Friday, April 28, 2017

The Magik Way/Ananke/Sad Sun Music/2017 DVD Review


  The  Magik  Way  are a  band  from  Italy  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  very  ritualistic  and  avant  garde  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  dvd  "Ananke"  which  was  released  by  Sad  Sun  Music  and  consists  of  live  performances,  experimentalism  and  documentary  elements.

 A  spoken  and  ritualistic  intro  starts  off  the  dvd  before  going  into  a  live  performance  which  starts  out  with  violins  and  an  introduction  which  also  shows  the  band  practicing  in  a  rehearsal  room  and  the  song  starts  out  with  an  avant  garde  vibe  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  and  drum beats.

  Clean  guitars  are  added  into  some  parts  of  the  music  along  with  the  dvd  mixing  in  a  video  and  the  dvd  also  brings  in  live  performances  along  with  the  music  also  having  a  psychedelic  and  experimental  vibe  at  times  and  the  clean  vocals  also  have  a  very  avant  garde  vibe  to  them.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  while  live  rituals  are  also  performed  at  times  and  after  awhile  grim  black  metal  screams  make  their presence  known  and  the  video  also  shows  a  Qabalistic  and  Hermetic  approach  to  rituals  in  some  parts  of  the  recording.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  a  very  great  sounding  video  from  The  Magic  Way  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  ritualistic  and  experimental  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  dvd.  8/5  out  of  10.

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Descent Into Maelstrom/Self Titled/2017 Full Lenth Review


  Descent  Into  Maelstrom  are  a  solo  project  from  Italy  that  plays  a  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  self  titled  and  self  released  2017  album.

  A  very  heavy  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  and  you can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the recording  along  with  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  death  metal  growls a nd  the  riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  classical  guitars  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  after  awhile  the  music  starts  utilizing  more  melodic  black  metal  elements  along  with  a  few  screams  and  the  songs  also  bring  in a  great  amount  of  Swedish  influences  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  a  couple  of  songs  are  all  instrumental.

  Descent  Into  Maelstrom  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  the  melodic  forms  of  black  and  death  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  his  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  depressive  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Descent  Into  Maelstrom  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Everything  Against"  "Storm  And  Assault"  and  "Atavistic  Enemies".  8  out  of  10.

Fading Azalea Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
It is a female-fronted symphonic metal band from Gothenburg, created in 2013 by Olivia Strömblad, french vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist.We tried a couple of musicians before finding Alexander, who recorded drums on half of the Maze Of Melancholy album. Then Johan entered the band. He wrote the bass parts for most the songs as well as the main guitar riffs on Surface and Time To Realize. After two years in the band, Alexander leaves Fading Azalea to focus on his other band. Kristoffer Jonassen, black metal drummer (ex-Irrbloss) takes over the drums. Putting the band together is always the hardest bit, we wanted different things with music, and Johan left the band in the end of 2016. Kristoffer left short after the Maze Of Melancholy release to focus on other projects. Now it's only Olivia left, composing for the band's next album and working to build a new, stabile line-up. In a place like Gothenburg, realm of melodic death metal, very few want to join a band with clean female singing, which makes it hard to build a band. Not even Epica wants to play here!

2.Recently you have released an album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
The music alternates between melodic guitar riffs, harder parts enhanced by drums that has its roots in black metal, beautiful and melancholic orchestral parts, multi-faced vocals that switch between dark low clean vocals, high-pitched opera singing, powerful hard-rock vocals and grunts. Tracks like Surface or Time To Realize had us compared to Metallica and Megadeth. On the whole album, the songs differ a lot from each other.

3.The band has been around since 2013 but waited until 2017 to release an album, can you tell us a little bit more about the earlier years?
The earlier years were spent looking for members to play and write music with. Originally my plan was to do vocals only and compose keyboard for the album, so I took a guitarist to compose on my vocals. My first musicians were really busy, making the band quite unproductive. After 2 years, I decided to write and record the guitars myself. Then the album progress went quickly, slightly more than 1 year.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
There are a lot of moral reflections. They are about our behaviour in the western society, towards each other, ourselves or nature (Dying Paradise is about the environmental issue). In The Name Of Justice and Heart of Darkness are on the angry and bitter side. Then the songs fall deeper into melancholy, with dark thoughts we all can come through on our unsuccessful days (Fall Of The Mask, Here I Am Again), since we in the western society have big expectations about how life is supposed to be and to become. But L'ombre Derrière l'âme (Shadow Behind The Soul) is a philosophical reflection that resume quite well what the whole album is about, appealing us to get stronger through acceptance. Burning To Ashes is about death and mourning.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Fading Azalea'?
It's a fading flower. We people are like flowers, we want to bloom and find happiness, fulfill our dreams. If we don't, we fade. Since most of the topics are dark and melancholic, Fading Azalea was a better name than Blooming Azalea! Then there is also a pony with the french name "Azalee" which means so much to me, but please don't mention that, haha!

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 had a nice show at the Emergenza contest earlier this year, with two guests, on bass and guitar. There were a lot of people and many voted for us, so the show seemed appreciated! There is no soundcheck for the gigs organized by Emergenza, so we had problems hearing the backing tracks and each other, but we did good despite the conditions.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
That's for sure, if I can put together a decent and stabile line up.

8.On the new album you had a few guests, can you tell us a little bit more about who they are and also their contributions to the recording?
We have Rafael Basso on growl on "In The Name Of Justice". He also sings the tenor and bass part on Where I Belong final choir. He is vocalist and guitarist for the band Unlit Face. That was before the time I discover I could growl too hehe. After Johan left the band, Gianluca Di Francisca recorded the 4 last pieces left in his studio in Italy, which are Dying Paradise, Burning To Ashes, Heart Of Darkness and Flames Of Death. He did a wonderful guitar solo for Heart Of Darkness too. He works on his solo project Gianlux. Our first drummer, Alexander, now member of the metal band Temper Fi recorded the first half of the album (Surface, Time To Realize, Here I Am Again, I Lost My Way, Where I Belong) and Kristoffer recorded the rest.

9.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Yes, we are looking for a label. We have received some proposals too, but wait for interesting ones.

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of symphonic and extreme metal?
It's been mostly positive and beyond expectation for a first album. The vocals were appreciated, as well as Olivia's shredding guitar solo on the Surface video which increased a lot the interest for the band. Some would complain that the songs are too different, I only see it positively since I like variation, it's the way it was meant to be.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future/
I think there will be more opera vocals. Otherwise we will continue into melodic metal, with that mixture of black and death metal. But you never know, we are looking for new members which might bring some new influences to the 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?
Epica and old melodic In Flames are my absolute favourites, they have clearly influenced me when it comes to composing. Opera and classical music are other influences. As for Surface and Time To Realize, there is clearly that Metallica touch, since those were the two pieces where Johan, our previous bass player, wrote the main guitar riffs. Nowadays, I listen mostly to symphonic metal with opera vocals like the early Amberian Dawn, Nightwish or Beneath My Sins. Dimmu Borgir and Green Carnation too are in my top 5.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
I love traveling to snowy places, mostly those where I can practice skiing and snowboarding. I recently visited Alaska, Svalbard and Greenland. Snow and ice makes me happy, I'm a like polar bear in the soul! This is what inspired the last song of the album, Where I Belong. It's about the melancholy I feel every time when i come home from one of those trips, leaving the beauty of the cold behind me for a couple of months which feel like an eternity. This song is heartfelt...
Other things I enjoy is growing my own vegetables, a good retro video game with Mario and Yoshi or watching X-Files. But music does not leave much time for that.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Fading Azalea will release a single for the song "Fall Of The Mask" on May,1st. It is the first version of the song, recorded in studio, with Alexander on drums. I am also working on a music video for Where I Belong, with some scenes taken from the Greenland and Svalbard sceneries. Besides, any fan of rock and ambient music with great orchestral parts should discover my side project with Norway called Hall Of Mountains, where I contribute with vocals.
Thank you for your interest! You're welcome to contact me if you have further questions.
Olivia Strömblad & Fading Azalea

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Fading Azalea/Maze Of Melancholy/2017 Full Length Review


  Fading  Azalea  are  a  duo  from  Sweden  that  plays a   symphonic  mixture  of  black  and  melodic  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of t heir  self  released  2017  album  "Maze  Of  Melancholy".

  Classical  style  keyboards  and  stringed  instruments  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  symphonic  moments  a  few  seconds  later  and  they  also  mix  it  in  with  the  heavier  side  of  the  music  and  there  are  also  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  during  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  while  the  vocals  bring  in a  mixture  of  death  metal  growls  and  black  metal  screams.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  along  with  the  riffs  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  the  songs  also  mix  in  a  great  amount  operatic  female  vocals  which  also  adds  in  a  touch  of  goth  metal  and  some  tracks  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  acoustic  guitars  and  some  of  the  songs  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Fading  Azalea  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  symphonic  metal  while  also  mixing  in  the  heaviness  of  black  and  melodic  death  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics cover  dark and  poetic  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Fading  Azalea  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  symphonic,  black  and  melodic  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "In  The  Name  Of  Justice"  "Surface"  "Fall  Of  the  Mask"  and  "Where  I  Belong".  8  out  of  10.

   

 

 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Flourishing Scourge Interview

All Answers by Bassist Kevin Carbrey

1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

Hello!  The band is currently preparing for the release of its first full-length album on June 9th.  It’s been in process for the last 2 to 3 years, so after a few celebrations locally with our friends and family, we’re planning on a taking a little time off in the summer before reconvening to prepare for a fall tour.

2. You have a new album coming out in June, 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 released our first EP, “As Beauty Fades Away”, in 2015, which represented an earlier incarnation of the band with original drummer Josh Keifer.  Those songs were a little bit different tonally than the ones on the full-length.  A little darker perhaps, and we were limited to the production value we could achieve in our basement studio. 

This album is significantly more dynamic, not only in the songwriting, but in the overall sound as well.  We were also fortunate to record, mix and master with some of the best names in metal, and that significantly improved the production of the tracks.  I think the album really captures everything we were attempting to achieve from a musical and technical perspective, without losing any of the soul we find in the songs.

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

The lyrics really represent our observations of what we see going on around us right now.  It wasn’t intended to be a concept album, however, the lyrical themes, album imagery, and album/band name are all closely related.  I prefer to let the listener explore the lyrical themes without influence, but I definitely think that all of the parts are necessary to see the view from our eyes.  Taken individually, the music, lyrics, band name and imagery only tell part of the story.  I think consideration of each of those elements will show a pretty clear, poignant picture.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'A Flourishing Scourge'?

In every aspect of life, there seems to be a parasite that always takes way more than it contributes.  Each of us seem to define what the scourge is in our individual lives a little bit differently, so we like that the name, album, and lyrical content are all subject to interpretation.


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

We really try to bring a dynamic, immersive experience to our live shows.  We incorporate our own lights, fog and other visual aspects to accentuate the music, allowing us to kind of manipulate the atmosphere at a venue, regardless of its size.  We want the music and visuals to be the stars of the show and do our best to stay out of the way.  We were on tour last fall and one of my favorite shows was at Rock City Studios in California.  Great venue and a cool group of bands and fans and there was a really palpable energy that night.  Fortunately we were able to record that show in its entirety, and it’s currently up on our YouTube page.  The kick-off show for that tour was with Kataklysm in Seattle, so we had our home town crowd there to send us off, and that was a really fun show where the sound and lights happened to be almost perfect, which is always a bit of a miracle.

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

Absolutely!  We’re going to take a few weeks off this summer to relax a bit after spending the last two sequestered in our basement.  After that, we’ll begin rehearsals for a fall tour, which will probably kick off during mid to late September.   We’ll probably begin with a short 10 – 12 date tour in the fall, and will then look to do something similar again in early 2018.

7. The new album is coming out on the bands own label, are you open to working with a different label in the future?

Sure, provided their goals and vision for the band were in line with our own.  We are intending to shop this album to some of the like-minded labels we’ve enjoyed over the years in order to seek out distribution, booking and tour support partnerships that make sense during this very strange period in the music industry.  

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

It has really been received well.  I’m a little older, so I grew up before the splintering of all the genres.  Metal was metal.   I like that our sound is very diverse and has so many different elements and influences.  Typically we’re told by listeners that they can always find elements of our songs that resonate with them, regardless of their background or musical tendencies and I would like to think that we could offer something that transcends genre boundaries while still doing the individual influences justice.  

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

We are definitely intending on stepping out of our comfort zone for the next album.  This album, like so many other debuts, took years to make, and the songs were literally in-process the whole time.  Most of them were already fairly developed concepts arranged by Tye, the singer/guitarist, before the band was fully formed.  So, this time, writing will be a much more collaborative, from-scratch approach, that will probably yield some new twists.  Also, being fans of progressive music and the long-form musical piece, the next album is going to be a more deliberate concept album, as opposed to A Flourishing Scourge which is merely tied thematically.

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?

We’ll all have very varied influences, however ‘80’s thrash seems to be what got all of us into playing music.  I’m very into prog music in general, be it Opeth, Tool or early Genesis.  The other guys are more into the black and death metal side of the house, however we’ll listen to everything from Fleshgod Apocalypse to Michael Jackson depending on the day.  As far as what I’m listening to, I’m digging the new Pillorian and Anciients albums, as well as getting into some Norwegian folk metal, with bands like Wardruna.  Other than that, my main stable of prog and metal are always on constant rotation.  

11. What are some of your nonmusical interests?

Being from Seattle, we’re all Seahawks fans.  We love to have Game of Thrones dinner parties.  We go to tons of shows either to support of friends or dig on someone we like.  We’re all interested in traveling and spending time with our families, so we’re going to take a little time this summer to do that before we get rolling again this fall.

12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
The album will be released on June 9th, but is currently available for pre-order from Bandcamp. 
https://aflourishingscourge.bandcamp.com/album/a-flourishing-scourge

Also, please check in on us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/aflourishingscourge) and our webpage, www.afloursihingscourge.com. 
Metal was borne and lives today on the backs of the bloggers, writers, zines and power of the individual fan, and we are very appreciate of your support.  Thank you!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Legacy Of Emptiness/Over The Past/Black Lion Records/2017 CD Review


  Legacy  Of  Emptiness  are  a  band  from  Norway  that  plays  a  very  symphonic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Over  The  Past"  which  will  be  released  in  June  by  Black  Lion  Records.

  Symphonic  sounding  keyboards  start  off  the album  and  they  also  mix  in  with  the  more  heavy  and  melodic  side  of  the  music  along  with  all  of  the  instruments  sounding  very  powerful  and  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  and  the  solos  and  leads  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody.

  Sounds  of  nature  can  be  heard  briefly  and  the  music  also  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  90's  influences  from  the  symphonic  Norwegian  style  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  while  deep  growls  are  also  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

  Certain  sections  of  the  songs  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  parts  and acoustic  guitars  along  with  some  of  the  tracks  also  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  melodic  goth  style  vocals  can  be  heard.

  Legacy  Of  Emptiness  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  symphonic  and  goes  back  to  the  90's  era  of  the  genre,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness,  hopelessness,  void,  and  historical  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Legacy  Of  Emptiness  are  a  very  great  sounding  symphonic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Despair"  "There  Was  A  Man"  and  "Evening  Star".  8  out  of  10. 

Omrade/Nade/My Kingdom Music/2017 CD Review


  Omrade  are  a  band  from  Sweden  that  has  been  featured  before in  this  zine  and  plays  an  avant  garde  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Nade"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  My  Kingdom  Music.

  Programmed  drum  beats  and  trip  hop  elements  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  clean  yet  aggressive  vocals  a  few  seconds  later  as  well  as  violins  being  added  onto  the  recording  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sound  very  powerful  and  the  songs  also  mix  in  a  great  amount  of  industrial  elements.

  Acoustic  guitars  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  while  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  some  songs  also  bringing  in  a  small  amount  of  saxophones.

  Throughout  the  recording  the  music  mixes  in  a  great  amount  of  progressive,  experimental,  avant  garde  and  post  rock  influences  together  and  on later  tracks  the  vocals  get  more  aggressive  along  with  also  adding  in  a  touch  of  black  metal  and  some  of  the  songs  are  also  long  and  epic  in  length  and  when  the  music  finally  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  whispered and  female  vocals.

  On  this  recording  Omrade  goes  for  more  of  an  avant  garde  and  post  style  of  metal  while  still  keeping  around  some  black  metal  elements,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  mostly  written  in  Swedish  along  with  one  track  being  written  in  English  and  they  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Omrade  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  avant  garde  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "XII"  "The  Same  For  The  Worst"  and  "Falaich".  8  out  of  10.

 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Dusius Interview

or those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
The band get started in late 2010 as four friends with the passion for music planned to write few songs for themselves. With some time the project got bigger, with two members more and the first shows. After the EP and the signing with our previous label, we found a new and final member for the completeness of our sound, introducing bagpipes and whistles in the line up.

2.You got a new album coming out this month, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the demo you had released in 2013?
We started with an idea around the viking/folk metal sound, but, dealing with our different influences, we tried to manage a sound which could contain and harmonize our styles, creating a mark which could define us out of any specific label.
This, however, wasn’t planned on the start, but was a spontaneus evolution, as each member of the group played a part in the writing of both the music and the lyrics.
Basically, the main difference between the two releases is the integration of the new member, and his contribution with typical folkish instruments.

3.The band has been around since 2010 but so far have only released one demo and a full length, can you tell us a little bit more about the gaps in between releases?
At about half 2014 the new member was found, and it took time to integrate him and to rewrite the songs, allowing him to find his place.
The album was almost finished, and we wanted it to be in the higher quality possible; so the recordings were quite expansive and we decided to wait rather than lower the final quality. However, the recordings took place in autumn 2015, and Memory of a Man was just waiting for a label for the whole 2016.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Despite the topics that could be found across the lyrics, our most interest was in the tale itself, in its plot, in its development. Our own stories run through the songs, camouflaged in metaphors and assembled in the life moments of the Man of whom we speak.
His memories are but our feelings and sensations: his anger is our anger; the stories differ.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Dusius'?
The name "Dusius" was chosen with inspiration. The term was accidentally found by Manuel Greco in one of his lectures about post-Roman civilizations. He read that the word was in use in some late-medieval gaelic dialect, with a clear latin influence (dusius, dusiī). The exact origin is controversial, but the meaning is confirmed to be "Spirit" or "Monster", or, as that book itself declared, "Spirit of the Wood". The name enchanted us swiftly, as it reflected our folkish purpose.

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 recall every show gladly, but some of them occupy a special place in our memory.
Our first show was amazing for us; we have had the pleasure to play at the party for the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International. We were headliners right in the downtown of Parma! The public response was totally unexpected: they were thrilled, and so were we. A superb start, indeed.
The show we had at the Aemilia Folk Fest was another memorable one. This was a folk-metal festival, so the public was focused. The fact is that the stage was declared unsafe during the soundcheck, so that in response we placed our amps on the grass, wired them, and played between trees in a wonderful summer night, with lots of fine folks.
Leaving all together the italian borders was the best experience. Every day of our european tour have been unique and awesome! The shows in Opava and in Prague were the most amazing, the music and the people were very high, and we did our work good and well.
We are as natural as possible onstage, we bring self irony and cheer, 'cause there is always room for laugh! We bring passion nonetheless, and we do our best and we're as professional as the situation needs.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
We are currently considering some opportunities. We'll certainly have more shows in Italy, but we heartly hope to come back abroad, having shows throughout Europe.

8.The album is coming out on 'Extreme Metal Music', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
We are new in the label, so that it's pretty hard to have impressions about. Up to now we are feeling cool: they're looking after us with experience and helping us with great attention.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of viking and folk metal?
So far, we had a discrete feedback in the Eastern Europe and in Spain; we are very glad to have had a great appreciation by non-folk/viking fans.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We already have some big project for the future, in which we are giving more space to our folkish side, trying to stay in the never-heard. We are also focusing on different concepts and topics, hoping to bring up something as various as we can for our new works.
We are currently working a lot on the technical side, trying to improve our abilities a

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 different musical tastes, so the answer may sound weird and non-linear. Our influences clearly are what can be heard in the album. To name some, we listen to: Metallica, Tom Waits, Ensiferum, Guccini, Ayreon, Eluveite, Jethro Tull and Pain of Salvation.
Yes, that's just a few, but all of these listening had a weight in the writing of our songs.

12.How would you describe your views on Paganism?
Made an except of a certain common fascination, we have no peculiar vision or interest on Paganism. It is precisely why we decided not to include any specific referring to cultures or religions inside our tale.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
We have interests around literature, theatre, art, cinema, photography, woodcraft, tipography.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
For all those who have always supported us, we want to say that we intend to keep on working hard, and we hope to continue to have so much fun together. Our friendship is very important to us, and we hope that never dies, regardless of the fate of the band itself.
Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity, it was a pleasure to answer your questions.

Downcast Twilight Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about band?
First off, greetings! It’s a sincere pleasure to talk to you and to your readers. We really appreciate it! “Downcast Twilight” were formed in late 2015 as a folk / Viking death / black metal project by OG, who is the musical mastermind behind every composition and also handles the rhythm guitars section. Vitold Buznaev is on vocals, Jan Twothousandarrows Tamb is on lead guitars and solos, Chris Zindros on bass and the fretless bass solo in “The Red Queen” track, Shannon Lee Stott-Rigsbee on violin and Marios Koutsoukos tackles all the lyrics. In 2016, we signed with Stygian Crypt Records, in Russia. Very recently, our first album, “Under the wings of the Aquila”, was released in CD. Note that it is also available as an online release on CDbaby.com. It has been a privilege to also cooperate with guest musicians on said album: Hildr Valkyrie did the vocals for “The Red Queen”, Eva Oswald sang in “Death in Alexandria” and we also had additional bass recordings by Jan Banaś.

2.Recently you have released your first album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
Hopefully, it’s exactly what fans of the folk / Viking metal genre would expect: heavy, pounding, melodic yet with brutal and raw overtones, ideal for headbanging and spilling your beer (or mead) all over the place. OG, the maestro extraordinaire of “Downcast Twilight” handled the mixing and mastering of the album, bringing his professional expertise and years of experience into creating a sound that is solid, full-bodied and, we believe, will satisfy even the most demanding of listeners.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
In this particular album, “Under the wings of the Aquila”, the lyrics deal exclusively with themes from Roman antiquity: some songs are about historical events, such as the final days of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra (“Death in Alexandria”) or an abbreviated history of the exploits of the 6th legio ferrata (“The Ironclad Legion”). Other songs deal with the more religious aspects of Roman times, such as the feast of the Lupercalia (“Orgiastic Lupercalia”), which evolved into modern-day “St. Valentine’s day” or the Roman witch-hunt (“The witches of Anglesay”), which, Pliny assures us, was a thing that Romans actually did in his time and, to put it in his words, “the world owes an immeasurable debt to Rome for purging off the face of the earth the barbarous rites of human sacrifice”. Still, “Under the wings of the Aquila” is not a concept album. It has a uniform cultural theme, yes, but every song is its own separate narrative. Future “Downcast Twilight” albums will deal with totally different cultures and civilizations.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Downcast Twilight'?
Well, we are aware that the band’s name sounds more appropriate for a “goth” or “doom” band than for a folk / Viking death metal band but we didn’t want to go with something that would be too cliché or conjure up any specific cultural image to mind. “Downcast Twilight” reflects, rather, that bitter-sweet melancholy feeling, that vague nostalgia one gets when mentally exploring the pages of history and legend of the human race – its glories and shames, triumphs and tragedies, follies and moments of enlightenment. If you will, it’s also an allegory for the “murky” and faded understanding that modern man has, through scattered and fragmented accounts and findings, about his actual past.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
In truth, we are not so much of a live-gig band as much as we are a studio project. With our members being dispersed all over the globe, getting physically together and rehearsing for a live show is currently out of the question, yet who knows what can happen in the future? Perhaps we’ll man a “touring line-up” or something. Everything is on the table and the sky’s the limit! Therefore there’s no stage performance per se to describe as of yet, but I can let you in on a little secret: I do one hell of an air guitar in my shower.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Alas, due to the restrictions mentioned above and the very nature of “Downcast Twilight”, such plans for the time being have to remain in the sphere of wishful thinking.

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of folk and extreme metal?
Actually, the response of the fans has been overwhelmingly great! We are extremely pleased and, at the same time, grateful to all those people who take the time to leave a comment on our social media pages, sharing their enthusiasm with us and the rest of the world. It’s the most amazing feeling really and it always brings a smile in our faces! So, we would like to take this opportunity and shout out to all of you folks who love and support our music – “You’re the best! You rock!”. We believe that what we do has truly something new to offer to the folk / extreme metal genre and, apparently, discerning fans have picked up on it and are embracing “Downcast Twilight” with an ardor that is honestly moving.

8.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?
In truth, all of our band members as well as our guest musicians are veterans of the metal scene and even have a long-standing presence in other forms of artistic expression as well. As a result, everyone is one way or another involved with numerous side projects. OG works as a professional sound engineer with a multitude of bands, both in the UK and worldwide; Jan Twothousandarrows Tamb and Hildr Valkyrie may be known to many of you from the many “Folkearth” and “Folkodia” albums in which they have participated. Vitold Buznaev is also a member of bands such as “Impakt”, “Amederia” and others while you may know of Chris Zindros from other bands he’s involved in, such as “Aenaon” and “Absinthiana”. Shannon Lee Stott-Rigsbee is a classically trained violin player and concert musician. Marios Koutsoukos, apart from his work as lyricist for metal bands like “Folkearth”, “Folkodia”, “Dimlight” and other,  is also a professional author of fiction novels, writing in both English and his native Greek.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
It’s difficult to say with any certainty. I mean, musical evolution is like personal growth: the more you learn, the better equipped you are, the more you change and adapt to an ideal of what is “good” and “beautiful” that is constantly coming more and more into focus. Rest assured, however, that “Downcast Twilight” will remain true to its musical “brand” and you’ll always know what to expect from us. It’ll only get better with each album. We are ever striving towards excellence and cooperation with the best musicians in the scene, so be ready for awesome surprises in the near future!

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, we’re obviously heavily influenced by the norms of the Viking / death / folk metal genre. Bands like Tyr, Amon Amarth, Thyrfing and Mithotyn are among our favorites yet we do not like to limit ourselves. Each member of “Downcast Twilight” has his or her own special preferences, ranging from hard rock to black metal. Our creative process is like an Athanor, an alchemical furnace, where all these individual influences are smelted together in the refined amalgam of our sound. We listen to pretty much anything nowadays – always depending on the moment and the mood: all sorts of metal genres, from power / progressive to symphonic black metal, then we might even jump to Icelandic folk music, medieval canticles, dark rock crooners, jazz and blues… seriously. Anything. If you had audio access to all our heads it would sound like an asylum for the musically deranged!

11.Does Paganism play any role in your music?
As a band, regardless of the personal beliefs of any of our members, we try to keep it as secular as possible. We are story-tellers, not preachers, after all. Of course, when dealing with themes from antiquity and mythology we do not shy away from approaching Paganism in its historical context. Depending on the theme of the song and its narrative perspective, we may deal with the beauty found in the simplicity of ancient religion or, just as well, with some of its more bizarre and gruesome practices. In order to better understand the “whys” and “hows” of any ancient culture, one must first understand, deeply and without bias, their conception of the divine. Among our members, we have Christians (of various denominations), practicing Pagans and secular thinkers as well. However, “Downcast Twilight”, as a group, does not have a religious agenda and that is why we all get along and have cartloads of fun making music together!

12.What are some of your non-musical interests?
Well, they are as varied as the personal interests of each of our members. But, at the end of the day, we’re normal guys and gals doing normal, boring stuff: underwater archeology, knitting, historical reenactment, occult research at the risk of our sanity (to say nothing of our immortal soul and the off-chance of awakening the Great Old Ones), beer brewing, ESP / super-soldier training, gardening, some rocket science in an attempt to contact the Aldebaran civilization and also cooking on the side. Because it’s the little things that keep you going and give your strength throughout the day, you know?

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you very much for your time; it has been a real pleasure talking to you and we appreciate it. To all the people out there who enjoy our music, we salute you and thank you for your support – it is you who keep “Downcast Twilight” going and make our hard work worth every minute! Stay strong, creative and keep in mind the words of the Roman poet, Propertius: “let each man pass his days in that wherein his skill is greatest”.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Flourishing Scourge/Self Titled/Begotten Records/2017 Full Length Review

A   Flourishing  Scourge  are  a  band  from  Seattle,  Washington  that  plays  a  progressive  and  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2017  album  which  will  be  released  in  June  by  Begotten  Records.

  Death  metal  growls  and  melodic  guitar  leads  start  off  the  album  along  with  a  great  amount  of  fast  riffs  and  blast  beats  while  you  can  also  hear  a  great  amount  of  melody  in  the  guitar  riffing  along  with  all  of  the  musical instruments  sounding  very  powerful  and  a  good  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Classical  guitars  and  symphonic  sounds  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and fast  parts  while  also  mixing  in  a  great  amount  of  prog  elements  and  black  metal  screams  are  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  music  and  some  of  the  fast  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  all  instrumental.

  A  Flourishing  Scourge  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  melodic  black  and  death  metal  and  mixes  them  in  with  a  great  amount  of  progressive  elements  to  create  something  very  different,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  A  Flourishing  Scourge  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  and  progressive  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  "Tp  The  Stench  Of  A   Rotting  Corpse"  and  "Solace".  8  out  of  10.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Downcast Twilight/Under The Wings Of Aquila/Stygian Crypt Productions/2017 CD Review


  Downcast  Twilight  are  a  band  from  the  United  Kingdom  that  plays  a  mixture  of  folk  and  melodic  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Under  The  Wings  Of  Aquila"  which  was  released  by  Stygian  Crypt  Productions.

  A  very  heavy  and  symphonic  sound  starts  off  the  album  and  when t he  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  along  with  the  riffs  utilizing  a  lot  of  melody  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the recording  and  after  awhile  death  metal  growls  start  to  make  their  presence  known.

  When  screams  are  utilized  they  add  in  a  touch  of  black  metal  and  they  also  mix  folk  instruments  in  with  the heavier  sections  of  the  songs  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  and  the  music  also  brings  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  female  vocals  along  with  clean  guitars  are  added  onto  the  closing  track.

  Downcast  Twilight  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  folk  metal  while  mixing  in t he  heaviness  of  melodic  death  and  black  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  fantasy  and  mythological  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Downcast  Twilight  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  folk  and  melodic  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Soldier  Of  Pompeii"  "The  Ides  Of  March"  "The  Ironclad  Legion"  and  "The  Red  Queen".  8  out  of  10.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Pereplut/V Starodavine Goda/Stygain Crypt Productions/2017 CD Review


  Pereplut  are  a  band  from  Russia  that  plays  a  mixture  of  pagan,  folk  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a review  of  their  2017  album  "V  Starodavine  Goda"  which  was  released  by  Stygian  Crypt  Productions.

  Acoustic  guitars  start  off  the  album  and  they  also  bring  elements  of  folk  music  onto  the  recording  while  other  folk  and  stringed  instruments  are  also  used  at  times  and  they  also  mix  this  side  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs  while  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording. 

  Clean  yet  aggressive  singing  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  and  after  death  metal  along  with  black  metal  screams  are  also  used  in  some  parts  of  the  songs  along  with  some  of  the  riffing  also  mixing  in  elements  of  thrash  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Pereplut  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  pagan  and  folk  metal  while  also  mixing  in  the  heaviness s of  black,  death  and  thrash  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Russian  and  cover  folk  tales,  paganism,  mysticism,  and  anti  Christian  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Pereplut  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  pagan,  folk  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Rualya"  "Vedmachya  Vecherya"  and  "Zmievyi  Valyi".  8  out  of 10. 
 

Mudbath/Brine Pool/Grains Of Sand Records/2017 CD Review


  Mudbath  are  a  band  from  France  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  blackened  mixture  of  stoner,  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Brine  Pool"  which  was  released  by  Grain  Of  Sand  Records.

  Clean  guitars  and  drum  beats  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  powerful  sounding  bass  guitars  a  few  seconds  later  and  after  awhile  heavy  yet  melodic  riffs  make  their  presence  known  along  with  some  high  pitched  screams  that  are  very  heavily  influenced  by  black  metal  and  most  of  the  tracks  are  long  and  epic  in  length.

  When  the  music  speeds  up a   decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  and  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  are  very  heavily  influenced  by  stoner,  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  touches  of  scream  and  post  hardcore  are  also  used  at  times  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  and  some  tracks  also  bring  in a  small  amount  of  doom  growls  and  clean  playing  also  makes  a  return  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  one  track  is  all  instrumental  and also  adds  in  a  touch  of  ambient  and  drone. 

  Mudbath  creates  another  recording  that remains  true  to  the blackened  mixture  of  stoner,  sludge,  and  doom  metal  from  previous  releases,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Mudbath  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black  metal,  sludge,  stoner  and  doom, you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "End  Of  COld"  and  "Fire".  8  out  of  10.

 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Mind Mold/Self Titled/Sentient Ruin Laboratories/2017 EP Review


  Mind  Mold  are  a  band  from  Calgary,  Alberta,  Canada  that  plays  an  avant  garde  mixture  of  black  and doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2017  ep  which  was  released  by  Sentient  Ruin  Laboratories.

  A  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  a  mixture  of  growls  and  black  metal  screams  and  you  can  also  hear  influences  of  sludge  and  hardcore  in  the  bands  musical  style  and  the  riffs  also  use  a  decent  amount  of  melody  while  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  in  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs.

  All  of  the musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  at  times  the  vocals  also  have  a  semi  melodic  tone  to  them  and  as  the  ep  progresses  synths  are  added  onto  the  recording  while  the  songs  also  mix  in  influences  from  noise  rock,  shoegaze,  avant  garde  and  experimental  music  and  the  tracks  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Mind  Mold  plays  a  musical  style  that  mixes  black  metal,  doom,  sludge  and  avant  garde  to  create  something  very  original,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  surreal  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Mind  Mold  are  a  very  great  sounding  avant  garde  mixture  of  black  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Antipath"  and  "Nyx".  8  out  of  10.
 

   

Thursday, April 6, 2017

King Satan/King Fucking Satan/Saturnal Records/2017 CD Review

  King  Satan  are  a  solo  project  from  Finland  that  plays  a  mixture  of  industrial  and black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2017  album  "King  Fucking  Satan"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Saturnal  Records.

  Industrial  sounds  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  heavy  riffs  and  distorted  vocals  start  off t he  album  along  with  some  black  metal  screams  also  being  used  at  times  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of t he  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  while  elements  of  ebm  are  also  used  at  times.

   In  some  parts  of t he  songs  the  vocals  bring  in a  more  melodic  tone  while  influences  of  death  metal  and  aggrotech  are  also  added  into  most  of  the  tracks  along  with  a  touch  of  hard  rock  and  spoken  word  parts  are  also  used  at  times  and  one  track  also  brings  in a  brief  use  of  female  vocals  while  they  have  more  of  a  punk  feeling  when t hey  are utilized  and  clean   playing  is  also  used  briefly.

  King  Satan   plays  a  musical  style  that  mixes  black  metal,  industrial,  ebm  and  aggrotech  to  create  something  original,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Occult  Philosophy  and  Psychological  themes.


  In  my  opinion  King  Satan  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  industrial  and  black  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Dance  With  The  Devil"  "Sex  Magick"  "Spiritual  Anarchy"  and  "Kali  Yuga  Algorithm".  8  out  of  10.

    

Gehtika/The Great Reclamation/2017 EP Review

  Gehtika  are  a  band  from  the  United  Kingdom  that  plays  a  symphonic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2017  ep  "The  Great  Reclamation".

 

  A  very  heavy  and  symphonic  sound  starts  off  the  ep  and  after  awhile  black  metal  screams  and  a  death  metal  growls  are  added  onto  the  recording  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  along  with  riffs  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion.

  Throughout  the  recording  there  is  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  stringed  instruments  are  also  used  at  times  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  music  also  mixes  in  a  great  amount  of  90's  influences  while  still  sounding  very  modern.

  Gehtika  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  symphonic  black  metal  and  mixes  it  with  death  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark,  philosophical  and  mythological  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Gehtika  are  a  very  great  sounding  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  "Existence  Or  Oblivion"  and "The  Human  Divergence".  8  out  of  10.

  

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Drenai 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?

Guile (guitar): We’ve made the promotion of our new EP ‘Nadirs’ and we are focusing on our next LP which is already written and composed. We are rehearsing on it and for several scheduled shows.

2. Recently you have released a new EP, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

Guile: It is both different and similar in fact: ‘Nadirs’ is a full folk acoustic 5-tracks which differs with our usual musical style, much more raw and metal. But it’s still our way of composing, how Drenaï sounds in its metal style. The real difference is in its approach: this EP is a tale, with a narrator and we searched deeper in ethnic musical cultures worldwide, not only in Celtic music but also in Arabic, Native American, traditional Japanese and many more musical sources and inspirations. This way, ‘Nadirs’ sounds like a soundtrack for a story, told by Diego, with its ambiances like when you are watching a movie who would deal with the advent of Nosta from his youth to who he is to become later: the dark shaman Nosta Khan.

3. The material on the new recording is all acoustic but the band has used heavier guitars and growling vocals in the past, are there any plans on returning back to this direction?

Guile: Indeed yes: this whole EP has been made thanks to an opportunity we had to record an EP with friends from several folk (metal) bands in France and French speaking surrounding countries like Ithilien, La Horde, Les Compagnons du Gras Jambon… We called back other friends who already took part to our previous LP ‘Deathwalker’, in the choir for instance… Almost 30 people recorded this EP. Whether it is different from our habits, we call ‘Nadirs’ our “EP for the pleasure”, the one we had recording it and the one we try to display on our listeners who are used to Drenaï only sounding folk metal. But the forthcoming album stands at the crossroads of what we have formerly made; it will sound more folk and more metal in a way… “more epic” to sum up in two words J

4. The band name and lyrics come from the writings of David Gemmell, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this author and also do you have any interest in other fantasy authors?

Diego (lead voice): I’ve been reading Fantasy and related since something like twenty years. While I started the hard way, with J.R.R.Tolkien, and various authors from Moorcock or Howard to Nicholls or Lovecraft, I literally fell into Gemmell’s work. His work is both simple to approach and read, but still, you can find in it some concepts, which seems directly taken from the author’s life and way of thinking. Thus, you may find in it many invariants: epic and hopeless defense of a fortress, the idea that no one is bounded by fate, that you must judge anyone by his deeds, not his origins, heroes with their doubts and weaknesses... It’s not only about fearless knights in their shiny armors, crashing the bad guys, whom just enjoy being evil: there is a meaning behind almost any character’s action or set of mind.
That’s why, in the band’s genesis, we were five fantasy readers, all keen on Gemmell’s. So, when it comes to set a folk metal formation, we almost choose his work naturally.

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

Guile: To me, there are several places where we played I will keep in my memories: our first gig in a fest, the Cernunnos Pagan Fest (for we didn’t expect to win the contest to play there), the one we made in Germany at the Hörnerfest, for it was both professional but also relaxed and friendly (and we shared the stage with Finntroll and Skyforger!), the one we made in Switzerland for personal reasons… XD Drenaï on stage is a show where we incarnate roles (sometimes one, sometimes two depending on the set we fixed in rehearsal) and try to make our gigs the more interactive as possible. The more the audience is responding, the better it is for us (and for them too J).
Diego: Guile summed it up pretty well: the Cernunnos Pagan Fest was an amazing experience, because even if we summoned our crowd to support us at the contest show, we’ve been actually quite surprised to win and play at the main event. It was great to see our friends and fans made it to Paris just to give us that chance. And Germany, well… We’re French lads, from a country where metal isn’t well seen and renowned. At Hörnerfest, we enjoyed the “Deutsche Qualität”, in a nice fest, where it’s like being with your family (a quite large one, though). When we are on stage (with space and time enough), we try to do our best to make a LIVE and LIVING show as much as we can. We are fully involved in the idea that we are there to incarnate the characters we talk about in our songs. I think we must be more than just a bunch of guys playing what was recorded on album, only looking to their instrument: I’m talking about coming and WATCHING a band, not only listening to it during a gig. The roles are now an important part of our live experience: we have enough songs to plan various shows, depending on the audience we expect to be there, the set time we’re given… And so, we can tell the crowd a rather different story every time. And to emphasize it, we generally choose to introduce the songs with short narrations to make the people understand that we are telling about nice books that should definitely be read (and bought!). So, that’s why we’ll be Druss or Bodasen or Nosta or Sieben the bard, and so on and so forth…


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

Guile: These days, Greg (guitar) is working on booking dates for Drenaï and we have several shows to come within the end of this year and the beginning of the next one (in Nantes for example). We are still waiting for answers that haven’t come yet from several fests to which we have applied and we are still applying to others in different countries… We are trying to book a tour this summer but it depends on the answers we have.

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

Guile: One day we will… be interesting or interested… (lol) The question is in debate for our next album: it will be really convenient to be signed by a label for a better distribution…
Diego: Obviously, working with a label would be great to reach more and more listeners.

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

Guile: We did not receive many feedback but our followers’ number keeps growing worldwide which may indicate that ‘Nadirs’ pleases a growing amount of people. Even our usual listeners seem to have been surprised by this EP, expecting that “the next opus should be folk metal” and have been disconcerted in their way of receiving and listening to Drenaï or folk music in general: no distorted guitars, no drums, no growling voice, but folkloric instruments and a narrator... It’s not easy to change the habits of the listeners (ours too) but it’s the way we conceive music: changes and perpetual open-mindedness in order to give new and fresh ideas to our crowds and not repeat the things we already did before, and we hope they will think the same.

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

Guile: I don’t really predicate the future of the band, we’ll see where all this leads us. One thing I’m sure: we won’t stay in one defined style and fall into its stereotypes but try to evolve each time we’ll release something: there are so many things left to do in music by trying new approaches, new sounds, new things, and even melt them with older ones… The only thing that will not change is the band’s thematic (or we’ll have to change our name in… I don’t know… “Drenaï of Fire and Wind” maybe… lol).
Diego: As we said, we’ll keep renewing our music and surprising our crowd, but I think, we’ll keep the things that make our identity: only live music when we’re on stage (no samples), epic orchestrations, and numerous and various choirs.


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?

Guile: Each one in the band has several musical tastes, you can easily guess how hard it is to please everyone and both create a music that suits to our purpose. J Actually mine go to Metal in general but mostly to Symphonic Metal (Death, Black or only Symphonic). Obviously I don’t have only one band I can refer in Metal (I could quote Iron Maiden, Slayer, Megadeth, Mors Principium Est, No Return, etc.) but I also listen to world traditional music (Japan and Arabic World especially) and “classical” music like Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, Wagner, Dvorak, Palestrina… My latest “coups de coeur” go to The Browning’s “Isolation”, Sepultura’s “Machine Messiah” and Ex Deo’s “The Immortal Wars”.
Diego: Usually, I’m really into epic scores composers, such as Two steps from Hell, or Twelve Titans Music, and movie scores (guess what kind of movies!). Since it allows me to picture epic scenes, battle speeches and stuff alike, I’m in. But when it comes to metal, it’s mostly folk metal. Not the “party/beer/women” ones (who said Alestorm? XD), but more in the lineage of Finntroll or Turisas. On a more inspirational side, I’m quite fan of Amon Amarth, even if their last album was a small disappointment. And lately, I’ve been listening Gorgon’s ‘Titanomachy’. It’s an epic death metal band from Paris (and nice guys) which shared with us a nice show in our hometown. You should definitely check it.


11. Does Paganism play any role in your music?

Guile: If the question is “does religion take a place in Drenaï?”, none of us believe in any god, we are atheists. Even though the study of religion and religion history (from paganism to monotheism for instance) can be a long and interesting subject, it has nothing to do with our music or lyrics.
Diego: … Even when the Nadirs, one of Gemmell’s numerous people praise the Gods of Stone and Water… oops, I said too much… see you on the next album ;) )

12. What are some of your non musical interests?

Guile: Movies and cinema, videogames (RPGs), comics & graphic novels (Rochette’s ‘Snowpiercer’, Willingham’s ‘Fables’… just finished Garth Ennis’ ‘Hellblazer’ and begun ‘Preacher’)… Each one of my hobbies is where there is a universe I can hear /imagine/ put music/soundscape on…
Diego: Mostly reading: novels, graphic novels, comics… provided it’s Fantasy or SF themed (I don’t like dramas that take place in the “real” world, or imply actuality. We’re living a dark and hard enough world; escaping it from time to time is a relief). And playing old vintage videogames (I stopped somewhere between Age of Kings and Baldur’s Gate II).


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

Diego: Support your local scene. Enjoy and attend their shows. Don’t save your money for one fest only; discover new stuff! They deserve it.
Guile: Stay epic and open minded! Enjoy listening to ‘Nadirs’ and share with your friends! Get well! See you (maybe) on a local stage!