Friday, April 29, 2016

Voland/Self Titled/Mask Dead Records/2016 EP Re-issue Review


  Voland  where  a  duo  from  Italy  that  plays  a  mixture  of  folk  and   symphonic  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2008  ep  which  was  re-issued  in  2016  by  Masked  Dead  Records.

  A  very  symphonic  sound  bordering  on  classical  starts  off  the  ep  bring  in  an  epic  feeling  to  the  recording  and  after  a  few  seconds  the  music  goes  into  a  very  fast  black  metal  direction  that  utilizes  a  great  amount of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  along  with  some  grim  screams  and  they  also  mix  the  symphonic  and  heavy  parts  together. 

  Clean  singing  and  melodic  vocals  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of the  recording  giving  the  music  a  medieval folk  music  feeling  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  death  metal  growls  can  also  be  heard  in  the  music  at  times  and  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  while  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  while  spoken  word  parts  along  with  elements  of  ambient  have  their  moment  on  some  tracks .

  Voland  played  a  style  of  symphonic  black  metal  on  this  recording  that  was  more  close  to  the  90's  side  of  the  genre  while  also  mixing  it  with  folk  music  to  create  something  very  original,  the  production  sounds  very dark  and  old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  the  History  Of  Russia.

  In  my  opinion  Voland  where  a  very  great  sounding  symphonic  folk/black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Leningard"  and  "Ii  Lado  Dei  Ciudi".  8  out  of  10. 

Asura/Only Death For My Warriors/Masked Dead Records/2016 Demo Re-issue Review


  Asura  where  a band from  Italy  that  played  a  symphonic  and  gothic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2009  demo  "Only  Death  For  my  Warriors"  which  was  re-issued  in  2016  by  Masked  Dead  Records.

  Melodic  chanting  starts  off  the  demo  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavy  and symphonic  musical  direction  and  a  few  seconds  later  grim  black  metal  screams  make  their  presence  known  on  the  recording  and  the  riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  most  of  the  tracks  are  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Death  metal  growls  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  the  keyboards  bring  in  the  atmosphere  of  a  gothic  horror  soundtrack  and  when  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  remain  true  to  a  very  melodic  musical  style  while  choirs  can  also  be  heard  in  the  music  at  times  along  with  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  melodic  vocals  and  the  music  sticks  mostly  to  either  a  slow  or  mid  paced  musical  direction  while  a  brief  use  of  fast  playing  and  blast  beats  are  added  onto  the  last  track.

  Asura  played  a  style  of  black  metal  that  was  very  symphonic  while  being  more  dark  and  underground  than  most  bands  of  that  genre  and  also  adding  in  a  touch  of  goth  and  death  metal  which  makes  the  music  stand  out  a  bit more, t he  production  has  a   very  dark  demo  sound  to  it  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness,  death  and  hate  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Asura  where  a  very  great  sounding  symphonic  gothic/black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  re-issue.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK "Escape  From  Death".  8  out  of  10.  

Romuvos/Infront Of Destiny/No Colours Records/2016 CD Review


  Romuvos  are  a  solo  project  from  Lithuania  that has  been  featured before  in  this  zine  and  plays  an  epic  form  of  folk/pagan  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2016  album  "Infront  Of  Destiny"  which  was  released  by  No Colours  Records.

  Thunder  and  rain  sounds  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  synths  a  few  seconds  later  before  adding in  pagan  chanting  and  acoustic  guitars  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of a  medieval  feeling  and  other  folk  instruments  can  be  heard  throughout  the  recording  and  it  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  side  of  the  music.

  At  times  the  music  can  be  very  atmospheric  and  clean  singing  pagan  vocals  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  recording  and  the  music  also  alternates  between  both  folk  and  metal  parts  and  when  solos  and  leads  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  while  some  of  the  drums  bring  a  tribal  and  shamanistic  atmosphere  to  the  music.

  A  great  amount  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  you  can  also  hear  the  influence  of  black  metal  in  the  guitar  riffing  and  as  the  album  a  brief  use  of  whispers  can  be  heard  and  when  synths  are  finally  utilized  they  give  the music  more  of  an  epic  feeling  and  the  songs  stick  to  either  a  slow  or mid  paced  musical  direction.

  Romuvos  remains  true  to  the  pagan/folk  metal  sound  of  previous  recordings  while  also  mixing  in  some  black  metal  influences  in  the  guitar  riffing  to  create  a  very  heavy,  epic  and  melodic  recording,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Paganism,  Lithuanian  Traditions  and  Medieval  Times.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Romuvos  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  pagan  and  folk  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Infront  Of  Destiny  We  Shall  Face  Our  Death"  "Our  Spirits  Pass  Through  The  underworld"  "The  Return  Back  Home"  and  "Let  thy  Gods  Sing  Your  Glory hymn".  8/5  out  of 10.     

Okkultokrati/Snake Reigns/Night Jerks/Southern Lord Recordings/2016 CD Review


  Okkultokrati  are  a  band  from  Norway  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  mixture  of  black  metal,  sludge,  d  beat,  crust,  hardcore  and punk  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  compilation  which  contains  the  "Snake  Reigns"  album  I  reviewed  in  2012  and  their  2014  album  "Night  Jerks"  which  was  released  in  May  by  Southern  Lord  Recordings.

  A  crust  punk  style  sound  starts  off  the  compilation  along  with  some  d  beats  and aggressive  non  melodic  punk  vocals  and  all  of the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  when  the  music  slows  down  elements  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  can  be  heard  and  after  awhile  grim  black  metal  screams  make  their  presence  known  on  the  recording.

    Throughout  the  compilation  you can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  on  some songs  a  small  amount  of  acoustic  guitars  can  be  heard  while  some  of  the  heavier  riffs  are  very  heavily  influenced  by  Motorhead  along  with  a  touch  of  first  wave  black  metal  and  when  solos  and  leads  are  added  into  the  music  they  add  in  more  of  an  early  80's  metal/punk  feeling  to  the  songs  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  intro  on  the  second  album  has  a  horror  movie  feeling  while  the  rest  of  the  music  sticks  to  a  heavy  style  and  they  close  the  recording  with  a  horror  move  soundtrack  style  instrumental.

   On  both  of  these  recordings  Okkultokrati  take  first  and  second  wave  black  metal  and  mixes  it  with  sludge,  doom  metal, crust,  d  beat  and  hardcore  to  create  something  very  original,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  yet heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Darkness  and  Drug  themes.

     On  both  of  these  recordings  Okkultokrati  take  first  and  second  wave  black  metal  and  mixes  it  with  sludge,  doom  metal, crust,  d  beat  and  hardcore  to  create  something  very  original,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  yet heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Darkness  and  Drug  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  a  very  great  sounding  compilation  from  Okkultokrati  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black  metal,  doom,  sludge,  crust,  d  beat  and  hardcore  punk,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "No  Ouroboros"  "I  Thought  Of  Demons"  "We  So heavy"  and  "Moon  Dagger".  8  out  of  10.

  

 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Rapheumets Well 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?

We have been working on amplifying our stage performance and visuals as well as gearing up for tours.  Touring is our main mission now as we want to reach abroad, sharing our music internationally.  Recently we have even taken to acting lessons to help give us some more tools in our stage performance. 

2.Recently you have released a new album how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

It has more emotion, more personal connections with it in contrast to the story in which it represents.  Being a science fantasy story, it is important to convey the story in such a way musically that the person feels the lore more than just giving the illusion. We have more technical riffs in on this album and faster burst of drumming, but all in all it is a more vibrant album than our first album "Dimensions".  Dimensions was portrayed a darker feel.  The Exile has a more demanding feel with a epic overtone that makes it more colorful in terms of sound textures.  Also adding a female opera singer and the complex leads of our newest guitarist makes it an more mature album in our musical evolution. 

3.From 2007 to 2014 there was no music being released, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during that time span?

Well, it is very complex.  Merging 5 to 6 personal universes together for a single mission is quite a task and much like chemistry, certain elements can cause a disastrous reaction. Finding balance in attitudes and musical appreciation takes time though we are happy to say, we believe we found it. But yes, there is a myriad of actions that have taken place which has stunted our progress but time has given us a bit more wisdom to work with.   

4.Your lyrics have a sci fi and fantasy theme concept to them, can you tell us a little bit more about the song writing?

Our story is very deep, maybe too much for a 8 to 10 song album.  We developed a basic understanding for a multiverse and a verse in which consciousness is a force similar to electromagnetism, gravity, and the strong and weak nuclear forces.  We developed this hierarchy of powerful beings, created to aid in the propagation of sentient life.  We talk a lot about the formation of each multiverse in its birth, evolution, and decay. Matter is woven from the.  Deviations in the stream allow for dimensions to exist like a bubble in a pond.  But  this extends in quite a depth.  Then comes the comsic drama.  Beings loose favor, entire planets are destroyed, entire planetary systems wiped out. You see, there are these beings called the Atai which are "near" immortals who are coined "the architects" or sentinels.  They are quite powerful and very odd beings who in some ways, aid in the evolution of the dimension. The elder beings Sainath, Soyumoth, Eyu Na, Tael Udwafael, along with five others are locked into a war and that is where our story starts on the first album. 

The second album is abit more personal and takes place on a planet called Vranath Su and is from the perspective of a military commander who challenges a rouge Atai who begins mining people for s their organic fluids to feed a rare mineral which is built into a gate which can bend space and time, thus bringing forth the antagonist from the first story who was banished (well, it is a lot more complicated than thaat ha). The Main character Darmak defies his conquest and is tortured is a very insidious way.  He watches his family being murdered and he himself has his skin ripped from his bones many times a day (cursed with eternal life) in hopes that his very spirit is fragmented which is the ultimate death.  But, he ends up kicking some butt and blowing up the planet ha!!


5.According to the fb page the band also has an interest in ancient mythology, metaphysics and astronomy, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

Well, some of us are quite academic.  My self, I spent eight years in medical school in which I took anthropology classes, physics, and many of us have a affinity towards mythology.  in a subtle way, our music hints abit at the "ancient alien" concept though we do not prescribe purely to their shared beliefs or methods.  But, we do find value in science and the art equally which is used in creating our own science fantasy mythology.  Even my medical degree sheds light on Taoist philosophies and eastern constructs in which provokes thought. We like to be exploratory, educational, and entertaining with our topics in music.  

6.Originally the band was known as 'Blue Man's God', what was the decision behind the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Rapheuments Well'?  Well, we came up with this name many years ago and before the band "Blue Man's Group" came out.  You can already see the problem here. Jokes persisted and people thought we were some how affiliated with Blue Man's Group (which I really like by the way).  Rapheumets Well is a name constructed in our own universe.  Here is the actual definition:  Rapheumet is the name of a deity personified as a trickster, “a master of portals and inter-dimensional travel” who “often creates chaos for unsuspecting voyagers”, and in the band’s name “Well” refers to gravity wells, “which like black holes are catalysts of change and gateways between the cosmic plains.”

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?

Well, our most memorable has to be playing with Black Crown Initiate recently as well as Unleash the Archers.  Both bands inspired us.  Just seeing they dedication to their craft as well as their love for their fans.  We opened for these bands and the response was great.  We were able to learn alot which will serve us in our future endeavors. 

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

Yes, we are already scheduled for a tour coming this July.  Past that, we are working closely with Test Your Metal Records and our label owner and manager Grant Truesdell in developing more tours internationally. 

9.The new album was released on 'Test Your Metal Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?  Test Your Metal Records was founded by Grant Truesdell who is also the guitarist for the renown band Unleash the Archers on Napalm Records.  He has been absolutely amazing in giving us hope and guidance.  He really works with us and is crystal clear about the objectives. He actually cares for the musicians on his label.  Test Your Metal Records is a rising label in which we have already grown a loyalty torwards.  It is the labels mission that is important, which actually focuses on helping the band acquirer the tools for success.  it is a partnership of a sorts, a feedback system in which makes us work equally as hard and we appreciate that.  We firmly believe that big things will keep rolling from this label. 

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black, death, symphonic and progressive metal?'

Well, so far it has been outstanding.  Our international fan base has grown and mostly positive feedback.  
11.Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days? 

Well, I am working with a band called Enthean from our area in whcih I am doing some drum work for.  They are phenomenal musicans and they are gaining some well deserved attention  Our gutarist Hunter Ross has a project called Carving the Architect which is amazing.  So, we doing a lot of "sharing" between the bands here.

12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?  We have no limits so it is hard to say.  International tours, and developing a following both musically and for our story.  It is my hope that a video company may take notice or even a comic book company to make our story come to life.  This is our sole passion so we looking for this to be our predominant career. 

13.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?

Black Crown Initiate, Enfold Darkness, Fallujah, Obscura, Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Uneash the Archers, Iron Maiden, Devin Townsend, Kintaro, Danny Elfman, tears for fears, Acid Bath, Opeth, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Septic Flesh, Cradle of Filth, Amon Amarth, and Morbid Angel are some of our most influential bands. 

But, just as much we are inspired by our native bands such as Enthean, Everthrone, Crow Hollar, Neverfall, Occido, Kill the Host, Daedalus, Blood Written, Necrocosm, Skinn Jakkitt, Marrow of Earth, Black Demize, and Behind the Sun to list a few have been the foundation of the scene here in the south east and I feel they deserve the attention. 
14.What are some of your non musical interests?
Well, we have some martial artists practitioners and a weapons instructor in the band as well as a acupuncturist.  We are from the mountains so we tend to engage in some camping, fire building, squirrl eating, you know, mountain hillbilly things.  We have actress in the band and we are all video game fanatics for the most part.  We enjoy trying to unravel the mysteries of the cosmos but more so we like Chinese buffets. 

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

Well, we are very appreciative of your time and for you allowing us to speak.  We are humble musicians working hard for our passion, like so many other bands.  We are hoping to bring some attention to our area of the Carolinas as their is a lot of untapped potential here.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Rapheumets Well/The Exile/Test Your Metal Records/2016 Full Length Review


  Rapheumets  Well  are  a  band  from  North  Carolina  that  plays  a  symphonic  and  progressive  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "The  Exile"  which  was  released  by  Test  Your  Metal  Records.

  Classical  guitar playing  starts  off  the  album  and  after  a  few  seconds  starts  going  into  more  of  a  brutal a nd  fast  symphonic  direction  along  with  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  death  metal  growls  and  you  can  also  hear  melodies  and  technical  elements  in  the  guitar  riffing  and  after  awhile  black  metal  screams  start  becoming  a  very  huge  part  of  the  recording.

  Throughout  the  recording  there  is  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  when  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  remain  true  to  a  blackened  death  metal  style  and  all  of  the musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  When  clean  singing  male  and  female  vocals  are  utilized  they  give  the  music  more  of  a  operatic  feeling  and  some  of  the  heavier  riffing  also  brings  in  elements  of  prog  metal  while  the  symphonic side  of  the  songs  have  a  classical  music  influence  to  them  while  later  tracks  also  show  them  bringing  in  a  touch  of  ambient  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Rapheumets  Well  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  the  symphonic  styles  of  black  and  death  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  ad  something  different  to  the  genre,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while the  lyrics  are  a  concept  album  based  upon  their  own  sci  fi  and  fantasy  creations.

  In  my  opinion  Rapheumets  Well  are  a  very  great  sounding  symphonic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Epic  Of  Darmak"  "Witch  of  Dark  Sphere"  and  "Planetry  Cenotaph".  8  out  of  10.   

 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Malevolentia/Republique/Epictural Production/2016 CD Review


  Malevolentia  are  a  band  from  France  that  plays  a  very  symphonic  and  orchestral  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Republique"  which  was  released  by  Epictural  Production.

  A  very  symphonic  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  orchestras  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  into  a  very  fast  black  metal  direction  that  uses  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking,  blast  beats  and  high  pitched  screams  which  they  also  mix  in  with  the  symphonic  elements  and  tthe  solos  and  leads  stick  to  a  melodic  direction.

  Throughout  the  recording  there  is  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  choir vocals  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while  female  vocals  are  also  used  at  times  and  they  both  give  the  music  more  of  an  operatic  feeling  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  music  at  times  also  brings  in  more  of  a  ritualistic,  metaphysical  and esoteric  atmosphere  and  the  last  track  brings  in  male  vocals  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  goth  feeling.  

  Malevolentia  plays  a  style  of  black  metal t hat  is  very  aggressive  and  symphonic  while  also  mixing  in  a  touch  of  death  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in Fench  and  is  a  concept  album  based  upon  an  Orwellian  type  of  society  with  deep  politivs  and  some  occult  references.

  In  my  opinion  Malevolentia  are  a very  great  sounding  symphonic  and  orchestral  black  metal  band  with  a  touch  of  death  metal  and  if you are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Annuit  Coeptis"  "Magus  Frater  Spectat  Te"  "Orbo  ab  Chao"  and  "Eschatos".  8  out  of  10.

    

   

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

In Twilight's Embrace/Trembling/Arachnophobia Records/2016 EP Review


  In  Twilight's  Embrace  are  a  band  from  Poland  that  started  out  more  in  a  melodic  death  metal  vein  but  have  evolved  into a  melodic  blackened  death  metal  band  on  this  recording  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  ep  "Trembling"  which  will  be  relased  in  May  by  Arachnophobia  Records.

  A  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  ep  and  after  awhile  grim  black  metal  screams  and  melodic  riffs  are  added  onto  the recording  and  the  it  means  in  more  of  a  Swedish  style  and  throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow, mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  a  heavy  dose  of  melodic  death  metal.

  Solos  and  leads  are  done  in  more  of  a  melodic  fashion  and  the  music  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90'sand  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very powerful  sound  to  them  and  you  can  also  hear  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  in  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  and  there  is  a  brief  use  of  classical  guitars  and  the  ep  closes  with  a  cover  of  Armia's  "Opowiesc  Zimowa"  which  also  brings  in  a  touch  of  pun.

  In  Twilight's  Embrace  expand  on  their  melodic  death  metal  sound  by  adding  in  more  black  metal  elements  this  time  around  to  take  their  music  into  a  different  direction, the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  In  Twilight's  Embrace  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  melodic  black/death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "In  the  Mouth  Of  Madness".  8  out  of  10.     

Monday, April 18, 2016

Stortregn Interview

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

Well, the line-up has changed a bit as we quite recently got a new bass player. While working on the new album, we also toured through France and Eastern Europe. To top it all, played at Wacken last summer. Besides that, we are working on a Stortregn beer and composing new songs. We're in a constant composing state of mind.

2. You have a new album coming out in May, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
The band is getting more mature. The compositions are more complex and varied than Evocation Of Light, which was more of a traditional melodic black metal style. Singularity is far more personal, more death and technical, with odd time signatures coming up. We payed also more attention to the sound of the album, it is deeper and richer than Evocation of Light.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
A "singularity" in general relativity designates the region at the center of a black hole, where the laws of space and time cannot apply and cannot be measured. A point where the spacetime curvature becomes infinite. This idea of lawlessness is present all time in this album, both musically and lyrically, exploring it's diverse forms and application in life and space.

4. Originally the band was called 'Divine's Smile' and 'Addict Repulsion', what was the cause of the name changes?

In early 2005, when we started to explore darker music, we passed through a lots of line-up changes, and our music evolved very fast. At a certain point, we wanted to have a clean start, that’s why we changed our name and chose something which fits better with the band.

5. I know that the bands name means 'downpour' in Swedish, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?

The music of Stortregn has this cold and dark feeling that can be associated with this image. It can also be associated to a gloomy and melancholic atmosphere.

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

Our performances are a mix of blood, ripping riffs and blast insanity. We give our maximum, both mentally and physically. For us, our best experiences where at Wacken 2015, although we had some great shows in France last year and our tour in Eastern Europe. A small club in Romania comes to mind......

7. Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?

The 20th May in Grenoble, and the 27th May in Geneva are already confirmed. We are working on a tour for the end of the year and some other dates around that period will follow.

8. On the new album you had a few guests, can you tell us who they are and also their contributions to the recording?

The musicians we invited play a big role in our musical influences. They are amazing musicians and great person to work with. Simon (Beyond Creation) and Steffen Kummerer (Obscura, Thulcandra) each play an amazing solo on « Omega Rising » and « Black Moon Silhouette ». Ville Viljanen (Mors Principium Est) and Vladimir Cochet (Mirrorthrone) are doing some great vocal lines on « Vertigo » and « Acosmic Ascendant ».

9. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans black and death metal?

Feedback has been generally positive. We've been very often related to Dissection, which is an honor as well as a huge problem. The honor, of course is to be compared to them. The problem is that we cannot do anything without being labelled as "cover band". Which we are not. Dissection was a true source of inspiration, a starting point. However, we are going our own way.

10. Are any of the band members also involved with any other bans or musical projects these days?

Johan is classically trained, he works as a classical guitar teacher. Romain is part of different death and hardcore local bands. Sam has some jazz, funk and ska projects and Duran has had various projects in the past, though Stortregn is the only one at the moment.

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

More extreme. More technical. More blast beats. The music of Stortregn is constantly evolving, and we're already working on new material, even more intense.

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?
In non-metal, each of us listen to different stuff like Classical or Jazz from 60s to nowadays. In metal, besides those who were invited in the album, we can point to Gorod, Inferi, Animals As Leaders, Tribulation, and so on.

13. What are some of your non musical interests?
Beer brewing, eating, drinking, studying...

14. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks to everyone who has supported Stortregn during all these years. Enjoy the new album and see you on the road bitches!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Eremite/All Things Merge into One/Taxi Driver Records/2014 CD Review


  This  is  a  review  of  another  recording  from  Italy's  Eremite  which  continues  the  black,  sludge  and  post  metal  mixture  of  the  previous  material  and  the  album  is  called  "All  Things  Merge  into  One"  and  was  released  by  Taxi  Driver  Records.

  Aggressive  screams  start  off  the  album  along  with  a  very  heavy  sound  also  kicking  in  and  when  the  music  speeds  up a   great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  melodic  riffs  can  be  heard  giving  the  music  more  of  a  black  metal  feeling  and  atmospheric  sounds  can  also  be  heard  in  the  background  at  times.

  Elements  of  post  metal  and  hardcore  can be  heard  in  some  parts  of  the  songs  and  the  music  also  brings  in  a  great mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  clean  and  acoustic  guitars  are  also  utilized  at  times  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Most  of  the  songs  are  very  long and  epic  in  length  and  the  fast  riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  when  keyboards a re  utilized  they  add  in  a  touch  of  classical  music  while  also  having  a  powerful  presence  on  the  instrumental  tracks  and  one  song  brings  in  a  brief  use  of  melodic  guitar  leads  and  clean  singing  is  also  added  onto t he  last  track.

 Eremite  show  a  great  amount  of  progression  on  the  recording  adding  in  shorter  songs  and  also  letting  the  atmospheric  black  and  post  metal  elements  have  more  of  a  powerful  effect  while  the  sludge  and  doom  metal  influences  are  still  a  very  dominant  part  of  the  recording,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  depressive  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Eremite  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black,  sludge  and  post  metal,  you  should  enjoy t his  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Past  Became  My  Future"  and  "Bowing  To  The  Mountain".  8  out  of  10. 

Eremite/Dragonarius/Taxi Driver Records/2013 Full length Review

  Eremite  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  plays  a  mixture  of  raw  post,  black and  sludge  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2013  album  "Dragonarius"  which  was  released  by  Taxi  Driver  Records.

  Drum  beats  start  off  the  album  along  with  a  distorted  bass  guitar  a  few  seconds  alter  that  slowly  starts  to  evolve  into  a  heavier  sound  which  also  brings  elements  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  onto  the  recording  and  after  a  few  minutes  aggressive  vocals  make  their  presence  known  on  the  recording  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  bass  guitar  leads.

  At  times  the  music  can  be  very  atmospheric  along  with  some  clean  playing  that  also  brings  in  a  touch  of  post  rock  and  the  riffs and  leads  also  get  very  melodic  at  times  bringing  in  tremolo  picking  that  is  more  more  to  black  metal  and  both  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  melodic  singing  and  psychedelic  sounds  and  the  music  speeds  up  briefly  on  the  second  song  and  the  album  closes  with  some  tragic  sounding  keyboards.

  Eremite  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  post  black  metal,  sludge  and  doom  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  very  dark  and  heavy  sounding  recording,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Eremite  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  post  black  metal,  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of t hose  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Not  Of  This  World".  8  out  of  10.  

Vesperia/The Iron Temptress/2015 EP Review


  Vesperia  are  a  band  from  Ontario,  Canada  that  plays  a  symphonic  mixture  of  Celtic  folk  music  and  melodic  blackened  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2015  ep  "The  Inron  Tempests".

  A  very  atmospheric  synth  starts  off  the  ep  before  evolving  into  more  of  an  epic  and  symphonic  style  which  also  mixes  in  with  a  heavier  sound  a  few  seconds  later  along  with  blast  beat  smaking their  presence  on  the  recording  and  the  vocals  also  use  a  great  mixture  of  death  metal  growls  and  black  metal  screams.

  At  times  the  riffs  can  be  very  melodic  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  when  clean  playing  and  melodic singing  are  added  into t he  recording  they  add  in  more  of  a  folk  music  feeling  and  the  solos  and  leads  also  remain  true  to  a  very  melodic  style  and  on  the  second t racks  choirs  are  used  briefly  and  one  of  the  tracks  is  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  last  track  is  a  metal  solo  version  of  ''Hall  Of  The  Mountain  King".

 Vesperia  plays  a  style  of  melodic  blackened  death  metal  that  is  very symphonic  while  also  bring  in  a  touch  of  folk  music  to  create  a  style  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  herioc,  epic,  nature  and  psychological  states.

  In  my  opinion  Vesparia  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  symphonic  blackened  death  and  folk  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Iron  Saga".  8 out  of  10. 

...From The Deep Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band? …From the Deep are a 5 piece band from Ottawa Canada. We want to immerse the listener in an atmosphere dictated by acoustic breaths of calm and screams of agony, and to ignite curiosity of what is to come. We blend ominous groove with the relentless crushing of your spirit. We consistently perform high energy and intricate sets in which we experiment with visual components, instrumental soundscape "jams", and acts of self-inflicted physical brutality.

We are currently promoting our newest EP “The Absurd Horror”

2.In July you had released a new ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

We have always experimented with different soundscapes and different styles, and that is found in both of our recordings, and even more so in the new material that we are working on now. Our newest EP “The Absurd Horror” follows an organic flow of short-lived peaceful contemplation followed by excruciating agony, and then repeated in a cosmic cycle.


3.This was the first release to come out in 5 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?

Despite the long stretch in between recordings, we have been playing a ton of shows in the Ontario and Quebec region. We have also been working on a ton of new material as we are looking to release our next recordings within the next year. We take our time planning out the songs and album concepts, and are very specific with the entirety of our music.


4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with music?

Our lyrics are inspired by a broad range of subjects, such as: the insignificance of our existence when faced with the vast intricacies of the universe, esoteric literature, consciousness, and the exhaustion of modern life.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name '...From the Deep"?

..From the Deep is a reference to the unknown. We aim to create a sense of uncertainty in our music and lyrics, in that our music is always shifting in styles, tempos, and atmosphere. The ever changing moods found in our music and live performances are crucial to the deeper exploration and exploitation of the unknown absurdities which hide in our minds.

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

…From the Deep have been fortunate to play with a ton of international acts that have influenced us, such as Cattle Decapitation, Kreator, Absu, Macabre, Origin, Taake, and so many more. We have also been competing in shows such as Brutal Battle Cuba (Ottawa winners and playing the finals in Montreal soon), Wacken Metal Battle 2015, and En Route to Heavy MTL (Ottawa winners).We are known for our high energy performances with self inflicted assault and impressive displays of vocal ability from our vocalist Graham Cwinn.

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

We are keeping our fingers crossed that we may have the opportunity to play in Cuba if we succeed in our Brutal Battle Cuba competition, otherwise, unless Mother Earth has deservedly reclaimed her throne and fatally introduced our species to our mortality, …From the Deep will continue to create music that satisfies our curiosity of the unknown, and will hopefully leave ourselves bloodied and contorted on a stage near you…


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

…From the Deep flow with the universe, and if such an opportunity presented itself with beneficial results, we would most certainly consider it.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of extreme metal?

We have had very positive reviews of our music and our live performances. Here are some examples:
“As is apparent from first listen, …From the Deep employ a certain sophistication, a high level of intelligence amongst the gnashing, fighting, gloriously grotesque atmosphere of their music.”

– SputnikMusic.com

“The warp speed black metal tremolo picking to the more down tuned death metal chugging riffs, to the skull pounding bass and the ever blasting drums make ‘The Absurd Horror’ sickeningly addictive.”

– CadaverGarden.Wordpress.com

“The vocalist appeared just behind, next or in front of me while he performed his varied and highly passionate extreme metal vocals. This dynamical and vivid approach attracted more and more people from the bar and the terrace to see the opening band performing an intense thirty-minute long set.”

– Kluseba.eklablog.com

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

We have come up with a few concepts for full lengths and shorter releases, and it is more important for us to have recordings that are complete pieces of art that flow naturally, as opposed to getting as much material on a record as possible. We aim to have our newest release within the next year. The songs composed for this recording follow a lyrical and musical theme, and blend different styles such as black metal, atmospheric post metal, death metal and groove.


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?

Each member of the band bring different influences and styles which helps us make our unique sound. Some notable influences include Opeth, Meshuggah, Withered, Gorguts, Gojira, Decapitated, The Ocean, Pink Floyd, and many more.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

Esoteric literature, many forms of literature, existential thought, martial art philosophy, exploring the mind and it’s many horrifying doorways.

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

Keep it Deep….

www.facebook.com/fromthedeepmetal

www.fromthedeepband.bandcamp.com

www.soundcloud.com/fromthedeep

www.reverbnation.com/fromthedeepmetal

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQYna-9ESNs4eJtPnrc0B7Q

https://twitter.com/fromthedeep613

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Sarcoptes Interview

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

Garrett:  Sarcoptes is a two-piece metal band from California. We are heavily influenced by old-school thrash, black, and death metal.
The founding member and I met in highschool. He was a withdrawn, goofy kid with a soft heart, and could shred everyone I know on guitar. Before his darkest days, he recorded several songs on Myspace under the band name. I free-styled a cheesy black metal vocal over one of them, and thus was dubbed the band's singer.
Later on, I would jam with Sean Z, who also had an appreciation and talent for music from Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, and other great and influential bands, and we were able to establish our own sound.
The creation of this CD is a milestone which cannot be taken away from us. Through all trials, reservation, regret and resistance, we have persevered and created something meaningful to ourselves.
The driving intent of my participation in this band is to stay as close to meaning as possible. I am really only able to get into this style if the music moves me. I am not one who can mechanically perform at high speeds without any connection to the music. It just makes no sense.
The CDs and bands that moved me so much that I committed myself to becoming a drummer contained a great deal of meaning, message, and power. I hope to bring that through my participation in this band.

Sean:  Gar and I met through a mutual friend at a concert. I learned he and another friend were jamming as a black metal two-piece in Gar’s garage. I asked if I could get in on this playing bass. We had two rehearsals as a three piece where we rehearsed “I Am the Black Wizards” and “Blessings Upon the Throne of Tyranny”. The guitarist bailed after that but I stayed on and transitioned to guitar. We continued to rehearse other cover tunes until Gar asked if I had any original material of my own to bring to the table. I actually had already completed songs 1 and 3 from the album at that point. From there we just continued to write and rehearse new material.  Once I heard Gar’s vocal tracks on the original Sarcoptes demos with Steven on guitar I knew that Gar had to be the vocalist. I was blown away with his voice. At that point I pretty much knew we needed to continue on as Sarcoptes and not another project. We recorded the EP ‘Thanatos’ in February 2013 and began work on the album ‘Songs and Dances of Death’ in February of the next year.

> 2.So far the band has released an ep and a full length, how would you describe the
musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they
differ from each other?
Garrett:  Well, the CD is just better [laughs]. Honestly, we have been under the double-barrel with the hammer clicked back every time we've tried to do anything. I've personally been stretched so thin I'm surprised I have made it out as loosely sane as I am throughout this experience.
The EP was a good opportunity to hear ourselves played back. I liked the vocals, and I liked Sean's work, and my drumming was ‘meh’. I've been caught up in too many bands at once to ever give this a full punch.
The CD is much closer to a true effort. I could sit and pick it apart until I make myself unhappy but it's really good. It's our music, laid out, with a great job by our producer to enhance our sound.

Sean:  Well the two songs on the EP were re-recorded for the album. So style wise there is no difference. I think the major difference would have to be in the production. Namely the keyboards on the album are much, much better sounding than the EP and the drums are much better as well. The mix on the drums and the clarity of the hits is greatly improved on the album. Style-wise it’s very much a blending of 90s black metal meets classic thrash with a dash of old school death metal. I’ve always thought of it musically as a mix of ‘In the Nightside Eclipse’ and ‘Reign in Blood’ with a dash of ‘The Bleeding’. Those were the kinds of sources I was drawing from. Early Emperor, Dimmu, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Metallica, etc. All old school influences from the 80s and 90s. In my opinion the album has the no-nonsense crushing riffs that made all those classic thrash bands so great but with the depth and grandiosity that made bands like Emperor so compelling. There’s no unnecessary intro or outro tracks, no ballads, no ambient tracks. All the fat has been trimmed.

> 3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Garrett:  This album is heavily centered around introspection. The constant narrative is one of self-examination, and the speaker is often in the grips of agony in understanding the weight of truth. There are also themes of becoming self-aware, to see what is truly there for better or worse. The fear of death, and its inevitability, as the truest justification for man's many (and sometimes ludicrious) forms of religion. Also one song is about Constantinople. I'm the uneducated hack of the two, so I just coat-tail the insight provided by Sean. But it sounds cool as f*ck.

Sean:  Gar’s description is pretty accurate. The opening track “The Veil of Disillusion” is basically about trying to transcend the mundane through contemplation of the mystery of existence itself. “The Sexton’s Spade” is presented as an allegory of a congregation worshiping Death. The meaning behind the allegory is that mankind’s fear of death is the true source of religious faith. All of the songs deal with topics like this. “The Fall of Constantinople” is about the invasion of Constantinople by the Turks and the ensuing slaughter of the city’s population. The moral of the story is revealed in the last verse which states “with God on their side all crimes are justified”. You can extrapolate that message not just to the subject at hand in the song, but to all kinds of atrocities that mankind has committed. Once people are convinced they are on the side or God or “right” they can then use that conviction to justify any action. I’ll leave the listener to decipher the rest of the album’s subject matter. But that is the general tone of the lyrics.

> 4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Sarcoptes'?
Garrett:  Well, the rock-and-roll story behind it is that our founding member moved back to Texas and picked up Sarcoptes scabiei (skin mite) from a "lady-of-the-night" on one of his infamous benders. Pretty metal, to be honest.
Beyond that, it's just a kind of shocking, uncomfortable name without being like "Anus Farm" or "Re-mutilated Goat Labia." We wanted to get in the middle, and when we formally began as a two-piece, I knew Steven's band was sitting to not be used anymore, and figured it was an awesome way to both give tribute to a fallen friend and also carry the torch forward.

Sean:  Sarcoptes is the genus name of Sarcoptes scabiei, better known as Scabies or the itch mite. I loved the sound of the word. It seemed very mysterious to me. I also found the origin of the band name to be highly amusing. Honestly it has no real connection to the lyrical themes of the band.

> 5.According to the fb page one of the former members is deceased, was it hard keeping the band going after deal with that kind of experience?
Garrett:  Initially that was a devastating blow. I felt that I could have done so much more for the kid. He was truly one of the funniest people I’ve known. If there's one thing I've learned from doing this deal for a while, it's that if you can sit and laugh for hours with your band, you've got a keeper. That and his unheard talent for a unique vein of music, it was a great loss that many will not ever know went by.
Nonetheless, as a proud member of this unit today I can safely say that we do Steven justice by continuing forward under this name and playing this music. We are not simply black metal for the sake of the ambience, or the tattooed girls that are into a gothy look. This music has class, sophistication, and depth. This is something I think Steven would be proud to know his influenced matured into.

Sean:  I actually never met Steven in person. I think when he passed Gar and I were already doing our own jam together out of his garage. Nevertheless I heard those demos he and Gar did and was blown away that this 18 year old kid was writing these ferocious black metal riffs. I’m happy that we continued on with his legacy and feel we’ve done it justice.

> 6.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to working with other musicians again in the future or do you chose to remain a duo?
Garrett:  I think that creatively we will always remain a duo. There was a long stretch of time where Sean and I were able to carry on long conversations speaking entirely in inside jokes. That kind of rapport you just can't build quickly. Also, the drive of this band is very close to each of our spirit and insight into the world.
That being said, would I love to hire out a 5-star line-up and tour the world, not having to annihilate my bones on that cursed drumset? Of course. I'm open to any future, but the core of this band will remain the two of us. We have been scarred and bled enough times to make our positions unmovable.

Sean:  The core will always remain Gar and I. If either of us calls it a day then the band is done. It’s impossible for this entity to exist without one another. That being said, I would certainly be open to musicians doing guest spots on future recordings.
>
 7.The new album was released on Cimmerian Shade Recordings, how would you compare
working with them to your old label Wraith Productions?
Garrett:  I am very happy to be working with Cimmerian Shade. So far, the interaction has been professional and comfortable, and it is nice when the label appears to enjoy your music and support what you're doing.

Sean:  Actually we were never signed with Wraith. I sent our EP to Wraith as a demo submission. Armando who runs the label was floored when he heard it and wanted to put out our full-length which was almost done at that time. Our time tables didn’t quite match up though so he recommended us to Cimmerian Shade Recordings who got back to us the next day. Wraith has done some distro on our EP though. So while we were never signed with them I consider them an ally. Dave at Cimmerian has been awesome. Very professional and completely enthused about the album and its potential. I’m very grateful for his support and for giving us this opportunity.

> 8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Garrett:  I am not sure. On my end, I try not to pay too much attention to the feedback. I am extremely hard on myself as it is, and I would not want to piss myself off by reading the wrong trolling or flamed comment. That being said, it appears that several credible sources are liking what we're doing. I hope to continue to produce material to keep the listeners who enjoy this genre satisfied.

Sean:  The feedback I’ve received by and large has been very positive. I think once this album is released and people become aware of it, it’s going to turn some heads. The album is old school influenced without sounding like we are copying a specific band or a specific era of music. It’s taking what I think are some of the best elements of classic black, thrash and death metal and putting them through our own filter.

> 9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Garrett:  Personally I hope I get a lot better [laughs]. That's just me. We've become seasoned going through this process, especially in managing disappointments and setbacks. I am active in music in the area, and continue to rehearse on a daily basis.
I would like to explore more middle-ground with our music. I think our peaks and valleys are very nice, and would like to hear us jam out a bit more in the middle. Theme wise I am not sure either. A musical mentor of mine once said that if you have to continue to claim the same position, or the same grief against whatever entity or ideology you oppose, you are not succeeding. I think we nailed this b*tch straight to the cross on this one. We'll have to see what domain we want to tackle next.

Sean:  Musically I want to stay true to the foundation we’ve already established. The classic influences I’ve already detailed will always be the root and foundation of the band. I’ve been playing around with some very heavy doom metal riffs for a while now though, so that’s an element I’d like to incorporate into future work.
>
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?
Garrett:  Definitely Dimmu Borgir. I was that kid who would spin the same CD for weeks at a time. I couldn't get over that mental rush of those blasts and grooves inside such dark music. Same with Emperor. Such an atmosphere, a presence, you were transported to a different place. Like a book with less effort [laughs]! Black Dahlia Murder too. Lots of cool shredding drum fills, musical and accompanying the guitar movement. That entertained my mind for a long time, I was so committed to figuring out how in the f*ck they were doing that!
Nowadays I branch out a bit more. I was really into 1349 for a while. It's so insanely brutal. Borknagar as well. I love the keyboard work. Bands with ambience in addition to the shred usually get my attention. I've also branched out into bands like Fit for an Autopsy, After the Burial, and Within the Ruins. Conquering Dystopia. It eventually just becomes anything with that caliber of musicality. I will always prefer the black metal style. But I will nod to anyone who's pouring everything they've got into it.

Sean:  Well, I’ve already detailed what some of my key influences were in the composition of this album. Slayer was a huge influence on the riff writing of this album. For my money Jeff Hanneman is the greatest riff writer of all time. Most of the thrash influence is from Slayer though there is also some Metallica influence in spots. All those minor third harmonies and those hammer-on pull off minor third riffs are a Cannibal Corpse influence. The influence of Emperor, especially their first album is incalculable. I learned so much about how to arrange keyboards and twin guitar parts from Ihsahn and Samoth. Obviously Dimmu Borgir was an influence as well, both in the riff department but more so in the vocal department. To this day Shagrath’s vocals on ‘Enthrone Darkness Triumphant’ are my favorite extreme metal vocal performance. I also learned from and was influenced by other bands such as Morbid Angel, Mayhem, Darkthrone, Iron Maiden, etc.

As far as what I’m listening to now... I’ve been working my way through a ton of classic old school thrash albums. Lots of it is new to me even though some of these albums are 30 years old [laughs]. I really enjoy going back and filling in the blanks in my musical education. Newer releases I really enjoyed were the new Tribulation record and the latest Paysage D’Hiver album which was incredible. 

> 11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Garrett:  I enjoy exercise, playing with my dog, reading, meditation and video games. I have education goals that are slow moving, but in my personal life experiences I have taken leaps, that most thought I was surely doomed to never make.
Sean:  I’ve been getting back into playing old school 1st edition Dungeons & Dragons with a group of friends and fellow musicians for a while now. Games like these really get the imagination and creative juices flowing. So that’s been a blast and what I’ve been doing with my spare time as of late. Outside of that I love reading, learning, movies and playing with dogs and cats [laughs]. I’m also always continuing to further myself in my career field.

> 12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Garrett:  I appreciate you taking the time to ask us some questions. We are exactly as you see and hear us to be. I live inside my own transparency and only aspire to improve. I hope to continue to bring home the accomplishments, with additional tales of victory for the next time. Be safe and stay metal!

Sean: Thanks very much for your interest in the band and for this opportunity. Thanks again to Dave Lindley at Cimmerian Shade

Friday, April 8, 2016

Whispered/Metsutan -Songs Of The Void/Redhouse FMP/Inverse Records/2016 CD Review


  Whispered  are  a  band from  Finland  that  plays  a  mixture  of  melodic  death  metal  and  Japanese  folk  music  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Metsutan  Songs  Of  the  Void"  which  will  be  released  in  May  as  a  joint  effort  between  Redhouse  FMP  and  Inverse  Records.

  Japanese  folk  instruments  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  chants  in  the  background  and  tribal  beats   and  they  also  mix  in  some  symphonic  elements  at  times  and  after  the  intro  they  mix  it  in  with  more  of  a  heavier  sound  and  also  mix  in  back  up  shouts  and  melodic  guitar  leads  while t he  riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody.

  Vocals  bring  in a  mixture  of  both  black  metal screams  and  death  metal  growls  and  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  use  a  great  amount  of blast  beats  and  throughout  the  recording  there  is  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  some  of  the  tracks a re  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  some  of  the  faster  riffs  also  utilize a   great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  on  some  of  the  songs  while  other t racks  also  use  chants  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  acoustic  guitars  while  the  last  track  brings  in  male  and  female  choirs.

  Whispered  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  the  melodic  and  symphonic  sides  of  black  and death  metal  and  mixes  them  with  Japanese  folk  music  to  add  something  different  and  original  to  the  folk  metal  genre,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Samauri,  Bushido  and  Japanese  legends.

  In  my  opinion  Whispered  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  melodic  black,  death  metal  and  Japanese  folk  music  and  if  you  are  looking  for  something  original,  you  should  check  out t his  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Strike!"  "Kensei"  "Warriors  of  Yama" and  "Bloodred  Shores  Of  Enoshima".  8/2  out  of  10.     

Fausttophel/Sacta Somplicitas/Another Side Records/2016 CD Review


  Fausttophel  are  a  band  from  Ukraine  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Santa  Simplicitas"  which  was  released  by  Another  Side  Records.

  A  very  dark  keyboard  intro  along  with  some  spoken  word  samples  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  musical  direction  along  with  some.  melodic  guitar  leads  and  symphonic  elements  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  make  their  presence  known  on  the  recording.

  Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  while  a  great  amount  of  death  metal  growls  can  also  be  heard  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  you  can  also  hear  a  great  amount  of  melody  in  the  guitar  riffing  and  spoken  word  parts  also  return  at  times.

  Elements  of   thrash  can  be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  classical  guitars  as  the  album  progresses  along  with  a  brief  use  of  folk  instruments  while  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  a  alter  song  uses  melodic  singing  and  they  close  the  album  with  a  cover  of  Edge  of  Sanity's  "Black  Tears". 

  Fausttophel  creates  another  recording  that  takes  symphonic  and  melodic  black  metal  and  mixes  it  in  with  death  metal  to  create  a very  dark  yet  heavy  recording,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while t he  lyrics  are  written  in  Ukrainian  and  cover  dark  themes.  

  In  my opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Fausttophel  and  if  you are  a  fan  of  symphonic  and  melodic  black/death  metal,  you  should  enjoy  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Die  Cavities"  "Sick  Earth"  "Song  Of  The  Leper"  and  "Black  tears".  8  out  of  10. 

 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Drakwald/Riven Earth/2016 CD Review


  Drakwald  are  a  band  from  France  that  plays  a  mixture  of  pagan,  folk,  and  melodic  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2016  album  "Riven  Earth".

  Acoustic  guitar  playing  starts  off  the  album  giving  the  music  more  of  a  medieval  feeling  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  that  uses  death  metal  growls  and  blast  beats  while  also  mixing  in  folk  instruments  and  melodic  guitar  leads  can  also  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  giving  the  music  a  Swedish  feeling.  

  Black  metal  screams  can  be  heard  in  some  parts  of  the  songs  along  with  some  melodic  pagan  vocals  also  being  mixed  in  at  times  and  the  music  also  has  some  Finnish  influences  in  some  of  the  tracks  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  acoustic  guitars  can  also  return  as  the  album  progresses  and  some  of  the  riffs  also  bring  in a   touch  of  thrash  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Drakwald  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  the  more  melodic  sides  of  black  and  death  metal  and  mixes  them  together  with  pagan  and folk  metal  to  create  a  style t hat  is  very  heavy  while  different,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  Nordic  paganism  and  Epic  Fantasy themes.

  In  my  opinion  Drakwald  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  melodic  death,  black,  pagan  and  folk  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Erase  By  Fire"  "Despair  Of  The  Last  Man"  "Echoes  Of  Memories"  and  "Blood  And  Glory".  8  out  of  10.     

 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Stortregn/Singularity/Non Serviam Records/2016 CD Review


  Stortregn  are  a  band  from  Switzerland  that  plays  a  melodic  mixture  of black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Singularity"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Non  Serviam  Records.

  Classical  guitar  playing  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  leads  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  leads  to  drums  and  a  heavier  musical  sound  being  added  onto  the  recording  and  the riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  when  the  music  speeds  up a   great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  Vocals  bring  in  a  mixture  of  both  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  deep  death  metal  growls  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  songs  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  90's  Swedish  influences  along  with  the  faster  riffing  also  utilizing  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking.

  And  as  the  album  progresses  classical  guitars  also  make  a  return  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  whispers  while  some  riffs  also  incorporate  elements  of  thrash  and  some  songs  also  bring  in  spoken  word  parts  and  they  also  bring  in  an  instrumental  acoustic  track  before  closing t he  album  with  a  heavier  song.

  Stortregn plays  a  style  of  melodic  black  metal  that  has  its  roots  in  the  90's  Swedish  style  while  also  mixing  in  a  bit  of  the  modern  blackened  death  metal  sound  to create a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  sadness  and  desolation  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Stortregn  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Acosmic  Ascendant"  "Omega  Rising"  "Nightside  Of  Eden"  and  "Never  Ending  Singularity".  8  out  of  10.

 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sarcoptes/Songs And Dances Of Death/Cimmerian Shade Recordings/2016 CD Review


  Sarcoptes  are  a  band  from  California  that  plays  a  symphonic  form  of  black  metal  with  elements  of  thrash  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Songs  And  Dances  of  Death"  which  will  be  released  on  April  22nd  by  Cimmerian  Shade  Recordings.

  A  very  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  melodic  riffing  and  blast  beats  which  also  leads  up  to  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  symphonic  elements  being  added  onto  the  recording  and  you  can  also  hear  a  lot  of  thrash  elements  in  the  bands  musical  and  all  of  the  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Blast  beats  can  be  heard  quite  a  bit  during  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  and  the  music  also  brings  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  mostly  in  a  melodic  fashion  and  most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  fast  riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  they  also  bring  in  a  touch of  melodic  death  metal.

  Sarcoptes  plays   a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  a  mid  90's  style  of  symphonic  black  metal  which  they also  mix  in  with  elements  of  melodic  death  metal  and  thrash  to  create  a  style  of their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Sarcoptes  are  a  very  great  sounding  symphonic  black  metal  band  with  elements  of  thrash  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  duo.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Sexton's  Spade"  and  "Within  the  Labyrinths  Mind".  8  out  of  10.

Winterhorde/Maestro/ViciSolum Productions/2016 CD Review


  Winterhorde  are  a  band  from  Israel  that  plays  a  very  melodic  and  progressive  form  of  black  metal  with  a  touch  of  classical  music  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Maestro"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  VicSolum  Productions.

  Night  time  sounds  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  pianos  in  the  background  and  after  the  intro  the  music  starts  going  into  more  of  a  classical  musical  direction  as  well  as  addign  in  violins  and  symphonic  elements  and  they  also  mix  in  witht he  heavier  sound  and w hen t he  music  speeds  up a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  Melodic  guitar  leads  can  also  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  while  the  vocals  start  out  with  more  of  a  melodic  approach  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  after  awhile  grim  black  metal screams  along  with  some  death  metal  growls  start  becoming  a  very  huge  part  of  the   recording  and  one  track  also  brings  in a  brief  use  of  saxophones.

   The  songs  also  bring  in a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  you  can  also  hear  a  great  amount  of  melody  in  the  guitar  riffing  and  as  the  album  progresses  operatic  female  vocals  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  there  is  also a   brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  and  elements  of  Asian  music  while  some  tracks  also  bring  in  classical  guitars  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  fast  riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking.

  Winterhorde  creates  a  musical  style  that  takes  a  very  melodic  and  progressive  form  of  blackened  death  metal  and  mixes  it  in  with  classical  and  avant  garde  music  to  create  a  musical  style  of t heir  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  winter,  forests,  cold  and  darkness  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Winterhorde  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  progressive  and  melodic  black/death  metal  with  a  touch  of  classical  and  avant  garde  music  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  'Antipath"  "Chronic  Death"  "Maestro"  and  "Dancing  In Flames".  8/3  out  of  10.

 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Vetten Aparat/Synti Talven Kyynelista/Inverse Records/2016 Full Length Review


  Vetten  Aparat  are  a  band  from  Finland  that  has  been featured  before  in  this  zine  plays  a  fantasy  form  of  folk/pagan  metal  and  this  is  a  review of  their  2016  album  "Synti  Talven  Kyynelista"  which  was  released  by  Inverse  Records.

  Spoken  word  parts start  off  the  album  along  with  some  acoustic  guitars  and  synths  a  feel  seconds  later  that  also  takes  the  recording  more  more  of  a  folk  music  direction  while  the  chants  give  the  songs  more  of  a  fantasy  movie  feeling  which  also  leads  up  to  a  heavier musical  direction which  they  mix  in  with  the  folk  elements.

  Blast  beats  can  be  heard  quite  a  bit  during  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  and  the  vocals  start  out  by  using  death  metal  growls  and  symphonic  elements  can  also  be  heard  in  the  music  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  and  clean  signing  pagan  vocals  are  also  used  a  lot  on  the  tracks  and  the  recording  also  brings  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  all of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  black  metal  screams  are  also  used  at  times.

  Spoken  words  also  return  at  times  and  the  folk  elements  also  gives the  songs  more  of  a  medieval  feeling  and  the  riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  while  elements  of  thrash  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  riffing  and  they  also  bring  in  a  an  instrumental  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  on  the  following  tracks  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  bring  in  even  more  of  a  melodic  style  to  the  recording  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  male  and  female choir  vocals.

  Vetten  Aparat  plays  a  style  of  pagan/folk  metal  on  this  recording t hat  is  very  epic  and  melodic  while  also  mixing  in  the  heaviness  of  black  and  death  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  have  a  concept  that  deal  with  fantasy  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Veten  Aparat  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  folk/pagan  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Exile"  "Winters  Darkness"  "Swords  Dance"  and  "Ice  made  new  Kingdom".  8  out  of  10.