Thursday, July 20, 2017

Crawl/This Sad Cadav'r/Black Bow Records/2017 EP Review

  Crawl  are  a  band  from  Texas  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black  metal,  sludge  and  noise  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  ep  "This  Sad  Cadav'r"  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Black  Bow  Records.

  Atmospheric  drones  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  field  recordings  a  few  seconds  later  and  elements  of  ambient  are  also  used  at  times  and  after  a  few  minutes  the  music  goes  into  a  heavier  sludge  direction  along  with  some  black  metal  screams  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  All  of  the  tracks a re  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  diversity  and  elements  of  harsh  noise  are  also  used  at  times  while  demonic  growls  are  also added  into  some  parts  of  the  songs  and  all  of  the  tracks  stick  to  a  very  slow  musical  direction.

  Crawl  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  black  metal,  sludge  and  noise  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  something  very  original,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Crawl  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black  metal,  sludge  and  noise  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres, you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "II".  8  out  of  10.


Hate Moon/The Imprisoning War/Folkvangr Records/2017 CD Review

  Hate  Moon  are  a  duo  from  Pennsylvania  that  plays  a  very  symphonic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "The  Imprisoning  War"  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Folkvangr  Records.

  Dungeon  style  synths  start  off  the  album  and  after  the  intro  classical  guitars  are  added  onto  the  recording  along  with  some  symphonic  elements  that  also  mix  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs  which  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  while  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  also  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  growls  are  also  used  at  times  and  a  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  classical  guitars a re  added  on  the  outro.

  Hate Moon  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  symphonic  and  epic  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  the  ancient  Celtic  World  and  historical  fantasy  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Hate  Moon  are  a  very  great  sounding  symphonic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Golden  Power"  and  "The  Skeleton  Forest".  8  out  of  10.



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Throne Of Heresy/Decameron/The Sign Records/2017 CD Review

  Throne  Of  Heresy  are  a  band  from  Sweden  that  plays  a  very  melodic  form  of  blackened  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their 2017  album  "Decameron"  which  will  be  released  in  November  by  The  Sign  Records.

  A  very  heavy  yet  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  death  metal  growls  a  few  seconds  later  while  black  metal  screams  are  also  used  at  times  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  and  the  solos  and  leads  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording h ave  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  elements  of  viking  metal  are  also  used  at  times  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  as  the  album  progresses  acoustic  guitars  are  also  added  onto  the  recording  and  they  also  add  in  a  touch  of  folk  music  and  clean  pagan  vocals  are  also  used  briefly  while  a  later  songs  adds  in  spoken  word  parts  and  operatic  female  vocals  and  one  track  is  an  instrumental.

  Throne  Of  Heresy  plays  a  style  of  blackened  death  metal  that  is  very  melodic  in  the  Swedish  tradition  while  also  adding  in  touches  of  fol,  pagan  and  viking  metal  to  stand  out  a  bit  more,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  a  concept  album  based  upon  the Black  Death  of  the  14th  century.

  In  my  opinion  Throne  Of  Heresy  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  blackened  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Shores  Of  Issyk-Kul" "The  Plague  Ships"  "A  silent  Vigil"  and  "The  Pale  Burden".  8  out  of  10. 

Hexenklad Interview

1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
The story of Hexenklad began with the planting of a seed, an idea: to create a metal band that was as deep in meaning and feeling as it was heavy and aggressive in sound. Co-created by guitarist Michael Grund (SIG:AR:TYR, ex-Battlesoul) and drummer Sterling Dale, Hexenklad’s roots sunk down after Grund made the drastic decision to move to the forests of Bancroft, Ontario, Canada, leaving city life and materialism behind. With this mental shift in place, and with the first two Hexenklad songs composed in those very woods, Hexenklad was born: a melodic, folk-inspired black metal band with thematic leanings towards nature, a respect for magick and ancient religions, and personal enlightenment and freedom.
Its branches spread in late 2015 with the addition of guitarist John “The Ancient One” Chalmers (Pagan Ritual), who helped round out the music. In 2016, after having recorded the drums for the new album “Spirit of the Stone”, Sterling Dale left Hexenklad and Timothy “Voldamares” Johnston (Eclipse Eternal) joined as vocalist, who expanded the sound still further. With the vision of the album and band now fully formed, comrades were called upon to complete the recordings. Alex Snape (Unbowed) did a guest appearance to add his signature bass sound, while guest cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne (The Visit, Musk Ox) added his wizardry to several tracks. Now-permanent member Clare B. (Eclipse Eternal, ex-Operus) deepened the sound with keyboards to put the final touches to the tapestry. Having now completed the debut album “Spirit of the Stone”, Hexenklad branched out again, growing this time to include new permanent members Jon Kal (Pagan Ritual) on bass and Andrew C. (Pagan Ritual) on drums, once again reuniting father and son (John and Andrew).

2. You have an album coming out at the end of July. How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
Take the depth of feeling of Falkenbach with the writing stylings of Hypocrisy, the folk melodies of Moonsorrow with the twin guitar blast of Dissection, the depth of emotion of Primordial with the overwhelming nature of Insomnium. Then you will begin to be able to describe the sound of Hexenklad’s new album “Spirit of the Stone”. Every song pulls from all the previously mentioned influences yet sounds completely unique in its essence. Heavy yet melodic, violent yet uplifting, extreme as a whole yet with moments of beauty and calm, this is Canadian Folk-Influenced Black Metal.

3. Some of your lyrics deal with Magick and Ancient Religions; can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?
The lyrics of this album are an amalgamation of ideas and writings from Michael Grund, an eclectic spiritualist, seen and interpreted through the eyes of Timothy Voldemars Johnston, who is Asatru. For many years now both have delved into the depths of ancient wisdom and beliefs and formed ideas around what they found. Each song’s lyrics revolve around a different aspect of those beliefs and ideas, and how they relate to life and the world around us. Those topics have such depths to explore that each word said about them holds a spark of Magick that can be felt. It is one of the reasons the album has so much energy in it—so much momentum and unbridled wildness.  

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Hexenklad'?
The name Hexenklad was the brain child and creation of guitarist Michael Grund, the founder of the band. In his own words:
"The name itself was one of those words that came to me in a quiet moment. Depending on how the listener chooses to interpret it, the meaning is somewhat open. For me it ties in to Magick, occult, witchcraft, and many otherworldly themes which are present within the music. The literal meaning when broken down: "Hexen" - a spell, to curse; and "Klad" or "Clad" - covered in."

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We played our first show just recently on July 7, 2017 in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada with our friends in Vesperia, Battlesoul, and Imperion and, judging by the audience response, it's safe to say it was very well received. Descriptions of our performance offered from the audience ranged from punishing and intense to epic, deep, and powerful. On a side note, our guitarist John "The Ancient One" dropped an amp head on his hand while loading in and played the show with a broken finger. A small example of our dedication to our craft.

6. Do you have any touring or show plans once the album is released?
We are currently in the process of booking shows to support the "Spirit of the Stone" album in the Ontario and Quebec provinces of Canada. On August 3, 2017, we have been given the great honour of being the first Metal band to perform at Kaleidoscope Gathering, one of the largest Pagan Gatherings in Canada. We are also playing a show with Ashbringer and Klarg in Toronto on August 26, 2017. And we're always open to offers...from anywhere.

7. The album is coming out on 'CDN Records'. Are you happy with the support that they have given you so far?
The support from CDN has been fantastic. They have given us complete breadth of artistic freedom with the music and imagery, which is our strength, and have provided us with rock solid support on the business and marketing side of things, which is their strength. Craig has assembled a team of professionals, Jason and Kim at Black Element for example, who are quite exceptional at what they do.  Simply put, they are good people and we are honoured to have them on our side.

8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of folk and black metal?
The response has been absolutely amazing! Far greater than we could have ever expected or imagined.  In late 2016 we did a photo shoot in a forest not far from our jam space. We made the conscious decision to avoid the conventional Black Metal background of a snow-covered pine forest and instead opted to capture the beauty and majesty of the Canadian hardwood forest in Autumn, something we all hold close to our hearts and something that better represents what this band is about. Once the images were placed on our Facebook page, we were greeted with an unbelievable amount of support from all over the globe—Mexico and Brazil in particular. Then, on New Year's Day 2017, we shared our first musical offering in the form of a YouTube video for our song “Path to Ruin”, and even though it was a simple picture video, once again we were blessed with an absolutely astounding response. It has really been quite a humbling experience and we are very grateful for all of the support. We are very much looking forward to the world experiencing “Spirit of the Stone” in its entirety when it's released on July 28, 2017.

9. Where do you see the band heading musically in the future?
We are very proud of the musical direction and trajectory that we have created thus far. Currently we have the framework for over a dozen new songs recorded, with more and more being written each month. At this point we are still in the early stages of composition and are simply capturing creative ideas as they emerge—some heavy and melodic, others quite folky and earthy. It's when we dive balls deep into writing mode later this year that these ideas will be refined and perfected. Musically, you can expect a continuation of the journey that we have created with “Spirit of the Stone”.  The heaviness, the melody, the harmonies, the highs and lows. An idea that we have been toying with is doing a double CD, the first disc being a continuation of the classic Hexenklad sound with the second disc being a more folk oriented acoustic, natural offering.

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?
Obviously, the aforementioned bands—Moonsorrow, Falkenbach, Hypocrisy, Dissection, Primordial, and Insomnium—have all had a deep and powerful influence on the Hexenklad sound and the creation of "Spirit of the Stone". But that is only the tip of the iceberg, as we are all rabid, insatiable music fans.  Emperor, Gorgoroth, Arkona, Woods of Ypres, Amon Amarth,  Forteresse, Wolven Ancestry, and Taake, among others, are in constant rotation. Some bands that have recently caught our ears are MGLA, Helheim, Nargaroth, Batushka, Elderwind, Vallendusk,  and Thrawsunblat. As you can see, our influences are vast and ever-growing.

11. What are some of your non-musical interests?
Spending as much time in nature as possible, drinking with comrades and kin, axe-throwing, reading, philosophy.

12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Each of us has spent many years in other bands honing our craft, finding ourselves and our voice, and it is our belief that we have been doing so in preparation for this project. The path lies ahead. We hope you join us on it. Horns up!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Siberian 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?

After we released the album we've been on a European tour that we worked with together with our booking agency.
One of our goals is to become a great live experience and we're still working very hard on trying out different ideas every tour.

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

We usually say we play some kind of Post-/sludge metal, but that can sometimes be misleading.
We all like different things and we try to incorporate our differences in our music.
I think Siberian is a forum for us to express our feelings and when our feelings change, the music change.

3.Your lyrics cover some dystopian and existentialism themes. can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

Our first album, Modern Age Mausoleum, has a dystopian theme to it. Somewhat based on George Orwell's 1984 but also based on other dystopian works.
Through Ages of Sleep, our most recent album has nothing to do with these topics.

4.Origianlly the band was known as 'Shrine', what was the cause of the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Siberian'?

In 2013 we signed with local record label 'Gaphals' and had to change the band name for legal reasons.
We named the band after the vast wilderness in Siberia, because we find the primitive and untouched taiga to be a great source of inspiration to us,

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

All of our shows are great shows no matter where we play or the size of the audience.
We have done shows for 200 people and also shows for 2 people and we play as intense we can for everybody.

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge and post metal?

I think we've gotten a very mixed response. We are very aware that we are difficult to categorize as a band
since we mix alot of important genres in the metal scene. The goal with Siberian is to try to make something that stands out
musically. We don't want to paint ourselves into a corner and focus only on one genre. Most importantly we write what we want
to hear ourselves and don't pay much attention to what other people think about the direction of our music.
We flirt with Sludge, black metal and post-metal a lot since we are big fans of those genres but we explore other genres like
folk, rock and ambient music as well. The response from our recent tour was very positive and people seem to like what we do.
I don't think we have any expectations at all but if people like what we do that's great! If people don't like what we do that's okay too.

8.Are you happy with the support 'The Sign Records' has given you so far?

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

Only time will tell. We have already started to speculate the theme for our third and final album in this trilogy.
I think our third album will be very great.

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?

A lot of our inspirations doesn't necessarily come from other bands but rather
philosophical ideas that we discuss with each other from time to time. We also have literature and real-life experiences
as a source of inspirations to write our music. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Atriarch/Dead As Truth/Relapse Records/2017 CD Review

  Atriarch  are  a  band  from  Portland,  Oregon  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  blackened  mixture  of  doom  and  sludge  metal  along  with  some  elements  of  noise,  death  rock  and  post  punk  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Dead  As  Truth"  which  will  be  released  in  August  by  Relapse  Records.

  Ambient  noise  sounds  start  off  the  album  and  after  a  few  seconds  drum  beats  and  melodic  vocals  are  added  onto  the recording  which  leads  up  to  more  of  a  heavier  sludge  and  doom  metal  direction  and  after  awhile  elements  of  death  rock  and  goth  are  added  onto  the  recording  along  with  some  black  metal  screams.

  Most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  atmospheric  synths  are  also  used  at  times  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  post  punk  fashion and  and  on  one  of  the  alter  tracks  the  music  speeds  up a   bit  along  with  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  while  the  last  song  also  introduces  acoustic  guitars  onto  the  recording

  Atriarch  remains  true  to  the  blackened  sludge/doom  metal  and  death  rock  mixture  of  previous  releases,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness,  death,  destruction  and  hate  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Atriarch  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  death  rock,  black,  doom  and  sludge  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Inferno"  and  "Hopeless".  8  out  of  10.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Suns Of Sorath Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
We formed in 2009, the idea to form the band came from us, Evan and Cody, and our old drummer but now it’s back to just the two of us. We were discussing the lyrical ideas and mixture of genres we wanted to make happen, and shortly after we sought out our old Guitarist and Drummer. It took us a while to come up with the name of the band, but we quickly started writing material.

2.So far the band has released an ep, single, and a full length, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?
Continuing from the first question, we have written so much material over the last few years that we have really attempted to keep the songs in some sort of chronological order but sometimes the feeling of one song doesn’t necessarily fit the next even when its written in the same 3-6-month time span. Mostly everything we have recorded is from the same writing era, its mostly older stuff we have written except for ‘Flowers of the Lily’ and ‘Bull of Dharma’ being a bit newer. Cody also added some new stuff to the bass lines and keys while in the studio. Vocal patterns are written on the spot and lyrics where mostly written while in the studio, with the exception of ‘Tides of Macrocosm’ and ‘Bull of Dharma’ so that adds a bit of a newer feel. We are working on new material but by the time its recorded it will be old to us.

3. Between 2011 and 2017 there was no new music being released, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?
We were playing live for some of the years during that time period but for a lot of it we didn’t have a full line which ultimately led the two of us to just start recording the songs that we have written. We were both working on some of our own musical goals during that time and some of the compositions that each of us wrote are now being used for the bands future releases.

4.Your lyrics cover some Satanic, Occult, Astrological and Spiritual themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

Each of us weave our Occult philosophies into the band lyrics in a poetic way so as to not make each song at all the same. There really is no set topics we talk about so far except that each song we have written relates in some way to some discussion or idea we have had about the occult/Satanism.

5.I know that the bands name comes from the angel-demon son of Lucifer, how does this name fit in with the musical style you play?
It embodies both light and dark principles in just the musical progressions alone, while all the while continuously being as Satanic as can be. That’s about as simple as we can put it. We had a long discussion when naming the band and it’s a lot to get into in a short interview.

6.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to having a full line up again or do you prefer to remain a duo?
We both consider us to be the founding members as well as the only composing members of the band, but we are looking and would very much like to find a live drummer capable of playing the odd times and technical stuff we play as well as a rhythm guitarist for live shows.

7.What have been some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
There have been so many good shows in the past it’s hard to pick out just a few, we have played with so many good local acts and had some pretty heavy shows. Some that come to mind are when we played with some great acts such as Satan's Host, Allegaeon, Sylosis, Vale of Pnath, and Cryogen to name a few.

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
We are very open to finding a label, we have not spoken to any labels yet but we are not putting outside the realm of possibilities.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
This release has been better than our last, more exposure. But it’s still a slow process getting outside of the local scene and getting larger groups of people in other countries to listen, but so far the feedback has been largely positive.

10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
Practicing piano and Suns of Sorath is mostly what I have going on musically, but there might be some other stuff in the works, about to happen. -Cody
Recently I have been playing drums in a couple bands, Pile of Priests and Amdusias, and also another project where I do guitars and vocals called Astraeus. Pile of Priests has a full length featuring me on drums and we are in the studio right now doing an EP and single, Amdusias is gearing up for some live shows and a debut album with me on drums, and Astraeus has released a full length and a music video. -Evan

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We have a bunch of material written for our next few recordings and a lot of it has slower tempos, but is still very progressive, and experiments with styles outside of metal at times.

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Metal: Therion, Voivod, Akercocke, Meshuggah, Enslaved, Metallica, Dissection, Burzum, Arcturus, Bathory
Classical: Chopin, Wagner, Beethoven, Brahms, Debussey, Mozart, Bach, Schubert, Shostakovich
Jazz: John Coltrane, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller
Classic Rock: Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath
Rap/Pop (that's right): Migos, Brotha Lynch Hung, Tech N9ne, Twista, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Rittz, Michael Jackson
Punk: Misfits, Dead Kennedys

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
Anything related to the stuff we write about, anything else isn’t very interesting.  Sometimes I watch Netflix or stupid Youtube Videos, A lot of times those are music related. -Cody
I skateboard - Evan

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us!