Sunday, November 12, 2017

Grethor Interview

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

Marcus Lawrence [Vocals]: Just getting this stuff out. That's the primary focus.

Brian Frost [Lead Guitar]: Recording had been going on for a while. I moved to Chicago last year while we were hashing out demos.




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

Anthony Rouse [Drums]: Damnatio Memoriae is the result of us building on our sound we had established on our last EP with some new elements thrown in there. I would describe as what you get when you mix black metal, death metal, and grindcore into a sludgy stew and sprinkle it with melody, groove, and doom.

Frost: The previous release was very much a blackened death metal album. This time there was a lot more collaboration, which brought new elements to the band’s sound.





3.In the beginning the band played more of a raw black metal style but over the years have evolved into more of a blackened death metal band, what was the decision behind going into this musical direction?

Frost:

Marcus could probably answer this best, but there has been a constant flux of band members since it started. Different songwriters and change in musical preferences over the years have led us to what we have today.

Lawrence: When people join your band, they bring their own styles of playing and writing which will always have a big impact on songwriting.



4.Over the years your lyrics have covered some fantasy, existentialism and some of the writings of Robert W. Chambers, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

Lawrence: In the beginning I wrote as if I were writing a Hammer Film or something, the lyrics at that time were about things that provoked the fear of the unknown...it was all very tongue in cheek to me.  As the band came more into focus as my primary project, I wrote more seriously about things that I believed affected the human condition. Humans have always invented various social structures based on wealth or caste. They are illusions. We are outgrowing those castes. We no longer need shamans to make sense of the world.



5.I know that the band name means hell in the Klingon language from Star Trek, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?

Lawrence: Gre'Thor is the Klingon Underworld. It is like Niflheim, a place of the dishonored to suffer. I think foreboding is a great start in describing it this time around.



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

Lawrence: Loud. I enjoy playing shows. It's hard to say which ones are my favorites. The band's first show was a mess, the monitors weren't working and we couldn't hear each other...it was a lot of fun, I thought. I laughed my ass off afterward. I also have enjoyed playing the VFW hall in Hagerstown, or that old church back in 2013. I don't know that I have ever NOT had fun doing it,
honestly.

Rouse: We played a show with a band called Heron at The Golden Pony in Harrisonburg, VA. That was a really cool show, and a very nice place to gig at for sure. Another favorite of mine was playing with Gloom, Cab Ride Home, and Venomspitter at Raw Ink back in 2016

Frost: Can’t say I have a favorite, all the shows I have played have been pretty great! I like to have a lot of energy on stage, it pumps people up and gives them something to remember. Playing out has always been a lot of fun for me, especially with this group.




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

Lawrence: No. Most of the band will be moving on, and there will have to be more retooling. This is just how it goes, how it's always been, and I know that, as I am the only original member left. It's hard to say what will happen beyond that, or what the music will be like, etc.



8.The new album is coming out on 'Edgewood Arsenal Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?


Tony Petrocelly [Guitar]: Edgewood Arsenal is a label I created to release albums by bands I'm in. Damnatio Memoriae will be the label's 4th release, with a couple more lined up as we speak.



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

Rouse: It's been incredible for us. Cloaked in Decay was a big release for us because we started reaching out to listeners in South America and Europe, and that was an awesome feeling for all of us. We received a lot of positive reviews for our last release, so I feel like we are on the right track.

Lawrence: Pretty good! I can't wait until they hear this one.

Frost: I’ve heard nothing but good things on our last release. I think this will be received well, and provide plenty of material for people to digest.




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

Petrocelly: In addition to Grethor, I play guitar and bass in Construct of Lethe; we're in the middle of recording our upcoming album as we speak. I also play drums in LORD, which is on the doomier side of things, and a grind band called Pain Tank. I also run a small recording studio (Trepan Studios), so I tend to wind up playing session for bands...just recently I played drums on the upcoming EP's for Affasia (melodic doom) and Capricorn (old school doom/rock).

Frost:

I’m working on material for my grind band Angry Hate Infestation, we are long overdue for a release. I have a group of guys I jam with where we play jazz/latin/blues rock, which has been fun, I like getting out of my comfort zone. Hoping to have some other new projects on the horizon.

Lawrence: I actually have a Black Metal project called Nox Summos that I have to finish recording.



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

Lawrence: Hard to say. We'll have to see what happens when we decide who will be in the lineup.

Frost: I think we will have to see what the response of this release is.



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

Lawrence: Emperor, Immortal, Mayhem, Dissection, Morbid Angel, and Meshuggah are all bands that made me get into Extreme Metal. I am constantly checking out YouTube for different stuff. Lately it's been Nightbringer, Akhlys, Aviichi, Hour Of Penance and such. I've also been revisiting Cypress Hill, especially their early 90's stuff, before they just talked about weed all the time.

Rouse: Bands that influenced me include but are not limited to Immolation, Gorguts, Morbid Angel, Dissection, and early 90's Gothenburg melodic death metal. I'm currently listening to Baring Teeth's Atrophy EP, Cyhra's Letters to Myself, and Insomnium's Above the Weeping World.

Petrocelly: Almost all music has had an influence on me in some fashion or another. Death metal is my favorite genre, and I make no bones about Morbid Angel and Hypocrisy being my favorite bands in that genre, but more often than not I'm inspired and motivated by musical elements I hear in disco or jazz or pop or classical music. Those things don't really find a 1:1 translation in the music I write, but something about them inspires me to pick up the guitar and play, or start practicing new drum techniques.

Frost:

I had a lot of non-metal influences when writing. Notably Steely Dan gave me some ideas to use some big piano chords in this album. I pretty much copied Robin Trower’s entire guitar rig setup, with some additional guitar pedals.

 I’ve been listening to the new releases from River Black, Incantation, Marty Friedman, Droid, Ende, Artificial Brain. I listen to everything from brutal death metal to the classic death metal. Other than that, I listen to mostly classic rock and some newer indie stuff.




13.What are some of your non musical interests?

Lawrence: Movies, books, and comic books. Right now, there's just so many good TV series; I just watched the latest episode of Mr. Robot, which I highly recommend, and Westworld. There's more than that, really, and it keeps me from sleeping. It's great.

Rouse: I work as a real estate agent in Northern VA.

Petrocelly: I'm an illustrator from time to time, and I'm slowly learning how to make sushi and Thai food.

Frost: I’m a gearhead, won’t be unusual to find me under the hood of a car. I also enjoy cooking and making cocktails, which I didn’t know I was good at until recently.



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

Lawrence: Definitely listen to the album when it comes out. Discuss it in a civil manner amongst friends, debate lyrical meanings amongst each other. If you want to discuss it with me, that is perfectly fine. If it influences you to create your own music, to further the genre, that's great. Enjoy it either way. Be engaged.

Rouse: Thanks for having us, and big thanks to all of our supporters and first time listeners!

Frost: Change is an essential process of all existence.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Darkyo/Kingdom Of Blind/Anthrazit Records/2017 CD Re-Issue Review

  Darkyo  are  a  solo  project  from  Russia  that  plays  an  instrumental  mixture  of  black and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2016  album  "Kingdom  Of  Blind"  which  was  re-issued  in 2017  by  Anthrazit  Records.

  Atmospheric  sounding  synths  start  off  the  album  while  also  bringing  in  a  variety  of  many  different  sounding  keys  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier blackened death  metal  direction  which  also  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  as  well  as  sticking  to  an  instrumental    musical  direction.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  which  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  along  with  the  music also  having  its  atmospheric  and  progressive  moments  as  well  as  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion,  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  operatic  female  vocals  can  be  heard  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  and  a  couple  of  the  later  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length. 

  Darkyo  plays  a  musical style  that  mixes  black  and  death  metal  together  while  also  keeping  everything  in  an  instrumental  direction  as  well  as  adding  in  some  atmospheric  and  prog  touches  and  the  production  sounds  very  professional.

  In  my  opinion  Darkyo  are  a  very  great  sounding  instrumental  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Crown  Of  Ash"  "Lost  City"  and  "Last  Guardian".  8  out  of  10.   

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Total Inferno Interview

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


What's going on now is that we are recording our next album and putting all our energy on it to make it perfect for us and our fans.



2.How would you describe the musical sound of the newer music?


It will sound like before but with maybe even more energy than our previous album. Still PURE EVIL METAL FROM HELL. Our former fans will not be disappointed.



3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band has explores over the years with the music?


Everything from the pleasure to kill to vampires, beasts and un named deamons and creatures.





4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Total Inferno'?


We wanted a cool name that reflects us and our music, it’s just as simple as that.



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


Every show has been good in one way or another. Our first show was good in the way that the reactions were so much better than we expected and our latest one we had at "ROCK AND ART FEST" about a month ago was good because it became apparent that the fans had become more.

Our stage performance is as it will on a metal show, energetic, hard and Metal!



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

This year we are focusing on our new album and getting it done but next year there are some gigs booked unofficially at the moment. And when we released our new album, there will be more shows after that.




7.Recently "Morbid Skull Records' re-issued your 2015 album, can you tell us a little bit more about the newer version?


It is an LP edition in two different colors. 100 pieces of Red and 200 pieces of black edition.



8.A year ago you where a part of a split with 'Disorder', what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording?


I (Jonny) had never heard of them before but have listened a bit to them after our split and thinks it sounds good.



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


The feedback has been very good. The word spread quickly when we started in 2014 and we received good reviews from around the world from the start.





9.Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?


Just Jonny who is also a member of MORDANT.



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


As I said earlier in this interview, we are in the studio and recording our upcomming album right now so it will be released hopefully at the beginning of next year. The music will be heading in the same direction as before, hard and uncompromising Metal.



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?


Same as before. Just Classic Heavy, Thrash, Speed, Black Metal and of course some newer bands as well. I'm not going to start name drop all bands that influence us because this interview will not enough. Most people who are in to metal probably get what bands I mean in my description of Metal genres.



12.Does Occultism ply any role in your music?


No, not specific, but it's a cool and inspirational topic to write about.



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


Be prepared for our upcomming Swedish INFERNO of PURE EVIL METAL FROM HELL !!!

Thanx for your interest in our band.

Homepage: www.totalinferno.se

Facebook: www.facebook.com/totalinferno

Horror God/Techne/Lavadome Productions/2017 Split CD Review


  This  is  a  review  of  a  split  album  between  Russia's  Horror  God  and  Techne  which  will  be  released  on  November  20th  by  Lavadome  Productions  and  we  will  start  off  the  review  with  Horror  God  a  band  that  plays  a  blackened  form  of  death  metal.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  a  very  heavy  and  brutal  sound  along  with  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  death  metal  growls  along  the  riffs  also  bringing  in  a  decent  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies.

  Throughout  their  side  of  the  split  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  dark  yet  distorted  fashion  along  with  the  music  also  incorporating  a  decent  amount  of  black  metal  elements  and  they  close  their  side  of  the  split  with  a  cover  of  Purulence's  "Sinking  Into  Transparency".

  Horror  God  plays  a  style  of  blackened  death  metal  that  is  very  brutal  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  death,  humanity  and  society  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Horror  God  are  a  very  great  sounding  brutal  blackened  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  their  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Golden  Billion"  and  "We  Are  Dust".

  Next  up  is  Techne  a  band  that  plays  a  very atmospheric form  of  death  metal.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  acoustic  guitar  playing  along  with  some  synths  which  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  death  metal  growls  along  with  the  riffs also  bringing  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  at  times  the  vocals  add  in  a  touch  of  black  metal.

  When  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  along  with  some  parts  of  the  music  also  bringing  in  melodic  vocals  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  most  of  their  tracks  are  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  closing  track  is  an  instrumental which  also  mixes  in  elements of  ethnic  music.

  Techne  plays  a  style  of  death  metal  that  is  very  atmospheric  and  progressive  sounding  as  well  as  being  very  original  and  different,  the production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  Techne  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  their  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Breathe"  and  "Techne".

  In  conclusion  I  feel  this  is  a  very  great  sounding  split  and  would  recommend  it  to  all  fans  of  blackened  death  metal  and  progressive  death  metal.  8  out  of  10.

  

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Grethor/Damnatio Memoriae/Edgewood Arsenal/2018 Full Length Review


  Grethor  are  a  band  from  Virginia  that  plays  a  blackened  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review of t heir  album  "Damnatio  Memoriae"  which  will  be  released  in  2018  by  Edgewood  Arsenal.

  A  very  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sounding  very  powerful  while  the  music  also  mixes  in  dissonant  and  avant  garde  structures  and  when  the  music  speeds  up it  also  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  as  well  as  being  rooted  mostly  in  brutal  death  metal.

  Vocals  are  a  mixture  of  grim  black  metal  screams  and  deep  death  metal  growls  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and fast  parts  along  with  the  music  also  getting  very  experimental  at  times  as  well  as  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sounding  very  powerful.

  The  riffs  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  melody  while  the  guitar  leads  when  they  are  utilized   add  in  a  90's  progressive  death  metal  style  along  with  a  couple  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  classical  music  elements  can  be  heard  and  the  fast  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking,  acoustic  guitars  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  the  closing  track.   

  Grethor  plays  a  musical  style  that  mixes  black  and  death metal  together  with  some  dissonant  and  avant  garde  structures,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  anti  religion  and  existentialism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Grethor  are  a  very  great  sounding  and  original  blackened  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Imminent  Unknown"  "Embracing  Oblivion"  "Weaponized  Madness"  and  "Wounds  Of  Ruin".  8  out  of  10.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

In Defilade/Elude/2017 Full Length Review


  In  Defilade  are  a  band  from  North  Carolina  that  plays  a  militant  form  of  blackened  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Elude"  which  will  be  released  in  November.

  Radio  static  noises  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  brutal  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  while  the  vocals  are  a  mixture  of  death  metal  growls  and  black  metal  screams  along  with  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  parts  and  the  fast  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  along  with  the  riffs  also  bringing  in  a  small  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  acoustic  guitars  can  be  heard  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  long  and  epic  in  length.

  In  Defilde  plays  a  style of  blackened  death  metal  that  is  very  brutal  and  militant  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  violent  themes.

  In  my  opinion  In  Defilde  are  a  very  great  sounding  brutal  and  militant  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Fearing  The  Worst"  "Drown  The  Child"  "Make  Them  Eat  Glass"  and  "Women  And  Children  First".  8  out  of  10.

  

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Total Inferno/Return Of Evil Chaos/Morbid Skull Records/2017 LP Re-issue Review


  Total  Inferno  are  a  band  from  Sweden  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black,  death,  thrash,  speed  and  heavy  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Return  Of  Evil  Chaos"  which  was  re-issued  in  2017  by  Morbid  Skull  Records

  Dark  yet  melodic  guitar  leads  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  heavy riffing  a  few  seconds  later  while  the  music  is  also  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  80's  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  while t he  vocals  are  mostly  grim  yet  high  pitched  black  metal  screams.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  elements  of  thrash,  speed  and  first  wave  black  metal  while  the  riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  along  with  the  tracks  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  some  death  metal  growls,  when  solos  and  leads  are utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  and  old  school  fashion  and  clean  vocals  and  traditional  metal  influences  are  also  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  music  and  one  track  also  adds  in  a  brief  use  of  synths  and  the last track  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Total Inferno  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  black,  death,  thrash,  speed  and  heavy  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  something  very  heavy  and  old  school,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  while  the  lyrics  cover  evil  and  slaughter  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  Total  Inferno  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black,  death,  thrash,  speed  and  heavy  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Super  Antichrist"  "Evil  Black  Fire"  and  "Speed  Metal  Death".  8  out  of  10.