Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vex Interview


1. Can you tell us a little bit about Vex for those that have never heard of you before?

Vex originally began in San Angelo, West Texas, formed by Bill and Ciaran. The band underwent many many different personnel and stylistic changes over the years. We have been jamming with the current lineup since early 2008 and we feel like we've finally discovered the Vex sound after all these years.


2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album?

Well interestingly, Thanatopsis comprises material that we've been playing live for a long time; some of the songs we wrote all the way back in 2000 and 2001. But when we began tracking this record, we were also writing new material that reflects a lot of the progressive rock and jazz fusion music we were beginning to listen to and be inspired by; you can really hear those influences on 'Thanatos' and 'The Past is Frozen.' So since those two songs ended up on this album, the album sort of documents a lot of the history of the band as well as reflecting a change that was just beginning to happen in our sound.

3. What are some lyrical topics and concepts the new album explore?

Well I'm maybe not the best person to answer this one but in general the lyrics explore a philosophy of personal nihilism and through that lens it sort of views the world and all the big formative experiences that a person can go through in life. The album name is reflective of that--even though 'Thanatos' is an instrumental, the concept of Thanatos and Thanatopsis pervades many of the lyrics. In my view, that's really what the album cover symbolizes as well--a monument to a human life, though from the perspective of nature. The natural world outside of the human species approaches death much differently than we do. That's what the Bryant poem 'Thanatopsis' is about that inspired many of the lyrical themes on the album, essentially a view of humanity and death from the perspective of the natural world.


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

Well as I mentioned Vex has a lot of history, many different band members and many different musical styles. If I remember the story correctly, the name was chosen at random out of a dictionary. We've discussed changing it, but no matter how much we evolve as a band, that name always just seems to fit with what we are doing.



5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?

Actually the CD release show for this album I would say is right near the top of the list for us. We were able to land an opening spot for Katatonia, Swallow the Sun, and Orphaned Land at Emo's here in Austin. We played a good set to a packed house and then topped it off by getting to watch some of the best metal bands out right now. I wouldn't really know how to describe our stage performance; we don't really have the typical metal look. Honestly I think most of the time we are more concerned with how we play and the stage presence just kind of naturally happens as a result of our feeding off of the music. It's not something we really plan in advance.


6. Do you have any touring plans for the new albums?

Not as of yet. We have a ton of new songs that we need to get written and recorded first, so that's gonna be the focus of the band at least for the near future. After that, I'm sure we will look at touring.



7/ What is going on with the side projects these days?


We all keep very busy with side-projects. Bill has a very well-received and talented metal band in San Angelo called A Black Anatomy. Ciaran's side project Nosferion is in the midst of recording a new album, really good sort of primitive black metal but with a more modern edge. I play regularly in a band called Batcastle based out of Austin, and actually Mike and I collaborate on many of the same side projects like Ruins of Honor, Alternate 15, and The Stan Laurels.



8. How has your music been recieved so far by extreme metal fans worldwide?

It's hard to say, really. As I mentioned we don't really have a typical metal look, and I wouldn't say our sound is typical metal in any way, so I'm always interested to see how really hardcore metal-heads react to our stuff. Overall it's been fairly positive; we've been very pleased that most of the reviews coming in on Thanatopsis have been generally positive.



9. How would you describe your musical progress over the years?

Well Vex in its original format was more heavy rock, kind of catchy, heavy stuff. As the band continued, the music took on a more extreme sound, incorporating 'dirty' vocals and faster drumming, etc. It was during 2000-2005 that we wrote most of the stuff on Thanatopsis, and we were gigging practically every weekend at the time so that was where we really polished those songs to their current state. But just as we were beginning this album, we began to see that a lot of our non-metal influences, particularly progressive rock bands, were beginning to seep into the sound, and that's something that's continued to this day, as our music just seems to get weirder and weirder.



10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Honestly I think we've gotten to the point as a band that we really don't even pay much attention to who our influences are anything of that nature. We really just listen to any type of good music; I know that may seem like a half-assed answer but it's really true in our case. I mean I can trace influences of everything from metal bands like Vader, Iron Maiden and Dissection all the way in the other direction to the Beach Boys, the Beatles, the Zawinul Syndicate, etc. Really just all over the place. If something's good we listen to it, and the more we listen to something the more it tends to work itself into the music in all kinds of subtle and unsubtle ways.



11. Outside of music what are some of your interests?

Well I am in the process of transitioning to playing music full-time, so it seems like there is less and less time to maintain interests outside of music, but I mean I watch a lot of sports, cook a lot, some nerdy science shit, pretty standard stuff I guess.



12. Any final words or thoughts before we close this interview?

Just a big thanks for the review and the interview!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vex/Thanatopis/Hore Pain Gore Death Records Records/2010 CD Review


Vex are a band from Texas that plays a mixture of melodic black metal and progressive death metal with a thrash edge and this is a review of their 2010 album "Thanatopis" which was released by Hore Pain Gore Death Records.

Drums alternate between slow, midpaced to fast playing and not much in the way of blast beats, while the bass playing has a very strong tone with some progressive sounding bass riffs.

Rhythm guitars combine many different genres of metal together ranging from black, death and thrash metal that also combine alot of melody and progressive parts together, while the lead guitars are very melodic and progressive sounding black/death metal guitar leads, as for the accoustic guitars when they are used, they utilize alot of open chords to add to the progressive elements.

Vocals are mostly high pitch screams that combine influences from black metal and thrash metal that also have a death metal edge at times, while the lyrics cover somewhat dark times that deal with more real life type situations, as for the production it has a very dark and raw feel while still having a professional sound that capyures all of the musical instruments.

In my opinion Vex are a very good band for their style of music, if you are looking for a band that mixes black, death and thrash metal together with some progressive and melodic edges but a little bit more rawer, check this band out. RECEMMONDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Motionless" "Eyes Of Wrath" and "Erosion". RECEMMONDED BUY.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Forlorn/Opus III: Ad Caelestis Res/Napalm Reocords/1999 CD Review

Forlorn are a band that started out as a mor folk orientated viking/black metal band but evolved into more of a symphonic black metal band with this release and this is a review of their 1999 album "Opus III: Ad Caekestis Res" which was released by Napalm Records.

Drums alternate between slow, midpaced to fast drumming with alot of brutal blast beats, while the synths sound very dark, symphonic and atmospheric, as for the bass playing it has a very powerful and dark tone to it.

Rhythm guitars alternate between slow, midpaced to fast Norwegian style black metal guitar riffs that have a thrash edge to them at times, while the lead guitars are very melodic sounding guitar leads.

Vocals are mostly high pitched black metall screams with some clean singing vocals being thrown in at times, while the lyrics cover gdarkness, magick and the atmosphere, as for the production on this recording which was recorded between May and June of 1999 at Mansion Studios sounds very heavy and professional and you can hear all of the musical instruments that are present on this recording.

In my opinion Forlorn are a very good symphonic and melodic Norwegian black metal band and if you are a fan of this genre you should check this album out. RECEMMONDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Distant Worlds And Distant Moons" "Shadow Cult" and "Legends Of Creation". RECEMMONDED BUY.

Chthonic/9TH EmPyrean/Root Of All Evil Records/2000 CD Review

Chthonic are a band from Taiwan that plays a very symphonic from of black metal and this is a review of their 2000 album "9TH Empyrean" which was released by Root Of All Evil Records.

Drums are mostly midpaced to fast playing with alot of brutal blast beats, while the keyboards are very symphonic and atmospheric sounding, as for the bass playing it has a very dark tone which follows the riffs that are coming out of the guitars and at times they have a very powerful sound of their own.

Rhthm guitars are mostly midpaced to fast black metal riffs that have a very melodic edge to them as well as some thrash influences, while the lead guitars are very skillful and melodic symphonic black metal guitar solos.

Vocals are mostly high pitched black metal screams with some deep growls and female vocals, while the lyrics are written in Tiawnesse and English and cover Taiwanesse myths and legends, as for the production on this recording which was recorded at Sahara Studios in Taiwan during the year of 2000 sounds very heavy and professional.

In my opinion this was a good album from Chthonic and if you are a fan of this band you probably already own this album. RECEMMONDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Summon Of China" "Gods Souls Gathered" and "Invasion". RECEMMONDED BUY.

Darkmoon/.308 Antichrist/Tribunal Records/2001 CD Review

Darkmoon are a band from North Carolina that plays a melodic form of black metal and this is a review of their 2001 album ".308 Antichrist" which was released by Tribunal Records.

Drums are mostly midpaced to fast drumming with alot of brutal blast beats, while the bass playing has a very dark tone with riffs that follow the riffing that is coming out of the guitars.

Rhythm guitars are mostly midpaced to fast black/death metal riffs that contain some melodies, while the lead guitars are very distorted and melodic black/death metal guitar solos without overdoing the melodies, as for the guitar synths they bring an atmospheric edge to the music.

Vocals are a mixture of high pitched black metal screams and deep death metal growls, while the lyrics touch on dark thems with some references to Paganism, as for the production it has a very raw and heavy feel to it.

In my opinion Darkmoon are a very good band and if you are a fan of black/death metal you should check this band out. RECEMMONDED TRACKS INCLUDE ""Impenetrable" and "Pagan Graves". RECEMMONDED BUY.

Troll/The Last Predators/Head Not Found Records/2000 CD Review

Troll are a band from Norway that consists of many well known members of the Norwegian black metal, which started out as an ambient/industrial style of symphonic black metal but went for a more straightword black/thrash sound with this release while retaining some industrial elements and this is a review of their 2000 album "The Last Predators" which was released by Head Not Found Records.

Drums are mostly midpaced to fast with alot of brutal blast beats, while the bas playing has a very dark tone with riffs that follow the riffing that is coming out of the guitars and at times they sound really powerful, as for the loops and synths when they are utilized they bring an ambient/industrial as well as a symphonic feel to the music.

Rhythm guitars are mostly midpaced to fast Norwegian style black metal riffs that also take alot of influences from thrash, while the lead guitars have a classic metal/rock feel to the guitar solos.

Vocals are a mixture of high pitched black metal screams and industrial style vocals and the ocassional death metal growl, while the lyrics cover hateful style themes with a dose of anti christianity with the songs being written in a mixture of Norwegian and English that also have somewhat of a sci-fi feel, as for the production it has a very powerful sound that gives all of the musical instruments a brutal sound.

In my opinion this was a very good album from Troll and if you are a fan of classic Norwegian black metal, you should check this band out if you have not yet already done that. RECEMMONDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Fall Of The Marbled Galaxy" "Mending The Instincts" "Eyes As In I" and "The Last Predators". RECEMMONDED BUY.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dissection/Reinkaos/BlackHorizon Music/The End Records/2006 CD Review

Dissection where a band from Sweden that played a very melodic form of black/death metal and this is a review of their 2006 album "Reinkaos" which was release as a joint effort between Black Horizon Music and The End Records.

Drums alternate between slow, midpaced to fast with alot of blast beats, while the bass playing has a very dark tone with riffs that follows the riffing that is coming out of the guitars.

Rhythm guitars are a mixture of slow, midpaced to fast melodic black/death riffs that are very melodic sounding that also take influences from thrash and traditional metal, while the lead guitars are very melodic sounding guitar solos, as for the accoustic guitars they bring alot of darkness and melody to the music as well as some classical influences.

Vocals are mostly high pitched black metal screams with the last song having clean singing female vocals, while the lyrics cover Anti Cosmic Satanism, Left Hand Path, Qlipoth, Sumerian, Egyptian, Norde and Eastern Occultism as well as alchemy, as for the production it has a very heavy and professional sound to it.

In my opinion this was a very good album from Dissection and while some of their more hardcore fans did not enjoy this album, I still liked it alot because it went deeper into the occult than their previous albums. RECEMMONDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Black Dragon" "Dark Mother Divine "God Of Forbidden Light" and "Maha Kali". RECEMMONDED BUY.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Conspiracy Interview

1. Can you update us with what is going on with the project these days?


We are thinking about making an original video clip. So if anybody can help us with that or can suggest someone, please get in touch with us at www.myspace.com/metalconspiracy



2. How would you describe the musical style of the new album?


CONSPIRACY is a lifelong quest to create original blend of dark and extreme, yet harmoniously enjoyable material with the main ingredient – Black Metal.


This time I can add the word “progressive” to the description, because of the unorthodox arrangements spiced up by orchestration, proper heavy metal solo guitars and different style of vocals, which are not always the traditional BM raspy scream.



3. What are some of the lyrical topics and concepts the new album explores?


Generally speaking the album title is about fate. Humans take life for granted, but in fact nobody is guiding and everything is chaos – consequences of occasional coincidences.


Many songs on this album contain classical poetry by authors like Aleister Crowley and Charles Baudelaire. Most of the songs feature some satanic horror episodes for the purpose of the dark mystic entertainment.



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


I think I came up with that name in 1994. I meant the obvious grip on power by the religious authorities that subdue and slow down progress and enlightenment all over the world.


The name is a protest against the monotheistic dogma.



5. You where a member of Meleschech for a long time what made you decide to quit that band and concentrate on this project?


Melechesh was going to leave Osmose Productions and sign the record deal with Nuclear Blast in 2008. It became obvious to all of us that I couldn’t participate any longer because I wasn’t ready to commit to the schedule from 90 to 150 tour dates per year!!! Besides that issue I had to move away from the main Melechesh concept – Middle Eastern music flavor. Just got tired of it. Final and the main reason was the creative autocracy within Melechesh. In that band only one person decides which riffs and concepts are good and which aren’t usable. I am a composer, not just a musician who is happy to be in a famous band. Despite all that I am happy that Ashmedi and Moloch are still my friends and I even got to help them a little bit with their new album which was released on the 1st of October.






6. Do you have any plans in the future to use other musicians and do live shows?


My music is not made for the stage. Best place to listen to my music is in the car, during a long drive when you can reflect on things, when nothing disturbs your imagination, when the subject of that dark episode is not interfering with a reality of some ridiculous nerd sipping his beer in apathy and picking his nose while I transmit the demonic harmonies from the stage...
Some alcoholic beverages, like beer, enjoyed better in a crowded, cozy pub – others, like Remy Martin XO are for the dark evenings by the fireplace.


As for using other musicians – yes, this album is collaboration between me and Aryan Blaze, a brilliant guitarist and composer. Who knows, maybe we’ll use more talented musicians next time.



7. How has the new album been received so far by metal fans worldwide?


To be honest, I didn’t expect so many nice comments on myspace and e-mails from people who call it awesome and tell me that they listen to it every day. This is the best reward for me.





8. how would you describe your musical progress over the years and what direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?



Over the years I went deeper into more intricate arrangements and moved away from just exhibiting cool nasty riffs. Good technical skills and correct sound without songwriting talent mean nothing to me. I create different song structures and strive to make the album interesting as a whole. Not just one success formula repeated, not a salad of riffs, empty brutality, monotonic harmonies and squashed overproduced mixes. CONSPIRACY will not be to your taste, if you like to hear the same concept one track after another.


Future albums will deffinitely have more epic depth, catchy melodies and more dark mysticism.


9. What are some band or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?


Main influences in the 80’s and 90’s where Judas Priest, King Diamond, Black Sabbath with Dio and Tony Martin, Venom, Celtic Frost and to some extent Death, Deicide and Marduk.


Today I listened to Tyrantz Empire, ABSU, Assassin and Onslaught


I listen to many heavy metal bands when I work out: Helloween, Grave Digger, Accept, Running Wild, Saxon, etc. I also like old thrash like Overkill, Exodus, Testament, Destruction and Kreator.


The albums of the 80’s bands are still as much enjoyable as they were then. For me at least. So if the music is good and honest – it is timeless!









10. What role does Occultism and Paganism play in the music?


I hate monotheism in all forms. I embrace Satanism as a form of protest and the true Occult as a form of research of what exists beyond the material reality surrounding us.


Paganism means “polytheism” – worshiping of many deities. It is an ancient custom from the times when humans were not aware about the universe we know today.



11. Outside of music what are some of your interests?


I travel a lot. I am interested in other cultures and history in general. Every day I spend about one hour in the gym, pumping iron. I shoot big guns at the shooting range 1-3 times a week. I’d like to dedicate more time to kick box.



12. Any final words or thoughts before we close this interview?
I’d like to thank all the people who support CONSPIRACY, buy albums and find time to send those nice comments about CONSPIRACY music on myspace.

Neron Kaiser Interview

1. Can you update us with what is going on with the band these days?
1. Now, we’ve started to work on a new material, and also occupied by preparation of the concert program for tour in support of an album across Russia, but if any organizers outside Russia have wish to see us on their stages, we will accept their offers with pleasure.


2. How would you describe the musical style that you are going for with the new album?
2. We will make more hard and more black, we’re planning to work with ethnic instruments of ancient times and with colour of that epoch, but the album won’t be positioned as “ethno”. Our genre will stay the same.


3. What are some of the lyrical topics that you explore with the new release?
3. For sure it’s Nero’s dark side and everything that connected with his history.


4. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
4. We think our last performance which was in our native city – Ufa. We have organized this black metal festival ourselves, having invited bands from other big cities of Russia and it should be said that concert has passed with the great success. When we appearing on stage we always prepare surprises for fans in making covers on their favorite bands, making show, trying to present a quality sound and execution with external attributes of our performance, such as costumes and live behavior on a scene.


5. Do you have any other side projects besides this band, or is this a full time project?
5. Now we give all free time and forces to this project, for the time being we don't have any thoughts to create parallel projects. We are supporters of concrete work in one group.

6. How has your music been recieved so far by symphonic black metal fans worldwide?
6.Thanks to our label GP in particular, and also to our diligence and performances. If the band plays a worthy material, eventually, it will notice.


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. We worked a lot on the project and it was not easy sometimes, but, we consider we’ve made everything right and in a short space of time. At present we are happy with the done work, but we will not stop. Time will show, but definitely we want to please with excellent works fans of "black art».


8. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
8. For sure it’s black metal. We really like Finnish school of black metal and even we’ve recorded a cover on band Thyrane which we truly respect. And we certainly we like, to listen guru’s of heavy music.


9. What role does Occultism or Satanism play in the music?
9. Well, probably atmosphere is carry by these two concepts. Atmosphere which is inherent only for such special musical direction as black metal. In other directions these two concepts can face, but reveal only superficially. It’s same like an iceberg top which is above water when the iceberg’s most part is under.

10. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
10. Self-development, sports, travel, the nature and mankind’s nayward is interesting to us. And also chick’s and booze :-D


11. Any final words or thoughts before we close this interview?
11. It was interesting to answer your questions. We thank readers of magazine and connoisseur’s of our creativity all over the world supporting us.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Conspiracy/Irremediable/Pulverized Records/2010 CD Review

Conspiracy are a band from the Netherlands that plays a very symphonic form of black metal and this is a review of their 2010 album "Irremediable" which was released by Pulverized Records.

Drums alternate from slow playing to some fast drumming with alot of blast beats, while the keyboards are very dark and symphonic sounding with the feel of a horror movie soundtrack, as for the bass playing it is mixed down low in the music and seems to follow the riffs that are coming out of the guitars and at times they have a powerful sound.

Rhythm guitars are a mixture of slow, midpaced to fast black metal riffs that have a good amount of melody and influences from death metal as well as traditional metal,
while the lead guitars are very melodic sounding guitar solos that have a classic metal feel to them.

Vocals are mostly high pitched black metal screams with some deep growls thrown in mixed with the ocassional clean singing, while the lyrics cover Satanism, Occultism, Witchcraft, Anti Religion, darkness, evil, and war, as for the production it has a very professional sound to it while retaining a little bit of rawness.

In my opinion Conspiracy are a very talented and original band that mixes symphonic metal with traditional metal and should appeal to fans of symphonic black metal. RECEMMONDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Black Mass" "Pentagram" "The Invocation Of Hecate" and "The Hag". RECEMMONDED BUY.