Friday, September 30, 2016

IceThurS/Unlocked Door/Bud Metal Records/2016 CD Review

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  IceThurS  are  a  band  from  Russia  that  plays  pagan/folk  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Unlocked  Door"  which  was  released  by  Bud  Metal  Records.

  Melodic  guitar  riffs  and  folk  instruments  start  off  the  album  as  well  as  going  into  a  heavier  direction  and  after  awhile  grim  screams a re  added onto  the  recording  and  they  also  bring  in  an  influence  of  black metal  into  the  music  while  death  metal  influences  and  back  up  chants  can  be  heard  at  times.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  female  vocals  are  also  used  in  some  parts  of  the  songs  and when  guitar  leads a re  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  when  synths a re  utilized  they  bring  in  touches  of  electronic  music  and  as  the  album  progresses  thrash  influences  along  with  some  blast  beats  are  added  onto  some  of  the  tracks  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  IceThurS  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly rooted  in  pagan/folk metal  while  also  mixing  in  the  heaviness  of  black  and  melodic  death  metal  along  with a  touch  of  thrash  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in a  mixture  of  Russian  and English  and  cover  Nature,  Norse  and  Slavic  Paganism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  IceThurS  are  a  very  great  sounding  folk  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Gift"  "Loki"  "War"  and  "Vengeance  Of  Veles".  8  out  of  10.



 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Vorgrum Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
We are a Pagan/Folk Metal band from Argentina. Our music goes from the rawest Black Metal; to the most Humpa Folk you can hear. We like to say that we are a hybrid of the genre, we don’t search to be or more blackers or more folker. We mix the thing to be delightful for everyone who likes both genres.

2.So far you have released one ep and one full length, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?

Our first release; The Awakening, was released on 2011, this EP could be described most like a Troll Metal album. Are 4 songs with lot of Humpa screeching rhythms guitars and accordions, and a really characteristic sharpie voices.
The album, Last Domain, is an evolution of all our music. The different kinds of rhythms and different folklores are noticed on this album. Making these release a huge evolution of the band.

3.The band has been around since 2009 but so far there has only been 2 releases, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap in between recordings?

The first album was recorded for the original members, Folter, Olek and Kryz. It was released for have some material and also the search of musicians to play this genre. The time lapses between The Awakening and Last Domain, 5 years, was because lot of members leaved the band, and was hard to have a regular formation. After many time, Folter, Kryz, Patrick and Olek recorded the album.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?

In our lyrics we talk about Vorgrum world and how they want to prevent the advance of human race which want to destroy all the forest and nature from the World to build all they builds and etc. Vorgrum job is to prevent that.
We transmit a message of preserve nature and roots of each one, but this message is talked from the point of view of this creature. Which also likes to drink and dance in the forest till pass out.


5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Vorgrum'?

To search a name for this particular creature, an ancient creature..

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

I (Iti) think that our best show was the show with Skiltron for the anniversary of “The Clans Have United”. The venue was full, and we player right before Skiltron, a lot of moshpits, sings of approval and a lot of fun, of course.
We describe our show as a party. We want to give people something else besides music. Is not only the execution of the instruments at the hour of give a show. You have to give something “extra” to the audience. We dance a lot, we have fun, and we make jokes to the public and between us. We think that if you want to hear only music, stay in your home and listen to the album, but if you want to have a lot of fun and drink with us, come to a show, and enjoy the party.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
We’ll be touring around Europe on October.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of pagan and folk metal?

At worldwide level, we have a lot of feedback. People from lot of parts of the world write on our fb page, or Instagram. Most of the reviews of the album comes from European countries, and there a lot of bandcamps sells from different parts of the world.

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

More Albums, more tours, more mature musicians


10.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?

We listen to all kinds of Metal, but we enjoy other types of music and we use them for Vorgrum, too.

11.How would you describe your views on paganism?

We in some kind are attracted to paganism. We don’t practice it. But we like the theme and we use it as philosophy of life, not belief. Of course, or songs had a lot of paganism and etc. But is not a concrete one, like Odinism, Wicca, or druidic. We use philosophies for all of them, and mix with magical creatures of folklores from Europe and rest of the world

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
That is a personal question. Respect me, I like to read a lot, videogames, and spend time with my dogs.
A group level, I have to said hang out for a beers or make asado (Argentinian Barbeque)

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

First of all, thanks for taking you time for sending this questions. We liked to answer them. Also, to all European Folks, we’ll be touring on October over Europe. So if you want to see a show, join us! We’ll be glad to know to every one of you, and meet new places.
Follow our tour at: https://www.facebook.com/vorgrum or https://www.instagram.com/vorgrumfolk
THANKS!

Okkultokrati/Raspberry Dawn/Southern Lord/2016 CD Review


  Norway's  Okkultokrati  have  returned  with  a  new  recording that  keeps  the  black  metal,  sludge  and  hardcore  punk  elements  of  previous  releases  while  also  mixing  in  goth,  psychedelia  and  70's  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Raspberry  Dawn"  which  will  be  released  on  September  30th  by  Southern  Lord.

  Distorted  drones  along  with  some  old  school  punk  rock  riffing  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  grim  vocals  that  have  a  first  wave  black  metal  vibe  to  them  and  synths  can  also  be  heard  in  the  music  at  times  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very powerful  sound  to  them and  melodies  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  riffs.

      Throughout  the  recording  there  is  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while t he  solos  and  leads  are  done  in a  more  old  school  hardcore  punk  style  and  the  vocals  also  adopt  a  punk  rock  style  at  times  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  goth  rock  style  clean  singing  and  female  vocals  while  some  tracks  bring  in  elements  of  old  school  metal,  70's  rock  and  psychedelia.

  Okkultokrati  makes  a  huge  change  on  this  recording  while  the  black  metal  and  punk  elements  can  be  heard  they  also  start  mixing  in  goth,  synth  pop,  70's  rock  and  psychedelia  to  take  their  music  to  another  level,  the  production  sounds  very professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  science  fiction  themes.

 In my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Okkultokrati  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black  metal,  punk,  goth  and  psychedelic  rock,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "World  Peace"  "Suspension"  "Future  War"  and  "Agic  People".  8  out  of  10. 

     

Monday, September 26, 2016

Jagged Mouth/Louring/2016 Full Length Review


  Jagged  Mouth  are  a  band  from  Albuquerque,  New  Mexico  that  plays  a  blackened  mixture  of  doom  and  sludge  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2016  album  "Louring"  which  will  be  released  in  October.

  A  very  dark  yet  heavy  doom  metal  sound  starts  off  the  album  which  also  uses  a decent  amount  of  melody  as  well  as  mixing  in  the  heaviness  of  sludge  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  along  with  most  of  the  songs  being  long  and  epic  in  length.

  When  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  dark  and  melodic  style  and  angry  hardcore  style  vocals  can  also  be  heard  at  times  and  as  the  album  progresses  more  elements  of  stoner  metal  are  added  onto  the  recording  while  one  track  also  brings  in  a  brief  use  of  clean  vocals  and  all  of  the  songs  stick  to  a  slow  musical  direction  and  acoustic  guitars  are  also  added  onto  the  last  track.

  Jagged  Mouth  plays  a musical  style  that  takes  black,  doom,  sludge  and  stoner  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds very  powerful  for  being  a  self released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  Jagged  Mouth  are  a  very  great  sounding  blackened  mixture  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "A  Wretched  Offering"  and  "Lingers  The  Taolith".  8  out  of  10.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Seven Sins/Due Diaboli et Apocalypse/Satanath Records/2016 CD Review


  Seven  Sins  are  a  band  from  Kazakhstan  that  plays  a  symphonic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Due  Diaboli  et  Apocalypse"  which  was  released  by  Satanath  Records.

  Spoken  word  parts  along  with  some  keyboards  start  off  the  album  as  well  as  the  sounds  of  eagles  and  after  awhile  the  music  gets  more  epic  and  symphonic while  also  adding  in  touches  of  classical  and  orchestra  music  and  it  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  riffs  and  you  can  also  hear  elements  of  Asian  music  at  times.

  Vocals  are  mostly  grim  yet  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  while  death  metal  growls  are  also  used  at  times  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  when  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  on  a  very  melodic  fashion.

 Spoken  word  parts  also  make  a  return  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  female  vocals  can  also  be  heard  at  times  and  one  of  the  tracks  also  brings  in  ethnic  style  folk  instruments  briefly  while  a  couple  of  later  tracks  also  brings  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  guitars and  some  of  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  male  clean  singing  vocals. 

  Seven  Sins  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  symphonic  and  orchestra  orientated  while  also being  very  heavy  influenced  by  death  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while t he  lyrics  cover  Qabala,  Alchemy, Occultism,  The  Devil,  Knights,  Medieval,  and  Death  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Seven  Sins  are  a  very  great  sounding  symphonic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Kabbalah"  "Alchemist"  "Seraphim"  and  "Infinitas  Non".  8  out  of  10.

     

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Stojar/At Twilight Of Battles By The Hammer Of Thunderstorms/Stygian Crypt Productions/2016 CD Review


  Stojar  are  a  band  from  Russia  that  plays  a  pagan  form  of  folk  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "At  Twilight  Of  Battle s By  The  Hammer  Of  Thunderstorms"  which  was  released  by  Stygian  Crypt  Productions.

  Folk  music  instruments  start  off  the  album  giving  the  songs  more  of  a  pagan  feeling  and  they  also  mix  in  with  the  heavier  guitars  while  keyboards  can  also  be  heard  at  times  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  and  female  vocals  along  with  black  metal  screams  are  a  very  huge  part  of  the  recording.

  Nature  sounds  can  also  be  heard  briefly  while  the  music  also  gets  very  symphonic  at  times  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  you  can  also h ear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  and  the  riffs  also  use  a  decent  amount  of  melody.

  Stojar  plays  a  style  of  pagan/folk  metal  that  can  be  symphonic  at  times  while  also  mixing  in  elements  of  black  metal  which  also  gives  the  music  a  heavier  edge,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Russian  and  cover  Slavonic  Paganism  and  Patroitism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Stojar  are  a  very  great  sounding  pagan/folk  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Molotom  groz  v  sumerki"  "Na  styage  plammenoy  zari"  and  "Pamyati  Slava".  8  out  of  10.  



 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Astroplex Interview

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

The Astroplex is a two men team, Herr Nox & John Steele. Between the both of us, we share the work load that needs to be done. in order to get this project going. We are from Canada, in two different Provinces, Quebec and Ontario. Herr Nox is the singer, lyricist, graphic designer and wrote those really cool 80’s movie soundtrack tunes on the album. I, (John) play most of the instruments, wrote the main songs and handled the production side of things, including recording and mixing. Our good friend, Jonh M.Miller, did a fantastic job on the mastering of the album.

2.You have an album coming out, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

When we decided to record the album, we both had a very precise vision on what we wanted the album to sound like. We aimed for songs that would be reminiscent of early 2000’s melodic death metal and melodic Black metal scene. We also wanted a faux 1980’s, sci-fi flick, soundtrack to serve as the catalyst for the story we wanted to tell. It was the combination of these two genres that helped facilitate our narrative.

3.You refer to your music as 'Space metal', can you tell us a little bit more about this term?

We approached the writing of this album like you would writing a book. We developed a story line, with plots and sub plots. When we were done, it was clear that this could not be classified as a traditional black/death album. We tried looking up metal genres that we could be associated with, and we concluded that it was perhaps best to come up with a classification that would describe us best. The album is set in space, with space ships and droids and other-worldly planets. It only made sense to call it what it is, Space metal!

4.Your lyrics cover science fiction themes; can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this subject?

We both grew up loving the sci-fi movies of the 1980’s. Although some of these movies may look a bit outdated in both special effects, or even story-telling, the fact remains that it still holds fond memories for the both us. So we set out to have an album where each songs are a chapter that helps tell the main story. Herr Nox is a great lyricist, and he has crafted a really interesting way of telling the narrative through each songs.

 5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'The Astroplex'?

The Astroplex, is the name of the ship used by Satis, (our main character in the story), and her crew. We wanted a name that would reflect the genre we play, so we went with this name. We just shot band names back and forth, and The Astroplex was the one that we both agreed on.

6. Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you planning on expanding the line up in the future or do you prefer to remain a duo?

Our situation is different than most people. We both reside in two different Provinces, separated by an 8-hour long car drive. This creates a bit of a challenge when wanting to rehearse songs or finding band members, but that being said, we are both open to the idea. Should we get an interesting offer, who knows? As far as involving other people in the writing process, we’ll see. Writing the songs, producing, recording, mixing and overall doing everything ourselves is very difficult and time consuming. Maybe, if need be, we’ll recruit other people to help us on in the future.

7. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

We have not received any offers as of yet. To be honest, we both agree that to sign to a label, we would have to come out on top. I will never sign a 360 deal! Being an independent band means that we have 100% control over the creative process and the income we generate. We set our own deadlines and get to work in an environment of our choosing. No big costly studios, which we end up having to pay back to the label before seeing any revenues. We are not saying no, but in order to sign, we’d have to have a really sweet deal, and that is very unlikely.

8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?

 The reviews are coming in and feedback from the fans is abundant. In general, people get it. Actually, they get it way more than we had anticipated. People know that this is not by any means a traditional black metal band. We have elements of it for sure, but it is not flat out what we set out to do. We live in a great time for music, where you can experiment musically without totally alienating your fan base. We love Emperor, Immortal, Gorgoroth and Dimmu Borgir. But this is not what we do. It’s in the song writing for sure, but it’s not the main focus. Today’s metal audience is very open minded and diversified, which helps bands such as ourselves find a “niche” market.

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

We decided to put out this album as a mean to introduce our fans to the band, and to the concept we wish to explore. Now in the future we are entertaining the idea of releasing songs independently. So, for example, we may put a song out each month instead of waiting a year to put out an entire album. The concept is being used by other artists in other genres, and they are doing better than traditional album releases.

10. 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?

John: For me, during the writing of this album, I was listening to a lot of Arch Enemy, Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth and 70’s rock. I think it comes through in the songs. Nowadays, I’m listening to Bloodbath, Opeth, Katatonia and The Devin Townsend Project.

Herr Nox: for this album, I immersed myself completely in 80s movies and listened to plenty of synthesizers soundtracks. The likes of John Carpenter and Vangelis can be heard in the instrumentals, I'm sure. As for today, I would say I listen to almost anything. From Mozart to My Dying Bride, from Perturbator to Igorrr. David Bowie is always in my playlist.

11.What are some of your non-musical interests?

 John: I love History, politics (although I am getting a bit saturated with it lately) and philosophy.
I love to read up on psychoacoustics and the physics behind the sounds we hear and how we perceive them. I do a lot of recording and mixing, so this translates well into the work I do.


Herr Nox: movies, visual arts, psychology and science-fiction. Anything related to space (from a scientific standpoint) will get my attention. I find space exploration fascinating.

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

John: I would like to thank you for giving us the chance to speak about this project with your audience. We love to connect with new people. Thanks again for the review, we really appreciate.

Herr Nox: thank you for the interview, it's greatly appreciated. Also, to anyone reading this, support your local scene. A few good words will make a difference for it is passion that fuels any artist.