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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Sol Draconi Septem/Hyperion/Time Tombs Production/2021 CD Review

 


  Sol  Draconi  Septem  are  a  band  from  France  that  plays  a  melodic  and  industrial  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Hyperion"  which  will  be  released  in  March  by  Time  Tombs  Production.


  Industrial  style  synths  start  off  the  album  and  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs  at  times.  Saxophones  can  also  be  heard  in  some  parts  of  the  recording  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  great  amount  of  melody.


  Vocals  are  mostyl  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  while  death  metal  growls  can  also be  heard  at  times.  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  are  also  utilized  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  clean  vocals  can  also  be  heard  at  times.


  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  also  being  utilized  briefly  ona  couple  of  songs.  Symphonic  and  atmospheric  sounds  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  music  as  well  as  the  songs  also  capturing  a  very  sci-fi  orientated  atmosphere.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  a  concept  album  based  upon  Dan  Simmons's  "Hyperion  Cantos".


  In  my  opinion  Sol  Draconi  Septem  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  industrial  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Man  Who  Cried  God"  "The  River  Leth's  Taste  Is  better"  and  "The  Last  Pilgrims".  8/5  out  of  10.


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Friday, February 26, 2021

Medieval Demon/Arcadian Witchcraft/Hells Headbangers/2021 CD Review

 


  Medieval  Demon  are  a  band  from  Greece  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  very  melodic  and  symphonic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Arcadian  Witchcraft"  which  will  be  released  in  March  by  Hells  Headbangers.


  A  very  dark,  heavy  and  symphonic  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  solos  and  leads  a  few  seconds  later.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  music  is  also  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  era  and  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats.


  Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  while  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody.  At  times  the  music  also  gets  very  ritualistic  sounding  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  tremolo  picking  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  faster  riffing.


  A  lot  of  the  music  also  captures  the  atmosphere  of  the  classic  Greek  black  metal  era  along  with  the  music  also  utilizing  a  great  amount  of  keyboards.  Clean  playing  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  as  well  as  the  spoken  word  parts  also  giving  the  music  more  of  an  occult  atmosphere  when  they  are  utilized,  one  of  the  tracks  also  introduces  melodic  chants  onto  the  recording.  The  production  sounds  very  old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Luciferian,  Necromancy,  Occultism  and  Witchcraft  themes.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Medieval  Demon  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  melodic  and  symphonic  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Meet  Her  Majesty,  the  Black  Queen"  "The  Grand  Archon"  and  "Arcadian  Witchcraft".  8/5  out  of  10.


http://medievaldemon.bandcamp.com/album/arcadian-witchcraft

https://youtu.be/UPvPDswOVdo   

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Wolfheart/Skull Sodiers/Napalm Records/2021 EP Review

 


  Finland's  Wolfheart  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  shows  the  music  going  for  a  melodic  m9ixture  of  black,  doom  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  ep  "Skull  Soldiers"  which  will  be  released  in  March  by  Napalm  Records.


  Epic  sounding  synths  start  off  the  album before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  and  melodic  musical  direction  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  Vocals  are  mostyl  death  metal  growls  along  a  few  black  metal  screams  also  being  utilized  at  times  and  the  solos  and  leads  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody.


  Blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  when  the  music  speeds  up  while  elements  of  doom  emtal  can  also b e  heard  in  the  slower  sections  of t he  songs.  Symphonic  sounds  are  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  recording  along  with  the  tracks  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.


  Some  of  the  faster  riffing  also  adds  in  some tremolo  picking  along  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing,  one  of  the  tracks  is  also  an  acoustic  song  which  also  adds  in  clean  vocals  and  the  ep  closes  with  a  live  track.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  the  Winter  war  which  was  a  battle  between  Finland  and  the  Soviet  Union  


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Wolfheart  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Skull  Soldiers"  and  "Reaper".  8  out  of  10.


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INSTAGRAM
NAPALM RECORDS

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Feed Them Death/Negative/Brucia Records/2021 CD Review

 


  United  Kingdom's  solo  project  Feed  Them  Death  has  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  the  avant  garde  mixture  of  black,  sludge  metal,  experimental,  noise  and  grindcore  from  his  previous  releases  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2021  album  "Negative"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Brucia  Records.


  Avant  garde  soundscapes  and  clean  playing  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  faster  grindcore  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats.  Vocals  are  a  mixture  of  death  metal  growls  and  black  metal  screams  while  the  riffing  also  brings  in  some  dissonant  structures  and  at  times  the  music  also  gets  very  experimental  sounding.


  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  melodies  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing.  Guitar  solos  and  leads  can  also  be  heard  in  some  parts  of  the  recording  and  are  also  done  in  a  very  chaotic  yet  progressive  style.


  Elements  of  noise,  industrial  and  drone  can  also  be  heard  on  some  of  the  tracks  along  with  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  also  adding  in  the  heaviness  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  as  the  album  progresses  the  music  also  starts  getting  more  diverse  sounding,  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  clean  vocals  and  shouts  are  also  added  onto  the  closing  track.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  the  philosophical  writings  of  Theodor  Adorno.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Feed  Them  Death  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  avant  garde,  black,  sludge,  doom  metal,  grindcore,  experimental,  noise,  industrial  and  drone,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Minima  Moralia"  "Our  Cruelty  to  Reality  (Evokism  IV)"  and  "The  Idiotic  Yearnign  For  More  (Barbarism  of  Perfection)".  8  out  of  10.


https://www.facebook.com/feedthemdeath/            

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

BlackEternal/Darkness Emrace II: The Oakenford Chronicles/2021 Full Length Review

 


  BlackEternal  are  a  solo  project  from  Las  Vegas,  Nevada  that  plays  a  cinematic  and  symphonic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  self  released  2021  album  "Darkness  Embrace  II:  The  Oakenford  Chronicles".


  Horror  movie  style  keyboards  start  off  the  album  while  spoken  word  parts  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  album  and  are  done  in  more  of  a  narrative  style.  Symphonic  elements  are  also  utilized  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  along  with  all  of  the  blast  beats  also  being  programmed  and  a  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.


  Heavier  riffs  are  also  mixed  in  with  the  symphonic  elements  while  the  vocals  are  mostyl  high  pitched  black  metal  screams.  Demonic  voices  are  also  utilized  at  times  along  with  some  of  the  music  also  capturing  the  atmosphere  of  a  home  for  the  mentally  disturbed  and  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.


  At  times  the  music  also  gets  very  cinematic  sounding  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody,  the  songs  also  alternate  between  spoken  word  horror  tracks  and  black  metal  songs,  tremolo  picking  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  faster  riffing.


  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  finally  utilized  they  are  also  done  in   a  very  melodic  style.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  a  concept  album  based  upon  a  paranormal  investigation  that  led  to  everyone  being  dead  and  the  only  remaining  person  living  in  a  mental  institution  and  the  horror  coming  in  and  murdering  everybody  in  an  occultic  ritualistic  witchcraft  style.


  In  my  opinion  BlackEternal  are  a  very  great  sounding  cinematic  and  symphonic  black  metal  solo  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Pavor  Nocturnus"  "Voices  From  The  Crypt"  "Thorne's  Domain"  and  "Demonic  Spirits  II".  8  /5  out  of  10.


Website: www.BlackEternal.com
Bandcamp: https://blacketernal.bandcamp.com/releases
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NightmareEternal
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC46mpEuoYG8P6-r0AAGAPuw/featured
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6D8zj2AYSbrwnxuPpLi6rP

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/blacketernal/1317188234      


    

Numenor/Draconian Age/Elevate/2021 CD Review

 


  Numenor  are  a  band  from  Serbia  that  plays  an  epic  and  symphonic  mixture  of  black,  death,  power  and  heavy  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Draconian  Age"  which  was  released  by  Elevate.


  Melodic  guitar  leads  start  off  the  album  and  are  done  in  a  classic  metal  metal  while  the  vocals  are  a  mixture  of  black  metal  screams  and power  metal  clean  singing.  Most  of  the  music  is  heavily  rooted  in  both  the  80's  and  90's  era  but  modern  at  the  same  time  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.


  The  riffs  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  while  one  of  the  tracks  is  a  cover  of  "Hall  Of  The  Mountain  King"  and  introduces  keyboards  and  symphonic  elements  onto  the  album.  Spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  also  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.


  Some  of  the  riffing  also  shows  an  influence  of  the  more  melodic  death  metal  style  along  with  the  songs  also  capturing  an  epic  atmosphere  as  well  as  one  track  also  adding  in  a  brief  use  of  back  up  shouts,  all  of  the  music  sticks  to  a  mid  tempo  direction.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  based  upon  the  writings  of  Michael  Moorcock,  J.R.R  Tolkien  and  H.P  Lovecraft.


  In  my  opinion  Numenor  are  a  very  great  sounding  epic  and  symphonic  mixture  of  black,  death,  power  and  heavy  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Make  The  Stand"  "Arkenstone"  "Twilight  Of  The  Gods"  and  "The  Last  of  Wizards".  8  out  of  10.


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Sunday, February 21, 2021

Apocalypse/Pedemontium/Earth And Sky Productions/2021 CD Review

 


  Apocalypse  are  a  solo  project  from  Italy  that  plays  an  epic  mixture  of  Viking,  black,  folk  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2021  album  "Pedemontium"  which  was  released  by  Earth  And  Sky  Productions.


  Epic  style  beats  and  keyboards  start  off  the  album  and  also  gives  the  music  the  atmosphere  of  either  a  fantasy  or  historical  movie  soundtrack  and  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs.  A  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  elements  of  doom  metal  can  also  be  heard  in  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs.

  

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  while  clean  Viking  vocals  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  album.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  on  the  album  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  acoustic  guitars  also  adding  in  touches  of  folk  music  when  they  are  utilized.


  A  lot  of  the  music  also  shows  an  influence  of  Viking  era  Bathory  and  the  mid  90's  era  pagan  metal  bands  along  with  the  vocals  also  adding  in  a  grim  black  metal  approach  in  some  parts  of  the  recording,  as  the  album  progresses  folk  instruments  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  all  of  the  music  also  sticks  to  s  lower  direction.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  History,  Legends,   Mythology  and  Fantasy  themes.


  In  my  opinion  Apocalypse  are  a  very  great  sounding  epic  mixture  of  Viking,  black,  folk  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Pedemontium"  "Crystal  Eyes"  "The  Lake  Of  Witches"  and  "The  King  Of  Stone".  8  out  of  10.


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Haspyd/Перехрестя двох вітрів/Eternal Winter Records/2020 CD Review

 


  Haspyd  are  a  band  from  Ukraine  that  plays  a  mixture  of  pagan  and  folk  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  album  "Перехрестя  двох  вітрів"  which  was  released  by  Eternal  Winter  Records.


  Melodic  guitar  solos  and  leads  start  off  the  album  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats.  Folk  instruments  are  also  mixed  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs  along  with  a  lot  of  the  vocals  being  done  in  a  clean  pagan  style  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.


  The  riffs  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  while  the  more  aggressive  vocals  also  bring  in  a  mixture  of  death  metal  growls  and  black  metal  screams.  Spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  a  couple  of  tracks  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.


 One  of  the  tracks  is  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  also  introduces  acoustic  guitars   onto  the  recording  along  with  one  song  also  introducing  symphonic  elements  into  the  music  and  the  album  closes  with  a  Hypocrisy  cover.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Ukrainian  and  cover  Folklore,  Legends,  nature  and  Patriotism  themes.


  In  my  opinion  Haspyd  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  pagan  and  folk  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Київська Русь"  "Отава-Трава"  "Ім'янаречення"  and  "Усесвітнє Панування".  8  out  of  10.


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Saturday, February 20, 2021

Ghostbound/Extended Play For My Sweet Mary Thyme/Red Nebula Records/2021 Full Length Review

 


  Ghostbound  are  a  band  from  New  York  that  plays  an  avant  garde  mixture  of  blackgaze  and  post  punk  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Extended  Play  For  My  Sweet  Mary  Thyme"  which  will  be  released  in  March  by  Red  Nebula  Records.


  Field  recordings  and  water  sounds  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  while  also  introducing  melodic  guitar  leads  onto  the  recording.  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  pf  blast  beats  and  black  metal  elements  can  be  heard  and  the  acoustic  guitars  also  give  the  songs  more  of  a  progressive  feeling  when  they  are  utilized.


  The  music  also  adds  in  the heaviness  of  post  metal  while  the  vocals  are  done  in  mostyl  a  great  style.  The  album  also  has  its  atmospheric  moments  along  with  a  great  portion  of  the  tracks  also  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  good  amount  of  melody  and  synths  can  also  be  heard  at  times.


  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  music  also  mixing  in  a  lot  of  avant  garde  touches.  Orchestrations  can  also  be  heard  in  some  parts  of  the  album     as  well  as  also  mixing  in  shoegaze  style  soundscapes,  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  the  songs  also  show  an  influence  of  post  punk.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  oceanic  and  maritime  themes.


  In  my  opinion  Ghostbound  are  a  very  great  sounding  avant  garde  mixture  of  blackgaze  and  post  punk  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "And  We  Are  Already  At  Sea"  and  "Seaward".  8  out  of  10.


https://www.facebook.com/GhostboundThrone
https://ghostbound.bandcamp.com/album/all-is-phantom
https://www.instagram.com/ghostbound84/

https://twitter.com/Ghostbound_NYC          

Friday, February 19, 2021

Necropanther/In Depths We Sleep/2021 EP Review

 


  Necropanther  are  a  band  from  Denver,  Colorado  that  plays  a  melodic  mixture  of  black,  doom,  death  and  thrash  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2021  ep  "In  Depths  We  Sleep"  which  will  be  released  in  March.


  Water  sounds  start  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  while  synths  can  also  be  heard  briefly.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  some  elements  of  doom  metal  also  being  added  into  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs.


  Death  metal  growls  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  songs  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.  Black  metal  screams  can  also  be  heard  at  times  along  with  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  as  well  as  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  adding  in  some  blast  beats.


  Tremolo  picking  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  faster  riffing  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  some  of  the  riffing  also  showing  an  influence  of  thrash  metal,  one  of  the  tracks  is  also  an  instrumental  and  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard  briefly.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  the  legend  of  Seth  Davey  in  18th  century  England.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Necropanther  and  if  you  a  fan  of  melodic  black,  doom,  death  and  thrash  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Descent"  and  "Cheers  to  Seth  Davey".  8  out  of  10.


http://www.necropanther.com
http://www.facebook.com/Necropanther
http://www.instagram.com/necropanther

http://necropanther.bandcamp.com  

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Hogstul Interview

 

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


Hello, and thanks for your interest in Hogstul! This solo project is based on musical ideas harvested over a period of time that did not fit in my other bands such as Profane Burial and Omnia Moritur. The tracks have been re-arranged and developed as my experience with midi orchestration got better by the years. I was very proud and satisfied with the tracks and thought it would be a shame if they were unused. My first idea was to release the tracks as an orchestral journey, but then I started to play with the idea: “what about a metal project…” 

I programmed drums and then it was done, I thought it sounded great and had to write guitars and bass tracks as well. Then I was wondering about hiring a session vocalist due to that I had never done any vocals before. But on the other hand; it would not be a solo project/band any more, so I bought a microphone and gave it a shot. I was quite happy with my test vocals so then Hogstul was complete!



2.Recently you have released your first full length, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you went for on the recording?


As I mentioned above, it was intended to be a pure orchestral project – hence a lot of orchestrations. I am quite fond of classical music and also film scores so you might find some inspiration from such music. When it came to the metal part for me it was important to go back to my roots. I started to listen to Black Metal in 1987/88 and love the 90-scene. Hogstul is very inspired by the second wave and even though the production is modern, it does sound quite like the olden days I think. It was also crucial that the orchestra was not too much in the front and dominating, with rather a cold production and sharp guitar sound with both extreme and growl vocals.



3.You are also involved in few other bands, what is it that you bring into the music of 'Hogstul' that you are  not able to do with your other groups?


When I am alone with Hogstul there is total control – no compromise! 

Hogstul differ quite a bit due to tempo, length of the tracks, the sound and also that I am able to do exactly what I want with every single little detail on all the instruments. It is actually very good to have a project all by my self since I am quite involved in the other bands and tends to have meanings about everything from compositions, arrangements, lyrics, cover art, mix etc you name it. When in a band you must be able to compromise, other wise there will be challenges. So far all my bands involved in has functioned quite well – but it is unbelievable relieving to have one band where I can do as I want 100%. The only external “help” I have acquired is with mix/master and layout on the physical products, otherwise I have done everything by my self.



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


The first track is called"The Beast"(18:27 minutes) who will unravel from among its many variations and reveal that all the darkness that inhabits the interior of our being, sooner or later will be set free and "The Beast" will take control. The invocation of Mephistopheles towards the end accentuates the trance and the catharsis will inevitably come. For me it is a very personal, yet tormenting track, which started out as only 5 minutes, but as I worked with this song new ideas arose and it developed naturally by the day. Key words are inner demons, external dissonance and pestering, solitude and mental capacity vs madness and agony. Quotation: “My demon is silence”.“


Tomb” continues (14:57 minutes) and its opening I have been told could well be the soundtrack of a Dantesque Opus, of dark and macabre tales. Tomb is considered by me to be “True-Hogstul-Horror-Metal”; it’s full of chaos, fright and fear.  The lyrics could easily be interpreted in many ways, but for me its basically that time is the enemy. What do you experience during your time being, is it all real or just an illusion? Sanity versus insanity! Quotation: “Time is a Tomb”.


The album concludes with the track"A Nightmare at 40 Fathoms"(12:27 minutes), which also was released as a full single one year ago! This is more or less a horror story where you are being dragged mentally further and further down in a horrible dreamlike state; when its hard to tell fiction from reality and what secrets dwells inside your brain. Quotation: “A journey facing the fathomless”.



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


Hogstul is a location in a small mountain village called Tuddal. Tuddal is located in Telemark, not too far from Notodden for those of you who are familiar with that place (where Emperor origins from). It happens to be so that I have my cabin at Hogstul, so when deciding the band name it was real simple! I love that place, and have been tremendous inspired by the wilderness there - so it had to be Hogstul! 


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


The cover artwork is masterly done by Wendy Saber Core. It really illustrates all the tracks very well, since they are focusing on what’s going on inside the mind. For me it represents purgatory, cacophony, conflicts, chaos, madness, a glimpse of hell, inner demons and of course horror – to sum it up; what the album is really all about 



7.With this project you record everything by yourself but also have experience playing in bands with other musicians, how would you compare the two?


The biggest difference, to not answer your question directly, is that in Hogstul I do not have to wait for people for things to happen. That is also one aspect that formed Hogstul, I was tired of waiting for other band members to contribute or do their part for continuance, and joked that I was playing Wait-Metal, ha ha. Of course when playing in a band input from other members might be very interesting, and something occurs that I would never think of doing my self. And to be frank; without the experience from the other bands I do not think Hogstul would have happened. I have learned a lot from the other bands/members which I have found very useful for my own project. It’s hard to compare, I don’t think its fair to compare them, rather explain the differences and synergies justifies my answer without being to biased.



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


Hogstul have just been signed to Screaming Skull Records! Its very cool, and the album will soon be released on tape. The layout is amazing and will reveal something regarding “A Nightmare at 40 Fathoms”; it is actually three different tracks sawn together as one longer track. This will be disclosed in the limited tape release where the lyrics are included with Part I, II and III. I am really looking forward to cooperate with these great guys!



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


The feedback has been “on the far side” of my wildest dreams - overwhelming to be modest! I am just humble and grateful for all the promising words, feedbacks, support and reviews I have got so far, which all have been exclusively positive. What’s really crazy is that I printed 100 digipaks (Independent release), and now one week after release I have only six copies left for sales… 



10.What is going on with some of the other bands these days that you are a part of?


We are finishing the second album with Profane Burial these days. There are some vocals left and modifications with guitars and bass, but all tracks are more or less finished. There has been a huge change in the line up and also the musical expression in my ears; the pre-prods are just beyond… We are also currently looking for a new label!


With Omnia Moritur we are working towards and approve final mix before mastering. A different album for sure, with a strong line up! Release hopefully Autumn 2021, by a really great label.


I have also finished my contribution (orchestra) for a band called Khôra. Their first album was just supreme, and when I got the chance to join this band I simply could not refuse. On one of the tracks we even have a guest appearance by Rune “Blasphemer” Eriksen; ex-Mayhem! This is also the first release I am part of where I have made a pure orchestral intro. Definitely a release I am really eager for.



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


It’s very hard to predict, but as long as I enjoy writing and record music, I will (hopefully) continue to produce music and release albums for many years. I am really grateful to be able to worship my passion and have raised my hobby to a new level. To be completely honest, I actually did the Hogstul album for my own sake and passion, but after showing one track and received enormous feedback I understood it had to be released. So good response is a good fuel and boost for continuing creating, he he.




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


Some of my favourite bands are actually Burzum, Darkthrone, Satyricon, Kvist, Faustcoven, Mayhem and Slagmaur where I find none references to Hogstul. I have of course my share of listening to bands like Limbonic Art, Emperor, Septic Flesh, Dimmu Borgir and Carach Angren where more inspiration and links might be natural to compare. I started to listen to metal music when I was quite young around 1980 with bands like Kiss, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and other NWOBHM. In 1987/88 I discovered harder music (Thrash/Death and Black-Metal) and has followed that scene ever since. In addition to metal I really enjoy classical music and also movie themes and compositions from games.  


Now days, apart from the mentioned bands above, I listen to among others Ateiggär, Enthral, Sjodogg, Abigor, Paysage D’Hiver, Cultus Profano, Ild, Vredensdal and not to forget the best release/band from 2020: Vitam Aeternam!



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


I have actually just started the work on a new Hogstul track, and have several more ideas that must be explored… A strictly limited wooden box (10 copies) of the debut album is also in the making, and soon also the tape release by Screaming Skull Records will be released!  

Thanks a lot for great questions and your interest in Hogstul – support the underground!

https://www.facebook.com/Hogstul/

https://www.instagram.com/hogstul/

https://soundcloud.com/hogstul

https://hogstul.bandcamp.com/

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Mountainscape Interview

 

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


We are a three piece instrumental post-metal band who blend elements of post-rock, black metal, sludge and ambient in a filmscore inspired way.


2.You got your first full length coming out towards the end of February and also have released a few singles, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you went for on these recordings?


Mountainscape was formed to explore a love of all post-music genres and write music without there being any boundaries. A key element which helped shape the songs is that they are written with live looping in mind.


3.So far all of the music has been instrumental, are you open to adding vocals on future releases?


Myself and Ethan play in a number of bands which include vocals (Aklash, Third Horizon, Asira, Cairiss, Khazad Dum) so although I wouldn't completely rule out us ever adding vocals, at this moment in time we're very happy with Mountainscape being purely instrumental.


4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Mountainscape'?


One meaning reading into the name would be that large parts of the ambient layering involved in our music are in essence soundscapes mixed with weaving between lighter and darker sections. Always steadily heading for the peak in a mountainous way. Hence 'Mountainscape'. We had a long list of possible names when starting and this is the one we felt was strongest. The fact that James loves exploring (the Lake/Peak Districts in our home country and going on multiple trips to New Zealand) I'm sure also helped steer us towards it.


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


I came across the stunning photography on deviant art when looking for images to accompany the album. After contacting the artist Stanislav Malykh he kindly agreed to let us use some of his photos.


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


The first show we did in London still holds a special place for me. It was at The Black Heart in Camden, (who are currently crowd funding for help to stay open - so, if anyone reading this has anything to donate, it's all for a good cause!), appearing on a roster of relatively unknown acts on a night intended to introduce people to new post-metal bands. Even though it was a tiny underground gig it was still one of the best organised events I've ever played, hats off to Kunal at Chaos Theory. We opened up for Tides from Nebula at the Camden Underworld which was pretty cool as their music is absolutely excellent. Also opening for The Moth Gatherer at 229 The Venue in London was a brilliant show supporting another brilliant band.

I would describe our performance as hypnotic and focused, there's lots of live looping going on....

 

7.The album is going to be released on 'Trepanation Recordings', how did you get in contact with this label?


I contacted Trepanation Recordings via email when searching for a home for 'Acceptance'. Thankfully myself and Dan from Trepanation hit it off and he really enjoyed the album.


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


Honestly we're very much at the start of our journey. Response has been great so far for the few that have heard of us. We have put a lot of time into the album release campaign with the hope to engage more fans and get them on board with our musical journey.


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


I can see us continuing down the post-atmospheric metal direction we've just started down. There's bits written for the next album that are in the same vein as this one. I'll see where the songwriting takes me.


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?


Russian Circles had a huge influence on us, myself James and Ethan were blown away by them performing at Heaven in London before we'd formed Mountainscape. The direction of creating songs that involve live looping with a three piece band came from watching those guys. Also Jakob from New Zealand influenced our sound a lot, another huge sounding three piece.

Currently I'm listening to lots of Olhava, Hammock, Violet Cold, Sarin and sleepmakeswaves, amongst many others!


11.What are some of your non musical interests?


Video games! I'm about to delve back in Ghost of Tsushima having recently finished Assassin's Creed Valhalla. James is an outdoors person and loves cycling and hiking.


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


Thank you  for interviewing us. Thanks very much to anyone interested in my band enough to read this, I hope you enjoy 'Acceptance'.



Monday, February 15, 2021

Throne/Pestilent Dawn/Redefining Darkness Records/2021 CD Review

 


  Throne  are  a  band  from  Jackson,  Michigan  that  plays  a  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Pestilent  Dawn"  which  will  be  released  in  April  by  Redefining  Darkness  Records.


  A  very  dark  sounding  intro  starts  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats.  Vocals  are  a  mixture  of  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  death  metal  growls  while  the  music  also  has  its  brutal  moments.


  The  riffs  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  very  chaotic  style.  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  songs  also  mixing  in  a  great  amount  of  90's  influences  but  keeping  it  modern  at  the  same  time,  a  classical  guitar  orientated  instrumental  can  also  be  heard  briefly  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  and  there  is  also  some  session work  from  members  of  Morta  Skuld,  Dagon,  Recorrupter  and  Mutilated.


  Throne  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  melodic  black  metal  and  mixes  it  with  brutal  death  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness,  death  and  chaos  themes.


  In  my  opinion  Throne  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  "Amongst  The  Sinners,  They  Came  Forth"  "Pestilent  Dawn"  and  "All  Creation  Wept".  8  out  of  10.


Redefining Darkness Records 

Valfreya/Acoustic Chronicles Part II/2019 EP Review

 


  This  a  review  of  a  recording  from  Montreal,  Quebec,  Canada's  Valfreya  a  band  more  known  for  their  melodic  black/pagan  and  folk  metal  style  but  on  this  album  goes  for  more  of  an  acoustic  folk  music  direction  and  the  ep  was  self  released  in  2009  and  called  "Acoustic  Chronicles  Part  II".


  A  very  dark  sounding  intro  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  some  violins  and  tribal  style  percussion  a  few  seconds  later  while  nature  sounds  can  also  be  heard  at  times.  When  acoustic  guitars  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  more  of  a  folk  music  style  and  the  vocals  are  all  done  in  a  clean  style  with  both  male  and  female  vocals.


  Spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  while  the  guitars  also  add  in  a  good  mixture  of  both  full  chords  and  finger  picking.  Pagan  chants  are  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  recording  along  with  the  music  also  capturing  the  atmosphere  of  pagan  era  Europe  at  times  and  all  of  the  songs  stick  to  either  a  slow  or  mid  tempo  direction.


  On  this  recording  Valfreya  stay  away  from  the  heavier  direction  of  their  previous  releases  and  goes  for  more  of  an  unplugged  and  acoustic  musical  direction.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  a  mixture  of  French  and  English  and  cover  Norse  Mythology,  Pagan  Gods,  Life,  Death  and  Legends.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Valfreya  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band  or  pagan  folk  music,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Jeter  L_Ancre"  "Peuple  du  Nord"  and  "Shame  And  Despair".  8  out  of  10.


Valfreyaofficial.com
Facebook.com/Valfreya.Metal
Instagram.com/valfreya_band

Twitter.com/ValfreyaMetal        

Sinira Interview

 

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


- Sinira was created back in 2016 out of a burning desire to replicate the experience my favorite bands invoked in me and to create music I feel like I would listen to even if it was not of my creation. Today, I use it as a vessel of expression, worship and admiration.



2.So far you have released a demo and a full length, musically how do they both differ from each other?


- I believe the biggest separation between them is the thrash/punk riffing in Dawnless Twilight vs the lead driven nature of The Everlorn. In the demo, I didn't emphasize heavily on my influences whereas on The Everlorn I embraced it as much as I could. Lyrically they both touch on the same Anticosmic themes but the LP definitely dives deeper into the teachings.



3.Your music is very heavily rooted in the 90's melodic Swedish black metal style, do you feel this project is more of a tribute to that era?


- I believe Sinira began as a call back to the 90's era of Swedish black metal while attempting to find my own sound and style; something I am still working towards. Writing for The Everlorn began in a period when I was frantically looking for a band to scratch the Dissection/Sacramentum/Vinterland itch I've been longing for but could not achieve. So I took it upon myself to try to stand amongst giants.


At its heart, it's not entirely existing just to recall previous albums done before but rather to conjure new and memorable moments that might not have been explored before. It is a difficult errand and who's to say I will ever achieve it. To me, there's nothing wrong with being compared to the greats of old and I am honored to be compared to such talents.



4.Some of your lyrics cover Occultism themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?

- The simple answer is this; I long for the death of all the imperfections I find in myself and for a new and complete version to exist whether it be in life or death.



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


- While most of the lyrics written are based on the teachings of The Temple of the Black Light, there are underlying themes of defiance towards authority, embracing power within oneself, and achieving ultimate freedom.

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


- Sinira is Tagalog for "torn apart." I felt that it was an adequate name for the fast and relentless songs I wanted to create.



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


- The artwork is something I had envisioned since composition for the album began. Every song I wrote for the album was an attempt to materialize the vision I had of a final place of rest and solitude.



8.You have also done a couple of 'Dissection' covers, what was the decision behind doing your own versions of their songs?


- I specifically remember picking The Somberlain because it was the first song I ever heard from Dissection. I placed it on the Dawnless Twilight demo in hopes that more people would want to listen to it with it on there. As for Soulreaper, it was the song that I resonated the most at the time I remember tearing up at times because of how power it was to me. 


With both songs, I wanted to test out what I was capable of doing in terms of mixing music myself but in hindsight I'd say they could've been executed a lot better. I wouldn't necessarily say I regret doing them but I wish I had either just not released them or waited till I felt I was more profecient in mixing.



9.Currently you are signed to 'Northern Silence Productions', how did you get in contact with this label?

- Northern Silence actually came to me shortly after Black Metal Promotion premiered The Everlorn. I actually couldn't believe they reached out to me because I felt that the album wouldn't grabbed as much attention as it did.



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


- I never thought I would see as many fans accept, let alone enjoy, the music I created. I have seen comments and messages ranging from how it was cool, how it was "the best thing they heard in years," and how it accurately recreates the atmosphere of the 90's Swedish scene


And of course, I had reception of the opposite caliber as well. Some say it's too derivative, it's a discount Dissection (I have laughed in slight agreement with this before), or how it's just mediocre. To me, I don't ignore the negative reviews but rather take them as constructive criticism, whether that was intention or not.



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


- As of now the future is not certain. I do want to continue writing music but it is a long and arduous road to write alone. I have always had a difficult time composing with others so I just take my time to write music and don't call it done 


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

- Without stating the obvious, I was inspired by a lot of melodic black metal bands from Sweden, France and the USA. Bands like Aorlhac, Obsequiae and Vehemence were some other bands that I highly admired while writing the album.

Today, I still listen to metal primarily but I also find myself trying to branch out at all times to find anything that will grab my attention ranging from shoegaze to dungeon synth to jazz and to country.

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

- Something I've been wanting to make clear for awhile now is that I never wanted to become the next Dissection or Sacramentum or Vinterland. I just want to compose music that matches the emotions my inspirations have given to me and many others.

I also want to thank everyone who has supported Sinira since it's inception.

 

 

 


Sunday, February 14, 2021

Empyrium/Uber den Sternen/Prophecy Productions/2021 Full Length Review

 


  Empyrium  are  a  duo  form  Germany  that  plays  a mixture  of  neo  folk  and  melodic  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Uber  den  Sternen"  which  will  be  released  on  February  26th  by  Prophecy  Productions.


  Acoustic  guitars  start  off  the  album  and  also  bring  in  elements  of  neo  folk  while  stringed  instruments  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  recording.  Clean  pagan  vocals  are  also  utilized  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  tracks  and  the  songs  also  mix  the  folk  music  elements  into  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs.


  A  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  spoken  word  parts  and  whispers  can  also  be  heard  at  times.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  also  being  a  very  huge  part  of  the  heavier  side  of t he  recording. 


  Some  of  the  slower  riffing  also  shows  an  influence  of  doom  metal  along  with  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  as  well  as  some  tracks  also  adding  in  some  keyboards,  a  couple  of  the  songs  are  also  instrumentals  and  all  of  the  music  sticks  to  either  a  slow  or  mid  tempo  direction.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  a  mixture  of  English  and  German  and  cover  Germanic  Romanticism,  Poetry  and  Folklore  themes.  


  In  my  opinion  Empyrium  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  melodic  black,  doom  metal  and  neo  folk  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  duo.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "A  Lucid  Tower  Beckons  On  the  Hills  Afar"  "The  Wild  Swans"  and  "Uber  den  Sternen".  8  out  of  10.


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Varang Nord/Parkiuna Uomurs/Sliptrick Records/2021 CD Review

 


  Varang  Nord  are  a  band  from  Latvia  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  a  mixture  of  folk,  Viking  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2021  album  "Parkiuna  Uomurs"  which  will  be  released  on  February  23rd  by  Sliptrick  Records.


  Nature  sounds  and  epic  sounding  synths  start  off  the  album  while  also  having  the  sounds  of  battle  in  the  background  briefly  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction.  Folk  instruments  are  also  utilized  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.


  Death  metal  growls  can  also  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  while  the  vocals  also  add  in  some  clean  pagan  vocals  at  times.  The  riffs  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  along  with  some  back  up  shouts  also  being  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  as  well  as  some  classical  guitars  also  being  utilized  briefly.


  Elements  of  melodic  black  metal  can  also  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  also  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  as  well  as  a  couple  track  also  adding  in  a  brief  use  of  blast  beats,  most  of  the  music  also  sticks  to  a  mid  tempo  direction  and  fast  tremolo  picking  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  the  album  closes  with  an  instrumental.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Latgalian  and  cover  Paganism,  Mighty  Battles  and  Blood  Sacrifices  for  the  Old  Gods.


  In  my  opinion   this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Varang  Nord  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  folk,  Viking  and  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Stuojis"  "ASvietneica"  "Syt  pa  Seyi"  and  "Karavein".  8  out  of  10.  


 Official Website | Facebook | Youtube | Instagram | VK | On Sliptrick