Monday, June 17, 2019

Barbarian Interview

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

It has taken a bit to get the record out basically because the vinyl pressing plant in charge is extremely busy nowadays, and the wait can be endless, especially if the Record Store Day is in the middle of that. Love it or not, vinyl is "cool", and the demand surpasses pressing plants capacity. Anyway, we have not been idle, already working on new stuff and playing gigs around, as any active band is supposed to do.

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

I believe we have generally improved a lot. The songs are more structured, there's a lot going in each one of them, the contribution of the new line-up with Sledgehammer and Blackstuff has been very important in that. We enjoy ourselves playing the songs, so I hope it's the same listening to them. The same goes with the sound, it's more honed and the recording definitely does justice to it.

3.A lot of your music is very heavily rooted in the 80's style, do you feel that metal was a lot more pure in those days with most of the extreme genres being closely related to each other?

Certainly metal has divided in billions sub-scenes throughout the years, often not even communicating between each other. Some of the newer styles we like, some not. It's not a matter of purity, to each his own. We have a "back to basics" approach because that's where our metal roots lie, that's just what we like because we've grown up with that. It's something very natural.

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

As I said before, the songs are way more structured now compared with our old stuff, more varied. We are able to combine many different inputs shaping a personal sound. Yes, we are not inventing anything, but I believe we have a definite personality, which is the aim any band should pursue. A proof that we succeeded in that, lies in the reviews you can read throughout the web: we've been compared to anything between Helloween to Death, that means that's only apparently easy to label our own sound, it's not just some retro-metal. Lyric-wise the evolution is similar. In spite of the recurring anti-metaphysical themes, there's a lot more pouring in into the lyrics coming from various kind of readings. There's a lot of references behind the apparently usual images and metaphors. "Birth and death of Rish'ah", for instance, is based on a short story inspired by a series of painting by Zdzislaw Beksinski.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Barbarian'?

Barbarians were the people coming from beyond civilization, unable to speak what was considered to be the common language. Basically outcasts refusing the commonly accepted moral and social standards. The defiance of these kind of standards often surfaces in our lyrics.

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

The cover has been painted by Shagrat from Acid Witch/Shitfucker, just as our previous two albums. It's strongly connected to the title "To No God Shall I Kneel", the Barbarian is sitting on a throne holding the heads of three women representing the theological virtues: faith, hope and charity.

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

Each show we play has a great importance to us, we have a very in-your-face approach, very basic as well, maybe kinda punk. It's like thundering our energy directly towards the audience, it gets very pshysical, and people attending our shows seem to like it. Touring the U.S. in 2017 has been definitely a great experience. Playing abroad is always great because we can get in touch with a lot of new people.

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

Besides the album release party, we are trying to work out some tour for 2020 to promote it in the best way.

8.The last few albums have been released on 'Hells Headbangers', how would you compare working with them to your old label 'Doomentia'?

Doomentia is (or was apparently) a great label, they believed in us from the very start just based on a demo, like in the old times. That's been brave, and we will always be grate to Lukas and Doomentia. Hells Headbangers is a bigger label, they are covering more ground worldwide, both promoting and selling the album, and we are so proud to share the roster with amazing bands like Midnight, Acid Witch, Bat, Nunslaughter, Nekrofilth and Deathhammer.

9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black, thrash and speed metal?

After 10 years people got to know us more. I think that people who listen to our music with due attention, will notice that we are trying not to be the average old school band, I strongly believe that our personality is showing more and more, and the feedbacks to the latest album are being great. It looks like it has an appeal for fans of both traditional and extreme metal, that proves a lot, because METAL is METAL

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

Hip hop? Reggae? New Wave? I guess not, the new stuff is even more structured, a total riff and tempo galore, but still 100% Regressive Metal (or no metal at all!)

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

We listen to a lot of different stuff, not necessarily metal, all of us love music, it's like the justification for being alive. I guess that gives us something more, because we have a wider outlook when composing. Of course the outcome is always metal, but, I dare repeat it, a personal form of metal. I could fill pages namedropping bands. I'd say the new album has a more epic feeling to it, and the melodic leads probably come from some classic heavy metal, but hey, there's so much going on in there.

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

Good luck with your zine, we are glad you enjoyed our album and gave us this opportunity for an interview, cheers!


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Burial In The Woods Interview

1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
Hi and thank you for the interview. Burial In The Woods was born sometime back in 2009. I already made a mix of Black and Doom paired with some DSBM influences with my previous band Negatum. However, I was no longer interested in doing suicidal/depressive BM after the split-up. So I grabbed the chance when starting this new project and took up one of my favourite topics: horror literature. In keeping up with the lyrical concept I wanted to create music that was as dark, spooky and heavy as possible. Did I reach my goal with the debut “Church of Dagon”? Probably not ... (Unfortunately) I tend to drift too much into a melodious songwriting. On the other hand, I have developed a style that characterises the sound of BITW.

2. At the end of June you also have your first full length coming out, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?
“Church of Dagon” combines many different styles. I would describe the music simply as Black/Doom Metal. But there are also influences from Funeral Doom, Ritual Ambient and even sacral music. What I’ve experimented a lot with is mixing several scales, especially occidental and oriental ones. Not only from part to part within a song, but also simultaneously with different instrument groups. Thus, the rhythm guitars, for example, play an occidental scale while the lead guitars play an oriental one in certain parts at the same time. I don’t know if this is particularly innovative but I haven’t heard anything like that on other recordings before. There is something that was also very important to me for this album: real choirs. To be able to perform that, I took a few singing lessons. And it was worth it, because otherwise I would never have been able to sing up to four different voices recorded with up to 14 single tracks. That was a hell of a lot of work. Furthermore, the pipe organ takes over a very important role on “Church of Dagon”. Where the organ sounds are used – more or less – as a supplement in the songs “Growing Shadows”, “Forbidden Pages” and “Gölgeler Alemi”, it is the main instrument in “Ecclesia Dagoni”. This is the last song I wrote for this album in 2018, as well.

3. You recorded an unreleased demo around 2009/10 and put the project on ice until 2017, can you tell us a little bit more about it?
For the demo I recorded the two songs “Growing Shadows” and “Forbidden Pages”, which can also be found on “Church of Dagon”, only in a more primitive and less well-arranged form than on the album. In order to create an atmosphere that is authentic as possible, I went to play a real pipe organ in a local church. This worked out pretty well, so far. Later, at home, I noticed that the organ was out of tune and didn’t match the guitars. First, I tried to compensate this problem using various pitching effects. Since I wasn’t able to fix it even with special software, I was so frustrated that I’ve put the whole project on ice in 2010. I simply didn’t want to accept that I’ve made the complex recordings in the church in vain. There have been several attempts to revive the project, but there was always a lack of motivation to re-record everything. However, I was able to raise the necessary motivation spontaneously at the end of 2017. Only in a few weeks, I re-arranged the existing songs “Growing Shadows” and “Forbidden Pages” as well as “Gölgeler Alemi” (originally written and released by Negatum in 2008), wrote the song “Ecclesia Dagoni” and finally recorded “Church of Dagon”. The difference: this time I used a software organ (Spitfire Audio Union Chapel Organ), which simplified many things – and sounds even more authentic then the real instrument.

4. A lot of your lyrics are inspired by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this author and are their any other writes that have had an influence on your music?
In fact, all lyrics on “Church of Dagon” are inspired by H. P. Lovecraft, except “Gölgeler Alemi”. In short: “Forbidden Pages” is about the Necronomicon, “Ecclesia Dagoni” is about the Esoteric Order of Dagon and “Growing Shadows” is about the city of Innsmouth. I’ve read many horror stories – from Hanns Heinz Ewers to E.T.A. Hoffmann to Bram Stoker and even to Stephen King –, but the atmosphere Lovecraft creates has never been topped by anyone for me. Of course, certain stories by E. A. Poe can hold a candle to those of Lovecraft when it comes down to intensity and horror, but Poe didn’t create such a well thought-out multiverse. I’m really obsessed with these dark atmospheres. Interestingly, I’m only interested in horror books, whereas the most horror films bore me. Even for my other solo project Asche der Welten I’ve used quotes from the horror authors Lovecraft, Poe and (Ambrose) Bierce in the booklet.

5. What are some of the other lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with your music?
Except Lovecraft respectively horror? Well, not so many yet. I’m planning to write more lyrics about the Lovecraftian universe for the next songs. However, this time I’ll work a bit more on lyrical concepts within a release. The only thing that has not been mentioned so far is that “Gölgeler Alemi” (Turkish for “Realm of Shades”) is about death in an abstract and mystical way. When I translated this text into English for the digipack print, it seemed very banal to me – but this isn’t the case in Turkish at all. Although this is a cover song, I can’t exclude that I’ll write lyrics in the future which will have no reference to Lovecraft.

6. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name “Burial In The Woods”?
I didn’t decide on the band name until 2018 when finally a name had to be found to release an album – the project didn’t have one before. For me, the name refers both: to the music (genre) as well as to the ritualistic and occult atmosphere. Moreover, I wanted a name that couldn’t be associated with Lovecraft directly if I ever decided to change the lyrical concept. I know that “Burial In The Woods” can be seen as very clichéd and/or common, but I don’t care. I think the name goes perfectly with the music.

7. Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the album cover?
The cover photo shows the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey. It was completed in the current form by the Byzantines in the 6th century A.D. and is located just a few hundred meters from Hagia Sophia, one of the largest churches ever build. The ground is covered with water and the 336 columns, each 8 meters high, are illuminated from below with red light. So, the building has a very dark and eerie atmosphere and, thus, this is one of my favourite places in Istanbul. For a long time I have been toying with the idea of using a picture of the Basilica Cistern for a cover artwork. And for “Church of Dagon”, I couldn’t think of a more fitting picture: the building looks like an ancient church and the ground is covered with water, which can be understood as a relation to the Great Old One “Dagon” and the amphibious human beings of the Esoteric Order of Dagon. Also the fact that the cistern is located in today’s Turkey and the album contains a song with Turkish lyrics fits very well.

8. With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?
After the failed attempt to record a demo, I tried to continue the project with the help of other musicians, twice. In the first place, I was looking for a drummer to be able to fully concentrate on the guitars and maybe to strive for a complete line-up at some point later, as well. Unfortunately, it didn’t worked out somehow. That was around 2012 or 2013. Basically, I’m open to collaborate with other artists, even if this is currently only possible for me in the form of studio/session musicians. For the next release, I already asked a friend of mine if he would like to contribute something on the acoustic guitar. What I can rule out is a live line-up because on the one hand I don’t know how the songs can be performed live without an armada of musicians (in certain parts, up to four different guitar melodies can be heard) and on the other hand I don’t have any ambition to play live with BITW.

9. On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black and doom metal?
Since only the song “Growing Shadows” has been published when doing this interview, there was hardly any feedback. However, the feedback I’ve received yet has been largely positive. Among other things, my music was described as innovative, conceptually coherent and very intense in sound. On the other hand, I’ve been told that Lovecraft has already been used by so many others and my songwriting is difficult to access. I can overlook the first and I’m even happy about the second because I don’t intend to make commercial music accessible to non-Black/Doom/Funeral listeners.

10. Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
That’s a difficult question. In the first place, I want to stay true to my principles. Furthermore, I would like to progress as a musician and as a producer, too. By this I mean above all that I want to be able to realise my musical ideas and visions in sound better – and definitely not to become commercially successful.

11. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Before I started the project, I listened a lot to the albums “Einblick in den Qualenfall” (Verdunkeln), “Rain upon the Impure” (The Ruins of Beverast) and “Levitating the Carnal” (Elysian Blaze). I’m not sure if I’d call that a direct influence, but certain things I found very impressive – like the use of choirs. Interestingly, I never really liked Funeral Doom (without any Black Metal elements), even though it is more common to use a pipe organ there. The three most-rotating albums of the last weeks were Mayhem’s “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”, Vemod’s “Venter på stormene” and “The Door of Doom” from Candlemass. I listen to albums, which I like very much, a dozen times in a row. In general, I tend to listen to albums as a whole – and not to single tracks.

12. Does Occultism play any role in your music?
Yes, as a stylistic element to create a dark, spooky and ritualistic atmosphere. To be honest, I am not interested in occultism apart from horror stories, films or art in general. If somebody just seriously hints at spiritual things: that’s driving me crazy absolutely. I see myself as an absolutely rational and down-to-earth person. In terms of aesthetics, however, occultism is very appealing to me.

13. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you very much for your interest in Burial In The Woods!

If you are interested in listening my music, visit the Burial In The Woods Bandcamp site: https://burialinthewoods.bandcamp.com/

The digipack can be (pre-)order for just 8 € at the label site: https://shop.naturmacht.com/

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Sathamel/Horror Vacui/2019 Full Length Review


   United  Kingdom's  Sathamel  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  the  blackened  death  metal  style  of  previous  releases  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2019  album  "Horror  Vacui".

  Synths  start  off  the  album  and  also  bring  in  the  atmosphere  of a  horror  movie  soundtrack before  going  into  a  heavier  direction.  The  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  while  the  vocals  bring  in  a  mixture  of  death  metal  growls  and  black  metal  screams.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  along  with  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  the  synths  also  mixing  in  with  some  of  the  heavier  parts  briefly   and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  dark  and  melodic  style.

  All  of  the  musical instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  as  well  as  one  track  also  introducing  spoken  word  parts  onto  the  recording  briefly  and  the  closing  song  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism  and  Anti  Religion  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Sathamel  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  blackened  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Horror  Vacui"  "The  Devil's  hand"  and  "Of  Spilled  Wine  And  Broken  Glass".  8  out  of  10.

     

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Crush The Altar Interview

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

At this point in time the group consists of three members, until we fit a bassist. It started with myself and joe, crafting ideas of a new project. We began writing material which led to 4 complete songs, musically. After further thought, we decided we wanted to head in an different direction from the material we had in hand at that time, and eventually left those 4 tracks behind, to revamp things. Later into that revamp, john joined the group on second guitar. The revamp then yielded the 3 tracks heard on this demo.

2.So far you have released an ep, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?
The material certainly has its thrash backbone. Amongst it however, are aspects of others styles pulling out a darker overall element to the music. I suppose the material in these 3 songs exhibit emphasis on precision in the writing, and we translated that over when working with steve in the studio, while recording the songs. We had a great experience working with Steve Roche at permanent hearing damage, as it was a first time working with Steve for any of us. Nothing but respect for Steve, both personally, and in his way work.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band has explored so far with the music?

The lyrical content within these demo songs is pretty interpretable. Much of the content deals within a dark nature, to suffocate the light.

.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Crush The Altar'?

I think each of us could answer that in our own way. To take a vague approach rather then an in depth and prolonged rationale... To me, the word ‘altar’ represents everything I despise. Everything harmful to the progression of man, and his surroundings. The crushing of these things is to be understood as the definite end of such.

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

The artwork was done by Muhammah Candra. The artwork describes a profound commitment to the things that mask or cloud our progression, even in the darkest of times. When facing the end, believing there is haven, when the end is imminent.

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

Crush the Altar has not played out yet. We are not a studio only band by any means, and we will get there. We are in the process of fitting a bassist meanwhile, as stated above.

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

Not at the moment.

8.Redefining Darkness are release the physical version of the ep, how did you get in contact with this label?

Via email. I became aware of Redefining Darkness due to their presence on social media.

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

So far, so good. We appreciate the reviews on the demo thus far.

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

Time will tell with the follow up release. We are in the process of writing.

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

Regarding influence on ‘our’ music, 80s and 90s thrash and death. Old Vader, Sodom, Morbid Angel, etc. I’m listening to a lot of different things. As far as heavier stuff. Lately, a good bit of Crurifragium, cerebral rot, superstition, dequisitor, etc.

12.Does Satanism or Occultism play any role in your music?

Neither play a role in our music. Our content does deal with ‘religion’ but at no point is inspired by satanism.

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

Thank you Thomas for releasing this demo. Thank you to our friends.

Kafka/Self Titled/Wooaaargh/2019 EP Review


  Kafka  are  a  band  from  Greece  that  plays  a  mixture  of  atmospheric  black  metal,  crust  and  hardcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2019  ep  which  will  be  released  in  July by  Wooaaargh.

  A  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  ep  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  Vocals  are  mostly  done  in  an  angry  hardcore  style  as  well  as  adding  in  some  black  metal  screams  at  times  and  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

  At  times  the  music  gets  very  atmospheric  sounding  along  with  the  music  also  mixing  in  elements  of  crust,  d  beat  and  post  hardcore.  A  decent  amount  of  melody  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  During  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  as  well  as  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  they  also  bring  in  one  very  short  song  and  another  track  that  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  when  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  as  the  ep  progresses  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  anti  fascism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Kafka  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  atmospheric  black  metal,  post  hardcore  and  crust  punk  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Disgrace"  and  "Abandon  All  Hope".  8  out  of  10.

facebook   bandcamp  

Monday, June 10, 2019

Scumripper/All Veins Blazing/Hells Headbangers/2019 CD Review


  Scumripper  are  a  band  from  Finland  that  has  had  music  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  mixture  of  black,  death,  thrash  metal  and  punk  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "All  Veins  Blazing"  which  will  be  released  on  June  28th  by  Hells  Headbangers.

  Spoken  word  parts  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  and  faster  musical  direction  which  also  mixes  thrash  metal  and  hardcore  punk  together.  Vocals  are  mostly  aggressive  sounding  screams  while  the  music  also  mixes  in  a  great  amount  of  first  wave  black  metal.

  Most  of  the  tracks  are  very  short  in  length  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  dark  and  melodic  style  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  The  vocals  also  mix  in  some  mid  80's  death  metal  growls  into  some  parts  of  the  music  along  with  the  songs  also capturing  the  raw  energy  of  grindcore  at  times,  the  riffs  also a dd  in  some  melodies  at  times.  The  production  sounds  very  old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  violent  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Scumripper  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black,  death,  thrash  metal  and  punk,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Slay.  Scum.  Day"  "Rock  The  Bone"  "All  Veins  Blazing"  and  "Death wish".  8  out  of  10.

http://scumripper-finland.bandcamp.com/album/all-veins-blazing  

 

    

Ares Kingdom Interview

1. Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
We're rehearsing material for our upcoming live shows and tours, beginning with the second Metal Threat Festival in Chicago next month! These upcoming live sets will focus on new album material - unless we're playing a new city, in which case we'll throw in an older song or two.

2. Recently you have released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Most people are saying it sounds very focused on core elements, and I don't disagree. The full story is that the material on 'By the Light of Their Destruction' picks up where Vulpecula left off in 1999 - but with Alex on vocals instead of me. I decided to go this direction musically and conceptually even before the official release of 'The Unburiable Dead' in 2015 since I felt that album was the apex of what AK had formed to do. Vulpecula's focus was, of course, very different from AK's, and coincidentally just before V split, Mike had joined. With that in mind, it's not a stretch to say 'By the Light of Their Destruction' is pretty much what a new Vulpecula album would have sounded like in 2000!

3. Most of the lyrics on the new album deal with mythology and occult themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?
Again, it's basically the Vulpecula effect. AK has touched on such topics before in songs like 'Ashen Glory' - which was partially written in the Vulpecula era, by the way. Our reputation until now has been that we focus on war, conflict, history and philosophy. By embracing Vulpecula, we bring in astronomical/cosmological elements, but even Vulpecula embraced those other concepts.

4. What are some of the other lyrical topics and subjects you have explored over the years with your music?
Our 2015 album, 'The Unburiable Dead' was a conceptual album revolving around the First World War, which traced the evolution of the conflict from all perspectives. 'Incendiary' included songs about the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, religious extremism - 'Incendiary,' the mythology of the phoenix - 'Ashen Glory,' a philosophical deconstruction of the idea that the world is governed by the aggressive use of force - 'Gathering the Eagles' and the core idea behind our band's name; and my own personal philosophical reflections - 'Silent Mortal Flesh' and 'Beasts that Perish.' 'Return to Dust' contained a few more of these personal reflections, plus songs about the horrors of nuclear war - not a new topic in metal, I know - and various scenarios dealing with war and conflict.

5. Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
Yeah, it's 'The Ides of March' (study) by Edward John Poynter (1836-1919). It was an illustration for a later edition of Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar,' and depicts Caesar and his wife viewing the portentious comet of 44 BC which would come to be known as Sidus Iulium, Caesar's Comet.

6. Most of the band members have a background playing extreme metal that goes back as far as the 80's, what is it that motivates you to keep going after 3 decades?
We've been close friends for decades and simply enjoy making music together, and all feel we still have something to say musically. 

7. Out of all the shows and tours the band has done over the years, which one stands out the most?
It's hard to pick just one. There are loads of great memories anytime you go on a cross-continent tour. For my own part, I think the biggest surprise we've had was a show we played in Paris in 2016. The club turned into a crust punk gig (our favorite type of crowd) with bodies flying everywhere, including the stage, unplugging my pedal board...Alex accidentally bashing his head into a PA speaker...beer soaking everything. It was as awesome as it was unexpected. The tour also included losing a wheel from the van whilst tooling down an Italian highway...and I don't mean tire, I mean the entire wheel sheared off the bolts and went rolling past us on its merry way down the road...

8. What are the touring and show plans for the new album?
We're playing Metal Threat in Chicago in July, then a couple of midwest shows in September with our Canadian friends Begrime Exemious, but that's all we have on tap this year. We're currently planning fast and furious for 2020!

9. In between 2018 and 2019 you have also released 4 ep's, what was the decision behind putting out of all the releases during that time frame?
The idea was two-fold: One, to keep us on everyone's radar during the run-up to the album release, and two, to provide uninitiated fans a cheap, quick and easy exposure and history lesson for Ares Kingdom.

10. On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your newer music by fans of black, death and thrash metal?
Reactions have been great so far. The production is our most primitive - on purpose, which tends to irk serious-minded journalists and professional critics more than regular fans, but I have to say that even most of the media have been able to 'hear through' the primitive production and recognize the underlying strength of the songs and concepts, which is very gratifying.

11. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I started writing the next album before 'By the Light of Their Destruction' was even released, so I can say it is moving further in the 'By the Light...' direction - although even darker, which is simply where my compositional head and heart are these days.

12. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Oh, it's basically the same old bands as always. My main interest as a guitarist has always been massive sounding guitars and heavy, lurching riffs. Sacrilege (UK) in particular has been a huge part of my musical life since I first heard them in '87, and their subgenre, which has since become known as crust or stenchcore, has been my favorite for many years. Yeah, I still love all the old regular thrash, death and black metal as always, but in terms of what I listen to daily, I focus on bands like Femacoffin, Agnosy, Lifeless Dark, Fatum, Weald, Filth of Mankind, etc.

13. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for the great support. Check out our website www.areskingdom.com and accompanying merch page for CDs, LPs, picture discs, shirts, etc. And if only the music matters to ya, we're also found on all major digital platforms including Bandcamp. We're also on Facebook, of course.