Sunday, December 10, 2017

Temnoles,ye Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
“Temnolesie” was found in 2013. We play mix of black, pagan, doom and folk-metal. And some songs can be characterized like folk-rock.

2.In October you had released your first album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

It is difficult to describe music. It must be heard. It is mix of blastbeat, powerful guitar riffs, symphonic keyboards, extreme and clear vocal.

3. The band has been around since 2013 but waited until 2017 to release the first album, can you tell us a little bit more about the first 4 years?
First some months we searched bass-guitarist. Of course we created songs and prepared concert program. In 2014 we recorded demo for Internet. In 2015 we released a video and EP “Vision” (self-released). In that year we began recording of full album. This summer we filmed a video, but now it during editing.

4. Your lyrics cover a lot of Pagan topics, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in Paganism?
I’m member of Union of Slavic Communities since 2002, the biggest Pagan organization in Russia.

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

More exactly translation is “Dark woodland”. The word “woodland” associated for me with Slavic history. There are was a great forests in Russia in ancient times. The word “dark” associated with black-metal, features of which are presented in our music.


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

I remember two shows in Obninsk (Kaluga region) in 2015 – audience greeted us warmly. And last show in Bryansk this December I like too.
At stage we are usually dressed in Slavic style clothes. And part of show is wooden idol. 

7. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
In the end of December we take part in New Year party in native Kaluga. 30th of March we play with “Satarial” in Kaluga and maybe than go to mini-tour.

8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of melodic black, folk and pagan metal?
We read good reviews from Greece, Tunis, USA and some other countries.

9. What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
Our guitarist Igor Pryanishnikov is in folk-metal band “Ladushka”. It preparing a great tour in Russia. Our drummer Sergey Senin is member of black-metal band “Asmund”. I don’t know anything about these plans.
 
10. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
The next album (or mini-album) will be experimentally. It will be folk-rock. But then we’ll be back to hard style with more using clear vocal.

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?
There are many bands had an influence on our music: “Dimmu Borgir”, “Summoning”, “Cradle of Filth”, “Thyrfing”, “Amon Amarth”, “Amorphis” (early), Russian – “Tvangeste”, “Arkona”, “Butterfly temple”.  And I listening many genres from classic music to death-metal.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Besides membership in Union of Slavic Communities I’m a head of internet-TV “Vyatich”, and engaged mix-fight.


13. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
We are surprised that our album listening in other countries and thank our listeners for interest to our music.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Mortis Cruentus/Hellthrone/2017 Full length Review


  Mortis  Cruentus  are  a  band  from  Spain  that  plays  a  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2017  album  "Hellthrone'.

  Dark  sounding  synths  and  demonic  voices  start  off  the  album  while  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  melodic  musical  direction  which  also  brings  in  a  great  mixture  of  both  black  metal  screams  and  death  metal  growls  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  chaotic  yet  melodic  fashion  along  with  some  synths  and  clean  playing  also  being  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  as  well  as  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  being  utilized  in  the  fast  riffing  and  when  spoken  word  parts  are utilized  they  give  the  music  more  of  a  ritualistic  feeling  and  symphonic  elements  can  also  be  heard  briefly.

  Mortis  Cruentus  plays  a musical  style  that takes melodic  black  metal  and  death metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  blood,  war,  death  demonology  and  occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Mortis  Cruentus  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  "Demonic  Veil"  "Sculptures  Of  Possession"  "Supreme  Hellish  Congregation"  and  "Blood  And  Blazing  Flesh". 8 out  of  10.

    

Monday, December 4, 2017

Vargrav/Netherstorm/Werewolf Records/2018 CD Review


  Vargrav  are  a  solo  project  from  Finland  that  plays  an  old  school  form  of  symphonic  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  album  "Netherstorm"  which  will  be  released  in  2018  by  Werewolf  Records.

  A  very  dark  and  symphonic  sound  starts  off  the  album  and  also   mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs  and  after  awhile  grim  black  metal  screams  make  their  presence  known  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  very  dark  and  melodic  fashion  along  with  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats.

 A  great  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  can  also  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  most  of the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  music  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  mid  90's  symphonic  style  of  the  genre,  when  spoken  word  parts  are  used  briefly  they  give  the  music  more  of  a  ritualistic  feeling and  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  can  also  be  heard  in  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  and  the  album  closes  with  a  cover  of  Emperor's  "Ancient  Queen".

  Vargrav  plays  a  style  of  symphonic  black  metal  that  goes  back  to  the  90's  era  of  the  genre,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism  and  Darkness  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Vargrav  are  a  very  great  sounding  old  school  symphonic  black  metal  solo  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Netherstorm"  "Ethereal  Visions  Od  A  MOnumental"  and  "The  Glory  Of  Eternal  Night".  8  out  of  10.

  

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Enhailer/Dumb Enough To Care/Blackseed Records/2017 EP Review


  Enhailer  are  a  band  from  Akron,  Ohio  that  plays  an  mixture  of  black,  doom  metal,  progressive  and  stoner  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  ep  "Dumb  Enough  To  Care"  which  will  be  released  on  December  11th  by  Blackseed  Records.

  Melodic  stoner  rock  riffs  start  off  the  ep  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  track  is  18  minutes  in  length  as  well  as  mixing  in  the  heaviness  of  sludge  and  doom  metal   and  at  times  the  music  also  gets  very  progressive  and  the  solos  and  leads  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  melody

  Vocals  are  mostly  angry  screams  and  growls  which  also  gives  the  music  touches  of  black  and  death  metal  while  the  riffs  get  more  up  beat  and  mid  tempo  at  times  and  the  music  also  brings  in  more  of  a  jam  orientated  and  improv  feeling  at  times  as  well  as  remaining  instrumental  and  experimental  for  a  few  minutes.

  Enhailer  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  progressive,  stoner,  doom  and  black  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Enhailer  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  progressive,  stoner,  black  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are a   fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  8  out  of  10.  

Frost Giant Interview

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

Matti Frost: Trying to get the lineup solidified and rehearsing for the release and subsequent shows. We lost our bassist a couple months ago, and the person we asked to join up immediagely after said yes but then backed out, so now we're in the process of auditioning people. We are also rehearsing the new songs and gearing up to play them live. It will be the first time we've played onstage since May of 2015.
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2.You have a new album coming out in early 2018, 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?

Matti: The sound is something I would describe as being rooted in extreme metal but also marbled with accessible riffing and tons of hooks, melodies, and choruses that are meant to be sung along with. It's multi-dimensional and dynamic with a lot of different emotions, and there are many parts of songs directly written to reference other songs or interludes on the album. It's meant to be listened to as one long song, like NOFX's 'The Decline' or Sleep's 'Jerusalem', and most recently, Insomnium had a record called 'Winter's Gate' that has the same type of structure.

As to how it compares with our older stuff... It's definitely more ambitious. The riffs are stronger. The vocal arrangements are more intricate. The guitar soloing is much more present. The production and recording quality are monstrous compared to our older releases. AJ Viana at Sylar Sound Studios really made us sound phenomenal. Overall, it's much more mature and pretty strong for a 55-minute release.
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3.A lot of your lyrics are inspired by Norse Mythology, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic and also what are some of the other lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?

Matti: I've been into Norse mythology going back to my childhood. The gods and goddesses, the stories and sagas of all the heroes and the people, all of it was very fascinating to me. I was also a fan of the Greek, Roman, and Celtic pantheons too. These tales were way more entertaining to me than the Bible stories I had learned, although the Old Testament is pretty brutal too from a storytelling perspective. Yet, I've never been particularly religious. Even as a kid I was skeptical about the existence of a literal God that watches over everything you do and keeps a list and will one day spend eternity judging the souls of the dead for what they did in life. It seemed a little unrealistic to me. When I started learning about the reconstructed religion and practice of Ásatrú, I was roped in, at first, like many others. It was around this time I got into a deep interest around the Ancient Norse, Vikings, and history of those peoples. Now, I am not a hardcore scholar, and there are few religions that have a stronger basis in research than Ásatrú. It's been called "the religion with homework". I did come out of my "metal dude into Thor" phase, though, and I like to think that in my 11 or so years of being Heathen I have a more nuanced and practical view of it in a modern context.

A lot of the other topics I deal with are allegorical references to the experiences and journey I've had in my life. The Harlot Star is, if you take the lyrics literally, a priest in the 1500's who cannot reconcile his doubts about Christianity, rejects the Church, flees for his life, tries to find the gods and people his ancestors came from, fails, and yet somehow stumbles into the rest of his life. In reality it reflects my own spiritual journey, and the second half of my life is yet to be written.
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4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Frost Giant'?

Matti: I first discovered what frost giants were when I started reading Norse myths. Then there was Dungeons & Dragons in my teens, and they were pretty formidable monsters. Primal, destructive forces of nature, wild and untamed, powerful and mighty, and fearsome. When I decided to name the band Frost Giant I was also rather surprised that it wasn't taken. That's always a plus.
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5.What are some of the best shows that yo have played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Matti: Our very first show in October of 2012 was with Agalloch. We have also had some great gigs playing with Korpiklaani, Ensiferum, Turisas, Wilderun, Trollfest, Ignite, Bane, Aether Realm, Swashbuckle, as well as many other local and regional bands. I don't actually know how we look onstage. I'm always more concerned with making sure I am playing decently and not singing out of key. Armen (Korohglian, also of Cognitive) and Ty Asoudegan are new to the band but have amazing energy, and Scott Breustedt has always had excellent stage presence. How we are onstage remains to be seen.
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6.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?

Matti: Yes, as of now we only have a couple of shows booked, but that will change once the album comes out. We're going to shoot for playing in different areas, choosing our shows carefully so as not to overexpose ourselves in one area or venue, and possibly some weekend trips or a week long tour in Spring or early Summer.
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7.The new album is coming out on 'Transcending Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

Matti:. I knew nothing about the label until my friend sent me a message saying that they were looking for albums to release. I sent Mike (Ramirez) the video for 'Prisoner of the Past' and a link to the whole album and he really liked it and made us an offer. It was a good deal, so we signed it. The label itself has a broad mix of bands, from death metal and deathcore to doom and sludge, to shoegaze, to desert rock and melodic black metal. Some of my favorite artists on the roster are Transylvania Stud, Grief & Bliss, Monolith Cult, and Vesperian Sorrow. There are many more bands on Transcending I haven't heard yet. It's a very diverse roster, and Mike & Chase (Brown) have done a lot of us and the other bands. We can't say enough good things about Transcending Records.
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8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of melodic and extreme metal?

Matti: We have had some positive feedback in the past from European fans, but outside of a few good reviews of our old EP and maybe an interview or two, not much else. We didn't know how to really promote our music to international markets back then and we are really just learning about it now. It seems that the heart of extreme metal is in other countries besides the United States. That's not to say there aren't amazing fans of extreme metal here, but not as many per capita compared to other countries. It seems like metal is just more popular overseas. We're hoping to hear more feedback from international audiences and possibly tour in Europe.
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9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Matti: As the main songwriter, I've always held that whatever I write under this band name will be whatever I want. Whatever sounds good to my ears. However, I now have a pretty amazing band to work with. These guys have way too much talent and skill for me to just say here, play this. Future writing might still be based on my ideas but the actual writing will probably be much more collaborative. As far as genres and styles, I have ideas for music that is far heavier, and music that is way more ear friendly. Whatever it is, it will still sound like us, though.
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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?

Matti: Wintersun amd early Ensiferum were the bands that got me serious about starting up a band that was sort of in that genre. Jari Mäenpää just has a way of writing that really appeals to me. I'd also add in a ton of skatepunk, melodic hardcore, and post-hardcore. Bands like NOFX, Strung Out, Lagwagon, MxPx, Grade, Small Brown Bike, Tyr, Avail, Lifetime, Ignite, Devin Townsend Project, Hum... So many different bands, and yet, there's a common thread to all of them that I've found.

I've been listening to a lot of non-metal bands lately, anything from 80's new wave and alt rock to modern indie rock. A few of the bands I've been really into are Strand of Oaks, Cigarettes After Sex, The War on Drugs, and Future Islands.
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11.According to your fb page some of your non musical influences include Game Of Thrones,  Dragonlance,  Deverry and Ancient History, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in thse topics?

Matti: I love to read and I love fantasy. In my opinion, the Deverry novels by Katharine Kerr are the most amazing Celtic fantasy books I've ever read, and I've read all of the books multiple times. I have not read all of the George R.R. Martin books yet but I am caught up on the HBO series. I go way back to my teens with Dragonlance by Weis & Hickman and other authors that have written for that world setting. I've read most of those too, many times. I have the Solamnic Oath tattooed on my chest. So... I am a bit of a fantasy literature geek. I frequently reference concepts and character archetypes from many of these books, and the song 'Silver Dagger' is written about a band of mercenaries featured all throughout the Deverry novels. Actual history has been a big influence too. The Harlot Star was a term that Martin Luther used to refer to comets back in the 16th century, as they threw a wrench in the application of geocentricity. Their paths across the sky, their orbits, didn't make sense to astronomers who were trying to make them fit in a cosmos where everything revolved around the Earth. They defied the divine order of the heavens. That term alone spawned and inspired the whole story told on this album. The comet, specifically Halley's Comet, is what plays the seed of doubt in the protagonist's mind as a young child, and then it's sort of hinted that he sees it 76 years later when he is on his deathbed and the comet returns and brings his life full circle.

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

Matti: Thanks for asking about us. I enjoy talking to folks about music, literature, or pretty much anything. If your readers are so inclined, they can follow us on Instagram @frostgiantofficial, on Facebook at facebook.com/frostgiantofficia l as well. We have a YouTube channel that needs more subscribers so we can get a custom URL, so please, search us out there and mash that button. And our music is available at frostgiant.bandcamp.com. The Harlot Star will be available there on 19 January 2018 and CDs can be ordered at transcendingrecords.com.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Sabhankra/From The Frozen Mountains/Metalism Records/2018 CD Review


  Sabhankra  are  a  band  from  Turkey  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  an  epic  and  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  on  tihs  recording  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  album  "From  The  Frozen  Mountains"  which  will  be  released  in  2018  by  Metalism  Records.

  Melodic  guitar  leads  start  off  the  album  along  with  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  bringing  in  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  as  well  as  the  riffs  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  the  music  also  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  death  metal  influences.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  synths  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  they  also  give  the  music  more  of  an  epic  and  symphonic  feeling  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length and  as  the  album  progresses  death  metal  growls  and  doom  metla  infleunces  can  also be  heard  briefly.

  On  this  recording  Sabhankra  moves  away  from  the  folk  elements  and  focuses  more  on  an  epic,  symphonic  and  melodic  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  epic  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Sabhankra  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  epic  and  melodic  black/death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "They  Are  Everywhere"  and  "From  The  Frozen  Mountains".  8  out  of  10.

Frost Giant/The Harlot Star/Transcending Records/2018 CD Review


  Frost  Giant  are  a  band  from  Pennsylvania  that  plays  a  mixture  of  folk,  melodic  black/death  and  hardcore  punk  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  album  "The  Harlot  Star"  which  will  be  released  in  2018  by  Transcending  Records.

  Acoustic  guitars  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  sound  effects  in  the  background  and  after  awhile  heavier  riffs  are  added  into  the  music  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  along  with  some  clean  pagan  vocals  also  being  used  at  times.

  Death  metal  growls  and  black  metal  screams  can  also be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  along  with  some  symphonic  elements  also  being  used  at  times  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  songs  also  mix  in  elements  of  folk  music  and  hardcore  punk  as  well  as  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  there  are  also  a  couple  of  instrumentals.

  Frost  Giant  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  folk,  melodic  black/death  metal  and  hardcore  punk  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  something  very  original,  the  production  sound s very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Heathenism,  Legends,  Mysticism,  and  Personal  Struggle  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Frost  Giant  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  folk,  melodic  black/death  metal  and  hardcore  punk  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Forgive  Me  Not"  "The  Forgotten  Graves"  and  "Monuments  To  Nothing".  8  out  of  10.      

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Lord Shades 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?
Alex : The new album will be released on the 8th of December 2017, we're preparing a French tour in 2018 and a series of shows along 2018 & 2019.

Cyril : Since we're done with the album, we've been looking for partners to promote and distribute it. We've inked a deal with Dooweet Agency which is in charge of promotion and distribution. Meanwhile, we're searching for gigs – at first in France, then we'll be trying to book gigs in Europe and get in touch with several European festivals.
We're preparing a show for the 13th of January that will be the starting point for the live promotion of the new album.

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?
Alex : « The Uprising Of Namwell » is our third album and the end of a trilogy.

Cyril : First, with each album we want our sound to evolve. We try to learn from our mistakes on the previous albums. The toughest point with us is that each instrument has to be audible, the amplified ones (bass, guitars, drums) that are the skeleton of our music, but also the traditional ones (acoustic guitar, accordion, African percussions…) as well as the backing vocals – which for this new album have been performed by a real choir, without samples and electronic stuff. Then, once everything is mixed properly, we have to add to it the orchestral samples, the sound effects and the various sonic atmospheres created by our arranger Olivier PERRIN with whom we've been working since our first album, and who delivers a performance which makes us really proud.
The sound of « The Uprising Of Namwell » may be darker than on our previous album, but it's also more straight forward !

3.This is your first album since 2011 can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
Alex : Yes, and the one before that was in 2008. I'd rather have some time running before starting to write new material, to let our tastes and expectations evolve between two albums. In doing so, in my opinion, a new album is inevitably more mature and different from the one before.

Cyril : Like Alex just said, that lapse of time allows us to put things into perspecvtive about what's been done in the past, and release a Lord Shades album which won't be a copy of the one before.
Between these two albums, we've been achieving some plans like playing at Wacken Open Air and Metal Days. We thank these two festivals for their trust. We also did a special show in France at Rock Metal Camp, which allowed us to play on stage with some of our studio guests. It was very interesting to show the audience something else than the average metal band, and help them discovering the human richness of the band.


4.Your lyrics have a concept involving a fantasy world that was made up by the songwriter, can you tell us a little bit more about it?
Alex : We have created the world and the saga of Lord Shades with the help of Laurent Barbarit, who is our official lyricist. He's been writing all of our lyrics since the beginning of the trilogy, we owe him a lot. The only exception on that new one is the choir singing in Latin, which has been written by Hugot Blanchet and the words in Arab written by Sofiane 2under, which he sings himself on the track « The Awakening ».

Cyril : As a matter of fact, all our lyrics are dealing with heroic fantasy. The story has been created from scratch. Laurent Babarit, our lyricist, wrote all by himself the words and the story after common ideas that we're discussing together during meetings about that topic.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Lord Shades'?
Alex : From the very first chapter of the trilogy, Lord Shades is a ghost locked within his own spell. We can see him sometimes as a dark misty mass, maybe that's one of the reasons why he's called « The Lord Shades ».

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?
Alex : Many French gigs and festivals have been amazing experiences, with great reception. But I think that Wacken 2012 and Metal Days 2014 still are the most amazing stages we've shared.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Alex : We're currently working on a co-produced tour for 2018, and looking for festivals in 2018-2019 in order to promote the new album and the whole trilogy as well.

Cyril : The plans for dates and tours are in progress, but it takes time to achieve that. It's hard today to set somehing reliable and serious. We don't want to play gigs that wouldn't be interesting neither for the audience nor for the band. Our goal is to deliver real shows that will transcribe Lord Shades' atmosphere and capture the audience.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of symphonic black and death metal?
Alex : The response to our second album has been excellent ! We've had a lot of positive reviews, and we can't wait to see how this third album will be greeted. We feel like waiting for doomsday !

Cyril : We don't claim to have reached a worldwide level with the second album, but the feedbacks were really good, from the media as well as from the fans.
Maybe this third album will help us reaching more people in various countries. We are currently waiting for feedback.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Alex : Anyway, on stage, in a communion with the numerous guests that we had on each album. The idea is to have much more than 4 people stepping on stage ! We tried it once, and we plan to make it again. Lord Shades really comes alive with those guests !

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?
Alex : Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Mozart, Benighted, Moonsorrow, Endlaved, Morbid Angel, Pink Floyd, Hanggai, Septic Flesh, Tinariwen… Many different things have an influence on us, all of us 4 have multiple and varied tastes.
Recently I discovered Skalmold live, and I went to see my favorite childhood band Helloween on their Pumpkins United tour.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Alex : Nature, country, fresh air… Everything that can be inspiring.

Cyril : Wine and good food… We're Gallic !

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Alex : First, huge thanks go to the guests who took part in our albums/demos/gigs, and without whom Lord Shades wouldn't have the same interest.
And last but not least, huge thanks to you !

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Guillotine/Self Titled/2017 Full Length Review


Guillotine are  a  band  from Georgia  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black,  doom  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of their  self  titled  and  self  released  2017  album.

  A  very  heavy  groove  metal  orientated  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with some  grim  black  metal  screams  a  few  seconds  later  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  after  awhile  death  metal  growls  also  start  to  make  their  presence  known.

  A  small  amount  of  melody  can  also  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  at  times  and  when  the  music  speeds  up a   great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  while  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  are  very  heavily  influenced  by  doom  and  sludge  metal  along  with  some  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  melodic  guitar  leads  can  be  heard  and  the  music  always  remains  heavy.

  Guillotine  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  black,  doom,  southern  style  sludge  and  death  metal and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  time  travel,  ancient  aliens,  inter  dimensional  vampire  gods  and  conspiracy  theory  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  Guillotine  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black,  sludge,  doom  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Black  Emperor"  "Save  The  Drill"  and  "Not Worth  Saving".  8  out  of  10. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Hildr Valkyrie Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the solo project since the recording and release of the new album?
First of all thank you for granting me the pleasure to have an interview with you.

For the time, all are in shadows, just few songs in a very primitive form, ideas that needs to bloom into something new. That was caused because my Keyboards in which I composed everything on, has been broken; and this took me some more time than I expected to learn new ways to write music with my midi and pc. Had to be familiar with new technologies that have never involved with and this kept me back by having fast new material for Hildr Valkyrie, but definitely there will be a new album in the main future.

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?
I can’t really give you a specific genre for the album as it comes for the music itself, almost all songs have their own personality in which also happened to my previous releases. You can find from Folk (polyphonic) to Viking metal, Black metal, Symphonic metal etc, you can recognize a lot of genres in, so how do we describe the music of Hildr Valkyrie? I simply do it from the themes that my lyrics refer to, so in just two words we can describe it as Heathen Metal.
Now as it comes to the differences between the releases of the past. I can say that still I kept the identity of Hildr Valkyrie, and in the same time my session guitarist Jan Twothousandarrows made the difference by playing a huge role in the nowadays sound of the band, he was free to act as he wanted and recorded the guitars and bass in free will also he added a part of the drum programming as well!  Then my sound producer Patric from WSL studio also put his knowledge to reveal the details of the music in this album and last but not least “time”, yes time that helped me to become a bit better than before, I am not a professional musician, I am self-taught one and time is my best friend in many occasions.

3.This is your first solo release since 2008, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
Yes, I am a “bit” slow with the releases of Hildr Valkyrie this is true, but as an artist I am not. In the meantime I have done some appearances in V/A either with covers, either with new songs as Hildr Valkyrie and also many, many collaborations with bands I appreciate so much in small or bigger roles. I can name you a few such as with Elffor (Basque/Spain), Emyn Muil (Italy), Helrunar (Germany), Eliwagar (Norway), Celtefog (Hellas), Voluspaa (Norway), Kawir (Hellas), The Wolves of Avalon (UK), Folkearth and Folkodia (International), Meneapneontes (Hellas) and many others that in total we can count around 45 different releases as far in my bio.     

4.A lot of your lyrics are based on Norse Mythology and Paganism, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?
From little child I was unfriendly with christian religion, something was wrong in my childish little mind, something did not fitted well. Later on I was considering myself as an agnostic. Years passed and found myself pretty close to the Nordic Paganism, I started to study, learning with much passion about Odinism, trying with each possible way to learn as much more I was able to; by reading online books that was not in my mother language and of course not the easiest way to achieve the goal I wanted. In the very beginning I thought I was strange and alone, but this did not bothered me at all because finally I felt complete into my soul. Later on I found European and American Folks from Odinic Rite that gladly accepted me as an equal member to their Religious community even if my blood is not from North Europe and gladly helped me to learn even more.
You see, Traditions of Europe must stay alive, even if you are Hellenes, or Norwegian, or Germanic, or Italian, or Basque, or Slav etc, because this is our Identity and our secure mean to survive cultural into the multiculturalism way of life that the clique of managers (because this is what they exactly are), the “big heads” in which we are (forced to) ruled from, compulsion us to live in deeper in this situation, day by day more and more, without being able to even speak about it; because automatically they point a finger to you screaming about politics. No! It is not about politics; Religion and Traditions are more than this and something complete different topic, it is about our European Cultural Identity. Christianity was and is one of their weapon as this religion itself is multicultural, all Nations under the banner of jehovah and his son yeshua the woodcutter, well no, my Gods are more than just this!
So, let’s go to the conclusion, because this question may never have an end. For me, these topics are not just fashion as for many meant to be, are not just fancy stories with swords and axes to play with, neither I wear my Mjollnir or carry Heathen Symbols on me for fun or any kind of fame or to create a name around my person, this is my living Faith, my Oath. 
And by the chance I would like to refer a problem that I am still reading in written articles or dialogs around the net for our Religion, Gods ARE, Gods DO exist, Odhinn IS not was, Thor IS not was, Gods can’t die and you want to call it Paganism in general? You want to call it Heathenism? You want to call it Old Faith? Asatru? Odinism? Hellenism? Nordic? Germanic? Slavic? Ancestral? This is not a dead Religion, we have to make up our minds and think different than the way they we’ve been taught as far from the christian society, and so; our Gods ARE!

5.You have worked both solo and with full bands, which one do you prefer?
Actually the time that I had true rehearsals with bands is a far past for me, far back before the creation of Hildr Valkyrie, just had a small “refresh” of memory of how it is with Kawir before we go on stage because I was called to be their guest (for the Hellenic live in Athens) for the 20th anniversary of the band.
Further more, I can not compare the full bands that they are asking me to join them, with my solo project, of course and I live the process through the first note till “that last little detail” which is needed to be changed, I get the inspiration to write lyrics through the music and sing to give the last touch to the songs, something that I do not enjoy when I get complete songs to sing, but in the end; for me it is the same satisfaction, and to tell you the truth, I feel more responsible to the bands that they trust in me and ask to join them. To my creations, I can find mistakes (no one is perfect) but I care much more if I find mistakes to my guest or session appearances.

6.You have also released a great amount of material with your other musical projects, do you spend a great amount of time writing, performing and recording music?
Well, I never thought of that. You know, I never count the time when I am doing these activities. For me the time stops when I start a recording, when finish and I get up my head it is or dark, or dawn. I forgot completely the time, I am somewhere else, in another cosmos, in another dimension.

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of viking and folk metal?
Ow, by my own standards of course I am more than happy! I have fans from almost all around the world. I could never imagine that when I first started Hildr Valkyrie. In the beginning I must admit that the enthusiasm of the fans was much more than now, and to be honest, this is my fault because whatever you leave it behind it does leave you too. I should have been a little more active with Hildr Valkyrie, for example to had at least one more album in the meantime to keep the interest of my fans, but Hildr Valkyrie is not the only thing I deal with in my life of course!

8.what is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that you are a part of?
Most of the bands that I have been involved with are active, and as I am learning news from them, they keep on recording new music. Some they will call me again, as my most of collaborations are not just for one album and I’ll be more than happy to give my help again! I also have new proposals for new collaborations and one new born black metal band that we are just started to record our first songs with a very talented Hellenic guitarist and the band name is “Solis in Antris” which means “Alone in the Caves” (you are the first that I announce it)!

9.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
I don’t know what future will bring, more collaborations maybe? New bands? I just hope that the Norns will be well favored as possible!

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
The mainly influences in which I never hid, are Falkenbach and Summoning. Two different genres of metal in which I combine them in a special way with my own identity. This is also one of the reasons why I can’t refer to one specific genre for my one-woman band. 
At the time, I am listening more to Anglo-Saxon bands such as Winterfylleth, Wodensthrone, Ildra etc but I do not think that this showed up to my music since my skills can not touch these megatheriums!

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

I like photography and photography manipulation, even if I have not the time as I used to. Also with my husband and beloved friends we run an organization under the name of Thyrsos – Oikos of Ethnikoi Hellenes, in which members and friends organize and have active practice by having Rites to the Gods, we have done European meetings with other members of Heathen organizations, we have presented Hellenism within European Heathenism to other countries, street activities such as raising banners and protest, also we run online publications that has to do with Heathenism in all its forms, and I think if you add the daily job for earing my living and music activities is a full life! 

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
 I think this was a wonderful interview, one of the few indeed! Thank you for taking time to write these questions and I must thank also and your readers for their patience and interest to read this interview too! 

Haire!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Cadaveria/Far Away From Conformity/Sleaszy Rider Records/2017 CD Re-Issue Review


  Cadaveria  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a    mixture  of  black  and  gothic  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2004  album  "Far  Away  From  Conformity"  which  was  re-issued  in  2017  by  Sleaszy  Rider  Records.

  Grim  black  metal  screams  along  with  some  heavy  guitar  riffs  start  off  the  album  while  also  using  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  melodic  vocals  are  also  used  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  along  with  some  acoustic  guitars  also  being  added  onto  some  of  the  tracks.

  Whispers  can  also  be  heard  briefly  while all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  along  with  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  some  tracks  also  bring  in  acoustic  guitars,  keyboards  and  goth  elements  but  keeping  the  focus  on  more  of  a  heavier  mid  tempo  style  and  also  adding  in  elements  of  traditional  metal  and  they  also  bring  in  a  cover  of  Blondie's  "Call  Me".

  On  this  recording  Cadaveria  brought  into  more  of  a  black  and  heavy  metal  mixture  while  only  having  a  small  touch  of  goth  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  was  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Cadaveria  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black,  goth,  and  heavy  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  re-issue.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Blood  And  Confusion"  "The  Divine  Rapture"  "Out  Body Experience"  and  "Vox  of  Anti-Time".  8  out  of  10. 

  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Antipope Interview

answers by Mikko Myllykangas (vocals, guitars (studio), bass, and songwriting of Antipope)

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?


Hello, thanks for asking! Well, quite recently, we have been focusing on promoting the album mainly through social media, giving interviews and so forth. But as the album was recording over past four years, there has been a lot of stuff going on. The biggest thing was the decision made little over a year ago to wake Antipope from the slumbering state and actually finish our 4th album, which turned out to be “Denial/Survival”. Bandwise, we have also had some changes as Juho, our long-time guitarist decided to leave the band, also a year ago. As we had no live activities planned, we didn’t rush into finding a replacement as I took care of the recording guitars and bass for the album with Antti, our other guitarist, served as a consultant and as an extra pair of ears.

In last December we finally wrapped up the cycle for the previous album, “3 Eyes of Time”, by releasing the music video for the song “White Summer Night”. It’s too bad that video received very little attention at the time of its release, as we were practically in a non-existent state as a band for media. But it’s definitely a nice piece of audiovisuals, absolutely worth checking out!

So it’s been kind of like tying up some loose ends and getting our new album ready for the release. Now that it’s done, were rehearsing as a band again and I’ve also started to work on the next album. I haven’t had such a long break from writing new music since I started to play in a band back in early 90s, so I can tell you that there’s a huge amount of ideas emerging from my subconsciousness…

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?
“Denial/Survival” has retained some of our past characteristics but overall, I feel that it is a departure from the previous two albums, House of Harlot (2011) and 3 Eyes of Time (2013). As those albums were written to be a bit less “progressive” than our early work, when I began to write the music that ended up on Denial/Survival back in December 2013 I felt that I wanted to write an album that would be more in line with those 70s prog albums that have songs from many different styles creating an artistic whole. I didn’t think so much about how the songs would turn out on stage as we had no shows planned for the foreseeable future. Well, in the end, I think there are a few nice live songs too!

Obviously, you can find the various styles of metal that have been influential for me, ranging from black metal to progressive death metal and even some radio-friendlish stuff with pop grooves.

While mixing the album, I wanted to make sure that you can actually hear what is being played by different instruments, so I think the general sound also differs from our previous efforts. While the past two records have a kind of a industrial metal undertone with rather uniform sound characteristics throughout the albums, Denial/Survival has more experimenting with different sounds. The rhythm guitar tracks are recorded with active pickups but here and there I used my other guitars that have passive pickups to give the album more organic and dynamic sound. The final lead melody on the album is played with my Ibanez RG505 with DiMarzio Evolutions, which actually had the twentieth anniversary this year. I hadn’t touched that particular guitar in years as I was looking for more aggressive and “modern” sound (well, Evos are pretty aggressive too), so when I was thinking how to finish the album, my old guitar kind of just gave me the melody without much asking.

All in all, I think our new album offers a more nuanced side of Antipope’s music than our previous efforts.


3.This is your first full length since 2013 can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
Well, originally, back in May 2013, we didn’t plan to take a break but it was more about wrapping up the band stuff for good. We, and me personally, were quite exhausted after writing two EPs and three full-length albums in a space of five years, between 2008 and 2013. Our original drummer, Jyri, died in June 2008 of aortic aneurysm, and as we were in the middle of releasing our first promo EP “Chaosmos”, we wanted to make sure that things would not be stopped because of the tragedy. We found a new drummer rather quickly, and I think Jyri’s death partially installed a certain mode into my thinking that I should do everything to keep the band project going forward. Well, have any obsession for a few years 24/7 and see what happens. Writing music was not the thing that made me want to step away from music and band stuff but the endless struggle to try to book gigs and to promote our music online and any way possible.

As we did almost all by ourselves while having day-jobs and families and other activities, I started to question in my head what’s the point of all this. I also had a PhD thesis to finish, which I did in 2014, so I wanted to be able to focus on my career outside of music. A simple break of one-two years would have been in order, but as none of us had actually had a break from band activities, it felt like an all or nothing solution was the only choice. Of course, and I admit this with more than little shame, it didn’t take long for me to realize that going from one extreme to other (having a band and pushing it with 110% to no band at all) was not really the solution I was looking for. I think it was only after 7 months of our “break-up” that I began to write music for Denial/Survival.

Retrospectively, I think in the end the break from band activities and constant writing new music was a good thing. I had a chance to re-activate my other hobbies, so I went back to practicing kendo (Japanese sword fighting) which I had practiced in the mid-2000s. It was a good experience to get to know the more about the physical side of your being, kind of like re-connect with your body, how it moves, what it can do, and because of being over 30 years old, what it cannot do anymore as well as it used to when you were a teenager. Thanks to being quite competitive by nature, I think I ended up pushing myself too much with kendo also, so nowadays I try to maintain the balance between mental and physical by going for long walks with my dogs, doing yoga and other little bit more mellow stuff.

I think it was during the summer 2016 that I finally felt that I “need” to finish our fourth album and I started to talk about it to other guys in the band. As things seldom go exactly like you planned, Juho decided that it was time for him to leave the band and concentrate fully on other things. Partially, the departure of Juho, who had been in Antipope since 2005, ignited the creative spark after all thinking and talking about ‘maybe we should…maybe’. Those kinds of changes in your social sphere makes you re-evaluate what do you do and why. And what I discovered that the reason why I had had a band since I was 12 years old was that I could write music of my own and have fun playing it with my friends. And that’s what we have been doing for the past year now!

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
The lyrics on Denial/Survival revolve around what one thinks life is about and what millions of years of evolution have buried inside one’s psyche, and how these two things might collide. In fact, it is about oneness but because of our ideologies, beliefs, and politics people tend to think that whatever is buried in one’s unconsciousness is there only because of nurture and education, and by more education people could be taught not to feel certain unwanted emotions at all.

I think catching yourself from lying to oneself is one of the biggest revelations that people can experience, and that realization is at the core of Denial/Survival. I think it’s a continues struggle to stay awake, so to say, and be honest to oneself. As our previous album ends with the track “The Logic of Self-Discovery”, the present album deals with the difficulties that an individual may experience on the path to self-discovery.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Antipope?
The name Antipope is best understood regarding such concepts as “antimatter” or “antigravity”, as an absence of something, rather than as an opposition against something. The absence in this case is the none-existence of authorities, religious or otherwise. Antipope is not against religion per se, but about the sheep mentality that gives power to those who know how to exploit it. We’re not talking about anarchy either, and I think it’s pretty obvious that as humans are social animals, we do need some kind of a social structure.

Naturally, when you start to question the authorities, it is you who have to provide the answers or at least know where to look for them, when no one is any longer telling you what to do. With it comes great responsibility, as “do what thou wilt” requires quite a lot of premeditation, empathy, and acute self-knowledge, unless you want to end up as a psychological and social train wreck. So, Antipope is a kind of a court jester telling you that there’s no court at all.

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?
I think our best show was in 2011 Jyrkkärock festivals. Our slot was the first but despite of that there was quite a lot of people watching as I poured a bottle of water over my head (it was a really hot day) while thrashing the stage with my corpse-paint kind of make-up running down my black leather stage wear. Another good one was in Helsinki, where we played the release party gig of “House of Harlot”. The crowd really got into sing-along while we performed “Rapeman” from that album.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
Plans yes, but nothing definite yet.

8.The new album was released on 'TCM Entertainment', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
TCM Entertainmaint is a new name for our own old label “Torture Chamber Music”. We released our first album Desert through Torture Chamber Music back in 2010. While browsing the interweb I found small labels with same name, so I wanted to change our label’s name to more entertainment-business like. We wanted to handle the publication of Denial/Survival by ourselves as I wanted to get it out as soon as possible after the finalization, and only other option could have been to contact some small independent label and see if they would have been interested. But as we had worked with independent label before, we know that we need to do most of the work any way (and pay everything, obviously), I thought that we could put this one out on our own label.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of extreme and progressive metal?
The reviews so far have been generally positive, some even outstandingly positive. As the album presents quite varied set of songs, it’s nice to notice that at least few reviewers have had patience to actually listen to the album and dig a little bit deeper into what we offer. Personally, I didn’t have too high expectations precisely because of the not-so-coherent nature of the album, even though I like it just the way it is. Most of the metal albums are, in my personal opinion, very, very, very repetitive and way too conscious about the expectations of the audience. As an admirer of Frank Zappa, John Zorn, Devin Townsend, and 70s prog rock, I feel that there always should be room for variations and even humour on an album. Luckily for us, out there seems to be people who also feel this way and find Antipope’s music worth of listening.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
As I mentioned previously, I already started to write the songs for the next album. While writing Denial/Survival I discovered some interesting and new musical territories, I feel like I want to explore them a bit more. Right now I feel that I want to write a bit more cohesive album, but you never know! It’s very possible that there’s going to be a few weird tracks there too. But someone recently described Antipope as “progressive extreme metal”, I think I want to explore a bit more what that could mean.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
On Denial/Survival, I tried to fuse together quite a lot of different influences. A few years ago, I listened to Muse quite a lot, enjoyed the dramatic qualities of their songs. Also bands such as Primordial and Gojira have been regularly on my playlist recently. Devin Townsend is also someone whose music I listen to constantly, and his production style has had a big impact on how I approach producing vocals on past couple of albums.

Most recently, I’ve listened quite a lot to the latest Steven Wilson album, as well as constantly re-visiting my all-time favorites, Iron Maiden, Cradle of Filth, Nine Inch Nails and Tool. The latest new discovery has been Australians Ne Obliviscaris. Their latest album definitely is not boring and repetitive.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
My day-job naturally fills up whatever free space there is between waking up and going back to sleep together with writing music and keeping the band running. I would say that same goes with the rest of the band, we all have day-jobs and we try to do our best to navigate some time and energy to be put into making music. Personally, I like long walks in nature with my dogs, reading, movies, the usual stuff, really. Quite recently, I tried my hand in online gaming, but I soon found the unrestrained anonymous malice of even casual gamers towards other players too tiresome and both socially and psychologically appalling. Maybe it’s just not my thing. I rather enjoy the company of people who at least try to keep their nature in check.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
To all of you who read this interview, if you haven’t checked out our new album “Denial/Survival”, make sure to do so now. You can find it on Spotify and other online stores, and if you want to support what we do, go to our online store at antipope.bandcamp.com, and follow Antipope on Facebook! (Please forgive me this little moment of self-promotion)

And finally,, I have to say that I really enjoyed your thought provoking questions. I hope you make something out of my ramblings.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Folkodia/Battle Of The Milvian Bridge/Stygian Crypt Productions/2017 CD Review


  Folkodia  are  an  international  band  with  members  from  France,  Italy,  Argentina,  Germany,  United  States,  Greece,  Russia,  Switzerland  and  Monaco  that  play  a  mixture  of  epic  folk  and  viking  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album "Battle  Of  The  Milvian  Bridge"  which  was  released  by  Stygian  Crypt  Productions.

  Heavy  riffs  and  melodic  guitar  leads  start  off  the  album  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  some  male  and  female  pagan  vocals  being  added  into  the  music  a  few  seconds  later  as  well  as  death  metal  growls  and  black  metal  screams  also  being  utilized  at  times.

  Folk  instruments  are  also  mixed  into  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs  while  the  riffs  also  get  very  melodic  at  times  along  with  one  track  also  bringing  in  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  and  elements  of  power  metal  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  clean  vocals  and  when  the  music  finally  speeds  up a   small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  and  some  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of acoustic  gutiars.

  Folkodia  plays  a  musical  style  that  mixes  folk  with  melodic  viking  metal  along  with  the  heaviness  of  black  and  death  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while the  lyrics  cover  European  mythology  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Folkodia  are a   very  great  sounding  mixture  of  viking  and  folk  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Battle  Of  The  Milvian  Bridge"  "Battle  Of  Salamis"  "Hussar  Angels"  and  "Red  Rubicon".  8  out  of  10.

    

Monday, November 20, 2017

Norilsk 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?

Le passage des glaciers is being released on November 24, which means we are currently preparing all the pre-orders, including a new shirt designed by Misanthropic-Art.com. We also have a new lyric video for the song ''Noirceur intérieure'', to be premiered the same week. The band has been rehearsing for the album release show, planned on December 8th, in Ottawa. Aside from this, there is always plenty of planning, booking, and media communication surrounding a new release, which keeps us busy.

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?

The previous releases were rough around the edges, intentionnally imperfect, and full of fuzz/distortion texture. The new album is more melodic, colder in texture, its structure are a little more varied, and overall the lyrics are more personal. I think people will recognize the guitars and the general sound that we developed previously, but with a few tweaks in the amps setting and mixing. We are very pleased with the work of Mike Bond, producer/engineer at Wolf Lake Studios, who has been instrumental in defining our sound on this album.

3.Your lyrics cover mythological and historical themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

Most of our lyrics are in French, which may create a bit of mystery, and sometimes confusion. We had this song ''Japetus'' on the previous album, which has been interpreted by many from the standpoint of mythology (Japetus was a Greek titan); however the lyrics are about the former Japetus (or Iapetus) ocean, which we use as a metaphor to our music. We take a great interest in history and culture, but when we incorporate it into our artistic universe it's symbolic or a means to express something. For example, on the new album, we have a song called ''Namolennye'', which uses cultural space and religious objects (icons and iconostasis) to express a certain form of passage and estrangement.

4.I know that the band was named after a city in Siberia, Russia, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?

I would say it's isolated, harsh, cold, nordic, vast, and beautiful like our brand of death-doom metal.

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

Each of us may pick different shows, but mine would probably be the Black Mourning Light Festival in Edmonton, October 2016, and the Earslaughter Festival in Montreal, June 2016. I have been told that our stage performance sheds a different light on Norilsk; I think our shows are equal parts solemn and heavy. This contrast can be witnessed by moments when the music is slow and the crowd is contemplative, and other times when we pick up the beat and deliver solid headbanging.

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

The album release show is planned on December 8th, at House of Targ in Ottawa. Mostly because of Winter in this part of the world, we do not plan to hit the road before the Spring. It is our intention to play dates in Central/Eastern Canada in the Spring, with the possibility of a tour later in the Fall. We will definitely consider any reasonable invitation in 2018.

7.On the albums the band works as a duo but has another line-up for live shows, are you open to expanding the line up in the studio?

This is something we will probably discuss and consider every time we hit the studio, so the answer to your question is yes/maybe. Vision, time, commitment, contribution, interpersonal compatibility, and budget are considerations that would continue guiding our decision in that regard. For this last recording session, Nick Richer and I had a clear idea of what we wanted, musically speaking, and our intention was to move through the studio process relatively quickly; this is why we recorded everything just the two of us with engineer Mike Bond, and opted for guest musicians.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of the more dark and extreme genres of metal?

Without pretending to please everyone in these genres, it is clear to me that a majority of dark and extreme music fans are more open-minded than the 'mainstream' type of audience—even when it comes to commercial metal. As you know, black, death-doom, sludge metal and similar genres benefit from a certain niche, which in return provides international reach. Quantitatively, Norilsk probably received more positive comments from UK, or US; but the amazing thing with the underground scene and extreme genres is that there will always be someone across the globe that will listen to your music and connect to it; whether it's in our hometown or in Norilsk, Russia.

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

It's true that we play in a constellation of bands, and some of these have been very active lately. Nick's long-standing band Outrage AD is scheduled to release an album through Nosral Recordings this Winter; my other band Mortör has released its third album last Spring; I also released an EP with a collective called TGRE in September; our live guitarists Tom and Chris have been busy releasing a split with their band Fumigation last Spring, and Tom released a solo album.

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

It's hard to say where this will lead us, but it does not exclude exploration, or revisiting some of the harsher sides of the first album (ex. funeral, or sludge). Among the things we want to maintain however, are elements of both continuity and progression between the albums; like a reference and a dialogue, while we undertake the next chapter.

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

Le passage des glaciers contains music that was composed from 2013 to 2017; during this period, we drank from the fountain of death-doom to compose this album, especially using influences like Paradise Lost, old Katatonia, October Tide, and Morgion. Having said that, we probably listen to old and new bands equally, and genres ranging from black metal, funeral doom, death, thrash, sludge, post-everything, dark wave, and much more. Tonight, for example, I was listening to the latest Kauan, Bell Witch, and Zao.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

For me, I'd say architecture and history; for Nick Richer, probably photography and beer reviewing.

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

I would like to acknowledge the help of our good friend Nic Skog at Hypnotic Dirge Records, who worked hard for releasing and promoting this album, and respecting our artistic vision. Visit the label's website and check out the great black and doom albums released under the HDR banner.

Also, a special thanks to you for your time organizing this interview, and for listening to our music.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Antipope/Denial/Survival/TCM Entertainment/2017 Full Length Review


  Antipope  are  a  band  from  Finland  that  plays  a  very  melodic  and  progressive  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  with  some  elements  of  gothic  and  doom  metal and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Denial/Survival"  which  was  released  by  TCM  Entertainment.

  Prog  rock  elements  start  off  the  album  along  with  a  mixture  of  both  clean  and  melodic  riffing  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  musical  direction  while  also  keeping  the  progressive  elements  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  presented  on  the  recording.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  while  the  vocals  are  mostly grim  yet  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  along  with  some  blast  beats  also  being  utilized  at  times  and  clean  vocals  are  also  utilized  at  times  and  some  tracks  also  bring  in  acoustic  guitars.

  A  couple  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  some  of  the  slower  riffs  also  add  in  a  touch  of  atmospheric  doom  metal  along  with  some  of  the  fast  riffs  also  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  the  songs  also  bring  in a  great mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts,  death  metal  growls  are  also  utilized  at  times  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  on  the  closing  track  a  small  amount  of  flamenco  guitars  can  be  heard.

  Antipope  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  progressive  and  melodic  black/death  metal  while  the  goth  and  doom  metal  elements  gives  the  songs  more  originality,  the  production  sound s very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  self  discovery,  death  and  rebirth  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Antipope  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  and progressive  mixture  of  black,  death  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Waters  Below"  "Der  Sadist" "An  Unconditional  Ritual  To  Summon  The  Prince"  and  "Resolution".  8  out  of  10.

   

Hildr Valkyrie/Revealing The Heathen Sun/Stygian Crypt Productions/2017 CD Review


  Hildr  Valkyrie  is  a  solo  artist  from  Greece  that  plays  an  experimental  and  ambient  mixture  of  folk,  heathen  and  viking  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  her  2017  album  "Revealing  The  Heathen  Sun"  which  was  released  by  Stygian  Crypt  Productions.

  Tribal  style  percussion starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  female  vocals  a  few  seconds  alter  while  the  music  also brings  in  a  very  tribal,  ritual  and  shamanistic  atmosphere  and  after  the  thunder  sounds  the  music  goes  into  more  of  a  heavier  and  symphonic  musical direction  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  leads.

  Black  metal  screams  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  whispers  can  also  be  heard  at  times  along  with  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  parts  as  well  as  the  riffs  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  when  the  music  finally  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  and  as  the  album  progresses  the  music  gets  more  experimental and  also  mixes  in  more  ambient  touches  and  when  acoustic  guitars  and  flutes  are  utilized  they  bring  in  elements  of  folk  music  onto  the  recording.

  Hildr  Valkyrie  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  viking  and  folk  metal  while also  mixing  in  elements  of  black  metal,  experimental  and  ambient  to  create  something very  original,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Norse  Sagas  and  Mythology  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Hildr  Valkyrie  are  a  very  great  sounding  experimental  and  ambient  mixture  of  folk  and  viking  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should c heck  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Ove  Lands  Mountains  And  Shade"  "The  Rune's  Song"  "An  Ode  To  Allfather  Odhinn"  and  "Summoning  The  Heathen  Fire".  8  out  of  10.

       

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sar Isatum Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

Hello,  first of all, thank you for the interview.  We are currently  hard at work writing new music for our next release and preparing for a big show with belphegor and our cd release show.

2.You have a new album coming out in November, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

Abhorrent, ethereal, cryptic and at times atmospheric.

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

Our lyrics are not only based on Sumerian theme,  as we only have a few songs that that refer to the topic, the lyrical content in our music  is not limited to one theme.

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

Sar Isatum's lyrics are inspired by native folklore, science fiction, historical events, extraterrestrial theory and the reimagining  of bible happenings from outside points of view. The lyrics tell stories ranging from visions of an apocalyptic and desolate future to native tales of frozen hearted giants to stories of extraterrestrials seeking asylum from a dying solar system only to enlighten prehistoric man

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

A fire is devastating, it destroys  everything in it's path, and that's how we perceive our musical style, our music is driven by the inner fire that each member posses and it's  represented not only in our recorded music but our live performances

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far?

We have played several great shows,  in a few days we are playing with belphegor,  and we played with inquisition and Uada last month, those are few of the best shows we've played.

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

We do plan on booking a tour for 2018 we will start booking for it soon,  we have also been confirmed  for several fest in 2018.
Anyone interested in booking the band can contact us at isatumsar666@yahoo.com

8.Have you received any label interest?

Yes we have but we haven't  found the right label deal. We just teamed up with Death Portal productions and exalted woe for a distribution deal for the release of the album but we're still searching for the right label be a part of.

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

So far it has been received  very well,  a lot of good feed back not only locally but worldwide, but there's still much work to do to get the actual recognition we are aiming for.

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

Myself (JP Dalkhu)  and cannibal (bass)  both play in a death metal band Vomit God,  we have a tour set up next year and a few fest including las vegas death fest. Our two new members Seven(guitars) and Lesath(keys) come from suns of sorath and they just released an ep.  Seven is also the drummer in pile of priest and they are also releasing an ep nov. 24. Nico has been our live guitar player for the past 7 months and his band is depths of dementia and they are also releasing an album soon.  Our singer Demothi only focuses in S.I and his art.

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

The atmosphere in the bandroom and pur compositions have been better than ever,  the introduction of the new members has been outstanding, we are writing new music and are very pleased in the direction  that the new material is heading. We are all in the same mental mode and have the same  determination which is key to making  great music and being a successful band.

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?

Some of our musical influences have been emperor, gorgoroth, dark funeral, old man's child   to name a few but we strive on uniting the elements of several styles and influences with in our members and aiming to make our own sound.
I personally have been listening a lot to 3 bands. Emptiness, Igorr,  and the bm from turkey the sarcophagus.


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

On behalf of Sar Isatum I want to thank you and the readers for the interview.
We will be leaving our mark in the black metal world, if we come to a city near you come out and witness our intense  live performance and purchase our album.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Jarun/Sporysz/Arachnophobia Records/2017 CD Review


  Jarun  are  a  band  from  Poland  that  plays  a  mixture  of  progressive,  folk  and  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Sporysz"  which  will b e  released  in  December  by  Arachnophobia  Records.

  Powerful  sounding  bass  guitars  along  with  some  drum  beats  start  off  the  album  while  the  acoustic guitars  bring  in  elements  of  progressive  and  folk  music  and  after  awhile  the  music  gets  very  heavier  and  also  introduces  deep  death  metal  growls  and  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  onto  the   recording.

  Clean  vocals  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  along  with  most  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  a  brief  use  of  melodic  chants  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  saxophones  are  also  used  briefly  on  the  closing  track.

  Jarun  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  folk  music  and  mixes  it  with  progressive  black  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Polish  and  cover  death,  madness,  humans,  nature  and  the  transformation  of  seasons.

  In  my  opinion  Jarun  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  folk  and  progressive  black  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Powidoki"  and  "Malowany  Ogien".  8  out  of  10.