Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Secrets Of The Sky/Pathway/Metal Blade Records/2015 CD Review


  Secrets  of  The  Sky  are  a  band  from  Oakland,  California  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  and  atmospheric  form  of  blackened  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Pathway"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Metal  Blade  Records.

  Water  sounds  start  off  the  album  and  after  the  intro  clean  playing  is  added  into  the  music  along  with  some  ambient  elements  and  clean  singing  vocals  along  with  a  small  amount  of  whispers  before  adding  in  heavy  doom  metal  influenced  guitars  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  A  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  also  mixes  in  black  metal  screams,  death  metal  growls  along  with  the  atmospheric  heavy  parts  being  mixed  together  and  the  songs  also  alternate  between  clean  and  heavy  parts  and  each  song  also  has  an  intro  in  between  and  there  is  also  a  great  amount  of  melody  in  the  riffs  and  when  acoustic  guitars  are  utilized  they  give  the  music  more  of  a  progressive  and  psychedelic  feeling.

  Secrets  Of  The  Sky  creates  another  album  that  combines  the  atmospheric  sides  of  black  and  doom/death  metal  together  and  also  bring  in  a  touch  of  psychedelic  and  progressive  rock  to  make  the  songs  have  more  originality,  the  production  sound s very  professional  while  the  lyrics  have  a  concept  to  them  and  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Secrets  Of  The  Sky  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Angel  In  Vines"  "Garden  Of  Prayers"  and  "Eternal  Wolves".  8  out  of  10.    

 

      

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Biotoxic Warfare 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?
Hey guys and thanks for the interview. Things are doing great for Biotoxic since we’ve released our debut album which has gained enormous feedback from the audience. We’ve played some really killer gigs both in Crete and Athens and in the meantime, we are arranging a few more live shows along with working on some new stuff for our 2nd album.

2. Recently you have released a new album. How would you describe themusical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the ep that was released a couple of year backs?
Lobotomized can be described as a mix of old school, mostly, German-style, thrash metal with some old school American death metal. A listener can also identify dark melodies, shredding guitar solos, punishing drum beats and advanced technic guitar riffing which will, surely, attract them. Although, there is a deep musically connection among our first EP and our debut album, we can say that our latest accomplishment has nothing to do with our very early steps. The song arrangements are more mature and well elaborated, as we, as musicians, are evolving and maturing every day and we emphasized more in the overall production and the sound quality along with Vaggelis Theodorakis from Revolted Masses who took up the mixing/mastering process. We try to overwhelm our powers with every new project we are involved into, and we think that Lobotomized is a very representative example.      

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
The main lyrical theme of the band is the strictly opposition with any organized religious cult or spiritual movement which uses tools of fear and propaganda to control the masses and restrain the free thinking. We, also, lyrically oppose to every political party which is doing the same. Through our lyrics, we call the people to rise up, stand for their beliefs and be masters of their own existence. However, we also drain themes from everyday life, society issues and generally, everything that draws our attention and worth being expanded in our songs.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Biotoxic Warfare'?
Actually, it’s kind of a funny story. In our early days, we were gathered up, trying to come up with a name for the band. After endless hours of searching, we were totally fed up and just wanted a name to end this story. So one of us said “Biotoxic” and the others added up “Warfare” as a tribute to the Slayer masterpiece “Chemical Warfare”.  It was sounding cool and thrashy, so we decided to keep it.

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
One of the most memorable shows was, definitely, our very first stage appearance, on January 2013, in Athens. The crowd went nuts from the first note and that gave us “thirst” for wanting more. Another remarkable performance was took place in our debut album release live show, where the audience moshed so hard that the venue owners had to cut up our show before we managed to complete it, to prevent injuries and further damages. Also, we had some unforgettable live moments sharing the stage with well-known acts as Enforcer and Suicidal Angels.

6. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
There are plans for some shows to be held outside of Greece in the nearby future, but we cannot provide further details, as nothing is 100% organized yet. However, stay tuned for more!  

7. You have participated on a Death tribute album, what was the decision behind doing your own version of one of one of their songs?
The whole idea about participating in a Death Tribute Album came to us from a friendly band who was also participating and they were looking for some more bands. We instantly took the offer, as Death is one of the bands that has inspired our musical identity and we figured out that it was a good way to pay our respects. We choose Evil Dead, because not only it’s one of our personal favorites, but also, it is one of their most fast and thrashy songs, so it fits well with our style. The result was more than pleasing, so we thought that it will be great idea to include it as a bonus track in our EP “Baptized In Blood And Greed”.      

8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of extreme metal?
The feedback so far is more than outstanding, both in Greece and abroad. We have attracted not only fans of thrash metal but from the whole extreme metal spectrum such as death metal fans, blacksters and even lovers of smoother music genres and that is a huge accomplishment for us. Every day, we receive very positive comments for fans (especially outside of Greece); the reviews are more than rewarding (we are being described as one of the greatest upcoming hopes for thrash metal from many people!) and a lot of fans ask us arranging a show in their country. This acts as a reward for all our efforts and gives us more strength and dedication to carry on and to achieve bigger goals.

9. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
As the songwriting process for our next album has already begun, we can say that the new stuff will be more violent, raw and aggressive that our previous one. Some more death metal elements will be added, the tempo will be raised, our technical level will be one step ahead, and one thing we can say for sure. If you’ve liked Lobotomized, you gonna totally love the new one!
 
10. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence
on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
We pay our great respects to the thrash scene of the 80s (mostly European but American as well) and in the American death metal scene. However, we don’t stick inside those genres walls and we are influenced from the whole extreme metal universe. Some representative bands can be the following: Kreator, Sodom, Slayer, early Sepultura, Sacred Reich, Dark Angel, Testament, Death, Obituary, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Cancer, Bolt Thrower, Legion Of The Damned, Pestilence, Asphyx etc.
 

11. What are some of your non musical interests?
Although, our whole world is spinning around music and it consumes most of our time, we have other interests as well. We love hanging out drinking beers, traveling, the majority of the band’s members are into sports or martial arts, and my personal non musical hobbies are reading, fishing and reptile keeping/breeding.    

12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
We would like to thank everyone who is reading this interview and supported us for the very beginning. Our debut full length album is out, so anyone interested can stop by and place their order via our official Facebook page. Till next time…THRASH!!!


All questions answered by George “Dimator” Dimitrakakis (Lead guitars)

Broken Cross/Through Light To Night/Apocalyptic Visions/2015 CD Review


  Broken  Cross  are  a  band  from  Sweden  that  plays  a  mixture  of  blackened  hardcore,  lo-fi  punk,  and  d  beat  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Through  Light  To  Night"  which  will  be  released  in  may  by  Apocalyptic  Visions.

  Nature  sounds,  spoken  word  samples  and  synths  start  off  the  album  and  after  the  intro  sounds  of  war  are  added  into  the  music  along  with  some  drums,  powerful  bass  lines  and  melodic  guitar  leads  as  well  as  a  great  mixture  of  hardcore  style  growls  and  black  metal  screams  which  also  leads  to  the  music  speeding  up  and  also  adding  in  a  touch  of  crustcore.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  raw  energy  of  hardcore  punk  and  at  the  times  the  music  can  be  very  atmospheric  in  more  of  a  lo-fi  style  and  the  solos  and  leads  also  bring  in  a  touch  of  classic  metal  at  times  while  the  faster  sections  are  very  heavily  influenced  by  d  beat  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  acoustic  guitars  and  clean  singing  and  there  is  also  a  song  that  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Broken  Cross  plays  a  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  crust,  hardcore  punk  and  d  beat  but  also  mixes  it  with  experimental  music  and  black  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  dark,  raw  and  lo-fi  while  the  lyrics  cover  horror  and  science  fiction  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Broken  Cross  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  blackened  hardcore,  lo-fi  punk  and  d  beat  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Forsaken  Existence"  "Into  The  Fire"  and  "Poison  Of  Insanity".  8  out  of  10.  

 
  

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Biotoxic Warfare/Lobotomized/Static Tension Recordings/2015 CD Review


  Biotoxic  Warfare  are  a  band  from  Greece  that  plays  a  blackened  form  of  death/thrash  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  'Lobotomozed"  which  will  be  released  in  June  by  Static  Tension  Recordings.

  Drum  beats  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavy  and  melodic  musical  direction  as  well  as  adding  in  solos  and  leads  that  also  use  a  decent  amount  of  melody  as  well  as  being  a  very  dominant  part  of  the  recording  and  after  a  minute   the music  starts  going  into  more  of  a  thrash  metal  direction.

  Spoken  word  parts  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  vocals  the  band  uses  are  very  aggressive  80's  style  thrash  vocals  that  also  bring  in  a  touch  of  first  wave  black  metal  and  some  of  the  songs  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing.

  Throughout  the  recording  there  is  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  as  the  album  progresses  more  element s of  early  death  metal  are  added  into  the  recording  and  while  the  music  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  an  80's  style  of  extreme  metal  the  production  and  the  way  the  band  approaches  the  songs  gives  the  music  more  of  a  modern  day  feeling  and  the  last  track  brings  in  a  small  amount  of  growls.

  Biotoxic  Warfare  plays  a  style  of  old  school  thrash  metal  that  they  mix  in  with  elements  of  black  and  death  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the lyrics  cover  Religious  Strife,  War,  Violence,  Society  and  Death.

  In  my  opinion  Biotoxic  Warfare  are  a  very  great  sounding  blackened   death/thrash  metal  band  an d if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Proclaim  The  Gospel  Of  Lies"  "Lust  For  Hate"  and  "As  We  Rot  (Promises  of  heaven)".  8  out  of  10.    

Friday, April 17, 2015

Barus Interview

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

Quite a lot of things are happening at the moment. We have been working on Barús for about a year now, but only officially unveiled the band when we released our debut EP in March. Currently we’re pretty busy between promoting the EP, finding a label for a physical release and writing new material.

2.In March you had released an ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

Our sound aims to be oppressing, heavy and unsettling, with a mostly old school death metal approach mixed with some more modern or progressive structures and frequent references to other genres of extreme metal. I usually just say that we play death metal, since I find that technical/progressive/modern death metal can mean pretty much anything these days, and they’re scenes that we don’t feel particularly attached to.

3.The band formed out of the ashes of Project Jim, what was the cause of splitting up that band and starting a new one?

The evolution was natural to us. We took some time to reflect on the essence of the music we wanted to make, what it meant to us, and what we wanted to convey as a whole. This led us to step back from some of the experimental elements of Project JIM and focus on something more raw, heavy and atmospheric, something more personal. It seemed fitting to start fresh, because Barús is not just a change of name; it’s an entirely new entity.

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

Musically, Barús expresses the burdens of the human spirit such as grief, self-doubt and melancholy. We express the sensation of powerlessness and insignificance that these burdens impose onto us, and how they condition the very essence of our beings. This leads to an introspective and sometime fatalistic vision of life and death. The lyrical topics in Barús address this in both a visceral and metaphorical way, exploring the sensation of death and of a misbalance between the spirit and the body.

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

The word ‘Barús’ comes from ancient Greek. It translates weight in both a literal sense, something that is heavy, monolithic and imposing, and in a metaphorical sense, such as a mental burden, grief. It is at the basis of the subjects developed in our music.

6.Has the band done any live shows or has this been strictly a studio project so far?

We haven’t done any live shows under the name Barús yet, as we have only existed officially for a month now. We are a live band though and a significant part of our activity will be playing live.

7.Are there any plans for any live shows or tours?

All being well, we should have a few concerts lined up in France during the summer and fall. Tours aren’t easy to set up since we each play in several bands and work or study on the side but we’ll try to make it happen, at least on a local level.

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

The feedback we have gathered so far has been very positive, from people in and outside of the death metal scene. This makes us eager to play the songs live.

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

Maïeutiste, a black metal band that two of us play in, will be releasing a first full-length album this September, with a series of concerts to promote the release. Our vocalist also sings in Deinmas, a grunge band that has a new demo out and is working on an EP. One of our guitarists has just embarked on a European tour with The Walking Dead Orchestra, his brutal death metal band, and they are working on a new album.

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

We’re currently working on our full length. We have already written and recorded demo versions of a lot of the songs on the album; hopefully we’ll be ready to start the studio recordings during this coming winter. Musically it follows on from the EP and will continue to elaborate on the same subject.

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?

I think in terms of metal in general we could mention bands like Converge, Deathspell Omega, Meshuggah (specifically the Catch 33 era), Ataraxie, Bethlehem. Our music doesn’t necessarily draw directly from the styles of these bands but they each have something unique and personal, a strong identity.
At the moment I listen to a lot of Ulver, mostly the electronic era and film score work. Concerning metal the latest Dead Congregation is great.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

We each have pretty diverse interests, but most of us spend the majority of our free time writing and producing music.

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

Thanks for the interview! For anyone interested in our music head over to our bandcamp page: barus.bandcamp.com (free download / name your price), and for any labels who would like to work with us for a physical release, contact us at barusband[at]gmail.com.

Woebegone Obscured/Deathscape MMXIV/Solitude Productions/2014 CD Review


  Woebegone  Obscured  are  a  band  from  Denmark  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and plays  a  blackened  form  of  funeral  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Deathscape  MMXIV"  which  was  released  by  Solitude  Productions.

  Dark  and  melodic  riffs  start  off  the  album  and  start  to  mix  in  with  a  very  heavy  style  of  funeral  doom  metal  and  most  of  the  songs  are  long  and  epic  in  length  and  also  bring  in  clean  sections  at  times  that  bring  an  ambient  feeling  to  the  recording  and  when  vocals  are  added  into  the  music  they  are  deep  death  metal  growls.

  Throughout  the  recording  there  is  a  great  mixture  of  both  clean  and  heavy  parts  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  grim  black  metal  screams  and  when  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  very  dark  and  melodic  sounding  and  clean  singing  can  also b e  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  also  gives  the  musical  more  of  an  operatic  feeling.

  Acoustic  guitars  can  be  heard  in  some  part s of  the  songs  and  some  of  the  tracks  also  bring  in  elements  of  ethereal  goth  music  and  they  also  bring  an  acoustic  track  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  when  they  go  into  their  cover  of  Bathory's  "Call  From  The  Grave"  which  they  also  give  more  of  a  doom /death  metal  vibe  and  they  close  the  album  with  a  cover  of  Dead  Can  Dance's  "Xavier".

  Woebegome  Obscured  creates  another  album  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  funeral  doom  but  also  mix  in  a  great  amount  of  black  metal  influences,  atmospheric  and  ambient  elements  to  create  their  own  musical  style,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  while  the  lyrics  cover  Dark  Nature,  Occultism,  Melancholy  and  Suicide  themes.  

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Woebone  Obscured  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black  metal  and  funeral  doom,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Catharsis  of  the  Vessel"  and  "Xavier".  8  out  of  10.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Throes/Disassoctation/Rain Without End Records/2015 CD Review


  Throes  are  a  duo  from  the  United  Kingdom  that  plays  a  blackened  form  of  death  metal  with  a  touch  of  industrial  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Disassoctation"  which  will  be  released  on  April  26th  by  Rain  Without  End  Records.

  Avant  garde  sounds  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  clean  playing  and  spoken  word  samples  a  few  seconds  later  and  you  can  also  hear  some  distorted  drones  at  times  and  a  minute  later  the  music  starts  going  into  more  of  a  brutal  blackened  death  metal  direction  along  with  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats,  growls  and  screams.  

  Melodies  can  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  and  the  band  also  mixes  in  industrial  sounds  with  the  heavy  riffs  at  times  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  when  solos  and  leads  are utilized  they  are  very  dark  and  distorted  sounding  and  there  are  also  a  couple  of  tracks  that  are  long  and  epic  in  length  and  clean  playing  also  returns  in  certain  sectiosn  of  the  recording.

  Throes  plays  a  musical  style  that  mixes  black  metal  with  brutal  death  metal  and  a  touch  of  industrial  ans  noise  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sound s very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  philosophical  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Throes  are  a  very  great  sounding  blackened  death  metal  band  with  a  touch  of  industrial  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Exponent"  and  "Caveat".  8  out  of  10.
     

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Vermond/Dawn Of The Black Harvest/Grimoire Records/2015 EP Review


  Vermond  are  a  band  from  Maryland  that  plays  a  blackened  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  ep  "Dawn  Of  The  Black  Harvest"  which  was  released  by  Grimoire  Records.

  Atmospheric  sounds  start  off  the  ep  along  with  the  feeling  of  a  fantasy  movie  soundtrack  and  after  the  intro  the  music  starts  going  for  a  heavier  direction  along  with  some  melodies  and  blast  beats  and  the  music  also  brings  in  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  deep  death  metal  growls  and  they  also  add  in  melodic  guitar  leads.

  At  times  the  music  can  be  very  technical  and  progressive  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  throughout  the  recording  there  is  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  you  can  also  hear  a  great  amount  of  talent  and  skill  being  displayed  in  the  solos  and  leads.

  Vermond  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  a  European  style  of  black  metal  and  mixes  it  with  technical  and  brutal  death  metal  to  create  their  own  sound,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism  and  Occultism  themes.

 In  my  opinion  Vermond  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Ophite  Cultus  Satanas"  and  "Dark  Harvest".  8  out  of  10.

       

Saccage/Vorace/PRC Music/2015 CD Review


  Saccage  are  a  band  from  Quebec,  Canada  that  plays  a  mixture  of  crust,  black,  death  and  thrash  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Vorace"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  PRC  Music.

  Spoken  word  samples  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  where  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording  and  after  awhile  the  music  speeds  up  and  brings  in  blast  beats,  aggressive  screaming  vocals  and  back  up  gang  shouts  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  You  can  hear  a  lot  of  crust  and  d  beat  in  the  bands  musical  style  along  with  some  first  wave  black  metal  elements  that  are  done  in  a  more  modern  version  as  well  as  a  great  mixture  of  both  old  school  thrash  and  death  metal  influences  and  growls  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording.  and  they  also  bring  in  a  few  live  tracks  and  the  album  sticks  to  a  heavy  musical  direction  from  beginning  to  end.

  Saccage  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  the  raw  energy  of  crust   punk  and  mixes  it  in  with  the  heaviness  of  black,  death  and  thrash  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sound s very  powerful  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  French  and  cover  Evil,  Satanism,  Drugs,  Alcohol  and Anarchy  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Saccage  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  crust,  black,  death  and  thrash  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Vorace"  and  "Rosserie".  8  out  of  10.  

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Barus/Self Titled/2015 EP Review


  Barus  are  a  band  from  France  that  plays  a  blackened  form  of  death  metal  with  elements  of  doom  and  post  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  and  self  released  2015  ep.

  A  very  progressive  and  brutal  death  metal  sound  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  some  elements  of  post  metal  and  blast  beats  which  also  leads  yp  to  growls  and  screams  becoming  a  huge  part  of  the  recording  an d you  can  also  hear  a  decent  amount  of  melody  in  the  guitar  riffing  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  When  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  bring  even  more  of  a  melodic  and  prog  metal  sound  to  the  bands  musical  style  and  the  music  can  also  be  very  atmospheric  at  times  and  you  can  also  hear  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  parts  in  some  of  the  songs  and  as  the  ep  progresses  clean  playing  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  a  small  amount  of  melodic  vocals  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Barus  takes  a  progressive  style  of  death  metal  and  mixes  it  with  black,  doom  and  post  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  philosophical  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Barus  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black,  death,  doom,  prog  and  post  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Tarot"  and  "Cherub".  8  out  of  10.
  

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Ides Of Gemini/Carthage/Strange Fruit/Magic Bullet Records/2015 EP Review


  California's  Ides  Of  Gemini  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  that  continues  their  mixture  of  black  metal,  doom,  psychedelia  and  shoegaze  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  ep  "Carthrage/Strange  Fruit"  which  will  be  released  on  April  18th  by  Magic  Bullet  Records.

  Acoustic  guitar  playing  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  some  drum  beats  before  adding  in  clean  singing  female  vocals  that  have  a  very  etherial  atmosphere  to  them  and  after  a  minute  and  a  half  the  music  starts  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  and  the  music  also  brings  in  a  great  mixture  of  both  clean  and  heavy  parts.

  The  second  track  is  a  cover  of  Billie  Holiday's  "Strange  Fruit"  which  start s out  of  clean playing  and  melodic  vocals  and  the  song  is  also  based  on  a  poem  by  Abel  Merepool  and  the  solos  and  leads  that  are  utilized  are  very  dark  and  melodic.

  Ides  Of  Gemini  creates  another recording  that  is  very  dark,  melodic,  heavy  and  atmospheric  sounding  and  also  remains  true  to  the  sound  they  have  established  on  previous  releases,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  depressive  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding recording  from  Ides  Of  Gemini  and  if  you  are  a  fan of  this  band,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Strange  Fruit".  8  out  of  10.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Vulcano/Wholly Wicked/PRC Music/2015 CD Review


  Vulcano  are  a  band  from  Brazil  that h as  been  around  for  more  than  30  years  and  where  one  of  the  first  bands  to  ever  mix  black,  death  and  thrash  metal  together  in  that  country  and  are  considered  a  very  huge  influence  on  the  second  wave  black  metal  bands  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Wholly  Wicked"  which  will  be  re-issued  in  May  by  PRC  Music.

  a  very  dark  and  heavy  thrash  metal  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  growling  vocals  a  few  seconds  later  that  are  very  close  to  80's  style  death  metal  while  the  production  gives  the  music  more  of  a  modern  sound  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sound  very  powerful  while  the  leads  and  leads  bring  in  a  very  raw  and  old  school  extreme  metal  sound  to  the  recording.

  At  times  the  vocals  go  for  more  of  an  aggressive  style  of  thrash  metal  with  some  of  the  screams  and  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  into  some  of  the  tracks  while  some  songs  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  and  throughout  the  recording  there  is  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Vulcano  creates  an  album  that  is  more  in  the  extreme  style  of  death/thrash  while  some  elements  of  black  metal  are  still  present  on  their  sound  but  nowhere  near  their  earlier  stuff  but  still  very  good  quality  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism,  Paganism,  Death  and  Evil  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Vulcano  are a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black,  death  and  thrash  metal  and  if  you  are  interested  in  hearing  some  of  the  bands  that  have  been  a  huge  influence  on  the  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Pentagram"  "Daughters  Of  Pagan  Rituals"  "Wholly  Wicked"  and  "Blowing  Death".  8  out  of  10.

Whipstriker/Troopers Of Mayhem/PRC Music/2015 CD Review


  Whipstriker  are  a  band  from  Brazil  that  plays  a  mixture  of  blackened  heavy  metal,  thrash  and  d  beat  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Troopers  Of  Mayhem"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  PRC  Music.

  A  very  old  school  punk  thrash  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  elements  of  first  wave  black  metal  and  a  few  seconds  later  aggressive  vocals  are  added  into  the  music  and  you  can  hear  the  80's  influences  throughout  the  recording  while  the  production  gives  the  music  more  of  a  modern  day  feeling  and  the  band  also  adds  melodies  into  certain  sections  of  the recording.

  When  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  remain  true  to  an  old  school  metal  direction  and  some  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  crust  and  d  beat  elements  and  one  of  the  tracks  also  brings  in  a  brief  use  of  psychedelic  sounding  synths  while  the  focus  remains  on  more  of  a  raw  and  old  school  style  of  extreme  metal  and  the  songs  also  bring  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Whipstriker  takes  a  first  wave  style  of  black  metal  and  mixes  it  with  thrash  and  d  beat  as  well  as  adding  in  more  of  a  modern  touch  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sound s very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark,  violent  and  occult  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Whipstriker  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  blackened  heavy  metal,  thrash  and  d   beat  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Troopers  Of  Mayhem"  "Lucifer  Set  Me  Free"  and  "Backward  Progress'.  8  out  of  10.

    

Friday, April 3, 2015

Encyrcle Interview


This is Anders Edalis speaking, drummer, pianist, and primary songwriter of Encyrcle.


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

We're a five-piece, situated pleasantly in the middle of nowhere, Odense in Denmark, from which pretty much anything can happen. We play dark, speedy rock music. Most would label it metal, but metal is just a subgenre of rock music anyway. We don't think much of genres, this is probably one of the basic things about this band. It's about the freedom of expression, but derived from the spine of melodic and dangerous heavy metal.


2
In June you have an album coming out, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

An adventurous and unpredictable, eclectic mix of bipolar, fierce, melancholic music, executed either fast or less fast.


3
The band refers to it's musical style as 'nocturnal speed metal', can you tell us a little bit more about this term?

We came up with the term more because of practical necessity rather than choice. The most common denominator between the songs is probably classic speed metal, you could say, but because we throw the dark and aggressive expressions of some of the more extreme genres into it, we put nocturnal in front. Nocturnal is also a fitting word for the lyrical content, as well as the overall aesthetics.


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

Even though our album isn't a concept album by any means, it has a sort of thematic flow. The song and lyrical progression concerns the confrontation with the destructive and liberating forces of night and its simultanous pregnancy. It's more of a mental thing, but an analogy would be the sun going under at dusk, the transition through night and the light dawning anew, creating something different. So the nocturnal aspect is very much present in the lyrics. The nights sundering powers as something productive, or the fruitfulness of death. This is our theme.


5
What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Encyrcle'?

Encyrcle is a deliberate mispelling of Encircle. The pronouncation is identical, but by using the y, the 'circle' is sort of distorted or mutated. A circle is a closed circuit, but a cyrcle is something different, like the breaking of a pattern, just like a spiral is a circle, just unconfined, progressing further outwards or inwards. Our cover art is a play on the relationship between the circle and spiral.


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

I would say that our shows are getting increasingly better as we are improving our delivery and the audience is catching better onto what we do. Everything is spiralling upwards at this moment, so the bar is constantly being raised. Recently we've begun adding an instrumental track at the start of our show, a hypnotic and bewitching piece of medieval-inspired, electronic torture-music, marking our entrance on the stage. This has been very effective in laying a sort of magical carpet over the entire thing.

Aside from this, our presence is dictated by the intensity of the music. Rather than the music being an expression of us, we are perhaps rather the vessels for the musical expression. This might sound crazy, but so much of it is unconscious. That's the magic of playing live: losing yourself in it. The music becomes the puppeteer, the players the puppets. Music is most beautiful when you are taken by it. Swallowed and destroyed, yet strangely elevated.


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

The album will serve as the stepping stone that will hopefully allow us to go on a proper tour in the near future. We have already been talking about doing something in the autumn, but it requires a lot of planning. So far our longest travel will be when we go the Athens, Greece in September. Hopefully we can do much more of this.


8
On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of metal?

Speaking of Athens, the most visible "condensed" reception has maybe come from there. Several nice Greeks have written us, musicians, bookers, artists. But our album is released by an American label, Unspeakable Axe Records, a sub-label of Dark Descent Records. They discovered us before we knew of them, and it has become a wonderful relationship already. So things are spreading and happening pretty quickly.


9
Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Our debut album, 'Encyrcle', is just the opening door through which we embark into something yet unknown. I talked about about the unconscious aspects about playing live, about being 'taken', and it's the same thing with the writing proces. You don't want to decide too much of where the music is going, because you'll limit yourself from some potentially wonderful ideas. The best ideas always spring forth spontaneously, like fish appearing from the deep, and you just have to be good at fishing, as David Lynch once said. Still, we're not going to leave the framework we've somehow set up, and the next step will be a further exploration of this quest. Encyrcle is a voyage, not a resting place.


10
What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

This is complicated in relation to Encyrcle. My musical influences range across the entire spectrum of metal, rock, classical, electronic music, whatever has searched the "lower reaches". A few of the other members have death metal backgrounds, and I have played punk and thrash metal before. I've always had an affinity for the 'japanese way' of doing well-known things differently, thinking of bands like Sabbat, Sigh, early X Japan and Sex Machineguns. I'm the primary songwriter, so I think those are some of the influences. Black metal has had a big influence too. But also, one of the songs, an instrumental one, incorperates piano together with the rest in a sort of psychotic marriage of modulations and mood changes. This shows some of the range that has made this band. As I see it, there's not a long throw from jazz, classical or gypsy-music to black metal. The other day I saw King Dude in concert. A man with an acoustic guitar that sings of Satan and love. I believe the personal reward of music depends on its mood and feeling, not the genre or instruments.

Also, recently, I went and saw the german dystopian midnight-jazz-ensemble (well, that's my classification of them anyway), Bohren und Der Club of Gore, play in Copenhagen. This jazz-band is more HEAVY than many metal bands. They said a few inspiring words after their first song: "We are Bohren und Der Club of Gore. Bohren is a german word that means 'drilling', and that is what we do." Then they continued playing. I realize now that this simple sentence sums up a lot of my appreciation of music or life in general. I like anything that somehow "drills" down to the dangerous and disturbing things beneath the surface; that destroys the layers of conscious obstruction, habit and automatic thinking. That place deep down might be uncomfortable or even terrifying to some people, and that might be why some would rather listen to pop-music or  softer, lighter things. But pop-music can reach this deep place too. You can also find contemplation of the abyss in certain Madonna-songs. I like anything that penetrates into that subterranean area.


11
Does Occultism play any role in your music?

Wow, these questions are placed in a very clever order. Because speaking of the subterranean, we of course are talking about the occult already. The word means 'hidden' or 'secret', so yes, there is a kinship. I won't label myself an occultist, magician or anything, but any literature, philosophy, movie or music that deals with these topics will have me interested. I like to call it the 'night-side', and a song like 'Evoke the Night', from our album, or the opener, 'To the End', are about the communication with this dark side where things are swallowed and patterns are broken. Also, the cover of our album, 'Chronoboros', the serpent "devouring" the spiral, mixes up several hermetical symbols. Some of our lyrics touches esoteric themes and concepts. But again, it's not a conscious choice to try to appear 'occult', but just something we are drawn to, just like Nietzsches character-type, 'the free spirit', is drawn to anything that might appear uncommon or fruitful to him alone.


12
What are some of your non musical interests?

Reading, writing, travelling, losing track of where I am, getting intoxicated. I've been writing a book of fiction beside these songs the last few years. A publishing house has showed interest in releasing it, so hopefully it will also cross over from the night-side into light sometime during the year. Oh yeah, I also like Nachos. Besides Encyrcle, the members have a Nachos-cult called 'Illuminachos'. The recipe is quite fantastic and secret. No kidding here.


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

Thank you for showing interest in Encyrcle and for spending time reading this. We've been looking forward to the release of our album for a long time, and hopefully it will speak to something deep inside you that we can help set free.

www.facebook.com/encyrcle
http://unspeakableaxerecords.com
http://www.facebook.com/unspeakableaxerecords

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Veratrum Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Veratrum are a blackened death metal band with various influences from Bergamo, northern Italy. We are active since 2008 and we have released two full length albums: Sentieri Dimenticati (“Forgotten Paths”) in 2012 and Mondi Sospesi (“Suspended Worlds”) in 2015 and a demo “Sangue” (“Blood”) 2010.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
The sound of the new album is an epic blackened death metal with various influences (death, black, ambient and others). It differs from the past works because it is much more mature and personal, the arrangements are symphonic and powerful and the overall quality of the work stands out.

3.The band has been around since 2008 but so far have only released 2 full length's and a demo, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap between releases?
Well, the line up was fully completed with the arrival of our drummer Sabnok in early 2009. We took our time to get to know each other as musicians in order to understand what kind of band we wanted to be, where to go and so on. Therefore, practically we released 3 works in less than 6 years which is not too bad. Writing songs and, especially, arranging them takes time and we are determined to explore new artistic solutions in every album avoiding repetitions as much as possible and we rarely find our first intuitions satisfactory.

4.Your lyrics cover ancient spirituality, theosophy and mythology, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?
These themes were explored by our singer Haiwas while looking for inspiration for the concept album Sentieri Dimenticati. However, both in Sangue and Mondi Sospesi the lyrics tend to be more intimate and personal, using spirituality and mythology as excuses to talk about present days and ourselves. By the way, the lyrics are in Italian but duly translated in English into the booklet of the albums.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Veratrum'?
Veratrum is the name of a poisonous plant capable of causing deformations and mutilations to newborn animals that eat it. It is a good example of the duality of nature and of the world.

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?
The band has often performed on the local scene gaining experience as well as standing out in metal contests. During live shows we try to be always focused and professional, our main concern is to deliver a good performance involving the audience in the atmosphere and the meaning of our songs.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
 A part from local gigs, we will take part in Fosch Fest, an important Italian metal festival supporting Carcass and other well-known names. Also, we are working on other things: stay in touch!

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
The band has constantly received good reviews from national and international webzines and reviews. Among the others, “Sangue” won the “Demo of the Month” prize awarded by Metal Hammer Italy. In general, our internet pages have a good number of visitors and we manage to keep a good position in Reverbnation’s charts. Therefore, I would say the response is good.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
The new album “Mondi Sospesi” has developed further some experiments and ideas that were only marginally present in the old works, first of all the epic sound and orchestral arrangements. It is too early to talk about the future but we will keep on searching for different ideas, that’s for sure.

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?
All the members of the band were part of different projects before: black metal (Fosch); symphonic black metal (Voland); doom metal (Winter of Souls). I’d say these projects influenced our growth as musicians but they are no more. Currently we only focus on Veratrum.

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?
In general, we listen to different kinds of music, many of them are not metal. The key influences, however, are Behemoth, Nile, Dissection, Belphegor but many others indeed, including brutal stuff and ambient.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Everyone has their hobbies such as sports, travelling, reading, playing chess and others.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you very much for the interview. We ask to all the readers to listen to the music of Veratrum and support the underground scene. For more info and news, check out our Facebook page, look for us under the name “Veratrum”, as well as our Reverbnation account www.reverbnation.com/veratrumdeath .