Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Amon Amarth/Surtur Rising/Metal Blade Records/2011 CD Review

Amon Amarth are a band from Sweden that has a very long vistory and are one of the best known Viking melodic black/death metal bands and this is a review of their 2011 album "Surtur Rising" which was released by metal Blade Records.

Drums range from slow, midpaced to fast playing with a good amount of blast beats, while the bass playing sounds very powerful and heavy at times and serves as a perfect background for the rhythm guitars, as for the synths that are only used on the last song, they bring a very symphonic and tragic feel to the music.

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Rhythm guitars range from slow, midpaced to fast riffs that combine death, black and traditional metal together with a great amount of melodies being added in, while the lead guitars are very melodic sounding traditional metal guitar solos that utilize alot of skill and talent, as for the the accoustic guitars when they are utilized briefly, they bring a very dark medievel feel to the music.

Vocals are a mixture of high pitched black metal screams and deep death metal growls, while the lyrics touch on Norse Paganism and Mythology, as for the production it has a very heavy and professional sound to it with all of the musical instruments coming out sounding great.

In my opinion this is another great album from Amon Amarth and if you where a fan of their previous releases, you will not be dissapointed. RECEMMONDED TRACKS INCLUDE "War Of The Gods" "Destroyer Of The Universe" "Wrath Of The Norseman" and "Doom Over Dead Man". RECEMMONDED BUY.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Xereth/II/Candlelight Records/2011 CD Review

Xereth are a band from the United Kingdom that plays a very symphonic and progressive form of melodic black/death metal nd this is a review of their 2011 album "II" which will be released by Candlelight Records.

Drums range from slow to midpaced drumming with no fast playing or blast beats and on the last song there is some tribal drumming, while the keyboards are very symphonic and atmospheric sounding and at times they have a classical feel to them, as for the bass playing it has a very dark tone which is kind of mixed down low in the mix and seems to follow the riffing that is coming out of the guitars and at times they sound very strong and powerful.

Rhythm guitars range from slo to midpaced riffing that takes influences rom black, death, thrash, groove and progressive metal with alot of technical riffing, while the lead guitars are very melodic and technical sounding guitar solos, as for the classical guitars when they are utilized briefly, they bring another dimension of darkness to the music.

Vocals are a mixture of high pitched black metal screams, deep death metal growls and some clean singing, while the lyrics touch on science fiction and theology, as or the production it has a very powerful and professional sound to it.

In my opinion Xereth a a ery good progressive death/black metal band and if you are a fan of this genre, you should check out this band. RECEMMONDED TRACKS INCLUDE "God Of The Frontlines" "Sworn To Sacrifice" "Numbered Among The Dead" and "The Glorious Death". RECEMMONDED BUY.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wolfchant Interview

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

Nortwin: Actually we are doing fine, as the new album is released now and most of the reviews are are received and very positive.
We are very proud of C.O.T.B.W. as it worked out to be exactly what we imagined when we wrote the album.

> 2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how
> does it differ from previous releaes?

Nortwin: Being quite new in the band gives me an interesting view on the whole thing. If you follow all the releases up to now you'll find a clear path that leads to our actual one. All of these albums really sound like Wolfchant but each one creates a different atmosphere which was right for the time when the albums were written. Anyway, the sound as well as the songwriting developed over the years, and of course the fact of having two different style singers now in the band creates lots of new excitement and new ground to explore for us and for the listeners.

> 3. What are some of the lyric tyopics and subjects that the new releases
> explores?

Nortwin: There is on one hand a strong emphasis on the forces of nature especially in "Naturgewalt" and in the title track "Call Of The Black Winds". On the other hand there are topics related to paganism and for example the relegious persecution that happened in the past ages to heathen tribes: "Black Fire", "Heathen Rise"
The title "Eremit" is about freedom, self choosen solitude and being in accord with nature."The Last Farewell" is about the loss of beloved persons. Among these topics there are of couse also songs which are standing for the typical pagan metal values like honour, victory, unity and fighting spirit.

> 4. You have written songs in both German and English, which langauge do
> you prefr to write in?

Nortwin: It's kind of a natural process within Wolfchant to write in the language which fits best to the emotions and messages that are carried with the different songs . Some things can be simply delivered better in the native tongue, others sound better in english. It also happens that both languages are used in one song when it feels right, for example in "Stormwolves".

> 5. The new album has a strong sound, where you satisfied with the
> production?

Nortwin: Yes. we were sure from the beginning that the sound will not disappoint us. It's simply a question of having the possibility to work with the right studio and the right producer. Well the result is great in our opinion, no doubt.

> 6. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?

Lokhi: We live dirctly in the national park area of bavaria. And the wolves reserve of the park is
very clos to our place. So in the summer time if we made campfires this time, it was possible to hear the screams of the wolves.
So we made the decision to give us the name WOLFCHANT


> 7. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far, and
> how would you describe your stage performance?

Lokhi: We have a very powerful and strong stage performance. Always in dxirect contact with the audience... We
always want to make a big Party if we are on stage. We always give the best we can. Some of the best Shows was the Ragnarök Festival Shows
und the Summer Night Festival Shows in the last years.

> 8. On a worldwide level how has your music been recieved by
> pagan/viking/black and melodic death metal fans wortldwide?

Lokhi. We got more and more fans over the last years. From album to album the fanbase in the different countries was growing a lot and we
are very happy about this situation. It is an unbelievable good feeling if you can find people arround the world listening to your music.
As we started WOLFCHANt nobody thought that is it possible that we got such a huge feedback from People all over the world.



> 9. What are the touring plans for the new releases?

Lokhi: We play a lot of Festivals in Germany and different other countries. In November we make an Tour over Europe and in the beginning of 2012 we make
some Shows in the US.... So i thing we will not be bored in the next time.

> 10. What direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?

Nortwin: We will continue our advanced way as started with COTBW. There are so many things to try and to explore that is very inspiring for the future songwriting. Especially from the vocal side up to now we just scratched all the possibilities which we can have now.

> 11. What are some bands or musical styles tha have influenced your
> music, and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Nortwin: It's difficult to speak for everybody in the band, but we are surly influenced by a broad range of musical styles, or better said metal styles. Some of them are surly black, pagan, power and death metal. It's difficult to name bands here, as there are too many of them. Representative I would say Mithotyn, Dimmu Borgir.

> 12. What role does Viking and Norse Paganism play in your music, and how
> would you describe your views on these topics?

Nortwin: Of couse these topics are providing a big part of the inspiration for our music and our lyrics. For me personally paganism is not standing for the believe in some viking gods, but for the ultimate freedom of faith and thinking. A religeous belief in a known and experienced way is only limiting these highest values.

> 13. Outside of music, what are some of your interests?

Nortwin: For me it is mainly fitness training, movies and travelling.

> 14. Any final words or thoughts, before we wrap up this interview?

Nortwin: Thank you for the interview. To all the people out there: "Call Of The Black Winds" is in the stores now. Please give it a try and watch out for our coming live shows. Check out our myspace page for actual information. Cheers & Skol

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Withering Soul Interview

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



The last year we took a little break from playing live shows to take some personal time. It is only healthy for a band to “recharge”. That also gave me a chance to save up some money and upgrade my home studio. We’re rehearsing again full-time now, and we have about 8-9 songs almost ready for our next album, which I hope doesn’t take another five years to come out. *Haha*



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



We pretty much take in our favorite elements of different genres and melt it all down. On the surface, you would probably hear Symphonic Black Metal. But after listening to No Closure, you can hear other influences, whether it is the harmony and precision of Melodic Death Metal, the otherworldly atmospheres of Dark Wave, and even the upfront catchiness of Traditional Metal. We try to keep it diverse, but let it flow consistently all the same.



3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the new release explores?



Our lyrical topics are basically a flipside of the norm. They cover subjects that many people are unlikely to discuss or engage in a conversation about. For example, there is much below the surface of the world we live in. We like to address themes and ideas that people tend to ignore and pretend are not there.



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



The name Withering Soul, for us, serves as a metaphor for the relationship between the present and the future. Living everyday can be a difficult struggle, but nobody really knows what comes next. While we are alive, we are constantly striving for something, but most never find it.



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



Playing direct support for Dark Funeral and Enslaved was definitely one of our proudest moments. It was an amazing bill and we had a very ecstatic crowd. Gothicfest 2005 was also a nice memory. I hope that every new experience becomes our best experience. Our performances have always been very animated and on the theatrical side. It’s a concept that we hope to expand on when we have a bigger budget.



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



We’re looking into some possible tours for later this year, but also with a focus on getting on a few festivals. However, nothing has been confirmed at the moment.



7. Currently you are signed to Mortal Music, how did you get in contact with this label and how would you describe the support that they have given you so far?



The founders of Mortal Music took an interest in us years prior, and paid attention to what we were doing. When we recorded No Closure and gave them a demo copy, they liked what they heard and the discussions began. The support has been phenomenal, and they have opened up opportunities that we did not have before. We’re extremely happy to be a part of the Mortal Music family.



8. On a worldwide level, how has your music been received by symphonic black metal and melodic death metal fans?



I gotta say that our fanbase is pretty diverse. Our music is versatile enough that we have been able to share the stage with many different types of bands…anywhere from Gore Grind to Goth. The overall response has been very positive. We’re just going to keep making the type of music that we enjoy and hope that more will appreciate it.



9, Are any of the band members currently involve with any side projects, or is this a full time line-up?



Mykil and I actually had been tinkering with an Industrial side project called “Psyclone”. Kind of a futuristic and gritty electronica mixed with heavy guitar riffs. That project has been put on hold to focus our efforts on WS. Perhaps it will be revived in the near future, when we have some down time.



10. What direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?



I think our style of music will stay pretty consistent for now, with the exception of a few unexpected twists. Our fans can expect every album that we write to sound like a Withering Soul album, but we will try to keep it fresh and interesting.



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



We try to expand our tastes as much as possible, however for me personally, my heart will always belong to Metal. As a kid I grew up on the classics, such as Black Sabbath, Slayer, Maiden & Metallica. In the mid 90’s, I eventually shifted over to the European/Death Metal scene. Bands like My Dying Bride, Morbid Angel, Emperor, and Carcass really opened my mind to the darker and extreme variety. As for Non-Metal, I’ve recently been listening to a lot of Porcupine Tree, The Birthday Massacre, and Wojciech Kilar. I lump most of my music into two categories; good & bad.









12. What role does the paranormal and occult play in your music, and how would you describe your views on these topics?



It is pretty much the foundation of our music. When developing our lyrical content, we wanted to write about darker natured themes, but we didn't want to focus on religion as much per se. We want our music to be entertaining as well as intriguing. We've all grown up on good old-fashioned ghost stories. I’m not going to testify that I have had any direct experiences myself, but I've taken the thrill of visiting allegedly haunted locations before, and must say that they are fun to explore if you’re a History buff like me. We're also a bunch of book worms when it comes to that stuff. It's a morbid fascination that I don't think I'll ever grow out of!



13. Outside of music, what are some of your interests?



My girlfriend and I like to travel. So far, it has been mostly modest vacations and road trips to obscure destinations in the US. Door County, WI, is a beautiful place to visit during the summer and it is very affordable. I usually enjoy simple pleasures, such as jogging outdoors (which I can’t really do much in the winter) and cooking. I’ve found out that (almost) everything tastes good when you add garlic.



14. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?



Thank you for conducting this interview and we look forward to hearing from you again. Cheers!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wolfchant/Call Of The Black Winds/Massacre Records/2011 CD Review


Wolfchant are a band from Germany with a music style that I would describe as being pagan/viking/folk/black metal with a melodic and symphonic edge and this is a review of their 2011 album "call Of The Black Winds" which was released by Massacre Records.

Drums range from slow, midpaced to fast drumming with some blast beats, while the keyboards are very symphonic and epic sounding with some ocassional olk music instruments that give the music a medievel pagan feel, as for the bass playing it has a very dark tone which is mixed down low in the mix and seems to follow the riffs that are coming out of the guitars and at times they sound very powerful.

Rhythm guitars range from slow, midpaced to fast melodic black metal style riffs with some influences from traditional and death metal, while the lead guitars are very melodic sounding guitar solos that have a classic and traditional metal feel to themas for the acoustic guitars when theyt are utilized they use full chords to give the music a tragic feel.

In my opinion Wlfchant are a very good viking/pagan/folk/melodic black metal band and if you are a fan of this genre, you should check out this band. RECEMMONDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Stormwolves" "Black Fire" "Heathen Rise" and "Call Of The Black Winds". RECEMMONDED BUY.

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Vocals are a mixture of high pitched black metal screams, clean singing viking vocals that have a power metal feel at times and soom deep death metal growls, while the lyrics cover Nordic Mythology, Paganism, and Anti-Christianity with some of the songs being written in the German langauge, as for the production it has a very powerful and heavy sound to it.