Friday, May 30, 2014

In My Embrace Interview

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

[2004 - 2007]
Well, at first it started as a side project from Johans other bands Dii Minores and Well of Tears. We got to know each other through mutual friends and quite soon we felt that it would be a good idea to write songs together. I (Bosse) have Tinnitus related hearing problems so I didn't play live or rehearse like bands usually do and Johan had much to do with the bands he already played with. We jammed together in Johans apartment and wrote different riffs, put them together to songs and after a while I (Bosse) started doing lyrics to some of them. The music style at the time were more old school black metal with some influences from viking black/death metal.Remembrance (a song on the EP) were recorded 2004 to a demo with Dii Minores at the time.

After a while we almost had enough songs for a full length and we did our own demo recordings on some of them, but many of the songs were never truly finished. The quality of the demo wasn't good enough soundwise to see the light of day. We put the project to rest now and then and unfortunately with time many of the songs were forgotten. But the songs we did remember and felt were the strongest were Diabolical Masquerade and Nattvandraren.

Johan started playing with Planet Rain around 2006 and played with them on 3 demos until he left the band during the autumn of 2007. I (Bosse) took his place and played with Planet Rain from autumn 2007 to the beginning of 2009 and left the band when my Tinnitus got worse.

[2010 - 2014]
We brought the project back to life as none of us played in any band at this time! Johan had a bunch of ideas laying and started writing the songs that became Dead to Dust Descend and To Forevermore. Some of the songs we remembered we started to update with new ideas.

During 2012 we did a pre-production to the EP with digital drums to get a picture of what everything could sound like. We asked Tommy Holmer from Planet Rain if he could record the drums for us which he gladly did. So the drums got recorded around 2012-2013 and after that we started recording the guitars, bass and the vocals.

The song Av Skymning Kommen, Mot Gryning Går got written and recorded during the summer 2013. That song is more explained with the lyric content.

Later we got in contact with Sliptrick Records and the end result is the EP Dead to Dust Descend released by them.

2.Recently you have released an ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

The music is a mix of black metal and melodic death with some thrash influences. Perhaps influenced by old school black metal and the melodic death metal scene from the early 90s. So the music is dark, heavy but with a lot of melodies. We've never had a plan to try to sound like anything else. We've written songs we like and if they sound like anything else, it's more of coincidence. But then again, on a subconscious level, of course you get influenced by bands you like or by bands you've played with.

The EP is mixed and mastered by Jonas Lindström at Studio Apocalypse. He created a great dark atmosphere with a sound we really like! He did an awesome job!

3.The band has been around since 2004 but waited until this year to release an ep, can you tell us a little bit more about the 10 year gap?

See the answer in question 1.

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

Most, though not all, of my (Bosse) lyrics are metaphors for something. Some lyrics however are more straightforward.

Dead to Dust Descend is a dark metaphor for the inevitability of death (death as an entity, opponent to and hating all life) and one's inner demons in a kind of inner struggle, that sometimes slam against you with this fact. When hopes and dreams dry out during gloomy days and is replaced by discomfort, doubt, anger, sorrow and in worst case even anxiety.

To Forevermore is about lost hope, agony, the feeling of being betrayed by people you thought you could trust, about losing your path, the thought of giving up and so forth.

Av Skymning Kommen, Mot Gryning Går is a song and lyric I (Bosse) wrote as a way to process a really close to succeed suicide attempt I did 24th of September 2011. It’s about my way back, all thoughts that came to me while I lived at a psych ward after it for about 3-4 weeks. So about the darkness I was in and how I made up my mind to head to a new dawn.

Diabolical Masquerade is about all organized religion and everything negative it causes between people and their different religions (fanaticism, conflicts, wars, death) but also everything it imposes on the individual level. All rules that people apply about what and what not to do concerning everything. How to live, food, clothes, who to love, who to sort of hate, forced weddings, the mutilation of men and women when they are small and so forth. Plus how small children doesn’t have a say in it. They are born in their family’s religions and beliefs. If you have a belief on a personal level, fine. But don’t force that on anyone else!

Nattvandraren the most obvious is that it's about the myth and fascination of vampires as a being/ledgend. But it's also a metaphor of all who works in the shadows, doing stuff on the other side of the law and all admiration some people feel about that sort of underworld/sub world. I'm talking about serial killers/mass murderers and cruel violent gangs; and that some of them becomes legends for doing what they do and even admired and copied. In conclusion, also the dark side of mankind.

Remembrance doesn’t have any lyrics as it is instrumental, but it’s about the people that have died that I’ve (Bosse) known. It’s also about nostalgia. Memories that sometimes appear for any reason. A smell you feel, a song you hear, something you see that activates it and you get lost in that memory for a while.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'In My Embrace'?

In My Embrace as a name comes from life itself. Your life is in your embrace. Of course things happen which you can’t control but you can control how you’ll deal with it (doing that by yourself or with help from family/friends or experts in some profession). Other things in life you can control, or at least think you do, as nothing is certain in life. You can’t and should not control another person or try to. But the point is that life is what you make of it, how you deal with it and how you choose to live during the circumstances you either been given or the plans you have to get to that point you want to reach. Giving up or striving forward, your choice. With that said, life isn’t easy, a lot of people have really tuff situations around the world. And a lot of people go through and experience things we can’t even imagine. The name is about continuing your fight to live your life no matter what.  

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

The plan is to expand the number of members to be able to rehearse correctly and to play live. Tommy did the drums on the EP and is the obvious choice to continue working with on upcoming releases and possible gigs. We are trying out a bass player at the moment too (Jon Brundin), a friend Johan played with in Dii Minores and Well of Tears. But for me (Bosse), playing live isn't an option because of my severe Tinnitus - so who would take my place during gigs is uncertain. That means we probably will need a live guitarist as well. Time will tell what happens.



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

The EP is newly released and when we write this, only digital so far, but in spite of that the feedback has been good. The physical version is soon to be released and can be bought from us when we get our copies and from the labels [Sliptrick Records] partners. A press release with the physical EP and the music video will come next week.

8.Are the band members involved with any other musical projects these days?

Johan: has a side project that he's thinking of starting up again. The future will tell if it happens.

Bosse: does guest appearances now and then on other bands albums with guitar solos or lyrics.

9.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

The plan is to have a full length album released during spring 2015. Musically it's getting faster, heavier but still melodic and dark.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Johan: 
Well, I listen to a lot of bands. Mostly it´s Death and Black Metal. These are however some of my favorites from different genres:  Edge of Sanity, Ensiferum, Wintersun, Decide, Behemoth, Naglfar, Kalmah, Morgana Lefay, Helloween.

Bosse:
Hard question to answer, but I listen to almost everything when it comes to music. The important thing is that the music gives me or enhances some sort of a feeling. At the moment these are my favorites: Alscest, Winterfylleth, Dark Funeral, Funeral Mist, Agalloch, Windir, Undivine, Amorphis, Rimthurs, Diabolical, Planet Rain, Behemoth, Marduk, Katatonia, Ereb Altor.


  
11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Johan:
There are a lot of things I like to do, but at the moment my cabin and girlfriend takes up most of my spare time.

Bosse:
Hmm, hanging with friends, visit nature and take walks or run in natural areas. Go to the gym a couple of days during the week and so forth. At the moment my studies at the University as well. Plus a beer now and then. Trying what I can to feel as good as possible.

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

Thanks for the review (!) and for this interview! =) Don't forget to check out our music video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iv8VFrJ-Pd4
Drink a beer or twelve this upcoming we

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ad Extirpenda Interview

 
 
1.For those that have never heard of you before can you tell us a little bit about the band? 
We are a symphonic blackened metal band from Nantes (France) composed of six members: a singer, two guitarists, a keyboard player, a bassist and a drummer. 
We have a strong historical concept and aim at playing melodic and powerful riffs. 


2.In January you released a full length album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from the demo you had released in 2012? 
«Cathartic» is a concept album about the events that occurred during the albigensian crusade in the beginning of the XIIIth century. Each song depicts a specific topic and therefore the musical flavor differs from one to the other. So basically, we have a symphonic/melodic blackened metal basis mixed with different elements: heavy (Béziers), folk (Ego te Absolvo) and even progressive (Dominic and the Perfect). 

The EP was a first step towards the album. Indeed, the album contains the four songs of the demo. They were re-recorded and remixed however. 


3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music? 
Our main point was to propose historically accurate lyrics related to the subject of our album (that is the albigensian crusade). Each song deals with either historical facts (Béziers or Augustus), more philosophical topics (Church of the Wolves, Gnosis) or even personal thoughts of specific characters (The Inquisitor, Ego te Absolvo). 

It was important for us to keep a balance in the points of view and hence to introduce the positions of the different sides: cathars, crusaders, inquisitors, the king of France, etc. 

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Ad Extirpenda'? 

Ad Extirpenda is the name of a papal bull published in 1252 by pope Innocent IV. It allowed and defined the use of torture by the inquisition. 


5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance? 
We had a great time last year playing with Seth and also really enjoyed the couple of shows we played with Lord Shades and Entropia recently. 
Concerning our stage performance, we are currently working on improving the theatrical impression while keeping the energetic side. We have worked to design a consistent, balanced and efficient set-list and are very pleased to see that the audiences really enjoy it. 


6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future? 
We have a couple of shows already scheduled and are planning a tour for the season 2014-2015. Concerts organizers are welcomed to contact us if they are interested in having us in their shows. 

7.According to the Metal Archives page, the band was formed in 2008 but waited for years to release anything, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap? 
The songs from our album were written in 2007 and 2008 and in the beginning, the band was mainly formed with the objective of recording them. As time advanced, we decided to go one step further and began to have regular rehearsals. Then, our first bassist and singer had to leave the band due to professional reasons, so our actual line-up only became operational in the end of 2012. 

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest? 
We are searching a label and had a few contacts with small ones but it is mainly a distribution issue at this point. Nowadays, it is possible to record and produce one's own CD without ruining oneself. So, we didn't look for a label at first. 

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of symphonic black metal? 
Up to now, the feedback mainly comes from europe, but it has been really good. Indeed, we were also pleased to have good feedbacks from people who are fans of other metal genres. 

10.What is going on with the singer's other musical project these days? 
It is not active anymore, so he's fully concentrated on Ad Extirpenda. 

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future? 
We have begun to work on the second album which will deal with the first crusade. As you can guess, we really want to retain a strong historical background. This time, we will include a couple of longer songs which are not intended to be played live but are essential for the atmosphere of the album. Aside from them, we intend to keep our musical direction. 

12.What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays? 
There are a lot of influences in our music. One of the most obvious may be Moonspell (and their side-project Deamonarch) for their eclecticism and the very specific mood they are able to create. Bands like Arcturus, Borknagar, Vintersorg and Dimmu Borgir were also huge influences as well as Death, Dark Tranquillity and Iron Maiden of course. There are also non-metal references such as classical (Bach, Mahler) and jazz-rock (Return to Forever, Weather Report) artists. 

One of the strengths of our band is that we are listening to different kinds of music from one another so it will be difficult to draw a list of what we are listening. Though one edge of touring is that it is easier to discover bands, which is a great privilege since there are a lot of little gems which do not have the promotion they deserve. 


13.Does Occultism play any role in your music? 
Only marginally, the historical part of it mainly. 

14.What are some of your non musical interests? 
History and philosophy obviously. Aside from this, maths, at least from some of us. 

15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts? 
We are currently working on our first videoclip which will be available at the beginning of next fall. For the occasion, a remix of Augustus was performed at Vamacara Studio.

Finally, we are always pleased to have constructive discussions about our music so anyone wishing to do so is welcomed to contact us.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bastion/Vremya borby/Der Schwarze Tod/2014 CD Review


  Bastion  are  a  band  from  Russia  that  plays  pagan/folk  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Vremya  borby"  which  was  released  by  Der  Schwarze  Tod.

  Drums  and  melodic  playing  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  heavy  parts  and  folk  instruments  as  well  as  a  faster  direction  that  utilizes  blast  beat  and  black  metal  screams  and  the  band  also  uses  a  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  adding  in  death  metal  influences,  aggressive shouts  and  clean  singing  pagan  vocals.

  Guitar  leads  that  are utilized  by  the  band  are  very  extreme  and  melodic  sounding  guitar  solos  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  album  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  band  also  starts  utilizing  more  death  metal  growls  on  the  later  tracks  as  well  as  adding  in  small  amounts  of  acoustic  guitars  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  remaining  true  to  a  heavier  sound  and  they  also  add  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  to  one  of  the  tracks  and  the  last  2  songs  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Bastion  takes  a  melodic  pagan  form  of  folk  metal  and  makes  it  a  lot  heavier  by  mixing  in  more  black  and  death  metal  elements  and  blast  beats  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  and  professional  sounding  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Russian  and  cover  Slavic  Paganism  and  fantasy.

  In  my  opinion  Bastion  are  a  very  great  sounding black  pagan/folk  metal  ban  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Arkona  1168"  and  "Bylina".  8/5  out  of  10.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ambient Death Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
We are a blackened death metal band from NYC with 3 record releases under our belt. I incorporate a guitar synthesizer pickup on my guitar to give an additional color and texture to some of the songs. Most of our songs are composed in a chapter-like structure rather than typical verse/chorus style.  Also individually we have been part of the NYC underground scene for more than 15 years and opened up for some of the biggest bands like Behemoth, Arch Enemy, Morbid Angel, etc.

2.So far you have released 2 ep's and a full length album, how would you describe the musical sound of all 3 recordings and also how do they differ from each other?
The first EP Time Eclipse I feel was a blueprint for what I wanted to do with Ambient Death. It has a dark feel to it and it's saturated with reverb. The song Crusades has a very epic feel and people loved it. We recorded the album with our friend Vin Cin who occasionally was Peter Steele's bass tech from Type O Negative.
 Our Second EP Transmigration Of Souls was recorded by Joey Z from Life Of Agony and it was definitely more aggressive from the first one. Nocturnal Mirage sounds like a ton of bricks right out of the gate. The record sounds more dry and more raw in comparison.
The full length Dismembering The Image Of God I believe showcases our sound and vision. The album was produced by Aady Pandit and took us almost a year to record. We achieved an awesome balance of melody and heaviness. I wanted the album to be an audio experience from beginning to the end.     

3.In the 7 years that the band has been together there has only been 3 releases, can you tell us a little bit more about the gaps between recordings?
The main reason is that the last few years were consumed by my studies and my career in Maritime. Also because of our jobs and work schedules it was almost impossible to get something going consistently as far as rehearsals or playing shows. This eventually resulted in some line-up changes which again prolonged things even further. Just like majority of metal bands we do not make a living from this so other things in life have a priority but we play music whenever we can and continue to do so because of our love for it.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
In one word....death!! lol 
Everything I write revolves around death, the afterlife, the mortuary art and philosophical notions of our existence. I've been fascinated by that since I was a little kid and to me death and existentialism are the roots of our beloved metal subculture.
A lot of new metal I hear I feel the lyrics were written by a 12 year old. There's no substance to it and I laugh when I hear a strong emphasis on word combinations such as darkness of the shadows or 30 year old dude singing about slaying dragons lol

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Ambient Death'?
To me the name has a dual meaning. One has to do with the music itself and the ambient interludes as well as the guitar synth pick up I use. Two is my fascination with death and metaphysics which reflects in my lyrics.
The word 'ambient' appeared as a name for one of the guitar effects I used when I was writing some of the stuff for the first EP and it just kind of clicked in my head 'ambient death' and I said why the fuck not! lol

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We only played a handful of local shows because of previously mentioned issues we had but one of the shows we played with Malignancy was pretty awesome. A lot of the audience seems enchanted by our instrument proficiency especially when they hear my guitar make keyboard sounds.  

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Yes. We're going to play a few shows here in NY this summer and a few out of state in the late Fall and Winter.

8.According to the fb page the band is looking for a new bass  player, have you had any luck in your search?
Not yet! We went through 3 bass players in the process of working on Dismembering and finally we had the 4th one, Aady Pandit (our record producer) knock it out of the park with amazing bass lines on the record. We also had the 5th bass player, Carlos who appears on our two videos. Since I had to let go of our 3rd bass player two days before the video shoot we had Carlos learn the bass lines on the spot and be our stuntman-bass player for the video. lol
Until we find the right fit Aady is going to fulfill the bass role when we play live.

 9.Can you tell us a little bit more about Silver Harp Publishing?
Silverharp Publishing is my independent publishing entity registered with ASCAP. 
I use it to release our music to the public and collect remainder pennies from our stolen royalties lol

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death and black metal?
I think it's been absolutely amazing. We've had a lot of individuals from all over the globe even from Formentera  (look it up lol) who are not afraid to stand alone behind less known independent bands and do their research for themselves rather than have someone tell them who's cool to follow and who's not. Ultimately it's the greatest pay off for our invested time and money to have someone take their time and reach out to us just to say how much they enjoy our music.     

11.Are any of the band members involved with any other musical projects these days?
Yes! John is  very much involved in a black metal band from NYC Jotunheim fronted by our friend Arthur who was also Ambient Death's 2nd bass player. lol The NY metal scene is very incestual. lol 
Also Jaimen is currently playing with The Gemini Method.

12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Not sure! I would definitely like to experiment with some new sounds and new instruments. I always challenge myself in my abilities which helps me grow in my writing and it's very much noticeable if you listen to our albums in chronological order.

13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Lyrically and musically I always admired the work of Dissection, Death, Paradise Lost, old Opeth. My non-metal influence always have been Dead Can Dance, Tom Waits, New Model Army to name a few. Right now I find myself listening to a lot of Septicflesh, Sopor Aeternus, Barren Earth, Arcana, Arcturus, etc.

14.What are some of your non musical interests?
Definitely water. I work on the water here in NY harbor and I'm very passionate about it just as much as my music.
Jaimen is one of the biggest graffiti artists in NYC and if you're from NYC you probably have seen his work without even knowing.
John has published a book 'From An Ill Mind' (available through Barnes&Noble website) which is a collection of his short poems. Besides writing he likes to spend his time at his local barber shop trimming his perfect beard like a Bonsai tree. lol

15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Sure. I would like to thank you for giving us a voice and everyone who takes their time to read this and enjoys our music. I also would like to encourage everyone to check out our video for Apotheosis Of The Hangman which was shot on the same stage where Albert Einstein made his speech in late 1800's and more recent Colin Powell. We also have a new video for City Of The Silent coming out any day now!
 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Oprich/Winds' Heavy Mead/Casus Belli Musica/2014 EP Review


  Oprich  are  a  band  from  Russia  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  with  an  atmospheric  form  of  folk  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  ep  "Winds'  Heavy  Mead"  which  was  released  by  Casus  Belli  Musica.

  Nature  sounds  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  clean  guitars  and  folk  instruments  as  well  as  some  melodic  pagan  vocals  which  leads  to  a  heavier  direction  which  also  sees  blackened  death  metal  growls  becoming  a  part  of  the  music  while  also  keeping  around  the  folk  music  elements  and  adding  melody  into  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music.

  The  following  tracks  are  also  in  the  heavy  folk  metal  direction  as  well  as  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  fast  parts  at  times  and  they  also  bring  in  a  good  amount  of  both  clean  and  heavy  parts   and  the  3rd track  is  all  acoustic  and  they  close  the  ep  with  a  cover  of  Temnozer's  "Folkstorm  Of  the  Azure  Nights"  which  also  sees  them  adding  in  female  vocals  and  the  song  is  10  minutes  in  length  along  with  small  amounts  of  blast  beats.

  Oprich  remain  true  to  their  atmospheric  folk  metal  sound  sticking  to  the  same  direction  as  the  album they  released a  year  back,  the  production  is  very  professional  sounding  and  the  lyrics  cover  Russian  folklore  and  Paganism.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Oprich  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  folk  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Winds'  Heavy  Mead"  and  "Volga's  Lullaby".  8  out  of  10.    

Friday, May 23, 2014

In My Embrace/Dead To Dust Descend/Sliptrick Records/2014 EP Review


  In  My  Embrace  are  a  duo  from  Sweden  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black  and  melodic  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  ep  "Dead  To  Dust  Descend"  which  was  released  by  Sliptrick  Records.

  Distorted  guitars  start  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  more  heavy  and  blackened  direction  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  leads  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  band  also  speeds  up  a  little bit  at  times  along  with  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  as  well  as  adding  in  black  metal  screams.

  When  the  death  metal  elements  are  added  into  the  music  the  ep  starts  having  a  more  modern  feeling  mixed  into  their  sound  and  you  can  also  hear  a  small  amount  of  thrash  influences  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  an  old  school  melodic  Swedish  death  metal  sound  being  mixed  in  with  black  metal.

  On  a  cople  of  the  later  tracks  acoustic  guitars  are  added  into  the  music  briefly  before  returning  to  a  more  melodic  black  metal  direction  and  adding  more  blast  beats  into  their  musical  sound  along  with  a  dark  and  atmospheric  sound  and  they  also  add  in  a  small  amounts  of  clean  parts  with  the  heavier  guitars  for  a  few  seconds  on  one  of  the  tracks  and  the  last  2  songs  are  all  acoustical  along  with  a  slight  symphonic  element  on  the  first  of  the  last  2.

  In  My  Embrace  have  a  more  dark  approach  than  most  bands  that  mix  melodic  death  with  black  metal  with  a  sound  that  would  attract  both  both  and  old  school  listeners  of  the  genre,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  powerful,  while  the  lyrics  are  written in  a  mixture  of  Swedish  and  English  and  cover  sorrow,  agony,  hatred,  life,  death,  religion,  society  and  existential  matters.

  In  my  opinion  In  My  Embrace  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  melodic  death  and  black  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Dead  To  Dust  Descend"  and  "Diabolical  Masquerade".  8  out  of  10.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ambient Death/Dismembering The Image Of God/2014 CD Review

   Ambient  Death  are  a  band  from  New  York  that  plays  a  very  melodic  and  blackened  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2014  album  "Dismembering  The  Image  Of  God".

  A  very  heavy  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  high  pitched  screams  that  bring  a  black  metal  feeling  to  the  recording  while  the  music  style  from  the  instruments  are  in  a  more  death  metal  direction  and  the  guitar  riffs  and  leads  incorporate  great  amounts  of  melody  into  their  musical  style.

  There  seems  to  be  a  great  amount  of  modern  metal  elements  in  their  music  at  times  along  with  a  mixture  of  black  metal  screams  and  death  metal  growls  and  the  band  also  have  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  in  the  faster  sections  of  their  music  along  with  powerful  sounding  bass  lines  and  some  of  the  later  tracks  utilize  small  amounts  of  acoustic  guitars  which  bring  in  a  post  metal  feeling.

  As  the  album  progresses  the  music  gets  more  diverse  with  along  with  a  couple  of  the  tracks  adding  in  symphonic  sounding  synths  and  a  few  instrumentals  with  one  beign  all  acoustic  and  the  title  track  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  having  the  vocals  make  their  return  as  well  as  adding  in  spoken  word  parts  and  the  last  track  adds  psychedelic  and  prog  sounds  into  their  heavy  and  melodic  musical  style.

  Ambient  Death  have  a  very  diverse  sound  that  combines  melodic  black  and  death  metal  together  while  also  mixing  in  a  great  amount  of  heaviness,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark,  anti  religion  and  philosophical  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Ambient  Death  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  blackened  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Apotheosis  Of  The  Hangman"  "Dismembering  the  Image  of  God"  and  "All  Too  Human".  8  out  of  10.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Hyperborean/Myths Of The Great Pestilence/2014 CD Review


  Hyperborean  are  a  band  from  Sweden  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this zine  that  plays  a  very  melodic  and  experimental  style  of  black  metal  and  this  recording  and  this  is  a  review  of t heir  self  released  2014  album  "Myths  Of  the  Great  Pestilence".

  A  very  heavy  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  blast  beats  and  black  metal  screams  as  well  as  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  and  the  band  also  uses  deep  growls  which  bring  a  death  metal  feeling  to  the  recording  and  they  also  bring  in  guitar  leads  that  utilize  a  great  amount  of  melody,  talent  and  skill  and  the  music  also  utilizes  a  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Thrash  influences  have  a  good  amount  of  dominance  in  their  music  and  they  also  add  in  technical  parts  at  times  as  well  as  some  really  fast  guitar  picking  and  as  the  album  progresses  the  band  also  starts  adding  psychedelic  elements  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  the  black  metal  elements  on  this  album  go  for  an  even  more  grim  direction  than  the  recording  I  reviewed  3  years  back.

  Halfway  through t he  album  acoustic  guitars  are  added  onto  one  track and  they  enhance  the  experimental  qualities  of  the  recording  while  the  main  focus  is  still  on  melodic  black  metal  along  with  a  few  long  and  epic  in  length  tracks  which  also  starts  utilizing  traces  of  classic  rock  in  the  guitar  riffing  and  the  last  song  is  a  black  metal  version  of  Blue  Oyster  Cult's  "Dont  Fear  the  Ripper".

  Hyperborean  show  a  great  amount  of  growth  with  their  new  album  which  is  still  true  to  melodic  black  metal  direction  but t hey  also  add  in  more  diverse  elements  to  make  the  recording  more  original  sounding,  the  production  is  very  professional  sounding  and  the  lyrics  cover  historical  battles,  war  and  mythology.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Hyperborean  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  melodic  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album>  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Hail  Dystopia"  "The  Slaves  Of  the  World"  "On  The  nature  of  Mankind"  and  "Dont  Fear  The  Ripper".  8  out  of  10.

   

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Enviktas Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
*Were from Newcastle, Australia. We blend Traditional World Folk Music with contemporary Metal, Mainly Death and Black Metal and Western Classical music.


2.You released in a new ep in March, can you tell us a little bit more about your musical sound?
*We try to experiment with cross cultural music to maximise the emotion required for each particular song. Thats why our music varies quite a lot from song to song. We don't like to limit the music to any particular sub-cultural "standard" etc, otherwise the writing process would be very boring for us. We all come from a wide background of musical styles so its great to be able to fuse all our styles together into something were all happy with.

3.I have noticed that when i listened to the ep, you had a sound that actually puts brutality in that genre and never use clean vocals, are you planning on adding cleaner vocals in the future or do you choose to remain on the heavier side of things?
* We like to play heavy because its such a great feeling. So whatever we write usually comes out fairly heavy. However, our new material delves into the darker sides of jazz and ambient traditional indigenous music from Central Asia and here in Australia. So you can expect to hear some more traditional styles of vocals such as overtone singing and shrill melodic vocalising. Theres some of this in the interlude of Golden Spirit but its not very prominent as there are so many layers.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
*The songs we wrote early on focused on Scandinavian and Australian Folk-lore. Morning Burns Red is about the Viking Raid on Lindisfarne. In Our Honour is about the escapades of 19th Century Australian
Bushrangers and Golden Spirit tries to give a first person account on the various rebellions that arose during the Christianisaton of Europe. They were ALWAYS written as historical fiction with no political or religious discourse intended. Thats part of the reason we chose not to release the lyrics with the EP as we didn't want anyone to get the wrong idea of what the songs, or us as a band are about. The lyrical content for the new material is more impressionistic with a philosophical basis. The goal is for the lyrics to be open to
interpretation. Therefore the reader can connect with the song in a more personal way.



5.I have noticed in the band's logo you have some of the lesser known and more obscure runes, does the band have a huge interest in Paganism?
*Absolutely. A big part of our philosophy is deeply connected with paganism. But it is not limited to only Nordic or Germanic Paganism. We wanted to use a range of symbols from varying cultures for our album layout for a few reasons. The main reason was to convey the fusion of cultures within the music, as well as our philosophical beliefs which are also very multi-cultural. Much can be learned fromthe ancient teachings, be they religious or philosophical. I contacted a local artist/tattoo artist named Nicolas Lissarrague, who I've
worked with before, to design the cover for us. Nick has a profound understanding of paganism and the beauty of all cultures so he was perfect. I told him our ideas and he painted the cover in water colours which we scanned and fitted to the template with the help of our good friend, Ben Bullivant who designed the layout. Both guys were great to work with and did an amazing job. Much respect!

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Enviktas'?
*When we started we focused on the battle element of folk metal. Turisas and Ensiferum were a big inspiration for this bands formation. We were brainstorming ideas for a name and one of us said "Victus"
latin for "Victory". It was cool, but sounded to short. So to jump on the folk metal band-wagon of band names starting with "EN" we decided to put that in front and change the lettering haha! Not much else to
it.


7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
*Some of our best shows have been local Newcastle ones. Theres some amazing sound men operating here at venues such as "The Cambridge" and "The Small Ballroom". We were lucky enough to play with Gloryhammer from the UK last month when they toured here. That was a lot of fun. We try make our shows flow like one big piece of music much the same as an orchestra. We have samples that tie the songs together to help paint a picture to the audience whats about to come in the next song. Also to keep up the momentum. Our live set up is 2x Guitar, Bass,Drums, Violin and orchestral samples so when its all together and mixed
well it can sound pretty huge! Good times!



8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Were currently planning to do a small tour of Melbourne, then follow up with an East coast of Australia tour. After that, wed like to hit up South East Asia and hopefully Japan. If all Goes well, Europe would be the next place. But small steps for now.


9.Currently you are unsigned,a re you looking for a label or have received any interest?
We haven't received any label interest as of yet. I think it would be a good move if the right company came along and offered a fair deal. A lot can be gained with a good partnership.


10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of folk metal?
Its been amazing so far! People seem to really dig it. We put the EP up for free on bandcamp, and I've been contacted by people in Lithuania, Peru, The Philippines, Finland and many more. I hope themusic gets shared to even more places!


11.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
*We are starting to work on an Album now. We may release an EP with some acoustic covers and a few new songs in between hopefully. Musically i think it will become much more progressive a with regard
to structure/rhythms etc. Also our themes and lyrical content will be much deeper. Ive got a few producers in mind that id like to work with to make it sound more organic. Like i said before, were going to keep
on working at using remote cultural music to mix in with contemporary heavy music. Were looking at getting Indigenous and foreign musicians to collaborate with to make the music as effective as possible.



12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
* When it comes to folk metal, Turisas and Ensiferum were a huge influence. They really opened my ears to this genre and showed the variety you can get from it. These days we are listening to so many different styles and getting inspiration. Post-rock and post-metal Bands like "sleepmakeswaves", "Russian Circles" and "This will destroy you" are doing amazing work with the layers of texture within their music as well as using cutting edge technology to maximise the effectiveness of instrumental music. Behemoth have always been at the
top of the ladder in my opinion. They have a bad arse attitude and always punch out unique music. Their work ethic is very inspirational. Also Fleshgod Apocalypse and Septic Flesh do amazing work to blend
classical music with metal. Were big fans of all these guys.



13.Are any of the band members involved with any other musical projects these days?
* Definitely. Our Drummer is in the Post-Hardcore band "Tired Minds".They're progressive take on modern hardcore is really cool. Brendan our bass player is in the Viking Metal band "Pagans Realm. They're
really rocky and sludgy! Kaden our guitarist plays melodica with the Funk Band "Strangers with Candy". Alex our Violinist is a great Electronic music producer under the name "5peed $nail" and is also co
runner of the label "Murder is not a Crime". And i have an instrumental Post-Rock/Metal project. But we don't have a name as ofyet.


14.What are some of your non musical interests?
* Well for me personally, I love playing with my two Dogs. I enjoy studying History, Cosmology, Astro-Physics and various sciences such as Anthropology. Mainly focusing on traditional and early middle age
culture, Philosophy, Tattooing... That sums me up i guess.


15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
* Thank you for taking the time to write up these great questions.
They have been a pleasure to answer! Much Respect !
Jordan :)

 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Morb/Le Theatre de Satan/Senseless Life Records/2014 CD Review


  Morb  are  a  1  man  band  from  Canada  that  plays  a  very  atmospheric  and  symphonic  form  of  black/folk  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Le  Theatre  de  Satan"  which  was  released  be  Senseless  Life  Records.

  Folk  music  sounds  start  off  the  album  and  after  the  first  track  the  music  starts  getting  more  heavy  and  starts  going  into  a  folk  metal  direction  along  with  a  good  amount  of  melody  and  adding  in  black  metal  vocals  along  with  symphonic  elements  and  a  great  amount  of  violins  are  utilized  throughout  the  recording.

  When  the  album  goes  into  some  of  the  other  tracks  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  are  brought  in  during  some  of  the  faster  parts  of  the  album  which  are  rare  since  the  album  is  mostly  in  a  mid  paced  direction  and  after  awhile  melodic  female  vocals  start  becoming  a  part  of  the  music  at  times  as  well  as  bringing  in  a  more  pagan  atmosphere.

  As  the  album  progresses  the  male  vocals  also start  adding  in  more  operatic  sounds  while  mostly  remaining  true  to  the  black  metal  style  of  screaming  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length   and  also  have  a  3  part  concept  going  on  with  them  as  well  as  having  more  epic  elements  in  the  songs.

  The  3  song  concept  takes  the  album  into  a  more  symphonic  and  classical  music  genre  while  also  adding  in  more  fast  black  metal  elements  which  where  not  a  part  of  the  first  half  of  the  album  and  the  music  also  starts  incorporating  more  gothic  and  operatic  moments  as  well  as  making  the  3rd  song  in  the  concept  all  instrumental  and  the  album  closes  with  a  symphonic  black  metal  version  of  Celine  Dion's  "My  Heart  Will  Go  On".

  Morb  have  a  very  diverse sound  with  his  music  starting  out  in  a  more  folk/black  metal  direction  and  getting  more  symphonic  and  classical  influenced  as  the  album  progresses,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  and  the  lyrics  are  written  in  a  mixture  of  English  and  French  and  cover  Satanism  and  Occult  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Morb  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  and  symphonic  black/folk  metal  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Joker"  "Le  Clochard  en  Costume"  "Terre  Chapiteau"  and  "My  Heart  Will  Go  On".  8  out  of  10.