Thursday, July 19, 2018

Plaguewielder/Surrender To The Void/Fragile Branch Records/2018 CD Review


  Plaguewielder  are  a  band  from  Ohio  that  has  had  music  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  blackened  mixture  of  doom  and  sludge  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Surrender  To  The  Void"  which  will  be  released  in  August  by  Fragile  Branch  Records.

  A  very  heavy  and  mid  tempo  sound  along  with  some  blackened  metal  vocals  start  off  the  album  while  the  bass  guitars  are  also  used  as  a  lead  instrument  at  times  along  with  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  sludge  and  doom  metal  as  well  as  the  riffs  also bringing  in  a decent  amount  of  melody.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  dark  yet  melodic  style  while  the  instrumental  tracks  also  bring  in  elements  of  experimental  and  noise  and  when  the  music  finally  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  along  with  the  music  focusing  more  on  a  slow  or  mid  paced  direction  and  synths  are  added  onto  the  closing  track. 

  Plaguewielder  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  their  blackened  mixture  of  sludge  and  doom  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Plaguewielder  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  blackened  sludge  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Drippinf  Pools  of  Self  Hatred"  and  "In  Depths  of  Cold  Hell".  8  out  of  10.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Tongue Eating Louse/Voidwalker/Sludgelord Records/2018 Full length Review


  Tongue  Eating  Louse  are  a  band  from  Ontario,  Canada  that  plays  a  blackened  form  of  sludge  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Voidwalker"  which  will  be  released  in  August  by  Sludgelord  Records.

  Heavy  riffing  starts  off  the  album  while  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  are  very  heavily  rooted  in  sludge  metal  along  with  all  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  the  high  pitched  screams  being  elements  of  black  metal  and  growls  are  also  utilized  at  times.

  Melodies  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  while  blast  beats  are  also  utilized  when  the  music  speeds  up  along  with  one  track  also  introducing  clean  playing  and  spoken  word  parts  onto  the  recording  as  well  as  the  guitar  leads  being  done  in  a  very  distorted yet  melodic  style  when  they  are  utilized  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Tongue  Eating  Louse  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  black  metal  and  sludge  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism,  Shamanism  and  Alchemy  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Tongue  Eating  Louse  are  a  very  great  sounding  blackened  sludge  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Alchemy".  8  out  of  10.  

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Mystherium/Zaglada/2018 Full Length Review


  Mystherium  are  a  band  from  Poland  that  plays  a  gothic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2018  album  "Zaglada".

  Spoken  word  parts,  stringed  instruments  and  keyboards  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  which  also  introduces  clean  vocals  onto  the  recording  while  grim  black  metal  screams  are  also  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  album  and  the  music  is  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's.

  A  decent  amount  of  melody  can  also  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  while  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  can  also  be  heard  during  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  along  with  a  couple  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  the  music  mixing  in  elements  of  goth  and  classical  music  and  when  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Mystherium  plays  a  style  of  gothic  black  metal  that  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's,  the  production  sounds  very  old  school  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Polish  and  cover  anti  Christianity,  Patriotism  and  Polish  history  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Mystherium  are  a  very  great  sounding  gothic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Slawa!  Wojna!  Zwyciestwo"  "Piesna  pochwalne"  and  "Wedrowiec".  8  out  of  10.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Ephyra Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

Hi guys, now our goal is to promote the new album organizing a lot of gigs, so we are working to the live activities for the next Autumn. (And we are taking breath after the long and hard work we have done to produce “The Day Of Return”).

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the band?

Well… our music is basically a melodic death metal but we use to add folk and epic influences. In this new album the folk side is far eastern oriented with sounds from the tradition of Japan and Mongolia so you will find fascinating atmospheres.
This time we have faster guitars than the older tracks and we introduced some solos too (we are not lovers of exaggerated solos). The production is definitely better. And, as said, we have different traditional instruments compared to the other two albums where you can find harps, transverse flutes, brasses, etc…

3.On the new album you also added in throat singing, Mongolian and Japanese instruments, do you feel you are adding some new things to the folk metal genre, with the new recording?

We know some bands already used those kind of sounds, but we think this is a new entry for the Italian metal scene. Of course, this is unusual and it’s one of the reasons why we chose this way and we’ll continue to explore the music and traditions out there in all the world.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new album?

The texts were written on the basis of real sensations experienced in different moments of life (such as difficulties, challenges, misunderstandings, meetings).
From personal experience, loving the natural side of life and therefore the many links with the outside world, we want the album to describe the interactions of a man and his encounters with people and places that have inspired and influenced his character, destiny and journey.

5.Originally the band started out playing covers, what was the decision behind moving into your own material?

To play covers is funny and it’s a good starting point for your activity, but with the passage of time it became boring so Matteo (who founded the band and at that time he was the only one of the actual line-up) felt the need to write his own music and has changed the direction of the band.




6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Ephyra'?

The name Ephyra was immediately adopted at the beginning and it comes from a fantasy videogame (Severance – Blade of darkness). It was chosen to represent a hypothetical reign where the stories of our first album’s songs took place. From the second album our lyrics are no longer focused on that concept.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Our best shows probably were Malpaga Folk and Metal Fest 2017 with Tyr, Rock Inn Somma 2016 with Gli Atroci and Fosch Fest 2015 with Carcass, Satyricon, Finntroll, Manegarm, Heidevolk, Arkona, Dalriada, etc…
About the stage performance we work hard on each aspect trying to be as professional as possible. Reports tell us we are doing it quite well .

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

Nowadays we have some shows confirmed in summer and autumn. Of course, we want to promote “The Day Of Return” and we are working to other gigs in Italy, but we are planning to play in Europe too. If someone who’s reading these words wants us for a show he can write to booking@ephyra.it.

9.The album was released on 'Volcano Records & Promotion', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

Volcano is a new and young label in which we have found a concrete partner to work with. Since now we are very happy with what has been done with them both in organizational and human terms. We can say that day by day we are receiving important news and opportunities. We like to be and play an important role in the Volcano family.

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your new album by fans of folk and melodic death metal?

It's a bit early to evaluate. Reviews are good, but we don’t have yet a report about sold copies (physical or digital).

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

We really don’t know . It would be cool to conquer the northern Europe, South America and Japan but the only thing we can do is to keep on working as our best and see what will happen.

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Each of us is different and have different preferences and influences. About the music, you can find melodic death metal like old In Flames or Amon Amarth or Ensiferum or Eluveitie, melodies remembering Amorphis, Vocals like Within Temptation, folk atmospheres that let you think to Loreena McKennitt. It’s hard to find a correct definition and a real influence, we usually write our songs naturally without thinking about other bands/musicians.
In this period, we are listening to (2 options for you):
John: Kasabian, Art Blakey
Patrick: Behemoth, The Meters
Nadia: Arkona, Dream Theater
Francesco: Iced Earth, Wolfheart
Mat: Ennio Morricone, Enigma
Diba: Five Finger Death Punch, Hardcore Superstar


13.What are some of your non musical interests?

John: Bike, radio
Patrick: Netflix, beer
Nadia: Cinema, trekking
Francesco: Spartan race, 5-a-side football
Mat: Diving, reptiles
Diba: Toy library, lute manufacturing

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Thank you very much for your time and space. We invite your readers to take a listen to our new album “The Day Of Return”, buy it if they like, and give us their feedback.
It is available digitally on all the platforms and physically on www.ephyra.it.
Have a good life and stay Ephyra \m/

Thursday, June 28, 2018

KormaK Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
1 - The band was born in Bari in 2015 from the idea of ​​Zaira and found its stability only in Jenuary 2017 with the final line up. Our music is labelled as Folk Metal but we introduced a lot of contaminations like Death, Melodic and Celtic elements. KormaK do not play just music but try to completely immerse the listener in what they tell.



2.You have your first album coming out this summer, what are some of the things you feel you have accomplished musically on the album?
2 - The release of this album is a very important milestone for us. Zaira created a work of art that could be considered mad from certain points of view; we musicians performed and reproduced as faithfully as possible what she wanted and the result is an album that has a logical sense and that we think listeners might like!

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the music?
3 - The album examines and amplifies the concept of madness brought by the loss of someone (or something), for this reason the texts recall personal events transcribed in a cryptic way. There are Celtic melodies that evoke moments of deep introspection while the most violent parts tell about battles against real or unreal enemies, that often turn out to be ourselves. The key to read Faerenus is the absolute madness.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'KormaK'?
4 - KormaK is a character of the fantasy literature (Kormak's Saga) whose purpose in life is to payback of some wrongs, and reborn as a man and a hero. As we are all lovers of fantasy, we have captured the essence of this character making him our starting point for everything that the group is and will be.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
5 – We played as band from March 2018, that is to say not enough time to perform. Nevertheless we remember with pleasure our first live, made in our land (Puglia), in which we had an unexpected positive response. In the same way, even a recent live left us ecstatic when, during the performance of one of our songs, the public began to sing with us. On stage we try to recreate the same atmosphere of the album, passing from classical and extremely relaxing melodies to very violent parts in pure Death Metal key.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans once the album is released?
6 - Of course. On June 30th, the day after the release of the album, we will be part of a big concert in our region, that it will be our "release party", afterwards we will move through Italy in the month of July. From September to November we will be busy with the "Faerenus European Tour" in which we will have some dates in other nations like Czech Republic, Slovenia and Greece, where we will play with other important names.

7.The album is coming out on 'Rockshot Music', how did you get in contact with the label?
7 - We simply sent our material to various Italian labels including the "Rockshots Record" and after having received several positive answers we chose it for its artistic background. We can say that it was the right choice!

8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of folk metal?
8 - Until now, we received very positive feedbacks for the "Goddess Song", the only single we released. Several fans from Germany, Greece, Poland, Spain and even India follow our social channels and personally we can’t wait to see the next reactions after the release of "Faerenus", and maybe to organize the show abroad

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
9 - We have a lot of energies, we already have some ideas for the next album and we can not wait to get back to work. Stylistically speaking we will try to remain faithful to our imprint but we do not exclude possible outlets towards more evolved sounds.

10.Where are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
10 - The KormaKs try to be as original as possible but it is undeniable that the Scandinavian metal influenced us. Bands like Death, Children of Bodom, Heidevolk, Amon Amarth and Folkearth are part of our musical culture, but we all listen a little bit of everything, not only metal music.

11.Does Paganism play any role in your music?
11 – Although Celtic and Scandinavian traditions fascinate us a lot, we have not included in "Faerenus" elements referred to paganism. For the future we do not know what could happen.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

12 - We are lovers of camping in open nature, some of our songs were born right in the woods. In the same way we love meat and wine, especially the local ones. Finally, fantasy and role-playing games are among our favorite pastimes.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
13 - We thank you for this small space that you gave us and we hope that "Faerenus" could be welcomed by critics and fans, which would give us the right push to continue our journey.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Aeolian Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

We are a new Metal band from Mallorca (Spain) with a lot of Extreme Metal Bands influences in the more melodic direction. Our lyrics call for the need to protect the environment.

2.You have an album coming out in September, what are some of the things you feel you have accomplished musically on the recording?

We are so proud with the final result of the recording. We wanted to express our rage and fury concerning the environmental situation in the world, and thanks to the great work of Miquel A. Riutort as a producer, we feel satisfied. He gave the music the punch we needed.

3.Your lyrics deal with a lot of environmental issues, can you tell us a little bit more about your concern for the environment?

I was born in Majorca, and over the years I have seen how people make everything dirty wherever they go. That situation has led us to a point of no return, and unfortunately all that rubbish goes into the sea.

Sadly, it’s like this here, and everywhere else. You can even hear it on TV now. They say that in 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans!

And I won’t even talk about climate change, global warming, temperature rises, the shrinking of ice sheets, etc.

And the worst? One of the most powerful politicians says that the global warming does not exist, so obviously we do nothing about it.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Aeolian'?

The origin of the word is Aeolus, the Greek God of Wind. And wind is one of the forces of nature that man cannot control. In addition, it describes very well some passages of our music, for example the furious blast beats parts.


5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and what are the touring or show plans once the new album is released?

The band is so new that we haven’t played live so far. We are arranging a presentation concert in September here in Majorca, and we are also going to play at an Extreme Metal Festival in November.

Before Aeolian, all of us have played many shows and concerts with other bands, so we have plenty of experience. This time, we would like to begin our adventure with this finished album.


6.The new album is coming out on 'Snow Wave Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

We are so proud with our record label signing. They are helping us a lot with the release process. And they have exceeded our expectations in relation of the quantity and quality of the work that's been done.


7.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of melodic and extreme metal?

At the moment we don’t know, as we are still in the process of getting known in the scene, but we are happy with the first good reviews and comments we've received.


8.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

We want to continue with the current musical direction, consisting of creating a new sound with known musical elements.


9.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Some of them are Opeth, Amorphis, Kreator, Dimmu Borgir, Dissection, Amon Amarth, Ensiferum, Mors Principium est, Death and many more. I have always liked the most melodic side of extreme metal music, although I look to create contrast in all of our songs.

Nowadays, I’m listening to some old school albums from bands like Death, Amorphis, Opeth, Mork Gryning, At the gates, Dimmu Borgir and Iron Maiden. Some of the new albums I’m listening to are “Queen of Time” from Amorphis and “Twisted Prayers” from Gruesome.


10.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

We would like to thank you to all of you for sharing and listening to our music. If you want to stay tuned for news, check us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can pre-order our debut album “Silent Witness” from the Snow Wave Records website.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Aeolian/Silent Witness/Snow Wave Records/2018 CD Review


  Aeolian  are  a  band  from  Spain  that  plays  a  very  melodic  form  of  blackened  death metal  with  some  elements  of  thrash  and  folk  music  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Silent  Witness"  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Snow  Wave  Records.

  A  very  hard,  heavy  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  very  fast  musical  direction  which  also  brings  in a   great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  while  with  some  black  metal  screams  being  added  into  the  recording  and  they  also  bring  in  a  lot  of  death  metal  elements.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  the  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  some  melodic  pagan  chants  also  being  used  at  times  and  when  acoustic  guitars  are  utilized  they  bring  in  elements  of  folk  music.

  Whispers  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  while  the  riffing  also  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  thrash  influences  along  with  the  clean  vocals  also  giving  the  music  a  touch  of  power  metal  when  they  are  utilized  and  growls  are  also  used  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  album  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  nature  sounds  can  also  be  heard.

  Aeolian  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  the  more  melodic  styles  of  black  and  death  metal  while  the  thrash  and  folk  music  elements  makes  the  songs  stand  out  a  bit  more,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  environmental  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Aeolian  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  with  some  elements  of  thrash  and  folk  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  End  Of  Ice"  "Return  of  The  Wolf  King"  "Wardens  Of  The  Sea"  and  "Oryx".  8/5  out  of  10.