Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Svarrogh Interview

1. Can you update us with what is going on with the project these days?
1. Hi, I am still waiting for the final mix and mastering of the new full length album "Aether" which was recorded in 2009 and it might be the best Svarrogh album up to now with a very coherent concept and compositions. Currently I am working on very new material which is going to be released as a mini-album afther "Aether".
Svarrogh didn´t enter live stages since 2 years because of lack of time, as well as the session musicians have their own bands themselves, like Helfahrt and Secrets of the Moon.

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the newer material?
2. Svarrogh was never easy to categorize. It has always an individual sound. Thats the matter of making music these days. I could not imagine doing something common which has already been done. Svarrogh is always changing, like experiences and life situations are changing themselves. Every album is an instant expression of my thoughts in different stages through time. When art defines itself with stagnation - there is no art at all. But maybe the newer material is the most atmospheric up to now with a lot of post rock and black metal and somber folk or ambient atmosphere. I try to make my music as oppressive as I can by using many stylistic devices. Actually after 5 years of smooth atmosphere of neofolk and ambient, I am thirsty for the harsh sounds of black metal again, as this is the only music that I listen to right now.

3. What are some of the lyrical concepts that you are working on these days?
3. It is hard to describe. Everything is very individual-mythological. It is not a personified mythology. It is something ancient, unspoken, unseen, archaic.
I use fragments of slavic mythology and embed them in a very poetic text concept.
"Aether" is about a floating, sub-conscient archaic art of existence and it is influenced a lot by the american writer Ezra Pound. A human beeing is totally lost in
an environment of beautiful, violent and powerful nature, struggling his way and path to the very self knowledge of his existence. Aether is the shape of his status -
a dismal and sallow material atmosphere. The last album "Yer Su" was similar, but with more association to heathen slavic and old-bulgarian mythology.

4. What is going on with the other projects these days?
4. I stopped the most projects as I saw, that this is just bringing you away from the things that are more important. Next to Svarrogh, I have now only Fahl, a dark ambient project with members of the german neoclassic band Sagittarius.
We are also working on the new release of my other project Miel Noir, which is more electronic/surreal dark wave. When there is time, we will work also on new songs for my drony black metal project Schwarzwasserbrunnen.

5. How has your newer material been recieved by both newer and older fans worldwide?
5. I don´t know - we will see. But I have heard a lot of positive opinions.

6.Out off all the releases that you have put out so far, which one are you the most satisfied with?
6. It would be "Aether", when it will be released in 2011. I like all Svarrogh albums, they are all different and have there own words. "Balkan Renaissance" is a very powerful and simple album, very mature.

7. How would you describe your musical progress over the years and what direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?
7. Svarrogh started as pagan black metal, developed to neofolk with industrial and ambient elements and now the black metal element is the most important part of the music. But Svarrogh was always more avantgarde and not really a simple style with common arrangements and compositions. Actually the lyrical concept never changed, it just grew and developed itself. Like the painter Edgard Degas said once:
"I am glad that I did not found my style - I would be bored to death!"

8. You are origianlly from Bulgaria but now live in Germany, what was the decision behind the move?
8. It is a long story, which began in 1992.

9. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
9. Of course it is impossible to stay away from influences. Generation after generation is influenced. However, I try to stay for my own.
I like the art of Hate Forest, Urfaust, Wolves in the throne room, Mono, Red Sparowes, Drudkh and some industrial, neofolk and ambient projects.
The greek dark folk band Defile des Ames is definetely awesome.

10. Where do you get must of your inspiration on Slavic and Bulgarian Paganism/Shammanism and are you into any other esoteric paths or philosophies as well?
10. There are so many interesting things and materials out there.
Actually I am interested in everything that has to do with european and asiatic
culture, mythology and esoteric. My inspiration comes from nature with all her
daughters like dew, fog and beatiful landscapes and mountains, especially in Bulgaria. Esoteric is maybe one of the most growing parts in society with a lot
of bullshit and orthodox believers. I think this has to be your own esoteric life philosophy. The transcendent way, how you are on this earth and how you feel your life. I am a very ambivalent person - atheist and somehow very nihilistic, but I feel the ancient roots of Hyperborea and also the yearning to the old knowledge. Actually everything is in a context, it is logical. But I don´t believe in a hollow earth.
However, you can reach a transcendent level of your life also with the nihilistic philosophy of Nietzsche or Sartre. It is just your point of view then.
Of course the bulgarian shamanism (Tangra) and slavic mythology is more next to me, I can feel the connection to the ancient in my heart. It is just sad, that we live in a such soulless world.

11. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
11. Black & white photography, philosophy, drinking, mountains.
Unfortunately life is too short to reach all of your dreams.
I am also the editor of the printed mythological and cultural magazine Svarga which is released annually. The last issue #2 had also a lot of interviews with bands like Allerseelen and Dordeduh and dealed with european arts, cults and rituals. I have also an photography portfolio at www.dimo-dimov-photography.de.tl

12. Any final words or thoughts before we close this interview?
12. Thank you very much! Be ready for the 6th Svarrogh album "Aether" in 2011.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Svarrogh/Yer Su/Ahnstern/2008 CD Review

Svarrogh are a band originally from Bulgaria now residing in Germany that started out as a folk/black metal band but has evolved into more of a neo folk band over the years and this is a review of their 2008 album "Yer Su" which was released on Ahnstern but distributed by Stienklang Records.

There are a lot of folk instruments on this recording such asa bagpipe, balkan viola, big mandoline, balkan shepard flute, ocaria, and clarinet that gives the music a very medeivel feel that harkens big to the Pagan days mixed in with alot of keyboards that sound very atmospheric.

Accoustic guitars use alot of open chords played fast at times to give the music a folk music feel,while the electric guitars are fast black metal riffs that are melodic at times with some slow doom riffing, as for the drums when they are utilized they are fast beats.

Vocals are mostly clean singing and spoken word male vocals with some black metal screams being thrown in at times with some clean singing and spoken word female vocals, while the lyrics touch on Slavic and Bulgarian Paganism and Folklore with songs being written in both the English and Bulgarian languages with a concept being used in between songs, as for the production sounds very dark and raw.

In my opinion Svarggh are a very talented and original band that will appeal to both fans of folk/black metal and neo-fol. RECEMMONDED TRACKS INCLUDE "The Old Mill" "Stone" "Samodiva" and "Eternal Flame". RECEMMONDED BUY

Hrossharsgrani/Dead Man's Hill/Dead Meat/Steinklang/2010 CD Split Review

This is a review of a split album between Hrosshargrani from Austria who has had a full length reviewed before in this zine and Dead Man's hill fom Belguim, the album is called "Dead Meat" and was released by Steinklang during the year of 2010, we are going to start of the review with Hrosshargrani.

Hrosshargrani are a band from Sweden that mixes martal industrial with dark ambient, noise and black metal.

Drum programming is mostly slow beats that get a little bit fast at times with some blast beats, while the noise effects sound dark and evil, as for the guitars they are very distorted sounding leads with some accoustic guitars being used on ocassion.

Keyboards are very dark and epic sounding giving the music a ritulistic feel, while the vocals alternate between deep growls, clean singing male and female vocals and spoken word passages, while the lyrics are written in a mixture of German and English pagan orientated with some references to Romanian history, as for the production it sounds very dark and epic sounding.

In my opinion the songs that put out on this split are alot better and darker then the previous full length that was reviewed. RECEMMONDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Countess Bathory" and "Down There".

Dead Man's Hill are a band from belguim that plays a very dark form of death industrial mixed in with alot of riitual elements, neo classical and folk and now we are going to review their music.

Drum programming is all slow and militant, while the sytnths are very dark and evil sounding, as for the noise effects they are very loud and avant garde sounding.

Vocals use some deep growls along with a mixture of clean singing male and female vocals, with a small amount of heavy industrial guitars that make the music sound very evil.

Lyrics touch on the destruction of the world, Occultism, nature and Voodoo, while the production sounds very dark, powerful, epical and evil sounding.

In my opinion while Dead man's Hill are not black metal influenced they have the best and darkest music on this split. RECEMMONDED TRACKS INCLUDE "The Dangrous Emptiness" and "All Saints Day Rituals: To Baron Samedi". RECEMMONDED BUY.

Hrossharsgrani/Pro liberate dimincandum est/Steinkling/2009 CD Review

Hrossharsgrani are a band from Austria that mixes noise, dark ambient, industrial and black metal together and this is a review of their 2009 album "Pro liberate dimicandum est" which was released by Steinkland Records".

Drum programming is mostly slow militant beats, while the noise effects sound very dark and evil, as for the samples being used they bring a depressive feel to the music.

Vocals are very dark and demonic sounding growls with alot of spoken word passages while the synths sound very dark and utilize influuences from indudtrial and neo classical,

Lyrics range from anti religion, Norse mythology and some political themes mixed in with some other dark subjects while the production sounds very dark and gives the music an esoteric feel.

Eletric guitars when they are utilized are slow and heavy riffs while the accoustic guitars are only used briefly to give the music a neo-folk feel

In my opinion Hrossharsgrani are a very good project and while this is not as metal influenced as some of their early work I still feel this album will still appeal to fans or black industrial, dark ambient, noise and martial industrial. RECEMMONDED TRACKS INCLUDE "All Systems Go" "The Glory Of The Dead" "The Victory" and "Mercyful". RECEMMONDED

Limbonic Art/Phantasmagoria/Candlelight Records/2010 CD Review

Limbonic Art are a band from Norway that has been around since the 1990's that play a vey atmospheric and symphonic form of black metal and this is a review of their 2010 album "Phantasmogoria" which will be released by Candlelight Records.

Drum progamming is modtly fast and brutal with alot of devastating blast beats being thrown in and they slow down at times to give the music a darker edge, while the keyboards are very symphonic, ambient, epic and atmospheric, as for the bass playing it has a very dark tone that follows the riffs that are coming out of the guitars.

Rhythm guitars are mostly fast black metal riffs that contain some melody and the riffs get slower at times with some thrash and traditional metal influences, while the lead guitars are very melodic sounding guitar solos that contain alot of skill when they are utillized.

Vocals are high pitched black metal screams with some clean singing being thrown in at times as well as some deep death metal growls, while the lyrics cover death, darkness, necromancy, astral projection and other occult themes, as for the production of this album it sounds very powerful and professional with all of the musical instruments having a heavy sound.

IN my opinion this is another good album from Limbonic art and this is their heaviest album to date and if you where a fan of their past albums you will not be dissapointed. RECEMMONDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Curse Of The Necromancer" "POrtal To The Unknown" "Prophetic Dreams" and "Astral Projection". RECEMMONDED BUY