The Trio hail from Phoenix, Arizona and consists of lead singer Jordan White, guitarist Brian Dellis and bassist 'Big B'. They have garnered recent attention from notable networks like MTV and Spotify, as well as regular airplay on FM stations across the States. Jordan wrote this track on a napkin during a discussion of personal stories with Aryon Jones at a local Dive bar.

The track's heavy grooves combine with thick basslines to convey an eerie message behind the music. White's dark melodies sound as much as being defiant as being a victim. The pounding drums and hook-laden riff make this a song that strikes the listener with its sensitive topic.

Rating 4/5

Words by Anselm Anderson

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Album of the Week- Wind Rose- Warfront


Italy's self-proclaimed Dwarven Metal act Wind Rose don their fur coats and helmets to do battle again with War Front, the follow-up to 2019's Wintersaga, released last week via Napalm Records.

The quintet, best known for the YouTube sensation 'Diggy-Diggy Hole', are led by the unmistakable vocals of Francesco Cavalieri and combines bombastic string arrangements with catchy hooks, huge choruses, and riffs to create their own version of power metal. The ten tracks tell the historical tales of the dwarves as they prepare for war. 

The monumental 'Of War and Sorrow' is an enchanting intro of acoustic guitars, horns and string segue into the rousing 'Army of Stone', in which Cavalieri's lung-busting vocals lead the way like a commander on the field. This gutsy track sets the precedent for what is to come. The album is like an epic told by five heartily dwarves that so happen to be in a metal band. The latest singles 'Fellows of The Hammer' and 'Together We Rise' could be mistaken for anthems with raging guitars, dramatic instrumental breakdowns, and hook-laden choruses that easily leave one more likely to punch the air in jubilation rather than grab a sword. As you can tell, this writer has fully enjoyed this epic to this point.

Photo Credit: Tommaso Barletta & Claudio Falconcini

The resounding 'Gates of Ekrund' follows suit like a battle cry with crafted passages that build to the choral voices that makes one want to stand and sway a tankard in the air. At this stage of the album, it slows down to catch a breath with some breathtaking music with excellent production values that gives light to all the instruments involved. This makes the album resemble something found on a Game of Thrones soundtrack. The seven-minute 'The Battle of the Five Armies' and 'I Am the Mountain' feature further examples of intricate songwriting and the excellent string arrangements aimed not to tire listeners out. Overall, Wind Rose creates an atmospheric tale of Battlelore to hopefully place the band on the map. 

Rating 9/10

Words by Anselm Anderson 

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             WIND ROSE is:

Francesco Cavalieri - Vocals
Claudio Falconcini - Guitars
Federico Meranda - Keyboards
Cristiano Bertocchi - Bass
Federico Gatti - Drums

WIND ROSE online:

'Together We Rise'

'Gates of Ekrund'

'Fellows of The Hammer'


Song of the Day- Villins- Bodies

Photo courtesy of Mark Doyle

Glam/Disco rock duo Villins returns with the new single 'Bodies', released today (Friday 3rd June). The first track since last year's debut EP 'The Power'.
Formed in 2016, the duo consists of vocalist Jesyka and guitarist Kareem 'Jesus' Devlin. They combine dark, gothic dance beats with powerful pop melodies. 'Bodies' is an example of this with strong production values and commercial edge. Jesyka's reflective tone is accompanied by soaring keyboards. The sad ambience is symbolic of the intimacy of the song. The multi-layered vocals provide sympathy to the listener as the song reaches its climax with searing guitar leads from 'Jesus'.

Overall, Villins continue to make friends with their style of disco beats and catchy pop music that are inclined to make your bodies sway.

Words by Anselm Anderson.

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For further information on Villins. Please read the interview/EP Review below.

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EP Review- A Ritual Spirit- Elements I

Artwork by Sam Hayles
Scotland's Alt Metal Act A Ritual Spirit has released Elements I, the first of a two-part album, via their own record label, Disposable Noise. Produced by Bryan Ramage at Ramage Productions, this is the band's third release. The six tracks run just over 27 minutes and focus on the isolation and anxieties of the pandemic.

Formed in 2013, the quartet has formed an ardent fan base throughout the UK, supporting acts like Warrior Soul, and performing at Bloodstock Festival. The band combines angsty rock with a heavy metal guitar sound. The EP begins with the optimistic message of 'Zion', a track with a groovy and heavy riff, soft pop vocals and a reggae-infused chorus that leaves a pleasant start for the emerging band. This leads to the menacing drum intro of 'Underneath', a song that feels profoundly influenced by the NU- Metal era. The soft vocals stretch over sharp riffs and basslines. The EP does start resembling a sample of early 2000s commercial metal bands. The razor-sharp riffing and vocal melodies wouldn't be out of place on national radio. 'Free The Fallen' sets a timely example of this point. 'Fever Dream' notches up the intensity with the snarling vocals and dark, groove-orientated distorted riffs. The quintet knows how to target its audience with an array of solid guitar work, dynamic bassline and pummeling drums that don't let up.
The harsh tones of 'Slow the River' emerges like a snake out of grasslands. The hook-laden chorus and alternate finger picking build to some searing guitar leads and solo. And finally, 'Rodent', the longest track on the EP in over six minutes. This is a more structured track than the others. The long instrumental passages build to emotive vocals and crunching drums to wrap things up.

Overall, A Ritual Spirit has written an album that gives listeners an appetite for seconds. The productions, songwriting, tunes, and self-awareness to grow as a band are a welcome surprise for metalheads alike.

Rating 8/10

Words by Anselm Anderson