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dArKthrone ! hornA hAmmers of misfortune !

ensLAved

a Kreao tor Let ch
s reign

ISSN 1715-2453 UNRESTRAINED!
Printed in Canada

Issue 39 $4.99

! ! ! !

CyniC ! Amon AmArth ! GojirA ! KAmpfAr ! Burst svArt LoGhin ! mAriLLion ! GrAyCeon ! iCed eArth BooK of BLACK eArth ! ofermod ! psyCroptiC CrippLe BAstArds ! & more…

Yo u r a u t h o r i t y o n t h e m e t a l u n d e r g r o u n d ! • w w w. U N R E S T R A I N E D M A G . c o m

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e was a one-of-a-kind. His personality spilled over everything that he did…and he did a tremendous amount! His nickname, “The Energizer,” taken from the Energizer Bunny, was accurate. He never stopped. Until, on December 7, 2008, for the first time…he did. Adrian was the sort of guy who could carry on three conversations simultaneously. And type an email. And be on instant messenger talking to who knows how many other people. And teasingly scold his beloved cat, Yosemite Sam. And listen to a CD by an obscure band and write a review on it. All at the same time. What would cause complete sensory overload for most was mild multitasking for Adrian. It was Adrian’s ability to thrive in the centre of a veritable maelstrom of press releases, concerts, interviews, reviews, and publicity agents that enabled Unrestrained! to become all that it is. As Unrestrained! evolved from a photocopied fanzine to a full-blown magazine with worldwide distribution, Adrian’s vision and energy were both the engine and the rudder of the magazine. He powered it. He steered it. He put himself on the line for the magazine with a frequency and depth that would send lawyers and financial planners running in the opposite direction for fear that he would attempt to retain their services. He did this without a second thought. He always put the magazine ahead of such niceties. I was honoured when he asked me to join him as editor of the magazine a few issues ago. We were very different people—complete opposites, actually—but we were able to complement each other in terms of demeanor, perspectives, and skills. Adrian kindly extended to me the opportunity to share in the privilege of writing the editorial for each issue. Adrian, as publisher and senior editor, obviously could have decided to reserve this column entirely for himself. I would not have questioned him had he made that decision, as it was a prerogative that he more than earned. But that was never Adrian’s way. For Adrian, sharing with friends was always at the heart of his decisionmaking process. I never would have anticipated that, with my second run at the editorial column, I would have the difficult task of writing a eulogy for both Adrian and the magazine. The past year was a tough one for Adrian, but he did what he always did. He focused on the positive. He identified his goal and he found a solution that was uniquely his. For him, any setback was an opportunity to try something new: a magazine, a publicity company, a record label. Now, one of these projects is too much for your typical human being. But Adrian, dynamo that he was, opted for all of the above. He succeeded spectacularly, always with his sense of humour and his endless consideration for others firmly intact. As always, he managed to turn his passion into a lifestyle. At the time of his passing, he was extremely close to meeting his next goal, which was to return to New York and marry his great flame, Renee. Everything that he took on over the last several months was done with that goal in mind. As I mentioned above, this will be the last issue of Unrestrained! This issue was mere days from being completed when Adrian died. With the exception of this editorial, it has been left as Adrian last saw it, outside of a few layout tweaks and typographical corrections. Adrian was the heart and soul of the magazine and, with his passing, so passes the magazine. It was a great run. While the issue that you now hold in your hands was certainly not intended as a finale, I am pleased that we will be able to release it in honour of Adrian’s memory. The things that we learned from Adrian are many, but here is what I learned: If you live life according to your passions, it will be infinitely rewarding. This was very true for Adrian. That attitude brought him his every achievement. His approach inspired others, too. I do not think that it would be possible to count the number of people who decided to make their dream a reality after watching Adrian do exactly that, time and again. Adrian was much too modest to even consider that notion, but I do think that, amidst the fond memories, the humorous anecdotes, and the genuine affection, it was his ability to inspire others to do what they dream that will be his ongoing legacy. Adrian, may you rest in peace…with the music blaring. Tate Bengtson

Adrian Bromley
Nov. 30 1971 – Dec. 7, 2008

Editor: Tate Bengtson • tateb@uniserve.com Editor/Coordinator: Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley • vinylpillager@gmail.com Staff WritErS: • Chris Bruni [cvbruni@rogers.com] • Kevi Metal [doomhauled@hotmail.com] • Laura Wiebe Taylor [killeatexploittheweak@yahoo.ca] • Brian J. Wright [tyrannorabbit@hotmail.com] • Sean Palmerston [sean@frightenstein.com] • Kim Kelly [kim.marie.kelly@gmail.com] • José Carlos Santos [razorbladesmile@mail.telepac.pt] • RealDeadOne [realdeadone@hotmail.com] • Scott Alisoglu [Salisoglu@cox.net] • Terry ‘Metal Demon’ Demeter [Metal.Demon@sasktel.net] • Ray Van Horn [crtiger@comcast.net] • Dave Sanders [deadmoonrising@gmail.com] • Sarah Kitteringham [sarah_kitteringham@hotmail.com] • Rajah Marcelo [shadyrajah@hotmail.com] • Alex Ristic [alexsristic@yahoo.ca] • Jay Gorania [gorania13@yahoo.com] Layout/dESign: Rex Zachary • url: www.rexorcist.com and Unrestrained! staff advErtiSing: Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley Copy Editor: Rob Hughes • trhughes@telus.net finanCES: Yosemite Sam • ieatvinylforbreakfast@yahoo.com WEbMaStEr: Winston Bromley • url: www.unrestrainedmag.com Copyright 2008 IXMATI MEDIA All Rights Reserved on entire contents; nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without permission from the publisher. ISSN 1715-2453 UNRESTRAINED! E-MaiL: info@unrestrainedmag.com UNRESTRAINED! is presently distributed by: Kable, Disticor, Century Media, Relapse, Hastings, Civilian Death Network, Ubiquity Distributors and sold in Chapters, Indigo Books, Barnes & Noble, Newbury Comics, Metal Haven and other national retailers.

This is The final issue of unresTrained! magazine. iT is being released by adrian’s friends and family as a TribuTe To him. While shocked and saddened by adrian’s passing, We Take solace in The facT ThaT We have The opporTuniTy To share This issue WiTh our readers. We knoW ThaT iT is WhaT adrian Would have WanTed. We Would like To exTend our Thanks To fans of The magazine for Their supporT over The years. our deepesT sympaThies go ouT To all Those Who loved adrian. adrian, This one’s for you! - The u! sTaff

4 Iced earth .Schaffer’S Judgment day Ray Van Horn. Jr.

I love all the recordings Tim and I did together. “Set was the reason the whole Something Wicked Story came to fruition.’ and I was like ‘Well. Iced Earth fans were divided when Barlow exchanged his microphone and metalhead street duds for police issue. the Crucible of Man: Something Wicked part 2. so we saw each other at funerals! This obviously wasn’t the place to talk about music and stuff. the “Ripper” era of Iced Earth held promise as Tim Owens won further favour for his gallant performance on Schaffer’s nearly 20-minute metal masterwork “Gettysburg. I spoke with Tim a few times on the European tour and said ‘Dude. In order for man to survive and to be able to rise to the sublime level of what it is to be a Setian being. I knew I wanted it to be a document of the growth of me as an artist. I live in one. “When I look back upon it.” Receiving numerous video spins on MTV and Fuse. it was like guys showing up for work. but it certainly makes for cool storytelling. the more it became clear he really was into doing this and so within 48 hours the decision was made. you know?” J If Iced Earth’s steadfast articulation on their more recent albums is a sign of Jon Schaffer growing up from the angry street kid who started Purgatory and ultimately his calling-card ensemble. I called Matt and said ‘Hey. and Set’s the saviour of that race… The whole thing just started to unravel and it came hard and fast. ‘Yeah. I figured at first there was no way he’d be interested in doing anything with Iced Earth. particularly during the aftermath of a post-9/11 America that took solace in Iced Earth’s weighty ballad “When the Eagle Cries. even though I had written songs I thought were far better than what was on the first album. okay. “I’d heard about Matt doing the Pyramaze thing when I was in Europe. but there’s a lot more to this than that.” Schaffer elaborates the evolution of his album cover talisman Set and hints that the continuing appearance of the warrior-clad entity has been leading straight to this event. Consequently. I took four days off! I literally worked from the time my eyes would open until I dropped every night. and that’s not what happens with people who are really involved with something. the proof is revealed by the years. Framing Armageddon: Something Wicked Part 1. it really felt off. but the summer before that I bought some property out in the country and there are two log cabins. and in that timeframe. The back half of The Glorious Burden tour. It worked in the studio. we are fucked. it was fate. without a doubt. we’re afraid of it. he’s mummified. That’s the thing I think is very difficult and it’s unlikely ever going to happen in our lifetime. there was going to be a change. but not really involved. With barely any rest following a brief supporting tour of Framing Armageddon. There wasn’t a long courting process or anything like that. under the sun we have not changed at all. There are songs that were four. it’s because that’s when that shit was written. I do care about Tim and I wish him the best. so in the Something Wicked universe. we’d had two deaths in the family in the course of about a year. He’s got a career. but things really aren’t feeling right. Suffice it to say. Jon Schaffer’s Something Wicked chronicle is everything he’d sought as a drifting teenager and now achieved as one of heavy metal’s most-respected artists.’ When I got home from the European tour. but from the nature of mankind—unless that happens. It was the first time in the history of Iced Earth that I felt like I didn’t have true believers on stage. particularly once Schaffer began his long-conceived multi-album saga. Otherwise. the other is the studio and the one that the studio is in. the timing seemed far from fluky when Schaffer discovered Barlow had recently been fronting the DanishAmerican power metal conglomerate Pyramaze. I had this whole vision of what he’d look like. Also. but on the Framing tour. how’s that going to work out? But the more we talked.’ which brings us to modern day. this is the situation: unless humanity truly begins to evolve— and not from a technological standpoint. I wrote ‘Colors’ when I was 16 years old. or at the feet of an alien judge and executioner—will be anyone’s guess. It wasn’t necessarily Set that was so inspiring. First and foremost is his style of traditional power metal birthed from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal fused with his western revivalist’s blood. but it was the idea of this character Set Abominae and what he looked like. and the story doesn’t end in these Iced Earth records. It was just going to be after The Crucible of Man. then I was right back at it. It was boom boom. We are what we are. Schaffer was back in the studio putting the wraps to his parable of mankind’s fallacies brutally exposed by the band’s omnipresent mythical mascot Set Abominae (a recurring album cover personality akin to Iron Eddie). afraid. Iced Earth fans will at least have that much to rely upon. The rest is left to the cognitive playground of Jon Schaffer. man. which have been administered by an array of characters. Something Wicked. the nature of mankind has stalled. On the first album. Perhaps less angry and more eloquent. Jon Schaffer lived the music and writing of the Something Wicked albums with unrelenting tenacity. “It wasn’t working. we’d have to start to evolve on a level that goes deep into the nature of what a human being is.” Schaffer admits. and petty. Assuming Matt Barlow is still commandeering the ride. The feeling was just weird.’The first thing we talked about was starting another project and doing something on our own. the “Ripper” bellowed his guts out all over the first installment of the couplet. however.on Schaffer holds many things sacred. and actually the times that we saw each other. beginning with 1998’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. whether Matt was coming back or not.” Schaffer declares of Owens. but Tim and I would’ve been parting ways no matter what because it wasn’t working on stage. Iced earth 5 . I put the Pro Tools rig in there in February and started writing right then. Owens was entrusted to re-record the “Something Wicked” triptych overture from Iced Earth’s fan-favourite album Something Wicked This Way Comes as prelude to Schaffer’s eventual Something Wicked double record odyssey. “Crucible opens with Set’s birth and closes with the song ‘Come What May. I was thinking ‘Well. you know. he’s a cop. When I’d heard about Pyramaze. but the entire Something Wicked story. Schaffer’s six strings are characterized in conjunction with iron-lunged vocals. what I think a lot of people don’t realize is when that album came out in 1990.” Schaffer relays a feeling of ostracizing between himself and Owens. but here’s what you’ve got to realize: The Glorious Burden tour was the only other shows we’d done besides the Framing Armageddon tour in Europe. He’s my brother-in-law. and I was here 16 hours a day. which is when I set up the Pro Tools rig.” As might be expected with a project on this grand scale. and as I was developing as a songwriter. he’s got this crown. are you missing it?’ He said. I think Tim was more concerned with doing his solo thing than really being in Iced Earth. maybe we should do something. Along the way. “I started these two albums in February of 2006. “The reality is it worked in the studio. He’d have to hear me do a bunch of interviews in order to be able to know what the story was. We’d seen each other a few times through the years. and I don’t even know where it came from. It was a year from the time I started writing and cutting drum tracks. Schaffer’s Something Wicked series (which is prompting a related graphic novel penned by Schaffer himself) is largely a morality play in which Schaffer warns through his storytelling that the historically dissolute behaviour of mankind will ultimately return its own demise. Jon Schaffer brought former Judas Priest crooner Tim “Ripper” Owens into the camp. all the world’s religions that help keep mankind divided because anything different from us. salvation lies in truth. those songs had already been played for several years. he didn’t get involved. So. man? I’d really like this to work out. I was pretty much in agony. he wouldn’t be doing this. what’s up. but we did not talk about music those times. It’s exactly what it was from the time they invaded. Featuring sci-fi and horror elements.’ The reality is. At first it started with Al Simmons [Spawn]. I mean. Matt’s obviously missing it. Here’s the thing.” One would have assumed all was well in Iced Earth between Owens and Schaffer. Something did feel off. dude.” Though the original split between Schaffer and Matt Barlow as the former pursued a career in law enforcement took its professional toll on the brothers-in-law. How do we do that? You’ve got a path to choose. the songwriting on Framing Armageddon and The Crucible of Man is almost bipolar compared to Iced Earth’s self-titled and Night of the Stormrider albums. what’s going on? I’ve heard about this Pyramaze thing. He didn’t ask any questions what the story was about. most of the Stormrider album was already written when the first album came out. Then the story started to hit me like a ton of bricks. In response. but I had the idea of this Egyptian god of war Set. which are big human traits? Are we going to man up and be responsible for our actions and really pursue honesty and truth? If we do that. “That old anger contributes to all of it.” Whatever plane Schaffer and Iced Earth whisks their listeners off to next—be it on the bullet-torn wings of a man-made Albatross or in the murk of Dracula’s crypt. “My view of it is that God is truth. It’s the way to manipulate people through fear and through creating the Setians. “It’s a huge part of what drives Iced Earth. He just wasn’t committed to it. That was really the beginning of the whole thing. His debut effort on The Glorious Burden made headlines. Iced Earth was a steady paycheque for him to build that up. I had some serious back trouble going on. so if you want to talk about what that angst of a 16-year-old is. and it really wasn’t that much touring. so I wasn’t as tuned into what was happening on stage. I loved Tim’s voice. five years old when they came out. the news broke out that Tim Owens was no longer a part of Iced Earth and that Barlow was back to complete Something Wicked. the thing about mankind actually being aliens to the planet Earth and this ancient Earth culture that was nearly wiped out. man. but it just wasn’t happening. further prompting his decision for a lineup adjustment. It just brings us up to a point where it says. I would always go home in the evening and spend dinnertime with my wife and my daughter and stay for a couple hours. really. he didn’t call when the writing was going on. perhaps the most beloved being Matt Barlow. so which one are you going to choose? Are we going to stay dishonest.” The Dark Saga and 2001’s Horror Show gave Jon Schaffer the encouraging ingredients to fashion his extensive Something Wicked undertaking. It hit me and it hit hard and fast.

6 .

actually.K. Angelcorpse and Morbid Angel. and it’s their lyrics that help set them apart. the time is ripe to make their mark on the metal community. the vocals. By Dave Sanders With the thrash revival in full effect. “I think thrash is quite an accessible style of metal. so to speak.Thrashin’in the U. but if there is no sense of purpose. In fact.’ The subject matter should hold its own and add an extra dimension to the music. which is very much a part of our sound to date. thrash has had its day. We usually (and understandably) get heaped in with the old-school thrash band style. However. His background in drumming is based mainly on the death metal style of bands like Nile. then we know we are creating something good. We try to create songs that have a certain element of longevity to them. Mass Extinction looked to move their listeners. For metal fans who have yet to hear us. Cunningham muses. “When we write. Cunningham reflects. That is something we strive to achieve with Mass Extinction.” Any good musician will tell you that you have to evolve. Cunningham is in a unique position to speculate on its rather quick rise to prominence. thrash has never gone away. it seems to attract fans at an earlier age with its more exuberant style. It was only over the last two or three years that bands like these started popping up. Although his input has made its mark on the band. old bands are getting another shot. Cunningham responds.K. but the overall quality wasn’t as high. So what makes Mass Extinction different? “In the grand scheme of metal music I don’t think we are doing anything particularly revolutionary. can be quite transparent and let down the band as a whole. there’s much more than just thrash to Mass Extinction. We’ve always made sure each member has input and puts their mark on every song. In short. aggressive music that will hopefully last. really does seem to have sprouted a pretty nice scene over the last couple of years. naturally there will be a flood of new bands. One of the main changes the band has undergone was the replacement of our original drummer Jim. Of course there were bands playing thrash before these came along.K. you’ll see that there’s more than meets the ear. There are certain times while writing a song when everyone just locks together and everyone just smiles and nods at each other. Mass Extinction aren’t your typical thrash band. I think many of the other thrash bands that have emerged over the past couple of years are lacking that certain element in their lyrics and themes. he has a good sense of feeling and has added a new dimension without an abrupt jump. nearly all our lyrics come back to the human factor. so our speedy style was not a problem. If we can achieve at least one of those moments per song.” Mass extInctIon 7 . The most exhilarating part of the writing process is those moments when the whole band clicks at a particular section of jamming. Creation’s undoing. When Sam took over we wanted him to be as comfortable as possible with the existing songs and put his own mark on them. “The U. It’s easy to lash songs together with fast. “Although for many. but moments like that really make songs for us. “That’s an interesting question. but if you look closer. or you simply won’t succeed. The very nature of networking sites like this means there is a certain amount of uniformity with each web page and they all look the same. as it hasn’t been at the fore like death and black metal for quite some time.” With thrash becoming as popular and commercially viable as it was in the ‘80s.K. Although we have touched on the usual areas like war. aggressive vocals over them. we play fast. He was with the band for three years and played a big part in helping the band develop a sound. When asked how ME fits in to the scene. intense thrash with a sound in the vein of bands like Vio-lence. Compared to most death and black metal. It’s easy to simply call Mass Extinction a thrash band. the music will be hollow. it’s all about feeling and fluidity.” says Cunningham. unlike most bands. I remember five years ago when we started networking with other bands and there were very few promising emergent thrash bands from the U. For many. and then get their heads banging. When asked about the rapidly growing U. It might not sound as ‘hard-core’ as one might imagine. I know a lot of fans that have always kept their ears to the ground and even more so underground.” says Cunningham. All genres of metal have had millions of new fans. All of a sudden metal heads could set up fan pages and ‘street teams’ with the greatest of ease. but thrash is standing out.” Having been a part of the thrash revival. or at least their delivery and subject matter. having continually polished themselves and their music over their five years. then all these other fledgling bands popped up all over the place. When the likes of Evile and Headless Cross (now defunct) came onto the scene and really pushed the thrash thing through MySpace.” When it comes to the writing for their new EP. There is always that element of hubris and fragility in Man that keeps lyric writing in extreme music that bit more interesting. “When it comes to lyrics or themes we try not to limit ourselves to the usual genre clichés. We’re in this to craft soulful. The advent of MySpace has made the networking of music fans a thousand times more convenient than it ever was. ME are no exception. not just mindless songs about ‘listening to thrash’ or ‘being thrash. UNRESTRAINED! got the word straight from the horse’s mouth. and for younger bands like Mass Extinction. Bands that have been together for two weeks can have a page that looks on par with the big names. from lead singer Tom Cunningham. we try to stay on the side of human emotion and reaction to catastrophic situations as opposed to gratuitous violence. scene. we feel our music is fresh or has conviction at the very least. not just a flash in the proverbial pan. bands flying the thrash flag. Cunningham has a lot to say. I think it’s the fact that people have such a powerful platform to work with that has really changed the face of the music world.” says Cunningham. Exodus and Dark Angel. While the music holds its own. These days there seem to be an endless amount of U. “I think we are finding a more refined sound as the band progresses.K.

Phobia. “The first time I met Ivar [Bjornson. I feel we’ve taken a huge step on the last two albums on the arrangement side and the producing side. I don’t think we’d had the band for less than a year before we got tired of that style. and they were really enthusiastic and really clever in promoting us. So we decided to split Phobia and start something new. plus we really didn’t want to play with those guys in the band anymore since that wasn’t the material we wanted to do. but these names and labels just bore me.” If anything. We’re always trying to make our favourite music instead of just being them. Isa. Over the course of their 17-year career. When I listen to a record. but also in the arrangements. We really enjoy the ethic to challenge yourself. Though it took a starter band.” Kjellson firmly states about his band’s repudiation of typecasting. the band maximizes each to the extent that the album is subliminally savage beneath the soaring effervescence on songs such as “Clouds. and Ruun. building both to stratospheric proportions on their previous three albums. journalists and fans have sought to describe Enslaved as death metal. “I remember I was stage diving and I fell on top of a guy. they stake another claim for enormity with their current album vertebrae. It gets called what it gets called. Enslaved have dwelled in darkness as they’ve waded in lush pastures. other bands operating in the same capacity (namely the merging of tenebrous extremity with grandiose melody) have begun to break through nearly to the point where brutal bands such as Dimmu Borgir. a protracted timeframe of creation that might test the patience of 8 enslaved . We just like to be constantly in movement both in music writing and lyric writing. Between the Lights. In the past. Not that Enslaved are a flavour-of-the-day metal band. as long as it’s good! It’s just as simple as that. Trym Torson. We started to play together for about a year before we started Phobia. particularly in the way Grutle Kjellson blends his bestial growls amidst his lofty cleans. which is where we are standing right now. and now that Enslaved are recognized as icons for their intense and lavish sound (second only perhaps to Opeth).A chance stage dive brought together a pair of musical innovators who have continuously challenged the foundations of metal and purposefully swerved away from classification. to be quite honest. though. and to make the best music possible. “It wasn’t very surprising. to push the limits.” Some might be surprised by the overall praise and acceptance of Enslaved’s Isa.” Certainly Enslaved bears shades of each.” “Reflections” and “Ground. and “Viking metal. going from Osmose Productions to Candlelight Records. the Norwegian progressive metallers set a course of destiny in 1997 with their widely respected Eld album. Behemoth. I’m really satisfied with Vertebrae. given the frequently bombastic and sinister tone of the album. We’d signed a new contract. I don’t care what the fucking music is called. We wanted to create something interesting for ourselves. and Cradle of Filth have become unexpected poster children. guitarist] was at a concert with a band called Witchhammer in ’89. similar to the way Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt tailors his vocal patterns. We had a really strong concept of Isa’s songs. and then some fine tuning and instant associations with the black metal leagues as of Enslaved’s debut album Vikingligr Veldi. black metal. Kjellson describes Enslaved’s writing process as extensive. and I think the first rehearsal was the end of May or beginning of June in 1991. which was Ivar! So the first time I met him was when I landed on top of him.” All the work that went into Isa was nearly doubled for Vertebrae.” Enslaved bassist and vocalist Grutle Kjellson waxes with a chuckle. On Vertebrae. However. I think we have succeeded in these. “We don’t label our music. “That’s what we’ve always done. Enslaved makes their own rules: listeners beware or get on board.” In other words. Nile. and we actually think that’s the best album we’ve ever made! We felt it was pretty natural to have a little breakthrough or at least a milestone in our career. but the reverence they garnered from Isa nevertheless has Kjellson smiling. Said providence was fulfilled with 2005’s opulent Isa. Enslaved’s objective per Kjellson is to “never look back on what we’ve done before when we start working on a new album.” One of the reasons Enslaved has attained the widespread respect of the metal community is their refusal to pigeonhole themselves into one style. We got hold of a drummer. We were both targeting for and were inspired by death metal. so to speak.

we have to work a lot with it and try out thousands of different ideas to find the ultimate arrangement. it’s a metaphor for a strong-willed individual. Over the years we’ve tried to use the bass as a dynamic tool in the more classical way where it plays together with the drums. If you do that all the time. The argument for downloading once you reach a higher level of people says that you can earn the money back by playing live. I felt that had to be the first song. and of course we think it colours our music a lot. “For me. we often don’t catch the potential right away. Lots of species were almost on the edge of extinction from overfishing and commercial fishing. setting the tone of Vertebrae’s intricate concentration. We’ve actually been starting to use the growls as a choir on top of the clean vocals. I’ve never heard that in bands before us! We think it’s really interesting. a huge human potential. Balance is the key word. However. Kjellson approves of it all from a pragmatic perspective. like it was in the old rock bands. Uriah Heep. it’s kind of missing the point. In the older times. We feel today it’s about 50 per cent of what would we used to make. just getting a streamlined composition is half the battle in Enslaved. we really enjoy the caustic sound versus the beauty. It usually takes about half a year before the arrangements are ready. In response to the Norwegian Venstre party leader Lars Sponheim’s suggestion that all music downloads should be legalized and made public domain. The concept of Vertebrae deals with both human failure and at the same time. What were the first metal bands? Probably Black Sabbath. That is a really positive side of things since the sport fishermen are really concerned about it. It’s kind of a reflection of our wide musical tastes. the issue of unauthorized downloading becomes rapidly more important to Kjellson. both biologically and psychologically. too!” Despite the fact North America has commercialized sport fishing to the point that average Joes have corporate sponsorship and thus morphed into proverbial rock stars. Departing from his metal element and submitting himself to a more primordial milieu is one of Kjellson’s biggest stimulants for his professional life. We live with those songs for quite a long time before we release them. and a lot of these species have been saved because of the sport fishing organizations and because sport fishing has grown really big. they really want to have their hobby. We’ve always been very fond of the combination of the vocals. We don’t have the possibility like Radiohead to record an album for $500.” The inspiration behind Vertebrae partially originated via an article in Guitarist magazine Ivar Bjornson was reading in which celebrities were asked the rudimentary question “What are you thinking this very minute?” Musician and actor Tom Waits relayed the correlation between mice and giraffes having the same vertebrae. “‘Clouds’ is probably the most technical song we’ve ever made.some bands. There’s loads of things you can drag into the metal concept. but that’s not realistic to think you can earn all of that money. It usually starts with Ivar and Arve (Isdal) mixing the riffs and recording them. we won’t be able to survive. As long as the individual has a strong spine. Grutle Kjellson is an avid fisherman. both the preparation and when you are there out in the wild.” Kjellson notes that “Clouds” gave his band the most challenge on Vertebrae. I’m focused on the actual fishing. When we first hear the song. Grutle Kjellson sees no final threshold in metal’s possibilities.” The most prominent attribute of Vertebrae is the offsetting choices of Kjellson’s vocals to the musical mood of each song. you know? I think people will have to stop and try to think about their actions on all levels. “It’s quite a long process for us to write an album.” Despite the Pink Floyd-esque minutiae scattered throughout “Center” and “Ground. The last time I went on a fishing trip was two months ago and then I turned my canoe over and lost the fish and thousands of Krone (Norwegian currency) in equipment! It was really cold.” Kjellson opines. “For us it was never about pointing the finger of morality at people. In the case of the fast-paced “New Dawn. “That was never the intention. “The middle part is very technical. and we’re getting bigger and bigger. As their popularity increases. one has to wonder where the boundary line exists before people can say they’ve heard it all. a fusion between metal and jazz. those things are closely typed together. especially in the States. undermining the subliminal beauty of the composition. When I do fishing. combining brutal parts with more mellow and groovy dynamic stuff.” Aside from his trademark vocal switches. fishing is very important. It was just a little explanation of how things actually are. there’s no time for fishing at all.” Kjellson says. I’m not thinking about Enslaved or my family or anything. We actually need the money from the sales just to be able to record a new album and to be able to go on. the bass and drums making up the rhythm sections instead of just having the bass guitar just because it’s supposed to be there. universal word. Kjellson’s bass unravels deep richness and personality on Vertebrae. It didn’t always refer to physics. “Clouds” then turns progressive and steady. Kjellson and Bjornson jokingly kidnapped one of Sponheim’s sheep by way of protest.” As each year turns out new bands. and Deep Purple. ‘Clouds’ is a very natural opening track and it contains a very natural intro in the song. I’m really dependent upon it! At the time being. If people don’t buy our music. new precepts and new ways to advance heavy metal. then Ivar hands the CDs over to me and we will start working out the arrangements. from both a compositional standpoint as well as logistical placement as the opening track on the album. I think there are still lots of things you can do with metal.” In his downtime. A band like Enslaved that constantly tests themselves and metal’s limits doubtless has a lot to live up each time they set foot in a studio. something he is quite proud of. Imagine. new ideas. Kjellson shifts gears by grumbling through the song’s pounding verses then elevating his octaves to tranquil cleans on the brisk choruses. actually. From here we decide which vocals work best with each riff and we’ll decide which spots to add some guitar solos. although some of the guys didn’t necessarily agree. People should stop and think a little. Mellotron. It’s really good for my mental health. you would use the phrase ‘Look at that spineless goon’ or something like that. Kjellson explains further: “Ivar told me about that particular article and I enjoyed the idea of recording Vertebrae because I think it’s a very strong. “There’s actually one really great thing about that.” Said proposal is what you might consider the empowerment and fortification of the scene’s collective vertebrae… haIl of bullets 9 . There’s a pretty huge gap between [Uriah Heep’s] Very ‘Eavy…Very ‘Umble and [Bathory’s] Under the Sign of the Black Mark. It doesn’t have to be that fucked-up as it is today. It was more to tell people in a humorous way—which seems to be the only way to reach people—that we just want to explain what would happen if people take away your money.000 (and then give it away for free on the Internet). Still. When Enslaved paints a bright and cheery melody line. “If you look at metal history. and the spine has always been referred to when you’re talking about a person’s mental health. It really fits the lyrical concepts on the album too. whatever. “Balance is very important. We don’t have that kind of money. thus essentially making them the same species. “I think the bass player position is underrated mainly because a lot of bassists play together with the guitars. you know?” Enslaved will be hitting 45 stops in 51 days on their current European tour following the launch of Vertebrae. I’m 100 per cent focused on that. Never mind the amount of takes per song. you’ll see it’s been evolving all the time. because the vertebrae is a very important part of a spine. Opening with an earthy and prolonged “om” sequence. I have to have something to get my mind off everything else.” Vertebrae’s closest resemblance to black metal. It’s kind of an escape from everything. for example. considering the fact a lot of metal bands relegate the bass position to low-end filler. we decided to make it the opening song because it’s very natural. organs. Kjellson largely rages overtop.

10 .

” However. so there are a lot of lyrics depicting that stuff. what freedoms we really have and what freedoms Bush and his administration have ultimately taken away from us. get instrumental stuff on there. Chris with his mentor Rusty Cooley laid down the track ‘From So Far Away’ together.” he continues.’ but I feel we are so much more than that. “It has a lot of thrash metal in there.’ That’s not a compliment to us!” says vocalist and bassist Andre Hartoonian. “We will try new things because there is only so much you can do with thrash if you’re going to limit yourself to it like so many bands do.” Musically speaking. even when we are out on the road. We even respond to the good ones! Give us a ring: 925-478-4916. When asked where the diversity comes from. It has everything you need. which was designed by the infamous Ed Repka.Hexen Back in the Day California’s HeXeN can’t help but be a throwback to the glory days of thrash. “The concept behind Awaken the Dreamers is about realizing as a listener that your voice can make a huge difference in this crazy world. and you can definitely see which bands take the time to practise when you’re out on the road. While it’s true. Although many tracks are rerecorded from past sessions. and punk is the same way. or we go back to the drawing board. responsible for Megadeth’s Vic Rattlehead. So many bands feel like they have to write or be a certain way to fit in. to do something new and special and at that same time be quality music. Big brother. there are a lot of acoustic tracks because when we write a bunch of thrash songs we like to sometimes get creative with the acoustics. mostly overseas in Iraq. You should hear my iPod. and might never. On their MySpace. “It’s an easy way for fans to get in touch with us!” says Orum. Orum explains. pressing the trigger. you have aggression and you have rage. but thrash metal is the basic formula. On top of their genre bending. as well as a lot of acid rock from the ’60s and ’70s. Vocals would have ruined it. ‘Wow.” With the new album. Featuring ten older songs from the band’s fouryear tenure. the band also interacts with their fans differently than most. which was released worldwide in August. fans will find a phone number that they can call and leave a message for the band. “Thrash has this really basic quality to it. They think of Metallica. along with covers for Death. the oversaturation of the thrash market in California has been problematic for a group that bases itself around the genre. or else it sounds muddy and sloppy. who knows?” What is striking about Awaken the Dreamers is the decidedly evocative instrumental tracks. and I think it came out incredible. even if the band itself has plans to explore other musical territory on their next release. sometimes it’s about personal struggles and personal problems and stuff like that. Genre has been a point of contention among most bands in an era where so many are diversifying their sound to the nth degree. the group has melded meaty riffing. it’s really socially conscious. Municipal Waste. the band took a strong visual approach. It’s taking the other side’s perspective of the people who actually live in the Middle East into consideration as well. everything builds of off that almost. especially overseas. the disc oozes that classic sound so many metalheads long for. I can almost picture the constitution on fire from the effect Bush and his administration has had on this country in a post 9/11 world. the instrumentals offer some respite from the heavy subject matter. At this stage in our career. throaty vocals. it’s pretty political. but Oakland. The writing. What’s funny is I have maybe three whole songs I wrote that you will never see on an All Shall Perish CD. sometimes it’s social commentary. “Musically it’s a display of all our talents. we are playing music that WE love to play. ASP took a conceptual approach to their third album. That section is then given a home somewhere in a song (after many different variations and experimentations). sometimes with no resolve in sight. freedom of speech. UNRESTRAINED! picked rhythm guitarist Ben Orum’s brain to get the facts about ASP and deathcore. As a prime contender in the state’s burgeoning thrash market. throwing a little more into their sound than your standard “core” band.” says Orum. politically when I talk about domestic issues I really do emphasize stuff that has been debated a lot recently. ASP does have a lot of death metal and hardcore influences (mainly from the ’80s and ’90s).” says Orum. We use force to solve issues. we’re not doing anything new. it sounds like it came out of 1986. ‘For Those We Left Behind’ was a piece that I wrote that really captured how I feel being away from my family on the road sometimes. You need to break through that. “Metal needs to be played tight! It needs to sound like a well-oiled machine. We don’t play to please anyone else but ourselves. This isn’t the case! If you write music from the heart that moves you. “Thrash is almost the blunt way of expressing it.” concludes Hartoonian.” To add to the concept. is it tough to stay fresh and current with your sound when so many other bands are playing similar styles? Orum responds. this album is awesome. awaken the dreamers (Nuclear Blast). along with three new tracks. The riff could be an opener or a closer or even a transition. Whoever’s progressed and done other things since that can always go back to thrash and have a soft spot for thrash. and the indifference to genre “rules” leads to one of the most diverse sounding deathcore records of the year. galloping drums and weighty bass into their first full-length. “The band itself is going to progress to other areas and still going to keep the root and still be true to thrash. Toxic Holocaust and 3 Inches of Blood. Behind him. technical precision.” Although lyrically the album concerns itself with negativity. “All these reviews I hear about these thrash bands and everybody is saying. which is rounded out by guitarists Ronny Dorian and James Lopez. and that you can make change happen by doing so. how the world should be.” Orum says. people will see that. California’s All Shall Perish seem to have the recipe down. which everyone has to like. Everyone out there has a dream of how things should be.” All Shall Perish Putting the Core in Deathcore By Dave Sanders Mixing beloved but sometimes tired subgenres can be a risky business in the metal scene. “All Shall Perish have been coined ‘deathcore. “That’s just saying we’re mimicking what’s already been done. The guitars shred so fluidly it’s easy to imagine a circle pit of thrashers skanking and pumping their fists. it will go from Harry Belafonte to Mortician like it’s no big deal!” hexen / all shall PerIsh 11 . who admits that thrash is the common ground for the quartet. we also have a side of us that isn’t afraid to write epic melodies or turn off our amps and go completely acoustic.” explains Hartoonian. it really has gone back on its word. It really has a different take on what’s going on with the war in Iraq. “Not at all. a bus By Sarah Kitteringham is engulfed in flames. “I think it comes from us not really being solely into metal music! I listen to a lot of world music. “And when people think of metal most of the time they think of thrash. while citizens run wildly to the offender. thrash seems to be the most attractive for all kinds of metal fans. “Chris really wanted to do a track that showcased what he has learned on guitar these past few years.” This much is decipherable from a glimpse at the album cover. listening in on conversations and online and basically a lot of the standards and rules that this country had set up for itself to really set it apart to the monarchy that it escaped from. “The artwork portrays the idea that Liberty is at the price of a bullet. and that greatly influences my playing. It takes A LOT of practice to get a technical metal band tight. the 13-track State of insurgency. and probably 100 riffs that haven’t found a home yet.” His answer raises the question. “For the most part. the group wanted an opportunity to expose them to residents outside of their home state and to showcase their instrumental chops. while the members of HeXeN yearn to join them. It depicts a man with a bomb strapped to his chest. “Obviously there is a lot going on.” he said. “Stuff that concerns privacy. “There is that kind of stuff. Orum says. It’s a piece that I really wanted to share with the world. and respect it. “We listen to the messages from the fans every day. He explains how ASP’s songs are all written starting with one basic element: “Everything spawns from a single riff. be quality metal!” “Quality metal” oozes from the album. especially when you’re a kid approaching it because you’re an angst-ridden teenager. I never really got into punk much like a lot of old thrashers who were punks before they were metalheads. What is so great about ASP is that we have decided its okay to break outside of the box. ASP are no different. We are sending a message to everyone out there that it’s time to wake up and let your voice and ideas be heard. they think of leather jacks and chains and ripped jeans and being really aggressive. Thrash was our first for everyone around here. Eventually the riff grows into a section. Orum says. ASP definitely put a great emphasis on their musicianship to help them break away from other bands. along with drummer Carlos Cruz. And lyrically.” It was what originally enticed the members to the genre.” admits Hartoonian.

they’re in a league of their own. but for us as songwriters. this Minneapolis quintet are mindful of where they come from and have consciously discussed using the tools available to them. describing another of After the Burial’s elements of distinction. but you’re among friends. “There was a little different feel going into this record because we switched from seven to eight-string guitars about a year ago. ‘Take it easy.”Lowe continues. along with their own odd-ball ideas (including tackling the unfamiliar-to-most-metalheads lyrical topics like astrophysics and “Pi: The Mercury God of Infinity. So. because it’s probably the same thing every one of us would have found ourselves doing. they’re one of the most talented metal bands of our time and the fact that we’ve even been mentioned along with them is awesome and we’re super-flattered. you stumble across a band very obviously influenced by another band but take active and salient steps to put their own spin on their inspirations and musical starting points. We tune the bass a full octave lower than the guitar’s low F-string. some do it great. we talked about it before we got the guitars because we didn’t want to take that approach. every song you wrote made exploitative use of the two extra low strings and for a month. all these elements and ideas just came together at one time. This album was more of a newer experience: new guitars. As with anything. It’s hard not to just want to jam it out like that. when you have horseshoes hanging out of your butt the night the stars are aligned. We felt like these extended-range instruments could be used for more than just maintaining absolute heaviness in the lowest tuning ever. you can derive influences from genres outside of metal. some ain’t half bad. employing eight-string guitars might not seem like the brightest way to go about avoiding any future Meshuggah comparisons. “We’re completely stoked on that.” 12 Master . “The tuning we use.” but everyone says that—cyber-kinetic burl of Sweden’s Meshuggah.” an instrumental from first album Foraging a Future Self. Considering what we play. “is a bit different than Meshuggah’s or any of the other bands that use eight-string guitars. Then again. trance and drum-and-bass fans. so as to help them carve out their own niche. He has a huge Pantera tattoo across his stomach—he’s obsessed! [Bassist] Lee [Foral] and I are big electronic. there are more-thanoccasional rhythmic comparisons in them thar Meshuggah-like grooves throughout After the Burial’s latest and second album. The neck is significantly wider and I personally had to change my technique a little bit because you just can’t play it like you play a six or seven-string guitar and I don’t want to get carpal tunnel or something. But the influences in this band are so far across the spectrum that it’s hard to really nail down how everything comes together. new tuning. In my mind. but a finely-tuned aural canal should be able to hear the Shrapnel Records. rhythmically complex—we were going to say “polyrhythmic.AFTERT H E BURIAL How Low Can You Go? By Kevin Stewart-Panko It’s a fact: you can’t stroll more than 15 feet along extreme music’s boardwalk these days without tripping over a band attempting to ape the technically watertight.” gushes guitarist Justin Lowe. We’re not being judgmental or anything. a new vocalist. our drummer [Dan Carle] just listens to death and black metal all day long and that’s all he listens to. plus we had demos floating around of stuff we had written even before the first album. guitar shred (guitarist Trent Hafdahl is wearing a Jason Becker t-shirt in the band’s promo pictures. Sometimes it’s hard when we want to get into a slow part and all he wants to do is play 240 beats-perminute the whole time. the hard rock feel in the leads and choruses. man.” Fess up: when you guys first started using them. whose rhythmic pattern is based on the infinite mathematical constant). but we’re still learning how to use these instruments because they’re extremely difficult to play. that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Sure. It’s like. “It was hard not to. We’re trying not to rely on those two extra strings and utilize the entire guitar.’” And while on the surface. but it kind of frees the mind from what’s going on with a lot of metal bands and when it comes to writing. rareform (Sumerian Records). the songwriting approach was slightly different than the first album because we were slightly more comfortable with the sevenstring guitars because we’d been playing them for a longer period of time. most suck at it and more than a few fall into the “epic fail” category. It’s extremely low. you can admit it. every riff you wrote was a proverbial gut-rumbler. “The fact people are even mentioning us in the same sentence as Meshuggah is completely flattering. fer chrissakes). “but at the same time.” Lowe laughs. it opens up a lot of dynamic range. Once in a while. new members. Trent loves Jason Becker and Pantera. not to mention the furious melodic death metal harmonies and complex breakdowns.

Tasmanian Devils T asmania doesn’t jump out as a metal hotbed. and members were ready to quit due to his shitty rock star attitude towards things. A lot of people asked whether it is a concept album. Was there any concept or guiding principle that you based ob(servant) around? Aside from streamlining the music. It differs from song to song. Haley suggested that the whole album sums up what psycroptic’s sound is really like. lyrically the album deals with a lot of dark subject matter: the continuing evolution/devolution of humanity. It was great to write this way as it gave the album a totally fresh sound. We wrote the album in a new manner as well. But it definitely hinders us in terms of location. PsycroPtIc / after the burIal 13 . as well as looking at a few different esoteric themes. giv- the band has toured australia and Europe rather extensively. UNRESTRAINED! got the battle plan from drummer Dave Haley. Slowly but surely. I would say it’s just “extreme” or “intense” metal. In the past the writing had been based around just jamming out in the practice space and hammering the songs out. as his style is more aggressive. and listening to them so yeah. is there anywhere you haven’t played but would like to and why? We were so close to Canada last time we were in the U. They are all stand-alone stories. their first on Nuclear Blast. it’ll only be a matter of time before they’re wreaking havoc here as well. But it’s a great place to come from. A lot of people put us in the death metal category. they first conquered the South Pacific stage. I didn’t realize that they all can fit together to form a “concept”-type album if people want to see it that way. it’s an easy choice to say songs off this album. They now have North America firmly set in their sights. I prefer playing these songs. We try to just explore different elements in our sound. Once we removed him. as we had never done it before. How would you characterize psycroptic’s sound? are there specific elements of certain genres that you use for your music? That’s always the difficult question we get asked. It’s always a progression between each album. I have been to Japan. treating us like his “backing band. everything surrounding the album is really a step up for us. go! It would also be cool to play somewhere like Russia. The songwriting. On the new album. The result was a much more “produced” sound to the songs. if you encountered someone who had never heard psycroptic before. they can also make up a twisted story. I know we’re in the process of promoting the new album and it’s the typical thing for bands to say “this is our greatest work!” and all that shit. I think we have gotten to a point now where when someone hears us. But picking three individual songs? Shit. Who knows how writing will take place in the future? Nothing is out of the question really. and with the help of their newest album. it isn’t. Ob(servant). a lot of people don’t even know the place exists or where it actually is! So it can spark a lot of interest that way. which really puts a strain on things financially. It’s like a cartoon on fast-forward! It’s just go. so it makes sense for us to try to get there. as they were more to the point. So. then got together and re-arranged anything that had to be changed. Other than that. ob(servant) is available through nuclear blast now.S. Asia is a lot closer to us than Europe or North America is. definitely. Jason is a far superior performer and vocalist. but for me personally. I try to write them in such a way that they are very much open to interpretation to the individual reader. and even each song. Not wanting to tour if the conditions weren’t perfect for him. I think this really would show them what we are about. but if you put them together. and I have been saying “No. did the addition of Jason peppiatt (vocals) change the band? Yes. and didn’t get there. as we would love to go there. We almost split up due to his actions and attitude. He couldn’t actually do his vocals live that he did in the studio. Anything that absolutely didn’t need be there was removed and we were left with 100 per cent killer riffs. and even though I wrote them. Our theory is if it’s a good riff we’ll use it. so any new countries would be great to go to—so long as it is safe to do so. but this album was written a lot differently than previous albums as I said. but native sons Psycroptic are about to change all that. Who the fuck has heard of a Tasmanian band before? Shit.. which was disappointing. that’s hard… as he trailed off. Just subjects that I am interested in exploring and writing about. the place is fucking crazy. People who haven’t heard us should just check us out and let us know what style they think we play! We’re open to what you think we are.” and generally sulking if things didn’t go the way he wanted. we learned them and made any changes when we practised them together. if you ever visit Australia. Has the band’s sound changed or evolved over the years? Yeah. and would love to actually play there.. Coming from Tasmania gives us this point of difference from a lot of other bands. what three songs from the band’s discography would you play for them and why? I would probably play them three tracks off Ob(servant).but I really think that’s the only honest answer. by the end of his time in the band really brought the band to a low point. so its not just one style. so to speak…cutting away the fat.S. [This time around] Joe wrote complete songs and gave them to us. and just recently toured the u. go. we changed things up a bit and streamlined things. getting Jason in the band really brought some new life into the band—it re-lit the fire within the band. does coming from tasmania help or hinder the band in any way? Psycroptic By Dave Sanders What is the band’s writing process like? ing us the finished songs that we learned. as Tasmania is an island.. We don’t like to repeat things we have done in the past. we’re just a metal band to make it easy. it was like a breath of fresh air and we were excited again. make sure you take the trip down to Tasmania. so it looks like I’ll be taking care of them for a while. We just like the adventure of going to new places.” but I sat down and read the lyrics to see what people were on about. it without a doubt is. Before we play a show anywhere we have to catch a plane to the location. This way was a very fresh way for us to work. but I think this is kind of limiting… I’ve heard people call us everything from blackened death metal right through to metalcore. Jason has a very positive attitude and is very excited to be playing music. It’s so isolated from pretty much everywhere in the world. A bit of both really. production. they know it’s us. Joe our guitarist wrote pretty much the whole thing. He did get a lot of flak from people. The other guys in the band like the lyrical style I have.. then they moved on to Europe.and I usually take the easy way out—it’s really up to the listener to define what style or genre we fit into. It would be cool to visit a lot of the Asian countries near us. but he does what he does and really pushed us. ob(servant). we like to explore new and different countries. and try to refine how we do things. packaging. Our previous vocalist. We take elements from every style to make up our sound.

The harsh. piano-dominant pieces. I locked myself into myself and stared into the abyss and my subconscious and dragged it into this sonic form.. and why? There are some USBM bands that I dig but I feel a lot of ’em jus’ clone shit.. How have you adapted their ideas? I like to take a quote that inspires me and say to myself. You might hear outlaw country on our next album depending on how much whiskey I drink.. but there’s a lot more going on than that label would suggest: experimentation. It is the ultimate ritualization for me. The “cold north” here isn’t Scandinavia but New Hampshire. How did you move from demos to your current material? How has your music evolved? The ideas have definitely evolved. C old Immortal.S. We formed in a blizzard far removed from herds of worthless people and worthless scenes to avenge something that has been subverted. I mean. and I want to destroy this fucking world. you seem less than impressed with some of the directions u. What are some of the specific things you don’t like to hear. and lost. the “vengeance” a musical and ideological force. sinister atmospherics. a compelling interweaving of guitar and synths. and so on… The influence is still there.. This is a shamanic exploration and experiment. We do whatever we feel like doing musically. The rest is history! you clearly have some Scandinavian influences. Through the power of creation comes destruction. not consumer pseudo art. The Zarathustra character facing the abyss in the Nietszche story. listen to music. although the band’s music doesn’t sound as nihilistic as the name implies. It was a lot of trial and error. Fuck scenes and black metal socialites. Forced us into our subconscious. The “by paths to chaos” as Nietszche would describe it. black metal has taken. some of these “worship” bands are pretty good at what they do. It was conceived in solitude. It is a communion and religious experience that can’t be pigeonholed or locked down. drink. How did the album take shape? Well. scene. you give credit to nietzsche and aleister Crowley (among others) for parts of your lyrics. The winter forces people into introspection. The essence of the album is isolated. Black metal scenesters are like Paris Hilton with a bullet belt. So our backroads dungeon cult was formed out of that. evil ’80s metal.. but we have found our own style more than ever before.. The foundation and our philosophy leave no room for this. This is the sad state of affairs that we are in total defiance of. This musick is the ultimate reflection of that. desolating..S.. I don’t give a shit about the U. The exploration of a world few people delve into because they are too caught up in fitting in with whatever the puppeteers want them to fit in with. hidden. vengeful cold is intertwined within the psyche of our art.completely at odds with the Zeitgeist. Ulver. This is something we relate to. but let’s be honest. this is occultism in theory and practice. and it’s these elements that seem to feed into Cold Northern Vengeance’s ideas and sound. Pretty fucking pathetic when you go from Led Zeppelin to Nickelback.. This is the way of old art. How did Cold northern vengeance come into being six years ago? What brought you— Heathen and gemini—together as musicians? CNV came together through our mutual friend Chris from Martyrvore. This Ubermensch concept. Corresponding with Heathen—one half of the band’s creative partnership—I began by asking him to explain the significance of such physical surroundings to his musical work. frigid. We will never stagnate. Bathory.. “What would that sound like?” What would Zarathustra in the woods contemplating the world sound like? What would the outcast British heretic Aleister Crowley sound like flipping off the world? I think stuff like Blood Axis and NON employ these same methods for their songs and I absolutely adore this sort of thing. Forced us into our awakening to the left hand path. Similar interests and a passion for the “dark side” is what brought us together. buried. Like I said before. Domination and Servitude is our strongest material to date. Who are some of your favourites? How do they affect your songwriting now compared to earlier in the band’s life? It is pretty evident on our earlier material that we were heavily influenced by stuff like Burzum. 14 cold northern vengeance . clearly suggestive of black metal. This is something we want to manifest over the mediocre mass. This is the awakening and a direct result of our environment in New Hampshire. new album domination and Servitude is primeval black metal.By P aths to By Laura Wiebe Taylor Ch aos old Northern Vengeance —that’s an evocative phrase. and discuss occult-orientated stuff. pagan nuances. I don’t need your clone demo to tell me Darkthrone is still better. In one sense. We are not a straight-up black metal band. especially in harsh weather. We would all hang out. It is just the natural progression of making an effort to become better.. We recorded the album with our own equipment.. New Hampshire is a surprisingly desolate and grim state in some parts. It is occultism and chaos magick in theory and practice and it will tear a fucking hole in the fabric of time. There is so much stuff you can do with it. it took some time for sure. I could care less...

belPhegor 15 .

okarina. 16 arkona “I can say that our lyrics’ themes vary a lot.” Though the release of Ok Serdtsa K Nebu marks the first time many of us in North America have been exposed to Arkona’s music.ARKONA From Pagan Tongues to the Ears of Gods By Kim Kelly When I first saw a press release announcing the signing of a band called Arkona to Napalm Records’ venerable roster. then the coming battle (or outcome of war) would be triumphant. Besides my main concept. Ok Serdtsa K Nebu marks the newest chapter in the history of a band with their eyes to the past that. block flute. but they do have a short list of one-off shows listed on their MySpace page. only when you find yourself will you gain the true happiness of life.” “We spent a lot of time and power to record this album. All of the temples and sacred places were brought down. blistering black metal. and the only record of it left is the demo Rus. so it’s high time for you to go out and do some research before delving into their latest effort.’ This was the name of an ancient war ritual—the white steed walked through a row of spears stuck into ground. fittingly enough. Usually everyone knows both bands and that they play in different styles. He is a pro sound engineer.” Ok Serdtsa K Nebu definitely marks a turning point in the band’s career. These guest vocalists sang their part perfectly. Alexandra Grakhovskaya and Maria Sazonova.” Her lyrics touch upon tried-and-true staples of the pagan metal world— paeans to a native land. and share some of the details about Arkona’s masterful Napalm debut. Masha weighs in: “I am always evolving in my creativity. and it is only with his help that we could bring such a rich colour into our music. we have been performing live. so what I do is my contribution to this important process. Recently our fourth album has been released and currently we are recording our fifth. It is our main goal for now. Find your own way. and it was worth it. and her prowess is especially apparent on traditional Russian numbers like “Gutsulka” and “Kupala I Kostroma. I can say that this concert was a turning point for our band. We use a variety of instruments. They think we used their brand to gain popularity. including a return to the mighty stages of Ragnarok come this spring. to the better. as far as I see. but he sadly has no time to participate. light-hearted fun of “Goj. We will be pleased with any response. we are completely satisfied with their work. Not all of them actually can be heard in Slavonic ethnic music. Instead of spewing forth vitriolic Polish NSBM. I believe that it will happen someday. Some say that Arkona got heavier. I called my band this name to praise this sacred land and to revive the memories of what was destroyed many years ago. It happened that I dedicated my life to my own creativity. then a defeat would come. Napalm’s Arkona focus on perfecting their well-crafted blend of traditional Eastern European folk. where we played for more than 5000 listeners. Arkona is a city and the spiritual centre of Baltic Slavonic tribes. People who have been acquainted with it should be able to see the progress themselves. which must be forwarded in its own sound as it is. Ragnarok 5. dvodentsivka. djolomia. drymba. I realized that the band in question was indeed the “other” Arkona—an entirely separate. We were charmed by their vocals and invited them to take part in our record. prosvirelka. Personally I see the progress of our work in every aspect. and that now the music of Arkona is a mature product of our creativity. heavier pagan blackness of the title track and the triumphant “Sva.” interspersed with a dizzying array of ethnic instrumentation and Masha’s powerful voice. It’s hard for me to compare our albums—every of them stands for a certain period of our band’s life. they are also connected with the revival of my native faith and culture. the Slavic chronology is counted from the year of Arkona’s fall. He dedicated his life to studying and playing ancient folk instruments. We try to involve Vladimir in our live shows. and that indomitable Russian spirit for which their motherland is known. Kupala!” to the darker. coupled with the helping hand that Napalm will undoubtedly provide. love. so this we may consider to be the moment when the final crew formed and the band came fully alive.’ it comes from ‘Yariy Kon’—‘White Steed. colorful history. I compose music based on my world perception and feelings. The initial team existed for a short time. The drums and bass tracks are already done. sopilka. If he did not knock down any. so we leave to judge our albums to fans and critics. “Surely the new album is very important for us and it makes us happy because it’s hard for a Russian band to gain any popularity abroad due to some problems we could avoid. Russian entity. I have neither ideals nor idols. Small Pipe of Scotland. Slava!” . I recorded my first and second albums with participation from musicians from the band Rossomahaar. which was the last pagan fortress of the Slavs. he knows his job and he made this album sound like this! “On our last two albums we’ve recorded live folk instruments. though.” In addition to their homeland’s rich. intolerant. In regards to the origin of the word ‘Arkona. starting with song structure/ concept and up to the final sounding. I say that it changes every time and. Gaita Gallega bagpipe. It ended with signing a contract with Napalm. “I love pagan folk black metal and attempt to learn about new things that appear. We had to travel to Belorussia to record their voices. His name is Vladimir Cherepovsky. I can’t remember that many occasions when someone has confused us with the Polish Arkona. others see progress in the way of recording and sound. people see it in their own ways. but then again.” ok Serdtsa K nebu (Russian for “From the Heart to the Skies”) is a varied album that ranges from the bouncy. the maturity and cohesion of the songs themselves. because most of authentic ancient instruments are non-tonal. “Actually. The fans of our earlier works say that our music is degrading. We first met these girls at a show of the band Znich in one of the Moscow clubs. We believe that Gods helped us to forward our music to worldwide listeners. From the beginning of 2005. low tin whistle. we poor bastards will have to content ourselves with a stellar new album and these heartfelt parting words from Masha: “Dear friends! Never forget your origin and forsake your roots. The Arkona I was most familiar with seemed as if they’d be violently at odds with Napalm’s predominantly folky. Frontwoman (and sole songwriter) Masha “Scream” Ahripova was gracious enough to address my confusion. and always gained something from it. We use a hurdy-gurdy lyre. I had a vague recollection of hearing about another Arkona. and the cruelty of reality itself. It was situated on the island Rujan (now called Ruegen) and is a part of Germany. All this is a lie—when I called my band this name I did not know about another Arkona’s existence. I used to listen to different music quite a lot. we’re often met with negative Internet messages about us written by the other Arkona’s fans. After our performance Nadir (of Napalm Records) came up to us and offered cooperation. Things that remain the same are the manner of the musicians playing. came into being at the beginning of new century. and zaphun. zhaleyka. Her vocals veer between a menacing black metal snarl to pure clean vocals within the space of a song. my first reaction was puzzlement. make it seem highly likely that this will be Arkona’s breakout release. which was recorded in the end of 2002. and I would like to introduce the man who plays them. Every album has its own atmosphere. so I continued my creative work alone. Upon further investigation. Vic Records in Russia rereleased Arkona’s entire back catalog several years ago. Until then. Then our ways led us apart. It satisfies me completely. I think we will finish it by coming winter 2009. The quality of sound is fully the work of our guitarist—Sergey Lazar. and had to work hard to get the desired result. The thought of such raging. Now. who later got involved in Arkona and eventually became a part of it. Arkona’s songstress cites creativity itself as an inspiration. “Arkona was started in 2002 when I with my friends from my community of Vyatichi decided to gather a band. the style of which would represent our world view and way of life. but couldn’t quite put my finger on what they were all about. Ot Serdtsa K Nbu. it’s actually the band’s fourth release. In 1168 the Danish king Valdemar conquered this land with the help of his vassals and destroyed the city of Arkona. the chaotic instrumental order and individual style of vocalists singing. Now it seems to me that our early works are overdone.” It’s unlikely that we’ll see Arkona on our side of the pond any time soon. and thusly assumed that the label simply hadn’t known what they were getting into in signing this bunch. However.’ helped to record the female choral parts. If he knocked down any spears. We hope he will finally agree in future! “This year we had the luck to perform at a big German fest. After the show there was a long signing session—for two hours we were signing for a huge number of people. tin whistle. girls from the Belorussian folk chorus ‘Gostyitsa. There was a famous ancient sacred temple of a major Slavic god—RodSvyatovit—and temples of other gods. melodically-based aesthetic. the resurrection of pagan beliefs—but stray from that path in her explorations of life. so it’s almost impossible to combine them with modern tone raw. hatefueled black metal from Poland sharing space with bands like Midnattsol and Tyr definitely threw me for a loop. “As to why I chose this name for the band.

what can you tell me about one of your shows? A huge fucking mess! The first time a very close friend of the band saw us live. the same intensity of those bands and to be a solid death/grind album. one was because the drums were more sloppier than the usual sloppy joes. Back when we were 14 or 15 years old. especially during the Castle Heights days. we’re good. We are the underdogs and we will always keep on fighting. let’s talk about the violently abusive. What do you think of the scene nowadays and where do you fit in? There seems to be a resurgence of interest for death metal and grind. we’ve established that we’re already lame-ass gay nig-nogs. which is totally AWESOME because we LOVE those bands. our sludgy production hides our shitty and sloppy playing. Anal Blast. Dark Supremacy. Last Days of Humanity’s Progress in Putrefaction. We left two songs out. This is by far our best-produced release. If you’re trying to and not getting any reaction. there’s more than meets the eye to all of this. Of course there’s the usual regrets about wanting to redo. We’re too stupid/goofy for cliques. Malignancy. the crude sloppiness. but well worth investigating in the pages of UNRESTRAINED! UNRESTRAINED! tracks down guitarist/vocals Paulo to uncover the secret to the twisted. there’s no way anyone can say in the future that Copremesis turned gay because we’ve already done that with our most brutal album. deathgrind madness. We’re selfish. it takes a lot to shock people who frequent this subgenre these days. We’ve heard that a lot of people are offended. We don’t care if it’s positive. we’re too death metal for some. Internal Suffering. We’ve made it to be a contrast for our artwork is very colorful and simply put “gay” while our music is meant to be pummeling and relentless. These days. et cetera. I won’t explain everything because it’s for the person who has the ability to find out for themselves. nor do we care. Vomit Remnants. maybe Malignancy. Because we are the underdogs and we have to work harder for people to recognize and remember us. It only gets gayer from here on. we just find the subject matter to be immensely entertaining. What are you exciting plans for the rest of 2008? We’re planning to record material for two splits hopefully this late fall. There’s a group of folks we’re cool with: Defeatist. all he could say is that we sounded like an explosion. We love how the artwork came out. Lots of stress and drama came into play. BUT they are not the ones to hold the torch of death metal. I wish we could afford those neon ’80s throwback high-top sneakers cuz those could give us the opportunity to run 88 miles an hour and travel through time then fix the shit that we were supposed to do. which is quite laughable compared to 99 per cent of bands out there. revolutionary or mind blowing. We’re very happy that people are offended. our two-week-late album became the main priority of the company. especially our boy Blue from Guttural Secrete. The material in this album isn’t anything new. We’re doing this for ourselves and not trying to impress anyone. but there’s a reason why the layout is done a certain way and the way the songs are arranged. Cerebral Hemorrhage. In the end it’s what the audience thinks. Summer Slaughter and those BB King’s shows are mainly all-ages and they don’t have same exposure like Castle Heights shows did. Asra. and Brodequin all played there. People are offended. When we perform. Cryptopsy. Most of the reactions are geared towards the layout and artwork. jokes-aplenty machine that is Copremesis. out now on Paragon Records. Having missed you at Maryland deathfest this year. That’s what we’re aiming for. we just want to elbow the shit out them and knee their ribs to flaccidity then give ’em a kiss. Leader. we suck in the recording but rule live.” I love being interactive with the audience. Those songs were written back when we were in high school. Morgue. the audience for this subgenre is callous to all the abundant overflowing gore and misogyny. Disavowed. One a 7-inch split with Buckshot Facelift. Now that we’ve got that taken care of. The thing is. one new. In the end. we don’t know what scene Copremesis fits in. Dimentianon.Copremesis F Here Comes Sickness By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley irst off. the artist Scott Porterfield totally aced this and exceeded our expectations. remix. The Forgotten. i can only imagine the chaos that you guys bring to the live show. all guns blazin’ deathgrind. It’s mostly my fault though. Without the artwork. I personally love 80 per cent of the Unique Leader / Neurotic Pro Tools-type bands. Now. Not everyone’s cup of tea. Cursed Earth. Divine Rapture. and of course Malignancy and Buckshot Facelift. And it’s partly based on truth. yet at the same time all those bands listed are homophobic. Regurgitation. Prophecy. Well. Problem is that lots of New York City shows are 21-plus. How do you think it turned out? It came out better than we expected. Although to me it’s almost like a statement of what modern death metal has forgotten: the ugliness. We just read this one ironic review that we got lumped together with Anal Cunt. hardcore and more. Because of this. We’re usually an opening band and it sounds stupid. the album wouldn’t have been out in time for the tour or Maryland Death Fest 2008. we’re too grindy for others. Internal Bleeding. People who have seen us perform usually say we have that “Skinless syndrome”. We won’t try to do a Muay Thai Ladyboys part two. At one point. that’s when I get to vent and that for a slight moment of time we have people’s attention and they have no choice but to wait there and watch us fiddle with our nuts. Talk about an amalgamation of humor. Nong Toom. the brutality. Plus. the other we completely forgot to finish. The Communion. i’m sure you get a lot of feedback from the art. GOOD. we would get into 18-plus shows because we know someone and we promised that person we wouldn’t drink or do anything stupid to ruin the fun for everyone else. don’t open up the CD sleeve for the debut album Muay thai Ladyboys from New York’s Copremesis. Disgorge. Unhallowed. Our label Paragon Records did an amazing job with the final product. Severe Torture. Enrapture. But we’ve never done music for other people. Lividity. To us we partially feel we have something in common with Nong Toom simply because Copremesis is constantly set aside as joke by many people. Mortal Decay. grind. one oldie. In the meantime. we’re out of touch with the current scene. Skinless. It’s a death/grind/whatever album. Sterility. A representative of DGR (printer) said that they had to do it at night so their bosses wouldn’t see what they were printing. 4:20. Alex and Daniel can handle their shit better than I. Neuraxis. non-stop. I don’t really give a fuck. a homosexual [who was on her way to becoming a woman] was the #1 Thai Kickboxer of Thailand. sadistic violence. So you finally got the new album out to the masses. that WAS the scene. I’m pretty sure a lot of them hate us for being irritating or sloppy. With our current album cover. Honestly. and ultra-guttural vocals hacked up to pieces by sinister riffs and a rhythm section flailing limbs side to side. Broken Hope. Malignancy’s Frailty of the Human Condition. In the age of the Internet and being into the death metal/gore-grind. skimming through the distros of Roger/Will of Mortician or Mike from Brodequin because they always had the best sickest shit and would be always excited to tell us how each CD sounded like. there has been a varied assortment of bands to come out of new york over the years—death. We just wanted something hilarious and different that would stand out from the usual theme of this sub-genre. as long as there’s a strong reaction. and one a cover for the ménage à trois. Immolation. but I personally take pride at that. the other a three-way split with Gorged Afterbirth and Cesspool. you need to turn down the suck. or Disgorge’s Forensick. More kids are now finding out about the inaccessible bands. What kind of stuff have you heard or read regarding the album and inner layout artwork? We’re definitely getting the feedback that we wanted and were expecting. We’re not trying to offend people. coPreM esIs 1 7 . That was great exposure for us. it’s supposed to appall people. and this is important to note: if you have a weak stomach. Cephalic Carnage. The new material will definitely piss a lot of people off. and Meat Shits. Two new songs for the 7-inch. especially for a metal show. But what is done is done. crisp/ cold and synthetic lifeless production loses that organic brutality and that threatening feeling of soiling yourself. Castle Heights to us was our second home. We have some secrets up our sleeves. I’d like to say that we’re “intense” live or at least “entertaining. We are in NO way a political band. our goal for this album was just to release something as brutal as Brodequin’s Festivals of Death. Its damn near impossible setting up an all-ages show here in NYC. we don’t know where we belong but as long as we have our friends to play with. Growing up.

18 brave .

and Derek listens to a lot of Kelly Clarkson and Hillary Duff and shit. I was By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley going through a period in my life where everything was falling to shit and that phrase just stuck. “You really got to pick and shoot your spots where you’re going to drop in—every drum hit is crucial and every chord kinda has a little more… I don’t want to say it has more meaning to it. hitting Europe next summer and hopefully South America at some point in there. like Natasha. It’s all about when you sing the timing of it and just trying not to take away from the tone of the music. “thrash till you can thrash no more” vibe. so we just wrote two new songs and they haven’t been mixed yet and we haven’t decided what we’re going to put them out on yet. Ricky is a bowling champ. “I have really fond memories of writing that because I didn’t agonize. We had whole days that were already paid for. “Something I love about playing in this band is that while we all listen to similar music. but the plan is to book enough back-to-back tours that we can all hang out here in between and write more.” The process of recording wasn’t as easy. “I’ve always liked music in its extremes. I think we’re all just trying to stay out of jail and remain at the top of the dude chain. just eating pizza. When that fails. We were supposed to play a Hells Angels party in Oakland before riot cops showed up and we almost got pounded. “Our plans keep changing.” The song was therefore rerecorded and was released through Relapse on November 11. but if you pay attention there are plenty of nods to grindy shit like Napalm Death and crusty Tragedy riffage. The cover art (done by Richmond’s Inkwolf) came out awesome in conveying what we had in mind. “Kallen is super into D-Beat and crusty hardcore. The previously punishing shriek of Pig Destroyer is transformed into a monolithic supernatural tale of the doomed 17-year-old girl who defeats the man who murdered her.” explains Hayes. “Playing in a really slow pace is sometimes a lot harder than with the fast. who initially had reservations about rereleasing the DVD on a proper album. everyone is into slightly different subgenres. we’re a thrash band at heart. Pete generally gives a death metally take on things. they seem to know what they are doing. But we had five days in the studio and we recorded the whole album in the first three days. As a whole I think we’re all psyched on the album’s diversity within the subgenres of metal. the question arises about a song on the new album that truly captures the essence of what the band is about musically. “I think the opening three tracks—‘Speed Trials.” “I am always weird about putting out stuff we’ve already put out before. you know?” Strangely for the vocalist. there’ll be beers getting bonged.” he explains. the group has already recorded other songs that.RAMMING SPEED Bursting With EnErgy Boston’s Ramming Speed have just issued their maniacal. “I was caught up in writing 70 things for the album [Terrifyer] at the same time and I just kept coming up with new ideas. thrash ’n’ fun disc brainwreck on Teenage Bloodbath Disco Records and have just finished touring the United States. I’m pretty sure Pete hangs out in a goblin cave rolling dice. Hayes retells the story of “a girl.” he closes out.” raM M Ing sPeed / PIg destroyer 19 . That’s a tough task.”he laughs.” Aided by whiskey. His problems are manifesting themselves as snakes and monsters and all this crazy shit. One second it wasn’t there and the next second it was there. I got dumped by a girlfriend of six years and just flipped out.” And even while Ramming Speed’s album has that fun.” The title Brainwreck is a perfect name for the album! Which genius chose that? “Brainwreck was something I stumbled upon while dicking around on the Internet one night. I honestly have no idea what that really means. I already live in our practice space so I’m all set. and 2007’s hailed Phantom Limb.” he said. hanging with the locals.” says Hayes. and we were about halfway done and Scott had the idea that he wanted to do a longer. Generally with Kallen he’ll bring us a mostly completed song and we’ll finish it as a band. Ricky is the old-school thrash and grind guy. I can’t get into stuff that falls between those things. Unfortunately most of Derek’s major influences are left by the wayside. “Scott felt really passionately about the song when we were doing it and because we were all under a tighter deadline than we wanted to be he didn’t feel like he got it to the point he was satisfied with it. Terrifyer. “It’s weird for the fans because everyone’s confused and wondering if we have a new album.” he continues. “They’re packed with shredding and intensity. a few times this year. Who would have guessed? “Generally on the road we try and find places safe from the paparazzi where we can jump off the van into pools or lakes. “I think it was just the moment. seventeen at the time… (who) smiles sublime with flaming locks of red in autumn and burning locks of orange in the summertime. cakes being thrown. “He’s a perfectionist and he has been talking about it for awhile and making it the way it was supposed to be with a proper stereo mix. via a “pretty sparse” EP and LP edition.’ and ‘Laser Assault’—really tie together what we’re going for. With a musical backdrop provided by guitarist Scott Hull and drummer Brian Harvey. will now be joined by the natasha EP. 38 Counts of Battery. but rarely are his skills flaunted on the road. a sick mix of thrashy crusty grindy metal comes spewing out. are “broken up into the ambient noise passages and the musical passages. It rules. The music we’d written was way more intense than the stuff before it. Our guitarists Kallen and Ricky write most of our music.” he finishes. mostly everyone in the band is homeless and jobless. “Other than touring. I don’t think we really had anything to do with that. “When it comes to listening to heavy music I like something that’s either really fast and manic or really slow and crushing. which includes the revered Prowler in the Yard. Ricky works best coming up with a riff and we’ll jam on it for a while until things flesh themselves out naturally. I was coming up with the ideas faster than I could write them. “It’s just one of those things.” says drummer Jonah with excitement. Oh yeah! Crank it!” Pig DestrOyer By Sarah Kitteringham before. But asking a member of this band their favourite track on the album is probably like asking them which beer they prefer to drink during a typical party session.” The idea appealed to Hayes. Phantom Limb. it had nothing to do with us. we had a couple reels of tape. who admits that “for every two lines I write that I like I probably write 40 that I don’t.” Despite it being a challenge. We’re planning on doing the U.S. I’m into more straight-up hardcore than anyone else in the band. It’s a dude just crumbling mentally and he’s surrounded by these fucked-up hallucinations. If I am going to listen to pop music then it’s like really poppy and if I listen to something that’s ambient it’s really mellow. but he’s only the bass player so it’s not a big deal. a 35-minute doom recreation of Terrifyer’s bonus audio DVD. kind of drawnout song that was more about feedback and trying to slowly establish an atmosphere. where we actually went into a ‘real studio’ because we wanted to get a good drum sound because we always have problems with recording the drum sounds because mostly we record our own stuff. they’re troublemakers on the road. Don’t worry—they’re looking into it. I’ve never seen it.” he says. though our singer Pete writes an anthem here and there.” After a few more rounds of gabbing about metal and making albums.” he asserts. But again. They need to get back on the road soon or they’re going to explode.” He continues.” he says. “After we recorded the last album. but when we all jam together on a good day. but I guess they know what they’re doing.” So. Their celebrated discography.” the music is in stark contrast to anything the band has released it’s all spaced out. I left the country for a while and when I got back I was kicked out of my place. “Since returning from tour. which is both sadistic and beautiful. “When the crowd really picks up what we’re puttin’ down. but that’s what I’ve heard. “When we do the grindcore-type songs I’ve usually got too much lyrics and the problem is trying to fit them all in. Like I’ve said many times before.” Hayes found that lyrically it was a challenge as well. but mostly in the name of good fun. both in creation and execution.” the lyrics for Natasha simply poured out. “Natasha was just one of those situations where my hand was having problems keeping up with my head. blood spilling and all that sweet shit. but everything is more noticeable because Fast and Manic. “Then when you do a longer piece of music it’s trying to come up with enough lyrics and trying not to overdo it with the vocals because you have so much more space to play with. the only times I can think of fights happening and/or almost happening at our shows.” “We’ve actually recorded several songs that are in a similar vein. but certainly a learning process.” points out the singer. Featuring the original lyrics and extra “atmospheric stuff. so the idea of someone’s world crashing down seemed to fit.’ ‘The Threat…. and shredding on his pointy ESP until magic happens. It just happened. This is no schlocky band holding instruments and putting it up on MySpace. It was just a lot to deal with at once and for a while it was definitely like my brain was falling apart. but here goes… “I can’t pick one. “Honestly.R. slow and crushing Virginia’s Pig Destroyer is renowned for their brilliantly inventive brand of grindcore. drinking out of a goblet. “Both our guitar players recently graduated from the Berklee School of Music as ‘Professional Music’ majors. vocalist J. and shooting fireworks.

but what’s a Sister Sin show like? “It’s energetic. that foundation is most important. the Swedes are no doubt big fans of the Crue. that is why we play music.God Bless the Children of the Beast By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley “We always make sure there is a good hook and chorus. Last thing we do is to check so there is a redline somewhere with the other tracks. but not in North America. You get the idea… All these bands were actually really big in Sweden when we grew up and we were all into that. A cool title to the song is just as important too I believe. market.S.” I’ve not seen the band live yet. and tour some more this year and into 2009. No one else was playing old-school metal at the time and it’s always good to start out against the grain it seems. It’s got the hooks that kill. We give 100 per cent every night even if there’s only 15 people there—like there was on this tour in Hartford. Connecticut—and hope they got into it as much as we did. beyond expectations. The studio can be fun too. whether it’s good or bad. but somehow we found our way back to the roots. duh! But we’re also very influenced by Motörhead. lots of movement. We are gonna start working with The Agency Group [large booking agent] in the States so hopefully they’ll keep us busy on the road in U. what kind of stuff do you like to do when not rocking out on stage? “I have two dogs—English Staffordshire Bull Terriers—and I love to hang out with them together with my beautiful girlfriend. and anthemic vocal passages. Like. Their debut reeks of the band’s 1981 debut Too Fast for Love. but what’s your favourite Mötley Crüe album? “Not tough at all. actually: Shout At The Devil!” The topic turns to the band making the challenge that most European bands face with each new release: breaking into the U. killer riffs. party! \m/ 20 hollenthon .” I have to ask. Everywhere you go there are catchy choruses. for whole of 2009. WASP. Accept. They’ve done tons of promo and press for this tour and album and are very supportive and excited about our music. especially if it’s going down on an album. “No doubt one of our influences is Mötley Crüe.” No doubt the band’s debut album Switchblade Serenades (Victory) is chock full of them. but it’s a lot of frustration.” he laughs.S.” Oh. and it could be a tough question as you are massive fans. I can’t imagine a better home for Sister Sin. When we started out playing music years later we had moved on to punk. as well as a good assortment of the fine metal acts that have defined and/ or made an impression on the scene in the last few decades.” So. I think I speak for everyone in the band when I say that we love to drink beers ’n’ talk shit. After that you can start to build up riffs around it. man! As mentioned above. and hardcore. when instrumentals are all done. “And it never turns out the way you wanted it to sound. “We had a deal in Europe for the album. We’re going to tour. “We apply the lyrics last. black metal. David. They liked our stuff and a couple of weeks later we signed with them. Victory has been great.” starts drummer David from explosive Swedish Mötley Crüe-worship rock ’n’ roll machine Sister Sin about the secret to writing catchy songs. We are from Sweden of course so there is always a lot of alcohol around. I mean. tour. and Judas Priest. “We definitely prefer to play live. So I did some research and sent out a mail to Victory among others. anger and emotions that makes it kind of a painful experience in the end.

“It’s my passion. funder. he had no plans to evolve those artistic ideas into a fully realized collaborative project. movies. Some are more rock-based songs. touring with Candiria and Isis. more aggressive. We had talked about working together and we were excited to be in the same city. he explains. LaMacchia now had an official release.” The visual image most explicitly linked with Spylacopa is not an illustration of the music but a rendering of the environment in which that music is created. I talked to Greg [Puciato. “It’s the possibility of creating something new from something destructive.O. the new creative combination made for a slightly different sound than what he’d envisioned on his own. It’s about being creative and putting out music that we’re all happy with. records. for LaMacchia. my label. “Books. anything I feel I can be involved with and support. “but I thought it was important to put something on there that keeps us based in the original Spylacopa sound. I met Julie at a Tool/Isis show. I had only heard of Made Out of Babies and I had no idea how talented she was. “I want to stress that there is no specific direction from here on out. the label home of Spylacopa. around the new year. With ‘Bloodletting’ we started writing more in a rock. after all. I work obsessively until I have that product in hand. and no one is going to work on it as hard as me. put out DVDs.” Art and artists were now in place.” he says. “Collective Unconscious. Imprint (2002). He had Spylacopa.” The inclusion of “Together We Become Forever” on Spylacopa’s new self-titled EP serves as a reminder of the band’s creative origins. “About a year or so after I left Candiria. it’s just for material LaMacchia has worked on. “apocalypse” sIster sIn / sPylacoPa 21 in reverse) contrasted by creative excitement. “Spylacopa is a New York-based project. “He didn’t think it should be on the EP. lucrative products—creative things. and I wanted to continue making records. and label owner.A. DEP vocalist] about Spylacopa. but the rock framework doesn’t define Spylacopa. It has so much influence. Spylacopa became a band.” says LaMacchia.” LaMacchia explains. After talking she gave me her contact info. This is the environment in which we’re creating. “I wanted to form my own label. The earlier ambient music. I can’t ever accomplish that visual—it’s not physically possible—but I wind up with something close. Rising Pulse.” weaving together the members’ diverse interests and abilities. Artist. your self-expression.M. Instead of a learning tool. and art and music is a reflection of your surroundings. This is a studio project. the song is a post-apocalyptic soundscape of piano and ambient noise. art rock style. “I get an idea in my head and it drives me. After I talked to him about Spylacopa he expressed interest as well.” “I knew this was a new direction for the band.” he muses. Three years later. open-minded space for sharing ideas—and LaMacchia’s role is always an involved one. and I was surprised I hadn’t met her before. but he plans to seek out other talent as well. and then pursued when he found himself seduced by the lure of full creative control. mixed by LaMacchia. “I was excited about it.W hen Candiria’s John LaMacchia started recording experimental ambient music as a way of learning the equipment and the process of music recording. are often intertwined. One of Puciato’s contributions. Music and visual images. inspired by an undelivered promise of backing from a larger label. is also LaMacchia’s pet project. My ambitions are greater than my ability to create. and we knew we shared interests in music other than metal and aggressive stuff. and it’s the mental concept that pushes him to create. of you.” Art. He asked me what I wanted to do with it and asked to contribute. some are more ambient and experimental. put music out on my own.” says LaMacchia. post-hardcore. We became friends over the years.” Creativity.” For now. He himself is a visual artist as well as a musician—a graphic designer and photographer who has been drawing his whole life. and as LaMacchia found. She’s from Brooklyn. but also as founder. he discovered this was a more serious endeavour than he’d anticipated. I want to be creative. from making suggestions to producing to writing.” The studio environment for Spylacopa is a laid-back. EnvironmEnt By Laura Wiebe Taylor . born and raised. The EP cover displays a view of the New York skyline on the evening of 9/11 with splashes of colour descending from the top corner of the image—the city in ruins that will never be the same (Spylacopa is.” on the bonus disc of Candiria’s C. is clearly not confined to the musical realm.” Made Out of Babies’ Julie Christmas (also Battle of Mice) is the latest addition to the band: “Late 2006 or early 2007. and after listening to Made Out of Babies and Battle of Mice I knew I wanted to work with her. I’d recorded a huge amount of music. But after a couple of years of translating inspiration to tape. He can even identify a specific moment for the shift—when Puciato sent him the demo to “Bloodletting. rock based. You are what your surroundings make you. Then when I went to a Dillinger Escape Plan show.” Jeff Caxide (Isis bassist) joined the fold around the same time: “Jeff was moving to New York.” LaMacchia admits that the rock and aggression help “make the project more cohesive. it was too loosely knitted—we were not focusing enough to make a record. after LaMacchia had stepped away from Candiria and was in the process of releasing a second solo composition. It’s all intertwined. “It’s my baby.

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that would be our sound. “Our city is like a little bubble. Walken. So I guess you could say it was by design as much as it was just what happened. as much as I and most of the rest of the world is happy that Barack Obama is about to become the next president of the United States. It was whatever the three of us made and liked. this grand Show. Zack’s not going down without a fight. “But I’d say eight out of the ten bands we always get compared to I’ve never heard of.” “We didn’t have an idea at all. it would have been nice to claim one of extreme music’s most original outfits as honorary Canucks and watch them struggle with the minutiae of Canadian history on the citizenship exam. This concerns the number of idle threats many American friends and colleagues had made about moving to Canada had McCain. even though their music is widesweeping enough that the band could ostensibly appeal to anyone with open ears and an open mind. The album is at once grittier and more aggressive as well as more refined and intricate than their self-titled debut. Thursday was workwork-practice and then I took Friday off. and incomprehensible running mate come out on top. “and those are the instruments we play. “but we’ve also been pushed to the indie scene. it was more a matter of friends coming together to see what might happen. Grayceon never gave a second thought to creating heavy music with their seemingly oddball instrumentation. creates. as long as it’s fun for everyone to play. How they pulled it off logistically is their own secret.” Maybe it’s the liberalism in the air. Amber Asylum and now. a band your fearless author’s last band opened for at a show held in a vegetarian dessert café in Sacramento seven years ago (although both Zack and Max were still a month or so from joining Walken at the time). Perez-Gratz juggles even more with her being a member of the re-tooled Giant Squid and her continued associations with Asunder. and 2) they call the liberal safe haven of San Francisco home. ‘Oh. “There was a huge disparity between seeing Grayceon and hearing Grayceon on record. “We heard from a lot of people and read in some reviews that there was a difference between us on record and our live set. Imagine a mixture of Metallica’s classic instrumentals. “It’s not easy. Grayceon has been geared and marketed towards a metal audience. Awesome! While we’re not really convinced cellist/vocalist Jackie PerezGratz. with all of us in the same room. Let’s not even get started on her training for. you realize. instrumental post-rock and a little measure of quirky indie-rock thrown in for good measure. but upon forming three years ago.” explains Jackie.” laughs Zack about the band’s lack of original intent. his wacky elbows. when you leave San Francisco you realize how conservative the rest of the state is. There would have been shows out the wazoo. Perez-Gratz plays an electric cello that’s tuned non-traditionally to more easily match up with the riffs that Doyle. Wednesday was work-practice-work. of course. Cattle Decapitation. She has cut back in recent years. As crammed as Jackie’s day-planner is. I can’t help but selfishly think about the one and only upside that would have resulted from a victorious McCain/Palin/wingnut ticket. the orchestrated bombast of Neurosis. Grayceon is just a place we can play and bring anything to the table and know it’s not going to be shot down.” It’s a small wonder that the trio was able to pull off the cohesive sounds and intricate details of their latest and second album. “but now it’s a full-time endeavour. mostly.I n a way.” says Perez-Gratz. though. that there shouldn’t be rules. I have two jobs and this was my week last week: Monday was work-practice.” says Zack. and has the band agreed with the comparisons they’ve received? “I know we’ve been pushed mostly to the metal scene.” By Kevin Stewart-Panko grayceon 23 . we’re…” “Metal-lite. Ludicra. just think of the sweet-ass fucking music scene that would have exponentially grown and blossomed north of the border! Not to mention the number of bands’ refusing to return to their home nation based on principle or immigration fine print.” interjects Zack. drummer Zack Farwell. and guitarist/vocalist Max Doyle would have made the move north because 1) the logistic nightmare involved in uprooting lives. but some of the indie press hasn’t really responded to us that well or they haven’t wanted to review us because we’re too metal. Matmos and The Fucking Champs. but the ones I have heard of had been rad. and I think this record sounds closer to what we sound like live. but there were definite issues the band wanted to tackle going into album number two. when they weren’t making hasty bee-lines towards Europe. “It was just us getting together and that was kind of the rule. this is what the rest of the country is like?’ Even in California. How have fans and critics based in other genres reacted to the band thus far. The most outlandish thing about Farwell was that he once played Grayceon in San Fran noise/metal/spazz core outfit.” While all the members work at least one full-time job in order to keep afloat in one of the most expensive cities in North America. Being that so many of those friends and colleagues are in killer bands… Dudes. “it’s very. this past summer’s Alcatraz Open Water Swim in the San Francisco Bay. But in the metal scene. and participation in. That being that thus far. Tuesday was work-work.” says Jackie. their touring schedules would have become limited to our fair provinces and territories.” The shadowy criticism that the band took to heart to great affect on the new album brings us to an interesting point.” picks up Jackie.” “Yeah. very liberal and as soon as you step out of it. It started loosely as a side project. “Yeah. “When we toured we heard from people that we sounded much more ‘metal’ live and that’s why we recorded our new album live. the progressive wanderings of King Crimson and Opeth. To Grayceon. from the days when she was also rosining up her bow for guest spots with Neurosis. our live sound is much more dirty and heavier. we just wanted to play together as people.” he notes. who finger-picks and plays de-tuned E and A strings.

Sometimes the same ideas work better with an all-acoustic approach. If you take the harsher albums and remove the distorted wall of sound. The musical contrasts become even more extreme if you compare this record to the rest of the October Falls discography. I try to spend more time with the nature and stand strong behind the ideals I carry. uniting his stylistic variations under one banner. the themes Lehto refers to take conceptual shape in the motif of the “beast within. because I need to be able to control everything October Falls releases and stands for. I try to capture more serious and mature tones.” He’s also perfectly willing to cite his musical influences. Maybe when the right time and place meet. but slowly bands like Ulver. I don’t personally care for the cheerful beer-drinking songs the ‘folk-metal’ bands of today mostly perform. I think it’s fair to say that each release has been musically superior to the one preceding it. At some point I became interested in recording and releasing harsher material in addition to the acoustic releases.S. “but in different form. He no longer practises regularly or “just for the sake of playing”—now he plays only to compose or record. “I didn’t want to limit the band’s expression to either all-acoustic or all-metal. so it’s very unlikely that October Falls will ever perform live.. However. and sometimes they need the wall of distortion behind them to reach full potency. but also about the unique atmosphere on each release. but if you walk to a local bar on Friday. but usually I try to avoid recycling. the latest album by October Falls swells and subsides—sometimes in gentle acoustic waves. by Dark Horizon. this back and forth motion might have seemed like transformations. These things are something I try to capture in the music.” Lehto’s plans for October Falls emphasize the studio rather than the stage. both musically and ideologically. The history of October Falls might be read as a subtle contest of musical oppositions eventually leading to a delicate balance. During this transformation October Falls was basically nonexistent. The situation might seem a bit strange or different to a foreigner. the creative force behind October Falls. but produce something like it himself. but he doesn’t consider October Falls to be an emotionally driven band. was also recorded and released. for example. and old Satyricon. It’s the same passion for music.” says Lehto.” Some of this inspiration clearly derives from non-musical influences. Soon after that the full-length debut of all-acoustic material. it’s more than likely that you meet some well-known musicians there. but from Lehto’s perspective there has been more continuity than change. As for more personal plans. he says.” Lehto 24 october falls . I wanted to record the material in a form that I think worked best. Lehto is pleased. “All the releases have been carved from the same tree.” Although the dominant mood on October Falls’ latest release is sombre. but I have no need to hide or deny the huge inspiration and the influence these bands have brought to me. “I think the music is quite emotional and melancholic. you could take the acoustic albums and take a harsher and distorted approach. “That difference. though all-acoustic. and that lead to the recording of The Streams of the End. I think it’s all about how you interpret the change in the sound. I still try to have my own sound and not just copy others. It might sound a lot different than the harsher albums to a casual listener. as well as Primordial. Sarastus. “I’m very bad at making any compromise. The Womb of Primordial Nature. Lehto recognizes his music’s emotional qualities. instead of an entire lineup. it’s only the type of expression that has been changing through the years.” Lehto explains. which due to length restrictions makes it impossible to release it in one piece anyway. “I’ve thought about it every now and then through the years. because of the vast disparity in market and population size. both cultural and natural.” What Lehto describes as “the acoustic expression” retains “a strong role in October Falls’s music. so I’m quite pleased that Moribund released this record in the U. “Finland is a small country. Metsola has been involved in some way since the beginning.” The earlier October Falls releases slipped by most North American ears. only with a different approach. “I think some of the influences can be heard quite clearly.” The powerful influence of older Katatonia and Opeth “will always be there in some form. Lehto sees a kind of musical evolution in his own work. “Also the surrounding nature inspires me greatly. the Womb of primordial nature wanders introspectively through doomy black metal and blackened doom. It will also be released on vinyl. so basically this is a new situation for October Falls. among others. unchanging fundamentals shaped in shifting forms. The project “was formed in 2001 as a non-acoustic group. All songs are linked with the same theme. medieval minstrelsy and murky forest folk. old Hades. and the whole concept carries throughout the album. it has still kept the same atmosphere. Most of the themes and ideals are still the same as in the beginning. and the result would be something very close to the sound of The Streams… and The Womb… I think the fundamentals of the music are unchanged. one split 7-inch and most recently the first harsher full-length. was written and recorded after the heavier The Streams of the End and has similar themes to the “harsher releases. Tenhi. For Mikko Lehto. Sarastus. After that.” What you are less likely to see is October Falls performing live— that experience falls rather low on Lehto’s list of goals for the band. In some cases I’ve even recorded and released the same songs with both acoustic and harsher approaches. I feel. defining the relationship between recordings beyond a shared thematic foundation. it may happen after all. gives a perfect example of the sound of October Falls.S. The Womb… had more ideas from others than ever before. Lehto avoids the confusion of multiple bands and side-projects. The fact is that I have no real interest in performing live. and that makes it nearly impossible not to know someone from this so-called ‘Finnish scene’ if you play in a band or are otherwise in touch with this type of music. I see The Womb of Primordial Nature more as a one solid piece than four different tracks.Uncha nging a nd shiFting FUnda menta ls asserts. However. but The Womb of Primordial Nature is finally bringing the Finnish band much-deserved attention on this side of the Atlantic. The result of that decision was the Kaste demo. Although I was a very different man when the band was formed than I am now.” explains Lehto.” structured musically in a near-continuous four-part composition. but more of the inspiration that just comes. “I guess originally it was just the urge to write and record something of my own. It’s something that is unleashed when the conditions are right or wrong enough—it all depends how that beast is seen overall.” despite the aggression of his latest recording. the main motivation behind the band was and will always be the desire to compose and perform music I can stand behind 100 per cent. sometimes in the middle of night. which encompasses the fully acoustic as well as the harsh and aggressive. but so far nothing has been planned. Marras.” October Falls isn’t exclusively Lehto’s own work. answering his need for an outlet of expression rather than serving as an end in itself.” Lehto explains.S. but I still make all the final decisions. there’s no internal contradiction to this range of expression. “but after only a while the acoustic expression took over. Lehto elaborates: “The whole concept is dealing about the wolf. Yet it’s Ulver and Drudkh that he particularly identifies with. mainly as a metaphor of the beast within men.” Lehto’s musical background is rather informal. Empyrium and Drudkh became way more influential to the band’s sound. “October Falls was formed in 2001 and was originally heavily influenced by older Katatonia and Opeth. no repeating lines except for the title. there are no choruses. and the harsher expression slowly faded away. and I think I somewhat succeeded in doing that on The Womb…” October Falls came about for that very reason—Lehto was motivated to not simply listen to the music he admired.” On The Womb of Primordial Nature. “I think that although the musical direction has changed a bit through the years. which was later re-recorded with additional material and officially released as Tuoni. It’s all music he means. but the musical backbone is the same. sometimes when walking outside. “The history of our nation and my heritage has been a huge influence on my music. so they’re basically all equally important to me. It’s a burden or a blessing that everyone carries within. although it was decided to split into four pieces. Lehto has two clear goals in mind: “As an individual. including the “writing and recording the second harsher full-length album”— probably the next October Falls release—as well as some all-acoustic material to be recorded some time next year.” The Finnish context is significantly different—inevitably. those that helped him find his own musical voice in the beginning and those that developed along the way. so the overall feeling is indeed quite sombre. because it’s not all about the musical or artistic values. but they never got the same kind of promotion as TWoPN has been getting. I realize it’s not as simple as that. I decided to re-arrange the old acoustic material and release it with a few new acoustic songs. “V. more often in a deluge of sombre intensity. so I feel it’s better to keep all the strings in my own hands. it never seems resigned.” From the outside.” Exploring the full range of expression through October Falls.” Nevertheless. The older albums have been a bit difficult to get in U. And conversely. area. When writing new material it’s not so much about the emotional space I am in. simply performed differently and with a different atmosphere. but he’s still not an official member and most likely will never be. but after searching through some of the older tapes. although he’s not necessarily what you would call “open” to the contributions of others. there has been one all-acoustic mini-release. it’s not something I’ve completely excluded. “Tuoni and Marras were also released in the U.” By Laura Wiebe Taylor For ms A wash with dark emotion and atmosphere. it’s still basically the same kind of music as on all the acoustic OF releases.

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“I think those are the three that kind of have everything of us in there and they are all pretty definitive.” he explains.” he says.” he says.” Overall. “It’s all related to the general characteristics of humans that have been in place since the beginning. It’s more an extra layer of noise and sound. Intronaut’s Prehistoricisms is sure to end up on countless “Best of 2008” lists. It’s 7 PM in his hometown of Los Angeles and our 30-minute conversation is marked by jumbled thoughts and sighs.” Indeed.” and “Sundial” as the disc’s highlights. I guess we kind of in a way molded Dave and he was open to doing what we told him to do. a bit more streamlined and it’s on the same page as far as what the sound is and what the vision is for what were trying to do for each song. “Definitely just forward thinking and constantly exploring and inventing new rhythmic and melodic ideas. “This sounds fucked up.” he hesitates. “They all have got my favourite elements of us: heavy. Getting frustrated over nothing. One song is honestly about how I am in L.” explains Dunable when asked about the disc. “I am all for super-tight grooves and wobbling and unconventional time signatures. It’s not to imply they lack originality—far from it. After one listen to Prehistoricisms.” This goal of producing rhythm and melody is seemingly incongruent with the group’s music. It’s tapping on the guitar. definitely not having any spotlight. “It’s more about playing parts that are complimentary to the whole song. Not to say that anything Leon brought to the table wasn’t cool.” “Prehistoricisms. “I don’t want to say positive. I am.” “I am not a super shredder—same with Dave. “It’s all pretty…. the vocals are only there as another instrument. it’s clear the group is doing just fine after the loss of founding guitarist Leon Del Muerte. “His solo is like…Steeve Hurdle. and there is a lot of traffic and it was written while sitting in traffic and looking at people sitting in their cars getting frustrated. It’s awesome. Focusing on a strong instrumental approach that defines the postcore genre they helped popularize.” Such lyrical content generally calls to mind the view that humans have progressed little since evolving from apes. And Gorguts’ Obscura is just the most extreme record ever recorded. “We’re not a vocal band.” says Dunable.” he continues. Life is busy for the guitarist and vocalist.” The band seemingly tapped into that frustration only lyrically for the recording process.” peaking and dipping accordingly. It’s exactly what we wanted.“It’s hard to headbang in 9/8” By Sarah Kitteringham S acha Dunable of fusion masters Intronaut sounds tired. But it’s not as serious as some sort of apocalyptic whatever.” he asserts.. they’ve added unique elements such as tabla (provided by newest member Dave Timnick) and creating songs that are definably theirs. In his stead. he is proud of “Sun Dial. and he outlines why. So it’s a little bit easier. With the addition of Timnick.A. characterized by roaring vocals.” emphasizes Dunable. “The vocals are really only in there when they need to be. they’re sparsely utilized on the album. “I don’t want to say exactly what is in our heads and what the criteria is for a riff or a part that you bring to the table. “It’s about our most primal instincts and tendencies that we always fall back on. and Neurosis.” He laughs. but as a guitar player we were able to dictate his role and he was fine with that. It’s all like that—I am sure that 2000 years ago people were doing the same thing in some kind of setting that was a result of the times.” In particular. “As long as not everybody is overplaying then I think the result is what you’re saying: more controlled. and fucking. and the group’s interpretation is not far off. progressive/jazz instrumentals and a level of musicianship akin to the bands which they’ve been frequently compared to: Botch. The eight-track disc continues in the same vein as their revered Challenger EP. “Before it was like four people who kind of came together and everybody had an idea of what the band is and what it sounds like.” a 16-plusminute instrumental epic that follows the human condition through five universal characteristics: sleeping. Intentionally. more of a rhythmic shredding than a guitar shredding.” says Dunable. “I think were happy with it. shitting.” It’s an idea that extends to other elements of Intronaut. Dunable is happy with the entirety of the album and expresses contempt at the thought of changing anything. whose band has just released their first full length prehistoricisms for their new label Century Media. eating. so that’s good enough for me.” It is hard for Dunable to dictate that vision. fighting. In my head. but I feel like there is more of a singular vision now. Dunable personally sees “Little Black Cloud. Mastodon. Hurdle was chosen for the duty because “he was the one we all really wanted and he was totally down. it’s the opposite. like the need to consume and to procreate.” which features Steeve Hurdle of Gorguts fame. whose jarring time signatures and massive percussion call to mind extreme control rather than joyous wank. whose highlight may very well be the closing track “Reptilian Brain. “There are no parts I cringe while listening to them. Dunable feels the process is much smoother. “When someone new comes into that they know what the band sounds like and they know what everybody is going for. off-time-but-groovy riffs and the kind of more fusion-sounding stuff… I think those songs are the most unique on the record. “It’s whale sounds and shit. the song was written “according to its respective name. 26 Intronaut ..

at the soundawn 27 .

It is of course better to have him doing the drums and staying with the band as a part of the creative process. We wanted something clean and simple for this album. I think he does a hell of a good job. Asmegin steer clear of hummpa territory and leave the jigging and ale mugs to the trolls. ‘Heartburning’ is written by Raymond. and ended up using only photos from a place that means a lot to us (One little anecdote on the side: most of the guitars on TTSK are recorded in the woods you see in the artwork of Arv). both of which are promptly torn apart by the old-school fans? It’s an unfortunately common occurrence these days.” If the band seems a bit defensive about the “new direction” on Arv (which honestly. After all. concerning the fact that he’s not a drummer at all. Quite a bunch of the tracks are actually pretty old material. haha.” As for the album itself? Upon a first listen. but luckily. It’s perhaps not the best way to get fans and keep them. I had so much more planned with this album. ‘Yndifall’ (Bereavement) is a fictive story from the Norse era dealing with questions like revenge and loyalty. but this time the album art came from a photographer.” Old-time fans. after sending it to the mastering studio. If you’re interested. than Arv. For us. It’s like a modern version on the old Nordic Medieval ballad “Two Sisters. and so on. but this steadfast troupe of Slavonic troubadours have returned with a brand-new album. but I believe he can do it. TTSK will be something completely else and that doesn’t mean that we’ll stick with this or that ‘change. The song that stands out the most would probably be ‘Fandens Mælkebøtte. If we had better time in the studio. but he has some months to practise now and recently he informed me that he can do 200 bpm. There are some insane death metal arrangements on these two albums (TTSK part I and II). this is perhaps the most unique instrument of all. propelled forward by pure metal aggression.” As for the recording process behind Arv… “To be honest? It was complete hell. Not all drums sound alike. we’ve changed. and the eventual triumph of creation is what keeps artists moving forward through any number of trials by fire or galling storms. “The metal part varies from death to black to doom mostly. On Arv we decided to try to go back to how things started. if you’ve had any prior exposure to Asmegin. “To be 100 per cent honest. we are also very happy that Gunhild Hovden Kvangarsnes had to time to join on this record. ‘Arv’ (Heritage) deals with questions about family values. so Erik [Rasmussen. who is an old friend of mine. While cleaner and lighter sounding than like-minded souls Moonsorrow and Storm. but luckily we found three or four hours to add some fiddle lines. and explores a wide range of lyrical themes. lighter and allover up-tempo album. Arv wouldn’t fit the same kind of black metal vocals like HVSOS used. actually pre-HVSOS. the passion. getting together with our families and practising everything that’s still a pagan part of this holiday. rather than using a session musician that just does what we tell him to do. As a Wergeland-fan. “It’s been five years since Hin Vordende Sod & Sø. but I believe that’s a natural thing for musicians. What happened was. It was not a change for the sake of changing or doing what’s right according to what everyone thinks is right. Anders Næsset. We could also ended up using more ‘professional’ artwork instead of plain. female vocals. a much more vigorous. so I’m curious about how this will go. ‘En Myrmylne’ (A Boggy Mylne) is a story about a guy who goes to the woods picking cloudberries. We’ve been working on a double album with the working title Tusind tabte Siæles Kakofoni (Cacophony of a Thousand Lost Souls). it’s for good reason.” Arv’s North American release is slated for the beginning of January. but we’re all proud of what we could manage in so little time. The voices of these two girls hue the Arv-soundscape just right. stolt i Jokumsol’ (Pompously. what is right for a certain story. She has a beautiful ethereal voice that fits perfectly into the ‘roaming the East-Norwegian woods’ feeling we were going for. won’t strike you as much of a departure at all from their previous efforts). If you like Windir and sognametall. The new album is as well crafted and relentless as albums past. “Thanks for your interest. smack dab in the middle of a cluster of wintertime holidays. singing the last verse on Prunkende. and the odd prog-rock interlude add flavour. we celebrate the spirit of a pagan júl. HVSOS was. we decided to do an album like Arv. Take TTSK for instance. Proudly in the Sun of Jokum) is a song about suicide and leaving heavy burdens behind. clean and true photos.’ which is a quite obscure and vague ode to something so strange as dandelions. and result in a completely unexpected outcome. It’s this stressful situation that made Arv into what it is today. He had a couple of weeks or something to prepare for the studio recording. We play the music we like ourselves and since we’re a bunch of fellows with different musical tastes. ‘Prunkende. One wonders—what do the pagan souls of Asmegin plan to do at Yuletide? “None of the members of the band are religious persons. Our lyrics touch upon everything from humorous storytelling to profound grief and darkness. we tend to try out different things (perhaps this is why we need to use more time in the studio). Tommy [Brandt] left the band some years ago. maybe it wouldn’t have sounded this right. one that addresses both the band’s Norse heritage and their appreciation for…dandelions (seriously!). The funny thing is that Erik will probably end up doing the drums on TTSK as well. like jazz. I probably hated the entire album and was so upset about not having the opportunity to have everything finished. so we ended up doing more death vocals. only to reemerge a half dozen years later armed with lame new hairstyles and a poorly written new record. something that reflected the music. However. The struggle. there is a lot of symbolism to pick up on. stolt i Jokumsol on the way out of the studio just in time to reach the scheduled airplane. and gruff male death vocals lend it some bite. Musically. and did our best to find out the true meaning of arv. It’s been a long five years. Sometimes all it takes is a single phone call to nudge things off course. these two albums will be something completely different from both HVSOS and Arv. Since we had no chance of getting this material finished this year. and neither do the guitars. We had one night to do the mix and I found out that I had 18 hours of sleep the last week of the process!” Olaussen minces no words when questioned about his feelings on Arv as a whole. the scope of which might surprise you. A race against time. ‘Fandens Mælkebøtte’ (The Devil’s Milk Pail). but when it comes to vocals. some tracks on Arv could easily have been recorded for HVSOS. Napalm phoned us in May this year and told us that they wanted to release TTSK in 2008. Fiddles. All in all I think this is an important release to put in our catalog. vocals] had to do the drums on Arv. The recording of the female vocals were pretty much alike. arranging and playing. I like my lyrics obscure. but I decided to place the story in my own home) hunting a troll hare. which the Christians have taken from us. as fellow Norwegians. the final result is naturally hued by this. but nevertheless. we’ve done the Hin vordende Sod & Sø-sound and weren’t interested in doing that over and over again. “When composing. one is struck by the now-familiar blend of Nordic folk and blackened melodies. usage and that sort of things. for example. We managed to track down founding member Marius Olaussen via email. so I can’t say that much about it. It’s still some bpm to go. a self-described “metal band that adds Norwegian folk tunes.’ We’re doing what is right for us at the moment and most important of all. leaving a lot of effort in understanding them to the listener or reader. Cryptic enough for you? Welcome to a year in the life of Asmegin.The best artwork is borne of adversity. though we also like to add other styles into our music. In addition to Anne Marie. “The first song.” ‘Generalen og Troldharen’ (The General and the Trollhare) is a semi-historical happening that took place late in the 19th century. vocals. in many ways. Asmegin show no such signs of slowing down or selling out. if you understand? As far as production goes. but ending up in a boggy death. add-on instruments. We almost had to drop the fiddle and female vocals. how many times have we seen a beloved band disappear from the public eye. I’d like to use this space to recommend a very cool album: Monument by Cor Scorpii. is an ode to dandelions. prepare for the new kings of the Western Mountains!” Asmegin 28 asM egIn With the Power of the gods By Kim Kelly . not all situations are so extreme. this is our musical heritage. though. ‘Gengangeren’ (The Apparition) is a story about the emptiness feeling in death. When I look back at it now. A general from Christiania (the Capitol of Norway during 1877–1925) goes to Hadeland (actually he goes to Ringerike. As on HVSOS we also decided to use Anne Marie Hveding on Arv. I know you’ve missed them.

et cetera—and being quite proficient musicians and eager as hell to work made this band come together very quickly and work at constant progression. and deadly at a stagnating scene. “I think it’s appropriate for a debut to be self-titled.” says Asheim. however. caught Earache’s attention and led to an easy partnership between the band and label. their debut record. Borne from the ashes of progressive death metallers Council of the Fallen and the restlessness of creative minds. Kevin might say that it’s a continuation of CotF for him since he wrote for both. Between the two of us. anyway.” as Steve says. and a new direction. We started writing the first song at that first practice and put a song together every practice until we had an album’s worth. Order of Ennead is definitely a brutal. Some of his lyrics are quite positive in nature. gave me some demos. and an artist named Summer Lacy did the artwork itself. It’s definitely not just a project—too much work went into it. no matter what style or age. That’s how I see it. grandiose. The band name is title enough. anyway? “The band’s name stems from a creation myth. but you asked!” As is fitting for such a cosmically minded group of individuals. They are attributed with giving all spheres of culture and knowledge to man. waiting to be discovered. Don’t just look at your fingers. “It starts with quality musical ideas. one must ask: Just who were the Ennead. and when I finished tracking Till Death Do Us Part with Deicide last fall and had nothing planned for the next year. the image of that which we all rely on yet have little knowledge of and absolutely no control over. The thought of being labeled as a ‘members of’ band never occurred to me—I just see it as a bunch of dudes making an album. how to write. you know?” order of ennead 29 . but one. “Those can be molded and structured into anything at will. Again. “I came up with the concept. “To produce quality work on tape and live. and whatever else comes up. I know. “He tends to deal with what he’s seen and learned about himself and others on a grand scale and on a very personal scale as well. evil. of course all reliant on the sun.” While guitarist Jon finishes up his degree at NYU. The ‘Order’ of Ennead is a concept we created to acknowledge the existence and importance of the proliferation of all knowledge itself. I guess I’m inspired by creativity itself. He’s being honest with himself in a very clear and concise way. but you asked!” The band’s fresh take on a flagging genre. “Honestly. By that I mean that everybody is touring somewhere. I’ll help him out with arranging/structure. Around it are eight planets. record. It’s a fuckin’ free for all! “Personally. anyway. and see what happens. Like clay—you make of it what you see. as a matter of fact—they deal with vision and empowerment. except it’s what you hear. as opposed to a series of parts. the shadows behind blackened death metal marauders Order of Ennead are poised to strike fast. both the old bands and the new bands of all styles. Given their past dealing with Deicide and legendary back catalog of death metal classics. as of recently. I think that says a lot about him. spawned from it as we all are. and a lot of different types of music that you might not think I’d be into. so I’ve been pushing myself in that regard for years now. Instead of screaming bloody gore. those of the Ennead will keep a very simple goal in mind. The good thing is that all the different styles of metal are still viable.” Instead of decapitated heads or inverted virgins. it just “makes sense. gets a nice basic arrangement going. I’ve also been pushing myself to stay busier in general with Deicide. and ask yourself what it needs and where it can go. they turn their voices upward…and inward. Steve explains the title (or lack thereof) by saying. the band quickly came together and recorded a bloodthirsty debut album (soon to be released by extreme music mainstays Earache Records). and I decided to jam with him. That’s what I do.ORDER OF ENNEAD Gathering of the Mystics By Kim Kelly That attitude is apparent on the group’s self-titled debut. Order of Ennead. Scotty mentioned CotF. they take a rather cerebral approach to the style. it doesn’t make itself. and resurgence of the American death metal scene.” says Asheim. too. The same with music. is still hell-bent on making more progress. and if there are any issues. displaying both an acute sense of melody and a strong grasp on the importance of writing an actual song. and generally does steer clear of the shocking style of lyric writing. I think everyone already being well-versed in the workings of a band—you know. plus it leaves room for the concept of the band name itself to sink in without a separate title getting in the way. As a death metal lifer. I’ve been on a quest for self-improvement as far as my drumming goes. Sounds a little grandiose. To illustrate that. and while he has already done more than his fair share to keep it going strong. framed by imposing columns straight from an ancient temple. coupled with the preexisting relationship they had with Steve’s other band. It’s been the same since I’ve been involved and was probably the same long before I showed up! I think now what’s different is that most genres have been invented and defined and there’s no new ground to cover. tour. is that it’s all very well crafted musically and structurally. It’s as if they were nine. the sun. For Kevin to write gory. which Steve hints may possibly yield more Deicide/Order of Ennead dates in the near future. Why not. bass] was working with Kevin in Council of the Fallen. represents the one original. writing lyrics that only a focused and clear-minded person could write. and eventually working on their next record. Kevin busy themselves pulling double-duty in Deicide and the Order. grow the band. listen. so to speak. but the common thread. “Scott [Patrick. bringing them out of the Stone Age. he has seen the rise. Unlike many of their peers. a new vibe. Sticksman Steve Asheim (of Deicide infamy) took time out of his hectic schedule to explain the origins of the band. The Ennead were the nine givers of life and culture to the universe—the original being and the eight offspring. All of them together represent the nine of the Ennead on a large scale.” Like most of the bands that fall under the umbrella of “black/ death” these days. I thought that the idea of the Ennead and all that it represented to me was bigger and more vast in scope Building upon an existing legacy of brutality. I wanted to keep busy with something. or otherwise explicit lyrics just wouldn’t be his style. which in turn represents the vastness of the still-untapped knowledge which is right in front of us all. Steve and.” than anything we could touch or see plainly. but for me at least it’s a new thing. “Kevin writes the lyrics. I think the scene and the attitudes have changed very little. Definitely a new sound and style compared to CotF. hard. promoting. and the universe itself. unrelenting force. and to actually work as much as possible.” Speaking of the band’s name. He comes up with the parts. fall. the cover of Order of Ennead is simple: a singular star engulfed in flames and flanked by eight smaller planets (meant to represent the other eight members of the Ennead). we pretty much get it done!” The album’s celestially themed artwork only serves to solidify Order of Ennead’s position as something “different. “Kevin writes all the riffs. Order of Ennead’s lyrics tend to steer clear of genre clichés. While they stay occupied with touring.

30 .

what stratification we have is wealthbased. We are more than comfortable with being an underground entity at present. the UK’s mostpromising underground death metal juggernaut Spearhead are relatively unknown on these shores. “There are certainly a number of current bands I admire though.’ This type of unstratified rule is completely alien to the type of rule and stratification known to the ancient and medieval world. as were large parts of the guitar work. affect me and influence my view of the world. A lot more time and consideration went into perfecting the recording this time round. such as ‘Mors Triumphalis’ which go into detail about how and why the path of war was. and the process was pretty arduous at times.” Choosing not to be affiliated in any way with any political group or movement. like ‘Road to Austerlitz’ which is about the famous Napoleonic battle there. and perhaps still is to those capable enough. which states that war is the only path to spiritual and societal mastery. it only took two weeks to record. though some obvious stylistic similarities remain.” Opting to record with Wojciech Wieslawski (Vader. or in the case of ‘Iulianus Augustus Apostata’ the metaphysical aspects of rulership.” says Barghest. Azarath) at Poland’s Hertz recording studio.” Invictus Recordings (which signed the band in 2005) declares that the new album “stands as a testament to the universal warrior philosophy of ancient Eurasia. Spearhead has quite clearly musically and ideologically matured. and my response to that is ‘Sic Semper Tyrannis’!” By Terry “Metal-Demon” Demeter sPearhead 31 . But how this necessarily means I have to be linked with any political movement or party. unfamiliar with the philosophies of Traditionalism or Perennialism. “It is difficult to say how one exactly comes to an ideology such as this. But at the end of the day we are a metal band. a route to spiritual self-mastery. or ‘In the Face of the Absolute’ which covers the sinking of The Bismarck. the band currently calls Bournemouth home and recently returned from a month-long European tour with Impiety. Alongside frontman Barghest are Nephilim (lead guitar). some of which may serve to educate even the most well-read metal fans. although that doesn’t mean I do not want the band to progress and to reach a larger audience. Citing influences ranging from old Morbid Angel and Carcass through Absu and Angelcorpse. You say that I have a militant view. Today. Uncovering the Ancient Truth! and concomitantly keeping the other tiers of society stable. Barghest explains that the band found a situation that was both economically viable and more than capable of producing the sound they sought. events. which in my view is abhorrent. Modern arrogance. Invictus (rhythm guitar).” “War and the warrior class in the ancient civilizations of Europe and Northern-India were integral aspects to the functioning of society. the result is even more stunning. but the modern mainstream death metal scene is pretty formulaic and stagnant. Today we are very far removed from any righteous or noble modes of governance and warfare. and when the listener takes that into account. Spearhead’s frontman has a militant viewpoint that one cannot help but speculate as one being linked to a political agenda in some respect. can pick up on some of the ideas discussed in the lyrics. nor even the dozen or so centuries prior.’ is logically incomprehensible to me. Certain truths are perhaps closed to most people. et cetera. “The title of the album. Spearhead is still perhaps a relatively new band in relation to some of our elder and more renowned compeers. But I think this is what lends Deathless Steel Command its raw edge when compared to the carefully defined structure of the new album. refers to the removal from power of the type of rule or governance centred around inter-societal peace-keeping. visible as they are everywhere and anywhere. from the instrumentation to the vocals. according to the standards and conventions of the point of time they are in. and persons refer in some part to the metaphysical aspects of war. substantial parts of the debut album (the drums for one) were deliberately recorded in one take. as I have no wish to change people’s opinions.” And the past few years have indeed seen a great deal of growth… “Since our first album. We knew exactly how everything should be in advance.Spearhead Formed in 2004 by vocalist and bassist Barghest. “I have to admit to not being too fond of a lot of modern death metal. If the odd person. They assume that the beliefs and doctrines of their own time are ‘right’ because that is all they know. to those few individuals capable of understanding and willing to be receptive. then I will be glad to have opened up a door to someone who genuinely wishes to broaden their horizons. and I have no wish to ‘save people’ from themselves either.” says Barghest. Such lines of thinking are all too reactionary.’ Although even the tracks that cover historical periods. and furthermore think this way also. to which I pay little attention. and founder Barghest took time out from writing new material to allow us a quick. Hate. The hours in the studio were quite long. that is. hence why the ideology behind the lyrics are primarily personal to me. “These beliefs are primarily important to me personally. “Modern politics and the functionalism of modern war are matters of supreme indifference to me. some ancient wisdom. Decapitated. U! wanted to take closer look at this surprising young band. which are in effect not bound by time or space. but all great art is born of suffering. You are correct. Their plans for 2009? Conquer the world of death metal. Barghest’s thoughts on the current state of the world’s politics with regards to the numerous conflicts that are going on are rather blunt. and Vortigern (drums). Decrowning the Irenarch. With the debut album. They certainly do not lie in this century.” Remarkably. “We were pretty well-rehearsed before we entered the studio. their mythoi. especially in this age. “I think it should be clear now where my interests and affiliations (if I indeed have any affiliations) lie. past or present. and informative glimpse into Spearhead’s innerworkings. Though that growth will come through time. but with the release of their second album decrowning the irenarch (reviewed in U! issue #37) that is soon about to change. “The recording process was very different with Decrowning… Precision was key. Most people live and act synchronically. Diachronic investigation into past civilisations. nor the last. plutocratic. We see this as a natural progression as Decrowning the Irenarch is markedly different as it shows considerable development both lyrically and musically. not some bastion of intellectualism or philosophy. their philosophies and their functionalism gives a much less synchronically biased view of truth and thus the truth of knowledge. “Some focus on historical periods. so to speak. all crumbles. And the title track ‘Decrowning the Irenarch. be it in the form of ethnocentrism or ‘synchronocentrism’ is an obstacle to truth.” Given his views on ancient war and its role. recognize their validity and go further than what is in effect mere music. It makes no difference whether other people chose to believe in them or not. and so one has to go out of one’s way to uncover those truths known by civilizations past. I have no wish to change people…merely to introduce some forgotten ideas and truths. who may be vaguely referred to as ‘militant. this fire team has enough power in their musical arsenal to challenge even the most seasoned death metal veterans. and to which I can give no informed answer on. “‘Mors Triumphalis’ explains this warrior philosophy and the path of war in greater detail. whilst other lyrical topics concern the more metaphysical (dare I say ‘spiritual’) aspects of war and warfare.” The new album touches on a number of fascinating militaristic/ historical subjects. Hailing from all corners of England. Deathless Steel Command. where the warrior class played an absolutely crucial part in maintaining the health of the respective civilization. an ‘irenarch’ literally meaning ‘a ruler of or by peace. If one is removed.

In Winterfylleth we don’t ever worry about how we are perceived. or racist quickly. the roots of Winterfylleth run deep. On our doorstep we have the awesome and mysterious Pennine ‘Peak District. but is also geared around raising the profile and awareness of our history. The days are getting shorter.’ It is this affinity for the land/culture and a willingness to share it with people who are unaware of it which drives our lust for learning and teaching about our heritage and land. shadows are getting longer.” and channel their immeasurable love for their homeland and its history through an unholy combination of menacing black metal and pure-hearted English folk. but in the same way represent the spirit of our native people. and the skies are beginning to wash themselves grey. without warning. It’s the perfect time of year to curl up with a mug of hot chocolate and a black metal record. While we don’t feel we can directly influence political change or lobby against this level of political ridiculousness at a musical level. Winterfylleth brand themselves as “English Heritage Black Metal. the West Pennine Moors. the circle was complete. and reinforce a sense of identity among a culturally confused populace. then suddenly. the lines between what can be called National Socialism and what can be called national pride are blurred. Sometimes. Most of these sites inspire our music in some way. Musically and lyrically they are all based on an interesting story and how it relates to the 21st century whether it is historically or ‘spiritually. the date of the actual Winterfylleth.Winterfylleth Voices of Blood By Kim Kelly A cold wind is blowing. silent night. which was released on October 14th. Winterfylleth is also geared around raising the profile and awareness of our nations’ history in a country where we seem to be losing our national identity. Rising of the Winter Full Moon. the ancient heathen festival to welcome the first full moon of winter. After recruiting Richard as a second guitarist/vocalist and also inviting him into Atavist (with whom Winterfylleth shares members). the epic and beautiful Lake District. The spectres of a proud and bloody past make their voices heard on the ghost of Heritage. Hail Winterfylleth. and therefore that also of our land.” Such devotion to one’s homeland is surely a rare and inspiring thing to see. incorporating the aggression and passion perhaps associated with ‘Black Metal’ but with also a melodic slant that derives from the folk song and choral singing of our predecessors. ushered in by the dazzling glare of the full moon. Once fate (and email correspondence) led them to discover a mutual appreciation for European black metal and cultural heritage preservation within one another. Chris and Simon began writing what would become the first Winterfylleth demo. the continent’s bloodstained past may shadow the perceptions some of us have about a band that takes such visible pride in where they come from. As is fitting for a band whose members’ hearts dwell in the past. and Winterfylleth’s icy blend of grimmest blackness and ancient folk is the ideal soundtrack to a dark. but the pure scope of imagination and depth of understanding these young men have of Britannia serves to set them apart.’ a favourite area of ours (and one that you can find us exploring most weekends!). Based upon a desire to “create music that we would consider to be a representation of the spirit of our ancient lands. If a magazine or an individual wants to compare us to Graveland or whoever then that is their prerogative and we can’t do anything about that. as always. the music of ‘the folk. Comparisons to countrymen Forefather and like-minded Irishmen Primordial are inevitable. “Our viewpoint is very staunchly patriotic and proud. The media would much rather draw attention to a band’s nationalistic viewpoint as Nazi. vast and bleak Yorkshire Dales. and whose general populace is confused about their ancestry because of over political correctness and cultural pandering on the part of our government. we can try to make people aware of what being ‘English’ has historically meant. “We are obviously heavily influenced by the legends and folklore of our land. and innocent bands suffer the consequences due others who uphold far more unsavory beliefs. the album somberly forges ahead at a glacial pace. to name a mere handful. plunges headfirst into a raging storm of pagan fury as bloodthirsty as the warriors whose virtues it extols. a blackened paean to the band members’ collective ancestry. The band recorded The Ghost of Heritage. in the same way folk music does. their debut full-length for Profound Lore.’ The people’s music! The area that we come from is geographically ideal for wandering our beloved land. before 32 wInterfylleth . but. Hail Heritage. and also the Snowdonia Mountain Range. which not only convey a spirit that is very close to our hearts. Another autumn lays itself to rest as winter draws near. Wreathed in atmosphere and richened by primordial chants. Folk music is after all.” explains Chris.

“The black metal element of our music has definitely been influenced by bands and musical projects such as Hate Forest. “Richard came along (before we had ever recorded anything) with a fresh wealth of talent that helped to craft a lot of the existing lyrics into vocal patterns. Wolves in the Throne Room. “Most of the debut was written by me and Simon coming up with ideas at home. We are trying to deliver these songs in a way that incorporates our modern influences but is also true. and also to remind all that before there was the plight of man-made social controls—such as monotheistic religion. “The album is out now on Profound Lore Records and will hopefully be followed up in early 2009 by a split with Richard’s other band—and fellow brothers in arms—Wodensthrone (who are also due to release their debut album Loss on Bindrune Records in late 2008/early 2009). evident of the Ghost of Heritage. Saxon. In that way they are fantastic forms of music that complement each other perfectly. has just released its fourth album (a second collaboration with Canada’s finest. display it or associate with it is somehow victimising the cultural minorities that live in England. campaign or write an album. in some way. In addition to that our other band. the music. not on rumours. A country without a culture or an identity is like an accident waiting to happen. and do. Primordial.’ The point of this being to raise awareness of our proud lineage. The melodic/folk slant to our style derives from the folk song and choral singing of our ancestors. as you would expect. Winterfylleth’s main focus is. People will only ‘know’ if they are informed. ‘An Englishman’s Verse’ deals with uniting the various groups of Northern Europeans that made up our isles saying ‘Norman. and it is up to individuals like us to bypass the apathy of our ‘TV generation’ and get people back in touch with who and what they are. bringing them to rehearsals and expanding upon them until we were happy with what we had created. Skyforger. incorporating elements of Gregorian Monk Chant as well as some of the heavier atmosphere of doom metal in songs like ‘Forging the Iron of England’ from our debut album. isn’t it—it’s not ‘raving Nazi’ like the media would have you believe. that we felt conveyed the message of the band in a way that links the struggles of our ancestors with the struggles of modern civilisation and informs listeners about what being English has historically meant. political correctness and cultural homogenization—that people knew who they were and cared about their own history. newer. We are also hoping to play a few shows throughout the year to support the record and spread the message. For example. in whatever we do. we are saying/doing something outrageous or inaccurate then we would welcome people/media/naysayers to debate with us or question us—as we are open and honest people—but if people independently decide to portray us in a bad light without speaking to us. like lobby. With that in mind it is interesting to look at the dictionary definition of the term ‘nationalism’: devotion to the interests or culture of one’s nation. to the history of our past-cultures’ music and practices. If. Bottom line. Also. Walknut.” When asked for a last word on advice. Enslaved. rather than being landed in a era without a cultural identity. As a competent guitar player he also added guitar harmonies and lead parts to the existing tracks and. Drudkh. This release will also be on PFL and will feature unreleased tracks by both bands. It is a journalist’s prerogative to report on facts. Don’t dwell in apathy… Hail Heritage!” 33 . Don’t fear the ignorance of the media if they call you a racist or try to sully your name. then I’m afraid their ignorance is their own problem and only furthers to advocate the futility of their existence. the folk spirit that resides within the band runs quite deep.” As articulate and well informed as its members may be when it comes to matters of culture and politics. his parents and siblings are heavily involved in the traditional and modern folk scenes and play in numerous different folk bands. Chris had this to say: “Always strive to be informed about issues affecting your country or your culture and make sure that if you don’t like something that is happening that you do something about it. Nadja) and we are also working on a fifth one and besides that…who knows? Keep your ear to the floor. have an understanding of cultural affinity and a mix of melody/musical diversity within the ‘black metal’ format. Gael. We then recorded as much as we could live in the studio and overdubbed what we couldn’t to create the fierce sounding EHBM barrage. Sunwheel and related projects. Atavist. non-album tracks we recorded for a forthcoming split. We definitely feel that both folk music and certain types of black metal can manifest fantastic audio representations of the spirit of a group of people from whichever part of the world they come from. people need to feel needed and if their culture or family. Take for example Simon (who grew up around folk music). cannot provide them with a sense of ‘self’ or ‘community’ then this is where problems will. by pushing the boundaries of what can be a sometimes limiting genre. it has gotten so bad that it almost feels like the national flag is being associated with racism and that to wear it.they can be branded as supporting it and potentially losing sales or reputation because of their affiliation. of course. There is a certain ‘spirit’ to folk music that draws us to it and in part it is this ‘spirit’ that we would hope to rouse in people listening to our music. Negura Bunget and most definitely Ulver. but with Winterfylleth we go one step further. Funny. be true to what you believe and be intelligent with your truth. because of a cultural confusion. In Britain. start to arise. Myself and Simon both independently wrote sets of lyrics based around stories we were interested in or a place that we had visited. Celt / Into This Fine Mixed Mass Ye Melt. Bands that. which is total oversensitivity and propaganda in action. has contributed ideas to some other. for us at least. and therein lays the problem of ‘the media’ as a whole: it is far too ideologically motivated.

Carcass. but are there any hobbies you do outside of all this stuff? I earn my living as a full-time graphic designer and I do freelance illustration for the metal scene outside of my day job.Visual Aggression By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley How hard was it to choose a piece of art to go on this album artwork? This was a very natural process for me as my artwork and the music of Fetid Zombie go hand-in-hand. but we still make an effort to collaborate on creative endeavors whenever possible. and many others. The Internet has been very effective in supporting my freelance illustration career. Unburied. i’m a twin too—tell me what you think makes being a twin special. Suffocation. It’s been wonderful having a built-in support system while growing up. only passions. i love “toilet Water baptism”. I’m able to publish three or four songs and it can reach thousands of individuals. his music and how rad having a twin is. I’ve never performed live with Fetid Zombie as it’s a solo effort and I intend to pursue it as a studio project only. and because my brother and I have our own priorities now. who will record drums and produce my next full-length album. . and I used to play in a death metal project called Excrescent in the early ’90s. While art and music share the common goal of selfexpression. My first passion is my family as my wife and my son come before anything else. Gorguts. I initiated Fetid Zombie in 2007 because I wanted to get back in touch with my metal roots. the tools and time required to achieve the outcome are very different. what inspired that song? Classy song title for sure. do you ever play out live? Have you ever done so? i assume it would be rather hard unless you had a huge screen and behind it a drum machine and keyboards with guitar parts and then you're looking like doc from back to the future with all these instrumental shenanigans. Which do you prefer more: musician or artist? are they the same or is there a difference? I prefer being an artist more than a musician because this is where I’ve found greater success. Hirax. (I’ve got one myself. but he has also been able to bring his love for zombies to life with the goretastic. Setherial. Music on top of that is something I make time for when the opportunity arises. Why tackle fetid Zombie as a solo project and not team up with your brother again (or others)? My twin brother. The early ’90s aside. I can’t believe how much the Internet has done for me.” What do you think of the internet and how it helps bands (and of course yourself too) get noticed? The Internet is an amazing tool for bands. Disavowed. for a poisoned mind. I have already arranged plans to work with Brian Forman of Unburied. I’ve had a sincere interest in art since early childhood and have made a career both professionally and on the side from this endeavor. Kataklysm. The Black Dahlia Murder. Nunslaughter and technical grinders such as Decrepit Birth. but having an official Web site and a MySpace site has significantly increased my visibility. someone who you can share ideas. and others. artists.riddickart. The Soil Bleeds Black. writing and recording music is another creative outlet for me. Although I wrote and recorded a lot of non-metal albums in the past decade. Hideous Deformity. For Mark’s art and music.myspace. Impiety. and Equimanthorn. Mike. the Internet is a very convenient way to share information and music with friends and fans. Necrophagist. Absu. All of the illustrations I’ve completed for Fetid Zombie are related to the lyrical content of the songs. If it was 1992 I probably would’ve produced a Fetid Zombie demo tape that would reach 300 to 500 interested parties. Fetid Zombie was a breath of fresh air for me.com The extent of my brother’s involvement in Fetid Zombie is that he acts as my publisher through his record label www.com / www. I have invited a few other musicians to make guest appearances on my recordings. Mark Riddick is a talented guy.com/fetidzombie / www. i’m going to assume music and/or art is a full-time job for you.myspace. Although I do enjoy illustrating very much. Anal Vomit. and recorded songs together for other collaborative projects like Hexentanz. Being a twin. Varathron. with MySpace for example. Inveracity. 34 fetId ZoM bIe / MalefIcIo Most of my lyrical content is directed toward Christianity as it bears the brunt of my dissatisfaction with organized faiths and religious extremism. Impetigo. the end product is gratifying whether it’s visual or auditory. Who are the influences for the band’s sound and style? Fetid Zombie draws influence from across genres but its backbone is early ’90s death metal.) Through the horror-filled trails we go… Catchy name. and Steve Miller of Loculus on my first full-length. Some of your readers may or may not be familiar with my work but I’ve been illustrating for the underground metal scene for almost 20 years. and Kam Lee of Massacre/Death/Bone Gnawer/Denial Fiend. is a very unique experience. General Surgery. Pleasures of the Scalpel. and record labels to take advantage of. I used to find work by staying in touch with bands via postal mail. Internal Bleeding. I still love the sound from the old demo tapes that I collected in the early ’90s along with some of the masters like Pestilence. goals. Here is an excerpt from the lyrics that reinforces my point: “Font of sewage. visit: www. Necromessiah. as I’m sure you can relate. I’ve posted all of the Fetid Zombie-related illustrations in the gallery section of the Fetid Zombie MySpace site for those who might be curious. There’s no denying that. it was more convenient for me to pursue the project on my own. and passions with. I’ve already worked with members from my other death metal band. We published two demo tapes and then pursued other projects in other genres together. wherein I performed a variety of acoustic instruments. I receive about 90 percent of my work through MySpace alone and I get requests almost daily now. The opportunity for exposure is out there if a band takes the time to network with people in the scene. The dissemination of information and music is much faster as well. Dastardly fun it is! UNRESTRAINED! contacted Riddick to find out what inspires his art. I can’t really say that I have any hobbies. but I can certainly say there is much more demand for my art than for my music. Beneath the Massacre. as well as Mike Majewsi of Devourment. We published several successful albums with our neo-medieval project. et cetera. “Toilet Water Baptism” acts as a metaphor for the way religious automatons anoint themselves with all of the hypocrisy and contradictions that are attached to Christianity. Psycroptic. bathing your existence.com.riddickbros. While I still miss the old underground way of networking. there is no purity. Whatever the case. Arsis. Enthroned. My brother and I are obviously adults now and have our own families to attend to. I’ve always been a diehard metal fan at heart.com).com/riddickart / www. the album covers reflect that. where did it come from? Fetid Zombie is a solo music effort based around the themes and subject matters of my artwork. Not only is he one of the metal scene’s most renowned artists (check out the links provided below for past and future art). My art has been published by hundreds of death and black metal bands including Arsis.metalhit. Moonroot. Vomiting in the Baptismal Pool. Jim Malone of Arsis. via postal mail in the early ’90s. bloodsoaked corpse-filled mayhem of Fetid Zombie’s album pleasures of the Scalpel (MetalHit. Since zombies are central characters in my illustrations I felt that the title “Fetid Zombie” seemed to be the most appropriate for the project. Internal Bleeding. and will work with Loculus again. While Fetid Zombie may act as a solo effort. I’m also heavily influenced by black/thrashers like Bestial Mockery.

Unfortunately we couldn’t be around for the mixing so there were a few things that got messed up. everywhere!” says the singer. his mother and the biggest dictator of them all: God. Vocalist Dan Soxx agrees. but I can’t remember the name of the movie.” In closing I ask the rabid metalheads about their plans for 2009. the impact that this debut album could have is great. We have always gotten good reviews in magazines. We gave some of our demos to people in the scene. but we have done them mostly for ourselves. there are some things that could be better. straight-up death metal band from Sweden”> <result: MALEFICIO> Okay that may not be the way I stumbled upon Maleficio or their fuckin’ jaw-dropping. My solos were mixed all wrong with the second pitch higher than the first. The album also has the same title as one of our old demos from 1998 that also is called Under the Black Veil [the band have put out 18 demos since 1991—AB].” points out drummer PTR. “PTR came up with the name Maleficio. So they sound a bit strange. so we like to write about what we think of Jesus.com> <search: “Kickass.” says bassist GoatLord. “We sent a few demos to some record companies. and that screws with your head after a while. There are some songs that were written more than 10 years ago. the band will go on. “When I listen to the album today. But our lyrics are about everything that fucks this world up. we all think the record sounds good and we are really pleased that it’s finally out. Even the most evil person in history had a comic mustache. We had to work all day and night to get it done in time. I think with more time. I think that we are a little bit lazy. The title means that what you see might not be what it is.’ But it also had to do with black magic.” Adds guitarist Mike.” Soxx responds. “You can also watch a song from our latest live gig and order the album. but if any band was part of that search engine’s keyword search.google. so I don’t know why we never worked harder to get a record deal before. for example. We have done about 18 to 20 demo tapes. Most bands would have given up… “We do this ’cause this is fun! As long as we can write good music and do live shows.Maleficio Greatness From The Underground <typing: www. Besides that. “Festivals or just some shitty place for 20 drunken people—I don’t care! And we’ll still make new music for ourselves.com/maleficiotheone). I think that the name comes from the word ‘Malèfico’ and it means something like ‘diabolic’ and ‘satanic. Any touring in the works? “We want to play live a lot. We have a lot of great songs that we just have to get out there!” “You can listen to a lot of old demo recordings on our MySpace (www. just to see if they were going to show any kind of interest. The band name is Portuguese and it’s from a movie with Jack Nicholson.” You’ve recorded so many demos. and some magazines.myspace. Fuck that! Be your own dictator! Don’t kneel before a loser in a book!” For a band that is relatively unknown. One thing is that we only got one week in the studio. and yes. like religious wars. You have to watch all his movies to find out [it’s from 1987’s The Witches of Eastwick—AB]. and all metal fans in the world! We can only hope that there are labels and magazines that understand our greatness! It is hard to be a rock star when nobody knows that you are!” By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley 35 . “I hope we can have the opportunity to record some more albums. I call it evil. Right now our MySpace page is used to gain more fans and announce events such as gigs and other news. Death metal with might and a violent delivery. But of course. so it was really intense. so there was no time to go deep into the recording. And of course we use it to find new places to terrorize with our live shows. That song is about the return of the third anti-Christ or whatever you want to call it. the album could have been more majestic and even more aggressive. but we wanted them on our debut ’cause we’re always playing them in our live shows. no doubt this band would be one of the top results.” he laughs. We also have a homepage that’s under construction at the time but will be up and running soon. for you. but we only got the standard answers back. I think it sounds great and I love these songs. Almightymike: “Due to the small recording budget we had we could only afford seven days in the studio. Religion is a big pain in the ass for the whole world. unfiltered brutality. “We wanted a cool evil name and we just thought that Maleficio sounded pretty cool. in-your-face death metal attack under the black veil (Hateworks). Under The Black Veil is an awesome album that needs to be heard. It’s pure. that is a lot.

I think by the time we got on.” “Actually it’s always been in the back of our head to do a collaboration with Apocalyptica. told you it was awesome—BJW. and all the bands that we knew had been on there. that would’ve been a great success. we had always a great response. He’s basically the coolest of all the gods in Northern mythology. the singer has like a Finnish flag as his outfit. Immortal. so we were like sure. Which is a shame. Andersson does not notice much of a political charge in the air.” says a slightly embarrassed-looking Amon Amarth drummer Fredrik Andersson..uh. and if we would do that in Sweden. top 40 in Canada. and the budget didn’t work out. In Flames and everything. they think it’s a good thing. step by step that I can’t really think of one thing that made us reach a higher level. We thought we’d get at least into the top 200. but the main thing for us was the first time coming here and to Edmonton.” The U. “We had a good time. I think in general Swedes are a little bit more careful and don’t. Finnish cellists Apocalyptica guest on “Live for the Kill. we keep the original version.” Perhaps not surprisingly. There’s a lot of changes in the music. “Of course Swedish media covers the American election. I don’t know if it did that much for us. You probably remember exactly where you were when you first saw that cover. It seemed too strange. This idea came up like five years ago.” He beats his chest. okay. but Twilight offers a few. “I don’t know if that’s an expression in English. we wanted to do the album cover. I was thinking about it the other day when I was watching Ensiferum’s set. [See. But in Norway and Finland that’s okay. if not. But when we recorded the song in the studio and the producer said.. and they like it. You can buy books where they put in all the gods in Northern mythology and of course you can’t keep track of all of them so there’s the one that got more publicity. “It’s the title’s story. that cover couldn’t hurt) and a relentless approach to touring North America seems to have paid off. when his band was blessed with a slot on the Metal Gods tour with Rob Halford. and there’s even a statue in Stockholm that has the same idea. There was two shows we weren’t on that Behemoth played instead of us. we’ll do it. That’s probably the reason it didn’t work out. Six years on. It was his idea. where we had some of our best shows. it’s the event of the century. It wasn’t.. He wanted to hire some local cellists in the area. My girlfriend is Canadian and she voted already. I haven’t actually noticed anything here in North America—that’s surprising. Testament. man.” he laughs. Twilight of the Thunder God. That cover is pure Viking metal badassery on a four-by-four square.“Now we’re in the butter!” by Brian J.” Most obviously. he was feared even as he was very popular. They’re all playing in Finnish colours. and luckily they were. Wright “Uh. Of course it’s a huge thing to be on the Billboard. It’s been going so slowly.S. tours on the last album. that’s how much it rules. Like King Kong. after a 2001 tour was scrapped in the wake of 9/11. so that probably had something to do with it.. he’s not as enthusiastic about the Marvel .” One such bit of endless touring was the first tour that successfully brought them to my neck of the woods on the Canadian prairies.. they have a lot more of the. It looked like the opportunity of a lifetime. but didn’t. It would probably work better in Europe. but we were like. and it didn’t. 36 aMon aMarth Twilight debuted in the top 50 on the American Billboard chart. But I don’t think it was that weird really. neither Harper nor Obama can compete with the awesomeness of thunder-god Thor.” Good buzz (and damn.” Of course. burned into your mind forevermore. The tour was planned to sell out each venue. To me it’s totally weird that people wouldn’t show up. We had the idea of doing this cover for many years but I guess the song didn’t come up until now. Actually a lot of our old-school fans notice it more than maybe the fans who picked up the last record or the last few records. we would be totally bashed. because they added their touch to it.. It’s a story that’s been told many times over the years. we would be banned from any magazine in Sweden and hardly allowed to sell our CDs. and others.” That would’ve been around the time when the band came up with the concept for the cover of the new album. when we signed on we had no idea what other bands would be. Thor was one of the more popular ones. because most of the fans that came were there for Halford. sent it by letter. Amon Amarth must’ve seemed like the odd men out on Sounds of the Underground.S. He’s referring to 2003. “We did three U. “We played five shows.’ and we were like.” This would not be the only time in this interview that Andersson would struggle to find the right metaphor. than if we had just some hired players to play what we told them to play. we can try it and see how it turns out. it didn’t work out. writing and everything. “but I wouldn’t know about the Canadian election if it wasn’t for my girlfriend. whose man-on-the-street popularity (how many other Norse gods can your little sister name?) sets him apart from the pantheon. but damn if it wasn’t the most title-worthy. ‘I want a break here and bring in some violins and cellos and stuff.. so a couple of the shows we played to not even half-full venues. it worked out well for us. but even for such a much-hyped event. And [though] the package turned out to be a bit more into the hardcore or metalcore scenes.not us. We just looked at previous years. Andersson suspects. Even in the Viking age. why don’t we call Apocalyptica? If they’re up to it it’d be cool.” Amon Amarth is not a band known for big surprises. but we were actually disappointed we didn’t with the last album. I think it was cooler that way also. and if it’s cool we keep it. “I guess because he represents strength./Canadian tour took them through both countries at a time of national election frenzy. but we brought on our original idea and combined the two.] What is going on on the album cover is illustrated on thousand-year-old drawings. too.. the kids were a little bit tired of some of the other bands. Maybe it was too diverse.. have a Swedish coloured outfit. and then when we had the song.. and they showed up at the very end. “We think we changed quite a bit. “If you look at Norwegian and Finnish bands. it’s the main event where Thor fights the World Snake. but that tour with that big production going into venues that we play on our own now.they’re very showy. Remember that thing with the metaphors. “I think there’s a Scandinavian understanding.

there’s nowhere you can go. and I guess it’s our way to say we don’t really take it that seriously. It was actually more work for the Vikings. Fans were really pissed off because they take this Viking thing very seriously. Andersson makes no excuses. You know. Who wouldn’t want that?” he laughs.” He chuckles ruefully. you kind of have to have something special for the fans to buy CDs nowadays. Odinist. as bad as it might sound. “So it was just kind of obvious. which is why all the bands release digipaks and give away DVDs and everything like that.” 37 . “We got some reaction from the forums and MySpace.Comics interpretation. “Well. but we didn’t really have Thor so much. and me personally I just thought a bobblehead of myself…of course I want that. The hard time was that the whole day from six in the morning till we were done in the evening it was constantly storm. There’s no escaping from wind. “Yeah. “You can’t satisfy everyone. actually I don’t think that comic picked up very well in Sweden. sand in your eyes. and we just thought it would be a fun idea. all the time. we had time off so everything just clicked together. but not so much for the band themselves... so all the Vikings were there.. so I might have missed it.The Phantom? Really?—BJW] And Superman and the Hulk. I’m fairly sure that it wasn’t one of the big ones. we had uh. The title track’s Viking-steeped video was a reportedly difficult shoot. so to get an American version. We have our own comics about the Viking age and stuff like that... it’s just in your face all the time. but it was our record label that suggested the bobbleheads.The Phantom! [Me. And I think it kind of pissed some of the fans off.. he lives in a cave with a skull ring. Had to think of something else. “Obviously the ideal would be to have Thor fighting the World Serpent. We just write about Vikings to have a theme to write about that we think fits with our songs and it’s an interesting theme.” He laughs. very true and everything. the one they made a film of. our part we recorded in three or four hours. It was easy. I myself am not a big comic person.. usually we play the song over and over again for the whole day. People were walking around with glasses on to keep sand out of their eyes. but we don’t have a million-dollar budget. wind. We had a Viking village where they have this convention every year in Poland.. but it’s not like we dress up in bearskins and walk around with an axe and jump on the horse…” Might it have been ever worse if they’d come out with a Thor bobblehead and a World Serpent bobblehead? “Um. It was really tiring. no. purple suit. thinking to myself. I think some actually suggested they would’ve preferred that. they’re paganist.” The most bizarre bit of Twilight’s assault on our shores has to be the limited edition that comes with bobblehead versions of each band member. We all grew up in the ’80s with KISS stuff to collect. but this song.

” While Gojira principally assumes their pro-ecology platform. but ironically Gojira’s aural devastation is all in the interest of expounding the merits of a green-minded society.” As Gojira tapers their rampant double-timed breakaways with cyberpunk nuances and airy guitar swipes to create a highly agitated and sometimes elevating discordance on complicated songs like “Yama’s Messengers. though not to blunt procedures as say. I personally believe in the immortality of the soul. produces a bombastic. Their sound is brute ugly and strangely quixotic in the same measure. Gojira structures their unpredictable songwriting to ebb postmetallic atmospherics with stamping thrash splinters and grinding hardcore rhythms. “Death is definitely one of our big influences. No matter how it begins. alert-issuing units on the scene today. death metal desolation and a highly developed appreciation for sub-layers. Godzilla enacts his revenge upon humankind with vociferous blaring and haphazard demolition. tech-filled death metal that makes the band one of the genre’s most progressive. On their 2003 album The Link. I think all the ‘Go Green’ campaigns of the world are better than the deadly inertia that paralyzes humanity when it comes to ecology. Gojira’s latest album is all about winding rhythms. Guiding their listeners “into the realm of imagination. makes us want to turn our backs on this subject. “and I can tell it’s going to be an evolution compared to this one. Duplantier acknowledges the late Chuck Schuldiner’s progressive work on Human. seals. “The Way of All Flesh is talking about the human soul as always in Gojira’s lyrics. What is the greatest fear of humanity and at the same time the most common thing down here? Death. heavy metal bands—particularly death metal acts—have served as watchdogs over conventional society. I think Chuck would probably understand what we’re doing today because we learned so much from him and somehow we feel on the same page.. the rest of civilization is slowly waking up to a world gradually being decimated by biological deterioration. and about the mysteries of life in general using the spectrum of death. and Machine Head! I am stoked to be part of this Conspiracy. “We just wanted a name that would represent the music we try to create—heavy and crushing. They are some big decisions to take. I like the concept of facing our inner fears in order to find peace in life. At the same time I agree that a lot of people just try to get a good conscience from these kinds of actions and don’t really try to face the situation we’re going through right now. more radical than the ‘bicycle day’ [a staged protest against soaring gas prices in Paris in which citizens commuted strictly on bicycles instead of automobiles].. Gojira began to spread their message of large-scale depredation.” Gojira engages in ecological warfare through its music. the danger of a neo-Roman America treating the “Go Green” movement as a mere fad instead of a serious commitment weighs heavily in the grand perspective of proper ecological advancement. frayed ozone and callous over-consumption of resources. Only a few people know about that.” as Duplantier observes.” Duplantier ponders. We are big fans of music. however. “Godzilla was just the perfect name for us. Instead.” The Way of All Flesh may yet prove to be a transitional entry in the band’s discography. In a country customarily concerned with being fashionably hip at all times. but also all the beautiful living beings such as turtles. they go to such extreme measures as to send their listeners out in polluted channels to “Toxic Garbage Island. a world ideally more interested in replicating—or at least preserving—an optimistic texture to the land where the bucolic remains thus. all with a subliminal mechanical resonance personifying the defragmentation effect of Mother Earth.” Gojira projects an understated delight for no-rules. Full of cyber tweaks à la Voivod though still retaining death measures and modified metalcore strikes on songs like “All the Tears.” Duplantier explains. I like to think that from where he is now. “I have a feeling of how the next album will sound.” Whether or not the planet will be any greener by the time Gojira sets its booming proverbial foot down on album number five remains to be seen in the midst of continued Middle Eastern combat.istorically speaking. Individual Thought Patterns. he’s banging his head listening to the new wave of death metal. but from the start I told them I just couldn’t be part of the tour since I was already working on Gojira’s album at that time.” a hypothetical terror zone of environmental despair. tailspun beat patterns and a wailing vocalist in the form of Joe Duplantier. On The Way of All Flesh. Cattle Decapitation. Just try telling Mother Nature to simmer down… . Even Gwar chastises the carelessness of mankind via their gory mutant stage personae in addition to having an album called This Toilet Earth. Leprosy and The Sound of Perseverance has had a lasting and almost exclusive impression on his own. like their Japanese namesake (known better to the western world as Godzilla. I did the bass on the album and also the guitars on four songs. It’s also pretty interesting that this monster was born from nuclear wastes and fights back from underwater. along with Morbid Angel and Sepultura. Jr. much less a world faced with the reality of emergent natural storms bearing catastrophic capacities. A byproduct of a plunged atomic wedgie. France’s Gojira. but also to express how pissed off I am.” “Vacuity” and “The Art of Dying. Joe Duplantier believes. whether you’re talking about Nuclear Assault’s Game Over and Handle With Care albums or Death’s Leprosy or even Kreator’s grind classic “Toxic Trace” from Terrible Certainty. which has become a rally charge in the latter half of the this decade. I think it’s the unknown and mostly what’s awaiting us after we die that Ray Van Horn. over the clouds. We will certainly dig more into brutality and at the same time into weird melodies and crunchy riffs with strange structures. one of the fundamental concepts the band has traditionally explored is death and the various physical and psychological studies of transient passage from an enlightened human state into the next life. “‘Toxic Garbage Island’ is about a patch of floating plastic wastes in the Pacific Ocean twice the size of Texas. suffice it to say.” Duplantier states. “It’s compared to an island made of garbage but it’s in fact right under the surface of water and it’s like a cancer growing every day. “I have to say that it’s been an amazing experience to be able to work with Max and Iggor Cavalera. Selected to play bass on Cavalera Conspiracy’s debut album Inflikted. “I think a real change comes from an awakening of the consciousness inside of each person. It was way beyond my dreams to collaborate with members of some of my favourite bands and main influences: Sepultura. which was also the band’s name before they switched to the Japanese enunciation in 2001). surface-rattling din that roars and screeches through their experimental death throes. I think everybody should see how their mistakes affect others. and also Rex Brown and Logan Mader. given that she and her PMRC cohorts had the gall to misconstrue John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” as a drug tune). dolphins and sharks killed every day just because of plastic bags being thrown in the sea. eventually collecting a worldwide audience to their cause with 2005’s From Mars to Sirius. the opportunity to rub elbows in the studio with his renowned peers brought Duplantier sincere joy. Pantera. We had a whole period when we started the band when Death was the only band we could listen to. Gojira has been working on the side of the earth while blaring their raucous and frequently artistic music with a massive rhythm section filled with chunky chords. I like to use my imagination combined with my intuitions and personal beliefs to build the ideas of the songs. that’s what I’m trying to do. I wanted to call a song this and talk about it in order to inform people.” Duplantier’s affinity for Sepultura ended up bearing a twist of fate when the Cavalera brothers Max and Iggor (as he spells it these days) resolved past differences and reunited for their explosive side project Cavalera Conspiracy. Through four albums. They may be too heavy for Al Gore’s listening pleasure (you know Al’s wife would’ve missed Gojira’s point altogether and strapped them to the Moral Majority crucifix.” In the upswing of American “Go Green” campaigning (which is reportedly one of President-elect Barack Obama’s immedi38 gojIra H Guide to a Greener Metal World ate objectives when he begins his term in office). fed by human activity on earth. It’s representative of humanity destroying itself by abusive behaviour toward nature. but at least Gojira’s environmental ethics are in accordance with the former presidential candidate’s headline-grabbing stance against global warming.”“A Sight to Behold” or “All the Tears. Heavier and crunchier than their previous album From Mars to Sirius. Gojira is currently pounding bricks on tour in support of their latest creation the Way of all flesh.” Turning to the classic thrash band Death.

39 .

” If anyone can be considered to be passionate about music. so it was phenomenal.” Damon Fox observes about his band’s gleefully unorthodox approach to retro sludge rock. When I got it. it’s a revisionist circus of doom.Meet the Satanic Willy Wonkas of Bigelf “For me. is to hopefully do something original. though you can’t please everybody. They don’t want to hear Queen and Uriah Heep together. I just think it’s funny people get up in arms about it. To hear Fox talk about the way music was obtained years ago versus Generation Tech’s instant accessibility is like a nostalgic walk down Penny Lane. That’s the whole point of Bigelf. Damon Fox’s entire life might be said to be a conservatory unto itself. progressive is a band pushing their own limits. which is 40 bIgelf . I used to look at them when I was kid. It should feel familiar to you but not familiar. check it out!’ and people would be like. Fox’s infatuation with rock drifts back far beyond Bigelf’s inception in 1992. It’s definitely catching on. “Definitely a lot of bands growing up had a huge impact on me. nor did the grand spectacle of music presentation circa the ’70s when you stop and hear the classic rock calliope underscoring the band’s latest album Cheat the gallows. Each of the former are now revered icons perhaps one tier in the grand scheme of rock evolution below Yes and Emerson. a lot more ’70s stuff.” Damon Fox is a counterculture genius and his band Bigelf is a monstrously progressive unit working under the radar of even far-flung underground artists of today. However. do you have any King Crimson?’ then you’d pay the guy. But the one thing I wanted that I actually didn’t reach. Nektar and The Pretty Things did in the late sixties and seventies. and in The Elf we take a lot hits and slams for being so multi-genre. not even 10 years old. Lake and Palmer. In my mind there’s too many rules of listening. you’re kinda weird!’ I was like. and I remember looking at those and just freaking out! In the ’90s I had a friend who knew my parents and there was this music auction book that had come and it was inviting you to join the things that were in there. It was ridiculous. Can you imagine having the candles to Burn?” Fox’s old-school mentality just doesn’t apply to Bigelf’s retro rock savoir faire. ‘Dude. even ones he’s never attained: “Deep Purple. “Kids today can just go to YouTube and dial up anything they want. get some VHS and go home and just die! Now the immediate access to all that stuff is just insane! I remember even when Bigelf was just a fledgling band finding Straight-Up by Badfinger on vinyl. Then you had to go ‘Hey. check it out!’” For many music fans. “I like knowing it doesn’t have to be a certain genre. The Beatles in my teens was just non-stop. it was mostly an Elton John collection. was those Deep Purple Burn candles! I took my album out and they were burned exactly the same way so yeah. Fox’s obsession with rock music extends to collectibles. with nearly insane transitions between towering rock and slinky jazz-prog while chucking in a few tonguein-cheek pop roasts such as “Superstar” and the Lennon-esque mope-a-dope single “Money. ‘But you’ve got to hear this splice of tape. It’s Pure Evil. those candles on Burn. In the case of Fox and Bigelf (which is also lovingly referred to by Fox as “The Elf”) true prog rock never died. ‘I have to get them!’ I wish I’d gotten into the auction. you had to drive and search out prog rock record stores and special shops that had those collections. man. I was running around high school playing song splices and saying ‘Here’s this tape. The Beatles had this sort of omnipresence. it was them! They were 1200 dollars and I was like.” “I guess one of the main goals of Bigelf is to cross over into a multi-genre kind of facet. owning a vault of albums would be sufficient. King Crimson. In possession of a vintage instrument collection that the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame would be interested in showcasing. A lot of people don’t like their Beatles mixed in with their Sabbath or they don’t want to hear any glam with their stoner. much as their forefathers Gentle Giant. but the common factor between them is a boundary-crossing devotion to artistic rock expression. Only their fifth studio album in 16 years together. Renaissance.

but it’s all a minority in some way. It’s impossible to list our influences here. The organ smelled like mold and the drumkit was literally stolen from a nearby high school. We got it out of us and now maybe we can move on to something else! I think it’s definitely a vacant area. There is a lot of amazing music out there: Moss. For me. krautrock. which Fox dismisses as bunk. For someone who likes heavy music. When I was growing up it was Zeppelin. a band that sacrifices preconceptions and reputation to move forward is one likely to be remembered.com/totemdoom]. but this is all done on a small budget. Then some improvisation and “chemical” influence in the studio created a more collaborative process concerning the arrangements. tainted with a little blasphemy. and we all traded tapes. With a band spread as far out as Bigelf is. and when we said we really liked something. Whatever description you hand out to the mighty ways of Jex Thoth. and there’s a couple hardcore epic prog numbers. So far all the praise and attention hasn’t changed our lives. but the whole point of it is it’s kind of twisted. Metal is just starting to come back. which is good. she checked in with me a couple times. producer] is very secretive about how his studio works. what else could you ask for? From the get-go she said to me. Jr. are you a fan of studio work? What new ideas and/or techniques did you bring into the studio work if any? Clay [Ruby.00 and go ‘fuuuuck!’ We’d be constantly on the lookout when we’d go on these micro tours and we’d all argue in the B section who was going to be able to look and find the Badfinger album for $5. The album is based on “songwriting” as opposed to “sounds. it can be a little daunting to make the correct soup. the influences and styles that make up the band—’70s rock. it’s thriving. but here we are at least. “The hard part about subgenres of music is this. I don’t know why people give a shit and keep writing about us. which is great. Truth be told. half of it broken. Goatbridge Palace and Money Machine isn’t nearly as remarkable as the fact that Cheat the Gallows plays like a Who’s Who gonzo rockfest. I played her some demos and mixes and told her those were the songs we were going to do. when they want to get fucked up and dirty. it’s paradise (or Hades). when they want to get rebellious. pop. man. and Pink Floyd’s her favourite band. and the waits are seldom long. How do you feel about all of the attention? do you consider yourselves a success? We are very much an isolationist band actually. No problem for me!” Ray Van Horn. How hard was it to bring all of this together and fuse it as one? i can only imagine… It wasn’t difficult. Earth. “Unless you can make a real crack in the mainframe. one with the courage to sign and let loose Bigelf to create what to this point is their masterwork. How important has the internet been in terms of getting the band’s name out there and keeping in touch with your fanbase? Well. While Bigelf makes great use of Hammond organs and Mellotron. It’s an almost religious feeling we are after. Yeah. Vanessa Carlton. theological. Cheat the Gallows is dedicated heavily to ever-changing moods. Categorization becomes futile. but we don’t expect it to. When people want to get real. asserting that his friendship and working affiliation with Linda Perry is precisely what Bigelf needs for sustenance as creators. it’s that good! I can’t believe it has taken UNRESTRAINED! this long to do a feature on the band (should have been last spring). Christina Aguilera. who at some point were still pretty cool. To me. It was so basic. but for me. You go into a record store. to make melodic and heavy occult rock music that would stand out. It’s all out there. first you have to make some decent music and then you can use the Internet for all the other bullshit. The voice of Jex inspired my contributions to the songs.” Whether we succeeded in writing good songs. I like the Internet for sampling different bands.” Recently signing Bigelf to her corporate-sponsored label Custard was 4 Non-Blondes singer Linda Perry. We are all on the same page. Was the album assembled song by song or in bits and pieces? Almost all the tracks were pre-written and demoed on four-track. She basically let us make the complete record that we wanted and she put it out.” With most of the songs building towards a precise point while providing ear candy and time signature sways. Corrupted. but we don’t like giving away trade secrets. I Hate found us on MySpace [www.myspace. I love the satanic Willy Wonka thing going on. you guys just do what you want. metal. it’s kind of festive. Call it doom. maybe because it’s unusual to have a female vocalist or because we sound a little different. it was like an ’80s purple Destroyer-copy bass someone threw in the trash. it’s dark. What do you think of today’s music scene? As far as new releases. it has a little bit of camp in there. It’s excellent. ’70s-flavoured psychedelic doom rock that makes up their self-titled debut for I Hate Records. that totally changes the dynamic of the record. if that. In this day and age a lot of people are real stuck in their genre or type of listening.’ The changes were so minimal. How far from the original concept of the album do the end results differ? First you must understand. ‘Don’t think you need to edit yourself for me.” Fox states. much less scene survivors. but we have never attempted to make it a “career” as some bands do. you can’t deny the seductive allure of the rumbling. it was Sweet. for instance. It’s hard to say.. as the organ and synth sounds reveal new layers. but I don’t know how often that happens. Linda loves The Who. crackly old fuzz-wah pedals and analog effects. “I think people like Linda have everything correct in mind as far as where music needs to go. Bigelf will undoubtedly have been said to have taken a shot by being honest with themselves. the band has garnered a lot of praise and some success over the last year or so. the important thing is to make a crack in the mainframe in order to change things. that’s for the listener to decide. To get Bigelf out into the forefront. the Bee Gees. metal and punk. Wold. Perry’s acquisition of the space trucking Bigelf may leave a few heads to be scratched.” Naturally some naysayers are wont to crucify a band like Bigelf for having relations with a big label. The secretive world of Jex Thoth opens up to us just a bit. It’s a mix of modern digital things and shitty old gear from the ’70s. jex thoth 41 . and most of it was a good thing because you can’t just leave me in the candy store! The songs will start to have diabetes!” When all is said and done about Cheat the Gallows.’ We went into the studio. psychedelia. Her and I went to see Roger Waters at The Bowl. many of them are non-musical. Until Death Overtakes Me. stoner. you know? She’s the real deal in my mind. some noise and doom and more—provide a truly unique experience for all. We’re just looking for the best material in the best way. She’s loved Bigelf since her and I met ten years ago. Linda’s heart is behind Bigelf. Fox would likely agree the payoffs are worth waiting for. Call it “alchemical doom. it’d be on the wall for $100. not to mention the great vocals. but not as exciting as it once was to find a Corrosion of Conformity LP in the back of a dusty record bin. JEX stone cold Evil By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley THOTH Call it powerful. Pink. We trade ideas and write songs. didn’t like this. but we’ll take what we can get… Let’s talk about the album and what inspired the music and ideas that went into it. Also behind the success stories of pop stars such as Alicia Keyes. three or four are in the sort of Beatles mellow type of psychedelic category. because literally you have ten songs on the record where three or four are more in the rock category. However. There were three songwriters on the record.00 or something. Jex’s vocals tie it all together. It’s big entertainment. However.” The fact Damon Fox and Bigelf have transcended their initial Sabbath-inspired boom on their early albums Closer to Doom. and James Blunt. Cheat the Gallows is an album requiring a patient ear. If you pull one or two rockers off to make the album shorter. Yes. amps that make loud buzzing sounds. The circus thing is a dangerous ground. Pepper moment. you’re going to need somebody like Linda who’s willing to show she’s got a pair. it’s fine. As far as a band like Bigelf goes. “People ask questions about The Elf and the industry and ‘shaking hands with the devil’ or ‘How does The Elf get together with the business side?’ How does it work? It was pretty easy! Linda said ‘Okay. even some of the other stuff like rap. All of the songs are different and I’m very proud of this album. experimental. We just want to make music that we would want to hear. but you also did a little listening to the Beatles. but we are influenced by many things esoteric and otherwise. We are open to all kinds of music. and aside from a few musical interludes we thought of the song first and lead vocals as the centre of it all. they go to Linda.” Genre? Not one to be found or even thought of in Bigelf’s iron butterscotch world. but it’s all serving this heavy and dreamy sound we are trying to achieve. Dead Raven Choir/Wolfmangler. Though not for every taste. she loves Led Zeppelin. whereas 10 or 20 years ago you listened to lots of different music. “Every band has the process of making songs and it’s not pain.” as the band does. it’s good! I’m into it. She’s really a true rocker at heart. She said she really liked that. This was destined to be a carnival kind of record. That’s why she signed Bigelf and that’s why she put Cheat the Gallows out.one of those weird collectible. Just do the music you’re going to do and if I think that there’s edits—meaning changes—I’ll do that. we all shared the same idea. hard-to-find albums. Fox says fans and friends are referring to the album as Bigelf’s “Sgt. it’s not going to change anything. it’s all a separate genre. It’s a truly hypnotic dose of musical creativity that’ll leave you hitting the repeat button on your CD player. and it’s just amazing that stuff is now so accessible. We like it. You should have seen the bass we used. “I don’t know if anyone’s going to follow us on this one. but it changes the dynamic of the way your brain processes the exclusiveness or specialty of its magic. she’d listen to it again. Dead Reptile Shrine. it’s just a matter of finding the right tunes to make a record. Damon Fox has nothing but praise for Perry and he describes her as having a rocker’s soul. I think Linda’s in a way a kind of song doctor. Clay’s production work also added a compositional element. folk. so it’s nothing fancy.. philosophical.

Christian Giesler. to begin with (with apologies to Charles Dickens).” for anything they choose to put their hands to. was their most successful venture since Coma of Souls. drums. guitar) were dead. There is no doubt whatsoever about that. and Kreator’s name is good upon “excellence. and the man himself. my editor. Indeed. as Petrozza plays ambassador for all things Kreator. as his spirit comes to visit us (via the phone. Alive and well they are. So. 42 kreator .A Kre ation K arol M By Alex Ristic ille Petrozza is not dead. there has been nary a peep from the German thrash camp in nigh over a year. of course). Their last release. And after that blistering pace. and warn us of the dire kreative tidings heading our way. his latest album in a long line. They did not die of over-exhaustion. Petrozza released it. or being mobbed alive by fans. the war drums sound once more. it is because of that year off that Kreator has re-entered the spotlight with Hordes of Chaos. bass. Enemy of God. No one would blame you if you thought Petrozza and company (Jurgen “Ventor” Reil. and Sami Yli-Sirnio. with the resulting popularity re-explosion propelling them toward three years of touring. his PR people. The register of his survival came from his record company. a ten-track thrash tornado of tempestuous resolve.

will probably scream when he hears the solos on this record. seep into your mind. and that was something that we had on our minds. Petrozza pauses to get his thoughts together. rather than have a concept record there are three songs on the record that kind of have a link. They’ve kept the tradition even though downloading hurt the whole recording industry. for the most part acts like a collective and purchase the products they truly desire…for now.” An interesting thing about Kreator is that they let their imagery. He was never into it. We’ve all done it. When we did the European tour with Celtic Frost last year we had a lot of stuff playing live. he will still be singing them. which it can’t be because it’s human nature. people that really matter to me have a view and a vision and a positive way of dealing with life. is something that we could produce during a live situation. to me. for instance. And it was from his past that he moved forward to what he is now. very. There’s still a lot of things in the world that are wrong. It is a little bit Iron Maiden-ish. when we’re all dead. for no reason. It is what he is now that will lead Kreator into the future. rather than destroying things and taking from the poor.’ It causes death and destruction. I don’t want to get too involved. the last three. “To the Afterborn. It’s not that I have mellowed down or something. as Petrozza re-affirms the recent events leading up to Hordes of Chaos. of course. but detailed. so when you write a song you have to write the lyrics that are going to somehow fit the concept. With that being the case. When they come to a Kreator show they can kind of forget about these things for two hours. rebellion can be very many different things. and through my lyrics. playing festivals around Europe. And I think that’s something where you can also understand lyrics like that. maybe in 100 years or 50 years. not street language. One could almost say Petrozza is consumed by these issues. or there are different themes that I write about.” he laughs. “The last year before doing this album we toured so much and had become a very. with the societal and political jabs spicing things up nicely as only the veteran can. “I started doing the demo tapes last year. and we’ve done it since Pleasure to Kill. coming up with new stuff that was different from the last record took a while. once Hordes of Chaos has been released. I bet you could go to a village in Africa and you’re going to find some metal fans there. it should be fast. It has to be a violent change in thinking. they have something in common. I see people and I see them rioting against the government. People are real fans.” He won’t just be battling social injustices anymore though.” “Corpse of Liberty. it will be the band’s 24th anniversary as a recording outfit. The whole world could be fed if governments could find a way of really taking care of things. I like catchy songs. as his answers are well-thought out. why not just hold onto the release for another year? “I’m not the kind of guy that celebrates anniversaries. I’m kind of happy about the fact that the band has been around for so long and that we’ve kept doing it. I think the older you get the more you know. Like if somebody listens to music after we’re all gone maybe they can get some kind of idea of the kind of world we lived in. “Hordes of Chaos. you could look at it both ways. As long as I feel that way I will continue writing angry music. war. Maybe some younger kids don’t. I don’t take these things too seriously. hatred. I think that’s always been a strong part of Kreator. ‘To the Afterborn’ are people who live after we have died. something Kreator has never really done before. I told them [SPV] that we’re not that kind of band. and although at times apt. it’s nothing special. of course. especially in wars that were done for the cause of liberty. not that I’m trying to go through a teenaged rebellion period in my life. So rather than just putting out something that’s kind of…not really worked out the way it could have been. I’ve done something. I think in the third millennium there should come one day anew. about being able to live through things and to overcome. I have never heard a concept thrash metal record. “I’ve always got different topics. Endeavoring to pierce the music and find out what lay beneath with our ferret minds. maybe you can take each three songs as one huge concept piece at the end of the record.” and “Demon Prince. We play everywhere all over the planet. That might be the closest you get to a concept record from Kreator. To me anniversaries are not very relevant. It is wrong. I really do like when people remember the lyrics and remember the songs and sing along to it. ‘We are creating liberty here. listening to the music one could scarcely distinguish the inspired brutality of “Destroy What Destroys You. or speak to what you really mean. when you go totally out of key. almost two years ago. smashed things and stuff.’ I always start questioning things all the time. or ultra-capitalism. with a new way of feeling and a way of treating the planet and each other. There’s a lot of songs. in-key. hard-hitting songs. but at the same time. his experience has served him well with writing biting. the homeless and poor. signifying the mental energy he devotes toward them. We should overcome that and start working on things getting better. It’s a great release of energy in a positive way. it should be used more accurately to describe the release of energy the band brings with its normally fast. and to write down my thoughts about how I feel. rising against what makes them pissed off. “Even collecting ideas over the years. and the more you see. I am something. Of course. ‘To the Afterborn’ and ‘Demon Prince. and that. which is very.” which could curtail their survival.’ that are linked. the band knows it is this energy that a live audience will feed off of. destroying negativity. So.” kreator 43 . I might be naïve.” or “Radical Resistance.THE GHOST OF KREATOR PRESENT When I heard the new album. but I think if you write a great album or quality music people are going to want the original. This world is based on capitalism. but they’re still starving. and always some places we haven’t played at. or the concept of losing your integrity. or rather the images you gather from reading the words. Coming up with new concepts and new ideas. I think that’s a good way of letting people know how life was. They have something in common. All the eras of Kreator are stored within Petrozza. Learning from the past. standing up for what you believe in. we will continue to suffer global maladies for the foreseeable future. Nobody would have to die of hunger. and in the way we treat people in third world countries. age is not relevant. younger Kreator. heavy hitting sonic fury. it’s more metaphorical. in my opinion. they didn’t download it. and just because I’ve played music for that long doesn’t mean that I cannot still progress and show new and different things. Not that I want to compare Kreator to AC/DC. or whenever. A violent revolution need not be violent in a physical or harmful sense “I mean. I wouldn’t call it a warning. and a whole host of other socio-political issues have surfaced throughout the ages of Kreator. whatever you come up with. and waited for the hour. And if you see a lot more of the world as you get older there’s a lot more reasons to be full of hate and anger. However it is marketed. “Change doesn’t have to be violent in a physical way. I always started with a trademark. Although Kreator has seen a reemergence of success. kind of touch this. And so. has become very important. The issues of the day have been around in the past. and as long as the world continues upon the course that it is on. there’s always some touring to do. I’m a very instinctive player. “I have a lot of friends that listen to alternative music. but it makes me feel kind of odd. and I think they’re great.” The word “violent” is often associated with Kreator. therefore we have to go to war. When you’re younger you really destroy things without thinking about it. very direct. as an artist. and there should be different policies than war and destruction and hate. crisp. In all parts of the world. it’s thrash metal and I don’t think that works with this kind of music. I’m hoping that will never happen. people that I like. all is not as it seems. On the other hand. Looking slightly further into the future.” which are taken together to form a story. I’m still getting pissed off about a lot of things. but to be honest. very active live band. It hurt pop and the mainstream a lot more than it hurt metal. as the years pass by. It doesn’t matter to me. and some things that are just fucked up. Petrozza admits that the metal populace still. He thinks it’s wrong. or in-key. It’s such a huge collective of people worldwide. So we wrote all these songs. and living out your own life. in my opinion. When it comes to leads I’m a more jamming style. Me. not the least of which are the last three songs. And we toured quite a lot for the last record. are currently in the present. one day they may have to battle the dreaded “downloading syndrome. Of course. I wrote these two songs. Andy Sneap. Maybe there will be some silly kind of thing. and I’m the same way. a whole world of metal fans. buy the album. riffs here and there. but he never liked it. they’re collectors. and they have to live with everyday struggles as well. Then again. First. written about your own life. The environment. and it would be kind of limiting. and knowing touring and other commitments won’t let them release an album of new material for 2010. but people are saying ‘the record industry is suffering. “To me. Petrozza took his time with penning the caustic songs laced in Hordes of Chaos. I think through music.” he laughs. but it sounds cool. and never fair. they went into a shop. Sometimes the idea pops up in my mind to come up with a concept record. But this is not happening yet. It’s more like a message. it was so brash. I know the scales but I’m not always in scale. but I don’t. but celebrating an anniversary to me is almost like ‘I’ve achieved something. Those songs. We were very prepared for the studio. or a ridiculous amount of people. of course. every song that you hear. I have the right to talk about it. I don’t know if it would work. that’s not my job. is dedicated to the people that died in war.” from an earlier. I really believe that if you write a good record people are going to buy it. all I can do is write music. religious dogma.” He elaborates further. And then there’s an acoustic piece called ‘Corpse of Liberty’ in between.” THE GHOST OF KREATOR FUTURE Awaking in the middle of a prodigiously tough contemplation. which is. the singer/guitar player reflects that as long as there are things to sing about. I still think the world is not a perfect place. People that I hang out with.” Another well-crafted gem is the title track and album opener. I don’t even celebrate my birthday anymore. when we were kids. There’s countries that make a lot of food. I have so many different ideas. very inhumane. to me. and his answers lead one to believe in the passion of his convictions. “I mean. we lingered for him to call us. It’s just the way that I am. in the way we treat the world. my lyrics are very grabbing. When we look into the past and we listen to music from years ago we can kind of get an idea of how people felt. in your own way. ‘Destroy’ can also mean hanging out with people that are positive [laughs]. and they think metal people are so happy because they are the only people that are still buying records and want to have the original album art work and the whole deal.” Petrozza fills us in with a few details about what was behind the destructive ditty. The album. we waited a little longer and started the recording when everything was done. the producer of Enemy of God. While not necessarily easy.’ but all of a sudden AC/DC put out an album and four million people.” states the spirit of all things Kreator. When you read the titles it’s right in your face. and Sami’s more controlled. When you get older. It’s like working in an office for 25 years. I don’t know if there is one. but if I would be too negative about things I would not enjoy life anymore.” His preparedness also extended to the lyrical aspect of his job. I think there’s so much food in this world. And I think that helps differ metal from all other forms of music. Our first riposte is indeed about his well being. it’s not like I’m calming down like some people might.

bass]. and they weren’t very technical songs. let me put it this way. and we were already a touring band at the time. one could argue that the progression in Kreator has charted along the same lines as the personal evolution that Petrozza has gone through himself. like Megadeth. album by album. and instead of angry songs I wrote more sad songs. I do it. When I was a kid no one really took religion seriously. for what it was. don’t get me wrong—Joe Cangelosi is a great drummer—but I don’t think it sounds like Kreator… Kind of like Kreator. and I think it came out really cool. we gained some new fans.’ He’s one of the reasons I picked up the guitar. we heard a lot of Possessed and Slayer. we were still in school. Coma of Souls is like Extreme Aggression with a more melodic edge to it. It has some real cool songs like ‘Toxic Trace. you’ve met a lot of people. We were aware of that and we heard. nobody took it seriously from my generation. more than when you were younger. The band was falling apart.” Enemy of God “It’s a very important album. I wasn’t thinking that I had to write a fast record.” Renewal “For us it was almost like an album where we wanted to make a statement. we used almost primitive riffs. those songs were very different from what I had written before. In my opinion it is a great album. If you look at Violent Revolution. in my opinion. Of course I had some anti-religious songs in the past. the meaning of things. young people. Some of the songs are a little shaky. but it wasn’t a big thing. It was definitely influenced by more technical thrash stuff. 19-yearold kids went to see the Pope speak on a huge plain with millions of people there. you start to get more experience. I think Pleasure to Kill. All of a sudden religion became relevant again. when you get older you experience a lot more. It’s definitely the most successful album that Kreator has released since the ’80s. It’s more thought out. It was definitely an important album if you think about what happened afterward. you can hear a lot of progressive elements. and we wanted to come up with an album that was heavier than they were. Ventor was not in it anymore. “I can’t wait.” THE GHOST OF KREATOR PAST The past slowly. or Rob [Fioretti. and out of experience. but all of a sudden we had the new millennium and people were going on about God and religion being important. to some fans. From an artist’s point of view I didn’t really see the need to change the name because I was writing the songs. but overall the album is quite solid. just the fact that you have been understanding things for a lot longer than when you were a kid. and I think some of the songs are really cool.” You can tell through his walk down memory lane that each Kreator album borrowed something—whether in sound. the melodies are very much like Endorama. You get disappointed in life. which was why I wrote a lot of songs about it. On the other hand.’ and ‘Some Pain Will Last. It’s an extension of Violent Revolution and it has some very strong songs. however. which is amazing. It sounds like a really melodic Kreator album. Then all of a sudden these people here in Germany.” Cause For Conflict “It’s my least favourite. is one of the essential Kreator records. Maybe my life wasn’t… I wasn’t a really happy person at the time. We never even dreamed about the second album. you experience death.’” Live Kreation “It’s a nice mix. And seeing how there are no official plans to fete the band for their quarter-century of achievements. like ‘Phobia. and we had Blackfire. We did three years of touring and it was a lot of fun. without trying to sound old or something. We wanted to write the music that we thought was representing the band. but Ventor was not in good shape because he hadn’t played drums in a while. It worked. and it’s a lot more melodic. It definitely has some good songs on it. and the next generation didn’t either. Ventor’s not playing on it. The good thing is that. so for that Outcast is a good album. it has a lot of cool ideas.” 44 kreator . Renewal is definitely a Kreator album not like any other Kreator album. but maybe I was not very controlled. but not. silently approached. I was always thinking about certain things and I had already tried to understand things. but I wasn’t in the mood for writing fast songs at the time. To us it felt like it was our one sure thing. I was able to understand the things that I had found. but it’s a very cool first album. Extreme conservative forces and fundamentalists all of a sudden had power again. We wanted to progress and so. and for the time we picked so many songs we knew our fans would want to hear on a live record. Endless Pain “When we did Endless Pain we were all kids. I just do it.’ which is one of the strongest Kreator songs.” Terrible Certainty “We did a tour with Voivod.” Outcast “Outcast is the return of Ventor. A lot of people say that. They’re great guys and it’s going to be a great tour. I was like. people die around you. but not in a good way.” Endorama “Endorama is almost like the Kreator album that should have come out under a different name. it’s a dogma album. Epic Records. and it felt great. the skeletal hand of time reaches out from the blackness to harkens back toward yesterday. When you get older. because Endless Pain sold a lot of records.What is special to Petrozza is the upcoming 2009 tour for Hordes of Chaos with Bay-Area thrash stalwarts Exodus. but we’ve never really toured with them.” Extreme Aggression “It was the first album we produced for a major record label. 17 years old and we went to Berlin for the first time. not from my heart. You can see it coming. We did a couple of dates with them. it’s almost like ‘whoa. which was a mix between Endorama and early Kreator stuff. if you ask me. It’s going to be great. I picked all the songs. The guitar is almost progressive. in America. It’s one of our fans’ favourite records. ‘This can’t be happening. there’s maybe one or two solos on this album. I think. It’s a very chaotic album. It was all very exciting. We go to a show and play to 18-year-old kids.’ The production could have been better. which was two founding members. it didn’t feel right. aside from our older friends. Gary Holt is playing before me on the bill. and I think some of them are right. it’s great.” Coma of Souls “It was almost like an extension of Extreme Aggression. I was rediscovering fast and progressive music again. and to me that was very disturbing. When I was 17 years old I was thinking about things… No. We took a 16-track mobile recorder with us on tour. and if it feels right. It has a lot of great drum stuff. your relationships break up. whether it was the record company or the fans. Violent Revolution is one of the best Kreator albums. it’s more detailed.’ ‘Extreme Aggression. It’s true. On the lyrical side of things I was definitely going more into [a religious] direction. Renewal was like an ego album. I tried to come up with melodic stuff. gravely.” Pleasure to Kill “Pleasure to Kill was… We became more aware of the fact that there were people out there who liked our stuff. We kind of went back to basics. even when I was a kid. On the other hand. Violent Revolution “You can hear it on every Kreator album. it just came out of me that way. it’s just amazing. To me.’ which were some of the best songs that we had written up to that date. From a fan’s point of view they’re definitely right. Petrozza looks back and lends his thoughts about the growing process through the years. I think I was 16. you’ve been through a lot of good things and bad things. at the time. Even when talking about the future. The music comes out of my stomach. but maybe some fast stuff could have loosened it up a little bit. People were expecting certain things from us. but it has fast songs on it. To me. “I was always thoughtful. In fact. but we wanted to do what we wanted to do. emotion or other factors—from its predecessors. and the chemistry in the band wasn’t right. I think it’s just a different way of looking at things. I don’t think about it too much. but on the other hand we had songs like ‘Betrayer. on Terrible Certainty. but the production I don’t really like. We will have a lot of fun with them. and these things are not really present when you’re a kid. that Kreator would not be were they are now without having traveled the roads to get here.

and of all of us. but we have worked with Jorn Heitmann. for the most part. It is very cool. and wouldn’t do it anymore. the time was no longer our own. Kreator past. One thing Petrozza knew that would lend itself to a longer career would be not falling into a trap of drugs and alcohol. it might sound a little cliché or maybe a little pathetic. And so. The time of our past is gone. I drink sometimes. I’ve seen some sequences already and it’s going to be very. very good. so music has really saved my life!” THE END OF IT Alas. and would not be what they are unless they had intersected. and I like playing music with a clear head. The paths Petrozza and his crew have followed are intertwined. he came up with this concept. We play on a mountain of corpses.” May that truly be said of us. I never understand how people can get drunk and then start playing. and those he has outlived. you wouldn’t believe. very brutal. every one!” neuraxIs 45 . “Love us or hate us. and in my opinion he’s the best video director there is at the moment. I was always getting into the music so much that it was almost like doing drugs. I never did anything. and it’s not necessary to do drugs or smoke weed to play. After being in the dog-eat-dog industry of the music business. where I was smoking weed all day. and then the next day I would just quit and stop. and the time of the future has yet to come calling. and if any other director would have suggested it I would have said no. present and future have all come to the fore. He’s great.’ and ‘300. maybe half a year or year. but I think there’s more important things in life. I was a guy for a certain period. To be honest. cannot attest to. “I’ve seen it happening. Petrozza used his observations to steer clear of many obstacles. For now. Even when I was around tons of weed I was never addicted to weed. a claim many of his contemporaries.” he says with a laugh. Well. there is one other small morsel to be had. It’s going to look very. I like playing music.His understanding and wits have also allowed him to remain in the game as long as he has. a feat in itself. and I was never an addict or an addictive person.” Petrozza laughs. but I think music has really saved me from doing all these things that are unnecessary. exceeds expectations for a quality release. to me. never mind the mind-boggling output that. very dark. All that is left before is to tie up loose ends in the time we now have remaining. the spirits contained within Hordes of Chaos will have to appease your palate. “That video to ‘Hordes of Chaos’ is so fucking metal.’ and that’s what the new video looks like. “Just imagine a mix of ‘Conan the Barbarian. as Mille Petrozza observed. there were always more important things than doing drugs or drinking alcohol. It’s fucking amazing. I think. until future chapters are written. because when you play there’s a certain high already. It is also cliché. “I think I was always aware of the fact that if you mess with certain drugs you’re going to die.

it’s just kind of that we got to a point where there was no concept anymore to try and uphold. This time. it was just something that Jonas and I realized when we were finished with all the lyrics. We wanted to let him have some time with his kid. it’s almost like we lose control. it was for ourselves. When we make music. We took our respective musicianship to the limit to make these songs challenging. After a while. it’s a jam session. We decided that we were going to tour only as much as we were having fun.” It’s not every day you see a band that’s willing to put their careers on hold temporarily for a baby. bassist for Gothenburg metal maestros Burst. While they may have a new album. I like music to be escapist. These lyrics actually deal with specific things. their writing style is the same as ever. but then again. Burst is a pretty much guitar-driven band. We don’t do it for the career. Liveröd helps put the situation into a little more perspective. your creativity dies. Lazarus bird (Relapse Records). for lack of a better word. something seems amiss. It wasn’t something that we discussed. They’re specific. It’s a growth process when everybody needs to learn to take a step back when writing music. Jonas. This time everyone tried to take a step forward when needed. Letting the vocals take an integral part of the actual songwriting. but for me personally. there’s all these experiences. Hot on the heels of the release of their fifth full length. they’re about something instead of just being generic metal. the lyric writing is a different matter. It’s one of the most musically challenging albums that we’ve done. For us to evolve. It’s a lot to do with catching the vibe of the song. they only have a handful of shows booked. Usually when you release a record. the normal thing that most bands do is get on the road and stay on the road. people’s needs come before the band. it’s just been everybody trying to get their part in without really considering what’s best for the actual song. I’m getting the feeling that we need a really fast part here. I’m just being realistic. Burst isn’t your typical metal band. If you want to be a professional band and make a living off of music. Looking at Burst’s current travel schedule. and this time more than ever.” says Liveröd. it doesn’t sound like the original idea anyways. saying. Nobody would be in this band if the music didn’t capture us. you have a good time. The release of this album coincided with the band’s first baby being born. somebody comes in with a basic idea for a riff or a cadence or something like that and then we start playing it. It’s not that we took the lyrics less seriously this time. “It’s mostly me and one of the other guitarists. Burst’s approach to their music is what keeps the fans and critics abuzz about their output. and not doing it because we had to. unlike other years. It’s kind of a lure. who write the lyrics.’ because it’s a naturally progression from that riff. they’re really important. “It’s a matter of realizing who has the most creative ideas at the time. the two guitarists were the originators of most of the basic ideas for riffs and arrangements. ‘You can do this. It’s a pretty democratic process for us.” says Liveröd. That’s why we’re also very careful not to exhaust ourselves with it. and that doesn’t work for us. but taking a step back when realizing that somebody else was being creative and has good ideas. You have to keep yourself inspired. “This band means a lot to us. and to do that you have to let go of your previous ideas of what you need to do. Instead of looking to what the music needs. we do it for the music. and that everybody is still such huge fans of music. they can improvise and do their own thing. like ‘Yeah.” While the band writes the music collectively. It’s a manifestation of so many things that are important to us as individuals. the lyrics for Lazarus Bird reflect the band’s proclivity for genre defiance even more. Liveröd explains. but presenting cool ideas when they had them. I really don’t care now how people receive it and how they listen to it. it lowers the sense of the album for me. keeping the band and music in perspective is paramount. When asked about the down time. because in the past there have been times when there has been a lot of arguing and debate about this and that because everybody wants their thing. Liveröd outlines their process thusly: “We’re a jam band basically. or the melody goes. because then the music becomes a job and that takes the mystery out of it. At the end of the day. Compared to past albums. “I know that some people don’t care much for lyrics.” explains Liveröd. It’s like you go out there. no preconception about what a band like us can write about.’ We really tried to be forthright and direct this time. UNRESTRAINED! got a first-hand account of just how true this is for a band that’s never afraid to try something new.” More to the point. It’s the making music part and having a good time that matters to us. You could say that the two guitarists were the two captains steering the ship this time. After all. but I hate to see it being spoiled by it getting a feeling of being a job.” Liveröd is quick to explain that the writing didn’t begin and end with the guitarists. In the end. where does Liveröd see Lazarus Bird stand against the rest of the band’s discography? “I think this album is the most important to us. we just had to let go of certain limitations that come with being a metal band. but I think that we all regard the lyrics as something that can really make or break the album. Our guitarist Robert just became a father about a week after the CD was released. I write the majority of the lyrics. This realization was voiced by Jesper Liveröd. and then everyone develops it in their own way. performing and being in strange places and strange situations. If an album is really good musically but has really embarrassing lyrics. It’s kind of like the song takes over the process from us. and Jonas writes a couple. I like touring. “We’re very ‘down timed’ right now.” By Dave Sanders Rising Above Genre Limits 46 burst . it’s been a focal point for the majority of our adult lives. as opposed to making the music and then putting vocals on top of it. I’m really grateful that everyone in the band is still hungry to develop everything. Everyone contributes in their own way. We took the position a couple of years ago that we weren’t going to do this as a career.“Contentment is the death of creativity. but that’s not to say that they do it on their own. It doesn’t matter if somebody tells you this is the way the riff goes. or a metal part here. This does not fit within a metal context and this does. The lyrics are very stark and emotionally direct. “I’m not trying to be a sensitive artist here.” For Liveröd. That’s been really driving for the music as well. Writing lyrics was as much a process of letting go of the genre limitations and the limitations of what you can do as a metal band. or how people think we should play. It takes leaps and goes places that you don’t expect. and have a pretty good reason too. “When you don’t have the aspirations to write and become better. Liveröd isn’t shy about his lyrical philosophy either. but you can’t do this. It’s because it’s a much bigger part of trying to incorporate the vocals into the music. There’s so much you can go with vocals if you give it a shot. it’s nevertheless true. With the band once again flexing their creative muscles with the music and lyrics. meet all these people.” While this might not be the first time that sentiment has been uttered. you have to tour all year round.

abysMal dawn 47 .

tour.” he laughs. Still. dark hideouts. The worry of repeating the same formula should be a concern of every band there is.” 48 horna B The album is the biggest grower in the Horna catalogue.” As it turns out. somewhere in the neighbourhood of a gazillion. and they both fit the album perfectly. “Ritual two is the shining glory. we were aiming to make two different albums. give or take. and labels and bands seem to forget that it is not just about vinyl. but also quality. It is our sacrament both in sound and literal approach. The first disc is the more aggressive (though not entirely speed-driven). guitarist Infection. We are going to play around 50 minutes each night. which by the time of this story’s publication will have concluded. Horna has made its most compelling release to date in Sanojesi Äärelle (translation: “to the fountain of thy word”) and it is a double-disc set to boot! The undiluted savagery and rawness remain. limited vinyl editions. and as long as we find a way. As long as Horna exists we are not going to make old vinyl releases available. the concern most assuredly pertains to repeating oneself or failing to keep each effort fresh and exciting.” Shatraug affirms. but during the releases we’ve done since 2001. everything.” The rainstorm of creativity does not look to be subsiding any time soon. vocalist Corvus. we have had only one rehearsal and won’t even have time to have another. leaving no questions to be asked. Both are of the same burning flame. Nothing earthly can move me. and then at one spark write and compose for many days and nights in a row. “but it doesn’t mean I would be writing all the time though. recorded. There is not going to be one night that is the same as another. the question one must ask is how a band with over 30 releases under its collective belt was able to summon the will to record two discs of material. “Actually. quality never seems to suffer. When we started talking about Sanojesi Äärelle we made sure it was going to clean the table of all unfinished ideas and songs we had stocked in our notebooks. Even so we took the best out of our possibilities and you’ve heard the result. one would think that the members of Horna are at least a little worried about making the same album over and over again. The hypnotic feel of the second ritual was achieved to make the finality of commitment overtaking. It could bear no other atmosphere than that of grandeur. There has been no other guidance than that of his uncelestial [sic] majesty’s grace upon his brow. we take pride in performing a set that is not premeditated. but in the end we chose to include both on the same release. I can’t even remember when was the last time somebody did vocals at our rehearsal bunker for example. Shatraug does not mince words about the issue and we soon find out that his opinion about the resurgence of vinyl’s popularity may not be all that it is cracked up to be. I believe. “You are on the spot. We aimed to do this and achieved the goal we set. “It is of course something I can put my pride in and I think it has been achieved mostly because of the long timeframe during which the songs were created. “The album was written during last five years and gathers everything we saw was leading down a certain path and with energy to it. you just might trip over a Horna release and break your leg.” Shagtaug exclaims. the aggression had to manifest itself again. but there is no question that Horna has written an album that requires more attention on the part of the listener to fully appreciate. It will be fire and brimstone!” . On the former. There are that many floating around out there. all of the songs had already stood the test of time in our own hearts. Depth is a relative term in black metal. “No. The increased interest in vinyl is not just a positive thing though.” Each disc offers a different feel and moderately different musical approach. wherever. It is time to think of that when there is no longer anything to add to it. death. I think. Ritual two is made in praise of Luciferian light and its shining influence on our lives. “It wasn’t intentional. quite the contrary. So have the Finns been spending long. they have been there. Horna hasn’t been a rehearsing band in 10 years now. the announcement of the band’s first ever U. Even with re-mastering everything would sound very different from another. a description with which Shatraug agrees. There are far too many releases being put on wax. even the small crackling and hiss of the LPs. vinyl bags. yet Sanojesi Äärelle is a grander album with more moods. aggression. The whole recording is made on analogue with eight tracks. the style is always recognizable as Horna and the progression from one release to the next is certainly not of the Enslaved variety. or any of the numerous high-quality splits—from the Finnish black metal powerhouse. there will not be such a mistake. There is never a dearth of releases—whether full-length. Some of the chords. The touring lineup of Shatraug. awe. It is one thing to be creatively inspired. not really. Originally. upheaval of satanic spirit. instead of leaving the other to wait for its time.” When a band is this prolific. both were previously released on limited vinyl. and drummer Vainaja is is raring to have a go at American audiences. Amazingly. “It is indeed the first time we have been out of Europe and we will aim to make an impact! Believe it or not. As for Corvus. while the latter makes an impact solely because of the primal aggressiveness in the riffs. as if two sides of a coin that was cast forth from the abyss. but nowadays I still want the cover art. but one would think the members of Horna are writing all the time. “Whenever we recorded something. When recorded. we’re damn thrilled to get the tour started finally. and aspiration. According to guitarist/vocalist Shatraug. and pain. Yet each Horna release is bursting at the seams with energy and ever-improving songwriting. Granted. may be even more enticing.” says Shatraug. Horna has released a slew of these limited edition platters. harmonizing and little things have not always been heard from Horna albums. he has simply lived in the moment when performing his vocals. “Both songs date a long way back and are some of the oldest on the album. but familiarity does not mean redundancy either. “But for me vinyl has been the most precious and important release format ever since I was a kid. “The limited vinyl releases have mostly been limited for a good reason. and the completion. The way it goes here is that I could remain dormant with inspiration for weeks or months. It was the idea all along that ritual one would be the more aggressive act. we have just taken the moment and immortalized it whenever the need be. damnit!” As exciting as the prospect of two discs worth of Horna material may be. that is not necessarily the case. and looking back I think most of those represented the feelings and ideas of that time. I can’t bother even eating or taking care of normal things. and produced by ourselves alone. grueling hours in the rehearsal space preparing for the onslaught? Not quite. It was never a question of not having anything else to put there. it had nothing to do with sudden inspiration. it took ages to get released and by the time we had something out there was already another recording made or a bunch of songs written that only needed to be finished. “Ritual one is darkness. and layered dynamics. When the surge of creativity takes over I’m like possessed. Most will not find it easily absorbed with only one or two listens.S. Was it a sudden burst of creativity? “No.” comes Shatraug’s quick reply. The second is deeper in sound and more sorrowfully hypnotic in mood (for the most part anyway). due in no small part to the slower pacing and the bone chills felt from the chords and harmonies played. “I could say that at least I’m very creative. So far we have not fallen for that. Corvus’s brief shift to a guttural vocal style (just one example of his fire-breathing performance on the album) and the acidic guitar tone and sections of particularly jagged riffing offer a soul-flaying ferociousness. minds. bassist Qraken. Although there is no reason to question the band’s integrity on the matter. Back then we didn’t have any CDs of course.” explains Shatraug. mixed. We chose them to give the songs a proper sound and performance. as previously undiscovered layers reveal themselves with each subsequent spin.Pr olificu s Sath anas By Scott Alisoglu e careful when you walk out the door of your home in the morning. Not everything should be put on vinyl. pace changes. one still wonders about the finality of the “limited” part.” The mention of limited vinyl releases begged further exploration beyond the specifics of Sanojesi Äärelle.” Here again. “Yeah. EPs. I also love analogue sound much more than anything digital.” Shatraug points out. two of the standout tracks (at least to these ears)—“Orjaroihu” and “Risti Ja Ruoska”—on the first disc are not even new songs. no matter how prodigious the output. but when the album was finished we all thought it was going to be something a little bit harder to get into than all the previous Horna albums were.

slick. is reprinted below. it was me who played guitar in Moonspell for almost two years. Manilla road is a band that seems to be close to your band’s heart. et cetera. The first album was released in 2002. it is one of my favourite records of the year. and what reasons caused you to form ironsword? i know there is a connection to Moonspell in the band’s past. I can say that we’re extremely happy with the final result. and darker than all previous stuff—epic metal out of the norm. Sure it’s flattering when people say that we are the Portuguese Manilla Road. Battleram. Back then. About current bands. and others. I believe it stands one level above in terms of songwriting compared to the previous works. I grew up reading the Savage Sword of Conan comics and in time I discovered and become more fascinated with the writings of Robert E. keeping our typical catchy sing-along choruses. The decline of civilization and the quest for freedom and so on. Every character. These bands know the meaning of real heavy metal and make it sound fresh. Judas Priest and Iron Maiden have an important role. all of my friends were already playing in other bands and could not afford to compromise with another full-time band. Blackfoot. it was an old dream of mine come true. Ironsword is my life and I simply cannot live without creating and playing music. and sort of scorned. After two previous releases through Solstice guitarist Rich Walker’s Miskatonic Foundation. heavier. but I’m really looking forward to some live shows in North America. and. invigorating slabs of true metal to make its way into my grubby hands this past year has been overlords of Chaos. and something that Kevi-Metal and I make sure to spin each week on our metal radio show. I asked Mark if he could do some backing vocals to our new album. it turned out exactly how I had in mind. everyone was into the death or black metal trend. There are plans for a European tour. and Black Death. I’m sure most of our future works will continue focused on his writings. You can forget the rest. so traditional heavy metal was considered dead. The album as a whole has been so inspiring that I had to drop a line to the band to find out just where the fuck they’ve been all my life! Part of that interview. In the beginning it started as a one-man-band simply because I couldn’t find talented and available musicians to join the band. Tank. He was so kind for doing that. or that Ironsword is the only band that really sounds like Manilla Road 20 years ago. the troubled yet brilliant writer best known for Conan the barbarian. Have I mentioned Manilla Road already? There are lots of other bands like Omen. in Wichita. They have been very professional so far. There were some lineup changes in between as well. i want to congratulate you on the new album. Led by the strong vocal delivery of guitarist Tann. which i am assuming is what your current record label is named for. Ted Nugent. Long-term plans…still continue to create good quality old-school raw epic metal music! Ironsword 49 . Also. Portrait. so I guess it was a natural progression for the band. so i was wondering if you could give a brief history of the band. the list is huge! I grew up in the ’80s listening to real heavy metal so it’s natural to me that our music is reminiscent of those times! Everything just comes out naturally. every race and kingdom he created can be faced as a reflection of our daily reality. Assedium. it sounds totally ’80s! A clean. The involvement of Mark Shelton is definitely for me the highlight of Overlords of Chaos. interesting. answered by guitarist Tann. Brocas Helm. Basically I wanted the whole atmosphere dark and obscure. I formed Ironsword in 1995 to be exact. Lots of NWOBHM and U. Who played in that band? Actually. Yeah. How did you come together. Ironsword is an underground band. and Wrathblade. Above all. both by the (British) Miskatonic Foundation label. It’s a better-balanced album between epic mid-tempo tracks and speedy thrashing rage. I met Mark Shelton in Athens when they played there for the first time in 2002 and have been in contact with him regularly ever since. either in north america or over in Europe to support it? We really hope so. Kansas. the third album overall by Portuguese power trio Ironsword. i am curious on your feelings about it. the second album Return of the Warrior in 2004. because they are a unique band so they can hardly be copied.S. Attacker. pretty. Buffalo. so that would be awesome to do some dates there for the first time. Ironsword’s “Blood and Honor” has impressed this writer so much that it has become my official anthem for the fall and winter of 2008. and for me personally. Everything I do in Ironsword is just my humble honest homage to one of the greatest bands in heavy metal history. he defined heroism and adventure in its purest form into something greater than life itself. we pay homage to them. instead of aping our influences. I know there are a lot of people interested in our music. Cloven Hoof. Shortly after. The production is raw without being ragged. Kull. The first show ever in almost 10 years of existence happened in Germany at the Keep It True Festival. Immediate plans… Shadow Kingdom Records will release the vinyl version of Overlords of Chaos early 2009 and hopefully a new album in late 2009. It may sound way too cliché. They are my fave band and I don’t deny the obvious influence and inspiration. Blitzkrieg. Not only is he my favourite writer of all times. heavy metal music in a very honest and sincere way. i know it is your third overall. is the band happy with the final outcome? How was this album approached differently than previous recordings? Thanks for the kind words. and this leads the pack as their best release yet. I’m sure all bands have the same speech. Holy Martyr. and he recorded everything at his own studio. I really like The Gates of Slumber. of course. and Black Horse. However it was never my intention to disrespect and rip off Manilla Road. What are the immediate and long-term plans for the band now that the new record is out? Will you be doing any more touring. The fusion of these bands mingled with our own personal ideas. Battleroar. I recorded two promos between 1995 and 1998. I sent him a rough mix with the songs. forges a sound that is uniquely and unmistakably Ironsword. which I believe gives the music a barbaric edge I personally was looking for. from the heart and soul. thematically? Our second album Return of the Warrior was also dedicated to the memory of Robert E. I recorded with them the mini-CD Under the Moonspell and the debut Wolfheart. He sent me the stuff a few weeks later and I was blown away. this is my first introduction to the band. Pagan Altar. It’s difficult to express my views when you’re such a diehard fan… as previously mentioned. but as i am sadly unfamiliar with the previous albums.ne of the most exciting. and polished production does not fit in the spirit and concept of Ironsword. Apart from being a brilliant storyteller. Howard. The third album Overlords of Chaos was released in 2008 by Shadow Kingdom Records. What is it about his writing that is so special to your band O that you have dedicated the album in his honour? How has his writing affected your music. so things tend to work slower than normal. I feel it’s a true calling and I will always do it until I die! What bands influence your art? Which groups did you look to for inspiration when you formed ironsword? Which current bands do you feel a kindred spirit towards? Obviously. power metal… Well. Howard. He somehow turned fantasy reachable and credible. The label has quickly been making a name for itself by releasing some of the best underground classic heavy metal to see the light of day in 2008. We always try to personalize our own sound each release. Cirith Ungol. you even got Mr vocalist Mark Shelton to perform backing vocals on three album tracks. This gives you an idea of how diehard fan I am and how his work affects our music. Besides. the Shadow Kingdom. and uncompromising. outdated. How did this pairing happen? How hard was it to get him involved and what does it mean to the band that he agreed to do it? Everyone who knows me personally can tell you about my fascination for Manilla Road. Howard. the album is dedicated to the memory of writer robert E. but in my opinion the worthy father of the sword and sorcery genre. My main goal for Overlords of Chaos was to create an album somehow more complex. the band has found a new home on Pittsburgh’s Shadow Kingdom Records. sharing the stage with bands like Manilla Road. stuff like Hawkwind. supporting us more than 100 per cent! They were completely out of their minds when they decided to sign a band like Ironsword! I decided to form Ironsword because it’s my passion to create and play. although it’s too early to advance anything.

50 Ihsahn .

as evidenced on their Desperately Insensitive album. How has having a stable lineup for about eight years now affected life in Cripple bastards? It’s been extremely important. trades. As always. tours booked in squats. They’ve just upped the ante with their latest full-length. I agree with what you say. it’ll still be a part of me because I grew up doing this and I am a bastard in full effect! When you started this band. “Lo sfregio e le sue ombre” (The scar and its shadows) which is our new anthem for those who get screwed by love. i don’t speak italian (or Serbian. The DVD documentary points out that as years went by Cripple Bastards have gone through a radical change of both audience and musical background. the part of the scene that has clashed with CB is very narrow-minded and chained to a list of rules that can’t be broken. has been top-of-the-line. there are a lot of real-life stories mixed in. I have no idea if all these moves have affected the new album. even if the departures are very slight. and. without emotions. As I previously explained. UNRESTRAINED! tracked down Guilio the Bastard via his preferred medium of email to discuss the organic steps forward towards increased brutality on Variante Alla Morte. was done two weeks before entering the studio. I wish many of the things H that made us “controversial” had never happened. To the untrained ear. Cripple Bastards! My how you’ve grown. In my individual case. it’s plainly obvious that as time has gone on. CB has finally disbanded!” Man. it just goes deeper in developing certain topics. so it’s a brand-new composition that was put together quite quickly. thanks for the lead-in to my next question. “Auto-azzeramento” (Self-zeroing) that deals with work’s annihilation. On this new one you get “Stupro e addio” (Rape and goodbye) which portrays rape through the eyes of a rapist. CB is a part of me. In the first decade. I never thought this could last for so long. so a lot of things that any other band would have probably let go have become the roots of arguments and fights for us. Italy’s long-standing provocative grindcore institution may sound like short burst of noise after short burst of noise—and we’d be lying if we said everything that has followed since the day one Guilio “The Bastard” Baldizzone organized a rehearsal on the top floor of an abandoned factory with his fellow extreme-music-obsessed chum. Can you describe it and what you were trying to convey with the images you used? The artwork is a fantastic drawing by Majo Rossi. well… that’s all about everyday life. variante alla Morte. the bass player of our friends Agathocles. Many might think that it’s all provocation to raise diatribes. we gradually departed from that and started to play in different kinds of venues for a different public. but just as ruthless and violent sounding as the past. but because of the many incidents that have happened through the years. as I mentioned. above all. Somebody wrote. It also depends a lot on the fact that while the older albums were 90 per cent written by me and retouched by the other members. This lineup has played hundreds of shows and done a lot of work together. It’s the eternal war of the individual versus the outside world and increasing overcrowding. growth. Even when CB no longer exists. Dampyr. it depends on what underground you’re talking about. even those who gradually turn into our worst enemies and backstabbers are still buying (or at least downloading!) our albums secretly. we simply passed to a different audience and things are still increasing and developing. the hatred comes from existential disgust and malevolence. what has Cripple bastards come to mean to you? What role does it play in your life and how important and time consuming is the band? How do you find balancing it with all your “adult responsibilities”? All of us in the band have jobs. really. did you ever think you’d be celebrating 20 years of Cripple bastards? When I started CB I was 13. Has this relationship continued to sour? in what way has this relationship affected variante alla Morte? Well. simply those who “don’t give a shit” about certain matters. We did the original version here in Italy and it had some production mistakes and sounded weak compared to what we had in mind. But in a few parts of Europe (specifically Germany and France). we had specific songs about drug addiction. Variante Alla Morte is a natural step forward after 20 years of Cripple Bastards. prostitution. and so on. your relationship with the underground has become increasingly strained. “Gli Anni Che Non Ritornano. plus we are good friends. there’s always something new to say. after many conflicts and the many negative stories you can watch on the DVD. is this something you might agree with? does this come subconsciously with experience or was it a deliberate move on your part? Yes. the 20-year-long list of releases from Asti. Once you open the poster you get it all. Alberto the Crippler. The CD layout was made as fold-out poster. “It’s so sad that these kinds of things always happen to good people and not to dickheads like Cripple Bastards. the tagline on your Web site reads “Controversial Hategrind Since 1988. on this new album (as on the previous split 7-inches with Eyehategod and Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition) it’s the work of four people together. we were mainly linked to the DIY punk/hardcore scene whose network is based on self-productions. Playing in CB is a huge passion and fun. for that matter). Let’s say that. especially in the first decade and later when Alberto the Crippler left. I’ve spent over half of my life doing this. I guess. an Italian artist who works on the [Italian] comic series. yes. i still haven’t seen the full artwork for the new album. how not letting go can get you in a heap of shit. In the following years. My dream at that time was just to do a 7-inch and then disappear. 4-plus hour documentary/main program of their official DVD release. We wanted to record this new version in Italian because we thought it’s a great track that deserved to be recorded at Studio Fredman. It’s the definitely the best lineup CB has ever had. we still haven’t had the chance to re-establish a relationship with the underground because we don’t tour that often. “Sangue chiama” (Blood calls) that is a parody on tough-guy. the death of nature. blindly accepting schemes imposed from above. suicide. especially some of those early cassette-only releases—but. so nobody has seen us there after the change. practise. And. in this case I’d say it has been sitting around for some years. and it hasn’t just been satisfying experiences. so this is the meaning of the drawing. No. not a deliberate move. in reality.. on one hand.. Variante Alla Morte means “Death variant” and it mainly focuses on those people living a vegetative existence in passivity—not feeling life at all. CB is just a way to vent out the many bullets we bite every day. I’ve been very close to stopping the band many times. hallucinated. But if your question also refers to the hatred and negativity we express through the music and the lyrics. on the front cover square there’s just a small detail of the whole drawing that doesn’t reveal the entire concept. On the previous two albums.” instead. It has a long line of children jumping down an escarpment ending in a black sea full of sharp stones. come to the studio and so on. released earlier this year.” do you still revel or take pleasure in creating controversy? Have your feelings of hatred. CB is all about revenge and overreacting. it’s the constant struggle of the individual versus the planet’s increasing overcrowding. Here in Italy and some other countries. and what keeps the fire burning 20 years down the track. so you get the influences/ideas of all of us mixed in. families and a private life. they keep enjoying the music and need to see if there’s something new to talk shit about. It helps a lot in reaching the right formula for creating new songs. so every one of us manages to find the time to play shows. Also illustrating the whys and whatfors behind the history. I started the band 20 years ago and I have always worked hard to keep it together and active. which certainly doesn’t help. It’s everyday life seen through CB’s eye in 2008. disillusions and doors shut in the face. i can get an idea of what you’re singing about. having a solid style and a well-trained live approach. to have it always “on the map” even if we come from fucking Italy. Usually.” So you see. but looking at some of the new song titles. Has your lyrical focus or direction changed on the new album? if not. You know. but I would say not. Sometimes I’ve kept it going simply because I didn’t want to see our enemies say. and all the troubles and hardships Cripple Bastards have hurdled since 1988 is the achingly comprehensive. CB have started from scratch and gradually built a solid following of fans coming both from extreme metal and from non-political hardcore. some unavoidable political schemes. Honestly. street-style poserism seen through CB’s “two eyes for an eye” mentality. over the years. are these songs that have been sitting around for a while that you’ve just got around to using or completely new compositions? “Auto-Azzeramento” is the re-recording of “Self-zeroing” that came out in 2004 as our side of Eyehategod split EP.CRIPPLE BASTARDS By Kevin Stewart-Panko appy birthday. in most circumstances. being able to maintain a stable lineup over the last few years has definitely helped the band progress towards pummelling grindcore efficiency. But. this is the fuel that keeps us strong and motivated! crIPle bastards 51 . Blackmails And Assholism. How about the music? it seems that the songs on variante… are catchier with more groove. “Yeah. We have played it live tons of times so. each taking part in composing. but also fights. Songs like “gli anni Che non ritornano” and “auto- azzeramento” sound like you guys stepping out of the norm and exploring new territory. The children’s faces are dull. start fights or simply to get attention. the growing sense of apathy suffocating us. the album wants to portray those who don’t feel life and slowly walk towards their annihilation and death. It’s a matter of mentality. in watching blackmails and assholism. On the other hand. I just translated the lyrics into Italian (as they were originally written in English) and adapted them to the song. disgust and ire grown stronger or become muted over the past few years? What fuels this hatred? CB is labelled as a controversial band not by our choice. I was recently reading a message board where people were discussing about the death of Tony. is there anything different about the approach or structuring of your lyrics? The lyrics on the new album are mainly a new chapter to what has been previously said on [previous albums] Misantropo a Senso Unico and Desperately Insensitive.

we have now our own sound. especially in these days. for this recording. the title and the artwork contrast with the content of the album. And of course. “We grew up and so has our music.NECROBLASPHEME Destination:Devastation By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley “Our music changed with us. It’s a simple blueprint. “The other big difference is that. We decided to keep the title in French to emphasize the very personal way we feel those things. which is very structured. I’m a true Volbeat fan. it definitely makes our songs much more interesting now. Give me a good Obituary or Illdisposed record and you’ll make my day. So what does Yann think of the French metal scene? “I love it too. Some of the songs of this album are quite old actually and were written right after the recording of the first album and that’s what gives this feeling of continuity between Introducing Pure Violence [2002] and Destination: Nulle Part. Next time. we had to go 400 kilometres [250 miles] from our homes to a very isolated place.” The great thing about the music of Necroblaspheme is that they don’t own up to being anything more than a death metal band.” he laughs. there are no more feelings and ‘groove’ left in this attitude. while we only stayed 10 days for the first album.” he replies. We started to work on the recording six months before entering in studio. That and its sheer death metal power. We generally have good contacts with other French bands. their own style. I don’t think we can be easily classified in the death metal scene. molding their death metal approach and passionately coming into their own sound. as the music was much more complicated and intense. definitely has something different to propose in extreme metal scene.’ in which you can get an idea of what we mean by chaos and extreme music. “Apart from that. because they have their own sound.” starts Necroblaspheme singer Yann when asked about the evolution of the band from their inception in 2001 and up to the present day with the release of destination: nulle part (Agonia). having a very concrete idea of how the album will sounds like. I suggest you keep an eye out for bands like Phazm. We were much more able to avoid the mistakes we’ve made on Introducing Pure Violence: the thought that you just have to come in studio. and I thought that wasn’t even enough: we were still thinking of doing some improvements here and there.” The album does indeed have a great buildup. I don’t like this feeling of racing to be the most technical and the fastest one. “We’re not in competition with other bands. I guess I’ll have to spend some more time on MySpace. There are a lot of bands doing that in extreme music—taking things to a new level and doing mind-blowing stuff. We worked a lot on the tracks’ order to build the intensity until the reach of the apotheosis by the last song ‘Nameless.” I love French metal bands. they have been playing the music scene for close to a decade. “Nulle Part means ‘nowhere’ in French.” 52 necroblasPheM e / blIndead . and I guess there is a healthy ‘competition’ between them. We were totally involved in the work. Great song. our own vision of brutality. having only one single thing to think about: do our very best for our music.” he laughs. record each track in one shot and it’s done. They always have something unique to offer. “This time we wanted to have more of an effective approach. I would love to find some new extreme bands perpetuating the feeling of those old bands. with a fresh modern sound. “We wanted to illustrate this particular state of mind that was growing in us through the years. but they definitely deserve more support. Drowning. No doubt their studio work and experience has shifted just as much. I think we assimilated our influences in a smarter way. but they do have their own style of playing death metal and I personally think that’s why people will take note of this album.” He adds. What bands is Yann a fan of in today’s metal scene? “I don’t feel anything in common with new metal bands. and Temple of Baal who are bringing great music to our national scene! I think France. We have a very good scene down here. Actually. “We’ve learned from past work. We’re more mature and open-minded musically.” he says. While the band only has two albums out. Hypnosis. “and I think it’s quite the same for the other members. I have to confess that I have some difficulties listening to the new extreme metal bands.” he laughs. This time. I try to listen to a lot of French metal bands. what else can you possibly think of when you are only surrounded by cows?” I ask the singer to explain the meaning behind the album title. we stayed two full weeks in the studio. we’ll be even more fully prepared before entering the studio.

celestIal sea 53 .

54 torche / dantesco .

When we played Detroit and were about to go over to Canada I had a vial of Salvia Divinorum and we weren’t sure if it was illegal or not.” A background voice lazily pipes in. They are believers and they don’t really know what it means. “Everybody is good friends and everybody is really good at what they do. Cowgill concludes. and find traits that are similar to older Sun Gods of Mithras and Ra. performing miracles and rising from a tomb three days after death. but Cowgill is scant on details for legality’s sake. It’s an allegory obviously on how you can achieve that kind of knowledge without being Christian. “I’d say we’re psychedelic because we do a lot of psychedelic drugs and we write nine-minute-long songs sometimes.” he asserts. which he feels is inherently flawed. or throwing homosexuals off a cliff. their sound is akin to death/ black metal with crust-punk overtones. “If you comparatively study religions you understand that’s the case pretty quickly. This genre mish-mash is common in newer metal groups. “I don’t think [religion] should have any part in any political decision ever. analysis of Mithras and Jesus results in numerous comparisons. Using these biblicalera punishments for things that we can rationally determine at this point in our human existence… ” he trails off and gathers his thoughts.” responds Cowgill. “Horoskopus is sort of pig-Latin for horoscope.” Strangely enough considering these sentiments. “I mean. We like to have a good time and party like anybody else. and in the case of Book of Black Earth. “But when you do a comparative of religions you can see parallels between all monotheistic faiths… You can draw parallels between Mohammed and Jesus.” Indeed. “Death grunge. although it feels like that sometimes. including both deities born of virgins.” It’s easy to see his opinions mirrored in the lyrics from Horoskopus. When we recorded The Feast [their 2006 mini album] we had problems with how people played their instruments and the process. Featuring the cookiemonster vocals made famous by Chris Barnes. If it was a dictatorship. “It’s not like Fear and Loathing.BookofBlackEarth Mass indoctrination “Whether you’re an atheist or a Christian or Muslim or whatever you shouldn’t allow people to instigate that as a body armor to allow them to do whatever they want. “The bad part about that is the past 50 or 60 or so years the president and the vice-president typically appoint people into the White House and into those positions that help further the agenda of the industrial material complex and the CIA. That’s not democracy to me. 3000 to 5000 years prior to Christianity’s existence. guitarist/vocalist Tony Lombardi. BoBE has just released their first full-length and Prosthetic debut Horoskopus. as Cowgill’s beliefs clearly do not adhere to its application. Raging drumming high in blast beats and cymbals underpins the arrangements. but it proves to be quite accurate. a quick glance at their MySpace superficially claims that Book of Black Earth’s genre is “Psychedelic / Religious / Death Metal. That’s unfortunately keeping certain parts of the world in basically medieval times. we really make it our own thing!” By Sarah Kitteringham book of black earth 55 . and the whole album is about the astrological origins of Christianity and all monotheistic religions for that matter. While the parallels of Ra (the ancient Egyptian Sun God) to Christianity aren’t immediately obvious. have been solved.” It raises the question of what said psychedelics have been imbibed by the quintet. but were definitely not religious. then morphs from doom-laden to ferocious from track to track. “It’s like a shadow government that makes the current form of democracy more like a cartoon form of democracy. it’s taught we have to respect our religions.’ It’s a really cynical look at the whole Christian faith and how many people have it wrong. and drummer Joe Axler. actually discernable bass. who throughout the interview seems strongly in favour of accountability. which saw a revolving door of musicians enter and exit over their five-year history.” Cowgill says the tag is a joke. while the rarely discernable keyboard and meaty bass flesh out the static-heavy production.” It’s easier for the band to relax and let their guard down now that problems over their lineup. A lot of easier. the group is ready for wherever their three album deal with the label will take them. Cowgill does define it as “critical. which I am happy it’s not. “But obviously we don’t sound like a lot of psychedelic bands. “This is the best lineup we’ve ever had. We did legal stuff like salvia. but then you’d actually be voting for the person. It’s inspired by the story of Egyptian wizards who work their way into heaven using ancient magic.” It’s a descriptor coined by TJ Cowgill. Everybody is at the top of their game as far as I’m concerned. We don’t subtract any dogma at all—and death metal because we are closer to death metal than anything else. starting with the brand-new disc.” asserts Cowgill. guitarist and vocalist for extreme metalers Book of Black Earth.” he continues. “In reality. Death grunge. Like certain practices of stoning people to death. Featuring guttural vocals. were not on mushrooms all the time or anything like that.” he said. no matter what they believe in. all kinds of positions in the Supreme Court.” said Cowgill. the guitar work varies from catchy chord progressions to all-out shredding.” “Most modern religions don’t know their origins of their practices so it was to help point out how the origins aren’t what people necessarily think they are. but we do all kinds of…” he hesitates. Including original members Cowgill and keyboardist Hank Guthrie. That’s total idiocy. Although he is reluctant to call it an indictment of organized religions that believe only one deity exists. That’s completely unacceptable in my opinion. It really doesn’t matter who you vote for. even if it’s detrimental to society. “We focused on Christianity because we live in a Christian state. and no one can expel them.” It’s not only using religion as a crutch that frustrates Cowgill. This interest in religion and its facets is merely intellectual. “Were pretty laid back. I don’t know how much I can say.” Although the drug is legal and derived from a member of the Labiatae plant family. But I mean.” Now that the band is solidified. “‘From Heaven’ is also one of my favourite songs on the album. “The way the world is.” he said laughingly. “We weren’t sure bringing a tiny brown vial of basically green dust [over the border] would be a good idea. The religious thing is that we talk about religion more than any other subjects. it melds nicely into a sound that is decidedly and enjoyably their own. because they are so powerful. [In the USA] you’re voting for the person who you hope will choose the right people. This was just easier. He also questions the American government. a full-time keyboardist and extremely complex riffing overtop lush doomladen breakdowns. Upwards of thousands of years. Abraham and Jesus.” he says.” “Luckily it only lasts 5 or 10 minutes. we just draw our own influences from music we like. Krishna. having 12 travelling companions. “Right now it does!” “I wrote most of the stuff sober. its effects include mind-alteration and inducing what has been called “divine inebriation. not even God. because ultimately other people will tell them what to do. and the song itself is about refusing to give that up because of dogma claiming you can’t achieve that knowledge. “I like ‘Death of a Sun. all of congress too.” said Cowgill. BoBE is now officially solidified with bassist/vocalist Dav Tafoya-Garcia. people were already worshipping saints very similar to what Christians believe in. Now. and death metal. there are theories suggesting monotheism’s origins trace back to Sun worship.” says Cowgill. It should be kept completely separate.

emerging out of the context of Norway’s well-established black metal scene. His own connection with the music has been more personal but not restrictive. soon. because the scene nowadays is much lousier and pitiful. and the composite storm of black metal guitars. Dolk mentions the prominence of black metal and the popularity of what he describes as “the more typical fiddling folk metal. the true basic was more present at that time. But that honesty also extends to the vision of Norway that Kampfar’s music depicts— dark secrets under official histories. Not even our ‘friend’ whiskey is allowed then.Kampfar By Laura Wiebe Taylor A Study in ContrAStS And HoneSty Dolk of Kampfar is extremely certain about the honesty of his band’s music. and even better than before. Nevertheless. But during that time we received so many offers to play live and I got something like ten mails each week for the last four years or so only from people asking about the whole situation and the live situation of Kampfar. Dolk explains: “In the beginning we really didn’t want to be anyone else than just me and Thomas. The historical and folkloric narratives only become clear if you can understand Norwegian-language snarls. and I’m really grateful for that. of course. Just the same. I both guess and hope you can hear that even from the early works of Kampfar. Reflecting on the differences he’s noticed in the scene. bassist Jon and drummer Ask (aka II13).” Dolk’s early love of Norwegian black metal feeds his distaste for musicians who try to cash in on the scene’s infamy. so I have made many ‘friends’ and brothers here during the years. I have deep roots in the Norwegian black metal ‘society. As the joint project of vocalist Dolk and guitarist Thomas. meaning Kampfar is something he is (and must be) willing to stand behind completely. and metal. catchy hooks.” But it’s Norwegian black metal that most interests and concerns him. and it makes me really sick when I hear those fuckers that glorify this early period with such big words. But the Norwegian scene has never been a very open one. especially pagan metal.” Even with drummer Ask in the Netherlands they still manage to rehearse one weekend in every month: “We lock ourselves into the rehearsal place and breathe Kampfar for three days and nights. It is. and creepy synth accents reveals only traces of folk-inspired melodies. but when interest in Kampfar refused to wane— especially calls for live shows—Thomas and Dolk reconvened with an altered mission and. heathendom. So when me and Thomas finally got back together again we really wanted to do something more than just release albums over and over. I think. two new members. maintains a healthy hold on the global anti-pop music market.” If Kampfar is stronger than ever. Heimgang. This works really great for us. So for many years this was 56 kaM Pfar the situation. I have been into this since ’91. even if most of them even didn’t experience it themselves! It was not such a huge and great brotherhood. A “chaotic period” of downtime interrupted the musicians’ activities after the end of the ’90s. But then. Dolk explains: “The main idea behind it all is just as simple as that I really wanted to . To me it seemed like the total opposite sometimes. Kampfar dates back to 1994. “The metal scene in Norway has changed a bit since the early ’90s. In some way. the band’s strength spikes at a time when underground metal. “Due to the fact that I lived in a small place called Gressvik during the early ’90s I had the opportunity and freedom to be more into my own world. a two-headed monster this one. that’s for sure.” Creative freedom allowed Dolk and Thomas to establish a clear and sincere vision for Kampfar from the beginning: a vision forged in nature. more than competing and discussing with others all the time which direction was the correct one. I was maybe more free and had only myself and my music to focus on. there was also even more jealousy and trendy followers at that time than now—people who said things just because it was the right thing to say. urban enclaves surrounded by thick forest. I mean.’ so to speak. on the other hand. folklore intermingled with historical fact. That might not be the exact picture that comes to mind when listening to the band’s latest album. We at last made the decision for making a full band. Kampfar’s passion and sincerity speak a more universal tongue. even though the specific details don’t always translate.

’ so he had a lot of knowledge about both the white and dark sides of things. “With Kvass the case was more that we had been away for seven years from this scene. events and strong thoughts and beliefs of the dark folkloric stuff people used to believe in hundreds of years ago. The church is still around today. “The word ‘heimgang’ is. but also set off against a background of urban graffiti. mythology and superstitions that lie in the Norwegian nature. superstition in mankind. “I am Norwegian and therefore I express myself best in my own language. Kampfar has never been a political and anti-human band either.” says Dolk.” Dolk asserts. dark north. framing Dolk amidst the harsh wilderness. actual local events from my home place. explaining the path or connection between our own existing world and the underworld. heading in the same direction. This is stuff that people have totally forgotten in these days. Yet the Norway Kampfar inhabits is also a nation of populated communities.” “Antvort was a priest that lived just one kilometre away from my house. Dolk attributes the difference to Kampfar’s long stretch of inactivity and subsequent return to form.” For English language speakers.do some more real and honest work in this music scene than these tons of ‘evil’ bands with no substance.” For Kampfar the right direction isn’t a different path—more a certain collective confidence of stride—and there’s no chance that the band’s pagan focus will fall by the wayside.” Of the true events and dark myths that make up Heimgang’s thematic framework. otherwise it wouldn’t be Kampfar anymore. And Kvass really is a highway in my opinion. So you can maybe say then that Heimgang is a history lesson from the forgotten North. “Ravenheart” (off Kvass) sums up the pagan black metal movement as it fuels Kampfar.” Dolk reflects. a word that was used here in the North some hundred years ago. life in general and. it’s my religion! What could possible be more true than this? Nature. A series of photos by Peter Beste captures this disparity in stark relief. Kampfar must always be honest and true to our hearts. Follow the ravenheart!” The harsh. Without nature. but the locals and especially the kids knew that there was a different side. The new album Heimgang conveys a clearer sense of his intent—more close and personal stories but drawn from history and heritage. no doubt about it!” Musically. Kvass. Almost 80 per cent of this album is written about true events that happened here in the North. but Dolk is emphatic that he doesn’t mean “movement” in the sense of “organisation” or “laws”: “Fuck that! This is more about freedom and free thinking. “We will be honest in our work and with the sound of it all. heading for a goal and in a true way towards yourself—under one banner. I think.” Kampfar’s Norwegian lyrics (all but “Norse” and “Ravenheart”) add to the band’s honest approach. Heimgang is both raw and catchy at once. so it’s pure history. no “fiction or fairytale metal. and maybe that is the most important thing. “We will stick true to our roots and try to be able to show people what our music is all about. its wild beasts and untamed landscape—that’s the image of Norway “Ravenheart” invokes.” Earlier in Kampfar’s development. “Nature is in my soul. Kampfar wouldn’t have been Kampfar. which also shows a true story of the whole situation here at my home place. Norway is like that.” In the midst of this weird transitional space.” 57 . in a more refined relationship of contrast and opposition than Kampfar’s previous album. heathendom. Dolk was willing to outline one particular story as an example: the tale that inspired the song. So for me this is definitely the most personal album so far.” he emphasizes. nature. and oil-infused wealth. the band’s focus on “myths and history from the elder times” may have clouded the individual honesty of the lyrics Dolk was singing. He was practising about 200 years ago in a local church. so it was necessary for us to be able to sketch the highway over again. so it’s quite fascinating to see it now in real life and then know the story behind it all. both as a person and musician. I mean. Officially he was a white priest and the Norwegian state was supporting his acts of God. so maybe we forgot a little about the atmosphere. “Antvort. Antvort was what the locals called a ‘black priest. and backed up by a richer sense of atmosphere. These are very important issues in Kampfar’s music and aura and therefore also best expressed in Norwegian. With Kampfar I wanted to create something that is 100 per cent real to myself. heathen thinking. so to speak. “The essence of Kampfar has always been pagan/heathendom. Kampfar remains totally focused and dedicated to authenticity. urban decay. I can just leave my home and walk for one minute and I will enter the deepest forest. Or I can go in the opposite direction and enter the centre of this small town in a weird and urban way. Dolk: “Peter took these pictures in 2007 and he is a great photographer that really wants something different than everyone else. in fact. mined from Norway’s 200. This song and also the rest of the tracks on Heimgang deal so much more with true history and dark.to 500-year-old past. nature. Nature has always been the main force and inspiration for creating such music for me. It’s a big contrast in that picture. and metal is just me. To me Norse pagan folklore is still the whole ground principle for Kampfar’s music and could never have been something satanic. not least. The ‘urban’ picture is taken in the centre of my town. “And a lot of the topics my lyrics are dealing with are northern topics. It seems like things have come more into place and we are definitely heading in the right direction with our music. you know…big contrasts all the way. but no fucking organisation or group. We also have got much more time together now and we have better learned to grow into a whole unit and band with four equal members. Larvik.

58 Mar de grIses .

They just go about doing it and put on a fake smile to please others around them. and it really just began to sound too much like a not-so-good BTBAM. Once again we realized we were falling into a well-known genre. How much have the band’s initial ideas changed with how you shaped the band? I think in the beginning we struggled to find what we were trying to accomplish. I’ve been there. We’re surprised that even you at UNRESTRAINED! say we are diverse and unique. artIca 59 . so different. Their Compton Records debut EP entitled thought patterns of an uncivilized businessman serves up some great stuff. some successful. brilliant. whether it be a nice three-piece suit in an office and/or a lower class citizen on the street. but make him comfortable in knowing we will work hard to achieve anything he wants or needs. some not. When all the paperwork was out of the way. Duane. it almost seems as if people are too comfortable to be introduced into a different type of music and accept it. DuBois. grinding guitars and a punishing rhythm section that could instantly send any crowd of metalheads into a chaotic mosh pit. He’s a great person. did you like studio work? Yes. small town. Either way. listening to the radio and came to realize that everyone is a businessman: pick your suit and tie. and Devin. I don’t think we really try. managing. insisted on messaging and emailing [label owner] Dave Compton every day—several times a day—until he got a response. as in not much going on. Pennsylvania. Tony. we even added keyboards to see if that was a piece of the writing puzzle that we were missing. We were having a difficult time keeping bassists. I think the CD’s sound quality is amazing. so we try to make our music as different as possible. chew on some Grizzly and you’ll find me playing Call of Duty 4 on Xbox and/or being the responsible one by taking care of the business. we know that spending money on a full-length next would be a smart business move on our part. and that’s not something we wanted to achieve. makes sure we have everything we need. but personal as well. We’re a band that gets things done in a short amount of time. Dave will work with us to put out a full-length sometime early next year. it’s good to see some variety delivered with brutality. Every employee involved in a business always has alternate thoughts about what they do every day and doing the job they probably hate but still continue to do it. as i mentioned before. so we appreciate hearing from you. Dave is really like a father to us. Of course there’s inspiration of some sort. in closing. we realized that this is exactly what we’ve always wanted. are you working on a full-length anytime soon? Why not do a full-length first. Broken bones for sure. being the persistent person he is. pennsylvania. It’s what we’re going for. and what the fuck there is to do in DuBois. we’ve expressed our love for something different. and introduced it to the band. The band’s music swirls with a cage of horrific vocals. relentless brutality that truly showcases their mark on the scene and makes a cool addition to the already solid lineup at Compton Records. He takes care of us. i’ve actually driven through dubois. is that a fair statement? Where did you guys find the fun there? As far as Justin. we—band and label—started working hard. no matter what you may think. so it obviously made writing much more difficult. but he became one of our closest friends. it’s like building steps. With so much of the same music. as far as selling and building a fanbase. the Ep offers a really diverse and unique sound. the time you spent working on the debut Ep. yet struggle. As for myself. How did you hook up with Compton records? How has the experience been? Actually it started with Justin. I drink Diet Pepsi. An example: we all live together and our living room is more clouded than a Cypress Hill concert. how to get along with your label. We recorded at Zaring Productions in Middleburg. When we were experimenting. We personally believe that there is too much of the same when it comes to genres. After investigating Compton. but mainly we’ve grown up watching TV. then an Ep? We are currently writing some new material in hopes that we do good with this album. but what really stood out for us was John’s demon-like voice. What’s the significance of the Ep title? What inspired it? Anyone can take our EP title and make it into anything. and so on. Pennsylvania’s Artica are definitely one of the few that come to mind. anticipating that it will be a success. every establishment contributes in its own way. It’s safe to say we all enjoyed the music. We think an EP is the way to start out. to be honest. booking. what he did as an engineer. If this works out. but mainly we create music simply by a collective collaboration that ultimately bounces off one another. Compton’s very own. is that an easy process to bring out in music? a lot of bands try. Our influences really don’t come so much from other bands. He was listening to I Declare War. UNRESTRAINED! hooked up with guitarist Duane to find out what sets the band in motion. and it’s a small. it looked small. Zaring great. If it is one. Artica is strong about staying underground. We think it was an amazing experience for all of us considering none of us had ever recorded in such a professionally well-rounded environment.Grinding Workload By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley A s far as newer experimental death/grind/noise bands go. How hard is it to stand out nowadays in the music scene? It’s extremely hard to stand out and get the people’s respect. We believe that it helps to not only be musically appealing to Dave. Not only was Joshua S. and not only in a business sense. Dave then responded with basically a list of things we would need to accomplish. we work well together. they have their fun in a more herbal atmosphere to get through a day in this shit town. but through time it really just came to us. and we are really starting to make some headway into the music industry. tell me about the band’s early days and where we are today.

“I look back at those days and see it as something most bands have to go through. We were supposed to talk weeks back. They put a lot of work into the early days and it is paying off.” The new album is a lot more commercial sounding.Doing it for the kids! Her band’s second album the dream (Century Media) debuted at number 70 on the top 200 Billboard Album Charts. and I did. heavyset with catchy choruses. Brinks has something else to keep her mind busy while on tour. “My son is the most important thing to me. I think the video we did is awesome and it only enhances how good the songwriting is and brings out this visual. ain’t it? “It has been a lot of fun so far. And it’s not guys slobbering over her chest and looking up her skirt. I’m kidding… Touring is where we have the most fun and meet all of our great fans. Everyone sounded like this band or that band. but when you really want to get noticed and make a name for yourselves. “The studio work was different this time around because we kind of knew what we were doing. Century Media noticed and it has been a great experience since then. but I still worry when I’m gone. write music— though some were written on OzzFest last year—and just get through it. That’ll never happen. but I hope our fans understand we always wanna be 100 per cent and if I need to sit out meeting fans on a tour stop so the tour can carry on. We’d all love to be on the road all the time. as we do with our stage show each night. Axl Rose!?” she laughs. but a lot of hard work and touring is just as intense as it was. We didn’t aim for a commercial hit or anything. “But we knew we had to get off the road. but starts up again. “We are seeing a lot of great bands out there right now—we play with a lot of them. years.” She adds. I’ll make time to be there. By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley .’ it is full of hooks and catchy vocals and riffs. It’s difficult sometimes for meet and greets because I’m so drained and can’t make it out. Plus my son thinks I’m cooler than his friends’ moms. I’m excited.” says an obviously drained.” The road to where they are now started with the emergence of MySpace. really. Even more now with us being out more on the road and becoming more popular with the kids. We know no band is unique. He is a teenager now and is doing fine. “We’re still recording and writing the same music.” she laughs.” The topic turns to the music scene. That’s the way it is. That’s what means the most to me. We had a lot of flowing ideas. that’s the deal with it all. It’s important to find your sound and style.” Unlike most frontwoman who tour the metal music circuit. you really go the extra mile sometimes. I’m always going to be a mom first. She seems to still be nursing something still. “You got to go with it and make it happen. Now that the album is out and I see the grueling tour schedule. but if you can get in the right frame of mind you can do something that will get people to take notice. sometimes it just flows. yet vibrant Brinks down the line from somewhere in Milwaukee. but that is the way it came out. If we’re on tour and I need to go see him. I kind of wanna record again. I’m excited to see that because when we started out it was tough to find bands doing something unique and different. new ideas that just surfaced with this album. We don’t want to be doing the same stuff we did early on or even with our last album A Beautiful Tragedy [2007]. Brinks calls it growth. just trying lots of variety. they are currently on tour everywhere and recently filmed a great video for one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard in a while. but studio is a necessary evil as most bands will tell you. first single “Forever. whether it be an award he is getting or he gets sick. It’s simple. We’re so happy people have embraced us and our music. Some people live in the studio for months. “Even though I rock out each night and have tattoos and live in a tour van. opposed to last time when it was all fresh. Some might call it mainstream. The thing with creating music is that there is a process to it and sometimes it takes a few weeks to get one song down. I had a teenage pregnancy and had to grow up real fast and make the best of it. as well as massive Internet marketing on their end and do-it-yourself touring. but she was ill at the time.” Life is grand. “As for a song like ‘Forever. but still 60 In thIs MoM ent M aria Brink—singer/frontwoman for Southern California’s In This Moment—must be on cloud nine right now…or at least cloud eight. I don’t want my music lifestyle to put him on the back burner to touring and playing shows.

raunchy 61 .

62 M elencolIa estatIca .

Both use very different parts of the brain. Then there is everyone working at Galy Records that were very helpful too for us in the early stages of our career. on Prosthetic Records]. to the point that the other often anticipates what direction the other will take with his writing direction. which is something that is rather hard to do nowadays. it actually makes it easier to record when only having two members.” The thing that blows my mind is that as a duo. anyone can make a kick-ass riff. We’ve managed to have our own sound. with a symphony and major label backing. the recording/mixing is great. I think it all starts from the music. And guess what. With many band members. “BTM fans are as intense as it gets and they have always been extremely supportive. which were still intense meshings of technicality and brutality. it takes time to have ideas that R Masterfully in Focus will stand in the end.” In closing I ask Chilcote about whether or not the band is pursuing a label or if they even have any interest to get signed? They’re doing a good job as it is. not getting signed to a label. but I built a studio specifically for Forever Mourning. you should get my point exactly in regards to my reasoning to minimize co-writers. Are we opposed to signing with a label? Not if the right one comes along. but it takes more than those elements to make a good record. “But most importantly. the new album’s sound and delivery makes for a triumphant technical/death/grind machine bent on crippling anything it comes in contact with. but not bound by contract to have the albums pushed. Good stuff for sure. What’s Chilcote’s take on today’s metal/extreme scene? “I think it is healthy. We connect on a very high level musically.” starts off Beneath the Massacre’s frontman Elliott Desgagnes. “Ah. It was planned that way with Yannick St-Amand [Despised Icon. it would take a good deal to make it happen. it takes multiple computers running over a network to truly run the orchestra. The ferocious nature of the machine has been intensified ten-fold. But that being said. which seems to be an extremely rare occurrence. and vice versa. who cares more about your project anyway? Yourself! No one will ever care more about a project than the person that is doing the project. lyrically and production wise. Canada. So we could not wait to let people hear what we’ve been working on lately. I strongly prefer to be minimalistic with cowriters! In all my years of working with bands and other members. But we could not have done it alone. But the music is number one in our book. why did Chilcote settle on just being a two-piece for Forever Mourning? Has it been difficult in regards to the recording process? “Actually. But there’s more to offer than just that. you’ll find a lot of great artists. sure.” And I have to ask because of what I just stated about the might of the duo’s talent. There is so much going on in metal only. One thing I have learned over the years to maximize creative flow is to separate technical studio/computer work and the creative writing process.” he begins. How is the scene now? Are you proud of Montreal’s metal scene? The singer responds. We worked shorter days and thought twice before we would assemble and record parts for the new album [dystopia. Besides. Quebec. I think that in the end it’s them that made the difference.” he says. “It has been on the bottom of our list the entire time. Unlike their earlier works. and I think it helped us a lot to concentrate on one song at a time and not the entire album at the same time. It is a weird thing to meet someone from another country that speaks a language you barely understand telling you that you are his favourite band and that he goes crazy when he listens to your music. It’s pretty much quality symphonic black metal that borrows from the ways of Dimmu Borgir. and knowing that makes things more stressful sometimes. metal musician and founder of black metal outfit Forever Mourning. Total opposite of almost all new bands out there.SLAvES To ThE GRInD! “I personally hate the studio…or at least when it is us recording. What do you credit that to? “Well. it’s hard in the long term to be away from home most of the time. at least in this project.” You guys tour like motherfuckers! “Yes we do. And then of course. not everything coming out of Montreal is awesome. we own ALL rights to all of our music!” 63 beneath the Massacre / forever MournIng . “But on the other hand. The band is playing music that could easily compete against many of the signings flooding the metal market. especially in a full orchestra environment! For those who understand that. It’s not like when we have a problem on stage one night and that we need to fix stuff for the next show. things like this totally get lost in the process! This is a huge deal for any project. Forever Mourning has a lot going on—it sounds like a full band. he continues. What is on the CD will always be there. It’s hard on relationships and you start missing the people you truly care about. It is a weird connection. and the right succession of notes. but at the same time there seems to be quite a few bands that just put stylistically cliché elements together with no real quality substance! Sure. “The leading tone in that V7 chord better resolve to the tonic. we came at Yannick’s studio pretty excited and with a laid-back attitude that we didn’t have for our two previous releases. In regards to the recording process. “I definitely like the fact that we get to see our fans around the world. and everything is streamlined. Emperor.” he chimes in. When asked about what sets them apart from other bands out there. and shifting gears constantly will wear you down and you will lose all focus. Multitasking for efficiency certainly does not apply here. “Thank you for your kind words!” answers Chilcote when he hears my thoughts on the release. And they better be able to do a better job at promoting than I can! The music industry is changing. There are new bands that are up and coming like The Plasmarifle. We tried to make things differently this time though. the musicianship is outstanding. Despised Icon. the label thing. and that’s crucial these days. I know that sounds insane. is well aware of the impact that his music has made upon those who have heard it. The band has become rather well known and successful over the last few years. The band’s momentum has leapt forward in bounds. Cradle of Filth. but there are also bands that have been around for a long time that are not too known outside of Quebec. “Our songs go somewhere—simple as that! Our songs build and build. I prefer my music like that. The Last Felony. Their latest is easily one of the best independent releases I’ve heard in a while. Using the very high-end virtual instruments we use (the ones you hear on the big screen).” The topic shifts to their home base: Montreal. choirs. maybe not. but to go from point A to point B and really have the song push and pull is the real trick! I cannot stress this enough. Yeah.” So trying new ways to record sounds like it went well. it’s been over two years that it was recorded and written. but very abstract ideas! “Another reason for being minimalistic in regards to members is that for the music to function properly. We really wanted to make an album that we would be proud of musically. Prosthetic Records has been doing an incredible job for over two years now. or the use of the Picardy third better be applied to strengthen that cadence/ending—these are all very basic things that need to be understood in order to push and pull the musical maelstrom. Bound by a contract to do more albums. They’ve been nothing but great to us and we really like the way they work with us. their latest independent release Emerging from the Shadows is a welcome assortment of black metal rhapsody and atmospheric evil. I’m not talking typical riff changes here. I just feel lucky that we always had a good relation with our labels and different business partners. “Definitely! Montreal is an awesome place for music.” continues the guitarist. We have our share of shitty bands…” Forever mourning By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley yan Chilcote. I work best either by myself or with somebody who totally gets my vision. We’ve always been hard-working guys that made good friends and contacts along the way. and of course the staple. A lot of great young bands have come out of Montreal’s metal scene over the years. I have to say that is a priority when constructing an entire song in Forever Mourning. maybe that will change. So yeah. et cetera. In this I can write all the instruments and ensure their proper function.” He ends off. and the playing field is starting to level off for DIY bands versus labels. I’ve seen many bands get signed and get pushed to the bottom of the barrel. but an even bigger deal for a large orchestra. and some new things that I won't tell you about for the next album.” he laughs. Half of the album has been written on the road because of our touring schedule. No matter what type. The band does have their own style and sound. So I guess we have to thank a By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley lot of people? We had a lot of help from friends from the Montreal scene like Ion Dissonance. Our music takes a few listens to take in because there are many things going on at once. Erin is the only other musician that truly understood my vision. Above all. all the musicians need to play the right note(s). that is for sure! So far the right one hasn’t come our way. et cetera. I feel that it is our fans that help us the most. Ion Dissonance] because we wanted to have a good time in the studio and try to make it as laid back as possible. What was the mindset that went into the music and lyrics on Dystopia that led to such a cataclysmic charge? “We were all very excited about going back to the studio because even though Mechanics of Dysfunction [2007] has been released for only a year and a half. “I think there is a vibe that is pretty hard to capture on CD. “I am proud of the fact that Montreal’s bands try to have a particular sound and do not try to do whatever it is cool to do at the moment. Will it become a priority? Put it this way.

if I ever want to put my own band together and fulfill my dreams of fronting a band. Elizabeth’s introduction to metal came years ago. Yet old-world prejudice unfortunately continues to exist in certain quarters. It’s not something that I’m worried about. I’ve never been the biggest Iron Maiden fan. but I think the damage had been done at this point. “I think I had certain struggles as a kid because my parents realized they kinda fucked it up when we moved to South America.S. though adding she continues to toy with the idea of using the name Manslaughter for an all-female metal band. so I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to say we’re not gonna be open to experiment.” But does Dreaming Dead want to find a sound that’s ultimately original? “Definitely. So to me it was just kind of one discovery after another. I don’t know if they were mad.’ it kind of makes me nervous because it makes me think I’m not trying to be innovative. so I think as long as there’s a good groove going on and as long as that isn’t being affected by all these extra things that shouldn’t be there. As a working moniker. but I always thought it would be a good opportunity for me to learn a different style and go out on the road and get some experience. the name might conjure images of man-loathing worshippers of The Great Kat. the authenticity of her bleaker perspective on life is almost painfully obvious. and I think we’re always pushing the heavy groove and a lot of variety and keeping it fresh. but it was still this feeling that. it’s just…I don’t know. but their adventurous spirit can be felt throughout Within One. “During the time I was in The Iron Maidens. When you’re a kid. when she was ten. the band Elizabeth fronts as guitarist/vocalist. um. culture shock. and I want people to be able to understand what I’m trying to express. In South America at the time. Iron Maiden. I just want solid writing and I want people to be able to enjoy the music. After learning how to fix and build guitars at a music college and playing guitar for a few years with Orange County’s black metal act Winterthrall in her early twenties.” Those friends introduced her to thrash metal and acts as varied as Mr. I kinda feel like that’s a good thing because if we were to ever be like. she’s certainly become open to things in the realm of music. to which Mike adequately and diplomatically thwarts by showing the crowd his tits. We’re still definitely working [on] our sound. “Metal to me. so sad. “It was definitely an eye opener because I remember in elementary school thinking the U. it’s just. And it didn’t happen a whole lot. so I don’t like to get overly technical with my playing. it took Elizabeth a while to find her niche. I guess after a certain time I started making friends. it was really hard to get bass strings or a guitar itself or an amp. I don’t know how to explain it really.” Needless to say.. I was kinda introverted because I didn’t really have an outlet. and it just kind of intensified as I learned more and more about it. “It was never expressed. I mean. And I kind of feel like it’s still like that. and if it doesn’t work. but it’s almost like I’m constantly pushing to achieve this impossible perfection. “Just when you’re by yourself. is the only country that exists. thug-head remarks have been hurled onstage before. But after listening to the melodic and melancholy-fueled death.” Whatever her “place” may or may not be. [I realized] there’s this really big world out here. the feeling of wonderment is constant. we played shows all up the West Coast and it was totally cool. Elizabeth wound up trotting the globe with The Iron Maidens—the all-female tribute band to. Maybe it’s that feeling that ‘your place is somewhere else. or maybe it was just the people. Born in Orange County. chauvinistic. what she says she initially intended to be a recording project became something more following the recording of their Through the Eyes of Insanity demo. It was kind of a punk S ome people have been known to somehow perversely enjoy their sorrow.’ But I don’t really care. I was doomed to be rebellious. and to acknowledge something like that when you’re that young makes you open to everything in life. But the more Midwest we played. They don’t all necessarily hide in dark corners holding candles. I just couldn’t believe it. that demo fell under the same name of a band she was in years earlier. Bungle. that was just the biggest thing for me.” 64 dreaM Ing dead .” Judging by her tastes ranging from Cryptopsy and Vader to Mars Volta and Miles Davis. It was really stressful to see the back and forth between the parents. I kind of feel like that lots still. band so it worked really well.” Constantly giggling to the point of being giddy and reflecting an oftentimes “bubbly” nature. like. so they really resented the move. her parents moved the family to Chile.” she laughs.S. though. “When we were on tour in October.By Jay H. I think it’s something important to hold onto. And when I started my first band. and then when I lived in South America. totally well received. and I like feeling sad. Iron Maiden is awesome. So I think we’ll always experiment with things here and there. later on I can always be in a tribute band. but I thought it was kinda weird. It was just something that stood out this last time on the road. You don’t think of anything outside of the U. I was really thinking about putting my own band together because all in all it was a tribute band. I kind of grew up with the name. I felt like I was creating the wrong attention. and I always played in a band with guys. that’s our initial approach. But like many musicians. like black metal and thrash and death metal and doom and acoustic stuff. that’s our sound. Metal is the rebellious child within me that I refuse to let go of. because I don’t remember it being like that in prior tours.” she says. one might find the preceding statement too contradictory for comfort. ‘Okay. I think we’re still experimenting with our styles. On face value. And forget about the first time I played an electric guitar. and eventually moving back to California when she was 18. but Elizabeth says the predictable. I should start now. and people would come up and wanna talk. I used to be in a band called Manslaughter when I was 18. “I don’t like to over-think the music. an event. but my mom was pregnant with my little sister so we couldn’t move back. It was.’ That’s when I started recording my own material. After being in an arguably gimmicky all-female band. ‘Well. perhaps tearing up male dolls on stage. black and thrash attack of Within one. There was a lot of stress. people didn’t wanna talk to me. and it’s cool metal. It was just very expensive stuff so you really had to want it and figure a way to get it. Buying my first electric guitar when I was 16 was the most amazing event in my life. like. Maybe I’m just being paranoid. where they’re from. the debut full-length from Los Angeles’ Dreaming Dead. moving to South America was a pivotal moment for Elizabeth on many levels. it dawned on me. Manslaughter. and rejection at school.” With the encouragement of drummer Mike Caffell. I really didn’t have friends.” Elizabeth Schall laughs. but I got that weird sense that maybe [some people think] women should have a certain place and it was totally off to see a girl fronting a band with this kind of music. Gorania “I like to listen to a lot of Type O Negative. That band rules! October Rust is my favourite album. Not in abundance. Maybe I’m tripping. Not that Dreaming Dead are incredibly groundbreaking at this point. did Elizabeth really want to continue bringing attention to the fact that she’s a woman? “That’s why I wanted to change it.

” he says in his analysis of the new release. told through examples. Some reviews will write ‘not recommended to those who can’t stand SUNN O)))’ when we have nothing to do with that band and/or sound. you just have to let it flow. Our songs show how life itself is. whether consciously or subconsciously. it’s the uniqueness of T. It gets complicated dealing with reviewers when they try to compare different musical realities: We’re like nobody else—our music is unique. and then in the studio we improvise what fate has decided is going to be the final version. Our emotions need to flow and can’t be captured on paper. “Maybe deep inside we wanted to make a better record than our previous one. ‘il Monaco’ arranges it for the keyboard. with other visions and other words. especially when written by individuals who claim they only listen to extreme music. but mostly what I do is sit down on a chair.” says Atratus. but it’s the first time someone other than Mord does. “We have a particular way of making music. We can’t help but laugh at reviews like these. “In our latest record we played and expressed our most instinctive emotions. There’s not a lot we can say right now. calling it a nice li’l gem. rA W Em otio n “Our latest album continues in the same way all of our new albums are received: with strongly polarized reactions. On the other hand. That’s the best part of our music. other than the fact that the results are what they are.” By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley tronus abyss 65 . “But like I said.’ Things flow freely.” There is a real passion imbedded deep within T. “Everyday life is our most incredible experience.” He ends off. we’re used to this. The extreme goes way beyond these clichés and I think that in order to listen to T. Now we have a new bass player. The extreme is not out there in the open. Things happen spontaneously. each artist. it just happens. It’s human to want to get better. the fact that it always touches both extremes. a turning point of sorts for T.A. Mord writes a song. We are that something. it takes more than just a liking for the extreme. “These comments make no sense and warrant no explanation. there is something REAL that allows the conscience to express itself and project the world and all the universes we can only dream of. Mord is the writer of all our music. “But if you look closely you can see how things find their own path to follow. sets out to make “the better record.A.” And as noted. Sometimes I add some ambient parts myself.rAW inst inct . the majority of people who have actually heard the record said are very enthusiastic about it.A. You can believe me when I say that’s the way things are. Playing music is just one of our many pastimes. I think it’s important to understand that every artist is a separate entity. nobody did anything. drinking.A. You either hate us or you love us. Believing you’re in charge of your actions is just an illusion. In the past two or three years we seriously devoted ourselves to non-studying the Zen and Advaita Vedanta non-doctrines. however. Every time it’s different words. The next time it will all be different. The only things we record in advance are the guitar parts.” With each recording. while others will say our music is crap and to flush our music down the drain. and one record a year or one in five years is the same to us. as Lovecraft would put it. This record created itself. To be honest I find the need to constantly compare bands and genres completely useless. it’s hidden and subtle and only the enlightened few can grasp it.” starts Tronus Abyss founding member Atratus about his band’s latest opus vuoto Spazio trionfo (ATMF). They give you a reason to want to explore it more. We never thought of music as something you ‘had to do. like the turning of the seasons…like the things that happen in our lives…like living and dying. We’re only actors put in motion by that thing called consciousness or one of the thousand other names of god. Nobody is really alive. and sometimes not even that. the musicians involved in this album have tapped into something special. and Sabbaths. I went through this experience myself. we are ourselves being lived through something that remains. “We’ve always managed to get together and play when we felt like it instead of doing it as a job. or smoking at the time. and with each listen to the new album it becomes more apparent that by working together. What we wanted to say is on record.A. “There is no underlying theme. and ‘il Barolo’ writes the eight-string bass parts. and he accepts that. Vuoto Spazio Trionfo is a different beast—so be it. orgies. I guess for them ‘extreme’ is just ultra-fast guitar riffs and lyrics about Satan. We always record all our tracks. Nameless. It’s automatic. The songs we write are based in real experiences.’s founder doesn’t really have his finger on which one it was. Unique is our way to make music and unique is the feeling you get from our songs.” T. and he’s writing too. And yet aside from god or the conscience. close my eyes and let the music carry me away: words come to the mind that I will use with the music to tell a story just for that moment in time. A lot depends on what I’m eating. that once again shines with an assortment of creative impulses and arrangements that allow Vuoto Spazio Trionfo to stand tall and poignant.

it can’t pinpoint exactly what we do. Don’t be close-minded. A full written manifesto will be released on a future date on our Web site. I’d say. that tune was definitely re-recorded. Crime and all of its influences and effects is the 00% concept. Stones. sultry looks. it keeps me out of trouble! We are all like that here in New Orleans. no. of course. some may say the Process of Weeding Out. everyday stuff about throwing a monkey wrench or two into the system. What is it about new orleans that breeds metal and punk? it seems as though everyone i met down there was in at least two other bands. Mike IX Williams. et cetera. but it’s still destructive. but to establish yourselves as a unique entity with your own identity. It used to be the other way around. and fervent consumption of alcohol (that Kentucky bourbon sure burns on the way down) than I’d seen in my hometown all year. I guess when it comes to describing the music we’ve invented ourselves down here. I’ve seen Black Flag six or seven times all on different tours. stuff like Sabbath. even back with Dez singing in 1980. in yer face. Arson Anthem. One reason could be that we are semi-isolated in our widespread scene and we make our own entertainment from scratch. but we ARE a separate outfit with a totally distinct set of values and a more “going into battle” vibe I would personally say. and that that dirty. Cooper. and.southernrootspub. this LP is miles apart from the Legalize Crime EP. Slayer. The studio process was simple. besides being fantastic at what he does. we never get tired. During the weekend I was there this past summer. et cetera. but I’m into all sorts of stuff. We’re going to Texas very soon. of course. if it’s intense and interesting I’ll check it out. fresh version of our Southern punk and metal. The NOLA underground is famous for its tight-knit community of musicians and supporters. so me and Gary [Mader of Hawg Jaw] never gave up and truly believed that we would get the tracks laid down sooner or later. Discharge. Crowbar. To a kid getting into heavier and/ or extreme tunes. The man behind the microphone. Also. but it’s gonna be a waste of everybody’s time. A true product of their environment.a lot about addiction was brought up in that group. and everyone loved black flag as much as i do. it goes without saying. and it goes without saying that their music scene is positively sizzling. it should be no frills and raw. but still fucking heavy as shit. as to make disorder out of order. What’s next for outlaw order after the release of the record? Can we hope to catch you guys on tour anytime soon? More writing and all the usual things a band does.com. I lived in a home for boys when I was younger and we snuck out and walked like two miles to see them. heatstruck intensity of Crowbar. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Now I dig any and everything in between the insanely amazing cracks of all this junk. and am unbelievably stoked on the full-length. We did clean up the trademark feedback of EyeHateGod a bit and we have a lot more lead guitar work done by Brian [Patton of Soilent Green] than EHG ever had. More about getting through life and love. Bathory. I don’t know why NOLA breeds so many great groups. and EyeHateGod knows just how potent. Mudvayne. Buzzoven. to turn organization into disarray. Hawg Jaw. Obsessed and on and on and on. it seems silly and an easy way out for writers with no creativity. cut and dry. By the way. as is playing them live. Learn where the modern stuff came from. To damage and confuse society through threats and propaganda is our aim and to open their eyes to the corruption of the criminal justice system and world of evil cops and police brutality. How do you guys find time for all your projects? do you ever tire of playing the slow stuff? Well. You won’t be sorry. things of that nature. Pentagram. I mean I’m a music writer as well and I’m guilty of using all the generalizing terms like “Speed/Death/Thrash/Black” and so on. and when i found out that there was a band out there made up of four-fifths of the band. i couldn’t have been more excited. better engineering and all that. i devoured the Legalize Crime Ep. no bullshit y’know. ’81 or something. which basically is a more detailed combination of the ‘concept and aim theories’ plus our vision of class war and chaos. but I don’t know. Louisiana just might be the hottest place on earth. and. We just played a killer show last week and yeah we’ll go on tour for sure. et cetera. destroying the upper class society. but that’s the main reason that the few of us decided we wanted to still play together and continue on the same New Orleans-inspired path. I love ALL of it. i’m a huge EHg fan. the battleworn dirt worshippers of Outlaw Order (“00%” for short) have arrived on the scene with a new full-length and a hell of a lot to say. i’ve got to say. and Jim’s by no way the only or first person to go out on his own and pursue other avenues. It’s funny you say that about Black Flag. that’s how new and original strains of cool shit happen. Why the five-year gap between Legalize Crime and dragging down the Enforcer? The majority of the songs were written back at the same time as the EP and we never planned to let the un-recorded songs go to waste ’cause they were so good. then plan on the rest of the world. Anyone who’s ever soaked in the oppressive. Outlaw Order plays a part in the Outlaw Order part of my life. I witnessed more warm hugs. We did it with a relatively unknown buddy of ours. Sex Pistols. com or www. Not temperature-wise (though try walking down Bourbon Street on an August afternoon in jeans and a black longsleeve and see how much you like it) but more so in terms of attitude. it is a touring.com. Otep. others will harp on the Damaged record all fucking night. EyeHategod. David Troia. especially the lawlessness of those in power in this country. southernnihilismfront. dopesick swamp sludge is unlikely to ever clean itself up or fade away. Arson Anthem. We still don’t. do you consider outlaw order to be a side project. Playing music and writing and doing art is our way of life. Germs. was kind enough to shed some light on the inner workings of this infamous group of doomed souls and expound upon the virtues of non-virtuous behavior. I mean EHG has had a whole slew of troubles. but some friends at Season of Mist made us an offer and it looked better than 99 per cent of the others. not exactly "distance. He’s worked with Down. We are also about the consequences of your actions and the direct action and illegal behavior of others. and Outlaw Order] and order my book Cancer as a Social Activity in its second printing from www. Sonically. writing. police brutality. What is it about this type of music that you love so much? What got you into it in the first place. it’s not all slow stuff." per . hate. I got into rock and roll when I was way young. What does part does outlaw order play in your life overall? What part of you does participating in this project satisfy? The same primal thing that all of my bands satisfy: the pure expression of the ancient art of destruction of other people’s eardrums. I’ve got all kinds of Black Flag gig stories. and what bands would you recommend to younger kids who are just starting to get into the sound? I love everything about this certain type of music. and sinfully heavy the New Orleans sound can be. gripping. I like to keep busy. We went to him because. you name it. I’m at a point in my life where being serious about the music supersedes getting high. you’ve expressed a desire to distance yourselves from the EyeHategod connection – well. Finally recording those songs was a great feeling. EHG’s lyrics are more on a personal level I would say. heated barfights. Stooges. order really is made up of a veritable who’s who of the noLa sludgecore scene—Soilent green. so we grabbed it. who between them have produced some of the best and most enduring albums the extreme metal world has ever seen. then later on to Ramones. outlaw 66 outlaw order / deadlock On the Southern Nihilism Front By Kim Kelly se. 00% is still always embedded in reality at all times. I really can’t stand the “sludge” label. at the soundboard. Also check out www. it was very comfortable and he is a part of our inner gang of friends. addiction. y’know. Arson Anthem. much better production. Williams: Outlaw Order came into being out of the boredom and frustration from being in EyeHateGod and idly waiting for Jimmy Bower to finish touring with all the other bands he was in. but I personally dig the early records and am a big Jealous Again fan. the main description of the name of this band is Outlaw Order. Kiss. That’s the way it’s gotta be with us. relationships. Dead Boys. Different eras in Flag’s career—some will say My War. Don’t limit yourselves. is definitely NOT slow in any way. Check out our sites [MySpace sites exist for EyeHateGod. Clash. It’s energetic stuff coming from us. It’s rock and roll. Welcome to the end times. working shit jobs. please check out the history of all this great music. Outlaw Order’s lyrics tackle reality based subjects like class war. I mean. Our manifesto is the Siege Mentality. or a whole new band? How does outlaw order’s sound and aesthetic differ from that of EHg? Yeah I wouldn’t say distance ourselves from EHG at all either. Southern and crusty. They can try and pigeonhole it. injustice in the courthouses and jails. The long period of wait was due to not trusting a fucking soul in the record industry.Outlaw Order New Orleans. Sodom. Acid Bath. How does ddtE differ from the Ep? Was this version of “double barrel Solves Everything” re-recorded for the full-length? What can you tell me about the new record? Yes. not as doomy. Outlaw Order is NOT a side project. they are highly regarded down here as a major influence for a lot of bands.thehousecorerecords. first of all thanks for the support and your love of the music—it’s much appreciated! Firstly. my ’80s hardcore punk worship band. The mid-’80s were Exodus.

Looking back to our older release I see constant signs of progression and also a huge loyalty to our ideals. “It was just a normal level of progression and innovation.There has always been something special about Germany’s Deadlock. “Since our previous album Wolves we’re doing most of the studio “Yes. except the drums. After ten years. of course. we would love is tracked by him. instead of starting as one of many other bands on a cramped roster of another label. where also the mixing and mastering has been about what the future brings and to which countries and places done. We are excited Hansen Studios. labels don’t want to fix the kitchen sink if it doesn’t need fixing. But we prefer this way He ends off.” he responds. Lifeforce seems to have been very supportive of Deadlock’s aim to try new things each time out. With every new output we pushed our music to the next level. It’s very important for us to entertain with our music. “Hopefully 2K9 will be a Deadlock year. We’ve had some offers from other (bigger) labels after getting more and more popular through our previous album Wolves… But we decided to extend our contract with Lifeforce due to their really good offer and our belief that it would be better to stay on a label where we have a top priority standBy Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley ing.Revolt [2005] to Wolves we had Sabine join the band as a permanent member and according to that decision. and that is something very rare and special in today’s music business.” While the band has taken it upon themselves to control just how they go about writing and building upon their sound and style.” Tobias continues. we always make the music we would like to hear for ourselves. “On our way from Earth. innovative and unique sound. keyboards and a pairing of melodic vocals and growls to please most fans of said style. as it might alienate fans. We will see lots of new countries.” he points out. So that’s also been a good reason to stay with them. During the last years we’ve become really close friends with the Lifeforce staff. That being said. “Furthermore we’re one of the top bands on the roster and the label is working hard and a lot for us. There are some things we always wanted to keep the same: We never care for any trends and hypes. and he is responsible for all sound duties in Haunted and All That Remains in January and February and lots the band and took over the recordings for those last albums in of festival appearances during the summer time. we always improved our musical skills and the demand on ourselves.” than ever before.” No Limit! 67 . “It has always been a good cooperation with Lifeforce. give more room to new ideas and put the female and male voices more and more to their extremes. songwriting and explosive melodies. We work and recording sessions on our own. “But I think Deadlock has always been a warrantor for a fresh. along with a wonderful concoction of aggressive death metal riffs. and there’s no limit for Deadlock. our new baby Manifesto will bring us. The music. So that’s really good for Deadlock. you’d figure they would be comfortable with their sound like most bands. they too have control over how the studio work comes into play. but not these crazy kids.” starts drummer Tobias Graf. They fully support our ideals and ideas. During the recording process for Manifesto we decided to create more special moments.” As most musicians will tell you. the songwriting and the energy that they have brought to the forefront. The band’s latest album Manifesto (Lifeforce) finds the band moving forward from their previous album Wolves (2007) in regards to production. and in my opinion the main changes have to go with lower steps to make it an acceptable progression. Therefore it’s always a hard time for us being in the studio. “But one thing is clear: in 2k9 Deadlock will be busier of recording an album though.” since it means a lot of work for ourselves. We recorded them at Jacob to go to the USA or maybe once again to Japan. of course some changes and improvements in our style were the result. ladies and gentlemen. Maybe we will his very own studio called Slaughter’s Palace. even if that means somehow shifting their sound somewhat. Nearly everything play another tour later on that year and. “During all the years of our existence. labels do get nervous when bands try and experiment or break away from their original sound. so be aware of Are you ready for 2009? Deadlock taking your town by storm. Our main songwriter is have many plans starting with a European tour together with The guitarist Sebastian. In short.

ex-Glorior Belli. Lots of people have interesting ideas but don’t manage to play and use their instrumentation decently. However. our main influences have been love. hopefully. drums. hope. I made quite a lot of instrumentation research. feel. a lot of people who write cool songs but aren’t able to actually record them in an effective way in the studio because they are used to playing only in the rehearsal room and don’t know how to actually arrange a song for studio recording. In fact. passion and maturity. lyrics. as concept albums have to be. I tried over time to dedicate the right amount of effort to every aspect of being a studio musician. because that’s my way of being and my way of enjoying doing music. I think Vega is so much better than Fulgures under this point of view. it’s a task that requires mainly a great coordination between the different creative sides involved in the making of an album. Microcosmos and macrocosmos lose themselves into one another. a journey searching for a home in the ambiguous cosmical territories of space and time through flaring apocalypses. I find it difficult to start with a very precise idea that is then delivered in a scheduled and tight way. We made a great leap forward from our previous album Fulgures. especially lately. every release for us meant a great step forward from where we were before it. So it happened this way although some form of control and analysis over the material you are producing is always necessary for a band like ours. I would be killed by boredom otherwise. leading our music to a much more complete. you have to accept listeners’ subjectivness and stop bothering with it.in a positive way. torn between the longing for what is forever passed and the confused “vespertine” but burning hope that the day will break again in all its strength at a certain point in our lives or in the infinite sea of the flowing eras on another plane. I always want my next effort to be an adventure that will showcase improvement. although we always try to be as subtle and elegant as possible without shooting things “in your face” too much. proficiency in using instrumentation. I manage to stay pretty focused over the right vision. woe. I always strived to reach a sufficient proficiency in every field to be able to put on record what I had in my head from time to time. I feel the need to grow. Slavia. although of course it’s always me in the end. I suppose. Growing… By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley studio. In short. I could never stick to a formula and repeat that over and over for years. ex-Disiplin came in). The album has somewhat a life of its own and as it grows over time I have to dialogue with it in a harmonic way until we are both satisfied and done. What do you think of the music scene nowadays. 68 janvs / blood trIbe Shifting. I want every song to have its own strong identity. and that gives me courage. Burst. Janvs will never get away from a quite precise stylistic and artistic perspective. How important is that for you to have variety on each album? It’s very important for me. It has been the brightest pole star ever.. complex and accomplished level under every point of view. did it just happen that way or was it a conscious effort on the band’s part? I always tried to progress the most I could from album to album. while giving a lot of variety to its individual components. Vega also has some very interesting etymological roots concerning its name in various cultures and many cultural interpretations in a great number of very different civilizations. Then we came in and we had the album finished in a couple of weeks to respect the budget. I can’t tolerate anything that ends with “core” and I basically don’t listen to the bands who love to copy the music of 20. I gathered a lot of extremely useful knowledge from it. I changed the drummer to have a reliable team to work with (m:A Fog from Black Flame. 15. and new solutions reaching a new level. I begin working on songs with a somewhat broader vision and then I control the flow of ideas that come out following this general intention. I would find the results to be simply fake music because I know that a single formula could never express myself as time goes by and because I would simply get bored to death and thus would see no point in the whole thing since this band isn’t and will never be my job. explore. Turning. and that will be recognizable on every release. I really can’t understand people who prefer the old album over this one. Novembre.JANVS Italy’s Janvs continue to amaze me with their musical progression. but Janvs doesn’t..these are the kind of bands that I find to be the most interesting. I want to be surprised at the end of the day by what I obtained.”“kult” and these kind of things. Although an album comes to its final shape in a gradual way. and despair. but we blended them with traditional heavy metal and progressive rock influences and with rock and post-rock colours too. I am a curious and tormented person who always likes to and has to think. I think it did. It’s teamwork.. Listeners have to make an effort to go beyond the overcrowding issue and recover the passion to make a worthy band grow—all the power is in their hand! i love the length of the songs and the variety. from Romans to Arabs and Assyrians that can relate in a very interesting way with the contents of the album. Vega is the name of a star of the Lyra constellation. With vega i think the band has no doubt shed a good amount of the black metal sound and style that was a part of the older music—that showcases growth. [It was] quite a crazy time considering the complexity of the album and the fact that I was alone recording all the material except for bass.”“true. and some vocal tracks. such as progressive rock and psychedelic music. I fear I would risk to repeat a lot of the same things. the marks of their passages etched into our psyche. Bands like Opeth. All of our albums actually are concept albums. do you think the band has matured with this release? Yes. I mean I know this one is so much better than the other one. If people want more novelty and interesting bands in the metal market. listeners should again start to really support the underground bands that really deserve it without waiting for big labels to shoot music in their faces... my focus has always been on doing albums. We’ve become a metal band that is actually difficult to define using a sub-genre label. We have the extreme metal elements that were our main distinctive trait in the past. even if I find myself discarding very little material usually. Founding member Vinctor talks to UNRESTRAINED! about the evolution of Janvs’ music and why change is a good thing… Musically where do you think vega finds Janvs in 2008? did the direction of this album turn out the way you had envisioned? Yes. Fulgures has been my first experience in a semi-professional studio. Why do you take chances with your music? Most bands like to stay the same. it was the Northern pole star until quite some millennia ago and will again serve as it in some other millennia from now. evolve. This time we really got much more defined in the pre-production process. Because I have to take changes with my music. it really makes the music stronger when you can sense the passion like that. the lyrics and vocal style on some of the tracks are very passionate. Songwriting. There are lots of very skilled instrumentalists who aren’t able to write interesting music. Of course I’m still very far from reaching a level of which I’m fully satisfied (if that’s actually possible) but I know I made some huge steps from the beginning of my musical career in a relatively short time. it’s what comes natural to me. recording in the studio. actually.. but I have to feel sincerity and honest motivations behind this. in both the mainstream and the underground? The bands that interest me the most are the ones who blend extreme metal with influences that I find interesting. The alchemy to create organic pictures. Their latest album vega (ATMF) is a different beast than the stellar previous opus Fulgures (2007). We somewhat destroyed genre-barriers bringing in a lot of different influences but managing to keep our overall style and sound consistent and organic. musicianship. I think this question is deeply linked to a couple of the previous ones and to the next one. loss. we fixed every little detail before booking a quite nice . Bands like ours are the true heroes of the current market. and I want listeners to be surprised too. Lyrics and imagery are key elements in this regard obviously.and also get much less damaged by file-sharing issues and that sort of things than we do! But that’s another story.. Now with Vega. as now there is more structure in the songwriting due to more individuals now involved. But actually I think that mainly sincere music always has to be an honest expression of its makers.. I’m not the kind of person who sanctifies stagnation and commercial cowardice under words such as “old school.everything is connected. but it’s also a stand-alone department.. arranging. Vega represents the constant quest for a lost fixed point. but I think it’s one of the most satisfying things when you manage to conquer it. development. individual and cosmic fate are hardly separated in a reasoning that I wanted to take to the most universal and wider perspective possible while being extremely personal and private too. Every band has to confront these kinds of things constantly. for a true glimpse of light in the shadows. How difficult has it been to tap into your creative edge over the years? Well it’s been a lot of work! A lot of things come into play when writing and recording songs and albums. Not that everyone has to go down the same path. I think that it’s only positive that my music changes with me. Enslaved. 10 years ago over and over. is not easy to find. the scope of creative realms and emotional journeys truly manifest themselves into wondrous arrangements that strike with unforgettable intensity.but I guess that’s very normal. improve. I respect a lot of bands who didn’t change considerably over the years. a wonderful assortment of black metal-tinged numbers that simmer with aggression. The sum of the individual identities of the songs shape the album and the album identity gives order and manages to contextualize every single episode it contains in the wider picture.. not the ones who get half a million dollars to book incredible studios for entire months when they have to record horrible albums that could be done in a week. search for different things in life.

BLooD triBE
I’ve found over the years of doing interviews with bands, when the topic of the album title comes up you get diverse responses: some pretty generic, some boring and some intriguing. Then you get the rare story about a title that’s such a gem it’s almost a crime not to tell the reader about it. Case in point, 1369: the death and dying Chapters the Dark Harvest Records debut from Evansville, Indiana metal monsters Blood Tribe. The groove-oriented death metal machine showcases a barbarian rampage, death metal riffs pouring out from every seam, and a vocalist who sounds like he eats shards of glass and scrap wood…but the tale of the album title is what takes centre stage right now. “Actually the 1369 part of the title is what the band used to be called, but some of the original members of that band were Satan worshippers and they did a ritual one night after drinking to find a vocalist, and fame. Now, whether or not it actually had any effect, they did find a vocalist the next day,” explains bassist Fox nonchalantly as he has no doubt told this tale many times. “However, along with the vocalist came a curse of sorts. They had a show already booked for that next night for which a flier had been made up and was pasted with slogans such as ‘Five bucks a small price for your eternal soul!,’ ‘Kill Yourself for Satan!’ ‘Set the housewives on fire!’ and several others. It just so happened that the night of the show a girl had been kidnapped, sodomized, raped, run over by a car and mutilated, and the last place she was seen was that show. So when the cops showed up at the venue they saw all the fliers and it was blamed on 1369. So the fame came as well, but with a price.

DITChIng ThE PAST
That was a totally different experience altogether from the EP. It was all separate and pieced together in a control room with Kill Co. and it was a more relaxed atmosphere, just kind of letting it happen naturally rather than forcing it. The groundbreaking part of 1369 was actually just our drummer recording it with only a scratch guitar part, no bass or vocals. It only took him ten hours to get all of the drum tracks finished. In the studio our guitarist tends to be the driving force behind getting it to the next level. Without him there wouldn’t be a Blood Tribe. “Well, honestly everything this time around was new, since we used a studio for the first EP. We just tracked our parts, did a few layers on guitar and vocals, and showed up to hear what he had for us. This time around we had full access to what was going on, from the mixing to the layering to the mastering,” continues the bassist about studio work on 1369. “We did use some drum placement software and obviously Pro Tools. The guitars were quad-tracked through Tom’s Randall T2 Head and a Mesa Boogie cab loaded with vintage thirties. The bass tracks we just phoned in via Fire Pod; no one needs to hear them anyway. I know the drum tracks were recorded without a click track to preserve the live feel and he used some minor effects on the vocals and bass guitar.” He finishes off, “We like to keep it as live as possible so the listener isn’t disappointed at a show. However, the guitar player did forget his tremolo bar and had to use a Phillips screwdriver. Fun fact, huh?” he laughs. By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley

And since we still play some old 1369 songs, we wanted to record them as Blood Tribe to sort of make them ours and in order to put it to ‘death,’ so to speak. We just tacked on The Death and Dying Chapters to close this out once and for all.” A far cry from Satanic worshipping, listening to the new album I love the whole intense vibe of the music, meshed with a real solid groove and punishing delivery. In your face! Pure violence! What’s the difference between live and studio with the band? “Throughout the many shows Blood Tribe has played, one thing remains a constant: the more brutal the crowd is, and the more brutal Blood Tribe is. We have had shows where kids have stage-dived off the PA, shows where kids have backflipped off the stage, moshing on stage with us. I played a show one night only in my boxers; it was a hot fucking night in Tennessee. The crowd afterwards tends to mostly remark about the tightness of the music, our drummer’s odd habit of playing with his eyes closed, the in-your-face vocals and just the overall experience of a show.” And how has your studio experience been? Just as fun? “It has been a growing experience for us. 1369 is our second release, so we knew what we were getting into with a studio. Burning Darkness was an eight-track EP we released a year before 1369. We actually paid quite a bit of money for it, and while it was a bit smooth for our tastes it gave us a desire to find a more underground means of getting our next disc done. We went with Kill Co. Audio for 1369, the guy who runs it, Ryan Key, is a friend of ours who plays guitar in a local metal band eXesion.

M IdnIght syndIcate

69

Pact with

T

he Devil’s Blood, oh how you amaze me. Your dark, ’70s occult rock ’n’ roll-inspired EP Come, reap (Profound Lore), drenched with its psychedelic flair and brooding emotions, hypnotized me from my first contact with your music. I didn’t see this one coming, but it hit me alike a freight train and never let go. For years I’ve been looking for a band like this, trying to find an album that channeled the same vibe and atmosphere that acts like Coven and Black Widow had provided the music scene in the ’70s. To this day my prize possession in my album collection of around 3,750 records is the original pressing of Coven’s controversial debut 1969 LP Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls, an album filled with tales of the occult and Satanism. Who’d have thought a band from Eindhoven would be able to tap into such a majestic and truly mystical realm of creative energy? But they did, and their outing has received multiple spins from yours truly. You’ll have to find the Top 15 list this issue to see where it landed. Amongst his busy days of touring, preparing rituals and delving into copious amounts of research of many topics—some familiar to us all, some secretive—The Devil’s Blood’s guitarist/mastermind S.L. chats with UNRESTRAINED! Let the spell begin… tell me about the early days of the band and its formation and where you think you have taken your vision from then till now. It’s been a long walk and a hard road to come until I was ready for The Devil’s Blood. Making music since I was 12, I had been spending years and years searching for my own sound and feeling. Playing in dozens of bands and different styles varying from death metal, rock, black metal, hardcore punk, et cetera... I was finally at a point where I was a professional musician and with a band called Powervice I played constantly and gained a lot of experience. The band died while recording its debut album and through the frustration of this hopeless and utterly disappointing period I started to write music that was for once solely based on my own views and desires. It became clear to me quite fast that this music, being so close to my soul, was what I had been waiting for all these years. I then started to look for musicians that shared my spiritual feelings or where at least able to set aside their personality in order to let this music be what it must be. The rest is as they say history: we recorded a 7-inch and now release Come, Reap!

lucifEr
By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley

shows our influence clearly and people will most probably be able to pinpoint one or two themselves. No harm done, no stealing done, just inspiration that flows in mysterious ways. in regards to studio work, how difficult is it for you to be able to tap into that atmosphere and sound that radiates such chaos and passion? I personally prefer the studio environment, simply because then it is possible to perfect every single detail of what I hear in my mind. Even though we do dabble in chaos and in rage and at times these feelings are almost too extreme to harness in a “closed” space. But usually we do our best work when we have no distraction from anyone except the little red light on the control desk. Let’s talk about horror and cinema, as these have had a definite influence on the band’s music, show, and image. What movies and directors have helped shape the sound and style of the band? any five movies you enjoy the most? Musically I think people like Morrison, Frizzi, Christopher Young and such have greatly inspired me. The movies themselves are really numerous to mention but stuff like Village of the Damned, The Man From Planet X, The Devil Rides Out, The Twilight Zone series, Blood on Satan’s Claw, and so on… How did you hook up with profound Lore and how has it been so far? they are a strong label that releases a diverse slew of unique bands. Well, the cooperation is still in its infancy of course, but we do have a good understanding of how and why we do things. Chris and I have almost daily contact on various matters concerning the Cult and that is exactly the way I like it. To have the feeling that what I am doing is also a priority for all the other people involved. Where does a band like the devil’s blood fit into the current music scene? The strange thing is that although we do make music that can only be described as rock music I really do feel more kinship with the black metal scene and the ideologies that flourish there. Then again, we seem to be put in the “doom” category by a lot of people and critics. All in all I’d say we fill a niche that’s been empty for years and years and we will try to keep it for ourselves for as long as we can. any hobbies outside of all of the work you put into the band? No real hobbies, just passion. I try to devote the largest portion of my free time to the search for Truth and Gnosis, which means a lot of reading on various subjects of the Occult, Magick, Thelma, Christianity and Judaism, Anti Cosmos, Lucifer Ian Satanism, Cabala and Voodoo. Apart from that, nothing spectacular: a lot of working out, some painting on occasion, and apart from that I’ll try and invest all energy and motivation I have into the music and the Cult. With the Ep out now and getting a nice buzz, when do you expect we’ll be hearing the new album? also, what can we expect? any surprises? As things are now, we will use a significant portion of the year to promote the Come, Reap release before entering the studio in April. Then we will most likely do some touring before the release of the full-length album and after, I dare not speculate. The album will of course be in the same style of music, but again with a different sound. We try to give all the songs the sound they deserve and having delved quite far into the psychedelic soundscape on Come, Reap we will probably go for a slightly different approach this time. No use in repeating yourself and we’d like to keep it as interesting as possible. But don’t go expecting a style change; we’ll always sound like The Devil’s Blood and nothing else.

the band has garnered a lot of attention with the live shows. How do you prepare for those live events? What do fans and the band experience during the live excursions? is there a chance you’ll come to north america perhaps next year? i can only hope… We are currently working on a scheme that should be able to get us to North America to perform our Rituals there [The band has just signed on to work with Thunderdome Touring in North America— AB]. What to expect is the same thing you’d expect from a religious ceremony. An Austere gathering of souls in a meditative state in order to channel the powers of Chaos and Night and send these forth as praise to the Lord of the Dark Halls. It is hard to explain and many people who do not interest themselves for the religious aspect will simply see a rock ’n’ roll band performing the hell out of the songs we play, but for curious souls there is more, deeper within, underneath, inside. for fans of this genre of music i think it is obvious, but please tell me, who were the band’s early influences and can you still hear them musically? any newer bands? As far as influences go I could answer in a thousand words but I’ll keep it to the point. Bands as Roky Erickson, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Black Widow, Coven, Jefferson Airplane, The Pretty Things, The Stones, The Beatles, and on and on and on the list must go… Newer bands such as Manowar, Dissection, Bathory, Darkthrone, Deathspell Omega, Urfa’s, Malicious Secrets, and a lot more... I don’t know if I can still hear their influences; I try not to anyway. I need to distance myself from the influences in order to be more creative. Sometimes however a single melody or vocal line seeps through that
70 the devIl’s blood / svartI loghIn

World online,” begins bassist Raymond about signing to ATMF. “Everything has been great so far; they are really easy to cooperate with. They are a rising force I think, and their distribution and promotion is really satisfying. We’re very lucky that they took notice of us on MySpace and we’ve been able to see some exposure. What does come across as a negative aspect of the Internet is people downloading our new album’s music. It is disappointing and hard to control. We can’t do much.” If you had told me 10 or 15 years ago that the mammoth information highway known as the Internet would help black metal bands (or any type of underground band for that matter) get signed I’d have laughed. I’d have laughed loudly for sure. Fast forward to 2008 and musicians and bands getting signed over the Internet is all the rage. Everyone from Job for a Cowboy to that “Chocolate Rain” kid are being courted by labels and then signed. It’s happening with black metal bands too. I know, “What the fuck?” right? I thought the same way a few years back when underground bands with poor song samplings online started getting signed, but nowadays the Internet is a staple part of any band’s regiment to spread their music and image to thousands without leaving their homes, basements and even caves. And bands, fans, and labels are paying attention. To the list of bands who were discovered on the Net we can now add Sweden’s ultra-cool depressing black metal act Svarti Loghin. Their debut for ATMF’s side label A Sad Sadness Song is entitled Empty World. “They [ATMF] contacted us via our MySpace after they heard some rough mixes of Empty Speaking of the new album, and this being the debut with ATMF, how do you think it turned out? Was there any pressure? “We are satisfied with the results, though afterwards you always find details that none but the band would hear that we might have done in other ways if we had to redo it,” responds the bassist. “I can say that for the next record we’ll be using less distortion and try to get a cleaner more powerful sound, so that the parts that aren’t that black metal sounding get more space and audibility. We’ve changed up things on the newer material, so those parts have increased a bit more in the musical arrangements.” He continues, “We recorded everything by ourselves; drums in a semi-professional studio and the rest we recorded with equipment we borrowed from friends. But we did not use any assistance for neither the technical part nor any kind of ‘producer’ so it was a very laid-back recording. We took all the time we needed. When we started, we had rehearsed the songs for quite a long time, but we

also added some new parts as it went along. Our songwriter S.L had a pretty clear vision of what he wanted to achieve and we did the most of it with the material we had.” A lot of the passages seem very intricate with a lot going on. How hard was it to achieve that in the recording process? “We have used up to three layers of guitar for certain songs, used different harmonies, et cetera. Technically it’s not a problem, but I guess you have to have the ideas to back it up.” And influences too? “Yes. Those too. For us, it’s hard to put a finger on exactly who our influences really are. We listen bands like Xasthur and Isis, to ’60s psychedelic rock and onto depressive black metal. As for the black metal bands that help bring some darkness into what we do— and I can only speak for myself—but I would say I’m influenced by Enslaved, Alcest, Abyssic Hate, Make a Change...Kill Yourself, Darkthrone, Shining and Melencolia Estatica.” In closing I praise Raymond and co. for writing some of the most depressing music out there, with the album title serving as a fitting name for such material. I ask what inspired the trio to write and create material like this? “Although it might sound like a cliché, but: life. With all misery, not only in poor countries, but misery that is all around us on a daily basis it’s easy to find inspiration to get in the state of mind for writing depressing music.”

Their Empty World to Discover
By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley

71

72 klIMt1918 .

Stage Presence!
By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley

XYSTUS
is present in some songs on some parts. This was a huge challenge for us, but I think we pulled it of pretty good for our first time. Since the orchestra is a classical one, playing things like Bach, Schubert, Strauss most of the time, this was a completely new world for them. Luckily Bas Pollard, the conductor of the orchestra, is probably the most hardrockin’ conductor I had ever seen, jumping up and down and really giving it his all while conducting these songs. “Of course there was a big collision of different worlds in this production. Since most of the people involved in helping set up the production were also green behind the ears in doing this, they had their own challenges to take care of, mainly on getting all the right contacts and setting all the right gears in motion—PR, sponsors, the venue, and so on. We also did our fair share of supporting them with this, meeting with the artistic leader, director, tailor, to get all off our ideas out, telling them what we meant with the story, why we wanted certain things to happen and not happen. I could go on and on for hours about this whole aspect of the production, but hey, I've got more questions to answer, right?” he laughs. With so much accomplished in 2008, what is planned for 2009? He ends off, “First of all the DVD will be released in January. We are still working on it as we speak, actually. It is a very interesting process, and luckily we have some great guys working on the video edits. These are professionals, and the same goes for the camera crew. These are all experienced people who work for various big Dutch TV channels. In regards to other activities, we are talking with some bands to do a European tour as well. Besides that we are also looking into making Equilibrio a transportable show and do a club tour by the end of 2009. We just want to do some shows again, since that is what we are all about.”
xystus 73

Talk about fucking, ambition!
Xystus, the Dutch progressive metal band formed in 1999 by drummer Ivo Van Dijk and guitarist/vocalist Bas Dolmans, set out to truly take things to the next level. Following the success of two earlier releases the band set forth in motion the rock opera Equilibrio for their next project. In 2006 they contacted the Utrechtsch Studenten Concert, the oldest symphony orchestra in the Netherlands, and started to work together. The two year collaboration— featuring the 60-piece USConcert orchestra, a 30-member choir, and Xystus enlisting vocal performances from Simone Simons (Epica), George Osthoek (Orphanage, Delain) and Dutch theater veterans Michelle Splietelhof and John Vooijs—resulted in the rock opera. Conceived as both an actual stage production and studio recording, Equilibrio was performed to four sold-out audiences in July 2008. The new double-CD release of Equilibrio (Sensory) features key scenes from the opera that tells the tale of a wanderer named Diegu who finds himself caught between the forces of good and evil. Amongst all the buzz that has stemmed from all of their hard work—not to mention the grueling task of assembling the DVD of Equilibrio (out in January 2009)—Ivo Van Dijk took time out to chat with UNRESTRAINED! about how Equilibrio came together and just how much work making a rock opera is. “While in the process of writing and recording the second album [2007’s Surreal] I also played in another band for a short while, Sundqvist [a cello metal band]. The principal cello player, Michael, told me that he played in an orchestra, and since they were celebrating their 185

years of existence in 2008, they wanted to do something special. So there we had the opportunity to play with a full orchestra. We talked a lot about how we wanted to take full advantage of this thing, and after some band meetings, the idea of a rock opera surfaced. Everybody was very enthusiastic. Of course we had no idea what we got ourselves into at that moment. In the months that followed—approximately 19 months—we started to get a vague idea of what the plan actually was, and more and more people got involved: a coordinator, director, artistic leader, choreographer, tailors, light designers, a special production team consisting of six people, video designers, catering people. There were lots of times that we had the feeling that we were in it way over our heads, and there was just too much to handle. You can’t really imagine how it feels to be part of something so huge, and in the end we got to pull all the artistic strings, of course. We did feel that this was going to be something special and it paid off big time in the end.” Working with an orchestra definitely must have been the biggest challenge you have ever faced. “For sure,” he agrees. “We really are a ‘do it ourselves’ band, so we decided to see the orchestral recordings as a big challenge and take the production of that in our own hands as well. Of course we have experience recording a band and singers, but recording an orchestra was something completely new for us. Luckily we had a good sound engineer [Anton van Halderen] who did a great job and was a very close part of the team during the recordings. Unlike most orchestral recordings we decided to split the orchestra in sections. We had four days to record everything, which sounds like a pretty long time, but don’t forget there is orchestra all the time on the album, unlike Nightwish/After Forever for instance, where the orchestra

OFERMOD
Oc-cult adj., 1 of or pertaining to magic, astrology, or any system claiming use or knowledge of secret or supernatural powers or agencies. 2 beyond the range of ordinary knowledge or understanding; mysterious. 3 secret; disclosed or communicated only to the initiated. Since its earliest beginnings, black metal has always had a connection (intentional or otherwise) to the occult. Sweden’s Ofermod take this connection to a completely new level, one that not only casts an even darker shadow upon the underground black metal scene, but confronts the listener with an almost overwhelming amount of frightening, unnerving and esoteric occult lore. We sought out Belfagor, the occult visionary behind the unholy philosophers responsible for the new album tiamtü, and asked him to shed some light upon the dark path on which he treads. Could you explain the political, religious, and occult philosophy of ofermod? There is no room for politics in Ofermod, or in the esoteric religion we represent, which is a sort of “philokaos” instead of philosophy, just as Sophia is a Greek counterpart to the Hebrew cosmic holy spirit Shechinah. We represent the dark, opposing side of the cosmic creation, the primeval forces of Chaos, and our Holy Spirit is Lilith, the dark mother and initiator into the qliphothic mysteries, spouse of father Samael and mother to all demonic forces in her loftiest form Tiamat, of which “Tiamtü” is yet another name, and in the esoteric mysteries the same as Lucifer, of whom Samael is a lower, blacker form. Lilith is Tiamat in holy exile near the bastard cosmos, inviting the worthy to enter the anti-worlds of Sitra Ahra, the Other Side. That is; the Left Light emanations of Chaos, called the Qliphoth in plural form, and in singular form a Qliphah. These anti-emanations are the dark counterpart to the cosmic creation and dwelling place of evil spirits, demons, destructive gods, the giants in the Norse myths, and the very fountain of limitless wisdom and occult knowledge, the secret and hidden sciences. I follow what is called the “Draconian Current,” and as a dark magician, like the Norse god Odin, I sacrifice myself to my Self to gain Luciferian gnosis on the Other Side, as well as magical power that can be used to alter what people normally consider as reality; in fact a bastard illusion, easily molded to fit the Will of the capable magician. I see the forces of Chaos as Holy, good and pure, while the creation of the bastard demiurge, i.e “God,” is an illegitimate, wicked perversion and abomination, yet I still often use words such as “evil” to describe the forces I’m aligned with, because from a cosmic point of view, they certainly are Evil. I must point out that this may not be the view of everyone working with the same current as myself, but the Left Hand Path has never been for sheep, but for wolves, the Alpha Beasts, each and every one a god or a goddess in themselves, deciding their own destiny, working beyond where the illusion of Karma reaches, in the very depths of the underworld. How fundamental are these esoteric beliefs to your music? The Satanic forces of Sitra Ahra are the very foundation upon which the entity of Ofermod stands! It is these forces that I conjure to be present on our recordings, and in a profound, esoteric way, our lyrics are a mirror of the anti-worlds, as all my writing is done in connection with meditation upon these symbols, or upon returning from an astral travel in these shadow sides of being/becoming/unbeing, where I have just been in close, personal with a personification of the force I intend to write about. My composing process is similar, except that I still am in a semi-trance state of mind while actually composing. I channel the chaos forces through my body into the instrument I compose with, which usually is the guitar. The sounds encountered during an astral projection into the realms of these destructive forces is very hard to duplicate, therefore I try to capture the feeling and atmosphere of these sounds, as well as a sonic form of the astral visions of course, in my compositions. Has there ever been any problems considering the band’s strong occult and personal views? Not that I can recall. However, I have heard that in the United States my other band, Nefandus, is on some list of bands that are considered to be Nazi sympathizers. This could not be further from the truth, but I guess this has to do with some of the controversial comments I made in various magazines in my youth, when I still aspired to play in the most hated band in the world. I used a lot of provocative language back then. But to sort things out: I associate with people of all creeds and colours. Some of my dearest friends are of Arabian origin, from Eastern Europe, from South America, et cetera. Back when I still was a professional criminal, two of my best and most loyal soldiers were from Somalia. Hail Victory! So to be labeled a Nazi or a racist is very offensive to me. I actually also socialize with
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Bre ath of the

Dragon
By Terry Demeter

people who call themselves Nazis or racists, but not because of their political viewpoints; we just happen to share a common interest in the martial arts and Norse mythology, among other things. Racial research interests me, but my interest greatly differs from that of a “proud Aryan.” Ha! As originally a Finn, yet born and raised in Sweden, I’ve got the warrior blood of Attila the Hun running through my veins. I’ve even got the triangular birthmark right above my ass that is the sign of Attila's heritage!” it has been a couple of years since your last release, and now you have unleashed your first full-length album, tiamtu, upon the world. Were there other projects that you were working on during the brief hiatus? No, there were no other musical projects. I have always been studying and practising the occult sciences. I have also been involved in various criminal organizations before my rebirth in the under-

world, and moved from what we call grey evil to black, spiritual evil. What can you tell me about the recording of the new album? did you approach the recording process differently at all than on past releases? The recording process was very professional indeed, with only myself and our producer Devo (Marduk) present in the Endarker Studio, where it was recorded. All more complex magical work was done outside of the studio, at my home, which is also my private temple, as it would have been difficult to travel back and forth to our mother temple, which lies elsewhere. Also, a lot of magical work was done out in the wild. And Devo understood when it was time for me to meditate in the studio to put myself in the state of mind that is required to record a true black or death metal album, so everything went smoothly. When the music was recorded, Nebiros came and did his vocals during two separate sessions. Then it was only for me to cast some final curses upon the entire opus, and that’s about it. How has the ofermod sound developed over the years, and what sets you apart from other black metal bands? In a way, we have been a strong influence upon the entire orthodox movement within black and death metal, and still after more than ten years after our first release one can immediately hear that it is Ofermod coming out of the speakers, so we have indeed our own sound. But it has matured during the years, just as Nebiros and I have matured as individuals. Stagnation, musical as well as personal, is an enemy to be conquered with discipline and force. People will always be able to recognize an Ofermod release as something superior to the rest of the so-called scene. The cult keeps on blooming with more power than ever, while the scene keeps on degenerating. When it comes to Ofermod, we stand right at the frontline of the orthodox Death Militia, true black metal bands included, but have nothing in common with the scene, but Deathspell Omega, Funeral Mist, Watain, Katharsis, Teitanblood, Marduk and such bands have our fullest support. What, if any, are your current plans? Will you be doing any touring to support the new album? We will start rehearsing with our live musicians this coming week. Our plans are to do some single gigs with bands like Watain, and next fall we will join Marduk on their European tour. Would you care to comment on the details of your incarceration? did it at all influence the music direction of ofermod in any way? And what is there to comment about? One must be prepared to take the consequences of one’s

actions. This is in the past, and has nothing to do with Ofermod. It did not influence the musical or the lyrical direction of the band at all. Many bands are unable to focus on their music full-time. do you have other careers to attend to while you’re not writing or recording? My ambition now is to start a distribution company on the coming Ofermod Web site, where I will sell exclusive t-shirts with bands like Ofermod, Marduk, Teitanblood, Abruptum, and of course my other band Nefandus, with which we have just recorded a full-length album entitled Death Holy Death, with guest appearances from Morgan of Marduk, Möller of Arditi/Puissance, and Thomas Karlsson, occult author and founder of the qliphothic, Draconian initiatory order Ordo Draco et Atri Adamantis back in 1989. I will also sell CDs with worthy bands, as well as occult literature on my Web site. It will get underway sometime early next year. What’s next for ofermod? Have you prepared any material for a new album? I am already working on the next full-length, but these things take time. In the meantime, check out the album by Nefandus, due to be released within a few months. We are now negotiating with a label about all the details. ofermod has been together for over a decade, but you’ve only four releases (one single, an Ep, and now the new album). What factors have played into that? is it a matter of scheduling? We have during our 12 years of existence released the 7-inch EP Mysterion Tes Anomias, the MCD Mysterion Tes Anomias, and now our full-length album Tiamtu. I have had priorities other than music in the past, but now I am in the position that I can put the effort and energy behind each one of my musical projects, Ofermod always being priority number one, that they deserve. I strictly refuse to release anything that is less than perfect. I’m a musical perfectionist, and the so-called scene would be so much better if there were more musical perfectionists out there. Instead we must compete for the attention of the listeners with bands that perform complete shit, just because the record labels have no taste and release with big promotion campaigns what is something so lousy that I couldn’t even compose such shit even if I tried to. We are the head of the Orthodox Death Militia, and will now continue to release material on a regular basis that is better and stronger than ever before. And as I have pointed out, my music is a vessel into which I can point my creative magical rod, so there are no limits to what power we can unleash upon the world.

revIews

75

But yeah. Exmortem is not a band to release an album every year. but with inspiration in the world of today. Nihilistic Contentment saw the band enlisting the services of über producer Tue Madsen with grand results. It was not your tried-and-true studio experience either. In the end it seemed like a good idea to be on a Danish label again. we kind of needed a break and wanted to spend some time to figure where to go with the band and the music from there. for example. and earlier we tried to achieve it through speed. We know what we want now. I am especially proud of the new album [funeral phantoms]. “but that’s not the way we want it. et cetera. more than anything. It is an album full of dread in its deep grooves and churning grit.” In addition to the chilling artwork. This time I kind of describe a not-too-positive future. We didn’t really plan to use that long time. so that kept me rather busy for some time obviously. you know. You have to wonder then if Thim thought Exmortem would still be around in 2008. It makes everything very easy and we got a good priority on Mighty. in the percussive might of drummer Morten Siersbaek. With the new live set.” Though probably more to do with happenstance than any concerted effort on the band’s part to label jump every time the opportunity presented itself. I think that we could easily end up working with him again. but they are at the same time the least professional. and in no way. both live on tours with bands like Behemoth for example.” Part of the reason for the sonic destructiveness of Funeral Phantoms comes from the recording itself. I’m very proud of that. and the abrasive and knotted riffing of Thim and Andreas Schubert. It wasn’t really planned that we should use so many locations. Bands in the death metal genre must be determined.” he confirms. shape. They forget to write good songs. but the touring life is not my liking. but it is an entirely different affair than its predecessor. be it music or work. “We didn’t plan as much as we usually do. resilient. had not planned what tracks should have what lyrics before we started the recording and all the extra guitars were more or less also [a decision] made in the studio and so on. We like to play live. yet another finely honed quality that contributes to the album’s enveloping obsidian nature. This time the band took on the task itself with the assistance of mixer Jacob Bredahl. we did it the old way. There are a lot of memories. vocals. but it all ended too soon. It is a perfect way to celebrate our 15th year!” It is indeed. but it could.” So what of the next release then? Will fans find themselves hungering for a new Exmortem album after another painful wait? “It’s hard to say. “Back in the day I didn’t think it would last this long. but so far don’t seem to really be able to manage it properly. Staying afloat long enough to record another album is often harder than even those outside of the business realize. and that’s how it turned out just so good. but now we have found a new way. a watershed release of sorts on Wicked World/Earache. but the communication can be really hard. movies. It’s hard to explain how you create music with a fascination of death. So we just agreed with Earache to end the contract. Prior to Mighty Music and Earache.” he laughs. and stuff like that. “I’m working in advertising and built up a small bureau from three to twelve people. “Absolutely this is by far our most heavy album and again it is also about sound and feeling. “This time we just wanted to develop even more and I really felt like making music with more variation and with focus on the feeling. the technical aspects. I’m more [inclined] to the creative process than the repetitive part on the stage I must admit. I’ve been really busy. I can’t really figure out that label. such as the three-year stretch between these last two releases? The answer has nothing to do with wasted time on Thim’s part. We want to make proper and good releases and support them with good shows and so on. Hammerheart. yet the band’s identity has been retained. but I like it that way and I am always involved in different projects. and helped my parents start a restaurant. Exmortem has a wealth of experience dealing with the recording industry. sometimes when you least expect it. be a creature that I would call anti-human. and of course the sound on the album and the live performance. Not only is Funeral Phantoms a stupendous follow-up to 2005’s Nihilistic Contentment. the final piece of the recording puzzle is the lyrical content. So what is the reason for the long periods of down time between albums. but that’s how it ended and we are really pleased with the way everything turned out. “I guess Earache expected a more active band.” By Scott Alisoglu Exmortem the Phantom menace 76 exMorteM . I think a lot of the inspiration comes from bands like Celtic Frost. so I hope that we will enter the studio again in 2010.” That is not to say that Funeral Phantoms is devoid of speed bursts and whiplash moments. “but I’m happy it did. Your label should be your partner and together you want to get your music out there and people to recognize and support the band. you know.” “We have always worked hard to grow with each album and always top ourselves and go in new ways. featuring several menacing “creatures” (as Thim calls them) found throughout booklet. “Their funny English.” Thim explains. “I think they maybe were too busy growing or something. recorded two new songs and sent out a bunch of promos. As one would expert. And it was cool working with Jacob.” Martin recounts. Earache.” says Thim. In other words. It is a more impressive milestone than one might think. Unique Leader is an okay upcoming label. “Actually I’ve been working a lot. started www. but it just ended up that way and it could have ended up in a mess if we hadn’t had this strong vision from the beginning. but in a kind of positive way.dk. so it turned out really perfect. journeying to no less than three studios to accomplish the feat. “We have always worked to create this kind of feeling in our music. The elephantine movements of grinding annihilation are made that much more devastating when the explosion does hit. we have spent hours together in the band. “After the last album and the touring in connection with it. and Unique Leader. clinical and with focus on. the band has seen its albums released by the likes of Osmose.” As evidenced by Thim’s preceding discussion of the music’s finer details and unyielding vision for Funeral Phantoms. The band left Earache after the release of Nihilistic Contentment. Exmortem has taken the unmitigated.D enmark’s Exmortem is celebrating its 15th year in the death metal trenches.” Thim says. as the three years since the release of Nihilistic Contentment illustrate. I also helped the guys out in Illdisposed and played with them for two years. ultimately ending up on Denmark’s Mighty Music. so to speak. “As for Hammerheart Records. Black Sabbath and stuff like that. books (Dante is for example a direct inspiration for one of the songs). the experiences have been unique and varied. They’ve got some potential. before leaving just a few months back. Thim has always taken the necessary amount of time to do it right. It all just molds together and ends up in the lyrics. and we are one of the bands that actually gets better with each album. it is not Nihilistic Contentment Part II. but I can say that I’m just really tired of all the bands that sound too polished. It defines the old adage that heaviness does not necessarily mean speed. To survive in a Danish scene that has not always been widely recognized for its death metal (that is changing) attests to the quality of Exmortem’s music over six albums and guitarist/founder Martin Thim’s steady hand in guiding the ship though a maze of labels and trends.” Add to that the search for a new label again. more touring and so on.” he continues. Osmose is a really underground label and I really respect Herve’s work. I’m very inspired by things that happen around the world and.” begins Thim. for example. meaning that we. “I am really glad that people say this because that is exactly what we wanted to achieve! I must say that it’s all about the songwriting. as the band took a mobile approach. to say the least. fast blast brutality of that album and done an about-face by slowing the pace considerably and creating a bludgeoning bulldozer of an album rife with knurled textures and grim atmosphere that Thim has called “a true death metal album with a fascination of death. He is really easy to work with and he gave us the mix we where looking for. and that is what it’s all about if you ask me. structure. But what really sets the album apart from the far-from-thinning herd is the expert harnessing of an ever-elusive death metal attribute that Thim touched upon: atmosphere. “The lyrics are very anti in a way. for example. for example. the growling bass of Kim Nielsen. but I don’t think so. As for finding a new label. the ungodly guttural roar of vocalist Simon Peterson. or form driven by the mighty dollar. “We really did have a different approach to the recording this time. but also on a personal level.” Polished Funeral Phantoms is not. people have been really into it and say that we create a really unique feeling. But we had a really strong vision for the album and the sound. [The Funeral Phantom] could be a lot of things. the riffs.metalroyale.

And that. so it took us quite a long time to find the right sound and people for the band. and voila—story! it seems that the internet has changed everything for the music industry. i think this is easily one of the strongest debut releases i’ve heard. complete and rehearsed when we entered the studio and we had a quite precise amount of studio time to get it all recorded. I personally think that the most of today’s music scene is quite lame. titled Shrouded divine (Aftermath) The album delivers moody doom that fuses within its core death metal intensity and melodic progressive elements. Shrouded divine. the band has stepped far clear of that for the most part. Much of the music we all listen to often contains a big deal of melancholy though. in your case. i stumbled across your band via the internet. There are five quite different music minds that have to approve of every part in every song before we can consider it complete. it’s all about creating good songs. we really feel that we are moving in the right directions. black/death metal. and since today almost every household has an Internet connection and so many people are using Internet to find new music. And how religion and society can be the “shroud” that covers the beautiful and divine individuals. I think also the fact that we have so diverse musical-tastes within the band shapes us to something special. We mostly went for the stuff we regularly use when we play it live and then Jonas made some magic touches to the sound to get it perfect. But as time passed we grew out of that type of sound and started bringing in some more progressive stuff to the music and we have had a lot of member changes throughout these years. It’s a big span from melancholic pop. in addition to the growls. in less than two weeks all the music was recorded. approached the label for a Cd. And in the beginning we were really inspired by the Goth-metal scene and bands like My Dying Bride and stuff like that. so it wasn’t all too difficult to record the music. as producer. We use the Internet quite a lot to reach out to new listeners. They have come into their own passionate and creative edge. It has a meaning. we listen to a lot of different stuff in the band. both while in the studio and with the final result. The Swedes have delivered upon to us a masterful and truly breathtaking album. but that is of course a result of the access people have to music today. We rely much on melancholy. and I think that helps shaping our sound to something unique and special.Melancholic Majesty By Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley those early influences. With the members in the band right now. we rely much on the melancholic element. How difficult and challenging was the recording process? We had rehearsed the material really well before entering the studio. with a very few exceptions. this led to the sound on our first demo with a lot of keyboards and female vocals. you draw from a lot of influences. We had our material. so we felt quite confident with recording our album there too. and also from newer bands like Tool. as I said prior. at least the major parts of it. No one is interested in showing of any instrumental elitism or so. but only as the title of the song with the same name. But. And when your band is on an indie label like us it’s almost a necessary source for reaching out to new listeners and promoters. melody and atmosphere. some more obvious than others. There are countless new bands every year and you are exposed to so much music without even knowing it. UNRESTRAINED! was fortunate enough—through last minute e-mails—to coordinate an interview with the band before we went to press with issue #39. The band needs to be discovered. fits the sounds and tone of the album’s music. with a lot of similarities also. We didn’t use a lot of new equipment on the recording. Also. What do you think sets you apart from the rest of bands out there? Why do you think fans reading this interview should listen to in Mourning? Thank you kindly! We always try to focus on what’s best for the songs and the atmospheres of the music. think and act the same way and after certain rules. In MournIng 77 R emember this band: In Mourning. We recorded the stuff really fast. so that was a great time for us all. Thanks to spokesman/bassist Pierre Stam for coordinating this all and giving us some insight into this remarkable release. to prog-rock. something that becomes apparent as Shrouded Divine unfolds. Today we have improved our skills and tightened our sound and it’s quite a great leap forward from how we sounded in the beginning. Porcupine Tree and Opeth. Phew! I’d hate for this story to be held over till next March. and we felt great about the whole experience. The song “The Shrouded Divine” is lyrically about people that are not allowed to be who they are. and i quite enjoy that. it would probably be a dumb idea to not use it when trying to promote your music. and I think maybe we have a more melodic and melancholic approach than most of the other death-metal bands on the market. Most of my influences are from the ’70s progressive scene. it worked out. and there aren’t a lot of layering and additions on there that we cannot handle to play in a live situation. and with the sound we have achieved with our latest release. and makes people look. listened to your music. The whole band really enjoys being in the studio environment and the creative process that comes with it. tell me about . with some exceptions of course. Why was that title chosen? is there a meaning behind the album title? Not really. in my opinion. Not as much the Goth bands anymore. And while the band was tagged early on as following closely to Opeth's style. We have certain bands that all of us in the band like too of course. The band was founded in the late ’90s by Tobias and myself. We are very satisfied with how the sound on the album turned out. since so many record stores are closing almost everyone is buying their CDs via the Internet too. As a place to get in contact with fans and the music people and to promote your music it is probably an unbeatable instrument. which I think obviously our music reflects a lot. A few of them are still making a great impact on the music. there wasn’t really enough time to play around very much either. We recorded our last demo Grind Denial with Jonas too. Also. to more brutal stuff. how they helped shape the band and who inspires you now. We chose to work with Jonas [Kjellgren]. We all have pretty varied musical tastes in the band. But it was a big challenge to find the right sound and to make the arrangements perfect on each song. holds the beauty of mankind back. tell me about what led to the beginning of the band and where you feel you are now musically. so that was a really inspiring process but a lot of hard work too. there is a lot going on and the energy the album exudes is something to behold. So the album is basically only containing stuff that we are able to play live. be it good or bad. the title of the album. grind and so on. yet you still manage to create your own style.

the band revealed that these musical styles have more in common than the genre-fixated mindset of the present day typically comprehends. Darkthrone played a pioneering role in the second wave of black metal. during the songwriting process. and black metal on the new album? do you feel that the emphasis that many are placing on the punk element is misplaced? I should have expected it. for not-very-mysterious reasons—TB] albums. this is the album where it sounds like darkthrone just “went for it” in terms of foregrounding that element. What is your view on the balance that you struck between trad metal. the band then made what many saw as a questionable move away from the sound that defined its classic trilogy of A Blaze in the Northern Sky.O. but also in terms of the more “epic” atmosphere of many of the songs. Fenriz and Nocturno Culto. this causes me to recall the Lps of the early ’80s—is that every song is different and has its own personality. [there are] not many punk riffs. the hellish duo behind the band. crust punk. one of the things that i like best about dark thrones and black flags—and again. always associated their band with the first wave of black metal.D. Fenriz and Nocturno Culto once again find themselves in the unenviable position of being misunderstood. again. As the album covers [for F. Early in its long (and far from over) history. But that doesn’t mean there’s a lot of punk on this album. in fact. and vocals on dark thrones and black flags. including crust punk and speed metal.let’s say [that Dark Thrones and Black Flags has a] 70 per cent metal [to] 30 per cent punk ratio. and so on. but really the title just sat very well with me in my mind when I accidentally coined it. and Transilvanian Hunger. If we were a retro band.o. [and] the studio too…now that’s punk! In short. i think that this album is incorporating some elements into your music which are quite distinct.D. as I discovered when I was doing vocals between 1987 and 1995 before I had a hiatus from doing vocals. unholy Darkthrone. I have countless voices. did you spend much time working with nocturno Culto to achieve this result. down the road of [the history of the] kings of metal. we have mega balls and dare to keep first takes. we are driven by a lot of coincidences. actually. No skin off of my nose. prior to the establishment of rigid genre boundaries. This ends up sounding like a lo-fi role model for kids that constantly met the wall of click drums and Pro Tools since fuckin’ 1991! I use a lot of energy trying to figure out which song ends up where on side B and A (that’s been one of my jobs always) but apart from that it’s pretty much gung ho and winging everything a lot! My entire life experience is used for this…and a lot of gut feeling. Nothing. Never one to stay in the same place for very long. Sadly. people will view them in the same way. and energy that is unmatched. it’s great to talk about punk. 78 darkthrone the way we work in the studio. rock. said that only one thousand people worldwide seem to fathom what I am currently doing. “Hiking Metal punks” reminds me tremendously of broca’s Helm. NWOBHM. I like metal from the ’60s up to now too. Some among the black metal cognoscenti took this shift as a wholesale abandonment of the genre and all for which it stood. Over the course of the last three albums. do you view these albums as closely related or as quite different entities? I think we have been slowly moving back in time. dark thrones and black flags (Peaceville). so.d. at least to my ears. Darkthrone has always remained firmly entrenched in that black metal ethos. Back then. there was more actual punk music on The Cult is Alive and Fuck Off and Die [generally abbreviated as F. black metal had more to do with attitude and spirit. However. So. . what with that title and all. mistakes. Fenriz details all that is unholy and misunderstood with a level of honesty. in fact. I have certainly begun to make use of several of my voices now. passion.. While Darkthrone may have been associated with the second wave of black metal by virtue of its time and place. I like both punk from the ’60s like The Sonics up to the present days. or was it just a happy coincidence? No! We never work on those things! We are not control freaks! We make no plans. With the current album. especially in terms of guitar and vocal melodies. i was surprised by the amount of traditional/epic metal that can be found in the melodies.Darkthrone D arkthrone. In the process. throughout the ages. I get punk questions from every damn journalist because of the “black flag” in the title. but yet is still very much darkthrone in its essence. the band has explored this ethos as it exists at the bloody edge of several genres. except for the album’s opening riff. people are sheep.O. Anyway.. I have. Many seem to view dark thrones and black flags as a direct continuation of f.a. It seems that I’m making the speed. While you have often cited your appreciation for bands like omen and Manilla road. but I always hope someone will see my creations the way I do. black and punk [ideas] and then Ted [Nocturno Culto] is there with some traditional heavy metal and doom/death riffs. it won’t matter.A. songs such as “norway in September” and “Hanging out in Haiger” serve as the most explicit musical statements to this effect. could be further from the truth. Is it any wonder that the band displays such disdain and mockery for those who choose to throw peanuts from the gallery? Dark Thrones and Black Flags is generally—and quite incorrectly—taken as an homage to punk when. it is an exploration of the blackened side of epic/traditional ’80s metal. So this was just a step further back in time. I would never allow myself to use that riff. Under a Funeral Moon. and Dark Thrones and Black Flags] are in the same style. but our attitude. the riffs.A.

so I said “Butt that! Let’s just promote new and upcoming bands instead.What was it that compelled you and nocturno Culto to start trading off on many of your duties. The Batallion. Bastardator. We are still excited about what I’ll pick for the next one. I can only see it from the inside and you all can only see it from the outside! “It’s the curse of love”—that’s a deep AC/DC reference.” by this i mean that. and it is my favourite music to listen to when strength training—but Judge takes the cake. If I took over the mixing I would just feel responsible and it would ruin a lot for me. you are the first one I’ve heard saying and thinking this yourself. Omen. Creep Colony. Virus Norway. In the early 1970s it was normal for bands to do two albums a year and tour at the same time. I have fought myself into a better frame of mind and life. though generally taken as part of darkthrone’s supposed departure from socalled “black metal. Thor.o. Originally we wanted him to have lots of old patches like Rush and Manilla Road. Everyone who hung around my court in the 1990s knew that my heart was 98 per cent in the 1980s black metal and thrash and whatnot. For me. the question is perfect. I liked Mayhem’s Live in Leipzig as it was very inspirational. The current pace is nothing. then I can be sort of a fan of my own band more. it appears that things have changed for you dramatically—either in terms of your personal life or your relationship to the lyrics that you write. in terms of the following: a) your ability to achieve the production values that you desire and b) your ability to explore ideas and release albums at your current pace. not a youngster. listen to “Into the Crypt of Rays” [the first track from Celtic Frost’s Morbid Tales] and then explain to kids that this is actually 40 per cent punk instead of what they think it is. Enslaved. unholy dark thrones.k. What is your take on this matter? do you feel that the time and place at which darkthrone achieved worldwide recognition has been both a gift and a curse? Tell me about it!!! And it never ends. When Ted suggested we just buy our own portable studio.” Year by year. but we found out that we would have major problems with rights and lawyers and all that shit. you are clearly the one that has understood most. Chemikiller. it feels like there are more bands getting in tune with the older attitude and values. more openly discuss topics once considered off-limits. Since 2005. This is very smooth—just writing at our own pace. what if we play Transilvanian Hunger twice as fast with modern sound. I have involved myself in our metal world singing about what is great and not-so-great. for chrissakes!). I strive against that trend of those modern metal bands [whereby they] basically listen only to their old stuff or to the bands they tour with.a. Morne. I am known in the forest scene in Oslo. Me the drummers and Ted the guitarists from Judas Priest. Zemial. and so it goes. Enforcer Sweden. but in 1988 we were more into the recent past than now. Congratulations! You just won your own weight in original “I Hope You Die in a Hotel Fire” shirts with Righteous Pigs! Ted and me had to have a (very seldom) talk about this character and what he would look like. had a television special titled “Nrk ut i naturen—nærturer. but I was definitely not feeling at home after 1992 was over. I quit that style in 1996. Banished Forced. When we have 35 to 40 minutes. Black Sabbath and also Alex [Lifeson] from Rush. Alpha Centauri. and dark thrones and black flags going to be a recurring figure à la Eddie? He reminds me a lot of the chainsawwielding figure on Slaughter’s Surrender or die. Tyrant Sweden. i have always viewed the band as more in tune with the first wave. What I can say is I don’t know the public perception of the band. Witch Usa. synth and female vocals or a drum machine. Slogstorm. Aura Noir. By Tate Bengtson darkthrone 79 . publish more photographs.” So we had the barbaric speed thrashers from Deathhammer on our first Mr. We had grown up in the 1970s. How do you feel that darkthrone’s more recent decision to do more interviews. Blackthorn] and Euronymous made—the typical Norwegian black metal riffs—but when I made riffs “like that” it sounded more like a continuation of the simple “finger-moving” riffs that Quorthon did in 1987. I am not saying my street lyrics will be classic. Farscape. he did that when he was 30. the ecology professor Mikael Ohlson). The Devil’s Blood. maybe inspired by Judge. So I went wild and broke my chains! I changed the way that I wrote. I tried to learn from my mistake. Orcustus. Just giving some Venom or Hellhammer feeling ensures the punk [sound persists]. but I’d already lost faith in black metal in 1993 [as I watched it] becoming like the trend of death metal in 1991. Burzum continued [it and] other black metallers warped the style completely. Gasmask Terrör.” is in fact a very direct return to your roots. Eidomantum. it was sort of going back to 1988 for me and choosing another path. I can only add to it with my angle. Then Oscar from Old helped me to realize that it was a new and fresh underground in the 2000s with kids playing barbaric 1980s metal again instead of boring 1990s black metal copies. There are 1560 square kilometres of forest. i view the former as the “first wave” of black metal where the spirit coalesced and the latter as the “second wave” of black metal where the genre definition became rigid. necrohell 2. but I have not been into those styles since 1992 for the most part. I wrote and recorded Transilvanian Hunger in two weeks! When and why do you think that black metal. as a genre. Many of the primitive bands started to play progressive while we had been progressive in 1989 to 1991 and had went completely the other way! We are still named as pioneers of the 1990s but I always felt—and said in most interviews—that we basically paid homage to Bathory and Celtic Frost / Hellhammer! back around the time of ravishing grimness. That’s why his lyrics have a lot of natural authority. Jex Thoth. Or. Death Beast. Actually. The long passages of Burzum were copied by others but with a modern sound where everyone could start thinking about another line on top of the riffs themselves while others started filling it with synths…and BOOM. Karnax. you discussed in an interview how the lyrics were written as something of a catharsis. While watching the bonus live performance on nocturno Culto’s the Misanthrope documentary taken from darkthrone’s early days. What I say is this: what we do now is what we would have done in 1988 if we had the skills. It’s like five songs a year. Salute. Evil Army. darkthrone. Euronymous sold this to me when I visited his parents’ house in 1989.d. Blüdwülf. we just write a song each and then we record them. Many were not satisfied. Was this an intentional homage? I was expecting a lot of people spotting that. Hellrealm. I had bands I liked in the 1990s which I don’t understand why I liked it at the time. Nattefrost. or perhaps both. the punk was gone. I have been a part of that [scene] since 2004. So that meant I also knew how the singing should go and then I’d just do it myself because I hate teaching other people my stuff. is the character who has appeared on the covers of f. I liked the riffs that Snorre [Ruch. singing. I said “Mohawk!” and he said “Helmet!” and so it was. We are just two and we know all the instruments. in the forest) myself out of a depression that struck in 1998 and lasted into the 2000s. I think. Nekromantheon. tell me about the role of your studio. and so on. experience and knowledge. I write about my life and my experiences. Em Ruinas. In 2005. Monotone started greatly with VON. it was a new start for me because that is what we should have done in 1988 but we didn’t have money or time or anything.a. as an attempt to release a pain that your mind had suppressed. I was always into NYHC [New York Hardcore]. I stopped going out in May 2005. Sonic Ritual. darkthrone’s public presence was what could only be described as “conspicuously absent. as usual. so I do a lot of work for it and I have been in many magazines. and even release its own documentary. and so forth? Well. then that’s an album. I have hundreds and hundreds more releases from the 1980s now than I had then. the limited interviews and photographs generated as much if not more discussion than would have been the case had darkthrone been more visible. in some respects. Necro [Evidently the name of the character—TB] and now Nocturnal on the new album. When i look at the pictures and lyrics featured more recently. The Helvete shop wasn’t open after late 1992 either. but still with soul and an ugly sound. but I sure as fuck burn for what I sing about. I got into tenting and I never looked back. Lonewolf. do you hear a similarity? i think that an argument could be advanced that this album. Deathhammer. [by which I] mean I wrote lyrics for the songs and not just poetry and leave it to Ted like I usually did before. Vomitor. i view this as at the heart of the problem that darkthrone has encountered over the years—many fans associate the band with the (second wave) genre while the band associates itself with the (first wave) spirit. Portrait. Nocturnal. I leave it to Ted. Deathroner. but we get even more into the 1970s now than then. “forgot” about its punk roots (or perhaps “pretended like they didn’t exist” would be more appropriate)? over the course of the last few albums. They have lost and they don’t even know it yet. such as writing lyrics. Of the more than one thousand interviews I ever gave in my time. Corrupt. but again you are the first (that I recall) journalist that has brought the Slaughter dude to the table. a. we always had to play everything. Doomed Beast. Then. much like Lemmy did when he kickstarted Motorhead. was there any intention on your part to highlight the “forgotten” history of black metal as to its actual relation to punk? Monotony was a reaction to the hectic ’80s. what if we become progressive instead of primitive?” or “Hey. for many years. Even though darkthrone is associated with the norwegian second wave. i could not help but notice that “thulcandra” was very similar—in sound and attitude—to dark thrones and black flags. i have always viewed darkthrone as seeking to represent this more general spirit rather than attempt to uphold some sort of artificial genre creation known as black metal. Not like the 1990s when so much sounded the same. War Crimes. Resistance. huh? after many years of metal being dominated by bands that were more about studio perfection and showing off technical skills. It was like one of those stories where you could choose the rest of the story [such as the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books—TB]. Old. For ten years I was only sent demos copying various 1990s styles. but it ensured that demos and underground albums had their own sound. Back in 2003. despite the band’s intentions to the contrary. has changed the public perception of the band? My freedom has been gained! I break the chains like the 1980s told us to (Cro-Mags. [However] our core playing is always from the 1970s musicians. people started thinking “Hey.” that’s when it turned to shit. written newspaper articles (also one chronicle with my friend. rally ‘round the black flag. I fused this with Celtic Frost on A Blaze in the Northern Sky and continued this style (although very inspired by other 1980s stuff like Destruction and first Vader demo) but my main take on any 1990s style was the monotony VON made in 1991 and Burzum continued. Correct! You just won your own weight in Mutilated’s Psychodeath Lunatics demo. Demon’s Gate. Dear sir. Remember. World Burns To Death. let me finish off with a list of active bands I support these days: Hellish Crossfire. I have worked every day to beat the partying lifestyle of Oslo. I wrote (and walked. Since 2003. Mäniac. working more with trading and networking now than in my prime underground years of 1987 through 1989. it is highly coincidental—just the way 99 per cent of the underground stuff from the 1980s was done.

We always thought that ‘Church…’ was our ultimate power ballad. If you have a couple slow songs and an acoustic number. Cobbett admits that there is an element of rural/urban contrast between the two albums. They’re ambitious. varied. That way it’s like a two-course meal instead of having to eat the whole thing. aspiring metal singers. Cobbett employed lessons learned during the making of The August Engine. I started to get the sense that the whole thing was collapsing under its own weight. The people who actually go out into the fields to work. fields and Church of broken glass (packaged together and released as a double CD and double LP on Profound Lore and 20 Buck Spin respectively). “If you’re a male vocalist and you actually learn how to sing melodically. It had a timeless message. I made the decision to make another Hammers album. As anyone who made mix tapes during the heydays of the cassette can tell you. ‘Rats Assembly’ obviously takes place in a prison. “The August Engine originally started out with an instrumental into a power ballad into an acoustic song. It’s more about a matter of what you would define as the working class and the peasant farmer. and it was bloated. then HoM’s audience will be more than happy to pore over these two albums. judging by their contrasting cover art—Fields is leafy and green.” he says. “He goes out with Slough Feg as much as he can. We wound up chopping 35 or so minutes off the whole thing and putting out what is known as The August Engine. If you’re wondering if you can get by with a bit of the old grunt ’n’ growl. vaguely conceptual. trying to sequence tracks while dealing with your format’s time restrictions can be an exacting process. and time we could put on each disk. There are elements of all that stuff in Fields. So it was pretty much the same thing in reverse. So it’s not directly rural. There’s this macho thing where people think singing is kind of faggy or whatever. ‘Motorcade’ obviously takes place in a city. that’s been totally disenfranchised. Girls fuckin’ love it. and it just seemed to take forever till it really started to rock. “There’s other elements to [the material on] Fields. especially as global warming starts hitting and the economy keeps melting down and all that kind of stuff.” This incarnation of Hammers of Misfortune features a revamped lineup. who have spread their melodically overloaded metal stylings across two new albums. especially in Western cultures. It was almost like a game. We’ve learned that if there’s going to be a ballad or a slow acoustic thing you’ve got to kick it up after that.” says Cobbett. “Doing a double album is something that we wanted to do with The August Engine. “You have to really think ahead as far as the flow of the record. expansive. the sacred and nearly lost art of album sequencing. they do appear to be related to each other. which is always a big deal. and flow with the kind of logic that makes for an all-encompassing listening experience. or for that matter fight wars in fields. What’s side one going to be like? We had to map out each side individually. Then that idea started with the idea of putting out a double vinyl where you’re limited to 20 minutes a side before you start to lose audio quality. and we started asking Mike to come to practice. to the sessions for the 2003 album The August Engine. Now we have undocumented workers who are being basically treated like indentured servants. while Church of Broken Glass is industrial and tinged with rust. “‘Church…’ was like this country song that could fit on any . Jesse Quattro and Patrick Goodwin. these are always the poorest people. because I had to start working on a Ludicra album and a Hammers album. especially in America. All the manufacturing jobs are gone. chicks love that shit. And if the ladies don’t come flocking. I can understand why a lot of people I was sending it out to started to lose interest. We thought it was a great song. That’s the original reason why I left Slough Feg back in ’04.” Although Church… and Fields are two separate albums.” So start practicing your scales.’ we decided that the best place for the song is the middle of side two. Not at all. You have to open strong and then keep it strong.” “Church of Broken Glass” is indeed a great song.” Ah. so we made sure we had two pretty rockin’ songs to put on either side of it.Listen up. including two new vocalists. With vinyl you can get 40 to 45 minutes per disk.” says Cobbett. get in with the right bunch of fellows. man. as Cobbett observes: “Music geeks—that’s our crowd in a nutshell.” If that’s really the case. so we always wanted to put it on a record. “Mike’s been really busy touring with Slough Feg. but stresses the social commentary angle as a more significant theme. The roots of the project go back a few years in Hammers of Misfortune history. We went as far as making it a title track this time just to make sure that it had a home. man. stately and powerful. They really do. especially on the Fields album. and we have a working class. “We recorded a lot of material for that album and the songs that got mixed clocked in at about a hour and a half. so it limited us to the amount of 80 haM M ers of M Isfortune album. With Fields and Church of Broken Glass. These are not rural environments…unless you’re on a prison farm. who found at last that his commitment to his band Slough Feg had to take precedence over this major new HoM undertaking. Goodwin replaces the highly regarded Mike Scalzi. you have to know where those are going to go. and soon you’ll be beating them off with a stick. There was just too much material. then at least you’ll have the chops to front a cool band like Hammers of Misfortune. but we just couldn’t find a place for it where we felt it wasn’t going to fuck up the momentum of the overall album. so it’s fortunate that it found a place as the penultimate track on the album. which we always do. we’ll split it into two. who also contributes guitar when the band plays live. The role of this person who used to be called the peasant has changed. So with ‘Church of Broken Glass. John Cobbett of Hammers of Misfortune recommends that you step up your game. Hammers of Misfortune themselves definitely aren’t in it for the easy action. That actually made it kind of fun. Cobbett obviously sensed it was a special song as well. That’s the reason why [the title track] ‘Church of Broken Glass’ didn’t make it onto The Locust Years [2006] or The August Engine. “So what I decided to do [with Fields and Church…] was instead of putting out a double album where you just listen laterally through an hour and a half of music. and you can see how the definition of the peasant or the worker has changed a lot and will continue to change. You have to take that into consideration.

he was also a killer guitar player.” With Cobbett splitting time between HoM and black metallers Ludicra. the other new addition to the Hammers of Misfortune choir. We did the whole [16-minute] ‘Fields Trilogy’ from the beginning of ‘Agriculture’ to ‘Motorcade’ in one take.” After a few records as we crossed the millennium. Cobbett feels an ominous stirring: “I’m starting to get this insane urge to starting writing another album. He’ll be reading through the lyrics sometimes for the first time in his life when he’s actually at the goddamn session… This is how we operate—by the seat of our pants. I’m fine with that because the music business is filled with terrible people.’ It wasn’t an easy thing. We played in Connecticut.when he finally came. Chewy didn’t have time to work out all the parts for all the songs. we can check out the band at their prime with the live DVD. but I did not know that she was a gorgeous melodic singer. He’ll look at the lyrics and go. You could be working a day job. Alan Tecchio. I remember somebody who worked for Manowar telling girls they weren’t permitted backstage unless they would have sex with the band—real classy stuff. We wanted to make sure that at any one time it didn’t go for too long without some vocal coming in. Hades has once again disappeared. We wanted to make vocals another instrument. We’ve received a few offers to do reunion shows and we’ve accepted one. In those days there was enough logistical support for bands to do that. She was expert at twisting her voice and doing crazy shit. “We set out to make a more vocal album from the beginning. We wanted to have lots of vocals. and I think this DVD will show that we deserve to be remembered and hopefully people will see us as an underrated band of that era. And back then I think bands actually strived to release ten great songs. We have a kooky relationship. I never really knew her. In a way. a wife I love immensely. He was going on and on about how all of us were equal. right there. will be on drums—he’s been in Overkill the last two years—myself.25 an hour. so it wasn’t a cavalier thing. I had to get somebody to release this. ‘Oh. We’re all trying to work around work schedules and school schedules and all kinds of other shit and we can only get together at certain times. “I’ve known about Jesse for a long time through her band Carniceria.” He adds. but he loves Hades and wants to fly out a week before to rehearse and do a show in NYC or NJ. ‘I’m not singing this. “I’ve been writing for Mike’s voice for a long time and you have to imagine him singing the lines in your head. uh. “We decided that he was the only guy we knew who could fill Mike’s shoes. So what’s left for a man who. especially when a new album looms on the horizon. the Internet rules. The choice was pretty obvious because I couldn’t think of anybody else. I think they practiced for two months. we played straight through all the songs from front to back. but those became part of the arrangement. “She also did guest vocals for EyeHateGod one night at this warehouse show I was at. I assumed he was Manowar’s road manager. [bassist] Jimmy Schulman booked L’amour for us. But it turns out she’s got a really beautiful singing voice. Rhode Island and Boston. The Boston show was actually a couple days after the first two shows because Manowar flew to Texas in between Rhode Island and Boston to open up for Ted Nugent in Texas. “We did three shows with Manowar and Nuclear Assault and Wargasm with Meliah Rage opening in December of ’88. Hades were different than your typical thrash band. I have a kick-ass day job. he was like. who played drums on our last CD DamNation. or just me and Ron. having delivered another mammoth and majestic Hammers of Misfortune opus. but I guess that song has a stop in it now.” BY Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley hades 81 . Maybe bands still have that as their goal—if it is. but I was told by Ron [Nichols] the bass player that we should try her out. That’s an insanely great amount of practice. now. Obviously the Internet changed everything! Back then. although the changes were more to suit each vocalist’s personality quirks than to accommodate differences in their singing styles. Alan. Ed Fuhrman. “Black Sabbath before they recorded Paranoid. unloading trucks. but she would always be doing this crazy guttural vocal screaming stuff. “When recording. “Honestly. Alan [Tecchio] and I are talking again. most bands edit things together. plenty of lyrics. Then the last week before basic tracks we try to do what we call boot-camping. ‘Oh. Patrick Goodwin from fellow Bay-area rockers Dirty Power was primed to come on board and start belting it out for Hammers. There are moments on there that we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. there’s never enough money. If you’re just interested in notoriety. Our songs still hold up.. so a lot of the stuff that he’s doing is sort of improvised. She came in and we were like. It’s tough to find male vocalists who can actually sing. This is obviously going to be a big project and I don’t see where I can fit this into my schedule. “Not only was he a really tough rock and roll singer. I was a huge Manowar fan after the release of their first CD until I saw them live. Adrian… Nobody has ever had any interest!” says guitarist Dan Lorenzo with a slight chuckle when asked why it took so long for a live DVD from Hades to surface.” he recalls of that metal era. but now thanks to ultra-heavy Italian metal label Cruz Del Sur. and there’s a mountain of material that we have to climb. Any practice that we can get before we go in. live footage and TV show appearances. “The Internet and bands’ shitty songwriting abilities have completely killed the music business. people have been asking us for years. We’re either super close friends or he’s not speaking to me. I swear. so I never even thought to ask.” says Cobbett.” Having a new singer required Cobbett to adjust his writing style somewhat. That’s not the way most bands record these days.. It’s really hard to find male singers. and Scott LePage plus old video clips. Man. You expect me to sing this? This is absurd. first try. We released Resisting Success in 1987 and never even knew we needed a booking agent. We weren’t supposed to stop there. and right after Jay finished that. That’s not too bad. I’m going to stop writing Hammers of Misfortune songs now. We never got one soundcheck and I later found out the little dude was Manowar’s bassist Joey DiMaio. Every performance has a different quality to it. TV appearances and so on. but nobody enjoys promoting their past more than I do. We didn’t do any editing. I didn’t know this or I would have asked her right away. If you want to make a living playing music.” says Cobbett. They basically just went in there and ripped through it. “For real. That’s why that album is so live. but I’m resisting that. fun seven days a week. I don’t hear it. So I’ll get together with just me and Chewy [drums]. I’ll get far as business. It includes interviews with Dan Lorenzo.’ Immediately I was sold—she’s got the voice for Hammers. marshalling the full complement of troops for band practice is a constant challenge. But I think that’s great. ‘You know what? I just don’t have time for this. five days a week. Or in some cases I didn’t picture anyone singing and I would have both singers try it out and then see how it sounded. A lot of our albums in the past have suffered in certain people’s opinions from a ton of music and then not that much vocals. Maybe I’m just a bitter bastard. It was a full-time job for them. But we did pretty good. Whoever can make it. I’ve actually had Mike refuse to sing lines in the studio before.” admits Cobbett. was more of a discovery out of the blue. The only thing I had seen was that show where she was growling like a wild animal. but when you came home to find yourself on the cover of a magazine it made you get through the next day. I’ve received the best tour offers right after we broke up in 1989 and in 2002. Word of mouth was crucial. But what are you gonna do? I couldn’t exactly just go. Have you embraced the evolution? “Fanzines were the Internet. I found what I believe to be our best show ever: December 30th. Spinal Tap would laugh at them. I can’t really make him sing it if he’s not going to sing it. Cobbett has sometimes found himself in a tight spot while overseeing vocal sessions in the studio. we’d all get soundchecks.” Jesse Quattro. He and I both know that he was a really important part of our sound. I remember before the first show there was this little guy talking to all the bands. At the time of this interview he’s speaking to me. it’s always a desperate situation.” By Rob Hughes I t has been a while since we have heard anything from Hades (that was 2001’s DamNation). 1988 concert in Boston as the opening act for Manowar and Nuclear Assault. After we released If At First You Don’t Succeed we finally realized we needed a booking agent. I booked a bunch of shows. Are plans for more music from Hades in the near future? “Well. Hades always seems to garner the most interest when we’re not a band.” Fortunately for Cobbett. So I would try to picture Pat’s voice singing stuff. Sometimes that happens. Ron Lipnicki. We’ll be at Keep It True in April 2010. but we’re against that. my biggest fear was kids dubbing together with Sigrid [keyboards] and Chewy. which we need for the live shows to execute the guitar harmonies.” No doubt the music scene has changed since the DVD was shot. Even the mistakes are cool.’ So I have to go change the fucking words right there on the spot. Hades bootlegged in boston 1988. There are some huge mistakes on there. We’ll have just the singers come over and practise at the piano. Jimmy and Ed. “Looking back I just remember how fucking green we were as caught In tIme advanced copies of our music onto a cassette. especially with the drums. Jay Bones produced Behind the Metal [included in this release] which has dozens of clips from a bunch of old Hades shows. 1988 in Boston. With so much depending on a singer’s ability to deliver lyrics convincingly.’ I’ll be like. Jimmy Schulman. Everything’s always a day late and a dollar short. making $4. has no other plans except to get the band out on tour this summer? Well. If you see a guy who’s playing really good guitar and he’s stepping up to the microphone he’s almost always going to start growling at you. He was also a big fan of Hammers—a little bit of enthusiasm goes a long way.” The band’s first-ever live DVD includes footage of the band’s December 30. you just never know. eight hours a day. Unfortunately we do not have that luxury. We still have fans who pick Hades as their favourite band ever. So we made less money. ‘That’s the voice. “There’s never enough time.’ I had to do something. man. I loved fanzines.A. and run through all the songs every day. I’m not going to put everyone through that again.not so much. but got on bigger opening slots. Jimmy lives in L.” he laughs.

they forced us to get to work. somebody that appreciated something other than the extremity. That’s where we were always at as listeners ourselves. In 1994. I discovered there was a whole new generation of listeners that were a lot more receptive and open to what we were doing. “We were kids. and we were a lot less experienced. ‘Wow. nonsensical. I think it’s gotten so much more refined in terms of the specifics within each genre. I’d say 50 per cent of it was the audience from those shows. I feel like I can do whatever I want and I’m not trying to stick to a certain thing. So it’s a tapestry of all these differ- . and it’s that contrast of really huge and really tiny and intimate that I think we refined and got better at. there’s a lot of tension-release stuff that happens harmonically and melodically in terms of small and concentrated harmonic language.Atmospheric Disturbance By Rob Hughes Some smartass—possibly Frank Zappa. and Masvidal’s vocoderenhanced voice soars overtop. thankfully. power metal bands. We were kind of against all odds. At the same time. Masvidal offers his recipe for a Cynic song. of course. One can easily imagine that a Cannibal Corpse crowd wouldn’t have much patience for a set of intricate jazz metal. “There were the subgenres—the melodic metal. “I would say. visceral kind of approach to the audience. and a very primal. is quick to credit the fans who attended the reunion shows for helping inspire Cynic to create Traced in Air. and bust out the comparisons and superlatives only to read your work back and realize that your attempts at capturing the elusive appeal of a piece of music are inadequate or. amazingly on the ball for someone who just landed in New York after a red-eye flight from Los Angeles. but not the best tour for a band like Cynic in terms of audience. That’s the bottom line in terms of writing and being a musician. it’s a good time to look back and realize how far Cynic has come. But we were in a scene that was really challenging. There wasn’t a lot of support. was “unruffled” by personal and meteorological turmoil. held aloft by the talent and focus of Paul Masvidal (guitar/vocals) and Sean Reinert (drums. then broke up. reduce your thesaurus to tatters. It’s adult music played by seasoned musicians pushing the rhythmic and melodic possibilities of rock (never mind metal) to new limits. especially these days. and I’m really grateful for all those things. Never mind the hordes of hostile death metal fans. Elvis Costello or Steve Martin.” Reforming Cynic also appealed to Masvidal’s sense of artistic free82 cynIc dom. or maybe they found us. the recording of Traced in Air. a little less intelligent if I can put it that way. There are now package tours and festivals wholly devoted to the genre.” Now that Cynic has arrived in the promised land of open-minded listeners and a thriving progressive metal scene. depending on your source—once said that writing about music is like dancing about architecture. clustery chord shapes and then very expansive. remaining influential during their absence.” says Masvidal about the metal scene back then. It’s definitely layered and dense harmonically. sharing rarified air with pioneers like Peter Gabriel. early 20s. with no trace of trend-following or ham-handed concessions to fan expectations—only confidence and mastery. It wasn’t this other thing that we kind of discovered when we did this reunion tour. have made the job much easier. So it seems like you can have a progressive rock tour and a black metal tour and a death metal tour. open ambient stuff. which was a different kind of audience. a little more about just processing all of your anger and rage. especially considering he has been making music in a completely different context for a number of years. Those things kind of kicked our ass. “I love those guys. I was really inspired by the love and energy and enthusiasm that poured out of these Cynic fans. and it was just basically the extreme version of heavy metal. The record sounds relaxed and breezy even as it reveals new depths with each listen. this is boundary-less. and they actually do well. and King Crimson. traced in air (Season of Mist). but everyone was thrown into one category. What happened was. besides the older Cynic fans who had grown with us. having no peers to tour with. but Traced in Air is an utterly fresh sounding album that stays true to the original essence of Cynic. The musical climate in the early ’90s was definitely a lot less receptive to bands of Cynic’s ilk than it is today. as Masvidal puts it. There are really tight.” says Masvidal. “Part of the liberating thing about Cynic for me as an artist and a musician. but in terms of inspiration and gathering energy on a reciprocal level. You string adjectives together. Cynic had other existencethreatening challenges to confront and conquer. and was more curious about the musical aspects. keyboards) along with Tymon Kruidenier (guitars) and Sean Malone (bass and Chapman Stick). and there’s more people listening to it. There was essentially the same combination that there is now.’” Progressive metal has come a long way since Focus was released. rhythms groove in all manner of odd time signatures. had no options but to hit the road with Cannibal Corpse. at worst. This is music in full flight.” says Masvidal. which I learned how to do very well coming out of film and TV music. It was really encouraging. “I always make music for myself first. It definitely mixed into the pot in terms of the equation of what inspired the record. “During Focus we were late teens. Sometimes writing about music does indeed feel like a futile exercise. That extra year we had [before starting work on Focus] was just massive in terms of growth. Cynic. but at the same time is adventurous and fun to listen to. The circumstances that went into making that record. “There was the beginning of black metal essentially. It’s gotten bigger. There’s a lot of complex stuff happening that isn’t really obvious at first. and a worldwide fanbase eagerly lapping this stuff up. “is that there aren’t any [parameters]. and we felt very isolated and alone. The recent mania for cult metal reunions hasn’t produced many recordings of lasting worth (is any one still listening to Monotheist?). I think we found them. For me it’s really just about writing an interesting song that has a sense of continuity and cohesiveness. not having toured in the metal scene since the mid-’90s. With the title of their new album. because they made us.” says Masvidal. are the progenitors of technical death metal who burned brightly for one perfectly realized album (1993’s Focus). After reuniting for some 2007 live dates. Cynic. Cynic have finally issued the follow-up to Focus. Masvidal. a different kind of listener. from our gear being held by a promoter in Europe at the end of the Human tour [Masvidal and Reinert had joined Death temporarily]. pixilated riffs shimmer then fade. but it wasn’t really separate from thrash and death metal. People didn’t understand what we were doing. you have the perfect description of their sound. Cynic. It felt a little bit brutish back then. We were trying to find our people. to Hurricane Andrew hitting and wiping out south Florida… There was a lot of psychological sabotage that was happening.” By contrast. Kate Bush. So it was like. Strange.

it’s interesting what’s happened for me. they just go into all these different sections. Thankfully. It starts out as a guitar/vocal or piano/vocal thing. making music and writing it and imagining what you want it to be. I think those of us who live in studios and get more articulate with those kind of details get better at it in terms of how to get what we’re hearing in our head onto tape. but denies approaching the album with any grand lyrical or musical concept in mind. let’s make this part bigger. it really is. It’s just me at home alone. There’s no difference between the music and walking down the street. ‘Nunc Fluens’ is the birth and [closing track]‘Nunc Stans’ is the death. Surprisingly. the core seed of what this idea is. I want everyone to have their own version of the story. Sean [Reinert] and I are kind of studio nerds. I find that in general progressive music tends to do the opposite.” says Masvidal. “With this record we went through about four stages of preproduction where we literally demoed every song that many times. The first demo pretty much has the melodic and harmonic foundation intact in terms of the arrangement and how the melody goes over these chord changes. and then you look at the song and it’s 2 minutes and 32 seconds. I think I’ll grow old in a studio. but I’m really careful about that because it has to stay interesting. is proof that a peaceful. honed and burnished until it reached its final state of grace. and making that a really effective little concentrated piece. Then I take it back to the drawing board and start thinking about the layers and elements. Cynic prefer to work in miniature.” What’s remarkable about Cynic’s art is that they manage to cram all these elements into songs that rarely break the five-minute mark—this in an era where every shoegaze. It’s not about fixing and repairing. It seems like there’s this birth that happens with [opening track] ‘Nunc Fluens. it’s more like. It’s a sense of brevity and urgency. How did that just happen? It’s concentrated.” The work involved in paring each song down to its essence is painstaking. like what other colours harmonically can happen guitar-wise. I got into trying to understand that and applying it to my own work as a songwriter. and Focus alumnus Sean Malone (who appears strictly as a session player). A lot of times I feel like it doesn’t need to go into all these other directions unless it makes sense in terms of supporting the larger idea of what the song is. let’s do that. Personally I like it really direct and compact. Traced in Air’s eight selections whiz by in a mere 34 minutes. It’s only in the post-release afterglow that themes and patterns emerge. but I just really like concentrated.” he laughs. I almost see it as this perspective of some being or a person from another realm in a human body having a human experience and trying to articulate that in a very concentrated format. yeah. and then it goes into all these little phases. Some may hail the adventurous spirit of these bands. “Now when I take a look at what’s happened in terms of the continuity of the record and the flow. ‘Wow. Masvidal begins writ- ing the way a typical singer/songwriter would—with two hands. From there it’s more decorative and fun. I like to move along and keep the freshness in terms of what I think a song needs. “In terms of how compact and direct the arrangements are. for listeners left weary from all this needlessly epic music. stoner. open mind can be a powerful asset. Masvidal was able to turn the Traced in Air sessions into some serious fun. dense arrangements. This is an interesting thing. It’s like this mini lifetime in a sense.’ and it’s kind of the creation phase. “I’m really realizing that it’s all just one big thing. really well arranged music. it’s an art form.” 83 . what’s the bass groove. I don’t know how to articulate it very specifically because it almost cheapens it when you get too specific. which is an approach that Masvidal is applying to a large degree in his work with Cynic. I find myself editing a lot just to get to the juice.” The Beatles were perhaps the first group to use the studio as an instrument. Masvidal has described the album as having a beginning. If I over-think something it loses something. middle and end. others may decry the lack of songwriting discipline on display. Then I bring Sean in and I flesh out the rhythmic aspects of it. let’s expand this section by one bar. “It’s a real art form.ent colours and fabrics that get woven in and it creates this really beautiful kind of collage. We like to play and have fun and really get into the performances and into the details. and a voice. so it’s where we’re comfortable. a serious practitioner of yoga and avid reader. Then articulating that in the world in terms of an auditory re-creation in terms of recording format. They had this thing happening in their arrangements where they felt really full and really complete. really. given the material’s complexity. It’s like an enjoyment thing for us. new guitarist Tymon Kruidenier. It’s meandering.” says Masvidal. Although Cynic must be dominating his existence these days.’ and it becomes fun. He has these electronic drums called V-Drums and usually they’re set up in my studio so we can do this instant interpretation of a song with drums. I’m just a fan of that.’ It’s this constant playing around with the arrangement until it feels like it makes sense. let’s cut this section one bar. ‘Let’s push this. And let’s reduce this section and let it just be guitar and vocal. because that first thought has a lot of purity. I’ve had songs in my past that have gone into seven and eight minutes. But each tune is unique too. “It’s one of those things where I don’t really understand a lot of times what I’m writing or working on until after the fact. I don’t know if it’s the pop guy in me.” Masvidal. But of course there’s this whole spiritual perspective that’s kind of wrapped around that experience. “that probably came from years and years of listening to The Beatles. I feel like we’ve gotten pretty good. or prog band routinely saws away for 10 or 15 minutes per track. I really love the studio. It’s all part of the action of just being present with your life. Along with Reinert. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing as long as I’m here while I’m doing it. he still considers music to be just one part of a complete life. hence the 34-minute record. Every song on Traced in Air was demoed several times. one instrument. having flown across the continent to promote the album and soon to tour the world. and that to me essentially is the core of the song. so it’s hard to narrow it down to specific things.

fear. Compositionally. that sense of boundless creativity had been curtailed on the last several studio undertakings. it did exactly that. anxiety. the heavier sections boasted a cohesion and focus that had occasionally been lacking on recent albums while the melodic sections cut disturbing subtleties into a surface that was tense. contrast to newcomer Martin Axenrot’s drum approach. with restraint. but also deserves to be named as the band’s most sophisticated use of progressive tactics to attain its longstanding goal of depicting sickness. With Watershed. Opeth divided its fanbase. Opeth incorporated more progressive rock influence in a way that conferred a sharper profile upon its metallic elements. The band had something to prove. Deliverance and Ghost Reveries were not as daring as the classic albums upon which Opeth built its reputation. Like every genuine change. there will be those fans who feel alienated as a result. and death in musical form. which was more brutal and jarring than his predecessor’s jazz-tinged smoothness. All of this amounts to an album that is not only classic Opeth. It had to take a chance.—Tate Bengtson 84 of 25 2008! . nearly bursting. nostalgia. Opeth bravely stepped outside of its formula. Most obviously. While fine albums. it is with good reason. I am confident. the keyboards provided a stark. It is clear that this album has resonated among the Unrestrained! writing staff—and. many of our readers—with remarkable strength and consistency. So be it. even tense.Albums W hile Opeth made its name based on its ability to take its core sound and apply it in radically different ways from one album to the next. With Watershed. With Watershed. With increasingly prominent fealty to ’70s prog rock.

Jucifer . Cryptopsy .Life… The Best Game in Town (Hydra Head) 12.The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull (Southern Lord) 5. Wetnurse .Invisible City (Seventh Rule) 5. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds . Earth .Vertebrae (Nuclear Blast) 4. Wetnurse . Hooded Menace .Into Abaddon (Kemado) Ray Van Horn. Dead Congregation .Assassins: Black Meddle Pt. Wetnurse .Antithesis (Relapse) 10.Of Frost and War (Metal Blade) 5. Sigur Ros .Woods III: Deepest Roots and Darkest Blues (Krankenhaus) 6.Shadows (The End) 11. opeth – Watershed (roadrunner) 2.Elixirs (Neurot) 10. Origin . Harvey Milk . Trivium .Perversions of Guilt (Supernova) 6. Bullet For My Valentine .self-titled (I Hate) 9. Dreaming Dead .Just in Case We’ll Never Meet Again (Soundtrack for the Cassette Generation) (Prophecy) 7. Krallice – self-titled (profound Lore) 21. Vicious Art . Master .Watershed (Roadrunner) 4. Origin . Earth – the bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull (Southern Lord) 25.Woods III: Deepest Roots and Darkest Blues (Krankenhaus) 6.Third (Island) 15.The Unspoken King (Century Media) 9. Hate Eternal . Portishead .Iron Will (Rise Above) 5. Dismember . Opeth . Melancolia Estatica .Conqueror (Profound Lore) 13.Fulfill the Curse (Razorback) 13. Ocrilim . The Devil’s Blood .War Metal Battle Master (Southern Lord) 12. Krisiun .Temporary Antennae (Profound Lore) 11.The Formation of Damnation (Nuclear Blast) 9.Within One (Ibex Moon) 15. Opeth . Hail of Bullets .Variante Alla Morte (FETO) 5.The Chemistry of Common Life (Matador) Jay H. disfear – Live the Storm (relapse) 11. Cavalera Conspiracy .Graves of the Archangels (Nuclear War Now!) 12. Reap EP (Profound Lore) 2.Invisible City (Seventh Rule) 15. Wetnurse . Meshuggah . Complete Failure .obZen (Nuclear Blast) 10. Cult of Luna . Aura Noir . Winterfylleth . Earth . Enemy of the Sun . Grand Magus .self-titled (Regain) 10.Traitors (Relapse) Tate Bengtson 1.Watershed (Roadrunner) Rob Hughes 1. Hollenthon . Cynic . Alice Cooper . Gojira .Realm of Terror (Heavy Artillery) 8.. Darkthrone .Scream Aim Fire (Jive) 11. Misery Index .The Ghost of Heritage (Profound Lore) 11. Annihilation Time . Fucked Up . Cripple Bastards . Lair of the Minotaur . Caina .Traced in Air (Season of Mist) Adrian Bromley 1. Woods of Ypres .Conqueror (Profound Lore) 9. Meshuggah – obZen (nuclear blast) 12.Fields/Church of Broken Glass (Profound Lore) 8.U!’s Top 25 Albums of 2008! 1. origin – antithesis (relapse) 18. Sculptured .Annihilation Time III: Tales of the Ancient Age (Teepee) 11.Opus Magnum (Napalm) 14.Fields/Church of Broken Glass (Profound Lore) 4. Cult of Luna – Eternal Kingdom (Earache) 16.Invisible City (Seventh Rule) 5. Woods of Ypres .. Leviathan .Embodiment (The End) 8. Caina .angL (Candlelight) 3. Hammers of Misfortune . Cynic .Med Sut Leyrum Vit Spilum Endalaust (X1) 14. In Mourning .. Bohren & Der Club of Gore .Cheat the Gallows (Custard) 3.Woods III: Deepest Roots and Darkest Blues (Krankenhaus) 4.Smile (Southern Lord) 4. 1 (Century Media) 9.Dolores (Ipecac) 2. Grand Magus . Caina – temporary antennae (profound Lore) 19. Wetnurse – invisible City (Seventh rule) 8. Merciless Death .Watershed (Roadrunner) 2.Dig Lazurus Dig (Mute) 8.Pick up this Sick Child (Mighty Music) 14. Klimt 1918 . Jucifer – L’autrichienne (relapse) 22. Phobia . Light Yourself On Fire .Graves of the Archangels (Nuclear War Now!) 14. Grave . Gorania 1.obZen (Nuclear Blast) 14. Saviours . Guapo .Dig Lazurus Dig (Mute) 15. Jex Thoth .Wasteland Discotheque (Lifeforce) Chris Bruni 1.Oblivion Beckons (Prosthetic) 2.Archaeaeon (independent) 13. Dead Man . Keep of Kalessin .L’Autrichienne (Relapse) 2. Raunchy .of frost and War (Metal blade) 14.. amon amarth – twilight of the thunder god (Metal blade) 17.The Way of All Flesh (Prosthetic) 4.Come.22 Random Acts of Violence (Willowtip) 15.Kolossus (Nuclear Blast) 8. 1 toP 25 albuMs of 2008 85 ..self-titled (Profound Lore) 5.Vertebrae (Nuclear Blast) 7.The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull (Southern Lord) 6.Assassins: Black Meddle Pt. Dead Congregation . Enslaved – vertebrae (nuclear blast) 7.Letum (ATMF) 12. Jr. Pharaoh . Abysmal Dawn . The Gates of Slumber .Vertebrae (Nuclear Blast) 9. Light This City . The Gates of Slumber .Along Came a Spider (SPV) 13. torche – Meanderthal (Hydra Head) 6.Konkrus (Avantgarde) 3.Massive Conspiracy Against All Life (Moribund) 7.Wasteland Discotheque (Lifeforce) 4.Dark Thrones and Black Flags (Peaceville) 9. Mitochondrion . Woods of Ypres .Slaves to Society (Ibex Moon) 3. Master .Euphoria (Meteor City) 3.Anwyn (Hydra Head) 6. Byzantine .Hades Rising (Peaceville/Tyrant Syndicate) 10. intronaut – prehistoricisms (Century Media) 9. Lifelover .Programmed to Consume (Relapse) 15. Soilent Green .Temporary Antennae (Profound Lore) 8. Winterfylleth – the ghost of Heritage (profound Lore) U!’s Staff Top 15 Picks! Scott Alisoglu 1.Invisible City (Seventh Rule) 10.Fury and Flames (Metal Blade) 12. Opeth . Krisiun – Southern Storm (Century Media) 13. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds .Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction (Metal Blade) 3.Antithesis (Relapse) 7. Raunchy . Boris . gojira – the Way of all flesh (prosthetic) 24.Traced in Air (Season of Mist) 7. Nachtmystium . isole – bliss of Solitude (napalm) 23.Storm Chaser (Prosthetic) 13.Inflikted (Roadrunner) 6. Enslaved .Be Gone (Cruz Del Sur) 2. Enslaved .Shrouded Divine (Aftermath) 13.Eternal Kingdom (Earache) 11.Shogun (Roadrunner) 12.Southern Storm (Century Media) 7. Nachtmystium . Ihsahn . Meshuggah .Watershed (Roadrunner) 2. Janvs . Soilent green – inevitable Collapse in the presence of Conviction (Metal blade) 20.Slaves to Society (Ibex Moon) 10.Dominion VIII (Regain) 6.Iron Will (Rise Above) 7. Testament . Iced Earth . Hail of bullets – .The Crucible of Man (SPV) 14. Hammers of Misfortune . 1. Hammers of Misfortune – fields/Church of broken glass (profound Lore) 10. Woods of ypres – Woods iii: deepest roots and darkest blues (Krankenhaus) 5. testament – the formation of damnation (nuclear blast) 4.Intimacy (Seventh Rule) 8.Vega (ATMF) 3. the gates of Slumber – Conqueror (profound Lore) 3. Enslaved . Krallice . grand Magus – iron Will (rise above) 15. Bigelf . Opeth .

The Die Is Cast (Alien8) 8. At the Soundawn .Of Frost and War (Metal Blade) 15.Quietly (Translation Loss) 10.This Comp Kills Fascists (Relapse) 6..Travel Now Journey Infinitely (Indie) 3.Shine (Atlantic) Dave Sanders 1.Death Magnetic (Elektra) Jose Carlos Santos 1. Blindead . Dystopia . Sigur Ros .Motorizer (Steamhammer) 6. Taint .. Testament . Krisiun .The Formation of Damnation (Nuclear Blast) 8. Scott Hull .Traitors (Relapse) 9. Torche . Meshuggah . Eluveitie .The Formation of Damnation (Nuclear Blast) 10. Paint it Black . Torche .Life… The Best Game in Town (Hydra Head) 14. Intronaut .Eternal Kingdom (Earache) Brian Wright 1. Opeth . Agalloch .Songs For The Lost (Cleopatra) 4.Till Death Do Us Part (Earache) 7.The Crucible of Man (SPV) 15. Early Grave . Brightblack Morning Light .self-titled (Regain) 12. Hate Eternal . King’s X . Hate .Life’s Trade (20 Buck Spin) 2.obZen (Nuclear Blast) 3.Bliss of Solitude (Napalm) 4.Within.If (The End) 13.Live the Storm (Relapse) 2.L’Autrichienne (Relapse) 8.Morphosis (Listenable) 12.Invisible City (Seventh Rule) 11. Death Angel . Sister Sin .Meanderthal (Hydra Head) 2. Steve Von Till .Black Ice (Columbia) 4. Manilla Road . Aanal Beehemoth . Judas Priest . Unearthly Trance . Ascend . Jex Thoth .. Biomechanical .The Calling (Scarlet) 14.The Ruiner (The End) 10. Wetnurse .Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction (Metal Blade) 12. Esoteric . Testament .Watershed (Roadrunner) 12. Dismember .A Grave Is A Grim Horse (Neurot) 15.New Lexicon (Jade Tree) 5.. Outlaw Order . Thou . Brother Von Doom .self-titled (Magic Bullet) 13.The Wake (Neurot) 2.Nostradamus (Epic) Alex Ristic 1. Hollenthon . Eliminator ..Obzen (Nuclear Blast) 9. Various Artists .One of the Boys (Capitol/EMI) 10.self-titled (Profound Lore) 14.Soft Airplane (Flemish Eye) 4. Biomechanical . Mamiffer . Tiamat . Disfear . Pig Destroyer .Groza (Northern Heritage) 8.Voyager (My Graveyard) 11.self-titled (Hydra Head) 4.Slania (Nuclear Blast) 5. Virus .Bliss of Solitude (Napalm) 5. Cerebral Turbulency .The Crucible of Man (SPV) 15.Captain Morgan’s Revenge (Napalm) 12. Hammers of Misfortune . Behexen . Unearthly Trance .Switchblade Serenades (Victory) 13. Testament .Zero Order Phase (Century Media) 13. Opeth .Night Eternal (SPV) 3. Outlaw Order .Electrocution (Relapse) 13.Death Magnetic (Elektra) 14.Woods III: Deepest Roots and Darkest Blues (Krankenhaus) 10.Live the Storm (Relapse) 2. Woe .Omega (Moribund) 6. Operatika .Seizures in Barren Praise (Deathwish) 9. Harvey Milk . Horna . AC/DC . Made Out of Babies . Black Sun .Hornets of the Pogrom (Drakkar) 9.An Overdose of Death (Relapse) 5. Intronaut .Ultra (Roadrunner) 15.Meanderthal (Hydra Head) 3.Conqueror (Profound Lore) 2. Disfear . Mindless Self-Indulgence .Inevitable Collapse In The Presence of Conviction (Metal Blade) 12. Azaghal . Toxic Holocaust . Hayaino Daisuki .Dystopia (Life Is Abuse) 6.Breaking the Wheel (Suffering Jesus) 2.Strychnine 213 (Century Media) 7.Meanderthal (Hydra Head) 5.Fire. Warrel Dane . Daylight Dies . Estelle . ASRA .Payment of Existence (Nuclear Blast) 15. Misery Index . Origin .Lost to the Living (Candlelight) 6. Scott Kelly . Iced Earth . The Gates of Slumber .Woods III: Deepest Roots and Darkest Blues (Krankenhaus) 10. Pyramids .Twilight of the Thunder God (Metal Blade) 9.Amanethes (Nuclear Blast) 14.Watershed (Roadrunner) 3.Board Up The House (Relapse) 6.Meanderthal (Hydra Head) 14. Virgin Black . The Gates of Slumber .Land (Napalm) 9.The Forest Paranoid (Suffering Jesus) .Southern Storm (Century Media) 2.The Way of All Flesh (Black Box) 11. Hail of Bullets . ASG .Among Beggars and Thieves (Metal Blade) 6.Fields/Church of Broken 86 toP 25 albuMs of 2008 Glass (Profound Lore) 8. Opeth . Soilent Green .Conqueror (Profound Lore) 13.The Dream Cycle Mythos (Discorporate Music) 9. Ayreon . Amon Amarth .Prehistoricisms (Century Media) 7.A Grave is a Grim Horse (Neurot) 5.Relentless (Deathcote) 7. Torche . Grand Magus .The Womb of Primordial Nature (Moribund) 8.Lazarus Bird (Relapse) 7.Seizures In Barren Praise (Deathwish) 6.II (Regain) 10. Jucifer .Cycles (Spinefarm) 12.Electrocution (Relapse) 14. Mouth of The Architect . Motorhead .110101 (InsideOut Music) 2.Temporary Antennae (Profound Lore) 15. Chad VanGaalen . Subrosa . Neuraxis .Twilight of the Thunder God (Metal Blade) 8.Sanojesi Aarnelle (Debumur Morti/Deviant) 14. Winterfylleth .Conqueror (Profound Lore) 3. Mar de Grises . Ghostlimb . Krallice .Of Frost and War (Metal Blade) 14.Requiem-Fortissimo (The End) 2. The Gates of Slumber . Kate Perry . Arghoslent .Programmed to Consume (Relapse) Sean Palmerston 1. Celestis . Mgla . Judas Priest .The Ghost of Heritage (Profound Lore) 4.Twilight of the Thunder God (Metal Blade) 12.Eternal Kingdom (Earache) 4.Praises to the War Machine (Century Media) 3.XV (InsideOut) 14.Southern Storm (Century Media) 2.Natasha EP (Relapse) 10.Prehistoricisms (Century Media) 13. Metallica . Made Out of Babies . Bison B. Deicide .self-titled (Independent) 14.Prehistoricisms (Century Media) 7. Isole .Hirror Enniffer (Hydra Head) 11. Iced Earth . Hail of Bullets . Hail of Bullets . Abysmal Dawn .Monuments (Independent) 11.Conqueror (Profound Lore) 9. Woods of Ypres .For the Revolution (Spinefarm) 11.. Aborted . Icarus Witch . Woods of Ypres .A Spell for the Death of Man (Stronghold) 15.Watershed (Roadrunner) 3.Bearing & Distance (Level-Plane) 7. Trap Them .Dragging Down the Enforcer (Season of Mist) 10.Quiet Earth (Metal Blade) 3. Dragonforce . Samothrace .Headbanger’s Karaoke Club Dangerous Fire (Hydra Head) 4. Torche . Testament .Horoskopus (Prosthetic) Sarah Kitteringham 1. Steve Von Till . Caina .Of Frost and War (Metal Blade) 7.Paralyser (At War With False Noise) 13.The Black Flux (Season of Mist) 5. Amon Amarth .Fields/Church of Broken Glass (Profound Lore) 12.Board Up The House (Relapse) 8.Antithesis (Relapse) 15. Into Eternity . Gojira . Cephalectomy . Jeff Loomis .Watershed (Roadrunner) 6. Opeth .. Amon Amarth .Primitive (20 Buck Spin) 10. Meshuggah .Draining the Waterheart (Firebox) 4. Falconer .self-titled (I Hate) Kim Kelly 1. Cult of Luna . Krisiun .Nostradamus (Epic) 8. Esoteric . Metallica . Soilent Green .Vertebrae (Nuclear Blast) 8. Menace Ruine .(Century Media) 11.The Maniacal Vale (Season of Mist) 11.Buried Death (20 Buck Spin) 7.Strega (I Hate) 15.Iron Will (Rise Above) Laura Wiebe Taylor 1. Rotten Sound . Kalmah .The White EP (Vendlus) 7.We: The Guillotine (Ironclad/Metal Blade) 15.War Metal Battle Master (Southern Lord) 9. Krallice . Genghis Tron .Fury and Flames (Metal Blade) 9. Enslaved .Live the Storm (Relapse) 5.Prehistoricisms (Century Media) 5.Amber Grey (Hydra Head) RealDeadOne 1. Disfear . Communic . Intronaut .Cannibalized (Earache) 4. Alestorm .Motion to Rejoin (Matador) 12.Med Sut Leyrum Vit Spilum Endalaust (X1) 11. Genghis Tron .Segregace K 0 (Khaaranus) 13. Isole . The Gates of Slumber .My Soul for His Glory (Moribund) 13. (Southern Lord) 12. Sahg . Book of Black Earth . Tyr .The Formation of Damnation (Nuclear Blast) 5. Opeth . Coffins . The Endless Blockade . Burst .Requiem (Relapse) 11. Cult of Luna .The Thin Line Between (Prosthetic) 13.Win Us Over (Volcom) 8. This Will Destroy You .Red Square: We Come in Waves (Lifeforce) 12.Watershed (Roadrunner) 3.Secrets & Lies (Candlelight USA) 6.Death Magnetic (Elektra) 13.The Way of All Flesh (Prosthetic) 6. Metallica .Killing Season (Nuclear Blast) 11. October Falls . Intronaut .Cannibalised (Earache) 5.Ample.self-titled (Profound Lore) 15. Trap Them . Hammers of Misfortune . Gridlink . Lair of The Minotaur .Iron Will (Rise Above) Kevin Stewart-Panko 1.Autoscopia: Murder in Phazes (Deadline) Rajah Marcelo 1.Dragging Down the Enforcer (Season of Mist) 10.Peasant (Autopsy Kitchen) 3. Brave . Trinacria . Moonspell .The Formation of Damnation (Nuclear Blast) 4.The Maniacal Vale (Season of Mist) 11..The Ruiner (The End) 14. .The Incurable Tragedy (Century Media) 9..Opus Magnum (Napalm) 7.C. Grand Magus .

” The parched throat growls and sounds of bubbling witches’ brew and demented cackling give the songs an extra dose of the macabre. If you mean change like that other 2008 release from that other huge metal act who are now trying to backtrack. just as it did 28 years ago. I dunno). Even if the album was recorded well and played revIews 87 BlacKwinds Flesh Inferno (Regain) . Perhaps you are already familiar with their anti-classy/anti-antiseptic out-of-print Satanic War Command cassette or their Satanic Forcefucked Annihilation split with kindred spirits Amputator. clean melodious vocals. it’s obvious the band took note that that wasn’t what was needed to control their sound. Kitteringham> -6- BEnEath thE MassacrE Dystopia (Prosthetic Records) BEstia arcana To Anabainon Ek Tes Abyssu (Knightmare) antagonist Exist (Prosthetic) Welcome to one of Razorback Records’ more unique releases in its storied history. folks The album jacket describes this as “100% Ultra-Misery Blackout Metal Neckro-Punk Psykosound. The colossally messed-up Finnish individuals responsible for this “thing” are lovingly referred to as “Deathly Fightar” and “Crazy Bombar. I have a sneaking suspicion that my editor Adrian sent this to me to review just to fuck with my head. the lyrics are of the standard fare. I’m really at a loss for words. then full-length Perpetrators of Genocide will paint the same frightening picture. beyond I don’t know what. Creepy stuff for sure! <A. Quickly joined by cookiemonster vocals. does the description ever fit) Acid Witch’s Witchtanic Hellucinations is a towering inferno of psychedelic. sort of like cracking open your favourite beer. Cavernous. but if you get a chance to hear it. Unfortunately. Back to the raw deal. which varies little save for “breakdowns” with actually discernable chords and interludes marked by sweep picking. albeit after the Razorback makeover. preach on. so if you split that you can consider “Black Ice” a two-album compensation for the past eight years. But posing aside. the deathcore band quickly falls into a monotonous trap of little progression despite clear instrumental chops. there’s nothing more frustrating to a reviewer than having an album that leaves you feeling nothing. partial instrumental assault. Angelblood (Commands. and GG Allin all while experimenting with various sound effects (and pharmaceuticals) and having no idea what the hell they’re playing…yet recording it anyway. screech/growling vocals. and the lyrics are beyond…well. It barely gets any more solid as that. growl/screech… first emotional breakdown featuring harmonious crooning which ends with a frustrated roar. I really don’t know what to say here. May heaven and earth quake in its black and primal majesty! Overflowing with venomous chaos. there’s no lack of rock on Black Ice. simply due to the Setherial connection (Blackwinds is Lord Mysteriis’ side project)…but then I hit “play. <RDO> -8. Adversary’s debut is top-notch material. <Real Dead One> -9- ac/dc Black Ice (Columbia) You don’t need time for Twilight of the Thunder Gods to sink in. The production is much more electric that the last few. breakdown. mixing it with the absolute purest of fist-pounding and sledgehammer-heavy riffs and coating it with the heaviest possible production is something Amon Amarth has perfected into an impenetrable force by now. You’ve probably been told 10 times by now from the loser sitting next to you at work that “AC/DC haven’t changed in years. Here’s another angle: 15 tracks on this thing and I only dislike one. I’m impressed. right down to those prototypically watery effects. What happens though is that Adversary makes their mark with some maniacally charged. uncertainty. AC/DC arrogantly crush any notions of cliché and passé with Black Ice. so cool that I made a hole in the bottom of my Toyota. You certainly won’t thank me. “Wisdom in Regret” and opener “Hedonist. and more is sometimes better. bottom-crawling brand of doom either. Many obligatory details can be mentioned. And what’s not to like about those wind-swept riffs. the songs are blastbeaten throughout and accompanied by synth keys. a harvest of symphonic blackness heavily reminiscent of Borknagar’s last few. I just wish I could read the damn lyrics. Dubbed “acid chugging doom” (and boy. and the packaging is nicely created. screeching. making foot stomping cool once again. folks. I won’t forget this. what else can I say? <RDO> -8- At first I was looking forward to hearing this album. which is unfortunate considering how much the band could have done with their obvious talents. There simply isn’t a single microbe of merit to be found anywhere on this album. and real scary scenarios. it will no doubt be hailed as a modern day classic. ’cause for sure I’d have died in my sleep by now. well. screeching. After close to a decade. and Amon Amarth aren’t that kind of band. I like that perspective. Antikosmos is the kind of ancient black metal force that this writer absolutely fuckin’ revels in. but no one forgot the most iconic rock band in history. chief. screeching. the Ballbreakerbreaker and much stiffer than your upper lip.” Yeah. instrumental assault. the obvious talents of the band are scarcely overextended throughout the short disc. their first for Prosthetic Records: blast beats. From that point on. The harrowing screams that lead into “The Poison of Mannaseh” are enough to send many music fans running. and Al-Nihilation (Bludgeoning Death Saw)—bring a 10-track collection of flame throwing. screeching. screech/growling vocals. With the term “rock ‘n roll” in three song titles and “Rocking” in one. The swirling razor blade riffs are just plain lethal and the maniacal shrieks rivaled only by those of Thornspawn. They just start at the top and then build their way higher from there. screeching. but certainly cut from the same cloth. It really does capture that trapped feeling. Classy artwork with the usual tinted and grainy photographed trees to add ambiance. It’s not that kind of album. malevolent. Sweden’s legendary Arckanum returns with another bleak and sinister black metal opus. Harvest of Seasons. who are a household name amongst the metal crowd at this point. do so. Serving up the Gothenburg sound to some extent. and most certainly over-the-top (or crawling “far beneath the bottom”.” an over 9-minute opus of clearly refined metal. Each track is barely recognizable from the next. Bands with such longevity and consistency are few and far in between. Alisoglu> -7. dark and full of evil. to coin a phrase).aanal BEhEMoth Forest Paranoid (Suffering Jesus) What in the fuck?? Um. The tunes groove and punish with outrageously crushing riffs and absolutely electrifying guitar solos that are as paint-peeling as they are catchy. <Terry Demeter> -0- will make you wonder if this is what Electric Wizard might sound like on even more acid.”: blast beats. There are moments that acid witch Witchtanic Hellucinations (Razorback) A breakdown of “Bomb Shelter” (track 1) on Antagonist’s second full-length. screeching. jarring and irregular signatures and a constant onslaught of guitars and drums. and take its rightful place alongside Arckanum essentials Fran Marder. Blow up Your Video. screeching. Watch out for this one! <Adrian ‘The Energizer’ Bromley> -8- From the seedy underbelly of. and periodic melodic chants. Taking that romanticized Viking imagery. Captivating and brilliant. The production is clean. summoned just in time to blow your hair into that perfect Viking pose. and only furthers the band’s consistency for quality epic metal. clean. They don’t build things up. screeching. screeching. have a good time. Perpetrators of Genocide is a genuinely strong representation of war metal that attacks without mercy and is guaranteed to rattle the fillings right out of your teeth. poorly recorded. Vocally maybe a bit above some past efforts. A breakdown of the title track which follows: high-end wank guitar. Well played. <Sarah Kitteringham> -4- If there was an album that signified the inner struggle and frustration that one faces in a truly horrific nightmare. bizarre. Demeter> -9- Victoria Canada’s Black Lotus return with their second full-length since their formation in 2003. blasting speed from the opening carnage of “Nuclear Rape Assault” and don’t stop until the last notes of “Bestial War March” waft through the smoke-choked air. Everyone waited eight years. let me tell you the grass ain’t greener. the rest suck you into a windy vortex. and the bluesy vibes are almost gone.”Tight and in focus. but neither does anything really stand out about it. I would say that this one along with the last two has been an apex of sorts for the band. the terror looms in the shadows. Occult metal is rarely this addictive. and a good melodic edge. old friend. unleashing his unique aural mysticism centred on a personal philosophy of ChaosGnosticism and Anti-Cosmic belief. and it’s only a matter of time before word gets out to the rest (if it hasn’t already). A massive sonic assault that’ll leave your ears bleeding and your bones bruised. screams. there’s no letting go for Black Lotus.” which ia a bit of an understatement. waiting to tower over you with its intensity and atmospheric mind-fuck. and it’s that confidence and pride that gives you comfort when you crank the volume on a Young brothers riff. the band pic. clean vocals. here comes Virginia’s metal machine Adversary. Hegg sounds a tad more genuine. Nuclear Rape).” Let me tell you. the level of musical ability is acceptable. Most of these tracks move at a steady pace approaching mid-tempo with occasional time shifts to a quicker pace.5- aMon aMarth Twilight of the Thunder Gods (Metal Blade) Blindingly fast riffing and blast beats open Beneath the Massacre’s Dystopia. and iconic glory. where the few opening songs dragged a bit. without question. the “artwork”. Disturbing. but you see where I’m going with this. Bottom line: imagine Impaled Nazarene’s Mikka in a talentless high-school crust-punk band having a drunken three-way with Charles Manson. the Montréalers’ second full-length for Prosthetic. There are especially cool musical moments and vocal diversities at the halfway mark with “Terra Hiberna. intense vocal screams. Hail Strength! Hail Victory! Hail Chaos! Hail Arckanum! <T. Actually. I’m just glad the visions of To Anabainon Ek Tes Abyssu are not in my head. You’ve heard these riffs and dark melodies countless times. Black Ice is the megaton hammer. Angus’s playing sounds fresh too. TotTG is track after track of pure enjoyment. It’s not a bad album per se. Bromley> -9- BlacK lotus Harvest of Seasons (Bleak Art Records) arcKanuM Antikosmos (Debemur Morti/Moribund) Hail. that is the case with Flesh Inferno. Connecticut come “Satanic Fucking War Metal” barbarians Baphomets Horns. but you’ll be pleased to find that there is indeed worse music out there in the world than the seemingly endless supply of loathsome (c)rap and hip/hop. clean. “Amnesia Ln. clean vocals.5- Where to begin? Yes. At times complex and almost frightening with its magickal conviction and power. Kostogher. high-end wank guitar solo. trust me! I would strongly urge our faithful readers against buying this garbage. Just listen to the lead guitar cry out over the sound of an icy cold organ (found throughout the disc as well) before a monolithic riff comes crashing down like a 747 plummeting from the sky on “Cauldron Cave. clean vocals. blast beats. uh. blast beats. because there’s a lot of it. then the latest release from atmospheric/ black act Bestia Arcana’s serves as THE album. this is nothing more than a mindless and irreverent fringe “act” that quickly loses its…“charm” or “appeal” don’t seem to be the right words. Go out there. and Kampen. The members—with their startling prophetic birth names of PS Christrape (Rape Axe). Shamaatae … You grace us once more with your dark. Baphomets Horns rip shit up at full. Exist is indistinguishable from countless other artists and certainly not the cream-of-the-crap which has flooded the metal market in recent years. Funeral Fuck (Warhammers). we get a whopping 15 tracks. brain-bashing doom with superbly written songs to boot. Brian Johnson has finally shaken off the forced Donald Duck vocal style he’s had since. I’m sure of it. directionless. but managing only to fail in epic fashion. Comparatively more “accessible” than Black Witchery. <S. caustic yet far from anything original. We are not talking about the slow. <Scott Alisoglu> -8- BaPhoMEts horns Perpetrators of Genocide (Morbid Moon) adVErsarY Singularity (Trustkill) Just when I thought Trustkill had abandoned their metal community for helping keep hardcore and metalcore bands in the spotlight. <S. yet dizzying guitar riffs. and Phil Rudd’s relentless drum groove sounds like he’s bashing his kit as hard as he can. Shamaatae delivers Arckanum’s epic and triumphant fourth full-length album. Don’t fall into the mass pile of others brandishing that sound/ style. trying to out-evil and out-shock their fellow countrymen (must be something in the water over there. I don’t want to know the methods to this madness. Check out the title track. There isn’t a moment of drag on Witchtanic Hellucinations and Acid Witch still sounds like a band right at home on the Razorback roster. Highly recommended and essential listening for those who long for the black metal of ages past. the production on this album couldn’t be any better. as “progression” is anathema and loud Satanic praises paramount. breakdown.” and list “Exorcism” as one of their instruments…how quaint. However. Aanal Behemoth (or AxB as they refer to themselves) is. The music. pitch-black savagery with a beaten-bloody production. Sounds like he’s 30 again and I don’t care how they did it. If you’re not. Unfortunately.

It still sounds good to this day: tight. . Kreator. and lyrics. Bromley> -888 revIews Love ’em or hate ’em. which leave a lot to be desired (a frequent complaint of mine when it comes to Darkthrone as of late) and do absolutely nothing to help the already poor. having fun. <T. and when you do. punk. Beautifully constructed at many points. The reissue comes with revamped cover art. I feel that somehow Bloodbath came far too late to the massacre. and hopefully with time they will mature into a more diverse and talented band. It’s obvious they are dedicated to their craft. <D. high-performance machine can have its share of unforeseen mechanical breakdowns. overturning what’s right and wrong. An ace production helps bring about some more might and firmness to the raw tones of yesteryear. uninspiring and paint-by-numbers black metal seems to be everywhere these days. The album was recorded live and sounds terrible. Dark Thrones and Black Flags is still a damn fine metal album. this wicked dichotomy is tainted by Nocturno Culto’s dire vocals. tuned down a notch). <A. and Nifelheim). says it all. trade it away and keep the music alive. and with an intense desire to really like the album. <Dave Sanders> -4- cosMic atroPhY Codex Incubo 9Metalbolic Records/Suffering Jesus Productions) Deadweight have a contemporary quality that borrows from the post-metal sphere. The band does have some truly effective anguished moments (the title track) and I’m willing to check them out come the full-length. Demeter> -4- BloodBath The Fathomless Mastery (Peaceville) It has been a long time coming and once again. We’ve just been exposed to far too much of the same for far too long. but doesn’t move much beyond the basics. bass.” which is arguably the most interesting on the album. straight out of Ohio. Several listens in. With a subtle stoner rock vibe emanating over their sound (Fu Manchu.” A mediocre score yes. Bland. but I’m done after the few spins I’ve given it. As with past Darkthrone releases. Bromley> -8. The quality is fuzzy. fast and pushy but not overly mathematical or confusing so as to retain its core listenability. <T. <A. One can only speculate what happened here. Relentless is so precise and fires on all pistons like a beautifully chromed beast of sorts. I’m just thinking too much time away from them has lessened my appeal for Burning Moon’s music. should be into what the band offers. Kevi. and sorta sloppy and rockin’ at the same time if that’s possible. Cosmic Atrophy have been together for less than a year. Bromley> -7- darKthronE Dark Thrones and Black Flags (Peaceville) diMEntianon Live Promo (Non Compos Mentis Records) BullEtwolF Double Shots of Rock and Roll (Abyss) The title says it all. And yes. thanks in part to the hardworking individuals who have helped this reissue took shape. Relentless.” “Hungoverit” and “Half Drunk” are even easier: crank the music. They know the drill. From the get go. M’s stage banter. the band utilizes melody. Demeter> -5- Burning Moon Damnation (Independent) Though it doesn’t feature the same lineup as past efforts. yet the The album title. the songs are inexplicably pedestrian by death metal standards and the guitars are nothing short of under-whelming (any interesting riffs are too few and far between to really have an impact on this reviewer). chaos-filled campaign full of sinister riffs. album title sounds like Carcass. Sadly. perfectly fitting to the form yet uniquely delivered. Cosmic Atrophy. metal was spawning a good assortment of other genres (such as death and black metal) that slowly eclipsed thrash. setting themselves apart from the pack. in a genre as tired as melodeath. The Fathomless Mastery is unmistakable proof that even a finely tuned. <A. This is easily one of the best sounding debuts I’ve heard in some time.5- caPtain clEanoFF Symphonies of Slackness (No Escape Records) forays into thrash. grab some beers and get fucked up! If you’re a fan of Black Sabbath. swagger ’n’ roll stoner rock band Bulletwolf. Because of that. Pharoah and now Crown the Lost. Live Promo. Venom. you know what kind of album you’re going to hear. They deliver the goods. Down. we see a release of one of Canada’s most cult black metal band: Burning Moon. rarely forcing the listener to take more than a casual notice. Regardless. Pummeling almost constantly and exhibiting impressive command over their instruments. and are simply playing the parts as written. but fans of the genre should enjoy. Bromley> -7- dEVastation Idolatry (Rockadrome) Italy’s heavy metal label Cruz del Sur has had a great streak going by signing some great bands to the label.” offers the best example of the band’s keen sense of heavy groove somewhat reminiscent of Roots-era Sepultura. Of course we find the band storming through a rabid. I’m still gonna recommend this to black metal fans. damned vocals and raw production. especially my fave “So Mean. Cosmic Atrophy is a young band. and succeeding.5- There’s something eerily appealing about this Brother Von Doom disk. and although the songs are good. Dimentianon needs to try again with better production. I have this on vinyl. <A. oh yeah. Elsewhere. The closing number of Origins of Darkness. yet with a little bite.” the trippy “For the Air” and hard nugget “Fear of God. in fact. such as Slough Feg. and bonus tracks recorded with the new lineup. along with the drums. preventing any sort of tangible cohesiveness to take place. vocals. The volume needs to be turned way up to make out any of lead singer. The best track is the ambient instrumental album closer. it’s sure to have rabid fans and detractors alike debating its merits (or lack thereof. I meanback in 1991. Darkthrone are back with another stylized black metal assault. shot glasses in the other. Obituary. On my desk here. Iron Maiden. The riffs and drumming are definitely album highlights and are beyond reproach (Fenriz has never sounded so fuckin’ good). Go for it… It’s calling for you. This isn’t bad by any means. It takes a lot to come back to something after so many years. that doesn’t change the fact that you’ll be left with a definite sense of indifference. It couldn’t be any simpler. but this band has potential. heavy use of twin leads. Jonas Renske (Katatonia). to describe the music of this dirty. The band is technically proficient. The album (though possessing a fairly well-rounded sound) plods along track after track. Juan Garcia handles guitars. Kids who waste their time with deathcore would love this stuff if they knew about it. The Pittsburgh-based melodic heavy metal band is very good at what they do. Not groundbreaking and repetitive. Perhaps the problem lies with a group of stellar musicians whose sole focus lies (and rightfully so) on their main creative outlets. really. and doom don’t stray too terribly far from the comforts and confines of Darkthrone’s black heritage. it’s a monster often hammering instead of just keeping tempo. and Sepultura) producing. and Clutch. Nebula). This is by no means softer. Garcia and Richards don’t sound as if they have gelled. Now. to impress us with all that they are capable of doing. While Damnation will pique a lot of interest.<Jay H. it really is worth it. Good to see Rockadrome and the band going that extra mile for this release. essential only for die-hard collectors and completists. Vocals are energetically grunted and screamed in a stable monotonous manner. Though Akerfeldt’s growling vocals (which sound somewhat different than on Opeth albums) and Axenrot’s intense drum work are definite highlights throughout the album. I have to admit. Maybe bringing Swanö and Tägtgren back into the fold would save this drowning project. The past few years have seen the Darkthrone releases casually venture into some rather interesting areas. I quite like the opposing elements of tangible atmosphere weighed against an almost infectious headbanging forcefulness that play off one another throughout the album. at climactic peaks (in the end of “Darkest Day. SOS is blast-beaten and proud. Witchery. Logo looks like Cannibal Corpse. and not playing to each other’s strengths. In essence. The bonus tracks are a nice addition. believe it or not) still boasts an impressive roster: Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth). This is their debut and it took over 11 years to get here. and not in a tiresome Swedish kind of way. there’s no way of telling whether or not the band actually sounds any good.by veteran black metallions. sounding like a tech-death metal band pushed down a flight of stairs. while still holding fast to their signature BM roots. and it makes me wonder if the satanic bastard child of the music world has finally run its course. almost amateurish lyrical content of the album. dirty and guttural on “Watcher” and “Scriptures” as his band takes off their gloves and throws their fists recklessly with thrashing death metal. It’s great to see the band mixing heavy metal/thrash and melodic metal and keeping things on the edge and different to what’s going on out there right now. <RDO> -9- BrothEr Von dooM Relentless (Deathcote Records) Codex Incubo is the sci-fi tinged debut release from Missouri City. Fans of the label’s roster. always making an impact. With legendary Scott Burns (Death. And the music? Blazing guitar riffs and a tight rhythm section complements the solid production on Blind Faith Loyalty. Deadweight properly allow their music to unravel organically and aggressively. Demeter> -7. though. I completely understand that there are tonne of metal purists out there that still dream of a return to the unholy days of Under a Funeral Moon. so don’t let the rating scare you away. and King Diamond. and the same can be said for Dark Thrones and Black Flags. the drummer from Watain is in this band. Canada’s Broken Ohms kept drawing me back for repeated listens with their catchy riffs. <A. It’s become increasingly difficult to find those dark gems that grab us by the throat and evoke those long-lost feelings first conjured up black metal’s elite practitioners…and this is sadly not one of them. The band disbanded in 1999 after a slew of well-received demos so it has been close to a decade without a release from the one-time chaosmongers of the black metal circle across Canada. Singer Chris Renaldi brings a dynamic approach to the vocals here.5- diE hard Evil Always Return (Abyss) With a definite nod to the old-school days of say. it’s raw and reckless. but save for tracks like “Vampire’s Curse” and “Devil Flesh. not to mention bands like Nevermore. the sound doesn’t get any better. Anders “Blakkheim” Nystrom (Katatonia). <RDO> -6- christ BEhEadEd Open the Gates of Hell (Abyss / Darker Than Black) With enough attitude and anger to fuel their black/death metal campaign across the frozen tundra lands of the Midwest (at least at winter time). and trust me when I say. a vibrant atmospheric swagger and singer Peter Hubley’s dead-on Chris Cornell vocal style (think Loud Love-era. <A. It’s definitely not as brutally delicious as their previous full-length efforts Resurrection Through Carnage or Nightmares Made Flesh. Texas death metal duo. ensuring its rightful place among the crucial discography of one of black metal’s most prominent and infamous icons. A worthy album if you want to relive the older days of metal. was a fuckin’ welcome to already fading thrash scene. And the instructions to enjoy such songs “White Trash Whiplash. almost as if it was recorded on an answering machine. Really incredibly impressive debut album and repeated spins come easy. I doubt the time was spent writing all 21 of them. this death metal super-group (originally founded in 1998. However. but this one isn’t like the others. whiskey bottle in one hand. Disappointing and mediocre. and finally the bass is buried under there somewhere. I probably have a half dozen CDs with cover art depicting some type of fancy swordwielding shirtless warrior. or just testing the waters to see if anyone is paying attention. Cathedral. and the solos are almost entirely above average. <A. originally released in 1991 on Combat Records. “Dead Man Crawling.” the album just comes across standard—especially with the evolution of black metal. but back to a newer brighter Sweden. more versatile and rougher on many attempts (case in point the potent “Black Mass”). Bromley> -6. while still vibrant. “Adrift in the Lifeless Sea of Black. or offer anything that’s new or different. soaring effortlessly with each and every turn.” for instance). Christ Beheaded’s debut EP does a marvelous job of capturing just what makes black metal work: an uneasy sense of chaos. Sanders> -2- .66- BroKEn ohMs Nocturnal Emissions (Dirty Reynolds) This is a pretty average album by a somewhat average rock ’n’ roll outfit that seems to be serving up jam-like rock anthems that we’ve heard over and over. No need to mention standout tracks because it’s all of them. which leaves me to wonder if they’re truly experimenting. a 12-page full-colour booklet. the power of the band surging in all the right spots. you won’t find The Fathomless Mastery to be the sort of album you’d expect to hear from such metal luminaries. and their youth as a band shows. Bromley> -6. we find Sweden’s newer metal juggernaut attempting. Percussively. something is indeed not settling well here. Gorania> -7- dEadwEight Origins of Darkness (FETO) crown thE lost Blind Faith Loyalty (Cruz del Sur) Old school Texas band Devastation are back after a lengthy hiatus (sort of). Broken Ohms are able to bring a somewhat different vibe to what would be standard rock songs. Motörhead. Sleep. depending on your point of view) deep into the night. but I think it’s fairly evident that Nocturno Culto and Fenriz are content to have their musical legacy continue to challenge/enrage/shock/excite the black metal world.5- I don’t know what the Captain has cleaned off exactly but Captain Cleanoff leave things messy enough for me. with Cory Richards handling guitars as well. but Australia’s CC stick to the grindcore. The problem with this. raising the question: just how many pro-metal anthems do we need on one album? Regardless of its blemishes. bouncing its way down violently while stubbornly staying on beat all the way down. but faltering just a bit from the trophy space and making a name for themselves. Once the music hits. is that there doesn’t seem to be much of a commitment to really stirring things up musically or lyrically. Martin “Axe” Axenrot (Opeth. then there is no way you are going to miss out picking this baby up. Unfortunately. and Sodom. Guitars and riffs are melodic but to the most aggressive degree possible. but that doesn’t keep them from staying on task with the brutality characteristic of American death metal. Bromley> -5. vocalist Rich Hadley gets down. That being said Christ Beheaded becomes yet another band that has been able to lay claim to their place in said genre. And who doesn’t? And. Razor. and relative newcomer Per “Sodomizer” Eriksson. this is your ticket not only back to Sweden. QOTSA. Bottom line: I say “Buy it and try it!” If it’s not up to your standards. Transilvanian Hunger or Panzerfaust. The album. <T.

89 .

90 .

Time will tell. By the time you’ve crawled out the other side of 11-minute closing track “Clinging to Existence. Black Mass Krakow has superb packaging (I picked up the limited edition version with the metal case. Meshed together by howling screams. but with enough time and patience it’ll surely settle in and knock your psyche around for a few rounds. 30-minute outing from Germany’s Ekpyrosis that would need more than a page to describe what you feel as the album’s journey begins and ends. and ample amounts of aggression. Isa. The Pink Floyd influences are present once more. For the past eight years. the band is on top of their game. Amidst the blood. so I’ve been looking forward to this controversial release with great anticipation for the past four years. Bromley> -8- There are bands that take chances. and the subsequent seizing of the master tapes by Polish authorities) finally sees the light of day to unleash its diabolical shadow upon the black metal masses.5- EarlY Man Beware the Circling Fin (The End) for fuck sakes. Gaahl. very similar to the early works of the Bathory’s Viking-era Nordland I and II. this is well suited to people who enjoy their pop/ rock with heavy elements. much to my dismay. but it’s I worship all things Gorgoroth-related. but more sinister. and now that they have arrived at their “destination. Black Sabbath. the now-infamous show recorded in Poland (complete with official accusations of blasphemy and animal cruelty. It must have been incredible to witness first-hand. For people who already have Bonded by Blood: -1- EXodus Let There Be Blood (Nuclear Blast) ghoulunatics The Beast Of (Galy Records) Montreal’s own Ghoulunatics have been together since 1994. Stick with Early Man. though possessing a unique essence. Let There Be Blood has arrived and compared to the original. similar in aspects to bands like In the Woods.” as it were. though skillfully. Turning back is no option. and the clean. in retrospect.5- Funeral for a Friend is hardly worthy of mention in any metal publication. the one-track. and when you extrapolate that point further. As with virtually every other Metal Mind production. as they tried to avoid showing the unoccupied cross. and left the stage only four songs into the performance! It really affected the overall look of the otherwise incredible stage. I just don’t hear the daring musical exploration that many of us have come to associate with Enslaved. Uncertainty and dark thoughts circulate and truly never let go. So here we have Mensch aus Gold. The Swedish duo’s Viking/doom metal is masterfully delivered. They’re playing it for all the right reasons. Exodus crafted a milestone in thrash for generations to come. the newest album seems to have captured the once-warriors from Norway languishing in atmospheric familiarity. If you need more incentive. But one must ask. and Kvitrafn collectively give a solid. <Rajah Marcelo> For the songs. The main concert sounds and looks great (though one does tire of the constant sweeping aerial shots of the countless sheep heads that grace virtually every square inch of available space on the stage.” Enough reason to pick this up and know that on Into the Night Sweden’s Enforcer destroys all! Full on heavy/thrash metal! <A. but for now it stands.) <T. but he always manages to find some truly unique stuff that sets the bar for most other labels. impaled on spikes. on tracks like “Nosophoros. to dispense advice to veritable metal icons Ivar and Grutle as to how they should properly steer their black-prog longboat. it annoyed the hell out of me that one of the hooded naked female “sacrifices” (there were four of them. King Ov Hell. Originally filmed in 2004. hung on barbed-wire barricades and lovingly arranged on the floor before the crowd). As with any live performance. The details of the legal and moral battle to release this film are easy enough to find online. and found that the inspiration for the title (and to some extent the music) stems from Ivar Bjornson reading a profound Tom Waits statement pointing out that a giraffe and a mouse possess identically formed vertebrae. harmonized vocals are one dimensional and uninspired. And I really dig the fact that singer Jyrki Hakomäki delivers a Jim Morrison kind of croon on various tracks. Kindred spirits indeed. Solefald. tranquil spoken passages. With repetitiveness comes boredom. With heavy-as-fuck riffs. The guitar work and riffs are both surprisingly average (there are a couple of really poor moments where they are akin to something you’d hear from alt-rock college-radio darlings). If you’re a fan of doom. The band’s four-song EP for The End Records is a wonderful.” it’s as though they’re not quite sure where next to conquer. and memorable performance in one of the best live black metal DVDs I’ve ever come across. and some 23 years of studio and road experience since Bonded…. it always comes back to the atmosphere and emotions that stay long after the music ends. and reign once more. and also includes a two-song bonus video performance recorded live at the 2000 With Full Force Festival in Leipzig. as the album falters its stride somewhat mid-album. a remastered reissue of Bonded by Blood surfaced. Frontman Dukes in particular delivers plenty of venom to the mic. You can think of Beast Of as a last hurrah for the band—a last hurrah that wasn’t needed. but when all is said and done. As for the songs themselves. while “Coiled Like the Snake” will eat up every one of those snot-nosed li’l thrashers now wading the thrash revival. corpsepaint. but her decision to “shit the bed. however. have they inadvertently created their own form of musical convention? I’d much prefer they upset the balance rather than trying to maintain it. but in the end Gorgoroth triumphed— that’s all that matters. Adrian—RH]. as well as the occasional nod to vintage Gorguts. or they may just risk losing sight of their visionary path and potentially invalidate the incredible triumphs they have achieved thus far. for which Cato Bekkevold receives extremely high praise (he also plays in Red Harvest EnslaVEd Vertebrae (Nuclear Blast) Good goat! This year has seen some seriously dark ’n’ doomy. Alisoglu> -7. This would all be good and well. It took quite a while for me to get a copy of the latest chapter in their musical odyssey. Perhaps with future listens Vertebrae will reveal its secrets and alter my opinion. think mid-era Cathedral mixed with Candlemass and of course. yet the band’s bombastic approach truly paints a horrific picture for us all to digest. Ved Buens Ende in regards to how they bring about a unique array of style and creativity with each composition. Let There Be Blood serves as a fair wading pool for the kiddies before diving into the band’s deep catalog. then definitely worth checking out. Some bands’ sound/style resonates for hours. louder production. though we’ve been saying that since 2003. of course) and all the usual Metal Mind bonus goodies. Arcturus. Very cool. most of whom weren’t even born when “Bonded” was released. Powerful stuff that might not be understood at first. is true for Kjellson’s black metal shrieks. most are devoid of the dream-inducing contrasts and destructive/constructive experimentation I had hoped to hear (“New Dawn” and “The Watcher” are the two lone stand-out tracks). Come on. That is to say. Much like the vocals on the aforementioned albums from Dead Congregation and Necrovation. This is black metal done with restraint and complexity. Vocalist Rob Dukes and guitarist Lee Altus deliver strong renditions of the songs. I fear they have gone a step too far in the right direction. “Dark Nymph” and “Awakening”). old-school death metal releases. still wondrous in its approach to breaking free from replicating the master and finding their own groove in things. and slither around a rhythm section of warm. Same can be said for Profound Lore Records. performances and uninitiated: -8-. and this year they decided to call it quits. Opener “Sinking the Blade” will rip your fucking head off with its anthemic fury and riffs. <A. thrash-tastic display of metal know-how and homage to the early days of NWOBHM (early Def Leppard. remaining faithful to the originals and staying as true to their form as possible. affected the on-stage shots taken by the multiple cameras flying around the band for the rest of the show. The riffs twist.” Two years later. a rearing beast of inner emotions. rather than engaging. a lowly pseudo-journalist. Take UK obscure/atmospheric/black metal band A Forest of Stars. as an exception to the rule of Enslaved. The liner notes end with the mantra in a lightning font “Power Speed Death. You can now add Syndicate of Lethargy by Norway’s Execration to a list that also includes Dead Congregation’s Graves of the Archangels and Necrovation’s Breed Deadness Blood. and ceremonial faux-crucifixions. but nowhere remotely as challenging as I had banked on. their 10th release. Great delivery for the most part. Demeter> -6- still quality doom material. <A. but hopefully that will change and Sweden’s Ereb Altor gets a little more attention time from the metal community. spikes. eerie atmosphere and an abundance of violins and psychedelic shockwaves of avant-garde blackened metal.The guys in Early Man know how to tap into something good and not let go. Sure. guitarist Chris Johansen bellows forth from the depths of hell. Few bands can stir the worldwide metal collective in such a way. or the punishing black metal assault raping the air around her. but for the diehards it serves as an absolutely unnecessary purchase. is definitely not a good sign. Bromley> 8. gore. <A. as if one of the fine Polish metal queens in the audience wouldn’t have gladly shed her clothes and gotten up there to be a part of the infernal black metal glory that is Gorgoroth live! <T. I can only guess. such was my excitement for this release that my admiration for this group almost prompted me to write the damn review before I heard even a single note. turn. creeping bass lines and a percussive cacophony that swirls in and out of the arrangement while somehow keeping the songs grounded. and desperately need to return to a much heavier form. they are rendered unlistenable for someone who is already there. While they can possibly be thanked for being a gateway band that may eventually get kids and teenagers alike into heavy metal or hardcore. Whether her departure was due to physical discomfort of the cross. yet it’s hard to shake the feeling FfaF is better suited for mention on MTV gossip breaks or the band you might try to get your little brother or sister into before you introduce them to the “good stuff. It’s a worthy release to be sure. catchy arrangements. and by no means irrelevant. As curmudgeonly as this review sounds. read on. and more recently Ruun (which are all categorically brilliant). Execration oozes atmospheric dread with an album that predictably. Has the impossible happened? Have Enslaved become—shudder—predictable? Well. That. Sanders> -3- gorgoroth Black Mass Krakow DVD (Metal Mind) Fall oF thE idols The Séance (I Hate) No matter how varied or assorted doom metal shapes itself and/or where a band is from. Death ’n’ roll with growled lyrics which are hard to make out at the best of times. Below the Lights. of course he’s gonna be brilliant). And then there are bands that REALLY take chances. Germany. Bromley> -7. which raises the question.” “My Home the Gallows” and “Cold Air” (which could be a Sabbath outtake). restore. The doom atmosphere matched against the Viking tales and sieges of the North showcase a band that will no doubt have a following for years to come. Nothing is as it seems. A soundtrack of madness and uneasiness. Surely it’s about time that such an imaginative and inspired group realize that they are on the brink of deadly stagnation. the album is still quite good. Bromley> -9- The promise of a new Enslaved album is enough to send the entire metal world into a state of violent agitation and hopeful anxiety. but this scribe hopes they have the wherewithal to remember. “It it ain’t broke. at some point along the evolutionary path. Finland’s Fall of the Idols are prefect example of a band of this genre tapping into something different and diverse. an incredibly ingenious band that has somehow tapped into something all their own and run with it. emotion-dripping vocals alongside traditional rock chord progressions does not an extreme band make. If you’ve never heard Exodus before. there are personal favourites that are missing from the set.5- EXEcration Syndicate of Lethargy (Vendlus) EnForcEr Into the Night (Heavy Artillery) Kevi-Metal gives it thumbs up for their thrash madness! I’ve got a huge erection over their old school NWOBHM homage in their music [too much information. of the same species. Add a half point to the score if originality is not a point of concern for you. why fix it?” Save your dough for the Atrocity Exhibition Exhibit B instead. re-evaluate. rise. After reading that. Demeter> -8revIews 91 . improved recording technology. Bromley> -9- Chances are very few of you will have heard of this band up until reading this review. Now crank this! <A. the bands that are actually heavy. allowing most people of this genre to understand just what it takes for fans to keep coming back for more (such as the title track. these epic Norse progressives have been on a stellar journey into the unknown. the icing on a moldy sound that is raw and putrid. and those are the only two feelings you’re left with after listening to the Beast Of… <D. making this 2008 re-recording all the more peculiar. a subtle extension of heavy prog vision from Monumension. Every song sounds the same. it would seem perfectly understandable that remaining members from the “Bonded” lineup Gary Holt and Tom Hunting might want to revisit this classic material and update it with a modern sound for mass consumption for the MySpace audience. sans the tounge-in cheek charisma the late frontman brought to the table. (Check out the Trinacria review in this issue of U! for more surprising Enslaved-related music. Obviously with the assistance of producer Andy Sneap. Bizarre. Indeed. Far be it from me. Awesome production and songwriting shines down upon By Honour. one can speculate that they were.5- a ForEst oF stars A Corpse of Rebirth (Transcendental Creations) ErEB altor By Honour (I Hate) EKPYrosis Mensch aus Gold (Paradigms Recordings) I don’t know how and/or where Duncan (owner of Paradigm Recordings) finds the musicians/bands he signs and works with. I’m impressed. Best to them. two female and two male) decided she couldn’t handle it anymore. which are raw and intuitive as always. I don’t quite hear much actual progression here. <S. So having established how much these songs rule. Bromley> -8. but Exodus already paid homage to their classic debut back in ’97 with their live reunion album Another Lesson in Violence which included all of the tracks from Bonded by Blood except for “Metal Command. yet surprisingly strong from the standpoint of instrument separation. While waiting to hear the album.” You know. Savage. at times coming across as even angrier than his predecessor Paul Baloff. and haunting noise directing the course of the album’s single track as it moves along. there’s very little difference. My only real complaint (besides the lack of any interview with the band or any behindthe scenes footage) is this: being a huge fan of symmetry. yet at the same time patently “middle-of-the-road” for a new-era Enslaved release. so I won’t belabour the issue any further. Gorgoroth performs 13 satanic black metal hymns for your listening and viewing pleasure. and so I must admit that I almost fell victim to the hype surrounding Vertebrae. <S. and Saxon). Nonetheless. some weaken and disappear with the next CD thrown on the stereo system. Infernus. combines styles heard on early releases by Incantation and Immolation. The highlight on the record has to be the drumming. Clear. With a strange back story and captivating namesakes for the members involved (not to mention the killer digi-pak reissue of their independent release) you can’t help but be lured into their world. <A. I did a bit of research. so the songs are delivered with more immediacy and thicker. people.” you’ll be begging for a shower. making them somewhat bothersome. The opposite. Kitteringham> -3- FunEral For a FriEnd Memory and Humanity (Join Us Records) Bonded by Blood stands as one of the true gems in the history of metal. and hardly used metal instrumental interludes which are too hard to remember alongside the sappy acoustic intros that bleed into pop-punk.

<R. Man. The vocals also stand proudly in the forefront of the mix taking other parts out of focus. and hey. Kill the Client keeps the barrage coming and the intensity level high throughout the album’s generous 18-track excursion. So these boys can play. Come to My Kingdom will surely be a hit. unleashing relentless. Black metal with the savage riffing of underground ’80s thrash (the kind that began leaning toward death metal) and an unrelenting fast blast attack. Cleptocracy is an explosive Kill thE cliEnt Cleptocracy (Willowtip) Talk about old-school metal. so it’s worth the listen! <RDO> -8- audio assault primed to put Kill the Client firmly on the map in the world of grind. Kind of like old-school Slayer meets the ugliness of Usurper’s metal delivery and Kreator’s thrash mid-era. It was . House of Lords may not have much of an audience. you have a band that has clearly defined the need for melodic structure. The Bolt Thrower influence on Rusted Eyes Awake is loud and proud. they’ve just upped the songwriting ante. Like many of the relatively new “spookycore” genre. metal/hardcore band from Arizona. Damn. and beats from more established artists such as Aborted. non-stop death metal drive and punishing vocals keep the movement of this album steadfast. there are some gems such as “Imagination. along with guitars and growls of course. the biggest difference comes by way of Jason Hohenstein’s vocals. and I’m reminded for once that not all shreds need to be perfectly picked. <D. Kill the Client’s second album Cleptocracy sees the band doing what they do best. who executes a career drum performance displaying why he’s become the drummer of choice for Gridlink. something Blind Guardian used to do prior to Nightfall. This has all been done before. at times Agalloch rears its head. we aren’t kidding. and the act ensures that not a second is wasted. as Inevitable Dementia is brutal as fuck and in your face. fused with that classic Earache groove ’n’ grind that digs up shreds of Morbid Angel and even old-school Entombed. blistering guitar solos. Luckily for me (and you!). and live session for Phobia. and the delivery precise. Vocalist Phil brings power to the growls. Hell. you’re telling me that what we’ve got here is a female-fronted. Marcelo> -5- hacKnEYEd Death Prevails (Nuclear Blast) behold. instead of just throwing together random ideas. Janvs takes its haunting echoey elements. The progression from segue to segue is handled smoothly. or even Katatonia. House of Lords do what they do extremely well. only that the album could have been far more impacting with some streamlining. The only problem is the usual thrash anthems aren’t present. Is it a big downside? Not at all. bottom-heavy guitar tone just right. triumphant vocals and soaring. drawbacks. So. By no means a perfect record. Despite a multitude of red flags.” and “Erased. but is arranged in such a way as to make sense. nice Motörhead track: “Kill Me (To Lemmy). I am beyond jaded by the seemingly endless glut of bands that sound exactly the same as everyone else and don’t even realize it. letting organic movements flourish. only remotely sung and filled with mad contempt. rhythmic flow. the speed is blinding. harmonized choruses. made popular by bands such as Katatonia. technically proficient death metal. the band has a real shot at becoming contenders.5- holY MosEs Agony of Death (Wacken Records) Holy Moses. Although they formed in the late 1980s. Hohenstein focuses primarily on his lows with an intelligible roar rivaled only by someone like Kyle Symons (Hateplow. and there you have it—a truly wrathful death march to victory. but the down-tempo transitions on songs like “Edict of Worms” are surprisingly effective. The musicianship is tight and vocals pitch perfect. a wildly thrashing Canadian black metal outfit with loads of venom spattered attitude. <S. Some roadwork will help. and for a band whose current stock and trade is that of melodic blackened death metal. But for as many times as one could praise the band for writing songs with more than a basic set of movements. and it’s a small one at that. the youthful Hackneyed are poised to make their mark on the death metal scene with Death Prevails. Vega is that jam-packed with the aforementioned elements. all equating to catchy modern scene-pop akin to anything you’ve heard on the MTV. and thus the folk denomination is earned. motherfuckers! <Kim Kelly> -9. At first listen there’s a lot to dislike about the band and said album. <RDO> -7. and to a much more able extent. including several crushing compositional changeups. They’ve taken the time to craft these tracks into top-notch compositions. they just grab you then let you go. instead of ripping off whatever third-generation deathcore act is burning up the Hot Topic sales charts this week. It’s not weak in any way. The onslaught is continuous. quite catchy. more aggressive bits. Anyways. razor-sharp riffs. <S.” and a few others. dynamics and riffage throughout their songs. Hackneyed has the potential to do great things in the future. or even re-creations. which Webster’s dictionary defines as “Trite. Guitarists Devin and IX crunch out plenty of chainsaw riffage and squeals while drummer Tim delivers some capable (though heavily-triggered) double-bass and blasts. but mostly in the slower melodic parts. About the only trouble with Janvs’s output is that there appears to be no signature stamp. Cool cover art too. A more fundamental approach would be better suited to this style. Polish guitar players can sure shred. their inauspiciously titled debut album.5- With folk metal covering a multitude of facets nowadays. it’s not like there is a lot to bitch about. Thus the tone is set for the 14-track disc: all style and no substance. Alcoholic Suicide is an unstable as its title. There’s still some huge differences though. The good news? When you consider how young the band members are (all are under 18) you can’t help but admire the ability. Kitteringham> -3- JanVs Vega (ATMF) hEllacaust Inevitable Dementia (Morbid Moon) Out of the wreckage of goregrind band Agoretion rose Hellacaust. But at no time does one shout out “there’s the sound!” Very entertaining creations. this is nothing if not a positive step. unleashing both deep. Carcass. It’s like catch and release fishing just when I’m ready to gut the thing. All bitching aside. In Hate’s case. smoke. Voila! Now metal fans.” Although you can give the band points for honesty. Marcelo> -7- landMinE Marathon Rusted Eyes Awake / Label: Level Plane The ’80s are alive and well thanks to LA’s House of Lords. but alas. Although they are hardly breaking new sonic ground. I could headbang to this all night long! Now.5- hatE Morphosis (Listenable Records) i aM ghost Those We Leave Behind (Epitaph Records) We Dance With Monsters opens California’s I Am Ghost’s second full-length with a whisper. and leaves a trail of blood. no-holds-barred grindcore. procuring any number of riffs. While the glory days of hair metal may be long gone. they’re still carrying on the arena rock/hair metal flame.” <A. With ultra-fast tempos being the order of the day. It makes one wonder and lament at the dismal future of extreme metal. but here’s a band that embraces a more natural aggression. The majority of the songs still rely on an up-tempo approach. The band seems even more at home on underground DM juggernaut Unique Leader and The Age of Miracles Has Passed sees Lecherous Nocturne taking a more controlled. ex-Malevolent Creation). The songs have a distinct Def Leppard/ Whitesnake approach with keyboards. Singer Grace’s raw-throated growl puts glamazons like Angela Gossow to shame (and I’m dying to ask what brand of firewater she’s been downing—that girl sounds like she’s been gargling a throat’s full of broken glass since the day she bought her first Infest patch). Hell. proficiency and obvious talent the boys bring to the proceedings. Then there’s the band’s actual songs and music in which the band proudly wear their influences on their collective sleeves . And yes indeed.” “Catharsis. So for good measure you throw in some moody ambient pieces. one of the pioneering Teutonic thrash gods. and even after multiple listens. Lacking in freshness and originality. First the atrocious. but for those last remaining torch bearers. song-centred approach to its otherwise merciless onslaught. but Hate has moved on from their earlier incarnations. to create an earthy form of black metal. the subject matter found on the album is less than enlightening. and above all. and flaws. the title track is a stunning slow grinder with grim atmosphere to go with its metallically glistening chords. In grind we crust. it’s just the songs don’t claw as heavily as they should. the only real drawback is that the songs tend to bleed into one another and the listener may find it difficult to uncover any hooks to grasp onto. and makes Gossow seem like a little girl in any case. I was a little apprehensive when I first heard about this band. I would swear she’s Angela Gossow’s mom. no stand out mark to call their own.Hailing from Aalen. it varies from clean melodious vocals and back up harmonious crooners to occasional screaming accompanied by short bursts of blast beats with driving guitars.” “Resurrection Machine. channels the earliest days of death-grind glory and melds the battle groove of Bolt Thrower with the nasty gutterbeats of crust punk? I smelled a rat. gutteral Aborted-meetsMalignancy lows to higher pitched Carcass-styled snarls with enthusiasm. The running time has increased to a whopping 28 minutes. and others. in addition to Kill the Client. Landmine Marathon is the real fucking deal. Quickly the listener can deduce that this band that wear eyeliner and cater to the 14-year-old-way-too-tight-pants-black-hairswept-across-the-eyes bandana wearers. Fast. innovative. The power genre these days is all about keyboard infestations and computerized solos. there are just as many moments when it seems like the boys are trying to do too much.” “World of Darkness.” “99% Turnover Rate” and the rare. the drums are mixed just a bit too far back for my liking. <Alex Ristic> -7- South Carolina’s Lecherous Nocturne made a small splash with Adoration of the Blade on Deepsend Records in part because of Dallas Toler-Wade’s (Nile) involvement as drummer and in part because it is an unhinged slab of brutal.5- I haven’t listened to Poland’s Hate since…let’s see…1998? I’m pleasantly surprised by the fact that their sound comes across as fresh. they even got that filthy. furious and a little bit dangerous. Alisoglu> -6. Like many metalheads out there. Demeter> -7. I bet this band annihilates live. I don’t get the same goose bumps I get from their listening to their German counterparts. turning up the volume and playing as fast as possible. Poland’s metal/death/thrash band Magnus get much-deserved reissue from the good folks at Holycaust. while the growls help to propel the faster. and broken forties in their wake. and others even Bathory and Finntroll. no one really wants to hear a band who represents themselves as clichéd from overuse. first one being the vocals which are near deathly. and play well with solid production from Roger Gruninger offering precise. Leaving most of the shrieks heard on the last album behind. Agony of Death is loud and tight as a drum.sludge oriented “Downfall” come to mind. frankly. Huge mega props go out to blastmaster extraordinaire Bryan Fajardo. Inevitable Dementia is nothing if not sadistic as hell. Second unusual thing is how Maelstrom scratch their way through some twisted solos. Bromley> -7- Magnus Alcoholic Suicide (Holycaust) MarionEttE Spite (Listenable Records) Genre blending and gender bending have been metal staples for years. should be refreshing thrash fans around the globe with this release. I fully understand that to be labelled “catchy” can be considered by some a huge insult in the world of brutal death metal. Taking cues from grind kings Pig Destroyer and Nasum. It is not so much a problem of ineffective delivery. Germany.5- lEchErous nocturnE The Age of Miracles Has Passed (Unique Leader) MaElstroM It Was Predestined (Perfect Storm Recordings) Maelstrom are a mean and snarly power metal band. Soaring guitar riffs. The far-above-average riffs and quality songwriting will certainly prevent you from throwing this gem upon the stacks of other forgettable death metal albums that you only bothered to listen to once or twice. Alisoglu> -7. and with such a great production. In fact. is the rhythm section could be turned up in the mix. slowing in others as it needs as well. Lecherous Nocturne sure as hell haven’t mellowed out. Sanders> -8- housE oF lords Come to My Kingdom (Blistering Records) I’ve gotta admit. <S. every bark and snarl of it. At times one may be reminded of Opeth. <R. and using empty spaces for other instrumentation to be heard. but if the band can somehow forge their own identity instead of blatantly lifting their sound from others. A breathy female voice tells a macabre tale of heartache over top a carbon copy of the piano heard on Sally’s Song of the commercially raped Nightmare Before Christmas. but Morphosis is impressive nonetheless. Something just seems to get lost in the relatively ambitious arrangements. There’s the band name Hackneyed . and Adam (the First Sinner) has a growl that can be mistaken for countless other vocalists out there. The vocals of bassist Necromancer (whose four strings are barely audible) are of the rage-filled. The imperfectness somehow passes off as something credible and with style. ideas. but still surprisingly keeps the listener going till the end. In addition to an approach that has reined in the chaos. with sections picking up the pace where it needs it. Noisear. throat shredding variety and together with the hyper drumming of Hellspawn and a bevy of jagged. and Rusted Eyes Awake is one of the best records I’ve heard all year.” “Consumption is Intoxication. it’s always nice to see such an ancient act returning regardless of form (the lineup is messed up). which the elitists would never endure. it could crash at any time. and Sabina Classen’s history-busting vocals are there for you to 92 revIews At just over 22 minutes in length.” A few more listens and this reviewer is definitely going to go back and hunt down their earlier material to see what I’ve been missing out on all these years. I predict the T-shirts will sell. Vega is also subject to a solid production job. track this baby down. crystal-clear sound. Cannibal Corpse. Rapture and Daylight Dies. Magnus. Standout tracks include “Threnody. and marries it pan flutes. Add in a fine layer of crusty grime by way of Doom/Discharge and some seriously gnarly vocals. not making it sound sterile or cold. and. <T. up from the 23 minutes of its predecessor. Nonetheless opener “Divide and Conquer. making The Age of Miracles Has Passed an easier meal to digest for those outside of diehard death metal circles. The only problem with the album. stale. cheesy cover art which represents more of a silly looking halloween ornament-styled cartoon than anything remotely disturbing. A classic album only available on tape from Metal Mind (circa 1994) is now on CD. This is followed by cheesy breakdowns and violin and cello thrown in occasionally for good measure. and they aren’t afraid to keep things raw instead of sparkly on this short 3-song debut EP (full-length out next summer). that. The vocals can also go clean. the album accomplishes the presumed goal of full-blown terror. Behemoth.

and that’s where Operatika succeeds. The disc suffers scantly. crawling doomy riffs and poetic moods. While Sentenced may be dead and gone. Unlike Nightwish. I can forgive the blurry “loudness war” production fuck-up. finally unwinding with Leonowicz spastically rambling like Mike Patton. but it’s definitely listenable. like those once used by Rain Fell Within.” Few grindcore albums are able to stomp your guts out and provide you with this much individual track identity and memorable songwriting. alongside discernable bass. like label mates Kill the Client. is surprisingly good. and sonically devastating album to date. however. That. they can be of immense help. the unholy legions of dark practitioners have been drooling and wetting themselves with uncontrollable excitement. The slow-paced melodies of “Bored Song” and the ambient guitars coupled with the sounds of chirping birds on “Desert” provide soothing interludes to what’s otherwise a cutthroat assault throughout More Than You Expect.” For a band that has been around for more than two decades. and you’ll fully understand the momentum streaming from the Napalm Death camp over the years and now as we head into 2009. Gorania> -8- The opening track “Love Me Rotten (Love Me True)” of Phazm’s third fulllength. So no. With the appropriately titled 22 Random Acts of Violence. Funny enough. but nowhere near as well. make-up and long flowy clothes are trademark Visual-Kei). is that Nyia is a band to watch for. Ristic> . after six long tracks of this you’re left feeling like something was left out. Great shit! <S. most notably vocalists. creating your own sound with them is another.”“On the Brink of Extinction. they have only hit a bump once or twice in their career. The one major complaint with the album is the vocals. the disc is a strong example of a local metal band releasing something that more than their hometown cares about. The John Haddad recording and Scott Hull mixing/mastering only makes the album that much more damaging to the senses. spacious melodic vocals as well as the overall discomfort of their music. Kitteringham> -7- Quinta EssEntia Archetypal Transformation (Deathgasm Records) Aggressive. but the focus of the band has shifted more towards a heavier. I listen to metal for a plethora of reasons and certainly one of them is to be entertained. Calming and hypnotic blips are accompanied by strangely soothing lyrics.5- PoisonBlacK A Dead Heavy Day (Century Media) Perhaps it’s the climate. Death Magnetic isn’t all that bad. The addition of keyboards adds a rarely heard dimension to the Gothenburg sound. From the ashes of the now defunct Sentenced has risen Poisonblack. That aside. The Code Is Red. It’s hard to identify a highlight: instead. it’s nearly constantly excellent and a compelling reason to shell out cash—at least so it can be enjoyed in its entirety. bleak black metal…or maybe it’s just that I’ve become too desensitized and jaded to care. Particularly on “Damnation. The 11-track album is a mish-mash of styles and genres which varies greatly. Demeter> -5- meaty riffs and thunderous drumming. some tracks jam too much in. More Than You Expect is a solid album from start to finish. and for those who enjoy a good power metal romp as well. to further his creative vision. This will be in my Top 15 of 2009…and yes. one needs a discourse on alternative philosophies to even come close to understanding the underlying message (if there is one) In fact there is so much “information” being thrown at the listener that one can’t help being demoralized by the sheer religious and philosophical weight of it all. composed of M. Another possible influence is Godflesh with Kuba Leonowicz’ sedated. Michael Kiske of Helloween fame and Pasi Rantanen from Thunderstone. especially on all the fast-paced hard-driving songs like “Gladiator. Anger anything sounds like Master of Puppets. aided by unclear distinctions between tracks which simply bleed together. The music has a decidedly Stratovarius bent. and at the same time the material on The Calling holds its own. when I was buying my first metal albums Metallica were huge. a long time. Nyia actually do something creative and original with the abrasive. and Bulletbelts” and “Depression is a Killer. While there is little in the way of ambience in Spite. the music of The Calling is almost unrelenting in its melodic fury. The album starts with a short bluesy intro track before launching headlong into “Diane.” while buying Testament or Death Angel albums instead. just feels like a little too little too late. as always. and an intelligent one at that. adding layers to the songs. so huge in fact that I always said: “fuck them and their horse. which appears to be written around the vocals. and at times can be pandering to an audience (in a good way of course). but there’s got to be more to this void. which follows from Hate at first Seed and Antebellum Death n’ Roll. Taking styles from bands is one thing. and making them arguably some of the strongest on the album. but I’ve remained familiar with their catalogue over the years. On “Mornings Copper. Tiamtu signals Ofermod’s first full-length record.” “Procrastination of the Empty.only a matter of time before a band combined the two. along with adding the look of Japanese Visual-Kei (big hair. Marionette are definitely on to something. skillfully arranged. but relies on traditional power metal elements to move it forward.” which features a 48-second intro that perpetually repeats itself. this community-college philosophy course called Tiamtu is far too much bark and very little bite. Belfagor (all instrumentation) and L. Metallica? At least they wrote quality songs this time. Having written that. If you’ve got them. Sanders> -6- oFErMod Tiamtu (Norma Evangelium Diaboli) MEtallica Death Magnetic (Warner Bros. constant double bass and simplistic vocals that are often too low for their own good. Now. It could also easily play as an art film soundtrack. Long Live The Code. as the songs were revIews 93 . play them in order from the monster that ignited it all—2000’s Enemy of the Music Business—onto Order of the Leech. Magnetic isn’t a masterpiece. and another Black album is better than another Load. Kitteringham> -8- ohgr Devils in My Details (SPV) Now this is grindcore! Phobia. far away. In this case it works. I’m gonna be open here. Kitteringham> -9- PhoBia 22 Random Acts of Violence (Willowtip) While some will say that THE best era of UK grindcore legends Napalm Death was the early years—Scum. an experimental black/death metal trio. quickly establishing an elite line-up of musicians. whose songs generally continue far past the seven-minute mark. Their second album Silencing the Moments is beautifully done and spins with some sort of heavy and dramatic purpose.” As intriguing as that is. which proudly proclaims it was in fact “recorded in a marathon Pro Tools session. mostly blends several songs into one and in the process guarantees there is something for everyone.” A theme? Pointless inside joke? Sick fetish? Who knows? What I do know. Bromley> -9- naPalM dEath Time Waits For No Slave (Century Media) ohGr. so not all is left unforgiven.” a track that opens with a rock-infused intro tuned way down accompanied by the tapping of sticks. “Left Behind. and best of all. but never fully derailed like many others. and a greater emphasis on the Japanese ambience. the three musicians created head-bobbing tracks that incite constant movement. Sanders> –7- oPEratiKa The Calling (Scarlet) A lot of people hate comparisons. As evident in the group’s third full-length Devils in My Details. It must be admitted that reservations arise when the album features a claim that the group is “one of the most outstanding and creative bands of today. Frankly. Featuring dual guitars that harmonize. James sounds pretty solid and the band seems in good form. has created a bizarre mish-mash of metal on their second full-length Archetypal Transformation. Reference points aside. featuring down-tuned PhaZM Cornerstone of the Macabre (Osmose Productions) rEMEMBErancE Silencing the Moments (Firedoom Records) Classical or operatically arranged funeral doom with harsh vocals. The album features performances from Tobias Sammet from Edguy. Sometimes the keys work. Keyboards play a larger part in these songs. Who are you gonna blame. Beat & Scarred” or “Cyanide”). but this is now. but all the rejoicing should stop because next to St. progresses to riffing…all before the four-minute mark. take the music of Kamelot and add the vocal stylings of Epica. none of this new-school. Let’s just hope they get the fans and attention they sorely deserve. leaving us but dust and bones along the road side of mankind. With some work on the vocals. occult diatribes and imagery. <T. However. Chock full of esoteric. whoever is responsible for the arrangements and blending of all relevant elements is the true master here. Aided by a clear adoration for the anti-climactic doom/stoner genre. Maybe I’ve missed the boat or perhaps I’m just getting too old to enjoy Ofermod’s brand of filthy. Smear Campaign and the new one. rivaling even the likes of Pig Destroyer. Leonowicz shreds his chords with a barking quality that’s truly tortured and menacing (also similar in some ways to that of Justin Broadrick). and some that don’t after the songs’ lonely singular cool riff passes you by (“Broken. Bottom line though. in a galaxy far. enough can’t be said of Nyia’s originality in the manner in which they’ve assembled familiar sounds. “Forgotten but not Undreamt” is several minutes longer but fuses comfortably. ballad-like songs to the wayside. Technology has revolutionized the music industry and this particular result is amongst the scant positives of this partnership. They wrote Spite with the intention of melding the ambience of Japanese music with the harshness and aggression of Swedish metal. hard not to. Track by track. forcing the vocals to fit to its pattern. <D. I won’t call it simplistic because I really think the songs were handled with care. I respect the breakthroughs they’ve made a long time ago. so why does it fail to capture my imagination? It may be because the actual music seems almost secondary to the occult teachings contained therein. Bird banter also fills the aptly titled “Birdies. you’ve got some that work (“The End of the Line” or “That Was Just Your Life”).” and “Tears of The Sun. leaving it to the backing vocals to make the lyrics understandable. and sometimes they don’t. releasing Death Magnetic as a so-called return to form in what seems like an attempt to cater to us for once. and with that. And yet it is not simply a rehashing of grindcore’s standard blast-beaten. The seven-track disc. led by former frontman Ville Laihiala. and has for the most part left the slower. bands and editors included. There’s still an air of atmospheric keyboards. Filled with killer riffing and copious amounts of quick-shot groove. sweet and fantastic. The cult status of this Swedish enigma. metallic sound. At 11 songs. the brainchild of electro-freaks Skinny Puppy frontman Nivek Ogre and musician/engineer Mark Walk. <A. A solid gem for fans of this style of music. coupled with fantastically clean production which allows each instrument to shine. From Enslavement to Obliteration and Harmony Corruption—I think it’s safe to say that the diehard fans (and even the band might agree) that over the past eight years and five albums (including upcoming Time Waits for No Slave) the band has truly crushed us beneath the weight of their grindcore intensity and creativity. then goes on to a screechy solo and black metal vocals. <RDO> -6- rEVolution rEnaissancE New Era (Blistering Records) Timo Tolkki started Revolution Renaissance in 2008 after leaving Stratovarius. this 47-plus minute album is short. I’ve already marked it down on a notepad. results in a great disc that fans of many metal genres could enjoy. the band displays their true talents for genre mashing.” but it’s not a far stretch to lump them in with both verbs. Bitches. Their guitar melodies are solid.. And with the announcement of a new album.” and “A No-sided Argument.. some of the album’s best songs are those in which Phobia marries its grindcore to crust punk.” the swing of “I Reject” and the album’s definitive (and downright catchy) crust punk-ridden anthems “Beer. stuttered sounds of Dillinger Escape Plan (and perhaps Meshuggah). Phobia has made its most complete. We live in an age where for every deer-looking-into-headlights Metallica fan. solo and duel. I blame teen angst. Nebiros (vocals) was apparently cemented based solely on the aforementioned EP. is one such example. The garbled vocals make it hard to decipher lyrics most of the time. <S.” “Bear the Cross” and “Hatelove” are much closer sonically to the band’s trademark sound. giving the listener another viable option to run to for the genre of operatic metal. then continues with the intro instrumentals. <D. Poisonblack helps fill the void admirably. Melding the classic elements of death metal (blast beats.” a straightforward rocker (the prototype for the rest of the rest of the album). but a short three-line simile can often do more than a blustery grandiose refrain. the album warrants thorough listening at full attention to fully capture the extremes of whimsy and terror. I’ve never been a fan. Whether or not they were influential. <S. music that doesn’t take itself too seriously. “Formative Evasion. the band’s third full-length release. Phazm’s unique brand of catchy death metal with danceable rock structures combine to make music that’s enjoyable and fun.) Here’s a band every self-respecting metalhead hasn’t given a shit about since. is a clear product of the Pro Tools revolution. who now handles guitars and vocals.<J. Long live Napalm Death! <A. <RDO> -7- Aside from the EP Mystérion Tés Anomias in 2005.” the thrash/punk of “Rise Up. Although it’s a strong disc.” its spastic and harmonious noises are not of human creation.8- nYia More Than You Expect (FETO) Alabama’s Quinta Essentia. grim. Tiamtu should be the type of colossal black metal that appeals. ambitious and memorable. This isn’t about the speed anymore (there is still lots of it) but more about the message. then the chorus. Choice cuts include “Work to Rule. that’s Rememberance. You will hear it in the gang shouts and flow of “Ultimate Suffering” and “Sane. along with the driving bass and drums. The album as a whole is the most guitar driven of their discography. In contrast. I’m sure it would add weight to just about whatever imagery one would place on top of it. we have Sweden’s Marionette. That. but for some reason Finland has a history of producing premier gothic-inspired metal. <S. which then transition to jarring dissonance and harsh vocals. With A Dead Heavy Day. down tuned. growl ’n’ shriek style (although there is plenty of that too). the band has the Swedish side of their sound down pat.” said melodic vocals open things up before a Helmet-like groove kicks in. You would be hard pressed to nail a dead-on comparison with any of their contemporaries. followed by bass vocals. They’re heavily distorted and screamed in an almost early Thomas Lindbergian timbre. only faltering when a few sections feel ill-placed. . well. there’s a thrash metal band somewhere sweating blood and playing something much more interesting. guttural vocals. “Welcome to My Funeral” is another highlight. something missing. This collaboration of revolutionary musicians yields fascinating results. cymbal heavy percussion and thick bass) with the verse-chorus-bridge elements of popular rock. The vocals follow a more traditional operatic line. and when you have word counts. Alisoglu> -8. and Operatika is born. and accompanied by piano to accentuate the doom (as if it wasn’t bleeding quite enough). Laihiala has moved the band further away from his lineage while not completely abandoning the sound that made him the musician that he is. My point is. Your hate mail is welcomed and expected. the drive to inform and the need to keep in touch with the changes of the world we live in. In terms of gruff vocals. death ’n’ grind with breakdowns trying to pass itself off as the real deal. play real grindcore with intensity and spirit.

Enslaved meets Neurosis meets Lisa Gerrard”). the sonic experimentation. At times chilling in creation and execution. Although I was apprehensive at first (the label describes Trinacria thusly: “Enslaved’s artistic. Nothing to knock off Twilight of the Gods here. hence why I was going to someday review the CD. thrashy ways. it just screams something’s wrong. and what is new is just plain boring. no past/ only this time.” That only works when the songwriting is cared for in the most flawless and immaculate of ways. If I had to pick out worthy tracks to scope out.” but it seems more than appropriate given the unconventionally deep lyrical weight. and the eternally pissed. Ristic> -7. Cephalectomy. We Follow the Moonlit Path in Search of Habitable Lands” or not want to worship the album closer. Some bands use it as a gimmick. Not content to simply grind your face into a bloody. justice. this is very listenable. and deserving of all the acclaim it is surely to receive. exhilarating soundscapes—challenging and highly innovative music performed by Norway’s finest. cold.” all I thought was “Ugh. ThanatoSchizO don’t start off on a good note with Zoom Code. Nothing on Empty World has the ability to replace anything it was derived from. “A Bloodline of Immortal Passion Bestowed the Harmony of Man and Wolf”? Wolven Ancestry knows how to bring the Northern edge to their music. meaty bass support and songs that can hardly be distinguished from one another. masquerading as meaningful and thought-provoking. A fascinating and creative vision that will surely leave you wanting more (that’s a line I had hoped to use to describe the new Enslaved record. With luck. Peace. and at some point really did kind of fade to the wayside a bit. electronic accented instrumentals. That’s not to slag what is going on here at all. Love. At first somewhat intimidating. wolves howling. but TNJI eclipses it!). No futur (sic). delivering forth lines about vast cold wastelands. mind-wrenching misery. which is good no matter how you paint it. Kelly> -8. the problem lies in the lack of evolution. and the clever use of almost subliminal samples demand/command the listener’s complete attention lest you miss something critical. and others. lonely feel. Imagine the Minutemen on crystal meth. painting rides of dark horses on the gallop. When you have to turn up the sound twice as loud as the previous CD from the same label to get somewhat tolerable sound quality. <A.” “Beware the beast/ don’t feed it/ I entreat you/ don’t nourish the beast/ it will rip your hands off/ and you’ll bleed to death. the three new tracks diligent in their ways of drawing the listener in. The compilation is great because it covers all spectrums of the music scene. UPDATE: The band is currently working on the follow-up to this album and has already released newer material on a compilation this year (featuring Empyrean Plague. the discordant guitars and atmospheric keyboards/electronics usually incorporated with more gothic black metal blends well here. Zoom Code. breakneck grind. The title track nearly brought me to tears with its soaring power and haunting brilliance. Tempered with the band’s signature hashgrind and a bevy of anthemic punk rock singalongs (that quickly descend into gibbering madness). A Spell for the Death of Man is Woe’s debut album. Not for the faint of heart or the orthodox grindfreak. I’m sure they’ll be able to take on any challenge as they’ve proven they are capable of delivering the goods. the Northern imagery (furs. The songs can be compelling. Love. With such a grandiose delivery and workload put into each song. Sanders> -594 revIews V/a The Music Of Artisanship & War: Vol II (Diminished 5th) Like any assortment of bands on a compilation there are a few gems. this band deserves a better production. Tears… can be said to write scores to fantasy movies or novels. do I stand corrected! Bleeding with suffocating suicideblack metal. at least in my opinion. Tronus Abyss make a significant stab at it with Vuoto Spazio Trionfo. just puts forth worship. While sometimes what works in the studio and on CD can sound fantastic. crescendos. but overall the band’s black metal numbers and outdoors sounds (snow blowing. and it’s like nothing you’ve ever heard before. Darkblood. fillers and sound effects aside. but even that’s run its course.” Casual experiment? Are you kidding me? Thanks be to the spirit of Quorthon that Grigg decided to take this project seriously! Both musically and lyrically creative. and vitriolic social commentary. The worst offender is “Glorious and Divine. Still. Tronus Abyss captures a more desolate. with the guitars and drums. I’ve been familiar with their black metal background for some time. filler. Grigg must have a great many mental and spiritual demons to exorcise/exercise. hey?). EBM. and Gallactus—all badass in their own style and approach. no lies.5- wolVEn ancEstrY The Wrath of Gaia + demos (Archaic North) . Vortex’s management’s inability to utilize a spell check is.” While the music is passable. And from what can be discerned. points for something new. Kitteringham> -3- sVarti loghin Empty World (ATMF) trEachErY Treachery EP (Czar of Crickets) woE A Spell for the Death of Man (Stronghold Records) With the sad world it has now become without Quorthon and his efforts in Bathory. as the first impression that hits the listener is the strong sense of Lacuna Coil. The song remains the same. the conspiracy theorists. Honest./ -8.” Other distinguishable factors include constant double kick. reworked with a Sister of Mercy-ish style. Or it could just be me. the lyrics seem to be along the same lines as well. Littered with feedback and noise. the album is laced with visceral emotion and forged with depressing severity. Sanders> -5- total FucKing dEstruction Peace. er. I’m excited for the future—bring it on. the lyrics are complete drivel. no corpse paint. While I don’t have the time and space to speculate on all those involved. and the black metal atmosphere is rambunctious. in essence. so here’s to a successful journey into the dark-hearted abyss of the music industry. it wasn’t long before I was completely and utterly ensorcelled by what I heard! This is Enslaved on acid—trance inducing. Woe has really created something special here. Ristic> -8. no doubt. With each listen you cannot deny the strength of the band’s passion on numbers like “And Gaia’s Wrath of a Thousand Forms of Vehement Torture Will Be Brought Upon Ourselves. thus making it a phyrric attempt at imitation being a form of flattery. among other instruments. Add in some of the best song titles this side of AxCx—see “Seth Putnam is Wrong About a Lot of Things. <K. Fuck that. Bromley> -8. often times coming off as cheesy.5- material from Coffin Birth. creating a scene for a future. Journey Infinitely (Indie Recordings) As gothic and dark as it is operatic. Taken from the official Web site: “WOE was created in early 2007 to create potent black metal. and Total Fucking Destruction (Enucleation) sludgE Lava (Mighty Music) Guess what I was expecting here wasn’t what I got. The whole album is power metal through and through. and rightly so. Svarti Loghin is not it. That’s track one. but as we headed into 2000 the genre faded a bit. lows. but more of a indestructible freight train smashing through a brick wall. Choice cuts: “Panzer Division. and Arve “Ice Dale” Isdal along with members of Norwegian noise merchants Fe-mail (Maja S. roar/growl vocals which alternate from their native French to English. no fake names. <T. Bromley> -7- tronus aBYss Vuoto Spazio Trionfo (ATMF) One would not accuse you of shuddering if you thought of the concept of drone and black metal being married. winds) work. blast-beaten pulp. so something is there for everyone. an apocalyptic war on terror. Not emotive in an angry or romantically dark way. no Renaissance Faire speak. Originally intended as nothing more than a casual experiment. melding the experimental with the familiar. <T. Highly regarded and highly recommended. though it was the truly unique clamoring of black metal rawness. While Columbia’s Tenebrarum may not be the choice pick to save the genre and re-ignite the bands of this genre out of the darkness (as much as they need to) but their gothic-classical-tinged rock offering of Winter is unique in its own right. Sludge’s Lava is not exactly typical rubber-boots-dragging-through-the-mud stoner/doom. Bands like Moonspell. The album never quite hits the mark. vocals/programming and Hild Sofie Tafjord. Bromley> -8- trinacria Travel Now. a little unbalanced by the complexity and drive of the band and the raw production going hand in hand. At least the way underground fans perceive it to be. TFD aim to destroy—and damned if they don’t deliver. this collaborative side project includes Enslaved members Ivar Bjornson. bleak and haunting prose of the damned steeped in personal loss and mourning the utter hopelessness of life. horns/programming) and Emmerhoff (Iver Sandoy. clean guitar production.” Speaking French as a native tongue is not to blame here. the album soon engages one with its unique ideas and luscious soundscapes (just like Neurosis. Oh! And brilliant lyrics. and Total Fucking Destruction is the band’s debut for Enucleation Records. <RDO> -5- As a band. they will never rest/ Living by the rules of the demon” or “No more questioning (sic)/ It all feels right. description. the songs are crafted in a very Bathory way. however. Some scary and powerful stuff from a project that has just set itself in motion. < A.5- thanatoschiZo Zoom Code (My Kingdom Music) Portuguese prog/experimental metalers ThanatoSchizO are back with their fourth full-length. someone needed to take up the Odinic/folk metal banner as only he could. While some will be able to appreciate it for its artistic merit. guitar work and vocals are wildly impressive. occult extension! These Norwegians prove that there is beauty in chaos. and the genre is viable. Ratkje. Both bands put on a great set that night. believe it or not. Demeter> -9. Musically. Without question. A Spell for the Death of Man is an absolutely stellar first album. On the other hand. solo artist Chris Grigg is responsible for everything you hear on this little platter of soul-crushing. and straight-up rock ’n’ roll found on this release defies convention. Bromley> -7- VortEX In Movement (Convergence Musik) The sheer brilliance of Vortex can be summed up in the lyrics of the closing track “Within the Mind.” Fucking superb craftsmanship! The band continues to surprise me and it’s obvious why they are considered one of Canada’s best black metal bands—if not the best. Myths and Legends is quality stuff. While not as slow as traditional drone. Demeter> -8- The genre of gothic/classic/metal has gone through many cycles of evolution over the years.5- Whoa! I was really caught off guard by this fuckin’ monster of an album. even though in all fairness. harsh dystopia. corpsepaint and wolven headdress) and aggression that allowed Wolven Ancestry to leap out at me. and you’re halfway there. and all that we hold dear. losing any question of whether they can compete in this genre or not. creating a bridge between listener and artist. which I don’t think happened here. Trinacria take you across the border into a realm where beauty meets chaos. with a few ballads. heavy/chuggy guitar parts. <S.” Brother.” it’s hard to take seriously. Looking forward to the next album! <A. While the attempt is admirable. drums) rounded out by Espen Lien of Slutmachine (bass). especially the monster track “Our Star-guided Journey to the Realm of Neverending Life.” “On Step” and my favourite. The band has stepped things up. So to speak. Tears of Magdalena doesn’t reinvent the genre started by Theatre of Tragedy and After Forever. it quickly changed from bedroom black metal project to the primary musical force in its creator’s life. pretty much everything. they own it. <D. Timo will be able to find some permanent members. it would be the I should point out that while I have had this band’s release in my possession for a good year or so. When I read “one-man USBM. This is not an element that should be adopted or applauded. K. yet. I hazard to use the phrase “blackened-doom. courtesy of Archaic North). No drum machines. the lack of sonic warmth and catchy songs will not make this an avidly sought release. <D. Sadly. one of the outstanding releases of the year. here we go again. Hailing from Philadelphia. rather than anything new. The Self-destructing Human” and “With Northern Twilight Resplendent. dark black metal.” and “Fuck the Internet” for proof of that—and you’ve got yourself a TFD record. clean female vocals. black metal has always been rooted in fuzzy guitars/ noise. this collective meshes the mundane with the bizarre. The new stuff is definitely some of their stronger material. and myths of winter. the cover of Colombian techno/pop band Estados Alterados “El Velo. Best of luck for Vol. But Seth Putnam is Right About You. What’s the point of sound effects anyways? Don’t answer “atmosphere. Myths and Legends almost makes the listener want to look for an accompanying DVD or visual aid to verify what goes on in the listener’s mind. allowing their music to become at one with itself. There’s really nothing here that hasn’t been done before. They are a talented bunch. III. frenetic and yet carefully structured. What I mean is that this band’s approach to bringing a unique edge to their semi-melodic black metal and folk-tinged numbers is stalled in spots with the production it has. noise and black metal. acoustic instrumentation. bands are getting exposure through their hard work and conviction.” It’s is a truly powerful song. Grutle Kjellson. emotional vocals (male and female). but they seem to have the ability to bring the music down to earth on a more human level. but they help refine it. thanks to some great melodic and growling vocals and some masterful songwriting/musicianship. exactly where has this guy been hiding all this time? Raging and relentless.” The mere involvement of Enslaved should have those-in-the-know frothing at the mouth. Gorgeous! Tenebrarum are worth investigating if you’re into the whole goth/classical metal scene. Anyways. Their style and sound is quite distinct and memorable. this one’s for the open-minded. it is not till now that I ventured forth to review it after seeing them live recently with Woods of Ypres. Credit where credit is due. and learn to write better lyrics. Lacrimosa and countless others in the ’90s had helped shape the scene. thought provoking. outing that dabbles into industrial. balls-out mindfuckery. another musical trainwreck. with alternating clean and growled male vocals. At any rate. and his drumming. Not that Tears… are better than their comrades in genre. or can even synthesize empathy from them through her heartfelt powerful renditions in the first person. With lyrics like “Look in the mirror and tell me the latest fashion news. And singer Magdalena either takes the listener on the journey as a narrator. somewhat epic. Finally I got to it… Wrath of Gaia is a strong record. and discordant guitars. Equal parts performance art. It. which also include “God cries and suffer/ they’ll die tourmented (sic). I will say that East Coast Canadian label Diminished Fifth has done a fine job showcasing talent from out there. the album cascades with spirit-stealing. a soundtrack to a future world engulfed with technocratic despair and loneliness. Damn. I know the bands appreciate it! <A. passionate vocals and a sirenlike wail of the violin. a few clunkers and some that just get a passing grade. TFD take it upon themselves to provide the blistering soundtrack to a total breakdown of societal ideals. or even armies on the march. Hecate’s horrific shrill vocals on this three-song EP could take on the work of Attila (Mayhem) at times. faithful to tradition without spewing clichés.5- tEars oF MagdalEna Myths and Legends (Scarlet) tEnEBraruM Winter (Hateworks) Formed in 2005. Treachery! Scare the shit out of us! <A. banshee vocals and raw/weak production. < A. Ristic> -4- The paths of evil and chaos must have aligned when Hecate (American/ Austrian Hardcore/Breakcore producer Rachael Kozak) hooked up with fellow industrial noisemongers Abelcain and Slutmachine and decided to tackle the black metal genre with this feisty.originally intended for the former. dirty jagged slopes of darkened aggression that fade into the shadows. the rest is similar but too bad it’s littered with breathing and various sound effects—in other words. < A. The one cramp will be the niche Vuoto Spazio Trionfo has kind of dug itself into. Total Fucking Destruction may just possess the most fitting moniker out there. the fare is by far too slow for those who love black metal’s shredding. Bad production is just that: bad production. a few mid-tempo songs and a few standard power metal songs. and executed well. with highs. What began as a one-off commissioned performance has given birth to a “full-fledged maelstrom. Incongruous. and. but I don’t like fast forwarding.

95 .

the Earth. A basic biography serves as liner notes.” Co-vocalist Doyle Bright’s mixture of shouts and growls was well suited to the songs that he sang on. Mainman Joe Caper spits out the sophomoric lyrics with all the grace of a bulldozer in a china shop. practicallythis editionthatthatnot hitBottles.” the band generally exhibits considerable taste in its use of heterodox elements. Much of it has to do with Mitch (Napalm Death. the approach became punkier and did not play to the band’s skills. the term is a meaningful description of each of the below bands’ trials and tribulations as they presented their music to an audience…only to meet with limited popularity. and while numerous bands have since outdone Defecation on that front. indeed. and incarceration.Old Wine New BoTTles. REISSUES COLUMN By Tate Bengtson reissues selected for of the “New Old Wine” column all have thing in Theday and age. it is that the production is crisp and reasonably powerful. these qualities manage to make what should be a thoroughly bad release surprisingly enjoyable. able. Defecation was a nearly relentless blast of grindcore that played an important role in fusing metallic riffs and production values with the punk-influenced speed and energy that had traditionally dominated the grindcore genre. -7-/-7- RIGoR MoRTIS Rigor Mortis vs. With the field so crowded. this proves a distraction that is partially obscured by the sheer primitive fury of the music. In the end. including vocals that did not always hit the mark. Rigor Mortis often comes across rather campy. Prodigal Sun certainly deserves to be counted among those forgotten gems. which is not a bad pairing for the direction taken by the instruments. alternating between a hardcore yell and a constipated growl. shredding with an energy. The Earth (Triple X / Metal Mind. The concept was spot-on. treble-heavy production. and other contemporary proponents of Swedish death metal who recorded in that famed studio. Also featured as a bonus is the entirety of the band’s 1989 debut LP. With many of the drum patterns burdened with ill-chosen notes and ill-chosen transitions and fills. While Afflicted’s penchant for eclecticism does sound rather slapdash on “Rising to the Sun. Featuring Mitch Harris and Mick Harris (unrelated). -8-/-7- RIGhTEoUS PIGS Stress Related (Nuclear Blast / Metal Mind. once past the (in the case of Prodigal Sun. And yet. the good points more than outweigh the bad. While not particularly dark in atmosphere—indeed. This is particularly apparent on Defecation’s rare excursions into groovier territory. For its time. While not up to the level of “Contagious Contamination. 1989) Running just shy of 27 minutes. and intricacy that is brain-boggling on more than one occasion. Mitch and Mick’s alternating vocals oscillate between death-laced growls and hoarse snarls. -6-/-7- AFFLICTED Prodigal Sun (Nuclear Blast / Metal Mind.cultlayfollowing over the years. which absolutely smokes on songs such as “Contagious Contamination. Dismember. the songwriting even more primitive…and yet I can’t quite turn this off. It is remarkable to listen to the debut and then to Stress Related. popping zits. times when he should have went off the deep end and yet opted to keep his inner lunatic closeted (for instance. the lyrics are more lobotomized. so perhaps the significance of the term has been diluted to the point of utter triviality.onecourse. Righteous Pigs hops between mid-tempo beatdown material that showcases Harris’s best riffs and semi-frequent up-tempo blasts that add a welcome dynamic to the music. albeit in a rather good way—the energy level is ridiculously high and the musicianship impressive. Meathook Seed) Harris’s guitar riffs. although full lyrics are also included so that we can read Joe Caper’s witty musings on laxatives. While not as deep as colleague Barney Greenway in pitch. 1992) While the early ’90s produced a bounty of bona fide death metal classics. which imbues the music with superlative bad attitude. all that is really in this album’s favour are some decent riffs stuffed into poorly conceived songs and Joe Caper’s inimitable vocal performance. not only so that we do not indulge in the temptation to look back at this time with rose-coloured glasses that only see the classics and not the mediocre. Shakespeare this ain’t. There are times when he plays it safe when he should have taken a few risks (such as “Consumed in Flames”) and. it is all too easy to forget that the genre was swamped with mediocre bands. but I have always had an inexplicable soft spot for this band. but also because it helps to explain why bands such as Afflicted never gained any traction. which goes a long way towards making the music memor96 reIssues . Unfortunately. with the former generally being paired with the mid-tempo and riff-oriented material and the latter linked to the fast ’n’ blast tunes. Mike Scaccia’s fantastic guitar playing remains at the forefront. even if the execution stumbled. precision. and particularly this album. Then again. which act as a counterbalance to the speedfreak sections. Sure. intensity. That may well be the case. the unfortunate decision to cover The Ramones’“Psycho Therapy” epitomizes this (mis)direction. and recognition long after the fact. but by the time of the band’s sophomore LP. There have been a variety of reasons suggested as to DEFECATIon Purity Dilution (Nuclear Blast / Metal Mind. While Prodigal Sun suffers from a few problems. and Righteous Pigs is undoubtedly one of them. When the latter took over vocal duties. the main problem is that Doyle shared the microphone with Casey Orr. While Orr’s contributions detract from the quality of the album to an unfortunate degree.” and limited by one-dimensional songwriting… and yet. it was inevitable that a few gems failed to register a blip on the radar screen. With intricate song structures twisting and turning in an unpredictable and often bizarre fashion. despite a few flaws. as it becomes apparent that the latter marked a significant step forward for the band. If the album does improve upon its predecessor in any way.” deep-album cuts such as “Asphyxia” demonstrate that Rigor Mortis that can thrash with the best of ’em. the drumming is more inept. Defecation’s debut makes its point with a surfeit of speed and violence. However. disappointingly thin) buzzsaw guitar tone it is clear that Afflicted is in a completely different headspace. stumbling out of the blocks with a terrible opening track by the name of “Eulogy. 1991) Rigor Mortis cut an eponymous LP and an EP titled Freaks that were top-notch slabs of thrash. Defecation. While the absence of bonus tracks and biographical liner notes do not offer a lot of added insight. both of whom have done time in Napalm Death. Some bands are best reserved for the few. The first score is for the quality of the music and the second is for the quality of the reissue. tacked on at the end. Live and Learn. conversely. the riffs found a comfortable home with which to race through an esoteric array of ideas that touched upon Middle Eastern scales and an off-kilter psychedelic vibe. the aforementioned “Rising to the Sun”). in common: each is the product of a band has earned a Of this any band did it big can claim to a cult following. the performance. Rigor Mortis vs. While the Sunlight Studios production harks to Entombed. it quickly becomes apparent that the music skills of one member in particular were lagging: the drummer. the mix is worse. and quality of music makes this timeless. with a nice balance accorded the several instruments. The recording on the inaugural release is muddier. which are pleasingly heavy despite a production which confers an annoying amount of buzzing treble upon them. Vocalist Michael Van Der Graaf is a decent growler who can sound vicious one moment and certifiably insane the next. Taken together. so the main point of interest surrounding this reissue is the fact that it makes the album more readily available. 1990) I am unsure what it is about Righteous Pigs. and songwriting that can be scattered. Scaccia has his speed metal guitar chops down pat. Poorly recorded and mixed. However. The riffs are surprisingly memorable and the guitar tone has a fair amount of punch to it. This fact is important to bear in mind. there is a certain charm buried in the muck and mire. this was quite an extreme dose of grindcore. some of the steam had subsided. The bonus tracks are nonexistent and the liner notes are far from revelatory. the remainder is good for what it is. A fearsome thought indeed. imagine a world in which Righteous Pigs topped the charts? Imagine frontman Joe Caper wrapping himself in the mantle of elder statesman. frustrating obscurity. Van Der Graaf occasionally wrestles with how to approach the particularities of Afflicted’s peculiarities. the mere fact that this album is once again available is a value in itself. believe it or not.

the album was released to little fanfare. the album fails to cohere as a result. Valley of the Kings shows a band that has not deviated from its core sound to any significant degree. 1993) Now these are a pair of reissues done right. 1983) Valley of the Kings (Romany / Shadow Kingdom. particularly on Widow. there is something else at work with Ritual. -8. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Widow is that it has not (yet) earned a wider following. apparently due to label issues.5-/-8. full lyrics. and even a recent interview with the band’s frontman conducted by the owner of Shadow Kingdom Records. The band favours the mid-tempo to an unusual degree and. and a new cover that replaces the hilariously bad original image.” the band darkens the tone with bleak-yet-impassioned guitar leads and vocals that convey a feeling located between nostalgia and remorse. the adroitness of the vocals and guitar leads create some truly beautiful passages in which every note is well chosen and every arrangement flawless. when combined with the occult themes. within this rhythmic restraint Ritual conjures an atmosphere that is epic and evil in equal measure. the never-overwrought guitar leads. While the unswerving tempo and consistent style of interaction of the rhythm team on Valley of the Kings does cause the album to plod a bit. as the musical quality is such that the band should certainly be better known. However. so perhaps the best solution is to program out the worst tracks and enjoy the remainder for what it is: great thrash. Ritual fires off impressively catchy songs that are not far removed from the likes of Savage.5- RITUAL Widow (Legend / Shadow Kingdom. and Diamond Head. each boasting new cover artwork that is much more representative of the music (the embarrassingly bad original art is reproduced on the back of the booklet. Now enjoying a new lease on life. imbues the music with a sense of cryptic calculation as if it were written as the soundtrack to an esoteric rite. The key elements—the mid-tempo drums. Regardless of the reason. -5-/-7- a manner that. this reissue features a ton of pictures. for those who desire authenticity or otherwise are looking for a hearty chuckle). Every step is carefully measured in such reIssues 97 . but has used the interim in order to refine its approach. As was the case with Widow. While the painstakingly polished compositions do not pick up the slack left in the wake of the diminished atmosphere. With a powerful grasp of melody at its disposal. it stands as a worthy successor in its own right. On the positive side. The weight given that each listener gives to the positive and the negative will determine how everything balances out. Even when a bouncier tempo is introduced. The best of the Doyle-led songs would make for a great EP.5It would be a decade before another Ritual album would see the light of day. reproductions of several flyers and press clippings.5-/-8. -7.why Rigor Mortis attempted to pursue two different styles. the distinctly sinister atmosphere heard on Widow has waned considerably. while this might not sound particularly revolutionary. As was the case with its predecessor. Angel Witch. as heard on “Journey. This refinement entails positive and negative effects. On the negative side. Thick booklets. the band presents something that is nonetheless enjoyable in its own right. Lyrics and biographical liner notes are included in this numbered digipak. the impassioned vocals—remain in place and work together in showing a band with a very fine grasp of composition.

Real Dead One’s Independent Cafe The best part of waking up.myspace. lots of energy in many parts. A highlight for me is the up-tempo track “Declaration Under Fire” which gallops through and sweeps through with its catchy barked chorus. whispering from some sort of maddening Iranian power metal plant. It’s cool too. The tracks are kept very short and vocals are overly ugly and yelled out steadily and with a more classic thrash rhythm than you’re used to hearing. Cool. Straight Out of Hell is musically sound and littered with quality songwriting and production values. fun but not happy. The song ideas sound fresh and not rehashed. I’m explained by Ahoora’s guitarist Milad: “We live in Iran and rock music in any form is forbidden. but it works on the overall vibe considering the band’s Iranian location. shrieks. There is an excessive use of the dreaded simplistic and slow chug-chug. because it sounds so fresh and crisp. wrapped around a plethora of intricate riffing and soloing.ahoora-band. so pull up a chair. the good.. Primarily focused on representing themselves as a power metal act. Kentucky. but nothing to write home to your metalhead buddies about as they windmill practice. collective and true metal can come from anywhere. is HAILZ! Sitting here with my Tim Horton’s coffee.myspace. black. Still.. all played sloppily as fuck but it’s fun regardless. Aeons of Eclipse must have had a hole burning in their wallets when they recorded The Hour of Desolation.” Fair enough. The unsigned acts I review are from various independent hellions around the globe.leftinruins. crappy production and terrorist themes aside (there’s a picture of an airliner flying into a certain building on the cover) this is some quality lo-fi thrash that might as well have existed in the old tape trading days.com/aeonsofeclipse Very cool above average and complex-death from Glasgow. Ahoora : All In Blood With You (Independent 2008) www. So for a very short demo.com or www. It will be seized by the authorities. and leave very few stones unturned. to crawling gothic speeds accompanied by almost vampiric vocals. It’s honestly got very few dull parts so you can listen to any track and be instantly interested. and authoritatively spoken words and the guitars cover a wide range of melodies. from my cozy metal corner in New Brunswick. Aeons of Eclipse : The Hour of Desolation (Independent 2008) www. blistering but not tiring. = Getting withdrawals = Pretty watered down = Needs refilling Severed : What It Has Become (Independent 2008) www. so… we are a banned act. as vocally or in several other aspects musically.aeonsofeclipse. but grows thin. often complimented 98 revIews rdo’s IndePendent café = Kinda perky = One nice hot cup ‘o java = No Sleep ’til Hammersmith! = Tim Horton’s . blasting all sorts of unsigned shit. as All In Blood With You is played on my PC speakers from a downloadable format. the bad. Favorite parts include “Archaic Oblivion” even with its very light keyboard usage.severedband. 4 songs and 2 of which are less than 2 minutes.com or www. the ones still going through growing pains. but lots of stop and go too. Left In Ruins have a solid piece of very angry/deathly metal on their hands with Straight Out of Hell. their brand is moody. The production sounds like a ghetto blaster smothered by pillows.myspace. grim but not black.com/ahooraband Ahoora creeps ahead into the unknown. but here it is.com/leftinruinsmetal Really cool. a nation whose world-wide reputation precedes whatever other notions one may have. almost black in tone and digs deep into your bones. this proves it. these groups will be reviewed by my cocky self. Vocals sneering and scornful. at least not just yet. even for just three songs. Accion Terrorista chooses to do their own thing.com/severed Three-song demo from New York`s Severed sounds cool enough at first. But it’s a good kind of danger and so.com with email subject “Your Band Name / Unsigned Review” Rating System: Left In Ruins : Straight Out of Hell (Independent 2008) www. get yourself a mug and let me filter the most current batch. by fun sweeping riffs. Ahoora aren’t any sort of frilly pirate shirt wearing groupies.myspace. AoE delivers metal as compelling and vile as their attractive post-apocalyptic cover art. the ugly. For reviews contact realdeadone@hotmail. and flows from faster mid-tempos. That’s why we cannot send any stuff. a column just for unsigned acts. A great example that sometimes production and quantity isn’t everything. “Forever Enslaved” with its epic musical intro. Vocals stand out as they alternate between grunts. Accion Terrorista (Independent 2008) www. Although the cover and band logo looks straight out of high school art class. METAL in your cup. Overall hooky and probably an interesting show for a specific crowd. or the ones that have managed to magically escape ever being signed. Still on the indie circuit. The overall mix could be a little tighter and sounds slightly distorted but it’s definitely excusable.com or www.com or www. I can’t help but think: “How did this happen?” Couldn’t tell ya.com/accionterrorista Accion Terrorista opens with “Batalla” and a very loud and awkward riff which makes me squint and hope the dude doesn’t bust a string. and not mimic any pioneers too blatantly.myspace. but the cost of this balance is a flatter than normal consistency which does feel a tad repetitive. A quick Google and I’m impressed to see this is their full length debut. an emulation I’m sure the band is aware of. and just the overall uninhibited vibe straight through. The riffing is very reminiscent of Iced Earth’s infamous fast-paced staccato chug-chuga-chug-chug. if that can even be a complaint. quite buried.

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create their own mix or do remixes. even going as far as allowing wannabes and hardcore fans of varying musical ability to join the band on stage. Rush.I. it illustrates something that fans of independent and DIY music have known for years: that it is possible to be successful outside the majors if you’re willing to do the work involved. Instead of getting an advance from a record company for their next album. Castle meant well. independence and their ability to shun record company models and advance/royalty structures all the while involving their fans in the process. Light bulbs went off in Marillion’s heads the same way Jake and Elwood Blues found divine inspiration in The Blues Brothers. play fan-chosen set lists. I’d have a hard time identifying Marillion’s corpses with their dental records on hand. arm-chair critic. Certain articles I used in researching this piece have stated that Marillion are as creatively on-the-ball now as they were in their glory days. and Lucy Jordache. keyboard. by default ends up primarily highlighting the underground outside the major labels and the bands that often chalk their existences up to an independent network and DIY ethos. Marillion. Q&A sessions and much more.co. With virtually no radio play or media exposure of any kind. but you gotta give respect where respect is due. the Interhole has informed me the band has had a number of charting singles and albums over the years (and that. being a publication that focuses on the many forms and fashions of extreme music. Okay then. pop ballad that horny teens would swap spit to in the backseat of whatever hearse-sized. The band have an operations compound located on a trading estate in Buckinghamshire from where they run their label. Marillion continues to give back in unique ways. Gabriel-era Genesis. While preparing the album. Thank the ether for the fans. doing accounting. OR’s grind-punk heroes Tragedy are the other. being part of it for so many years. Of course. tcha! You Be pilation. a pop-up box appears asking listeners to give the band their email address for marketing purposes and to drum up other streams of revenue. While this doesn’t bode well for the band being able to brush aside the criticisms of fans.WAV files of the individual drums. The band was able to strike a distribution deal for the album for their label. I can’t even claim that much because I don’t think I’ve ever really heard much of the band. whether this whole experiment would have been as successful had Marillion not had the fanbase to originally bum cash from is anybody’s guess. Essentially. they decided to experiment by asking fans if they’d help fund the follow-up by pre-ordering it before recording even started. retain song rights and grab a bigger cut of the profits. that last part doesn’t sound quite so punk rock. And respect is definitely due in their case. Of course me being me. Now. the band released a downloadable version of their new album’s first single (“Whatever Is Wrong With You”) and asked fans to make their own video with the best video taking home £5000. and probably nowhere near as funny. the tracks were specially encoded so that when they are played.000 people would be throwing down x amount of dollars towards an unproven entity. Van Der Graaf Generator and… Sorry. ironically with EMI. they made a companion disc named Marillion. In addition to the album’s main program. The post-EMI plan was to license future albums to Castle. Marillion. Pre-ordering as a way of raising funds and giving back to the fans via special editions. KINGS? By Kevin Stewart-PanKo nrestrained!. But it’s not like the band just borrows cash from their fans in exchange for music and specialized liner notes. their thirteenth album. signing sessions. The second disc had a collection of various live and demo tracks. During the day there are activities such as Marillion pub quizzes. of which there was very little. things started to take a turn for Marillion.uk which was available for free to every100 knowIng the busIness U one who bought the album. the band created . I’ve never witnessed this. attract new generations of fans.com. They have a small number of full-time employees. Marillion managed to cut out the middle-man in terms of securing an advance while giving back to the fans in the form of a deluxe copy of Anoraknophobia with a bonus CD and the name of everyone who contributed the 16 pound (around $30 today. each receiving £500. Okay. The success of Anoraknophobia allowed the band to start recording their next album. with the conventions. my guess would be that I don’t think 18.com was still distributed under the Castle banner. box sets and so on (and variations of) is something Marillion has made use of since. guitar. And it goes on. but because not everybody can like everything. They’ve also got into the business of further protecting their fans (and themselves) by speaking out on the merch commissions venues often foist upon bands for the “privilege” of selling their merch on the venue’s property. but you might describe it as the prog-rock parallel to punk and hardcore bands announcing PayPal donation accounts on lambgoat. Also. anyway) is Marillion. including their latest album. and I don’t particularly care because this isn’t our focus.000 copies. shirtless Germans running around. sell hundreds of thousands of copies of each album and. gas-guzzling monstrosity the American auto industry churned out during the ’80s? Basically. However. They also have Racket Records for themselves and any side or solo projects. bass tracks and both dry and effect-laden vocals of Anoraknophobia’s songs available both for fans who want to either play along.Y. dude) who play very English prog-rock along the lines of Yes. Actually.S. When it comes to live shows. This may or may not be true. but since they seem to love their privacy and isolation as much as I love their music. as there are bound to be segments who don’t like this and that. kids’ activities. After the release of 1997’s This Strange Engine.MARILLIoN? D. They invited anyone to attempt a re-mix with the plan being to release an album of the best remixes and finalists appearing on the com- . the lack of which threatened to kibosh a U.com. the story of how they came to be where they are today is pretty fascinating. a fan-turned manager who used to work for EMI and fought against industry bureaucracy in compiling a bunch of extensive best of/re-issues that EMI weren’t originally planning on making very extensive until she got involved. They also have various Marillion weekend festivals—one is being held in Montreal in the spring of 2009—where they often premiere new material. ironically enough. Marillion has become as much a business as they are a band. Fans responded by pre-ordering 18. et cetera. not because they’re playing the role of self-absorbed. customized double-CDs. continues to be updated with newer songs and is still available from their website. their second album was titled Fugazi). the offices where all the band business is conducted and their studio. Fish quit the band 20 years ago? You don’t say. following the success of the North American tour that was underwritten by the credit bolstered to them by their fans. A good plan indeed. there are different degrees of Do-It-Yourself and this column has previously featured its fair share of DIY subscribers. soccer tournaments. closer to $42 back then) pre-order amount. But hey. The Internet! The fans! The money! The band! The ability to raise money through the Internet from dedicated fans for the benefit of the band! Fuck yeah! They began taking the word to the streets with their eleventh album. Marillion allows fans to choose set lists. but they decided to leverage their fanbase once again to help raise money towards marketing and promotion of Marbles. allow me to admit that I’m not a Marillion fan. or too self-aware) to get up in front of rabid throng of pedantic fans. However. The way Marillion go about the business of music and the way they service and cater to their audience is totally unique. Racket Records. let’s focus on Marillion. Plus. but it was self-produced with help from the squirrelly looking dude from Porcupine Tree and the album’s title was a reference to the band’s use of the Internet to communicate with their fans. except with not nearly as many drunk. they went ahead and made some noise—sounding like a defiant punk band in the process—by making the new album available for free on peerto-peer file sharing networks. Most recently. It was from here on in that Marillion saw the beauty in DIY. which is reportedly totally state-of-the-art. who does double-duty as Racket’s label manager and guitar tech when the band hit the road. good move on using a pseudonym. as well as an interview video and. But you don’t have to be a fan to admire the way they’ve managed to step outside the industry machine. who raised over $60. Marillion figured a way to do things their way and ran with it to the tune of being true to their musical vision and surviving the music industry twice as long as they probably would have had they remained slaves to EMI. Once again. have fans jam with or replace one of the band members on stage. none of which I’m familiar with except for “Kayleigh. Happiness Is The Road. to this day. They signed to a label called Castle after fulfilling their contract with EMI which had them in still debt even after moving over 10 million albums in about as many years. They manage themselves. Gigs have often been cancelled at venues engaging in this common and accepted form of unregulated extortion. Portland. with each individual member taking care of a specific area of business: managing the web site. they have managed to maintain and sustain a huge fan base. management invited fans to send passport photos to be featured in the booklet.000 online to keep the American tour alive. the band put up the album for pre-order. including Colin Price. but you don’t have to be Nostradamus to know this can go one of two ways. but I was surprised as shit to find out that one of the two bands currently ruling the world of DIY (since Fugazi broke up. The result was over 12. However. except that releasing an album via Castle was the equivalent of releasing an album via my label [note: I don’t run a label and don’t know how to run a label]. such as offers on Marillion merchandise and concert tickets. this time when the record was about halfway complete.500 pre-orders. but really didn’t know what the fuck they were doing in terms of promotion. and tour support. what’s that? Oh. and because of. merchandising warehouse. Then.” But isn’t that a drippy. which raised enough money to record and release 2001’s Anoraknophobia. Most people know Marillion as the band with the frontman named Fish (nee Derek Dick. It’s kinda like a Manowar convention. For those too afraid (or too smart. especially after. checking the band out still hasn’t become a high priority on my list. tour.

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cheers and/or email bombs to: doomhauled@hotmail. please send all your complaints.all crybabies complaining about no there being no riMSHotS column this issue.com 102 kevI-M etal’s rIMshots . threats.

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