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Friday, January 31, 2020

Langsuir/Cemar/Legion Muisc/2019 EP Review


  Langsuir  are  a  band  from  Malaysia  that  plays  a  blackened  and  occult  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  ep  "Cemar"  which  was released  by  Legion  Music.

  Synths,  baby  cries  and  female  vocals  start  off  the  ep  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  and  melodic  musical  direction.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  solos  and  leads  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  the  vocals  are  mostly blackened  metal  screams.

  A  great  amount  of  early  90's  death  metal  elements  can  be  heard  throughout  the  recording  along  with  the  faster sections  of  the  songs  also  adding  in a   decent  amount  of  blast  beats.  The  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts,  clean  vocals  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  the  also  close  the  ep  with  a  cover  of  Profantica's  "Weeping  In  Heaven".

  Langsuir  plays  a  musical  style  that takes  early  90's  era  black  and  death  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own.  The  production  sounds  very  old  school  while  the  lyrics a re  written  in  Malaysian  and  cover  occultism,  eastern  folklore,  darkness  and  mythology  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Langsuir  are  a  very  great  sounding  occult  blackened  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Gentayangan  Bajingan  Malam"  and  "Plenary  Of  Wickedness".  8 out  of  10.

https://legionmusic.bandcamp.com/album/cemar   

  

Slaughter Messiah Interview

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

JB: Alot! 2019 has been a wild ride! All was recorded during winter and as from then we have been on the road playing gigs and indulging massively fucked up sessions all over the continent. Also we scored a deal for this album with High Roller and are making solid plans for the future as we speak.

2.In February you have a new album coming out, musically how does it differ from your previous ep's and demo's?

JB: I think it’s much more well measured and effective. Resulting in harsher aggression and a better flow and drive throughout the songs. Don’t confuse this with too much maturity, we are still an unbridled collection of savages.  Also not focusing on particular styles of metal but just keeping the pure metal thought has lead us to more varied songwriting.

3.This is also your first release since 2016, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?

JB: We have been playing live a lot and all over. Musically the album was ready already before next year but we were playing so much that it got hard to pin dates for recording. Which turned out well, as we did get to take the time to revise all songs ‘meticulously’ (in a savage way of course) before recording in the end.

4.Some of your lyrics deal with witchcraft and witch trials, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?

JB: I am interested in not much more than death, decay and heavy metal. I leave this to the authors of said lyrics!

LS: My lyrics are more inspired by stories, a bit like King Diamond lyrics, every lyrics I wrote are mostly stories of things that come out of my head...it treats witchcraft but also paranormal, satanism, demonology.

5.What are some of the other lyrical topics and subjects the band has explored over the years with your music?

LS: nothing special except sorcery, satanism, witchcraft and paranormal.

6. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Slaughter Messiah'?

RD: So, it's very simple and not especially original: when we founded the band, we searched for a violent name never used before. The first idea was brought by the first supposed singer of the band (the currently Heinous singer): Infernal Slaughter Messiah Of Hell. But as you know, it was a little bit too much so we simplified the name to "Slaughter Messiah".



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

The artwork, and all drawings you will find inside and outside, has been done by the notorious figure Rok from Sadistik Exekution. Sabathan had already worked with him for an old Enthroned album and as we all love his savage art style we asked him to come up with something. We sent him some music and lyrics and told him to let his mind speak to his canvas. The result is what you see, clearly signed by the hand of the master. It’s great how dark it turned out but still catches the eye with some brighter touches.



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

JB: We often talk about the show at Evil Or Die as one of our key performances last year. But of course one of the best experiences was Summer Breeze and I always love the club shows together with allied bands. Live we try to bring you a breathtaking plethora of violence and heavy metal attitude. No nonsense, no ceremonies, no triangle ridden rituals or other non metal related tomfoolery. We intend to make you feel the steel so many metalheads are on about. It is also what we love to do above all, bring our metallic energy to a live crowd and see how they interact.



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

JB: The weekend are filling up nicely with shows so far. What we would need is a proper booker to help us with this as we are very DIY now and starting to lack the time to take care of all that. No major tours planned yet but we will see what comes up. We have a few topological gaps we would love to see filled up!



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

JB: Reviews are only dripping in now, I suppose the big wave will follow in the week before and then after the release date. But so far all of them have been very positive! Reading through most of them I notice we are much more considered a thrash metal band than anything else… even though we have a lot more to offer in our genre portfolio, or am I getting old? Because when I think Thrash, I think Testament, Slayer, Forbidden, Kreator and so on…?



11.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?

JB: We will all speak or ourselves here. With Nocturnal we just released a split EP with Nuctemeron and are planning to record a new album soon. Aside from that shows are filling up for this year and it’s looking really good so far. After that I am working on a few things that have not been announced yet and some guest performances but can’t say anything more until it’s all confirmed and written in stone.

RD: With Heinous, we're currently working on our first album and the first live shows will be announced very soon. The sold out first demo will be rereleased but the information will be shared in due time.

LS: With Sabathan we continue playing everywhere the old Enthroned tunes and as I said earlier is not impossible that we’ll start composing new material for an album this year.  My other band is Heinous, pure hatred medieval evil darkness ...I share this band with IB Desecrator and T.Exhumator, the first demo 4 tracks released last year received an incredible success and the 7 inch EP « Lucifer’s Vult » this year as well, now we work on the full length album which will be recorded this year around April/May.

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

JB: The same thing but better and more extreme maybe? We are chiseling out our own musical definition and path and we love the stuff we made so let’s keep chipping parts out of that piece of granite.



13.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?

JB: Most of the time I listen to traditional heavy metal, nwobhm and classic rock, early death metal, 90s black metal and 80s thrash/speed metal - to sum it up all very very concisely. All these things will definitely echo back in the beats I come up with. The four of us have a wide musical culture, each with his specialties or main influences. Personally I am going through one of my infamous hair metal periods mixed with the latest Lankum (cheers Liam) album that I just can’t resist playing every few days at the moment.




14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
JB: Thanks for your support & interest I want to say first of all. Hopefully we will make it across the pond soon!



https://www.facebook.com/slaughtermessiah
https://slaughtermessiah.bandcamp.com


Thursday, January 30, 2020

Pyre Of Descent Interview

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


The songs on the demo were written and recorded in 2011, but up until the middle of 2017 Pyre of Descent was kept dormant. More music and lyrics were written during that six year period (as well as other projects explored) but I didn’t attempt to establish the band properly until 2017 after settling in Berlin.

Sonically, I will only call Pyre of Descent dark psychedelic rock music—although inspiration can come from anywhere.



2.You have a new ep coming out in February, musically how does it differ from the demo you had released in 2018?


Aside from having cleaner production and tighter performances, the music simply dives deeper into some of the areas touched in the demo. You could say there’s more variety on ‘Peaks Of Eternal Light’, but ultimately I would prefer to influence the first impressions of someone as little as possible by not describing the music using words and references. The music is to be experienced emotionally first and foremost; then analysed if necessary.



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


Lyrically, ‘Peaks Of Eternal Light’ deals with the themes of vision and light—perhaps some could say in a spiritual or occult manner, but as the esoteric and exoteric are not separate I don’t really differentiate between spiritual and mundane. Both are deeply intertwined in the experience of life. The lyrics are inspired by personal experiences and realisations, mythologies, allegories and metaphysical ideas.



4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Pyre Of Descent'?


As always, I leave it up to the interpretation of the individual. It is not an enigma, but relevant concepts are death, rebirth and katabasis.



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


It’s a type of photograph by Elvira Akzigitova taken without a camera. It’s through using a method of electro-photography that is not too dissimilar to Kirlian photography—sending an electrical charge through an object or substance that is placed on top of light-sensitive photographic paper/film. There are two different photographs used in the layout (front and back covers) that utilised this method.



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


We are currently looking for opportunities to perform live for the first time.



7.The ep is going to be released on 'Terror From Hell Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?


Terror From Hell Records is an established underground label based in Italy (more information can be obtained from them directly). A friend of mine passed one of the tracks from the EP to Stefano of TFH while we were contacting labels, and we’re grateful for his interest in the band. He made an offer that we obviously took.



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


Considering the fact that Pyre of Descent is a very small band playing a niche style of music, the reaction has been minimal but positive. Totenmusik, who released our 2018 demo, occupies a niche corner in underground music where the focus is on darkness and atmosphere rather than genres; so naturally the few people who were exposed to Pyre of Descent thus far already have this appreciation, whereas in my opinion the average metal listener doesn’t. It should be noted that while Terror From Hell Records releases a lot of underground/extreme metal, Pyre of Descent is not a metal band and nor are we catering to merely just underground metal fans.



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


The music and some of the lyrics for a full-length album are ready but it’s too early to say anything regarding even when it might be recorded, let alone when it will be released or by whom.



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?


Obvious influences include psychedelic rock and 80s to early 90s gothic rock. Some doom and black metal, (neo)folk and atmospheric music as well. Lately it’s been an assortment of Morast, Agnes Obel, Cult of Luna, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and (DOLCH).



11.What are some of your non musical interests?


Esotericism, the psyche and ontology; analogue photography and visual design.



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


Thank you for the interview.



 https://www.facebook.com/pyreofdescent/

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Holocausto War Metal/War General/2020 Demo Review


  Holocausto  War  Metal  formerly  known  as  Holocausto  are  a  band  from  Brazil  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  mixture  of  black  and  thrash  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2020  demo  "War  General".

  Spoken  word  and  war  samples start  off  the  demo  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  which  also  adds  in  a  small  amount  of  melody.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  vocals  bring  in  more  of  a  first  wave  style  of  black  metal.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard.  The  songs  also  bring  in  a  lot  of  thrash  metal  elements  while  the  music  is  also  very  heavily rooted  in  the  80's  era  and  throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  On  this  recording  Holocausto  War  Metal  remain  true  to  the  mixture  of  black  and  thrash  metal  that  they  have  established  on  previous  releases.  The  production  sounds  very  old  school  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Portuguese  and  cover  war  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Holocausto  War  Metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black  and  thrash  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  demo.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "I.S.I.S"  and  "Criancas  Soldado".  8  out  of  10.

https://soundcloud.com/user-88083549/sets/demo-war-general-banda-holocausto-war-metal      

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Diabology Interview

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

We are a teenage, blackened thrash group from LA who just released our first album, "Nobody Believes Me". We were brought together by the dark lord himself, and our goal is world domination.

2.Recently you have released your first album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?

We tried to blend the hooks and epic riffs of classic metal with a modern metal sense of brutality.

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

. Our lyrics describe dark fantasies. Some of them are more surreal and medieval, and others are more simple and grounded, but there’s always an element of violence and escapism.

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

My dad suggested the name after he read it in a book about Satanism. Diabology is the study of evil. It tied in with the lyrical themes, and it sounded cool, so it stuck.

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

We got a really talented artist, Anditya Dita, to draw it for us. We gave him our initial concept based on our band name, and he just took it from there. We’re super happy with how it turned out! 

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

We recently played a show at the Smell in downtown LA. That was a lot of fun. We always try to make our shows as energetic and chaotic as possible

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

 We’re not going on an official tour, but we’re constantly playing shows all around SoCal.

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

  We have submitted the new album to a few labels, but that was extremely recent and we still haven’t heard back yet. Fingers crossed

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

Really good! Except for the two Russian guys who told us that we should stop jerking off our guitars. But other than that, really good!


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

 Up.

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?

Death, Trivium, Metallica, Gojira. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Baroness.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

Every Tuesday, I strip down and hold a ritual to communicate with the dark gods of Ishkatuu. I’m also a pretty big gamer.

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

. Hail Satan, worship doom, and listen to our album!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Pyre Of Descent/Peaks Of Eternal Light/Terror From Hell Records/2020 EP Review


  Pyre  Of  Descent  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black  and  doom  metal  with  some  gothic  rock  elements  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  ep  "Peaks  Of  Eternal  Light" which  will  be  released  in  February  by  Terror  From  Hell  Records.

  Clean  playing  starts  off  the  ep  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  yet  progressive  style.  All  of  the  tracks  are  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  having  a  very powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  clear  vocals  also  add  in  a  touch  of  goth  rock.

  The  riffs  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  while  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  elements  of  doom  metal.  The  grim  side  of  the  vocals  also  add  in  touches  of  black  metal  along  with  the  music  also  sticking  mostly  to  a  slow  or  mid  tempo  direction and  some  of  the  solos  and  leads  also  show  an  influence  of  classic  metal  and  as  the  ep  progresses  a  brief  use  of  female  vocals  can  also  be  heard,  blast  beats  and  fast  playing  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  the  closing  track.

  Pyre Of  Descent  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  black,  doom  and  gothic  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  melancholic  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Pyre  Of  Descent  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black,  doom  and  gothic  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Eyes  Of  The  Blind"  and  "To  See  Into  The  Dark  (VI  Wheel)".  8  out  of  10.

https://www.facebook.com/pyreofdescent      

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Blood Spore/Fungal Warfare Upon All Life/Blood Harvest Records/2020 EP Review


  Blood  Spore  are  a  band  from  Pennsylvania  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black,  doom  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  ep  "Fungal  Warfare  Upon  All  Life"  which  will  be released  in  February  by  Blood  Harvest  Records.

  A  very  slow,  dark  and  heavy  doom  metal  sound  starts  off  the  ep   along  with  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  melody.  Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  while  the  music  also  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  death  metal  elements  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  lot  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard.

  The  music  also  adds  in  a  decent  mixture  of  both  old  school  and  modern  influences  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  90's  style.Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  a  couple  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length,  growls  can  also  be  heard  at  times  and  the  music  also  captures  a  cavernous  atmosphere,  dark  soundscapes  can  also  be  heard  at  the  end  of  each  song.

  Blood  Spore  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes black,  doom  and  death  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  science  fiction  and  mycology  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Blood  Spore  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black,  doom  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Hostile  Fruiting  Bodies".  8  out  of  10.

http://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/fungal-warfare-upon-all-life

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Bonehammer Interview

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

Bonehammer is born from the need to express the darkest feelings we carry within, from an experiential yet unhinged point of view within the frame of a clashingly primitive sound with heavy and aggressive visual imagery.

 2.In August you had released your first album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?

Without being limited by a single style, the sound of the band is linked to the first wave of black metal, considering bands like venom, bathory, hellhammer and sarcofago together with the speed of bandas like discharge and gbh. All of that, mixed with our personal experiences result of living in a heavily punished country with so few opportunities being so far south in the world.

 3.Some of your lyrics cover Satanism, Occultism and paganism, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?

These themes are related to ancestral fears, to the deepest roots that cannot be explained by science but that help manipulate millions of minds and sculpt realities of those who believe in the inexplicable

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

The unfortunate occurrences that happen to people who try to live in harmony, the unity produced when trying to feel represented by an evil sound and an excess of hope that only tears down the true purpose of mankind.

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

The name is inspired by primitive tools used by mankind and their connection to art, to hunting, to war and music which are all the first creations born in societies grouped together in unison.

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

The cover art is a reflection of the sound within, everything was thought through to create maximum impact and so that whoever is listening to the combination of music types that compose this album can feel transported to a higher level where music and aesthetics are intertwined.

 7.Can you tell us a little bit more about the masks you wear in your stage performances?

Each live performance is one of a kind. The idea is to create an increasingly bigger impact each time we perform without the fear of bordering illegality while trying to constantly surpass our own limits.

 8.Out of all of the shows that the band has played so far which one stands out the most?

What makes us feel alive is the possibility to create and compose new music represented in these shows and live performances which are actually a cult to life, but what we want is to create a cult to death.

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

We've received many invitations to perform so far but at the moment we are still waiting for the perfect fit to match what we are aiming towards as a band.



10.You have also done a few cover tunes in your stage performances, what are some of the songs you have covered?

We like to cover songs from bands that we feel represented by and connected to. There isn't a set plan for this but so far we've gravitated towards songs from Bathory, Venom, Sarcófago, Merciful Fate, etc.

11.Currently the band is signed to 'Awakening Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

It is a record label that supports bands fighting from the underground from all over the world and working with them helps us get closer to our goals of world domination.

 12.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of underground metal and punk?

Everyone who listens to us can feel what our essence is about, not just in our music but in what we are, what we do and why we do it. It's a connection that goes beyond anything else because you can feel that what you hear is composed by someone on the same emotional wavelength as yours.

 13.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?

Everyone who is a part of Bonehammer has other musical projects we work on which are: Orgullo Fisura, Velocidad 22, Feel The Knife, Vulcanor, etc. We've performed together on some of these other projects as well and because of this, in Bonehammer we have found the way to express things that we can't express in these other bands.

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

We feel like the road has already been laid but what we have to do is delve deeper into each of the notes we have chosen as our musical identity. We want the dark to be even darker, the rotten to be even more putrid, and the slow parts to be even slower. We want to show the best and most extreme version of ourselves.

15.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 don't think there are any particular examples of bands that influence us, although we might be very interested in their sound. We think that what creates our individual sound comes from our personal experiences and points of view.

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

The truest and purest feelings lay in the underground. The rest is just ideas or proposals created to sustain the privileges of musicians who live off of the music but not actually for the music.

 Facebook

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Raspberry Bulbs/Before The Age Of Mirrors/Relapse Records/2020 CD Review


  Raspberry  Bulbs  are  a  band  from  New  York  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black  metal  and  occult  punk  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  album  "Before  The  Age  Of  Mirrors"  which  will  be  released  in  February  by  Relapse  Records.

  A  very  heavy  and  old  school  punk  rock  influenced  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  synths  are  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  recording.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  vocals  also  adding  in  more  of  an  aggressive  spoken  and  screaming  hardcore  style.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  and  dark  post  punk  style.  The  music  also  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  70's  and  80's  influences  but  done  in  more  of  a  modern  style  while  also  mixing  in  some  elements  of  black  metal  as  well  as  one  of  the  interludes  also  introducing  percussion  and  ethnic  instruments  onto  the  recording.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  as  well  as  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  along  with  the  music  also  having  its  experimental  and  avant  garde  moments,  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  lo-fi while  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism,  Weird  Fiction  and  the  writings  of  H.P  Lovecraft.

  In  my  opinion  Raspberry  Bulbs  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black  metal  and  occult  punk  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Spitting  From  On  High"  "Doggeral"  "Midnight  Line"  and  "Given  over  To  History".  8  out  of  10.

https://raspberrybulbs.bandcamp.com/

  

Funeral Cult/Possession Done/Lusitanian Music/2020 EP Review


  Funeral  Cult  are  a  band  from  Poland  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black,  doom  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  ep  "Possession  Done"  which  will  be released  in  February  by  Lusitanian  Music.

  A  very  heavy  doom  metal  sound  starts  off  the  ep  while  the  vocals  bring  in  a  mixture  of  black  metal  screams  and  death  metal  growls.  Atmospheric  sounding  synths  are  also  utilized  at  times  along  with  the  music  also  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  era  and  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  dark  yet  melodic  style  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  Demonic  sounding  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  the  second  track  while  all  of  the  music  also  sticks  to  a  slower  direction.

  Funeral  Cult  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  black,  doom  and  death  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  sorrow  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Funeral  Cult  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  mixture  of  black,  doom  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Frost".  8  out  of  10.

Band contact »
 Bandcamp »   

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Drittmaskin/Sosial Prolaps/Edged Circle Productions/2020 CD Review


  Drittmaskin  are  a  band  from  Norway  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black, death,  thrash metal  and  hardcore  punk  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  album  "Sosial  Prolaps"  which  will  be  released  in  February  by  Edged  Circle  Productions.

  A  very  old  school  thrash  metal  influenced  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording h ave  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  Vocals  are  done  in  more  of  an  aggressive  and  screaming  style  as  well  as  the  music  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  80's  and  90's  but  modern  at  the  same  time.

  Spoken  word  samples  can  also  be  heard  briefly  while  the  music  also  mixes  in  some  elements  of  death  and  first  and  second  wave  black  metal.  At  times  the  songs  also  capture  the  raw  energy  of  hardcore  punk  along  with  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  melody  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  yet  old  school  style, throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Drittmaskin  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  black,  death,  thrash  metal  and  hardcore  punk  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Norwegian  and  cover  violent  and  angry  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Drittmaskin  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black,  death,  thrash  metal  and  hardcore  punk  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Angst"  "Himmelen"  "Punkeboms"  and  "Nordfjord  1999".  8  out  of  10.

https://youtu.be/0qr4JQG3yZw     

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Slaughter Messiah/Cursed To The Pyre/High Roller Records/2020 CD Review


  Slaughter  Messiah  are  a  band  from  Belgium  that  plays  a  mixture  of black,  death  and  thrash  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  album  "Cursed  To  The  Pyre"  which  will  be  released  in  February  by  High  Roller  Records.

  Dark  yet  melodic  guitar  leads  start  off  the  album  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording.  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  along  with  the  music  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  thrash  metal  elements  and  the  vocals  are  mostly  blackened  metal  screams.

  The  songs  also  mix  in  a  great  amount  of  death  metal  influences  along  with  the  music  also  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  80's  and  90's while  still  maintaining  a  very  modern  day  aggression  as  well  as  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Melodies  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  as  well  as  the  solos  and  leads  also  remaining  very  true  to  an  old  school  style.  A  couple  of  the  tracks  are  also  long  and  epic  in  length  along  with  some  growls  also  being  utilized  at  times  and  tremolo  picking  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  faster  riffing.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  death,  witchcraft  and  madness  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Slaughter  Messiah  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  "Mutilated  By  Depths"  "Descending  To  Black  Fire"  and  "Fog  Of  The  Malevolent  Sore".  8  out  of  10.

https://www.facebook.com/slaughtermessiah
https://slaughtermessiah.bandcamp.com            

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Midnight/Rebirth by Blasphemy/Metal Blade Records/2020 Full Length Review


  Midnight  are  a  solo  project  from  Cleveland,  Ohio  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black,  speed  metal  and  punk  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  album  "Rebirth  by  Blasphemy"  which  will  be  released  on  January  24th  by  Metal  Blade  Records.

  A  very  heavy  and  old  school  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats.  Vocals  are  mostly  black  emtal  screams  that  mix  the  first  and  second  wave  styles  together  and  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  music  also  adding  in  a  great  amount  of  speed  metal  elements.  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  the  music  also  capturing  the  raw  energy  of  punk  rock.

  The  music  also  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  80's  influences  and  mixes  them  in  with  a  more  modern  day  aggression,  melodies  can  also be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  and  all  of t he  songs  also  stick  to  a  heavier  musical  direction.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Blasphemy  and  Hell  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Midnight  is  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black,  speed  metal  and  punk  rock  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Rebirth  By  Blasphemy"  "Rising  Scum"  "Cursed  Possessions"  and  "You  Can  Drag  Me  Through  Fire".  8  out  of  10.

https://www.instagram.com/midnightviolators/    

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Bonehammer/Black Crust Invasion/Awakening Records/2019 Full Length Review


  Bonehammer  are  a  band  from  Argentina  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black,  thrash,  heavy  metal  and  crust  punk  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  album  "Black  Crust  invasion"  which  was  released  by  Awakening  Records.

  A  very  heavy  and  old  school  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody.  Vocals  are  done  in  more  of  a  black  emtal  style  which  is  heavily  influenced  by  both  the  first  and  second  wave  eras  of  the  genre  and  the  riffs  also  mix  in  some  traditional  metal  elements.

  Clean  playing  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  in  some  parts  of  the recording  while  the  music  is  heavily  rooted  in  the  80's  but  still  capture  of  very  modern  atmosphere.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and w hen  the  music  speeds  up  touches  of  crust  punk  and  d  beat  can  also  be heard.

  One  track  also  introduces  keyboards  onto  the  recording  along  with  some  blast  beats  and  thrash  metal  influences  also  being  added  into  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs.  Melodic  chanting  can  also  be  heard  briefly  as  well a s  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  having  a very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  the  album  also  closes  with  a  cover  of  Motorhead's  "March  or  Die".  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  pagan  rituals,  occultism  and  horror  stories

  In  my  opinion  Bonehammer  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black,  thrash,  heavy  metal  and  crust  punk  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Dark  Pagan  Cult"  "Living  A  Rotting  Nightmare"  "Possessed"  and  "Reborn  In  Hell".  8  out  of  10.

https://youtu.be/i8UZzFVnYNw 

      

Friday, January 10, 2020

Summon/Helios/Godz Ov War Productions/2020 EP Review


  Summon  are  a  band  from  Portugal  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  band  and  plays  a  mixture  of  black,  doom  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  ep  "Helios"  which  will  be  released  in  February  by  Godz  Ov  War  Productions.

  Tortured  black  metal  screams  start  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  Elements  of  doom  metal  can  also  be  heard  in  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  dark  style.

  During  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  along  with  some  death  metal  growls  also  being  utilized  at  times.  At  times  the  music  also  captures  a  ritualistic  atmosphere  while  the  music  also  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  90's  influences  as  well  as  the  songs  bringing  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  closing  track  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  also  introduces  whispers  and  spoken  word  parts  onto  the  recording.

  On  this  recording  Summon  remain  true  to  the  mixture  of  black,  doom  and  death  metal  that  they  had  established  on  their  previous  release.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  old  school  while  the  lyrics  death  and  mythological  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Summon  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black,  doom  and  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Helios  III".  8  out  of  10.

https://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Summon/3540426403   

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Hot Graves/Haunted Graves/A Magnificent Death/Redefining Darkness Records/2020 Compilation Album Review


  Hot  Graves  are  a  band  from  Gainesville.  Florida  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black,  death,  thrash  metal  and  crust  punk  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  compilation  which  consists  of  their  2020  ep  "Haunted  graves"  and  2015  album  "A  Magnificent  Death"  which  will  be  released  as a  single  album  in  February  by  Redefining  Darkness  Records.

  A  very  heavy thrash  and  crossover  sound  starts  off  the  compilation  along  with  some  black  metal  screams  a  few  seconds  later.  The  songs  also  bring  in  elements  of  d  beat  and  crust  punk  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Throughout  the  compilation  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  an  old  school  extreme  metal  style  while  the  music  also  mixes  in  a  great  amount  of  death  metal  elements  as  well  as  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  lot  of  brutal  sounding  blast  beats.

  A  small  amount  of  melody  can  be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  which  also  utilizes  some  tremolo  picking  during  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs.  Growls  can  also  be  heard  at  times,  on  the  full length  the  music  also  goes  for  the  same  direction  of  the  ep  but  with  more  melodic  guitar  leads  as  well  as  adding  in  some  elements  of  hardcore  punk  and  all  of  the  music  also  sticks  to  a  heavier  direction.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while the  lyrics  cover  occultism,  darkness,  death,  blasphemy  and  hatred  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Hot  Graves  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black,  death,  thrash  metal  and  crust  punk  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Haunted  graves"  "Ruination  Supremacy"  "Night  hag"  and  "Dead  Wizard  Mountain".  8  out  of  10.

  https://hotgraves-us.bandcamp.com/  

Bütcher Interview

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



Hey man! Well, the album was recorded in March 2019. Ever since, we have put a lot of effort in playing live as much as we can. We felt that spreading our name and to be recognized as a serious force in both club and fest circuit was priority number 1, as a preparation for the new album coming out end of January 2020. We were able to play some shows across all over Europe… it was exhausting and absolutely thrilling at the same time. Sulphur & Steele 2019 we called it, and that’s how we felt and probably smelled haha.



Meanwhile of course there was artwork to be handled, video recordings scheduled, merch made etc etc. So all in all, we are continuously busy with those things.



2.You have a new album coming out during the end of January, musically how doesit differ from the stuff you have released in the past?



I wouldn’t say it differs so much, as that it has broadened the diversity of old metal styles in our music. So the speed parts are even more Motörhead and Exciter, and the thrash borderlines on Sadus tempos, the heavy metal is more epic and twin guitars more elaborate and frequent, and the black metal is just more evil and primitive whilst some parts actually have a bit of that Bathory viking-era grandeur – depending on the song and vibe we wish to evocate with that song. Actually, we put more than one of these genres in one song. It just flows and blends in, courtesy of our songwriter KK Ripper (guitars).



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



Well, I am the only remaining original member. Bütcher as we are now carry the same name and spirit as before, but we are talking about two different bands. Starting out just as a local project amongst friends, without too much thought in it, it just died back then. We had other bands we were playing in etc. The reformation in 2014 was with KK Ripper, who was new. It all went very natural and was supposed to be just some homage to the metal of old again… but myself and Ripper didn’t foresee Bütcher would be gaining more and more attention. We started putting more into it, and the first album was suddenly a local cult hit. Then we were like: ok, let’s take it to the next level. And before you know it you play all over Europe and have new album coming out on Osmose Productions.



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



We do nothing new lyric wise. I am responsible for all the foul mouthed things I sing about, and as much as we have diverse old styles into our musical torrent, I let the feel of a song inspire me. So the new album title track is like the most epic thing I ever wrote. It’s basically about an intergalactic warrior, who has no gods or masters, and is just this kind of personification of an evil entity that destroys planets and universes alike. On the other hand it can be metal as fuck: in Iron Bitch we have a metal queen that, you know, slays men just because she can but let’s a few survive to pleasure her at night. There are Jack the Ripper references in Metallström/Face the Bütcher, ear splitting metal lyrics in 45 RPM Metal, etc…



As I said, I let the feel of a song inspire me. All riffing and arrangement is done by Mr. Ripper. He has just keeps exploring all his musical influences and has certainly evolved, in my humble opinion, in a rather short time span. No fear of blending whatever he sees fit, but also making a very coherent song. That is a certain unmatched strength of his, which he really has grown into.



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



Pretty simple: we wanted an easy, one-word, total 80’s metal name. Like Slayer, Darkness, Possessed, Razor… Of course, all of those are taken. But we were listening to Mad Butcher (old Destruction is one of my absolute fave thrash acts!) and were like: we are gonna name this thing of ours Butcher. And let’s put the Metal Umlaut in there, as an extra symbol of devotion and primitive strength. So we were known as BÜTCHER ever since.



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



We really wanted Kris Verwimp to do the artwork. On an Osmose release, that would be the icing on the cake for us. His work on our label for Marduk, Absu, Immortal,.. I always had a soft spot for that. It complemented those releases in a big way, and I dare say he did the same for us. The artwork is truly epic and is his perception of the lyrics of the 666 Goats Carry My Chariot track. The warrior on his chariot, steering the goats, the torch on it, all in a blazing maelstrom… It really is the defining artwork of the album title.



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?



Our stage performance is rabid, wild and engulfing. We want to capture the audience and making them feel what we feel when we present our music. The speed, the grandeur, the over-the-top-in-your-face metal mayhem. So we move a lot, we have burning speed metal wheels on stage, candles, smoke, we wear leather, spikes, dark make-up & blood,… That has culminated in quite some engaging shows lately. Pitfest was just insane (we had to cut the show twice because of falling amps and a audience that was getting mega wild!). Muskelrock was fantastic to play in that cage in the small tent – what a setup! Headbanger Open Air was just crazy for a midday performance! Obscene Extreme and Antwerp Metal Fest had a fantastic summer festival vibe. Pfff, there are so many to mention. Later last year the reception at Eindhoven Metal Meeting was so good, but we also played in Basel and Oberhausen for a small audience and everyone was so into it… that vibe is so cool as well. It doensn’t matter where we play when we give that energy and we get it back like almost every show this year.



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



Our calendar is again filling up pretty nicely for 2020 – but if we get to play every damn weekend… we’d be into it! Our booking manager is looking at touring options as well… Amongst all these dates we can confirm to appear this year on Party San Open Air, In Flammen Open Air, … Well, actually, it would cool if the reader would join our Facebook and Instagram page – that way they can follow if we can play anywhere near! And, we have a release event coming up on January 31st in Antwerp with the mighty Schizophrenia, Aggressive Perfector and Hexecutor. That promises to be a wicked night!



9.The new album is going to be released on 'Osmose Productions', how would you compare working with them to your older label 'Babylon Doom Cult Records'?



It’s very different, of course. Babylon Doom Cult is an Antwerp based, independent label with a very eclectic roster. The label boss Jo has always believed in us though and gave us a platform to release the first album. It’s so cool what he has done, with his resources, trading wise and helping to get our name out there… We will always be humbled and thankful for that. With Osmose we will have a worldwide distribution and have secured a label bleeding with metal history. They are more professional and have way more options for promotion, pressing, putting us on digital platforms… to spread our name globally. Let’s see where it takes us!



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



I’d like to think more reactions will be incoming once the new video and album hits… But so far we’ve been pleasantly surprised by messages from fans all over the world. Outside of Europe we get fan messages from Mexico, Chile, Brazil, USA, Canada, Malaysia, Australia… It’s baffling to read people are appreciating this so much. I suppose they really enjoy the pure Metallik atmosphere we put into our first album. Hopefully they (and more!) feel the same way about our latest one.



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



We have a very wild ambition for at least one side of the next album… but it would be a shame to spoil anything about that. Though of course Bütcher will remain Bütcher, no matter what. And, now we will be promoting the new album first, so let’s focus and concentrate on that, haha.



13.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 guess our influences are pretty self-explanatory. Old Slayer, Hellhammer, Venom, Exciter, Bathory, Agent Steel, Nifelheim, Deströyer 666, Mercyful Fate, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Possessed, Dark Angel … you will find all these elements in our songs. All these bands also regularly visit my turntable and remain the things too which I listen a lot. That being said, I am a bit of a sucker of quite a few new bands… namely Traveler, Riot City, Vultures Vengeance, Vulture, Indian Nightmare, Blackrat,… I am enjoying a great deal of newer bands that keep the Flame of Old burning!



14.How would you describe your views on Occultism?



I enjoy occultism for the feelings they bring out in me. I have never dabbled deeper into the Occult than just randomly reading up on things that are brought to my attention via other bands or movies or the likes. It’s such a diverse subject as well, come to think of it. I just appreciate it on a very personal level, but is nowhere near as important to me as music itself.



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



Let’s end this one like in the good fanzines from the 80’s and 90’s… WE ARE FOREVER IN SERVICE TO THE ANCIENT GODZ OF STEELE !


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/butcherspeedmetal
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bütcher-Speed-Metal-225752547610482

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Deadspawn/Pestilence Reborn/2020 Full Length Review


  Deadspawn  are  a  band  from  Flagstaff,  Arizona  that  plays  a  blackened  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2020  album  "Pestilence  Reborn".

  A  very  heavy  and  brutal  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  at  times.  Vocals  are  mostly  death  metal  growls  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  solos  and  leads  also bring  in  more  of  a  dark  yet  melodic  style.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  along  with  the  screams  also  adding  elements  of  black  metal  onto  the  album.  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  tremolo  picking  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  faster  riffing.

The  songs  also  add  in  a  good  mixture  of  both  old  school  and  modern  influences  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard  on  a  couple  of  the  tracks.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  fantasy,  horror  and  occult  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Deadspawn  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  "Warpath"  "Pestilence  Reborn"  'This  Ascension"  and  "The  Plague  Within".  8  out  of  10.

https://youtu.be/CcfNmm2HOEg



  

Friday, January 3, 2020

Lotus Thief Interview

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



Bezaelith: From around the promotional time of Gramarye onward, we've been focused on assembling a team that would enable a composer representing each instrument on the album to have a voice in how each instrument plays into both composition and mixing aspects of the final piece. For the first two albums, most of the time was spent for me in my studio composing guitars, synths, vocal lines and deciding the lyrical and thematic material that would be conveyed over pre-recorded drums. The choices as to what would or would not be on the record melodically were mine to make, and while that's a good kind of autonomy for everyone to have for a while, it gets dull, because when you work with someone who inspires you and challenges you to stretch in new ways, that gives you a million more iterations and directions to explore. This was a dynamic I've wanted for a long time in terms of composition in the band, and I'm stoked to hear how that bond sounds on record.



2.In 2020 you have a new album coming out, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?



Bezaelith: Oresteia is different because it tells a story and represents the work of five composers and players. Previously, our releases were composed primarily by myself over pre-recorded drums that for the most part, remained unchanged between rough and final drafts. For Oresteia, we wanted to have a live player representing each instrument in both composition and execution. We also wanted to move from primarily philosophical texts to the telling of a narrative. People are obsessed with narrative and story, so instead of philosophy like Rervm, or texts themed in sorcery like Gramarye, we really wanted there to be a sense of being taken somewhere from the first to the last track and for us, a story provided that



3.Over the years you have had lyrics inspired by the writings of Aeschylus, Homer, Lucretius, Greek and Roman Mythology, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?



Bezaelith: I've been a teacher for over a decade, specializing in English, but History is a huge component of the content taught on any given day in class, because it's the context of human rationalization and our world at any given moment in time. History gives us the "why" we do what we do, but with the 20/20 hindsight to know how wise those decisions and reactions were in time - what caused a war, what created an Empire, what killed or saved thousands? Mythology is cool because it's how people fantasized thousands of years ago. It's the cartoon caricatures of their dreams and hopes, their stories that gave explanations where science had not yet provided answers. It's a window into beliefs that have changed like watching the same place in a river. The river is still there, but everything is different. At least in the past version, we have the "why" most of the time, and the perspective to learn from it.



4.In the past you also have touched on Aleister Crowley, and Occultism, how did you get interested in the more esoteric point of views?



Bezaelith: I grew up in the church, and was not given a choice about attending church until after I was confirmed. I started to feel what Stephen Fry would later put so eloquently into words probably around first grade, when I was sat down with a group of Sunday School children and shown an 80's video (this was in the 80's, speaking of ancient history) of these teenagers who had been in a theoretical tragic car accident. The teenagers are all dead, but they get split up. The ones who were "confirmed" went in an elevator to "heaven". The ones who were not were placed in a red fiery elevator to "hell". The whole thing's presided over by some dude in a suit looking like a stockbroker.  I think it was in this moment that my child brain called "bullshit". From that moment on I decided that if I had no power to leave the classes or the ceremonial stuff that I would challenge myself to explore new modes of thought and belief. The first book I stole was Stephen King's "Pet Sematary". I understood that this was not a religious book, but when I asked if I could read it and was told no, this was also unacceptable to my child brain, so I read it, sex scene and all, during elementary school (it was rad.) Here I was presented with a horror story, not necessarily religious in nature, but it was a different perspective of everything: from life and death, to whether animals have souls, to the fears that scar us. I had just lost my little sister to pneumonia and so there was a lot of patronizing sounding rhetoric at church that I didn't think was the full story. I understood the regular people's fears in that horror novel better than I understood condemning others to eternal suffering for not being confirmed in a belief system, and the funny thing was both of these sources ultimately read like fiction to me - everyone loves a good story. From there I attended Temple with some of my Jewish friends, hung out with the witches, dubbed "Wiccans" by the 90's teen years, and found myself asking questions to members of all religions.



Occultism fascinated me because it gives the practicioner the sense of being the pilot in the situation - some things are under your control, a lot is not but some things really are. Whether this is all illusory depends on each person, but in terms of the belief system, one is not helpless, one is not a sheep, one is not oblidged to tithe their body and soul and children to be in the club. You are not on your knees in a building with the masses of predominantly poor and uneducated. There's no altar boys to abuse. There's just you. You are totally alone like everyone else who is alone in nature, feeling alone and wanting answers, with some control. Occultism was the reverse pole to consumer-believer-culture. For once I wanted to put that rebellion and freedom into sound. For Gramarye I wanted to capture that freeze-frame in my exploration where I felt for just a bit that I could suspend the disbelief etched in my brain since that church basement film where I had that "One Born Every Day" moment. I wanted to suspend that moment of for once believing in something, as I could suspend perhaps a memory of myself walking on a mountain trail and imagining that I could hear the songs on the record being given to me by those mountains. It was a beautiful exercise in mental magic, and I guess it worked, and maybe there is a case of the occultism direction then. I think all of our life is exploring something, learning lessons somehow. Gramarye was the words of 5 sorcery-themed texts, and the sounds that I found up in the hills. 



Ultimately, I left occultism in my readings, and passed through Buddhism and Taoism, and then backwards in time in to ancient philosophies. Nowadays I read mostly fantasy and sci-fi, some horror. I decided that human faith is best as an exploration than a singular destination, and so I can't brand myself as a member of any belief club. Occultism was the most fun for sure, Taoism the most peaceful, Buddhism filled with light, but in the end I had unanswered questions for them all. At least I have Gramarye as a memory of that place in the river for me.



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



Bezaelith: I'm the kid that stole the Stephen King book. I wanted to know what the adults loved and feared about it. I wanted to know everything. I think every kid has some kind of memory of a time they deviated from the norm, broke the rules for the sake of learning something. Sometimes those broken rules are like a game of chutes and ladders. Break a rule and touch the oven and learn a fast lesson about fire. Break a rule and join a fight to kick the ass of a bully, and learn a fast lesson about friendship and not really mind the principle's office. Somehow, each of our journeys are our own. Knowledge is not to be begged for, or paid for: it's to be taken. Across the world, the lotus is most often a symbol of enlightenment through learning and the gift of knowledge. Throughout our lives, we seek knowledge, and sometimes the most treasured things we come to know are the lessons we have taken without asking. Lotus Thief was something that I created from almost a kneejerk reaction, in that it was just the right time in my life to generate this material that seemed to come from someplace other than myself. A lot of artists I know often feel like transmitters, as opposed to sources. To me, Lotus Thief, more than any band I've ever participated in or composed for, is a transmitter experience, and through that experience, I feel I have gained so much knowledge about myself and the universe I am in.



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



Bezaelith: this is personally my favorite cover so far in it's simplicity. The Rervm and Gramarye covers have who Alex Trinkl over at Irrwisch ArtDesign calls "The Thief" character - which I love. But I wanted Orestiea to represent a strong directional change both in its building blocks and even in its cover image (you can see Thiefy inside). The flower spurting blood is a strong image, it's' violent but beautiful at the same time, and these were the feelings that the album conveys. Oresteia as a narrative work is centered on bloodshed and its aftermath. We needed a cover that told that story, from a male and female perspective, because the play is also from both sexes. This was the beautiful and brutal thing that ended up being a perfect symbol for our work on this piece.



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?



Tal R’eb: It was an honor and privilege to play Prophecy Fest in Balve. We had a nice serendipitous moment where our video projection displayed “The End.” right as our set ended. Everyone seemed attentive and I’m grateful we were able to present our music in such a unique space.  I try my best to disconnect consciously from my stage performance, since I don’t think I perform as well if I’m thinking about my physical movements. I try to actively listen and observe what’s happening around me and let my muscle memory guide me. Overall, if I’m able to form an intuitive connection with the music and the audience, I feel more satisfied.



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



Bezaelith: Yes. We have a record release show coming up in SF on Friday January 17th at Bottom of the Hill with two local bands I love, Older Sun and Brume. Brume's just released an awesome album in 2019, so it will be great to have both our new pieces up for the show. Lotus Thief is a big band to move around, and our performances are not a simple blues set. There's a lot of tech stuff, and a lot of equipment. We will be periodically doing tours when we get the right offers for fests and shows that give us good reason to pack up and present our work.



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



Bezaelith: I think this can be best illustrated on the "press" page on lotusthief.com. People think our music is its own creature, and it strikes many listeners differently. One of the best thing this band has given me is the chance to have random email conversations with the listeners who reach out to talk about the music. Sometimes they hear something I did not, sometimes we are on the identical wavelength. One writer wrote to me about listening to a song before going under for surgery, and this may have been the greatest honor of my life, that someone admired what I did enough to take the risk that this could be the last thing they heard in this life. Even those who have hated the music have given me something to think about - like the guy who fantasized about being a Unicorn and shitting out Rervm in a stream of rainbow (you bet I kept that on the press page). If anything, LT seems to give people something to explore that isn't a fast food music option. That we did that is a lifetime achievement goal upon itself for us. But that 100% of the conversations I have had with listeners and reviewers have been amazing makes this a worthy exploration.



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



Tal R’eb: We’ve largely composed the next record and we hope to incorporate more instrumental texture, particularly acoustic guitars, into our sound on that piece. I think the next record is a little darker and more sinister in tone, with some nods to classical music (particularly in the Romantic era) as well as 80's music.



Bezaelith: Ascalaphus and I are also in a side project which will be announcing a signing in the next few weeks/months. Expect another beautiful and extremely dark album to be in the release gears very soon, of a different flavor than Lotus Thief. We're super excited about that.



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?



Tal R’eb: I’m not sure if the influences are immediately apparent, but Agalloch, Krallice, King Crimson and Fennesz were some of the artists I drew inspiration from during the last album process. Some recent musical dives have been with Slow (the Belgian doom band), Thergothon, Erik Satie and Mgła.



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



Tal R'eb:   Thank you very much for taking the time to interview us. We’re deeply grateful for everyone who’s taken an interest in our works and the buzz around the latest album. We also want to thank the Prophecy team for helping and supporting us. Oresteia comes out 1/10/2020 - please visit our website (lotusthief.com) or Prophecy’s website for more information. We’re all extremely excited to release this album and art book and hope the music can be meaningful to others.



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