Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Majalis/Cathodic Black/Pulverised Records/2013 EP Review

  Majalis  are  a  band  from  Sweden  which  features  members  of  In  Mourning  and  October  Tide  with  a  musical  style  I  would  describe  as  being  post/gothic  metal  with  elements  of  black  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2013  ep  "Cathodic  Black"  which  was  released  by  Pulverised  Records.

  Drums  range  from  slow  to  mid  paced  playing  with  no  fast  drumming  or  blast  beats  being  present  on  this  recording  but  there  is  a  brief  use  of  percussion  work,  while  the  keyboards  bring  a  very  dark,  atmospheric  and  gothic  sound  to  the  music,  as  for  the  bass  playing  it  has  a  very  dark  tone  with  riffs  that  follow  the  riffing  that  are  coming  out  of  the  guitars.

  Rhythm  guitars range  from  slow  to  mid  paced  riffs  that  combine  post  rock  with  gothic  metal  to create  a  sound  of  their  own  while  still  utilizing  some  doom  and  black  metal  influences  as  well  as  a  great  amount  of  melody,  soft  and  clean  playing  being  thrown  into  the  riffing,  while  the  lead  guitars  are  very  dark  and  melodic  sounding  post  metal  guitar  solos  and  leads.

  Vocals  are  all  deep  blackened  death  metal  growls,  while  the  lyrics  cover  somber  misery  and  unnerving  open  wounds,  as  for  the  production  it  has  a  very  strong,  powerful,  heavy  and  professional  sound  with t he  songs  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  In  my  opinion  Majalis  are  a  very  great  sounding  post/gothic  metal  band  with  elements  of  black  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Altar".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.


Autumnblaze/Every Sun Is Fragile/Pulverised Records/2013 CD Review

  Autumnblaze  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  started  out  as  being  a  more  melodic  blackened  doom  metal  band  but  over  the  years  evolved  more  into  trip  rock/metal  band  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2013  album  "Every  Sun  Is  Fragile"  which  was  released  by  Pulverised  Records.

  Drums  range  from  slow  to  mid  paced  playing  with  some  fast  drumming  and  blast  beats  being utilized  at  times,  while  the  bass  playing  has  a  very  dark  tone  with  riffs  that  follow  the  riffing  that  are  coming  out  of  the  guitars  and  at  times  they  have  a  very  powerful sound  to  them.

  Rhythm  guitars  range  from  slow, mid  paced  to  fast  melodic  riffs  that  combine  post  rock  with  some  doom  and  black  metal  influences  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own along  with  some  soft  and  clean  playing,  while  the  lead  guitars  are  very  melodic  sounding  depressive  rock  guitar  solos  and  leads,  as  for  the  acoustic  guitars  they  use  finger  picking  and  full  chords  to  enhance  the  dark  atmosphere  of  the  music.

  Vocals  are  mostly  clean  singing  with  some  whispers  and  a  brief  use  of  black  metal  screams  and  deep  death  metal  growls,  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  depressive  themes  with  the  songs  being  written  in  a  mixture  of  English  and  German,  as  for  the  production  it  has  a  very  strong,  powerful,  heavy  and  professional  sound  where  you  can  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording  with  some  of  the  songs  being  long  and  epic  in  length.

  In  my  opinion  Autumnblaze  are  a  very  great  sounding  trip  rock/metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "New  Ghosts  In  Town"  "Im  Spiegel"  "Cold  Soul"  and  "A  Place  For  Paper  Diamonds".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Vein Interview

Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?
Jens Bendtsen Pedersen: The Vein was formed by Martin Mendelssohn Sparvath and me a few years back with the desire to create something that was different from our current / previous musical outlets. Martin and I have been close friends for about 15 years now and it was only a question of time before we did something together and thus The Vein was born.
We had no specific genre in mind when we started the band but we do share a huge admiration for 70es era Black Sabbath and dark, catchy and atmospheric music in general. Pretty naturally the material ended up sounding really heavy, dark and dense. Our first release was the “Born Into grey Domains” cassette EP on Deadbangers Prod.
And recently we released our debut CD entitled “Scouring the Wreckage of Time” containing a new EP recording entitled “The Poisoned Chalice” as well as the “Born Into grey Domains” tape tracks. The CD was released by “Shadow Kingdom Records”. Currently we are preparing for our debut gig at the Metal Magic Festival in Denmark where we will share the stage with great bands such as Portal , Hobbs Angel of Death, Beastmilk, Mortuary Drape , Vomitor , Dödheimsgard ,Black Oath, and of course Altar of Oblivion which contains some members of The Vein.

2. How would you describe your musical sound?

Martin Mendelssohn Sparvath: The following sentence is taken from our band description which pretty much covers our sound: Ranging from long drone-like “wall of sound” compositions with multilayered sinister soundscapes including atmosphere-enhancing samples to somewhat traditional “in-your-face” old school death/black metal, the listener is doomed to inhale the putrid stench of moral decay being spread by the sick and plague-infected entity called “The Vein”. In other words: Death/doom/black metal cloaked in capes of moral decay and struck by mental bankruptcy.

Jens B. Pedersen: Sonic darkness!! Pure and simple!

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

Martin Mendelssohn Sparvath: Among other things, the lyrics deal with fear, hopelessness and powerlessness which to me are some of the most powerful and unpleasant human feelings which everybody experiences from one time to another, whether you live in a peaceful country like Denmark or you come from a country plagued by ethnic cleansing, civil war, suppression etc. Imagine how the victims of the holocaust must have felt when they were led like lambs to the slaughter: this serves without a doubt as a prime example of powerlessness, hopelessness and fear. Also, the surrounded German Wehrmacht soldiers within the icy ruins of Stalingrad in the winter of 1942-43 must have felt quite abandoned, helpless and powerless, filled with fear of the brutal Red Army soldiers looking for revenge.

Jens B. Pedersen: Denmark might be peaceful compared to the more extreme parts of the world but we are slowly but surely turning into shit here as well. Personally my main inspirations for lyrics are death itself, something that I actually happen to know a thing or two about since death has been a faithful companion of mine since birth in various shapes and sizes. I am also really inspired by topics such as urban decay, wrath of nature, Mental illness, spiritual death etc.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the band’s name?

Martin Mendelssohn Sparvath: Our band name can be understood and interpreted in a lot of ways which is, among other things, meant to enhance the numerous layers of mystery surrounding our music and lyrics. To me, “The Vein” represents rotten minds throughout the world, be it corrupt, warmongering and poker-faced politicians, hate speaking and double-tongued preachers, untruthful salesmen who all inject their poisonous venom into the veins and minds of millions resulting in physical and moral decay, war, suppression etc.
Politics has within recent years transformed into a giant kindergarten for self-righteous grown-ups throwing mud and empty words at each other. My guess is that s lot of young politicians who have just entered the political arena are driven by ideology, the desire to make a change and a wish to create justice but as time goes by, they soon realize that to gain power and to remain in office, they have to compromise again and again, until they suddenly seem to forget what they were fighting for in the first place.
Modern age politicians are surrounded by spin-doctors telling them how to respond and how to (re)act in certain situations and they have been taken rhetoric classes teaching them to evade nasty questions plus blaming other people for their own mistakes and shortcomings. I wish politicians would stop beating around the bush as they mostly sound like a broken record; a record that wasn’t worth listening to in the first place, haha.

Jens B. Pedersen: Personally I could not care less about politics but I see Martins point. To me the band name represents something ugly hiding underneath the polished surface of existence. Something vile that is always lurking around the corner.

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

Martin Mendelssohn Sparvath: To this very day, we haven’t had the chance to play live yet but our debut gig will take place on this year’s Metal Magic Festival in Denmark (July 2013) which I am looking forward to. After our debut gig, I hope to be able to describe our stage performance as energetic, in-your-face and spell-binding.

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

Jens B. Pedersen: Apart from the Metal Magic performance, there are no concrete plans.
It is however more than likely that we will play a few more shows this year but only time can tell. An actual tour is doubtful as we all have a lot of daily obligations and personally I am not social enough to go on a full tour.

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

Jens B. Pedersen: Well, the CD has not been out for long and the tape was pretty limited. So far most words have been extremely positive which of course is good, but in the end it all comes down to personal satisfaction. We are pleased with our releases so far but always aim to do better.
When it comes down to promotion, I guess we are not really masters at promoting ourselves. We prefer to let our music and lyrics do the talking.

8. What is going on with the other musical projects these days?

Martin Mendelssohn Sparvath: Apart from The Vein, I am also involved in a couple of other bands/projects of which the Epic Doom Metal band Altar of Oblivion is the apple of my eye. Our sophomore full-length was released last year and now, we are planning to record a 7” vinyl consisting of two new tracks. The pre-production was finished in May, and rehearsals will start shortly. Apart from that, we are trying to play as many live gigs as possible and we will be going on a mini-tour in Germany, Austria plus some countries in Eastern Europe in November of 2013.

Jens B. Pedersen: Until recently I was involved in Church Bizarre and Cerekloth but both bands now lie dormant. Besides The Vein, I am also involved in a studio project entitled Dwell, the first Dwell release was recently recorded and will be out via Danish tape label Deadbangers Productions in the very near future and we are already working on more material.

9. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?

Martin Mendelssohn Sparvath: In many ways, we will continue in the same vein, so to speak. Our next release will most likely be our debut full-length album which was actually written before our newly released second EP “The Poisoned Chalice”.  The yet untitled full-length will show us from a much more diverse and dynamic side with better arrangements, catchier songs and more competent and comprehensive songwriting, in general. The full-length songs hold a great potential and we just have to make sure this potential is brought to the surface.

Jens B. Pedersen: When we recorded our previous releases, we had never rehearsed together as a band. With the upcoming material we will be able to rehearse and work hard on the songs and arrangements. I only see the music of The Vein becoming even darker and more potent in the future.

10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Martin Mendelssohn Sparvath: First of all, I would like to mention that I listen to all kinds of different genres, not merely within the diverse world of metal, as long as the music in some way or another speaks to me and is marked by quality. I have always been very fond of catchy and melodic music and these requirements must almost always be fulfilled in order for me to enjoy a certain piece of music, also as regards to extreme music. Bands which have served as a huge inspiration for “The Vein” are:

Morbid Angel, Death, Ozzy era-Black Sabbath, Monstrosity, Dissection, Necrophobic and Slayer.
Music, that I mostly listen to for the time being: Ozzy & Tony Martin-era Black Sabbath, Ian Anderson/Jethro Tull, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest plus a shitload of melancholic 80s (inspired) pop/rock music, among other things White Lies. In general, a lot of music inspired from the 70s and 80s and bands that don’t integrate too many fast parts in their music, haha.

Jens B. Pedersen: Personally I have reached a point where I am no longer directly inspired by other bands (at least not on a conscious level) but after all you will of course always be inspired by what you listen to in some way or another. I could mention Black Sabbath (70es era only), Morbid Angel and Dissection I guess. Like Martin I also listen to a lot of different music, as long as it is honest and has the right atmosphere. Some artists I admire besides the 3 acts mentioned above would in random order be: Alice Cooper, The Misfits, Immolation , Funeral Mist, Burzum, Lurker of Chalice ,Sonic Youth ,Deathspell Omega , Aosoth, The Doors , Fields of the Nephilim, The Sisters  of Mercy , Arditi, Autopsy, Tom Waits, Watain, Iron Maiden (80es era) , Judas Priest, Puissance, Portishead, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Fever Ray, Metallica (first 3 LPs) , Danzig, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost / Tryptikon, Arghoslent, GBK, Inquisition, Mayhem (with Attila) , Bathory , Nifelheim, Portal, White Lies, Joy Division, Nirvana, Alice in Chains , Led Zeppelin, (early) Slayer, Iggy & the Stooges, (early) Black Flag , Dépêche Mode, Sort Sol, Motörhead, MGLA ,Shining, Dolorian and a million others. Lately I have been listening to the new Slidhr album “Deluge” which is an absolute masterpiece in my opinion. I have also been listening to the polish band MGLA a lot as well as the latest Nick Cave album “Push the Sky Away” which is pure genius.

11. Outside of music what are some of your interests?

Martin Mendelssohn Sparvath: Organic coffee, World War II, Religion, US drama & thriller series, 80s muscle-infected hyper-masculine action movies, walking down memory lane plus watching retarded soccer games (Messi is a genius).

Jens B. Pedersen: I am a family man and raising a little boy is pretty time consuming. I have a big interest in movies and quality TV shows and in periods I also like to read a lot. I also like to spend time with my friends etc.

12. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?

Jens B. Pedersen: Not much to add here, thank you for the interview and support.
A full length album is coming in 2014.