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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Finnugor/Fame Et Morte/Earth And Sky Productions/2021 CD Re-Issue Review

 


  Finnugor  are  a  band  with  members  from  Finland  and  Hungary  that  plays  a  symphonic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2008  album  "Fame  Et  Morte"  which  was  re-issued  in  2021  by  Earth  And  Sky  Productions.


  Symphonic  sounding  orchestras  start  off  the  album  and  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs  at  times.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  sounding  black  metal  screams  along  with  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a decent  amount  of  melody.


  Clean  goth  style  vocals  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  some  of  the  tracks  are  also  long  and  epic  in  length.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  some  tracks  also  added  in  a  small  amount  of  whispered  vocals.


  A  lot  of  the  music  is  also  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  mid  90's  era  along  with  some  of  the  tracks  also  adding  in  some  choirs  as  well  as  one  track  also  introducing  spoken  word  parts  onto  the  album  and most  of  the  songs  stick  to  either  a  slow  or  mid  tempo  direction,  as  the  album  progresses  more  medieval  and  folk  music  touches  can  also  be  heard  and  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  and  fast  playing  can  also  be  heard  on  the  closing  song.  The  production  sounds  very  old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  Horror,  Dark  Fantasy  and  Satanism  themes.


  In  my  opinion  Finnugor  are  a  very  great  sounding  symphonic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  re-issue.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Iaspidis  Et  Sardini"  "Subtus  Terram"  "Fame  Et  Morte"  and  "Diabolus  Et  Satanas".  8  out  of  10.


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Friday, June 18, 2021

Fausttophel/Ultimum Lupus/Another Side Records/2021 EP Review

 


  Russia/Ukraine's  Fausttophel  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which shows  the  music  going  for  a  symphonic  mixture  of  black,  death  and  thrash  metal  from  their  previous  releases  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  ep  "Ultimum  Lupus"  which  was  released  by  Another  Side  Records.


 The  sounds  of  wolves  start  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  while  all  of  the  instruments  also  sound  very  powerful.  Vocals  are  done  in  mostly  an  angry  shouting  style  that  is  more  closer  to  thrash  metal  than  previous  releases  along  with  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats.


    Clean  vocals  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.  Melodies  are  also  added  into  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  along  with  some  black  metal  screams  also  being  utilized  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  recording  as  well  as  one  of  the  tracks  also b einf  very  long  and  epic  in  length.


  Symphonic  sounding  keyboards  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  one  of  the  tracks  also  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  some  death  metal  growls  also  being  utilized  briefly,  tremolo  picking  is  also  added  into  some  of  the  faster  riffing  and  the  ep  closes  with  a  cover  of  Lunar  Onlooker's  "Burn,  The  Flame,  By  Shades  of  Time,  Take  The  Winning  Color!  which  also  adds  in  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Fausttophel  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  melodic  and  symphonic  black,  death  and  thrash  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Ultimum  Lupus".  8  out  of  10.


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Monday, June 14, 2021

Xael/Bloodtide Rising/Pavement Music/2021 Full Length Review

 


  Xael  are  a  band  form  North  Carolina  that  has  had  music  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  a  progressive  and  symphonic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Bloodtide  Rising"  which  was  released  by  Pavement  Music.


  Symphonic  sounding  keyboards  start  off  the  album  and  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  at  times.  Tribal  style  percussion  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  some  songs  also  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  operatic  choirs  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  when  they  are  utilized.


  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  brutal  blast  beats  can  be  heard  while  death  metal  growls  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  recording.  Melodies  are  also  added  into  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.


  Melodic  vocals  can  also  be  heard  in  some  parts  of  the  recording  along  with  a  few  tracks also  adding  in  classical  guitars.  At  times  the  music  also  gets  very  progressive  and  technical  sounding  as  well  as  some  black  metal  screams  also  being  added  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording,  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  stringed  instruments,  female  vocals,  clean  playing  and spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  science  fiction  themes.   


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Xael  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  symphonic  and  progressive  black  and  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "SuunB  Rai  Aru  (Passion  Begats  Ruin)"  "Srai-The  Demon  of  Erring"  "Bloodtide  Rising"  and  "The  Odium  And  The  Contrition".  8  out  of  10.


Eldersverse.com/xael 
Facebook.com/xael.metal
Instagram.com/xael_official 


  

Steignyr Interview

 

Answered by Jon Thorgrimr (vocals/guitar/compositions) and Kathonya (melodic vocals)


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


K: Well, it’s been quite a rollercoaster actually, because of Covid we got all stranded in different countries and it’s been quite of a mess. Jon manage to record all of us online and came up with a really nice product. Melodic vocals and choruses were basically recorded in two days when I still was living near the French border, and even my microphone quality was kinda rough, he managed to make it sound so good. It wouldn’t have been possible without a good Internet line (laughs). But the final product, the master, sounded so good it really surprised me, and former band mates were really satisfied. Distance hasn’t been a problem, you see. Every update was shared and commented among us and the feelings were very, very good. Kilau and I, as new band members got really excited to be in this project and, well, after the recording it just left us with a good feeling.

After that we have been working on the promotion drawings, the book that will fulfill and relate the stories of the new album and the upcoming lyric videos we expect to publish soon via Art Gates Records. It has been rough along the way but totally worth it



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


K: When Jon contacted me first I thought he would like me to do just some melodic parts or opera choruses, based on what the band had done before, but I came out to sing in all of them, because he wanted to give a more melodic taste to the songs. The celtic music and epic orchestras would still be there, but the demos he had were just different, like a kind of evolutional step, may we say? Almost all operatic choruses were recorded playing different voices and that’s one of the new things in the sound. Steignyr’s albums have always focused on telling stories but I think this is the first that may serve as a full soundtrack for it.


J: Yo, Katho, turn it down a little (laughs). Seriously, actually what differs is the work that this new album has behind, and that we finally have reached. This is the point I wanted to get the band to from the beginning, from now on, we can only expect good stuff to come.



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


K: This album’s lyrics focus mostly on the lore and stories from the upcoming book “The legacy of Wyrd” that manage to complete the album’s lore as long as the album completes the book. It tells three stories that unite in an ending that restarts a circle. We talk about fate, about epic stories, about a hero, mysteries and about the fate of ancient gods such as the Norse ones, who were mostly human than divine at some points. We kinda managed to write a fusion of this mythology with Jon’s own lore and it came out really good. Besides, the music itself gets to be these tales’ soundtracks, almost as we took part of the stories as “metal bards” that sing and play about them.


J: I have been 9 years – almost ten – with Steignyr. I have always tried to open and close a circle with every album I’ve made. For example, from Tales of a Forgotten Heroes’ until Myths through the Shadows of Freedom, I came up with a trilogy with its own style that talked about the adventures the band came up with about a group of warriors named “Steignyr”. Since 2016, I have been working on a new style for the band to give it more personality, and from that came the new album, which I started to write back in 2019 and now, finally, I can say I’m a father and that I’m so proud of my newborn son.



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


K: Norse mythology is ancient, rich and has a very important things many religions don’t tell nowadays (at least not that clearly). Norse gods where not “spirits” or omnipotent beings, most of them were humans with abilities granted by their own life choices or their origin. It’s very fascinating, although the Eddas seem to look like a mess of tales with contradictions here and there. Philosophically, we really enjoy the “fight with honor” topic, because it doesn’t only translate to a war context but also in what life can feel like. In a world like today’s you need motivation to go on, and we really have discovered that what’s meant to be it’s meant to be, but if you can’t embrace changes and “keep on keeping on”, keep fighting even in the toughest times, even when anxiety has trapped you in a well with no light or turned everybody against you, you may go through.  It’s in your hands, as it was in Odin’s, in Thor’s, even in Loki’s. You choose what you are and who you become no matter what, if you have enough chances and if you are able to appreciate them, it’s up to you. That’s kind of our philosophy here and we believe that’s what the myths tell more about – besides the talking wise head, the giants, the dragons, the severing human parts part… etc -.



5.You also refer to your music as being 'epic Celtic death metal', do you also have an interest in 'Celtic Mythology'?


J: A lot of bands nowadays tag themselves in folk metal, but what is folk music? It’s traditional music of an specific region. We don’t do that with tags as many others do: “celtic” on us fits because celtic music is no village tradition, it’s a melodic tradition, which gives you concrete rhythms and structures for the melodies to fit in as long as the instruments, and these are the ones we play with in our compositions.


K: We are interested in both Norse and Celtic myths, on me because of it’s connection with nature. I don’t think their gods where that different though. They believed in some kind of energy that connects all beings to “Mother Earth” and I personally believe that’s true, along with the telluric lines and so. But I think we just put this word on our definition because of the folk instruments we use the most: bouzoukis, harps, bagpipes, whistles and shamanic drums, which are originally celtic. 



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


J: The name “Steignyr” was an idea I had by looking through hundreds of norse names. And between Mjollnir and Sleipnir, “Steignyr” came up. 



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


K: If you name a story or and album “Legacy of Wyrd”, you have to use Wyrd’s rune at some point. Wyrd’s rune is a rune that unites all the runes from the Futhark alphabet into one. It symbolizes fate – actually the word “Wyrd” comes from the name “Urd”, which is the name of the well that feeds Yggdrasil’s roots and also means “fate” -. The woman shown as the main character is Verdandi, one of the three norns that knits time in Norse mythology who is also one of the characters of the book that completes the album.



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


J: During the time we’ve been in Steignyr we have done a countless amount of fun shows, but we would never forget our Asian tour, the show we made with Ensiferum nor the one we did with Suidakra and Tyr. If some of our last shows is meant to be a point of no return, it was a show we had in Ukraine, which surprised us a lot because of the stunning amount of people who came to see us and had fun with us.

How would we describe our performance? Well, better ask a fan about that I guess, or you will see in our further shows, we just can forward something: brace your underwear, you’ll need it.

 

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


J: Actually quite good, lot of people have made some reviews already. Some people have criticized us, others have loved us, but we don’t really care about it. We are not playing for fame or triumph, we do it because it’s funny, because we love music and we just want someone who might like what do we do to enjoy it with a horn full of mead and a pack of tissues. 



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


K: Kilau and I have never been in a band with a previous story such as Steignyr. We were in a lot of projects that didn’t came out for any reason and got kind of stuck in our music career anyhow. When Jon recruited us we couldn’t even believe it, we have never been on tour, we have never recorded a music video, we have never travelled abroad with a band and we are so excited to start doing things with Steignyr! We hope that soon we’ll have some tour date when all this pandemic thing calms down a bit, we look really forward to it.


J: Back to the stages and back to the road, but most of all, with all this heat, having a freezing ice-cream on a terrace fighting with our own face masks. 



11.What are you listening to nowadays?


K: We kind of listen to a lot of stuff, from rap and Spanish acoustic music to Broadway musicals and lots of metal bands. I personally got into Sabaton and Gloryhammer lately and Hamilton after they released that amazing pro-shoot on streaming, but it kinda differs a lot. We should light up new Epica album “Omega”, for we have listened to it a lot of times and haven’t got tired of singing along to it, too. Kilau likes rap and trap, and I personally love hybrid techno-metal soundtracks too, they help me focus when I’m working. 


J: The amazing sounds of nature that surround us and makes us stronger everyday, breathing heavily while I listen to this album once again and again. 


K: (laughs in the back) “Yo”, Jay, “turn it down a little”.


J: (more laughs)



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


K: “Never give up” I guess? I started moving between bands here and there when I was fifteen and never thought I could find the right place for me. After a very rough time growing up apart of my music career I totally gave up on finding a band but it found me instead. So, what’s meant to be it’s meant to be, but you may not be ready yet for what life has to give to you. So just focus on growing up as a person and artist and everything will come eventually. This band is a living clue that proves this statement for me and Kilau, who were in a band before but never came out to be so into something such as this project. Please, everyone, give us a shot, because this albums deserves it, and all the work Jon has put into it does too. We look forward to get the book translated soon so everyone can also dive into the lore we made out for it. It won’t disappoint you, even if you’re more into melodic metal or death metal, or not into our music style, the stories are really entertaining and fulfilling to read and listen. Just give it a try.


J: Damn it! We have finished the interview and the bar is closed. My dreams of getting an ice-crem have been ripped apart as a barbarians body in a bloody fight on the top of the highest mountain in the furthest of the furthest lands. But here and now, I raise my left fist after the battle for ice-cream and SWEAR! I will eat one tomorrow.


https://www.facebook.com/Steignyr
https://www.instagram.com/steignyr/
https://twitter.com/steignyr


Friday, June 11, 2021

Suidakra/Wolfbrite/MDD Records/2021 CD Review

 


  Germany's  Suidakra  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  the  melodic  mixture  of  black,  death  and  folk  metal  from  their  previous  releases  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Wolfbrite"  which  will  be  released  on  June  25th  by  MDD  Records.


  Chain  and  whip  sounds  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  keyboards  and  spoken  word  parts  a  few  seconds  later  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  the  vocals  are  a  mixture  of  black  metal  screams  and  clean  pagan  singing.


  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  while  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.  The  riffs  also  add  in  a  lot  of  melody along  with  the  faster  riffing  also  adding  in  some  tremolo  picking,  death  metal  growls  can  also  be  heard  at  times.


 Some  tracks  also  adding  in  stringed  instruments  and  touches  of  folk  music,  back  up  shouts  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  small  amount  of  acoustic  guitars  are  also  added  into  the  music.  The m production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  fantasy  themes.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Suidakra  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  melodic  black,  death  and  folk  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "A  Life  in  Chains"  "Faoladh"  "Resurgence"  and  "A  Shine  For  The  Ages".  8  out  of  10.


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Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Sorrow Enthroned/The Grave Of Endless Writhing/2021 EP Review

 


  

  Sorrow  Enthroned  are  a  solo  project  from  Hartford,  Connecticut  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  a  melodic  and  brutal  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  self  released  2021  ep  "The  Grave  of  Endless  Writhing".


  A  classical  music  orientated  intro  starts  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  while  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  also  add  in  elements  of  doom  metal.  Vocals  are  a  mixture  of  death  metal  growls  and  black  metal  screams  along  with  some  dark  sounding  melodies  also  being  added  into  some  of  the  guitar  riffing.  


  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  Synths  are  also  mixed  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  at  times  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  also  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style,  a  lot  of  the  songs  is  also  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  era  and  the  tracks  also  have  their  brutal  moments,  as  the  recording  progresses  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard.  


  On  this  recording  Sorrow  Enthroned  plays  a  style  of  blackened  death  emtal  that  is  very  melodic  and  brutal  as  well  as  being  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  era.  The  production  sounds  very  old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism,  Darkness,  Evil  and  Horror  themes.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Sorrow  Enthroned  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  brutal  and  melodic  black  and  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Ever  Cursed"  "Gnawed  And  Torn"  and  "Sins  Unforgiven".  8  out  of  10.


https://www.facebook.com/sorrowenthroned666
https://sorrowenthroned.bandcamp.com

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Tragedy And Triumph Interview

 

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

- Tragedy and Triumph is a Viking / Melodic Death Metal band which started as a solo project but soon became a full band. I wrote the music and Raphael wrote the lyrics and did the vocals. 


2.You have a new album coming out this month, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you went for on the recording?

- Yeah of course. I would describe this album as a creative mixture of Amon Amarth, Bathory and maybe Immortal or Grand Magus. I think everyone will hear different influences on that album, which is totally okay.


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

Raphael and me had a long time fascination for this topic. We really like the atmosphere and the mood ot the viking era, also a lot of great storys come from that time. We do not glorify the vikings but tell storys.


4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Tragedy And Triumph'?

To be perfectly honest, there is a song i wrote for my other project "Mallevs Maleficarvm" and it really got stucked in my head since then.


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

- The artwork was made by our friend Jan Handzus from Disart Design. It illustrates the location where all the storys of the songs happen. It also is the "Howling gate"


6.With this project you record everything by yourself but have experience working in a whole band, how would you compare the two?

- It actually never was planned to write another album on my own, but after 1-2 songs i simply couldn't stop and thought to myself "you need to get this done". Writing an album alone has its pros and cons. One pro definately is that i can do whatever the fuck i want. One con is that sometimes 2 or more creative minds are better then one. The next album will contain more ideas of my fellow band members.


7.The new album is going to be released on 'MDD Records'. how did you get in contact with this label?

- I just wrote a little application, thats all! And it went pretty well i guess.


9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been t your music by fans of Viking and melodic death metal?

- So far so good, we got a few very nice reviews and opinions. We cannot wait to let the people hear the whole album!


10.What is going on with 'Mallevs Maleficavm' these days?

- We are working on a new album which will be pretty different than the debut. We have set the bars very high for the next album, so we still need a bit of time.


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

- I do not think about that kinda stuff. My demand on my self is to make good music and play a lot of gigs!


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

- I listen to alot of stuff – from EDM to Progrock to War Black Metal. I don't care about any genres – a good song is a good song.


13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any fi9nal words or thoughts?

- Thanks alot for the interest and greetings from germany! Prost!


https://www.facebook.com/tatvikingmetal/

Steignyr/The Legacy Of Wyrd/Art Gates Records/2021 CD Review

 


  Steignyr  are  a  band  from  Spain  that  plays  a  mixture  of  Celtic  folk,  melodic  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "The  Legacy  Of  Wyrd"  which  will  be  released  in  July  by  Art  Gates  Records.


  Field  recordings  start  off  the  album  and  nature  sounds  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  a  few  seconds  later.  Folk  instruments  are  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  recording  and  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  at  times  and  clean  female  vocals  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  songs.


  Death  metal  growls  are  also  utilized  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats.  Melodies  are  also  added  into  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  along  with  some  tracks  also  adding  in  some  acoustic  guitars  which  also  gives  the  recording  more  of  a  middle  ages  atmosphere.


  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  some  choirs  also  being  utilized  at  times.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  as  well  as  one  track  also  introducing  symphonic  sounds  onto  the  album  and  the  songs  also  show  a  decent  amount  of  influences  from  the  more  melodic  side  of  black  metal.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Fantasy,  Norse  Mythology,  Forest  and  Nature  themes.


  In  my  opinion  Steignyr  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  folk,  melodic  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical g enres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  COming  Of  Aland"  "Edevane"  "The  Well  Of  ice"  and  "Everything  Silent".  8  out  of  10.


https://www.facebook.com/Steignyr
https://www.instagram.com/steignyr/

https://twitter.com/steignyr      

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Hapless Wretch/Vol. 1/Cursed Monk Records/2021 EP Review

 


  Hapless  Wretch  are  a  solo  project  from  London,  England  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black,  sludge  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2021  ep  "Vol.  1"  which  was  released  by  Cursed  Monk  Records.


  A  very  dark  and  heavy  death  metal  influenced  sound  starts  off  the  ep  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams.  Elements  of  sludge  metal  are  also  added  into  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  along  with  all  of  the  drum  beats  being  programmed  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard.


  Most  of  the  tracks  are  very  short  in  length  while  dark  sounding  melodies  are  also  added  into  some  of t he  guitar  riffing.  90's  influences  are  also  mixed  in  with  a  more  modern  style  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  all  of  the  music  also  sticks  to  a  heavier  direction.


  Hapless  Wretch  plays  a  musical  style  that t akes  black,  sludge  and  death  metal  and  mixes  them together  to  create  a  sound  of  his  own.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  horror  themes.


  In  my  opinion  Hapless  Wretch  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black,  sludge  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Natrium  Myr"  and  "Kuru".  8  out  of  10.


Bandcamp  


  

Friday, June 4, 2021

Tragedy And Triumph/Where Mountains Rise And Hearts Fall/MDD Records/2021 CD Review

 


  Tragedy  And  Triumph  are  a  solo  project  from  Germany  that  plays  a  melodic  mixture  of  viking,  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2021  album  "Where  Mountains  Rise  And  Hearts  Fall"  which  will  be  released  on  June  18th  by  MDD  Records.


  Acoustic  guitars  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  and  melodic  musical  direction  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  death  metal  growls. All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  screams  also  bringing  in  elements  of  black  metal  when  they  are  utilized.


  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  while  keyboards  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  a  couple  of  tracks.  A  lot  of  the  music  is  also  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  classic  Swedish  style  along  with  the  acoustic  guitars  also  returning  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  as  well  as  one  song  also  introducing  clean  Viking  vocals  onto  the  album.  


When  the  music  finally  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  along  one  song  also  also  adding  in  a  brief  use  of  Viking  war  samples  as  well  as  most  of  the  music  also  sticking  to  a  mid  tempo  direction  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard,  a later  track  is  an  instrumental  and  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Vikings  and  Paganism  themes.     


  In  my  opinion  Tragedy  And  Triumph  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  mixture  of  Viking,  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "I,  Triumphant"  "Beneath  the  Howling  Gate"  "Ride  For  Revenge"  and  "Where  Mountains  Rise  And  hearts  Fall".  8  out  of  10.


https://www.facebook.com/tatvikingmetal/   


    


  

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Numenor/Colossal Darkness/2021 Full Length Re-Issue Review

 


  Numenor  are  a  band  from  Serbia  that  has  had  music  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  an  epic  mixture  of  black  and  power  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2013  album  "Colossal  Darkness"  which  was  re-issued  in  2021  by  Elevate.


  A  classical  music  influenced  sound  starts  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  while  symphonic  elements  are  als  mixed  in  with  the  heavy  sections  of  the  songs.  Grim  black  metal  screams  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  recording  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.


  Power  metal  style  vocals  are  also  utilized  on  a  couple  of  songs  while  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  also  remain  true  to  a  classic  and  traditional  style  of  metal  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  also  being  utilized  on  a  few  tracks.


  When  the  music  finally  speeds  up  on  a  couple  of  tracks  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  as  well  as  a  couple  of  songs  also  adding  in  a  brief  use  of  whispered  spoken  word  parts  and  the  album  closes  with  some  Iron  Maiden  and  Rainbow  covers.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Fantasy,  Literature  and  the  writings  of J.R.R  Tolkien.


  In  my  opinion  this  was  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Numenor  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  epic  and  symphonic  black  and  power  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  re-issue.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Eternal  Champion"  "The  Alchemist"  "While  the  Gods  laugh"  and  "Stargazer".  8  out  of  10.


https://www.facebook.com/N%C3%BAmenor-130231620372144/   


    


    

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Dornenreich Interview

 

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



The actual recordings for the new album „Du wilde Liebe sei“ were finished in spring 2020 and mix and master were ready in late summer 2020. And as the pandemic started to peak again in autumn we took some extra time to elborate comprising editions for the album, that is, we spend a lot of time in the mountains and forests here in Tyrol and documented these hikes photographically. Theses photographs resulted in the comprehensive artbook-edition of the new album. Then, we decided to postpone the album and to release it in early summer of 2021, which also marks our 25th anniversary, according to the way we feel this album coming to all new fruition just like nature does every spring and summer…

Due to the fact that this year will be difficult too when it comes to concerts we have already started to work on new music, actually. It seems that quite a lot gathered over the course of the last seven years that is ready to

appear – and of course if feels good to have many ideas available.


 


 


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


As I perceive it personally this is an album that is a natural development of central characeristics such as dynamics, intense organic energy and mystic natural atmosphere – and I have felt that coming for many, many years. Just as our purely acoustic record „In Luft geritzt“ back in 2008 that I wanted to do since I recorded acoustic guitars for our demo tapte in 1997 it was clear to me since 2002 when I had started to experiment with percussive elements that the new album relies on that I wanted to do an album that has both an organic, hypnotic and vitally pulsating fundament consisting of various percussion and bass as well as an uplifting layer of yearning violins, acoustic guitars and vocals. And as some kind of link between the earthy fundament and the atmospheric upper layer I intended to incorporate very palpable-sounding electric guitars that are based on a special level of distortion that gets across an exhilarating blend of – let’s call it - sonic fog and sparkles of light, which I came to appreciate during the last years.


 


3.This is also your first full length since 2014, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?


 


After the release of our eigth studio album „Freiheit“ in 2014 we wanted to reunite with our artistic roots consciously. That’s why we communicated that this album might be the last studio album for quite some time. And that’s how things turned out as we all know now seven years later (laughs). In 2014 after 18 years, many studio and live albums, countless concerts and numerous tours throughout Europe in we really felt the urge to reexamine in silence what our initial motivation and joy was to start the band in 1996 and to begin to express ourselves artistically. Moreover we wanted to see which significance artistic expression still had for us. And we did not have to wait long for already back in 2015 new music started to come into existence naturally, that is, intuitively; just the way it has always been with Dornenreich. That showed us quite clearly that artistic expression is deeply interwoven with our way to live and perceive as human beings. To make oneself aware of such coherences can be very inspiring and invigorating for it is quite a challenge to keep up truly dedicated artistic work over 25 years and more so in times like these that have to cope with the – let’s put it that way – digital shift. At least that’s what I experienced.


 


4.You refer to your music as 'black arcane rock', can you tell us a little bit more about this term?


To begin with it – without any doubt – is a very difficult venture to come up with three words at a max that one puts out there to summarize the work of years (laughs)…However, we wanted to come up with something on our own because people have made up the most adventurous and often quite misleading descriptions in the case of a band like Dornenreich which tends to burst genre boundaries with each and every release.

Besides, we think that this very album sounds like no other album out there. So, we really wanted to do justice to that by labelling it anew as ‚black arcane rock‘. As we perceive it the album has its atmospheric and emotional roots in Black Metal, it is mysterious and arcane in its spiritual depth and it might speak to a lot of different people that have a certain preference for ‚rock music‘ and when speaking of ‚rock music‘ we think of its core as powerful heart- and handmade expression.


 


5.The band started out playing melodic black metal but has gotten more neo-folk influenced over the years, can you tell us a little bit more about going into this musical direction?


We have always been into hand- and heartmade music on ‚natural‘ acoustic instruments. So, as I have mentioned above there are many acoustic guitars on our demo-tape (1997) and we already had a cello playing on our second studio album (1999). I am a classically trained guitar player and our violionst is a studied violin teacher who has a wide backround in classical music an jazz. So, to us it has always felt natural to work with acoustic instruments as a basis. Acoustic instruments tend to be very honest when it comes to one’s skills as player and to the quality of a song. Whenever the energy, harmony and melody works on acoustic instruments it would work as a metal song as well in all probability. And that’s what we often do: we are working with our music continuously. For instance we elaborate special live arrangements and there are songs that are acoustic ones on the record that we play as metal songs live and vice versa. The acoustic core of our music is the pure well of vital and passionate energy that we try our best to stay in touch with.


 


6.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?


This ninth album is a conceptual album that explores the facets, assumptions and misunderstandings of and all around love in the scope of its ten songs. And it does not only cover the relational aspects of love among human beings but also tries to unveil this comprising theme as a special quality to be, to exist – on the most personal level of the single human individual. But don’t get that wrong: this album is far from being a purely romantic affair. There is a lot of darkness and pain that the listener has to face too when joining us on this intense journey for there are countless misunderstandings and entanglements on the vast plains of love.

Regarding our progress as songwriters over the years I would say that I personally like the fact that this new album offers everything from adventurously crafted and quite complex epic tracks as well as very short energetic songs that start immediately. And in spite of the fact that every single song has its very own atmosphere and character the entirety of the album is characterized by a hypnotic flow that – in my perception – relies on the continuous rhythmic structure of the album. The pulse is always there from song 1 to song 9 – be it massive or subtle - whereas the last and tenth song roams freely.


 


7.You have also had some philosophical lyrics on previous albums, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?


From the start in the mid-nineties Dornenreich has always been focused on existential contents for we have always experienced artistic expression – and Black Metal in particular – as elemental and profound involvement with the mysteries and qualities of life, of nature, of perception. The human condition in synopsis with the cycles and conditions of nature is – I dare to state –  something that we have to face as an individual as well as society as a whole sooner or later.


 


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


We intended to have black/white aesthetics in combination with a lush dark red relying on a photograph at an early stage. And as we share a certain understandig of artistic expression and its aesthetics with Markus Stock our accomplished producer (Empyrium, The Vision Bleak, Sun Of The Sleepless a.o.) it was a great oppportunity to collaborate with him in an additional field. Markus also is a personal friend of mine and that’s why I knew that he is into nature photography early on. I am convinced of his eye, his special talent when it comes to capture atmospheres. The way the distinct „D“ of our logo, the album title and the overall atmosphere of the picture conflate to a very energetic and suggestive whole in this case is something that I am deeply satisfied with.


 


 


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


Whenever we enter a stage we let ourselves be taken on an intense journey by the music. We react to oneother, to the location and to the energy among us and the audience. We really intend to live through the music together with our audience and we dedicate ourselves to this very moment totally. There’s is no click-track, there is just pure will to express, energy – and a lot of sweat (laughs).

Obviously the two shows (metal as well as acoustic) that are documentet on our live dvd (‚Nachtreisen‘) hold a special place in my heart but actually I enjoy every single opportunity to live through the music in a live context together with our audience because there is a tremendous exchange of mutual passion and energy happening every time. And of course I will enjoy it even more – and more consciously, too – when we will be able to reenter the stage for the first time after the pandemic paralysis at this year’s Prophecy Fest in the cave of Balve in September.


 


10.The band has been around since 1996, what is it that motivates you to keep going after 2 and a half decades?


A profound urge to get in touch with the essence of life in an artistic and deeply human way. It means so much to me to see songs take shape and feel the emotion gathered in there in the most vital and intense way, in a way that gets in touch with other people’s hearts and minds in the end.


 


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


What I really think highly of is the fact that the intensity and integrity of our expression seems to get through to people all over the world regardless of whether they understand the lyrics in the first place or not. The depth in the music speaks and –  as a fan of music myself – I dare to say that this depth is rare these days, it is precious and one should stick to it whenever one comes across such a rare gem. At least that’s what I do whenever I discover an artist that is here for reasons I can relate to emotionally (and intellectually) that I have pointed out above.


 


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


At the moment all I know is that we carry a lot of new music, visions, ideas with us and that I hope that it won’t take another seven years until all that comes to fruition. We will remain faithful to our hearts and minds – and we will stay as vivid and passionate as possible. And that means that we will stay unpredictable in the most exciting way one could wish from an artist as I perceive it.


 


13.What are you currently listening to nowadays?


Whatever touches me in one way or another … Here is a tiny list of some of the music that is on heavy rotation here at the moment. How comprising an entire list would be you can imagine:


Djerv, Aldous Harding, Kampfar, Oehl, Suspiria (OST 2018; Thom Yorke), Faber, Midsommar (OST 2019; Bobby Krlic), Dodheimsgard, Kvelertak, Misfits, Madder Mortem, Kerstin Blodig, Omnia, The Doors, Hexvessel, Primordial, Type o Negative


 


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


Actually, I would like to thank you for your detailed and interesting questions – and to all of you out there:


If you are into thrilling, multi-faceted and atmospheric music that is hand- and heartmade and if you want to discover an album that sounds like no other recording out there – give our new album ‚Du Wilde Liebe Sei‘ a listen!


 

www.dornenreich.com
www.facebook.com/Dornenreich.official
www.instagram.com/dornenreich_official