Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Death Comes Pale/World Grave/Deepsend Records/2014 CD Review

 
  Death  Comes  Pale  are  a  band  from  Denmark  that  plays  a  very  brutal  and  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "World  Grave"  which  was  released  by  Deepsend  Records.

  Dark  sound  effects  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  semi  clean  distorted  playing  which  slowly  leads  up  to  a  heavier  direction  which  also  uses  a  good  amount  of  melody  before  adding  in  black  metal  screams  and  death  metal  growls  and  at  time s you  can  also  hear  some  blast  beats  being  utilized  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

  There  is  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  present  throughout  the  recording  as  well  as  the  perfect  balance  between  melody  and  brutality  and  when  solos  and  leads  are  added into  the  music  they  bring  in  a  very  90's  sounding  melodic  style  of  black/death  metal  to  the  bands  musical  sound  along  with  a  technical  feeling.

  As  the  album  progresses  the  music  starts  getting  slightly  more  atmospheric  as  well  as  adding in  elements  of  modern  death  metal   along  with  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  parts  being  used  at  times  while  the  main  focus  remains  on  a  very  heavy  and  brutal   sound  and  some  of  the  later  tracks  also  shoe  the  band  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing.

  Death  Comes Pale  plays  a   style  of  blackened  death  metal  that  combines  both  the  brutal  and  melodic  side  of  both  genres  together  to  create  a  very  heavy  sounding  recording t hat also  displays  a  great  amount  of  talent  and  skill,  the  production  sound s very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  political  and  anti  religion  themes.

  In   my  opinion  Death  Comes  Pale  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  and  brutal  blackened  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "World  Grave"  "From  The  Lips  Of  The  Dead"  "Modern  Enslavement"  and  "Silent  Genocide".  8  out  of  10.    

Monday, October 27, 2014

Usnea/Random Cosmic Violence/Relapse Records/2014 CD Review


    Usnea  are  a  band  from  Portland,  Oregon  that  plays  a  blackened  form  of  funeral  doom/death  metal  with  elements  of  sludge  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Random  Cosmic  Violence"  which  will  be  released  in  November  by  Relapse  Records.

  Dark  sounding  ambient  drones  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  psychedelic  noise  elements  and  after  awhile  the  music  goes  into  a  very  slow  and  heavy  funeral  doom/sludge  metal  direction  along  with  some  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  death metal  growls  and  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  in  the  bands  musical  style.

  When  solos  and  leads  are  added  into  the  music  they  bring  in  a  very  dark,  distorted  and  melodic  sound  onto  the  recording  and  after  awhile  spoken  word  ritualistic  parts  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  band  also  brings  in  clean  parts  at  times  and  all  4  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  you  can  hear  a  lot  of  the  90's  doom/death  metal  style  in  the  way  the  band  plays  their  instruments  while  the  sludge  elements  gives  the  album  a  more  up  to  date  feeling.

     On  the  title  track  acoustic  guitars  are  added  into  the  song  and  they  also  add  a  stoner  and  classic  rock  vibe  to  the  music  along  with  some  clean  singing  being  added  in  after  a  few  seconds  and  they  are  only  used  briefly  before  the  music  makes  a  return  back  to  a  heavier  direction  along  with  the  music  speeding  up  at  times  and  adding  in  elements  of  blackened  death  metal  while  the  acoustic  guitars  do  make  a  return  on  the  last  track.

  Usnea  plays  a  very  heavy  style  of  sludge  that  brings  in  the  heaviness  of  funeral  doom,  the  occult  atmosphere  of  black  metal  and  the  darker  side  of  death  metal,  the  production  sound s very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness,  occultism  and  dystopian  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Usnea  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black  metal,  sludge,  funeral  doom  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Lying  In  Ruin"  and  "Detritus".  8  out  of  10.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Solefald/Norrnasongen Kosmopol/Indie Recordings/2014 EP Review


  Solefald  are  a  band  from  Norway  that  has  been  around  since  the  90's  and  plays  an  avant  garde form  of  post  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  ep  "Normasongen  Kosmopol"  which  will  be  released  on  October 27th  by  Indie  Recordings.

  Clean  yet  distorted  sounding  guitars  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  melodic  avant  garde  vocals  that  also  have  a  folk  music  edge  to  them  at  times  and  you  can  also  hear some  violins  in  the  background  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  pagan  atmosphere  and  when  synths  are  added  into  the  music  along  with  some  bass  guitars  they  add  in  psychedelic  elements  to  the  bands  musical  style  and  after  awhile  the  music  starts  to  add  in  more  heaviness..

  A  good portion  of  the  tracks  that  are  present  on  this  ep  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  female  vocals  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  they  also  give  the  music  more  of  an  operatic  feeling  when  they  are  utilized  and  as  the  ep  progresses  the  band  starts  adding  in  elements  from  other  forms  of  synth  or  electronic  music  in  with  their  avant  garde  metal  sound  and  on  the last  2  tracks  Sturmgeist  and  The  Fall  Of  Rome  add  their  contributions  to  the  songs  and  add  in  more  martial  and  neo  folk  elements/

  Solefald  continue  the  avant  garde  approach  of  previous  albums  while  also  cutting  back  on  the  black  metal  parts  to  focus  more  on  a  heavy  and  experimental  sound,  the  production   sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Norwegian  and  cover  Norse  Mythology  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Solefald and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  should  enjoy  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Det  Siste  Landskap"  and  "Norskdom".  8  out  10/

  .

 

    

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Maahlas Interview

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

We are quite a new band from Oslo, Norway. Cuno and I are originally from Turkey, but we met here in Oslo. We joined forces a little over a year ago to make Nightmare Years.
Cuno is responsible for almost everything you hear on the record except for the lyrics and the vocals. Its important for me to point out that Cuno also wrote the drums; which were then recorded by a mighty session drummer in Poland.

We are musically always exploring how we can take Metal to new places. This time we really threw in a good mix of black and prog into our Melodic Death Metal style and we believe that we really achieved our vision, compositionally and also production wise.


2.Recently you have released your first album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

Thats a fun question… Especially because it is a hard one. We have been categorized as Blackened Progressive Musical Death Metal… Its a ridiculously long name for a genre, but we have no better suggestion; so please do come with suggestions :)

That said; even though our music at times is extremely fast, angry and hard hitting, the sound we wanted and achieved has a soft easy on the ears kinda roundness to it…

Cuno and I turned to each other and cringed with quizzical eyebrow lifting when we heard the first mastered track from our chosen mastering studio. It was just too sharp and edgy, very Black Metal. Lots of details were lost and it was far from where we wanted it to be… After some rounds we managed to get our Mastering master understand what we were going for and to soften the sound and deliver all the details we worked so hard to compose, play and mix… It was a process :)


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

I'm very interested in political & world affairs, human nature, conspiracies, history, psychology, sci-fi… And have been writing lyrics and poetry about these topics for a long time. But now, for first time decided to take what I knew was going to be a ridiculously hard task upon me. A concept album.

The story is, in a few words (something VERY difficult for me :) about a possible version of human history and future. Where we are revealed that even the powers that we believe control the world were puppets; and that through controlled manipulations we were guided through our various stages of evolution.
All this is in a science fiction setting where a few characters voice their minds or have discussions or arguments…

All the lyrics plus a quiet long story explanation can be read on our website maahlas.net


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

Mahlas with one “a” means a musical poet, or a “bard” if you will in the Ottaman Turkish.
Cunos wife Elif, who is also amazingly supporting, came up with it and thought using the extra “a” would make it more mystical and we love it… Its actually an original and non cliche band name which is SO hard to come by… All hail Elif! :)


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

Since the release of Nightmare Years we have been trying out musicians for the band… I can proudly say that we have now completed the line up and are very soon ready to play live. Which is something we REALLY enjoy and are looking forward to.

Maahlas is:
Vocals: Levent Ultanur
Guitar: Cuneyt Caglayan
Guitar: Robin Berg Pettersen
Bass: Audun Melbye
Drums: Christian Svendsen


6.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

Of course we would like to get a record deal… Hopefully a good one.
We have been getting real good and encouraging reviews so far. We also have gotten positive response to our music from a couple of the bigger labels but with no record deal as yet. A smaller label did want to sign us but we cordially declined.

A few live shows early 2015 will hopefully put us on the Norwegian music map and pave the way for more people to hear our music. Which will give us the experience as a band and leverage for the labels to see us as a professional and performing band. There are so many one man home projects out there that I totally understand the labels wanting a band to prove their worth as great and consistent live act, as most the money is made from live performances and merchandising now.


7.According to the fb page one of the band members is originally from Turkey but now resides in Norway how would you compare the metal scenes of both countries?

Well, unfortunately they are almost uncomparable…
Norway can proudly boast a whole genre of metal music and bands like Dark Throne, Mayhem, Emperor (and Ihsahn himself), Satyricon, Dimmu Borgir, Shining to name a few. Norway has been and is a very influencial metal scene in the world and hosts the famous Inferno Metal Festival.

Although there are some truly great musicians in Turkey, the culture, economical possibilities, even language and history limit how much they can achieve back at home and reach out to the world… Honestly (and sadly) I know of no other Turkish metal band thats worth mentioning here other than Ominous Grief, which  surprisingly enough had our very own Cuno as the master composer and guitar player :)


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

Although we released the album in the digital media in july we have only recently begun promoting it. And Its been very good indeed. In fact we are very positively surprised at how much great feedback and reviews we are getting.

A few people graced us with 10/10s and mentioned that Nightmare Years was one of the best new releases they encountered in 2014, giving us the encouragement, energy and confidence to push ourselves to the edges of our limits as persons and artists to work on to deliver a great live performance.


9.Are any of the band members involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?

Actually only our drummer Christian Svendsen is currently involved with another bands… Check out Tsjuder :) He is also å Pyro tech… so, one of my stage dreams might come true with the second album ;)


10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

We will still be Maahlas with the same attention to detail in production. We have already started composing for the second album. But its still impossible to say for sure what the music will be like at the end. One thing is for certain; you will definitely not be bored and think man its the same stuff they did before :)


11.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?

Thats question which really deserves a very long answer… I think I'll update our website with an influences and thanks to our inspirators section at some point… But for now let it suffice to say; Death, Ihsahn, Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Opeth…


12.What are some of your non musical interests?

As a group therapy we do synchronised swimming and origami… Do not quote me on that please :)

Well… we all have full time jobs right now and girlfriends or families. So truly, its music that takes a big chunk out of that pie chart of “free” time. And we have no complaints about that… Its what we LOVE doing… Doesnt mean that we dont have other interests; we do, but time is a very precious commodity :)


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

I do…
Listen to us, follow us contact us, “share” us… And if we happen to be playing anywhere near you, do come to see us… you WILL NOT be disappointed…

Tellus Terror Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Felipe Borges: We are a band from Brazil – Rio de Janeiro, and we do a mix of Metal styles in our songs throughout our album. We have just released our first album entitled EZ Life DV8 (read as: Easy Life Deviate), which we did work hard for 1 and a half year from creating the songs to record, edit, mix and master, to finally release. We have decided not to do any shows before we have our album released also.

2.Recently you have released your first album, how would you describe the musicla sound that is presented on the recording?
Felipe Borges: The musical sound is something that we can not describe. We know that we do mix some Metal styles through the songs, but is something that each and every person have a different opinion. Mine is that it is just ourselves trying to do something for the public (which is what we do value the most).

3.You label your musical style as M.M.S (mixed Metal Style), can you tell us a little bit more about your desire to mix every genre of metal together and also do you hope this could possibly create a new musical direction for future metal bands?
Felipe Borges: That is correct. I did create this style only to try to explain what we do with the music we create for the people. We do love Death Metal, Black Metal, Thrash Metal, Doom Metal, Gothic Metal, Heavy Metal etc… but we wanted to blend it all to see what happened. As I said, we do it all for the people, and if they think this is good and if they want to use M.M.S. (Mixed Metal Styles) in their bands, it will be a pleasure for us. Without new invents, Human Race would not progress right?

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Felipe Borges: EZ Life DV8 talks about how life and everything happened as per our specimen knows, how it did transformed into our planets and galaxies, how our home was positioned in our galaxy, what we Human Race do with this gift of living here at Tellus (Tellus means planet Earth in Latin Language), we talk about the wonders such as the Equinox where light and Darkness are equal, passing through the Panorama of the end of the times, and getting to the conclusion that everything that we could possibly imagine about ow our world will end it is an Error.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Tellus Terror'?
Felipe Borges: I wanted to have a common name that could allow me to write about things and situations that were commom for every Human Being and living being here at Tellus. So I thought of a name wich was easy to speak, which were global in a way, and were commom independently of everyone´s choices of Religion, politics and commom to every race. For us, everyone have the same value no matter if you are black or white, rich or poor, and Tellus Terror was a perfect fit for this idea (Again, Tellus means Planet Earth in Latin Language)

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Felipe Borges:  We will be playing now here in Brazil with Behemoth on November 08, 2014, and November 09, 2014. These 2 shows together will gather a little bit more than 4 thousand people. That will be awesome. Behemoth is fantastic!!

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Felipe Borges: We do, but still is soon to say something about it, but we do aim to hit China, Japan, India and South Korea in our actual conversations with a producer. Also we really want to hit EUROPE.

8.You had some big names help produce your first album, how did you get in contact with some of these legendary musicians and producers and also van you tell us a little bit more about their contributions to the recording?
Felipe Borges: When I was thinking about giving our best to the public, I realized that we should seek the best also in everything regarding the process itself. That is why I choose to work with Fredrik Nordstrom, Pat Power and Seth Siro Anton for this album, and the result was great! I did called them and sent some e-mails to explain and discuss our project ideas, and how we would like this to look like.
Seth Siro Anton did create our band Logo and Symbol, and he also did create 100% our EZ Life DV8 album artworks. He is awesome!! I told him “Seth, whatever you think that would be better, do it. We know you are the best”
Fredrik Nordstrom did mix and master our album, and we did send lots of e-mails to listen to each and every track to check on minimal details, it was a very long and extensive process, but the result was great. Fredrik is the Master!
Pat Power, I remember that I did send one picture of our drum to Fredrik Nordstrom, and He showed the picture to Pat Power, and he volunteered to do the drums click corrections in our album, because he liked the size of our drum and the fact that we did use 24 channels to record only the drum. Pat Power is awesome also, and we love this guy!

9.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Felipe Borges: We are open to hear from the labels, but meanwhile we are working the best way we can by ourselves. Right now we are working on our 2 album, and we intend to record the new album 100% at London-England.

10.What is going on with some of the other musical projects or bands these days that some of the band members are a part of?
Felipe Borges: Everybody disbanded from their other bands, and we are all working only for Tellus Terror

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Felipe Borges: To whatever the public tends to be as long as it is Metal.

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?
Felipe Borges: Well, I listen to everything within Rock And Roll and Metal, these days I was listening to New Order, Johnny Winter, Morbid Angel, Agathocles, Marduk, Cradle Of Filth, Septic Flesh, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden, Systers of a Mercy, The Offspring, AC/DC, Smashing Pumpkins, Beherit…

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
Felipe Borges: I ride ATV´s (All terrain Vehicles), like racing and doing aerial stunts, I am very good doing barbecue´s (believe me that is true), these days I have been doing stand up paddle a little, I love a good wine and I am fascinated with Video Games

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Felipe Borges: I would like to thank you for the opportunity and space, and also encourage people to know the work that we have been doing for you all. Hope to see you all soon in some GIG´s!!

Thanks!

Tellus Terror/EZ Live DV8/2014 CD Review

  Tellus  Terror  are  a  band  from  Brazil  that  combines  various  of  metal  and  hard  rock  genres  together  with  a  musical  style  they  call  M.M.S (Mixed  metal  Styles)  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2014  album  "EZ Live  DV8".

  Melodic clean  playing  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  psychedelic  70's  rock  elements  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavy  doom  metal  direction  as  well  as  using  a  mixture  of  death  metal  growls  and  black  metal  screams  before  adding  in  some  melodic  guitar  leads  and  blast  beats  and  after  awhile  elements  of  deathcore  are  added  into  the  music  along  with  some  symphonic  sounds  and  the  album  also  brings  in  a  good  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  After  awhile  melodic  yet  rough  vocals  are  added  into  the  music  along  with  some  traditional  metal  influences  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  on  the  later  tracks  elements  of  hardcore,  metalcore  and  clean  singing  gothic  metal  vocals  are  added  into  the  music  and  every  track  has  a  very  different  sound  to  them  along  with  all  of  the  music  being  a mixture  of  all  different  extreme  metal  styles  and  a  few  of  the  tracks  also  shows  the  band adding  in  a  small  amount  of  female  vocals.

  As  the  album  progresses  the  band  starts  adding  in  more  old  school  death  metal  and  modern  deathcore  influences  and  the  symphonic  black  metal  elements  start  having  more  of  a  powerful  sounding  presence  on  the  recording  while  all  of  the  other  metal  and  hardcore  styles  remain  a  huge  part  of  the  bands  musical style  and  there  are  also  a  few  tracks  that  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Tellus  Terror  take  influences  from  every  genre  of  metal  along  with  some  hardcore  and  rock    to  create  some  music  that  is  very  melodic,  heavy,  brutal,  symphonic  and  original  sounding  without  belonging  to  a  particular  sub  genre,  the  production  sounds  very  original  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  space,  life  and  death,  history,  aliens,  life  and  suffering  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Tellus  Terror  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic,  symphonic  and  brutal  mixture  of  all  metal  genres  and  if  you  are  looking  for  something  that  is  very  original  and   hard  to  put  in  a  category,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Stardust"  "3rd  Rock  From  The  Sun"  "Civil  Carnage"  and  "Endtime  Panorama".  8  out  of  10.    

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mandatory Interview

1. Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

Answer: We’re currently focusing on playing gigs to promote Catharsis, but we also started writing some songs for an upcoming concept album.
2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

Answer: If we had to find a definition, it would be a mixture of melodic death and thrash metal linked with progressive elements in terms of song length and structure. But we’re not really friends of that whole subgenre thing so we prefer to just call it metal :)
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?

Answer: The lyrical concept of five of the songs can be described as “don’t be fooled by yourself, believe in your skills, and don’t let anyone tell you what or have to do”. Songs like “Shadowmaker” tell the story of war from the viewpoint of an atomic bomb, “Emperor” is a homage to Charlie Chaplin’s speech in “The Great Dictator”, “For The World To See” deals with bullying and the worst of all outcomes, a killing spree and “To The Streets” is for all the people around the globe who risk their lives to spread the idea of equality, freedom of speech or democracy.

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

Answer: We stumbled upon the word by accident and we just thought it sounded cool. After looking up the actual meaning we can say it’s quite well chosen: “MANDATORY is mandatory listening”! :)
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?

Answer: Our performance is mostly built on having fun on the stage and delivering an energetic show. We always try to get that vibe across to the audience. The shows which are most fun for us to play are definitely at our yearly self-organized events called MANDAFEST,  although we have to admit that our STAR TREK gig at the open-air Maifest 2011 in Vienna’s Prater is also a candidate for the 1st place.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

Answer: We are currently booking shows to promote the album, but there are no concrete dates yet.
7.The new album was self released, are you open to working with another label again in the future?

Answer: Yeah, we’d be open to work with another label again because on one hand self-releasing an album is nice ‘cause we can set all the deadlines for ourselves and set plans according to our job schedule but on the other hand it is quite a workload to handle.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to the newer music by fans of extreme metal?

Answer: The feedback has been real good so far and we hope that it will even get better.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Answer: Our next plan is to work on a concept EP or Album, depending on the writing process, but musically it’ll be quite in the same Melodic Death/ Thrash métier we’re in now. Maybe the songs will get a bit more complex. We’re also trying to work with a label again that supports what we do and that can help us reach more people with our Music.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Answer: Our early influences where bands like Children Of Bodom, In Flames, Metallica, Testament and a bit of Dream Theater but also more recent artists like Opeth, Darkane, Soilwork, Scar Symmetry and so on.
But  there’s so much music going on in our lives from metal to folk over classical music to jazz that ist’s quite hard to tell what influenced us on this album. We’d say all of it! :)

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Answer: Some of our interests are sports, workout, design, video production, electronics, coding, family and playing computergames - just random things dudes do in their freetime. :)
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Answer: First of all thanks for the interview and as mentioned above, dont forget: “MANDATORY is mandatory listening”!


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Withdrawn/Demented/Great Dane Records/2014 Split CD Review


  This  is  a  review  of  a  split  album  between France's  Withdrawn  and  Demented  which  will  be  released  later  this  month  by  Great  Dane  Records  and  we  will  start  off  the  review  with  Withdrawn  as  band  that  plays  a  very  melodic  form  of  blackened  death  metal.

  Drums  and  powerful  sounding  bass  guitars  start  off  their  side  of  the  split  before  going  for  more  of  a  death  metal  direction  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  leads  and  after  awhile  blast  beats  and  growls  are  added  into  the  music  and  the  band  also  uses  a  good  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast parts.  and  on  the  second  track  black  metal  screams  are  added  into  the  music  and  the  music  starts  going  for  more  of  a  brutal  blackened  death  metal  sound.

  Withdrawn  takes  the  old  school,  brutal  and  melodic  styles  of  death  metal  and  mixes  it  in  with  a  heavy  black  metal  influence  to  create  their  own  sound,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  violent  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Withdrawn  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  and  brutal  blackened  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  their  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Relentless  Fear  Hammer".

  Next  up  is  Demented  a  band  that  plays  a  very  dark  and  old  school  form  of  death  metal.

  A  very,  dark  and  melodic  old  school  death  metal  sound  starts  off  their  side  of  the  split  before  getting  a  lot  more  heavier  and  adding  in  growling  vocals  and  after  awhile  blast  beats  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  their  side  of  the  split  and  you  can  hear  a  great  amount  of  talent  and  skill  in  the  way  they  approach  the  instrumental  assault  and  the  band  also  sticks  to  mostly  a  slow  to  mid  paced  musical  direction  while  the  last  track  shows  the  band  going  for  more  of  a  faster  direction  before  slowing  down  a  band  and  giving  their  music  more  of  a  ritualistic  feeling.

  Demented  plays  an  early  90's  style  of  death  metal  that  displays  a  great amount  of  talent  and  skill,  the  production  sound s very  old  school  yet  professional  at  the  same  time  while  the  lyrics  cover  a  dark  subject  matter.

  In  my  opinion  Demented  are  a  very  great  sounding  old  school  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  their  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Mystical  Experience".

  In  conclusion  I  feel  this  is  a  very  great sounding  split  and  I  would  recommend  it  to  all  fans  of  black  and  death  metal.  8  out  of  10.  

Monday, October 6, 2014

Maahlas/Nightmare Years/2014 Full Length Review


  Maahlas  are  a  band  from   Norway  that  plays  a  very  melodic  and  progressive  form  of  black/death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2014  album  "Nightmare  years".

  A  very  fast,  aggressive  and  melodic  black  metal  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  aggressive  screams  and  angry  sounding  shouts  and  a  few  seconds  later  they  start  adding  more  symphonic  elements  in  their  musical  sound  as  well  as  a  good  mixture  between  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  You  can  hear  a  great  amount  of  progressive  death  metal  parts  in  the  bands  musical  style  as  well  as  acoustic  guitars  being  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  as  well  as  being  showcased  in  a  brief  instrumental  later  on  during  the  album  which  also  bring  in  an  early  Opeth  influence  and  after  awhile  the  vocals  starting  adding  more  of  a  deeper  death  metal  orientated  sound  while  also  still  using  black  metal  vocals  and  after  awhile  the  faster  parts  start  adding  in  more  elements  of  thrash  and  the  modern  Norwegian  black  metal  sound  as  well  as  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  parts.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  solos  and  leads  the  band  uses  are  in  more  of  a  melodic  musical  direction  and  the  band  also  adds  in  elements  of  prog  to  both  the  synths  and  guitars  and  on  some  of  the  alter  tracks  there  is  the  addition  of  clean  singing  which  also  adds  more  to  the  atmospheric  side  of  the  bands  musical  style  while  the  heavier  and  faster  parts  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  at  times.

  Maahlas  takes  a  very  melodic  style  of  Norwegian  black  metal  and  mixes  it  with  death  and  progressive  metal  to  create  and  album  that  is  very  heavy  yet  atmospheric  and  original  all  at  the  same  time,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  are  a  concept  album  based  on  the  confusions  and  frustrations  of  life  along  with  a  touch  of  mythology.

  In  my  opinion  Maahlas  are  a  very  great  sounding  progressive  and  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Sun  Of  The  Sumerian"  "An  Ancestral  Memory"  ":Nightmare  Years"  and  "Simulacrum  of  Reality".  8  out  of  10.  

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Manimalism Interview

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

Manimalism was formed in Oslo in 1992 under the name Taarenes Vaar. We played Black Metal with a dissonant twist, and soon evolved further away from what people associated with pure Black Metal. We released one cassette demo in 1996 and one in 1997. After years of turmoil we have now finished our first album, featuring the same tracks which appeared on the demo cassettes along with two tracks written during the same time period. The line-up is Petter ‘Plenum’ Berntsen (Virus, Audiopain) on bass, Bjeima (Yurei, Alfa Obscura) on drums, Joachim Svebo on vocals, Member 01 (The Konsortium) on vocals, and me on guitars.


2.You have your first full length album coming out in November, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

Metal. To me it is that simple. Some people call it Avant-garde Metal and post-Black Metal, so I sometimes use those terms to describe it, just to make it easy for myself.


3.You had a few demos you released in the 90's but this is the first official album, can you tell us a little bit more about the delay?

The years following the releases of our two demos were a constant struggle. Firstly, I was a young and ambitious man with much too high expectations of myself and those around me. Being a total perfectionist breeds a lot of problems, and problems take time. So, there were years of chaos, with members coming and going and recording sessions not meeting my standards. For long periods of time during these years I simply focused on other music, being fatigued by all the problems associated with Manimalism. I decided to let the album take the time it needed to reach a point where it could be released. That time is now.


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

The Animal in Man. Death, lust, and the labyrinth of mammal insanity.


5.While the music is rooted in black metal, I have noticed that you keep all of the vocals clean are you open to using more harsh vocals on future releases?


We had harsh vocals on both of our demos, along with sung vocals. But I don’t feel that kind of vocal style fits my lyrics or mental state at his point, and it might never fit again.


6.The band was originally known as 'Taarenes Vaar', What was the decision behind the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Manimalism'?

In the late nineties I wanted to part ways with the Norwegian lyrics, and therefore wanted an English name that also felt less melodramatic. The interpretation of Manimalism is open to anyone, but the themes of the lyrics are pretty much mirrored in the band name.



7.Has the band done any shows or is this strictly a studio project?

We have never played any shows. If all the members lived in the same city and wanted to play live I would be ready to play right now.



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

It is still early, ask me again in a couple of months and I will know more.


9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

This album pretty much nails the sound of Manimalism. Although the core of the more current material is the same, the spectrum is much wider. Manimalism has always been, and will probably always be, Metal with dissonant guitars, sneaky bass lines, great drumming, and crooning perverts.


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?

Some of the early influences are the early days of Norwegian Black Metal, Voivod, Celtic Frost, Morbid Angel, Thorns, Ved Buens Ende, and some Doom bands. And very importantly: a lot of non-Metal music. I am not much into thinking about music in terms of genres. Give me quality, integrity, expression, wisdom, and a proper dose of sadistic entertainment and I am game.


11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Anything that assists me in feeling that I am alive right now.


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

Manimalism will be out November 17. on gold and black vinyl. This is so far a vinyl only release. Order from Adversum via the official distributor Neuropa Records.


… 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Singularity/Self titled/2014 Full Length Review


  Singularity  are  a  band  from  Arizona  that  plays  a  mixture  of  symphonic  black  metal  and  technical  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  and  self  titled  2014  album.

  A  very  melodic  and  symphonic  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  grim  black  metal  screams  and  deep  death  metal  growls  and  after  awhile  the  music  speeds  up  and  adds  blast  beats  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  they  also  add  in  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing  and  spoken  whispers  on  one  of  the  tracks.

  At  times  the  music  can  be  very  progressive  which  they  display  very  well  on  the  instrumental  and  the  solos  and  leads  the  band  uses  are  in  a  very  melodic  musical  direction  and  on  the  later tracks  the  band  starts  bringing  in  a  good  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  a  few  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  one  of  the  later  tracks  brings  in  a  sampled  choir  along  with  the  synths  using  a  variety  of  many  different  keys  which  also  does  not  take  away  from  the  heavier  elements  and they  also  bring  in  s  brief  use  of  clean  singing  on  a  couple  of  the  songs.  

  Singularity  takes  a  very  symphonic  and  melodic  style  of  black  metal  and  mixes  it  in  with  the  more  progressive  and  technical  side  of  death  metal  to  create  a  very  different  approach  to  the  way  black  metal  is  played  as  well  as  helping  the  genre  to  evolve,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  science  fiction  and  utopian  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Singularity  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  symphonic  black  metal  and  technical  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "A  Withdrawal  of  Salvation"  "Monolith"  "Utopian  Flesh"  and  "The  Resolution".  8  out  of  10.

    

Thursday, October 2, 2014

PreEmptive Strike 0.1 Interview


1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new ep?
JIM: We have just finished our new pure electronic CD(the 5th one) that will be released by the famous electronic label INFACTED RECORDINGS once again. But we will have a collaboration with the Polish old school black metal band BLACK ALTAR. This will be a hard, guitar-driven track that will surely interest the extreme metal fans that read this interview. Besides this we have done a cover of a well-known song of the power metal band SABATON!

2.Recently you have released a new ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
JIM: Well our sound can be describe as dark electro with hard guitars and a combination of distorted industrial vocals and death/black metal growls! Note that we avoided using danceable beat (except on the last track that is a remix) even though we have drum programming. In the 2 exclusive tracks of the vinyl we used real drums including a blastbeat. Surely as a whole the mcd and the vinyl differ a lot of our 4 previous dark electro cds, but it is close to the remix mcd that we did last year with AD HOMINEM. On each of our last 2 cds we had a collaboration with an artist from the extreme metal scene or some guitar driven tracks. So the original PIERCE THEIR HUSK is taken from our 4th cd‘’TALOS’’ and one alternative version of INTERSTELLAR THREAT can be found on our 3rd cd :”THE KOSMOKRATOR’’.

3.This is the first recording to be released in the past 2 ½ years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
JIM: During these 2 1/2 years we did a remix mcd for AD HOMINEM named SLAVES OF GODS TO THE GALLOWS but unfortunately their label (DARKER THAN BLACK) didn’t promote it as it should so many people thought that we were inactive during this period.

4.What are some of the themes and concepts you bring out with your musical sound?
JIM: Generally sci-fi themes that have to do with the sci-fi b movies of the 50s. So we have written about all the possible ways that aliens can invade the earth! With spaceships, with flying saucers armed with deathrates, with burried capsules that wait aeons to function again, as beings that have morbid plans to resurrect the dead on earth, as microorganisms, as plants, as insects mutations, as human replicants and with any possible way that these legendary movies have described! I could write many pages about my lyrics that have to do with alien invasion! My favorite of all is the battle of earthlings with alien insects about which I have written 3 tracks so far…. Apart from this, we have also written about horror themes and on our 2 latest cds about Greek mythology.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'PreEmptive Strike 01'?
George: A preemptive strike is a tactical military surprise attack with the aim to destroy the enemy’s ability to respond or retaliate. We chose it because it is fitting for the sci-fi themes our lyrics usually refer to. It was a cool and unusual name, memorable too, and noone had used it before so we went for it.

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?
JIM: The answer to this is very easy: We did 2 great shows in May of 2007 one in Edinburgh in the Dark City festival and later one show at the famous WAVE GOTHIC TREFFEN in Leipzig in front of 1500 people.

7. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
JIM: Yes we have plans but first the organizers should book us to play....It is really sad that since 2007 we haven’t played outside Greece. Probably we have to find a tour manager or agency to book us for some shows abroad. So if a promoter is read this interview....We ask only for the tickets and the accommodation for 2 persons...

8. On the new album you had a few quests, can you tell us a little bit more about what they contributed to the ep?
Jim: Yes definitely, Niklas Kvarforth of Shining sung on some of our songs specifically on the vinyl.(PIERCE THEIR HUSK, THE WAR AGAINST THE BUGS, INSECT INTRUDE) Then Kristoffer Oustad and Eddie Risdal from the Norwegian Death metalers V28 contributed some vocals and guitars on our song INTERSTELLEAR THREAT. Then we did together with AGGREASH and Nephastus(ex BELPHEGOR,ex DEBAOUTCHERY ,ex ZOMBIE INC) from the German black/death industrial metal band LYFTHRASYR the song ‘’THE NEW ERA OF IMMORTALITY. Regarding the remixers, the guys from SKILTRON NV101 are members of the black metal bands ENSHADOWED and VULTURINE. Behind the remix from NYNE is PSY CON NYNE the guy that plays live guitars for SEPTIC FLESH when they tour worldwide. VIGILANTE is one of the biggest names in the industrial metal scene and finally the last remix is done in collaboration between the dark electro bands NANO INFECT and DEGENERATED SEQUENCES

9.The new ep was released by Sonic Hell Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
Actually it is a sub label of the serious and elitist Polish black metal label ODIUM RECORDS. Shadow, its owner, has decided to establish Sonic hell in order to release more dark electro, industrial and ambient stuff. We made the start and we are hoping he does not regret it and releases cds from other bands too. His promotion work is the same as the one he does with his main label so his bands have worldwide promotion and distribution to the metal audience and fans.

10. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer recording by fans of harsh electronic music and extreme metal?
It is positive so far but it is still too early. I was afraid that this release possibly is too metal for the dark electro fans and too electronic for the extreme metal fans but we received very good reviews from both and we managed to enter the German electronic web charts - something that we didn’t expect! I think of course that the name of Niklas Kvarforth played its role ;)

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
This year we added a new member to the band (YIANNIS DESEQ) that contributes with synths and production aspects. He adds a ‘’more epic’’ touch to our sound so we will continue to release dark electro releases via INFACTED RECORDINGS and on each release we will have at least one collaboration with artists from the extreme metal scene. If we collect again a number of such collaborations we will gather them on a cd and possibly we will release it via a metal label as we did this year.

12. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Jim: Well I think that our sound is unique in general especially in our last 2 cds. Initially we were influenced by S.I.T.D., DECODED FEEDBACK, GOD MODULE but this is past now. But I can easily tell what I am listening to nowadays as I follow and buy new music in cds and vinyl continuously.
From the dark electro/ebm scene (that is 70% of my purchases) I like: FEINDFLUG, FUNKER VOGT, E-CRAFT ,TYSKE LUDDER, HEIMATAERDE, HOCICO, DECODED FEEDBACK, SUICIDE COMMANDO, FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, FGFC 820. From the metal scene (that is the other 30% of my purchases) I like RED HARVEST (My favorite metal band ever), SUMMONING, RAMMSTEIN, FEAR FACTORY, ALESTORM, SEPTIC FLESH, EX DEO,SAMAEL, FINNTROLL, AMON AMARTH, MINISTRY,ROB ZOMBIE. Btw the best cd that I have listened to in 2014 so far is ‘’TITAN’’ by SEPTIC FLESH!
George :S.I.T.D,E-CRAFT,DECODED FEEDBACK.ASSEMBAGE 23,FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY from the dark electro/ebm scene and I also listen to various genres of metal and even trance/edm

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
Jim: For 20 years now I have had the same interests! I am into hard body building (which is where the nickname JIM ‘THE BLASTER’ originates) and I also playing football and I am really fanatic with my football team and with this sport in general. Besides sports I am always buying tons of CDs and vinyls and I watch sci-fi and horror films.
George:My hobbies are reading and comprtitive gaming

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you very much for the interview. Even we have given tons of interviews to the printed or the web magazines that belong to the dark electro/ebm scene this is the first interview that we have done with a web magazine from the extreme metal scene so we are really glad about this. And we finish this interview with a statement: “Dark music is one, whether it is extreme metal or dark electro. That is a fact’’.


PREEMPTIVE STRIKE 0.1 
JIM THE BLASTER:VOCALS,LYRICS,DRUM PROGRAMMING,SAMPLES,SEQUENCES,ARRAGEMENTS
CRYON(GEORGE):SYNTH PROGRAMMING,SEQUENCES,ARRANGEMENTS
YIANNIS DSEQ:SYNTH PROGRAMMING,SEQUENCES,ARRAGEMENTS,PRODUCTION
 
DISCOGRAPHY
LETHAL DEFENCE SYSTEMS cd 2006(INFACTED RECORDINGS)
EXTINCTION REPROGRAMMED cd 2008(INFACTED RECORDINGS EUROPE-COP INTERNATIONAL USA)
THE KOSMOKRATOR cd 2010 EUROPEAN VERSION(INFACTED RECORDINGS)
THE KOSMOKRATOR cd 2010 USA VERSION(METROPOLIS)
T.A.L.O.S cd 2012 EUROPEAN VERSION(INFACTED RECORDINGS)
T.A.L.O.S cd 2012 USA VERSION(METROPOLIS)
AD HOMINEM:SLAVES OF GOD TO THE GALLOWS THE PREEMPTIVE STRIKE 0.1 REWORKS mcd digipack 2013(DARKER THAN BLACK
PIERCE THEIR HUSK 7'' Vinyl 2014 (SONIC HELL/ODIUM RECORDS)
PIERCE THEIR HUSK mcd digipack 2014 (SONIC HELL/ODIUM RECORDS)

Saille/Eldritch/Code666/2014 CD Review


  Saille  are  a  band  from  Belgium  that  plays  a  very  symphonic  and  melodic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Eldritch"  which  will  be  released  in  November  by  Code666.

  A  very  dark,  atmospheric  and  ambient  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  heavy  and  melodic  riffing  a  few  seconds  later  which  leads  up  to  come  death  metal  growls  before  speeding  up,  adding  in  blast  beats  and  high   pitched  screams  which  in  return  takes  the  recording  into  more  of  a  symphonic  black  metal  direction.

  There  is  a  good  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  throughout  the  recording  and  the  keyboards  bring  in  some  elements  that  have  not  been  done  on  a  symphonic  black  metal  recording  since  the  days  of  Limbonic  Art  and  Tartaros  and  when  solos  and  leads  are  added  onto  the  album  they  bring  more  of  a  melodic  black  metal  dimension  to  the  bands  compositions  as  well  as  some  melodic  clean  singing  being  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

  Clean  playing  is  added  onto  some  of  the  tracks  at  times  as  well  as  some  of  the  heavier  parts  bringing  in  a  death  metal  influence  and  after  awhile  spoken  word  parts  are  added  into  certain  sections  of  a  few  songs  along  with  a  good  amount  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  album  always  has  a  dark  atmosphere  being  evoked  throughout  the  recording.

  Saille  plays  a  very  epic  and  symphonic  style  of  melodic  black  metal  on  this  recording  that  goes  back  to  the  90's  era  of  the  genre  and  they  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  darkness  that  has  not  been  present  in  this  genre  for  years,  the  production  sound s very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism,  Paganism  and  the  writings  of  H.P  Lovecraft  and  Edgar  Allan  Poe.

  In  my  opinion  Saille  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  and  symphonic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Walpurgis"  "The  Great  God  Pan"  "Eater  of  Worlds"  adn  "Dagon".  8  out of  10.      

  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mandatory/Catharsis/2014 CD Review


  Mandatory  are  a  band  from  Austria  that  plays  a  very  melodic  form  of  blackened  death  metal  with  touches  of  thrash  and  progressive  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2014  album  "Catharsis".

  A  very  modern  sounding  and  melodic  thrash  metal  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  aggressive  vocals  bordering  on  death  metal  and  after  a  couple  of  minutes  spoken  word  parts  are  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  some  guitar  solos  and  leads  that  display  a  very  melodic  and  old  school  style  of  metal  being  added  into  the  bands  modern  approach  to  metal.

  After  awhile  the  music  starts  adding  in  more  melodic  elements  of  Swedish  black  and  death  metal  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with clean  singing  vocals  being  mixed  in  with  the  more  extreme  parts  at  times  and  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  the  band  starts  utilizing  more  blast  beats  along  with  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing  and  after  awhile  more  progressive  metal  influences  and  a  small  amount  of  synths  become  a  part  of  the  album.

  Mandatory  takes  a  very  modern  style  of  thrash  metal  and  mixes  it  in  with  the  more  melodic  and  heavy  sides  of  black  and  death  metal along  with  a  touch  of  prog  metal  to  create  their  musical  style  and  while  this  is  not  something  I  regularly  listen  to,  I  still  feel  the  band  is  very  good  for  what  they  are  trying  to  achieve,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  real  life  themes  along  with  a  3  part  concept  being  presented  on  the  recording.

  In  my  opinion  Mandatory  are  a  very  decent  and  melodic  sounding  mixture  of  black,  death,  thrash  and  prog  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "End  Of  Watch"  "Emperor"  "For  the  World  To  See"  and  "Blueprint".  7/5  out  of  10.