Archive for Sarah Jezebel Deva

Sarah Jezebel Deva W/Support @ Ringside, Hull [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 23rd October 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Bands: Sarah Jezebel Deva, Pastel Jack, XIII, Our Innocence Lost & Heartless Angels
Location: The Ringside, Kingston Upon Hull
Date: 22nd October

The Hull show for SJD’s UK tour was left in turmoil due to unprofessionalism from the original promoter. Fortunately enough, The Ringside’s manager, Music HQ and the tour manager were able to sort things out, allowing for the show to go ahead as originally planned. The first band of the night were none other than Hull’s newest band “Heartless Angels”. A lot in the crowd were wondering how they got onto the bill as they didn’t seem to be the type of band that would usually open up for SJD. Heartless Angels set was very alternative-meets-punk sounding but two things made their set disappointing. The first was the lack of energy from the band, none of them seemed to move around on stage or seemed to be enjoying themselves – Aside from the guitarist. The second thing was the generic sound of the music, as it sounded like the band have taken too much of a sound from their influences to the point where there isn’t any uniqueness to their music. Aside from that, they were a good opening band.

XIII were the second band on the bill and as to be expected they entertained the crowd with their thrash-like riffs, aggressive drumming and charismatic stage presence. After XIII, alternative-hardcore quartet Our Innocence Lost took to the stage keeping the energy flowing from XIII’s set. OIL put on one hell of a show, keeping everyone entertained with their brilliantly composed music and strong vocals. They were the best act of the night – Aside from SJD. The main support for the gig was, oddly enough, Sarah Jezebel Deva which did confuse a lot of people as it was originally planned for her to be the headliner. Sarah stated that it was for the best and earlier in the night she had said she was ill, but hearing her sing her heart on stage, no one would have even know she was ill. Some of the highlights of her set included “God Has A Plan For Us All” [From the Angtoria album of the same name], “The World Won’t Hold Your Hand” and “I’m Calling”. SJD’s bassist looked to be enjoying himself as well on stage as he helped keep the crowd entertained and the two guitarists helped out with entertaining the crowd as well. Sarah and the band lived well up the expectations of the crowd and then some. Hopefully, SJD will consider hitting Hull again on the next tour!

The headliner for the night were Hull-based Pastel Jack though by the time they got to the stage, the crowd has seriously thinned out as a lot of the audience had come just to see SJD. However, Pastel Jack still put on a great performance with the frontman keeping constant interaction with the crowd during and in between songs. For the most part, it was a seriously enjoyable night though some were disappointed that SJD wasn’t the headliner. The highlights of the night were definitely SJD’s and OIL’s performance.

Nico Davidson

Cradle Of Filth – Evermore Darkly [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 15th October 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Cradle Of Filth
Album: Evermore Darkly EP
Release year: 2011
Genre: Extreme Gothic/Extreme Metal

Cradle Of Filth have been dubbed the most successful British metal band since Iron Maiden and have forever been the subject of controversy regarding their genre. Following the 2010 release of “Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa”, the new EP “Evermore Darkly” is the companion piece to the 2010 album release, featuring two new tracks and some alternative versions of some of the tracks from “Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa”.

The first track of the EP is none other than “Transmission From Hell”. It really does leave the listener wondering what the point in the track is as it’s nothing than the sounds of electricity and someone talking about copies of “The Sounds From Hell” – a hoax regarding Russian scientists and a supposed “well to hell”. “Thank Your Lucky Stars” carries on from “Transmission From Hell”, beginning with a typical Cradle Of Filth styled intro. The vocals are mediocre and weak sounding but you can easily tell that it’s Filth. The higher pitched screams of Filth sound very strained. The guitars favour melody over heaviness, not that that there is much melody in their playing. The drums are the part of the track that actually keep any sort of excitement flowing through in the music though the guitar solo does offer up some enjoyment for the listener’s ears.

The third track is the “elder version” of “Forgive Me, Father”, the final track from “Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa”. The guitars sound like fingernails being dragged down a chalkboard. Dani’s vocals don’t sound that much better compared to the album version of this song. One key difference is the female vocal sections being performed by Filth, which, put in the nicest way possible, is like being forced to listen to Black Veil Brides. The lack of keyboards gives the song a more raw feel but takes away the symphonic element that COF fans are used to.

The extended version of “Lilith Immaculate” follows after. The keyboard and orchestrated sections perhaps offer the most pleasurable sound to the listener’s ears as the vocals sound like Justin Bieber attempting metal. The female vocals sound oddly like those of Sarah Jezebel Deva’s, which is strange as she’s not been apart of COF since the recording of “Godspeed On The Devil’s Thunder”. The guitars don’t seem as aggressive as they could be. The long symphonic break halfway adds a faux-dark touch to the song before the guitars come back into the song. The guitar solo causes a flurry of exhilaration for the listener’s ears though it unfortunately, does not last long. The elder version of “The Persecution Song” is next. The song is virtually stripped of a lot of the symphonic elements, leaving a bare, raw sound of guitars, bass and drums mixed with the far-from-extreme vocals. The song is definitely better with all the symphonic elements included.

“Forgive Me, Father” makes another appearance on the EP, only this time it is the “I’m In A Trance” version. The listener will be in for a shock with this one as it is a trance remix of the original song. It’s weird how Filth’s vocals blend well with the music. The beats are very hypnotic and would definitely go down well in a rave of some description. So far, this one is the only decent track on the EP. Coming towards the end of the EP is the elder version of “The Spawn Of Love And War”. Like the elder version of “The Persecution Song”, this song has been stripped bare of most, if not all, of its symphonic elements except for the introduction leaving the song sounding barren. Filth’s vocals sound strained in several parts, leaving the listener disappointed. The guitars bring very little zest to the song as well.

The EP comes to an end with the orchestrated rendition of “Summer Dying Fast” which is the “Midnight In The Labyrinth breadcrumb trail” version. The song is better than what one would originally expect it to, containing emotions that haven’t haven’t been felt in a Cradle Of Filth song since the Midian era. For an orchestrated track, it is perhaps one of the darkest things ever put onto a Cradle release.

One can’t help but feel that “Evermore Darkly” was released for the sake of lining COF’s pockets some more, as well as the pockets of their label. The EP is a poor excuse for a release, being as bad as “Thornography”. If Stephanie Meyer were to release an album it would probably sound something like this – With faux-darkness and teenage depression included.

2/5

Nico Davidson

Interview: Ablaz [2011]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 30th August 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Nico has a chat with Ablaz [Bassist for Sarah Jezebel Deva and Gods Army] about the upcoming SJD tour, his career with SJD and Gods Army and alcohol.


Nico: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today, Ablaz. I hope you’re in good health. You’re due to tour the UK with Sarah Jezebel Deva in October. How are you feeling about this? Excited? Nervous?

Ablaz: You’re welcome. I feel good and I can’t wait to hit the stage again! Our last show was in June in Germany on the Wave-Gotik-Teffen and that’s way too long ago. I’m nosy on how the fans react to our new songs live. We only played some of them on a few festivals and I loved that feeling.

N: Sounds like the stage is like your second home then. Do guys have any plans for festivals next year?

A: Oh yeah it really is and I guess you can see that when you watch our live show. I couldn’t be a studio musician, there’s no special feeling for me – I do music because I love to play gigs and for the after show parties of course. Even after a lot of live shows the feeling is still unbelievable. When I write new songs, I always imagine how they work live. Unfortunately I don’t have any news about festivals next year, but I hope we’ll play some nice ones! Guess the planning starts after our UK tour in October.

N: Well, the tour sounds like it’s going to be awesome. This next question is from one of our readers. What’s it like playing music with Sarah?

A: I guess Sarah will read this, so I have to be careful… [laughter] – I’m joking. This is one of the most asked questions and I have to admit Sarah really is a nice person. Before I ever met her, I was a bit unsure if she may is arrogant, complicated or whatever. But when I met her and especially when we spent a lot of time on our first tour together, I just realised that my fear was unnecessary. I love to work with Sarah and of course also with the rest of my band. I was listening to Cradle of Filth when I was 14 years so at the  beginning it was a kind of strange feeling, playing with someone you  know from other well-known records. But now it’s more than just a musician relation, it’s friendship, too. And when I listen to her old Cradle of Filth stuff now, I always think, that OUR new songs with real lyrics fit much more to Sarah then “ohhh” and “ahhhh”.

N: That’s true. It’s good to know that Sarah is able to use her vocals more freely now. Speaking of music, do you feel that the music you play with Sarah is different to the sort of stuff you play with Gods Army?

A: Yeah it definitely is! With SJD we’re doing Symphonic Metal, God’s Army is a kind of Industrial Rock. Also in God’s Army I don’t play bass, I play the guitar. So there are no overlaps, nor in the music style nor in song writing. And I love doing both.

N: Speaking of Gods Army, a quick Google search on them usually provides our readers with information about the band written in German – A language that not all of our readers can understand. Is there any information you could give to our readers about the band?

A: The most important point: We definitely should do our new homepage in German and English… I joined Gods Army in 2007, but due to BIG line-up problems and a few female vocalist changes we still haven’t released our first album. In 2010 I was very busy with SJD, but now we’re working again on our GodsArmy release and hopefully will have a release next year. If you like to be up-to-date just add us on Facebook: “GodsArmy”.

N: I’m sure your fans will be eagerly awaiting any news on the GodsArmy release – As will us [Valkyrian Music]. This next question is a bit random, on the official SJD website, your favourite beer is listed as “Traugott Simon”. How does British beer compare to it, in your opinion?

A: [laughter] The people who know that German beer will have a laugh now. It’s one of the cheapest beer in Germany – 8 litres for about 5 Euro, that’s about 4 pound – and I love it. Your next question is an easy one: Never ever compare German beer with others, in my opinion the others can’t win. When I came to our very first SJD tour, I tried a lot of new British beer in the pubs every night. At the end of the tour I was asked which is the best British beer. I answered: “There really is one beer I like. It’s much better then the rest…it’s called Foster’s”…  For those who don’t know: Foster’s is an Australian beer. But every beer is better than “no beer”.

N: I’ll drink to that! Or at least I will when I go to the pub. Just a few more questions now. This is one is somewhat random, if you could take the soundtrack from any movie and replace it with your own music, which movie would it be? And why?

A: I guess I wouldn’t replace any film soundtrack or at least I have no idea right now. If  I would, the music and the lyrics should fit into the movie. And I love Zombie movies most, but Sarah’s lyrics are not about zombies [laughter]. But I think “The Corruption Of Mercy” would be a great soundtrack for a sad movie, with a lot of rain.

N: Hmm, true. Okay, final question and once again, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Are there any bands on the UK and German underground music scenes that you’d recommend to our readers?

A: I have to admit, I don’t listen much to the underground scene at the moment, except for some black metal bands [Nargaroth and Fäulnis]. But I guess I will see some nice supporting bands on our next UK tour in October and I also hope to see many of you there!

Ablaz will be touring with Sarah Jezebel Deva in October. For tour dates, click here. More for info on the upcoming tour, check out the Official Sarah Jezebel Deva Facebook page.

Also, to check out Ablaz’s other band, GodsArmy, click here.

Sarah Jezebel Deva – The Corruption of Mercy [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 12th July 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Sarah Jezebel Deva
Album: The Corruption Of Mercy
Release year: 2011
Genre: Symphonic Metal/Gothic Metal

Sarah Jezebel Deva, well known for her work with bands such as Cradle Of Filth, Therion, Mortiis and Angtoria, is certainly one of the most impressive vocalists within the Gothic Metal and Symphonic Metal communities. Following the success of “A Sign Of Sublime”, Sarah is back with her second solo album “The Corruption Of Mercy”.

”No Paragon Of Virtue” starts the album with an electro-symphonic introduction which is soon replaced by a brutalising guitar section combined with a dramatic orchestrated section. The vocals, as expected, are strong, powerful and immense. The orchestrated medleys blend well with the heavy barrage of drums guitars and bass. “No Paragon Of Virtue” certainly leaves the listener wanting to hear more. “The World Won’t Hold Your Hand” follows after. The intro, for a few short seconds, sounds to be a very slow, calm medley but turns out to be the calm before a terrorising and violent guitar section. The drums are precise to the beat working well alongside the guitar and bass. The orchestration can only be described as epic. Again, the vocals are powerful, which is to be expected. The guitar solo, however, completes the track, making it one of the best on the album.

The third track, “A Matter Of Convenience” starts with a more softer riff compared to “No Paragon of Virtue” and “The World Won’t Hold Your Hand” and it is more synth-heavy as well. The vocals match the softness very well, bringing a very solemn feel to the track. The drum and guitar sections are well composed. “Silence Please” comes next with a very dark, symphonic intro, setting a very tense and dramatic atmosphere for the listener. The vocals sound eerie alongside the orchestration which adds to the tense atmosphere. Unfortunately, the guitars and drums are faded to begin with, struggling to make themselves heard. As the track progresses the guitars and drums can be heard more and more, fortunately.

Like the previous album, “The Corruption Of Mercy” also features a cover. This time the cover is a song called “Zombies”, originally by “The Cranberries”. It is a brilliant cover and Sarah has worked well to make it sound like her own. “Pretty With Effects” follows after being entirely composed of a beautiful piano medley combined with some very impressive vocal work. It certainly is a perfect example of Sarah’s vocal talent. “What Lies Before You” is the only interlude on the track, bringing a touch of eeriness to the album with its orchestration and choirs.

”Sirens” begins with an aggressive and somewhat violently fast paced riff. The drums are precise and intelligently played, while the vocals are still going strong and the guitar sections are most impressive. The second to last track is “The Eyes That Lie”. The intro is different to the rest of the album, beginning with a barrage of double bass pedals and vocals. The track eventually turns heavier with the introduction of a more bloodthirsty guitar riff. However, this track seems lacking compared to the rest of the album. The final track, which is also the title track, “The Corruption Of Mercy” begins with a heavy yet calm intro. The vocals are still going strong and the drums are as good as they have been on the rest of the album. The use of a piano and vocal section about half way through is both unexpected and brilliant. The track does go back to being heavy, which is fortunate for those who prefer heavy riffage compared to calm medleys. “The Corruption Of Mercy” is a perfect end for the album.

It’s clear that Sarah Jezebel Deva has been able to establish her own sound since leaving Cradle of Filth and this album is proof of that. It mixes her wide vocal range and talent with an immense mix of Gothic and Symphonic Metal to create a masterpiece of an album. Hopefully, there will be more releases from Sarah in the near future.

5/5

Nico Davidson