Monday, June 29, 2015

Isenmor/Land Of The Setting Sun/2015 EP Review


  Isenmor  are  a  band  from  Maryland  that  plays  viking/folk  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2015  ep  "Land  Of  The  Setting  Sun".

  Violins  start  off the  ep  along  with  some  heavy  guitars  and  black  metal  screams  and  the  music  also  mixes  in  elements  of  thrash  and  death  metal  and  the  clean  singing  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  pagan  metal  feeling  and  they  also  mix  the  folk  music  and  heavy  parts  together   and  you can  also  hear  spoken  word  parts  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

  Throughout  the  recording  there  is  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts   and  you  can  hear  a  great  amount  of  melody  being  utilized  in  the  guitar  riffing  and  the  vocals  also  bring in  a  small  amount  of  growls  at  times  and  as  the ep  progresses  keyboards  are  brought  in  briefly  and  none  of  the  songs  use  any  guitar  solos  and  leads.

  Isenmor  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  the  viking  and  folk  metal  genres  but  also  mix  in  a  great  amount  of  black  metal  elements  and  a  touch  of  thrash  and  death  metal  to  give  their musical  style  more  of  a  heavy  sound,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  Nordic  and  Vinlandic  Mythology.

    In  my  opinion  Isenmor  are  a  very  great  sounding  viking/folk  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Death  Is  A  Fine  Companion"  and  "Land  Of  the  Setting  Sun".  8  out  of  10. 

   

    

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Bearstorm/Americanus/Grimoire Records/2015 CD Review


  Bearstorm are  a  band  from  Richmond,  Virginia  that  plays  a  very  melodic  and  progressive  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Americanus"  which  will  be  released  on  June  30th  by  Grimoire  Records.

  A  very  melodic  sounding  guitar  lead  starts  off  the  album  and  a  few  seconds  alter  grim  black  metal  screams  are  added  onto  the  recording  along  with  a  great  amount  of  progressive  elements  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  and  the  riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody.

  A  lot  of  post  metal  elements  can  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  and  a  great portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  on  some  of  the  tracks  a  small  amount  of  death  metal  growls  are  utilized  and  some  of  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  and  when  acoustic  guitars  are  utilized  they  bring in  elements  of  Americana  to  the  bands  musical  style  and  some  of  the  heavier  riffs  also  have  a  southern  rock  feeling  at  times.

 Bearstorm  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  the  melodic  side  of  black/death  metal  but  also  mixes  in  a  great  amount  of  progressive  and  post  metal  elements  along  with  a  touch  of  Americana  and  southern  rock  to  create  a  musical  style  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Bearstorm  are  a  very  great  sounding  progressive  and  melodic mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "De  Soto"  and  "Why  We  Can't  have  nice  things".  8  out  of  10. 
 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Aeveron 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?

Hi. This is Thomas, the singer. First of all, thanks for the interview and the interest in Aeveron.

It is now three weeks that our new album has been released and so far the response from fans and the press have been overall very good. Our release party was also very successful and we could sell a good amount of the new record.

Apart from that, we are still searching for a second guitarist and a keyboard player as well.

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?

The music on „VVD“ is basically not differing very much from past releases. But I would say that it is more or less sounding as if made from one piece. This is mainly because the songs were written by our guitarist Jens. Our past records as well as our new record congregate lots of different musical influences which sometimes makes it hard for listeners to discover a common theme. But I think the new record sounds more homogeneous.

3.While the band is from Germany, sou still refer to your musical style as 'Melodic Sweden Death', can you tell us a little bit more about this term?

We have agreed on that term since mainly all members in the band like the Swedish Death Metal scene, especially the one from the late 90s. So, lots of influences can be heard in our songs. That's why we have decided to use that term as a broad orientation since the stereotypical thinking is indispensible even in the Metal scene today.

4.This is the first album to be released in 4 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time period?

These four years were characterized by a lot of changes in the band. I, for one, moved to the south of Germany in August 2011, shortly before the release of „Impending Doom“. So, I have not always been able to join the rehearsals. Unfortunately, in September 2012, both our guitarists Matthias and Alex informed us that they would leave the band for personal reasons. This was a hard time for the rest of the band and we really thought about quitting the band completely. But thankfully we could find a competent and very talented guitar player in Jens. He joined our ranks in November 2012 so we were able to continue the band.
So, we began writing material for our new album back then.
Things went really well and we played several gigs in 2013 and the song writing also went pretty good, when suddenly, in March 2014, our keyboard player Markus, who was a founding member of Aeveron, told us that he would leave the band.
We were devastated because over the past 12 years we had seen guitar players come and go but we had never played live without a keyboard before. That was a pretty challenging thing for us.
But we decided to continue with the band. Markus thankfully contributed the keyboards on our latest release “VVD – Destination Annihilation”.

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

The new record mainly deals with the eternally destructive and greedy nature of mankind. „VVD“ stands for „Venimus, Vidimus, Delevimus“ which means „We came, we saw, we detroyed“. Most of the lyrics on the new record explore aspects of mankind's behaviour throughout its existence and its inevitable destiny – annihilation.

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

„Aeveron“ is a complete fantasy name which was created by our former guitarist Kay. It is the realm we are living in when making music.

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?

We had some pretty good shows pretty small clubs in Eastern Germany, i.e. in the Hagalaz Club in Elterlein together with Manegarm, Skyforger and Goddess of Desire in 2005. The gig on the newcomer stage of Metal Camp in 2010 was also a pretty nice experience although there were almost no people in front of the stage. Our performance is pretty normal I guess. :-) Headbanging and having a good time with the audience.

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

We are not planning a tour at the moment although that would be a great thing to do. But, we are all working fulltime, so a tour is not possible at the moment. But, if someone wants to invite us for a small tour, we are definitely interested. The next live show is confirmed for September 2015 in Plauen.

9.The new album was released on Battlegod Productions, can you tell us a little bit more about the deal you have signed with this legendary label?

There you are misinformed. I don't know who spread this rumour but it's definitely wrong. Our new album was self-published. We released „Existential Dead End“ on Battlegod, but after that we did not cooperate anymore. So, I hope that this false info will soon be cleared up. Battlegod did not publish „VVD“.

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

As I have already said above, the new record „VVD“ was received quite well among the fans and the press. We are pretty satisfied with the response so far and hope that a lot of people buy our albums and come to our shows.

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

I think that you mean our drummer Paul. He is the only one involved in other musical projects. But since this interview is about Aeveron, I will not talk about his bands. Maybe you should do an interview with him in the future. :-)

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

Well, let's see where our inspiration leads us. But I think that our style will not dramatically change. It will more or less stay the same since this is the music we like.

13.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?

A big influence are the Melodic Death bands from Scandinavia, like Arch Enemy for instance. Jens is a huge fan of them. Also, Black Metal is an influence for us and of course traditional Heavy and/or Power Metal. So, the musical input is rather widespread.

14.What are some of your non musical interests?

I can now only speak for myself. I like to read, mainly horror or crime fiction. I like horror and fantasy movies and tv series like The Walking Dead or American Horror Story. Our bass player has a dog. So, that's his non musical interest, I guess. ;-) So, pretty normal things.

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

Again I would like to say thank you for this interview and the interest in our band. Check out our our new record „VVD – Destination Annihilation“. You can order it on www.aeveron.com or on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify or Google Play.

Regards,
Thomas

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Maze/Devouring The Sun/2015 Demo Review

   Maze  are  a  band  from  Poland  that  plays  a  very  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2014  demo  "Devouring  The  Sun".

  A  very  dark,  heavy  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  ep and  a  few  seconds  later  grim  black  metal  screams  are  added  into  the  music  and  the  music  also  brings  in  a  bit  of  the  90's  Swedish  style  of  melodic  death  metal  but  done  with  a  more  modern  variation  of  the  genre  and  some  of  the  riffs  bring  in  elements  of  thrash.

  When  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  remain  true  to  a  melodic  style  of  metal  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to t hem  and  some  of  the  vocals  also  utilize  death  metal  growls  at  times  and  some  of  the  riffs  also  bring  in  more  of  a  modern  metal  style  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  also  brings  in  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing  and  clear  vocals  can  also  be  heard  on  one  of  the  songs  while  the  last  track  also  brings  in  atmospheric  elements.    

  Maze  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  melodic  death  metal  and  utilizes  a  black  metal  vocal  approach  to  create  their  own  style,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Maze  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Far  Away  From  The  Sun"  and  "Something  In  the  Mist".  8  out  of  10.

   

 

Rats Of Reality/The Art Of Debilitation/2015 EP Review


  Rats  Of  Reality  are  a  band  from  Scotland  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black  metal,  doom,  thrash  and  crust  punk and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2015  ep  "The Art Of Debilitation".

  A  very  slow,  dark,  heavy  and  atmospheric  sound  starts  off  the  ep  before  going  into  more  of  a  crust  punk  direction  which  also  introduces  black  metal  screams  onto  the  recording  and  the  faster  sections  of  the  music  use  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  slower  sections  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  doom  metal  elements  and  you  can  also  hear  melody  in  some  of  the  riffs  and  guitar  leads  which  are  only  used  briefly  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  very  heavy  retro  thrash  vibe  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  death  metal  growls  and  the  last  track  brings  in  a  small  amount  of  acoustic  guitars  and  is  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Rats Of  Reality  plays  a  musical  style  that  mixes  80's  and  90's  black  metal  with  thrash,  crust  punk  and  doom  metal  to create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  violent  and  angry  themes.   

  In  my  opinion  Rats  Of  Reality  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black  metal,  doom,  thrash  and  crust  punk  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Shallow  Bastards"  and  "Liferuiner".  8  out  of  10. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

As Light Dies/Gea/Brutal Arratia Records/2015 EP Review


  As  Light  Dies  are a  band  from  Spain  that  plays  an  avant  garde  form  of  black  metal  along  with  some  elements  of  doom  and  goth  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  ep  "Gea"  which  will  be  released  on  June  26th  by  Brutal  Arratia  Records.

  Dark  avant  garde  sounds  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some ambient  style  synths  a  few  seconds later  and  after  the  intro  violins  are  added  into  the  music  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them and  the  music  also  starts  to  get  more  heavier  along  with  the  heavy  and  atmospheric  parts  being  mixed  in  together.

  When  vocals  are  added  the  music  they  use  both  death  metal  growls  and  black  metal  screams  along  with  the  guitars  adding  in  a  great  amount  of  goth  and  prog  rock  elements  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  are  utilized  and  you  can  also  hear  clean  singing  being  utilized  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording and  half  of  the  songs  are  instrumental  and  they  close  the  ep  with  a  cover  of  Enslaved's  "As  Fire  Swept  Clean  the  Earth".

  As  Light  Dies  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  the  avant  garde  black  metal  style  but  also  mixes  in  doom,  death,  symphonic  and  goth  elements  to  create  a  musical  style  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  depression, math  and  historical  themes.

  In  my  opinion  As  Light  Dies  are  a  very  great  sounding  avant  garde  black  metal  band and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Gea"  and  "As  Fire  Swept  Clean  the  Earth".  8  out  of  10.     

 

Monday, June 8, 2015

SaturninE/Mors Vocat/Terror From Hell Records/2015 CD Review


  SaturninE  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  plays  a  blackened  mixture  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  this  is a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Mors  Vocat"  which  was  released  by  terror  From  Hell  Records.

  A  very distorted  and  ritualistic  sound  starts off  the  album  and  a  few  seconds  later  clean  playing  is  added  onto t he  recording  along  with  some  drum  beats  which  leads  up  to  a  more  heavy  doom  metal  style  that  also  uses  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to them.

  Melodic  guitar  leads  can  be  heard  quite  a  lot  throughout  the  recording  and  on  the  second  track  black  metal  screams  start  to  become  a  huge  part  of  the  recording  on  some  songs  and  the  band  also  mixes  in  a  lot  of  sludge  elements  to  give  their  musical  style  more  of  a  heavy  sound  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  also  long  and  epic  in  length  and  clean  playing  also  returns  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  the  whole  album  also  sticks  to  a  very  slow  and  dark  musical  direction  from  beginning  to  ending  of  the  recording.

  SaturninE   plays  a  musical  style  that  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  sludge  and  doom  metal  but  also  brings  in  black  metal  vocals  to  create  their  own  style,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  SaturninE  are  a  very  great  sounding  blackened  mixture  of  sludge  and  doom  metal and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Moloch"  and  "Escape  From  Reality".  8  out  of  10.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Abaton/Viscera///-Diade(ms)/Sentinent Ruin Laboratories/2015 Split EP Review


  This  is  a  review  of  a split  ep  between  Italy's  Abaton  and  Viscera///  which  was  released  by  Sentinent  Ruin  Laboratories   and   with  Abaton  a  band  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black  metal,  sludge  and  doom  teaming  up  with  Viscera///  a  sludge/post  metal  band.

  A  very  heavy  sludge  metal  sound  starts  off  their  side  of  the  split  along  with  some  melodies  and  screaming  vocals  that  also  use  growls  and  a  few  seconds  alter  elements  of  crust  and  black  metal  are  added  into  the  music  and  the  music  also  speeds  up  at  times  and  brings  in  a  small  amount  pf  blast  beats  while  the  slower  sections  are  heavily  influenced  by  doom  metal.

  Throughout  the  recording  there  is  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  melodies  bring  in  a  lot  of  post  metal  elements  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  second  track  sticks  to  mostly  a slow  and  melodic  style  of  doom/sludge  metal  and  also  brings  in  a  brief use  of  guitar  leads  and  also  speeds  up  towards  the  end.

  Abaton  and  Viscera///  team  up together  and  mix  there  different styles  together  to  create  a  very  dark  and  heavy  ep  that  mixes  black,  death  metal,  doom,  sludge,  and  post  metal  together  to  create  an  original  sound,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Abaton  and  Viscera/// and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black,  post  metal,  sludge and  doom,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Special  needs".  8  out  of  10.        
        

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Cruadalach/Rebel Against Me/Metalgate Records/2015 CD Review


  Cruadalach  are  a  band  from  the  Czech Republic  that  plays  folk  metal  with  some  elements  of  black  and  death  metal  and  a  touch  of  hardcore  punk  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015 album  "Rebel Against  Me"  which  was  released  by  MetalGate  Records.

  Spoken  word  parts  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  clean  playing  a  few  seconds  later  as well  as  some  folk  instruments  which  also  leads  up  to  a  heavier  musical  direction  and  the  riffs  also  use  a  decent  amount of  melody  and  also  add  in  a  touch  of  thrash  while  the  vocals  use  black  metal  screams,   death  metal  growls  and  clean  singing.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have a very  powerful  sound  to them  and  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  in  the  faster  sections  of  the  music  and  the  songs  also mix  the  folk  elements  in  with  the  more  metal  side  of  the  bands  musical  style  and  when  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they remain  true  to  a  more  melodic  musical  direction.

  A  lot  of  the  riffs  bring  in  elements  of  hardcore  punk  and  more  modern  mainstream  metal/rock  and  some  of  the  tracks  also  bring  in  a  touch  of  goth  rock  in  the  clear  vocals  and some  of  the later  tracks  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  classical  guitars  and  throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  one  of the  later  tracks  also  brings  in  a  small  amount   of  operatic  female  vocals

  Cruadalach  plays  a  style  of  folk  metal  that  also  has  the  black  and  death  metal  influences  that  are  common  with  this  genre  and  they add  in  a  touch  of  hardcore  punk  that  makes  their  musical  style  stand  out  a  bit  more,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Paganism  and  Mythology  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Cruadalach  are  a  very  great  sounding  folk  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Shiva  World  Dance  Party"  "Rebel  Against  Me"  "Life  Worshipping  Bastards" and "The  Astralnaut".  8 out  of  10. 

Carnival Of Flesh/Stories From A Fallen World/2015 CD Review


  Carnival  Of  Flesh  are  a  band  from  Serbia  that  plays  a  very  symphonic  form  of  black  metal and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2015  album  "Stories  From  A  Fallen  World".

  A heavy  guitar riff  starts off  the  album and  mixes in with  the  symphonic  elements  that  kick  in  a  few  seconds  later  along  with  some  grim  black  metal  screams  and  the  vocals also  use  whispers  at  times  along  with  a small  amount  of  clean  singing  being  used  in  some parts  of the songs  and  the  riffs  also  use  a  decent  amount  of  melody.

  All  of  the  musical instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  bit  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  are  utilized  and  some  songs  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  parts  and the  songs  also bring  in  a great  mixture of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  when  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  remain  true  to  a  melodic musical  direction  and  as  the album  progresses a brief  use of  death  metal  growls  can  be  heard  and  there is  also  a  track that  is very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Carnival  Of  Flesh  plays  a  style of  black  metal  that  is  very  symphonic  and  is  more  closer  to  the  mid 90's  era  of  this  genre,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  pain,  misery,  death and suffering.

  In  my  opinion  Carnival  Of  Flesh  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  "The  Promise" and  "The  Battle".  8  out  of  10.     

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Varang Nord 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?
First of all, we have finally completed our line-up, we have a full-time drummer, Aig, now, which makes ready for performing live. By the way, on July 4th we’ll be performing at “Melnā Piektdiena” (Riga), which will be our first gig. Other than that, many things have happened. Actually “Fire of the North” on our part has been completed about a month before its release and about 4 months before it has been releases on CDs, so we had plenty of time. During this we managed to finish our new album named “Master of the Forest”, which will hopefully be released this winter already. By the way, one can also listen to one of the songs from the new album on our facebook page (www.facebook.com/varangnord).

2.Recently you have released a new ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
Brutal Nordic metal with the spirit of the Vikings in it. In-your-face type of brutality with folkish accordion chants.

3.This is the first release you have released since 2007 and the first one to be released under 'Varand Nord', can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
Well, “Balaguri” were active up until 2009, when they decided to have a bit of rest. Wolf, our guitarist/vocalist have been thinking a lot, preparing a lot, gaining experience in other bands. By the way, in one of these bands, “Begotten”, he has met our current bassist, Khurr. As a result, in 2012 he decided to restore “Balaguri”, but in a more melodic, Nordic and serious way. The same could be said about others also, they all have been trying themselves out in various bands, bringing that experience to Varang Nord eventually.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Mainly, we are inspired by the Nordic culture, Vikings in particular, as well as harsh northern nature and history. Well, the classical folk-metal’s “drink as much ale as you can” topic is also present in some songs, but that is not the main theme.

5.Originally the band was called 'Balaguri', what was the decision behind the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Varang Nord'?
First of all, “Balaguri” were mainly concerned with Slavic culture, and Varang Nord expands the area to all the Northern part of Europe, thus the new ideology, image of the band and all that stuff, as well as it signifies the overall change in the band’s music. Also, we ourselves come from a northern country and our ancestry is closely related to Varangians (Slavic and Baltic descendants of Scandinavians) themselves, which is why the name “Varang Nord” fits the band perfectly, in our opinion.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Well, as we’ve already mentioned, with “Varang Nord”, our first gig will happen on July 4th. Concerning “Balaguri”, there were many great shows, all of them, actually, so it’s really hard to distinguish a particular gig in this respect. Maybe it would be a gig with the band “Epidemia” and the re-enactment club “Rubezh”, during which pagan music merged with the clash of blades, which was truly epic. As for the performance, we try to recreate the harsh atmosphere of the North, brutal and unforgiving.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Right now we are thinking about performing around Latvia a bit, in the cities of Riga, Daugavpils and Liepaja for example, but there are no definite plans by now. After that, a couple of gigs in the neighbouring countries perhaps. All the details are being thought through at the moment, and we’ll be sure to announce definite touring plans as soon as they are ready. Anyhow, we are always open for the offers of performing, and if anyone invites us to participate in a gig, we will be glad to consider that.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of pagan and folk metal?
It has been surprisingly good. We were amazed and even shocked a bit by how warmly the worldwide public received us, which always is inspiring. We are truly happy that our music was able to find its place in the hearts of many people and we say our thanks to all who support us. Oh, one more thing is that it has been very pleasing for us to be compared to such bands as Amon Amarth and Finntroll, compared positively, of course. We surely haven’t been expecting that.

9.Are any of the band members also involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
Yes, we are still developing ourselves in various styles to enrich both our personal and common experiences. Wolf plays in “Begotten”, “Asthma” and “Saintorment” and Khurr in “Yomi”.

10.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We hope that we’ll be able to release or next album, “Master of the Forest”, this winter already and also you check out one of the album’s songs online. As for the future, we are trying to mace our music more melodic and distinctive, maintaining the traditional Varang Nord’s sounding. More or less, this is our main idea about the sound – we don’t try to change it drastically from album to album, instead trying to get our style polished, perfecting it with time.

11.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?
Both “Balaguri” and “Varang Nord” are heavily influenced by “Turisas”, also “Amon Amarth” and “Finntroll”. If we speak about the epitome of influence, we could distinguish a particular song – Battle Metal by “Turisas”, which, by the way, has been the one that influenced Wolf to start composing folk-metal.

12.How would you describe your views on Paganism?
We perceive paganism as a part of culture, an image of sorts, an inspiration that helps us creating our songs. We ourselves are not particularly religious, and the same could be said about our attitude towards paganism.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
Wolf is interested in military vehicle models, now a bit less maybe, but it was a big part of him some years ago. Khurr is all about Oriental studies, history and philology, and Aig is a big fan of rally racing, where he is not only a spectator, but also participates himself. And, of course, drinking fine ale is our main common non-musical interest.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Soon, the fires of the north will burn bright, and our guitars shall rise into the sky along Odin’s spear! We hope to someday see everyone, who is interested in our music and share tales and countless mugs of ale with them!