Friday, July 20, 2018

Gwydion Interview


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

First of all thanks for the interview, we are glad to be back! Well we are eager with the launch of the new album, because we expect that it will be very important in the bands career.
We are preparing everything, from stage banner, lyric video, merchandise to the official release party…
There will be lot of surprises and good stuff happening theses days!


2.You have a new album coming out in July, how would you describe the musical sound hat is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

This disc features a more mature sound than the old albums. It is a cliché to say that the last album is better than the predecessor but in this case we identify more with the raw and direct sound of Thirteen! We believe it's an album that captivates most metal fans, from heavy, death, folk to viking. Resuming, "Horn Triskelion" - more folk, "Veteran" - more dark, "Thirteen" the best of the 2 worlds!

3.This is your first album in 5 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?

It is always good to be back and a huge pleasure to be able to present our work to our fans. Gwydion is back with a new lineup, which brought new insights and influences to Thirteen's end result.
We always hope for the support of our fans in the concerts, because that's what makes us move and continue!


4.The lyrics on the new album cover Viking history and myths, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?

Gwydion always had an interest in Viking history and myths! But…that’s not only it! Our band is like story tellers, we like to play and sing for relevant facts of history! Norse, Celtic, Portuguese… you name it, we really like to cover this topics.
Since the bands beginning we always had a great interest for medieval and historical themes. It’s a great joy to hear our fans singing our stories, it really makes us fulfilled.

.The bands name comes from Druidism, how would you compare Celtic Paganism to Nordic Paganism?

Asatru by its very nature is Norse- The Asir are Norse gods- The Celtic deities are much more like the pre Asir Norse Gods - the Vanir.
They are both Indo-European religions and it is fair to say the the Celtic forms are probably the older - but that is oversimplifying it! The Norse beliefs evolved out of ones very much like the Celtic traditions.It then took on influences from more eastern European beliefs via the Teutonic peoples. It is a bit the way Titans represent the older faith - pre-Olympian in Greece.
They have slightly differing focus. Also the Norse beliefs lasted until much more recently and are much better recorded so we know more about them. You would really need to do a lot of reading for the specifics. Celt has become a bit of a dirty word with anthropologists and Historians due to it's over use in recent years...

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?

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 a lot of really cool shows all over Europe and each band member has it’s own favorite one for a reason or another, but Horner Fest for example was one to remember for all the fun of playing alongside a huge Viking Age encampment. Another one was Vagos Open Air right here in Portugal with the Horn Triskelion album where we had a massive support from the audience and some ridiculously big mosh pit. We can’t forget the show we shared the stage with Immortal on Ragnarok Aaskereia tour or with Enslaved in GDL also here in Portugal, and probably the best off all, the release of our Veteran album that was a celebration of Metal, friendship and were we were able to put up show that people will remember for a long time. Basically all shows are great because we really, truly have fun doing it as you can see from almost all photos of the band at live performances, we’re always laughing and having fun with each other as well as with the people in the crowd and we think that’s on of the secrets that make people come again and again for one of our shows, we have fun, they have fun and listen to some quality Metal at the process.   

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

No tours for the moment but we have some shows here in Portugal and Spain. We’re still booking the year and doing it slowly and selecting carefully our next steps, we believe that “Thirten” is a great album and so we’re taking things a little bit slower so we can do justice to this work.


8.The new album is coming out on 'Ultraje', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

Ultraje is Portuguese magazine that had the courage to invest as a label/distributor. Fortunately, people like Joel, Diogo and Cátia, are here to make things happen and make our life a little easier. This is not “bootsucking”, just the plain reality, we don’t have time for everything, work, band etc…
Face it this is the reality.

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

Well, it's been really interesting to see people's reaction to the band's work, generally we get a very positive feedback and reviews and at the same time a bit of a surprise reaction to the fact that we are a Portuguese band with so much folk influences. It's fun and satisfying to see us being compared to big and well known bands suchlike Ensiferum and Finntroll that are a kind of benchmark for other bands, but we think that Gwydion it's in a class of it's own, with a very unique mix of Viking, Folk, Black, Death and Symphonic elements combined with a very personal experience of each band member, our overall feeling is that other than the more extreme fans of each genre, we can deliver something different that will surprise and satisfy most Metal fans.

10.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?

Some band members have different musical projects. Pedro Correia and Pedro Dias have two bands in common like Invoke (black metal) and Tument (death metal). Pedro Correia plays drums for both bands while Pedro Dias plays guitar and sings in Invoke and is the vocalist in Tument. Pedro Correia has also integrated a recent tribute project to Amon Amarth called Gods of War.

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

The band will most likely stick to its formula of folk/Viking metal and continue to produce heavy songs mixed with cheerful melodies and melodic chorus.

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?

I’s hard to answer to this one, we listen to a lot of bands and each band member has his own influences, but we drink from all styles of Metal and somehow manage to combine things in a way that, at least for us, sounds great and we user bits and pieces from all this genres of Metal to bring to live the feeling we think each song

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

We have a lot of things going on in terms of personal interests, we have gammers, bikers, historical reenactors, a fitness addicted, a blacksmith, computer geeks) and a whole lot of random stuff that brings us together out of the studio where we strengthen our bonds and friendship.


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

First we would like to thank you for this interview that enables us to reach even more Metal fans out there, and second we want to take this opportunity to thank to everyone that helped and supported us both financially and morally for the release of Thirteen, it's been a long way but with the help of everyone we finally did it. We hope that this will be an album that will bring us even more fans and that it will make our older fans happy, so, grab a mug of mead and join us with Thirteen!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Plaguewielder/Surrender To The Void/Fragile Branch Records/2018 CD Review


  Plaguewielder  are  a  band  from  Ohio  that  has  had  music  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  blackened  mixture  of  doom  and  sludge  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Surrender  To  The  Void"  which  will  be  released  in  August  by  Fragile  Branch  Records.

  A  very  heavy  and  mid  tempo  sound  along  with  some  blackened  metal  vocals  start  off  the  album  while  the  bass  guitars  are  also  used  as  a  lead  instrument  at  times  along  with  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  sludge  and  doom  metal  as  well  as  the  riffs  also bringing  in  a decent  amount  of  melody.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  dark  yet  melodic  style  while  the  instrumental  tracks  also  bring  in  elements  of  experimental  and  noise  and  when  the  music  finally  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  along  with  the  music  focusing  more  on  a  slow  or  mid  paced  direction  and  synths  are  added  onto  the  closing  track. 

  Plaguewielder  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  their  blackened  mixture  of  sludge  and  doom  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Plaguewielder  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  blackened  sludge  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Drippinf  Pools  of  Self  Hatred"  and  "In  Depths  of  Cold  Hell".  8  out  of  10.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Tongue Eating Louse/Voidwalker/Sludgelord Records/2018 Full length Review


  Tongue  Eating  Louse  are  a  band  from  Ontario,  Canada  that  plays  a  blackened  form  of  sludge  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Voidwalker"  which  will  be  released  in  August  by  Sludgelord  Records.

  Heavy  riffing  starts  off  the  album  while  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  are  very  heavily  rooted  in  sludge  metal  along  with  all  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  the  high  pitched  screams  being  elements  of  black  metal  and  growls  are  also  utilized  at  times.

  Melodies  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  while  blast  beats  are  also  utilized  when  the  music  speeds  up  along  with  one  track  also  introducing  clean  playing  and  spoken  word  parts  onto  the  recording  as  well  as  the  guitar  leads  being  done  in  a  very  distorted yet  melodic  style  when  they  are  utilized  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Tongue  Eating  Louse  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  black  metal  and  sludge  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism,  Shamanism  and  Alchemy  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Tongue  Eating  Louse  are  a  very  great  sounding  blackened  sludge  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Alchemy".  8  out  of  10.  

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Mystherium/Zaglada/2018 Full Length Review


  Mystherium  are  a  band  from  Poland  that  plays  a  gothic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2018  album  "Zaglada".

  Spoken  word  parts,  stringed  instruments  and  keyboards  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  which  also  introduces  clean  vocals  onto  the  recording  while  grim  black  metal  screams  are  also  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  album  and  the  music  is  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's.

  A  decent  amount  of  melody  can  also  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  while  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  can  also  be  heard  during  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  along  with  a  couple  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  the  music  mixing  in  elements  of  goth  and  classical  music  and  when  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Mystherium  plays  a  style  of  gothic  black  metal  that  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's,  the  production  sounds  very  old  school  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Polish  and  cover  anti  Christianity,  Patriotism  and  Polish  history  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Mystherium  are  a  very  great  sounding  gothic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Slawa!  Wojna!  Zwyciestwo"  "Piesna  pochwalne"  and  "Wedrowiec".  8  out  of  10.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Ephyra 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 guys, now our goal is to promote the new album organizing a lot of gigs, so we are working to the live activities for the next Autumn. (And we are taking breath after the long and hard work we have done to produce “The Day Of Return”).

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 band?

Well… our music is basically a melodic death metal but we use to add folk and epic influences. In this new album the folk side is far eastern oriented with sounds from the tradition of Japan and Mongolia so you will find fascinating atmospheres.
This time we have faster guitars than the older tracks and we introduced some solos too (we are not lovers of exaggerated solos). The production is definitely better. And, as said, we have different traditional instruments compared to the other two albums where you can find harps, transverse flutes, brasses, etc…

3.On the new album you also added in throat singing, Mongolian and Japanese instruments, do you feel you are adding some new things to the folk metal genre, with the new recording?

We know some bands already used those kind of sounds, but we think this is a new entry for the Italian metal scene. Of course, this is unusual and it’s one of the reasons why we chose this way and we’ll continue to explore the music and traditions out there in all the world.

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

The texts were written on the basis of real sensations experienced in different moments of life (such as difficulties, challenges, misunderstandings, meetings).
From personal experience, loving the natural side of life and therefore the many links with the outside world, we want the album to describe the interactions of a man and his encounters with people and places that have inspired and influenced his character, destiny and journey.

5.Originally the band started out playing covers, what was the decision behind moving into your own material?

To play covers is funny and it’s a good starting point for your activity, but with the passage of time it became boring so Matteo (who founded the band and at that time he was the only one of the actual line-up) felt the need to write his own music and has changed the direction of the band.




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

The name Ephyra was immediately adopted at the beginning and it comes from a fantasy videogame (Severance – Blade of darkness). It was chosen to represent a hypothetical reign where the stories of our first album’s songs took place. From the second album our lyrics are no longer focused on that concept.

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?

Our best shows probably were Malpaga Folk and Metal Fest 2017 with Tyr, Rock Inn Somma 2016 with Gli Atroci and Fosch Fest 2015 with Carcass, Satyricon, Finntroll, Manegarm, Heidevolk, Arkona, Dalriada, etc…
About the stage performance we work hard on each aspect trying to be as professional as possible. Reports tell us we are doing it quite well .

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

Nowadays we have some shows confirmed in summer and autumn. Of course, we want to promote “The Day Of Return” and we are working to other gigs in Italy, but we are planning to play in Europe too. If someone who’s reading these words wants us for a show he can write to booking@ephyra.it.

9.The album was released on 'Volcano Records & Promotion', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

Volcano is a new and young label in which we have found a concrete partner to work with. Since now we are very happy with what has been done with them both in organizational and human terms. We can say that day by day we are receiving important news and opportunities. We like to be and play an important role in the Volcano family.

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your new album by fans of folk and melodic death metal?

It's a bit early to evaluate. Reviews are good, but we don’t have yet a report about sold copies (physical or digital).

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

We really don’t know . It would be cool to conquer the northern Europe, South America and Japan but the only thing we can do is to keep on working as our best and see what will happen.

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?

Each of us is different and have different preferences and influences. About the music, you can find melodic death metal like old In Flames or Amon Amarth or Ensiferum or Eluveitie, melodies remembering Amorphis, Vocals like Within Temptation, folk atmospheres that let you think to Loreena McKennitt. It’s hard to find a correct definition and a real influence, we usually write our songs naturally without thinking about other bands/musicians.
In this period, we are listening to (2 options for you):
John: Kasabian, Art Blakey
Patrick: Behemoth, The Meters
Nadia: Arkona, Dream Theater
Francesco: Iced Earth, Wolfheart
Mat: Ennio Morricone, Enigma
Diba: Five Finger Death Punch, Hardcore Superstar


13.What are some of your non musical interests?

John: Bike, radio
Patrick: Netflix, beer
Nadia: Cinema, trekking
Francesco: Spartan race, 5-a-side football
Mat: Diving, reptiles
Diba: Toy library, lute manufacturing

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

Thank you very much for your time and space. We invite your readers to take a listen to our new album “The Day Of Return”, buy it if they like, and give us their feedback.
It is available digitally on all the platforms and physically on www.ephyra.it.
Have a good life and stay Ephyra \m/