Friday, February 27, 2015

Ovid's Withering/Scryers Of Ibis/Unique Leader Records/2015 CD Re-Issue Review


  Ovid's  Withering  are  a  band  from  Florida  that  plays  a  mixture  of  symphonic  black  metal,  brutal  death  metal  and  metalcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2013  album  "Scryers  Of  Ibis"  which  will  be  re-issued  in  March  by  Unique  Leader  Records.

  A  very  fast,  brutal  and  technical  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  mixture  of  black  metal screams  and  deep  death  metal  growls  before  adding  in  metalcore  breakdowns  and  symphonic  elements  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  During  the  faster  sections  you  can  hear  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  being  utilized  and  the  solos  and  leads  the  band  uses  are  very  melodic  and  technical  sounding  and  some  of  the  tracks  also  bring  in  elements  of  djent  and  modern  prog  metal  and  some  of  the  songs  also  add  spoken  word  parts  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  the  symphonic  elements  getting  more  epic  at  times and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  as  the  album  progresses  some  of  the  tracks  add  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  singing.

  Ovid's  Withering  takes  a  brutal  style  of  death  metal  and  mixes  it  with  symphonic  black  metal  and  metalcore  to  create  something  original  and  while  the  metalcore  elements  are  not  my  thing,  I  can  respect  the  band  for  doing  something  very  original  and  I  feel  they  are  very  good  at  what  they  do,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Greek  Mythology.

  In  my  opinion  Ovid's  Withering  are  a  very  decent  sounding  mixture  of  symphonic  black  metal,  technical  death  metal  and  metalcore  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Oedipus  Complex"  "Acheron"  "The  God  Of  Shepherds  And  Flocks"  and  "Panikon  Diema".  7  out  of  10.

  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Synkvervet/Trollspeil/2014 Full Length Review


  Synkvervet  are  a  band  from  Norway  that  plays  a  mixture  of  symphonic  black  metal  and  pagan/folk  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2014  album  "Trollspeil".


  A  very  epic  and  neo-folk  synth  sound  starts  off  the  album  and  after  a  minute  the  music  starts  going  into  more  of  a  melodic  black  metal  direction  that  also  introduces  blast  beats  and  grim  yet  high  pitched  screams  to t he  recording  which  they  also  mix  in  with  symphonic  elements  along  with  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  On  some  of  the  tracks  operatic  female  vocals  can  be  heard  while  some  of  the  sections  bring  in  a  few  seconds  of  death  metal  growls  at  times  and  you  can  also  hear  a  touch  of  modern  prog  metal  in  the  bands  musical  style  at  times  and  as  the  album  progresses  the  synths  start  bringing  in  more  of  a  haunting  atmosphere  and  also  start  adding  in  more  elements  of  folk  music  and  as  the  album  progresses  clean  singing  male  vocals  can  be  heard  on  some  of  the  songs  while  a  couple  of  later  tracks  also  brings  in  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Synkvervet  plays  a  style  of  symphonic  black  metal  that  brings  in  a  touch  of  pagan  and  folk  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sound s very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  a  mixture  of  both  Norwegian  and  English  and  cover  Nordic  Paganism,  Mythology,  Folklore,  Nature  and  Mysticism.

  In  my  opinion  Synkvervet  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  symphonic  black  metal  and  pagan/folk  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Horns  of  Vengeance"  "Inner  Sanctum"  "Clearwater  Diamonds"  and  "Angelfall".  8  out  of  10.

  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cruenta Lacrymis Interview

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

1-The band was founded in September 2012 by the guitarist Daniele, drummer Teo and bassist Erika. The initial idea was to create a similar product of Cradle Of Filth and Dimmu Borgir, very important bands for Cruenta LaCrymis' influences.
Daniele and Teo produce the material in a short time - in the studio of the guitarist were mixed aggressive riffs and melodic idea, together with concept of symphonic and horror.
In this moment the band must take a voice that would give meaning for the project.
After a various selection finally Elena joined the band. Elena offers a more personal style for Cruenta LaCrymis, also writing stronger lyrics.

2.So far you have released a full length and a demo, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings?

2-The sound wants to be dark,melodic, powerful and aggressive.

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

3-text feed on violent and painful sensations, mental states of complex magma indefinite

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

4-Cruenta LaCrymis is undefined words,inspired a work of Dario Argento, cult Italian horror director.Is a Latin language modified,it means “Tears of blood”.

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

5-Best live at Padova Metal Fest (August 2014), support to Nightrage (July 2014), support Frantic Amber (September 2014), support Necrodeath (January 2015), support to Dark Lunacy (February 2015).
The show wants to be visual and musical power, trying to involve the public!

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

6-We're planning a promo tour in Italy for "Sweetness and blasphemy", with the intention to perform in other countries!


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

7-7-The album has just been released, but it seems to have a good response!

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

8-Erika plays bass with Cellulite Star, punk rock female Italian band.

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

9-We will try even more dark and violent sonority,trying to maintain modernity in the sound and composition

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?

10-Cradle of filth,Dimmu Borgir,Arch Enemy,Moonspel,Dark Lunacy,Slayer .

11. Does Occultism play any role in your music?

11-Only a small part.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

12-12-Drink ,sex and rock’n roll !!!!!!

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

13-We thank those who are working for us with passion and all the fans who support us in Live and the We

Monday, February 23, 2015

Yonder Realm Interview

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

Absolutely.  Yonder Realm is a five piece folk metal band from Long Island, NY that has been active since 2009. We have had the privilege to share the stage with some of the biggest names in folk metal during New York and New Jersey tour dates including Korpiklaani, Turisas, Tyr, Alestorm, Arkona, Blackguard, and many more. We also appeared as the first international act to ever perform on the Semana del Rock festival in Quito, Ecuador 2013. We have just recently signed to Maple Metal Records.

2.Recently you have released a new album, 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?

I would describe the sound of The Old Ways as having a majestic blend of some of the oldest and newest styles of music. It is a very heavy album that is in spirit, defined by the extreme melodic death, thrash, and even black metal punch to it all. It has a fluent Celtic folk tone, with a mix of classical and cinematic elements. On top of all that, an unmistakable influence of many different forms of world music including even Asian and African styles can be heard at parts throughout the album. The bottom layer of the music is seasoned with electronic spacey sounds throughout the albums entirety, which really sets this music apart from our previous work.

3.According to the bands fb page, the band refers to itself as 'cosmic folk metal;, can you tell us a little bit more about this tag?

Cosmic folk metal is basically an attempt to convey all that I would describe the band’s new sound as, in a simplistic term. We are a folk metal band, and what I think differentiates us from others is the spacey/ cosmic overlay of synthesizers, pads, and strings. On top of that, our music is filled with flute and violin melodies, with guitars often complimenting each other in harmonies. These factors are vital to the term “cosmic” put at the beginning of the tag, for they provide the spacey tone added to the folk metal mix.

4.With the new album and single that where released recently there was no new material for 3 years before that, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap between releases?

Yes, the gap was largely in part to a lot of focus going into playing many shows and getting our name out there before we released new music. We also had a line-up change with acquiring a new bass player, Eddie Carrella, as well as adding keyboardist/ violinist Dana Lengel to the band making us a five piece for the first time ever. This change also altered the music for the new album, with the new members making significant contributions to our sound.

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

Lyrical topics include astronomical phenomenon, nature, anti-theism, mythology, Druidism, animals, spirituality, and anything else that happens to come to mind by any means of inspiration.

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Yonder Realm'?

I wouldn’t necessarily say there is meaning behind the name as much as I would say it has a nice ring to it. Inspiration for the name comes from an interest in discovery and exploration of the mind, and the boundaries of fantasy and reality.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

I think most of us would have to say the best show we ever played was the Semana del Rock festival in Quito, Ecuador during the summer of 2013. It was totally unlike any show we had ever played, with the reaction from the crowd being absolutely amazing. We have been dying to return to South America ever since. We’ve also played a lot of great gigs at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City (they have been known to refer to us as the “house Pagan band” there) which includes our performance at Paganfest 2012 as well as many other folk metal shows. Our stage performance is one that has a lot of elements and happenings such as full intros and outros, fierce energy from the band shown through headbanging and dancing, and even the switching of instruments during songs.

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

Oh yes! Everything is currently in the works, but were working on a US/ Canada tour with our new label Maple Metal Records. On top of that we’ve been confirmed for some summer festivals that will be announced quite soon!

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of both extreme and folk metal?

Better then we could have ever hoped for. Our musical style definitely appeals to more of a European and South American audience so far, but we are warmly welcomed by the US folk metal scenes that do exist in the nooks of the states. The album has gotten really great reviews from webzines worldwide.

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

 Yes our bass player Eddie currently plays for a Long Island, melodic metal band called To the Depths. Other then that though, none at the moment.

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

Yonder Realm will always be musically the folk metal band we set out to be from the very beginning, only through experience and adaption will our music change and take new form with future releases. We are all very happy with the musical direction we’ve taken thus far and are extremely eager to release more of our music.

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?

Speaking for most of us to some degree, a lot of where we gain our metal influence comes from Swedish death metal, and other European melodic metal bands like In Flames (old), Children of Bodom, At the Gates, Soilwork, Wintersun, Dimmu Borgir, etc. On top of that, the band is heavily influenced by movie and video game soundtracks, as well as folk music of all types though mostly Celtic. As of late, my music choices have been artists such as Shpongle, Finntroll, Alice in Chains, the Pogues, Lunasa, Equilibrium, the Doors, Eluveitie, Down, Blood Ceremony, Eyehategod, and the Faceless to name a few.

13.Does Paganism play any role in your music?

It definitely does somewhat lyrically with certain themes bearing influence from Pagan mythology and Druidism.

14.What are some of your non musical interests?

Reading fiction by writers such as Michael Moorcock, J.R.R Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Terry Goodkind, George R.R. Martin, Hunter S. Thompson, as well as nonfiction by writers such as Sam Harris, Carl Sagan, Terence McKenna, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens to name a few. Other interests of mine include hiking, RPGs such as The Elder Scrolls series, psychedelic research, cats, meditation, and science.

15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Many thanks for the interview! And to all those reading check out our new album The Old Ways and pick yourself up a copy if you like what you hear! Cheers, and support underground folk metal!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Aethyr Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the record- ing of the new album?

D - We've got the master of the album in our hands by the end of the summer 2014. Since then we've been doing some gigs & making new tracks, thinking about making a record for the future split or EP. New tracks are very different from the CORPUS! Also we were making video for CVLT single.

W - Also we were drawing a new artwork for the release.


2.You have a new album coming out this year, 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?

D - Aethyr has started as a duo, but now we are four-piece band. It was a long way from blackened-industrial-drone with only Aleister Crowley on the vocals, to the thing we've recorded for CORPUS.

W - I think that we are still trying to find out our own musical sound. We continue to try new things and mix styles in different proportions.


3.This is to be the first full length since 2010 and the first release since the split since 2012, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?

D - After the split came out in 2012 we became full four-piece band and started making all the music together, also making live shows. Music became more and more difficult and when we had enough material we went to the studio, but wasn't really ready. So we've re-recorded the album in 3 different studios during 2013 & 2014. During that time Aethyr came stronger as a band & have made some new tracks that we've decided also to record for the album and leave some old (more drone sounded) tracks behind.


4.Your lyrics cover Occultism and Esoteric Disciplines, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?

W – As for me, it all has as metaphysical and as poetic sense. In order to understand the world we think of metaphors and signs. It's a way and attempt to look beyond reality. Staying alone with Abyss and comprehend himself and alone with the absolute.


5.I know that the bands name means the fifth element or spirit in occultism, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?

D – Our music – is the Aethyr for this world.

W - All our efforts in band it is a way to understand what is it Aethyr.


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?

W - We have not a many gigs during this time. We play usually where coincides with the spirit and atmosphere of the place and other musicians in small clubs. There was also a memorable experience - a concert in the woods, it was the video material for the video of the single "CVLT" (www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnhaDGprw_I ).


7. Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?

D – Supporting Primordial (IRL) is the nearest one. Tour – maybe.

W - We don’t thinking about that, but we open for any offers.


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

W - We are just beginning to assert itself, but nevertheless, thanks for the efforts of our label Cimmerian Shade Recordings - more people know about our music. And there are a few positive reviews already. This is very encouraging.


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

D - Our new tracks sounds more in melodic-black-death style. We speed up more and more)) Though we have one new classic doom-black track. But anyway - we don't want/don't like to make borders. If someone got a great drone/sludge riff - we'll make it, followed by great death riff, etc.


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?

D – Oh, there are so many of them…Nihilist, Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares, Ceremonial Oath, Behemoth, Slayer, Amenra, Celeste, Clint Mansell, Gunter Kallmann Chorus, The Ocean, SepticFlesh, Under Byen – to name a few.

W - There are too many. From bands playing dark ambient and drone to True Norwegian Black Metal. Old and relative new. And it's impossible to select one or two. I suppose it is a mixture of all of them )


11.What are some of your non musical interests?

D – Graphic design & photo, but music is the main interest all the time (with other projects & music styles).

W - We involved in art project http://rottenfantom.com/ together with my beautiful wife Elena. We making a dark and mysterious black and white illustrations. It is a second part of my life on a par with Aethyr.


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

W - Thanks a lot for the interesting questions. Music is an important part of human culture. It is a mixture that unites people across the globe. Listen to the good music and try not to do anything stupid! )

D – Ave A!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cruenta Lacrymis/Sweetness And Blasphemy/Metal Scrap Records/2015 CD Review


  Cruenta  Lacrymis  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  plays  a  symphonic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Sweetness  And  Blasphemy"  which  was  released  by  Metal  Scrap  Records.

  A  very  dark,  atmospheric  and  symphonic  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  a  few  seconds  later  that  have  a  grim  feeling  to  them  heavy  guitar  riffing  and  grim  screams  that  also  mix  in  with  the  symphonic  elements along  with  all  of  the  tracks  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.  

   A  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  hear  mixed  in  with  the  fast  parts  on  a  regular   basis  and  you  can  also  hear  a  lot  of  melody  throughout  the  recording  and  death  metal  growls  mix  in  quite  a  bit  with  black  metal  screams  throughout  the recording  and  the  solos  and  leads  the  band  uses  also  bring  in  a  good  mixture  of  melody,  talent  and  skill.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  some  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  thrash  and  modern  prog  metal  elements  and  as  the  album  progresses  clean  playing  along  with  a  little  bit  of  violins  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  the  main  focus  remains  on  a  heavy  and  symphonic  style  of  black/death  metal.

  Cruenta  Lacrymis  plays  a  very  old  school  style  of  symphonic  black  metal  that mixes  in  a  great  amount  of  death  metal  influences  to  update  their  musical  style  for  the  modern  day,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark,  poetic  and  anti  religion  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Cruenta  Lacrymis  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  symphonic  black  metal  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Steersman's  Course"  "The  Ghost  Of  The  Jew"  "Luxury"  and  "Sound Of  Soul".  8  out  of  10.      

Yonder Realm/The Old Ways/Maple Metal Records/2015 CD Review


  Yonder  Realm  are  a  band  from  new  York  that  plays  a  very  melodic  form  of  folk  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of t heir  2015  album  "The  old  Ways"  which  was  released  by  Maple  Metal  Records.

  A  very  medieval  folk  music  sound  starts  off  the  album  and  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  parts  that  kick  in  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  blackened  death  metal  growls  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  quite  a  bit  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  the music  also  brings  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  When  solos and   leads  are  utilized  they  are  in  a  very  melodic  yet  extreme  musical  direction  while  the  synths  also  bring  elements  of  progressive  rock  to  the  bands  musical  style  and  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  clean  singing  and  traces  of  prog  metal  can  be  heard  in  some  sections  of  the  tracks.

  A  great  amount  of the  heavy  parts  of  the  songs  display  a  great  amount  of  melodic  death  metal  influences  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  small  amount  of  acoustic  guitars  can  be  heard  at  times  along  with  a  small  amount  of  nature  samples  and  they  also  bring  in  a  brief  instrumental  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  on  the  following  tracks  and  the  last  song  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Yonder  Realm  play  a  style  of  folk  metal  that  is  a  bit  more  heavier  than  their  European  counterparts  and  also  mixes  in  a  lot  of  melodic  black,  death  and  prog  metal  elements  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sound s very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Goblins,  Beers,  Mysticism,  Paganism,  and  Kingdoms.

  In  my  opinion  Yonder  Realm  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  folk,  melodic  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Sacrifice  to  The  Old  Stone  Gods"  "The  Old  Ways"  "The  Pillars  of  Creation"  and  "The  Moonbeam  Road".  8  out  of  10.

    

Stone Circle 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?

We've just done a successful album launch show, and now we are booking as many gigs as possible, including a tour with Meta-Stasis in July, and some headline shows leading up to that. We're also working on some more video content to put out as well. Never a dull moment!

2.In December you had released a new album, 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?

We've had a bit of a gap between the last album and this one, we feel the song writing has matured, and more concise, but remaining diverse. Obviously over this time the recording quality is better, and more assured in how we sound as a band.

3.The band has been around since 2004 but so far has only released a demo, and 2 full length's, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap between releases?

We have released several EP's under a different name, which were a valid part of our evolution, however we decided we didn't want to re-release them under the new name. This is before the days of Facebook and even Myspace!

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

Mostly dark stories with some mythological themes, with some of our thoughts on religion, society and humanity thrown in for good measure! Easter Island, for example, is about the rise and fall of human life on the island, as a model for human life in general, and how self destructive humans can be.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Stone Circle'?

We are all from Gloucestershire which is in between, both the Avebury Stone Circles, and obviously Stone Henge, and we feel the subject matter of the band connects with nature, mythology and early humans relationship with the earth.

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've been lucky enough to play some fantastic shows in our time, including Bloodstock, Download and supporting Fleshgod Apocolypse, Breed 77, Evil Scarecrow (those guys are funny bastards), plus we love a packed out club gigs. We focus on playing well, enjoying the music ourselves, and hopefully transferring that energy to our audience.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

Yes (As above!), we're very excited to be joining the gruesome Meta-Stasis in July, but we have lots of other bands we want to tour with in the future as well!

8.The new album was released by Terrorizer Magazine, do you feel having this legendary magazine behind you has helped get your music out there a lot more easily heard?

It's certainly been an honour to be on the front cover of such an awesome magazine, and definitely helped us reach a wider audience. We wanted to make this album as easy as possible for people to get their hands on, so this was the best way to do this (along with free bandcamp downloads, soundcloud etc)

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of progressive death metal?

So far, the feedback has been very positive for the new album, especially by fans of progressive death metal. We like to think we've brought together our favourite parts of the metal genre, so there's plenty to appreciate, regardless of your usual preferred sub genre!

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

The band will always evolve, but no matter what changes happen as long as we're enjoying the music and feeling fore filled by what we're written. Hopefully people will want to come along for the ride!

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?

We all have quite a diverse taste in music in general between the four of us, and metal is only one part of it. There's some post-rock influences on the album, as well as classic metal bands like Gojira, Opeth, Meshuggah, Katatonia who are obvious influences. But in terms of song writing, we often take elements from other genres that are less closely related to metal.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

We all have quite different other interests! Joe does Martial Arts, is a coffee connoisseur and travelling. James (Rambo) is very into video/photography, media production and does marketing, and a qualified snowboard instructor! Sams main interest is playing rugby (if you ever see us live, you'll see why!), and enjoys a quiet fishing trip on the lakes of the countryside. Skelly (Tom) is a water sports instructor, and likes getting shitfaced...

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

Ha Final Thought is the last track on the album... We hope you enjoy the album and if you like it, share it! 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mortals/Repellers/Broken Limbs/2015 Split EP Review


  This  is  a  review  of  a  split  ep  between  New  York's  Mortals  and  Pennsylvania's  Repellers  and  we  will start  off  the  review  with  Mortals  a  band  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black  metal,  sludge  and  crust.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts out  with  horror  movie  samples  and  a  few  seconds  alter  the  music  starts  going  for  more  of  a  heavy  and  melodic  sludge/doom  metal  direction  along  with  some  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  you  can  also  hear  a  touch  of  post  metal  in  their  musical  style  and  you  can  hear  the  crust  influence  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  bit  and  the  lyrics  are  very  dark  along  with  a  powerful  sounding  production  on  their  8  minute  long  track.

  In  my  opinion  Mortals  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black  metal,  sludge  and  crust  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.

  Next  up  is  Repellers  a  band  that  plays  a  mixture  of  crust  and  grindcore.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  some clean  playing  and  after  a  minute  the  music  starts  going  into  more  of  a  heavy  direction  while  also  having  melodic  riffs  at  times  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  when  vocals  are  added  into  the  music  they  are  grim  screams  that  also  gives  the  music  a  black  metal  influence,  in  the  faster  sections  of  the  music  you  can  hear  some  d  beats  and  the  songs  at  times  also  bring  in  a  good  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  on  the  last  tack  clean  playing  makes  a  brief  return,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Repellers  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  crust  and  grind  with  black  metal  style  vocals  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band  and  their  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "False  Solace".

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

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sabhankra 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?

Hey guys ! We had a very fun recording session and finally we have released Seers Memoir prior to christmas time. For the moment we are very busy with getting prepared for our upcoming shows and writing materials for next album. (Yeah, there is no end for creation)

2.In December you had released a new album, 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?

Well, everything is different than before now. Before recording this album we had to fullfill our military services and it was quite dark and boring. So this album is result of a military service in -20 C. The sound is dark and cold in comparision with our old releases. Genre is much closer to black metal but also still not that evil to call it black metal for me. Guitar sound is as raw as this music can handle, since we hate this modern extremely compressed ENGL/MESA sound. People criticize this a lot but this is the sound that we like. More than that, now we do a "guitar music". We no more have a keyboard player and we write much more guitar melodies. Still there are some keyboard parts but we use samples for that when it comes to live shows.

3.This is the first album to be released in 3 years, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap between releases?

This is a very ugly answer to give, "military service"

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

We always wrote about wars, legends, power and hate. And this time we poured a bit blasphemy on it.

5.The band was originally known as 'Constantinopolis' what was the decision behind the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Sabhankra'?

Constantinopolis was my music project. I released 1 demo and 1 album with it. Then when it came to live shows, we decided to start SABHANKRA. It doesnt have a meaning, except the music we do.

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?

For stage performance all i can say is "we love headbang". Just check youtube :) Our best shows were with Amorphis (2010) and Necrophagist (2006-2010) I guess. We had nice time with funny people.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

Of course ; we plan a turkey tour and Russia and Balkan (i wish so) tour.

8.The new album was released on Haarbn productions, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

Haarbn is a sub-label of russian Metalism Records. They deserve some salutes with being so interested in our music from the beginning. They usually work with black/folk bands.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to the new album by fans of black and death metal?

Response is very good. The first press is almost sold-out. The feedback we got is mostly positive. (As I mentioned, some guys are so much in love with compressed guitar sounds. There is no need for every band to sound like Rammstein )

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

Indeed. I played with so many bands in past from very different genres. Our bass player now also playing with Crimson Hill. Our lead guitarist is obssesed with 80's rock and plays mostly glam when he is not with us. Drummer Mehmet earns his living as a drum-tech. Touring with famous turkish rock bands as a drummer and sometimes as a technician.

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

I dont think that we will go back to that era which we used to use those turkish folk instruments. At least not in near future. This epic real metal music that we do was our target since a long time. We are really happy with what we did in "seers memoir".

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?

Mithotyn, Thyrfing, Lost Horizon, Wintersun and Istapp. We used to listen King diamond, Death and Iced Earth for a very long time. But not the latest albums (at least for iced earth)

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

I am a gamer. I play Starcraft a lot. Also addicted to Final Fantasy and Resident Evil series. Süha spends most of his time with painting war vehicle and machine figures and plays paintball too. He has enough gun and rifle in his room to start a war :) And we all have a common hobby called "BEER"

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

Buy cd's, get the smell of a booklet hold it in your hands, support and feed the bands you like and give birth and faith to new ones. Thanks for nice question and for your interest. Good luck guys !

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Maleficentia/Finis Gloriae Mundi/Khaos Division Productions/2014 CD Review


  Maleficentia  are  a  band  from  France  that  plays  a  very  symphonic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Finis  Gloriae  Mundi"  which  was  released  by  Khaos  Division  Productions.

  A  very  sci-fi  and  symphonic  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  classical  elements  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  for  more  of  a  melodic  black  metal  sound  along  with  some  grim  screams  and  blast  beats  while  also  keeping  the  symphonic  elements  and  the  band  also  adds  deep  death  metal  growls  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

  There  is  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  present  throughout  the  recording  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  all  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  when  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  remain  true  to  a  melodic  black  metal  tradition  and  a  good  portion  of  the  tracks  are  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  At  time s the  synths  bring  in  a  feeling  of  an  old  gothic  horror  movie  soundtrack  and  they  also  bring  in  a  brief  instrumental  before  returning  back  to  vocals  on  the  following  tracks  along  with  some  songs  also adding  in  a  brief  use  of  classical  guitars  while  the  main  focus  remains  more  on  a  melodic  and  symphonic  style  of  black  metal.

  Maleficentia  plays  a  style  of  melodic  black  metal  that  is  very  symphonic  and  more  closer  to  the  90's  style  than  the  modern  day  version,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  war  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Maleficentia  are  a  very  great  sounding  symphonic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Among  Wilted  Hellebores"  "The  Crimson  Path"  and  "My  Last  Curse".  8  out  of  10.  

Nightland/Obsession/2015 Full Length Review


  Nightland  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  originally started  out  as  a  folk  metal  band  with  elements  of  power  and  death  metal  but  have  evolved  more  in  a  symphonic  and  melodic  black/death  metal  band  with  the  new  album  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2015  album  "Obsession"

  Avant  garde  and  classical  music  sounds  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  symphonic  elements  and  after  the  intro  the  music  starts  to  get  heavier  while  also  keeping  the  symphonic  elements  of  the  intro  and  also  adding in  blast beats  and  when  vocals  are  added  in  they  are  grim  yet  high  pitched  black  metal  screams.

  Clean  singing  vocals  can  be  heard  at  times  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  a  good  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  on  the  alter  songs  the  vocals  start  adding  in  more  growls  and  the  music  also  incorporates  a  great  amount  of  modern  melodic  death  metal  riffing  and  some  of  the  tracks  also  bring  in  choir vocals  and  spoken  word  parts  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  when  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  in  more  of  a  melodic  direction  and  they  close  the  album  with  an  orchestra  track.
 
  Nightland  takes  a  very  melodic  and  symphonic  style  of  black  metal  and  mixes  it  in  with  more  of  a  modern  death  metal  sound  to  create  a  musical  style  of  their  own,  the  production  sound s very  powerful  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark,  poetic  and  mythological  themes.

  In  my  opinion  are  a  very  great  sounding  symphonic  and  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Dreamless  Life"  "Icarus"  and  "Last  Dance  Of  A  Treacherous  Mind".  8  out  of  10.

          

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wrathage/Discipline/Maa Productions/2015 CD Review


  Wrathage  are  a  band  from  Finland  that  plays  a  symphonic  and  extreme  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Discipline"  which  was  released  by  Maa  Productions.

  Clean  singing  avant  garde  vocals  and  heavy  yet  melodic  guitar  riffs  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  death  metal  growls  and  symphonic  elements  a  few  seconds  later  and  after  awhile  the  music  incorporates  more  black  metal  screams  and  blast  beats  which  they  mix  in  with  the  avant  garde  and  symphonic  elements.

  Melodic  guitar leads  can  be  heard  on  a  regular  basis  throughout  the  recording  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  you  can  hear  quite  a  bit  off  the  90's  avant  garde  Norwegian  black  metal  sound  throughout  the  album  while  some  tracks  also  bring  in  more  of  a  modern  blackened  death  metal  sound  along  with  some  blast  beats  being  utilized  at  times  and  as  the  album  progresses  some  of  the  songs  also  incorporate  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  parts  and  some  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  they  close  the  album  with  a  cover  of  Morbid  Angel's  "Dawn  Of  Angry".

  Wrathage  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  heavily  in  the  symphonic  and  avant  garde  Nordic  black  metal  tradition  while  also  updating  their  song  with  elements  of  blackened  death  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  death,  fury,  hell  and  misanthropy  themes.

  In  my  opinion Wrathage  are  a  very  great  sounding  avant  garde  and  symphonic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Dark  Matter"  "Walking  To  Death"  "Reptilian"  and  "The  Crawlspace".  8  out  of  10.

  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Zaria Interview

.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
The band was founded in 2011. Initially we’ve experienced some line-up changes, but have stayed the same since 2012 (Inez, Nika, Miha, Jakob, Rok and Gašper). Our wish is to write original songs. We prefer an epic, folky touch to the music and this reflects strongly in our style. Each member contributes a part of themselves to what we do and create.

2.So far you have released a full length and an ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?
Our music is a blend of many different metal genres but we mostly describe our sound as a mixture of epic and folk metal and this influence is present in both of our releases. The difference between the two comes down to the EP being our first project, meaning we were still looking for the kind of sound that we wanted to achieve and also the songs have mostly been written by Inez and Miha. By the time we recorded the full length, we’ve already gained more experience and knew what lies ahead of us, allowing for better preparations. The main difference however is that each member contributed something to the full length, making it much more colourful.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Inez' lyrics are mostly about struggles in life and the ability to see good in every situation, but she has also written an imaginary story about our ancestors. Jakob is more into fiction and he's a storyteller. For Gašper, it could also be said that he's a storyteller, but his expression mostly comes through music, inside of which we can discover stories.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Zaria'?
At our first rehearsals (in 2011), each band member prepared some potential names for our band. In the end we have narrowed them down to two potential names, but according to MetalArchives, one of the two had already been »taken«. So the name that was left was Zaria. It is a name of a pagan goddess of morning and beauty. But we have also found out that Zaria is a name of one particular star – so this is where our logo comes from. We understand this name as a beginning of something new with the star as our guide.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Unfortunately, we haven’t had many shows so far, but I can say that each one is a bit better than the previous. We record most of our shows and we try to learn something from it. In general we agreed that the best show so far was when we played at Metaldays 2014, 2nd stage. Many people came to see us there and they were really great. They were dancing, headbanging and even lifted a rubber boat with 4 people in it into the air. The audience was very grateful and they gave us great feedback. Also the stage was bigger than any we have played before and we were able to move about more freely.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
There is no tour planned as of now, but there will be some gigs in the near future, including our first gig outside of Slovenia, which will take place in Waregem, Belgium on February 20th.

7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Having a label would be nice, but for now, we’re just going with the flow. We’ll see what opportunities arise.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of folk metal?
It has actually been great. I would not limit our fans only to those of folk metal, because many people who have expressed their support for us are not fans of folk metal at all. We incorporate elements of many different metal genres into our music and almost every headbanger can find something to their liking.
I have to say we had a great response worldwide even though our lyrics are written in our mother tongue.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
This is something we cannot say as of yet. Our style is developing all the time, because we try not to limit our inspiration and it sometimes leads us to take an unpredictable turn. We'll see what the future has in store for us.

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?
Well, the answer to this question is different for every individual band member. However, in general we all look up to early Nightwish. They really made a mark in metal music. But there are also other bands who inspire us: Eluveitie, Epica, Ensiferum, Dream Theater, Equilibrium ... the great movie composer Hans Zimmer is also a strong inspiration for us.

11.Does Paganism play any role in your music?
Paganism is in some way a part of us. It is magical, full of great stories and beliefs, but I wouldn’t say it plays a great role in our music. It is there, just not too prominent. We get our inspiration from different things: everyday life, stories, legends... and paganism is one of them.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Again, it's different for individual members. Rok does wine tasting and speaks a whole bunch of languages, Gašper is really into Japanese culture, Jakob likes reading fantasy novels, Nika loves to party, Inez studies singing at the Music Academy of Ljubljana and has already had some opportunities to present herself as a soloist in different operas, and Miha is married and has recently moved to his new home, so it is safe to say he has his hands full. We definitely want to let our friendship grow. We all strive for a better tomorrow. Some of us are still students, some already work. We all wish to be good at what we do, to have enough time for our loved ones and gain happiness from our other interests as we do from the music we create.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Music is something that comes from within. It's like a voice of our soul and as long as you're true to it, it can grow and blossom. If you write what you feel and really work from within, your music will definitely touch other’s hearts. So, every musician should stay true to themselves and let their soul blossom.
Also everyone has his or her own path of life. We wish them all to find it and to follow it without any doubt. Just follow your star and you'll find what you are looking for.
Beside this thoughts, we wish that people would enjoy listening to our music. J

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Bretwaldas of Heathen Doom/Seven Bloody Ramparts/Caligari Records/2014 Cassette Re-Issue Review


  Bretwaldas  of  Heathen  Doom  are  a  band  from  the  United  Kingdom  that  plays  a  mixture  of  stoner,  doom,  black  metal  and  crust  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2010  album  "Seven  Bloody  Ramparts"  which  was  re-issued  on  cassette  by  Caligari  Records.

  A very  dark  black  metal  sound  starts  off  the  album  before  going  into  more  of  a  crust  direction  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  music  also  incorporates  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  after  awhile  the  music  starts  bringing  in  more  of  a  doom  metal  style  along  with  some  vocals  that  are  both  aggressive  and  melodic  at  the  same  time.

  When  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  very  melodic  and  in  some  of  the  songs  a  small  amount  of  acoustic  guitars  are  utilized  and  there  are  also  a  couple  of  tracks  that  are  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow  and  mid  paced  parts  and  the  songs  bring  in  a  lot  of  80's  metal  and  punk  elements  but  done  in  more  of  a  modern  day  fashion.

  Bretwaldas  Of  Heathen  Doom  plays  a  style  that  is  a  little  bit  more  closer  to  old  school  crust  and  doom  and  they  update  the  music  by  mixing  in  elements  of  black  metal  and  stoner  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  yet  raw  at  the  same  time  while  the  lyrics  cover  Heathenism  and  Old  English  Forests.

  In  my  opinion  Bretwaldas  Of  Heathen  Doom  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  stoner,  doom,  black  metal  and  crust  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Raising  The  Wind"  "Flight  of  Curse"  and  "Smite".  8  out  of  10.    

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Stone Circle/Self Titled/Terrorizer Records/2014 CD Review


  Stone  Circle  are  a  band  from  the  United  Kingdom  that  plays  a  very  modern  and  progressive  form  of  death  metal  which  also  has  elements  of  melodic  black  metal  and  doom  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2014  album  which  was  released  by  Terrorizer  Records.

  Bee  noises  start  off  the  album  before  the  music  goes  into  a  heavy  and  modern  prog  metal  direction  along  with  some  deep  death  metal  growls  which  also  bring  in  black  metal  screams  at  times  and  you  can  also  hear  a  lot  of  melody  and  technical  elements  in  the  bands  musical  sound  and  the  solos  and  leads  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  talent,  skill  and  melody  to t he  band s musical  style.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  also  bring  in  a  trace  of  post  metal  at  times  and  you  can  also  hear  some  clean  singing  being  utilized  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  some  of  the  tracks  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  acoustic  guitars  while  the  main  focus  remains  more on  a  melodic  and  heavy  sound.

  A  good  portion  of  the  slower  riffing  shows  a  heavy  doom  metal  influence  and  as  the  album  progresses  some  of  the  tracks  also  bring  in  a  good  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  aprts  along  with  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  and  they  also  take  the  modern  progressive  death  metla  sound  and  mix  it  in  with  some  influences  from  the  more  progressive  and  technical  death  metla  bands  of  their  early  90's.

  Stone  Circle  plays  a  modern  style  of  death  metal  that  is very  progressive  and  they  mix  in  influences  from  melodic  black/death  metal  and  doom  to  create  some  very  original  sounding  music,  the  production  sounds very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark,  mythological  and  philosophical  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Stone  Circle  are  a  very  great  sounding  progressive  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Easter  Island"  "Mary  Celeste"  and  "Final  Thought".  8  out  of  10.

   

Zaria/Po Poti Zivljenja [Upon The Trail Of Life]/2014 CD Review


  Zaria  are  a  band  from  Slovenia  that  plays  a  symphonic  and  epic  form  of  folk  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2014  "Po Poti Zivljenja [Upon The Trail Of Life]".

  Water  sounds  start  off  the  album  before  adding  in  symphonic  sounds  which  also  gives  the  music  and  epic  and  medieval  feeling  which  also  leads  to  flutes  becoming  a  huge  part  of  the  recording  and  after  the  intro  the  music  starts  going  for   more  of  a  heavy  and  melodic  metal  sound  which  they  also  mix  in  with  the  folk  and  symphonic  elements.

  Female  vocals  bring  a  very  melodic,  clean  and  operatic  feeling  to  the  recording  and  the  solos  and  leads  that  are  utilized  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  talent,  skill,  melody  and  traditional  metal  influences  into  the  bands  musical  style  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  When  male  vocals  are  utilized  they  bring  in  a  good  mixture  of  clean  singing,  death  metal  growls  and  black  metal  screams  while  the  clean  parts  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  pagan  and  viking  metal  feeling  and  when  acoustic  guitars  are  used  on  some  of  the  tracks  they  bring  in  even  more  of  an  ancient  folk  music  feeling.

  Zaria  plays  a  style  of  folk  metal  that  is  very  symphonic,  heavy  and  melodic  sounding  along  with  a  touch  of  black  and  death  metal  which  adds  a  bit  more  aggression  into t he  music,  the  production  sounds very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Slovenian  and  cover  Epic  Tales,  Journeys,  Freedom  and  Folklore.

  In  my  opinion  Zaria  are  a  very  great  sounding  symphonic  folk  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "A  Voice  From  Within"  "Darkness"  "A  Nameless  Power"  and  "Follow  the  Star".  8  out  of  10.


  

Ur Draugr 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?

I've been laying down the foundations for a forthcoming Ur Draugr full-length. Writing started almost as soon as the EP was finished last year, so we're quite some ways along already.

2.In January you had released a new ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

Ur Draugr started very much as an attempt to capitalise on the textural and rhythmic diversity of progressive music while retaining the brutality and dark sensibilities of black and death metal. I think the record is – at its core – a marriage of those two principals, though not without the occasional foray into drone, sludge, or and folk.

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

'The Wretched Ascetic' is built very much around the abandonment of organised religion and the philosophical path toward asceticism (and all of the ramifications and rewards held therein).

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

Ur Draugr's name was very much inspired by my fascination with ancient religions and cultures. 'Ur' is a Proto-Germanic prefix that indicates a state of primitivity or primality. 'Draugr' is derived from the Proto-Germanic word 'Draugaz', meaning mirage or deception, but used to describe a ghost or restless spirit in Old Norse.

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

Ur Draugr is, at present, a studio project.

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

It's definitely a possibility, but our energies are better spent writing and recording for the moment.

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

We're currently not able to discuss this at length. Suffice it to say, there may be some news on the horizon.

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

Overwhelmingly positive. We've been truly honoured and humbled by the reception, and I can't wait to unveil what will come next.

9.What is going on with some of the other musical projects or bands these days that are some of the band members are a part off?

Dan Grainger's infamous outfit Wardaemonic (for which he performs drums and vocals) is preparing for the release of their fourth cd 'Obsequuium' in March, which by all accounts is shaping up to be a monstrous success.

Otherwise, I'm working on a long-term ambient/drone project that has been in development for almost twelve months, and should see the light of day before the year's end (with any luck).

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

We're aiming for a 2015 release. At this stage – given how the material is developing – I'm inclined to say that this full-length will be a touch different from the EP, though certainly still rooted firmly in a blackened death metal ethos.

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?

All of us are broad music-listeners, and frequent jazz, folk, rock, classical, and many other genres besides. I've personally spent the last few months alternating between Gorgoroth, Blut Aus Nord, Sting, and Stevie Wonder.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

I'm an avid reader and writer, and a documentary enthusiast (to say the least), but I find that music rarely leaves much time for other interests.

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

Nothing that seems particularly pertinent! Many thanks to yourself and to anyone else out there for listening, and be sure to check out Wardaemonic's 'Obsequuium' when it arrives.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Northland/Downfall And Rebirth/ 2015 CD Review


  Northland  are  a  band  from  Spain  that  plays  a  melodic  mixture  of  black,  death,  viking  and  folk  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2015  album  "Downfall  And  Rebirth"  

  Jew  harps  and  nature  sounds  start  off  the  album  giving  the  music  a  folk  music  feeling  along  with  some  violins  and  a  few  seconds  alter  the  music  gets  heavier  and  adds  in  death  metal  growls  while  also  mixing  in  with  the  folk  elements  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Clean  singing  viking  metal  vocals  can  be  heard  throughout  the  recording  along  with  some  high  pitched  screams  that  also  mixes  in  an  influence  from  black  metal  and  at  times  acoustic  and  classical  guitars  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  some  of  the  heavier  riffs  also  add  in  a  small  amount  of  thrash  influences.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  all  more  of  a  melodic  and  traditional  metal  feeling  to  the  songs  that  they  are  utilized  on  and  as  the  album  progresses  their  is  a  brief  acoustic  instrumental  before  the  band  backs  a  return  back  to  a  heavier  sound  on  the  following  tracks  while  also  bringing  in  a  decent  amount  of  pianos  and  keyboards  at  times  and  there a re  also  a  few  songs  that are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  one  of  the  alter  tracks  also  brings  in  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  while  another  adds  in  female  vocals  briefly.

  Norhland  takes  for  a  very  melodic  style  of  black/death  metal  and  mixes  it  with  viking  and  folk  music  to  create  a  very  epic  sounding  album,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Paganism  and  Battles.

  In  my  opinion  Northland  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  mixture  of  black,  death,  viking  and  folk  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Bloodred  Sunrise"  "Fury's  Unleashed"  "Spirit In  Darkness"  and  "Newborn  Star".  8  out  of  10.