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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Towering Interview

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

Towering started around late 2013 when Christnacht and I joined forces after hearing some Old School Death Metal early recordings I made. We then were joined by Wargod on the drums in 2014, and immediately began rehearsing and writing new material. In 2015 bassist Necrovorator joined us to complete our first official line-up, allowing us to play our first show and eventually to record and release our first demo "Towards Fate" in 2016. Mortem replaced Wargod on the drums in early 2017, marking the beginning towards a darker and more complex music.


2.You have your first full length coming out during that end of May, musically how does it differ from your previous demo and promo?

Starting as an Old School Death Metal band, Towering has a very rich variety of influences amongst its members. This led us to develop darker and heavier ambiances as well as more refined structures. We also took time to work on our sound and what we wanted to create on 'Obscuring Manifestation', and  we are really proud of it!


3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with your music?

Death has always held a central part in Towering, as it guides every living being throughout its existence. Being a certainty, it also raises interrogations, fear, belief or rejection. Some can experience it in different ways, finding answers in cults and rites, others by resolutely awaiting the great void. It is something we can feel over our lives, a burden we carry through the ages, dominating us. Our lyrics focus on these aspects, and much more, but I'll let the listeners finding out by themselves!

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

It is in direct relation with our lyrics and the atmosphere we try to establish, both musically and visually. Something greater, darker; an undefined presence lingering over our lives, silently awaiting for our end, affecting us from birth to death. A monument symbolizing the emptiness of our hollow lives as a whole, erected as the testimony of what led us to our extinction.

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

We wanted 'Obscuring Manifestation' to be a whole entity, from tracks to lyrics and visuals. SeelsOvBlackening managed to gather every aspect as one unified representation. It brings back to our name but also the lyrics I mentioned above, becoming the dominating presence watching us silently through the ages as a monument to our failure.

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

Every show was unique in its own way, being from its energy or for what it symbolized at that time. We can't forget our first show with Mortem, opening for Phrenelith and Funebrarum in 2017. But one of the most intense and fulfilling live experience was our early-April mini tour with Belgian label-friends of Storm Upon the Masses in Lille and Ghent. It was both our first show out of France and one of our most attended and intense show.
Which is, to answer your latter question, the word that we hear the most often after our show to describe us: 'intense'. We put everything we have in ourselves on the stage, never slowing down.

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

At the moment, several opportunities are showing up, but it is still in discussion, but we sure are looking forward to play abroad!


8.Te new album is coming out on 'Dolerem Records', how did you get in contact with this label?

It was quite unexpected, as its owner contacted us for an old-school Death Metal release since the only material we had at that time was our demo. We replied by indicating our music had evolved and sent him some home recordings, saying we perhaps weren't what he was looking for. But Alex really liked it and was eager to sign us up with our current material. Our collaboration was excellent, and we're really happy to be part of Dolorem to say the least!

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

So far "Obscuring Manifestation" has been really well-received, getting awesome reviews and great feedback, in France of course but as well as in the rest of Europe and North America.


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

Currently Towering is heading towards an ever more refined and heavier music, with more complex structures and variations, closer to tracks such as "Monuments to Our End" and "One With the Black Earth".

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?

Our influences and daily listenings regroup a large variety of bands such as Azarath, Misþyrming, Vader, Amenra, Dissection, Bolt Thrower, Ulcerate, Emperor...

12.Does Occultism play any role in your music?

It does, mainly in our lyrics, as it is a perpetual search for answers using unconventional means.

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

Huge thanks for giving us the opportunity to make this interview possible, and to everyone who read it!

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I, Apokalypse/Destroyer Of Worlds/PRC Music/2019 CD Review


  I,  Apokalypse  are  a  band  from  Quebec,  Canada  that  plays  a  blackened  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "Destroyer  Of  Worlds"  which  was  released  by  PRC  Music.

  A  very  dark  and  epic  sounding  intro  starts  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction.  A  decent  amount  of  melody  can  also  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  Vocals  are  mostly  death  metal  growls  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.  Elements  of  black  metal  are  also  utilized  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording which  also  shows  up  in  some  of  the  tremolo  picking  and  screams  when they  are utilized.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts can  be  heard  as  well  as  the  closing  track  being  long  and  epic  in  length.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  death,  darkness  and  violence  themes.

  In  my  opinion  I,  Apokalypse  are  a  very  great  sounding  blackened  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Of  Terror  And  Torment"  "Black  Death"  and  "Flaying  Living  Disgrace".  8  out  of  10.

https://prcmusic.bandcamp.com/album/i-apokalypse-destroyer-of-worlds-cd     

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Sulgogar 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 ?

R =) At the moment we are very focused on the promotion of Cannibal-Toon and the video clip of the single "En el Olvido". However, also this we’re thinking about our next projects, so we’re likely to get to work in a new production if our time and circumstances become more favorable.

2.Recently you have released a new album , musically how does Item differ desde your previous ep ?

R =) Compared with Science of Beyond we could say that Cannibal-Toon is a much more aggressive album. It’s just enough to listen to the intro to know that this new production does not forgive anything or anyone. In addition, Cannibal-Toon is more focused on social criticism and protest, while Science of Beyond was closer to the wave of aliens and other crazier issues.

At the musical level, we can say that this second album is more melodic and also includes more songs than the previous one . Note the collaboration we did with Yesica Castelo for the song “En el Olvido” (In Oblivion), where the thing becomes more melodic than usual. In summary, there are clear differences between both productions, it is only necessary to listen to them with special care to realize it.

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

R =) In this new release we explore the pure and rude social criticism. We evolved a bit in regards to the composition of the lyrics, because the message is much clearer and accumulated experience seems to be paying off.

4.On your previous recording you also covered UFO's and some of the writings of Richard Dawkins on your previous ep , can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics ?

R =) Weiss Sting's interest in UFOs goes back to his childhood. From a very young age he dedicated himself to researching this subject and proposed that the band take that type of stuff as a source of inspiration. As for the writings of Richard Dawkins, Sting Weiss wanted to play around with the idea of ​​the " selfish gene " while writing the lyrics for the song " Femi- Nazis". Although we may borrow other ideas from Mr. Dawkins to include them in future songs.

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

R =) That brutal piece of art was created by BJ Manchester, a great friend of the band who has more than once expressed his interest in continuing to produce sick drawings for Sulgogar . We actually came across the design of the cannibal cartoons by accident. BJ Manchester showed it to us along with other drawings from his portfolio and we immediately asked him to sell it to us. The rest is history.

For us, the Cannibal-Toon's cover art represents what is currently happening in Venezuela: a political and social cannibalism, where all the characters in this show of bad taste seem to be taken from cartoons. Especially all the infamous people who are in the government.

6.What are some of the best shows That the band has played over the years and how would you describe Also yo ur stage performance?

R =) So far we have only played in a small event that took place at the end of last year. We hope to be able to play in metal concerts soon when things improve around here, because it is not easy at all.

We like to play the songs much faster than normal and in lower tunings. So people can notice that everything sounds more brutal at live.

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

R =) at the moment we have no planned tours or concerts. Maybe for a few months we can do something about it, as long as the circumstances around us allow it.

8.Currently you are unsigned , are you looking for a label or have received any interest ?

R =) Well, currently we are part of the Machine Man Records roster and we are very happy for this great achievement. Although who knows if later we can free up some new material with a bigger label. Let's wait and see what happens.

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

R =) as far as we know the people says that our songs are very good. We already have a very important fan base in Venezuela and in different parts of the world that is always felt. Since Science of Beyond came out, many people have written to us saying that they like our style a lot and that they expect us to continue producing more material. So if there is a good feedback In all this, it means that people like what we do and that motivates us to move forward with our project.

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

R =) Sting Weiss is also the leader and keyboardist of Anfítrite, an international symphonic metal band that is currently producing their second studio album. Although he is also the keyboardist in Dragón Blanco and is recording with them as well. Steve Kaiba is working on his solo project and on the next Dragón Blanco album. For her part, Svetlana Sevostianova is almost always busy helping other bands as she is a session drummer in her country.

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

R =) we see ourselves producing more music for our fans and looking for ways to play in metal concerts. 

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 ?

R =) our main influence is Impaled Nazarene. Although we also like to listen to others bands. We really like Municipal Waste, Thrash or Die, Violator and all those things.

13. What are some of your non musical interests ?

R =) Each one of us is dedicated to other things besides metal. For example, Sting Weiss is a writer and screenwriter, and he also dedicates himself to the good job of game tester for an important company in the field of video games. Steve Kaiba gives guitar lessons and Svetlana devotes a lot of time to his university studies.

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

R =)   Thank you very much everyone for reading this interview. We are very pleased to know that our music is being listened to all over the world and that all this has allowed us to launch a second production. We thank everyone for the support and especially the BlackenedDeathMetalZine team and the staff of Machine Man Records who are always very attentive to Sulgogar.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Imperator Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the reunion?

Well, the reunion itself probably took place the moment I decided to resurrect IMPERATOR in December 2017. So since that moment I collected the line-up, practiced like hell throughout 2018 and had 3 gigs in December 2018. The rehearsals were really intense cause I practically had to learn to play the guitar again. Between 1995 and 2017 I picked the guitar only on a couple of occasions so it was a real challenge to agree to perform alongside Behemoth at Merry Christless’18. Some people don’t believe I didn’t use the guitar for more than two decades. Well, it’s true, hahaha…But, as I say it involved almost 200 rehearsals in 2018 to regain what was lost! This year we have been rehearsing the rest of the material and 2 weeks ago played a pretty good gig with the Hungarian Tormentor, Nun Slaughter and Iron Angel. Twas a very good hang out as well, you might imagine…

2.Your material had a sound that was in between early black and death metal, do you feel you have had an influence on both of the genres with the later bands that came out after the first album?

Never gave it much thought, but heard in those 20 plus years such comments. Couple extreme metal scene people remarked that we must have had some influence on a number of bands judging by their music or even album cover artwork. I also got a lot of letters and then mails between 1995 and 2017 from different bands worldwide saying that we were their inspiration. Nice as it may seem it does not especially make me be ready to boast about it. Am simply grateful for such an energy flow. And wish all those bands all the best!

3.I have read that the band at one time was going to release an album on Deathlike Silence before being released on a different label, can you tell us a little bit more about what happened during that time?

It’s been commonly known that I had a pretty good contact with Euronymous and Dead from MAYHEM. And there were some really advanced plans to issue IMPERATOR as Anti-Mosh 002 by Euro’s ‘Deathlike Silence’, but we finally didn’t do it. We were back then in Poland still deeply rooted in the communist reality and it was so fuckin’ hard to swiftly prepare everything on time. Plus the problem of sending the money from the label onto the Polish bank accounts (cause it was not easy in Poland, sometimes impossible), the circus with finding a proper recording studio, getting contact with any appropriate sound engineer and so on and so forth. I remember talking to Euronymous on the phone a lot and trying to find a solution, but it wasn’t easy back then behind the fuckin’ Iron Curtain. So all those factors badly delayed the album’s release and finally I didn’t want to wait forever and decided to jump at a local chance in Poland and recorded it in 1990. Then we released it in 1991.

4.Your lyrics had a good amount of references to the 'Necronomicon' 'Ancient Grimoires' and the writings of Agrippa and Crowley, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the occult?

I was really fond of those topics while writing the lyrics. In the mid and late 80’s (those were the years when the material for the demos and ‘The Time Before Time’ was written) you couldn’t find in Poland anything about the occult. Or almost anything. There were a few people I had contact with who were part of a pretty hermetic circle and I used to gain inspiration from our rare yet regular meetings. This is as much as I can tell you, I guess…

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

I remember sitting at a history class in the late 1983 or early 1984 and that history teacher was saying something about Saint Petersburg and the way it was built. In the middle of the lesson I got instantly awoken by what I heard. Namely; Peter the Great (tsar and later emperor of Russia) captured the Swedish fortress on May 12th 1703 (and May 12 is my birthday, hahaha), which later turned into a big city; Saint Petersburg. What I found morbid and stunning was the fact that tens of thousands of people died while building the city! And emperor in Polish means IMPERATOR, so I guess I had a perfect name for the band which literally didn’t even exist. I came up with the name of the band first, then there was a first logo and only then did I start even thinking who to play with. I knew that I wanted to play the guitar and that I wanted to play metal. At first sth more like AC/DC. I remember I even wrote a song called ‘Petersburg’, which had some lyrics like; ‘People are building and people are dying’. Then I heard ‘Show No Mercy’ and I no longer wanted to play like AC/DC, neither like SLAYER though hahaha…

6.Between 1991 and 1999 there was only one demo released after the first album, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during that time frame?

This demo was recorded by a bunch of guys who simply stole the name of the band from me! Period. I do not consider it an IMPERATOR demo and has already settled the case with the guys. Unfortunately in some sources you can still find it as an official IMPERATOR release, which IT IS NOT!

7.The band was broken up for 18 years, what was the cause of the split and also the decision to reform?

John, the band was practically broken for 24 years (not counting the summer of 1995 when I tried to resurrect it with some musicians, one of whom – Chris – is currently the band member). I decided to hibernate IMPERATOR at the end of 1993 cause we were playing too slow and not the way I wanted. It coincided with my moving to London for half a year, after which I didn’t want to play the tracks that we composed throughout 1993. We played them live and so on, but I guess deep in me I never accepted this slow IMPERATOR. And I was getting gradually fed up with the style of our music. In 1993 all around us the bands were playing fuckin’ faster and faster and we were heading towards different horizons and I hated that! Some songs which were written in 1993 were to some extent the whole band’s ideas, not only mine as with the demos and TTBT album, and I simply had another artistic vision. I couldn’t work this way any longer. In December 2017 Nergal and Orion invited me to play with BEHEMOTH during Merry Christless 2018 gigs. They suggested I resurrect IMPERATOR and be a special guest at the following year’s concerts. It was the spark that made me pluck up the courage, think and analyze. It was a fuckin’ hard decision to make. I risked a lot, probably the whole image of IMPERATOR that in some circles had by then become cult. But I felt I had to do it and I started to look around for musicians and the things rolled on…

8.Out of all of the shows the band had played in the past, which one stands out the most?

Many. We used to have a really wild reception during the shows. Some people say we (maybe along with the Hungarian TORMENTOR) opened the Eastern European extreme metal scene to the world, and I guess there’s much truth in it. So in the second half of the 80s we gained some recognition and those gigs were really memorable. Hard to name them all. I can only say that we were also pretty rough after the gigs so the hotels suffered and the bookers were often afraid of what we might leave behind, hahaha…twas madness!

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

We’re playing a pretty big 3 day festival in September and an exclusive gig with PROTECTOR in October. We were invited to headline one of the days at Destroying Texas metal festival this year, but the US is probably the last country we still need to have visas to, and we didn’t manage to arrange the visas for all the band members in time. I am in touch with the organizers and they are still interested in flying us into US in 2020, so I hope it’ll work out. Am also negotiating the terms of some European festivals in 2020…

10.Recently Nuclear War Now! Productions re-issued your 1991 album, how would you compare working with this label to your older label 'Nameless'?

I guess Yosuke is a pro! So far there hasn’t been any problem in communication and I hope it’ll be distributed the proper way. By the way, ’Nameless Productions’ was the name I came up with. The guy who paid for the studio and pressing of the vinyls back then had no idea whatsoever about music releasing and promotion. And he didn’t even have any such thing like a record company, label or whatever. That’s why my improvised name “Nameless Productions’…

11.On a worldwide level how has the reaction to your music back in the days by fans of underground metal?

As I already mentioned there was a lot of good energy flowing from fans all around the world in the late 1980s and early 1990s…Once I counted, back then, and it turned out I got letters from around 80 countries!

12.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?

Novock and his band DEVILPRIEST are active and play some shows this year, the same with Richter and his band TRUCHLO STRZYGI. I don’t know their exact plans and they don’t interfere with IMPERATOR’s itineraries. So everything’s just fine!

13.Is there going to be a new album released in the future?

The process of my putting the riffs together isn’t too rapid and it has to take some time, but ideally I would like the world to hear some new tracks from IMPERATOR next year! Guess it’s more than possible…

14.Back in the day what where some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also do you still keep up with current metal releases?

It’s a tough question cause as honest as I can be with you I always discarded any similar riffs, sequences of tunes etc that I realized might have sounded like something already existing. And that used to be my strict code of ethics while composing any material. Of course we never knew what was simultaneously going on in the West cause, we couldn’t instantly catch up with the novelties. For the majority of our existence we were trapped behind the Iron Curtain and it pretty effectively isolated us from the rest of the world. Ask anybody that really knew/knows me and they will probably confirm that I didn’t accept anything that sounded like any other band. So if there are some analogous associations you might think off they must have been woven into IMPERATOR by chance, without my awareness of the other thing being already in existence. Then again I can say what I used to listen to, and if there were links that you could follow and find some resemblance it was purely coincidental. And there were dozens of bands I enjoyed and still enjoy listening to. In random order: VENOM, BATHORY, MERCYFUL FATE, CELTIC FROST (from ‘MT’ to ‘ITP’), SODOM (only ‘In The Sign Of Evil’, oh and ‘Expurse of Sodomy’), POSSESSED (only ‘Seven Churches’ – a masterpiece), ASSASSIN (only demos), MORBID ANGEL (demos and the gem, which is ‘Altars of Madness’), IRON ANGEL (only demos), AC/DC (mostly with Scott), INFERNAL MAJESTY, DESTRUCTION (EP and the first LP), SLAYER (from ‘SNM’ to ‘SITA’ – excluding ‘RIB’, which I don’t find overexciting), SEPULTURA (EP and the first LP), SCHIZO (demos), PROTECTOR (demo), KREATOR (from ‘EP’ to ‘FOH’ EP, with the mighty ‘PTK’ album ‘fcourse), VOIVOD (‘War And Pain’), TERRORIZER (assorted tracks), NAPALM DEATH (assorted tracks), EXTREME NOISE TERROR (assorted tracks), AGNOSTIC FRONT (assorted tracks), PANTERA (‘Vulgar Display Of Power’), THE RAMONES (assorted tracks), ATHEIST (the mighty ‘Piece Of Time’) and many, many more. I know once I send it to you I’ll realize I’ve just forgotten some big things… ;) And as for the second part of your question, I suppose, I am not a keen follower of the current metal releases, but I guess I’ll have to take a little closer look at the things now that we’re again part of the scene…

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

Thanx for your interest in IMPERATOR John and keep up the good job! I have this strong feeling that we will strike forcefully in 2020. So I hope we’ll see some of you who are just reading it during one of our future shows! God lack to you all, Bariel.


Monday, June 24, 2019

Arkhaaik Interview

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

The musical foundation for what was to become Arkhaaik, as well as the conceptual underpinnings, were created by M. and myself in late 2015 or early 2016. We initially worked on material as a two-piece, but considering that my drumming abilities are limited to put it mildly, V. joined the fold and his earth shattering barbarity behind the kit has proved to be essential to our sound. As for the project, Arkhaaik is the excavation of rites long forgotten, of primitive worship and ancient deities that ruled long before man dominated and soiled the earth. These sounds explore Europe's bronze age and encompass the very essence of said rites that were extinct long ago, told in the Indo-European tongue that was used at the time and is now long lost to the ages, its utterance strange to the modern ear.

2.You have your first album coming out in July, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?

I'd prefer if people actually listen to the music rather than read me describe what the music sounds like. Suffice to say, our intention is to unleash primal barbarity.

3.Your lyrics cover  the  long  forgotten rite,  primitive  rites  and  ancient  deities  of bronze age era Europe, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic and also do you feel that history for the most part ignores this era since it is not something you normally come across?

In fact, I think that many musical projects, particularly from the Helvetic Underground Committee, demonstrate an interest in history in general and have created conceptually based releases resulting in a more complete artistic creation as a result. Our interest in this topic seems rather self evident, as it is a time that is rarely explored in a musical context, at least not the the extent of attempting to recreate ancient visions of pre-historic horror.

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

It's spelled "Arkhaaik". The name is meant to be harsh on the ears and harsh on the eyes, a fictionalization of the word "archaic", resulting in a starker immediate pronunciation and reading of the word.

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

The artwork was created by R., friend of ours from Zürich, Switzerland. Interestingly, it was not commissioned for this release. Rather, M. discovered it while being showed a few of R.'s more recent creations and (quite accurately) found it would perfectly fit as a visual representation of the music contained on our album. We were initially unsure as to how to approach creation of the artwork for this release, so it was a rare blessing that this creation fell into our hands, more or less, and R. was generous enough to allow its use.

6.Has the band done any live shows or is this strictly a studio project?

No live shows and none are planned. We have many other commitments in other projects which make regular live activity in multiple projects rather difficult.

7.I have noticed that there is very little information available abut the band online with no metal archives page or facebook, do you feel it is very important for the style of metal that you play remains underground?

I don't think its important at all to conceal or reveal additional information. We have come to the realization that for our purposes, it is most efficient to allow information to be spread from a centralized source, for us the social media presence of the Helvetic Underground Committee, curated by the ever competent Nysrock, as well as our blog site. For certain other H.U.C. affiliated entities, like Ungfell and Dakhma a segregated, additional individual presence has been deemed fruitful, so it comes down to personal preference. Regarding metal-archives, once the album is out I'm sure someone will make an entry for Arkhaaik, as pretty much every band that plays what the site moderators consider "metal" music is listed there. That's out of our control and not of particular interest to us.

8.The new album is going to be released on 'Iron Bonehead Productions' which also has a few other bands from the Helvetic Underground Committee, do you feel this label has done a very good job getting yours and your counterparts music out there heard?

We are definitely satisfied with the work IBP has done for Dakhma and DVT, which is why I reached out to Patrick to gauge his interest in releasing the Arkhaaik debut. Certainly, the collaboration has been fruitful and has resulted in high quality releases we are satisfied with.

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

I actually have no idea, as I haven't been sent any reviews or anything. I have heard direct feedback from some individuals who enjoyed our music.

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

We have recorded a new song for a special release that I will not divulge any further information on at this point. We intend to forge further in developing our craft and exploring the depths of pre-historic man and spirituality, as well as providing punishing, barbaric riff savagery that will pound the listener with a rage long forgotten by modern society.

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 listen to all kinds of music, recently I've been taking a break from my steady diet of ancient black/death necromancy and checking out some obscure rock acts from the 1970s that M. has shown me. I thoroughly enjoy country music from the late 60s and 70s as well. As for influence, I prefer that listeners go into our music uninhibited by any preconceived notions of what it "should" sound like.

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

Thanks for your questions.


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Sunday, June 23, 2019

Golgothan Remains/Perverse Offerings To The Void/Sentient Ruin Laboratories/2019 Vinyl Re-Issue Review


  Golgothan  Remains  are  a  band  from  Australia  that  plays  a  very  dissonant  form  of  blackened  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Perverse  Offerings  The  Void"  which  was  re-issued  on  vinyl  in  2019  by  Sentient  Ruin  Laboratories.

  Dark  soundscapes  start  off  the  album  along  with  a  brief  use  of  horror  movie  style  synths  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  and  technical  musical  direction.  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  brutal  sounding  blast  beats  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  death  metal  growls.

  At  times  the  music  gets  very  dissonant  sounding  along  with  some  black  metal  screams  also  being  added  into  some  parts  of  the  songs.  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  melody  at  times.

  Elements  of  doom/death  metal  can  also  be  heard  in  the  slower  sections  of  the  music  while  one  track  is  also  an  instrumental  and  also  introduces  clean  playing  onto  the  recording  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  on  the  following  tracks  and  at  times  the  growls  also  get  very  cavernous  sounding.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  occult  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Golgothan  Remains  are  a  very  great  sounding  dissonant  blackened  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  re-issue.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "From  Chaos  it  Has  Come"  "Phantom  Earth"  "Looped  Depraved  Spell"  and  "Flagellation  (Torrid  Tongues)".  8  out  of  10.

BANDCAMP RELEASE

    

Sulgogar/Cannibal-Toon/2019 Full Length Review


  Sulgogar  are  a  band  from  Venezuela  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black,  death  and  thrash  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2019  album  "Cannibal-Toon"  which  will  be  released  on  June  28th.

  A  cartoon  orientated  intro  starts  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction.  A  great  amount  of  thrash  metal  elements  can  also  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  the  vocals  are  mostly  death  metal  growls.

  Melodies  can  also  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  When  screams  are  utilized  they  bring  elements  of  black  metal  onto  the  recording  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  remaining  true  to  an  old  school extreme  metal  style  when  they  are  utilized  as  well  as  having  there  melodic  moments.

  A  lot  of  the  music  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  80's  and  90's but  also  sounding  very  modern  at  the  same  time.  Tremolo  picking  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  faster  riffing  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  synths  can  be  heard  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  and  one  track  also  brings  in  a  brief  use  of  female  vocals,  a  couple  of  the  tracks a re  instrumentals.  The  production  sounds  very  old  school  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Spanish  and  cover  political  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Sulgogar  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black,  death  and  thrash  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of   those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Cannibal-Toon"  "Ninos  Muriendo"  and  "Republicia  Criminal".  8  out  of  10.

 

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Avavago/Tyrant/Blood And Brutality Records/2019 CD Review


  Avavago  are  a  band  from  Birningham,  Alabama  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black  and  thrash  metal  with  some  elements  of  grindcore,  death,  speed,  heavy  metal  and  rock'n'roll  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  Tyrant"  which  was  released  by  Blood  And  Brutality  Records.

  A  punk  rock  orientated  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  death  metal  growls  a  few  seconds  later.  Elements  of  classic  rock  are  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  music  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  solos  and  leads  also  remain  very  true  to  an  old  school  style.

  Elements  of  thrash  can  also  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  while  some  of  the  vocals  also  mix  black  and  death  metal  together. The  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  the  music  also  incorporating  a  more  modern  style  at  times.

  Melodies  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  and  leads  while  some  songs  also  show  an  influence  of  speed  and  traditional  metal.  As  the  album  progresses  fast  tremolo  picking,  grindcore  elements  and  blast  beats  are  added  onto  the  recording.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness,  death  and  violence  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Avavago  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black  and  thrash  metal  with  some  elements  of  grindcore,  speed,  heavy  metal,  punk  and  rock'n'roll  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Trampled  To  Death"  "Broken"  "Magus  Of  Perdition"  and  "Tyrants  Fall".  8  out  of  10.

https://www.facebook.com/avavagoofficial/

 

   

Intothecrypt Interview

1. For those who have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Velingor: When it all started in 2016 it was only Harald (guitars) and I (Velingor – bass, vocals) who were involved in the project. We haven’t played together for quite a while (more than 15 years, actually – since we were in SCALD together and afterwards for a short period of time in TUMULUS), but decided to risk it. By that time Harald had a lot of musical ideas which he could not use anywhere else, whereas I was interested in Northern shamanism (I planned to use this concept in TUMULUS but it never worked out). So I suggested we combine our efforts and see what happens. We had no definite plans as to our musical style, but rather decided to let it develop naturally.
The name INTOTHECRYPT was my idea – I had these words spinning in my head for quite a while , probably since the time I first heard the song “Into the Crypts of Rays” by Celtic Frost – only I wanted it to be written as one word, looks more original and cool in my opinion (laughing). And since Harald was one of the main composers in SCALD he is still influenced by BATHORY of their Viking period, by doom metal as a whole as well as black metal and a little bit of folk music – so what he started to create felt like a unique mix of it all. As to the lyrics we had a lot of help from Tatiana “Kedi” Krylova who translated the lyrics I suggested (the ones dealing with shamanism) into ancient Russian, using a lot of Finno-Ugric words as well – this way it all feels more authentic; she also helped us with our English translations. And finally, we were lucky to have Gervald, a highly gifted multi-instrumentalist, on our team (we had played together in an oriental black/death metal project called TURBATO CORDO when I lived abroad). It was him who managed to create the unique back sound of INTOTHECRYPT, full of mysticism and “dreadful fairytales of the North”.
As to the vocals – we had not much of a choice, so I offered my own version of growling and screaming vocals (I already had some experience with this). After having recorded the demo we decided that the project was working out and showing some promise, so we started sending the demo out to various labels while continuing to work on the full-length album.
Harald: After having lived in Rybinsk (a city not far from Yaroslavl) for several years I was back in my home town, and quite soon I felt the need to use my new musical ideas somehow. I tried to join various bands… not really worth mentioning, let’s just say nothing good came out of this.
But then Velingor was back in Yaroslavl too! And that’s when it all began…
First we tried to reanimate a project we had before, called Keremet – but we failed magnificently (laughing). Then Velingor suggested we do something completely new, what was only logical because I had a lot of stuff recorded already. It was also the time when Gervald stepped in. That’s when things got really exciting! We would create something, send it to Gervald and get something entirely different after he had worked on it. We completed a 4 song demo and published it online to see if we would get any response – and it was totally positive one! Then we have finished working on the album, inviting Ottar as our drummer and Marina Sokolova for female vocals. Finally, the long and boring mixing had to be done (to be honest I’m still not quite satisfied with it!), and – bingo!

2. In June you have your first album coming out, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?
Velingor: After having recorded the demo we made a decision to continue in the same direction with our debut album. We invited Ottar to be our drummer, which was of a great importance to me in particular – since we played together in SCALD and TUMULUS and can really work well as a rhythm section. We also decided to make the music even darker and use additional shaman spells. We completely re-recorded all four songs of the demo, with me using a greater variety of vocals than simply growl and scream and Harald creating new musical elements which made overall impression more complex and fascinating. It took us another year to record the album, which was finished only in 2018.
We do hope that “Vakor” is something bigger than simple pagan doom/death with elements of black and folk metal. We had no intention of creating something highly experimental, but what we definitely didn’t want either was something trivial and hackneyed, something one can hear many other bands playing. Those who’ll listen to the album will understand what I mean!
Harald: All I can say is that I played the way I wanted to! And it turned out it was in accordance with what Velingor had in mind, too.

3. The lyrics cover Slavic and Finno-Ugric Paganism, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?
Velingor: My personal interest in this goes back as far as 20 years ago. I read a lot on the subject, mostly scientific literature. Shamanism is the most ancient, the most basic form of communication with spiritual world that is known to mankind. After Christianity became dominant the people who still had this knowledge were accused of witchcraft and forced into exile. Why Finno-Ugric paganism in particular? Because here in the Yaroslavl region Finno-Ugric tribe called Merya used to live (it is mentioned by the sources as late as in 14th century). There are still a lot of objects here (lakes, rivers, villages) which bear Finno-Ugric names. One of the songs from “Vakor” album, called “Mga”, consists entirely of such names. As a person responsible for the lyrics of INTOTHECRYPT I intended to make a shaman the central image of our songs. He is an outcast who lives in his own frightful worlds, using Meryan shaman practices and combining them with some Slavic pre-Christian beliefs. He terrifies the common people, who regard him as a wizard. So all our lyrics are written from the point of view of this shaman – and it’s nothing like mere fairytales, it is an alien, horrifying world, full of appalling creatures of the forests, living tree stumps that tear apart those who tread upon their ground, spirits of the swamp, incantations addressed to indescribable monsters (who don’t fail to appear when summoned)…
Harald: Well, it is related to our native land, the place where we were born and have lived our lives. Everybody is interested in their roots! Ask SEPULTURA about it! (referring to SEPULTURA’s album “Roots” – laughing)

4. All of the INTOTHECRYPT members played in SCALD, what is it that you bring into the music of INTOTHECRYPT that you were not able to bring into your other group?
Velingor: I believe that, sure, SCALD and INTOTHECRYPT have a lot in common. So some ideas could probably be used in SCALD as well – for example, the melodic guitar parts composed by Harald, which are easily recognizable in both bands. But still, there is a great different between the two as well: SCALD is epic music filled with majestic vocals whereas INTOTHECRYPT has ritualistic, out-of-this-world like atmosphere, and is of course much more extreme than SCALD.
Harald: I would say almost everything what INTOTHECRYPT is musically could be easily used in SCALD. Well, except for the growling vocals, obviously.

5. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Intothecrypt'?
Velingor: I already mentioned (when answering the very first question) where I got the idea from. As to the meaning – it means “inside the sacred place”. Crypt is here a place which only the shaman has access to, a secret place only he can visit.
Harald: And I loved the idea and got used to the name, creating, however, my own version of it – which we only use privately and which is hardly translatable anyway (laughing).

6. Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
Velingor: At first I was trying to create some images myself, working in Photoshop, but what actually worked out was only our logo (which was approved by Harald and the others). Later, while working on the album, by mere chance I found some works by Andrey Andreev, a professional artist, and we were all impressed with mystical atmosphere of pagan fairytales which could be felt in his art. So we asked him to work on the cover for “Vakor”. The central image of it – the Vakor itself, a live tree-stump, – required a lot of work: I kept finding it looking not evil enough (laughing). Another key figure of the artwork is the shaman (on the right side of the Vakor), looking half-man and half-bear – it symbolizes bear-worship that  was characteristic of both Slavs and Finno-Ugric tribes in our region.
We also felt it necessary to publish all our lyrics: for those of them that were in Ancient Russian we made English translations and even created a sort of a “Shaman dictionary” in order to explain certain obscure words we used.

7. I have read that this band started out as a studio project, are you open to expanding into live performances?
Velingor: Not at the moment. We’ll see how the interest to “Vakor” will be developing. If we get some interesting offers – we’ll consider them, but for now we see INTOTHECRYPT as a studio project only.
Harald: We want to take it easy – transforming INTOTHECRYPT into a live band is somewhat complicated. Let’s see what happens though!

8. On the new album you also had some guest musicians, can you tell us a little bit more about who they are and also their contributions to the recording?
Velingor: The most important contribution was made, of course, by Gervald. It is him who managed to create the profound and rich back sound for us – the songs would be completely different without it. With his help it turned out to be a true Northern tale of horrors! Gervald has a classical music background so he is extremely skilled in choosing the right sounds for our purposes, combining them the way we need in order to create a truly mystical atmosphere. Sometimes we would change something in the songs to make them fit better to what Gervald suggested. By the way, he lives in another country so we can only work with him online.
I also mentioned before Marina Sokolova (folk music band SEDMAYA VODA) who has a unique, crystal clean voice. She used it brilliantly in “Deko po Markushe”, giving this rather dark song some suggestion of erotic (which was necessary for this song since it is about sexual and at the same time magical interaction between a shaman and a witch). And in «Tako rassekayut i na udy…» (“Thus they are cutting him to pieces…”) she helped to create the atmosphere of shaman’s resurrection after his having been cut to pieces by evil spirits.
Finally, both Harald and I wanted pure doom-style clean vocals to be present on the album (as a contribution to SCALD), so we asked our old friend Ilia “Judas” Kasatkin (SANTERNO) to sing such a part. And even though he himself was never a fan of doom metal, Judas agreed and made his contribution to “Yavi sya, Merek” (“Show yourself, Merek!”). In this song one can also hear an incantation performed by Masha Chirkova of ROS, who also sings on “Incorporeal Navya” (along with our two friends from TUMULUS – Kurbat and Kuchma).
Harald: I just would like to add that these people are not just guest musicians but our friends and we are really grateful to them. My special respect goes to Judas – who really tried to sing the way we asked him to!

9. The new album is going to be released on 'Ordo MCM', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
Velingor: Ordo MCM have already released another re-issue of SCALD as a double LP, which caused a great reaction of the fans worldwide. That is why we decided to work with them, since our project is created by SCALD musicians and there are similarities in the music, too.
Harald: The guys are really good at what they do! I wish them luck in this quite unpredictable business.

10. On a worldwide level what has the reaction been to your music by fans of pagan, folk, black, doom and death metal?
Velingor: By now we only read a few reviews of “Vakor”, and all of them were positive. All the reviewers talk about the unusual overall atmosphere, original concept and memorable melodies. And, what pleases me in particular, some of them think highly of my growling vocals (laughing).
Harald: From what I have read the reaction is enthusiastic but everybody is waiting for the album to be officially released (which should be happening quite soon).

11. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Velingor: We do not have any particular plans at the moment. There are some new musical ideas and drafts of lyrics, of course. But that’s it.
Harald: Because of the SCALD reunion INTOTHECRYPT is temporarily on hold. But I can’t help having some ideas which I record for the future use in the project.

12. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what do you listen to nowadays?
Velingor: What had influenced us is BATHORY of Viking period (and some later bands that played in this style), oldschool doom/death metal, partly black metal, too, Northern folk music (Mari Boine is worth mentioning here), and, of course, the style of SCALD’s “Will of the Gods is Great Power”.
Personally I prefer oldschool metal of the 80s, no matter what style – I might listen to hard’n’heavy, thrash and so on. When the mood is right I also listen to the classics of doom metal, and sometimes black. I also like Bijelo Dugme – a 70s folk rock band from Yugoslavia. And of course BATHORY’s “Hammerheart” is among my favorites for almost 30 years now.
And I can answer for Ottar that he prefers progressive metal, but can listen to pop music of the 80s, too.
Harald: Well, Quorthon can be definitely heard in my music! And Michael Oldfield has influenced me as well. What do I listen to now? Mostly some stoner, Enya and Slayer…

13. What are some of your non-musical interests?
Velingor: As to myself – well, meditation (when I’m close to nature), sometimes even shaman practices (actually it’s more correct to say trying to engage in them – on some occasion it really works though)... Also walking among the quiet residential areas of Yaroslavl where a lot of buildings of 1930-40s are still preserved. But most of my time is unfortunately occupied by my job – which is not my interest but a way of making a living.
Harald: Cats! I love cats! (laughing)

14. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Velingor: INTOTHECRYPT was not something we have planned, it developed naturally from what we felt was the right thing to do, so we didn’t expect ourselves that something as complete and interesting as “Vakor” would be the result of it. We do hope that everyone who’ll buy our CD and listen to it will find it fascinating, mystical and find oneself suddenly in the world of the shaman – ancient, terrifying, but spellbinding.
Harald: We do hope you’ll love it!

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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!



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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.