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Monday, March 29, 2021

Minas Morgul Interview

 

MINAS MORGUL - A Different Shade Of Black Metal / Zine(US)


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


Berserk:

I can still remember we were just taking a photo shot in March last year. Then came the news of the first lockdown. That was the last time we all saw each other.

Weeks and months followed in a state that we have never experienced before.

everyone went to the studio separately, the songs were partly still unfinished, it was extremely unfavorable for an album production.

we tried to use the messengers as best possible for our communication. the mix and master phase of the album was lengthened, the layout was not finished, the release date had to be postponed, there were big internal problems for the band. In retrospect, it was a fucking busy year

with many obstacles, setbacks and disappointments. So we're all the happier that we're finally looking forward to the album release.


2. You have a new album coming out in April, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?


Berserk:

three new, very good musicians were involved in the "Heimkehr" production (haffi: guitar, janke: bass, stef: vocals). We are particularly proud of the many facets of stef's singing style. In addition, all of the musicians incorporated their own creative ideas this enabled us to raise the album to a qualitatively new level. Heimkehr is probably the most varied album in our history. no song is like the other. we were able to incorporate our personal musical inspirations and since these are very diverse, the album has become very heterogeneous overall.


3. Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the new album and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?


Berserk:

"Heimkehr" describes our journey back home, to the roots. We have implemented this symbolically on the song itself.

Other songs like "Niedergang", "Teufel" or "Weltenfall" tell of an evil creature called human who has aimed from the beginning of time to destroy himself and everything around him."Totenschiff" tells of the end of the world and "tiefe Narben" describes the life of an old man up to his death.They are songs that life writes, they are stories that accompany us, that touch and shape us.





4.A lot of your lyrics also cover Paganism themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this subject?


Berserk:

This has not been the case for many years.

Since the release of the album "Ära" in 2012, via "Kult" in 2017 to the present day, a musical and content-related change has taken place. We are away from "Pagan Metal", because there are many more things in our heads that occupy us and that we want to tell. Black Metal beats in our hearts.




5. I know that the band was named after the writings of J.R.R Tolkien, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in his work and also are there any other authors that you have an interest in?


Berserk:

Minas Morgul was founded in 1997.

That was almost 25 years ago.

At that time we were fascinated by the fantastic world of Tolkins, in which great battles of good and evil were fought.Today we see our fortress "Minas Morgul" as a place that is within each of us. A journey into the self, where the wars of yourself are fought and you can only achieve your inner balance if you face all your demons.



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


Berserk:

As already mentioned, the new album is called "Heimkehr". It is the product of a creative process in which everyone was able to contribute and realize, as seldom before in the history of Minas Morgul. We walked all the way to the walls of our fortress, a rocky road to the base. We returned home.

We felt an inner need to portray this homecoming on the cover.









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


Berserk:

We played a lot of shows over the years, including some bigger ones like the "Ragnarök", "Ultima Ratio" or "Wolfszeit" festival. There were also shows abroad, for example Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, which we fondly remember. Some were very adventurous. We were stuck at the airport for 10 hours, in the end completely drunk. We spent hours in a traffic jam in the center of Prague on our way to Austria. There were breakdowns, injuries, even a city ban.The most beautiful shows were often those in small clubs, close together with the fans and what felt like 100 degrees.



8. The band has been around since 1997, what is it that motivates you to keep going after a couple of decades?


Berserk:

Music is emotion. Metal is passion. And as long as we have emotions and passion, we will keep going. Take a guitar and tell the world how you feel and it will listen.




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


Berserk:

Many people have been with us for a long time and are still loyal to us. Some have left and others have just joined them. Life brings change. We change, the fans change. The albums from back then are no longer what we create today. We don't stand still, we do what we feel like doing. So do the fans. And that's why we still have a large fan base.



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


Berserk:

"Heimkehr" has become an absolutely heterogeneous work in which the influences of all members are reflected. My wish for the future is to create a homogeneous atmospheric black metal album that is bursting with raw cold. We are already working on new songs. Stay tuned to see what will become of it.






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?


Berserk:

We are of course always inspired by the music we hear and like ourselves. Sometimes you play a "new" riff and it sounds familiar, until you realize it already exists. Then you rebuild it without destroying the atmosphere and create a new composition that will always remind you of your idols. For example, on the new album you can find homage to bands like "Scheitan", "Naglfar", "Dissection", or "Type o Negative".

But it is often enough inspiration when we rehearse together and everyone can contribute their ideas. The currents and moods then flow by themselves, from which compositions emerge that create potential for new songs.






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


Berserk:

We are looking forward to the album release and the reactions. We hope that the pandemic will end soon so that we can finally play live again. We would like to thank you for the interview, the label for the great support and the fans for their loyalty.


Stay straight! 1313



Sunday, March 28, 2021

Juha Jyrkas/Sydameni Kuusipuulle/Earth And Sky Productions/2019 CD Review

 


  Juha  Jyrkas  is  a  solo  artist  from  Finland  that  is  a  former  songwriter  Korpiklaani  and  plays  folk  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  20219  album  "Sydameni  Kuusipuulle"  which  was  released  by  Earth  And  Sky  Productions.


  Ritualistic  sounding  drumming  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  melodic  riffing  a  few  seconds  later.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  solos  and  leads  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  black  metal  screams  can  also  be  heard  in  some  parts  of  the  music.


  Clean  pagan  vocals  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  album  while  the  music  also  has  its  epic  moments  and  touches  of  traditional  metal  can  also  be  heard  at  times.  The  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  folk  music  elements  along  with  one  track  also  introducing  Turkish  baglama's onto  the  album  as  well  as  some  female  vocals  also  being  utilized  briefly,  as  the  album  progresses  a  small  amount  of  folk  instruments  and  shamanistic  chanting  can  also  be  heard  and  all  of  the  music  sticks  to  either  a  slow  or  mid  tempo  direction.


  Juha  Jyrkas  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  folk,  pagan,  black  and  traditional  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  his  own.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Finnish  and  cover  Paganism,  Mysticism  and  Nature  themes.


  In  my  opinion  Juha  Jyrkas  is  a  very  great  sounding  folk  metal  solo  artist  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Kymmenen  Kyrvan  Nimea"  "Manalan  Valtikka"  "Voimaa"  and  "Juhlapaiva".  8  out  of  10.


  https://easp.bandcamp.com/album/syd-meni-kuusipuulle 

Stake Driver Interview

 

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


We’re a five-piece symphonic black metal from Dayton/Cincinnati Ohio. We formed in July of 2020 with the intention of playing the type of black metal that we as fans of the genre want to hear. Our goal is two produce black metal that is aggressive but also compelling to listen to. We don’t give a fuck about anything else.


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


With lycanthropy we wanted to produce a record that was a pure and unforgiving black metal assault on the listener. It has elements of thrash and hardcore blended with first and second wave black metal influence that we like. We wanted to produce something that is epic and theatrical but also heavy. 




3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band has explored so far with the music?


Lycanthropy is a concept album, that is something from the start of the band that was important to us. The themes on the record were influenced heavily by the work of Junji Ito and Gary Bradner’s The Howling. On a face value level, it explores story elements of lycanthropy and body horror. I wanted to describe the human form in the most disgusting and demented ways I could. It’s an analogy for the destructive nature of religion in our society, especially Christianity, but also a commentary on how life is meaningless except for the meanings we place on it. End of the day we’re all just ground beef that learned how to think.




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


As a band all of us are horror movie fans. It’s a riff on the idea of driving a stake into the heart of some marauding ghoul.  We wanted a name that instantly produced a visual of gothic castles and Transylvania upon hearing it.


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


The artwork for the record was done by a gentleman by the name of Mourtous. You can find their page on Instagram. Very talented artist. We wanted something visually striking. It says, “this is exactly what you think it is.” It is a “fuck you” to Christianity which we like a lot.


6.Has the band had any opportunities to do any live shows or open to the idea?


Unfortunately, no. Whenever shows become an option again we plan to play wherever will have us.


7.The cassette version was released by 'Cemetery horror Productions', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?


Cemetery Horror is a black and death metal label out of Pennsylvania. They’ve put out some great releases by Vanen, Eulogist, and Isolated A.d. The head of that label is someone who has an ear to the underground and genuinely wants to help build up young bands. They have been very supportive of everything we’ve done since we dropped our first song. BUY RECORDS FROM THEM!


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


So far, the reaction to us and what we do has been great. When we started the band we didn’t care or expect anyone to enjoy what we were doing so it’s been quite a nice surprise.


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


To continue to produce the most pure and heavy black metal we possibly can. To continue what we did on lycanthropy but bigger. 


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? Our biggest influence is Emperor, specifically in the nightside eclipse. Early Dimmu Borgir, obviously Darkthrone and Mayhem. Urgehal and Enthroned.  As far as first wave bands Bathory and Venom. Some of the less obvious bands like Motorhead, Sodom, Slayer, Agnostic Front, and Necrophagia. 


Currently we really like the new Hulder record, Hellmoon’s Undying blackened glory. The last few Paysage D’Hiver releases are flawless. I’d highly recommend the new Vanen demo and Saidan’s Jigoku. Revenant Marquis, Youth in Ribbons. Pyromancy Arctic Isolation and Kelam’s new demo. Since Pan-Amerikan Native Front released Little Turtles War I’ve been listening to it constantly.  It’s a great time for new black metal, consistently excellent new stuff coming out all the time. 




11.Does Satanism or Occultism play any role in your music?


There is definitely ideas of Satanism expressed in our lyrics. The occult plays heavily into our visuals and the way we present our band. 


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


Thank you for interviewing us. Buy records, support small bands, start your own band. The only thing that truly matters in life is music and creating.

Bandcamp
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Saturday, March 27, 2021

Christian Cosentino/Lawn/2021 Full Length Review

 


  Christian  Cosentino  is  a  solo  artist  from  Australia  that  plays  a  very  symphonic  form  of  post  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  self  released  2021  album  "Lawn".


  Keyboards  and  classical  music  style  orchestras  start  of  the  album  which  also  mixes  in  with  5the  heavier  sections  of  the  music.  Clean  vocals  are  also  utilized  at  times  while  black  metal  screams  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  recording  while  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  blast  beats  are  added  into  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs.


  At  times  the  music  also  gets  very  symphonic  sounding  while  classical  and  acoustic  guitars  are  also  added  into  the  cleaner  sections  of  the  songs.  Tremolo  picking  is  also  added  in  some  of  the  fast  riffing  along  with  the  tracks  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.


  The  music  also  brings  in  a  lot  of  elements  of  post  metal  along  with  a  couple  of  the  tracks    also  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style,  as  the  album  progresses  the  music  also  gets  more  progressive  sounding.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  childhood  emotion  themes.  


  In  my  opinion  Christian  Cosentino  is  a  very  great  sounding  symphonic  post  black  metal  solo  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Lawn"  and  "Lustre".  8  out  of  10.


https://christiancosentino.bandcamp.com/album/lawn
https://www.instagram.com/crustcosentino/


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuXvgbiseF8&ab_channel=ChristianCosentino

Thursday, March 25, 2021

MartYriuM Interview

 

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


Greetings to all from the Martyrium Horde – since all the work which was put down and the ultimate birth of Lamia, we’ve already gone back to our ouija board to conjure the spirit of the next album; musically this has already started to shiver into form and shaping up to what looks as a very positive next chapter in the band’s history, coming up next in a shorter span of time.


Recently you have released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?


‘Lamia Satanica’ seems to have drawn some of the best elements that transpired from the previous four albums, and though at times even unintentional, it seems to have worked in the best interest of the ambience of the whole. You may rediscover those sweet, melodic, even ethereal passages reminiscent of the first two albums contrasting with the merciless shredding of the later ones, all weaved together to produce what we consider a very well thought, all rounded and sounding opus. 


This is also your first album since 2016, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?


That time frame has seen the band touring relentlessly, and in the process building up on its stage presence and experience. We do believe that any band, whichever direction, style, or genre it may belong to is mostly as good as the show it can deliver, so we’ve naturally invested heavily in that. Apart from it being something very important and close to our musical heart.


A lot of your lyrics cover satanic and occult themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the dark arts?


Beyond what own are beliefs are, whether personal or collective, the Dark Arts shall always nourish the inspiration that gets our message across. Where do our interests lie? Everywhere, and nowhere. Above what we can see, and below what we may never. Our own lives, and all the death that surrounds it all. And most of all, that same derived evil, fascinating darkness that rules the hearts of gods and men.  


What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'MartYriuM?


An inborn fascination with sacrifice, and a willingness to die for whatever may be one’s beliefs – as much as these might be metaphorical in the literal sense, they represent the keys to freedom and true spirit of man, and the ultimate path to a truth that the devotion to our principles reveals.  


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


We’ve had the pleasure to work with a dedicated soul on the creation of the new artwork; he embraced the concept, both lyrically and musically, and delivered what in our opinion is a perfect background setting to the heart of the album. Lamia stands as the blind embodiment of all that rules mankind, and the raw empowerment that it derives through the extremity of its opposing emotions. 


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


The band has been lucky to play a great variety of festivals, clubs, stages and audiences – naming a few from all these would not pay justice to the amazing welcome we’ve had everywhere. Our stage performance? We hope that it can be described in the exact way that we feel whilst we ourselves are up there: breathless, tingling, fiery with emotion. 





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


We are very pleased with the feedback received so far, not only from the fans (which we hold dearest and at heart) but also from the metal community in general. And we’re also very pleased that this same feedback has been honest and productive – praise has been given for the right reasons, wherein constructive criticism applied where due. These are the comments we expect, and this is what helps the band to move onward and forward and always improve on its next delivery.


What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?


Not much going on, apart from our full commitment to Martyrium – Sandra is in another two bands, me and the guys also have or do some side collaborations from time to time (and in better times) however much, if not all is pretty much stalled right now. In a way, this has helped greatly to concentrate further on the recording and production of the new album, so at least the (alas, forced) time off the road or other endeavors has seen us focus to the full on Lamia’s birth.


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


Any musical project, whether it’s a band, solo or even a collaboration, is like a journey without a destination – you know from where why you started but can never tell when it will be over. The band has been and seen many different incarnations during the past twenty years, and different times, places and circumstances have etched their mark on everything that it produced. Right now we are drawing on these past experiences to shape the music which Martyrium will stand for in time.  


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?


This would be close to a rhetorical question for all of us, since our influences, whether musical, lyrical or artistic in any sense, are too vast, varied and too encompassing of both time and space. We listen to anything which may fall on our ears and that calls the occasion, and again, narrowing that down to either names or styles would be pretty much impossible. 


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


We hope that you like the new album, and that we get back to playing it on those stages we yearn for so much soon. To our fans, we miss you, and thank you all for being part of this amazing ride... stay strong and safe until the next!


https://www.facebook.com/martyriumhorde
https://www.instagram.com/martyriumofficial/
https://mobile.twitter.com/martyrium_malta

Monday, March 22, 2021

Ghosts of Atlantis Interview

 

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


We are a symphonic extreme metal five-piece from Suffolk UK, we take influence from different genres and bands but with Colin being a member of Devilment you can hear how that sound has influenced his songwriting. I personally love the massive sound and crisp production that is delivered with this project, but ultimately having both Colin and myself on vocals giving a contrast between extreme aggressive vocals and catchy clean vocals, gives a great dynamic for us to deliver this in a different way. (PP)


 


Pretty much what PIP said on that!  (CP) 


 


 


2.In March you have a full length coming out, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you went for on the recording?




I was the last member to join GOA, so four of the tracks had already been completed musically and only needed having vocals adding. Colin sent me the files and between us, we started on the lyrics. You hear many influences from across different metal genres. Personally, we get many people to reference Septicflesh, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle Of Filth, and then others reference Soilwork, Amorphis, and In Flames. For me personally, I love all those bands and when had that likeness I take that very highly. (PP)


 


We wanted to be versatile, and incorporate music from different forms of media and genres. 


There is a definite cinematic feel to our sound and we also take influence from video game music. 


I guess the sound is cinematic blackened metal. (CP) 


 


 


3.The lyrics on the new album are based upon Greek Mythology and the lost city of Atlantis, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?


It is like when you see a film and it states, “Based on a true story”, we have taken parts of the Greek mythology to start our own lore. We didn’t want to keep to prewritten stories for songs. There will be elements of time travel and Sci-Fi going forward and traveling through portals of space and time. Using the story of Atlantis is only the first step. (PP)


 


We want to take the listener on a journey in their mind, to allow them to be swallowed up in the goa world and lore. 


(CP) 


 


 


4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Ghosts Of Atlantis'?


As I said earlier, I was the last member to join, and the names were already in place. But it originated from a project Dex, Rob, Colin and I spoke about a few years ago but never came to light. So when I was asked to join this the name was already in for this project. (PP)


 


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


We are incredibly lucky that Colin works on another project called DiAmorte, with Drake Mefestta from The Red Opera Productions. Drake has done the three lyric videos as well as all our artwork for 3.6.2.4, and the singles from it. Drake is phenomenal and understands fully what works for the band’s imagery. So, he really understood the full story as well as the lore before creating the art.


 


6.Are there any plans for live shows once the COVID19 pandemic is over with?


We can’t wait to bring this show to a live audience. We have nothing booked yet but keep an eye on our social media pages as when the contracts are signed, we will make sure to announce there first. (PP)


 


We are now looking at booking shows, and we hope to be live this year, once cv19 allows us to do so, we will be chomping at the bit!! (CP) 


 


7.The new album is coming out on 'Black Lion Records', how did you get in contact with this label?


When we had the first tracks recorded, we pitched our press kit out to a few labels and got a fantastic response from Black Lion Records. So, when we looked at the offers it felt like a great home for us and for the debut album. (PP)


 


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


It has been a fantastic reaction from people across the globe. For me personally, that is very new, hearing people from different continents wanting more is crazy. I love I can share with a fan in Japan where the best place to pre-order the CD from. (PP)


 


We are very lucky to have a fair few fans from Devilment following the project, naturally being one of the main composers, the sound will translate across so i guess that's a natural transition. (CP) 


 


9.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?


I am sure DiAmorte and Devilment are the two projects Colin is still with away from GOA. But Devilment is not active at the moment.


I did record a quick demo intended for Cold Lazarus, but I don’t see that recording any time soon. But is a possibility we may record at some point in the future, but nothing is planned. (PP)


 


DiaMorte is about to launch globally this year 


The project has an RPG campaign and a kove production, so its really lofty heights in terms of ambition. 


(CP) 


 


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


Writing for album number two has already begun. Being so close to this one it almost feels like a natural flow, but as so early in the process, it is hard to say. I would like to keep exploring more with the extreme and symphonic sound. (PP)


 


It will remain very uninformed to our sound, however, we never want to remain static musically, the new album is shaping up to be heavier and more modern, yet keeping the DNA of 3.6.2.4 throughout. (CP) 


 


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?


Personally, for my vocals I love the clarity on the Bloodbath Nightmares Made Flesh album, Peter nails, what I think is incredible how you can have so much aggression but clarity at the same time. So that is a big influence. What am I listening to? I am really enjoying the latest releases by Dark Tranquillity, Anaal Nathrakh and Killer Be Killed. (PP)


 


For myself, it would be Dimmu Borgir, Devilment, At the Gates, Soilwork, Amorphis, Pink Floyd, Marillion, Arch enemy, and Chimaira. (CP) 


 


 


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


Most of all I would like to thank you for your time and for checking Ghosts Of Atlantis. WE look forward to getting 3.6.2.4 out to you all. (PP)


 


Thank you for taking the time to listen and experience GOA. 


Stay safe, and keep positive. 


(CP) 



Pre-Order:

https://ghostsofatlantisblacklion.bandcamp.com/album/3624 (Vinyl + Digipak + Boxset + Merch + Digital)

https://www.indiemerchstore.com/b/black-lion-records (Digipak + Boxset + Merch)

https://orcd.co/3-6-2-4 (Digital pre-save on Spotify, Apple, Deezer….)

 

For More Info:


– Ghosts of Atlantis –

https://www.ghostsofatlantisofficial.com

https://www.facebook.com/GhostsOfAtlantisofficial

https://www.instagram.com/ghostsofatlantisofficial 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8SA5SCkWeJWHAukfFT_21g 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Sol Draconi Septem 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?

Tauon - Hello there, since we have recorded the album we have worked on the communication and the distribution with Season of Mist. Now the album is finally out !

And we are working on the next project for Sol Draconi Septem, guitars and drums are already recorded. This split will be released at the end of this year. 

The next album is planned between the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023.

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?

Tauon - SDS is a mix of black metal and many kinds of music like jazz, funk, electro, pop, other types of metal, movie musics etc... We love to experiment.

At first we just have the idea to make an album about spatial black metal. When the idea to make a concept album on Hyperion has bloom we have rewritten our songs around the vision of what we want to share around the book. Texturing, lyrics, rhythm, new instrument s(like saxophone) are all think to serve that purpose.

3.The lyrics and the band’s name comes from Dan Simmons's Hyperion Cantos, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this author and his novels?

Kaon – Well it’s an universe I’ve always loved, since I read the novels as a young man, discovering and consuming every scifi books and movies I could find. I’ve been fascinated since day 1, by this rich and deep universe, which is enhanced by the writings and the characters that live in it. Sadly it has never had a video adaptation or anything else, so it was a great occasion to use this universe and make more people discover it !

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

Tauon - The artist Guibz made the cover (follow him !) : It represents The Shrike, the principal antagonist of the book. You haven't so much representations of Hyperion in the artistic world, so we have to construct our vision of this universe. Pretty happy about the work with Guibz. But, we can't tell as much as we want about this creature because that would spoil people who haven't read the book yet. So, please, read the book.

5.Are there any plans for any live shows once the COVID19 pandemic ends?

Tauon - SDS is not a live band. So we will not perform any live, except if we have a big headliner in festival and time to prepare ourselves : to approach what we do on the album, we need to be 8 or 10 on stage. 

6.The album was released on 'Time Tombs Productions', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

Muon – It’s my own label that I created with a friend of mine as our concerts production activity is totally stopped for now, check out our page if you want to learn more about it ! A lot of good stuff are coming. 


7.Do you have any interest in any authors besides Dan Simmons?

Kaon – Oh definitely. Frank Herbert is another big one, as well as Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Lovecraft, Alan Moore, Warren Ellis and Mathieu Bablet. Also I recommend to check out Alain Damasio, a french scifi author who’s incredible with words play, and who create incredible worlds and futures.

Muon – I'd say Tolkien, Lovecraft, Tom Clancy and Stephen King. But I don’t have a lot of time to read unfortunately …

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

Kaon – Weirdly positive overall. Except a couple of people who would like more industrial parts (which I understand), it’s been really nice to have so many good reviews and excited feedbacks on our album !

Muon – We had a lot of feedbacks from fans of different kinds of Metal and non-Metal, It’s always positive ! It’s very motivating for us ! We had also awesome feedbacks from some of our inspiration like the leader of Sojourner which is totally unexpected !

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

Kaon – We’ll definitely try to add even more influences into our music, more industrial and electronic parts, as well as more jazzy parts. We wanna push the blend of organic and electronic sounds together further !

Tauon – I'm impatient to test new things and push ourselves in new explorations.

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?

Tauon – For this album my drums play was mostly influenced by a mixed of old and modern rock/pop music of different country, jazz, technical deathmetal and obviously all the blackmetal scene.

Those days i listen meditation music, ambient music, Max Mitch beat tape, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Aklhys, Bloodhound gang, Clown Core, None or Olhava.

Kaon – Overall, I’m mostly influenced by progressive metal and rock bands, as well as jazz and funk music. As for what I’m listening those days, I’d say Alpha Wann – Don Dada Mixtape, Benjamin Epps – Le Futur, and Sly And The Family Stone – There’s A Riot Going On


Muon – As I said before I was really influenced by Sojourner and all this atmospheric Black Metal scene, also Caladan Brood, Summoning, Khonsu, White Ward, … And also Industrial Metal like Fear of Domination (check out the album Distorted Delusions !), and outside of Metal I’d say Hans Zimmer and Vangelis !   


11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Tauon – My studies are about music... so I don't really take time to do other things for the moment. 

Kaon – Photography, urbex, movies, IT/science and new technologies, comic books … I have a lot of passions outside of music, even if I spend most of my time working on some kind of musical projects, one way or another.

Muon – Not a lot of things outside of music because it’s my main work … But I’d say video games and I also travel a lot.


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

Kaon – Always experiment. Don’t stay stuck in one genre or pattern. Art is made for experiment.


Tauon – Read Hyperion with our music in background ^^

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Friday, March 19, 2021

Ghostbound Interview

 

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


Hello there! Since we officially finished the recording of Extended Play For My Sweet Mary Thyme, we have been relatively quiet insofar as activity is concerned. Of course, I am always working on new music in some form. In point of fact, songwriting for the next Ghostbound full-length is already well-under-way, and I may even have music for another project in the pipeline provided I do not scrap it entirely or otherwise co-opt it for use with Ghostbound. My bandmates stay busy with their own projects, as well.  


2.In March you have a new album coming out, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?


To be clear, it is an EP (or "mini-LP"), so there is the obvious difference of it being a lot shorter. Haha.  But in all seriousness, I view it as an "expansion pack" to All is Phantom, so the music is, on some level, a very pointed extension of the various sounds we explored on that record.  Bearing in mind that a lot of the music on both All is Phantom and this new EP stemmed from the same time period of about 2002 to 2015, and one can almost say that the songs on this EP were "left over" from AiP, and were left off that record either because they were a bit too simplistic, too samey, and/or incomplete in some way. 


I daresay that the majority of the music on Extended Play was from the earlier part of that 13-year period, when I was much, much younger, and it can be argued that my abilities as a songwriter were a bit more prosaic than they are today.  For whatever reason, however, the songs stayed with me, and I realized that I could weave these songs together as a singular "suite" of music via a unifying theme. Moreover, I realized that in the relative simplicity of the music, we could really allow our love of orchestration, arrangement, and, most of all, atmosphere to take the helm and to really build AROUND the bedrock of the songs; most of the songs contain no more than three or four chords, at most, and are generally in some variation of 6/8.  At their most basic, they reminded me of the way the ocean moves as it hits the shore. A maritime, oceanic theme seemed natural. 


3.While your music does contain a good amount of black metal influences you also avoid the use of any harsh vocals, are you open to adding them on future releases/


I certainly would not rule it out entirely, as I do not like to rule anything out, but I am not going to do something simply because the genre dictates that I do it.  If I were to add harsh vocals, it would have to be dictated by the atmosphere of the music or the intent of the lyric, and I am not going to shoehorn something in simply because some corpse-painted, incel dingdong feels like cleanly sung vocals are out of place over blastbeats and tremolo riffs.  The idea behind Ghostbound is that we would prefer to exist outside of easy categorization, and while we do employ elements of black metal, I wouldn't say that we are even a "metal band" in the strictest sense.  Then again, it is not really up to me in terms of how we are perceived, is it? So, in short, yes. I am open to it.


4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?


For this new EP, I wanted the lyrics to be more "image-based" in that I wanted them to explore narrative elements that are almost entirely outside of myself.  All is Phantom, in turn, was heavily steeped in my own personal experiences. I wanted the songs on this EP to tell self-contained stories that are bolstered by the atmosphere of the music.  I looked towards sea-faring stories in addition to one specific bit of apocrypha that went into a pieta found at Highgate National Cemetery that I first heard during a tour of the place, when I was in London with my parents in 2003.  I wanted there to be a certain sense of "journey" to the music that starts out at sea and ends on land. 


As a songwriter, this EP represents the earlier part of my journey, so I would not say that it is indicative of how I compose music in this day and age, necessarily.  Back when these songs were first outlined, I could pretty much only play basic chords and open-string arpeggios in the Fields of the Nephilim mold, whereas now I am decidedly more "riff-based" in my approach.  I will say, however, that this EP has taught me a lot about the use of orchestration and the joy of collaboration.  A lot of the orchestration on AiP feels somewhat "tacked-on", in hindsight, and literally every member of the band had a hand in the arrangement and orchestration of Extended Play For My Sweet Mary Thyme. 


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


The term "Ghostbound" was something that I made up entirely from what I believe was a misheard lyric of another band, long since forgotten.  Initially, it was merely the title of a song from an aborted attempt at a solo acoustic EP that I started working on over a decade ago. Funnily enough, the song in question would later become "And We Are Already At Sea", the lead-off track to the new EP.  I am quite fond of the name, as it represents the idea that we are all in the same boat, at the end of the day.  Death is the great unifier. Additionally, it represents something more positive, for me; I like the idea that we are all continually sailing towards a more peaceful place.  We might not get there, and the journey may be dangerous, but the idea of forward motion is very real.  


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


The artwork was created by our good friend, Agam Neiman, who also created the lovely artwork for All is Phantom.  As this EP is meant as a new series of chapters from the same novel, as it were, I wanted the artwork to at least continue the same aesthetic.  The only difference is that All is Phantom takes place mostly on land, and Extended Play is almost entirely at sea, by design. The only instruction I gave to Agam was to focus on the color "blue" as opposed to the more verdant greens of AiP.  


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


Ghostbound is not known to play live all that often, admittedly, as we all have day jobs and/or families, BUT we have been privileged to have played a number of good shows at Brooklyn's best metal venue, Saint Vitus, and we played one particularly fun gig in the live room of Kevin Antreassian's Backroom Studios where we were on the same level as the audience. I loved that feeling.  Our stage performance is a bit more stripped down, but we are known to "bring it" in the respect that I tend to throw myself around the stage and that every member moves to the music, in some way. I really, really hate it when bands just stand there during their live shows, so I make a point to really engage physically with the reality of whatever it is I am doing.   


8.You also have done some 'Red House Painters' 'Replacements' and 'Daniel Lanios' coivers, what was the decision behind doing your own version of their songs?


In hindsight, I probably should not have listed the covers of Replacements' "Here Comes a Regular" and Daniel Lanois' "The Maker" under the Ghostbound moniker, as I did those entirely by myself with no input from any other member. In truth, I recorded those mostly as a means to teach myself how to record via my home studio, SO...I guess you can say that those two covers are "non-canon".  The Red House Painters cover was our first attempt at recording a song entirely remotely, where we all contributed our parts from our home studios.  We have since stopped promoting that song in the wake of the actions of Mark Kozelek, who has proven to be a scumbag. 


On the subject of cover songs, I am of the firm belief that one should pay tribute to those who influenced one's music.  We record covers of songs that have had a direct influence on us, to be specific.  We also have a live video cover of Manic Street Preachers' "4st 7lb" which can be found via our YouTube channel.  Essentially, we like the idea of paying homage as well as introducing potential fans to new bands that would not otherwise be on their radar.  Post punk, pop, dream pop, shoegaze, and 80s "big music" is as much a part of my musical DNA as any subgenre of metal, if not moreso, and I love the idea of spreading the word about bands I love and enjoy.  


9.TRhe new album is going to be released on 'Red Nebula Records', how did you get in contact with this label?


Ye Olde Booke of Faces! I simply sent them a message in an effort to see if they would be interested in putting it out, as I saw that they were releasing the rather excellent new, likewise-seafaring Foret Endormie record on vinyl. I like the cut of Reb Nebula's jib, as it were, and it was pretty evident to me early on that they would not bullshit me. There is a lot of integrity on display with Red Nebula, and I suspect that they will only grow in the future.  


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


It seems as if we have accrued a modest but strong following.  Whether or not it is comprised of fans of "post metal" is anyone's guess, but the general consensus is that we are most definitely a round peg in a square hole, and I would not have it any other way.  


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


Literally nothing ever goes to plan, but if I had my druthers, I would move us into a darker, more dissonant direction.  Somewhere between Gorguts and XTC.  


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


While I was writing the songs for the EP, I was listening to a lot of White Light From The Mouth of Infinity/Love of Life-era Swans.  Specifically, the songs "The Golden Boy That Was Swallowed By The Sea" and "Love Will Save You" were pretty direct influences on the EP.  Additionally, The Waterboys - This is the Sea had a monumental impact on the EP as a whole; Mike Scott had this way of being able to sustain tension in a two-chord song like no one else.  You might also hear a lot of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Richard Hawley, Fields of the Nephilim, Talk Talk, Echo and the Bunnymen - Ocean Rain, Alcest - Ecailles de Lune, and Ocean Machine - Biomech.  These are but a few very direct inspirations as to why I wanted to explore an oceanic theme in the music of Extended Play For My Sweet Mary Thyme.


In terms of what I am listening to now, I am a huge fan of the most recent Secrets of the Moon record, Black House.  Additionally, Dawnwalker's new record, Ages, is fantastic.  I have also been spinning Dumal - The Confessor, Anguis Dei - Angeist, Bitch Falcon - Staring at Clocks, Strega Nona - Mirrored Pink, and Boreal - The Battle of Vosad, among many, many others. I am obsessive about discovering new music.  Chances are, if the atmosphere is big and expansive, or if the band in question has a chorus pedal that they keep on at all times, it will have a place in my collection.  


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


Thank you very much for the detailed and thoughtful interview! We wholeheartedly appreciate the attention and we wish you and your readers nothing but good health and safety in these increasingly uncertain times.  

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Ischemic Interview

 

Anthony Abbatangelo – Bassist & Recording Engineer


 


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


 


We’ve been on a long and COVID-mandated break. We were lucky that we had a window over the summer where restrictions eased up in Toronto, and during this time we were able to get together to rehearse and record the album over the course of a few months. I think we moved on to mixing and mastering right as we were getting hit with the second wave in the fall.


 


2. You have a new album coming out in April, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?


 


The biggest difference sonically is that we handled all the recording & mixing ourselves. Our drummer Kamble and I are both audio engineers and the stars aligned that we had access to a good recording space and enough free time to handle this one ourselves. Musically the tracks are on a very raw, death-doom wavelength compared to our last album “Stagnation & Woe”, which had a more polished, melodic black metal kind of thing going on. The textures are a lot rougher and heavier, but we’ve kept the same twisty and unpredictable song structures that we’ve always had fun with.


 


3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?


 


Isabelle writes all the lyrics but keeps them pretty close, we’ve never published lyrics sheets. What I love about Isabelle’s songwriting is that she explores that classic metal theme of mortality in a way that avoids the usual horror-movie clichés. The general impression I get from these songs is the concept of death as a freeing and truthful thing, while life can often feel like a march of compromises and contradictions.


 


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



This is from Isabelle’s experience as a registered nurse. A Transient Ischemic Attack is a kind of stroke, and Ischemia, in general, is the condition of blood and oxygen not getting to bodily tissue properly. We wanted a classic, one-word death-metal band name in the vein of “Autopsy” or “Entombed” and this fit the bill haha.


 


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


 


The album art is something I’m especially proud of, it’s a photograph I took of a demon mask which was hand-crafted by an amazing artist and long-time friend of the band, Marcela Calderon Donefer (https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/MarcelasBrainJuice). My partner Danika Zandboer designed the lighting and helped me composite the final image. She’s an incredible photographer and recently shot the amazing cover for Vile Creature’s latest release (https://www.danikaz.com/). Our past album covers were all illustration-based, and I thought changing it up to a minimalist, photo-based design would suit the new material.


 


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


 


I personally love playing DIY spaces and house shows, and usually feel most at home in front of those kinds of crowds. I think we sound best when playing in small rooms with big amps and minimal monitoring. Grumpy FOH engineers have ruined the vibe of more doom metal shows than I can count!


 


In December 2020 we organized and played a house show in Kitchener/Waterloo, opening up for Greber who is easily one of my favorite live bands. The place was packed with metalheads, punks, artists and university kids, and Isabelle did some guest vocals with Greber. Good times!


 


We’ve been doing this for almost 10 years now in some form or another, and on our best days, the live show feels like a big engine pumping away in perfect sync. Isabelle definitely draws the most attention, getting into crowds and up in people’s faces or crumpling inwards in despair depending on the ups and downs of the riffs we’re pumping out up on stage. We like minimal, high-key red or white lighting and have been known to smoke out the audience with a fog machine when the mood strikes us!


 


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


 


We would definitely consider any offers that came our way haha, but I’m not sure it’s something we’re actively pursuing at the moment. Some of us are dealing with pretty demanding and unpredictable jobs/personal lives/health issues. That plus the COVID situation makes us a bit hesitant about tying the future of the band to a label or outside entity. We’re working on getting some copies of the new album out to one or two distros however. 


 


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


 


The reaction to the new single has been great so far! I think our style is slightly hard to pin down, but find that we end up being embraced by all sorts of audiences we aren’t really expecting. As an adventurous music listener and metalhead, the bands I love seeing the most are the ones that I know are going to surprise me during their set, and I feel like we try and bring some of that unpredictability.


 


9. What is going on with some of the bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?


 


Our drummer Kamble produces and plays guitar in a death-band called Mors Verum, I think you can expect something from them later this year. He’s also in the process of opening a studio in Kitchener/Waterloo and is taking on production and mixing work. Isabelle currently sings in Experiment Specimen who is working on some new material as well I believe. Myself, I work as a sound designer for film/TV and score the occasional horror movie. I also play in Qarafa, a droney psych-rock band that’s currently on hiatus due to COVID.


 


https://experimentspecimenmetal.bandcamp.com/


https://morsverum.bandcamp.com/album/deranged


https://qarafa.bandcamp.com/releases


 


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


 


We’re planning to do another round of recording over the upcoming summer, there’s been a low-and-slow sludge song in the vein of Disrotted kicking around that we’re getting to next. There are a couple of bands we’ve been dying to do a split EP with, so we’ll probably use the material for something along those lines.


 


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?


 


As I mentioned we love metal bands that use unusual songwriting to keep people on their toes with stylistic shifts. Great Sabatini, Greber and Fuck the Facts are great examples of this and personal favorites of mine. Some other amazing bands from Toronto that have dropped albums recently are Volur, Sarin and IRN. Personally, I’ve been way into Big Brave recently, a drone-doom band from Montreal with very beautiful, haunting vocals.


 


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


 


Nope! Thanks for having me and appreciate the interest.


Facebook.com/Ischemic
Instagram.com/ischemiccanada

https://ischemic.bandcamp.com 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Saille/V/Black Lion Records/2021 CD Review

 


  Saille  are  an  international  band  with  members  from  Spain,  the  Netherlands  and  Belgium  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  a  melodic  and  blackened  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "V"  which  will  be  released  in  April  by  Black  Lion  Records.


  A  very  hard  and  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  presented  on  this  recording.  Vocals  are  a  mixture  of  death  metal  growls  and  black  metal  screams  along  with  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats.   


  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  while  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  melody.  Some  of  the  tracks  are  also  long  and  epic  in  length  along  with  some  songs  also  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing  and  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.


  The  vocals  also  have  their  grim  yet  semi  melodic  moments  along  with  the  faster  riffing  also  adding  in  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  as  well  as  one  of  the  tracks  also  introducing  acoustic  guitars  onto  the  album,  one  song  also  adds  in  a  brief  use  of  keyboards  and  spoken  word  parts  and  the  music  also  moves  away  from  the  symphonic  elements  that  were  more  present  on  previous  releases,  as  the  album  progresses  a  small  amount  of  clean  vocals  can  also  be  heard.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  the  fearful,  the  uncanny  and  the  weird.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from Saille  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  melodic  and  blackened  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Suffering  Sanctuary"  "Empty  Expanse"  and  "Mirror  Motions".  8  out  of  10.


  https://sailleofficial.com 

https://www.facebook.com/SAILLE.Official 

https://www.instagram.com/saille.official

https://sailleblacklion.bandcamp.com/album/v

https://youtu.be/5J-5KB0PdHg   

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Trollfest/Happy Heroes/Naplam Records/2021 EP Review

 


  Trollfest  are  a  band  from  Norway  that  plays  folk  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  ep  "Happy  Heroes"  which  will  be  released  on  March  19th  by  Napalm  Records.


  A  very  heavy  and  symphonic  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  black  metal  screams  a  few  seconds  later.  Folk  instruments  are  also  mixed  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs  while  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  at  times  as  well  as  some  clean  pagan  vocals  also  being  added  into  some  parts  of  the  music.


  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  Female  vocals  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  the  riffs  also  bringing  in  a  lot  of  melody  as  well  as  some  of  the  songs  being  their  cover  versions  of  Aqua,  Bobby  McFerrin  and  Pharrell  Williams's  tracks,  at  times  the  music  also  captures  the  raw  energy  of  punk  rock  and  when the  music  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard.


  Trollfest  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostyl  rooted  in  folk  metal  on  the  original  track  along  with  their  cover  versions  also  mixing  in  that  style  with  the  different  musical  genres  of  the  artists  that  they  covered.  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  trolls,  drinking  and  humor  themes.


  In  my  opinion  Trollfest  are  a  very  great  sounding  folk  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Happy  heroes"  and  "Happy".  8 out  of  10.


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Minas Morgul/Heimkehr/Trollzorn/2021 CD Review

 

  Minas  Morgul  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  a  melodic  mixture  of  pagan,  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Heimkehr"  which  will  be  released  in  April  by  Trollzorn.


  Epic  sounding  keyboards  start  off  the  album  and  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  at  times.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  while  the  vocals  also  bring  in  a  mixture  of  black  metal  screams  and  death  metal  growls  and  the  music  also  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  Scandinavian  influences.


  The  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.


  At  times  the  music  also  gets  very  atmospheric  sounding  along  with  one  of  the  tracks  also  introducing  clean  playing  onto  the  album  as  well  as  the  music  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  pagan  metal  elements,  melodic  vocals  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  a  couple  of  songs  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  and  acoustic  guitars  can  also  be  heard.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  German  and  cover  hope,  despair,  frenzy,  fire,  damnation,  death,  fantasy  and  mythology  themes.  


  In  my  opinion  Minas  Morgul  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  mixture  of  pagan,  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Heimkehr"  "Teufel"  and  "Dein  Erwachen".  8  out  of  10.


 

https://www.facebook.com/MinasMorgul  




  


  

Fraught Interview

 

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



A lot of planning for this release, lining up artwork, videos, press etc. While our gigging plans were halted with coronavirus we’ve used the time to work on the follow up to this EP. We’re constantly working on new material and moving forward, there’s fewer distractions now so there’s no reason to slow down the momentum or take a step back.



2.In March you have a new ep coming out, musically how does it differ from your previous release?



Yes, “Splitting Tongues” is coming out March 11th via Cursed Monk Records and Fomorian Hate Records. Musically it’s definitely a similar vein but a natural evolution from our first EP. We’ve consciously tried to avoid boxing ourselves into one particular genre, so there’s still a large Death, Black and Sludge influence on this one, but also some new influences thrown in. As we’ve grown as a group we’ve been able to incorporate new elements into the writing process and try new things. We also had more time to record this EP, so we could spend longer honing in on our sound and controlling the maelstrom of tones we needed to give us the best end product we could.



3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band has explored so far with the music?



A lot of the themes and lyrics are based off real life experiences, both in our own lives but also in what we have observed in others. The main themes would be misery, hatred, death and the depreciation of society as a whole. Each track is left open to interpretation, but has it’s own relevance to us and is grounded in something we have experienced. Sometimes keeping things totally abstract doesn’t always work, so we also aren’t afraid to go straight for the jugular. 



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



Well, we originally started under the name “Drought” but due to other bands of the same name playing a similar style we felt it better to change it to avoid confusion. To us, the word “Fraught” represents the overall themes that we deal with in the music and lyrics, themes centred around things that would be largely undesirable to most or things that most people choose to ignore - death, self-destruction, the negative impacts society has on itself and the world we live in. 



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



The main artwork was created by Sarah at Black Fever Art with the overall layout being done by the band ourselves. Sarah is one of those that we view very highly and as a direct extension of the music. Her art is not only mind-blowing, but she also has a deep understanding of what we do and how we work. The artwork represents a lot of the lyrical themes of misery and hatred and as with the lyrics, it is also open to individual interpretation. To us however, it most closely relates to the track “Throne of Traitors” and the explicit repercussions that life can have on those who betray you. 



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



To date, given the COVID-19 situation, we’ve only been able to play one show back in Feb 2020, which was a great first show. We feel our music takes its full form when performed live, so we give our all in every performance, 110% and nothing less. From day 1 we committed to creating more than just the 5 of us standing on a stage, we bought our own lighting equipment and got our own lighting guy, so we’re able to do each show on our own terms and give the music the mood and feel we want. There’s a lot of energy in the music and that translates to our live performance well and the audience can feed off that. The more energy and chaos in the show, the better. 



7.The ep is going to be released on 'Cursed Monk Records', how did you get in contact with this label?



Cursed Monk are handling the CD release and Fomorian Hate are handing a limited Cassette release. 


CMR had put out a number of great releases around the time we recorded the EP, particularly the latest TOOMS release and we felt they shared the same interest in and commitment to the style of music we create and that we would be a good fit for their roster. Alex from TOOMS actually gave us Rodge’s details and we reached out to see if he would be interested in working with us on “Splitting Tongues” and thankfully he enjoyed the EP and was eager to work with us on it. 



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



So far it’s been very positive. Obviously given the worldwide situation right now it has hindered our abilities to get outside of Ireland to play shows and promote the release as you typically would. However, luckily the internet has made it much easier to reach people in different countries and share the music. We’re still a relatively new band, but we’ve had some good responses from people across Europe, the UK, the US and Canada. 



9.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?



Writing is already well underway for the next release, but we’ve yet to discuss the form it will take, be it a full length album, a split or another EP, we’ve a lot of ideas for each so it’s a matter of planning it out and seeing what fits best. Musically, we will continue to create the music we enjoy listening to and playing, but as we develop as musicians we’re always looking at new interesting techniques or ideas so the new tracks will showcase a lot more of our abilities as musicians.



10.What are you listening to nowadays?



We all listen to a large array of music, but the main ones would probably be: Ulcerate’s “Stare Into Death and Be Still”


Dragged Into Sunlight’s “Hatred For Mankind”


Skinless “Foreshadowing our Demise”


Moral Collapse’s Self Titled


Nasum’s “Inhale/Exhale”


Nomadic Rituals “Tides”



11.What are some of your non musical interests?



A lot of True Crime documentaries, Horror Movies, Guinness consumption and keeping ourselves sane with various hobbies: Cycling, Reptiles, Photography, to name a few. 



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



Thank you for your time. If you enjoy what we do, consider supporting us by picking up the EP, supporting our labels Cursed Monk and Fomorian Hate and also Black Fever Art. We have a number of exciting things in the pipeline including some new merchandise so keep an eye peeled for that.

https://www.facebook.com/Fraughtband