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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Havamal/The Shadow Chapter/Art Gates Records/2021 CD Review

 


  Havamal  are  a  band  from  Sweden  that  plays  a  melodic  mixture  of  VIking,  folk,  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "The  Shadow  Chapter"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Art  Gates  Records.


  Epic  sounding  keyboards  and  folk  music  elements  start  off  the  album  and  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  at  times.  Spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  while  the  music  also  mixes  in  choirs  and  symphonic  structures  at  times  and  the  vocals  are  mostly  blackened  metal  screams.


  Elements  of  melodic  death  metal  are  also  utilized  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  along  with  a  few  growls  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats.  Throughout  the  album  you  can  also  hear  a  good  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  solos  and  leads  also  add  in  a  lot  of  melody.


  Some  of  the  tracks  are  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length  along  with  some  of  the  melodic  sections  of  the  songs  also  showing  an  influence  of  power  metal  as  well  as  some  of  the  faster  riffing  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  tremolo  picking.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Norse  Mythology  and  Paganism  themes.


  In  my  opinion  Havamal  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  mixture  of  Viking,  folk,  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Fenris"  "Empire  Of  The  Ashen  Sun"  and  "The  Curse  Of  Grendal".  8  out  of  10.


https://www.facebook.com/Havamalofficial
https://www.instagram.com/officialhavamal

Aztlan/Legion Mexica/Metal Inside Records/2021 Full Length Review

 


  Aztlan  are  a  band  form  Mexico  that  plays  a  mixture  of  folk,  black  and  melodic  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Legion  Mexica"  which  was  released  by  Metal  Inside  Records.


  Folk  instruments  start  off  the  album  and  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  while  the  music  also  adds  in  elements  of  pre-Hispanic  and  Aztec  music.  Most  of  the  tracks  are  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  the  use  of  percussion's  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  tribal  and  ritualistic  feeling.


  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  while  the  vocals  are  a  mixture  of  black  metal  screams  and  death  metal  growls.  The  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.


  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  Spanish  guitars  are  also  added  on  some  of  the  tracks  as  well  as  a  later  song  also  introducing  spoken  word  parts  onto  the  album,  a  later  track  is  also  an  instrumental.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Spanish  and  cover  Mexican  Pride,  Folklore,  Pre-Hispanic  themes,  Social  Unrest  and  History.


  In  my  opinion  Aztlan  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  folk,  black  and  melodic  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Sangre  por  Sangre"  "Ritual"  and  "Mictlan".  8  out  of  10.


Website: www.aztlan-official.com
Bandcamp: https://aztlanofficial.bandcamp.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AztlanOfficialBand/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbfcrHyRkFKQGdv3YDpFI_A
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5JO1ShiUsRZ2emtk2uRecI?si=20eNF9-GTi2nsRgEXak35Q&utm_source=copy-link&nd=1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aztlan_official/ 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Sylvatica/Ashes And Snow/Satanath Records/Pest Records/2021 CD Review

 


  Sylvatica  are  a  band  from  Denmark  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  melodic  mixture  of  black,  death,  pagan  and  folk  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Ashes  And  Snow"  which  was  released  as  a  join  effort  between  Satanath  and  Pest  Records.


  Tragic  sounding  keyboards  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  stringed  instruments  and  symphonic  elements  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  are  also  added  into  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs.


  Some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  the  vocals  are  a  mixture  of  black  metal  screams  and  death  metal  growls.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  music  also  adding  in  a  decent  amount  of  folk  music  elements.


  Clean  pagan  vocals  are  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  recording  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  a  later  track  also  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  misanthropy,  science,  mythology,  cosmology  and  apocalyptic  themes.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Sylvatica  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  melodic  black,  death,  pagan  and  folk  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Ashes  And  Snow"  "Cosmic  Strings"  and  "Halls  Of  Extinction".  8  out  of  10.


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Wedrowcy-Tulacze-Zbiegi/Futurista/Devoted Art Propaganda/2021 Full Length Review

 


  Poland's  Wedrowcy-Tulacze-Zbiegi  have  returned  with  a new  recording  which  shows  the  music  continuing  to  move  away  from  the  experimental  style  of  black  metal  from  their  previous  releases  and  going  for  more  of  a  mixture  of  experimental  and post  punk  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Futurista"   which  will  be  released  on  April  23rd  by  Devoted  Art  Propaganda.


  A  very  dark  and  electronic  oriented  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  also  introducing  post  punk  style  synths  into  the  music  a  few  seconds  later.  The  clean  vocals  also  show  an  influence  of  goth  rock  along  with  the  music  also  getting  very  experimental  and  avant  garde  sounding  at  times  and  all  of  the  drum  beats  are  also  programmed.


  Guitar  riffs  and  leads  can  also  be  heard  in  some  parts  of  the  recording  while  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  a  couple  of  tracks.  At  times  the  music  also  adds  in  touches  of  synthpop  and  new  wave  along  with  a  later  song  also  introducing  clean  playing  onto  the  album  as  well  as  a  couple  of  the  songs  also  being  long  and  epic  in  length.


  On  this  recording  Wedrowcy-Tulacze-Zbiegi   avoids  the  use  of  any  metal  influences  that  where  a  huge  part  of  previous  releases  and  goes  for  more  of  a  mixture  of  experimental  and  post  rock.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  futuristic  themes.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Wedrowcy-Tulacze-Zbiegi   and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  experimental  and  post  punk,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "I'  "IV"  and  "VII".  8  out  of  10.


https://wedrowcy-tulacze-zbiegi.bandcamp.com/album/futurista             

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Lord Vampyr/The Vampire's Legacy/Sleaszy Rider Records/2021 CD Review

 


  Lord  Vampyr  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  has  had  music  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  returns  back  to  a  more  gothic  and  symphonic  style  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2021  album  "The  Vampire's  legacy"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Sleaszy  Rider  Records.


  A  very  dark  and  ritualistic  sounding  intro  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  while  also  introducing  synths  onto  the  recording  that  also  mix  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs.  The  riffs  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  blast  beats  are  also  mixed  in  with  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs.


  Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  while  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  clean  vocals  also  showing  some  influences  of  goth  and  traditional  metal. 


  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  the  music  also  having  its  symphonic  moments.  Tremolo  picking  is  also  added  into  some  of  the  faster  riffing  as  well  as  one  track  also  introducing  back  up  shouts  onto  the  album,  as  the  recording  progresses  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Vampirism,  Occultism,  Satanism,  Blood,  Tales,  Legends  and  Religion  themes.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Lord  Vampyr  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  gothic  and  symphonic  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Vampire's  Legacy"  "Mircalla"  "Blood  ballad"  and  "Inno  A  Dracula".  8  out  of  10.


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Sunday, April 4, 2021

Lung Knots/Golden Dirges, Molten Larynges/Tartarus Records/2021 CD Review

 


  Lung  Knots  are  a  solo  project  from  an  unknown  area  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black  metal,  harsh  noise  and  drone  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2021  album  "Go0lden  Dirges,  Molten  Larynges"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Tartarus  Records.


  Harsh  noises  and  power  electronics  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  programmed  beats  a  few  seconds  later  that  also  add  in  touches  of  industrial.  Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  which  also  get  deep  yet  aggressive  in  some  parts  of  the  recording  while  experimental  style  soundscapes  are  also  added  into  the  background  at  times.


  Drones  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  album  while  the  synths  also  give  the  music  more  of  a  dark  atmosphere  when  they  are  utilized.  When  power  electronics  are  utilized  they  also  give  the  songs  more  of  a  harsher  sound  along  with  some  tracks  also  adding  in  some  powerful  sounding  bass  sounds.


  Melodic  chants  and  vocals  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  a  couple  of  the  tracks  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  keyboards  are  also  utilized  as  well  as  a  later  song  also  introducing  whispers  and  spoken  word  parts  onto  the  recording.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  disturbing  themes.


  In  my  opinion  Lung  Knots  is  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black  metal,  harsh  noise,  industrial,  experimental  and  drone  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Void  Hymnal"  "Our  Torches  Soaked  In  Oil"  and  "Throat  Flutters".  8  out  of  10.


http://lungknots.bandcamp.com 
https://facebook.com/lungknots 
https://instagram.com/lungknots 


 

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Gloomy Grim/Agathonomicon/Satanath Records/Murdher Records/2021 CD Review

 


  Finland's  Gloomy  Grim  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  the  symphonic  style  of  black  metal  from  previous  releases  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Agathonomicon"  which  will  be  released  on  April  28th  as  a  joint  effort  between  Satanath  and  Murdher  Records.


  A  very  ritualistic  sounding  intro  starts  off  the  album  while  also  introducing  grim  black  metal  vocals  onto  the  recording  which  also  takes  the  music  into  a  heavier  direction.  The  riffs  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  along  with  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  lot  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats.


  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  symphonic  sounding  keyboards  are  also  added  into  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music.


  A  lot  of  the  songs  are  also  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  mid  90's  era  along  with  one  of  the  tracks  also  introducing  spoken  word  parts  onto  the  album  as  well  as  a  later  track  also  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  back  up  shouts  and  growls.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Occultism,  Darkness,  Death,  Horror  and  War  themes.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Gloomy  Grim  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  symphonic  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Hermit"  "Third  Eye  Opening"  "To  The  Death,  i  Have  Sworn"  and  "Haunting,  Hunting, Howling".  8  out  of  10.


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Osiris/Meanders A Soul.../Satanath Records/2021 CD Review

 


  Osiris  are  a  band  from  Egypt  that  plays  a  very  melodic  and  symphonic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Meanders  A  Soul..."  which  will  be  released  on  April  26th  by  Satanath  Records.


  Symphonic  sounds  and  orchestration  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  brief  use  of  nature  sounds  and  cries  while  also  mixing  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs  at  times.  Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  as  well  as  adding  some  death  metal  growls  into  some  parts  of  the  recording.


  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  can  be  heard  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  some  songs  also  add  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing.


  Spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  great  amount  of  melody.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  as  well  as  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  lot  of  90's  influences,  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  clean  vocals  can  also be  heard  on  a  couple  of  tracks,  female  vocals  can  also  be  heard  briefly.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Ancient  Egyptian  Civilization,  Warfare,  Hate,  Pain,  Anger,  Passion  and  Fear  themes.


  In  my  opinion  Osiris  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  and  symphonic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Of  hate,  Passion  And  Eternity"  "Tears  of  Isis"  and  "Endless  Sands".  8  out  of  10.


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Friday, April 2, 2021

Christian Cosentino Interview

 

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

1. I can’t think of much to say about myself. Despite the fact I’ve released my music under my name I don’t want it to be too much about me. My project is an attempt to represent my music as purely as possible and hopefully with as little of my “own intent” as possible. 


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?

2. I guess Lawn is best described as a highly symphonic metal album. The symphonic sections are mainly made up of strings and pianos and are influenced I think by the classical music I had heard at the time. The metal component is influenced by my initial experiences with black metal in combination with all of the other influences I had back then. The result is probably most akin to “post black metal.” The whole album has a more of a “symphonic” approach than metal though I think.


3.A lot of the music was written between 2017 and 2018 but you waited until 2021 to release the album, can you tell us a little bit more about the wait?


3. All of the music was finished by around March of 2018 and the majority was written in 2017. The wait was unintentional. It’s just been a long battle to present the music in the best way possible. 




The vocals where a massive hurdle for me. Not only in figuring out how to approach them for this particular album but also in writing lyrics which I’ve always found difficult to do at the standard that I’m aiming for. I ended up giving up on doing the lyrics alone and asked a close friend to help me finish them. I also concluded that having the vocals be subtle was the best option. I was careful to only feature vocals in places where the music demands them instead of taking a more conventional approach. I didn’t want to cover up musical moments that spoke for themselves with vocals that would’ve worsened them.




There were also issues with the structures of some songs which had to be ironed out. A good chunk of music was scrapped for the song Lustre and an entire song was also thrown away semi-late into the process. 


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

4. The lyrics on this album go into a lot of school experiences from early childhood all the way up to the end of high school (When the album was written). But of course it’d be way too hard to take this style of music seriously if I was singing some dramatic, teenage, school bullshit. So as a result of that the lyrics are shrouded in layers of metaphor that can be interpreted in multiple ways but extract the emotional substance out of my young years in a (hopefully) more timeless manner. The goal was to take the universal emotion out of the real life context. 




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

5. I had the idea for a painting of a garden like that for a long time. Then I found the work of XenArtRB who had already done similar things to what I had imagined and his style struck me as perfect for the album art. So I sent him a message and after some discussion he painted the artwork for me by commission. The imagery comes from what I “see” when I listen to the music and the lyrics also use the same imagery. I think the painting turned out perfectly.


6.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?

6. The music that I release under my own name is that which I write alone and for solely personal reasons in an involuntary and subconscious process. The lack of other musicians on Lawn came about initially out of necessity but later because it just “felt right” for this album. That being said I’m already trying to find a drummer to record on the next album which is also largely made up of old material that I’m finishing at the moment.




I’d love to do some more collaborative work in the future under a different banner and I also have a big interest in producing. There is also an album that’s been in the works for many years with a friend (the same who helped me do lyrics on Lawn) who has a similar musical mindset. 


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


7. I’d like to make a distribution deal with a label for printing physical media but I have no interest if its at the cost of sacrificing the rights to my own music. I’ll print CDs and records independently if I don’t get approached. 


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

8. It hasn’t had a whole lot of exposure yet but what little response its gotten has been incredibly kind and passionate for the most part. The “symphonic black metal promotion” youtube channel uploaded a track which has been the biggest source of attention so far with a lot of kind words in the comments which was amazing to see. 


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

9. My goal is just to release the music that captures my emotional state over a given period of time. Albums are “units of time” in my eyes. The future second album (which again: features a lot of old material) is already quite different aesthetically and stylistically from Lawn (While retaining some of the same features) and I’m sure I’ll venture even further later on down the line. The only thing I have a concrete interest in doing in the future is becoming good at orchestral writing. I’ve started learning so that eventually I can hopefully do an album like Lawn on a much larger scale with real and interesting orchestration.


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?

10. I’m always searching for new music but my “musical mood” can swing very quickly so I listen to quite a broad range of things nowadays. I love classical music; my favourite composer is Beethoven but I’m also largely into Mahler, Sibelius and Shostakovich amongst many others of course…too many to name. I have a wide appreciation for black metal too, I’ve been listening to the first Enslaved demos and albums recently. Again there’s just too many to name with black metal but I tend to always go back to the Norwegian classics. I’ve also been on a big Celtic Frost and Bjork kick lately. Some other favourites are Devin Townsend, Ween, Paysage d’Hiver and Lunar Aurora.


11.What are some of your non musical interests?

11. I have a large appreciation for visual art though I’m not overly well versed. I’m also fairly philosophically and to use a horrible word: “spiritual” in some sense. I think a lot of philosophy and spirituality is bullshit though. I also love video games but mainly from the 2000s…most modern gaming doesn’t interest me at all. I think archaic 3d graphics have a similar atmospheric effect to raw production in black metal, funnily enough…the same principle perhaps.


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

12. Thank you for reaching out for an interview and thank you to anybody reading this and/or who goes and listens to my music :)

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