Sunday, August 30, 2015

ORCumentary Interview


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



Finishing the album was a big relief, but no rest for the wicked, as they say. I have two CD pre-release shows lined up in a couple weeks, so I’m busy rehearsing 7 new songs.



2.You have a new album coming out in October, 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?



Destroy the Dwarves is a continuation of the style on Orcs 1 Goblins 0, which is the album I think of as ORCumentary’s true beginning. I coined a new “genre” called “orc rock”, because it’s legitimately difficult to sum up my style quickly. I incorporate influences from music I like (mainly melodic death, industrial metal, power metal, and folk metal). I have fast songs, mid songs, slow songs, straightforward songs, long songs, melodic songs, aggressive songs, you get the idea. I work very hard to make sure every song is one I can be proud of, one I will enjoy playing live, and one that offers something that hasn’t been presented in an ORCumentary song before.



Bringing all that back to your original question, I went even further on both ends of the musical spectrum with Destroy the Dwarves. To give two quick(ish) examples, there’s one song towards the end of the album that’s about 3 minutes long. Very catchy and straightforward. It starts out as kind of a garage rock song but it kind of builds into something heavier and there’s a great guitar solo in it. Now compare that to a song around the middle that’s 7 minutes long, has an ambient intro, switches tempos midway through, and has extended instrumental sections. That and everything in between is what listeners can expect to hear on Destroy the Dwarves.



3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the newer music?



Lyrically, ORCumentary’s music follows a storyline. To sum it up quickly, Orc Adams, hero of the orcs and wielder of the Keyboard of Mayhem, is on a mission to establish orc supremacy and lay low all the other races in The Five Lands. Destroy the Dwarves is a continuation of that story and the Dwarves are on the chopping block next. The Dwarves raise a white flag and want to meet with Adams to make a peace treaty, but the hero of the Orcs has other ideas. Needless to say, things don’t go according to plan for either party. There’s lots of violence, flatulence (as Dwarves are rather gassy), scheming, razor-sharp wit, and the ending is rather shocking.



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



It literally means “a documentary about orcs.” The lyrical content has always been from the perspective of orcs, but everything after my debut album follows a continuous storyline.



5.On the albums you record everything my yourself, are you planning on expanding the line up in the future or do you chose to remain solo?



I get asked this question a lot. I thought about making it a full band once, went as far as to seriously consider it. However, ORCumentary means too much to me to allow anyone else to be a part of the process, if that makes sense. It’s been my creative outlet for almost 10 years. It has also already been established as a solo band, and people love it that way. It’s part of what makes ORCumentary stand out. Something huge would be lost if other people were added to the mix It’s nice to be in complete control of everything, although the downside of that is if I’m not motivated, nothing gets done. If I could do absolutely everything myself for ORCumentary I would, but I don’t have the skills/means to do the mastering and artwork. Luckily, Not A Damn Cheese Design and I are always on the same page when it comes to bringing my ideas to life, and my friend Ben Lane does a great job mastering.



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



My live show is literally just me on stage with a keyboard and a mic. I have a larger-than-life stage presence, which makes up for the lack of members. Orc Adams on stage is the complete opposite of what I’m like in real life. He’s boisterous, loud, demanding, arrogant, but he’s got a great sense of humor (although I have a good sense of humor too) and the stage shenanigans are really hard to take seriously. Anyways, I do vocals and play keyboard parts live. It’s very energetic, or so I like to think.



My favorite show so far has been my CD release back in 2013 for Orcs 1 Goblins 0. For the songs “Orc and the Butterfly” and “Sword of Iron”, a group of about 15 people came up and helped me do the gang vocal parts. It was pretty surreal. I also opened for Agalloch back in 2012, which was really cool too.



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



Nothing concrete, but I’m probably going to take it easy for the rest of this year. Might pick up a couple shows, but next year is when the heavier gigging will take place. I can’t do extensive touring, but I want to do a few weekend tours next spring/summer; hopefully the Philly area, maybe return to Buffalo, who knows?



8.Can you tell us a little bit more about Orc Rock Records?



Most people/publications take artists who are signed more seriously, so that was honestly the only reason why I put it on there.



9.In one interview you talked about your interest in fantasy novels, what are some of the fantasy authors that you have taken an interest in lately?



Terry Brooks is my favorite author. 5 of his books are at the top of my “to read” list. R.A. Salvatore is one of my favorites too, although I haven’t read any of his books in years (he’ll be next). I really liked the first four books in The Sword of Truth series, but I couldn’t stick with the fifth one. Jacqueline Carey wrote this really interesting duology called The Sundering, which portrayed the “villains” as the heroes often are, and the “heroes” as the villains often are.



To be honest, I haven’t been good about keeping up with new authors and those recommended to me because up until a few years ago I had kind of “fallen out” of reading. Now that things have settled down a bit in my life, I’ve been re-reading a lot of the ones I own. I want to be “caught up”, per se, before pursuing new authors and books. Over the past few years, I’ve reread LOTR, Harry Potter, Dragonlance Chronicles (which was a bit of a disappointment), and some Terry Brooks too.



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



The response is mostly positive. Usually the only really negativity is from the online community. It’s definitely a love it or hate it thing. The people who come out to shows have a great time and can appreciate not only the comedic aspects, but the musicianship too. I’m really lucky that the response has been as supportive and positive as it has been.



11.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?



I’d like to continue to keep songwriting as my main focus. I’ve kind of started a side band (actual band with other people) and I have 4 songs in various stages of completion for that. I don’t want to talk too much about it, but I really want to do just vocals live if it kicks off and we start doing shows.



I like the idea of getting back into playing sheet music as well. I took piano lessons for 11 years (age 7 to 18), but after I graduated high school, my main focus has been on songwriting. Getting back into technical and theoretical study on the piano would be great, but it depends on if I have the musical time for it.



Eventually I’d like to start a project for ambient/soundtrack style music, but again it’s about having the time and sufficient inspiration. The vast majority of what I listen to is metal, so that’s what I want to play and write most of the time. I have a really hard time finding non-metal that’s interesting, so I think I’d like to make whatever ambient/non-metal side project similar to ORCumentary, in the sense that I’d take influence from lots of other genres and just write what I like to hear.



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



My favorite subgenres are melodic death metal, power metal, and industrial metal. I’m influenced by a lot of different bands these days, but my favorites are Elvenking, Mnemic, Soilwork, Poets of the Fall, and Thrice. I also really like certain soundtracks like LOTR. I can find something good in most styles of music, whether it’s something I personally enjoy or not



13.What are some of your non-musical interests?



My non-musical interests include reading, walking, archery (although I don’t get to do it very often), video games, and movies. I love spring and fall weather and I try to be outside as much as possible in those times of year.



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



Thanks for your thoughtful questions and for taking the time to listen to my music. Keep orc rock alive!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Vermin Wound/Permanence/Throatruiner Records/2015 EP Review


  Vermin  Wound  are  a  band  from  Colorado  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black,  death  metal,  grind  and  sludge  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  ep  "Permanence"  which  was  released  by  Throatruiner  Records.

  A  very  distorted  reverb  sound  starts  off  the  ep  before  going  into  more  of  a  fast  death/grind  direction  that  utilizes  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  along  with  some  vocals  that  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  growls and  screams  while  the  slower  sections  bring  in  elements  of  sludge  and  some  of  the  faster  riffs  bring  in  the  rawness  of  black  metal.

  Throughout  the  recording  there  is  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  music  also  gets  very  brutal  quite  a  bit  throughout  all  of  the  tracks  and  none  of  the  songs  ever  use  any  solos  and  leads  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  only  use  a  small  amount  of  melody.

  Vermin  Womb  plays  a  style  of  death/grind  that is  very  raw  and  brutal  and  mixes  in  sludge  in  the  slower  parts  and  also  brings  in  the  dark  atmosphere  of  black  metal  to  create  a  sound  of t heir  own,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  apocalyptic  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Vermin  Wound  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black,  death  metal,  grind  and  sludge  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Bitterness"  and  "From  Below".  8  out  of  10.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

ORCumentary/Destroy The Dwarves/Orc Rock Records/2015 Full Length Review


  ORCumentary  are  a  solo  project  from  the   Orc  lands  that  plays  a  mixture  of  folk,  industrial,  power,  black  and  death  metal  and  this is  a  review  of  his  2015  album  "Destroy  the  Dwarves"  which  was  released  by  Orc  Rock  Records.

  Neo  folk  style  keyboards  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  grim  black  metal  screams  a  few  seconds  later  and  once  the  music  gets  heavy  elements  of  industrial  and  death  metal  can  be  heard  as  well  as  some  growling  vocals  being  mixed  in  at  times  and  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  melodies.

  Throughout  the  recording  there  is  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  some  tracks  also  mix  heavy  parts  with  electro  industrial  elements  and  you  can  also  hear  clean  singing  on  some  of  the  tracks  and  as  the  album  progresses  folk  instruments  can  be  heard  at  times  while  some  songs  can  also  be  very  symphonic  at  times  and  when  solos  and  leads a re  utilized  they  give  the  music  more  of  an  old  school  metal  feeling.

  ORCumentary  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  death,  black,  industrial,  folk  and  power  metal  and  mixes  them  to  create  a  musical  style  known  as  'orc  rock',  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  orcs,  goblins  and  dwarf  themes.

  In  my  opinion  ORCumentary  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  death,  black,  industrial,  folk  and  power  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Destroy  the  Dwarves"  "He  Drank  Deep  From  His  Mug"  "Within  The  Folds  Of  My  Fat"  and  "Cropduster".  8  out  of  10.    

   

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Hudson Horror Interview

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

The Hudson Horror is a melodic death metal band from New York City.  Marcus (Guitar) and I (Dan - Vox) started the group in 2011.  In late 2012/early 2013, we picked up Annie (Drums) and Tyreek (Bass) who both brought a whole new set of influences to the table. 

2.So far you have released one ep and one full length, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?

Dark Compulsions is pretty much straight melodic death metal in terms of sound.  It was just Marcus and I on that one and our main goal was to write just that, aggressive melodic death metal.  When we recruited Annie and Tyreek, it meant more cooks in the kitchen in terms of the writing process.  The creative process for our full length, Nemesis, was very much a collaborative one.  As the band matured and we had more songs under our belt, we wanted to keep things interesting and began to incorporate more progressive, thrashy, and brutal vibes into the songs.  As such, Nemesis ended up being a much darker and fuller release than the Dark Compulsions EP was.

3.The new album is the first release to come out in 3 years, can you tell u a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?

As a band we’ve been spending a lot of time practicing, writing, and recording Nemesis.  We’ve played a good amount of shows within the New York metropolitan area as well.  The rhythm guitarist slot in our band has been somewhat of a revolving door, so we’ve unfortunately had to spend a bit of time ramping up new members.  Marcus and I both work pretty demanding jobs in the tech industry, while Annie and Tyreek are both in doctorate programs.  As a result, it took us a little longer than anticipated to put out Nemesis. 

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

The lyrical content of Nemesis is heavily influenced by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Isaac Asimov, and Clive Barker.  The most prominent theme throughout the album is cosmic horror and the notion that no matter what we do, humanity is just screwed.  There is also plenty of the gore, ghouls, and goblins side of things as well.  I’ve always been attracted to horror and the role it plays in metal, so for the most part The Hudson Horror stays true to conventional death metal themes.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'The Hudson Horror'?

The Hudson Horror is a direct reference to The Dunwich Horror by H.P. Lovecraft.  We thought it’d be cool to make the name geographically relevant and alliterative.  It was also the only name Marcus and I could agree on at the time, hah.

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

We have not played any particularly massive shows.  We’ve pretty much stuck to smaller to mid-sized venues.  I personally prefer playing in small bars where the crowd is right in your face.  It gets super intense and it’s really great seeing people react to your performance up close.

Instrumentally, we’re really tight.  Annie, Marcus, and Tyreek really click and when it’s show time they are just locked in.  As far as the vocals are concerned, things get pretty ferocious.  I grew up listening to hardcore punk and I’d say the performance reflects that.  I definitely kind of get lost in the moment and bug out.  We do our best to makes sure everyone who comes out gets their money’s worth and then some.

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

Ideally we’d like to branch out and do some more regional shows on the East Coast and see where else we can go with it. 

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

It’s definitely something we would consider, but we haven’t had any offers yet.  The Hudson Horror is something we do not because we want to make it a career, but simply because we love playing metal.  That being said, if any label owners are reading this feel free to give me a call!

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

Overall, the reception has been really great.  People seem to be digging Nemesis and we couldn’t be happier.

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

Tyreek has a few side projects.  He is a member of The Sharp Eye Project (jazz), The Freedom Now Project (hip hop/jazz), and has his solo stuff as well.

I have two side projects that are still in their infancy- Douché Amoré (grindcore) and Atticism (melodic death metal).


Annie also drums in Belltower (black metal).



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

I think we’re going to try to branch out a little more.  At the end of the day we will always be a melodic death metal band, but we want to see where we can go in terms of incorporating other styles into the mix.

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?

We’re most heavily influenced by a lot of the 90’s/early 2000s melodic death metal bands like In Flames, At the Gates, Carcass, The Black Dahlia Murder, Scar Symmetry, etc.  There’s definitely brutal and blackened death metal influence in there as well.  A lot of people seem to reference Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse when talking about our riffs and the lower vocals.

As far as what we’re listening to now, we’re all over the place.  Every time I’m with Marcus he’s either rocking out to Plini or Wu-Tang.  I have been on a grindcore and New York hardcore kick for the past year or so.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

I’d say as a band we’re really into physical fitness and technology.

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

Nope, that sums things up.  Thanks for the interview!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Hellripper/Batsheva/Label 2318/2015 Split Cassette Review


  This  is a  review  of  a  split  ep  between  Scotland's  Hellripper  and  U.S.A's  Batsheva  which  was  released  by  Label  2318  and  we  will  start off  the  review  with Hellripper  a  solo  project  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black  and  speed  metal  with  a  touch  of  crust  punk.

  A  very  hard  and  heavy  old  school  metal/punk  sound  starts  off  his  side  of  the  split  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  leads  and  grim  black  metal  screams  and  the  music  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  speed  metal  and  you  can  also  hear  elements  of  retro  thrash  in  both  of the  tracks,  the  production  sounds  very  raw,  heavy  and  old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  rock'n'roll  and  real  life  themes.

  In  my opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Hellripper  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black,  speed  metal  and  punk,  you  should  check  out  his  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Hells  Rock'n'roll".

  Next  up  is  Batsheva  a  solo  project  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  symphonic  mixture  of  black  and  doom  metal.

  Spoken  word  ritualistic  parts  start  of  his  side  of  the  split  before  going  into  more  of  a  drone/doom  metal  direction  and  after  awhile  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  are  added  into  the  music along  with  some  elements  of  harsh  noise  and  on  a  later track  the  music  speeds  up  and  also  adds  in  deep  growls  as  well  as mixing  in  keyboards  and  the  symphonic  side  really  shows  on  the  last track, the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  Occult  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Batsheva  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  symphonic  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  his  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Inverted  Gravity".  

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

      

 

The Hudson Horror/Nemesis/2015 Full Length Review


  The  Hudson  Horror  are  a  band  from  New  York  that  plays  a  very  melodic,  blackened  and  brutal  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a review  of  their  self  released  2015  album  "Nemesis".

  Melodic guitar  leads   off  the  recording and  are  also  a  huge  part  of  the  recording  and  a  few  seconds  later  heavy  riffs  and  death  metal  growls  make  their  presence  known  and they  also mix  in  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  at  times  and  you  can  also  hear  elements  of  modern  thrash  in  the  bands  musical  style  at  times.

  When  the  music  speeds  up a  great amount  of  blast  beats  are  utilized  giving  the  songs  more  of  a  brutal  feeling  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts and  some  songs  also  bring  in  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  and  as  the  album  progresses  some  of the  tracks  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing  and  clear  vocals  are  used  briefly  on  the  last  track.

  The  Hudson  Horror  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  the  blackened,  melodic  and  brutal  death  metal  genres  and  mixes  it  in  with  more  of  a  modern  style  of  thrash  to  create  a  sound  of t heir  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.
 
  In  my  opinion  The  Hudson  Horror  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  blackened,  brutal,  melodic  death  metal  and  thrash and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Visions  Of  Disgust"  "Anathema" and  "Nemesis".  8  out  of  10.