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Offended – Welcome to Nowhere Award winner

Welcome to Nowhere
by Fred “Cage” Bonanno at 13 March 2023, 3:36 PM

OFFENDED are a young metal rock band (ages 18, 20, 21) based in Leeds, UK dealing out fictional, fantasy, horror and nightmare rock. Founded in 2015 by founding members Jamie Hollis and Tom Hallam, the lineup was completed with the arrival of vocalist Carol Fernandez in the summer of 2021 and the band was able to start recording some of the catalogue of songs they had written over previous years. The band has a unique sound which draws influences from legendary metal bands such as IRON MAIDEN and W.A.S.P. whilst also blending them with progressive elements inspired by bands such as RUSH and YES. With the release of their independent debut album “Welcome to Nowhere” on December 2, 2022, they have received a respectable and positive response from a generous global audience, while not yet performing live.

Opening with a subdued backdrop of thunder and tranquil rain sound effect on “Welcome to Nowhere” slowly transitioning to a canorous acoustic guitar as chilling, soft vocals take the forefront, creating a dark atmosphere of gloom and despair, in advance of building up to a belligerent, tumultuous tone ending with a bad ass guitar solo, a remarkable start to this album, immediately showcasing the diversity of the band. “Virtue & Vice” jumps right back into the fire with intimidating, enigmatic vocals surrounding this rocking, fist pumping anthem that says, “fuck the haters and hypocrisy”, two songs in and I’m loving their streetwise attitude, they sure don’t sound like a band that still has a bedtime curfew. Deeper vocal layering sandwiched between a churning beat and voraciously delicious guitar work by Jamie Hollis highlight “The Fool’s Demise”.  Opening with a tranquil melody on “Heaven’s Eye” abated with sinfully engaging vocal presence that masterfully bring the lyrics to the next level “his only eye, working for all of the time, heaven’s eye, watching us closely at night”, brought to the finish line with a brilliant grandiose guitar solo.

I had the opportunity to interview all three band members via zoom last week (check it out on my Facebook page Fred Bonanno), and they were so accommodating and pleasant that I am relieved I can give them this well-deserved great review. For such a young band to come across with such an accomplished sound is amazing. I didn’t want to do injustice to the vocals of Carol Fernandez by comparing her to another singer because she projects with such conviction and interpretation, effortlessly shifting between lighter and heavier melodies. Jamie Hollis plays like a seasoned veteran on guitar with superb technique and skills. OFFENDED definitely has a bright future.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Welcome to Nowhere
2. Virtue & Vice
3. The Hell Zone
4. The Fool’s Demise
5. The Curse
6. Mistakes
7. Heaven’s Eye
8. Burning Effigy
Carol Fernandez – vocals
Jamie Hollis – guitar, bass, keyboards
Tom Hallam - drums
Record Label: Independent


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