Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Ontborg Interview

BAND: ONTBORG
(Antworten von Ontborg)


1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Our Band is called Ontborg and an all the members are based in South Tyrol, which is situated in the North of Italy. Three of us were part of “Voices Of Decay” for 20 years, and after the split-up we decided to found this new band to take a different direction. Harald on bass guitar completes the lineup, he played with Graveworm for many years and is the same age as we are, so the band chemistry works fantastically.

2.Recently you have released your first full length, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?
With this album we would like to pay homage to the sound of the albums we grew up with. We wanted to record a straightforward album, with the spirit of bands like dismember, benediction and dissection. Besides the rawness we tried to keep the songs melodic at the same time, so we think it`s a mix between old school death metal and blackened melodies.

3.The band formed out of the ashes of 'Voices Of Decay', what was the decision behind breaking up the band and forming a new one?
We all felt it was time for change in every way after this long time. We wanted to purify the sound, going back to our roots and restart with new energy and passion.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with the music?
Most of the lyrics don‘t have a special story or background, the focus by writing the lyrics was more set on how they translate the dark feeling and atmosphere of the song.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Ontborg'?
Ontborg is an imaginary name, composed by two swedish words: “ont” means pain and “borg” means castle. The idea behind that, was to convey the feeling of gloom.

6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The cover artwork was created by the very talented Juanjo Castellano from Spain. Figuring out how creating the cover was a matter of minutes. We send him 3 covers we liked, mentioned things we don’t like in general on covers, and he came back with that awesome painting! We changed nothing, it was just perfect for our music and he nailed our taste right away.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
To be honest, with Ontborg we didn`t play any show until now. With Voices Of Decay we were on stage for many times and we had a lot of shows to remember. Now we decided to record the album first. On the release day of the album we have our first gig, after that some shows are already confirmed and we are looking forward to perform our songs live on stage. We think we are, like with Voices Of Decay, a very energetic band on stage.

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
As said before, some gigs are already confirmed, like the “Rock im Ring” Festival in Italy with Bands like Enter Shikari, Eskimo Callboy and Rise Of The Northstar. We ware looking forward to play as much as possible, maybe there will also be the possibility to do a small tour.

9.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
For this album we didn`t look for a records label. We wanted to do all by our self. But for the next album it would be interesting and maybe there will be the possibility if this album is well received.

10.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of melodic black and death metal?
We're getting the first reviews these days, so we are very curious how our sound will be received in the different countries. We must to remember that we are playing a kind of death metal sound that was popular 20 years ago, so we can't say what the reactions will be.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We have no concrete plans for the next release at this moment. For sure we will stay true to this old school sound, but still try to improve the songwriting and not to repeat ourselves.

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?
Our influences are clear to hear, Unleashed, Dismember, Necrophobic, Entombed, Dissection, all the great bands with a Scandinavian sound and unique spirit from the late nineties. Beside these influences every band member hears very different sounds today.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
Also the non-musical interests of the band members are very different. Lukas runs a recording studio besides his work, Christoph writes books, and Harald is self-employed. 


14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for the interview and interest, and we are looking forward to see some of you somewhere live in front of the stage!

Atlas Entity/Beneath The Cosmic Silence/2019 Full Length Review


  Atlas  Entity  are  a  duo  from  Florida  that  plays  a  very  progressive,  technical  and  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2019  album  "Beneath  the  Cosmic  Silence"  which  will  be  released  in  June.

  Nature  orientated  soundscapes  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  acoustic  guitars  a  few  seconds  later.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  while  all  of  the musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  blast  beats  are  also  brought  into  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs.

  Elements  of  prog  metal  can  also  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  along  with  the  vocals  bringing  in  a  mixture  of  death  metal  growls  and  black  metal  screams.  Clean  vocals  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  At  times  the  music  also  gets  very  technical  sounding  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  melody.  A  couple  of  the  songs  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  music  also  adds  in  some  early  Opeth  and  In  Flames  influences  but  done  in  a  more  modern  style  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  small  amount  of  whispered  vocals  can  also  be  heard.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  nature  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Atlas  Entity  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic,  technical  and  progressive  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  duo.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "In  The  Shadow  of  The  Mountain  Pt.  1"  "Visions  Of  Gold"  and  "Celestial  Noise". 8  out  of  10.

www.atlasentity.com 
facebook.com/atlasentity
atlasentity.bandcamp.com
instagram.com/atlasentity
Atlas Entity Youtube Channel 

  

Monday, May 13, 2019

Decision To Hate 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?

Thogarma: After the recording we split up due to internal problems with each other (extreme music for extreme people, what can I say...?) By 2017, we'd solved all the inconsistencies, played some reunion shows and finally released the long awaited "Anti-Human Art" at the end of 2018.

2.Towards the end of 2018 you had also released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

Thogarma: Our early stuff was simple Thrash/ Death Metal with a blackened feeling, mostly in the vocals. For me it was the past; the others create the music and I do my madness within the lyrics and vocals. Finally Tim and i are on guitars nowadays, complementing us perfectly, writing the riffs we love. Our drummer is much more involved in the songwriting too as it is standard in common bands I think. He´s a great piano player next to his drum warfare which is helping us a lot creating new songs or regarding the great concept of our actual album.

3.This was also your first release since 2006, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during that time frame?

Thogarma: We played a lot of gigs in Germany, Czech Republic, Netherlands... We haven´t released anything in around ten years because we had many line-up changes. I´m not sure if can remember the names of all the guitarists that we have worn out. I don't want to remember some of them either. So the old or remaining guitarist had to train someone new all the time, the writing of new songs usually remained completely on the sidelines... There was a time we were standing there without guitarist... After all I decided to play second but constantly remaining guitar which changed the songwriting a lot too. Luckily we have Tim with us for a very long time now, Matthias on bass and I hope this line-up will be eternal.

4.The new album is a concept album, can you tell us a little bit more about the songwriting?

Cassiel: As Thogarma already told the songwriting process took a long time about 10 years or more due to the numerous line up changes. So a lot of songs developed over that period and there was no concept in the beginning of the recording process. Every song stood for their own and due to the numerous influences of the different songwriters every song has its own character. When we started the recording process I had the idea to frame the songs with classical piano pieces which I wrote specifically for the songs based upon the starting or ending guitar riffs. I think this makes the album outstanding at this time in the present metal scene because no one tried this so far to my knowledge.

5.A lot of the newer lyrics where also inspired by the writings of Dante and The Occult, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?

Cassiel: Well when i wrote the piano songs we had nine piano pieces and nine metal songs. I thought this was quite a funny thing because it reminded me of the divine comedy of Dante and his nine circles of hell. It was just an accident and not planned at this time. A very diabolical accident if you ask me. The nine circles of hell on the other hand stand for the human mortal sins and when I read Thogarmas lyrics I realized that a lot of these mortal sins are reflected in his lyrics. So thematically the piano pieces represents the nine circles of hell with the human mortal sins and built contemporaneous the bridge between Dante and the lyrics of the songs.

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Decision To Hate'?

Thogarma: Name is program. Everything revolves around the theme of hatred towards humanity. It was an old friend´s idea, he was our webmaster and sadly past away a few years ago.

7.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?

Cassiel: The artwork is a painting of Gustave Doré of his Paradise Lost cycle. It shows Lucifer shortly after his banishment from heaven. Doré also created a lot of paintings about Dantes Divine Comedy. I sent the band numerous paintings of Doré from the Divine Comedy but neither of  them was totally satisfying. So we decided to take the Doré painting of the Paradise Lost cycle. I think it fits thematically perfect to the lyrics and the music of the album and especially to the piano pieces. 

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

Thogarma: The Open Hell Fest in Czech Republic together with Dissection and many more in 2005 were great in front of thousands of people, would love to play that one again with todays line-up. In my opinion we had a better sound than Dissection, the sound engineer has known us from a mini tour with Dark Storm (CZ) before... Many great and crazy gigs. Different stage performances, from professional to a bloody massacre using needles, knives and barbed wire. Total dedication, total consecration!!!

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

Thogarma: Due to our job situation (we all are fukking slaves...) we concentrate on shows, touring for weeks is impossible. We were a bit late to apply for open air shows in 2019, doing some gigs in halls and smaller locations and attack in 2020 in open fields.

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

Thogarma: Black Metal labels are mourning that we aren´t 100% BM, Death Metal labels are crying that we aren´t old school; if we would sound exactly like all this fukking boring standard stuff with stolen riffs by the old heroes (mainly from Sweden) they would sign us. Woohoo. We won´t change, we won´t want to be restricted. If there would be a fair label, intolerant regarding lyrics but open minded musically, why not...

Cassiel: A lot of people are asking us about the label situation in the band. I think it is very funny because please tell me the benefit having a label in a band with the dimension of Decision to Hate?!? Labels always want to take influence in the process when a band is shaping a concept of a new record,  thematically, lyrically, musically. Without a label we are totally free in what we want to do. DTH doesnt stand for making a lot of money and becoming very famous. That is not our way creating new art.

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

Thogarma: We get more international attention since we have a bandcamp site, check out https://decisiontohate.bandcamp.com/
Should have gone this path before. At the moment we receive a lot of varying reviews for "Anti-Human Art" - With the large magazines, which expect that one places advertisements with them, the reviews are usually sobering. We don't pay for good reviews. Smaller underground magazines are much more concerned with the music and listen more closely, so there are other results that we can really be satisfied with. Conclusion: Fukk the commerce and support real underground!!!

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

Cassiel: Currently i am the only member who is involved in other band activities. I play drums in a progressive-metal band called Steorrah and a Rock n Roll band called Psycho Dandys. I also create piano music alongside when i have the time for this. Maybe i will create more of this piano stuff in the future, we will see.

Thogarma: I concentrate only on DTH, need good ideas for my main band. Some people are asking and asking and asking... I won´t waste time and riffs for your crap. foad.

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

Thogarma: Actually we are writing the best songs we´ve ever had. We´ll never lose our Black Death Metal roots but "old school" is nothing but an apology for not having own ideas, sorry.

Cassiel: I think the music of DTH is becoming more and more sophisticated. Using the piano was a door to a new direction maybe. I dont know if we want to enlarge this classical piano direction we will see. But i think the new songs will definitely be more away from this „standard“ Black- and Death-Metal style to a point of looking across the edge of a plate.

14.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?

Thogarma: We all have grown up with classic Heavy, Thrash, Death and Black Metal. All the stuff I heard in my youth I am still worshipping now. Many years ago it was our drummer Cassiel who brought me closer to stuff like "Perdition City" from Ulver while I was still only into "Nattens Madrigal" just for example. Our path is open minded intolerant, haha! We have a trip-hop part in our song "I hate myself", somewhere between Arkhon Infaustus and Massive Attack... Crazy but working.

Cassiel: Personally i dont listen to heavy metal that much as i did in the past. I am a music teacher and as a result i got in contact with to a lot of other musical directions. Classical music, electronic music, new age music. I like ambient music very much. The „Blade Runner“ Soundtrack will always be one of my favourites. I think its very good for a band to get influences from other musical directions. Only listen to standard Death-Metal generates music that listens to standard Death-Metal. Its a circle you know. All these „Retro 60er and 70er“ stuff which is very famous at this time didn´t catch me so far along with these „Retro Black- and Death-Metal“ stuff. I like listening to the originals but no one needs 18 year old kids which are playing Black Sabbath or Darkthrone riffs in 2019.
 
15.What are some of your non musical interests?

Thogarma: All within the band are loving nature, we are hiking, mountaineering, doing other stuff there... I took all the pics in the booklet of our new album on my trips to the Alps and the Elbsandsteingebirge, Tim just returned some weeks ago from Saxonia too.

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

Thogarma: Clean the scene! Fukk all those good people bringing lactose intolerance instead of death worship into the wretched remains of our scene, thwarting concerts of great and real dedicated bands... Enter https://www.facebook.com/DecisionToHate for more information.
Thanks for your support and the well-considered questions! No compromise!

Ontborg/Within The Depths Of Oblivion/2019 Full Length Review


  Ontborg  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  plays  a  melodic  and  blackened  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2019  album  "Within  The  Depths  Of  Oblivion".

  A  very  heavy  and  melodic sound  starts  off  the  album  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats.  The  music  also  incorporates  a  great  amount  of  influences  from  the  90's  era  of  black  and  death  metal  along  with  the  vocals  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  growls  and  screams.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.  One  song  also  introduces  clean  playing  which  also  returns  on  a  couple  of  later  songs  and  a few  seconds  of  synths  onto  the  recording  as  well  as  the  songs  sounding  like  they  could  of  easily  been  recorded  and  released  20  years  ago,  one  of  the  later  tracks  is  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length. 

  Ontborg  plays  a  musical  style  that  goes  back to  the  90's  era  of  melodic  black  and  death  metal.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while t he  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Ontborg  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  blackened  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Living  Is  A  Torture"  "This  Time"  "No  Memories  Beyond"  and  "Black  garden".  8  out  of  10.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bjkkbtYtic

  

Tyrmfar/Renewal Through Purification/MTAF Recprds/2019 CD Review


  Tyrmfar  are  a  band  from  Switzerland  that  plays  a  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "Renewal  Through  Purification"  which  will  be  released  in  June  by  MTAF  Records.

  A  very  dark  sounding  intro  starts  off  the  album  which  also  introduces  synths  onto  the  recording  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  brutal  direction  that  also  utilizes  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats.  Vocals  bring  in  a  mixture  of  black  metal  growls  and  death  metal  growls  along  with  the  riffs  also  utilizing  a  lot  of  melody.

  During  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  you  can  also  hear  a  lot  of  tremolo  picking  in  the  guitar  riffing.  Throughout  the  recording  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  clean  playing  is  also  brought  into  the  music  on  one  track and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  as  the  album  progresses  an  instrumental  is  also  added  onto  the  recording.

  Tyrmfar  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  melodic  black  and  brutal  death  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  terror  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Tyrmfar  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  and  brutal  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  "Of  The  Legions  Of  Eternity"  "No  Hope" "Freedoms  Call"  and  "Humanity's  End".  8  out  of  10.

https://tyrmfar.com



    

Monday, April 29, 2019

Embrace Of Disharmony/De Rervm Natvra/My Kingdom Music/2019 CD Review


  Embrace  Of  Disharmony  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  an  avant  garde  form  of  dark  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "De  Rervm  Natvra"  which  will  be  released  in  June  by  My  Kingdom  Music.

  Dark  sounding  synths  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  also  being  used  briefly  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  ritualistic  feeling. At  times  the  songs  also  mix  the  avant  garde  and  heavy  parts  together  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Clean  male  and  female  vocals  can  also  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  while  the  music  also  has  its  symphonic  and  orchestra  moments,  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  also  being  added  into  some  parts  of  the  music.

  During  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.  At  times  the  music  also  gets  very  progressive  and  experimental  sounding  as  well a s  a  great  portion  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Elements  of  goth  can  also  be  heard  on  some  of  the  tracks  as  well  as  some  death  metal  growls  also  being  used  in  some  parts  of  the  recording.  Some  songs  also  add  in  a  small  amount  of  stringed  instruments  and  one  track  also  introduces  acoustic  guitars  onto  the  recording.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark,  poetic  and  mythological  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Embrace  Of  Disharmony  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  avant  garde  dark  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "De  Primordiis  Rervm" "De  Mortalitale  Animae"  and  "De  Formatione  Orbis".  8  out  of  10.

http://facebook.com/EmbraceOfDisharmony  

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Vonnis/Bikini Season/Hypertension Records/2019 Full Length Review


  Vonnis  are  a  band  from  Belgium  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black,  sludge  metal,  grind  and  hardcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "Bikini  Season"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Hyptertension  Records.

  A  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  whispered  vocals  can  also  be  heard  in  the  background  briefly.  Elements  of  harsh  noise  can  also  be  heard  in  some  parts  of  the  music  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  emtal  screams  along  with  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  sludge.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  solos  and  leads  when  they  are  utilized  are  done  in  a  very  dark  and  melodic  style.  Blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  quite  a  bit  during  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  which  also  captures  the  speed  and  aggression  of  grindcore.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  mid  tempo  sections  of  the  songs  bringing  in  elements  of  hardcore.  A  great  portion  of  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  short  in  length  while  tremolo  picking  riffs  can  also  be  heard  during  the  faster  sections  of  the  music  at  times  and  one  track  also  introduces  clean  playing  onto  the  recording.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while t he  lyrics  cover  dark,  occult,  violent  and  angry  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Vonnis  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black,  sludge  metal,  grind  and  hardcore  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Into  The  Hive"  "Inside"  "Evil  Again"  and  "H(A)unters". 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTxLhIKPAWQ

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Thonian Horde/Downfall/Grimoire Records/2019 CD Review


  Thonian  Horde  are  a  band  from  Maryland  that  plays  black'n'roll  with  some  elements  of  death.thrash,  stoner  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "Downfall"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Grimoire  Records.

  A  very  fast  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats,  Vocals  are  mostly  grim  sounding  black  metal  screams  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  solos  and  leads  also  utilize  a  great  amount  of  melody.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.  a  lot  of  the  music  also  brings  in  more  of  a  black'n'roll  style  while  elements  of  stoner  and  doom  metal  are  also  added  into  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  along  with  some  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  A  lot  of  the  music  also  captures  the  more  melodic  side  of  black  metal  while  the  riffs  also  add  in  some  influences  of  thrash  and  death  metal  into  some  parts  of  the  riffing  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism  and  Darkness  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Thonian  Horde  are  a  very  great  sounding  black'n'roll  group  with  elements  of  death, thrash,  stoner  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Cathedral  Spire"  "Hymn  To  Lilith"  "Chaos  Theory  Magick"  and  "Donfall".  8  out  of  10.

https://thonianhorde.bandcamp.com/releases        

Friday, April 26, 2019

Nevalra/Conjure The Storm/M-Theory Audio/2019 CD Review


  Nevalra  are  a  band  from  Columbia,  Missouri  that  has  had  music  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "Conjure  The  Storm"  which  will  be  released  in  June  by  M-Theory  Audio.

  Dark  and  ritualistic  soundscapes  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  demonic  voices  and  symphonic  sounds  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction.  Vocals  bring  in  a  mixture  of  black  metal  screams  and  death  metal  growls  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  melody  can  also  be  heard  while  the faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  utilize  a  lot  of  blast  beats.  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  one  song  also  introducing  acoustic  guitars  onto  the  recording.

  As  the  album  progresses  orchestra  sounds  are  also  brought  into  some  parts  of  the  music  while  some  of the  riffs  and  leads  also have  their  technical  moments  as  well  as  the  riffing  also  utilizing  a  great  amount  of  melody.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  one  track  also  brings  acoustic  guitars  into  the  music.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  occultism,  philosophy,  history  and  death  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Nevalra  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  melodic  blackened  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "...Of  Ruination"  "Conjure  the  Storm"  "Kismet"  and  "Prophet  For  Profit".  8  out  of  10.


 

    

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Decision To Hate/Anti-Human Art/2018 CD Review


  Decision  To  Hate  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  a  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2018  album  "Anti-Human  Art".

  Classical  music  style  keyboards  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  and  melodic  musical  direction.  During  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  vocals  are  a  mixture  of  grim  black  emtal  screams  and  death  metal  growls.

  A  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  can  be  heard  in  the  riffs  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  classical  interludes  being  mixed  in  between  every  heavier  track.

  Some  of  the  tracks  are  long  and  epic  in  length  while  some  tracks  also  add  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing.  A  decent  amount  of  90's  influences  can  also  be  heard  in  the  bands  musical  style  but  with  more  of  an  up to  date  take  on  the  black/death  metal  genre  as  well  as  some  of  the  riffing  showing  an  influence  of  thrash  metal.

  As  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  and  the  album  closes  with an  instrumental.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  a  concept  album  based  upon  human  and  spiritual  abysms,  orbited  by  Dante's  Divine  Comedy  and  the  Nine  Circles  Of  Hell.

  In  my  opinion  Decision  To  Hate  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  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Mercy  is  Weakness"  "Between  The  Graves"  "New  Age  Templar"  and  "Anti-Human  Art".  8  out  of  10.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JuCm4bpazQ   

Lunar Shadow/The Smokeless Fires/Cruz Del Sur Music/2019 CD Review


  Lunar  Shadow  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  a  mixture  of  traditional  and  melodic  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review of  their  2019  album  "The  Smokeless  Fires"  which  will  be  released  in  June  by  Cruz  Del  Sur  Music.

   Fire  burning  and  classical  music  style  keyboards  start  off  the  album  before  adding  some  melodic  guitar  leads  onto  the  recording  while  a  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.  During  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  you  can  also  hear  some  blast  beats  and  elements  of  speed  metal.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and fast  parts  while  the  fast  tremolo  picking  riffs  are  heavily  rooted  in  black  metal.  Vocals  are  mostly  clean  traditional  metal  vocals  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  A  lot  of  the  music  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  80's  while  the  black  metal  elements  gives  the  songs  a  more  up  to  date  feeling.  Acoustic,  classical  guitars  and  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  a  brief  use  of  nature  sounds  as  well  as  some  tracks  also  adding  in  a  touch  of  post  punk  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  female  vocals  can  also  be  heard.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the lyrics  cover  sorrow,  love,  loneliness,  sex,  perseverance  and  power  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Lunar  Shadow  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  heavy  and  melodic  black  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Catch  Fire"  "Pretend"  and  "Hawk  of  The  Hills".  8  out  of  10.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVtJtAJuNJQ   

  

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Ragnhild 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?

-- Since the release of our album, we are currently looking forward to get some live gigs in India for now.
-- Since metal music in India is not very popular, but we do have metal heads here who love the music, we are focusing on reaching out to them in form of live shows.
-- We are also looking towards making of a few play troughs, more lyric videos and a couple official videos of a couple more songs from the album.
-- Other than that, we have also begun the process of writing new songs, which eventually, will lead us to the beginning of our next album.




2.In March you had also released your first full length,  can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?

-- Our music is basically of the Melodic Death Metal kind. However, we were more inclined towards the over all "viking" or "pagan" or "Celtic" melodies, that we incorporated in our compositions. This makes our "melodic" part of the death metal slightly different.
-- Not just this album, but in general, our way of looking at the next song that we will compose, includes heavy drums, northern melodies, sometimes clean guitars, powerful bass-lines and eventually, the growls and screams.




3.A lot of the lyrics cover Viking Mythology and Paganism, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?

-- As mentioned, we were more inclined towards the northern melodies, we decided to stick to its roots. Honestly, being from India, we had a very little understanding about what Viking or Pagan culture was like. But since we were adapting the over all song style, we didn't want our lyrics to move away from the subject.
-- Hence, we studied the culture a bit online, read about their ideology and wrote them in our own words and imagination in the form of the song lyric.




4.The band is also from India which also has a mythology and history of its own, do you also have an interest in the culture of your home country?

-- Absolutely. India had great rulers in the past. Their adventures can easily make up a long list of songs. India being a multi-religious country, there are various mythologies as well.
-- We already have many bands in our country who are dedicated towards Indian song styles. What we wanted to do was something different. Something that is not here in our country.
-- Also, since this is our first album, we didn't really wanted to keep it close to its roots, due to which, we kept the songs as close as possible to the Viking culture.
-- We do believe that the stories about our kings and queens with the touch of our pagan / melodic death music, will indeed sound nice and yes, we will try it out sometime soon.




5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?

-- The artwork was a well thought idea by Shardul plays guitar for the band. He had the idea written down in points which included literally everything - the early morning light, crows flying, burning tavern, viking warrior bleeding, the snow fall, etc.
-- We have a amazing artist here - Mr. Aaron Pinto, who is also the drummer of quite popular death metal band - Gutslit from India.
-- After discussing with Aaron, he read all the lyrics for all the songs, even listened to our songs and referred to the points that we sent him.
-- We wanted the artwork to resemble to one of our songs from the album, preferably the title track itself - Tavern Tales.
-- According to the lyrics of the song 'Tavern Tales', there are Viking warriors that share their tale about a war they had faced, the brothers they lost and all those who survived.
-- Aaron nicely incorporated it to the artwork, which turned out exactly the way we wanted it to.




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 had opportunities to play at various gigs and we loved them all.
-- One of the best shows would be the gigs organized by Stormbringer, Dawn of the legion and Blood Eagle Organizers in Pune.
-- There are a lot of things that matter when we come on the stage.
-- Firstly our music style is different than other bands in India. Secondly, people look at us with a "question" about "Viking? huh? Will they really impress us?"
-- There is always a tiny bit of pressure about being different, but we have learned to make our way pass that.
-- Now, we go up on the stage to enjoy and have fun just like others who have come to watch us play live. Helps us build a connection with our audience.





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

-- None as of now to announce. But soon we will have something coming up.





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

-- We did receive a few emails, that we cannot disclose here. For now, we still need to plan this out. We may stay unsigned for this album. But if we find a good deal with any record label, we will look into it as well.





9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of viking, pagan and melodic death metal?

-- We have received a few comments from metal-heads in European and North-american regions mainly. They have enjoyed our music a lot and we are thankful to them for the appreciation.
-- We also received a few comments from African regions as well. All nothing but good comments indeed.
-- We will soon start some ad campaigns on Facebook to try to reach out to more people by selective targeting in the northern countries.
-- For now, the most response that we have received is from Bandcamp where we have our full length album available.





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

-- We aim at sustaining - which means, we may make a few changes in our composition style, but the root and the backbone of the melodies will remain the same.
-- We might introduce some folk instruments if we find good artists for the same. Honestly, we really want someone to play bagpipes :)





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 started with Amon Amarth, Ensiferum, Eluvitie and At the gates.
-- Over the years of browsing through YouTube channels, we also enjoy Alestorm, Kalmah, Korpiklaani, Wadruna, Tyr, Enslaved, Moonsorrow, and many others.





12.What are some of your non musical interests?

-- The band loves beer. All of us just love beer and we can't get enough of it.
-- So after our jam sessions, if time permits from our busy daily lives, we head up to a local bar where our vocals guy Mr. Rohit Jalgaonkar works as a DJ, and have some beer.
-- All the band members are employed and working in a corporate world to make living. So as a band, the most time we spend is in our jam sessions and a local tavern.





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

-- Metal in India is rare. Only certain cities and in those cities, only certain places "may" have some metal music being played.
-- But the metal bands like us, here are striving for keeping metal alive in the country.
-- Seeing the names of Indian Metal Bands in greater charts of Metal bands across the world, will be a dream come true.
-- Us being one of those bands will be indeed, a part of that same dream.
-- I hope with this interview, people will learn more about Ragnhild as well as something that we call as "The Indian Metal Scene".

Friday, April 19, 2019

Odious/Mirror Of Vibrations/Shaytan Productions/2019 Vinyl Re-Issue Review


  Odious  are  a  band  from  Egypt  that  has  had  music  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  a  mixture  of  melodic  black  metal,  Egyptian  and  Middle  Eastern  folk  music  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2007  album  "Mirror  Of  Vibrations"  which  was  re-issued  on  vinyl  in  2019  by  Shaytan  Productions.

  Middle  eastern  folk  music  instruments,  chanting  and  dancing  start  off  the  album  while  also  mixing  in  with t he  heavier  sections  of  the  music  at  times.  Synths  are  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  recording  while  the  whispered  vocals  also  give  the  songs  more  of  a  ritualistic  feeling  when  they  are  utilized.

  During  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  while  the  vocals  are mostly  grim  black  metal  screams.  A  decent  amount  of  melody  can  also  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  along  with  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow, mid  paced and  fast  parts.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  music  also  has  its  symphonic  moments.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  some  acoustic  guitars  also  being  utilized  at  times  as  well  as  a  great  portion  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Death  metal  growls  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while the  black  metal  side  of  the  music  seems  to  more  rooted  rooted  in  the  90's  style,  melodic chants  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  the  closing  track.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  the  past  leaders  of  Egypt,  philosophy,  mystery  and  war  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  was  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Odious  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  melodic black  metal  with  elements  of  Egyptian  and  Middle  Eastern  folk  music,  you  should  check  out  this  re-issue.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Poems  Hidden  On  Black  Walls"  "Invitation  To  Chaotic  Revelation"  and  "Upon  The  Broken  Wings".  8/5  out  of  10.

www.shaytanproductions.com 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Ragnhild/Tavern Tales/2019 Full Length Review


  Ragnhild  are  a  band  from  India  that  plays  a  mixture  of  viking  and  melodic  blackened  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self released  2019  album  "Tavern  Tales".

  A  very  heavy  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  death  metal  growls  and  black  metal  screams  being  introduced  onto  the  recording  a  few  seconds  later.  The  riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  while  a  lot  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  during  the  faster  sections  of  the  music.

  Most  of  the music  is  also  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  Swedish  style  while  back  up  viking  shouts  are  also  utilized  at  times.  Acoustic  guitars  are  also  added  on some  of  the  tracks  along  with  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  some  of  the  tracks  being  long  and  epic  in  length.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  a  couple  of  songs  also  brings  in  a  brief  use  of  viking  ships  and  nature  sounds  along  with  the  closing  track  also  adding  in  folk  instruments.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  viking  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Ragnhild  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  viking  and  melodic  blackened  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of t hose  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Vikings  Mosh"  "Battle  On  My  Grave"  "Glory  Of  Our  Mighty  King"  and  "Tavern  Tales". 8 out  of  10.

 'Under the Red Sky': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajQalepIw90

Stronghold: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tdiGe5Tg6c

  

    

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Last Wail/Forgotten/Stygian Crypt Productions/2019 CD Review


  Last  Wail  are  a  band  from  Russia  that  plays  a  mixture  of  folk,  melodic  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "Forgotten"  which  was  released  by  Stygian  Crypt  Productions.

  Epic  sounding  keyboards  start  off  the  album  and  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music.  The  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  along  with  some  grim  screams  that  also  add  in  a  touch  of  black  metal  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.

  Folk  instruments  are  also  mixed  into  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  at  times  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Death  metal  growls  can  also  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  while  one  track  also  introduces  acoustic  guitars  and  spoken  word  parts  into  the  music.  A  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  clean  vocals  can  also  be  heard  along  with  a  later  track  being  an  instrumental.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  battles  and  magick  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Last  Wail  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  folk,  melodic  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Runes"  "Walking  Bird"  "DragonSlayer"  and  "Fallen  Mountain".  8  out  of  10.

https://www.facebook.com/Last-Wail-116698101689802/        

Heathe/On The Tombstones, The Symbols Engraved/Wolves And Vibrancy Records/2019 Full length Review


  Heathe  are  a  band  from  Denmark  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black,  drone,  sludge,  doom  metal  and  noise  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "On  The  Tombstones,  The  Symbols  Engraved"  which will be  released  in  May  by  Wolves  And  Vibrancy  Records.

  Drum  beats  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  slow  and  heavy  doom metal  riffing  a  few  seconds  later.  Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  tortured  black  metal  screams  while  the  only  track  on  this  album  is  over  38  minutes  in  length  along  with  the  music  also  capturing  an  improv  atmosphere.

  Horns  are  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  music  and  also  gives  the  song  more  of  an  avant  garde  feeling.  A  small  amount  of  melody  can  also  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  which  also  captures  the  heaviness  of  sludge  metal,  At  times  the  riffing  get  very  repetitive  sounding  along  with  the  same  riff  being  used  for  minutes  upon  minutes  and  the  music  also  mixes  in  influences  of  drone  and  noise  rock.

  Heathe  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  black,  sludge,  drone,  doom  metal  and  noise  rock  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  while  the  lyrics  when  they  are  utilized  cover  death  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Heathe  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black,  sludge,  doom  metal,  drone  and  noise  rock  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  8  out  of  10. 

https://www.facebook.com/heathedeath      

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Widower/Cataclysmic Sorcery/Black Market Metal Label/2019 CD Review


  Widower  are  a  band  from  Austin,  Texas  that  has  had  music  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  melodic  form  of  blackened  thrash  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "Cataclysmic  Sorcery"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  black  Market  Metal  Label.

  A  very  dark  yet  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  Vocals  are  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  along  with  the  music  also  mixing  in  a  great  amount  of  thrash  metal  elements  as  well  as  some  death  metal  influences  also  being  used  at  times.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  and  old  school  style.  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  tremolo  picking  at  times  and  throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  musical  influences  from  the  80's  up  to  the  modern  era  and  the  music  always  sticks  to  a  heavier  direction  along  with  the  last  track  being  long  and  epic  in  length.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Widower  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  melodic  and  blackened  thrash  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "House  Of  the  Lord"  "Bestial  Endowment"  "Tree  of  Ignorance"  and  "Forgotten  Realm".  8  out  of  10.

 widoweratx.bandcamp.com/track/ cosmic-holocaust    

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Delirium 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? After we had finished recording “Urkraft“ we continued with the search of a label to publish the new album. Fortunately, we were lucky and got signed by MDD Records. Moreover, we have been playing a bunch of gigs and are looking forward to playing further gigs to promote “Urkraft“.

 2. Recently you have released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past? Firstly and without a doubt, there has been a musical development in terms of playing our instruments as well as composing. In our opinion the songs sound much more mature than the previous ones. Secondly, we tried to include more catchy melodies and added clean vocals as well. But despite all progression we still try to stick to our own unique style.

3. This is your first release since 2014, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame? Quite a lot has happened since 2014. Of course we have to mention the songwriting-process first which took quite lots of time due to private occurrences. Furthermore, we extended our live presence which culminated in our biggest show so far at Ragnarök Festival and our first gig abroad. Besides, we moved into another rehearsal room and switched to a new recording studio for “Urkraft“ (Soundbath Studio, owner: Travos/Thormesis).

4. Your lyrics cover Norse and Germanic Paganism, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic and also do you have an interest in other forms of paganism? Our singer Manuel who is responsible for the lyrics really feels connected to German neopaganism and developed an interest for old tales concerning this topic. That's why he's keen on handing this knowledge down to our listeners.

5. You also cover Franconian history with your lyrics, can you tell us a little bit more about this topic? Every member of Delirium is interested in the history/tales/sagas of our Franconian homeland.What contributes to this interest is the fact that on the one hand almost every Franconian village has its own history/tales/sagas and on the other hand these old customs are still present to some extent. What also contributes is a strong Franconian local patriotism ;) (meant in a positive way; not to be confused with any right-wing bullshit!). With our music we simply wish to counteract the oblivion of Franconian history.

 6. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Delirium'? Believe it or not but our band's name doesn't have a specific, deep meaning. Actually the band was founded in a beery mood, in Delirium so to say. Nevertheless, this name fits us perfectly because we really enjoy partying intensely ;)

7. Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the album cover? Well, there's really not that much to tell. The cover shows a Franconian warrior who occupies the “Urkraft“ (meaning elementary power or primal force by the way). We had some ideas concerning the cover and finally found an artist who implemented our ideas. That's it.

 8. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance? To begin with, we had a lot of fantastic shows but there are two that really stuck out. The first one was our gig at the 2015 Ragnarök Festival. Playing there had always been a dream of us ever since our foundation so it absolutely was a dream come true. The show was totally insane because over 1,000 people showed up, something which we had never expected. The second one was our first gig abroad which took place in South Tyrol so we can say we actually played in Italy. The first gig in another country is very special for every band, isn't it? Describing our stage performance is something we have never been asked before. We would characterize it as a full power, straight-in-your-face kind of live performance, raw and direct. We always try to both have a good time on stage and party with the people in front of the stage. Come to one of our shows and see it for yourselves ;)

9. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future? In the future we want to extend our live presence and play more shows, especially at festivals. Due to private issues such as family or job it is unfortunately rather difficult to plan tours.

10. On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of pagan metal? To be honest, we have no clue at all. Really, we can't judge that. The only thing we can say on this topic is that we have shipped CDs worldwide, e.g. to Canada. Maybe that is a hint on whether we are appreciated by the worldwide (pagan) metal community?!

11. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future? We always want to advance or enhance musically and establish our style. What also floats in our heads is a concept album sooner or later.

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? We get inspired by pretty much everything, may it be Black Metal or Classic Rock. Lots of inspiration comes from our circle of acquaintances, particularly by the people who also play music. Within the band everybody has his own preferences so we never lack new influences. What's also beneficial is the fact that we don't set any musical boundaries when it comes to composing our music.

 13. What are some of your non musical interests? Family and friends, sports, enjoying nature and, as already mentioned, partying ;)

14. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts? Well, we would like to say thank you for this interview of course. We hope the people will like our
new album and hopefully we see some of you at one of our future shows.

Vargrav/Reign In Supreme Darkness/Werewolf Records/2019 CD Review


  Vargrav  are  a  solo  project  from  Finland  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  an  old  school  form  of  symphonic  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2019  album  "Reign  In  Supreme  Darkness"  which  will  be  released  on  April 26th  by  Werewolf  Records.

  A  very  dark  and  ritualistic  sounding  intro  starts  off  the  album  while  also  introducing  symphonic  elements  onto  the  recording  which  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music.  During  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard.

  Vocals  are  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody.  Clean  vocals  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.

  Most  of  the  music  is  very  heavily rooted  in  the  90's  era  while  clean  guitars  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  a  couple  of  tracks  as  the  album  progresses  and  the  closing  track  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length.  The  production  sounds  very  old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Occultism,  hatred  and  Misanthropy  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Vargrav  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  old  school  symphonic  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Glory  Of  Eternal  Night"  "As  The  Shadows  Grow  Silent"  and  "Arcane  Stargazer".  8  out  of  10.   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9twUf6nmG9g

  

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Gorgonchrist Interview

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

Imagine the sensation of maggots eating your eardrums from the inside. No matter how many times you smash your head against the wall you can't get them out. You're desperate, wildly insane and there's nothing you can do but to keep viciously thrashing your head into a bloodied pulp. That's Gorgonchrist.

2.Recently you have released a new album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?

The Blood of Endangered Species is a chaotic album, both in the blend of disparate noises and in its execution. We didn't set any goal of how it should sound, we just knew we wanted to create something different and of the moment we found ourselves in. Something fluid and without predefined form. The closest approximation we can think of for its eventual style is post-industrial black sludge. Make of that what you will.
It definitely stands outside of conformity and pisses on the Alamo of traditional song structure. We feel there's something for everyone in this, even those who enjoy maggots in their ears!

3.Both of the band members are also involved with other bands and musical projects, what is it that you bring into the music of 'Gorgonchrist', that you are not able to do with your other groups?

Being able to touch each other. There's a lot of touching going on during our latest album. You can really hear it in the mix. In reality though it's natural to bring elements of your past work with you, the question is whether you're able to use the past to inform process and progress or just stick with a known formula and let the past repeat itself in ever more dilute form. There are no boundaries in any of our bands or other projects that prohibit experimentation. We just felt the time was right for us to do this, it had been building in us for quite a while, and it wouldn't sit right being released under anything but Gorgonchrist.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with the music?

A lot of it really tries to get to grips with the thorny topic of crop rotation in the 14th century. We feel it has never been resolved despite the tireless efforts of school kids throughout the UK studying it for endless wasted years.
Beyond that this album is a snapshot of an angry disillusioned and lost populace. We're looking at the world here, not just the UK. We are so close to having global unity yet, through the rise of petty nationalism, we've never been in such danger of losing it all. The worldwide humanist revolution will never happen. Greed and stupidity will end the human race. The ferocious anger of this album feels a very rational response to something as senseless as that.

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

Gorgonchrist is an entity comprised of many things. The name suggests a smashing together of cultures: something that can make us, as a global community, stronger and will be the saviour of the ecological crisis we face and need to tackle cohesively. But there remains this fear of imagined monsters (terrorism, immigration, loss of national identities) which keeps us clinging to division. This will only lead us further into failure. Who imagines the monsters that divide us and to what ends? Sadly we all know the answer to that. Will it ever change? Again, we all know that answer too. We've already lost the paddles and the boat is quickly sinking. As such Gorgonchrist is entropy without brakes.

6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the album cover?

The Penny Black is an iconic image and represents what we were trying to achieve in many ways. It is a rarity and somewhat bleak in its appearance. The royal connection of all postage stamps in the UK only serves to remind the population that social divide continues to exist. This was an early representation of global communication and, in some ways, the beginning of the end….just like Gorgonchrist.

7.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to expanding your line up or do you prefer to remain a duo?

Certainly for the writing and production of Gorgonchrist it will remain a duo. Whether we expand the live line up is another matter altogether. What form that might take we don't know yet but its doubtful you'll see this in the standard band format.

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

Yeah, Clobber is a great UK underground label that is really beginning to make its mark on the scene. They are fantastic people with a real hunger and drive to support bands in the extreme metal scene in particular. They approach things in a DIY but well organised way and show such passion about the projects that they invest in. Their roster is building fast and, for a band like Gorgonchrist, it seemed like the perfect fit at this point.

9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of industrial, black and sludge metal?

So far we've had a healthy reaction to a truly unhealthy product, much like cigarettes. We're fairly sure Gorgonchrist will be equally addictive but minus the carcinogenic downside. Some have suggested our album should feature health warnings but we'll wait for the government to intercede on that one.

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

Into further levels of decay, literally oozing its constituent parts into a black sludgey stain on the ground. How that decay sounds will remain unknown until it happens. This could go anywhere is the reality. Whether it will retain the seething anger of its outset, who knows. There might be more polka and flamenco on the next album though.

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?

Harry Ramsden's fish shop quartet have been a huge influence along with bands such as Anaal Nathrakh, Ministry, Napalm Death, Blut Aus Nord, Fukpig, Subhumans, Voivod, Extreme Noise Terror, Primitive Man. Our current playlist heavily features the phenomenal rise of UK Black Metal, something we feel is growing into an ever more powerful scene. There really is a huge plethora of outstanding music being created over here at the moment.

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

If anyone has any internal organs for sale, get in touch.