Monday, May 28, 2012

Osman Arabi/Beast Mutation Rituals/Kalpamantra/2011 Album Review


Osman  Arabi  are  a  band  from  Libya  that  plays  dark  ambient/drone  with  a  black  metal  influence  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2011  album  "Beast  Mutation  Rituals"  which  was  released  by  Kalpamantra.

  Synths  bring  a  very  dark  ambient  and  atmospheric  drone  sound  to  the  music,  while  the  sound  effects  bring  in  harsh  noise  and  psychedelic  sounds  to  this  long  and  epic  25  minute  song  which  uses  a  variety  of  many  different  sounds,  as  well  as  some  samples  from  black  metal  songs.

  Vocals  when  they  are  utilized  are  mostly  black  metal  screams  with  some  spoken  word  samples  being  thrown  into  the  music,  while  the  song  theme  revolves  around  dark  occult  rituals,  as  for  the  production  it  has  a  very  dark,  raw  and  primitive  sound  to  it.

  In  my  opinion  Osman  Arabi  are  a  very  great  sounding  dark  ambient/ritual/drone/Black Metal  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  style,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dreaming Dead Interview

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

Things are a bit on the mellow side right now. Gearing up to play a few shows in So. Cal, while working on putting new material together. Aside from that I’ve been swamped with all the 
‘business’ aspect of being in a band. Manufacturing cds & vinyl, filling order, overseeing PR, etc.
Keeps me outta trouble.

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from the older releases?

It’s hard to describe the sound of this album in general terms. There are so many different
passages throughout the album that emanate feelings of sorrow, anger, doubt, resolution. 
If anything this album, from beginning to end, takes you on an full circle experience.
And unlike previous releases it’s easy to say we wrote this album together, from the heart 
and during what might be the most challenging times of our lives.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

My initial thought was to engulf and conceptualize the idea of nightmares 
throughout the entire album. The end result is the personification and atmosphere 
of that idea itself throughout each song. 


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

Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. It’s somewhat of a play of words that portrays a sense 
of imbalance, challenging the idea of our inner reality or dreams vs. our surroundings. 
We dream when we sleep and when we’re awake. We die when our dreams are shattered.

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

Our best shows were definitely on the Nile tour we did a few years back. Best crowds, bands, etc.
Our set usually runs between 30 to 40min. We mix things up a lot between our 2 album. We play very closely to the songs. Once someone told me we sound just like the album, but I feel we play better live than in the studio. Our performances are always high energy and high quality.

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

We’re currently piecing together a  small West Coast tour for July 2012. Other
than that, for the time being, we’re keeping it fairly local.



7. Currently you are unsigned are you looking for a label and if so, what kind of label do you feel that would be a perfect fit for your music?

At this point I have completely abandoned the idea of searching for a label. It’s a huge
waste of time for me to force that idea after all my efforts in finding one and for absolutely 
nothing to come of it. 
The perfect fit for our music is a label that believes and ready to make shit happen.

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

After releasing the album we have received tons of amazing reviews from all over the world,
orders from Germany, Finland, France, Spain, etc. The response has been fantastic!

9. Are there any other projects besides this band or is this a full time line up?

This is for the most part a full time line up, although Mike plays drums in a local
rock band called Feast of Fetus and with his very long time black/death metal band 
Exhausted Prayer.
I also play piano in my spare time. This is something I’m looking to pursue on a more
serious level in the future.

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

That’s always hard to tell. You can only sketch the parts out, move them around here and there, and leave the rest to chance. I never approach songwriting with a preconceived notion of what I’m about to compose. I feel that takes the magic away, it takes away the fun of adventure and discovery. I purely guide my songwriting by my current state of mind and let the music come to me.

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

Opeth, Emperor, Akercocke, Bloodbath, Slayer, Megadeth, Stone Temple Pilots, 
Faith No More, My Dying Bride, Yann Tiersen, Pantera, Dead to this World, Old Skool hip hop.

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

I like to play piano in my spare time, read, play with my cats, go to the gym, clean my house, 
observe and analyze life. Be nostalgic.

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

Thank you very much for the chance to speak out my thoughts and experiences 
in the metal world, and thank you for your support. Cheers!

~Liz

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Valfreya Interview


1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?
Valfreya is a viking metal band with folk/black metal influences that was created in 2009. The music is inspired from Nordic mythology and it brings the listeners into a fantastic tale.  

2. How would you describe your musical sound?
Valfreya plays aggressive music with glorious riffs that is completed into a symphonic ensemble with the use of keyboards.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
The lyrics tell the story from beginning to end on  the album path to eternity.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
Nordic mythology is the number one inspiration for the band. We have created a story inspired of their multiple worlds, creatures and gods.

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
The album launch of Path to Eternity was the best show we played. We had transformed the entire venue to create the ambiance of a medieval tavern. A lot of costumed people were at the event, including the staff.
Here you can see some pictures:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150585402274487&set=a.10150486065444487.384794.143393999486&type=3
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150606598679487&set=a.10150486065444487.384794.143393999486&type=3
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150585400964487&set=a.10150486065444487.384794.143393999486&type=3
Main album page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150486065444487.384794.143393999486&type=3

As for our stage performance, we like to bring a lot of energy as well as a theatrical act into our show. We're always costumed and we wish to bring the public into the ambiance of the tale that is presented throughout our music.

6. Do you have any touring plans for the new release?
We have quite a few shows all over the province of Qu├ębec and we are planning a tour in the western provinces of Canada. We also wish to travel Europe but there are no dates confirmed for this possible project.
7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of pagan and folk metal?
Very positive! The fans of Pagan - Folk - Viking metal seem to find our sound refreshing. We have successfully created a musical sound that is new within a genre that is already very exploited. We also bring out a special touch with our theatrical act throughout shows.
8. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
We already started the work on our next album. We are keeping the same Viking Metal inspiration but we will also bring out a new feel. I won't say more!
9. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
All of the members of the band have their own influences, but when it comes to me I would say:
Wintersun: For the vocals and intensity of the songs.
Equilibrium: For the festive side.
Arkona: When it comes to the folk feel.
Dimmu Borgir: For the darker and more black metal influenced parts of the album.
Rhapsody: With Keyboards and symphonies.

10. How would you describe your views on Norse Paganism?
We're not really implicated with Norse paganism.
Our music is simply inspired by Nordic mythology.
11. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
It's hard to mention our interests outside of music.
We like to see shows when we're not playing them. I'd say it is most likely going around anything involving arts and creativity.

12. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
I would suggest everyone to keep themselves updated through our facebook / reverbnation or even twitter.
All of our shows are announced and we have some upcoming surprises!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cauldron Black Ram Interview


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

We play a patient waiting game for the vinyl release of the Poisoner Maxi EP through Parasitic Records! It's defining, as we mixed it down on a vintage 2-track machine, for the vinyl release! It sounds nuns-cunt sweet! CBR is finishing preparations to record the next album. An inhospitable location must be found yet to do this.
This next waxen abomination will be released by the unmerciful 20 Buck Spin Records. Perfect.

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the newer music and how it differs from previous recordings?

Rawer, driving, reverb and delay saturated, and I reckon my drumming is a little crazier. The whole production for the next album will sound unsound.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

The Stock Exchange, Feminist Diatribe, Tanning Salons etc.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?

I thought a totemized animal that would best represent the sound and nature of the band was a giant, bestial, shaggy ram of the 'color' cauldron black.

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

CBR shows are a roughshod affair that might resemble old heavy metal shows and early death metal shows. Passioned, fist banging and fevered head thrashing! There is darkness, mocking mirth and sweat.

The best was a show played in Adelaide/SA a couple years back at The Squatters Arms. The crowd were ravenous and inspiring. We thrive best on crowd banter and those South Australians are vocal! A very recent show in Melbourne/Victoria with Mongrels Cross and Spire also proved an illicit affair...crazy bastards packed into a tiny room, fucking great.

6. Do you have any touring plans for the  future?

Not as yet, just tentative plans to play a tour in the USA in 2013. That is provided the Anti-Christ or Christ does not return to end the world as we know it. Or the axis of the earth tilts, bombarded by comets, a shift in dimension or such. If none of that happens, then the tour is likely. Apocalypse pending. Obviously.

7. The new release came out on Abysmal Sounds, how did you get in contact with this label and how would you describe the support that they have given you so far?

Stuuuu has been a whore-friend in our whore-stables for many years. We respect him, his work, his penchant for supporting Australian bands and his tight pants that ever dwell below his waistline.
Granted Abysmal Sounds is not a large label, it has a good reputation and is direct. Abysmal Sounds is growing though and we will continue to work with them in some form in the future.

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

The best response is from the Men in the Underground Metal scene! We seem to illicit confusion and even a bit of ridicule from the modern-ites whom are grounded in metal of the past 5 years only. Calling us 'black metal', comparing us with the likes of Behemoth, Watain and such. The aged Men whom are grounded in all from hard rock, heavy metal, thrash metal, olde death metal and early black metal, they GET it! There are a school of younger folk who are schooled in such a way too, which is excellent!
You know, I have seemingly lied through my teeth regarding the 'black metal' label! We DO have black metal influences, but it is black metal like Masters Hammer, Root, Mortuary Drape and such! The overt obscurity can be heard most on our 'Slubberdegullion' album.

9. What is going on with the other projects these days?

More than one could imagine and less than one would expect.

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

The next album is near ready to record! It's much the same movement you would come to expect of CBR, but I reckon the new material is a little more driving, as opposed to The Poisoner, which had an injection of dirge. We have stepped back a little to the demo days in a few songs.

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

Any music that tends towards song. Pure expression, whether simple or complex, loud or quiet, abrasive or refined.
Recently been listening to Militia, Blackkout, Blue Murder, Twisted Sister, Massacra, Dislocation (old Canadian band), Lemming Project, 80's Morbid Angel, 70's Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, Diabolic and Foreigner. That's very recently anyhow.

12. How would you describe your views on Occultism?

I view it the only way it can be, with humor. Occultism is so mismatched, underscored, over-symbolised, misunderstood, overused, lost to time and the privy few that control its ancient truths. It's barely worth the bother!

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

Music is practically all encompassing! Asides that I enjoy strength and self defence training.

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

The latest Morbid Angel is not Morbid Angel. Do not be fooled, it is not the same band. Buy it to smash it against the rocks surrounding your cave entrance.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Valfreya/Path To Eternity/Maple Metal Records/2012 CD Review


  Valfreya  are  a  band  from  Montreal,  Canada  that  plays  a  very  melodic  and  symphonic  form  of  folk/viking  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2012  album  "Path  To  Eternity"  which  was  released  by Maple  Metal  Records.

  Drums  range  from  slow  to mid  paced  drumming  with  some  fast  playing  and  blast  beats,  while  the  keyboards  bring  a  very  epic,  atmospheric,  and  symphonic  sound  to  the  music  while  the  folk  instruments  bring  a  very  medieval  pagan  sound  to  the  music,  as  for  the  bass  playing  it  has  a  very  dark  tone  with  riffs  that  follow  the  riffing  that  is  coming  out  of  the  guitars  and  at  times  they  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Rhythm  guitars  range  from  slow,  mid  paced  to  fast  riffs  that  combine  the more  melodic  forms  of  black  and  death  metal  together  in  a  more  viking  direction  as  well  as  a  good  amount  of  influences  from  traditional  metal  and  folk  music,  while  the  lead  guitars  are  very  melodic  sounding  guitar  solos  and  leads,  as  for  the  acoustic  guitars  they  use  finger  picking  and  full  chords  to  bring  more  folk  elements  to  the  music.

  Vocals  range  from  clean  female  singing  to high  pitched  blackened  death  screams  and  growls,  spoken  word  parts  as  well  as  some  clean  singing  male  viking  metal  chanting,  while  the  lyrics  cover  Norse  Mythology,  as  for  the production  it has  a  very  strong,  powerful  and  heavy  sound  where  you  can  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording.

  In  my  opinion Valfreya  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  and  symphonic  folk  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  style,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Inferno"  "Ocean's  Assault"  "Alefest"  and  "My  Everlasting  Star".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Vesperian Sorrow Interview


Answers by Guitarist Will: and Keyboardist: Subverseraph
 
1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days? 

Will: "Well, we have just released our latest album "Stormwinds of Ages". Right now, we are just trying to get the word spread about the album and the band. This has been a mutual release between us and "The Path Less Traveled Records". Basically, we have a distribution deal through them, but we are basically handling all the work involved with the process, in return we are keeping the rights to our music and having better leverage with what we can do with our album. The distribution is great though, we have RED/Sony distribution here in the states and Code7/Plastichead in Europe. So you can surely pick up our album almost anywhere. Next step for us is getting on the road and hitting the festivals." 
 

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from the older recordings? 
 
Subverseraph:  "Our progression is a willful but natural one.  Compared to our back catalogue, it's heavier, darker, more technical, more grandiose, and the recording itself is infinitely more mature and professional.  We've become equally more complex and barbaric without compromising those signature elements that make us who we've always been and will be."

 
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release? 
 
Subverseraph:  "They all stem from visions had by our frontman Don Donni, upon which he elaborates and poetically creates worlds behind, most of which are blighted by decay in one form or another.  The flagship title track, though, heralds a metamorphosis into territory darker than anything we'd yet been known for, and its lyrical content is a reflection of that within the context of the Nephilim's call to arms, if you will." 
 

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
 
Subverseraph:  "Derived from the latin 'vesper,' the word 'vesperian' indicates that which pertains to the evening or duskfall.  Therefore, VESPERIAN SORROW is open to connotation; it can mean anything along the lines of the following examples:  mass grievance at the extinguishing of the light, plague of (eternal) night, profound bereavement for endless death marked by the falling sun and rising moon (i.e. the Grendel-Beowulf dynamic), etc.  You decide."
 

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance? 
 
Subverseraph:  "Four weeks after I moved to Austin in September of 2006 to join VS, we toured Canada/Quebec for damn' near a month, playing festivals with the likes of KATAKLYSM and QUO VADIS in front of hundreds upon hundreds of rabid fans.  Those were some of the most memorable for me.  As far as my stage performance is concerned, whenever I'm not voraciously headbanging whilst tinkling the ivories, I'm either doing back-up vocals or doing back-up vocals whilst tinkling the ivories, so yeah,...you get the picture.  (I throw the fuck down.)"

Will: "I agree with what Subverseraph says about the Canadian shows we played back in 2006, they were awesome. We are hoping to get out on the road here very soon, as we are a new creature now, and I would say that our stage performances are 100% better than what they were." 
 

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

Will: "Absolutely! We have already starting playing shows around Texas. Hopefully, later this year we will be venturing out of our home state and into the U.S. and then abroad. We are almost a complete D.I.Y. band so obviously we will have to make sure the opportunities are the right ones for us. We are going to be trying to hook up with a booking agency this year, so that we can get things really moving in that department." 
 

7. There are some special guests on the new album, how did you get in contact with them and were you satisfied with the results? 
 
Subverseraph:  "Jon Zig (featured on 'Legacies Befallen' and 'An Empire to Mourn') is an Austin-based tattoo artist and vocalist who fronts the bad-ass brutal death metal bands IMAGES OF VIOLENCE and SARCOLYTIC, both of which have been recorded by Kristoph out of our very own Amplitude Media Studios.  He's extremely talented and known for his album artworks for SUFFOCATION, AVERSE SEFIRA, PSYPHERIA, and a slew of others.  The art donning Stormwinds of Ages is his work as well.  Jason McMaster (featured on 'Relics of the Impure' and 'Eye of the Clocktower'), the hardest-working man in metal, is known for fronting WATCHTOWER, DANGEROUS TOYS, IGNITOR, BROKEN TEETH, and (more recently) EVIL UNITED.  His vocal prowess goes without saying, and we are humbled by his presence on the album.  The female vocals throughout 'Casting Dawn into Shadow,' 'Eye of the Clocktower,' and 'Death She Cried' were performed by the emminent Erika Tandy, previously of IGNITOR and AUTUMN TEARS, who now fronts MORGENGRAU, for which she growls and grinds the axe just as masterfully as she sings operatically.  We honestly couldn't be more satisfied with the three aforementioned guest musicians' performances, and being friends with them prior to and past their contributions honors us greatly." 
 
 
8. The new album came out on The Path Less Travelled, how did you get in contact with them and how does it differ from the previous labels you have been on?

Will: "I was sending promos out to all the labels, we were getting quite a few offers from small labels, but they all involved signing our rights over to them. We completely financed and recorded this album on our own, it's our baby, the last thing we wanted to do is just give it away just for the sake of being "signed." Plus, the labels that were making the offers did not even advertise in any print or online magazines/webzines and had no intention when asked. So I guess they thought they could peddle our record out of the back of their van or something haha. So "Metalblade" or "Nuclear Blast" never came calling, and Sean from "The Path Less Traveled" emailed me up one day saying that he could offer a distribution deal to us with RED Distribution. We would keep the majority of the profits but would have to do all the work. The deal made sense to us considering that's what we have always been about, D.I.Y. The deal differs from previous deals in that it's really more of a partnership than us being "signed" to his label. Plus, I've never met a more "Down to Earth" and honest label owner! I know that the metal business has been a struggle for him, I truly hope he can keep the machine going because many bands would benefit by what he offers. I think it's a model of what the future Band/Label partnership should be like."
 

9. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer album by fans of symphonic black metal?

Will: "I would say that it has been almost 100% positive. Of course there is always a few people that don't like the style and might snicker because it has keyboards or something, or because it's melodic. Other than that, we have received so much positive feedback that we are really excited about the direction we are headed and getting the next Vesperian Sorrow album done by next year."
 

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

Will: "It's always going to have that signature "VS" sound to it. However, with the minds involved with this band, it will always be evolving into what interests us at that point in time. Lately, we have been concentrating on making the guitars heavier and filling out the sound more. We've become faster and more technical, but we are ALWAYS keeping the song and the structure of the song as priority #1. We want to create songs that are catchy, so that the technicality of it doesn't really take away from the song, and so that we create songs that stick in people's mind."
 

11. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
 
Subverseraph:  "We continue to cull major inspiration from Northern European black, death, and gothic metal from the mid-late 90s and early 2000s.  Some of our mutually favorite bands include EMPEROR, ABIGOR, DISSECTION, ARCTURUS, UNLEASHED, SATYRICON, OLD MAN'S CHILD, ROTTING CHRIST, BORKNAGAR, NAGLFAR, ENTOMBED, GOD DETHRONED,...and I'm gonna stop there because the list could go on for quite a while longer, and you get my drift.  Personally, however, I've lately been obssessed with "nastier" bands like MARDUK, WATAIN, DESTROYER 666, and VALKYRJA; to me they just invoke these worlds overthrown by rust and flooded with blood and ruled by wolves and fire, and these worlds are those in which the jaded, wandering misanthropist in me thrives in most comfortably these days."

Will: "I honestly really don't listen to anything considered modern lately. All of my influences really were from the mid-90's when it comes to this style of music. Our drummer Kris who also composes a lot of the music, is pretty much the same, I would say that the same influences we had when we first started are still inspiring us even now. Now days though, we just try to put a modern slant on it and keep the music evolving always." 
 

12. What role does Occultism play in your music?
 
Subverseraph:  "I, for one, am deeply fascinated by things occultic and occult-related/inspired mythologies, but we as a band hold neither a pagan nor Satanic stance.  The extent of the occult's influence on our music is no more than say, that gained by compositions written after looking at Gustave Dore paintings, or after reading some Lovecraft, Swinburne, or Wheatley, or after watching Pumpkinhead, Bram Stoker's Dracula, or The Thirteenth Warrior for the billionth time."
 

13. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
 
Subverseraph:  "Training martial arts (Tukong Moosul and Ip Sun), keeping up-to-date on the latest findings within the field of paleontology, doing stuntwork/fight choreography for movies every now and then, playing oldschool 2D fighting games, and vegging out to cheesedick European horror cinema from the 60s, 70s, and 80s." 
 
Will: "I love to read books on Quantum Physics, Metaphysics, The Out of Body Experience, Ancient Civilizations, and fantasy authors like Robert Jordan, Tolkien, George RR Martin. Raising a family takes up a lot of my time!  Love to get outdoors, hiking, camping, been finding a lot of arrowheads on my place out here, so that has been interesting!"
14. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?

Will: "Thanks for the interview! We really appreciate you helping support VS and hope to see VS fans new and old out of the road soon!"

Monday, May 14, 2012

Vesperian Sorrow/Stormwinds Of Ages/The Path Less Traveled/2012 CD Review


  Vesperian  Sorrow  are  a  band  from  Texas  that  has  a  history  that  goes  back  to  the  90's  with  a  musical  style  that  I  would  describe  as  being  symphonic  and  melodic  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review of  their     2012  album  "Stormwinds  Of  Ages"  which  was  released  by  The  Path  Less  Traveled.

  Drums  range  from  slow,  mid  paced  to  fast  drumming  with  a  good  amount  of  blast  beats  being  thrown  into  the  music,  while  the  keyboards  bring  a  very atmospheric,  symphonic,  orchestra  and  classical  music  feeling  to  the  music,  as  for  the  bass  playing  it  has  a  very  dark  tone  with  riffs  that  follow  the  riffing  that  is  coming  out  of  the  guitars  and  at  times  they  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Rhythm  guitars  range  from  slow, mid  paced  to  fast  melodic  black  metal  riffs  that  utilize  a  great  amount  of  death  and  traditional  metal  influences    being  thrown  into  the  riffing  with  the  songs  being  long  and  epic  in  length,  while  the  lead  guitars  are  very  melodic  and  technical  sounding  guitar  solos and  leads,  as  for  the  acoustic  guitars  when  they  are  utilized  they  use finger  picking  and  exotic  sounding  scales  to  bring  more  variety  to  the  music.

  Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  with  some  deep  death  metal  growls,  spoken  word  parts  and  clean  singing  male  and  female  vocals  being  thrown  in  at  times,  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark,  occult  and  metaphysical  themes,  as  for  the  production  it  has  a  very  strong,  powerful,  heavy  and  professional  sound  where  you  can  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording.

  In  my  opinion  Vesperian  Sorrow  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic,  symphonic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan of  this  style,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Stormwinds  of  Ages"  "Legacies  Befallen"  "Oracle  From  The  Ashes"  and  "Death  She  Cried".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.    

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Iblis/Menthell/DTM Productions/2012 CD Review


  Iblis  are  a  band  from  Poland  that  blacks  a  mixture  of  avant  garde  metal  and  black'n'roll  and  this  is a  review  of  their  2012  album  "Menthell"  which  was  released  by  DTM  PRoductions.

  Drums  range  from  slow,  mid  paced  to  fast  drumming  with  some  blast  beats  being t hrown  into t he  music  at  times,  while t he  sound  effects  bring  a  very  dark  avant  garde  experimental/noise  sound  to  the  music,  as  for  the  bass  playing  it  has  a  very  strong  and  powerful  tone  with  progressive  riffing  that  dominates  throughout  the  recording.

  Rhythm  guitars  range  from  slow,  mid  paced  to  fast  riffs  that  combine  avant  garde  metal  with  black  metal  and  black'n'  roll  along  with  a  great  amount  of  influences  from  experimental  music  and  there  are  little  to  no  guitar  solos  or  leads  present  on  this  recording.

  Vocals  range  from  black metal  screams,  hateful  growls,  clean  singing  and  spoken  word  parts,  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  weird  themes,  as  for t he  production  it h as  a very  strong,  powerful  and  professional  sound  where  you  can  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording.

    In  my  opinion  Iblis  are  a  very  great  sounding  avant  garde/black  metal/black  'n'  roll  hybrid  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  style,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "12  Syncamores"  "Poison  In  Your  Food"  and  "Buck Skins  Fifth".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dark End Interview


1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
Hi there to everyone! At the moment we are preparing our live show for the upcoming Russian tour with Marduk, Vader & Kataklysm and, in addition to this, we are writing a lot of new material for our 4th album.

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from the older recordings?
Hmm, it’s quite complex. For me DARKEND are the pure expression of what I use to call “OBSCURE HORROR METAL”: there, you can find dark and melancholic extreme metal tightly combined with black metal patterns, classical symphonies and sulphur heavy riffs in the vein of Mercyful Fate/Angel Witch together with bleak ecclesiastic compositions, harmonies directly taken from the gloomy and dramatic theatrical representation of the XVIII century, straight melodic straight guitar solos and some atmospheric nocturne ambience.
Concerning “Grand Guignol – Book I”, well… it’s not a simple album but a real theatrical representation in which music, graphics, conceptual histories and lyrics complete themselves to create a whole parallel dimension: it’s more structured, more dramatic and more atmospheric than the previous albums. With it we tried to bring the most characteristic parts of our sound to their extreme point: so, what has to be aggressive is very aggressive, what has to be dark and melancholic is even more dark and melancholic, and so on.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
The ideological substrate of DARKEND is deeply related to Philosophy, Magic, Psychology, Occultism... and on a more general level, I can say that all of our songs are strongly connected to everything that is mysterious, unknown, bleak and horrorific, topics through which we activate a profound inner-ritual to investigate and at the same time to express our Souls. Lyrically, this third opus takes its moves from a conscious and profound esoteric research exploring through a rich narrative plot the common roots of occultism and spiritualism, self-martyrdom and black magic ceremonies. There, behind the curtain, you will hear a conceptual tale of sanctified sins and loathed purity, of mercy and murder, of gentle wickedness and dismal virtue, where everything is melted with its contrary: a theatre of abominations in which humanity roams unconscious of the highest cosmos’ secrets.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
The name DARKEND incarnates everything that is occult and obscure, intended as a strong fascination that gives us strength and inspiration. The end wrapped in darkness, the abyss, the unknown that opens its doors on mystery, on fantasy and on a dreamlike dimension.
In addition, our name hides an esoteric anagram that will be probably revealed in the lyrics of our 5th album.

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
There has been a lot of great live shows, especially the ones during our European tours supporting Rotting Christ and then Samael, Melechesh & Keep Of Kalessin. In particular the fans from Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria and the other eastern countries were amazing and they directly contributed to render these  shows very special.
About our live performances I can say that concerts are one of the most important part of the DARKEND philosophy: we live them as genuine ceremonies of darkness and horror where every suggestion and feeling is amplified with the use of some scenic elements such as pentagrams, candles, bleak masks, incense and dead branches, all dropped in a strong theatrical and grand guignolesque interpretation. As you can see, it is not a simple show; it is a proper and real ritual.

6. Do you have any touring plans for the new release?
Yes, on May the 15th we will leave for Russia to start there the first part of the “Grand Guignol” tour, supporting great bands such as Marduk and Vader. Then we will probably take part to some Summer Festivals and then, at the beginning of Autumn, we will schedule the second part of the tour.

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

8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of symphonic black metal?
The feedback has been fantastic thus far. We are collecting superb reviews (most of them are full rating) almost everywhere  and also the comments that we found on some forums are fantastic. This is really great, it goes beyond my best expectations!

9. Are there any other projects besides this band or is this a full time line up?
Some of the band members such as Valentz and Antarktica have some side projects, but of course DARKEND stand as a priority for all of us.

10. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
It will be a natural progression of what DARKEND are today. Even from “Assassine” to “Grand Guignol” there has been the introduction of new element (such as Gregorian chants, clean vocals..) and I think that we will continue to experiment on that way, trying to render our music even more impressive, vivid and theatrical. We will work a lot on new atmospheres, in strict connection to the different conceptual themes that we will deal with, that’s for sure.

11. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Hmm, quite difficult to say because everyone of us listen to a lot of music and have different musical tastes. Among the genres that can be considered building block for DARKEND I would name black metal of bands such as Emperor, Burzum, Mayhem, Limbonic Art, the occult-oriented NWOBHM (with bands like Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Angel Witch), classical music of the XIX century, dark/doom metal and obscure music (Sopor Aeternus And The Ensemble Of Shadows to name one of its maximum exponents).
Regarding my musical tastes, I listen to everything listen before plus a lot of progressive prom the ’70 (King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, Van Der Graaf Generator..), ambient/ritual music, classic and death metal..

12. How would you describe your views on Occultism?
I am a lot interested in it, I read a lot and I do a lot of researches, not only concerning  Magic but even Philosophy, Astronomy and Psychology, doctrines that I consider really related to the occult and esoteric side of existence. Magic as a way to see what not everyone can see, Magic as a way to express the greatness of your Soul in all its splendour.

13. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Oh well, I can really be defined a music-addicted, so a lot of my time is dedicated to music, not only in relation with DARKEND: I love to search and discover new bands, buy and collect their CDs and stuff like that. Beside this I love literature (I read a lot) and cinema, especially concerning horror movies.

14. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
I thank you too for your strong support, for the space granted to DARKEND and for the beautiful words you spent on the “Grand Guignol” review… THANK YOU! I hope to see you soon, all of you! In the meanwhile… keep on spreading our obscure Cult of Horror!