Single Review: Attic Theory- Papier Mache Ft Candlebox vocalist Kevin Martin


Words by Anselm Anderson

Liverpudlian rock group Attic Theory returns with 'Papier Mache', the latest single from their upcoming debut LP What We Fear the Most via ThunderGun Records. The track is released today and features Candlebox vocalist Kevin Martin offering his soft, emotive voice.

The band have premiered an accompanying animated video inspired by the 1975 blockbuster film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. This typifies the message behind the song about masking mental health issues because they don't fit in with conventional perceptions of people in society. As lead singer Lewis Wright explains 

The ‘Papier-Mâché’ lyrics are about hiding your true self underneath a thin layered metaphorical mask because you have been convinced, by someone you used to be close to, that you are not behaving how they believe you should and the only remedy is for you to be strongly medicated and to suppress the feelings they don’t agree with. The message I wanted to convey is about being able to gain the strength to remove the mask and not let the past or anyone else define you.”

The track's radio-friendly brand of Alternative Rock benefits from one of the genre's contributors in the guise of Kevin Martin. Candlebox sold over seven million records worldwide in their time and wrote personal tracks over electric acoustic guitars. Attic Theory has adapted this approach of songwriting with added poignancy and a heavier sound. The dark overtones of electric acoustic guitar on 'Papier Mache' signal intent before breaking into skyscraping riffs delivered over harrowing choral cries.

In addition, the equally powerful and compelling vocals of Attic Theory vocalist Lewis Wright pull the listener in with introspective lyrics about personal struggles between what one thinks in contrast to an outsider. Kevin Martin and Wright join forces over a dynamic sound, which culminates in some slick guitar interplay and solos towards its climax. 'Papier-Mâché' was recorded with producer Loïc Gaillard (Revival Black, Ashen Reach) at the Motor Museum recording studio in Liverpool. The single follows the success of previous singles: 'Narrow Lines' and 'Tattooed Heart'.

Formed a few years ago, The Boys from The Dock were inspired by an episode of the US TV Series Elementary without the need for Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes. Attic Theory has taken the same path of so many British rock acts by building a fanbase at home by supporting bigger, established acts like Kris Barras, Black Spiders, Terrorvision and, of course, Candlebox, as well as appearing at several UK Festivals like PlanetRock Stock and Wildfire Festivals. The band won Best New Band at the 2020 'The Rocks Award' by Planet Rock and their previous EP ‘The Sign of an Active Mind’ was voted NWOCR (New Wave Of Classic Rock) 'EP of the Year'.

Attic Theory’s highly anticipated debut album ‘What We Fear the Most’, which features the singles 'Papier-Mâché', 'Narrow Lines' and 'Tattooed Heart', will be released 26/01/2024 and is available to pre-order now. Pre-Order Link - https://attictheory.store/collections/all

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Attic Theory is:

Lewis Wright - Lead Vocals

Peter Donnelly - Guitar

Tim Cunningham - Guitar and backing vocals

Matt Lawler - Guitar

Kenny McArthur - Bass

Norm Walker - Drums

Featuring Kevin Martin of Candlebox on guest vocals


. Official Website: https://www.attictheory.co.uk
. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AtticTheory
. Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0oOXpZTNdHDl8M1S3xQhhN
. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@attictheoryband
. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/attictheoryband/
. TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@attictheory
. Twitter: https://twitter.com/attictheory

You can find the video through the 'Attic Theory' YouTube Video channel below


EP Review: Struck/Down- To Witches.

Words by Anselm Anderson

Uk "Bruiserweights" Struck/Down released their latest EP 'To Witches' on July 7th. The best way to describe the outfit is a cross between the fury of Lamb of God, the grooves of Black Label Society and the commercial appeal of Shinedown.

 Struck/Down was formed in Canterbury, England, in 2014. The five-piece took several years to perfect their sound before the debut of EP 'Gone' in 2019 to the masses. The colossal vocals of frontman Linden Twyman head the band alongside the vigorous drum skills of Tommy Rogers, bassist Will Mihr, lead guitarist Peter McLarney and rhythm guitarist Ian Spurrett.

'To Witches' is a follow-up to 2021's 'From Demons', which resulted in the band winning that year's Metal 2 The Masses competition, earning a spot at Bloodstock. The hard work has paid off with this five-track EP showcasing a dark and broody edge to their sound.

'The Enforcer' is an aggressive and edgy track to begin the EP. The menacing drum fills accompany fiery guitar riffs that perfectly complement the deep and husky vocals. The next song is 'Nephilim' with machine gun riffs and sonic triplet rhythm drums. The catchy chorus and down-tuned riffs remind me of early 2000s bands like SOiL. 

The band have leaned heavily on influences to write songs that are as commercially appealing as they are dark and eerie. The guitar play remains consistent with each solo and riff sardonic and skilful. 'No Value' is one of two tracks that clock in at over six minutes. The song takes some of the sting off the openers and allows the EP to breathe. It is reminiscent of the long-winded ballads of Black Label Society.

In addition, 'Tyranny Hellride' brings back the smashmouth metal with ferocious beats and snarling vocals snapping over the impressive drumming that resonates throughout the EP. The EP feels like it begins to run out of steam before 'Son of an Unburnt Witch' attempts to put some spark into things. The crunchy riff strikes like a venomous snake. The harrowing vocals accompany long, melodic instrumentals that sound like a cathartic exercise for the band.

Overall, Struck/Down put together a release of riffs and ballsy metal to keep eager fans pleased. It may not be perfect, but shows the band have enough skills and talent to go far in this world of manic metal.

Rating: 3/5

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Social Media Links



You can listen to 'To Witches' via the band's Spotify player below


LP Review: The Hu- Rumble and Thunder (Deluxe Edition)

Words by Anselm Anderson

The Hu, rising stars of Mongolia, first grabbed my attention a few years ago when I saw a YouTube video of their cover of Metallica's classic 'Sad but True'. I was taken by their style of Mongolian metal, using traditional instruments, and their tales of Mongolian folklore.

Therefore, I was keen to review this release when I saw it come through my Emails. Rumble and Thunder is a Deluxe edition of the hugely successful album, released last year via Better Noise Records. I was eager to listen to the album with additional treats for long-term fans. As you probably know, these records are just a rerun of the original with a few extras.

 The album clocks in at over 90 minutes long, which features the original twelve tracks plus a reworking of the hit tracks with special guests in the guise of Alice in Chains, Bad Wolves, Serj Tankian and singer/songwriter LP. In addition, there are four acoustic versions too.

Photo Credit: Khishigsuren Baasan

The popular 'This is Mongol' begins with the traditional guttural throat singing over the Morin Khuur (Horsehead Fiddle). The high-tempo music blends instruments from Mongolia with the Tovshur (Mongolian guitar), Tumur Khuur (jaw harp) and throat singing with contemporary sounds they call "Hunnu Rock". As mentioned earlier, this unique approach to modern metal is part of the appeal to a larger audience.

''Yut Hòvênde' marks a heavier direction for the unit. Strong, percussive beats accompany choral cries about the Mongolian spirit. I can see why 'Rumble and Thunder' was a successful album as The Hu can showcase their versatility as musicians and singers. 'Triangle' and 'Mother Nature' are folk 'odes' to their native land, whilst 'Sell the World' show their Metallica influences with thick, guttural voices over heavy guitars and the fiddle acting like a rhythm guitar. The heavenly harmonies on 'Bii Byenglee' are a treat for music fans of folk or world music. 'Tatar Warrior' is the closest The Hu comes to death metal with distorted, sinister riffs and deep guttural growls.

I know readers are keen to learn about the extras. There are three editions of 'Black Thunder': an extended edition, an acoustic, the English translation with SOAD vocalist Serj Tankian, and Bad Wolves vocalist Daniel Laskiewicz. In contrast, the English Translation of 'This is Mongol' is an adequate translation with recognisable vocals by AIC Vocalist William Duval, which gives this a respectable touch for a European audience. There is an acoustic version of this track, alongside 'Bii Byenglee' and 'Mother Nature'. In relation, the English edition of this features singer/songwriter LP (Laura Pergolizzi), best known for writing for Cher and Rhianna. 

Overall, I don't think the extras are necessary, especially the English Translations. I understand avid fans would be interested in acoustic versions of the hits, but I feel it undermines The Hu. 

Rating: 3/5

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The Hu are;

 Gala: Lead Throat Singer and Morin Khuur 

Enkush: Lead Morin Khuur 

Throat Singer Jaya: Jaw Harp, Tsuur, Flute, 

Throat Singer Temka: Tovshuur

Social Media Links

Black Thunder FT Serj Tankian and Daniel Laskiewicz

Mother Nature FT LP


EP Review- The Support Band- Oceans of The Moon

Words by Anselm Anderson

English Songwriter Chris Riley of The False Poets has been busy this year with two lengthy releases from his side project entitled The Support Band.  I have chosen to review the shortest of the two Oceans of the Moon, released in May via Nice Mind Records. The Five-Track EP clocks in at One hour and three minutes and sees Riley team up with experimental noise maker Whitevanperil. The spacey release is an appetiser for the debut LP Imitations, released in June.

Oceans of the Moon is a giant step away from the '60s-influenced folk of The False Poets. Instead, it takes the listener on a crescendo of instrumental melodies entwined with blues, folk, and ambience, which will delight fans of Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream.

The echoes of washed-up waves awaken our senses on the opener 'Oceans of the Moon (Remix), which excites in evoking the sounds of early Pink Floyd. The guitar interplays with excellent production to create a sense of longing. Next up is 'Alien Standoff', an interplanetary battle that soon ups the tempo with some Wild West-infused guitar play. The track takes the listener from the shores to another musical landscape to continue this melodic self-discovery.

I reiterate it's a lengthy tale of instrumental music expertly put together to put your feet up and relax. The varying degrees of emotion behind each guitar part tells a story for as much of the listener as it does for the duo behind the music.  The shoegaze pop on 'Riptide' is an exception as Riley sings over psychedelic melodies that speak to the listener in this hazy place.

Sediment' is a 16-minute track that gradually builds towards its conclusion. The strong use of synthesisers contrasts the 70's guitar-based music of the first two tracks. And finally, fans are treated to a bonus track of an extended version of where we began.

Overall, there are few weaknesses to point out here. Oceans of the Moon is a taster for the lengthier release, which came out a month later. I opted for this because it reminded me that instrumental rock is a good substitute for us to appreciate. I recommend this for those that want to take an hour aside to lie down and drift away through some solid music.

Rating: 4/5

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The Ep is available to stream alongside 'Imitations' via all platforms. You can also purchase them from the Niceminds.Bandcamp.com website.

You can here the entire EP via the Spotify player below


Album Review: Julia Mosley: Ballad of A Murderess

Words by Anselm Anderson

English Songstress Julia Mosley is set to release her fourth studio album Ballad of a Murderess next month via her own record label, Opalite Records.

The follow-up to 2021's Illuminate the Night is her darkest release. It is a concept album that tells the tale of a Mythological world through three eras of the past, a quasi-present day and a Future Era. The complex narrative is conveyed through engaging music. 

I first became aware of Julia Mosley a couple of years ago and was taken aback by her versatile vocal range, accompanied by her ambidextrous piano skills. I remember comparing her between Kate Bush and Florence and The Machine. The album was the first to be recorded at Illumilight Studios in an Ancient Temple. This helps contribute to an eerie and sinister album.

Mosley hails from Stoke-on-Trent, England, she first began writing songs at the age of Fifteen years old. The singer/songwriter has won numerous awards, gaining valuable training from ex-Leaves Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine.  Ballad of a Murderess is a 14-track journey of enchanting vocal melodies and engaging poetry. The story centres on the protagonist that falls in love with a character that isn't what they thought they were. In this Gothic Romance, the protagonist, represented by light, is seduced by darkness, represented by a flame.

The journey throughout is divided by monologues, such as 'The Flame', 'Red and Orange' and 'The Pre-Raphaelite River' showcases Mosley's stark storytelling with an eerie tone. The album segues into 'Luna Moth', a track with Victorian and Edwardian influences. This expressive track highlights Mosley's vocal ranges between slow, whispered tales of angst and high, falsetto cries of anguish.

The album is evenly paced with the slow, powerful songs accompanied by haunting keys like on the Medieval Fantasy-inspired 'Rosemoon'. This celestial descent into darkness on the emotionally charged 'Slipping Away'. The gentle ballad 'The Universe' is a heart-wrenching tribute over a subtle piano-laden track. The haunting 'Zachary' strikes with pop sensibilities and arrangements forming an evocative song that will leave goosebumps standing. The quasi-feminist anthem 'A Thousand Years' is a tale of vengeance. This is the closest to an angry track on the album, supplemented by a horn section.

And finally, 'Ballad of a Murderess' completes the protagonist's ascent to darkness. This gothic track is told over the cadence of a dark piano sound.

Overall, Ballad of a Murderess is an intriguing tale of love and betrayal told through Edwardian and Victorian influences. Mosley writes a compelling story, which can feel a little deep for this writer. In conclusion, Mosley continues to combine literature with dark, empowering music through arrangements and the piano. This powerful force helps to elevate Julia Mosley as a new contender for gothic music.

Rating: 4/5

'Ballad of a Murderess' will be available to via all streaming platforms in August 2023. You can pre-order a copy of the CD now via https://www.juliamosley.co.uk/shop

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You can read more about the story behind the album via the link below

You can read the review for 'Illuminate the Night' here

You can watch 'Ballad of a Murderess' via the Julia Mosley YouTube channel below


EP Review: Beltfed Weapon- Darkened Demise

Review by Anselm Anderson

Seattle-based Beltfed Weapon has just released Darkened Demise, their fourth EP, a couple of weeks ago. Formed in 1999 by guitarist/songwriter Frank Hetzel, the true "Veterans" of the metal scene incorporate elements of speed, thrash and death metal. 

I decided to write this review after I read the backstory for this album. The album is dedicated to the memory of vocalist and project founder Tim Aymar, following his untimely death in February. Darkened Demise gave the ex-Control Denied vocalist the opportunity to experiment with his vocals alongside some experienced musicians. Tim Aymar befriended Frank Hetzel on Facebook after the latter became a fan of the band. Hetzel emailed Aymar about a project he was working on and invited Aymar to write down some tracks.

Beltfed Weapon, led by Hetzel, has released 3 EPS: Beltfed Weapon (2001), Peacekeeper (2009), and Raining Plague (2015). I recently came across the EP, Darkened Demise, which is a fantastic metal release that is sure to impress any fan of the genre. The bone-crushing rhythms and salivating solos are truly impressive, and it's clear that Hetzel recruited some highly talented musicians to create such a powerful sound. The release is described as the band's "most ambitious " album to date. Although I had never heard of Beltfed Weapon before, after listening to Darkened Demise, I am now a fan.

Darkened Demise combines several musical styles that borrow influences from bands such as Judas Priest, which is evident in this release. Mixed by Juan Urtega, the release features Steve Tucker (Morbid Angel), Jason Viebrooks (Exhorder/Grip Inc), JD DeServio (Black Label Society), Tim Aymar (Control Denied), Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy), Kragen Lum (Heathen). Bryan Newbury (Into Eternity) and Dagna Silesia (Ghost Ship Octavius). 

The EP kicks off with the intense and edgy thrash metal sound of 'Accept Your Insanity'. Tim Aymar impressively mimics Rob Halford's signature octave-bursting vocals, perfectly complementing the aggressive guitar sound crafted by Hetzel.

Next up is the brutal and dark metal sounds of 'Darkened Demise', vocalist for Morbid Angel, Steve Tucker, who lends a powerful and sinister edge to his growls. He complements the shifting tempo with finger-splitting guitar solos between Kagen Lum and Jeff Loomis. Frank Hetzel is a talented and experienced songwriter, further enhanced by the addition of Loomis and Lum on guitar.
Photo Credit: Ylana Glickman
Furthermore, 'Eternal Fire' is a classic speed metal track supplemented by staggering rhythms and the iconic vocals of Aymar. The head-splitting blasts beats of 'Killing Machine' is a true Death Metal song with harrowing growls, enhanced by the drumming ability of Bryan Newbury. 

Lastly, "'Head First Into Hell" showcases the timeless metal sound that merges the skull-rattling drums of Newbury with powerful, awe-inspiring vocals. My only criticism of the release is the lack of credits for each track. I struggled to identify which musician appeared on the tracks. I had to visit the Beltfed Weapon website to find out the musicians on here.

Overall, Darkened Demise is an emotional tribute to a talented lyricist and vocalist, Frank Hetzel wanted to honour by showcasing to the world a true metal album by a man, who he held dear to his heart.

Rating: 4.5/5

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Social Media Link

Click on the videos for 'Darkened Demise', 'Eternal Fire' and 'Head First Into Hell' via the Beltfed Weapon YouTube channel below.